Friday, April 30, 2010

the gift of mercy

I have been weighed and found wanting. (No, certainly not on the physical scales!)

Several years ago Bobby got two puppies as an early birthday present. One of them was injured when we came home one night, though I'm not sure how. I took the pup to the vet, fully expecting them to put it to sleep. Instead, I came home with a 6 week old puppy that had a cast on its right front leg and a cast on the back left leg, along with instructions to keep the dog inside. If there's one thing my mother instilled in me, it's the principle that animals are outdoor animals (with an exception of goldfish). I shocked myself by putting the pup in the laundry room, and during the day I would even let him hang out in the kitchen. Week one was okay. Week number two he became a horrible toddler. When I closed the door to the laundry room to go to the grocery store, he went crazy. He peed on his cast. I came home to the screen on the window totally shredded. At night, he would howl until I got up to check on him. The minute I left the room, he would start back. And of course, the other adult in our household could actually sleep through it. Since the dogs often slept with the cat we had at the time, I tried letting him sleep by the garage door. He would howl and the cat would meow. So stupid me let the cat in thinking they would both calm down. It worked long enough for me to go to sleep, then wake up to a crashing in the living room. They tumped over a table, two plants, and scratched/shredded the couch. I was livid. The cat went outside, the dog got locked in the laundry room, and we went back to the vet the next day. She gave me a syringe holder and told me to fill it full of children's benadryl and squirt it in the dog's mouth about 30 minutes before I wanted to go to bed. It worked. A year later, that dog became the craziest dog we ever had. Bobby claims it was the Benadryl. We eventually had to put him on a runner (he had a crazy fascination for anything on wheels, from Bobby's chair to the lawn mower), which he eventually broke and ran away. I must confess I never once looked for him nor mourned him. On Bobby's birthday when he called me from work to inform that he didn't see the other pup and accidentally backed over him and I needed to bury him, I laughed. (This was the pup that put holes in EVERY SINGLE PAIR of hose I owned from nipping at my ankles.)

So when a friend of ours talks about taking a gosling and wrapping it up to make sure its warm and holding it in the bed, it's almost as if she's talking about caring for an extra-terrestial. I just don't get it.

I would like to assure friends (such as Rich) that when it comes to people I am much better. But I can't. I am some better, but some people like my husband claim I am missing the gift of mercy. When his close friend had prostrate cancer, he would call Bobby several times a day to review his symptoms and his "problems". It was starting to become a slight problem, and one day he needed to talk while Bobby was in a meeting at work. So he called the house, hoping that Bobby was out of the office and maybe home sick. I listened to him for about thirty minutes, then offered what I thought was encouragement.

One of his symptoms from the treatments was swelling in the legs. He had no pain nor discomfort, they just looked bad. So being the merciful, kind person that I am, I told him about my Mom's melanoma and how that leg stayed swollen and would for the rest of her life, but how she was able to do most everything she wanted to do. And I told him that Bobby, due to his paralysis, has swollen feet every night and we have to elevate his legs during the night (and sometimes during the day) and it's just one of those things we have to live with. It's not pretty, but as long as there's no pain involved, we've got a lot to be thankful for. He quickly got off the phone, and didn't call either one of us for at least two weeks. When Bobby was surprised he hadn't heard from him in a while, I told him about the abrupt end to our conversation. A relative of mine heard about it, and asked me why I didn't just tell the man to go jump off a bridge.

I was horrified. This man had an unpleasant, but manageable problem. I shared of people who are going through the same thing and have positive, active lives. What is so unmerciful about that?

So for my dear friend Hippo the Magnificent, should you get sick I won't discuss euthanasia with you. I will make you chicken soup and bite my tongue lest I attempt to join your wife in offering you encouragement that things aren't all that bad. I won't even tell you about the tombstone where the man had engraved "I told you I was sick." on it. I will use what little mercy I have in me and buy a card. Just hope my husband is with me when I pick it out.

And for those of you wondering "What on earth?" we've had two families in our church lose dear pets in the last two weeks, prompting conversations about animals in heaven, and the merciless comforting the comfortless. Or as our Pastor so bluntly put it to a ten year old girl, "For an animal, it's not in heaven. It's just in the ground."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Once upon a time...

...there was a girl who was very fastidious in meeting her obligations and tending to her projects. When a guest entered her house, you could open the closet doors in the hallway and find a place to hang your coat, for there were never boxes of projectors or old films awaiting a convenient time to be converted into VHS or DVD. The closet was nice and neat and clean and organized. And should the guest, after hanging up her jacket in the hall closet, wish to open the other closet and choose a game to play, then she could simply do so. For the owner of the house would never ever open those doors, frantically pull out bows and wrapping paper, and in a panicked moment of desperation dump an entire container out upside down so as to find a matching item and get out the door to prevent being even later than she already is, and simply close the door on the mess.
Nothing so preposterous would happen in this world, for this girl not only starts and finishes projects in a timely manner, but she also tidies up her mess afterwards.
And after a short game and exchange of pleasantries, everyone would sit down and enjoy a nice, delicious meal without any pangs of guilt, for everyone had eaten healthy all day long and not devoured all the allotted calories for the day five minutes before lunch.
When the meal is over and the guests have left, all the dishes will be quickly washed before bedtime, and the family will retire at a reasonable hour so they won't be drop-dead exhausted for the next day. The girl awakes refreshed and ready to tackle whatever awaits, and would never dream of heading to the computer to check e-mail and Facebook notices before getting dressed or starting chores. Those things are only done after all required work is finished.
I'm sure this has happened somewhere, once upon a time - just not at my house.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

He's in the boat

This last month it seems family and friends have been besieged with problems. Health problems, emotional needs, crisis situations, car wrecks, tornadoes (my hometown was hit Sat night), and changes in the family set-up, loss of jobs, fear of losing jobs, and the pain of watching co-workers lose their jobs when you keep yours.
This morning as I read about the pain and hurt in their lives, I am reminded of that passage from Isaiah 43:2
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."
Sharon Daniels' talk from Matthew, where Christ was in the boat with the disciples DURING THE STORM comes to mind. He was there with them, the entire time, even when they ignored Him. He was there, ready to offer assistance, just waiting for them to ask. He was there, even when they were afraid their lives were over. He was there.
It reminds me of the words to that song:

He is here, Hallelujah, He is here, Amen
He is here, Holy Holy, I will bless His name again
He is here, listen closely
Hear Him calling out your name
He is here, you can touch Him
You will never be the same


Friday, April 23, 2010

my new favorite product

A few weeks ago my mother-in-law introduced me to her favorite peanut butter:
crunchy honey roasted

It was very sweet, and absolutely delicious. I immediately assumed that meant it was extra fattening. Nevertheless, I bought a jar for my husband who likes crunchy peanut butter. (I'm a creamy girl, unless I'm cooking with it and then I like the nuts.) This past week while buying me a new jar of creamy peanut butter, I tried out the kind that is 33% less sugar and salt, and it was absolutely horrible. I can assure you, the only thing it will be used for is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But as I'm putting the jar back into the pantry, I decided to make myself feel better about eating something that wasn't all that great, and I checked the calorie content. Not bad, I thought. 190 calories for 2 T of pb. It's 40 calories less than the regular. And to make myself feel even better, I checked the honey roasted crunchy stuff, which is super duper sweet. 190 calories for 2 T of pb. WHAT?!?!?!?! I even triple checked the numbers.
Needless to say, when all the jars of pb are emptied, I will be replacing them with honey roasted crunchy pb even if it does cost more. I mean, if I'm going to be consuming the same amount of calories whether it tastes good or bad, you better believe I'm grabbing for the sweet, savory stuff.
Bring on the honey!

Medium, large, and Jumbo

Ever since our hens started laying, we have had what the grocery store would consider medium-sized to large eggs. Then this spring we started getting one jumbo egg about every three days. It makes the other eggs seem quite small. So imagine my shock to collect eggs one day last week and find only four eggs (we normally have 5-6 a day), and one of them was HUGE. I can't close the egg carton lid with it inside, and had I not personally picked it up from the enclosed nesting area in the hen house, I would have emphatically stated it was a duck egg from somewhere. Seriously. The day we cook this egg, I will only need to cook one egg for breakfast. I almost feel sorry for the hen that laid it. Below is a sample of our normal egg, followed by the jumbo, and the monster egg from this week.

I probably should have put the two light brown eggs together so you can see how large the jumbo is compared to its normal size (the one on the end). Either way, we are still in shock at having such a huge egg.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

an interesting annual event

Henside the Beltline Tour d'Coop is scheduled for May 15 from 10am to 4pm.

Basically you take canned goods to a ticket location in exchange for a map/ticket of all the tour stops. (The canned goods are given to the Raleigh Food Bank.) Then you pick which (or all) of the 21 houses along the beltline you want to visit. The chicken owner is available to answer from questions, and you are able to check out the birds and their henhouse. Some owners even have educational posters and displays for visitors. I'm always amazed at the creativity Raleigh city owners use in making such a small space a clean and creative farm area.

Seeing as the young girls have an activity at church that morning, it'll be after lunch before Bobby and I head out (this will be our third year to go), but it's always an interesting and informative event.

If you're interested in participating in the tour, visit http://hensidethebeltline.blogspot.com for more information.

expectations

Today on the radio I heard the beginning of this program highlighting a book with a title like "When Sinners Marry". It caught my attention, so I actually listened. (I usually flip stations as soon as the talk starts.)
The man was talking about a situation when he took his wife out on a date to a very nice restaurant. During the course of the meal, he made an "observation", which she didn't take very well. He said had he been wise, he could have diverted the conversation or immediately tried to make amends, but instead he escalated the situation. He said his wife was very upset and disappointed. One of the "hosts" on the show grabbed his cell phone and actually called his wife. She started laughing, said she remembered the incident though she didn't remember what it was about, just that it happened. They started talking about forgiveness, and either my brain started chasing rabbits or I switched stations, not sure which.
But either way, it reminded me of two different friends in two different states who posted on Facebook recently about being excited about a date but then ended up arguing that night instead. I could be wrong, but I imagine almost every married couple has had at least once occasion that they were highly anticipating, only to be either disappointed or let down. Whether it's because our focus is on ourselves or we've simply built up unrealistic expectations about the event, the reality is, it happens.
And that makes me think about other areas of my life as well. Whether it has been visiting a college, a restaurant, a church, a new recipe, or a vacation site, the times I have been disappointed or let down, it's been because I had this preconceived (and often totally unrealistic) idea of what the place or item was like. When faced with these situations, it's a real stretch for me to apply that verse of Paul's that says we're to be content with whatever condition we find ourselves in. I much prefer to fix or change things instead of changing my attitude. I mean, hey...I put a lot of sweat and time into those stupid tomato seedlings. Be thankful I have the money to buy plants after all at that hard work? Are you kidding me? I want instead to buy a simply spray that will make them miraculously stand up straight and grow and produce like they're supposed to. Is that too much to ask?
My great expectations are only great when they're realistic, which for this dreamer isn't very often.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

productivity

One of the things I enjoyed (most of the time) about working was that it forced me to wisely use what little spare time I had. This week I've been assisting with proctoring achievement tests for the homeschoolers in our church, and it has reminded me somewhat of my working days. The last three days I've examined my calendar each morning to see what errands I could fit into my spare time instead of floating from task to task. (Yes, I can picture my fellow "mother friends" tilting their heads in puzzlement as such a crazy concept. One of the few blessings of being childless...my time is mostly my own.)

So here's a run-down of this crazy week:

Monday night: swept, scrubbed and revarnished the exposed wood in front of the computer desk (which is why I haven't been on-line this week).
Tuesday: Testing in the am, garden shopping at Lowes, second coat of varnish on the floors, planting plants all afternoon, out with hubby and Mom-in-law, laundry
Wednesday: Testing in the am, laundry, Kohl's, Staples, post office, dry cleaners, grocery store, church
Scheduled events for the rest of this week:
Thursday: Testing in the am, gym, laundry, more yard work, clean house, sewing
Friday: Gym, deliver plants to a friend, sew, cook for company

And while I've gotten a lot accomplished, I've also slept quite soundly every night! The downside is my brain has been more active at night. I've had some very unusual dreams, from Lydia asking if Connor can take Kimberly's achievement test one day because Kimberly has a birthday party to attend to a group of people arguing over whether or not Linus has heartworm. And speaking of pets: we have one egg hatching in the duck house and now have seven eggs in the incubator.

And life moves on.

Monday, April 19, 2010

three steps back

Thursday in preparation for our trip I finished planting the garden.
Today I sadly inventoried all the dead transplants,
AND the mole/vole hills.

Mrs. Hudson at the Hardware store recommends planting a caster bean plant at each corner of the garden. The beans are deadly for many animals (yes, the very bean that caster oil comes from!) so we don't want to plant it and risk losing the geese, chickens, and dogs.

So for my tomato and pepper plants, I am now back to square one and hoping that the moles didn't eat all the other seeds I planted. I'm now also debating whether or not to head to square two and buy some sturdy plants to transplant instead of all the wimpy seedlings I grew.

And the video of our fowl friends' pecking order refuses to load on my blog, so that crazy scenario might have to wait for another time.

And another day passes as we rush into summer.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

fence supplies

Well, it might not happen today, but I have almost all of the needed supplies for my garden fence.
If all goes well, before we leave on our mini vacation Friday, the remainder of the garden will be tilled, fertilized, planted, watered, and fenced in. No chickens eating my tomatoes, watermelon, or cucumbers. (Yes, I'm still holding out hope my wimpy tomatoes will grow up.) And if I plant peas, hopefully no deer stripping the stalks clean.

AND, today is the LAST day of election training. WHoooHOOO! I'll still have to skim through the manual before May 4, but at least all of my training will be over. I'm still debating whether or not to apply for the early voting positions in November.

Speaking of jobs, I'm entertaining the possibility of working for Bobby's uncle one day a week starting in May and running through the summer. He operates Ball's produce and needs someone to oversee the produce stand at one of the markets where he sells. I'm debating about whether or not to give him a call and offer. Maybe I could get part of my paycheck in strawberries? :) It's a thought.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

thinking about tomorrow

We live we love
We forgive and never give up
‘Cause the days we are given are gifts from above
Today we remember to live and to love

Life is such a gift
So how does the story end
Well this is your story and it all depends
So don’t let it become true
Get out and do what we were meant to do…

(excerpts from Superchick's "We Live")


This is one of the two songs that has been occupying my brain and thoughts lately. (The other song is "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac.)

Many of you know that last June I half-heartily started trying to lose weight, and that in August I started regularly going to the local wellness center. It's now eight months in, and I've been a little discouraged lately. Yet this past week I've also realized how silly my discouragement has been/is.

Here's the reality:
  • In eight months my blood pressure has dropped away from the high border zone and the high bp headaches have stopped.
  • I have successfully lost and kept off ten pounds. (We won't discuss how many times those pounds came back on and were lost again.)
  • Our eating habits have gotten a little bit better.
  • I'm now able to walk up the hill behind our house without bending double or gasping for air.
  • I've dropped a skirt size. Granted, that lower size is tight, but just the fact that it will zip and not be in danger of popping if I move is thrilling.
  • I don't have the extreme, addictive, unhealthy cravings of chocolate as often as I used to.
  • I no longer come home from the gym and crash for two hours, physically drop-dead exhausted.
and here's my unrealistic expectations that I fight:
  • that the weight I've gained the last 15 years will ooze off in 1 year.
  • that 20 years of bad eating habits will majestically and easily be corrected
  • that eating healthy will just magically happen without me having to think about it
  • that all this exercise will give me energy (hahahahahahahahahahahaha)
If my benefit list is so much longer than my unrealistic disappointment list, then why am I so discouraged? Perhaps I need to get my focus off of the storm and onto the reality that Christ is in the boat with me, and that I really and truly can do ALL things through Him. This temple of mine will never again look like the 17 year old frame that it once was, but that doesn't mean I have to let it remain in the horrid disrepair that it has been. And as we all know, remodeling and projects take time.

Friday, April 9, 2010

why math is important

About two weeks ago a certain kindergarten teacher passed off to me a little ziploc bag full of ooey-gooey starter. I came home, googled the directions and sundry recipes for it, and the process began. By day ten I was debating whether or not this Friendship bread stuff was really a very friendly thing. But the end of day ten, I realized one very important thing: MATH is important!

The directions are simple for day ten: Add 1 c milk, 1 c flour, 1 c sugar, stir. Pour out 3 cups into containers to give friends (or to make bread), and keep the last cup to continue the yeast process. Simple, right? That means you'll have four containers after everything is said and done. One for the starter, one for my cinnamon rolls, one for bread. So somewhere in my warped thinking, that equaled four. (Yes, I may have two bachelors and an associates degree, but I'm NOT smarter than a fifth grader!) As it comes time to knead the cinnamon rolls, the goop is still, well, goop. Then I realized what I had done, and by that time the mixture was added and there was no choice but to DOUBLE the recipe. Do you have any idea how many cinnamon rolls that makes? (three 13x9 pan fulls, in case you don't). Thankfully we had little friends over that night, as well as Mrs. Bryan. That took care of half a pan. I froze the rest, though I'm not totally sure why. After all, they were okay. Not great, not ooh-aah make you want to swallow your tongue delicious, just okay. But either way, they are now taking up space in my freezer.

So now today, ten days out, is round 2. Three loaves of sourdough bread are rising (one cup of goop will make three small loaves of bread), as well as rolls for church on Sunday. I'm not sure how well sourdough rolls will turn out, but hopefully okay. If not, then my chickens are going to have a lot of time-intensive food to eat. I've also got my starter put back as well as a bag to give to a friend. (Am I nice friend to give someone more work to do or what?)

AND I found a recipe on-line that uses the batter that is for plain white bread, as well as an apple bread. Maybe I should be more specific: a recipe that uses normal ingredients (NOT pudding mix!) Do people really think the Amish use pudding mixes? I like pudding mixes, don't get me wrong, but why would I waste time making homemade bread from yeast only to throw a sugar induced pudding mix into it?

I'm not sure how many more weeks I'll keep this up. Bread machine bread is good, and it's much more time convenient. There's also yeast packets that you can use to make your own bread that doesn't require stirring and mixing for ten days before baking. Has anyone else tried this friendship bread?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

here we/I go again

A year ago a friend approached me with an idea she had. I told her idea was a LOT of work and left it at that. Since that time she has mentioned it twice. Then last week she brought it up AGAIN and even threw out a bit of a challenge: she wanted me to help write her idea or else teach her how to do it. Again, I told her how much work this idea was, how much time was involved, and how it would require working a bare minimum of 3 months in advance, six months preferably, blah, blah , blah.

So Sunday morning, when I should have really been focusing on the message in the Easter drama, my brain kicks into overdrive and I find myself thinking of various plot lines, focal points, and potential stage designs. In other words, her idea, despite my protests, has taken root in my brain. I've even decided what the next/first step of action for us is.

Creativity is a wonderful thing. It can also be a bit scary and overwhelming. At this point I don't want to go into a lot of details as we're still in the planning/praying stages, but I'm asking you to join me in praying for three things during the remainder of this month:
  1. that God will give us the same message/idea
  2. for wisdom in choosing a format
  3. for God to begin pulling the right people together if this is to be a reality
Meanwhile, our April calendar is quickly filling. Perhaps May will be a little calmer. Perhaps.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

my peeps

Chickens like to scratch. A lot. All the pine straw underneath the pine trees is daily moved into various positions, making it look as if it has either been freshly raked or put out. All the pine straw and mulch the boys meticulously put out around my flowers and trees lasted a grand total of two days before the chickens removed it from wherever it was.
And now...they are scratching up my garden. I finally started seeing a few onion and potato shoots today. After watering the rows, I turned around, and there is a potato eye (seedling) on top of the row that wasn't there before. Beside it, you guessed it, a chicken. I quickly scooped the seed up, dug a hole, replanted it, took two steps, turned around, and two chickens were there scratching. That fence may have to go up this week after all.
Meanwhile, as the temps rise, so does the smell. One nice thing about winter is that their house only needs cleaning every 3-4 weeks. But as the heat rises, the smell does, so it has to be cleaned every two weeks. But hey, I'll clean twice as often in exchange for the eggs. Besides, my garden will appreciate all the compost.
Now if I can just convince them that any time I exit the house with something in my hand does not mean it's their feeding time, we'll be in business.

Monday, April 5, 2010

the color yellow

Fancy flowers face the road
Little crowns of yellow gold
Brightness as the sun unfolds
The shining glory we behold.

Red ramps take on a yellow hue
Wheel tracks made by rolling through
And make impressions in the floor
of yellow tires and shoes galore.

Black-green pond with yellow film
You'd never see the fish within
Fish food blends with yellow coat
'Til catfish break with their vacummous float.

The sky in Raleigh has the strangest view,
Like a dust storm ravaging the skyline blue.
It's the strangest sight I've ever seen...
this much pollen in the spring.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

month number 4

I've witnessed the budding trees, the blooming flowers, the production of eggs, the geese nesting, and now the pollen onslaught, but I'm still in a bit of shock that it's not only spring, not only Easter, but that we're entering our first week of April!
This month promises to be a busy though somewhat fun month.
Election training -okay, that one isn't really fun, but it does mean I'll get a very small paycheck before the summer starts which is nice.
CBC Home-school Testing - For one week I'll simply be touching base with a testing supervisor to see how things are going for her and the high schoolers, and then for one week I'll be overseeing the testing for most of our church's home-schooled kids. The tests and information packets are in, so that means sometime this week I get to read through all the instructions and materials and pass out the director's manuals to the appropriate proctors. Not a hard job.
? A CBC Quilter's Group - This is still in the idea stages, though the idea of having a group to make quilts for all our graduating high school students has been tossed around. Seeing as we're this late in the year I'm not sure we can pull it off for this year. But perhaps we could get started for next year.
Bobby's Quilt - Seeing as I've missed most of the Survivor season (which is when I normally quilt), I don't think I'll get Bobby's quilt finished by May. By the end of the year perhaps, but certainly not before the summer.
A weekend vacation! We're actually going somewhere this month for 3 days! (and no, it's not to Alabama)
Garden - Come the last week in April I will be tilling and drop strange shaped things in the ground, and hopefully transplanting some tomato and bell pepper plants! The end of the month seems so far away, but it really isn't!
Birthdays - There are three birthdays in my family this month (one somewhat momentous!), so I've got some packages to get in the mail within the next week!
hOsPiTalItY - the very word makes me think "hospital", but we're going to try again at some point to have people over. The last three times we've invited people, every single family we've asked either already had something planned, or had someone get sick at the last moment. We like to joke that people just don't want to come to our house.
swimsuit shopping - my swimsuit is becoming threadbare in the back. I could order another one from Lands End (they're modest and they have my size), but a part of me is insanely thinking I might be able to find something a tad cheaper (yeah, right) locally. I was really hoping this one would last until I had dropped a swimsuit size, but unfortunately that hasn't quite happened. I have dropped a skirt size (why not a pant size...that's just crazy!), but my swimsuit still fits okay. We have got to have the craziest sizing charts in the whole world. They're almost as crazy as my April list of things to do.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

wimpy, wimpy, wimpy

In a few weeks now almost any garden center you enter will have nice strong-stalked tomato plants for you to purchase and transplant in your garden. This year I thought I'd give the old-fashioned way a try and satisfy my early planting urges in the process. Three weeks ago I was thrilled when little shoots started poking their heads up out of the soil, and even more thrilled a week later when the bell peppers started doing the same. Since it was working, I decided to go ahead and plant the rest of the seeds. Then last week I forgot to bring them back inside at night, thus allowing Lucy & Linus to do what they love to do best: empty any container within their reach. So my nicely separated plant containers (the ones that survived) are no longer separated. And by the end of this month when it comes time to plant them outside, who knows whether or not I'll be able to recognize the difference between a pepper plant and a tomato plant.

IF.

That's the operative word. For my tomato plants, as pretty and green as they are, are down-right wimpy. You water them, they collapse. Most of them revive later, but not all. Their stalks are just so puny. Perhaps as they grow they'll strengthen, but at this moment I'm not overly optimistic. So for all my time, by the end of this month I may wind up at Hudson's purchasing tomato plants.

I suppose I could go to the Hardware store and simply ask Mrs. Hudson what to do (she runs the garden center), but then I would have to walk by all the little peeps (and they're selling Auracaunas this year!). We've loaned out the brooder box and I don't have the old dog pen fixed up and heaven forbid I walk past those tubs of little peeps and come home with white leghorn chicks and more Auracaunas. (I mean, the new Auracaunas might be the ones to lay pink or yellow eggs instead of blue and green, right? And we don't have a white egg layer in our flock.)

Spring...this is the part about it that I don't love.