Thursday 31 July 2014

Meet The New Gals!

Guess what I found in my chicken coop when I came home from dining at a friend's house last night?  I thought it very strange that Kay wasn't settled on her perch at 8:30 in the evening.  She's a stickler for an early bedtime and huffs and puffs at me if I'm late closing up the coop for the night.  She was pacing back and forth in front of the little quarantine coop.  As I reached down to pick her up and settle her in for the night, I realized my neighbour had delivered the chickens I was rescuing from an organic farm.

These poor ladies aren't laying up to commercial standards anymore and their days were numbered.

Vivian doesn't know what her fate was soon to be and looks unimpressed with the new digs. ~

These are all heritage breeds and she may be an Orpington.  She's named after an aunt that had hair that colour.  I think Auntie Viv would be okay with that.

It turns out Viv is a bit of a troublemaker.  The teenage girl next door brought the chickens home from the farm for me.  Since I wasn't home, she was worried the chickens would be uncomfortable in the cat carriers. Her dad told her not to let the chickens out but she figured they were fine in her rabbit run, with a 4' fence.

Viv flew out of there in a flash and the other two followed hot on her heels.  Now Mom, Dad and all three daughters were chasing wild chickens all over the village.  They told me those girls can certainly run!  I would give anything to have a picture of the dad racing through back yards with a pink butterfly net!  Yep, that's what he did.  The mom was shouting directions like, "We all have to work together to herd them into one spot." and "Everybody stop running in different directions.  We have to fan out and force them toward the coop."  From the tone of her voice when she told the tale, I don't think anyone listened to her.

This is Josie and I'm plum out of aunts to name my chickens after.  Josie is the last. ~

I think she may be a New Hampshire Red and they are noted for their aggression.  I can certainly tell you she gives a mean bite if you try to take an egg out from under her!

Just as I was out of auntie names to use, my niece asked if I would name a chicken after her some time. Wish fulfilled!  Meet Camryn and she's just as sweet tempered as my niece. ~

Kay and Ann are not pleased to be locked out of the run while the new gals get some exercise. ~

I'm pretty sure they were muttering about the indignity of having their supper al fresco.

For the next week I'll be shuffling chickens in and out of that run throughout the day, until they get used to each other.

In the meantime they have to content themselves with fluffing up their feathers and standing as tall as they can while they peck each other through the fence.

Let the Hunger Games begin! ~

I don't think my two coddled girls are going to win the fight with the gals from the big barn!

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Dressing Up The Jam

With the computer being on the blink for a week, I've had lots time to gather this years raspberry crop and the first thing I did was make jam.  This is a bad thing because I love homemade raspberry jam and eat far too much of it!

The secret to great jam is adding some wild blackcaps if you can find them.

My friend, Wendy, was dressing her's up with a cute polka dot top made from cupcake liners and I thought I'd just steal that idea from her.

Mine were plain, old white but I thought I could fancy them up a bit with alphabet stamps. ~

This was so easy peasy and a wonderful way to do up sealer jars as gifts.  I fit the cupcake liner over the cap and screwed the ring on.  Of course, this was done after the jars had cooled and sealed. ~

Now, my jam wears the cutest, pleated mini skirt! ~

I'm still working on the computer issues and my niece (remember the delinquent 13 yr. old that was sent here last summer without any of her electronics?) is here for a week, so posting may be a bit hit and miss for a bit. You'll be glad to know the delinquent is here of her own free will this year and passed into high school with honours and awards.

I'd like to take credit for that but I'm thinking her dad slightly exaggerated the situation last year.  She sure never did anything close to as bad as I did as a teenager and look at me now.

I dress up jam jars for excitement!

I'm sharing with Make It Pretty MondayInspire Me MondayShow And Share PartyInspire Me Monday

Tuesday 8 July 2014

If A Tree Falls In The Forest ...

The question is, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one sees it, did it every really happen?" and I don't know the answer to that metaphysical question.  I do know that if a dearly beloved tree falls in my village I know it happened!

For thirty-three years I have looked out my kitchen window and admired an old, towering sugar maple in the church yard.

And then this happened during a wind storm. I heard the creaking and cracking and went outside just in time to see her go over. ~

She has laid her weary arms down and the men with saws have chopped her up and taken her away.  I mourn that beautiful tree.

I will never see her out my kitchen window again.

All is not lost, though.  Many years ago I said I would love to have a picture of that tree in every season. Life was busy with work and children, I didn't have a decent camera and I never took the pictures.

For a full year, whenever I was away from home, my dad came and took a shot of the tree from just outside my kitchen window. ~

He never said a word about it until he had all four photos for me.  It meant a great deal to know he was paying attention to even the little things that mattered to me and would put the effort into seeing it was done. ~

My dad is gone and the tree is gone, but the pictures will serve as a reminder of all that was lovely in my life. 

I hope I pay as careful attention when people are talking to me as my dad did twenty years ago.

Friday 4 July 2014

It's All About The Little House

My sister and I squealed with glee when we found a full set of Little House On The Prairie books at a flea market yesterday.  This is the time of the year when I reread Laura Ingalls Wilder's charming books of growing up in a pioneer family.  But, the set of books I always read belonged to my daughter, Farm Girl, and she took them to read to her own three little girls.

The set I bought look to have been well read and that doesn't bother me a bit. ~ 

I absolutely love all the details of every day life that the author wove into her stories!  My favourite books in the series are Little House In The Big woods, where Ma and Pa use ingenuity, skill and hard work to provide a cosy home and life for their family and Farmer Boy, the story of Laura's husband Almanzo growing up on a prosperous farm in upstate New York.

It inspires me to plant and weed, can and preserve, and provide for myself in a wholesome, self sufficient fashion.  It's also just plain fun to read Almanzo's memories of bounty that his hard working parents were able to provide in his youth.

"He stopped just a minute at the pantry door.  Mother was straining the milk at the far end of the long pantry ... The shelves on both sides were loaded with good things to eat. Big yellow cheeses were stacked there, and large brown cakes of maple sugar, and there were crusty loaves of fresh-baked bread, and four large cakes, and one whole shelf full of pies ..."

Don't even think of reading this book if you are on a diet!

I settled right into a chair on the porch, with a cup of Chai tea, and began to read. ~

This time around, I feel even closer to Laura Ingalls.  I know the family personally now. It was one of those strange things where you are following a blog and making the odd comment and I liked the comments another reader was leaving. She also was a blogger.  Then I noticed her name. Could it possibly be? Could I really be looking at someone named Laura Ingalls Gunn.  Now, either her mother was a big fan of the books or she was a relative and I had to check out her blog Decor To Adore and find out.

She is Laura Ingalls Wilder's great granddaughter. I was so excited that I wanted to run around the house yelling Pa, Pa! 

And she's everything you would hope she would be because don't we just hate to see the offspring of icons turn out badly? I do. ~ 

She's a professional decorator, full time college student, photographer, crafter, wife and mother.  She's kind and thoughtful and shares her joys and even some of her troubles with her readers.  She takes us with her on her travels and her years as a military wife have made her into a very good traveler.

She shares her decorating knowledge, her interests and her creativity with us and she's very conscious of keeping it all to a budget. ~

You really should pop over to Decor To Adore.  You'll like her.  I promise!  Then, you can tell your friends you are friends with the family, too.

I think Laura Ingalls Wilder would be pleased that my granddaughters are loving her books as much as their mother and I did.  The live on a farm and can relate to the tasks that every member of the family had to do to make it all work.

I even think she would laugh to see Amish Girl balancing her pet chick on her head! ~

I hope you all join me on the Banks Of Plum Creek, or at least the banks of the river behind my house!