Saturday, August 18, 2007

Eggs, Ticks and the end of the NHSC...

Though the PBS fund drive is taking its toll on our daily routine we have managed to accomplish a handful of things around here (except pledging to PBS). Once, there was a decrepit leaky shack built onto the rear of our house which housed our washer and dryer; now, it is no more. Slowly rising in its place is the new structurally and aesthetically sound laundry room. It has been a slow process because Florida in August is ridiculously hot and full of ravenous parasitic insects. I'm a big fan of symbiosis in most of its forms, but I freely exercise my evolutionary advantage when it comes to ticks. Buckley and Lula are just collecting them.

The Chicken update: Morrissey, our beloved coiffed chicken, has disappeared and is presumed to have become fox, coyote, bobcat or owl food. He was at a disadvantage because his hairdo blocked his vision. Cymande hopes he became baby owl food because that's a cuter image. Mr. Wonderful, the alpha cockerel, also met his end one afternoon to some stealthy predator. That was okay because he was kind of mean. Two more roosters met their end to a less stealthy predator, We invited a friend to show us how to do such a thing and he talked me through most of it. It was surprisingly simple and not very disturbing at all. I was comforted by the fact that the cockerels were starting to fight and were harassing the pullets...too many cockerels in the pullet house. We had cockerel and vegetables from the garden for dinner that night. It was wonderful, and no one got sick! Also, the egg laying has begun and as of today we have a broody pullet proudly sitting on 13 eggs. The roosters that are left are like professional birthing coaches: they squawk proudly when a hen lays an egg.

Our friend David stopped by on his way to his new home in Pittsburgh. He completed his contract with the National Health Service Corp on almost the same day that we did (August 16!). We celebrated surviving the past three years as NP's "serving the underserved" and did some debriefing (the occasional HIPPAA [or whatever] violation included). David has elected to flee Florida. We will soldier on, but henceforth WILL take time for lunch and WILL NOT tolerate entitled belligerence from anyone great or small. So, more time in the field...more time on the porch...more time with the chickens...more time with friends...more time for leisure.

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