Monday, February 2, 2015

Self Expression in Yard Decor

Something was a little off...  A discordant key, a wrong note in the melody of my domestic theme song.  It took me several days to identify what was causing this little niggling irritation.  I've become so accustomed to the sound of our wind chime, that I wasn't conscious of listening to it, but I when one of the strings broke, and the wind chime was hanging crooked, I picked up on the difference without realizing what it was.  

After standing outside fiddling with the strings so long long that my fingers went numb from the cold and my ear drums felt like they were going to bleed from all the noise the chime was making as I wrestled with it, I finally gave up and patched it back together with a couple of handy twisty ties.  Ever since Brandon accused me of being a hoarder due to the excessive size of my twisty tie collection, I've had fun pointing out all the ways I've found to use them, like tying up tomatoes, making wreaths, and covering a jar of brew.  Unfortunately, the twisty tie solution to most problems is not the most elegant solution, and the wind chime repair looks like the thrifty fix of someone who tells herself she will come back later with a more permanent and less tacky solution, but  in her heart of hearts, knows she probably never will.  At least not until the twisty ties fail, anyway.     

I'm happy to have my song restored.  

After the success of the wind chime repair, I puttered around on the front porch tidying things and trying to imagine how the neighbors might view my weed patches wildflower gardens since this time of year they look very untidy.  I moved the giant wreath from the front yard to the back yard, where the privacy fence allows me to indulge in a more, uh... "rustic" aesthetic without offending anyone.  Not that my neighbors have ever said anything to make me think they don't approve of leaf mulched raised beds, compost piles, and chicken poop, but since none of them have these things on display, I feel like maybe it's not their favorite thing to look at and I keep it in the back yard as much as possible.  Some folks around us seem to like a clean green slate of grass, while even more seem to prefer a general scattering of kids toys, broken down cars, and dog kennels.  I've always appreciated the opportunity for self expression we are allowed by our lack of a home owners association.    

My compost is bountiful.  Since Jamie and I have been doing the juice fast during the weekdays for four weeks now, we have an abundance of orange peels and vegetable pulp for the compost.  The chickens have free access, and now that the compost has piled above the top of the the raised bed, they are starting to scratch some of the compost into the yard.  This isn't a big deal in the summer when things break down fast and I'm out there raking, but since it's too cold to care, I'm very glad this mess is in the back yard.  I have plans of adding some of this to each of my garden beds and covering it with leaves.    

Pork Fat, my new annoying chicken, looks much better now that her feathers have come in.  The burned pork fat odor has also dissipated.  This hasn't helped her make friends with Mrs. Hall and June, however.  She is still picked on and chased, and I have to feed her separate from the others or they won't let her eat.  This means she usually seeks refuge in some out of the way perch where she can see any incoming attacks.  She likes the table and chairs on the back porch, and the grill.  These are all places that are supposed to be off limits to chickens!  

Look how pretty the feathers on her neck and back are.  She doesn't have a pretty comb on top of her head, like June, but she does have this nice mane of feathers that frame her face.  I'm patiently waiting for the green eggs I've been promised that will make up for all her annoyances.  

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