Saturday, November 14, 2020

Fowl Deeds, Indeed!

 After a far-too-long hiatus (in my opinion, I have not asked the hens!) my young hens have begun to lay. They were all hen-hatched here except for 6, supplied by the Pajamas, Books and Chickens flock and one female bantam hen from my friend Yolanda. That flighty gray bantam was the only hen of the 6 she shared to help keep my first, single hatchling company. The 5 roosters now reside in the freezer, stand-ins for "cornish game hens" for future meals. We call these small, unexpected offerings Pullet-surprises ... the cognate of which I will never receive if I keep writing run-on sentences like I am inclined to do, no? LOL 

I am hoping that they will be happier in their new coop. Their old housing was a pallet and tarp construction which held up well for several years but was, among other things, hard to clean out and even harder for my 6' tall partner to deal with. You see, at its best, it was the height of a pallet and two pallets by two pallets in size. This aging camper trailer which was a gift from a friend, is just barely 6' tall, but even with the extra stuff on the floor to help keep the birds warm and absorb their droppings, he only has to duck his head, not crawl on hands and knees when searching for eggs.


In their new digs, the fowl have three layers of roosts and as you can see, they seem to want to go high. They have repurposed kitty litter packaging for nest boxes (photo above), which they have yet to use and the plywood and cement blocks at the back of the camper, when open, are the chicken door. 

I had everyone shut in the camper while I repaired and moved fence panel sections for their yard, and I can report they are VERY happy to be able to go back outside now. The ducks, as ducks are inclined to do, prefer to stay outside, even in most winter weather.



Monday, November 2, 2020

A Ritual for These Stressful Times


Are you feeling out of sorts? A bit off from the pandemic, the issues surrounding it? Is the election and all of the crazy uncertainty around that also coming to a head in your life? Let me offer a ritual that has helped me, today, to calm, ground and center myself.

I washed a window.

Now, when you stop scratching your head in confusion or laughing, hear me out.

First off, I am not talking about just washing it. And I am not talking about a major big deal house cleaning project. Just One Window. And if the weather is bad, don't fret about not being able to do the outside; that can easily be for another day.

Secondly, it does not matter what spiritual path you follow, which candidates have your vote (and if you haven't done so yet, please DO go and vote!) or whether your windows just got washed -- or by whom -- last week or even yesterday. This is a Ritual and while it involves cleaning and is, somewhat, about cleaning, it is about much more than that.

Ready?

First, select your favorite window. You do have one, right? And not the one with the interior decor and window treatment that you finally got just right. This is about the view that you see through this window, so it should be your favorite window because it has your favorite view. It doesn't have to be something the Realtor would tout in an ad and maybe no one else in the world would ever see what makes it your favorite. Maybe it shows you just the right bit of sunrise or sunset at a particular time in the year. Maybe it shows you a favorite plant in the garden, or if you live on the umteenth floor of a high rise, is the place you sit to watch the clouds roll by on a summer eve, while you share a beer with your partner. But make it your favorite one.

Select your cleaning tools (I use a blue window cleaning spray and newspaper to wipe. Sometimes I have steeped an herb or two in the solution, but that is not necessary, even if you are a witch. You see, the Intent is the thing.

Before you start washing, take a few minutes to look out, contemplating what you see, both on the window and beyond it. For me, the "long term variable periodic housekeeper" that I am, let's just say that my first priority was removing the unintentional Samhain/Halloween decorations. LOL My local spinners had been busy this fall, but were no longer being seen so away went the webs. Then I went to work on the actual dirt.

This is my favorite window because it not only looks North, it also gives me a good view of my poultry and sheep, as well as the guardian dog. I often stand here, when movement catches my eye, just watching the sheep in their pasture during the spring and summer, and the chickens and ducks busily doing chicken and duck things year round.

As I began washing, I was reminded that my house likes clean windows; she likes to have clear eyes with which to look out at the world. It is part of her way of protecting us, being able to see and seen and unseen challenges beyond the walls and beyond the gates. And she is ever so appreciative of the washing. She says so, in the squeaks of the newspaper against the clean glass.

So my Intent is partly nesting and partly strengthening the protections on the place; wiping away the clingy bits of detritus that seem unavoidable these days. It's symbolic, yes, but having reassembled the window, even I feel cleaner now.

Being a witch, I will mark a sigil on the panes, top and bottom, with my saliva-dampened finger and call it good. One could end it, as well, with Words of thanks, of prayer.

However you do it, I suggest you try. Maybe tomorrow, after you vote.