Monthly Archives: June 2013

She Fooled Me

Freedom fooled me today.  I go out to the chicken coop every day and check on feed and water.  I opened the door and saw Phoebe standing there so I started looking for Freedom. Phoebe is the chicken that usually freaks out when she sees me.  She peeks around the chicken house whenever I am in their yard so I was surprised she just stood there looking at me. Freedom wasn’t in the house.  I searched all around the yard and then back in the house and could not find her.  I was beginning to think a hawk had gotten her.  I went back into the house and suddenly, I realized it wasn’t Phoebe standing there as nice as you please, but Freedom. She looked just like Phoebe.  They can play the twin trick on me now since they are identical.  Poly-visol has done wonders for that bird.

Also today I heard a lot of cackling coming from the yard and thought maybe, just maybe there would be an egg.  I looked everywhere, but none yet.  Really, I am getting obsessed in finding that first egg.  Considering it will cost about one hundred dollars, it should really be a delicious egg.   Believe me there will be flags flying, fireworks and a parade when I find my very first organic egg.  That’s all for today. Bye.


 Headless chicken grows in head backwards.

Through the Garden Gate

Those who know me well, know I love to garden.  In the Summer if you are trying to get hold of me, you will find me outside in the garden, weeding, planting, transplanting, watering or mowing.  The garden is something that if you allow  to go for a few days, will get away from you. If I never did anything in my back garden ever again, we would soon have a forest of Redbud and Maple trees as the seedlings are growing all over and have to be pulled out of the flower beds.  My garden would soon become like in the book, The Secret Garden, a mass of overgrown flowers, weeds and trees.  Then a little English girl from India would have to discover it and find two boys to help her clean it up and make it a beautiful garden again.









As it is, for right now, the garden is under control, but tomorrow will be another day of weeding, cutting small trees and mulching.  I love it.  Hope your garden is growing well even if it is only the garden in your mind.  Bye.

One Flew Over the Chicken Coop or Getting Your Wings Clipped

  My dad raised thousands of chickens in his time.  He ordered about one hundred chickens every year for as long as I can remember and every year, for some reason, he had to order one hundred more.  Probably because we had chicken for dinner almost every Sunday and some of the chickens made the mistake of getting into the lane where the pigs were and were a tasty treat for the pigs.

  I guess as a kid you don’t pay a lot of attention to things that are happening around you sometimes so I didn’t realize chickens were good flyers.

  Yesterday I let the chickens out as usual.  I opened their little door and they all marched down their little ladder and began to peck in the dirt.  I locked their gate and began to go back to the house when I saw Beatrice, or was it Dorcas, strutting around in the yard.  The dogs noticed her also and began to  chase her and, as what has become common around here, I began to scream at the dogs and tried to get the chicken from them. They had her down once and I screamed so loudly, Belle backed off and Bonnie looked stunned.  By that time David, my knight in shining armor had arrived to grab the dogs’ collars.  Beatrice, or was it Dorcas, strutted on as if nothing had happened.  I managed to catch her and get her back into the pen.

  “We are going to have to clip their wings,” David said.  Now I have never clipped a chicken’s wings and I don’t remember ever seeing my daddy do so.  It sounded cruel and inhumane.  So I got on the net and saw many sites where they showed you how to clip chickens wings.  If you clipped them too short, they could bleed badly.  I got a sick feeling in my stomach, but I knew we were going to have to do it.

   I got a pair of sharp scissors and David and I went out to the pen.  Three of the chickens were in the house and easy to catch. The other two were a little harder. We didn’t clip Freedom’s wings because she uses them to balance herself on her bad leg.  You have to be careful what wings you clip and you only clip one wing.  This imbalances the chicken so it cannot fly.  I sat in a lawn chair and held the chicken and spread its wing and David did the cutting. It’s really like clipping your nails.  Just don’t get too close to the blood veins or the chicken will bleed badly.  The chickens looked a little startled and fluffed themselves up.  I saw Beatrice, or is it Dorcas, later trying to fly and she couldn’t get off the ground.  Good.  Mission accomplished.  One more thing I don’t have to worry about.

  A few days ago we were watching the chickens and David said, “That one chicken looks more like a rooster.”  Now when we bought the chicks at Rural King we thought we bought all pullets.  Suddenly the chicken made a roostery sound.  Oh, oh.  Hope it’s just a girl chicken trying to sound masculine because we can’t keep a rooster. Too noisy.  If he/she is a rooster he/she will have to find a new home.  We will just have to wait and see. Still no eggs yet, but it should be happening soon. 

  Here’s to runaway chicks and clipping their wings.  Bye

Grandma’s Camp 2013 or How to Lose Your Mind in Three Short Days

Okay, that last bit on my post was just my crazy sense of humor.  This has been such a busy, hectic, fun, crazy few days.  It started Saturday with a bunch of kids coming to swim in our pool.  They all had a lot of fun.  On Father’s Day, we had some of our children and grandchildren here for swimming and a cook out.  Then three of the boys stayed for another three days.  All of them are under seven.  Need I say more.

We tried to pack a month’s worth of activity in three short days.  Monday we took the boys to the Croc store to buy them all Crocs so that we wouldn’t be fastening sandals all the time and they could get them dirty and we could just wash them off. We took them to the park to play.  We took them to the army museum near our home where they learned just how many of the army vehicles their Grandpa had driven during his thirty-six years in the Army National Guard.  Then we took them to a lake where they bothered an old man fishing so we didn’t stay long there.  They painted birdhouses that their Grandpa had built for them.  They actually got more paint on the birdhouses than on themselves or me.  They helped with the chickens.  They swam for hours.  We took them to McDonald’s where I haven’t eaten in years.  Had forgotten how good a Big Mac is. They sat in the hot tub.  They played Dizzios.  I took them for a two mile walk.  They picked cherries to feed the chickens.  They swam some more.  They watched a movie(only because Grandpa and Grandma needed a break.)  That was just Sunday evening and Monday.

On Tuesday we took them to a really great place in our town called the Kid’s Commons.  It’s a place where kids can do all kinds of things like make giant bubbles, do experiments, play games, build things, crawl in and out of secret places, and get flushed down a giant toilet.  Yes, a giant toilet, but it is actually a slide.  It is advertised as the world’s largest toilet.  Our town needs to be known for something.  The boys loved it.  We spent almost three hours there before lunch.  Then we took them to another great place in our town called Zaharako’s, a wonderful old fashioned ice cream parlor.  It has a calliope they play every so often and a wonderful old time soda fountain.  We almost lost this wonderful place before a man in our town decided to return it to its former glory.  The calliope had been stored somewhere in California and he found it and brought it back and had it installed once again in the parlor.  The boys had root beer floats and ice cream with a cherry on top after their lunch.  By that time, David remembered we were parked in a three hour parking place and we had been gone for four and a half hours.  We walked to the car fearing we would find a parking ticket on our windshield, but we were lucky we did not have one.   Whew.   Then we came home and we tried to get the boys to rest for a while, but no one slept.  We had had a major meltdown Monday evening because all the boys were so tired and we didn’t want it to happen again.  But all was well for the rest of the day.  The boys spent hours in the pool.  I think they must have jumped into the pool a few hundred times and our two youngest started to learn to swim.  A great difference from last year when our youngest grandson was afraid of the water.

Today at seven o’clock, the older grandson and me were in the hot tub.  Soon the others joined us.  Then I went back to take water to the chickens and Bonnie got in the pen and grabbed my lame chicken, Freedom. I got her away from her and then she grabbed her again.  All the time I was screaming for David to come help me as Bonnie is a very big, strong dog.  We finally got her out of the pen and I went to check on Freedom and she was none the worse for wear.  The second time in a week she has been attacked by our dogs.  Gonna have to be more careful going in and out of the pen.  Freedom is one tough little chicken.

We took the boys to the steakhouse for lunch and then drove the two youngest home where the boys played with their pygmy goats and looked at their chickens.  We then took the last grandson to a friend’s house. Driving home David said, “Do you hear that?”  I said, “What?” and he said, “The quiet.”  Yes, I heard it and it kind of made me sad.  I miss them already, but the quiet is nice.

Here are a few pictures from Grandma’s Camp.


Cousins swimming.



Hot tubbing.



Peter Pan flying.



The soda fountain. Even the cash registers look old but are computerized.  The young man at the register goes to our church.  The red head in the forefront is one of our grandboys.



The old calliope at Zaharako’s.



Tossing basketballs at the Kid’s Commons.


One of the many places to crawl through.


Making a giant bubble around them.


Getting “flushed.”





Proudly displaying the bird houses they had painted.


Grandpa with his young men. Love this picture.


Love these guys.


This is how we all feel after three full days of fun and frolic.  Wonderful memories.  Sweet Dreams.  Bye.

Textiles and Tidbits

I have always liked working with textiles.  Even when I was a little girl I wanted to sew.  I made my first doll out of an old sock. I drew a face on her and was quite proud of her.  I still have her somewhere.  If I can find her, I will show her one day.

My mother sewed a lot while I was growing up and she taught me to sew. I also took home economics in school for six years and learned to make drapes, clothes and other things.  Going to home ec. class was really fun for me because I got to do what I loved doing.  Some of the girls didn’t even know how to thread a sewing machine.  I remember one poor girl who almost had a dress she was making completed and she accidentally cut a hole in it right in front.  My home ec teacher thought of a way to cover the hole with a fabric belt.  It worked perfectly.  I have had many holes happen when I have been sewing and because of that teacher, I learned you can figure out how to cover your mistake.  In fact, something happened like that quite recently with something I was sewing and I covered the hole and no one will ever know.

A new fabric line came out recently called Bake Sale by Lori Holt and I fell in love with it.  I could think of so many things to make with it.  I am making door prizes for a family reunion and anniversary party we are having in July.  I can’t show what I am making, but I can show some of the fabric I am using.







I also took these two fabrics……DSCN6077



and made this.




Remember these?  These cute little balls of fluff?  They are getting so big now and I look every day to see if they have laid any eggs yet.  They sure do eat a lot and peck and scratch all day in their yard looking for fat bugs and worms.  I throw them some fresh mint out of the garden sometimes or anything with leaves and they fall on it like it was sirloin steak.   I have one barred rock who races me to the gate every time I leave their yard trying to get out.  She is very sly about doing it.  She can be on the other side of the yard and as soon as I open the gate, she is right at my heels.  I haven’t told you about Belle, our chocolate lab following me into the pen and pouncing on the lame chicken I have been babying for months.  Thankfully, I got her out before she did any damage to her, but I thought for sure I was going to have one dead chicken.


This is what Freedom looked like a few weeks ago. she couldn’t move unless I moved her and I had to bring her food and water to her.  After weeks of Poly Vi Sol, a couple of Epsom salt soaks and vitamins, she can now stand up from time to time and can get to the food and water all by herself. Now I am going to tell you something some of you will think is crazy, but there is a song I learned in Sunday school about Peter healing a lame man.  The song goes something like “Gold and silver I’ve none, but what I have give I you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk. He went walking and leaping and praising God.  Walking and leaping and praising God.  In the name of Jesus Christ, of Nazareth stand up and walk!”  I sang that song to Freedom every day and one day when I got to the part where I sang “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk,”  Freedom stood right up on both feet.  I still sing it to her and I think she understands.  I don’t know if she will ever be able to walk well or be able to fly up and sit on a roost, but right now she can get around and is healthy and happy and none of the other chickens dare peck her because I poke them on the beak when they try.  I just know she will be the first one to lay an egg.



Another project I almost have completed is a barn quilt for the front of our house. This is not it.  Last fall when we went to Tennessee to look for barn quilts I decided then I wanted one on our house.  When David and I drove to Chillicothe Ohio a week ago, we saw more barn quilts along the Ohio River than we did in all of Tennessee.   I will show you our barn quilt when David gets it hung, hopefully this week.


Still getting rhubarb from the garden and instead of a pie, I made these rhubarb tarts. David ate all but one of them.

Here’s to lovely fabric, barn quilts and lame chickens who still love life.  Bye.



Weekend Update or Dave’s and Kate’s Excellent Adventure

Before I talk about what happened this weekend I want to show you what I have been doing.  I decided the floor in my shop needed to be repainted so with David’s help I took just about everything out of my shop.  I scrubbed the floor and painted it a dark green.  We then cleaned all the things we had taken out and returned them to the shop.  I love the look of the shop now.  So clean and crisp.






We had this old wash stand that was all rusted and bent and needed some tender loving care.  I sanded it and painted it and then polyurethaned it and now it sits in my shop to hold things.  I love the way it looks now.


While painting the floor I painted around this picture two of my grandchildren had painted  years ago.  I just could not cover it.


I also painted around these handprints of one of my grandsons.  This year my three youngest grandsons will be adding their artwork to my floor.



Now when I am in my shop I can look at my newly painted ceiling and my newly painted floor and sigh with relief all the work is done.  Now all I have to do is sew and quilt and that’s all right by me. Wait, I still have to paint the walls.  But that can wait a while.

Now for our weekend.    My youngest niece graduated this year from high school and Saturday was her open house.  I was looking forward to going and seeing her and my brother and sister-in-law and my other niece who is a veterinarian.  David and I packed up the car for the weekend and away we drove to Ohio.  We go to their house by way of Cincinnati and then it’s a straight shot to Chillicothe.  When we got out of Cincinnati we were driving along the Ohio River.  I said to David, “I don’t remember driving by the Ohio River to get to David’s house.” My brother’s name is also David so don’t get confused.  David reassured me he knew where he was going and we drove along enjoying the beautiful scenery.  We had planned to get there in mid afternoon, but when it got to be three o’clock I said again, “Are you sure we are on the right road?  Nothing looks familiar.”  We had been to Chillicothe several times in the past.  I knew my brother did not live by the Ohio River.  Finally, David stopped at a convenience store and asked this girl how far to Chillicothe and she told him about an hour up the road.  So we drove another hour and got to Portsmouth, Ohio and then I said, “I don’t think we are on the right road.”  “I’ll buy a map at the next service station,” David said.  And he did.

When David came out of the service station carrying the map he said something to me I do not hear very often.  “I was wrong.  You’re right. We are on the wrong road.”  By that time it was about five o’clock and we still had another hour’s drive north to Chillicothe.  The open house would be over before we would get there and I did not have my brother’s phone number with me.  Finally I remembered I had my sister’s phone number memorized and I called her to call my brother to tell him we were lost and that is why we were late.  Then we got to Chillicothe and the road David took to their house had a detour and we didn’t know where to go.  Then my brother called our cell phone and told us where we were and in a few minutes after driving for six hours, we got to my brother’s house.

By that time we were tired, hungry and out of sorts, but we got some food and spent the evening talking about growing up on the farm and all was well.



Then my niece opened the gift we had for her.  A quilt I had made.  She is named after my mother and there were a few pieces of fabric that my mother had had in her stash in the quilt.  I can’t believe she is grown. We didn’t get to see her very often as they live so far away and now she is grown and going off to college in the fall.

We spent the night in a motel and the next morning we got up and started for home.  Now we took the road we should have been on the day before and everything looked familiar.  We passed a place called the Secret Garden where they sold all kinds of garden sculptures and garden art.  They had little buildings all over with things for sell for the garden and a beautiful garden you could walk through.  About that time the batteries in my camera gave out so I only got this picture.


A cute birdhouse that David is going to try to replicate.  Wonder where I could find some of these tiny garden tools?

As we drove along we realized we were near a town that had lots of antique stores and little shops, Waynesville, Ohio, so we stopped in for lunch and walked around looking at all the wares that were for sale.  I found an old garden gate that would look good in my garden and we bought it.  Don’t have a picture though  Our last stop was in Shelbyville, Indiana where there is a Cow Palace where we always buy ice cream when we are passing through.  I got Blue Moon and Butter Pecan in a waffle cone and it was so good.

We finally got home late Sunday afternoon and I ran to check on the chickens.  This was the first time I had ever been away from them overnight and we had left their little door open so they could go in and out.  I was hoping I wouldn’t just find feathers laying around.  They were all just fine and didn’t even miss me.

It was fun to get away.  I love weekends like this and I hope we have a few more this summer.

Here’s to husbands who don’t like to ask for directions, nieces, and enjoying the scenery anyway. Bye


Scrappy the Raccoon

  It was a gentle early Summer day in the forest.  Scrappy Raccoon was playing along the side of the road with his brothers and sisters.  Scrappy was called Scrappy because he was known to get into little fights with others at the least provocation.  Scrappy’s mother had scolded him so many times about his temper and how badly it made her feel to know he would fight with anyone.   What would happen this Summer day would make Scrappy’s mother think differently about her fighting youngster.

  Mrs. Craig, who lived across the road, decided that afternoon to take her dog, Belle, for a walk.  They walked across the road and since there were no cars on this road on the weekend, Mrs. Craig removed the leash from Belle and allowed her to run free.  Belle loved running and sniffing in the woods, but this day she smelled a different smell than any she had ever smelled before.  She snorted and snuffed and suddenly she came upon a strange creature.  Something she had never seen before.  It was Scrappy and he had not seen the big brown dog coming along in the weeds.  The dog was upon him before he could make a run for it.  Belle began barking and Scrappy fluffed up his fur to make himself look bigger and began to hiss. 

  Around and around Scrappy Belle circled, barking and snapping at him all the time.  Scrappy hissed and lunged at the big brown dog, baring his sharp little teeth, but it kept barking at him and trying to bite him.  Meanwhile, Mrs. Craig was screaming and yelling at Belle to stop.  She grabbed Belle’s collar and Belle jerked and pulled until she got herself free of the collar and went back to attacking the little raccoon.  Mrs. Craig grabbed Belle’s tail and pulled and still Belle kept barking and snapping at Scrappy.  This went on for fifteen minutes.  Suddenly, it became very quiet and Mrs. Craig thought that either the raccoon or Belle was dead.  She had heard that raccoons can kill a dog and that is what she feared had happened.  Then the hissing and barking and snapping began again and she knew the dog and raccoon had just paused to catch their breath. 

  Unable to get Belle away from the little raccoon and afraid Belle would kill it, Mrs. Craig knew she needed help.  She walked back to her house and called Mr. Craig and said, “Get the truck and come quickly.”  Mr. and Mrs. Craig rode in the truck to the place where Scrappy and Belle were in the fight of their lives.  Mr. Craig walked right into the middle of the hissing raccoon and the barking dog and grabbed the scruff of Belle’s neck and pulled her out of the brush.  Mrs. Craig opened the truck door and Belle willingly jumped in and they all headed back to the house.  Belle was covered in mud and the truck and Mrs. Craig were also by the time they got home.  Belle, looking a little chastened, went and got a long drink of water and collapsed on the deck panting heavily.

  Back in the forest Scrappy dragged himself home.  He was mangled a little, wet from dog saliva and completely worn out from the ordeal he had gone through.  His mother saw him walk in the door and said, “What happened to you?”  “I fought a dog and the dog lost,” bragged Scrappy. “Hmmm,” Scrappy’s mother was not sure she was hearing the whole story, but she was happy her little raccoon was home safe.  Belle told her sister, Bonnie, how she fought a raccoon and lived to tell about it.  Scrappy, on the other hand, stayed away from the road from that day forward.

  This is a true story except for the parts I made up.