When we stopped getting eggs a few weeks ago, I thought the hens might be laying somewhere in the barn, but I couldn’t them anywhere.
A couple of days ago, I noticed that Brown Hen wasn’t hanging around with the other hens. She didn’t even come to the porch when I fed the cats in the afternoon. And the next morning she was out pecking at the cat food before I had opened the coop.
So I knew she had spent the day and night sitting on a clutch of eggs somewhere on the farm.
Later that afternoon, when I saw White Hen peering down the long space between the barn wall and the hay bale, even though I couldn’t make Brown Hen out in the darkness, I knew she was there.
Since we don’t have a rooster, I didn’t have to worry about the eggs being fertilized, but a broody hen will often not come off the nest for days. Which means she is eating and drinking very little or not at all.
When the hens lay in the coop, I collect the eggs so they don’t have them to try and hatch. But when they get the urge, because of hormones, instinct, or a change in light such as the days getting shorter as they are now, a hen might become broody. And like Brown Hen, lay eggs with the intention of hatching them, fertilized or not.
After Brown Hen left the eggs, I put them in a bucket and carried them out into the woods. I left them in a clearing alongside a deer trail. I’m hoping they’re still good enough for an animal to eat.
Fate is very aware of them. On our way back from our walk in the woods she ran over to them and sniffed each one as if counting them. We’ll check on them tomorrow and see if anyone found them a good meal.
A few weeks ago I saw a message on our Front Porch Forum from Melody asking for fabric scraps.
Susan had just dropped off a box of fabric along with the quilt tops that gave me the idea to do the Bishop Maginn Quilt Project. I also had boxes of fabric scraps that I had gotten in the mail that were still sitting on my studio floor waiting to be unpacked.
So I was feeling fabric wealthy and thought it might be nice to share some of what I had.
I decided to make up a couple of bags of fabric scraps for Melody. Some from Susan’s boxes and some of the fabric from my studio that I’d had a long time and hadn’t used.
Once I emailed Melody, I found out she lived a couple of towns away and didn’t drive. “I’ll take anything you want to give me,” she wrote back. And I knew I was talking to a kindred spirit.
So this afternoon Jon and I set the GPS to Melody’s address and headed out to her house. A half-hour later we pulled into Melody’s driveway where she met us.
Melody told us that she started making masks “when this whole thing began” but recently got bored and decided to put together some of the scraps she had and make a quilt. “But fabric is so expensive,” she said, “and I thought that someone might have small leftover pieces of fabric they wanted to get rid of, so I asked on the Forum.”
She pulled a few vibrant and meticulously sewn quilt squares that she’d already made from a zip lock bag she was holding. Then told me she wanted to make a baby quilt too.
That’s when reached into one of the bags I’d brought and pulled out a ziplock bag that Susan had given me. It was filled with fabric in baby yellows and greens already cut up to be made into a quilt.
Melody let me know more than once how much she appreciated the fabric and us bringing it to her.
And I really appreciated being able to share some of the wonderful fabric that generous people are always sending me with someone who could use them and would use them well.
Every morning I go out to the barnyard, check on the animals, fill up the water bucket, open or close a gate for grazing, and muck out the barn.
Six days a week I take my iPhone with me looking for a photo.(Saturday is my Sabbath from going online and taking pictures) Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. But because I’ve come to know the sheep and donkeys so well and because they’re comfortable around me, I can usually tell if a good photo is about to happen.
That’s when I take out my iPhone and begin snapping pictures.
This morning it happened between Fanny and Merricat. I captured that moment of communication between them. I don’t know what they were saying to each other, but there was definitely something passing between them.
My paper mache lamp has finally dried, it took a lot longer than Emily’s fruits and veggies did.
The day after our Paper Mache Day Emily had already given her fruit and veggie ornaments a first coat of paint. And today they’re all done, complete with faces, and copper wires to hang them from.
Beet, Carrot, Apple and Grapes, they each have their very own delightful personality. And they’re for sale on Emily’s website papercakescissors. They’re $20 and you can read all about them and buy them here.
Maybe I’ll work on my lamp over the weekend. Seeing Emily’s fruits and vegetables has inspired me.
Stephanie sent me this quilt top that her mother had. It came with a note that read…
“The quilt was made by a Cheyenne Indian woman in Oklahoma. It was given to the wife of the Cheyenne Keeper of the Sacred Arrows and she gave it to me. Claire”
2/13/08 Claire gave it to me (Anita) to finish.”
I put the quilt together with a backing that Carolyn gave me and batting, that readers of my blog helped me buy.
It will finally be finished by the kids at Bishop Maginn and given to one of the families at the school who could use an extra blanket this winter.
I knew when I saw the horse fabric that someone sent me that it would make good potholders.
It was just a matter of figuring out how to make them work since the pattern was so busy. That’s when I decided to keep them simple as if the horses were emerging from the large fields of fabric I placed next to them.
Some of the potholders in this photo are already sold. But there are still some available.
They are $20 each + $5 shipping for one or more. You can see them all and buy them here.
Lulu and Fanny are never far from each other. They’re sisters and have been together their whole life. They’re 17 years old and can live to be in their forties. Hopefully, we’ll grow old together.
Eager, crazy Fate. With spittle on her face and her tongue hanging down she still wants to run around the sheep. I don’t know if she’d ever stop if I didn’t make her.