Friday, August 5, 2016

My friend Jeanna and I are part of a local Farmer's Market, and last week I promised them a story. It is too good not to put here for posterity...or for rereading when I get the desire to get more chickens!

                                                           Why You Should Buy Eggs From Us
                                                         (and not have chickens...a cautionary tale)

Today is Chicken Moving Day. A day that not every one in the family looks forward to. Heck, NO ONE looks forward to chicken moving day, except the chickens! 

We keep our birds on pasture, inside a movable electonet fence. This not only protects them but lets us move them to better grass when needed. My husband built us a really great open air coop, or chicken tractor, and while we love it for how well it suits the birds it is a real pain to move. It takes all five of us to get it moved with lots of grunting and heaving, the help of our big lawn mower, a lot of rope and two well placed flat shovels.

The coop has been in one spot since last winter and we have been moving the fence around it. Today was the day when it was finally time to move the whole shebang. To complicate matters, we also have the 25' by 25' nursery in the middle of the fencing that must needs be moved, without losing track of the 18 chicks and 2 Mommas that are inside.

Everything was going better than expected, at first. The chicks wandered, but not too far. The big birds were staying close as the fence was moved. We got the brooder tractors moved and the nursery fence moved too.  Whooohoo... this is going a little too smoothly... so we decided to break for lunch.

I came inside to get some water and all hell broke loose. My husband came running up to the camper, shouting "Get out here now! There's a storm blowing in and no place for the chickens to get out of the rain!" (By this time the fence had all been moved but the chicken tractor was still in it's old spot.)

I pulled on my boots and boogied out the door and we spent the next 30 minutes racing a giant storm! We pretty quickly got the tractor hooked up to the lawn mower, shovels are in place and....nothing. The lawn mower wheels were spinning in the damp grass! 

Plan B. Steve ran and got his truck, drove it down into the chicken yard and hooked up the tractor. By this time, rain is starting to fall and we are hearing thunder. We had to open the fence to get the tractor inside, so the birds, looking for shelter, scattered...all 30 of them!  We hurriedly got the tractor in place and the door open and about 2/3 of the birds (the smart ones) ducked inside to get out of the by now, pelting rain. The rest of them were running around, being chased by three soaking wet children, while I tried to get the rest of the fence back up and Steve got the truck out of the way. 

By now it is a flood. The rain is coming down so hard that it is difficult to see. We are dashing about, trying to outrace soaking wet chickens, it was a scene from a college mud bowl! Wet chickens, wet children, wet Mom and Dad. I wish we had it on video tape! We would surely win $10,000!!

FINALLY my daughter caught the most wily of our birds, Little Blue (she has blue ears and lays blue eggs). This bird is notorious for not letting anyone get their hands on her, but somehow, she was captured and deposited in the coop.  The kids ran for safety, I buttoned up the fence and then we hauled tail back to the camper, rain pouring off of us like we had gone under Niagara Falls!

And this, this is why you should buy eggs from us. Because no one should have to go through that, just for fresh eggs!

The End

Monday, February 1, 2016

Go Away Rosanna!

It has been a crazy five months, since I last posted in August. It seems that an unwelcome guest had moved in with us, by the name of Rosanna, Rosanna Danna. You've met her before, right? She is famous for her saying "...if it's not one thing, it's another!" Every day, it was something new. Duckie died. Pipes froze, and then drain lines, and we narrowly missed flooding the camper. Mold abounds; we lost the bottom half of our mattress and then discovered a leak in the roof and now there is mold in the space between the roof and the ceiling. The Hillbilly hurt his back, bad. I got sick in January and still can't kick this cough. Less than three weeks ago I got a text; my dad was headed in for quadruple by-pass surgery, so I threw some stuff in a bag and spent the next two weeks in GA. And we have had our usual ups and downs with the Outlaws, some worse than others. These are just a few of the things that stand out. Honestly, there at the end of the year, it was something new EVERY day!

And yet. God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is GOOD!

I have seen families torn asunder by lesser trials than we have been through in the last 10 months. And here we are. All cozily living in our 250 square feet, getting on each other's nerves from time to time (ok, since we are being honest, on a regular basis) but when the rubber meets the road, we are tight. We are growing amazing relationships with our kids and they are learning compassion on a deeper level than many adults ever do. They are learning to live with little and be content. To share. To let the needs of someone else supersede their own needs, and be okay with that. It is something wonderful to experience.

We have also made some new friends up here, and have been richly blessed by their kindness and sweet friendship. We have been heartily lifted up in prayer by our family, those related by blood and those related by life. I celebrated my 50th surrounded by the folks who have invested themselves into our lives, and I can't imagine doing this life without them all! Oh, and toothpaste! Remind me to tell you THAT story!! It deserves it's own post!

And then this:

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come? 
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth. 
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand. 
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night. 
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

Psalm 121 NASB

Enough said.