Sunday, January 31, 2010

Scenes of Winter

The serenity of a resting brook is aesthetically poetic...

Standing there, you could feel the silence wrap itself around you. The silence in its self softly reminding you not to speak or even think but just to stand there and feel its beauty with awe and amazement.

Later, at Nana's house a friend was made.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sleds and Snot Sickles

Last night my husband and I worked out in the wood shop until the wee hours of the night playing with our new toy...a wood craft rotary tool. It's so awesome. It's small like a marker easily gripped like a pencil and is very light weight. The speed is adjustable unlike my other adjustable Dremel that goes from fast to faster to fastest. This one actually has a low speed. I also love the diamond tip burrs that came with it. Wood Crafter now takes the place that Lowes once held in my heart. Sorry Lowes!

As we worked in the shop the wind blew and the snow fell. We kept sweeping off the deck and walk ways just for them to be recovered in an hour. I was so excited! Middle Tennessee gets snow but for a West Virginia girl its quite disappointing. My daughter would wake up in the mornings to find frost on the ground and be beaming from ear to ear with anticipation that school would be canceled. They cancel school here even if a light dusting is in the forcast! In her defense a heavy frost and a light dusting does look very similar. Poor child, she knows nothing of a good old fashion up to your elbows teeth rattling snot sickling snow... (that's my favorite kind of snow)!

So you could imagine our excitement when we woke to find this...

Even Sammy (our Husky mix) has been missing a good snow!

He's a pretty laid back dog... until it snows.

I love this picture.

EVEN Memaw got in on the action!

Snot sickles for EVERYONE!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Rat Terrorist

Meteorologist say we may have an ice storm tonight. They are the same as politicians, I don't put a lot of faith in their words. I'm not easily stirred when it comes to weather but I may need to take some extra precautions this year seeing how we now have livestock.

This morning I went down to the barn. On my way out of the back gate Hannah (also know as The Terrorist) bolted on me. Hannah makes Marley (from the movie Marley and Me)look like Old Yeller! She embodies all the horrible gross annoying habits of Hooch (from Turner and Hooch) Marley and Beethoven rolled into one small teeny tiny pain in the butt holy terror.

I don't know what it is about that dog. She drives me nuts but... I love her despite the fact she runs around the neighborhood like a dog on coke. She chases the cats. She chases the chickens. She is nasty with my kids. You cant cut her nails with out sedating her. She has awful allergies in the spring summer AND fall that are almost unbearable to live with. She scoots around in circles on the living room rug for 20 minutes at a time trying to scratch "parts" that she otherwise just cant reach. Although it is quit hysterical to watch...its only so funny for so long, damn it! But like I said... I love the little stinker.

So anyways Hannah was my helper this morning. After the chickens had fresh food water and bedding, I thought that it may be best if I put them up until after the bad weather hits. With a little help from the Terrorist all the chickens were tucked "unneatly" into the house...

Marco- "I cant stand that bitch".

We have an injured Buck that has been grazing in the garden spot. He doesn't wander far and has been seen on the property almost everyday for a week now. I am a sucker for wild life. So I took a bucket of cracked corn down to the spring for him.

Hannah wasn't happy about having to leave the chicken coop because she found something fun to do....

Hannah- "Where'd he go!? Where'd he go!?" {heavy panting}

Hannah- "He was here a just a second ago"

Milo- "Neener, neener, neener"

Hannah- "I SEE YOU little kitty!"

Milo's thinking, "Man, I hate that bitch".

*Song: George Thorogood- Bad to the Bone

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cold Induced Delirium

You ever have days when you fantasize about how great it would be too be able to take off your head, give it a good scrubbing in antibacterial soap, clean out nasal passages and then securely place head back on your shoulders?

I would rather have my head hung in a porcelain bowl than to be buried in Kleenex. At least with a good old fashion stomach virus you can count on losing 5 to 10lbs!

I would just like to say... curse you grocery store shopping carts, curse you public restrooms, curse you McDonald's play place, curse you snotty nose kids.... Oh, those were mine... strike that last one... but curse the rest.

Now with that said I would like to give a little shout out to tissues with lotion... My nose thanks you for all your greatness!!!

I know this has been too much information... I know this...

(I dont know what I would do with out the dramatic pause of...!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Here chicky chicky

I just couldnt wait. I wanted to see if our homemade incubator contraption will work. If these hatch I am going to order some Welsummer and Delawares eggs to hatch in March.

Monday, January 25, 2010


This morning my Dad reminds me, "Today marks the anniversary of Grandmother Ida." "O, really...." I say awkwardly, like an idiot. My dad walks over to put dishes in the sink... I see his eyes begin to swell. I hear a sniffing sound. I just don't know what to say. I never knew her but I always felt the emptiness of where she would have been.

Today is a dark day for my family. Today marks the 32 year anniversary that my grandmother was taken from my family through a horrible act a violence.

When I see my dad struggle with tears.. I just want to squaw too.
My dad misses her. He struggles more with the absence of her than the matter in which she was taken... he has come to terms with that I believe.

For me, it is hard not to be angry and bitter. My father hurts. It makes me angry to see his heart broken, bitter that someone has caused this suffering for him.

It happened before I was born, even before my father met my mother. My father lived through a nightmare. He received a phone call that his mother had been kidnapped. Later her remains were found in an icy river.

I never remember not knowing of my grandmothers murder. I don't know details just bits and pieces that I was told and what I could pick up from ease dropping on "adult" conversation. The story I was told was always kept as PG13 as it could be.

When hearing the story I never asked questions. Even now as an adult when my father speaks of it, I don't ask, I just listen. I don't want to press him, I don't want to see the tears swell up in his eyes, though I do want to know. I want to know the details of her legacy but fear it as well.

I can never remember a time in my life that I didn't know of her.
She was beautiful, strong willed, hard headed, and demanding. All that I ever heard of her was affectionately speaking of course. She was an artist and dreamed of having a granddaughter. Out of six grandchildren I was the only granddaughter. I was always told "o' how your grandmother would have treasured you", "you have your grandmothers hard head and strong will", "your grandmother was christian as well and she believed in reincarnation just as you do too", "she loved to watch it rain also". Every time I heard these things I felt close to her. Like knowing her with out ever actually meeting her. It was like tracing the lines on her face with out actually touching her skin. I felt proud to be compared to her.

Her death paved a way for my family. At an early age I knew of her death because my parents wanted to protect me. I was told what to do if anyone ever tried to take me "scream, kick, bite, fight, run, no matter what they say, no matter what the threats. Never stay quiet". I never talked to strangers or answered the doors or phones when my parents weren't home. I steered clear of people I didn't know. As a child I always had my guard up. When I would go to the grocery store I would watch people, steering clear of people who avoided eye contact or people who kept their hands in their pockets... I am not sure why I zeroed in on those specific people. I made up my own set of rules for safety I suppose.

As an adult I politely speak with strangers but have a particular uncomfortableness about strangers approaching me. I don't like small talk at the gas pumps. I hate for people to walk directly behind me. I was taught early to watch out, to be safe.

Her legacy wasn't her death but the life after her death. Her legacy wasn't just safety. In fact safety is just a tiny bit of her legacy. Her death brought love to an entire new level. My family never ends a phone conversation without saying I love you. Up until my brother moved out of the house we kissed each other good night and said I love you. This is from child hood, every night; prayers hugs and kisses goodnight. Growing up this was so odd to my friends but very normal for my family. A close knit thankful family is the legacy.

I check on my kids several times a night as they sleep, sometimes from worry, mostly because I like to watch them sleep. Their safety presence and love I am thankful for. You never know when it is all going to be over. You should live life to the fullest... Love to the fullest.

Every day my grandmothers presence is remembered, we are reminded in the birds flying freely in the sky, the slow rumbling of a thunder storm, a beautiful painting, or a story from my fathers childhood. Every day we are reminded of her life but today is a reminder in which she was taken. Every year for 32 years a dark solemn day will remind us not of her presence but lack there of.

For those who knew her, her presence missed and for those who never knew her, her absence still felt.

*Song, Beatles- Here Comes the Sun

Thursday, January 21, 2010


We are all entitled to our opinions, political stances, prejudices, moral values, or whatever. Those are yours individually, but there is a required small ounce of diplomacy when it comes to expressing those views.

Today I had to take Milo to the vets office for his vaccinations. My two year old son was with me, sporting his monkey slicker and hat. As shown below...

I am in a crowded waiting room among all white middle age possibly middle to upper class men (purely an observation). I am sitting there and a gentleman makes (momentarily) polite chit chat with my son.

He says "Is that Micky mouse on your hat, why no, that's a monkey". "Do you like monkeys" he asks my son. My son politely nods "yes". Then the man leans back and says "why that boy looks just like Barack Obama". He chuckles to himself for his cleverness.

My polite smile instantaneously fades as the rush of red creeps into my face. I can literally feel the thumping of my heart in my ears. The room once filled with casual conversation becomes dead quiet. Possibly from the mans stupidity, possibly because it was obvious that my face was about to spontaneously combust, or possibly because they also heard the pounding of my heart.

There I sat in the midst of a moral quandary. The good angel on my right shoulders whispers softly in my ear " Think Mahatma Gandhi... Show him compassion. Leigh, show this man the amount of class that he is so obviously lacking". The devil on the left side screams, " tell him you're about to shove your foot up his hind end to go along with the one he so indiscreetly shoved in his own mouth".

I was just about to take a side, the vet tech saves the man from receiving a new appendage, and calls us back for Milo's shots.

Now here is my opposition... Politically you don't know my stance(FYI- I root for team Leigh). Racially you don't have a clue how many shades of yellow live in my house hold. And last but not least how dare you impress your bigotory views on MY CHILD, a child you don't know any back ground on!

No matter ones opinions we should share an amount of politeness not to impress those values on complete strangers.

In closing I say "what a jackass" and will go on happily with my day.

I think he is adorable in his monkey slicker and hat.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It sings to me.

This place sings to me. It sings to me the sweetest melody. When I am away, it calls out to me. When I feel the gravel under my tires, a sigh of relief can be heard. This is place that embodies a dream. It breaths air into my lungs like hope lifting a spirit in despair. This is my sanctuary. The place I laugh, I cry, I love, I sing, I dance and I pray. This is home...

"Come By Chance" is no longer a place but a way of life.

Tennessee bobsled team?

We dont need snow really...just some slick leaves...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Its Going to be a Very Looooong Winter!!!!!

What does it mean when you when you get stuck in the mud in Middle Tennessee during January...

It means ya get to look at the ruts until June!
(the ground is either saturated from rain or is frozen solid)

The dark part towards the woods is not a shadow from trees or fallen leaves... that is mud... and ruts... lots and lots of them.

Im thinking we should move the garden. The bottom of the hill has now been tilled! ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Sappy Love Story: To My Family

In life, in love, hang in there.
When faith is but a dim light, follow it.
It will be the light that leads to better days,
A better life, and a deeper love.

Faith is the glue that holds my heart in place,
my head up, and my family together.

In wind and rain,
Shattered life and pain,
My faith protects us.

When I question everything around me,
my family is my unmeasurable joy,
my unbearable pain.

I will forever bare the storm for just a moment of sunshine with you.

Written April 20th 2009

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The balancing act for the love of farming....

I love raising animals. I love the work. I love the companionship. When you are an animal owner there always comes a time when you have to make the tough decisions. You have to do things you would prefer not to do.

The last few weeks we had to start thinking about thinning out our livestock. It is hard to decide who goes and who stays. We invest time, money and love into our mini farm. It is important to keep a balance. Too many animals causes financial problems for the owners and health issues for the other animals. Balance is imporatant.

We have too many roosters. With our hens missing feathers from over baring roosters, the decision had to be made. We said goodbye to one of our roosters this morning. It sucks and I hate it but it had to be done.

Butcher day is never fun. It should never be done calously. It should be done carefully and thoughtfully. It is hard to take a life and bare the thought of it but killing compasionately is the only thing that seperates humans from animals.

I will remember the importance of butcher day. It is a day that we are reminded of the circle of life, the nurishment of our bodies and the betterment of our flock.

Never is it done with out heart. Its a part of the balance.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Taunted by the orange road cones...

The orange cones that road workers set along road sides, maybe its just me but I am drawn to them. It draws me in like a bug to a bug zapper!!! Its like telling a child they can not have a cookie but handing them a glass of cold milk and then leaving the room with a bowl full of warm chocolate chip cookies place directly in front of child's face. Its like a hundred orange No's and my mind says "Yes, Yes, Yes"... Surely, I am not the only one that fantasizes about taking out the little orange cones!?

The other day the thought crossed my mind but they were the barrels so I decided it was a no go. :)

By the looks of that one... I am not the only one.

.... and yes, when I am stuck in road construction (or any other time I find myself bored) I take random pictures of things.... this is how I amuse myself. ;)