Spring has Sprung in a COVID-world

It’s been a few minutes since I’ve written but figured, you have to start back somewhere, right? Well here goes. Like many of you, life has been crazy, trying to find a new normal within this COVID-19 world. One of the ways that Ron and I have been able to do this is, is to do more projects on our land. While we don’t have a ton of acreage, it’s plenty for the 2 of us, the pups, and our most recent add-ons …..the CHICKENS!

Yes, we are dabbling in the hobby of backyard chickens. My plan is to document this a little better than I’ve been doing, since many of you have already asked me a ton of questions. While we are novices at chicken-keeping, I’ve read up a ton on how to keep our fowly friends content and am happy to share as we go.

First and foremost, let me backup and introduce you to the chickens. Right when all this COVID-19 business was rearing up in our area, Ron and I ran by Tractor Supply for dog food. Wouldn’t you know it, their popular “Chick Days” banner was out up front. Ron and I have frequently talked about getting chickens but had never pulled the trigger…. until March 12. There we stood looking at all those trough brooders of adorable chicks, and we decided, why not?!

Not an ad; just where we shop.

We picked out 12 standard chicks in 4 different breeds – Russian Orloffs, Blue Production, Barred Rocks, and Golden Sex Links from the pullet bins. The plan was to get familiar with a few different types and then build out the flock with our favorites.  

We bought one of the large water troughs, a feeder, and waterer and were off to conquer the world of backyard chickens with our new little fluffy friends. (Note – You will need heat lamps or a heating plate as well if you don’t already have one.)

For those interested in getting chickens, a few key terms we’ve become familiar with that you’ll want to know.

Pullets = female chicks (Note – Most hatcheries only guarantee about 90-95%. Additionally, if you buy from a feed store, you’re banking that the chicks are correctly labeled and placed in the proper bin. Bottom line – you may not walk away with the breed or sex you’ve planned for.)

Straight Run = chicks are not sexed; You’ll have to likely wait if you’re unsure. You can usually tell by about 3 months, or when your rooster starts crowing. 😉

Pecking Order = Chickens have a pecking order and will figure out who is at the top of that order.  

Bantams = basically miniature chickens (Note – Unless you plan on having separate coops, it’s difficult to keep bantam and standard chickens together. It’s not impossible. I’ve read plenty of people have done it, but you’re likely asking for trouble with pecking order.)

Sex Link = Not actually a breed but a hybrid crossing 2 full breeds. This can be handy if you’ve done research ahead of time as to the type of chicken you want. Sex Links have been bred in a manner that the color of the chick will tell you if it’s male or female.

Stay tuned for the lessons these novices learned when I talk about the Case of the Curious Chickens.

Until then – Stay safe, be well, and wash your hands! ~B


Well, it seems I haven’t done too well with my new year’s resolution to write more often. Sometimes, even the best made plans get interrupted. Also, amazingly, that “extra” time without school work has quickly been filled with other things. I can’t say it’s all productive, some of it is extra hours trying to keep up with work, some just piddling about the house, and some of it waiting….

I recently saw a post from Proverbs 31 which caused me pause. If you don’t follow them, check them out.  I find God finds ways to connect by using our daily resources to simply remind us He’s here. Similarly, their post talked about the fact that God is always with us, even in the waiting. Whether that be waiting for the next step in a career, waiting on results of some kind, waiting for a child, or simply waiting for vacation; waiting can feel like forever.  And, if you know me, you know I’m not the most patient person. In fact, for years I used to pray daily for patience, thinking that this was a great idea. It wasn’t until I started dating my sweet husband that he told me…. NEVER pray for patience. He said God doesn’t just – poof, grant you patience. He will give you opportunities with which to build patience. DOH! That was a lightbulb moment, a reminder that sometimes waiting is the necessary task at hand.

You see, God’s timing is always perfect. I can literally think back upon major life moments of joy and despair, and in hindsight can now distinguish His perfect timing. It most definitely wasn’t my timing, but it was the right timing.

So, in this world of “busy-ness,” I challenge you to take time each day to be present, reflect, and wait with Him. I know, I know, we’re all busy. It’s a challenge I’ll do with you because I think it’s necessary for our faith, our hearts, and overall well-being. I personally find a few minutes in the evening before bed with a cup of tea the best time.  But maybe you’re a morning person and can squeeze a few moments to yourself before the family wakes, and all the crazy begins. Regardless, I hope you will see this post and be encouraged.

Until next time,


Set Yourself Up to Succeed – PLAN!

In my last post I mentioned the long game and the need to plan for success. I figured I’d start with one of the places where I struggle the most in planning – food! I love ALL food, well except for chicken and dumplings. Don’t judge; you know you have a weird dislike too!  Anyway, anyone that knows me has heard me say that if I could be healthy and live off sweet tea (full sugar), and bread, I would be the happiest camper ever! Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. For me especially, carbs are not my friend.

At this point I need to include my ***Disclaimer*** I’m NOT a doctor or medical professional of any kind. You should ALWAYS consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise changes. I can only speak to my own personal experience and what works for me.

While I’m not a diabetic, I am insulin resistant. This is super scary because insulin resistant folks tend to develop Type II Diabetes if you don’t make changes. This causes some problems because the best way, I’ve been told to battle insulin resistance is to lose weight. However, insulin resistance makes it hard to lose weight. It seems my body wants to hold onto EVERY POUND for dear life.  This makes for a super frustrating merry-go-round.  But, take heart, if this is you, I HAVE found things and sources that have helped me in this battle.

But, before I dig into all of that, I have to start with the basics which is planning. I have to PLAN what I eat for the week. I know…where’s the fun in that? But, if I don’t, I leave myself open to make poor food choices. Like giving in to the mac’ n cheese cravings that somehow show up at lunch time.

Okay, down to the nitty gritty; we all plan differently. Some ideas that work for me and others I know are:

Use a calendar to plan out meals. I personally like this method because I need to see things.

  • This can take many forms – a Gmail calendar, a planner, or a specific meal planner page like this handy dandy one on Sprout’s page. Use what works for you. I like “The Happy Planner.” They’re fun, pretty, and easy to find at local stores.
    • I also use this to plan out leftovers for future lunches.

Start early!

  • I like to start on a Saturday or Sunday, so I have time to go the grocery store. It’s super easy for the week’s busyness to take over and push this task to the backburner.  If for some reason I don’t get this done, I go to the store at lunch!
  • This also goes for drinking water. I struggle in this department, so starting early in the day is vital.

Start simple and keep an open mind.

  • I found this particularly important for me since I’m still relatively new to cooking.
  • I like to find recipes and try them EXACTLY. Once I’ve made them, I decide if I want to keep them in the rotation, want to make changes, or if they’re in the “never ever make this again” category. 🙂

Forgive yourself.

  • We lead very busy lives and that means sometimes doing what’s easier to protect our sanity. That’s totally okay! I feel it’s about trying to make the BETTER choice. In these situations, try to make a decision BEFORE you get to a restaurant.
  • And if that’s not possible, then try to do better at your next meal.

In my upcoming posts, I plan to share some of the sources I’ve found to help me along the way. Believe me there are tons of folks out there doing amazing things and they’ve already experimented for us, so we can reap the benefit.

Until next time,

~ B

What’s Your Why?

Welcome back!

Well we’re a week into 2019. How are you doing? Have you kept to any resolutions you made for yourself, or are you just getting started? If you’re like me, it usually takes me about a week just to ease into starting.  I usually don’t REALLY start resolutions until the first full week in January. For me, it’s all about the long game, so I have to plan.  One of this year’s is writing more; here’s me trying to stick to that.  All this being said, the notion of resolutions and change had me pondering WHY. Why do we make them; why do we continue?

We’ve all heard it, just three little letters – why? A child curiously asks why, maybe even testing one’s patience. The question follows us into adolescence when we ask our parents why we can’t do certain things. Why doesn’t stop there. As adults we question why we choose certain paths, roles, positions, or the alternative, why we don’t. For just three little letters, WHY certainly packs a complex punch.

If you’ve ever been to any sort of leadership or professional development training, you’ve probably been asked this question, “What is your why?” The first time I heard that question, I’m pretty sure I thought, why, what? Of course, the speaker further elaborated, “Why do you choose to do what you do?” It’s funny, because I hadn’t really thought about the idea that every day is a choice. I make a choice to do every single little thing during the course of my day. If I choose to eat that donut, that’s on me. I recently finished grad school; I did that, but WHY make either of these choices? Both of these answers require defining a goal or purpose. Do I satisfy a short-term desire, or plan for the long-term?

It makes sense that making new goals and choices coincides with the new year. The promise of a new year, and new slate, offer the opportunity to start fresh.  But guess what, EVERY DAY is a new slate.  If you fall off the wagon with the new diet; try again tomorrow. If you’ve taken time off from school; sign up for the next semester. Bottom line; don’t beat yourself up for failing one day; just don’t give up.  Find the WHY that makes you stick to it. If that means getting healthier so you can be around for your spouse, children, and family, then think about that when you’re getting up early to fit a workout in. If that means going back to school so you can get the job that makes you excited about going to work; then think about that while you’re studying late. That’s why, the WHY matters. It’s the reason we choose to be better and do better.  

Well, that went deeper than I really intended. See what I did there?  🙂 At any rate, I ultimately want this space to include a variety of posts, so please hang on as this page continues to evolve.

Catch y’all next week.

~ B

Goodbye 2018

Like many, the end of the year causes me to stop and reflect on the last 365 days and contemplate where I want the next 365 to go. As always, I wasn’t able to complete ALL THE THINGS.  2018 had a way of reminding me to slow down and realize that I’m not in control…. life seems to find ways to derail even the best made plans, but that’s okay! It was during the moments of struggle that I was reminded that I’m stronger than I think I am, and to stop and really consider what’s important, what I care about. And simply, I care about the wellbeing of my family and friends.

It seems, at least to me, as a society, we place so much pressure on ourselves, to do EVERYTHING, forgetting the fact that we are indeed imperfect beings. But, guess what, I’m letting you know, ALL THE THINGS will always be there; there will be a never-ending abundance of them. In fact, if you don’t make time for yourself and your loved ones, those deadlines, those to-do lists, those pressures will eat you up. It will eat up the best parts of you and leave the remnants for your loved ones. That’s not fair to you or your loved ones. So, thank you 2018, for this realization, the realization, to make conscious choices in where I spend my time, and with whom, and to simply do what I can and forget the rest.

So, moving forward into 2019, I’m listing a few of my goals with the mindset that I may not get it all done, but simply to provide a first draft. 🙂  

  • Write more – Start by writing at least 4 blog posts a month.
  • Take at least 4 – long weekends throughout the year with the hubs! It keeps you both refreshed.
    • Visit somewhere new…. perhaps Pacific Northwest.
  • Invest in me – Eat better, work out more, and pray more. This way I can be the best version of myself for me and my loved ones.

If you are making new year plans, don’t get bogged down by the size of some of your plans, take it one step at a time…. the biggest step is just having the courage to start.

With that, I pray you have a safe and Happy New Year! Welcome 2019.