It’s the little things in life

Today I had a friend over, a new friend actually!  She is one of my egg customers.  Usually, I bring her eggs to her where she works, but this week she asked if she couldn’t come get them from me here and “…save me the trouble.”

My first reaction was to say no.  This is principally because I’m just not a good housekeeper.  Now my friend Jayme is an absolutely immaculate housekeeper.  She stresses about it and admits it freely!  Me?  Not so much.  It is not for lack of wanting a clean house, but it just seems that no matter how I try I just never get it all done.  That is of course unless company is coming!  Then I race about cleaning everything till it sparkles and make sure all is tidy and put away.  My guests arrive and always say how lovely everything is and I smile, and I’m stressed, wondering what horrid thing I may have forgotten to take care of…  I think I would actually die of mortification should someone find out what a slob I can really be.  Generally speaking I do not have a good time when friends come over because I stress too much.

Well, that was then, and this is now.  Now I live in the sticks, more or less, and I have this constant dust that seems to creep into every nook and cranny no matter how hard I try to keep it out.  My poor couch after traveling nearly three thousand miles cross-country has a rather large smudge on one arm that would not come out, not completely anyway.   Adding insult to injury it has been rather over loved by my then kitten Clause, who bared the corners by using it as a scratching post when no one was looking…  I cannot afford a new couch at the moment, so I am currently looking for something to cover it with, to make do, until it can be replaced.

And so it was that today I dusted and vacuumed the living room, made sure the guest bath (which is vintage early 60’s in decor and looks it) was clean and sanitized for visitors.   The rust stains in the sink remain, the two tiles I replaced with the mysterious, ever dirty looking caulking were cleaned and will return over the next few days to their ugly and dirty looking  patina, but hey, I made the effort!

And then Marie arrived bearing unexpected gifts!

She brought lovely flowers and a pumpkin spice loaf, and I was surprised that she would go to the trouble to do this,  for me.   We talked quite awhile over coffee about everything, and then we went out so she could meet the menagerie of the Farmlet.  I introduced her to my geese, pointed out my hennies in the field and then showed her the inner world of my beehive (via the safety of the window on the side, because she’s afraid of bees!) and then we went to see the little broody hen and looked into her nest …

And there was a broken egg, and just for a moment I was upset, but then I realized we’d arrived at a birth!  The egg was hatching!  That was a special gift for me and her.  I can’t tell you who was the more excited to see such a thing.  Peeking through the little hole we could see the baby chick moving and struggling to free itself, to be out and into the world at large.

Later, after Marie left, I went out with my camera to take pictures and found my new baby had made its arrival.  It was still wet under Momma Hen!

Isn’t it darling?

So, over the next few days I’ll watch and wait to see how many more will hatch!

Now just a moment ago I read a comment from Cindy, a long distance friend who commented on my blog today.  She shared:

“I think you live in a dreamworld.  Thank you for sharing it.”

And I tell you all that I share the little things in my life with you because I must.  Somehow, I feel that not sharing would make my life  a parallel to this age old philosophical question:

If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Thus similarly…

If all the wonder and beauty that surrounds me is kept to myself and never shared… does it exist?

It’s the little things in the life I lead, the lessons learned, these daily gifts from God that are affirmations of his love for me, and I must share.  And along the way I learn to accept me, to make peace with dust and holey couch corners, and through the process of acceptance of my foibles…

I make new friends.

A Bit of Chicken Humor: or the truth about eggs

Chickens the world over have one thing in common.  They all lay eggs.  The process of  ‘puberty,’ if you will, begins at about age 4 to 6 months on average.  The event is always spectacular to hear.  She lays her egg in the nest and then begins a litany of clucking that could raise the dead and will begin the other hens to clucking as well.  Every day and every time.

All of them.

Nineteen of them.

Now you might begin to suspect this would be annoying to hear every day, but it isn’t.  Well, not to me anyway.  I hear the cackling begin and think it is all for fun to them.  Seriously.  Why just the other day I heard them all laughing at a something Tippy The Buff Polish was clucking…

Gaaaak! KAK, Kak, kak…!  and Cuck, cuk, cuc, and cackle-cackle currrrrr, etc.

Translation?

Tippy the BP:

“Ahhh, ha-ha-ha!   Girls listen to this!

Today I snapped up five brown beetles,two juicy green worms, and a couple of spiders hiding out back.  Mmmmm… and for dessert I had this giant Palmetto bug!  (whispered) Then I found this…

Oh! Hey girls… Shhh!   SHHHHHH!   Here comes  the Lady of the Farmlet with her basket to steal my hard work!”

All the Girls:

*“Caaaaak, Cac-Cac-cac-cack!”

Well, I actually could be grossed out by all, but the truth of it is this:

If my chickens were not left out to pasture each day my eggs would be bland and boring!  This is because it is the grasses, weeds, seeds, and well, bugs that make the lovely orange color in the yolks.   You just won’t find it in store-bought eggs.  My girls are also wonderful, organic pest control and garden fertilizers as well.

Now eggs come in many sizes and colors.

( http://www.dreamthymefarm.com/farmproducts.html )

The first eggs are usually small, an inch in diameter or so measured through the middle, and as time goes by the hen matures and they get much larger.

However, sometimes the younger hen will produce this…

© Lynda Swink  and “Life on the Farmlet,” 2010

It is called a “Double Yolker” and it is produced by an immature hen.   When two yolks come into the egg chamber they are encapsulated into the shell as one.

Poor little hens!

Rest assured, this is not a lifelong condition!   Thankfully, it is intermittent lasting only about a month at the beginning of laying.

So, while I may appreciate all my Girls do for me and love to eat their eggs, I am nevertheless glad I am not a chicken!

“:< >

*The sound a chicken makes when it’s laughing at you.

This Misty Morning

I wake up to see Bob off to work with a sleepy hug,  and then with a kiss he’s off.   Looking out the window I watch him drive into the darkness…

Lingering I gaze through the glass as morning comes.   Slow and sleepy it creeps only to be met with mist and fog.  Turning from the window I throw on a jacket to break the chill and go out to do morning chores.  As I open chicken hutches, throw scratch, and greet the geese, the haze begins to burn off and reveal my surroundings.

What awaits me is a dreamy visage of this pastoral life.

Out behind us we have new neighbors who’ve been moved in just this week.

Content to be in new surroundings they chew grass

ignoring me as I spy on them.

I turn away from the fence to go in and chance to see Little Bit entranced with something up the tree…

The chattering tells me it is a little squirrel.   The anger in its chirruping sound tells me it is none too happy about being watched so intently.

Rounding the corner of the house my gaze finds…

the garden’s scarecrow.

Standing limp and faded she gives testament

to a hot, harsh summer we all survived…

The memory of which will also fade,

when fall gives way to winter.

But for now…

The season is dry grass with a slow burn consuming the leaves of the trees.