Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I think the world is being run by a lot of lost crazy people. Dictators threaten their neighbors with nuclear weapons with all the concern for the aftermath that people would have for a snowball fight. As a news junkie I am grateful for the power of nature to pull me away from harshness and volatility"out there" to a place of wonder, predictability, and mystery just outside my door. Three magnificent linden trees stand in front of our old house. I suppose they were planted when the house was built about 180 years ago. Every midsummer they burst out into yellow blossom and at the same time thousands of wild bees turn up from heaven knows where. As dependable as the sight of the canada geese soaring over the house in spring and fall, they bring the hope of continuity for this old world. Spring was very early this year and the trees have flowered 2 weeks ahead of usual but the bees knew and came at the right time. The yard hummmmms with a constant loud drone of their busyness. I can sit on the swing beneath the tree and feel as if I'm in a hive. I can feel that all is right with the world, at least this small part of it. Nature gets it right, and is a great teacher if only people would listen.
I have this quirky idea that aggressive and belligerant leaders, hyperactive wild kids, and sourpusses of all types would gain a whole new outlook if taken out of an environment of concrete, asphalt, steel and plastic and immersed in nature. They'd have to follow my instructions though..."Sit! Stay! Be quiet, Inhale deeply and Listen....."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

For Darrell

I often wonder why I do this. Every day people turn up here: "We wanna mini horse ride." "Sorry" goes the spiel, "We retired the horses from rides 3 seasons ago, they're getting old, and so am I. Disappointed looks. " But you can go in and pet them if you like. No theres no charge." Which requires supervision.... "Those 4 are fine but not that one, she doesnt like petting. Dont pull on his tail please...dont put your fingers in his mouth like that please. Please stop chasing the hens...would you mind shutting the pasture gate behind you?"
   So yesterday we put up the large CLOSED sign and went to the city for errands and the next batch of meat chicks. Arrived home to find a woman with toddler on hip standing in the pasture, her 5 year old sitting astride Casey, free as a bird 10 feet away.
    She got a lecture (restrained for the child's sake) on the meaning of "closed" , on liability issues, on the idiocy of placing a child on an unknown unrestrained horse, (thank God she picked Casey who is next thing to comatose) and the impropriety of her attitude of entitlement, at which point she rather huffily departed.
     A cup of tea was in the works to soothe my indignation, but I wasn't to have it , in rolled another car. Two middle aged sisters and the husband of one of them, Darrell by name. They worked together to get him situated in his wheelchair and one of them explained to me about his stroke. Darrell was highly excited. I whistled the horses over to the low gate where he could reach them and feed them carrots with his one working hand. Darrell appeared to be lit up by his own personal sunbeams. He grinned and cooed and poured out his love for those little horses, each one in turn and Chloe, the 3 year old returned it, licking his hand over and over for the longest time. Chicken Little wandered over and his delight was multiplied. We worked out a one armed chicken hold and Darrel posed for pictures between burying his nose in her soft feathers and expressing his immense gratitude.
    I felt humbled to be in the presence of such a flow of love and laughter from one with every right to bitterness, whose mobility and independance had been stolen away. I couldn't wait to give him a copy of my children's book, Nana's Chickens. It was like I gave him a million dollars when he recognised Chicken Little on the cover. The last image I have of him as they backed out of the driveway is his joyful face mouthing the words of the story as his one good hand turned the pages.
     I know now why I give chunks of my day away to strangers. I do it for Darrell, who gave back so much more in return.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ahhhh summertime!

I have never been in a kayak before. What a fun quiet happy way to enjoy the water and a lovely sunny day. We paddled under the covered bridges, had to duck under one as it was close to high tide at the time, and around the harbor where the lobster and scallop boats tie up.

Back to work with lots of weeding waiting for me. The first cauliflower and broccolis are ready. More salad greens seed goes in as the cauliflower plants come out.

Those cute little fuzzy meat chicks that
hatched on may 11 have turned into lumbering top heavy frankenbirds who live to eat and lie down. I call them the gorbies, which doesn't insult them at all, greedy things.
These three are the survivors (for a few more days) Their buddies are in the freezer. I butcher two at a time, first thing in the morning before any garden customers show up, altho I was caught the last time by some very curious people who wanted to watch. Kinda creepy. Sparing the reader the graphic details on this site, I would refer anyone interested in the process to the absolute best detailed copiously illustrated chicken  

butchering site ever : http://www.butcherachicken.blogspot.com/
Here are the latest two unnamed casualties on my kitchen counter, ready for their freezer bags. They are averaging about 4 and a half pounds dressed out. I will miss the others when they are all gone next week because they are the only birds we have that will eat the slugs I collect from the garden.
The new girl Lola is settling in with the flock. She is a pretty Buff Orpington, and a large size that none of the others will give any grief to. She got her name from her yellow feathers

(if you remember that dumb Barry Manilow song, "At the Co-pa, co-pa-ca-ba-na, and something about Lola with the yellow feathers in her hair and some mayhem that ensued...)
Well, anyway she appears to like her new digs in the Coopacabana.