* * * * * * *

"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Monday into Tuesday

Whooo-ee, my body's tired!  No particular reason other than I've been on my feet for the majority of the day and, now that I spend the better part of each week on my tuhkus in my office, my feet, knees, and hips are feelin' it!  (Geez, I sound like I'm 85 . . . but, in my defense, I did inherit my maternal grandmother's bones:  big . . . and owly.) 

I haven't gotten to enjoy a "true weekend" (two days off in a row) for a while now, and I miss it.  But, I made the most of my time today (after allowing myself a lie-in until 10:30 this morning!) by vacuuming ALL the downstairs carpets plus most of the upstairs ones . . . save the 11 x 17 rug in the master bedroom (which is still rolled up as I didn't get to putting it down as I'd hoped) and the second half of the 8 x 10 one in the library 'cause I'm still moving furniture around in there.  Still, that took a couple of hours (yep, you read that right!), and I needed to do such an electrical energy-sucking task while the solar panels were soaking up the day's sun.  Then, with the canister vac, I vacuumed hundreds of flies from the windows.  Seems like this year they're worse than ever!  Anyone else having that problem?

* * * * *

It's Tuesday morning now.  I got distracted by the dogs barking yesterday . . . and then I got into making dinner . . . and then, and then, and then!

For those of you who also read Mama Pea's blog, you'll know that I helped my folks with butchering on Sunday.  It was the perfect day to do it, and I was tempted to wear my bloody get-up to answer the door at my office later for the trick or treaters, but I figured that might be a bit much.  ;)  (Or seem disrespectful to the butchering process.)  That said, we got into the spirit of the day and, after the birds were thanked and dispatched, we had a little Halloween fun:

Mom wanted to get a shot of the "blood splatter":

I didn't realize that my hair had gotten soaked on that side, too, until I was in my office, trying to spruce myself up to look half-way respectable.

Mom really hates the actual killing part (who doesn't?), but it doesn't bother me (at least, not with small critters*) . . . as long as, as I said, it's done with thanks, speed, skill and respect.  But, geese being so big and strong, it's too hard for me to hold them by the sides of their bodies like I would chickens, so I just snuggle them to me in a tight hug and then kneel by the chopping block.  It's messy business, to be sure, but I'd much rather get a little bloody than not be able to hold them properly come the crucial moment.

* In years past, I've put the word out to friends, asking them to bag a deer for me if their freezer becomes full but they still want to hunt.  In exchange for the hunting part, I'll pay for their license (and process the deer myself, of course).  (Deer season starts on Saturday.)  I've yet to get this lucky, and, with the limit being 2 per license this year (some years, it's four), I probably won't . . . unless the ex gets one.  But, back to my point:  when I asked The Peanut's dad for that favor on Halloween night when they came trick or treating, he asked, "Hey, why don't YOU get a license this year?"  

Mmmm, ugh.  Uhhhh . . . no.  Thanks.  While I can process a deer and fully appreciate the meat it's providing, I have no desire to kill a perfectly healthy, so sentient a creature.  Were my family starving, it would be a different story entirely.  And, I HAVE had to kill a deer before . . . when I'd hit it with the truck and it lay on the ground, struggling in pain.  I hated doing it, but watching its life ebb out of it (but not nearly quickly enough) was WAY worse.  I've often thought about this in relation to getting my someday milk cow.  When she needs to be bred, I'd like to raise the calf for veal.  Will I be able to process the animal and use the meat?  Yes.  Will I be able to look it in the eyes and kill it?  I don't think so.  If I have to, then, yes, I'll do it . . . but if someone else is willing, I will take them up on it in a millisecond.  (And that's how my mom feels about butchering day, I think.)

So, completely new subject:  it's Election Day!  Have you voted?  I filled out my mail-in ballot this morning and will bring it to the post office on my way in to town where the post master (correct terminology even tho she's a post mistress) will hand-carry the collected ballots in to the court house tonight.  How's THAT for ease??  I love living in a mail-in ballot county, and I can't help but believe that it causes more people to vote who otherwise might not.  I know I wouldn't vote on "small" election years if I had to slog in to a polling station and stand in line.  At least, not as often as I do (every year) when I can fill out the ballot in the comfort of my own home!

I've had the trail camera set up for two nights now . . . but just in the front yard (not where I will eventually place it) to make sure it's working properly.  The camera-to-computer cord is at work, so I'll upload the pictures later today.  I'm anxious to see if I got anything more exciting than the dogs or cats prowling around.  And, if there is something worth seeing, I'll definitely share it with you!

There are a few web & blog design projects waiting for me at work that I feel behind on.  I hope to put in a good, solid day today and wind up feeling much better about their status(es?) by the end of it.

Slowly, but surely, I feel like I'm finally making progress on the disaster that is this house.  Pretty soon, I might not be able to refer to it as a 'disaster' any more!  :)  I've really been focusing on keeping a room picked up once it IS clean (revolutionary idea, I know!), and, lo and behold, it actually seems to be working!

A dear friend, whom I haven't seen in MONTHS, celebrated his birthday yesterday (52nd?), and I'll drop a card off for him at his office today, inviting him to a dinner at Swamp River Ridge as soon as we can find an evening that works for the both of us.  I was debating between that and a meal in town*, but, since he works in town each day and eats out there quite a bit, I figured supper here might be a bit more enjoyable.  Plus then, his horse (I mean dog) and Maisy and Tucker can have a fun play date.  Although, before Tanner (the horse/dog) comes over, I always have to go around the place and remove breakables:  his tail is a 2' long massive whip of pure muscle, and nothing is safe when he's happy and waggin' it all around!  (* Plus, I'm not quite ready to start the rumor mill workin':  have dinner with a friend of the opposite sex when you're married, and no one thinks a thing.  Do it when you're divorced, and, "Oooooh, did you see who Chicken Mama was with the other night?" 

And, with that, I'm off!  Hope you have a great day!


  1. Answer the door in that outfit and you would have had the desired effect. Although it would be sad to traumatize a 4 year-old in purple fairy wings. I am with your mom - I have no trouble with the processing part, it's the first part that gets me. And what the heck is it about people who immediately think there is hanky-panky going on when you just have a friend to dinner?

  2. Ohhh, the 4 year-old in purple fairy wings! Yes, I would NOT have wanted to traumatize HER! Now, 16-year old boys who "justify" still trick or treating by only putting on a scary rubber face . . . now THAT would be worth it! ;)

  3. oh just when I had recovered my laughing and grinning at that photo on FB, here it comes again! Still love it! You may get that deer next year, hubby wants to hunt but we can't really wait around for it to be processed while we are visiting, and we sure as heck can't strap it to the Outback for 1200 miles and expect it to be anything less that a complete waste of a beautiful animal! He just needs to find property to hunt on! :)

    I have to say, today's post left me feeling like you are getting out of that slump you were in for awhile when stressing the divorce, old workplace, etc. It was so nice to see that you had time to do a few different things, and then the energy to let us all in on them! Keep that trend going girlfriend!

    I admit I have the same issue when it comes to larger livestock. Chickens, fine - but veal, lamb, or goat I don't really want any part of (the butchering, that is-) Hubby is pretty keen on doing all of that and has "read up" on it, but he didn't grow up on a sheep farm like I did and have to bottle feed all those cuties in the basement in cold February when we lost the mama ewes... I'm sure he'll "man up" when the time comes, LOL

  4. Hubs doesn't have web access really on the ship, but I'm totally emailing him this post! He'll love these photos!

  5. Sounds like you're settling in as the seaons change. There such comfort in normalcy, even if it is just cleaning the house! And seriously, you are amazing doing that butchering. I grind my own whole wheat flour, make my own bread and butter, and make my own cheese. I'll gladly raise chickens for eggs, but would have a hard time butchering them. We're getting a beef steer-we'll lovingly raise him, thank him for his part in the process, and then send him off for someone else to "process". I want to be like you when I grow up!!!


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!