Wednesday, September 9

Labor Day Weekend In Pictures

Imp enjoying some time at our family waterpark.

NOTE: My husband says this photo makes him look like a naked caged man... He is not naked (he has on shorts) and he is not caged (well, maybe for a few minutes when he was in the cage making adjustments). Just thought I would set the record straight for those of you who had similar thoughts. :-)

My dear husband building a rat/snake proof cage for my broody chicken. You might remember I posted about my little black hen, Blackie, sitting on 11 eggs, due just before my birthday? Well, a few mornings ago I went to the coop to let my little chickens out (they are true free-range chickens) and my little hen was sitting on a different nest, on two golf balls, trembling in fear. Egg shells and dead little baby chicks littered the floor and her old nest box. I suspected a snake and that was confirmed, I thought, the next day when I went to the pen and almost stepped on another 4 foot chicken snake. However, I happened to have found an egg that was covered with poop (not very tasty), so I put that in her old nest the next night to see what would happen. The next day the eggshell was there, with little bite marks in the center and completely drained dry.

So my chick murderer(s) was not a snake, but rats! Oh, I can't imagine how Blackie must have felt being pushed out of her nest box by a crowd of big hungry rats. Now I am thinking I love that chicken snake, because chicken snakes love (to eat) rats. Come on snake, do your job!

So after this disappointment, I tried to keep Blackie off her nest to give her a break, but she was going to hatch something, even if it was a golf ball. My dear husband spent half of a day turning a dog kennel into a snake/rat free zone (that is not easy) and now she is happily living there with 15 (yes, I forgot to mark them for a few days, they are not all her's obviously) eggs. So hopefully Sept. 26th or so we will have some new little babies, unless the snakes/mice/rats/dogs/cats/aliens eat them... :-)

While EyeGuy (my husband) was cutting his delicate hands up building a broody hen cage, Duke and I made homemade soft Auntie Anne's KnockOff Cinnamon Sugar pretzels. Oh, they were the best, you can find the recipe here. I did make a few changes. I used my bread machine on dough cycle to make/raise the dough (I am lazy), replaced 2 cups of the white bread flour with 100% wheat flour, and made pretzel sticks rather than pretzel pretzels. Duke and I found sticks easier.

OMGosh, they were delicious! My husband, who usually hates when I sneak in wheat flour in my baking, told me these were better than the mall ones (that is a compliment, believe me) and Duke confirmed it. I know Duke is honest because the other day we had Middle Eastern food and he told me that my homemade hummus was not very good, but this restaurant's hummus was the best he had ever eaten!

Little Imp especially loved these and I left to go clean up inside and he took a break from his waterpark fun and ate 4 of them. I asked EyeGuy why he didn't say anything to stop the little guy, and he mumbled that he was too busy building my cage to notice. Can't argue with that.

Did I mention he spent the rest of Monday building an Ikea bunk bed for the boys and they are both sleeping on it tonight. I usually hate to shop at Ikea (the crowds, the long winding 10 mile trail to get a wine glass, the huge lines to check out), but this bunk bed is the absolute best. Duke has a double bed and Imp has been sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor since he was one. This bed is for smaller kids and the bottom bunk is just a mattress on the floor, so the perfect little cave for little boys. They had a pile of books in there today, reading. I love my kids... I have banned TV in our house (for the kids only of course) unless they are really sick or it is horrible weather outside. It is so hard to stick to that ban, but they are so much nicer if they don't watch TV, even Nogin. TV makes them grouchy(ier). How Max and Ruby or Little Bear can give you a bad attitude, I haven't a clue, but it does my boys.

It is a story of a chicken and the little girl who always has a million unfinished projects going on and neglects it. My husband read it and told me I am just like the girl Mae (except I don't neglect my chickens, they are a bit spoiled). I always start these new projects, almost finish them, and then move on to something new that interests me. Like painting the laundry room, doing embroidery, editing my family pics, etc., you get the picture. :-)

I have another CoffeeShop 101 tutorial coming out in a day or two and a few more actions and other fun things so keep on visiting! Thanks again for making blogging fun. :-)


  1. Please oh please share you pretzel recipe! I have a bread maker and my crew would love for me pull some of these out of the oven

  2. Love the "Waterpark" photo! Really enjoyed reading your blog about your weekend events and have copied the Pretzel recipe to try later this week.

    Thanks for all you do - love all your tutorials.

  3. Sorry about the rats ((shudder)). Hopefully, the new home will keep all predators out for your little hen. Where I live in Canada (province of Alberta), we have a rat patrol that does its best to keep rats out of the province. Some still sneak in on transport trucks, etc., but it works pretty well, with people reporting any rat sightings to the rat police! Best wishes, and TFS your freebies - A Canuck

  4. What a sad story about the baby chicks.....I'm glad the rats didn't get Blackie. I love being around chickens....they are fun to watch. When I was very small, my grandparents got a white chicken for me to call my own. For years before my family would visit, if they didn't have a white chicken on the farm, my grandfather would search all over until he found one. I always got up very early with my grandfather so I could let my chicken out each morning. I always liked watching them come out each morning when I opened the coops. I would love to see some photos of your new chicks after they hatch. :)

  5. i had more truble with this youg coon stealing the eggs, fenced him out, but didn't get no petzels, gonna talk to Bess about it.

  6. Thanks for sharing some of your life. SOunds like a full one.

  7. sounds like a fun busy weekend!! THanks for the recipe, I will have to try it, I've always been scared to try pretzels, it's nice to here they worked out for you!
    Have you ever heard of hard white wheat? My kids like it better than reg flour and they won't touch regular wheat!

  8. I'm glad Blackie and her eggs are safe now. How awful that a rat was terrorizing her. I think we have that same bunk bed but my oldest uses the under part for books and legos (his hang out).

  9. he he he does look naked and caged! Lol! Great photos!


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