Monthly Archives: October 2010


How to Make a Beard

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Maybe you’re like I was last Halloween, two days before the big day and no costume. If you need a beard (like I did for Hubbs’ costume) and have a skein of yarn lying around, you can make one without … Continue reading

Its Tough Being Two…

The chicks are two weeks old, and their down is quickly being replaced by beautifully patterned feathers. Bear, in the first picture, is looking more like a scraggly teenaged turkey than the beautiful Wyandotte that she will grow up to be. But I understand, its awkward growing up sometimes. They spent an afternoon outside in the coop the other day where they were able to practice scratching for bugs in real dirt, and give their their growing wings a try. They’re turning out to be a great little chickens.





Six Vases Six Ways

Number Two of Six:


One Large Vase.



Plus some gravel from the yard.



Plus pretty candles from the clearance rack.



Makes a classy table decoration.



This is a great solution for unusually sized candles (like these ones!) that you might not have candlesticks for.

Important note: Be careful of getting too many flames burning at one time – the glass will heat up quickly and will melt the candles from the bottom up. So if you want the look of six candles in a jar, only burn a couple down at a time, don’t burn six at once as I did above for the picture.


So there I was, stranded, hungry, freezing, stuck in a stalled car on the side of the road, with the line of cars on the two lane road moving so slowly, help wouldn’t reach me for at least an hour … Continue reading

One Week Chickie Update

The chicks were one day old when we brought them home last Friday, making them one week old today. Its amazing how they’ve changed in such a short time!

Here’s what I’ve learned in my one week as a chicken owner:

1. Chicks are very possessive of their valuables. When a dried petal dropped in their pen, one of the chicks immediately snatched it up and took off with some impressive evasive action. Instantly that rose petal (which was too big for any of them to swallow, I might add) became the thing of value thing too every chick and there was an absolute frenzy in the pen as they dove, trampled, bounced their way through a huge game of keep-away.

2. Like most little ones, I suppose, chicks are surprisingly brave, and fortunately, resilient. For all the intensity of the flapping, their little wings don’t actually accomplish much. But that doesn’t seem to bother them. No matter how high they are in hand or on roost, they will confidently creep toward the edge, look down, and jump, flapping all the way and bouncing ungracefully as they land.

3. The downy look doesn’t last long. The fluffy feathers that make them such cuteĀ  little puffballs are already being replaced by fullgrown chicken feathers. Its amazing to see the beautifully layered wings and tail feathers that seem to be sprouting out of nowhere.

4. They like to cuddle. My mom tells a traumatic story of her little brother bringing his favorite banty hen to a backyard camp-out. Although to an eight year old snuggling with a warm cuddly chicken may seem like a great idea, the hen met a sad end during the night at the bottom of his sleeping bag. We too are trying to raise friendly hens (though not to be used as sleeping-bag buddies), which means we’re trying to get them very comfortable with us. One in particular naps in my hand as I sit at the computer or run around the house; I imagine protecting such a fragile little body to be an important task.

5. They are born knowing a whole lot. The chicks were likely hatched in a big egg incubator, shipped off to the feed store at one day old, and have never even seen a full grown chicken. Yet they know how to scratch and peck at the ground for food, that their wings work for flying (well, sort of), and that things they find on the ground (like rose petals) should be snatched up quickly and eaten.

So far, one week into it, Hubbs and I both agree that chicks were a really good decision.

Colorful Gardening

Another Saturday seminar with T got me all inspired to start on a winter Vegetable Garden. The teacher reviewed a long list of plants that should be started now in order to have a harvest through the upcoming cooler months. Some surprising recommendations for this area were strawberries, artichokes, and potatoes.

So now I’m home with my seed packets and my big ideas, and hope to get everything into the ground this week. (Look out green tomatoes still on the vine, your days may be few!)

I scattered Rainbow Swiss Chard seeds in the front flower bed – I think they should do well here with the regular sprinkler watering, and should make a colorful entrance to our front door. (I also expect to be disinclined to run across the sloshy grass to get to the garden for a rainy day harvest, and like the idea of “conveniently growing just outside”.)

These carrot seeds were highlighted in the seminar, what a fun surprise it will be to pull all colors of carrots out of the ground! These will make some beautiful pans of roasted vegetables when they are ripe. Or carrot cake? Wow, what about red carrot cake!

On the subject of beautiful vegetables, the other day some friends dropped off a box of Turkish Delight and a bag of the most richly inky purple Peruvian potatoes. They are in the oven roasting with a little olive oil, salt and pepper as I type this. I’ve never seen potatoes like this before and am sure that there’s some kind of great idea to be had involving white, sweet and purple potatoes… multi-colored fries? tri-colored scalloped potatoes? I’ll have to think about that one some more.

And as I think about that, I’m supposed to be planting everything this week! Where in the world do I get purple seed potatoes?


An October Day in the Wine Country

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Saturday afternoon we took a drive up to the beautiful Napa Valley. The vineyards had splotches of red where the Fall sun had done its work, and we could smell the sweetness of the grapes the farther down the Silverado … Continue reading