The Giver

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Today is the last day of school. We are all moving in slow motion, because the stakes are low. The kids will be in school for all of 4 hours, and it will mostly be watching movies, not learning. Like a public daycare.

I don’t care, because my goal for the morning is to finish painting the dining room yellow. So long as those precious angels are not in MY hair, you can educate them or not. Your call, have fun.

During morning chores today I was feeding the hens and could barely hear someone calling my name over all the cackling squawks of the feathered beggars. I have my own girls, plus ten extra birds that I am chicken sitting for some missionary friends. We get so many eggs a day, I’m excited to pick which neighbor I’ll share with next. My own flock is too small and rare (not high production layers) to produce enough to give away. But I love ’em just the same.

Anyway, I holler back a few times before Captain Schenanigains intervenes in a deep voice that carries over the noise. Manchild is looking for the fake cactus I brought him back from my Girls Week-end in York, PA this spring. Due to a tantrum he’d thrown after he’d helped me pick out my own decorative cacti (who will never turn brown on me and complain about watering habits), Manchild had exclaimed he thought by helping to pick some out, they belonged to him. I corrected him, thus the tantrum. Then I gave him his very own a week later, when he no longer wanted one or cared.

The minute I saw Manchild carrying around Christmas gift bag in June and asking for the special cactus, I knew. Manchild is a Giver deep inside, way down under the warrior exterior who loves nothing more than poking his sister with his light saber and making her yell. He loves his people deeply, and today was the last day of kindergarten, with his beloved teacher.

Manchild located the cactus, stuffed it in the huge green and red gift bag, then scurried off to complete his mission. I finished feeding and watering the hen, moved on to chirpy chicks, then finish with the ever patient, if not naturally silent, rabbits. They never complain, although the pregnant ones will huff at me, but I totally get that. I did my fair share of huffing when I was full of babies as well.

Back in the house, I get the full report from Manchild. He’s wrapped up the faux cactus, then moved on to the ceramic Irish Setter I’d given him last month from my childhood belongings. I’d saved an assortment of random, very breakable, farm animals for him that I had kept on a shelf in my room as a girl. One he had  given back to me as a Memorial Day gift (yes, my kids give gifts on Memorial Day – I had nothing to do with it), a perfectly detailed Boxer dog. Seeing how his classroom was decked out in canine paraphernalia as the Watchdogs, an Irish Setter with sentimental value seemed entirely appropriate for his teacher.

But as sweet as those two gifts were, it’s this last one that gets me right in the heart. See, we NEVER buy Oreos. That’s what we in the weight loss world call a Bad Decision. But yesterday I had no option but to take the kids grocery shopping with me, and as a celebration of summer, we picked out cookies. Manchild chose Oreos, and I upgraded him to Double Stuf (I hate the way they spell that). It was a BIG deal. So imagine my reaction when Manchild tells me he’s bagged up a Ziplock full of these delectable treats for his favorite teacher. I was floored. He was just so darn generous for being such a stinker much of the time!

While I doubt his teacher knows the value of each selected gift, and it’s a coin toss if you actually eat second hand cookies brought to you in an unlabeled bag by a six year old boy, I am pleased no less. My son has the making of an empathetic, strong, generous man. To a mama struggling against a short fussed boy with quick fists and an even faster temper, this was water to my worried soul. He just may turn out better than I’d dreamed of, and that is all God’s work alone. I take no credit for the inner workings of this boy. I love him to pieces, but I was not the designer of those pieces. Just the mama who keeps them oiled and working, scraping off rough edges when I can and polishing as much as I can reach. Really, it’s the fingerprints of God that are on each part of our children. Don’t you see it when you look at them?

So now as I sit on my back deck at 11:15am on a Friday morning, still typing instead of painting. I am once again reminded how much I love sharing my life with each of you, and writing up these blog entries. I am grateful for each of you who takes the time to read them, and completely understand everyone else in this busy world who doesn’t. After all, I’m just another mam who’s trying…

I’d taken two months off while I published Homemade Schenanigans as a book on Amazon, and that was a nice break. But I’m glad to be back. I hope today’s entry finds each of you well and hopeful, in every section of the world you are tucked in!  Go blessed, my friend, and keep reading!

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AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!!

SO, that process went a little faster than I had imagined, eh? But now Homemade Schenanigans the book (with some never before posted stories) is available for purchase on Amazon.com. Please feel free to leave a review on any of the books I’ve published, it helps readers a lot! I appreciate it, Friend!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1980601453/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1525279546&sr=8-2&keywords=beth+schmidt

 

Same Circus, Another Monkey

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After 4 years of dragging home every animal I could stuff into my suburban backyard (ducks, chickens, rabbits, cat), and trying to force each one of them into dog-like lap pets (the rabbits were by far the best, but gave me sinus headaches), WE FINALLY GOT A DOG!

I had been holding out on anything dependant on me to let it out to potty when the kids were little and home all day. We relished our freedom to be spontaneous. But now that our lives and schedules are determined by the public school system… eh, what’s one more commitment, really?

Grover is a 15 week old Labrador/American Bulldog mix, that we rescued from the Canine Human Network through Petfinders.org. He came to us house broken, and chew-free. This is my 3rd dog off Petfinders, and I highly recommend them if you are looking for something very specific. For us, we needed low prey drive (please don’t eat my hens and bunnies; the cat is up for grabs), low energy, and low shedding. I don’t need more to clean. But unfortunately, any breed you look at will give you 2 out of the 3 criteria. The AKC is not on my side.

However, if you plug this info into Petfinder, you can get a list of dogs that meet your wish list, while being healthy mixes. I’m all about mixing it up!

So here we all, 4 days deep into doggy ownership and the kids could not be more thrilled! I have never seen 8yr old Girlchild spend so much time off her hiney, and running the puppy up and down the streets of our neighborhood. The young ‘ens have also discovered that Grover does much better on a leash if he has something to chase. Enter 5yr old Manchild as human bait. Cesar Milan would probably not be very proud of us, but I kinda am. Grover never used a leash or collar before we brought him home Sunday night. Now he’s a miniature pro, almost.

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However, not everyone in the Schenanigans Household is taking this new family member in stride. Jax the cone-free kitty is pretty sure he could live without Grover. This actually surprises me, since Jax has no less than 5 doggie friends that walk through the neighborhood on their leashes, and stop to visit him along the way. He goes looking for them at their houses, too! He genuinely likes dogs… outside of his home. Inside is a different matter.

After watching Jax hide under furniture and swipe his claws at Grover as the pup plows by, or sneak up behind him and scratch Grover’s doogy backend, Jax’s opinions became quite clear. This puppy, and it’s desire to chase anything willing to run from him, was not welcome in his kingdom. That’s a bit unfortunate, seeing as how Grover’s here to stay.

The funny thing is, Jax refuses to stay away. He’s almost always found in the same room as the dog, and they both greet me in the mud room when I come home. While Jax doesn’t want Grover here, it’ll be a cold day before he sits back and allows this rescue puppy to sop up all his family’s love and attention! He sticks close, jealous, but close. What a hater.

I’d say Grover’s FAVORITE animal on the property is Girlchild’s best rabbit Cotton. Cotton is one of those rare, world class rabbits who comes when you call him, LOVES to socialize with people, and doesn’t chew cords. Apart from unwrapping a few gifts under the tree before Christmas, and happily digging in the Lego bin, this bunny is a delight to let run through the house from time to time. Which leads us to today…

After the Schenaniganlets had boarded the bus to higher enrichment, and Captain Schenanigans and I were back inside the house, finishing our tepid cups of coffee. Grover came bounding into the kitchen, freshly off the leash from his trek to the bus stop. He took one look at the free range rabbit on my tile floor and could barely contain his enthusiasm. The front half of his wiggly little body bowed low, then popped up and down, while the back half remained high and wagged his flag of happiness. He took a couple sloppy lunges at Cotton to ask to play, and while the pup never used his mouth on critters, Cotton wasn’t sticking around to find that out. He started spinning out his little fluffy paws to safer territory.

While Grover loves to chase, what he loves even more is to BE chased. So when Cotton took off running through the kitchen and towards the hallway, Grover gleefully took off after him. Seeing a chance to attack a distracted enemy and break the Geneva Convention, Jax hopped into the fray and ran with the duo. While Cotton had the head start, Grover had longer legs, and soon jumped OVER the rabbit, and KEPT ON RUNNING. Now we have a scared rabbit, running behind a happy dog, being chaperoned by a spiteful kitty, and they all three hit the intersection of the basement stairs and the kitchen doorway at the same time. That’s when, just out of our view, when the hissing and crying kicked up.

Not being entirely sure what we just witnessed, Captain and I scramble to the top of the basement stairs and take inventory. What we find is confusing. There, having fallen/ran/slid halfway down the staircase is Grover, crying and cowering on the steps,  looking upward for answers. Lording over him at the top of the stairs is Jax, proud, angry, and hissing with vengeance- just because he can. Nowhere to be seen is Cotton, the socially defeated and rarely hiding gray bunny, who just had the start of a very bad day.

Walking out of the kitchen, through the art room, and into the living room, I called for Cotton. He responded by bravely crawling out from under the glider and presenting himself in the middle of the room. What a fluffy little trooper! While unhappy, he is also unhurt. I scoop him up for comfort snuggles and head back to the kitchen.

Captain has since freed the submissive Grover from under the hold of Jax-the-Stair-Master and both animals are timidly loitering in the kitchen. Only one of them looking guilty. Captain and I pause to do a verbal re-cap, and I have to lean against the wall, I am laughing so hard. I still don’t fully understand what Jax’s stake in the whole thing was, if any. Was the cat was concerned about the welfare of his friend the rabbit and jumped in to help (doubtful)? Or was he really just gunning for a chance to take free shots at the otherwise busy Grover (deviously more accurate). I have underestimated this cat for far too long! He is smarter than I gave him credit for.

After that, we sorted everyone out into their “safe spots” for the day, separating cat and dog by wooden doors, and head off for work.  While I never thought the puppy would put his mouth on the bunny (and he didn’t), I did know that rabbits can die of fright, and didn’t want to have to explain to Girlchild that her new puppy killed her rabbit. Esp. since we already had to explain to her that her new cat killed her baby bunny, once in the past. Family additions aren’t mess-free, no matter how you slice the pie. This is doubly true in human relationships!

SOooo for the moment, peace has been restored in our single-level sanctuary. But after you witness your dog, rabbit, and cat running in a three member huddle, you have to beg the question: If three runners are athletes toghether, wouldn’t this qualify that moment as a Triathlon?

Anyway, apart from that very exciting moment, our only complaint so far during doggy ownership is the amount of time our new pup spends sleeping. We literally stand around, waiting for him to wake up so we can train him! He’s fallen asleep during meals, and is practically narcoleptic at any point in the day. I don’t consider us a high octane family, but we must be wearing this puppy out! Or, there’s one other possibility. To paraphrase Cesar Milan, this dog is just acting like his sleep loving owner.

“A dog is a reflection of your energy, of your behavior. You have to ask ‘What am I doing?’ That is the right question to ask”- Cesar Milan

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While I never asked for a high sleep needs puppy, the Lord knew what he was doing when he gave us one. This is my favorite way to bond with my children, too! 🙂

You Know What Hurts Like a BEAST to Get in Your Eye?

Last week I told my husband that this month, we were going to catch up on our savings. I told him that I was going to skip all my riding lessons, we weren’t eating out, or doing anything that costs money. We are going to re-fill our savings account. Or at least part of it.

God chuckled. The cat laughed. The bunny snickered silently. And the DC speed cameras just went on clicking. We hemorrhaged money this month like a water slide at Disney, and the month isn’t even over yet.

It started with the cat, Jax, standing on 3 paws at his breakfast bowl last Wednesday. Naturally, that was the day all the schools were closed due to snow and ice. I picked up the cat, attempted to examine his back paw, and he protested wildly. There was a bloody glob of dirt and pus caked solidly between his toes. I needed to wash it better to have a look. This was going to get ugly.

In the bathroom, the howls of protest gained claws and momentum. This boy wasn’t messing around, he was NOT going to get his pretty yellow feet wet! Even if it did hurt to stand. I called the vet just to make sure they were open after the storm, and they agreed to see us ASAP. I grabbed the cat, grabbed the cat carrier, and tried to make the one fit into the other. Kinda not caring which way worked by this point. Eventually, it all worked out.

The kids loaded the cat carrier into the van, I head back inside for coffee, keys, and to make Captain Schenanigans aware of our plans while he was out of town. Naturally. I return to the van and the cat is standing on the driver’s seat, with it’s little paws on my window, looking sad. Crap. If he gets out, we are NEVER getting him back in time for the appointment. I’ve seen that cat keep up with flying birds- Jax is fast!

But he’s worried, too, and was too preoccupied with whether the dashboard of my van held any hidden exits, to even notice me scooping him back up. I plunged him into the carrier, decided to strap it in to the passenger seat by me for safe keeping (and away from little helping hands that spring lying kitties out of their travel crates to comfort them). Thankfully the closed schools encouraged people to stay home, because this cat complained, cried, and begged for freedom the entire ride to the vet. Relentlessly annoying.

One antibiotic injection that lasts 14 days, 1 rabies shot, 1 cone of shame, and 5 days worth of kitty narcotics later, we owe $180 for our “free barncat”. Sigh. We could hear him screaming from the waiting room, just prior to the vet coming out and telling us the paw washing didn’t go quite as well as they had hoped. Ya think? That’s the only reason I’m here.

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       Part of the pad of his foot was bitten off by a fox or cat, this prevents licking.

Proof of that is the fact that my son, Manchild, my own 5-year-old flesh and blood, came down with the flu on Sunday. He stayed home and down for the count until today, Wednesday. Fevers, body pain, puking, and head aches. I treated it all at home. Because he didn’t claw, bite, or scratch me. THREE days of a kid with the flu was easier, cheaper, and required less medical attention than one cat with a bitten foot who makes bad choices. Smh.

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                                The Tylenol kicked in, he needed some outdoor play.

This past Tuesday, 6 days after the Snow Day, the weather was so gloriously balmy and Spring-like that I let every rabbit we owned out to run in the yard in some capacity. They stretched their legs, jumped high in the air, and loved every second if it. Since I have several collapsible fences, I can fashion them in different ways to allow multiple buns to frolic at the same time.  However, caution must be used. Male rabbits can fight through the bars, and must be blocked from any contact with each other. Little did I know, female rabbits will fight with each other when a wife bunny is jealous of a single female bunny running around in front of her husband. I am dead serious. They are just like married people. The husband and wife bunnies I have will ONLY squabble with each other when there is a single female bunny present and the husband shows interest. It’s uncanny.

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That would be one sulking white wife bunny while her gray husband looks over the fence at my new Champagne D’Argent girl.

 

Little did I know the females will fight each other through the bars of the fences. Figured that precious lil tid-bit out when I went to put everyone away and found Fluff, one of Manchild’s spayed girl bunnies who has a husband, with half her bottom lip hanging off. My new doe bit her and hung-on until it tore, through the fence. Since rabbits are prey creatures, they heal very fast. I gave it a day to see how she would heal, realized there was no way to avoid infection, and hauled Fluff off to the vet for stitches.

Four bright pink stitches on a white and black rabbit lip are surprisingly un-noticeable. I picked Fluff up after she was knocked out, debride, stitched up, and brought back to life. I was also given 7 days worth of liquid oral antibiotics, and a bill for $216. For my free used rabbit. The vet called later, and explained that while he had instructed me to feed the rabbit yogurt (it replenishes the good gut flora knocked out by the antibiotics- works in people, too), he failed to mention that she would not eat it herself. I had to put the yogurt in a syringe, like the antibiotics, and feed her 1tsp orally twice daily. Apparently, rabbits prefer vanilla or orange flavors, in case you were asking. This particular vet owned 150 Dutch rabbits, so I took his word on that one.

One syringe full of Greek Vanilla yogurt from Aldi’s later, I’ve got Fluff cradled in my arm like a baby. I fumbled the syringe to the clamped mouth of my free rabbit, and hit the suture line instead. Fluff remembered she had paws, swatted the yogurt away with a vengeance, and landed it in my eye. OH MY MOTHER OF PEARL THAT STUFF STINGS! Who woulda though Vanilla Greek yogurt packed such a punch? Glad I didn’t opt for the orange!

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Our final money snatching surprise came in the mail. In the form of a traffic camera speeding ticket, showing my slow driving, law abiding, beloved husband driving though DC at ELEVEN miles over the speed limit. Gimme a break, I can do that backing out of my driveway on the way to church! That little vehicular portrait cost us a whopping $100. Cha-ching!

So now we’re $500 deep into random chance bills, and we didn’t even sped a dime on our children’s health. Well, not true, we did buy Pediatric Dramamine to supplement the Pepto-Bismol we hand fed Manchild, but that was considered an investment into domestic hygiene.

Did I mention all the while Manchild is missing 2 days of school, Girlchild is pouting, faking symptoms, and all but licking his hot little face in an attempt to stay home, too? She was so jealous of him! All Manchild wanted was to go to gym class on Monday, and his Library snack party on Tuesday. He missed both. Girlchild still moaned, argued, and pouted. After this, I pleaded 45 minutes away from the house for mental health, left Captain with the kids, and skipped out of the house to the second hand store at the end of the street. I had offered to help missionary friends find long skirts, and right that quarrelsome moment was the perfect time to look.

But over all, I’m not worried. While I am all for financial planning (we live a dept-free life, minus our mortgage), all the planning in the would will never account for the times God shows up. Never accounts for the lady in line who pays for your daughter’s meal, the day she was supposed to pay for herself to learn about money. Never accounts for the generous check from a relative who really wants your family to come to a cousin’s Louisiana wedding. Never takes in to account that there is a HUGE, wild God, who can laugh at our plans, change our plans, and majorly over bless our plans in ways we could never think to ask for. Accountants say the numbers never lie. But I say, the numbers never speak the whole truth, either. They can be just as deceptive as a lying cat in a travel crate, telling an 7 year old girl it wants to cuddle!

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The Quiet of the Old Year.

It is New Years Eve, and the house is quiet. I have just finished reading Thomas the Tank Engine’s Journey Beyond Sodor to 5 year old Manchild, and tucked him gently into bed.  I poked my head into Girlchild’s room, she was reading. With a low grade fever and flushed cheeks, she still sucked her thumb for comfort. I kissed her forehead and prayed  with her, leaving her to continue to read a book about Christmas, and sing along pitifully with the printed songs. That’s my girl.

I am neither attending nor hosting anything tonight, and it feels delicious. It is eight o’clock, and I am reclining by the fire in a brown leather chair while my husband is off to celebrate the New Year with friends at Game Night. It’s a perfect New Years Eve, and all is well with my soul.

Except for the fact that Girlchild and I have both had colds all week. My daughter has perfected getting legit sick the day before school vacations begin, and initiates her own mini vacation the day before the rest of the school system. The kicker is that Girlchild and I both have our first ever allergist appointments in two days, and we plan to get the prick test to see what we’re allergic to. As anyone who has done this before knows, you can not have any anti-histamines for 5 days prior to your appointment. As every pharmacist knows, anti-histamines are one of the main ingredients in cold medication.  This was poor planning on everyone’s part. Even my teeth feel congested.

But I promise you one thing, this will not be one of those “End of Year in Review” pieces. I hate reading those things. I don’t really care much about what has happened this year. I know it already. I was there. I took pictures and ordered albums of the memories I want to keep,  and have already dismissed the one’s I don’t. It’s what’s coming next that I am always looking forward to.

In Schenanigansland, what comes next is Bunnypalooza! No joke. I have my first batch of 11 day old meat bunnies resting comfortably in their nest, while Betsy, my second doe is growing closer to breeding age all the time. I’m aiming for a total of 8 liters between the 2 does this year, and about 120lbs of meat in the freezer. We run out of sockets for electric water bottles if we have any extra rabbits over the winter. Betsy took the last spot.

We love Betsy! She sat in the basement with us yesterday and watched the 3rd Star Wars movie in the trilogy. Don’t ask me what it’s called, I was asleep. But our bunnies are beloved pets, and it’s just their off spring that are considered livestock to us (and therefore never named). This first batch will spend the last 2 months off our property, in pairs, at the homes of 6 different families with kids who want to pretend to own a bunny. Works great for me. You feed it, I’ll eat it, and repeat. Sounds harsh, but they are a fat-free, locally grown, earth friendly source of white meat that I can provide for my children’s dinner. Sometimes being responsible is a bit harsh.

But that’s not what I’m excited about. I’m excited about my new rabbit grow out pen DIY project I just ordered off Amazon. You see, I realized the other day while scrubbing my kitchen floor, that I care more about how I set up my next rabbit pen, than when or if I ever repaint my kitchen. Let alone what color. After much scouring of the internet, I eagerly found the perfect way to combine the free standing wooden bunny house I’m not using, and the green mental shed we barely need. It just called for a few office supplies.

I’d seen these hand made pens around at 4-H events, but never quite mustered up the nerve to ask if Staples provided their rabbit cage. It just felt awkward. But take a look at these photos below. At $16 for a four shelf kit, I’m completely sold! I ordered 3 kits.

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OK, granted, that last one was for an embarrassed cat, but you get the picture. I’m super excited to see what designs I can fit into my almost empty shed to give the most bunny space and predator protection for $45. It’s like Duplos for adults.

Anything to save time and money is always welcome on this Rabbit Ranch. See, last month I bought a red hen. I plopped her in my yard, separating her from the other girls by a small collapsible fence to prevent fights, and went to dinner. All chickens go to sleep the minute it gets dark, so my plan was to plop her on the roost in the coop upon returning home, and all the chickens would wake up happy together in the morning. Except, when I got home, that girl was GONE. Not one red hen on my property.

We searched high and low. Our yard, our neighbors yards, the shrubs, nothing. I have never, ever,  had a chicken vaporize that that one did. There’s $15 I’ll never get back. So, feeling sheepish,  I found another woman selling hens, and bought two from her (she won’t sell them in singles to avoid have one new hen get pecked to death when placed with a flock). They were $20 each, which is the average rate for a hen who is just about to start laying eggs, especially if they are a pretty bird. The lavender one was beautiful (she laid blue eggs), and the red one just promised to lay a bunch. I don’t care what color they were, I just wanted quantity.

Two nights ago when I was making my evening rounds in the yard, I found the red one  outside the coop at the base of the ramp, trying to sleep. That’s not okay. I scooped her up and realized something was wrong. She was floppy. She kept gyrating her head and trying to lay the top of her head on her back in a sideways motion. Kinda like she was stargazing.

It’s called wry neck, and it’s a symptom of multiple diseases I couldn’t cure, and possibly a vitamin deficiency I could cure. So I went with that diagnosis, and started dosing her with liquid vitamins. Prying her upside down beak open and eye dropping a stinky, very stain-able, vitamin solution in to a sad chicken is nobody’s idea of fun. Especially not for the chicken. But dosing her with the Trader Joe’s horse sized magnesium pills was even worse. Even snapping it in half left a rather large, pea sized tablet I had to be sure to insert on top of the tongue, not under, as I learned that hard way while Lil Red fought me, and I might have had to shake her a tiny bit to let gravity do it’s thing. This is why chickens do not have a gag reflex.

Lil Red either felt much better come morning as she scratched along the yard with the others, or she’d spent the whole night downloading acting lessons. That hen looked nearly perfect to me. I praised God, and carried on.

Next day, Lil Red was absent during role call, and I had to fish her out of one of the nest boxes. That was unusual. Once again, she couldn’t walk, didn’t have much head control, and wasn’t eating or drinking. I had a bit more time to spend with her (I get push back for spending family time fussing over chickens, since sadly, I am not an actual farmer), so I took Lil Red into the house with me, set her up a tiny apartment in the corner of the foyer with an old towel, feed pellets, corn, water, and her own applesauce cup. I kept the lights dim to keep her calm, dosed her with more vitamins, and left her to rest.

Lil Red wasn’t eating much. She didn’t try to walk or drink. This was not good. However, by mid-day, one of the children had breezed through and left the lights on in the foyer. That gave Lil Red the signal that a new day had started once again. Suddenly she was interested in eating, drinking, and hitting the sauce pretty hard. Turns out, I’d made a rookie mistake. Chickens roost when it’s dark. So there was no way I was going to convince a sick chicken to eat in the dark. Once I turned on the “daylight”, we were back in business. Rookie mistake. *forehead palm*

Now my fire has died down, my children are asleep, and Lila the Mama bunny has hidden all 6 of her children under her food bowl to keep grabby hands at bay. I love the stillness, and hope the midnight fireworks (and possible happy gun shots?) don’t wake my babies. I don’t want to enter 2018 sleep deprived. I’d rather enter it snug in my bed, with a fleece loving cat pinning down my knee caps, and a good book tossed sleepily on to the floor. If you need a recommendation for one, may I suggest Blue Cottage Life, by Beth Schmidt? I hear she’s a new up and coming young author! 🙂

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           HAPPY NEW YEARS, FRIENDS!