Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Ah yes, it's been that time of year. For the past two weeks, I have toiled in front of the sewing machine, cursing French seams in chiffon, slippery satin, and invisible zippers.

And of course, it's all worth it in the end, when I see the smiles on my daughters' faces as they don their costumes and traipse around the town begging for candy from strangers.

They are, of course, old enough to decide what they want to be. There will be no coddling or convincing or bribing for more creative costumes, like my ideas for a paper doll, or a peacock, a flapper or a robot. No, they have their own ideas, and I had to work with it. But in the end, they turned out cute, and they were thrilled with the results.

So without further ado I present....

My princess

and my ninja.

Not what I would have picked, but oh, how well suited they were for my sweet little girls.

Yes, they wore their costumes all day long as we ran errands all over The Big City. And every time someone said, "Oh, look, what a pretty princess!" (which was, you know, pretty much everyone) Littlest One would give a grand, sweeping curtsy. The Oldest lost every bit of shyness with her face covered, and talked to everyone like she's known them for years. What funny things costumes can do for children!

And now that Halloween night is officially over, the real fun begins: when Two Little Girls wear their costumes day in and day out for weeks, playing the parts of a ninja and a princess and creating every possible play scenario two little minds can come up with, providing me with hours of entertainment and therefore making all those cursed French seams worth all the work.

Here's hoping everyone had a wonderful, safe Halloween filled with much laughter, happy memories, and enough candy to last til Christmas.

**Note: To anyone who cares to see larger versions of these photos (Grandma) you can click on them for the full-size image. :-)

Monday, October 29, 2012

And then... they named her.

It's a known fact in the chicken-buying world that determining the gender of day-old chicks isn't a fail proof endeavor. When we bought our first batch of hens last year, it became obvious that Mrs. Tweets was actually Mr. Tweets. Ahh, Mr. Tweets. We'll never forget how pretty he was, how much fun we had with him, and later, the feeling of terror he evoked if ever we were forced to go outside.

In this year's batch of laying hens, Tinkerbell was the one who turned out to be a rooster. A teeny, tiny little rooster he is, but his attitude is good still so he's allowed to stick around. And really, it makes me giggle every time I think about the fact that we have a rooster named Tinkerbell.

What never occurred to me though, is that it is just as impossible to guarantee that a batch of roosters will actually be roosters. We got our ten meat birds, and have been butchering them as needed for dinner. But in that batch, who walk around crowing happily all day long, there was one hen. I felt awful for her - one hen in a coop with nine roosters? She was miserable, staying on the roost all day long and not even eating or drinking unless she could sneak over to the food without them seeing her. My solution was to hurry up and butcher her, get it over with so she wouldn't have to live a miserable life.

But we were too slow.

The girls figured out that she was a hen. They started carrying in separate bowls of food and water for her, hand feeding her table scraps each day, locking the roosters inside the coop so she could have daily fresh air and exercise. And then.... they named her. Rule number one, when you are raising animals to butcher - Do NOT name them!

Meet Lavender.

She has now been moved into the hen house, and it looks like she will be a permanent addition to our egg-laying flock. Except that, seeing as she was raised on high-protein food meat bird food, she's not likely to ever lay any eggs. She just walks around, towering above the rest of the hens, and frequently being carted from place to place by Littlest One. She seems happy... or at least, happy to be away from a whole flock of roosters.

Welcome to the farm, Lavender. :-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Freckles, the Trick Chicken

 Meet Freckles. Freckles is a banty chicken. She is also a trick chicken. I couldn't figure out what the excitement over a tiny chicken was.... but now I get it.

 **Please pardon the awful pictures. If you've ever attempted to photograph a Chicken Show, you'll understand what a difficult undertaking it is.