Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pre-Christmas Dinner 2010

Chris's Christmas gift to the family is a gourmet, multi-course meal that he spends weeks planning and then days preparing. Its always a delicious success and this year didn't disappoint. Here are a few pictures from last night!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Today we survived our first hawk attack. I was doing some computer work at the kitchen table when I suddenly heard a lot of noise from the live-feed web cam that we have on the young chicks/ducklings. I switched over to the web cam webpage but the camera had been knocked so that I couldn't see anything, but I still heard squawking and lots of wing flapping so I rushed outside to see what was happening. They often get riled up over nothing-- the chicks have a tendency to climb up on top of a pile of ducklings and the ducks all get unsettled and start fussing. So I wasn't expecting to see anything out of the ordinary. I was shocked when I approached the run and there was a HAWK trapped inside. Thankfully, for our flock, the hawk was so surprised at being trapped inside the run that he was panicking rather than attacking his would-be prey. All our little ones were huddled in the corner of the run behind their nest box, freaking out but unhurt. I lifted the corner of the run to let the flock out and they immediately ran to hide under the porch, where the big hens were already safely hiding. Now that everyone was safe I stepped back and took a look at the trapped hawk. He was clearly very scared and I was worried that if I lifted the run for him to get out I would get attacked in the process so I left him in the run while I went to fetch Chris (and my camera) from inside. With Chris's help we were able to lift the run off the hawk and move it away. After laying on the ground stunned for a few moments he flew up into one of the trees in the yard and continued to survey the yard for some time. I'm afraid that this won't be the last we see of this fellow. By the time we got the run back in place, with the opening that the hawk had gotten into patched up, the flock was settled in deep under the deck where we couldn't reach them, so it took some time for us to chase them out and catch them. Our big hens are so much easier to catch-- they will come right up to us looking for treats and usually let us pick them up without struggling. The babies haven't learned about treats yet and run from us like we are going to eat them. I guess they aren't as stupid as they seem.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I am one of those people who do best when working towards goals. I don't do well when I feel like I'm just treading water. In the last couple of years I've been working hard to build The Unique Sheep. And I'm still loving my job with The Unique Sheep but I'm getting to a place with it that it doesn't need to take up every moment of my life and spark in my brain. I'm really happy with how The Unique Sheep has grown and everything I'm able to do because of it and I feel like for the next little bit maintaining what we have built is the right choice, rather than keep trying to grow it until its out of control. But that means I need something new to focus some of my energy on. In about a year Chris will be graduating and we'll be moving *somewhere* for residency. So at that point we'll be moving and looking for a house to buy and then I'll have all sorts of projects to work on -setting up a new studio, creating the garden we've been wishing we could have now and all the other things that go along with setting up a new home. But what do I do with myself until then? I need something new to learn about. But not just something to fill up my time. Something worthwhile. I'm not sure I really have a point to this blog post- its just whats on my mind.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


In the spring I can't help but want to do everything. Sometimes it makes it hard to get any one thing done! Aside from the chickens and the garden, I'm also currently obsessed with baking (particularly chocolate pies) and making things from re-purposed clothing.

Here are some recipes I want to try:
Chocolate Pecan Pie- I got some really good pecans at the farmers market today for this one
Chocolate Shoofly Pie- I don't know what a shoofly pie is, but it sounds good!
Strawberry Banana Cream Pie
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Pie- Chocolate. Fudge. Brownie. Pie. What else do I need to say?
Vanilla Bean Scones- these count as a breakfast food, right?

And some interesting sewing tutorials. Yes, most of them are for babies. No, I don't have something to announce. But its always nice to have things on hand for baby showers and eventually I'll have my own so it doesn't hurt to start collecting cute clothes, right?
Button Up Shirt --> Toddler's Dress
Sweater Sleeve Pants
Baby Hat with silly ears ok really I just want to make everything off this site

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Guess what we did today? We picked up our chicks!! We drove out to Holly Springs to a place called Sumner- Byrd Poultry Farm- well actually its just a guy with a bunch of chicks in his garage and coops in his backyard! Before leaving with our girls we got a tour of his chicks. Though we had seen photos online while researching the breeds we wanted it was nice to actually see the birds in person. The pretty redhead to the right is an adult Rhode Island Red. The "teenagers" to the left are Americunas (if you click the picture it gets larger so you can actually see them) and finally the lady below is a Gold Comet. He had other breeds as well, like these silly Silkies, but these are the three breeds that we took home.

We hadn't expected to be getting the chicks so soon- we thought they weren't going to be available for two more weeks- and so we weren't quite prepared. We hadn't bought any chick food or bedding yet. So on our way home we stopped by the feed store...which had closed 30min earlier. So we had to drive to the next town whose feed store was open later but don't worry, we got everything the girls need to be happy. After the long drive(s) they were exhausted and happy to be in their new lodgings.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Charleston Vacation

Chris and I just got home from a very beautiful and relaxing vacation in Charleston, SC. We spent three days wandering around historic downtown Charleston, visiting plantations and eating lots and lots of good food.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Can you believe that before this week I had never made meatloaf? I had no idea that it is so easy! I used my grandma's recipe (below) but substituted bison for half the meat (the other half was lean beef) and added a bit of sugar and cinnamon. My amounts were a bit off, too, but close enough. Instead of making one large I took my mom's advice and made 4 small 1/2lb loaves. Because I used lean meat, my loaves didn't hold together very well. Next time I might add an extra egg to help with that. Even though the loaves fell apart, they still tasted great! One loaf seems to be perfect to split between Chris and I for one dinner. I wrapped the extra loaves in foil and froze them, now we have an easy but tasty and healthy dinner that just needs to be defrosted and heated up!

Grandma's Meatloaf
1.5 lb ground chuck or beef
1 large chopped onion
1 small chopped green pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup ketchup, plus extra
1/2 tube crumbled crackers
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
8oz tomato sauce

Mix everything together and form into a loaf. Spray baking dish with Pam or line bottom with foil and spray with Pam. Put meatloaf in baking dish. Spread extra ketchup on top.

Bake 350 for 1hr15min. When done, remove loaf with large spatula into another container so that it doesn't sit in grease. cover with foil.

How does your garden grow?

Remember that empty tray of dirt from a few posts ago? Within days we had little plants poking their tops through the soil and since then they have taken off. Chris swears that if you sit and watch them long enough you can see them growing. The peas are now about 4" tall with several pairs of leaves. The beets are very thin and shorter, but have developed their first sets of leaves as well. Everyday they are getting bigger and healthier. I wonder when they will be ready to be planted outside?

The lettuce and onions in the garden are doing well, though its a bit harder to see the change. We also put in three strawberry plants and I'm hoping to have berries to try soon! We have been getting plenty of sunshine and a decent amount of rain- perfect for the garden. Most days, its still a little chilly for me to want to spend much time outside, especially since our yard has so much shade. Its supposed to be warmer later this week, though!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sewing Projects

You can tell that spring is here because suddenly my blog is active again. Its an accurate representation of how I feel- energized and full of ideas. This week I've been doing a bit of sewing and having a lot of fun with it. I've discovered that the thrift store (i.e. Goodwill) is a great place to find good quality fabric for cheap. For 100% cotton you can't beat men's button up shirts and women's winter skirts are the best for nice wool. Half a dozen men's shirts in shades of blue and yellow are now made up into blocks for a summer quilt. I think I'll even have enough fabric for the backing, so all I'll have to buy new is batting. I think I'll do simple "stitch in the ditch" quilting to go with the patchwork design and not add too much stiffness. I want it to be soft and casual and easy to wrap up in or spread out as a picnic blanket.

I also made a skirt out of one of the smaller shirts- a boy's large, I think. I just cut off the collar and sleeves and sewed up the sleeve openings. The hemming and the buttons down the front were done for me. It feels good to re-use something that's been discarded rather than buy new fabric and its a quick and easy way to make a comfortable, light and easy to wear skirt! I've also been doing some gardening and cooking but I want to get a few more blocks sewn tonight so I'll stop typing for now...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Here comes Spring!!

We have started having the beautiful sunny weather that means that spring will be here soon. Of course the sunny days are mixed in with rain, but at least its not a cold, icy rain anymore. And in between the rain storms we have been able to get the garden cleared out and ready for the spring planting. Its still a bit early for most plants but we put the onions and red lettuce in today- hopefully they won't be bothered by cool nights too much. We also put a strawberry plant in a pot so it can be taken in if it gets too cold, and to keep it from getting moldy if it gets too wet. While we wait for it to warm up we have seeds starting inside- beets and peas. We planted them on March 11th and hope to see signs of life in about a week.