Greta stormed the coop yesterday.
The weather here has turned from unseasonably warm and lovely, to bitterly cold and rainy. Ugh. I had put the Little Peepers in the coop for the day to keep them warm. Trouble is, they don’t like to stay in the coop during the day, so I had to block the door with a grate to keep them inside. Liesl had laid her egg earlier that morning, so I didn’t think the big girls would need to get inside.
I was wrong.
Around 2 p.m., I heard, “BuhKAHK, bok, bok, bok, bok, BuhKAHK, bok, bok, bok, bok, BuhKAHK!” Alarmed, I threw on my jacket and ran outside. I found the Little Peepers walking dazedly around the run, Liesl calmly pecking at her ration, and Greta in the coop, settling down to lay an egg.
Apparently, she had knocked down the grate, kicked the Peepers out, and taken over the coop. That’s a tough old bird.
Needless to say, Greta and the Little Peeps are still not getting along.
I didn’t change my name when I got married. I didn’t hyphenate either (with my Ukrainian last name, hyphenation would have been ridiculous). When I was younger, I never thought I would get married. When I got engaged, it didn’t occur to me to change my name. It’s my name; why would I change it? Here’s why I didn’t:
1) Choice. If there’s anything the feminist movement has accomplished in the past 40 years, it’s the freedom of choice for women. We can now choose to keep our names or choose to change our names. I chose to keep mine precisely because I had that choice. I am the first woman ever in my entire family history to have that choice. So I took it.
2) Career. Now, granted, my career in Canadian theatre is small potatoes. I’m not saying I’m a superstar or anything, but I’ve spent the past 12 years making a name for myself– gaining the trust and respect of my peers and fellow artists. There are some people out there that know my name. I’m not gonna mess with that.
3) Connection. My name is who I am and where I come from. It’s my history, my ancestors, my heritage, and my identity. Keeping my name connects me to previous generations, especially my Great Gido, Sylvester. He was brave enough to leave his home, his family, and his country. He arrived in Canada unable to speak, read, or write English (more than likely, also unable to read or write Ukrainian either). He was a homesteader. Without his courage, I would not be living the privileged life that I have now. I would not be a land owner. I would not be a Canadian. I would not be one of the first in my family to be University educated, to have a degree at the end of my name. I keep my name to honour him and those before him.
Now, I know that my last name is my father’s last name, and therefore, I’m just swapping one patriarchal lineage for another. But it’s my lineage, not my husband’s. And yes, the family history my name links me to is my father’s family history, not my mother’s. But you gotta start somewhere.
These photos from The Paris Print Shop are simply gorgeous.
Only $15 for a set of postcards! Tres jolie.
If you love everything Paris like I do, check out the blog Little Brown Pen (The Paris Print Shop is where she sells her images). Stunning work. Really want to move to Paris (must learn French first).
This photo makes me weak in the knees.
The Little Peepers have managed to do what no job in the world has ever been able to do to me: they’ve turned me into a morning person. Sort of.
Chickens get up with the sun. For the past two weeks, I have been out of bed by 7:30 a.m. Quick shower, get dressed, coffee, feed the dogs, and I’m out the door by 8 a.m. to take care of the Little Peepers.
I still have to drag myself a bit, but for the most part, I look forward to it. The neighbourhood is quiet. All I hear is silence (the definition of silence being the absence of man-made noise). It is, as Sharon Butala put it so eloquently, the perfection of the morning.
Clear, pristine, quiet, a slight chill. I find a sunny spot to stand in and warm my hands and face, while the girls explore the yard. It reminds why I love the prairies. I would never have a morning like this living in Toronto. I listen to the bird song, to the hawks and falcons, to the sparrow protecting her nest, to my girls peeping and clucking happily to themselves as they forage and eat grass. I inspect the yard, see which plants have buds, see if there’s any new green stuff poking its head through the dirt.
I finally know what it means to get out of bed with a purpose. When I’m taking care of my chickens, I feel like a human being. And Morning, you’re not such a jerk after all. In fact, I like you. Sort of.
Happy Earth Day.
I empathize. Too much. Especially when it comes to animals. I anthropomorphize and then I empathize. All this empathy gets me in trouble. My husband has banned me from the SPCA (with good reason – I would come home with all the dogs). I capture spiders and ladybugs in my house and release them back into the wild. I bought an electric mouse trap that zaps mice dead in less than 10 seconds so that they don’t spend twenty minutes writhing in pain stuck in a wooden trap.
All this is leading me to my two new chickens – the Little Peepers. I’ve had them exactly one week and three days
. What an anxious one week and three days! It’s not easy introducing two new teenage chickens into an established flock of two crusty old hens. I just want them all to get along; they just want to peck the hell out of the smallest chicken. (I swear, she doesn’t just peep; she cries.)
Sometimes I wish I could just turn my empathy down a little. I wish I had an empathy dimmer switch. Although, the other side of the coin is apathy. I guess I’d rather feel too much than nothing at all. I suppose the trick is, like everything else in this crazy life, to find a balance.