Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

A Lucky New Year.

Posted on | December 31, 2014 | 5 Comments

First I carried eight 50lb feed bags out to the barn.  Then I separated Autumn, the October goat kid, from her mom for the first time so we could milk Allie in the morning.  It’s time to dry off Vanessa so Allie needs to pitch in and do her share.  I’m not exactly sure what I did in the barn after that because the sounds of Autumn screaming in the kidding barn drowned out all reasonable thought.

The Other Half and Pretty left to go hunting and Big headed outside to practice with the throwing knives he got for Christmas.  Me and Little had cereal for dinner and then I headed out to drop off Middle at a friend’s house, hit the gym for a quick workout, and stop by Home Depot for a replacement for the downstairs toilet handle that broke off in the afternoon.  Just a regular evening in the scheme of things.

Except when I arrived at the gym, it was closed.  And so was the Home Depot.  Apparently, it was a holiday.  New Year’s Eve.

Huh.

Are people still doing that?

I sat in the empty parking lot wondering at how I became the kind of loser that doesn’t even know it’s New Year’s Eve.  That eats cereal for dinner on New Year’s Eve.  That buys a replacement toilet handle (oh, for Pete’s sake, why?) on New Year’s Eve.  What could be more pathetic than that?

Then I suddenly remembered what I had been doing in the barnyard after I locked up Autumn for the night.  When I fed the chickens I found that the pullets had squashed 3 of their own to death the night before by huddling in a corner of their coop.  They were starting to do it again as dusk set in—clambering on top of one another in a pile instead of roosting with the other adult birds.  So one at a time, I carried each one of the 21 pullets to the roost, put her feet on the branch, waited until she was settled, then went to get another one.  I’m not sure how long I did this (the goat screaming stretches time into eternity), especially since some of  the pullets jumped down and had to be placed back on the roost.  Some of them jumped down a few times.

Oh, no, I thought, sitting in the desolate parking lot.  I spent New Year’s Eve teaching chickens to roost.

And what I had to look forward to when I got home was putting away the Christmas tree (depressing) and wrapping Dollar Tree gifts in multiple layers of wrapping paper for Little’s birthday party the next day (tedious).  These gifts were for a party game where the kids pass the the presents from hand to hand as music plays.  When the music stops, the kid holding the present gets to take one layer of wrapping off.  The music resumes and the game continues until one child unwraps the final layer and wins the gift.  I’d say it’s an exciting game except I think I’ll be sorry when one of the kid opens the whoopie cushion and one of the the kids will be sorry when he opens the reusable ice pack.  What can I say?  Birthday party sponsored by Dollar Tree.

I sighed and, just at the moment, the phone range.  It was Little requesting a Redbox movie.  I told him not to hold out any hope for a good flick because other families had probably already snatched up the best rentals.  Knowing that it was New Year’s Eve and they should share some family entertainment before watching the ball drop.  I headed over to the deserted Redbox and was surprised that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was still available.  Not a first choice, sure, but better than Madagascar 3 (Please, stop.  We just want to see the penguins.  The penguins) and it was only a PG-13.  I’m not saying I’ve rented an R movie for the kids before, convincing myself that the violence was no worse than Transformers and the sexual innuendo just went over their heads.  I’ve never done that.  Never. But I’ve head of some parents, who in desperation to have an hour’s peace before bedtime and confronted with an almost empty Redbox have done that sort of thing.  Shameful, really.  I’d hate for my New Year’s Eve to sink to those depths.

Not that it could.

Because I would never rent an R movie for my kids.

Never.

(There’s no video cameras by those things, right?)

Once I had my movie I felt a bit better.  I got into the car, tossed the movie on the seat, buckled up, and then ran my fingers through my hair, brushing a few loose, dirty strands out of my face.  (Dirty hair, no makeup, gym shorts.  On New Year’s Eve.)  And that’s when it happened.

A clump of dried chicken poo fell out of my hair.

It landed in my lap and I just stared at it.

A big clump of dried chicken poo had been sitting on top of my head the entire time.

And God, in His benevolent mercy, had emptied out the Sportsplex.  So that I didn’t walk into a gym full of people with a chunk of dried chicken poo on my head.

He closed down the Home Depot early for the night so that I didn’t walk into the plumbing department with a clump of dried chicken poo on my head.

He emptied the store parking lots, dismissed the lines of people usually waiting in front of the Redbox.  All to spare me from being seen in public, in my small town where I cannot go anywhere without meeting someone from work, church, school, or book club, with a clump of dried chicken poo on my head.

I sat there, amazed at my special, wonderful New Year’s Eve gift.  And then I remembered that one of my closest friends always told me that it was incredibly lucky to be pooped on by a bird.  Well, no kidding!

Apparently I am not just in a for a New Year, but a very lucky one.

And, I thought happily as I drove home, since it was New Year’s Eve I could break out the booze while taking down ornaments, wrapping Dollar Tree presents, and watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  Booze was sure to improve all 3 activities and booze is allowed on New Year’s Eve.  If I only drank 3 drinks I would even still be awake to see the ball drop.  Probably.  Maybe.  ?

Better stick to 2 drinks.  Even lucky people like me shouldn’t push their luck.  Better to spread it out over the next 52 weeks, don’t you think? ;)

Comments

5 Responses to “A Lucky New Year.”

  1. Jill
    January 1st, 2015 @ 9:37 am

    What have you done to yourself? LOL! A great blog. Wish I had seen you yesterday… :)

  2. Aunt Ro
    January 1st, 2015 @ 12:04 pm

    Excellent way to start a new year!!!!!!!!

  3. Lisa Dumain
    January 1st, 2015 @ 12:31 pm

    Beats screwing your back up taking the wii fitness test in front of your family after a couple glasses of wine…..

    Craziness abounds in HB on New Years Eve :)

  4. Brandy Hall-Newton
    January 2nd, 2015 @ 7:50 pm

    ok, As I sit in my living room trying to stay awake with my baby ho is colicky – looking for amusement – you have given that to me – I have not laughed that hard in a while. TY

  5. Laura
    January 5th, 2015 @ 5:35 pm

    Love your writing! Happy 2015!

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