chickens

 

 

small-0422 My gratitude book/list is almost full – don’t worry, I’m already shopping for the next volume.  Giving thanks is such a meaningful and productive part of my life, I don’t think I’ll ever stop.  So, here is where I am this week:

3716.  Unexpected afternoon off with J.

3717.  Seeing ice climbers up on the ice falls in Hyalite Canyon – inspiring and encouraging.

3718.  Super nice ice climber who returned J’s dropped wallet at some significant effort.

3719.  Encouraging developments around photography business. 

3720.  Working with nice people at MCS fundraiser dinner.

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3721.  J finding connections with classmates getting easier.

3722.  Quick check-in with Holly

3723.  Getting lots of photos processed

3724.  Inspiration for some photo projects.

3725.  Good discussion at Bible Study

3726.  Americana chicken laid a blue egg after two months off for molting – a beautiful blue egg!

small-04343727.  Ann Voskamp on the importance of Jesus’ family tree

3728.  Arrison sleeping at my feet.

3729.  Good mango for breakfast two days in a row!

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3730.  Warmer weather – supposed to be 40 degrees today!

3731.  Needed reschedule granted

3732.  Andy’s kindness/generous heart for J and I

3733.  Good friends all around!

3734.  No wreck when swerving to avoid sudden obstacle in the road – and J impressed with my crisis driving.

Categories: Autumn, Barns, Blessings, chickens, Daily life, Faith, Fall, gratitude, Montana, Montana weather, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Thankful to God | 1 Comment

CHILLY MORNING TO BE SO GRATEFUL

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All of todays photos are from the hike I took on Sunday afternoon just before the polar vortex hit.  As it is -20 ish as I type, I’m thinking my timing was pretty great.  I’d love to get back up Cottonwood Canyon with my camera and document the changes over the past three days, but . . . I’m just not crazy enough to do that in this frigid weather.

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So instead I’ll focus on being grateful and maybe if I’m lucky I’ll go for an indoor walk at the mall.

I do have much to be thankful for and a loving and caring God who provides so very much.  These details are absolute assurance to me that he loves and cares for me specifically – how else would all these blessings come into my life?

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3676.  Live in housesitter so we can take a trip and the animals will be cared for

3677.  Dinner and photos share with Brett and Roberta

3678.  Safe travels to and from Cody with no car issues.

3679.  Beauty of two different parts of Yellowstone seen on weekend travels through the park.

3680.  Sharing time with the Becker clan.

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3681.  Good meaty discussion with J in the car as we travel.

3682.  Arriving home to a clean house.

3683.  Beautiful sun drenched morning photographing Julia

3684.  Walking and talking with Elizabeth on the phone.

3685.  Beautiful fall weather

3686.  J’s grades holding steady where he wants them.

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3687.  Phone call with Daniel and Stacy

3688.  Danielle likes youth group.

3689.  Freedom for a client who sat in jail a long time before justice came his way.

3690.  Strength shown by Miss M. in a difficult situation.

3691.  Chance to learn more about photography.

3692. Great inspiring blog post by Ann Voskamp

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3693.  Homemade apple sauce for breakfast.

3694.  Friendships in the school community

3695.  20 young chickens for free

3696.  Unexpected evening home watching game 7 as a family – and the Giants won making my boy so happy!\

3697.  Beautiful sunsets several days in a row.

3698.  Tank’s ability to help find missing little chickens

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3699.  Looking forward to Advent

3700.  Variety of little chickens and how much Tank loves them.

3701.  Success in court for dear friends.

3702.  Referral of a new case that highlights Andy’s skills and faith.

3703.  Supportive phone calls from friends on a down day.

3704.  Second visit with the Becker clan – this time at our house.

3705.  New cases to replace those that are wrapping up.

3706.  Honesty/transparency character of the folks in our Bible Study group

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3707.  Warm clothes to wear as the weather turns.

3708.  Fun watching the chickens around the yard.

3709.  Great positive feedback from teachers at parent teacher conferences.

3710.  Misty sunrise

3711.  Chickens surviving in bitter cold

3712.  Hike up Cottonwood Canyon before the snow flies.

3713.  Paul not injured in an accident sliding off the ice.

3714.  Having enough to get bills paid without stress.

3715.  Significant progress on over coming debt burden

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Categories: Autumn, berries, Blessings, chickens, Cottonwood Canyon, Daily life, Extended Family, Faith, Fall, Fall leaves, gratitude, Hiking, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Thankful to God, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DEVELOPING POLAR VORTEX . . .

small-0269  As expected, woke up to snow this morning and temps in the single digits.  Poor baby chickens aren’t going to know what hit them!  Should be even colder tomorrow.

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Not that it would be all that interesting to you, but this morning did inspire me to replace my missing marmot hat.  I loved that hat.  I searched for it for days to no avail.  So a trip to REI brought a new favorite into my life.  If I get the nerve maybe I’ll do a selfie and show you the new acquisition later this week.

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I was able to get these photos just barely.  Literally there was only about 20 minutes of break through sunshine.  I noticed it developing as I was coming down the high way from the bus stop for J, and I wished I had my camera with me to pull over and capture the magic.  But I didn’t, so prayed for it to last long enough to get home, run into the house, grab the camera and head out to the back (south) end of our property to capture the rays playing off the neighbor’s out buildings.

You know it is going to be a good day when such an adventure actually works out!

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This last photo was taken from a few feet off my back deck, and just caught the tail end of the light.  A few minutes later the sky was socked in again and little wispy flakes were falling.  But it was beautiful while it lasted!

Categories: Autumn, Barns, Blessings, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Light, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Weather, Winter | 1 Comment

TANK IS IN LOVE!

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The 22 new chickens arrived this afternoon and Mr. Tank could not be happier.  I mean really, he thinks this is the best thing that ever happened.

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He spent all afternoon and evening following them around sniffing their little vents – that is how he’s going to recognize them as he herds them around the property!  He now knows the smell of each and every one of them – probably has named them as well!

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They are his new little babies.  He will watch over them all day while we are gone, and try to help to get them into the coop at night.  Every day when we leave for work we tell him to watch out for the kitties and the chickens and he takes those responsibilities very seriously!

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He’s a bit confused as to why these new additions are so small.  He doesn’t realize that some of them are just very young and others of them are Bantam so they won’t get really big like his other chickens.

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It took Tamara and I almost a full hour to get these ladies (at least we hope they are mostly ladies) into the dog kennel so I could bring them home.  The did not want to leave their siblings and parents or Tamara who is an amazing small farm manager.  She has sheep, chickens, ducks, sometimes turkeys, a horse or two, and lots of dogs and cats.  It is always fun and friendly to go over to her place.

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Tank will have to look out for roosters in the new bunch – we haven’t had one before, and while I would not object to one or two of them, I don’t think we want more than that.  We tried to sex them – have you ever tried to sex chicks/pullets when you really know nothing about how to do it?   I’ll let you know how that went in a few weeks when we find out.

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I hope all their feathers come in soon because . . . well, it is supposed to get cold pretty soon.  They will need their feathers to help them stay warm (although we have put a warming light into the coop).  And I don’t expect eggs from them for at least a few weeks, and for those hatched in late summer, not until after the first of the year.

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Amazingly, when we put the young ones into the coop for bed tonight with the big older ladies, it was relatively peaceful – well, once we got them all in there, which took another hour since the babies didn’t really know how to get into the coop and had to be helped to know what to do.  It was all I could do to keep Tank from trying to go into the coop as his babies were settling down to sleep.  I think he was jealous that they were cuddling together and he was left out.  There were even a couple of babies cuddled up to the warm bodies of the old ladies.  It was pretty cute.

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Tank was so proud to help get the chicks into the coop – he found all the strays that were hiding in the long grasses, barked at them so they go so scared they froze and then I could pick them up and put them in the coop.

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It is going to be a fun transition!  And Tank is just in seventh heaven!

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Categories: Autumn, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Montana, Photography | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

THE LEAVES ARE LEAVING

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Okay, super corny title I know, but this post is about the leaves that are turning color, getting crisp and will soon be all gone.

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It has been a very challenging month at the office and those challenges are taking their toll on our family, my time for photography and building my photography business, and my energy level.  But I haven’t given up. 

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Seems that just when I get to feeling overwhelmed by the negative God gives me something positive.  And it has happened again!

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This time around it was a simple encounter with a long-time friend.  The conversation turned to chickens (naturally?) and suddenly she was expressing her need to get rid of too many chickens (she has over two hundred she hatched out this summer) and I was making plans to get 20 of them – FOR FREE!  Wow!

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So I’ll be packing the dog kennel with 20 young chickens to add to the 8 I have (no new infra structure needed) and contacting those who told me they’d like eggs, but I didn’t have enough supply. 

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I guess this post didn’t turn out to be so much about leaves after all, just decorated by them.

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So please excuse the corny title.  I’ll work on my titling skills.

Categories: Autumn, Blessings, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Fall leaves, Leaves, Outdoors, Photography, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

HELP! I’M MOLTING . . .

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My beautiful chickens have been so fun this past year!

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They are still fun, but now the Americanas are molting and just aren’t as beautiful as they once were.  The Rhode Island Reds aren’t molting yet, so they are still beautiful.

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Poor little girls!  Poor us, because when the molt, well, they don’t lay eggs!  We really miss their beautiful blue green eggs!

 

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When not molting they are very reliable layers, more than carrying their weight in the production business.

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These photos are from a couple of weeks ago, so they are starting to look a bit better.

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Hopefully that means we’ll have blue-green eggs again soon.

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But then I fully expect all 6 Rhode Island Reds to molt at the same time, and we’ll be missing the brown eggs.

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Categories: Birds, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Photography | Tags: | Leave a comment

WHOSE AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF?

sm (6 of 8)This morning I got to go out into the front yard and take some photos of wolf tracks.  I was only this far away from the house (see photo below) at most, and many of the tracks were about 1/2 way between where I was when I took the photo and the house:sm (7 of 8)

So, that means the wolf making the tracks was probably less than 50 yards from the house yesterday/last night.

The tracks were discovered by Andy and Tank out on their evening walk.  It was a pretty big deal and J went out and used his old IPOD to get some night time photos.  I however was lazy and waited until this morning, which might not have been best as the night was warm and windy (probably above freezing most of the night with a storm coming in) so the snow deteriorated greatly over night.  Still, these are the photos I did get when I strolled out there this morning:

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Nothing too spectacular as prints go because of the melting snow, but still, a wolf, in my front yard.  That is pretty cool and scary all at the same time.

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J, of course, would like to shoot it in the name of protecting his chickens.  Andy and I aren’t on his page with that one.  While we understand the ranchers struggle with the wolves, we don’t think just killing them because they exist is very wise or good stewardship of God’s creation.  So, the rifle stays in the house.

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We haven’t actually seen the wolf, but our neighbor has – he is of J’s mind-set in case you wondered.  He’ll shoot on sight if he gets a chance.

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Impressive how long the claws are, huh?

We’ve had a wolf in the neighborhood before, but it was a number of years ago.  I saw it one day driving to the post office, and my brother saw it several mornings in a row in the same field as he went to work. 

 

Joining the rurality blog hop this week.

Categories: chickens, Daily life, J, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, snow, the house, Winter, wolves | 4 Comments

ALIVE AND KICKIN’

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After an absence from the blog I always want to explain – but really it is just a matter of living life.  We are getting ready for a huge three-week long trial that starts in just over a month – definitely the longest trial of Andy’s career so far, and as far as moving parts, one of the most complicated cases.  It is a white-collar crime allegation so there are documents upon documents upon documents in the case.  A huge time suck!

At the same time my not particularly inclined to handy-man work husband built a home for 12 chickens, who joined us on Sunday of this week.  These beauties are J’s project – he hopes to sell their eggs once they get settled and start producing.  Yesterday they came out of the coop for the first time as far as we can tell.  That was exciting because we were worried that they weren’t coming out even after the wind and snow of the early part of the week went away.    I think they just like it nice and warm, and yesterday afternoon they got that.

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These two (above and below) keep us busy too.  Above is Arnica – a girl – and below is Arison – a boy.  They are 3.5 weeks old, and all these photos were taken last night as they ventured out of their nest for the first time – much to Sophie’s (momma) displeasure.

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They seem to enjoy the dogs at this point – and the dogs are pretty excited but gentle about the kittens!

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Even blind Leo finally found them with his nose last night, and he just wants to curl up with them.

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When they decided to leave the nest they did it together, and were greeted by Mr. Tank, who knew they weren’t supposed to be wandering along.

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Aren’t they the cutest!

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So, that doesn’t explain every little detail of life for sure, but lets you know we are alive and well, just buried in work and trying to keep the balance of good things in life – and the animals are a part of the good things!

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Oh, and J finished up his first quarter of 8th grade with his best ever grades and he made that accomplishment without interference from his parents – he’s very independent with his school work these days and really quite responsible.  We couldn’t be more excited about this development because of the growth and emotional peace it brings to J who has always worked hard but until we figured some things out this summer never got the reward for his efforts.  Now he’s getting to experience some of that, which is such a joy – it almost brings me to tears.

Categories: Andy, Autumn, Birds, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Family Fun, J, kittens, Leo, Outdoors, Photography, Sophie, Tank | 2 Comments

KITTEN KITTEN!

We get to hold them today.  I’ve been gently petting them in front of Sophie and she doesn’t seem to mind. 

IMG_0100_7381smEyes are open and they climb all over Sophie sometimes – especially pawing at her face when they can reach it.

IMG_0099_7380smSchool is out yesterday and today for a teacher conference, so J is free and easy.  Made for some big excitement already as he got his first phone – not a “smart phone” but a practical phone since we no longer have land lines.

IMG_0098_7379smTo add to the excitement, the State of Montana times Junior Hunter day (kids 12 – 15) with the statewide school break, so he’s able to hunt deer a full 10 days before the regular season opens.  That’s what he’s doing as I type.  Don’t know if he’ll get anything, but the concept of doing it is great.

IMG_0101_7382smGoing to have a weekend at home for all of us – hopefully get a chicken coop made so we can bring our chickens home next week.  That will add to the workload, but it will be a fun adventure too.

Categories: Autumn, chickens, Daily life, Fall, Family Fun, hunting, J, kittens, Photography, Sophie | 2 Comments

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