Family Photo Friday!

Family Photo Friday

While I normally say “Hold onto your hearts!” for the photos shared on Fridays, this one is more like “Come and get it!”

This is a photo of one of Blanche’s first eggs. You can figure out which one is hers, right? Just as a refresher, you may remember from the last “Family Photo Friday,” I told you about Blanche’s plan to eat until she became to largest chicken ever. Well, that is just about the largest chicken egg ever! And it turned out to be a double yolk egg too!

Double yolk eggs happen most often when hens are just beginning to lay eggs while their bodies are still getting accustomed to the whole process. After all, there is a lot involved they need to get right! Plus it takes about 26 hours from start to finish to produce just one egg.

Since they lay later and later each day with this 26-hour cycle, eventually a hen will lay so late in the day they won’t start the whole process again until their body clocks sort of does a “reset” based on daylight. Then they begin laying early in the morning again. In the meantime, the get a well-deserved “day off”!

Blanche really struggled with this egg for an uncomfortably long time, and I’m sure you can see why. Not only was she still very new to laying eggs, but this one was huge compared to the ones beside it laid by Gracie and Bessie who were still larger than Blanche at the time. (But no longer!)

One of the things I always try to remember to do when I’m collecting eggs is to be thankful. I’m sure there are plenty of other things they would rather be doing other than laying eggs for me!

Once you have collected a still-warm egg from a hen’s nest, you may never look at at chickens or eggs the same. Both are gifts and treasures.

You can read more about all of my chickens on this page.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

My Life With Gracie…From The Heart

From The Heart

This illustration is based on my first “My Life With Gracie” drawing. It is still one of my favorites of Gracie because of it’s simplicity and innocence. Even with an elaborate background, this drawing reminds me how we can be both helpless and hopeful at the same time. Perhaps this is one of life’s delicate balances which must be maintained to move forward.

Every morning, in the early morning, my chickens begin to stir. They are waiting for the sun to come up and give them enough light to see. They are reminded of their limited sight as soon as they wake up at the start of each day. This is because they are unable to see in darkness or even in dim light.

They are listening for the sound of the back door opening which means I’m on my way to open up their coop, give them their morning breakfast of fresh vegetables, and help them down the ladder if it’s still too dark for them to see clearly.

They hear the back door, and their first low soft peeps are almost imperceptible unless you are listening for them. They are speaking from their hearts both timidly and hopefully.

They want to know if it’s a predator they hear or if it’s really me coming to greet them into their new day.

Once they hear me talking to them, even though they can’t see me, they seem relieved and are eager to discover which of their favorites are in their morning breakfast salad.

Are we like blind chickens in the dim early morning light?

Do we recognize life is so much bigger than we are and can suddenly spin out of control or be lost in an instant? Yet do we also sense life has a grand design? And if a design, then a designer who desires it all to succeed?

Perhaps unlike chickens, we can too easily be blind to our own blindness.

My Life With Gracie taught me the importance of speaking from my heart even if doing so reveals my helplessness and hopefulness.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

From The Heart

My Life With Gracie…Pearl’s Comedy Coop!

(Just as a reminder, with chicken humor, you either get it or you don’t. In all honesty, I don’t really quite get all of it myself, but I hope you do. It probably is better understood by children, especially when read aloud in both Chicken and English.)

The time for Pearl’s comedy debut had finally arrived. The spotlight came on and illuminated the brick wall backdrop, microphone, and stool. Muffled clucks of excitement spread throughout the coop.

Pearl jumped and flapped to the top of the stool with confident precision. She has practiced this part well. Silence fell across her audience.

Everyone noticed her painted hot pink toenails. Low, hushed coos of amazement and approval could be heard here and there.

Then Pearl began.

Much to my surprise, everyone thought this joke was funny. It made no sense to me, but to the chickens, it was hilarious. Pearl was off to an excellent start.

Even more to my amazement, the chickens could hardly keep their seats they were laughing and cackling so hard! Pearl was an instant star as far as the other chickens were concerned.

A few of the chickens turned to look at me as if to say, “Don’t you understand how funny she is?” Pearl flipped over onto her back and pretended to be taking a dust bath while telling her next joke.

While everyone was laughing so hard they had tears coming from their eyes, I noticed Pearl had already pulling out a tall hat decorated with bananas. It looked just like one Carmen Miranda would have worn.

Suddenly I couldn’t help from joining in the laughter. Before I knew it, she had the hat tied under her chin and had popped off a brown beak cover to reveal her matching hot pink “beak-stick” shaped like a heart.

There was uproarious cackling and wing flapping throughout the coop. Everyone was laughing so hard, I seriously thought they would all lay eggs right then and there.

Pearl did her happy dance on top of the stool to signal the show was complete. She definitely left her audience wanting more!

It took quite a while to get everyone settled down enough to have their mealworm treats before bedtime.

Walking back to the house, I’m sure I heard a few hushed chuckles and cluckles of “To feed the chickens! To feed the chickens!” as everyone drifted off to sleep.

Knowing I had been a witness to something few people ever experience, I wondered, “Where did she get all of those little bananas?”

My Life With Gracie helped me see life just might work best when you have an “anything can happen” positive attitude.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated! So what do you think about Pearl’s comedy routine?

Anything Can Happen