Sunday, December 5, 2010

More from the window

Yesterday while sitting in the living room I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Looked and saw it was a hawk flying just about level with the deck railing and quite close. My first thought was he/she was after the small birds at the feeder. I’ll tell you, those birds scattered fast. The hawk flew into a tree at the end of our garden. Here’s a picture taken through the window.


Not super clear, but easy to see what it is. I really enjoyed being able to see him/her.

A little later Garry came into the living room, looked out the window and wondered where all the feathers came from that were on the fence.


Those light colored things are feathers. That’s a tree on the left and the open barn door on the right. It was then I realized the hawk must have been stalking our chickens, not the small birds on the feeders. Garry quickly put his boots on to go check on the chickens. He counted heads and said they were all there. He thought one of the lighter colored ones looked a bit ‘roughed up’ down by her tail. Basically some feathers missing. That is the first time we’ve had a hawk go after our chickens. Danny has them go after his quite often. The only difference is our lot has a bit more tree cover. So that was our excitement for the day.

The grandkids and their parents came down for a little while in the afternoon. We shared the Overnight Coffeecake with them. There is no way Garry and I needed to eat an entire 9x13 pan of it. There was enough left that we had some with our coffee this morning.

I didn’t mention that the link to the coffeecake is my daughter’s recipe site. She loves to cook…considers it her hobby.

We have lots of birds already. At the rate they’re going I’ll be put ‘into the poor house’ trying to feed them. We have the usual…tufted titmice, chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, red-breasted woodpeckers, gold finches, purple finches, and cardinals. There are so many of them that they soon empty a feeder. It seems when it’s colder, they definitely eat more.

Anne and I are going treasure hunting on Thursday of this week. It gives us a chance to get off the farm, plus it’s something we both enjoy. She finds a lot of the children’s clothes that way. Rarely does she need to buy something new for any of them. I would sure like to find some clothes for me. Seems I usually find things for Garry, but rarely for myself. Perhaps this week will be different. Or, just maybe, I need to be thankful and satisfied with the clothes I have. Smile

Bye for now.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It’s been chilly here.

We’ve had a couple night in the low 20’s, so now all my flowers that were still growing have been frozen. I was really enjoying having some plants that were still green and even a few blooms. BUT I’m not complaining as it is the first part of December. I’m just thankful they lasted as long as they did.
Wednesday, I did accomplish several things. One thing I noticed (not for the first time) was it takes me longer to do things than it used to. One of the perks of being older, I suppose. I made a vegetable soup using some of my home canned beef stock…made a large one to have enough for Darryl and his family when they came home. Plus some for us. It simmered most of the day on the wood stove…made the house smell good.  Then since I had so much buttermilk, decided to make Buttermilk biscuits to go with it. Garry and I hadn’t much more than carried the soup and biscuits to Darryl & Anne’s house than they came home…maybe 20 minutes. Garry had kept a fire going in their stove all Wednesday, so the house would be warm. So we put the soup on the stove and biscuits on the warming shelf. They said it smelled and felt so good when they walked into their house. I know what it’s like to come home to a cold house and wonder what you’re going to feed your family. Been there done that.
Three of the children came running down here before even going into their house. It was so good to see them!! Their big sister had been car sick on the way home, so didn’t feel like coming. That’s okay, she stopped by the next morning. It is such a blessing to have them so close. They were only gone a week, but it seemed longer.
Also, on Wednesday, I made the chocolate pudding I’d mentioned, so we’ve been enjoying it. Had to do something to use up some of the extra milk in my fridge. Even did some cleaning…our bedroom and the bathrooms. I had hoped to do a lot more than I did. It was just one of those days where ‘the hurrieder I went the behinder I got’. And dishes, seemed like I was washing them every little bit. Hard to believe two people can use so many.
Yesterday I baked 3 loaves of whole wheat bread. Took one loaf’s worth (doubled recipe makes 4), wrapped in plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator planning to use it for pizza. I wasn’t sure how that would work, but it was great. I took it out about noon today, then made pizza for  tonight. So I’ll be doing that again. Probably will alternate between making hamburger buns and pizza with the dough for the 4th loaf.
I made more butter…another pound. It will help so much to have butter ahead. Now if I can just figure out what to do with all of the buttermilk. Smile I have nearly 3 quarts. Last evening I mixed up an Overnight Coffeecake, then Garry put it into the oven when he got up this morning. So we had fresh coffee cake with our coffee. It was quite good. Oh, I forgot to mention, the coffee cake uses buttermilk. Have to do something with it…just doesn’t appeal to me to drink it.
Then yesterday afternoon I had grandchildren visiting. I was starting to clean the living room when they came. Decided it could wait. And it did until today. I did a good bit of cleaning today, so the house looks nice. Also cooked chicken and rice for tomorrow.
Snickers has pretty much let me sleep the last couple nights. Or I’ve been so tired that I’ve slept through whatever she’s done. We call her our old lady cat. She’s nearly 11. We used to call her grouchy old lady cat, as she was quick to growl or hiss, especially at Precious…the young lady cat who is 6. Snickers has mellowed a good bit, so now she’s just the old lady cat. She still doesn’t appreciate that we brought Precious into our household, as Snickers was quite happy being an only cat.
Speaking of old lady. I believe it’s time for this one to head toward bed.
Take care!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Rainy Day

Sometime last evening it started raining. There was one clap of thunder that made us turn off and unplug our computers and the modem. After the time Darryl’s computer was zapped by lightening we’ve been extra careful. Unplugging when we hear the sound of thunder heading our way. It rained off and on during the night, at times quite heavy. We’re not complaining as our area has been so dry that we really need the rain.

Today has been one of those lazy kind of days. For both of us. There’s just something about the sound of rain on a metal roof that makes you think of reading a book or taking a nap. Or as I did, sit on the couch with my laptop a good part of the day. Tomorrow has to be a more industrious day…will let you all know how it goes. I’m sure I won’t begin to accomplish as much as Toodie. It wears me out just reading her blog. She is an inspiring lady.

Snickers, my old lady cat, has been a nuisance at night lately. Not super bad, just enough that she wakes me up at times. She sleeps during most of the day then is awake and ‘running’ around on toward morning, way before I’m ready to get up. Of course, we won’t discuss when I’m ready to get up.

After visiting a number of other blogs I think it’s time I try to dress mine up. Not tonight, it’s just too close to bedtime to start such a project. Oh, and I won’t be able to tomorrow. Seems there are a few other things around here I need to accomplish. It will happen, just not sure when. My daughter will be here the end of December, perhaps she will help. She builds web pages for pay, so surely she could help her mom dress up a blog site…sounds good to me.

Tomorrow the kids are coming home! I’ll be glad to see those 4 precious grandkids, even if it has been just a week. Will also be good to see their parents. It just isn’t the same around here when they’re gone.

Of course, Garry is looking forward to not having to milk two cows. He’s managed fine, just hasn’t enjoyed their short handles. Our refrigerator is overflowing with milk, even with having given Danny one milking per day. We also have the milk from our goats. One thing I plan to do tomorrow is make a chocolate pudding, or at least attempt to. I haven’t made pudding for a very long time. It’s one way to use some of the abundance of milk. So we’ll see.

Perhaps this is enough for now. See you all tomorrow if things go as planned.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A beautiful day!

This was the view when I was drinking my first cup of coffee this morning.


We have big windows in our living room that look out over our back yard. It’s pretty much a sun room. Which means it’s warm in the winter and a bit too warm in the summer. Thankfully with all the windows (5), we do have good air circulation in the summer.

Today was laundry day. I was able to hang things outside to dry. Love how they smell when I do that. Now don’t ask why Monday is laundry day…it’s just a habit I’ve gotten into. Sometimes I even do it on Tuesday, just depends on what’s happening around here.

I weighed the butter before putting it into the freezer. It was 1.75 pounds. I still divided it into 8 packages. It seemed too complicated to make 7. Smile Plus not really necessary. Oh, I’d like to have a paddle type butter churn like one of you mentioned. What I do is just shake a jar with cream in it. I’ve learned that it needs to be room temperature and to not fill the jar much over 1/2 full for best (read that as fastest) results.

We’ve been having flocks of Sandhill Cranes going overhead on their way south. I have tried to take pictures, but they just won’t hold still. Can you believe that?


Here’s one of the photos. In Illinois we would always hear and see geese fly south in the fall. The Sandhill Cranes have a very distinctive sound…definitely not geese. Although, some people around here refer to them as geese.

Here’s a video I hope you will all enjoy.



Sunday, November 28, 2010


It’s amazing what you find when you really aren’t looking. About 3 weeks ago Anne and I went on a treasure hunt. The first one in a very long time. My intent was to go with her and just enjoy the day. There wasn’t anything I had in mind to look for specifically, or even anything I felt I needed. We stopped at our usual places. As always I shop by color. There’s no sense looking through a rack of clothes if the colors I like aren’t there. So I’m good at circling racks, moving things slightly, if packed, to see what colors are available. I also do the same for other things, looking primarily for blue anything. Occasionally something catches my eye that isn’t blue. Such as the red (really a rich burgundy) transfer ware sugar dish. Okay, I know most of my dishes are blue. BUT, Garry’s favorite color is red, so I try to have a bit of red around. It goes quite well with the blue. Anyway I saw the sugar dish, liked it, but…we don’t use sugar from a dish, so really didn’t need it. Anne suggested using it for honey. I liked that idea, so… Yep, we have a red transfer ware sugar dish with honey in it.

But I’ve gotten ahead of my story. We, as I said, had gone to our usual places. I’d found a few things such as a blue serving bowl, a shirt for Danny (neighbor), elephant cup and small plate for Garry, some vanilla candles, and a few other things. We had just left a store and were starting down the street, when Anne asked if I wanted to stop by the Restore (Habitat for Humanity). We were almost to it by then. Of course, I was willing. The first thing I spotted was the sugar dish. Then while looking around saw some dishes that matched my china. It included a coffee server, covered vegetable dish, and a clock. Plus 4 each plates, cups, saucers, bread plates and berry bowls. I debated for a bit, then decided to ‘go for it’. So I bought the group.


Garry checked on Ebay to get an idea of prices. I knew the covered vegetable bowl was $35 and felt the coffee server would be at least that much. I had never seen a clock, so had no clue. The clock, on Ebay, with shipping is over $90…doesn’t even claim to work. Mine doesn’t work, but Garry is sure the clockworks can be replaced. The coffee server is anywhere from $35 to $60. And the vegetable bowl is $35. Needless to say I felt pretty good with my purchase of $43.

It felt and looked a whole lot like winter this morning. Always makes me thankful for a warm house. And warm clothes.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving. Danny (neighbor) came and ate with us. It’s just quiet on the farm with just the 3 of us here.  Darryl & Anne and the kids are in NC, with her siblings. So we’re taking care of the critters. Garry isn’t too thrilled with having to milk 2 cows that don’t have very good handles. I’m thrilled with the cream to use in our coffee, to whip, and to make butter. We had real whipped cream on our pecan pie for Thanksgiving. Today I made butter. My guestimate would be a good 1.5#, possibly 2. It will go into the freezer.

Well, it’s about bedtime here, so reckon I should quit for now. I’ll try to write sooner next time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Red Hen and More

After telling you about the hen who has earned her residency here. I thought perhaps a picture would be in order. Now taking a picture wasn’t exactly as easy as I had hoped. There are some other animals, known as goats, who share the pen with the chickens. Or is it the chickens who share the pen with the goats? Either way, they’re both in the same pen. And the goats seem to think the only reason I’d go out there would be to see them. So here’s a couple pictures to show you.

This is Zoe, who just didn’t seem to understand it wasn’t her I wanted to take a picture of. After all, why would I want the chicken when I could have her?!? She thought the camera was for her…if I walk to the fence with something in my hands, then, of course, that’s what it is. Silly critter.

IMG_1241Then here’s Brownie trying to see what I might have. With Joe-Joe, the buck we borrowed from a neighbor to ‘visit’ with our girls, trying to get as close as he feels comfortable. Thankfully he isn’t a super friendly goat because he has an odor about him that I don’t care to have on me.  Winking smile  The goats were quite good at staying between me and the chickens. The chicken I want a picture of is between Joe-Joe and Brownie.

Finally the goats lost interest, so I was able to take a picture of the chicken I wanted. We don’t even know if she is laying, just that both of us feel she has earned her residency to live out her life on the farm. She is at least 6 years old.  In the spring of 2005, Garry bought her as a young pullet along with 10 others plus a rooster. The rooster was mean…would attack either one of us…, so he went into some yummy chicken and noodles.

 Hope everyone is having a good week. Garry and I went into Glasgow this morning. He wanted some wire for running electricity to his workshop. And I wanted to return something to Walmart and see what else I might need. I had a list, that other than some clearance things for the OR granddaughters, I pretty much stuck to. So now I need to get a package ready to send to them. It’s hard having them so far away. Sammi is nearly 1 year old and beginning to walk. Amber is 5 and has started the adventure of school. Mikayla is 3, and finally has decided to use the big potty. That is a major event that both Amber and Mikayla had to tell me about last time I talked with them. I just wish they were a lot closer. I always say the girls need me, but perhaps it’s a bit that I need them.

It’s turning colder here. Still doesn’t feel too bad during the day with the sunshine. We’ve been having a fire in the stove part of the time…mostly mornings to take the chill off things. I still haven’t switched summer and winter clothes. That’s on the agenda for tomorrow. Also to take the quilt off our bed and put the comforter on. Since I’ll be washing sheets tomorrow it’ll be a good time to do it.

Enough for this time. Hope it is well with all of you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Updated Live Writer

Finally I was able to link Live Writer to Blogspot. Still not sure what the problem was, as the error message made no sense to me. Now I have to figure how to use this newer version. I was used to the older one and found things easily. With this one I’m hunting for things…at least for now. Reckon that will change.

We had rain last night. Nearly an inch. Tomorrow we’ll be under a wind advisory for a while. We had heard this was a much stronger system, so we’ll see. We are needing rain so badly, that the .9 received last night won’t last long. I’m sure the ground just soaked it up like a dry sponge. Everything looked so fresh and bright this morning. Didn’t realize how dusty everything was, although I should have known.

Today I canned some chicken. We had some old hens that weren’t really paying their way anymore. Garry dressed 4 of them. I cooked, deboned and put into jars. Ended up with 9 pints of meat and 9 quarts of broth. That is my version of instant food. Open a jar of chicken and one of broth, add rice, or for a quicker meal, pasta.   Our layers are now down to 6 pullets just starting to lay and 2 hens that were raised last year. We also kept one old hen that both of us have decided deserves to be kept. She is the only one left of the original hens Garry bought about 5 years ago. Have no clue if she is laying, although she does look healthy.

Snickers has become more like my ‘old’ Snickers since we’ve been keeping her inside. She seems to want attention a lot…jumps on my lap about every time I sit down. She will even sit on my shoulders if the dog is in my lap. It’s just amazing that she’ll be that close to him.  As I’m typing this she decided it was time to be closer, so she’s at my shoulders. Rather hard for her to jump into my lap when the laptop is sitting on it. Smile Oh, she just shifted into purr…something about a purry kitty is so comforting.

Well, perhaps this is enough to find out if this thing will work okay. I’m sure it will. I just need to learn how to use it. It’s bedtime here, or nearly so.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The sun was shining early this morning, then it became cloudy...enough to make me hope for rain. We are extremely dry here. Yesterday I noticed some plants looking super wilty. These are plants that haven't wilted all summer in spite of the heat and dry conditions. Needless to say I carried water to give them all a drink. Tomorrow I'll water them again. We collect rainwater to use for the garden and flowers. Thankfully we still have some in our tanks.

Today Garry and I went to Glasgow to do some shopping. He indulged me and stopped at my favorite thrift shops. Interesting thing was he found more things than I did...socks (new), jeans and a book. One shop was having a $1 sale on certain color tags.  I found a crocheted bag with a pink tag meaning it was only $1. It's a nice size to use for one of the many projects I usually have going...mostly crochet. It just helps keep everything together and ready to grab to work on, or take along if we're going somewhere. 
We had an enjoyable day. Much nicer than if I had gone by myself.

While driving along the Parkway, I noticed that some of the trees are really beginning to look bare. And others were just gorgeous with their colors. The maple trees in our yard have lost nearly all of their leaves, while the oaks are just turning a lovely shade of red.

The acorns have really been falling today. How do I know?? They make a lot of noise on our roof when they do. It's interesting how they fall by the bunches. Our son like to throw a handful of acorns onto our roof. Of course, the grandkids are more than willing to pick them up so he can have several handfuls to throw. Anyway, this morning a bunch hit the roof that if I hadn't known better I would have blamed Darryl. I have no clue what makes several turn loose at once. Just one of the 'perks' of living in the woods, or nearly so.

Hope everyone had a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Raining

Rain hitting the roof is a wonderful I'm enjoying as I type this. Yesterday we received nearly .10 inch of rain. It almost settled the dust. We are really dry here. Today they put us under a 'no burn notice'....absolutely no burning of any kind.

Isn't the rescue of the miners in Chile great news! We watched some of it. Saw the last one brought up. I can't imagine what it would be like to be underground that long. Just pray they'll all recover totally from their ordeal.

Speaking of things hitting the roof. We have several oak trees close to the house and quite frequently hear acorns hit the roof this time of year. It amazes me how loud it sounds on the roof, then it rolls off onto the deck with a little 'ping'.

Today I finally did the bread I was planning to do yesterday that didn't happen. I made 2 batches of bread into 32 hamburger buns. We had a couple for supper tonight...pretty tasty...without hamburgers. I had made soup and that fresh bread just seemed ideal to go with it. It was good.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another day

Today has been cooler and cloudy. We even heard some thunder, enough that we unplugged the computers. Rather be safe than sorry. One of our sons had the mother board 'fried' as a result of lightening a few years back. I really don't care to deal with that.

We did receive a little rain today. The ground is just powdery dry, so we definitely need rain. Tomorrow is  a higher chance, so hopefully.

I took some cuttings from my Plumbago this morning and put them into water. Probably need to plant them into the starting soil fairly soon. I have so enjoyed that plant. The blue flowers are so beautiful. It has made me smile whenever I've looked out the back door at it. Also, it has NOT looked wilty in spite of the dryness. All good points in it's favor.

Yesterday the 4 year old granddaughter sure made my day. I was at her house.  She was busy drawing a picture of what looked to be a little girl and a woman. When finished she presented it to me telling me it was for me. Then asked if I knew who it was. I suggested it was her and her mommy. She said, no, it's you and me. Man, did I ever about dissolve into a precious. The picture is now hanging on my refrigerator. You should have seen her smile when she saw it there today.

We have to keep our Snickers cat in the house all the time now. She climbs trees and onto our house. Then she can't get down. I always figured if a cat could get up a tree they could get down. Apparently not so...they are terrified. Cats have been known to become so weak from lack of food that they fall from the tree. Or just die, then fall. Not a pretty picture. The last time she climbed a tree, a neighbor happened to hear her and had a grandson ask if Mammaw's cat was missing. When I stepped outside, I could hear her and the terror in her voice. Garry came home about then, so he went after her. As soon as he was close enough she jumped onto his shoulder for the ride down. Unfortunately, when she got to the ground, the grandchildren's dog chased her and up another tree she went. Garry managed to rescue her again with the children holding their dog this time. We decided we didn't want our cat to disappear with us wondering if she was stuck up a tree. Plus Garry seems to think he's really too old to be climbing trees, especially so high. Since that time way back in the summer she has been an inside cat. And seems quite content, not even asking to go outside unless we're out, then she wants to be with us. 

Probably enough for this time. I haven't been able to connect this blog with Live Writer for some reason. It starts, then has some error that I don't understand. I may try upgrading to the newest version of LW and see if that makes a difference.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I did it

I just signed up for Blogger. Now to figure out how it all works. It will take some time. I'm not the most regular blogger, just don't always take time to do it. Oh, I compose wonderful posts in my head as I go about my daily tasks. Only problem is they seldom end up written and posted online. So we'll see.

As for right now I really must go to bed. My husband and the cats have already gone, so it seems like a good idea. Hopefully I'll have some more time to play with this tomorrow. In between baking bread and, perhaps even doing some cleaning around here.