Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow on your Beak!

Sometimes we all get caught with snow on our beak, or the human likeness of it.
With the New Year, 2012 just getting started, I've made some resolutions, like I usually do.

It's easy to pass a judgement quickly, and then find it's completely wrong, I've unfortunately done this before.

For many years I've tried to avoid jumping to conclusions about people, but find there is always room for improvement.

Like this chicken in the video, she's unaware of the snow on her beak. It may look like she's an untidy chicken, but she's not, she was just caught in an awkward moment.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cleaning the Hen House and Gardening January 8, 2012!

I felt so lucky to have a free day today to work outside. A sunny day, in January in the Northwest is rare treat. I even had to discard my jacket because I got HOT. The dogs, Kimmy and Buck stayed by my side while I worked.

Cleaning the barn has to be done every day, but taking the manure outside on a dry sunny day is a lot better then in the rain or snow.

The chickens were thrilled when I cleaned out the chicken house, replacing the used nesting material in their boxes with fresh hay and wood shavings. The main part of the hen house is where the real dirty work was, I shoveled out all the old manure and replaced it with fresh hay and a thin layer of cedar chips. (Wearing a filter mask.)

To make the job more enjoyable, I replaced the 2 x 4 chunk of wood that has been used to prop the chicken door open every day for several years with a chain and hook ... a major improvement. Taking this little bit of extra time to do something I've wanted to do for a long time, sweetened the job and energized me.

The chickens notice these improvements, they are very keen to change, they like to come in, inspect the house and scratch around.

Ann and Rich Anderson who also keep a flock of chickens here on the ranch in my mom's old hen house, cleaned and scrubbed their house today too. We chatted as our paths crossed, sharing the wheelbarrow and tools.
The whole chicken community is clean, happy and healthy!

Nothing is wasted, I put all the manure where it can aged and will be used in the garden and grow boxes. Using as many of the resources right here on the ranch and avoiding commercial products is most rewarding.
Making compost from kitchen scraps, yard clippings and manure is an all around good practise.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Is decorating your home a waste of time?

Some of my family and friends didn't get to see my home decorated for Christmas, so before I take it all down, I took some photos and made a short video.

I put up about 1/3 of my decorations
this year and
really enjoyed it.

This Santa display is new, it was John's favorite decoration.

This year, I came to understand something about decorating and my feeling guilty that I was wasting time. (My confession: I tend to think that "wasting time" means doing something I really enjoy as opposed to "work" I don't like to do, which isn't wasting time. I'm working on this, I know it's not healthy.)

I was starting to feel like I was "wasting time" decorating, because it does take a lot of time, but when my husband John said, "Decorating is one of your talents, I'm glad to see you using one of your talents."
I felt justified in putting one of my talents to use and sharing it. I never looked at it like that before.

Sometimes I feel guilty using my creative talents, because I have a lot of fun when I do and it doesn't feel like "work". If I was practising the piano (I don't play the piano, but have a lot of admiration for those who do) for a Christmas program, that would never be considered a waste of time.

Decorating is like my Christmas concert, it is how I share one of my talents.

It's good to enjoy your home, decorating it for the different holidays. It's a talent to develop, share and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Get the Most from Your Lip Gloss!

Until recently, I threw the lip gloss out when I couldn't squeeze any more out of the tube. My husband John gave me this idea when I caught him cutting open the toothpaste so he could use the last little bit in the tube.
When I thought my favorite lip gloss was empty, I remembered my frugal husband's technique and tried it on the lip gloss tube. To my delight, there was another couple of weeks worth of lip gloss left in the tube.
Try this!