Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time having my picture taken.
I must admit, that I don’t like having my picture taken much.  I end up feeling self-conscious and start thinking about how ‘weird’ my expression must look (which is why I didn’t mind posing for the photo, above 😉
Unfortunately, I did need some photos for articles and my other blog that I write for.  I had put it off for a long time But I needed to get my kids annual photos taken AND I had obtained the services of a very talented, up and coming photographer for their photos.  So, it made sense for me to get my pictures done at the same time.
You may be wondering what photographer I was able to engage.  Well, I am blessed that my youngest sister, Grace, is a fabulous photographer.  

She takes photos for other families and for some businesses as well.  She also posts great pictures on her blog
At this point, I should mention that we haven’t gotten our kids pictures taken at school for a long time.  I got tired of their ‘fake’ smiles, messy hair and the fact that they looked nothing like their normal selves.  So, I have taken ‘school’ pictures of them every year.
This year was going to be the best because my sister was going to take their pictures instead of me…
 I love this photo of my three youngest.  This will be the photo we give to the grandmas for Christmas.
They each had their picture taken separately and it was so fun to see my sister in action – she is so good posing the kids and making them feel relaxed.

Then, it was my turn...
My sister knows me so well – especially all my ‘quirks’ and hang-ups and the fact that I don’t feel all that comfortable as the sole subject in a picture.  So, she kept talking to me while I was posing – making me feel much more comfortable.

My sister’s dog, Soda Pop, came over to visit while we were taking pictures(Soda is the daughter of my dog, Missy.) 

I had brought some props over from my garden.  An old watering can that I planted annuals in, an antique blue bottle with cosmos from my garden and some gardening tools.

At this point, I was getting more comfortable and we were almost finished; when my sister said, “We need to get a picture of you holding a chicken.”
So, she rushed off to find her friendliest chicken, “Francie”, who is a ‘naked-neck’ chicken.

 I think Francie did better then I did posing for this picture 😉
I am so thankful for my sister’s great photography skills and her ability to work with a ‘difficult’ subject (me).  I might just schedule another photo shoot next year :-)

I am particularly enjoying this morning.  After spending 3 days in a hotel while our house filled with 30 high-powered fans and 2 de-humidifiers, it is finally dry.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stay in our home during that time, but those fans produce a lot of heat and the interior temperatures of our house was 93 degrees.  Not to mention that fact that every we walked, we had to step over a fan.

My kitchen is also back into working order as well.  Now, we are waiting for the insurance company to send over a contractor to help repair the damage – new carpet, some cabinet repair, etc.

Okay, enough about the flood.  Now back to more important things.  Some of you may know my sister, Grace, who has her own blog.  She lives just five minutes away on Double S Farms along with my mother.

Grace is extremely creative and posts many DIY projects.  I thought that I would share a photo of one of her latest projects (for obvious reasons).

My granddaughter, Lily, is the model for my sister’s newest creation.
You can see how easy it is to create along with other Easter DIY projects.

I hope your week is going well so far.

We are making progress on our front garden renovation.  I will share soon!
I hope you have all had a good week.  I must apologize for not getting my act together enough to write any blog posts.  But thankfully, my sister ‘Chicken Farmer’ and resident of Double S Farms has given us an update on her new baby chicks and their new home….
We’ve been going back and forth trying to decide whether to build a new coop for the chicks or to put together something smaller and temporary until they are old enough to move in with the big girls. I figure the lumber and time alone would get a little pricey so I scoured Craigslist last weekend and found what we thought was a pretty cool coop at a steal of a price. We could tell by the picture that it was a pretty wonky coop but we loved the character.
Once we got it home and had a closer look, I could tell that we overpaid for this coop. It was literally staple gunned together! A strong gust of wind would have taken this thing down. Lucky for me I have a very handy husband who was able to give it a little TLC.

It’s a lot smaller than our existing coop so it fits nicely in the chicken yard. Once we got it to a state where we felt it was livable, we moved the chicks out and they have been in heaven ever since. The coop has three levels, four levels, and all kinds of little ramps up and down for them to run across. It reminds me of a dollhouse (I’m not sure how functional it will be for full grown hens though). 
The boys literally spend hours each day sitting next to the coop and watching the chicks.

The older hens didn’t notice the new girls at first but once they finally did, they’ve been keeping a close eye on them. 
We will keep them in their new coop until they are big enough to meet the older girls. At that time, they’ll be able to free range during the day and go in to roost at night. Until then, they seem perfectly content in their new, if a little awkward, digs.
Seriously, these chicks are so much fun to watch and they are growing so fast.  They are getting along with the older chickens who aren’t quite sure what to make of the little ones.
You can read more about the chickens in my sister’s blog – Finley and Oliver.
I apologize for not writing more posts this past week.  But as I mentioned before it has been a busy time filled with landscape consults, a speaking engagement, helping my mother-in-law with her landscape (who is doing pretty well since my father-in-law passed away 2 months ago).
This week I did spend lots of time visiting my new granddaughter.  She is just darling and I love to hold her.
I hope you all have a great weekend and week ahead.  I promise to start writing more 🙂

As many of you know, my mother, sister and her family are residents of Double S Farms, and live only 5 minutes away from my home. 

I love to share tidbits about desert ‘farm’ life, which really isn’t all that different from that of a normal farm.  I enjoy posting about their resident chickens and dogs, their citrus, peach , plum and apple trees and of course, Mr. Toad.  

Earlier this week, they received some new arrivals on the ‘farm’.  My sister, Chicken Farmer, has her own blog and here is her latest post:

“I got a call early this morning from the post office that a box had arrived for me that was marked “live animals” and was making noises. Oliver and I high tailed it over to pick our special delivery up. The chicks came all the way to Arizona from Connecticut (1 day express) which seems like a pretty hefty trip for these tiny things. Because of this, I’m always a little apprehensive opening the box in case one or more didn’t make it. Fortunately, the box was very loud and I could feel the girls moving around inside.

We carefully opened the box and found our newest little pets all snuggly and sweet inside.

Meet Lottie the buff orpington

And Cookie the black australorp

And Minnie the silver laced wyandotte (Can you tell Finley named this one? Although I’m sure I don’t spell it the way he’d want me to)

Any my personal favorite…Francie the naked neck. 

Once we got the girls unpacked, we carefully placed them into the brooder which will be their home until they are fully feathered (around 6 or 7 weeks) and ready to move outside.

They immediately dove into their food and water and filled their little bellies until they could hardly stand up. These girls are pooped out! Francie (the naked neck) could hardly hold her head up she was so exhausted.

The girls have a heat lamp in their brooder (which is why the photos have a red tinge) that will keep them at a warm 95 degrees for their first week. They all huddled together and had a nice, well deserved snooze. Again, poor Francie is face down in the pine shavings.

So far, they seem to be adjusting really well. They are well protected under the watchful eye of Sodapop. She won’t get her first (supervised) face to face meeting with them until they are older and bigger. She’s great friends with the big girls but these little ones might be a bit too tempting.

We are excited to have little chickies around again. I forgot how cute and tiny they are! My next task is to do some more research and come up with a plan of action for introducing them to the existing flock when the time comes. That part makes me really nervous… if anyone has any experience with that, I’d love some tips.

I hope you don’t mind me borrowing my sister’s latest blog post, but I frankly find baby chicks adorable.