incubating eggs

I incubated some of my hens’ eggs recently.  Miracle of life and all that.   Counting the first day of incubation as day zero, it takes 21 days to hatch.  My chicks pipped on day 21 but did not emerge from their shells until early on day 22.

incubator eggs

incubator eggs

Out of seven eggs, four successfully hatched.  I think that’s considered a fair percentage.

first pip

first pip

Under duress, my husband did an informal necropsy on the unhatched eggs.  One wouldn’t open and two contained, as far as he could tell, fully developed chicks.  I know that means something but I’m not really interested in knowing right now.  I’ll just store the information until I need it.



Fred leaning on Ethel's egg as she pushes out

Fred leaning on Ethel’s egg as she pushes out

One of the chicks hatched with what appeared to be “wry neck.”  S(he) was spunky and energetic, but couldn’t lift her head, couldn’t drink or eat without assistance.  She was curled like a shrimp.  I splinted her as per some advice on Backyard Chickens on and off but after about 18 hours I decided to let her have a night without manipulation.  My mind was made up that if she was no better by morning, knowing that spontaneous healing was unlikely, I would kill her as humanely as possible.  When I checked on her at 5:30 am I thought, “Is it wishful thinking that she doesn’t look as bent as before?”  By 8 am, I had a hard time picking her out of a line up.  So yay!  It took her about another 8 to 12 hours to walk normally and now, except for some markings on her face, I wouldn’t be able to tell her apart from the others.


Ethel at 6 days old – all the chicks have feathery feet like their Cochin sire

If you mock me for praying for the life of a little chick which I might even eat some day then you’re not a nice person and I remind you that not even one sparrow falls without God’s notice.  


Filed under chickens, chicks, eggs, incubating eggs

Keeping Kids Busy Before Church So They Don’t Drive Me Crazy While I Look For Shoes

learning to copy a pattern and helping with Mommy's quilt

learning to copy a pattern and helping with Mommy’s quilt

putting beads on pipe cleaners

putting beads on pipe cleaners



Filed under children, crafts, quilt

Minimalist Lego

one rooster, two hens

one rooster, two hens – by Jack


Filed under Lego, photos

It is well…

I usually do this without announcement, but I thought I’d let ya’ll know I’m taking a little blog break.  Stepping away from the Internet for a tiny while.  Not sure how long I’ll be gone – a week?  a month?  If I don’t see you, have a blessed Lent.

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Filed under general

There are places I remember

I like to play connect the neighborhoods.  Places I guess I’ll never see again. I haven’t forgotten where I come from, but I don’t really intend to go back if I can help it.  Not that there’s anything wrong with those places, they’re just part of my past is all.  And, with a few notable exceptions, most of the people I care about from there have left.

So I picture streets and landmarks and see if I can remember how they come together.  From East New York to Ozone Park; from Oh Zee to Howard Beach or to Rockaway 116 or to Woodhaven; from Woodhaven to Richmond Hill and Glendale.  I could go further of course, but those were the limits of my intimate acquaintance.

I know I’m already missing big chunks in my imagination.

But I remember Dan’s Supreme in front of which a little boy was hit by a bus.  He lived in an apartment over the lunheonette – or was it already a pizzeria by then?  A dirty little boy, he seemed to me, with a lot of tough older brothers and sisters.  He had survived falling through the ice in Central Park and nearly drowning some time before, but this time Death got him.  I remember his name too.  And if you knew it, you could Google him and read the story without the interesting details.

I remember being so tired and discouraged on my walk home from elementary school one day that I sat down on my book bag across from the high school,  just a block from home.  A teenager – a black teenager – came to me to ask me if I was OK.  To my everlasting shame, I spat at her and ran for home.  She couldn’t catch me.  I wish I could say sorry.

I remember City Line where my stepmother bought our shoes and did our laundry and 64 park where my brother and I ran off to when chores were done.

I remember J – a large, long-haired and bearded man with sagging and faded blue jeans who always carried around armloads of old shoes.  Everyone was very nice to him  - no one was ever disrespectful to him either to his face or behind his back.  No one ever even gossiped about him to me.  So I can only imagine he was the eccentric son of some Mafioso.  Or else he had a legit shoe repair business and I was too dumb to figure that out.

My friend N and I bought matching pink unicorn muscle shirts and feather roach clips to wear in our hair from Aqueduct flea market.  We had no idea what those clips were really for but innocence didn’t last long.

Do you remember the old trestle where I first tried cigarettes and and wine coolers?  I think there were homeless people living there.  I wonder if teenagers still try to be cool at The Dome in Forest Park.

I see my church on Myrtle Avenue – I still idealize it even though I know it was full of sinners.

And there’s Grandma’s house where it was always sunny, lilacs and sweet peas and lily of the valley always bloomed and I was always safe.

What do you remember?

This is part of Jennifer Fulwiler’s 7 Posts in 7 Days insanity so you can check out the other participants and look forward to more of my blather this week.


Filed under memory lane

Running a Household, Excuses, and an App

I didn’t blog yesterday.  I clipped, emptied, exercised, fed, ironed, prepared, prayed, taught, wiped, dusted, organized, straightened, changed, cleaned, cleared, photographed, planned, cooked, ate, washed, dried, and folded.  I disciplined, encouraged, read and cuddled.  I talked, laughed, yelled and repented.  And then I fell asleep.  But I didn’t blog.

For a few years now I’ve been using on and off, this household management calendar by Motivated Moms.  I switch things up every now and then to keep me interested – plain running to do lists in a cheap notebook are my second choice –  but usually I find this the most helpful.  It would have taken me years and my sanity to design a personalized control journal this well thought out.  Well, now you can get it as an app or the usual downloadable, printable pdf.  An app!  I’m not much of a technology person, but this is so fun.  Yes, I guess homemaking must be my calling if I think a chore planning system  is fun.

Anyway, it’s been a couple of months since I had any kind of structure to my cleaning routine and it walloped me to get back into the swing of things.  I did manage to sleep the well-deserved sleep of the hard-working.  Bonus, I’m exercising again because it’s on the list.  Bonus bonus, I’m up before the kids enjoying a quiet cup of coffee.  Bonus bonus bonus, my husband came home from work one night and said, “I see that you’ve really been keeping up with everything – I hope that’s because you’re feeling better.  Anyway, I just want you to know that I noticed and I appreciate it. ”  Awwww.

This is part of Jennifer Fulwiler’s 7 Posts in 7 Days insanity so you can check out the other participants and look forward to more of my blather this week.


Filed under cleaning, exercise, home economics, housework, husband, linkydink

Gonna Dig a Hobbit Hole

We went to the library today and each of the three boys were allowed to pick a single book .  My oldest, as usual, went for non-fiction.  The four-year-old settled on Doctor Seuss.  But my middle guy, who has a hard time making a decision when there are too many options, just kept pinballing around and around.  He finally told me that he was looking for a book for me to read to him that was like “the one we’re almost done with.”

We’ve been reading The Hobbit for the first time.  In fact, we just finished it tonight.  I suspected my eight-year-old would like it but I had no idea how my six-year-old would fall in love.  He told me tonight that when summer comes he is going to dig himself a house in the ground, nice and dry and comfortable, just like a hobbit hole.  Sounds good to me.

I asked him what he liked about the book and he said, “Well, I like the hobbit and the wizard and the dwarves and the elves and the dragon and the gold.  And the eagles and the bear and (small pause) I just like everything.”

The rest of the series is still a bit too mature and too dark for them, but what they have to look forward to!  On the advice of a friend, I tried what should I read next but of the several recommendations, we’ve read at least half (Narnia Chronicles) and the others I read before I had kids (Douglas Adams), and while I liked them, they are not appropriate for children.  Maybe the first Harry Potter?

This is part of Jennifer Fulwiler’s 7 Posts in 7 Days insanity so you can check out the other participants and look forward to more of my blather this week.


Filed under books, children, reading to children, Tolkien