Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Month of Giving Thanks...Lee and The Guinea chickens


I think that in all our lives, everything we are thankful for harks back to childhood. Yesterday I was thankful for collards, but after working all afternoon cleaning cooking and freezing turnip greens with root, I'd be hard pressed to be thankful for them! There is nothing quite so hard to clean as the turnip. Of course that is just my opinion. But still, when we thaw out that bag of turnips later on in the winter, I assure you that we will be most thankful for them, the misery of elbow deep water (and I use warmish water) a thing of (not so long) distant memory.

Our neighbors, Tara and Sam (I won't even attempt to spell their last name, suffice it to say Sam is from Greece) have a nice size little farm that sits adjacent to us. We get to share the beauty of their horses, the sweetness of the cattle, the raucousness of their geese and the neighborliness of their guinea chickens. You see, guineas are wild free spirits who spend their lives hiding their nests and foraging for food in all its forms. We buy dried corn to put out at the woodline for the deer. There's nothing more relaxing than sitting out on the back porch with a cat in your lap, watching the deer come up to eat. Our land is posted against hunters, so is Sam and Tara's. When the chickens first appeared in our yard, Mac went to the barn to get some corn. That started a trend. We've now graduated to chicken feed.

It was one day a couple of weeks ago when the Guineas first arrived. I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace at these lovely birds, and remembered Little Granny (Merriman) her apron filled with chicken feed, softly calling "chick chick chick" and throwing the feed out in a wide arc so that all would get something to eat. You learn quickly about a pecking order if you don't spread it out enough. Unlike human mothers, the young chicks will be pecked back to eggdom if they get in the way of the senior chickens beaks. Hence, pecking order. I don't know why it sends such a shiver of calm over me to see those chickens running toward us expectantly. Perhaps it fulfills the "mother earth" part of my nature. I did tell you I was a card carrying, tree protecting bunny hugger. You suspected though, right?

So, this morning when I was out feeding the cats, I expected to see the Guineas racing toward the porch in anticipation of a morning meal. They didn't come. I went back inside and Mac says, "why the face?" I explained that the chickens hadn't come for breakfast. I mean really, after three weeks of being our bestest friends forever and a no show now? I kept going back out and found myself clucking "chick chick chick" out behind the barns. So here I was, typing away about what I was feeling thankful for, about how those darned chickens had made each morning glad, and this morning , NO CHICKENS. Listen, I picked up the phone and actually called and left Tara a message...where are the chickens? I know, pitiable.

Lee popped up on I/M and asked about me and how our evening went , I told her about the hard work of cleaning and cooking the turnips Bill had blessed me with and suddenly I hear Mac yelling out "your chickens are here!" I can't believe how happy I felt. I hurriedly told Lee I had to run for a sec, the chickens were here. Now, here is how close our friendship has become. She understood completely. So, here on day 4 of giving thanks it's a dead heat. I'm thankful for my neighbors chickens who give me a sense of peace every morning. But mostly, I'm thankful for Lee. I have Evil Sister, Good Sister, and now I have Blogging Sister. Wow. I am really and truly blessed.

35 comments:

Lee said...

Aww (blush)! Love you too Sis! That's a great picture of the chickens. I've seen chickens before but I think it must have never been from the front. They look so eager with those, are they wattles?, er...things flapping wide around their beaks. LOL What a crowd!

Love this Giving Thanks project of yours!

Hugs,
Lee

Mockingbird Hill said...

Sandi,

Always amazes me that the simplest things are the most loved...and, so often, the most missed! So glad the chickens arrived...better late than never. :)

Cassie

Anya said...

Oopsss.......
It looks very dangerous ;)
Cute situation :)))))
Have a wonderful day
:)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Sandi: What a neat post and a fun look at the fowl. You should have included a look across to the neighbors farm.

Shadow said...

back to eggdom you say? how funny you are. and i'm glad you got your chickens back!!!!!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

I do hope you noticed you were on of the recipients!!

fff x

Gaston Studio said...

Ah, life's simple pleasures and you write about them all so beautifully.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I am often transported to my carefree days of childhood by the simplest of things, a smell, a glimpse of an everyday thing. I know what you mean.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I am often transported to my carefree days of childhood by the simplest of things, a smell, a glimpse of an everyday thing. I know what you mean.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I am often transported to my carefree days of childhood by the simplest of things, a smell, a glimpse of an everyday thing. I know what you mean.

Finding Pam said...

Sandi, this brings back memories of my chickens from our former home. I gave them away when we moved and I still miss them.

This is a cute story. I love all critters,too. I guess that is why we have so many. The deer are everywhere. Hubs has planted a special deer garden for them so they have a safe haven.

Protege said...

I can completely relate to the description of you sitting there, with a cat in your lap watching the deer... What a sight that must be.;) I think I would miss the chickens as well.;)
xoxo

Queenmothermamaw said...

Oh Sandi thank you for a gift of a grateful post. That is what I have asked for my birthday, to read expressions of gratitude from all around. You have gifted me with a good feeling and a real smile. Loved the post. You are very talented and I am grateful to have you for a blogging friend.
QMM

Janean said...

wonderful story. you're not pitiful at all! guineas have SUCH personality and are funnier than get-out! my first guinea encounter happened after my MIL passed. a neighbor's four guineas came squawking across the yard, then hid behind an old tree and kept peeking out at me. i was hooked!

sandy said...

love watching their freneticism

Trubes said...

I feel quite guilty in saying that I often roast a Guinea fowl or two, for Sunday Roast.
They are quite tasty too...
Don't think I'll bother again!

Di.x

Nessa said...

Nature and friends, a wonderful combination.

Wordless Wednesday - Cody's Help and Halloween

Karen M said...

Hi Sandi,

I hoped by to says thanks for your faithful comments and prayers. I was pleasantly surprised to see you involved in a thankful month as well. I did not know about Lee's month of thanksgiving when I started doing the same thing. We just have to focus on our blessings no matter what.

So thanks for the comments and the uplifting posts.

Maggie May said...

You know I can identify how you felt, thinking your guineas had gone and then them returning because once my 30 sparrows just disappeared for no reason after coming everyday for several years.
Then the excitement of a couple coming back after a long absence. Made me so happy!

Nuts in May

ancient one said...

the guineas are my favorites at our house... but they love to strut down the highway... a few of them have been hit by cars... but they've got to be free..

Lynne said...

They sound lovely birds, tho' I'm not very familiar with them.
Yes greyhounds are lovely to cuddle up to!

Brenda Eason said...

We had some of these when I was young. Love all animals =)
Thanks for the pie recipe. Brian is borderline dibetic so im sure I will have to revamp soon.
I may have told you this and many call me nuts,but that okay. When I pick greens we get bags and bags. I put them in my warshing machine. When I get them out most of the stems can be put in the trsh and the greens are torn to a good size hehe.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I had never really thought about the term "pecking order" before, but it all makes sense now!!

Gill in Canada

Dr.John said...

Your daily thanks is helping me to see things to be thankful for that I missed.

Denise said...

My sweet grandmother had chickens and guineas... I miss her so much and the sight of those guineas in your picture reminded me of her... The simpler life... it was simple and I would go back there in a heart beat.... I think heaven will be full of guineas.....

Kat said...

You have a way with words my sweet friend...and you always make me see it all in my mind. I'm thankful for YOU!

Hugs!
Kat

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

It's funny isn't it Sandi that it is the little things that gladden the heart the most. A x

♥Mimi♥ said...

Isn't it amazing what gives us comfort and that old memories seem to cuddle us the best☺

gaelikaa said...

I'd always wondered what was meant by pecking order!

Shrinky said...

What a beautiful corner you have carved around you, the deer, horses, cattle and chickens, not to mention all of natures generous bounty you pluck from the earth. I could see it all in my minds eye as you spoke us through it. As for your dear friends, what is that saying? It takes oe to know one, yes, I think that is how it goes. (Smile)

Joyce said...

Just visiting around to the blogs on Leah's thankful list...I love that you are writing thanksgiving posts each day. So glad the chickens made an appearance!

NitWit1 said...

Guinea eggs are very good, too, but guess they belong to your friends!!

Jeanne said...

They are so stinking cute! Love guinea hens. They have them at the Butterfly Conservatory near us and they're so cute running around.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

You haven't heard about my chickens yet have you? Snow, Belle and Ella...they are still pullets and we don't expect eggs until Spring but I will be tickled pink if one shows up in the nesting box one cold winter morning. Anyway...it has amazed me that I find myself so attached to these girls. They know my voice now and cock their heads when i am talking to them, as if they actually understand what I am saying. My girls to be seen in a future post. We haven't gotten the guineas yet...but coming soon. xo Lynn

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

P.S. I forgot to say....yep, there is definitely a pecking order, as well as a hen party.