Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Kind of Conversion

Spring has sprung and our 6 week old chicks, Betty and Wilma, want out of the brooder and out of the garage, and into the sunshine and fresh air. We try to get them outside for a little playtime most days and it's getting harder and harder to get them to go back in the box. This past week one of them tried to make a run for it and almost flew out of the box after their romp in the yard. Now that they are fully feathered and Minnesota temps are seasonable, it's safe for them to be outside temperature-wise, but it isn't safe for them to be in the coop with the big girls just yet. The chicks need to be big enough to hold their own in a squabble when we put all of them together, because there's every chance that feathers will fly a bit as they get their pecking order sorted out when they are all together.

So for the past week or so, I've been eyeing our old dog house, which we bought ten years ago when we got our dog, and which he immediately outgrew. There it's been sitting unused all these years out in the back of the house and I wondered if it might be possible to convert the (insulated!) dog house into a temporary outdoor home for our chicks, until they are big enough to go into the big girl coop. So I made a few mental notes of things that it would need to be suitable for a few weeks, and I emailed a friend who has spent a considerable amount of time in recent weeks working in and on his own coop to ask his advice.

Saturday morning rolled around and two friends (our priest and the husband of my old high school pal, Gern) who are far handier than we are with drills and saws and such generously offered their morning and their wisdom and made some fine digs for our little girls out of that old dog house. I spent the morning handing off tools and trying to be as helpful as possible.

Here's a pictoral glance at our Saturday morning and early afternoon, beginning with the old doghouse - removeable roof removed.

Now we need to make a little ramp for the chicks and a small and predator-safe run around the house, and get some paint on that roof. We'll try to get some of that taken care of on Monday, and with any luck they will be living outside in just a few short days. We will all be happier.

It's nothing elaborate, but for our chicks it will be a palace compared to the box in the garage! It should serve them well for the summer until they are full grown in about a dozen weeks.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Avian Update

The Transposzing family has been busy in the past couple of weeks (part of the reason for my lack of updated posts). But I've been asked by a couple of folks to post some photos of the girls, so here they are.

The little girls, who used to look like this:

Now look like this:

They're sort of at that awkward teenager stage - mostly feathered with little bits of down sticking out here and there, and some patches with neither feather nor down, but which will soon be feathered. They have gotten along famously and continue to spend their days in a (now greatly enlarged) brooder, dumping their food all over the floor and trying to sort out who gets to be the boss of them. This shouldn't be too hard - there's only two of them! And of course, once they get that sorted out, they'll soon discover that neither of them are the boss, because once they get out to the coop with the big girls, they will be low chickens on the totem pole, simply because of their size.

Once we offically adopted Miss Flora, we renamed her at the suggestion of the friend who gave her to us - she was part of a threesome originally: Flora Fauna, and Merriweather. Once he gave Flora away, it seemed rather silly to just have a Fauna and Merriweather, so he renamed his two buff Orpingtons and encouraged us to do the same. So Wilma's adopted sister is Betty, even though we know that naming our two chicks Wilma and Betty rather dates us. (Once when our boys were little we bought some Flintstone's children's multi-vitamins for them at Target, and ElderSon's only comment was, "What's a Flintstone?" *sigh*)

The big girls seem to love their new home in the 'burbs. They settled in as soon as we got them home and gave us two fine eggs the very next morning. In fact, they have given us two fine eggs every day, which we have enjoyed! We've got a little waiting list of folks who want eggs and are sort of handing them out in half-dozens. We eat a few and then give a few away. Here's what's in the fridge at the moment:

As it turned out, we renamed the big girls, too. They came to us with the names given to them by my brother-in-law's young children, Docilea and Flash. We had no trouble remembering Flash, but could never remember Docilea's name - mostly we just remembered that it started with a D. So we gave them different names, Lucy and Ruby. New names, new home, new family - lots of changes came very quickly for them, but they seem to have taken it all in stride and are delightful, hard-working girls.

Here are a couple of additional shots:

The big girls seem to love their new digs:

DearHusband and Ruby (blurry cell phone shot):



Seems the chickens have been a bit of a curiosity in the neighborhood, too! We've now visited at length with several neighbors we've lived near for over a dozen years and never really spoken with. Many have stopped by to see them and to ask about them - one neighbor even volunteered to chicken-sit while we are away (if she can keep whatever eggs she gets!). So chicken ownership has had some unforseen benefits, too.

Now that we have sort of fallen into a good routine with the new chicks and chickens, we are slowly getting back to life-as-usual ... it's just a little fuller now. And a little more fun.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

How I Spent Mother's Day

We drove down to DearHusband's hometown to have lunch with his mom - and came home with our 2 new hens.

They seem pretty happy in their new home (but what do I know?). I'm not sure how much I'd like a complete change of life as I've always known it all within a few hours. They are now separated from their 2 sisters with whom they've lived their whole 1 year of life, taken their first really long car ride, and taken up residence outside instead of inside...and I'm told they're moulting, to boot (though I sure can't tell yet).

As you can see from the photo, the stress of the day hasn't seemed to have affected their appetites! And they aren't one bit afraid of that big dog, either.

Well, if we all make it through this first night, it should get easier from here on, right?

(Meanwhile, the little girls in the brooder will move to a larger brooder tomorrow, as they have outgrown the one they are currently in).

Friday, May 8, 2009

Reason #262 Why I Don't Belong on Facebook

I find myself wanting to "hide" a Facebook friend.

It seems that I am learning WAY more than I want to know about a Facebook friend or two. I'm not talking about responders to those stupid quizzie things, "What gumball flavor are you?" or "What celebrity will you marry?" or other such meaningless stuff that folks feel compelled to tell the world (our two sons are perhaps the worst offenders of posting those stupid quizzie things).

It's when they post serious stuff, such as this, posted by a guy I really like - a pastor who is a former colleague:

"This generation is not looking for a church - they are looking for Jesus. I am Lutheran because of the beauty of our theology and the deep respect of God's grace. This is our shared heritage. I pray that, as Lutherans, we may be called by this generation to LIVE our theology as well as we TALK about it. It is an age of re-formation and, like the first, we are called to put Jesus, not church, at the center."

People want Jesus without the Church, he says. Seems people WANT lots of things - including Jesus without the cross. Or Jesus without worship. Or Jesus as genie-in-a-bottle. Or a personal sort of Jesus who belongs solely to me. Or, worst of all, the infamous Jesus as my boyfriend.

I did respond with a brief comment about Jesus and the Church being a package deal (and I really wanted to mention that a Jesus without the Church is not a part of the Lutheran "shared heritage" or the "beauty of its theology" that he mentions). The statement is so troublesome to me that it bothered me for much of the day - still bothers me, really. And what bothers me even worse is that I am the only one of his 258 "friends" that saw this update who challenged him about it. The only other responders gave him the old thumbs up or thanked him for his meaningful insight.

I like this fellow alot - he's just the sweetest guy ever. And while I enjoy seeing news of his family and photos of his growing kids and stuff, I'm so bothered by some of the theological material he puts out there that I think I might be better off not seeing that.

So Facebook handily provides a "hide" feature, which allows one to see less of the material posted by specific "friends." It saddens me to have to hide him, but if I'm going to keep him as a real-life friend, I might have to, or I'm gonna get myself into hot water.

If you are really looking for Jesus, you're not going to find him on Facebook.

Log off and go to church.

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Crazy Eight

Borrowed in an invited self-tag from Mimi

Eight Things I am looking forward to:

1. a week of vacation, beginning 5/11
2. the installation of new iconography at our church in June
3. fresh eggs from our own girls (that'll be awhile yet)
4. this week's visit of a good friend from CA
5. getting our garden in and the flower boxes planted
6. finishing the icon I am currently working on (that'll be awhile, too)
7. harvesting some rhubarb
8. the smell of clothes and linens fresh from the clothesline

8 Things I did yesterday:
(Umm, I started this post on Monday, so these are 8 things I did on Sunday)
1. had a delightful visit to my former Lutheran digs
2. enjoyed burgers on the grill with family and friends
3. also made s'mores for the first time this spring
4. deleted a whole bunch of links to things I used to read online (an ongoing project)
5. dragged out and filled the bird bath
6. read the paper
7. went to the grocery store
8. pulled a few weeds in the perennial bed (very few)

8 Things I wish I could do:

1. find/make time to read - books (not online)
2. calligraphy
3. play the organ - or any instrument, really
4. de-clutter (more)
5. build stuff
6. save money
7. stop procrastinating
8. sleep in

8 Shows I Watch
Ha! I don't watch 8 shows. But these are the ones I look for or love to catch

1. Law and Order - any variety
2. CSI, any location
3. the local news (almost religiously)
4. occasionally I watch the food network.

8 Tags.
As Mimi said, "You're it!"

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Loved This!

I have always loved watching herding excersises - always! So when I saw this, I just had to cross-post, with a HT to Fr. Gregory Jensen.

Taking what I have always considered to be a great and noble occupation to it's extreme level!

A Feast For the Eyes

Iconographer Matthew Garret has recently completed a wonderful set of icons! I tried to download the intruiging little video which marks the process and progress of the painting of one of these icons, but alas, the downloading of this little video is a project for which I likely need the help of my kids, But it's fascinating!

Since the kids are still sleeping, I'll keep it simple. Go to his (beautiful) blog. While you're there be sure to follow the link to all of his iconography.

What inspiring work!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Eastern Christian New Media Blog Awards

I've just been informed that someone has nominated my blog for one of these this year - whodathunkkit?

Check your RSS and Reader feeds and nominate all of your favorite Orthodox bloggers in several categories by going here.


Wishing YoungerSon (the family clown and our May Day boy) a happy, happy twelfth birthday.

(could he not have found a fake mustache in something a little blonder?)