drama in the henhouse

So we have a broody hen. I went out this morning to take a picture of her because, well, that’s the sort of thing I do. My kids don’t realise how grateful they should be for the invention of digital cameras because otherwise they’d have dumpster loads to pitch someday.

Anyway, the broody hen, all cosy in her nest, usually looks something like this:nesting hen(Please forgive the quality of the following photos. The light in the chicken coop is not ideal.)

But this morning, the broody hen’s nesting box looked like this:intruder henTwo hens in one box. Note: the hen at the front is not the broody hen. She has her butt in the broody hen’s face.

The intruder squirmed:

pushy henand squirmed:

two hens in one boxbefore finally settling in, although not without complaint:

complaining intruder hen

Meanwhile, the rooster heard me enter the coop and came rushing from the run to investigate:

concerned roosterWith a steely gaze, he began crowing his head off, deafening me until I fled.

wool, glorious wool

Foster's new mittens

Look! I remembered to take a photo of the mitts I made for Foster before they became filthy and soaked. It was close, though; he was on his way out when I screeched, “WAIT!”

When I think of all the knitwear I’ve doled out over the years without ever thinking to take a photo first…sigh. Oh well.

And look again!

Foster hiding behind new mittens

Bonus shot of his new hat. I’m finally learning.

an embarrassment of eggs

Our lovely young ladies have been defying my expectations and laying like champs all winter, even through the darkest, coldest days. I know the day will come when they go moulty or moody or broody and slow down or, gulp, even stop laying for a while so I’m appreciating every egg they gift us, but at the same time it can be a bit overwhelming.

With nine hens, we usually get eight eggs per day – although there have been a few days when all nine laid – which means about 56 eggs per week. So we’ve been eating lots and lots of fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs and French toast. We’ve given dozens away to the neighbours, to co-workers, to my parents. And yet, as of this moment, our egg count is over 80 (that’s 50 in the bowl above) and the ladies haven’t even laid yet today.

Anybody want some eggs? Free-range, lovingly tended, very reasonably priced. Anyone?

she won’t brag, so I will

Here’s a wet-haired Anna with the scarf she knitted – all on her own – for Papa (my Dad) for Christmas.  She made one for Jam (my Mom) too, out of a beautiful hand-painted alpaca blend, but it got away before I could snap a picture.  There were a lot of handmade things exchanged here during my one month Journey into the Heart of Darkness (the, um, cold) so maybe we should have a photo session this afternoon.

The good news for Anna is that both Papa and Jam loved their scarves. So much, in fact, that Papa has requested a matching toque. Hmpf. He’s never requested a knitted anything from me.

Sniffle.

still recovering


A month into it, I think I can finally say with some confidence that I’ve turned the corner and this cold is not going to kill me. It’s been a doozy, that’s for sure. Strep throat, sinusitis, cold sores, double ear infection, and, gulp, a subconjuctival hemorrhage, which is bleeding on the surface of the eye. Don’t Google image search it – trust me.

Sadly, Christmas was a subdued affair, what with me hacking and sniffling and leaking brains everywhere, and both my birthday and New Year’s were complete washouts. Bummer. The good news, as my coworkers pointed out, is that I must now have antibodies to absolutely everything going around. So bring it on, germy patrons. Cough on that card and then hand it to me. Sneeze in my face as I hand you your books. Wipe your nose with your hand and then ask to use my phone. No problem.