I won't include the pix (this time, hee, hee) of the whole chicken experience. No pun intended. But, it was successful! Poor guys...not for them I guess, though. Our freezer is full of fresh whole young chickens! I still have not cooked one. I am working up my nerve. The last thing my mom-in-law said as they pulled away was, "be sure and let us know when you cook the first chicken!" Gulp. Yes, we will. Mom and Dad Neal were troopers. We all pulled our fair share of the work, with dad (who had never dressed chickens before) doing the most! I'll leave it at that. The funny thing is though, the store certainly packages them better - we'll have to figure out a way to get them more compact b/c right now they look too much like...well, whole young chickens.
A lot has been going on with the farm this month. We are the last in the neighborhood to command attention b/c we are on the far recesses of the earth. But, when the weeds are taller than my 6'2" husband we start getting antsy for the farm to be baled and/or cut. We finally found someone to bale the 25 or so acres closest to the house. They are round bales and we were hoping for square, but beggers (who don't have equipment) can't be choosers. Our tractor is out of commission so we can't move our share of the bales under shelter until it's fixed. That means they are getting wet with each little shower we have. I know you are all extremely concerned about that. Thank you for your sympathies. The farmer that rents the other 75 acres mowed this week. Thank goodness! At least we didn't have to wait until August to watch the weeds fall down.
John is growing by leaps and bounds. He is, of course, my shadow. I love it most of the time, but when daddy gets home at 5 or 6 mommy is ready for him to shadow daddy. He can play by himself more each day, for which I'm thankful! The little toddler still thinks everything is "mine." When will it end!?!? He's in this cleaning phase now...wants to wash everything in the sink, wipe down anything that has a speck of dirt on it (can you tell what we do around here!?), and take the dishes to the sink with a resounding CLANG. Helpful? Maybe. More mess for mommy? Usually. These days will be over too soon and I will say, "where did my toddler go!?" So, I TRY to enjoy them. Though by the end of the day I need reinforcements. I don't know how single parents do it - I am so thankful for my partner in crime, Sir Charles.
I'll end with a little style entertainment. I've already posted pictures of our drapes in our living room. But, I didn't include the images of the rods that I found and stained. So, the story goes...I didn't want or need to spend the money on fancy rods that cost upwards of $30 or more. I just can't justify that kind of money when the budget doesn't have it to begin with! So, thanks to Mom Neal she gave us the idea to use wooden dowel rods from Lowe*s. I was not keen on the idea at first. They looked kind of sparse and not quite as fancy as I had in mind. So, as my daddy always says, "where there's a will, there's a way." I trekked to Lowe*s and found the rods. Nearby I saw finials that I liked. Then I hit the stain aisle and found black stain.
Here's the cost break-down:
Sturdy wood dowel rods 1" in diameter = $3
Steel hangers painted black = $1 (two/window)
Finials = 2 for $1.50
Black stain (that I can use for other projects too!) = $5
Total cost/rod = $13
And, the wood is so much sturdier than other rods I found. So, for half the cost I created the "look" I had in my mind. And, the best part? I didn't break the budget.