Today I buried another student.
For those who don’t know, we lose more than our share of kids at my school, as if that’s even something you can portion out. We have lost at least one kid each year for almost all the years that I have taught at that high school. One particular group of kids was hit the hardest, and they were my particular group of kids.
I used to run the program for at-risk students. They weren’t just at-risk in terms of academics, and to be honest, some of them were the smartest kids around. But there were all kinds of issues that were affecting their success in school, so our program was meant to provide a different way of doing school to help these kids get their credits. Most of the time, my time was spent helping these kids with everything but schoolwork, but then they were able to take care of the academic success on their own. Really, I was more of a parent-for-hire. The social-emotional stuff was on the front burner all day, every day.
My special group of kids were all tough and they were all broken. They had all experienced loss in one way or another before I ever met them. They had found each other (they always do) and were a very close group of friends. And then one summer afternoon, Dani died - hit by truck when she got off the bus after summer school. We opened up my classroom and the whole group of kids showed up, silent, grief-stricken, not sure where else to go. They were lost together. They spent the day writing notes to Dani and to her family, while the adults and experts in the room watched their grief from the sidelines. When I went to the funeral home the next evening, I found them all out in the hallway, unsure of what they were supposed to do when they got in there. It was a profoundly sad teaching moment when I had to show them how to navigate such a tragic rite of passage, to let them know what to expect and what to say or do. And yet, it was my honour to do so. A teacher's job description is far more vast than most people realize.
And then life went on and those kids all returned to school in the fall, but they were no longer the same. They threw themselves into fundraising for her tombstone, they partied hard in her honour and her name was always on their lips. And then Miles died, in a car accident on the night of graduation. Same kids. Same grief. Same gathering in my classroom. Same funeral home entourage and funeral procession. And sadly, this time they knew what they were doing. Experts at grief, experts at being lost together.
Since then, the same group of friends lost Austin, to a drug overdose, while everyone else in town was at the Syrup Festival. And today we buried Isaac, who finally succumbed to his injuries after a terrible fall a few months ago. They don’t meet in Room 108 anymore, but I can still find them together when these things happen. They are a tight group, bound together by their shared losses. And they will always be my special group because I travelled that path of grief with them.
This funeral was the hardest one for me, and I know why. It’s because now I am a mother. My heart breaks in a whole new way now when a kid dies. Isaac was a big strong boy. And he was somebody’s baby boy, a baby boy who died too soon. Becoming a parent changed how I am as a teacher. I now see each of my students as somebody’s baby, more so than ever before. I used to mutter to myself “Precious to God…. Precious to God…. Precious to God….” when someone was being a big jerk and I needed to check my own response. Now I think “Somebody’s baby…. Somebody’s baby…. Somebody’s baby….” And it makes my job so heavy that I just can’t do it some days. So that’s another reason that I am stepping away from teaching, at least for now. I can’t lose another kid.
Erin still insisted on calling me Miss Raymer when she served me lunch at the restaurant, even though she was 28 and I hadn’t taught her since she was a smart and saucy girl in my grade 9 English class. And now I have to see her pretty face every evening on the news, as her murder trial drags on. Like I said, I can’t lose another kid. I’ve lost too many.
One good thing happened today though – one kid came back to me. We had toughed it out together through her high school years and then things fell apart one hot May afternoon when I wouldn’t let her watch Desperate Housewives on the computer in the classroom. She never spoke to me again. And I’ve always been very sad that things ended that way with her. Today, when she saw me in the foyer at the funeral, her eyes filled with tears. She gave me a huge hug and said “I have missed you so much”. It’s been four years, but she came back. At least that’s one kid I didn’t lose for good.
Winter is hard. We haven’t even had a particularly hard winter this year and still winter is a hard thing to endure. I know there are some of you out there who love it. I do not understand you people. For me, it is something I must merely try to survive each year. I am a tropical girl. I crave sunshine and warmth. I love the feeling of my hair loose on my bare shoulders, as opposed to the feeling of my shoulders hunched up around my ears where they remain for approximately four months of each year here in Canada.
Many people get those winter blahs or blues. For some of us, and probably more than you realize, the winter blues can almost be completely debilitating. I think I was probably only sixteen when I told my family doctor that I had diagnosed myself with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Twenty-five years ago there wasn’t a whole lot of public knowledge about that particular mental health issue, but as soon as I learned about it, I knew I had a name for what I experienced each winter.
I have a few tricks to survive the winter. For one thing, I take a lot of Vitamin D. I once heard a researcher talk about Vitamin D on CBC. He said that our skin can make 50,000 units of Vitamin D in just twenty minutes of full summer sun exposure. His main point was that perhaps Health Canada’s daily recommended value of 385 units might be just a tad low, and arbitrarily so! (They’ve since upped it to 800 units for adults, with an upper limit of 4,000). This particular researcher said he takes 11,000 units per day. I have settled on 4,000 and it makes a difference. Even if is just placebo effect – a powerful force in itself – I am happy to just feel better.
Another thing I typically do is to head South for a mid-winter escape. It was in my pre-nuptial agreement. Ok, we don’t really have one of those. But we definitely had an agreement. And the only reason I haven’t gone South for some sunshine this winter is that I have quit my job to come home and be with Henry. This means that a) I can’t afford to go South and b) I am not nearly as desperate to do so because I am not leaving for work in the dark (6:45am) and returning home in the dark (5:00pm). Instead, I am out and about in the winter sunshine. We even had a little campfire on that wonderfully sunny afternoon last week. My shoulders are still riding ridiculously high because I HATE THE COLD but I am getting lots of natural sunlight. And that makes a world of difference.
I have often used a SAD light to provide some artificial sunlight and it really does work. I bought one years ago but then donated it to the Guidance Department at my high school so that kids with SAD could have regular access to the light that could change their school experience. I need to get my hands on one for home use because I know it helps. I have just been careless about that. But I do absolutely recommend them to people who suffer, even just a little bit, with those winter blues.
Sleep is also a crucial component when it comes to managing SAD. The tendency is to hibernate for the entire winter. All I want to do is sleep. If it were a sport, I would be a champion. Left to my own instincts, I would move from bed to couch and back again, snoozing my way through each day until it’s time to go to bed for real. But I am strict about sleep, having done far too much reading on the topic. I typically maintain a 10:00 pm bedtime and 6:00 wakeup time. This always worked for teaching, as I used to tell my students that my workday began at 10 pm the night before, when I went to bed on time so that I could be the teacher they needed me to be the next morning. And it works now that I have a toddler who is also a consistent alarm clock. We get a 6 am wake-up call almost every day. I am also obsessive about complete darkness in my bedroom so we have amazing blackout blinds to help us get the best sleep possible, as nature intended – without all the street lights and nightlights. And then when morning comes, I fill the house with light.
My final strategy? This is the time of year when I start to fill my space with flowers. The grocery stores are full of little pots of blooming bulbs. They are an inexpensive pick-me-up that remind me that better days are on their way. Hyacinths are my favourite because they give the entire house a dose of the intoxicating aroma of spring. I told Isobel yesterday that I could practically swim in that scent. She agreed. Even potted tulips or daffodils, with their bright colours, just ooze optimism! If you can’t head South this winter, head to the grocery store for some potted springtime.
The days are getting longer. I can feel it already. As you hunker down for another winter storm today, remember that there are definitely strategies that can help you endure. Notice I didn’t include winter sports on the list. Or any exercise, for that matter. Sorry. You’ll have to find yourself another blog if that’s your idea of a solution to anything!!! If you need me, I’ll be on the sitting where the sunshine streams through the window. Sitting with my potted hyacinth, my dog and my boy. Sitting eating chocolate and counting the days until I can get back into my garden and give spring a proper welcome.
What are your strategies for getting through the winter? Share your ideas with the rest of us!
In the midst of winter, I desperately need a reminder that there is sunshine and warmth out there in the world. Clearly I didn’t grow up in Canada – or my choice of comfort food today might have been mac and cheese or hot chocolate. But for me, on this winter day, it was passion fruit. Sometimes I crave tropical fruit so much it hurts. I have followed my nose clear across the grocery store after catching a waft of guava. I willingly do battle with the armour of a pineapple to get at the good stuff inside. These are the tastes of my childhood and my choice for comfort.
I have been a stranger in a strange land many times in my life. Perhaps that is why I am so eager to welcome new people to our country and so excited about the Syrian refugees who are arriving in our small town tomorrow. I fully recognize that in my many journeys, I have been a stranger in a position of privilege and power. As a traveler, I have been a visitor with resources. As an expat worker, I have been part of the local elite with connections, comparative wealth and the ability to leave if the going got tough. And for much of my childhood, I was the visible minority in my community, but my nationality and my whiteness still gave me opportunities denied to many of my friends. I get that. But still, while I've never been a refugee, I think I can legitimately empathize with the feeling of being a stranger in a strange land.
I know what is it to be surrounded by new sights and sounds, to be overwhelmed by unfamiliar chaos, to feel powerless because I do not speak the language. I understand what it means to be completely reliant on strangers for everything while trying to figure out the lay of the land. I have experienced the sensory overload of a crowded airport full of people who look and sound nothing like me, as I lug all my personal belongings with me towards a new, unfamiliar home. And I can say with complete honesty that in every country I have visited, I have been welcomed by local people who were ridiculously kind to me, showering me with a sort of gracious hospitality that only the poor in this world seem to have truly mastered. If only we could figure out how to be that welcoming to the weary of this world!
This morning, when I heard that our new Syrian neighbours would be arriving tomorrow, we set out after church to put together a gift basket of treats for the new Canadians. At first I thought we could introduce them to typically Canadian foods as part of a cute care package. But then I remembered what it is to be a stranger in a strange land. So Russ and Henry and I wandered the grocery store aisles and gathered what we thought might be comfort food for a family who has had to leave their home for a new one, half a world away. We put together a basket of Middle Eastern treats – figs, pistachios, dates, olives, apricots, grape leaves and of course – some of our honey. I’m hoping it will be a taste of home, a bit of comfort for our new friends and that they will know they are welcome and accepted in our community – strangers in a strange land, but not for too long.
Oh my goodness! The other day, my dear friend Wonton (Tanya) invited us to join her and her two boys at the Children’s Art Factory in Guelph. I am officially head over heels in love with that place!! Imagine a place where your child can be set free to be creative in a thousand different ways, without direction or redirection, instruction or interference. Imagine a place with activities so diverse and plentiful that a child could spend days there and still not experience it all. Imagine a place that has all this, but in a cozy little colourful space that feels safe – the perfect atmosphere to allow little minds and little hands and little bodies to feel free to explore. I can only do justice to the Children’s Art Factory by showing you a dozen or so pictures that I took during our morning there. I was having as much fun with my camera phone as Henry was with all the activities. He was a little free range chicken, pecking here and there, free to experience and experiment as he wished. There was no specific learning agenda, no prescribed craft that he had to produce for his parents, no required participation in a group activity. He just got to BE HIMSELF – his curious and creative and busy self. I wish I could set up our basement like this for Henry. But then we’d never see him again.
There are many different activity stations set up throughout the space, but children are free to do as they please at each one. The only rule is that items remain at their proper station so as not to mix up all the different activities. Fair enough. I can only imagine how much work it would take to ‘tidy up’ there! The truth is, though, that the wonder of this place is its beautiful mess. It is a visual representation of the child’s mind in all its glory. Henry wandered about, focused at times and flighty at others. He worked away in the sand area, had imaginative conversations on an old telephone, plunked away at a keyboard with no one to tell him to the computer was off limits, practiced cutting different types of paper with fancy scissors, scooped and ground and poured lentils to his heart’s content, and did his fair share of painting because he loved the colours. With his limited vocabulary, he tried to tell me that there was ‘many much blue’ and he was right – there were so many shades of blue and green to work with. He was sad to leave when we did, but also worn out from all the mental activity. What a wonderful thing – to fall asleep exhausted because you’ve just been so very creative all morning!!! He earned his delicious three-hour nap that afternoon.
The Children’s Art Factory is located in downtown Guelph. It operates as a drop-in art studio for toddlers and preschoolers and also provides classes for older children on weeknights and weekends (nurturing the young makers among us). They also do birthday parties and rent out activity stations. Please check out their website here: thechildrensartfactory.com and consider making a visit sometime soon! It is absolutely worth the drive to Guelph.
Today I really need to share something fantastic with you. It’s a recipe for the best soup ever. No joke. And since I am not one to keep a wonderful secret to myself, I am paying it forward to you. The base is pureed vegetables and chicken stock, with herbs and spices added at the front end. Cubed potatoes and shredded chicken are added later. And chipotle chili in adobo sauce is the key ingredient. For our amigos vegetarianos, you could use vegetable broth, skip the chicken, add black beans and still have an amazing soup. This soup is rich and thick. It is flavourful on so many levels – the difference between a single note and several chords on the piano (if I can compare flavour to music). I could serve this soup as a main course to dinner guests, and they wouldn’t be left wondering where the rest of dinner was. It’s that good. So I’m sharing the recipe with you.
A recipe is a tricky thing. I rarely follow recipes exactly, mainly because of my innate tendency towards ‘you’re not the boss of me’. For me, recipes are always more of a suggestion or inspiration. I love recipe books with pictures. I’ll gaze at the glossy photo of the finished product, scan the list of ingredients, and then shut the book and do my own thing. I’m not saying that it always works out. I’m just admitting that this is how I roll.
I remember the day we met, this soup and I. It was a cold winter evening in Paris (the close one, not the fancy one) and we had gathered at Cathy and Rhonda’s house for book club. Cathy prepared this amazing soup for us and in doing so, raised the bar for book club food and also changed my life forever. We all hounded her for the recipe and she agreeably shared the link to the recipe. I have kept the website bookmarked since then, on the laptop, the ipad and my phone, just to be sure. And then the unthinkable happened.
The website was no longer available. Gone. So I had to go searching because I wasn’t ready to let this soup go. Interestingly enough, I found many versions of the recipe online. They all attributed it back to the Kitchen Sink, but all had some tiny little changes. I too had tweaked the recipe in some key areas so I can’t really blame them. But I can’t seem to find the original anymore. I know there were Herbes de Provence involved originally and that ingredient seems to have been replaced by oregano (I'm sticking with my H de P because the French know what they're doing with that concoction). And I admit that I add bacon, because as we all know, bacon makes everything better. Corn is also something I throw in. Those tiny little morsels add sweetness and colour to any dish. And the cream – who are we kidding? I am never going to stop at ¼ cup of cream. If I have to buy the 250 ml carton or even the 500 ml carton, it’s all going in the soup. Life is short. Just put the cream in the soup and just love it. I have also added a couple of drops of cilantro and lime oil. Essential oils are my new favourite kitchen trick. I can wash and chop a dirty, wilted, overpriced bunch of cilantro from the grocery store, or I can add a single drop of cilantro essential oil and bam! Done.
As you can see, I am all about making the recipe my way. But you can’t play fast and loose with everything. I have recently learned an important lesson: don’t mess around with the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. This is where your flavor comes from, but it also brings the fire. When I made this soup last week, I haphazardly doubled the pepper and adobo sauce because a) you aren’t the boss of me and b) my man like his food spicy. Well, it was so hot that I had to go back and double the recipe with more broth and more potatoes. The soup is so inherently full of flavour that doubling the liquid did not result in a watering down of the taste. And it’s still pretty darn spicy. Now we have a pot that might just get us through the winter. It’s sitting on the back porch because there’s nowhere else to stash it and the poor man’s walk-in works just fine. If it goes missing in the days to come, I won't even blame you. This soup could make a criminal out of anyone.
Here is a link to this glorious soup. http://www.weheartfood.com/2009/11/chipotle-chicken-chowder.html
And don’t forget to make it your own! Try it out and let me know what changes you’ve made!
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all the things I want to do now that I am back home with Henry. So many dreams in so many directions! I keep writing them down on post-its all over the pIace because I can’t even keep track of all the projects I want to take on. I often roll my eyes at people with their vision boards and clearly articulated goals, but the other day I found myself sketching out some of the big dreams that are bouncing around in my brain. Don’t laugh at my terrible artistic skills. Improving them is not on my current to-do list. But I do like to have this all drawn out on one page so I can glance at it every time I walk past my desk and ponder the next steps.
We went to look at the ideal country property the other day. We packed up the grandparents and the kids and headed out on Valentine’s Day to see if we had found our new homestead. The pictures had been fantastic, and they didn’t even do the house and the property justice. It was pretty beautiful, and my parents – who arrived at the open house before we did – practically had us moved in by the time we got there. The house was a big old century home with lots of opportunities for bed and breakfast configurations. It also had a workshop/garage for honey processing, and a small barn to house alpacas and chickens. There was enough land for all the things we’d like to do and it was really close to town. It seemed perfect, but we just weren’t feeling it. I am pretty project oriented, so I can always see the potential and see how we could make anything work. But I still have to FEEL it. Russ wasn’t feeling it at all, and he is usually content to just go along, but this time he had a long list of concerns. The biggest concern was the price. We both thought it was overpriced and we weren’t willing to go into that much debt and then still have to do a lot of work on the property before we could be using it effectively. That said, if we’d been FEELING it, we would have thrown caution to the wind and sold whatever we needed to in order to make it our own. That’s how you know it wasn’t right for us. We were using the price as a reason not to get it, and we don’t usually roll that way!
This got me thinking about what we really look for in a home, and how tricky it is for two people to find something that works when we all have different ideas about what makes a home. I have always been a nester. I can make any space beautiful and warm. I am one of those people who will bloom where they are planted, as long as I have light. I loved the light in this old house we looked at, but it still wasn’t enough to sell me on it. And I’m not quite sure why. Russ was uncharacteristically critical of the house and property. When we got past the surface reasons, he was able to put his finger on the real heart of the matter for him. He needs the house to be NESTLED. Our friend Chad absolutely understood this concept, whereas I needed to be talked through it. Russ explains it, in true scientist form, as wanting a property that is in no way conducive to monoculture. The physiology of the land should be such that a combine couldn’t work it. He wants hills and valleys, a stream or a pond and a winding lane. He does not want a rectangular plot of land on the side of the highway that is surrounded by farmers’ fields. He needs our home to be nestled in landscape features that make it impossible to grow crops but perfect for people who want to feel connected to and protected by their land. Nestled. Who knew?!
This search is going to take longer than I thought, but I’d rather hold out for the best fit. Finding a home is a lot like finding a mate. It doesn’t matter if it meets all your criteria, or even if your parents think it’s perfect for you. If you just aren’t feeling it, you are going to find all the things that are wrong with it. And when you do finally find your match, you overlook all the obstacles and it is full-steam ahead! And so the search continues….
My dad had a significant health scare this week, and while he is okay now, it sparked some of those BIG discussions that come with that kind of scare. You never know what could happen when someone goes in for even minor surgery. Our family has always been very open and frank when talking about the eventuality of my parents’ passing. I remember the first time I sat down with my dad to go over the insurance policies and other important paperwork before they headed away on vacation. I was maybe thirteen at the time. He was always just very matter-of-fact about planning for the worst while living his best life. He is still like that. So this week, while he was writing out passwords and making sure that bills were in both their names, it seemed perfectly reasonable to think about what might happen if we lost my dad.
I can’t imagine life without my dad. I am very much a Daddy’s girl, and when I don't know what to do, I call dad. He loves to tell the story about the time I called him in the middle of the night to ask him what to do because my house was on fire. Yup, I really did that. His wise advice: call 911. The firefighters all agreed that his advice had been spot on! You see, day in and day out, my dad is a really good, really wise person. He’s not a know-it-all, but he really does know it all. I'm not the only one to rely on his advice as lots of people go to him when they need to know what to do about pretty much anything. Most of the great decisions I have made in my life were at his urging, so I can’t even take credit for my successes. I am not so much smart as I am obedient! And I am now feeling like I need to mine every nugget of wisdom from him while I still have him here.
As Russ and I search for our dream homestead property, we have to make some decisions about finances and how to pay for our dream. Neither of us are great in that department, and since we have my dad…. we don’t have to be financial geniuses. We just have to follow his advice. So yesterday, after the surgery, we talked about the hobby farm that has become his dream as much as it is ours. He wants to be sure that there will be a quiet spot in the corner of the property for him to pitch a tent when he comes to mow the lawn and do odd jobs. And he wants a tractor. I think we can accommodate those requests. He’s also pretty excited about expanding our honey enterprise, since he and I were the ones who partnered up to start Bishop Family Bees in the first place.
The big question for now is whether or not I need to sell the houses to buy the farm. For those who don’t know, I have a couple of old houses in Kitchener. It was my dad’s idea, of course. I remember that it was a Wednesday afternoon, when I was much younger than I am now. He said I should buy an investment property and live for free. So, on Thursday, I looked at a big old run-down triplex in downtown Kitchener. I bought it on Friday. We spent all summer fixing it up. We were pretty proud of ourselves. Two years later, I noticed that the house around the corner was for sale. I had always loved that house around the corner, so I told my realtor that I wanted to buy it. He suggested I actually look at it first. So we went and took a look. And then I bought it. And I lived there with my dogs and a series of wonderful tenants until I married Russell and moved to Paris. But I never wanted to let go of my houses. I love my houses. I love being a landlady. I love that other people are buying my houses for me. I love that I have those aces in my pocket for retirement. I love that I can count on the income from them, and still have them to leave one day to Henry. But right now, it seems like a reasonable thing to cash them out in order to buy our homestead. Or does it? This was the discussion yesterday.
We still haven’t landed on a decision and I guess we aren’t in too much of a hurry, since we haven’t found our new home yet anyways. But we should probably be prepared, given that it was love at first sight for us with our current home in Paris. (If we could pick our beloved house up and move it to a lush little plot of land in the country, we would do it in a heartbeat.) When the time comes, and we see what we like, we will move fast. We’d better get our ducks in line ahead of time. So, what do you think? Given low interest rates and a great housing market in Paris right now, should we just sell our home and buy the farm and let the rentals continue to do what they do? Or do we sell the Kitchener properties and turn them into the farmhouse in the country where we can nurture our kids and our bees and our chickens and our alpacas and our dreams? Care to join the discussion and share your advice? Come on, all you amateur advisors - tell us what you think we should do!!!
The other day, I went shopping for a clock. I had an hour or so to kill and Henry was at daycare, so it seemed like a good time to pop into a store and pick up a clock for our spare room. For those who don’t already know, I have always wanted to have a B and B. We thought we’d take the concept for a test drive by putting our spare room on Air BnB to see if we really do like hosting strangers in our home. So far it’s been lovely to meet new people who are in town for various reasons and who appreciate staying in our heritage home. I’ve enjoyed getting the guest room all ready for our guests, and part of that has involved shopping for a clock.
My first stop was a big box décor store because I figured they’d have lots of options. What I hadn’t figured on was the overall crappiness of the clocks they offered. My eyes appreciated their antiqued finish and old-fashioned styling, but the second I held one of those made-in-China clocks in my hand, the jig was up. They were fake. Fakety-fake-fake-fake. They were like all the other plastic items that try to pass as the real thing. We see so much of that in our society today - painted plastic disguised as wrought iron, terra cotta, stained glass and even wooden furniture. I could not justify buying just another piece of painted plastic that didn’t tick or ring or even have its face glued on straight. I left the store feeling frustrated, but determined to hold out for the real thing.
Next, I stopped at Value Village, having been inspired by a recent blog written by my friends Mark and Cassie at janeandjury.com. Like them, I’d much rather buy something used than new any day. I often imagine a past, a story, for items I pick up at antique shops or thrift stores. And I love to rescue things and give them a new life. So, I wandered the cluttered aisles of Value Village and there it was – the perfect clock, sitting stoically amidst the knick-knacks. When I picked it up, I knew for sure. It has weight and substance. In a world of painted plastic, it is the genuine article. There are moving parts within. It requires that one diligently wind it up daily. And, given that I am a bit obsessive about absolute darkness for quality sleep, I am thrilled to report that it does not emit any sort of unearthly glow. There is nothing plastic, digital or fake about this clock. It was made in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada by the Western Clock Company Ltd and is named Baby Ben. It is the perfect clock for our guest room.
It has been reclaimed and redeemed. It has a place and a purpose in our home. Now, if I can only get it to work....
You can find the link to our Airbnb advert here, in case you ever want to come and stay with us in the prettiest little town in Canada! https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/10221295
I am married to a pretty good guy. He’s a patient man who is willing to come along for the ride on any crazy train I happen to hop aboard. He was so supportive when I said I wanted to quit my job to come home and be with Henry. But he knows me better than to assume that being at home with our little boy was the only thing I planned to do. After all, I started beekeeping when on maternity leave, because having a preemie who never slept more than one hour at a time for that whole first year just wasn’t enough to challenge me!
So late one night, as I twisted to turn off the bedside lamp, I heard him quietly ask “So, can you give me any idea as to what this mid-life crisis of yours might entail, just so I can prepare myself?”
I sighed, rolled over, looked him squarely in the eye and said, “It might involve chickens. And definitely more bees. And maybe foster babies. And probably a bed-and-breakfast. And for sure, a few alpacas.”
And then I waited.
And finally, he smiled and said, “Well, I guess we’d better start looking for a bigger house on a few acres in the country.”
That is a pretty good guy. That is MY pretty good guy.
So imagine my indignant surprise when yesterday I noticed that he had posted, to my facebook timeline, a video about the hazards of raising chickens. I should have known that he would start throwing pseudo-scientific stuff my way to try and kill my dreams!!!
And all he had to say for himself was that it was ‘too close to home not to post’.
For any of you who also might harbour dreams of one day raising your own chickens, I give you this public service announcement (see link below). We can discuss it later, when we get together to talk about our chickens!
Kari Raymer Bishop
Lover of Jesus, cheeses and tropical breezes... seeking balance in life, even as I embrace new challenges and chase new dreams. I am wife, mother, daughter and friend, as well as teacher, entrepreneur, activist, writer, beekeeper and hostess. Come along on the journey through my long-awaited midlife crisis!