Category Archives: DIY

The Chicken Chronicles book is About to Hatch!


(One mock-up of a cover design—not the final version!)

 

Big Announcement: I’ve nearly finished a project I started on two years ago!

It feels great to finally get to this place. And, as this project is a memoir of our family’s “country in the city” experiment over nearly two decades, I’m happy that these adventures are soon to be in book form.

For those of you who haven’t read stories from the collection that have appeared in Greenwoman Magazine  or on this blog, here’s the book description:

THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES is a collection of essays and stories written by an unapologetically quirky plant and animal lover who dives deep into creating a “country living in the city” experience for her family. Engaging, erudite, and often hilarious, THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES follows Colorado author Sandra Knauf as:

She and her young daughters meet neighbor Grandma Ruby, an 80-something-year-old cottage gardener/chicken raiser, who inspires Sandra to start her own backyard flock of exotic breed bantam chickens.

She confesses and explores her shocking and insatiable lust — for seed catalogs.

She becomes involved in a garden tour fundraiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and gets a close look at her city’s partisan politics — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

She examines 21st century lawns, “the biggest waste of water in suburbia,” and shares her experiences — from working as a teenager at a lawn care company in the 1980s to becoming an ecology-minded gardener hell-bent on getting rid of the bluegrass.

She introduces us to unforgettable animals: an ill-fated Neatherlands dwarf bunny, Puff; an out-of-control black Labrador puppy, Broonzy; a coop full of exotic breed bantams with the names of Greek goddesses, and more.

She gives the lowdown on her city’s green fringe through other adventures that include: capturing a swarm of bees, joining a garden club, and becoming a gardener-for-hire in her city’s richest neighborhood.

She ponders life and discovers that the most important lesson is to love it, participate in it, and live it exactly how you want to.


A picture taken during The Chicken Chronicles era: Daughters Zora (with chick “Kayley”) and Lily with “Jessica.” As we bought unsexed chicks, the girls were hoping for egg-laying hens and named them accordingly. Their two favorite “hens” turned out to be roosters.

 

While I’m writing today to announce this upcoming collection, I’m also here to ask: Would any of you be interested in being beta (test) readers? I have a PDF ready and I would LOVE to hear what you think of this book!

If you’re interested, just send me a note at maefayne(at)msn.com. I would need your comments by the end of the month and I’ll include a list of questions to guide your critique with the PDF.

I hope you can participate; I would love for you to be a part of this project!

Sandy

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June is for Strawberries

Fraises_(8874834179) WC

“Fraises” by Lisa Risager from Denmark, May 28, 2013, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Algonquin tribes of what is now New England called the June full moon (this year on the 27th) the Strawberry Moon because the phase marked the best time of year to harvest this wild fruit. Berries are a’plenty.

I love June (and strawberries). What about you?

If you don’t have the garden space, or the woods close by to find wild berries, grow them in pots! I love these little clay pots on a windowsill in Denmark. Here’s another image I found from Italy.

Fragole_fax01Zanchetta Fabio (faxstaff), WC, April

“Fragole” by Zanchetta Fabio, April 18, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons

And then, this mesmerizing time-lapse photography.

Strawberry_growth_(GIF)

“Strawberry Growth GIF” by Tomas “Frooxius” Mariancik, Czech Republic, May 19, 2014, via Wikimedia Commons

 

From Wikimedia Commons: “A timelapse of a growth of a strawberry fruit (a GIF version), captured for about 40 days and post-processed (stabilized, some night frames were removed to prevent flashing, speed up is not constant – the flowering part is speeded up less than the fruit growth one). My original published video with some behind the scenes shots is available here.

I hope you’re growing some strawberries this year. I harvested and enjoyed my first one from my little backyard strawberry bed just a few days ago. It’s in its third year, the plants are flourishing, the berries are many, and I only wish I’d have created it sooner!—SK

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Battle In The Forest with Gisele Bündchen

Aerial_view_of_the_Amazon_Rainforest

“View from the top, from the airplane window, the Solimões River, looking like a large snake, as it is called by the natives. Rio Solimões – Amazonia.” Floresta Amazonica, Brasil, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

There is only one Earth and no “Plan C”. This film shows that Plan A is doing as we’ve been doing, using resources wantonly and polluting—which leads to mass extinction. Plan B is getting our act together and saving not only ourselves but the diversity and health on our planet, our home. —SK

 

“It’s like when you’re in the midst of unfolding disaster—what do you do? You panic? No. You MOVE it. MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE. That’s what we need to do.”
—Antonio Nobre, Climate Scientist—Brazilian Institute for Space Research

 

The YEARS Project is a multimedia storytelling and education effort designed to inform, empower, and unite the world in the face of climate change. You can watch more of their videos here on YouTube and follow them here on Facebook.

 

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The Highest Evolution: Working with our Hands

The values we need are of knowledge: of how to live with Nature, of how to care, of how to share.

I think you’ll agreethere’s no one like Vandana Shiva. I hope you’ll enjoy this short film and her wisdom!—SK

 

 

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My Favorite Meme

And this is the way to heal the world, too. —S.K.

Embracing-Female-Power

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Monthly Museletter—March 2018

Lunar_libration_with_phase2

“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

This month we’re all about saving the planet, so roll up your sleeves and join us! (Thank you, Karla, for sharing your wonderful newsletter! ❤) —SK

P. S. If you’re from Colorado Springs and would like Karla’s newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @ gmail.com.

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Promise to Protect! nokxlpromise.org continues the work of Standing Rock and indigenous people all over the planet.

“Goals” for 350.org’s 2018 grassroots activism :
1. Fast & just transition to 100% renewables.
2. No new fossil fuel projects.
3. Not one penny more for dirty energy.

Encourage your candidates to sign the no fossil fuel money pledge: “I pledge to not take contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.”
sunrisemovement.org or nofossilfuelmoney.org

Give it away (or throw it away or sell it):
“Messing & stressing” are linked, so try the 21-a-day toss and see if you feel better!

Take the Chain off your Brain: Goddess statues and elegant animals come to life in Nina Paley’s animation that’s guaranteed to make you move.

 

Goodbye plastic, hello ETEE organic reusable food wrap (another gift from honeybees)

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall

SPC 3912-B Photographic views and portraits made 1867-74 in the

Arapaho camp, View of Camp —Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, In: Wilbur Sturtevant Nye, from Plains Indian raiders : the final phases of warfare from the Arkansas to the Red River, with original photographs by William S. Soule. University of Oklahoma Press, 1st edition, 1968

Two worldwide tech competitions for the XPRIZE, from NRG Cosia: Make drinking water out of thin air and transforming  CO2 power plant waste into biofuel, building materials, tires, etc.

“XPRIZE is an innovation engine. A facilitator of exponential change. A catalyst for the benefit of humanity.
We believe in the power of competition. That it’s part of our DNA. Of humanity itself. . .
We believe that you get what you incentivize. And that without a target, you will miss it every time. Rather than throw money at a problem, we incentivize the solution and challenge the world to solve it.”
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“You can create a lot of jobs drilling holes in a ship,” said one retiree against fracking in his state, “but the ship will still go down.”
a quote from the anthology Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet, edited by Julie Dunlap and Susan A. Cohen

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“The YEARS Project is a multimedia storytelling and education effort designed to inform, empower, and unite the world in the face of climate change.”

Here’s an example of what they’re putting out there. (I think you’ll be looking at ingredients labels for palm oil after watching this.):

Here’s the Playlist Page on YouTube.  (Please share, share, share!)

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Dr. Wendy Burroughs counsels us to:
1. SAUNTER THROUGH BEAUTY (rather than hike through Life).
2. TRAVEL LIGHT (release, forgive, flow, free yourSelf).
3. HONOR YOUR NATURAL RHYTHMS (don’t push the River).
4. RE-WILD YOURSELF (revive dormant Selves).

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Another wonderful innovation, the Go Sun solar oven!

“ . . . higher plant diversity in urban areas could be one reason that city [bee] hives are healthier and more productive than many rural ones.” Kelsey Nowakowski in February 2018 National Geographic

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Please send Rain.
Please send Snow.
Please send Mist.
Please don’t blow.

Flakes are Fine.
Drops Divine.
Please send Moisture here, below.”

—Song to the Sky Beings

Apple_blossoms_Gandhi copy

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Responsibility

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February 19, 2018 · 3:05 am