Tuesday, September 27, 2011


There is something just so damn comforting about my morning dealings with my chickens. First I let them out of the hen house and into the coop where they run to sip water and eat their feed and scratch around in the dirt and then, a while later, I go back out and let them out into the world and throw their corn scratch on the ground and look in the nest to see if there are any eggs yet. Some hens are early-morning layers, some wait until later in the day.
This morning I found four eggs. Not from today but from yesterday because when we got home last night, they were already on their roosts and we did not disturb them but just shut the doors against predators and let them sleep.
My chickens.
"Good morning, my lovelies," I say as I let them out. "Good morning."
They bawk and talk about the day, the nice corn scratch, the bread I have crumbled up for them to eat. Eventually they race to the cat food dish to see if there are any Friskies there. They love cat food. The cat knows to get the food when it's offered and eat it quickly. She won't get any more until evening when the chickens are shut up again.

I have a cold. This is most unusual. All night I kept waking up, knowing that I was getting sick. I do not feel so bad, just stopped up and a bit achy. And there is so much to do today.

All of the girls and I want to go get pedicures to celebrate Lily's birthday. And Mother has a doctor's appointment I need to take her to. And there's the rest of the birthday dinner to fix. Lily wants her favorite meal- chicken flautas- which I make for her once a year and they are incredibly delicious and have cream cheese in them and also they are fried and so this is not a thing I usually make but for a birthday, I will gladly do so. A friend from way, way, WAY back in the day gave me the recipe and I always think of her when I make them.
She was a tiny woman, her name was Cindy, and I helped her at a home birth where she delivered a fine boy with no muss and no fuss up in her loft. We took belly dancing together and she had a wild mane of black hair.
I wonder if I would even remember her if I didn't use her recipe every now and then.

Well, it's time to get ready to go to town. The chickens are pecking around the yard, Elvis is announcing the day, our neighbor just came over and borrowed some eggs. Well, I gave them to him. There is no borrowing of eggs around this joint. I took two dozen into town last night for Hank and May. Eight hens and I get about six eggs a day right now. Plenty for all.

Plenty for all.

It's a birthday day. It's a beautiful day. I am going to move slowly through it and be comforted with ritual, with the grace of being with my daughters, with the joy of being with the family tonight again, eating familiar party food, celebrating the mundane, the miraculous, the center of my universe.

I have a cold but honestly, I feel fine. And the chickens are running with glee through the yard.


  1. It does sound like a fine day. Your sunshine is streaming right into my room, actually, so I thank you!

  2. When I have a baby, i want you to be there.

  3. There is much to be said for ritual and structure. I think our daily rituals give us meaning and a sense of belonging to a place and time.
    It took me sooooooooo very long to learn that.
    Have a great birthday day!

  4. I have a cold too. It is a little one but explains why I was so tired over the weekend. Incubating a virus--oh well. Enjoy the evening. Getting the feet done is fun--I totally agree.

  5. Elizabeth- It really is a very nice day.

    SJ- One never knows...
    How ARE you?

    Stephanie- She WAS! I hope she still is.

    Towanda- I agree.

    Syd- Yep, if this is as bad as this cold gets, I'm not going to complain.

  6. Sorry you are sick, love. I hope Lily had a wonderful birthday.

    I love you!


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