Nonna's Notes

Thoughts and Wanderings

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back Yard Chickens

The coop is done. Stephen's amazing, beautiful design. But I must admit, when the chickens arrived 4 days ago, I wasn't sure if the coop raised that high was going to work after all. Was the ramp too steep? Where there not enough "steps" for them to latch on to? These 4 little 12 week old beauties wanted nothing to do with going up the ramp or being put into the coop by hand. I'd put them in and they cried to be let out. They wanted to stay outside all night and sleep on their outside roost, a lovely branch from my cedar tree. It is summer. And the nights are warm. So I really couldn't blame them. But they wouldn't even go up to see the inside of their new home!

I tried one evening. I picked up Mona Lisa (Ameraucana) and placed her on the coop floor. She laid down, but wasn't very happy to be there. She sat in the doorway facing the run. Then I put Buttercup (Golden Comet) there. She stood there looking around wondering how she was going to get down. Then Viola (Barred Rock). She stood and peeped and bobbed her head around, obviously not happy. Then I went to get Big Red (Rhode Island Red). She (probably HE), turned around and glared at me, "Don't even think about it!" Big Red jumped to the ground just as I reached out my hands and stared at me, "Don't you ever try that again!!"

Last evening I even put Meal Worms up there to entice them……. didn't work. I put Viola in the coop and she jumped around trying to figure out how she was going to get back down. "Too high….. Too high," she cried. Then I picked up Buttercup to keep Viola company, thinking that would calm down both of them. Buttercup immediately jumped around trying to grasp onto the walls and then found the top window opening and sat there yelling, "I'm going to jump! I'm going to jump!" and Viola still squeaking "Too high….. Too high." In the meantime, Mona Lisa and Big Red nervously ran around the run trying to find a safe place to hide and get away from this crazy lady that's playing havoc with their peaceful little world.

"There's the ramp down," I kept telling them. "Here. Find the treats I left you up here. You guys aren't even looking!"

So, I gently led Viola to the ramp/stairs to go down and slipped her over the edge. She squawked and ran downstairs. Whew! Safe! Buttercup was going to have nothing to do with that! She suddenly gave out a yell, "Aaaaaaaaaaa!" and jumped and flew down to the ground. All 4 birds safely on the ground now, I left them to find their own place to sleep, figuring they'd find a way to stay comfortable.

Guess what I found this morning when I went to see them? Viola and Buttercup were both in the coop upstairs making a feast of the Meal Worms I had left. They flew in and out of the doorway and up and down the stairs without giving it a second thought. They're starting to grow up and are feeling more comfortable in their new home. I think I'll make the Meal Worm trail again tonight and see what happens.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Message From Heaven

He walked up to me as I was on Yard Duty at school today. He was obviously from India with an accent so strong that I couldn't understand him. Maybe he wasn't even speaking English, but I knew I had to listen. He spoke to me for about 5 minutes and left me with a message.

Sing and let your voice be heard.
Don't talk too much.
Get your head out of the computers and books.
Go outside into nature.
Then you will become like children…..a beautiful flower.

As he started to walk away, I bowed and thanked him. He turned around to face me and said, "You are a beautiful flower." I felt like the heavens had opened up and shared the most profound lesson. Who sent him to deliver this message to me?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Burrito, I guess… For One...

Put a flour tortilla on the plate. Line the tortilla with thin slices of Oscar Mayer Delifresh Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast. Put a generous amount of Black Beans down the center. Top the beans with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Roll up. Microwave 1 minute. SO Good!! I ate this with a fresh, sliced tomato. Perfect for dinner on my own. Fast and delicious. Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The first time I noticed her was in August of last year when I first started back to work after my summer break. She was bent over, her body beginning to form a question mark. But she was running. Well, not really running. More of a little shuffle as her feet lifted slightly from the ground, her arms bent at the elbow with almost fists in front of her chest. Her back was bent and her head was low. She wore sweats, a hat, and white ear bud cords. I've been seeing her for about six months now. It was almost painful to watch and I wondered what motivated her to get out and do this every morning.

I saw her again this morning. She wore the same sweats, the same hat, the same ear buds. But she looked different. This morning her back was straighter! Her little shuffle was more the gait of a runner! Her steps were more confident. I smiled and gave her a silent cheer as I drove past, looking forward to seeing her again tomorrow. The body that had looked old and wasted was no longer. And I understood.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Laughter is an instant vacation. ~Milton Berle

I hope to be on vacation all year.
Buon Natale e Buon Anno a tutti!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Anise and Walking

Anise prevents wrinkles
Walking exercises the brain.

Anise ~ according to Dr. Oz.

Walking ~ according to an "ongoing study which spans 20 years….." (San Jose Mercury News, Wed, 1 December 2010) "The more people moved, the higher their brain volume, a marker for brain health….. For healthy adults, walking at least 72 blocks a week (about six miles) can preserve brain volume and slow the risk of cognitive decline. Cognitively impaired adults needed to walk at least 58 city blocks a week (about five miles) to achieve the same results."

I'm going for a walk and then coming home to make some biscotti with anise seeds.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flexibility and Resiliency

"Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone know this, but no one can do it." ~ Lao Tzu

Relinquish your hold on experiences that don't serve you.
Be willing to let go and move on.
Be open to changes in your plans and have back up strategies.
Switch gears.