Tag Archives: Project Chickens before the Eggs

Lesson 437 – the blizzard basket

I wrote about this recently on my facebook page. The Blizzard Basket is something we do every year and I can’t tell you how much the kids look forward to it. Often it falls on a “snow day” when school has been canceled making it just that much more of a celebration.
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It’s almost time to put out the blizzard basket (although as my daughter Addy reminds me I’m a bit too late this year, what with our recent Halloween blizzard). Basically, it’s a basket covered with holiday tea towels that is opened up on the first day of a snow storm large enough to keep us home.

We’ve done this since Spencer (our oldest) was little. The key is that it sits in a corner (usually under the Christmas tree), covered, and no one knows exactly when it will be opened (or what will be inside.) The anticipation is delicious. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, All things local, Backyard Chickens, Chicken art, Chicken fun, Chicken things, Holidays, Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, Teaching kids, The Family, The kids, Traditions

Lesson 436 – gift making by way of chickens

Those who raise chickens tend to be rock solid, down to earth types. My kind of people. Which is why today I’m going to reach out to you. If we put our heads together I’m sure that we can come up with some wonderful ideas of how to use our chickens to make homemade gifts (and I’m not talking about a big pot of chicken soup here.)

As you know, the holidays are coming upon us (and if you didn’t know, just step foot in your local department store where the decorations will – literally – hit you on the head.) This year, as a family, we are going to try to shop locally and make many of the gifts for our friends, families, and teachers (and when you have 6 kids, there can be many, many teachers.) Continue reading

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Lesson 435 – Bring one with them

Well you know it was bound to happen. When one invites and starts writing about chickens into your life, one starts getting lots of very neat chicken things.

I have one friend (hi Diane) who takes great delight in finding chicken jewelry treasures on the internet. She’s a frequent recipient of our girls’ eggs and to thank us (them) she brings over some of the greatest chicken items I’ve seen (over which I oohh and aahh like a little kid.)

Take for example this blue rooster cocktail (get it) ring? How beautiful is that little gem? To be truthfully honest, I haven’t had the opportunity to wear it yet but just look out this holiday season. I will, no doubt, be the belle of any ball.

And then there is this broach which is sort of like one of those triangle puzzles, just how many chickens can you find within the piece? I love to wear this piece when I give a chicken workshop, (which I do for our town and libraries) it kind of identifies me as “one with them.” It’s my badge of sorority with the chicks. Continue reading

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Lesson 433 – Quotable Chicks

Friday’s Quotes for the Chicks 


To those of us who have had Halloween rescheduled to this weekend (and now you know that such a thing can be done) and who are getting completely messed up because the stores are displaying Christmas items and playing Holiday music when we STILL haven’t had Halloween…

enjoy the festivities.

Have fun, get buckets of candy, and laugh with your friends – just be safe.

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Lesson 432 – Where we belong

Late last night, we found out that power was restored to our house. Oh callooh callay!

Because our town had made the decision to hold school the next day (much to the kids’ delight there has been no school Monday through Wednesday) we made the decision to pack up and move out then instead of at 5:30 the next morning.

The kids were a little upset, they had to be pulled away from a movie that had been set up on a projection screen for all to watch. They hadn’t finished the large cups of popcorn everyone viewing the movie had been given.

The kids were tired, out of sorts and they had finally had it up to here with disruption after disruption. It showed in the bickering in the car on the way home.

Brush your teeth, get into bed, I kept repeating when we got home, we’ll find your math book in the morning.

Today, the kids are at school. Some of them are wearing socks they’ve had on for days, some are in need of an extended hot shower. All had to take cold items in for lunches, apples, granola bars, even the last of the emergency poptarts.

But they are back where they belong, in a routine that feels familiar. A life that feels in control.

While they were away, I walked around the house assessing our home that we had to leave so quickly.

The Halloween decorations are still up but as the town has moved trick-or-treating out to this coming weekend, they will remain up at least for a few more days playing games with my mind – witches and skeletons in the snow.

Limbs in the yard will need to be gathered and chopped in preparation for the wood stove which we WILL be getting. Continue reading

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Lesson 431 – what a chick does at a shelter

Hi there. We’re still at the shelter and while we’ve spent most of the day away doing errands and checking in on the flock, we still find ourselves here at night taking advantage of the heat. I don’t know how many of you have had the experience of staying in a shelter but I thought I’d share with you, what it is a chick does while staying in an emergency shelter.

First of all, a chick relaxes. The kids are safe, the animals are tucked away for the night, despite the storm’s fury, all is well. It really is. Time to take a deep breath.

A chick must also see to Holiday decorations. Several young members of different flocks are here and let’s face it, Halloween in a shelter is not the best place to  be.  So to be festive (and to continue being a mom, above all else) this is how a chick celebrates Halloween in a shelter.

After a very short time, this is how a chick keeps clean. There’s a trick, if you pick the very last shower on the left and press the spigot twice, you can get warm water.

And lastly, this is how a chick spends the time in a shelter. She has to be around to supervise the kids (no basketball near others’ cots please) and she has to keep an eye on where those young pullets and cockerels are but like the village that a shelter eventually becomes, everyone sort of takes care of each other. People are given rides, older people are given food first, and moms get to put up their feet in order to read the book they’ve been dying to start – an opportunity to rest their bodies before the arrival of the next crisis.

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Lesson 430 – the other side of the storm

Most of you know that we live in New Hampshire and if you’ve paid any attention to the national (and, from what I hear, international) news you know that we got WHALLOPED this past weekend from a huge freakish October snow storm (and this on the heels of that hurricane just a few weeks ago.)

We ended up getting about 9 inches of snow, which is not really a big deal in January when the trees are bare and have slowly hardened in the winter cold, but it is a big deal when the leaves are still on the branches. And that’s the situation we faced going into the storm, only the maples had dropped their leaves, the rest of trees were in trouble.

I’ve lived in New Hampshire a long time and have never been through a storm quite like that one. Power lines up and down our street were sparking as the snow laden trees bowed down to brush them, leaves igniting.

I called 911 when we saw the electrical lines were lighting up and was put on hold.

Around 10:30 p.m. as we walked around the neighborhood we saw that a tree on our property was actually on fire.

I called 911 when we discovered the fire and was put on hold.

It certainly felt like end-times.

I had read predictions that the storm would be catastrophic.

They were right.

The resulting destruction is amazing. Wires are strewn across roads, limbs and full trees are down everywhere. We lost some grand old long-time standing beauties during this one. Such a shame.

In our town alone, 98% lost electricity. Here it is Tuesday morning and we still don’t have electricity at our house. The most current predictions are that we’ll get it back sometime on Friday or Saturday.

We don’t have a generator or a wood stove. We have a cold, drafty house with no water. (Trust me, we’re in discussions to change this.)

Even still, we’re fortunate. This is a photo of a limb that missed our henhouse by inches, you’ll be happy to know that all of our chickens came through the night unscathed.

too close for comfort

Nothing fell directly on our house and the tree fire sputtered out once the power lines went dead. Our dog; Pippin is safe, the kids are fine (even Emma who was diagnosed with croup the morning of the storm.) We’re inconvenienced but what are you going to do? Life happens. We’re spending nights at a community shelter and days between the cold house, the local library, and the shelter.

We’re all warm and safe and counting our blessings to be among the lucky ones.

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