Runaway Chickens

Why do my chickens always try to escape their run?  They have a large roomy run complete with apple trees, grass, dust bath, compost pile and duck pond.  I’m even in the process of building a chicken swing for them. Still they dig along the fence line, they push on the gate, they try to squeeze out any opening they can find.  I found one chicken, Apple, laying eggs near the woodpile. She was guarding close to a dozen eggs.  Another chicken, Clair, has a taste for the leeks in my garden.  Pearl prefers the watermelon patch and Juniper loves hiding under the pine trees, go figure.  They all end up standing at the back patio door – looking in.  A true sign our chickens are pets.  They really just want in the house with us.

Runaway chicken

Why Did the Duck Quack?

Did she quack because she’s ornery?

Did she quack because she’s sad?

Did she quack because she saw you and wanted a piece of bread?

Did she quack just to say “Hi!” or “How have you been?”

I think she quacked because she can and she wants to.

The rest is left unsaid.

Bennie

Love Hate Relationship with My Elliptical Trainer

I love my elliptical trainer. It fits in a reasonably small space and is quiet.  I can use it anytime I want and I don’t have to share it with anyone. It has several pre-programmed workouts and has a manual workout setting.  It shows how many calories I’ve burned, how many steps I’ve taken, and my heart rate.  Its a great machine.  I love it.

lovehatelove

I hate my elliptical trainer because its no fun.  I get bored even when I’m working hard.  I need to see out a window or watch TV to keep my mind busy.  Otherwise I’m just watching the clock waiting for the workout to end.  I need a low impact workout because of an old knee injury.  I need to stay at home to workout because that works best for me. My elliptical is boring and I hate that.

My love hate relationship creates a constant battle for my motivation to work out.  I feel better afterwards, but getting on the machine and sometimes just completing the workout is difficult sometimes.  I need to find a way to love more than hate.  I know its better for me in all kinds of ways.

Meditation Gives

Meditation gives me the ability to see and cherish what I already have.

My treasure is worth more.

These 3 Things

These three things

There are three things I must do everyday. Take care of myself, my family, and business. My all-encompassing trinity.  I need all three.  All three need me.  We need each other in more ways than we realize.  Finding a balance is the most difficult part for me.

Honestly, for most of my life I put business before myself and my family. I believed that providing for my family was the most important thing.  By spending all my time working I failed myself and my family.   By not taking care of myself, I was unable to see how much my family needed me.  I was in a fog of poor health, exhaustion and poor life choices.

When I finally started trying to take care of myself, I was able to see how much my family needed me. I’m still in awe of how much it take to care for a family.  I am much more capable of rising to this task when I take care of myself.

I’m not ashamed to say my first priority every day is to work out.  I need it .  It clears my mind and helps me feel I’ve accomplished something.  Being a self-employed, work at home single mom, this is very important to me.  Once I’ve worked out, I feel I can accomplish almost anything.

I can provide healthy food and a healthy environment for my children.  I can generate enough income and resources to care for my family.  I just need to work out first.  I need to make sure I am present for my family. I can do this.  So can you.

Daily Digital Mandala 522

Daily Digital Mandala

Daily Digital Mandala 522“What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness.”

~M. C. Escher

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And the Duck Quacked Loudly

Bennie and Jett at just a couple days old.
Bennie and Jett at just a couple of  days old.

We were “gifted” two baby ducks this spring.  Of course, we picked the two most active ducklings of the bunch.  Bennie and Jett came to live with us when they were just days old.  Tiny little birds with a voracious appetite.  We instantly fell in love which made frequent feedings and box cleaning all worth it.

They grew very fast and soon were spending their days outside listening to all the new noises and seeing all the new sites.  They learned how to get in and out of their swimming pool and took long naps under the apple tree.  Bennie, a Peking duck, lost all the baby yellow feathers and turned white.  Jett, a wood duck with black, brown and white markings grew beautiful patterned feathers and some colored blue-green.

Ducks are very different than chicken.  I can sneak up on a sleeping duck – never with the chickens. Ducks fall asleep floating on the water.  Who knew?  The chickens watch the ducks in the pool and look at them like they are crazy.  The chickens fight over food while the ducks look at them like they are crazy.  The ducks are always together and snuggle often. The chickens – not so much.

The funniest thing about the ducks is their quack.  Jett has a very soft voice which is hard to describe.  It sounds more like a flute than any kind of quacking.  She went from peeping to flute noises. I remember the first time Bennie made a noise other than “Peep”.  It was more of a honking noise and we thought something was wrong.  Soon we realized this was Bennie’s quack.  This was the most obvious way to tell Bennie is a girl. Male Peking ducks have a curled feather  on their tail, and a slightly different shaped bill.  They also lose their ability to vocalize.  Female ducks develop a loud quack.  That’s an understatement.  I think everyone in our neighborhood can hear Bennie quack.  She usually only does it when she wants something. Like food.  She won’t stop until she gets what she wants.  QUACK!

QUACK, QUACK!  I love the ducks.  They make me laugh everyday.  Bennie is noisy – but that’s what makes her who she is.  She’s a little bossy too.  I can’t wait until she lays her first egg.  Judging by the noises the chickens make when they lay eggs, Bennie’s first experience will be at the very least LOUD!

Garden Fitness

Garden for Fitness
Garden for Fitness

Gardening is great exercise.  Yesterday I moved about 100 bricks making a triple spiral garden border.  I know it was a workout because my legs are really sore today. I try to spend a couple of hours a day in the garden.  There are always weeds to pull and something that needs fixed.

On days I’m not able to garden I spend at least 30 minutes on the elliptical. I love the elliptical because it’s in my living room and I can ride it when I want – but I think gardening is better.  I get bored on the elliptical.  The garden is so fun.  Today and for as many days as I can, the garden is my fitness.

My Hippie 4 Sisters Garden

Sunflowers, beans, corn, pumpkins
Sunflowers, beans, corn, pumpkins

I must be a hippie gardener.  The straight lines and boundaries of some gardens seem so restrictive.  I like a more relaxed approach.  Something natural.  More like the plants would grow if the seeds just fell to the ground.

I have garden chickens that work for me and they don’t even know it!  I have three large garden plots and rotate the chicken run in each of them every year.  Last years run had many large sunflowers growing in it.  The chicken ate some of the seeds but many fell onto the ground.  We’ve had a long wet, cold spring here making it hard to get seeds planted.  Since the chicken run was move I planned on planting a 3 sisters garden.  That is corn, beans and squash.  These three plants grow well together.

Before I could even work the ground sunflowers started popping up. I just don’t have the heart to chop them down.  From what I’ve read, sunflowers are friendly to the 3 sisters.  The Hippie 4 Sisters Garden was born.

We scattered corn, beans and pumpkin seeds all around the sunflowers.  There are no rows or hills.  No rigid boundaries.  It will be beautiful.  I will take pictures.  I can’t wait.

Daily Digital Mandala 518

Daily Digital Mandala

Daily Digital Mandala 518“Craft is what enables you to be successful when you’re not inspired.”

~Brian Eno

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