Friday, September 19, 2008

The Real Pirates

The United States of America is a socialist country, and it wasn't a revolution that led us in to this uncapitalist era. Welcome to the biggest bailout season of all time, and be sure to thank these evil, dark lords of piracy and plundering. They are the villains of this new age, and we have them to thank for being swindled and cheated. They are the CEOs of the big banks, and mortgage companies, the ones we are saving from natural selection, by paying off all of their "bad debt." "Sub-prime crisis" and "bad debt" are the terms they toss around, so that it sounds as though this whole debacle is the fault of families with risky credit, instead of companies with ruthless and unethical lending practices. They say "We're all homeowners now," and it makes me want to retch. We played by the rules. We saved and waited and behaved responsibly, and now they tell us that we are going to rescue the institutions that send away their CEOs with "$7,000,000 for 3 months work..." or how about "$68,000,000 to Charles Prince, after a 57% drop in quarterly earnings just before he left Citicorp?"

I am too angry... it's painful. Isn't piracy a hanging offense?


I had to keep it real, which typically means being glaringly honest, but it's not fair to paint chickens as completely without redeeming qualities. My last remarks, about their less than glowing characteristics, was colored by having just cleaned out their coop. Er... Swabbing down the poop deck, as we pirates like to say. Gee, some things really do feel better when spoken in pirate!

The lady geek at "Farm Natters" reminded me that the chicas have much about them to love. Their feathers really do smell sweet, especially when they've been dozing in a fresh pile of clean straw. In the evening, when they're too mellow to be flighty, they are fun to sit with and hold. Their feet are surprisingly soft and very warm on the underside, their pads. And yes D.A., those fuzzy bottoms... I guess we were including that under the general heading of "funny." Ruffly, downey, ample chica b00ties are very dear. Bug eating= awesome. Dear Diane spotted another thing to love about the chicas: Their sleek feathers are pretty, and just under their feathers they are warm and downey. And thank you Chris, who is not "completely whacked," for pointing out to me that there is something spiritual about chickens and what they do for my soul. They have tiny heads and tiny thoughts and they do their best to get on with their silly day and it's a calming, amusing, endearing sight to witness. And we have to mention "dust baths." Dust baths is in the Top 5 of Reasons to Keep Chickens. A sigh of relief just naturally alters my state, even thinking of them. Unless, I've been swabbing the poop deck!

Now, don't forget: It's Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Ooh arggh, ye land lubbers, sail over to "Farm Natters" and watch the very important, yet dazzlingly entertaining, documentary about preventing scurvy reclaiming our rightful treasures keel-hauling the White House lawn, because food matters!

Now step in to the galley fer yer hardtack and ale... these "Cake Wrecks" be the height of hilarity, but I think the professional bakers responsible will be walkin' the plank.

Blast! The crew be stirring and I has to be setting the mainsail. We're short a man, since Chango the Pirate Cat, is recovering from an emergency procedure. Yesterday was a nail biting day. Seriously. Releasing my inner Buccaneer has been great fun, so I give ye fair warnin'... avast me hearties, I may be back for more!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

¿Qué Hay De Nuevo Huevo?

What's new? Not eggs. Not here. At least there's been no more crowing, so we are going on the assumption that the 3 chicas we have left are in fact girls and not chicos. But other than them being chicas, we are finding very little to credit them with.

They do not lay. They do not come when we call them. Sometimes they can't even figure the way out of their coop. They squabble. They poop. They cackle. They dirty their water and tear up the lawn. They ate the violas.

Fantam the Dark Bantam is in the foreground, and Buttercup, the Golden Wyandotte, well, I call her Frida. Nothing about her suggests "butter," so it seemed fitting to give her a new name.

Alex put it best when he said, "It's a good thing they are so funny."
It is 'a good thing they are so funny,' because these goofy, cute, fluffy, awkward, flighty birds are otherwise utterly nonsensical.

Lady Betty Orpington, Cotton-Headed Ninny-Muggins.
Why do I love them so?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Welcome News

Congratulations to Alison and Bill, and big brother Dominic,
on the birth of Marissa Rose.
She arrived on September 16th, weighing a healthy 7 lbs and 6 oz.

I'm an aunty! I'm an aunty! I'm an aunty! I'm an aunty!
Oh, yeah I've been an aunty for quite some time...

I'm an aunty x 8! I'm an aunty x 8! I'm an aunty x 8! I'm an aunty x 8! I'm an aunty x 8!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Maria Con Su Bisabuela

Maria and I spent the morning together with my grandmother, Abuela. She is Maria's great-grandmother, bisabuela, Antonia.
They drew pictures and played with Maria's bunny figures. Abuela made tortillas de harina.
Maria said, "Mommy, you should make tortillas like these." I should.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Reflections

Hey. Thank you. The sweet comments (and there are so many of them) about the little dream garden we planted have been such a treat. If you haven't decided to make one of your own, I highly recommend you give it a try. Or hopefully you already have a space where wonders never cease! Paul noticed that the post was labeled under "prayers" and "play," and he's right, they do go together. Play is such a creative and active act of faith, hope and love. Nikkipolani was wise to remind me that even small gardens need constant attention and even a willingness to to accept loss. Oh, be sure to read all the comments... everyone has such kind thoughts and good insights. We have been having fun and we've been enjoying the peacefulness that springs from that tiny space, and hearing from all of you has heightened my appreciation for what we have.

Right now I am taking calming breaths and trying to retain the happy, peaceful feelings. It's wonderful to reflect on all of the good and beautiful things, but I gotta tell ya, life is as hectic as ever and I still freak out a bit when I tally up all the things I am not addressing... how that list does grow! Maria and I are stealing time, everyday, to go on garden walks, visit playgrounds and do simple activities together. The boys are treasuring their time outside of school and making the most of their smarts and hard work while in school... they are doing very well, and making us prouder than ever. Geoff is preparing for crunch time, when his long hours get longer, and we will be missing him extra much. And errands, chores, meetings, correspondences, plans, hopes, aspirations, and ideals are juggled constantly. I know people who do it all better than me... I am in awe of those people. I feel like I am always behind, late, forgetful, out of the loop and playing catch-up.

I need one of those refrigerator magnets that say reassuring things like: "A Messy House is a Sign of Genius (creativity, intelligence, beauty, whatever.") Geoff bought one that says "A Clean House is a Sign of a Wasted Life." Either he's lost all hope, or he really appreciates me for everything else besides shiny surfaces. I can assure you we have no "Wasted Life" around here!

In a moment I will publish this post, then hustle over to the laundry room and pull out my uniform from the dryer, get Maria dressed and Max cleaned up. I am taking them to a birthday party. Afterwards, we'll get to the market and buy lunch foods and other staples. I need to go to the car wash, get gas and find new wiper blades. There are 1 or 30 papers, appointments, errands and don't forgets that I mustn't forget.

And I will do my best to do as many of the things I have to do, and I will not get to all of them. Sooner or later I will run smack into something really, really important that I have completely lost sight of and then... and then I can either cry, scream, evaporate and be blown away like dust or I can reflect on all the things I did right, and just sigh.

It's not that I want to embrace my mediocrity, but living with acceptance of my weaknesses is rather liberating, and it gives me the strength to stand up and try again. Reflecting on my successes, on the happy things that have transpired, feels good. Deep down good, like breathing in a forest, or coming to the surface from a long, deep swim.

I am already running late.

But I wanted to show you these big frogs, and pretty lily pads, and I wanted to thank you for reading Chickenblog and sharing your thoughts, for giving me happy things to reflect on.

Does anyone know what these are called? I think they are an alien species.

I think Maria draws cute kitties. I think I'd better get going...