Friday, March 28, 2008

The gleaners

For some reason I find this incredibly cute:

The s.o. is tilling one of the chicken runs for replanting. At first, all the chickens ran for cover--the tiller is a loud beast. But gradually they re-emerged, and now there is a little flock of brave chickens following the tiller and scratching out all the bugs and grubs that it exposes.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Late bunny

I have been meaning to post this photo for exactly as many days as you might infer. I was thrilled with my easter-egg stylings this year (I almost wrote "this ear," which is fitting for a lagocentric holiday). Note the use of the eggs' natural colors: the light blue is overdyed with half dark blue, and the pinky-brown is overdyed with half red. The solid color ones are mostly bantam eggs, which are the only white eggs we have.

Larjmarj at Knizzle fo Shizzle posted about the most amazing egg-dyeing process, which I think I'll try next year. Can you believe the gorgeous patterns? The only downside is that the dyes are emphatically not edible. But then again, the s.o. won't eat the ones I dyed using trusty Badia food dyes, claiming that he can taste the difference. So no great loss, then.

I haven't made any hot cross buns yet. With the holiday coming so early this year, it doesn't seem timely. I'll do it in a week or two, maybe.

This dose of spring has been brought to you by 10 Signs Like This, putting the Eostre back in Easter since 2004.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I can't say I didn't know that the south was part of Tornado Alley. After all, east Nashville was stomped by the giant boot of Mother Nature just a couple of years before I moved there. Last year, too, when I was driving back from the Georgia Organics conference, I saw the splinter-embedded remains of a neighborhood that had been hit.

But I have to admit that I am sobered by yesterday's weather. I'm a little fearful, too, because even though last night's storms brought our town nothing but thunder and lightning and rain, there's another day to go before the system clears. Strong possibility of...well, a whole laundry list of things, according to the National Weather Service. Maybe even oobleck.

I'm pretty sure that nature doesn't take requests, but just in case I'm wrong, here are two:

(1) No more tornadoes please, and secondarily,
(2) No hail on my rental car please!


Friday, March 14, 2008


Every spring I forget to take pictures of the amazing Bradford pear trees in our town, so this year I decided to remedy the situation. Now I know there's nothing great about a monoculture, and yes, I'm sure it would have been better if our mayor had chosen to plant native species along the right-of-way instead. But have you ever seen a mile of Bradford pears in full bloom? A full mile. I saw my friend Tara on her morning walk while I was taking these photos, and she didn't think I was crazy for doing it. She just said "It's beautiful. It looks like it snowed."

For the record, this is all across the street from our house. It's yet another reason why I love where we live.

We had a really awful day yesterday. My favorite goose, the small female, died. She had been sick for a little more than a day and then died in her sleep. She had been making a horrible crunching sound inside her throat, and she wouldn't eat, although we were able to get her to take some water. It sounded as though she might have damaged her trachea in some way. We're pretty sure (and very hopeful) that it wasn't something communicable.

I will miss her terribly--she was the only one who would let us pet her. What a sad turn of events. I hope she knew that we tried to do what we could for her.

To top off a perfectly rotten day, my car broke down when I was in town on errands. By "broke down" I mean "stalled out in traffic and nearly got me killed." It's something electrical that's going to cost us $500, plus the fees for the rental car I had to borrow until Monday. One nice thing I can say, though, is that the people at the Toyota dealership in Athens are really helpful and dog-friendly. I had Silver with me, and they never gave me a moment's guff about having her in the waiting room, in the rental area, in the rental car. In fact, a salesman came and played with her for a while, and they made sure I knew where to get her some water and where to take her for a walk. They even apologized for being out of dog biscuits. She repaid them for their niceness by being very polite and doing tricks for the mechanic.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Here's what I think...

about American Idol tonight.

• I think that Michael Johns and Amanda Overmyer gave even better performances than the judges gave them credit for. Really really good. Michael's performance of "Across the Universe" was electric. I could feel how much he felt it. And while I don't think Amanda is particularly versatile, I thought she nailed "You Can't Do That."

• I also liked Carly Smithson, Jason Castro, and David Cook a lot. David Cook actually made me like a Lionel Richie song last week--what else is he capable of???

• Chikezie was way cool...although whenever he is not singing, his personality kind of annoys me.

• Brooke White was wonderful too, although she didn't stand out as much as she has some weeks.

• I was a teensy bit embarrassed for Kristy Lee Cook.

• David Archuleta mailed it in. It was terrible. FAIL.

• David Hernandez was spectacularly lame and deserves to go home. What is especially unforgivable to me is that he doesn't know how much he sucked. He lacks a "cheese" filter.

So. Your thoughts?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The hens can tell spring is in the air

Our chickens laid 32 eggs today, which is a LOT. We have somewhere between 35 and 40 hens; I lost count a long time ago.

I think I can do the math on this. There are two chocolate-brown Welsummer eggs, but there are three Welsummer hens. And we have two white bantam eggs, which means only two of our five Japanese banty girls laid today, and our Mille Fleur girl (who lays tiny tan eggs) did not.

So, er, that either means we have at least 37 hens, or someone laid more than one egg, which is possible.

This reminds me of those word problems we used to do in math class.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Headless person in sweater

Behold! I finished my very first sweater: Teva Durham's Lace Leaf Pullover from Loop-d-Loop. I made it roomy, but not huge. It's perfect for those occasional days when I can't seem to get warm.

I'm head over heels for it. I'm very pleased with myself!

Not long after we finished shooting these photos, the s.o. and I had to grab the dogs and run into the bathroom. Our town's brand-new tornado siren (conveniently located three houses away) was wailing. We had a real honest-to-goodness tornado warning. Good thing nothing happened, because nobody around here has a basement.

One nice thing about not having a basement is that we do not currently have a flooded basement.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

All-time record?

We sold 15 dozen eggs yesterday. We were congratulating ourselves on having moved 7 dozen early in the day. Then at dinnertime a pickup truck full of Mexican construction workers showed up and ordered 8 more!

All I can say is, muchas, muchas gracias, guys. When your hens are laying more than 2 dozen a day, it's easy to get a little snowed under.

They said they'll be back in two weeks, which should mean we'll have enough to go around again.