• Tina

We have a bit of a conundrum here at the farm. Four of our laying hens have "gone broody." Broody means they are sitting on a clutch of eggs hoping to hatch baby chicks. I, too, am hoping they hatch baby chicks, but they seem to sit forever, and nothing happens. For example, Mean Martha sat for weeks, and nothing happened except we had a bunch of rotten, partially developed eggs. She dictated a laying box, she pecked everyone who got within striking range, and then she just got up and walked away. Incidentally, we call her Mean Martha because she is mean. She looks mean, with her little beady, black chicken eyes. She acts mean with her pecking and such. Yes, Mean Martha earned her name.

I have stopped gathering the eggs for our consumption. I cracked an egg to make omelets and screamed because an alien-looking form had replaced my bright yellow yolks. It was a partially developed embryo, with a head and tiny little translucent legs. It was awful. I'm not sure I will be able to eat eggs again. I have been buying brown eggs from the store because I don't trust our eggs. What a ridiculous situation I have created. The eggs that are in the laying boxes and abandoned are fed to the pigs. However, four of the girls are sitting on eggs, and I don't know if I should let them sit and see what happens or feed all the eggs to the pigs and start over. I fear that the eggs are partially developed, and I end up killing future baby chicks. Sigh.

For the time being, I will allow the girls to sit and hopefully hatch a few chicks. The eggs laid in the unoccupied boxes will be fed to the pigs because I trust no one at this point. Hopefully, the girls will get this out of their system, and I can go back to fresh, trustworthy eggs. Until then, it is the sadly pale yolked organic eggs from the store. Seriously, sheer ridiculousness. I have twenty-one hens, eggs overflowing, and I am buying organic eggs. In this situation, I think I see why my bibbed-wearing buddy gets frustrated with me. Sigh.

As always, stay safe, be smart, may your eggs not be filled with aliens, and keep washing your hands.

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  • Tina

This week is one of my least favorite weeks of the year. I detest the week before Father's Day. Not because I don't enjoy celebrating my bibbed wonder but because he makes celebrating him so damn difficult. I have been pestering him for weeks to give The Bean ideas for what to get him. Most of the time, he offers up some little idea, some nugget of insight. This year, he's given me nothing...nothing. I always find this week to be frustrating, stressful, and challenging. Sigh.

The Bibbed Wonder reminds me of my dad in many good ways. He is hard-working, he can do anything, and he is intelligent. These are all characteristics I love. However, like my dad, he is impossible to shop for, making gift-giving impossible. What does one get for someone who has everything and wants for nothing? He already has every tool developed by the modern world. He has no real hobbies. He obviously doesn't like clothes. He won't go out to eat because he is still singing, "COOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDDDD!"

When The Bean was small, her go-to gift ideas for her dad always involved Duck Dynasty. The Bibbed Wonder used to watch Duck Dynasty when he worked away and nights in the hotel were long. He found it entertaining but was not what I would call a fan. For whatever reason, my bean took that little tidbit of information and hung on to it like a dog with a bone. You have no idea how many times I saved that man from an Uncle Sy t-shirt. However, I could not protect him from an Uncle Sy Christmas ornament, bottle opener, coffee mug, or fuzzy polyester blanket, but he never had to wear an Uncle Sy t-shirt under his bibs.

That is one of the many reasons he deserves to be celebrated. Not because he has an affinity for lousy reality t.v. But because it doesn't matter how ridiculous it is, he will treasure it if The Bean gets it for him. He would walk through fire and back for that child and think nothing of it. It is simply what he does and who he is. He has a wall above his desk in the garage that is like an art gallery of all the works The Bean has created just for him. His favorite piece is a plaster of paris sculpture titled Jack, My Cat. Not only was it made with great care and love by The Bean's adorable little hands, but it also demonstrates her matter-of-fact and unique speech pattern. He treasures that child, and that is one of the reasons I adore that man.

However, back to this year and my lack of ideas for an appropriate gift for him. Things he wants: a hay rake. Things I can get for him: not a hay rake. First of all, they are somewhere in the ballpark of $10,000. That is not exactly what my bean has to work with unless she dips into her college fund. Secondly, I have no idea where to begin. I looked. It is like a foreign language. I'm sure I would get it wrong if I did get it. Lastly, if he wants it, he buys it for himself. I see tabs up on the computer of different companies selling farm equipment. When he finds the one he wants, I am sure he will discuss it with me and make a deal on his own. No, this year, I may not be able to keep him safe from a cheesy slogan t-shirt. I do know, whatever The Bean decides upon, he will cherish it. However, I will spend the remainder of the week wracking my brain over what to do to make this bib overall wearing wonder buns feel special. Sigh.

In the meantime, dear reader, stay safe, be smart; if you have any great ideas, please share, and of course, keep washing your hands.

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  • Tina

Our Tuesday Spotlight shines upon our often overlooked shave bars. If you have met my bib overall wearing buddy in person, you will understand why I prioritized creating a natural shave bar. The Bibbed Wonder is diligent about his personal hygiene. I know it sounds contradictory after all the stories I entertain you with about him and his questionable behaviors. However, he does indeed shave that handsome bald head of his daily. Although when one thinks of shaving, often it is men who come to mind first. However, as a woman, it is a daily process we do not speak of openly or often. Most women in my circle shave more frequently and cover more square inches than most men. For this reason, I tried to create a product that spanned both genders.

At the beginning of my soap journey, I created two shave soaps. One was lavender, and one was rose scented. I did not have a large audience, and the audience I had primarily consisted of women. The shave bars got a little bit of attention, and I received positive feedback on them, but they weren't focused. At that time, The Bibbed Wonder smelled like a field of French lavender when he exited the bathroom each morning. I enjoyed the scent, but he is not fond of the smell of lavender. I appeased him by creating an unscented shave bar. Fast forward a few years, and I decided the shave bar scents needed to be revamped. For whatever reason, mainly The Bibbed Wonders input, I did away with the scents of rose and lavender. Instead, I created a more gender-neutral shave bar with milk and honey and maintained the unscented bar because it had an audience. No one seemed to miss the floral-scented shave bars, so I think I made the correct decision.

Currently, we offer three options for our shave bars. We have the widely popular Milk and Honey, the Unscented for those with sensitive skin, and we added The Manly Man per The Bibbed Wonders request. Milk and Honey is a slightly sweet, soft scent with a hint of almond. The Manly Man is a beautiful combination of sandalwood, musk, and amber. All three bars have a dense, moisturizing lather created by the blend of natural oils, almond, castor, jojoba, and shea butter. All-natural kaolin clay adds a nice slip to the soap, and coconut oil makes it cleansing.

All three shave bars are on special for half off on the website. Whether you are a fan or are looking to try something new, now is a great time to stock up or try a new product. As always, stay safe, be smart, enjoy the savings, and keep washing your hands.

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