Tag Archives: Wendy Thomas

Lesson 1387 – Yellow cake

At a yard sale this weekend I found a treasure trove of old handwritten recipes. Oh sure, there were many recipes cut out from magazines (Robert Conrad’s potato casserole anyone?) but it was the ones written on those 1950’s – 1970 recipe cards (you know the ones with the little flower decorations in the upper left corner) that got my attention.

I have a few of my mother’s handwritten cards and I consider them to be among my most treasured possessions.  (Soon, I’ll be making those chocolate, peanut butter, rice Krispy cookies that I talked about at my mom’s funeral.)

It’s a lost art. Who writes down recipes anymore? It’s more like, if someone requests a recipe we send them the link to where they can find it, time just seems to fly a little faster these days. And even if we had the time to write down a recipe, who has the time to make it other than for a special occasion? Pizza hut to the rescue.

Well I have time (in between everything else I have to do.)

Think about it. When I grew up food was how you showed your creativity. While my mother did work (after the kids had gotten older) most women didn’t, they stayed at home and took care of the flock. Preparing food was how they nourished their families, while the recipes nourished their creativity. When received from a friend, most recipe cards began with “from the kitchen of..” Sharing recipes was the social network of its time.

My kids, who are the sons and daughters of this storyteller definitely know the potential of a good story (or two) when they see it. Helping me sort through the recipes on Saturday night and placing them into two binders, every single one of my kids knew what was coming.

What will we start with first? They asked me. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under All things chickens, All things local, Backyard Chickens, Eggs, Everything Eggs, Food Savings, Personal, Recipes, The Family, The kids

Lesson 1261 – Update on Zelda (hen to rooster to hen)

Last fall, I wrote about Zelda, our alpha hen who had turned from being a hen, into being a rooster, and then back into a hen – all with different colorings (and yes we know it’s Zelda because of her metal leg identifier and her distinctive “bubble gum” comb.)

If you are around chicken owners for even a little bit of time eventually you will hear stories of hens “turning” into roosters. There are various reasons this can happen. If a flock is roosterless (as ours is) then the alpha hen can actually start to throw off more testosterone and will begin to display more male characteristics. Typically she’ll become more aggressive as she takes the role of protector and will stop laying eggs.

This can also happen if there is an injury of some kind to the reproductive organs, for example there can be a tumor that stops normal hormone production.

So you see, it’s not *that* uncommon for a hen to become a rooster. What is uncommon, however, is for that “rooster” to revert back to a hen and that’s what happened last fall.

Zelda turned from a golden speckled rooster into a white hen with a splash of her original grey on the bottom of her wing.

I contacted a vet who I use as an expert in some of my chicken articles to ask her about Zelda. She confirmed that hen to rooster had been seen, but that hen to rooster and then back to hen was not something that she had ever even heard about.

To be fair though, Zelda is about 7 years old. Most backyard chickens don’t make it to that ripe old age which might cut down on the chances of seeing this happen. The only way to truly find out what is going on would be to do an autopsy and, as Zelda is still alive and well, we’re going to hold off on that option.

In any event, we ended the conversation with the vet saying, she couldn’t wait to see what Zelda was going to do next.

Well, I have an update and here it is.

Zelda Spring 2015

Zelda Spring 2015

Zelda did nothing.

She remains a white female with her grey splash. It looks like Zelda’s grand transgender adventure is over and she is destined to live the rest of her days in our flock as a hen. (At least for now, anyway.)

***

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.


2 Comments

Filed under Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Holidays, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotable Chicks, The Family

Lesson 1027: New England in the Fall

IMG_20140921_124023836

It’s certainly that time of year again – Fall in New England. Not only do the mornings require sweaters (over long sleeved shirts), but the blankets have all been taken from storage, shaken out, and piled high on the beds (in one case, so high that it’s difficult to turn over under the covers at night – that’s the way she likes it, as long as her foot can still find “the cold spot.) Even TV watching and book reading is done under evening throws with a mug of hot cider keeping fingers warm enough to hit tiny remote buttons or turn thin, dry book pages.

Slippers not used since last Spring are rediscovered waaaaay back under the beds, and the protest smell of burnt dust from the heat that reluctantly kicked on greets us in the mornings.

We all cautiously step around the remnants of summer not quite put away – the last of gardening supplies that need to go into the shed, the pool toys, lying forlornly in a corner.

The flock notices the changes and they seem a bit confused – where is the sun’s warmth. What’s up with the leaves on the ground? But they quickly adjust – the sun will be back in the afternoon and under the leaves you can often find the juiciest of bugs.

It’s not good or bad, it’s just another transition leading the way onward in the direction where we are all supposed to be going.

***

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal

Lesson 1026: The Marzipan Realistic Mammo-graham recipe

 

mammo-grahams

For those who may be visiting Lessons Learned from the Flock because of this Mammo-grahams picture that is all over the place (October is Breast Cancer Awareness month), you’ve reached the right place. I am a writer/journalist/blogger located in New Hampshire and I made those cookies for a local recipe swap/pot luck dinner.

Welcome. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal

Lesson 1051 – Amazing Lego Mama Hen – GoT

IMG_20140612_075648871_HDR

“No Game of Thrones blog post here, they’re all in that direction,” said Amazing Lego Mama Hen.

 

***
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

Filed under Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Holidays, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotable Chicks, The Family

Lesson 1049 – Amazing Lego Mama Hen – Daddy

IMG_20140609_124131412

“Oh hey, Daddy’s home,” said the Amazing Lego Mama Hen to her flock.

 

***
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

Filed under Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Holidays, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotable Chicks, The Family

Lesson 1047 – Amazing Lego Mama Hen – Frozen

IMG_20140609_123511222_HDR

 If Amazing Lego Mama Hen has to listen to “Frozen” one more time, she thinks she just might go insane.

 

***
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.


1 Comment

Filed under Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicks, Holidays, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Quotable Chicks, The Family