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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Forty years later...Thank you, Santa!

It was Christmas 1977, the middle of a decade that flourished on the mindset that bigger is definitely better. The world cried as they watched the funeral of their larger than life icon, Elvis Presley. Gram's Chevrolet Caprice came standard with a 454 engine and a back seat the size of a double bed. My enormous but stylish bell bottoms got stuck in my bicycle chain daily until I learned how to keep them contained with rubber bands around my ankles. Yep, we were living large for sure.

That year I asked Santa for a small palm-sized television so I could watch my favorite cartoons on the bus as I rode to school. My creative little mind yearned for the exact opposite of everything gigantic in the 70s. Little did I know back then.

The jolly, white bearded man turned towards me with an extremely serious expression, as if I were insane for even considering that a small, TV-like device could ever be possible. I thought elves could make anything.
Santa was courteous enough to leave me a note on the chalkboard that read, "In the North Pole we just don't have the resources," but hoped I would be satisfied with him leaving the family a present... our first color television. I was thrilled.

Flash forward forty years. I am completely immersed in adulthood stress with a list of chores as long as my arm. This morning I'm sitting in an uncomfortably hard chair in a room over scented by car fresheners smelling like a cheap flower explosion as I wait on an oil change.

Today I have a palm-sized iPhone 7 plus in my hand. I hit the home button and get a Yahoo finance alert that says, "Morning brief: Dow recorded largest single-day point decline in history." Fortunately in 2018 I have the choice to either watch as my financial future crumbles right in front of my eyes or I can put on my earbuds and open up my new Boomerang from Cartoon Network app.
Flintstones... Meet the Flintstones...They're the Modern Stone-Age Family...From the Town of Bedrock...It's a Place Right Out of History. I'm already feeling more positive about the day.

Who says you can't always get what you want? Sometimes it's all about the timing. Thank you, Santa, better late than never.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Chickens are On Strike

"Put eggs on the grocery list," Kim says this morning while I'm pouring myself my first cup of coffee. The list is written on a piece of scrap paper that sits on a wooden stand right next to my beloved Bunn O Matic.

"I don't think buying eggs is necessary, we have chickens for that," I say, while trying to come up with a quick chicken defense.

"Have you looked in the refrigerator lately? I think the chickens are on strike."
It is true, lately the consistency of egg laying has been a little... well... inconsistent. I relate it to the stress caused after a neighborhood dog attacked our flock last November, killing Brownie, my favorite Rhode Island Red and severely de-feathering Sunflower the Americana. Between that and the last month of below freezing temperatures I'm ready to pack up this entire herd and head down to Key West, where the sun is always shining and humans, chickens, and other animals seem to naturally co-exist.

"You know it's been a stressful winter on all of us, not just the ladies," I say. I've always called our chickens the ladies because they feel like they're part of us, especially when they fly up to the kitchen window and peer inside, looking as if they are wondering, "What's cooking in there?" Don't worry, it's not chicken.

"I think we just need to give them a little more time."

"Time to what? The whole reason we have chickens is to have fresh eggs, they're not keeping up with their end of the bargain," Kim says. "Why do you have to take it so personally anyway? This is only the second or third dozen eggs we've had to buy in like three years." She was right. Until recently, we always had an abundance of eggs.

Several years ago, when I was trying to convince Kim how great it would be to have pet chickens, part of my seductive sales pitch was, 'Just consider how much money we spend every week on organic, free range eggs... and the cost is just going to increase.' I sounded like a 1950's door to door saleswoman, but I was ready to be a farmer and I knew had to raise the persuasive bar.

"For some reason buying eggs makes me feel like I am cheating the ladies in some weird sort of way. It's crazy, I know."

"Crazy indeed," Kim adds.

So today I bought a dozen organic, free range eggs at Kroger for $3.79. I didn't tell the ladies, I merely snuck the eggs into the house while they weren't looking. Afterwards I went into the coop and made their nesting boxes more attractive with fresh shavings and several ceramic eggs to get them in the mood. For now I'm just going to keep reading
and hope to see a blue egg in the nest tomorrow morning.

If you have any good ideas I would love to hear them!