Friday, December 23, 2011


Living on a Christmas tree farm, you'd think that we'd bring the biggest, fattest, tallest tree in the field into the house. That is an urban myth. It is my duty now to dispel of such thoughts. Last year, we didn't even have a tree. This year, we have a rescue. 

When an oven decides to smell of electrical burning, Mom sends everyone outside so that we don't breathe in the stench. We finished our chores. We really couldn't think of anything else to do. Then someone suggested that we go find our tree! Brilliant idea, I say! So off we went a-tromping through the field. We found several trees that sort of met the strict criteria, and we couldn't agree on any single tree (of course). Then, as we were headed back to home base, there it was - a lonely, slain tree sitting out there in the middle of the field severed from its life source. Someone must have cut it and found a better one, poor thing. There was only one thing to do with it. Give it some love and bring it into the house. We trimmed off the lower branches, gave the tree a shake, took fifteen minutes to cut an inch off the stump, and stood the tree up in it's stand. 

It looked pathetic. It couldn't decide if it would be a Charlie Brown tree or a Dr. Seuss tree. And my sister hated it from the get-go. She now hates me for bringing it into the house. Maybe she'll hate her Christmas present just as much. :P

Meanwhile, my brother, who has the highest standard that a Christmas tree can attain, was away at college classes. He had no clue what we were doing. His facial expression when he walked in the door was priceless. Appalled. Sheer shock. He also hated the poor tree. 

Despite the vocalizations of dislike, we strung lights up and decorated it. It didn't look as bad, but the top was still on the funky side. 

Oh well!  

At least we have a tree this year. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Mini Christmas Tree

Kids. Ya gotta love 'em. They have very different ideas about things than what you (the adult) could even begin to imagine. 

Case in point:
Today, as a family was getting out of their vehicle, one of the kids was begging for a mini Christmas tree. My dad offered the parents a killer deal for a small second tree, and they agreed. They successfully slayed the first tree and began hunting for the next. As they were tromping through the field the child picked up one of the sheared off tree tops and declared that he had found the perfect mini Christmas tree. The 'tree' was just the over-achieving efforts of a tree to be tall that was taken off. It really was just a stick covered with some needles and some stem buds, perfectly straight. Smaller than a Christmas tree seedling. Not even big enough to consider a Charlie Brown tree. But it was perfect. The little boy came back skipping and ever so happy about finding the perfect mini-tree. 

I will most certainly have more tales to tell from the Christmas tree farm adventures. Stay tuned. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011


There once was a baby chicken. She was not like the other 50 chicks that she was shipped with. You see, when someone orders over fifty chickens from the hatchery, they send you a free, 'rare' bird with the order. When the box arrived, there were 50 Cornish crosses and this special little black chick. No on could figure out what breed she was or if it was a he or a she! For her first 10 weeks of life, she grew up with the disgusting meat birds; always the smallest of the bunch (Cornish cross grow at a ridiculous, unnatural rate). Well, the time came for her ugly white accomplices to leave forever. I don't think that she misses them that terribly, but she took a certain liking to me. I never gave her any special attention, nor was I the primary caretaker. 

With her freaky mail-order friends now gone, we needed to integrate her into our existing flock. They didn't take a particular liking to her at all. With all the hen-pecking going on, she kept close to me while I was doing the chores. I walked across the driveway, and she followed me. I walked back to the barn, and she ran after me. The other hens started giving her a hard time, and she flew right up onto my shoulder and sat down. Then I walked back across the yard, and she stayed on my shoulder. I filled water buckets and she sat right on top of the well head watching me. I tried to set up a small pen for her on the lawn and she flew right out and ran after me again. But that's not all - she even sat at the front door all afternoon trying to get into the house. 

This chicken needed a different name. Eli had originally named it 'Waspus.' Ask the 7 year-old what he was thinking when he named it that. But yesterday afternoon, we decided that she needed a new name to fit this outgoing personality. It was unanimous; the bird's new name would be 'Kevin' after the bird in Disney Pixar's 'Up.' 

And yes, Kevin is a girl.