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R.I.P. Clarice

Clarice our first Little Red Hen passed away night before last.  It’s been an odd sort of occurrence as I’m back to that same old question, what makes one chicken more pet like than another?  Bizarrely the girls had a better time adjusting to it than me I think.  Tori said goodbye to her and said a small prayer asking for Clarice to go peacefully because she was obviously in pain.  Gabby was upset only at first when she had thought she wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to Clarice.  Dennis and Tori had went down to check the eggs when he came back to say that he knew she’d be gone by morning, Gabby had been back at the house with me and overheard the comment.  Dennis had thought Gabby wouldn’t want to, or maybe shouldn’t, see the chicken but Gabby would have none of it.  So after sliding on Dennis’s oversized rubber boots she and I trekked down to the coops.  Gabby stood solemnly on tip toe peeking in at the poor bird whose head was hidden under a wing.  “Goodbye Clarice,” was all she said and then went skipping back up the hillside.  Tori made a few more comments that night about Clarice being a nice chicken who had even been able to visit her class at school and didn’t peck at anyone.  The next morning Clarice was gone.  On the ride home from school that day I explained that Clarice had died and that Daddy had taken her away.  Gabby true to her matter of fact ways said, “well it’s a nice thing that he took her away, we’ll have to go buy another Clarice.”  For all her cuteness I’m pretty certain that at times Gabby channels Wednesday Adams.

Today is the first day of spring.  Something I didn’t know is that this is supposed to be the most balanced day of the year.  Supposedly you can balance an egg on end.  I have plans to try this, if it works I’ll add a picture to this entry.  If it doesn’t I may add a picture anyhow.  The eggs are plentiful now my dark egg layers are finally laying but not quite as darkly as I’d hoped.  I’m beginning to think that the chicken catalogues are taking advantage of photoshop programs.  All the same we’ve had so many people wanting eggs, and so little free time to paint, that I’ve yet to make a single blown egg for Easter.  Perhaps this weekend I can find the time to do this.

Work trips have kept me, as well as Dennis, away from home.  I got the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia for the Public Library Association Conference.  Several firsts for me on that trip, I’d never flown and have now been on four separate planes.  Consequently I also now know the reason for one wanting a direct flight.  I’d say the travel portion and changing of planes wore me down more than anything.

Despite Philly being a large city I have to say I felt pretty welcome there.  I have a feeling, as I’ve mentioned to others, my southern accent sort of paved the way for me.  While it might not be true for everyone, many it seems can’t help but smile at the lilt of our voice.  That and the fact that it’s been ingrained in us to say please and thank you from the get go or, “if you can’t find anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  I had a nice conversation with a young girl in China town about my southern origins, her love of our accent, her realization that to me “she” had an accent and then later surprise when I mentioned that I’d once read an article saying that people from New Jersey speak slower than southerners.  Comically enough, she herself was a Jersey native.

Of everything there of course food was my biggest draw.  My hotel was downtown and next to the Reading Terminal Market .  The Market has been around since 1893 and houses everything from Amish baked goods and other foods, fish mongers and butchers, local cheese makers and produce to Greek Gyros and Crepes.  Above even being a foodie though I’m a people watcher.  The market has places to sit and eat near several of the vendors and then in the center of the building in a more communal area.  Outside of work and the opportunity to connect and learn from librarians across the country the trip was worth making  if only to sit by myself at one of the communal tables eating my crepe stuffed with banana’s and chocolate hazelnut spread watching the eclectic mix of locals and tourists.

Upon flying back into Kentucky I had a few thoughts on city dwellers verses us country mice.  I really don’t think that those in the city are at all unkind as we suspect merely protective of what little personal space that they have.  We have so much more breathing room out here.  Our day to day lives are lived with much more space between our buildings, homes and even selves.  You can’t help but understand when someone might be a little touchy of you invading their often less than three feet.  While I enjoyed the trip I have to admit that quite a bit of tension lifted from my shoulders as we passed over fields with horses in our plane and then later saw the knobs of Marion County looming ahead on the drive home.  One of the first things I did, as cliché southerner as it sounds, was to slip out of my shoes and walk outside barefoot in the grass.  I don’t think that makes me any less suave than the city people though, it just means I’m cultured enough to enjoy the finer things in life.