Category Archives: Chicken art

Lesson 492 – Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day 

I loved Valentine’s Day as a child, it meant we could open cards, lots of cards from our friends during a party where we got to eat a pink sugar iced cupcake and if we were really lucky got a few conversation hearts, or a red lollipop (snipped off from a long cellophane wrapped row) with dye-paint on it that coated your tongue milky white. The cards were proof that we were accepted, they were validation that we were appreciated. For years and years I saved every one, proof for the days when I needed it.

To all of my readers, consider this a Valentine from me to you. Know that every single one of you is appreciated.  Thank you for being here.

Wendy

(Although I looked, chicken and/or egg Valentines are not as common as one might think, this Valentine is actually a compilation of a few vintage die cut pieces, never the less, it works and its intentions are true.)

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Filed under Chicken art, Holidays, Personal

Lesson 488 – NHPR and Fatty Madi

Hi there, it’s going to be a busy day (and yeah, I know I should queue up posts instead of write them every morning but I just haven’t gotten to that point yet.)

A few things:

1. In just a bit I’m going to be on my way to the NHPR (New Hampshire Public Radio) studio to record a Valentine’s Love story on who else, but our little Black Copper Maran: Charlie. The request was for stories of some of the strangest things you’ve ever done for love.

I thought that doing surgery on a chick, letting her live in our TV room, and watching the Superbowl with her on my knee was pretty up there.

They agreed. If there is a link to the story, I’ll make sure it’s included in a future post.

2. As I said yesterday, when you have chickens, people tend to give you chicken related objects. At a recent lunch, my friend presented me with a stuffed chicken. She’s marvelous (both the chicken and my friend) and has become an instant favorite.

Not quite sure what to do with her, however, I suggested that I might use her in a project much like my kids did when they read a book called “Flat Stanley.” Basically Stanley makes himself flat and then mails himself all over the world to have people take pictures of him in different places.

The kids made flat versions of themselves and mailed them out. Good fun for all.

Except that my chicken (which had a tag identifying her as Matilda) was anything but flat. Not really wanting to spend a ton of money on postage, through a Facebook conversation with my friends, (if you want to friend me on Facebook click on the button to the right) we have decided to call her “Fatty Madi” and I will take local pictures of her.

Here’s Fatty Madi getting ready to go to the Post Office.

And here’s Fatty Madi visiting my friend’s house.

Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be more exciting adventures of Fatty Madi as she travels around the great granite state of New Hampshire. (And shhhh, from what I understand, Fatty Madi is going to make an appearance at my daughter’s school play. Oh yes she is!)

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Filed under Chicken art, Chicken things, Fatty Madi, New Hampshire

Lesson 487 – A half dozen delicate soap eggs

Sometimes when you have chickens people give you the most beautiful things.

A friend stopped over yesterday for some eggs and she handed me a small egg carton filled with light blue soap eggs. The eggs looked very much like the ones, our Easter Egger: Zelda lays – a beautiful light blue in color. These, however, are Linden Leaves soap eggs and the description reads “with bran to exfoliate, olive leaf extract for it’s healing, toning properties, and cypress to simulate the circulatory system.” Continue reading

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Lesson 478 – Some of the pitfalls of owning chickens

First of all Charlie is doing better and better each day. I’ll post a picture of her feet (along with some pictures of her growth) tomorrow.

But first I want to talk about some of the pitfalls of owning chickens.

The Northeastern Poultry Congress was all about fowl. It was about selling birds and judging them. No admission was charged.

So when you go to one of these things, the considerate thing to do is to at least buy tickets to the Chinese lottery (you buy 20 tickets for 5 dollars and drop your tickets into the bags hanging in front of the items you’d like to win.) It’s a way for them to raise money. You win, they win, we all win.

We have a very winning family. So much so, that my kids are actually disappointed when we don’t win something, not because we didn’t get the item but because we didn’t WIN. (Hey once, we even won 2114 jelly beans.)

One of our strategies during lotteries like this is to drop tickets into the bags with the fewest tickets. You get a better chance of winning, right? (I justify this by claiming it’s a lesson in probabilities for my kids.) It doesn’t matter what the object is, we say, it’s the odds that we are playing.

At 3:00 when they started calling out the results of the lottery, who was the first person to win something?

Me.

This is what I won. Continue reading

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Lesson 466 – Blanche the Bumpy Chicken

Today’s lovely chicken object comes from Marc’s mother: Phyllis who has seen our chickens and has heard all the stories (many times over, I’m afraid.)

This little beauty came with the following card:

Blanche has never been one to blend in with the rest of the hen house.

She’s one funky chicken who dances to the beat of her own drum.

Her prickly spikes and purple feathers makes this hip chick one of a kind.

Her proper name is “Blanche the Bumpy Chicken” (which I think may be a poor translation of some French phrase) after we passed her around on Christmas morning, however, my kids (the older ones who are home from college and those who have seen youtube documentaries) have instead renamed her –

Blanche – the LSD Chicken.

I’ve heard back from the Police department, I’ll have an update on the rooster harvest story tomorrow and will let you know what we are and are not allowed to do with out chickens in our mid-sized (live free or die) New Hampshire town.

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Lesson 465 – Gnarled inspiration

Guess what? When you have chickens and write about them it makes getting gifts for you very easy. I’ll be showing you some of the most incredible chicken items ever that I was fortunate enough to receive this holiday season.

The first item comes from a very good chicken friend Lauren Scheuer. Lauren is an illustrator who specializes in kids’ books, games and puzzles. She’s done a whole slew of books for American Girl, and her clients include Boston Museum of Science and Roger Williams Zoo. On her blog she draws some of the most amazing pictures of her flock (which includes 7 chickens and one small white dog.)

My favorite by far is Lucy (I know, I know, I don’t really have a favorite, I love them all) Lucy is a special needs chicken, a survivor of Marek’s disease (a tumor producing virus) and she has the most beautiful feather display.

Here is a picture of Pigeon (who was rescued from a cage) with Lucy. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Pigeon and Lucy Photo credit: Lauren Scheuer

And just look at what I opened up on Christmas morning – Continue reading

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Lessons Learned from the Flock CafePress store

Because a few people have asked for this, my kids helped me set up a Lessons Learned from the Flock Cafepress store where if you are inclined, you can purchase a few items (including holiday ornaments) featuring art from our famous artistic chicken; Simon, as well as, that wonderful shot of the grain heart in my hands.

When I have time, I’ll work on making the site look better but for now it’s open, have fun.

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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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Filed under All things chickens, All things local, Backyard Chickens, Chicken art, Chicken things, Chicks, Inspiration, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, Points to ponder, Teaching kids, The Family, The kids

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 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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Filed under All things chickens, All things local, Backyard Chickens, Chicken art, Chicken fun, Chicken things, Holidays, Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, Teaching kids, The Family, The kids, Traditions