Sunday, December 28, 2014


A late present from Santa!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all from our house!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Yesterday was a lovely day, upper 60's and absolutely beautiful.  
This morning, I got up to let the dog out and realized it was snowing.

I'm not ready for winter yet!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Why I should have supervision

So... This evening on the way home from work, Vernon wanted to stop at the hobby store in the mall to pick up something he needed.  On one edge of the parking lot was the farmer's market.  It was the last market of the season and the vendors were willing to deal.  I didn't need anything... really...  But I couldn't resist this pumpkin !
Isn't it awesome!  I asked and the variety is 'One Too Many' also sometimes called the bloodshot eyeball pumpkin - with good reason.
Research says that it is edible and makes good soup.  I'll have to see.  I don't think I have the heart to carve it for Halloween.
I'll definitely be saving seeds!  From what I found it is an open pollinated variety so again, we'll see what happens next year.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Well, we didn't get the chicken coop cleaned out today.  Our friend Roger called and asked for help.  He has been having health issues since losing part of a leg a couple of years ago and just isn't able to do all those things he used to do. And his wife has just recently returned home after her father's funeral so she has problems of her own.  They asked for help cleaning out their garden and taking down fences and trellises.  It was a lovely day and the coop can wait til next weekend.  
Sharon and I dug sweet potatoes among other things and we were sent home with a big bag of them.  Yum!  Roasted sweet potatoes for dinner tonight!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Confusing weather

It is one of those 'soft' mornings.  You know, the kind where it is warm and humid and the air feels soft.  If it weren't for the changing leaves, the frost bitten garden and the molting chickens, I'd swear it was spring.
It will be a busy weekend here. Cleaning out the chicken coop and prepping it for winter is on the agenda, as are senior photos for my oldest son.
Last night was the final home football game of the season and so, it was senior recognition night for football, cheerleading and marching band.  I must say, Ian looks great in uniform!

For halftime, they did their annual Halloween costume show.  The weather certainly cooperated as heavy fog started rolling into the stadium.

So, I've avoided work for long enough.  I suppose I should get started on my mile-long to do list for the weekend.  sigh....

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Vernon and I actually went out to a social event last night!  Shocking, I know!  We went to a local wine bar to meet up with other members of a local steampunk group.  A grand time was had by all!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Good thing I have the day off!

I worked last weekend so I have today off as comp.  good thing, too!  The forecast is for the first hard frost of the fall tonight.
We've had a few light frosts here and there already but it's supposed to get down to 32*F if not a little colder tonight so this should be the end of the garden.  
So... Today I want to bring in all the squash that are *almost* ripe and pick what few green tomatoes that are left as well as any peppers I can find.  Honestly, I'm ready to be done.  The weird weather we've had has made for a lackluster season.  

Time to hope for a mild winter and a successful greenhouse.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A soup kind of weekend

Brrr... I know it's October but I'm not ready for this chilly weather.  So, I'm making soup.  
I had to work today and came home to discover that the buttercup squash Mom gave me had a soft spot.  So I will make some soup with the salvageable parts and odds and ends from the garden.  Mmm...
It isn't what's for dinner but I plan to have some for lunch tomorrow and freeze the rest in containers to take for lunches to work.

It's soup season again!!  Yum!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fire and Ice

I have been really happy so far with my little frozen cubes of tomato sauce.  They have been handy when I have had a recipe that just calls for a little tomato sauce (like the squid ink sauce recipe my brother sent me from his trip to Venice).  
I still have a few tomatoes left and I have some ghost peppers... so, I'm going to make ghost sauce cubes.  I found out last year that an entire pint of ghost sauce is often a bit much- but sometimes things need a little kick.  So, I'm gonna make fire ice!!!

Wish me luck!  The range hood will be running on high!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


The first official harvest from the orchard we planted.  The trees have grown well.  We got a single 'Crimson Crisp' and a pail of 'Goldrush'.  They need to have a little algae scrubbed off (darn that cool, wet weather!) but they are totally orgainic and oh, so tasty!!

Next year I hope a couple of the other trees start producing.  Our big tree was pretty much a bust since we had a late frost while it was in full bloom.  But it probably needed a year to rest after all it produced last year.

And I think I need to plant another pear.  The tree we planted is pretty big but nothing set on so I think it probably needs a pollinator.  I had hopes that there would be a pear tree near enough but it doesn't seem like it.  Oh well...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Too Soon!!!

The thermometer on the porch said 36*F when I left for work this morning.  I just got back in from the garden and- yep- we had frost!  On September 13tj!!  That's just wrong!  It wasn't enough to kill anything but my squash vines have been tipped as has the basil.

I tell you- it is definitely global weirding this year with the weather!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Trying something new

Since my tomatoes are kind of a bust this year, I think I'm probably done with canning. 
I had enough that I had to do something but not enough to fire up the canner.  So I'm trying something new: tomato cubes!

I made a really thick sauce - almost, but not quite paste - and loaded it into old ice cube trays.  Now, when a recipe calls for a tablespoon of tomato paste or I just need a little to liven things up, I don't need to open a whole jar.  We'll see how it works out.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


I have noticed a few of those darned, gray and black blister beetles about this year, but evidently I didn't notice the one in the long grass on the way to the garden.  I got a blister beetle smushed between my foot and the band of my flip flop.

However, I am happy to report that the jewelweed balm I made two years ago (or was it last year... I don't really remember) works well to calm the stinging.  Now to wait for the blisters to subside- I have things to do that require shoes....

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Three Sisters Fritters

I tried a little something new for dinner this evening.  A few weeks ago, I made some vegetable fritters and used corn and finely shredded summer squash.  They were okay but everyone decided they needed taken up a notch.  So... tonight:  Three Sisters Fritters.
I mixed together:
1 can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
the corn off 3 ears of leftover corn on the cob
two tiny yellow squash (about the size of a lemon each) finely shredded
1 small red onion, finely diced
half a ripe jalapeno pepper, finely diced
half a hot wax pepper, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste (probably a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper)
about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese

To this mess I added:
3 eggs
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

It was all stirred together to make a thick batter and dropped by large spoonfuls onto a hot, oiled griddle.

Cook til browned on one side, flip it over and cook till brown on the other side.

I served it with a side of fresh tomato salsa.  Sour cream would have been delightful but I didn't have any.

Delicious!  A great vegetarian option.  We're doing our meatless day (usually Monday) today since we'll be having burgers tomorrow.

We made a day trip to my parents today and returned loaded with produce.  We have much, much garden-y goodness!  My parents gifted us with a huge crookneck winter squash, a buttercup squash, 4 honeydew melons, a huge canteloupe, a bag of apples and a bunch (I haven't looked!) of frozen applesauce (Mom was running out of room in her freezer).
I then came home and picked 4 gallons of tomatoes, half a dozen cucumbers, some summer squash and a watermelon.

Whew!  Good thing tomorrow is a holiday because I think I'll be busy!

Friday, August 29, 2014


Woo hoo!!  The tomatoes are finally starting to come into their own for the season. 
I have 12 pints of diced tomatoes in the canner and the counter is full of tomatoes that will become sauce tomorrow.  
Whew!  I was worried I wouldn't get much this year.  I still know I won't have a 36 quart year but we'll get enough to see us through.  Good thing too, with tuition and expenses to get Justine moved into her apartment, finances are going to be 'interesting' for a few months.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Halfway through!

So... my eldest son (I17) and I have been running together off and on since spring.  I have been plagued by a knee injury and ended up taking it pretty easy this summer. But, in the beginning of August, we started running again, using a wonderful training app called Zombies, Run! that tells you a story of survival during the zombie apocalypse while putting you through interval training.
This evening we finished week 4 of the 8 week training for a 5k.  Once we finish this, we will probably move on to the next app that has numerous 'missions' you can run.  I've found it fun and motivating and you never know what's gonna happen next- except it generally involves being chased by zombies!  of course, right up my alley!!  And I'm finally at the point where it feels GOOD to run again and not so much like work or "Oh, God! I'm gonna die!!"

In other news, the tomatoes are finally kicking into high gear so I guess I'm going to be spending my Friday night canning tomatoes while the boys are off at the first high school football game of the year.  Oh well, it will keep me out of trouble.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Canning joy

You know that feeling you get when the amount of tomato sauce you have made exactly fills the number of jars you can fit in your canner?  Oh, Yeah!

But, it looks like it's gonna be a skimpy tomato year.  They just aren't doing very well.  But, boy, oh boy, I've got cucumbers and summer squash!  Only 4 quarts of dills made so far but we've been eating a lot of cukes.
The potatoes are dug and there are hot peppers in the freezer again!

And, yeah, I know, I've been gone for a long, long time.

But, I've got my darling girl moved into an apartment in another state, finished some outdoor and indoor projects, been running some more and been really, really busy at work.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Another fun, run day!

It was a beautiful morning for a run!  This time, it was a bigger team.  We named ourselves The Gimp Squad due to the various injuries many of us have.  Justine screen printed shirts for us all and we were ready to Run or Dye!
See, we're all white, shiny and clean!

The team consisted of my three children and myself,  Justine's fiance (James), his two brothers and their mom.  A good time was had by all!  In this particular race, you run (or walk, or skip, or generally be silly) through the 5k course where there are 'dye stations' where you are pelted with cornstarch based dye powder.  

James and his little brother wheelbarrow their way through the orange station.

 A kiss in the pink!

 At the finish line.  


 Karl (now he's 14!!) doing the rock star look!

 Ian (now 17!)
 Me!  Not sure how to act in front of the camera!

James, my future son-in-law.

After a bit more playing in the dye and dancing, this was the final effect!

Poor Vernon missed the fun.  He has two articles due on Monday morning so it is a work weekend for him.    That, and he's not really into this sort of thing...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A lovely, busy week

It has been a wonderful week, full of fun and family and all kinds or goodness!

Justine and I had a girls weekend.  Friday night we wandered into town to attend ArtsFest, a free music and art festival.  We got to see the Indigo Girls in concert.
 Sorry, it isn't the best photo but there is only so much you can do with a phone!
Saturday morning we went to Mount Vernon to attend the Chocolate Stroll.  We did the 5k race.
 I placed second in my age category!  But before you get too excited, there were only three in my age category!

And here is my darling daughter and I, enjoying some time together.

And finally, in honor of my birthday, Justine made a fabulous cake!

I hope you all had a wonderful week as well!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

If that's the case, you should all love me!  I know, I've been gone a long time.  But it's been a busy, busy time.  I made a trip to Philadelphia to pick up Justine and move her home for the summer.  Then, she and her fiance drove back out to go apartment hunting (they found one they absolutely LOVE!).

The garden is in and the continual battle with weeds has begun.  But things are looking good.  We had a late frost that nipped a few of the tomatoes, even though we covered them- but I only had to replace one so I'm not complaining too much.

We're working to re-stain the deck and pergola but the weather hasn't been cooperating with us as we need a 4 day stretch with no rain in the forecast.  Otherwise, outside stuff has been slowly progressing although we hope to finish out last patio this summer while Justine and J are still home. Also on the work menu for the summer is painting the basement rec room.  But that may have to wait until Justine moves out.
She and James have been organizing for their move to Pennsylvania.  They've been collecting all of those things you need for your first apartment so we essentially have about half of an apartment stashed away in our basement at the moment.  We've been anticipating this move for quite a while and have been purchasing and obtaining things like pots and pans, towels, dishes, sheets, etc when they are on sale or otherwise great deals- for probably the last year and a half.   And neither one is so picky that they mind hand-me down stuff so they are doing well on scrounging furniture from here and there.

I shall try again to be more consistent with posting here.  Maybe I just need to set a schedule for myself...  MAYBE then I'd be better at getting a post up every now and then.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy Day!!

Spring has sprung!  The peas and potatoes are up, some trees are starting to bloom and we got good news today!

V does NOT have lymphoma!  Woo Hoo!!!  They are still trying to figure out exactly what he DOES have- most likely something bacterial, but it is not cancer.  I have never been so glad that he has an infection!

It will take a few more days for them to finish the culture and figure out how to treat it.  But, for now, we are celebrating.

Champagne and strawberries all around!

and maybe I can finally get a decent night of sleep....

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Another weekend come and gone

And once again, I'm tired.  Yesterday was a beautiful day but I didn't get as much accomplished as I would have liked.  K14 and I loaded up the tiller and headed into town to till up our friend Jim's garden patch.  With the rain in the forecast, we knew that it was now or not for several weeks.  But it's done and he is a happy camper.  Now I just need to supply him with a few tomatoes and peppers and he'll be set.  I was also distracted by other friends stopping by to get eggs and seedlings. It was great to see them and chat for a while but it put me behind.  Although, the quart of canned fatali peppers definitely makes up for anything.  We're OUT of hot peppers!  Unheard of, I know!  So this will see us through until the garden starts producing.
When we got home, I got the rest of my early garden planted.  My little romanesco, broccoli and cabbage seedlings went out and we got them mulched with straw and covered with the row covers.  Whew!  After loading the tiller in and out of the van several times and planting 36 little plants, my back is tired.
But, my lettuce I planted in the front of the pea planters is up and I'm hoping the peas will follow soon. We had fresh spinach salads from the greenhouse last night and tonight we had fettucini with nettle pesto.  Mmmm.....   I'm gonna have to harvest more nettles and get them in the freezer since they are quickly becoming a favorite here, whether in pasta, risotto or pesto.   Maybe tomorrow afternoon if it's not raining.
Tomorrow morning, we need to be at the hospital by 6am for V's biopsy.  That's an early start to the day.  But, good thing is that he is the first procedure of the day so he doesn't have to wait all day without eating.  And we should be home by noon.  Time enough to get a few things done while V sleeps.

In news that's more fun:  I16 and I have been running together.  He makes a great running partner, although I'm slowing him down.  Justine turned us onto this great running app for our phones.  It's called "Zombies, Run!"  It is a voiceover over your own music that takes you through running intervals by having you run from zombies.  Along the way you pick up things that help your community.  There is also an online component that's kind of like a game.  The 5k trainer is great.  It starts you as a non-runner and has you walk and only do 15 second running drills for the first week.  Even I can run for 15 seconds- even after the inactivity of this winter.   Anyway, it makes it fun and is just that extra bit of motivation I need.  We got out for a run this afternoon before the storms hit.
The storms were pretty violent.  Not as bad as some places but we had 60+ mph winds, heavy rain (about 2 inches in approximately half an hour!) and pea sized hail.  And it's supposed to keep raining all week.  Oh, well... we need rain, we're still behind and I can tell by the water quality from the well that the water table is low.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stick a fork in me....

I'm Done!

I'm a tired but happy camper.  The day has been glorious and I've been busy outside all day.  Many, many things have been accomplished!  We worked in teams.  I16 and I were a pair.  Between 4 loads of laundry and dishes we planted potatoes and onions, cleaned out the chicken coop, pulled last year's vines from the pergola and worked on our new raised beds by the barn.  I'm going the cheater method with these.

We got two inexpensive window well casings ( I think they were less than $10 each) that are 3 feet wide, 12 inches tall and about 16 inches at the widest part.  They have been placed by the barn foundation ( I still need to secure them better) and partially filled with dirt.  We hung a section of a livestock panel on the side of the barn and once the wells are filled I'll plant my peas and let them vine up the west side of the barn.  I'm really hoping that I can manage to keep the rabbits out of them this way.  I've never had luck with peas out here because of the #%*^ rabbits.  This may not be the most elegant solution but it works for me- at lest I hope it works.

V and K14 were our other team.  They worked to remove two trees that have blown over this winter. One was lying right on top of the raspberry patch on the hill so I definitely wanted that one gone.  The other just fell last weekend and was at the bottom of the hill below the garden.  V was quite crafty and used the chainsaw to carve the last 8 feet of trunk into a bench.  I haven't made it down there yet with the camera.
They also moved a stack of old wooden fence posts so they could get to the fence panels underneath (so they could put up the section for my raised beds).

All in all a good day.  Now I'm tired and sore.  My back has done more today than it has in a while.

And I finally have homesteady things to post about here.  Hurrah!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Yeah... I've been away for a long time

I know, I know... I promised to be better at posting here.  But life has gotten in the way and I've had a lot on my plate recently.
Justine is in the midst of transferring colleges and apartment hunting with her fiance.  I cringe at that thought but then take a step back and tell myself that V and I were the same age when we moved in together.... sigh....
The boys are doing well.  I16 has been doing college prep stuff like taking the ACT and looking for a job.
V has been busy with work but what has consumed my brain recently is a health scare that he is currently going through.  A while ago, he discovered a lump under his chin.  This has been felt by several doctors, none of whom got very excited about it.  But, he persevered in getting it checked out.  A few weeks ago, he had a CT scan which revealed that it is in his lymph nodes and that there are 4 nodes involved. The report came back that it is suggestive for lymphoma.
So, next step- a fine needle biopsy.   This had good news and bad news.  Good news: it showed that this growth is not a metastasis from somewhere else in his body. Bad news: it didn't rule out lymphoma.  The doc gives him a 50/50 chance of it being lymphoma (although by his expression and other things he said, I think that may have been generous) The other alternative is some sort of bizarre infection (viral, bacterial or fungal).  But the fact that it has been there for almost a year with no other signs of infection makes me worry.
Next step- a surgical biopsy to get a larger chunk to test.  Sadly, this isn't scheduled until the 28th of April and we'll have to wait a week for results.  I honestly think the not knowing is the worst part.  Give me a diagnosis and I can figure out how to cope with it.
So, I'll try to be better (again!!)
Now that it is spring I'll try to post some new photos of some 'improvements' I'm planning this year on the yard and garden.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

RIP Eddie

It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of one of our hens.  Last week one day I went out to collect eggs and there she was.  Sad.  She had seemed so lively and full of life earlier in the day when I had gone out to toss some scratch grains for them.  Poor thing was just shy of her third hatchingday.

Ah, Eddie,  you lovely, rich brown eggs will be missed.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Spring Thaw

FINALLY!  I think it has finally decided to try to be Spring.  We hit 60F today!  And the snow is melting.  It's still a foot deep in some places but it is melting.
 A little bit of flooding but not too bad.  It's supposed to cool off a bit for the next two days so it should snow down the melt a bit.
I do so love that meandering stream!
And something actually green growing outside!! Woo Hoo!!!!
And I stopped by the chicken coop after my walk.  I didn't even have my coat on so I had to use my shirt rather than my coat pockets.

Justine is home on spring break from college this week.  It's nice to have her home but she has a sewing project for me to complete while she's home.

Maybe now that it has decided to be spring I'll feel that I have more to post here.  I know I have been pretty quiet lately.  But it's kind of boring to report...  oh, it's cold and snowing... again and again....

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Barnyard mysteries

Hmm... it has been an interesting morning.  We have sunshine and moderate temps today.  The lull between storms.  A couple of inches of snow yesterday afternoon and more ice and snow expected tomorrow.  Oh, the joys of winter in the midwest.  At least the temperature seems to have gotten over this sub-zero nonsense.
But the cold has taken its toll.  Our frost-free hydrant in the barnyard is frozen.  So I had to carry the waterer for the chickens into the house to fill it in the bathtub in the basement.  Justine, I will be sure to clean the tub well after the hydrant thaws.
But more mysterious is the heat lamp in the chicken coop.  We have a ceramic heater (just infra-red, no light) on a thermo-cube that only comes on when it is cold (I forget the cut-off temp, I think it is 25 or 30).  It helps but isn't terribly effective.  So, with the really, really cold temps we've had, I replaced the regular lightbulb in the coop with a heat lamp.  We've only turned it on when the temps are forecast for below -5F because it produces enough light to keep the chickens awake all night (even though it isn't supposed to because it's coated red) and they eat us out of house and home!  But, back to the mystery.  I know the light was off last night when I closed up the coop for the night.  However, this morning, it was on and no one else has been outside.  And it is on a pull chain that we have tied to the side so it doesn't make contact with the bulb.  Mystery!
V's guess is that there was a bit of frost built up inside the fixture and the last time it was turned off the switch didn't fully switch to 'off' and the warm up was enough to melt the ice and turn it on.  That is possible but I find it weird that it happened at night and not on some of those sunny days when the coop has been fairly warm.  Who knows.  Maybe one of the hens was cold and too smart for her own good.  Or just fluttering too high off the roost.
The ladies have been laying well.  We have been getting 8-10 eggs/day.  Not too shabby from 13 hens, 9 of whom are 3 years old.
I've got some little seedlings up under the grow lights.  Some chard, kale, bok choy, lettuce and spinach destined for the greenhouse.  I'm itching to start my main season crops but I know it's still too early for that. But, just having little seedlings up helps with the winter blahs I've been having.  But sooner than the tomatoes and peppers I long to start, I'll be starting my cool season broccoli and such.  I ordered some romanesco seeds and I'm excited to see how it does.  They look so awesome in a fractal-ly delicious way.
I hope you are all 'weathering' the winter well.  The weather seems to have been so extreme just about everywhere this year.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Still in the deep freeze

I know we're not alone in being stuck in the depths of winter. I had planned to start some little things inside to put out in the greenhouse in February.  Well... it's February and we're still having overnight temps in the minus teens.  I don't care how hardy something is, it's not gonna survive overnight with temps like that.  The sun is shining today so I'll try to get out there and water while it has the chance to be warm.  I did have a few little spinach seedlings that had somehow survived out there but I haven't checked recently.
But, I'm an optimist and this afternoon (after belly dancing class) I'm going to start some kale, chard and lettuce for the greenhouse.  Maybe by March it will be warm enough for it to survive.

I'll be honest, I'm getting tired of cold weather.  And snow.  I know there are people struggling with ice and I'm grateful that we haven't had to deal with that this year.  And there are people struggling with crippling drought.  We'll take the moisture we're getting with the snow. I just wish it wasn't so regular.  It seems like every three of four days we get another inch or four of snow.  And the wind this year seems particularly nasty.  But enough of complaining about the weather.  It has it's beauty as well.
Sunrise this morning, shining off the frost on the trees.  Stunning!
 I caught this guy at the bird feeder yesterday.  By the time I got the camera he was up the tree, eating snow off the branch.  Must have needed to wash down all that birdseed.
The titmouse is fluffed up against the cold.   I do think they are adorable.

Things haven't been totally rosy here.  We've had some bad news and a few problems around the house.  A friend of ours slipped on his basement stairs, fell and hit his head and now is minimally responsive in a coma.  That was over a week ago and not much change in his condition.  We're all hoping and praying for the best.  And my cousin's husband got his hand in the table saw while working on a project and ended up losing a couple of fingers.  (those things terrify me every time!)  We've been lucky in that we are all healthy.
A few "mechanical" glitches around the house involving a non-working furnace this morning (intake vent blocked by snow!) and a clogged sewer pipe last week.  The sewer issues, of course, necessitated a trip to the home improvement store in the middle of a snowstorm to get a 40 ft sewer rod and poor V working outside at the clean-out pipe in terrible, snowy, windy, single digit weather. But all those problems we (or should I say V) were able to fix ourselves.
I have been working out much more regularly.  Justine and I hope to do a few runs this summer while she's home, including another shot at a zombie run.  Maybe I can survive this year!  Regardless, I do need to get in better shape and I've been working on it.  My schedule is 30 minutes on the elliptical 3 days a week, 20 minute zumba with the x-box two days, belly dance class one day and a day off.  We'll see how long I can keep that up.  I missed a day last week because of the sewer problems but I'm trying....

All in all, we're doing OK.  Hope you are all faring as well in the seemingly endless winter.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Egg photos for Justine

Justine is doing a project for school and needs photos of eggs. So, to oblige, here they are.

Let me know if these work.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


It's that time of year:

Wonderful things are arriving in the mail!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The eggs of the day

I'm so thrilled that the ladies are starting to lay again.  Those of you with chickens, I'm sure, know the feeling.
Today's eggs. Someone is obviously out of practice!  And I got the first blue egg of the year this morning.  Hurrah!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

And she's off!

My darling daughter left this morning.  Back to parts east.  So far she has had an adventurous trip and she isn't even there yet!
It was snowing pretty heavily this morning, but it was a fairly narrow band and we didn't think too much of it.  On the way to the airport, we hit one section of nearly white out conditions and at one point V nearly lost control of the car.  A fair warning to slow down!  Apparently, in the opposite lanes, at about that time, there was a huge (30 cars!!!) pile up that closed the eastbound lanes of the interstate.  We still had to detour around it on our way home.
Anyway, Justine's flight was delayed a bit on take off (weather and de-icing) but the biggest delay came in Chicago when they had to sit on the taxi-way and wait for a gate to become available because the previous plane was still being de-iced.  Well... long story short, she missed her connecting flight even though she should have had over 90 minutes between arrival and departure. It was not to be.
So, she is still waiting at O'hare in Chicago and won't get out until nearly 7 tonight, which puts her arriving in Philly close to 10 tonight.  And then she still has to catch the train back to center city and then walk back to her dorm.  Poor sweetie.  More of an adventure than she bargained for.
And we already miss her.  We were just really getting used to having her home again and now she is away again.   But, at least we will get to see her again in March for Spring break so it's not quite such a long haul.  I know James, her fiance, will also be glad to see her again.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


The ladies are back in form!  At least a few of them are.  We've had 14 eggs over the last 3 days.
Finally!!!  Eggs are back on the menu!

Just a quick post to celebrate!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Yep, I've been out of the loop again.  My bad.  I feel like it's been busy here but then again, not much is going on... and... I'll admit it... Justine introduced me to the evil that is Pinterest.  I had been avoiding it like the plague because I knew it has the potential to be a time-sucking kind of place.   So far, I've been good... we'll see how long that lasts.
The weather has been frightful.  Monday our high for the day was -7F.  The poor chickens were cooped up for a couple of days but they seem to have fared pretty well.  And, after a couple of weeks of no eggs at all, I've finally started getting a few.  Two today. Excitement!
Today it was finally above freezing for the first time in seemingly ages.  It hit the mid 40's!  So Justine, I16 and I went on a long walk (about 2 miles). It felt great to be out and about in the fresh air again.  I even opened a couple of windows in the chicken coop to let it air out in there since it was warmer outside than in.
Otherwise, it's a pretty slow time here.  I've been plotting the garden for next year.  I think I'll have my seed order ready to go soon. In the next couple of weeks I plan to start some cold weather stuff inside to try out in the greenhouse.  The greenhouse was a bust this winter. It got so cold so soon that everything froze off.  Last year I had fresh greens in mid January.  This year they all froze off in November.  sigh....  But I'm hoping that if I get some spinach and kale started inside that I can put them out in late February and have them survive in there. We'll see... it's an experiment.
Justine is home for only another week and then will head back to Philly for her next semester of classes.  We have been seeing a LOT of her fiance in the last few weeks but that's OK.  He is a great guy and we're all happy to see them both so happy.  She plans to move out of the dorms next year so we've all ben brainstorming things that she/they will need in an apartment and picking up things when we can.  We found a great 12 piece set of T-fal pots and pans yesterday.  The good stuff- stainless with copper bottoms: pans that will last a lifetime.  Got them on sale with an extra 15% off the sale price plus a mail-in rebate.  So we ended up paying just a little over half price for them- not a bad deal.  That girl has a good head on her shoulders and is always thinking ahead.
Otherwise, things are going.  I16 is finally taking Driver's Ed so we've got him out driving with us.  School is going well for both boys.  V is busy writing and now has a new client in addition to his old one so things are going well.  Construction is slow this time of year so it's a pretty laid-back time.

Hope you all are well.