Free At Last

The little ladies are soooo excited to be let out in broad daylight–and for longer than just an hour or so just before dusk. This is Ruby saying, “What is all this sunlight about?!”

I really don’t want to donate the entire yard to the chickadees so it’s been the procedure to just give them an hour or so to run around and take dust baths or eat creepy bugs. 

But today, is Cinco de Mayo and so the chickies get a holiday. Of course, if they were actual Spanish chickens, they’d likely be celebrating much differently.

Probably in a pot…or in Heaven.

They love me. And they should.

An Old Box…

And in that old box–packed away yeaaaaars ago, I found a ton of pretty little treasures that I could never seem to get rid of.  This little lady used to live in a plastic perfume bottle and smelled like Honeysuckle. The very first thing I did when I got her was to snatch her out of the bottle that was toooo small and dreadful for her to live in. I couldn’t bare it- so, I freed her.

Yeah, I was that kid.

Peter Pan lost his crocodile and his tights…but that cute little face…

After Christmas one year, we found a shopping cart FULL of these little Santa Kiddles and they were  19 cents each. Who comes up with these prices? ANYway, my mom made the comment that they’d be cute on the Christmas tree so my dad bought the whole pile of them. We had to wait the whole next year to see them on the tree, but it was dang magical. And all our friends went nuts over our tiny Santa doll tree.

This little dolly made me very sad, when I was a kid. One day while playing with her I casually took off her hood and discovered that she was completely bald. Not a shred of hair what so ever. Her purple bangs were attached to the hood.  It freaked me out something ferocious and I couldn’t play with her anymore.

Ahhhhhh….Snow White. She doesn’t look as new as the others because I played with her alllll the time. Dopey got lost–but his brothers are all there.

There was a girl at my school when I was in 5th grade who said that if we’d give her a dollar, her sister would get us these teeny little dolls. I was totally in. In fact, I gave her TWO dollars so she’d get me two. I was surprised that she brought me two of the same dolls, but hey, they are soooo cute. I was walking home from school with my already-opened mini babies when another girl from our class walked past me. She said, “Soooo, you know her sister is stealing those dolls and selling them at school, right?” I just stared at her. No, of course I didn’t know that. How could I know that? Never thought of such a thing…till then. Made me kind of sick inside. I told my mom and she said, “Well,  you can’t fix that. Just don’t ever give her money again.”

A sad lesson on the ways of the world, for this little girlie.

Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf. I combed her hair a lot. Good thing she has a hood.

Last, but not least, is the little Martian Kiddle. She used to have a teeny little space ship, but again, if it was cramped and small–my own claustrophobic issues would be transferred to the dolly…and I’d let her out.

Drove my sister nuts. She’d say, “Why do you DO that?! You never keep your dolls nice. Mine still look new.” And it was true. She had some dolls with the plastic still on their hair to keep it all smooth while some of mine were an absolute mess from being brushed and dressed and brushed some more. But I’ll tell you what. If dolls have a soul of some kind, deep inside it, alllll my dolls knew they were loved–loved bald headed perhaps…

but loved. And that’s ok.

Evil Fudge Balls

Fudge Balls 2

Here’s a sinful little thing that traditionally, we save for Christmas time. But since we have way too many treats and goodies to make in December, I decided to stretch out the bliss. So we’re making these little devils for Valentine’s Day. We should be spreading out the holidays any-who. Don’t you agree?

I never thought I’d share this one–because, well because I’m actually very selfish at heart. Or maybe it’s because I’m certain that when the whole world reads this recipe–there will be an incredible run on the Symphony bar market…and there won’t be enough to go around…for me. Either thing is true.

Ok, ok…I’ll risk it.

This is a pretty darn simple recipe. So get ready for some complete decadence that there is no excuse for. I mean it.

Evil Fudge Balls

Ingredients:

2 lbs. Symphony bar chocolate

8 oz. frozen Cool Whip

Vanilla Wafers–crushed

Directions:

Melt chocolate over a double boiler being careful not to even get one teensy tiny drop of water in the bowl. Cool slightly. Spoon the frozen cool whip into a mixing bowl and pour the chocolate over it. Mix on medium speed until well blended.

It will most likely be way too soft to roll,  but if you have a small scoop like mine–you could still do it.  If not, refrigerate for about 1 hour or until the chocolate is firm enough to spoon and roll into balls.

Drop each fudge ball into a bowl of  crushed Vanilla Wafers and coat thoroughly.

Refrigerate in an air tight container and refrain from telling anyone that you made these. I mean, seriously…they’re worth beating somebody up for. 

And you don’t want that somebody to be you.

Trust me on this.

————–

Watch “Dane’s Wish

Evil Fudge Balls
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. Symphony bar chocolate
  • 8 oz. frozen Cool Whip
  • Vanilla Wafers–crushed
Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler being careful not to even get one teensy tiny drop of water in the bowl.
  2. Cool slightly.
  3. Spoon the frozen cool whip into a mixing bowl and pour the chocolate over it.
  4. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  5. Refrigerate for about 1 hour or until the chocolate is firm enough to spoon and roll into balls.
  6. Drop into crushed Vanilla Wafers and coat thoroughly.
  7. Refrigerate in an air tight container

One Broody Chick

Sooooo…you know how my cute little chickens go in their nesting boxes once a day, and leave  me a perfectly beautiful, light brown egg, then jump out and go their merry way?

Yes, well, that is how it’s suppose to go. But all of a sudden, our sweet little Honey–a lovely Cuckoo Maran–stopped coming out of the nesting box when she was suppose to.  No matter how many times I physically took her out and set her in the yard, or the straw, or the snow (!) she would just end up right back in the box.

This, my friends, is what we call a “broody hen.” For some reason, a hen will see a clutch of eggs, just laying there, minding their own business, and get the idea that she should jump in and hatch them. Now, as sweet as that may sound, there are several things wrong here.

First, we have twelve beautiful hens–HENS, meaning, there isn’t a rooster around for miles. Therefore, Honey can sit there for a week of Tuesdays, but ain’t no babies hatching–if you know what I’m saying.

Second, when a hen is setting on eggs, she doesn’t eat or drink properly for about 21 days–because she is too busy tending to her “babies.” It’s not particularly good for her–especially if there are actually no babies to make the sacrifice for.

Third, Honey was setting on perfectly good, infertile eggs and when I would reach for them, or her–she started getting a bit feisty–pecking and growling at me. Yeah, I didn’t know that chickens could growl, but I’m telling you–they can. Kinda creepy.

And lastly, while she’s having this little pretend mama adventure, she isn’t laying any new eggs. In fact, everyday she’s stubbornly setting on 5 or 6 eggs that aren’t even hers! I take her out, she finds a nest with eggs I haven’t gotten to yet, and claims them. Yes, yes. A bit tiresome, indeed.

What to do…what to do? I checked out all the Chicken Advice blogs and read tons of ideas that didn’t set right with me. Some were silly and some were downright mean. I found the best idea at the Chicken Chick site. Tons of chicky wisdom here.

 

Introducing the Broody Buster!! Ok, ok….it’s a rabbit hutch–but it’s gonna do the trick!

The idea is that you have to re-route all those displaced mama chicken hormones by putting her in a wire bottom cage by herself for a few days–with no eggs to sit on. Cool air to help her remember that all the eggs in the universe do NOT in fact, belong to her.

My, oh my, oh MY…was she ticked!

Little Honey was fussing and buzzing around in that cage, with a “Whyyyy I outta…” look on her little pouty-beak face.

It only took 3 days of chicky time out and she was CURED!!!

 

I open the cage door on day 3 and she whipped out of there like a bat out of….well, you know. It was fast.

 

Our dear Honey has finally gone back to her normal chicken ways.

And she has promised to behave herself from now on.

But I’m leaving the cage in the coop–as a reminder…

just in case.

 

When It Snows

When the snow really comes down–well, for how much it ever really snows in Utah–

at least when there is enough to blanket the ground and the trees and the bushes…

I love to go out and stand in the quiet and just turn slowly and look at how beautiful it all is.

It’s like a funny, magical, lovely miracle that I am here, in this place at this time of my life. Sometimes I just stand there for a while, allllll alone and let it take my breath away.

But then I remember, the other sweetness is that we’re never, any of us, ever completely alone…

are we?