In going to pick up our nuc of Old Sol honeybees in Portland (courtesy of Glen & the gang at Bridgetown Bees), we used some of our frequent flyer miles to stay at a hotel on the waterfront that we'd never ordinarily be able to afford (great view, which Charley attested to on his first ever overnight trip with us...which he scored a solid B+ for!) - so much quieter than staying IN downtown! Then to celebrate our 2 weeks post-vaccination, we enjoyed a lovely outdoor lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in town, Pambiche. Oooh I love a good sangria and Cuban food - and their great service!!! For dinner, my husband put together a charcuterie selection while I went to the Pix-o-Matic for some luscious desserts, and we had a great li'l picnic at one of the tables along the harbor outside our hotel. It was really amazing to savor that time where we could sit outside, walk outside (away from crowds, of course), etc., having taken the responsibility of getting vaccinated to protect ourselves and those around us. How anyone could refuse to respect the lives of others is beyond my comprehension.
On the drive home, I decided to take my sweetheart on a little side trip to the town of Ryderwood, which is a 55+ community that, when I was a young girl, my maternal grandparents lived. Way out in the middle of nowhere, there was a general store, unmanned one-room library, and a duck pond we'd walk to. I discovered Little Women there, watched my grandpa get up at 4:30am to make waffles (while everyone else was fast asleep), learned about grandpa winning a five dollar gold piece at his spelling bee (I was a spelling bee gal back then), and remember lying on the floor watching Circus of the Stars with my older sister who of course as a teen was annoyed as hell to even have to be there. :) I took this photo (bottom left) as a kid and tried to take another one at a similar vantage point (I should have backed up, oy!)...such a trip.
And finally, this week we said goodbye to our four layer chickens (this one being Fatty, the bossy gal who stole my heart). We realized this year that 8 birds are just too many for us egg-wise, and sadly when I tried to find homes for them out here, people either flaked or - even worse - were clearly not ones I'd trust to treat them humanely! So because we did not want to risk them going to a home where they'd be stuck in a tiny coop (I think it's BS when magazines and advertisements they say they only need 2'x2' , that's just a few steps away from a factory farm!), we decided to take our former neighbor's advice and dispatch them as we had with their 44 cousins 2 years ago. Because they are 2 years old, they'll be best for either low-and-slow stewing in the crockpot, or ground for burgers, so it'll probably be the latter. It was really tough, and particularly a challenge with Fatty since she loves to cuddle, but I knew it was best and, as I told my husband, if we'd raised a pig it'd be the same level of emotion if not worse (since pigs have even more similarities to humans). But we did it, and are proud that in life and in death our chooks are given amazing lives, great food, fresh air, and at the end, are treated with gratitude and calm before going into the cone. Yes, I cried, but not out of guilt but because I would miss the memories of these girls running towards the fence every time they heard me come out the back door and walk to the garden, or watching them bicker with the ducks, or how excited they would get when my husband tossed them a slug or I brought them some mushy banana to snack on. While husband did the knife work (I'm on scald & plucker duty), it as always was a peaceful transition...and we will now be making burgers later in the week!