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Back in July we got a couple of new hens.

Hobbit (left) was named for the feathered feet.  Chicken Little (right) was named for her catastrophic reactions to treats being dropped on her head.  By “treats” I mean spinach stems or strawberry caps – nothing at all that should cause a concussion or “end of the world” behavior.   Hobbit would *always* be the first to snatch up the treat. This would instantly send Chicken Little into “the sky is falling” mode, in which she would chase Hobbit around the cage in a panic, all the while peeping frantically. Hobbit wouldn’t even eat the snack at first, preferring instead to run around with it taunting Chicken Little.  If I dropped another treat in for Chicken Little, Hobbit would drop the first treat, snatch up the second treat and take off running with it.  Rather than taking Hobbit’s discarded treat, Chicken Little would act like it didn’t exist at all and continue her incessant peeping and chasing.

The silly little birds grew and grew and it quickly became evident that they were nothing like the dignified Myrtle, Pearl, and Gertrude, or even crazy Freebird. These two chicks were friendly and more than a little nuts. They’d practically jump in our pockets each time we opened the door to their cage.

At some point Chicken Little stopped growing, but Hobbit kept getting bigger and then began developing iridescent greenish black feathers like a peacock.  I was in denial for a long time even though the evidence was before my eyes.  The day after Christmas when we opened the back door to let Moon Pie out for her morning routine, our little Hobbit announced to the world his manhood with a “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO!!”

Hobbit

Hobbit demanding a close-up and Chicken Little in the background

Dear Far-Flung Family & Friends:

I am alive and well despite my lack of digital communications.  I’m having difficulty facing the screen when there is so much  presently unfolding “out there” in multiple dimensions that is demanding attention. Nonetheless, I miss you! You really should come for a visit.

This month marks two years since we arrived at Peace. Love. Home.  I continue to be awed everyday by the largest and smallest things.  Eggs for instance appear daily, as if by magic, in the dog house.  I could build a pyramid  large enough for all four of the chickens to live in with the eggs they laid this month.  How do all these eggs fit inside these fluffy feathered girls?

all my eggs in one basket

this is not even a quarter of my eggs in one basket

The chickens are comical in so many different ways.  When I go around the barn to tend to the ducks, they try their hardest to spy on me.  They cram themselves in the corner between the doghouse and the fence practically on top of each other as they vie for the best view.  When I walk back around the corner into their line of vision, the chicken totem pole disbands and they scatter as if those nosy girls couldn’t possibly be interested at all in anything I could ever do.

Apparently, word has gotten out that this place is “bird friendly” because we’ve been visited recently by interloping fowl trying to figure out how to get IN on this domesticated action.  The two wild mallards below have been touring the property regularly, checking out the ducks’ pen and the chickens’ digs.

 

june2014 003

Myrtle, Pearl, and Gertrude bow respectfully as they bid the interlopers adieu.

 

There’s also a lone Canadian goose who drops in to check everyone out.  He wanders around in the mornings honking incessantly for hours at at time.  One afternoon last week I spotted a coyote who was drawn in by all this birdy action.

Perfect strangers (of the human variety) have also dropped by this summer to share stories and cry at the kitchen table with me about things that matter, which turns out is quite a lot.

 

9-3-13 001

Here is a list of stuff I’ve recently traded for the fresh eggs of Myrtle, Pearl, Gertrude, and Freebird:

1. two jars of homemade pickles

2. a loaf of whole grain organic bread

3. two hands full of home grown green beans

4. a bag of home grown cucumbers

5. a bag of home grown jalapeños and bell peppers

Also, a friend recently offered to house/dog/cat/duck/chicken sit if and when I ever go out of town again, in exchange for fresh eggs.

Personally, I find this an impressive list given I’ve had the girls less than a month. The farmy bartering makes me downright giddy. Let it go down on the record that I have not eaten any of the eggs myself. I gave up eggs January 11, 2011 as a strange experiment with “enlightenment.” On a side note, when I just went back to find the link to the first blog post in which I announced this decision, I realized that the date translates to 1-11-11 . I suppose I won’t be forgetting that date again. It wasn’t an intentional “oooh-here’s-a-date-with-a-buncha-ones-in-it,-let’s-do-something-crazy” sort of decision.  But apparently it was a good date for new beginnings, especially since the post I wrote right before that one was aptly named Conflict and Crisis.

a mama carrying her silver orb

a mama carrying her silver orb

On another tangential note…2 years, 10 months, and 1 day after beginning my enlightenment quest, my mother and I are still driving each other nutters. (Hi Mom!)

Looking back, it’s funny to see all the obvious patterns you missed as you’re moving through a life unfolding in real time. It’s also a little embarrassing. There I was, ego bare, for all to see.

And here I am still….

*TaDA!*

I wonder what obvious things I’m missing even now that I will look back on someday and snicker about.

duck eggs

duck eggs

The self-imposed egg prohibition was largely a symbolic gesture, which I attempted to explain many times to others (and to myself), as in the post: The Incredible Inedible Egg.  In spite of all this, it has never made much sense to any of us I’m afraid.  As a result I caught a lot of flack from family members who were baffled, horrified, or just plain outraged by my perceived havoc-wrecking habits on our family feasting functions.

My life is so different now from when I started all this. I am different. And I am the same. As life continues to unfold in real time, one pattern that has not escaped my notice is the irony.  For someone who has worked so hard to avoid eating eggs, I’m now surrounded by them being laid before me on a daily basis.  This certainly wasn’t planned, but it is welcomed.

 

darkness

A spiritual practice is one that brings us full circle – not to a new self, but rather back to the essence of our true selves.                                                                   

-Rolf Gates

 

First and foremost, here is the goat I got for my birthday…august 29 2013 045

It’s a start!  And it is a handsome goat to be sure.  I’m positive that even more goaty goodness will be a part of my near future.

 

I also acquired some new birds. Myrtle, Pearl, & GertrudeMeet Myrtle, Pearl, and Gertrude. We have the ducks in the chicken coop, so the chickens get the dog run. At night they sleep Snoopy style, perched on top of the dog house.

There’s one more girl who isn’t in the picture and that is Freebird.  When El-D opened the carrier to her new home, she wasn’t having any of it.  In a blink of an eye Freebird scaled the 6 foot fence and hightailed it to the ravine.  She spent the night doing chicken things in the great wild.  The next day, El-D spotted her strutting around the pond. He grabbed a net and the chase was on. She is now adjusting to her new life in the dogrun.

It hasn’t happened yet, but I *might* start eating eggs again now that I know they aren’t fertilized and that the eggs are laid by chickens I know and love.  Here’s what their eggs look like.

9-3-13 001

 

Here’s a gratuitous picture  El-D doing manly stuff.

august 29 2013 020

He cut down Ugly Tree (we really have names for everything around here) and after that he wanted to make something with all the wood, so I suggested stools we can sit on around a bonfire (or a cauldron, whatever) for Halloween. Here’s what came of that idea…

august 29 2013 029

 

It looks like a place to do some sort of weird ritual.  We should invent one.  Any suggestions?  And here is an okra blossom!august 29 2013 015

And get a load of these three silly grasshoppers!

august 29 2013 005

Upclose they looked like they were smiling for the camera.

 

 

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