May 13, 2013

chicks and bees

It occurred to me yesterday afternoon, as I stood in a grubbier than normal barnyard wearing my new summer tunic (finished that morning because I can't seem to sleep in, even on Mother's Day), my best wool pants and my favorite strappy heels picking out chickens that, in our 17 years together, Will's best surprises have all been marked by me being inappropriately dressed for the situation.

There was that time in college when he woke me up before dawn, handed me a backpack and talked me into walking halfway across Eugene in my Pajamas to surprise me with a train trip to Seattle. In my pajamas.

Or there was the night he proposed to me while I was wearing a pair of his old jeans held up with a rope belt and my oldest, grubbiest sweater because I thought we were going crabbing. Actually,w e did go crabbing, but only after the proposal.

And then yesterday, when he and the kids plotted to surprise me with chickens for Mother's Day.

All awesome, wonderful, totally perfect for me surprises. The inappropriate dress is just part of the game I think.

We have had a very busy weekend here at our house. Or gosh, maybe I should start calling it a farm, the way we're going. Bees and chicks and hens and a finished (barely in the nick of time) coop and progress on the garden and lots of hand drawn cards from my sweet babes. The bees arrived safe and sounds, although half a day late so that we rushed to get them in before the sun went down. The only hiccup in transferring them to their new home was me forgetting to change my shoes from sandals (another instance of inappropriate dress, clearly it's me) and getting a wee little sting on one foot when I stepped on a bee. My fault entirely. Otherwise they were gentle and well mannered and much more interested in bumming around together and eating than what I was doing. I did order Italian bees for a reason. This morning I opened the hive again to check that the queen had escaped her cage, which she had. I did not manage to spot her but the bees were busy building comb and were clumped around one spot so I imagine she was in there being pampered.

The chicks, three Buff Orpington named Rose, Dorothy and Blanch, aka "The Golden Girls" and two Americanas named Feather and Princess Leia, are safely ensconced under a heat lamp in our bathroom, peeping their little hearts out and their elderly sisters, two adult Barred Rocks who are a little camera shy but are named Henny Penny and Minerva Louise are whooping it up in the coop from the sound of their clucking this morning. Hopefully we'll have a few eggs by nightfall.

So, whew, busy. And lovely. And perfect.