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Friday, May 6, 2016

We skipped Spring.

As is typical for this part of the country, we skipped Spring and went right into Summer.  Well, we did have Spring.  I think it was at 2:06pm on a Tuesday. After that, Summer hit.  We've been in the 70s, and today we hit 89.  At least it is dry.

We had a span of several days where it was chilly, clammy, and rainy.  As soon as the sun came out, the temperatures started to climb.  But as long as the humidity stays down, I'm a happy camper.

Surprisingly enough the sun did manage to rise last Friday without our diligent Zap calling it out.
  I kept thinking I heard him, but it was some other noise that my brain was reinterpreting it as crowing.  My morning walk to the egg house was further depressed by the view.  Sigh.
 
The rains came the next day, returning the feathers to the earth. 
 
Ethel took a few days to stop hiding in a nest box.  She is missing about a third of her feathers, and it was in the low 40s at night, so we had no issue with her hiding and keeping warm in a box.  By Monday she was sleeping on a perch again and has stopped hiding in the run when she is outside.
 
Cirrus spent three days in the barn so we could keep an eye on her wing and her wounds.  As soon as she was returned to the coop, she started back in at eating and laying eggs again.  She still sleeps on the floor in the back corner of the coop, but she'll get there.  I trimmed her wing feathers on her right wing so she wouldn't step on them, and she had a limp, but that is now gone.
 
Also on Monday, we started letting them back out in the evening, as long as we were out there with them making a lot of noise.  They stuck close for the first two days, but by Wednesday evening, they were out in the deep, high grass in the meadow.
 
To drag us out of our funk, the girls decided to keep us well entertained (read busy) this week.  Just when we thought egg production couldn't go much higher, we caught them queuing up for the nest boxes. 
This is what the stacking hour can look like.  Chickens will actually SIT ON, and LAY EGGS ON other chickens.  The goof balls.
 
But the fun doesn't end there.  We moved Daisy and her chicks; Bea, Andy, Helen, and Ellie, to the big coop.  That alone should be enough entertainment for any one coop in a week.  But two days in the coop with a broody hen and her cute little chicks, and the hormones started to fly.  Violet went broody on us and just as Cirrus was coming OUT of the barn cage, Violet went in.  Two days after that, and Flora started growling in a nest box and puffing up to the size of an angry watermelon.  But Violet had to break before we could take her out of chicken prison to put Flora in.  Yesterday, we took Violet out, put Flora in, and today OLIVE spent the day in a nest box growling and trying to take my hand off.  Glory!
 
Meanwhile, Daisy is taking great care of her chicks.  They crack us up.  They snuggle at night, but Daisy doesn't look very comfortable.  I also noticed that they have nightly company in the coop.  It's a mouse who apparently has access to night vision goggles.  He's either brilliant for living in there, or the dumbest mouse in history!
 
As for the zoo chicks, the zoo cancelled their order on me.  SO, Noodle and Nugget have been renamed Barney and Thelma Lou.  They have also been joined by ERNEST!  Ernest was a gift from my fellow chicken addict, Becca.  She heard about Zap, and texted me to tell me that from the eggs I gave her a month ago, she had ONE cockerel left of Zap's brood.  I'll be interested to see if he grows up blue or black. (I also scrambled to gather another dozen of Zap's eggs from the Marans hens so she could hatch more and carry on his line at her place.)
 
Speaking of his line.  I stopped by a home that I supplied chicks to back in January and again in March.  I was dying to see what they looked like almost grown up.  The three January chicks are amazingly gorgeous French black copper Marans.  The cockerel looks just like Zap, except black and copper.  He also had ONE feather on ONE wing that was tipped in white, JUST LIKE LUCY!  So there's a little piece of both of them across the valley.  (The March chicks were still in their teen feathering, but the coloring was amazing!  There were shades of copper, blue, greys, and speckles.  Several laced birds and they all looked so happy!)
 
Insanity, thy name is Chicken Keeping.
 
 
 
Norwegian gown update.
 
Last week I finished the linen blouse. 
The drape is fabulous.  The fit is, well, blousey!  I'm reminded of the puffy shirt from Seinfeld.  It has top stitch decorative stitching and my Bunad silver is perfect as the collar close, like it should.

 
I worked on the skirt all this past week and some of last.  Ugh.  For such a simple piece, it took forever.  I found that if I am not fully into sewing, I make a stupid number of mistakes.  I've had to walk away from the project many times.  Once I get going though.  After getting into a groove I made great progress.  I  love the way I chose to construct it.  It can be taken out and let in.  It is full, but light, and has an amazing drape and with the placement of the pleats, it is quite full.  The number of pins used in holding it all in place while I worked was insane, but necessary.

  Blood was drawn.  Words were said, and they weren't very lady like words either.
 
I have an appointment with a tailor shop on Tuesday to have the hems marked on the skirt, petticoat, and apron while wearing my shoes.  It's just not something one person can do correctly. They'll mark it and I'll bring it home and sew the hem.
 
The LAST project is the vest.  I'm working from scratch on this one.  It's a long vest with a peplum.  I think I'm out of my mind.  I've made two samples from inexpensive broadcloth.  By making these, trying them on and marking them where they need to be let in and taken out, and then taking them apart, I can use them to make new patterns and try again.  Thank GOODNESS for my serger!  It still has a long way to go, but I'll get there.
 
Stay tuned.
 





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