Author Archives: Wendy Thomas

About Wendy Thomas

Wendy is a journalist, writer, blogger and the Tech Blog Manager at Constant Contact.

Lesson 1125 – The Good Egg

This morning I was having an online conversation with a friend. At the end of our conversation (where several positive things were decided) I signed off by telling him that he was a “Good Egg.”

He returned with this:

Thanks Wendy. “Good Egg” has long been a high compliment in my book. Did you use it before you started the chicken raising?

To which I replied:

Nope, only after I realized how much work, time, and effort goes into creating something that is given away to nourish others did I ever truly realize that the term “good egg” is a true compliment of the highest order.

 Well, it’s the truth.


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

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Eggs, Everything Eggs, Life Lessons

Lesson 1124 – Smelly Chicken Coop – what a neighbor can do.

I recently got this email from a reader who is having problems with his close neighbor’s smelly chicken coop. Read the letter, my reply, and if you have any suggestions, please let us know.
Problems with backyard poultry smell

I’m hoping you can help me with a desperate quandary I have regarding my neighbors.  They have a coop and it is SO smelly.  The backyards are not big and they do have it as far away as they can, maybe 50 yards away from my backyard (maybe less), but the smell is so atrocious that I can’t use my backyard, screened in porch or even open the windows in the back of the house because it smells so bad.  I spent the evening yesterday cooking in the kitchen with the only window in the kitchen shut because I couldn’t take the smell anymore.  It was barely perceptible last year but this year it seems to be omnipresent especially in the afternoons and evenings.  It is especially rough lacking any central a/c as we need to be able to open our windows. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Coop care, Living Tiny in a Big House, Uncategorized

Lesson 1123 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks

Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.

Delia Smith

Last weekend Marc and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary by having our annual lunch at our favorite restaurant: Pickety Place located in Mason NH.  This restaurant is a New Hampshire treasure located way back in the woods off the path of a windy dirt road.

The restaurant’s claim to fame is that a small gardening shack on the property was the inspiration for the drawings used in a copy of Little Red Riding Hood. *I*, however, think that their true claim to fame is the food. Each lunch is a 5 course meal which uses herbs and flowers grown on the property.

Thought I’d give you a little taste of the fall season at Pickety Place.

Lunch was potato/vegetable gratin. (you have a choice of a veggie meal or one with meat)


There are 3 lunch seatings at the the restaurant, and hey encourage you to walk the grounds until the lunch bell rings. (so we did)

All around the property you’ll find ripe pumpkins that have been artfully placed. Continue reading

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Filed under Holidays, Personal, Quotable Chicks, Uncategorized

Lesson 1122 – Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maquire – Book Review

eggspoonAs you might know I recently saw Gregory Maguire at our local Barnes and Noble where he was kicking off his book tour for his newest book: Egg & Spoon.

IMG_20140910_180359008During his presentation he said that this book, which is classified as YA (Young Adult) is really a cross-over book. He told us the story about how he sent the original manuscript to the publishers of his last YA book (What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy) and told them that they could publish the manuscript as a YA or he would be sending it over to his fiction book publishers (who have published among other books, his Wicked series) who would publish it as an adult novel.

In either case, no words were going to be changed.

His YA publishers quickly agreed to publish the book. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Reviews, Personal

Lesson 1121 – Ketogenic Diet as part of Lyme Disease Treatment?

This post follows the one from yesterday because it continues the discussion on Lyme Disease treatment. In the last two weeks I have been following a ketogenic diet to see if it helps with my lingering Lyme disease symptoms.

Photo credit: Paul Downey

Photo credit: Paul Downey

In doing the research for yesterday’s post I re-read my original blog post on how I felt *before* I was officially diagnosed with Lyme disease. To put it simply, I was a hurting puppy. My joints hurt, my memory was affected, I had shooting nerve pains all over the place, I felt much, much older than my age.

When I look at that post, I see how far I’ve come. These days, I’m back to playing occasional tennis, I’ve taken up hot yoga again, and on average I walk 10,000 steps as recorded by my fitbit. This past weekend, I participated in a 5K Lyme awareness walk – something that would have been impossible last year.

Oh yeah, and my memory is better. (Didn’t want to forget that one.)

And still I am bothered by some lingering symptoms. One Achilles tendon is perpetually tight, I have vague structural and joint soreness, and I still have muscle twitching and popping in my legs. Continue reading

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Filed under Life Lessons, Lyme Disease, Personal

Lesson 1120 – The current state of Lyme disease treatment in New Hampshire

Yesterday I got a call from New Hampshire’s U.S. Senator Shaheen’s office regarding a letter I had written about  Lyme disease symptoms in my family and Lyme disease treatment in New Hampshire. I had a chat with one of her aides and this is the email I sent her this morning.

I will continue to fight the good fight on Lyme disease because so many people are unnecessarily being harmed.

It’s not that hard – Lyme disease (and its co-infections) are bacterial infections. We have the drugs to wipe them out.

The problem is that Lyme disease symptoms are not being recognized, testing is abysmal, and treatment varies from Doctor to Doctor.

When it is standard treatment to treat the tuberculosis bacteria for 9 months with multiple antibiotics (and then to treat a relapse, which often occurs within 12 months of stopping treatment) because in the chronic stage the bacteria can form a bio-film that makes antibiotic penetration difficult, I find it hard to understand why Doctors in New Hampshire (the #1 state for reported Lyme disease cases) will dispense 2 – 6 weeks of antibiotics for a CHRONIC Lyme infection (where the bacteria also forms bio-films) and then sends you off to a specialist or even a psychiatrist if your symptoms come back.

If ever there was a definition of stubborn-insanity, it’s that.

I’m just not going to keep quiet about this one.

This is what I sent the to the Senator (and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.) Continue reading

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Filed under Living Tiny in a Big House, Uncategorized

Lesson 1119 – Chickens in the winter – how to care for your flock

IMG_20140118_115558127We’re heading into the colder months and new-time chicken owners are already starting to have anxiety attacks. “How, oh how will I be able to keep my babies warm?” they fret as they look into expensive heaters and even sweaters knit for chickens. (Go ahead and ask me how I know. I was once a first time chicken owner too, you know.)

Chickens have always known what to do in cold weather, as the owner you simply need to provide the basics (and nope, no matter how cute, a sweater is not a basic.)

I had one reader contact me to ask about winter preparation, she wanted to use hay on the floor of the outdoor run and she wanted to put tarps up to protect her flock from wind and snow in the run (the birds all had access to a fully enclosed coop from the run area.)

Before you do anything, I told her, just take a deep breath. I live in New Hampshire where we also have very cold winters. Your chickens will be able to figure out how to survive even the coldest winter on their own. Continue reading


Filed under Living Tiny in a Big House, Uncategorized