Thursday, March 11, 2010

Seed Heaven

Wow!  What can I say...I'm in love.  Today was the day for purchasing seed for the garden.   My Mom and I loaded the kids into the car and drove over to Fredericksburg.   First we had a late lunch at Clear River Bakery, which is one of my favorite spots on Main Street.  I highly recommend the pimento cheese sandwich!  Next, we made our way to the Wildseed Farm where I found all of the cut flower and wild flower seed I need for the garden.  It's a great place, but very touristy.  We were hoping they already had their live butterfly exhibit, but we were four days early:(  Harrison was disappointed, but found comfort in a popsicle.  

I stopped at a feed store to pick up some organic feed for my chickens and stumbled upon a real treasure!  I walked into the front door of Woerner Warehouse and immediately got VERY excited.  Make that giddy.  I'm pretty sure I was skipping as I passed through the second door that opens up into the farm store.  I am in love with this place!  I busted out my camera and began shooting away.  


This is their bulk seed display.  It makes me so happy.  Someone really knows what they're doing here!

All of these old seed cans and jars are full of seed.  You just pour what you need into the little old scale, label your envelope, and pour.  It was extra work, but boy was it worth it.  The joy it gave me to choose and weigh each seed will surely make me love each little plant they become even more.  It was a labor of love.  (And there WAS the awesome teenager who helped me along!)  

These old bins made the perfect display for the seeds and stored all of the seed envelops nicely.  I love the color!

I wish I would have asked how long the scale and seed canisters have been around.  Some of their labels were so old I couldn't read them.  I didn't care.  I love their character.

Sister perched on Grandma's hip!

This is their planting calendar according to the moon.  

Chicken chart!  They are currently taking orders for chicks.  I managed to resist!

Silly Willy!  What a great day.  Accomplished everything on my list today and loved every minute of it.  I'm a very lucky girl!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Saving Crawly

Another day, another adventure!  Today I am proud to say that we saved the lives of 7, yes SEVEN crawfish!  We spotted them in the seafood section of HEB and couldn't resist.  Harrison was hilarious hiding behind total strangers as I held one up and said, "Don't eat meeeee...aaaaahhhh!"  Everyone around the vat of googly-eyed and very aggressive little morsels came alive.  Grown men were sneaking up and goosing elderly strangers who were eyeballing the hundreds of red pinchers just begging for someone to get close enough.  It was a hoot!  I grabbed the tongs and filled a little bag with some and tossed them, writhing, into the cart.  Harrison was beside himself.  "What are we gonna do with them, Mom?" I can't lie, I was really planning to take them home and boil them up for an experimental sauce to go with the salmon we were having for dinner.  There is one I really like at Pappadeaux that I have been wanting to try to recreate.  Then when I saw the look on Harrison's face as I explained to him how we were going to cook them, I just couldn't go through with it.  And I am no bleeding heart liberal.  I can look a deer right in the eye and see venison as I'm pulling the trigger.  But putting a live crawfish into a pot of boiling water...I couldn't stand it!  I had already bagged the little mud bugs and was heading to the check out when I came up with my plan to liberate them from the fate they would surely face if I didn't go through with the purchase.  The check out girl was horrified and wouldn't even touch the bag.  It was great!

Here they are, the lucky seven, digging into their new home in the creek near our house.  Better than a boiling pot, wouldn't you say?

I love this picture of Harrison.  It truly captures who he is right now...confident, free, and on a big adventure called LIFE.  Man, I like this little boy!


This is the one Harrison named Crawly.  Who could resist those eyes?  I think that look is him telling us thank you.  Thank YOU, Crawly, for letting us practice a little kindness on you today!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chicken's New Digs

Well, we finally made it to the ranch at 8:45 this evening. The chickens ended up having to stay an extra night in our garage because Emerson has had a high fever and needed to see the doctor before we could leave town.  Sounds like she has a virus and it probably has nothing to do with the tubes she just got in her ears.  I hope that is really the case. 

The transfer from the raccoon trap to the cardboard box was seriously tricky.  If Dominica, our housekeeper, who now is also fondly known to me as Dominica the Great Chicken Wrangler, had not have been at our house to help me, Louise, Henrietta, and Clucky would have had to fly to Hunt in the raccoon trap strapped to the roof of my Suburban.  Luckily Dominica is lightening fast and sly as a fox.  I basically dumped them toward her and she snatched them out and stuck them into the box.  Emerson was sitting in her stroller and Harrison was keeping an eye on the lid of the box to make sure no one escaped.  Well...Clucky made a break for it between the trap and the box and flew right over our heads around my garage!  Emerson and Harrison were freaked out, screaming, running, panicked...I was laughing hard and trying to unstrap Em from the stroller so Clucky didn't perch on her head, scarring her for life.  Dominica on the other hand was as cool as a cucumber.  She had Clucky caught and in the box in seconds.  She's good.  Makes me wonder if maybe she, too, has chickens in her garage.  Something to think about.  

Anyway, our sweet hens made the six hour drive with no problems!  Louise even laid an egg in the cardboard box we transported them in.  Good thing she did since I didn't want to add another hour onto our trip by going to the grocery store when I got into town and Harrison was STARVING when we got home later that night.  I was able to cook up Miss Louise's egg for a great late night snack.  He said it was the best egg he ever had!   He really digs this chicken thing.  Here he is below in the chicken coop waiting for me to free the girls from their box.  We put some hay in each of their boxes and filled their feeder and waterer and then set them free.  You'll notice there are no pics of Emerson below.  That's because every one I had of her looked so sad.  She didn't feel good at all, but still managed to squeak out a "chick, chick, chick" every now and then.  Poor, sweet baby girl:(

Harrison and Emerson's pretty head

The nesting boxes Lynda gave us are perfect.


Louise protecting Harrison's late night snack.


Harrison, the proud little chicken man wishing the girls a good first night in their new home!  

Scratching around in the sand, eating,  and checking out their new digs!      

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chicken Louise Lays an Egg

We got a BIG surprise today after lunch.  Dylan came running into the house squealing, "Lisa, I think they laid an egg!" We ran outside and sure enough, we had our first egg!  It is big and white and sure to be really tasty.  We named our white, egg laying girl, Louise.  Louise the white Leghorn chicken! 

This is what it's all about!  Turns out that Harrison is a great pet owner.  He is very protective and attentive of his chickys.  He named the black one, Clucky.  Em broke and ran to make it out the door when Harrison would go out to check on them.  She finds them very funny and wants to pet them really bad.  Poor baby had fever all day today, so we delayed our trip so she can see her doctor tomorrow.  I think her ears, which just got tubes, are infected:(  She felt terrible all day, but the chickens cheered her up!

Loiuse stands guard over her perfect egg.

It was such a beautiful afternoon, we took the girls out for some sunshine and tender, green winter grass.

They were very happy and hungry.  We now have Louise the white Leghorn, Clucky the black Austrolorp, and Henrietta the Rhode Island Red AND an egg to eat for breakfast in the morning!  Great day!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Dreamed of Chickens

I dreamed about chickens last night!  I was so excited I guess they're all I could think about.  I dreamed that I picked up my sweet chickens and got them settled into their new home and when I returned to check on them, they had multiplied by 30!  I was covered in a sea of chickens and I was totally okay with it!  

This is the Crossroads Feed Store where my mother-in-law's friend, Rachel, had three young hens waiting for me to pick them up.  It was raining and very messy today.  Not knowing exactly what to expect when I went inside, I put on my rubber boots and declared it "Chicken Day" (in my head)!  

This is how I found them.  One white Leghorn hen, the matron of the bunch, who is already laying eggs, and two young pullets who are close to beginning to black Astrolorp, and one Rhode Island Red...I think.  Exactly what I asked for!

The cardboard box they gave me to transport them in and the feeder and waterer my mother-in-law gave me.

I had them in the back of the car when I picked up Harrison from school.  He was so excited!  Here he is doing a little chicken dance to celebrate.

Harrison scooped out some feed for his first pets.

I just knew they were going to jump out and claw my eyes out as soon as I opened the box.  It's been so long since I handled chickens, I REALLY had to psyche myself up.

Pretty Sissy eating a cheese stick and watching intently.

I didn't know she was the boss at the time, but I am glad I took her out first, since she is obviously the leader.  They were amazingly calm and still in the box.  I was very relieved!

Into the temporary pen they'll stay in until we make the trip to the hill country tomorrow.  It's a live trap...the kind of thing you'd use to catch a raccoon that's raiding your garbage.  As I am writing this, I am wondering how on Earth I'm going to get them out of this thing.  Guess I should have considered that before I put them in, huh?

One in successfully!


And three!  She is a sweetheart.  Both of my kids walked right up and pet her without hesitation.  I was glad to see them so excited about having a pet.  Glance into the future:  Mr. Field, what was your first pet?

All settled in with food and water.  I have chickens in my garage!  Don't tell the Homeowner's Association!

Right before bed, Harrison and Emerson went out to tell "the girls" good night.

Sister just can't get enough.  She stares at them and says, "Chick, chick, chick".

Pretty little hen.

We're working on names.  I have a hard time with permanent.  Planning to leave town tomorrow.  They'll have to go back into the box to travel.  I hope they'll do okay and not get too cold out in the garage tonight.  I considered bringing them into the laundry room, but decided against it when I saw how much mess they made in five hours.  Pretty, but nasty little birds!