Wild and Slow

Small Things-2984

We are in the home stretch of animal and creature moving. The bees are here! Jonny and Gabe moved them late one night last week. We kept them confined for a couple of days before releasing them, and placed obstacles in front of their entrances to force them to re-orientate. Hopefully all will be well with them. We’re having stupid crazy weather here, and after all this warmth, it will be freezing and even snowing this week. SIGH, SIGH, GROAN.

We typically do everything backwards because I am on the compulsive side (maybe, a little) and Jonny supports me in that. (ha!) So, he will be frantically working to finish our big portable chicken coop this week after work each day. In the cold. I really thought it was going to be warm. I should have taken the groundhog seriously!

In all our years of keeping chickens we have never had any “fancy” ones. I don’t know if cochins are considered fancy, but those feathered feet seem pretty fancy to me. Our little blue cochin chick is the cutest thing ever, and she’s so calm! We’ve got a couple little Brahma’s too. Seth and I have been a little obsessive about chicks this year. We want one of every kind. Not happening, but we do have more breeds of chicks than we have in the past.

I took my little boys for real haircuts last week. They are such wild, messy little guys, and in addition to wanting to neaten them up a bit (Job actually had gum stuck in his hair) I want it to be easy to check them for ticks. (Still waiting on Silas’ recent bloodwork results). The woman cutting Silas’ hair made me promise that I wouldn’t cry if she cut it short, and then commented on their good behavior. She then started to compliment me and my parenting skills. I set her straight. Those boys are so crazy, and were mainly behaving because I promised them burgers and fries afterwards! It was a lot of fun to have a date with just the two of them. After we ate, I took them to the library. I want to make this a regular thing for the three of us, despite having to work really, really hard to keep them in line while we were checking out our books. I honestly can’t remember if Seth and Keats had this much energy when they were little. I do know that I am more than ten years older now and that makes such a difference. I am much slower to lose my temper with my little guys now, but I am also much slower in general. Slow can be good, I think, as long as I don’t need to chase anyone down.

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.