hop on over to tend to see what’s happening in my garden.
happy weekend friends!
hop on over to tend to see what’s happening in my garden.
happy weekend friends!
oh my gosh it’s happening. it’s truly happening. and fast!
we are all so excited over here watching our home transform before our eyes.
it took me a little while to get used to how big the new addition looks from the outside and how different our house looks from our attached neighbor. but after a few days i began to fall in love and sort of like the whole off-kilter look. i like being a bit eccentric:)
we certainly are the tallest house on the block now and hannah’s view is amazing, overlooking the neighborhood roof tops.
one of her role models is julia butterfly hill who lived in a california redwood for almost two years. with her new room high up in the treetops she will feel a little like julia.
the roof and cedar shakes begin on monday along with the stair case and interior.
we are so very lucky to have been gifted this project by my dad and are so appreciative for his generosity. it still feels like a dream.
i love that we are getting closer and closer to using up every available inch in our home to it’s fullest. but don’t worry i have a few more ideas up my sleeve.
the girls and i spent last friday at chanticleer garden with my mom and my sis and little seamus too to celebrate mothers day.
we picnicked and strolled along admiring the beauty.
it was a perfect day and since this was our second year we declared it as an annual tradition.
our hens bring us so much joy.
so much that we can’t stop talking about them.
so much that we actually teach classes about them.
so much that i want to focus on them a bit more here in this space.
there is always something to say and learn from from them.
and since we have several people popping in here from time time who take our classes i thought it might be fun to write about some of our backyard chicken adventures.
i am working on a downloadable backyard chicken guide complete with photographs and even movie clips.
but for now let’s talk broody
meet lemon. our americauna hen. she may be the plainest looking of the flock but her eggs are a pale blue-green and she is the sweetest of hens. the first to roost up on her branch at night and the quietest of the bunch.
yes chickens actually have personalities. and each one of our hens has it’s own distinct traits.
last week we noticed lemon was inside the coop more than usual and a bit grumpy (not her usual self). when she would come out to the run she was puffed up and clucking quite a tune. some of the other hens would peck and chase her and she would run away and keep to herself.
we knew right away that lemon was “broody”
broodiness is the tendency to sit on a clutch of eggs to incubate them. it is innate in a female bird to want to hatch her eggs whether their eggs are fertilized or not. so since we do not have a rooster, poor little lemon would have sat their til the cows came home.
This can be a problem since when a hen becomes broody they become so focused on hatching those eggs that they go into a trance as they sit on their nest, forgetting to take care of themselves. They will not eat, drink or exercise leading to illness and possibly death. if you were in the mood for a few more chickens you do have the option of finding some fertilized eggs for your broody hen to hatch. but since we are quite content with our flock of four off we went to help lemon back to her old sweet self.
it is important to collect eggs daily and if possible as soon as they are laid. broody hens will not only sit on their own eggs but eggs of other hens as well, so collect all eggs. you may have to get right under her and take them. she may peck and scold you but remind her you love her and are doing this for her own good.
try to scoot her out into the run which may mean closing the door to the coop so she eats, drinks and socializes with the other hens.
a broody hen will raise her body temperature to prepare for the nesting phase.i had read about placing ice cubes on the nest or a dunk into a bath of cold water to cool her down. i however did not have the heart for this and thought i would rather try to focus on not letting her get too comfortable instead.
we scooted lemon out of the henhouse several times a day and even let her out to free range away from the other hens to get a break and be reminded of her normal chicken ways. we fed her sunflower seeds and let her romp around in the garden for a bit.
it took a few days of staying on top of her but soon she was back to her old self.
:: we rescued an abandoned baby squirrel who has claimed chris as his new mama. his name is earl
:: i came around from gardening out front to find a big bouquet of lilacs waiting for me on my back porch. after playing detective i figured out which neighbor was so kind and left a half dozen eggs on her porch.
:: i have been sleeping on sheets that were hung out on the laundry line two days ago and they still smell like sunshine.
:: i have claimed my front porch as the world’s largest terrarium.
:: i have planted swiss chard, kale, cucumbers, beans and zucchini on my front lawn.
a post is up over at tend
there are many fun and exciting things that are happening in our lives at the moment…..
:: you may have noticed that things are changing a little in this space.
we are working on sprucing things up a bit but are still focusing on the back end of things. there is now a new services page which we are excited about. we teach several different backyard classes and through these courses we have had many people email us asking for help in building coops, raised beds and consulting them on creating their own backyard space. chris is lined up until june with 3 coop jobs and a raised bed garden and i have several backyard chicken and small scale gardening classes to teach throughout the spring. since this is a side gig for us on top of our other jobs it has been time consuming but oh so fun!
:: i am running for borough council and campaigning has begun!
it has been fun meeting new people, knocking on doors and learning more and more about this little town i have lived in since i was 9 years old. never would i thought of doing something like this until several people in the community approached me and asked if i might consider it. my first reaction was “hell no!”. but it didn’t take long for me to get excited for a new challenge and turn my answer around to a “why not?!!!” i am excited about the possibility of being an integral part in helping to continue to move the incredible town that i live in forward in the right direction and make it the best it can be.
:: our attic project will begin next wednesday!!!
when we first moved here we considered our house a starter home.
it had 3 bedrooms but before we even moved in we took down the wall of the middle bedroom which made for a very dark and narrow hallway. i’ll never forget how exciting and fun it was to knock down the wall with our bare hands and throw all of the debris out the second story window dropping it into a dumpster below. taking the wall down created an open lofty type space where we would hang out in, read, watch movies etc. it really opened things up and brightened up the space. we figured that we would be moving over time so only having two bedrooms would be just fine for a few years. but here we still are 15 years later with 2 daughters. we have grown quite attached to this little neighborhood of ours, the community and our home. and as you might have guessed we aren’t going anywhere. we are staying put and we are all pretty darn happy about it.
the girls have been so good about sharing a small room together over the years. my mom always reminds me that this is how she grew up (with three girls all crammed into one bedroom with one drawer each for their belongings). we are good about living in a small space and not accumulating too much. we utilize our space well. and luckily for me, who is always looking for a new project, there is plenty of opportunities even in this little house of ours to expand a little.
starting next week the process will begin to make our attic into a room for hannah.
i have been collecting all sorts of inspiration over the last year and now the time has come to see it happen.
hannah is over the moon with excitement. that little sister of hers however has had her ups and downs with the fact that hannah gets the bigger room and one with it’s own set of stairs oh my! but i have heard hannah whisper to norah several times that she is always welcome for a visit. and yes there will be two twin beds up there for the many nights that i know hannah (who still likes to fall asleep alongside me and norah each night in my bed) will be inviting norah up for a sleepover.
laying around makes me grumpy but these photos of sunday’s breakfast cheered me up.
I am itching to get out into the garden. one thing i was able to do from bed was order a load of compost to be delivered today.
last weekend i gave a presentation on spirituality in the garden at a local church in town. when my neighbor asked me to be a part of the day i was hesitant since i don’t consider myself much of a religious person. she reassured me that i didn’t have to be and so i decided to take the challenge.
once i came up with my own personal definition of spirituality i could not stop writing. i put together a slide show of 100 photos and told a pictorial story about my own personal journey in the garden. each photo had a message of what the garden has taught me, given to me and opened my eyes to. i focused on abundance, acceptance, joy, creativity, reflection, connection, observance, inspiration, nourishment and appreciation.
putting this presentation together was such a gift and a reminder to appreciate all that i have. for me spirituality is a broader concept than religion. other expressions might include prayer, meditation, interactions with others and nature. all of which take place right inside my garden.
p.s. you may have noticed this little space here is going through some changes. my good friend kate is helping me switch things up a bit. thanks for your patience and stay tuned!
a new season over at tend has begun!!!
today was my first post of the year.
it warms my heart…
~to see how much you two enjoy one another.
~to find you reading to one another
~to find your dolls wrapped up in my scarves after a morning of play
~to hear you giggling in bed in the morning
~hear you hug and kiss at night and say i love you.
~norah,that you still call hannah sissy.
~to see how totally different you are from one another yet it is completely clear that you are sisters.
~to know that you will always be the best of friends.