Monday, April 30, 2012

Prom 2012


First, I want to apologize for not getting the Sunday post up last night. Remember, I try to do a Chronicle every Sunday and Thursday. As the wedding season has been upon us, I've been pretty busy and got home late last night...then The Amazing Race was on and I just HAD to see if Brendon and Rachael made it for another leg...which they did....whew!

Not only did I have a busy weekend, but so did the chickens..well Flock 1 did. It was PROM!!!!

The Shawhan Farm Prom of 2012 was held here in Kennel Bar, Saturday, April 28th from 8:00 P.M. until 12:00 A.M. Due to security reasons , there was no after prom.

The magical night began with the Grand March...much like the one held for Hillsboro High School. Each couple lined up in the horse pasture behind the barn. Flock 2 watched and chirped excitedly as they watched in awe and wonder as each dolled up couple paraded past The Palace when they were called by the announcer, Jimmy Percheron. Chaz and Foghorn escorted their dates, Chatty Cathy and Prissy. The Beefy Boys had to step-in as escorts since there are only two roosters to go around.... it was a chicken-only prom. Samantha was escorted by Bert. Jacklyn Daniels walked proudly beside Ernie. Henrietta was on the arm of Jiblet. Sally Comfort was right behind them with Chuck and Beth and Big Mac brought up the end of the dazzling and sparkling parade. Smirnoff stayed home since she is still all moody and broody. Her loss.

After the Grand March, Flock 2 was put to bed by Charlie Percheron, who had to work the refreshment table and act as chaperone. Flock 2, as I hear it, was up half the night still too excited to sleep and already planning their dresses for next year when they get to go to prom.

Jiblet offered to D.J. and keep the chickies out on the dance floor. Foghorn had requested D.J. Pauly D, but I don't have that kind of $$$$, so Jiblet it was. He told me things went pretty well so long as he kept playing fast songs. It got weird when he tried to play slow songs since there would be fights over who got to dance with either Chaz or Foghorn. Many requests were made such as Cotton-Eyed Joe, Copperhead Road, Boot-Scootin' Boogie, Amish Paradise, Red Solo Cup and Achy Breaky Heart.

Halfway through the evening the prom king and queen were announced....

"Your 2012 prom king and queen are.... CHAZ and PRISSY!!!!!!"

The couple got a slow dance all to themselves while Foghorn demanded a re-count of the votes and said the chads were still attached to the ballots. When his incessant complaining didn't work, he walked over and spiked the punch bowl while a certain Percheron was dozing in the corner and ignoring his chaperoning duties.

About an hour later, while the ladies were all huddled around Prissy and admiring her crown, Chaz and Foghorn got into a fight out in the steer lot. After taking bets and passing around some Benjies, the Beefy Boys finally stepped in and broke it up. No one was hurt, but Foghorn did manage to satisfy his jealousy and smashed Chaz's prom king crown. I promised Chaz I'd get him another one the next time I ate at Burger King.

The rest of prom was pretty uneventful. Everyone got tired and went home to bed early. The only one who had to be escorted off the dance floor was Foghorn who was still gettin' it down amidst the litter of confetti and red Solo cups.

                                                                                       ... cluck... cluck... cluck...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sad Tidings and Not Much Else to Say


 I am very sad to report that we had yet another fatality on the Shawhan farm. A little cluckie from Flock 2 was found dead on Sunday (or Monday) evening in the pen surrounding The Palace. She was discovered by The Dead Bird Finder himself, Dan. We aren't sure what happened. There were no marks on her and if it had been a cat (the neighbor's Tom HAS been missing...) you'd think it would have been eaten and feathers littered all over the place. She may have broken her scrawny little neck since it was limpy and flopped around. Not sure. It's sad news. So off to Manure Memorial for her....

(Trust me everyone, admitting what feels like is your failure for the world to see is not easy. I don't like reporting this kind of stuff but I feel like I now have an obligation to you all. )

Last week while collecting eggs all the chickies were in the coop...including the Big Mac Daddy himself, Foghorn. (Foghorn is making me nervous. He wobbles his head around and the feathers on his neck puff out...I'm guess he's agitated?) Anyhoo, I went to pick up Smirnoff to see if there were any eggs hiding there (I can't remember if there was...there might be an egg under that broody hen one out of every three or four days) and of course she got all mad at me. Foghorn, hearing this decided that while my back was turned and as I was making my escape out the door, to come charging after me and give a warning tap on the leg. So now I take in my stick with me to give HIM a warning tap if he chooses to come after me again. I am not opposed to having chicken dinner if I get a mean rooster...especially with a possible new leading man to look at one day in the form of R.W.

That's been about it, chicken-wise. I took several videos of the girls today, but of course I had problems uploading them here. Trust me, I would post TONS of videos if this website would actually download them!

                                                                        ...cluck... cluck... cluck...


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!


Happy Earth to one and all!!  Hopefully the rest of the world is having a beautiful and productive Earth Day. I think it's safe to say that the weather around the Shawhan farm is keeping most of us indoors. Cold and rainy doesn't do much for motivation in terms of going out and cleaning up or planting anything. Even the chickens have chosen to stay indoors today. (They hate that too, by the way...)

Chickens are wonderful little Earth helpers...except when they destroy everything by digging it up....But their poo is great for the dirt and they keep insects at bay. They enjoy cleaning up the spilled corn from the steers and spilled oats from Jimmy and Charlie. The ladies LOVE Styrofoam..don't ask because I don't know why. They found a lot of Styrofoam in the garage last summer and it magically did Dan's deer target....they are it all except the plastic legs.

Foghorn is excited about the new recycling place right down the road that is run by the Amish. He wants to take in all my aluminum cans and get paid for it. He says he wants to save his money for a new gold grill like Flavor Flav and get a big gold chain necklace.... (Someone PLEASE come save me from this crazy bird!)

Most of my recycling goes to Wal-Mart (of all places). We save anything cardboard, even Pop-Tart boxes (which annoys Dan, but God love him, he puts any empty box in the recycling pile). We also save paper and plastic. I used to save aluminum cans, but if my work is going to get sabotaged by a rooster, then maybe I won't do it anymore!

                                                                                                        ...cluck... cluck...cluck...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Farmers Don't Want to Come Home to an Omelet


Ahem.... "The hills are alive, with the sound of PLANTING SEASON!!!!" That's right folks, planting season has officially begun. This time of the year means a couple of different things for the farmer's wife/family:

One, we are left at home to hold down the fort (usually with the help of firearms and wanna-be gangsta roosters). Everything regarding the functioning of the home is now in the wife's hands. This ranges from keeping the lawn mowed, to re-charging your truck battery because it was a foggy morning and you forgot your lights were on all day long, to doing all the animal chores both times a day. The days of tag teaming with your better half are on hold for several weeks. In the words of Alabama, we "keep the home fires burning".

Two, it means the farmer's wife is on a mini-vacation. Now I know what your thinking...the work load around the home fort is somewhat doubled for awhile, but the cooking slows down considerably, if not becomes non-existent, and for once...FOR ONCE...the remote control is all yours!!! This last statement makes me happy since now I don't have to watch the Outdoor Channel and can instead watch all the episodes of The Real Housewives that I want without hearing snide remarks about it!

The housewife is also free of her timely schedule. Breakfast does not have to be at 8 A.M., lunch does not have to be at noon and supper does not have to be at 7 P.M.

Third, it means freedom to do the crap we normally wouldn't do in front of our husbands! Like eat Ramon noodles in front of the T.V. for supper while watching The Real Housewives, watch old episodes of The Baby-Sitters Club on YouTube, and to finally get to the topic of today's post, eggs-periment with beauty products that end up in total failure. (Because I'm insane, I post it on the Internet for all to read about...)

OK, so the other day, someone (who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are) mentioned to me about all the household uses for eggs. One of which was an egg white face mask. I needed a good topic for this post, so I Googled it and found the site and read about "12 Secret Homemade Uses for Eggs." One of them being the egg white face mask. There is also a face mask made from egg yolk and an egg shampoo  recipe.

Spending most of the day alone today, I decided to try the egg white face mask. Now I'm a sucker for hoping and trying "homemade beauty miracle cures". I always hope I'll find that "secret" right in my own home, or my own chicken coop....when I discover it I'll let you know.

Anyhoo, I broke two eggs and separated the whites.... (I was an over-achiever, you can do it with one egg.)

Then I beat them with a fork until the mixture resembled spit....

I don't think the face mask called for any other ingredients, so I questioned my sanity and smeared the cold stuff on my face. I kept it on for about 15 minutes and felt my face grow tighter and tighter. I wondered if maybe this was what Botox feels like. I was scared to move a muscle. I have to admit it felt very refreshing wiping the mask off and I think my pores were a little smaller. But I do not think I'll be repeating this on a weekly basis. My Proactive works wonders. If it's not broke, why fix it, right?

Tonight I almost called the loony bin as I was beating my saved egg yolks and left-over egg whites together again with some water and olive oil the "shampoo" recipe called for. I even took the bowl in the shower with me and tried out my new "shampoo".

Two words for you: Bull. Crap.

Do not waste your time pouring scrambled eggs over your head in the's cold and doesn't lather up like the post said it would. Stick to Pert Plus or Head and Shoulders, or whatever else you use. I doubt scrambled eggs will give you the hair you want like the girl in the Pantine ads! (Or perhaps The Chicken Lady should just get a full-time job so she doesn't have time on her hands to do this stuff, then post it here for the world to see.)

Fourth, the farmer DOES NOT want to come home to an omelet in bed next to him at the end of the day!

                                                                                  ...cluck... cluck...cluck...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cluck Notes

Here's some news for you!
The chickens wanted me to share,
Since you all can't be here.
Some news from the coop,
I promise it's not all about poop!

~Smirnoff~ Smirnoff Shawhan has decided with the early arrival of Spring, and on occasion, the early arrival of Summer, that she will be broody. There is talk around the coop that Smirnoff is heeding what she thinks is a personal warning to her safety and questioning her position on the Shawhan farm as a laying hen. I guess the arrival of "the replacements" has sent a few birds into a tizzy and all are worried if they don't perform at maximum productivity, their days could be numbered. Smirnoff is found every evening nestled in the nest box, sometimes sitting on an egg and other evenings, sitting on nothing. She gets mad when youattempt to move her, but so far no handlers have sustained any injuries.

~Foghorn~ Foghorn Shawhan finds that chasing his ladies around in the hurricane-like winds the past few days is not near as fun as chasing them around in calmer conditions. He says it takes too much effort and he gets winded easily. When told he should work out, Foghorn replies with a long list of expletives and a retort that his "Ladies love me as they see me, know what I'm sayin'?" Though Foghorn and the ladies received a free comedy show the other day as they got to watch The Chicken Lady try to cover her strawberry plants in the hurricane-like winds that were probably 35 degrees.  Nothing like feed sacks whipping around your legs while trying secure them with bricks to save your pathetic strawberry crop from a night of frost. It was here The Chicken Lady herself let lose a few expletives and AGAIN, questioned her sanity.

~Hannah Jo and Blanche~ From Flock 2, Hannah Jo and Blanche are basking in their new big-girl feathers. A true golden hue has emerged from the nuggets, while 5 newbies resemble mini-hawks. There is fear of another rooster (R.W.) and what and where he will end up if he is indeed a male. Only time will tell. Poor Cadburry didn't change too much in the puberty process, still looking like a white peep Easter bird. She made a reputation for herself as being stubborn and willing to runaway if you try and catch her, so she gets put in first at night. Flock 2 is still worried only about their stomachs and has been re-named to "The Freeloaders" until we see some egg production. We did start to incorporate some layer feed into their starter feed just this morning. A big two month birthday bash is planned for the 19th at The palace.

~Both flocks have noticed Charlie Percheron's love affair with The Beefy Boys. Mr. Percheron has been seen with messed up hair on his face, checks and neck. At first I thought it was sweat, but when they were still there in the cooler temps, I thought maybe it was from Jimmy. No..the poor boy has made a definite friendship with the steers. He stands by the fence and they reach over and go to work on his face, neck, checks and even his forelock. They are a very friendly bunch of Beefy Boys, and the horses and steers have been seen standing and looking at each other with only a fence between they are having a conversation. I feel bad for Charlie Percheron, since the Beefy Boys' days really are numbered.

I didn't get a chance to talk to everyone today,
But next time I'll ask a few more what they want to say.
And post it for the world to see,
What a chicken seems to find news worthy.

                                                                                    ...cluck.... cluck... chirp... chirp...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

ThE WoNdEr YeArS


Since Easter, life has been crazy on the Shawhan farm. Jimmy and Charlie put in an honest days' work on Monday for the first time since since October. They succeeded in getting the garden plowed. I shared their victory with a hen and gave her a worm I found in the newly turned soil. On Tuesday they both enjoyed a pedicure at the farriers along with a dentist appointment. Yesterday was back to pre-school with sugar buzzed kids thanks to the Easter Bunny and today was a day with the cows along with my own dentist appointment....

I can't help but be a little envious of the chicks who laze around The Palace all day and it's surrounding properties. Thanks to Grandpa, they now have two very nice handcrafted ladders that allow for easy access up and down out of the brooder. Thanks to their mom and dad, they have endless supply of food...which is good...since they now have an endless supply of the munchies. They have become typical teens who sit around and nap and eat, and eat and nap, and nap and eat, then poop, then eat some more, then nap again and then maybe poop again.

With the teen years, also comes teen attitude. They do not respect the curfew that Flock 1 abides by. They fail to understand that they are not invincible and can't stay out past dark. Runaway attempts happen all the time when we try to rein them in.... also, Justin Bieber music is ALWAYS booming from the brooder along with sing-a-longs to Katy Perry. I really hate to burst their bubbles, but they aren't "California Gurls"...thought they would, "Like totally love to be...LOLZ!!!!!"

                                                                             ...cluck... cluck... chirp... chirp...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He Lives!

"He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way...."

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son...."  -John 3:16 (NIV)

HAPPY EASTER from all of us on the Shawhan farm! No one is denying the significance of the day and beauty that is surrounding us. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and the lilacs are still blooming; when Easter comes with such beauty, I think it's easier to remember what happened so long ago on this day. I think we have a greater appreciation and really see God's wonder than if it was 40 degrees and raining.

Lately the above quote from John 3:16 has reminded me of my chickens. (I'm sick, I know...) But if you think about it, a chicken gives you something of itself every day and we take it away without thinking about what's really inside. Not to gross anyone out, but the contents of an egg are an unborn chicken. Though not fully developed yet, if you're getting eggs from us, more than likely with 21 days of camping out under a heat lamp, you'd have a baby. So in a way, the chickens are giving us their children. (Hopefully this doesn't freak anybody out and you all still eat eggs!)

I've been known to bluntly say that God made animals below us for a reason. They don't talk and think like we do; they were put here to serve us in a number of ways, be that to eat, eat a product produced by them, work for us or act as a companion.  But after really looking inside, maybe I was wrong to make that statement and conclusion. Maybe God put animals on this planet to remind us of Jesus.

Jesus served selflessly and tried to teach us to be selfless. How many chickens go into a nest box every single day and sit and wait until the egg is laid? They sit even longer to make sure it's safe when you know they'd rather be out foraging around in the dirt. How many dogs lead the blind through crowds of people, when they would probably rather be running around smelling every nook and cranny? How many times does a horse willingly take a cold metal bit in it's mouth to plow up a patch of dirt that won't serve them any way in the future? Or a cow whose sole purpose in life is to produce milk? We ask of them and they do it with no questions asked and most of the time, with no resistance.

"He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart."

As we all enjoy this Easter day, let us be reminded that He lives! Not only in OUR hearts, but in theirs as well.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Pining and Plagiarizing Prissy


Well I can tell you all the cluckies are in a chatter this week here on the Shawhan farm with Easter quickly approaching! They feel special being connected to such a symbolic holiday... I'll save more of that for Sunday's post! However, the ladies were a little offended when I told them I had bought my eggs from good old Kroger's. They wondered why I demand so much of them when I go out and spend my hard earned dollar on something I can get for free at home. I think I also hurt their feelings when I said a white egg would color better than a brown egg...

Speaking of hurt feelings....Prissy has her tail feathers all in a twist! We all know how big her crush is on my husband...well you can just imagine how she felt when she saw Dan cooing over a younger, hotter chick. Yep.. none other than Hot Lips Houlihan herself...the Prissy 2.0 of Flock 2.

Even I have been witness to Dan's oohing and awing over the brooder filled with cute chirping fluffiness. At first no one seemed to mind. Even Prissy can't ignore the cuteness of a baby chick. But when those chicks develop their big girl feathers and start to resemble a chicken...that is when the dark clouds filled Prissy's world of rainbows and sunshine and days of running through the pasture hand in wing with MY husband. Now she has to watch her heart's desire loving on a fast growing woman through the bars of the kennel with crocodile tears streaming down her face.

Not long ago I stumbled out the door well before the you-know-what crack of dawn to go milk cows. Since I'm only half with it that early in the morning, I figured that maybe my alarm really hadn't gone off yet and that I was just dreaming I was pulling out of my driveway and seeing a black and white speckled chicken standing at the end of it in my headlights. She had a small bag packed with whatever a chicken would pack and had her wing stuck up out in the air.

"Prissy?" I asked. Why not...I'm just dreaming anyway, right?
"What do you want?" She asked.
I shrugged, not sure what to say. I wonder if it's only midnight and I still have four more hours to sleep? "What are you doing?"
"I'm hitchhiking. What does it look like I'm doing?"
"Oh." Hmmmm "Where are going?"
"Nashville. I have a song and a broken heart. I'm going to make it big."
I tried hard not to laugh out loud. I didn't want to hurt her feelings. "Not much traffic out at 5:00 in the morning. I can take you as far as the farm."
"Thank you. That would be much appreciated."

I thought to myself, This is one bogus dream. It's pretty life-like too. Maybe I shouldn't eat popcorn right before bed anymore...

Once we got strapped in the truck and were heading down the road I asked, "So you've got a song? I've written a few know I like to write?"
"No. I didn't know that." Prissy said quickly, shifting in her seat.
"Yeah, so as one artist to another, I'd love to hear your song." I said.
She was silent for a minute, like she had to think it over. "Well...OK. It's about a man who broke my heart and it goes a little something like this.

'When he was around, my world started spinning,
For the rest of my life, it was only the beginning.
And I lost my heart the day I heard him say,
'Cowboys love em and leave em, but a country boy stays..."

At this point this "dream" I was having was too weird even for one of MY dreams. Prissy's song was starting to sound EXACTLY like the one I wrote called...fitting enough, "He Was a Country Boy". For the heck of it, I let her go on.

"He wore a ratty ball cap, not a Stetson hat,
His boots were Wolverines, not a leather sheen.
Never sported a buckle, he wore no belt at all,
Drove a Dodge that was diesel, loud and tall..."

At this point I had slammed on my brakes and stopped in the middle of the road. I couldn't believe what I was hearing!

"Let me guess!" I told her. "The rest of that verus goes, 'Once we went muddin' down on 'Blue Hole Road (sorry Jason Aldean!) and got lost as we walked through the woods at Rowe. He was a country boy.' Prissy, I can't believe you! Plagiarism is a crime. You can get kicked out of a university for doing it!"
Her feathers started to ruffle and she said haughtily, "I don't even know what that word means."
"It means you stole my work!" By now I knew I wasn't dreaming anymore..I was too mad and upset. I pulled a U-turn right on Harriett Road and started flying back to the house.
"Are you crazy, you're going to kill us!" Prissy screamed. "By the way, I did write that song!"
I laughed out loud, not believing my ears. "You are something else." I told her. "First you want MY husband, then you steal a song that I've got hundred of copies of re-writes on. Heck you weren't even born when I wrote that!"

Hell hath no furry like a Prissy scorned....

                                                                               ...cluck... cluck... chirp... chirp...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Country Living


It was another beautiful day here on the Shawhan farm. The new chicken roost got moved into The Fortress and a couple cluckies observed the Sabbath and took a day off of laying since we got 8 eggs yesterday and 6 today. Still, we can't complain.

Speaking of Sundays.... I would LOVE to get down and serious about Sundays and not work. I mean, even the Amish take a day off. However, I don't have 7 kids around to help out and when Dan gets a day off, it's hard not to get the stuff done around the house that I need him for. OR if you see it's going to rain that week and you need to get your outside stuff done, you need to do it when you can if it's dry. (Hence farming, gardening, etc...A.K.A. country living).

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I guess it started on Thursday driving around the country with dad and enjoying its beauty. He made the comment: "People who live in the city don't get to see this." That statement came to mind this morning on my way into church. I thought about it yesterday in Kroger's buying those store-bought eggs to color for Easter. I opened the egg carton and wrinkled my nose. Is there anything wrong with store-bought eggs? No, not at all. Sure they may not taste as good, their yolks don't have that golden color that embellish any baking recipe you use them in and they may not be AS GOOD for you as farm fresh.  Maybe it was that I didn't feel any pride in buying them like I do when I collect my own and use my own...when I pass mine out to people and see how excited and grateful they are to receive them.

I can't speak for everyone, but I take pride in doing the things I do. I take pride in the dirt under my nails from planting and weeding my garden; I take pride in harnessing my horses and plowing the ground that a tractor could have done for me. I'm proud of my chickens and myself for for each and every egg that I get because I've taken care of those birds since they were a week old. Same thing with a bean sprout that pokes through the ground. I take pride in growing and raising my own food even when Kroger's is easier. I take pride in being so tired by 9 and 10 o'clock at night that I'm asleep before I even get to finish my prayers....

A lot of people probably think I'm insane, and maybe I am. But at least I'm proud of myself... of what I can do, what I stand for and what I represent.

                                                                              ...cluck... cluck... chirp... chirp...