Friday, July 31, 2009


An important question for any parent or babysitter out there:

Huggies or Pampers?

Family Friendly

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Site

This rating was given b/c of (or in spite of) the presence of dead (2x) and shoot (1x). I think I need to stop posting about chickens or I might risk a PG rating soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our Chicken History

** This is a long history, though we've only had chickens for less than a year. Be ye warned.

Once upon a time, Ryan and I moved to the country and decided to get chickens. So Ryan worked very long and hard to build this:

We started off with 4 chicks, which we got from a local farmer. The neighbor girls loved to come and play with them:

Of those chicks, Toby killed one. He thought it was a toy and didn't know he'd done anything bad. I bawled like a baby. Then 2 (Fatty and Blackbeard) turned out to be roosters. We lived inside town limits and weren't allowed to have roosters, so Ryan worked very long and hard to make them into this:
They did not taste very good.

That left one original chick, Rosie. Meanwhile, we decided to buy some full-grown hens so we could have some eggs. So we went to another farmer and bought Gandalf the Grey, Phantom, and Ugly Betty:

Well, Toby decided those chickens looked too tasty. Gandalf and Phantom didn't last long. I bawled like a baby. We started kenneling Toby whenever we went anywhere (our chickens wander the yard during the day), but one morning he got at Rosie before we got out of bed. She had a big hunk of skin and feathers missing from her back when I found her, but she was walking around as if nothing was wrong. Ryan said she would likely die soon from infection, but I was stubborn. So I held Rosie, looked the other way, and sang songs while Ryan cleaned her back and put a whole bunch of ointment on it. Now I figured that Rosie was kind of like the flock of my field, so I prayed very hard for her to survive. More to come later on that.

We were down to 2 hens, Rosie and Betty, so we went to Murdoch's and bought 6 more chicks. One was taken by a hawk early on, which left 2 identical grey ones (the Olsen Twins), one with a black stripe down her back (Pepe le Pew), one really beautiful one (Cindy Crawford), and a white one (Gandalf the White -- in honor of our previous lost chicken).

So then we bought a house (see earlier post), and Ryan worked very long and hard to build our hens this:

The Olsen Twins turned out to be roosters, as I discovered when they crowed at 5:30 AM one day. We're technically allowed to have them now, but our neighbors live right on the other side of the chicken pen, and we didn't want them to hate us quite yet. We actually found a good home for them where they didn't get eaten! Amazing!

This past weekend we really discovered what a difference it makes being outside of town. A fox got Gandalf, Pepe, and Betty. There are still white feathers all over the yard, Pepe just disappeared, and Betty's body was still there. A neighbor found them first and said Rosie was just standing by Betty waiting for her to wake up. I didn't bawl like a baby this time, but there were tears. Ryan says they're just chickens, and now that we're in the country I need to get used to it. I think I'm getting better, but I was still sad.

That left Rosie and Cindy, who's not laying yet. So yesterday I went and bought 7 grown hens from a man who is moving. We didn't want quite that many, but he said it was all or none. I would have posted a picture of them, but they're molting right now and honestly pretty scary looking. Rosie kind of hates them.

Think the story's over? Oh, just you wait.

Early this morning, Cindy once again flew out of the pen (yes, we clipped her wings, but she's still so light it's easy for her to fly) and was walking around the yard during prime fox hunting hours. We heard her make some noise, so Ryan jumped out of bed and Toby of course followed. Ryan found a fox forcing Cindy into the corner when he said, "Toby, get him!" Our wonderful dog chased that fox to the river. We were feeling pretty good about that, but I just searched the yard a few minutes ago, and Cindy is nowhere to be seen. The fox probably came back and she just didn't make enough noise this time. I'm sad because I really want our hens to be able to wander the yard, but I'll have to let them out late and put them in early. And then it's still risky. Puts a whole new spin on the whole security vs. freedom debate doesn't it?

And then there was one (plus the herd of ugly ones, but they don't count yet). Meet Rosie:

Oh yes, Rosie survived the dog mauling and now holds her wings higher on her back to cover the wound. Looking at her, you couldn't even tell she's been so scarred because she's moved her feathers to cover it. Rosie is now, as of this morning, our only chicken left from before we moved. And I am one lucky girl because she also happens to be my favorite. As soon as I go outside, she'll run over to me from across the yard and follow me around. Ryan says she was probably protected because of my aura of prayers surrounding her. I also think she's a fighter since she somehow got away from Toby even after he took half of her back. I have already warned Ryan that if she gets eaten, I will bawl like a baby. I'm trying to work her into the pet category with Heavenly Father so we can have her in heaven. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cherry Days

On July 4th weekend, Paonia always has a big festival called Cherry Days. Basically, it's a celebration of the first fruit harvest of the year. Grand Ave is packed with people and they have different events going on all weekend. Here are some highlights:

This is at the finish line of the bed races down Grand Ave. Basically, a team of four people puts a bed on wheels and races down the main strip. The teams dressed up, and it was quite a show.

They also had a parade. It was pretty small, but it was fun.

They had fun events going on in the park. One night they did square dancing with a professional caller.

And the whole time the park was packed. There were booths and vendors and music all day. Then on the football field there was a big carnival with a Ferris wheel, carousel, and all kinds of other rides and fun houses you'd find at a fair. I forgot to take a picture of that. Since I had the NC State fair growing up, this seemed pretty small, but to the locals it was a huge deal! People came from all around the western slope for the weekend.

Can you tell I love where I live?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dark Canyon Hike

Ryan and I went hiking last Saturday morning up the Dark Canyon trail. It was really fun! Sometimes it felt like we were hacking through the jungle bush, and sometimes it was a wide open trail. We only went about 5 miles; I wasn't sure how far I could handle now that I'm big! Ryan went slow for me. It felt fast to me, but it was probably half the speed he normally goes, poor guy.

Our family picture:

The trail follows this river down through the canyon. It's actually almost 15 miles one way, but we just turned around when we felt like it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

28 Weeks

Getting bigger...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Cowboys

While mom and dad were visiting Paonia, Ryan and dad went horseback riding up at Redstone. It sounds like they had a great time! They host cattle drives there if any of you want to reenact City Slickers.

Ryan and Dad

Pretty view, ain't it?