Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Chicken Lives in our Window Well and Other Stories

Actually, there aren't any "other stories." It was just as I typed "A chicken lives in our window well," it sounded nice to add, "and other stories." Doesn't that seem like a catchy title? One for a book -- a collection of memoirs or short stories perhaps? In fact, wait a minute here, maybe I should rename my blog that! Should I? I mean "Nancy's Thoughts"?? Honestly. BOR-ING. "Oh, I'm going to go see if Nancy has posted any new thoughts on her blog about her thoughts -- what is she thinking in her thoughts anyway? I guess I'll have to go to Nancy's Thoughts to see." Contrast that with, "I wonder if there are any new stories -- any other stories on that Chicken in the Window Well blog." This definitely warrants considering.

But, moving on to the chicken in the window well. Yes, one lives there. Those of you who have begun reading my blog recently or who don't know much about my years as Mike's wife might be thinking something like, "Whhaa?? Cr-A-zy!" The rest of you are thinking, "Yawn. Big surprise."

My sister and her husband brought this particular chicken to a family white elephant gift exchange. Their neighbors were going to cook the bird up because it was being picked on by all the other hens. Hen pecked. Huh. I just remembered that term. Well, now I know why it's a term. We didn't choose the gift, mind you. It was just the natural assumption that Mike would take the chicken home in the end. I mean, look how scared every one else was of it.

Anyway, it wasn't an ideal situation. Our dog was VERY interested in our chicken. And having him immediately kill it when it had just been rescued from the stew pot would make for quite the bitter irony.

Luckily, Mike's aunt lent us her little breeder (I think that's what it's called). It's basically a large wire cage with a little hen house at one end so the hen can hang out in her little hen house and then strut about her tiny fenced in section of the world totally dog free. Only our hen wasn't planning on strutting anywhere at any time for anybody. I thought surely she was dead all winter long. She never left her tiny house. Mike tried to put her food at the end of the breeder so she'd have to go out that far, but ended up moving it closer for fear he was starving her. I don't know. Maybe she preferred a bunch of other hens pecking at her all the live long day to one clumsy large dog breathing his slobbery breath down her neck every time she stepped out for a bit of fresh air (even though his breath was now separated by some nice safe fencing). She wouldn't lay an egg for nothin' and I just kept thinking it wouldn't be the end of the world if she'd give up the old ghost (well, technically it would be the end of the world for her, I guess).
Anywho. I don't know how long she was down the window well before I knew. Probably awhile. I'm sure Mike knew as he was the one caring for the creature. Maybe he'd even told me how she got there. I do recall getting Penny off of the trampoline one day and her struggling to not go in the house because she wanted to look at the chicken and she kept pointing to the window well, but I just thought, "Silly, there's no chicken down there." Actually, I don't know that I even thought that. I don't think I even thought anything. Certainly not, "What? Is the chicken living in the window well now?" I think it just skimmed right off me much like someone asking for ice-cream right before dinner might -- not even a thought worthy of my pausing to consider.
Eventually, I must have asked or been told that the chicken was there. I don't know why she hasn't been moved back to the breeder. But before you go getting all up in arms about animal rights and how our chicken should go for a daily walk and only be chained up so many hours of the day and have time in the house and snacks for good behavior, let me tell you this: Our chicken loves her window well. In fact, she's THRIVING in the window well. A few happy nights in the window well and she started laying eggs EVERY day. Sometimes I hear her down there pecking the glass loudly with her beak. She probably sees her reflection and thinks it's some other hen, and she's probably thrilled to death to be hen pecking a chicken back for a change. Think how her confidence must be growing as that sissy chicken in the glass can't even manage to get one peck in. Besides, it's a pretty large window well.
So, now Mike goes down to the basement and, opening the window, reaches out to take care of old henny every day. (Side note: I recently realized that "everyday" all as one word does not mean every single day. It's like "boring old common" -- so, I'm glad I remembered to do it right in the last sentence, otherwise I would have been saying something like, "That chicken's feathers aren't one bit exciting. They're just so everyday. She's just such an everyday chicken").
But, this all came up because Mike is out of town, and I'm in charge of animal care and feeding whilst he's away, and it just felt a little weird going down to the basement to feed the chicken in the window well tonight. But, that's one of the fun things about my life. It's not so everyday as one's life might be if they didn't have things like chickens in their window wells.


BS and the Kids said...

Oh Nancy, how you have stories to tell. I think I need some more excitement in my life. Thanks for the laughs.

Tia Juana said...

First of all, I think you absolutely should rename your blog. And I really dig the chicken theme. Perhaps the whole 'Chicken in a Window Well' line is a little long though - how about "Chicken Tales" because then you can easily include the made up tales like the ones where you are afraid you will die in that luxury van of yours in the middle of the lake. You know, "Chicken Tales" for the tales about chickens in the window well AS WELL AS tales about how the sky is falling and other such Chicken Little-type worries....

Secondly, I did not realize the chickens layed eggs EVERY DAY (as opposed to everyday). I guess I knew it but, just now, reading this post, it dawned on my that they do. I just figured every body (as opposed to everybody) had more than one chicken so they COULD have an egg every day. But, then that would be A LOT of chickens to make even a single dozen of eggs. I suppose I had just never stopped to think about the gestational period of a single egg. Does she ever lay any more than one? Because that would be super cool! SUPER CHICKEN!!!

And thirdly, actually there is so much more than three things that I cold say about this post, I think that perhaps Super Chicken likes the well because there may or may not be some remnants of some nice green "grass" down there what with it being YOUR basement and all. SUPER CHICKEN indeed!!!

Really. There is so much more I could say but I have got to clean this here house of mine....

Tia Juana said...

And, those pictures? Priceless!

I would like to hear more about that whole party and how it came to be that a chicken was opened up. Could everybody (as opposed to every body - which I think I used incorrectly in the last comment) hear the chicken rustling around inside? Did everyone totally freak a freak? You do know that if I was in your family I would have peed my pants. Especially if I would have had to open it.

I love how everyone is all "Ewww... chicken!!!".

And, did the chicken poop in the house while he was strutting about at the party? Because aside from noticing how those two young ladies are leaning away from the freakish thing like I would be want to do as well, I couldn't help but notice how close it was to the furniture and that he was ON the carpet.

I am impressed too, that people are actually seated while the chicken is near. I think I may have gone out to the car until the chicken was caged. Or at least locked in the bathroom - the chicken OR me.

That is all for now. Unless I close this window and think of more things to say about this disturbing situation.

Tia Juana said...

Also, I think you love Mike more than I love Joe.

Perla said...

Oh dear about Tia's last comment. HAHAHA!

Definitely rename your blog. The whole thing, or just "Chicken in the Window Well" or something. Love it. And that was so cool when Jason said to me, "Nobody's watching that chicken in the box. i think its going to attack," and just then...it did just that...well...maybe not attack.

What are the talons like on Henny? More chicken tales, please.

Nancy said...

Alright . . . I just might do it (rename the blog that is), but, I'm scared of very minor changes as you know, so I'll have to get up my courage.

Tia, we have a Christmas white elephant exchange with the adults of the family. Some have oddly strong negative feelings about the white elephant business, but many (myself included) think it's a rip roaring good time. Anyway, Megan brought the chicken down from one of her farmy neighbors -- in a box -- apparently it just sits there very still and nervous or maybe asleep when in a box. SHe actually WRAPPED the box right up (though she did write "fragile" on it). My oldest sister opened it (she's in the picture looking sad). It just stayed there looking terrified, then, all of a sudden -- just when SHan said it might attack, it flapped out -- wings all crazy -- right towards those seated on that couch and they (and their husbands probably) screamed in horror. Then the chicken was put back in the box and the flaps were put mostly down and it stayed there nervously quiet til we took it home -- and now it's in our window well.

Oh, yes, and chickens -- in their prime, and egg everyday. In Winter or when they are stressed (like when one of ours barely survived a dog attack) or when they are getting old, they lay them less frequently. And, while we are here, I will tell you this (because people ask me this ALL THE TIME). No, not every egg could become a baby chick. Think of those chickens eggs much like your own. You ovulate every month -- the chicken does every day (right into a nest) -- but there aint gonna be no baby comin' from that egg unless a rooster had been involved before it made it's way out.

Whew. There. I'm done. Except for saying that it would have been good times having you at the party screaming and piddling your pants and refusing to come back in the room til the chicken was gone. All the excitement we got were the two reactions in those pictures. In fact, I reacted almost as badly when I got a fruit cake roll from Jason.

Nancy said...

Oh crud. I said "and egg everyday" when I meant to say "AN egg EVERY DAY." Sheesh.

Tia Juana said...

I for one think that white elephants are just dog gone great! I think they are especially fun for birthday parties - where you bring a white elephant for the person. When I turned 40, Rod had a party for me and everyone brought me white elephant gifts and I got the greatest things - old crutches and stuff. My kids had a blast with those crutches out in our cul-de-sac. But, had someone really brought me a chicken - oh baby, that would have been the last of me.

And I did not really get my house CLEAN but I did get it picked up. I have "stuff" issues right now. I really need to clean out my whole house - WAY too much accumulation right now. If I had my druthers, I'd have a birthday party and give all my stuff away. Now, that I think about it, maybe next year Rod will throw me a big 40th birthday party and I will give everyone a white elephant give for coming.

But there won't be any chickens, I can assure you of that.

And, I need to thank you for the egg information becasue, really, didn't ever think about the chicken/baby thing. I know that sounds ridiculous but unless you are prone to having chickens for pets, you just don't think about these things. But you never answered my question about the 2 eggs in one day thing... like twins. Do chickens ever have twins? Sometimes I get an egg with a double yolk and it about makes me the happiest person on earth when it happens, but do chickens ever lay 2 eggs in one day? Because if not, then how many chickens does an egg farmer have to have? It makes me appreciate my 18 eggs from Sam's Club for $2.38 a little more. Thank you to the 18 chickens who live in window wells so I can make cookies, French Toast and omelets.

Also, if you can put your comments in a little box and love the change so much, I know you are capable of changing your blog name without any real angst.

And, have you noticed that my blog still says 2009? I can't find another blog design I like so I decided I would just be 2009 for a while. If only I had started my blog in 2009 then it could be like an "established in" little thing, but alas, its just 2009 and an indication that my life is unorganized and out of control.

Finally, do you use SUPER CHICKEN's eggs or are you afraid to use them for fear they might be drugged, what with the window well and all. If any of your children start acting all out of control or have sudden super strength, you may want to rethink their egg intake.

Tia Juana said...

I meant to say that when I turned 30 Rod threw that elephant party for me. I'm not yet 40 as you well know.

Tia Juana said...

I've checked the box for follow ups to be emailed to me so feel free to comment here. Crossing over from blog to facebook back to blog is crossing the line of too much technology, dont' you think?

Krista said...

Sorry - I guess I've been a little behind in reading. As you know we've had a tragedy in my neighborhood - funeral tomorrow. Hard to be happy with a big rain cloud above. Now, will these chickens lay golden eggs?

Nancy said...

Yes, Tia. It was actually techonologically exhausting when I had to cross over to fb toi alert you about a message here. Whoo-wee. So, thank you.

As for the twinsys. Well, I don't know. Mike would know, but he's out of town. The internet would probably know too, but that wouldn't be as fun as limiting ourselves to my first hand knowledge. So, I am not positive if two yolks would mean twins -- though it certainly seems to suggest such a thing as the yolk sac is what gives them their nutrition as they grow. So, two yolk sacks, two chicks?? Maybe they wouldn't survive since an egg can't stretch like a tummy. BUT, I was surprised that seeing two yolks makes you excited. I would have pegged you for a "two yolks in an egg gives me the heebie jeebies and I wish I could take the egg back out of the recipe" kind of girl. Because, frankly, it heebie jeebies me a little. Another confession: it took some time before I could get rid of feeling a little creeped about using fresh eggs -- even thought I KNEW I wasn't supposed to feel creeped, I was supposed to feel super coolly organic.

As for laying two eggs in a day. Hmm. I sort of think maybe I've seem it happen -- like a vague memory maybe of Mike coming in long ago and saying, "ANOTHER egg today!" -- but I am not sure if that is a real memory or not.

And, you better believe I give my kids those eggs. If, perchance, any of what you suggest is going on with those eggs, I see no reason not to give my kids a little eggy boost of "mellow and all is groooovy with the world."

Was that all the questions? I can't remember. Maybe I'll do some more chicken posts to cover anything we've missed -- and to more appropriately make this a blog worthy of a chicken blog title.

P.S. Yes, yes, I knew you were thinking ahead to your 40th birthday -- the one waaay down the road.

Nancy said...

P.S. I like that it looks like the whole world wanted to comment on this post when really it is just mostly me and you jab jab jabbering away as we are want to do.

Amber said...

Nancy, first of all I LOVE how you write and I envy your talent!
Second your kids are so stinkin' cute and funny!
And last, but certainly not least, all these chicken adventures are awesome! I love chickens. I've never actually had chickens,or taken care of any, or been around them much at all, but I'm pretty sure I love them. I get all happy at the thought of them pecking at the ground and wandering around my yard. But, inside my house, on the couch, flapping towards me That "feeling" starts to go away a little bit. Just a little, though.

marz said...

I know you'll be shocked to hear that I'm no chicken expert. . . but I must ask: What in the world is a chicken's window well?

Nancy said...

Oh my little WA Marz -- WA where pretty much no one has a basement. A window well has nothing at all to do with a chicken (or at least shouldn't -- in a normal world). A window well is a big deep hole dug down from your level yard right up against the house, so that you can have a window there in your basement letting light come in ('cause, you know, if they put a window in a basement with no hole dug out, then you'd just see nice dirt out your basement window). Next time you come here, I will show you this marvelous creation. FOr some reason our chicken flew down in ours and loves it there.

P.S. THis reminds me of when I was giving some of our YW a ride once and they had no idea what the window scraper brush thing in my car was (you know, the thing to brush off snow and scrape ice).

marzee said...

(Funny - window/ice scraper. Silly Utahins)

Yes - I've seen a window well. . . . we do have them in the Northwest. I just didn't know they had a "proper" name. My knowledge base is ever increasing - especially when visiting your site. Thank you!

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