The Year I Overcame My Fear of Poultry (and More!)

31 Dec

As you may have read, I decided not to send out Christmas cards this year. This decision was based on exhaustion, residual technical problems related to the death of our computer this summer, and a desire to save the $75 or so it would have cost to produce and send them out.  A bit scroogy I admit, but I’m sticking with it. However, I’ve received a few wonderful end-of-year letters this season which have inspired me to produce one of my own. It’s not getting mailed of course, so read it here, folks.
We remain a relatively happy nuclear family of four (plus cats and chickens) living on a farm in the DC exurbs. Both kids are huge, which is probably a surprise to no one who knows us.  The four year old looks like a six year old, and the six year old looks like an eight year old.
Henry started first grade in the fall. The transition to full-day school was kind of rough on my high metabolism, short attention span kid, but he has stepped up and seems to be adapting. The reading thing seems to be going fairly well (mama’s genes), although he did get put into some kind of weekly workshop for troublemakers (papa’s genes). We signed him up for a local summer swim team, and he surprised us all with his mad backstroke.  He loved his summer team so much, we decided to sign him up for a winter program which requires an annoying amount of driving, but which has also been a positive experience. He is generally up for almost any athletic activity: this year he also played Tball (where he enjoyed playing around in the dirt) and soccer (where he enjoyed scoring goals for the other teams). He hopes to become a professional dodgeball player. He also got an honorable mention at a school art show for his Lego sculpture of a henhouse and chickens (conceived and executed entirely by himself).
Coco reluctantly started preschool in September. Although she has warmed up a bit over the past few months, she would still rather be home sniffing her stuffed giraffe’s snot-and-saliva-encrusted tail. Her class is three-quarters female, and must say I feel a little bit sorry for those four hapless little boys.  It’s a little bit like Beverly Hills 90210 in there. She did a soccer workshop in the fall and enjoys swimming and tumbling.  She also takes a dance class once a week where she is a surly (but graceful) amazon in a room full of tiny dancers. She likes dinosaurs and painting and hopes to become a cowgirl. She says she’d like to be a big sister, but I keep telling her it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
My baby sister Molly got married in October on what was probably the rainiest Saturday in recorded mid-Atlantic history. Our crew contributed an enthusiastic ring bearer, a petrified flower girl, and a geriatric bridesmaid to the wonderful assembly.
Christian continues his historic restoration work and has completed some interesting projects this year (none of which have involved our house, of course). He has been working on some new songs and looks forward to playing out more in 2012. He also enjoys watching obscure music videos on You Tube and ignoring my phone calls.We squabble frequently but (somehow) occasionally manage to have a little fun and a few laughs. I recently turned him onto Stieg Larsson so we now officially have one interest in common (ok scratch that– I forgot about Christo).  2012 promises to be bumpy, as election years end to be rough on us, but we keep striving for harmony.  He and the boy have done some amazing Lego projects this year, and the little girl thinks he hung the moon.
As for me, let’s see….I celebrated a milestone birthday in 2011 and was subjected to the most dismal surprise party ever.  I have forgiven my husband for this and am working on forgetting it entirely, but as you can see, I’m not quite there.  My hobbies are overcaffeination, fretting and yoga.  Rather contradictory I realize, but there you are. I also enjoy vacillating about whether and when to go back to work and despairing over the six year hole in my resume.  We’re a little isolated out here on the farm, but I discovered Twitter this year (hello late adopter) and have been gratified by the artificial social outlet. I continue to support our president (which further contributes to my sense of isolation). My garden was a disaster this year, but Santa brought me some Dostoevsky and a cool pair of clogs so I suppose I can consider 2011 a wash.
Our two Brooklyn cats, Pumpkin (11) and Early (9), have taken to country life with gusto and have managed to avoid being eaten by the coyotes, for which we are very grateful.
I think my little family (except, perhaps, for the cats) would agree that the highlight of our year has been our chickens.  We got 18 baby chicks at the end of March and have only lost one. This was a big step for me as I have a very minor phobia of anything with feathers. Christian built the girls a coop this summer, and they’ve been laying for a few months.  At least some of them are–we’re currently getting 8 or 9 delicious, golden-yolked, free range eggs a day.
A friend (who apparently had a far more dramatic year than ours) evoked Dickens in her year-end Facebook status update this morning. I’d say that for us, it was neither the best of times nor the worst of times. 2011 just was- full of the usual minor struggles and small victories, a lot of daily grind peppered with plenty of joys that make it all worth it. A little wine and lots of coffee (maybe I should turn that one around in 2012? Hmmmmm). And good friends old and new. Happy new year and love to you all.

One Response to “The Year I Overcame My Fear of Poultry (and More!)”

  1. Stasha January 1, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    Happy 2012. Here is to a great new year and cats continuing not to like chickens:)

Leave a Reply