Category Archives: Holidays

Lesson 1039 – Amazing Lego Mama Hen – Crazy Cat Lady

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Lego Mama Hen meets the Crazy Cat Lady from down the street and thanks her for a lowered mouse population around the coop.

 

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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

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Lesson 1037 – The funny thing about chicks

Remember that giant white chick I had? Well, the funny thing with chicks is that they grow. They grow a lot! Here we are one week later and while she is still larger than the rest, she now falls within the normal range of her sisters.

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I’m afraid that I can’t even call her big-boned anymore, Elsa, is just Elsa – the chicken who decided to grow at her own rate. Continue reading

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Lesson 1036 – Lyme disease update

I’ve been on a new combination of antibiotics for a few weeks. I was changed from my last prescription due to the severe sun allergy reaction (although the constant vomiting was also not pleasant) and this combo, to fight both Lyme and Bartonella, is a breeze in comparison.

They're out there.

They’re out there.

This new set of drugs can be taken with meals and to date, I’ve only had one nausea session – a welcomed relief from the constant vomiting of the last prescription where there were times I couldn’t leave the house for fear of throwing up in public. I’d have to be very careful to not take my meds too close to the times I was supposed to teach at the college, it wouldn’t have been pretty.

At my last visit, I had told my doctor that although I was feeling better, I still had some strange symptoms. My lower leg muscles would constantly twitch (you could see the muscles moving through the skin.) It wasn’t painful as much as it was freaky, I mean muscles are not supposed to jump around like that, right? (And yes, ALS was on the tip of several doctors’ tongues.) This was most bothersome at night when they either twitched more or I was more aware of it. Continue reading

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Lesson 1035 – Get away from my babies

Yesterday, because someone was going to be home all day, we let our chickens out early to free range on our lawn. I also had the kids set up the “little ones” outside. The chicks are not old enough to be unsupervised in the yard yet, so we put them up in a “fenced-in playpen.” On the top of the playpen we put sides of our heavy wire dog crate for protection. We’ve found that if we don’t do this, some of our older chickens will hop into the playpen and terrorize the chicks. It’s better for all, if the chicks are kept protected.

I was inside the house and suddenly I heard a loud ruckus from outside. Looking out the window, I saw that all the adults flock members had fled to the coop and were *bellowing* from inside the safety of the wire walls.

I’ve heard this “danger warning” before, but I had never seen them all retreat to the coop like that. Continue reading

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Lesson 1033 – All is well

Just as parents relax with each successive child, so do poultry owners with each successive year.

When the hens were young, we would release them into what had been a fenced in dog area and then we’d obsessively check on them about every 20 minutes.

I’d do a count, 1,2, 3 … to make sure they were all there. Heaven forbid one had flown over the fence! It meant I stopped everything in order to find her and return her to safety. As a writer, it wasn’t the best of all ways to get my work done.

But that was then, and this is now.

Like a newly minted preteen babysitter, in order to test the waters, we started to give the chickens a little bit of freedom with us out of sight.

First one hour, then two. Slowly they earned our trust by never leaving our yard and not getting eaten by our neighborhood cats. Continue reading

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Lesson 1032 – This is not the Amazon

Yesterday I took two of my kids down to Connecticut to see my parents at their assisted living apartment and drop off a Kindle for my mom. At one point during our visit, we decided to take a walk to a deck overlooking a small pond on the property.

“They warned us about a snake in a tree at dinner last night,” my mom told me as she pushed her walker on the path to the pond.

I laughed, “Mom, this is Connecticut it’s not the Amazon. Connecticut doesn’t have snakes in trees. It’s probably just a stick in the tree that someone mistook for a snake.”

Oh, these older people, what will they come up with next?

My mother, being my mother, looked at me, waited and then kept her counsel while she continued walking.

As we continued on the path, Trevor pointed out something in the trees. “Mom, is that?…”

Then Griffin chimed in, “No way, is that really a…? Continue reading

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Lesson 1031 – One of these things

One of these things is not like the others.

This is what you get when you are blinded by emotion. When we picked out our Araucana chicks, one of them had lines a bit “muddier” than the others, a bit more blurred. I had my early doubts about her, but I chose to ignore them.

And of course, being the master of denial, I plunged forward. “She’s just going to be unique,” I said to my daughters. “Let’s take her.”

Little did I know just how unique this one would be.

Take a look at our chicks, one of these things is not like the other.

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Now take a closer look.

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Yes. That, right there.
Something is up with this chick. She’s clearly three times the size of our other chicks. She’s an upright chick preferring to stand tall, rather than hunched over like her sisters. And she’s got these enormous white wings, so much so that the girls are calling her “Elsa” in honor of Frozen’s Snow Queen (who actually wears ice blue, but point taken.) Continue reading

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Lesson 1030 – Meet the muses

This weekend, I housesat for a friend. She needed someone to take care of the pets and I needed solitude to finish my writing. It was a no-brainer to say “Yes.” That’s what you call a win-win situation.

Even though I kept hearing from the kids back home about soccer games, plays, and parties, I did what it was I needed to do to get a project I’ve been working on for a long time, completed. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with tiny houses (I’ll be attending a tiny house building workshop at the end of June) and this weekend has only enforced the need for me to have the ability to go off somewhere, where the interruptions are limited. That’s how writing really gets done.

Butt in chair with no distractions. (I really want more of a writer’s cabin, than a tiny house.)

However, like my chickens, I tend to rely on flock behavior. Even though I needed solitude, I didn’t necessarily *like* the solitude. It’s nice to share successes with others. Continue reading

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Lesson 1028 – Low-tech Photoshop for chicks

They finally came!

At Easter, two of our kids found mustache photopaddles in their baskets. Why not? They looked like a fun little thing and the best part was that they contained no added sugar. Win-win for everyone! (especially this Easter bunny who has declared war against added sugar.)

We immediately started using these tools, which freely defines themselves as “super low-tech Photoshop.” (Basically, it’s a plastic paddle that you hold in front of your camera.)
First we had a dog with a mustache.

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Then a boy young man with one. Continue reading

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Lesson 1027 – Dumb Chick Tricks

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night, night, little one.

If you’ve been around newborn chicks, you know they have an incredible skill.

When you turn baby chicks on their backs, they become comatose and go to sleep. Instantly. It’s one of the cutest things about these little guys. Once cuddled in warm hands, and then gently flipped over, voila – adorable sleeping chick. Continue reading

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