Lesson 1007 – It will take more

 

‘Tis but a dusting.

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It will take more than this (much more) to break our hardy and intrepid New England spirits.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

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Lesson 1006 – Well earned

The seasons changing in New Hampshire never cease to amaze me.

Just a few short weeks ago, we were wearing polar fleece, wrapped in blankets while reading books, and carefully picking our way through the minefield that is the coop path. Everywhere were the white and grey remnants of a tired winter long over extending its stay.

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Now we are wearing shorts, sweaters only when the sun goes down, and skip in delight to the call of the flock each morning.

oh look, there's the path

oh look, there’s the path

We’re starting to let the girls roam in the yard (actually that’s a little backward, the girls are the ones who have decided to finally leave their winter pens) and eggs, glorious eggs are back in our lives. Continue reading

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Lesson 1005 – An entire day

I can’t even remember the last time this happened.

I had the house to myself on Saturday. Something that with 6 kids (even 6 older kids) is virtually unheard of. Between the regional FIRST (robotic) competition and PAXEast (a video gamers’ convention) both in the Boston area, I found myself with only Pippin in our house (and the flock out back.)

For the entire day.

I decided to not waste a minute and only do what makes me happy. (Okay I did do some laundry, but I justified it by saying that clean clothes make me happy, actually they make me very happy.)

I wrote for a few hours on a manuscript project that was near completion.

And then I went to a local fantastic Easter egg hunt where they hid the eggs along a wildflower trail for the kids. I snagged a few eggs to get some photos. Continue reading

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Lesson 1004 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

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I love you and goodbye.

She didn’t make it and although we are saddened by this, what would have resulted in my two daughters melting into puddles of inconsolable tears has now caused a momentary pause, a reflection on the fleetingness of life and the heavy heart of death.

This is the beauty of inviting others into your life. You care for them and they bring you pleasure.

Sometimes they get sick and die.

But more often they don’t and you get to create memories together. Continue reading

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Lesson 1003 – We tried.

The other evening I went to our local Tractor Supply Company to see if they had gotten the latest Backyard Poultry magazine (I wrote the article in it about dressing chickens up in costumes.)

“Are you going to pick up any chicks?” My daughter asked, hope shining in her eyes.

“Nope, we’re scheduled to get 9 baby chicks the first week of May and that’s enough for us.”

I did, however, have plans to at least look at the TSC chicks.

When I went over to the chick tubs and looked down, in one tub of golden comets sat a tired little black chick huddled in a corner. This chick was breathing heavy. She was lethargic and didn’t try to get away from me when I approached. All very bad signs. Continue reading

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Lesson 1002 – More on our rooster/hen Zelda

Many people have commented about our Zelda story. If you have chickens, you’ve probably heard stories of hens turning into roosters, but like Big Foot, you’ve probably never actually seen one.

Here are some more before and after shots of Zelda (and we know it’s Zelda because she has a metal ID crimp that has never been removed.)

This is Zelda *before* the winter:

 

Zelda before "the change"

Zelda before “the change”

And here she is after the winter: Continue reading

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Lesson 1001 – There’s something about Zelda

When I was young, my grandmother used to always tell me the story about a hen living in her family’s flock, who turned into a rooster.

“Yeah, right Grandma,” I’d reply as I rolled my eyes and helped myself to the package of Fig Newtons always sitting on her dining room hutch.

She’d look at me, shake her head, and then ask if I wanted milk with my cookies.

That was just Grandma being Grandma – a little old, a little forgetful, a little, um, out there.

I still loved her.

This past winter something odd has happened in our hen house. Zelda, our Easter Egger, went into the coop at the beginning of winter as the “Queen” of the flock (actually co-sharing that position with Granite, our Barred Rock.) Zelda is our fat grey bird who has shining gold speckled throughout her mantle. She’s a mighty protector who routinely gifted us with gorgeous bluish-greenish eggs. In fact it was Zelda who gave us our “golden egg” – the first egg from our flock.

This is what Zelda looked like in the fall. Continue reading

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