Wednesday, May 22, 2013


My chickens - a small flock of Buff Orpingtons - are so very good looking. But their extraordinary good looks are beginning to atone less and less for their stupid and sinful behavior.

I prefer to let the biddies run loose in the yard so that they can graze. Their fluffy golden feathers are so pretty against the bright green of the lawn and the hay field. Plus, when they are loose to eat bugs and grass, they eat less chicken feed - cha-ching.

I learned from Ben's Rhode Island Reds that chickens love ripe strawberries. This year, I was keeping a keen eye on my berry patch so that I could confine my hens to the chicken house when it looked like the berries might start attracting their attention. Buff Orpingtons, it seems, don't care if the berries are red and ripe or not. I discovered last week that the silly biddies had eaten all my hard, green strawberries. It's a wonder it didn't make them sick.

Lesson learned: next year, shut up the chickens when the plants begin to bloom. It was too late to save the berries, but I kept the hens shut up in the chicken yard for two days after the discovery anyway. I guess I wanted them to do penance for their foolishness.

I started feeling bad for the hens, though, all shut up in their chicken yard, so I finally set them free again. My mistake. Having once discovered the berry patch, they decided that, even though there were no green berries to tempt them, this was now their favorite place to scratch and roll. They absolutely wallowed my strawberry plants to pieces.

They've been confined to the chicken yard ever since.

In other news, my neighbor Mr. Bubby DID come over and till up a garden patch for us! He came last Tuesday. The girls and I were out of town all day - arrived home road weary and exhausted to discover that the garden spot was ready for planting. And this at a time when we already were stretched way too thin, with more work to do than we had time for. Sigh! Thankfully, Reuben and Martha tackled the chore of planting the garden on Wednesday morning, while the other kids and I plowed through our impossibly-long to-do list. We have a small garden this year - appropriate, since the household is shrinking over the summer and Helen and I will be the only ones here to tend it. After all the rain this past few days, the squash and peppers and melons and cucumber plants are looking awesome, and I expect to see beans and summer peas popping up any day. Yay! for Mr. Bubby - and Yay! for fresh summer vegetables!

I guess the chickens will be imprisoned indefinitely. Something tells me they would probably start preferring bean sprouts over green strawberries if I let them out of the pen.

We graduated two high school seniors last weekend - WooHoo! I don't think I ever really considered a high school graduation that big of a deal until I became a homeschool mom. Now, it's a reallyreallyreally BIG deal - and so much fun to celebrate. Thank you so much to all the friends and family who helped make this a special event for my students and me! You make my heart feel so full and blessed!

Now, on to other things. The Amazing Son-in-Law graduates from podiatry school this coming weekend - huge kudos due there! And our curly-haired brunette is packing to leave for Japan next week. And the rest of us are busy with summer chores and summer jobs. I'm missing Tom and Nate.

But egg production is up.

No, the hens will not be roaming free in the yard anytime soon. Eggs cannot not atone for their sins. I think I'm finally beginning to comprehend the depth of their depravity. Despite their fabulous good looks.

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