Now, where did I leave that?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Farewell, Kittens...

VERY quick update (this is a crazy week at work): today four of the foster kittens went to the shelter to await adoption. They're small (2+ lbs) but quite healthy, playful, loving, well-socialized purrbugs. I look forward to hearing as each one is adopted. The litter is 10 weeks old now and every one is a delight.

The fifth kitten has already been adopted by us. She's renamed Pip (for Pipsqueak), although Linda calls her a variety of things including Podunk & Tootsiebell, and I referred to her yesterday as the Pipster. She's less than half the size of her siblings, although the vet said she appears healthy and bright-eyed, even though she's the size of a 4 week old. She's a curious, intrepid explorer who will often stop, sit, and take it all in before marching off to her next destination (I think of it as recon missions). She is often to be found on Linda's shoulder, both of them blissfully happy; Linda today referred to the purring in her ear as shavasana (rough translation for those who don't do yoga--we learned it during our brief yoga sojourn--deeply relaxing). She's getting nutritional supplements, frequent small meals since her tummy is sooo small, and enough love for a dozen cats.

I need to get through this very long, taxing week, but when I leave work Friday, I'll be off from work for nine glorious days! Trying to keep my eye on that prize...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Here There Be Chickens!

I haven't lost all sense of grammatical fluency. I'm paying homage to the ancient mariners' maps that showed the edge of the sea and labelled it "Here there be dragons"...

No names yet...they've only been here since this morning. Linda sent a photo of them to me at work, and I only just met them in person. They're a shy trio, but that's understandable given the traumas of the day. In theory this is half the flock; the plan is to 'reclaim' three of our former flock, if the neighbors are still amenable (their house is for sale, so they're in favor of downsizing the critter population). And if they opt out of that, well, that's okay...we'll add more at some point.
But this trio is a pretty bunch, sharing soft whistles and murmurs....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chickens'-Eye View

A place to hang out.....

A place to take care of chicken business...

And outdoor access to those eggs so I can retrieve them without going into the coop when dressed & ready for work!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Coop Fit For a Chicken

It needs a few finishing touches on the outside, but the coop itself is ready for occupancy. The interior boasts two staggered roosts, and three cozy (and easy to clean) nestboxes. Tomorrow I'll spread the pine, cut the back out of the nestboxes for outside access to eggs, and get the feeder & waterer scrubbed & ready. 50 lbs of organic laying feed is in the trunk of my car (along with diatomaceous earth to mix with the pine). Sunday we'll brave the ever-so-slowly dying poison ivy (we used a mixture of 1 gallon of vinegar, 8 drops dish detergent, 1 cup salt) and get the pen done. My hope is that Monday evening Linda will pick up the three new hens on her way home from work, and we'll get them settled in. Then we'll hook up with the neighbors and collect three of the ones we gave to them last Fall when we abandoned this venture the first time around. There's still a fence to put up (we're using 8' high batting cage netting; Linda's a genius!), but we'll want to keep them close to home in the pen for the first couple of weeks anyway...

I'm pretty ready to tackle the many other things on our Summer agenda, like the gardens, so it'll feel so great to have the chickens safely ensconced. We can move on with our lives....

This is a view of the coop from our front door...cute, huh? It's all Linda, folks...she made it work.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Too Cute for Tuesday

The babies are 9 weeks old, and still with us for one more week. Then they'll go back to the shelter for adoption. Each is a unique individual...Bear is mellow & placid, until he sees ribbon! TC is determined & feisty despite her size. Stripe is the observer, but a purr bug. Marbles is gorgeously marked and purrs on contact.  And WC, who has lagged behind the bunch size-wise, barely over a pound as the others are looking 1 3/4-2 lbs in the face, well...WC is fearless and so loving. This tiny little girl shocked us this morning; I walked into the kitchen and there she was, climbing into Lola's food bowl (NOT a good idea given that Lola thinks she's a chipmunk anyway). This teeny little girl had managed to escape the 3 1/2 ft high pen that has contained everyone else. They are lively, bright, playful, social, and should find good homes quickly. These pictures are a tad blurry, a combination of dubious skills and constantly moving targets!
Bear...handsome little guy!
Stripe's our observer. He's a tad cross-eyed, but very sweet.

That's Marbles in the back left--check out those markings! WC is in the foreground, with Stripe deciding it's time to wrestle. Unfortunately, TC wouldn't cooperate at all for photos, but I'll post more before they leave us! And for those who have been wondering if it would happen...well, there's a very good chance WC, our intrepid Mighty Mouse, will be remaining behind when her siblings leave. She rides around on Linda's shoulder, and has won our hearts. It's not definite; we need to be sure Elf will be okay with it, and that we can keep her absolutely safe from Lola who thinks of her as an interactive squeak toy, but how could we not love this little imp?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rhapsody in Red

Farmstand strawberries, sweet & juicy. Four quarts went in the freezer so we can make jam when we have more time; two quarts were washed & sliced for more instant gratification.

Why yes, those beets are from OUR garden, thank you! They shall soon join the two farmstand bunches we bought & pickled yesterday.

Sometimes life can be a bowl of 'em....and these are so sweet and delicious!

What color was your weekend?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Calling You Chicken Folk

The coop will be finished this weekend (enough to live in, if not the aesthetically pleasing external touches). Yesterday Linda began weedwhacking the area where their pen will be (this pen is where they'll hang the first couple of weeks as they get acclimated, while we fence in the very large ranging area for them), and discovered a large quantity of poison ivy. Removing it by hand is out of the question (we both are sensitive to it). We don't have goats, and don't have neighbors with goats we could borrow. Does anyone use Roundup or its ilk where they're going to be raising poultry? Do you then avoid the eggs, and if so for how long? If we use the Roundup this weekend, will it be safe to bring chickens home next weekend as we're planning?

I'm hoping you more experienced chicken peeps can offer some thoughts here--Thank you!

Oh--and happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


She whispers 'come in'
Taste what sweetness I offer
I am yours to take.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thought For the Day

Been very busy, and have lots of photos to show you, but in the meantime, thought I'd share this quote I just came across:

Watch the sunrise at least once a year, put alot of marshmallows in your hot chocolate, lie on your back and look at the stars, never buy a coffee table you can't put your feet on, never pass up a chance to jump on a trampoline, don't overlook life's small joys while searching for the big ones.

Wishing you many small joys today!
(--H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)