Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tonight's accomplishment

8 bunches of sweet basil, 1 liter of olive oil, 2 heads of garlic yields 12 cups of pesto, now stored in half-cup measures in my freezer.

Thanks to Horton Road Organics for the yummy basil. They're starting to offer their storage special orders, so stay tuned for canning season!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Sometimes children leave you the most fascinating gifts:
Detail from above*:
*Note the Christ imagery in the bottom doll. Obviously the draped red fabric is meant to symbolize the suffering on the cross. The Barbie doll above must be the Mother, note how she is prostrate as if in childbirth. She is carried on the back of the Black and White Horse. Of course, the White Horse stands for victory, but the Black Horse is the symbol of famine. This could be the artist's commentary on War, and tying in the powerful Christ and birth imagery (notice that the mother is carried, quite helpless, on the back of the War machine) makes this quite a remarkable new work by this fresh young artist from Eugene.


Something quick that I could start and finish: We acquired, from a friend, a rocking horse that needed some TLC. One new mane and tail, and one new ear later:
Hopefully, I've got the staples holding the yarn tamped down enough to hold it in once the boys get at it. But then again, I have lots more yarn.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My daughter, the dancer, Part 2

Originally uploaded by pangolina
Yesterday was her last day at dance camp. The camp was for four- to six-year olds, and I think NOD was the only four-year old there. All these long, lithe girls...and then my short, round daughter. But she did elicit a bunch of "Awwwwwwwwwws" from the audience of parents at the end-of-camp show.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Donald Duck in a WWII propaganda cartoon:

Makes you wonder, don't it? Especially since these days we are told that we need to "spend, spend, spend!" in order to do our part.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Katie posted a cartoon, and it reminded me to post one of my favorites. My grandmother used to sing what she could remember of this song pretty often, which was the part that goes, "You can go as far as you like with me, in my merry Oldsmobile!" Must have reminded her of something. Or someone?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blondes preferred to Gentlemen, continued

The current czicken residents:
And the previous czicken resident:

Mmmmm, tasty he was, too.

The following are the pictures to share with prom dates of the future:
"We'd say 'Momma' and she'd say 'whhhhhuuuuuuuut?'"

"Why have toys when you can run around in your sister's clothes, with her underwear on your head?"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blondes preferred to Gentlemen

RIP Rooster. Buh-bye. Or rather, "Bye, bye, rooster, so long, Donna has an axe!" (A hatchet, really, but it doesn't scan)

Picked up two new hens yesterday from a woman east of Cottage Grove. There will be a picture of them posted as soon as Blackie lets them come out. Right now she's got them holed up in the nester and if they venture out, she pecks at them and chases them back in. They're a few weeks younger than her and about half her size. They're also blondes.

My children have been getting a good lesson in how undesirable male animals are. Also that a rooster keeps his testicles up against his spine (we had an impromptu anatomy lesson yesterday) and they look like kernels of corn.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I may have finally found an outlet for my fiercely sadistic side.

All those earwigs that were hiding in the leaves of my artichoke plants are now inside a chicken.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Transgendered chickens

Whitey appears to be a boy.

Bottled up

11 of the Top 20 Bottlenecks in the Bay Area are in Alameda County, 6 of them in Oakland/Berkeley, 4 of those being on the stretch of I-80/580 that I once asked my husband to make sure I never had to drive on again once we had moved to Oregon.

Introducing...The Ladies

So, we've placed the Czickenary pretty much right outside our bedroom window to start with, since we all need to get into the habit of getting out there to take care of them. You know that feeling when you're just waking up and you feel like you're being watched? I opened my eyes this morning to see two pairs of beady little yellow eyes peering at me.

The kids are now pretty fascinated by "Chicken TV." This morning I allowed the Number One Son to fish a couple of worms out of my worm bin to give to them. Those were *very* popular.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I'll post a picture tomorrow...right now the light is really bad where they are. Two barred rocks, one mostly black and one mostly white. WARNING: POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS ALERT!!!!! Thinking of naming them Honky and Negro. Actually, just like when we got our black kitten (now named Cathy).. I already had a cat named Berkeley (white, with a little bit of black on him) and so we thought we would name her Oakland (black, with a little bit of white on her). Time for dinner.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Czicken Palazz, still almost finizhed

Work was slow-going today, because I'm running out of useable scrap. Also because the two smallest have found out that a czicken houze devoid of czickens makes a great playhouse. Note to self: Must build a playhouse for the kinder. So, there's some hardware cloth in place, but the outer part is not entirely covered, yet. What I have has also lost its uniformity of look (it looked so handsome this morning) because there's been a bunch of new white- and silver-painted scrap screwed to it (I found a bunch of door moulding in the garage, and that's helping to hold the hardware cloth in place).

Yesterday I posted to Craigslist looking for hens, and I just got a message from a woman in Springfield who has a couple of 4-month old Barred Rocks to give away. We might have czickens as soon as tomorrow! Better get the rest of the darned coop covered. The inside portion, at least, is entirely secure.

What I *really* need is about five 5' pieces of lumber, 3" to 6" width. Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Czicken Palazz, almost finished

El Palazzio de pollo, my most recent project:
Most of this is scrap wood and hardware that we inherited when we bought this house - except for some of the plywood, which came from a chicken box/coop/thing we got for free from Craigslist. I completely dismantled that thing; it was ugly and not suited to our purpose. I have only had to buy the two 1"x6"x8' lumber pieces that are the long edges, the 1"x2"x8' piece along the top, the two strap hinges in the foreground above, and a bunch of hook & eye (spring-loaded type) to fasten the doors with, which are not attached yet. Grand total: about $25. That price includes the $10 can of wood-stain (the bulk of what I've spent) which, once applied, made this motley collection of bits look a little more cohesive.

Today I'm affixing the hardware cloth (also free/inherited) to the triangular openings in the top of the Swiss Chalet/IHOP part, and wire to the outside portion for the enclosed run.


Now, all we need are czickens.

(My thanks go out to Katy Skinner at The City Chicken website, who has posted so many great pictures of backyard chicken tractors.)

This is the coolest chicken coop in the world.