Where you go, I will go; where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people for your God is my God.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Broody Hen


I promise I’m not trying to make this blog about chickens….really, I’m not!  But as I have mentioned before, we have them, and I have been reading, searching, and asking other chicken raisers all I can about chickens.  I’m more than a bit of a dork like that, but I believe in continually learning and we are thoroughly enjoying our chicken adventures thus far!  {After getting used to rooster crows in the middle of the night, that is!}

So on to the main point of the post….we have a broody chicken! {Well, I’m pretty sure, at least!  Like I said, we are new to this!} If you aren’t sure what that means, I encourage you to google it.  But lets just say, if all goes well, we should have baby chicks in about three weeks!  I’ll keep ya posted!

Friday, September 21, 2012

La Cocinita

When Rafa and I first met, we spent most of our days high up in mountain villages with the people there.  Life is even slower there than in the rest of Mexico.  The people rise in the morning when the sun wakes them.  Meetings where set for times like “after the dinner hour” or “at dark”.  The idea of minutes and hours pretty much did not exist.  DSCN2517

{In between naps, eating, and diaper changing, J enjoyed checking in on the progress his papa was making.  I enjoyed doing the same!}

There the woman daily cook corn, grind it for masa and spend hours pounding out tortillas for their families.  All over a comal with a flame under it. Tortillas are a basic food group.  Women, or girls rather, have their babies young and are married even younger.  It is said that when a girl can make tortillas on her own she is ready to marry.  DSCN2531

So I learned to make tortillas.  Not so much to be allowed to get married, {though that was a plus!} but because it was the natural thing to do.  Most times while we were visiting inside those homes, the women would be working away as we chatted, studied, sang, and prayed together. It was natural to reach into the big ol’ bucket of masa, roll it into a ball and pound it out between two pieces of plastic paper.  I learned not to be scared of the open fire or a little hard work. And I remember well the excitement when my very misshaped tortilla puffed up for the first time.DSCN2536

{Lighting the first flames.}

The other day a certain handsome man of mine made me my own cocinita, or outdoor, wood-burning kitchen.  Oh how he knows how to make this girl’s heart patter!  Throughout the process he did not leave the front gate once to go and buy something.  He adapted, improvised, and it all came out to be beautiful, unique and functional.  DSCN2539

I have so much to learn.  While I learned pretty well how to pat the tortillas and cook them, I am out of practice.  Also anytime I have made tortillas, the masa has been prepared ahead of time.  I need to learn to cook the corn, wash it, grind it, and use my hands to form the ball of masa.  Starting and maintaining a fire would be a good thing to master too.  One of the things that I’m excited about is the opportunity the cocinita is going to give Job to learn basic life skills like fire building and wood chopping.  He has proven to be all boy and full of life thus far, so knowing him, he will love having those responsibilities in a few years!

We still need to purchase the clay comal and an ax {we have been cutting the bits of wood with the saw and splintering them with the hammer} but we still have been putting our out door fire pit to good use.  Marshmallows, hotdogs, basic cooking with the cast iron skillet and warming up tortillas have all taken place in the last two days.  Next week we have a gordita party planned.  I also plan on roasting all of our chilies and other produce for our salsas out there so that we do not all burn our eyes out.  Besides that, the taste is all the better when cooked over a fire.

We love our cocinita.  Won’t you come help us use it?!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September Dates.

As in numbers on the calendar not evenings alone with a certain handsome man, though we hope to remedy that soon!

I often remember random dates that are particularly special to just me or another person or two.  Like April 2nd, 2005.   The day I met on of my now dearest friends, Christina.  We were pretty unimpressed with each other at first, but have grown to be as close as sisters over the years.  I thank the Lord for that.   And for some reason I remember the exact day and place I met her. 

In more recent years, September holds many many precious moments.  The dates are close to my heart, and I smile anytime I remember them.

September 18, 2009: I stepped on a plane by myself to head a place that I had only heard of, to stay with people I had never met, to live in an unknown language, doing who-knew-what, and for an undetermined amount of time.  Little did I know that on….

….September 19, 2009 I would meet a Mexican guy named Rafa.  Only to fall in love not quite at first sight, but may as have been.  And to promise to love and cherish him and leave and cleave to him 15 months and 15 days later. 

And that September 29, 2010, he would spend the day signing papers to a piece of property.  Our property that our little casita rests on today. 

September 10, 2011:  I took a test for the third time that resulted in two little lines.  The first two just had one line, but if I wasn’t pregnant, something sure was wrong with me.  “Cause if it wasn’t morning sickness, then I was on my death bed. But those two little lines have turned out to be the heart-string tugging four-month-old little man who just woke up from his name and is looking at me, his mom, with his Hersey kiss eyes.  

And therefore, on September 15, 2011, I gave my suegra the greatest gift a girl could ever give her mother-in-law:  a pair of little booties and a card saying “Felicidades Abuelita!”

And finally, September 22, 2011.  We moved across town to our casita.  It as become our home this side of eternity. We worked hard, paid for it in cash, and our proud of our little space.  Dreams have been filled, others broken, and new, better ones made in side these four walls.  It is the house that has been my home for the longest since I left Springlakes Drive in 2006.

And the question is, what will the rest of this month and the following Septembers of my life hold? 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Morning in the coop.

DSCN2369I don’t know much about chickens, but I thoroughly enjoy having them.  There is nothing quite as refreshing as leaving chores undone, and slipping outside to the morning sun in a sleeveless shirt. Water is scattered, the coop swept, and the chickens feed.  I also feed the dog and cat along the way and pluck some weeds from the garden, watering if needed.   It’s a  wonderful half hour of my day.  And more so if the little man is not yet down for his morning nap and joins me.  DSCN2371

We currently have two roosters and four hens.  The first hen just showed up one day, two others where given to us, and Rafa bought one.  I bought the first rooster, and then the next week we were given another.  They fought, so the younger of the two is now resting in the freezer.  Then we were given a third {pictured above} rooster.  He is younger than the other one, but is the one we want to keep.  The older rooster is too old and tough for eating purposes, so he is currently waiting in the back patio to either be traded, sold, or given away.  DSCN2375You would think with all this chicken action we would have eggs coming out of our ears, right?  Nope!   When the first hen showed up, she laid for a while then gave up.  We are hoping she comes back around or she will end up in the freezer too.  Then a few weeks ago one of the younger ones began to lay, but with all the rain we had, stopped.  She has begun again and we get one egg a day from her.  After she lays, she cackles and the others join in and the rooster crows and the dog begins to howl.  Announcing is a family affair!   And picking up a warm egg is incredible!  

The other two are still young, so we think they will begin laying soon. {For their own sakes!}  So there is hope that Job will have all the fresh eggs his little heart desires once he starts eating them!  Our plan is to get our little flock up to about a dozen laying hens and one rooster.  Then we will use the eggs for just eating purposes and maybe raise a few extra chickens to process.

Besides doing a poor job of supplying eggs and producing offspring, they are great about gobbling down kitchen scraps and plucking up the abundance of little critters and insects that can me found around here.  They also love the weeds we tosh them from the garden.  So even if the egg production stays low, we will keep them for the other purposes they serve or even for the pure joy of just having them. 



{Penciled by Rafa on the tile countertop. Along with a sweet love note for me to find the next morning…}