Saturday, December 12, 2009

Night-time chicken wrangling, baby showers and other doins'

The temperatures have dropped off here this week. We had one day that was really windy. I didn't think about it until the daylight was fading, and I heard the chickens and guineas making more noise than usual. As anyone who has had guineas knows, they are noisy by nature. So at first it didn't really register, but after a bit I started wondering why they weren't in the coop since they like to head in when it starts getting a bit dusky. I realized the wind must have blown the door of the coop shut and sent Ivy out to open the coop for the chickens. Since it was still fairly light out, I figured they would all go in the coop. However, a little while later, Paul tells me that one of the chickens is out on the porch. So I went to get her and found another chicken perched on the steps to the porch and two on the porch. I grabbed the one from the steps and took her up the hill. The next one put up a bit of a chase, but I eventually nabbed her and her friend. During trips to the coop, I took a roll call of who was in the coop. It seemed there were at least four more not in the coop. I checked the goat barn because they hang out there a bunch during the day, I figured some might have decided to bunk there, but no luck. I walked all around the yard, flashlight in hand since it was all the way dark by now. Finally, I looked under the chicken coop and there were five chickens under there. I managed to get them all out with a bit of coaxing and poking and pulling and crawling on hands and knees. Thought I had them all safely in the coop and closed things up for the night. There is one chicken that likes to follow us around the yard and Finn has claimed her as his and named her Ticklish (don't ask--he is three.) I specifically checked to make sure she was in there, but I guess I mistook another for her in the dim light. She greeted me first thing in the morning when I went to feed the goats. Don't know where she spent the night, but thankfully she was okay and seemed to be fairly pleased with herself for being the only chicken up and about so early. Needless to say, the chicken coop door now gets propped every day to avoid a repeat.

On a completely different note, two friends recently had babies and another friend threw them a combined shower this week. It was kind of last minute for notice, but I managed to throw them together a few items from flannel in my stash. I have such a large collection of flannel because I have such low impulse control when Joann's has it marked down to under $2/yard on their Black Friday sales and through the year on clearance. So happily, I was able to find a couple girl prints and a couple boy prints and make some blankets and burp cloths. I tried following the directions for a receiving blanket that is supposed to be self-binding, but somehow I messed it up. It's still a little frustrating to think about because I wasn't able to figure out what I really did wrong. I just know the corners came out completely wrong, but because I had followed the directions which said to snip the excess fabric away, I had big chunks cut out of the corners when I ripped the wrong stitching out. I managed to fix the blanket in a bit of a different manner than the original blanket was supposed to be arranged. But I have a policy that I don't point out my mistakes. (At least I try not to.) I generally figure that I'm probably the only one who is going to realize that something is off. So I didn't tell anyone at the shower that I goofed and nobody is any the wiser. I'm counting on you guys to keep the trust. For the second gift, I just made two simple receiving blankets serged around the edges. Much quicker and easier and store bought receiving blankets are never really big enough for a decent swaddle.

I also made dolls from a Bit of Whimsy pattern that I've had a while, but not had the chance to make up. This pattern was so simple I could hardly believe it. Those dolls went together as quick as could be! And they were cute, and well received. Holly loved them at home, so I think I'm going to make her one next week when I can get into the sewing room for a few minutes. Thankfully, she slept through almost the whole shower, because I was a bit afraid that she might try to reclaim them when she saw them. Especially as each of the babies had big sisters just a little older than her and they both grabbed the babies and toted them around for quite a while. It was the Little Peanut pattern in case anyone is interested.

Paul has been working on our living room addition and is hoping to have it opened up to the house very soon. It will double the size of our living room area and the extra space will be very much appreciated as our family has grown considerably since we moved in here. It's further along than in these pictures, but I thought I'd share them anyhow. The windows are going to have a window seat in them, and the wall is no longer blank, but filled with floor to ceiling shelving. The pictures aren't great since I took them from inside the current living room window, but they show a bit of the work being done.

And lastly, I watched "Julie & Julia" this afternoon and really liked it. Some of the reviews were a bit hard on the Julie side of the story, but I liked both sides of the story. I haven't read the book, but I think I'll pick it up now and read it over. I actually think it's usually better that way anyhow since movies frequently disappoint if you've read the book first. But honestly, the book I most wanted after reading this was Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I stuck it on my wishlist on Amazon so I can get to it sometime. It's a two volume set and a bit pricey, but I think it would be kind of fun to have. Not that I'm going to cook my way through them in a year or anything. And I learned something from the movie about Julia Child. I always assumed she was French, but she's actually American. When she moved to France, she didn't even know how to speak French.


brokenteepee December 14, 2009 at 12:43 AM  

Chickens are not bright. Not bright at all...

Good luck with the renovations!

About This Blogger

I am a thirty-something mother of two girls and a boy ranging from preschool to middle school. My husband and I keep working and reworking on our goal of raising our family healthier. Our house is a constant work under construction--adding on and remodeling. We're happy to have bought our property a few years ago, but as any homeowners know, owning a home just adds to your list of projects and chores because there's always improvements to be made and maintenance to be done. On our burgeoning homestead, we have chickens, guineas, a few goats, and our most recent additions-rabbits.
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About This Blog

I picked the name Petalz and Finz a couple years ago when I decided to try Etsy out. I wanted to custom make some baby related items and have things for girls and boys. I felt the name incorporated both my kids (at the time) into it--petalz for Ivy and finz for Finn.

I haven't had time to do much of anything with my Etsy for a while, but it's still my in my long term goals. In the mean time, I'm having fun with this blog thing. I've found some creative inspiration through my own posting, but also through many other wonderful blogs out there.
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