I’ve always loved birds. The intrigue and the lure of their world has always called to me, even in my dreams. As a little girl, I can remember having the most amazing dreams about flying. I was just high enough that when I would soar over the crowds, no one could reach me with their upward stretching arms. Now as part of spring’s promises, it’s hard to miss their singing. Because their songs start early, perched in the bushes and tree outside my bedroom window. Even more, I like to think that the birds are announcing spring’s arrival, just as regal trumpets would announce the arrival of royalty.
Happy New Year friends! It’s hard to believe that we are ushering in a new year already. Did you have time to make any new year resolutions yet? It seems the most popular ones each year often have to do with getting into shape, eating better, or getting motivated to reach new goals. This got me thinking over the holidays, just what would be some good inspirational new year resolutions with inspiration from the chickens?
I’ve been trying. I really have. Grief is a funny thing. One minute it’s not there and the next minute you find yourself with tears streaming down your face for no particular reason. Like falling leaves, the tears just simply come when you are walking out the mailbox, cooking dinner, spending time with loved ones. They just come. I guess you could say I have been heartbroken. As I looks back, I was lucky. It took me many years until I had to experience this deep kind of grief. I thought that I knew grief from so many years of helping others through it in my nursing career, saying goodbye to loved ones, grandparents, aunts, uncles and favorite pets. For the first time, I can honestly say that I have a hole in my heart.
Hello friends. I wanted to take a moment to share the past few months with you. Life has thrown us an unexpected curve. We lost my Dad of 28 years unexpectedly this summer after dealing with some things since spring. It threw us all into a tail spin and all of us went into survival mode. It was a loss that rippled across all of our lives and the most difficult of all was watching my children have to suffer as they did. Their hearts were broken and mine broke even more than I though possible watching my own children learn how to grieve and rebound from loss.
Spring has taken it’s sweet time to come to Cape Cod. Still with temperatures in the 40s at night- mid May, it seems as though everything is stalled. Beautiful annuals that usually spill from the window boxes on the front of my home were also delayed. The window boxes lay dormant and lifeless. Still filled with dead, brown and decaying evergreen branches, it was time to do some thing about it. This was not the first time, but little did I expect to discover a bird’s nest.
I’m having so much fun traveling and sharing my new book, How to Speak Chicken. I can’t tell you how many emails, messages, and in-person requests that I have received to create recordings of the chickens’ vocalizations that I share and “translate in my book”. Chickens have their own language, and over the years I have been able to decipher what they are saying. I am excited to share with you my insight into some of the more common phrases. Yes, the vocalizations that you hear in the sound bits below are me. This is my “chicken voice” and how I “speak chicken” with my flock.
I think one of the most wonderful things about visiting the Magnolia Silos has to be a stop at the Silos Baking Co. Did you know that the bakery was originally called Magnolia Flour? The very bakery that was featured on an episode of Fixer Upper, is still delighting guests. Lines typically form and wrap around the building. If you know what to expect, it’s actually a system that is pretty efficient. The experience of course, is so gorgeous. I wish we could linger in this small space. It smells so good. Think sugar, butter and cupcakes!
This week I was down with the flu. I guess I kind of knew that it would only be a matter of time. It seems so inevitable working among ill patients. I’ve spent the greater part of the past 2 weeks in bed. At first, lying there wishing that this would all just go away and then simply too weak to care for the chickens, the dog and even the family. Still now as I type this I still feel weak. Yet, time is marching on, the first few signs of spring are arriving and I’ve got some exciting happenings.
I spent half of 2015 and most of 2016 writing, How to Speak Chicken. It was a labor of love and something that I felt needed to reach the backyard chicken community. During my research, one of the many scientists that impressed me was psychology professor, Dr. Evans. A leading poultry researcher, he dedicated his life to decoding chickens. Like me, he too wanted to know exactly it was that made them tick and he made some pretty amazing discoveries. Sadly, Dr. Evans passed away in 2011 quite prematurely, from what I understand was a motor neuron disease. A man who had dedicated his life to communication lost his ability to speak due to the progression of his disease.
This past weekend, I had a wonderful time traveling to the Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio. I had the pleasure of finally meeting a fabulous friend of Tilly’s Nest. She is a very active follower of Tilly’s Nest and I have had the pleasure of engaging with her on social media for a few years now. It was so much fun to share chicken stories, a hug and talk about one another’s adventures together in person. Our in-person connection was instant. It was awesome! However, one thing has been on my mind during traveling these past few days. I’ve had lots of time to think, as my plane rides were delayed both getting there and back. The ride home was delayed for almost 4 hours due to heavy fog in Boston. I did a lot of people watching and a lot of thinking about my family, my flock and life in general. One of the biggest things for me, was really getting out of my little niche on Cape Cod and really seeing a big part of the world and how it is continually changing. I admit, I have a love hate kinda relationship with this thing called social media, but I wonder it it is making our society anti-social.