top of page
  • Writer's pictureTina

So, dear reader, as the school year begins, so does the battle with germs. The Bean is on absence number three of a very young school year. She missed two days last week for a migraine, probably triggered by stress and heat. The Bean experiences migraines more frequently during the school year than during the summer. In summer, it is rare for her to experience a headache, let alone a migraine. My girl takes school very seriously and stresses a lot about her school performance. Although I am proud of her for her strong work ethic, commitment to succeed, and good grades, I wish she would lighten up a bit and realize not every assignment is a life-changing opportunity. It's the curse of being an overachiever, overthinker, and stress internalizer. Sigh...

Today, she is home with a severe head cold. She is running a low-grade fever and has turned into a mouth breather, her description, not mine. According to The Bean, everyone at school is stuffy and "blowing snot." Two school-age girls help us for a few hours during the week. While one little ray of sunshine declared she must be suffering from allergies, we knew she was sick. This little ray of sunshine never misses school because of illness, but these "allergies" led to two days of absence. My bib overall-wearing buddy, who does not get sick often and acts like a giant baby when faced with a head cold, was down and out for a few days. All the while lamenting over the germ-spreading abilities of children and their lack of personal space, hygiene, and general "grossness." Although he claimed he was dying from the head cold, the reality was that he was more likely to die from blunt force trauma to the head inflicted by me than the cold virus. My husband is a darling 98% of the time. However, he becomes a monster when he decides to cut back on nicotine or has a minor illness. This is the only time I can see myself divorced and living alone in a castle in England with a flock of ravens, a cat, Buster, a giant tea kettle, and no connection to the outside world.

I know it is a matter of time until illness befalls me. The Bean likes to be cuddled when she doesn't feel well. Cuddling means I must breathe her contaminated air...which grosses me out. I picture germs spewing from her nose and mouth when she speaks or breathes. However, I will never refuse a cuddle with my favorite kid. I will wait on her hand and foot. Which requires me to touch everything she touches. Although I try to disinfect as we move through the day, I will inevitably scratch my eye, wipe my nose, or touch my face after touching something she has infected. Sharing germs is not the same as sharing love. Sharing germs is the consequence of motherhood, unconditional love, and devotion. Sigh, she is like loving a Petri dish.

And so, dear reader, we wait, and we battle. I walk around disinfecting everything with Clorox wipes and disinfecting spray. I compulsively wash my hands and force my child to take vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc. Now that The Bean is a teenager, she refers to me as "that woman" when annoyed with me. It goes a little something like, "That woman and her vitamins and supplements!" or "That woman is going to kill me with Clorox wipes!" or "You know what, that woman said she's going to take my phone if I don't put dirty tissues in the garbage! Can you believe that woman?" Sigh, "that woman" will make you miserable if she gets sick from your little germ-fest. I'm going to demand tea, total control of the television, and soup, lots of soup.

If your children are grown, and you remain alive to talk about it, good for you! You, my friend, have battled death and lived to tell about it. If you do have school-age children, may the odds be ever in your favor. You, my friend, are in for a perilous 180 days. If you don't have children, you, dear friend, have strong survival skills and will live long and prosperously. Seriously, every flu season, dogs, ravens, and cats seem more and more appealing. Guess what? Dogs, ravens, and cats will never refer to you as "that woman." On this lovely September day, stay safe, be smart, and for the love of all that is holy, wash your hands!

64 views0 comments

Recently, there has been an uptick in deaths here at the farm. No, I haven't made The Bibbed Wonder disappear...yet. No, my darling goats aren't crossing the rainbow bridge...thank goodness. It's my hens. I am averaging one chicken death a week. I am aware that chickens only live six to eight years on average in a backyard flock. However, those six years have snuck up on me. I figure, to the best of my ability, my hens are seven years old. We bought them as adults, already laying eggs in 2019. They were a 4-H project, so I estimate they were a year, if not a year and a half, by the time we bought them. My rooster, Romeo, is around six years old. Sadly, they are dying one by one at an alarming rate.

For most, I see no signs of distress. I go out to the coop every morning and now check for overnight casualties. Most of the time, they look as if they lay down and went to sleep. Some pass in the coop, while others pass under the trees near the front yard or under the magnolia bush by the house. They enjoy hanging out under the trees in the afternoon, but hiding under the shade of the magnolia bush seems to be their favorite spot. They lay down for a nap with their little heads curled under their wing and fall asleep, never to awaken. When I put them to bed the other night, I counted the roosting chickens. I was surprised only to count eight chickens in the coop. Two of those eight chickens are roosters. Sigh.

I hope Romeo passes away before the barn hatchling rooster matures and fights with him. Romeo doesn't stand a chance in surviving a fight with the half-Delaware/half-Icelandic six-month-old rooster. He outweighs him by over a pound, at least, and is much more agile than the now-ancient Romeo. The barn hatchling will have to be caught and placed inside fencing until Romeo passes. I would like to keep the barn hatchling, who has not been named yet. We have a tradition of naming our roosters with R names. He might be Roderick, Remington, or Rasputin...maybe Rascal. I think I like Rascal. However, I am not impressed with the personality of the Delaware hens. They are by far the meanest and least docile out of all the hens. The Rhode Island Reds are a close second. I like the Buff Orpingtons, Americanas, and Cochins. They don't peck me when I go in for eggs. One would be surprised by the punch a chicken peck packs...say that ten times fast...insert a smile and wink. It's a bit surprising when one gets pecked, and it actually hurts a little and leaves a small bruise.

We have been fortunate to have only docile roosters, for the most part. Romeo can be a bit of a bugger if one shows fear, but he hasn't flogged anyone to date. If the hatchling rooster is like his mother, it has the potential to be a nasty creature. The Bean will never forgive me if she does indeed get flogged by a rooster. The barn hatchling should perhaps remain unnamed and find a new home, come to think of it. A friendly Cochin rooster would be lovely...hmmm. I need to think. Anyhow, back to my chickens. So, dear reader, I have a decision to make. Perhaps more than one.

Right now, my biggest dilemma is whether to get chicks this fall, raise them over the winter, and have them ready to lay eggs in the spring, or do I wait until spring and try to find other laying hens already laying eggs, or do I buy pullets? The Bibbed Wonder is not a fan of chicks. Who is not enamored with little fuzzy babies? My bib overall wearing curmudgeon, that's who. He thinks they require too much time, effort, and feed.

On the other hand, I love little fuzzy chicks, and I like having hand-raised birds. They are friendly, come when called, and are less prone to peck the hand that feeds them. Also, I can get a wide selection of different breeds. I like a colorful flock of chickens. I know I will not get any Delawares or Rhode Island Reds. They are an unfriendly lot. I want lavender Wyandottes, silver Wyandottes, lavender Sussex, Orpingtons, Marans, Faverolles, and Plymouth Rocks. Perhaps a black Austrlorp or two, as well. I believe I will order the minimum of twenty-five, but our large coop could hold perhaps thirty-five to forty. I don't believe in overcrowding. I would like to do a little revamp on the coop if I have that many hens. I want to replace the windows, add a few more roosts, and alter/add to the laying boxes. I would also like to add a fenced-in yard to keep them contained when I need them not to scratch up landscaping and plants. Chickens are quite destructive when scratching young plants.

So, dear reader, we might not have a flock of chickens to speak of by Thanksgiving at the rate we are going. That makes me sad. I hate to see my hens pass, but I don't have the tight emotional bond with them I have with my other animals. The only hen I will truly grieve is Jordan Short. She is my favorite chicken and has the most personality out of the flock. She runs to me every time she sees me and walks with me as I do my morning chores. She likes to walk just behind me when I walk from the feed room to the chicken coop. She waits for me patiently as I fill the feed and water buckets. I always throw her a little treat to snack on as she waits. She is pretty smart for a chicken. My daughter, Jordan, named her after our young, handsome neighbor, Jordan Long. Sorry to call you out, Jordan Long, but my daughter has been smitten with you since she was six. My Jordan said our most beautiful chicken was an Americana, and she should be named Jordan Short because she is tiny and more petite than Jordan Long but equally handsome. Ah, I miss the rationale of a six-year-old. So, Jordan Short it is.

I would appreciate the insight if you have any chicken advice to help me with my decision. If you are looking for a young, handsome rooster who is docile so far, I will give him to you, but it must be a good home. Until tomorrow, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, and remember time is fleeting; before you know it, six years have passed, and your pet hens are dying off; keep washing your hands.

76 views0 comments

Our Tuesday Spotlight shines upon our Milk and Honey soap and moisturizer. Milk and Honey is my go-to bar/scent for gift giving, donations, and recommendations for all. Almost all universally like the Milk and Honey scent; it's gentle for those with skin issues, luxurious for gift-giving, and has incredible ingredients. Our fresh, raw goat's milk is the first ingredient in all our soaps. We then incorporate raw, local honey, and the sugar from the honey helps to create a lovely lather. This bar is pure and simple but luxurious enough to give as an impressive gift. Especially when paired with our Milk and Honey moisturizer.

The gift-giving season will soon be upon us. For less than $20, you can give a lovely, handmade, luxurious, and healthful gift. I always use soap as a hostess gift. Often, I pair a few different soaps with a beautiful hand towel and a soap deck for a thoughtful hostess gift, a teacher or bus driver gift, and it also makes a lovely gift for co-workers. Many do not want to think about the gift-giving season just yet. I begin thinking about the holidays and gift ideas early because we are making our holiday soaps this time of year.

As always, our weekly special is exclusive to the website, does not require a promo code, and lasts for the week. On this lovely September day, stay safe, be smart, enjoy the savings, and keep washing your hands.

61 views0 comments
bottom of page