Miss Murder Goes Glam


Totally dressed up. I’m the cock of the walk. Eggsellent! And some other horrible puns.


Welcome to Miss Murder’s Family Farm

My house is where unwanted animals magically appear. And I love it, I truly do.

I stayed up until 2:00 last night trying to get some words done. And I wrote 4,300 of them, which delights me. What did not delight me as much was waking up three hours later because of the chickens.

Yes, we have chickens again. A dear friend had to give hers up, and we chicken-sat a dozen for a week before we ended up keeping four.


Morning, ladies!

We have Jessica Fletcher (my friend took her when we had the dog, and we’re delighted to have Her Prissiness back!), Pork Bowl, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, and the bantam, which isn’t pictured here. She’s called The Bantam Menace. She’s gone all day and only comes back to eat and roost. Moocher.


Jessica Fletcher looking unusually regal in the sunrise.

Why were the chickens upset? Because of this beauty.



He’s a stray that wandered into our yard, and then decided to visit every morning. He’s letting me pet him, feed him, and today I took the brush and brushed the yuck out of his fur.


He’s sweet, affectionate, and look at how beautiful he is! I’m so happy he comes by. My husband is deathly allergic to cats, so I left the brush outside. Then I threw my clothes in the incinerator (er, washing machine) and took a shower before kissing hubby goodbye.

Then it was time to feed the bunnies, because. Bunnies. Thug Bunny was rescued from a shelter. He was another unwanted animal. Bunniculas Cage, whom the girls call Yum Yums, was intended to be rabbit meat. We bought him from a local feed store and promised never to eat him.


Thug Bunny and Yum Yums deign to eat from their hooman’s hand just this once.

Now it’s time to be soundly ignored by Rush the turtle, who wants nothing to do with us. Ever. She was given up by her owner several years ago, and has been silently loathing and judging me ever since.


She’s inside this log, flipping me off with all four feet. Just so I get the picture.

I love my animals. They give me joy, although perhaps more joy if they slept in. But the early morning furry/feathery/leathery snuggles make for a happy day.

What do you have wandering around in your home and yards? I’d love to know!


Miss Murder Easy DIY: Easy Ice Pops For Chickens!

IMG_4731People are telling stories of something called “Autumn” and “cool weather” and “pumpkin spice.” I know these things are all lies. In Las Vegas, we’re still wearing sun hats and sunglasses. I burn my feet on the pavement at least once a week, and my hands on the steering well about as often. So we’re still concerned with keeping our chickens nice and cool.

My friend turned me onto the easiest treat for them! Delicious corn ice pops! Aren’t you so jealous?

Don’t be. That’s weird. You can eat them as well, if you wanna. My daughter does.


You’ll need a muffin tin, frozen corn, and water.


Fill the tins about 3/4 of the way full with corn, and then fill it the rest of the way with water. Stick it into the freezer and freeze for a few hours. Voila! Delicious treats that will help cool your chickens down. They’ll have to peck through the ice to get to the corn, thereby saving themselves from dying out in the extreme heat. Plus they’ll love you forever. That’s always a good sign.IMG_4730Happy summer! Er, fall. Whatever it may be in your part of the world. 😉

And for those who have been asking, I do have a novel in mind where the main character raises chickens. These little ladies have clucked their way into my heart.

Hey. This Is How You Pick Up Chicks.

Nope, I’m not being sexist. I’m being literal, and it’s AWESOME.

baby chicks


This is also how you pick up chicks. 😛


The Angry Ginger, my friend Jamie, and I each have one to snuggle!

The Angry Ginger, my friend Jamie, and I each have one to snuggle!

We went and picked up five of the little darlings. Originally the plan was for four, but this tiny baby chick was being crushed into the corner by its siblings.

“We want that one,” I said.

“She probably won’t make it through the night,” the woman warned.

“Then we’ll take that other little one, too, so we’ll have the four after little Five Piece kicks the proverbial chicken bucket.”

Five Piece is doing beautifully. They all are. We now have a happy flock of five!


The chicks are, from left to right, Jessica Fletcher (the brown Araucana), Chicken Noodle (the white Araucana), Five Piece (the middle Golden Sex Link), Winner Winner (the Golden Sex Link on the right), and Peco (the black Australorp).

Peco was originally named “Pecker” by my six-year-old, but I didn’t need sweet, cherubic voices shrieking “Pecker!” around here. Since Littlest calls her “Peco” anyway, we just went with that.

Lest you worry, we’ll never, ever eat these chickens, despite their names. And yes, Jessica Fletcher is definitely the busybody of the group.

The chicks stay inside this container under a heat lamp at 95 degrees until their feathers grow in. These pictures were taken a few weeks ago, so they’ve actually moved outside to their chicken coop now. They seem super happy there!

Backyard chickens are much more common in Las Vegas than I realized. You’re not allowed to have roosters in city limits, but hens are just fine.


We wanted them for a number of reasons. Self-sufficiency. Responsibility for the children. Research for the next novel I’m starting, which has the working title of “The Kitchen Witch.” But really, this picture above says everything.

Do you have chickens? Any suggestions for newbies?

This Blog Should be Renamed “Homesteading in Stilettos”

Because we’re getting chickens.


That’s right. Chickens. Here in the middle of Las Vegas. In our backyard.

Backyard chickens.

The coop should be arriving any day. Hammer, nails, sweat, friends, and paint, and it will be standing soon.

Today we checked out chickens!


This little guy really wanted to come home with me.

We also checked out bunnies and baby ducks, just for fun. Oh my goodness! Cuteness overload!



It’s funny that I was raised in farm country and never thought anything of it. But now that I live in the city with pace and pulse and neon, I find myself longing for quieter things. Too city for the country and too country for the city. But at least I’m where I belong when I’m home. 🙂

Do any of you guys have experience with animals? Did you enjoy them? Any advice for us?