An 11th-hour addition to Literary Stylings at Fashion for Giants, inspired by a book that sang along my Ukrainian-Canadian prairie roots through to present-day connections and beyond, of lung-squeezing losses - personal and cultural and environmental - in verse of what gets told and what doesn't.
|vintage cotton day dress: Cotton City, Bitter Root Vintage|
black wrap belt: thrifted at The Kitty Cat Store, worn here with cowboy boots of legend
green scarf: Lupita's (Harlingen, TX), worn here
blue ankle-strap wedges: Melissa Toffee Apple, ebay, worn here
|Rove by Laurie D. Graham|
nominated for the 2014 Gerald Lampert Award
|Saskatchewan ancestors, the chair that travelled from the photograph to my Ontario home|
I learned about Rove via Michael Dennis's poetry review blog where he has shared some excerpts (and regularly adds to my burst-at-the-seams poetry book wish list). I was then lucky enough to win a drawn-by-lottery spot in a poetry workshop with Don McKay, where I met Laurie Graham as a co-participant.
|memento from among my paternal grandmother's belongings|
This outfit was from last week; I read Rove last month as I hung out with Old Glo in her last days. The little buffalo herd specks on the book's cover were Of Interest to the hens.
After Gloria's original flockmate Big Henrietta died earlier this year, young Heidi Hunter the Turkey Lurkey was often seen having a sit-down with Glo in their favourite spot through good days and bad. To have warmth and comfort, visitors coming 'round to check in, and such a friend to sit by you when you're ailing, well, that's pretty good.
As happens with many laying hens as they age, Glo's abdomen filled with fluid. Chickens can cling to life so fiercely that they linger well beyond what is fair or kind - we kept a careful eye to whether she was eating, drinking, and breathing well, retaining her spot in the pecking order, and able to get where she needed to go.
|Rain-spotted details of the most comfortable dress: scalloped and piped wide collar and triangular pockets, swirly buttons|
vintage stylized fish skeleton necklace: a gift from my mother, worn here
bracelets and watch: worn here on another rainy day
Back to treasured people-connections, my friend and fellow chicken-keeper Jean will be 93 next month. I had given her some homemade applesauce at Christmas, and she returned the jar to me this spring filled with her homemade wild leek pesto. The leeks grow along the creek in the woods on Jean's farm, and the pesto was transcendently delicious. We used the last bit of it to make stuffed mushrooms.
|At right is the applesauce label image: pre-digital camera, I captured an early-morning deer visit |
on expired b+w SLR film. In an aerial photo from the 1970s, my apple tree was already about this size.
One ambitious year it yielded 76 jars of sauce.
|Glo sending good thoughts to Jean's last "old girl," Cecile, who is going through similar.|
Wishing you all have someone that you like to go and sit beside, and someone to come and sit beside you. If you are so lucky, do also squeeze them every chance you get. After a long time away, I'll be sitting a while among the Visible Monday bloggers at Not Dead Yet Style. More of Gloria below the jump.
Of our first flock, Gloria was a champion egg-song singer, had the most beautiful tail, and was a friend-hen to the end.
Edited to add: The flowers in today's vintage dress are about as much white as I'm likely to wear, but all-white with red and yellow accessories was Glo's favourite outfit. At Sacramento's kind personal invitation, we're linking up to Share-In-Style: White.
|One of countless epic dust-baths with her original flockmates.|
Video from the same day's dust bath at the very bottom of this post.
|heading up to roost for the night with full belly, muddy feet, and happy tail|
|You go on now, dear hen.|