Monday, April 29, 2013

A new place to lay

For all of the years we have had chickens, they have laid their eggs in an ancient laying box.  Well, maybe not ancient, but really old.  More than fifty years ago Daryl's family had laying hens and this was one of the boxes from way back then.  But, those boxes were made for big egg production and the spaces were cramped and dark.

Our chickens deserve better.
So, with some help from Jonathan and Daniel,
Daryl built an egg-laying spa retreat.  I love it!  Ollie loves it!

Judging by the number of eggs we are getting, it is a big hit with the girls, too.  We are getting between 18 and 21 eggs every day now!  We are having eggs for breakfast and quiche for dinner.  And sharing with our friends.

That is my favorite part.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One of those days

Last Saturday was one of those perfect days.  The weather was breezy and warm so we spent a lot of the day outside.
Jonathan was with us.  He gathered eggs and then delivered the eggs to his great-grandparents.  Scout went with him.
Later in the day I took a few  pictures of Jonathan.  Usually, I don't let the grass get this tall and crazy, but this year, I just don't seem to care as much.  In past years, the tall grass has been like noise in my head.  This year, though, I am enjoying the red and white flowers on the clover, and I like to see the new spring grass swaying in the breeze.  Maybe I'm just lazy and don't want to spend hours on a lawnmower.   Maybe I'm just loosening up.  Either way, it made a good backdrop.

The chickens hadn't spent any time out of their pen, but Saturday just seemed like the right day for a taste of clover.
This is a Buff Orpington hen.  She looks just like a chicken out of a children's story book.  This breed is gentle, big, fluffy, and they lay lots of eggs.

This chicken is one of the Aracaunas.  They all look a little different, but I don't think I have ever had one with such a funny beard.  This bearded lady lays either a blue or a green egg.

This hen is another Aracauna.  See how different her coloring is?  And how small her brain must be to fit in her head?

This is Scout's I-don't-like-chickens face.

The icing on this cupcake of a day was that we put together an impromptu supper (mostly Sarah did), and all of the grandkids and their parents ate dinner here.

These are the good old days...

Friday, April 19, 2013


Insignificant News Alert:  Having a new puppy in the house is almost like having a new baby in the house. 

Except that when the puppy cries at night and you need some sleep, you can put a puppy in a crate in another room.  And close the door.  And put earplugs in your ears.  And turn on a loud fan.

We named our new little guy Scout.  We have had a very broad pet-naming scheme of choosing Southern names: Scarlet (O'Hara), Twinkle (a southern beauty queen and politician), Shiloh (a Civil War battlefield), and now Scout (from To Kill a Mockingbird - set in an Alabama town).  He wears his name well and answers to it as well as he does any other word said in a sing-song tune.
For the first few days Scout has wanted to be right at my feet.  Literally.
There are a few things I have learned this week about puppy ownership.
  • House breaking a puppy is an exhausting job.  You have to always be on your guard, trying to be the dog whisperer, trying to notice any signs that he might need to "go".  Add in two or three rainy days and a day spent at the emergency room and....well, it is exhausting.
  • The ER visit was because of a fainting spell Daryl had on Tuesday morning.  He had been feeling bad with a slight fever and no energy, but quickly got much worse and passed out Tuesday morning.  It took quite a while for him to come back around -- thus the trip to the hospital.  People who love me know that I love Scout and quickly asked what they could do to help with him.  They came to get him and let him have a field trip at their house all day.  More than one person offered and I was so grateful.  And Daryl is doing fine.  The thing I learned about having a puppy is that when you add someone to your family, canine or human, your family loves them, too.  Because they love you.  That is just heartwarming.
  • Scout has been very good at walking on the leash and I have taken him for several long walks.  And a walk has never been so much fun.  He runs, jumps, wipes out, gets low to run through the clover, splashes in the puddles, and laughs.  I'm sure he is laughing!
I totally understand puppy love!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A puppy!

I have been lonely since Shiloh died.  At first I just missed her terribly.  Over the past few months, though, I have missed her company out here on our little farm. 

She was always with me when I was outside.  I never walked to the chicken house alone.  I never went for a jog by myself.  Even while I cut the grass, she was close by.  While I absolutely love my home place and being away from the busyness of the city, I need a friend to share it with me.

Today, I am meeting my new friend.

He is an 11 week old miniature Australian Shepherd and I will meet him in a couple of hours.
I'm so happy!

First eggs in the claw

We got baby chicks about 6 months ago.  They have grown into beautiful chickens, but up until now they have been too young to lay eggs.  I always begin looking for their first eggs when they are about 6 months old or when the rooster in the mix begins to crow. 

The 'rooster crowing' sign was not a good indicator with this batch of chickens because he has been crowing for a couple of months.  (sigh) 

When I went to feed the girls this evening, though, they had a little gift waiting for me. 

Five little eggs!

I'm such a proud mama and wanted to take a picture of their achievement.  Unfortunately, I was not born to be a hand model.

We have the Dirty Glove Picture...

The Crooked Claw...

The Gnarly Claw...
And the Spread Finger Claw...
Not one egg was dropped in the chronicling of this event, though.  Claws do come with benefits!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

One of my favorites

This is one of my favorite pictures I took last year.

In September, Daryl and I were in Honolulu.  We went to Ala Moana Park to watch the sunset and definitely weren't disappointed.

There were people everywhere, some on the beach with us, others in the water.  But, just after the sun fell below the horizon this lone paddle-boarder drifted in front of me.

I have wondered since that day about the man in the picture.  I don't have any idea about him except that he looked to be native Hawaiian and that he was comfortable on the water.  I have looked at the picture many times since I was there and this guy has become a part of my consciousness.  He has no idea.

Two people connected by a picture only one of us knows about.