Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My funny life

Well, OK, I admit it, I just love going to curves. The company I keep there is so much fun. On a good day there's lots of conversation and lots of fun happy girls making those machines swoosh for our obligatory 3 rounds=30 minutes.

Usually I like to listen more than talk because my face turns beet red and I get out of breath, but today the conversation and the company jogged my memory when the chit chat turned to frog legs. How does the conversation turn to frog legs, you might ask and I might wonder, where was I storing this memory all these years? and...what else is hiding away. Well here's how the conversation went.

When I was a very little girl, I remember one time my dad had live frogs, big fat squichy live frogs, a whole smelly mess of them, and we were going to have frog legs for dinner. I don't remember much, (thank goodness?! the trauma!) How he came about getting them I'll never know, we were city suburb dwellers, not a lake for miles and miles. I was spared the brutality of just how the frog legs got on my plate (where was the rest of the frog?) but I do remember these big fat squeaky frogs and I remember that the frog legs tasted just like chicken.

My dad raised a lot of things, he liked the taste of pheasant and deer and wild stuff, so he built a long narrow coop right behind the clothes line in the back yard and got some pheasant eggs, incubated and hatched them and raised these chicks to be dinner. Again, in my mind I am spared the details of the journey from the pen to plate but I remember those birds squawking a lot, always clucking around.

My dad raised a lot of things including beans and garlic in our backyard and I wish I could remember more, I'm sure there's a memory in there that will surface for another time. This was the end of the 50's early 60's when he had his first heart attack, money was scarce I'm sure, as he wasn't working then, he couldn't, and he wasn't well or able to do much. But if you're my dad, you just don't roll over and quit, you raise frogs and pheasants and make me a memory that come to the surface years after the day.

Now, after regaling all with my tales of my dad and my childhood and lots of giggles and laughs, I forge into my present life with my husband. Neither one of us is working, my husband is collecting a truly pitiful unemployment check, and money is tight but we have the time that we haven't had before to spend with the grand kids.

So I tell my buddies at Curves that one day out of the blue he said, 'I want to get some chickens'. I said, "chickens?" with an eyebrow cocked. OK, maybe I was dumbfounded, and listened as he spent a good hour telling me his memories of when he was a child and about how he would visit his grand parents and get eggs, and climb trees, and get scolded for wearing so much dirt, and he has good memories a mile long, and his eyes are a little misty.

This is my husband who still watches reruns of Everybody loves Raymond and still laughs, and thinks Dirty Jobs is equal programming to National Geographic. He is not the least bit in touch with his feminine side, so a little mist in the eye goes a long way for him. There is no argument against the mist.

So. We have spent the last 3 days tooting around this town to see if we can get supplies for our future little peepers, used or at a discount. Oh sure, if I wasn't looking for chicken cr*p I would be tripping over it as I walked out my front door, but these are hard times and everybody and their grandmother is out for the bargain...

Yes bargain, and here's the whole diabolical plot...

The local Grange will give you 5 (yes you heard me correctly, 5) free (yes you heard me correctly free) 1 day old chicks when you buy 40 pounds of little vitamin enriched chick starter food!!!


Only $15.00 and you get the chicks for free. (There's a song in there somewhere) Of course the saleslady (lovely woman. really, very nice) rambled off a list (you know an elbow to wrist list, a two piece waterer, a two piece feeder, a red heat lamp so they don't cannibalize themselves, a heat tolerant fixture, vitamin drops for the water, scratch with cornmeal so they don't get butt clump, non cedar bedding, eat cedar and die chickie was all the Grange lady said, she didn't elaborate) as we were all saying how cute these chicks are and ooooo wouldn't it be nice to get eggs, and my grandma used to raise chickens...and..kumbayah...etc...so...

...$50 bucks later, we are the proud owners of an attempt to recreate my husband's childhood memory for the grand kids. Better that than my frog legs memory you say?

So while I was away laughing and giggling, sweating with the oldies, telling my tales of years gone by, grandpa and grandson put their heads together and decided the best place to give these fluffy little hatchlings a home would be

in my dining room of course!

You can try to hide...

But I'm gonna find you! Drop those bird feeders!!!

Grandpa tells grandson everything any man wants to know about these space age red light bulbs and the age old question is finally answered...

How many men does it take to screw in a really big light bulb, (or is it... are you smarter than a preschooler?)
Careful placement of the waterer and the feeder. Notice brand new wallpaper, just in time for the peepers.

Note industrial chain that is used to hold logs to trucks as they careen down mountain roads. Only manly men chain their red anticanibalizing light to the ceiling with them babies.

Also note futile attempt at froufrouing the wall and shelf, maybe in 6 weeks when I can get permission from the chickens.

Grandson, trying to contain himself from ripping shaving bag open.

Sorry honey, Alpha male won.

But Grandpa did let you Place the feeders and look at them.

Almost ready for final inspection...
Approved! by the mad scientist.

I have to say I don't know why this entire project was done with our coats and coveralls on, I live in a house with 4 walls and a roof, and we have a lovely heating system, just one of life's great mysteries I guess.

Please notice lovely red roses that I got for my birthday, that now have the honor of welcoming the little peepers.

Future home of the coop. What is a little tree removal when you are trying to make a memory?


Ellen said...

Loved it, what a great post! At least the wallpaper will be the same color as the chicken . . . . .anyway, where are the chicks! I couldn't see them, Ok, I am going to go and read it over again, really enjoyed it!

signsoftimensuch said...

that is so neat! my memories are baby chicks at the musieum of scievce and industry in chicago...always had to go see them...thanks for the memories...getting better at one handed typing...lol hugs,cheryl


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