Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Lesson 1508 – Charlie – our family chicken

 

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I have been sitting on this one for many months. It happened during our Border-to-border walk this summer and I knew I had to put it on the backburner until we finished, otherwise I would lose it.

Some chickens mean more than others.

And then it was too painful to retrieve it so I just let it sit and sit unattended.  But it’s time to confront this head on.

My beautiful, beautiful Black Copper Maran, Charlie died. She had been ill for a while. Something was affecting her nervous system and she had difficulty walking. She’d list to one side, fall down, and then we’d have to pick her up and set her on her feet again. One day she’d be okay, the next day she’d have her “drunk dance” back.

As she continued with her declining health, we tried a few things. I gave her physical therapy (a towel sling while she worked her legs.) We made sure that she always had food and water nearby so that she wouldn’t have to go far. I picked her up at the end of the day to place her in the safety of the coop each night.

One night, when I was away on a walk, she finally laid down and died. Continue reading

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Lesson 1507 – Attacking what needs to be done

 

It’s been a while since I’ve put a post up here. It’s not because I don’t think about this blog everyday (I do) it’s just that things seem to be a little overwhelming right now.

But if having 6 kids has taught me anything it’s that when things seem to happen too quickly the best way to slog through them is to simply make a list and attack what needs to be done, one item at a time.

So in that vein, here’s some news:

 

Spring Border-to-border New Hampshire walk –

Griffin (my son and border-to-border NH walking buddy) has agreed to join me in a walk *across* New Hampshire sometime this spring. I have another son who, if he is around also wants to join us.

According to Google, the trip is about 108 miles (we are starting at the New Hampshire/Vermont border and ending up on the coast in Portsmouth (where we will celebrate with Lobster rolls.) We are allocating 9 days to do it – we had learned from our walk last summer that walking on roads can be tough on our feet and bodies. We are planning on no more than 12 miles a day.

You can be sure I’ll come home with more lessons learned while we walk.

 

Spain

At the end of March, I will be going to with a friend to Spain for 8 days. She and I don’t have many plans other than to explore, eat good food, and drink some world-class wine. We’ll also be taking a side trip to France. I’ll be taking lots of photos and look forward to sharing that adventure with all of you.

 

Cancer update

I *still* have not had my skin cancer addressed (not really my fault – docs keep taking vacations and appointments keep getting moved.) I did finally get to see a plastic surgeon and it looks like the surgery is going to be a bit more extensive than I had thought. (I thought it was simply an office procedure where I drive myself in, have it done, thanked him very much, and then drove back home.) Nope. It looks like this one is a bit aggressive. The doc talked about cheek and forehead flaps  while I stuck my fingers in my ears and said “na-na-na-na-na” (if you want nightmares go ahead and google what those are.)

If I can’t have the surgery in the next few days, it will have to wait until I get back from Spain in April. I’m thinking of ordering this wig to wear until I heal.

Plant-based diet

All this talk of skin-flaps has gotten my attention. I’ve written (many times) about how diet is so important when you have a chronic disease (Lyme in my case and now cancer.) I write about it, I understand the principals, and yet I’m the first to reach for a mug of beer, some ribs, or bread dunked in olive oil.

Not anymore. You want to be motivated to make a change, have a doc tell you that he may have to slice your forehead into ribbons.

So it’s plant-based for me (although when in Spain, while I plan to be as much plant-based as possible, I do intend to partake of the local food and drink.)

Last night I prepared two meals, eggplant parmigiana with salad and corn muffins for the family and soup, flat bread with hummus, avocados and tomatoes, along with a salad for me. My kids showed a lot of interest in what I was eating – they wanted to taste the soup, wanted to know where I purchased it (Whole Foods, Engine-2 Moroccan Stew)  and wanted to know if I was full at the end of the meal (I was.)

Pro tip to parents – they still watch what you do even when they get older.

 

Chicken workshop

For New Hampshire Locals – I will be at the Lebanon Tractor Supply on March 25th from 11 – 3  with a table ready to answer any and all chicken related questions (and if I don’t know the answers, I know friends who would know.)

Stop by if you can to say “hi.”

 

Current book I’m reading

I’m reading the Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb – a novel based on historical fact. I grew up in Fairfield Connecticut and often visited the Barnum museum in Bridgeport, so I already knew a fair amount about General and Mrs. Tom Thumb, but this book is absolutely fascinating. How Lavinia went from (literally) the farm to the big stage is a journey of courage, insistence, and a great deal of side-who marketing.

Once you start, I’m not sure you’ll be able to put it down.

 

 

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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

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.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1506 – That’s a lot of snow

I don’t particularly watch the weather, but when my phone started buzzing last night with cancellation notifications and when I started getting phone calls from various schools, I took notice.

We are getting walloped with snow. Initial forecasts called for up to 18 inches and we just might get there before the end of the day.

This is about 1.5 hours after it started snowing.

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And this is about 2 hours later.

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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

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.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1505 – 10K steps at the outlets

 

When you live in New Hampshire, you accept there is snow during the winter. For those of us who can’t maneuver as well in the snow and ice, it can present a bit of problem when it comes to walking. Roads are narrower due to snow build-up and even sidewalks are  icy. There are many days  it’s just not worth trying to get in a walk.

But one good thing is that our town hosts an outlet shopping center. It’s a loop of stores where the walkway is always plowed and salted. They even have music constantly playing so you don’t need to carry any ear buds.  Granted our outlet is at the top of a hill so it can be chilly, but if you plan for it (a hat and gloves is a must) then it’s not bad (at least not once you get going.)

Each loop is about 1.5K so 9 -10 laps around does a walk very nicely.

I have some walking friends who have met at the outlets to do a few loops and my daughter Emma and I have gone up a few times to get some steps in. Granted it’s no trek through the woods, but at least it gets us outside and walking. Here are some views from a recent 10K step walk at the outlets proving that there are interesting things everywhere, you just have to look.

An outdoor fireplace (that I have never seen lit)

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Walker friends. (I’m the light blue on the left.)

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Even rain will not hold me back as long as the ground is cleared to walk.

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This is about as close as I could get to any signs of Spring.  sigh.

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What would an outlet be without colorful strollers?

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This particular outlet needed to be carved (blasted) from the rock (Granite State, remember) check out that vein.

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If you’re lucky, you  might even come across some favorite childhood characters, like Lowly Worm here.

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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

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.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1504 – Coming in at my end of the list

 

I ran a 5K road race yesterday – or more accurately I participated in one. I walk, I can’t run anymore. My left knee and hip is so unstable that if I even tried to run, I know I’d end up on the floor (if not the hospital.)

I have several friends who regularly join these local races and when they send out an invitation – if I can, I go. To date, my walking  instead of running has never been an issue. Usually there are enough people to ensure that there is a “walker’s group.”

But the race this weekend was small  – less than 300 people signed up.  When the guy at the front of the line wearing shorts(!) took off his shirt before the race started, I knew I was in trouble. While waiting those last few seconds before the horn blared, I looked around. There were plenty of people in full running attire – bright neon – colored shoes, light-weight jackets, and so, so, may different patterns of running tights (can you really call them leggings when they are so darn expensive?)

These were serious runners. Continue reading

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Lesson 1499 – I’m one of those people

I wasn’t going to talk about this yet, but with all that is going on in Washington I feel like I have to.

Two years ago, because my mother was diagnosed with a very aggressive and rare type of skin cancer. I made an appointment with a dermatologist for a baseline examination. I figured – “Let’s see what my skin looks like now so that we can compare it to the future.”

All was well but because of my mother’s cancer I was put on a yearly schedule for checks.

This year, what I had thought was simply a mole on my face (that had been there for years but only recently started to look suspicious) was biopsied and it turned out to be cancerous.

Good news is that it’s basal cell cancer, bad news is that it’s a rare type of basal cell that acts like it’s malignant.

We have insurance. No problem right? Then let’s just go ahead take it out.

Except that because of the location (on the side of my nose) and because of the type of cancer, the Dermatologist surgeon told me that they will need to take a nickel-sized piece of full thickness skin out of my face. (Go ahead and hold a nickel up to the side of your nose and see what that will look like. I did, it’s not pretty.)

Because the hole will be so large, a plastic surgeon also needs to be involved.

Due to scheduling conflicts with the docs and changing of insurance, they are now saying that it looks like I’ll be having the surgery in March. Five months after the cancer was diagnosed.

And that’s with a good solid insurance plan and going to good doctors.

Because I’ll be going to two surgeons in two different facilities, this is going to cost us thousands of dollars out-of-pocket even with our insurance.

I’m fortunate. We can cover this.

If we didn’t have insurance, there would be no way (other than selling the house or taking the kids out of college – something I would never do) that we could afford the bills for two surgeons.

And who knows what is going to happen down the line? Once you have cancer, you tend to get it again.

Cancer is a pretty big pre-existing condition

If the current administration has its way, pre-existing conditions won’t be covered. People will have the option of going broke or living.

I am one of those people.

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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

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.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1498 – Crooked little house

 

One of my favorite things I picked up at a craft fair this holiday season is this little clay crooked house.

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I’ve since lost the contact information, but it was created by a young mom who makes them for fun. She has a message that she wants people to hear.

Each house is purposefully made crooked to remind us that while none of us are perfect, together as a family, we all combine our talents and contributions to create our own special homes.

This decoration will be finding a permanent spot in our family’s imperfect-yet-perfect little home.

 

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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

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.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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