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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Proud Omnivore: My First Chicken Slaughter Thoughts

The other day I had to do something that needed to be done. It was not something I was happy to do nor was I looking forward to doing it. I had to butcher two of my roosters. I've had them for over a year. My vision was simple: raise chickens for eggs and sometimes for meat. Sounds easy enough, plenty of people do it-but I hadn't done it.

Ideally, chickens should be eaten when they are young, but I wasn't ready yet last year to do it. I spent an entire year researching and studying exactly how to do it properly, so that my friends would not be wasted. Yes. They were my friends. I loved them dearly. I wanted to have enough information implanted in my brain so that when it came down to 'doing the deed' I would be able to do it all professionally and without confusion.

Finally, the day came when we had to do it. It was done with such respect and love...and yes, TEARS. MANY TEARS...but I must say that I will never eat a piece of meat the same way again. EVER. I've always respected and loved animals. But there is something that changes you when you raise an animal and then eat it. It is sad, yes, but at the same time it is a guilt-free food. I felt so happy to know that these animals I was eating had had a GREAT life. They were happy chickens doing happy chicken things and never experienced any sort of abuse. They knew the feel of grass under their little feet and they knew the feel of the sun as it kissed their feathers. They never had a day of hunger or thirst. They knew the love of a human and they changed the life of the human forever.

I shared my experience with a chicken group that I have been a part of for quite some time. A group that does share this sad side of life, sharing such knowledge to empower and educate folks like myself. I was harassed by many people for eating chicken and it left a very bad taste in my mouth. I wish these people would hang out at supermarkets and talk to ladies purchasing their chicken dinner at the grocery store. Hold up a photo of what the chicken's life was most likely like. Judge them. Those that view store meat as just meat. You don't truly think of your meat as a living breathing creature until you have raised one and eaten one of your own. I mean, yeah, I've always known when I eat a burger there was a cow out there that had to die for me...but somehow, doing this yourself touches a chord inside your heart that changes you forever.

I have nothing to feel guilty for, I am only proud that I was able to provide a meal for my family that was probably the most healthy and guilt free meat we have ever put into our bodies. Judge me. Go ahead. JUDGE ME. My head is high.  What did I make with my first home-grown chicken?  Chicken-A-La-King... Yes, I made him a king....It truly was a dish fit for a king...

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Light Shines Through Part 2

This is a supplement to my previous blog post-almost exactly a year ago, "The Light Shines Through."  You may want to go read that first if you care to have any sort of background story....

The last few months I knew something was broiling...Usually, my mother calls me once every other weekend.  It is our thing.  My whole life, I can expect my every other weekend phone call where I get to hear all about her troubles and she learns nothing about me...But every so often, she plays a game...It is called, "Let's not call Shawn and see if she calls me."  I do love games.  Monopoly, Scrabble, Scategories, Taboo, you name it I love it.  But I don't love people games.  They aren't cool.  I don't play her game.  I don't give in...I don't call her.  I suppose I could...but the fact of the matter is I don't want to.  I suppose I am playing my own game.  I'm playing the, "You left me when I was little and never gave a care about me and the only way you show me you care is calling every other weekend so I'm going to hold you to it."  Childish and stupid...but ya, these are my hurt little kid feelings at it again.

Let's back up a few months....I did bite the bullet and invited my mother to come to see my son before he left for boot camp.  She declined.  It was very hard for me to work up the courage to ask her after all that recent drama (previous blog post).  I'm still sucking down that bitter pill when I found out that yet again this lady is going to visit her family in another state (6 hours from mine) in a few months.  I was 'informed' that that is when she was going.  I was not consulted...had I been, I'd have been able to say that the month that she chose to go is the month my daughter is in Driver's Ed and I cannot leave.  But I wasn't consulted....Why?   Because she does not care if she sees me....Because of this I am done.  I am done done done done done.  I cannot say it enough.  If I saw her on the street I'd turn around and walk the other way. She is nothing to me. I refuse to allow her to inflict this pain on me again.

The little girl inside me, the one who only wanted to die throughout her entire High School life, the one that only wanted her mother's love is really really sad...she is sobbing hysterically...but the big girl I am is so very very proud of me.  I am proud that I overcame the monster that is my mother and became what I wanted...a mom.  MOM.  I am MOM.  I will be GRANDMA!  I will be all that she never was, and I am proud of me!  In SPITE of her, never because of her.

This is me...clicking my heels and skipping away....whistling softly in the sunshine.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

No Bunny Loves You!

When my daughter was little, I caught her bawling her eyes out in the closet....she couldn't' have been more than three...When I heard the hysterical sobbing, I searched for her and found her in the corner of her closet.....I asked what was wrong...
Her reply:  This bunny says no body loves me!
I looked at the little stuffed bunny in her hands...I gently squeezed his tummy and heard him say in a silly little bunny voice,  "Eh, some bunny loves you."  I explained to her that she was not understanding what the bunny was saying...

Ever since then, when she is down I just look at her and do my best silly bunny voice and say, "No bunny loves you."  She knows what it means...she knows that it means that even though things seem sad and bleak, there is always another way to look at the situation...

Not really sure why I felt I needed to share this story...but I have been making a LOT of bunnies lately. Maybe that is why...haha!  Anyhow, just remember, "No bunny loves you!" ;)