Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This blog is moving locations

Starting today, I will only be blogging on TheMamaHen.blogspot..com. I feel like the name fits me better, as my life lately has had few laughs and is majorly centered around my kids.... hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thinking of others

I hate to admit it, but I have been severely worn out this month. I'm sure everyone feels that way sometimes. Just finishing school up was a major chore. Emily got sick and I wonder if maybe she wasn't stressed as well. Life has been pretty good, just busy.
Today, we finally kept a social obligation I had set up a month ago. I regularly visit a Vietnamese family near the airport and they asked about a month ago if they could return the visit and come to our house. So I said that we would set it up for the first weekend we had free.
Well, ended up being almost a month after a trip to Florida to celebrate my Mom's birthday and help her prepare for knee replacement surgery.

So, I went to pick up the family at around 11 AM and what fun we ended up having. They had a video of a church service that the father had performed some music in- and did traditional Montegnard (their ethnic group) dances celebrating harvest. It was amazing to see both the dancing and the amount of people in our area that support this community of immigrants.

Once we were done with the video, we all went outside and I showed them the chickens and the figs, peaches and blackberries that are all ripening. We nibbled on ripe fruit and they told me the word for fig in J'rai (their language). Then I collected eggs while they got ready to swim.
I was so glad I decided to put my swimsuit on and join the fun! The little boys, Thai and Henry, wanted nothing to do with the water and were screaming about being in the pool when I came out. We had them in floatie suits that were a bit big for them and I think the newness of the water and the discomfort of the suits was just too much. Their parents were having so much fun, they didn't seem to mind the crying and kept encouraging the boys to enjoy themselves, dunking and splashing them. I was able to convince the little one, Henry, to come to me and I cuddled him on my hip and bounced up and down playing horsie until he calmed down and was giggling. Before too long, I had them both on my hips and was galloping side to side in the pool, hanging on tightly so they were sure they were safe. It sure brought back memories of playing with Allen and Emily when they were that age. Emily even took several turns with them so that my arms wouldn't get worn out. We were in the pool for an hour or more and by the end, I was able to sit with the boys while they stood on the steps and splashed merrily. It was such a fun time!

Driving them back, all but one adult and one child fell sound asleep. I suspect we all had enormous fun and burned a lot of energy. I haven't lost a whole carful of people to sleep in a long, long time. (Probably since going to the NJ Shore when the kids were really small.)

And now, as I look back on the day, I am thankful that I got to get out of my rut of chores and self-indulgence and actually be refreshed! Hoping your weekend refreshes you as well!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Toby the predator

Brian had been home for about half an hour when he heard the distress cry from our Llasa Apso, Toby. Apparently the bait in the varmit trap looked good and Toby went in after it. No harm came to him and I'm sure he is not the one stalking chickens, but at least we know the trap works.

Friday, June 11, 2010


There is a predator attacking our chickens. It has killed three bird over the last two nights. One of which was the broody hen. I put her eggs in the incubator right away and so far, two of them have hatched. She was so close to completing her task! It really makes me sad. The baby chicks are as cute as can be. So far we have 12 in the brooding house and at least 15 more in the incubator. So maybe we'll have a lot more joy by the end of the week.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

So many changes.

It has been a week of changes. The incubator burst into life on Saturday morning as I headed out to market. 8 lovely baby chicks! Woke up to an indignant peeping this morning- another addition to the flock! Still 7 eggs that we are waiting on. The broody hen in the chicken house is still sitting and waiting.
The biggest surprise was a mamma guinea hen coming out of the woods with 15 baby guineas following her. She has a group of 4 other guineas helping to protect and monitor the babies and the noise level around here has increased tremendously as they all try to distract us from their proteges. It makes my day perfect to see them running around. We've never had a successful wild hatch with the guineas before, so we've never seen the babies' behavior when they are raised by a parent. SO much quicker and coordinated than in a brooder.
The sad event was our beloved bearded dragon dying. She was completely alert and entertaining the night before, then was cold and still in the morning.

I am getting the impression that God blesses us with new life to help put salve on our wounds as we grieve those who die.

Praying each day that the broody hen gets her chicks soon--she's been working so hard and I feel she deserves her reward.

Monday, May 31, 2010


It hits hens and humans alike. The urge to find a dark, quiet corner and just brood over their progeny for a couple of weeks. I am feeling the most intense need to brood over my two children in our home and not have any distractions. My hens are attempting to do the same. Two became so broody( for you non-chicken familiar- this means all fluffed up to twice their size over a group of eggs which they will defend with their lives, to the point of drawing blood) that I got them their own pet carriers to complete the task in. Unfortunately both became damp and unsuitable and the eggs rotted and the broodies abandoned their quest. Two others took up the challenge in opposite corners of the hen house. One was killed by a night marauder, and her eggs are now in an incubator to finish her work. The other hen bravely faces each day, only rarely leaving the nest for food or water. She should have about a week until the eggs hatch. Then the JOY as she leads them around the chicken yard teaching them how to be chickens. How to eat, drink, scratch. A grown chicken raised by a mother hen is always the smartest bird in the flock.

I have to say that my feelings over my defenseless Vietnamese friends matched closely to the ferocity of a broody hen. Like I would physically die if anything happened to them. I am praying that when Yabsira and Enat arrive I will attach with that strong a bond to them as well.

Pray for all of us, birds and humans alike!

So Angry I Can't Sleep Nights

I am trying to learn the lesson that vengeance belongs to the Lord. But I am so ANGRY. A friend and I (the one with the burned toddler) went to his followup appointment at the hospital and were detained for 5 hours because they mistook his Mongolian spots for bruising. If we wished to leave, we were told DSS would be called. They did not listen to me, no matter how I told them that the marks had been there for weeks. They only asked my friend how long they were there after 4 hours and only believed her after calling her primary physician.
I wrote the most perfect letter of complaint. Described the whole situation in detail. Looked up the appropriate administrators to send it to. And then felt caution hit.
What is my true motive? Vengeance, surely. I want the nurse who first described the marks on Henry's backs as bruises to get a serious lecture. An apology, perhaps.
Mostly, though, I don't EVER want to have to return to that facility again. So the caution creeps in my soul that perhaps complaining to the correct people might cause a hornet's nest and that would require another visit to the hospital. Which I swear to you I just cannot contemplate. I was in TERROR for 4 hours that they were going to take my friend's little boy away from her and nothing I did helped.

So I think I will stash the perfect letters in a drawer and speak with her regular doctor and see if he is ok managing Henry on his own with my assistance. I SURE don't want to have to go back to the Chapel Hill "jail" they call a clinic.

By the way, Henry is healing nicely and even let me kiss all over his cute little face today while I did his bandage change and let me feed him grapes once we were done. Him mom said"Henry loves you!" and I felt my soul soar. Honestly, if mom and Henry are happy, I would be insane to mess that up.