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Friday, July 29, 2011


Man, it's hot out there!

Extreme weather makes me aware of just how much I reeeaaally like "farming".
The hen house isn't all that far away from the people house...

...But, when it was cold and the weather was precipitous, tromping through the morning frost to break up a gallon of ice wasn't at the top of my list. 

...And now, with the high humidity and the mosquitoes thriving, I find myself grateful for city ordinances preventing me from bringing home a goat or sheep.

I still maintain that I would like to live on a farm. I'm just not so sure about the working there too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

Actually it was Charlie and me down on the greenway.

Yesterday morning I promised Charlie that we would go to the park after I got home from work. At the sounds of GO, PARK, and WORK his ears perked and his head tilted. (Work sounds a lot like walk when you are a spoiled dog.) He was ready and wasn't going to let me get out the door without breaking my heart or making me feel guilty about making him wait.

I held true to my words and after work we went to the park.
There weren't many dogs out last night. I saw maybe 4 or 5. There were quite a lot of people, most with some involvement with football practice, but also many out walking, jogging and riding bikes.

Charlie and I made our way through the greenway giving wide enough birth to other pedestrians.
We ended up playing "leap frog" with one couple - when we weren't stopped to sniff, we were covering more ground. Anytime we got near, the lady would grab her companion and drag him in between herself and my happy, tongue and tail wagging dog. The man gave me the stink eye.

Have you every seen a truly vicious dog out for a walk at the park? I am sympathetic to those who have had bad experiences with dogs - or any animals for that matter. (I was once bitten by a turkey.) But have a little faith in those who take their furry family members out in public. 

Seriously. Look at this face.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

93 days

I came accross an article a little while ago where a Michigan woman was facing up to 93 days in jail for growing a vegetable garden in her front yard.

So... vegetales can be bad for you. Especially if, say, you ignore your town/city ordinances and the first communications requesting you relocate your produce.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Kathy and Eleanore are gracefully sharing their sweet hen house with a few other winged creatures.

Black Ninja Darting Moths.

I have a feeling that is not what they are regarded as in scientific-flying-insect circles. Although... I might just circulate a petition.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


It has its perks...

...Such as this gladiola. Or these gladiolus? I'm not sure how many are there. I don't remember planting them and I'm pretty certain they weren't there last year. But I'm happy its there now.

Also, every once in a while, I will have a conversation with someone who reads my blog. I tend to forget that I have an audience and am immediately suspicious that they are stalking my chickens... and then I remember I wrote about it and shared it publicly.
(That's not really true. I know if anybody is stalking my birds, it's a critter that wants to eat them. But I have been caught off guard a time or two - What? How did you kn...Ohhhhhh right.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Twist and Shout

I picked my first cucumber the other day. I used the same method I use when picking zucchini or squash: grab the veggie and twist up near the stem of the plant. Sometimes I come accross a pricker, but they are nothing compared to what is on a cucumber before it is ripe.

Hence, the shout!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Good News

"Good news!" I told Aaron after returning from the coop to find Kathy and Eleanore unharmed, "the gun turret won't be necessary."

After I told Aaron about waking up in the middle of the night to the sounds of predators making a ruckus, he suggested adding a gun turret to the impenetrable fortress.

It was one of those times where I was not sure if I woke up because I heard the noise or if I heard the noise because I woke up. Either way, it didn't sound like dogs and I was worried for my flock. (if you can call two chickens a flock).

So I am happy to report all is well on the mini-farm.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I was having a fat day Saturday. If you are male, you may not have experienced this. However, if there is a lady in your life, you've probably been around it. If you are female and you don't know what I am talking about - lucky you is the nicest thing I can say.

I started my day in Lycra and spandex - not really materials that make me feel my best. (My sister-in-law and I were going for a swim and then a bike ride.) I was grumpy leaving the house and kept tugging at my top which would ride up over my hip fat and reveal the pudge.

After my shower I put on a shirt that I swear didn't use to fit like that. Amazingly, I didn't tear it off and throw it across the room. I did some house work - probably complaining to myself about how I hate doing dishes and wondering how long those leftovers had been in the fridge...

Later in the afternoon my mom and I went out and about and stopped for a light dinner at a fast food restaurant. I know what you are thinking. "You're having a fat day and you went to fast food? No wonder!" (We had salads thank you very much.)

While we were there an older couple walked in with winter coats on. They both had gray hair and seemed frail. They sat in a booth next to us just going on about their day. I tried to see what they had ordered without really staring. It didn't look like much.

I went up the counter and asked the cashier if they came in often. She said they did. "Do you think they are homeless?" She said she thought so, but that they drove a car. I asked if they sold gift cards and stopped whining about my ill-fitting exercise-wear and the chores to keep up my air conditioned home.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Matters of Size

I took waaaay longer than necessary editing this photo of the giant zucchini and pint glass. Probably anytime spent at all would have been too much for the point being made: Look at the size of that Zucchini!
But I enjoyed every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Zwiebeln - the German trasnlation for onions. It is one of the few words I remember from our trip to Switzerland. If I remember correctly, it should be pronounced like this: ZVEEbeln.

This is the result from the half of an onion I threw in the lasagna garden compost and then transferred to the worm box and then back to the lasagna garden.

We didn't eat it. I don't know if it was ready to pick for eating. But it was falling over and starting to uproot, so I pulled it up and took a picture.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oyster Shells

Oyster shells, the answer to all of your weak shell problems.

Ah ha!

"Thin egg shells are observed when calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D3 are not provided in diets at adequate levels. It is more often observed during periods of hot weather because calcium is conserved and retained within the hen's body less efficiently." 

- Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station

I had a bag of oyster shell gravel that I occasionally mixed in with the pellet so I mixed some more in. I was under the impression that the shells aided in digestion, but I guess they are more of a calcium supplement. So far so good.

Friday, July 1, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, my mind was put at ease. No, sadly Violet did not reappear. However, I am glad to know and report that she was loved. At first I was skeptical. I believed that my neighbor's dogs were miserable and needed to be saved. The truth is they just weren't as spoiled as I would have liked. Charlie has no idea how good he has it.

There is a small memorial in the backyard. A circle of stones around a plant, and a home made, hand drawn card. The picture is of Violet in the shade of the tree on a clear blue day. Inside, scrawled in crayon, it reads "We love you, Violet" along with all the names of the family.

I cried telling Aaron about it.

I still miss her.