Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The new layers are laying!

I found a little, half-sized egg today in the main coop. Right now, only the new layers are in there. I was surprised to find it, as I wasn't expecting anyone to start laying for another couple of weeks. Yesterday someone had made a little nesting hollow in the nesting box (this is where the eggs are laid), and before that someone had made one on the floor. Chickens do these behaviors for a little while before they lay their first eggs, so I wasn't really expecting to find a treasure quite so soon. As I said, it was small, but a delicious chocolate brown color. I can hardly wait to fry it up for breakfast!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chicks in a Box

On Wednesday morning, bright and early, my second batch of meat chicks arrived via the US Postal Service. They are in the cute and fuzzy stage, very lively with bright snapping little black eyes. They seem to be much happier than the early spring batch--the weather is much warmer and they are content to run around their little habitat on the porch. I am even able to turn off the heat lamp by mid-day, which is very nice for the ol' electric bill. I couldn't believe how packed they were in their little box--no one would believe me if they didn't see it for themselves (hence the attached video!). My garden continues to grow, with the corn almost ready to pollinate and the pumpkins and squash vines running wild. Lots of green tomatoes on the vines as well, so I can hardly wait to make homemade sauce and dried tomatoes. Tonight I plan to harvest fresh broccoli and have it with some "real" macaroni and cheese. Yum-o!

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's official...

I can no longer mow around the garden. Vines from the squash and pumpkin hills have moved into the lawn, and I can't shove my little reel mower around them anymore. Of course, I can't move the chicken summer chalet through them, either, so the weeds are happily growing rampant. I think I can still manuver the weed whacker through the jungle, so once the battery recharges from whacking the weeds in the orchard, I will attack. The corn is about 5 feet high now, no pollination yet but I have some little "buds" of ears starting to grow. Now, if I could only convince the pocket gopher to move to some other garden area, life would be perfect!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pumpkins taking over the world!!

My pumpkins are so happy--I have vines going everywhere! They are sprouting through the fence, climbing up the corn, infiltrating the bean patch. It is incredible! And, even more thrilling, I have counted a dozen pumpkins so far. If they all make it, I will be slathered in pumpkin guts and the smell of roasting seeds will be smelled for miles and miles--come October. I am envisioning a pumpkin pyramid on the front lawn. Maybe I will post a little flag on top, with a miniature Swiss alpine climber--viva Mt. Pumpkin!! And aside from the happy pumpkins, I have tomatoes galore on the vines. The plants are about 5 feet high now, still vining out too. I can hardly wait to see how my sweet corn does. Oh, I love gardening (especially when things grow)!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pigged out on mittens...

I think I have discovered my new calling in life: To make animal-themed mittens! Thank you, spilly jane for creating the piggy mitten pattern. From this pattern, I have developed a bunny mitten. And I have plans for the creation of a frog mitten, a horse mitten, a dinosaur mitten...so many mittens, so little time! I'd better get back to my needles and yarn stash...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thank God the 4th is over...

Yes, I know. That sounds very unpatriotic of me. Rest assured, I am most pleased to live in the ol' U.S. of A. But why is it that everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) has to get bit by the pyromania bug every fourth of July? Not only is there a light show over in the Pioneer Park, but at least every other house in the block has to send off some bottle rockets or firecrackers. My poor dogs are still traumatized. The little crazy one, Hannah, has taken to twitching and barking at everything. She even barks when it is herself that has made the noise! Poor Phoebe, whose one remaining fear is a fear of loud noises, tried to squeeze herself behind the toilet. This was after I gave her two valiums. And she isn't very small, so she got stuck. Just imagine trying to unwedge a trapped dog from behind the commode--and every time she'd start to get unstuck, another dang firecracker would pop off and whoops, back she'd go. The big lug, Max, was very bravely trying to be calm--I found him with his head wedged under the sofa after finally extracting Phoebe from behind the toilet. I think he was trying to get his whole body underneath, but only his head would fit. Phoebe joined him promptly under the couch (she was able to get her head and shoulders to stuff under). I grabbed a beer, turned on four fans in an attempt to drown out the noise, popped in a James Galway CD, and tried to pretend I was calm, cool and collected. Unfortunately, sitting on the sofa made me a prime target for the many traumatized cats who wanted to sit on me and use me as a pincushion every time a "boom" happened. Things finally settled down after someone either set themselves or their barn on fire--The screaming sirens from the local ambulance/fire department squad seemed to squash the neighborhood's enthusiasm for extended explosive play. And aside from the occasional, sporadic crackle of distant hoards of last minute deals on fireworks, the fourth of July seems to be "over" for another year. Happy Birthday, America!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Every house needs some hot pink...

The purply trim just wasn't peppy enough, so I had to add some hot pink accents (yes, pink!). Who doesn't love a hot pink mail box? Or very visible house numbers? The old storm door had seen the last of its' better days, so with the help of my handyman Jack, I have a lovely new one with twice as much window. My little cottage now looks like it is mine!

House Art Installation

Someday, I would love to have a large, iron work sculpture of a chicken to hang on my "blank" front wall. Unfortunately, such a creation is way out of the current budget! So, what is a girl to do when she NEEDS some art but on a shoe string? She goes to Goodwill, of course! Lucky me, I managed to find the sun, the moon, and the stars for under $40. Goodwill in Menomonie had one remaining tin half moon, and a collection of mildly beat-up suns. After pawing through the pile o' sunshine, I found the perfect one: Not too bronzy, not too crunched up, and in the same style as my lovely half moon. A collection of tin stars was not to be had, so I headed up to my favorite "junky" retail store: Bargain Bill's in Rice Lake. I just love a store that has Christmas merchandise up year round. And, Bill's has a huge selection of artsy craftsy supplies--you name it, they have it (with a big emphasis on beads and paper). I rounded up five tin stars of various sizes and styles, none of which were more than $4. I had two at home already, and with spray paint to make them silvery or pewter-tone, they finish off my "cosmos" nicely. Of course, before I left Bill's, I had to tour the yarn corner. Lo and behold, they had BOXES of Lion Brand "fancy" yarns--so I had to leave with 10 balls of Moonlight Mohair. I've been hanging onto a lace shawl pattern that I think will work up so nicely in this blend of mohair and sparkly acrylic ribbon. Don't fret--I'll post a picture when it is done!