Fresh Eggs

John got the sign up today, advertising the fact that we have eggs for sale.

We’ve been selling eggs for quite some time. People stop by all the time and ask if we have any, and if we have enough excess, then we sell them. If you’ll recall, William decided some time ago that he should have an egg business – and so we ordered chicks to augment our flock this spring.

Said chicks have been laying – and getting their “sea legs” so to speak, starting with the cutest little tiny 1 ounce eggs, and most are now up to regular sized eggs. Most days we’re getting a dozen eggs. Today was a 15 egg day. We’ve got five dozen extra eggs in the fridge – and available for sale.

Wow – it’s actually happening!

The morning started off with a lady from the neighborhood stopping by to buy eggs. A good start!

Today as I was washing dishes and looking out onto the chicken yard, I was struck by the fact that our baby chicks are nothing of the sort any longer – in fact, they’ve grown into some really beautiful pullets. So, of course, I had to grab the camera and get a few pictures.

This one I’m excited about. This is the lone black Minorca that we have left. She is SO beautiful. I don’t know if you can tell at all – but she’s so black that she has an amazing green sheen to her feathers. I love the contrast between her feathers, her crazy floppy comb and wattles, and her white ears. Yes, she lays white eggs. It’s very difficult to get a picture of her – she’s pretty skittish. So I was pretty thrilled to get this one!

And I know I’ve said it before, but I just love the Blue Anadalusians. Here’s a not super clear picture of one – but I think this one is really a beautiful bird!

All of the Blues are, really – but the lovely deep hue of her plumage is really stunning.

I realized today that there really is no distinction – size wise, anyway – between the big girls and the 2009 chicks. When they’re out scratching around – you really can’t tell which is which, except for the breed differentials.

And great news! Crayon isn’t quite so naked any more. She’s getting her feathers in! She still looks pretty funky – but she definitely looks better!

And here’s a not very clear picture of Mystery – the black Ameraucana. She’s so pretty – and also very skittish – so it’s hard to get a picture of her.

On a different note – my Aero Garden is growing amazingly! Take a look:

See that? I’m not sure if you can – but those are little buds that are coming out!

It’s been so fun to watch these plants thrive and develop! It’s been nearly a month since they were planted, and they say we should expect tomatoes to eat in another month.

And amazingly – there are still a few flowers blooming in the yard. Not the best picture – but it’s still a beautiful little poppy! I’m definitely going to plant a whole bunch more poppies next year – I’ve loved them!

All in all – I’m adjusting to the fact that fall is here. It really is beautiful – even if it isn’t my favorite time of year! J

Getting Ready for Winter

This is a very pretty flower I picked up at Home Depot in late Spring. I wanted it in the vegetable garden because I felt it would attract pollinators. It did. It’s lovely. And, it’s pretty darn hardy. Today I transplanted it out of the garden – which hopefully will get tilled tomorrow – and into planters on the front porch. Here’s the info about this flower – Sunny Day Tickseed – a type of coreopsis. But you wanna know what bugs me about this plant? This little blurb on the plant identifier tag: “Protected by US Patent Laws and/or Canadian Plant Breeder’s Rights. Illegal propagation is prohibited.” Okay – how stupid is that?! I’m sure someone somewhere thinks it’s a good thing to have intellectual property rights to the propagation of this plant – but one has to wonder… what if it accidentally is propagated naturally? Will I be prosecuted? Ugh!

I hope this pictures comes out okay… In the background – see that truly BIG pile of leaves? The boys worked hard today to amass it. They’re planning on building a fort from the raked up leaves. Ummm… today was one of those rare REALLY blustery days here in Oregon. Supposed to be tomorrow, too… This Mom can’t help but wonder if this plan may somehow be, well, difficult to execute fully. 🙂

ALL of the animals are loving the leaves. Pepper likes to roll in them. Jake and Caleb like to curl up in them. The chickens like to scratch through them… And soon, I hope, they will be moved to my compost heap – helping to make wonderful compost for my garden one of these days!

Today John worked hard to finish up pulling up all of the remnants of the garden. The chickens LOVED following behind and scratching through everything.

Wow – it’s that time of year ago – time to start strategizing what next year’s garden will be.

It’s wild how strange it is that we’ve come full circle. No more green beans… This will be my garlic patch – and soon! Thanks to Danni‘s and Melinda‘s examples and excellent information – I will FINALLY – after years of feeling completely inadequate and definitely not smart enough to attempt it – plant my first garlic patch. Woo Hoo! I’ll be sure to report later!

And here is my piled-high compost heap. The girls are investingating – trying to determine if there’s anything worth finding in there.

And here is my new composter. Kinda wild, huh? It’s called Earthmaker – it’s an Aerobic Composter. It involves a three step process – it has three different compartments – see?

Interesting, huh? I like it thus far, and will be sure to give updates as to how effective it is – or is not!

It occurred to me today – Hey! I should harvest the seed from my basil! Why have I never thought of that before? So, I went out with my scissors and a saran wrapped basket (so anything that escapes a seed pod will not be lost between the slats of the basket), and went to work. Here’s a peek. I’ll probably get around to coaxing the seed out of the pods tomorrow – I’ll be sure to report back! But here’s a great resource I found online about harvesting basil seed.

So – it’s true… it’s full force fall with winter on the way. I find it nearly impossible to believe it’s only a week until November. But I think I’m ready for it now. I think the fact that it hasn’t been horribly soggy has helped. I may even be ready for the rain. We’ll see!


My blog list disappeared! What will I do?! How will I keep up with everyone? How can I find them all again? Horrors!

See – that’s what I get for being busy as all get out and not spending enough time over here to have my blog list perfectly memorized, darn it! Sigh… Guess I’ll have to work at recreating it. There’s just too much good stuff out there too miss!

So – how’d a whole week go by?! Oh, yeah, that’s right – two nights in the Emergency Room with amazing asthma boy! Some of my time this week, resultingly, as simply been vaporized. There have been weighty things weighing on my mind – as always. Some of them more daunting than others… like, do we buy a house? Or don’t we buy a house? Right now – in light of the financial state of affairs of the country – not seems to be winning out. Danni left a comment on my previous post here that resonated with both John and I… something to the effect that one should perhaps not work so hard at convincing onself that a house may or may not be the right one – that you’d know. We gave a collective sigh and said, “Of course.” What a relief.

You know what? We don’t HAVE to buy a house. We can take our time. There’s no rush. PHEW!

Danni – a deep debt of gratitude bestowed upon your head! Thank you! Although, Madelyn, I must tell you how powerfully tempted we are to pack everything up and head toward your farm in Tennessee! We planned on doing just such a thing a few years ago – had a moving date, plans all made, etc… We love Tennessee. One of these days!

So… during the course of the past week a strange thing has happened… it’s morphed into fall. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it – as if feeling less than thrilled with it would have any impact whatsoever! I struggle quite a bit with kissing summer goodbye… But I’m learning to deal with it.

The change of seasons can escalate the chaos of my life basically without pause is a little dizzying. So – I’m back to the time of year when over 100 miles in a day in my little car without traveling more than 10 miles from home are back. I’ve got to get more serious about being a little more hermit-like! LOL!

Now that’s a BIG egg!

Yesterday BB laid her first egg…

That’s BB on the left. Her name stands for big black – yeah, I know, not very inventive – but we were trying to keep a LOT of chicks straight – and she was just consistently bigger than the other chicks! She (and the rest of the “middle” girls) was 18 weeks old on the 1st of September. So we’ve been watching for her first egg.

Yesterday was the day! It was exciting – but a rather average, albeit a bit smaller than average (compared to the big girls, anyway).

THIS is today’s egg from BB:

Yep – that says 2 7/8ths ounces.

DANG! That’s a BIG egg!

Compared to Rooth’s eggs…And in with the other eggs from the big girls – who routinely lay about 2.25 oz eggs…

By the way… Aren’t they pretty eggs? I love the color variations. The kids are getting expert at being able to identify who laid what egg. Wild!

We live in an old house – and sometime shortly after the house was built (in 1946) someone planted a hydrangea right under the kitchen window. It’s a very large bush! It is kind of wierd, though – the colors on it tend to wash out to almost white in late summer and early fall, and then it seems to shut down production, as I assume other hydrangeas, do. I was walking past the bush – as I do many times each day – and was shocked to see one cluster of flowers on the back to a truly stunning blue. Isn’t it pretty?

Here are a few of the girls out sunbathing the other day… So much for cleaning the carpet and letting it dry in the sun!

It didn’t take us very long along the road of chicken ownership to figure out that chickens make the funniest noises. Henrietta makes the funniest little chirping sound when she’s on the nest box and you dare to disturb her. Here’s a tiny little video clip that Jessica took of her the other day.

And here (the lightest brown egg) is the egg she laid shortly thereafter!

Interestingly enough – Henrietta is still the most consistent egg layer. We get an egg a day from her – pretty much without fail. Rooth is right behind her in consistency. Interesting, huh?

Glimpses of Fall

I refused at the time to admit I saw it, but I did. I know I did. Not just because I saw it, but because one of the kids did, too – and had the nerve to verbalize it…

“Look! Mom! That tree… it’s starting to turn!”

A perfectly innocuous thing to say, but it does not jive well with my current state of impending Fall denial!

I don’t want it to be fall yet.

I’m still just trying to settle into summer and truly savor the glory of it all.

I don’t want the kids to go back to school yet.

I don’t want to be cold yet. (Well, but I’d also not like to be quite as hot as the past week has been either! Finicky, huh?!)

I don’t want to get rained on a bunch yet.

And I’m not ready for the gray days yet.

See – it’s not really Fall I’m dreading, is it? It’s more winter. Fall is just the first step toward winter, of course. Fall can be simply glorious here. I love the years when we have a lingering summer and enjoy dry, temperate weather far longer than is typical. I could go for a Fall like that.

It’s hard to be in Fall denial, though, when one spends hours upon hours at the high school getting the kids’ schedules and yearbooks and textbooks and photos taken care of!

It’s hard to be in Fall denial, as well, when the high today was I think less than 70 degrees.

And it’s hard to be in Fall denial when it rained – not just a tad bit – and soaked the yard (and me!), and looked not so much like summer – gray, damp, a little bit dreary.

But, I’ll survive it. I don’t know why it’s so profound this year. Maybe it’s because I’ve got two kids in high school this year? Maybe cause I’m feeling like the time is short to hold them tight and love them well? Maybe because my neice and nephew started their school year today, now that they are safely back to their own home after having spent the better part of the summer here.

Whatever the case, I’ll reflect on these lovely verses:

Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
‘I will repay you for the years
the locusts have eaten —
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm—my
great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.
Joel 2:23-27 (NIV)
It really is about perspective, isn’t it? Seasons are a good thing. And once again, I’m thinking too far ahead – not reveling in the beauty of this lovely remaining season and the good things God has in store for me while it yet remains. So I’ll try not to miss the present in anticipation of the future.