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PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

One bad day: Preparing to process chickens for the first time

on Sept. 24, 2016, at 11:33 a.m.
I’ve tried three times in my life to be a vegetarian. The longest I ever made it without eating meat was about 9 months. One day, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I went to a local burger joint and scarfed a giant cheeseburger. It was so good, and though …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

There’s always a reason: Understanding versus punishing our kids in school

on Sept. 20, 2016, at 9:52 a.m.
When my son was 4 years old and in preschool, he was sent to the principal’s office a few times. Part of me was confused that a toddler could even be sent to the principal’s office, but another part of me was really, really worried. As an educator, I knew …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Fine. I’ll stop kissing chickens.

on Sept. 18, 2016, at 2:32 p.m.
Just this week, a new report was released from the CDC stating that salmonella cases from chicken kissing and snuggling, as well as from chickens living in our homes, is on the rise. It’s a reality that people love chickens, and I know why. I love our girls. They’re funny, …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Frugality and gardening: How to save your seeds

on Sept. 13, 2016, at 8:25 p.m.
If you remember way back to the beginning of the summer, I was doing some major planting in our garden. Because my husband was building a giant fence for our chicky girls, a lot of the planting fell to me and my teenage son, who is not nearly so outdoorsy …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Back to school with your kids: 5 ways to get involved

on Sept. 09, 2016, at 9:12 p.m.
Last year, I quit my full-time job to become a homeschooling mom, and it has been a rewarding experience so far. I was a teacher for nearly 20 years, and, now, I get to teach my most favorite student ever. It has also given me an opportunity to remember that …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Governor LePage: A missed opportunity to set a good example

on Aug. 31, 2016, at 3:49 p.m.
I wish I could talk to my little boy about Paul LePage. There is so much potential for a great story and important lessons about hard work and the kindness of others, but I can’t. As a mom, I’m frequently ashamed of our governor, and I can’t tell his story …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Making Maine traditions at the Blue Hill Fair this weekend

on Aug. 31, 2016, at 8:47 a.m.
I know it sounds crazy, but, growing up, I never went to a fair, not one—at least not that I can remember. We just weren’t that kind of family. So, when my husband and I moved to Maine and I discovered all the fairs every summer, I was insistent. I …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Summertime sadness: Saying goodbye to the Maine summer

on Aug. 27, 2016, at 1:43 p.m.
It turned chilly outside this week. After a very long and very hot summer, you would think I would be thankful. I am, after all, a Texas girl who moved to Maine, in part, to escape the heat. But, today, I feel the melancholy—the melancholy for summer that I feel …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Surviving freshman year: 5 tips to help prepare your child for the first year of college

on Aug. 18, 2016, at 11:25 p.m.
It’s about that time—back to school time—and if you’re a parent of a child who is either going off to college or staying home for college, you may be wondering what you can do to help with your child’s success. After all, the first year is the most difficult. It’s …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

A Dilemma of Ducks: Not All They’re “Quacked” Up to Be

on Aug. 12, 2016, at 9:08 a.m.
This week, I have my first guest blogger post. My husband, Ron Sands, agreed to write about our duck ducks for me. I’ve been wanting to devote a post to the ducks for months, but I’ve found myself unable to do the duck ducks justice. The duck ducks are really …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Building a mobile chicken coop

on Aug. 07, 2016, at 12:39 p.m.
This week was a big week for the Sands “Coop”eration. My husband built a mobile chicken coop for our broilers we purchased last month. The babies had been living in the brood box but were big enough to make the move outside, and we needed something sturdy for them to …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

A yummy but easy blueberry muffin recipe just in time for blueberry season

on July 29, 2016, at 5:48 p.m.
So blueberry season is now upon us in Maine. One of the reasons I love the Maine summer is that we have three berry seasons: We start with strawberry season; then the raspberries come; and we end on blueberries. We kind of have a fourth season of summer in Maine, …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Celebrate books and Harry Potter this weekend at The Briar Patch

on July 27, 2016, at 1:39 p.m.
I’ve been keeping this blog for a few months now. While I’ve written about everything from chickens to children to recipes, I’ve yet to write about books, and books are a very important part of who I am as a person and a mom. Even though I’m no longer a …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Random Acts of Kindness

on July 16, 2016, at 6:58 p.m.
This week was a tough week for me. I learned that my main part-time job, the one that was going to come with some health insurance, is not likely to be funded. This is especially problematic for us, as it seems I have an ulcer, which is just no fun …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

It’s time to stop seeing the world in black and white

on July 12, 2016, at 8:39 a.m.
My husband and I moved to Maine for a job, but we stayed because we loved it here. One of the things we love about Maine is how it feels like such a safe, supportive place to raise our family and start our small family farm. But I grew up …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Remembering to dream big

on July 10, 2016, at 12:51 p.m.
This week, I’m late with my post. I have a very good reason for being late. My youngest, my baby, turned 7 this weekend! I actually spent Friday feeling a little guilty that I had not managed to get my blog post up on time, but then I remembered what …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Lessons I’ve learned from my chickens about being a mom

on July 02, 2016, at 8:47 a.m.
It has been just over a year since we brought home our first baby chickens, and they’re all big girls now. We got another set of babies in March, but they’re almost big girls, and just this week, they moved into the “big girl house,” the chicken coop. I was …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

Trump’s offensive rhetoric not appropriate for general audience

on June 29, 2016, at 1:27 p.m.
In light of Donald Trump’s visit to Bangor today, there has been a lot of attention on Trump, with much talk about the presidential hopeful on the news. Even though I am only a somewhat political person, I would normally be excited about a local visit from a presidential candidate. I would talk to my children about it and use such a visit as an opportunity to teach my children about the presidential campaign, important elections, and the democratic process. But I find myself “laying low” about this visit.
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

5 ways to keep your kids curious about learning during summer vacation

on June 24, 2016, at 8:21 p.m.
I’m a former university professor, and I spent nearly 20 years teaching freshmen in college. One of the biggest lessons I learned from my students is that something is happening somewhere in our school systems that makes many children lose their curiosity toward learning. Of course, I’m not saying this …
PAJAMAS, BOOKS, AND CHICKENS

On Strawberry Scones

on June 17, 2016, at 12:59 p.m.
It’s strawberry season here in Maine, and strawberries are my favorite fruit. Of course, during blueberry season, I’m convinced blueberries are my favorite fruit, but strawberries and I go way back. When I was little, I loved strawberries with a passion, but, when I was growing up, we didn’t have …