Tag Archives: Wendy Thomas

Lesson 1030 – Meet the muses

This weekend, I housesat for a friend. She needed someone to take care of the pets and I needed solitude to finish my writing. It was a no-brainer to say “Yes.” That’s what you call a win-win situation.

Even though I kept hearing from the kids back home about soccer games, plays, and parties, I did what it was I needed to do to get a project I’ve been working on for a long time, completed. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with tiny houses (I’ll be attending a tiny house building workshop at the end of June) and this weekend has only enforced the need for me to have the ability to go off somewhere, where the interruptions are limited. That’s how writing really gets done.

Butt in chair with no distractions. (I really want more of a writer’s cabin, than a tiny house.)

However, like my chickens, I tend to rely on flock behavior. Even though I needed solitude, I didn’t necessarily *like* the solitude. It’s nice to share successes with others. Continue reading

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Lesson 1028 – Low-tech Photoshop for chicks

They finally came!

At Easter, two of our kids found mustache photopaddles in their baskets. Why not? They looked like a fun little thing and the best part was that they contained no added sugar. Win-win for everyone! (especially this Easter bunny who has declared war against added sugar.)

We immediately started using these tools, which freely defines themselves as “super low-tech Photoshop.” (Basically, it’s a plastic paddle that you hold in front of your camera.)
First we had a dog with a mustache.

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Then a boy young man with one. Continue reading

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Lesson 1027 – Dumb Chick Tricks

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night, night, little one.

If you’ve been around newborn chicks, you know they have an incredible skill.

When you turn baby chicks on their backs, they become comatose and go to sleep. Instantly. It’s one of the cutest things about these little guys. Once cuddled in warm hands, and then gently flipped over, voila – adorable sleeping chick. Continue reading

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Lesson 1026 – Chicklit, I am

I attended a writer’s workshop this past weekend sponsored by the Romance Writer’s of America, New Hampshire branch. Most everyone there wrote Romance – you know,” chicklit.” The fabulous and talented speaker, Debra Dixon, spoke for hour, after hour, about the process of designing and constructing a story. I learned so much useful information. It was easily one of the best writer’s events I had ever attended.

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Deb looks like she is sleeping here, but she held her own and talked through an 8 hour workshop. Full respect to her.

And yet, I kept feeling that I needed to distance myself from most of those in the audience. I don’t write Romance (nothing wrong with it, it’s just not my genre) and so when the questions about plot ran to:

  • Girlfriend fights
  • Finding true love
  • Wanting to be independent

I kind of zoned out. That’s not what I do, I tried to convince myself – I don’t write Romance.

But then I’ve looked back on this blog where for the last 5 years, I’ve been recording such stories as:

  • The hens’ constant pecking
  • Finding love from a tiny chick who was given a chance at life, and
  • Pushing baby chicks out of the house into the coop

And I realized you know what? When you really come down to it, although I do not write Romance, there is no doubt, no doubt at all that I definitely write chicklit.

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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.

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Lesson 1025 – Mother’s Day and Peas

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What a lovely Mother’s Day I had. It was filled with flowers, thoughtful gifts (including a Jack Sparrow writing muse), books, chicken earrings, humor, and friends coming to visit. Basically it was everything I hold dear rolled up into one day (oh, did I mention coffee?)

In the afternoon, after Emma’s soccer game, we took the chicks outside for some playtime.

At first we kept them in their crate out in the sun. There was a fair amount of interest from the flock as to what was making all that noise.

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After a while we set up our baby gate-like corral that we use to keep chicks (and injured chickens) safe from the big hens. The chicks got an opportunity to explore a little (in packs) and I also saw them nibbling on some tender shoots of new grass. Pretty soon, we’ll be able to move from Mash to crumbles. Continue reading

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Lesson 1023 – Chick Mix – product review

I always, *always* give my chick medicated mash until they are about 5-6 weeks old. It’s that ounce of prevention I use when I get chicks from mass shipments or other farms. Once they are off of it though, that’s it, they are done.

But it’s a conundrum – because I want them to be on medicated feed, but I also don’t. Trust me, as a Lyme Disease patient, I know what antibiotics can do to your system.

Recently a locally run company Luv Nest (Milford NH) contacted me to try their chicken product. The owner’s husband, Dave, came over to drop off four samples of their natural herb products for chickens.

This morning I pulled out the organic Chick Mix Blend. It comes in a 4 ounce bag and the retail cost is $14.49. A little goes a long way (especially with tiny chicks) you’ll get many “handful” servings out of one bag. Continue reading

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Lesson 1022 – Working with chicks

WC Fields once said “Never work with children or animals.” While he had intended that to be rather snarky Hollywood advice, (don’t work with anyone or thing that can upstage you) in the world of photography this also holds true.

In fact, I might add – “Don’t work with children or animals or chicks.”

As anyone who has tried to get good photos of chicks knows, it takes many, many attempts before you finally get that perfect photo.

Sometimes what you are doing is much more interesting than what they are doing.

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Sometimes they want to go to the right. Continue reading

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Lesson 1021 – Babies, babies, babies

Last Thursday I got a call. Our local feed store had gotten someone else’s shipment of 900 chicks and because you can’t return chicks in the mail, they had to move them out of the store quickly. I was on the list that was supposed to get 9 chicks the following week, could I possible come down and take some of these?

Does a chicken poop in the coop?

Apparently our feed store doesn’t really know me (or maybe they do and that’s why I got the call.) “How late are you open?” I asked. “For another half hour,” was the reply. I grabbed Addy and Emma, a cardboard box and we got into the car to go save some chicks.

They had tubs and tubs of chicks. All full of fluff and all doing that baby chick squeaking thing. Originally I had signed up to get 3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Bared Rocks, and 3 New Hampshire Reds. They had some that I had ordered and they also gotten other breeds that hadn’t been listed in the order form.

We picked out 3 of the Rocks and 3 of the Orpingtons, the Reds were not in yet, and as a backyard flock owner in New Hampshire, I decided that I needed a few to round out my flock, so I decided to wait for those to come in.

I’d take 6 for now. Continue reading

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Lesson 1020 – A weekend in New Hampshire

This past weekend, I attended a Family support conference in northern New Hampshire. I wanted to give you a short picture tour of what I saw along the way.

When you drive in New Hampshire, you see mountains. They hug the roads, they hug you. Mountains are what I miss most when I travel out in the “flat lands.”

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The Presidential range.

We have an amusement park in New Hampshire called Storyland. With 6 kids we never made it to Disney Land but we did manage to make it to Storyland every summer. It is hands down one of my favorite places – clean, safe, and tons of fun. The park is not open yet but I sent these photos home and my kids went nuts.

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The crooked house

At Storyland there is something called Grandfather Tree – kids love it. Parents get sick of the knocking and musical songs that come from it pretty darn quickly (but we patiently put up with it for the little ones.) Continue reading

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Lesson 1018 – Zucchini “Cheesecake”

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This is not a food blog but as a mom of 6 kids, like it or not, food is a big part of our lives – and when eggs start returning in the spring, we tend to celebrate with all things eggs.

I had had a very busy day planned (teaching and more than one writing deadline) and on Monday I asked Addy if she could make a recipe I had picked out from a cookbook. She’s on school vacation this week and has tons of time and with minimal grumbling (she is a teenager after all) she agreed.

I had to change the name of the dish from Zucchini “Cheesecake” to “Zucchini Casserole” to appease those picky eaters who still, will not try cheesecake because of the name (fine with me, all the more for us who eat it) but it was a small concession. Continue reading

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