Friday, February 27, 2009


Gained back .8 of the lb I lost last week. Last weekend was a boring weekend and every time I went into the kitchen I was looking for something to put in my mouth. Couldn't quite work it all off this week. I kept busy today by cleaning my kitchen cabinets inside and out. The problem with that is that I spent the whole day in the kitchen.

When I got up this morning the sun was shining. By noon it had started to snow and has been snowing every since. It is supposed to keep snowing all night. Yuck.
The Fairplay annual dinner and meeting is tomorrow night so spring can't be far behind.

Spring Chickens

In the spring, patchy snow still decorating fields and the sides of the gravel roads, we drove to town.  Several boxes of peeping baby chicks were loaded into the backseat beside me.  I looked through the holes in the boxes at the yellow balls of feathers climbing over each other while keeping up a chorus of peeps.

At home the chicks were taken out of the boxes and put in the brooder house.  The middle of this house contained a low, metal tent-like structure (the brooder) with light bulbs on the underside to keep the chicks warm.  Several watering bottles and trays of food surrounded the tent.  The yellow puff balls ran around on their little stick legs.  They bumped into each other and stepped in their water and food.

I liked to go into the peeping building and 'help' with the feeding and watering of the chicks as long as they were little yellow balls.  When they started growing white feathers they became unattractive and hard looking.  The waiting time for the first fried chicken started.  The chicks grew into chickens.  The weather warmed and the brooder was removed.  A fenced yard for the chickens was added outside and the brooder house became a chicken house.

Six or eight weeks after the peeping boxes were brought home, Mother started catching the larger chickens and feeling their legs to determine if they were big enough to eat.  Finally, the day arrived for the first fried spring chicken.  Of course there was work to be done.  Dad sharpened a long machete-like knife.  He caught the doomed chicken and took it to a tree stump.  With a quick chop he separated the head from the body and let the body go.  We watched it hop around spattering blood until it lay still in the grass.  The body was dunked in boiling water and the feathers removed.  Mother made a torch with rolled up newspaper, set it on fire and singed off the pin feathers.  

The chicken was cut into pieces, the legs, thighs and wings cut off the body.  The insides were taken out;  the liver and gizzard saved.   Cutting the gizzard and removing the sac of gravel and food was a delicate process--if you cut the sac the gizzard was ruined.  (No, I don't know why)  The wishbone was cut from the breast and the breast, back and neck separated.  There was a time when Suzie and I fought over the neck.

Mom's recipe for fried chicken.  Dip the chicken in flour, salt and pepper.  Brown in Crisco in an iron skillet.  Put it in the oven for 30-40 minutes.   She served those first pieces of spring chicken with boiled potatoes and home canned green beans from the cellar.

Those peeping, yellow puffballs I loved grew into fryers and hens.  The fryers had to be processed for the freezer (at the locker plant in town).   A long day of cleaning and cutting chickens.  I reluctantly participated in the various stages as I grew up.  First dipping the chicken in boiling water and removing the feathers and graduating to the rest of the steps.   I never had to cut off a head.

Beyond the fryers were the hens.  The hens that laid eggs that needed to be gathered in an enamel pail lined with straw.

At those two points in the lives of chickens, I really disliked them except of course, for dinner.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Good week. lost 1 whole pound.

Sad news in our town. Marc Whisinand was killed in a car accident last week.
We was 59 years old. He was the son of Duane, brother of Alan, Lela, Rae, and Leslie. I have met his wife Nancy, a couple of times. He has 2 sons and 1 daughter.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thank you!

What a lovely surprise I got in the mail yesterday!

Myrna added some great photos to my essay "20th Century Champions" and turned it into a book. M, you sure did a good job on the pictures and on the editing. With a little more editing, (I've discovered some factual errors since I first wrote it)maybe we should submit it to a publisher as a children's book.

The dedication to Grandma & Grandpa and their picture is the perfect finishing touch.

Thank you for a very meaningful and thoughtful gift!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Up .2 this week. Glad it wasn't more since my lost last week was due to the flu. Feeling much better today and hoping we don't get a lot of snow.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Thanks to the flu, I lost 2 lbs this week. Look for a regain next week. I got the stomach flu Tuesday night, everything I ate on Wednesday came back up. I still don't feel much like eating much. I don't think I would make a very good bulimic. I hate to puke. Even though I get tired of exercising, I think I will stick with that method of weight control.

Abby had her 16th birthday party Sunday. She had a bunch of her friends over for a super bowl party. Not sure if any of them watched the game. Before the game they all looked like they were having fun on the frozen lake. The biggest kid, her Dad, had fun pulling them on a sled behind the 4 wheeler. It looked too cold for me to be out there, but had a very good view from the window.

The ground hog saw his shadow. So we will have 6 more weeks of winter instead of just a month and a half. Spring is coming the days are getting longer.