Category Archives: The Chooks

Excitement at the Coop and a Frazzled Hen

If you have read my blog for very long, you know I have chickens.   I love my chickens.  Their names are Dorcas,  Beatrice, Phoebe, Freedom, Penninah, Jemima, Abigail and Ada.  I take very good care of my girls.  They are a little spoiled.  If I open the back door, they come running to the garden gate to wait for their treats.  Treats being leftover salad, pumpkins, sunflower seeds, bread(they go wacko over bread),  or anything leftover from meals that the dogs won’t eat.

I check them once or twice a day to be sure they have water and feed in the feeder.  Every night David goes on chicken patrol to be sure all the hens are on their roost.  They are usually in their house before the sun is completely set.  But tonight, one of them was missing.  Abigail, the Silver Laced Wyndotte.  The most beautiful chicken I have.  Where was she?

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David took a flashlight and began looking for her.  In every tree, over the neighbor’s fence(if she had escaped the yard we might never find her), all over the yard.  I put on a coat and got a flashlight and began to look too.  I looked behind and under and on top of everything in the yard and garden.  I rechecked the chicken coop to be sure we hadn’t missed her.  I couldn’t believe how awful I felt that Abigail might be lost to us forever.  This makes me think of a story in the Bible about Jesus looking for the lost sheep.  That lost sheep was so important to Him he left the others to go and find it.  That is what I was doing with that lost chicken.   Then, I said a little prayer.  I said, “Dear God, please help us find Abigail.   She won’t survive the night outdoors.”   Then I looked some more and then I looked behind a piece of lumber in the chicken coop and there she was.  She had flown between the shed and the fence and gotten wedged in and couldn’t get out.  Her wing was caught in the fencing.  She must have been there for quite a while and put up quite a struggle because she looked frazzled and almost dead.  In fact, I thought she was dead for a second.  My heart dropped. Then David touched her and she clucked.  He had to pull her out and if a chicken could scream, she sounded like it.  She was tramatized I could tell.

David placed her on the roost in the coop.  She was breathing so hard and was all fluffed up and her head hung down.  Poor girl.  Chickens have a way of beating another chicken when it’s down and Freedom hopped up on the roost and started picking on Abigail.  I brushed her off the roost and told her she better leave Abigail alone.

This is the first time I thought I had lost one of my hens and I realized I am entirely too attached to them.  My dad never mourned a dead chicken.  If one got eaten by a pig he’d just say, ” The pigs got another chicken,” and take a big bite out of the chicken leg he was eating.   If he found one dead in the chicken yard he would throw it over the fence to the pigs.

Speaking of chickens, I have been cooking one all day to make broth to make chicken and dumplings for Thanksgiving.  I didn’t know this particular chicken so I don’t feel bad about eating it.

Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and give thanks to the One who provides all we need.  Bye.

 

Bees and Honey

I am going to include another Hoosier Girl story from my past, but before I do I would like to show a few pictures of the goings on at our house.

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I still commune with my chooks although they haven’t been getting as much attention lately as I have had many things to do. See Penninah and Jemima at my feet?  They stand there and chatter to me looking to see if I have brought any treats.  All I had in my pocket this day was a dog biscuit so I gave it to them.

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Of course when one hen gets something, they all gather to get their own treats.

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I am Queen over all I survey and these are my subjects!  Ha.  You should be here to hear the clucking and talking they do when I am around.  I don’t know if they are happy to see me or wish I would get out of there so they can go about their business.

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This is Ada, the Australorp.  Isn’t she beautiful?  You can’t see in the picture, but she has the most beautiful teal feathers among the black ones.  She has started to squat, as chickens who are getting ready to lay will do.  I think she may have already begun to lay as I am finding some very small eggs in the nests.

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Beautiful Abigail, the Silver Laced Wyndotte.  She is gorgeous and I think she knows it.  She is the biggest hen now.  David says she looks like a nice roaster and I just say, “Not going to happen.”  I don’t think she is laying yet.

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Here is a normal size egg next to a new layer egg.  In time the hen will lay bigger eggs, but she’s just a beginner.  Their eggs still taste good.  I have noticed the yolks are almost orange now.  I have fed them the last of the marigolds and I think that is why.

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Molly Marshmallow continues to grow.  She is a very active little puppy.  She drags up all kinds of things onto our back deck.  She brought a huge board with a nail in it the other day and I was afraid she was deconstructing one of our buildings, but David said it was just a piece of wood she had found behind the shed.  Nothing would surprise me with this dog.

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She is so sweet and wants attention all the time.  Still working on that nipping.  See those teeth?  They are like little razors and have drawn blood.  Belle, in the background, has felt those teeth a few times and Molly gets a good nip back sending her whining.

 

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When the weather starts to get cooler, I have the urge to bake.  This is pineapple upside down biscuit.  It is delicious.  If you were here, I would give you a piece.

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I cannot keep these in the house and it is not because I eat them.  David is hooked on these and eats them all.  I don’t really like them because I think they taste like paraffin.  He has gone through three bags, but I’m not saying anything.

Now for my story.  Remember, these are stories from my childhood and it is how I remember them.  My brothers and sister may remember things differently, but this is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Bees and Honey

By Kate Pentecost Craig

Katie woke up to a long, warm Summer day ahead of her.  She stretched in bed and lay quietly for a few minutes listening to the noises of the awakening house.  Mommy had been up for hours.  She always got up at 5 o’clock to read her Bible and drink her morning cup of coffee in peace before all the children came running down the stairs.  Katie always wanted to be able to get up that early too, but Mommy discouraged her from doing so.

Now Katie got out of bed and pulled on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt.  She took the stair steps two at a time and jumped off the last two steps.  “Good morning,” Mommy said to her,   “What do you want for breakfast?”  Katie had been fixing her own breakfast since she started school. It was almost always the same, tea and toast spread with peanut butter or tea and cinnamon toast.  Sometimes she would have a glass of chocolate milk.  While she was eating, Daddy came  in from the barn. After washing his hands and sitting down at his place at the head of the table, Mommy poured him a cup of coffee and placed half a grapefruit in front of him and two slices of toast.  Daddy almost always had the same breakfast too!

“What are you going to do today, Snicklefritz?”(Daddy’s pet name for Katie) Daddy asked.

“Play!” said Katie as she jumped off her chair and ran out the kitchen door.  Once outside the whole big world waited to be explored.  Katie began to run out to the the side yard when she saw a strange sight on the clothesline.  A big black mass of moving objects hung suspended on Mommy’s clothesline.  Bees were flying around this mass.  Katie ran laughing right into the swarming bees.  Back and forth she ran flailing her arms and hitting the flying insects.  Not one stung her.  She then ran into the house yelling, “Come look and see what is on the clothesline.”

Mommy and Daddy came out the back door while Katie made a dash toward the roiling mass again, but Daddy called her to get back to him.  “Those are swarming bees,” said Daddy.  “There must be a queen bee in there.  They were too busy swarming to bother stinging you, but you are a very lucky little girl.”  Katie wanted so much to run among the bees again, but she was not allowed.  Her brothers came out to look at the  swarm.  It was a very strange sight to see so many bees piled on top of each other.  In the center of the mass somewhere was the queen bee.

Daddy went back inside to call a man he knew who kept beehives and sold honey.  soon the man arrived to collect the bees.  He put on a big hat with a mesh face protector.  He wore long sleeves and gloves.  He had one of his wooden hives with him.  Carefully he put the mass of been into the hive and closed the lid. “Your little girl was very lucky the bees were swarming,” said the man.  “She could have been very badly stung.”  Katie hung her head, but inside her mind she was thinking about how much fun it had been to run through all those bees!

 

Several weeks later the man came back to their house bringing a gift.  He had jars of fresh honey, some of them with the comb in them.  Katie stuck her fingers into one of the jars and pulled out a piece of the honeycomb.  The sweet golden honey dripped from it.  She stuck it in her mouth and chewed the delicious sweet comb.  When she had sucked all the honey from it, she threw the comb away.  She was glad the bees had chosen their yard in which to swarm and she was glad to have some of their sweet honey to eat all summer long on her toast and ice cream.

Hope you have a wonderful day. And don’t get stung by any bees!  Bye.

Road Trip

Before I tell you about the road trip David and I took yesterday, I have a few things to show you that are going on around our house.

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Molly is holding her own with the big dogs. As you can see here, she is not at all intimidated by Belle, even when Belle barks right in her face.  She hangs out with Bonnie and Belle pretty much all day now.  She doesn’t like being in the shop.  She wants to be where the action is.   I love her little tail that curls over her back.  This is her, “you’re not scaring me,” stance.

We are training Molly to walk around the pool, not get in it.  So far, so good. She walks right up to the edge and then walks away.  I still cage her at night as I am afraid she will fall in the pool and get drowned.

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The birds are busy eating sunflowers. I am going to plant more next year.  We have had dozens of birds including several pairs of goldfinches eating on the sunflowers.

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See the chickadee at the bottom of the picture?   It’s hard to get their picture as they grab a seed and fly off to peck it to get the good insides.

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I believe this is a female goldfinch as she is not as bright yellow.

While sitting at my sewing machine in my girly room I saw a lot of action on the top of my shop.  Cardinals were going in and out of the  gutter getting seeds or bugs or something.  Then I saw this one.

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A rather henpecked orange cardinal.  Yes, it was orange against the reds of the other cardinals.  I think this may be a young one. He looked kind of sad.

Then another critter came to eat.

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There must have been something really good in the gutter to make all these birds and squirrels come to dine.

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“You lookin’ at me?”

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Chomp, chomp, chomp.

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David and I took a road trip.  We headed to Danville to eat at a special restaurant I had read about.

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We landed in Mayberry at the Mayberry Cafe.

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Barney’s police cruiser sat outside ready for him to jump in to catch another criminal.

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All the televisions inside the cafe ran Andy Griffith shows continuously.  The food was good too.

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We sat at Opie’s booth.

We walked around the town square and saw this little guy.

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While driving to Danville we went through Bargersville and Mooresville.  We found a couple of really good antique stores. Did I buy anything?    What do you think?

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I found this cute chalkware chick and a child’s old watering can.  I  will use these for Easter decorations next Spring.  Never too early to plan, you know.

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We stopped at this antique store and it was full of treasures.

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I got two yards of this beautiful fabric for four dollars.  A good deal.  It’s already hanging out on the line drying after I rinsed it to get the dyes set.

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I collect American flags and found this 48 star flag at a very good price.  I have several 48 star flags and one 49 star flag which is kind of hard to find as the 49 star flag wasn’t around very long.  Some day I am going to hang all my flags all around my house outside just to see how many I have.

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I have never been in Avon and we were passing through and I saw this quilt shop and we had to stop.

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I just got a few pieces for a quilt I am working on right now.

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We so enjoyed our drive on the back roads of Indiana. My state is so beautiful in the summer even though it is so hot.  Everything looks lush and green.

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The fields are getting ripe for harvest.  It is said our corn crop is great this year.  I am glad for the farmers and I hope they fill their barns and silos and make a good profit on their crops because some years can be very poor for farmers.  We have had just enough rain to make everything grow well.

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It saddens me that the old wooden barns are disappearing from the landscape.  Someone said once that most children don’t even know what a haymow is.  It’s to store the hay.  It was a great place to play when I was a girl.  It’s where mother cats hid their kittens among the hay bales.  It’s where you swung from the hay hook suspended high above. The hay hook that would hook the bails of hay and then they would be swung into the haymow.  I have so many happy memories of the haymow on my daddy’s farm.  We played basketball up there also when there wasn’t hay in the way.

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I will leave you with a picture of the calendar I bought the other day.   Everyone should keep chickens.  I highly recommend it.  Bye.

 

How to Bathe a Baby

Today I will give you instructions on how to bathe a baby. It’s really very easy.

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First you get the shampoo, a towel and a bowl for rinsing.  A Cool Whip bowl is the best to use.  It reminds you of delicious desserts you ate while you are bathing the baby.

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Oh, did I neglect to tell you the baby was a puppy?  Yes, Molly is getting her first bath.  We didn’t bathe our other two dogs when they were pups and therefore it is impossible to bathe them now. It is dangerous to even try.  So, Molly will get regular baths so she won’t be afraid when she gets too big to handle.   First you get the puppy wet.  Keep the water and shampoo away from her eyes.  This also works with human babies.

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Then with very rapid motions you put shampoo on the puppy and rub it all over her until she is a bubbly little furball.

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Continuing to wash the puppy until your hands almost disappear, you get her nice and clean.  So far the puppy does not know what is happening to her.  She only tried climbing out of the tub once.  But, as you can see, I can move fast and kept her in.

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Then you gently rinse the puppy under the faucet because it is faster that way and gets the soap off her really well.

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By this time the puppy is resigned to the fact she is going to have to endure this just a little longer.

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Then you take a clean towel and begin drying her.  She loves this and makes moaning sounds as I rub her.

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Here she is.  A nice clean puppy who smells like baby powder.  Or as David says, “She smells like a baby’s butt.”   Then you sniff her for about a half hour and rub her dry and think how adorable she is.

Molly has made herself right at home here at the Craig house.

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She sleeps among the shoes.

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She and I both slept on the couch the other day.

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She sleeps with the chickens.  See the black Australorp?  She cosied as close as she felt safe by Molly and laid there for a while.  I am trying to get both chickens and puppy used to each other so Molly won’t want to eat them later.

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The chickens were very curious about her, but didn’t allow her near.

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She sleeps with Bonnie.  I’m rethinking that extension cord right there where she can reach it.  She hasn’t found it yet, but I’m not taking any chances. I have puppy proofed my shop as well as I can, but I am sure she will find something I never thought of to chew one day.

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Yes, she sleeps a lot and I have a hundred or so pictures of her doing so.  I just can’t resist.

Lest you think all I have done since we got Molly is watch her, play with her and walk her, I have done other things.

I picked our first pumpkin out of our garden this week.

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This is one of twelve or thirteen we have seen in the garden.  This is one of the small ones.

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I tea dyed some lace for a project and hung it out to dry in the wind.

I also finished my Christmas sheep quilt top.  I really love it and can’t wait to show it to you.  I finished knitting another hat.  I finished a book and began another.  I did laundry.  I started a new quilt.  I fed and watered the chickens.  I gathered eggs.  I went to church.  I took a walk.  I baked an apple crunch and a rhubarb crunch, both of which have been eaten in a matter of days.  I would say I dusted the house, but I would be lying.  I cleaned up after the pup.  My shop floor looks like I have a real baby with all the toys scattered all over.  I cooked lasagna.  I baked a chocolate chip applesauce cake that I forgot to put vanilla in, but it still tastes pretty good. I made three trips to the vet with three dogs.  I had to hold Bonnie down while they trimmed her nails.   I sat in the air condition because it has been so hot and humid.  I would rather be outside, but I am getting a lot of hand quilting done on a quilt that I hope to have finished next week.  I did a few other things, but the pup has had a lot of my attention this week.

Here’s to bathing babies(human or canine.)  Bye.

 

 

Wild, Wonderful, Wacky Weekend

David’s brother and sister-in-law visited us this weekend.  They brought their four grandchildren too.  We had two of our grandsons with us so we had a full house.  People were sleeping everywhere.

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I love these two people.  We laughed a lot.  I had to leave the table one time after something Terry said because I was laughing so hard.  I love people who can make me laugh.

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The gang of six.  The four on the left are Bill and Terry’s grandchildren.  The two boys on the right are ours.  They got along really well.  They are second cousins, I think.  This will probably be the only time they will ever all be together as we live so far apart.

 

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We tried to pack a week’s worth of fun in two days.  We had a cookout and we had sweet corn, so David put the kids to work shucking corn.  They did a great job.

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“I came all the way to Indiana just to do this?”

We didn’t make them do child labor all weekend.  There were fun times.

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Swimming and getting dunked in the pool.

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Hot tubbing.  Funny how much kids like to get in the hot tub.  Especially that bald headed kid there in the corner.  We had to keep him under control at all times.

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David had built everyone a birdhouse and the kids painted theirs.  Well, some did.

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I did no painting and still managed to get paint all over my hands.

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Terry is a good artist and I asked her if she would paint a birdhouse for me and she did.  I will show it to you on the next blog.  It’s really pretty.  She didn’t get  to do all she wanted because of time constraints, but I love it.

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There was chicken holding.  The girls behaved very well with all the handling.  Penninah likes it.

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I fell in love with this sweet girl.  I could have kept her, but her parents want her back, so that won’t happen.

We went to Zaharako’s, a local old fashion ice cream parlor and ate ice cream.  We took the kids to an inside playground we have in our city and they played there for a while.  We blew up balloons with lights in them and they waved them at cars at night as they passed.  We played Dizzios.  We had a birthday party for the twin boys who turned eight.  Yes, we tried to do it all.

They all went to church with us Sunday morning and we filled one and a half pews.  Then we ate dinner and went swimming again and then they all packed up and left and our house felt so quiet.

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This picture kind of sums up what two pair of grandparents feel like after a full weekend of fun times.  Bill and Terry still had to go visit some more relatives for a couple of days and then drive back to North Carolina.

We still had our two grandsons for a little while and I took one on a walk with me and Belle.  The other one wanted to watch television.

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So we walked about a mile.

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My grandson took this picture of Belle.  Turned out pretty good I would say.  They went home, but we will be spending time with them again next weekend.  Our son also came over from Cincinnati for an afternoon, so we got to visit with a lot of family which is what I love.

I will leave you with two beautiful pictures of insects I took with my new little camera.

 

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This butterfly matches the flower it’s on.  Hope your weekend was wonderful too. Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give a Wife a Camera……..

Yesterday I was sitting in my girly room, minding my own business, knitting a hat.  Suddenly David pushed the camera into my face with this picture.

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Okay, I thought.  A little blurry and I said take another one and he took this…

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Much better.  You like my blue fingernails?   Then David started to show me more pictures.

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Okay, what’s going on?  ” I used the zoom lens,” David said.  “Here, look.”  I looked at my camera and saw the zoom was fixed.  You see, last summer on a small trip we took, I dropped the camera in my car and broke the zoom thingamajig on it.  I have still continued to use my camera, but couldn’t zoom in.  Then, David, bless his heart, bought me a new camera for Christmas.  Unfortunately, me and that camera did not get along well.  It was heavy, took too long(for me) to focus and I had to change lenses if I wanted to zoom.  It’s really a nice camera, just too much for me.  I told him he could have it and take pictures for me while I would continue to use my little, broken camera.   It’s worked out pretty well.  David takes good pictures.

Then today he starts using my little camera again. “Did you fix it?”  I said.  “How did you fix it?  Oh, I am so glad to have my camera working again.”  Then he began to laugh and I looked at the camera closer.  It was a new camera.  Just like my little broken one, only better.  And I could zoom again.

David had ordered a new pump for our water fountain and I had brought him the box from the mail thinking nothing about it.  The camera was in the box with the pump.  He sure surprised me.  Soooo, today I went around taking pictures just checking it out.  Here they are in no particular order.

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Getting ripe.

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You know those bulbs I bought at a big box store and didn’t think they would grow?  Well, they are growing and blooming.  I have several different gladiola right now and each one is so pretty.

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This one was almost hidden behind the Shasta Daisies.  It’s amazingly beautiful in person.

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Gorgeous.

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Magic or August Lilies.  In the Spring these flowers grow their foliage, but no flowers.   Then as the Summer progresses, the foliage completely dies and disappears and then these spikes of flowers appear.  Then they turn into this.

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What I am wondering is, how do they know it’s August?

 

I have a lot of these around the garden.  Whoever lived here before us planted them and they have come up every year since we’ve been here for thirty-seven years almost.

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Last Summer a friend and I went to a shop hop and I won this quilting book.  I haven’t made anything from it yet, but I keep looking at it and planning.

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I think this is a darling pillow.  I would make it with wools and I think I will make this pretty soon.

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Isn’t this bee skep pin cushion cute.  It’s kind of labor intensive, but I won’t take it off my list to make yet.

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I love this purse although the giant bee on it kind of turns me off, but I could put something else there where the bee is.

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Right now I am making a quilt from this book.

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Yes, I am making a sheep quilt.  I am not going to make it exactly like in the book, but I think it will be cute when I am finished.  I’ll try to remember to show you when it’s done.  I won’t guarantee it.  But I will try.

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For those of you too young to remember these are insulators that use to be on the top of electric line poles.  When the poles started to be taken down, the workmen would often just leave these laying around.  My dad collected a few and I have found some at auctions.  They are just a part of history and I like history.

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My trusty Riccar sewing machine.  One of four I have plus I have a few other sewing machines.  A friend asked me one time why I had so many sewing machines.  I told her it was because I never wanted to be without a sewing machine when I am working on a project should the one I am using break.  Plus, we sold these years ago and I brought the leftovers home with me when we closed our store.

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I collect old chairs.

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I come from creative parents.  My dad used to build and paint these little houses and sell them.  I was blessed to receive some from him.

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He made this little church.

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It even has a bell in the belfrey.

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This was the last thing my dad gave me before he died.  The cow’s eyes are a little wonky which makes me love it even more.  Dad had had gall bladder surgery that year and his health never got back to normal.  I use to just put these houses out at Christmas, but I keep them out all year now to remind me of my father.  I can’t wait to see him again and I know I will.

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Shhh, this is my favorite chicken, but the others don’t know it.  Penninah always greets me when I come into the chicken yard.  Honestly, sometimes I think I can understand what she is clucking.  Here she is engrossed in my pants.

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Ada and Abby are now in with the big chooks.  David said they went into the coop all by themselves last night.  He had been putting them in after it got dark.  Seems things have settled down and the big chooks have accepted them more or less although there is an occasional peck when the younguns’ get around their food.

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The best fertilizer.  I’m just sayin’.

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Bonnie.  I love this dog.  She is getting old. Ten years.  We are looking to get another puppy maybe this Fall.  When we got Bonnie, we had an older dog who got a new lease on life when Bonnie arrived.  They played together and ran and had so much fun.  That dog, Subaka, lived to be eighteen years old.  I hope Bonnie lives that long.  Seems that it would be nice if your dog could live as long as you do, but it’s not the way.  I have many dogs waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.  Dogs are the best and the nearest thing to how we people should treat each other.  They love us unconditionally, forgive everything and only live to be with you.  Sounds like God, doesn’t it?

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Belle, the silly girl.  She always manages to strike a very silly pose every time I try to get her picture.

Here’s to new cameras and the wonderful husband who surprised me with one.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer

You know that first day of June when Summer stretches out before you with all its sunny days, times to relax by the pool, read a good book, garden, stay outside until dark and watch the lightening bugs flickering in the trees?   It’s halfway over already and I still haven’t done half the things I wanted to do.

We have made a trip to Chicago, spent time in the pool, had the grandkids over, gardened and enjoyed the warm, hazy days.  We want to go to the zoo, the state fair, and to Cincinnati before our son moves to Florida(ah, a new place to visit.) We said we would go to at least one auction this Summer.  We haven’t made it to one yet.  David works so many Saturdays so we can’t go.   Already Autumn is beckoning.  I see pumpkins and Autumn leaves in the stores.  Halloween is just around the corner.  I want Summer to last at least two more months.  All my grandkids go back to school on August 4th.  August 4th!!!  That’s taking away a whole month of Summer from them.  When I was in school back in the age when we chipped the alphabet on rocks, we didn’t go back to school until after Labor Day and one year we got out of school for the Summer on May 6th.  That was a loooong, lazy, wonderful Summer.

But times have changed and the school year is different now.  I’m just glad I went to school when I did.

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Even the garden is showing me that the last days of Summer are upon us.  The sunflowers are blooming.  Some of them have already been eaten by the goldfinches and lay on the ground.

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The zinnia patch is growing and starting to dry into the seeds I will gather for next year.

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Bernice, or is it Dorcas says, ” What’s Summer?”  Chickens don’t care as long as they are fed and watered.

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By the way, here are the new chicks on the block.  This is our new silver laced wyndotte chick.  She is so pretty.  We’ve clipped her wings.  She still manages to fly up and roost in a giant bush by her pen.

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The black chick is our new Australorp.  When they get separated, they get very nervous.  Here Abby, the Wyndotte, is inside the cage and Ada, the Australorp, is outside and neither one likes it.  Both will be medium sized chickens and lay medium sized brown eggs.  Both have to be hunted at night up in the big bush by their pen.  Last night they were in the very tiptop and we could not find them for quite a while.

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Our youngest grandson.  He is getting really good at swimming.  Last year he was afraid of the deep water.  This year he swims like a fish.  I didn’t learn to swim until we got our first pool.  I was always afraid of deep water too.  I even took swimming in college, but never got over my fear of going in water that I couldn’t stand in.  Now I can swim in the deep end and not be afraid.   It’s all in practicing.  You can learn about anything if you practice it enough.

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Flowers in the garden.  Morning glories, perovskia  and coneflowers, and hibiscus.  The hibicus make my yard look very tropical.  They have spread everywhere from one little plant my neighbor gave me years ago. This one is almost eight inches across.

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Remember the soda shoppe chair I showed you in a previous post?  David chipped all the old paint off it.

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He had taken the chair completely apart.

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He said it looked like originally there was a copper plating on the chair.

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He spent a lot of time getting all the chipped paint removed.  That’s why I bought the chair in the first place.  Its chipped paint, but through the years it began to look really bad.  After all the  paint was removed, David spray painted it.

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And here it is now.  I love it.  I also added my touch.

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I stuck butterflies on it.

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Now it’s a real, girly chair that I will keep in my shop.  David had also replaced the old wooden seat that was rotten so the chair can be sat in.  He is so handy.  He says that’s why I keep him around.

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Meanwhile, since I haven’t anything better to do, I have this basket of one and a half inch blocks I have cut out over time and am sewing them together.

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I figure eighty of these across and eighty down would make a good size quilt.  That’s six thousand and four hundred little squares.  Yes, I’m crazy.

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I will leave you with a picture of Lunaria Annua, or Honesty or Money plant that grows around our garden. I can see why it’s called Money plant as it glows like Spanish coins when the sun shines through them.  See the seeds inside?  These will drop and reseed the plant for another year.

Here’s to Summer, industrious husbands and tree roosting chicks.  Bye.

 

 

 

Two Desperadoes

Two desperadoes rode into town on 350 horses with several compadres.  These were bad dudes.  Or dudettes as it were. DSCN8093

Look at her fierce look.

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Now look at this sweet and sort of dorky face.  Not a bad thought in her head.  Or was there?

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Angry dudette.

 

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Sweet, wouldn’t hurt a feather on your head face.

Then these two met and feathers flew.  It was a fight to the death.  Jail was the only answer.

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A well built, can’t be broken out of jail.  Oh?   The two desperadoes had other ideas.

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The two desperadoes escaped and hid in a nearby bush. A bush that is as tall as a tree.  Clear to the top.  With much straining, cackling and scratches(and that was just David), they were taken back to jail.

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More work was done on the jail to make it escape proof.  Oh?

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Up in the tree-bush again the next night.  Let’s play find the chicken.

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Back to jail with more wood, more sticks, and bricks to keep the prisoners inside.  Finally, it worked, but the two desperadoes were not happy with it.  They continuously looked for an escape.

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Meanwhile, happy dorky chicken remains free to fight another day.

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“Who you lookin’ at?   I did nothing, I saw nothing.  I’m innocent.”  Ahem.

After contending with that, I decided to paint the floor of my shop porch.  We removed everything off the porch.

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When I saw all this I told David it looked like a really good garage sale or auction find.  And it all belonged to me!

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I got up really early on the hottest day of the summer so far and began to paint.

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Then when it was painted and had dried, I had to put everything back, but in a better order.  I am happy with it.

A little something about painting.  David is a very slow, meticulous painter.  He does a really great job, but takes a long time.  I did this floor in about an hour.  When David paints his shirt looks like this afterward.

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When I paint I am more of a fast, kind of sloppy painter.  My shirt looks like this after I paint.

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I watch those remodeling shows where the perky, cute well dressed hostess paints a room in jewelry and white pants and doesn’t get a drop of paint on her.  How does she do it?    How does David do it?  I keep this shirt for all my painting so I won’t ruin all my clothes.  I also have a special pair of paint pants.  I can roll in the paint and I wouldn’t worry.   Sometimes it looks as if I did.  I also have to take a bath after I paint and get the paint off my hands, arms, face and out of my hair.  But even at that, I have painted every room of our house at least twice and some three or more times and they don’t look too bad for a messy painter because I don’t get any paint on anything but the walls and me.

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I will leave you with a picture of a vintage tablecloth I purchased at an antique mall this past week.  I collect these and it is getting harder to find any I like, but this one really caught my eye and was a good price.

Here’s to desperado chickens and the fun they provide.  Bye.

 

 

Seasonal Snippets

It’s been a very busy month.  By busy I mean planting, cleaning, building, sewing, walking, and visiting among other things.  Summer is building up to be very busy also.    Every Summer we look at the three long months ahead and think of all the time we’ll have and then things start to be planned and before we know it, Summer is over. Right now we have a graduation party, a wedding, a trip to Chicago, visiting relatives and a Sunday school party planned.   I would like to have a candlelight dinner on our new porch, but haven’t got the plans all together for that yet.  I’d love to have a ladies’ day camp at my house where all my friends could come to spend the day, without children, and swim, sun, hot tub and eat yummy food all day.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  I’d love to have all you girls come enjoy the day with me.

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I am going to talk about our new porch for a minute.  I know you are thinking, “blah, blah, blah, that’s all she talks about.  Her new porch. Boring.”  I know, but I just love my new porch so much.  David and I go out every day and look around and tell each other how much we love it.  The stone mason got the stone laid last week despite that it rained every single day.

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We had cloudbursts after cloudbursts.  The garden loved it, but it made it hard to lay stone as the cement couldn’t set in the rain.

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The stone masons made themselves a little tent to work under.  I felt so bad for them as I stood inside my nice, dry house and watched them work.  They are truly artists at their work.  The pillars came out even more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.   I am so glad we decided to do them as we were a little afraid of the cost.  Since we plan to live in this house the rest of our lives, I think we made the right decision.

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David had had his eye on these rocking chairs we saw at Sam’s Club and he finally decided to go buy them.  They were the last two they had so I think we were meant to have them.  They are so comfortable and made of teak so they will fade to a grey.  We have originally become old, I said. Two old folks sitting and rocking on their front porch.  I would love to put a bed out there also.  To sleep under a metal roof while a soft rain is falling upon it sounds like bliss to me.  I fell asleep on our swing in our back yard yesterday and when I opened my eyes, there was a carpenter bee right in front of my eyes.  So close that when I swatted at it, I hit it.   I wondered just how long it had been flying around my head and looking at my nostrils as a place to call home!  Yikes!

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I love the way the shadows fall upon the porch.  It’s just a magical place, I have to tell you.  I know it’s just a porch, but it just makes you feel good to sit out there.

I have been having a wonderful time landscaping around the porch.  I had purchased a lot of perennials that I was just itching to get into the ground.  I spent a couple of days planting.

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This little patch of flowers are on the left side of the steps.

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We dug up some more yard for another bed.  The less grass I have to mow the better I like it.  I have planted these plants and sowed zinnia and cleome around them  I also planted some hollyhock bulbs, but I am not sure they will grow.  I have decided buying prepackaged bulbs from certain stores are not the healthiest of bulbs.  I bought garlic bulbs from one particular store a couple of years ago and not one grew.

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Now you know I have to have something about chickens in my garden.  I found this cute garden stake at Rural King, one of my favorite stores.  It has a little bell that really rings.

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I’ve planted and planted. Did I really need to buy eight packets of sunflower seeds?  Really??  I managed to find places to plant them, but my garden is getting packed full.  This is an old lawn spreader that I painted pink and planted with annuals.  A movable flower pot!

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I never tire of seeing the perennials bloom every year.  The irises, poppies and peonies are beautiful right now.  Peonies are probably my very favorite flower.  The poppies were started from David’s grandmother’s garden.  She always had a beautiful garden in her backyard.  I can still see it in my mind’s eye.

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Peonies make such a beautiful bouquet.  If I were getting married again, I would want to get married when the peonies are in bloom so that I could have them in my wedding bouquet.

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Two of my favorite colors together.

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Even the white ones are gorgeous.

Meanwhile, David has been working hard to get things ready for summer.

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Want to come swim in our pool?  What’s that?  You say it’s green?  This is what it looks like every year when we(meaning David) takes the cover off.  Then the real work begins.

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David spends many hours cleaning, flushing and checking the chemicals.  It’s hard to believe that soon this green pool will be a beautiful, clear blue ready for swimming.  Our grandkids are coming over this weekend, so hope the pool will be ready.

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We needed a new walkway to our porch and David spent a day working on it.  It was his plan and I must say it turned out really well.  I will show you the ta-da moment on another post as I forgot to take pictures of the finished project.

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Doesn’t he have a nicely tanned head?  Working outside in the sunshine will do that.

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Over a year ago, when our new porch was just a figment of our imaginations, we bought this stained glass picture to hang in our front window.  We didn’t want to put it up until it would be in the shade as my stained glass pictures in my shop windows faded after years in the sun.  I love this with all the different birds on it.

Less you think I have forgotten all about the chooks, I haven’t.

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They are so happy to have ground where they can take their dust baths again.  Here they are in front of one of the dog houses.  There’s Freedom getting ready to run.  She always runs when she sees me despite the fact I spent weeks nursing her back to health last year.  Ungrateful chicken.

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Here she is thinking she has escaped me, but I cut her off at the pass.

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Dorcas, or is it Beatrice, is friendlier to me and will come right up to me and let me pick her up.  She’s such a pretty girl.

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Even though Freedom is afraid of me, she keeps her eye on me.  She will follow me all around the coop, but as soon as I go to pet her she’s off to the races again.

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Of course laying season is picking up.  Sometimes I will find as many as four eggs in one nest.  Chickens like communal laying, I guess.  We give a lot of eggs away.  They are good, organic, free range chicken eggs and taste like butter.  I have eaten more eggs this year than I think I have all my life.  Egg salad is a mainstay at the Craig house.

Well, hope you are enjoying the weather and getting outdoors and giving God the praise for His glorious creation. Bye.

 

Sleepy

I don’t know why, but for the last couple of weeks I have been so sleepy.  I sleep until nine or ten in the morning and by mid afternoon I am sleepy again.  Maybe it’s been this extremely cold, damp weather we have been having that chills you right to the bone.

Last night  after supper, I was so cold I got three blankets and laid on the couch with them over me and fell asleep until ten o’clock.  Stayed up for a couple of hours, went to bed and slept until almost nine thirty this morning.  My mother would tell me I am sleeping my life away.  I kind of feel that way.

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I wish I could be more like my dogs and not be ashamed I am sleeping so much.  They don’t seem to mind wasting away a whole day just snoozing.    Bonnie stays in my shop all day and doesn’t move a muscle for hours.  She doesn’t care what others might think.  Look at her, how peaceful she is.  By the way, she and Belle got new beds for my shop so now I let them in more often since they don’t get on the furniture anymore.  They are loving that.

It’s not that I haven’t been busy.  When I am awake my hours are full.  I just finished a Bible study, have been doing some Spring cleaning and have been cutting hundreds of two inch squares for a quilt I am making. It needs over two thousand squares.  As I cut them, I sew a few together.  I want to have this quilt pieced before hot weather gets here.  I’ve been taking care of the chooks.  They are beginning to lay more regularly now.  They might be getting some new friends later this summer if my daughter gets me the Austrolorps I want.    I’m too tired to download any pictures right now, but I will be showing you  what I have been up to soon.  I made a bunny garland today.   Just need to do some hand sewing on it.  If I can get out of this sleep funk, I will take some pictures.

We had some exciting news today.   Our contractor, Claude(He calls himself Bub) called us today and said he was ready to start work on our new front porch and put in some new windows.  I have told you our old porch on our hundred year old house is sinking and pulling away from the house causing cracks in the wall of our living room.  David said we had to replace the porch or the side of the house would be torn off eventually.  I don’t like that idea.  I kind of like to have walls between me and the elements.  Another winter like this one with a wall gone?   So, we are biting the bullet and getting the porch built.  It will go all along the front of our house instead of just halfway like the old one is now. It will have stone facings on the porch posts, a ceiling fan and tiffany like lights by the door. It will have low rise steps instead of the high steps it has now and railings down them so my friends and family won’t fall going up and down them.  I have seen people fall off our steps too many times.    If we have to do it, we are going to do it right and in style.

So now I have my work cut out for me.  I have dozens of flowers to move by next week.   If I don’t, I will lose them under the porch.  I guess I won’t be sleeping a lot for the next few days.

I am so ready for gardening, though.  David tilled the garden and we let the chooks in and they had a ball scratching and pecking at the newly turned soil.  I have dozens of tomato plants started and one pumpkin plant that is getting pretty big in its pot.  Hope warm weather will get here before it outgrows it.  I have flower seeds and gladiola bulbs and beans and squash, plus the rest of the pumpkin seeds to plant.  I can hardly wait to make that first trip to the nursery to buy more flower plants.  I am losing my porch flower box that David built me when the old porch goes, so I will have to plant hanging baskets now.

Now, if the weather will just cooperate and I can stay awake long enough, I may get something done.

Here’s to sleep, new porches and dreams of gardens.  Bye.