About Me

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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bunnies, and corgis, and...chickens? Oh, my!

It's no secret that I long for the life of modern homesteader. I bake bread, I grow herbs, I spin my angora rabbit's fur into yarn. But with our semi-nomadic lifestyle, and settling down on to a piece of land of our own still over a decade away, much of my longing remains unfulfilled. To really reap the rewards of permaculture, you have to be, well, permanent.

Recently(very recently, in fact), Mr. Bear and I decided to take our relationship to the next level. We thought about it carefully, considered the possible consequences and decided we were ready.
We're in love, we're stable, we're getting chickens.

On our recent trip to Portland, we stopped by the Urban Farm Store, where I fell in love with the new baby chicks they had in stock.

That's chicken-smitten, right there.

We'd been talking about getting some chickens for a while. We contacted our city's zoning office to find out what regulations we're working under, and talked to our landlord and our neighbors. Luckily for us, in our area, hens are considered a household pet and allowed, and our landlord and neighbors were on board. Interacting with the chicks and talking to the people at the Urban Farm Store really got us thinking seriously, and shortly after we got home, I found a nice little coop up for sale on Craigslist. 

 The woman who sold it to us has a large flock of about 50 birds on her property, of all breeds and sizes! She has proved to be very friendly and a great resource when we have questions. Additionally we have several friends who have also kept chickens, and after talking over breeds with them, we settled on Easter Eggers, Silver-laced Wyandottes, and Cuckoo Marans. With some help from my generous mother, I placed an order with My Pet Chicken, and we should be getting a box of little peep-peeps in just a few weeks!

 We've decided to modify this coop into a chicken tractor. Mr. Bear and I will build a run to attach to the coop once we lift it up and put some legs underneath, similar to Butters' bunny hutch. Then we'll be able to move the coop around the yard every few days, sparing the vegetation the total annihilation that would come with a stationary coop, and providing the chickens with better forage. Since I'm home most of the day, they'll have full run of the yard(minus the raised beds, which will be protected by a hoop house once they've been planted) and only be restricted to the run when absolutely necessary.

 I'm looking forward to truly free-range eggs(don't be fooled by the labels on the egg cartons at the grocery store...) and clucking hens in the yard. Of course, I intend to paint the coop fabulously! After all, Easter Eggers lay such beautifully colorful eggs, and Cuckoo Marans and Laced Wyandottes are so flashy, their home should be just as fabulous as they are! 

To that end, I've been gathering some chicken coop inspiration:

Kippen House. I love the lime green, and the green roof!

Ana White. I adore the hanging plants, shutters, and contrasting lid on the nesting box. Do you love it, too? She offers the plans for this shed coop free!

 One Tree Photography. I love so much about this one. The white trim. The picket fence. The contrasting red and turquoise(our wedding colors, after all!).

Todd Bowser via Backyard Chicken. Todd spent a chunk of time and a pretty penny building this coop, and it is stunning! You should see the inside, there's a chandelier! I love the shingled roof, the clean white color, the gabled run, and the hanging ferns.

So much to think about...

In the meantime, my swagbucks tally has earned me enough to get start-up feed, grit, waterer, feeder, and diotomaceous earth for the new chicks for free! If you want in on that free action, scroll to the bottom of this blog and check out the Swagbucks widget. Sign up through that and you'll be helping your blogger out, too!

See you soon(maybe even with some baby chicks)!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Burlesque is in Town!!!(With a Raffle!)

Hello, darling burlesque kittens! Knitty van Tassle here to co-opt Bird Hearts Bear for a moment. 

As you may or may not be aware, yours truly will be performing on November 2 in
Burlesque From Beyond
The show is an homage to comic book and genre fiction, with some truly amazing acts.

There will be Avengers, aliens, silent-film pastiches and nods to the great science-fiction and horror works we know and love. In celebration of all the wonderful geekiness, I have decided to hold a raffle!

I have, in my possession as we speak, a number of limited-edition presale tickets to the show! If you get your tickets through me(payment via PayPal) they will be $10, as opposed to $15 at the door. Additionally, every ticket you purchase enters you into a drawing to win one of three fabulous prizes!
Prize one; a custom rhinestone necklace in your choice of colors.
Prize two; a set of custom show-quality pasties, fir for the stage!
Prize three; a deluxe comic book-inspired fascinator!

A show and a fabulous one-of-a-kind burlesque fashion piece to go with it? It's a steal! Plus, every ticket sold goes to support independent artists, including yours truly!  Simply click on the PayPal donation button there on the left of the blog just below my profile, and include the line "Burlesque tickets" along with your mailing address under the "Add special message to recipient" link, and voila! Tickets will be on their way to you and you will be entered into the raffle!

Winners will be announced October 24th, and prizes will be mailed the same day.

I hope to see some of you lovely readers at the show!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Portland is for Lovers

Mr. Bear and I have taken multiple honeymoons this summer. It was originally supposed to just be one huge month-long trip, but we worried we'd get burnt out, so we broke it up into three week-long excursions. Our final stop was Portland, Oregon, which is also our long-term destination once Sgt. Husbear retires in 10 years. So long to wait...but I digress.

One of our favorite stops to make is breakfast at the Waffle Window.

Mr. Bear preferred the sweet Banana Caramel Sundae, while I favored the savory Farm Fusion.

Across the street from the Waffle Window is an awesome vintage clothing store called The Red Light, which you may notice is painted in our wedding colors! I found a fabulous red and white checked tennis dress there.

Later the first day, we took Ponyo to Fernhill Park, a dedicated off-leash dog park. She was fairly indifferent to it, considering herself to be a people and not a dog. Mostly she was perturbed that we kept allowing other dogs to sniff at her.

She did seem to enjoy being out in the park with us, however. I remember when getting her to go for walks was like pulling teeth. Our little rescue girl has come a long way.

After the park, we checked in at The Kennedy School, where we stayed in Miss Kinney's room. If you've never stayed in an elementary school that has been converted into a quirky hotel, I highly recommend it.

 Mr. Bear had fun doodling on the original chalkboards in our room.

I loved the strange art all over the halls.

And a nice scotch and cigar in the Detention Bar, where all the cool delinquent kids hang out.

Saul Williams performed at the Doug Fir, which was a highlight of the trip. I remember hanging out with him after the show he did at SFCC several years ago, when he bought us pizza. Mr. Bear had never seem him perform before, and was duly impressed. I'm excited for his new movie.

We found a new favorite place to eat; the Tin Shed garden cafe, where dogs aren't just allowed, they're served! The food was amazing! Ponyo had grilled chicken and rice, which she promptly devoured.

No trip to Portland is complete without book shopping at Powell's. We left with a bag of swag.

From there we visited the Yarn Garden, where I found a gorgeous skein of self-striping yarn in summer carnival colors, while Mr. Bear relaxed on the sofa.

The day's haul:

Later in the week we took Ponyo for a walk through Laurelhurst Park, which was lovely and full of ducks to chase.

My favorite part of Friday was looking at the brand-new baby chicks at The Urban Farm Store. I was pretty smitten with them. I can't wait for a small flock of our own, and the fresh eggs!

I would name this one Mozart.

 Saturday, we got up bright and early for a walk around Broadway. We found this ingenious corgi sculpture made from tools. I love the ears! Ponyo was wholly unimpressed.

Continuing the dog theme, around the corner from the corgi was a mobile doggy day care bus.

 The highlight of Broadway, for me, was Twisted. Easily the best yarn shop in Portland, so says I! I left with a skein of sunny yellow wool and a bottle of citrus Soak in my purse.

We took a day trip to the beach at Seaside, where Lewis and Clark concluded their great expedition to the ocean.

Ponyo hates the water, poor girl.

And we always conclude our visits to PDX with Voodoo Doughnuts.
Good things come in pink boxes. ;)

All in all, a most fabulous conclusion to our honeymoon adventures. Someday I'll get around to editing and posting a handful of the some 5,000 pictures we have from the first two legs of our honeymoon. And then the wedding photos...oh look! Doughnuts!

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