For Karen, One of the most fabulous people I know!!!! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
When a Chicken goes missing or perishes during the night, some believe that a predator has taken them. But the legend at Come By Chance acres tells a slightly different story .....
Once many many moons ago a young pullet was out free ranging. She enjoyed her free time in the lush green fields with the bright warm sun beating down on her tail feathers. Life was great! But each day she would stray further searching for more worms seeds and berries. One day the little pullet reached a woods line. She knew the woods was a dangerous place to go. The woods was dark and scary. She knew that there were bears in the woods... and fox and raccoons! But the little hen spied a blackberry patch. All those delicious berries were far to tempting.... She excitedly clucked her way through the under brush and had her fill of the sweet blackberries that lured her away from the safety of her home.
Quickly night came. She didn't know what to do!!!! She began to panic. Her instincts told her to roost. She searched for a large tree, where she could roost high up in the sky. "Nothing will get me here", she thought.
When morning finally broke, she realized that in her search for a high roost, she had wandered even deeper into the woods... She was so frightened that she couldn't bring herself to leave the safety of her tree.
Over time the little hen had other instincts. She built a nest out of tree bark and leaves. There she laid thousands of unfertilized... empty spiritless eggs. She continued to sit on her nest... She so badly wanted to hatch a clutch of her own. If she just had one chick she wouldn't be lonely anymore.
She was too scared to leave the tree in search for other chickens. Her fear of leaving the safety of her tree crippled her spirit so badly that when it was finally her time to return to her maker in the sky, her spirit could not make the travel. Her spirit now lingers between two worlds
Legend has it that she finally found her way back to the coop. Awe but yes, but she still yearns for little ones of her own.
She comes in the middle of the night in search of other stray chickens. She steals their spirits and places them in her empty eggs in hopes that one day, she may no longer be alone.
So when a chicken goes missing or perishes in the night its not a wild predator but it is the "Sitting Hen in The Woods", coming back to the coop collecting spirits for her empty eggs.
The silhouette of Sitting Hen in the Tree marks as a reminder to put the chickens up at night.
Thanks to my pops for pointing out the chicken in the trees. ;-)
It hasn't been that long ago that I had to go to the doctors for my annual check up. I am like most women, I dread going. I shamefully admit that the last time I went was the month after my three year old son was born. Its not that I just openly refused to go back but it was one of those things that I just kept putting off and the next thing I knew, three years had passed.
Nothing gave me a kick in the butt to get to the doctors like visiting the subject of gynecologist with my good friend Rose. Her mom died of cervical cancer when she was just thirteen years old (a critical time in a young girls life might I add). She told me that her mother had just missed one annual exam. By the time her mother got around to making the next appointment it was basically too late. Hearing of Roses story once again reminded me that no matter how much I dread that appointment, it must be done.
So I made my appointment and trekked to the big city of Nashville. Once I arrived at the doctors office I was warmly greeted by the staff. It was like seeing a group of old friends. It was nice to sit there and catch up with everyone and of course I showed off pictures of my growing kidos. One of the nurses is a West Virginia girl so we talked about home for quite a while as well.
Finally it was my turn to go back. I should confess that there has been more than one occasion that I have canceled a doctors appointment just because I didn't want to be weighed. I know, everyone go ahead and scold me at once but don't act like you haven't at least thought about it before!
So I get on the scales and my nurse (who I am friends with) exclaims "Goodness you have lost a ton of weight since your last appointment"... "A yeah, that happens when you give birth", I said sarcastically with a smile.
I made my way back to the exam room where I was greeted by my doctor. I should say that up until this point I have always liked my doctor. I think that its important to have a a friendly relationship with your doctor in order to make the whole thing less awkward. We chatted for a bit as he did the exam. He made a comment about my flat stomach. I said thanks and smiled. I was really proud of myself for loosing all the baby weight. I felt good about my body!
I had felt better about my body than I had in years... that is until my doctor suggest, "a tummy tuck would get rid of those lines", pointing to the light marks on my lower abdomen. He proceeds to tell me he could set me up with a physician who does "Mommy Makeovers". He goes on to do the breast examination and says "the Mommy Makeover package includes a tummy tuck and breast augmentation". I can not even begin to tell you how bad I felt at that point. I just wanted to crawl into a hole.
When my doctor suggested these things, I did not hear them as suggestions. I heard "you need to lose more weight, you need to work out more, you don't look good". I know that isn'twhat he said, but that is sadly enough what I heard.
Ok... now let me tell you. I have worked on writing this post for a few months now. Yes, that is how shy I am about discussing stuff like this... so you can just imagine the amount of trust I would have to have for someone to just see me naked!!! Do you see where I am going with this???
I walked into the doctors office feeling good and positive about myself but when I walked out I felt like I was all wrong. I felt like I needed "fixing".
On my way home I thought long and hard about what my doctor suggested to me and when I say I thought long and hard, I confess, what I was thinking wasn't about whether or not I should have the elective surgery but I was already thinking of how was I going to pay for it! Then some where between Charlotte and Second Avenue I thought..."what the crap!?!?!? I cant afford surgery". I felt so down on myself all the way home. I was broken and even worse...unfix-able. I became angry that I allowed to fool myself into thinking that I had actually done good.
The weeks following I started to physically self destruct. My new diet was killing me.
One evening I was laying in my bedroom watching TV with Sissy and Aubs. Sissy laid her head on my stomach and my shirt slightly slid up revealing a few faint lines just above my pelvic bone. She ran her finger across them and said, "This was my side". I smiled at her and said "Yes".
When I was pregnant with Sissy I carried her on my right side, the lines there were from her and on the left side was from Aubs. The lines on my stomach affectionately reminded her of all the stories of her birth. She then slowly began to recite each story about her life in the womb, Like when she kicked me in sync to Dean Martins Thats Amore. (one of my favorite prego stories by the way)
It was in that moment that I realized that wanting to change my body was absolutely ridiculous! My daughter affectionately looked at my scars and in them she did not see ugly or broken... She read them as if she was reading a love story. She looked at them as if they were something beautiful and golden.
I will never look the same as I did before I had children and you know what? I am okay with that. I am a woman now and my body speaks of a love story.
So this post is for all my girls. You are beautiful and never let anyone tell you any different. No man woman or doctor should ever make you feel inadequate.
Your body is golden. Love it, respect it, and take care of it.
Just the other day I ran into one of my friends from high school. It was so nice to catch up. Our conversation broke out into a fit of gut wrenching laughter when we spoke of our first night frog gigging together.
Here the story goes....
When I was in high school there were several cliques of kids... There were the The preps, The stoners, The Christians, The nerds, The trouble makers, and The rednecks. I was the loner. But never was I alone. I drifted from one group to the next. Hmmm, perhaps that made me the drifter instead?
Anyways, I had my preppy friends that I went shopping with. I participated in a few "stoner" functions that lead me to be excepted in the stoner crowd. I need to pray for partaking in the stoner functions so I attended church with the Christains. I enjoyed spending time with some of the "nerds"... and I dated almost all the trouble makers. I was almost a well rounded kid, except for the redneck part.
Don't get me wrong. I am a bred and born redneck. I just never felt the need to advertise it. But this crowd did. Nothing screamed billy bad ass redneck more than driving into the school parking lot in a loud over sized truck with a set of iron balls hanging off the hitch and your man fitting a tight pair of dusty old wranglers with a skol ring on the back pocket. Yeah our school had a ton of these kind of fella's.
Although I had friends in various cliques, the red neck crowd was elite. You had to be a true horse ridin', beer drinkin', squirrel huntin' redneck to be excepted with in this crowd. In high school, I was none of those... That is, until the spring of my junior year.
I had became friends with a prep, a Christian and a redneck through our common disdain of one of our classes... I cant remember which subject because well... I don't think we ever broke from our on going conversations to pay attention to which class we were in. Despite our labels we weren't all that different. Hell living in middle Tennessee its not like there was a lot of culture to set us that far apart! But this class was where a mix of random people became friends. We later discovered how we weren't that much different after all.
Rose was the girl that went on trail rides, went skeet shooting, smoke cigarettes, and could out drink any guy in town. She was a real southern charm. ;) Really! Nikki on the other hand, was the kind of girl that wore name brand cloths, painted her toe nails, and went shopping every other day. Pam, went to work and to church. That was the extent of Pam's socializing.
So one Saturday evening during late July, like most of the kids in town, we congregated at the old parking lot along the main road of town. We were all sitting on the tail gate of Rose's pick up truck. Thats all of us with the exception of Pam of course. She had to work her job at the local Micky D's.
Every once in a while someone we knew from school would pull in. We would get the news of a party or a recent fight.... but not a dang thing was going on that night of any interest to us. We were bored to pieces.
I cant remember who exactly hatched the idea, although I am fairly sure it was Rose but the next thing I knew, We were in the midst of executing what seemed to be a swell plan. We were goin' giggin'! Rose went home to get her pistol- in case we ran across any snakes. I went to home to grab my dads gigs and Nikki called her older friend to get us some.... ehm... "refreshments".
Here we were, three intoxicated seventeen year old girls trespassing on some farmers land to go frog giggin'. I will never forget that night. I remember thinking it was official, "no going back now". I will forever be an out of the closet redneck.
I was absolutely terrified that we could get caught trespassing, or caught carrying a deadly weapon, or underage consumption, and (what would have terrified my dad to no end)... "giggin'" without a permit! But beyond all those fears, I was far more terrified of the scary mysterious things that lurked in the deep dark water! Well hells bells, the terror was what made the whole thing so exciting!
I remember the first frog I speared. I was standing in dark murky water up to my knees. I caught a glimmer as I shinned the flash light along a dam. I closed my eyes when I gigged the massive frog. Suddenly fears of being caught completely wained. We all hooped and hollered like a bunch of rabid coyotes. "Now what", I thought? Of course I handed my gig over to Rose, I wasn't about to pull it off the gig!
The real fun came when the three off use drove through the McDonalds drive thru to show Pam our "trophies". We held up the muddy pillow case of frogs to the window. I had anticipated a grossed out scowl from Pam but nope... not a grossed out at all. The truth was she was pissed we didn't wait for her to get off work so she could go too.
By the time we made our way out of the McDonalds parking lot there was a large crowd forming at our parking spot. We pulled in, stinking and covered to the hilt in mud. Rose hopped out of the truck to greet her boyfriend with a kiss. I was new to the redneck scene. I assumed that the girls went frog giggin' on a regular basis. So when Rose's boyfriend asked where we had been, with a huge smile on my face, I proudly held out our pillow case of frogs from passenger side window of the truck... just about that time Rose's boyfriend and his slew of friends nearly lost their dinner.
Due to the boys reaction, I frowned and looked over at Nikki, "Whose going to clean them ", I wondered out loud. O NO! Rose returned to the truck and off we went to clean our catch.
Rose was in charge of the cleaning process. Nikki and I just watched. I remember my stomach turning just a bit and thinking perhaps it would have been best not to have alcohol swishing around in my gut before this task.
I was standing directly in front of Rose when she preceded to show us how to cut off their heads and skin em'. The street light illuminated our dark working space as Rose put the first unconscious frog on the cutting board. Just as she was about to behead it, the frog made a miraculous recovery. He slipped out from underneath the knife blade and flew DIRECTLY TOWARDS MY FACE. I bout crapped my pants. I screamed and took off for the hills!
Later, (after my friends retrieved me from the woods), I discovered that barbecued frog legs are awesome!
The conclusion to todays post.... we're all a little bit redneck... just embrace it.