Saturday, April 7, 2018

Chickens And Grandbabies And Memories, Too

I am simply not breaking any new ground here lately. Not in my life, not on the blog. And you know, that's okay. A large part of the reason I write here and post pictures is so that my children and my grandchildren will have a record of some of the things that we and they have done and how everyone looked, month-by-month and year-by-year and as such, I do recognize great value in blessourhearts, even if what I do here is not exactly literary.
Or, at all.
And there is also satisfaction in knowing that some of the things I write about do touch other people in some ways, whether I am writing about depression or anxiety or childhood sexual abuse or politics or religion or chickens or the garden or cats who bite that we love anyway or cooking or eating or...
You know.
From the ethereal to the mundane and a lot of the stuff in between.
Today was fairly mundane but it had charm, as well. I was planting a rose that Ellen Abbott sent me just as it was beginning to sprinkle, tucking it into dirt with a little bit of chicken shit buried deep beneath the roots so as not to burn them and placing hay around it as mulch when I heard a car pull up and then saw August running towards the house, his little arms still as he ran, the way he does and my heart did burst a little.
I called to him and he changed course and as always was full of questions about what I was doing and why I was doing it and on and on and when I'd finished we went to look for eggs and found three and carried them into the house where I showed Jessie and August the four new chicks.
"Do you want to go get more chicks?" I asked him.
"Yes!" he said and so I changed clothes and we and his mama and his brother all drove to Monticello in the now-falling rain where we had lunch and then went and bought chicks at the Tractor Supply. Vergil has agreed that building a coop and a run would be a splendid thing to do and so I am going to raise a few babies for them while they get things ready.

I love the Tractor Supply. They have EVERYTHING and they are so nice. We looked at all of the different varieties and it's so hard to pick out a reasonable number of the peeps. They did have one breed that I refused to even consider which is the Turken. I have NEVER heard of this bird but yes, they are a real breed of chickens and feel free to google them. Somehow, a naked necked chicken (which is basically what they are) is just WRONG to me but I am sure that's merely a prejudiced judgement and they are probably lovely birds.
Anyway, we decided on two Plymouth barred rocks, two Buff Orpingtons, two Rhode Island reds, and two Dixie Rainbows, which I had also never heard of. And they shall always be called Dixie Chicks, of course.


Here is August, concentrating so hard on holding the two Buff Orpingtons safely that he had to stick his tongue out. We also bought some chicken probiotics (helps to prevent paste-butt and yes, that's a real thing) and chicken electrolytes and another little feeder and we brought everything home to Mer's and took the babies out of their boxes and set them into the old Pack'n'Play with the other chicks. 


I was a little concerned about putting the new babies in with the older chicks I got yesterday because they are so much bigger but everyone seemed cool with the arrangement and August wanted me to pick up each one so that he could pet them on their heads. He did not, however, want to hold any of them. His mama did though.


There are few things as light and as soft as a young chick. Holding one is like holding condensed air. Soft, condensed air which often has a loud cheep. 

After we were certain that all was well and I had covered the sides of the baby bed with old tablecloths because the little ones need to keep warm and it is going to get chilly tonight, we let Levon show off his crawling skills. 


He's gettin' there, folks. And also? He is sitting up by himself. Still not five months old yet. When you hold him, he tries to climb you. "You need to get this kid a baby rock gym," I told Jessie. He is such a merry little lad, so quick to smile and laugh. 

And I do believe that on Wednesday, Jessie and I are going to drive back to Crawfordville to see if we can buy some Americaunas as that is when I was told they were getting a new shipment of them. 
Good Lord, but what a crazy assortment of chickens we are going to have. From the possible Jungle Fowl birds I bought yesterday to the very decorous and domestic Barred Rocks, it's going to be a United Nations of Poultry. 
I hope. 
As I said to Jessie today, "It's not just 'don't count your chickens until they've hatched.' It's 'don't count your chickens until they've hatched, grown up to be hens, started laying eggs and survived for a few years.'" 
As we all know by now. 

And all of this has added up to a very fine day but something else happened that has amazed me. 
I really want to write about it now but I want it to have its own post, although most of it will be pictures and a link to a ten year's past post I wrote. 

Let me just say that it has me time tripping and remembering things I had maybe not entirely forgotten but it's definitely sharpened the lens of my memory. 

I'll sit down tomorrow morning and write about it. It won't be as earthshaking to anyone as it is to me but it is definitely part of my history, as well as Tallahassee history. 
Here's a teaser. 


The rain has cleared. My gift rose has been planted and I like to think that it is stretching its Texas roots out into the Florida dirt to see what that might taste like. The corn and cucumbers are coming up. There are twelve baby chickens in my bathroom. They eat, they poop, they sleep. The birds are singing the world to sleep with their end-of-day songs. And despite all of this goodness, I am filled with a sort of melancholy but it is a melancholy which will not kill me nor has it robbed me of all feeling or color or sense of light. 

I could never say it better than this. 



Much love...Ms. Moon

27 comments:

  1. I visit your blog precisely for the Florida (which formerly I knew almost nothing about) version of a certain quotidian collection I'd once imagined would be elements of my own life, and though that was not to be, it still calms my soul to read your descriptions.

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    1. Life is indeed what happens when we're busy making other plans, isn't it? I'm glad you come here. I really am.

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  2. I love coming here, every day, and reading exactly what you feel moved to write, and I am always charmed, or thought provoked, and filled with love by the time I leave, always. As I too love the photos of your family, watching them grow, smiling at the things they say, imagining little August running with his arms still, you have no idea how rich this space is, but I promise you, it is, it is.

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    1. Thank you, my dear sweet sister. You have no idea how much that means to me.

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  3. I know you know this, but I love my daily visit to this blog in a way I won't even try to explain. But I know others will know what I mean. You enrich so many lives with your writing - both what you say and how you say it. And on a less "serious" note I am THRILLED to have baby chicks happening here.

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    1. I am so happy to let everyone enjoy the raising and keeping of chickens vicariously. All the fun and none of the poop!
      Ah, chicken poop isn't that bad. Or maybe I just have a high tolerance for it. Thank you for what you said. You have so often lifted me when I feel low about my writing.

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  4. Your writing has got me through some ver dark and difficult times, Mary. I know you know and yet you are still able to go on... living. It gives me hope. It makes me feel less alone. And at the end of our lives, isn’t that the point of it all?

    And now, name those chicks!

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    1. Same here with you, Birdie. Just knowing that you are there and you understand and you keep on with it all gives me hope too. And a kick in the butt sometimes when I need it.
      So- what do you think I should name some of these chicks?

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  5. you've helped this eliza doolittle become a regular lady.

    well, at least you've influenced me to be an awesome teacher and wife <3

    xxalainaxx

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    1. You know what? That is one of the most precious things that anyone has ever said to me. I thank you with all of my heart.

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  6. Every so called "mundane" part of your day and your life are such a pleasure to read about. I always come here first, it's like comfort food to me. ❤

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  7. I know what you mean about not covering new ground. seems I just post about the same things over and over. told all my stories years ago.

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    1. Oh, Ellen. I have a feeling that you and I both have many, many more stories. We just keep a lot of them to ourselves.

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  8. I enjoy my daily dose of chickens and grandbabies and gardening. It's like petting a dog, it just makes me feel better if that makes any sense:)

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    1. It does make sense and I appreciate that!

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  9. Re: the blog content - when people are friends with each other, this is mostly how it goes. How are ya feeling, what didja do today, look I bought a thing... it's so nice.

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    1. Jo- that is it exactly! I love that. "How are ya feeling, what didja do today, look I bought a thing..."

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  10. It's like visiting Florida for me - the land of plants and flowers. And I love the chickens. There is a house on the bike trail we ride, we hear more than one rooster there, I always wonder how the neighbors feel about that.

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    1. Hopefully they find it comforting. Who knows? I'm glad I live in Lloyd where I'm not the only one with roosters.

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  11. I'm behind on blog reading, so this is a happy binge of sorts, catching up with you and yours and of course chickens! And if this isn't literary, I don't know what is. I love coming here to feel more human and connect a little with good people so thanks and keep on keeping on, please. xo

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    1. Mel. You sweet friend. Thank you. We have the BEST people here, don't we?

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  12. Wow, you are going to have a HORDE of chickens!

    I disagree that you're "not breaking new ground" -- I think each post breaks new ground to some small degree. I feel the same way about my own blog, usually. It's just a matter of appreciating the minute changes and advances in daily life. The small things. And yes, it makes a fantastic and valuable record.

    Did Ellen send you that red rose you were looking for -- the one you saw growing on your walk?

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    1. It's not the same sort of rose, but another red one. I can't wait to see it (hopefully!) grow and bloom!
      And then I will blog about it because it will be new.
      Ha!

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    2. And oh- really I only have eight new chicks because Jessie is taking four of the babies. And you know how chickens go missing around here...

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Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.