What a difference a night makes

10 12 2015

wake up happy

As most of you know, I have chickens. Or as they used to say (so I am told), I keep hens. They lay way more eggs than we can use in our household, so we sell the excess. I’ve had folks rave about how good they are, better even than other fresh eggs sold locally. I’ve got more customers than I have eggs to sell. So I deliver a dozen in rotation whenever I have them to spare.

I suppose it’s partly the luck of genetics. They are a second and third generation blend of established breeds (what they call “barnies”) and lay an assortment of colors from brown to bluish green. Probably a bigger factor is their diet. They get the standard layer pellets and scratch feed (primarily corn), but they also roam the yard, grazing on greens, cleaning up under the bird feeders, and hoovering up any insects they find. Not so many insects or much green this time of year, but they also have free access to our compost, which has gotten quite a bit richer since we lost our dog. The chickens now get what he used to, after the cats have first refusal.

It’s an unsavory but inescapable fact the chickens have a multi-purpose orifice in their backsides called a cloaca. When they have sex, that’s the access port. When they poop, it exits via the cloaca. Same with eggs. Deal with it. Just remember that the part you eat comes in a convenient, hard, package that keeps the contents safe and clean.

Also, chickens go out, scratch around in the dirt, then hustle back to the nest when they feel that egg on the way. They get into the nest with very dirty feet. All of this often leads to rather dirty eggs. They need to be cleaned up a bit before going on to my or someone else’s kitchen.

So here I am, standing at the kitchen sink, washing eggs. As I do so, I start to compose a little ditty in my head, and then sing it aloud:

“Dirty little eggs.
Chickens lay dirty little eggs.
But all of Deerfield begs
For their dirty little eggs.”

And I chuckle to myself and smile.

Why am I in such a good mood? I’ve had a good night’s sleep.

We’ve all been told the importance of getting enough sleep. It affects your mood, your mental sharpness, your general health, your memory, and your resistance to disease. My fellow chronic insomniacs all know how miserable it is when you can’t get the sleep you need and nothing works. We’ve done the sleep hygiene thing, tried the teas, every herb on the market, every over-the-counter remedy and resorted to the nasty prescription hypnotics like Lunesta and Ambien. We’ve tried everything legal and a few things that aren’t. Some provide temporary relief, but with unpleasant side effects or gradual reduction of effectiveness and miserable withdrawal. It’s not a good scene.

My new counselor, bless her, after listening carefully to my tale of woe, and making sure I had tried all the usual strategies, prescribed Trazodone. I did some research, and although it doesn’t work for everybody, those for whom it does work speak very highly of it. And some have been on it for years, nightly, with no reduction in effectiveness. It took a couple of tries before I got results, but then, hot damn! I got drowsy and actually fell asleep. I woke up every couple hours, but then went back to sleep. In the morning, I felt amazing. Ready to go forth and greet the day with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

So far, the only side effects are that it dries out my nose something awful, which I can combat with a saline nasal spray, and a bit of difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, which is no worse than I’d feel after my all too typical four hours’ (or less).
Nothing a good cuppa can’t take care of, and then I am good to go.

Standing at the sink singing about dirty little eggs.

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9 responses

10 12 2015
Mary Jolles

A good night’s sleep is so important to overall health, both mental and physical. Scientists still don’t fully understand the body’s and mind’s need to sleep, but they do know that without it, organisms that normally have a sleep period literally die. A kind of starvation, if you will. It’s why some captors use sleep deprivation on their prisoners as a type of torture–because it is.

Knowing how you’ve suffered with insomnia, I’m so glad you’ve found an effective remedy! Merry Christmas!

10 12 2015
justinegraykin

Best present I could get!

10 12 2015
darleneolivo

I share your joy at having gotten a good night’s sleep. Yes, it makes all the difference. And while I’m at it, I send very late condolences on the loss of your beloved dog. To suffer that loss while also in the midst of such deep depression is more difficult than one can express. I also want to celebrate your finding a good therapist. That, too, makes a world of difference. I’ve been taking Trazadone for years w/o needing more. In fact, I take a half-tablet now. Getting out of bed is a challenge, yes. Glad to know I’m not the only one!

10 12 2015
justinegraykin

Another satisfied customer. Good to know! After my experiences with other prescription sleep aids, I am wary.

Thank you for your condolences. It was a difficult blow. I cautiously hope that I am out of the woods, now, and can stay in the sunlight.

10 12 2015
poptoad@comcast.net

love this! q-tip with Vaseline in the nostrils at bedtime…..

10 12 2015
justinegraykin

Really? I’ll try it!

12 12 2015
heretherebespiders

I use Neosporin, myself. It smells sweetish, too.

12 12 2015
heretherebespiders

I’m glad you have chooks – just watching them is quite relaxing, I think. And, yay for dirty eggs! One of my coworkers will give them away if you bring him a box to put them in – I make sure I do! All the eggs here are brown, too. Even the shop ones.

14 12 2015
justinegraykin

I can’t imagine not keeping hens. They are so useful. Not only for the eggs, but for the poop. It’s great fertilizer.

Oh, and I’ll try the Neosporin, too. The Vaseline trick actually works quite well, but sometimes I do need something I can inhale for further back.

Enjoy those dirty little eggs!

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