Monday, February 27, 2012

# 213 - Four Chickens & a Little Niece

Having our niece, Shaye, visiting for an overnight stay brought us such excitement. She's 5 years old and a source of never-ending energy that I wish I could plug into.

She is so happy about getting to see the chickens. Of course, she has been sad about Miss Speckles being gone, but she seems to be resilient and moving forward with having a great time with the four chickens we have left in the backyard.

In fact, one of the chickens begins to squawk loudly inside the coop and Shaye runs in the house to yell with excitement, "She's laying an egg! She's laying an egg!"

I am thrilled that Shaye has enough chicken-savvy to know when a hen is in the middle of laying an egg. Shaye also knows the hen needs privacy to do her job, so Shaye goes into the backyard and swings until the chicken emerges from the coop. Then, Shaye runs over to the coop, gets the warm, fresh egg and runs inside, "I have a new egg!"

Will this ever get old? No, I think not. I still feel the same thrill every time I search for eggs and find one.

Shaye knows the drill...a fresh egg gets a quick rinsing before it's laid out to dry. Then, it goes into the carton in the fridge.

To her, an egg is a symbol of fun and food with hope for more of the same to continue.

Then, Shaye becomes my Photography Buddy for the day. I hand her the camera and she goes back outside to see what her 5-year old perspective can capture on digital.

Shaye loves the chickens. They've met their match with inquisitive energy in this little girl.

Shaye loves to sit on the bench in the backyard and to swing while sweetly singing songs from the movie "Annie." Of course, Howdy sticks by her side like glue. He's very protective of Shaye. So, she snapped this picture of her guard-dog buddy.

Shaye also took a pretty good picture of the chicken coop that we moved to this location for marketing the house. The coop remains mostly on the patio stones so the grass won't be destroyed. I sure hope that potential buyers will not be scared by chickens. During our showings, the chickens will be kept inside the chicken tractor so the buyers can walk around the backyard freely.

Then, I was amazed to see our niece turn the camera back to herself so that she could take a few self-portraits. These pictures have to be the sweetest ever because she smiled for the camera exactly in the manner she wished because she was also the photographer.

Back inside the house, we were trying to thaw out because the temperature outside had been dropping and the winds had been biting our skin, Shaye decided that she wanted scrambled eggs as a snack. She did everything...she picked out the two eggs she wanted to eat, she cracked them PERFECTLY into the bowl, added salt and pepper, then scrambled the eggs with a fork.

I helped her put the eggs into a skillet; she stirred, then ate an entire bowl of eggs. However, as she was stirring her eggs, I noticed the booty-zone had gotten pretty scruffy from being outside for so long. I told her that this was the true-mark of a kid having a great time!

Uh, I hope your mom doesn't kill me for letting you get this dirty. Then again, I think my Sissy knows that our house is a place where the outdoors is a big part of our lives. Maybe that's why she sends the already-stained clothes for Shaye to wear for play-time. She's a smart mommy.

I think we all live in our "play clothes" around here.


Jackie said...

Hey There! I was excited to see this post with a photo of your chicken coop in the backyard. I just wrote about this on my blog as we're considering adding some chicks to our family. Hoping you have a great Monday.


LindaG said...

Getting dirty is the best thing. I think it helps with keeping up the immune system.

Thanks for sharing Shaye's visit with us! :-)

Vickie said...

I am all for play clothes! Sometimes I think that's all I've got - I hate shopping and the only time I dress up is for church! Sweet little niece you have there - and your sis will be glad you trained her for living on the farm - cuz I'll bet Shaye's gonna wanna spend time out there too!

Anonymous said...

I was taking my load of clothes off the line and wondering if I should throw the whole lot away...they are all stained or worn to a frazzle in places. But, I also thought...I don't really want to get my unstained unworn-out clothes in the same condition. I am forever getting dirty outside and inside if I am cleaning. I don't want to be super fussy with what I have on I think I will keep my 'outside dirty' clothes for a bit longer. :)

Shaye is a lucky girl...the farm life it the way to go. Such a wonderment to all of us children. :) Beth said...

Jackie - I'll be checking in with you! Go for it. You'll love having the chickens!

Linda - I agree about the immune system benefiting from playing in the dirt! My girls lived digging holes, being covered in dirt and fishing, hiking, etc., so I'm sure they have immunities that would be shocking. My niece Shaye is treated just as we raised our daughters. We spend a great deal of time outdoors when she's with us. She is so close to my heart. My sister was 5 months pregnant with Shaye when our mother died, so I guess it's like having part of my mom's legacy continue.

Vickie - It's amazing to think about, but Shaye has NEVER been to our acreage. My sister went years ago for a family gathering that had included our mom when she was alive. It's such raw land that it's not "fun" for people who want regular accommodations --- they all came out when we had our RV set up and ready to use.

Beth - you should see the clothes in our closet, each of us have a side with an upper and lower hanging rod, the upper has our good clothes (not that many) and the lower half is JAM-PACKED full of clothes for wearing around the house. Most days, I'm not dress appropriately in my stained/torn clothes to leave the house, but between the dogs and being the bleach queen, I dare not wear anything good around the house or it will quickly become ruined as well. I think the rest of my life will be spent in clothes that are in shambles!! But, it SURE IS COMFORTABLE! :-)