Poop and Shoot

These little girls are my newest obsession.  I love everything about them…except the cleaning the butt part.  Yup, I did that today. Little Lucille here wasn’t quite ready for her photo shoot with the big, old turd hanging from her rear fuzz.  Thank goodness for youtube and the videos I watched on how best to clean their nether regions.   So, after some warm water, 15+ cotton balls, a ‘fuzz cut’ (get it? buzz cut?  Har Har), and a blow dry, she was ready for these pics.

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“Oh please.  Stop.  I insist.”

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“Ok, just one more.”

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“I said ONE more crazy, obsessed, chicken lady”

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Night Night. “Cheep Cheep.”

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The Farmer’s Chicks

We did it.  We got chicks this weekend.  After about a year of ‘kind-of ‘ wanting them, we brought some home.  I say  ‘kind-of’ because we really weren’t sure we wanted chickens.  Heck, we STILL aren’t sure we want chickens.  Especially 6 of them!!  How did we end up with 6? Let me tell you.

Last fall, my mom built chicken coops for my brothers family and mine.  When I say she built them, I mean she designed and actually built them.  Not a kit.  Not a mail order.  They’re adorable and I’ll have to post pictures when the weather permits.  You’ll love them.   So, here we are with a chicken coop and no chickens.  Hmmm…no pressure or anything to fill it up, right?

Since the coop came, chickens were on our mind…a lot.  I bought some books, talked to friends with chickens, read online, and of course pinned chicken things….I was ready, right?  We were looking forward to Spring with hopes of getting them early and decided to take the plunge on Saturday.  Off to the feed store we went.  Now, let me tell you, this same time last year, we ran into a lady at the feed store who was full of knowledge, volunteered at the store, and was called ‘The Chicken Lady’.  We’ve talked about her randomly over the past year and said to each other yesterday, ‘What if The Chicken Lady’s there again?’   Well, guess what?  We walk in and there she is!  Standing in line to buy her own supplies, she’s there. So we talked to her some and she’s all, ‘Guess what? I have a Lavender Ameraucana that I might be able to sell to you. She lays blue eggs’.   Mr. Farmer lit up.  This type of egg is the type he’s been talking about for over a year.  So, we tell her we’re interested and she tells us we have to come to her house tonight and get it because breeders are coming tomorrow and they’ll take all she has.  Uhmm…ok…I guess we’re getting one of those.

After talking to The Chicken Lady for a while, we get 3 chickens from the feed store.  3 different, beautiful chicks who are all supposed to be friendly and docile girls.  Then we head to The Chicken Lady’s house.   We looked, drooled, and checked out her chickens.  She gave the boys a basket and told them they could fetch all the eggs from the coop.  Then she sold us our Lavender.  At last, she asked us how big our coop was.  We told her how big it is and that we felt that we could only have 3-4 chickens in it.  She tells us we could easily have 6, maybe 8.  What??  Uhm…so, then she’s showing us a Buff Brahma.  Oh, this Buff Brahma is adorable.  I look at Mr. Farmer with the sweetest puppy dog face I can muster and he caves.  Sucker!  So, now we’ve got 5 chicks. The Chicken Lady looks at me, smirks, and says, ‘you want one more? How about a Russian Orloff?’.  Scott and I both almost scream NO but instead politely try to tell her that we have enough and should get going.  So, she walks us to our car, to place our Buff in with the boys and whispers in my ear, ‘I snuck a Russian in the box.  Shhhh!’.  Then she winks!   I couldn’t believe it.  Mr. Farmer couldn’t believe.  6??!!  What are we going to do with 6 chickens?

I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing with them.  Holding them, watching them, cleaning their butts, taking their photos…  So, without further ado, here are our girls:

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Our Partridge Cochin

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Our Silver Laced Wynadotte.  Henry named her Mille.

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Our Lavender Ameraucana

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Our little Russian Orloff.  Scott named her Elsa.

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Our Buff Brahma

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And last, our Buff Chantecler.  Her name’s Lucille and the boys love her to pieces.

 

Now, although I’m obviously in the honeymoon phase of chicken ownership, I’m loving them!  They’re so cute and precious!  I know these days are fleeting (do I sound like the mother of a newborn baby?) and then I may be regretting having to clean their coops and defrost their water…but for now, let’s face it…even their poop is cute!

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Announcement!

I have news.  No, I’m not pregnant.

We are moving!

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Things are moving along to the status of ‘official’ and I thought now would be a good time to tell everyone that we have sold our house.  I’ll be taking some time off at the end of this month for the move, so if you’re wanting to order for Mother’s day, please do so as soon as possible.

Our little story:

Less than 2 weeks ago, we got the phone call that an offer we had made on a new home was accepted.  We had made an offer with a 10 day contingency to sell our house.  10 days!  Freak out mode began for me just 12 days ago.  If you would have been around me the Friday before last, you would have seen a frazzled, excited, hyper, stressed woman.  We ‘staged’ our house in less than 12 hours, listed the house within 24 hours, had 7 people want to see it the first day, a ‘For Sale’ sign and 2 offers by the 2nd day.   We accepted the best offer the next day and just finished up the inspection last week and the appraisal yesterday. Whew!  That’s a lot of information in once sentence, isn’t it?

We had been semi-looking for a new home for a little while but really thought we would do this within a year or two.  But, after seeing our future home, we thought, ‘Hey, why not make an offer and try?’.  And now we are looking at closing dates and moving boxes.  It’s all happening so fast and part of me is excited I haven’t had too much time to think about this move.  We are thrilled to be going where we are going yet sad to leave our neighbors and friends.  This house was our first house, the only house our babies know.   The memories here are wonderful.  The work we’ve put into the house has been a very rewarding experience and we are sad to leave, but excited for change.

I have two really busy seasons with my work.  One’s at Christmas and the other is happening right now.  Not sure what I was thinking moving during this time of year but we believe this was all meant to be.  I will be putting my shop on vacation for the move and plan on re-opening shop once I have internet and have unpacked my work boxes.  Our new house will have a proper office for me, which I couldn’t be more excited about!  No more working under the stairs!  Yippee!

So, if you’re wanting to order for Mother’s day, I highly encourage you to do so now.  This week or next week at the latest.  After that, I’m not sure I can guarantee you’ll see your gifts arrive before Mother’s day.  You can stay up to date on our move on my Facebook page if you would like and I’ll try to update my last day to accept Mother’s day orders on there.

Valentines Day Craft

My friend and I signed up as art docents for our sons’ kindergarten class.  We decided to share it and have been taking turns doing art projects for their class.  Tomorrow is a new art day and after looking on Pinterest for what felt like hours, I decided to do this little caterpillar for their project tomorrow.

Quite honestly, the little 5-6 year olds kind of scare me. When you get 25 of them all at once raising their hands or asking for help, you start to shake a bit.  Or at least I do.   I don’t know how teachers do it.  They have this magic way of clapping and suddenly, every little person stops what they’re doing and does the same clapping pattern.  It’s a miracle only the teacher can do.  Believe me.  I tried.  It didn’t have the same magical effect.

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But, being able to help out in Jack’s classroom is an opportunity I am glad I get to do.  Let’s just hope they’re just as happy to make this little project tomorrow.

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Balance

Over the past couple years, there have been a quite a few requests for the ‘word of the year’ necklaces.  Each woman chooses a word that is her word for that year.  Sometimes it’s ‘Courage’.  Sometimes it’s ‘Strength’.  Sometimes it’s ‘Faith’.  I’ve never chosen one for myself.  Probably because by the time I think about making one for me, it’s June and the year is half way over.  This year, I decided to make one.  My word for the year is ‘Balance’.

I think every mom has this same struggle.  The daily struggle of her list.  Whether it’s mental or written down, that list is always running through her head.  If it’s not, I want her secret.  As a work at home mom, my list may be a little different from some but it still needs balancing.  There’s a problem with my work though.  A really good problem….I LOVE my work.  Love, love, love it.  So, how do I balance my work and my personal life when my work is my personal life?  Every time my work is a little slower, I cherish those weeks that I can try new recipes, make a couple of crafts, organize a closet (or three), garden, spend way too much time on Pinterest, have a shopping trip with a friend, get my hair cut.  Each night after the kids are in bed, I gravitate towards my office.   Every night, I have my best friend who wants me to sit with him on the couch.  Another balance issue I need to work on.  That time after the kids go to bed is my quiet time.  My time to think, create, or just be.  But, it’s also OUR time.   And I need to remember that and cherish that.  So, lucky him, he’s going to watch ‘The Taste’ with me in a bit.

For years (I’ve worked from home since our oldest was a baby), I’ve tried to find that perfect balance.  The balance of doing ‘cool, fun’ mom things, housework, and ‘work’ work.  As my business grows, each busy season I tell myself I’m not going to go through another busy season without hiring help.  Then, the next roll of orders comes in and I can’t seem to find the time to think about hiring help.  Does that make sense to anyone other than me?

So, even though I have no magic answer tonight, I do have my new necklace.  I have had these oval pendants for a long time and decided to stamp ‘balance’ off to the side to remind me that even though my life is not perfectly balanced, it’s still a beautiful one.

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Happy New Year

September. 2012.  That was the last time I blogged.  Wow.

Here’s to New Years resolutions.  I have a few of them.  Want to know them in no particular order?

1.  Blog more.

2.  Eat more whole foods.

3.  Drink more water.

4.  And all the other normal ones everyone else picks….exercise more, relax more, you know….

The flu/cold bug has been in our house for 8 days and so I’m getting a little annoyed, irritated, whatever you want to call it.  Right now, my oldest is taking his 2nd nap of the day and I’m going a little stir crazy.  Just when one family member gets better, another one gets sick…then the one that got better gets sick again.  Help us!  But…I’m trying to look on the bright side and am thankful this bug didn’t enter our house until after my peak season.

I have so much to be thankful for that 2012 brought to my family, my friends, and my business.   Here’s to 2013 and all it’s wonderful things it’ll bring.

Happy New Year!

Celebrities, VIP Access, Back Stage Passes…one crazy night

Let me warn you, this past Friday night wasn’t your typical Friday night.  Well, unless you’re famous…or part of the press…or an agent…or a sound tech guy…you know, one of those.

I’ll start this story at the beginning.

A couple weeks ago I get about 7 text messages in a row from our cousins, the Flemings.  They went like this, ‘call us’, ‘hello’, ‘where you at’, ‘answer us’, ‘it’s important’, ‘CALL US’, ‘YOU’RE FIRED’.  You get the jist.

So, I call them.  ‘What do you want?’

‘What are you doing Friday, September 21st?’

‘Uhm…probably working on orders.  Why?’

‘We need you and your camera.’

‘Uhm…ok.  But why’

‘We’ve been hired to shoot an event at EMP (Experience Music Project in Seattle) and we need another photographer’.

‘I’m not a photographer’.

‘Ya, but you know how to use a camera and you know how to focus’.  (They’re so nice to me.  They own Fleming Photo Studio…check it out)

‘I’m in.’

That’s how it started.  A couple days later, more phone calls, more texts.  Details, details, details.

Let’s fast forward to the good stuff.  Friday.

Cathy picks me up and we head down to meet Randy and the rest of the ‘hired help’ at the EMP, who have been there since Thursday setting up. Cathy and I roll on in and there’s just a tad bit of nerves going on.  We have a few hours until go time so we get a tour of the EMP, I meet a lot of people (including Ted and Casey who work for Flemings), and get the run-down of how the night’s going to play out.  Oh, and we get in-ear CIA official head-sets.  Wow.  Now I felt cool.

See the little curly wire behind my ear?  You can tell I’m bored, can’t you?

Guests were scheduled to start arriving on the ‘purple’ carpet around 5pm.  They wanted us to shoot different places around the event so Cathy headed to the main entrance where the limos were and I started shooting them walking into the building.  Randy ate donuts and played solitaire on the computer.  Or was it minesweeper?  I can’t remember.

Ok, not really but he and Ted were sitting behind their computers uploading our pictures as they came in, editing them and splashing them across a couple big screens during the event.

About a half hour early, guest started to arrive.  Nerves…again.  But let me tell you, these guests knew what to do.  They were all dressed up and ready to pose and have their pictures taken.  We took pictures for quite a while and then before we knew it, it was time to come in and get ready to shoot the main event.

All of a sudden (ok, I actually volunteered to go up there), I was ushered up to the VIP lounge on the 4th floor, which overlooks the stage.  On the stage was none other than Danny Gokey, from American Idol, warming up.  The natural thing to do is hang over the balcony’s railing, try to get pictures of the top of his head, right?  Well, I’m doing this when some ‘VIP’s start coming in.

Uhhhhh…what do I do?  Just start snapping pictures of them drinking their drinks and eating their fancy food?  I guess, right?  So, I start shooting away and I focus in on some guy and start clicking.  After about ten pictures I think to myself, ‘Gee, he looks familiar’.  I discretely pull out my phone and google who I think he is.  I’m so classy.

Phone in one hand, camera in another…here I am trying to look professional while confirming that yes, that was Steven Baldwin .  Insert heart racing…palms sweating.  Not because I have the hots for him or anything, but come on…it’s Steven Baldwin.  His brother is Pete Schweddy!  (sorry).

So, I take some more pictures and then realize I should hang over the balcony again and get some pictures of Danny.  After a couple shots, Mr. Baldwin is standing right next to me.  Oh. My. Goodness.

I’m sure he didn’t notice the weirdo sneaking cell phone pictures.  If he did, oh well.

 I play cool (har har) some more and make my way around the lounge to get some more shots of important people , doing important things and then head on down to switch my memory card with Randy for a new, blank one.  This is about the time the concert is about to begin.  Let’s go back stage to get some pictures of the crowd from the view point of the performer.

There I am, back stage while Danny performs, while the president and founder of Solavei speaks, and then Cee Lo Green performs.  I’m excitedly taking pictures when someone says, get on up there and take pictures from onstage.

‘Really?  I’m allowed to do that?’

‘Sure, why not?  Just don’t get in his way’

‘OK!’, I basically scream because I’m so excited.

Here comes Ms. Sneaky, with a monster lens (you know, to look the part) and I take those steps one at a time.  Next thing I know, I’m kneeling on the front of the stage snapping pictures, I’m hovering behind the guitarist getting that viewpoint, I’m basically anywhere but in their way.  Such a rule follower.   Well, that is until I’m doing an army crawl with a giant camera and all of a sudden a roll of tape comes flying at me.  Ooops.  Apparently, I was in the way of Cee Lo’s sound guy.

‘Oh no!  I better get out of his way!’

After the celebrities did a couple songs, we had to shoot their ‘meet and greet’ out by their trailers.  More pictures, more moments of me freaking out because I couldn’t get my flash to work, more sweating and shaking.  At one point, Steven was just standing there, so I just HAD to jump on in and have Randy take our picture.

He just has a ‘look’ doesn’t he?

The last part of the event was a longer performance from Cee Lo.  I was smart and got on the opposite side of the stage this time and managed to get some great shots.  I like this one.

Cee Lo is a fantastic performer.  He had the crowd going and he was so much fun to watch and listen to.

If you’re still reading this novel,  congrats.  I’ll get to the end.  Basically, I was taking pictures with the Fleming team well into the night and I had an absolute blast.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Pretty please!??

HUGE thanks to Randy and Cathy for offering this experience to me!!  You guys are the BEST!

Week in Photos

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We picked our peas.

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We went fishing.

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We caught fish.

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We taught little hands to reel in fish with a fly rod.

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We jumped into hay piles.

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We had fun in the hay maze and on the slide.

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We went in fire trucks.

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We picked raspberries.

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We made raspberry jam.