Thursday, August 1, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real} on August 1

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Brought to you by Like Mother, Like Daughter

There's not too much inspiration inside the house these days. At this time of year, there's much more pretty to be found outside, in my opinion!

After supper last night we left the dishes and went out for a walk together. This is what we saw. . .


"The dirt pile"

I am teaching myself to french braid after all these years. 


Thistles always remind me of Scotland! Which is why I let them grow, at least in the places where little feet are least likely to tread.


The garden is growing! (I am still somewhat amazed.) So far we have been able to enjoy lettuce, green onions and swiss chard. I had never eaten swiss chard before last night - running out of time before supper needed to be on the table, I just boiled it for a few minutes and served it with butter and salt. I think I would like to try some recipes where swiss chard is one of the ingredients, rather than a big pile of mushy greens on the side. (It was still tasty.) Does anyone have any fabulous swiss chard suggestions?

The boys in blue. Love it.

Arden is becoming an accomplished chicken farmer. Having chickens has been a great learning experience for us all!


Speaking of chickens, we have a new addition to the family. Meet Big Red.

We have been looking after a small flock of laying hens - 6 brown and 1 white. (Take note!) We want to get our own little flock underway, so we are planning on breeding these hens and hatching the eggs ourselves. Well, our neighbours also have a mixed flock, complete with rooster. A big white rooster. (Take note!)

So we thought we would stick him in with our hens and let him work his magic.

The magic was, um, less than spectacular. Non-existent, to be exact. The poor rooster was pecked into a corner by the hens. They even drew blood! We thought it might just be an initial lovers' spat. So we tried again the next day. And the next. After three days of him cowing in a corner with nary a crow nor anything remotely resembling male domination, we gave up. The hens simply would not have it!

We started looking for another rooster, and purchased this big brown beauty on Monday. The farmers at his previous home said that chickens were often like sheep - a flock would reject a male if he was a different colour. Ah ha. Now it was making sense. Six brown hens, one white hen. This white rooster didn't have a chance.

When we put Big Red in the mating pen, the first thing he did was run at the young meat chickens in the neighbouring pen! They fled under the bushes and he puffed up his feathers. We figured it was a good sign. Then he starting strutting around, flapping his wings above his head and crowing. Our hens in an adjoining pen seemed to take no particular notice, but when we put one with him as a trial, he very quickly asserted his dominance. And now they all seem to be, ahem, getting along quite well.

It seems we have a winner!


Sometimes it's worth leaving the dishes behind and seeing what beauty awaits out of doors. . .

round button chicken



  1. I love having chickens too. My mother in law takes care of them, because while I love having them they do freak me out a bit. It is their feet... creepy... but the eggs? Ohh!

  2. We have chickens, too! Love the eggs, but I am not fond of birds! I hate the wing flapping. :)

    I finally taught myself how to French braid last year. With 4 girls I just had too. I find a lot of ideas from

  3. Doing dishes has it's place but sometimes you just can't beat the alternatives :) Love seeing your little garden thriving. Oh, and the vegetable patch looks good too!

  4. Wow, your garden looks great! And gotta love those diapers on the clothesline. ;)

    I recently saw a swiss chard recipe where the chard was finely chopped and incorporated into egg salad. I also saw someone made a 'swiss chard salad sandwich' by roughly blending the chard with greek yogurt or something, or maybe dijon and mayo... I forget!! In any case, it looked something like a tuna salad consistency and I was intrigued!

  5. Maybe you are done with chard now (although it is a good fall garden plant too), but my favorite way to make chard is to cut the leaves from the stems, slice the stems very thinly, heat oil and sauté stems until softened, maybe 5 minutes. You can add minced shallot or garlic or a little onion with the stems. Once the stems have softened, add the chard leaves which you have chopped roughly and rinsed--water still clinging to the leaves. Also add some golden raisins or plain brown ones. Drizzle in a little, or not such a little, balsamic vinegar and sauté until the laces are still bright green but tender. If you have line nuts, a few toasted strewn over the top is really tasty.

    You can also sauté like you would spinach, slow cook with bacon nada a little broth or make a kind of soupy beans and greens served with cornbread or crusty bread.

    I really like chard, if you can't tell. :)


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