I quit smoking on March 22, 2011 with Electronic Cigarettes

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I think I just ate a ......



seriously. THIS is what I heard at the dinner table tonight. Seriously.

BUT, let me rewind a few days..

The kids are talking to me again- Thats a good thing.

On Friday morning we got up early, loaded up our chickens and went to the fatstock show.

We were the last to check in, and Bretts birds were accepted. One of Matts had a broken wing- dont ask me why this matters, ALL they check is the breast. thats all they even touch. The drumsticks dont matter, noone eats the wings, they dont even LOOK at them. BUT, we had to grab an alternate. It wasnt as good of a bird, but it made a trio.

We were brought in in waves of 10 and there were 30 kids showing. Of course, we were the last ones in the ring.

Here is what you do, you walk in with your 3 birds, and 2 people who either love you too much to say no, or owe you a REALLY big favor. You take these birds, that weigh between 8 adn 10 lbs, and you hold them up. You hold them with one hand, by the feet. Upsidedown, breasts out. And you want to hold them up chest high for the judge. Now if you dont think this gets hard, try holding a frozen turkey up by one hand for 3 hours. OH and while you are doing this, have someone stand behind a counter and occasionally lob globs of slime at you. 'cause chickens are NOT discresionary eliminators. Matter of fact, in my experience, in that very small brain that a chicken has, it has just a few functions, EAT, attack if its a rooster, and poop. EVERYwhere. And if you are holding it upside down, the poop CAN defy gravity.

Okay, so it wasnt 3 hours, but he had 30 kids and all 30 kids had 3 birds each.
He was kinda placing them as he went. And Brett quickly moved up past Matt. Then he moved up past the next kid. Then finally the judge sent some kids to the end of the line. Then he kept moving Brett up. He even took him and his birds (and his birds handlers) all the way across the ring and compared his birds to the ones at about halfway down. We got excited for a minute. He felt up one bird, then the other, then the other, and on and on. FINALLY he put Brett back in line. where he was to start with.

when it ended the kids were in 28th place for Matt and 21st place for Brett. We could have done so much better if we had guidence from the start, but our Guardian angels didnt know we needed help till 3 weeks in. And we did real good once they got here. He helped us ALOT. We would have never even made it to the ring if we hadnt gotten that help. We didnt make sale, and the kids didnt get to do showmanship, but we did learn, we did finish the project, and we now know what to do next year. PLUS, my kids have more knowledge about chickens and how they come to be on your dining room table.

Ours were not as big as some, but the judge said they were nice. He liked one of Bretts alot, but you need to have 3 great ones.

Once we were elminated from the ring we looked at the rabbits, and then the hogs, then not knowing what else we had to do, ( stay, listen, sign out, do showmanship-??) since thats something they dont tell you when you are getting ready for show- I guess they think everyone just knows.... we started home.

Once we got home, we had a dead bird. And one that was dying. They stress really bad, and are not the healthiest of animals, I mean you are putting 8 pounds of meat on them in 6 weeks- so they will have heartattacks pretty easy. So the boys decided to butcher them. They also got two roosters that were not in my laying flock and should have been butchered the weekend I got so sick. The general rule of thumb when harvesting chickens is- do as many as you can, cause if you do one, or you do 20, you are going to have a MESS.

They did all of it. They killed them, plucked them, and cleaned them. Their daddy had given them their pocket knives that morning to carry at all times, so they got to use those. And we gave some guidence where we could.

Getting your pocket knife as a country kid is a very important time. Its like getting your first gun. We had never let them have them before because we really couldnt trust that they wouldnt bring them to school. Or loose them since they wouldnt be keeping up with them all the time. But he decided the time was right. And it was. You dont know how often you pull out a pocket knife when you are outside working. And yes, I carry one most of the time.

Once the kids got done with the butchering, and we got done seperating the seed peas from their hulls we headed to the gardens to plant the 10lbs of corn.

I am not sure how many rows we got. I lost count after the 11th row. But I know it was alot. cause I had to walk behind the planter every step of the way. And its not a brisk walk. Its a slow, tedious walk, constantly watching the ground. Walking in tilled ground. Our planter is about 50 years old, and sometimes it has issues. When your driving the tractor you dont know that the gears have stopped and your not planting.

Oh and I got to carry Bow- about halfway through the corn my grandfather came and got him. He had fallen asleep and never even knew I transfered him, but I was SSOOOO relieved. Talk about deadweight!

Towards the end I decided to take a break, and told Hoover to watch the chains. Its like bike chains that turn the fertilizer hopper and the seeder.

Matt did about half a row, and I walked back to the tractor and jumped on to talk to BR. I was sittin on the hood and next thing I knew Hoover was sittin on the planter. I told him that was fine, but he better watch the one chain, I'd watch the other. At the end of the rows BR would pick up the planter and then set it back down when he lined back up. this was fun, so Brett decided to join Hoov.

We got to the last row and BR happened to ask "everything okay back there?"
well I looked behind us and could see right off that no, one was not spinning. Then we had to find out where we had stopped.

this entailed walking back down the rows and digging it up till we found corn. It was 3 rows back.

We fixed that, and again, I had to start walking. IT was NOT fun. By the time we were done I was dusty, and my feet hurt so bad that I didnt think I could put one in front of the other to walk anywhere else.

We came home, fed and relaxed the rest of the day. Usually we try to clean at least one of the stalls or coops a day- we decided to skip it. LOL And we REALLY needed to casterate the meat hogs. But, just didnt have the energy. If you dont cut them, they can make the meat taste bad, and they dont grow out as quickly. A cut animal puts on more weight quicker. And like I said, the testosterone being gone will make the meat taste better.

The boys decided to cook breakfast one morning for me. The night before I had kinda fallen asleep early, I try to wait till BR gets home around 10-11. But I had a fever and just didnt feel good. The next morning I got up, got Rayley headed to school, BR's lunch cooked and them awake to feed. Next thing I know the smoke alarms are waking me up. Now they have cooked breakfast before, so they know how. But our alarms are VERY sensitive. They didnt burn anything, they just got too much smoke going I reckon.

Then, yesterday morning I had sent them out to feed around 6. Next thing I know its pert near 9 and they were still gone. So I set off the truck alarm. We had to start school AND they still had their chores in the house to do. Like gathering up laundry, making the bathroom presentable, etc.

They came up to the house, out of breath. I asked what they were doing. THey had found a rich lighter pine stump in the woods and as a suprise were chopping it up to use in the BBQ pit. That was soo sweet. Except I knew they were stalling, not wanting to get their day started. But they did chop me up a 5 gallon bucketfull.

We ran to town yesterday and got some WHite Oak saplings, I think there is about 100 of them, to put out. We got them through our local NWTF chapter.

And once we got home it was feeding time and time to start supper. We needed to fry up the chickens that were in the fridge. So we fed everything, (roughly 91 animals. ya know- thats ALOT of poop...) and then I was messing with the horses that we are boarding and Bow was putting water in the stock tank. The boys had ran off to the edge of the clearing about 25 feet away. Then I hear:
"There it comes!"
"well STOP it"
"okay I got it!"
"what is it?"
"I dont know"

I asked what kind of snake they had- they said it was a big un. That does NOT tell me much.
Then, it started into some underbrush, at this point Brett grabbed the tail, it whipped around to hiss and strike him. But he was quick.

They killed it and brought it to us. I told them to feed it to the hogs, we had to get supper on the table. Fryin chicken is NOT a quick meal.

Plus its not good to let Bow see you playin with a 'nake' as he calls them. He doesnt have the sense to kill it first.

So they came in and washed up. Brett cut up the chickens and proceeded to fry it. Matt was helping, but then he disapeared. Come to find out he hadnt fed the snake to the hogs after all and had it placed infront of the steps with a string on it to pull it in front of his dad when he got home. I dont know how that turned out since I was supervising the cooking. I helped them make a couple of pans of biscuts and BR came home. He had ran out of hours he is allowed to be on the road and got to come home early- so we all sat around talking.

Rayley finally made it home- she had been with my mother in law after school and they had to run some erronds. Then my MIL's truck broke down. which we need to go and get fixed this morning. its just a belt and the pully arm. Anyway Bow told his
all about his day. In his own language.
Every day he feeds his ducks. I give him a bowl of green beans and he heads out and hand feeds the 4 babies. He cant count past 3, so when you ask him how many ducks he has he will put up his fingers and with the first finger say "un, ooo, ree," and then another finger and say "un". He also told his daddy the story of killing the 'nake'. Without words he uses alot of hand and body motion.

Finally around 9 supper was ready. mashed taters, gravy (which I had to make, cause noone else around here can) biscuts and fried chicken.

I am very proud of my boys. They raised these birds from a day old. they kept them warm, they fed them, cleaned up after them, watered them, then they butchered them, cleaned them, and prepared them. I know grown folks who couldnt do that. And they were good. If you've never had a fresh chicken, you should do everything you can to get one. They are VERY good. you would be suprised at how bland a store bought chicken is. I reckon somehow they take every bit of the meat taste out of them at the plant.

Anyway, the meal started off like they all do, with the prayer- which Rayley likes to say. Bow likes to say it too. And sometimes we let him. But if someone else is saying it, he will cross his little hands and talk along with the one giving Thanks. Some of the words are legible. And if he thinks you are going on too long, he will start throwin out an Amen, to speed you up. I need to record it one day.

Then we ate. Everyone was talking about differnt things, we discussed the math and history the boys are learning, Rayley talked about school, and Bow smeared food on everything. We do have protocol as to what can be discussed at the dinner table. I dont like potty humor. PERIOD. Now, we will talk about chores we have to do on occasion, mucking stalls, etc, but for the most part, I just want normal conversations.
We all ate so much we were having a hard time moving, and were starting to get up and clear away stuff when Rayley took her last bite.

She screwed up her face and said "I think I just ate a testical"

We didnt gasp, we didnt freak out. This was one of those moments when you dont even laugh, you just tear up. You need to laugh so hard you cant. One of us managed to say "what?" and she said "Really! Its hard and nasty!" So, amid wiping tears, and laughing BR said "I think you meant 'grissle'."