Spiffin-up da’ Whole House in a Mornin’

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If you came to our house unannounced you would be greeted by a chicken on the porch, a bag of garbage by the door, and a tribe of half-naked cherubs turning cartwheels, hurdling piles of unfolded laundry. Just a heads-up, I may have to shoot you at this point because you would have seen too much. No offense. Give me an hour, or three, or preferably a day, or three. This way I can make the appropriate accommodations for your upcoming arrival, and then, come right in, you nice person, you! Are you a coffee or tea person? Stay for dinner? Take a sauna? Move in much?

The term “Spiffing-up” should tell you something about this post. This is not how to deep clean your whole house in a morning’s time. Spiffing is a bit like spoofing for the purpose of this post. It is an inside joke with your cupboards and closets. They are all laughing at the fact that the house looks clean while you just chucked phone chargers and batteries into the spice cabinet.

In order to carry out this all-around aesthetically pleasing clean in three hours or less, you are going to need a somewhat impromptu visit from a special someone. That’s the only part of this process you can’t control. You are going to need a special somebody that may just think your family is full of nut jobs if they were to see your house in its current state. For us, that is usually any person that does not know us very well but happens to have two working eyes. (We used to have an almost blind priest over for dinner. He didn’t work out for this purpose.)

Preferably this person should also have a good reason to peruse your entire house. If you suspect they will only come in through the front door and visit at the dining room table, you will inevitably only spiff-up said places and not get the whole house clean which is our goal here. Once you are aware of a very near visit from that special someone, you will embark upon a cleaning frenzy that you never thought you were capable of undertaking.

If you have children, like myself, you are going to need to pretend you do not have children. Tell the kids you love them and make sure they aren’t dying of immediate hunger. Tell them mommy is turning into a witch on a broom. You can only hope and pray your children won’t be in a particularly crafty mood or want to stick stickers all over the wall to help decorate. I pray they don’t have any major life crises, like coming to the realization that we are all going to die and that you are older than them so you will probably die first.  These sorts of crises develop around age five and come on rather suddenly. Try to avoid talking about the dearly departed, Michael Jackson.

Older children need to know to never question your cleaning tactics. That now you are a totalitarian dictator and they are merely your subservient pawns. If you ask them to pick up that large piece of floating cardboard outside, they simply perform task. Tip: Watch out for a spell they can cast on you that makes you think they are way too weak to carry cardboard and are simply swamped with all the tasks of showering and brushing teeth. To break this spell, do not let them shower until they perform task A, B, C. The sky is the limit once showering is on the line. If you tell them they need to scoop off that large chicken poop on the porch that your guest may slip on, tell them they are simply a cog in the machine. You can tell them this also isn’t a difficult task and suggest holding off on that shower until afterwards <wink>. They will tell you those things don’t matter and you can tell them their opinions don’t matter. They won’t fear you turning them into frogs, but behind the iron curtain there are no media devices.

Six Magic Fast House Cleaning Hacks:

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1. Pay attention to your entrance.

This area gets so clogged-up in our house and gives our guests their first impressions of living with nine barbarians, well eight, I for one am a lady. We do so many mess-making things in this area. We put our garbage here to be taken out, chuck off our “muddy” barn boots, store tools for current projects, as well as a moving station for things going out to the car and donation items. Sprucing up this space comes absolutely first. And shoes… SHOES!

2. Clear.

Clear all tables, counter tops, display shelves. Wipe them down. Then place just a few pretty things on them. Lay out your favorite table cloth and fill a pretty bowl with some fruit or something natural from your yard. Put everything else out of view. If you’re moving fast and have the time, put things where they should go. If you’re running slow, tuck them wherever to be properly stored later. Or just never mind.

3. Pick up.

Pick up everything that isn’t furniture. In my house, that would be toys, clothes, shoes, toys, clothes, shoes, repeat. Sweep or vacuum all floors, and then mop only if needed. Shake out rugs.

I know you’re thinking I should get these little kids picking up their toys but this is a mission. I just go. It’s a storm that is coming into each room and children need to move. I am down to one hour, people. The kids are practically starving to death after two hours of not eating, and don’t let the baby catch a glimpse of you! See what happened; holding baby and cleaning with one arm now. All you can do then is sling the baby, as in, put the baby in a ring sling.

4. Straighten.

Straighten tablecloths, pillows, throw blankets, bed skirts, bed spreads, towels, rugs, books, and visible dishware. Clean, crisp lines make things look instantly good.

5. Scrub.

Scrub only things that will be seen or used. Toilet, sinks, oven top.

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6. Freshen.

Freshen things up with something great smelling. I love cleaning with Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena multi-cleaner. Spark up a lovely aromatic candle. Or better yet if you made good time, bake something delicious and sweet, like banana bread or apple crisp, for your lucky guest. And yes, kids too.

Awe. That wasn’t too hard. Your house is looking so bright and clean. Time for you to spiff up yourself!  Get out of those rags!  Then proceed to rescue your children from the witch, brush their hair, fill up their cups, and take your remaining 10 minutes reading a book together to welcome mommy’s nice, new home and look like you’re in a Jane Austen movie, sitting so prim and proper in your clean house.  This little spell will be presentable for twelve hours tops, so plan accordingly.

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What are your cleaning hacks?

 

“Concerning Vegetarians and Chickens” a poem (part one)

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Chickens are not vegetarians.

I am a vegetarian that butchers chickens.

My husband loves chicken.

He eats chicken even after butchering one an hour ago.

If you eat chicken, you should probably try butchering one.

One daughter has become a vegetarian this year.

We like vegetables.

Chickens like vegetables.

Chicken manure makes great compost.

Tractor chickens over your old garden to add nutrients in over the winter and do your weed pulling.

I am a vegetarian that butchers chickens.

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Click to read part two-The Chicken Crossing-A Reflection

 

“The Chicken Crossing” a reflection (part two)

20161019_07485920161019_0750012016-10-09-21-09-39_resizedOne of the meat birds habituated with the Australian hens. She now thinks she is one of them and so do we. 

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The other day my husband thought someone was at the door. He heard a faint tap, rap, tap. He opened the door and there was no one there.

“I am down here.”

It was one of our many, and one of our many, many, chickens. They are crossing new thresholds. They are indeed “crossing the road.” And why, you might ask, are the chickens crossing the road?  I have the answer for you and it’s not very funny, so never mind it.

Looking out my patio doors this cool, October morning, I see them pecking at some cucumber plants, conversing while taking a turn about the south garden. One here, one there, one just about everywhere.

Our baby has become afraid of going outside without someone right next to her to shoo the chickens away. Most of the chickens are where they should be-in our makeshift chicken tractor next to the strawberry garden. I wish we would have butchered them while it was warmer, but there is no going back to warmer around here.

The positives when we finally harvest them are manifold:

1. We will not have to buy anymore chicken feed.

2. The girls’ chicken chores will be finished.

3. Our freezer will be full of seventy free range chickens.

It’s a big win-win, really. Come on now, I’m trying to get pumped! Come on, get pumped, old me.

Estimated from our last year’s harvest, it takes us about seven minutes a bird, from catching the chicken to plucking out its last feather. Not anyone’s most favorite seven minutes, but a character building seven minutes, nonetheless. We have about seventy birds on our to do list. So seventy times seven equals some sort of biblical proportion that is causing me to procrastinate so much this year.

I can not wait to have this chore, finished, slashed, chucked, scratched off the list. The pain of procrastination I feel looking out at them and knowing that we just need to hunker down to a whole day of hating life, getting shot in the face with chicken feathers and other chicken things, is starting to wear on me as I sit knitting, drinking tea, and perusing online fabric stores.

Can’t I just always do pleasant things? My husband said I could, and that I do in fact do them a lot of the time, but it might not make me happy. I don’t know. I think I am perfectly happy carrying on this way, but I might need some chocolate and a pair of blinders for those patio door windows.

Maybe we can keep seventy chickens as pets?

“Never mind…. Tea and chocolate, I’ll be right back.”

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Click to read: How We Harvest Chickens-A Tutorial

 

“How We Harvest Chicken” a tutorial (part three)

20161019_082907I am sorry I have to show you this shirt. This shirt is just wrong on me for so many reasons. I promise I never wear this shirt in public. It was a find at a garage sale thinking my teenage son would like it. He wanted nothing to do with it. When I was looking for some clothes to do farm chores in, I fell in love with how comfortable it is. I do not own any t-shirts because I only buy pretty things for myself. Naturally, when I began looking for appropriate attire to butcher chickens in, this looker came to mind. I do not mean any disrespect with this shirt, nor did it help with my chicken rapport.

The whole thing sucks. I do not like butchering chickens. At all. Does any one? Probably, not. BUT. My family does eat a lot of chicken.

The whole thing sucks. The whole thing in that Adam and Eve ate that stupid apple and then childbirth began to hurt and then the weeds and thorns, sickness and death. BUT. This is life. Life can suck; life is good. Birth hurts; babies are wonderful. Husband sweats and toils; I buy things. Chickens die; chickens taste good. Chicken harvesting seems logical considering the circumstances.

If you have never butchered a chicken and you eat chicken, I would encourage you to try it. In fact, why don’t you come over here next fall and I’ll let you have a go at it while I sit on the couch. I think it is an honest thing to do, butchering a chicken. I don’t think there is anything unethical about eating chickens and therefore believe there is nothing unethical about butchering them, though it can feel so wrong. We as a people are not accustomed to the sacrifices made to get chicken to our plates. Both the sacrifice of the chicken and that of the farmer.

A Brief Tutorial on How We Harvest Chickens:

What to Gather:

Sharp hand axe, log with two long nails pounded in to form a V to hold the chicken’s head steady, assortment of sharp knives, five gallon pot full of water and some dish soap with a source of heat to warm it, 1-2 five gallon buckets, chicken plucker (not necessary but very nice, trust me. And do not use the electric screw driver attachment one, again trust me), tarp to lay chickens on, plastic gloves, large cooler with ice and water, freezer bags, a good chunk of time and a cheerful, pumped-up spirit! Come on get pumped! There’s only way to do this and it’s doing it.

Job Positions Available:

The “Getter.” This job is harder than it sounds, especially if you have free-range chickens that have out smarted you and have roosters that look like mob kings. “I respect you, Mr. Rooster. Carry on.” This job entails getting a very good grasp of a chicken about their front wings and attempting to keep them calm. The Getter will need to be able to walk backwards because out of respect we don’t like them to see the place of execution and the color red can cause alarm to chickens.

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The “Chopper” and the “Holder.” These two positions need to have a really good working relationship. One may mess up their part and they will need to keep it together for the chicken’s sake. This is the worst part. I am usually the Holder and my oldest son, the Chopper. He has a very steady hand and does this job very well and very fast! The bigger the chicken, the harder it is to hold. I look away, pray for the chicken and thank God for him, and then usually sputter, “I hate this.” The Holder than has to endure the chicken’s nerves shaking out before laying them down. My husband assures me that the chicken is dead at this point, though it seems to still be suffering. Again, sucks.

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The “Dunker.” Things start to look up a bit at this point. The Dunker dunks the chicken in a large pot of 145 degree water with a squirt or two of dish soap for 45-60 seconds. This loosens up the feathers for plucking. This is such an important step to do right because chickens have a lot of feathers and if this part is done well your plucking job will be a snap.

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The “Plucker.” The plucker places the chicken over the plucker machine and gently moves it about to get off as much feathers as possible under and over each crevice. The rest of the feathers will need to be plucked off by hand. It is best to get right to the hand plucking after the machine plucking but we let the Gutter have the chicken first so the chicken cools a bit and the feathers can tighten.

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The “Gutter and Cutter.” This is my husband’s job. He is basically the surgeon that comes in to do the hard work. I do not envy this job and you will have to ask my husband about it because I got nothing for you. I am choosing to stay uniformed, so I never get this job. He basically makes the chicken look like it does when you buy it at the grocery store. He removes all the insides and chops off the feet. Have some five gallons buckets handy for the remains.

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The “Packer.” This is me again. You want to act fast, and having 70 birds makes packing fast not a possibility. You want to get them cold very fast and when you have warm chickens packed next to each other they insulate heat. I have found that 35 is a manageable amount for me to get cleaned, packed, and frozen. The kitchen sink works well enough and you’ll find some warm water will get off any additional sticky feathers. If you cut some of the chicken into pieces, the left overs will make great stock to freeze or can.

I hope I have not completely turned you away from chicken harvesting. They are a lot of work and it’s not particularly fun work. BUT. Your family will be enriched. The kids may not know it now but down the road they will thank you for it. And, you’ll come around too, once you pull out that nicely packed frozen chicken and make some fabulous chicken and dumplings that your whole family raves over and your grocery bill has just significantly dropped.

If you’ve had enough of chicken butchering, I certainly have had enough, I am working on a post about something much more nice and comforting. Three Seasonal Soups in a Dutch Oven: Homemade Chicken Stock; Creamy Salmon and Wild Rice Soup; and Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup

Stay Tuned!

The Fantastic Five Foods for the Frugal Family

 

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Let’s not mess around. Let’s get down to making austerity healthful, and what the heck I suppose yummy too, just for the kids.

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(Mika’s hat shown above was made from two of our old sweaters. Her vintage dress was on a free rack at our local thrift store. Total cost for cuteness: $0)

Frugal Tip 1. Rerun Coffee. (Skip to Tip 2 if you don’t understand coffee people.)

We love coffee. We only love good coffee. We love dark organic freshly-brewed coffee. We love coffee. I love coffee. He loves coffee. Good coffee is expensive. We are not rich. We still want good coffee. Coffee matters more than any other food item.

Rerunning coffee works really well in a french press, but also can work in a coffee machine. Sure the best coffee is in the first run of it, but your second run is still pretty awesome. This can be acceptable for a second cup after you are already in a state of awesomeness from the first cup. To ensure the rerun is decent enough for true coffee-lover consumption, add a scoop or two of fresh grounds and make sure your water is very hot with the next press.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re going for a third run. Slow down, Bessy. Third run is just brown water and if you are at the point of foraging for your food and trapping squirrels this will work. But don’t think for a second this is considered acceptable for a civilized woman with a more delicate need in establishing a perfect coffeed state.

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Frugal Tip 2. Eggs Erroneous

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This name does make them seem disgusting and downright wrong, and I won’t deny it, sometimes eggs are that. But lots of times, and for the purpose of this post-they are not always erroneous. Don’t worry if you don’t have that fancy contraption from Ernest Goes to Camp that makes Eggs Erroneous seem so glorious. All you need to do is get crackin’. Hardy, har, har.

I probably don’t need to preach it, but eggs are nutrient dense goodness, yada, yada, with antioxidants and vitamins, and perhaps more than any other food, including Omega 3 fatty acids.

If you’re a homey like me, you could free range some hen ladies to lower your cost for a healthful egg. Feed is still purty pricey but they will require no gas to pick them up, just a child on a chore list.

These things are so versatile. Their texture can change so much between fried to baked, omelet to scrambled, boiled to custard. So you can change it up every day and it doesn’t feel like the same old breakfast and your family will not hate you.
You just need a good fat, say olive oil or butter, some salt-n-pepper, and your family’s tummies are good to go. You could add any vegetable in the fridge that needs to be eaten soon and any sort of cheese will pair very nicely. My favorite egg additions are from the garden. Fresh basil, zucchini, peppers, chives, and cherry tomatoes are my favorite. At times I combine all these garden vegetables with eggs and cheese into a baked buttered casserole for dinner meals, too.

Another option to incorporate more eggsaliciousness into your life is to add more than a recipe requires. (Yeah, break rules; that helps a ton for cheap eating.) Adding more eggs will make for a more hearty, and yes, eggy, pancake, waffle, or baked good. I learned this trick after making egg-rich Dutch pancakes.

Boil some eggs for a great lunch start for salads, deviled eggs, or sandwiches. Pack some for a road trip for cheap fast food. You don’t think you’d want to eat them when you leave the house, but down the road guess who wants an egg? You’re going to see them packaged up all smart at KWIK Trip and be like, “Dang dude, I could have saved me a whole buck or two.” And don’t be an amatuer and forget the salt for the top. And you’re going to want to pack some for everyone or they will blame you for stinking up the car.

Frugal Tip 3. Oatmeal. 

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Or better yet porridge. That’s more fun. Don’t call it gruel unless you are having your enemies over for breakfast, or your kids are acting like goblins and are your enemies.

These little gems contain complex carbohydrates and encourage slow digestion, so they will not spike your glucose levels and will help you to not get fat. Oatmeal is nutrient dense and contains B vitamins.

Plus, you will feel so historical eating these tasty morsels all snuggled beside a hearth with little spicy swirly-curls lifting into the cold autumn air with your awesome coffee cradled in your hands. Because don’t forget the coffee just because we are on the third point. Historical, because peeps have been eating these tasty oats for a long time. Probably because they were poor just like you.

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They are also very versatile. You can simply cook them on the stove with boring old water or any sort of milk: cow, goat, almond, human. I am kidding about that last one, but it would be a good idea for the nursing babe, and for those enemies to whom you are feeding gruel. Add some fruits, nuts, seeds, and spices. Top it off with butter, cream, or yogurt, and you are on your way to yummy town!

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Something we heart is homemade granola. I always felt like I needed so many ingredients on hand to make granola, but necessity is the mother of invention. Also, I can’t believe at one time I was so commercialized that I thought I had to buy granola! All you really need is to bake rolled oats on a sheet so they are toasted. I usually split it up after baking and make half of it sweetened and the other half unsweetened. Our kids like it sweetened with honey and brown sugar and a bit of cinnamon. You can doll it up with dried coconut, toasted nuts, dried fruits. Oh man, I am hungry. That’s why I keep on elaborating.

You could bake them into a fruit crisp or throw them into your favorite muffin or bread recipes. If you are running short on flour, substitute a cup or two with these trusty oats. They will make any recipe more substantial and help keep your bellies full longer. My daughter, Mary, likes to whip up oatmeal cookies some afternoons for a sweet fix that could also be called healthy.

Bonus Tip: Remember to save some oats to grind into colloidal oats for soap making and oatmeal baths. Just use that coffee grinder to mill. And if the chickens or cows run out of feed, just share the oat love.

4. Stone Soup
20160919_165313I love soup. It is so forgiving a thing. Once you get the hang of a few different soups just improvise. I tend to head down a few different roads with soup. There’s the chicken stock route, the creamy route, the tomato route, the beef stew route and the bean route.

It can be thick or thin, low fat or good fat. You need more? Add a liquid: stock, milk, cream or just water. You need more? Add a grain: wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, barley, farro, or bulgur. You need more? Add some more cozy carbohydrates: think pasta or dumplings. You need more? Thicken it. This can be as simple as a roux made of water and flour or make it rich with heavy cream, butter, cream cheese, or any cheese.

There’s just no right or wrong here if you didn’t notice. But I like these frugal vegetable staples for plenty of options: onions, garlic, celery, peppers, carrots and canned tomatoes.

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Super Duper Frugal Tip: Make your soup on a woodstove in a dutch oven. Soups turn out perfect and cook much faster and do not seem to burn. Plus you don’t run any electricity. Creamy Salmon Wild Rice and Cheesy Broccoli Potato are two of my favorite winter soups. Make stocks this way too while your heating your home.

5. Bag O’ Beans

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You knew they were coming and I saved one of the best for last. It kind of reminds me of another bean I know that topped this chart. Though coffee really isn’t really a bean, I just checked.

I constantly marvel over these bean things. They are so cheap, healthy, and tasty. And yes, so tooty. But it’s worth it. I guess soaking them overnight in water and discarding (the water that is) helps with the tooting business.

You can throw these magic beans into a crock pot with water in the morning and eat the beans. All day. All night. They just never stop. Sometimes, I start them in the morning, say a blend of black beans and pinto beans. We will eat them with some seasonings on top, maybe some cheese or sour cream. Then I keep the remaining beans in and add some vegetables and meat for a chili at dinner. Voila! Two for one deal. And there might be some for tomorrow because some kid won’t eat them. Don’t worry about him. Give him some bread and cheese.

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The options are endless but here are my favorites: black beans, pinto beans, great northern beans, small red beans, white beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, red lentils, brown lentils, and split peas. You can also blend these into a refried bean dish or make a hummus.

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Bonus Tip: You folks deserve a treat. Popcorn. This stuff is so cheap and great. Pop it up. Salt and pepper it up. You don’t have butter you say? That’s okay, try coconut oil or olive oil. You don’t have any fat around? That’s okay. Now it’s that expensive low-fat store brand. Sprinkle it with parmesan, seasoning salt, just whatever you like. Want it sweet? Do you got brown sugar and butter? Make a toffee. More sweet? Got chocolate, melt it. Pop this stuff up and put it in a paper bag for a handy snack on the road with those darn eggs. Every time I get our popcorn popper popping, it’s like a party around here. Popcorn confetti shooting left and right.

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Now that we have tightened our belts a bit and our pockets are full, maybe momma can buy some shiny, new boots? What do you say, baby?

p.s. New soap curing. It smells so delicious! Sweet Cardamom Kiss, listed on etsy but will not ship until early November until fully cured.

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Enjoy your weekend!

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Apple Plum; Pigeon Gun

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When we were looking for a farm property four years ago, apple trees were a huge selling point. We had planted a few apple trees on our little lot in the city and dreamed of when they would produce fruit. We almost bought a property just because it had apple trees. I am glad we kept looking. I can now see how much we were aching for country life.

Another sign that we needed to get some land involved pigeons. The children and I witnessed a pigeon get run over right in front of our old city house in broad daylight. The poor thing didn’t even make a sound. We clearly needed to act. We scooped the little guy up with some towels and put him in a cardboard box. I called the DNR and some other animal care centers to see what we should do. They had nothing for me. Shocked at the lack of proper animal care in the world, we took him into our covered porch. I know, I was acting kind of silly, but we would see these poor guys warming all winter by chimney tops like hobos at a burn barrel. We needed to do what we could which wasn’t much. Just a place to rest and eat.

Once we felt it was time for our little bird guy to go back to the life of hard-knocks, we released him onto our small front yard. He jetted into a big bush, and we felt we had done our humane duty. Yeah, unfortunately the irredescent green/blue guy didn’t fly off.

A child of ours went to check on him later that night only to see a flurry of pigeon feathers and a stray dog strutting the street like a big, fat bully! We felt so much injustice and we were clearly on the justice league for helping out those feathered pigeon friends.

Ironically, fast forward like two months. We are researching how to get rid of a certain kind of pest. The pigeons are congregating on our roof. The neighbors that park on the side of our house started to complain about pigeon poop. My husband and another friendly neighbor sealed off any spots that were an opening for them into our attic.

The pigeons still perched. We began to consider a costly apparatus that would deter them from our high roof top. Perhaps a poke in the derriere? Or an owlish eye thingy? But first we needed to try a cheaper route, a homesteader’s route, if you will? A husband with a pellet gun route.

Frank, similar to the pigeon we found in the road, had always been a city dweller but had some pretty good country folk roots from his mother’s side, as I am sure the pigeon had as well. To avoid suspicion, he would wake up extra early with the pellet gun hid along his leg and head out onto our side lot to pluck those pigeons down.

I had completely turned my alliances and felt so relieved when I heard them from the inside of our house hit the pavement outside. I know you are thinking there is no way I could have heard them, but I did. Ka thump! I would be enjoying my morning coffee. Ka thump! Is that Mozart, I hear? I also considered how we would never go hungry with all those big breasted pigeons. See my country folk roots were beginning to emerge as well. Rest assured we never went hungry, at least not enough to eat pigeon meat, thus far that is.

We were a little concerned with city ordinances and all, but the internet did not offer any definitive answer and everyone we talked with agreed it was worth a shot. If we wrong, ignorance was bliss. The whole neighborhood was really quite pleased, and most likely quite amused, with our shenanigan done in neighborly civility. Even the neighbor who was on the city council and parked along the side of our house, seemed more than fine with changing our neighborhood into a mob. Everyone was happy, except for the guy with the next tallest roof a few houses down. He can borrow our pellet gun if he likes.

I grew concerned that this thing had gone too far when my husband was spotted very early one morning by a passing college kid with his gun pinned along his side. I could not believe there wasn’t a visit from the police to follow. Oddly, we did get a visit from the police many months later for a complaint that a man, and they incorrectly ascertained that perhaps that man was my husband, had urinated along the side of our house. It was the same side as the pigeons did their thing on, which is curious. I can attest under oath to the fact that my husband never had a desire to pee outdoors while living in the city. Perhaps it was a mix-up with the nature of the complaint? Or, the neighbor who got all of our pigeons on his roof had perhaps added his urination to the stoolie pigeon mix in retaliation. Most likely it was just a drunk college kid.

Nevertheless, one thing was for sure, we had turned solid redneck and should evacuate the city as soon as possible.

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Follow-up: Certain males may, or may not, occasionally feel the desire to tinkle outside here in the country while out frolicking vast meadows with birds humming about and the deer nibbling on the fallen, crisp apples. And that is completely, and totally, and absolutely, different from wee-weeing outside in the city. And that goes for pigeons, too!

Happy Apples!

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