Sunday, March 17, 2019

Keeping Chickens

Dear friends,

Thank you for your comments on my last post. You're just the best friends ever.  My intent was to reply to each comment, and then keep up, for goodness sake!...but I have failed again. I've been off in la la land and wondering if this new perm has affected my brain. I simply have not been able to post anything.  

However, Deb asked if I would talk a little about raising chickens...the pros and cons. Thank you Deb.

I'm simply terrible at doing something like this and won't be much help, but will tell you... 

We've had chickens around here for a long time. In fact, a little chicken house was the first thing Poppy and I built out here on our teeny tiny farm. I was so excited the day Poppy came home from work with three hens. These are Red Sex Links, he said. Good layers.

We've had many different breeds here since those days, and our favorites have been the Giant Brahmas, Speckled Sussex, Dominique and Plymouth Rock, the Buff Orpington, and these Araucana...

It's fun gathering the blue green eggs along with the regular eggs.  Araucana hens are sweet natured hens. 

Oh, and country fresh eggs are so much better than store bought eggs. That's a real plus!

This spring I hope to get few of the larger breed chicks to raise. Our flock has changed in the last few years and here's why.

You know how "Henny Penny Lane" seems to attract unwanted animals...well one day back in 2007 that little dark red game hen (in the above picture) showed up in our driveway, starving. We fed her, named her Jewel, and she stayed. Not only did she stay, she hatched dozens and dozens of baby chicks through the years, each chick carrying that "game" blood line. 

Little Jewel is no longer with us. She wandered too far one day, with her chicks, and a fox caught her. We have loved and cared for all these hens but want no more of that "game" blood line. Those game hens lay smaller eggs, like to fight, are ill natured, and good at flying over fences.

and here's a couple of pros... 

the joy and sweetness of baby chicks in the spring.

but there are times I've wished we didn't have chickens at all...

You see, I get attached to every animal that sets foot on this property, so there are sad times too. I've buried many a chicken here, and also cared for many sick or wounded chickens that, had I been a real old time farmer, would have put them down. But not me. For several years I cared for a one-legged rooster and that got to be "work".  

Keeping a chicken waterer clean can be a job. Algae makes the waterer look dirty. Seems like I am always cleaning them.  A little natural cider vinegar added to the water helps keep the algae away, and is also good for the hens. 

Keeping anything clean, in or around a chicken coop, is a job.  Chickens are messy! 

Then there's all that feed to buy and deal with. I keep buckets of feed in the pantry which keeps it dry, and also makes it easy to get together every morning. To me, this is fun. :)

Shiver...then there's rat snakes which had rather have eggs than rats. I vividly remember the day this picture was taken. I had walked in the chicken house to gather the eggs and met this fellow, then turned to leave, looked up and saw this one...

Two snakes! in the chicken house at the same time!

Our little chicken house has a dirt floor, (not a good thing), so I keep a thick layer of wheat straw or cheap hay covering the floor in the winter, then clean it out in summer months. Dust, cobwebs, and dirty roosts inside the house are pretty disgusting too.

But to me, the pros outweigh the cons. Makes me laugh to hear the chickens squawking and running toward the gate when they see me. Have you ever seen a chicken run? It's a funny sight. Have you ever heard a hen sing? Hope we always have chickens here on Henny Penny lane.

Oh, and just think of all the string you can save off those feed bags. :) 

I know, crazy, isn't it. But, I have saved every string off every bag of feed since day one. This is not a new picture. The ball of string is bigger now. I'll be back with a new picture.

Gosh, am I really going to publish this? Might as well. Deb, hope you aren't sorry you asked. 

Thank you friends!



Friday, March 8, 2019

Sewing and such

Don't you hate having several unfinished projects that you don't like and wish you had never started??

Pieces like that old poison green apron folded there on the white box, and that bonnet cut from black and white fabric, and that's not all, there's more inside the box,

so I'm throwing it all out and cutting some pretty pieces to work on.

Anyhow while getting rid of the ugly things, I noticed that American Girl doll (found at Goodwill) dressed in that green outfit I made...

I never did like that outfit. Green is just not my color, and the dress looks too puffy and big.

Neither is blue my color, but blue calico, now that's different...

To me, she looks much much sweeter, and wait til you see the 'new born' size sweater that was on the infant table at Goodwill...

So adorable. Looks like it was made for her. 

I am seriously thinking about making doll clothes to sell when Shelby and I do a craft show. That would be fun, and give me something different to work on.

Been thinking about that bird feeder/bird house?? on my last post as to what it really is??

Poppy says, "trust me, it is a bird feeder. The holes are way too big and there is a hole on each side".  So, should we go with what Poppy says? :) 

and here it is hanging on the front porch...

That is a funny little nuthatch hanging on. Like the chickadee, the nuthatch is a cute bird to watch, the way they scoot up and down trees. Sometimes coming down head first.

Looks like the well house needs to be leveled. As I've said before, our place reminds me of the old nursery rhyme...

There was a crooked man, he went a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile,
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

Sounds like our place, doesn't it??

We had a few, a very few, snow flurries this morning. But the rain has now pushed it's way back in and will be here until Sunday. 

Did I mention making doll clothes to sell? Here's my start on that big idea...
I cut out two pairs of excited! Couldn't wait to see one finished. Well, on the left is the finished pair...with two backs sewn together, hemmed and everything! The piece on top is the front of the overalls with the bib that was supposed to go with one of those back pieces. Darn it! Wouldn't you think I would have noticed having two back pieces pinned together!  Guess it will take my sewing time tonight to get this mess straightened out. 

Thank you for listening. :)


Sunday, March 3, 2019

We built a bridge!

Hey friends,

It sure is damp and gloomy here, again today. All gray and misting rain, making it feel much colder than it actually is. The heavy rain is just west of us, heading this way!

Mama used to say, "however your Monday starts off, that's how your week will be". Wonder if that holds true for the first day of the month.

Know what's funny?? I started this post on Friday the 1st, and those words still apply...waiting on the heavy rains.

But YAY!! It is March 1st 3rd and spring can't be far away.

This flowering quince started blooming in December and has not stopped. How cheerful is that! :)

A little story from yesterday. Boy, if only I had a "before" picture...

I don't have one, but can tell you the story is about that little foot bridge you can see way up there in the distance between me and the shop...

It was early morning, around 8:00. I was in the bunny lot, my last stop with the feed bucket before going back to the house, when I heard yelling, a man's voice, yelling!

Poppy and Eli, just minutes earlier, had walked past me and gone out of sight around the back of the house. There it was again, a man yelling, but what was he saying! "Dan", I yelled back, "was that you?"  No answer.  

I am deaf in one ear making it hard for me to tell what direction a sound is coming from.

Anyhow I hurried out of the bunny lot and came around the back side of the house to find Poppy crawling out of the ditch, (our wet weather creek), that runs along the back yard.

"I fell", he said. When he stepped onto that old thirty year old foot bridge, his foot went through the rotten wood, catching his leg which made his body twist around and fall into the deep wet leaves in the ditch. I was surprised the fall didn't break his leg, but Poppy is fine, thank goodness.  He has strong bones. I hate to think what would have happened had it been me who fell through...with osteoporosis. 

So yesterday we built a new bridge. I had the fun job of tearing the old bridge down while Poppy went to Rustic Building Supply for two 4" x 4" posts...

using what was left of that stack of boards Todd and Andee gave us. 

Every day, Eli, Weetie, Poppy, and I walked across that old bridge, and every day I would say to Poppy, "sure hope this bridge holds up". "This bridge is not going to fall", he would always say. Yeah right! Now we know!

So, here is our sturdy new bridge...

Oh, and that bird you like it? I simply fell in love with it and had to have it. It was only $6.00
and looks so pretty hanging under the eave of the house on the front porch. The little birds love it too. It's also pretty here with Randy's painting which is still displayed on this antique chair in the living room. I love it!

Gosh, I've talked your ears off. Sorry about that. I'll save the rest for next time. 


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

More Dolls

Lots of nights when I'm in the teeny tiny sewing room, instead of sewing, I pick up one of my sweet dolls. Last night it was this one...

Lucky me when I pulled her from a toy bin at a thrift store.

Like most Zaph dolls, she has a beautiful face and soft silky hair that feels real.

She is 11" tall. Just the perfect size to sew for. I made the little pink flowered dress.

Would you take a look at this sweet, dainty little baby's slip...

It is so delicate and I love the ruffle and lace and the tiny buttons on the shoulders. Another thrift store find.

There's just something about little baby sweaters, slips, and booties that I cannot resist...
like Hattie's sweet clothes.

On the subject of dolls, I have been working on a doll for my cousin Patty. I've posted about Patty before. She is the cousin who gave us the beautiful antique cupboard. Another neat fact, Patty and I are first and second cousins. Her mom and my mom are sisters and her dad and my dad are first cousins. 

Anyhow, cousin Patty and I are the same age, well, she is a tiny bit older than me; almost a year. :)  So waaaay back many many years ago Patty got this doll for Christmas. A boy baby doll...

Meet Danny Lloyd...

Over the years the doll's body had become ragged and worn. It was quite a surprise when the mailman delivered the doll to me with a note from Pat asking if I would give my best try at re-covering her treasured doll's body. 

well, I hardly knew where to begin, but I did give it my best try.

not perfect, but the best I could do. Do any of you remember this doll from the late 1940's or early 1950's? 

Patty would like to dress Danny in a vintage baby boy's outfit but I haven't found one yet, but did pick up this soft little outfit at the thrift store.

We have been blessed with two days of sunshine which helped dry things out some. But once again we have three more day of rain coming in, starting tomorrow.

Here it is bedtime once again, so I will say goodnight. Thank you for visiting. 


Saturday, February 23, 2019

A walk in the rain

Anybody wanna go play in the rain; maybe splash around in some big puddles? We've got just the place.

I carried the camera out with me to feed the animals this morning...

Here we go, down the steps with the bucket of feed...

and on down the path for hay that is stored in an old chest type freezer with no lid...

I ducked under the shelter and laid the umbrella across the mower then filled a bucket with hay...

Got the goats and chickens fed then walked around to the other side of the house for a look...
That's all the rich soil I hauled from behind the chicken lot. Thankfully, the newly placed bricks are holding back black mud.

Seems kinda foolish to fill the birdbath anymore.

Cedar trees hold lots of water...

Going on around passed the back porch, the pond is full and rushing over the spillway into the woods...way back there in that far corner...

Looks like those brick columns supporting the house are bracing, trying hard to keep the house from washing right down the hill and into the pond

meanwhile, on this end of the pond, the muddy water from off the side road pours steadily in...
why, straight down this hill under the muddy water are the stepping stones we use to cross over.

newly made streams rush through the woods from off the side road.

bringing in more and more muddy water...

and covering what's left of the teeny tiny pier...

So there, we've been all around the house. Thank you for walking with Weetie and me. It just feels good to show someone.

Hurry Weetie, let's go get a dry towel. 

We really do need a few sunny days now, just like you folks up north who are covered in snow. 

All this was early this morning. We've waited all day for a break in the rain for Eli's long walk, but there has not been one. Now we are going anyway. We'll bundle up and carry the umbrella and slosh up and down the muddy road.

Sorry for such a gloomy post. The weatherman says "tomorrow afternoon", look forward to tomorrow afternoon! The rain should end for a few days. Whew!

Dumperoo says "Hey" from a dry spot under the sewing table.