Tag Archives: life happens

Lesson 590 – Axes and strawberries

He doesn’t want me to talk about it. “Mom you always make a story about everything.”

He’s right. I do. It’s how I cope.

Last Friday, I was tired of sitting around, waiting for kids to be picked up, waiting for kids to be dropped off.

“Do you want to go on a hike with me?” I asked one, two, three kids.

Nope, too tired, too hot, no thanks.

So I got in the car, drove a few towns over and started to climb a mountain by myself. Pack Monadnock (pack is Native American for small), it’s a little over 2000 feet, a nice little climb for a summer afternoon.

At the summit, when I was sitting down and enjoying the view, I got a phone call. I needed to come home immediately. My husband was on the way to the hospital because when one of my sons was chopping wood – the blade slipped and went into his leg. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, members of the flock, New Hampshire, The Family

Lesson 408 – Images of loss

There exist iconic images of loss that are so real, so earth-shakingly poignant, they make us feel like we’ve been punched in the gut. Who, among us, can look at a soldier’s pair of empty boots without feeling a deep and profound sorrow – the sense of loss represented, the death of an individual. A mother’s grief?

A flag flown at half-mast. On September 11th every time I saw our flag lowered in respect, I felt the aching unfairness of it all. The lives that were ended, the potential that was taken away in a heartbeat. The innocence shattered.

I remember watching President Kennedy’s funeral procession with my mother. I was very, very young at the time, hardly aware of my part in life, and yet I remember the horse with the backward boot. Such a strange image, such a perfect image for a nation who felt confused and stranded. Our President was no longer leading the way. He was gone.

Images like these are not intended to prolong our grief and make us constantly feel sorrow. Instead they are created to give us pause, to make us remember what it is we no longer have. To be grateful we were able to be a part of someone’s life whose pain at their loss we feel so deeply. It reminds us that we have been profoundly touched by another.

Thank God there exist images like these. They cut to the chase by making us reflect, helping us to cope. The important thing to remember, however, when you see one is not to dwell on what is gone but instead to move forward, always forward, carrying the loving spirit and the lessons learned behind that loss forever in your heart.


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family, The puppies

Lesson 406 – The dog’s will Part 2

We’re a week out from our dog: Nessa Rose’s medical crisis.

She survived. How lucky are we?

Except that she appears to have suffered significant brain damage.

She doesn’t recognize us. She sleeps at least 20 hours a day. She constantly shakes and falls over sometimes hurting herself when she turns a corner or jumps off a couch. She was aggressive before but now she’s even more aggressive, trying to bite us if we wake her up or try to move her while she is asleep.

Before we could control her aggression with our commands, now we can’t.

And as far as being housebroken, it’s fair to say that that part of her brain seems to have also been affected. When part of her life medical treatment includes being on a laxative 3 times a day, this has become a significant issue.

Which is the point of this post. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family, The puppies

Lesson 401 – The dog’s will

I know I can’t keep you hanging on the news regarding our dog so here goes:

After I dropped off Nessa Rose at the vets (and at this point, the dog hadn’t moved in hours and was in fact posturing with her legs straight out and her head thrown back which is an indication of brain damage) they ran a few tests to see what could be done. She was hooked up to an IV so that fluids could be pumped into her dehydrated body.

After a few hours I got a call from the vet. She has a liver shunt (a structural defect) and is positive for Lyme disease. We’ve given her some medication but she hasn’t responded and is in a coma. We don’t have the services here that we’d need to treat her, you’ll have to transfer her to an emergency vet hospital.

As much as I love that dog, and don’t get me wrong, she’s still a pain in the neck, but I do love her, I couldn’t justify the cost of transferring her to a “critical care facility.” The vet was suggesting an MRI, possible surgery, extended care.

I was envisioning pulling my kids from college to pay the vet bills.

Wasn’t going to happen.

Okay, I said, give her one more dose of the medicine and if she doesn’t respond, we’ll make a decision about what to do tonight .

I contacted the kids’ soccer coaches. It looks like we’ll have to be putting a dog down tonight, no practice for us. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family, The puppies

Lesson 345 – Me = nervous hen

Day 12 (of 21) and the expression “a nervous hen” holds true.

Although I don’t have to, I candle most of the eggs each night. Like a mom watching over the crib to make sure her baby is still breathing, I hold my breath until I see the little worm wiggle inside the shell.

Then I exhale.

Some of the eggs have thicker shells which makes candling very difficult if not impossible. As things grow inside all I really see is a large darkened mass.

The whitish eggs are actually speckled with darker deposits which upon candling become pronounced. Those are also difficult to see anything inside. I quickly candle them each time hoping against hope that this will be the time I finally see something and when I don’t I replace them in the incubator.

But those light brown eggs? Heaven. The shells are thinner making them glow like an orange Halloween moon when I put them up to the candling light. Blood vessels criss-cross the interior and when you gently roll the egg, you see a blob (small but no longer tiny) wiggle in protest of being woken up.

Like the creator of Frankenstein’s monster, I manically yell out to the kids “It is alive!”.

Last night I candled the eggs with Griffin. He wasn’t expecting much. After all, they’re eggs right? But then he saw the wiggling interiors. One egg in particular seems to be more active, really kicking around when we rolled his crib, a miniature soccer player in the making. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Eggs, Everything Eggs, Incubating Eggs, Life Lessons

Lesson 344 – The egg who didn’t live

You have, no doubt, in the last few years read much about “The boy who lived.” Alas, now you are going to read about the egg who didn’t.

There were never any guarantees that all of the eggs were going to make it. In fact I’ve read that if you get anything above a 50% hatch rate when incubating at home, you’re doing well. I had my doubts about this one particular egg from very shortly into our incubating adventure.

Initially when candled I could see the fat yolk, like a darkened marble float up to the top of the egg when I gently rolled the egg from side to side. But when the other eggs’s yolks started getting larger and covered with the classic spider web of blood vessels, this one little eggs’ yolk remained a small mass neither more nor less that what we started off with.

This weekend when we could actually see movement in all of the eggs save for this solitary outcast, I finally had to face facts. This egg was not going anywhere and needed to be removed. You need to remove stalled eggs for the shear fact that they are being heated and like any other bit of protein will go bad and start to smell (reek) – rotten eggs are unique in the gag producing world of smells.

There are many reasons why an egg might not develop: Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Eggs, Everything Eggs, Incubating Eggs, Life Lessons

Lesson 335 – Stuck in the now

We’ll get back to the chickens tomorrow. Our incubator will be showing up and we’ll be getting the fertilized eggs on Thursday morning. Lots of good things are in the works.

But for now I want to tell you about another unintentional yard sale find.

This week (yes, even in the rain) I went to a yard sale and purchased a silver and blue watch for 2 dollars. It was pretty, I don’t always have my phone with me and I thought it might be nice to actually know what time it is every now and then.

When I got home and tried it on I realized that the little wind-up stem (there has to be a proper name for that) was gone. I had paid 2 dollars for a useless (but pretty) watch. But because it was so bright and shiny, I decided to wear it anyway.

Last night we went to the Senior Awards night at the High School where we got to see all the graduating Seniors who received academic awards and scholarships. My son was fortunate enough to get a scholarships from the Swim Team Booster club in part for his being one of the captains of the team this past year.

As he walked up to receive the award I saw my son (slightly in need of a shave) firmly shake hands with his guidance counselor. He was gracious, he was grateful, he was a dignified young man.

Just a few months ago, Griffin was a toddler, a kid who needed food the SECOND he awoke. A child so attached to the Christmas tree that we had to wait until he took a nap in order to take it down. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The kids

Lesson 328 – Quotable chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks 


If something doesn’t happen at the expected time in the expected way, it means it’s going to happen at a better time in a better way. 

Facebook “copy and paste this” quote


Yeah I know, at times I have been called a Pollyanna – but when you come down to it, it’s not the worst thing to be called in the world and a life of always looking backward at what was lost is just not the life for me. Heave ho, ever onward.

None of the Kindergarten’s class’ incubated eggs made it and while I am immensely saddened by the loss of all that possibility, I know that other things will happen. There’s just too much goodness surrounding chickens for it not to.





Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Chick Literature, chicken care, Death in the henhouse, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Quotable Chicks

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 253 – Chicken Literature

Friday Literature of Chicks

Baby Ives


How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie


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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Chick Literature, chicken care, Life Lessons, Project Chickens before the Eggs

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 213 – Nothing is permanent

(BTW feeling much better, thanks for the good wishes).

I attend a weekly Buddhist meditation session where for one hour we sit with our eyes open and meditate. Those who wish to can also participate in the walking meditation that starts about 30 minutes into the hour.

I do this, not because I am a Buddhist but because it is such good training for my brain to be still for one complete hour (that’s 60 verrrry long minutes in case you don’t know). The first few weeks were agonizing, seriously I couldn’t keep those voice in my brain quiet.

  • Emma needs construction paper for a project.
  • Griffin needs that paper signed for school.
  • What’s on the menu for dinner tomorrow?
  • I wonder if James Bond meditates?
  • Hmmm Daniel Craig…..

I am still not good at meditating but at least I’m not as fidgety as I once was. I have learned to sit and wait. That in itself is quite a skill. Continue reading

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Filed under Backyard Chickens, Holidays, Life Lessons, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The Family, Traditions