Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Nesting

Lois Greiman

I think it started right after 9/11. The nesting, that is. Everyone I know was shell shocked and terrified and needed to hunker down. To regroup. I repeatedly heard that it was then that Americans began returning to their roots, spending more time with their families, rethinking priorities.

But a few years have passed since then. The horror faded somewhat. Things began to rebound a bit. Folks were just beginning to peek out of their nests, to test the air a little when…bam… the economy took a nosedive. People who were living on the edge were pushed into the abyss. Those who thought they were doing well found themselves scrambling to keep their heads above water. Add a population that is increasingly concerned about the fragility of our planet and voila…we’re seeing some rather significant changes. More room on airplanes…less room in local parks. Fewer people in high priced gyms, more people speed-walking down their neighborhood sidewalks. Decreasing numbers of diners at five star restaurants, increasing numbers of diners at MacDonalds.

And it’s affecting other areas of our lives as well. Just a few days ago Michele told me she’s seeing vegetable plants for sale everywhere. Another friend commented that she just heard that there is a huge increase in the number of people who are buying chicks. Which was very interesting to me since I had just purchased…chicks. That’s right…you know, the cute little fuzzy birds that will eventually lay eggs. I haven’t kept chickens since I was a little girl, but we’ve been trying to go organic, and this seemed like a fairly simple means of doing so.

I had told my sister that we were considering adding poultry to the farm, so naturally she called me from the farm store when I was at my mother’s house to inform me that there were some newly hatched babies available and she was going to buy herself some. I said that she could not, under any circumstances, buy my chicks. To which she said, “Oh, let me check. Nope, they don’t have your name on them.” Anyway, to make a short story long, she eventually bought 4 little fuzz balls for me and brought them to Mom’s house. But when Mom saw them, her face lit up like Christmas. Suffice it to say that those little ones stayed with my mother while I trotted back to the farm store to buy four more. The really interesting part of this whole story is that I promised to winter Mom’s chicks for her when she moves back into town in October. It took me a while to realize that by fall they will no longer be adorable little peepers. Nope, I’ll be hauling four angry hens 300 miles in my little Saturn. I’ll try to take pictures just to keep everyone entertained.

But I digress. The point is, I don’t seem to be the only one who is planting strawberries and building chicken coops. Nor am I alone in my second hand gifts and homemade exfoliates. So how about you? Any changes in your lifestyle recently? Are you picnicking more than dining out? Playing table tennis instead of paying court fees? And how about books? Are you reading more and spending less on movies?

Oh, and speaking of books. :) We're giving away a signed copy of our new anthology, Faeries Gone Wild, to one chatty commenter. So, please, chat away.

www.loisgreiman.com

37 comments:

Virginia said...

We have cut back a lot. My husband is the only one working in our family right now. I lost my job a few years back and can't find another one. I also have a son in college. We don't eat out real ofter if we do its the cheaper fast food places. I cook about every day and I shop for the sale item in the stores. I am not going to say a book don't fall in my grocery cart every now and then, but you have to have some intertainment.

Jacinta said...

I jsut purchases a small courtyard home and have planted up a vegie agrden although i wont see any gain until spring. Im very excited about your book, unfortunatley i live in Australia and we wont be getting it for another month or so. Can we have a sneak peek please, maybe a short snippet :) *smiles sweetly*

Susan Shay said...

Fewer conferences, updating old computers, driving the same car for umpteen years. Yep, we're cutting back.
But we've always raised at least some of our food(home grown tomatoes are to die for!) We butcher our own cattle,too. Meat tastes much better that way. And my brother loves keeping us supplied with fresh fish.
Susan Shay
www.susanshay.net
http://3twistedsisters.wordpress.com

lois greiman said...

Virginia, :)books are good for the soul and as basic as you can get. You HAVE to buy those.

lois greiman said...

Jacinta, thanks for asking. Here are the blurbs from the back of the book. This was such a fun book to write. Hope it's as fun to read.

ARYJANICE DAVIDSON “Tall, Dark and Not So Faery”

Scarlett is not your typical pint-sized faery. At six feet, four inches tall, she’s an unlikely candidate for a match made in heaven. But when she ventures to Cannon Falls, Minnesota, on royal orders to survey its extraordinary residents, she stumbles upon the one man who just may measure up to size…

LOIS GREIMAN “Pixie Lust”

William Timber is a cutthroat developer who refuses to let a few trees come between him and his next million. But when Avalina—a sparkling faery charged to protect all things green—comes to town, William is forced to choose between life as he knows it and the unknown reaches of his heart.

MICHELE HAUF “Dust Me, Baby, One More Time”

A librarian by day and a tooth faery by night, Sidney has absolutely no time to find Mr. Right. Until she flies smack dab into sexy, sun-bronzed Dart Sand, a man who makes her wings a-flutter…and whose allure could get her banished from the Mortal Realm.

LEANDRA LOGAN “A Little Bit Faery”

Tia is mystified when she strikes out on the Luna faery singles scene, in spite of her hourglass curves and vivacious charm. Then she takes off for Manhattan and lands on the doorstep of a steamy firefighter who sets her soul on fire—and shares a strong connection to her secret past.

Kylie said...

Lois, my husband farms on the side with his brothers, one of whom raises cattle. So we always have a freezer full of beef. Wish I cared for beef!

I do recall my one and only invitation to the chicken kill. Ewwww. Ok I'm not a country girl. And I swear that headless chicken *was* chasing me. Darned thing plopped down on my tennis shoes and bled out, too.

Didn't put me off chicken, though. Just killing them!

Laurie said...

I started knitting again over a year ago and I have made several baby blankets for baby showers. I went back to work part time. I like meeting people and getting out of the house. I still buy books, my escape from real life but,I am more selective. I rent movies. Eat out rarely...special occasions only. My van is a 1993 and I'm crossi ng my fingers that it lasts until my sons are done with college!
I have a family plan /cell phone. Old computer,old TV, no cable, no Ipod. Every new tech gadget purchase is on hold!

CrystalGB said...

We are planning to get some chickens too. We plant a vegetable garden every year and I freeze and preserve produce. We drive older vehicles and I am a coupon clipper.

Playground Monitor said...

I tried growing veggies in the backyard the first two years we lived here and they did not do well. Our subdivision is built on an old cotton field so I wonder if the soil is just farmed out. I even had the H work in peat moss and blood meal because the basic soil is red dirt. Oddly, though, my herbs grow great. Oh well.

Don't think my homeowner's association would like me raising chickens. And one of my earliest memories is my Aunt Louise snapping the head off a chicken behind my great-grandmother's house and seeing that headless chicken flapping around.

We eat out rarely, I shop at thrift stores (got a Ralph Lauren polo shirt for myself for $2 earlier this week, rent movies (though I did go see Wolverine at the theater last week but I went to the matinee and got the senior discount), I keep my car serviced regularly to help with gas mileage and make it last longer, plan my errands so I'm not driving in circles, recycle and give away stuff on Freecycle.

I read an article yesterday on home accessories you don't really need and probably won't use. I was nodding at the steam shower, linen cocktail napkins and cashmere throws. Then they said "central air conditioning" and I thought, "Whoa, buddy. Speak for yourself. You obviously don't live in Alabama where Augusts are filled with days of 90 degree temps and 90% humidity."

Marilyn

Kathleen Eagle said...

Lois, those chicks are so cute. You kinda hate to see them grown up. (I'll spare you the usual mention of my chicken summer. Oop, I did it, didn't I?)

I'm using coupons, doing a veggie plot, doing DVDs, making fun rather than trying to buy it.

The grands are fascinated by the veggies, especially the stuff we're growing from seed rather than sets. My mantra is, "Yes, children, this is where food really comes from." (When they ask about chicken, we'll plan a field trip to Auntie Lois's.)

Debra Dixon said...

How cool ! Well, it sounds cool, but then you have to take care of the birds so that becomes work! (g)

I can report that we are among the people doing things like planting for the first time in years. We have tomato plants. It's a start.

And we have tomatoes on 5 of the plants! There may be more. I haven't actually walked the whole yard. Wayne planted 18. =80

But it looks like we can successfully grow something. Next year we'll add to our crop. We have pots.

Follower Jane is the one who encouraged me to try container gardening.

Michele Hauf said...

Well I reported that the hubby planted tomatoes upsidedown. Funny thing is, those darned plants grew downward, and now...they are growing up. Made a paperclip turn and now they are growing upright. So freakin' weird.

We've done a great job of cutting back and learning to enjoy simpler pleasures, so even though the hubby is still unemployed (he does odd jobs for friends though) we're not feeling the bite as bad.

I'm not so sure about chickens. It would be cool to have the eggs, but the mess...ugg. what's next, Lois? Sheep? You could start knitting your own clothes! (Said jokingly, but Michele entirely expects Lois to consider the idea seriously.)

:-)

Playground Monitor said...

You mean that topsy turvy tomato thing really works? I've had so much bad luck with those "As Seen on TV" things and decided to pass on the tomato one.

Marilyn

Michele Hauf said...

Marilyn, my hubby built one. The top is about two feet by two feet box for upright plants, then he drilled holes and hung tomatoes downward. Only problem is, that top part blocks the sun, so...they are growing at a sharp angle upward now. Not sure how that's going to work if they get heavy tomatoes on them. Might snap.

lois greiman said...

Laurie, I love the idea of knitting. My daughter knits and everything looks cool, but I don't have the patience. Funny though, I always seem to have time to add another couple of animals into the mix.

And yes, sheep might be next. I love me my ruminants.

Did you know that in some cities you can rent ruminants...just to keep them on your lawn??!!

april said...

I rent a high-rise apartment so no livestock for me of any kind. We do get sun for half a day on a balcony, and I've love to successfully grow something, but it never goes well for me.

We haven't really been making conscious cutbacks. We've been slightly cutting back on luxury items, but we have been taking advantage of the downturn in the economy to purchase on sales. We're taking a vacation for the first time in awhile and it'll cost us half of what it usually does.

We've been pretty blessed in terms of employment though. I recently got promoted with a raise and a bonus. The husband has a steady job though no increase in pay. The baby gets almost all of her toys and clothes through hand-me-downs.

ForestJane said...

*g* I think I prefer ForestJane to FollowerJane lol

Last year I grew tomatoes in a container garden for the first time. This year, I've expanded to windowbox snowpeas (20 plants) one banana pepper plant, and crookneck squash in a plastic wading pool. Pictures on my blog.

I personally think the best way for Lois to travel 300 miles with four hens in a small car would be to *clears throat* freeze them and put them in an igloo cooler. :)

www.forestjane.blogspot.com

Helen Brenna said...

This sounds like such a fun book and I LOVE the titles!

lois greiman said...

Forest Jane!! Freeze the chickens!! They have names!! Goldenrod, Flowers, Chipmunk, and Oatmeal will NOT be frozen pretravel!! They'll probably be perching on my headrests. :)

Keri Ford said...

Michelle, I have the topsy-turvy's and mine grow like that too. the leaves reach for the sun. I'm thinking those tomatoes on tv were grown with a mirror under them to reflect the light?

This is my first year into tomatoes. Also doing some cucumbers (which are the verge of doing something other than sprouting leaves!). Then I tossed some cantaloupe and onions in the ground. They don't seem to be doing much other than absorbing sunlight and making use of all the rain. OhOH! and if I can keep the bugs off them, I've got about 10 peaches that I'll be picking off my tree in the front yard this year!

lois greiman said...

Kathy, you SHOULD bring your wee ones to Auntie Lois's. Fun.

catslady said...

Last year we planted a couple of tomatoe plants and some onions. This year my husband went wild and we also have zucchini, radishes, cucumbers, beets, lettuce, parsley and peppers. These are all in pots mind you and guess who had to do all the planting and do all the watering lol. There's a good chance we spent more on supplies than the veggies we may or may not get but it's the thought that counts!

ForestJane said...

On your headrests? Ewww! aren't chickens rather indiscriminate poopers and pee-ers?

I was thinking in a cage in the car, they'd smell really bad, but at least you could clean the cage out at rest stops. If they're flying free in your car, you'd have to have the windows up... Ever been caught driving behind a chicken truck?

If you're serious, you could put a crate on the roof, maybe? And drive slow?

Should be an interesting story after you've done it... lol

lois greiman said...

Forest Jane, our chickens are completely potty trained...of course. ;-)

ForestJane said...

::snorts::

www.chickendiapers.com

but they have to be changed every two hours... ikk!

Debra Dixon said...

www.chickendiapers.com

OMG. Jane isn't making a joke. People put diapers on their chickens.

lois greiman said...

Crystal GB, wow, preserving produce. Way beyond my capabilities. If I can't eat it in the garden it doesn't get planted. But I did dig up one of my mother's rhubarb plants and I just might make jam. And Mom's rhubarb pie, which I'd give my life for.

lois greiman said...

Crystal GB, wow, preserving produce. Way beyond my capabilities. If I can't eat it in the garden it doesn't get planted. But I did dig up one of my mother's rhubarb plants and I just might make jam. And Mom's rhubarb pie, which I'd give my life for.

Paula said...

As a student, I've already been pinching pennies for a few years. I'm familiar with buying sale items, but the higher food prices still worry me. Unfortunately, I've had to cut down the number of books I buy.

flchen1 said...

Wow, we don't have much of a green thumb, so if we had to grow our own food, we'd be in pretty big trouble. We're cutting back in some areas, and definitely reading more than ever, although I still do buy some books (can't borrow everything!) ;)

lois greiman said...

Whoaaaa. What's this talk about cutting down on the purchase of books. None of that on this blog.

Kathleen O said...

I have had to cut back this last two years due to being on a disability pension and have had to utilize the library more, but one good thing is I have had the library purchase a lot of good books over the last two years. Plus what I have bought.. Eating out and trips to the casino have taken a hit too..

Amy S. said...

I do read more than I watch movies. I would rather spend money on a book then a movie.

lois greiman said...

Please tell me you're just kidding about the chicken diapers.

Caffey said...

My hubby and son did a huge garden this year! And I freeze, not can (I don't have a clue how to!) but works so great too! I'm not a garden person so I do that freezing part of it all!

I use the library too more now! I realize too they have so much more than I knew! We make it a trip each Sunday and me and my hubby and son go. We look forward to that time together too!

RachieG said...

While I don't do the garden thing, I do take more walks in the park and just be. It's nice to just sit outside and hang around instead of worrying about finishing this or that all the time.

Having a pet slows me down too! :)

MarthaE said...

I love the pictures! We had lots of chicks when we lived on "Almost a Ranch". One year I decided to hatch my own chicks. Our son was maybe 4 and he heard the little peeps and saw when the eggs started to hatch. He decided to help by peeling some open... which you DO NOT do as it usually kills the chick as it needs to develop itself as it pushes out of the egg! We are growing a little garden now with tomatoes, corn and peppers. I have always read more books than watching movies! :)