This is one of those years where we seem to have a million acorns falling from the trees. Yesterday I even got hit in my back with one as I walked to the hen house. Beware the falling acorns!
When I was younger, I was a devout follower of Euell Gibbons (pre-Gape Nut cereal days) One of his tricks for eating from the wild was to eat acorns. But as anyone who has ever eaten an acorn knows, they are incredibly bitter, mouth-puckeringly bitter. There is no way you can eat more than a few of those babies without getting a nasty stomach ache.
Euell’s work-around for this was to boil the acorns in several water baths. Eventually, the heat and water leached out the bitterness and you could eat the nuts or let them dry and then grind them into powder to make acorn flour suitable for yummy pancakes while on the trail. Continue reading
If you choose to share your life with chickens, then people tend to share chickens with you.
I was recently gifted with this little beauty. It was waiting just for me on the night table in a guest room where I stayed. I’m not sure what the wrappers used are (they seem to be very stiff), but I do know that this is an incredible example of re-purposing. Someone out there sure is clever.
It’s a little charmer that certainly sweetened my visit with great friends.
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.
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This Thursday the Merrimack Library Trustees (of which I am one) are holding a Turkey Shoot.
Honestly, I don’t know if this is a New Hampshire thing or not, but having grown up in Connecticut I can truthfully tell you that I have never attended a “Turkey Shoot” (nor had I *ever* attended a wedding where they played that “Chicken Dance” song – don’t even get me started about that one.)
By definition a “turkey shoot” is: noun, informal
1. a situation, typically in a war, in which one side has an overwhelming advantage.
Nope, no birds are going to be injured in this event (except the ones that are already frozen), instead what we’ll be doing is holding raffles for all the parts of a holiday turkey dinner including: Continue reading
Last week I wrote about a custom glass bead I had ordered from Lauren Bramble of Crowbirdie Beads to depict Charlie our Black Copper Maran house chicken.
I had first heard about these beads from the Chickenistas facebook page. Lauren had posted a picture of a bead she had just completed for a client and one of the comments under the photo said that it was so wonderful she had caught the chicken’s personality in the bead even to the point of depicting the chicken’s comb that always flops over.
Well, I thought to myself, if Lauren could depict chicken’s personality in glass, then I should ask her about doing one of our personable chicken – Charlie. I contacted Lauren to get the proverbial all rolling.
For a custom order Lauren wants to hear a little bit about the personality and unique traits of your chicken (for the record she also does other animals.) I told her about Charlie and her feet, and I described her as best I could. Continue reading
It’s time to get this news out of the way.
We’ve lost two very prominent members of our flock.
First Simon, my beautiful painting chicken, Simon died last week. We had noticed throughout the summer that at times she seemed to be gasping for air but then every time I’d pick her up to check her out she’d be fine. At other times, she’d be lethargic one moment and then in another, she’d be up and about. She ate fine, drank water, and was active with the flock.
It’s just that something was a bit off about her.
The other morning we went to the hen house to let the chickens out and there was poor little Simon – she had died during the night.
Simon, if you recall, was our artist chicken. One day in a fit of boredom, my kids decided to use a chicken to paint a picture. Of course they chose Simon who was by far, the sweetest and most docile member of our flock. It was not unusual to find Simon in my lap when I was reading a book outside.
For the painting project, the kids held Simon, dipped her feet in paint and then created a work of art that was entitled “Feathered Fireworks.” The piece sold at auction for 300 dollars with the money going toward a local playground renovation fund. So basically because of Simon, kids get to continue playing.
How many chickens leave a legacy like that? Continue reading
In the “not-absolutely-everything-about-chickens-is-great” department, I present you with this little gem.
I found it (her?) at a yard sale and well, you know me, I just had to give her a home. It’s kind of sad, I tend to be rather compulsive when it comes to collecting interesting things, instead of a “Save the Whales” bumper sticker, my car sports one that reads “Save the Junk.”
Which is actually okay, until I come across things like this. I brought her home to show my kids, they’re just not going to believe this one, I thought.
One, two, three, – all six declared her ugly. “Do we have to keep this on the table?” I was asked more than once.
But now what to do? I’ve tried to put her in the Halloween box thinking that in a darkened corner she might just be scary enough to keep a job. The only problem is that she gathers laughs far more than gasps of fright. It’s pretty demoralizing for even a pretend Halloween decoration. Continue reading
If you make the decision to have chickens, be prepared to hear every single variation there is of the question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”
You’ll be sent funny Facebook cartoons, of an egg smoking in bed next to a chicken (needs no further explanation), jokes, and even philosphical musing on the subject:
“Chickens and eggs coexist. They have always coexisted and must always continue to coexist, for if you destroy all of one or the other, the one left will become more powerful than it is possible to imagine and the imbalance will annihilate the universe.”
The other day a friend and fellow cohort of mine (as chaperons on the 7th grade 3 day cabin camping trip, we both snuck out, went to the local Walmart and got heating pads with extension cords to tuck inside of our sleeping bags at night – it was that cold) stopped by our house with her daughter (who was also on the camping trip but alas, did not get a heating pad.)
Julie presented me with these incredible earrings. She had made them a while back and wanted to make sure I got them. Continue reading
Even though Marc works in an office upstairs and I write not far away in my yellow chair downstairs, it’s still sometimes easier to communicate with each other eclectorinically.
“Had I seen this tweet?” Marc tweeted to me along with a link.
It was a tweet about a cartoon/art give away at The Hedcombers blog (stumbling toward the good life, one muddy footstep at a time) for a print of an original chicken cartoon.
This is what my now, new friend Janie had posted. (Please note that this particular contest is over) Continue reading
Some of the most amazing magic happens when you have chickens and you a full-fledged member of a creative, caring community.
On my Facebook page, I noticed that each day this one particular illustrator/writer – Hazel Mitchell started off with a quick sketch in order to warm up. Hazel has illustrated and written several children’s books. She often draws beautifully innocent pictures that include children, flowers, and animals. Her sketches are gorgeous – full of life and spirit and in each piece she somehow manages to capture a moment of glorious childhood adventure. This was her early morning sketch one morning, it is called “Gifts.”
I don’t know about you but just looking at this picture makes me smile. Sheer whimsical elegance. I shared it on my page and wrote to Hazel telling her that if she ever did a picture of a chicken I would feature it on my blog. She wrote back and we had a conversation (about things we didn’t even know we were going to talk about – the best kinds of conversations) at which point she said that if I sent her my address, she would send me a print of that beautiful cotton-candy-flower-surprise delight. Continue reading
Yesterday, Easter morning, I spent it in Boston going to a gaming convention with two of my more geekier (but still adorable) sons. And I had a blast.
Spencer and Griffin had specifically come home from college to not only grab an Easter basket, but to go to PAX East. A three day celebration of all things-games. Each morning at 7 am, they and Marc left for Boston and didn’t return until well after 10 pm. If you are at all into games (Spencer has a gaming blog (which is an amazing story in itself), and Griffin wants to work in the gaming field) then this is the place for you. Beta games are rolled out, there are demos of just released games and tons of gaming “swag” (like buttons and codes for downloadable games or items for games.)
It is a gamer’s paradise.
Which is why I, who even stinks at Tetris, was very happy to hold down the fort in New Hampshire, while they all went. I mean, I like me a good game, but I tend to steer toward games like Apples to Apples, Farkle, and that old favorite board game: Masterpiece (Played it over and over and over and I credit it for some of my art education.)
Griffin with a chick *not* from our flock.
But then Griffin, who talked to Eka (Chandana Ekanayake – his Good Egg interview is here) of Uber Entertainment makers of the world’s best game: Monday Night Combat, told me that he was given two exhibitors passes by the Uber crew. Eka wanted to meet me (and truth was, I was also dying to meet him.) Continue reading