Category Archives: All things chickens

Lesson 1493 – Plans for 2017

 

This is how I spent the last few days of 2016. In bed, semi-delirious with a chest cold that sent me straight to the bowels of hell.

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Kind of a fitting end to one heck of a lousy year.

But it’s now 2017. Our bayberry candle burned to the quick. Decorations are slowly being packed away and it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

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One good thing about being sick (go ahead and call me Pollyanna) is that I got to read some of my Christmas books. I had specifically asked for page-turners.

  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl – fit the bill. It’s a small print, almost 600 page book that turned itself on its head several times. Complicated, intelligent, I couldn’t put it down.
  • The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson – not the best written but when it comes to action, it doesn’t get much better than this. Even the family was keeping up with the story as I’d announce yet another action point.
  • Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasil Ilmari Jääskeläinen – this is translated from Finnish so the language doesn’t flow as well as it could, but the combination of fairytale, mystery and just plain weirdness hooked me from the very beginning. On the last few pages of that one.
  • What do you do with a problem? and What do you do with an idea? – by Kobi Yamada – these two are children’s picture books that belong in every household. If these were around when my kids were little, I would have read them out loud every night. Fantastic, positive and inspirational messages.

In our house, we try not to set resolutions (I’ll never eat another piece of chocolate again!) that almost always fail and instead we set goals, things to which we can work and aspire.

Most (if not all) of my goals for 2017 have to do with writing.

One of my goals is to keep track of the books I read this year, I’ll be posting them on this blog (oh hey, look, I already started!)

I’ll be going to a Poultry Congress in January (love that event.) I’ll be hooking up with one of my favorite chicken people. You’ll be reading about that.

I’m going back to my intermittent fasting/anti-inflammatory diet.(not surprising that I got so sick after eating so much junk over the holidays) Will let you know how that’s going.

I want to get back to trying some of the recipes I rescued from my mother’s apartment after she passed.

And speaking of recipes, I do want to pull together a seasonal cookbook for living on $130/month for food.

A friend and I are making plans to visit France and Spain in April. You can bet I’ll be writing about that adventure.

I also plan on walking New Hampshire’s width (about 90 miles) this spring, hopefully with Griffin again (I know my days as him as my walking buddy are numbered). That adventure will be on this blog.

But now we’re in the winter months of New Hampshire and walking is not the easiest. Layer that on top of painful and unstable joints and you have a person who typically doesn’t go outdoors until the early thaw.

Well not this winter.

I’ve decided to roll out a series on this blog called 10K and a Twenty. Basically on a given day, I’ll start walking and won’t stop until I reach 10K steps. I’ll carry my phone (for photos), a Twenty (which I may or may not use) and a notebook/pen. We’ll see what I’ll be able to learn in those mini journeys.

I’ll commit to at least one 10k journey a week hoping to show that even when walking conditions are not the best, you can still get out and learn about the world. All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other.

Happy New Year my friends, it’s good to be back.

 

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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

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.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Filed under All things chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Living Tiny in a Big House

Lesson 1492 – I found some hope

Oh look, there it is, I found some hope.

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Merriest of Christmases, Happy Holiday, Peace and Goodwill from our flock to yours.

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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

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.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1491 – If you believe

 

The kids are all home. It’s snowing. The perfect day for listening to favorite carols, finishing up secret projects, and getting my holiday baking done – nothing like the smell of gingerbread in the oven.

It’s also the perfect time to make the chickens’ annual Christmas eve cookies – they’ve been good girls this year. With this cold weather, a little bit of suet will do them good.

For if you believe, oh and we all do, magic surely comes to the coop as it does to our entire household on Christmas morning.

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Suet Christmas cookies for chickens

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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

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.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1490 – You just have to look for it

 

 

We do not have a Christmas tree that would ever be featured in a magazine. Nope, no color co-ordinated matching ornaments for us. Instead we have a yearly scrapbook display of our family’s adventures.

On our tree you’ll see grade-school homemade ornaments and those carefully made by me for each child. You’ll see sparkling and dancing nutcrackers from neighbors, a soccer ball globe gifted after a terrific season. We have candy canes a plenty on the branches, the greater the variety the better – a tradition left-over from when the kids were very young and they were allowed to pick a candy cane (any one they wanted) off the tree to munch on while the snow fell outside.

You’ll find a Budweiser ornament from the brewery in our town along with ornaments from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts – all very important stops for parents of many children.

Holiday necklaces gathered from parades and parties are draped on the trees, as festive as any garland.

We have a glass ornamental bust of Alexander Hamilton, the man our relative shot in a duel. “Merry Christmas, Alexander, once again, we’re very sorry for our family’s indiscretions.”

And up near the very tip top of our tree? You’ll find an unused golden ticket for the Polar Express – reminding us all that holiday magic surely exists.

You just have to look for it.

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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

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.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Filed under All things chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Living Tiny in a Big House

Lesson 1397 – First Annual Father’s Day Rib-Off

This weekend, of course, was Father’s Day weekend. We spent the first half celebrating with my brother and his wife over their son’s high school graduation (go Chris!). The celebration included lobster rolls, buckets of beer (I’m not kidding – buckets), a warm sunny day, and reclining seats on the ride home so I could sleep. (Note to self – next time eat a little more, drink a little less.)

And then that brought us to Sunday. In our neck of the woods we usually have a local rib fest on Father’s Day weekend. It’s a wonderful event, well run, and lots of fun. We’ve gone for many years, but when you take 8 people to a rib fest (you have to pay to get in) and then you have to pay about $25 for each half rack of ribs (and let’s not forget the drinks, sides, and ice cream that all goes with that) we found ourselves often taking out a small mortgage just to attend.

The ribs were good, the festival was entertaining, but my pocketbook cried every time we went. Continue reading

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Lesson 1391 – Makalapa Spread

 

 

This weekend I spent some time going through my mother’s collection of cookbooks. She had quite a few of those church and garden club ones, you know the cookbooks that are sold as fundraisers of which you are obligated to buy?  I don’t mind getting those community cookbooks at all, in fact they often end up having the best “handed-down” recipes ever. So nothing (and I mean nothing) was going to be  moved to the discard pile until every single recipe in every single book was looked at.

And low and behold, I found this gem of a recipe from, of all people, my Aunt Diane.

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In reading how and where it was served, I thought it would be perfect as a Memorial Day appetizer. Looks straight forward right? It is – provided you know where to find all the ingredients in the store. I had no idea where to find jalapeno relish (it’s near the hot pepper jellies which is near the mustard/olives condiments) and I honestly had to google Chili sauce because I had never used it before and didn’t even know what it looked like (FYI you can find it near the ketchup.) In any event, once I had the ingredients, it was spit spot and done. Continue reading

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Lesson 1387 – Yellow cake

At a yard sale this weekend I found a treasure trove of old handwritten recipes. Oh sure, there were many recipes cut out from magazines (Robert Conrad’s potato casserole anyone?) but it was the ones written on those 1950’s – 1970 recipe cards (you know the ones with the little flower decorations in the upper left corner) that got my attention.

I have a few of my mother’s handwritten cards and I consider them to be among my most treasured possessions.  (Soon, I’ll be making those chocolate, peanut butter, rice Krispy cookies that I talked about at my mom’s funeral.)

It’s a lost art. Who writes down recipes anymore? It’s more like, if someone requests a recipe we send them the link to where they can find it, time just seems to fly a little faster these days. And even if we had the time to write down a recipe, who has the time to make it other than for a special occasion? Pizza hut to the rescue.

Well I have time (in between everything else I have to do.)

Think about it. When I grew up food was how you showed your creativity. While my mother did work (after the kids had gotten older) most women didn’t, they stayed at home and took care of the flock. Preparing food was how they nourished their families, while the recipes nourished their creativity. When received from a friend, most recipe cards began with “from the kitchen of..” Sharing recipes was the social network of its time.

My kids, who are the sons and daughters of this storyteller definitely know the potential of a good story (or two) when they see it. Helping me sort through the recipes on Saturday night and placing them into two binders, every single one of my kids knew what was coming.

What will we start with first? They asked me. Continue reading

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