Friday, October 24, 2014

The dynamic duo.

It's Friday...and after a rainy week, we are pumped for all the fun things the weekend has to offer after this short day of work.  A weekend of fun with this dynamic duo...I can't wait!

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Thursday, October 23, 2014


 Five enamel plates. Perfect to store in the car for impromptu picnics. A huge LL Bean Thermos. $4.00.
 An easel (like new!), three dance outfits (just in case she'll someday want to dance), $5.00.
 And a couple cheesy faces....just because.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Name that Chicken

That's right, name that chicken.  I tried to look them up, but I got overwhelmed. Which is why I'm hoping you will help me! 

Let me give you some background.  Last year, we ordered baby chicks.  There was a surprise rooster in there.  I decided to keep him, hoping to incubate our own.

Fast forward to this spring, we got our incubator all set up. Many eggs were viable. One pipped and hatched but didn't make it. We waited for the others, to no avail.

I thought I did something wrong with the humidity.  Tried again.

This time around, same thing happened. Many were viable but we waited, waited and waited some more. One pipped, hatched, but didn't make it.

Checked the temperature.  BOTH thermometers were off. BOTH of them! 

Used the fancy LL Bean thermometer and BOOM. Chickens hatching right and left! Some we got into the incubator, some more were pipping, all so exciting! And then while I was out and about with the kids...the *^& cat turned up the incubator to 117 degrees and cooked the rest.  I cried.  I was so defeated that I ordered 25 baby chicks online.

But then, the next day, I decided to give it one last whirl. Eggs are only supposed to be hatchable if collected 10 days prior to incubating. I had many more collected from days prior to the 10 day mark.  I decided, why not try?  I filled the incubator.

Two days before the baby chicks were supposed to arrive, the incubator was bursting with excitement.

Long story short, we ended up with 47 baby chicks.  In a brooder in our play room. Plus the 13 layers in the barn.  We turned into a crazy chicken family overnight with 60 chickens.  Oops.

Oh my. 

Alas, most all have made it and they are pullets now!!  I think we have 7 roosters that we must do something with. And our mail orders...we need help figuring out what they are. I ordered 'assorted brown egg layers" and they threw in an extra 'rare breed'.

So....what we have now...

Mostly Rhode Island Reds. That's what we hatched. Plus some of the mail order ones were Rhode Island Reds too.

 Goodness, the roosters are huge. And they scare me around the kids, but the kids are not afraid.  These kids are not without me with these 7 roosters, I tell you.
And then we got Buff Orpingtons, (yellow) which we have as layers already.  And we also have Australorp (black), which we have not had before.

And then (1) we have what I think are White Orpingtons (?).

(2) Then we have this one, which is lighter than the Australorp but darker than the Rhode Island Red.  The head feathers are different from the body feathers. Guesses?
(3) Then we have four of these. These are lighter than the Rhode Island Reds, but darker than the yellow Buff Orpingtons.
 (4) Then this is the rare breed. We call her fuzzy feet.  She's really interesting.

So there you have it. The ones we don't know for sure, 1, 2, 3, 4. When I look them up, I get overwhelmed, so all of you chicken lovers must help me out.

In case you're wondering, the layers....we have Barred Rock, Buff Orpington and Rhode Island Reds. We used to have Aracanas, but not any longer.

Here's one of our beloved Barred Rocks.

 These chickens are used to being hugged. <3
Do you notice the vintage nesting boxes?  They were in the coop I used to have as a child. My dad brought them to me (squee!!!).  Only they don't lay in them, they lay in the troughs.  Maybe someday they'll learn to appreciate vintage nesting boxes. I'll have to have a talk with them.

Anyway, how about a warm egg? we love thee.  And I love how they both are wearing a mama made-his shirt and the overalls I made for him, but now fit here.

Many thanks in advance for helping us with labeling these chicken breeds!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Leaves

I do post our leaf experiences every year.  It's not really new and exciting....but then it is.  It's the fun we have forgotten, as we haven't had the chance to experience it since last season.  We remember the fun, we create new fun, we laugh, we jump, we run, we bury each other and have a good time. It's another year, another series of leaf pictures and another round of smiles.

 And to think, all that magic happened in that little pile of leaves.
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Mama Made: Bear Mittens

Remember the "Bear Hug" coats I made them for their Halloween Costume? (Find them here).

Just a bit of fabric left. Decided to whip up a couple pairs of paw mittens. Barely had enough fabric, but here they are!  Pattern for his is from a McCalls pattern I bought at a thrift shop for fifty cents. I drafted hers to fit, as there weren't any patterns small enough for her in my stash.

 He wouldn't model his. But...
 She did model hers.
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Too many bananas. A good problem. Especially when one thinks about cake. Mmm.

Banana Cake (Recipe from All Recipes)

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sour milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup mashed bananas
1) Mix butter, sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and mix. Add sour milk, salt, baking soda, baking powder and flour. Mix. Add bananas and mix well.
2) Place in greased 9x13. Bake @ 350 for 30-40 min.
        Cream cheese frosting
1/2 stick of room temperature butter
1/2 box of cream cheese
Add desired amount of powdered sugar (~3 cups) and milk (a few splashes) to make it the consistency you're excited about.  I almost always cut the amount of powered sugar with flour by 1/2 cup...just to make it a little less sweet.       
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