Everyone Has a Strange Collection, Right?

We had Micah's IEP meeting last week. I know a lot of families cringe at these things, and other than the fact that TWO HOURS LATER I was out of there, I have to say that I'm blessed with a very good team at the school. Everyone has Micah's best interest as their main goal, and everyone seems to work together and collaborate on things. This collaboration is a huge thing.

Micah needed to be a part of the meeting this year, because of his age. He was allowed to use the white board to entertain himself, and when that grew old, he borrowed my phone and took a video of the meeting. That is some boring content right there. I'm not going to share it. I laughed when I discovered it, however.

I also laughed when his teacher stopped the discussion at hand to say, "I have to ask. What does Micah do with the water that he takes home?"

Micah can't have milk at school, due to a lactose intolerance, so he gets juice and water choices. I get notes that he drinks juice like it's going to be taken off the market, and I get 2 small water bottles in his lunch box at the end of each day. The first time Micah brought home a water bottle, he said it was from lunch, and that was that. A few days later, he brought home 2 water bottles, and couldn't wait to open his lunch box to show me. He was crazy proud of them.

This became a thing with Micah. Five days a week, he brings home 2 bottles of unopened water. He is so excited to open that lunch box and present us his take-home pay from lunch. We are very confused why he brings them home, and apparently the school is, too. Nobody seems to know why Micah is so excited about collecting these. The school asks him and gets, "Home!" We ask him and get, "School!" So that's largely unhelpful.

We scratched our heads in wonderment, trying to figure out what to do with the growing collection. My first thought was returning them to the school to recycle back into the lunch line, but I'm fairly certain there are strict rules against things like this in the food industry. We then decided to use them, as the occasion arose. I'd tuck one in my purse if I was heading out for the day, or snag one for a run on the treadmill. This, however, was met with great disapproval and much yelling, so we learned that the water was most likely considered a trophy of sorts, rather than the thought that Micah was bringing something to the family table. Maybe it was a visual of how much time he spends in school?

Guys, we have shelves full of water bottles in the basement.

We have vacation plans this summer at a lake house that insists we bring our own drinking water. I am now thinking that Micah is genius for bringing home water bottles, and am hoarding those tiny offerings like the clear liquid gold they really are. Micah brought something to the family table, after all. Let's just hope he allows us to drink it, when we're going to need it most.

And in reality, it's going to take up a WHOLE lot less room in the car to just buy a few gallon jugs of water, so we're still set for a zombie apocalypse, in the event one should ever happen.

I Aged During Dinner Tonight

The church had a Bikers of Faith meeting this evening, and we attended as a family because the food was good.  Sam wanted to know what they had planned for the year so that we could get any relevant dates loaded onto our calendar well in advance. They didn't talk about dates or events, so we ate good food and watched a comedy.

I've never been into fashion trends or fitting in with crowds. I'm not a sheep, I guess is what I'm saying. Knowing it was a biker meeting, I knew there would be a fair share of leather and Harley apparel. I understand that it's just going to be a given. What I don't understand is why. I love riding as much as the next person, but I just can't seem to comprehend how dressing in specific apparel enhances an experience. I feel the same about putting on a dress for Sunday church, wearing coats in the winter, and any garment that is uncomfortable no matter how appropriate it is to the occasion. In short, I wear what I want because it makes me happy, and I always look like the odd man out because I'm a nonconformist.

I'm also very, very glad that I didn't wear my black puffer vest that I pretty much live in over the cold months of the year, because I'd have looked like the lamest wannabe at the party. That would have been embarrassing. Why DO bikers need to wear black leather vests? It can't be a protection thing, because that leather isn't going to do squat in an accident.

You can always count on me to be alone in a corner, dressed like a leftover from the last decade, waiting for a random dog to come along so I have someone to connect with. Fashion, trends, and conversation generally elude me in group settings.

As I was mentally congratulating myself for not wearing the vest, however, I realized that I'm getting old. One is always aware that body parts are going to sag and skin will stretch. It's a given. While you're focused on that kind of betrayal by your 20 year body (that you always think you have, in your mind), other body parts begin to turn on you, and before you know it, you have turned into your parents.

While I was listening to the comedy, I realized that I am my mother. In so many ways. But it was the onions that told me this.

I love onions. Not quite as much as Micah does, but I do appreciate a few sprinkled on a hot dog or hamburger, tossed with a salad, or mixed with some tomatoes and mushrooms and tossed in Italian dressing. (That's good stuff, right there.) I'd had a salad with dinner, and added a few slices onions to the top because YUM. (And I was sitting with my family, at the end of a table near nobody else, because that's how I prefer life. See the above paragraph.) Those onions started wreaking havoc with my stomach about 30 minutes into the comedy. It wasn't pleasant.

I remember hearing my mom talk about things like, "I can't eat onions anymore," and "that bothers my stomach." I clearly remember thinking, "Old people and their old people problems. Good grief."

I'm an old people, and I'm suffering. Probably from I-mocked-my-mom-itis.

My stomach felt like it was on fire from the inside, which was an odd feeling even if it was unpleasant. I figured that drinking water would be a great way to douse the fire, but I'm fairly certain the 2 glasses of water I had made it worse. While the bottom of my stomach was irritated by the onion sitting there, the water filled the entire stomach with onion-infused goodness and made the whole organ scream in agony.

Good times, this getting old stuff, huh?

I'm going to have to remember never to eat raw onions again. Stay tuned for next month, when I will most likely have to confess that I can only eat bland foods like cream of wheat and mashed potatoes. I'll just retire that black puffer vest, too, because bland foods are generally white, and I'm a slob.

I don't follow fashion trends. Perhaps an adult bib should be something I carry with me. Maybe I can start my own fashion trends. Anyone want to join me with the bib thing?

He Licked a Chicken and He Liked It

I almost broke up with chickens. Spoiler alert: we're back together again. Louie is happy.

Our flock of hens had dwindled, by natural causes, to 8 chickens last year, and by mutual consent by everyone in the family, we chose to find a new farm for those girls to live. We made a local family happy on Christmas Eve, besides ours. We were absolutely thrilled to see the hens leave the premises. In all honesty, despite statements of "yeh, of course we will," I didn't think we'd get more chickens.

Turns out, I lied.

I loved not having chickens for about a month, but I began missing those hens more and more, and the early spring/lack of winter thing we have going on has begun to give everyone spring fever, and in spring I think about things like getting chicks and starting gardens.

I bought 20 chicks today. They're totally adorable, and living in my kitchen.

The dogs are completely thrilled with my purchase. Jill is very sure she will be the mama hen, if given the chance to just sit in the crate with them. Louie is equally sure that I brought home fast food. Chicken nuggets for everyone! I let the dogs lick a chick or two, to make them happy. And to teach Louie that chickens are friends, not food. I really don't think he means them harm, but he has a hard time curbing his enthusiasm at times. Chickens make him very happy; they always have. He's just excited to see squeaking baby ones. It's too much for his doggy mind to wrap itself around.

In the next few weeks, I'll be cleaning out the coop, redecorating it, rat-proofing it (which is actually why we re-homed the last set of girls - the rats were just out of control), and planting mint all the way around the coop in an effort to deter future rodents from taking up residence in the coop. I'll also be building a chicken tractor so the hens aren't always cooped in the coop. We have a spare dog kennel that will benefit from a set of wheels on it, and those hens of mine will go mobile.

I think more than anything, I'm excited to have a natural garbage disposal again. I felt so wasteful every time I cleaned out the refrigerator or made a salad, and tossed all those food scraps into the trash. Now I'll be recycling, saving money on chicken feed, and getting farm fresh eggs.

I love chickens. They make the dogs and I happy. But I'll leave the chicken licking to Jill and Louie.