Friday, November 15, 2013

Meet Milly, Majorie, and Fern







Meet the new ladies of the house! Milly, Majorie, & Fern! It's their 2nd full day at home and they are slowly getting used to the crazy lady that comes and feeds them. Considering they spent a full day in a shipping box, I think they are doing well. They all seem happy and healthy, although a bit shy. 

I gave them seedless grapes and broccoli scraps this morning, which they seemed to really enjoy. Especially the grapes. So hopefully they'll start to think of me as the nice treat lady. 

I have been letting them be, as to not to stress them out too much. On Sunday I plan to hold them and feed them treats to get them comfortable with me. Plus I want to check them over good to make sure everyone is healthy. 

So how do I tell Milly, Majorie and Fern apart? Fern is easy, she's the Black Australorp. The other two it's mostly by personality. Milly is a little bigger, but she also is the Buff that checks out the treats first. I'm thinking she may be in charge once they develop their pecking order. Majorie is a tad smaller and a little more shy/flighty. Those minor differences may not last long, but that's how I tell them apart for now.


How's Coconut with them? She's been checking them out from the glass door in the kitchen. So far she is curious, but not overly excited. If they were three cats in the backyard she would be trying to tear through the door to eat them, so I think it's a good sign. I have only taken her in the backyard when they are tucked away in their coop. She sniffs, but lets them be. In a week or so, we'll test meeting them in the run on leash and see how that goes.

So Happy Friday! I'll be playing with my chickies this weekend, as well as a visit to my old friend, Nicole, in upstate NY! Excited to meet her little ones (and husband)for the first time. I hope you enjoy the weekend!

~Alicia




Friday, October 18, 2013

From Goats to Chickens



Yes, from goats to chickens. Since our yard is a little too small for a family of goats, I moved on to the next best thing--chickens! 

I am so excited to be starting my urban farm adventure. Tomorrow I am picking up the above chicken coop designed by Derek "Deek" Diedricksen from Tiny Yellow House. He creates amazing "micro-architecture". I'm so glad I found his coop because I wasn't feeling the pre-fab designs and the task of building one myself felt very daunting. Check out his blog and you tube videos, he really lets his creativity go wild and reuses many items that he finds thrown out on the side of the road. 

So tomorrow we will pick up the coop, create plans for the run and get set up for our new additions. After much research, I will be starting with 3 chickens. The breeds I want in my small flock are Buff Opingtons and Black Australops. Both are great breeds for Laying, hardy in hot and cold weather and make friendly pets. 

Buff Orpington photo from Meyer Hatchery

Black Australorp photo from Banyan's End

I plan to have the girls send to me from Murry McMurray Hatchery. Yes they send live birds through USPS. I will order them as pullets at about 20 weeks old. Hopefully they will even start laying eggs before winter. 
And NO! I will not be eating them at any point in their lives. I could never do that. 

As far as I have read, chickens are relatively easy to care for. One of my worries is predators and keeping them healthy. We'll be fencing in their run with hardware cloth to prevent critters, such as raccoon, from striking! They'll live in their coop and run and  free range the backyard when supervised. Maybe Coconut will be their big protector (let's hope she's not scared of them).

Lots of preparation to do, but I can't wait to start our chicken adventure!



Monday, September 30, 2013

Gone to the Goats









As part of my birthday celebration, Mike and Coconut took me to stay a Trevin Farms in Vermont. Trevin Farms is a Farm stay/Bed and Breakfast in the area of Brandon, Vermont. Our experience was great. Owners, Kevin and Troy, were great hosts and gave us a relaxing and remembered stay.

We learned how to milk goats, make cheese and ate delicious farm fresh dinners. I loved hanging in the barn with Troy and petting all their friendly goats. I couldn't believe how friendly they were! They are obviously raised with lots of love and respect. Kevin created delicious meals. My favorite was the lemon muffins, scones and fried green tomatoes! It was so relaxing to enjoy the farm and be around all the friendly animals, puppy dogs and pigs included. 

Coconut traveled with us, but she was too scared of the dogs and animal sounds to really enjoy herself. They were very understanding and patient with our scared girl. She's welcomed back and hopefully next time she will enjoy herself. 

In between all the farm activities we took a ride and took in the beautiful countryside, stopping at antique shops along the way. We also ate at a wonderful French restaurant, Cafe Provence, the first night we arrived. The escargot was drool worthy! The bar downstairs was fun, with a super friendly bar tender, and cooking shows on the flat screens. 

I can't wait to go back to Trevin Farms. I want to visit again in the Spring after the kids have been born. I am now obsessed with having my own goat farm one day! If you're looking for a Fall trip, I would highly recommend going.

~Alicia




Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prince Edward Island Trip... Part 2

  lots of hay fields

  the  Malpeque Oyster Barn

Super fresh Malpeque Oyster from The Malpeque Oyster Barn

 The Cheese Lady's delicious Gouda Cheese

All you can eat mussels from Glasgow Lobster Suppers


The first day we were there was gorgeous. Beautiful sunny day and nice warm weather. After exploring around our hotel we headed to Malpeque. We passed lovely farms, potato fields, and water vistas. Malpeque is a very small bay with a few restaurants and fishing charters. On my list to stop was the Malpeque Oyster Barn. This place was very cute. Mike and I both loved the washed wood board walls and the quaint setting. We ordered some food as take out to sit and eat at their picnic table outside, while Coconut sat in the a/c car watching us. The oysters were delicious, so fresh and shucked perfectly so they slid right out of the shell. After a yummy lunch we headed to Cabot provincial park. It's a nice beach spot with amenities and campground. We took a walk with Coconut on the beach and stuck our toes in the warm water. Because of the strait and currents that surround the Island, the water temp was around 70. Much warmer than the toe numbing water in Gloucester.

After our trip in PEI we made our way East around the North coast. So scenic and beautiful. We took a quick drive through Cavendish, but this was a little too touristy for us. Although we did stop for ice cream at Cow's and picked up two PEI Dirt Shirts. Then we drove around the area some more and I stopped at the Great Canadian Soap co. to buy lots of goat's milk lotion and soap. I bought this wonderful "berry facial muffin" that Coconut thought smelled so good, she licked it.

Then we headed to the Cheese Lady's gouda shop and bought an aged gouda to bring home with us (which is already almost gone).

After our day exploring the Island we headed to New Glasgow's Lobster Suppers to experience a traditional island lobster supper. With all the bread, chowder, salad and mussels you can eat, I was way over full even before my lobster came out. I had to leave the tail, because I just couldn't eat any more, but I did leave room to try their delicious lemon meringue pie.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Prince Edward Island Trip... part 1



Coconut at Bay of Fundy National Park

 Not enough seaweed in the world to roll in.

 Tucked out after a long drive. Getting settled in our Hotel.

 French River, P.E.I.

 P.E.I. Dirt Dog

 Lighthouse, down the road from our Hotel.

 Red Cliffs!

  Bald Eagles

  Flying Right Over our Heads.

Over labor day weekend we took a long road trip to Prince Edward Island. It was the first time ever visiting the Island. I found it to be an absolutely beautiful and magical place. Worth every minute of the 10+ hours in the car each way. We started off Friday morning making our way through the country of Maine and up the Canadian coast. It was really nice to be in the countryside. We stopped part way up in St. John New Brunswick. I thought this would be a great place to stop, fuel up and get some lunch.  Well, St. John was much more industrial than I thought. We ended up driving around trying to find a cute place to eat and ended up eating at a Canadian fast food place. Wasn't the best start, but at least we had some yummy food in our bellies. Coconut was really great in the car.  

Next stop was the Bay of Fundy Park. By this time I had already started to develop a headache and wasn't feeling that great, but we couldn't just drive by, we had to stop. We stopped at the park, not realizing how large it was. I really wanted to see Hopewell Rocks, but that was another 45 min drive inside the park, so we left it for another day. We stopped at a nice little beach area in the park where we were able to get out of the car and take a little walk. Coconut being her usual crazy self ran to the water to go swimming and eat seaweed.

We continued on and eventually made it to P.E.I. By the time we arrived at our hotel, we were beat. We just wanted to eat and sleep. By 9:30pm most restaurants were closed on the Island, so we settled for frozen pizza that we heated in our room. It was just nice to lay our heads down and rest. 

The next morning we walked down the red dirt road down to a small lighthouse on a cliff. It was so beautiful to see the Island in bright day light. Green country fields touching red cliffs for miles. On our way back from the lighthouse we saw three bald eagles flying over our heads. They were chirping away. It was so beautiful to see these animals so close. It made me wish we bought a telephoto lens before the trip. 

After watching the bald eagles for a bit we headed back to the car to explore the island some more...



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tourist for a Day





M and I had a great weekend together. Very relaxed and got to really enjoy each other's company. On Saturday we took a family walk downtown to my shop and the post office and then we headed to Newburyport to act like tourists. We went to the antique shop, Oldies, where I mistakenly was second guessing a kilim overnight bag. I put it down for a minute and someone else snatched it up. I guess it wasn't meant to be (or I learned my lesson). Then we walked downtown stopping in shops and getting a bite to eat. We sat at a bar and had a snack. I had a sangria and M had a Newburyport Brew beer. Which then lead us to the Brewery.

We didn't even know about the brewery. It's a little tucked away from downtown, but worth the trip. They've only been brewing for 8 months now but are really focused on premium ingredients and really make some good beer. The owners quit their day jobs and took a chance. The brewery does tours every hour. It has a fun, relaxed bar area to sample, buy and wait for the next tour. They also have a stage area set up where the owners jam. We took a tour, and had some samples. The tour was short, but sweet, and gave you an inside look at their production. They package the cans in the plastic tops above, more ocean friendly and made from recycled materials. They also only produce kegs and cans, no bottles. The Plum Island Belgian White is my favorite, along with the Greenhead.  M thought the stout was a really good stout. We also learned a new word... Yeat! I guess it's an old Newburyport sailor term that means yes, no, and used as a general greeting. So Yeat!

On Sunday we went to Todd Farm. I didn't score anything super, but it was still a nice day to enjoy outside. Afterwards we went to the pancake house and totally pigged out. I had eggs florentine and stole bites of M's pancakes, so delicious. Then we went into a food coma and took a little nap. For dinner, I tried cooking something new, making chile rellenos with shrimp. Those were pretty amazing.

The weekend was fun, and this whole week I have felt more relaxed and enjoyed spending time with my little family. We put some of the chores aside (like mowing the lawn) and have been cooking dinner together and watching our new Netflix favorite, Fringe. 

I am sooo looking forward to the long weekend and our next family adventure. I can't wait to tell you all about it. until then au revoir!

~Alicia


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vintage Sale!



I went shopping the other night at Marshalls. I just stopped in to look for something for the kitchen, but was bombarded by all the back to school items at the front of the store and all the swimwear on clearance. It hit me. I have to be honest I got butterflies in my tummy at the thought, but it's true. Summer is almost over.  It flew by for me and I feel a little robbed. 

We still have a hefty amount of time left for warm air and walks on the beach, so why don't we make the most of it? Buy those clearance bikinis and rock them for a few more weekends at the beach. 

All of my vintage shop is going on sale today at 12pm.  Save on vintage Summer and Fall goodies. Live out the last days of Summer or start planning your Fall wardrobe! Shop Here.

~Alicia