Category Archives: Just Sara

Things I Love Thursday

This gorgeous little buff brahma was my huge girl and our flock leader, Sen. She’s buried in the backyard now. The photo bomber is Hermione, who was injured by a raccoon last night.

We just spent a grueling night defending our backyard from critter terrorists. A pair of huge raccoons–and later, around 4 AM, a fat opossum–repeatedly stalked our chicken coop all night until sunup today. The night before, they broke into our coop, damaging both the coop and run, and ate our favorite chicken, Sen. We were heartbroken but we buried her and repaired. The vulnerability seemed to attract more predators and they broke a hole beneath the coop last night, allowing themselves free access.

I was peeing as I heard Hermione start to scream. I dashed outside in the cold rain barefoot to see a raccoon chasing her inside the run. I screamed at it and it fled into the coop, making me think it might still be there. I grabbed my slippers and our strongest flashlight and kept vigil for about an hour before calling Indy. I couldn’t see the other girls, Milly and Rey, and believed them to be dead.

Indy ended up leaving work  to come help me deal with these interlopers. We scared them as best as we knew how–throwing rocks off the deck, shining lights in their faces, etc.–all. bloody. night. And these guys were completely nonplussed. They’d back off a bit, but then come back even while we were still outside!

We went down together and were so relieved to find the other two ladies unharmed on their perch. We tried to catch them and bring them into the garage but they were so loud and we didn’t want to wake the neighbors. Plus, Hermione refused to come out of the run, which we can’t access without dismantling.

Indy patched the hole a bit without tools, which still left them vulnerable. That’s when we noticed two things: there was another vulnerable spot where the coop met the run and Hermione, still refusing to come back into the coop (can you blame her?), was bleeding. This morning she’s still limping a bit but I think she may be okay.

We knew we couldn’t drag out the power tools, so we took turns monitoring the chickens. Eventually I went to bed around 5 AM, soaked and frozen to the core and behind on my work, and I’m getting up now and seeing that Wood Sprite’s bake sale is not in two weeks as she’d indicated but TOMORROW, and Indy is out back trying to make more coop repairs until we can buy either materials or a whole new coop this weekend.

So this week, I’m grateful for my last Centurion who came home to help me through all of this, two friends who listened to me cry over Sen yesterday (and three friends who were so understanding when I canceled our various plans throughout the day, one of whom even stopped by to bring us pretzels since we missed Free Pretzel Day!), and that we were able to defend our last three chickens against this insane attack. To some people, our grief may seem silly since yes, we still eat chicken, but we love our girls. We hand-raised them inside the house, making my office pretty dang gross in the process. Wood Sprite and I would just sit and cuddle them beneath the glow of the heat lamp with the lights off, or walk around the house holding them, or set up a “play yard” in different rooms for them to explore.

I called it Jurassic Park in our Backyard, but Indy said it felt much more like Congo.

The Tuesday Currents

Me, reduced to a double decker couch for cats.

Rocking out to… The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Karen O has my back this week. I feel like holding up her lyrics to most people instead of talking to them.

Drinking… Water. But if you’re buying, I’d totally take a frappe.

Writing… Some really fun pieces, some of the same old, hopefully some material revisions for obligations I’ve not yet been able to tackle.

Reading… No time, which means I shouldn’t be writing. I’d love to read sometime soon. I’m reading plenty of news and research for work, but I don’t count that.

Watching… Saw one episode of Bill Nye Saves the World with Wood Sprite. Made me so depressed I bought a hummer and dumped a houseful of oil into the ocean. Seriously, though, those feelings are always simmering. Pretty easy to empathize with Bill. (Bill! Bill! Bill!)

Planning… To gnash my terrible teeth,

roar my terrible roars and roll




To manage my time. Not better, not worse, just to manage.

Some fall conferences with Wood Sprite. Cutting plans in some areas and adding in others. A way for Indy to feel more accomplished, appreciated and less stressed. Maybe the same for me…

Wanting… Same as always. Perspective for me, perspective for all. Empathy tea all around with plenty of milk and honey and biscuits. And maybe the next time someone asks for something, to maybe stop and think about whether or not they might be able to do it themselves?


Things I Love Thursday

Here are a few things I am loving this week…

Open communication and cooperation between parents.

Spending time with my family.

My husband’s amazing Easter dinner of tacos, street corn and his famous potatoes.

Second chances. (And third chances, and fourth…) Understanding people in general.

Our gorgeous new screen door! We got it for free from someone who was replacing theirs and while it’s obviously used, it’s a vast improvement over our broken one.

Helpful vets.

Spending time with friends.

What are you loving this week?

The Tuesday Currents

My sick baby and my old guy, Halloween last year. I can’t even.

Rocking out to… Stevie Wonder. When Stevie’s on, you know I’m trying to kick some funk.

Drinking… Coke

Writing… the usual, but faster and with less sleep.

Reading… I wish.

Watching… We watched Homeward Bound on Easter and Wood Sprite and I watched some Doctor Who on Saturday.

Planning… Euthanasia for one old, beloved cat in pain and a vet visit for a pitifully sick cat. Both are breaking my heart. I’ve never had to have a pet euthanized before. Lessons and activities for lots of people outside my family (and feeling bitter about it; it’s that time of year. My usual zest will return in a couple of months). MO Department of Conservation programs for Wood Sprite and Indy to do together–free fun time for them to bond and me to get other things done! Camping and family-only time. Sigh. CAN’T WAIT.

Making… Tech break plans. 4-H Handouts. Due Date stickers for projects (ran out). A birthday cake for the chickens (oats and fruit). Makeshift triage for poor Cleo and tons of tempting foods to try to get her to eat. Laundry soap. Phone calls, emails, notes, schedule tweaks, field trips. ALL THE CHECKMARKS.

Wanting… just a smidgen of perspective–from myself and from others.

Things I Love Thursday, Take 2

Ruby Gloom invites you to see the bright side of the dark side.

You know how I’m always waxing on about how the days you don’t feel grateful are the days that you absolutely have to write gratitude lists? My day started out so dismally this morning. I was sick, my TV blew up, and I had a huge list of things to do and was feeling so unappreciated and resentful. We’ve all been there. But I made an effort to write my list and from there I was able to…

Catch up my laundry

Wash my dishes

Cut veggies/cook for two hours and prep meals (and give the dogs and chickens some scraps!)

Write several articles, including a deadline met ON TIME with an hour and a half to spare. Before last year, I was the deadline queen–almost never late. Now I almost always am and I just have to get back on top of it!

Do three science/art projects with Wood Sprite

Grab a shower

Help Wood Sprite feel better with her stomachache

Read four books with her

Eat lunch and snuggle with Indy before he left for work

Answer some emails and messages (still have a few before going to bed)

…and it’s only 1:00 AM! I’m usually in bed by 4:00 or 5:00 AM so this awesome (if I do go to sleep anytime soon). The trick was just getting all of that off my chest and avoiding Facebook/messages to focus. 😉