nesting * geeking * critiquing

Posts tagged “family

Eggs

When I was a kid they represented your brain or, somehow, your brain on drugs. “Any questions?”
Later they were rebranded, because eggs need a marketing strategy, apparently?! Now the ad gods will tell you they’re incredible and edible.

Well, friends, I’m here to tell you that farm-fresh eggs are more than just incredible and edible—they’re powerful! I don’t mean like protein and nutrient powerful, I’m talking time-machine powerful. And I’m not yolking.

It doesn’t matter what my day has been like, a fresh egg instantly takes me back to my grandparents’ house.

Mama and Papa lived about 3 hours away so “going down home” meant driving on narrow 2-lane highways and crunchy gravel roads, traversing sweeping curves and nauseating hills. I grew to learn the nuances of the little towns we passed through, the countryside blurring past my window. Excitement swelled with each passing mile

The farm was a wonderland for this suburban girl. The majority of the acreage was wooded with pin oak trees; a rock-rimmed pond and big, open field anchored the space east of the house. It was that one big field that captivated my imagination.

During our visits, my mom and I slept in the bedroom with a little window that overlooked the far field. Papa used to tell me that he went out into the clearing late at night to smoke a peace pipe with the “Indians.” Naturally, I believed him. Night after night I planned to peek out and watch his ceremony. But night after night, my little body was tired from play and lulled to sleep by the sound of the fan, the softness of the bed and the “magic paintbrush” bedtime story. I never did manage to stay awake long enough to see the Indians for myself.

In the early days Mama and Papa kept pigs, rabbits and chickens. Each morning Papa took me out to the chicken house to gather eggs and spread feed. One half of the little red shanty was the chicken coop with storage in the other half. The feed—kept in a huge barrel, which seemed bigger than me—smelled of dried corn and grains, organic and sweet. I loved running my hands through the mixture, letting the little morsels fall between my fingers and back into the barrel. When the chore was complete my dusty hands proudly cradled the eggs, and my shoes glistened with the early morning dew…and the occasional bit of chicken poop.

Mama fixed eggs for breakfast, usually fried. We gobbled them up with buttered toast and cold milk served up in pastel-colored Tupperware cups. No matter how often they were washed, the thick plastic tumblers carried the faint stench of cigarette smoke and looked perpetually dirty from the hard water.

The best farm visits were when all of my aunts/uncles and cousins came, too—I’ll never know how we all fit in that little trailer. Back then I was the middle cousin, the only girl; 3 years separated each of us. No matter how hot and humid, we played outside with reckless abandon. There was a long, old platform trailer that made a nice (if only imagined) respite from the scratchy farm grass, chiggers and ticks. That trailer also served as the home base when my older cousin Dusty and I pretended to be Ghostbusters.

Things changed when I was 6 years old. The farm got a new double-wide trailer with plenty of room for all of us.  Sadly, Mama went to be with Jesus before she got to really enjoy it; she was just 5 days shy of her 56th birthday. April 21 marks 26 years past.

It’s amazing how something as mundane as an egg can bring back such a flood of memories, but that’s exactly what happens when I eat a farm-fresh egg. I know what’s for dinner tonight!

Chicks, Donuts & Dusty

Chicks, Donuts & Dusty

Note: elements of this were edited from a 2013 post; an earlier version of this piece was published on my now-defunct blog, The Road to Kilmarnock.
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#RuesdayTuesday 2

Today’s agenda is short and sweet: more shameless promotion of a cute little kitty named Rue.

 


#RuesdayTuesday

We added a new member to our little family last month! It’s my pleasure to introduce Rue.

This gal is such a ray of sunshine and impossibly sweet. We considered names like Pippa and Katniss but ultimately settled on Rue since she is small, gentle and excellent at hiding—just like her namesake from The Hunger Games.

In adopting Rue, we learned that Another Chance Cat Rescue (Kansas City, MO) houses 200+ kitties who have been rescued from the streets or off of other shelters’ “death row.” ACCR desperately needed help taking photos to post on Petfinder.com, so I volunteered. Spending a day with so many cats is overwhelming in such a good way; and the results didn’t turn out too shabby either 🙂
My 9 favorite shots are below; full album at my share site.

If you’re looking to adopt a feline friend in the Kansas City area, please visit
Another Chance Cat Rescue (Saturdays 11-2)
7205 Central Street
Kansas City, MO 64114 US


Back on Track

Well, it’s been nearly 3 months since I last posted…amazing how time just sneaks away when you’re not looking. The weeks and months since Christmas have been an adjustment around our house, for the better in some ways and worse in others.

Severus and I flew to Oregon on Christmas Day to enjoy some oceanic therapy. It really is amazing what being oceanfront can do for the soul! It’s also amazing what falling into the ocean can do to an iPhone 6—not good amazing. Fortunately, we still had an upgrade on our contract so my waterlogged, 3-month-old phone has been replaced and I’m back up and running. Here’s a little peek at what that dip in the Pacific looked like.

Trip

Unfortunately, we’ve not yet been able to recover the photos/videos that hadn’t yet loaded to the cloud. That in itself wouldn’t be a big deal except that it was our last Christmas with Vampire Kitty. We got frequent reports from my mom (who was housesitting) that Storm wasn’t eating. We had hoped it was a simple matter of her being a cat and protesting our absence. When we returned home on New Years Day we found that wasn’t the case. After several days of syringe-feedings, we took her back to the vet’s office and learned she was losing weight at an alarming rate. On Friday, January 9, a bitey little soul left our lives; melodramatic though it is, I haven’t been quite the same since.

Storm and I were almost like halves of a whole. She was both a BFF and nemesis. She slept right beside me at night, joined me as I prepared for work each morning and greeted me at the door when I arrived home. In spite of all that togetherness—or perhaps because of it—she also lashed out and bit me with regularity. Given all of the wounds she inflicted over the years, I feel secure in saying that we shared a bond forged in blood.

Those first few weeks found me nearly inconsolable. Translation: there was a whole lot of ugly crying! For heaven’s sake, I’ve got misty eyes again now just thinking about it. That’s why it’s taken me so long to get back in the swing of blogging; I dreaded having to write this post but couldn’t pretend like it didn’t happen or have a tremendous impact on my world.

She was just a cat, and she was kind of a jerk of one at that, but she was my little jerk. Things have steadily improved and we’ve welcomed a new little family member that I’ll introduce soon. Still, the Storm-shaped void aches with fluctuating intensity and, like any grief, finds the most obscure ways to resurface.

Storm


Intermission

We interrupt this dead air for a brief transmission from yours truly.

Working short-staffed by day is not good for my recreational writing. Neither is binge watching shows like Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD by night. (For the record, people aren’t lying when they say it got unbelievably better after the first 12 or so episodes.)

But all is not lost…I finally finished editing photos from my September Oregon adventures with my momma. I’m including my 15 top picks below as a teaser; you can view a couple hundred more over at my share site (here).