July 30, 2010

{this moment}

Following  inspiration from SouleMama:
"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

July 29, 2010


We save milk jugs for our many animal tasks and to add liquid fertilizer to the garden beds, but more recently, I came upon some cooler projects to use them for.

Sometimes when I am watching TV, or just chatting, I cut them up into squares, to someday make this cool curtain, inspired by homemade mamas. You can read the directions here.

The jugs also make great storage, especially for group projects, as seen on craftzine.
They could also hold a child's collections, to house his finds yet be easily seen and accessible. What child doesn't collect things? 

They could be used for games too... like sorting objects and matching colors and many more.
I would just make sure the cut edges are not sharp for little skin. Perhaps a couple times going over it with rough sandpaper would dull it enough.

This is my August post for  Project Genesis hosted by Suzan of oldgreymare

                                               happy day!


We bought a small, well-worn, green shelf unit at a yard sale last year. It is forty inches tall and twenty three inches wide, with six narrow shelves and two hooks on the back for hanging. 

We liked it and wanted it and knew we would find a use for it someday. Well, the someday was today and it became our *nature shelves*. 

We left the paint as is, keeping that extra character and time worn appearance, that can surely get by in our very casual log home.

We already have a Nature Cabinet in our kitchen, but these nature shelves will only have a few items at a focus on
Right now, two shelves are filled with bird nests.

one shelf with hornet and wasp nests

two shelves of field guides

and the bottom one of smooth white stones, easily reached by little hands.

 We love to surround ourselves with old things and re-purpose them. But sometimes we have to wait a bit until we have the inspiration.

                          happy day!

July 28, 2010


                    ~  camaraderie  ~

(Please feel free to join in One Word Wednesday, just leave your link in the comments). 

happy day!

July 26, 2010


 I have a soft spot when it comes to children and animals, and I believe in choice and freedom and happiness, especially where my kids are concerned.

When they wanted a rabbit to live inside I said sure and Chestnut became part of the family.

When they wanted chickens, and our first flock arrived unexpectantly early one winter, before a coop was built and the ground  still frozen, they lived in a bedroom. I was ok with that..sort of.

When they wanted a duckling and wanted it to live in the great room, of course it did...for awhile.

There was a day we had no dogs and the next day we had two dogs, and one was a puppy. The sweet grandbaby had allergies, and of course the dogs could come live with us.

And just recently, when they wanted a kitten I said yes, and instead got two kittens. I don't know how that happened, but the kids couldn't be happier, plus what's one more?

I am that mom that believe in my children and their choices and their happiness. I believe that animals and people belong together and caring for other living beings teaches us alot about our own selves. 

I am that mom that values people over posessions and believe a house is meant to be lived in and used to its maximum potential by the people who reside in it, whether a duck is waddling across the wooden floor or a kitten is knocking over a lamp.  It's the connections and the happiness that matters. I am that mom. 

This post is part of the impromptu Blog Carnival "I am that Mom" started by Ronnie  and inspired by Flo.

  Go HERE   to read more. and be sure to read all the links in the comment section.


The kids have had fun with these sponge splashers, at a recent party here, and playing together in the back yard.
We like them instead of water balloons. Broken water balloons are such a mess to clean up and they pose a hazard to ducks, hens and birds if ingested. 

The sponge splashers float in the pool so you can play games with them or just toss them at people in and out of the water.

They are also soft enough to toss around in the house (DRY of course!)

We love these and they are very easy to make.
One sponge splasher takes three sponges, and we used thin cotton rope about 14 inches long. We tried tying with string, yarn, floss and coated wire, but the cotton rope worked the best and was still soft enough.

Cut each of the three sponges the long way into three strips. They cut easily with scissors.

Lay the rope down and stack all three sponges, one on top of another, centering on the rope.

Pull and tie very tight 
and knot the rope.
Pull the strips a bit to fluff it up like a ball.
 And now. . . get ready to get WET!
   happy day!


 my weekly posting of a quote for the summer months

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

                                                  happy day!

July 23, 2010


It has been such a joy that the children, all of us actually, can have a close up view of the birds, their nest and their babies from inside our house!

We have a huge Butterfly Bush that has engulfed two of the six windows in our great room in the front of the house, 
and although some people probably think we should trim it back, there IS a very good reason why we keep it there and keep it so big. 

Each year birds build their nests, lay and hatch their eggs and feed their babies, and we get to watch them up close.  If we are very lucky, and have perfect timing,we also get to see the babies fledge the nest.

This year a pair of Cardinal built their nest in the Butterfly Bush.
 The mother sits in the nest . . .

and the father is never too far away.

Sometimes they both fly off and leave a hungry baby. . .waiting patiently
and one, or both, will return with  food.

                            And this goes on and on until the babies fledge. 
During any part of any day, we are blessed to witness another one of nature's glorious gifts.

A day and then a week passed by:
  The redbird hanging from the sill
Sang not; and all were wondering why
It was so still— 
When one bright morning, loud and clear,
Its whistle smote my drowsy ear,
Ten times repeated, till the sound
Filled every echoing niche around;
And all things earliest loved by me,—
The bird, the brook, the flower, the tree,—
Came back again, as thus I heard
    The cardinal bird. . .   
~Wm Davis Gallagher

{this moment}

Following  inspiration from SouleMama:
"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

July 22, 2010


I live with a young party planner. She is always thinking of fun gatherings to have with her friends. She already has three fun theme parties planned, but today we celebrate her.

I admire her spontaneity, her infectious joy, her kindness, her unending generosity

. . .and her funkiness!

 Truly an inspiring child

July 21, 2010


~ gamer ~

(Please feel free to join in One Word Wednesday. Leave a link in the comments). 
   happy day!

July 19, 2010


Raising chickens with children is such a wondrous experience. Not only are we blessed with nutrient-rich, organic eggs, when the hens start laying at five months old, but the the whole journey of watching them grow, tending to them, holding them as day old chicks until adulthood is an incredible learning and fulfilling experience.

The chicks are so small that even the most timid child feels comfortable. They are so soft that children just want to touch and hold. And their tiny peep, peep, peeps make them smile. 
Raising chickens is relatively easy, so worthwhile, and a fun venture for all ages.
  We always start out with day old chicks from a hatchery, or our local feed store, because we want to be assured of females. Hatching your own chicks, you take what you get.
  We tend to order from a hatchery when we want more of the rare or specialized birds, since the local feed stores only carry the most popular and the good egg layers. 

 A couple of the specialized breeds we got this year are: 

                                 and  Dark Brahmas
                                    who have feathered feet.

The chicks arrive via the postal service in a cardboard box with holes (Note the box in the picture). We get the phone call and go pick them up at the post office.
Once back home, we put them in a brooder, which can be as fancy or as plain as you want. We believe in using what we have so that's what we did. Basically, it's a container that is clean and draft free and that a warming light can be shined into it.

We used a clear plastic container (80 or 90 qt) and set it on our window seat and moved a stool close by to attach the warming light.  If the box was taller, we could clip it to the edge of the box, but this worked just fine. I like the clear box because no matter where you are in the room, you can see them and what they are doing.
During the first month, it is best to line the box with newspaper and then paper towels on top . It makes for a very easy clean up, to just fold up the paper towels, toss out (or compost!) and lay fresh ones down. It is too soon for pine shavings ( never ever cedar, even when older!) as they may eat the shavings.

An inexpensive chick feeder and a waterer can be purchased at your local feed store or farm supply, or ordered from a hatchery as well as chick food
Once you fill the waterer, take one chick at a time and dip its beak into the water so he will know how to drink.
The chicks tend to stay right under the light unless they are eating or drinking. If they are piled in a big mountain on top of one another then they might be too cold and you need to lower the lamp. If you notice they are all spread out and even move far away from the lamp then they are too hot and you need to raise the lamp. Keep it at a happy medium by watching the chicks. They will always still huddle together.

As our chicks grew, they needed more space so my son used his soldering iron to make an opening in two of the plastic bins and we used cardboard and duct tape to connect them together. 
It was sweet to see the chicks hop over the *bridge*.
We keep them on the window seat to get light from the windows but also so they are easily accessible to watch and hold and delight in.

It doesn't take long before the children are quite adept at handling the chicks . They feel confident and proud.

They learn to be ever so gentle as they investigate . . .

checking out the feet

and the wings

and to watch and see if it will jump back into the box

  So much to do and see, even the littlest children are in awe.

Each day the chicks are growing, and it doesn't take long before they learn to jump up to the side of the box to see more of the world.

and then of course, one learns from another and then you have some *chick chat* going on  :)

and it should come as no surprise,when one day, you see one out of the box!
That is when you know it is time to make a cover for the brooder or move them to bigger  quarters, preferably outside in a coop.

Stay tuned for more of this summer's journey with chicks.