Potater Week 3… Loss on the Farm

Apr 30, 2015 | Gardening, Homesteading, On Motherhood, Potager, Potager 101 | 16 comments

Potager progress week 3

Potager Week 3

Parenting is hard.

In fact, hubby and I have come to the conclusion that if it’s not hard every single day… you must be doing something wrong. (Like letting stuff slide that shouldn’t).

I need to write more on this.


Getting out the door is a marathon.  A total.  Absolute.  Marathon.

I can get up at 5 a.m. trying to prepare…. trying to get all my ducks in a row… outfits laid out… breakfast pre-maid.  It doesn’t matter.  I wish it did.  But it doesn’t matter.

It’s responsibility training, patience practice and a feat of unspeakable talents all rolled into one.

We’ve recently stepped out into the world of sports for our nine year old boy.  Yes, he’s late to the game.  Pun intended.  But I am not a believer in the family being slave to the sports schedule.  (I need to write more on this too).  But I am a believer in raising well rounded children and sports was missing from the equation so yes, we forced him to try just ONE season of Little League too see what how he would like it.

So suddenly (though only for about 6 weeks) I find myself loading up the tank three times a week to dash off to some later afternoon/evening event be it ballet, church group or now baseball.   Loading up the tank is NOT a part of mothering that I particularly relish.  It’s a battle of mis-matched shoes, lost hair brushes, last minute diaper changes and animal waterers that need to be re-filled as we are pulling down the lane.  And in those few short moments I can lose all perspective, all grace, all semblance of being a loving mother and I can, and often do, turn into Banshee-Momma.  Beware the screaming Banchee-Momma.

Just keeping it real.  You’re not alone.

Well, I was in said banchee mode as I broke a sweat trying to adjust seat belts and wrestle a defiant 20 month old once again into her car seat.  Chickens were underfoot and I carefully did my job trying not to soil my shoes on fresh chicken manure.  I was hot to trot.  Fit to be tied.  And ready for a glass of wine.  I was packing them up to a baseball practice that we would have to leave early for to get to church group late.  Such is this short chapter we are in.

I strapped in my seat-belt and tried to calm down.  I put it in reverse and we heard a LOUD… POP!  And we all laughed as we realized I had rolled over a strategically placed water bottle.  It diffused the stress slightly and I slowly continued backing down the lane.  As I was looking back over my shoulder out the rear window I heard Aidan exclaim, “Cock fight!” and I looked forward to see our beloved rooster Maximus thrashing around in the driveway, right where I had just driven.

I threw the truck in park and told everyone to stay put as I ran down the drive screaming at the vulture chicken bitches swarming him and already pecking at him.  I kicked one away as I horribly saw the blood pouring from his neck and his eyeball fluttering.  Oh God it was horrible.  My beautiful Maximus.

My first rooster ever.

Our kind, friendly Maximus.

I stooped over him weeping uncontrollably.  I had lost all composure.  For you see, I was sure that in my Momma-fit…  In my stress in getting out the door I had run over our favorite rooster.

I sobbed.  I stroked him and begged him to die.  Please God, I cried.  Please make him die.  I ran inside desperate for a gun (we use high powered BB guns for times like this).  One had no CO-2.  And the other gun Joel said I would never be able to cock.  In my dismay I had no idea where the bullets to the real gun were.  I was a pathetic wreck.  I hated myself for not having a way to put him down.  What a farmgirl LOSER.  I hated my cowardicefor not just being able to hit him with a shovel like my Grandpa would have.  (I know you think I’m crazy if you’re not a farmgirl yet… you change on the farm.  Really  you do.)  All I wanted to do was put this beloved animal out of his misery.  But I couldn’t.  So instead I sat in the driveway with a truck full of kids watching and I sobbed like a stupid fool.  I could hear him wheezing and with each breath I hated myself worse.  My eyes stung.  And so thinking he had just a few moments left I gently scooped him up, put him in a nearby rubbermaid and put him where he could not be scavenged and… I continued on to baseball practice.

The entire way I sobbed and the entire way the children tried to convince me that the only thing we ran over was the bottle.

“I killed Maximus.”  Over and over I sobbed.  Over and over I lamented my pathetic, short tempered mothering.  Over and over I remembered my elation the day Maximus came to our farm.  Over and over I wondered WHEN I would grow up and be patient and kind when getting my family out the door…. I just couldn’t get over it.

Joel met up with us (he was updated thanks to a sobbing, frantic, phone call) and together we continued on to church group.  When we came home later that evening we quickly tucked the kids on bed and prepared to bury our once noble rooster.  To our horror he was still alive and trying to stand only to collapse again.  One eye was missing, one was shut.  We toyed with stupid, childish, Hollywood notions that we could have a kind, gentle, blind rooster… but he had been punctured in the neck during the fight with Lord Grantham… it turns out… my guilt was relieved… I did not run him over.  His entire body was intact.  He would not eat.  He could not drink and so, with our hands on him we thanked him for his beautiful songs here on the farm.  We remembered the the grandeur he displayed when he would jump on the fence and announce with the voice God gave him… 6 a.m….1 p.m…. 5 p.m.  We thanked God for him and as my hand rested on his soft, feathered back… Joel put him down.

Even now… two weeks later typing this stupid post I am crying.

“Lifestock is deadstock.”  Says my goat breeder… who ironically gave us Max.

I’m glad I’m a farmgirl.  It’s brought forth things in me I only dreamed of.  And frightenly it’s shown me  even more of my flaws.  Some, I’d rather just never face.  But it’s real here dealing with five children and countless animals.  I’m not cut out for it that is for sure.  And every day is some sort of wonderful or horrible growing opportunity.  The thought of not growing scares me more than another day like the day Maximus died.  God’s mercies are new every morning… for a sinner like me they need to be new every ten minutes.  What would I do without Him.

Thank you God for Maximus.  Thank you for our gentle rooster whose song lit up our days.

Please help me to be gentle and kind to my children you’ve given me… even in the midst of instruction and chaos.


Matthew 10:29-31Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.   And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Parisienne Farmgirl

Trying a new feature… Audio version of this post…

Sample here:

My Potager week by WeekPotager week 2Potager progress week 3



  1. Mary Kay

    Love the voiced new addition. KERP up the good work. We lost a rooster years ago when we kept everyone’s Easter animals..but our rooster..” Einstein ” was mean and would run out and peck the girls..
    Cock a doodle do during dental appointments..etc. my husband finally dispatched him after he started
    Jumping up on a new Broncho scratching the finish. I loved that guy tho and he was really smart. Sure you gave him a long life full of great food and fun. It only shows what a wonderful person you are that you care so much! Mary Kay a former. City / Animal keeper

  2. April

    I’m so sorry about Maximus. 🙁 I have 9 children. Seven are from my first marriage (I was widowed), and the bonus two came with the second husband. When my oldest kids were very young, we used to do drills to increase our getting out of the house speed. I would give the winner (who was almost always the kid who could find their shoes fastest) M&Ms. Hairbrushes… every single sailing Sunday for the past 15 or so years that stupid hairbrush has been missing. Every.single.Sunday. I have resorted to keeping a car brush. I’m serious. Lol! That brush never leaves the car. I hope I have given you some ideas, and again. I’m so sorry about your rooster.

    • Parisienne Farmgirl

      OH MY GOSH! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the drill idea!!!!! My kids would be all over that! And the brush in the car… genius. It’s the little things. Thanks so much!

  3. Angie

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Farming is a tough, beautiful life. We’ve had runts that my girls (little at the time) thought were so cute. I knew however that their lives would be short. Always hard to put them down when they got too weak and weren’t thriving, try as we may to nurse them through it. It’s just a fact of farm life sad as it is. Praying for peace, comfort, and patience.

  4. Carey

    Oh, my heart. I am so sorry you’ve had such a rough time lately.

  5. mandy

    ah my sweet friend…these are the posts we love you for. your transparency and your heart are beautiful, even when you fall short. I’m sorry about Max…and LOVE that you have a rooster named Lord Grantham {even if he sounds like a bully}…I”m scared of roosters…not sure I could ever have one. love ya girl!

  6. Julie R

    i’m so sorry about Maximus! What a relief it wasn’t what you’d thought at first. I’ve had that panic moment as well. We have a rooster who loves to come in the house and comes running when he hears the garage door open. I worry that I’ll hit him some day.

    About a month or two ago we lost our first rooster who looked a lot like Maximus. His name was Brewster. He’d been slowing down with age so I planned to make him an enclosure for him and some ladies to retire. I did not get the chance, I think one of the young boys took him down first. The kids found him in the run-in shed, the “vultures” had gotten to him. We cried and buried him and I felt guilty for not acting sooner. He was so grand and he taught us so much when we first got our chickens. He was a good rooster to his ladies and made wonderful sons with his sweet temperament. Still miss him.

    For future reference, I have been told that baking soda and vinegar can gas a chicken in a pinch. Put them in that Rubbermaid with baking soda in the bottom, pour in vinegar and close the lid. Let’s just hope neither of us need to test it out.

  7. Gaylin

    My heart breaks for you!
    saddest story,I cried for you both reading….

  8. Deena

    I’m a farm girl too, we raise beef cattle and I cry all the time over something. We had a premature calf born this spring, a little Hereford, red with white face perfectly shaped, but tiny she was and she was dead when we found her. She could not have lived, I’m sure her lungs were not developed. I cried for her and her Mom who had licked her clean knowing something wasn’t right. Our Bottle calf, now a 5 year old cow had twins and one died but at least she had one baby to take care of. I know we are in the business to make a living doing this but it’s hard for me and my husband struggles with it too. We take good care of our animals and our cows live on our farm a long time. I’m sorry about your beautiful boy Maximus.

  9. Molly

    I’m sorry to hear about Maximus. He was a fortunate rooster to have people who cared for him and appreciated his beauty and life. I know these losses are hard.

  10. jeri

    I have lost countless ducks, chickens dogs and my favorite one eyed goose (which my husband actually DID run over, not on purpose of course.) My cherished rooster was killed by another rooster as well, I hate that roosters will fight to the death,. But, believe it or not, it is something you learn to accept and live with, even having to put down beloved animals when neccessary. I sobbed my eyes out when I lost that goose, so I get it. You are doing fine as a farm folk, it just gets easier with time when dealing with the loss of a beloved farm pet.

  11. Dore @ Burlap Luxe

    You have a way with farm life Angela, and you AE doing it beautifully. God knows you work hard and he is giving you the tools to do so. Your Rooster had a wonderful farm life, and if I were a ROOSTER your farm is right where I would want to be, crowing my life away alerting to another beautiful Godly day.

    Love your garden video and I am going back to catch up on what I have missed being so I’ll these past weeks. I did order the Frankincense oil and taking it faithfully. I am planning on getting into it and will talk to you later more about it. The company to,d me I could sign under you, and this is my plan, first things first and of course I needed your account ID # when I sign up.

    Your little one and all her wonderment stepping across those garden stones to the fountain was precious as can be, I bet you made her dress of many colours?
    Looking forward to more of your farm life…. As for raising farm kids, your doing just fine. It s what works for you best that keeps the rhythm going.

    Now if you can device a way to extract that lavender for Angela oil I will be your first in line for a stress free experience

    Beauty by the grace of God your garden will be fruitful.



    Thank you for your comforting chat by phone,

  12. Joannah

    Angela, I’m so sorry about Maximus. He sounds like a very special bird. We have a farm at my school, and while I don’t know any of the roosters on it personally, I do enjoy their “songs” (as you referred to them). All God’s creatures…

    That was a horribly tragic loss for you and your children. Sigh.

    Even with one child, I know that stress of getting out the door, and the short-temper that can result. I pray for us both that we would overcome that tendency. Hang in there, mama.

  13. Tina P

    I have a question. Do you ever get discouraged and do not want to even plant one row of anything? It’s rained so much here in the Southeast and the temps have been extremely cool for this time of year, it’s really taken the wind out of my and several others sails. The weather has been so anti gardening I had to plant the tomato and pepper plants I had already purchased from a friend before tilling the ground. Just dug a hole in the middle of the grass covered garden area and planted them to keep them from dying. Plus, after spending all of Friday trying to get my garden spot tilled and ready to plant only to be stopped in my track Saturday by a ONE YEAR OLD tiller deciding to not run, my will is just gone. I’m truly beginning to question as to whether or not I should even plant another thing in my garden.

  14. Shelley

    I am so sorry about Maximus. It is so true that livestock means dead stock, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
    I wanted to comment about the getting out of the house challenge. We have only been blessed with three active little ones, but I read this somewhere and it did help our morning routine. Pair them up as much as possible. All the way to the car where the older ones help with the seatbelt of their buddy. I have found that this gets rid of a good share of the “Mommmeeeeeeee, I have lost my……..and I can’t find my…… It works unless someone is grumpy, then not so much.
    Well, that it my wisdom on the subject.
    I love the potager, by the way. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Carolyne

    Oh, MY~! Your written story is truly a wonderful moment-in-Time I *know* your children will treasure someday. The re-reading will become a hallmark of Holiday dinners and the beginning of family delight for years to come.
    I say this because my boys (do now) always love recounting the more gruesome tales and scenes of horror (to my gentle Mama soul) amidst family and friends who may not have any idea of these more Real aspects of small farm life. You may be encouraging future writers and poets among you.


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