Name Announcements!

I’ll start off by saying that we are STILL waiting on a house (massive eye roll), but I should be in my own bed in just a week! The constant crappy weather in my area has kept the coop from progressing, but I’m not giving up hope on the girls having a CHICKEN PALACE by their 4th week. 

I want to give you guys more content and more updates, but reliable internet is hard to find these days. So we’ll have to live with another phone update. 

SO! 4 OUT OF 13 OF MY GIRLS HAVE NAMES!!

Naomi and Josie are my two big red girls (maybe Rhode Island Reds?) that you can see posing next to their two weeks old sign. They are best friends. I have never seen them a feathers length away from each other. 


Then we have my sweet Stella. I hate to pick favorites, but it’s hard not to have her as a top contender. She greets me every morning and hasn’t been shy since day one. She will waddle into my hands and snuggle with me for hours if I let her. I have no idea what she might be as I ordered some random rare breeds and she doesn’t match up with my order, but I cannot imagine my life without her now. 


And then we have Claire. Definitely the biggest personality out of all of my girls. I think she maybe a Lavender Orpington. She is ALWAYS talking. At first, I thought something was wrong with her, but it seems that she’s just a chatty girl. I couldn’t even get a picture with her beak closed. 


The rest of the girls are thriving as well, but I don’t have official names yet. I can’t wait to watch them grow and get to know and love them even more.
Thanks for reading guys, and if you have any idea what breeds I might be looking at – I would love the help! I didn’t know that identifying little babies would be so difficult, but I love them no matter WHAT they are. ūüôā 

Cooped Up With Marcie: The Beginning

On Thursday, May 18th, I received the call that I had been waiting months for. “Ms. Allison? Your chickens have arrived!”

I screamed and cried and jumped up and down before grabbing Meemaw and dragging her along with me to the post office… you know, in case I got too excited to drive. I picked my little darlings up around noon and immediately opened the package in the car to move them into their temporary home (a small animal kennel). Unfortunately, two chicks passed during transport. I had prepared myself for losses. Chickens are very fragile in their first few days of life and mypetchicken.com advises that you should avoid bringing children to the post office when they arrive due to this.

It was sad, but the other 15 girls were happy and chirping away. We took them out to the land and put them into a kiddie pool while I was getting Brooder #1 (animal¬†kennel)¬†ready for them. They were happy to soak in the sun after being in a small carrier for their first few days of life. Everyone was eating and drinking well, except for one little black chick that seemed very lethargic and sleepy. I looked up her symptoms and had a feeling that she wasn’t going to make it.

My friend, Ashley, volunteered her garage for them to stay for their first night. I had planned to keep them in my parents’ enclosed patio, but we had storms rolling in and my garage was not “ready” for them. So we went to Ashley’s and shit hit the fan.

I’m an idiot and didn’t remove their water dish before transport and when we got to Ashley’s house, they were drenched. Seriously. They were dripping wet. You’ve never seen anything as pathetic as 15 soaking wet chicks that are looking at you like, “You’re my mother! Why did you let this happen to me?!” I cried and cried while gently blow drying them before they were in bed for the night.

I set my alarm to go off every single hour and a half. I’d roll off of Ashley’s couch, go to the garage, and count. Unfortunately, around 2 in the morning, I noticed that the little black chick had passed away. It was fairly expected as she wasn’t doing well from the moment that I got her, and I’m telling myself that though her life was short, I gave her a lot of love before she left us.

The next day morning, I took them to my parents’ house and set them up on the enclosed patio. Thank you, Texas weather, for staying so warm! I’ve barely had to use the heat lamp for the girls.

I started working on a bigger brooder for the girls on Friday night. That night, the last night in their tiny kennel, I started noticing another chick had changed drastically. It seemed that she had suffered a stroke. The left side of her body seemed to be completely paralyzed and she was very sadly cheeping. I tried to get water to her drop by drop, but she was unable to swallow, from what I could see. I held her off and on through the night and she passed away on Saturday morning while I was at rehearsal.

These losses were all devastating, but this one hurt the most as I had gotten to know this chick a bit and she was just so delightful to watch play with her sisters. Again – she was so, so loved.

I’m happy to report that the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday have been far less eventful. I still have 13 happy, feather-butts that are complete PIGS. Seriously, I cannot get over how fat and adorable they are!

They are thrilled with their new brooder as well. They have almost 3 times as much space as before to explore and play. I used paper towels the first few days with them to make sure that they were all using the bathroom as needed and to help prevent splayed leg. Last night, I introduced aspen shavings to their little home. They crack me up and make me crazy by constantly knocking the shavings into their water bowl.

I’ve been handling them every day and I’m starting to see some attributes to their breeds. (My two Buff Orpington girls are so calm when handled, my Rhode Island Reds are sassy and sweet) This morning, I called out, “Good morning, girls!” when I walked into the garage. They immediately jumped up and ran to the door of their brooder to greet me. Yes, I cried.

I’m having so much fun getting to know and love them. I’ve been working on their coop when weather permits and can’t wait to see them in their new, permanent home. I also have plans to have a kind of memorial garden for the girls that we lost and named Ginger, Georgia, Heidi, and Stella. The big move is still in progress so my parents deserve a huge thank you for letting me move 13 more birds into the house – I can’t wait to share a brand new home and adventure with my sassy girls.

Thanks for reading guys, and as always – I PROMISE NOTHING. IT TOOK ME WEEKS TO ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND WRITE AGAIN. I’M SORRY.

 

WE. HAVE. CHICKENS. 

My little peeps have arrived! We’ve set up a brooder and they are happily chirping and growing in our enclosed patio. Keeping an eye on temperatures as we have storms coming in tonight, but they’re so happy. I’m STILL trying to find reliable internet, so we still have to stick to the phone for now. I will have an updated post on them AND the move as soon as I can! 


I’ll see you guys, soon! More fluffy pics coming at ya!

Stream of consciousness 5/10/17

This has been a wild and crazy week and finding internet access is next to impossible. I STILL promise to get you a chicken update as soon as I can sit and type. But for now, here are some occupancies and random thoughts I’ve had this week, courtesy of my WordPress app. 

  • Snakes are terrifying and when I actually came across a copperhead at the house my response was: “Um. Hello. I need you to please calm down.”
  • I got cast in Oklahoma and so did Meemaw. We’re both in the chorus and we’re going to have so much fun. 
  • I spent 3 hours hand stitching a dress that needed to be altered for a wedding this weekend. I still can’t feel my fingertips. 
  • WHY DO MEN THINK THAT THE LOUDNESS OF THEIR TRUCK IS IMPRESSIVE?! 
  • Dr Pepper is the reason I am alive today 
  • I’ve always saved the name, Astrid, for one of my future children… but I put it on my chicken name list and can’t decide if “my mother named me after a chicken” will be the reason one of my kids end up in therapy. 
  • I have absolutely NO construction experience, but I am somehow building a chicken coop. 
  • I still haven’t forgiven myself for forgetting to take my makeup off before I fell asleep… 4 days ago. 
  • I left Starbucks. I don’t want to talk about it. But now you know. 
  • I have a list of over 200 chicken names and will only be receiving 18 chickens in the mail. 
  • YOU CAN RECEIVE CHICKENS IN THE MAIL. 
  • “I before E except after C” is a ridiculous rule and has fucked up spelling for me forever. 
  • I also can’t spell restaurant correctly the first time. 
  • You have to present more personal information to rent a tractor than you do to apply for an apartment. 
  • MARCIE IS NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH THE TRACTOR
  • I’ve developed some kind of new food allergy. Haven’t completely figured out what it is but dear god if I have never taught you anything… always. be near. a bathroom. (More on this in a separate post.)
  • I think that my bird (conure, not chickens) called me “butthole”. 
  • I never realized that I had an irrational fear of time travel until I watched the 5th season of LOST. 
  • I’m in my 20th production with my home theatre and I don’t feel old enough to have accumulated 20 of anything. 
  • Always. Have. Toiletpaper. 

I’m going to have a serious talk with my laptop tonight to see if I can get some more posts up. You guys are the best! See ya soon! 

Moving Update!

Tonight’s post will be a quick update about the move, but I’m working on¬†two new posts!¬†Saturday, I’ll have a chicken¬†update and¬†Sunday, I’ll tell you about the cat-shit-apocalypse.

MOVING SUCKS BALLS, MAN

Meemaw, Mimi, and Dion are officially moved out of their apartment. They’re staying with a family friend until the new mobile home can be moved to their property. We’ve been driving out to the land almost every day for the last week and working our butts off… BUT IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE NOTHING DONE.

Tomorrow, my uncle is bringing a chainsaw to chop down a few trees that are prohibiting us from moving the existing homes on the property. On Sunday, we are renting a tractor (that I am NOT allowed to drive Рrude) that will move any and all trash, scrap, giant pieces of furniture that we cannot physically lift out of the way. By Tuesday, the property has to be ready for a surveyor to come out and measure the land. By Friday, we should have a house.

I’m exhausted and have a big audition tomorrow, so I need to rehearse a bit and hit the hay – but keep us in your thoughts, prayers, what-have-you, and hopefully I’ll be blogging from my own space soon!

Tall Grass and Face Masks

In all of the excitement of the announcement on Monday, I was floating in a happy little bubble that *popped* today. THERE IS SO MUCH TO FREAKING DO BEFORE WE CAN MOVE.

Meemaw and Mimi have to be out of their apartment by May 3rd. The house will probably not be ready to move in until mid-May. This evening, as we sat around in their living room watching Grace, we made a list of everything that HAS to be done before the big move.

THE GREAT MOVE IN CHECKLIST

  1. Find a place for Meemaw and Mimi to stay.
  2. Move them out.
  3. Tackle the GRASS THAT IS TALLER THAN ME AND THAT SNAKES ALSO MIGHT BE LIVING IN.
  4. Tear down the fence that is blocking the existing mobile homes.
  5. Cut down the GIANT 40 YEAR OLD TREE that is blocking the existing mobile homes.
  6. Move the existing mobile homes.
  7. Get the new house onto the land.
  8. Electric and plumbing hookup.
  9. Alcohol.

I cannot express enough HOW TALL THIS GRASS IS. Have a picture.

image2

This picture only shows where our home will be placed. Not pictured? The other 4 and a half acres is filled with trash, old burn piles, a few beehives and grass. SO MUCH GRASS.

Those are the basics, anyway, that we’ll have to tackle in the next 10 days. Our actual list has about 40 things that need to be done.

Meemaw and I are taking the stress really well tonight. Stress-relieving face masks and boxed wine.

image1 (1)

Hoping to come back to you with good news on Monday! Until then, bottoms up!

The definition of success and… chickens?!

This will probably be a long post, but I promise to get to the chickens eventually!

Part I

The last few months have been rocky, to say the least. I had a blast on my Orlando vacation, but coming back to Texas left me feeling… off. You know that feeling when you have the highest hopes for something and for reasons unknown, once you finally get *there*, it just doesn’t fulfill you like you thought it would? That’s what visiting Orlando felt like. It used to feel like home, but after just a few hours I realized that it had become a vacation. An excellent vacation, but I lost that feeling for it. Not the love or the adventure or the incredible friends that I have there… just that this-is-where-I-belong feeling.

I came back and the depression cloud (Is that a thing because that’s what it feels like to me. It feels like a giant, stormy, black cloud that you can see coming from miles away and the only thing to do about it is to close the windows and hope for minimal damage) started to drift into my life.

It was rough. I just… kind of… existed for about a month.

And then it built up to a giant hours-long anxiety attack. I cried and stomped and puked and screamed at the sky and kept asking no one in particular, “Why can’t I figure this out? Why do I keep messing up? Why is it all so hard?”. I’m a planner. Orlando was the plan and then it was gone. Losing your place in life is hard and I let it build up for too long.

Towards the end of this attack (seriously, y’all. HOURS.) I found myself at my Meemaw’s apartment. I’m sobbing on the floor and she is holding me and I was rambling about how I felt that I mess everything up, that I’m not where I’m¬†supposed to be in life. I guess I was feeling old because I kept saying, “I mean – I’m 25! I’m 25 and I live with my parents and it isn’t supposed to be that way!”

I cried about money and I cried about loneliness and she sat on the floor with me and just listened. I stopped for a breath. Blotchy-faced, unwashed hair and having to concentrate on getting air into my lungs.

And my grandmother, my Meemaw, one of my best friends in the world said, “Marcie. Who says that you have to be in a certain place by a certain age? Who gets to decide where YOU are supposed to be in life?”

I, mistakenly thinking that I could win an argument with her, started listing names of friends that I assume are doing really well in life. People that I graduated with that have earned their Masters Degree, people that are younger than me and married with children, people that are homeowners, people that can, you know, afford dog food.

She stopped me again and said, “Okay. But they’re not you.”

It’s amazing how something as simple as “they’re not you” calmed me down.

She was right.

Success and happiness do not have simple definitions.

Part II

Long before I existed, Meemaw was giving her incredible advice to countless other people that were feeling lost.

After having my uncle and mother, my grandparents decided that they wanted to grow their family through foster care and adoption. Judy and Jim (Meemaw and Pawpaw) were foster parents to over 50 children between 1980 and 2010. ¬†They made a fairly modest living but it is amazing what two big hearts can do. In 1984, they moved to “the country” to have more space for more kids. My grandfather attached two¬†single-wide mobile homes together with a family room and deck, built a giant carport, and it became their eclectic, 7-bedroom home.

Their home was full of love for years and years. Some of my earliest memories are staying with my grandparents in the summer. They always had a LOUD house full of kids and I vividly remember having competitions where we would run the property to see who could catch the most grasshoppers. We stuffed them in wet-wipe containers and the older kids would fishing bait later in the afternoon.

In 2004, they moved to a different house. The mobile homes were rented out for a while, but in the last few years, they just sat. After my grandfather’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and the difficult decision to move him into a nursing home, my grandmother moved to a retirement community with her special needs son, Dion. The property in the country got overgrown, the homes were broken into and vandalized and it somehow became a giant… well, we call it a shit pile and there’s not much candy-coating I can do to that.

You could tell that it saddened Meemaw. It had always felt like “home” to her and she missed having a space that was her own.

Still with me? Go get a snack, we’re not finished yet.¬†I’ll wait.

A few months ago, opportunity knocked. Actually – it kind of kicked the door down and said, “HEY I’M HERE AND THINGS ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE.”

Remember the house in the country? The foster care? The grasshoppers?

At that time, Meemaw and Pawpaw made friends with a lady that lived just a few blocks away who had ALSO opened her home to many children. Susan (Mimi) and Meemaw became fast friends. Her children are my aunts, uncles, and cousins.¬†She considers all of Meemaw’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren her own.

Mimi moved to California in 1987. She and Meemaw kept contact as well as they could. Distance was nothing for a friendship like theirs. Recently, she decided that she wanted to move back home to Texas. After some talking, she decided that she wanted to purchase a NEW mobile home to place on the property¬†that she and Meemaw had made a lifetime of memories on. She boarded a plane and moved into Meemaw’s apartment while the arrangements were being made… are still being made.

The land needs a lot of work, but the gears are all in motion and barring any complications, the beautiful new mobile home will be placed on the land around the first of May.

And the most exciting part of all of this?! Meemaw and Mimi have asked me to be a roommate and take their extra bedroom. This again, put me in the, “But living with my grandparents at 25 – seriously, why am I obsessed with being 25?! – is not where I’m supposed to be!”

Meemaw expertly responded, “Well, why not? We need you and you need us!”

She’s right.

We’re a strange bunch and I’ve always been SO fascinated by sustainable living, which we will be attempting to the best of our abilities on this giant piece of land that is SO full of promise (though still kind of a shit-pile at the moment).

Meemaw will teach us how to make canned jams and jellies, Mimi will share her gardening knowledge, and Dion will show us the steps to becoming a proper Dog Whisperer. And I? I’ll be the resident grocery-shopper, errand-runner, meal-prepper and… CHICKEN WRANGLER.

That’s right. You KNEW that I’d find a way to get birds involved. My biggest project¬†for the new place will be building a chicken coop in the ample amount of space that we have and filling it with feathered friends that will eventually provide DELICIOUS eggs for us.

Is my future predictable? No. Will I have the time of my life? Hell. Freaking. Yes.

A bit of uncertainty is always going to follow you around, I guess. For now, I’m letting the excitement lead the way.

I’m right where I’m¬†supposed to be.