Friday, July 31, 2009

Heavy

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Wow! This jean quilt top is heavy. At first I was going to make a crib size top and then changed to a youth bed size. Now, since I have realized how heavy it is, I think I will sew up all the pieces and try and get two tops out of this jumble. I have never made anything like this and I'm a bit afraid of how it is going to turn out. Well, nothing for it but to keep on sewing.

I can see how making a jean crib quilt could be more fun if I had a lot of jeans to work with that had interesting designs, pockets, and other features to choose from. I'm just using the old worn out jeans that Kristine tossed to the garage sale. I'll try to come up with some creative stuff after I get the big pieces sewed together.
Look what kristine found tonight. She was closing the slider and noticed a tiny blue belly lizard in the slider track. Blue belly lizard info here. I love the part about "noosing." We used to just grab them from the back around the neck so we wouldn't get bit.

The lizard then ran over to her shoe and climbed in and stayed there just looking around as she carried him back here so I could take a photo. I'm not good at all taking close ups and I saved the best photo of the lizard for Kristine to use on her blog. Cute little lizard. I'm in hopes she will make a lizard post tomorrow on her blog?

Kristine took the lizard out to the green garden and put it in the ivy. It should be able to find something to eat among all the leaves. Kristine and Kathleen used to play with lizards and slugs when they were little when we lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

[14 eggs today]
Kristine collected the eggs today.
She's good!
I never found 14 eggs.

Smiles
~:>

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jean Quilt

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It finally cooled off enough that I spent some time sorting the jean pieces I had cut up and tore up a piece of muslin for the quilt backing. The plan I'm going with is to sew the pieces onto the muslin kinda of like a log cabin idea. Only not. I'm just going to sew the pieces on any way they fit. With the fleece type material scraps for the back of the quilt I may not need to add any batting. I'll wait to get the front and back done and then make up my mind.

The hens got lettuce for a treat today and are showing no ill effect from eating the cherries the other day. I'm so glad the temperature is going down tomorrow and the rest of the week. Or at least it is supposed to get cooler.

There is a dog barking non-stop for hours. This may go on all night. I hope not, but it has happened before. I guess the people go away and leave their dog outside?

[8 eggs today]
One broke when I picked it up.
The hens have lots of oyster shell
so I don't know what the problem is?

Smiles
~:>

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wet Weather???

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Here is another photo that I took yesterday showing the clouds headed up to Tahoe. They are having some terrific thunderstorms. The weather here is hot and muggy. Something like a steam bath outside. It is 10:15 pm and it is 80 degrees in the house. I'm whining. Sorry. I wish we could get some of the rain. I really, really do.
I guess it is too hot for some of the hens to roost sitting down. I have never seen the hens roost standing up before. Poor hot girls. Some of the hens have started to sleep on the ground where it is a little bit cooler.
I don't know if the hens knocked all the corn out of the feeder or if we have a messy mouse raiding the corn. It is almost dark in this photo and some of the chickens are still eating or maybe it is too hot to go to bed. I feel dumb making this post because as Kristine says, "You're doing a repeat?" Well, it is hot and I haven't done anything today, and this is what is happening with the chickens and and they are new photos and my brain is melting.
I brought the feeders inside because when I was taking the above photo I was feeling tiny drops of water and even though I don't think we are going to get any of the Tahoe rain I don't want to take any chances of the feed getting wet. I wish there were large drops of water!
On my last check through the nest I did find three eggs. That was a surprise. I picked up eight eggs earlier, but I fooled myself by bringing in a wooden egg. Well, it looked like a real egg and my brain is melting. The broody Wyandotte had moved over to a new spot in the middle nest box and was sitting on two eggs she had appropriated. I felt guilty taking them away. Guilt and heat are not a good combination.

Tom brought home meat loaf and french bread for dinner. I was going to make a salad to go with, but we were all too hot, so no dinner. He also bought some grapes from the farmers market and those we did eat.

Morgan is sleeping downstairs tonight because she is just too hot upstairs. Kristine has a fan, but that doesn't help Morgan much at all. She has finally stopped panting and is sleeping. It is silent outside. No noise. I guess it is too hot for any critters to be up and about.

I am not complaining about the heat. I just get twitchy because of the heat and the fire danger.

[10 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coming and Going

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Today I actually left the property. Very sad to tell, but I had to go to the dentist and there I received bad news. I have to have a new crown. Sigh. However, the good part was the drive and the stop along the way where I got to take some photos. I think I like this one the best because of the good shot of the clouds. Tahoe is going to be having thunderstorms for the next five days or more. I can hope for more rain than lightning. I really don't want anymore fires.
There are two Light Brahmas,
two Australorps, one Orpington and
one Wyandotte helping out in this photo.

Kristine and Tom were busy this afternoon unloading chicken feed. The chickens came to help out in their own silly way. You really don't want to trip over a chicken as you are carrying a heavy sack of feed, but the hens don't care and run around your feet looking for a treat. Kristine brought home a sack of hen scratch of mixed grains instead of just cracked corn. Good idea. It seems like the hens like the scratch much better than the plain corn. I have been spoiling the hens and giving them hen lay plus corn this summer. I usually save the corn for cold weather to help the hens stay warm.

Yesterday I gave the hens some blueberries and cherries that were too ripe and only later did I think about the cherry pits having cyanide in them. So far, the hens are doing ok and don't show any signs of being poisoned. I think they would have to eat a lot of pits to get sick. I'm hoping for the best.
Some how we ended up using plastic cans for feed storage instead of the metal cans we used when we first moved up here. I think it was because, when the shed roof leaked, water would leak onto the grain through the holes the handles made in the can lid. At least the plastic cans are water proof and so far we don't have any major problems with critters getting in the feed. We have found a country wood rat in a feed can one time. I will keep a look out for some metal leak proof cans. It would be best to keep the wildlife away from the feed.

I think if there are little critters eating the feed they are probably eating it out of the feeders hanging in the chicken pen. Kristine has seen a little country wood rat filling his cheeks with corn. He was so scared when Kristine shone the flashlight on him that he dropped the corn and fled the scene. I wish I could get her to tell the story. The wood rat is cute looking with large round ears. One of them is ok, but I don't want a colony. Perhaps I should be locking up the feeders at night? I'll think about that.
There are about ten hens crowded around the feeder eating the chicken scratch. Happy chickens! The broody Wyandotte is still in a nest box, so that means there are seven hens in the woods or under the house. Scratch is not their thing, evidently. I brought the hens home some lettuce for a treat and they got some watermelon which they appreciated on this hot day.

[12 eggs today]
5 of the eggs were laid together in the bottom nest in the old bookcase.
Seem that the hens favor a
small, dark, covered spot to nest.

Smiles ~:>

Monday, July 27, 2009

One Of These Eggs Is Different

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Before I locked up the hens tonight I checked for eggs because I was hoping for an even dozen, but these were all for today. The hen that poked a hole in the egg didn't break the membrane of the egg, so technically I should have been able to use the egg, but I didn't want to take the chance. I have gotten sick once eating an off egg. Never eat an egg if there is a strange odor. Good Grief! You would think I would know better!

I found this basket at a local garage sale and I just love using it to collect eggs. I don't know if all egg baskets collapse like this, but it certainly makes dealing with the eggs very easy and fun.

This is a little gift that will be sent of to Rhiannon tomorrow. There are some sun bonnets in it that used to belong to Kristine and Kathleen when they were little girls. Hope Rhiannon likes them. Kristine and especially Kathleen had such fair skin that I was afraid to let them out in the sun without being covered in suntan lotion.

I remember one time I let Kathleen go to a swiming party with someone and she came back with a horrible sunburn. And I had to take Kristine to the doctor three times after going swimming without me. After that I couldn't trust that anyone else but me would make sure the girls had sun protection so the girls didn't get to go to some places. I have trust issues.

Tom brought home dinner! The perfect meal for me to serve on a hot day. My brain is melting! Everyone can get a paper plate and serve themselves! Yesterday Kristine got hot dog fixings. It is too hot and I don't get hungry or want to eat until late evening when it starts to cool down. But pizza works. Cold potato salad sounds good, but it is too hot to cook and I don't like store bought potato salad. Picky me!
Look what Kristine found behind the sugar container! The potatoes are sprouted and ready for planting. Well, I wanted some plants and all the time the little darlings were hiding out back there. I'll stick them in the ground in the green garden tomorrow and see what happens.

One of my neighbors told me that there is some kind of critter out and about our area that came over her anchor fence and vomited up half a squirrel and then vomited up the other half on the other side of the fence. Yuk! So, we have a critter big enough to eat a squirrel and go over a six foot fence. Evidently the critter had problems with eating the squirrel? Bad squirrel?

[11 eggs today]
Smiles
~:>

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lost Bat

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This Golden Lace Wyandotte is perched on a planter box that has chew marks from the horse my brother had for his daughter. I tried using the box as a planter but the chickens thought that the plants were a treat just for them. The plants didn't last very long. One nice thing about having the horse was that he pounded all the leaves into dust. Having a horse around would save me a lot of raking.
Last night Kristine found a bat in her room. This is the 7th or 8th bat she has had to get out of the loft area where she has her room. Usually, she just opens the slider up and the bat will do a few turns around the room, find the open door and make an exit. But last night this poor little bat stayed clinging to the top beam in the room. She finally gave up, left the slider open and slept in another room. We didn't see the bat today so we hope it left. This bat is a Western Pipistrelle and here is some information about the bat and a better photo. The young are born in June and we think this is a very young bat. Hope he went home.
Some of the chickens came up on the porch to join Morgan this afternoon. It was very hot and Morgan and the hens were panting. I wish I could make it cooler for them. The chickens we have are breeds that are supposed to do well in hot or cold weather and they do manage to stay healthy and keep laying during the extremes of weather.

We have been hearing a rooster crowing this week and we are wondering if that Polish chicken Kristine found and that we gave to our neighbor turned out to be a rooster. I'm going to have to make a call and find out. This is a neat rooster. It doesn't crow early in the morning and the crow is pretty quiet. Maybe we could borrow it sometimes?

[7 eggs today]
Smiles
~:>

Saturday, July 25, 2009

No Control!

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Morgan was barking so I went outside to find out what was going on and I spotted this egg when I walked up to the pen. That hen has no control! Tom says she just stops wherever and whenever and lays her egg. I think it is an Australorp hen who has the control issue. The egg is wet when it is laid and so the dirt side of this egg needed washing. It is soooo much nicer when the hens lay their eggs in the straw. I never did find out what Morgan was upset about.

Kristine was out checking on Morgan also and she picked up a couple of Orpingtons just because she could. She called me over to see this hen because she said the hen must weigh at least ten pounds. Our Orpingtons are such calm birds. Sweet chicken. When Kristine put the hen on the ground and kept ahold of her sides all the hen did was sidestep slowly and stretch her wings a few times. Kristine said that this was an example of an Orpington having a panic attack. Kristine is so funny!

After I hung up the clothes, I took a photo for no good reason other than I like how the clothes look drying out on the clothesline. I like how the clothes smell all outdoorsy and fresh. And I like clothespins especially the old timey ones. I'll take a photo of some of the ones I have that came with the old old clothespin bag that Tom found. I even have one with a wire around the top so the pin won't split. And here is a YouTube video that made me laugh. How to hang your wash properly here. I think I failed.

[12 eggs today]
Smiles
~:>

Friday, July 24, 2009

Surprise!

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Wow! Look at the surprise we found in the mail this evening. Rhiannon drew some lovely pictures, made some art work and wrote loving messages on the birthday card and envelopes that we sent her for her birthday. Thank you, Rhiannon! You are quite an artist! Thank you for thinking of us and sending us back your beautiful pictures! There are hearts, rainbows, flowers, faces, and best of all, Rhiannon, wrote lots of "I Love You" on the cards. We love you too, Rhiannon!

In this photo are also some of the letters I am making for Jaidan's quilt. I'm going to make his quilt first because it will have things like pockets, zippers, and snaps for him to play with when he is little. If I wait to make his quilt later, he will be too old to enjoy playing with the things. Don't worry, I will make a quilt for Rhiannon and Tristan. And one for you too, Kathleen. I need to make one for Kristine too.

The hens have finally figured out that the corn is in this feeder. The chickens would much rather eat the corn when scattered on the ground. Maybe the reason they took so long to eat the corn out of the metal feeder is that they don't like the sound their beaks make when they peck at the corn and hit the metal. I guess they just had to get used to the noise.

Tanya here warned me about the coyotes being dangerous to Morgan. This is very true. Kristine and I have talked about this problem. Kristine said that the coyotes up the mountain in Tahoe are larger, more wolf size, than the coyotes we have around here and they run in packs and they will for sure kill dogs. One of their tactics is to send in a female coyote to play with the dog and lure it out into the woods where the pack will kill the dog. The coyotes here are smaller and the most we have seen together has been two. I saw one by the chicken pen once. If we had the larger coyotes or packs here I would have to leave the chickens in their pen and keep Morgan inside the house.

Our neighbors put up a tall chain link fence to protect their little dog. Small dogs and cats and children here are also vulnerable. If Morgan was smaller I would be afraid to leave her outside. And I must admit that I do have some worries about the coyotes. Several times a day, Tom walks his male dog along the fence that circles our property and his dog lifts his leg on the fence regularly and marks it with his scent. I think that sent marking may have something to do with warning the coyotes away. I hope. We remain vigilant.

[9 eggs today]
Smiles
~:>

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Saddle's Still On!

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Orp Roo got duct taped again this morning and she was not at all happy about the experience. I was surprised that there were no pin feathers growing on her back. That look she is giving me says go away! Henny Penny's saddle was loose because she is growing feathers, but not coming off, so I didn't mess with her. Putting duct tape on chickens is not my favorite thing to do. I'm glad Henny Penny is growing feathers, but Orp Roo's back is still bare. At least it is not sunburned anymore. Hopefully, when she molts this year she will grow new feathers. Kristine said she would suspect mites, but the other chickens are Ok and Henny Penny's feathers are growing back so the feather loss must be from something else.

The broody Golden Lace Wyandotte is very happy in all her new straw where she has burrowed down and made herself very comfortable. She doesn't roost and sleeps in the nest box and is always here except when I pick her up and set her down in the pen so she will go eat and drink. Kristine and I keep talking about getting a chick from the feed store and sticking it under her just to see what she would do. But we really don't want anymore chickens. Poor broody hen. No chicks.

Although, there are times I would like a Light Brahma rooster that didn't crow or jump on the hens and make them miserable. Too bad roosters don't come that way. I do miss our big Light Brahma rooster, Brutus, that the coyote got. He was so gentle. My neighbor called us that day and said that a fox had one of our chickens, but Kristine and Tom said it was a coyote.

Morgan wasn't out with the chickens that day because for some reason we were keeping her inside and then someone let the chickens out. Kristine says she sees coyotes come through the yard early in the morning before we let Morgan outside. So, the coyotes do keep checking and hope to get lucky and find the chickens unprotected.

There is the little round plant that Kristine brought home yesterday. I mixed half a bag of potting soil with the dirt I dug out of the hole and used that mixture under and around the plant.I hope it will be happy in that spot and do well. I don't have a green thumb and I rely on plants that are basically survivors. Native plants are my favorites. Weeds do well also.

[13 eggs today]
I think the hens like the new straw!
Smiles
~:>

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Found Basket

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Here is another find from years gone by. I sewed the fabric insert and the "wings" top for this little basket. There are pockets on the sides and in the top for thread, needles and such. I wish I could have found a chicken basket, but at the time we had ducks too, so having a duck sewing basket seemed a good idea. I think blue must have been my favorite color then.
Kristine brought this plant home to me today. It is called Armeria "maritima Bloodstone" a 6 to 10 inch evergreen perenial for borders. It has sea pink flowers. Well, not now, I dead headed the few that were there and I will plant this in the green garden. It is supposed to do well with two or three hours of sun a day. It is hardy to 0 degrees, so it may not last the winter, but it is supposed to do well in the winters up here. We'll see.

I went out this evening and put new straw in the nest boxes, but when I went to take photos the battery need charging. Phooey. I have to catch the two duct tape hens and replace their saddles. Orp Roo's saddle came off completely and Henny Penny's saddle is loose. I charged the battery so I hope for photos of the chickens tomorrow.

[11 eggs today]
Smiles
~:>

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Collecting Eggs

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Here is a Dark Brahma in the basket next to a bunch of eggs in the bookcase nest box. The hen is hot and she is panting with her beak open. Poor Baby. I'm surprised and pleased that the hens have taken to the bottom nest box and are laying their eggs there instead of on the dirt. There was one egg in the basket under the hen. I will check back later to see if this hen laid the egg and was just setting or if she is going to lay an egg.
These three were in the top nest box
There was one egg under this broody Golden Lace Wyandotte.
She is so pretty!
And this egg was in the large bottom nest box. See, I really do need to add some more straw to the boxes. But it is so hot I get dizzy out there. Kristine is home so I should be able to get to sleep earlier tonight and get up when it is cooler. I found a bunch of paint and I have been thinking of painting the chicken coop and pen. My first thought was to let the white paint finish falling off and then stain the wood. But that is going to take too long. My brother made this pen and coop originally as a dog pen, and he made it from old horse fencing that was painted white. I really don't like the white, but I may decide to go with it and paint the whole thing white. The door is white, so that would work. Maybe?

I added a comment box in the sidebar that will even translate the comments. How cool is that. I tried it out and it worked, so if it gets used I will keep it in the side bar. Seems like a lot less bother than all the clicking around the regular way.

[11 eggs today]
So far...
(another egg in the basket = 12 eggs today!)
Smiles
~:>

Monday, July 20, 2009

Late Snack

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This evening there were only 6 hens on their roosts getting settled for the night when I went to lock the coop. I went inside with a flashlight to count them before I locked the door. I don't want to lock some chickens out for the night. I have to be careful because there are some like Hen/Roo who stay out in the woods until it is almost dark. So I count. Tricky business counting chickens on the move. Yep, still 18 chickens.

The broody Wyandotte was in a nest box all fluffed up and cooing at me. The rest of the chickens were out in the pen having a late snack. Maybe it is too hot for them to eat during the day and they fill their crops before going to bed. They are not eating as much as the usually do during this hot weather. I think they spend most of the day under the house. Today I was ready to crawl under there and cool off with them.
This is the first batch of jeans that I cut up to use for piecing a quilt. I have since cut up another wash load of cloths. I think I will try to make a crib size quilt and a throw size quilt. It would be great if I could get three quilts out of the pile of pieces I have stacked. Next step is for me to start cutting small pieces of material for letters. I want to put names and words on the quilts. I use the Lazy Gal Quilting tutorial here to make the letters. I'm so glad I found her site here.

[8 eggs today]
Smiles
~:>

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Needs Eyes

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Kristine said that she is going to bring me home some googly eyes for this Snack Chicken. This is another find I made. I made this chicken over ten years ago and lost the basket it sat over during the move up here. The wings lift up so you can reach inside and pick up a goody.
Or you can just pop the chicken off the bowl. I found the bowl the other day and decided that instead of getting rid of it I might be able to use it with the chicken. It is not a great fit. The bowl should be taller to hold the chicken up higher, but it will work. Right now the bowl holds snack bars and candy. Any wrapped items should work out ok.

The chickens laid four eggs in the tall bottom nest box. I wonder if hens that usually lay eggs in the woods are laying in the coop or some hens have started laying every day? I check all the boxes carefully before I lock up at night, so I know the eggs aren't left over from the day before.

I have another load of old clothes in the wash that I'm getting ready to cut up for quilt piecing. I'll post a photo tomorrow. Maybe I'll even get another batch in the wash tomorrow. I have another box to look through. All the old hoodies and sweatshirts would make great backing for the jean quilts. I'm going to have fun with this project. I'm having to overcome my reluctance to cutting up clothing. But this a lot cheaper than buying fabric and a great way to recycle.

It was hot today. And it is going to be hot. It is 10:30 pm and it is 80 degrees in the house. Not too bad. No breeze. The fire is 100 percent contained. It burned 643 acres.

[Wow! 13 eggs today]
Smiles
~:>

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Snack Time

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This afternoon I went out to the coop and nailed the nest basket to the back wall. There was another egg by the basket on the floor. I guess the hen was worried the basket would tip over again? The hens have decided they really like the bottom nest box in the bookcase thingy that I turned around in hopes they would use instead of laying eggs in the dirt. I need to put some new straw in all the nest boxes, but I have been waiting for some cooler weather.

Or I could get up earlier. I have been going to bed late because I stay up until after the house cools down so I can close all the windows and doors and trap the cool air in the house. The cool air comes down the mountain around three in the morning.

I cut up the jeans into strips and sections that I can use to piece together for a quilt top. I still need to go through some of the old clothes for some other material. Colors or prints? I still have the Japanese quilt to make. Maybe if I can get this jean quilt made without the migraines attacking I can get back to the other quilt.

The hens appreciated the cold refrigerated peach and apples for their snack time. The chickens have a fun time chasing and running around with the "balls."

video
[9 eggs today]
Smiles
~:>

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gloves and Socks

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It's hot! I'm melting. Short post tonight. Here are two more neat things that I found that I want to hang on to for awhile because of sentiment. Also they don't take up much room and I may use the gloves and I just might try knitting again. The gloves are from Tom's Grandmother Mary.
And the knitting stuff is from Tom's mother Dolores. The sock patterns are for women's socks and for a man's tie. I think this stuff dates from the 50's, maybe before? I have a pair of socks she was knitting put away somewhere. I'll find them and put all this together. I would hate for this bit of family history to hit the garage sale. Who knows... I may finish up the sock someday?

We have fires in the area. Scary. The firefighters did a great job fighting the fire yesterday! This is the time of year I start thinking of moving to the Oregon or Washington coast so I can have all that lovely wet weather. We have months more of this bone dry weather. I can hope for rain but it isn't going to happen.
[9 eggs today]
One egg broke when the basket tipped over.
I'll have to nail the basket to the wall tomorrow!

Smiles
~:>

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jeans and Clothespins

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Isn't it thoughtful of Morgan and the hens to come and admire the clothespin bag I just hung out on the line. I really don't know why they are there. I didn't notice Morgan when I took the photo. I was just trying to get the chickens in the picture. The hens didn't stay there very long. I think they were scratching around in the dirt looking for something or were going to dust or they were watching me hoping for a treat?

While going though my stuff I found some jeans and then decided they would make a great bag for the clothespin bag that Tom found somewhere. It was very old and in dire need of a new bag. That whitish thing is the old bag. The poor thing was falling apart.

I went the easy route of just cutting off the legs and sewing two seams. I cut a few holes in the waistband to allow the metal ring to slide through. There was a wing nut faster thingy that came apart easy enough and I finally got the wires back in the right slots.

Since I found a good use for the old jeans I decided to make a quilt out of the rest of them and some old corduroy pants I found. This will save on me buying fabric and should be fun. I was reading this blog today that referred to a post here about using old clothes for quilts. So, I thought I would give it a try. I will have to go through the box of clothes again with the idea of using some of them for quilting. But I don't want a bunch of old clothes stuck in a box in a closet, so the clothes I decide to keep I will cut up into strips. My plan is to wash them, iron them and have them ready to sew. That's the plan. I have no idea why the text changed color. Must be something I did when I added color to the "here."

[11 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Egg In The Basket

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This basket is one of the things that I found when I was sorting through over thirty years of stuff to donate to our town garage sale. I have sooooo much stuff to get rid of that I don't know quite where to start. My approach so far has been to sort through small areas like closets.

I have moved on to a small storage area that has been used as a catch all spot. I am tossing stuff! All that stuff that was saved because we might need it, or once used it, or someone gave it to us, or it's was something the kids had or... There was some kind of reason it got put away. Now I only want to save things that I love, that I use, and that are too expensive to toss.

I remember talking to a lady once who said that people spend the first thirty years of their life collecting stuff and the next thirty years getting rid of it. Sounds about right to me.

Just once in awhile I see something that I think I might find a use for and keep the item. Amazing, but a chicken has decided that she likes the little basket and she has made a round little nest.

Cute. I will keep trying to get a photo of the hen in the basket. When I remember the camera the basket is empty. The hen I saw in the basket yesterday was a Dark Brahma. Today I gave the chickens a peach and two apples for a treat. I will try to get a video of the hens chasing the "ball." Pretty funny stuff!

[11 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Metal Corn Feeder

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All the feeders are hanging in the pen again. It is a good thing that the hens are not in the pen very long because the feeders are taking up a lot of the room. It was hard to get a photo because the hens were all moving around so much. Today they were very vocal. Noisy. Somedays I think they make more noise than a rooster. They don't seem to like the metal feeder. When I put the corn in the plastic feeder they would eat it all up in a day or two. Not so with this new feeder. It has been three days and the corn is only down a few inches. Interesting...
Lately I have been going through stuff to pack up and donate to a local town sale. I found this plastic table cloth and had the idea of using it as a top for the swing. The cloth top it had finally sun rotted and shredded and I was going to sew up a replacement, but I thought why not try this out and see how it works. I used a clip on each end and used some large gold safety pins along the sides with duct tape in the middle for strength. I was going to sew a pocket along each side for the rod, but I thought the stitching would act like a line of perforation and it would come apart fairly quickly. So, I used the duct tape and safety pins. It is colorful, keeps the sun off and it was quick. And I didn't have to buy anything. I like finding other uses for things.

[9 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Monday, July 13, 2009

Found Plants

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Today I wandered around the property looking for plants I could transplant to my little green garden. I think the plants I found are all native plants. But who knows? This area was all gone over many times by gold miners, then settled and abandoned and found again. Except for the poison oak and the California Rose here I don't know what these plants are. The first plants I found were a large crop of poison oak. Lovely green stuff. But, no. Next I found a little round leafed plant. So I dug this up.
Then I found this little ferny plant next to some poison oak. Dug it up.
Not the poison oak.
Next I found this little wild california rose. The ground is very dry and hard and the root is hard to get out. Didn't get much of a root on any of these plants, so I don't have too much hope of them taking root. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Then I found this little plant with pointy tip leaves.
It was hard to dig up.
Doesn't look like much. The little plants are all planted in among the myrtle and ivy and some other volunteers. Morgan is eating grass. There are only a few grass plants, but she found them. Now all I have to do is remember to water this spot every day and twice on very hot days. I still want to get some flowers. I'll see if I ever get to the store. Tom does the shopping. He is not interested in buying flowers. Maybe I'll ask Kristine. Maybe we can go shopping?

[9 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Green Garden

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Even though this hen is dark against the background she still has a way of blending in with the straw on the ground, especially the area around her head. The hens can practically disappear in the woods when they hold still. However, holding still is not something they do very often. I like this Dark Brahma for her hennyness. I just made that word up, but she does look to me like what a hen should be. And she is calm, sweet, and fluffy. And lays eggs!
This is my little green garden from the driveway and that is Morgan wondering why I shut the gate and didn't let her out when I left. See, ivy does well in the shade, summer and winter.
And here is the garden from the inside. Yes, I had Morgan sit so she would be in the photo. I haven't been to the store to get any plants. I think tomorrow I will walk around the property and see if I can find any volunteers growing. Maybe some natives? Most of the plants in this garden are myrtle or ivy. I'll see what I can find. I know there is a lot of poison oak out there. Poison oak is a lovely plant and very hardy, but I don't want to plant any in this space.

[9 eggs today]

Smiles
~:>