Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A New Kid On The Block

Last week I acquired a new hen.  I was asked by a friend if I would take his Aunt's chicken.  She was moving, and couldn't take it with her.  I said sure.  She is a very pretty Auracana.  Similar colors to our Sammy, and will also lay a blue/green egg.   She is doing fine.  I did have her in quarantine, just to make sure that she was not ill, and could not infect my healthy flock.
Her name is Stevie Nicks.  She will reside here.  In Le Petit Chateau de Poulet
She likes her little house.  It has been fitted with chicken wire inside the windows, so that they can be open.  She has a roost, and a hanging feeder for mash and water.  And a her own little nest box.  She comes out to free range now with the rest of the girls after the eggs are collected mid day.
She is very docile, and likes to be handled.

She has laid an egg every day, but one.   She will be a good addition to my flock, for a "Baker's Dozen."
Speaking of chickens, one of my hens laid this enormous egg the other day!
More the size of a softball, than egg.  Here it is next to another large egg for scale.
I  thought it might be a double yolker.  The next day, I cracked it open, and sure enough, it was a double yolker alright!  But in addition to that, it was the complete size of two large eggs!!!
HUGE!!!  Poor little chicken!!!  In my three years of raising hens, this was my first double yolker.
As long as we are talking about eggs, I attempted a few shots of the Western Bluebird nest out front.  The father began to dive bomb me as soon as I got close.

If you look closely at the above photo, you can see the daddy bird heading straight for me!  Then he landed in the tree above, and I proceeded to gently remove the nest box to peek inside.
Bluebirds are usually very tolerant of their nest boxes being monitored.  But this pair are nervous, so I looked very quickly.  Mama was sitting on her eggs, as she will be doing, for the better part of every day, until they hatch.  Even then, she will stay with them, letting the daddy bird bring food to her.  She will leave only for quick periods of time.
There is Mama all hunkered down in the back of the box, on top of  her eggs.
Five perfect, pale aqua eggs.  Sorry for the blurry shot.  I was trying to take it fast before getting dive bombed again.
I quickly replaced the hanging nest box, back onto the tree, and stood a short distance away.
Mama went straight back into the box, and Daddy kept a close eye on me from the swing.
I have enjoyed watching them nest here for the past several years.
My garden is taking off.  The seeds have all sprouted.  Some doing better and growing faster than others.
All seven tomato plants doing well.  6 Beefsteak, and 1 sweet grape.  My first time for planting beets.  I should have thinned them more, but I will just let them go now.
Lots of lettuce varieties going strong.  Broccoli, cukes, sweet peas, peppers.
In the front garden, planted about 10 days later.
Watermelon, cantaloupe, corn, swiss chard, spinach, arugula, beans, peas, cabbage, and more.
Strawberries in a pot.
And although I haven't planted my pumpkins yet, I have a volunteer from last year growing like crazy!
I have several varieties of flowers going that are s l o w l y coming up.  The sunflowers are reaching high already though.
I took a walkabout early this morning in the grove, and I saw lots of avocados that need picking again.
The lemon trees are loaded.
The sweet oranges are beginning to fall from the trees.  I need to get as much of them juiced as I can, and frozen so that we can enjoy fresh juice all year.  While out there in the quiet stillness of early morning, I heard an unfamiliar bird song.  I looked around, and found it on the boat.  It was a quail.
We used to see and hear quail at the cabin all the time.  Nana used to love to sit and watch them.  So seeing this one made me think of Nana.
Before I go, Monday's thrifts.
A 4 slot bread stone from Pampered Chef.  3 dollars.  A great book on canning, 50 cents.  Would like to give that a go this summer.  And an apple shaped lazy susan, 3 dollars.
Many of you  have asked about how my Mom is doing.  She began chemo last week.  The Dr. prescribed it in pill form.  She will take it for 6 months.  2 weeks on, 1 week off.   So far, she is tolerating it very well.   I met  her for breakfast this morning, along with my friend Jae, and she is getting very tired.  Says she feels like she could lay on the couch all day.  Tomorrow I will go with her to the Dr. so that they can draw blood, and see how she is doing on it.  I would love it if you could keep her in your prayers, so that she continues to do well, and tolerate the chemo with little side affects.
So sorry that I have not been able to come around to visit all of my blogging friends much as of late.  I seem to have a lot going on these days.
XO  Kris


Gloria Baker said...

Love this post Kris.
Ibegin for your mom I was thinking in her.yes is normal whena person is with quimo feel very tired.
Yes count with my prayers she feel better.
And pray by my mom please she have to make some know alwsys Im afraid when she has to make that.
Love your story with birds.
Here we have some nests too
I love all you plant look awesome!
I love the strawberry.Cute
A big hug dear.

Jeanna said...

Hi Kris. I've been missing so much in blogland lately myself.

I am happy to hear that your Mom is doing well and will certainly keep her in my prayers, especially for good news from the doctor tomorrow.

I love reading your posts about the chickens and also your garden. Everything is coming along nicely.

Congratulations on your first double yoker! That was a HUGE egg.

Teresa Kasner said...

Hello dear Kris - you bet we'll all keep your mom in our thoughts and prayers.. I just know she'll beat this. Lucky for you to get a new hen! We have 5 and are fine with that many.. we have all the eggs we need. Love the 4 loaf pan.. can't wait to see what you make with it. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Betsy said...

Hi Kris, I was just thinking of you and your Mom today so I was really happy to see the update. She is in my prayers every single day. You too.

A new chicken and double yoker. That's amazing. I'll bet it was delicious too. I would love to have chickens. Hubby...not so much. He'd rather buy eggs at the store.

I had to really hunt for the Daddy bird diving toward you. He looks like he means business protecting his family.

Lots of good finds this week. That bread stone will be great to have.


Lynne said...

Hi Kris! Glad to see your Mom is hanging in there. It's great that you are close by to help her out.
I just started to see the quails around here too, I guess they are mating and nest making so are more visible.
I love beets, I should have planted some! I like eating the tops as much as the root.
Have a great day today!

Debbie said...

So glad to hear an update on your mom. I've been wondering how she was. Glad to hear she is tolerating it well so far. I will keep her in prayer for sure.

WOW...that was one big egg! Enjoy the rest of your week Kris, and happy Mothers Day! HUGS

Holly said...

Hey Honey, will continue to pray for your mom and her health. I love Stevie Nicks, she is adorable. You sure have your hands full!

Deb~in~Denver said...

Your new hen is a great addition to your flock. Don't believe I've ever seen an egg as big as that one, you are right, poor girl! Ouch! Your gardens are doing so well, we still have a few weeks before it's safe to plant most things. We could get more snow, on Mother's Day. :-( Glad your mom is doing so well, you both have been in my prayers, will continue! Have a happy Mother's Day!!

Linda said... are the busiest person I know!
From avacadoes...WOW!
Slow down and take care of Mom♥️

Bethany said...

A guy I work with used to raise chickens and gave some eggs once. I'd never had farm fresh eggs. OH my goodness, I could not stop talking about them. They were the best eggs I've ever had in my life.

I keep you and your mama on my mind as you guys remind me of me and my mom (your whole family kind of seems reminiscent to me of mine) :)

Pammy Sue said...

So nice to hear from you and walk around your yard with you! So fun to have birds nesting that you can watch. Your gardens are looking great. You're going to have some really yummy meals from them! Will keep mom in my heart and prayers.

Amy at love made my home said...

I'm glad to hear that your Mom is doing OK, I hope that the tests show good results. Your garden is looking great, you have so many things growing, I hope that the new chicken settles in and enjoys herself! xx

Valerie Ratliff said...


Congrats on another family member. Glad your mom is doing well. The garden is great. I too had a volunteer pumpkin plant this year lol. I wish we didn't have to wait so long to harvest stuff don't you.

Looking forward to more posts.


Cottage Making Mommy

Mereknits said...

You sure do have a lot going on. Love catching up with you and good news about your Mom, she sounds like she is doing well even though she is tired.
Hugs to you Kris,

Patrica said...

Your post has all the things I love - gardens, blue birds, good thrift find and encouraging words about your mom's chemo. All these things make me happy and I could certainly use some good news this week. Cheers and sunny days to you and yours.

Kelli said...

I have been thinking of you and wondering how your mom was doing. Thank you for the update.

Katie said...


It's been so long since I have had a chance to read your blog. I got a chance to read down a bit and your yard looks great. Feel like I can smell the lemons and oranges. Tell Erika, Congratulations!! And, I can't believe Noah is already 7! Where does the time go? Looks like you all are maximizing it!

Jann Olson said...

Kris, I have had almost no time to visit lately either. So sorry to hear about your mom! Glad she is doing o.k. and I will keep her in my prayers. Stevie sounds like a nice chick! lol! Glad she went to a good home. That egg is huge! Poor chick that laid that one. The Robins eggs are so pretty. I remember when we had one at our previous home and dad would dive bomb us also. Your garden is looking great! I love pickled beets so I planted two rows. I just put seeds in for beets, cucs, squash, and pumpkins. I envy your avocados, lemons, and oranges!

corners of my life said...

Such a charming Le Petit Chateau de Poulet . . .

Jill said...

Everything in your yard is looking so lovely! Kris, I must have missed your mom's diagnosis since I haven't been blogging often... my heart is with you at this difficult time. I will be praying for her! If there's any way I can help please let me know. Take care and keep me posted.

Have a wonderful mother's day!


podso said...

it does seem that we all are extra busy these days--maybe it's the time of year. Your gardens look so tidy and promising! And your posts are always so interesting. I hope you have a good week and that your mom does well.

Karen L. Bates said...

Glad to hear all is good all the little sprouts...your garden will be huge soon. We are getting some heat here and it is very very early but I am going camping so I will love every minute of it!