While Julia Was Away, The Roosters Did Play

Remember the chicks Julia raised last fall in the laundry room? Well two of the four turned out to be roosters, Pete and Jack. This was somewhat disappointing as that obviously reduced the number of eggs we thought we would be getting. However they were very handsome birds and we got over our disappointment. Then we went up to Washington to celebrate the girl’s birthdays and those naughty roosters had a party of sorts.

When we left, the roosters were about five months old. We thought this was still young that they wouldn’t be fertilizing eggs yet. Oh what sneaky birds.

By the time we got home, Fauna was sitting on a clutch of thirteen eggs. Several days after that, this little one hatched. Since then, no more eggs have hatched. This is a lousy yield for sitting on thirteen eggs. We haven’t ever hatched eggs but our suspicion is that she added eggs, and allowed the other hen, Flora, to add eggs to the clutch for too long so the hatch dates are really strung out. Chicks take 21 days to hatch from the eggs. Poor Fauna has been sitting on these eggs for 28 days now.

Fauna and her wee one.

She has decided she is really over this whole broody, sit-on-the-eggs, thing and keeps kicking eggs out of the clutch (which means she doesn’t think they are viable so she pushes them out and lets them get cold). Julia tosses those eggs when she finds them. At this point, Julia doubts any of the other eggs will actually hatch. In order to prevent any more hanky panky, Julia put an ad up on Craigslist and quickly gave Pete and Jack to a good home in need of a couple of fine roosters.

Now that Pete and Jack are gone, Julia was really hoping for more eggs to hatch so we would have more than four laying hens. We don’t know what Fauna’s little one is, rooster or hen, so she decided to buy two more chicks. They are a week old. She placed one with Fauna and her baby but Fauna just gave her the side eye, “Just exactly what are you doing here? You are not my chick.” She wasn’t mean to her and let her scratch around and eat, but as a mama hen, she needs to take the babies and keep them warm by sitting over them along with the eggs until they mature. This is sooo cute – when we go out there, we can see the baby peeking out from under Fauna. It didn’t look like she was going to take the new chicks in with her own. Understandable as Fauna has had a lot going on lately and it was just too much to ask of this mama. So once again, we have chicks living in the laundry room.

Now that we have covered what is happening with the animals, lets check on the sewing projects!

RSC 2021 blocks

Crowded on my very tiny design wall are the completed blocks for my RSC 2021 project. I am really liking the blocks so far. I have played with the sized of the center diamond so they are not going to all be the same. The outer diamonds will be the same though. I have done three of each color but may need to add more. I don’t think 33 blocks (3 x 11 months) will be enough. Not sure yet though. I have plenty of time to figure that out.

Here is the stretch knit I put under the hole in the jeans.

The next project I want to share is my first attempt at visible mending. All the rage these days, sewists are hand stitching various mending projects so they are decorative. (As opposed to the idea of trying to carefully mend something so no one knows it was stitched back together.) Months ago, I bought a pair of jeans at Ross. They fit well and were a bargain but they have holes in them which is trendy these days. I tried to wear them with the holes but I didn’t like it. It always felt like there was a pudgy pop of flesh in that hole when I was sitting down. I am not a fan of that look. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don’t you love my Doll Like Me shirt???

I am much happier with the jeans now that I stitched the hole up. I know I will wear them a lot more now. If you love my shirt, you too can sport one! Click here to check them out. Portions of the proceeds go directly to A Doll Like Me to support Amy’s ever important doll-making process.

Cal Poly Alums and a new Cal Poly student!

In other news, as you likely know, Julia has been home since March, 2020 taking classes on-line. She withdrew from UC Davis because it didn’t seem appropriate to pay such expensive tuition while she was taking classes from home. When it came time to apply to go back to school (in fall of 2021) she decided she wanted to switch universities and go to Cal Poly. While visiting Andrew up in Washington, she found out she was accepted! We are all so excited. I graduated from Cal Poly in 1982. Andrew and Ian (two of my sons) also graduated from there. Julia will be joining the ranks soon!

Do you want the backstory on the matching t-shirts? I thought so!

Mark and I at our apartment in San Luis Obispo, circa 1982

Back when I was a newly married student at Cal Poly, had this t-shirt. I wore it all the time – until it was deemed unwearable. On the horns of the bull, it said “Cow Poly”. Cal Poly stands for California Polytechnic and it has a huge agriculture component in its academic offerings. Hence the “Cow Poly” joke.

Well a while back, I was scanning old photos and sending them to my kids; one of them was the picture above. I told the kids how much I loved this shirt. I have looked for it on vintage college t-shirt websites to no avail. Well, may I just say, I have some pretty amazing kids. My middle son, Kyle, decided to recreate it. He first called the Cal Poly Alumni Association to try and get design files or to see if the t-shirts were available in any fashion. He couldn’t find anything so he drew the design himself and had the shirt made. Since the siblings knew he was making them, the Cal Poly alumni ( current and future) decided they wanted the shirts too. (Julia was superstitious and decided not to wear hers until she was accepted.) The only difference between our shirts and the original is Kyle added ‘class of 1982′ to the bottom of the design, honoring my graduation date. The kids’ t-shirts also have that on the front which I think is kinda cute. Another example of an awesome handmade gift!

OK – this has gotten to be quite a long post. I will catch you up on other sewing projects soon. If you have read all the way to the end, thank you for hanging in there!!

Linking up with So Scrappy and Oh Scrap, among others. Check out my Linky parties at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

34 thoughts on “While Julia Was Away, The Roosters Did Play

  1. Wendy Tuma

    Well, golly, there was a lot happening at your place while you were enjoying the littles in Seattle! Two roosters! What?! I know nothing about raising chickens, so thoroughly enjoyed learning about broody hens, rejected eggs, and all that. How interesting! And I see that you must be somewhat attached to jack & Pete with that little rooster block on your design wall ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the Cow Poly shirts and your son’s creative thinking. When you come to visit Northfield, you’ll be right at home – our city’s motto? Cows, Colleges and Contentment. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      ” Cows, Colleges and Contentment” That is my kind of place!! I love college towns, cows and for the most part I am usually quite content! I want to come visit.
      Glad you enjoyed the post. There is always something going on. You spied that little rooster fabric on the board.It was a sample sent to me and I just love it.I need to think of something fun to do with it. It is not huge, maybe 4″x6″ or so?

      Reply
  2. Elana goldberg

    Bernie, your post makes me smile. I love those busy roosters helping to create a pop up chick!! The fun you must all have with this animal journey!!! I always thought it would be fun to raise chicks but I think Iโ€™m not destined for it with us having a dog. Iโ€™ll happily live vicariously through your tales. Itโ€™s a joy to see your life so full with family, animals and love!!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Elana – nice to hear from you. ๐Ÿ™‚
      We have had chickens and dogs. Really it isn’t an issue. We have lots of predators in the area (bobcats, raccoons and foxes) but Ray built a really sturdy coop and we do not let the hens free range. The coop is large enough for the hens to have room to roam around. So if you ever decide you really want to try raising chickens, it is definitely possible. Have a wonderful day!

      Reply
  3. Carol Westover

    What a cool story about Cal Poly! And I love the baby chick… aren’t they awesome? Hoping this chick is a she and not a he! LOL Also like your new diamond pattern. Neat…

    Reply
  4. Sandra Ealker

    What a thoroughly enjoyable read this was! I just love the shirts even more because I know the backstory. We are considering getting a couple of hens. We used to have them years ago when the kids were small and I loved fresh eggs, but also my two fancy Silky chickens who didnโ€™t lay but were so pretty! Glad you were able to find a home for the boys so quickly!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      I am glad we live rurally which makes it easy to do things like this. I know lots of areas allow for backyard chicken coops though. Do you have any issues keeping them warm? We feel bad when we have a cold snap in the winter and sometimes will put a heat lamp in the coop. Have a great day Sandra. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  5. Diann@LittlePenguinQuilts

    Lots of fun and interesting things going on at your place, Bernie! I enjoyed reading about your chicken adventures and your neat t-shirts, too. It has been such a strange time for all students and teachers, and I sure hope Julia is thriving with her classes in spite of it all. Your RSC blocks are great – they’re going to make an interesting design! I ordered from your shop recently, and realized you were still gone visiting the grands, but it came quickly anyway, so I think you must be magic! Thanks, always, for the great service!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Diann, I have a very magical friend who comes over and ships my orders when I am gone. I am so grateful to Sophia. She is also a quilter and is happy to help. Thank you for the orders. I really appreciate your patronage. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  6. Quiltdivajulie

    Awesome post – full of so much good stuff. Happy Jack and Pete have new homes! Congrats to Julia on her new destination.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Julie – I was somewhat surprised and quite pleased at how easy it was to give Pet and Jack away. The person who wanted them lets his hens free range and uses roosters for protecting the hens. As long as you gather the eggs daily, it doesn’t matter if they have been fertilized. So he was tickled to come and pick the boys up. Learn something every day. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  7. SarahZ

    So much fun going on in your neck of the woods! The wee chick is adorable…never a dull moment with chickens๐Ÿ’— Love the qip(quilt in progress…why is that not a thing??) and the wonderful shirts/kids! Happy daysโ˜บ๏ธ

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Happy days for sure Sarah. QIP totally makes sense and I say we start using it!! Consider it now a thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  8. JanineMarie

    Well, this was a fun read!! Iโ€™ve never passed up a book of peopleโ€™s stories about raising chickens. So entertaining. (So maybe you or Julia could write one?)

    I like how your diamonds are looking. Iโ€™m doing a low key version of RSC this year, too (which is more than the zero I did last year), so I may be supplementing with more blocks right along with you.

    Love the T-shirt story. Your family is so creative. And I think when students see them, you or Julia may get a T-shirt making side gig. Life for todayโ€™s college students will certainly be memorable. Sounds like Juliaโ€™s handled it well.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thanks Janine – Receiving the t-shirt made me so happy! What a sweet gift it was and now my Cal Poly kids have it too. Makes me smile for sure.
      I think raising animals of any sort results in many funny stories. Even fostering the dogs as Julia has been doing can be so funny.
      I need to sketch out how I want these RSC blocks set and figure out how many I should make of each color, or the colors I like best, know what I mean. They are going to finish at 6″ x 12″ – if I am remembering right (?) so it won’t be hard to figure out. Should be a pretty quilt though. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  9. Cheree Hull

    I’ve never hatched our own chicks before but want to sometime. (Right now we have more than we need!)
    Did the other hens actually leave the chicks alone? Had a bad outcome introducing a couple chicks (older tho) too soon but so often I see chicks among all the hens. I’m afraid to try it again but maybe that was just a freak thing?! Fun post, lots going on!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      In order to get the mama some privacy while sitting on the clutch of eggs, Julia and Ray temporarily walled off one of the nesting boxes and put a small feeder and waterer in that section for her. She wanted to let Fauna have space to deal with the chicks without the other hens laying eggs in there (which they were doing). We don’t release the chicks in with the other hens until they are older (pullets) – we usually put them in when they are 8 to 10 weeks old. We have had some issues but for the most part it has gone smoothly.

      Reply
  10. Bobbiesews

    Great post-love the chicks story. Keep us posted please. My oldest son was a “never get your hands dirty” guy-till he fell in lve with a gal on a farm…… I learned from his wife about buying the baby chicks and not knowing gender til they grew.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      When chicks are bought at a feed supply store they are (for the most part) sexed so you can be relatively certain you are buying hens. However Julia bought these from a local guy who had hatched chicks and they were not sexed (this is called ‘straight run’) . So she had a 50/50 chance for roosters or hens and as it turned out she got 2 roosters and 2 hens. Oh well. Chickens are pretty easy to have around and we do love the fresh eggs!

      Reply
  11. Cathy Kizerian

    Oh my goodness! I went to Cal Poly too! Iโ€™m sure, given where you live, that youโ€™re referring to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, right? I went to Cal Poly – Pomona. I was a Marketing major, class of โ€˜76. Anyway, I know all about the Cow Poly jokes (and the Cow Pile jokes too). Many years later, before I retired from the workforce, I worked for a regional building supplies firm that was named Calply. It took me weeks to get the name straight!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      How cool!! Yes, Cow Poly was a great place. The boys and I all went to the San Luis campus, as will Julia.
      It is a great town, so pretty out there. I am excited to have Julia there as it gives me a great reason to visit the area again!

      Reply
  12. Linda

    So you leave your house for a few days, and the chickens have a wild party – and babies! The baby chicks are certainly getting a good start under the care of Julia. ๐Ÿ™‚
    My granddaughter was supposed to learn embroidery from me (during the Christmas visit that got COVID-canceled) so that she can make her jeans look cool with stitched designs. How did you repair that hole? It looks great.
    Your kids are so talented – clapping hands with delight over your t-shirt. Congrats to Julia on her school switch!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Linda, The jeans were a fun project to figure out. I will do a short post on the process I used. Not that it is hard but maybe others will want to try it. Julia is very excited about the switch in universities and should be able to sign up for housing next week. It will be a good change for her!

      Reply
  13. Emily

    Poor Fauna, sounds like she had a rough go while you were in WA! I hope the roosters enjoy their new home. We have a few roosters in the neighborhood, we hear them on our walks.

    Love the custom t-shirt recreation!!!!! And congrats to Julia!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Pete and Jack were so noisy. It was just too much for me! We kept thinking, Jeez what will it sound like in summertime when all of the windows are open in the house?! I do not miss the constant cock-a-doodle-do-ing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Reply
  14. Mari

    Well, aren’t those roosters special? Always looking for a good time. I hope they enjoy their new home. At least the chicks are cute, even if Fauna is not up for adoptions right now. So much else to say! Love, love, love the t-shirts, love that Julia will be at your alma mater, and love the mending! And the Doll Like Me shirt! And the picture of a younger Bernie! This whole post brought a smile to my face. Happy spring!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Happy Spring to you Mari! Happy to hear you liked the post. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Today Ray and I get our first vaccine!! Never have I been so excited to receive a shot. Woohoo!!!

      Reply
  15. Pat @ Life in the Scrapatch

    This is such a fun post! You had me at the chickens and then there are those colorful diamond blocks … and then the jeans repair … and then the cute family t-shirts. So much to make me smile. Thank you for linking up … ๐Ÿ™‚ Pat

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Life is rarely dull, right Pat? Lots of things to keep us busy. Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  16. Angela Feldbush

    I do like the various sizes on diamonds inside your blocks. It makes them sparkle. So sweet of your kids to recreate your shirt. Such a nice remembrance. Glad your daughter is getting the college decision figured out. COVID has changed everything we thought we knew about what happens after high school. Hopefully classes will be back in person soon and they can start getting the full experience.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Angela, that is so true. COVID changed so many things! It looks like she will be back on campus and having in person classes. Yay!! She has had her first shot so by fall, she will be in good shape. Thanks a bunch for leaving a note. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  17. Deb A

    Oh boy – we were fortunate to not get roosters although we have way too many chickens and eggs! Love your blocks and congrats to your daughter!

    Reply
  18. Preeti

    Such a fun post with a handsome rooster, cute t-shirts, very pretty blocks and the smiles are the very best!!! Congratulations to Julia on her acceptance to CalPoly or CowPoly ๐Ÿ˜€
    I love your picture from ’82. Wishing you and yours a Happy Easter!!!

    Reply

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