My daughter said once that we have lots of grew New Leaf Nickie, the blog intended to capture most of our adventures. If you've landed here, welcome to life with New Leaf Nickie on Havoc Hill Farm.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I really did it! Here's proof!

So, earlier this year I share that one of my aspirations was to run a 5K.  Mind you, 3.1 miles, I realize, isn't that far, but for someone who'd never actually ran more than one mile in the prime of her youth (yea...I don't really know when that was), 3.1 miles is pretty damn far! 

In April, I did it!  I ran my first 5K ever!  I followed the Couch to 5K program (very highly recommended) and completed my first 5K in 29 minutes.  That's less than a 10 minute mile!  What?  Can I get a hell-to-the-yeah!?  Nope, not too proud to gloat...not me.

Sadly, I don't have any pics to share of that glorious moment.  But, alas, I do have this...

This is my SECOND 5K.  Yep, I was stupid enough to do it again!  This time, with the lack of regular running and the scorching heat, I eeked out a 34:41 time. 

But, there's this one too...
Yep, that's my daughter!  I'm so stinkin' proud of her.  Her first 5K was completed in just over 25 minutes.  This one she managed in just under 30 minutes.  She's awesome!

Oh, yeah, and there's these too!

Not only did I discover the world of running, my sister and most favorite cousin/bestie did too.  This is them racing running next to each other.  Sis is on the left in the yellow tank and Bestie is on the right in pink.  ( By the way, see that guy in the flourescent green/yellow socks?  Those aren't socks...they're leg warmers, probably meant to help his calves in some crazy fashion, but really...leg warmers?  It was 92 degrees at 8 am!  Oh well, he was lapping my sis and bestie at this very moment, so it's probably safe to say he knew what he was doing.)
And, for any non-believers out's my Babe cranking out his first 5K!   

This day was most certainly one of the best days of the summer (so far).  Couldn't be more proud of my family and myself!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Next Stage of my Love Affair

So I posted about my love affair, but what I didn’t tell was that there’s more to the story. Not only have four bunnies found a nook in my heart, so did seven of these:

I know, I know…seriously, Nickie, chickens? I asked myself the same question. How these chickens came into my life wasn’t exactly like the bunnies. I looked at the baby chicks and thought, “Awwww, how adorable.” And then… I. Walked. Away. I walked away; Joe, however, did not. Here’s how I remember the story of how the chickens came to be:

Joe: (looking at the chicks) Do you want to get some chicks?

Me: We’re not ready yet.

J: Are you sure?

Me: Yes, where would we put them?

J: In the barn.

Me: Where? We don’t have a stall cleaned out yet. We’re not ready.

And we (I)walked away. We (I) was on a mission to find the perfect bunny cage material. I wanted the perfect setup and had better things to do than goo and gaa over some baby chicks. A few minutes later, our (my) search for cage material returned us to the vicinity of the chicks.

J: You’re sure?

Me: Yes, we’re not ready yet.


Again, we (I) walked away. Supplies carted up, we’re now on our way to the checkout, which by the way is NOT in the direction of the chicks, but at the chicks we ended up.

J: So, no chicks, huh?

Me: FINE! If you want chicks, get the chicks. You’ll just have to figure out a place for them until they can do into the barn.

And, so goes the story of how I ended up with a box of seven two-day old chicks on my lap on the way home.

As you can imagine, being true to my animal-lovin’ self, I fell in deep like with the chicks. Not love…it’s hard to love a chicken…but a deep like. So, for the first two weeks of their little lives, they lived here:

Getting desperate for a larger space for them, I resorted to this:

Who knew you could build a cage from PVC pipe, chicken wire and zip ties? Well, apparently this guy did; but I certainly didn’t…until the need arose. As my daughter and I were building this cage, she says to me, “Mom, this is more like doing arts & crafts than building something.” I say, “Why? Because we’re using zip ties instead of a hammer, nails and wood? Improvise, my dear.” Hopefully that’s a lesson that will help her in life!

For several more weeks, the chicks lived in this awesome PVC cage. Until finally, Joe cleaned the stall in the barn for them. This is where they continue to live and will hopefully supply me, and the rest of my family, with farm fresh eggs.

The lesson to be learned here is this:  You never know what you're ready for, until you jump in and find out.  It's the getting ready part that counts.  Oh, and stay tuned, I have LOTS more critter stories to share as life on Havoc Farm grows.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Love Affair

Oh my gosh, where do I start…so much to update! Hmmm, I guess I’ll start HERE!

On March 31, 2010, my life changed. I took off work early that day to do my monthly yard duty at my kids’ school. It was the last day before Easter break. I should have known better and remembered what was waiting for me last year.  I should have just stayed at work. But I didn’t. What I did was succumb to this…

Tater Tot as a bitty baby

And so my love affair began. How could I possibly resist the incessant pleas of my children? How could I say no to such an adorable creature? It was simple. I couldn’t. And so began my love affair with not one, but five, baby bunnies.

Spooks as a baby, the only male of the group

It didn’t take long for them to outgrow the indoor sleeping arrangement. It didn’t take long for them to outgrow the temporary outdoor cages on my front porch. It didn’t take long for me to make special trips to the food store for just the right “greens” for them. And it didn’t take long for them to find a special little nook of my heart just for them. My sister, the one I used to chase around the house with a box turtle, even likes them. Yes, Tammy, I’m talking about you!

Fiver and Tater Tot "hiding" in the grass

Unfortunately, during our time of learning about keeping bunnies as pets, we learned a sad lesson. Apparently bunnies need A LOT of fiber…it’s what keeps them hydrated. If they don’t eat enough of their pellets and hay/alfalfa, they get dehydrated. We found this out too late to save our sweet, adorable Patches. He was the cutest of them all, but we (I) now know the proper feeding regimen to ensure the rest of the bunnies are happy and healthy.

People ask me what I’m going to with these bunnies and how I’m going to prevent the inevitable (you know what they say about bunnies…). For now, Spooks, our only male, stays quarantined from the girls. Who knows, maybe next Easter, YOU’LL be the one who can’t say no to the adorable face! Until then, I’ll continue my love affair while dreaming up ways to grow my little zoo and maybe even charge admission. :)

Rainy...don't tell the others, but she's my favorite!

You know, my kids think they outsmarted me the day I said, “Sure, we can have a bunny.” Secretly, I know the real reason these bunnies came to be our pets. My little nook needed fillin’.