Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chicken Wishin'

Hi, Everyone! (May I say "Peeps"? ;^)
I didn't mean to go so long between posts!
I actually have been busy ~
 ("Doing something close to nothing, but different than the day before")...
No, really. I have.
Arty stuff.
I just can't show you pictures yet,
 until after the recipients have gotten their items, then I will.
So, I'm going to tell about my "Chicken Wishin'".
I even named a board on Pinterest that. ♥
I would LOVE to have some lovely hens, and I am SO envious of you that do!
Can't, though ~ we live in town, and chickens ~ "farm animals"~
aren't allowed. :^(
However, I do believe there is a Chicken Underground here in Sikeston.
I know a few folks who have them, but I guess no one has complained.
I wouldn't.
My backyard-adjoining neighbor Lynette says we could have them,
and cut a little door in the fence between,
 so they could have free-range bug-picking in both yards.
Lynette has two indoor/outdoor kitties, though ~ Thelma and Louise...
so I'm not sure how well that would work.
(They're so cute, Thelma and Louise...they're both white, so I never know
which one I'm seeing...
Come to think of it, I've never seen both of them at the same time...)
I'm afraid if we did that, though, and then got caught and had to give
them up, it would be just awful...I'd be so mad...
 and we'd probably be arrested and fined...I don't even want to think about it.
So, for now, chickens are a "maybe someday",
before I get too old to go out and gather eggs!
Me, in the Chicken Dress.
Here's the dress again!
(Daddy taught Taffy so many tricks! My Mom said he could make a caramel last all
evening...see it there in his hand? He would give Taffy tiny little bits...
she could identify and bring him her cow, horse, pig (toys) ~ whichever he asked her for...
She could "say her prayers", etc.
We had some of the old-fashioned Brach's square caramels at Christmas,
and they were so small! Like everything else ~ smaller in size, and higher in price...)
Wearing the Chicken Dress at Christmas...
Still wearing it at Easter! ~ ( In fact, look how short it is on me...
I think this is over a year later!)
Anyway, here I am with Daddy's favorite English Setter, Polly.
My usual position, on the floor, drawing ~ you guessed it ~ chickens.

I drew them dressed and with families.

I've always loved chickens...

My favorite dress, ever, was my Chicken Dress.

My Great Aunt Anna (for whom I was named) was an exquisite seamstress...

She made the Chicken Dress, as well as most of my clothes (and my Mom's).

I must have worn it for quite some time, as I look quite a bit older in a couple

of the photos, above.

I "wore the tail off it" as my Grandma would say.

I did have a quilt that had pieces of the chicken fabric in it,

and I was going to take a picture, but then I couldn't find it ~

(I did find my Grandma Launius's wool granny-square afghan, though,

where I thought the quilt was...)

It may have been in the house where the fire was. I hope not,

but we were in the midst of moving some things that had been in storage

to that house, and there are things for which I just cannot account.

Hopefully it will still turn up in a box somewhere!


Grandma Collier had chickens, and I loved to go in the hen-house...

gingerly feeling under the hens sitting on their nests,

to see if there were eggs...

Grandma used a glass darning-egg as a "fooler" (does that really work?) ~

moving it around from nest to nest...we had it for a long time,

 but  unfortunately it didn't survive being played with

by my first-born, Mark, at my Mom's!

I can still close my eyes and see the hen-house ~ it was on the other side

 of Grandpa's workshop, opposite Cecil's room.

You walked into a little area where Grandma kept the chicken feed,

cracked corn and something called "shorts", I think,

that looked pretty much like sawdust. And little bits of oyster shells,

that I believe were supposed to strengthen the egg shells...

Then you went through a squeaky screen door into the room

 where the roost and nest-boxes were.

There was a window, but it was always dim and dusty in there...

you could see dust-motes in the rays of sun coming through late in the afternoon.

I loved hearing the hens, making their soft, clucking sounds...

slightly scolding when they realized someone was in their house ~

I always tiptoed through there, afraid I was going to disturb them!

Then through another screen door that Grandma kept propped open

during the day, out into the chicken-yard...

Grandma always told me to watch where I stepped, especially out there!

There were raspberry bushes planted as a sort of screen all along one side,

at the edge of the garden ~ the chickens loved that, as they could eat all

the berries that grew through the fence on their side.

I would go around the yard and pick dandelions and violets, along with

any earthworms (I was never a squeamish child) I could find,

and make "pretty" plates of goodies for the hens...

Such is life for an only child!

I had fun, though.

Here I am, circa 1962, in Grandma's kitchen with one of the

 Chinese Silkie chickens that were "mine" ...
Little did I know what an early trend-setter I was!

(Click here to read more about Tori Spelling and using Silkies as a fashion accessory...)

I did a watercolor yesterday of Grandma's hens watching my little Silkie rooster...

"Strutting His Stuff" ~ ;^)

One more chicken story...

There were probably a half-dozen or so of the little Silkies,

 who lived peacefully with Grandma's hens...

Down the street from Grandma and Grandpa's house, though, there was a family...

actually, "older" (it seemed) parents and a teenaged (I think) boy.

When I first started thinking about telling this, I had no recollection of their names,

but yesterday it came to me all of a sudden ~

 Isn't it amazing how all that is hidden in our memories?

Anyway, the family was...trying to be tactful here...

do you remember the "Darlings" on Andy Griffith?

 Well, these people were like the Darlings.

And their boy, Willie, was a chicken thief.

Every couple of months for what seemed to me like a very long time,

Willie would slip in Grandma's hen house at night, and steal several

of her hens, along with all of my Silkies.

They lived maybe half a block away, "the Darlings"...

So, you could practically see their chicken coop from

Grandma and Grandpa's side porch...

Every time, Grandpa would call the sheriff,

And every time, the chickens would be returned by Willie,

accompanied by his parents and the sheriff .

(No one else had Silkies in Morehouse, Missouri at that time...;^)

Grandpa and Grandma never pressed charges; they just wanted the chickens back.

Then a couple of months later, Willie would come back and steal a few of

Grandma's hens, and again all of my Silkies.

They were a bit noticeable, the Silkies!

Then we would go through the whole drama of the "return" again.

It always made me so angry, to think that my chickens were being

unceremoniously thrown in a bag and carried off!

I don't know whatever happened to Willie, but hopefully he wised up

and stopped running "afowl" of the law...

Okay, I'll stop!

Everyone have a wonderful Sunday!

More soon!



  1. What lovely memories, and your chicken dress was adorable!

  2. Aw, such great memories and I love the photographs of you as a little girl - so sweet!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. I loved every bit of this post! From daddys that train dogs, to seamstress aunts and grandma's chicken coop, I was thoroughly entertained. If anyone deserves their own chickens, it's you. I love having mine!

  4. I love you, and your precious memories.

  5. i love you too and your sweet memories..
    love x

  6. Great memorie.......great post !!..enjoy your

  7. Oh my gosh, that was fun! The pictures of you in your beloved chicken dress, the sights and sounds of the chicken coop....your gorgeous watercolor...what a trip! I thoroughly enjoyed that!

  8. Lovely post! I wish we could have chickens too, and they keep re-hashing and promising but then it gets vote down. I so would love chickens!

  9. Oh- Anne- I just left a message on another blog.
    She wrote about her silkies on this post.

    I thought you might like to read it.
    I have such fond memories of going into the chicken coop on the farm where I grew up..and I remember the soft conversational undercurrent/murmur that permeated the henhouse...and the smell of fresh straw on the ground. We had one of those eggs too-but it seems like ours was denser than maybe stone or something.

    Love your sweet chicken dress and I hope your quilt turns up. Love to you- xo Diana

  10. What a nice story and I can really see that you like chickens. A beautiful painting.


  11. What sweet memories. We lived in town but when the colored chicks arrived at the five and dime one Easter, I got two. I named them Doodle and Dandy and we got a coop and prepared to have two sweet little hens. Nope. They were roosters and chased us all summer long (I think we did tease them a lot) until we had to take them to the country to a friend. I can only imagine what happened to them. Anyway, a fun, sweet post.

  12. A beautiful post. The pics are great and I love the chicken dress!

    The painting is great!

  13. Anne, I so enjoyed reading this post. We most definitely grew up in a different and wonderful time.
    I can just imagine the joy your aunt had making your "chicken dress". Have a wonderful Sunday. Bonnie

  14. Anne, I love that sweet little chicken dress. How very cute you are wearing it for special days. I adored the story of your chickens. xoxo,Susie

  15. You are such a talented artist! If you would move to Western NY (Buffalo, specifically -- not very glamorous), you would be allowed to have chickens. We embrace urban farming! I think you can do it without a permit if you have five roosters or less. Not sure what the rules are with regard to hens or what a permit involved. I have an acquaintance who raises heirloom veggies and chickens for local restaurants. Every so often she has to do a mass killing of the males -- and is always offering me them for free. However, I could not see myself pulling off the feathers and don't want to watch my dog deal with the carcass of one that looks like a real bird. So we take a pass on that! But truly, our city and first ring suburbs are warming up to the idea of chickens and other small livestock.

  16. I knew you loved kitties but my you DO really love chickens! We had the ban in a town in the state too, the urban chicken people got it lifted. There is even a guy there now building these amazing fancy chicken coops.

  17. I'm so proud, somewhere up in Oregon, there's a Silkie chicken named Little Inger after me (I'm Big Inger). I have never met her, but she is adorable.
    I love the way you tell a story, I should say, as I have learned, SHOW your readers a story. Your talents go far beyond the paint.

  18. Such an adorable post, you trendsetter! I love your painting of the Silkie adorable. I REALLY LOVE your header. I need to get off my butt and go to the studio and paint! ;P


  19. What a tender sweet story. Love your dress and so happy you have the material in a quilt. Great painting too.

  20. I enjoyed hearing all your chicken stories and seeing the pictures of you and your chicken dress from childhood. I hope you get your own chickens someday!

  21. OK I want to raise chickens now LOL! These are gorgeous and I've read up on them and supposedly they make good pets for children, no wonder your grandma had them for you.

  22. Beautiful and sweet memories Anne!!!
    I have often thought of having chickens...a couple of friends of mine is so lovely to have fresh eggs too...they are the best♥

  23. Your post was not unlike my childhood Anne, my father raised chickens and there are so many awesome memories you brought back to me. I love the chicken dress! And if I could send you a dozen fresh eggs from my little flock, I would! Have a wonderful end to your week end!

  24. What a sweet post - thank you for sharing!

  25. Hi Anne,
    You are such a talented writer that I am now personally involved and cheering you on towards your destiny of owning more chickens. Someday -- somewhere!!
    Thanks for sharing and thanks for such a surprise and pleasant visit to my blog . Such sweet, sweet comments.
    Missy M

  26. I enjoyed the stories about your chicken dress and the chickens in your childhood. I would love to have chickens again too. But, like you, I'm afraid of getting caught. So, I'm hoping for someday too.

  27. What a great story and such wonderful memories Anne. I had a dress that my GM made for me for 8th grade graduation and I don't know what ever happened to it but am thinking my Mother got rid of it. I don't think there were many things that were special to my Mother. I do remember it had 36 yards of lace and was pink. When my GM passed away (i already had 3 son's) I found some of the material left over from that dress and took it. When I finally had a girl (after 8 sons) I made her a beautiful dress from that Material when she was 2 (and I do still have it and she is almost 33 now)
    AND I still have some of the fabric and just not sure what to make out of it now (any suggestions?)
    I was never as crazy about Chickens but now I have my Kitchen decorated in Chickens and Roosters..go figure. Thank you for sharing such a great story

  28. So glad your back Anne! Missed you!!!
    I also wanted chickens, but not here and not now either. I will add it to my bucket wish list for someday.
    Oh you are so cute in your grammys chicken dress and look at your Silkie! You make your Grandma proud with your beautiful watercolor!
    I am waiting to hear more about your artsy stuff hopefully, on your next post and all of your wonderful memories that you share with us! Keep them coming!<3

  29. What a great post Anne, such a wonderful story of you and your little chicken dress. You are just adorable in all the photos! And so is your watercolor, just beautiful. Xo

  30. Hello Anne, I love your chicken stories and the photographs of you as a little girl. I'm so lucky to be able to keep chickens. They have looked so funny sitting up in the tree in the snow, refusing to come down!Have a happy week. Jane xx

  31. Awww-you're so cute! I love the chicken dress-and all the chicken stories! Always fun here!!!
    Love, Debra

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  33. What a wonderful blog post. I loved reading it all and seeing you in your adorable chicken dress. I look forward to your artsy project...:)

  34. What a great memory!

    I love your new painting!!!

    Here in the middle of the city, in one of the older neighborhoods, chickens roam wild. Someone must have let them out years ago. I always try to catch a glimpse of them by turning onto one of the side streets if I am in that area in the late afternoon. It's so funny to watch them scoot from lawn to lawn.

  35. such happy chicken memories and love the adorable dress. and your chicken painting. take care,Diana

  36. Dear Anne - your posts always amaze me and make me smile. We had chickens when I was little. Mom didn't let me go into the chicken house for fear they would peck my eyes out (kind like the Christmas story - you will shoot your eye out -lol). Glad to see you are an Andy Griffith fan (love them Darlings)- Pictures of you are beyond cute - wonder where that Chicken Dress is now? Wouldn't it be wonderful if it is stuffed away in some chest or box. - Take care and God Bless xoxo Pixie

  37. I was soooo hoping there'd be a chicken drawing or something - and was I blessed w/your watercolor as I read down through your post.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your post. What a nice nice break ... into wonderful things gone by. Ahhhh.
    I couldn't resist saving your painting and placing it on my desktop photos so I can see it pop up now and then. Hope you don't mind. I'll delete it if you do. But I sure will enjoy seeing it and remembering your story.
    Thank you so much for sharing it.
    Hope you can have some chickens someday soon! Until then, you've got your art.
    Thanks, Jenn

  38. I love every one of your wonderful posts, dear friend....
    I would love to read your memoir, it would be fantastic!!
    You are so special and very gifted.
    These memories and photographs...BEAUTIFUL!
    Thank you so much for sharing this...what a joy and an honor...
    I am off to catch up on your posts, been away from the PC way too long...I've missed you! :)
    Big hugs, and may there be some lovely chickies in your future! :)
    - Irina

  39. Anne, I was browsing, and came across your watercolor here...It's wonderful!! You certainly are more than a dabbler. I tried to follow your blog, but it said that you don't have email enabled for that, so I'm linking your site to mine...that way I'll be reminded to visit, and won't miss too much of your delightful posts.

    Marianne xo


I love your thoughts and comments, and I read each and every one! Sometimes life gets in the way, though, and it takes me a while to respond...Thank you for understanding! ♥...Time is precious, and the time you've taken here is truly appreciated!