Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Lesson 1566 – Damn Peckers

We are under attack at our house. It seems that for the first time in 25 years, woodpeckers are drilling holes with abandon in our home.

We have a very old cedar-shingled house and I know the wood is probably soft but geesh – one day I came home to this:

 

And a few days later, we had this.

 

I took a walk around the house and counted no less than 21 (21!!!!) woodpecker holes in our siding. Damn those little peckers.

I’ve been told it might be because we have insects in the wood and while that might be true (parts of our house are very old), every house on our street (except the one with vinyl siding) has also been attacked by these birds. That would be a lot of rotten wood.

I’ve also been told that this is considered woodpecker mating behavior. The male birds attract the females by way of the drumming sound from drilling. What a literal pain that is.  For the record, the last guy I would ever go out with is someone who constantly bangs his head against a wall. But whatever, I’m clearly not a lady woodpecker – the pecking doesn’t turn me on, it only makes me mad.

Our neighbors have attached silver streamers on the side of their house and that seems to be keeping the peckers away. We’ve bought silver discs that are also supposed to keep these pests away, but we haven’t put them up yet.

Instead, whenever I hear them pecking I race outside, shake my fist at them and yell “GO AWAY!!!!”

Now that the weather has gotten colder, the woodpecker activity seems to have slowed down. Perhaps the ladies (and gents) have had enough.

Whatever the reason for them stopping is, I’ll take it. It’s now time for us to plug up these holes with putty and pray that the woodpeckers all move to another neighborhood next year. Please?

***

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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Lesson 1565 – A Mother’s Prayer

 

A Mother’s Prayer

Wendy E. N. Thomas 

It is time.

Anxious to join the world, the little chick unfolds her wings

Uncoils her body

Stretches her legs

“Take care, take care,” cautions mama bird

 

Feathers not yet fully matured  holding only future promises

The chick steps on the edge of the nest and looks at the precariousness before her

You’ve got this.

A deep breath

A leap of absolute faith

Exploding from the nest flying, falling, tumbling to the ground

Momentarily discouraged by the inability to fly like the others

A bruised feather

“Take care, take care,” encourages mama

 

She quickly flies to the chick’s side

Teaches her to hide from the hawks

How to find shelter

This is what you eat

 

The chick regains balance

She begins to feel solid

Worthy

Confident

Awkwardly, she hop-flies to the nearest tree branch.

And looks out upon the world that is now hers

She’s got this.

 

“Take care, take care,” prays the mama

 

***

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 1564 – New Challenge (clap your hands)

Okay, so I really didn’t think that going through Charlotte’s Web chapter by chapter would take so freakin’ long. But now that I’m on the other side of it, I can say that even though it took a fair amount of work, I enjoyed the exercise  and I can tell you that I have a new understanding that I hadn’t had when I read it as a child.

So what’s next?

Well I still have to tell you about Barcelona. (I’ve made the potato dish learned in a cooking class many times since coming back.)

And I haven’t written about this year’s border to border walk.

I’ll get to those pieces, but I also wanted a new family challenge. Like I did when we weighed all of the good food that was wasted in one month (over 20 pounds) or when I de-cluttered the house and managed to move out thousands of pounds of clutter (yes I weighed it) or when I tried to hold a birthday party for under $10, kept the Christmas tree up until March 24th, or yes, even when we got our very first incubator chicks.

I was recently at Barnes and Noble and noticed a premier issue of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street – The New Home Cooking magazine. The red banner across the top of the cover reads “56 Recipes for Bold, Easy Weekday Meals.” I bought the magazine and when I got home, settled down to read it.

Milk Street (called that because of their address in Boston) holds cooking classes, tapes their PBS show at their offices , and now they publish a cooking magazine designed to teach a different approach called “the New Home Cooking.” Their purpose is to teach people how make good food quickly that goes beyond the ordinary. Milk Street wants us to up our dinner game.

Milk Street is a quality magazine with heavy pages and has gorgeous photos of each dish. Each recipe is actually a short article giving a little history or memory associated with the food. The type of food is varied with recipes from all over the world. Each write-up also suggests ways you can modify the dish and things to avoid.

Interestingly, each recipe includes how much time it takes to make it from start to finish.

It’s a stunning and impressive magazine, but photos and writing aside, what if the recipes aren’t really as easy as they say they are? What if it says it takes 15 minutes to make a dish, but I find out that unless you ‘re an automatron, there’s no way you’re getting this to the table in under 45 minutes?

So I plan to make every single one of the 56 recipes in the Milk Street premiere issue (i have no timetable other than at least one a week.) I’ll be making the dishes on a weeknight (Monday through Thursday) and I’ll let you know if the recipes are 1. Easy, 2. Quick, and 3. Tasty.  I’ll also report on how long it takes to make each dish.

The magazine is at stores and book shops now – go get an issue if you’d like to play along at home.

 

Note: I have absolutely no affiliation with Milk Street. My posts will reflect a true and honest account of my experiences making these recipes.

 

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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.

Leave a comment

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Lesson 1563 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 22

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 22 A Warm Wind

Wilbur returns to the Zuckerman’s barn. In the days that followed, he was very happy and grew to a great size. His medal is hung on the side of his pen for all to see.

Winter comes to the barn. Wilbur plays in the snow and breathes on Charlotte’s egg sac in order to keep it warm.

True to his word, Templeton gets to eat from Wilbur’s feed trough first. He also grows to a great size. “You would live longer,” said the old sheep, “if you ate less.” Continue reading

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Lesson 1562 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 21

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 21 Last Day

Charlotte and Wilbur are alone in the fair stall. Charlotte is getting weaker and weaker. She explains to Wilbur that he will live to see the different seasons. He won’t be killed. He’ll be okay.

But she won’t.

Wilbur wonders why Charlotte did all of this effort for him when he hadn’t done anything for her.

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte.

Wilbur tells Charlotte that life will be wonderful when they all get back to the farm. That’s when Charlotte tells him that she won’t be returning. Continue reading

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Lesson 1561 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 20

 

 

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 20 The Hour of Triumph

 Wilbur is crated and taken over to the judges’ booth. The Zuckermans, Arables, and Lurvy move Wilbur from his crate into the judge’s booth. Mrs. Arable tells Avery to tuck his shirt in and to tighten his belt.

The judges tell of how Wilbur really is “some” pig. They acknowledge that there is something special about him and they appreciate what he has done to bring tourists to the area.

Charlotte listens from the stall, her front legs embracing her egg sac. She could hear everything and the words gave her courage. This was her hour of triumph, she knew she had saved Wilbur. Continue reading

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Lesson 1560 – Lessons Learned from Charlotte’s Web – Chapter 19

Charlotte’s Web Chapter 19 The Egg Sac

 

Morning comes to the fair grounds. Wilbur looks up and sees the egg sac Charlotte had made in the dark.

“Is it a plaything?”

“Plaything? I should say not. It is my egg sac, my magnum opus.”

Wilbur learns that a magnum opus means “it is the finest thing you have ever done.”

Charlotte is weakened from making the sac and the web. She’s sad because she doesn’t think she will be alive when her 524 children hatch in the following spring.

Templeton returns to the pen with a bloated stomach, stuffed with the discarded fair food he had been eating all night.

“What a night!” Templeton stretches out in the hay and tells Wilbur and Charlotte that the large pig, Uncle, next door had been awarded the blue ribbon. Continue reading

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