Marching Forward

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Can you believe it’s already March? I’d hoped to write that the birds are singing, the tulips are waking, and Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog was my hero this year. However, right at this moment, there’s still a thick layer of ice in my yard and it’s snowing.

Still, there’s something to be said for a cup of coffee in a warm house watching the snow softly falling outside. And though February was a short month, there’s been excitement – and I have good things to look forward to!

Last weekend was very exciting: my daughter and I went shopping for her first formal dress. Can you believe, dear readers, that Audrey’s old enough to go to prom? She was seven when I first started writing the blog, so many of you have watched Audrey grow up!

When readers first “met” Audrey, Fall 2010.  With Bonnie; she was such a good dog!

When readers first “met” Audrey, Fall 2010. With our late sweet pup. We miss that dog!

And now, all grown up, a beautiful talented young woman. I’m such a proud Mama!

And now, so grown up, a beautiful talented young woman. I’m such a proud Mama!

I remember when I first found out I was having a baby girl, almost seventeen years ago. l thought of all the “firsts” and “rites of passage” to look forward to as a mom… things my mama and I did, and she and her mama, too- including getting ready for prom! (My daughter’s only a junior in high school, but her boyfriend is a senior and has asked her to go to his senior prom).

My parents at the Houston Club for prom, 1959

My parents at the Houston Club for prom, 1959

I still remember my mom making a special day and taking me shopping for a dress for my senior boyfriend’s prom. When I went to my senior prom, I designed my own dress and my boyfriend’s mom sewed it for me. It had a strapless black bodice with a black lace overlay (think Madonna) and a knee length skirt in gold with a double peplum. I wore black opera gloves and a banana clip in my hot-rollered hair. I know, go ahead and giggle… keep in mind I was a 1980’s teenager!

OH.MY.GAWD! 1990 prom “glamour shot” that was done for all the girls at my prom. Can it get any more CHEESY! Gotta laugh...

OH.MY.GAWD! 1990 prom “glamour shot” that was done for all the girls at my prom. Can it get any more CHEESY! Gotta laugh…

Thirty years later, my daughter and I had the mom/daughter day on last Saturday. Looking at all the beautiful dresses was fun. There were several other mothers and daughters just like us…all shopping for a prom dress. I thought it’d be tough to find “the” dress, but three dresses in, she tried one on that was perfect! When I walked into the dressing room, Audrey took my breath away. I’m looking forward to her big day, seeing my girl all dressed up for the formal event! I can’t post a picture of the dress yet, of course, but I promise to post one in spring when she goes to the dance!

The next day was of a more serious nature, but a very important one. I’m a Girl Scout Leader and we’re required to have a leader who is CPR-certified at every gathering. Our town organized a day for leaders who needed to get certified, staffed by volunteers including EMT’s and an emergency room doctor. (A big shout out to all those who organized and volunteered their time to help us who needed certification).

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The course took five hours or so, but the time flew by. There was so much I learned! (For instance, do you know the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest)? I realized that everyone should be CPR-certified! You just never know…the life you save might be someone you love! Having someone CPR/First Aid-certified can make a big difference in the time before more trained, extensive help like firefighters and EMT arrive. I’m looking forward to getting my certification card in the mail. I hope I never have to use the training, but am glad I learned!

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I’m looking forward to a good thaw. Hopefully March will bring us a reprieve in the harsh weather! The snowfall actually makes it easier to get to my chicken coop. The solid ice makes for a very scary walk anywhere in the yard. Unfortunately, a clever hawk ambushed and ate one of my girls! Yes, I cried.

The day before, the weather had very high winds. I previously reinforced the chicken run with smaller gauge wire all around, but the wind blew the top and tore at everything. The following morning, my husband I checked the top and cleaned the hen house. The sun came out, and though it was cold, the chickens were happy- clucking and purring.

Later my dogs started barking so I took them out. I saw a young hawk right by my door in the tree. I took the dogs in and went back out to check the chickens. As I rounded the corner, the hawk darted out from UNDER the hen house. That’s when I spied poor little Cocoa. The clever hawk had gone under the hen house, only six inches or so from the ground. He had closed the door to the hen house from the outside somehow, trapping seven of my girls inside. The eighth girl, Cocoa, was trapped in the run but unable to get in the house. The wind must have pushed the small fencing on the side, and there was a hole near the ramp of the coop, only as big as an egg. The hawk had grabbed Cocoa as she was trying to get in the house, pulling her head through the tiny little break in the fence. Cocoa was one of the “Butterscotch Triplets”, my little Brahma bantams that we hand raised last spring as chicks. The carnage was awful, and for a bit I thought, “I’m done with having chickens”.

RIP, Cocoa.

RIP, Cocoa.

The thing is, death is part of the cycle, especially with farm animals like chickens and the predators we face in my part of the woods. I reinforced my fence and put a board up where the underside of the coop is. A very similar thing happened on my birthday last March, with the hawk going under the coop. (Perhaps the same hawk- hats off to how smart you are, Mr. Hawk. It must be this time of year; there’s so much ice and not enough mice and chipmunks left to munch). My friend Donna, who has a local farm, is getting me some baby chicks again this year, so I’m getting my brooder ready. I’m looking forward to having baby chicks again!

When you’re a “Glamper”, spring can’t come fast enough! I’m looking forward to opening Gidget the Glamper back up! The cover’s still on and she’s covered with snow. Have you ever seen anything so sad?

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When we open the camper, I know spring is truly here and winter is gone for another season. I can’t wait!

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Speaking of vintage campers, wouldn’t this microwave be cute in one? I’m not a big fan of microwaves and we don’t use ours to cook with. However, I need to have one in the kitchen. When my husband comes home tired from a very long day, or my coffee needs a bit of warming, we use one. My kitchen also has a built-in microwave shelf and the shelf would look weird without it. Recently, our circa-2000 microwave was on the fritz. I was happy to see it go- it was so big I couldn’t reach in to clean it without a step stool and it was an eyesore in my otherwise-cheerful retro kitchen. This little red retro-styled number looks right at home in my kitchen, and if I ever was to put a microwave in a camper, this would be it. (I got mine for $99 with free shipping at Walmart.com).

Finally, this month I’m looking forward to my birthday in a few weeks. I know it means I’m another year older, but I’m a glass-half-full kinda gal. I like special days and no matter how old I’m blessed to get, I’m still me!

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Wishing you, dear readers, nice weather, a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Good Things to Look Forward to! Remember to say hi in comments and let me know you stopped by!

 

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

Leave a comment 18 Comments

  1. Linda Weston says:

    Enjoyed your March Blog Nicole, as I always do. Still have your goodies in my car. We have to get together. It’s been crazy lately. ❤️ Linda

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Linda! Thank you! I hear ya…winter has slowed us all up a bit. SOON! Looking forward to catching up! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Diane Ryan says:

    Hi Nicole! Always fun to read your blog. So sorry about Cocoa. Looking forward to Spring with you and all that comes with it including new growth and prom pics. Hope we can do lunch soon. Maybe for your birthday? XO
    Diane

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Diane! So nice to hear from you! I miss you and I look forward to catching up. Lunch would be super! I know we have so much to catch up on! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Diane Loehr says:

    Yes, my daughter is a senior this year and college in the Fall – where did the time go? Just yesterday I was bringing her home. We already bought her prom dress, bag, shoes and jewelry. Still have to get the hair and makeup appointment, but do far so good. Your daughter is a beautiful girl and I hope that she enjoys her prom. It was one of the best nights of my life! I had my prom in 1980!!!! Have a great day!
    Diane

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Diane, Awww, thank you, I will tell Audrey you said that. Don’t you feel like time goes faster when you have a child? Like you, I loved prom in high school. I was lucky and got to go to two proms, and I enjoyed both so much! Do you remember the 1980’s movie with Molly Ringwald, “Pretty In Pink”? I love when the character Iona says she has a friend who often feels like something’s missing…she checks her keys, counts her kids…then realizes it’s side effects of not going to the prom when she was in high school. That line always cracks me up. Take lots of photos when of your girl on prom night! Enjoy! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Deedra Steele says:

    Hello. My daughter in Texas is in labor today and I am babysitting her 2 yr old son. They are having a girl and…….the picked the same name as your sweet teenager
    Thought you would be super happy about my news.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Oh Deedra! How exciting!! CONGRATULATIONS! How wonderful. Love the news, and what a great name! I will tell my daughter, too. We don’t run into too many “Audreys”. Wow – you really have good things to look forward to! Thank you for sharing and keep us posted. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Donna Kozak says:

    Hi, Nicole – just read and enjoyed your blog – I have chickens also (usually 14/16 !) and with our weather being so bad this year (it is now snowing again which is not the normal weather up here in B.C. (Canada), the hawks and coyotes are always circling ’round the coop ! One thing I have tried for the past couple years is hanging a big flowered flag on one of the 8′ posts and have had no hawk ambushes since … I like to think this works and it also looks nice !

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Donna, I think we have your winter, too! We had an even bigger snowstorm this past Saturday and now it’s in the single digits at night and 20s in the day. It should be warmer here now, but hopefully soon the seasons will start to change. I love your idea to ward off the hawks! I will try that. I also use a small, inexpensive radio that is left on. It hasn’t helped with the brazen hawk but it has helped keep fox, coyotes and other predatory animals away. Thanks so much for the suggestion! I will work on that tomorrow! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Marilyn says:

    Audrey is a lovely young lady. Wishing you a blessed March 17.
    HAPPY ST.PATRICK’S DAY
    Marilyn

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marilyn, thank you so much! I am so proud of her. You have a great St. Patty’s Day, too! I usually cook something up. This year I think I will make an Irish Stew recipe I have had since I was eleven and used to make for my parents when I was young. It’s hearty and warms us up! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. Jacqueline Ferri says:

    Hi Nicole,
    Love the pictures ! What great memories . Can’t believe Audrey is going to the prom already! Where has the time gone! This summer my eldest daughter is getting married! Sorry about your chicken, we certainly have lots of hawks , coyotes , and foxes here! Hope to get together soon.
    Jackie

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Jackie! So good to hear from you! I’ve missed catching up with you. How exciting that your daughter is getting married! Wonderful – congratulations! Let’s catch up soon. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Beverly Battaglia says:

    I loved reading this blog, Nicole. Nice to see my granddaughter, Audrey and her lovely smile. I wish the picture of your dad and I was in color. My dress was hot pink silk organza and I had my satin shoes dyed hot pink .Cocoa was a cute chicken and made me sad to hear how she died.
    Loved the pictures and reading about your plans for spring. Love, Mother

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mama, I bet that dress was stunning in that color! And matching satin shoes to boot. Love it. Talk to you soon, Mama, I love you! XOXO Nicole

  9. Sandi King says:

    Winter is still hanging on here in KY too; low temperatures, brrr and snow which I like. Oh, poor Cocoa; my friend has chickens and a hawk got one of hers also; but she has a herding dog also, who tries to catch the hawk and protects the chickens and herds them back to the coop when they get out. He is such a good dog. Your daughter is very lovely and looks a lot like you did in your picture. Hope she has a wonderful time at the prom.
    Can’t wait to see her in her prom dress. I love that red microwave oven. We use ours mostly for heating up leftovers and cold coffee too. That’s a lovely picture of your parents in 1959. I love looking at old black and white pictures of family members; also like watching black and white movies, classics mostly. Until next time, have a great month and hopefully it will start warming up soon.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sandi, yes, it is just awful when a beloved hen dies like that. My big dogs were barking the days the hawk got Cocoa, but I couldn’t get out to her in time. I also watch my chihuahua closely – the hawks would come after him if they could. Thank you for the kind words about my daughter. She’s so lovely inside and out, and I am so proud of her. I will post a pic of her prom dress, for sure! Keep watching those great black and white classics…soon we will be able to get outside more! Big Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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