Weekend Highlights

This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind, but a fun one!  We had lots of time with friends, outside, working, and playing. What could be better?

The weekend started Friday afternoon by picking up 140 pounds of pastured pork from Misty Morning farms, butchered at Matt’s Custom Meats up in Kelso, WA.  It was a long drive, but the mountain views can’t be beat. 

pork

The above is barely a fraction of the meat. We asked to keep everything, including the fat to render for lard, so we have at least 25 pounds of just pig fat.  Amazing.

Saturday morning, I put up the decals in the (almost) finished nursery.  Since Anthony is from Australia, we wanted the baby to have a strong sense of it’s heritage.  It may be confused that bamboo has blue leaves, but whatevs. 

decal

 

koala decal

We took a beautiful walk up the road. Every day, I’m in such awe of the amazing natural surroundings we have, and how much it changes every day with the impending spring. 

walk photos

Hillsboro, OR

We also checked our garden beds with the garlic, which are still looking good and weed free. 

garlic bed

Super pregnant gardener

We also got our fruit trees in the mail from GrowOrganic.com and plan to plant them throughout the week.

fruit trees

We bought three cherries, four apples, two pears, and a peach.  We’ll see how they go!

As Anthony worked on the mantle for the fireplace, I built our growing (and exceedingly annoying, although very cute) chicks a home more appropriately sized for their growing selves.  We went from this:

chick brooder

chick brooder XL

Funny story. The crate was originally Chewy’s. Apparently, we thought she was going to go from 10 pounds to a german shepherd. No such lock, but the chickens are loving it!  I felt very 

Finally, our incredibly sweet and generous neighbors threw us a “welcome to the neighborhood” party.  We got to meet some of our new neighbors, including a couple who gave us a custom-written gardening book for our area. How sweet! There is nothing like having amazing neighbors. 

Welcome cake

Kat and Anthony

I tell you, after this weekend, the moment my head hit the pillow, I was out like a light. Can’t wait to see what this week will bring!

Welcome to the (Hen) House!

When I was about 10, my mom and I went on a whim to a pet store.  Already, I’m sure you can guess this was a truly terrible idea.  We walked out with Mitzi, a 4 month old dachshund who had been living in the 2’ x 2’ box for a month.  She was needy, adorable, and totally batshit crazy.  I’ll never forget my mom calling my dad on the way home, saying, “I just did a really, really, really, really, really bad thing.”

Mitzi the dachsund

(Photo curtesy of my mom, Terry Berenson, San Diego animal photographer extraordinaire!)

That line has become a joke in our family, although I never expected to use it myself – this time, for coming home with seven small chicks. 

chicks

In all fairness, we knew we were going to get chicks, and had been planning on it for years. However, we also planned to wait on adding any new animals to the “flock” until baby van der Hoorn is born in oh, 5 weeks.  But, one look at these speckled sussex chicks, and we couldn’t resist picking up 6.  Plus the one extra unknown breed, named Rando Calchickian, because, hey, she would have been left all alone without them!

chick

Unfortunately, one of our chicks failed to thrive and died after 3 days.  It was heartbreaking, especially because there was nothing we could do – we tried sugar water and all the usual treatments, but unfortunately chicks just aren’t as hearty as other young animals, particularly before they’re feathered. 

chick

However, the remaining six seem to be as hearty as can be.  They are ridiculously silly, adorable, and fairly loud. I do look forward to having our bathroom no longer smell of pine shavings (covering the paper towel you see in the photo above), but for now, it’s quite fun to go hang out with the girls on the edge of the tub.

As we learn more, I’ll post more about the process. However, if you have the chicken itch, I couldn’t recommend Harvey Ussery’s book, The Small Scale Poultry Flock, more.  I’ve read parts of it over and over, and it really tells you everything you could possibly want to do with chicks, chickens, and other fowl.

Have a great weekend!