Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chicken Update...

This is the coop we have chosen to build for the four new hens we adopted at this year's Chickenstock 2010. We built the frame on Saturday and are now about half done stapling on the hardware cloth. John helped me toe nail the door after my weak attempt at making a door. I am terrible at toe nailing.

Here are our four feathered ladies. One Americauna (lays blue eggs/ dark brown), Two sex links (half barred rock, mixed with something else/ black), and a Cochin ( with fuzzy feet/ tan).

This is what the cochin will look like all grown up. Her name is Honey.

This is what the sex links will look like when all grown. We chose the sex links because the seller was very unsure about the genders of his chickens, and was sure that these two were girls. No roosters around here. Sex links are bred so you can tell the gender by their color alone. It is very hard to tell the gender of baby chickens, after the first couple of hours. I am still crossing my finger that none of then turn out to be roosters.

I had my heart set on Ameraucanas (easter eggers). They lay blue eggs, and I was told that this one will lay bright blue like her predecessors. This is what our Ameraucana will look like when grown.

I am building the coop during baby nap times and after the babies go to bed. I am hoping to finish up this weekend. John and I made a good dent in the progress this last Saturday. We still have to find names for three of the hens. Right now they are living in the dog kennel out back. They seem to be very happy, with a thick bedding of grass clippings and large helpings of greens from the yard everyday to compliment their usual feed. This is a fun little adventure. I almost "chickened out" the morning of chicken stock, after googling the cost of raising chickens, but I had a chat with a good friend that morning (just in time) to realize that this is not just about cheap eggs. This is all about the experience, my kids seeing the source of their food and finding an appreciation for life. I was raised with all kinds of animals, my favorite being rabbits. I have a feeling that the rabbits will make a return into our lives next spring, plus probably a couple more chickens.

The chickens are very fun, and the kids love to go out and "hug" a chicken. The coop does hold up to eight!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2010 Vanna Winners now posted Online!!!

The Grand Prize Winner

People definitely stepped it up this year!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

You think this is cute?!

You're wrong!!!

This is not a cute picture. This is a picture of someone about to be sued for property damage! This is the jerk that ate my plum tree!! (Well not the actual jerk, a facsimile from my local Google image search) I am sure that this little guy will grow up to be at least as big of b@&$*^& a@#$%& f%@#%^!!!

So, you probably need some back story to understand the depth of my fury. Yesterday, June 19th, 7pm, I came home with cayenne pepper spray and sprayed the hostas, jerusalem artichoke and other deer- eaten plants in the yard. So, good news.. the hostas and jerusalem artichoke are safe, for a few days until it rains, bad news.... the $11 bottle of pepper spray is almost gone and so are all the lower leaves of our brand new plum tree, 75% of our potato foliage, and 65% of my french sorrel!!! I was saving that sorrel!! I totally wanted to eat that sorrel, but I was growing it so it would go to seed and multiply like crazy!!! (This is when I hold down the shift key and start pressing numbers) !@#$%^&*( *))*^%#!!!!!! That is how I feel about the deer eating my vegetables. I want my vegetation back, plus $1,000,000,0000.51 for emotional trauma and damages.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Garden Tour 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Etsy how to: Upholstery

This video is great! These girls are just too adorable while working away. Makes me want to be an upholsterer.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vanna Contest: Results

June 7, 2010

RE: 2nd Annual Vanna’s Choice Contest

Dear Danielle,
I am excited to be able to share the good news that you have been selected as a Second Prize Winner in the Gifts & Crafts category in the 2nd Annual Vanna’s Choice contest.
Your entry, Crochet Reading Nook: Chair, Plant, and Taxidermy, was chosen from among thousands of creative and beautiful hand-crafted items made from Vanna’s Choice, Vanna’s Choice Baby, and/or Vanna’s Glamour yarns. On behalf of Michaels and the Lion Brand Yarn Company, I congratulate you on this exceptional achievement.

Your prize will be $500 USD. We will be sending your cash prize on or about August 1, 2010.
A photograph(s) of your entry will be posted to the contest website, It may also be featured on the Michaels and Lion Brand websites, and in press releases about the contest. We hope you have enjoyed being involved in this contest as much as we have enjoyed seeing your work.

David Blumenthal
President and CEO
Lion Brand Yarn Company

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gardening 101

Did you know that you can plant the leeks from the grocery store and eat them too?! I did not know this until Friday, and promptly went to the store, bought some leeks, cut off the bottom two inches (with the roots attached), stuck it in some dirt and went away for the weekend. I came back this evening (Sunday) and those stinking things already grew 1 1/2"!!! I just chopped up the rest of the leeks, added some salt and potatoes and am making up some soup. I can plant my leeks and eat them too!
Plus, the icing on the cake.... leeks are perennial. They will multiply and come back in my garden year after year.I have been gardening for a while now, maybe about 5 years, and I still have so much to learn. I am reading a great book, "Gardening when it counts", by Steve Solomon, and am only on chapter two. I have already learned so much. I just got to the chapter about using the proper garden tools and learned that my garden hoe is for weeding. Who knew? (don't answer that).Also, the deer are being a stinkin' pain in the butt this year!! AND this afternoon we discovered one of the reasons why! We saw our freakin' neighbor (with no gardens) throwing them freakin' apples (while trying to aim a bebe gun at their apple-eating rear ends [which may technically illegal this time of year]) Just to be clear, the bebe gun will not hurt the deer, they are stinking huge, it will only (at best) scare them away and (theoretically) train them not to return to this location. When my son did aim and hit one in the butt cheek, that stinking adorable garden monster ran about ten feet, then stopped and stared at us like we were idiots. We had brought a bebe gun to a food fight. (as opposed to 'a knife to a gun fight'... I don't know.. it seemed funny at the time... never mind. )


Our hosta garden looks like a stinkin' salad bar, our jerusalem artichokes are gnawed down to nubs, I saw them eating the apple tree BRANCHES!! I NEED MY FREAKIN' FENCE!! ( And new neighbors)
~love, Dani