The Chickens Today

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Busy busy the morning of 7/29/15

We at the Earnshaw Ecohouse value biodiversity (as any good ecosystem does). This summer has seen a massive increase in the variation of both flora and fauna, but it all began on May 10th, right when the weather started to rapidly warm. On the way home from a house camping trip in Indiana, we stopped in Mt. Healthy to celebrate Mothers Day by adopting nine tiny hatchlings. They spent a few weeks in a little plastic tub being coveted by Amelia’s hungry gaze before they were migrated to their cozy coop on the west side of the house. It’s been amazing to watch them grow in this short time! It’ll still be a couple months before they start laying eggs (or before we know how many of them are hens, for that matter), but in the meantime it’s been a blast getting to know ’em! By far the cutest thing about them is the fact that they tuck themselves in at night. In fact, the sun’s going down so I better go downstairs and shut the door to the coop!

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Hey I’m walkin’ here!

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Mindfulness by the Bucket

We’ve disconnected our kitchen sink from the sewer system. It didn’t take much – just a matter of unscrewing a couple of PVC fittings. Now, instead of being but a drop in the eighty million gallon bucket that is the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, our dish-washing water slowly fills up a five gallon bucket. When it’s full, we find other ways to use that water.

This practice has reduced the house’s water consumption by about thirty gallons per week. But it’s a little more difficult to put a number to how much it has benefited me in other ways. Doing dishes had always been a mindless task. I would even look forward to it as such. There’s nothing quite like repetitively washing junk off stuff to quickly transport oneself to a state of relaxation and disengagement. But now, the trickling of water into the bucket serves as a constant reminder that what I’m doing is work, the resource I’m using is a gift, and this kitchen isn’t what it was built a hundred years ago to be, but rather what we decide it is today.

I moved into this house for a lot of reasons, but as the months go by I’m realizing that what I value most is the opportunity to practice being present – to do whatever it is I’m doing with all my might. And while part of me may miss those mini holidays at the kitchen sink, a bigger part of me delights in having found a few more minutes in my day to spend in the now.

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