All posts in Humor

A New Kind of Soup

“So Brian, what does your grandfather do again?”

Brian is a young man who helps around the farm who actually knows something about farming. “He takes the chicken poop, puts it in a feed bag in a 55-gallon drum, and adds water. Then, he takes a stick and stirs it around. He’s been doing that for years and it really makes the plants grow!” (Imagine this conversation with absolutely no expression on his 20-year-old face and a real southern drawl.)

“Okay, I want some chicken poop soup. Will you help me make it?”

I thought I’d stepped out of my comfort zone when I processed one of our hens who’d been played with to death by our livestock guardian dogs and made chicken pie. (It was NOT good, by the way–never eat a chicken after it’s been played with by big white dogs for an hour. Lesson learned.) But chicken poop soup…who knew?

I am famous for taking almost anything from my refrigerator and making something palatable for dinner. My kids often said I should host a TV show called, “Clean Out the Refrigerator Cooking.” (I am willing dear television producer.) But chicken poop soup is way off their radar, too.

We decided on a gray garbage can. “Where do you want me to put it?” Brian asked.

“Good question.” Where does one keep such a concoction. “Put it near the driveway but not too near the house.”

Brian mixed it up. I gawked as he filled the white feed sack with North Carolina Gold. Then he added water. Next he swished it up and down in the can and poked a stick in the bag several times. Brown liquid seeped out of the sack.

What can I say, but I was impressed. Impressed Brian knew about the soup. Amazed at his resourcefulness. Touched by the knowledge handed down from one generation to the next.

I’ve learned a lot from the people around me. I’ve learned that a bush hog is not a pig in the woods, I’ve learned not to lift your hand at a poultry auction to scratch your face, and that it’s okay to hold up the line in the store a bit to find out how a person really is doing.

I’d like to think I could teach them a few things. Like ordering at Starbucks. Or wearing your sandals all the way to the sand at the beach in August if you want to avoid 3rd degree burns, or cutting across 8 lanes of traffic to pull into your favorite restaurant.

Those things are good to know, too.

But for now, my soup is stewing. I just don’t know how to get it out of the can.

 

 

The Appliances in My Life

The relationship I’ve experienced over the years with my appliances has been tenuous, to say the least. (I just looked that word up.)

I’ve loved very few, been indifferent to most, and hated some.

For instance, I hated my old dishwasher. Really, a more apt name would have been, Frustrate Pauline to Death and Make Her Work More machine. But that is in the past. Hakuna Matata.

Now I hate my side-by-side refrigerator. Who thought of such a thing? Obviously someone who didn’t ever ever care about freezing anything since nothing fits except frozen pot pies. (Not that I eat them.) AND they never have eaten a frozen pizza in their entire lives. Obviously, the inventor must have eaten out all the time.

But I loved my old dryer. In fact, when it finally died after 20+ years, I hugged it and when Tom took it away to dryer heaven he discovered about $25 in coins and cash. Like the side-by-side refrigerator inventor, we went out to eat that day. (No socks by the way.)

In all the years of appliance owning, I’ve never been fearful of an appliance. Until now.

It’s my vacuum cleaner. Really, it’s a the iRobot Roomba. Since building an outside kitchen for cooking my products, I’ve been able to let my standard poodle, Sam back in. He’s no problem, because he doesn’t shed. It’s the mutt dog, Barnabas and my ferocious kitty, Bree that are the problem.

They shed. Big time.

So, as a gift to myself, I purchased Roger Roomba.

About every other day, I turn my kitchen chairs upside down on the table, load the counter stools on the couch, and push Roger’s navel twice. He sings a robotic war-like charge song and begins to scoot gingerly around my wood floors. I can’t watch although I’ve been mesmerized on several occasions at his antics. In fact, after he is throughly convinced he has every single strand of pet hair in his belly, he returns to his home on the black stand plugged into the wall.

However, the other day, he chased me. Wherever I went, he went. Finally, I locked myself in my office while I listened to his faraway war chant. Retrieving my coffee put me at risk, but you coffee drinkers know I had no choice.

He headed right at me, I zigged and zagged like a running back.

And then I fell.

And when you’re past 50, falling is a bad thing.

But Roger does his job.

Now I’m taking two cups of coffee in my office with me.

And when Roger goes home, I come out.

In all relationships there are compromises. And I’m okay with that.

 

YouTube and Pigs

 

The obstinate “Big Boy”

If you would have told me when I was a snarky college freshman I’d be searching YouTube for how to load pigs for market, I’d have told you that you’re a few straws short of a bale.

In fact, I wouldn’t have believed there would ever be a YouTube since when I attended college, phones still hung on the wall–in the hallway–by the communal bathroom and showers.

But yesterday, I looked up how to load pigs. The video looked relatively simple. A smiling man assured me loading pigs was as easy as riding a bicycle. He then backed his trailer up to the pig pen and began to call “Piggy, Piggy, Piggy.” Like magic they entered the trailer as if they had free tickets to the Super Bowl.

I think they were pig actors.

Our pigs did not cooperate. Tom spent all morning trying to load them with no luck. It didn’t help that a sleety snow fell as he worked. After a few hours, he came in.

“Any luck?”

The Eeyore look told me all I needed to know. “I’ve put food on the ramp, in their bowls on the trailer. Two of them came close, but the big boy wants nothing to do with me.

“I’ve been thinking. You need something that smells really good for them to bite. Well, I didn’t mean that literally.” I gave it some thought. I contemplated the smell that is irresistible–especially to the male species. Then it came to me, “How about bacon!”

Tom frowned.

We decided on table scraps and yellow rice. How could it fail?

“Here piggy, piggy, piggy, I have a treat for you…” The female squinted at me suspiciously and placed her two front hooves on the ramp. “Come on Miss Piggy, you’re going to like this.” I waved the bowl of aromatic leftovers in her face as I carefully stepped backwards.

Truthfully, I felt devious. Several passages from the book of Proverbs came to mind. One talks about a beautiful woman without discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. Quite an illustration. But that’s a whole other subject.

Mostly the verses I thought of centered on how following the wicked person leads to death.

I felt a twinge of guilt.

Then I thought of sausage and pork chops from piggy one and my mouth watered. (Piggy number one has already been ushered into pig heaven.)

“Come on, lady, climb in for the ride of your life!” I waved the yellow rice just beyond her reach. Her back hooves climbed the ramp.

“Keep it up, Pauline, you’re doing great! This is the farthest she’s come!” Tom whispered. “If we get one in the other two will follow.” I had my doubts but continued my seduction.

Just when she crossed the threshold of the trailer, the smaller male jumped on the ramp startling the female. They both evacuated.

It’s been over 48 hours and they’re still free. The farmer we bought the piglets from is coming over today to try and load them.

It’s not his first rodeo.

It won’t be our last.

I’ll have to choose another YouTube video next time.

One without actors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ball Drop Has Nothing On Me

I’ve been to Times Square. My kids and I climbed out of the subway as a wave of people threatened to carry my children down Broadway.

“Quick, grab my hand!” I managed to shout to them. My 8-year-old, Micah had a confused look on his face, while my 12-year-old gazed up at a sky-scraper-sized picture of a Victoria Secret model plastered above her head.

“Sarah, pay attention and follow me!”

Our visit lasted two days.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

Especially at New Year’s. The thought of thousands of people crowded around, invading my space, waiting  for an enormous ball to drop is frightening to me. I can’t even handle Disney on a crowded day, much less Times Square at midnight.

You couldn’t pay me enough.

Besides, I’ve discovered something better.

The first time I experienced it, I couldn’t help smiling. I stood on fresh mulch inside a metal quantum hut, gazing into a white 5 gallon bucket. Feathers faced me as I leaned against the wall. Then it happened.

The Egg Dropped.

It was a golden brown, covered with a wet substance which immediately dried. The hen shook her bottom, turned around, and promptly exited the coop to look for bugs.

Amazing.

Here are 5 reason I prefer the Egg Drop to the Ball Drop any day of the week.

1. You don’t have to stay up until midnight. In fact, chances are minimal that any Egg Drop would occur at that time. First, you wouldn’t be able to see it and second, chickens–or the ladies as we call them–sleep at night and wake up at dawn. I prefer that time schedule for my past-menopausal-life. Plus, Molly, my Great Pyrenees Livestock Guardian Dog, (LGD) does not take kindly to anyone or anything in the coop after dark. (And she has very big teeth.)

2. No parking problems. We tried parking when we visited the Big Apple. My friend drove around for hours until finally we found a space about the size of a glove compartment several blocks away from our destination. My capable friend parallel parked us faster than you could say Kelly and Michael. Good thing I wasn’t driving since I now live in Mayberry where people think it unnecessary to use their turn signals and no one gets upset when you sit at the light ’cause you’re changing your country western station and didn’t see it turn green.

For the Egg Drop you don’t even need a car. You can walk directly to the coop through the pasture and stand for a few minutes or even bring a lawn chair. Of course, besides mulch, there is a variety of organic matter on the floor, so don’t bring your favorite beach chair.

3. The third reason to forego the Ball Drop for the Egg Drop is to avoid the crowds. Sure, a Golden Comet “lady” might perch on your lawn chair bringing with her more organic matter and Molly the wonder dog might even lay her huge white head on your lap and stare up at you with her soulful eyes. It’s much more relaxing than a drunk singing a song in your ear to the tune of b-flat, whiskey.

4. Another reason to attend the Egg Drop is it’s free! Sure, they don’t actually charge to watch the Ball Drop, but if you want to have a Coke or adult alcoholic beverage, you’d probably have to take out a second mortgage on your own coop. Taking a cab would be a fortune, and who knows whether the Uber could get through the traffic.

5. Last and most important reason to skip the Ball Drop and attend the Egg Drop, is you can eat the egg. I’d like to see you do that with the Ball. Although I heard that the man who sings to the tune in b-flat, whiskey has tried.

Seriously, come to Peeled Poplar Farm next year and you too can experience the Egg Drop for yourself.

You can have it hard boiled, or over easy.

The Terrible Two’s

We’re heading into our third year of farming. I think we’re out of the terrible two’s. I’m counting on the thrilling threes. Otherwise, I might have to be a greeter at “you know where.” Visit at the Grit site and add a comment… Or better yet, email me!

http://www.grit.com/community/humor/the-terrible-twos.aspx