Saturday, September 29, 2012

Just Chickens

Summer may not feel like it is over here, but my hens have got the signal it is time to molt. No this is not them.
I would not post a picture of naked chickens on a family friendly blog. I have had to let them out during the day because I just feel so sorry for them panting in the coop, it is cooler out in the grass. Today when I went out to give them a snack of bread, it looked like the hawk had been there. I have to count and walk all over the yard and it is that they are just molting. My coop looks like every morning there was some kind of hen slaughter in the night. At least it is still warm while they are loosing feathers. I always feel so sorry for the ones who loose all of their feathers about the time the first frost arrives.

My Silkies are all grown up now. Today my husband was watching them race all over the yard like little kids. Have you ever noticed that little kids run everywhere? That is what these guys do, up and down and all over the yard. The roosters are so fuzzy now that they look like they are wearing furry chaps.

One thing I noticed about my hens when they molt is they turn into the weirdest chicken. It must hurt because they seem to get kind of sick they want to stay away from the other hens and they seem to scream a lot. I have also noticed that the one hen that was ostracized in the spring and they kept her feathers picked out so she was almost bald all year, is growing in feathers the other hens don't seem to notice.
 Every year it is a different hen on the bad list. I wish I knew what it was to put them there, but then I guess I would have to know chicken.

 The little black one continues to be my favorite. Even though the white rooster is very sweet. At least until the spring. I have caught him a couple times chasing the dog. The black one thinks I am his hen. He drops his wing and walks sideways up to me. He offers me choice sticks and leaves all the while telling me that they are good, good, good. He drops them and looks so disappointed I don't eat them.
I hold both roosters so that maybe they won't turn into little balls of feathers that attack me when I go to feed and collect eggs.

It has been a while since I wrote about my little flock. They continue to be such a nice diversion. Once it cools down, I won't have to worry about them dying for awhile.
I hope your Sunday is just a perfect day,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Today is Thursday, I want to be truly Thankful. I woke up in a happy mood. Then I read the weather report. I don't think I am going to read it anymore. Next week, this weekend, as far as the little radar things can tell, 97 to 101 even into October. Which is next week. My eyebrows are a little pointed. I am seriously considering going on vacation. There was snow on the Rockies yesterday. Okay enough whining.
Things I am thankful for today.

1. I have air conditioning.

2. I don't have to wash clothes on a scrub board.

3. We have grocery stores, because how dismal my garden was this year, we would starve.

4. Last night we had a little snake trying to get in the front door. It had worked it's way under the weatherstripping. My son saw it when he got home from work. My husband caught it and took it out to the pasture. I am so thankful I didn't have to catch it when I am here alone and I am very thankful it didn't make it into the house and take up residence.

5. I have lots of lovely people whom God has brought into my life. I am very, very blessed.

I really feel that my friend Sonja has the best post for how I feel today. Here is her blog.
Bits and Pieces

Then my other friend Dawn at Just One Life.Is going to enter and run a long distance race for 24 hours. Both of these posts speak volumes to me today.

I hope your Thursday is just fantastic!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chats on the Farm House Porch

It is time to visit with Patrice again on her farm house porch. I will admit, I am having fall envy. As I sit writing this post I am still wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt. The air conditioning is humming quietly in the back ground. I know that soon we will have a break but for now it is still summer.

Here is this week's questions:

1.    Please tell me a fond autumn memory. Or tell me something interesting you're doing now that fall is here.

 We really won't get fall until December. But the time the trees turn it will be almost Christmas. Isn't that terrible. I guess I need to try my hand at doing some memory making for fall.

 2.   What's your favorite kind of cheese?

Not a big fan of cheese.  Wait, I take that back, Cream Cheese. I love that stuff and I think I could eat a whole block.

3.    Have you ever been in a wedding, other than your own (if applicable)?

Oh gosh I was in so many weddings. I can't even remember how many but I had every color of the rainbow   bridesmaids dresses hanging in my closet for years. I was glad when my girls got big enough to play dress up.

 4.   Did you ever do anything as a child to earn money? (Lemon aid stand, crafts, mother's helper, chores, etc.)

I raised calves and helped my grand parents work. My grandparents bought a Jersey Milk cow for me named Susie, I got to keep the money when we sold her calf, then that went into a savings account starting when I was five. Then we worked raising steers, sheep and show cattle. We worked all of the time so I don't remember ever being without a job and then I went to work in my Dad's grocery store when I turned 17 but I still had to work on my Dad's farm during lambing and calving season.
5.    Do you wear a watch?
Always but I never look at it, I just wear it out of habit. I let my grandsons play with it when they come over. They like to turn the little button on the side.

Thank you to Patrice for this. Each week it is nice to let someone else do the thinking up a post for me.
I hope you have a wonderful week.


Everyday Ruralty

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fairy Rings and Other Stuff

Can you see that this is a fairy ring, sort of, if you look at it just right. This is from last year, I haven't had one this year as close to as good as this one. I have to tell you this cute story.
I have been watching a place in our yard where they mushrooms have come up. I kept watching and hoping some more would pop up and I would have a ring. Then I could go sit in the middle and wish for something really, really big. But it was 101 and no more mushrooms popped up.

I had gone in the garage to get something and I looked out in the yard through the window in the garage, and there was my husband out there picking the mushrooms in the yard, and he was shaking each one in a circle, so that I might get a fairy ring. I thought it was the sweetest thing I ever saw, even better than a dozen roses. I told him too.
But then my chickens ate them but it was the thought, right? Better than a real fairy ring.

I don't know if you have ever noticed by now that I am a terrible coward at night. I cannot make myself hardly go outside after the sun sets. We haven't seen very many skunks lately and I know I am getting lax in watching for them. Last night right before bed I decided to just take Sasha out without turning on any lights or taking a flash light. I don't know if you noticed but last night the moon was really bright. Not bright enough though like a full moon but bright enough so it casts shadows. Sasha won't go do her thing unless I am off the porch and sidewalk standing in the yard with her since all of the skunk encounters this summer. I walked off the sidewalk and she was standing behind me. I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, I yelled this kind of strangled scream as my whole body jumped sideways. Ron was coming out the back door as I made this sound and Sasha was trying to see what was causing all of this ruckus. Then to my chagrin, I realized it was my own shadow.
It would have been okay if it had been just Sasha and me but he saw the whole thing, the jump sideways, the alert dog and the scream. You know of course, he doubled over laughing right? Once I could breathe normally I did too. I never could get Sasha to go to the bathroom she kept staring into the dark for some creature that was sneaking around the yard.

After last week when I wrote my post about a ordinary day and the week was anything but ordinary, I didn't want to jinx this week so I waited until this day was almost over.
I know the calendar says fall now, but somewhere it hasn't made it to here. It was 101 yesterday.
My chickens think they are supposed to live permanently in the back yard. They think they are on vacation. I am getting maybe two eggs a day.

Just some odds and ends today. Have a great week!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Lovely Fridays

Don't you love Fridays? Outside I can hear the crows calling. It reminds me that tomorrow is the first day of Fall. The crows have been gone all summer and as fall approaches they have returned. They are in the top of an old pecan tree next door. The blue jays are not happy at all. They are scolding in the tree right outside the office. I love the pink color of this plant. It is called Boneset. We planted and replanted and only got one plant to come up. It is excellent for treating the symptoms of cold and flu.

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers and kind words. I thank you all for the gifts of encouragement you left us yesterday.

In the post I did a few of you asked what I do with those word plays, so I thought I would show you where I put them.

Do you remember when I made my Home sign? I added horseshoe nails to it and I hang those things I make on it and change them each month. Ladeda does a pattern of witches boots and I just love these boots so I have done two of them so far.

Here is a close up of this one.

I made this one and I still never got it framed so the other day I just turned into a pillow. I really liked this boot. The newest issue of  Just Crosstitch Halloween has the latest witch boot I need to do for this year.

I also worked on my rug a bit and I thought I would show you all of the progress I made. As I was taking pictures this morning, I do really like this rug. I hope to get some hooking in this week.

I made some other odds and ends this week, but I didn't feel like going and finding them.  I put that ABC hooked rug that I turned into a pillow this week for the school room.  Being up there all of the time now, it is driving me crazy because it needs a real going over. We have a couch up there that the kids won't let me get rid of but I am going to have to do something as I stare at it every day. The pillows on it are horrible. I made a new one but I need to make some more. The reason I don't stress about it too much is well, you know they get turned into missiles when someone looses a X box game. It is a school room during the day and a lair at night.

I am looking forward to a nice, calm, quiet, Friday.

I hope your Friday is the same,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finally Finished

Over a year ago I started doing these once a month Word Plays from Brenda Gervais and Country Stitches.

Today I finished the last one and it was September. I have been working on the Word Plays now for a year so today when I  put in the last stitch I felt like I had really accomplished something.

I have learned so much working on these each month and pushing myself to finish them before a new pattern came out. Now that I am finished I couldn't wait to show you all of them together.

There were months that I just couldn't stay true to the colors because I still don't know how to do counted cross stitch over linen. My eyes just can't see it. Then for April I just had to put a cross in the design because I wanted to have something to do with the Resurrection. I have about 12 skiens of white that I didn't use because I never used the right color for the pattern that Brenda recommended. Other than that I enjoyed doing this and find I miss it so much because I looked forward to what Brenda came up with month to month. Now I can get caught up on the other patterns that I put aside.
Here is a close up of the bunch of them.

So all finished now. Time to move on to other things, like rug hooking and making signs. I have a pile of wood cut waiting for it to be something. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch

It is time again to visit with Patrice on her farm house porch. I hope you enjoy this week's questions:


 1.   Do you prefer to wash dishes by machine or by hand?
I do both my pots and pans but I really do like my dishwasher.

 2.   Who has been the biggest inspiration to you?

I think I would have to say Elisabeth Elliot. She had a radio show on when my children were babies. She would talk and I would listen and I knew I needed my mind filled with Godly woman principles. I would listen to her and slowly I would understand. So much of things she taught were like a foreign language to me.  I really knew nothing nor did I even know what a Godly woman looked like. So she I think changed my life through her talks and her program Gateway to Joy.

3.    Have you been to any fall festivals or local fairs? Will you be going to any?

This year my husband wants to go to our County Fair. I haven't gone in a long time. But he wants to go see all of the Bonsai exhibits so we are going to go see that.
4.    Bath or shower?
Shower, I am not a fan of baths. I have this lovely bathtub but I am so short I can't reach from one end to the other so I always have this fear of drowning.  If I take a bath in it, it is only so I can clean it.  My grand kids love it though. I can put two or three kids in it with bubbles and they think it is a lovely swimming pool.

5.    Tell me something interesting you learned from a blog recently. Please:)

Oh I learn lots of stuff, I can't think of any one thing right now though.

Everyday Ruralty

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Morning

Every school year is different from the one before. I suppose that even days are always different from the one before and each day had it's own troubles. This year, I find I have little time for solitude. I love the word solitude. It speaks to me of quiet reflection, peace and quietness of the soul. My days are filled and often I feel like Susanna Wesley and I need to throw my apron over my head to pray.

When I was a young woman, I was always worried about having a ministry or having a job or all the things that seem important when you are young. I thought somehow I would miss it all by choosing to say home and raise my babies. How could anything that mundane be important?  One of the things I think this age causes in which we live is  to forget the quietness and peace of just living an ordinary life. In the book " Be Still My Soul, by Elisabeth Elliot she says " The way of the Cross is an ordinary street in an ordinary city. It is an ordinary life lived in the grace of God. There is a pot of gold there that is a king's reward, but it comes at the end of the journey."

As a woman who has spent the greater part of her life living an very ordinary life, just taking care of my family, waiting 20 years for my first report card which came when my daughter was accepted into college is a long time to wait to find out if your ordinary life mattered or not.

In the past,  I thought so much about if I was doing the will of God, but now I understand these words so much better than I did then. " Do you think the Shepherd is going to make it hard for the sheep to follow Him? The Shepherd is much more interested in making sure the sheep get to where they belong than the sheep are in getting there.

So today, I will be doing ordinary things, in an ordinary house, doing all of my ordinary things. I am still so thankful that I have given a life filled to the brim with lots of ordinary things.
Have a lovely Monday,
I hope it is just a normal, ordinary day.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weather...Not Here

I am I admit, having a bad attitude with the weather. So bad in fact I am dreaming of the beach. I think I really need to just give into it and get in the car and go drive over there. I have lost 4 hens now. One a week since it has been so hot. It really gets to me to find a hen, who has no symptoms just dead in my chicken house. But that is not what this post is about. Today, I was reading what I call the "Nerd Cast." I love reading about weather so much that when I read this one it tickled my funny bone.




Do you see that part that says, " A very slow cooling should ensue due

to lowering sun angle and lessening solar insolation. Not a very optimistic

way to cool down the weather but this season we will have to take what we get."

So the only way we are going to get a break from the heat is when the sun moves.

I just found that to be the funnest thing ever about a weather forecast.

 I just love the words that they use.

Anyway this made me laugh so I thought I would share it. The heat is cooking my brain. :)

Have a great Sunday,




Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dyeing Wool

Now that the garden is almost all finished, one of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning is to get out my pot and dye wool. I am still experimenting  and finding out what works and what doesn't. My favorite recipes come from a old issue of Rug Hooking Daily.

Here are the colors I made today. Well not me but Cushing Dyes.

The bottom color is supposed to be Antique Gold. I love the color, it is kind of old army blanket green.
The orange color is for a pumpkin I am currently working on and then the maroon color was to be a red color. I think what is driving me crazy is a color I see in my mind. I will have to experiment a bit more to finally find it.

I don't know  if  you do this but I love to read cook books and by reading them I can figure out how something might taste by the ingredients that I read about. Reading about colors now is like cooking, I have a color in my mind, but I am not quite sure how to reach it as this is all so new to me. I am enjoying the journey. I don't know how to describe it, but when I read a recipe, I know how it will taste, with the colors I am mixing, I feel them somehow. So I keep looking for this allusive color.

My son came by last week and he is a machinist. I gave him one of my blades for my wool cutter to see if he can sharpen it. Then I asked if he thought he could make them. I am curious to see if he can. He can make anything he looks at and it would be nice if he could make them and I didn't have to order them.

I just thought I would share my wool colors today. I hope you are having a very nice Saturday,


Thursday, September 13, 2012

No, I don't have any fall colors yet. I am just dreaming about them today. Just a few observations. The swimming pool is loosing a degree of temperature about every other day. Even though our nights are still warm and the days are hot. The ground is beginning to cool off.
The sun has changed direction that even the morning light has changed from the bright harsh light to one of the mellow quiet light of fall.

The changes are ever so subtle but they are there. My front tree has lost almost all of the leaves now. I noticed that in the mountains around us they have issued a frost warning. So even though I can't feel the fall approaching it is coming. I know that I could take a drive to the mountains and what would greet me would be the sound of the wood peckers putting acorns deep into the bark of the trees. The quiet sound as the acorns rain down to the leaf strewn ground.  Have you ever stood and listened to the acorns fall? The soft pattering as the leaves sigh and crunch. 

As I was walking yesterday, I hoped to find one small leaf with red or gold. I see under each tree piles of brown, crunchy leaves that have fallen because of the heat day after day. But no color. I do love that about October, when the trees begin to get dressed up in the reds, the browns, and the orange and yellows.

Dark comes so early now. As I watch the sunset I always feel a catch in my throat, because somehow inside, I remember the days gone by and how fast it changes now from week to week, and soon the light will be gone replaced with the dark that sometimes the lights cannot dispel.

I know that we need the fall as we need the dark nights and the shorter days. I see how hard this summer has been on my trees and my chickens and even me. I love the change in seasons so I will focus the the warm house, the hot chocolate, the pumpkin pie and all of the things that home brings to my mind.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Misty, A Raccoon Story

When I bought Misty, she was six weeks old. The man I bought her from raised wild animals. He told me the only way to keep a raccoon was to have one that is second generation or third or more. He owned her parents and grandparents. They bond to only one person and she bonded with me.

 She was like my alter ego. My Dad was sitting on the couch reading the newspaper. I was sitting in a chair and she very quietly climbed up the side of the couch, then up on the back of the couch and crouched and waited for my Dad to really get into the newspaper. Then she sneaked ever so slowly up to my Dad and bit his ear and ran off, took a flying leap on my Mom's drapes and climbed lickety-split to the top of her drapes. My Dad was yelling, my Mom was yelling and I was rolling in the floor laughing so hard.

We did everything together, she slept in my bed until her nocturnal jaunts forced me to put her in a cage at night. She loved to sit at my vanity while I put on makeup and she would touch my hair as I combed it and handled all of my ear rings. If she really liked them, she hid them and I never did find her little stash of shiney's.

I had a Aunt and Uncle that would come to visit about once a year. My Aunt was a fussy kind of lady who was really bossy. I didn't like her very much. Do you remember how you could have those old hair dryers that you would put on a chair and then if you put enough books under it, it was like going to a beauty shop. We had one and my Mom and Dad and my Aunt and Uncle were going to go out to dinner. My Aunt wanted that hair dryer and she was all comfy under it and she had her shoes off sitting in a chair with the hair dryer running. Misty and I had been sitting in a chair watching this when Misty got down out of the chair, went across the room and got under the chair where my aunt sat. Misty sat there thinking and I was watching when all of a sudden Misty grabbed my Aunt by the ankles with her hands, my Aunt screamed bloody murder, the books, the dryer the chair and of course Misty went flying. I was laughing so hard and I couldn't stop, and I had Misty in my arms as my Mom and Dad and Uncle came to see what all of the commotion was about. My Aunt was yelling " what a horrible child I was and she was leaving that house right now, that minute!!!"
My Mom told me to go apolgise. I tried, I really tried, but I just kept laughing and laughing so they packed their bags and left.

She was without a doubt the best animal I ever had. My family raised Shorthorn show cattle and sheep. My brother wanted to start raising pigs. My Dad put in a hot wire and it was low so the pigs wouldn't get out. Misty and I were walking down to the barn one morning. The hot wire was glinting in the early morning sunlight. She always stayed with me when we walked or rode on my shoulder hanging on to my hair. That morning the wire must have looked like a treasure. She ran past me and grabbed the wire with both hands. I ran as fast as I could as the wire was shocking her and grabbed her and pulled her loose. I ran back home and I put her in my bed and watched her all day. I thought she was gong to be okay.
Raccoons have no tolerance for electricity. I put her in her cage before I left for work. I called home in the afternoon to check on her. But sometime in the afternoon she died and when I came home my brother waited for me to be there before he buried her.

It was I suppose for the best. Later that year, I went to some friends of my parents. They had a elaborate set up for their two racoons. They told me that once she grew up, she would have to stay caged. Once they were full grown they were dangerous. I didn't want her to ever have to live caged the way theirs was so it was okay. In the spring when I read the book Rascal by Sterling North to my son, it is sort of like our book,
I read it and I am so glad that I too had a raccoon that had enriched my life.

Thank you so much for reading,