I’m better than you and I know more.

Just kidding. 🙂 I shocked you into reading though, right? 🙂

I have strong opinions. Do I need to say that? 🙂 In a perfect world, I wouldn’t need to write this post, but I know I make mistakes and I know perceptions and impressions sometimes get in the way of reality. I know I’m not alone in opinion-world. I’m not calling it “opinionated” because it’s not always “stubborn,” “unreasonable,” or “arrogant.” Although, I can admit, I am opinionated at times as well.

I am a person who loves to share information I’ve found, because if I found it helpful, it may be to you as well. It’s almost never to start a fight, or say “YOU’RE WRONG!” or “You don’t know how to do this, let me teach you.” That last one might be a small percentage of the time if you ask my husband. (“What’s the ‘right way’ to wash the dishes?” Errr…)

If I love a recipe, I love having a garden or chickens, I love a book or product, I share it…you might love it too! If I think something is unjust or outrageous, I share it to get the word out (not to scare you, but make you aware so it doesn’t happen to you or your loved ones!). If I’ve researched a subject or a candidate, I talk about what I think on the subject and share links to articles/blogs, etc on the matter. I try to keep my mouth shut about things I haven’t researched enough to carry on a full conversation about. And occasionally, I just keep my mouth shut when I think there’s no point in arguing over it because I know it’s such a split issue. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. All kinds of things are coming to mind as I type…

God, Syria, gun control, violence, human trafficking, big corporations, mainstream popularity, modern medicine, homesteading, food & drink, drugs, homosexuality, vaccines, the entertainment industry, the royal baby, teaching kids, TV…I could go on and on. Some of those things I have spoke out for or against or stated my opinion on the issue, and a few I have kept my mouth shut about.

I know I’m not cool, and I don’t care to be. In school when I was trying to figure out what “group” I was in (popular-cool kids, trouble makers, nerds, etc), I realized I was an “other.” For style, I choose things I like, not what’s in style at the moment. For beliefs (all sorts, not just religious), I don’t generally go with the majority or take what I’m told at face value. I seek out “options” and research & ask questions to find out what and why. It’s not that it’s fun to be in the “other” group. Sometimes it’s kinda lonely over here. But I can’t do life in any other group.

So I guess I just wanted to let you in on a few reasons why I post what I post and why I talk about what I talk about. I wanted you to hear what is in my heart when I post. I don’t like confrontation and I don’t wish to offend. I’m sorry if I’ve somehow hurt you. Please don’t think I am saying “I’m right, you’re wrong.” I just like stating my opinion! 🙂

Brooding.

Here are some of my favorite definitions of “brooding” from thefreedictionary.com…

brooding – sitting on eggs so as to hatch them by the warmth of the body
brooding – persistent morbid meditation on a problem
brooding – deeply or seriously thoughtful

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It’s kind of funny that “persistent morbid meditation on a problem” and “sitting on eggs” are definitions of the same word. 🙂 I think our broody hen, Red has been a lil bummed. She comes out of the nesting box in the mornings like me coming through a spider web…wings flying, muttering & sputtering, and running off into the distance! “GET…ME…OUTTA HERE!” She comes back a little while later after she’s had her “me time” to sit on her eggs. It takes about 21 days of a hen sitting on eggs to have them hatch without an incubator. If the weather is very hot, it may take a day or 2 less, and if the weather is cold, it may take a day or 2 more. TODAY is the day! It has been 21 days. We should find out soon if the chicks will make it, and if they were all fertilized. Red has been sectioned off with her eggs till they hatch, and then we will move them to their own area.

This is our first experience with hens (since March), and now, our first experience with a broody hen (other than our neighbor’s recently)! We adopted 2 little chicks from our neighbor’s hen whose other chicks didn’t make it. (Pics from a week ago first) They are getting feathered out and growing so fast! (Pics from today are at the end)

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We are planning on making another coop for Red and her new chicks and introducing the 2 we adopted to the group in a few weeks. We’ve read that it’s good to keep new chickens separated from the rest of the flock for a period of time to keep them from pecking each other too much (it’s natural to establish a “pecking order”) or spreading any possible diseases. We clean our coop frequently and provide fresh water and food daily, along with keeping a daily eye on their health, but we’d rather be safe than sorry since they are outside and they’ll free range most of the time when they’re old enough.

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Check out those markings! I think the darker one is going to look like his/her daddy!

“Life on the ‘farm’ is busy”

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When we were at my parents’ house a few weeks ago, I made D her first pancakes! My mom has a gluten, preservative-free type pancake mix (Pamela’s brand) and it was SUPER easy to mix up a little batch for the two of us. D loves “Meenas” (bananas), so I made her meena pancakes and used coconut oil. Mmm…she loved it. Of course, a lil bit of Michigan Maple Syrup (best in the world…like lots of things in MI!) helped make it amazing.

We had a ton of tomatoes and basil on the counter, so I chopped them up into tiny pieces and threw some on top of a plain pancake…it was actually SO GOOD! I would definitely do it again. It’s not something you’d put syrup on but it is really good. 🙂 Can you tell I like to experiment in the kitchen? Sometimes it pans out, sometimes it gets thrown out. 😉 I also usually skip the measuring cup. Just “feel it.”

 

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D loves her new sandbox! 🙂

 

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My lil farm girl loves going “Ou-side” and playing with the “bawwwwk baawwwks.” The chickens are used to her and Tuck running around with them and they go about their business as usual!

 

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Baby often steps on my feet when we’re outside! haha. It’s too funny. They all follow us around the yard like little ducks at times, but Baby is usually THAT close. 🙂

See that little tiny egg? There have been plenty of superstitions about those eggs…some good and some not so good! Some people call them “fairy eggs” and others call them “witch eggs.” It basically means the chickens system created the shell before the egg was fully developed. Not a problem unless it happens regularly. 🙂 The extra large egg directly across from the tiny one is most likely a “twin” egg…2 yolks! I thought this was a pretty fun collection! Hope you enjoyed it!

 

Friends & family, if you ever want to come out & see our chickens/garden & bring your kiddos for an educational & FUN “field trip,” just let me know! I’ll send you home with some farm-fresh eggs too!

Fun new playground!

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So the little lady got a fun new playground and we’ve been working on it this whole week. It has been pretty inexpensive (YAAAY! I love inexpensive!) for all the fun things we have in there! We had a little fencing and some stakes left from the garden, but we had to buy some of it…luckily, it was on sale! The neighbors gave us the swing since their kids are all older now, and we picked up the slide and sandbox toys for free at the garbage dump. (There’s a shed where you can put your nice, usable items for others to take! People HOVER over this shed because it is AWESOME! Think: Craigslist’s “free” board.) I have been searching Craigslist for the past few weeks looking for a sandbox and a playhouse. I finally found BOTH of them for $25!  We need to get a few bags of sand for the sandbox and we’re planning on using rubber mulch for the ground cover, and we’ll be done! 🙂 D absolutely loves it! She sat in the dirt the first night and just played quietly for a looong time, smiling away! It’s fenced in because, as you can see, we live in the woods. It’s difficult doing any yard work, chicken work, etc when there’s a toddler running into spider webs, falling on rocks, and tripping over roots & branches. So the fence is awesome. And the chickens are jealous and want in there. But they will poop, so they’re not allowed. 🙂

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Doesn’t her comb look awesome now? This is Baby, the first chicken we brought home. She was free because she was hurt and our neighbor didn’t think she’d make it. She’s super feisty and she follows me all around when we’re outside. She’ll eat any snake or insect she sees and she looks very healthy!

“Rubber mulch is expensive compared to other things! Why rubber mulch?” Well, when I asked on facebook, I heard yells of “NO SAND!” 🙂 It’ll get in kids’ crevices, in their pull-ups, in their clothes, etc and end up tracked all over the house. Regular mulch causes splinters, washes away easily, you have to replace it every year or few years, and it draws bugs. From websites about rubber mulch, it is…

  • Clean and odor free; reduces dirt, mud, and insects
  • Never rots or decomposes
  • 99.9% steel-free
  • Non-toxic; Non-abrasive; Non-staining
  • Lasts almost forever & you can spray it with a hose to clean it
  • Dries quickly, even after a storm
  • Soft & springy for falls
  • Reduces fungus, mold, and weeds

So, it’ll be a little more expensive at the beginning, but we’ll be able to keep it for a long, long time without having to replace it. 🙂 Here’s what else I’ve been doing lately…

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I’m very excited to sell hairbow holders in my shop now! I also have some awesome gift sets available and lots of new flowers! 🙂

I love this kid.

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“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3

I’ve met people in the past who had kids before they were ready to “settle down” and they had a constant attitude with their children. When their kids walked away, they told us not to have kids, implying that they are such a burden and so annoying. I really felt sad for them. Not just for the kids whose parents didn’t enjoy them being around, but also for the parents who were so focused on other things, they couldn’t enjoy those little gifts and invest in their lives. I will never forget that encounter, along with a few others like that. We promised each other our kids would never be a “burden” to us and we would enjoy those “gifts” as much as possible, if we ever had them.

Fast forward about 4-5 years.
Me: ACHOO!
D: Bess you.
Me: Thank you!
D: hahahahaha! Poon! Meena!
Me: Yeah, you’re using a spoon! Good job. But you already had a banana…a WHOLE banana!
D: Mo’? (while signing and making her sweet question face)

🙂 We have silly-sweet conversations like this all day long. When I leave, I get the bestest big kisses (with sound-effects) and the biggest monkey hugs (they’re monkey hugs because she wraps her whole little self around me and hangs on).

I get to teach her…the ABC song, flashcards, music, art, crazy-white-girl dance moves, singing along to songs we don’t know the words to so we make them up, every single little thing outside from the chickens and planting veggies in the garden to blowing dandelion seeds all over and playing “Bubblllllles!” in the grass, signing things around the house because she absolutely loves Baby Signing Time, how to make pizza, and how to take care of her babies, her doggie, and her daddy. Every little thing we do is a teachable moment, especially right now in this discovery age.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and glitter rainbows. We have bad moments. But she is truly a gift, and she is an incredible one.

Ooop, I gotta go.
D: “Baby time ceeg up. Ceeg up, ceeg up. B, ball. Poopy ballll.”
Translation: I would like to watch Baby Signing Time after we “clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere.” Then, we should do the ABC’s and talk about the B, ball. And then we should go outside to play with the dirty ball.

I’m becoming fluent in toddler-ese.

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I washed a book. It’s small and I’m guessing it was in somebody’s pocket. 🙂

Are you a chicken or a song bird?

The beautiful song birds flitter about doing their business…singing as they go, the most beautiful songs. Tiny little birdies with their vibrant colors…the chickadee with his black tie, the blue bird with his blue suede jacket and khaki undershirt, the yellowthroat and goldfinch on their way to a masquerade. Beautiful looks, beautiful songs, always with something important to do, always with a happy heart.

And then, there are the chickens…

I personally think ours are beautiful, but some are just plain ugly. Some of them need to take care of themselves a bit better…maybe a dust bath instead of bathing in mud? 🙂 Chickens are much larger birds, and they can become huge rather quickly. Here’s a picture of the biggest rooster I’ve ever seen. I call him Gigantor…

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Hens squawk and whine and the roosters make a constant, loud, annoying COCKADOODLEDOOOOOO!!!!!!! They walk around aimlessly like they have nothing to do. When they make their beds, they just kick some leaves up and sit down…good ’nuff. They’re quite simple, but they seem to enjoy it. And they lay eggs…Delicious eggs full of nutrition from their free-roaming lifestyle.

It’s easy to compare ourselves to other people…especially if they are seemingly more beautiful, have a more beautiful “song”, have seemingly more important things to do, etc. But we are each created with our own unique strengths and weaknesses, and each of us has a specific purpose. Sometimes it’s hard not to compare ourselves to people around us, and we can be our own worst judge. But God himself says, “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” So remember, when you feel like the tiniest little sparrow, or the dirtiest, ugliest chicken scratching around, you are far more valuable to your Heavenly Father. He created you in His image, He loves you beyond comprehension, and He has a plan for you!

 

 

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We saw some peacocks this weekend at a farm down the road and it reminded me of this post I started a while ago and never posted. 🙂 How beautiful is this bird!?

How does your garden grow?

IMG_5091 Keith & D eating sweet peas…this is where the story of Jack and the Beanstalk gets its name! 😉

IMG_5087 The tall one is dill…tastes like pickles! There’s some basil close to the ground and eucalyptus with little circular leaves behind all that.

IMG_5099 We think these are Roma tomatoes…but we’re not sure. 🙂

IMG_5098 Peppers on the left and tomatoes on the right.

IMG_5097 Tons of squash getting bigger! You can see one of the ollas in the middle of all the squash plants. Big ol’ slug in there apparently. Woops.

IMG_5095 Tons of tomato plants and tons of buds, flowers, and green tomatoes! 😀

IMG_5101 The garden view under the big top from the entrance. 🙂 It was getting too dark at this point.