Category Archives: Chickens

Ginger Blood

IMG_20140607_183657

I finally got a juicer! My dad bequeathed to me both a machine, and the “recipe” for his signature breakfast concoction. I use the term recipe lightly– this is my dad we’re talking about. I gathered my intel by following him around the produce section, and listening. “You want a bit of that, but not more than that much, or maybe that’s fine, no, wait–” and “you can use this, but you don’t have to, but if you do, remember to–” and other equally ambiguous instructions. While the proportions may be tricky, the ingredients are simple enough:

  • Greens (kale, spinach, etc)
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Apples
  • Lemon
  • Ginger root

The beauty of a drink like this is that proportions don’t really matter. Make it to your tastes. Two things I’ve slightly altered from the way my dad does it, are using baby salad greens instead of mature kale (way juicier) and to DEFINITELY peel the ginger, lest it wind up gritty.

IMG_20140607_195843I love this drink. It’s fruity, earthy, sweet, and HOT. I love the hotness of the ginger, and the redness of the beets. I’m tired of referring to it as “Larry’s juice thingie”, and a beverage this good deserves a name. I cant think of anything more fitting than Ginger Blood.

On a side note, one awesome thing about juicing is all the vegetable and fruit pulp waste you can collect. I hate letting things go to waste, so luckily my chickens absolutely LOVE it when I throw this stuff out back for them. Happiness all around!

IMG_20140609_024216

 

Also, I went into Houston this weekend and gave my dad the afghan I made. Happy father’s day Dad!

IMG_20140613_201140

Advertisements

I’m Going Back to Mexico!

I can’t believe this is really happening– I’m going to Mexico to study Spanish! It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be fluent, and after years of high school and two semesters in college, I knew total immersion would be the only way to get there. Studying abroad had always been a wistful idea of mine too, but I held back for a few reasons: I would have had to take non-Spanish classes, live in a dorm, and an entire semester was too long to spend away from my dog.

The idea hatched over Christmas during our vacation to Mexico. We were eating lunch in Akumal with my dad’s friend Arturo and his son Gerado, and I mentioned my desire to learn Spanish. They both immediately said “Merida, go to Merida”. They then told me about the historic capital city of the Yucatan, just a few hours drive north of Cancun. There sat a cultural, ancient, and beautiful city which I had never heard of but wanted to go to immediately. (Read about Merida on Wikipedia.)

MapMexicoVacation ended and I came home to a dreary December with only one thought in mind: going to back to Merida immediately. I got on the Google and did my research. I found The Institute of Modern Spanish in Merida and it was exactly what I was looking for: total cultural immersion. I’ll get to live with a host family, attend school in the mornings and then spend the rest of the day on extracurricular activities and excursions with other students. There are weekend trips to Mayan ruins I’ve never seen, and the beach city of Progreso is just a 10 minute bus ride away. Class sizes are small, I can start whenever I want and stay for as long as I want– it’s perfect.

I just booked my flight for February 7th and began registering for classes. I’m so excited to be doing this; the idea seems surreal to me right now. In a few short weeks I’ll be sitting in class, in Mexico. I miss being in class, I truly do, and now I get to go back and learn something I really want to learn. I am so thankful to have my parents’ enthusiastic support, and although I’ll really miss my boyfriend, he is excited for me to chase this dream.

IMG_20140124_112658So it looks like I will be flying south for the winter! Unlike the big, fat, flightless birds that live in my backyard. I woke up today to sheets of ice and sleet all over Austin; frigid cold air thick with cedar. My least favorite time of year– made much more tolerable by the warm tropical thoughts of Mexico looming on my horizon.

I’m a little anxious but mostly excited. There are a lot of unknowns- I’ve never been to the city or school, haven’t met the teachers, and don’t know the host family I will be staying with yet. But there’s a lot I do know: I love the weather, love the food, love being in class, and look forward to the opportunity to slow down a bit. One of my goals is to learn to take a siesta– my neurotic brain hasn’t taken a nap since I was probably 4 years old. I also want to regularly blog about my experiences there: learning a new language and culture is going to be both challenging and rewarding. I’m certainly embarking on quite the adventure. I can’t wait.

My Second “First” Egg

ed98289c126d11e3b20722000a1f97fa_7I knew it was going to be any day now- one of the babies laid her first egg! I’m not sure who it was, but I have it narrowed down to Bertha or Gertrude. Lucy is going to lay blue eggs for sure, and this tiny little one was a light brown color. So exciting though- pretty soon I’ll be getting nearly double the eggs! What am I going to DO with all of them? (Answer: eat them. Eat them all.)

Some Baby Chick Pix

Baby chicks turn into tiny chickens!

chix1Aren’t they sweet?

lucyAgnes has an extra toe on each foot!

9dec35d8b85211e2b4f022000a1f9ac6_7

Chick Sitting 101

Baby Chicks Crop

     Baby chickens are beyond adorable and grow so stinkin’ fast. I could sit and play with them all day long, and even then they practically age before my eyes. I’m enjoying my second flock even more than the first: I know what I’m doing this time and everything is much easier. The last thing I was expecting was to have to leave them to go out of town for a few days– but here I am facing just that. Luckily my best friend (and former housemate) Melissa agreed to hold down the fort and manage both flocks for me while I’m gone. Her boyfriend normally tends to my older flock for me when I’m away, keeping the daily eggs in exchange. Taking care of the baby chickees is a bit more involved (but way more adorable) than tending to the five adult birds, so I needed to make Melissa some good instructions.

Continue reading

The New Chicks On The Flock

d62bc946a62c11e28b2322000a1fbe1b_7

Last friday I made a stop at Callahan’s– to pick up a bag of feed! That’s all, I swear!– and then wound up walking out with a box full of five fluffy little peepers. What can I say? They were tweeting my name. Last time I meandered into the hatchery room, they had nothing but two types of broiler breeds in one drawer and that was it. But I suppose spring is the season for eggs and baby chickees, after all! I was so happy to see the shelves filled with so many different types and breeds. I had already decided to get a second flock this summer anyway, so I thought what the heck… and said, “I’ll take five!”

Continue reading

Oh, Those April Showers…

20130402_173419_3713

April showers… lead to May flowers! And boy did Austin get an intense few days of showers this week! Not only did rain heavily pour for a sustained period of time (very un-characteristic of Texas weather) but it also unleashed hail the size of marbles and a wind strong enough to blow them in sideways. The comforting sound of rain on my tin roof clashed with the wail of sirens off in the distance (storms have the temporary effect of rendering Austinites unable to drive). They also cause so much damage to buildings and plants. Case in point, one of my very own trees was snapped at the trunk and blown over into my neighbor’s:

Tree Snap

But there are so many positives to all this rain– after all, we have been undergoing a record-setting drought in recent years. This week’s storm helped to quench the severely parched Texas watershed. Now if only we get lucky and experience a few more of these April showers, and soon,  theres a chance that water levels may significantly rise in my beloved Lake Travis. Once the watershed is quenched, runoff quickly spills into the river basins. So even if you’re sick of the stormy weather, just reason it thusly: one more heavy storm now, a whole summer of fun frolicking in the beautiful Lake Travis later. SO worth it! 🙂

Here’s a video I took of the flood waters rushing down my sloped backyard:

And here’s an adorable video of the chickens, caught off-guard by the sudden rain and hail, huddling together as close to my porch as they can get. Bless their hearts… I led them back to their coop immediately after.

After the rain subsided I finally let them roam the backyard for the day. Wow- were they happy with all the green vegetation and loose, wet soil. I imagine the “tasty bug” payload after a storm that intense has put them in Hen Heaven right now.

foraging chickens

If you want to check out the rest of my videos (so far all are chicken or weather related) head on over to my YouTube, um… profile? Channel? Page? I’m sort of new to the ‘Tube thing. (Used it for years to watch a plethora of random vids, just never signed in or managed an account.) Anyway, you can find all of my videos right here.

Chicken Scratch Video

After a few short weeks of cooping up the flock and watering the yard, my grass has finally returned! Lush, green, and not even really grass– the exuberance of clovers and weeds has made me absolutely giddy with spring fever.

I am definitely not the only one reveling in the green spring vegetation. My chickens are about as thrilled with all the new grass as I am. Check out this video I took of all five of them doing what they do best– scratching and pecking.

I could literally watch them do this all day long.