Random Thoughts Saturday

-Incredible thunderstorms today. This kind of weather makes me feel charged. My chickens thought the world was ending, however.

-I haven’t had kid-free time in weeks. And when my husband took them out today for an hour, I felt this panic, like I must enjoy each second as the clock ticks away. I dream of having 5 or 6 hours free. Once my youngest is a few years older, I am going to have to take myself on a once a year weekend retreat…ALONE. No talking. No urgency of things to do. Just silence.

PSA: using styrofoam as mulch isn’t a good idea. Someone did this at our house who knows how many years ago, and I’m constantly battling styrofoam. And of course, the chickens are obsessed with it. I think I got practically all of it finally out yesterday. It only took 2 hours of digging (and I’ve spent hours working on it in the last few months).

-After spending the afternoon digging up sheets of styrofoam, I then found myself driving a baby crow out to a wildlife animal rescue center. I didn’t find the bird myself, someone else did and it was brought to me. That center rocks, they are amazing. That is my third time I’ve has to give them an animal, all birds.

-Some days, I feel like I’m balancing on the boundary of  sanity and losing it with the incessant talking that happens in my house. My children are incredible and smart and have so many wonderful things to say and ask such interesting questions, but there is a breaking point of how much talking one person (okay, maybe just ME) can handle. Wow! I know others can relate.

-This week, we re-homed two of our chickens. They went to I.’s farm/outdoor school and I know they’ll be happy there. Our yard feels so much emptier without them, but I know it’s for the best. Nine chickens were too much for our yard, it couldn’t handle the damage of nine. I think seven will be just perfect.

-Does anyone else feel like we are in a Twilight zone episode? Things are so strange and crazy and nothing seems surprising anymore, politically.

-I turned 35 this year and I’m blown away by the things I’m still learning about myself. I mean, you figure you know yourself pretty well by the time you are 25 or 30, right? At least I did. But, this year especially, I am realizing that I’m just now starting to get to know myself and my place in this world around me. That’s likely a lifetime revelation. I feel simulatanously overwhelmed and excited by what lies before me. So much unknowns that haven’t been written yet.

Meet Ella

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Ella is one of our first four chickens that we brought home last summer. She was 3 months old at the time, so she just turned 1. She’s an Americauna.

Ella used to be my least favorite chicken, I’ll admit. I love them all, but she’s is such a funny looking chicken and was the most stand-offish of the lot. But I think she was just warming up to us slowly and her personality isn’t as forceful as her sisters’.

This is her favorite place in our house. None of the other chickens have any interest in this corner, but for Ella, if she can sneak in the house and get here, she’s happy.

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You can see that my Jade plant has made room for a chicken-sized gap. Ella also likes to sit and think about a dust bath here, but I’ve managed to catch her in time.

I caught her in the act yesterday, after she found the door had been left open:

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She is the sweetest chicken. My favorite. Well, it’s hard to pick favorites. All of our chickens are sweet. She lets people hold her easily. And she really thinks she belongs in our house. Since Rose has gone broody (a month now? And still counting…) Ella is the one who tries to eat cat food if the door is open and she doesn’t feel like going to her corner.

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I had to get a picture before chasing her away. (I detest them eating cat food, yuck! They are eating chicken! So, I really try not to let them do it, FYI).

She has never gone broody and probably never will. Which means, I don’t have to worry about bugs on her as much. She is a smart chicken and knows what’s going on. She is also the nicest of the hens with the baby chicks. She lays light blue eggs, which are so pretty.

My husband isn’t fond of her tendency to wake with the sun and demand to be let out by 5:30am most mornings. She doesn’t tolerate being cooped up at all. She starts loudly balking after about 5 minutes of being awake and pacing.

But, who can be mad at this face?

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Homeschool weeks 21 & 22

It’s  beginning to feel like summer. The weather is changing, of course, and the days are growing so very long (it was daylight at 5:30am am this morning!). And we are winding down our school year, but still as busy as ever as we transition to spending our days outside more and more. Baths have becomes a necessity each day as children have layers of dirt on their feet and legs by the end of the day. We’ve been enjoying watermelon again. And we’ve had to start running the fans in the house on warm days. (It makes me ever so grateful for our cool evenings!)

We are still trekking along with our lessons, though they are feeling different. Our geology block is nearly done. I. is working on a research paper on rockhounding. It is a stretch for him, I’m gently nudging him to stretch out his wings and do some writing and research, which isn’t something I’ve pushed much yet. I’m teaching him how to take notes and think about how to organize his information. Next week, he’s going to work on the composition of his paper. Writing has always been a struggle for him, and I’ve gone through phases of backing off and pushing him more. I’ve gotten better as knowing when to back off and when to push, in terms of what serves him best and keeps our relationship intact. I’ve been working on really building his confidence in writing, as I know that is the biggest block for him. So, I’m pleased with how this assignment has gone so far.

This geology block has also caused him to discover a new hobby! Rrock hounding! We’ve spent a day each weekend out exploring a new local nature spot while looking for some good rocks. This weekend with triple digits forecasted, we plan to drive a bit to get into the mountains and look for some rocks there.

In addition to geology, we also did some math, lots of knitting, music, and Gaelic (via Duolingo).

Kindergarten is much of the same. Stories. Singing.  Cooking. Playing. Penny whistle lessons. Digging in the dirt. Making fairy houses. The usual.

Last night, we transitioned the babies to sleeping outside. They did just fine in the coop. I was only slightly nervous because two of our hens are broody and mean to them right now. But, all the chickens just slept through the night, so it was fine.