Thursday, January 29, 2009

Neglected and Forgotten...NOT

The Chickens have been feeling like a woebegone stepchild and are developing a bad case of middle child syndrome. I have neglected their emotional needs for the last several months by not writing about them.

They know it. I know it.

Therefore, it is once again time to focus some loving attention on my two-legged half-brained feathered friends who still provide me with fabulous entertainment. Every time I watch them scratch, peck and strut around our yard I am happy, and I just don't know why.

Maybe it's because they let the kids pick them up and carry them around like this...

Or maybe I like them because I appreciate the focused energy of the roosters while guarding their flock and how the two cockerels ban together to attack us in unison. But regardless these birds hold special place in my heart.

When I was more obsessed by the chickens, I did a series on them back around the time when I started this blog. This produced some mildly humorous antidotes. The stories in sequence are:

The Chicken House,
They're Here,
When Roosters Attack,
and The Chicken Whisperer.

But here and now, I shall proceed with "The State of the Chicken Nation." First order of business:

Egg Production

"The Ladies," our 12 hens, as they are affectionately called, were dramatically decreasing their egg production in mid-December. I was forced to buy eggs and chicken feed called "lay crumbles" and it was totally pissing me off since the purchase of eggs defeated the whole purpose of having our own "poultry." The grocery store highway robbers want an obscene 4.00/dozen for the "good" kind. And I knew what the problem was. TOO SHORT A DAY LENGTH. That meant we needed to install a light and a timer in the coop to trick the ladies biological clocks into thinking it is the middle of summer.

I really wonder what we humans would all look like if we had no artificial light but that is a whole other story. We'd probably be growing back hair if it were not for house lights, but once again I digress...

So, now it is about six weeks into "Project Spotlight." Miraculously, we have gone from a measly two or three eggs a day to ONE DOZEN freaking eggs a day. Can you say scrambled eggs, quiche, egg salad sandwiches, and hard boiled eggs? The eggs are literally falling out of the hens butts now.

To be totally honest and completely truthful, I am getting a little sick of looking at the eggs piling up in my fridge. In fact, am suppressing a rather strong gag reflex when I cook scrambled eggs in the morning... So if you need fresh eggs just give me a holler. I think I may resort to throwing them at the dumb ass drivers that fly down our road going 70 (speed limit is 45).

Chicken Mortality

We had one fowl murdered commit suicide about a month ago. I witnessed the transgression and will forgive the chicken for taking her own life since she is after all...only a chicken.

The neighbors to the south have a dog named Hurley who has upon occasion attempted to move in to our house and live with us. We are on a first name basis with this dog since she put herself through the whole adoption process only to be repossessed by her "parents." Hurley used to shimmy under the fence and snuggle up with Suzi's dog, Jack, in his dogloo to spend the night. Then she'd follow the kids around all day long licking them like they were her long lost puppies... Her owners begrudgingly fortified their fence to keep the fugitive in and she has remained on HER side of the fence now for about a year.

With this on again, on again, love-love relationship we have with Hurley (we like her), she still meanders the fence line when she sees us. We talk to her. She wags her tail with a ferocious happiness. Plus she still likes to sniff noses with Jack.

One afternoon while the chickens were "free ranging" they were gobbling bugs and other unmentionables along the fence near Hurley dog. This one chicken with a death wish was sticking her head through holes in the fence and WHAM, Hurley jumped her and pulled her through. Two shakes of a dragonfly's wing and it was over. The chicken was dangling limp and lifeless in the mouth of a very happy dog.

"Hurley killed a chicken," I exclaimed with surprise. I was positioned about 50 feet away from the crime scene. Before the tragedy, I was following Ella around to make sure she did not put something disgusting in her mouth.

I jogged over to where the fatality took place. The victim was a Danish Leghorn chicken. I breathed a sigh of relief that it was neither Penny or Henny, my two favorite chickens... They have splendid black shimmery feathers with a bright copper ring forming a low necklace above their bosom. I probably would have been sobbing like a baby if one of them were killed. This is Penny here to the right.

"It's only a Danish," I yelled over to Suzi who was in route to see the carnage like any good rubbernecker should. I'm thinking to myself at that point, "That is the equivalent to a chicken jumping off the f-ing Golden Gate bridge."

"That's good." She agreed emphatically. Suzi shares my disdain for the Danish birds too.

"Yep, one less of those spastic, flighty hens. Good riddance," I continued vehemently. I have on occasion thought we should ax the Danish hens in our flock and replace them with calmer less pestery fowl.

I hopped the fence and retrieved the dead bird almost breaking my ankle. I shook it off since I'm tough like that. Then we showed all the kids the lifeless bird and explained what happened. We had a brief mourning period where we all talked about the bird. Then it was over.

Now if we seem a little callus about this particular chicken you are correct. But let me 'splain myself. These Danish chickens have been nothing but trouble from the first crack in their shell. They peck each other viciously like a mini-pack of famished velociraptors. And to top it off they pluck the butt feathers out of their companions, and EAT the bleeping feathers. I have watched the Danish hens zoom at hen who is lower is in the pecking order and basically inhale a feather off another birds hiny. It is the Danish hens mission in life to see that no other hens ever grow plumage around their asses for some reason. We still have several bald hens due to the incessant feather picking. It makes me crazy. Is there an AA for chickens? Cause we need some serious group therapy about now.

This poor victim is Freckles a Barred Rock hen. She has suffered the wrath of the Danish hens. She looks awful but appears to be quite happy in spite of her embarrassing condition.

So after the loss of one feather-plucking busy-body Danish chicken (pictured to the left), we decided that any replacement hens are NOT going to include the Danish Leghorn variety. And if you're thinking about getting some chickens pick something else or you be sorry.

As for our other NON-Danish chickens, I adore them. Their attitudes are lovely.

Next time: The Rooster Report

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Won, I Won! I Can't Believe I Won!

I won a give away from Juicy Alligator! It's a set of dog tags with my kids names and birthdays on them. She makes them herself and included a little bead with each.

JA has battled twice with breast cancer and makes green healthy drinks for herself and family because she is proactive with her nutritional arsenal. Her funny antidotes, juggling family and juicy stories make great reading! So check her out.


Back to the DOG TAGS JA made for us. See here? They are totally cool. Both Ella and Wyatt have taken their turns wearing them, since what is mine is theirs....for the most part. But I repossessed them so we could pose for the camera.

(Don't be blinded folks. Feel free to squint. Where's a face wipe when you need one...I am shining aren't I. O.K. so I don't ever wear makeup...)

The entire time we were trying to take this picture Wyatt was doing THIS:

I KNOW you wanted to see all of his teeth up close and personal-like. Then the next picture is so much better with Wyatt's taco tongue and Ella's "squint eye" smile.

Photo opts are getting harder and harder in this household. Thus my candid shots will reign supreme.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I have removed an innocent post called "A Little Wine and Cheese Please" since a new dubious subscriber suddenly appeared on Feedburner with a email name that is totally inappropriate for my FAMILY based site.

So to all the perverts out there: There will NOT be anything further for you to look at.

Monday, January 26, 2009

How to Hatch a Tree Part II

Remember these little beauties??? No, they are not brain sucking worms or aliens incubated for colonization of the planet.

If you can't remember or are new here, check back at "How to Hatch a Tree."

These are newly hatched oak acorns. It's time to start planting oaks now!! Observe the live oak acorns with a white tap root shooting from the apex. The root has has emerged and is searching for deeper ground and water. These are the anchors for the new baby trees and the main line to nourishment and growth. They want to be planted now.

Now we have to get the planting locations ready at the new yard. Hi ho it's off to work we go...

Ella says, "Help Ma, these are going to eat me!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Naked Trees

Do trees feel naked in the winter? Maybe.

Among all the past lives I may have lived, I'm pretty sure I was an oak tree. A valley oak (Quercus lobata) to be exact.

I love looking at the bare trees in winter. They show a character and essence which is not available when they are fully clothed with leaves. I can see their skeletons, their raw shapes, and their subtle nuances.

They are beauty.
They are grace.
They are gnarled.
They are bones.

These trees are perched on a hill side near my house. I admire their dark silhouettes which stand out in contrast against the clear sky behind them. They both show a symmetry and balance in their form. This lone pair of blue oaks (Quercus douglasii) watches over me and the kids while we walk in the stroller. Both kids load up in winter with their double layer jackets, hats, and a blanket. They snuggle in tight while I huff along, sweating and pushing them up the hills. We always talk about the things we see.

We walk the back road looking, listening, feeling. Where the old giants hang over the road, we gaze up at their massif limbs and wonder at their strength. Then we look at the dead branches on the ground, as even the mighty fall at some point. We inspect the downed limbs for acorn woodpecker holes, galls, and other signs of life. Some pieces are rotting with fungus who's mycelium laces it's way through the bark, the white thread are spreading out in search of food. What looks like dirt on the ground is really decomposing tree. The circle goes round and round.

Colonies of acorn woodpeckers are raucous, even in winter, and the kids can spot them flittering around the bare and open tree tops. They drill thousands of holes in the trunks of the trees in which they stash their acorns. In the winter, their cashes are readily visible where bullet-like holes wind their way up the trunk of the oaks.

Also from the stark branches above, we look at the dangling Spanish moss which hangs like grass stained laundry. In the winter you can really see how extensive the gray-green moss has invaded the trees, it is not native.

Further on our walk we observe the western sycamore trees (Platanus racemosa) that line the creeks, showing their peeling trunks and delicate tops. They guard the waterway dressed in their white uniforms but have crooked arms and awkward legs, kind of like an army of broken soldiers, hurt but unwaivering.

Finally, there are the favorite winter perch sites for the turkey vultures in our valley. I have seen over a dozen birds sitting on this tree with their huge wings spread fully wide. They turn their bodies perpendicular to the sun to warm their wings and dry out their feathers after rough weather. The sight of these huge birds delicately holding their arms out in perfect stillness is awe inspiring.

They love the naked trees too. They always come back to roost every year on this exact one.

One of my favorite Blogs, Red Pine Mountain, has been participating in a writing workshop and put this assignment up for her followers to participate in. I asked her if I could borrow it too since I liked it so much. She kindly said yes.

Red said, "I had my first assignment today from my short story writing class. I thought I'd share it with you and I'd love to see what you'll write."

The assignment: Write a Short Story in Six Words

Red's story:

"Black ice, tires squeal, crimson drifts."

If I were to summarize my love of trees it would go like this:

Ancient trees, honestly giving, naturally beautiful.

What would you write if you were to do a six word story about something you love?
No pressure here bloggers...this is just for fun.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More LOVE!

With all the love being thrown around on this blog lately I could not help myself. This picture is perfect in it's simplicity and innocence...but I don't think I could let my kid give a pig this much love.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Love, When You Least Expect It

Today something rather monumental occurred.

One of my nestling's showed he has wings and is going to start to fly. And by this I don't mean in the air as the picture below implies. This photo documents Wyatt's normal behavior, which I regularly try to stifle, but with limited success.

But then I digress.

This story of growth and maturity started this morning when Wyatt begged me to use a black Sharpie brand pen that he snuck out of the house. You know these kind. They make permanent writing (or scribbles as the case may be) on whatever object they touch. And given my son's recent propensity to draw on the front door and various other objects around our house, I would relinquish a Sharpie pen to him with no little trepidation.

As we were walking leisurely out to the barn to clean up the horses stalls and paddocks, Wyatt reveals, "Look what I have in my pocket, Mom." He says this since he can't keep a secret to save his life yet. At the rate he is going it's going to be a while until he can be trusted with any information along the importance of national security...

"I don't like you using the Sharpie pens, Wyatt," I calmly respond, trying not to overreact and rip the pen away from his grubby little mitts.

Wyatt says, "Please, PLEEESE, PLEEEEASE, PLEASE, Mom, can I use this pen." His emphasis on each additional "please" is getting annoying to me since he is working this tactic with all of the adults at the King compound.

I reply, "Why should I let you use that pen? You just finished writing your initials on the front door of the house with a blue ball point pen. I don't trust you." As just this week Wyatt found the need to claim our house as his own by inscribing his initials backwards as "KW" into the door, and to add a random "W" just for fun.

Since he is learning to be a manipulator, he injects, "But I promise not to draw on the door any more." Then he adds in the requisite, "PLEASE, PLEEEEEASE!" since he feels that the more he says please the more likely he will be to succeed. Which by the way is not true in most cases.

So, I roll my eyes back in my head for a moment and arrest my immediate reaction which is a staunch, NO. I breath deeply and let out a "mom sigh" and I acquiesce,"OK, but you CAN NOT write on anything but the extra wood scraps behind the tack room. OK?"

"OK, Mom," he swiftly replies. Then running off to draw four-year old style graffiti, he darts to the scrap wood area to busy himself. One child completely occupied, I should be glad right?

So I began the drudgery of forking up piles of manure into the wheelbarrow from the horses paddocks. My "mules" have been on a vacation for the past few weeks due to my painful attack of bursitis in my hip. When I am injured I think to myself, "Maybe, I could do without the horses," but then know I can't give them up. They are an old habit and I have been riding since I was ten years old.

Ella made her way out a few moments behind me and Wyatt, bringing up the rear of the procession pushing her powder pink Tonka dump truck. She must be the only girl in the world who has one. Daddy Mike carefully taped off the tires and plastic handle, then spray painted her truck so it could be truly hers. A girl's truck. However, this has not stopped the four other boys from liberally borrowing it. They apparently do not care they are pushing around a pink dump truck either. Abandoning the dump truck, Ella went to work playing with a horse blanket, trying to make it into a coat for herself with very limited success.

Suzi, my sister-in-law, meandered out to the barn a few minutes later too. It was turning into quite the barn party. Everybody came by to watch me scoop poop.

"Where's Adam," I questioned Suzi as she came into the barn.

"He's sleeping already," she said with eagerness, "It's a good thing since I have to go to Luke's class today for a reading presentation. He'd probably be tired otherwise."

"He can stay here if he wants to," I offered as I climbed in between the rails of the horses paddocks.

All this time Wyatt was not seen or heard from. This is normal since he gets free range when he is unarmed at the barn (i.e. when he does not possess a black permanent marker). As Suzi was standing in the bright sunlight shining into the barn aisleway, Wyatt came hopping around the corner holding a small block of 2x4. Arm extended he said, "Here Suzi," then bounded quickly away like a jack rabbit running from a coyote.

Suzi looked at the block and smiled, then turned it so I could see what was written. In clearly readable print, the word "LOVE" was scribed in permanent black ink, from the Sharpie pen Wyatt was wielding.

We both starred at each other for a moment in stunned silence, then irrepressible grins emerged on our faces simultaneously. Suzi and I were rendered smiling speechless.

Suzi then yelled in Wyatt's direction, "Hey, Wyatt. What does this say?"

From the other side of the tack room we heard his voice. Wyatt replied simply in one word, "Love." And nothing more.

"I can't believe it. Well, he was talking about the word love last week and was asking me if he was spelling it out loud correctly, " I offered up. I could not help but feel proud that the first word I am aware of, that Wyatt has written by himself, without any guidance from an adult, is LOVE. He can write his name but I really don't count that.

Suzi said, "Wow. That's pretty amazing."

I could only respond while shaking my head, "I'm totally shocked." Then after a moment of reflection I thought out loud, "I guess he is going to be the writer in the family. His handwriting might be a mess but I bet he will be able to put words together." Then I went on, "I guess we'll have to shellac it too." The boy made an E with four arms but that was good enough for this Mom. The fact that he thought to write the word love was just fabulous to me.

I went to the area where Wyatt was working with his pen later on. He had occupied himself drawing circles and lines and other illegible scribbles on the wood scraps. There were no other written words or even discernible letters. Wyatt turned 4 last August and knows all his ABC's and can write most of the alphabet. I have read to him every day since he was little and he goes to preschool where they teach him too. He recognizes words by sight frequently. But today, he had the wherewithal to put "Love" in writing. I really hope it is a sign of what is yet to come. Most of all, I am so glad that I have been there to witness another milestone in my son's life.

And to think, I almost took that pen away...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blog Love and Friendship

Christmas time 2008 was kind to me and I received the following gifts from my fellow prestigious Bloggers.

I truly Thank You for your kind consideration in sending these awards my way.

And without much fan fair....TA DA! Here are the bloggers to whom I am passing recognition.

This first award came from A Simple Life, a close cousin to Our Simple Life. We family stick together!!


1. Put the logo in your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who shared it with you.
3. Pass this award to your Blogger Friends
4. Add your link to the list of participants below
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Blog Lovers: 1. Soul Anchor 2. Cookie’s Corner 3. Ane of Life According To Me 4. Tales of a Pinay Single Mommy 5. A Girl For All for Status 6. A Simple Life 7. Our Simple Life!


And I am passing Blog love on to Janah at So Not Mom-a-licious. Even though she has been away for a while, she can whip up a Costco story providing superiour entertainment value.

The next lovely sign of recognition for me was from Grand Pooba who is making friends each and every day like every good Blogger does!! I am honored and glad to be counted.

And as my preschooler Wyatt recites to me almost every day, "...round as a circle you're my friend..." for friendship that goes round and round!

It is the Friendship Award which means:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

So I pass this award on to these friends that I have met through blogging:

KJmama at "The Phrase 'Working Mother' is Redundant"

Michelle at My Crazy Life With a Toddler

El at Expanding the Family

Amanda at What's Going On??

Suzi at Savy Suzi

Jennifer at Hapily-Ever-After-Land

The Mind of a Mom at From The Mind of a Mom

Maricris at Zen Ventures

Blog on ladies, blog on!!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ella's 2nd Birthday!

My baby girl turned 2 today! Hurray!

I am proud that she can celebrate being potty trained, that she can speak loquaciously, and that she possesses an independent mind!

I asked her what she wanted for her birthday a number of times just to be sure.
Every time she told me, "El-wa-pant, El-wa-pant!"

So, being the spoiling kind of Mommy, Ella got two new elephants.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Belated Happy New Year's

It has occurred to me that I have married into a clan of pyromaniac hillbillies. If it can be burnt, it happens here. Thank goodness this does not extend to our grand mansion primitive hut that we call home.

A new tradition has emerged in redneck land where the men douse the Christmas trees with gasoline and set them ablaze. This year being no exception, the husbands bided their time until New Year's eve. Only then are allowed to abscond with the de-ornamented trees and drag them to the fire pit for the countdown celebration.

With the video camera in hand, I captured this on film for posterity, or stupidity, whichever fits best. Warning: No actors were used in the making of this video. This video is about six minutes, post editing. I got about 15 minutes on film of this event, so I have spared you some mindless details. Not that there is much left over to mind. Maybe our close family and friends would enjoy it best. I am not really sure. If you want to see the trees go up in flames it starts somewhere after the 4 minute mark.

Post Script:

So if you were watching the timer, it takes approximately 2 minutes to burn two Christmas trees complete with a dousing of gasoline. And if you were wondering, NO there was not any flame retardant on the second tree. My husband Mike is just a smart ass.

Trevor, the alien boy, woke up in the middle of the night screaming and having nightmares about "the aliens" and "something scratching at the window." There are no trees outside his window.

Wyatt, my son, went to bed in tears because we burned the tree. He showed no signs of disturbance other than his brief objection that we caught on film, but then broke down sobbing when he climbed into bed. I felt kind of bad afterward. He really liked the tree more than we knew.

I guess we forget just how fragile these little kids are at times.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Apron Giveaway at TAG

Be sure to hop over to The Apron Goddesses (my sister site) to sign up for the current giveaway from The Paper Passion!!!

Revenge of the Bluebird Boxes

In my life before I had kids and I actually worked for a living... wait let me rephrase that. When I was paid for working for a living, I was a botanist/biologist/wetland scientist and spent innumerable hours in the field doing surveys for plants and animals. During my extensive time in the field, I acquired a love of birds and bought my first bluebird nesting boxes. These boxes have seen better days.

This box is 10 years old and had seen chickadees, bluebirds as well as tree swallows nest and rear young from within the walls of this small condo. However, since I have to tie it together with baling twine these days, it really is due for replacement.

The next set of nesting boxes that are pictured below are only 5 years old, but have been ravaged by a large equine bearing beaver-like teeth. Note the entirely chewed off right hand section on the box. You see, horses are the equivalent of 1200 pound termites, and if given the opportunity one of my particular equine "friends" will devour wooden objects within minutes.

These boxes have been around Gemma's pasture for several years but somehow escaped her attention until just recently. My error in this particular case was thinking that these boxes were somehow immune to her taste buds.

So since my dear and loving spouse did not buy me any material objects for Christmas, I thought it only appropriate that he construct new nesting boxes to replace the four I needed to retire and/or repair.

Here are some action shots of my husband Mike at the table saw and using the hole saw. Yep, he can build stuff! But only when he is wearing his Elmer Fudd hat. He has owned that hat longer than we have been together. Now that is devotion to a relationship!

And here are the labors of his effort. There is a total of 7, I repeat 7, new bluebird boxes! These are called the Peterson style bluebird box if you were wondering. You can find the exact plans HERE at the North American Bluebird Society website.

The new fleet is lovely and ready to be put on the fence posts around the pastures.

Here is a picture of a bluebird, the target species for these nesting boxes. They are damn cute don't you think. They flitter around our property year round and are especially vibrant in the spring.

And here is a tree swallow. They use the nesting boxes too. They arrive about the third week in March and leave around August.

This is an example of a paired set of bluebird boxes. Both bluebirds and tree swallows have used these nests.

We average four bluebird pairs per year nesting in our boxes. The tree swallows vary between two and four nests per year. Both species have double clutched throughout the time I have provided the nesting boxes. I think cumulatively during 7 years, between 175-200 baby blue birds and tree swallows have fledged from my "bluebird trail." That's the name the power birders give to a series of nesting boxes.

The kids love to look at the baby birds and we inspect them after they hatch for any predatory bugs or other problems. It's a little sad after they are gone. The kids want to see them and I have to tell Ella repeatedly, "All gone. The babies flew away." Last year she kept asking to see the nests for about a month. I let her look inside the nest each time until she was finally convinced that the babies were not in the box any more.

So here is a new box installed on the corner of Gemma the Termite horse's pasture. Note thick application of horse deterrent to the top of the box. A liberal dusting of this special powder might do the trick.

Finally, there in the distance is the perpetrator. Just wait Gemma, just wait...we are baited and ready for you now. Bring it on baby!!!

Ha ha ha!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

BAD Mommy

Things have been a teensie bit out of control within the confines of my spacious 800 square foot home in the past few weeks.

I am attributing this to two reasons:

1. My kids are stir crazy in the house, it is winter...and,
2. I have not had my usual "breaks" that I get from my nanny. I am becoming complacent.

I normally have about 4 to 6 hours per week that are mine. I use this time to ride my horses, work in my office or do other projects I can't do with kids outside. After spending some time away from my kids I am usually on top of my game and I keep the kids under control. BUT

My nanny left for Christmas vacation to Texas.

How dare she!

Now I have had to brave the holidays without "ME" time. Between family functions, fighting off some strange headache that has lingered for a few days and not getting any time to "recenter" myself, I may have let some things slip.

When not strictly controlling every action of my children this is what has transpired:

I turned my back while clearing the table and Wyatt pulls this little gymnastic maneuver off. I have no idea what made him think to do this. When I refaced the table this is what I saw. (Since we had been taking lots of photos over the holidays the camera was on the table. I could not resist.)

The next example of incriminating evidence is the following. I went out to put some laundry in the dryer. The laundry room is in my office which is a separate building outside the house. I returned to find this.

Ella is unabashedly stuffing her face with caramel popcorn on top of the dining table.

While taking a Mommy time out in front of the computer I knowingly let each of my kids take a plastic garbage bag to stand in side and jump, like the burlap bag races... They went jolly-like into their room and were having a ball. I could hear them joyfully playing. Mind you my house is tiny. I know when something really BAD is happening. However, I can hear all of YOU people screaming at me now, "NEVER let your kids play with bags..." But I let my kids use scissors, cut with knives, play with fire, use hammers, and occasionally drive the tractor.

Back to the kids...I gave them five minutes uninterrupted and found this.

Half naked bag jump racing with Ella and totally naked Wyatt who was turning the bag into underwear... He thought it was fantastic. Mind you they were both fully clothed to start with.

And finally, my husband called me on his way home with Wyatt from "The Yard" where they work on the big trucks. He said, "Make sure you have the camera ready when we get home." I attempted to pry additional information out of him but he was the vault. This is my son, as I greeted him coming out of his Dad's truck.

Apparently the unsupervised Wyatt and his cousins took their clothes off after they drenched themselves in cold puddles. Then they went into the office at the yard and pulled all the pillows off the couch and played jumpy house. So I am not the only negligent parent in our household.

So I think I have maniacs for kids or we are totally irresponsible. But then again, my husband Mike says, "What can you do?"

The Day the Swallows Came Home

The tree swallows are here already.  They arrived January 30 much to my dismay.  Swooping and calling and chirping their merry song over my ...