Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Can I Breathe?

These past two weeks have been a bit on the insane side of things.  We had open house at our branch for work last Tuesday and again at our Edenton branch 1 1/2 hours away on Wednesday.  So, that meant that I spent a good deal of Monday, and even some of the previous week, trying to prepare for all of it.  My boss flew to New York (upstate) to pick up a motorcycle that belongs to the company.  But it wasn't just any motorcycle.  It was personally created for Airgas by Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. of Orange County Choppers (OCC).  Tuesday we had a number of vendors here to sell their products (3M, Bosch, Metabo and others).  We were giving out free hot dogs, chips, and drinks.  The Hypertherm Rep even fired up a plasma cutter and let me give it a try!  My boss asked me to come in at 6 a.m. Wednesday to drive the six-figure ( I don't know the exact amount but I'm told it is between $100,000 and $250,000) motor bike to Edenton, NC, help out while I was there, then drive the bike back to Greenville that afternoon.  Then on Thursday, I had to drive the bike to Greensboro to meet someone who was taking it up to one of our stores in Kentucky.  Friday we had full gas inventory.  This week I have been trying to play catch-up from last week, plus it is month-end close out.

On top of all of this,  we have had some chicks hatch, and Mike called me this morning to say that Prissy was having her third litter of kittens (and she's not even 2 years old yet).    She's getting fixed soon.  You better believe I'm taking a much needed break this weekend.  Mike and I will be heading out to my parents Friday morning for the weekend.  I have pics, but they will have to wait till later. 
Hope you all have a wonderful Easter holiday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Patience Please

HELP!!  It's one of those weeks, and I am insanely busy.  I have work coming out of my ears all because of a motorcycle!  Long story.  I'll tell y'all about it later.  But in the meantime, I probably won't post again till next week.  I'm not caught with everyone, but I'll check in if time permits.  Otherwise, feel free to e-mail me! (Take a deep breath. Pick a starting point.  Take it one task at a time.) 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Photo Tag

I got tagged by Becca @ A Southern Garden by Becca. I gotta pic a photo to display and share the story behind it.  The deal is, you gotta pic the 10th photo from your first set (or closest thing, thereof).  So, here's what I got!
My sister gave me this camera last year.  She had asked if I could come over and help her with some spring cleaning.  She gave me this very nice camera while I was there.  She had gotten a new one.  Of course, there were a few pictures still on the camera, and I saved them for her.  A possum had been getting into their garbage, so my then 11 year old nephew set a trap!  And voila!  This is the little critter he caught!  I don't know the whereabouts of the possum, but being animal lovers, I'm sure they took him somewhere and let him go.

I have to tag five other people, so here goes:

Anna @ Chickens In The Basement
Odette @ A View From Above
Mal @ Hoe Hen Inn
Missy @ Little Messy Missy
Aerelonian @ Plant Zone

Of course, I understand that some people just don't like to participate in these sorts of things, and that's okay, too.  But I'm sure you'll peak the curiosity of others!  Have fun and have a great day!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Time Flies

Time flies when you are busy doing things you'd rather not be doing.  That's not the entire case for me.  I was out of town for the weekend.  Mike and I went to visit my parents since it's been nearly three months.  Shame, shame, we know.  But it was a lovely visit.  We went out Saturday morning and came home Sunday afternoon.  We took our smoker, and when we got there Mike put on two pork butt roasts.  I went to pick up my brother cause his wife was at work.  His three month old daughter, he said, wasn't much for conversation, and his two sons were already at my parents.  His wife brought home all the sides to go with the pork.  We had pork smoked over oak wood, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans.  It was pretty good.  We headed home Sunday around 4 p.m. with a rug that my mom gave us.  She bought it for her living room, but little lint balls kept rolling up on it.  I think it was just the newness, but it looks great in our living room.
When we got home Sunday evening we smelled something like an electrical fire in the kitchen.  I could hear water running under the house.  We discovered that our hot water heater went to pot!  The thermostat was melted!  There was no water damage, but it costed much more than it should have to replace to heater.  Now the new one is not working properly!  I'm not taking a cold way!!  I've been heating pots of water on the stove and carrying them to the bathroom!  Hopefully Mike and Pat will get it fixed today.
Aside from a good weekend, I've been pretty busy with work.  There's just a lot going on right now.  But I still wanted to share a few pics, so I'm sharing pics of the little coops that Mike built for the paired bantams and silkies!  Aren't they great?!

Everyone have a Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Giveaway At Trouble Ink Crafty Crafts

Susan at TICC is doing a GIVEAWAY, as well!  It's giveaway fever!  She is giving away a dream catcher from her etsy shop and a clover amulet from her brother's etsy shop!  They have some pretty cool things!  You should check them out, and maybe even enter in the giveaway! (Not!)  Seriously, though, do read their blogs!  You can find Susan at: TICC
You can find her brother at: Whispering Woods

I was looking through their etsy shops and found some things that are pretty cool!
Here's one of her dream catchers;
Here's a beautiful box he made!

Go check them out!  TICC and Whispering Woods!!

1st Runner Up Still Wins!!

I really had no doubt that Joanna was going to claim her prize.  My few followers are pretty faithful followers.  They don't all comment on every post, but I suspect they are like me.  I try to read every blog in my side bar and every post they post.  Yeah, I miss one or two occasionally.  But I still try to read them.  But I don't comment on every one I read.  I mean, that's a lot of daily reading, and I enjoy it, but I don't think I'd have the time to comment on every one as well.  And so, Joanna did pop in and claim what was rightfully hers.

Now, here is the strange part.  I picked a runner up for a "just-in-case" moment.  Let's face it, that happens!  But since Joanna claimed her prize and the runner up got stuck out, I've decided to offer a prize to the runner up anyway.  I don't know what it is yet, and I'm not sending it right away.  I've decided that when I reach 50 followers (and I'm only TWO away!) then I will send a parcel to the runner up.  But I'm not sure everyone would believe who the runner up is!  I honestly couldn't believe it.  Really, I couldn't!  This person made it clear that he never wins.  And he was quite upset that he didn't win this time, either.  But, strangely enough, I reached in that bowl yesterday, pulled out a second name, and there it was.  John @ Going Gently was my runner up.  So, if he wants a rush on his prize, whatever it may be, he'd be wise to convince a couple of people to follow my little blog!  No lie!  He really was the second name I pulled!  So, a big congrats to John and Joanna!
The clouds over our house...just a pic for fun!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Envelope Please...

Wow.  This was tough.  I was going to be completely fair about this.  I didn't want anyone to have an unfair advantage.  Is there a fair advantage?  I think that may be so.  But I still wasn't sure how to calculate that.  I was going to get Mike to pull the winner yesterday, but some things came up.  We didn't even eat dinner till 10:30 p.m. and it was leftovers.  It wasn't our fault.  But the details are boring, and I should focus on the giveaway.  So, I jotted down each person who was entering and their respective blogs on small pieces of paper.  I double folded each piece of paper and placed them in a bowl.  Then with out looking in the bowl I reached out and withdrew a single piece of paper.  I didn't want to look because the small papers weren't cut squarely, and I was afraid I might recognize the shape of one.  That might skew the results.  Insanity, I'm sure.  You're probably laughing at me right now.  You're probably saying that I'm getting too scientific.  No, you're probably saying that I need to just announce the winner and quit with all this mumbo jumbo.  I say you are right.  So without further ado, let me introduce you to my 100th Post Giveaway Winner:

Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to...

Thank you to each and everyone of you who read my blog and leave comments.  I never thought I'd have this many followers or have as many as 43 countries visit me.  Of course, I'm sure some of those were google searches looking for something else.  But I got the exposure anyway!  Maybe it won't be so far off before I can do another one!  See y'all around in blogland!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chicken Out!

I haven't done a chicken post in a while.  Shame on me for that.  So, I am going to try and make up for it today.  It was such a lovely weekend.  Saturday was a bit cool, but great weather.  Sunday, I was wearing a t-shirt and chillin' in the sun!  Of course, when we have days like this Mike and I spend it outdoors.  Even if there is nothing to do, we still go outside and find little projects to do.  This past weekend was no exception.  The chickens got to spend a bit of time out of the coop, as well.  I only took a few pics when they were still inside, though.  But they were getting a good bit of sun there, too.
Mike's been buying crumbles instead of pellets because we get a better price.  I throw out a few handfuls for them to scratch for, but I put the bulk of it in this feeding trough someone gave us.  It works great, but they climb on top of each other to get to the feed.
This is Little Chicken, the first chicken we ever hatched.  He's come of age and has been in with the hens.  But he's gotten mean since we took those four other young roosters out.  And since these eggs are for eating only, he got removed this weekend.
The big breasted gal in the box is one of my first.  She was full grown when we got her last February, so I don't know how old she is.  She's really a broiler, so we're not getting any eggs from these girls as of yet.  They may get the chop-chop this year.  The red headed girl is from one of the broilers and the RI Red rooster.  She was hatched early last summer, so she should start laying soon.  These girls don't have names yet.  The white stuff is lime powder.  We cleaned the "stuff" off the next boxes and sprinkled the lime to cut down on the smell.  It ain't bad, but we don't want it to get that way, either.
Dana is our sorta pet chicken.  She's got an enlarged left foot, and as far as I know, she's not layed an egg for us.  She walks with a limp and always gives me a laugh when she tries to run.  It's the funniest sight!
This was Stripey Cat's first encounter with a chicken.  He plays out back behind the coop in the small grove of pines, but he rarely pays any attention to the birds.  He just sniffed a few times then sprinted across the yard.  His attention span is still about 15 seconds cause he's so young still.  Heading out to my parent's this weekend.  Haven't been out there since the new year.  I'm sure I'll get scolded.

Today is the last day to get in on the give away!  Leave a comment, make sure I have a way to get up with you!  I'll announce tomorrow who the winner is!  Stay tuned in!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Childhood Memories

That's my mom holding my cousin, me kissing him, and my sister wrapping her arms around both of us.
I hated growing up.  Life as a kid for me was so rich and free.  I loved being a kid.  I would spend my summers running through the yard barefoot with the water hose on.  I would play in the woods climbing trees and playing capture the flag with friends.  I would go swimming or fishing in the creek or go skinny dipping at midnight.  I remember so many wonderful things about my childhood.  I spent several weeks out of the summer in Texas with my great aunt, who was like another grandmother to me.  But I always hated the idea of growing up.  Most kids can't wait to get older.  I can't wait to be six so I can go to school.  I can't wait to be thirteen, cause I'll finally be a teen.  I can't wait to be sixteen so I can get my driver's license.  There's plenty more to fill in that list, I'm sure, and varies from kid to kid.  But, as much as I wanted all these things and more, I would have gladly given it all up to stay a kid.  I was a Peter Pan, of sorts, I suppose you could say.  Seems a bit strange, doesn't it?  No, I didn't live in a dream world.  I didn't even really have an imaginary friend.  My cousin did, and I only pretended to so we could play together.  No, I was one of those adultish sort of kids who was older than I really should have been.  Yeah, I would still so all that playing that the other kids did.  I remember staying with a friend, and we would make up crazy horror stories and record them on cassette tape.  Then we would stay up late to watch WWF (Now WWE) Wrestling, or Friday Night Videos or Nightmare on Elm Street marathon.  But the thought of becoming an adult scared me.  I was vaguely familiar with those pieces of mail called bills.  I had heard of April 15th (U.S. taxes are due then) and I had heard of the IRS.  I also remember hearing or seeing other family issues that were minor at the time, but seemed so major to me as a kid.  I enjoyed a happy childhood.  My family had a bit of money, and we traveled a lot for my dad's job.  I was wanting for very little, but that Big R was a very scary thing.  RESPONSIBILITY!
It's such an ugly word.  All the things I didn't want to deal with are now part of my everyday life.  I now have to work at a job for a minimum of five days a week.  I now have utility bills, car payment, insurance.  I get a W-2 at the end of the year so I can file taxes.  I am expected to vote (and I do) I watch the news regularly, and I pay attention to politics.  These are all the things adults deal with daily that I wanted no part of as a child.  BUT.....
I am happy.  I love my little life with Mike.  We enjoy of little chicken farm, as Mike likes to call it.  We spend our weekends enjoying ourselves at our Landlord's beach house when they invite us, at my parents' fishing, visiting, barbecuing.  We eat very good meals and have company over infrequently.  Friends are always welcomed in our home.  We have our three cats and two dogs.  I like being an adult.  I love having a place that I can paint or build on to, a yard that I can garden in, and many more freedoms I didn't enjoy as a kid.  I'm happy to be an adult.  But if I could do it with out all that responsibility....Oh, how much happier I could be. 
Don't forget the giveaway!  I'm going to announce the winner on Wednesday!  Some of you were vague about wether you wanted in, so I included you anyway!  If you haven't already commented, do it today or tomorrow!  Just make sure I have a way to get in touch with you!  If you are overseas (over borders) I'll still ship.  It just may take a little longer to get it to you.

Friday, March 5, 2010

100th Post Giveaway!!

Earlier this week I posted my 100th post!  That was just the coolest thing, as at one point I was considering discontinuing my blog.  Back then I only had 20ish followers and it seemed I had little to say.  Since then I have been posting about all this and that and I am pushing 50 followers!  I want to thank everyone who has found my nonsense at least a little readable and somewhat entertaining.  I wish I could send something to everyone of you!  But, unfortunately, I cannot.  Good news, though!  I am going to give everyone a chance to enter to receive a gift package!!!  I don't have pics, yet.  I'll get them posted by early next week.  BUT...
I can say that there will be a book, passed on to me by Missy over at Little Messy Missy.  If you have a chance, go check her out!  It will also include a jar of Mike's homemade Salsa!  The best salsa you can get east of the Mississippi!  There will be some other stuff that I'll share later!  But, today is your first chance to enter!  Just leave a comment with your name and blog address (or e-mail if you don't have your own blog). 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?!

This is what I woke up to this morning!  That stupid weather man said rain yesterday, turning to snow last night, then back to rain by this morning!  Well, we got plenty of wind and rain yesterday, and there were a few tiny flurries when I went to bed.  WITN-TV here in Greenville said we would get a trace to one inch.  We got about three inches!  Everything is covered in white!  (This pic is from the last snow, but it pretty much looks the same).  I thought I'd wake up to a few slushy spots, as the rain would have melted most of it, but no way!  Roads to work weren't too bad as temps are hovering above freezing and rising.  Slush in most places.  But I am done with the snow!  We are expecting temps to be up to 66F by Sunday.  That's what I'm talking about.  PLEASE!  I'm begging now!

I didn't eat dinner last night.  It wasn't because of what Mike cooked.  I wasn't surprised when he told me.  He's been talking about it for a week now.  I had just gotten quite nauseous.  I felt like vomiting...but I didn't.  Mike killed and cleaned those four RI Red/Buff mixed roosters.  They were only doing some minor sparring (no blood) and never messed with Little Chicken, who is twice their size.  They were only six months old.  They were, however, tormenting the hens with their raging hormones.  And without any eggs, fertile or unfertile, they were just using up valuable food.  So they got cleaned and put on the grill last night for dinner.  I will have to try them for leftovers this evening.  I've never eaten any of my own chickens.  So I'll see how they taste.  I still have a white silkie rooster that needs a new home.  Maybe I'll put him in the Bragain Trader to see if I can find a good home for him.  I actually have two white silkie roosters to go, but I haven't decided on one yet.  He's with a mixed bantam hen.  I'm trying to get her to sit on eggs.  She's got 8 or 9 now, so we will see.

I still haven't figured out the giveaway yet.  Not feeling well last night, I was just laying on the couch all evening.  But I promise that it's coming this week.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

100th Post Giveaway!!

Everyone has been doing giveaways.  And I have even been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end....which I am very grateful for.  I have been wanting to do a giveaway of my own, but I didn't know what reason to give.  Well, now I have one!  Yesterday's post was my 100th post!  How cool is that?!  So I am going to do a giveaway!  What am I giving away, you say?  That's a very good question.  Cause I haven't a clue!  But, I am going to spend the next couple of days thinking about it, try to come up with something really cool, then post about it later!  Keep tuned in this week!  Tell your friends (Or don't if you want better chances at winning, I guess)!  But later this week I'll post what I'll be giving and what you can do to enter!  Thanks for reading my blog, friends.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Five Years Later

It's hard to believe that this month makes five years since I returned from Iraq.  I left Fort Hood, Texas  on March 10, 2004 and returned on March 17, 2005.  I don't think I was ever as excited as I was that day.  When I saw Mike I couldn't even keep the big grin off my face.  Of course, I had a few days to get back into the swing of things at home.  So I thought I'd share a picture show of my homecoming.
Tons of laundry dropped by the door
Of course, I had to call everyone to say I was home.  Max was glad to see me.
It was nice, warm, and sunny...too nice to stay indoors
Mike took me to a drive-thru safari..where we saw ostriches.......
and little ponies.....
Some sort of antelope thingies....
Different types of deer....
Even white deer....
....and babies.....(see us with the baby goats in the side bar!)
You can't forget Donkey....
Creatures with long tongues....
...and, of course, that camel.
We had a wonderful time that day.  Of course, there was a lightning and thunder storm rolling in that day.  You can see the dark clouds in the side bar pics.  We also took a fishing trip for bass to a lake in North Texas, and a few weeks of travel to North Carolina to see my family and Mike's sister and family, who was living near Baltimore, Maryland at the time.  I was so glad to be home.

*Note*  I know I haven't been around much this past week.  We've had end of year phyical inventory, and I prefer to call it Hell Week.  I worked from 8 a.m. Friday to 10:30 p.m. Friday, and I still had to come in for half a day on Saturday.  Of course, all my reports were due today.  So, I have just been busier than a bee in a clover field.  I got a few chicken pics over the weekend, but they weren't great.  I will try to get some posted this week.