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Buns and Beiber and Brunch

Somehow it’s already Wednesday – we had a whirlwind of a weekend and before we head into another crazy weekend, I want to make sure to document the fun. Friday was Earth Day—my people’s holiday! This photo makes an appearance most Earth Days, a throwback to when I was 6. #treehuggerinthemaking

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I spent Friday running all over picking up kegs…for work…yes, you never know what you’re going to get with my job. We hosted an Earth Day Happy Hour on campus. We had a fun evening celebrating our community’s sustainability efforts and listening to some great tunes. Afterward, we were excited to try out the new burger restaurant in town, Buns. Our town is cute and has an amazing history, but it does not cater to everyday families. This is a town full of NYC transplants and weekenders and it’s hard to go out for a meal and spend less than $100 on 3 people, so we were pumped to have a burger joint open with $8 burgers – – and they were good!!

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On Saturday, I had a nice visit with my aunt who was in town for my cousin’s lacrosse game (his college was playing my college). We enjoyed a beautiful spring day watching lacrosse and then rushed home to pull together a last minute BBQ (with more buns). We had a keg of hard cider left over from the Earth Day celebration and invited over work and local friends to work our way through it. It was super last minute and simple, but so nice to enjoy an evening with friends and finally put our porch to use. 

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Here’s where things get whacky. As I mentioned Friday, I’d gotten myself roped into going to the city for a Pop Star Dance Fitness Class at Banana Skirt Productions. I’d been promised Beyonce, but when the schedule came out it was Beiber. Ugh. But, we all signed up and headed to the city first thing Sunday morning. I am confident that I was the only person in the room with chicken poop on the bottom of their sneaks. #keepitclassy

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It ended up being a ton of fun and the fact that I don’t know any Beiber tunes didn’t matter a bit.

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Our teacher was AMAZING – she was super fun and energetic and a great teacher and had.the.moves. Holy cow. It was so neat to watch her dance. We stayed for two hours and “learned” the whole song. There were a few people who totally “got it” in the room, lots who think they “had it,” and most of us were just trying to not get run over. For entertainment value, here is the videos of us dancing. 

On the train home, I watched the video of what it was supposed to look like – hahahaha! OMG – we don’t look a THING like this. The difference between the two is hilarious! The moves are actually the same, but we’re not even close.

Here are the two videos from Banana Skirt. #dontjudge #solost

 

Part 1 of this weekends “Sorry” class! #JustinBieber #DanceYourAssOff #PopStarFitness #Fitspo #BananaSkirt

A video posted by Banana Skirt Productions 🍌 (@banana_skirt) on

 

Part 2 of this weekends “Sorry” class! #JustinBieber #DanceYourAssOff #PopStarFitness #Fitspo #BananaSkirt

A video posted by Banana Skirt Productions 🍌 (@banana_skirt) on

We rushed across midtown and rewarded ourselves with an AWESOME brunch at The Smith. It might have been the best brunch I’ve ever had. I had the potato waffle benedict—which I told myself was as close to paleo as I was getting that day—and it came with an stroooong  and good cocktail. I added a few oysters for good measure. The potato waffle combined with the creamed spinach made for a flavorful and unique take on eggs benedict. I hoovered mine and could totally have had a second plate. I have been totally insatiable lately. #justanFYI Everyone else’s meals were amazing too! We enjoyed a leisurely afternoon and then caught the train back upstate and were home in time for dinner.

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What a fun weekend! Monday came quick, but it was totally worth it. I’m headed back to the city for the third time this week #bleh! and then we’ll be in the weekend homestretch again. Happy hump day friends!



There’s a Fox in the Hen House – Fo’ Reelz

After working late last night (hosting a happy hour…rough, I know), my plan was to sleep in a bit this morning (nice and late…until 7ish). My sleep was interrupted around 6:30 when Taz started barking his head off. He’s great a crying wolf, so I put a pillow over my head and rolled over to try to sleep a bit more. But, he would not stop. He was losing.his.mind. I groaned and got out of bed to tell him to knock it off. As I came down the stairs I could see the piles of feathers in the yard and hear the chaos of terrified chickens. 

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After years of having chickens, I’ve learned that there are lots of things that want to eat your chickens—bears, foxes, skunks, coyotes, weasels, hawks, your FIL’s dog—so as I was standing there in my pj’s, I was searching the yard desperately to see what I was up against. At our old house, our chickens were an acre away (not a unit of distance, I know) at the top of a hill and we couldn’t see when they were under attack. Now, they’re 100 feet away, so we bear full witness to their demise. I spent this fall chasing a hawk off our chickens (literally, I actually hit it at one point), so I figured that’s what was out there, and then I saw it.

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Standing in the middle of our yard, with a chicken hanging from its mouth, was a fox. I went sprinting out the front door like a crazy person, barefoot, in my pajamas, screaming at the fox and looking for anything I could find to scare it away. I found a few rocks to throw at it and charged it. It looked at me, casually dropped the chicken (who ran off into the woods), and trotted away. It was clearly not worried about me. Realizing I couldn’t chase down a fox barefoot, I ran inside, threw on my pastel LL Bean Wellies, and ran back out to defend my flock. I was going for drama there, was that dramatic?

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The fox had looped around the house and was going in for the kill again by the coop. I kept charging at it, throwing rocks, and shouting, and it really couldn’t care less. It would drop whatever chicken it grabbed, run around the house, and come back for more. At one point, while I standing there throwing rocks and shouting, it was chasing a chicken directly at me and we ended up less than 10 feet apart. That fox has some cojones, man. 

I finally chased it down the road, but as it was running off, it found a chicken in the woods and carried away. Sad face. I figured it was distracted for a few minutes, so ran in to grab my phone and call TimTheFarmer, who was on a tractor. As I made laps around the house looking for the fox, rock in hand, TimTheFarmer shouted at me to get the rifle (remember, he was on a tractor, so I couldn’t hear him). Ummm…all the sudden I had all sort of excuses about how things were totally under control. It’s not that I’m uncomfortable with the idea of doing what we need to do, and I’m a good shot, but the problem is that I never pay attention when whomever I’m shooting with shows me how to load the gun. I pay attention long enough to safely load the gun while I’m doing target practice, but the minute we’re done, that knowledge totally goes flying out one ear. Don’t rely on me when the zombies come. I decided to stick to my rocks, and try to round up the chickens.

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At one point, it seemed like we were down to 4 chickens. I couldn’t find any more, and given how balsy the fox was about grabbing them (he grabbed 4 different ones while I was chasing him around), I figured we’d had a massacre. I slowly lured each chicken I could find back to coop (and told the chicks in the brooder to thank their lucky stars we hadn’t gotten around to getting them outside yet…they’d be toast). As I did, other chickens started to emerge from the woods. Most were too spooked for me to pick them up, but the one back there on the grill was happy to hitch a ride back to the coop. I eventually recovered 11, which means that jerkface fox only got two.

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For now, they’re all safely locked in the coop and TimTheFarmer just got home to set up the electric fence. We used to always have them fenced in, but over the winter we let them totally free range, and they were happy has clams…or free ranging chickens. Clearly it’s time to set the electric fence back up and hope they stay in. Right now, Otis and I are on lookout patrol.

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And, it’s time to destroy the nearby fox den, which should prevent him from coming back. We learned this a couple years ago when chickens kept disappearing. It turns out that foxes only build dens once a year and that they build a couple dens. If you can destroy the closest den, they’ll often retreat to their other dens and leave you alone. To destroy a den, you need break it up/demolish it, and —and this is gross, but effective—urinate on and around it to establish that it’s not their territory any longer. This is what boys are for. We’ll also hang some vinegar-soaked sock balls around the coop area which also can keep foxes away. 

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Is it bad that as I was chasing away a fox with one of our chickens in its mouth, I thought, “Well, at least this will be a good story for the blog.”?



Easter Weekend Recap

Hi friends – I’m back! I had no intention of disappearing last week, but in typical Katie-fashion, I decided to take on a last minute project that took up all my blogging time. I had a friend coming into town and decided two Fridays ago, that I should use her visit as motivation to makeover the guest room/office. Which, shockingly, did not take one day, like I decided it would in my head. After working on it over the weekend, I was up at 5am and up until 11pm each night painting and painting and painting.  Anyway, it’s almost done, I had a great visit with my friend, and I’m back on the blog…until I take on another last minute project. I’ll do a room reveal when all the details are in place (when the second round of wall decals arrive and all the outlets are switched out etc.), so today is a recap of our fantastic holiday weekend!

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Oftentimes, things don’t feel like weekends around here. I travel for work a lot and TimTheFarmer has worked every.single.day since January. We were so grateful for a visit from a friend to refocus our energy and take a bit of a break from the running around. 

We started out the long weekend with a girls’ day on Friday. After wrapping up work meetings in the morning, we headed out for a long lunch in town, followed by pedicures, and a bit of shopping at local stores. I NEVER do this, so it was such a treat to spend a relaxing afternoon, sipping prosecco while we got foot massages and catching up on the last 6 months with a best friend. We ended the day on a high note, with more amazing burgers from Panzur. They are just so good. And, TimTheFarmer is developing a reputation as that guy who orders a burger with both pig belly AND bacon jam. #gobigorgohome

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On Saturday, the kiddo and I woke up early and snuck out of the house to go take care of the pigs at the farm, as a treat for TimTheFarmer so he could sleep past 6 AM one day in 3 months. Two things to note here: the kiddo did ALL the work with the pigs #idontdopigs and he did so good! And, TimTheFarmer totally knew we were up to something, but he still pretended to be asleep and let us do this for him. #thankshoney

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We decided to enjoy the beautiful day and go on a local hike I’d been hearing about. We had nothing (paleo) for lunch, so I quickly baked some almond flour rolls and we decided to have PB&Js at the top. Except, we all eat different kinds of nut butter and the rolls were still warm when we left the house, so we also packed up each of the nut butters (peanut, almond, and sun butters) into little containers as well as some homemade blueberry jam. I wish I had taken a picture of our nut butter sandwich bar on the top of the mountain – it was pretty ridiculous, but totally delicious!  I’d heard the hike up Stissing Mountain was a shortish, steep hike up to a fire tower, and they weren’t kidding about steep! Holy crow. We were huffing and puffing after the first 5 minutes. But, it was totally worth it! Once you climbed the rickety tower, you could see the entire Hudson Valley. 

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Otis, the hipster from Brooklyn, enjoyed his first journey up a mountain and Taz hung in there like the short-legged champ that he is. And, Otis alternated between rolling in the leaves and dirt, and keeping his tush clean by sitting on my legs #weirdo.

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That night we broke out the only store-bought eggs we buy each year and got busy dying eggs. We have a tradition in my family of decorating the eggs with crayons before we dye them. In addition to being cute, there’s a strategy here – after the egg hunt, we have an egg fight where you tap your eggs against each other. Often, the waxier the end, the better your chances are at winning fight.  

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We’d asked the kiddo, who is now 13, if he still wanted to do an egg hunt. He totally played it cool, like “Whatever…”, but he finally admitted he’d wanted to do the hunt, so the eggs were hidden. It’s way more fun to watch kids try to collect eggs than I ever would have thought, particularly when they walk right past the most obvious ones over and over (and over and over). It might have actually been worse this year with a sleepy teenager trying to find the obvious eggs.

Post egg hunt, we did some serious meal prep, which included making these ridiculously absurd (but tasty) deviled chicks. 

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My FIL joined us and we ate and had an egg fight and then ate some more. The kiddo made the “silver bullet” egg and it was the egg fight champion. It literally took down every other egg in the basket. 

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We also revisited my thoughts on how my life is a country song, when ‘She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy’ come on Sonos. My friend and I agreed that men do, in fact, often look good on tractors and that that’s ok. Then, she made this statement, which is for sure a keeper.

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All in all, we had a weekend that felt more like a weekend than one has in a long time. I loved spending time with friends and family! I hope your Easter weekend was fabulous as well!