Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Romancing the Coop

It dawned on me for the 694th time, that I romanticize life way too much.
Meet Clarence.
Some of you know that I'm raising birds for meat this summer - well, I'm trying to.
It's a long story, but rest assured that I shan't be posting pictures of headless birds and sharing gory details.
I decided early on that I would choose one bird to grant pardon to.  There was an Araucana rooster that was an early favorite.  Beautiful bird.  Too pretty to eat I thought.
Then this nut bird keeps getting picked on - almost to the point of death, and the soft spot in my heart knew he was my bird.

I had romantic visions of a pet rooster, hanging out with me on the swing whilst I embroidered dishtowels in my apron - a cool summer breeze blowing through the yard - my fat furry black cat Mocha at my feet. 
Clarence would be preening, Mocha would be purring, I would be stitching, my perfectly manicured perennial garden basking in the summer sunshine - and I'm sure there would be some perfectly brewed iced tea in a lovely vintage glass somewhere nearby, gathering condensation from the humid summer weather.

Reality check.
Yesterday, when I gave Clarence clemency, the fool bird was so shocked and happy to be out of harms way that he DID seem to want to hang out with me, and let me pick him up readily, and stroke his glossy neck feathers and play with his flaps and in general, give him some lovin'.
An hour later - he would attack me any time I got near him - relentlessly biting my hands, trying to pull chunks of flesh off.   It was open season on my calves, and I've got the bruises to prove it.  The cat wasn't safe either - Clarence chased both cats around the yard, fur and feathers flying.
My sun scorched perennials were fair game as well - nice big holes where there were some flowers.

Call me stubborn or stupid, I'm determined to have my bucolic view of life left intact.
In honor of my fantasy world - let's share some Instagram photos.
There's nothing like Instagram to fancy up a picture of a sandwich, a cup of coffee, or even a chicken dropping, I'm sure.  Let's compare fantasy and reality for a moment.

I got my new bifocals.  I love them.  Super cute.  You can't even see the sides here, and they are super cuter.  Don't I look cute here?  Notice the offset head - adds such an artsy touch?
Reality - I just paid $308 for these glasses and that was after insurance.  One minute after I snapped this picture, I recieved a frantic phone call from my sister and Aaron.  If I didn't get the the DMV and straighten out some paperwork for Aaron's driving permit - I think there would have been bloodshed.

It doesn't get much sweeter and cuter than this, does it?  A kitten on a quilt.  I mean COME ON.
Reality - this kitten should be named Damien, not Jax.  He's destroying that quilt with his claws.  The only time I can get a photo of him is when he is sound asleep, otherwise he is a blur.  I'm anxious to neuter him to see if it calms him down.  The house is in shambles from his shenanigans.

For all my friends that love that old fashioned, peeling paint look, like I do - you'll love these two pictures.

My front door.
We never do use the front door - so I've decided to let the Virginia Creeper and Morning Glories have it.  It's incredibly romantic isn't it?  Doesn't it just make your stomach ache you love it so?

Yep.  Until it's actually on YOUR house, and then you feel like a complete slacker that hasn't painted your house in years.

Sunflowers and zinnias frolicking happily along my driveway.
Don't hate.  Isn't it fabulous?
It is.

Reality.  It was all supposed to be zinnias - just like last year.  But, I, the Master Gardener - planted the spot halfway full of sunflowers before I realized they were sunflower seeds and not zinnia seeds.
Lord knows I know the difference, in fact, I'm sure you could blindfold me and I could tell by feel alone.  So, when "I" see this lovely sight, I worry about early dementia.

This is just a picture of a rebel sunflower.  It refuses to look at the sun.  Cracks me flat up.

My first pair of size 6 pants were purchased this week.
I'm over the moon with joy of course.
Had my first friend seriously worried that I was becoming anorexic.
The reality of these size sixes is that I've worked incredibly hard and put in most of my life looking like this -

I deserve those size sixes, ya think?

Isn't this cute?  Me eating ribs.  You might be thinking 'wow, she has so much fun - she takes rides in the country to BBQ stands and eats fun things and enjoys life so much'.  You'd be right - but - reality - I went to bed with a killer stomach ache.  There was something in that rub mix that ailed me - I'm thinking it was the yeast extract.

Aaron and I picked 48lbs of tomatoes off of my plants.  I have 8 tomato plants that are going gangbusters.  Isn't that awesome?
Reality - I did not expect to spend my entire day yesterday processing tomatoes - but that's what happens on Monday's in August when you go out to the garden - what you also don't know is how I've been nagged to water said tomato plants by Glenco.  You also don't know how many tomatoes the banty hens have eaten before I got to them - probably this many.

Isn't this a cool picture of beeswax?  I love it.  Smells so good too.  I keep bees.  Yes, I am very cool.
Romantic visions of me in my bee suit - smoker smoldering - bees quietly buzzing about thanking me for planting all these awesome flowers - ya, that's what I thought too.
By the time I harvest the honey, I'm stung, suffering from heat exhaustion and usually decide that I don't like honey that much after all.
(speaking of honey - for those of you that have emailed me that you want some - I'm planning on shipping this week - and there was SOMEONE that wanted some - needed it for medicinal purposes, and I'll be darned if I haven't deleted your email somehow - please email again!)

Reality aside - I like living in my fantasy world - where my kitty is beyond adorable, my chickens adore me, the garden blesses me with it's bounty and I pretend that all the peeling paint on the house is exactly what I intended.


  1. I love the front door idea of letting the plants take it. I ripped out so much volunteer Morning Glory this week. It seems to love a good drought.
    We had a rooster when I was growing up that simply terrorized the yard. He would attack friends when they cam to play. I remember Mom taking the broom to him more than once. I hope Clarence doesn't turn into that kind of crazy.

  2. Loved your post but that last picture is priceless. What a wascally one.

  3. Your everyday things capture the beautiful world you live in. Except for Clarence. Perhaps you could take him with the cat!!! Might mellow him out a little. hehe

  4. You are your swooney life slay me. Always.


  5. WOW, wow, & WoW. Love the tomato haul. Would love a fresh tomato about now. Love the front door and the morning glory. Sorry about the rooster....I think they tend to do that. And, the beeswax....do you make candles or do you put it in the frames for more combs of honey? Love that you are in a size six. Hooray. Thanks for sharing. & have a great one. Hugs.

  6. I love this post. Life is messy for sure but you still chase the dream. When you stop doing that, it is all over. I say that everyday when I am hosing chicken crap off my patio. I refuse to accept I live in the city and not on a farm.

  7. Sounds like a wonderful fantasy world to me- Love it all-from the hunt and peck chicken to the honey you harvest. Blessings to you, Jayme- You DESERVE those size 6s! xo Diana

  8. Your reality is a dream to lots of people. Loved your blog today.

  9. Ya, life is a lot of work to get those good pics isn't it! You look great btw.

  10. the door? gorgeous! but, i know what you mean. each time my lil darlings take another chunk out of my coffee table, etc, i repeat "i love shabby chic, i love shabby chic." somehow, what i admire min other homes makes me feel like mine is falling apart!

    oh ya, and roosters = evil. sorry.;)

  11. OMG too funny!! Totally my life (the reality not the fantasy!!) minus the bees. (Nope, haven't gotten to that yet...hopefully husband has forgotten) And roosters, hmmmm...we have chicks that are meat birds. The roosters will live 12 weeks period. My garden is dry and FULL of weeds. The lawn is turning brown. I haven't riden since the spring when it was cool...sigh. September can't come soon enough for me!!!!!

  12. Life is just as crazy as you say it is...I believe every word of it! But the very best part...your attitude...you make it sound intentional or uncomplicated...like it's really ok. And I love how you make it seem so funny! Thanks, I always need to hear what reality is like for others! Can you believe, we really are in the same boat!

  13. I'm glad to read this post. No matter that I Know country life isn't romantic, I still look at other people's blogs and see everything perfect.

    Now, what to do with my haul of tomatoes? I don't have enough time!

  14. Laughing myself silly!! thanks for the reality check- and lovin' that you could buy a size 6 jean!!

  15. A house really only needs one useable door, unless you start the kitchen on fire and need a secondary escape route, but I know you won't do that. Size 6 eh? I'll be satisfied with a size 10 but so far that's just in my dreams... only about 10 pounds away and can't seem to get there. You look fabulous by the way!!

  16. Your fantasy world seems like a really great place to hang out. Love the rogue sunflower, and kittens are SUPPOSED to be demons ... it's why we love them so much.

    Reconsider your decision to let the morning glory take over your front door. Virginia Creeper, okay, but not the MG. Once that demon vine sets and drops seed, you will have morning glories galore for the rest of eternity. Been there, done that, vowed to help others avoid the heartache.

  17. Jayme, you could do stand up comedy and make a fortune! I am sure many of your readers would agree :)

  18. The fantasy is always better than the reality, always.

    Keep fantasizing.


  19. I disagree with the above comment--
    Fantasy is nice--but--
    the real life events and hard work are the rewards that once to bed at night one has to smile at what got done during the day--or laugh at the stupid rooster or silly cat--
    and as for the bees--If you wanted to harvest all my hard work (honey) I would 'sting' you too!!!!
    just loved this post--am fairly new reader for yours!
    Hugs, Di and her kitty--
    miss gracie

  20. I look forward to your blogs and this was my favorite! I read a good many blogs and it always seems that everyone else has the perfect life but me. Thank you for keeping it real!

  21. I'm laughing my butt off - thanks!

  22. Well, it's as close to Heaven as I can imagine! How in the heck are you getting tomatoes and having beautiful flowers with this heat and drought? I thought you guys were getting it too... we look like the Seringeti (I know that's not spelled right but I don't live in the Seringeti, I live in the OZARKS!)

  23. Jayme, you always make me laugh! I romanticize life, too, but it's what we girls do! Have a good one, Jean

  24. As long as you're healthy I wouldn't worry about what your friend says unless you are worried there may be some truth to it. As my mom always said at some time you will have to choose between your ass and your face as in the extra weight off makes your bum look good but makes your face look every bit it's age and like hell (you need a little bit of cushion) as long as you have that balance it's all good :).

  25. Romantic versus reality....brilliant and funny!

  26. Waking up with your full blown garden really brighten up the day.Its true honey it good for cough and flu.It has a component that fight cough viruses.
    Have a great day! I enjoy your reading your post.

  27. You + Clarence = the perfect couple in that first picture! But, “never trust a rooster,” said a hen in-the-know. The males are full of themselves and have a need to ‘rule the roost.’

    Congrats on the size 6! Don’t they always say you can never be too rich or too thin?

    Since I found your blog, I always have a smile on my face when I see The Coop Keeper in my inbox! You are a special lady! And you inspired me to bake bread in a Dutch oven!

    Keep the laughter coming; we all need it. You have the gift of humor, and it’s always a good day when The Coop Keeper is chatting with us. Right, ladies?


  28. Miss reading your posts! Have not been here in a bit. My garden is not producing this year, but I am just learning!! Hope to see you soon. jan

  29. I LOVE your front door, don't change a thing! And the color of that morning glory infront of it is just .. glorious.

    SIZE SIX JEANS??? Holy hell, girl. Don't overdo the skinny, now. No kidding here.

  30. you are looking so fantastic! And I am loving following you on instagram.

  31. you're killin me. love the humor. and, it's all in the perspective, yes? i for one love the front door just as it is. just don't let it peel any more!! (yeah, want to see ya pull THAT one off. lol)

  32. I have just discovered your blog(s) through mutual followers. You are an inspiration. I have lost 50 pounds and I've had them off since February. It took me a year to get in off. I have 20 more to loose but would be happy with 15 . . . I could sure use some inspiration, so I am delighted that I found your blog. I am so proud of you and what you have done, Bravo!!!
    I'm much older that you , but I'm not using that as an excuse. I had to wait until I was 60 to have my first grandchild and now I have two, and I would like to be healthy and watch them grow up.
    I'm your newest follower, both blogs. I'm retired, two weeks away from my 67th birthday. I blog about re-purposing, art, music, paper crafts, journaling . . . I just plain enjoy life and feel blessed with each new day. Also I live in the Pacific Northwest and have for almost 40 years, but I was born in South Bend, Indiana and raised in Michigan City.
    Come on over for a visit, I would be honored if you choose to follow me back. Have a great week, Connie :)

  33. Gosh, I love your blog, Oh how the sunflower cracks me up! I know how it feels! Please keep up your lovely post, because you really make me smile! Love the peeling paint, and of course the kitty and rooster! Hugs, Lynn


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