Saturday, May 22, 2010

wake me when spring gets here



The older girls have been hanging out in the coop all day. No eggs this week. No eggs last week. The weather is nasty, to say the least. Rain. Hail. Wind. Cold.

Wanna come out today Wynonna?


Maybe... if you give me some cracked corn.


Sweet Nelly hasn’t left this spot for a week.

Feeling a little broody Nelly?


A little cracked corn might cheer me up.

And maybe a bowl of yogurt?

Could you put some currants on that too?

And some lettuce?

Thank you.


Did someone say corn?

You’re too little to know what that is.


These rhodies bloomed before the weather turned crappy. They’re providing a bright spot today.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

a wonderful gift

Look what arrived on my front porch today...


This was inside...


I love the simplicity of the background.

I love the intricacies of Wynonna’s feathered pattern...


... and the quick brushstrokes that provide depth.


I love that it was painted in a cozy little house in the French countryside.

It was created by
Bruce Anderson, who captured Wynonna perfectly!


Bruce Anderson and his wife, Alisa Rosseter are artists I met blogging. You can read about their adventures here. They did something most of us only dream about. They left already seemingly perfect lives behind in Los Angeles, California, and spent a year living, teaching, bicycling, hiking, eating, drinking wine, having fun, meeting new people, in France. The year went by oh so quickly, as you can imagine, so they’ve managed to find a way to live the dream full-time when they move back to France this winter. They’ll be providing art education to kids and teens who will travel to study with them. You can read about their plans here.

Now I’m trying to figure out how I can pass for a teenage girl.


I like Wynonna so much as an oil painting! She’s beautiful. There’s no poop to clean up. No ornery attitude to contend with. She can’t run away when I approach her. She can’t boss her coop mates around. She can’t plop herself in the middle of my potted flowers. She can’t trample through or eat my newly planted vegetable garden. No food or water needed. She’s perfect!

Monday, May 17, 2010

garden solutions


Look at that gorgeous basil! It smells amazing too. More about that later.

We’ve been racking our brains to come up with a good solution for keeping the chickens out of our raised beds since last year. That’s when we covered them with netting that got caught in the lawn mower and tangled into a frustrating mess every time I uncovered the beds to maintain the contents or harvest the fruits (or veggies) of our labor.

Our chickens love doing this in the raised beds on warm spring days...

sunbathing chicken

Which is all good and fine as long as there isn’t anything planted in their midst. But we just can’t have them scratching and destroying the newly planted starts and seeds.

So here’s what we came up with...

building cages for raised beds

building cages for raised beds

building cages for raised beds

cages for raised beds

We built six of these wire cages in about three hours yesterday. All you need is a roll of wire fencing, a good wire cutting tool and some pliers to create these. Today my hands are covered with cuts and feeling a bit numb, but I think these are going to do the trick, at least for getting several veggies started, like lettuce, carrots, potatoes, radishes, cilantro. I don't mind sharing with the girls, but when they dig up seeds and starts... grrrrr.

If you live anywhere near a Trader Joe’s, you must get there right away and pick up some of these basil plants. They’re only $2.99 and each pot contains 6 (six) plants! And these are not small, immature plants... they’re already a foot high!


Thank you to my friend Theresa for letting me know about this great deal.

Happy spring!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I’m dreaming of a house at the beach...

Mother’s Day 2010

Happy Mother’s Day! A few days late, I know, but I’ve just returned from our annual beach adventure. Every Mother’s Day for the last ten years, my Mother, Iz and I have escaped to a small motel located in the heart of Cannon Beach, a quaint town on the northern Oregon coast. This year I mixed things up a bit and reserved a lovely house in Lincoln City. The house is less than a year old and has none of those issues related to an old 1927 house like ours. I could get used to this!

The house is located in a new housing development. The construction company decided to build custom homes here after the economy went sour, so there are just a few new houses in the development and many available lots for sale. Needless to say, the neighborhood was eerie quiet. We arrived late Friday afternoon and stayed until yesterday, and during that time a handful of cars drove by (one of which was a census taker who stopped by). I told him I lived there with my 20 cats and he slipped quietly away. I kept expecting people to arrive at the nearby homes for the weekend, but that never happened.

Here’s a little tour of this fabulous house. I didn’t bring the right lens to get it all in, but you’ll get the idea. After you enter through the front door, there’s a hallway that leads to a laundry room and three bedrooms (each with its own bathroom!) Mine also had its own deck.

A staircase (with 18 stairs) takes you up to the great room...

Mother’s Day 2010

The great room includes a gourmet kitchen...

Mother’s Day 2010

Notice how small my Mom looks in this kitchen? Everything is oversized. The counters were quite high, the sink very deep, and the cupboards out of reach.

Mother’s Day 2010

Check out the concrete counters. They look great, but I’m not ready to have them in my house. If you leave any liquids on them, they stain.

Living room with a gas fireplace and an ocean view...

Mother’s Day 2010


Mother’s Day 2010

Deck with an ocean view... (or a view of the woods, depending on which direction you look)

Mother’s Day 2010

TV room... name that movie

Mother’s Day 2010

And, of course, another bathroom (that makes a total of four!)

We actually did a little shopping in the nearby town.

Mother’s Day 2010

Mother’s Day 2010

Yum, chocolate!

We found it difficult to spend too much of our precious time hanging out with the crowds when we had the quiet house luring us back.

Mother’s Day 2010