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.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm NO Angel (And this week has been proof to me!)

This has been a long and difficult week. I have been struggling with my own selfish and sinful nature and keeping many awful comments to myself. But since I know what I have been thinking, I just am amazed that God even remotely puts up with me. On Friday night, a dear friend's toddler pulled a bottle of boiling water down onto himself. She called me Saturday and at least 6 times on Sunday. I didn't pick up the phone on Saturday, thought she was just lonely and I was wrapped up in my life and baseball games. Good grief do I regret that. We had a huge pool party for Emily's class on Sunday afternoon, so my entire Sunday was occupied getting the house ready and entertaining guests. When I finally picked up the phone on Sunday, Em sounded sad. And tired. She has 3 little ones, one only 8 weeks old, so I assumed that life was just hard for the moment. I asked if she was ok. She has limited English, so she told me "Henry sick. Henry live- how you say? We take Henry doctor night." I'm like HuH? Henry LIVEWhat on earth do you mean? So I assured her I would come by on Monday morning and see how they were doing. I thought maybe they all had a bad cold. When I arrived on Monday, she showed me with her hands how and where Henry was hurt and told me "hot water". I was like, "Was he burned?!" Another word she didn't know. Then she took me to the kitchen and showed me what had happened. I was like, "Where is he NOW?!" And she pulled out a paper with the name and address of the burn unit in Chapel Hill on it.
To make a long story short, Henry had been burned on one cheek, his neck and his entire chest and top part of his abdomen. His dad had ridden the helicopter with him to the burn unit and had been staying with him for two and a half days by the time I figured out what had happened. I loaded Em, the 4 year old and the infant up and we took off for Chapel Hill. Henry had just gotten out of surgery from his skin grafts when we arrived. His dad looked as awful as I have ever seen him. No sleep. Little food- certainly not the type of food he was used to eating( Rice and fresh vegetables, very few carbs or meats). By the end of the day, I had them safely tucked into the Ronald McDonald house for a good meal and a good night's sleep. Far too late in my opinion. Should have happened Saturday. But I was too wrapped up in my life.
And my attitude needed serious work. I felt like the loser in a game of musical chairs. The family has no car, no one in their circle of friends who can navigate the medical world, or even the English language. I HATED returning to the intensive care world. but I understand it. Someone was needed to learn how to change the bandages. I am good at bandages. Even on squirming, kicking toddlers. The nurses were so grateful to have someone who spoke English and understood the environment. So on Friday I finally got them back to their home. And have been traveling up to their home every day to change his bandages.
And my internal dialogue continues to trouble me. Why this poor little boy has never had the word NO enforced? He has pulled stuff off tables for a very long time. Groceries, dinner plates, toys. Usually is spoken to sternly, but is never removed from the room or spanked. Each time I think of that bottle coming down on his head, I think a spanking would be so much more merciful.
Each time I have to dodge his kicking feet while changing his bandages, I think that a structure of authority would make this so much easier. Someone to let him know that he is not going to be hurt, that he just needs to let the bandages be changed so he can get better. He calms immediately once he gets his way. He is NOT in pain, jut really angry.
And I feel like Atilla the Hun for forcing him through 10 minutes of screaming each morning. I want him to know he will be ok.
Not being able to tell him that in his language really stinks.
So. Difficult times. And believe me. I'm NO angel, no matter what people say.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sunny and the bunny

I have spent the week dealing with the needs of Sunny Boy, my geriatric rooster, and Winston, my escapee angora bunny. Brian started off one morning with an alarmed "HEY, Isn't that Winston out there?!" Sure enough, the bunny was galivanting around the backyard and under the deck behind the house. We managed to lure him with some fresh greens and get him safely back inside, but I knew I wouldn't be able to postpone building his rabbit run much longer. Actually got the supplies today and should complete it tomorrow.
My patriarch rooster has been another concern. Once I got the baby chick area completed, I caught him and put him with them so I could reconstruct his retirement area. He submitted to the treatment, but was not to be found that evening when I tucked the babies in for the night. I finally located him in his old retirement area, buried under a pile of the 6 month old hens who have grown up in his company. Apparently, all of them are devoted to each other and fencing is no deterrent when it comes time to settle in for the night. Sunny had to fly over 2 sets of fencing tto get back to his girls! I separated them, but the next night was the same story, so I let them stay together and accelerated building a secure coop for them to all stay in together. One little hen couldn't figure out how to get over the fence and was FRANTICALLY trying to get in. I opened the gate and shooed her in. She promptly hlopped up on top of the crate where the huddle was and burrowed her way under Sunny's left wing. She is full grown and so big she almost flipped him over sideways, but he just adjusted his wing and settled down over the top of her. Now THAT. Is why I like a good rooster. What a tender hearted boy.

Got his coop built and all are settling in nicely.