Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sleepless nights and happy days

I slept like crud last night. Right as I was beginning to drift off Henry's diaper gave way (I actually heard the bed getting wet, ugh) and the ensuing diaper change woke him enough to convince him it was time for a midnight snack. So he nursed and rolled around and remained happily awake for the next hour. Once I truly fell asleep my dreams were terrible. Chickens stranded in trees, empty waterers and no way to fill them, chickens pecked bloody, and of course, a barn full of dead hens.

Why such nightmares? It is pretty simple really. Every night after dinner I feed the animals, collect eggs for the final time and close up the barn to keep my chickies safe. As the days get longer the chickens roam later in the day and last night they were nowhere near ready to go to bed when I went to feed them. I was sure I would go back and lock them up after putting the kids in bed, but instead I got distracted with the late night chores, and didn't think of them again until waking up in a cold sweat at three in the morning. I debated getting up right then to check on them but before I could make a decision I was back to sleep for another round of totally bizarre dreams.

This morning I'm feeling slightly more exhausted than usual, and probably a little crabbier as well, but I can't help but think that without the same things that made for a rough night I would not be nearly so happy a person.

With three kids under four, two unruly boer goats, a highly neurotic dog, two fish I wish I'd never gotten, a cat I never wanted and all of these chickens, it is easy to sometimes feel overwhelmed and I do, but it's also easy to be really happy.

Five years ago Shelby and I had a house in the city and one dog. We had more time, more money, less stress (maybe) and slept until ten on the weekends. We were decidedly happy people but we didn't have a library of children's books memorized and we never ran the risk of leaving the house smelling like a goat. I could start spewing all number of cliches, but simply put, we have a really great life, chicken anxiety dreams and all.


  1. What an inspiring piece! I think there's a lesson here for everyone, whether or not they're living a rural life.

  2. I love your blog, Laurel. Interesting, humorous, inspiring. Great all around. Keep it up!
    P.s. I like the new design too!