Tag Archives: Personal

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

Lesson 328 – Quotable chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks 


If something doesn’t happen at the expected time in the expected way, it means it’s going to happen at a better time in a better way. 

Facebook “copy and paste this” quote


Yeah I know, at times I have been called a Pollyanna – but when you come down to it, it’s not the worst thing to be called in the world and a life of always looking backward at what was lost is just not the life for me. Heave ho, ever onward.

None of the Kindergarten’s class’ incubated eggs made it and while I am immensely saddened by the loss of all that possibility, I know that other things will happen. There’s just too much goodness surrounding chickens for it not to.





Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Chick Literature, chicken care, Death in the henhouse, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Quotable Chicks

Never too old for Christmas magic

And how do we conclusively know that Santa has arrived (except for the many toys, music, warm clothes, and new books strewn across our living room floor)?

Why each Christmas Eve when Santa comes to our house to deliver gifts, before he leaves he places a candy cane Christmas bouquet on the bedroom doors of all of our sleeping children. It’s the first sign of Holiday magic the children see when they open their doors early (very early) on Christmas morning. Continue reading

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Filed under Holidays, Life Lessons, Personal, The Family, The kids

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 218 – Our littlest chick Emma’s birthday

We have another little chick’s birthday today. 11 years ago, on a cold December morning, while her brothers and sisters stayed at home wondering who would now be joining our flock, our little Miss Emma made her fantastic debut.

Born at a time of year when tidings and good will to all abound, Emma decided to come into our lives with a gentle performance that has since been growing and growing in it’s intensity and brilliance until the day will come when there is no doubt in my mind that that child will receive a riotous, standing ovation from all.

Emma is a deliriously happy, creative, and inventive child who’s feet barely touch the ground. She runs, she skips, she sings. Our fairy princess, she is amazed by everything she sees and is clearly overjoyed to be counted among those who LIVE. She is the kind of child you choose to be around, the kind of child I had always wanted. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Holidays, Teaching kids, The Family, The kids

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

Happy Thanksgiving from our flock to yours

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. For the day try putting the work away, put down the brooms and dustpans, know that you’ll get to those never ending tasks tomorrow – instead today truly enjoy the time focusing on your friends and family.

We all appreciate our good fortune

Savor the smells of good and plentiful food. Play with your children, talk with the older ones – how’s it going? Share with your chickens or the woodland creatures the scraps of your dinner preparation – the tops of onions and carrots, the base of lettuce – knowing that nothing need go to waste. It is, we are, all part of a bigger picture. Take a moment today out of your busy life to just be. Exhale and celebrate what you have. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Holidays, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The Family, What this is all about

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 200 – Lessons learned from the flock

Today is my 200th Project Chickens before the Eggs post. This is a huge milestone. Who knew when I started writing about our adventures with kids and chickens that it would turn into a series of life lessons learned from our birds and each other.

Chicken before the eggs

Because of our chickens we’ve learned about the death of little ones – it’s gut wrenchingly sad but it happens. You need to have a ceremony for closure, mourn, and move on.

We’ve learned that when another little one shows the same symptoms as the one who died, you jump into action, heart in your throat, willing to do anything, anything at all in order to keep her well – even if that means making a soft bed out of torn tissues and using bottle caps as food plates. And when it survives you rejoice because that little bird now gets to become a valued member of our flock.

We’ve learned that with our birds we can make contributions to others. We share eggs, stories. Children visit the birds. We’ve raised money for a local playground – all because of a flock of hens and kids. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The Family

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 199 – Our chick – Logan has a birthday

Fourteen years ago today, a new little chick entered our flock.

Logan was a robust baby who despite a few harrowing moments after birth decided to show everyone exactly who was in charge. He inhaled. He breathed. We knew he was going to be fine.

An incredibly bright light, Logan is drawn to the beauty of Mathematics often using phrases that delight him and which make me wonder if we are even speaking the same language.

He has a sense of humor that when tapped explodes into a cascading river of laughter. There is no better sight in the world than Logan, tears running down his face – a result of the effort – and collapsed from a joke well told.

Seafood is okay as long as it’s Swedish Fish, mashed potatoes can’t be too smooth, in fact let’s just skip the potatoes and instead ladle on the Mac and Cheese. Defense from zombies is worthy of late night discussion and a smooth rock in the hand holds eternal magic. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The Family, The kids

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 193 – Winter, chickens, and a cold house – we’ll survive

It is without doubt Fall-going-into-the-dark-side here in New Hampshire. The last two weeks have been miserable. Black, cold, rainy, and ridiculously damp. It’s the kind of dampness that soaks into your bones, all pervasive. And when you live in a house where you can see the curtains move from the cold wind blowing through cracks you know you are doomed.

Well that’s it, I told Marc, looks like I won’t be warm again until next June.

But that’s why polar fleece, electric blankets, and Hot Toddies were invented. I’ll survive. In just a few months, I’ll be back at the pool with the kids – complaining no doubt about the heat. It’s the way it is. It’s what comes with living in the New Hampshire territory. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs, The Family

My kids are superheroes (well, most are anyway)

For those of you who know the kids in our family (or those of you who want to know about them), Marc took the four youngest on vacation last week while I stayed behind with the two older teens (who had jobs) , the 3 dogs, and 36 chickens.

While in New York State, Marc came across a field with the initials U.S.A mowed into the grass and took photos of Addy, Logan, and Emma. Little did he know that in taking these pictures he would be capturing the very essence of each of these kids’ personalities. Continue reading

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Filed under Holidays, Personal, The Family, The kids