Tag Archives: Writing

Lesson 1572 – My dad’s shirt

This Christmas was a little rough.

Not only was I (and I still am) concerned about what’s going on in the political world – reduction of healthcare, tax scams, rolling back regulations intended to protect our environment, along with a President who could send my family’s military members into a nuclear war at any moment, all on top of managing the holidays.

The kids are older. They have jobs. They have mixed schedules. They’re tired. They let me know.

Planning family time becomes more difficult. The excitement of early childhood is gone and it’s been replaced with a semi-sense of adulthood, you know, I’m too mature to get excited about waking up early on Christmas morning – that sort of thing.

And then there was the realization that orphans, even adult orphans do not get to share Christmas with their parents.

Anyway. Continue reading


1 Comment

Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1571 – Reclaiming my writing


Last year was terrible in oh so many ways.

Like many other creative people, the constant negativity took a toll on my what I did. If you’re a reader of this blog or even my articles, you’d know that my productivity was low.

Very low.

To the point of almost non-existent. And that made me sad, because I live by writing.

But how on earth could I write happy stories (and I do consider myself to be a happy storyteller) when the world appeared to be falling apart? When my family and friends are threatened at every moment?

I fully admit that I wasn’t the best at creating boundaries. At protecting my creative self from the constant onslaught of political madness. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1314 – Updates and Super-mama hen

I know I was absent all last week but I had some good reasons. I had my annual visit with friends and went to the US Open, it was the last full week of summer, and my class started so I had to get ready to teach.

Believe it or not, this is fun!

Believe it or not, this is fun!


Anyway, some quick updates. We still have all of our remaining chickens. The town decided to pave our road and between the noise from the trucks and the smell of tar, we haven’t seen hide nor hair of any predators in our neck of the woods. Let’s hope it stays that way. Continue reading


Filed under Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1313 – Down for the count

Something out there is taking me to the mat. I can barely breathe for the congestion.

Puffy eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing, I feel like a commercial. Hopefully it’s good old fashioned allergies (just took a clariton) and not the dreaded everyone-comes-back-together-for-school-and-swaps-germs cold.

In any case, I’m definitely down for the count. Catch you all next week when things should be looking better.


Have a great weekend, everyone.


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 Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1312 – My cup of tea

It can be difficult work being a writer. There are good times when the work seems to come in a regular flow and there are tough times when you have no idea from where your next assignment will arrive.

Please Gods of contracts, send me some work.

What makes it so difficult (and yet so very, very exciting) is that every day I have to meet deadlines. Sometimes I have article that come due, sometimes it’s technical writing projects, and then there are my writing class plans that need to be prepared (along with the grading what seems like millions of essays.)

There are blog posts that need to be written, pitches that need to be composed, (because if there’s no work lined up, then there’s no work lined up) and on the side, I chip away at my personal projects that I hope to get into print someday.

It’s a crazy, frenetic and creative lifestyle which is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.

But which is definitely mine. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 868 – Sleeping in a car and roosters

As I told you on Friday, I went to a Buddhist writing retreat this weekend. I had no idea what to expect and I’m positive it was that attitude that left me so wide open for possibilities.

First, let’s get the sleeping in the car thing over with. Some people (hi mom) were appalled and fearful for my safety –  “that’s bear country you know.” I assure you that there were never any  worries. Flashlights and lanterns sufficiently held back the dark and I was quite warm, safe, and comfortable each night (well, more so on the second night when I moved the car from a steep incline – it had looked like nothing more than a gently slope when I first parked – to a flat parking surface.) Although I don’t plan on sleeping in my car on a regular basis, I would certainly do it again especially when it meant you ended up staying in a room with a view like this:


Most of the retreat was spent in something called Noble Silence. Which was a surprise to me – I had assumed that when two or more writers are gathered in a room, there will be critical analysis and discussion.


We were encouraged to not say anything. At all.

And we were also encouraged to only read for 15 minutes. Continue reading


Filed under Backyard Chickens, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Personal, Teaching kids, Violet

Lesson 855 – Something that needs to get out

Chickens are amazing, they amuse, produce, teach, and they inspire.

I recently went to a party where a fellow chicken friend of mine (hi Hope) had set up a seat by a bench, broken out her water color paints, and then started to paint some pictures inspired in part by the small flock of chickens in the coop behind her.

She dabbed here and swished there and soon, she had completed this little masterpiece.


I mean take a look at it. She’s managed to capture personality (as well as an exquisitely fluffy butt or two) simply from using black and red paint. How impossibly perfect is that? Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Life Lessons, Personal, The Family

Lesson 847 – Pirates and Chickens

Not only am I a card-carrying member of the chicken community (and I do so love my chicken friends) but I’m also a bona fide member of the writer’s community (oh, and how I love those creative writer friends of mine.)  I am a writer, more accurately, I am a story-teller and when I get to combine the two loves (chickens and writing, as I do in this blog) it makes for a very happy Wendy.

A friend of mine, who has already published one book, is currently working on a new book for young adults. Her story takes place in a Pirate Amusement Park.

A Pirate Amusement Park – is there anything better than that? Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Life Lessons, Personal, The Family

Lesson 711 – A Coop of My Own

One of my (many) obsessions, along with saving animals, books, and Downton Abbey, is tiny houses.  If you follow my Facebook feed long enough, eventually you’ll come across a photo (or a few dozen) of various tiny houses that have captured my attention. Some of these miniscule abodes are fantastical, hobbit-like creations, while others are situated in trees – with incredible views. But the ones that really grab my attention are those that are solidly tethered to the ground. They’re here – just tiny.

It’s a bit of an odd hankering for a mother of 6 and it’s only come to light in the past few years.

Actually, it’s been since we got our chickens. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Points to ponder

Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 184 – Live Free or Undead – and chickens

This is a post about a new book recently published featuring New Hampshire Writers. You may not think it has anything to do with chickens but just do me a favor and read it to the end.

Much to the delight of horror-story lovers everywhere, Live Free or Undead – Volume #1 of the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction Series – Edited by Rick Broussard has just been released. (PLAIDSWEDE PUBLISHING, 2010 – 293 pages, $19.95)

If you grew up loving (and I mean LOVING and taking it with you everywhere) that little Alfred Hitchcock magazine, then you’ll have a great time with this book. It’s a complication of 20 stories from some of New Hampshire’s best and twisted writers. You’ll squirm with delight over this delicious collection featuring zombies, vampires, things that go bump in the night, deer by the side of the road, and yes, even Maple Syrup. (and if you don’t think Maple Syrup is scary try serving it on pancakes down south when what they had ordered and were expecting was something called “Pancake syrup”).

Now that the evening darkness comes earlier, you can feel the winter storms gearing up for the Farmer’s Almanac’s predicted “Harshest Winter ever”, and winds are whipping through those bare-limbed trees resulting in acorns constantly crash, crash, crashing against the roof, I can think of no finer pleasure than being bundled up in a blanket, safe in my immediate surroundings while reading about a world out there gone crazy.

You can find this book in local bookstores.

Now here’s the chicken part – Rick (the Editor of this book as well as the editor of New Hampshire Magazine) and his family decided to make the plunge this summer into urban chicken farming. After asking many questions about chickens (what so they eat, what kind of care is involved, how about them eggs?, etc) , they were ready to finally get their own birds. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Book Reviews, New Hampshire, Project Chickens before the Eggs