September 29, 2016

The Fair Must Go On

September 29, 2016
*This post is dedicated to the hard work and support of family, friends, volunteers, neighbors, strangers, and those who attended Farm Girl Fair 2016!  
Thank you, thank you, thank you.*

Farm Girl Fair, year two.  Dream, round two. Come true, round two.  BUT... not without it's challenges, road blocks, broken bones, spiritual warfare and potential monsoon weather.  By golly, Farm Girl Fair had to go on.  No matter what!

We three Farm Girls
Farm Girl Fair Flair
photo credit: Jenna Gordon Photography
Planning for Farm Girl Fair is much like planning a wedding.  Every detail, every hope, wish, and expectation is on the line. Farm Girl Kim likened Farm Girl Fair to a twelve month gestation of labor pains met with great anticipation and excitement. We Never. Stop. Planning. Either way, it was an idea that came to life with heart and soul (blood, sweat and tears no doubt) powering its fruition.  Not to mention the seven miles logged on Farm Girl Lindsi's fit bit.  

photo credit: Jenna Gordon Photography
For a complete list of vendors and links visit Farm Girl Fair
Farm Girl Fair vendor, The Artifactory.
photo credit: Jenna Gordon Photography
Farm Girl Fair vendor, Siempre Viva
photo credit: Jenna Gordon Photography
This year was different.  Mainly because, for me, ignorance is bliss.  Last year we had no idea what to expect and our expectations were met beyond comprehension.  It was magical, whimsical and surreal as if it came from the pages of a fictional story.  This year, we knew what to expect and what we wanted to accomplish.  This year consisted of tweaking, turning, perfecting and pushing the limits.  This year was met with circumstances beyond our control.  These circumstances put spokes in our wheel, no doubt.  A loved one passed and a frightening injury nearly stopped us in our tracks.  But, the fair must go on.  And it did.  Beautifully.  
Farm Girl Fair vendor, Painted Farm
photo credit: Jenna Gordon Photography

Thousands came and enjoyed a perfect day on the farm
photo credit: Jenna Gordon Photography
Quincee Taylor Designs set up and ready to go!
photo credit: Jenna Gordon Photography
When you believe in something, when your heart beats for something, nothing can stop you. Obstacles are meant to be jumped and conquered.   Our dream of Farm Girl Fair is one that comes armed with creative determination and possibility.  We seek to give and in return gain a satisfaction that can't be bought, but shared.   Of course, it's only a fair.  It's only one day.  It's only a moment in time.   

Serious #dollcrush at the Royal Street Dolls booth
Farm Girl Fair vendor, Steele Family Farm
photo credit: Jenna Gordon Photography
Admission proceeds benefited the Center for Children and Families
photo credit: Jenna Gordon Photography
Farm Girl Fair can be justly summed up in the words taken from a television series, Call the Midwife.  A friend shared this with me at the exact moment I needed to hear it. 

"A sense of community is the holy grail of modern living.  When we can't find it in the present day we reach back through the years and say, 'That is when we knew each other...that is when we held all things in common.'  It is the thought so tender and consoling that it scarcely matters if it is not true.  Past perfection is a wondrous thing."
-Call the Midwife 

Little girls dance to the live music
photo credit: Sanya Couts Photography
To be continued in 2017...

August 18, 2016


August 18, 2016
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One of four seasons, traditionally the second, marked by whining children, hot flashes, and severe insanity. Typically a season truly despised by really honest moms. 

The only cure for suckmmer is Back to School.  Adios suckmmer!  

Back to school for them, to the pool for me for the win!
My Suckmmer Bucket List 
-Make the barn look like a scene straight out of Southern Living Magazine
-Hatch baby chicks
-Teach the kids to speak Spanish
-Lose 15 pounds (You know, the 15 I gained while homeschooling last year)
+Gain an appreciation and taste for whiskey
-Start writing a children’s book
-Grow acres and acres of wild flowers
-Get into American Ninja Warrior shape
+Eat lots and lots of tacos and nachos and pizza

I know.  How very sophisticated of me.  First, I successfully accomplished appreciating the taste of whiskey.  Imagine that.  #momgoals  Second, even though it wasn’t originally on my bucket list, I did succeed at taking Taco/Nacho/Pizza Tuesday 24/7 to a champion level so I thought I’d add it as a win. GOLD!

Not only did I not accomplish any redeeming goals, this happened...

Whilst swimming in our very rarely sparkling blue pool with my dear children, I became known as the “Dot-to-Dot Mom”.  Such an honor.  My sweet, big brown eyed Henry so kindly pointed out the “disgusting brown bumps on my skin”.  AKA: Moles.  He managed to point out every single mole on my body not covered by my skirted senior citizen bathing suit I bought on clearance.  *Please note that the last time I wore a modest two piece Henry advised me that I needed to cover myself more because I was a mom with tummy marks (scars) and nobody wanted to see that.   

R.I.P sweet moments by the pool with this guy!
Gee, thanks Henry.  I feel so good about myself, my moles and my senior citizen bathing suit.  Know this, any confidence I had after accepting the uninsurable hail damage on the back of my legs went straight into the pool skimmer along with the june bugs, frogs, moles (the rodent kind) and rats.  I am no longer convinced honesty is a virtue.  Honesty is really rude.  Honestly. 

A dear friend bought me this tee.  You can get one too at Calamity Jane's
And just so you know, although I may appear chubby due to the excessive “water retention”, I assure you, I am as sucked dry as the bottom of my diet Dr. Pepper Sonic drink.  There is nothing left.  Nothing.  

Not mentioned on my bucket list is getting acquainted with snapchat.  
“I’ll miss you summer” - Said no mother.  Ever.  

And if they did they are lying!  Peace out. 

July 31, 2016

Mitten, The Three Legged Kitten

July 31, 2016
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I was recently thinking that maybe I shouldn't be The Unlikely Farm Girl anymore because I haven't really been doing much farming.  I've sort of shut down, given up and turned my back.  It's been a season of one epic fail after another around here and I'll be honest, I'm beat!  But there's no rest for the weary around here.  Before I could truly settle in complete denial of life around here, the unexpected happened.

Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey.  Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky.  Or whatever.  I can't even grow corn.  I was looking forward to having a corn roast but not with the five ears that rotted before I could pick them!
And then there is this glamorous daily chore.  Yep, go fish out the drowned birds from the water trough, dump, sanitize  and refill. Repeat daily, sometimes twice daily.  
You see since we live on a farm, we have a barn.  And with a barn comes cats.  Barn cats.  People, I hated cats.  Why?  Because once I saved a grocery store parking lot abandoned cat and nurtured it back to health.  We had a purrfect relationship until...until one day it peed on my chest!  That was it!  I was done!  And that cat was gone.  But we needed barn cats so I caved and allowed it.  A few barn cats later, a "male" cat had a liter of kittens (I was assured the cat was a male cat.  I was too smart to take my chances with a female cat because female cats have more cats and I hated cats).  Long story short that feMALE cat and two of her precious kittens fell prey to a coyote leaving the last two kittens to me.  Me, the cat hater.  What was I going to do?  Let them starve to death and take that to my grave?No!  I put my hatred aside and bottle fed the two little orphans.  As cute as their little suckling was it was like having twins all over again.  Middle of the night feedings, baths, being pooped on, peed on and endless laundry became my new normal.  But my heart started to soften and I began to fall in love with the little fur balls.  Before I knew it, I was taking more pictures of them than I was of my own kids!

That Face!  Those ears! That nose!  
I don't even know what to caption this. 
Seriously. I can't stop.
Like, I have a problem.

I couldn't do a family photoshoot without including the kitties!  Photo Credit: Brittany Stover Photography
And you're welcome for this one.  Big Dog has earned another nickname, "Cat Man".
But the kittytale story wouldn't last long.  I'll cut to the chase here.  While we were out of town (If you live on a farm you cannot leave town and nothing bad happen.  It's an unwritten rule) Mittens fell from a tree, got stuck between some lower branches, and broke his leg!  Our farm guardian took Mittens to the animal ER and told us that Mittens needed to be put down or have a ridonculously expensive surgery OR have the leg amputated.  I'm pretty sure it was just a few weeks prior that I swore off spending anymore money on an injured animal.  My saving days were over and funds depleted.  Like, our kids may not go to college because we have spent our life savings on saving injured animals.  Okay, I'm kidding about the whole college thing but I'm not kidding when I say we've given up vacations to pay vet bills.  BUT, this was Mittens.  No matter what, I was saving Mittens.  #amputationovervacation is was.  

OUCH!  That is all. 
Mittens in the slammer awaiting amputation.  I was nearly escorted out by security because I refused to leave him. 
Now, some of you might be thinking I've completely lost my mind.  Well, I have.  But I lost my mind a long, long, long time ago.  I'm just completely insane these days.  However, Mittens is doing great.  Its like he never had a fourth leg to begin with.  I mean, not every cat can have the nickname, "Tri-pod".  And we call him "Mitten" for short.  Every kid my kids bring home are rushed into the house to see the three-legged cat.  My daughter even suggested we parade Mittens around at Farm Girl Fair so everyone can see "Mitten" the three-legged kitten.  

Aaaaand you thought your Monday was bad.
So, there you have it.  It's always something around here.  It's exhausting.  And for the time being, I think I will call myself "The Unlikely Cat Lady".  I love those cats!  

May 17, 2016

Mom Interrupted

May 17, 2016
The grocery store parking lot should have been a familiar place to her.  She had been there countless times before but she couldn't remember leaving her house and driving there.  The sun was shining hot and the AC in her car was blowing cold air but she sat there sweating. The world outside her started to spin.  Tears started to fall and the confusion felt heavier than before.  She grabbed her phone and texted the babysitter asking if she could tell her why she had left or where she was going.  She was stuck sitting still but falling apart. It was happening again.  

Later that week a scheduled routine appointment gave her confidence in finding out what was wrong with her.  The thread of hope she clung to was just enough to get her through the next few days.  She convinced herself "it" was hormonal and the doctor would fix it.  She believed a simple procedure or new medication would end the depression she had been drowning in.  The depression she had been suffocating in had taken a toll and she needed and wanted help.  

Unexplained sadness had held her hostage for years.  Symptoms of depression masked who she truly was deep down and she hated it.  The side-effects of  medications had further buried her deeper and deeper into who she never wanted to be.  She felt like a stranger to herself and to her family.  The only thing she desired was her bed where she would hide under blankets and pillows. Days became blurry, her thoughts bullied her soul.  Her spirit was crushed from the pain that shattered her heart.   But she continued to fight.  She had to.  She was a mom.

That day she actually managed to walk confidently into the doctor's office.  Her hair was washed and she wore a bright dress with sandals.  Before the doctor could say anything she proclaimed her painful truth and declared it had to be hormonal and to do whatever she could to fix it.  And then, just after her strong, yet desperate, announcement she broke down.  She began to sweat and the tears started pouring.  She was emotionally out of control, completely confused.  She was once again defeated by irrational emotion.  After a series of medically required questions, she found herself being escorted across a parking lot to the hospital.  Willingly, but terrified, she stepped off the elevator and onto the fourth floor where she was admitted as a psychiatric patient. 
After a long evaluation by the psychiatrist she was diagnosed with serotonin syndrome.  The sweating, confusion, rapid heart rate and relentless crying pointed the doctor to his conclusion.  He was sure of it once she couldn't answer a simple addition problem or count backwards from 100.  He cross checked her medications and was quickly appalled at the doses prescribed.  Too much serotonin over a long period of time had her living in an emotional nightmare.  He tried to calm her by saying it would only take 24 hours to flush her system and that tomorrow would be better.  While that gave her hope, it was the next 24 hours that truly made her want to vanish.  Forever.  

The floor was smaller than other hospital floors she was familiar with.  The nurses station was empty yet intimidating.  The walls were bare, the carpet stained.  She was led to a room with a plastic mattress and pillow without a case.  Her roommate was rocking and moaning on the bed next to hers. The nurse instructed her take off her dress, shoes, and jewelry.  Before she could protest the nurse assured her it was for her safety and that it was the rules.   Her body shook as she undressed.  The tears pressed on.  Her eyes were swollen and her head pounded.  The nurse became impatient and scolded her to stop crying.  But she couldn't.  Two more nurses walked in and held her down.  She felt a sharp sting on her backside and she felt the room turn upside down.  Within seconds she was paralyzed.  She could only feel the hot tears roll down her face.  Her vision blurred.  Her legs felt like concrete columns stuck in quick sand.   

A patient outside the door was strapped to her wheelchair to keep her from throwing herself out of a car that she had imagined she was in.  Another patient, thin and frail, was scratching the wall attempting to make a hole out of her hell.  The nurses station became a bar to another patient who insisted she wasn't drunk but wanted one more beer.  She focused her attention back to herself as if she was on the outside looking in.  There she sat.  The mom who's life had been horribly interrupted.  She wasn't crazy.  She hadn't done anything wrong.  She was just sad and confused and didn't know why.  She was suffering from a syndrome she had no knowledge of.  She was physically helpless and in severe emotional despair.  

Her purse was taken from her.  She had nothing but the gown they dressed her in.  She willed her body up and out of the room.  A male patient stood there softly smiling at her.  He encouraged her to play cards or bingo with the others and "act normal".  She managed to communicate that she wanted a phone.  She wanted to call her husband.  He smiled at her and lead her to the phone.  It was barely hanging on the wall and the cord was long but tangled so tight she could hardly put it to her ear.  She pushed the buttons and waited for her husband to pick up.  She fought for the words that were bleeding from her heart.  Her desperation cut right through the phone.  She wanted out.  A place that was to keep her safe and help her get better was just the place that would break her to irreparable damage.  
Her husband was frantic but promised he'd do everything he could.  She hung up the phone and collapsed in the chair next to her.  Her muscles were weaker than ever. The kind patient stood there, towering of her.  His gentle smile hadn't faded.  He encouraged her to stop crying and eat.  He hinted that eating in front of the nurses would help prove she was sane and willing to cooperate thus getting out quicker.  But she couldn't.  The tears would not stop for anything.  And one bite of food would make her sick.  Her bladder was full but she held it knowing she was striped of her privacy.  Once she stepped onto the fourth floor her rights were taken away.  She was nothing but a weak patient.  Her will had no power.  

After several hours of crying she was exhausted.  The shot she had received earlier continued to make her feel heavy.  Her roommate was moved to a different room.  She found herself alone on the bed.  She stared out the window only to see the roof of the hospital.  It was dirty and desolate.  Aside from her pulse, she was dead inside.  
Photo Courtesy: Brittany Stover Photography

The next morning came and blinded the room with sunlight.  It was so bright it hurt to open her eyes.  A sense of panic immediately rushed in and stirred her emotions again.  The medicine had worn off so she was able to move quickly.  She found the phone down the hall and dialed the numbers to reach her husband.  There was nothing that could offer hope but her husbands voice that promised he was trying.

She walked back to her room where a nurse was waiting for her.  She was given a tooth brush and toothpaste.  Her task was to brush her teeth and get herself together before seeing the doctor.   Once again she had an appointment with mercy.  

His hair was so gray it was white.  He was dressed in black from head to toe.  She remembered bits and pieces of seeing him the day before.  She remembered not being able to count.  She remembered being confused as he asked her a series of endless questions.  But today was different.  She could answer questions.  Without looking at her he asked if she had night sweats.  For the first time in years, she realized she hadn't.  He said the symptoms caused by the overdose of medication would continue to fade.  Without a shred of compassion in his voice, he continued on with what the next few days or weeks would be like.  Fighting back more tears,  she told him over and over that she didn't belong there.  She needed to be home.  She was mom, a wife, a daughter.   She wanted to live.   
What would people think and say? She felt so ashamed that she ended up there. This would be just another secret to tuck away.  She had to get out before anyone knew anything had happened.  She craved a hot shower and the mundane routine that had sustained her before.  It was her instinct to get back to doing life no matter how emotionally miserable she was.  

Just minutes before joining the others to act "normal" in a desperate effort to prove herself sane, she called her husband to see if he had found a way to get her out.  Relief surged through her body and filled her soul as he told her he would be there in two hours.  Two hours!  It was enough to stop her body from trembling.  Having nothing to gather or pack she sat against the wall across from the elevator and waited.  

What seemed like an eternity later, her husband finally arrived as promised.  Still feeling weak, she managed to pull her body up from the floor and tightly secure her arms around him. She held on until her muscles gave out. Her terror and anxiety immediately fled.  She was safe.  He was there for her.  It was over.  
Photo Courtesy: Brittany Stover Photography

 For a long time she was ashamed at what she experienced.  Her struggle with depression was humiliating enough and then there was the "episode".  She had cried out before but felt few truly heard her.  The social stigma of depression proved itself.  No one wanted to talk about it.  She often wished she had a different, but "acceptable", illness.   Her truth was depression.  Her disease was depression.  Her weakness was depression.  With the grace of God she continued on to fight.  A dear friend reached out.  Her husband's patience and kindness never faltered.  Her strength started to grow again.  
"Depression attacks an organ just like many other diseases.  The only difference being there is a great lack of compassion and understanding for those who suffer from it." - Unknown

April 20, 2016

Yes, I'm That Mom

April 20, 2016
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So you know, I was going on about my usual day of swimming through waves of chaos, schedule changes, surprise practices, and chicken pasty butt removal (sickest thing EVER). I didn't know it at the time but at 6:30 that morning I had set myself up for a "Mega Mommy Moment".  I was fresh out of packed lunch must haves so I told the littles I would bring them lunch (something I NEVER try to do because you get sucked into this trap of guilt trips that I just don't need in my life).   Anyway long story short, Big Dog was leaving for a trip that day so we decided to take the littles out for lunch together! How fun, right?  Hooray for me.  I was going to be a cool mom and check her kids out of school for lunch with mom AND dad.  Score!

Big Dog pulled up to the school and I hopped out and mall-walked myself right into the building and proudly proclaimed I was there to check the kids out for lunch.  I slid into the cafeteria and set my eyes upon the sea of children searching for Thing One and Thing Two.  I couldn't spot them right away so I kept looking... and looking... and looking.  My heart may have started to race a bit.  I squinted my eyes thinking I could get a better look at where they might be sitting.  The excited anticipation of me surprising them with the news started to decline.  Where were Thing One and Thing Two?  Just as I was about to squint a little harder and scan the room again, a mom touched my arm.  
"Sea" what I mean?

Mom: "Hey Carol.  Who are you looking for?"

Me:  "Oh, hey.  Oh, I'm here to get the twins and take them OUT to lunch."  

Mom:  "The twins?"

Me:  "Yes, the twins.  I'm here to take them to lunch but I don't see them."

Mom:  "Um, well, the twins are in first grade.  This is kindergarten."

Just nano seconds before, I was a casually cool mom.  I even had lipstick and real shoes on.  I looked like I could run for PTA President or at the very least chair a committee.  But now I was white, weak, and suddenly stupid.  

Me:  "First grade?  Right. First grade."  It was like I'd never uttered the words "first grade".

Mom: "Yeah.  First grade."

I was too embarrassed to even laugh at myself or try to play it off.  I had fallen hard in the pit of mommy despair.  I walked back into the office and the polite ladies sat there with a gentle smile on their face knowing what I had just done.  

In trying to capture my humility, I instead realize that my hand is HUGE against my face.
I later texted the mom apologizing for my idiotic behavior.  I felt like the dumbest mom ever.  I mean, who doesn't know what grade their kids are in?  It's one thing to call them every name but their own, even the dogs name.  But to not know their grade?  Not to mention that it's the end of the school year!  I've had almost a full year of first graders.  Thankfully, her response fished me out of my sea of despair.  She told me I wasn't alone.  That my "incident" made her feel better about her "incidents".  Moms unite! We are not alone.  We are all "That Mom".  

PS:  This wasn't the first time I forgot they were in first grade.  I sat outside the kindergarten room waiting for my turn at parent/teacher conferences.  Twenty minutes went by before I realized I was at the wrong grade, at the wrong time, on the wrong day for Pete's sake!  Cheers! 

March 22, 2016

Hamsters: It's Complicated

March 22, 2016
Every story has a back story.  Every effect has a cause.  Even when it comes to me agreeing to having hamsters.  Yes, me.  I swore that not one more living, pulsating creature would ever enter this house.  But then the mother of all motherhood cons slapped me in the face. Guilt.

It all started on the night before Valentine's Day.  I'll keep this part short.  Let's just say Big Dog was super generous in keeping my beverage cup full at a dinner party on the eve of V-day.  And, let's just say that I may have had a liiiiiiiitle too much to drink.  Oops!  It happens.  But let me tell you this, ...had I known that my generous intake of a tasty beverage would have led to hamsters I would have stuck with the Smart Water.  

(insert pictures of me that I don't have because I deleted ALL of them)

Fast forward to the next morning, Valentine's Day.  There I was laying practically dead in my bed.  Before I could peel an eye open, my daughter came flying in like Cupid to wish me a Happy Valentine's Day, and immediately demanded heart shaped pancakes, candy, and a day much like Christmas morning.  What?  Since when did we celebrate Valentine's Day as a family?  Sorry, Hallmark.  It's harsh, I know.  You see, for me, Valentine's Day is celebrated at school with conversation hearts exchanged between classmates during an over indulgent class party with white table cloths and extravagant centerpieces. Besides, since Big Dog an I tied the knot, Valentine's Day has been a thing of the courtship past. Hence, why I don't break out the Valentine tree and garland.  But that's just me.  Don't judge.  And don't get me started on Easter.  It's complicated.

Back to little the Cupid hovering over my bed.  

Cupid:  "Moooooooom!  Get up!  It's Valentine's Day!  What did you get me?"  
Corpse: (words coming from my Sahara Desert mouth) "Get you?  What do you mean?  Was I supposed to get you something?  Your dad will get you donuts."
Cupid:  "Ugh!  Seriously!?!?  This is the worst Valentine's Day EVER!"

That is just a small summation of the painful conversation I had with Cupid.  She eventually flew off and as the Motrin kicked in my guilt nearly suffocated me.  

Thank goodness for grandparents who believe Valentine's Day is more than class parties.  I rallied and hydrated and proclaimed that TODAY was the DAY we would take the Valentine cash from Grams and Gramps and buy a pet.  SURPRISE!!!!

We bounced off to the pet store in search of...wait for it...Glow Fish!  But before we could pick out Cupid's favorite three out of a billion candidates,  the disgruntled pet store employee threw down a roadblock and dropped some unsolicited knowledge on me.  In seconds, I was schooled on Glow Fish. Their mortality rate is high, and the meticulous efforts necessary in order for three to survive.  He then went on this rant about corporate America and the lies they tell consumers just to make a buck.  He even started to wring his fists and turn red in the face.  Long story short,  according Mr. Know It All, I would be crazy and cruel to buy into the conspiracy regarding Glow Fish and the two gallon tank they sold with them (because according to sergeant kick-@$s, a FORTY gallon tank is necessary for THREE tiny fish to survive).  It's complicated.  Obviously.

Wait.  Do you you mean they don't come in purple? It was a brief and tragic realization.
With tears rushing down my childrens' faces I straightened my posture and made a beeline towards the little fury creatures because having a hamster(s) is way cooler than having Glow Fish any day.  My littles agreed.  Before the bitter employee could talk us out of  hamster ownership,  and educate us on how corporate America preys on little children and their parents, using small animals, I had three cages, three hamsters, and $100 worth of hamster accessories plopped down on the counter  and paid for.  And that my friends is how you handle Mommy Valentine Guilt.  You buy hamsters.  When Big Dog looked at me as if I had three heads with ten horns each for doing what I did, I looked at him and said, "It's complicated".  Oh, and then I proceeded to make it all his fault for keeping my beverage cup full the night before.  So there!  Nothing is ever my fault.  Nothing!

Henry proudly named his Teddy Bear hamster "Teddy".  You are shocked I'm sure.  Pure originality (like that one time Susie Grace named one of our goats, "Horney" because it had horns).  If you just peed your pants, I'm sorry.  Aaaaaanywaaaaays, Teddy lasted about, hmmmm, two days.  I found Teddy as stiff and round as a golf ball.  Could it have been because I gave him a bath the day before hoping to cure him of his pasty butt?  I'll let you look up pasty butt on your own.  Apparently it's a real thing.  I mean, it is with chickens.  I won't deny that I gave a chicken a sitz bath to cure its pasty butt.  I sure did.  And it lived.  Yeah.  So whatever. Teddy's cause of death must have been delayed drowning.  It's complicated. 

I have to admit, the blow out looked amazing.

I quickly dashed out to the pet store to get a Teddy replacement before Henry came home from school.  Don't all Teddy Bear Hamsters look the same?  You know, like goldfish?  My friend tried to warn me.  She was right.  The only one they had was a short haired Teddy Bear Hamster.  The plus to that is pasty butt is less common in the short haired breed.  Duh.   I mean, the knowledge is endless.  I told Henry of Teddy's death, he cried and cried and then asked to see the burial sight.  Scuse me?  Right.  Of course.  I buried Teddy at the back of the land under a tree by the pond.  NOT!  Bad mommy. Bad lying mommy!  But it worked.  Wink, wink.

Teddy II before rigamortis set it. 
Teddy II settled in and was dead in two days.  Cause of death: dehydration.  The waterer that came with the cage was faulty.  The poor little fella couldn't get a drink.  No problem.  I replaced the hamster and the waterer and brought home Teddy III.  In no time Teddy III was a stiff golf ball like the others.  Cause of death: constipation.  I'm not lying, I promise, when I tell you that the pet store manager carefully combed his cage in search of poop and discovered that there wasn't any.  That was that.  Constipation evidently plagues fragile little fur balls.  It's complicated.  

This is as sad as it is funny.  But mostly funny.
Teddy IV came home in a sanitized cage, with vitamins in his water, and a seal of health approval from the hamster expert.  Teddy IV was the real deal.  Just kidding.  He died three days later.  By this time I was a cause of death expert when it came to hamsters.  I inspected his cage and saw loose hamster stool, AKA: diarrhea.  Yup.  We basically covered all possible causes of rodent death in four hamster fails and called it quits.   Well, we called it quits on Teddy Bear Hamsters.  Susie Grace and Mason's dwarf hamsters are killin' it on their hamster wheels (did you know hamsters are nocturnal and hamsters wheels are super loud at 3am?) and have stellar gastrointestinal systems.  

I know.  Stop it.  So cute.  But so ridonkulously annoying in the middle of the night. 
There you have it.  And I'm back to my uncompromising rule of ABSOLUTELY no more living, breathing, pulsating creature in this house.  I mean what I say.  Or something like that.  It's complicated. 

How Mason hasn't squeezed the guts out of Rascal is forever beyond me.  
Resources on how to properly care for your hamster and ensure optimal health click here
Or better yet, don't buy hamsters.  Stick with the Glow Fish. 

February 11, 2016

Farm Girl Fair of Dreams

February 11, 2016
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September 2015

Field Farm Girl Fair of Dreams.  Let me take a moment to stare at my cursor, rub my temples, and reflect.  Reflect.  Reflecting is sometimes hard to do after waking from a dream.  It's hard to put words together to make sense of it.  Some of the dream is still fuzzy.  Did it really happen?  Did people really come?  Was it all true or just a dream?  Farm Girl Fair was a dream that came to life because people believed, trusted and gave their ALL to make it happen.  

In the words of Emily Schuermann with Food for a Year , Farm Girl Fair was was, "inspired (by) ladies (who) wanted to create a moment. Not a thing or a place but a space of time that could take people back to what we all imagine ((or hope)) life must have been like, somewhere in life’s seemingly distant past."  Nailed itShe took the words right out of my heart.   

FIVE months later...February 2016

I had so much more to say when I wrote the above back in September.  But I couldn't seem to put anything more into words since the whole thing is still trapped and treasured in my heart.  Time has flown by and although it seems like just yesterday it's been months and in just  a few (okay, maybe more like seven) more months it will be time for FARM GIRL FAIR 2016!   

The planning is underway as if the three of us Farm Girls are getting married.  Details, details, details!  Vendors are signing up and thoughtful thinking is underway.  There is so much to plan, so much to do but this I can tell you:  we will have more food!    We are adding Farm Kid Fair too.  

So that's the latest.  We are beyond excited for the second annual Farm Girl Fair.  I won't tell you it will be better than ever because last year was a kind of magic you don't mess with.  Wink!

I wonder if Charlotte will show up for round 2!?!

See you on the farm September 24, 2016