Archive for March, 2014

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Monday, And I Managed To Make One Decision

March 31, 2014

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I’ve decided to sell one-year-old Pretty Boy. He likes to charge me, and although I stop him with a broom slap he sometimes comes back for more. He’s never expressed aggression toward my husband. And I’m the one who feeds Pretty Boy. He needs a nice home where women will not come in contact with him. I won’t sell him to a family with children, for stew, or cock-fighting. Placed in the right environment, Pretty Boy could be a good asset to a flock of hens. I’m hoping to find the right home, even if I have to give Pretty Boy away.

 

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We have hundreds of birds on our property. This time of year, early mornings begins with a chorus of songbirds in the perennial garden. I suspect the music they sing is about an attractive mate or an expectant brood.

The perennial garden is a grocery outlet to many fowl, humming birds included. Every day, I watch a half-dozen birds shift through the top soil at the garden’s entrance. While the birds scratch for grub soil flies outside the flowerbeds, and once or twice a week I have to sweep the flagstone. I don’t mind—most of the time.

If the garden’s natural habitat doesn’t satisfy the fowl, there are weeping willows, silver and Japanese maples, locusts, oaks, eucalyptus, crape myrtles, and redwoods throughout the grounds.

In the back pasture, behind the house, ducks, geese, and sandhill cranes wade in a winter stream. I am grateful for the large house windows facing the stream so I can watch these beautiful creatures from inside without disturbing them. I do wish I had a powerful camera to capture the visiting swimmers.

With all this habitat, there is no need to put up feeders or birdhouses (unless I want to attract a particular type of fowl). I was, however, inspired to construct a chicken-wire frame stuffed with fleece tags. I once read that several types of nesting material appeals to different birds. It will be interesting to learn which birds will use the fleece, if I am lucky enough to catch them in the act or spot a nest in the garden where the majority of songbirds sing.

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I have Argyranthemum Frutescens!

March 26, 2014

It is new to my yard and blooming beautifully in a pot that greets visitors as they enter the front walkway. Argyranthemum frutescens ‘Madeira Red’ is a mounded evergreen shrub that flowers all summer, grows best in full sun, well-drained soil or quality potting mix. I’ve had my ‘Madeira Red’ four weeks now and so far, no need to deadhead! Now that’s a perfect plant!

 

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 * * *

Dear Readers,

I want to thank those of you who have purchased Ashley’s Gift. It’s not easy sending one’s work out into the world, wondering where it will end up.

Being an author is a learning process. There are ups and downs, and 99 percent of the lessons are public! One of the first things that I learned is that Amazon offers FREE Kindle apps for any device! PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and more.

Amazing!

You can purchase all the electronic books (mine included) you wish to read right from your laptop, desktop, phone, or tablet! According to Amazon, you can even, “start reading a book on one device, and pick up where you left off on another device.”

Where have I been?

I hope you take advantage of the FREE Kindle apps. There are thousands of e-books from which to choose!

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Weekend Promises

March 22, 2014

Weekend Promises

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My Novel Is Finally Published!

March 19, 2014

 Now Available on Kindle

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About Ashley’s Gift

Jenna Hamilton loves being a wife and mother. Everyday Jenna makes routine decisions for her family’s wellbeing. Then, one day an ordinary decision changes their lives forever. The guilt Jenna carries and the events that follow that fateful day will keep you turning the pages. And, like Jenna, possibly discover the healing power of love and self-forgiveness.

Review

Dianne Marie Andre’s novel, Ashley’s Gift:  A Story of Loss and Self-Forgiveness, is a miracle for a world with too few miracles in it. Rich with domestic details from garden to kitchen, the story of Jenna and Robert Hamilton is one that highlights what is most important, what always remains to be found, when we suffer unbearable loss.”

–Anna Tuttle Villegas, author of Baby’s Breath, Swimming Lessons (made into a  Lifetime Original Movie of the Month titled, Another Woman’s Husband), and All We Know of Heaven

• • •

Ashley’s Gift Includes a Group Discussion Guide

• • •

Purchase Now!

https://www.amazon.com/author/diannemarieandre

 • • •

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Every Spring I Am Reminded That . . .

March 16, 2014

. . . the beautiful vegetation in and around my garden are most likely a distant collection of God’s Garden of Eden. How special is that?

(Want the name of the plants above? Place your cursor over each photo.)

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Start the Week Right

March 10, 2014

Start the Week Right

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Hatching out a Plan

March 8, 2014

I want to fix up the chicken coop. So, I thought I would give you a tour and tell you the improvements I envision and why. Maybe you can lend some suggestions. If you like, I’ll even share your photos or sketches here, whether it’s an existing chicken coop or one you dream about.

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Vision:  Dress up the facade.

Reason:  Not necessary, I know, but I just can’t help dreaming about an attractive hen-house.

Vision:  A small running pen to the right of the coop.

Reason:  When I buy chicks, I keep them inside the coop until they are old enough to go into the existing running pen during the daytime. In the mornings I have to:  1) lock the older hens out of the running pen, 2) shoo the chicks out of the coop into the running pen, 3) secure the hatch between the two quarters so they can’t go back into the coop, 4) open the coop door so the adult chickens have access to the nesting boxes, 5) rotate the different feeders and water jugs, 6) repeat these steps in reverse before sunset.

A second running pen is also a plus for when I need to keep a chicken separate from the flock because it is ill and being attacked by other hens.

Vision:  Enclose the running pen with small-gauged galvanized wire.

Reason:  Keep birds from entering through the existing chicken wire and eating the chicken feed.

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Vision:  Okay, this is where I get a little crazy. I would like the interior coop walls and ceiling painted or covered in a smooth veneer wood or some type of smooth finish. There would also be a need for a hatch door and steps to the running pen I wish to add to the right of the coop.

Reason:  Smooth walls make for easier cleaning.

Vision:  Add a small closet between the coop and the new running pen for shovel, broom, rake, shaving bag, and a few other necessities.

Reason:  Sometimes, the hens get into the shaving bag, knock over tools, and of course there’s occasional poop that drops on something I need to handle.

This rounds up my hatching out a plan–a future project. Suggestions are welcome.

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