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Showing posts from January, 2018

Latest Happenings: Chickens Running, Rising Creek Waters and New Windows

I've been cooped up inside the house for too long due to all the rainy weather we've been having lately. When finally there was break in the weather the other day, my daughter and I ventured out to the community barn. We love watching what goes on over there in the community barn / garden / chicken pen.  A dozen or so homeowners in the area participate together in caring for this area and the animals.  A side benefit in having this shared resource right next door is that it provides us newbie hobby farmers with examples of how it's done. This week, we noticed they had moved the chickens over into the garden.  The chickens obviously love being able to pick through the remnants of the last season's bounty, while also helping the gardeners get a jump-start on controlling weeds and garden pests.  The chickens are also fertilizing the garden with their droppings.   Chickens have a unique way of running that I just can't stop watching. I've got about a dozen s

I've Become a Crazy Compost Lady

It struck me today that I spend an awful lot of time thinking about and planning how to make better compost.  The first prime example: the other day, I made a DIY compost bin for my kitchen scraps.  I was super-excited about creating one myself. It was unbelievably easy, and saved me about $99 from having to buy one online. All you need to make a compost bin is a big plastic tote bin (preferably a dark one) and a drill. Simply drill holes across the top and bottom of the bin. The holes in the top are air vents and they also allow some moisture (such as rain) to enter; the holes in the bottom provide drainage. Then, begin filling your bin with layers of brown stuff (leaves, grass clippings, straw) and green stuff (kitchen scraps). If needed, add a little bit of water so that it retains the right level of moisture. Another case in point that shows how insanely I behave over composting is my exuberance to begin using my chickens as compost-making machines. Chickens and co

Rapidly Flowing Stream and Clear Skies on a Winter Day

While the temperatures have hovered near freezing, the skies have cleared enough that my daughter and I decided to venture out for brisk walk.  We crossed the backyard to the trail that runs along the creek. We've noticed how the water in the creek moves swiftly this time of year as it flows toward the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We can hear the water's roar from the upstairs master bedroom. It's even louder once you're in the yard. Up close, it's quite impressive to listen to and watch.  You wouldn't want to accidentally fall into the stream this time of year - not only is it cold, it's deeper and moving fast enough to probably carry you downstream, where there's an even bigger body of water.  Nature's power is impressive to behold. There are several really nice views that we pause for along our walk.  The one from this bridge is particularly enjoyable.  In the late fall, this is where we saw salmon swimming and spawning. One last bridge

Coraline's Portal Was Empty...Time Capsule Placed Inside

On New Year's Eve, I found myself behaving like a little girl as I eagerly attacked the hidey-hole door (otherwise known as Coraline's Portal) with a drill and crowbar, anxious to see what was inside.  My mind raced with possibilities.  The tiny door at the back of a closet had hinges and there were wear marks where someone repeatedly opened it. Never had a door seemed so filled with possibilities for something of value to be waiting behind it, especially since it had been screwed shut and floor trim covered the lower edge, making it difficult to open. So there I was on my hands and knees at the far end of the closet, putting the proper drill bit into my husband's drill, getting ready to unscrew the door.  I realized as I was working on it that the floor trim actually wasn't placed over the top of the door, but rather that the settling of the house had caused the wooden door to slip slightly under the trim.  That made it seem even better, as likely this door had no