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!"

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Happy Memorial Day!

Today is Memorial Day. It's a time to reflect on the folks who protect our country, fight for our rights, and ask for very little in return. Way too many lose their life in pursuit of our freedom!

For the last couple of weeks, I have been working as a temp for the USO at our local airport. I have had the pleasure of seeing boys fresh out of boot-camp and on their way to their first assignment. I have talked with the guys on our Honor Guard team who respectfully stay with the body of a fallen soldier as he awaits his final ride home.

We need them.
They need us.
We need you.
It's that simple.

This morning, I went to my office (about the size of a small half-bath) to catch up on paperwork and to make sure there was plenty of food for soldiers returning to base after a long weekend break. There was a young woman in the center who was on the phone every time I passed her. She was dressed in her camouflage uniform with her pants stove-piped into her boots. I figured she was killing time until her next flight.

Then, I heard a commotion outside. Happy exclamations, then a Daddy saying, "I'm so proud of you!" I looked out the door and saw this young soldier scooped up between her Mama and Daddy. I had to close my office door and get myself composed. When I was finally able to walk out, they were gathered just outside my office. I welcomed her home and told the parents how thrilling and emotional it was to witness their reunion. The soldier asked me to take a photo, but her camera was out of batteries. Since I have made a habit of carrying my camera with me everywhere I go, I was able to snap a couple of shots to e-mail to them.

Can you see the joy on the faces of this family? She has a break for a couple of weeks, then back to Afghanistan. I'm so proud of her, too! I will think of this happy moment every Memorial Day!
Who have you been thinking about today?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vintage Christine's Give-Away

If I were you, I would NOT go to Vintage Christine's blog, I'm Not Old, I'm Vintage, and I would NOT sign up to follow her blog either, no matter how funny she is! You wouldn't want to win one of these Shawnee kitty planters either.


Is my reverse psychology working?

(I want that planter all to myself!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Springtime Brings...


Just because my house is lacking little ones doesn't mean my neighbors don't have any!

Neighbor Terri has 12 new baby chicks. They came in the mail last Thursday. Since there was so much extra space in the box, the chicken company worries that the babies will get cold. So what's a chicken company to do? Toss in a bunch of basic boys to keep the others warm!

The gray ones were paid for and the yellow ones are body heat!
The breed I have are cochins. These cuties are silkies.
When they grow up, they'll look like this!

Here's a close up of a freebie! Anybody want a pile of damn-cute roosters?

Yesterday, Neighbor Mary called for help getting a duck and her babies out of the well house. She had nested in a pile of insulation with a butt-load of eggs. All but two hatched!

Looking down on the crew, it doesn't look like too many.

But get Mama out of the picture and you see 19 babies! Are they not the cutest things!

They were relocated to the chicken tractor. Mama had to be coaxed off the roof of Mary's house....twice!

But once she was caught and back with the babies, they all seemed to be happy! I wonder how much trouble I would be in if I brought home a few baby ducks?
I know the answer...A WHOLE DAMN LOT!!

Daisy the Goat has her own house. She can't decide if this is better than her spot in the garage and only goes in her house when put there by Farmer Mary!

These baby bunnies are just 6 days old. Their eyes aren't open yet, but those babies can hop! I had to hold on so tight, I thought I might squish them!
Yep, I miss Melvin, but with all the babies in the 'hood, I will get my snuggle fix!


Barbara from if i didn't have a sense of humor says she expects Christine, I'm not Old, I'm Vintage, to launch a murder investigation in the death of Melvin!

Reward offered for information in the death of Melvin...fresh eggs for a month!

Suspects...Squirrels? Bad corn? Skippy's evil alter-ego? Hmmm!

She'll have her work cut out for her!
8 hours later...You have to go to Chris's blog. She has not disappointed us. Her investigation has been extensive and swift! Thanks for solving this mystery!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sad Day in the Neighborhood

This afternoon, I went out before the rain started again to make sure all the chickens were in. Melvin wasn't trailing behind Shaikira. I checked in the hen house and even looked under Cora Bell in case he was snuggling with his favorite, indulgent aunt. No Melvin. I climbed into the chicken run and looked under the ramp and in the bucket on it's side and behind the bail of hay. No Melvin. The squirrels had knocked the lid off of the trash can filled with crushed corn. When I picked the lid up off the ground, I leaned over the top of the bucket and saw the small black body of Melvin inside the can of corn. There were no injuries that I could see. The can was easy enough for him to hop in and out of, so I know he wasn't trapped inside.

You'll be missed by your Mom and our little corner of the blogosphere!

I'm sure he would thank everybody who followed his story, especially Christine who started his very own fan club! I can't believe it was such a short story!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Have you met my buddy Liz over at Ninny's Notes? She has a great sense of humor and a really cute little dog! She has bestowed upon me this fabulous award!

1. If you had a different talent, what would it be?

I would be able to paint chickens that look like chickens!

2. What is "numero uno" on your bucket list?

Getting in my car and going wherever it takes myself!

3. What was the best present you ever received?

A ticket to Australia to visit a man I had only known for 10 days... I married him!

4. What are you most afraid of?

Violence towards my children.

5. Why did you start blogging?

I like to write. I secretly hoped I would be discovered by a magazine and they would want me to write for them for money!

6. How many days old are you?


7. What is your favorite dessert?

Chocolate anything

8. Are you a carnivore, a vegetarian, or vegan?

CARNIVORE! I love bacon and hamburgers. I like them even better when they are on the same bun!

9. If you could give something of yours away, what would it be?

My big ass! You can have my hips and stomach, too! I'll deliver!

10. What is the one habit you'd like to break?

When I was talking to my dad on the phone today, he said, "Can I tell you something and I don't mean to hurt your feelings..." I braced for the "you're a bad daughter" talk I thought was coming. Instead, he said, "You have used the word 'so' 13 times since we have been on the phone." He suggested I replace it with another word. I told him I say "so" so I won't say "shit"! I think I'm going to change back to shit!
Okay, I'm choosing a few of my favorite bloggers to tag here. It's hard to choose only 5 when I follow what seems to be hundreds of blogs regularly. If you haven't visited these folks, check them out!
Elaina at Ted and Bunny
Liz came up with these 10 questions, so I'm going to come up with 10 things I like to know about folks...
1. What was the worst job you ever had?
2. In high school, what clique were you in? (I hung out in the smoking area!)
3. Housework or yardwork?
4. What was the last book you read?
5. Do you volunteer anywhere? Where and why?
6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
7. Are you a happy person?
8. Do you have a veggie garden this year? What are you growing?
9. What's your favorite cuss word?
10. Who would you like to see in concert? (you can dream!)
Thanks a bunch Liz! You could answer these questions, too!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Look Who's Modeling!

Yesterday, there was a fabulous goody box in my mail. It's from Deb at Zootsuit Mama. If you haven't visited her blog, make sure you pop over. She is a funny, thrifty girl!
Since there were some fabric items, I thought I would bring out some of my furry and feathered friends to model!
Check out Skippy on the cat walk! He is modeling a wonderful blue and white checked child's apron. It's a little big on him, but he doesn't mind!

And, Riley Dog says it's oh so versatile. It looks cute on a dog and on a chicken!

And Melvin is standing in for Vanna to show off this oh so cute kitchen glove. Who can resist that vintage fabric?

And, in case you wanted to see what Melvin's belly and parts looked like, here you go! Chicken Porn! So, based on what you see, will he crow or cluck?

Oh, but that's not all! Check out these cute vintage Chicken Oil and Vinegar cruets! Aren't they just perfect for me! No fur or feathers to show off these pretties. Best to keep them all in one piece!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Deb! I love it all!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who Knew?

Does that beak look like it's going to have lots of dangly bits?
Melvin is only two weeks old and the little fellow has his own fan club! And, the first President has already been overthrown for bad behavior. Melvin is destined for a thrilling life. If only we knew if he would grow up to cock-a-doodle-doo or lay eggs!

My best blogger buddy, Chris, from I'm Not Old, I'm Vintage helped her cat, Boo, start the fan club (I think he was picturing chicken nuggets, not Chicken Little), but Boo got fired for getting to friendly with an atomic ash tray on the kitchen table.

Melvin and Shakira in the chicken run.

While all of this was happening in blogger world, I was off at Will's high school for the world's LONGEST high school wind ensemble performance. Since I had to work today, I had to have a shower when I got home. While doing that, I might as well paint my chipped up toe nails. You know it had to be red and you know I had to spill it on white carpet! If you scrub long enough and hard enough to put holes in your wash cloth, it starts to come up. Until it's gone, I'll leave a pile of dirty clothes over top of it. Apparently, since it is MY job to pick up all dirty items, no one else will even consider picking them up, thus no one will ever know I spilled nail polish on the floor. But, I digress...

As long as Mom is nearby, he can hold his own with the big chickens!

Last night after the concert, I went to the hen house to make sure everyone got in safe. No Melvin. I grabbed my flashlight and started searching. He wasn't under the hen house, not in the run, not on the porch. I went back to the hen house and spotted his little face peering out from under Shakira. How he managed to do this while standing on the perch is beyond me. Once again, Melvin is safe.

Melvin can even reach the food in the BIG CHICKEN feeder!

However, now that he has a fan club and I am accountable to ya'll for reporting his growth and progress, I am terrified something will happen to him. When I went out tonight to tuck all the clucks in, he was present and accounted for. He even agreed to come out for a quick photo shoot!

And when the other mother throws in stale bread, I'm in heaven!

He says to tell everybody HEY and thanks for reading my other mother's blog!

Feathers are starting to grow!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Feast or Famine

North Carolina's motto should be changed to:

North Carolina
The state of feast or famine!

Let me explain. This past winter, we had snow, rain, cold! As soon as spring kicked in, no liquid at all. The temperatures were up and down, but DRY!

After weeks of promises of rain from the weathermen, they finally got it right. That must be the only profession that getting one out of ten predictions right won't get you fired! Today was the day they finally got it right. But, it didn't just rain. It poured so hard, I saw cars go careening off the highway.
Even the ditches between my veggie rows overflowed!
The ditches on the side of the road flowed faster than the traffic. My windshield wipers were useless! When I was about three miles from home, I had the most horrible thought...

Drains were blocked!

What if Melvin went out with Shakira and couldn't figure out how to get back in! He would be washed down the hill, never to be seen again.

It was raining so hard, even the space under the hen house was wet!

Once in the house, I kicked of my chunky heels and dress pants and pulled on my sweat pants and a pair of ragged clogs. I grabbed my umbrella and headed to the hen house.
Skippy and Chrissy want to know where the blow dryer is!
When I opened the door, I saw four very wet, scrawny looking chickens sitting on the perch. Shakira was huddled in the hay on the floor.
Trust me! Melvin's under there somewhere!
I listened through the rain for Melvin's sweet peeps. I heard them and saw his head peak through Shakira's feathers at the same time. I have to remind myself that Shakira is a good mother and really doesn't need my help. But, I still have to get my daily "Melvin snuggle" fix!
I'm such a chicken geek!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Melvin's New Trick

Never let it be said that I don't try hard to give you what you ask for! Vintage Chris' cat wanted to see what Melvin was looking like these days. If I were him, I would set my sights on Shakira! She is more than a mouth full! Of course, he would have to catch her first...and she pecks...HARD!

No more snuggling under Mom in a warm pile of hay. Melvin perches with the big chickens all in a row. How dang cute is he!

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's a Girl!

My niece is visiting! Erica Jane is 15, right in between my two boys. Ever since they were little teeny, Erica has had the ability of reducing my boys into giggling, squealing idiots. Within 5 minutes of picking her up, Will was in full silly mode!

She might accompany me to a few yard sales in the morning...depending on how late we stay up tonight. Then, we'll work on some ornaments I need to get in the mail for a swap. We might check out an auction in the afternoon.

Sunday, 7 or 8 folks are coming from Nashville to pick Erica up. Since they'll all be here, we might as well have a picnic...and go to Beaver Dam...and take the canoes out of the garage...and go for a walk in the woods...

Hopefully, Erica won't be too bored with her aunt's passions and obsessions or too annoyed by her silly, loud, goofy boy cousins!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's This?

Last Saturday, I found this cute little vase at a yard sale. Whenever I look at it, I have to lean my head a little to the right. Of course, I had to cut flowers to make it beautifuler!

On the bank out front, I found this. I didn't plant it and have no idea what it is. At first glance, I thought it was Lamb's Ears because of the top of the flower.
Here's a closer look at the flower...
Does anyone have an idea what this is? Does it multiply? Do I want it to grow on my front bank or not?
UPDATE: Today was my first day back in the working world. I really enjoyed it. I think I can be helpful to this non profit group. Everyone I met was so nice and friendly. I'm old enough to be my boss' mother!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Last week, I told ya'll about the job offer I had gotten but turned it down. What I didn't tell you was that I offered to fill in for them temporarily until I find a full time, high paying job with benefits or they find someone to fill their administrative assistant position permanently.

During the interview, I was told how unorganized the office had gotten since the previous assistant had left. I figured, I could help get things organized and updated for the next person.

Since I didn't hear anything back from them last week, I figured they had found a full time person...until yesterday. I got an e-mail saying they would like to take me up on my offer. I'll go in tomorrow to fill out paperwork and maybe start weeding through and learning whats expected.

I'm hoping this will be a helpful addition on my resume that is seriously lacking employment in the new millennium! Send good vibes my way!

Monday, May 10, 2010

It Runs in the Family!

When my cousin, Trey, was about 10 years old, she was cutting the grass and accidentally ran over a frog. Seeing frog guts spray from the mower upset her, so she went to tell her dad what had happened. Larry, having a tremendous sense of humor, listened to Trey's story then yelled, "Frog murderer!" She immediately burst into tears. This is another one of those family stories that get told over and over. Trey is now 45 years old and still the frog murderer.

Well, as of today, she is not alone!

The temperature in North Carolina was downright cold this morning. I had to wait until lunch time for it to be warm enough for me to head out. Since our fire pit was full of clippings, weeds and fallen limbs, I thought I would light it to make room for more limbs I would be cutting today. Everything in the pit was dry, so once the match was lit, flames filled the air.

I went about my chores of moving dirt, pulling grape vines off of fences, trimming low hanging branches and cutting the grass. When I returned to pile more on the fire pit, I found this...

I, too, am a frog murderer. I'm so sorry little frog! I didn't mean to kill you...and your little friend, too!

Okay, now that I have freaked you out with a cremated frog photo, have a look at my froggy birdbath. If these frogs were alive, they would be so happy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers and Others

Happy Mother's Day everybody! If you aren't a mother, you have one. Hope you celebrated in style!
My guys decided what we would have for lunch! This is one of my least favorite chores. No matter what I fix, it seems somebody doesn't like it. They chose crab cakes, shrimp and a salad (actually, I chose the salad)! It was yummy.
After lunch, the whole family walked the trails from our house to Creedmoor Road. It was so much fun! Even Riley Dog got his exercise!
You know a walk in the woods is not complete until Will climbs at least one tree!

Altogether, it's been a fun weekend. I found this fabulous birdhouse at a yard sale on Friday morning. It used to have a frame around it, but it rotted and fell off. That's why she was selling it. The artwork is in fabulous condition. I plan to make a barn wood frame to go around it!

Yesterday, I was heading home from a yard sale when I spotted this buzzard on top of a light pole. I couldn't get my camera out fast enough to get his original pose. He had his wings spread out absorbing the sun! He wasn't in any hurry to get down.
What's that in the bushes?

Here's a closer shot. It's Chrissy. She and Ruby have been laying their eggs under an azalea in the back yard. Since I know where they are laying, I go by at the end of the day and collect eggs.

Shakira got off of her pile of eggs today. I thought she was only going out for a snack, but she wound up staying out with Melvin all day. I snuck in while they were playing and removed the chilling eggs. She never even noticed!

Instead, she spent the day showing Melvin how to take a dust bath, dig up bugs, soak up the sun, and steer clear of Ruby and her bad attitude!

Here's Melvin, Shakira and Skippy...also known as baby, mom and dad!
Help me out here...I remember somebody posting about their collection of vintage pink appliances for their kitchen. Does anybody know who that is? Is it you? Let me know, please!
Hope your weekend was as fun as mine!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ode to Mom, My Aunts, and Granny

A couple of months ago, I found a box of hats at an auction. Under the pile of hats were several whimsies...those net-like things girls wore back in the 40's and 50's.
My mom and aunts have told this story so many times, I should know it by heart, but had to call mom before writing...
It was 1950 something. They were at a funeral for one of their grandparents. Of course, it was raining. Mom and her two sisters were standing under one umbrella. Mom was holding it, Katie was on one side and Mollie was on the other. Granny was sitting in the funeral car.
As the girls advanced towards the graveside, mom lifted the umbrella a little. Katies whimsy went up with it. Mom noticed and lowered the umbrella so the whimsy sat back on Katie's head. She had to keep the umbrella steady through the entire funeral. All of them had to control the giggles that were raging to come out.
Unbeknownst to the girls, Granny saw all of this happening from the car and became hysterical. I'm sure all of the attendees thought the whole family was overcome with grief.

Pat (Mom), Mollie and Katie
Fast forward to 2010, here are the girls at the Tea Room in Wake Forest. Once again, they are wearing their whimsies. No umbrellas in sight.
Six years ago, Granny died on Mother's Day weekend. She would have loved these trips to the Tea Room. And, she would NOT have put one of those whimsies on her head! I can hear her now! "You don't know who had that thing on before you!"

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I must be part buzzard! I spent an hour this afternoon roaming the trails behind my house...

and scavenging various mosses and lichen. The beer bottle was tossed on the trail by a passing car. Nice, huh? The Diet Coke can was mine!

I even found two of the four wings of a tobacco moth. You know I couldn't leave them!

I'm hoping to use this lichen to color a terra cota planter. I'll let you know if it works. I think you mix the lichen and buttermilk in a blender and paint it on the planter.

I use this moss in various crafty things. It's perfect hair for a fairy!

Don't you know...everything looks better when you store it in a vintage McCoy planter!
Aren't ya'll glad you won't have to clean up my house when I eventually go to the old folks home!