It’s a Chick Mama Life

Three Chicks and a Dude.

That could be the title of my life.

I’ve been thinking the past several days about what it means to be a Chick Mama.

I’m surprised that it has taken me this long to put my feelings into words.

The Ranger and I have been blessed with 2 Mini-Chicks, and as we don’t have any Mini-Dudes living in our house can sometimes be an estrogen-fest.

Horses 1

I love being a Mama, I love being a Chick Mama!

In this household, we keep hairbrushes, hairclips and bands in the drawer next to our silverware. (Not in the same drawer! The one next to it! EW!)

brushes

We have more “Babys” than Chicks in the house, and they have better wardrobes than I do.

We have more Barbies than Wally World, and have been informed that, “Just one more and I will have enough!” several times.

goggles

There are more purses in our house than people, and only 3 belong to me and most are decorated with Barbie or Hello Kitty. We also own more shoes than most shoe stores.

the Designer

But, just so you know, it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows.

Chicks cry, they whine, they scream.

They giggle, they tease, they are huggers!

Being a Chick Mom is pushing through your PMS to deal lovingly and with understanding a pre-teen who is coming to terms with her own hormones. And hearing the phrase, “You all hate me!” screamed several times a week, followed by a flood of tears, stomping up the stairs and a slammed door. I never realized me telling someone that they needed to eat supper before desert meant I hated someone. Not sure I’m looking forward to the teen years, I have the Mother’s Curse on me and if you know what that means nothing more needs to be said on that topic.

Years Day 7 - revised

Being a Chick Mom is to explain to your Mini-Chicks that we dress according to our ages. i.e. You are not an adult and you will not dress like one. Tights are a fashion must and the crazier they are, the happier the Chick! Unless you’re Big and then you think dressing up means wearing jeans with sparkles on them and no holes with a T-shirt that is clean (Big does not do dress up, Baby makes up for it in spades!).

Tights

Being a Chick Mom is to explain that you cannot date or have a boyfriend until you are 16 and here is why. Basically, by then we are hoping you decide to enter the convent or at least taken advanced self-defense. It is also having the awkward “Talk” with the female children while the lone male hides in his office.

My Chicks run the gamut between Eccentric Chick (Baby) and Nerd Chick (Big). There is nothing “normal” about being a Chick Mom; just as I’m sure there is nothing “normal” about being a Mom in general. It’s hard to put into words what it means to be a Chick Mom. It’s what I know. I’m not sure what I’d do with Dudes, but if I knew that I wouldn’t be a Chick Mom!

Nicole at

is talking about being a Chick Mom and what exactly it means. She’s the one who got me thinking about the topic. You can join her on Mondays to see what it’s like to be a Chick Mom as she features one Chick Mom or another on the topic!

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Green – Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge

You may have been wondering where I have disappeared to?
I’ve been around…just crazy busy!

I’ve been Tweeting a whole lot more! and I’ve been adding to my Pintrest too!
Someday I’ll learn how to link them…

Let me tell ya ’bout a recent adventure I had with my family…

We went to the ZOO! (and I’m not talking about my Mama’s place!)

I may have mentioned that the Accidental family has this Thang (Southern for Thing) about zoo’s.

We LOVE’EM!

So far we’ve been to the Pittsburgh Zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Memphis Zoo, the New Orleans Zoo and the Atlanta Zoo…last weekend we added the Nashville Zoo to our repetoire.

It has become one of our favorites after only one visit.

The setting was not just green, it was GREEN!

This is who greeted us as we walked into the place… green foliage and blue birdies!

Nashville Zoo 1

The one bird had a bit of an attitude…
He went this way…

Nashville Zoo 2

And then he went that way…

Nashville Zoo 3

And then…
He stopped and looked right at me and asked,

Nashville Zoo 4

“What’chu Looking At?!”

I’ll (hopefully) be posting more about the zoo soon!

Today I’m participating in the Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge with Live and Love Out Loud, Project Alicia, and Bumbles and Light.
Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge

I Put My Kindle on Overdrive and Loved It!

Okay, let’s go over what we know about this Mama.

  1. I am a librarian with a degree and everything
  2. I read…a lot.
  3. Refer to # 2.
  4. Wash, Rinse and Repeat.

When I first heard about the idea of eBooks, I was a bit leery.

I love books!

I love the feel of paper and how it shapes to my hands as I read the same book over and over again. It’s kind of like a pair of jeans that are stiff when you first buy them, but as you wear them they become a part of your body. Books are like that to me.

However, I also have this thing about technology. I really like it too!

Do you see my quandary?

For awhile I was indifferent, then I was leery, then I was in denial, then I was into full blown eReader envy, then I got one!

The Ranger surprised me with one last year with a Kindle for a birthday / graduation gift!

I was stuck in another quandary…my husband had listened and gone out of his way to purchase me this AMAZING gift and I was disappointed because, you see, I had been thinking about getting a Nook. However, please don’t think that I wasn’t anything less than thrilled with my Kindle!

My KindleMy KindleMy Kindle

The Kindle and the Nook are probably the two most competitive brands of eReaders, I’m not counting an iPad in this conversation because that’s a whole other she-bang!

I was thinking about getting a Nook mostly because it was more versatile – I could share my books and more importantly, I could borrow books from my local library! (The key phrase here being LIBRARY).

The Kindle had a vast number of titles available on their free collection shelves, but Amazon.com seemed to be a bit stingy about what it would allow the Kindle owners to download for free. I realize that it’s all about the money, they are a business who needs money to exist and if we can gets books for free then why would we want to pay them for their titles?

My KindleMy KindleMy Kindle

Amazon is my new best friend.

They have gotten over this whole money issue…

…sort of.

They worked out a deal with Overdrive (the main distributor of eBooks to public libraries in the United States) to allow Kindle owners to borrow eBooks from their local libraries!

FREE!

When I was working at the Cresson Public Library we had just begun a contract with Overdrive to give our patrons 24 / 7 access to library materials. I played with the program so that I would be able to teach patrons how to access these titles from their home computers. It wasn’t that difficult, but you had to download a specific application onto your computer and download the book from the internet to your computer and then from your computer hard drive to your reader. And, every so often you need to go back onto the computer application and delete the title from your hard drive.

With my Kindle it literally took me 2 minutes to check out my title, click “download to Kindle,” which takes you to the Amazon.com website where you click “Download” and BAM! It shows up on your Kindle!

I’ve never downloaded anything easier except from Amazon.com itself!

I will definitely be using that particular application a whole lot more!

I have now recently spent time with both a Kindle (mine) and a Nook (another story), and I have to say I LOVE my Kindle so much better!

Now, I just need to get my itchy, honkin fingers on a Kindle Fire!

I have not recieved any money in return for my love and adoration of my Kindle. I just like it and like to talk about it! However, I would not be adverse if Kindle would like to gift me with a Kindle Fire to review for them! *hint*hint*hint*

 

 

The Weekend the WiFi Went Out in TN

I thought I had died and gone to H-E- Double Hockey Sticks.

My internet was gone…

completely GONE!

I had lost not just my WiFi, but my DSL connection.

I do not always ❤ AT&T.

There, I've said it.

The group / company that has so maligned me!

For 3 whole, WHOPPING days I was sans my internet and thus my Facebook, all 3 of my emails (YES! I really NEED 3 email addresses), Twitter, Google+, Pintrest (follow me, People, I’m pinning new things everyday!), and my Blog!

It was almost like walking around blind…total sensory deprivation!

There is free WiFi…but that would entail a whole lotta hoops, and let’s face it, I’m a Mama and it was the weekend so there wasn’t time for hoops.

So, my umbilical cord internet disappeared on Friday afternoon. We’ve had some connection issues so I thought, “No problem, it’ll be back in a few minutes.”

No. such. luck.

By Saturday afternoon I had tried two different modems numerous times, to no avail, and decided to put on my Big Girl Pannies and make the call to the AT&T helpline. Sigh. I DESPISE that automated voice that say, “Press 1 for _____, Press 2 for _____.” It just makes me want to pull my hair out (and frankly these days I don’t have that much to spare!).

The very nice young man tried to sell me a land line.

He didn’t want to believe that I already had one.

Since last JUNE!

And, since I wasn’t calling about my telephone line I was a bit annoyed with the line of conversation!

Then the very nice young man went through the “Idiot List” of
1. Did you make sure the power was on? Duh.
2. Do you have a telephone hooked up to the same line as the modem?
“Yes, and it is working fine.”
3. Are you using a filter? Duh.
4. Did you disconnect the line, shut down the modem and restart it?
“Why, yes, I did. Several times. With 2 different modems.”

He then proceeded to check the DSL Channel from his happy little computer that WAS connected to the internet. “Are you sure that the modem is connected to the jack?” he asked.

“Yes, I do.”

“Hmmmmmmm…” he continued. “I’m not showing any DSL line. I’ll have to send a technician out to take a look at the earliest convenience!”

Apparently his definition of “earliest convenience” and mine are two different things. ‘Cause I thought my earliest convenience was right then. His idea was Monday afternoon. Sigh.

The technician guy DID come. He was very nice. He couldn’t find the DSL Channel at all. He went back to the office and turns out the card there was bad. I wasn’t the only poor sole without my internet all weekend. Turns out there were about 20 of us. Maybe we should have started a support group.

I often wonder when I got to the point that I need a support group when I lose my internet connection.
I mean really, I was born into a world where it did not exist.

Yes…I’m that old.

And now here I sit with my laptop on, well, my lap while I try desperately to catch up on my blog reader, emails, facebook stories, and twitter feeds…and celebrity gossip.

Life is good.

Where I’m From

Where I’m From

I am from the Foothills along the winding Hwy 9; from saddle shoes and hand-me-down clothes.
I am from the yellow mobile home next door to my Grandma’s house and across the street from church.
I am from the crick, buttercups chins, dandelion chains and skunk cabbage fans.
I am from blinking porch lights to get a horn toot from the 9 o’clock train and chasing cows at 2 a.m.
I am from family camping trips and Vikings, from the Ferry’s and Boice’s and my Grandpa Butch and my Amma.
I am from artists and jokesters and thinkers.
From “Here comes trouble” and “Say that again…slower” and “I can do it MYSELF!”
I am from grassroots, charismatic Jesus Freaks and proud of it! From Sunday services that could run all day depending on how the Spirit moved the congregation. From Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Little House at the Ferry’s, choir practice, Christian schools.
I’m from San Bernardino, from Iceland and American Heinz 57.
I am from Vinarterta and hamburger casserole and gingerbread houses.
From the family who moved with their entire village to North America, the man who once tried to count the Mama bulls, and the woman who survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
I am from “butt shots” and polaroids in albums so worn out their covers are missing.
I am from the land of hippies, yippies and yuppies; from as far west as you can go without jumping into the Pacific and as far north as you can go without entering Canada.
I am from Van Zandt, population 52 if you include the cows, in the Foothills along the winding Highway 9.

Today I’m participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop
Mama’s Losin’ It

Skating through Sunday

Oh, I got a brand new pair of roller skate,
you got a brand new key

Ahhh…roller skates…

Remember those things?

Not the streamlined things with all the wheels in a roll!

You know, those klunky things that look like someone glued a 4×4 to your feet!

Yeah…

Those!

I was a rather uncoordinated child (surprising, huh), but for some reason I could manage better on skates than I could in my plain old shoes.

I have fond memories of skating with friends and family at the Ferndale rink and later at the Lynden rink.

My sister and I had roller skates at home and we would often be found roller skating through the mold warehouse at my Granny’s ceramic shop (I wonder if she ever found out about that).

Let’s just say we could have lived on skates and been perfectly happy!

Then, the unthinkable happened.

I blame the Crazy Trio.

I mean really, who could turn down a Crazy Trio?

For those of you not in the know, Crazy Trio is basically a game of crack the whip with groups of three skaters. Everyone goes one direction, a whistle blows and you turn and go the opposite direction without letting go. And let me tell you, the momentum from the speed you are going does not make it easy! But it is soooooo much fun, or at least it was.

It was a September evening in 1989.

Eons ago.

I was skating a Crazy Trio with my Sissy and Ryan.

The whistle blew, Ryan was in the middle and was trying to help us to turn, he lost his balance and went down and I tripped over him and WIPED out! Not only did I wipe out, I crashed and BuRnEd!

I later found out (from a sports doctor) that the reason I was having knee trouble was because in that fall I managed to push my knee cap from its normal location to one on the OTHER side of my knee joint! Basically it went from 12 o’clock to 4 o’clock.

Yeah.

Ouch.

The jest of this story is not supposed to deter you from roller skating.

Quite the opposite!

I was thrilled when we moved here to find that roller skating was alive and well in Middle-of-Nowhere, TN!

This last week was Big’s birthday and she wanted to go roller skating.

So, we did.

I checked my health insurance,

And, I took my girls to the rink,

Got them some skates (and then took them to the counter to get them tightened),

And strapped some onto my own HONKIN feet!

I think my feet actually tingled with excitement!

I think they sighed with satisfaction as I tied those laces!

I had a few iffy moments at first, but once I hit the boards…

Sigh…

It was 1989, my hair had a bad perm, my jeans were pegged, I was listening to Boy George and hoping that dark, eyed boy who came with me would ask me to skate couples.

Then the mood was broken by, “MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM! Look at me” by a voice that could only belong to my child.

So I turned and this is what I saw:

Baby skating 9-11-11 reworked

I think I’m creating a monster.

I’m so EXCITED!

I spent the afternoon telling the kiddos:

“Don’t hang onto the wall.”

“You don’t have to lift your feet, just put your weight on one foot and then switch to the other.”

“If you can’t stop, aim for the padded wall!”

AND

“If you are falling fast, don’t just grab me ’cause I’ll fall too!”

This last bit of advice came too late.

I am now the proud owner of a bruise on my arm that stretches from my arm pit to my elbow ’cause Baby grabbed me without warning when she was going down.

I can’t wait to go back!

Death by Boogers

Yeah, I know…classy title.

But today I just don’t care!

“Why?” You might ask, ’cause you all know I’m one classy chick!

Because I’b got a colb, an my nose is all snuffled up (but only on one side).

I’m pretty sure I’m dying.

What’s worse than the whole boogers issue is that I lost my voice!

Those who know me well are probably laughing hysterically at that idea. I talk. a. lot. I rarely shut-up. In fact, those who love me best know that sometimes you’ve just got to tell me to hush! I have no problem with them doing that ’cause I know I talk. a. lot.

Anywho…

What makes me losing my voice even worse is that my Partner in Crime (PiC for short) came to visit me from Pennsyvlania last weekend, when this whole cold thing hit and I could barely talk to her! And, now I’m feeling h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e ’cause she’s got the most beautiful baby and kiddos and they are all now coughing and hacking too.

Sigh.

I’m the cause of an epidemic of boogers that is now spread across two states.

Oh, and I’ve had to turn down two teaching gigs this week and will have to call and cancel the one tomorrow ’cause it’s hard enough to control a classroom of 9 yr olds, let alone to do it with boogers dripping off your nose and a whispering level of voice control.

Excuse me for a minute while I grab a new box of tissues.
la,la,la,la,la,la…music to wait by…

Okay, I’m back.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah, feeling sorry for myself.

Well, I’m going to have to suck it up soon enough ’cause I think Big is coming down with the same thing. She got up this morning and left her voice in bed. I did what every good mother would do – I gave her some cold medicine and sent her to school with the assurance that if it got worse she could go to the nurse and I could come and pick her up.

I think I’m going to actually call the doctor today though, I think I’m getting an ear infection – and I’m not just saying so in a hypochondriac sort of way either! I’ve had enough real ear and sinus infections that I KNOW when I’ve got one coming on, and this feels like the real deal!

The pain, the a-go-ny!

You might think I’m over reacting to a cold.

But. I’m. NOT!

Really!

Seriously, about 2-years ago I was the victim of a vicious attack of Adult Pertussis (aka Whooping Cough) and since then my lungs have been lousy. That attack left me with a few souveniers – namesly an inhaler and a penchant for bronchitis.

And, if you think I’m going to post a picture of sick me you’ve got another thing coming! So, instead I’m posting a picture of my PiC’s sweet baby!

Sweet Baby 2