Dissension in the Coop


It is hard to believe that is has almost been a year since we moved the new chickens into the chicken coop. An entire year since my husband and I transferred the new girls from the old block milk house to their new quarters.

I remember that for a while there was a bit of dissension in the chicken coop. Nothing major…just a bit of fussing and fluffing of feathers going on.

I remember it was fairly easy to capture them as they were used to me touching them and talking to them. We put them in a wooden chicken crate and transported them across the yard to the coop.

Once there, they did not seem to appreciate their much larger, more airy surroundings. Instead of gratitude they milled around, making questioning noises and generally looking a bit stressed and anxious.

The “old girls” were even less impressed with the change than the new girls were! They promptly exited nesting boxes and left the building.

The two groups were pretty leery of each other for a time. They tended to stick with the group they knew. I knew that down the road that would change and they would acclimate to life together.

For a long time they roosted as far away from each as they could get and still be on the roost. They would not eat together but huddled in their own groups and looked a bit miffed at the entire situation.

I had no doubt that in a short time they would come together as a group. I had no doubt that it would not take long and it would be hard to tell who was “old” and who was “new”.

In looking back I wonder if we, as people, are a lot like my girls?  When put in a new situation do we fuss, do we question and are we generally anxious and stressed? (I know I am!) I wonder if we tend to keep separate from things and people that we do not know.

I have a feeling that  for most of us, if not pushed, we do not make an effort to get to know the new  around us. I also know that if we don’t make that effort, we miss out on so much.

We miss out on amazing people who bless our lives. We miss out on experiences that enrich us and make for great memories. Let’s get out of our comfort zones and get to know the others in the coop!

Today you get three quotes because I just could not choose which one I liked the best.


“Walk with me for a while,
my friend
—you in my shoes, I in yours
—and then let us talk.” 

― Richelle E. GoodrichSmile Anyway


“And that might just be the root of the problem:
we’re all afraid of each other.” 
― Leslye WaltonThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender


If possible,
far as it depends on you,
live peaceably with all.
Romans 12:18


Preparing For The Polar Vortex


We should have known the weather man wasn’t lying about the coming polar vortex. Yesterday we saw two birds vying for the right to eat the corn off the squirrel feeder….the woodpecker won this round.

I guess the birds know when to prepare for the coming journey into the deep freeze that is an Iowa winter. My husband and I took our cue from their preparations and also spent time yesterday preparing the chicken coop.

My husband rigged up a heat lamp that the girls could roost under at night and he then fluffed the chipped wood bedding on the floor. I made sure they had plenty of water and feed. 20190129_114028.jpg

This morning, when I went to see if they wanted to go out on this bitter day I noticed they had already laid a few eggs. I figured I had better take them along to the house with me.

Once I picked a couple of them up; I found I was already to late…..the below zero temps had already frozen a couple of them.

I have a feeling that I will either be baking or serving scrambled eggs for a meal in the next few days!

I have decided that I will also need to gather eggs a few times during the day tomorrow and the next day as they tell us our highs will be -12º tomorrow.  They also assure us this will be record setting. I don’t know about you…but that is one record I really don’t feel the need to break!

I kind of have to laugh when I go into the chicken coop during this type of weather….the girls have a distinct grumble to their “talking”. I don’t think they are too pleased with the cold wind and they aren’t pleased with being locked in either.

I try to tell them it is for their own good but I don’t think they believe me or they don’t understand. Even if they do believe me or understand…they are still pretty miffed about it all.

I have a feeling I am the same way with life. So many times I know things are happening because they are good for me but I really don’t want to believe it…. and I really don’t want to take the time to understand it. It is so much easier to just be a little ticked about it all.

If this week finds you in a situation that you know is for your good but you aren’t happy about it….take a deep breath, step back and give it some time. I find that after a bit I am either okay with it or at least over the “grumbly” phase.

May you also stay warm…wherever you are! And if it is bitter cold…may you have made preparations in advance like those very smart birds.

The past is behind:
learn from it.
The future is ahead:
prepare for it.
The present is here:
live it!
Thomas S. Monson

Faith and Farmers

All right… I am not sure why this post first appeared in reader the other day and now it has disappeared??? I am trying the reblog to see if I can at least get it to post…So here goes nothing….

The Chicken Grandma


So many things in life take faith. In the years I have been married to a farmer I can testify to the fact that farming is one of those things.

Every year my husband diligently heads off to the field to prepare and plant the crop he hopes to harvest in the fall. Some years that works out really well…..and other years not quite so good.

This past year we experienced some of the worst flooding on our fields that we have ever seen. We watched that water come up, go down, come up and again, very slowly go down the second time.

My farmer husband patiently (sort of) waited for the fields to dry enough to get back in them. He would walk out to the bottoms and stand in the middle of brown dead corn. He never said much when he came back…..he just waited and wondered what…

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New Paths


The last few days we have had snow off and on. For some reason it seems more on than off…but that could just be me. I hear from so many people that they are so ready for Spring to come and Winter to be done.

Those warmer days seem a distant memory on these cold winter days. The green grass seems far in the past and does not feel like it will show up again anytime soon. It does feel like I have gotten to be really good friends with the red plastic grain scoop that lives in our garage.

The girls do not like walking through the snow to get around so I spend some mornings shoveling trails for them to use; to get here and there. They are not very patient while they wait and watch me clear those paths. They keep up a constant clucking and chatter while they peer through the chicken wire at me.

It doesn’t matter how many time I reassure them that I am scooping as fast as I can…they lecture me….loudly…….. on my slow scooping. I sometimes wonder if they are also lecturing me on my skill level in scooping? It is hard to tell……they just tend to sound irate and impatient.

Hearing those girls squawking impatiently at me I tend to wonder if that is how I sound? I do sometimes wonder (loudly and impatiently) why things around me don’t happen fast enough to suit me.

In my mind I can almost hear God reassuring me that He is shoveling as fast as He can. Do you think He keeps up a running commentary, like I do with the girls? “You’re going to really like this when I get it done.”  “Just be patient a bit longer….I almost have it ready for you.” “Yeah….yeah….just keep crabbing at me……it will be done when it is supposed to be done.” “Just chill out and relax! I’ve never failed you yet.”

Just thinking that puts a grin on my face. Perhaps it isn’t just me who can act like a crabby chicken when waiting for a new path to open up? Perhaps there are more of us who kind of liked things the way they were or know exactly what we want any changes to look like?

Maybe we long for Spring because it is a comfortable place to be? It isn’t cold, it isn’t dark, it speaks of life. In Spring we don’t need to wait for someone to make a new trail for us…..we get to take the same old path.

May this weekend find you looking forward to the adventure of a new path. May you be reassured that those new trails will take you exactly where you are supposed to be and may you be blessed on that journey.

“…I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:19

Choose Fun?


It has already been two weeks ago since I got home from a cruise. It is hard to believe that those two weeks have gone that fast. I don’t know why I am always amazed at how fast time seems to go….. because it always seems to go fast.

I was talking to my husband about some of the funny things that happened on that vacation with our group of 8 family members…all women. I was relating how when we boarded the ship we entered a lobby that was glittering with shiny brass, glass and well polished wood.

There was already a crowd of people in that space. They were all listening to a guy standing on a stage behind a bar and he was hollering one word and the crowd was hollering one word back.

I thought this guy, who later turned out to be the cruise director named Peter, was hollering “Juice!”  …. to which the crowd responded heartily, “Funk!” I turned to Cousin Barb and asked what they were saying. She responded, “It sounds like Juice …. Funk”.

I have to confess; it took till the following night (after hearing this repeatedly in various locations on the boat) that I (and my cruise mates) figured out the chant was actually “Choose….Fun!”  My sister-in-law then informed me that, those words were the motto of the Carnival Cruise line. (Nope, I am not getting reimbursed for mentioning the cruise line…though if they offered….. I would take a free cruise!)

I was just happy that I was not the only one who could not figure out, immediately, what they were hollering. There is some comfort in sharing the stupid!

This memory was brought back while watching the Olympic winter games on tv. One of the commercials was from Carnival and they were…..you guessed it….chanting, “Choose Fun!” ( I have a feeling my brain will forever translate that as Juice Funk.)

I love watching the winter Olympic games but I do wonder about some of the sports those athletes do. I wonder about someone belly flopping on a tiny sled and plummeting down an ice-coated slide….a slide that twists and turns. I never hear a peep from those athletes participating in the Skeleton. I know for a fact I would be screaming my fool head off on that one.

I also wonder who in the world decided it was a good idea to strap both your feet to a board and shoot down a thing called a half pipe only to shoot back up and launch yourself unbelievably high into the air. Is this courage or something else?  Having raised boys….I think it is safe to say it probably was hatched in the brain of a man child. (Sorry guys, that is just my experience.)

Another event that baffles me is the ski jump. Again…..who thinks of these things? Maybe it is just me…… but rocketing yourself off of a ledge to land on a hard ice/snow packed surface leaves me scratching my head. It ranks right up there with jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or bungee jumping.

Our area of the country does have a small claim to fame when it comes to ski jumping and the Olympics. Back in 1932 the Olympic ski jump trials were held at a place called Canton, SD. If you want to learn more click on the name Canton, SD and check out the link to that bit of history.

I am always glad when the Olympics are on and I absolutely love the winter games. I always kind of wonder if I enjoy them so much because I am in awe of what those dedicated athletes can do. I am amazed at the grace of the figure skaters. I have no idea how those slalom skiers manage to make it through all those little poles/gates and watching the bobsled athletes plummet down that ice coated slide makes me want to squinch my eyes tight shut (and I am not even on that slide).

I think it takes a special kind of person to be one of those athletes. I think you need to be more than fearless. I think you need to have a different idea of fun than I have. I think you maybe need to do more than “Choose Fun” I have a feeling you may also have to “Juice Funk”!

“We all have dreams.
But in order to make dreams come into reality,
it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self discipline, and effort.”
— Jesse Owens,
American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist






Finding The Treasure


This is the season that is spent on harvesting. Soybean fields and soon corn fields will have seen the combine come and harvest all that precious grain. I realized that I was also finishing up my harvesting….on a much smaller scale.

I had one last bucket of apples that needed to be turned into apple pie filling. I also had a bucket of apple peels and cores that had to be made into apple juice. After those first jars of rosy juice stood “pinging” on my counter top I could not resist taking a photo of them.  They were so pretty and they positively glowed!

My grandchildren have discovered that this Chicken Grandma has jars….many jars of apple juice. They love to help me go get a jar from the pantry when they are here for a visit. Most meals, when they are visiting, seem to include at least one jar of juice.

I also spent time finishing up in the garden picking the last of the produce. Fortunately, pumpkins and squash, are hardy enough to take a hard freeze so there was no rush to get them out earlier.

The other day I wheeled my trusty wheelbarrow to the garden and picked what was left of the produce.

IMG_4824 Harvest From the Garden

My husband kind of chuckles about my wheelbarrow.  I will admit, she is not a beauty and has probably seen better days but she has been a loyal, trusty helper these last years. I have found that it is much easier to move things around with her help than trying it without her!

My wheelbarrow really doesn’t owe me a thing.  I got her free at an auction. The auctioneer failed to sell her and I spoke with the owner after the sale about what he would charge for it…..he told me to go ahead and take it home!

The corners in the front have cracks and when I have her loaded with pumpkins and squash….she makes a strange hawonka…hawonka noise as I make my way over the uneven lawn. (I will never be able to sneak up on anyone or anything while pushing that wheelbarrow!)

Earlier I expressed the thought that she is no beauty….I may have been a bit hasty with that comment. She is rusty, she makes strange noises and once in awhile her wheel wobbles around a bit…..but in a strange way, my wheelbarrow is beautiful!

Maybe my wheelbarrow is a lesson for me.  Maybe I need to look closer at things and people in my life. I know there are times I tend to look only at what is on the surface. I need to take a closer look at what lies underneath.

I have a feeling I may be surprised at what I find. Maybe I will find that instead of a bucket of peels and cores, what most of us would consider junk….I will find instead glowing rosy bottles of juice. Maybe I will discover that beneath the rust, wobbly wheels and strange noises is a wonderful beautiful treasure.

May you have a wonderful weekend of discovery. May you, and me, look beneath the surface at what really matters. May we be blessed and may we be a blessing.


Everything has beauty,
but not everyone sees it.

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