Sunday, November 30, 2008

Selling Chickens Tonight

Sorry, I have been really busy the last few days. They are taking the chickens tonight, well, actually it is tomorrow since they start the first house at 1 A.M. Then it is one house every 2 hours according to the schedule. So, I am up all afternoon today getting the houses ready, and then all night getting drinker lines raised up so they can get the fork lifts in there and the crews to take out the chickens. I should be done sometime around noon tomorrow. It is a mixed feeling at the end of the flock. I am so happy to get the chickens out of here, but the cost is I have to be awake for 36 hours straight. Then again, after that I usually sleep all day, so i can get caught up. It all balances out in the end. Think heavy thoughts!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank You for the Blessings

I think this wraps up the holiday for us in a very cute way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

We Elfed Ourselves!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

No, seriously, click on it because it is hilarious. AND, it is probably one of the only times you can see me dance. That is something exceptionally rare. It has only been witnessed by people at my wedding reception and people in an out of the way punk nightclub in Germany in the 80's. I just thought, "Hey, I can't dance any worse than they are." The fact that the dance floor emptied out soon after I began to dance indicated to me that they disagreed. Oh well, I'll just keep my white guy overbite stored away for special occasions. Until then, click on the image and watch the short, very funny video, and then go make your own. 

Click here to elf yourself too!

Come back when you are done and leave me a comment to tell me where your video is so I can go check it out!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bookwork Meme!

I’ve been tagged with the Bookworm Meme by Signe Says.  Here’s how this meme works:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next two to five sentences.
5. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book or the intellectual one. Pick the Closest.
6. Tag five people to do the same.

Soooooo....  After an extensive search of the living room, which is not the room I typically do my reading in, I was able to find 20 books. Here is the fun part; two of them play songs, three or four of them have sound effects buttons you push as you read the story, about 10 of them are level one readers which do not have more than 30 pages. Luckily for me I did find one book that had over 56 pages. I'm guessing you will all know the book from the brief text on the page:

All Cinderella's friends were very sad when they saw her sobbing: "What could we do to comfort her?" they asked each other. They looked up at the stars and suddenly one of them started growing bigger and bigger, until it turned into a fairy

And the winner's of the tag are:

Toni at It's Nap Time:    Just because I wanted to make a new friend. =-) 

Me and the Blue Skies

The Un-Mom 

Carole's Thoughtful Spot

Small Town Mommy

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Basic Training VS Chicken Farm

If you hadn't noticed, I have changed the poll in the sidebar. It was a poll about the election, and if you watched it, Sen. Obama won the poll. I haven't checked the news yet to see if that matched the actual results of the election. What? Obama did win the election? WoW! 100 percent accurate with my polls so far! 

The new poll is on dieting. I have been thinking about dieting often lately, but not doing so well at actually following up on it with better eating habits. Usually I just wait until the end of the flock, and all my dieting issues go away. 

Normally, I can lose a lot of weight in the last two weeks of a flock because it is physically exhausting. My apologies to Drill Sargent Pennybacker from my basic training days as an MP, but some days on the farm (those last two weeks of a flock) are actually harder than most days in basic training were. Maybe I can compare the two:

In basic training I hiked and ran a lot. and no doubt about it, it was a lot of work and I got tired. However, in the chicken house I do several miles a day, but I walk back and forth at little angles trying to go forward. A good number of my steps have a chicken trying to hitch a ride on my foot, or trying to run between my steps, or pecking the back of my leg.

In basic I carried a comparatively light M-16A1 rifle in my hands during the longest and most grueling marches. In a chicken house I am carrying as many dead chickens as I can hold in my hands, or a bucket filled with the deceased so I can carry even more. When my hands are not weighed down with chickens, I have to wave them like a crazy person and  also clap them non-stop in order to scare chickens into moving out of the way. Believe me, they don't want to leave their spot.

In basic training I had mandatory lunch breaks even though lunches lasted for what seemed like 2 minutes. On the farm I wouldn't dream of eating at any point. The moment my hands touch the highly disgusting, germ infested steering wheel of the stinky  chicken farm pick up truck the thought of food vanishes. Except for occasionally when I think to myself, "I could really go for some fried chicken right about now". I won't go into why that thought comes up, but it involves me holding a chicken leg with no chicken attached. Back to my point; I never eat while working on the farm, no matter how many long, tiring hours I spend down there. 

In basic training I willingly crawled through mud. On the chicken farm I have fallen face first many times into wet chicken poop, never willingly. Luckily, I have never crushed a chicken while falling. Comparing the two wet sunbstances, I'd prefer to crawl in the mud.

Basic training only lasted 8 weeks, and the last two weeks of the flock sounds like it would be the loser in this category, but these last two weeks happen five times a year, which is ten weeks. Although it is broken up nicely with between flock work, and early flock work which is not at all as as difficult. Maybe I can call that one a tie. 

Being that I never did get around to explaining the diet poll, I'll have to make that another post on another day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Podium and the Sleep Over

Toddlers are so wonderful for providing material to write about. I think it is just that you get to a point where you think you have them all figured out. I mean, you spend every day with them you think you can predict what they will say or do,  but they are learning and soaking things up so fast that the last thing they are is predictable. This of course comes with a story. 

Tonight I was putting T to bed. Things were going along pretty normally. 

"T, Bedtime in 5 minutes." ..... (Long pause) ... "Did you hear me?" 

"Yes. Can I play one more race?" (Mario Kart Wii

"Sure. One race takes about five minutes. That would be perfect."

T plays the game, finishes the race and turns off the game. He then looks for the remote for the TV and turns it back from game mode to TV. (Oh, wait. Did I say the night started 'normally'? Yeah, that is not normal. Typically I would try to stop him from playing what ever he was playing with for those last five minutes, and then we would battle for a few minutes until I finally got him into the bathroom to start getting ready. There would be some crying involved on a normal night.)

Without any problems we grab Tigger and head to the bathroom. In the bathroom he starts acting a little silly. I thought I would redirect it a little before it gets out of control. 

"Grab that step stool and bring it over here." I say to him, pointing to the plastic step stool he has near the toilet from when he was shorter and needed a boost up. He listens, mostly because he is not sure what I am doing. I took the plastic stool, and placed it along side his two-step step stool he uses at the sink. I put them together in such a way as to make them look like a podium from the Olympics. It is the same type podium that they put the characters on at the end of the races of Mario Kart Wii. Now that made an impression on him. We had fun standing on the steps and looking like the characters from the game, pumping our arms in the air and yelling the silly sayings they say like "waahooo!", "Wacky" and "Mahhriioooo". We needed three people of course, so Tigger was kind enough to take up a step. Initially he made it to the number one position, but T decided that Tigger wasn't fast enough to get first. After all, he didn't even have fingers to use the remote. Tigger was then demoted to third and T took first place. We did that for a few minutes, and it was easy to slide the podium to the sink so he could brush his teeth. He was very happy and the experience reinforced the new word we were working on: Podium. (That boy picks up vocabulary pretty quickly. All I can say is never talk down to a toddler. If they don't know the word they would love for you to define it so they can learn it.)

OK, teeth brushed and P.J.s on. We debated which stories to read, and I lost. I wanted to read the quick story about the worm that eats his homework, and he wanted two stories that were level 2 stories. Not taking my own advice about how quickly he can learn, I thought the vocabulary was too difficult for his age. He disagreed and was very adamant about it. So we read his choices and I just had to spend some extra time explaining some terms they used. Story time is always fun because it leads to so many discussions that may never have come up in daily life. 

Finally it was time for me to leave. Lights out. As I was tucking him in I found two dish towels in his bed. "Why are these towels in your bed? They shouldn't be in your bed."

"Those aren't towels. They are for Tigger. This one is his sheet." He takes it and gently spreads it out over his pillow. "And this one is his blanket." He puts it over the top of the other one. "We are having a sleep over." 

"A sleep over? Ohhhh. I didn't know that. OK, tuck Tigger in well, and make sure he gets a good night sleep. He looks tired." 

"OK daddy. Tigger's tired. We have to be nice when we have a sleep over." 

"Since you are having a sleep over, tomorrow instead of milk and coffee, I will have to make milk, and milk, and coffee."

"Yeah, that's right. We will have milk, and milk and coffee tomorrow. That's nice to share when you have a sleep over." 

"That's right T. It's good to be nice when you have a sleep over. Good night T." 

"Good night Daddy."

Friday, November 14, 2008

How long could you last?

I could survive for 1 minute, 22 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk

I know it is stupid, but I do after all have an arcade page on my site. Obviously time wasters are not a problem for me. I took the test because I was reading A Daily Dose of Zen Sarcasm and she posted it on her site. The quiz takes only a minute or two and doesn't require you to enter your email or any other info. So, have fun!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby Q Bites Winnie the Pooh

[caption id="attachment_262" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Baby Q holding Pooh Bear."]Baby Q holding Pooh Bear.[/caption]

Since today is the my day to hang out with baby Q, I thought I would write a little update about her. It has been such a fun past few days because she is starting to develop skills faster. Within the past few days she has gone from being able to roll from her back to her stomach, and two days ago she learned how to reverse that and return to her back again. It is an awkward stage when they can only roll one way. She would spend so much energy trying like mad to roll onto her stomach, and then once she got there she would decide that it wasn't as much fun as she thought it would be. That is when the crying starts since she was stuck there at that point. At least now, she can roll herself back over to her back again and we can avoid a few tears.

Secondly, she is getting so much better at using her hands to manipulate her environment. Babies seem to really start learning so much faster once they can use their hands better, and that is were she is now. She can finally grab things, pick them up, hold them in front of her face to look at, and of course shove them into her mouth. Everything apparently tastes bad since she makes a very sour face when she puts things in her mouth for the first time. It is like she expected the stuffed owl to taste delicious, and then found it tasted like cloth. It is very nice to go though these stages again with the second baby. They went so fast with the T, and are going fast with Q also, but just watching her develop adds a little happiness to my chicken farm days. Everyday is just something new to look forward to. Like this morning, I know she is babbling, but when I am holding her right after a feeding she sure seems like she is talking to me. Soft gentle words with no meaning that I can comprehend, but she looks like she is telling me a story about her day. I am sure in those babbles I heard 'dada' a couple of times. I expect that was when she was reminding me how much fun I had changing her poopy diaper this morning and the faces I made when I noticed I had poop on my hand. Maybe not a high point in my day, but to her I am sure it was hilarious.

P.S. Being that I am a veteran it is only right that I say happy Veteran's Day to all my fellow veterans out there. Thank you all for a job well done.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gotta Love the Chicken Farm

Last night Early, early this morning, at 3:30 in the way to early for me to be awake part of the morning, the alarms went off for the chicken houses. I got up all bleary eyed and threw a sweat shirt on my oh so not yet awake body and headed outside to the stinky chicken truck to go investigate. I found that the alarm was going off in house number one. The control board there showed the front of the house was 12 degrees too cold. Maybe a heater is out I think to myself. I walked outside along the side of the chicken house in my shorts and sweat shirt combo wondering why I am never more prepared for the cold weather alarms at night. It was about 36 degrees (f) out there and I was freezing. After inspecting the front heater I saw it was definitely not working. Repairing it takes time and more light than I had, so I decided to see what I could do to make the house warmer using the other two working heaters. Back to the control room I went.

In the control room I checked the temperatures again and noticed that the temperature in the middle of the house was also cold, but the heater there was working. That is odd, so I opened the door to look in the house. I saw another problem. A wire that opens and closes the buffers (little windows all along the sides of the house that allow the air in) was broken, so all the front buffers were wide open all the time. Well, that would definitely cause it to be cold in there. It is like heating a room with the windows wide open. I went up to my house to get dressed more appropriately for the weather, then after a crazy search for some tools, one was actually found buried in the litter in a chicken house, I repaired the broken wire.

With the wire repaired I tested it, and found that now the buffers don't open wide enough in the front. That is odd also, so I go investigate. Nothing better than walking through the inside of a chicken house in week seven of a flock. It takes about 30 seconds inside the house before you are fully committed to taking a shower because it is a smell that won't come off. Too late now. I found that the broken wire I just repaired had caused the weight at the other end of the line to pull too hard on the pulley, and pulled that out of the ceiling. At least I had all my tools gathered, so it didn't take too long to repair that problem.

After fixing those two out of the three problems, the temperatures had now all balanced out and were once again within the range I needed them to be. I looked at my clock in the truck and found that it was already almost five a.m. As I had suspected, when I got home T was already awake and waiting for me. I took a quick shower, and headed out to the kitchen with T to start my day. "Can I please have some milk daddy?"

"Yes T. Go sit on the couch and I will get some milk for you and some coffee for me."

I'm going to have to learn to go to bed earlier than midnight. When ever I stay up late something always happens to make me get up early. Luckily, L will be home early today and I will be able to catch a little nap. See it still all works out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

An Uber Amazing Award!!!

You know it is a good month when you get not one, but two awards. I received another award a few days ago from Elaine at My Life as a SAHM. You know that is one of my favorite blogs to read because when you read her posts, you really feel like you know her and her family. She comes across as very warm, friendly and honest. Her writing draws you in and you kind of feel like you're a part of her world. Of course now she is even more of a favorite for me, because I can see she has just as good of taste in blogs as I do.  ;-)

Here's what I am supposed to do; pick people I haven't already given an award to and extend my blog roll:

For the Uber Amazing Blog award, it is given to sites who:

  • inspires you

  • makes you smile and laugh

  • or maybe gives amazing information

  • a great read

  • has an amazing design

  • and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

The rules of this award are:

  • Put the logo on your blog or post.

  • Nominate at least 5 blogs that for you are Uber Amazing!

  • Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.

  • Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

1. It's Gonna Take More Than a Hamburger to Make Me Happy: I know I named her site as a Cool Blog of the Week already, but it is definitely an uber amazing blog worthy of an award. Who knew I would actually have a strong opinion about the consistency of spaghetti sauce. Read her post on the topic and see who you agree with.

2. Dad - The Dude: This is another new one on my reading list. He is a dad with a great sense of humor. I like it when I come across a blog were most of the posts make me laugh out loud. Some of his recent topics included NASCAR and Rednecks. You can't go wrong with material like that.

3. A Letter to Xander: I have been reading this blog for a while. Every time I read this blog I think to myself, "That is such a great idea. Why didn't I think of that?" Xander's mom simply writes a letter to him every few days to record all the amazing new things he can do that week, or just the funny things that would be great to remember far into the future.  How cool would it be to be able to go back years from now and read what your child was doing day by day. Priceless! Xander's mom also has another blog called the Un-Mom where she blogs about non-parenting things in her life. Both are a great read.

4. Creative-Type Dad: Yes, another dad blog. It is true I seek out other dad blogs so I can see if I am doing things right. So far I have learned that most dad's have their own unique style that is just as odd as mine. Creative-Type Dad has an unusual fascination with KFC. He somehow inserts it into many of his posts. It reminds me of how Seinfeld added a superman figure or reference in every episode. Being that I love fried chicken and KFC is awesome, the blog certainly works as a staple in my reading list.

5. Bathtub Junkie: This is one of the blogs I have followed since around the first day I got into blogging. She has a wonderful family with two toddlers and a kitty named Little Beast. How cute is that? When I wanted to start blogging, this is one of the sites my wife recommended I start reading because she does such a great job. When you read her blog you feel like you are a part of her family as well.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My First Award!!!

Preston over at IMe and the Blue Skies has awarded me with the Proximidade Award. He tells me that “This blog invests and believes, in ‘proximity’ [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy]. These blogs are all charming and they aim to show the marvels of friendship. Let’s give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to eight bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text."

Preston wrote some very nice words about my site and I want to thank him for being so kind. I am humbled and amazed that people read what I have to write, and am very excited that someone thought it worthy of some recognition. So, thank you for handing me my first award. I follow Me and the Blue Skies as well. Preston was the person who changed the way I looked at flatulence. It used to be something to be ashamed of, and now I can be proud to be helping lower the blood pressure of my family, even though my wife may not agree. You will have to read the post to understand. Preston also shares the same political slant that I do, so reading his blog posts about the election didn't stress me out. When you get a chance stop in and say hello to Preston. Oh, and be prepared, he was once named runner up in the Miss Cooper River Drag Beauty Contest. He is full of surprises and opinions which I am sure will keep you going back for more.

So, now I need to pass it on to other worthy bloggers. Here are some of my favorite reads that deserve an award. All of these are fun to read, informative and definitely worthy of every award around. This award recognizes blog friendships, so I pass it along to those of you who are my friends, whether it be a new friendship, or long time friends I love following your blogs as often as I can. I also had some others I wanted to give the award to, but I saw they already had the award. Maybe I need to create a new blog award since some of you already have so many there may not be any left for you to receive.

   My Life as a SAHM

 Three Little Hartzells - See How They Play   Three Little Hartzells - See How They Play
1581884212_57276dd550_oScary Mommy

   Signe Says
    Cool Mom Guide

    News From NOLA


   A Mom's TLC

Monday, November 3, 2008

A good bad day

How terrible was my day? Oh let me count the ways:

Problem 1: I went up to check on the chickens this morning and was reminded of a failing relay switch that needed replaced by the annoying beeps coming from the control box. If that switch fails the chickens don't get air, so I decided to replace it today. I dislike it greatly when things go bad on the week end. No stores are open so I am left to patch things together, or find creative ways to work around inoperable machinery until Monday morning arrives.

Begin problem 2: I decided to make it a morning of errands. I went to the first store to return a timer. I had one go bad and they didn't have the same one, so I thought I would take a different one and try to "make it work". Well, it couldn't be done, so I had to return it. I had no problem returning it, so I headed out to the truck to go to the next store. Turn the key, and heard the worst squealing rattling noise you would ever want to hear a small pick up made in the 80's make. I tried several times to get it to start, each time the noise greeted me like a wounded moose shot from an Alaskan helicopter. It was not pretty, and the truck would not start. A helpful stranger walked over from the store and gave it a listen. He immediately looked at me with a that's going to be expensive look and told me it was the starter.  He gave it a few really quick key twists and was able to get it to start. I thanked him, jumped in and immediately headed to... wait, I really need that relay switch.

Add a problem 3: I decided to go to the next store and get that relay switch. I parked in their parking lot and left the engine running. Secretly I was hoping someone would see it and decide to take it home, but seriously, its a chicken farm truck. By the time they sat in the drivers seat the smell would make them fully regret their decision. I headed into the store and got the relay. OK, now head to the auto repair shop and drop off the truck. I called my wife and told her to meet me there so I would have a ride home. Only problem is that when I got there I found a sign on the gate stating they had a family emergency and the shop was closed for the day. Great, now how do I start the truck tomorrow to drive it to the shop? Yes, its an automatic, so I can't even push start it.

Move into problem 4: Once at home I still have to walk the chicken houses. Without a truck its a bit more challenging, but possible. I have a back up plan! I get out the lawn mower and attach the little trailer on the back of it. Only to find the tire on the trailer is flat. Let's not even count that as a problem, since it is always flat when I need it. I just fill it up and its typically good for a day. I go up to the chicken houses, replace the relay switch, and then walk the chicken houses removing the dead chickens. I finished that up in a few hours, and then headed to the pits to dispose of the deceased ones. As soon as I am done with that I notice that the tire is no longer filled with air, but is so flat I am riding on the rim which is totally destroying the tire. There is no fixing that tire at this point. It is still sitting right there at this moment.

I'll wrap up the rest and call it all problem 5: Three stores later and still unable to find a replacement tire. I'll have to get up extra early tomorrow and go shopping in another town. Tomorrow is my day to take care of Q. I have some one who picks up chickens for me on those days and without a truck or a trailer there isn't much she can do. I need to have that fixed before she arrives, and before L goes off to work. Wish me luck.

On the good side, T came home from school before I went to those three stores, so he took the ride with me. It was a lot of fun taking T and his imaginary friends on a tour of hardware stores. It was more fun watching people look at him and wonder why he talks so funny as he changes his voice when he is pretending to be some one else. Oh, he was buzz lightyear, lightning McQueen, Tigger, Yoshi, Zorg, and apparently even himself when he was older. "Once, when I was taller, I had one of these tools to fix the chicken houses on my farm." I know it may look funny to strangers, but I love that little boy and his great big imagination. It made the whole day better. Then we went home, and my wife, who knew I had a rough day, made a delicious dinner for us all. Even Q sat in a high chair at the table and we all ate, talked and laughed. Even on a bad day, it is still good to be me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Pictures

[caption id="attachment_213" align="aligncenter" width="220" caption="T and Q in costume"]T and Q in costume[/caption]

We had a lot of fun heading over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Halloween. We like to take T over there to trick or treat because they live in a nice safe little cul-de-sac. Plus it is a nice chance for us to get off of the farm and go visit grandma and grandpa and my sisters, although Auntie J had to work so we didn't get to see her.

T was dressed as Buzz Lightyear from the movie Toy Story. Q was dressed as a hot dog with mustard.

T loves Buzz Lightyear, and likes to tap the button on his chest and throw his arms out like wings.

[caption id="attachment_215" align="aligncenter" width="256" caption="Buzz ready for flight"]Buzz ready for flight[/caption]


Next we got Q all set in her stroller for her first adventure in trick or treating. She has a little cold, so it was good that her costume was nice and warm and covered her from head to toes. She is the cutest hot dog I ever saw.

[caption id="attachment_216" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Hot dog with mustard to go!"]Hot dog with mustard to go![/caption]

And the final shot is Q with her daddy after her adventure was over. She was not sure what had happened, but she seemed to enjoy the ride in the stroller and watching strange looking costumed people run around the streets. All in all a fun evening for everyone.

[caption id="attachment_217" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Daddy and Q "]Daddy and Q [/caption]