Every so often, in the midst of some deep discussion, either Cherie or I will throw out the question: “So, how ’bout them Bucs?” We do it to be able to laugh at ourselves. We have no actual interest in the state of affairs of “the Bucs” (our old hometown sports team). We just like to remind ourselves occasionally that we never seem to talk about trivial things.
We don’t have a TV and our nest is empty, so Cherie and I spend a lot of time talking to each other. We read at night and often we’ll interrupt each other by reading aloud something we’ve just come across. That typically begins a conversation, and the subject is nearly always about something like theology, history, philosophy or social justice issues. (That says something about the kind of books we read). Our conversations are never about the weather, sports, gossip, fashion, celebrities, television shows, or whatever else more normal folks discuss.
We are philomathic nerds and we know it.
We also know how fortunate we are to have found each other. We would have driven more normal spouses nuts by now.
Our sitting-hen-in-a-box experiment continues. We’ll see in a couple of weeks how well it goes. Lately every morning I let the hen out of the box and she seems happy to leave. But when I come back a little later, after doing some chores, she’s always waiting for me to put her back, and she seems happy to return. We have seven eggs in the nest and I’m hopeful that we’ll have a good hatch.
In the meantime we had another hen go broody and I don’t have another box to use. So I gave her a dozen eggs to sit on and she seemed happy enough, but predictably wouldn’t consistently return to the correct nest. So I took a dish towel and some duct tape and made a curtain for her. This gives her some privacy and hopefully discourages the other hens from getting into her nest. The “curtain nest” is scheduled for a hatch about a week after the “box nest.”
I’m interested to see how it turns out.
We are trusting that Jesus–purely nonviolent, purely benevolent, purely good–truly is the logos that reveals the heart of God and the ultimate inner logic by which the universe arcs toward justice and peace. And we are trusting that the Holy Spirit groans within us, as Paul puts it, in longings too deep for words, yearning within us for all creation to be liberated from the futility of human hostility and the destruction it unleashes. We are trusting that regardless of the ways the Bible has been abused for hostile purposes, it has unimagined resources for peaceable ones.
I’d much prefer that all the hens lay their eggs in the nesting boxes, where they’re supposed to. But I have some who insist on having it their way. One lays an egg behind my tractor seat just about every day. Several, like the one in the picture, prefer a nest they’ve made in the equipment shed, behind the onions.
I used to break up these rouge nests to try to make the the rebel hens lay in the henhouse. But lately I’m just letting them have their renegade nests. As long as I know where they are, it’s not much trouble for me to gather the eggs there too.
I reckon we can tolerate a little chicken nonconformity here.
I love all the great food our farm gives us, but if I was forced to give up everything from the farm except for one thing, I’d probably choose to keep our eggs.
Farm fresh eggs from free ranging hens are simply incomparable to the tasteless runny yellow eggs sold in supermarkets. Those are the products of confined hens who are being fed the cheapest possible food and kept in horrible conditions. The yolks are pale and runny. They taste bland, at best.
Americans eat millions of these kind of eggs every day, rewarding the egg factories for their practices. But I’ve never met anyone who prefers those eggs to the real thing.
First thing every morning I go out to our henhouse, open the gate to the chickenyard, then open the door to the house. The chickens are usually waiting for me and they come pouring out, soon spreading across the farm eating a natural diet. In the afternoon I go to the henhouse and collect the eggs. At dusk they all go back into the henhouse to roost. All I have to do is shut the door and the gate and they’re safe from predators.
I love keeping chickens and would probably do it even if the eggs didn’t taste so much better than those produced in factories. But given that the real thing is just so much better, it’s a no-brainer.