Chicks, old and new

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The past few days have been magical.  Totally magical.  It is still a bit cold out but once we are outside working for a little while, it is wonderful.  We have been exploring our woods every moment that we get free.  We are working on a redo of our garden.  Last year we just planted in the ground and did not make any changes.  Permaculture teaches to get to know your land for the first year without doing anything permanent.  Though it was hard, I am so happy that we did.  We took a year to follow all the seasons and get to know where the land gets too soggy after rain, where the water flows, where the sun lands during different times of day and year.  I pulled out a drawing that I made my first month here.  All those plans would not work now that I know this land a little better.

Yesterday we got the call we had been waiting for and took a break from the garden.  There was a box full of our chicks waiting for us to pick up.  A noisy little box of cute little fluff balls.  Just what we needed.  We left our brooder box in the barn back at the Florida house and I have not had the room to bring it back on any of our visits.  So the next best thing I could think of was a plastic baby pool.  We tucked it into a corner in the playroom close to the woodstove where its nice and warm.

If I need to find any of my children right now, I need only walk downstairs and I will find them.  In that corner, reading a book with a chick.  Playing closeby, taking an occasional break to visit a little yellow puffball.  And then there is Matthew.  He is obsessed and we are keeping him in our eyesite at all times.  He loves very deeply and chicks can’t handle that.  So, we let him hold his chick for a few minutes and then do our best to distract him with something else.  Luckily, I need say is the word “outside”  and he will gladly follow.

The older hens have been happily underfoot during our redo of the garden and I have to be very careful not to step on them or plow them over with the wheel barrow.  Anywhere that they see a shovel in hand, they are right by ourside in the case that a juicy earthworm should be uncovered.  I think they are enjoying early spring as much as we are.  This morning I got visual proof when the eggs were gathered.  A double yolk is a lovely thank you.

Tomorrow we will continue with the garden and I will be sharing that project with you.  Right now, I need to soak and diffuse some oils to help with the pains that always come with breaking my winter laziness and getting back into the swing of things.

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My JP is 11.  My Clark Kent (I have always thought that he looks just like him).  My cuddly little boy.  Eleven.

Sweet and tender hearted but quick to temper, all in one.  As a baby he cuddled with me almost as much as Matthew has.  He woke me every hour around the clock for his first year and hated every minute of being in the car.  Oh the years of trying to go to garage sails with JP in tow.  Yesterday we woke him with our customary birthday sneak attack where we all try to wake up earlier than the birthday person.  We all sneak into their room together (are you imagining how difficult it would be to sneak in 9 people without making a sound??  ok good, just checking) and then belt out our birthday song as they sleep.   Except JP is a super early riser so every year he just pretends to still be asleep as he waits for his late rising family to sneak in and start his day.  After the happy birthday song has been sung, everyone turns their attention to me as the subtle reminder that it is a tradition for momma to sign the same song my momma always sang me.  It is in Spanish and sadly they don’t understand a word I am saying but have heard it so many times that they can sing it too though I am the only voice heard at this moment.  My voice, usually squeeky at this early hour.  The look to me all the same.  I could not possibly not sing it though I always get a teeny butterfly in the stomach moment and secretly wish I didn’t have to.  I get passed myself and continue with the tradition.

We are treated to a breakfast cooked largely by the girls except for Eddie’s bacon.  Eddie is our lover of bacon and he does not entrust our precious bacon to anyone else.  Today we are not having bacon from our favorite bacon farmer.  Instead we are trying out some in house smoked and cured, nitrate free bacon from Lucky’s.  A new grocery spot that a friend introduced me to.  They have a bulk section that I was impressed by and more fill yourself items than I find at Whole Foods!  More about that another day but I will add that you can drink a beer while you shop.  Nuff said.

After breakfast, gifts are opened along with that birthday card from Grandma Yoli which JP knows has been in Momma’s bag for a month now.  He loves the words as much as the contents because he is my sweet boy.  This year I decided to make a special birthday bag embroidered as such so that it does not end up with the same fate as all of our other birthday bags, given to a friend or used to collect treasures and not usuable for gifts after that.  I decided to do the embroidery in spanish, don’t ask why but it seemed important.

The rest of the day was spent outside, playing running, sitting together as we all love to do.  Eleven years I have gotten to spend with this child.  Eleven.


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