Monday, March 8, 2010

All Back to Normal

That was quick ;).

We had pizza for lunch and I'm thinking potato soup for dinner. I didn't get around to putting the beans to soak :).

So, I don't get the day off, but neither will the baby chicks get too cold ;).

Speaking of ...

Two Aracunas and a Rhode Island Red.

We were having a very lively discussion about raising chickens on one of the local homeschool e-groups. There are a lot of us backyard chicken wranglers on the group and even more people who are interested, but understandably a little hesitant to jump right in.

I love having our chickens, and I think, given my experience and what I know now, that if I had to live someplace where I couldn't be as open about my birds as I am, I'd do just exactly what I recommended several years ago when I first realized that the suburbs is where we are, and the suburbs is where we'll stay.

On that topic, I read a piece by a guest blogger over at Club Orlov yesterday, and as an American who lives in the suburbs, I was pretty insulted by the whole piece, but I had to step back and ...

... one, consider the source. I've known a few Europeans in my time, and to say that they are a bit ... hmmm ... what's the word? Arrogant ... is an understatement (no offense to my European readers, because I know that's just as much a stereotype as the traits the author of the post assigns to us American suburbanites - and, actually, my very dear European friends aren't arrogant as much as they believe themselves to be more enlightened than we, Americans. In some ways (not all, but some) their belief is true, but there's a danger in making blanket statements about a whole culture, because there are always glaring exceptions, and even the most, seemingly, accurate stereotypes usually fall apart as soon as one looks a little deeper into an individual situation :). I think, just as there are thoughts and beliefs that many Europeans hold based on their history, there are thoughts and beliefs Americans have, and we just can't know what it is to *be* American, or Italian, or French, or Russian, unless we were raised in those places by people who were raised in those places. It's like being human and believing we *know* how a beehive functions. We think we know, based on educated guesses and observation, but we don't really know.

... and ...

... two, realize that he doesn't know *me*, personally, and so he wasn't talking about *me*, in particular. It's quite possible that his only experience with American suburbanites is exactly as he described them. Maybe I should tell him to go and check out Patty Moreno - another suburban homesteader who's doing some remarkable things, none of which include languishing on the couch and cursing her bad luck, and who lives in a Boston suburb (Roxbury, MA), too.

What's funny is that the author of the piece talks about living three generations in this one house. This weekend, we found ourselves in the same situation when my daughter and her family moved in. There are eight of us, now, living in my little house.

And I keep calling my house "little", but my father and his siblings grew up in a much smaller house with five more people.

So, I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

Perspective and clutter, of which his family had very little and my family has a great deal.

Too bad the electricity came back on. If I'd thought about it, I probably could have used the power outage as an excuse to do some orgainzing ;).

Oh ... darn. Now, I have to sit at the computer instead of cleaning house (*grin*).


  1. And they're all girly chicks right? I heard you have to wait til they're older before hatching them yourself if you didn't want a rooster. Of course I could have sworn there was such a profession as a "chicken sexer" that can divine the sex of a chicken.

    Yeah, I've been dealing with a really annoying European person myself right now. But on the topic of parenting. But I don't know how much of the difference stems from cultural differences or she's just honest to chickens insane.

  2. I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your blog. You seem to be much more down to earth and reasonable than some bloggers that live in the "absolute." I live in a small city (60,000) that is somewhat like a large suburb all by itself, so much of what you write applies to my situation. Whatever doesn't apply I find interesting anyway. Keep up the good work.

  3. Bezzie: yes, all girlies :). I don't know how they do it, but I do know that in some egg laying creatures that the temperature and humidity of the eggs during incubation determines the gender of the chick. I don't know if it's the same with chickens, but so far, we've had a 100% success rate with regard to buying girl chicks and getting hens ;).

    Thank you, Annie. I really appreciate what you say, and I'm glad that what I'm saying makes sense :).