Thursday, December 12, 2013

Earth Mother

So my chickens were getting eating by hawks. I know this, because I walked out and a baby hawk was sitting there dining on my smaller chicken without even the decency to email me first. Many hand scratches and bloody knuckles later, Nathan and I built the little outdoor area that's screened in with a little chicken door to the chicken house so the chickens can go in and out at their leisure. (pronounced LEZ shur.) This is great except that there are 10 chickens in an enclosure that fits 4 chickens. It's like Hong Kong in there. So I let the bigger chickens out and leave the littler ones in, since the littler ones are the only ones the hawk can catch and eat. You're on your own, big guys. But now the problem is the big chickens still have to lay their eggs. So they go back to the chicken door and are literally BEGGING me to open it. Hurling themselves against it. Even though I put laying boxes out front, in front of the door, they think those boxes are crap, they want the INDOOR boxes. So I open the door, the chickens bust in past me (and the little ones bust out, yay, we're free) and the big ones run into the one laying box they like. They only like the ONE box. They stand in LINE for the cool metal box that has the best I don't know what, whatever it is, the grooviness of it, they LIKE that one. The big fat red hen is in CHARGE, so she gets the nest first. The prettiest hen I have, a blue grey one that lays a green egg, is standing next to the box, clucking "hurry up, fatty," to the red hen. Red hen is picking at straw, taking her time, settled in like a VW bug in a cozy parking spot. The blue hen finally can't take it anymore and just busts into the nesting box on top of her while the red hen squaks at her, blue hen pops out her egg and jumps back out, done. She is the fastest egg deliverer on the line. I like her style. Get in, get it over with, get back out to eating bugs. For a few days I couldn't handle the door patrol - just left the door open and hoped the hawk was eating someone else's chickens, or maybe picking up small dogs for a snack - this made all the chickens happy. But today I've blocked the little guys into the covered outdoor enclosure and left the indoor shed open so the laying hens can have full laying access. Segregation, yes - but only to preserve chicken lives. As you can see, I spend a great deal of time studying barnyard animals. I was out at a park today and saw two guys sprawled out on the grass in December, soaking up the sun like starfish. I could almost see the curve of the Earth under them, as we spin around. I was thinking we're not much different than the chickens, really. They go out to find a nice spot in the sun, toss themselves down, cover themselves with dirt, and bask. I enjoy the way nature organizes things, her hand in all of our activities, whether we know it or not. We can't escape being made of the earth and doing the same things as a chicken. We all seek a little space, and the sun. Comforting, really. Watching the animals stops me from running for a second, quiets everything down, kids get a break from me and I get a break from them, and can just watch and listen and remember I'm from Earth.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off

This blogpost should go in my Momish blog, but here I am so it's going here for now. I have had to get back on the horse, as they say, and it's been two months of hell. It was already a year of riding with nerves, because of riding a young horse and me being an old mom, but then after falling and breaking a finger, and having hand surgery and meeting lots of prisoners getting their casts off at county right alongside me, and then getting back on the horse -- what the hell am I doing? Feeling sick every time. But when you ride, you just ride. You can't stop yourself from riding. I have and do look continually for an older, boring, family safe horse, and I will breathe a sigh of relief when I find one. But Dewey is a good horse. He is a young guy. He is the one who is here. So I will keep riding him, and being as safe as I can about it, until he's not so young anymore. And then, somehow, we'll be perfect for each other.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Bee Ball

In April, I saw a ball of bees hanging from my tree. Wow, an actual BALL of live nature. Scary, clumpy nature, with stingers. I called the bee guy. “Hey, do I have to kill these guys?” Tony the Bee Guy casually says “If you see a ball of bees with no nest, they’re just hanging out and waiting to find their new home. Wait 24 hours and they’ll move on. It’ll save you $150 dollars.” The cost of bee ball removal. I thought, don’t kill the bees, jeez, if they can go live somewhere else, like in my neighbor’s yard. Besides, $150 dollars, that buys a lot of MnMs. Dead bees or MnMs. Hmm. A day later, the bees are gone. Wow, Tony is a genius. What if they moved into the garage or a tree nearby, though, the dark thought in the back of my mind. But I didn’t see any swarming. I thought, wow, they took off for Palm Springs. I saved bees. Four months later. We’re putting Nathan to sleep and he stands on his bed to shut his window and says “HEY! Look, HONEY!!” His wall is dripping honey. There is a giant pool of honey on his windowsill. The bees moved on allright. Right into the house. $550 dollars later, Bob and Gus remove the forty pound honeycomb from our attic. Could’ve been worse, they say. How? They could have stolen our car?? Tony is no longer working at the company. Next time I see a bee ball, watch out. Those bees are going down.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Dewey my Friend

I need another blog, all about anxiety, I think. I went on a trail ride with Dewey today, and the girl from the arena (the 47 year old girl) that we ride with. She has a white horse that Dewey likes, in fact, I spend the whole trail ride looking at the white horse's butt as we follow. Why does it have to take time to not be anxious? This is only our second trail ride down this insanely curvy, foresty, up and down riverbeds, duck under and around trees videogame type ride. The first time I was just trying to live through it, not knowing how 4 year old baby horse Dewey would do (dew). This time I got to relax a teeny bit and know we'd make it through. And this time was so much fun, cause I knew when to duck, and how long it'd take to get home, and -- I guess what I love the most about riding with another person and feeling safe is that my age falls away and I get to just be that girl on that horse. We get to just be out riding and enjoying the beautiful day, and the rushing water and the horses navigating the creekbed with freezing water rushing over their feet, and the hawk in the tree and the leaves scattered on the ground. I get to be away, and as I get to know Dewey better, and we experience more, I get confidence in our partnership. Is this the way it is with everything?
I got to carry that beauty all day with me. The excitement of trying new things, the vibrant green grass, the water, and the trusty clip clop of Dewey my quiet friend.