Monday, July 26, 2010

Betty's Being Broody And Other Important News From Lloyd

When a hen is said to be broody, it means she's sitting on her eggs. Or, sometimes just sitting on an empty nest. Bless their little hen hearts, they can't fight their destiny and hormones and when it's time to sit on a nest, it's time to sit on a damn nest.
And so Miss Betty is. I don't think there's one egg underneath her but she's bravely sitting there in the dim heat of the hen house, patiently doing what God made chickens to do. Day in, day out.
Miss Betty is my favorite of all the hens because when she was young, our rooster Sam (who is now part of my very bones in that I ate him in a delicious dish of chicken and dumplings), used to peck at her head until she bled and I saved her life with golden seal and Neosporin. And oh yes, by asking Mr. Moon to kill Sam.
Which he did.
She wasn't broody last year but she sure is this year.
My friend K. sent me a book on raising chickens and I'm almost afraid to look at it. Every time I open it I learn something but what if I learn that I'm doing chickens all wrong? What if I get more information than I need?
Well. There can never be TMI, in my opinion, and I m going to read that book.
If I'm going to be a good chicken mama, I need to know what I'm doing although Mr. Moon and I have done pretty well so far with nothing more than our instincts and the internet and the advice of Kathleen who brought our chickens to us in the first place. She has two mama hens raising three peeps right now and I'll bet that's something to see.
"I Have Two Mothers," by The Three Little Chickens.
But still, there is something to be said for book learning.
Speaking of which, I got the results back from my homeschooling continuing education credits today and I did pass the Medical Errors course and also the course on Mindfulness Meditation and Psychology and I immediately went online and renewed my nursing license.
So there!
I am still a registered nurse in the state of Florida and although no one in their right mind would hire me as such, it's still a possibility, even if a mythical one, should the need arise.

To continue on in the book vein, Lily and I took Owen to Goodwill today to buy him some clothes because he's busting out of all of his and clothes at Goodwill are half price on Mondays from noon to eight. Lily found a few things while I toted Owen around trying to keep him happy. He was a little bit cranky but that's a man for you- unless you're shopping at Home Depot or Bass Pro World, they can't really be bothered.

Or, of course, the toy section of Target.

Anyway, after Lily found him some clothes, we checked out the children's book section and we both spent some money there. I found the Golden Books and that was about it for me. I have so many happy memories of my own Golden Books and of course my children's, too, and so I'm a sucker for a good copy of The Saggy Baggy Elephant or The Shy Little Kitten.

Don't even get me started on The Little Red Hen.
One of the very best things in the world about children is reading books to them. Owen likes books a lot and will look at them by himself and he likes to sit in my lap and let me show him the pictures of some books but his concentration time is fairly limited before he wants to start eating the book. I have great faith, though, that he will eventually learn to settle down and look at the pictures and listen to the stories.
He is, after all, my grandson.

I came home after our outing and Mr. Moon had already left to go to auction in Orlando and he actually has some car orders this week. He also has a tummy bug and I can't believe he got in a car and took off for a five-hour drive but that's Mr. Moon. He doesn't let something like a little old bout of the stomach flu slow him down. No sirree.
So the house was empty and I finished up the breakfast dishes, finally, and did the laundry and responded to comments (and if you don't come back and read my response to your comment then you are making Jesus cry- no, not really, but really? do you realize I mostly respond to your comments?) and watered the front porch plants

which is a Monday ritual for me. They are looking good, from the ferns to the coontie palm to the papyrus to the bird's nest fern to the philodendron to the whatever-the-hell I have growing out there. Begonias. Yes. Begonias. The babies of my plant world.
Eventually it will be cool enough for us to sit out there and enjoy the lushness.

I also headed a bunch of my phlox. About a month ago, Kathleen asked me if I'd ever done that. "No," I said. "I never even thought about it."
The phlox just bloom like crazy for awhile and then the blooms go away and that's it. But when she was coming over to spend the night a few weeks ago, I cut a few heads of the lovely purple flowers to put on her bedside table and this is what happened to the plants I cut them from:

Excuse me?
Do you see all of that new growth? Those are all going to be new bloom-heads. I think.
So tonight I went crazy and started cutting phlox blossoms and I brought them inside and put them in vases and here they are:

Or at least some of them.
Wow. Who knew? I get the joy of the flowers in my house AND new and continued blooming.
You learn something all the time.

So since I had my camera out I decided to try and take a few pictures of the banana spider on the side porch. This mama has gotten bigger than any spider I have ever personally seen. She is huge. She is the King Kong of Spiders.

The picture does not do her justice. Her abdomen is at least an inch thick. Babies will be showing up soon, I think. Mwa- I know you hate spiders but can you relate?
I think you can.

And then just to finish things off, I thought I'd give you this picture of a blooming phlox nestled up to a blooming Four-O'Clock. They are called that because they don't open until late afternoon.

This is just to illustrate the fact that no, even in nature some colors just do not go together.

So that's it. I have had an afternoon at home by myself with nothing that had to be done and so I have gone outside and checked out my flowers and watered my plants and done the things that keep me connected to my life. It's been a joy. Thank you for letting me share.
Thank-you for letting me be all broody and sitting on the eggs in my nest, which is really, when you think about it, what I am doing here tonight.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I'll go eat some pizza or maybe some hummus or maybe some left-over salad or hell, I don't know. But I am quite sure that I will eat some chocolate birthday cake and maybe, oh just maybe, some coffee ice cream.

Well. You can bet the ranch on that one if you want to know the truth.

It's my birthday week and I am celebrating in all the sweetest ways possible whether that means with Little Golden Books for my grandson or vases of flowers or chocolate cake or coffee ice cream or a call to a friend or sitting on my imaginary eggs.
My birthday will come and go and then the hurricane lilies will start to poke up overnight and Kathleen will start her treatments and her sister-friend Vicki will come to visit and it will be as hot as it is now and the phlox may re-bloom and we'll work on the play and Owen will walk with even more confidence and will begin to say more words and all of that will be the hatching of the eggs I am sitting on and have been sitting on for days and months and years and a lifetime.

There is something to be said for broody hens. They are protecting the very eggs from which life springs.

I guess I am one too. And am not ashamed to be one. And I am glad to have my sister-hens to help raise the babies which result. Because it takes a village to raise a child and it takes a lot of love to make a life.
Or to make a life worth living.

And thus, we sit on our nests.


  1. those blossoms are freaking awesome.

  2. dear mrs. moon,

    you gather my heart with your soft meanderings. i thank you for this...and so much more.

    true confession..i cannot see a hen or rooster without thinking of you.


  3. Maggie May- I would love to put them in your hair.
    And you DO have an egg in your nest.

    rebecca- Sweet love. I can't look at any of my Virgins without thinking of you. So there.

  4. I love your musings! Don't stop.
    But I must beg to differ with you.....there are no colors in nature that do not go together......the phlox and the 4 o'clocks work beautifully.

  5. Those colors TOTALLY go together.

    And now I'm craving chocolate cake and coffee ice cream.

    Your porch looks so yummy and tropical. It reminds me of Belize. My ferns are all dry and brown and lost their freeness. I think they get too much sun.

    If I deadhead my hydrangeas, I wonder if they'll rebloom later this summer. Hmmm....

    Read the chicken book but don't worry too much what it says. You feed your chickens, you protect your chickens from villainous snakes and other bullies, and you love them. And they thrive and do their chicken-thing.

    Just like kids. Don't worry too much about what the books say. My guess is you never did.

    And that's why love you


  6. My ferns lost their GREENESS


  7. Lo- You're right. They do. Because...they do. I am so happy when I see your words here. I hope you know that.

    Michelle- If the ferns lose their greenness they lose their freeness as well, right?
    And the book I paid the most attention to when I was raising my kids? Dr. Spock. I was able to diagnose everything from whooping cough to an inguinal hernia from that book and of course- always at two in the morning. When I was by myself. I love Dr. Spock.
    I have no idea about deadheading hydrangeas. Try it and let me know how it goes.
    We are always learning. All of us. Don't you think?
    Love you, dear.

  8. I never knew that about hens. Eating the rooster though made me cringe. I couldn't do that which is why I don't have animals that I can eat. Well, I guess technically I could eat dogs and cats but won't. Nope--not in my worst nightmares.

  9. I need to brood and nest too, Ms Moon. I have an update for you, and will write you in the morning.

    But its good. He's good.

  10. Syd- Well, I eat chicken and so why shouldn't I eat the chicken I raise occasionally? Especially when he was an evil rooster who tried to kill Miss Betty and pecked at me and would have pecked at Owen? Nope. He had to go.
    But I honor those who can't eat meat. I do.

    SJ- See? I told you. Patience. Yay!

  11. Happy Birthday dear Ms. Moon.

    It sounds like a wonderful day. I used to have a ton of those Little Golden books. I wish I still had them all.

    I'll have to try that trick with my phlox. That spider is incredible but I don't think I would like her spinning her web on my pouch...

  12. OMG! You mean I can deadhead my phlox and get more?! I never knew that either and I must own every gardening book ever written. Guess I'll have to start reading some of them :-) Thanks for the tip. I'll start decapitating tomorrow.

  13. one of our chickens was broody last summer in the midst of the highest temps that portland had seen in years. i was terrified she was going to die in the hen house of heatstroke but she came around. i lured her our with grapes and cucumbers :)
    goodwill is the best place to go for children's books! not only are the prices great but i always find books that i read as a kid and had completely forgotten about. win-win!
    "it takes a lot of love to make a life" - your words always amaze me, birthday mama.

  14. I'll cheer "It takes a lot of love to make a life" too. Yes.

  15. I always go read your responses to my responses :)

    Lord though, if I had that spider on my porch it would be like a waking nightmare. I don't know how you do it!

    Hmm. I was going to tell you my aunt joane's pet sider story, but I don't wantto encourage you.

    So... are there going to be baby chicks?

  16. I love golden books and children's books in general when they have good illustrations and are well written. You must have a great Goodwill.

    Dead heading and/or picking flowers to have inside is the road to more blooms, that and feeding plants, of course. Those four o'clocks are beautiful and I actually love them with the phlox.

    I always go back to look for your comments, they are the Ms Moon bonus =o). x0 N2

  17. I'll confess that I check to see if you've commented on my measley random comments before I read your new post. Whew. I feel better now.

    But your posts are what keep me coming back. They are so real, so relevant, so engaging. Again, thank you.

    And Happy Birthweek!

  18. 1. That view of your porch is really cool. It's like a long hallway!

    2. Sylvie has that exact Little Red Hen book, as did I when I was a child.

  19. I can't wait to get to housewatch Friday night, if y'all are still out there enjoying cooler weather. Jessie will have to update me on Bettie and her brooding.

  20. Mel's Way- Luckily, I rather like spiders. And love Little Golden Books.

    Jackie- Try it!

    notjustafemme- Well, when Carol goes broody, you can get her off the nest but she goes right back on. Sigh. These poor hens. The things they go through. And women in general.

    A- It is true.

    Jo- I don't want a pet spider, just the ones who make their homes in places that don't bother me.
    No, no baby chicks because honestly, I don't think there's an egg under her.

    N2- I am glad to know that people come back to read my responses. Makes me feel like I'm not totally wasting my time. Although I do enjoy responding so there is that.
    We actually have Goodwill bookstores.

    Jucie- Thank-you, darling.

    Lora- I do love the Little Red Hen.
    And my porches.

    DTG- I hope we are because that will mean we're having a good time.

  21. I bet y'all will. Again, I have to say that I hear nice things about Helen, GA.

  22. The Poky Little Puppy was always my kids' favorite and now my grandkids are loving it too!

  23. Love those Golden books! My favorite was The Tawny Scrawny Lion, but I also loved Nurse Nancy ~ she took care of a giraffe with a sore throat ~ now that's a tall order!

    Your phlox ~ WOW!

    Watering plants gets to be quite the chore ~ some of mine need it EVERY DAY ~ yikes ~ good thing I'm not working (at a "job", anyway).

    Love you, Ms. Moon, and love your answers to comments.

  24. I love a good rocking chair. My fat ass is ready to sit on your porch, woman!

  25. Little Golden Books are the best ever. I saved about 50 from my childhood collection and now they belong to my children. They love them. Our collection of books in general are nearing that of the public library, they may start sending kids HERE to check books out of our collection. AND we read every least one book, but generally something like 3-5 books per day.

    It's funny because Isabella's teacher sent home a reading log that something to the nature of 'read at least one book per day for at least 8 of the 10 days I gave you a log for'. She even only left enough lines for 8 days. It's already full.........She needs to up her expectations!

  26. DTG- I need to figure out where that is.

    Lois- It's a classic!

    Lulumarie- I can't remember Nurse Nancy but it sounds great. Dang. And my poor plants get watered once a week. Well, some of them more than that. And the outside ones have been getting enough rain so I've got it easy.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- And my porch will be ready when you get here.

    Rebecca- Sounds like it.

  27. I can relate indeed. All broody and full of baby.

    I am fascinated by spiders. Same with snakes. I think there's at least as much fascination as fear there. So I love it when you post pictures and stories about them. I let the spiders in my house live just because I find them fascinating. I visit with them and see what they do. But I would be scared to live where you do.

    Big kiss to you in your birthday week.

  28. love this post. pretty 4 o'clock color. I've never seen that exact shade. I've got broken colored ones this year, but they haven't bloomed yet.
    thanks for the phlox tip from k.
    i cut my huge pacific blue delphinium down to the base and it reblooms for me every year, delight.
    i love your porch and that slew of Golden books! Perfect.
    Thanks for the way you write and live and are.


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