Chickens in the Basement

I love to write and I love to laugh. When I write, I get to the point quick. My stories would fit on the back of a postcard. They usually make me chuckle. And you know what they say, "It's all about me!"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Great Confessor

Since I was little, people have always told me things without me questioning them. My children say it's because I look people in the face and smile which opens the door for everyone to come on in to my space and begin talking. I love hearing what folks have to say!

Today, a man who can completely block all light from entering my office doorway just by planting himself in the entry stopped in to tell me about his morning. He grabbed my hand and said, "See the size of your diamond? Well, I passed a kidney stone the same size this morning. And, the second one was a third of an inch long and thinner."

An octogenarian friend of mine told me she sleeps naked and never gets cold because she has a down comforter. Plus, her husband loves it!

Tonight, I was chatting with Neighbor Terry after our walk. Riley Dog was waiting patiently on his leash as we flapped jaws. As we turned to head home, Neighbor Terry said, "I think Riley just peed on my foot." Droplets did adorn the sidewalk where her foot had just been standing. Riley Dog, it is NOT nice to pee on your friends!

Now, I'm off to see what my friends at GLEE have to say!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Freedom Ride

What would it take to get Riley dog to do this?
Enough puppy treats to put him into a coma!

The USO of North Carolina hosted the Freedom Ride on Saturday. Chewey, the dog in the photo, rode along with his Daddy on the 80 mile ride. Chewey was rescued from the pound. He was the Belle of the Ball in a canine/biker babe sort!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Perks of the Job...

Look who came to the USO of North Carolina RDU Center today!

He is my favorite politico! Wonder what it would take to convince Colin Powell to run for President?

He took time to pose with a couple of star-struck Marines...

before heading off to the RBC Center for a motivational speech.

I love my job!

Duh moment...I forgot to have someone take a picture of me with Colin Powell!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Contribution from Rick

I'm the mother of two boys. Whenever I ask leading questions to get their opinion on a subject, I usually get "Uhmuhmuhm" (the equivalent to "hell if I know") from them. Finally, Rick has a teacher who asks questions that require an opinion or description from him. Since my computer is the only one hooked up to the printer, I get to read his assignments. This one made me laugh!
My Family and My Hair

Everybody in our family has different hair. My brother has long, straight hair, but he thinks it looks best short. His hair is brown, sort of like mine. My dads hair is short and obedient. He doesn't even have to comb it. My mom has somewhat curly hair, and she always spends too long getting it just right. She has to use a curler a lot, but I think it looks fine how it is. Her hair used to be a sort of blonde but it has been a hundred different colors since. It seems to change with the seasons. At the moment, it wants to stay a sort of reddish brown. My hair, well, everyone in my family seems to want to have the same hair as me. It is long, but unlike my brothers hair, it is more curled at the end. My hair, like my brothers hair, is brown, but I think his is darker than mine. Even though we are all different, we are still a family.

I had no idea he ever noticed what color my hair is. After all, I walked around for three months with green hair before a friend's little girl said, "Miss Anna, did you know your hair was green?"
Well, no, I did not!
Her mother was mortified. I wanted to know how long it had been green. My husband informed me it had been green for about 3 months. And, he never told me! Nobody else told me either! What the heck?
It seems when Loreal ash blonde hair color meets Wake Forest well water, it doesn't remain ash blonde! Electric green is the result!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How Come...

How come Riley Dog turns tail and runs whenever he walks in on me when I'm about to get in the shower? Does he think I have removed my fur? Does he want to leave the room before he gags? Is he laughing?
How come the baggage claim area in RDU Airport smells like somebody peed in every potted plant in the room? Wouldn't it show up on one of the video cameras if someone relieved himself that often in the potted plants? Am I the only person who smells it?
How come I always thought Riley Dog was a yellow dog until I forced him to suffer through a long soapy bath (I let him keep his fur on) and he dried off red?
Just wondering...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reindeer Summer Camp

Yesterday afternoon, I looked out my bedroom window and discovered several of Santa's flight crew were grazing in the back yard.
Initially, I thought there were two. Vixen hovered near the woods while the brazen Blitzen was near the house and chowing on my weedy lawn!
We opened the back door quietly and went onto the deck.

He heard us, but wasn't bothered by our presence!

Then, out of my flower bed came this big guy!

Dasher had eaten all of the hydrangeas he could reach and was on to the weeds!

If only the stupid pole to the birdhouse wasn't there, this would have been a fabulous shot!

I know a few hunters who would have loved to see these guys!

When Santa whistled for the crew to return to the sleigh, Vixen beat the boys into the woods.

With a challenge issued by Vixen, Dasher was off!

Blitzen brought up the rear! I'm sure Vixen won this particular reindeer game!
Santa, you owe me a couple of hydrangea bushes!
NOTE: Riley Dog slept peacefully on the porch in the garage while Reindeer Summer Camp was going on in the back yard!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stink Bug Orgy

Last week, we were headed off to the beach for a couple of days. Before going, I had to make sure The Girls were taken care of. The water tank was nearly empty and had more mosquito larvae floating in it than I cared to have chewing on my naked legs in the weeks to come!

I hauled the tank up to the faucet and filled it to the top. Since I had already dressed for the trip, I didn't want the tank bumping up against my legs on the way back to the chicken house. Not wanting to play the "female card", I got creative and grabbed the grasshopper (my seat on wheels I use when pulling weeds), propped the water tank on top and headed down the hill.

When I stopped to readjust the tank, I saw a group of bugs crawling around on the handle.

On closer look, I realized all the bugs were paired up. Not only were they paired up, they were end to end. I immediately had flashbacks to dogs who somehow got twisted around during the sex act and couldn't get apart. (The boy dog always looks like he's in pain and the girl just looks humiliated!)

Do you think I scared the stink bugs so much when I snatched up the grasshopper and tossed the water tank on top that they spun around and got stuck? I have to wonder!

Admit it! You read the title and couldn't resist reading it! Right?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Clucking Reputation

Boy! I have been remiss! Ya'll wouldn't believe the beautiful things that have been showing up in my mailbox! I'm beginning to realize that I have a bit of a reputation...

a "chicken" reputation!

My buddy Stacey sent this beautiful hanky to me! I was thrilled when I opened an envelope and found this cutey! She has an antique store in Maryland near DC. I can't wait to visit!

Isn't this apron adorable? And check out the close-up of the chicken!

One day, I'm going to figure out how to turn my collection of chicen aprons into a vallance in the laundry room. Won't that be cute?

This cute little hot pad is right up my alley!

And, look at this finger tip towel. Anyone attempting to dry their tips on this cutey might get a smack to the back of the head!

Check this out! My friend, Kelly, made this. She makes all sorts of mosaics with all kinds of fun stuff. Check out her blog to see what she is up to. Look at the butter dish at the top of her page.

Thanks so much for thinking of me Kelly!

I can't wait to play with this jello mold! I didn't have one of these! Can you believe it? If only I could get blogger to upload photos the way I saved them!

These cute ornaments and a few of the chickens came from my buddy Gin. She was my swap partner for the Year of Enchantment swap for the month of June. I'm sad to say, Gin is still waiting for her ornaments from me! Don't give up on my Gin, they are coming!

The theme this month is Gnomes! Isn't his little face adorable?

Gin had an extra pattern for this, too. I think I have seen these before. Once you sew it together, you add a brick to the bottom to make the chicken stand up straight. I can't wait for time to play with this!

A note came with the goodies from Gin...Do chickens and gnomes get along?

Answer: I hope so because this box is filled with both!

Thanks Gin!

Last month, I won this treasure from Pixie! I have spent hours perusing the pages of this work of art.

Isn't the cover beautiful!

It's filled with crochet patterns. I wish I knew how to follow these patterns and create beautiful clothes!

Like this adorable apron that should never be worn while making biscuits...unless "making biscuits" is your code word for "meet me in the bedroom!"

Vintage adds were included in the book.

And my favorite part is this handwritten ditty:

Cant write shall be drunk
With my little wigger wagger in my hand
Wrigh dodwn the curains I shall
be drunk a Mondgy night,
Something had been erased after the coma. I wish I could make it out! Don't you wonder who wrote this, how drunk they were at the time, and whether Mama beat the crap out of them when she found this poetry in her pretty book?
Thanks so much for spoiling me! I miss you all!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ignorance is Bliss Until...

Tonight, we headed off to a Durham Bull's baseball game to see one of my old-man-friends sing the Star Spangled Banner. Who knew the seated tickets would be sold out and standing room only was even an option? Twenty eight dollars later, we were walking around the stadium looking for a fence to lean against.

We saw an empty picnic table and headed in that direction. We would be able to see Hy, a WW II veteran and USO volunteer, stand on home plate and sing. We had about 15 minutes before the game started, so we grabbed a plate and headed through the line for some food. Once we got close to the end of the line, I realized there was no cash register to pay. The lady behind me said, "That's the beauty of these tickets!"

DING! DING! DING! Somehow we had wondered into a private box, loaded plates...Tony even had a beer in one hand, and no one had stopped us! Do we throw everything away and leave or do we shovel down the food and leave quickly and hope no one confronts us? Before I could make the decision, the boys were happily chowing down and wondering why all I had on my plate was baked beans. I just couldn't add a burger once I knew we were gate crashers!

Sotta voce', I whispered, "Eat quickly!" Not knowing who had invited all of the folks in the box, I didn't know if they were watching us. Hiding guilt is not my specialty! Just one look and he would know we didn't belong.

Thank heavens everyone wolfed down their food. As we were leaving, I think the owner spotted us and started our way. We avoided eye contact, fled up the stairs past the security person who had returned to her post, and blended into the crowd before we could be confronted!

Hy sang beautifully! I was so proud of him and so ashamed of us! Happy Fourth of July!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Hey Guys!

Thanks for the e-mails of concern! I have been trying to find time to sit down and write, but by the time I do all of the things I have to do every day, it's bed time! I've had to instate a self-imposed rule that I'm not allowed to play on the computer until all of my chores are done. Sad to say, the list of chores is kicking my ass!

Since I've been out of touch so long, I'm going to write this like I write my Christmas letter every year. You'll get a little bit about a lot of stuff going on in our neck of the woods!

I guess the biggest thing...I've accepted a full time position with the USO of NC. I love the work, the people, the soldiers, everything about the job except the pay. However, when I consider the lack of opportunities knocking on my door, the pay is pretty damn good!

While getting myself established at work, the boys are now out of school and as of the second day at home, bored to tears! I've been leaving them a list of chores everyday. Instead of ending the "I'm bored" comments, they've improved their vocabulary with comments like "I don't want to" and "Didn't that used to be your job?" and "Why do I have to vacuum more than Will/Rick?"

I think the boredom issue may not be as bad after this coming week when Will gets his driver's license. They can visit the pool, go to the grocery store for me, drive to band practice, or go visit friends. I will be a permanent truck driver and Will will drive the station wagon. How cool is he? Now, if I just control my anxiety once he pulls out of the driveway!

The boys and I did get away for a couple of days at the beach. And for the first time since we had children, we are at home for the week of the 4th of July. I miss being in the mountains where the temperature is at least 10 degrees cooler!

My flock of chickens has shrunk. Last week, I was carrying Cora from the garage to the hen house. Skippy was in the yard with the other girls. He walked towards me and started flaring up to fight. He jumped at me with his spurs aimed at my legs. I kicked him. He jumped 5 more times and he received 5 more kicks before leaving. There were no problems the next day at bed time. But a couple of days later, I once again was holding Cora and Skippy jumped again. I figured he was jealous of me holding Cora. Skippy and I went to war again. The feather's flew! Okay, jealousy we can deal with. Cora can walk by herself. Alas, the final straw was the next morning. I opened the door to the hen house and started to walk in to check food supply. Skippy jumped again. I made the decision then and there to let Skippy go. We have too many boys hanging out at our house for him to be unreliable. If he'll jump at me, he'll jump at anybody. Thankfully, Tony did the deed for me.

While Will and I were watching TV, he discreetly went into the back yard. A few minutes later, I heard the door to the basement slam. I told Will I thought Dad had just taken care of Skippy. He looked at me horrified and said, "You mean he slammed him in the door?"

No time for yard sales, thrift stores or auctions! I'm missing my junk fixes badly! No time for blogging, but I have managed to snap a few shots of funny things I've seen. This swamp turtle was in my front yard! The close up looks more like a pile of poop!

Several years ago, I came across an enormous swamp turtle crossing a highway. I was afraid it would get hit by a car, so I got out to help it across the road. When I got near it, it started coming toward me hissing. I backed my ass up, got in my car and left him, secretly hoping an 18 wheeler would finish his hissing ass off!

I find entertainment everywhere I go. Lately, I have found several license plates funny enough to make me laugh. I couldn't get a photo of the first one, but wrote it down:


This really applies to me! I need a pit-stop every 30 minutes or so! The next one I get behind every day on the way to work. The first time I saw it, there was a FOR SALE sign in the window. The car could be yours for $175. The personalized plates cost half that amount every year!

So, my plan is to get through the summer. I'll write when I can squeeze it in. Once everybody gets back in school, things should mellow a little and I'll be back. In the meantime, have a good summer and know I'm wondering what ya'll are up to. I'll drop in to read when I finish my chores!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Be Careful What You Release Into the Universe...

Last week, I told ya'll I love storms. The sound of rain on the roof...the breeze that blows the storm in...the power of thunder and lightning...even the limbs and pine cones that fall during the storm.
I got a call at work this afternoon that Riley Dog was cowering under the table and it was thundering like crazy. Thank heavens I had the forethought to get Rick to unplug my laptop, just in case.
I didn't tell him to unplug the kettle, the stereo, the DVD player, the phones, the chargers, the answering machine, and possibly a few more things I haven't yet discovered! Of course, the house was smacked by a huge bolt of lightning! These appliances and entertainment devices no longer work! I don't know why the TV didn't blow up, but I won't challenge that one.
I still love the feel of a storm, but that lightning needs to stay the heck out of my yard!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Father's Day!

So, what do you get a dad who already has everything? The kids don't have any ideas (that we can afford). I'm at a loss. What's a motha to do? Go to e-bay and type in Father's Day gift ideas. You won't believe what pops up (n0 pun intended)!

I swear! Click on the photo and it will take you to the link!
"So, what did your daughter give you for Father's Day?"
"Aw, she's the best! She gave me this really cool Playboy DVD!"
That's just wrong! And really, REALLY creepy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sleepovers, Flowers and Storms

For the first time in years, Neighbor Mary spent the night away from home. Actually, it's the second time. The first time she left home, she went to Russia and came home with two fabulous kids! But, I digress! Last night, she and her human crew flew to Baltimore to see an Oriole's baseball game. With so many babes to care for, I wound up with a couple of cages in my garage!

The peacock is on the perch and two guineas are snuggled in the corner. Even with temperatures in the upper 90's, we had to keep the heat lamps on the babies. They like temperatures of 100 degrees.

Also along for the sleepover were two baby ducks. One had been grabbed by a hawk and has stitches in her hind end. The other one has a hurt foot. They are good company for each other while they recuperate! I love filling up their water bowl and watching them gulp and splash in it!

Riley Dog wasn't thrilled with sharing his space with lowly birds. He fell out in the liriope and pouted for a while.

It was dusk when I headed out with my camera and got some pretty shots of blooms in the yard. This is a butterfly bush that volunteered. All of the ones I dug holes for, fertilized and watered have died! I'll take volunteers!

Bee balm keeps Neighbor Dave's bees happy! I guess they had all gone to bed by the time I got out for a photo shoot!

Doesn't everyone love yellow daisies? Are there any flowers that look happier than these?

Look at the close up and tell me it doesn't chase away a bad mood!

The red is getting ready to bust out of this flower. I'll take another photo in a few days. For the life of me, I can't remember what this one is called. If anyone knows, please leave me a comment. A full-bloom photo might be more helpful in identifying!

We have had some beautiful storms lately. The photo above shows the storm rolling in this afternoon. We got a nice rain that cooled the temperatures off quite a bit. I love the light rays shining through the clouds.

This one is from a storm last week. The sky was the prettiest shade of purple in the midst of it all.
Do you like storms?

Friday, June 11, 2010

101 Things that Make Me Happy!

I was tagged by my buddy Stacey at Flotsam and Jetsam for this one! Good timing, too, since I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and need to remember the many things that make me so happy! Here they are...
1. My Boys
2. My Husband
3. Riley Dog
4 through 8. Skippy and the Girls (Cora, Ruby, Shakira and Chrissy)
9. The Basement
10. The best neighbors in the world!
11. SuzAnna's Antiques
12. Working at the USO
13. A movie that makes me laugh until I cry!
14. Sudoku...especially when I can finish the puzzle.
15. Walking with my boys.
16. Finding treasures while hiking in the woods.
17. Getting a handwritten letter in the mail.
18. Driving with no destination and no time restraints.
19. Watching my kids when they don't know I'm looking.
20. Sewing quilts
21. Needle point
22. Trips to the mountains.
23. Janet Evanovich books.
24 thru 28. A bottle of glue, a pile of paints and brushes, old buttons and jewelry.
29. Taking off in an airplane.
30. Painting furniture.
31. Selling something I made.
32 thru 34. A clean house...done by somebody else...without me asking.
35. A cold diet coke.
36. Dark chocolate candy.
37. Reading blogs.
38 Writing.
39. Packages in the mail.
40. Being by myself.
41. Looking at the flowers blooming in my yard.
42. Cutting the grass.
43. Pulling weeds.
44 thru 47. Picking cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes in my garden
48. Watching my chicklets.
49. Walking with Terri.
50. Playing with Mary's new babies.
51. Date nights with Tony.
52. Going to BoJangles in the convertible with the top down.
53. A good old country Auction!
54. Lucking up on a yard sale with good crap!
55. Dress pants in my size on sale!
56. Clark's shoes.
57. Visiting Mom and checking chores off her list.
58. Hanging out with my niece.
59. Mexican food.
60. Specifically, chili rellenos! YUM!
61. Christmas with extended family!
62. Watching my Dad talk to my boys.
63. Cooking with my Mom.
64. Watching a good marching band perform.
65. The last day of school.
66. The first day of school.
67. The noises Riley Dog makes when I rub his belly.
68. Sleeping late.
69. My laptop!
70. The first fire of the season.
71. Lightning bugs!
72. Feeding Japanese Beetles to Cora Bell.
73. Pretty old dishes.
74. Yoga.
75. Newly laid, still warm eggs.
76. Time to sew.
77. Stumbling upon wild animals.
78. The smell of gardenias...only when they are outside.
79. Using my power tools.
80. Old photos.
81. Marking a bill PAID!
82. Eating dinner on the back deck.
83 thru 87. Purple, red, yellow, orange and green.
84. Rocking on the front porch.
85. Watching the birds and squirrels snack on corn.
86. A vase of fresh flowers from my yard.
87. No laundry in the basket.
88. The boys spending time together without bickering!
89. Reading a good book.
90. Bonfires.
91. Vintage rhinestone jewelry!
92. Books on CD.
93. Magnolia trees.
94. Learning something new.
95. Angels.
96. Granny's Christmas ornaments.
97. Red doors.
98. To Kill a Mockingbird
99. Getting home early.
100. Curly hair.
101. Did I mention my boys?
Okay guys! Here's the challenge...see how many things you can come up with that makes you happy. I could easily add 100 more things to this list! Let me know if you create a list so I can see what I'm missing!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Still Here...

Hey guys! I'm working hard during the day, job hunting at night, maintaining kids who have been out of school for just two days and already bored out of their minds, dieting and exercising, and keeping track of my chickens! I'll be peacock sitting for Neighbor Farmer Mary this weekend. Stay tuned for photos and stories!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bits and Pieces...

In just a few more days, our friend Linda will be turning 60. As a twist on birthday celebration, she gave presents away! And, BONUS, I'm a winner! I won Linda's Christmas in June (actually, it was May at the time) gift box. And what a box it is!

She included everything!

Not just place mats, napkins and cute little dessert dishes, she also sent two place settings of silverware!

And this cookie cookbook has me planning some goodies for my near future! See the pretty little cross stitch ornament?

Snowman napkins, paper plates, a little statue, a tea towel, and the stacked salt, pepper and toothpicks snowman on the right are going to be wonderful additions to my Christmas supplies! Is that all?

NO WAY! You know she had to include this fabulous chicken mug! I love it all!

Thank you so much Linda! Make sure you visit her blog...
Tell her I sent you!
Last night, I went over to Mary's to get photos of that ugly little peacock I showed you earlier this week. Turns out, nobody was home. But I was not alone! These guys were my escort!

Actually, the black goat grabbed me on my way out...literally! My shirt looked like it would taste really good! The other guys walked me to the chicken coop and showed off their feathered friends.

Mary has a little bit of everything in her yard!

That cute baby bunny posed a little for me. See the ears of his brothers and sisters behind him?

As I was headed out, Mary came home. A quick trip in the house, and I had the shot I was looking for!

Remember that pitiful looking peacock I showed you last week? He had just hatched.

This is the same guy three days later! He's still not looking much like a peacock!

And, this is my favorite bloom at the moment. This hydrangea is as big as my head!