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Baby Girl sums it up best:  “One mine baby chickens has a owie on her leg”.

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One of our chicks has injured her leg. We don’t know what happened, but her hock (the joint) is swollen, the shank (the lower part of the leg) is at a wonky angle and her foot is kind of floppy.  Reminds me a little of when the hubby dislocated his shoulder, but with significantly less swearing.

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She is kind of the runt of the brood, so we moved her into her own space so the other girls wouldn’t pick on her.  Before we moved her, they were walking all over her, literally.  She gets around surprisingly well by hopping on the good leg.  There is a lot of balancing with her wings and occasionally putting down her hock to right herself (I’m guessing that is not helping with the swelling).  Otherwise, she keeps that leg up, but is still eating, drinking and pooping regularly.

So, here is our dilemma.  Do we wait and see if she improves on her own?  Is there something we can do to help fix it?  Do we loosen the purse strings and take her to the vet?  From similar-sounding cases I’ve read about, the responses have run the gamut.  At the very least, I can say with certainty that we aren’t willing to put her down.  She has a much gentler temperament than some of the other gals, which seems an especially desirable trait while being raised around kids.

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After her book was read, while the big kids were listening to their books, Baby Girl snuck upstairs to find me.

Mommy:  “Was there something that made you happy today?”

Baby Girl:  “Yeah, you.  And my baby chickens.”

We brought our new babies home today – all 6 of them.

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The children (and adults) have been enraptured ever since.

They were delivered to us at church this morning by a friend who placed the order.  We showed them (in their box) to the children during the children’s sermon, which was a pitch for Heifer International.  As I carried them into the sanctuary,  Baby Girl came in behind me and yelled, “Look at my baby chickens!”   After the children’s sermon, the Boy took the opportunity to declare to the whole church, “And L. is going to clean out the poop!”  Nothing that a 6 year old boy needs more than another chance to talk about poop.

Once we got them home and settled into their (temporary) new space, we all sat around watching them.  It was difficult pulling everyone away long enough to sit down and eat lunch (after a thorough handwashing, of course).  A few minutes into lunch, a couple of the chicks started cheeping, to which Baby Girl replied, “my chickies want me to come over”.

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The Boy wanted to be sure the chicks had a proper introduction to music.  His first question was, “Can I put on some music so the chicks can dance?”  Later, when he noticed them getting sleepy, he rushed to the stereo to turn on mellow music.  “Look, I think the music is helping them sleep”.

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We spent quite a bit of time trying to identify which breeds we have.  They came in an “brown egg layer mix” so it is a bit of a grab bag.  As they get bigger and feather out more, we should have a better idea if our guesses are right.

The coop build is scheduled for next weekend, but they won’t move in for several weeks.

Tomorrow, I’ll turn the heat lamp off for a few minutes and try to get some photos that aren’t tinted red.  But for now, you’ll have to excuse me.  I have some babies to go admire.

Several years ago, we were introduced to a truly unforgettable dessert.  Let’s call it a twist on a classic.

After enjoying a lovely dinner, we were relaxing and readying ourselves for dessert.  Our friends, Chas and Amanda, proceeded to bring out a package of Peeps.   Now, I love candy far more than the average person, but I was ready to take a pass.  But, with little marshmallow chicks and skewers in hand, our hosts directed us to the fire pit.  At this point, I’m sure hubby and I looked somewhat befuddled.

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We were skeptical, but the result had us convinced.  A slightly crisp, caramelized exterior and a soft and gooey interior.  It is a fine use of the Easter treat that typically lingers at the bottom of the basket, pushed aside in favor of the chocolate bunny or jelly beans.  As Chas put it, “they are the creme brulee of marshmallows”.

Time to scope out post-holiday sales and stock up for camping season.

One of the highlights of my trip to Memphis was the chance to meet Melissa of Bridgman Pottery.  She is as sweet and easy to talk to as you would imagine from her virtual self.  I could easily have spent many more hours sitting and chatting, not to mention admiring her work.

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I was excited to see her pottery in person and thrilled to visit her studio.  I am fascinated by how people work and what inspires them.  Melissa’s style, clearly influenced by the natural world, is clean and delicate.  Her affinity for birds only makes me love her work more.

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I hope my husband understands the large amount of restraint I practiced in making the small purchase that I did.  Seriously, I was pained to leave without “just a few more things”.  Like a honeypot, some ladybug mugs, a sea urchin vase, a cafe au lait bowl, an egg vase, etc.

I did come away with a few happies though:

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bamboo tumbler – in use

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bud vase (since she didn't have any egg vases to sell)

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berry bowl - the hard part is waiting for berry season!

What fun it is to make a virtual acquaintance into a real life friend!  Thanks, Melissa!

We just returned from a 10 day road trip to and from Memphis.  Five of us in the car for roughly 32 hours (round trip) and we all survived.  It is truly the season of miracles.

On the way south, we stopped at a rest area near Cairo, IL.  Say what you will about Illinois, they do have nice rest areas.  Whoever suggested building playgrounds at the rest areas should be given a raise.

As we herded children in to use the facilities, I commented to Brad that I was having trouble remembering the last time I was outside in a short sleeve shirt.  A couple steps later we both stopped dead in our tracks.  “Do you smell that?”  A lovely floral scent was wafting from the trees nearby.

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You have no idea how powerful the sight and smell of blossoms can be until you’ve been deprived of anything resembling living flora for 6 months.  Without the chance to watch the gradual greening and budding, it was all the more surprising and delightful.

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It gives me hope that spring is really here to stay and we’ll see our own drab environs turn green and bloom soon(ish).