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Anna's Bonne Bouche

Determined to bloom where I am planted, no matter how rocky the soil.

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Where We Start

Deciding About December

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December has finally drawn to a close, and with it 2015.  The month started with more setbacks, as my husbands job became subject to a “Last in , First Out” thing when business took a downturn.  It is a bit of a rough way to start out the month, much less the new year.  We keep making our plans, though.

The month’s weather kept with the theme it had all year, rain and more rain.  The unseasonably warm temperatures gave rise to a some nasty storms. Those storms left us with downed branches and bog over the entire property.

We were lucky enough to avoid the tornados that plagued the rest of the state, but we are still slogging in the mud. Those vehicles not parked on our paved driveway have been sinking into it, making for some muddy adventures as we try and pull them free of the muck and move them to drier ground.

Oh yes, so much adventure.

I am grateful for my mud boots, or I would have ruined a few pairs of shoes already.

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The warm weather has allowed my pepper plants to continue to bloom and set fruit. My plants  , that have survived this long, are covered in peppers of green and purple. Some are getting quite large. I do believe the lack of sun has kept them from ripening to red and yellow, but they are still tasty.  I am content to let them keep going until they are ready to keel over on their own, or the squirrels rob me again.

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We could not save the radishes and most of the lettuce from my scratching hens obsessive habit of destruction  of all things garden. Only two pots remain of mixed lettuce,  saved only by a half baked idea of using a tomato cage in the pots. It keeps the girls off the pot. They lost interest in the lettuces once they couldn’t get their big backsides up there to scratch up the dirt.

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Mostly, my garden has been pulled up, the pots empty and set aside for a few weeks. Not for long,  though.  It will be time to start planting my spring garden soon.

I am excited about this year’s garden and have been pouring over seed catalogs, making lists  of seeds and sets I want to order for my spring planting. I also have been taking inventory or what pots I have here and need to look into storage for more, and also gather up my seed trays.

Being limited on budget, I am having to be frugal and creative. The big expense will probably be the actual seeds and sets. The rest will be using what we have on hand and can dig from random items laying about.

So far, a baby swimming pool and a few cloth shopping bags have pulled as possible planters. Some old rolled wire fencing has been pulled for chicken barrier. Planting does no good if my hens destroy what I have put out. Little greedy things that they are.

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One thing I don’t have to purchase is good dirt. My compost pile, started in May of this last year, has grown large on a steady diet of kitchen vegetable  scraps, leaves, grass , chicken egg shells and poo. The compost is dark , rich and there is enough to make a big, healthy garden this year.

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My dear husband, and my father made one of two potato boxes I want for this year, from scrap lumber we have on property.  They only made one, just to see if this was what I wanted and was describing as I waved my printed Pinterest potato box plan around. It was, and now just needs to have the bottom plastic bag ring stapled in.

Another box is under construction as I write, then they will be filled in with dirt, potatoes planted, then boarded up as the plants grow. This will be my first year with potatoes.  I am excited to try it.

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My Poo-Princesses are still toddling about the yard, getting big off a steady diet of bugs, greens and layer ration.  I am glad I took the leap last year and went ahead and got them.  They have eliminated our spider problem, I hardly ever see snakes in the yard, they turn my compost for me,  and are sweet girls and fun to watch. 

My having hens  as ‘pets’ this year has  led to my being dubbed, “The Crazy Chicken Lady” amongst friends, family and neighbors.  This led to a ‘theme’ appearing in my social media accounts  in the form of pictures and articles people tag me in, that have anything to do with chickens.  It also was the theme of many gifts I received this year for the holiday.

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Maybe they are right.  I am crazy about my hens. They get good, nutritious feed, a solid house to rest in,  tasty treats, and even get warm oatmeal  every evening on cold nights before they roost up for the evening. I love talking about my girls, and most people who come to visit usually are taken outside to observe my feathered beauties. I even convinced the big dog, who hates birds, to watch over them while they roam out in the yard all day.

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There is danger everywhere when you are a chicken.  Death from above is a very real possibility here.

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So , it was easy to train the big dog to keep the bad birds out of the yard. It was not so easy to convince him to not chase the “good birds” a.k.a. MY HENS, in the yard. In the end, bribery won the day. The big dog takes payment for his services in the form of extra treats and/or extra love.

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Our reward for this devotion to my fluffy ladies is fresh eggs every day.

An incredibly useful gift for this chicken lady, this year, was an egg skelter. I have wanted one so badly, but was unable to find one at a price I could justify. I have one now! I am so glad my daily trip back from the coop no longer includes finding a sharpie and writing dates on the eggs. My mother gave me this for a holiday gift, along with a few other fun kitchen items.  One of those fun items was a Rooster Kitchen Timer that crows a loud, “Cock-a-doodle-do!”, or its own rendition of “The Chicken Dance” with a flip of a switch.
Probably a very appropriate gift for a Crazy Chicken Lady.

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The lack of sun has made for a slow ripening of all the lemons on our lemon tree. They have been ripening, though. Where we had been picking off a lemon every once in a while, we had a day where we had half a tree of ripe lemons all at once.

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Big  ole fist-sized lemons. Hundreds of them. Some were given away, the others were squeezed into juice.

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It took a while, but I managed to squeeze out about 10 quarts of juice from that one basket full. Most of it was jarred and then frozen. We still have another basket full waiting on the tree.

I see plenty of lemonade and lemon-flavored food in our future.

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Another great gift was this shelf my husband built for me to store my things in.  He built it from left over 3/4″ plywood we bought for building the coop. It is a wonderful use of the scrap wood, and it turned out great.  I was excited to get it in the room and start putting things in it.

It even makes a great spot for another gift for the chicken lady. A cute black hen, that heats scented wax and makes the room smell heavenly, sits on top.

This shelf is the first of a few projects we have planned for the next few months.. We need to  build out and repair bedroom furniture for ourselves.  We gave away our entire bedroom set when we moved. What we have now is either borrowed, or something that was used for something else, but is now bedroom furniture. 

We will get there, one piece at a time.

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My books have arrived for my course. Class starts this week. I am excited to start, but I am more excited to finish. If there ever was a time we needed me making good money, now would be it. First to get my training, then the job. I am just glad it is a course I can do at my own pace, so I can get through it as fast as I can absorb the material. 

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The rain continues on into the new year. We are making an effort not to get as bogged down and gloomy personally as the weather has been outside.  Our situations,  like the weather, can change anytime. Some days are more rain than sun, but the sun does come.

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My parents have left again on their travels. My husband and I are alone. Well, except for a moody big dog. He is  lonely because my parents dog left on the trip with them.  Poor Big Dog. Extra loves are the only remedy.

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Also a small cat, who suddenly realized he need not hide under the bed, plotting against us in secret, anymore. He can now plot in the open, without fear of seeing “The Man”. “The Man” a.k.a. My Father, has never hurt the small cat, but the small cat still thinks he is terrifying.  No amount of love remedies being a small, scaredy cat.

I have made no resolution this year. Just plans. Having a bigger container garden, caring for my animals,  making and refinishing a new bedroom for us, going back to school, and hopefully getting a good paying job are plenty to keep me busy for the next few months.  Maybe we will get thrown a bone and my husband will find good work soon.

Until then, we just keep on keeping on.

Now I leave this long post with a reward! A short Tale From the Broken Cookie Jar- Doggie Edition
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DON’T EAT MY CHICKENS, CHICKEN FLAVORED DOG BISCUITS

Ingredients :

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

Preparation :

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, chicken stock and butter. Knead dough until well combined, about 3 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 1/4″. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. Place cut biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Beat egg and milk together in and small bowl. Brush egg mixture over biscuits.

Bake in an oven preheated to 325° for 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.

Posted from WordPress for Android

To Remember November

Rocky Soil

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It seems that every time I turn around someone is proclaiming the end of the world is nigh.  I look at social media, turn on the radio or tv, or read the news there is yet another example of ringing the warning bell.  Anxiety is high, and fear, anger and uncertainty hang thick in the air.

I am late on my self-imposed deadline for this post. As a new blogger, I try to keep a schedule for new content that is achievable within my life,  while still sharing regularly. In light of recent events I felt a bit remiss in posting another fluffy article about my garden, as I had planned.

I have been fretting on what I should write about, given my current thoughts about the world. I have rewritten this article several times. It has been full of stops and starts, coming out as scattered as my thoughts. I have nothing fresh  to add to the current political conversation.  I have no answers or insights on how to make things better. Still, I feel the need to express my own thoughts, for whatever they might be worth.

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There have always been storms.

I cannot remember a time when the world was not in conflict. In the whole of my life,  not a day has gone by where there hasn’t been someone, somewhere, who was willing to do a bad thing, and then justify it with what they feel are good reasons. From the small white lie, to the larger acts of death and destruction,  people have been doing the wrong thing for those “right reasons” since… well, always.

If it isn’t the human race out to get us all, it is nature. Hurricanes, tsunamis, disease, earthquakes, famine, poisonous creatures and plants amongst countless others, all pose a threat to this delicate thing called life.  It’s been this way since… well, you get the point.

Nobody is getting out of here alive. That is the only guarantee we have on this Earth. That, and change.
This is the rocky soil in which we are planted.

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The season here acts as a good metaphor for this change. The old falls away, making room for the new. The world prepares for the bitterness of winter, which looms not so far off in the distance. There is an ugliness that comes with the encroaching darkness, an uncertainty that comes with the cold, but there is also beauty.

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We mourn the loss of life.  Death is ugly and final. It also makes a way for new life. Like mushrooms spring up from the roots of a tree killed by the summer rain and heat.

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The dying vine still can yield a final gift of fruit.

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Although we can wish for our lives to be easy and perfect, adversity is ever present. The world has always been survival of the fittest. It is not always “right”, but it is what it is. Adversity either makes us stronger, or it wilts us.

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We will always experience losses. We will lose things, and people, in life. Either through our own choices, those choices that others make for us, or through the chaos that makes up the universe. Loss is inevitable.

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Life finds a way, though.
Sometimes life gives back something for what it took.

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Sometimes life can be heavy on the sour, leaving a bitterness in our mouths.

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Life may indeed give us lemons. Big, fist sized lemons, even.  It is up to us to make the lemonade. We must take the sour so we may better appreciate the sweet.

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We must try find the beauty in the world around us. It can be fleeting, leaving us only with the memories of what once was.

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We must appreciate our blessings. In my part of the world we are entering the season in which we are to be thankful for what we have. We absolutely should he grateful.

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A though it is not always what we had planned, or as much as we had wanted, we must enjoy what life does give us. We may not always enjoy such blessings in the future. We must not take for granted that others may have wished for such blessings and had not received them.

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Being prepared for what might happen may give us some measure of comfort as winter approaches. The stocked pantry, the full woodshed,  the hens in the yard, a strong community all bring a sense of security in an insecure world. While we cannot prepare for every storm, we cannot overcome all adversity, we can try and do our best to survive the best way we can. We can adapt to change, or we can resist it.

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I can only try and make the best of our situation. As the warning bells clang and the world fills with noise, I can only try and find my stillness. I can only try and weather the storm. I can only do what I believe to be the right thing for what I believe are the right reasons.

I can only keep looking for the bright side in the darkness.

With that, my dear readers, I will leave you with a recipe for croutons, I hope to fill your house with a warm, comforting smell, and to make the best of something that would be considered failure.
When the world seems so big and full of dark, sometimes it helps for a moment to find the small bright spots.

BRIGHT SIDE CROUTONS

Ingredients :

1 (1 pound) loaf imperfect loaf bread. I used a loaf of oat/wheat bread that fell while baking in the oven. You can also use day old or stale bread.
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Preparation:

Cut loaf into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl

mix together butter, oil, herbs and seasonings in small bowl

pour butter blend over bread cubes; toss cubes to coat evenly

Spread bread cubes in a single layer over two ungreased cookie sheets

Bake at 250° F for up to 1 hour or until lightly browned and dry, stirring occasionally

Store in an airtight container or plastic bag until ready to use.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Going Back Over October

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Meme from memegenerator.com

The rains have passed once again, and the weather is back to muggy and warm. October is on the way out, but summertime still tries to linger.

The weather has been cooler; a sign of things to come. It is cool enough for my husband and I to make a trip to our storage to fetch my winter clothes out. By winter clothes I mean closed-toe shoes, long sleeve shirts, a couple light sweaters and a light coat. Winter is a mild season here. Fall is more like “late summer”, with the temperature usually hovering in the  mid-80’s during the day, the  mid-60’s at night. It really is a beautiful time of the year. That is, when it isn’t raining and the mosquitoes aren’t trying to turn us into human juice boxes.

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The fall pot garden is really going now. I realize my mistake of planting some of it far too late. I am hopeful we can coax a harvest from it yet, if the warm weather holds. I really need to thin out my seedlings. I am also bad about this. I almost get sad yanking those poor seed babies from the ground after they fought so hard to reach the sun. It must be done, though, or they will choke eachother out, and there will be no radishes or tower lettuce. The mixed greens I am just letting run wild. Picking out the baby greens for eating will be thinning enough.

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The patio princess tomatoes ripen still. They have such a fantastic flavor. They are dark red and tangy with a little sweetness. I suppose if I saved some back I could actually make some sauces, but they are so nice for fresh eating. We just can’t manage to not stay out of them.

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More tomatoes have been growing. I hope they mature before the weather gets too cold and the days too short, but they just keep on blooming and setting fruit. Maybe I will just have to pickle the green ones.

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There is a lemon tree on our property. It is hearty and full of fruits that we hope to see ripen soon. Last year, my mother saw a harvest of over 150 lemons. The whole neighborhood shared in that bounty.  I had lemons all winter. There are not so many this year. I am sure the heavy rains had something to do with that. It is a healthy tree, though. No sign of blight or pests, just dozens of fist-sized lemons, still green, turning to yellow, but slowly.

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We had some bandits in our yard. A huge mother raccoon and her four baby trash pandas have been making regular visits to our yard. They love to overturn pots, knock over trash cans and scatter garbage all down the driveway.  I believe they have been testing the chicken coop, to no avail. It holds and my girls stay safe.

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We are taking no chances, though. We set a trap, baited with crunchy peanut butter, out by the trash cans. We have caught two of the babies so far. My father takes them far out of the subdivision,  into the National Forest, to release them. We haven’t caught the momma yet. Though I have my suspicion that her big, fluffy backside won’t fit in the trap. She is enormous.

We haven’t seen her, or the other two babies, for the last few days. Maybe the rains keep her away, or maybe she has figured out that it isn’t safe for her little ones over here.  Either way, good riddance. They sure are cute, but we can’t be having all that nonsense over here.

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I just gave Cookie a  flight feather trim on one wing. She is quite adventurous.  She has flown on the coop roof, I am guessing because that is where I set the treats during coop cleaning, you know, so they WON’T get them. She has also flown up on the woodshed roof and to the top of our fence. This concerns us as she has no fear, and the neighbors  have dogs that enjoy chicken, I am sure. So I trimmed the flight feathers on her right wing. Now when she tries to get lift, she gets kind of lop sided. She still can fly low over the yard, just not enough lift to get over the fence… for now.

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Doodle is my sweetest girl. She likes a good petting, though gets nervous when she is picked up. She enjoys sitting in my lap. I have gotten her to make her purr noise a few times as she dozes. Such a cute hen. She is my talker. She can be so noisy and is never quiet, especially if she isn’t getting her way. She can be incredibly loud.

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Jewel just assumes anything in my hands is for her. When I sit with them in the morning, she takes interest in my coffee, or muffin, or whatever. She eats all the time. She knows where the chow is kept, also. Anytime anyone goes into the workshop she is hot on their heels.

According to Jewel, it truly is all about her and her belly all the time. She is a sweet girl, though. Perfectly content to nap in my lap, as long as I keep up the petting. If I stop stroking her back and head, she is off once again to find those tasty treats. She is just an Eating Machine.

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All my girls are laying now.  Cookie is my every day layer. The other two seem to alternate,  but every day for the last week I have collected at least two medium sized eggs from the nest box. Well, except for the rainy days. They couldn’t leave their tractor, and someone laid an egg in the mud. Why? I don’t know. Out of protest maybe.

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Cinder, the small cat, has stopped plotting against his family, but only in exchange for unlimited access to hair ties. He’s obsessed with them. He has stashes all over the house. When I run out of bands for my hair,  I go and find the stashes and gather them back up, only to start the process over again. He can’t stop. He is a hair tie addict and proud of it.

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Sampson tangled with what we think was a copper head snake. He had a bite on his foot, which swole up to the size of a large orange. Poor baby. A vet trip  later the next morning and 18 pills a day for the next week and he is just about good as new. Though he was back to his squirrel chasing the very next day. I guess you can’t keep a good dog down. I am glad he will be ok, we were worried there for a bit.

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Now that the days are growing cooler, we are enjoying spending evenings around the fire pit. The mosquitoes are still pretty awful, but that is what bug spray is for. It is very relaxing sitting out there with an adult beverage, watching the flames and listening to the forest around us. There really are very few better ways to spend an evening. At least, that is what I think.

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Halloween approaches! My mother was bitten by her own Pinterest bug and we spent an afternoon painting little Minion pumpkins for our front porch. They turned out pretty adorable. I am sure they will please the trick-or-treaters  that will soon come to haunt our doorstep for candy.

October is nearly over. Soon the bustle of the Holiday Season will be here. I will have to enjoy these days while they last, as this is my favorite month of the year. Soon my youngest will come to visit and we will enjoy our traditional scary movie marathon and snacks while we pass out the Halloween candy. Good times ahead.

I will have much to be thankful for next month.

Posted from WordPress for Android

This Crazy Idea- Part 5: Bloom anyway

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I tell my youngest that things always work out the way they are meant to  “In time, this too shall pass”. We have to hope for the best and plan for the worst.  Which is what we are doing. We are always learning.  We are always preparing for what may be next.

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If it was easy, everyone could do it. We just keep.doing the best we can. Learning what we can so we can understand the world better and how we fit in it.

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I sure do love those chickens. My summer plants decline e as my fall plants start to do their thing. Fall is here again and brings the bounty of the harvest. I have baking to do, and campfires to light. I have projects needing attention, and seeds to sow. Life goes on.

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I had this crazy idea in January of this year. I wanted to raise some chickens and plant a kitchen garden with herbs.

So I did it.

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I hope.to share more about our adventures in food, fowl and farm in future posts.
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This Crazy Idea-Part 4: This too shall pass

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May finally rolled around. The weather was warm. During this time, my seeds are nearly outgrowing their pots. I like being outdoors with them.

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That is mostly because the inside of my rental house looks like this. Work had not come quickly. There was a great deal of interest, just nothing moving on our timetable. The last two months have been a mix of hopeful expectation and nerve-wracking uncertainty.  We had to come up with a plan B. We had no idea where we were going to, we just knew we couldn’t stay there.

So we made a deal with my parents who lived about an hour away, in a small town on the other side of the metro. We would stay with them temporarily. They travel most of the year, and needed someone to watch over their house and 1-1/2 acre property. They were paying for it to be looked after, but my husband I and I could stay there and do the caretaking for them, pay the utilities. It saves them money and peace of mind, and we get a place to stay until we get the job situation sorted. They didn’t even mind the idea of chickens.

So, the first week of May, all our stuff moved to storage. My husband, a big dog and a small cat, a few boxes of stuff we couldn’t live without,  a collection of plants and myself moved out to the country.

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The girls arrived as expected. Aren’t they adorable? Hatched May 11th, 2015.  Their names are Jewel, Doodle and Cookie. Three of the cutest little fertilizer factories I have ever seen. We took them home to meet the family in our new/temporary place.

Then it started to rain. It didn’t stop raining for more than a day for nearly 3 months.

My husband started back to work in June  We were not able to escape orbit. However, we were glad to see our accounts moving in a more upward direction  We are still in our temporary place. We are hopeful to buy our farm as soon as we can get our savings back together.

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We  have had a busy summer. The chickens and plants grew in spite of the rain. The rain dramatically ending with Tropical storm Bill. Bill gave way to an oppressive heat for July and August. As if to dry us out. OH, AND mosquitoes.  Lots and lots of mosquitoes.
The big dog enjoys the big backyard, and small cat plots against his family in secret for moving him to a new place. It is always a surprise to find out what you can and cannot live without when you pare all your personal belonging down to what will fit in our space.

…concluded in Part 5: Bloom anyway

This Crazy Idea-Part 3: Plan for the worst

I have only ever raised fowl once before, about 20 years ago. A pair of ducks named Dumb and Dumber. They were great at keeping our pond clear of mosquitoes.  The kids thought they were fun. A bald eagle thought they were pretty great, too. He took dumb and dumber for himself. Aside from those two, no other birds.

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I have raised many cats and dogs, a rabbit and, once, even a raccoon. The two pictured here are our current fur kids. Cinder is the cat and the dog is Sampson. Where we live has changing ordinances regarding livestock. Finding land that allows chickens, or goats is hard to come by in an area where the commute can still be considered reasonable.

I knew everything there was to know, though.I was a regular Google scholar on the subject. I had the breeds I wanted to try, and where I was going to buy them. What I was going to feed them and how I would care for them.

My husband was so tired of the word chicken. Poor man. I’m so glad he loves me.

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The garden was planned also. I live in zone 9. We start early here as we have three growing seasons. I bought my seeds and put them in pots and containers I had saved over the year. I knew it would be a pain to move them come May, but I had a plan, and Pinterest to guide me. They won’t outgrow their pots before then.

A few days after my husband’s birthday in February, he came home from work in the middle of the day. Not a usual occurrence for him. Oil prices had declined recently. Did I mention we live near a city known for oil? The company he worked for lost work, so they laid off workers. He was now looking for new work.

He got severance and vacation pay. We had our savings. We realized we had a chance to break orbit! We began looking at work a little further away and scouting for properties in some of our “wishful” areas. I felt so good about our prospects, I ordered three baby chicks to be shipped to me on May 11th, Three days before our lease formally ended.

Wishful thinking coupled with chicken fever makes for impractical decisions, sometimes.

…continued in Part 4: This too shall pass

This Crazy Idea-Part 2: Hope for the best

This time last year we were ready to finally settle on a business plan, and an area to buy . We had our down payment and big, well-researched ideas. By well researched, I mean some real world experience and a whole lot of Pinterest.

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picture from dumpaday.com

So much Pinterest.  No, really…it’s a disease.

It does have a wealth of great ideas, from some really great blogs and references. I also learned Google can be your friend, or worst enemy. We  had our reasons for wanting to go the way we were with our plans. We had come to terms with living in such close proximity to the city and decided to just fully adapt, and bloom where we were.

We knew we were going to have to buy a place, fix it up, and make it what we want. We didn’t have a huge budget, but we were in a position to finally do something we had been planning since we had a graduation date for the last child to leave the nest.

Fast forward to February 2015. My husband and I were in the “home” stretch. We only had three months last on our lease, and we were visiting properties we were interested in buying. We had one we were very interested in. It was a little brick 2 bedroom 2 bath on six acres. Fenced and cross-fenced with a barn, sheds, a pond, well and septic. It was over an hour from where my husband worked every day, but he has always commuted to work, even when we lived closer to the city. We have always lived in the suburbs. Close rows of houses and strict HOAs. He didn’t mind the drive so much when it was more country road than gridlock traffic. It was nearly perfect.

That last sentence was also an exaggeration. It wasn’t in great shape. It needed some serious work, but our contractor friend assured us it would not burn down if we used the electricity. The floors needed ripping out… well, it was a gut job. The price, though! Even if we went full restoration, it was well within our budget.

I had chicken fever. My first priority in the new place was building a chicken coop. Not fixing up the house so we could live in it. Build a coop. That and build a couple raised beds for a small kitchen garden and herb garden. I was full of ideas, and eager to put some theory I to practice.

…continued in Part 3: Plan for the worst

This Crazy Idea- Part 1: Where we are planted

I had this crazy idea at the beginning of this year. I was going to raise chickens and plant a kitchen garden, complete with herbs. This would not seem so crazy to some.  After all, people raise chickens and plant gardens all the time, on nearly every corner of the globe. However, this is me we are talking about here. I am nothing if not impractical.

Let me explain…

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Hello!
I am Anna,  the owner of Anna’s Bonne Bouche. This started as a business name for future endeavors in the culinary world back in 2010, but has become a catch-all of my interests as of late. I do not sell anything  (yet), but I am working in that direction. I am married, and recently empty-nested. If you had asked me in January where I would be today, I would have given you a much different answer than our current situation. One year ago, my husband and I were searching for the perfect place to lay down roots, and establish a culinary business.

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We live near an enormous metro area known for two things : great food, and oil. My husband works in quality for manufacturing, and I am a trained chef with a catering sales and management background.  If, we wanted to do a business here, we were in the right place. When I say this place is big, I do not exaggerate. Millions of people live here. It takes an hour to get across it by car. It practically exerts its own gravity.
That last point might be an exaggeration. It sure feels that way, though,  to my husband and I. We have been trying to break orbit for twelve years. We haven’t yet.

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It’s not that it isn’t a great area. I really enjoy being so close to the beach.  The food is quite good around here as well. It is just really big, full of people and traffic. Lots and lots of traffic. We also get some really exciting weather. Air advisories and hurricanes are a real thing here. So is flooding, as this area basically was a swamp that was concreted over.
This area has been good to us for the most part, but we were ready for a more country setting about three years ago. The plan is to buy a farm, and sell products of that farm via a food truck.

…continued in Part 2:Hope for the best

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