Archive for May, 2009

Chickie-vision: Our new entertainment

Posted in Urban Farming on May 17, 2009 by xxxicana

Last weekend, Mister Man and I went to a party; the hostess has six chickens.  I was envious.  Monday, I called around for chickens.  Tuesday I drove out to the little town Clatonia to pick up two Buff Orpington pullets.  I couldn’t be happier!!

Now I can strike ‘getting chickens’ off my to do list.  Mister Man has been obsessing all week about a coop and ordered a kit last night.  He wants me to call Farmer Dan back up to get a sister for Bobbie and Teddy.  I’m not so sure that we need three hens . . . . that’s a lot of eggs (maybe up to 900 per year)!!!   Here are photos of the girls:

arrival

Two chickens fit just fine in a cat carrier!

spot & hens

Spot was very curious about the hens . . .

balam & hens

Balam was actually afraid of the chickens!

stepin out

First steps into the kitchen.

That’s right, into the kitchen.  Tom said that this reminded him of something his mom once said, “Just because you have chickens in the house, it doesn’t make you a farmer.”  The translation is that chickens in the house make you TPT (trailer park trash).  Well, that’s ok . . . I can live with that!  The hens did spend the first night in the house.  The cats paid them no attention!  But, the next day they had to go outside — it is only right and proper that chickens live outside where they can feast on grass, weeds, bugs, and worms.

feeding

On Thursday, our amigo Pablo came over to watch “chickie-vision” with us.  We sat out in the yard drinking beer and watched the hens.  I highly recommend chickens as stress relievers!  You just can’t worry too much about the world sitting around drinking beer, shootin’ the breeze, and watching the chickens.

I’ll be posting updates on the hens here and there, so check back to see how things are going!

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Mindfulness on Monday

Posted in Musings on May 11, 2009 by xxxicana

I have been reading the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh and others on mindfulness and tried to practice mindful walking and eating this morning.  It is a lot harder and easier than I thought it would be.  Mindfulness is the practice of being fully conscious in the present moment (see “A Mindful Way: Eight Weeks to Happiness” by Jeanie Seward-Magee).  I went for my morning “constitutional” — a one hour brisk walk and tried to free my mind from any thoughts other than observing the flora and fauna along my way.  What a beautiful day; bright, sunny, pleasantly warm, and fresh.  I saw and was cheered by numerous birds: sparrows, house finches, grackles, mourning doves, pigeons, robins, and even a red winged blackbird (the first I’ve seen in the city).    Here’s a photo I snatched from the internet.red-winged blackbird_LillianStokesI also saw a baby bunny (they abound at this time of the year), a new foal at the zoo, and a pitch black squirrel that looks just like Ek Balam! As I walked along the path I saw so many flowers — many weeds, bushes, and trees in bloom.  I tried to walk in wonder of it all.  I got in my full work-out and felt so refreshed in mind and spirit.  I ate my breakfast afterward in a semi-mindful manner.  This is REALLY hard for me.  Since I was a kid I have always liked to read while eating — even if was just the cereal box.  Mindfulness prods us to savor each morsel — to feel the texture, note the aromas, and enjoy the taste.  Mindful eating prompts us to appreciate where our food comes from and to give recognition to the people that work the land to provide us with our meals.  I will say that my strawberries were especially tasty with chopped mint and stevia from my garden.

Kiva – a microlending institution

Posted in Musings on May 1, 2009 by xxxicana

One of the great things about having a good job in an area with a low cost of living is that I have a bit of discretionary income.  Money is not of great value if it not put to good use  . . . and there’s only so much space in my closet for shoes!  Anyway, I finally made a contribution to Kiva.  This is a great organization that lends small amounts  of money to people in poor and developing areas that would not otherwise have access to credit from major lenders.   The funds are used as start up capital for small business, home construction, etc.  I made a very modest loan of $25.00 to a woman in Bolivia to help her embroidery business.  Here’s her photo:

305046

It feels good to support a woman that makes beautiful textiles to support her family.  As a fellow embroiderer, I have decided to support small scale textile artisans.  You can check out Kiva’s website, click here.

Of course, there are many deserving organizations that need our support.  In our increasingly globalizing world and through Al Gore’s great invention of the internet (LOL), we can make a difference.  Someone recently told me that as one single individual, they couldn’t really affect any change on the world.  Call me deluded, but I do believe in the Power  of One — every communal effort must start out with one individual deciding to engage.