Tag Archives: Jen Greely

Nobody Here But Nikki And Maeve’s Chickens

Dr. Nikki Gorman is a well-known, much loved Westport pediatrician.

What may be less known is that she loves chickens.

And raises them.

Her hobby began with CT Rent-a-Hen. They deliver everything you need. You get them for 3 months, with an option to renew.

Nikki did.

This is not Duck.

Unfortunately, a predator got into the henhouse. They all perished — except for the fastest, wiliest chicken, named Duck.

It stayed close to the yard, but off her property — sometimes in trees. Nikki spent 2 weeks trying to catch it.

Finally, her neighbor Jennifer Greely offered her daughter’s help. Maeve arrived with chicken-catching gear (including a blanket), and a big smile.

Within a couple of hours, she had caught Duck. Jen offered to nurse it back to health, in her garage. Nikki happily agreed.

Several months later, Duck is still with Maeve. It is completely rehabbed, and integrated into her large group.

Nikki told Maeve that she’d be opening Westport Medical & Wellness Center, behind the CVS parking lot on Whitney Street. There was a yard, where Nikki wanted chickens. After all, they’re very calming, and produce wonderful eggs.

Maeve offered to handpick the right chickens. And, she said, she would order them herself — and grow them to where they could successfully live outside the pen.

Nikki visited often, and bonded with the chickens Maeve was raising.

It’s a great story. And, Nikki adds, at the end: Maeve is only 10 years old!

Maeve’s mother Jen adds some background.

Maeve was just 3 when she and her mom (and a chicken) did a “Caregiver and Me” class at Wakeman Town Farm. Jen was not ready for chickens, so instead she got Maeve a puppy.

Maeve was very young when she caught the chicken bug.

At 6, the youngster began raising chickens. Her passion grew, even when a raccoon killed many of her chicks. One was maimed so badly, it lost a wing. Maeve gave it round-the-clock pain meds and antibiotics, and cared for it until its death 3 1/2 years later.

At 7, she had her own booth at the Maker Faire.

“We call Maeve ‘the chicken whisperer,'” Jen says. “She really seems to understand their personalities, sounds, and the social dynamics of a flock.

“I asked her what it is about chickens that draws her to them. She said that people think they’re stupid, but they have a very strong social support structure, and each chicken is accepted into the flock for who they are.

Maeve relaxes, with her backyard flock.

“Maeve used Nikki’s chicken Duck as an example. She said when she was getting Duck strong enough to integrate into the flock, only one other hen came to peck Duck, as a way to put her in her place.

“But that quickly ended. The other chickens just ignored Duck — which rarely happens. Maeve said this is because the other chickens could tell that Duck had been traumatized by having to survive in the wild alone.

“Maeve said the other chickens recognized that Duck wasn’t a threat to the flock pecking order. She just needed to feel safe and be with others.”

Jen adds, “Honestly, isn’t that what all of us, chicken or human, need in this world?

Galia Gichon, Dr. Nikki Gorman and friend.

COVID-19 Roundup: Westport Rocks, German Blues, Mystic Market, Meditation, STAR And More

Jen Greely and Lindsay Weiner rock!

In more ways than one. Their new project — Westport Rocks —  spreads joy all around town.

The women encourage everyone to paint rocks with colorful, encouraging messages — then leave them for others to find.

But that’s not all. To share the spirit, they’ve created “virtual gathering spaces” for everyone’s creations. Before leaving your rocks, take a photo. Then upload them to the website, Instagram and Facebook page.

It’s a community project — and one that entire families can enjoy. For more info, email westportctrocks@gmail.com.

On Sunday, I posted a wonderful video of 1970 Staples High School grad — and Seattle Opera star — Stephen Wall lifting up his neighbors with beautiful Italian opera.

Now Stephen sends along this clip of his former Smoke bandmate — and ’71 SHS alum — Jeffrey Dowd. He’s spent the last 40-plus years singing opera around the world, from his home base in Germany.

Here’s his important (and funny) message on social distancing. It’s a new spin on Fats Waller’s classic song. And no, Fats never sang opera.

The Gillespie Center needs 23 meals a day — but they no longer have access to the kitchen they use.

Fortunately, they’ve teamed up with Mystic Market. The great Saugatuck spot makes all the meals, each day. They’d love to donate them all — but unfortunately they can’t afford to.

Fortunately, with their new app and website, anyone can help. You can buy 1 meal for 1 person; all 23 meals for a day; all the meals for a week — even all the meals for a month.

Click here for the website. Choose “Takeout” as if you’re ordering; then scroll to the meal donation section.

To order via the app (easier): download the app, search for “Mystic Market Westport.” Just look for the “Meal Donation” button — the one with 2 hands holding a heart (below).

Among the many Westporters who have reached out to others in the pandemic: helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through STAR.

Chef Lisa Finn from Wakeman Town Farm, Yvonne O’Kane, Miggs Burroughs, MoCA and Zumba Westport YMCA all offer virtual classes via Zoom for STAR participants.

They — and the entire STAR staff — are grateful. For more information (including how to help), email jthompson@starct.org.

Miggs Burroughs teaches art by Zoom.

Dr. Allen Levy is a psychotherapist, clinical social worker and modern psychoanalyst. He has been in private practice since 1978, the last 20 years in Westport.

He has long offered free meditation classes in Bay Street office. Now he’s providing them, via Zoom, to the community (Fridays 12-1 p.m., Mondays 8-9 p.m.). They appeal to spiritually minded people, as well as professionally minded scientists.

Dr. Levy also offers psychotherapy sessions through Telehealth. For more information on his meditation classes and therapy sessions, click here.

Dr. Allen Levy

This time of year, the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce usually gears up for big events. Now they’re busy rearranging them.

The May 31 Dog Festival has been pushed back to October 4.

The May Supper & Soul is canceled. The next one is set for November.

The annual First Citizen Award gala dinner will be held in the fall, instead of June.

All in-person networking events are being run virtually.  The first one is next  Thursday (April 16, 9 a.m.). Click here for details.

Slice of Saugatuck, meanwhile, is still on as of now. Save the date: Saturday, September 12.

For more Chamber information — including their list of restaurants and markets that are open for curbside and/or delivery — click here.

Around town, there seems to be some confusion over what “social distancing” means. Six feet apart should be pretty clear — even on an outdoor walk.

Need a photo? Mary Sikorski provides one. Just follow what these guys are doing on the Longshore golf course:

And finally, give it up for the awesome O’Jays as they offer both an inspirational message, and the greatest bell bottoms in the history of fashion:

Cocktails For A Pancreatic Cancer Cure

Jen Greely moved to Westport 6 years ago. She met fellow artist Binnie Birstein and was captivated.

“She was quite a character,” Jen says. “She never minced words. But she always gave great feedback to me and other artists.”

Binnie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017. Jen and fellow members of the Artists Collective of Westport became her caregivers.

“She never spent a single night alone,” Jen says. “We were there 24/7. When her kids came, we gave respite to them too.”

Binnie Birstein with her work, at the Westport Arts Center. (Photo/Jen Greely)

Binnie died this past May. As Jen talked about her mentor, and her experience as a caregiver, with other Saugatuck Elementary School moms, she learned how many people have lost loved ones to pancreatic cancer.

One of those Westporters is Jessica Newshel. A decade ago, her world was thrown into a tailspin as her 50-year-old uncle — healthy, active, the father of 3 — battled the disease.

Jessica Newshel (Bottom left) in 2001, with her uncle Jeffrey Rosenzweig (top right), cousin Steven Rosenzweig and aunt Lizanne Rosenzweig.

He died 6 weeks before Jessica, her relatives and friends walked in a Lustgarten Foundation fundraiser. The organization is the largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research.

Jessica’s family — who also lost their matriarch to pancreatic cancer — provided a large challenge grant to Lustgarten. They also organized several large race events in Westchester, raising over $500,000.

Now Jen, Jessica and fellow Westporter Natalie Kroft have teamed up for their next event. And it’s right here, in their hometown.

“Cocktails for a Cure” — set for Thursday, April 4 (7 p.m., Westport Country Playhouse barn) — includes drinks, light bites from Bartaco, treats and live music.

Jen, Jessica and Natalie all have personal connections to pancreatic cancer. They are doing all they can to raise awareness around the importance of testing, early diagnosis, and research.

They do it for their loved ones. And for all of us.

(Click here for tickets and more information on the April 4 “Cocktails for a Cure.”)