Tag Archives: Holidays

Lesson 374 – August – a time of reprieve

Here we are well into August and that, of course, means that here in New Hampshire we have roughly 17 minutes left of summer before the nights turn cold and we go into glorious fall (and yes, fall is the reason why anyone chooses to live in NH.)

The kids are done with swim team (their team came in first for Div I in the States meet this past weekend), dinners consist of grilled meats matched with local produce gotten for change at farm stands down the street – flowers, the standard centerpiece, and half finished beach stained, sand encrusted books are dug out of canvas bags to be finished on lawn chairs in the back, cold beer by side.

The animals seem to sense this pause, the rabbit lolls in the shade lifting an ear only when someone walks by, the dogs usually our hyper-attentive guards are happy instead to only rise to their feet when they hear a knock at the door, and the chickens spend hours sitting in dappled spots of sun with eyes closed dreaming of cracked corn and Christmas suet cakes. Continue reading


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Filed under All things chickens, All things local, Backyard Chickens, Holidays, Inspiration, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 214 – And a chick in a Christmas tree



Is anyone out there really surprised?

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Holidays, Project Chickens before the Eggs, The kids

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 213 – Nothing is permanent

(BTW feeling much better, thanks for the good wishes).

I attend a weekly Buddhist meditation session where for one hour we sit with our eyes open and meditate. Those who wish to can also participate in the walking meditation that starts about 30 minutes into the hour.

I do this, not because I am a Buddhist but because it is such good training for my brain to be still for one complete hour (that’s 60 verrrry long minutes in case you don’t know). The first few weeks were agonizing, seriously I couldn’t keep those voice in my brain quiet.

  • Emma needs construction paper for a project.
  • Griffin needs that paper signed for school.
  • What’s on the menu for dinner tomorrow?
  • I wonder if James Bond meditates?
  • Hmmm Daniel Craig…..

I am still not good at meditating but at least I’m not as fidgety as I once was. I have learned to sit and wait. That in itself is quite a skill. Continue reading

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Filed under Backyard Chickens, Holidays, Life Lessons, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The Family, Traditions

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 209 – Oh we need a little Christmas

Sometimes when you also have 6 kids in the flock, it’s not always about the chickens.

Hallmark makes some of the best holiday decorations around.

Admit it, these are cute.

A few years ago, we got these little dancing decorations. When you press the button the figure tap dances to a holiday song. When you link them all together, they all dance in unison (with a short solo from the one whose button was pushed). Endless hours of entertainment.

This year I found an electronic holiday countdown ornament at our local Hallmark Store. When you enter the day and time it counts down to Christmas by the day, hour, minute and second.

Better than NORAD

I thought it would be fun for the kids. Continue reading

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Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 206 – What to get the chickens for Christmas?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our little home. The Christmas tree is up and we have some of our many decorations already out. It’s completely my fault, I’m the reason our family celebrates the holiday for a full 1/12 of their lives. There just isn’t anything more beautiful than a lit Christmas tree in a darkened room, holiday music playing in the background, and gingerbread in the oven. Christmas time is magic time.

Ye olde henhouse


We’ve hung the holiday wreath (chosen by Logan) on the henhouse and Marc will be putting the lights up for the chickens soon – although, ahem, he will NOT be hanging the set of all pink (seriously, all pink??!!!) lights he picked up this weekend. Continue reading

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Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 187 – Chicken pumpkin frenzy

One of the best things about chickens? They recycle all your kitchen compost (except for meat, obvious egg products, and spicy foods with garlic and/or lots of onion).

On Halloweens past, we have been known to get a pumpkin for each child, help them decide what to do on it, and then help them carve the pumpkin. You do the math, 6 undecided kids, six pumpkins, six inner guts you have to dig out with your hands usually in frigid weather.

It was a time consuming endeavor.

As the kids got older and learned that each one didn’t need a pumpkin, we started getting one pumpkin for the girls and one pumpkin for the boys. That worked for a while, and then I discovered those precut plastic foam pumpkins that look just like the real things.

Perfect. My pumpkin chapped hands were now a thing of the past.

Except that this year, Trevor (Trevor??!!) asked us if we were going to buy pumpkins. Continue reading

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Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 185 – a little chicken on Halloween

When I was a child, I remember my friend’s mother asking me one time what my favorite Holiday was.

Without even pausing I replied Halloween.

I remember this so clearly because it was her look of surprise that caught me off guard. She looked at me like I was absolutely crazy, expecting me, like all young children do, to instead say it was Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I, especially now that I have kids, absolutely LIVE for Christmas, but Christmas for me, is more of a season than a holiday. In our house, the tree goes up on Thanksgiving and comes down on New Year’s Day (unless you make a ridiculous birthday wish to have it still up on your birthday in March). Christmas is delicious cooking smells, comforting hugs from friends and relatives not seen for a long time, sitting around while getting caught up, and of course, it’s also about the unbearable anticipation of both giving and receiving.

I love that. I love all of that. And I love it even more now that I am an adult.

But Halloween was something else. Continue reading

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Happy Fourth of July Everyone!

Enjoy the holiday.

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Easter Dinner on a Portion Plate, a walk and no bugs

For those of us living in New Hampshire, this past Sunday, Easter, was glorious.

Not a rain cloud in the sky, not a puddle in the roads. We sat outside in our short-sleeved shirts around a small fire soaking up the warmth and holiday company. Long snow hidden corners of yards were explored once again and moods were as bright as the sunshine.

And no bugs. Continue reading

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The bad, the ugly, now the good – Japanese on a Portion Plate

Last week, I got a heart clogging lunch from Five Guys Burgers and Fries to put on a Portion Plate. The nutritional devastation from that one lunch was pretty impressive.

This week I went to a Japanese restaurant (You You Japanese Bistro, Nashua) and brought home the Bento Box Teriyaki Chicken to put on the plate.

The meal contains a salad, steamed vegetables, some yellow/orange thing that tastes good but I’ve always been afraid to ask what it is, rice, two crispy pork pieces, chicken, and a container of miso soup.

This is how it looks on a Portion Plate.

Teriyaki Chicken on a Portion Plate

Note: I put the yellow/orange thing with the rice because I think it is made of tofu making it a carbohydrate.

Although it looks like there is a lot of meat, it’s actually only one chicken breast that has been cut into small pieces. The pork is piled on top of the chicken.

The soup didn’t fit anywhere on the plate so I just left it off to the side.

It’s a full plate, but not an over flowing plate. Take a look at the rice. It’s a scoop of rice not the plate of rice that is sometimes served with Asian meals. A scoop is what we should be eating. A scoop is a portion. Rice like potatoes is cheap which is why we are served a lot of it.

Cheap, though, as we’ve all learned, can be very fattening.

Also, notice that the vegetables take over a good half of the plate. That’s the way we should be eating for each meal. Vegetables provide nutrition, water, and bulk. They make us feel more full and make our bodies function better. And guess what? Vegetables cost less than protein and the prepared stuff that we tend to eat. I’ll bet that many of us don’t include enough fruits and vegetables in our daily diets.

Every time I eat at You You Japanese Bistro I always leave saying that I feel full but not stuffed. It’s a lovely feeling and one I should be aiming for with all my meals. This is quite unlike the experience I had eating at Five Guys for the first time where I left feeling stuffed and bloated and quite frankly ill.

Easter is coming up, a big food holiday, and I’ll be planning our meal based on the Portion Plate guidelines. A holiday food celebration where you won’t have to loosen your belt afterward…

Imagine that.


I received samples of these products from the manufacturer for review.  I received no other compensation for this post.  My words and my opinions are my own.

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