Fiiiive, Silkie Roos, Part 3

Alls well that ends well.....assuming it ends!

A week or so after Rooster #3 appeared, I got THIS email:

Hey Karen!  (and A*.  I figured we might as well continue to keep you in the chicken loop :)
How are Eli and his new girlfriends doing?  Maddie is doing really well.  She is bonding with our two Buff Orphingtons, but prefers to sleep alone in a separate coop.   

Yesterday, Jo(e), our white bearded Silkie, decided to tell us that she is a he and thus we must change the spelling of his name.  :(  Kids are so upset and we are all just completely shocked.  Not sure if you wanted another roo.  I’m sure we can find him a home elsewhere if you do not want him. 

Hope all is going well with you and your chicken-hater neighbors!
Looking forward to your reply,


(Seriously, how can one resist THAT beauty of a WHITE rooster?!)

And THAT is how we ended up with a 5th rooster.....(This is Common Core Math y'all.....3-3+3+1=5 (because I forgot to tell you about that OTHER silkie that ended up being a rooster....so really there should be another 1 in that equation but why mention ALL the facts when you can leave stuff out?!) and to complicate matters, I am almost positive one of the others is a closet rooster too.....he is just waiting to let us know until the time is right I am sure, like right smack dab in the middle of a HUGE family function where all our friends and neighbors are around to get in on the family dirt....so, 3-3+3+1 might now = 6!) 

So, I responded with something like this:

Yeah, it’s always tough when they surprise you with that whole gender change thing. But better now than a few mates or successful careers later…..just sayin’. 

Sooo, you know I wanted a white rooster…..and actually I ended up with one after all was said and done. Then, last week, one of my most beautiful Silkies (Whole Grain) started crowing….so, I am up to 4 roosters…..I haven’t decided how to proceed. I have some crow collars I was going to try. They are these collars that you put on slightly tight against their neck and it helps keep them a little quieter. I didn’t think they worked too well with my Three Stooges but I am hoping maybe these guys are young enough that they will learn. If they work well, you could potentially bring Eli home again. I would trade you for the white one if you like, lol. But we really like Eli. He is a cool little guy and is doing very well here. He is quite the social butterfly that one…. 

I will get the collar on him tomorrow and see if it makes a big enough difference for him to be a city dweller again but don’t hold your breath. I didn’t want to say anything before because really, they didn’t do a darn bit of good with my other guys and I wasn’t even going to try again but now, with four roosters crowing, three french hens, two turtle doves….doh, sorry….. I think I had better give it a go. (That darn Christmas song really missed out on their number 4…..but if I take your beautiful Joe (which is ironically the name of our chicken hating neighbor, hee hee hee, it’s like it was MEANT TO BE!), it could be "Fiiiiiiiive, Silkie Roos! Four calling birds, three french hens"…..ok, you get the drift….. 

So, give me a day to try this out and see if it makes a difference. I do have a friend who makes a habit of housing roosters so I could take Joe (because I think he belongs here) and give her my Whole Grain. Then Joe and Eli could take the silkie ladies as their beloved(s) to begin life in the other coop. 

Sound good? Just wait until you hear from me before you do anything crazy like looking for someone else! (Sheesh, I have known you for over a month and you are already looking for another farm…..some friend of an in-law you are! hee hee, just kidding.)

Talk soon!

p.s. I tried attaching pictures but my computer laughed at me and spit them out….will try again in a minute after I scold this thing.


Then, apparently too much time transpired because I got this in my inbox:

Hi Karen,

We were checking in to see how things were going.  

We are happy to hear Eli is adjusting to things. 

The crow collar make me sad… what about ear plugs for the neighbor? (Blogger's note: Really T*? You're a softy! Or a genius, not sure which...)

Let us know how your Roo situation is working out.

While Eli was my favorite, Joe is a favorite to our kids… this is another tough situation… damn chickens! (Really T*, watch the swearing! This is a PUBLIC blog .... that you did not know you would be included in.....)

See what wives and kids do - - - Fowl Play — when Dad is away… ugh - buying chickens!


P.S. I’m glad we are keeping A* in the loop.


I hear ya on the crow collar….he was not pleased with it at first either…..then he did the whole Stevie Wonder thing and got it loose enough that it doesn’t bother him (and he crows away anyway…..) so basically it isn’t any good on him, other to make him look like a tough guy. He made sure to let me know how he felt about it when I let him out today though….that was not pleasant! (Little pecker!)

Anyway, I don’t care about the crowing, I was only seeing if it would reduce his noise so that you could have him but it does not, so he is perfectly at home here, still eyeing our hens every day. It is cute really.

I am going out of town for Thanksgiving (and by out of town I mean we are driving 5 kids and a dog down to FL…..don’t get too jealous, I am making the girls leave the other animals behind….) but we can do something about Joe when I get back. Hopefully you can keep him that long....

Anyway, I will let you know when we get back if you can wait that long (otherwise, just drop the rooster off in the bunker with Eli…..they already know each other so should be just fine…..lol….and I have someone coming to care for them all of course).

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!  



And then my brother-in-law chimed in with might be the funniest part of the entire exchange but I can't share it with you because you know, it might lose him his job.....well, probably not given I just took in 2 of his partner's roosters (I JUST SAVED YOUR JOB A*! YOU. ARE. WELCOME!) oh, and the fact that he is his own boss.....there's that little piece too....(nevermind A*....I am guessing you wouldn't fire yourself over your own inappropriate joke.....)

I bet you wish I would share it huh.....

Too bad. But Google Eddie Murphy's Delirious Ice Cream skit and then you will know why I am the way I am.



Fiiiiive Silkie Roos, Part 2

Blogger's note: Here is your early Christmas gift: I just wrote and entire post, like a NOVEL LONG and accidentally erased the entire thing. So, because I am now completely out of the time I didn't have to begin with, you get the abbreviated version.


So then, the day came, Eli was dropped off, and I ended up with what seems like a very typical Common Core Math problem where you have three Roosters, you give away three roosters and somehow end up with 3 Roosters. (Look, it makes sense if you ARE NO ONE WHO EVER TOOK MATH!)

And as T* and J* and their kids put away our new bunnies (what? I never mentioned the two new bunnies??? See what you missed in my NOVEL LONG POST?!) T* asked me, as he held back his tears, how we could give our lovely Maddy away without being entirely broken up. (Because we are not wimps T*, that's why! Just kidding.) I explained to him that we had already had to give away the Three Stooges and had several chickens die so we were hardened (hardened, make-believe farmers, that's us.) And that's how we ended up with Eli.....who happens to look exactly like our Three Stooges:

All's well that ends well, right??


Fiiiiiive, Silkie Roos!: Part 1

As you may have figured out, nothing is private around here. The following is a series of emails, somewhat edited for brevity and confidentiality, (as if either of those exist in my world) that I exchanged with a couple I did not know until recently. (The husband happens to be a pediatrician and business partner of my brother-in-law, who somehow couldn't care less about chickens but was copied on the entire exchange because THAT'S HOW WE ROLL A*!)

At any rate, here is a little peek into what goes on in my free time. (Unlike the other 500 blog posts that were all business-like....)


Hi Karen, 

When I saw Kurt last week (when he came to visit A*) he told us that you have chickens. We have chickens as well. (Blogger's note: Ok, let me just stop here because what he wrote was: We have chickens as well. But what I read was WE HAVE CHICKENS AS WELL!!!!!) I told Kurt that we had an issue because it turns out that one of our chickens, my favorite, is actually a silkie rooster. Unfortunately in the city we are unable to have roosters.

Kurt told me that you had obtained a total of nine Silky's trying to get a rooster but that they were all female. I was joking with Kurt and thought perhaps a trade could be in order.

My wife is the primary chicken farmer in our household. Her name is J*. Therefore I'm making this email intro so you both can take it from here. 

If some type of trade takes place we might have to negotiate visitation rights as our rooster 'Eli' (formerly Ellen) has won over our hearts. He loves to be pet and is just so darn cute. In spite of being very reluctant about this whole chicken concept I would miss him very much.

Thanks and I hope this leads to happier chickens and families.


CEO Doctor (and Chicken Convert)


My reaction: Oh boy, I get to talk chickens! Woo hoo! (Sucker.)


Hi T* and J*, 

When Kurt called me the other day with the news that he had a way for me to "expand my chicken business", I got all excited.... before he finished the sentence with “by going into chicken trading.” (For a second there, I thought maybe he had finally recognized the genius in my plans for expanding our meager coop and run into a chicken empire…..no such luck.)

Anyway, yes, we bought 10 silkie peeps from a farmer I know and all of them are hens (well, not counting the peep that didn’t make it through its first 24 hours with us….probably the rooster I was hoping for but seriously, what are the odds?….Kurt said about 1 in 500….he doesn’t get rhetorical questions I guess.) We actually had three roosters previously but I wasn’t entirely convinced they were pure silkie (I think that particular person sold me cross breeds and knowingly gave me all roosters as I could tell within hours that they were very “roosterish” and I had never even had a Roo before) and so of course I couldn’t use them for breeding. And then the alpha of the Three Stooges became mean and quite aggressive and I got tired of explaining to friends and family that he really was good at heart….. so we gave them away to a friend who has a flock of roosters. (Don’t ask. She’s crazy.)

All that to say, I am sure we can work something out. I do want a Silkie rooster (although I was hoping for white but then Kurt explained that that could possibly be misconstrued for chicken racism so perhaps I need to rethink my breeding scheme.) 

Let me know what you are thinking. I do have a lot of silkie hens if that is what you are looking for. But I have plenty of others too if you want a bigger layer. 

Visitation would be fine of course. And I am happy to send pictures of the happy lad digging around out back if that would ease your sense of loss. It is funny how attached one can get to their birds….

Hope to hear from you guys again soon!

Chicken Tender


Hi Karen,

So I must admit to stalking you a bit on your blog to determine if you are Eli worthy.  You pretty much passed with flying colors!  Love your blog!!!  (Blogger's note: Good thing because I am totally putting you in it!) We were also happy to hear that you are not racist!  We have really been dragging our feet on finding Eli a home because, as far as chickens go, Eli is pretty special.  (Personally, I think I am becoming a crazy chicken lady; however, T* and the kids are having an equally hard time about this.)  If you would be willing to make a trade it would be much easier on the kids, but if you really don’t want to give up a chicken, we completely understand and are just happy to find Eli a great home.   Allowing us with visitation rights and photos are a must and non-negotiable though! :)  
....How's Nov.1?

Thanks Karen!  Looking forward to hearing from you!



Nice, so I get a rooster AND a stalker! It's like an offer I can't refuse!

So, I was talking to my girls about which hen to give up and we admittedly had VERY different opinions on which one was okay to let go of. We will figure that piece out later but yes, I believe we are okay with Nov. 1st. I should hopefully have my, ahem, third coop by then (I'm not crazy, well, I'm not the craziest, but what is a girl supposed to do, turn down a free coop?! I mean, come on Kurt....) and so we will have plenty of space to keep Eli until I can safely introduce him to his new gals.

If you haven't introduced new chickens to your flock, please note that it isn't always an easy process....how many hens do you have? Hopefully it won't be bad since they are Silkies.....but hens can sometimes be kinda cranky about the new kid in town....and by cranky I mean they can maul them to pieces....but Silkies are a docile breed so hopefully you won't have that problem. And Eli will be ok because he is a Roo and will pretty quickly establish his dominance....once I remove the current Roo that is....but he and his mate need to be separated out anyway, otherwise I'm going to end up with a Sebrite Silkie mix which would not be at all in line with my original plan....and you can ask Kurt how well I stuck to THAT plan (one small coop and a dozen layers) but seriously, this is an even BETTER plan, my Chicken Empire, that is: Graceful like a Chickempire.....

OK, more later! 


To be continued.....


The Comic Strip

Lily came home from school the other day EXTREMELY excited (as opposed to just her usual state of being: totally thrilled).

"Mom, I made you a comic strip!" she said, handing me this:

And of course I thought it was the Best. Thing. Ever! (You know, outside her terrible spelling....) 

So, as luck would have it, my to-do list was a mile long this week and I had no time to go online and make my own version....but I totally did it anyway because sometimes you just have to get sidetracked a little bit in order to live life to the fullest (and by fullest, I mean full of stress brought on by myself because I am constantly getting distr.....hey look! Squirrel!)

All that said, I would like to present to you, the first edition, in its very rawest form, of The Graceful Chicken Comic Strip. And because I am certain you cannot read it AT ALL, click here to see it online. 

And Part Two (click here)

Now THAT should totally make your day! Happy Thursday! 

(Seriously, I have issues....)


And then the Storm Arrived.....

So, while I was absentmindedly taking a blogging break, this happened:

It's like we can't quite grasp the concept of alleviating stress by simplifying......it's always, "Hey, I have this GREAT idea!" A statement that is often followed by the addition of something new....and usually living.

And while I was not exactly counting my blessings every morning at 3 a.m. while on puppy-potty duty for the first couple of weeks, she is growing on me, a little....or at least, she is growing. (She is not growing on the chickens I might add but Stormy is certainly all starry eyed about them....that's why they call it "puppy-love"....and by love I believe they mean she wants to terrorize them and then eat them. She needs to work on her chicken-courting skills, obviously.)

Apparently it's not just me that feels this way after a day with the kids.....


It's Been So Long I Almost Threw in the Towel.....

My blog post title got me to thinking (always a dangerous endeavor): what this world really needs is a Graceful Like a Chicken Towel....hand towels would be best I think. I'll get right on that as soon as the time in my life isn't completely eaten up by stuff like soccer and homework and hen-pecking-egg-eating-jerky-hens (that's probably the real history behind Jerk Chicken...it started out as some jerky hen eating the other hens and their eggs and well, that naughty hen became dinner with whatever spices were on hand and viola! Jerk chicken was created. Or maybe, they were hung out to dry and that is how Chicken Jerky came about.....Either way, the lesson here is: don't eat the other hen's and their eggs...you know, if you are a hen and don't want to become jerked chicken jerky!)

Apparently, it HAS in fact been too long. I mean, where else do I get to ramble ad nauseam about whatever the heck I want without anyone giving me that look? (Hey, put down that look!)

So, our life in 100 words or less (and if you believe that I have some really incredible stuff I want to sell you....):

Remember that beautiful favorite new hen Maddy? Yeah, she took a beating in the coop.....as in, flesh hanging off her neck and blood gushing.....and I had to remove her for what I was sure to be her slow and untimely demise. Fortunately, she made it and has been living peacefully by herself in a secure pen in the barn (formerly a rabbit house). She stopped laying eggs in protest though so now I have to figure out if keeping a hen is worth it just because she is beautiful. If you ask the kids then why yes, yes it is.....especially when that hen is named after your oldest daughter. (Note to self: don't name the hens after your loved ones! It's probably like the first rule of farming....."Don't name the animals and if you do, DO NOT name them after loved ones!" My bad.)

So, as winter approaches, there is a lot to consider on the make-believe farm. Ooooh, speaking of farm....did I mention my new business card that I stick in my egg cartons when selling my eggs? It goes something like this:

Graceful Chicken Farms

Karen Wolf
Chicken Tender

Hee hee hee. Hey, at least I amuse myself. 

Anyway, my plan is to try to unleash some new posts in the coming weeks. Life is just smoother when I am taking the time to notice the humor in things. And right now, I could use some "smoother" moments. I'm sure you could as well. Come back again soon to see what's up....(Like the fact that Kurt gave Madeline permission to get two bunnies to breed.....who DOES that?!...says the mom who has an entire flock of Silkies and assorted bantams for her kid to breed....Kurt said he thought it would make me happy to get more bunnies, plus, she was crying and ANYTHING TO STOP THE CRYING Y'ALL! You know, like the puppy we are now responsible for...oh wait, you have not met Storm yet....sheesh, I am so behind!) Perhaps I SHOULD throw in the towel.... (Or at least some Chicken Jerky!)  


How Summer Got Away From Us

It seems like forever since I was able to sit down and write. The stories of our recent past have become a jumbled mess and those moments I was certain I would remember long enough to write down later, are gone. Sadly, my memory is not what it once was. Perhaps I took too many soccer balls to the head earlier in my life or maybe it has to do with that dumb incident last fall where I banged my head against the ground harder than is probably recommended (something I possibly should have taken more seriously at the time), or perhaps it is just the aging process taking its toll, but really, this summer is a big blur and has somehow managed to get away from me with very little shared. And for that, I am sorry.

But all is not lost. Because, just when I thought "Shoot, an entire summer without a story to share," one popped up (as they tend to do if you just pay life a little attention!)

So the story goes like this: a friend ask if I wanted more hens. (Uh, yeah. Always.) He had a friend who needed to get rid of her four laying hens because apparently that happens when you go through a nasty divorce. (Note to self: stay married.)

I got really excited because I had just given away three hens alongside our roosters (in attempt to offset the fact that she was taking three roosters off my hands....I think I got the better end of that deal personally!) And so my hens were not laying enough to keep up with my family's consumption. More hens would be awesome. Anyway, at the end of the dialog, the soon-to-be divorcee gave the hens to someone else and I was left feeling a little let down. So I went online and found a family near Mars who needed to get rid of their six laying hens because they were moving. (Yay for Craigslist!)

The man and I emailed back and forth a little while about the chickens, their health, the reasons he needed to get rid of them etc. and on one of the responses in the chain, the name associated with his email came up as Spartacus Clover.

Now, I have to stop here for a second and say, this might be where curiosity kills the cat. So, hypothetically, if you were emailing back and forth with someone you didn't know and their name popped up as something curious and peculiar like Spartacus Clover, what is the first thing you would do?

Google it, of course.

So, I did that and um, well, let's just say, I had to think twice about showing up at this random guys house to pick up his chickens. Actually, I had to go back and reread the post to make sure I hadn't overlooked some other sneaky clue like: Hens in need of a good home (Join me for some S&M when you pick them up).

(How many of you already Googled Spartacus Clover? ......Yeah, I thought so.)

I happened to be in a text conversation with my soccer team's manager about that time and so I ran it past her. (Someone should know how to track me down just in case....) After she finished laughing her tail off, she offered to send her husband along with me (for my PROTECTION guys! Not because he likes that stuff....sheesh.)  And, living in small town America, I could already see the headlines: Soccer coach and mom of 5, gets mixed up with local Dom while her friend's husband runs off with six hens and two of her kids.

I politely declined the offer to bring along some third party and set up a time to pick up the hens. Solly and Liam came along (that would scare anyone off right?) and after passing several houses that left my stomach a little unsettled, we arrived at our destination where a young woman about my age was waiting on the porch while two kids ran around outside. (Oh, THANK. GOD!)

Long story short: the six new hens, Lily, Maddy, Haley, Bailey, Dawn and Kernel, are enjoying their new digs where their pink, brown, white and blue eggs are picked up everyday for consumption (unlike at their former home where the eggs were left to rot) and they have plenty of space to roam.

I have no idea what happened to Spartacus. (And every plan to keep it that way!)

The Rescued Six: Kernel is in the left corner, Dawn is up top, Maddy in the middle, the Twins, Bailey and Haley are to the right and the bottom right is Lily, although you can't see her fully. 

A new favorite: Maddy, the Buff Brahma


This, That and the One Eyed Duck

*Sometimes, when I am tired of telling the kids to pick up their rooms, I sit on the floor while they play and throw little legos and army men under their bare feet when they are walking.....it makes me feel better, and teaches them a good life lesson.

*Lily asked me the other day how her voice sounded since she had forgotten her nasal spray medicine that morning. I told her she sounded a little hoarse.

"You mean like a Miniature Horse?"

When we chatted about possibly taking her tonsils and adenoids out to prevent her from having laryngitis so often and that it might take away her raspy voice she said, "But I like my voice! I don't want to get rid of it!"

Yes, yes she likes her pony voice very much. Obviously.

*You know you have a true friend when they give you a "Fried Egg Mold" just because they saw it in the store and had to get it for you...because it so totally rocks! And it makes you smile every time you use it so really, it kind of does totally rock!

(Thanks Deborah! What would I do without you....or this?!)

*When your son asks you to help find "his" missing goalie glove (that he stole from his sister) because he can't find it anywhere, and so you search and search and can't find it either, take a break and grab a glass of ice water and while you are in the freezer, just peek in the back of the ice box on a whim. (Don't ask questions. Just trust me.)

*When the local farmer tells you he has a one-eyed duckling for sale, don't get all excited as you picture bringing home your very own Cyclops Duckling.....and whatever you do, don't let your kids talk about it on the way home because then they might decide on a name (like Bingo, the One Eyed Duck) and twist your arm into going back and bringing home Bingo and his sidekick, Dawson (because apparently they come in pairs). And that, my friends, is how these two little guys made their way to our house and into their very own kiddie pool:

Bingo, showing off his good side, and his little sidekick, Dawson
Dawson, too cute for his own good.....and the only reason he still lives with us (I suppose I should have heeded all the warnings about how messy ducks are....my bad!)

*And finally, when your newest little day old peep allows you to hold it and rub its tummy until it totally relaxes and looks stoned, don't just assume it is one chilled out little peep.....
It was apparently a very patriotic peep, however. 

Happy 4th of July!


A Glance Back in Time

Recently I ran across this little letter I wrote my grandma back when we we had just moved to California (again). I thought it was worth sharing since I apparently have not made time to keep up with my blog this year.....it kind of feels like I am running about 8 years behind so this is fitting. 

May 29, 2007

Dear Grandma, 

I am sorry it has been so long since I last wrote…I am beginning to sound like a broken record. Anyway, we are finally getting settled here in CA. It is a beautiful state, to which I’m highly allergic! I have been sneezing and stuffy since our arrival a month ago. Ugh! Hard to enjoy perfect weather when your eyes are red and puffy from the itching! Oh well. Such is life. 

We have started to make some new friends, a big feat these days it seems and we have been going fairly regularly to the Methodist Church right down the street. It is an unusual church, well, let's just say it's not as traditional as some, but it seems like a good demographic mix and it is the closet church to us, a big plus. We had tried a different UMC nearby, one located in the retirement community up the hill, and I almost had to up and leave about 20 minutes into it. I don’t think there were more than a handful of us under the age of 75, not a big surprise in a retirement community obviously but then the pastor got up to do a “centering” prayer and he began by saying, “breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out,” real slowly and I thought to myself, “I suppose in this church you have to remind people to do that,” and of course I started to laugh and laugh and I had to lean forward to suppress my tickle and try to hide the fact that I was giggling so hard and Kurt leaned over to ask if I was laughing or crying, hard to tell since I had teary eyes at that point but I was glad because I figured, if Kurt can’t tell, then perhaps no one else noticed…at any rate, I don’t think that will be the church for us. We’ll stick to the one closer to home and deal with the fact that the minister almost seems more like an old school priest than a Methodist preacher. Whatever though. You have to pick your battles and just because I feel like getting up and debating him on what John Wesley would’ve changed about his sermons, doesn’t mean it isn’t a good church…just an unusual take on the Methodist faith. And the pastoral intern, I know he says he comes from the Presbyterian tradition, but both Kurt and I would’ve guessed he grew up in a Jewish home. Nothing wrong with that of course but, anyway, it all seems to keep us engaged I suppose. 

So, I am sorry I couldn’t include any recent pictures. I have a lot of new pics on my very full camera but somehow in the move I misplaced the connection so I can’t upload anything into my computer. I have to figure out where to take the camera to get the information off of it…a much bigger deal with 3 kids. But, rest assured, as soon as I get some new photos printed, I will send them your way. 

I am guessing by now mom has told you we are expecting our 4th child. We just found out so it is still very early in the game. But, if everything works out, the baby will be born at the end of January, or something like that. I had not planned on being pregnant for my 30th birthday but, alas, God had other plans (and we were obviously not very careful) so, here we are. Somehow, it seems a little more stressful and a little less exciting this go around. 

Our house is quite lovely, although much smaller than our Midwestern home. We have snuggled in though and will be staying put for at least a couple of years. Kurt loves his new job so far but isn’t as fond of CA. There is something different about the way people interact here. Everyone is so individualistic, like an “every man for himself” type of feeling that doesn’t make you feel very connected to anyone. We need to give it more time but it isn’t like being in MN where people kind of wrap you up and take you in. No one has stopped by to bring us (the new neighbors) cookies yet but then, that is probably highly unusual these days. We just had GREAT neighbors back in MN. We have yet to sell our home back there so who knows, we may go back and live in the same place. We'll see. 

Well, I have to wrap this up. Lillian is making growling noises from the other room so I had better go check it out. It will soon turn into screeching I am sure…oh, there she blows!

I love you and look forward to seeing you sometime soon. 
Karen Diane

p.s. In the wake of my Grandma Mac’s death, I just wanted to tell you how special you were to her. She felt so indebted to you and your help early in her life. Thank you for being such a gift to her. She loved you very much. 


Tonight's Thoughts

These last couple of weeks and months have been a massive blur. Shortly after Fidgi passed, my good friends lost their son, also 47, to some heart and blood clot issues. Like Fidgi, it was completely out of nowhere. Like Fidgi, it was a total shock.

Truth be told, I didn't really know Christopher very well. He flitted in and out of the scene, occasionally stopping in to see his folks when we were around and once joining us and his parents for a holiday dinner at our home. But I only really knew him from stories and listening to him speak on the phone with his mom when the kids and I happened to be visiting. He was a sharp, eclectic and very private guy, their only child. His loss left us stunned and unsettled. Personally, I just can't make sense of it. I know his parents can't either.

After that horrible week, when he had been fighting to hang on and his parents, in utter dismay, were just trying to cope, I (almost guiltily) took my younger daughter's soccer team to their first tournament together. While I was so pleased with Lily's team, their sweet championship win was but a fleeting victory in light of Fidgi's and Chirstopher's deaths. Don't get me wrong: I am so proud of those kids and not just for winning. I am most proud of how hard they have worked and how much they have overcome to get where they are. When I think of all the good things that can come from youth sports, it is the will and drive to both overcome obstacles and create successes that I most hope these kids walk away with. Sure there are friendships and shared experiences and fun and laughter and physical fitness benefits, and even some tears of sadness and frustration; those harder lessons learned. But recognizing their power to create outcomes, learning to believe in themselves, to see the value in helping one other, and having faith in a future they cannot yet see and yet striving to get there anyway, those are the things I hope they learn above all else.

And when I ponder my place in it all, I realize I don't want to be just another coach who teaches a game. Anyone can do that. I want to be a coach who helps create better people; people who can figure out how to get the results they want while building others up along the way and most importantly, people who never, ever give up. They won't always get what they dream up, they won't always win that trophy or prize, but by giving their all until the bitter end and by helping others do the same, they will lead vibrant and full lives, lives without regret.

In the wake of another unexpected loss, the questions are far more numerous than the answers. But that one glaring lesson remains: we simply do not know how long we get to walk this path. We must make the most of the time we have and with the people we have in it. And that time is now.

I wish that lesson came easier.

Rest in peace, Christopher.


The Truth Behind Loss... and Life

Loss is hard.

You may remember, a few years back, we lost a beloved friend, Wahletha. She was like another granny to our kids and her husband Marv remains dear to us to this day. That was a tough time: smack dab in the middle of my last pregnancy, emotions already soaring. When I think back to those weeks and months, my heart still holds a thousand bricks. I can almost touch the sobs still lingering inside.

Our daughter Lily has been asking for years to go to visit Wally's grave. Before we moved away from MN, she asked a dozen times, always met with some poor excuse: it's snowing, raining, sleeting, too cold, too hot....but really, it was just too hard. I wasn't sure how the kids would do at the gravesite. I wasn't sure how I would do recalling those memories, that sadness. 

But then Fidgi died. And I learned that life is entirely too unpredictable and that you cannot put off the people you care about....not even once they are gone. 

Fidgi was my high school soccer coach. He was young and charming and incredibly talented at a time where youthful energy and extreme competence made a huge and lasting impression. Every girl on that team was captivated by his smile and good humor, his wit and his wisdom. Every girl on that team was changed in some way or another, challenged, beyond our years, to visualize our life being shaped by hard work that paid off in droves; a life of success, of hope and happiness. We were the team who had to fight the school board to keep him as a coach; they were more concerned with rules and regulations (I mean, seriously, how hard is it to overlook the lack of a proper Greencard anyway?!) than they were with the success of girls' sports. It was when I first learned that, in life, certain people have to follow the rules down to a T and certain others have to fight the system, because sometimes "the rules" aren't truly in our best interest. (It started young, folks....) 

Fidgi had a way about him that made us want to be in his presence, want to work hard, want to succeed, and not just for ourselves. He inspired us to love and care for one another when most of us were more concerned about which party we were going to that weekend and who might be there. He brought the best out of us. He challenged us, not just to be the best soccer players we could be, but to be the best people we could be. He taught us about soccer, about fitness and nutrition, health and vitality, about relationships and life. He showed us what it meant to find balance: between work and play, and all things in between. And he made sure we didn't take ourselves or each other too seriously, that we could laugh at ourselves and be silly, even when the going got tough.

And then one day, just a few weeks ago, he died. 

He was 47. 


How could it be that this man, who singlehandedly changed the course I took in my life, was dead before I ever had the chance to really thank him? Instead of dedicating my time and talents solely to music and pushing towards that singular focus, he encouraged me to also focus on my game, to work harder on and off the field. He praised me for my determination, for the time spent in the gym getting stronger, for the hours spent running to increase my endurance, for the extra shots and touches after practice, the way I transformed my diet and focused on my health. He lifted me (as well as others) up in front of peers as the teammate to emulate: a hard working role model, one who was trying to help the entire team both on and off the field. (Seriously, how could you not love a man who made you feel glorified?!) And I think he truly meant it. And so I carried that with me into college, into life.....continued making good decisions, even when they were tough to make, stayed aware of my health, of what I put in my body, of how I treated it as well as the wellbeing of those around me. I could meet any challenge because I was taught to believe in my self, in my ability to control outcomes; because I was taught the benefit of hard work and determination, because I was taught right living in a world where so many things could push you off track. And because I was taught to work with others and to care about those around me, I always found support when I needed it most.

Because of this one coach, I believed I could walk on to a Division 1 team, run marathons, push myself to run a Boston Qualifier and run Boston.....and it flowed into other parts of my life.....into my music, into my relationships.....and I believed in my ability to share these passions and wisdom with others, to become someone else's teacher, and mentor and Coach. Because of his influence, my life was effectively transformed. And yet, I never got to tell him how much he shaped me.

The truth of life however is this: If you live long enough, you will lose people you love. If you live long enough, you will lose some of your greatest mentors and life coaches. And no matter how you look at it, that loss is hard. Terribly hard. 

But.....it is part of the journey we share. 

Thankfully, their memories and lessons live on. Fidgi taught many of us about life and in the end, his death is that lesson we probably already knew but perhaps have chosen to ignore: that we should never assume that tomorrow is guaranteed. Because it isn't. Not for any of us. This earthly life that we hold so dear is fleeting and my guess is that Fidgi would also challenge us with the question: So what are you going to do about it? (Only, he would use his endearing accent and end with that sly, all-knowing, smile and we would melt under the weight of its truth and think that we were his favorite people on earth simply because he cared.....he had a lot of favorites I believe.)

So, thank you dear readers for continuing with me along this journey. Thanks for sharing in the ups and downs; for laughing with me, and crying with me. This is life.


Imperfect, painful, and fleeting.....and yet so incredibly beautiful. 

Remembering Wally

Mel-High Girls Soccer with Fidgi Haig, Coach, of soccer and life....

Thank you, Coach. 


Solly's School Saga (Continued)

Solly: Mom, um, you know I can't go to school tomorrow.

Me: Oh really Solomon? Why's that?

Solly: Because I am so, so, soooo busy tomorrow. I think we will just have to cancel.

Me: What are you doing to keep you so busy tomorrow?

Solly: Well, I have some writing stuff to do so we just have to cancel.

Me: You have writing to do?

Solly: Well, um, yeah. I have other stuff too that just keeps me so busy tomorrow. I can't go to school.

Me: Like what solly?

Solly: I have a lot, a lot, a LOT of growing up to do tomorrow.

Me: Solly, just out of curiosity, why don't you want to go to school?

Solly: Because I get so, so, SO stressed out at school.

Me: Seriously? Stressed out, Solly? Why?

Solly: Because Cody......Cody gives me the creeps.

Me: Cody gives you the creeps? You mean Cody, as in your best friend at school? That Cody?

Solly: Yeah, but he gives me the creeps.

Well, okay then.....and the drama to get him to go into the classroom continued into the next day when I forced him to go to school even though he was too busy and it stressed him out and the kid we carpool with gives him the creeps....and he didn't complain later about having to meet the cool parrot that came in for a visit with a local Veterinarian. But, the teachers said he was the only kid who acted like a parrot was so "last year's news" and they could tell he had handled birds before. If by handling they meant punching and kicking and occasionally getting beat up by a rooster who is too big for his britches, then yes, he has handled lots of birds!

I am sure this story is not over. Have a great day!


Boston or Bust

Um, I think I'll take the bust please? (Lord knows I have been waiting for my turn for far too long now.....I was beginning to think that I would stay in "Stage 3" forever but then I had babies and realized, stage 3 wasn't so bad after all....and apparently after I left the post-baby stage, I entered the TMI category so I think now is a good time to redirect.....)

Aaaaaaanyway, Boston is about a week away and as I glance out the window this morning, watching the stormy weather and utter gloom, I am feeling rather at peace about my decision not to run this year. After ten months in physical therapy for what started off as a little hamstring irritation (turned hip flexor strain) and has ended up being a continuing aggravation, it is clear to me that my body is not eager to be doing the kinds of distances that are required in marathon racing. 

So, there is no Boston for me this year. My name is there.....and perhaps even some of my spirit.....but that is the extent of my participation. At first, I was very sad about the decision. And every last time I got a Boston Athletic Association email or packet in the mail, I was terribly upset, as if the B.A.A. was just trying to antagonize me. It ate away at me, like ringworm running circles just under the skin.....and I cringed at the idea of "quitting" before I even started. 

But sitting here this morning, in the still and quiet and warmth of our home, I recall the craziness of taper week; the flood of anxiety; the fear of death, or worse, failure, and quite honestly, I am glad my body refused to cooperate with my insanity this year. It's about time one of us came to our senses! 

So, for those of you who were eagerly anticipating watching the miles tick away while I suffered through another 26.2 miles, rest easy knowing I will be happily coaching a group of 10 year old girls at a soccer tournament instead. I guess it's time to pass that baton on to the younger generation and forge a new identity.  (At least until the next crazy brilliant idea comes to mind anyway.....)

All in for Boston!
(You know, except those of us who found a tiny spark of sanity for once.....)

Now, how do I sign up for that bust? :)


Sweet Solly James

"There is a young cowboy, he lives on the range." (Or in this case, the coop.....)

My mother called me the other day to tell me I needed to write something nicer about Solomon. Her argument had to do with how sweet he is (which is true) and that I have painted this picture of a monster (which is also true). So she requested that I write something about what a love Solly really is.....so, here it goes.

Dear readers, I must confess, contrary to most of what I have previously told you (which is all truthful and honest), Solomon is a complete and total snuggle bug (when he wants to be). He is so sweet and tender and almost-gentle and loving (at least if you are his mom...and sometimes his dad....or a few select others), that he insists on hourly hugs and kisses and, quite like a little puppy, he wants his back scratched and his tummy rubbed every night at bedtime. He will attempt to curl up in your lap while you read him story after story (and by curl, I mean wiggle and squirm as if he doesn't really want to be there but when you set him down he immediately crawls back on you and continues his little wiggly jig.) He is cute and funny and smart as a whip (why daddy, can you just hold this hot chocolate for me and keep it safe, away from Liam....I'm just going to sneak off outside and run down the entire street chasing after mommy who just drove off but don't worry, you won't even notice I'm gone and it is totally safe because look, no cars!) Even his name, Solomon, is supposed to mean "peace".....and at one point in time we thought maybe by naming him something associated with "peace" and "wisdom" we could bring some sort of calm into our lives. (Read here for the story behind his name.)

So yes, I have painted him to be a monster of sorts but that is only because when he is not being totally and insanely adorable, singing sweetly to himself so that our hearts swell with love and joy, he is walking about destroying everything in his way, like Madeline's foot, which he took out recently with a kitchen stool:

 (Good feeling gone!)

So, yes, he is a sweet, loving little boy but that does not exclude him from also living up to his name: Solomon, the Destroyer, because, if we are being totally honest here, wherever Solomon is, there is also a disaster waiting to happen. Yin and Yang.....it's the complete package.

 "There's a song that they sing when they take to the highway, a song that they sing when they take to the sea, a song that they sing of their home in the sky, maybe you can believe if it helps you to sleep; but singing works just fine for me." (James Taylor)

And if you are Solomon, singing works great, along with a little daily smashing. Singing and smashing. If he were a super hero, he'd be SuperSweetSmashMan.

Is that better, Mom?


Volunteering Again

As if I didn't learn my lesson the first time, (think Liam's Horrific Halloween Party....the one where I didn't show up with the entire class's snacks until.....ah, just read it here) I opted to volunteer for the 6th Grade Spring Party so that I could make an effort to be more involved with Aidan's life. (Also known as SPYING.)

As luck would have it, they stuck me on Face Painting, which means, not only would I be actually engaging with a bunch of 11 and 12 year old kids (rather than silently judging from a distance) but I would not even once see my own son, who, in an effort to avoid me and the embarrassment I would most likely bestow on him, walked clear to the other side of the party once he saw where I had landed (he even passed up the chance at free Oreos and the Pizza table so as to avoid me! Kids.)

At any rate, for those of you who don't know me, I actually like face painting. I like the freedom to draw ridiculous things all over a kid's face and tell them how awesome it is (all the while snickering at the thought of those innocent parents who have to clean it up later through gritted teeth....I do believe I may have some issues). And I will admit, I thoroughly enjoyed this particular experience.

You see, as it turns out, 6th graders are all forming their little packs and clubs and cliques and when they get their face painted, they all want the exact same thing as the rest of their pack, you know, to be different. It's like a silly initiation ritual or something. And they were coming to me to help them. Ha ha. Ha ha ha.

So the first girl that sat down was part of a group of five girls who all wanted a sweet, simple rainbow like they saw on the suggestion sheet on the table. NOT! That would be WAY too easy. What they actually wanted was for each of them to walk away with a ridiculous black mustache, beard and uni-brow. (Why they would want such a thing is beyond me but who am I to question the wisdom of 6th grade girls?) So, I got right to work. I had each of them pick out a different color to add some variety and contrast to their black 'staches and then suggested we add long eyelashes underneath the brow. They were thrilled. After running into the bathroom to check themselves out, they came running back for more. (I had just completed a series of triangles on a group of boys' foreheads who were all too scared to put an eyeball in the middle....so they walked off with dumb triangles on their faces. And they didn't even laugh when I asked, "What kind of triangle you looking for? Equilateral? Right triangle? Wrong one?".....so I botched them up on purpose. Just kidding.)

But I digress. The girls came back and confided in me that the codeword for their club was "chickenbutt" and could I please write it across each of their foreheads.

Chicken Butt. CHICKEN BUTT. Seriously. It's like the universe is feeding me folks!

And while the fun part of me thought, "Hey, that's fantastic! Let's do this!", you will be pleased (and probably a wee bit shocked) to know that I do have a mature, adult-ish side that actually sent in a veto here.

"You know girls," I said, quietly and very seriously. "I will tell you the truth. I have a thing for chickens. And while I would love to do what you are requesting, I kind of think I might be stepping over some lines if I write that particular phrase on your foreheads. And I really don't want to get any of us in trouble so what if I just write 'Chicken...' as if to imply the code word without actually writing it all out? Our little secret, you see?"

You could tell immediately that I was their hero.....the wind beneath their chicken butt wings....because their ridiculous (manly drawn) faces lit up in excitement at the little secret about to be scribbled on their foreheads. They all sat down, allowed me to write "Chicken..." across their faces and then ran off giggling to take selfies and declare themselves the coolest girls in the school.

You'd think Aidan would be showing me off to his friends at this point but alas, writing "Chicken..." on a bunch of girls' foreheads, above their unibrow and mustache/beard combo, apparently doesn't cut it for 6th grade boys. I think his exact words were: "You know you have issues right?" But really, I can hardly be blamed for this one. It's the universe's sick fault! It's like I'm being egged on here.....hee hee hee.

Have a great day!




Along for the Laugh

Here is a short story to make you feel like a really, super awesome parent.....(apparently some of us are just going long for the laugh)....enjoy.

How I Accidentally Killed a Guy

As you know, Solomon has a knack for getting into mischief. (Think Curious George but with far more screaming, bigger costs....oh, and headaches.) The other day, he got into some pet supplies I had placed in a drawer in the laundry room (where he had served his hundredth time-out of the hour) and even when I noticed him holding a thermometer in his mouth in the car a little later, I didn't think much of it until we were standing in line to pick up the girls from school that afternoon. Solomon had spontaneously made friends with another little boy who had a green matchbox car. They were playing nicely, even taking turns with the little car, while the other mom was watching like a hawk. I do not know if she just sensed the monster within Solly that is always at the ready, if she was worried he would try to steal the car (which he would) or if she was watching her own son's behavior (which I could assure her was just fine relatively speaking), but it was very clear she was not too keen on our two boys playing together. They were having a grand old time none the less. They chased each other through the line, pushed the car along the windows and hung on the railing together, essentially creating their own entertainment (which I think became amusing to everyone when you saw the stress it created for Helicopter Mom.)  And that is when Solly pulled out the thermometer from his pocket, as if to share his most beloved object with his new friend. He stuck it in his mouth and then held it towards the little boy's face, you know, to share the experience with his new friend. Suddenly realizing where he had obtained the thermometer, I jumped in at that moment, quickly snatched the thermometer away before the other kid had a chance to touch it and jammed it into my pocket while explaining to the boys that it really wasn't a great toy actually.

The man next to me quietly noted how closely the other mom seemed to be watching the boys and how horrified she looked in that moment. I chuckled as I replied, "If she only knew that that was our cat's rectal thermometer."

He didn't stop laughing until he choked on his gum and died.

(Ok, ok, so he actually didn't die but he laughed so hard that by the end he felt the need to introduce himself, as if I were some parenting Goddess whose very presence was sacred and had made him speak in tongues by way of fits of laughter and joy. I wish everyone understood me so well.)

(Ok, ok, ok, he probably just wanted to make sure he knew who I was and more importantly, which children to keep his own away from, but I like my first theory better.)

Thus ends the story of how you are a far better parent then you realize (and of the most disgusting moment in Solomon's life to date, although, my guess is we have not seen the worse of it.....just sayin.')

Have a great week everyone!


The Day the Chickens Started to Melt

Oh dear readers, don't go getting your tail feathers all bunched up (if you still have any left after being completely pecked to death by the other cooped up hens this winter....wait, that part comes later).....the chickens have not yet melted, not entirely.

What? You want to know how chickens "melt"? Well, dear readers, I thought you would never ask! (Which really wouldn't be a problem because I was going to tell you anyway!)

It is a well known fact, like a general rule of thumb, that one should never cross one's neighbors.....you see, the problem with attempting to stir up trouble for the "crazy chicken lady," as a neighbor so affectionately called me when texting her daughter but accidentally SENDING IT TO ME INSTEAD, (hee hee hee, which of course endeared me to her forever....your own fault, my friend....) the chicken loving neighbor might just decide that at every possible turn, she wants you to be aware of the hens living next door (or right in front of your kitchen window, as the case may be).

The Beginning (of Somewhere in the Middle) of the Story:

This winter has been a wee bit brutal. We have had a lot of, um, cold weather and quite a bit of this white fluffy stuff known as snow (which really means only that, yes, winter came again this year too....). It all seems rather normal to me really, coming from Minnesota, but according to everyone here and their mother, the last two winters have been quite abnormal. At any rate, we had a nice big snow storm the other day and the girls wanted to go outside to play in it, and like usual, they asked me to come along. So I debated it in my head for all of two milliseconds: laundry, dishes and toilet cleaning or sledding out back with the kids......(it's because I love the kids that the housework is not done Kurt, I swear!)

At any rate, Lily and Madeline are really good at rolling snow to make snowmen so they decided we should make another snowman to replace the one Aidan destroyed. I was excited about the opportunity to make some monstrosity, er, I mean, a ridiculously big, totally awesome and entirely tasteful and pulchritudinous (thank you, thesaurus....) snowman in our back yard (right in front of the neighbor's window.....) and so I suggested we make the base super big, bigger than any snowman they have ever made; I mean, I was thinking ladders and pulleys and the possibility for needing outside help. But then this strange thing happened: the gigantic base we were making started to look an awful lot like the body of..... you guessed it, a chicken! So, of course a lightbulb went off in my head (which, truth be told, happens so infrequently that it would be totally irresponsible of me to ignore....so really, I was just being a responsible person y'all, that's all....) and that's when this happened:

And then, one thing lead to another (you know how these things go) and an entire flock was born......

And so, then, one day, they started to melt and um.....wait, where was I going with this story? Well, I can't recall but there may just be snow chickens in our yard every winter FOR THE REST OF OUR NEIGHBOR'S LIVES! (You did this to yourselves dear neighbors, really, you did. Might I offer you the number of a good realtor? Or are you totally excited to see what I come up with in the spring????) 

Hee hee hee.....

Have a happy last few weeks (months???) of winter!


Huckleberry Solofinn

Here's the deal, I don't always do things like normal people. I know, shocking. And while I give my kids a hard time about forgetting things I tell them, and doing things in ways that make absolutely no sense at all, they come by it very honestly. You see, being a very physical, hands-on learner, I find that if something doesn't literally hit me in the head, I will either not learn it at all, or at the very least, forget about it entirely. (And hit me in the head hard enough and all is lost too I assure you....it's called a fine line guys.)

So when dealing with Solly's preschool, I find it best if I just skirt around the edge, tiptoeing in and out, trying to stay under the radar because I know that I have probably forgotten the snack that day or the field trip last week or someone's (I dunno, perhaps my own kid's) birthday because none of those things jumped out and hit me in the head. (Calendars are so overrated.) And if you don't believe me, ask me what this random soccer mom and I talked about for an hour on Monday night.....I remember as clear as day because her oldest daughter accidentally hit me in the nose with a ping pong ball right in the middle of the conversation and while the other mom was mortified, I thought, "Oh Thank God, it isn't just MY kids!"....ok, ok, I also remember because we talked about how she wanted to move to a farm and raise goats and Alpacas and so obviously I loved her instantly!

But, I digress.....in all fairness, though, I feel I have earned the right to be apathetic about preschool having four kids who have survived to tell about it and done just fine without me drilling them with flashcards.....those moms who are freaking out about whether little Betty Sue is mastering her letters or Johnny can write his name legibly in four languages, well, they only have one kid, maybe two, so they probably should be worried (seriously, what is WRONG with their kids.....don't know their numbers to 100 yet?! Sheesh!) Quite honestly, I am just happy when Solomon doesn't smell like urine when I drop him off late in yesterday's clothes. (You gotta pick your battles people!) And the teachers know it, too. And since I know that they know I don't care, I avoid them like the plague. Kurt asked just the other day if I was at all curious to find out about Solomon's issues with "Fwanky" and I had to explain to him that I don't choose to talk to the teachers unless I absolutely have to since they already think I am a nut. He didn't even try to assure me that they don't, because apparently he is finally catching on. And that was disappointing because I was all prepared with my latest "teacher interaction" story, the one that went like this:

Me (upon dropping off Solly and our neighbor, Cody): Hi, Miss Nolan. Cody's mom told me to tell you that she......(I pause, because it was at this moment I realized I could not remember what Cody's mom had told me to tell them, like seven minutes earlier....didn't hit me in the head!)

Teacher (staring at me with what I am guessing was not amusement): Yes?

Me: Um, she told me to tell you that she will drop off the thing that she has at their house.....I just can't currently recall what that thing is. I think she said she had to wash it?

Teacher, with complete condescension: You mean the class dog?

Me, all excited: Is his name Oreo? Then yes! That's it! She said she would drop him off after she washed him. Something about Cody being sick and her wanting to make sure the dog was clean....

Teacher: Ok, then. Great. Thanks for that....Nut Job. (No, she did not call me a nut job, not out loud at least.)

At any rate, and forgive me when I get off track even more here, when Solly announces that, "I made good choices in school today," I know he means it and what he also means is that usually he doesn't make such great choices but today was so, incredibly different that his teachers actually commented to him that he had behaved well. (Good job, kid. Way to meet the average expectations for your age group....once.) Madeline and Lily have quite accurately compared him to little Davy in the Anne of Green Gables series while Kurt says he is more like Huck Finn and needs a swift lesson in being civilized. I am fairly certain that we will have to outsource the civilization of Huckleberry Solofinn if it is to happen at all. This kid is not like the others. Seriously.

Just yesterday we were watching Aidan's swim practice (and by watching, I mean I was watching while listening for the sounds of Solofinn playing with some large, detached metal piece of the bleachers underneath me.....hey, at least I knew where he was....) when I realized I could no longer hear him (scratch that part about knowing where he was!) I immediately went searching and found him in front of the fire extinguisher box, banging on the extinguisher with the handle he had broken off the door, presumably about to douse the place in fire retardant. I grabbed him, Liam and our stuff and we went to wait in the car. (Aidan should be thanking me for not allowing Solomon the chance to make a big scene. Happy Birthday, Aidan! And you're welcome!)

He's just not like the other kids, this one. He comes in this cute little bundle of love so it is hard to get too mad but on the flip side he is wrapped in destruction.....it's like a sweet little puppy coming in for a hug....but with a machete tail. Who doesn't love a puppy wagging a machete behind them?

But, try as I might, I can't get mad at him. Yesterday, entirely exasperated at the little boys hanging on me, and completely ready to call it quits, I yelled out: "Why?! Why must you always crawl into my lap and hang from me when I am trying to work? Why?!"

To which Solly sweetly answered: "Because I LOVE YOU!"

And that, dear readers, is how he has managed to stay alive for four, very, very long years. I just have to remind myself to be careful when he turns around.....that tail is a b!%@h!


Car Talk with Solly

Driving with Solomon in the back of the car is always an interesting experience. If he isn't belting out the words to various Rock-n-Roll songs, he comes up with some great conversation starters. Here are a few recent Solomon conversations from the car:

Solomon gave a little cough the other day before casually stating: "Mom, you need to check me when we get home."
"Why's that, Solly?" I asked.
"Um, because there's a penny in my throat.....I think it's going to my tummy."

Ah, yes, the good appetizer penny. What's that about a penny saved? Whomever said it is welcome to save this one because I think I will pass.....and just hope that the penny does, too.


"Mom, Franky is in my class." (Well, that's what he tried to say but his "R" isn't so clear yet so it sounds more like Fwanky.)
"Oh, that's nice." I replied.
"I don't like her," he stated firmly.
"Oh....why's that?" I asked.
"She never calls my name........ So I don't like her and sometimes, well, I just call her Fwanka."

Then later in the week, as we were driving to school, Solomon announced: "I don't want to go to school today!"
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that but you have to go," I told him.
"Noo! I HATE school!" he exclaimed.
"You're four," I said calmly. "You are not allowed to hate school."
"But Fwanky is there....and I don't like Fwanky! That Fwanka!"

I swear he thinks he is calling her a bad name. Good ol' Franka. While I believe we have already covered this, I have to say, I feel sorry for this Franky kid....I don't know how long Solly will go before channeling his inner Lily or um, Mr. T (I pity the fool who....) and go take her out in some fashion. I should probably warn the teachers but they already think I'm a nut (and rightly so) so I doubt they'd believe me. Next thing you know though, he will be spiking her apple juice with his spit and wiping boogers in her hair the moment before he gives her ponytail a good yank. Just saying. Fwanka, be warned!

Have a great day, y'all!


Egg-Laying Machines and Other Assorted Monsters


Ten is how many dozen eggs I currently have sitting in my house right now. And that is AFTER giving a dozen away this morning. So much for winter causing hens to lay less. I am apparently raising egg laying machines!

If you ask Solomon, he would probably tell you they are egg laying monsters. And he will gladly punch them in the beak for you if you so ask.

Speaking of monsters, Solomon has developed into quite the little character. The other day, he wanted to play on my phone. This was our conversation:

Solly: Mommy, may I play on your phone please? (Ok, ok….that was what he was required to say three times after his actual request which was: "I want to play Minecraft; where's your phone?")

Me: Solly, you can play on my phone but first you have to pick up your room.

Solly: Nooooooo! I can't pick up my room!

Me: Sure you can.

Solly: I can't pick it up all by myself.

Me: Why not, Solomon?

Solly: Because it is too heavy! But I can pick up the toys maybe…..

And so it begins…..

Have a great week y'all…. oh, and anyone local want some eggs??


I Dream of Jeannie

Actually, to be more specific, I dream of being Jeannie…..ok Women's Studies professors (and maybe most of my "liberated" family members) please do us all a favor and stop reading now. It's not that I want to be secluded to a bottle only coming out to do my master's bidding, but I admit, having a very quiet, solitary place all my own, that I could just disappear to at the wink of an eye, doesn't sound half bad. (No Kurt, the little claustrophobic inducing junk filled closet that is all mine upstairs really doesn't count…..no, the chicken coop doesn't either…..)

But right now, this very moment, I look at my post-Christmas, post-weekend house and think, if only I were Jeannie…..one little nod and everything would be in its place: the floors would be mopped, the dishes done, toilets scrubbed, furniture dusted, carpets vacuumed, and dinner would just appear suddenly on a nicely set table. Perhaps I would even nod the kids into their bedrooms to get ready for bed before zapping myself back into my bottle to enjoy some extra relaxation time. And let's not leave out the part that excludes running a hundred miles or lifting those gosh darn weights to keep in shape because, well, seriously, you remember what she looks like right?

So, tonight, I'm wishing I were Jeannie (while making the kids do all the work). Tomorrow, it's back to being me and doing all the things that I wouldn't have to do if I were Jeannie…..

(For the record, I am pretty certain Kurt wouldn't mind if I were Jeannie either…..I'm just saying.)

Argh, the kids are calling…...*Wink-Nod*…...

Darn, it didn't work!

Have a great week, friends!