Stories of Friendship, Family, Fun and Food.
All the way from the Emerald Isle!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Let's talk about sex

I know, I know. It is another WiseFarmYard story. But it is about SEX or at least the sexual habits of my fowl. See, Bart, our rowdy Rooster (above) is going through a bad spell right now. Just over six weeks ago we introduced Broody Betty the Bantam Hen to the flock. She sat for 38 days in a row on the eggs and produced a full and healthy flock. Now that she is done being broody she has decided that she wants nothing to do with our feathered frolicker. 

You may not think this is a big deal, but for Bart, this is a very BIG deal. Although a very dedicated Mother and 'hatcher' Betty lured him into a false sense of reality and now that the kids are here, she has made a few changes to her daily routine and let's just say it is not really going down all that well.

Betty, a full time broody hen sat on her eggs all day. Each evening around supper time, she would get off the eggs for a few minutes. Staying very close to her nest she would literally eat, shit and have a quick shag. End of story. For 38 days in a row Bart was getting some serious action, and that made him a happy guy.

Then all things headed south with the arrival of the first wee downy duckling. Broody Betty was reluctant to get out of the nest at all, due to the fact that there were still two more eggs ready to pop. Bart strutted around ALOT and even beat up Henry the Drake over a paternity squabble (which has thankfully worked itself out) and although I did not watch his every move, I kept the new arrival and Betty under lock and key because I felt uneasy about his mood swings.

Bart went back to dealing with his other feathered females and seemed happy enough. We figured he would just leave Betty alone and let her get on with her very important job of mothering.

The twins hatched almost three weeks ago, without incident. Broody Betty finally could leave the nest and start teaching her little ones how to forage and fly. (Trust me - this is a whole other story by itself).

Bart resumed his position of Rooster-at-large and has done everything in his power to get a leg up on Betty since all the babies are hatched now (I mean what else has she for doing??).

Saying he is quite disgruntled is an understatement. I'll admit that Betty lured him into a false sense of reality and I think that 'start as we mean to go on' is a statement she should have considered before she settled him into a daily routine.  

However, I am a Mum too. I can feel her pain right now. She has just had triplets for God's sake and the last thing she (probably) wants or needs is a sweaty male trying to rape hump her daily. 

Her job (as a very young first-time Mum) is to put the needs of her children first. We all know that the needs of a horny husband has to take a back seat. Bart has to just DEAL WITH IT.

But what does she do if she begins to notice that he has a roving eye. What if those other (childless) hens are start to look a heck of a lot more attractive to him. They have less baggage AND they have time for him. They hang around all day, waiting for him to seek them out for a quick 'Wham-Bam, Thank-You-M'aam. He gets what he wants, When he wants it, and goes back to being the 'Cock of the Walk. 

Broody Betty is surviving. She has settled into the role of motherhood like a pro and has not given Bart a second glance. She does not need him, and she no longer feels that she has to honour his wishes or give in to his bullying demands for sex. Over all she is doing just fine. 

She has made it evident that the welfare of the babies is all that matters right now. She knows that it is impossible to do it all and has decided to place their needs before that of her partner and herself.

When you make your bed, you have to lie in it.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for this evening as I sit fireside (in JULY!) with my hubby,

(Names have been changed to protect the innocent)


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baptism and FIRE

In the beginning God made Man. Let’s call him Adam. God then he decided that without a Woman to order him around to carefully guide him with his life choices - man would seem insignificant in this world. So God created Eve – otherwise known as the first Mother/Wife figure that we supposedly all stem from.

Loose biblical ramblings, I know. But what better way to start my collection of words than with a bit of memory jogging for all my friends out there as I launch into my own little story.

I am lost for words. Well, no. Not exactly. We have just had a momentous event occur in our little family and it was such a big deal that I am still trying to reel in all the feelings and emotions I have laying scattered all over my head and heart in the hopes that I can convey exactly how it went down and how much family, love, fun and friendship swaddled our home for this special day.

So back to the Bible. It is all about the Mother. I love my mother. She has been telling me what to do with my life loving me for more than (cough cough) 30 years now and may have finally forgiven me for causing that 3 day breech birth experience I gave her.

She likes to tell me what to do loves me, and now that she has taken on the role of educational liaison for our children so I can sit around all day at NUIG drinking yummy Chai Latte’s with my galpals follow my dream of going to college, I am constantly feeling like I ‘owe’ her. I mean, how can you repay someone for raising your children?

She started a few months ago with the nagging nudging. Small hints, a few prayer books laying around and some ‘learned by heart’ bedtime prayers.  Several trips with the kids to visit ‘Mary’ at the grotto during the month of May might have been a deal breaker for some kids, but instead they looked forward to the whole social aspect of it from the attention (and sweets) all Granny’s church friends gave them. The only thing wrong with this picture is that they were little heathen grandkids.

Would I not consider having them baptized?

Being married to a man that was never baptized and living a fine existence despite that, gave me no reason to worry about how the kids would fair out. I am not a big church goer myself so standing up infront of the church and making a promise to God and the congregation that I would raise them in the Catholic Church etc. well, that would just be hypocritical. I am not a catho-fake.

Talks were had, tears were shed, and voices were raised. Without my husband standing firmly by my side, I was not ‘into-it’ and as he and I have stuck together through everything else we have done in our life together, I felt no urge to ‘go it alone’. Leaving my Mum’s house heavy hearted, I hated that I could not ‘give her what she wanted’.

A 3 second phone call from Granny later that day changed the kid’s lives forever. ‘Well, what if I were to sponsor them and make the promise to God on behalf of you and Ron?’ (Says Mum to me).  ‘Eh, I dunno, let me phone the Chef and ask him how he feels about that’ (say I to my Mother). ‘Honey, Catherine can do whatever she wants with the kids’. (Says the man that I love).

Exorcisms were preformed, heads were blessed and even the heathen Chef answered all the questions correctly as we celebrated the children’s baptism. On a side note to any Mum out there, baptizing older children is a waaaaay cool experience for the children. They very much understood what was going on and methinks that the other sacraments they receive later in life (if they so choose) will be very spiritual for them.

The story could actually be written at book length. I trawled through all the photos from the family fun this past weekend and have decided that it is the photos that will tell the story.  No WiseWords needed to describe the flavours of the fabulous food or the loving laughter that lingers in the house this morning as I try to throw these words on a page for your reading pleasure.

Friends became family and family became friends. The Godparents we have chosen are as important to us and our family, well, as family itself.

For the family members (CA and Sylvia) that could not be there, we miss you terribly and hope that you can come to see us very soon.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,


P.S.  - To the Godparents of our Children. Ron and I (and Granny) love you from the bottom of our hearts.
Thank you, for all the help and love. Now, and forever.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

It is a dreary wet day here in Galway. The kids have settled into summer holidays nicely and for the most part there are no broken bones or black eyes (yet). Things have shifted again in the household as the routine (or lack of) is hard enough to adjust to for the new kids. The littlest one has been used to getting all the attention whilst the others are at school all day and the realisation has just hit her that she is no longer a 'lonely only' at home all day with all the toys to herself and now she has to learn how to play well with others and - dare I mention it - SHARE. 

Aside from begging and pleading their ever accommodating Dad for a pony, my trusty two are great ambassadors for teaching the importance of playing nicely together. Overheard in the back garden yesterday from Jack: 'if no one gets into the 'time-out' chair today maybe Mommy will give us some chocolate cake as a treat'. OKAY - so sometimes I cave in to their goodness and give them some crap. 

These days I have been asking (and expecting) a lot of my kids so maybe I am overcompensating my guilt and giving them a little extra sugar love. Shoot me now. The thing is, even though I feel the guilt over asking them to share their stuff (and Mom/Dad) with the newbies, they are quite happy to do so. 

I am overwhelmed at how much they are teaching me. I thought I had a good handle on this 'Mom' business, but as it turns out, I know nothing, and they - well, they know it all. It is easy to sit back and assume that taking on a few extra kids might not be too difficult. I mean aside from a load of extra laundry and plates at the dinner table, how hard could it be?

Pretty darn hard if you want the truth. Especially since we are talking about kids that have come from a traumatic or disadvantaged background. A house full of rules and regulations and contented kiddies goes out the window and a summer full of teaching and learning comes in. Things I never noticed before have started to become glaringly obvious annoyances. 

Take for instance table manners. I never had to teach Rory and Jack 'how' to use a knife and fork. At least, I do not remember having to 'teach' them. They just 'learned by doing' I guess? They do not speak whilst chewing their food and for the most part will wipe their face on their sleeve napkin. 

Next on the list of things that I have little tolerance for is whining or crying to 'get ones way or a toy'. Again, I cannot remember ever having to listen to mine whining or crying quite simply because I would not 'listen' to it. 

I can see (and hear) all to well how the little kiddies we are fostering right now have come from a totally different life. I can decipher the way their parents spoke to them, or about them, just by listening to the way they speak to us, or each other. Up until today I was waaay to busy catering to everyones needs and getting annoyed with their (absentee) parents for the lack of love and parenting  these kids have received to date, to even think about how they might feel being thrust into a house and home like ours. And before you go all 'lucky kids, of course they like it at your house and shur why wouldn't they, what with all the nice food, and fun with the animals etc' let's just think about it for a minute - from their point of view.

Home-life for them may not have been ideal hence them being removed by the powers at be and placed in our care. However, daily life probably did not suck either. It is apparent that these little lassies had a heck of a lot of freedom. So much freedom (like to go to the shops to buys sweets daily) that not having any freedom is downright impossible for them to comprehend. "Why does yer Mam not let ye go to the shops evah? If ya had 2 euros you could buy a can a coke and some bars of chocolate'. Grumblings and rumblings at pillow talk-time from the 'WiseTwins' give me reason to explain the 'price of freedom' to my little ones in as delicate a fashion as possible.

And going back to the food thing. Yes, I think it is great that we have a lovely food-culture lifestyle and love that we can offer yummy food options all day and all night, but when you are a 'Chicken-Nugget/French Fry' generation kid, then all you want to eat is, well, Chicken Nuggets. "My Mam leh me eat chicken nuggets every day, and we neveh eveh eated vegetahbelles er fish er sallid". Expecting more rumblings at pillow talk-time I almost fell of the chair when Rory (my eldest) piped up 'yeah, well did ye even have a poly-tunnel or garden to grow your own vegetables? Or did you ever go fishing with your Dad to catch and eat your own fish?'....ZaaZaaZiiing! 

Kids are so mean sometime. 

I am doing my best to take the high road and give them as much time, love and patience as I can to make up for lost time.  We hope to see their innocence return and a lot of laughter return to their faces before the summer has come to a close.

Although a rainy day today, they spent a lot of their time 'weeding' the garden for Ron. I am not sure if he appreciated the sentiment (based on the huffing and puffing he was doing as he re-planted some non-weeds) but the newbies now know the difference between 'Daddy's Basil' for the pasta sauces and 'Mommys Mint' for Móna's Mojitos!  

With a friend of the family getting married this weekend and another big surprise event happening on Sunday, the house will soon be overrun with even more children. My eldest sister Tracy and her hubby Tom with their brood of four, and my brother Shane, his lovely wife and their two kiddies will all descend upon us later this week. 

Come on over, the bar is open!

Those are all the WiseWords I have for this rather damp evening, as we sit fireside watching the World Cup semi-final (Netherlands v's Uruguay).


Saturday, July 03, 2010

A room with a view

My friend Becca came to stay with us a few weeks ago (for three weeks) and this little story is her rendition of how it went down. Worth a weekend read!

You can read it right here.


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