Saturday, January 28, 2012

Alton and his chickens...

Last spring we decided to let our rabbits go free. They were pitiful in their hutch, and not being snuggly love bunnies, we could not find them a home where they would not be harvested for their meat or hide.

So we decided to let them live their life feral and free...
Coriander (not shown here) made it a few months and disappeared. Either he wandered so far he did not find his way back, or nature got him.
Alton, on the other hand, snuggled right in by digging a comfortable tunnel in the barn... and spent most of his days by the compost pile, munching away....

Then he found the chickens...

He now lives with them, in their fenced area that we move around.
He eats their food and sleeps in their tree with them.

When I call the hens for snacks, he comes running right along with them, and I have seen him playing run-in-circles with one of the young hens, where they take turns running in circles around one another.
It's so odd.

We love you, Alton Brown.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Peculiar Snow at Peculiar Ambitions~

Rooster, chicken and dog prints on the deck stairs...

It's been a weird few weeks. Not that there are ever any normal weeks here...
Last week we had some snow! Personally, I am not a fan of the white stuff. Moving from PA to the Pacific Northwest was a nice change for me. In PA we got s.n.o.w... cold stuff that stuck around for months. Here, it snows and is pretty much gone in a few days.

Last week the snow dabbled around a bit for a few days, then wham! We woke on Wed. to 9 inches!
We live in a pocket between mountain ranges in the north part of Clark County, WA. Vancouver (south of us) had a wee bit of not much, but we were STUCK. Trees and poles down over the roads and NO ELECTRIC. Now I am a country girl for sure, but NOT a pioneer. I like my modern conveniences.... plus we are on a well, so no electric= no running water. bah!

Here are some shots of our days, which were spent frolicking in the snow, knitting and managing around the no electricity thing.... and a few of life before the storm.

Life as it is...

(click any image to view a larger version)
Snow fall and the pond...

Across the orchard...

Snow dog eating snowman's (named Baxter) arm.

Cold chicken snuggles.

Purple hair Ann...

This is a week or so before the snow storm, the sun was shining through large rain drops on the pond. 
It looked like fairy lights!

Eve was digging up 2 kajillion iris bulbs from the old, old flower bed next to the house.
As she unearthed them, worms popped out. 
Ro the hen was right there the entire time and manically grabbed the worms as they showed.
Spoiled chicken.

This is Roger, our new dude. He is so handsome (sigh).
Named after the rooster in Disney's Robin Hood. (voiced by country singer Roger Miller)

This is our reigning dude, Salatin. 
Named after farm guru Joel Salatin (Paul is a huge fan)

This is what happens each time I go outside.
Because I am the bringer of the cookies. The Scooby snacks.
I love this, that they come running. 
If I cannot have dancers like Lady Gaga, 
then I will settle for a flock of chickens following me around. 
~ Reenie

Friday, January 13, 2012

Putting it Out There...

It's time. Time to put it "Out There." (gulp!)
Anyone who knows us has heard us talk and talk about our "dream farm".
A magical place where we can all gather and learn and grow and push each other out of our boxes.
Paul and I have talked about this since we met, over 17(?!) years ago... a dream a long time in the making and planning, and here we are! (we moved here in Oct. 2010 and have been cleaning up and planning ever since!)
This is the year it will begin to come together, and you have the opportunity to WATCH, right here, on this special blog. The barn has plans to be renovated (oh my, what a project!) into a classroom/studio space. It is very excited about this. (grin)

Once that is going, the class/ workshop schedule will start falling into place. In the meantime, watch for an online shop (coming soon!) and the beginnings of a cidery/winery! (I know, YUM).
view of our very old (almost 100 yrs!) orchard...

I recently enrolled in a very special online course, designed to take a new approach to running a business.
Called Hello Soul, Hello Business!
This class came at the exact perfect time.
Here is my class intro post, which sums it all up perfectly...
My name is Reenie and I am SO excited to be part of this amazing experience! I gotta say, I am equally excited and scared…
BUT– it all goes together… like a roller coaster ride! If it isn’t scary, what’s the point?
Anyway— I am a mom, artist, designer, knitter, art journaler, painter, beekeeper, chicken lady and a crazy person!
We (me, my two girls and my man) live on our dream farm in Battle Ground, WA, just a bit north of Portland, OR.
This past year I closed my online yarn shop/boutique (MaterialWhirled) that I ran from home for over six years… a really hard decision to end my store and go for some important lifestyle changes.
THIS year is the start of our family dream… our dream farm, a place to hold classes and retreats and workshops and events and a winery and store and, and….?
We are so very excited about it all and this class came at the exact perfect time, right smack in the middle of the transition and decision making stages.
YAY for divine guidance, eh>? Providing just what we need at the exact time we need it…
That said, please come visit my blogs… there are two, one for my personal antics and one for our FARM, called “Peculiar Ambitions”.
Links below…
I really, truly look forward to meeting everyone and being a part of this very important revolution.
Anyone local to me? Find me please… would love to put faces to names…
Reenie Hanlin
Farm blog~

our greenhouse

Well, now it's "out there",  for all to know our intentions and dreams... this post was written with a lot of tears and "oh, crap", here we go! READY?????
Come join the FUN (RSS link on the right) and follow our antics through this exciting time!
We are so excited to meet you and to share our magical place with you~!
Reenie, Paul, Eve and Ann (and the dogs, cats, chickens and rabbit).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Paul came across this Dr. Seuss book this the other day... and the words hit the nail on the head for us right now... wanted to preserve them here and share them with YOU.

(looking out of our caves here at Peculiar Ambitions)

Oh, the Places You'll Go!   by Dr. Seuss


Today is your day.

You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself 

any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.

About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, 

you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any

you'll want to go down.

In that case, of course,

you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there

in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen

and frequently do

to people as brainy

and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,

don't worry. Don't stew.

Just go right along.

You'll start happening too.



You'll be on your way up!

You'll be seeing great sights!

You'll join the high fliers

who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.

You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.

Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so

but, sadly, it's true

that Bang-ups

and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up

in a prickle-ly perch.

And your gang will fly on.

You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch

with an unpleasant bump.

And the chances are, then,

that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,

you're not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself

is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.

Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.

A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!

Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...

or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?

Or go around back and sneak in from behind?

Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused

that you'll start in to race

down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go

or a bus to come, or a plane to go

or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite

or waiting for the wind to fly a kite

or waiting around for Friday night

or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.


That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape

all that waiting and staying

You'll find the bright places

where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,

once more you'll ride high!

Ready for anything under the sky.

Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball

will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't

Because, sometimes they won't.

I'm afraid that some times

you'll play lonely games too.

Games you can't win

'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!

Whether you like it or not,

Alone will be something

you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance

you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go

though the weather be foul.

On you will go

though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,

And I know you'll hike far

and face up to your problems

whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,

as you already know.

You'll get mixed up 

with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's 
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)



be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,

You're off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

*** The above text was copyrighted in 1990 . The complete book which has great pictures to accompany the text is published by Random House and can be purchase at any bookstore. Amazon Link

The Seussical sky at dawn here at Peculiar Ambitions...

(cross posted on my personal blog... )

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chicken Coop Bunting~

You all know how crazy I am about my chickens...
Like I am about my cats.
Walking that crazy cat lady edge, and of course the crazy chicken lady edge as well...

Yesterday I added a bunting to the coop.
Inspired by Soulemama and the exquisite dottie angel.

 One across the front~

 One across the back...

Roger and Pearl approve...

Cross posted on my personal blog