sigh

So it’s officially spring. Whoopee. Spring is nice for about seven minutes and then it’s all biting insects, allergies and incessant roadwork everywhere you go. Even worse is that spring is the slippery slope to summer. Which is the worst.

Reverse SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a real thing and I have it. As the temperature and hours of daylight slowly climb in March and April, I experience the same impending doom regular SADists (that can’t be right) must feel in October and November as the days grow shorter and colder. June, July and August are my December, January and February: months I need to white-knuckle my way through, nauseous and headachy, cursing this stupid, hot country I live in and literally counting down the days until I can look at a pair of pants without bursting into flames. By late September, I begin to see the (thankfully dim) light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s always still uncomfortably warm until October, when I’m back to my usual self, rejoicing that the monster has been defeated for another year.

For five straight months, I’m preoccupied by my futile attempt at keeping the house as cool and dark as possible by closing the blinds and drapes that a certain unnamed ignoramus keeps opening in our passive-aggressive tug of war. I go outside only when absolutely necessary. (It’s never necessary.) I sit in front of a fan, daydreaming about being a reverse snowbird, fleeing the heat and humidity for a cool, cloudy environment where it’s never too hot for a cup of tea, I don’t sweat sitting still and I can dress with some semblance of dignity.

The most depressing part of all this, of course, is that it’s the exact opposite of what the vast majority of other people are doing and feeling all summer long. Having winter SAD gets you sympathy, commiseration and a hot tip about where to buy a light therapy box on sale. Having summer SAD gets you mockery and scepticism. From everyone, including the winter SAD people, who have forgotten what it’s like to feel persecuted by the weather.

No, I don’t think I’d feel better with ‘a bit of a tan.’ Yes, I am going to wear a gigantic sunhat and a men’s XXL white dress shirt if I risk a trip to the beach, which I guarantee will not be between the hours of ten a.m. and four p.m. No, I definitely do not want to eat outdoors. Yes, I do own not one but two pairs of enormous, wraparound sunglasses that fit over my regular clip-on sunglasses. No, I’m not joking, I really do hate those bloody endless days when it’s still light out at nine o’clock at night. Yes, I often wish my Cameron ancestors had managed to stick it out in the misty highlands of Scotland where wool is always the right choice.

So yeah, great, woohoo, it’s spring. See you in October.

drama in the henhouse

So we have a broody hen. I went out this morning to take a picture of her because, well, that’s the sort of thing I do. My kids don’t realise how grateful they should be for the invention of digital cameras because otherwise they’d have dumpster loads to pitch someday.

Anyway, the broody hen, all cosy in her nest, usually looks something like this:nesting hen(Please forgive the quality of the following photos. The light in the chicken coop is not ideal.)

But this morning, the broody hen’s nesting box looked like this:intruder henTwo hens in one box. Note: the hen at the front is not the broody hen. She has her butt in the broody hen’s face.

The intruder squirmed:

pushy henand squirmed:

two hens in one boxbefore finally settling in, although not without complaint:

complaining intruder hen

Meanwhile, the rooster heard me enter the coop and came rushing from the run to investigate:

concerned roosterWith a steely gaze, he began crowing his head off, deafening me until I fled.

wool, glorious wool

Foster's new mittens

Look! I remembered to take a photo of the mitts I made for Foster before they became filthy and soaked. It was close, though; he was on his way out when I screeched, “WAIT!”

When I think of all the knitwear I’ve doled out over the years without ever thinking to take a photo first…sigh. Oh well.

And look again!

Foster hiding behind new mittens

Bonus shot of his new hat. I’m finally learning.

an embarrassment of eggs

Our lovely young ladies have been defying my expectations and laying like champs all winter, even through the darkest, coldest days. I know the day will come when they go moulty or moody or broody and slow down or, gulp, even stop laying for a while so I’m appreciating every egg they gift us, but at the same time it can be a bit overwhelming.

With nine hens, we usually get eight eggs per day – although there have been a few days when all nine laid – which means about 56 eggs per week. So we’ve been eating lots and lots of fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs and French toast. We’ve given dozens away to the neighbours, to co-workers, to my parents. And yet, as of this moment, our egg count is over 80 (that’s 50 in the bowl above) and the ladies haven’t even laid yet today.

Anybody want some eggs? Free-range, lovingly tended, very reasonably priced. Anyone?