Friday, September 30, 2011

On the Road Again

We just got back from a little road trip last weekend....well, not little really.  We drove from NC to NY, with the two dogs, to visit my husband's family for a long weekend.  The trip took 11 hours, one way.  Sasha does very well in the car - Mika is a whole other ball game.  She is a very high energy dog (it's the lab in her), and is very much "Daddy's girl".  She suffers from separation anxiety when my husband is not around.  So, despite the fact that we got a bag of Composure treats and doubled the dose for her, she was still not liking the 11 hours in the Jeep.  By about the 9th hour, I was ready to tie her to the anchors in the back of the Jeep just to keep her down.  But I didn't....she survived...and I couldn't wait to get a drink when we got there!!!

We left about 5AM on Thursday, thinking the dogs would just sleep while it was still dark out....nuh-uh!  It was hours of "Mika - lay down....Mika - lay down....good girl.  Mika - lay down....MIKA - LAY DOWN".  Needless to say, that night, they both PASSED OUT COLD. 

We got to see my husband's family (Mom, Dad, sister with her husband and son, cousins, aunts, uncles) and his friends from growing up who still live there.  We took the dogs to the beach on Lake Ontario...Sasha loved running in the water (this is the dog who doesn't want to go outside when it is raining!!) and Mika was terrified of the waves....Mika....the lab....the water dog....

My husband with Mika (blonde) and Sasha (black)

My husband: C'mon Mika! 
Mika:  No!  I do not like the waves!

The weather was nice - a little on the cool side - we only had a couple of rain showers on Friday.  The rest of the time was dry and sunny, for the most part.  It was a lot of good food, great people, fun and laughter.  It's always a good time when we go there - it's just a REALLY LONG trip to get there and back.

Sasha on the trampoline with Grampa

My mother-in-law, me and the sweet lady who lives two doors down

My husband playing with his nephew - the dogs are the referees!

I missed our chickens immensely!  But they were in good hands with our neighbor across the street.  Turns out, she used to have chickens of her own so she knew what to do.  But apparently, we got a TON of rain at home while we were gone, so there is no sand left in the run.  Guess what we will be doing this weekend :-)

So, what was the best part about spending 22 hours in the car in four days?

Mmmmm.....and it's Pumpkin Spice season too!!!  YUMMY!!!
(We don't have any where we live, so I make sure to get my fill when we go up north)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday

I's days are still screwed up from our vacation (which I still need to tell you about)...

  • It sucks when at 5:30 AM, you turn the key to start your vehicle and it doesn't turn on.
  • $132 later, you have a battery that has all cells working
  • We had TONS of rain while we were away, so there is no sand left in the chicken is nothing but a MUCKY mess
  • A wet, mucky chicken run STINKS!!  Literally!  Peeeeeee-yoooooo-eeeeee!
  • It would dry faster if the sun would come out....
  • At least it is still cooler out
Hope you all had a great day!

Monday, September 26, 2011


We are back :-)  We took a long weekend to go out of town.  More to come on the, ahem, adventure!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday

  • Surprised the cooler weather is still around :-)
  • Had to commute to the big city yesterday for an all day meeting - left the house at 5AM - got home around 7:30 PM = L O N G day
  • I missed my chickens yesterday - didn't get to see them :-(
  • Chickens were happy to see me this morning!!
  • Is it really almost officially "Fall"??
  • One of my followers was surprised when I posted on a Wednesday one week - she said "you never post on Wednesdays!!"  I did not realize, I would like to call on all of you to help me come up with something for Wednesdays to get me to fill in this void....I know some use "Wordless Wednesdays", but I'm not real good about doing the picture thing (if you can't tell!!)...any ideas???

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Four! Ouch!

Yesterday, our girls gave us FOUR eggs - YAY!!

The only problem was, Dolly decided to lay her first ever egg on the ROOF of the nesting boxes....which of course slants down to the her egg rolled off and landed on the ground, cracking the shell.  Her first one was the only one that looked like a first egg - it was smaller, and very long and narrow - but I opened it, and it was normal inside.  So, way to go Dolly!  Finally!  Now, lay them INSIDE the nesting box, please???

And look at Reba's egg....doesn't it look a little large?? guessed it - a double yolker!!  Our first!  Loving these home grown eggs!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Yesterday was a chilly day...Thursday, the high temp was 87F.  Friday it was 61F.  Once again, Mother Nature is confused as to what MODERATION means....but it was a refreshing change.  The chickens didn't like it - they all lined up along the fence on the run, their feathers all boufed up and their skinny little chickens legs sticking out from underneath LOL  And we only got one egg - BOOOO!

After my husband got home from work, we used the rest of the daylight (which wasn't very much now that it gets dark earlier) to cut up some pallets.  Have to take advantage of the cooler weather while we can.  We will do some more today - the high is supposed to be only 61F again.

We are also going to a local festival for a little while to see what is new this year.  We will probably be dodging some raindrops, but we do try to patronize the local festivals when we can as our community and the surrounding towns are so small.

Hope you are all enjoying a little breather from the heat - ahhhhhhh....

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Loretta's egg today was back to normal.  No unusual "stripes" on it.  Not sure what happened with the last one.  When I wiped it off with a damp paper towel, it did not turn red like dried blood usually does.  So, maybe her "paint gun" is still working out the kinks :-)

Only got two eggs yesterday and today...maybe there will be third when I go down to lock them up for the night.  ::fingers crossed::

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shout It Out!

Wow....I am flabbergasted once again.  Tiny Gardener has awarded me:

"Liebster" is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The Liebster is awarded to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.

And she said such nice things about me and my husband, and what we are attempting to do here on our 10-acre homestead.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

So, here are the rules:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

5. And most of all - have fun!!

Here goes:

1.  Thank you Tiny Gardener!!

2.  a.  Sharon over at Quilting the Farm - Even though I cannot sew a button to save my life, Sharon's blog is beautiful and has tons of fun stuff on it.  Sharon's homesteading adventures are a lot like all of ours, even though she is in Canada - they are just colder....and snowier!!

     b.  Susan at e-i-e-i-omg! - Love her!!  Homesteading is doubt.  But she does it alone!  I couldn't even imagine...Susan shares it all - from the "hoorays" to the "ughs" stuff!!  Plus, she lives very close to my old stomping grounds in NYS :-)

     c.  Small Farm Girl - I really enjoy reading about her and her husband's adventures - a real gem (and comes in just under the 200 follower limit - PHEW!)

     d.  The Haphazard Countryman over at CONCRETE to CHICKENS - just like the rest of us, trying to carve a country living after being citified :-)  It was nice to have someone going through the anticipation of our first eggs, and trying to get things right as we make the changes to homesteading.

     e.  ADoC over at The Accidental Farm-Girl - I just started reading this blog and thoroughly enjoy it!  Funny, bright and brutally honest - also check out her other blog Another Day of Crazy - I laugh until my sides hurt!

3.  Done :-)

4.  I know they all will!!  This is a great bunch of people and a wonderfully supportive community - I am honored to be a part of it!

5.  Thank you to all my followers - you keep me going!  Have a super day everyone!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday

  • We hit the Trifecta!!
The dark brown one is from Reba, the streaked one is from Loretta (not sure if it was blood or poo on it - will have to keep an eye on this) and the bottom left is from someone new - I think Emmy Lou since it is the same color as Loretta's and they are both NHs.

  • I know...I'm preaching to the choir, but is there anything more beautiful (and tasty) as this?

Home grown eggs!!  YUM!!
  • Our forecasted high for this Friday is 59F?!?!?!  The high?!??!?
  • Have you seen the movie "Up"?  If you haven't, it is a must see!  Have a box of tissues handy, you will cry....but it is soooooo funny!  Best to tape it - you will laugh so hard and miss half the funnies they come at you so fast!
  • Hope everyone had a great day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We will NEVER forget...

September 11, 2001

Thursday, September 8, 2011


So, last night, after dinner, my husband and I were out on the back steps, chatting with each other and the chickens (I know, we're weird) when my husband turns to go in.  He stops in mid-turn and slowly says, "OH.....MY......GOD.....Do you see that?"  I follow to where he is pointing at the gravel walkway that goes behind the house....8 feet away from us, on the ground, laying across the walkway, was a Copperhead!!!!  YIKES!  Approximately 2 feet long, and as big around as a 1/2-dollar.  Apparently, it was making it's way up the hill and across the walkway trying to get under the house for warmth, when the sun went down and he got too cold and stopped in his tracks. 

My husband rushes inside to put on boots and jeans and grab a gun, while I stay outside to make sure it doesn't move - yeah, I get the sucky assignments LOL  Back outside with the .22 - let the shooting begin!  Now, normally, my husband is an excellent shot - however, when the rifle scope is set for 200 yards, and you are aiming for something 8 feet away and 3 feet beneath you...he did hit it.  But that also woke up the snake and it shot off the sidewalk.  Now I have to go put on my tall muck boots and grab the flashlight and hold it so he can try to shoot the now-squirming-for-his-life snake.  After about 7 more shots, it no longer had a head.  It had gone under the generator so that made shooting very difficult.   Trying to hit the snake, without hitting the generator, or the side of the house...

Just a reminder of the wildlife that comes with living out in the country.  No pictures - I hope that is the LAST one I ever see!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Loretta's Egg

Loretta's egg is on the left - it is a very light tan color, almost bordering on pink.  Reba's much darker egg is on the right.  Loretta's egg is just slightly smaller than Reba's...but then again, Reba has a one week head start on her :-)

It was thrilling to get two eggs in one day!  Now, the other two slackers better hop to it!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday

  • Loretta gave us her first egg on Sunday - nothing Monday - one more today (picture to come later)
  • The big city commute really sucked today with the weather
  • The chickens did not like all the rain we got - they keep giving me the stink eye as if to say, "The term is DUST bath!!"
  • The days are getting shorter.....WAAAAAAA!
  • Hope everyone made it through all the rain okay!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The early bird...

I had a burst of energy this morning - not sure where it came from...maybe my lack of energy all week, as evidenced by my lack of posts :-)

By 8:10 AM, I had fed the cats, fed the dogs, let the chickens out and fed them, then it was off to the vegetable garden to weed out a patch to plant some lettuce, green beans and squash in the hopes that I can get a little more out of it before our first frost at the end of October.  Although it doesn't matter when the first frost is because we will just put new plastic over the greenhouse frame and keep it toasty for a few weeks after the weather starts to turn significantly colder.

This year, the squash plants grew, and flowered, but I guess the bees were on vacation or something - no squash grew.  Only one lonely squash that had incredibly tough skin, but we were able to saute it in some butter - just had to cut the rind off.  So, I am trying again.  Worst case, nothing will happen.

When I planted the garden this year, I only had the use of two of the three raised beds.  So, I did not have room for the beans.  But, in reading the packet, it says 50 days to harvest.  Hopefully, we will have enough time to get something from them.

We have been getting a steady harvest the past couple of weeks from the roma and cherry tomato plants.  Never enough at one time to can any of them, but I did freeze some the other day.  After I took the skins off, chopped them up, and simmered them down by half (as per the Ball canning book - which I did pick up after all of your suggestions), I got about 1/2 a tupperware container that I put in the freezer.  At least I was able to put SOMETHING up this year :-)

The cucumbers are still growing as well - get 1 or 2 a week.  Not bad from one plant.  And I dug up the second round of red potatoes - they are the size of new potatoes, which I prefer in the reds anyway.  They have that touch of sweet to them that makes great roasted potatoes.  Someday I hope to grow enough to get us through the winter, but that would require some sort of root cellar or cool place to store them....oh, honey!! :-)

I hope everyone has a great long weekend!