Saturday, June 27, 2015


The last week has been taken up with all the myriad tasks of getting my whole flock of chickens 1) butchered, 2) cooked and boned, 3) canned.

Suffice it to say, I will not be eating chicken anytime soon! I am not sure if it is economically any cheaper, but I really do like knowing that they lived a happy life, and that I know EXACTLY what is in the food I am giving my family (at least where the chicken is concerned!)

We decided that this would be the best course to pursue, since I will be doing a lot of traveling this summer, and this way I won't have to find someone to take care of them. They were also getting older and laying less, which did influence my decision! We will be getting new pullets (young hens that are just beginning to lay) in August or September. I figured it out and, even at $10 each, it will be cheaper than buying chicks and feeding them all summer, plus, once again--no caretaker arrangements (I will miss the cuteness, though!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I am pretty proud of myself! I walked this morning--even though it was raining! (True, it wasn't raining very much, just a little sprinkle that kept things cool, but I didn't cave, so "GO ME!") Wildlife count-- no turtles, but I did see a bunny. Also the ducks, who only had 4 ducklings. I thought last week they had 5. Did something happen (I am looking squinty-eyed at YOU, evil raccoons!)? Is it a different family? I don't think so. Were there really only 4 all along? Hmmm...Questions!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Morning of WIN!

Today is my one week anniversary of dragging my tired self out of bed before 6 am so I can walk while it is still cool. I had to figure out a new groove since school is out, so I am not going to the Y anymore.

I have walked a little farther every day, so that is WIN.

When I got to the park I decided to do a lap around the walking path that borders the reservoir, and I saw: a momma duck with 5 babies, a blue heron taking off over the water, and 2 box turtles laying their eggs! Also, LOTS of stupid, poopy, hissy, bad attitude (but still surprisingly pretty) Canada geese (their babies aren't cute anymore).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow Day!

ANOTHER Snow day. We have had LOTS of them. The part I get tired/sick of/mad about is the weather forecasters (especially on the TV news) getting so hyped up about EACH AND EVERY STORM. This particular meteorological event (aka "Snowmageddon") was supposed to dump 8-12" between Sunday Night and Monday Noon. With 50 mph winds. What we got was maybe 4", no wind. It was a really nice packing snow--lots of snowmen on my way home. Even if we had gotten the full 12"--we live in the NORTH, and it is FEBRUARY. 12 inches of snow is not a crisis here--it is WINTER. I really wish they would stop with the panic-mongering.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wall Art

I have referred, in times past, to SmallDaughter's Picasso-like tendencies. Most little kids take a turn drawing on a wall or two. She has written on LITERALLY every surface in our home--The list includes the front of the toilet bowl (and of COURSE the top of the seat, goes without saying!), the INSIDE as well as the outside of the oven door, both the top and the underside of the dining room table, every window, the TV and computer screens, the list goes on and on. She has used a wide array of media as well--the obvious choices being pen, pencil and marker. Less obvious choices have included lipstick, nail polish, glue stick, Tide Stain Remover pen and deodorant (which, ironically marks on EVERY SURFACE!)

However, since we took the nasty old wallpaper off of the upstairs hallway, and since I have not gotten around to PAINTING the hallway in question (yeah, yeah, yeah, it's on my list...) She has been joined in her decoration activities! If you get to come up the stairs to the upstairs hallway, you will see every wall has something--and the main wall has LOTS!

And, if you look closer, the details (which may be weird or gross!) are often pretty darn amazing! If you look up high:

If you go further down, there are some informative and factual tidbits:

And, clear down at the bottom, lurking above the baseboard is a tiny, mysterious doorway (with further examples of SmallDaughter's art, as well!):

Saturday, January 17, 2015

SmallDaughter's Day Out

Yesterday (Friday) SmallDaughter didn't have school--but all of the big kids DID. So I decided to make her day great! We started by getting dressed at the normal, super early time (We have Seminary from 5:10 to 6:05, and normally she gets on her bus around 6:30, but instead--she got to go with her beloved big kids, and we dropped them off at school. Then, we drove over to the YMCA where I normally go do a workout (I have been meaning to blog about that fairly important change in my life, but I...haven't. Ah, well.) She got to SWIM for 2 full hours! She had a great time! The second hour was during my "AquaDance" class--where I didn't get the best workout ever, but she had a lot of fun! After we got showered and dressed I took her over to the library. The town the big kids attend school in is about 30 minutes away from our house, and she had never been to this library, but it was (of course!) love at first sight! Especially when she found that they had an elevator! And an adorable little playhouse kitchen area--which is her favorite! Just to top it all off, we got her a hamburger and fries for lunch!!!!!
Then we went to the Amish Sewing Machine store (no, not for me to buy an awesome new Bernina, but to get my scissors sharpened--finally!), and to the little Amish bulk food store. She is still a little rough on the concept "only eat ONE sample", but we had a good time! Then we picked up the big kids and came home.

She had a great, great day (I know this, because as soon as she opened her eyes this morning, she asked to go swimming!).

Sadly, I was developing a fever and body aches, which really clouded my joy with her. The big kids (bless their hearts!) put me to bed, dosed me with meds, cooked a yummy dinner and watched SmallDaughter for the rest of the day. I think a nap, meds and a full nights sleep may have conquered it, because today was definitely better.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Looking on the bright (and sparkly!) side of life!

Last week was pretty gloomy. COLD--temps in the single digits, with wind chills into the "double below zero" digits. And gray. VERY gray. The kids first day back to school was a two hour delay. Tuesday was cancelled. Wednesday was another two hour delay, and the last day of school for a week. We had 6 teenagers here for most of it--because the roads were too crappy to drive and this was a nice, safe place. But--it was very cold (especially before I realized somebody had turned the (*&^%$#@! thermostat down to 58 degrees! Much better after that!). So mostly we sat or layed around in warm quilts watching movies, binging on netflix and drinking mass quantities of herb tea and cocoa in the giant new Christmas Mugs (everybody got one--they hold 2/3 of a quart, and I personalized them with a name and mustache for each person. Pictures may be forthcoming).

BUT--today, is GORGEOUS! Not warm---just gorgeous! It warmed up enough for fog, then dropped suddenly, coating all the trees with amazing hoarfrost. It is cold enough that all the fresh snow has crystallized and every field looks like it was sprinkled with the best diamond glitter ever made. And--the sun is shining and tiny, bright shiny ice crystals are floating in the air, so everything literally glitters! Perfect weather to be in a warm car or house looking out onto. Not so fun to be out in, since between the time I drove everybody to school and they came home it had warmed from -7 to-2. Woo.