Friday, June 21, 2013

How to Name Your Chicken

It's been a busy week around here.  I've generally either been outside, gardening, or I've been running around doing things that are difficult to do with three small children in tow: getting my hair cut, going to the architectural salvage place, trying to give blood (I say "trying" because I was rejected again.  It was particularly pathetic this time; when I walked in, the lady up front recognized me and brightly asked, "Trying again?"  After checking me in, she said, "I'm pulling for you!"  The two ladies who were in the waiting area had overheard our conversation and politely inquired, so I explained that my iron levels tend to be too low and they won't let me donate- but I keep trying!  It turned out my levels were too low this time around, too- the nurse tried to let me down easy, but it was still sad to return to the waiting area and have all three women let out a disappointed collective "Awww!" when they saw me.  The young volunteer tried to cheer me up- "You can still have some cookies if you want!"  But really all I want is to give some blood.  SOMEDAY.  Someday it will happen!  Or I guess someday I'll finally go to the doc and get some bloodwork done to get this iron thing checked out, which my mom has not-so-subtly been encouraging me to do for the past couple years.  Okay, end of ridiculously long parenthetical story.), and going to one of my very favorite places:

The antique mall.

I love that place.  It's humongous, the prices are fair, and it's chock-full of just about every rusty, cute, weird, awesome old thing you could think of.  Creepy marionettes?  Check.  Antique goat bell?  Check.  Butter churn?  Check.  Old postcards that I could spend hours flipping through and reading?  Check.

I don't get to go through there very often-  it's not too far away, but some places really just aren't meant for little kids- but when I do, I could wander for hours.  And yesterday, that's just what I did.

I pored through a stack of disturbingly fascinating Victorian-era funeral photographs.  I'm not sure why they insisted on having professional photos of their loved ones in caskets taken, but they did.  Thrillingly creepy.

I contemplated purchasing the aforementioned goat bell.  I think it would be a quirky addition to one of those photo galleries you see so often on Pinterest.  A collection of framed photographs of family members hanging on a wall, all grouped charmingly together, plus a goat bell hanging somewhere in there to add interest and dimension.  People would ask, "Oh, what's this bell?  Is it a family heirloom or something?"  And I'd say, "Nope.  It's just a goat bell.  Because goat bell."

But really, I knew I'd found exactly what I needed about ten minutes after walking in.  I walked by it, and I just knew.

I walked away, trying to mentally talk myself out of the purchase.  I walked all around the building, trying to ignore it.  After I'd gone down every aisle and poked through nearly every vendor's stall, I went back to it and walked back and forth, circled it, then finally hunkered down and looked it straight in the eye.

That, my friends, is a cast iron chicken that weighs as much as one of our children.  As you can see, she's already found a home on our front porch.

I had a heck of a time naming her.  After wrestling her up to the counter to pay for her (where all the older people who work there admired her, as was her due- that's another thing I love about that place: the people who both work and those who apparently just kind of hang out at the antique mall are just about the nicest people on earth), then staggering out to the van with her in tow, I drove home happily, contemplating just what kind of name fits a chicken of her obviously distinguished pedigree.  

I had pretty much settled on Winston when I remembered she's not a rooster.  Sometimes I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed.

After that I decided that she was most definitely a Wilhelmina, named after one of my Grandpa's sisters.  But of course she'd only be Wilhelmina when she was in trouble.  The rest of the time she'd just be Billie.

Wilhelmina- Billie- just wasn't really working for me, though.  And that's when it hit me.

Hermione.  The perfect name for my cast iron chicken.  She's clever.  She's magical.  And sure, Derek pronounced her "Hideous" when he came home and saw what I'd done, but she's smart enough not to listen to that kind of criticism.  

Hermione the Hen.  Perfect.

 Between Hermione and those pillows- another project I managed to complete whilst the children were away- I feel like our porch is nearly complete.  All that's missing is a Boston fern.  And whatever other cast iron monstrosity just begging for a home I come across in the future.


  1. That is the best chicken ever. I am a wee bit jealous. I want to send all my kids away and go looking for iron chickens.

    I love the alliteration of the name. Live long and prosper, Hermione!

    1. There's a neat old house around the corner that has an iron rooster, hen, and four or five little chicks on the front porch, all with chipped white, red, and black paint, all beautiful. Surely they'd give you one of their chicks!

  2. Big (little) metal chicken!! Hermione the Hen is perfect. :)

    PS: I try to give blood but my veins refuse to give. I only try once a year now because it is so disheartening.

    1. It really is disheartening! And I swear the blood place always sends me more ads begging for help in the mail after I've failed than at any other time.

  3. Did you try rice krispies for extra iron? Works every time for me. The week before I donate I start eating a bowl every morning for breakfast. Good luck!
    Green monster smoothies have worked for me also.

    1. No, I forgot! The nurse told me to eat lots of raisins, too. I'll have to try those next time in addition to lots of red meat and spinach.


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