Chicken School


I have really enjoyed watching our chickens grow and develop.  I’ll fill you in on some of their happenings in a post soon, but thought I’d share things I never knew before this chicken experience (which started in September)

1)  Chickens stand on 1 leg a lot of the time

2)  Roosters can only crow with both feet on the ground

3)  Roosters can crow while walking/running

4)  Hens need their egg shells back (ground up in their food) OR oyster shells so that they can continue to lay eggs

5)  Green eggs (the shells, not the innards) have lower cholesterol than brown or white eggs. 

6)  Roosters don’t only crow in the very early morning – they crow all day long

7)  Crowing is the way a rooster greets you – they’re great "watch dogs" because they let you know when people arrive, or when surroundings change

8)  Chickens will eat ANYthing . . . food scraps, banana peels, slop, you name it . . . I think they’re pigs with beaks

9)  Chickens are social, and prefer to hang around people.  They will also wonder (in a "herd") quite far away from their coop, but will come back at roosting time

10)  Roosters don’t crow at sun-up.  They crow well before the sun even thinks about rising – as early as 3am.  Jennifer suggested they do this so I’d know where to aim a gun.  I’ve been tempted.

Icy Skies


Hello to all my skywatch friends . . . it’s been fun visiting your amazing sites and seeing your photos.  I have not been leaving comments, but I have been stopping by.  You continue to inspire me! 

I’m doing a bit of catch-up here – about a month ago it was COLD – spring was in the air, and then it just reversed itself and turned back to winter.


The trees look misty, but they weren’t really . . . it was ICE.  brrrrrrr.  Check this out (sorry for the blur)


The ice stuck around just about all day because temperatures didn’t get high enough to melt it. 


You can see hundreds of amazing skies by visiting the skywatch blog here.

Make me laugh


We (my kids’ school) took a field trip to a nearby lake that happens to be in a cave.  I don’t really do caves.  There is a cave on my in-law’s property that is quite the destination, apparently.  There are huge rooms (I’ve heard) and slithery trails.  And endangered bats that the state protects by locking the gate every winter.  People LOVE going through there in the summer time (a perfect 60-degree hike in crazy hot summers).  I have never been in that cave.  Ever.  Not even when Prince Farming and I were dating.  Which is a bit of a sore point for some (a-hem) but I’ve set my boundary and I’m sticking to it (at least in this case).  Which wasn’t really well-thought-through on my part when I chose to go on this field trip.  ANYway, that’s not what this post is about.  I took some of the kids through the little tourist-trap gift store.  This caught my attention and tickled my funny bone.

So, now the record is set. 

Top ____ List . . .


I was going to make this a "Top Ten" list, but then I wasn’t sure how many things I’d end up with.  My next option was a "Top xx List" but then I worried about what kind of hits and nonsense that would produce.  So I’ll stick with a less conspicuous and more ambiguous option.

This is a list of things I could blog about but a) didn’t; b) won’t; c) can’t;  d) shouldn’t or e) might still

1)  The chickens’ first eggs

2)  Landscaping my yard – the strong desire and almost a vision of what should happen, but strong doubt that the inspiration will stick for longer than the rain.

3)  Grass planting and the agony of spreading hay over the seed all by myself because my kids went camping and Farming had to drive for 3 hours to get the fertilizer and then spread it so our farming day "together" ended up with me unrolling 3 huge bales of hay that I spent less painful hours last year putting into the bales.  And I’m not done.  But I am still sore.  ALL over.  (hey – that’s an entire blog entry right there)

4)  My precious daughter’s 13th birthday surprise

5)  Learning how to ride a dirt bike with a clutch (that would be me)

6)  My commitment to blog 10 times in the next 20 days with no whining, apologies, or fear/hang-ups

7)  The behindness of where I am with work and other assignments  (don’t tell anyone)

8)  A very fun trip to Charlotte to visit friends over Easter

9)  Stamping that I’ve done and still wish to do

10)  A stamp room that is photo-worthy for an "after" shot (I already have several "before" shots that could be recipient of some sort of "least inspiring of creativity" award).

11)  A link to a cousin’s site introducing his amazing work with "World Outside My Shoes" – look for a book in the near future

12)  Observations of Prince Farming’s 25th Highschool Reunion

13)  Book reports on my new pass-time (audiobooks – have to LOVE that invention (or discovery) coupled with iPhone)

14)  The chicken’s new house and their general life to date

15)  Spring time beauty on the farm

16) The death of a cow.  And a few chickens.

17)  A wonderful and stress-less weekend with Prince Farming while the kids were gone

18) The search for a boot jack or pattern for DIY

19) My kids’ "summer jobs"

20) More sky watch posts





Miscellaneous Sky



This is a random post from skies past.  This first one was from last year when I went to Bermuda for a week.  We had a blast – just a girls trip (well, and Prince Charming).  My creative and wonderful friend from took me as her guest. (Note:  Amy is NOT taking me to Hawaii this month . . . her husband decided it was his turn.  Whatever).   It was incredibly windy for part of the trip, but you’d never know it from this picture.


This next shot is more recent . . . we’d had a huge bonfire on a Friday night in early February.  The next day, the cows were warming themselves by the coals – in fact they visited that area for several days in an attempt at staying warm.  It reminded me of Farside jokes from long ago . . .


And, for those of you who have been missing it, here’s a shot of our pond – in the winter time.  Some time I’ll post a photo of the kids playing on the pond – for now, this is an undesturbed pond in the winter time. 


You can see more photos of skies (and ponds and even animals) from around the world by visiting here.  Happy Skywatch Friday!

Blogging the Past


Here’s something that should have been blogged, but missed it’s time. . . and alas there are no photos.  It was a photo-worthy and bloggable thing for sure. 

We’ve been having some amazing weather.  The contrast between hot and cold on two different days is crazy.  And the wind!!  It’s been so cool to watch and hear.  We were home on a day off (President’s day or another day when the teachers had inservice) and the forecast predicted strong weather.  With the radio on, the "weather alert" was going nuts – every few minutes that disturbing, belching and mechanical "beep, beep, beep . . . we interrupt this broadcast with a special weather update . . . " with tornado warnings and watches and strong wind advisaries.  Living on a hill with a panoramic view is awesome at times like this – you can see the wind, but can’t feel it.  I love that!  And when it rains, it feels like you’re sitting right in the rain, but you don’t get wet.  It’s the coolest thing.  Anyway – we were home, and the winds were picking up speed.  We kept saying "the trampoline is going to fly" and we watched it – and it lifted and lowered, but didn’t move.  Until one huge blast of wind picked it up and threw it down the hill and across the drive way.  It was like the thing weighed less than a feather – it was so effortless.  The rain was coming down in torrents and so some of our visibiiity was obstructed.  When it cleared enough for us to see, the trampoline was upright against the neighbor’s fence.  Upon closer inspection (after the storm) we saw that part of it was over the fence.  There were trampoline parts all the way down the hill (mostly springs).

A couple of weeks after the storm, we had a house-full of guests.  Prince Farming suggested we use the man-power to bring the trampoline back up the hill (makes a person want to stop in for a cup of tea, doesn’t it?).  It wasn’t too difficult with all of us – and we had the kids do a sweep of the hill for missing parts.  Almost half the springs were "sprung" all over the place.  We dragged the trampoline up and put it back where it had started, but it wasn’t "jumpable" yet – two of the legs had been ripped right off.

Last week Prince Farming got home from work "early" (still daylight).  He went down and got the welder from the shed and I found all the extension cords I could in the garage.  We figured out which leg parts went where and did the necessary repair.  We had to bend some of the net-braces up and fenangle a few other parts to fit – but we finally got the trampline looking almost like it used to.  There is a significant bend on one edge which gives the trampoline an almost egg-like appearance, and the kids say it doesn’t have as much bounce – but at least it’s useable for getting rid of the extra energy and craziness that periodically occurs in smallish people.

Isn’t it great to have someone around who can fix things!?  In a former life, that trampoline would have sat there, on it’s end, till it naturally deteriorated.  Or it would have been dragged to some trampline graveyard heap.  Prince Farming can mostly fix anything!!

Finally Friday


Or maybe I should say "finally skywatch."  I’m reluctant to post (more reluctant about that than being a farm chik at this point), but am being sucked in by the amazing shots I’m seeing as I scroll through the skywatch list (1st time in many moons, it seems).  Your photos inspire me.  So I’ll share too.  No pond today -it’s still out there, just not recently photographed, I don’t think.  Let’s see what’s on my my desk top.

Oh yes – this was when we were clearing behind (actually in front of) our house.  We also needed wood for our outdoor furnace (that heats our home and water during the winter).  My son and I started this fire with all the scraps – the stuff that isn’t worth hauling over to the furnace.  Great fun.  We’ve had several big fires lately.  Luckily all of them controlled and contained.

Let’s see if there’s a sky picture somewhere.

Yes – this is on the way back from the in-law’s.  The horse mail box is just out of sight to your right.  I took this shot because of the amazing moon hanging out above the cloud, but my iphone camera doesn’t have a zoom (or any other feature other than "click") so the clouds are more impressive than the moon.  And the partial wooden fence adds character too.

You can see more amazing sky pictures from all over by clicking here.

The Sun Will Come Out . . .


Hey look – I managed to figure out how to log on to my blog again!  It’s crazy how that works.  If I don’t do something often, I forget.  It freaks me out sometimes to think that something so simple can be pushed to such deep recesses in my mind that I struggle to access it.  Not that it’s such a huge deal.  It’s just that it happens more than I’d really care to admit in areas that are a bit more critical than blog access.  It makes me wonder if this is how I am at 40-something, what’s going to happen in 10 or more years?!?!  I have notebooks with user names and passwords and information to remember . . . sometimes I have a very vivid memory of "I didn’t write that down because I KNEW there’s no way I’d forget it . . . .now what was it!?!  Anyway . . . that’s not what this post is about.

This is a big step – this posting of a new blog entry.  Life got a little nuts – you might recognize the decline in the last several posts over a month (or more) ago.  The desire to stay with it – to keep producing.  To have the outlet.  But I couldn’t maintain it.  I was kidding myself.  Kind of like "if my life on the blog looks okay, then my life must really be okay."   I couldn’t keep all the balls in the air.  So I dropped them.  Just about all of them.  Very recently when I logged back onto my Facebook account, an epiphany struck.  I was trying to think about a status update.  I wanted it to say something about seeing the light – being able to take on life with a bit more courage and energy.  I had the analogy of a cave in my mind.  A hiding place (by the way, I hate caves – claustrophobia and I are pretty tight).  And when I started entering the status, it came out as "I’m almost done caving."   I’ve been working hard on not caving.  Caving as in "giving up" or "giving in."   But as I contemplated that status, I realized that I had been giving in – to a large extent.  And the strength that I am fighting for, that I am seeking after, is actually the strength I need to just BE.   No giving in.  No escaping.  No caving. 

Thank you to those who have continued dropping by to check on me.  Forgive me for not responding.  I didn’t have anything to say.  I still don’t have a lot to say.  What needs to work through my system will continue its journey.  I will share where I’m able and deal with the rest.  And I’ll lose the cave analogy.  Spring time will probably help. 

See you on the blog . . . and I’ll be visiting some too – as I am able. 

Now I have to check my anti-caving sentiment.   Can I click "publish"?



Finally Flying – Skywatch


Happy Skywatch Friday.  And an especially happy New Years to all my skywatch friends.  This has been a fun thing for me this year – and I appreciate your kind visits and comments.

The weather finally cooperated on Sunday.  My brother checked the weather and deemed it acceptable for flying.  And really, it was perfect.  I won’t spill all the fun beans on one post, but here were the highlights.

There’s my pond . . . that little puddle near the tree line.  Pretty wild, huh?  And the barns look like Monopoly houses.  This was so much fun.


When we weren’t farming we used to spend LOTS of time here – at the lake.  The water is low because the lake is used to generate electricity in the winter time.  During the summer it fills up (provided there is not a drought) and it’s a wonderful play place.  The dock nearest the center of the picture is the family lake house.  We all share it – and can play on the water any time we want.  It’s about 45 minutes away from where we live (by windy roads).


This characterizes the area pretty well – lots of rolling hills/mountains.  Very little is cleared. 


I loved being in the plane – my brother is an amazing pilot who was very generous with his time and resources. 


Hope your skies are clear and your 2009 is beautiful.  You can see other skies from all over the world by visiting here.

Fly-free Sky


One of my brothers and his wife are visiting for Christmas.  It’s so much fun having them over.  One of the things we (especially my kids) have been anticipating is his taking us flying.  He is a flight instructor and he promised to fly us over the farm and the area.  We were going to go out on Tuesday, and he took his check-flight and everything, but the plane he had reserved was broken (they found out when they were still on the ground).  So we stayed safely down.  Wednesday was rainy and not great for flying.  SO, the plan to post a flying Skywatch was nixed.

SO, the backup picture is one my daughter took with her new Christmas camera.  Just this morning.  Over the farm.  And the cows.  And the not-lately-seen pond.  I know you’ve been missing it dreadfully.  The sky is perfectly clear today.  Would be a great flying day, but we’ll be stuffing ourselves and enjoying family and opening presents.  Hopefully the weather obliges us tomorrow so next week you can have a fly-sky-watch.

You can see other Christmas Sky pictures from around the world by visiting here.  Maybe you can join too – so we can see YOUR sky!

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