Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Our very first egg hunt, 2017

Photo of green and orange eggs in a little rustic willow basket
Our own Easter eggs--I wove the basket from my own willow
For two weeks before Easter, we saved an egg every day from our white Leghorn hen--she's the only one who lays white eggs from our flock, and as the shops around here only sell brown eggs, we're lucky to have her!  We were determined to dye them and have an egg hunt in the garden, so we planned ahead.

Our first attempt at dyeing failed, because of the lack of actual food coloring at any local stores (Partner went looking for it and came back with "natural colouring" which did not work whatsoever).  Luckily for our second try, I had some leftover packets of Kool-aid which my mother sent me for dyeing yarn (works great on wool and animal fibers).  I only had orange and green left, but that was just fine by us.  Maybe I'll ask her to send me some red, blue, and yellow for next Easter.

Anyway, the Kool-aid dyed the hardboiled eggs brilliantly--just add boiling water--and we invited some friends over for lunch and egg hunting a few days before Easter.  They have a little girl just younger than Franklin and though it was a gray day, the two of them enjoyed both finding the eggs and hiding them for each other.
Photo of a little boy in a garden, holding up a dyed Easter egg with a huge smile
I found it!
Did I mention Franklin broke his arm that week, too?  His cast is under his hoodie in the picture;  luckily the arm's healing nicely and he should have the cast off in another week's time.  He was playing at the park with friends and fell off something that spins.  He's been quite proud of his cast and the story behind it.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Life in March

Photo of three chickens pecking a pile of grass clippings
Plucky, Tiny and Star, enjoying fresh grass clippings
We made it through the winter without losing a single chicken.  We ate Lavender the cockerel in November, clearly still in autumn.  We have a couple of old ladies in the flock, but they're still happy and interested, though Plucky at about 4.5 years old is noticeably slower than the rest.  However, she went through a big molt late last year and has a full set of soft new feathers, so we assume she'll be with us a bit longer.

Franklin had his seventh birthday this week.  He helped make his chocolate cake (we made our favorite brownie recipe, actually), and also picked out a cake from the shop to take to school.  I'm not prepared to organize another birthday party for him (once was enough for me!), but the three of us are going to Manchester Legoland Discovery Centre at the weekend for his special birthday treat.  Manchester is about a 60-90 minute drive from us, but it should be a fun day and luckily Partner's doing the driving.

I work in a school kitchen now instead of the hotel restaurant.  Most of the local schools are run by the same catering company, and over the course of the last year and a half I've worked at most of them!  But I got a permanent contract at a school a few villages away starting last September.  I've really enjoyed this little school and have got to know many of the children there at lunchtime.  However, the company has lost some staff recently so there has been a reshuffle and I'm temporarily working at the local village school where Franklin attends.  I've been told it's until more staff are recruited, but I suspect I may be there for the rest of the school year (July).  It's nice to be able to walk to there, though it's a bit harder work seeing as they cater to more than twice as many kids as my old school.  Still, I'm enjoying it while it lasts, and it's nice to get a wave and a smile from Franklin during lunchtime.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Spring cleaning

Oh it's been a while!  It's not that nothing's going on, though:  just been living life.

I hibernated for a few months this winter, from November till about mid January.  I hardly went out into the garden, even.  I've been busily pursuing my indoor crafts, including hand quilting another quilt (log cabin--much simpler than my last applique quilt).  I really want to make another rag rug, but am saving it till my quilt is finished.  Maybe in spring.

I've re-listened to Marie Kondo's book, and am going to restart her method.  Last year I went through my clothes, books, and papers;  I'm ready to move onto the next category, miscellaneous.  It's the biggest category, and seemed very daunting before.  I actually tackled a few sub-categories of it (such as fabric and stationery), but for the most part it's just there, huge and seemingly unconquerable.  I'm ready to give it another shot, though.
Photo of a back garden, showing an untidy patio, lawn, trees at the back, and chicken coop in the far corner
View from my back door, Feb 2017
In the meantime, I'm doing some deep cleaning, assisted by Franklin, age 6.  Yesterday I scrubbed off about three years of his stickers from the freezer door--it's nice and white again!  But there's a lot more to go;  housework isn't my forte, after all.