About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Friday, May 30, 2008

no little chickies yet

Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

little chickies

Meet Mama Bear. Mama Bear really wants to be a mama. She's been a mama before, but chicken mothering is short-lived. Their babies really grow up too fast. In 6 months, the babies are moved out into their own apartments drinking way too much beer and doing things their mama really doesn't want to know about.

We adopted Mama Bear a little over a year ago, and I can't tell you how many times she's gone broody in that time. Broody is when a hen wants to hatch eggs. They'll sit on any eggs, or none at all if they're not available, and lose all their underbelly feathers and ruffle out the rest of the feathers to make a larger warm place for an optimal hatching area. Yes, even if there are no eggs to be hatched, or if the only eggs available have not had benefit of being fertilized by a rooster.

So, to make my Mama Bear happy, I obtained some fertile eggs from the chicken goddess herself, Tonya. She's who gave us Mama Bear to begin with, and understands Mama Bear's longing to be a mother. I asked for 3 or 4 eggs, and Tonya gave us a dozen. Huh. She's really evil that way. ;-) In exchange I gave Tonya some of my homemade chocolate soap.

So, that was three weeks ago yesterday. I put the eggs under Mama right away and she's sat on them faithfully ever since. Chicken eggs usually take about 21 days to hatch....so we should have been on schedule to hatch yesterday. But all there is so far is a hairline fracture on one of the eggs. I'm trying to resist the urge to check them any more than, oh, once an hour or two.

When we lived at St. Nicholas Ranch was the only other time that I've had eggs hatch. A hen got broody and sat on some duck eggs! I thought it would be great to have more little ducklings around (because ducklings are the absolute most cutest baby animals in the whole world....and then they grow up to be funny, klutzy adults!) so I let her sit. Ultimately, we had three very cute little ducklings hatch, with a chicken mama. But I thought they were late, and then I thought surely the eggs weren't viable anymore, and finally I thought, gee, it's so hot that surely they are rotten and might even explode and make a terrible stench. So I decided to break one open and see what was inside.

And was instantly so regretful that I'd done that. Because there was a live little duckling in there that couldn't possibly survive now that I'd broken it's shell. I couldn't even actively kill it, and instead just buried it. I felt so bad! So, I will not be breaking any of these eggs, at least for another month.

So, here's Mama, in all her mama glory, sitting on her four eggs. Watch this space for news and pictures of new baby chicks!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Haphazard Gardener

I have never been the kind of gardener who plants things in neat little rows, never having one thing overlap another. My gardens are like crazy quilts. And I've never worried until we moved to this house about what my garden looked like at all, but here it's in the front yard. It still looks crazy! but there is some order. Just not neat little rows.

After a long, cold winter, my garden is finally growing all over the place. The things that overwintered in the "old" side are tall and overgrown; the plants on the "new" side are coming right along. As I've been weeding in the last couple of days I've been noticing the new growth and potential in my garden. During Holy Week I was chagrined to find my bok choy going to seed, and I whacked off the top to try to delay the bittering of the greens. But by the next time I noticed it, it was way too far gone and now the mustard and kale have followed suit. I decided to change tactics and attitude, because I've noticed ever since I became a "serious" gardener that if you can just get something to re-seed itself, it will grow so much better than when it's direct seeded or planted. So I'm looking forward to lots of kale, mustard, and bok choy!

When it was so cold for so long, so many rainy days, I became lackadaisical and didn't care what was going on in the garden. For awhile I berated myself for it--would I fall behind? Would I not have as much growing as I wanted? But yesterday, we found, growing among the beet seedlings that we planted, many little tomato seedlings that were growing from last year's plants! And they are so much further along than the ones we were trying to start. Now the only problem will be to figure out how to grow beets and tomatoes in the same space, or how to transplant them and thin them for optimal growing environments.

Our herbs are going crazy!

Last year, I bought an oregano plant, and then when I needed more oregano that that plant could give me at that time, I bought another one. Now both were in my garden and both were huge! I just don't need that much oregano. So if anyone would like some oregano transplants let me know.

On the "old" side of the garden we planted, as a front "hedge", rosemary and lavender. Later I put some parsley in there too. All have gotten quite large and will need to be pruned back. There is one place where I can stick my face in and have lavender touching my right cheek, rosemary touching my left, and parsley touching my nose, and together they smell just amazing.

Every spring we live in Oregon I am amazed at the vast growth of the plants. They just seem to leap to life here!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Life and Death, Sun and Rain

Today was predicted to be warm and sunny, and the day did not disappoint! I got up early this morning to go out to breakfast with Paul. I didn't mind being up early at all because the day felt so glorious. I sat at the table with him and told him that I really do think gray, rainy days are beautiful, in a melancholy way, with all the different colors of gray and the moving clouds and how the sky looks through the trees. He called me a liar. :-) But it is true, I do appreciate days like that. But days like today, warm, sunny, vibrant--just make me feel happy all over. And all those gray days make the wonderful days like today seem so much better--and they *are* better, because of all the green that the rain brings. The rain is not only beautiful in it's own (melancholy) way, but it is also life-giving.

I attended a funeral today. And of course, life and death are like the gorgeous days and the rainy ones. There is so much to be celebrated in life, so much good. But it is bittersweet because of death. We all know that life must end someday. I am always reminded how beautiful and wistful the funeral service is in the Orthodox church, where even if you didn't know the person who is being buried (as I did not today) it is a reminder of life and the fact that we need to live well, and that it is temporary.

This reading is always profound to me, even though I've heard it multiple times:
And once again I looked with attention on the tombs, and I saw the bones therein which of flesh were naked; and I said, "Which indeed is he that is king? Or which is soldier? Which is the wealthy, which the needy? Which the righteous, or which the sinner?"

After we are dead and gone from this earth, all that will be left to distinguish us is what good or ill we did on this earth that is lasting. What made a change for the future? It will be kindnesses, relationships, and it will be ill will or selfishness. It will not matter who had and who did not. How will we nurture the life of the future of this world?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I have posted the original Mother's Day Proclamation here before--twice!--but today I am going to refer you to my friend Maria's blog, who just found out about the great beginnings of Mother's Day in this country.

And does anyone else remember the tradition of everyone wearing a carnation on Mother's Day? I first heard it from my dad. He said you wear a red carnation if your mother is living and a white one if she is deceased. I'd like to hear of any other Mother's Day traditions.

I received one of these creations from my family, similar to the retro or the pink doodles. And Paul is out right now washing my car, after he and the kids cleaned it out. What a great gift! Tonight they are taking me to The Farm Cafe. And, I got a nap in this afternoon. What a great day!

Happy, happy Mother's Day to all the moms and those who mother, whether their own children or not.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Must be another Blue Moon

For me to write another poem....

Sitting in Powells
the City of Books
using Women in the Middle Ages
to write on.
How many books?
thousands, millions, billions?
I don't know where to look to find
a book about you
and me.
Like being in a city of a million people
and not knowing where to find someone
to connect with.
Our city isn't a million
but still, a lot of people
and I didn't know
until you dropped
into my lap.
How? I don't know
a gift--from God?
a gift--from you
Someone who isn't afraid
to explore the depths
to laugh and cry
get mad
love deeply
share hearts
know when to quit.
Scary journeying to and exposing hidden darkness
with you I feel safe.
That you are really, truly
and care
and love
and willing to be there with me
is only one reason why
I love you.
and when a pure and true and right love
turns into a love that sticks around even in un-wholeness and hurt,
in brokenness,
it becomes a source
of healing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008