My March Girl

Larkspur's Birthday-2712

Early last December, I placed an order for chicks. We’ve never ordered chicks so early before, but Larkspur had mentioned wanting her own flock and I thought that would make a perfect birthday gift for her. Her favorite chicken from our current flock was a mostly black Easter Egger (sadly lost to a predator last year) which led her to have a slight preference for black chickens. So when I went searching I stuck to all black breeds. I settled on black copper marans because of their deep chocolate colored eggs, and the fact that they seem special in general. I knew I was taking a risk choosing the breed and surprising Larkspur, so I was a little bit nervous. A couple of weeks later, she announced a desire for a flock of black copper marans at which point I began to feel a little bit proud of myself. Larkspur started stalking the My Pet Chicken website in January, making comments about the fact that the black copper marans were going to sell out. I played it cool, even after she started panicking at the fact that they had indeed sold out (for the year, at this point!). “I don’t know what to tell you, Sweetie.” I wasn’t about to tell her that I had everything covered, and had ordered chicks for her March birthday back in December.

There was no way to time things exactly perfectly, her birthday being on a Sunday this year, so the chicks arrived the week before her birthday. In addition to Larkspur’s chicks, I had ordered some for our family flock as well, which made sense because I was already paying for shipping. The box of chicks rode in Larkspur’s lap on the way home from the post office, and she begged me to tell her if any of them were black copper marans. Not until we arrived home with the box of chicks did I cave and tell her that yes, she was the owner of six black copper maran hens, and one rooster. Sadly, three days in, one of her chicks died, but the others are a week old now and doing well. Never have I been so anxious over a group of chicks! The one that died had me in fits of anxiety (it became clear about day two that it wasn’t super well). I gave her sugar water on the hour all day and even got up a couple of times in the night to care for her. Some chicks just don’t make it though, and I think she was just destined to be one of them. Thankfully, Larkspur took it pretty well and we are moving on with her flock of six.

Lark turned eleven on Saturday, which I can hardly believe, of course. Because it seems that we all suffer from this collective denial that our babies will continue to have birthdays every single year, growing up far more quickly than we expect. Per her request I braved sewing her a birthday dress for the first time in years. I made the Oliver + S Garden Party Dress in fabric that she chose herself. I worked on it all week long, an hour here, and an hour there. It must have taken me about six. But I think I could do it much more quickly next time. I hope there will be more sewing in my future. It would definitely make my girls happy. Lark really loves her dress, which of course makes me happy!

The chicks were her main gift this year, but I did buy her a feather field guide that she has been wanting for a long time along with a vintage apron and embroidered pillowcase I came across at a local shop. I took a photo of the inside of the field guide to show you how neat it is, if you are interested in feathers, of course. Larkspur collects feathers she finds outdoors and likes to try and figure out what species of birds they came from.

I failed to gather eleven candles to put in the banana pudding that Lark requests every year, so she ended up with two large beeswax tapers for her 11. It worked! Birthday success all around for my sweet girl.

p.s. After obsessing over yarn colors for weeks, I cast on for a Find Your Fade shawl. Details on my yarn and colors are in my Ravelry notes. Choosing the colors nearly drove me crazy, but now that I am actually knitting I can say it was totally worth it!

p.p.s. I shared one of those photos of Silas and Job on Instagram last week or so…I had to save them from Wattles, our rooster. They really didn’t need saving, just thought they did. And I don’t make the best savior, because I’m probably more afraid of him than they are. I have rooster phobia and can’t seem to conquer it! Luckily, we all survived that day, even Job’s monkey.

Comments

  1. What a dreamy birthday surprise! I would have died if my mom had planned out a flock of chickens of a special breed when I was a girl. So thoughtful and useful.
    I’m putting that feather field guide in my basket on Amazon instantly. My boys and I have long talked about how genius it would be to make one of those. I never dreamed they really existed! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi, I love your blog it’s so informative, offers a feeling of true farm life. Your words are soothing and the photographs are wonderful. I guess I am now a follower thank you for sharing your life. I would like to ask where do you purchase your chickens I am searching for a good seller. Thank you.

  3. We’d love to feature a photo of your Garden Party Dress on the Oliver + S blog, may we have your permission to do that? Please let me know, thanks!

  4. Katherine Smith says:

    What a gorgeous girl she is. Those eyebrows!!! and the sweet dusting of freckles. She’s gonna be a heartbreaker 🙂

  5. Your daughter is so very sweet! Chicks are such a cute present for an eleven year old! I hope the rest of her flock survive, they are beautiful chickens <3

  6. HELP! Ever since I read this I have been searching for a pattern for the bolero/shrug/wrap that Larkspur is wearing. I realized something like that is exactly what I need for a little extra warmth, but not too much extra warmth. Do you happen to remember the pattern? Or is there a post on it already?

  7. My daughter is my May girl. She will be also eleven this year. She wants an overall soo badly, could you tell me where did you get Larkspur?

  8. I can’t believe she is 11. I started reading your blog when she turned 8. Time flies. Happy Birthday!

  9. Happy birthday and I feel really old when you announce she is 11….ack! How can it be ? Is she the most like you in personality? She has such deep thoughts in those photos and pure grace. Have fun with all those chicks!!

  10. And if folks can’t find, or don’t want to buy a feather atlas, there is a great online feather atlas at https://www.fws.gov/lab/featheratlas/

    Very detailed and much fun to peruse. An evolving work in progress.

  11. The dress is beautiful! I love the color with her eyes! I am trying to get into sewing more. I want to, but I am inexperienced and a bit fearful. I am halfway through a tunic top for my daughter. (I hope I can figure out the button holes). I should have finished it sooner since the sewing machine is occupying half our kitchen table. I also bought a cheap pattern for the simplest dress I could find to attempt for her birthday next month. (Also in a lovely blue to match her eyes!) Wish me luck! I love the style of the one you made. I really need to conquer my fears and start sewing because my daughter (and soon twin sons) will need more bibs. And I invested in buying some fabric to make them blankets. They are due in May, but being twins, they could make an early appearance! Thank you for sharing your beautiful and inspiring creations!

    • Oh, I forgot to add that while I was raised mostly a city girl (with a country heart), my very first pet was a baby chick my mom let me bring home from the hardware store. My dad was so pleased (not!). Our yard wasn’t fenced and it loved to chase the mailman and play with the dog next door. Eventually it became a rooster and my parents gave it to a family at church who lived on a farm. I was only three or four. They say it grew fat and depressed. They eventually ate it . . . 🙁

  12. Such wonderful photos as ever. Happy Birthday to your beautiful girl.

  13. Richard (in Charlotte, NC) says:

    Happy Birthday to Larkspur! She looks so mature for being 11. You did a wonderful job on her dress and the fabric she picked out is quite fitting for her surroundings. I have to admit to envy of your yarn for the new shawl. I am partial to the Fig and Brick Dust. I seem to be on a Dark Chocolate Brown and Tan vibe lately. Lenten blessings to you and your family.

  14. The dress you made is darling. And you were more secretive than I could have been. I would have caved in and told Larkspur that I had ordered the chickens she wanted. Which would have made it less of a surprise. Happy birthday larkspur and much success with the chickens. It will be fun to see some pictures of them as they grow.

  15. You have beautiful children!

  16. Cathy B. says:

    Happy Birthday Larkspur! Aww Ginny, what a perfect birthday for your daughter. I have a special place in my heart for feathers, and I also collect them.

  17. Sandra Davidson says:

    Happy Birthday Larkspur you are such a sweet young girl. I love the Birthday gifts you find for the children
    They are so unique, love the chicks.
    How are you feeling on your thyroid medication it takes a while .After fifty years of problems I think the meds aren’t working anymore. Take care you are so important. Blessings to you and family

    • I’m still trying to get back on track. I was on the same dose of synthroid for over a year with no problems, but getting switched to the Naturethroid really messed me up for some reason. Back on synthroid, but still not quite right. 🙁

  18. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LARKSPUR. Love the dress and the chicks are adorable.
    Marion

  19. Yay, Larkspur! Happy belated birthday to her! I love the dress you made, it seems to suit her so well. And it matches her eyes, too! 🙂

    I love that you ordered those chicks back in December, by the way…way to think ahead!

    Love your pictures and stories, as always (ha, Silas and Job on the fence!). Have a good rest of the week!

  20. I am in love with thet fabric line! And might I add that all your daughters are just so lovely!

  21. What a beautiful young lady. I loved this post and all of your photos. The little boys cracked me up. The monkey tied around the waist is hysterical. Happy birthday to your girl and happy giving birth day to you!!!

  22. Becky Barry says:

    Such a wonderful page to read! Love all of this funness!

  23. What fun birthday gifts! And a beautiful shawl. I love all the yarn colors posted. I envy your bare grass. Our roads are all closed this morning for drifted snow and our public school had a two hour delayed start. My poor home schooled children never get snow days.

  24. You’ll love knitting Find Your Fade. It’s such a simple, easy to remember pattern yet there’s something always changing so you never get bored. I’m just past the halfway point on mine & already thinking about colors for another.

    Happy Birthday to Larkspur!

  25. Ravenna says:

    The colors are perfect. Great job on the chick pick. 😉

  26. Happy birthday, Lark! I adore the dress you made for her. So pretty.

  27. so lovely! happy birthday to your 11 year old!!!! so fun about the chicks!!! I hope you have a wonderful day today!!!

  28. Cindy in NC says:

    Happy birthday to Larkspur. The dress is lovely, especially with her gorgeous blue eyes.

  29. Robin B says:

    Happy Birthday Larkspur! We have our own flock of chickens and got a maran this year too. If you haven’t heard of the website or books called Fresh Eggs Daily to is worth checking out. She is very much into natural care for the chickens. She posts small videos on Facebook with her flock.

  30. Happy Birthday to Larkspur, WOW 11 years, that is huge! Love the gifts Larkspur received this year, practical, but so fun too.
    Ginny, will be watching your progress on the shawl, great colors you chose!

  31. Happy Birthday, Larkspur! What a completely wonderful birthday present! Very special that these will be her own flock. And the dress is beautiful also.

  32. Stefanie says:

    Oh I love this post. Your joy and her happiness just shine through.

    Just perfect!

    (and life rarely is)

  33. All your children are beautiful. Happy birthday to Larkspur and to you as a mom. She seems very quiet and sweet. The dress is beautiful.
    If I may ask how are your older boys, as I don’t see photos of them for some time?

    • They’ve been here and there in my recent posts, I believe! Seth and Keats were in the post with the lathe, and then there was a recent photo of Gabe with Mabel…but mostly they don’t enjoy being photographed and posted on the blog. They are all doing well though! Keeping busy with all their favorite things, along with their not so favorite things like schoolwork. 🙂

  34. Love the dress, the shawl and the chickens
    Many of my Favorite things.

  35. Her dress is the perfect blue to complement her eyes – happy, happy birthday to all, from a fellow March girl! 🙂

  36. What colors did you choose? I have bought pattern but colors! So hard to choose since I am normally a monochromatic knitter😊 Happy day to Larkspur, my Sarah Jane turned 11 in December!

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