Posted in Animals

The End of my Chicken Ranching Era

It happened yesterday.  The end of an era.  But yesterday was a joyous day of remembering the birth of EK, that I couldn’t allow it to spoil the day, regardless of how sad I felt about it.

I found my last one chicken dead yesterday shortly after dawn. Actually, dead is such a mild word when what I really mean is murdered.  Viciously attacked by a raccoon I am sure.

The chicken herd had been dwindling by about 3-4 chickens a year due to various causes of death.

I had my last two remaining chickens, one yellow and one black and white, for a good long while up until around Thanksgiving.  That’s when I found the yellow one eaten in the yard.  The dogs had been brought inside for the night, so there was no protection for them so I wasn’t sure what had happened to the chicken until the next night when we were awakened by a ruckus.  Drew Miller, AKA Killer, stayed outside and engaged in a terrible brawl with a raccoon.  JDub woke, put on his slippers and witnessed the entire battle royal, attempting to stop it but failing.   Drewby Doo gave that coon a run for his money as the coon did Drew.  Drew has some fresh new scars on his snout to prove it.  We surmised by all this, that the raccoon more than likely killed the yellow chicken while the dogs were inside the night before, then came back for more the next night, only to be caught off guard by the dog.

A couple of months have passed since the death of Sassafras.  In that time Drew and the black and white chicken, Freedom, have become the best of friends.

Freedom and Drew
Freedom and Drew

It was as if Freedom knew Drew, and only Drew had and would save her.  If you’ve been a reader for long, you’ll remember Freedom the chicken.  If not, you can read about her here and here, among others.  I’m not entirely convinced it was Freedom as I never tied a string around her ankle or anything, but in my heart I believe it was.

Two nights ago, I was driving home after dark and I saw the raccoon.  Big as a bulldog crossing the road at the river just a half a block from our house.  He must have forgotten the whoopin’ Drew gave him, and luckily for him Drew was inside for the night.  But unluckily for Freedom.

I cried when I found her.  I cried because she was my favorite.  I cried because she was my last.  I cried because of the savage way her life ended.

I sat with Freedom the day before she died.  I sat in a lawn chair and she jumped up on the arm and I stroked her and she pecked my shirt, making me all kinds of nervous as she always did.

I don’t know when I’ll get more.  I don’t know IF I’ll get more.

They brought me delight, truly they did.

I hope there’s a chicken heaven.  If there is, my girls are there.  May they be ever happy in a land of green grasses and big worms.

DSC_2156

Posted in Children, Family, Love

Look Who’s Three!

My dearest Emma Kate,

Last night you went to bed as a two-year old and today you woke as a  three-year old!  But not technically.  You actually have until 2:47 this afternoon until you can officially say you’re three.  You are the absolute most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me.  I love you so much.

You are smart, beautiful, and funny.  I am easily entertained by your antics, whether it is the funny things you say or the silly eyes you make, you always can make me smile.

You enjoy coloring and painting.  Of course you love your books as you always have, and your cat Rocky Muffin.  You are super smart, knowing and recognizing all your letters and your numbers to ten.  You have begun to know how to make the letter E, and then you just scribble some m’s like mountain tops and a dot for the A.  You love all things princess related and we celebrated this past Saturday by having a Princess dress up party.  Three of your friends joined us and we had the best time.  Everyone had at least one wardrobe change.  We played Hide the Slipper and Pin the Kiss on the Frog.   Then we decorated foam crowns to wear.   I had a lot of fun making you a cupcake princess dress and seeing your sweet face full of excitement.  You were so good and well-behaved and truly acted like a princess should.

The funniest part of the story is that you are convinced since we already had a birthday party that today you are four years old. You insist that, “I’ve already been three!”  You are trying to convince me to have a farm party for your fourth birthday.  I hate to break it to you, but birthdays only come once a year.  You need to not rush things anymore than they already are.  It seems like yesterday that you were that bright-eyed, alert newborn baby.

You will always be my baby, no matter how old you get.  I thank God for you everyday and for the time I have to spend with you watching you grow.  You are my blessing, one I am ever grateful for.

I love you so much my sweets.

Happy Birthday!

XOXO,

Mommy

The birthday girl
The birthday girl
All About EK
All About EK



Now THAT's how you decorate a cupcake.
Now THAT’s how you decorate a cupcake.
Showing how old you are.
Showing how old you are.
princessess and friends
princessess and friends
a dress of cupcakes
a dress of cupcakes
mommy and her little princess.  I love this picture of us.
Mommy and her favorite princess. I love this picture of us.
Posted in Children, Family

The Latest Emmaisms—Edition 3

So, occasionally I like to blog about the funny things that come out of my daughter’s mouth.  Today, I’m keeping it short and sweet with the latest three funnies.

1)  She’s learned how to covet.  Something she often says is “I wish I had ____________(fill in the blank)”.  The other day while looking at Pinterest with me, she said “I wish I had that dress.  In my dreams.”  Maybe she’s realizing she doesn’t get everything she wishes for.

2)  The sun was shining last Saturday, so we headed out for a hike in the woods.  Although most of the snow had melted in town, we discovered a lot of snow, mud, and puddles on the trail while heading up.  Needless to say, I hadn’t dressed her in the best shoes for trekking through the aforementioned conditions, she was simply wearing a pair of “sneaks” as she calls them.  She was doing a great job hiking however; no complaining, no stopping, no slowing down when she fell in the snow.  Her daddy was bringing up the rear and commented, “Emma, you’re a trooper.”  She replied, “No I’m not!  I’m a hiker!”

3) She spent some time with her young male cousin recently during all the holiday visits. Today, while going potty, she informed me that “Maxx pees out of his belly button.  Silly Maxx!”

Oh the fun of it.

You can read her other cute sayings here and here.

IMG_3290

Posted in Children, Family

Two Year Old Snowman

Today is the first official snow of 2015 here in my corner of New Mexico.  Official snow in my book anyway.  There might have been a previous flurry or two, in which I consider that officially unofficial.

EK wanted to go build a snowman, but she didn’t want to wear all those clothes.  “They’re too tight.  They’re too tight,” she complained.  Also, the fact that they didn’t match produced a few tears, but after wearing them for a bit, she got used to the discomfort and fashion taboo-edness and didn’t want to come inside for forever.

It was a day of christening the Snowman Kit that EK bought for her daddy Christmas 2013.

IMG_3300
Her snowman when she was still two, but just barely.

IMG_3301

As JDub and EK packed on the snow forming a buddha-like belly for the snowman, I grew a bit nostalgic.  Today is January 13. In 15 days, my baby will turn three.  Two weeks and one day.  It’s not that I don’t know she’s about to turn three.  We’re in the throes of princess party planning, but sometimes the realness of a situation just hits you, you know?

I sat and thought of last year, of the snowman we built.  It seems like an eternity ago, and it seems like yesterday.  The thought struck me that this snowman will more than likely be the last snowman she will build as a two-year old.  The first and the last.

DSC_2152
Last year’s snowman, when she was still one, but barely. December 21, 2013

Even she knows how quickly time flies.  Recently, while holding up her little fingers just so, she said, “I’m two and I’m going to be three.  I’ve already been one.”  She’s already been one.  That’s over and done.  And in a few days, she will be able to say she’s already been two.

Excuse me while I blubber for a moment and go hold my girl, while she’s still two.