Thursday, December 31, 2009

Turn of the Year

I am out in the backyard with the chickens and the neighbzie's cat. It's been a partly cloudy day so far. I came out here first thing even before my coffee. The ostensible reason was that one of the hens (little sister?) ate one of her eggs yesterday, so we want to make sure we take them out of the coop after they lay. (Of course, we also increased her calcium with some oyster shells.) But the other part was just that once I got myself out of the house, it looks like a very good day indeed.

A little too much trust-building for me: Little sister was in the nesting box and big sister was acting kind of lonely (and maybe I was too) so I picked her up and held her in my lap. About five minutes later, Bender the neighbz cat comes strolling up to us. He didn't act at all afraid of the chicken. He used to, you know. He used to squawk to the neighbz when they got too close to the chickens "Watch out! they'll peck out your eyes! Get away from those chickens!" This time he seemed more interested in coming over and being petted. This made me nervous, so I lossed the hen so she could flap and scare Bender off. He didn't run away but he expressed no interest in the chicken either. And right about then, Malucho came outside because I was having too much fun wiht the chickens out here.

I've been a bit blue since x-mas. But I talked with the loquera yesterday and then talked with Malucho and am feeling a lot better. Especially because Malucho pointed out that we can be doing things differently. We can do for other people instead of isolating ourselves, and we've done that too. Sie also reminded me of our x-mases in Ohio which were also depressing, as a way of showing that we need to make our own traditions.

Also, I think New Year's Day is really our holiday. It's not associated with anything else (other than football)--there's no long family tradition that we have to try to uphold or even any grand expectations that won't be met. We don't have to make it happen on another day to accommodate someone else's family. Malucho and I held our first New Year's Day pozole brunch back in...1998? I think. We were in Felton. It was pouring buckets of rain, the San Lorenzo river was eating at the cliffside and while we had Malucho's familia over the sherriff stopped by to see that we were okay.

There's some things I regret about the time we lived in Felton: that I wasn't more sympathetic to our landlady, and her struggles. That I took a fellowship that took me away from my love. That I left hir alone in an even more complicated living situation. But some of the memories I treasure are include listening to salsa while washing down the walls and the floors before moving in. Making mochi in the oven and eating it with nuts and honey. Bringing home mxi the kitten and naming her. (Malucho really wanted to name her Piojo). Socializing the two cats to get along. The wonderful yard in good weather. We would have our coffee outside in the sun, like Malucho had used to do in Bonny Doon. Even our stealth home improvement like replacing the commode and and painting the bathroom pink.

On this cloudy day in our yard in Fruitvale it feels like the best day's there. Except here the little shack is being retrofitted to be a hen house, and all the greenery will actually produce food.

When I got the chickens out this morning there was one cold egg, obviously laid last night. Little sister was acting oddly, se kept trying to settle into flower pots, so I suspected she was the one who had not yet laid. (The other night I dreamt that the chickens had secretly been laying their brown eggs in a terracotta flower pot, and they had acquired quite a stash.) I tidied up the coop and put fresh bedding in the nesting box, and she finally settled in there and quietly did her thing.

I gave the girls a big scoop of "live feed" from the worm bins. More than they wanted really. But I just want to make sure they're getting everything they need.

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