Clinging to Spring

Thursday, April 28, 2011
My fellow desert dwellers totally know what I'm talking about when I say that I'm clinging to spring. In just a few short weeks, it will be scorching and barely inhabitable (maybe I'm being a bit dramatic) here so we are spending all of our waking hours outdoors. While hanging outside with the boys yesterday, I took some pictures to give you all an update on our garden.

Isn't she gorgeous!? We have an abundance of goodies crammed into there including several different varieties of lettuce, spinach, herbs, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and I'm sure a ton of other stuff that I'm leaving out. For full disclosure, I'm not responsible for any of this organic goodness - credit goes to my mom and my husband. I'm a lousy gardener which is why I tend to the chickens.

Each night before dinner, we go outside and pick whatever we'd like to make a fresh salad. So amazingly delicious. Since we are obviously running out of room, we're going to add another raised bed in the next few weeks.

In addition to the veggies and fruits in the garden, our apple, peach, plum, and almond trees are just about ripe for the picking. My Sodapop can't get enough of the apples. She picks them right off and helps herself.

And I had to share this cute little hummer. It's not the best picture but we have a ton of these guys in our yard every spring and they are freakishly friendly. They love to hover around and check out what we are doing.

I tried to get the boys to pretend that they were "working" in the garden so I could snap a shot of them but even jelly bean bribery didn't work this time. They decided they'd rather stab each other with their new swords. Actually it's just one sword - Oliver is using the sheath but he doesn't know it ;)

Missing eggs?

Friday, April 22, 2011
Flo is a serious egg layer. She gives us a fresh egg about 6 days a week. The last egg we found of hers was over a week ago.

I came out to collect the eggs early last week and found Flo in the nesting box on top of Lucy. Don't ask me why, but chickens generally like to lay only where the other chickens have laid. Even with 6 perfectly clean and soft nesting boxes, the girls will only lay in the box on the left.

Usually Flo stands in front of the box and squawks at Lucy while she is laying so I was surprised to see her in the box on top of her. Flo is a pretty big bird so I tried to move her to the next box over but she popped right out and jumped back on top of Lucy.

Look how miserable poor Lucy was. I stayed to make sure that she was okay and not being suffocated by old Flo. Once Flo popped her egg out (narrowly missing Lucy's head), she left the box leaving Lucy to lay in peace. As I said, this was over a week ago and that was the last egg we've seen of Flo's. I'm not sure if she's just stopped laying for some reason or if she's found a new place to lay.

Since it's been warming up out here, the girls have been spending most of their time in a shade structure my husband has on the side of our house. It is soft and lush with dichondra and long grass. It's also filled with ladders, coils of wire, and tons of other stuff. I have a feeling she might be laying somewhere in there but I have no clue where. I can't find her eggs anywhere and it's making me crazy.

Hopefully she just needed a break and will either start laying again or we'll find her hidden stash somewhere. Of our 3 chickens, we're only getting eggs from Lucy right now (Effie hasn't laid since she molted in the fall). I really don't want to go buy eggs since that is one of the main reasons we have chickens.  I'm secretly hoping that the kids will find her eggs during our Easter egg hunt this Sunday.

ETA: We have found the missing eggs. It seems old Flo thought the compost pile was a better place to lay than the nesting boxes in the coop.

I've got to figure out how to get her to start laying in the coop again. Those eggs will bake in a matter of minutes if she keeps it up in the summer. Silly chicken.

Mutant Pinata Show

Monday, April 18, 2011
This past weekend, I participated in Coffee, Cookies, and Crafts 4 at Bragg's Pie Factory in downtown Phoenix. In conjunction with CCC4 was the Mutant Pinata Show also being held at Bragg's. What a treat to see so many odd, beautiful, funny, and quirky creations.

Just a few of my favorites...

This photo doesn't do it justice at all but this was the most beautiful pinata. It was hanging above my booth and I couldn't stop staring at it.

Loved this Jackalope.

Even the pinatas carry guns in Arizona.

And of course it's not a proper pinata show without a mutant poop.

If they bring back the Mutant Pinata show next year, mark it on your calendars. Definitely a must see!

Coffee, Cookies, and Crafts 4

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Come see me this weekend at Coffee, Cookies, and Crafts 4 at Bragg's Pie Factory this Saturday from 12-5. I'll be setting up there with some of my favorite local vendors. And the best part about the whole thing... free cookies!

LOVE for Japan

Monday, April 11, 2011
After the tragedy happened in Japan a few weeks ago, I was watching the footage feeling absolutely helpless (like everyone else, I'm sure.) I decided to design a {LOVE for Japan} t-shirt and donate the proceeds to the American Red Cross. My dear friend Laura of Laura Winslow Photography immediately hopped on board with my idea and shot some amazing pictures that I could use.

Laura is one of the busiest women I know but she dropped everything to take these pictures. I had the files from her just a few hours after she received the t-shirt. 

When I created the tee, I thought that I might sell about 20-30 of them. I was so wrong. You folks are amazingly generous and giving!! I sold well over 100 of these little tees in just two days and was able to donate over $1,300 to the American Red Cross. I am still blown away by everyone's generosity.

Because I applique these tees by myself and have sold so many, I closed the sale of the tees on my site. However, if anyone is still interested, send me a message at and I would be happy to make a few more (100% of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross).

Chick Chat with 202 Magazine

Friday, April 1, 2011
You all know I love to talk about my chickens. (Yes, I know it can be a bit extreme). Imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to share my girls with 202 Magazine - a local magazine for the East Valley (Phoenix) area. 

202 Magazine did a feature on raising urban chickens for their April issue. Doesn't Flo look beautiful on the cover? The editor, Sondra Barr, and photographer Mark Susan spent a morning at our house getting to know our girls. We had such a great time! However, my normally friendly chickens were super camera shy and it was quite the ordeal which involved my tackling Flo (no chickens were harmed during the photo shoot) just to get her in the cover shot. Dirt and chicken poop all over my jeans - so embarrassing.

Raising backyard chickens has become quite popular in the past few years, especially here in the East Valley so we were excited to share our experiences with others who may have an interest in taking the chicken plunge.

You can view the entire April issue here.