Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, March 19, 2012

More chickens, spring and maybe being a better person

Two weeks ago I picked up more baby chicks.  Why? Because they were at the feed store and the peeping is like the song of a siren to me.  I am drawn to the sweet peep, peep, peep, the warm light and the smell of grain from the peep food.  But really, who does not love babies?   I love puppies and kittens and baby chickens and well, babies of all kinds.  New sweet fresh spirits filled with all the possibilities of a life time. 

I am finding as I have gotten older that babies wear me out.  There is so much care and energy needed to take that delicate fragile life and help it to live and strive and grow.  Then to teach each baby the ways of their world.  How to be gentle and loving, playful and watchful when they become dogs.  Or how not to climb the ladder to watch the birds eat at the feeders for a cat.  How to live together amicably, if not lovingly when you mix different types of animals.  And for chickens, to become a flock, to come when you call, "Here chick, chick, chickens!"  To scratch and take dirt baths, to roost in the coop at night, to be happy and healthy grown chickens. 

Ednarose has worn off a lot of the love for babies.  That is why I got baby chicks.  Because puppies are so much work, for years.  And sometimes when you think you got a lab, you find out you got a lab mix, and what that mix is will never, ever be known, but you will have to figure out how to teach it to teach you, so that you can each understand what is going on.  Peeps, are still a lot of work, and one in particular, shall we call her Daisy? Is turning out to be an excellent instructor.  Oh yes, she is.

I came home from rehearsal on Saturday and as is my custom I went directly to the guest bath to check on my seven little balls of fluff.  When I walked into the bathroom the toilet paper had been unwound from the roll and was spread throughout the bathroom.  There were little drops of poop everywhere, but no chicken.  Then I heard the splash and looked into the toilet.  There was a drenched, very unhappy Daisy, standing in the water looking cold and pitiful.  I slipped my hand around her and lifted her up into a towel where I rubbed her vigorously, but gently to try and bring warmth back to her appendages and to dry all the down which was plastered to her bony young body.  She taught me well, I make sure the seat is down on the toilet now.  No more indoor swimming pools in the baby chicken area!  This morning when I finally pulled myself out of bed around 8, I checked on the babies first and sure enough as I walked closer to the bathroom I could hear one of them screaming louder then all the others.  The others had a nervous peep, this one was screaming. 

Yep, it was Daisy.  She was out of the tub again.  So I picked her up, hugged her to my face and whispered sweet admonishes to her, then gently placed her back with her sisters.  I am sticking with the flower theme again this year.  So I have Hyacinth, a sort of bluish Aracunda, Iris, her more yellowish sister, then Daisy, Marigold, Chrysanthemum, Dewdrop and  Cosmos.  They are all various shades of yellow and gold.   Daisy is the easiest to pick out in that she is the lightest yellow of them all.  And the one that consistently tests my ability to learn.  Sometimes those are the ones that turn out to be roosters.  Hopefully these are all hens.  The goldish color ones are all golden sex link, a combination of Rhode Island Red and Rhode Island White.  A very pretty chicken that is supposed to be an excellent egg layer.  What do I need with more eggs?  I don't have the need for more eggs.  No, I do not.  I have 8 hens and one rooster now.  I really did not need anymore chickens.  But it is spring and they were peeping and now they are mine.  And I have grown attached to them so quickly.  They are all strong, healthy looking peeps, and they have grown rapidly.  Today they will go out into a cage inside the second coop.  They will stay in the cage until they have doubled in size and then I will let them run free in the second coop until they are the same size as the chickens I have now.  Then we will go through the process of merging the two flocks under their one rooster, John C. Bennett. 

John C is a wonderful rooster.  He is big and beautiful and very good to his hens.  I have never seen him, um, well, you know, mount any of the hens yet.  None of the girls have the loss of feathers on their backs like is common when a rooster takes a particular liking to one of the hens.  I have recently begun to notice what I normally see in a fertilized eggs, but as Ms Moon has reminded me, the lack of that spot does not mean that they have not been fertilized.  John C calls the girls over when food is put out for them.  He makes sure that everyone gets some before he eats his share.  I did see him yesterday do the pre-dance with one of the hens.  The only one that has any loss of feathers on her back.  I have no plans to incubate and hatch any chickens.  I do admire the Moon's for doing it.  Especially so that Owen can see the entire cycle of chickens.  He feeds his Mermer and Pop's chickens and he collects eggs.  Now he will get to see baby peeps born.  This on top of getting a new baby brother or sister, soon.  He will be able to help Mermer name the new babies.  It will be interesting to hear the names that pop out of a 2 year old's head. 

It always makes me laugh when people who come to my house are confused when the rooster crows all day long.  He crows when he is happy.  He crows when he can not see all of his hens.  He crows for danger, for food, for eggs laid.  As far as I know he might crow when he is telling a joke, or if one of the hens just told him something funny.  I do not know.  I just know that from the moment there is any light in a roosters world it seems important for him to make announcements in his loudest cock-a-doodle-doo.  I have heard many roosters all make sweet sharing noises to his girls also.  "Here is something good for you," he may gurgle to them.  Deep throaty noises that thrills a hens heart. 

What, really?  Too much chicken information?  Really?  Can there be too much chicken information?  Oh all right.  Enough on the chickens.  But after all tomorrow is spring.  Today is the last day of winter.  As nice as it will be to move past the spring equinox, I usually celebrate spring, not tomorrow, but on May Day, my favorite day of the entire year!

Here is some information I found on the web about spring on the site:

Celtic Druid’s Spring EquinoxEquinox means "equal night" and this happens because the sun is positioned above the equator and at this time of the year - day and night are about equal in length all over the world. The Spring Equinox is sometimes referred to as the Vernal Equinox – vernal means spring so together the Vernal Equinox means “Spring Equal Night and Day”. This is the start of the Astrological year when the Sun enters 0* of the Sign of the Ram (Aries). The famous Egyptian priests built their Great Sphinx to point directly toward the rising Sun on this day every year.

The Spring Equinox is also called: Alban Eilir, Eostar, Eostre, Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Festival of Trees, Lady Day, NawRuz, No Ruz, Ostara, Ostra, Rites of Spring. To Celtic Druids it is the time when day and night are equal in length and this happens when the Sun is at 0* of Aries and again in the Autumn when the Sun is at 0* of Libra.

and from:
The first day of spring is also known as the Vernal Equinox. Alban Eiler, which means, "Light of the Earth," is one of the two days that night and day stand equal. The equinoxes and solstices were holy times of transition for the ancient Celts, a celebration of the miraculous balance of nature and life cycles of renewal.

Ah, see that is part of the problem with the web, is that since every one's opinion is included and the information is not always consistent, but it is always interesting.

Finally, maybe it is time to be a better person.  For the last several years I have tried to be a good person, but at times I have been very difficult, petulant, bitchy, unpleasant.  I have used the excuse that I have lung cancer.  That I should somehow be given a pass on my bad behavior.  Why? Doesn't everyone have some excuse for bad behavior?  Maybe it is stress from money issues, or your boss yelled at you, or you have bitten off more then you can chew and feel overwhelmed.  Pretty much we can blame stress for most everything.  After all we are a nation of Xanax, check the news, it is the story of the moment.  And I am one of those people now also.  I am not on Xanax, but on another type of crazy meds, and it has helped.....a lot.  A real lot.  It has given my life back to me.  I talked to the nurse about the fact that I do not understand why people would take these drugs  for recreation.  She explained to me that if you do not need it, you do get a high or a buzz.  But if you need it, you just feel, well, sane.  And that is me.  I  feel more sane.

And with this new found sanity, I am thinking it is time to get over the cancer.  I don't mean stop having cancer.  I don't think that is an option.  Or even a good idea.  I have learned so much having been given this disease.  But I think it is time to stop wearing it like a security blanket.  To quit wrapping it around my inappropriate behavior.  To quit using it as an excuse not to do things.  And maybe more important for my personality type, to quit trying to do everything as an excuse that I only have so much time left.  I am not saying that anyone will notice the change, but maybe I will.  Maybe I can move past this.  I think part of this is from the crazy meds.  But part of it is coming to terms with the amazing Dr. M leaving.  You may remember the news of his impending departure threw me into a tizzy of childish pity party behavior.  But now as I think about it a little further, I realize this is very freeing.  Since making the amazing Dr. M's acquaintance I have used it as an excuse to stay here.  To not move or leave.  I needed to be here because he was here.  But now, why can't I find a new doctor.  Find a new place to go.  Can I really leave here?

But what about my beloved ones?  Mr and Ms Moon and family, Judy, Denise, Jack and Jan, Carolyn, Ron and Pat, Marcy and Fred, the rest of The Opera House family, the Garden Circle ladies, The Art League people and all of my dearest friends here?  What about my dearest friends in Tallahassee?  Bob and I have been friends for more then 25 years!  No, I do not think at this point I am ready to pack up the zoo and head out with my suitcases.  I love where I live.  I love Labrun.  But it is also refreshing to be in a place where I could move if I wanted.  And between that epiphany and the crazy meds I realize that it is time to get back to just living again.  Stop being a "victim" of cancer and start just being a regular sort of person again.  A regular sort of person who takes chemo and crazy meds.  According to the new reports in the media, I am more "normal" then I would have thought.  Yep, I am one of a growing majority who needs drugs to deal with life.  I would say everyday life, but I know that is not true.  And here I am back giving myself an excuse to take drugs.  I have cancer.  The cancer causes its own anxiety and stress in the body.  Then when you add in chemo which also affects my brain and mind, I need to take crazy meds to stop the anxiety, the obsession, the insanity.  But since these drugs deal with the problems, it is time to move on.

I need to move the baby chicks.  They have feathers and little tails and the beginning of flight wings.  They are ready to go out.  But the last few weeks, which I have down played how much I have been going as I started realizing how crazy it is to go as hard as I have gone over the edge of busy.  But instead of doing all the things that need to be done, I think I will whiten my teeth, it is amazing how off colored normal looking teeth look like when you have on white face.  Anyway, a nap.  I think I need to take a nap.  And I need to rehearse.  But first, some lunch, now that I have intelligently used this glorious morning by phone calls with friends, time with the animals, time spent sitting on my front porch soaking in the warm glorious spring air and sunshine. 

We had 2 good run through of the play yesterday.  Okay.  I had one good run through.  I fell off the stage, no not the big one, just the one that is about 12 - 18 inches off the main stage.  I did not hurt myself, but I jarred my brain and lost my way.  We are close.  Oh, so very close to being ready to open.  I have also been asked to assist a couple of the actors with their makeup.  And hopefully I will be able to shift over to the larger task of makeup for the murder mystery, while Judy directs.  I love the creativity of makeup and masks.  I am ready. 

Now to nap.
oh, first lunch. 
shoot, I almost forgot
more later.

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