Monday, February 28, 2011

More Life in the Run

Since reinforcing the chicken yard, Linus can't come and go as he pleases anymore.  He loved spending time with the chickens so I let him in with me when I go down to feed or just hang out. 

Yesterday he decided to stage an ambush behind the duck pond stones....this was just seconds before he leaped out and 'attacked' Orange Chicken.  She squawked and flapped her wings and let him know that was NOT appreciated.  Linus retreated, having lost that skirmish.  He's so good with them. He play stalks them and then when they turn on him, he runs for the hills.  I think all enjoy that game.

Warmer Days are Here Again

The weather is getting warmer, mid 70s this weekend.  Bella is getting bigger by the day. She and Linus have agreed to a sort of truce, so things have calmed down when they're both in the house.

I did catch her chewing on Linus' ear this morning. I can't believe he just laid there and allowed it.  But then again, Linus IS a way cool cat !

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More Pics of the Peeps !

The peeps at 6 days old...

The Girl in the Green Raincoat

I just finished Stuart Woods, Strategic Moves. Not really worth mentioning, except that I've got it listed on eay and already have two bids on it. The kind of book that you can read before you fall asleep at night and if you don't remember what you read the night before, it doesn't really matter. 

 My next book is The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman. I've read two other of her books and really enjoyed them so I'm looking forward to this one.

Update: Pretty good, quick easy reading.

Bella is growing up

Bella is getting big. She's almost ten weeks old now. 
Lots of playing, biting and chewing in between lots of naps.

New Baby Chicks !

It has been two months since I lost most of my chickens and my duck Puddles to the fox attack. I still miss them every day. I can't believe how much I looked forward every morning to letting them out of the coop and saying good morning. 

Happily tho, I received my batch of  a dozen chicks this past Wednesday.  So now besides a nine-week old puppy, we have 12 chicks living in our laundry room in a plastic storage bin !

This is Samantha.  She is an Australorp and will be glossy black, like my hen Charlotte, and lay pinkish eggs.

Here they are right after I got them.  There are some Americaunas that lay blue/green eggs, Australorps that lay pink, Buffs that lay brown and Cuckoo Marans that lay chocolate brown.

This is Grace, the yellow Buff, Samantha and an as-of-yet unnamed Cuckoo Marans in the foreground.

Grace, named in honor of my favorite Buff hen Gracie who we lost in December.

I will keep posting photos as the chicks get bigger.  They will be inside for about 5 weeks and then it should be warm enough for them to spend days outside.

In April I will be getting some Rouen ducks and some Salmon Faverolles and Blue Cochin chicks.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bunny Poop and Spring Cookies

Cooler today.  I did three loads of laundry and than debated weeding the gardens, flower and vegetable, but decided I would wait for a warmer day . I did find these pretty purple flowers - not sure if they're crocuses or not - and if you look closely you will see the bunny poop there on the right side. 

I had a special request for more shortbread cookies so I made round ones with time with yellow vanilla icing.  Yum !  We discovered they are just as tasty no matter what color you frost them !

My new baby chicks hatched today somewhere in Ohio. They should ship on Tuesday and arrive Wednesday. I am SO excited ! Its been a long time since we've had chicks in the garage. 

I dropped an egg this morning in the dirt in the paddock area and it bounced, it didn't break.  Those are strong shells.  My hens are getting their calcium evidently.  More later this week when the peeps arrive.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chicken Village Updates

Beautiful warm weather this week allowed me to finish some outdoor projects down in Chicken Village.
I finally got the cedar shingles on the roof of the lean-to.  I love the metal Farm Fresh Egg sign and the white ladder up to the loft.

I also swapped out the regular silver hinges on the coop for black barn-style hinges and painted the knobs black. A few dollars more but so worth it.  I love the rustic look !

 I also painted my portable nesting box red and moved it into the bunker - ready for the little peeps once they are big enough to spend warm sunny days outside.  The hens weren't using it anyway and it will be perfect  for providing some shelter for the little ones.  This way in their 'cage within the yard', the older hens can see the peeps but not get at them for a few weeks until the are big enough to let out into the yard.

Easy Breezy Saturday Afternoon

Today was a beautiful day, a bit windy, but warm and sunny and you can tell spring is right around the corner.  We took a walk just before dinner with Baby Bella.

This was after an afternoon of rolling in the dead, dry grass.  Apparently today was Dirty, Filthy Pet Day ! 

I collected an egg from each of the three hens...

On a sad note, it appears that Linus ate a bluebird for lunch today. I hate to see that, but he's just doing what cats do.

The wind blew down some giant pinecones.  More for the baskets that are already all around the house.

All in all a beautiful day to spend with our furry and feathered family.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck and fall in love whenever you can.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Laundress

The time of year has arrived to wash and put up my cashmere sweaters. My absolute favorite hand wash liquid is The Laundress. 

Wool & Cashmere Shampoo smells like cedar. I wash all my wool and cashmere sweaters in it.
The Delicate Wash Shampoo is called Lady  and has just a faint fresh smell, nothing overpowering.

I buy mine at or A little goes a long way, so one bottle of the Cashmere Shampoo usually lasts me two seasons.

Brown Eggs

My three hens all lay brown eggs, but each is a slightly different shade so I can actually tell which hens has laid which egg. 

I have a dozen chicks coming next week that will lay pinkish, blue/green and chocolate brown eggs probably by July.

I have been collecting eggs every day now for almost 2 years and I still get excited when I see one in the nesting box !  Its like Easter every day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bella Loves Baskets

I lost track of Bella for awhile this afternoon while I was frosting my Valentine cookies. I finally found her sleeping in a basket in the guest bathroom.  Funny girl !

Happy Valentine's Day

These vanilla shortbread cookies are tiny - only about an inch and a quarter across - which makes them easy to pop into your mouth a few at a time.  I frosted them with glaze that I tinted three different shades of pink.
They were a big hit with my Valentine !


Cream 2 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter with 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar.  Add 1T. vanilla bean paste, 1 t. baking powder and 2 cups flour gradually, on low speed.  Mix until just blended.

Form dough into a ball, flatten and wrap in saran wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment. Roll out dough and cut out cookies with mini heart cutter. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown around the edges.

For the icing, whisk together 1-1/4 cup of sifted powdered sugar, 1T milk and 3/4 t. vanilla extract.  Tint a third of the glaze with one drop red food coloring, another third with two drops red food coloring and the rest with three drops.  Dip twenty cookies into each tinted glaze to cover just the top and let dry completely.
Store at room temperature up to a week or freeze.

Makes approximately 60 cookies.