Tag Archives: travel

Save The Chickens


I’ve never really thought of myself as an animal-lover. I figure those are the folks that wear screen printed T-shirts of endangered species and send monthly checks to PETA.  They love animals en masse. The nameless, the herds, the hungry, the hunted.

You know the ones….

I am sure I would love them too but I would need to give them names. As soon as it has a name, I get kind of emotional about it.

We bought some baby chicks a few months ago. There were about 30 little chicks running around at the feed store, cheeping and pooping on each other. They were pretty cute but smelly. Nothing to get attached to. We picked out a few that we were assured would be “good layers” (chickens are a whole new world, let me tell you) and then they threw in a couple wild ones for free. Ok, we said, why not. Three chickens are good, five is better. More eggs. We took them home and gave the “layers” some unfortunate names: Drumstick, Beaker, and Chicken Little. Not our finest moment but the names stuck. The “wild ones” took longer to name because we didn’t know if we would keep them but eventually were called Chilli and Left Eye. Hopefully they are female and sound just as pretty as their TLC namesakes.

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They enjoyed staring at one another. Drumstick’s the gutsy one.

And now that they are all named, I love them. I talk to them, I make sure they have poop-free water and nice food and turn on their heat lamp on cool nights. They are bigger now, more chicken then chick, a little less cute, but I am quite attached. I had to leave Jasper at Dad’s place in Kona because we have some travel coming up and I refuse to leave him long hours for someone to let out twice a day (PETA would be proud), so in a teeny tiny chickeny way, they fill the animal void.

Let's be real, no bird could replace this guy. He really wanted to come with me.

Let’s be real, no bird could replace this guy. He really wanted to come with me.

Hopefully they’ll start being “good layers” and Jasper will get used to having them around when he returns but regardless, they will stick around. Because they have names.

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Aussie Aussie Aussie


I have found recently that I don’t have long stretches of time for blogging like I used to. I used to come up with sentences in my head that sounded SO good that I just had to share them.  Now, I just say those sentences to Roger. Sometimes he responds by telling me how awesome I am and how life-changing my words were. Other times he continues building a bookshelf or fixing the car or cooking a gourmet meal and only “hums” and nods at my brilliance and I realize I should start doing something a tiny bit more useful. But today, I finished a midterm Pediatrics exam and have two hours until my next useful task and I can tell you about our most recent adventure.

I’m hooked on this place.

A few weeks ago Mama Leanne called to chat and asked when we may be able to take them up on their wedding gift of tickets to Australia. The conversation went something like this: New Years? Sister Samara will be in Europe. Christmas? Papa Paul will be in Africa.Thanksgiving? Leanne and Paul will be in Perth. Ok, this family does some serious traveling. Wait, what about next month? It’s crazy but it could work. Hang on, tickets are a lot cheaper next week. Booked, done, heading to Australia that Tuesday! It took a few days for it to sink in that we were going on an international trip….I felt very American and inexperienced. Who knew I needed an online visa? Not me. And a passport? Yep, dig that up in Kona and have it expressed over! Roger even made an appointment with immigration to make sure he would get back in the country. I didn’t think of that either. Good thing my husband is so international. This also means that he is still getting used to the right side of the road. A fact he insists had nothing to do with totaling our car the night before we left (stay tuned for more on that little episode).

We hopped on the plane happy with some upgraded seats and 10 1/2 hours and 6 episodes of BBC Sherlock later, landed in Roger’s Homeland. We spent twelve days with Mama Leanne and Papa Paul, Brother Bruce and Perin and kiddos, Sister Samara and Heath and baby, and Sister Tiffanie and John. We ate fish and chips at Byron Bay, explored Surfers Paradise at night, toured around the countryside, and saw all manner of Australian animals. I “pumped yabbies” and caught more fish than I’ve ever caught in my life (like five). Some of my favorite days were spent on the water in the Beasley’s 83 year-old boat, the Coranto. Think African Queen minus the mosquitos. Absolutely gorgeous.

Although I loved being a tourist, the best part of our Australian Adventure was falling in love with my husband’s history. Basically, I have eight new best friends. His family is legitimately awesome and I now know my husband in a completely new way. He fishes and boats because the WHOLE country fishes and boats, hee builds things because he was raised with a garage FULL of building materials and he knows wildlife because it lives in his backyard. His sisters talk like him, his brother laughs like him, and his parents cry like him. He teases his sisters like he teases me, he walks around barefoot like his brother, and if anything is broken, he can figure it out just like his dad. His mom looks into my eyes like she is reading my thoughts (and she usually is) just like my husband does. He just makes so much more sense.

And I love it.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Barley Family Does Christmas.


It was epic, it was quick, and it was messy. But we did it.

First, we all played a part in hosting 1,500 people at the Living Stones Christmas Eve service. Some of us played big parts and some small parts. Ryan just did all the music and worship and Dad just preached a rocking sermon. The rest of us had big jobs but I’ve forgotten what they were.

Next, we ate a lot of delicious food on Christmas Eve because I couldn’t stop cooking all week.

Then, on Christmas morning Dad, Megan, Sam and I drove to sister Sara and family’s house and did the fastest Christmas morning you’ve ever seen. It was a flurry of wrapping paper, “thanks, I love it so much”s, toys, treasures, and “Get in the car!”s. We were out the door and heading for the airport, Home Alone style, by 9:00 am. Kauai bound! Dad had planned the whole thing and even got us great rolly carry-on bags for Christmas. Yes, I do feel very cool rolling it. It’s silver and awesome.

And we didn't forget a single person.

Flying with the nieces was perfect. No time to worry about turbulence.

We spent an unforgettable four days on Kauai going to beaches, relaxing at a blessed and beautiful vacation house, playing games and enjoying the family. I have also discovered why all outdoor movies seem to be filmed there.

I could live here.

Or here.

Candlelit dinners on the lanai were my favorite.

Waimea canyon was a once-in-lifetime experience. So I’ve had my one time and I won’t be driving that car sick wonderland route again. It’s breath taking, so go at least once. And if you enjoy puke-inducing mountain roads, drive it again and again.

We were the two happiest people to be done driving.

Barley men

Well, the parents might have been happy the drive was over too.

We also went bike riding for the first time since 1993 and got a kick out of ourselves. We certainly rode in the same order as before: Stand-up Pedal Adventuress Sara blazed the way, I Can Too! Megan followed close behind, and Wait, I Can’t Make Right Turns on This Thing Erin brought up the rear.


But we ALL looked cool.

Even this kid.

It was a successful Christmas. We missed Mom. We celebrated Jesus. We had fun. Well done, family.

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Choice Paralysis


I am a quick chooser. Some say impulsive, I say decisive. Shopping is fast and expensive if I go to the wrong store. So I go to Good Will. I can snatch up a few good shirts and a great little dress and walk out ten dollars poorer. I can also give that really annoying answer “Oh this? I got it at a thrift store”. I don’t decide on my meal until the waitress walks up to the table and then I just say something. Anything. And I will be happy with it.

However, there are a few things that stop me in my decision-making tracks and turn me into the waffle I can’t stand. Running, airline tickets, and birthday cards are some of them (Also boys and dates but that’s another blog entry for another day).

This choice paralysis happens when I have not gone on a run in 3 to 4 weeks and I am convinced that if I start again, I might cramp up and fall over. So I don’t do it. But I want to. So I pace the house and look for other things to do. Yesterday I said NO to pacing and YES to running like the wind for a whopping 3.3 miles. The wind was very slow yesterday. But the rainbow was perfect.

Airline tickets are perhaps the biggest decision-cramper. Shortly after my summer semester ends, I am flying to Florida to coordinate and celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday. I am sure I am not alone in my Kayak-scouring for best price ever. I may, however, be in a more elite group when it comes to limiting my search to a certain plane size, a certain seating arrangement, and you can FORGET turbo-props. This time I have another complicating factor: a BuddyPass. It’s saving me a couple hundred dollars on my return leg but it also means I may stay an extra night in the middle of the country. So I’m choosing my lay-over city very carefully, preferably with kind and hospitable friends living near by. I also always try to hear the voice of God telling me which ticket to buy. No, really, I do.

Finally, birthday cards. There have been a couple of years and a couple of family members or friends that have received the perfect birthday card. It is witty but gentle, beautifully crafted, and with a slight inside joke that makes the whole thing even more perfect. But those rare cards have ruined me. Now I stand in the aisles for an HOUR and drive to multiple stores on a quest for the perfect card for every birthday, for every friend, for every relative.

So, if you are struggling with a choice this week that has nothing to do with the above three topics, please let me know. I am more than happy to help you learn some firm decision-making skills, or how to make a rash choice. And if you have any suggestions for cities to get stuck in, please cast your vote as I will be purchasing the tickets tomorrow…or Saturday …or Sunday.

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