Wednesday, January 07, 2009

First This, Then That

It is my absolute, honest to goodness intention to answer emails, reply to comments, make some phone calls, mail mice, clean the sewing room, finish quilts, write thank you cards and send them, and to sit in a meditative state of inner grace and prayerful mindfulness that will result in a happy outcome to our epic housing odyssey. Additionally, I will wash dishes, fold clothes, sort mail, supervise baths, and be 3 places at once when necessary. I sent my Mom the robotics' schedule, which she acknowledged is "totally constant and terribly demanding." It sure is. Don't expect to cross paths with us at any of our usual social gathering places or winter balls. And yes, Geoff is still in crunch mode, so yeah. Sigh. I do have good intentions though, so you know.

Last Spring when I brought home chicks, it was with conviction and certainty... I could keep chicks in our small yard, because we were surely on the brink of being in our own home. Soon. Maybe sooner, and for sure before Autumn. Definitely by the holidays. Absolutely before rain, Winter, the New Year. Did you know that our coop-henhouse is an Ikea picnic table? It's not like we weren't using it and I just decided to salvage it for chicken housing. But once I could see the little wire cage I was keeping the chicks in was not going to work much longer, I began to see our outdoor table in a different light. I painted it and Geoff helped me add wood and wrap it in wire. It's portable, and cute in blue with red details. With our vinyl table cloth it is mostly weather proof. I hung bells all over it, which twice have served to warn me when the possum came calling. And the girls, the chicas call it home. This morning Betty looked dear and snug sitting their nest box.

Hello Lady Betty Orpington.

It is with great pride and amusement that I announce: We have 3 hens! Last week Fantam began laying and this morning we had not 1, not 2, but 3 eggs in the nest box. Frida, a.k.a. Buttercup, joined her sisters and left her very first egg. And she was so sweet and actually allowed me to give her a pat and hold her for a sec, which is quite unlike her. Maybe by Summer we will have a proper hen house and garden for them to roam. Maybe they are happy enough beneath the picnic table, adored and cared for.

An anonymous commentator left this message: "I'm jealous - such a wonderful life, chicken pancakes and all."
And this morning I said to Geoff, "I think I must have the most boring blog in the world," which, in all honesty was a bit of sleep deprived whining. But I am aware of that strange space that exists between what is wholly real and daily and trying, and what I post about in my blog and I think that space exists for all bloggers. We want to share and we want to preserve and we want to report and sometimes rant, and many of us also want to emphasize the best of what crosses our path, the brightest moments, the highlights. I censor myself. I do not post about the chicken pancake pan that sat unwashed on the stove for a day and half, or the oven door that fell off in my hand. I hardly dare to say that 2 of the showers in our house are out of commission and that only 2 toilets work, sort of. You can use the guest one, but don't put anything in it. Such a wonderful life. Yes, it is a wonderful life, a messy, disappointing, embarrassing, chaotic, creative, exhausting, blessed, unpredictable, challenging, sad, happy, joyous, stressful, comfortable, wonderful life.

Last night I made a stuffed hippo dance and sing, like a puppet show. It was late and William was sitting alone at the computer, teaching himself how to use 3D Studio Max. The show was for him. I sang "I'm the hiphopopotamus, my lyrics are bottomless..." And we both knew what I was singing, the ridiculousness, the joke. And we were both laughing. And that's one of those moments that I want to remember forever... one of those wonderful life moments.

Thank you Brett and Carey for sharing those pictures of your hilarious Chook Wagon. May I post some of those here, on Chickenblog?

And Arthur, your picture of your Lola and Betty, was such a wonderful surprise. We have Lola and Betty chickens, and in Holland, Arthur and his wife have two precious Jack Russell Terriers named Lola and Betty. I would like to post their picture here too.

Oh dear. It's almost 7 p.m. I have a kitchen to clean. Max and Maria need baths. By 8:30 I should be picking Alex up from school. And is today Wednesday? I'd better ask William to take the trash and recycling to the street. Also, Martha Stewart sent me a last chance letter, so I need to decide whether or not to renew my subscription to Living magazine. I may pass... I love the first hour with the glossy, polished, staged publication, and then it sits in a corner taunting and mocking me and my wonderful life, and I feel so unMartha, so short of the ideal.


Laura Jane said...

Ah, the dreaded mocking subscription problem.

I too, sigh, live a dreamed of life, where all my quilts are finished, as if by fairies, and draping over the foot of a made bed. Through the photographer's lens we see glimpses of vacuumed carpet and polished floorboards beyond, leading to the pristine kitchen, cake cooling on the rack in the spotless kitchen that looks as if a wet, grotty cake mixing bowl has NEVER splattered the walls. Oh my.'re awake now.


Keep up the great (and endless job). Nice -and productive- chicas!

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Yes, the blogger censure visits my abode as well. There are never pictures of dirty dishes, piles of laundry, or messy desks. Of course life isn't perfectly tidy. LOL I don't often buy Martha Stewart's Living or the decorating magazines anymore. I've learned that I'm happiest with my home when I don't compare them to the glossy pages. :-)

Congrats on discovering that all three chicas are truly egg-layers! Yippee!!

judy in ky said...

Natalie, first of all your blog is never boring! You show fun pictures and describe a lively family life. I do know what you mean about the censoring. Sometimes I sit down and write a totally honest post about how messy, dirty, and depressing things are around here... but I always decide against posting it because I don't want to inflict it on any innocent readers who happen to be passing by.

tara said...

I think it says alot of good things when a simple picture of chicken pancakes makes people smile. Thanks for the pics.
Maybe we should all vow to post a picture of what life is "really like". Like Messy Kitchen Monday.

Mama Spark said...

Wow, I thought it was just my blog that lived in that state of discord between it and real life! Yes, we present what we want others to know and email our friends the rest!
I laughed when I read about you singing to William. Kelsey and I were sharing ear buds and watching a TV show on her computer, laughing and making comments and talking with Jack laying on a quilt between us on the couch. I thought then, "I miss these days and will this be the stuff she remembers when I'm gone?" Enjoy the silly times they go fast and then come and go in spurts.

warren said...

It's sort of wife is the picture police...she always makes sure I shoot pictures of stuff so that I don't get the mountain of life piled up behind my subjects.

You are neither boring nor alone!

happy zombie said...

Congrats on the new eggs! Made me chuckle, because when we had chickens I blogged our first egg. I love what you said about "We want to share and we want to preserve"... I feel that way too. Especially with my fleeting memory! I think about that strange space too... but if I filled my spaces it would say "it's noon, I'm still in my jammies and I'm unloading the dishwasher... It's 2pm, I really should get showered and dressed... went to Safeway and scored my favorite space...". You with your writing and photo gift... you could write that and I'd be hanging on to every word!

Em said...

I love your photos of your chicas... we've just moved ours into a different house, and when I get it all 'pretty' I"ll blog about it. How do you get such nice photos??? My chicas haven't startedl laying STILL... they're 21 weeks old now... and some are older... I wish they would lay some eggs! I'm having trouble blogging about things lately too... my life has been really boring lately. Clean the kitchen, sit in pjs all day otherwise and read... it's the weather - I hate cold/rainy winter weather in NC... I can't wait for it to warm up - then my blog posts will pick up I am sure!

judy in ky said...

Hey Natalie, guess what I saw in the parking lot of my local Kroger (grocery in KY) store today. There was a car with Bucky Badger on the back window. He looked exactly like yours that's made of cheese. I stopped to look and, sure enough, he had that big "W" on his red and white sweater!
The car had a KY plate, but there was also a bumper sticker that said "Cheeseheads, Packer Backers". I wouldn't have recognized it if I hadn't seen it on your post... what a co-inky-dink, huh?

judy in ky said...

See, there are cheeseheads in Kentucky, too. Small world.

Paul said...

See, here's the thing with Martha Stewart. I feel like I couldn't just pop over to her house, put my feet up in the kitchen, sing a hippo song and/or scritch a chicken in the back yard. I'll bet her house(s) all have disinfecting showers at every entrance, sock drawers full of matching socks, and plastic-wrapped,f ully working, never used, toilets. Ugh, and ugh. Your house breathes, baby. It has life. People LIVE there and are invited to PLAY there. Martha Stewart schmewart. Who went and made her the Queen Of Everyone's House? She's OK as long as she's being useful. After that, her magazine is pretty much only good for propping up the oven door. KnowhutImean?

Kelly said...

We too had chickens in the city, before we moved. NO roosters though, we had to keep it quiet so no one would report us. ;) We all have things that dont work, things that are left to wash in the sink, dirty clothes piled up, its just part of it all, dont let it get you down :) Hugs, Kelly

trisha too said...


If you had a staff of gazillions, you, too, could be Martha!

my dh and i started dating at 15, but the lady who watched us in the church nursery claims she knew he ALWAYS loved me . . .