It was bound to happen. If you have a tree IN your house and you own a cat, it is inevitable.
When we built our new house I wanted a remembrance of the cedar trees in our old yard, the house where I grew up, so I convinced my hubby to make a corner molding out of one of them, and he did.
I picked just the right one that had an overhanging branch to the left.
The plan was to eventually replace all the leaves with preserved green ones from the cedars on our land here, but I haven't done that yet. The leaves have turned orangey brown and are quite crispy but they look fine for now. It's on the list though.
We hung a vacant wasp nest on the branch last year. You can see it on the corner of the doorway.
So now those kittens have discovered a natural spot for their climbing, scratching and perching. Those very lucky kitties!
day I see or hear something that more or less kills me with
delight, that leaves me like a
needle in the haystack of light. It was what I was born for - to
look, to listen, to lose
myself inside this soft world - to instruct myself over and over in
joy, and acclamation. Nor am I
talking about the exceptional, the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant - but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab, the daily presentations. Oh, good
scholar, I say to myself, how can you help but grow
wise with such teachings as these - the untrimmable light of the
world, the ocean's shine, the prayers that are made out of
grass? Mary Oliver
Young children like small amounts of food at a time. And offering small amounts, in a pleasing setting, is also a good way to introduce new foods.
I came across a blog, Muffin Tin Mom, who uses muffin tins for the children. What a terrific and fun idea and low cost ! She also also hosts Muffin Tin Monday on her blog.
It reminds me of the Bento box . . . and the Planet Box that Beth recommended, both of which are great for kids on the go.
I like having a sampling of foods to snack on. My tween and teen love it too.
Many times they are engrossed in projects and are too busy to eat. But if I put a sampling of foods on a plate in front of them, a monkey platter, it's gone in no time. It's a great way to eat nutritiously.
The pullets were growing fast and jumping out of their brooder quite often by the first week in August. One day we came home to them chilling out on the windowsill and walking across the room under the piano.
It was time to move them into bigger quarters. You can read about them before the move here and here. I need to update the journey since then.
We decided to divide the 24 chicks and put them in two different places. (Polish)
The five Polish, four Dark Brahmas, two Blue Andalusions, and one we keep forgetting to identify, are in a temporary coop down the driveway in the hayshed by the side of the pond. The Polish and Brahma are low on the pecking order so it was best to separate them from the other breeds
We filled the inside with PINE shavings
and set up their food and water.
Soon they needed an additional waterer and soon after that a gallon sized one. It was also set on a higher block of wood. A hanging feeder will eventually be used in the permanent coop but the dish works fine until then.
Their temporary quarters had good ventilation and light and plenty of space to run around or roost . . .
or play *keep away* with some greens. . .
or have visitors in!
We wanted them to be able to go out in the sunshine so we constructed a small run and used what we had on hand. . . garden stakes, chicken wire, wooden beams, and baling twine.
It was very important that we secured the top with wire too. There are many other creatures living by the pond that might be predators.
They were a bit nervous to come down the ramp at first. It was their first time out on the grass. The White Polish was the first to check it out. A funny story after that one later.
Soon they all enjoyed the sunshine and foraging in the earth. They go into the coop off and on during the day and stay in there come early evening. The ramp door is secured at night.
The run was small but adequate for the time being. It was only a temporary situation. All hens will be living closer to the house before the New England weather turns cold.
The other twelve pullets, three Buff Orpington, three Partridge Rocks, three Speckled Sussex, one Rhode Island Red, and two Anconas are sharing the coop with the nine older hens ( Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, and Rhode Island Red).
They are free-ranging, pastured hens. Did you know that a hen can be called free-ranging if it has the choice to go to its water or its food? In other words, it can be kept in any kind of space, but as long as it can move from one to another at will, then it can be called free-ranging. But free-ranging, pastured hens are able to move about the land as they wish. Pure freedom.
We set up a large wire dog crate in the coop to allow the hens to get used to the youngsters but yet keep them separate. Again, using what we have on hand. The pullets could come and go from the run into the coop .
They would stay in the run until the early evening and then make their way up the ramp and into the crate all huddled together. The ramp door is secured at night.
Their run is larger than the one down the drive, with sun and shade and more greens, but again it is only temporary. After awhile, they will be roaming at will like the older hens and not be kept in a run.
Raising chickens is such a delight, in more ways than one.
The pullets should start laying in November. Stay tuned to their growth update and the move to their permanent quarters.
Have you ever felt stretched in a million directions, or tried to be all things to all people?
If so, how did you end up feeling? Do the emotions of frustration, sadness, and inadequacy come to mind?
I have realized, over the years, that I cannot be all things to all people. I am myself, one body and one mind, and cannot possibly do it all, or be it all. It is an important lesson to learn.
It doesn't mean I cannot have high aspirations and hold myself to high standards. Instead, it means I need to be true to myself and really *know* who I am and live by listening to my heart. It means acknowledging my feelings, good or bad, and take those steps to make my life happier, more joy-filled. And perhaps some of those steps might be distancing myself from situations that try to bring me down or cause me anguish, you know,negativity.
As life goes forward, there is a larger pool of people I come in contact with, and more I have experienced, and more places I have been. And even more chance that negativity can seep in. But I cannot let it. Life is too short to dwell on anything but the positive.
There will always be those who think you should be one way or another or that you didn't do enough, or this and that, but if you are true to yourself, love yourself with who you are, despite all your imperfections, you can rise above it all and not let it interfere with your daily life.
My friend, Rue, said "It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of you when you're comfortable with yourself"and that is exactly what I take to heart.