Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lenten Journey

I grew up Baptist and never had really heard about the season of Lent. We Baptist went straight from Christmas to Easter with not much of a thought given to everything that happened in between the birth of our Savior and His subsequent death and resurrection. So, I didn't really know what it meant to give up something for Lent.

Now, I attend a Methodist church. I adore the Methodist church. There is so much love there. And so now, I celebrate Lent. I gave up something for Lent for the first time last year (desserts, if you're wondering). It didn't really go all that well, especially considering that I told my then husband that I wanted a divorce about a week after Lent began. So, that whole no desserts thing when right out the window, along with my waist line.

This year, I started thinking about what I should give up for Lent. I don't really have any vices. I don't drink sodas. I eat healthy. I exercise. So, I started thinking that maybe I could actually give up something that means something this year. I started thinking about things that I don't do instead of things I do. One thing came to mind right way. In the past six years, I stopped reading my Bible. I know that probably doesn't seem like much, but from about 6th grade until the first year of my marriage, I had a daily quiet time where I would read my Bible and pray. I stopped doing that the first year of my marriage. It was hard to read a book that said that I had to stay married to someone regardless of how I was being treated. I was just angry. I never got angry at God per se. I mean, I never stopped going to church. I taught Sunday School. I participated in Bible studies. But outside of church, I did not open the Bible very much at all. And I've actually felt a loss in my life because of not reading my Bible. Until I actually was able to reconcile a divorce with my faith, I felt a whole lot of emptiness even in church. Thankfully, I have been surrounded by some pretty amazing people in my church and in the blogging community who have helped me get to a better space in my mind in regards to my divorce and the scriptures. I am slowly but steadily becoming free from my anger.

So, this year, I am giving up not reading my Bible. In the next forty days, I hope to fall in love with the Word of God once again, and become free from the anger I felt completely.

Peace and blessings to you all as you begin your Lenten journeys.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Who Are You Calling Chicken?

Some people are cat people. Some people are dog people. I, well, I am a chicken person. I tried having a dog before. And honestly, it was the worst experience of my life. I had all these grand ideas of what it would be like to have a dog. And then when I got the dog, it was horrible. The barking and the hair and the cleaning up poop from my floor and the walking the dog at all hours and in all kinds of weather, well that was just not for me.

As I was preparing to get the chickens, I was so afraid that I would wind up in the same place I was with the dog. But that has not been the case. Not even once. I've had the chickens for a week, and I've loved them more every day. They literally are the world's easiest pet. AND they give you eggs to boot. Interestingly enough, I would say that they are even more affectionate than my dog. I never imagined that a chicken could like to be petted. But these birds do. They literally will eat right out of my hand.


And they will pose for the camera so that you can see their gorgeous coloring. What a diva!

And here they are, mid-bath. I've never seen chickens more excited about a mound of dirt.

The next door neighbor saw us moving the coop this morning and asked if I'd "brought some Alabama to Atlanta." And I guess, he was right. I did bring a little bit of home to my new home. And these little ladies are filling my home with excitement.

Oh, and just since I'm sure you are all keeping count...the chickens have laid ten eggs so far.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Has Anyone In This Family Ever Even Seen a Chicken?

Every time I go out to check on the chickens, I think about this...

I have only had these chickens since Saturday and I am already acting ridiculous about them. Today while I was at work, Jeremy (that's my fella) sent me g-chat to see if he could use one of the eggs. I picked up the phone and called right away. An egg. He wanted to use one of my freshly laid, from my very own chicken, eggs. And I floundered a bit. I had kind of wanted to save the first egg. Of course, then I got a hold of myself and told him that he could use one of the eggs. We did get the chickens so that they would lay eggs so that we could eat them. Meanwhile, the whole time I was thinking, "If I keep this up, I'll be on the newest episode of Hoarders in no time!".

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love and Things of That Nature

Since it has been a year, I guess it is now safe to joke about the fact that I told my ex-husband that I wanted a divorce ON Valentine's Day. I mean seriously, who picks a day like that to drop a big ol' bomb like that? I can't tell you why I chose that day in particular. Maybe I'd just had all I could take and the spirit of love that was flowing on Valentine's Day just prompted me to finally love myself and break free from a bad relationship.

And now...I'm in a great relationship. I am cherished. And not just by another person. I love me too. And that feels nice.

So, Happy Valentine's Day y'all! Go out and spread love. But start with yourself!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Birds of a Feather

I am a farm girl. Despite living in the city for the past six years, I am 100% a farm girl. I grew up on a farm in a very small town in Alabama. I have been around cows, chickens, horses, and gardens my entire life. Shoot, I even went to a "farm college". Farming is just in my blood. I have missed that part of my life a good deal. I have spent many a days dreaming about having my own little farm. But, with the way my life appears to be ensconced in the city due to my job, I have had to do without my little farm.

When I first moved into my neighborhood in Atlanta, I was quickly became a member of the neighborhood garden club. Two years ago, I became the Vice President of the Trowel and Error Garden Club (phunny right?). Being the VP isn't glamorous. It just means that I had to get the speakers. Thanks to the amazingness that is Twitter I quickly discovered Georgia Organics. They generously offered a speaker for the Garden Club. I anticipated learning about what Georgia Organics does. The lady who spoke, however, took a different approach. She taught us about raising backyard chickens. And the idea of raising chickens in my backyard really stuck with me. I could start my farm in the city. I could have backyard chickens. I could have a garden. I could do what I know with what I have. But the dream has just been a dream, until now.

Since I have started dating the world's most amazing man, I have talked non-stop really about having my own chickens and my desire to live more sustainably.  Finally, my new fella said "let's do it!". So I posted on Facebook to see where I could find chickens and we set to looking for plans to build a coop. About a month after my post, a friend of mine sent me a message to see if I could adopt her chickens. She had recently had twins, and twins and chickens were just too much work. So we really had to kick it into high gear to get the coop built. When I say we, I really mean my sweetie. I did help just the tiniest bit, but my inability to draw a straight line with the assistance of a straight edge quickly got me out of helping. After several days of working, the coop was finished!

Please gaze upon the beautiful chicken tractor! Didn't he do a great job?

Saturday, I drove to downtown Atlanta with a dog crate in my the back of my Prius to pick up my ladies. They seemed to make themselves right at home in their new coop!
(As an aside, yes that is an antique blue mason jar that is holding the chicken feed. I am nothing if not fancy.)

Last night when I visited them, I found my very first egg from my very first hens. And I literally am still excited about it!

Things I have learned so far:
  • - Chickens don't really have a way to hold on to dog crates and will slide all over the place when you make a sharp left turn.
  • - Hauling chickens in the back of your car will in fact make your car smell like a barn yard.
  • - Chickens do not need a rooster to lay eggs (I already knew this, but A LOT of people don't.)
  • - Chickens can actually be affectionate animals. One of our chickens, Mabel, will go out of her way to get to you to pet her.

My girls and I are getting along great so far. I didn't even mind having to get up earlier than normal this morning to go out and visit with them. Step one of creating an urban homestead in my back yard is complete. Now it's time to start planning my garden!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Introverts and Extroverts

This week, I am going to go waaaayyyy outside my comfort zone. And not in a way that would seem "outside one's comfort zone" to most people. I am having a birthday party for my fella at my house. Again, doesn't seem weird right? Well, I am not a fan of people being at my house. I don't like for people to be in my space. I don't like for people to touch my things. Shoot, I would rather people not even look at my things. But alas, I love my new fella so very much that I am going to scoot right outside my comfort zone for him.

Why you ask? Because having people around him is right up his alley. For instance, he didn't get called in to work today so he played tennis with a friend and then they went to lunch. If I didn't get called in to work, I'd not even leave the house. I'd hole up and read a book or something. I would not venture out where there are people. My job requires me to be around people all the time. I'm constantly having to talk to people and answer questions and by the end of the day I don't want to hear anyone say anything. And some days, I don't even want to be touched. So, suffice it to say, panic is already flooding my person in preparation for Wednesday.

The nice thing is that he knows how much of a struggle this is for me. And he appreciates the effort I am putting forward to allow people into my personal space...even people I've not met. And bless him, he is doing all he can do to help me become desensitized to having people around. But as much as he loves me, I just don't think he quite can fathom why I'd be perfectly happy going for days on end without seeing anyone or having to talk to anyone. And that's okay. It's okay for us to be different. I don't prevent him from being around his friends and he doesn't force me to be around people. But I do worry, if our relationship progresses, if it will eventually be a problem. Sure, I am able to rally and go to parties and dinners and all with him and his friends. But I also wonder when this will become a stumbling block to our relationship. Like will he eventually start to resent my not wanting to be around other people.

I worry about this, because I get my introversion from my mother. She too is perfectly content to not be around other people. My dad has even said something to her about not having any friends with which she likes to do things. He doesn't understand her either. Because he is very much an extrovert. The man has never met a stranger in his life (and honestly neither have I), but he just can't understand why she doesn't like to be around other people. But I get it 100%. It's not about not wanting to be around other people at all really. And it's not about being shy. We just both have so much going on in our minds all of the time that having to interact with other people drains all of our energy. So thus, I worry. I worry that someone who is energized by being around people and someone who is drained by being around people just won't work out in the long run.

How about you? Are you an introvert/extrovert and in a relationship with the opposite of you?  How do you make concessions for one another? How do you care for one another?