Friday, February 7, 2014

We Avoided Puke but Not Body-Snatching, TToT Week 34

“Gratitude goes beyond the 'mine' and 'thine' and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.”

– Henri J.M. Nouwen

It hasn't been a normal week here at the coop.  Our house became a revolving door for a 24-hour illness.  Each day, one kid went down as one was getting up.  No vomiting, thank heavens, but fevers and headaches and sore throats took their toll.  I am the only one who hasn't gotten it.

To add to the oddness, the van has been having trouble starting in these cold temps.  The battery was corroding and dying and suffering greatly.  I have become quite adept at hunting down a borrowed working vehicle and hooking jumper cables to it.

Unfortunately, the snow and cold we are dealing with has become our normal.

Hershey would really like spring to get here, too.


1.  Honest people working in retail are still out there to be found.  I went to Auto Zone to get a new battery for the van, since they will install it after I purchase it.  The man came out to look at the dead battery and told me he didn't want to do it.  The battery and bolts were starting to corrode, and if they broke he wouldn't be able to fix it.  He suggested I go to the dealer or an actual mechanic to buy the battery and have it installed.  (Don't tell me it is company policy to only do easy, uncomplicated battery changes.  I'd rather be naive.)

2.  Our local Ford dealership has the ability to get me in quickly.  I called them Friday morning, asking for the very first available time, and he said, "Come in right now."  An hour after I called, the van was fixed and I was on my way to pick Turken up from kindergarten.

3.  For the first time in the 11 years I've been associated with our preschool, we are having a snow make-up day.   The mother of one of the preschoolers told her daughter about the make-up day.  After pondering it for a minute, the preschooler replied, "Well, I guess I'll wear blue eye shadow, since that's kinda like snow, and I'll wear red lipstick, because that's the color of cardinals..."

(Did you catch why that is so adorably hysterical?  A make-up day.  She's planning the make-up she's going to wear.)

4.  Wednesday was yet another day off of school thanks to the 7 or so inches of snow which fell overnight.  For this one, I was grateful.  It was Phoenix's day to be sick, and missing a day of high school is a Bad Idea.  The day off gave everyone a chance to sleep and relax and get all the germiness banished.  Plus, since I didn't have to do all the picking up and dropping off, I could stay home and wash the sheets of all the sick people in a single day.

5.  We can pay our heating bill and still have enough money for food.

6.  A lovely, helpful neighbor plowed our driveway for us on Thursday.  He couldn't get around the circle, since my van was there, but by plowing the long, straight portion of the drive, he saved COW and me lots and lots of work with the snow blower.

7.  I could go on and on about how wonderful my husband is, but I don't want to brag.  I'll just leave it at "COW is awesome."

8.  Two nights in a row we had an animal get into the chicken coop.  The only way we can figure it got in was by climbing a tree leaning on the back of the coop (You can see the tree in a couple of the redneck fence post pictures.), climbing over the roof, and prying the window out of the frame.

The first night we found the window lying on the ground on the outside of the coop.  One chicken was half-eaten inside the coop.

The second night, the same window was cracked in half, with the top portion on the ground outside the coop.  One chicken was missing, and one chicken was freezing, covered in ice, shivering in an old dog house just outside the coop.

COW and Phoenix put chicken wire up over the windows, and we haven't lost any more chickens since.  The chicken which spent the night in the snow is back to her old self.

The plywood was put up where the broken window (made of plexiglass) used to be.

9.  Our tradition with the kids is to have a feast of party food while watching the Super Bowl.  When COW takes charge of the food, he heads to the store's freezer section and buys every box of crap he can find that the kids might like.  He also buys odd non-foods just for fun.  (I don't think Lizzi will ever be the same after seeing the photos of the spray cheese last year.)  I try to get less horrible choices in where I can.

This year, I took the reigns.  I let them have some frozen pizza, but it was the not-so-bad kind.  I let them have frozen pretzels.  The rest was their junk, but with some health to go with it.

They had chicken nuggets, but they were the homemade, baked kind.  The strawberries were covered in chocolate.  The apples came with caramel dip.  The chips and queso was made with our homemade salsa.  The bags of chips were "natural" cheese puffs and veggie straws.  They all love banana bread and deviled eggs.  And because of all of these compromises, everyone was happy, and NOBODY PUKED!

10.  THE OLYMPICS HAVE BEGUN!!!!  I love, love, love watching the Olympics.  I love the stories behind the athletes.  I get teary every time they play our national anthem.  I'm in awe of the feats these athletes attempt.  (Honestly, those snowboarders are crazy!)  It's fun to be united as a country to root our athletes on.

How about those opening ceremonies???  FANTASTIC!!!  They were shooting for the biggest and best, and they delivered.  I loved the whole show.

Okie doke, it's your turn.  What gifts have you been given this week?

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts


  1. FIrst? wow.... hmmmm... loved your list ... not so much on the opening ceremonies... sorry to disagree... they were okay but a bit dorky in spots... but of course I couldn't do any better so.... glad everyone is feeling better... doesn't it just break your heart when the girls get attacked? Bummer... glad its shored up...

  2. I LOVE #3! I have a preschooler who thought she was going to "pretty school" instead of "preschool." She and your student would get along GREAT.

    I hate everything that has to do with car repairs.

    I would rather have hemorrhoid surgery than have the stomach flu. And you know that's saying a lot.

    What kind of animal can pry windows to a chicken coop open unless it has opposable thumbs? Werewolf? Zombie?

  3. Makeup day! TOO cute!!

    I am dreading the inevitable day, when we finally do get chickens, that something horrible happens to them. I have yet to meet one person with chickens who has not had some sort of awful thing happen with them. I just realized how lame that sounded... "I don't have chickens yet, but I'm so worried they'll get eaten!" Oh well.

    I hope you truly manage to escape the flu and that everyone feels better!

  4. I love the Olympics too. To date the archer shooting the arrow and lighting the torch is my fave. Your Superbowl food looks yummy, especially those strawberries and I'm happy to hear that the "bug" has flown your coop! :) Happy Weekend!

  5. Hope that the family is alright now, Christine!

  6. So sorry to hear your family has been sick and not feeling well. I will say that I hate when my kids get sick and had Lily a bit under the weather also this past week, but she got better quickly (I was shocked how quick) and the rest of us knock on wood have been ok so far. But do hope you all are better now and enjoying the weekend, too!! :)

  7. Poor Hershey. :(

    If I had six kids getting sick but THANKFULLY not throwing up...that would have been 6 list items right there! BAM!! :)

    Glad everyone's on the mend. Oh...where did you get that skookum devilled egg holder??? My favourite!!!

    1. It is the best, most handy deviled egg holder. One might say it is being the best egg holder it can be. ;) I do believe I got it at a kitchen store at the outlet mall. Just for you, I googled it.

  8. Makeup :) Kids are so adorable! I so love it when a neighbor pops by with a snow-blower in toe. Have to agree with you those snowboarders are crazy. My son was sharing with me yesterday some of the jumps he's done and I was shocked to say the least. Hope you don't end up getting sick and hope everyone in your family feels better soon.

  9. Make-up day for preschoolers? *narrows eyes and leaves it well alone*

    Glad that the illnesses have left you alone. And that your neighbour and your husband are SO awesome. Hershey looks utterly wretched, and I can only imagine how dismal it must be to still have snow after so, so long, and to hate it. I'd only *almost* swap our floods and never-ending rain and destruction for it.

    Your Superbowl meal looks like a GLORIOUS FEAST! And YIPPEE for no puking. And no, I never will get over the spray cheese. Ever. EVER.

    I got a very vague idea of the Olympic opening ceremony as Denise held the TV up in front of the VidChat cam, and Linda and Zoe commentated us through it. I wasn't gone on it. And I've never been that much into the Olympics. Most 'tv' things, when you grow up in a household without one, and then choose to remain in a household without one, just don't sink in.

    1. At first I thought you were upset thinking we were suggesting preschoolers wear make-up. Now I'm beginning to think you are poo-pooing the idea of us making up the missed days of preschool. I'm pretty sure the only reason we are is because the parents have already paid for a certain number of days, and we have just missed too many. No one will be forced to come, it's only if they want to.

  10. Sorry to hear you've had so much illness this week; hope everyone is doing okay now. We had one sick kid this week too, but thankfully also no puking, though lots of nosebleeds. I found it hard when my two kids were both ill when they were younger so I can only imagine it must be several times more exhausting with six. And you've been dealing with lost chickens and a car repair too. You sound amazingly cheerful, considering. Well done to you!!

    The expression on your dog's face as he contemplates the snow is priceless.

  11. I'm sorry you lost some chickens, but glad the frozen chicken survived :-) I think the battery guy was probably not allowed to change the battery in its conditions. Company policies are sometimes designed to keep any potential costs from them. Glad you got an appointment with your dealership quickly! I hope your family is all healthy again. Obviously, a mean stomach bug is going around in the girls' kindergarten, but luckily, both of them did not catch it so far. Hope you have a great weekend, Christine!

  12. I'm going to think about that little girl's statement every time I hear about a school make-up day now. That is just too cute!

  13. Sorry to hear that you've been battling illness...we've had the beginning rumblings of colds but nothing has manifested itself.

    But I probably just jinxed myself.

    I was wondering if you had spray cheese again this year...sounds like the compromise helped bellies not revolt this time! ;)

  14. I'm so sorry about the chickens and that everyone in the family has gotten sick. I'm also happy that you haven't and that your neighbor plowed your driveway. And I too love snow days. If you read my post, you'll see that is my first line. And our kids are grown, my husband and I don't work outside the house, and so he says every day is a snow day. Still. I love snow days. Happy weekend to all of you.

  15. Wow, your Superbowl party sounds like a ton of fun! I'm glad you had a high point amongst all the illness. And glad you got your chicken situation under control. Tricky, tricky predators.

  16. I'm so sorry to hear about the germ fest invading your home. I absolutely dread it when one kid gets sick and it slowly makes its way over, under, around and through. I hope you continue to be well and nothing else comes your way. I will say hooray for no puke....THAT is the worst!
    What a cutie pie with her blue eyeshadow and red lipstick! Kids never fail to crack me up with the things they say!
    I would complain about the four days of endless rain we are currently having but compared to the winter y'all are enduring, I'll keep it to myself. I cannot even imagine it.
    I bet your husband is awesome. I'm also fairly sure he'd say the same about you!

  17. Love Henri Noewen!

    Sounds like the way viruses traveled in our house. The only thing worse is sick parents having to take care of sick children.

    The make-up story was the best one I've heard in a long while :)!

  18. 2 Thumbs up for post title!
    Don't you ever let your battery get in that condition again young lady. Especially in the winter! Glad you are now cruising with a strong battery. Nothing worse than a battery you know is on it's last legs.
    I feel really bad for the chickens!! How scary for them:) Our former neighbors used to have a family of ducks. None related. There were 2 very large white ones in the motley group. Then one morning as I was opening the gate I spotted a whole bunch of white feathers. Not just a couple. And I knew. Sad....but thank goodness I didn't see a body!

  19. chicken nuggets!! chicken nuggets! (I went through a chicken nuggets for dinner period for 2 or 3 years, enjoyed them and then eventually grew to despise them, finally regarded them with indifference).
    ..I am relying on the calendar now… not so much that a certain month means a certain temperature range, just that once I hit March, even with a gigantic snow storm, it's hard to get to depressed… not taken as seriously.

    I would say something about illness and my own experience this season, but I have learned not to tempt the goddess.

  20. Wow, I do hope all of your gang are feeling better now! And hooray for you not getting it too. I would rather have just about anything than a stomach bug. The one I had for five days back around Thanksgiving was just horrible. Ugh.
    Quite possibly the best post title ever on this one.
    And the makeup day? Had to laugh because that's so the way Zilla would interpret it. Little Miss Literal.
    Have a wonderful week!

  21. I always try to balance crap food with good food too. Like frozen pizza plus fresh veggies. It at least makes ME feel better! lol
    The make up day thing....adorable!!! I love it.

  22. I hope you're shoring up on vitamin C and all that jazz so you don't come down with the ick! I love the makeup day. That's so sweet.

    I haven't watched any of the Olympics. Having no cable is weird, and I don't think it's being streamed on the internets.

  23. Nobody puking is HUGE. Bigger than huge, as is trying to make the snack thing more healthy this year. Tucker eats chicken nuggets (or pizza) for almost every meal and I've been trying to replicate the nuggets that are the just-right-softness, and just-right-not-soggy when served the day after forever. Have not perfected. Share, please, if you have...
    (I mean without having to kill my own chicken kind)

    OMG I love the "snow make-up" day. Brilliant and much better than here when my son will have school but we won't have work. Ugh to the snow days already. I wish I liked lipstick more.

    1. I can't say we have the not soggy the next day issue with the nuggets, as we rarely have leftovers. When we do, the kids don't mind the bit of soggy. I'm wondering, though, how you reheat them? I'm thinking the microwave would be the worst way soggy--wise. Perhaps a toaster oven? It works with leftover pizza.

  24. I can definitely relate to being grateful we have enough to pay bills and for food. This month has been a bit tighter than other months because my husband is doing a training for a new department so he isn't able to get commission until later on in the month. Let's just say we were used to that and it really helped cover everything each month. Only one month of it though and he may be taking on another really excited position next month, we hope :) Poor chicken that was eaten! I'm glad you all were able to fix the problem! I'm glad everyone isn't so sick and you had days to help them all recuperate. This snowy weather really stinks. You all should come visit me in Arizona. I'm sure I would enjoy your company in real life and all of your sweet angels. :)


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