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Posts Tagged ‘chickens’

I’m back . . .

. . . and do I have a lot to share.

First, this post is cross-posted on my NEW website and blog!  I’ll cross-post for a little while but please visit me over there and subscribe to my new blog so you can continue to find me!

I certainly didn’t intend to have such a long blogging hiatus but it happened anyway. It started with my summer from hell. Soon after the lovely birthday party, summer camp started. Lots went wrong- mostly database issues resulting in registration issues and unhappy parents mad at me- but also 3 staff members quitting in the 1st 2 weeks of camp for a variety of (mostly) understandable reasons and it all made me want to go home and not come back.

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Oh, it wasn’t all bad. In the end almost 1000 kids had a great time and my cool-on-the-outside-freaking-out-on-the-inside demeanor served me well and resulted in what everyone said was the best summer of camp ever. Yay me. In the midst of that, I had no energy left to write and once I stopped it was hard to start back up. I’ve probably written 25 posts in my head but that does you no good.

DSC06932Since I left you, my garden grew and grew and we canned a whole lot of delicious produce. We planted giant sunflowers and now have so many seeds!

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Buffy, Oolong and Wynonna grew up and started laying delicious eggs. One hen tried to fake us out by laying 14 eggs in a secret spot before we found them! Then last month, sadly and suddenly, Wynonna died mysteriously, and seemingly peacefully, overnight. So we got 2 new hens- Matcha (an Americauna) and Brown Betty (a Welsummer) but they’re not laying yet and I don’t have any pictures of them yet. Now Oolong is molting so she’s not laying either so we’re down to one laying hen. For now.

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After camp was over we took an fun, relaxing camping trip to Paradise Creek in the Gifford Pinchot Forest in Washington. We relaxed and explored, ate smores, hiked on a path to nowhere and admired the pretty colors of the volcanic rocks that were all along the creek.

I’ve only really been knitting in the past couple of weeks but I have plenty of projects that will show up here in the next few weeks. The same goes for spinning.

I renamed my business and moved everything over to a brand new shop and website. The story of why will come soon. I love my new name and logo and am gearing up for the busy shopping season.

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That’s the quick and dirty lowdown. I’ve got to start small. It feels good to get some words out there and I’ll be a little more detailed in my next posts.

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Look at my newest toy! I love her already.  Apparently so does Sesame.
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It’s an Ashford Traveller and I bought it from a really sweet family who used to own a bunch of sheep but they’ve sold their land and haven’t had sheep for quite a few years.  They were sad to be selling their spinning wheels but they took a lot of time and showed me how to use it and even gave me a bunch of wool from their sheep.
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So I spun some.  It’s not great but I’m happy because it’s the fist yarn I’ve spun on a wheel and it’s not completely ugly.  (I did take a drop spindle class a while back but maybe I shouldn’t tell you that lest you think I should be a better spinner than I am.  I never did it enough to get good at it so I feel like I’m starting all over here.)

I fully realize that what I’m about to say could totally change in the next few months so just bear with me and try not to laugh.  I don’t really want to spin wool.  My drive for getting the spinning wheel is that I really want to spin the fiber from my angora bunnies.  Right now, that’s kind of it.  I know, angora is slippery and hard to spin and I should learn to spin with wool first.  Okay, I will.  But I’ll still try the angora, since I have a free supply and can mess up all I want.
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It’s heavenly.  I can’t wait until I can spin it well.

On the chicken front: Our chicks are getting big!  They are pretty much fully feathered now and I hardly recognized them after not seeing them for 8 days.  This is what they looked like a few days before we went on vacation.  They were 4 weeks old then.  the still had puffs of downy feather around their necks and they were small!
My creation
Today they turned 6 weeks old and they got their first outside adventure to celebrate. They were very reluctant at first, what with frightening green grass and all, but eventually I dumped them out of their box and seemed to enjoy it. It was so cute to see them pecking at the grass and flapping their not-so-little wings.
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12 hours in the car with a toddler isn’t so bad.  Maybe it’s just my amazing trooper of a kid but I’m tempted to even  say that the drive from Portland to the Bay Area was fun.  I realize that sounds crazy but crayons, knitting and books on CD go a long way- 600 miles even.

Here are some highlights from our Easter and Grandparent extravaganza:

1. We were able to find a happy vegetarian, organic breakfast place when we stopped in Medford, OR on our drive down.  I never would have guessed.  (Of course, Sesame mostly just ate butter.)

DSC054552. Stop #1 was Mill Valley, CA to stay with Mike’s parents and Sesame tried her hand at dying Easter eggs.

A few eggs were smushed in the process and she did taste the dye but we managed to get a bunch of pretty eggs at the end.

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3. She got the hang of the Easter egg hunt pretty quickly, though at first she pointed to the eggs and wanted someone else to do the hard work of actually picking it up and putting it in her basket.Baby's first easter egg huntBaby's first easter egg hunt

She sure spent a lot of time admiring her pretty eggs!

4. Grandma Diane made a fabulous coconut cake for an early Easter dinner.DSC05484

Okay, the cake was for dessert, not dinner, but it was the highlight.  Thanks to Grandma, Sesame got her first taste of cake batter and loved it, of course.

DSC055215. We met my mom at Traintown and waded through a sea of a thousand excited toddlers.  Here are the 2 grandmas together on the train.  The best part was the petting zoo but we were too busy feeding the animals to take any pictures.

6. Off to Napa to stay with my mom for a few days and Easter egg hunt #2, this one actually on Easter.  Second Easter Egg Hunt

Sesame got smart this time and didn’t let the basket hold her back.  She set down her basket in a central location and then ran back and forth from egg to basket.  Yes, I did make her dress.  It’s the same pattern as this one and I’ll share some better pictures another time.

7. We visited a friend’s chickens and had fun feeding them pretzels and trying to catch one so we could pet it.  Allison's Chickens

Mike was the successful chicken wrangler.

Allison's Chickens

You know you’re in Napa when the chickens have wine boxes to lay their eggs in.

Allison's Chickens

It was cool to see adult versions of some of the same breeds that we have.  I can’t wait for ours to grow up!

It was a fun trip and now we’re tired.

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I Have Chickens!

3 week old chicksMike and I have talked about getting chickens for a while and last Wednesday we decided to go look at baby chicks tojust  see what was available near us and to find out a little more about them.  Yeah, right.  We both knew it was pretty likely that we would come home with some birds.  Our first stop was Pistils, where they only had bantam chicks but we stuck around for a while because Sesame was thrilled by all the “bebe bock-bocks” and we got to see a brand new little baby hatch!  I’m mad that I didn’t have my camera with me because it was so cool to see the little chick peck it’s way out of the shell. We left when Sesame molested the shop’s dog and got bit on the face.  She only got bruised but it was still traumatic for everyone.

We got these 3 little girls (hopefully! we are only 90% sure) at Livingscape Nursery.  They had so many different kinds of chicks and the employee was super nice and helpful.  If you’re in Portland, I totally recommend going there.

3 week old chicksThis is Buffy, a Buff Orpington.  Yes, I do realize that her name is a little obvious.  Mike started calling her that early on and I never meant for it to actually be her name. By the time we started thinking of “real” names we discovered that Buffy had stuck and nothing else really worked.  This is what she’ll look like when she grows up.orpingtonbufffemale

3 week old chicksThis is Wynona, a Silver-laced Wyandotte.  When Buffy had an obvious name, I decided that this little girl may as well too.  So far she’s the spunkiest and I think she’ll be the boss as they get bigger.  (I have a slight fear of birds with their sharp beaks and claws and their flappy wings.  I’m being brave with these cute chickies but to be honest, I’m a little scared of Wynona.  Yes, I know how wussie that sounds.)  She’s going to be so pretty when she’s older!studio_slwyndthn_0195_l

3 week old chicksLast but not least is little Oolong.  A note about her name:  I really like theme names and originally wanted our hens to have names that all related to each other.  We tossed around pop stars, tv characters, Buffy the Vampire slayer characters (Mike’s favorite) among other ideas and then decided to name them after teas because it’s a little strange and there are lots of cool names to choose from.  They were going to be Chamomile, Gen-Maicha and Oolong but that’s when we discovered that Buffy had to stay Buffy so it all fell apart.  Oolong still worked though.  She’s a nice little chick and may just be my favorite.  She’s an Australorp, though there’s a slight chance she’s a Jersey Giant.australorp-hen

On a totally unrelated note, check out this cool moss!  We have tons of moss growing on our patio and before we clean it all off, Mike and I are using some to make a moss terrarium.  I love the different colors and textures.  More pics when it’s done.DSC05322

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