People wonder what we do all day. I mean, having moved from a decent-sized city with a children’s museum and zoo, numerous parks and play places, two malls and numerous restaurants, etc., to an itty bitty small Texas town – and homeschooling, too, “What do you actually DO all day?” is a legitimate question.
Sometimes, I think this is code for, “Ohmigerd, aren’t you BORED OUT OF YOUR MIND?” As for the out of my mind part, I’ve written about that already. And as for occasional boredom? Absolutely! But, I think occasional boredom is part of the human condition. We were bored at times in the bustling mid-sized city we used to call home and sometimes, and we are sometimes bored here.
But if you mean, “What do you do for fun?” I can tell you all about that!
Just like many families I know, homeschooling or not, rural or not, we look forward to weekends when we can all be together for much of each day, including the primary breadwinner.
So Saturday we made the trek into town for some shopping with the kids. (“Put yore good pants on, Scooter, and brush yore tooth! We’re goin’ to the big city!”) It’s a 35-minute drive which, to me, still seems like a long ride in the car. (That may have something to do with my role as snack dispenser and backseat sheriff, but I can’t be certain.)
T-ball season started Monday and Scooter needed a new bat. So, of course, we left the sporting goods store with a new bat, a new helmet, a new tee, a bucket of balls and a football for Cheech. The bat, helmet and football are all Seahawks colors and Cheech alarmed the staff by shouting, “GO HAWKS!!!!” at checkout multiple times. (That’s my boy!)
Then we headed to Target and I resisted singing, “Jerusalem! Jeruuuuuuusalem!” since Cheech had made enough of a scene at the sports store. But when the husband said he’d take the spawn so I could browse in peace, I had to hum the line, “Bring me my arrows of desire,” ever so softly.
And after a nice little lunch at a chain burger joint, we happily headed home. We had had enough suburbia for the week. It was too much traffic, too much noise, too much stuff, too MUCH. We had made our homage to consumerism at the sports store, left Target with only three things that we actually needed (for less than $20!) and ate an inexpensive little lunch. In the words of Goldilocks, it was, “Just right.”
We did need some new homeschool supplies, however…So on the way back, we stopped off and picked up these.
We are not new chickaneers, so buying new chicks at the locally-owned feed store was a cinch. (Last year, I ordered from My Pet Chicken, which I highly recommend for their variety of breeds, wealth of information and the fact that they will ship as few as three chickens – a definite plus for the beginning birder.)
We chose three breeds, all pullets (girls). They were already sexed at the store, but I checked to confirm. Yes, I have mad skills. One accidental rooster is enough and a brief peek at the business end of each chick wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever done.
And here they are!
The black one with the yellow blaze is a Barred Rock. After several escape attempts and her pecking me repeatedly through the air holes of their travel container, we named her Sassy. She better be a great layer!
The solid black chick is a black sex-link, a cross between a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire rooster and a Barred Rock hen. Sex-link means the chicks have marks that distinguish them male from female. The females are solid black and the males have a white dot on their head. This is a meat chicken, but Sweet Pea need not worry. She will die of old age here at our wildlife refuge.
My favorite is Honey Bun, a little Ameraucauna. She will grow up to have golden feathers and may lay colored eggs. I like her because she quickly let Sassy know she would not be taking any sass.
After getting the chicks established in their brooder, it was time for the boys to nap which meant some alone time for me and the husband. Bow chicken wow wow! IOW, time to clean the chicken coop!
We’ve had a lot of rain and snow lately and the flock have had to stay inside a lot. One of the roof panels has been leaking, so the situation was fowl. (See what I did there?) Our coop has a cement foundation with a drain line, so a shovel, bucket, hose and broom did the trick and about three hours later, they settled in to their nice, clean digs.
We also paced out a chicken run expansion and will start construction this weekend. Scooter will help me drive posts and dig the perimeter trench. Cheech will use a power saw and nail gun to make some gates.* We will call it “animal husbandry, physical education and technical education” in our homeschool binder and I’ll post an update soon. (Is there an HGTV show for chicken coops? Hmm. Maybe there should be.) We also hauled limbs from recent storms, built up the burn pile, fixed a fence and then it was high time to clean up and feed the animals.
They had pepperoni pizza and we had combination. All while watching “Babe,” the perfect movie to end this particular day.(Did we really have a choice?)
By 9, we were ready for bed. And then, we were up before the sun (and the accidental rooster!) to start another day.
So that’s our version of rural living. It’s definitely not what I envisioned when we moved here, but it’s alright. Were you surprised? I bet you thought there would be a square dance. Maybe next Saturday.
*Lies. All lies. Just wanted to see if I could scare you.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with My Pet Chicken, I just like them enough to tell other people without compensation.