Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Poster Girl
May 2004-Sept. 2009
May she rest in peace

Poster Girl, hatched in May of 2004, was adopted by Geoff, Lori, and boys at the young age of 1 day old, along with her 24 sisters. Although her given name was Hen-Rietta, everyone called her Poster Girl. She passed away at home Monday due to natural causes. Poster Girl lived a life of patience, love, and devotion to her friends and family. She was a candystriper as a teen, and in her later adulthood, spent many hours volunteering at the local hospital. She loved the outdoors, often finding ways to venture out on her own, even later in life. Poster Girl is preceded in death by 22 sisters, her mother, Henna, and her father, Henley. She is survived by two sisters, her chickhood tweetheart, Stanley, and 14 chicks. Poster Girl was laid to rest in a private ceremony earlier this afternoon. The family requests donations may be made to The Hen and Chicks Society for Wayward Cluckers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Heaven's Very Special Child

I was reading different blogs, and I found this on http://charlotte-hereistand.blogspot.com/ --Of course, I thought it was just perfect, since this is pretty much my view on special needs children. It's great to find a kindred spirit.

Heaven's Very Special Child

A meeting was held quite far from Earth!
It's time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the Lord above
"This Special Child will need much love."

His progress may be very slow,
Accomplishment he may not show.
And he'll require extra care
From the folks he meets down there.

(He may not run or laugh or play;)
His thoughts may seem quite far away.
In many ways he won't adapt
And he'll be known as handicapped.

So let's be careful where he's sent.
We want his life to be content.
Please Lord find the parents who
Will do a special job for You.

They will not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play.
But with this child sent form above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.

And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for their gift from Heaven.
There precious charge so meek and mild
Edna Massimilla

Monday, September 14, 2009

Football Season!

I wrote this a few years ago when our oldest son was playing high school football. Since football season is once more upon us, I thought it was appropriate. Enjoy.

Go 'Dogs

Now that my son is in high school, he’s a dog. A Bulldog, to be precise. He has drug me into his maniacal world of football, kicking and screaming every inch of the way. You see, I really don’t like football. I have to wonder at a game that can’t legally start until the paramedics are on the sidelines. It makes absolutely no sense to me why anyone in their right mind would bash heads over a ball that can’t even roll straight, and then fight over who gets it. It’s not like they only have one. The coaches have a bag full of them! And whatever happened to manners? I’ve worked hard to teach my children patience and concern for their fellow man. In spite of all of this, every Friday night, there I am, at the game, helping to pack the stands, cheering him and his teammates along. Because of this, I’ve learned a lot about football in the last few years.

People ask me what my son plays. Football! He plays football! Huh? What position? The one that smashes! I find out there is offensive and defensive positions. Now I know that the offensive side has the ball, and the defensive side doesn’t. I can remember that because the word offensive starts with an “o” and balls are round (except footballs) and so if you have the ball, you are the one with the “o” so you are offensive. Makes perfectly good sense to me.

It was about the middle of the season, and my son had been working hard. Really hard. He was giving this game everything he had. He memorized plays faster than most guys, lifted weights until he couldn’t move, and was practicing with some serious passion. He was coming home so tired he could barely eat, do his homework, and then crash. Only to get up at 5:30 the next morning to do it all over again. One Thursday after practice, he came home and was proud to tell me, “Mom, Coach says I’m starting tomorrow night!” I made sure I got there early to see my kid play. The beginning of the game arrived, and the coach sends the kids out to the field. Where was my son? Standing on the sidelines! How could this coach promise my son something so important, and then jerk it out from underneath him? Didn’t he have a clue what this meant to him? The first play of the game ended, and as I was silently wondering at the parentage of the coaching staff, my son was allowed to go on the field. I looked at my son, and he was keeping his disappointment hidden. The game went on, and I cheered for him like always. On the way home, very calmly, I asked him why he didn’t start like he had been told. He looked at me and said he had started just like the coach said! Didn’t I see him?

Well, I might not know lots about football, but one thing I do know is everyone has a different number on the back of their jersey. He’s number 65, and I know that 65 was standing on the sidelines when they were kicking the ball! That night, I learned about the different, “Special Teams.” I just thought they were all football players. How was I to know that the start of the game wasn’t the same as the beginning of the game?

Defending the man. Wouldn’t it make sense that we defend whichever of our teammate that has the ball so he can run or pass to get a touchdown? No. It has nothing to do with who has the ball, and more bizarre than that, it’s someone on the opposite team! Why would we defend someone on the opposing team? But we’re not really defending that man, we are trying to keep him from doing what he’s trying to do, which is getting to the ball, or getting to the guy that has the ball. I think it’s more like we are defending the team against that man.

Our 20 yd line. Pretty simple, right? 20 yards to go for a touchdown, right? Well, yes, and no. That doesn’t mean that we have 20 yards to go to a touch down. That means the other team has 20 yards to go to a touchdown. But, wouldn’t that be our 80 yard line???

My heart goes flip flop when I see the team on one knee. I look for my son’s number to see where he is. You see, when someone gets hurt on the field, whether it’s a cramp and they can’t move, or if it’s something really big, everybody else goes down on one knee in a show of support. The coaches tend to the fallen player, and most of the times, in a minute or so, he will get up, sometimes with help, and limp off the field while the crowd cheers. The players all stand up, and the game resumes. The hurt player will normally sit down and recuperate enough to play again at a later time. Sometimes, a player is hurt bad enough to warrant a ride to the sidelines in the blue and gold four-wheeler. (School colors, of course!) If at all possible, though, the kids do not want to go out on a stretcher and into the ambulance. I thought this was due to a, “Football Code of Ethics” or some macho thing that I was not privy to. Nope. Economics, pure and simple. It’s because there will be an $800 bill for that ambulance ride. That short ambulance ride to the hospital just so happens to be one block away from the football field. This is over and above what the hospital charges. Not that any of my son’s teammates has done that. Nobody has busted an arm, gotten a one block, $800 ambulance ride to the hospital, had their jersey cut off of them in the emergency room, and needed surgery after.

I enjoy supporting my son, watching him grow and mature, while at the same time being a part of something that he loves. I do my best to learn something new each week about this game that was so foreign to me not very long ago. I know so much more now than I did when we started this journey, but I still don’t understand much of what goes on. You won’t be seeing me on TV with John Madden discussing the plays. I do this because I’m a mom, and this is what moms do.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One of the First Fall (End of Summer?) Jobs in the Garden

I love all 4 seasons. I love summer for the slow pace, the sleeping in, the garden, dirt in my toes, and the weather. Oh, the California summers. There's just nothing like it. With that said, by the time the end of summer comes, school starts back up, and the weather starts getting cool, I am ready for summer to end, and fall to begin. Fall means snuggling in a quilt with a hot cup of tea and a good book. It means baking bread, and a trip to the pumpkin farm with the students from school. Today, it also meant ripping out part of my summer garden to make room for a winter garden. I put my gloves on, and started to pull up all my cucumbers. And the volunteer melons, that I thought were cucumbers, so they went in the same row with them. Then I got to my peppers, that I could have left in for another month or so, but I decided that I would just rip everything out, so I pulled out the basil, too. Everything in the row. I tried to put the stuff in the chipper, but it was much too wet, so I just piled it in a corner of the garden. I put bags and bags of steer manure on top of the row, and this is what it looks like now.

Beautiful, huh? If I would have thought ahead, I would've gotten a few bales of wheat straw when I was at the feed store yesterday, but, I didn't. Now I will have to go in the next few days, and then I will be ready for a few winter veggies. Yes! Another trip to get plants!

Anyway, when I was pulling out all my plants, this is what was left, hiding underneath the leaves, when I thought there was very little.

So now, we will have a few veggies left over for a couple days. Sort of like one last hurrah. It was wonderful while it lasted, and I loved it, but now it is starting to be fall'ish, and time for fall'ish things.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Well, I think our Leadership class was at it again. What a great group of kids! When I drove up to school today, in the very front, there were probably 20 flags, lined up on the lawn, right by the street. They were beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera. Our classroom is oh, so very, very busy, so I waited until after school to go home and get my camera. By the time I came back, it was after 4:00, and they had been taken down. Needless to say, I didn't get a picture. But, I took pictures of some on my way home, and these are a few of my favorites.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Scattered Thoughts

Ahhh, it's almost Fall. The garden is winding down, the cucumbers, beans, squash and tomatoes are pretty much toast. Not to worry, though, as now my thoughts turn to a winter garden. At least, when I am thinking about gardening, and not about something else. Or working. Like, at work. Yes, I have gone back to work. School has started, and my summer vacation is over. We have a few new students, and my heart is melting all over again as I am getting to know them. But I digress. I want to tell you that Poster Girl, my wayward hen, has been taking too much time to get in the pen each morning. Soooo, Hubby and I caught her, which is a whole story in itself. Here she is, after being caught, now quiet and happy. Yes, I know she is upside down, but for some reason chickens don't mind that, and it is the kindest, gentlest way of transporting said chicken from outside the pen to inside, where we cut the main feathers on one wing. It doesn't hurt her, and will put her way off balance when she tries to fly, so because of that, she will stay in the pen.

That was one of the things I really wanted to get done over the 3 day weekend. Yea, I know. I'm an overachiever! I also picked what was left in the garden. Check out my tomatoes!

I made one trip to the patio with my first basket of goodies, turned my back, and this is what happened!

The little thief! He loves tomatoes, and I really have to watch him when I let him in the garden, or he will sneak one right after another. I guess it wouldn't be so bad, but do you think he has even offered to weed for me? Not a chance. The lazy toad just goes in and lays down. Lucky for me I was able to pick enough tomatoes to do something with. I spend Sunday afternoon canning them, and ended up with 21 quarts. Now I get to find room in the pantry for them.

Now, I don't want you to think that I did nothing but work all weekend. Actually, quite the opposite. I took a nap one day, slept in another day, went shopping with my friend on Monday, and generally had a slow, restful weekend. Hey, the dog and I took a walk into the trees, and saw our neighbor's cows. They were enjoying the weekend, too! Well, every day is a weekend for a cow, huh? They kept looking at us. I guess we were quite popular with them, because this picture makes me feel like, "The Cow Whisperer." Ever wonder what goes through a cow's mind?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Not Your Everyday Fairy Tale.........

Once upon a time, in a town not so far away, there came some beautiful horses that traveled from one event to another. The townfolk were all very excited when they found out the horses decided to visit them for a few days. In fact, they were so excited, that the Mayor wanted one whole street to be closed off for the horses' convenience. Of course, the horses thought this was very nice, and so every evening, they would get all dressed up to work, and to show off a little, too.

They had a perfect life, only working once a day, for no more than 2 hours at a time. And, as if that's not cushy enough, they would always get to work with 7 of their best friends. They would all be patient while everybody got dressed up and into their harnesses.

The rest of their days were spent chillin' in their stalls with their little (uh, big) horsey buddies. All the people who came by to see them loved them. They were very important, and had a whole crew of people that did nothing but take care of them. These people loved the horses, and were so happy to be around them that they were continually smiling. Oh, look! Here's one now!

The horses were very well mannered, and did what their people wanted, even when it was time to be done working and get back into their stalls. This made the people smile even more.

Lots and lots of people came to see the horses, but after a few short days, they were done. It was time for the horses to leave, so they rode off into the sunset to their next gig.