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BErKaNa: Growth. Rebirth. Birch Tree.

small, beautiful things

January 20th, 2010

i'm a dork, but... @ 07:18 pm

Emotions: content content

There's something about getting a good haircut that just blows away the in-the-funk cobwebs for me. Perks me up, emotionally. So, that happened today, and yay, me.

Also, had a lovely hour-long meandering convo with my dear pal, Jer, whilst making dinner and washing dishes (feeding soul, and body, and *cleaning*, I mean, really, how is there no good in *that*?). I miss Jer so much, as he travels the world and builds his career, I have been rather lame (ok, exceedingly so) in keeping up...but there is no bridge to cross when starting a convo. Some people are made up of the same fabric as you, and though may be different in many ways, have that soul-mate quality that makes everything so easy.

Not to get *too* sappy onya, but I feel really blessed to have a fair share of these amazing soulmates in my life, and I appreciate them each for their perfectness.

So, yeah, a couple glasses of wine tonight, a really good roasted chicken & vege dinner, rain outside (along with my child and my husband on a walk), and I'm counting my lucky stars that my life is what it is.

Go, life!

January 19th, 2010

hm. @ 11:22 pm

to crochet or sleep, that is the question.

January 18th, 2010

For posterity: Chicken comings and goings @ 05:25 pm

Emotions: accomplished accomplished

Oh lo, once upon a time, about 4.5 yrs ago, we were gifted with two wee peeps. We loved them, and raised them and named them Mercy and Percy Searcy (N's last name). They grew into a beautiful white hen (Leghorn) and gorgeous black rooster (oops! an Australorp). But none in the neighborhood had ruffled feathers (ahem) about the virile crowing, in fact, many loved him. Theirs was quite a tender love affair. And so we lived.

Then, about six months into our adventures, Mercy died, very suddenly, never to have even laid an egg. Percy was forlorn, nay, devastated. He looked and looked for his mate, and eventually grew mean. Of course, his hormones were comin' on, so that might have happened anyhow, but I think Mercy tempered him. Only a chicken psychologist could tell. We gave Mercy a nice funeral.

But, I digress.

We then searched for some female companionship for our sad boy, and happened upon a trio of likely sorts -- T.C, Tilly & Twyla -- a mother and her two daughters, a Buff Orpington and Barred Rock mixes, respectively. And, all was well, except for the rather rough nature of Percy in his pursuit of er, happiness, and fertility.

We got a new neighbor, and annoyance ensued. Percy was rehomed, which in hindsight, was a good thing as I was about to have Maeve in a month or two, and benefited from the crowless sleep. In my hormonal state, however, it was TREASON.

The girls seemed to miss their paramour quite a bit, however, until their feathers grew back in, and they became accustomed to an easier lifestyle.

About 8 months ago, I found T.C. (named Tough Chick for surviving not one, but two coyote raids, but we usually just called her "Mama") dead under the avo, of some chickeny natural causes, no foul play evident. Twyla was standing over her, keening. We buried her next to Mercy.

Twyla, soon after, twisted her foot in a odd manner, laming her for life. Tilly became the boss of the two, and has dealt much better with the death of her mother, though both stopped laying eggs for many many months after T.C. died.

After many eggless months, it seems (when you get fresh eggs all the time, even a week without them seems like yonks!), we decided to get a few peeps to raise -- fun for the whole family! Not wanting to go down the rooster route again, as new grumpy neighbor remained a putz, we got three Golden Sex-links -- in other words, three nearly guaranteed hens. Maeve named them Maisy, Tallulah and Charlie, after some favorite book characters. Charlie was soon the fave, with a docile, petable personality, while the other two were just...feisty and chickeny.

Flash forward three months, and we integrate the girls (soon I will be using the term loosely) into our existing flock, slowly, but surely. All goes well. Until day three, when we were delayed in getting home to get everyone in the coop -- and a raccoon took Charlie out. Much sadness ensued, though we told Maeve that Charlie flew away, because no way could she be part of that funeral. Nathan buried Charlie next to T.C. and Mercy. (Seriously, don't mess with us, because we got some voodoo chickeny graveyard going in our backyard now.)

Not content with the four, it seemed like a good idea to pick up three more girls, giving us a nice number of eggs during laying time, considering that Twyla will probably never lay again. So, over the New Year holiday, we picked up Betsy (a golden Brahma), Rexie (a Turken) and Steve (a speckled Sussex), again, named by Ms. Maeve. I believe "Steve" is short for "Stephanie," at least that is what I have accepted as truth.

Pecking order worked its way out, and all was rather fabulous on the suburban farm. That is, until about a week later, when Maisy started to throw down with Tallulah (now, we'd seen this before, but in chicks it is way cute, and we just thought they were trying out their pullety dominance). Problem was, these throwdowns were accompanied by...crowing. Dammit. In a wee panick that 1. our kid was gonna be a bit heartbroken losing her favorite handraised chick to a random flying away and 2. heartbroken again by having to rehome the other two because they were BOYS, we packed up the roosters, took them to our godsend in Oxnard, The Trading Post, bid our adieus, and drove straight back up to Wachter's in Ojai to replace them with *certain* pullets. *CERTAIN* I tell you. Because, you know, at the age these ladies were, all is known. (Side note: Maisy and Tallulah were not Golden Sex-links, but pure Rhode Island Reds, and when I called American Hay and Grain to complain, the woman said, "Oh, well, yeah, I did mix in another batch of chicks with the sex-links." Thanks for nothing, lady. Nice disclosure ahead of time. No more business from us, that's for sure.) Meanwhile, we're getting a helluva education, which, hey, isn't all bad.

Enter the picture our gorgeous light Brahma Patty, buff Brahma LaVerne, and sweet black Turken Maxene. Again with the pecking order last weekend, but they sorted it all so well and quickly, that I was stoked. Obviously, rooting out those two persnickety trouble-making roosters made for much more of a henlike nirvana.


Let it be said now, that you should never tempt fate by purchasing chickens during Mercury Retrograde, and doubly, should never make her even more amused by naming a chicken "Patty." Because...a week later, just two days ago, Patty crowed. Even more exciting than his lame attempt at boyishness was the fact that BETSY, oh yes, the pullet from New Years', broke out her, er, his kung fu fighting techniques and the two of them have been periodically matching off.


I really loved Patty.

Today, Patty has made his way to the Trading Post -- but not before getting it on with Twyla, or at least practicing a bit, with her consent. An odd match to be sure, but you know, it had a Mrs. Robinson flare to it, and you can never go wrong learning the ropes with an older woman.

Betsy has yet to crow, but we know it's coming. Until then, we'll feed her/him and enjoy the antics. I'm also keeping an eye on LaVerne, but thus far, she seems much more henlike despite her size. I do still want to have eight in the flock, and I know all my friends think I'm a nutjob. However, I'm determined that we'll be successful in really, really having all girls. Really.

I'm looking into other cool breeds that may mature faster than the Brahmas. You know, normal chickens. :)

For some reason, I was just compelled to get all their names down as they have been flying in and out of here (ar ar) with some rapidity. Some day, this may make a good story. :)

January 11th, 2010

Wondering @ 12:14 am

Tags: ,

Am a bit frustrated at being awake, but since I am, I found my way back here. I cannot believe that an entire year has gone by without me journaling. I have been writing life down, every day, but to not pull together more cohesively than posts on Facebook seems just odd. But then again, the way life has been the last year, snippets of info, thoughts, ideas -- instead of long, thoughtful, crafted posts -- has been the pace of things.

I do lie in bed often, nursing Maeve to sleep, thinking of things to write about, but by the time she is done, I, too, have drifted off, or have lost the essence and desire of the piece.

Often, I feel the urge, but not the creativity, and an emptiness descends into that place that writes. *shrug*

Sometimes I feel the future in my bones, and it holds more flow and more writing.

Like today, I read a book while sitting in the sun, drinking a beer. Not feeling the need to do anything but that -- for the first time, literally, in years. Was a crazy moment of quiet, joyous recharging. In that rather stolen moment, I sensed more to come, a balancing that feeds on itself, because of shifts in Maeve's independence and capabilities and because of others fitting well in the place that I have wholly filled in her life. Change, change, change.

I have been happy to be the big piece for her, and I am also now happy to shift subtly to something different, but equal.

I am extraordinarily happy to know that I am still here, vibrantly so, though quietly fallow, after these three years. No regrets and angst over the former shift, but also feeling deeply in my bones the reaching into this new one. So much to explore that is new, and to rediscover old loves.

Now, back to that book, because the computer cannot take it all. :)

January 4th, 2010

Transitions, Feh. @ 09:14 pm

Place: red chaise
Emotions: amused amused

I have to say, this wanting to go to sleep in her own bed thing is REALLY harshing my mellow. I mean, I want Maeve to be independent, and to have her own space and be her own person. Certainly she exhibits all the talent a 3-yr-old can muster in that direction. That said, we (shhhh! dirty secret ahead) still co-sleep. That's right, family bed and all.

And, night nurse. Not as in Nurse Betty, sassy Night Nurse, but as in the kidlet still gets her nummies when she needs them. Some nights, not at all. Other nights, like last night that was full of bad dreams, thrashing and general discomfort on her part -- lots of nursing.

*Shrug* I'm fine with it, and know that this will be the year of the weaning. To whit, the last week or so, she's decided it's time for her to nap/sleep in her own room/bed at night. The crib we never used has been converted to a toddler bed with high sides, and has functioned as a clothes container in the early days, transitioning to stuffed animal holder in later days. Maeve's gotten some good jumping in on that mattress, and now, it's cleared for sleeping, or at least pretending to.

The problem is, as I remember only too clearly from being little myself, is it is hard to fall asleep on your own. It seems fun a first, but without a cozy body next to you, you get to thinking, and flumping around, and soon enough, you hop out and seek out a parental unit. God, I certainly recall my parents' chagrin, night after night, "GO BACK TO BED!" to my, "But, Moooooommmmy, I neeeeeed you." I had (er, have) an extremely active imagination that my child inherited, and it far outweighed any exhausted state. Ritual, and cuddling, helped me relax, feel safe, let go. Sleep held many scary things for me, and though I hope that never will be handed down, there's not too much I can do about her dream content, and what wakes her in the night.

But I digress. She wants to sleep in her own bed. Fine. She's in and out of that bed in a half hour more times than a flea transfers from dog to dog in a pack. And, I only have so much patience, but don't want to holler at her over something as simple as sleep. Naptime today we had a good compromise -- she nursed while cuddling with me on the couch, and as soon as she drifted off, I transferred her to her bed. When she woke up in the middle of her nap, as she always does, I asked her if she wanted to go to the big bed to cuddle, and she said yes, and fell back asleep for another 1.5 hrs. Not bad, and no angst. Today.

Tonight, I tossed bedtime to my ever-loving partner, who tends to be the less patient of the two of us around bedtimes, but also, to be fair, can surprise me. I read the book, he took her to her bed, went in twice to her calls, and brought water. Then I heard some kerfluffle, and him ordering, "FINE! Get out of bed. Get your socks!"

Whu whut?

She explained to me that the cat's meowing kept her awake, and that she really was just having a hard time falling asleep, and that Daddy was going to drive her in the car to help her fall asleep. "Daddy really doesn't want to do it," she said, "But I asked him, and he got a little happier. And, I solved the problem!"

*Chuckle* And here I am, on the computer, eating a delicious homemade cookie leftover from the holidays while they drive around looking for the Sandman. Seriously, though I'm bitching about transitions, I need to just enjoy this moment. One way or another we'll figure it out. It's the same thing any time she reaches for a new level -- often more painful for us as parents in shifting gears and getting used to a new normal than it is for her, who's just going with the flow.


November 24th, 2008

And one thing that nearly made me cry... @ 11:00 pm

Emotions: melancholy melancholy

Tonight, after dinner, Maeve asked for a tangerine that she saw in our fruit bowl. The skin had dried a little, so I started to peel it for her. "I want to peel it, MAMA!" she started to melt-down. I said, "It's dry, let me do it for you, it's harder to do..." and she interrupted with a bit of a beginning cry, stopped herself and said, tearily and emphatically, "A'hm a big GIRLA!"

Oh. My. God. I handed over the tangerine. She peeled it handily, and was so very happy to do so, setting all the pieces of peel carefully in a bowl before wolfing down the juicy fruit.

Yes, you are, dearest, you are. *sob*

Laundry list of Maeve milestones @ 10:15 pm

Emotions: sleepy sleepy

It's been awhile, and for the last couple weeks I have just been jotting down stuff here and saving it, but not posting. I have been really, really exhausted and have made a doctor's appt for next week to look into the possibility of anemia. Definitely something more than just sleep deprivation going on, though that has been pretty severe of late.

So, for now, this is a basic list of Maeve changes that I want to remember -- it's really amazing how much faster it all comes on as she ages. I am promising myself that I'll do some writing this week for me, about what's going on for me.

Cut here for length...Collapse )

October 27th, 2008

True Confessions @ 09:55 pm


I am here to admit to my pop-culture lameness. To whit, I will explain.

I cannot handle most shows on teevee. I say this from a perspective of not having cable, only an antennae on the roof of our house, so forget the fancy stuff.

I can't handle the NCISes, the murders-being-solved shows. (Why are they nearly always about killing women or kids?) I can't take Heros. Gah, the villains and the badness of them! Lost was impossible for me to watch. Pretty much anything with violence, killing, ginormous suspense, or durm & strang ends up being too much for me. Intellectually, I realize these are pretty much the "good" shows -- more intelligent, well-written, thoughtfully produced. I get that. But...

I end up with nightmares. Or overly active daytime fears, if I've had too little sleep. I have a very thin wall in my sensibilities on what is real and what is not...and the scary, violent stuff seeps into the walking around the world sensing. It's not fun.

So then you come to the reality shows -- or perhaps we should not? The "let's help this family who's been devastated by disease, death, weather or weirdness" makes me cry every damn time I've seen it...I mean, "move that bus!" and the people freak out, right? Has me every time. The nanny shows? Full-body cringe just from the commercials.

And commercials. Um. Fucking stupid. And loud. Screaming, yelling, making no sense half the time. (I know, Tivo folks don't have to deal with this. But, yannow, for us? Tivo sort of silly, considering the, uh, antennae.)

Perhaps I am overly sensitive.

Perhaps others are just inured to it, because they see it all the time, and they have developed a better sense of non-reality.


I dunno. I think it comes from years and years of not watching teevee, then seeing it in dribs and drabs. I think it comes from not being able to parse out multiple input sources very well -- whether it is multiple conversations going on in a party, or a tv in a bar, or several people talking to me at once. I sometimes wonder if my brain is wired differently...because I seriously *cannot deal*.

The silly stuff I can handle on teevee -- sitcom stuff, and medical shows (oh, how i love) are generally not that compelling for me to pursue. (Grey's got too silly and disappointing, House...well, I love House, dunno if ER is on anymore. I know there are some entertaining sitcoms out there, I just haen't tracked them, frankly.)

Funny, how the computer is so much more of a draw for me; being able to just focus in, power down and surf and surf and surf. And the ability to find exactly what I want to read, not just be fed stuff.

Just been thinking of this lately because N's been watching more teevee of late (winter's coming) and he loves all the shows that freak me out. Makes for a bit of a sad evening, I guess, me on the computer or in the other room, him on the couch. I'd like to be able to share the evening doing stuff together, or enjoying viewing something together.

I guess we need to get a new DVD player (our recently tanked) and get Netflix going again.


October 24th, 2008

Ha! No Censorship Here @ 09:08 pm

Emotions: amused amused

So, this earlier this evening, N's aunt Eleanor and I were sitting in our living room, talking politics, while Maeve was nursing and kind of chilling out.

We are going on about the state of things, when Maeve stops suddenly looks me directly in the face, and busts out, "Blah, blah, blah!" -- then goes back to nursing with a grin on her face.

Eleanor, "She did NOT just say that!"

All I could do was laugh and laugh.

October 23rd, 2008

Because allll the kids are doin' it--Meme @ 11:34 pm

Emotions: amused amused

I've accomplished most the evening's tasks, and so I get to do this bit o' fluff n' stuff. Ganked from topteddy... :) Now, to bed wit me.

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

21 Impressionist, 13 Islamic, 3 Ukiyo-e, -16 Cubist, -5 Abstract and -11 Renaissance!

Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy


BErKaNa: Growth. Rebirth. Birch Tree.

small, beautiful things