Chicken Blog by Natalie

Miyazaki at Fanime Con :: One Hundred Forty Nine - Sun, 05/29/2016 - 05:30
We love every new picture and update Grant shares from Fanime, where he's the Laputa robot from Castle In The Sky, a Miyazaki creation, like Kaonashi... the No Face spirit.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

What's Growing :: One Hundred Forty Eight - Sat, 05/28/2016 - 17:58
Onion bloom.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Academy Awards :: One Hundred Forty Seven - Fri, 05/27/2016 - 09:01
Academy Awards, for seniors. It's a blur: The time that's gone by since the start of the year, since high school began, since he first spoke, since he first revealed to us that numbers would be his second language. It's a blur, through happy, sentimental tears, for Max, especially, but also for his peers and friends, exceptional teachers, and our community at large. One hesitates to be overly emotional, but the truth is I can barely begin to express how deeply and tenderly my heart is touched. And the honor of being Max's parents? It cannot be measured, and grows, still.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Small Wonder :: One Hundred Forty Six - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 09:21
So. Uhm... well. This happened. We don't know his name, or how few weeks old he is, this orphaned waif that we brought home from the feed store. We know that he is tinier than small, that he smells like candy Nerds, and that he fills up on a teaspoon of wet food. We know he looks like a hairball Mister Foo coughed up, and that Mister Foo is about as impressed with the kitty as he would be with a hairball. We know that he purrs, bats at yarn, washes meticulously, and cannot climb out of a small litter box... but at least he uses one! His superpowers include: Stopping all productivity, making grown, otherwise articulate people, babble and coo, and inducing naps. He also heals suburban-angst, test anxiety, and nameless dread. He's practically heroic.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

And that is our Picture for today, but, as you might imagine, it wasn't easy picking just one, and so I didn't. Here are more moments with this small wonder...

Monday... adopted, and riding home on Maria's lap.

Pinkness bits.

Did I mention there were three kitties, chicks, baby goats? I think I demonstrated admirable restraint.

He's happy to be a homework companion... at least, for reading in bed.

Mister Foo says we've been bamboozled, scammed, hoodwinked. He's even tried to demonstrate that he can be a baby, so we should feel free to send the hairball back! Patience, and wet food, are our tools of negotiation.

Naming a cat takes time. We don't want to get it wrong, so we try things out, and even wait for him to give us hints. Do you want to know what we've considered?

Jon Snow... You know nothing, Jon Snow, is oft repeated when our small wonder faces a wall, or tries to eat a spoon. He has the shaggy coat and soulful gaze of the Lord Commander.

By the second day, he'd grown much bigger.

Just kidding.

Kitteh in picture is much smaller than he appears.

She started off reading with the lord commander, but then he used his authority to make it nap time. Maria's first nap since sometime last winter. While they snoozed, I sat close by, folding laundry, and sighing happily.

On the third day, and we can see he's much bigger... just kidding. He's a small wonder.

Night Lights :: One Hundred Forty Five - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 07:05
It was a long, strange day, then a long, good night.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

'Round The Clock Robot :: One Hundred Forty Four - Tue, 05/24/2016 - 05:30
It really is all about the robot, around the clock, for William. He's put heart, brains, muscle and sweat into this project. Can we say it's gone to his head?

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Beautiful May - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 18:28

This little walk did a lot of good.

Peonies and Peaches, Entry Life :: One Hundred Forty Three - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 05:30
Somehow this mobile kitchen cart moved from the office to the entry. I am sure it was meant to be temporary, but it's become a fixture. I am reminded of Rabbit, vexed by the addition of Pooh's posterior stuck in his entry... once he's resigned to the situation, he makes the best of it. I didn't even bother trying to budge the cart out of the way, instead, after a couple of weeks of it still sitting there, I scrubbed it, covered it, added some baskets, and try to keep pretty things there, plus keys, or paper work, the odd this or that. Today it's peonies and peaches, and not the least bit vexing.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Chicken Sitting :: One Hundred Forty Two - Sun, 05/22/2016 - 08:53
Koa Hen, Emma and Maria, Natalie and Mako Hen

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

All About That Robot :: One Hundred Forty One - Sat, 05/21/2016 - 09:46
It's Robot Season, boys and girls! And that means work has begun on version II of the Laputan robot from Castle in the Sky!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.*
*Thanks, Clark!

There's a lot more to this picture than meets the eye,
and we hope you'll visit
Benevolent Order of Makers to see the whole picture!
It's BIG!

Story Time Cat :: One Hundred Forty - Fri, 05/20/2016 - 06:50
Maria roused herself half an hour early so that she and her daddy could resume their reading. Maria already read The Far-Flung Adventures of Hugo Pepper, but Geoff picked up a copy for home, after hearing her riveting descriptions. Chango, too, finds the narrative compelling.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Fruit Finds :: One Hundred Thirty Nine - Thu, 05/19/2016 - 16:56
Maria tells me she's impressed with Picture a Day, and when she knows I might miss posting, she says encouraging things, and offers suggestions. Today, when I came home from getting Max, she met us at the car with her garden finds, and said, "Look, fruit salad, and a picture for ChickenBlog." I sure do love having her on my team. And I love when our garden is offering delicious gifts.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Full of Purple Blossoms :: One Hundred Thirty Eight - Wed, 05/18/2016 - 18:56
This is our other jacaranda tree, which always blooms just a bit later than the one by the barn. Today I was counting trees I pass between schools, the market, and home... I lost count, but each one is a delight to spy, so it is a happy game.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Job Interviews :: One Hundred Thirty Seven - Tue, 05/17/2016 - 09:13
Another fifth grade milestone... they're learning life skills, like balancing check books, writing their resumes, and doing job interviews. Maria's first choices for jobs were not an option, so she won't be trying for programmer, artist, or engineer. Instead, she's going to see if she can get a job as a shark researcher, or newsroom director. She's been working on her handshake, introducing herself, and making convincing statements about her desire to work with sharks. She feels sincere enough about loving research, but she'd still rather be writing code, developing games. It was sweet seeing all of her classmates in their ties, and coats, skirts and sweaters. They were even more polished and adorable than on school pictures day!

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Down By The Bay :: One Hundred Thirty Six - Mon, 05/16/2016 - 10:12
This is today's Picture... visiting hermit crabs, snails and other tidal pool creatures living along the bay.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

The rest of the story...

We enjoyed an afternoon down by the Bay... Mission Bay. It turned out to be one of those occasions that catches me off-guard. Not sure if that's the expression I want. My thinking goes something like this... I didn't give this enough advanced thought, and the pleasure and fun of the outing was almost missed. Geoff said something about meeting friends from work, but we knew we couldn't stay long, so it was just going to be a quick 'hello' kind of thing. I didn't think to bring food, or drinks, or even the right shoes. Maybe I am too caught up in a smaller routine, or maybe life is a bit revved up at the moment, making my thoughts distracted, and energy thinned out.

Honestly, my reaction bounced back and forth between I didn't do this right! and Gosh, what a beautiful day, nice friends, lovely pastime... nothing's amiss. The latter feelings prevailed, thankfully. The day was beautiful, the weather was moody, and interesting to observe. Maria found friends she sees only occasionally, but children have that happy ability to slip right back into a comfortable engagement. Maria, Kayla and Serena were right back to the easy play and exchanges they enjoyed the last time they met.

'No supplies' was 'no problem,' and the children found their own amusements and activities. Patrick had a tennis ball, someone brought a Frisbee, Maria had a small pail. And of course there were those hermit crabs, shells, stones, kelp, and bits of this and that. We had the views, as far as La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and even of the San Diego finish of the Tour of California, cycling event. We watched the cyclists cross the bridge, heard the cheering crowds. People boating and fishing, pelicans and seals, and eventually the gathering clouds and light sprinkles. There was a lot to take in.

This one they named Barnacle Bob.

And everyone took turns observing the Frisbee tide pool, before all the residents were returned to their larger, natural home.

Of course we stayed longer, later, than we'd planned. Things at home were fine, after all, and we rescheduled this and that. It turns out being caught off-guard can be a good thing... seeing friends, laughing, roasting marshmallows, exchanging ideas, catching up, all very good. If I cannot exactly plan unexpected moments and occasions, I hope to at least appreciate more of them as they come along.

Lovely May - Sun, 05/15/2016 - 14:26

I may come back and write something about these moments. I may just let them speak for themselves. It has, so far, been a good month... and it's hard to believe we are halfway through it...

One of Many :: One Hundred Thirty Five - Sun, 05/15/2016 - 09:41
Maria, Geoff and I came upon this poor fellow on our morning walk. I flipped him upright, gave him a gentle yet invigorating exoskeletal massage, carried him to the water, then said encouraging affirmations, like there you, go, and be free! Ten minutes into my diligent, sincere rehabilitative program, Geoff called my name, tearing me away from my mission work... he nodded to a sad scene, and pointed out that this little Sebastian was one of many. I'm sorry, Pleuroncodes planipes.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Alex and His Watercolors :: One Hundred Thirty Four - Sat, 05/14/2016 - 08:55
Next week is the final meeting of his watercolor class. I think he's going to miss it. He's had a great semester, thanks to interesting and talented teachers, and mentors, generous classmates, inspiring opportunities. Maria and I have been benefitting, too... he's shared helpful suggestions, and concepts with us, so now we are all looking forward to the next class in fall.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

May Garden :: One Hundred Thirty Three - Fri, 05/13/2016 - 05:30
Flowers are blooming in every direction. It's a beautiful May garden.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

Edinburgh Street :: One Hundred Thirty Two - Thu, 05/12/2016 - 09:57
Alex's trip to Scotland still inspires him, all of us, actually. I think this painting of an Edinburgh street is suitable for framing. I love that he stuck it on the fridge... it took my breath away when I stumbled into the kitchen to fix a school morning breakfast. It's beautiful. It also reminds me that finals week is coming up, that soon Max and Maria will be finishing their school year, that summer and summer plans are just around the bend. What a great deal we have to look forward to. And where will the road take us?

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.