The new chicken coop sits empty for another month or so until these little fuzzy peepers grow their feathers. We have four of them.  You and I drove to Watsonville (local stores had none, little piggy) and watched the “layers” in a variety of colors peck around. Name it what it does rather than what it is, I guess.  Like functional drinks. Functional animals. Layers, fryers…You looked for the cutest, I watched for healthy eyes, energy level and condition of the vent.  I also hoped to discover what breed they were as I watched.  Excuse me I asked again…”Layers” the counter lady scolded.  Then helped out by adding, “Mixed layers”.  Hmm.  Forget finding a Buff Orpington, Silver Laced Wyandotte or Americauna.  Grandma, they’re mixed!  That’s good, right.  You are so optimistic, buddy. We avoided the dead one and the chicks that were pecking at it and the one sleeping on it, too.  And chose our favorites, all hunched down, peeping and kicking and put them in a box and drove them home. The supplies were ready; clip light, chick meal, waterer and food dispenser.  They scrape, poop and flick it all over, I know things; so I thought I was ready.  You were instantly  besotted. Grandpa had given you instructions to tame his chickie for him.  You took that job very seriously.  You called the little brownish one Grandpa, the black one Nancy and the little one I hoped was a blue layer, Liza.  But that one stretched its neck and it had no feathers between its head and body!  None-a skin-neck.  Someone’s breeding preference, I guess. Called a Hamburg?  A skin-necked hamburg? Ugh.

Being distracted from all else to hold the chicks, you couldn’t eat, talk, listen, and were unwilling to leave the house, I had to schedule chick visits for 15 minutes every hour when the long hand is on the 2. The first two days you sit and watch the hands tick around.  Right now you are napping.  The peeping kept you awake last night, you said.  I think it was knowing there were little fuzzy chicks going untouched and two little hands restlessly longing. In a few minutes- our “ten minutes after the hour” comes and I think about you missing your chick time. You can get it next hour.  (Liza has to sit while the cage is open after nearly smashing one under her knees), dogs out and for now you can have one out at a time.  They are a few weeks old.  Just getting their tiny flight feathers. I feel protective of them, obligated to support their survival.  Sound like me? They live in an old dog kennel.  Just today reinforced with aviary wire. Liza pokes toys in the cage, climbed on it and sometimes grabbed a head.  Now she yanks the wire off as she is able trying to gain access.  She and Georgia both want to SQUEEZE them and pop them in their mouths.  What was I thinking? Well, its not a kitten.  They will go out in the coop really soon. (3 or 4 weeks in this weather)

Grandpa’s out of town, so Liza and I fight all day and evening about everything-food, diaper change, drink, touching the stove, cry-whining around the house for hours, pulling off pants, sock I just put on, slapping at you, blasting through your blocks, kicking at the dogs and throwing things; missing Gina or mommy or simply discontent (Ha! am I talking about myself?)  I am not emotionally equipped to manage your sissy sometimes. Determined to find a full-time daycare.  She needs someone to love, care for and provide her regular and supportive care routines on my behalf.  For her. A little consistent group of friends. I am afraid to be alone with her especially after a sleep deprived night like last night. She might eat me for breakfast. Metro was nuts all night. Howling, tapping his feet as he paced! (oblivious, by the way, to the chicks). Cannot figure out a solution for him.

We walked out this morning to a wild turkey in the sand box.  I saw evidence of it last week on the deck.  Liza screamed in terror and ran back to my legs for safety.  You called to it as it flew (gall-umph) to the fir tree over the lawn where it stayed for a few hours (fearful, I am sure, of sissy’s screech). It reminded me of how much I love it up here.  I have been too exhausted to walk much, find no time to even explore our place at all.  Missed the mushroom ring by the big oak, the chantrelles, the budding plum tree.  Well, I’ll go take in the apples.

Tile is done for now, kitchen gorgeous, bathrooms wonderful and the plaster wall is curing.  Have you ever seen such a thing?  Ron smeared what looks like rough outdoor stucco on the bead head wall of the bedroom one day and then troweled and re-troweled a brownish-taupe color over it until very smooth (eggshell like).  It was chocolate, dark fudge, the lightened like cream in coffee then we expect it to be taupe with variation when done.  It is colored to coordinate with Grandma Brown’s Bonny Doon quilt that she gave us last Eugene trip.

Daddy’s 30 this week.  Had a nice dinner party last night at a local restaurant.  Got messages mixed and Grammie didn’t make it.  Maybe Sunday dinner here for Grammie and Mike?  Hope she’s not annoyed with us.  We’ll see.  I just bought a bone-in organic leg of lamb. MMMM. Hope the weather warms.  We want to have an egg hunt! Last year you were in Montana for Easter. Remember the gifts I sent to all of you and your cousins?  Did your mommy make the baskets I suggested out of shopping bags?  Maybe I will this year.

Well, buddy, I am going to go take some pain reliever, lay down a minute before Liza gets home with Gina (you are with Grandpa today getting vertical grain fir for the window and door trim).  I may have to take Liza to the doctor, she keeps making raspberry sounds and has a bad goober nose for two weeks. (ears?)  No Medi-Cal, so its on a cash basis now-ugh.  Love you. gma

Ellie says, “papa and ma-ma”, very sweet.  She’s sure fond of her Grandpa!

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