Friday, November 30, 2012

Chickens, Dogs and Chicken Dog Treats! - Plus a GIVEAWAY!

by Rebecca Nickols

A few common concerns of first time chicken owners (who have a dog as a pet) are:
"How will the dog react to the chickens?"
"Should I keep the chickens and dog(s) separated?"
"What breed of dogs is best to keep around chickens?"

I had the same questions with my first flock of day old chicks. I was convinced that my border collies would never accept the chickens and would constantly torment and possible harm my defenseless birds. In the past the dogs couldn't stand it if the cats crossed an imaginary line in the yard. They would herd them to a small section in the back of the house where they thought they belonged. I assumed that if a cat couldn't defend itself against a determined border collie, then a helpless chicken didn't have a chance. Well, I was wrong... I had one mean Buff Orpington who had no fear--of dogs, cats or humans. She would literally charge the dogs and give them a fierce peck in the face. From that time on, the dogs developed a healthy fear of chickens. In fact they've even let-up on the cats too!

I think that there are some breeds that are know for a calmer disposition and,of course, there are some breeds that have a reputation for aggression. Should you allow your pit bull around your hens? Probably not...  That said, no matter what the breed, the temperament of the dog is probably more important.

Most folks know the personality of their dog and have a pretty good idea of what its first reaction to the birds will be, but always play it safe. The first introduction should be the dog viewing the chickens--while they are safe in a predator proof run. If the dog goes crazy barking and growling, then you can imagine what the outcome would be if the chickens were not safely secured. Gradually over time, the dog might accept (or even protect) the flock, but never leave them alone together until you are confident of your dog's behavior and attitude toward the chickens.

We talk a lot about treats we give our chickens, but here's a chicken treat your dog will love!
This dog treat recipe calls for a couple of eggs from your hens and some left over pumpkin from the fall harvest. And thanks to the perfect chicken shaped cookie cutter form, these treats are guaranteed to be a chicken your dog will love!

Chicken Dog Treats!


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 fresh eggs ♥
2/3 cup pureed pumpkin, either canned or fresh
3 tablespoons peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/4" inch thick. Add a little water if the dough is very stiff, or a little flour if it is too soft and sticky. Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes until the treats are dry to the touch.

Now here's the good part! I'll send one of our readers a gift bag filled with these nutritious and delicious (according to Buddy and Sugar) chicken dog treats and a chicken shaped cookie cutter from

*The cookie cutter line offered by is unique in that every cookie cutter is hand-made and hand-soldered. The soldered seam makes for a permanent closure that food particles cannot get into. Pastry Chefs and Bakeries love these heirloom quality cookie cutters because they are strong, safe and hold their shape even after years of repeated use. 

To enter the random drawing for the gift, leave your email address and a comment below mentioning something about your experience with dogs and chickens. Also, please include any advice, tips or suggestions! In two weeks I'll contact the winner and send the gift bag their way!

For more information about, visit these links: (website)
CopperGifts (facebook)

The above recipe originally appeared on the site: Dessert First.

One last point to make...
An older dog is much calmer than a rambunctious puppy. My border collies are now ten years old and as the photo below suggests... Sometimes it just isn't worth the chase!

To view what else is happening at our Southwest Missouri property visit:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

And there he was...

It's 4:33 am and the fire alarm is blasting. What the hell is going on? 
Code red... I go jumping out the window again. Lake Ontario here I come.  

My door's been shut. The fire trucks are screeching to a halt outside. Did I ever mention how much I love sirens? Crazy but true. 

There's two ways to look at sirens. 1) someone is hurt 2) help is on the way

You choose your view.

Once I realized it wasn't actually me on fire, I recognized that feeling. The one where every breath is a struggle. I knew the only way I'd get back to sleep would be to knock back some ventalin. 


Relief is finally getting a quasi-deep breath. 

Relief is that drowning on the inside feeling, alleviated. 

Relief is not coughing and gagging all over the place, every 5 seconds. 

This morning was somewhat of a crappy one. Wasn't feeling 100% like taking on the world. That coughing and gagging thing was back. 

Great timing.

The respiratory therapist came and took me to do pft's (pulmonary function tests). I didn't blow the roof off the joint or anything. My lung function is actually worse than when I checked into this glamtastic-it-isn't hotel.

However, I am still getting released. No more johnny shirts, lame food, IV's or community showers for me!   

No more sleeping on the electronic, yet sucky, bed. 

No more missing my little furry boy.
Pamela came over tonight to hang out, play some games and watch Grey's Anatomy. Thanks PJ for helping me pass the time - she knew how crazy excited I was to see Brad tomorrow; she was probably afraid I'd hurt myself doing my happy dance, and would need a spotter.

After she left I started writing this entry and was thinking about how excited I was to see Brad tomorrow. I was even going through my photos of him and Griffin, thinking I'd post one.

I hear something...I look up...and he's here. Physically. In my room. 

He's real. It's not a dream. I can touch him. 
But he wasn't supposed to be here until tomorrow??
He did it again.
One of these days the surprises are going to come from me

Teaching graphic novels

Over Thanksgiving break I looked at my plan book for the remainder of the calendar year. I was done with my reading and writing units and needed to consider what came next. With reading I knew I wanted to do a Mock Newbery and Caldecott unit right before Christmas break, but I planned on teaching that one the week before break. What unit could I fit in the next three weeks AND keep my students attention during this crazy time of year? The answer was simple, a unit on graphic novels.

I’ve never taught a graphic novel unit before but after reading Terry Thompson’s amazing book, Adventures in Graphica, I knew I wanted to try one this year. If you are considering this type of unit, I highly recommend this book. It does a wonderful job of not only explaining the brilliance in Graphica, but also the many reading strategies you can us these books to teach.

Last week I mapped out an eight-day unit in reading and writing. Due to an insane schedule, we don’t have writing every day, so this will take me all the way to break in writing and leave enough time for a two-week Caldecott/ Newbery unit in reading. Perfect! When mapping out the unit I looked over Terry’s book, added some lessons from there, some things I wanted to go over with the students, and left some room for ideas that might arise as I teach this for the first time.

Today we began. First of all, I don’t know that I’ve ever had all three classes cheer when I announce a topic for a unit before. Cheer I tell you! Like a bunch of “woo hoos” filled the air. A student from another class poked their head in and asked if we were having a party. My response? Yep, a reading party.  J

I started with exploring graphic novels with the three classes. We came up with a list of common conventions found in Graphica. We talked about what they meant and what they looked like. (This idea came from Terry’s book.) 

Then the kids poured over their books. They shared with friends the conventions they found. We discussed new ones found and other interesting things we came upon. Great discussions ensued in each class about our reading preferences and why we like or don’t enjoy reading graphic novels. It was amazing. 

 In writing class (I only teach writing to my homeroom) we continued the discussion but also talked about what things we need to keep in mind if we are creating a comic strip. We created an anchor chart, listed the type of topics we’d like to create a comic for, and sketched some thumbnails out. 

In each class I taught today, three reading and one writing, there were groans when I announced it was time to stop. I wandered around during the time they were exploring the graphic novels. Kids were spread around the room and I was floored by the insightful discussion the kids were having. I can’t wait to continue this unit and see what the children and I learn from each other and this wonderful format of writing. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rumor has it...

I am a very happy girl.

I heard a rumor about a CF girl getting out on Friday. This girl is apparently uber cool and rocks some sweet red kicks.

Ya, that's right - that girl is me!

The minimum for an IV run is 10 days and it'll be 10 days on Friday. I'm feeling much better and I'm ready to get outta heaaa...right in time for my tall, dark and handsome to fly in for the weekend (for work, but still yay)!!!! 

That's just one more full day and two more nights before I get to see his face. Hard to believe he'll be right here, as it seems like forever ago that he last was.

Had a visit with my fantastical buddy Craig today. We went to the cafeteria with mom, except here it's called the "Marketeria", guess they think that makes it more appealing? Cooler?

We were walking down the hall when I saw my doc. She actually brought up the topic of my release first. I replied, "Ya, I was wondering exactly how to broach that". Followed by, "You look very pretty today".

Brownie points guys. 

***Not so subtle wink***                   

However, in sticking with my new found smarts (from listening to my doc's advice from the other day) I ensured that it was totally her idea for me to break out on Friday.

Doctors are so smart; always listen to them.

To backup my claim of feeling better is the fact that I annihilated that stationary bike today. I am a machine. Unstoppable.

Afterward I had more of the massage physio stuff...I may or may not have fallen asleep for the next 15 decades.

I leave you with some 'Hospital Humour':

 - Nurse changing my PICC dressing says "Don't cough"

To which I started laughing, as telling a CF patient to not cough, is like telling ice cream to not melt, or a politician to not lie.

Or me to not be cool. 

 - Skyping with Pamela...I didn't hear my nurse coming, but turned at the last minute and saw a gun in my face and watched my life flash before my eyes.

The gun was actually a scanner for my hospital bracelet (for distributing meds).  

Looks like I'll live to see another day. 

Cocktails in the Coop

by Jennifer Sartell

While this post isn't about sparkling fizzies, sugar rimmed glasses or spiked eggnog, it is about using alcohol in the coop. But before you head to the backyard with martini glasses and tiny umbrellas to celebrate with the girls, you might want to keep reading.

As far as the realm of natural cleaning products, vinegar is the "go to" solution for most coop keepers. I know I've used vinegar for years as a natural cleaner and deodorizer, (for more, read my post 11 Uses for Vinegar Around the Coop) But I recently learned of the beneficial cleaning power of vodka.

Benefits of Vodka vs. Vinegar

1. While vinegar, for the most part, only repels insects, Vodka actually kills them. Vodka will also repel insects and some people even spray it on themselves like a bug spray.

2. Like vinegar, vodka is a natural dissinfectant. It also kills mold and mildew. But unlike vinegar, vodka evaporates much more quickly, so when using it as a disinfectant on the coop walls, or egg boxes, it won't stay damp for long.

3. Vodka is odorless. After I posted my vinegar post, I had a few readers concerned with the lingering smell of vinegar in the coop and wondering how this affected a chicken's system. With vodka, there is no smell.

4. Vodka tastes better in daiquiris than vinegar...(oops, little side tracked there)

So depending on what's important to you, I can see how vodka could be a helpful addition to the coop's cleaning repertoire.

Is it Safe?

In terms of substance, alcohol and vinegar are connected in that they are both derived from the process of fermentation. Vinegar is the next fermentation step after alcohol is made. My first question with using vodka in the coop is, is it safe? My initial guess would be that fermented grains (or other materials) has to be better than the scary chemicals found in most commercial cleaners. But then again, before I start spraying vodka all over my coop, I wanted to be sure. Chocolate doesn't seem harmful, but it can kill a dog... know what I mean?

I have to say that the research for this post was rather..."interesting" to say the least! Do yourself a favor and don't Google "vodka" and "chickens"...all I can say is, it takes all kinds to make a world. While I was only looking to see if it was safe to SPRAY vodka AROUND chickens, it seems that some people have actually fed alcohol to chickens...some claiming it has medicinal properties, others looking for a sick laugh. A lot of home-brewers feed the left over fermented grains to their flock.

I also remember catching an episode of the Beekman's where they fed their Thanksgiving turkey a jigger of whiskey before it met its final doom. They claimed that it calmed the turkey to make the episode less stressful and also tenderized the meat as the muscles relaxed with intoxication. But in this case, they probably weren't concerned with the affects of alcohol and long term health. All in all, after weeding through some strange material, it seems that chickens can consume a small amount of alcohol and live to lay another egg.

Now to be clear, I have no intention on feeding alcohol to chickens, or to encourage this in any way. But as chickens have been known to consume alcohol, and fermented mash in some instances, I can't see the harm in spraying it in their living quarters. To be safe, I would be sure to remove the chickens from the area and let the alcohol evaporate before letting the chickens back in the coop.  

How to use Vodka in the Coop

Buy the cheapest vodka you can find. Even the most epicurean of chicken coops can be cleaned with cheap vodka, it has the same cleaning qualities as the nicer brands.

Vodka has the most disinfecting and deodorizing properties strait and undiluted. It can be poured into a spray bottle and misted onto walls, nest boxes and floors.

It has non-streaking properties so it can be used to clean coop windows.

I know some of you also have nest box curtains. It can be used to freshen fabric (think Fabreeze) between washings.

Livening up The Coop

No...not like that. (wink) But it can make things smell great!

Like vinegar, vodka can be used to make tinctures. Add a handful of lavender, a few vanilla beans, crushed mint leaves or citrus rinds, let this sit for a couple weeks, and pour into a spray bottle. Spray this in the coop (or home) for a natural deodorizer. You can up the bug repelling nature and add some leaves of catnip, an herb known for its bug repelling properties.

The topic of cleaning our chicken coops might not be as "holly" or "jolly" as sharing spirited recipes for holiday cocktails, but hopefully this post has opened up some options for natural cleaning choices in your coop.

Cheers to you and yours!

Have you used vodka in your coop? Tell us the story by leaving a comment below, posting on the Community Chicken's Facebook Page or visit us at Iron Oak Farm.

Notice - Friday's Post:

My next EPL post will be on Friday, where I analyse all of the EPL matches yesterday and being played today.

These are the fixtures being played today, and the matches which were played yesterday:


Sunderland 0 QPR 0

Newly appointed boss Harry Redknapp won his first point as QPR manager, as his new side drew 0-0 with Sunderland at The Stadium Of Light.

Aston Villa 1 Reading 0

Striker Christian Benteke scored the only goal of the match in the 80th minute thanks to a header from a corner. 

Who needs Bent? Benteke breaks the deadlock after 80 minutes to give Aston Villa the lead, and 3 points.
Boost: Benteke celebrates his goal against Reading to move Villa out of the relegation zone.

Aston Villa move up to 17th place, while Reading stay in 19th place, stuck in the relegation places.

Tonight's matches (7.45pm unless stated):

Everton 1 Arsenal 1

Winger Theo Walcott broke the deadlock for The Gunners to give them an early lead inside the 1st minute at Goodison Park, but Everton's talisman and midfielder Marouane Fellaini has equalised for the home side to make it 1-1, with 30 minutes gone.

Chelsea 0 Fulham 0

The west London derby is goalless after 30 minutes on the clock. The main story leading into this match was how Rafa Benitez would cope with a match that he should be winning in his second match as interim Chelsea manager after Roberto Di Matteo's dismissal this time last week.

Southampton 1 Norwich 0 

Striker Rickie Lambert has broken the deadlock after 32 minutes, to score his 6th goal this season at home. 

This will be Norwich's 5th loss of the season if the score stays like this, which would mean that they would be falling back into the mid-table mindset after impressive victories against both Manchester United and Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Southampton can move back out of the relegation zone with a win tonight.

Stoke 0 Newcastle United 0 

This match remains goalless at The Britannia Stadium. Both sides have tough defences, so the match may be decided on 1 goal or mistake.

Swansea 3 West Bromwich Albion 0

£2million for Michu is proving to be a real bargain, with him scoring AGAIN tonight to score his 8th goal for Swansea since moving from Rayo Vallencano in the summer. 

Winger Wayne Routledge has scored twice, to almost certainly give The Swans 3 points at home after a draw against Liverpool on Sunday.

This will be West Brom's 4th loss of the season and even though they are currently in 3rd place after a fast start to the season, they may be moving down the table very quickly if they don't pick the Winter pace.

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Liverpool 0

A double by Welsh winger Gareth Bale has given Spurs a comfortable lead against mid-table side Liverpool in the first half.

8:00pm kick-off: Manchester United 1 West Ham United 0

Robin van Persie has scored his 9th goal of the season to give United the lead at home to 8th placed West Ham. A win at Old Trafford tonight will ensure that United stay on top of the table, as local rivals Manchester City are also in action against Wigan.

8:00pm kick-off: Wigan Athletic 0 Manchester City 0

End-to-end stuff at The DW Stadium. The Wigan defence is staying strong, despite threats from Balotelli, Aguero and Silva. They are making chances of their own, but are struggling to really test Joe Hart yet. 0-0, interesting match.

I will have a full report on Friday.

Stories from Neighboring Coops: Courtney's Coop

by Meredith Chilson 

Courtney collects chickens.  Well, maybe it’s more accurate to say that Courtney attracts chickens.  It all started at a yard sale almost six years ago.

At this particular sale, a mother hen and five baby chicks were in a pen in the yard with a “free to a good home” sign.  Now, really.  Which one of us could pass up a deal like that?  And FIVE babies—various colors of sweet, peeping fluff. The babies and the mother hen came home with Courtney, and a shelter from an old doghouse was hastily put into use. That was the beginning.

Today, over two dozen chickens live at Courtney’s.  Some are direct descendants of the original six, others have been rescued from abusive homes, taken in when a coop had too many roosters, or hatched in one of the hidden nests on the property.  The chickens free-range throughout the neighborhood; there are fields behind the house that are just full of all the tasty treats chickens love.  Evenings they all come home to roost—and over the years a variety of small roosting shelters (including the front porch!) have cropped up as required. Winter shelters are insulated with hay bales or a heat lamp when necessary, and this arrangement has worked fairly well until a few months ago, when a plethora of roosters began ganging up on the nesting hens and chicks.  Courtney needed a coop!

Like many of us, Courtney and her mom shop sales, thrift stores, and always have an eye out for a good deal or cast-offs that can be recycled or repurposed into something else. I have a pile of used screens from a remodeling project, a shed half full of empty five-gallon pails someone had set out for the trash, some short pieces of orange construction fencing, for example.  Courtney had gathered a pile of wooden picket fencing, various ends and rejected materials from an interesting shop she worked at one time, nails, screws-- if you’re a “re-purposer” you’ll know just what I mean!  You can never tell when something will come in handy.

Courtney also collects coop plans.  One particular plan for a hoop-style coop, found in an issue of Backwoods Home Magazine, looked like a good idea—there was a rough plan with a list of materials necessary, and it seemed to Courtney that, with some “tweaking”, the materials she had been collecting and gathering over the years would work just fine. 

Courtney used metal cattle panels for the frame.  She told me they were “springy” enough to be bent into an arch.  The article she’d read had re-bar as anchors for the panels—Courtney used T-posts.  It seemed to make more sense to her.  At first connections were made with zip ties, but as the project progressed, Courtney (and her mom, who also helped) went back and used fencing wire to secure the panels.  When they ran out of wire, they used metal coat hangers for fasteners.

They filled in the ends with wood scraps (remember those picket fence pieces?), and used recycled limbo poles for the door frame (I told you she worked in an interesting shop!).

The top of the coop is covered with 6-ply plastic, so there’s no need for windows.  Plenty of light comes in through the plastic, yet it’s thick enough for insulation and strong enough to hold any winter snows that don’t slide off the rounded top.

Protective tarps lowered on a snowy morning
Courtney and her mom covered the bottom of the cattle panels with tarps, folded in half, which can be raised or lowered for ventilation or protection.  The bottom edges of the tarps are anchored by more of the recycled picket fencing, and the bottom of the cattle panels are lines with smaller gauge fencing wire to discourage predators and marauding roosters.

Inside the coop, Courtney has used her stash of recycled materials in some fascinating ways.  She’s added four nest boxes on the back wall—these boxes are repurposed wooden crates or dresser drawers.  

An old rabbit hutch, no longer sturdy enough for rabbits, was scrubbed up and now makes a “sleeping area” for the chickens.  Courtney told me this is almost like a separate room, and you’ll notice in the photo this has a ramp going up into it. Tree branches from around the property were used for roosts.

The coop was built right on the ground, and so has a dirt floor.  It’s covered with straw, and Courtney doesn’t expect any problems with the chickens keeping warm this winter.  She uses the “deep-litter” method, adding additional straw as needed, and she also feels that snow on the roof will help with insulation, too.  She does have a heat lamp in the little building for “emergencies” –which I think she meant hatching chicks and sub-zero temperatures.

For now, the coop holds Courtney’s laying hens, mothers and chicks.  (No boys allowed!!)  She’s kept them confined for a short while, hoping they will become accustomed to this spot as their new home.  The roosters have taken over the coop near the porch and have apparently turned it into a bachelor pad man-cave.

There appears to be plenty of room in this coop for Courtney’s girls.  It’s 12 feet long (3 cattle panels), 8 and a half feet wide, and 6 feet high in the center.  There are about 20 chickens living in this space, and it appears to be quite cozy. She’s had no predator problems either—possibly because the family goose often sleeps in the coop at night with the chickens!

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Courtney a little better as I’ve talked to her about her coop. Courtney does collect chickens, an assortment of breeds, sizes and ages, but it’s because she is kind-hearted and loves animals.  She’s been able to use odds and ends of recycled materials to build a home for her girls to keep them safe and warm, and I’m happy to have been able to share her coop story.  Maybe you will be able to use some of her ideas—I’m thinking my girls might like their own sleeping area.  Now, if I use those old screens, and……

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A bike Carman can't tamper with!

Last night was like a perfect hospital night. I had great visitors (which actually started earlier that day with Craig and coffee) - Kristy and her parents and then Pamela. Kristy's mom, Sue, painted my nails (who doesn't want to look hawt while laying in a hospital bed?) and Pamela stayed late as we were yammering away like we always do.

I blogged after my company was gone, but it was only after I posted that I realized it was past midnight. I don't think I actually passed out until around 1AM. I was up lots throughout the night and then was woken at 7AM, wishing there was a sledgehammer handy to knock myself back out with.

I keep both windows cranked and a fan on high, yet this room turns into a kiln at night. 

I managed to drift in and out of sleep. Every time I tried to get "up and at 'em", I would be hit with a feeling of being hungover (wait...who's sneaking something into my IV??) and would have to sink back into the bed that is certainly not made of pillows, but has that cool inclining ability, which my lungs really dig.

I was so out of it that I couldn't do the stationary bike, which was the plan for my morning physio. The physiotherapist took one look at me and my half shut eyeballs, and nixed that idea, instead saving it for the afternoon.

This afternoon, Mom and I went for a walk. I didn't get very far before I had to rest. I actually asked her, "Don't you have to rest?", forgetting that healthy people can walk for more than 30 feet without having their energy zapped right out of them. After resting, I announced it was time to turn around.

The fantastical news is that not only did I do the bike at our afternoon physio session, but I did the entire 20 minutes! Fatigue? Please! You are no match for moi!

I'm like a crazy superstar now. Magazines such as Women's Fitness, Shape, and Women's Health have all called trying to get me on the cover.

It's like this: If I'm put to the challenge, I'm going to give it all I've got. Simple. No way was I hopping off that damn bike before she asked me to. Plus I got the massage physio session afterward, so it was totally worth it.

You didn't hear this from me, but I made friends with the fatigue again after she left.

Tonight, while going through my messages, I came across one that I had to jump on. I received an email from a daily reader, Aviva, who is incredibly supportive of me, this blog, and all that I try to accomplish with it.

Aviva is part of a nationwide fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis, called Shinerama. Shinerama started 47 years ago and is now Canada’s largest post-secondary school fundraiser; more than $21.5 million has been raised for cystic fibrosis research.

Nuance Leadership is donating $1000 to the Shinerama campaign that creates the video that “best captures the Shinerama experience”.

Aviva goes to the University of British Columbia (UBC) and has asked me to reach out to all of you to check out their video and vote for them. They are obviously very dedicated to Shinerama and are working hard to earn that moulah. So, please, take a look.

You can check it out and vote for the video here.

She included the following voting instructions:

"Click on the link, then click the Facebook "like" button on the lower left.
Thank you so much for your help and support, voting goes until Friday
November 30th 11:59pm!"

Monday, November 26, 2012

Set Straight

I had a great convo with my doctor and I feel like I can see clearly now. I guess you could say she set me straight. 

I struggle with a lot of guilty feelings...along with a stubborn streak, I suppose. I've been lectured about this many times, but I guess we can't help but feel/be certain things/ways. It takes a lot of concentration and a bit of butt kicking to get me to listen. That, or a serious discussion about life, death and a certain future surgery.

Congrats doc.

Remember this guy?
I am known for "letting things go" when I'm not feeling good. For "toughing it out" and "waiting to see if it improves" before seeking medical attention.

Perhaps I would be this way with a broken leg? Who knows? Although, I doubt anyone would put up with my incessant whining, moaning and banshee-like screeching to see how that would play out.

I was sick for only a few days before I realized it was actually an infection and not just me being worn out. However, as soon as I realized what was happening I hopped on the phone and dialed the CF clinic.

I was put on meds. End of story.

Except it wasn't.

Nope, it was more of a chapter book.

I was put on oral antibiotics and sat back waiting for them to do their thang. After a few days they weren't exactly solving all of the world's problems, but the weekend had hit, and I knew there wasn't anyone in clinic to get in touch with. So, of course, I waited.

As we all know, I was thrown in the slammer Tuesday and attached to the pole (and not the kind you dance around).  

Sad, cause this would've been more fun

It took only a few days to feel relief and I can now happily sit here and breathe...without looking like I just finished running a 10k, while carrying my entire family on my back.

Back to my guilt:

I would kind of feel like the boy who cried wolf if I ran to the docs every time I felt crusty. I like to give it a few days to see if it's just a bad couple of days, or if it's truly something I need help with.

I also feel like I could potentially be hogging a hospital bed, when someone else who's more sick would need it.

Is that messed up???

Well the good doc explained to me that, you know, I'm waiting for NEW LUNGS and that's pretty important. I just might want to be in optimal health when the call know, to help the surgery go as smoothly as possible, so I can recover quickly and be back to annoying everyone around me again.
An example of a competent doctor

She explained how crucial it is for me to act when I'm feeling an infection.

Their job is to ensure I'm the healthiest I can be to face transplant surgery and I need to help them do that. I'm not to worry about someone else needing a hospital bed - that's also their job. 

So, I'm sorry to all those I've annoyed or worried with my stubbornness. You will see a new me. I just needed to hear it in a different way - from someone wearing a lab coat

I'm invested in this. I will fight like hell to see this through and bust out on the other side.

Then you will see stubborn...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading?

 I’m joining Jen & Kellee (and many other bloggers) in discussing what we are reading this week. Join us! Go to their site and link up your own blog.

I promised my students as we were leaving school on Tuesday that I would read a book a day. Now I did put in the caveat that I could read picture books or graphic novels as well. It turned out I read a ton regardless. Still not emptying the “to read” shelves – but when boxes are shipped back from NCTE full of books, that makes it all the more difficult.

Here’s what I read last week:

Hard to pick a favorite, but if I did it would absolutely be Linda Urban’s Center of Everything, and not just because my niece is a dead ringer for the girl on the cover, this is one amazing book. (Which isn’t that surprising, Linda Urban wrote it. I’m pretty sure she could write a grocery list and I’d read each word like a treasure.)

Coming up:

I’m reading Penny Kittle’s amazing book for teachers, Book Love. What can I say, buy it. Penny teaches high school but it doesn’t matter. Her words, her message, are for all of us.

I’m also halfway through Bomb by Sheinkin. This is a dense non-fiction book about the making of the atomic bomb. I say dense because you aren’t going to pick it up and breeze through it. That being said, I love this book. The history major in me is eating it up, albeit making me take my time. This won’t be a book for every kid in my class – it’s a bit difficult. But I always have those kids obsessed with any and every thing about wars, weapons, etc. They will love this.

Happy Reading!