The weather has been great this spring in the Pacific Northwest and we’ve been having fun at our new place. Our current challenge is chickens. We got 18 and a couple turned out to be roosters.
For exhibit one, we have Mean Chicken (named by Sarah — although I think he’s now her favorite). He’s a good rooster but has been a little noisy in the mornings. Our next-door neighbors who are close to us are not happy when he wakes them up at 4:30am. We’ve tried locking them in (which doesn’t keep him from crowing) and more recently have had some success with a “chicken collar” which restricts his airflow a little bit (without impeding his ability to eat). It seems to be working. I hope we can keep him (without disturbing the neighbors) since he’s pretty friendly and seems to do a good job protecting his hens. Here he is, front and center with his hens.
Number two is Napoleon. He’s a silkie — a mutated, black-boned hybrid chicken who looks ridiculous. He’s a little guy, but definitely a male. The chicken collar was less successful with him. He seems to not be able to handle it. Our plan is to give him away to someone who might be interested in a weird-looking bird.
We also got some bunnies from our neighbors (who we are blessed to have). Very cute, very fuzzy, very useless, but they sure are fun. One almost got away when Liam (who now goes by the moniker “Chicken Boy” dropped when he was taking out. Here’s a picture of Chicken Boy:
For the bunnies, we don’t have names yet, but “Dr. Fuzzball” is a request for one of them from the boys — the name of our previous, almost rabid-acting hamster.
Andrew has been busy with the yard, trying to remove rocks, get grass growing on the north lawn, and trimming back a couple years worth of blackberries and other overgrown brush at the front of the property. There are several trees that we’ve marked for removal and hope to get those down (giving away most of the wood to a friend who burns it for heat in the winter) later in June. We don’t want to take down too many trees, but some are dead, dying, or simply in the way. There’s also a plan for a Koi/duck pond to be added that will also hopefully help address some of the surface water and drainage issues that we experienced this last [very wet] winter. More pictures of that as it develops. For now, some exploratory digging…
Boys have been busy with school, Lizzie just wrapped up preschool (and will be starting Kindergarten in the fall).
Overall, things are going well. Still not sure about where Sam will be next year. He’ll either be at Pope Elementary (if there’s room) or we’re going to pull him back into the regular class at Hunt Elementary. Sunrise Elementary was not a good fit and it’s a pain to have yet another school to drive to. Sam, Ethan, Liam, and Lizzie have all been playing soccer and having a fun time with that.
Patrick has been playing Little League (and doing well — highest batting average on the team) and Andrew has been coaching the South Hill Little League AAA Dodgers. It’s been fun. Not a lot of wins this season, but the boys on the team have been learning and growing a lot. Andrew’s planning to coach in the Summer League so July will be busy with another 8 games in a less-competitive, but hopefully still fun environment.
Sarah’s been keeping busy, taking prerequisites for her teaching program that she’s planning to get into, driving kids to soccer and other activities, clipping chicken wings, keeping the house together, and of course making cake pops.
When she’s not doing those things, she’s been running a lot — several 5Ks this spring.
… as well as taking Patrick on field trips.
It’s been a good spring so far… lots going on!