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The great E-learning debacle

Last year when the ish hit the fan the kids were forced into e-learning. In which, I might add, they learned nothing. I, on the other hand, learned that I am not made of whatever stuff is required to tolerate elementary education.

I have a very short fuse for videos with song and dance to learn. I really have an even shorter fuse for whoever the junior achievement lady is. Her voice brings to mind finger nails on a chalkboard and the material mind numbing. It is no wonder to me that the youngest, then in second grade, had to start over all together in third grade. When they got booted out of school they were learning multiplication and in the height of times 6… third grade welcome to the ish you should have learned last year. Parents welcome to every day being a potential hell of elearning as from day to day we decide which pandemic peril we will be thrown into, and thus disrupting your lives. We know you work full time, and have the kids in day care before and after school, but guess what NONE OF THAT MATTERS. Your sullen child needs to check in no later than 9 am, AND has about two hours worth of BS to complete by the end of the day. None of which is beneficial to their growth and learning this school year.

Curve ball, the quarantine effect. Surprise! Someone tested positive in your child’s class and they need picked up from school immediately. They can’t go to day care or anywhere else. Lock them in their rooms. Wear masks in your home. Do not have close contact with your child. Any other day someone would be calling child protective services, but with a quarantine order it’s all okay because big brother says so.

Is my son locked in his room? No

Are we wearing masks? No

Are we not giving bedtime hugs and afternoon snuggles? No

All of this pandemic / quarantine is ridiculous. If a piece of toilet paper with ear straps makes you feel ready to conquer the world by all means go right ahead. Don’t hug your kids, lock them in their rooms, and see what kid of sociopaths and serial killers we spawn in a few years.

The government can’t tell you to not go to church, how many people to invite for Christmas, or how to behave in your own home. So many are sheep. Blindly following orders for a “disease” that is less deadly than the common flu.

I’m reminding of Bill Ingvall’s “here’s your sign” skit. Here’s your mask in its place. The world has gone bananas.


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The day I cried over 30 chickens

We had just moved into our house and hadn’t even been there a week… we came home from work to find that my Dad had delivered 30 baby chickens, a bag of feed, and a waterer to the house. In his blinded by the clearance sign ways he had gotten the chics for twenty-five cents a piece, and thought we should be chicken farmers. The problem was we had just moved in, yes, we wanted chickens but not right that moment… THIRTY chickens. I distinctly remember sitting on the garage floor and crying because we didn’t have any place to put the chickens at the moment, and overwhelmed by THIRTY chickens and what the hell were we going to do with THIRTY chickens??!! Yes, I was stressed… my husband, probably worried about my mental state calmly went inside and got me a cold beer. I drank said beer, and stared at the little fuzz balls occupying the garage… all THIRTY of them.

My husband, who to this day amazes me, took it all in stride. Cool as a cucumber he spent his free time converting the shed into a Taj Mahal of chicken coops, and it was beautiful. He had nesting boxes, a roost, and everything. Doors going out to a run to boot. My dad said it was overkill “they’re just chickens” this coming from a man who put at least two dozen meat birds into essentially a hobbit made of fencing and a few wood pallets.

Over the course of time that we KEPT thirty feathered friends we discovered a few things. One, Leghorn chickens (the white ones) are a$$holes. They would be one the roost and swoop you, they’d attack you, and if given the chance I think they would have killed us in our sleep. No lie. These ladies were the worst!! Two, when you KEEP thirty chickens you get thirty eggs. In ONE day. That’s TWO HUNDRED AND TEN eggs a week! EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY eggs a month. Sweet Lord what do you do with that many eggs? Yes, we ate them. We tried to sell them. We gave them away! And they just kept coming! Three, trying to sell eggs to coworkers is a huge pain. Four, there’s a lot of different ways to make and use eggs. Five, and the most important lesson… we needed to downsize ASAP!!

Lucky for us the neighbor’s flock got wiped out by a mink or weasel or the Lochness Monster, or whatever it was; and wanted to replace their flock. Super lucky for us they only wanted Leghorn chickens. THANK YOU sweet baby Jesus! So half of our flock lives down the road, and we see them every day going to and from work. They seem much happier over there. When the old man came to get the chickens he came with this chicken catching pole. My husband admitted that he was a city boy, and didn’t know anything about the chicken catcher and went about picking up chickens and handing them to the old man. The old man in turn just stuffed them into a crate. He must have the same thought as my dad “they’re just chickens”. I’m pretty sure he had a good chuckle over the whole thing.

With the Leghorns gone we now had just ISA browns, and some lace wyandotte left. These remaining girls were sweet. My husband would pick them up and love on them, and they loved it. When they saw him coming they would just lay down and wait their turn to get loved on. In case you haven’t figured this out yet, my husband loves critters, and they love him.

Maybe their were six lessons. Prior to the Leghorns leaving we discovered that chickens fly. And they roost in trees. Thirty feet in the air we had those damn Leghorns hovering over us like a buzzard over roadkill. You could just feel them looking down on you plotting their attack. Google was a godsend during our chicken farmer lessons.. How else would we have known to trim the chickens wings?

Okay, seven lessons. You get chickens, and treat them like you do the family dog you’re going to get a nickname. My husband is known as Rooster. My dad even calls him Rooster. AND if you are selling eggs to coworkers you gotta have a catchy business name. LOL. We were the Ege Egg Company. (Ege is pronounced Egg-E) I had business cards made that people would give back to us when they wanted eggs. They wrote their name on the card, handed it to one of us, and the next day we would remember their eggs. It worked out.

Eight. The more scrap you feed your chickens the better the eggs are. I was feeding them kitchen scrap almost every day. Lettuce, tomatoes, whatever veg was about to go bad in the fridge; and the yokes got so orange! The darker the yoke the richer the flavor. OMG they were so good.

Little by little we kept downsizing the flock. And two years in we decided to rehome the rest. They weren’t producing anymore and we were kind of over it. You know what? You miss having your own chickens pretty quickly. Especially when you try to get eggs from the resident “Egg Lady” and she’s always sold out. Double especially when you buy store bought eggs, and realize how spoiled you are with those “farm fresh” eggs. It didn’t take long, and we are back in the Chicken business. LOL. No thirty hens this time. We got eight total. Two Americanas, and six ISA browns. Just like with the last flock we sit out in our lawn chairs and watch the chickens. It’s a great way to relax, and be entertained. Chickens really are an entertaining creature…

The truth about roosters. We wound up with a total of 3 roosters out of the 30. One rooster in particular was a jerk. So Rooster (husband) kicked him out of the run with the ladies. Now, my husband being my husband felt bad for the rooster, and laid a trash can on it’s side so rooster would have a place to get out of the weather. Hence, Oscar the rooster, seemed like a perfect name.

In the midst of downsizing and all of that we did have some fatalities… a chicken or two froze to death in the winter when it was ridiculously cold, one got sick and died, we ended up butchering Oscar and his two male friends. That was horrible in itself… I blame the weather really. It was cold and raining, and the smell just seemed to hang out. Yuck. We of course had names for each of the ladies… Henrietta, Phyliss, Big Rhonda, Monica…

So life is once again entertained by chickens, and I’ve only named one chicken. Dottie. She’s an Americana and runs around town at all hours. Damn chickens.

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So there I was…

Every great story begins with that infamous line “So there I was”. This story shall be no different. It was a little over a year ago here in the rural sticks. It was either a Tuesday or Thursday night, and we had just settled in to relaxing after work.

So there I was… minding my own business coming back from a trip to the kitchen when I saw two miniature ponies go jogging down the road. Now that’s not something you see every day, my brain thought, but I’m sure I dumbly pointed and said “Um”.

About the time my husband understood my bewildered state there was a frantic knock at the door. A panicked neighbor boy stood there breathless “Can you help me?” My husband, as per his usual, follows the boy outside to go wrangle horses. I don’t think he even had shoes on. What did I do? I thought to myself “Self, what do we have to lure some ponies back home?” So I sliced an apple, grabbed a carrot, and headed out the door.

By this time the ponies are frantic. They’re being chased by my husband and now two neighbor boys. One boy would rush the critter to try to grab it, and the pony would run away. My husband was trying to run block and block the ponies exit, but the pony would just run another direction. This was going to take all night. Or until these fat ponies had a heart attack from all this running. After pointing out that they are just going to keep running, and suggesting some more motivation; the neighbor boys went home to get some feed. Husband and I stood out in the field and let the ponies settle down. Slowly we moved closer and closer to these severely over weight ponies, my husband making that noise he makes at every critter to entice their attentions, is moving in on the fattest pony; and I’m pitching an apple chunk between me and the slightly less fat pony.

The pony slowly came to the apple chunk and was distracted enough that my husband could grab it’s halter. Woohoo one pony down, now to get the other. Like most animals, and ourselves included, these two were good motivated and when fattest saw less fat eating something she came right over.

The neighbor boys reappeared with a pail of feed, and led the way back home. Husband and I held the halters of these extremely huge puppy dogs, and had a little parade through town. The boys were thanking us for our help, and telling us the names of the ponies. For the life of me I don’t remember what they are, all I remember is that they were “native” names. Such as Moon Dance or Smelly Whispers something to that effect. We learned that the two ponies were actually mother and daughter, and that they had a tendency fit running a muck from time to time.

It was the talk of the town for quite some time … the day the ponies got out, but as most stories go it wasn’t the end of our adventures with these ponies….

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The Lord and Lady of Ege

You know when you can’t come up with anything for your spouse’s birthday? So you google something like “what to get the manly man that won’t tell you what he wants”… and BINGO.. become a Lord or Lady of Scotland. Buy one get one free to boot! So simple an idiot can do it. You buy a square foot of land in Scotland, where they plant a tree, (allegedly) and ta-dah they email you a certificate of your Lordship. And that’s when it all started. We changed our email signatures at work, and people think we are rolling in dough, we changed the names of our phones Lady K and Lord N, the house phone is now The Manor. LOL it’s fun and stupid. We have a good time with it. The boys however don’t see the humor in it. They don’t curtsy very well either. It’s funny really because this is the first time I’ve ever been called a Lady. I’ve been called a lot of things… none of them polite in common society I can assure you. The Lord of the house can boast the same.

So yes, the Lord and Lady of Ege are enjoying the buy one get one free birthday gift. I recommend it if you have no other gift ideas, and have a sense of humor and $50 to piss away on a piece of paper, and the promise of a tree planted in your square foot of property in Scotland.

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Thought for the day…

When no one else is stressing out about the stuff you are stressing out about… it’s not worth stressing about. The way the boys peel their clothes off and toss them in the laundry basket… at least they put them in the basket. Well, except for that one inside out sock that made its way to the back of the closet to be lost for eternity.

Stress less… laugh more
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The Chicken Net Adventure

Towards the end of summer we decided to revisit having chickens. I missed having our own eggs, and was sick of the egg lady down the road always being sold out.

So we got eight new ladies for the coop. Two Americanas and six ISA Browns. The two Americanas were laid back as chics and continue to be to this day. They feathered out before snow fall which made me happy, and started laying delicious butt nuggets before the end of 2020.

One day we came home from work in the big city to find ALL of the chickens roaming the neighbors yard. We caught them one by one, and clipped their wing to stop a repeat performance. The next day half of the chickens were out again. Since the neighbors had taken to carrying a Yorkie outside to “shoo” the chickens away, and seemed generally displeased, I went on Amazon and ordered a net to cover the run.

Adding the net to the top of the rather large run was a pain in the keister… it was a cold and windy day, and that netting stretches like you wouldn’t believe. My husband and youngest son were helping put the net on better than I had it previously…. several frustrating hours later and several zippy ties later it was an acceptable cover. But by that time we were all frustrated with each other… not understanding what the other means when they say pull the net tight, and all the net does is stretch more making it look like you’re not doing anything but stand there with your fingers tangled in net. The youngest was in charge of the zippy ties and wasn’t the fastest on the hand off and delivery. I wasn’t pulling the net the right way apparently and was getting upset until my husband tried pulling the net tighter and realized what a pain it was. So the GD net was good to go…Or so we thought.

A few days later Dottie the Americana was tangled up in the netting. So we made some adjustments after cutting her free. Thinking we had it figured out now was our downfall.

The next day we came home and all of the chickens were at the neighbors again. They had their yorkie, and I was pissed. Upon further inspection we were missing a few ladies, and the root cause of their escape was the netting getting caught in the latch of the gate. It was just enough from keeping it closed.

The other neighbors told us they saw two chickens at the church earlier in the day… ugh. Damn chickens.

Later that night we got a text from a neighbor up the road. “Are you missing a chicken? The new neighbor is blaming me for this one.” She was kind enough to send a picture of said escapee, and upon claiming said chicken delivered her home to us. See not all of our neighbors are a pain in the ass.

The next day the last escapee returned home, and we thought whew this won’t happen anymore… you know every time you think you got it all figured out fate proves you wrong.

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Lord, it’s me…

I live a relatively simple life. Rural at it’s finest. Two growing boys, one loving and amazing husband, two heathen fur children, and ten feathered children. Together we live in a small burg we love called Ege. Pronounced Eggy. There’s maybe a population of 12 here. It has it’s good parts and bad parts like anywhere. I don’t mean bad part of town I mean small towns have drama just like your local trailer park… everyone knows your business. On a good note everyone knows your business. We may dream of living in the mountains of Montana or Tennessee, but for now; until we win the lottery… this is home.

I’m simple. Not like licking windows simple, but no makeup, purse, or multiple pair of shoes simple. Jeans and a T-shirt are winter attire, shirts in the summer. Oh, winter includes heavy socks, coat, gloves, and a trapper hat. Didn’t want anyone to think I’m warm blooded. The Lord knows the truth.

I am a control freak. At least that’s what my husband calls it. I call it I can do it all. Bless his heart he doesn’t let me though…

I have two businesses… Your Family Tree Researcher. Just like it sounds I am a genealogist and research your family tree. The other business is a travel agency. Yep, I send people on trips and make sure they get a good deal…

I love to travel myself. See the world. Share memories with the family …

The Lord knows me as such so he’ll tell you this blog is the honest to God’s truth.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.