An Egg-cellent Hobby ~ by Kristine Raymond
When Jocie invited me to write about my favorite hobby, I paused for a moment. Do I tell you about my love of crocheting? How walking the yarn aisle of a craft store elicits the same excitement I felt as a kid on Christmas morning? Or should I extol the joys of jewelry-making; of the hours spent stringing one colorful bead after another, basking in the accomplishment of a finished pendant? I could talk about Hügelkultur gardening, or bread-baking, or painting (pictures, not walls), or that woodburning kit I’ve yet to open, or…
Nah, why talk about any of that stuff? None of those hobbies currently occupy my time. What’s keeping me busy these days are chickens!
Yes, you read right. Chickens. And, guineas, too. My hankering for acquiring live poultry began last year, and the desire intensified about the time the pandemic hit. I mean, what’s better to have during a quarantine than your own egg-laying machines? Of course, by the time they’re old enough to lay eggs, this whole self-isolating thing will be over. One can hope, anyway. And lest you worry that the flock will be kept in small cages solely for the purpose of providing breakfast, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s acres of free-range at the Raymond homestead.
I’d owned a variety of backyard birds many, many years ago – chickens, ducks, guineas, and peafowl – and was excited to begin the experience again. When two boxes of three-day-old chicks arrived at the post office in mid-April, I was in heaven, quickly settling sixty-seven peeping fluffballs into our spare bathroom. But it only took a few days before I was reminded of what I’d forgotten from the first time around – these tiny, fragile creatures eat NON STOP, and what goes in comes out in three times the quantity.
In a weeks’ time, they’d doubled in size, draining their food and water supply faster than I could replenish it. Their delicate peeps developed to hearty chirps, and their need to vocalize outweighed their need to eat and poop. Almost. After a month indoors, it was time to move them to their permanent – outdoor – home; an old herb garden repurposed into a hen house.
While ‘the buzzards’, as I affectionally call them, were busy doubling in size seemingly hour-to-hour, I was siding the existing chicken-wired frame of the garden, installing roosts and hanging feeders, and securing a roof. (Side note – I’ll never make a living as a roofer. Thing leaks like a sieve.) Finishing up by spreading a thick layer of pine shavings on the ground and voilá, it was time to move in. With their new domicile offering more than ten times the space as our tiny bathroom, the birds took to it right away, exfoliating the weeds I’d left untrampled.
Next up – constructing an outdoor run so they can stretch their legs – and wings – in the fresh air (they’re still too young, i.e., small, to roam, so the free-ranging will have to wait a month or two) and building nesting boxes for all of those eggs I’ll be collecting (you know, the payoff to my investment). Though, now that I think about it, this hobby seems an awful lot like work!
Kristine’s latest release — FINNAGLED………
A secret message hidden inside of an antique wooden box, an unidentified dead body, and a mother determined to marry her off to the high school crush whom she hasn’t seen since…well…high school. There’s no doubt about it; Finn Bartusiak’s life in the seaside town of Port New is about to get interesting.
Coming into possession of a 19th-century, bronze and mahogany writing box under somewhat suspicious circumstances, Finn’s accidental discovery of a coded note leads her and Spencer Dane, bestselling novelist and love of her life (though he doesn’t know it yet), on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the jumble of letters. But they’re not the only ones interested in the cryptic message. There’s a con man on their trail, and he’ll stop at nothing, including murder, to claim the ‘treasure’ for himself.
Buy link – https://books2read.com/finnagled
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
It wasn’t until later in life that Kristine Raymond figured out what she wanted to be when she grew up, an epiphany that occurred in 2013 when she sat down and began writing her first novel. Sixteen books in multiple genres later, she’s added the title of podcasting host to her resume, thus assuring that she will never be idle.
When a spare moment does present itself, she fills it by navigating the publishing and promotional side of the business. When not doing that, she spends time with her husband and furbabies (not necessarily in that order) at their home in south-central Kentucky, reads, or binge-watches Netflix.
And for links to podcast episodes, guest posts, and other great stuff, check out Word Play with Kristine Raymond at www.wordplaypodcast.com.