Category Archives: All things local

Lesson 584 – of days gone by

Rain glorious rain has come, banishing our stifling heatwave to the middle of summer where it belongs. Continue reading

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Lesson 580 – members of the flock

This post isn’t so much about chickens as it is about the chicken community.

Last week, when I mentioned in a Friday post that Marc was fixing our mailbox, I was contacted by a reader. It’s the original mailbox that was here when we moved in and has not only survived 20 years on the post but has also survived being hit by the town snowplow.

But time eventually takes its toll on all. Screws rust and parts fall off.

Marc figured out a way to jury-rig the door which had rusted off (hey it was still serviceable right?) and we thought we could hold off getting a new mailbox until it was absolutely necessary. Why spend money unless you need to – a common philosophy amongst mama hens of large flocks.

But then the reader (friend, co-townie, co-chicken owner) sent me email saying that he had a spare mailbox in his garage that he wasn’t using. Did I want it? Continue reading

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Lesson 489 – The Adventures of Fatty Madi at NHPR

(Just as an aside note, did you really think I wasn’t going to do this? )

This is how Fatty Madi spent her morning.

First she waited patiently in the 6th floor waiting room of NHPR (New Hampshire Public Radio.) Apologies to the photo of the bird on the Audubon magazine that Madi is resting her bum on. Didn’t catch that one until I got home.

Having just recently come off of watching the latest Latino-inspired Glee show, Madi thought the potted plant had a very “Las Isla Bonita” feel to it.

We met Brady Carlson host of All Things Considered, who took us into the recording studio. It took a few tries to get the headphones right on Madi but eventually she was ready for her close-up.

Wouldn’t you know it? Once we got there, Fatty Madi got all, like, “I don’t have good enough presentation skills to talk in public” on me and she clammed up leaving me to do the entire interview. By myself. *sigh* Chicks, you know? Continue reading

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Lesson 441 – Simon the painting chicken’s newest piece – Sunflower

I told you I would show you Simon’s newest piece of art today and true to my word, here it is.

Simon the painting chicken's "Sunflower"

It’s called “Sunflower” (doesn’t it just brighten your day?)

Simon (her twin sister is named Garfunkel) had actually painted the flower part last year but we had never gotten around to putting the “seeds” in so last night, Addy went out to the henhouse and because it was raining she brought little Simon into the kitchen so that she could finish the picture and sign it (in the lower right corner.)

I held Simon who snuggled down into my arms while Addy helped with the paints and canvas. Not a peep was heard from our artist, in fact at one point, I even wondered if she had fallen asleep, but no, it turns out she was keeping one eye open at all times on Pippin, our dog who found this all highly interesting.

I don’t know if you caught that but we had a chicken in our kitchen last night painting and you want the know the best part about that? Not one person in my family thought it was in the least bit odd to do this.

A chicken in the house? We’ve had many before and I imagine we’ll have many more. Continue reading

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Lesson 440 – Simon’s back

Last night I attended a presentation at our local library put on by two debut Young Adult authors (Gina Rosati and Hilary Weisman Graham) It was a great event filled with heart-to-heart advice by writers to writers (and some of the coolest bookmarks I’ve ever seen.) I’ll be reviewing Gina’s book: Auracle – on this blog as it gets closer to its release date. (hey, us chicks have to look out for each other.)

While I was at the library, one of the librarians: Ellen came up to me, “Wendy?” she said. “Wendy Thomas?”

Wondering if I had any overdue fines on library books, I hesitatingly acknowledged yes, that was who I was and waited.

Ellen then went on to tell me a story from a friend of hers who lives in Washington State. Apparently that friend while waiting for a pizza to be ready started reading the free weekly newsletter often found in local restaurants and coffee shops around the town (and I’ve since discovered are also distributed around the United States and in 50 countries.)

One of the “Everybody’s Talking About…” articles in the newsletter was about a chicken owned by Wendy Thomas from Merrimack New Hampshire who had created a piece of art that ended up benefiting a local playground.

Wait a minute.

“That’s your chicken, right?” she asked me. Continue reading

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Lesson 439 – Flock worthy egg muffin cups

When you raise hens for eggs and not for meat, sometimes you have to get a little creative with how you serve those calcium covered delicacies. Don’t get me wrong, even the youngest in our flock can tuck into a platter of scrambled eggs with bacon on Sundays but sometimes those lovely weekend eggs can very quickly turn into weekday “not-again” eggs.

Trust me, if it’s made with eggs, my kids have probably had it. I’ve tried a few recipes in the past, sausage and cheese burger pies come to mind, as do quiches of every type but often it’s just too much of a good thing.

The other night for dinner I decided to try another egg experiment. I had seen a recipe on individual egg cups and thought I bet I could do something like that.

This is what I did: Continue reading

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Lesson 437 – the blizzard basket

I wrote about this recently on my facebook page. The Blizzard Basket is something we do every year and I can’t tell you how much the kids look forward to it. Often it falls on a “snow day” when school has been canceled making it just that much more of a celebration.
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It’s almost time to put out the blizzard basket (although as my daughter Addy reminds me I’m a bit too late this year, what with our recent Halloween blizzard). Basically, it’s a basket covered with holiday tea towels that is opened up on the first day of a snow storm large enough to keep us home.

We’ve done this since Spencer (our oldest) was little. The key is that it sits in a corner (usually under the Christmas tree), covered, and no one knows exactly when it will be opened (or what will be inside.) The anticipation is delicious. Continue reading

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Lesson 436 – gift making by way of chickens

Those who raise chickens tend to be rock solid, down to earth types. My kind of people. Which is why today I’m going to reach out to you. If we put our heads together I’m sure that we can come up with some wonderful ideas of how to use our chickens to make homemade gifts (and I’m not talking about a big pot of chicken soup here.)

As you know, the holidays are coming upon us (and if you didn’t know, just step foot in your local department store where the decorations will – literally – hit you on the head.) This year, as a family, we are going to try to shop locally and make many of the gifts for our friends, families, and teachers (and when you have 6 kids, there can be many, many teachers.) Continue reading

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Lesson 435 – Bring one with them

Well you know it was bound to happen. When one invites and starts writing about chickens into your life, one starts getting lots of very neat chicken things.

I have one friend (hi Diane) who takes great delight in finding chicken jewelry treasures on the internet. She’s a frequent recipient of our girls’ eggs and to thank us (them) she brings over some of the greatest chicken items I’ve seen (over which I oohh and aahh like a little kid.)

Take for example this blue rooster cocktail (get it) ring? How beautiful is that little gem? To be truthfully honest, I haven’t had the opportunity to wear it yet but just look out this holiday season. I will, no doubt, be the belle of any ball.

And then there is this broach which is sort of like one of those triangle puzzles, just how many chickens can you find within the piece? I love to wear this piece when I give a chicken workshop, (which I do for our town and libraries) it kind of identifies me as “one with them.” It’s my badge of sorority with the chicks. Continue reading

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Lesson 432 – Where we belong

Late last night, we found out that power was restored to our house. Oh callooh callay!

Because our town had made the decision to hold school the next day (much to the kids’ delight there has been no school Monday through Wednesday) we made the decision to pack up and move out then instead of at 5:30 the next morning.

The kids were a little upset, they had to be pulled away from a movie that had been set up on a projection screen for all to watch. They hadn’t finished the large cups of popcorn everyone viewing the movie had been given.

The kids were tired, out of sorts and they had finally had it up to here with disruption after disruption. It showed in the bickering in the car on the way home.

Brush your teeth, get into bed, I kept repeating when we got home, we’ll find your math book in the morning.

Today, the kids are at school. Some of them are wearing socks they’ve had on for days, some are in need of an extended hot shower. All had to take cold items in for lunches, apples, granola bars, even the last of the emergency poptarts.

But they are back where they belong, in a routine that feels familiar. A life that feels in control.

While they were away, I walked around the house assessing our home that we had to leave so quickly.

The Halloween decorations are still up but as the town has moved trick-or-treating out to this coming weekend, they will remain up at least for a few more days playing games with my mind – witches and skeletons in the snow.

Limbs in the yard will need to be gathered and chopped in preparation for the wood stove which we WILL be getting. Continue reading

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