What a break! It seemed to last forever and ever--each day a brand new Sunday morning of sleeping in and being lazy. Considering neither Mr. C or I didn't ask for anything for Christmas, we sure did get a lot! Including a couple gift certificates to Lowe's, which were used up the very next day.

We've started phase 2 of the chicken compound--construction of the palace for our ladies. I'm looking into a suitable exterior low to no VOC paint, and we're adding cedar shingles to the roof. It's not exactly a "green" building, but we're using quality materials and a well thought out plan, in order to make it lasting as well as biodegradable (when the time comes).

Yesterday, as we were putting hinges and latches on, Camilla (the large, white, 3 year old Ameraucana) made herself a nest under the rain barrel in the monkey grass and laid her first egg since moving to her new home. It was a large marbled and misshapen pale blue egg, but what a beautiful surprise! The others gathered around watching and waiting as she hid her head and wiggled a little uncomfortably, no one seemed sure what was going on. C and I also watched and waited, though a little farther back, nervously, like anxious grandparents. Each egg is a wonder to us. We still hold them for a while, in amazement, feeling the warmth, admiring the beauty. Tootie, a 3 year old gold laced Wyandotte, seemed to want to get in on the laying action, too, but no eggs from her (yet!), just a lot of cackling and pacing--running to the nesting box and sitting. I wouldn't be surprised if there was one from her today.

While working on the new hen palace, I pulled a wheelbarrow full of invasive honeysuckle vine from the damp ground, root and all. I also noticed a few rooted fig branches in the path of where the run will be, so I dug them up and put them in gallon pots to be planted in the gardens we're working on around town--probably this spring. I love the thought of the inter-connectedness of place through roots. While not such an amazing feat, these transplants were potted in homemade compost and mulched with chicken litter from the coop. It doesn't get more local than that, which is a pretty good feeling.

Well, friends, it's time to get some work done, and get back into the 9-5 groove. I hope you all had just as nice a vacation as I did--what did you do? Did you get some quality time in?