Things that make you go “hmm…”

I had six kids today. So in the interest of reducing chaos and causing disease, I took them to McDonalds with the Play Place. On a day when I bought 30 minutes of sleep with pop tarts, McDonalds seems to fit the theme. I’m not proud of this. You can scoff quietly to yourself. I do have a backyard garden. There’s just nothing alive in it right now.

At any rate, we all got happy meals because it’s $1.99 day.  And then the kids ran off to climb in the tubes. I was watching them and spacing just a little. It apparently doesn’t pay to look away from your table in a spacy way, because when I looked back over, there was a squatty toddler eating one of our happy meals.

It was a strange moment.

“Hey!” I said. That’s all I said. It’s all I could think to say. His mother was at the next table, engrossed in her smart phone. I do mean ENGROSSED. She never looked up. Her older kids were watching the younger ones. Or not.

I guess that’s what you get when you go to McDonalds.

When I got home, I forced all six kids into some role of cleaning the chicken coop. This was way, WAY more disgusting than eating a stranger’s happy meal. Honestly. Chickens. I had no idea…not one…what I was getting into. Did I think they were going to take showers and cuddle with me? Did I really believe my kids would remain interested in them after 90 minutes and help me take care of them?

What I would actually have is a new task that no one would help me with. I’d have poop, pecking roosters, and maggots. Yes, maggots.


So I decided to google how to keep a coop clean. I figure I’d let some experienced chicken farmers help me out. So I began my research.

I read. And I read. And my eyes grew large. And then squinty. And I kept reading.
Finally, I stopped. Because it became apparent that, not only do I not keep a quality chicken coop, I don’t even know the correct vocabulary to discuss keeping a quality chicken coop. Manure box? I don’t have one of those. Laying mash? What is that?

Here’s a quote from one site:

My hens always have plenty of fresh water and quality laying mash. I supplement with greens, fruits, and vegetables every day for treats. Any uneaten treats also go into the compost bin. Chickens love their protein, as much as their grain. Do not be alarmed if your chickens eat a mouse, small lizard, grasshopper, snail, worm…these are also perfectly natural foods for chickens.

She gives her chickens treats. Her chickens have a manure box and laying mash and fresh bedding in their nesting boxes. My chickens have the ground. And the thing they sleep in. And that other thing.

Ground and things. And no treats.

I think I need to find a more remedial website.  Or just get my eggs at the store like other posers.

I did make the kids help me do things all wrong, though. And somehow, for today, that makes it all right.

Summer lazies

My husband just pointed out that my answer to the “I’m hungry” at my bedside this morning was, “Get yourself a pop tart. I’ll be up in a minute.” When he pointed that out, I defended myself with, “Some families don’t promise to be up in a minute.” I probably should tell Family Circle that I’ve moved to the country, in case they want to write a feature story on me. I’m not sure they’d be able to find me back here.

We have been taking it slow the last week. Once July 14th arrives, we’ll be moving at breakneck speed and the summer will pass me by.

After I sent my boy into the kitchen with his cooking instructions, I fell into a brief sleep and had a very strange dream. In the dream, I was in a locally owned downtown toy store. The owner was a 60something-year-old woman named Mary. She showed me around. I liked what I saw. I kept saying that I needed to come back and buy a skateboard. By all means, Missy, buy a skateboard for the country where there is no pavement. That will go over GREAT. Anyway, when I walked out of the store, Mary invited me onto the company jet and said that my husband and family should join me for a quick tour of New York City at Christmastime. And then we were off. Without warning. Without strapping in. Without even sitting down. And without the husband and kids she invited along. The next thing I know, I was on a rickety wooden back deck that had been added to the tail of the plane. We were walking around back there. In space.

There were stars. There was conversation. Never in the conversation did I ask, “Why can’t we sit in the seats INSIDE the plane and have a coke?” I never asked why someone thought rotten wood porches were good on the backs of jets.  Then Mary got very close to the edge and I gasped as a section of wood crumbled under her weight.

“Watch out!” I yelled to her. She stepped closer to me, unruffled. I pressed my back up against the jet and grabbed a handle. When I turned back toward Mary, she was gone.

She fell off the back.


And then I woke up. Disturbed. Maybe if I hadn’t sent the child off in pursuit of a pop tart, that would have gone better…

I’m going to go fry some bacon now.