The world being what it is

An October morning
The backyard on an October morning.

We expect Armageddon; the Bible has trained us well. We assume either annihilation or salvation, perhaps both. Millennarian beliefs are as old as time; the apocalypse has always been at hand. People have lain quaking in their beds waiting for the year one thousand, have cowered at the passage of comets, have prayed their way through eclipses. Our particular anxieties would seem on the face of things more rational, but they have an inescapable ancestry. The notion that things go on forever is recent, and evidently too recent to attract much of a following. The world being what it is, it has always been tempting to assume that something would be done about it, sooner or later.

— Moon Tiger, Penelope Fitzgerald

Things to be happy about:

  • I am reading again, which makes me feel like myself. I am also reading with the drive to read everything that I own but haven’t read yet. This means I have a lot of formidable, giant tomes to get through (Edith Grossman’s translation of Don QuixoteBleak HouseTristram ShandyThe Charterhouse of ParmaTom JonesThe AmbassadorsThe Gulag Archipelago). Sheesh. None of those sound even remotely fun.
  • Celebrating Lulu, the bride-to-be, this weekend!
  • The weather.
  • Fumiko found a good home! Our dear friends Ethan and Hannah have adopted her into their flock. Here is a photo of her new siblings checking her out (Fumiko is the tiny one in the cage):

Introducing Fumiko to her new flockWe are hopeful that she will survive, but regardless, we are grateful for kind, generous friends, taking in our lone hen. We are going to try again with the backyard chicken gambit next year.

The urban farm grows

Newest additions (chickens)

… with the addition of three Japanese bantams, acquired from the Montgomery family, who also gave us their amazing coop.

Newest additions (chickens)

Andrew is an architect by trade, so you know we’re getting a top-of-the-line construction here. Isn’t it great? These are very trendy hens with a high standard for interior design. I’d like to get them a Bauhaus era chaise lounge…

Newest additions (chickens)
Chiye, Fumiko, and Mayumi.

I’m pleased to introduce Chiye, Fumiko, and Mayumi!

Newest additions (chickens)
Mayumi and Fumiko.

Japanese names were chosen over Indonesian, once I learned their specific breed, which I am clearly thrilled about. I’ve been speaking to them exclusively in Japanese, so that they will feel at home. And I think it’s been working, because we got our first egg last night! Such a darling, cute little egg.

Newest additions (chickens)

I was hesitant to jump on the backyard chicken bandwagon, because of the fact that we house two high-energy chicken predators, but our garden fence serves as an excellent barrier.

Newest additions (chickens)

And we’ve positioned the chicken mansion behind the shed, so the dogs don’t have a clear view of them. We’ll let the ladies run around the garden fence when we’re out there and when the dogs are safely barricaded indoors. No plans to introduce the species.

Newest additions (chickens)

We’re very grateful to the Montgomery family for jump-starting our chicken-rearing dreams with this magnificent coop and the well-reared brood. More to come, certainly, on our continued adventures in urban homesteading and gardening…

Newest additions (chickens)