Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chicken Envy

Ok, I have to admit, I had the title of this post before we ever went and visited my sister. She lives on almost an acre out in almond tree country with her husband and their cute baby girl. They are on an amazing property with fruit and nut trees, and have recently added about 15 chickens which have begun laying eggs. I actually bought a book about 4 months ago titled, "Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and Other Small Spaces". Shocking, I know. Someday I would love to have some chickens (we go through a LOT of eggs!), and maybe a small cow. I'm only half-kidding about the cow. I guess it's because we grew up on almost an acre and were surrounded by horses and other farm animals. We actually had chickens for a while, when my brother's snake Stanley decided he wasn't hungry- we ended up with 3 chicks that followed us around the yard. They turned into 3 hens that would wait on our porch for us to put them to bed. There is something slightly disfunctional (on someone's part- not sure who's at this moment) in that last sentence, but I'll have to deal with that later...

It was so good to be with family. Our mom was there, and will be staying with my sister and her husband for a few months while she undergoes radiation treatment. We are all thankful that they got all the cancer removed from her breast, and it hadn't spread to her lymph nodes. Our other sister, her husband and son came to visit for the day. There is something so comforting about hanging out with family. No crazy agendas, just being together talking and laughing, and usually eating amazing food. I have to say, we made the BEST fig crostata (tart), with most of the ingredients coming fresh from the yard. I am getting a fig tree asap!

I realize things from the outside always seem more romantic than they are in reality. Having chickens, for instance. Some of you may not call the idea romantic, or even remotely appealing. Bear with me. Fresh eggs every day, plenty of compost material for the garden. The amusement of watching chickens chasing bugs in the yard. The reality, however, also includes raking out chicken poop- lots of poop! And dealing with any chicken who starts eating eggs and other problems that arise with keeping any animal. Life is like that. Relationships, having children, artwork, a beautifully set table with amazing food -things that are wonderful usually take lots of hard work and dedication to get and keep them that way. It's what makes the end result even better, knowing that you were a part of shaping something amazing. I won't be getting chickens any time soon, and that's ok. I'm enjoying every blessing in my life right now, and am constantly thankful for family and friends. :)

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