Category Archives: Backyard Chickens

how do you navigate change?

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This post from HandPicked Nation (via Small Measures) really touched me this morning/afternoon. So much so, I wanted to share it with you!

After shedding some tears and feeling the ping of their loss, it makes me want to be positive. strong. and looking ahead with gratitude.

Happy Friday Friends!

ONE LOVE-

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hard boiled

Remember this post a while back regarding the request for local property owners in Kill Devil Hills, NC to have the choice to maintain a max of six backyard chickens if they wanted? Here is the follow up article and current status of the votes…

Click on Photo

If you are not familiar with the area it is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. A beautiful, popular vacation destination for folks all along the eastern seaboard and beyond. It is off the beaten path. You have to make a point to get there. The vibe is mellow, the locals are loyal to their tromping ground (not in a pirate way, in a ‘we love where we live and partake in the sunshine and sand as much as possible’ way). When you are there, the sole purpose is sun, sand and waves. Nothing more, nothing less. One of our favorite places in the world.

The route that takes you to the Outer Banks is my brother’s tromping grounds. It is 95% + local farm land. Corn, Soy Beans, Cotton, Watermelon, a local, fresh produce stand in each town you drive through grounds. The shops and towns are all surrounded by fertile farmed land. Farmed by generations of North Carolinian families. Rich in farming heritage. This year, the crops are more beautiful than I have ever seen. Mother Nature has been kind to the 24/7 guardians of the land and crops.

I hope that the local residents of the OBX can find a compromise with the county officials. I hope to see more chickens carefully and artfully placed in local backyards. I hope for the community and us regular tourist that we start seeing open air markets with local farmers that are literally just down the road. More local crafts and local fresh eggs all along Highway 12. The community is asking for it. Craving it. They want better choices for their family and neighbors. How could that be too much to ask?

ONE LOVE-


about that project

The times are getting good over here! Baby Barr made his entrance into the world last night and we couldn’t be more tickled for two (now three) of our favorite people. Oh the sweet newborn days they have just embarked upon!! Embrace the moment, for however long it may seem it passes with the blink of an eye! Congratulations Erin and Andy! Much Love!

While they were working on laboring the child yesterday we three here were busy bees with fun projects. (Look for tomorrows post on specific project details) As for the herb garden, it is a no go. We’ve had some amazing, torrential downpours this spring. Each rain the plot gets flooded. While trying to find solutions that, to no avail, do not work we agree this is not the spot. As beautiful as it could be it simply would not survive. So, we will put the herb garden on the middle burner with the chicken coop to re-evaluate this fall. No worries, with our pending travel it is probably wise to wait till fall when we have to grow up and become real adults. Our daughter is starting Kindergarten. We will be forced to the school schedule, leaving us to find things to busy our outside of work time with other things besides traveling!

Plans for fall:

Put in raised beds (start with 2)

Plant two Apple Trees

Plant two Cherry Trees

Plant two Blueberry Bushes

Pick a Chicken Coop and actually purchase it for spring chickens

We work best if we plan far in advance. Gather materials for the next few months. Then set a specific date to install. Fall is a start. A date will be set in August.

What is up your sleeve? Do you choose a project and get to it right away? Or do you take is slow, like us, as to not get discouraged?

We are getting canning under our belts pretty good this summer. Really finding and following the local produce schedule. We are starting to depend on our CSA and the Farmer’s Market more and more. This was one of the choices we made in order to begin our transition into becoming more sustainable as a family. Baby steps are good. Choose something, step slowly and eventually it will become second nature. Part of what you do. Once a month we buy whole chickens and make chicken broth. Every other week we make sourdough bread to service our sandwich and toast needs. We started a compost last summer and are amazed with the results. Canning is our current task to master. This fall, prepping gardens and orchards and chickens.

Sometimes it feels like we are not getting anything accomplished. Yes, that is life. Things do get in the way. But looking back and telling you about it, it is happening just like it needs to, for me any way. I am really learning. Doing. Not getting discouraged!

Have a great hump day!

ONE LOVE-


a step back

The truth is, reality bites sometimes. What matters though is how you take the bitter and deal with it. Our reality of a seriously bad diagnosis for our Vizsla, the money to get the diagnosis and to buy us a little time drained the coop and landscape fund. It’s okay, it happens. It is worth it, no doubt. What we have to do at this point is take a step back and refocus. We are completely positive and moving forward everyday!

Back to the basic plan A we have turned. No, not as grand but just as exciting. Raeglan and I plotted out a spot in our flower beds last fall and built a small rock wall to frame it. We have cleaned the weeds out several times, with a final cleaning yesterday. We’ve got some seedlings growing of Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Rosemary and a few tomato plants. We will be getting the soil to fill it this weekend and some compost from the bin to mix in. It is going to be beautiful! It is going to smell heavenly at the bottom of the deck. Our lavender is already radiating its essential scent throughout the yard. The chives are rooted and happily at home. Something to grow. A way to get our hands dirty. Motivation and inspiration toward our other landscaping projects.

So, for now, we will put the plans on the middle burner. Making sure not to push them too far back. We have accepted that this is just what happens sometimes. Life. We will continue to wait and build on our plans! Happily with our healing pup and joyful kiddo!

Here’s to a plot full of happy herbs and healthy dogs!

FYI- The Chocolate Lab, Cassidy, who was close to her own death bed has decided she IS NOT going anywhere. She has fully recovered from what we know was a Seizure (one or two a spring for the past two years. While those will not kill her, the toll they take on her is intense and hard on those old bones. After all, she did just turn 13 on the the 2nd) That dog has more lives than a cat! They are welcomed, adored, appreciated and I am grateful!

ONE LOVE-


i haven’t forgotten you

My friends! It is so good to be back here with you. I have to say last week was one of the craziest weeks I have had in a really long time. We usually maintain a steady buzz of busyness around here but throw in a sick dog, plus another dog needing specialty vet attention AND getting ready for a surprise birthday party.

Let me tell you, the chocolate dog is not doing well. I am crying on a regular bases simply for my love for her. They go from 6 weeks to 13 years in the snap of a finger. The Vizsla is acting and feeling great but weird things are popping up on her that would make anyone feel the urgency to get it fixed!! As I try to sit in yoga to calm my center I still feel anxiety creeping in. Then on top of that the birthday boy was 2 1/2 hours late for his three hour birthday party. As really it is no big deal I am still deeply saddened that he didn’t get to celebrate with all the people who have known him and adored him during his 40 years.

He is a good man though! As he sensed my sorrow he put the family in the car yesterday to pick out fruit trees to plant! He also measured the space for our chicken coop. Then openly expressed that he feels the sorrow, then asked that we move forward. Lets get chickens and trees because that is what you really want. Melts my heart! I love you Michael Briere! And yes, lets move forward!

So, that is where we are. Getting caught up on paperwork. Making Indie get off the desk so she won’t mess up my papers. Watching the sun in the spots we want to plant the trees. Picking out a chicken coop. Planning and pining for the next day Michael and I get to go to the river together. Deciding what our daughter may want for lunch. Getting the tools out to prep the herb garden with her. Stopping to sit with Cassidy every 45 minutes. Playing with Kaya. Waiting for the biopsy results. And still, living and loving life!

ONE LOVE-


what a doozy

Friends, what jet lag! This family has a way whacked schedule. The poor kid, we’ve gone to bed at 2:00 am both nights. Slept till 12:00 noon yesterday. Michael and I pulled ourselves out of bed at 9:00am this morning determined to battle our confused minds and bodies. How do you get a child on board? You don’t. You let their body and mind work through it as long as it takes. So, she is still sleeping!

Although, we concocted a plan that involves heavy, physical, fun activities, after dinner, pre-bed. Like a long bike ride and a tool around the park! I suppose that is a way to encourage her body/mind to leave the 6 hour time difference behind. Wear it out!! 🙂 I’ll let you know!

Jet lag or not, we are still amped to be home. Both of us fired up about chickens, plotting the property for our future coop, as well as other landscape plans we have had up our sleeves for years but never executed! We walked the 1 acre yesterday and mapped out possibilities. Why the big deal? What’s the excitement? Mostly that for our nearly 12 year relationship (celebrated 9 years of marriage on the 11th) we have been on the go people. Always looking for a new place to discover, live, play. Our time was always spent finding a new river to paddle or a new pub to taste.

Fortunately, our kid has slowed us down. She has kindly forced us into a pleasant flow and hum of a schedule. For the first time, we have actually slowed down to smell the roses. And, my friends, we have discovered that we love this place. We really love our home, our community and the opportunities here. We want our roots to grow deeper. As always when you travel you appreciate home but this time, we are ready to dig into the dirt. Help our own paradise flourish!

I hope you are all well! I look forward to sharing more with you when my brain gets a proper reboot! While I break out the blender to make a coconut, mango, banana smoothie, make sure to take the time to inspire your mind, body, heart and soul!

ONE LOVE-


plentiful harvest

We’ve managed to avoid eating junk and grunge on this holiday. Lucky enough to find the Haleiwa Farmers Market after three days of being here, plus privileged to have the ladies laying enough eggs to supply breakfast and, as mentioned before, fruit and avocados from the tree. What the ladies can’t provide (there are only three of them and several people vying for their supply!) we are able to supplement with those $8.00/dz eggs from the farmers market.

Tonight was the cream of the crop. After a day in the sun, an evening in the rain and walking the 100 steps up to the treehouse several times it is refreshing to have a plentiful, healthy meal. We made the Raw Kale Salad (now a family fav) with organic kale, raisins and mixed raw/unsalted nuts, quick steamed asparagus, red potatoes sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a few slices of salami, italian style. For the slurping kind we made a pineapple, mango smoothie with coconut water.

Our days are counting down to our return. We look forward to capturing as much of the local harvest as we can before we return to our non-tropical roots. Coconuts, coconuts and more coconuts! Not to mention the organic bananas freshly harvested….

Well, the sun has magically appeared just in time for sunset. Will grab the wine and head to the deck. In the meantime, click on the photo below to see the rainbow we saw today!