Monday, October 31, 2011


Yesterday, since it was cool out, we decided to make dinner in the crock pot.  Beef roast with potatoes, carrots, onions and celery.  Yum!

I also baked some bread.  I found a recipe on Libby's website for pumpkin-apple bread that I thought was rather fitting to welcome in Fall:

Boy were they good!!  A nice, hot, hearty dinner followed by a sweet, cake like dessert.  The apples really made a difference in this bread.  It was a great day despite the fact the Panthers lost....AGAIN....

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Today, our high temp was 77F.  Tomorrow's forecasted high is 49F...I think Fall will make it's debut tomorrow.  I like fall, with the cooler temps and pretty colors.  What I don't like is the weather that follows, or the short, short days.  I started taking my Vitamin D a couple of weeks ago.  They say it can help to keep your spirits up for those of us who have "SAD" - Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I have husband hates it.  But I think this year may be better with all that I have learned, or re-learned, this past year.

I still make my own butter every week.  I will begin baking bread again with the cooler temps - just couldn't bring myself to do it during the summer when it was 100F outside and the air conditioning was running non-stop.  Only this year, I will try to make it every weekend, instead of only when we need it.  I will freeze the extra so we have some during the warmer weather too.

I will be busy making my crafts too.  I found some cute patterns for crochet and knit and have been working on them.  I am receiving some very good feedback from family and friends, and may start renting tables at the local festivals next year to try my hand at selling them.  I have also looked into setting up an Etsy store.  This year, I am making a lot of the gifts we will be giving, instead of buying something I am not sure the person will like/use, or giving up and just getting a gift card.  I am certain the hand-made gifts I have selected will be very well received...or at least I hope so!

I think having the chickens this year will help me as well.  I never tire of watching their antics, listening to their "conversations" with each other, how Emmy Lou waits at the gate for me when it is time to go to bed, or opening the nest boxes and finding beautiful, home-grown eggs inside...

I am looking forward to my holiday baking using my home-made butter and home-grown eggs this year.  They can't help but make everything taste better.  We are filling up the freezer slowly but surely - chicken noodle soup two weeks ago and chili last week. 

This weekend, I will pull the last vestiges of tomato plants from the other raised bed and we will cover the greenhouse.  Last weekend we covered the pool.  It is time to start closing down and putting everything up for the winter to come.  Before I know it, the holidays will be upon us (Monday is Halloween already!!).  I still have vacation time at work I have not used - I look forward to being able to sleep in a little when I do finally take them.

Hope everyone had a great day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Whiny Wednesday

  • Covered the pool on the cable holding the cover on the pool snapped - as in broke we get to do it all over again...
  • 76F today...can we decide if I am lighting woodstoves or running air conditioning please?!?
  • Ever try to type with every other fingernail being broken off?  Let's just say there is a lot of "backspace" going on!!!
  • I just saw the biggest potato plant ever!!  In my compost bin....oy...
  • My favorite tree in the fall is losing it's leaves before the tree turns its gorgeous colors :-(
  • Ok everyone - whine away!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday

  • I'm back :-)
  • Voice still comes and goes a little, but MUCH better
  • There is only one week left in October....wha???
  • I have had to fire up the woodstove a couple of times in the morning to take the chill off
  • Glad we were able to split some wood before I got sick!
  • Got the pool covered last's that time again....
  • My roses don't care about the weather change - they are still sending out new shoots and blooms
  • It's nice to have a window or two open now.  I actually have to close them to keep the heat in at night!
  • Hope everyone is having a great day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Almost back to normal....

Wow...been a long two weeks....this cold kicked my butt!   I think I am finally at the end of it though.  My voice just keeps coming and going now.

Thank you all for the tips and hints.  Unfortunately for this round, Sudafed was my best friend.  But I fully intend to look into the suggestions you gave and be ready for the next time!

I also had my husband make a big pot of chicken noodle soup and ate it for lunch and dinner for a week straight.  He makes such FABULOUS chicken soup.  If I could have hooked it up to an IV, I would have.  Every time I had a bowl I felt a ton better.  So now we have about 5 containers of it in the freezer ready to heat and eat :-)

This past weekend, we were supposed to have our 3rd annual bonfire, but only a couple people showed up, so we just had a fire in the firepit instead.  But we made up a big pot of chili and froze the leftovers so the freezer is now stocked!

The chickens have started producing more eggs - which I thought was strange as the temps have fallen quite a bit here in the last couple of weeks.  But, I will take it!  We are now averaging 2-3 eggs per day, and we even had a couple days where all 4 laid in the same day.  We had a couple with very thin shells, so I have added a small bowl of oyster shell for them, free choice.  They don't seem to mind the chilly mornings - but I have also started giving them some scratch grain in the evenings when I know it will dip below 40F - 45F overnight.

They are loving the grass clippings with all the leaves in them, as the leaves are falling faster than they are changing color.  I guess it is because of the hot, dry summer we had this year.  But there is still some pretty color here and there.

Sorry that I have been MIA - I feel guilty for not posting my Tidbit Tuesdays or Whiny Wednesdays, but you will have them both this week!

Hope everyone is healthy and getting to enjoy some cooler fall weather and some foliage displays!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Down for the Count

So, you may have noticed the small number of posts recently.  I have been sick...very sick.  My husband was down for the count last weekend.  Now it is my turn.  I started to feel bad Wednesday...I woke up Thursday feeling like a Mack truck had hit me - twice.  I stayed home from work, put an out of office message up, took some meds and went back to bed.  Now, this is monumental for me.  I NEVER go back to bed.  But I was feeling so terrible, I really had no choice.

When I woke up, I tried looking for some home remedies for relieving sinus pressure...yeah, the ole drum and bugle corp were at top volume in my head that day.  I found one, made it up, and almost gagged to death on it!!!  Wowee!  How do people drink that stuff!?!?!?  You were to boil water, put in a mug, add 2 TBS apple cider vinegar, 2 TBS of honey and drink it down.  BLECK!!!  So now, not only was my head pounding off my shoulders, but my stomach was doing somersaults.... great...

Then I remembered, one of the executives I support went to Japan last year, and brought me back a fancy canister of tea.  Now, I cannot read Japanese, go figure, but when I brewed the tea, it was green - I thought, perfect.  Green tea is supposed to be fantastic for you.  It was okay, I am a coffee drinker, not a tea drinker.  But when I am sick, I will choke down the tea.  It did make me feel a little better, but the congestion would not break up.  I finished off every bottle of over the counter medicine that was left from when my husband was sick, and spent a very restless night trying to sit up enough to try to get my sinuses to open up so I could breathe!

So, for this round, I went to the store today and got the only thing that works for me - Sudafed 12 hour - the real stuff, behind the counter - not the fake PE stuff.  Also got some Ny-Quil and cherry flavored Halls, so now I am set for this cold.  Within one hour of taking the Sudafed when I got home, my sinuses started clearing out. YAY!

So, does anyone out there have any suggestions for the next round?  I would like to try to do more homeopathic stuff and not rely on the pharmaceuticals (but this time desperate times called for desperate measures)...I have read about ginger tea, tea with lemon juice, cayenne pepper and honey, peppermint essential oil facial steam baths, etc.  But I am looking for something that you have tried and it WORKS.

Cuz when I am sick, there is no time for messing around.  I have got too much to do and can't be down for the count.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whiny Wednesday

  • My husband was sick over the weekend, had to stay home I'm sick!
  • Windshield did not get replaced yesterday - company didn't come in the morning while it wasn't raining...they waited until after lunch when it was POURING
  • Have to commute to the big city tomorrow...while being sick...oh what fun!
  • It POURED this morning....would have been a grand day.....if I were a DUCK!
  • Feel free to whine away......I'm going to take more Thera-Flu, Excedrin and whatever else I can find that my husband didn't use up the last few days :-(

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Reba's better

She laid an egg around 1:30 PM yesterday - so I took that as a good sign.  I went down a couple more times to try to give her more oil and tip her to see if anything else would come up.  Nothing else did - I got maybe 1/2 teaspoon of oil in her.  Later in the afternoon, she started hanging with the other girls, not staying alone under the coop.  Then around dinner time, she was acting more like her old self.  Pecking around with more vigor and when someone else found a tasty morsel (a bug) and ran off, she ran after them with the others.

This morning she met me at the pop door when I went down to let them out and started eating right away.  Not as fast as she usually does, but still, an improvement over yesterday.  I will continue to watch her but she is much more alert and doing more of the normal chicken thing than she did yesterday.

My husband and I started cutting up some more pallets for the wood pile and are just now taking a break.  The pallet pile is starting to get smaller, and the cut pile is growing nicely.  We figure we have about a month's worth cut so far.  Maybe later today we will get to do some splitting - I love doing that!  The pallet wood burns well in the stove, and hot enough to keep the whole house warm during the day, but you can't replace split wood.  There is just something about it.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and gets to partake in some gorgeous weather like we are here!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Reba's sick.....

I knew something was wrong right away this morning when I let them out.  Reba is usually the first to run to the pile of feed I put on the ground (hey, that's the way they like it - no feeder for them!) and gobbles it up.  But today, I opened to coop and everyone came out EXCEPT Reba...then she sauntered out and walked the opposite way from the food.  I thought, hmmm, strange.  The other three were just gobbling up the food and Reba was just slowly walking around...a peck here, a peck there.  So, in the house I went to get on to see what I could find.  Hard to nail down "looks lethargic" on that huge forum.

So back outside I went, I cornered her and picked her up to see if she had mites or something.  I was holding her around her midsection, wings pinned between my arm and my side, with her head behind me, looking through her feathers - no bugs.  So I figured, I will check her vent - as I went looking for it (they have a lot of feathers there!!) I heard a sound like a waterfall behind me.  She was "puking" water out from being tipped slightly upside down in that position.  Light bulb goes off in my head - aha!  Sour or impacted crop.  Great.  I turn her around and start massaging her neck, where I think the crop is.  I don't know - I'm still a newbie at this!!  It doesn't feel exactly squishy, but not hard as a rock either.  Back inside to the laptop - was it olive oil or vegetable oil - can't remember.  Find it - olive oil, although they say mineral oil is best.  Of course I don't have mineral oil.  Get the olive oil, put it in a tiny measuring cup (like the kind that comes with cough syrup), back to the run to try and get her to drink some of it.  Yah....right.  So I just keep dipping her beak in it, and every so often she licks it off.  Then she gets mad and wants to be set back down.  I figure, good, she is showing some of her old spunk.  Put her back down after rubbing her neck a little more, and she walks slowly under the coop and just stands there. Poor thing!!

I will keep trying to get more oil in her today, and I have to go to the store and get some plain yogurt.  They say that is good too - but not too much.  The point is to get her crop emptying again - not keep filling it faster than it is being emptied.

I thought I was done with "burping babies".  My daughter is 20 - hasn't needed that in a long time!  But, apparently, chickens need it every now and then.

Will let you know how she makes out.  Any other advice?  Did I miss anything?  Thanks.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whiny Wednesday

Welcome to the first installment of Whiny Wednesdays!  Thank you Carolyn Renee for helping me select the title!

  • When does your "To Do" list ever get small enough that it actually fits into ONE day??
  • Shorter days = crabby me!!
  • Why is it that just as our four chickens start laying eggs, the days are so short that we only get one egg one day, maybe two the next, then one egg....oh, and let me guess, when spring hits, and the days get longer, they will go into molt and we will still only get one egg here, couple there....maybe we need more chickens....
  • I want a Dunkin Donuts near me!!!!!

It's ironic....I usually have quite a list of whiny things, but drew a total blank when I started writing this post!!!  Hmmm....maybe this will help cure me? :-)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday

  • The commute still sucks
  • The cooler nights have been a nice change
  • I like hearing the sound of crickets instead of cicadas at night
  • The stars are so bright this time of year - there is no humidity in the air
  • I missed my chickens today (I know, sad, isn't it)
  • Hope everyone had a great day!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

Wow - where did the weekend go?  And it's October already?!?!?  We had a very busy and productive weekend around the homestead.

Saturday, we got up early - fed the dogs, cats, chickens as usual.  Then headed to town so my husband could get his mop, I mean hair, cut...then off to the local Heritage festival (yes, there is pretty much one every weekend in September for each of the local towns/cities near us) to visit my daughter who was working a tent for her job, then off to Lowe's to get more sand for the chicken run (the rains washed it all away while we were in NY), then grab some lunch, get home, hook up the trailer to the four-wheeler to move 500 lbs. of sand back to the run, unload and spread it (that was my job) while my husband worked on fixing the log splitter.  We had to get a new pump for it - the one we initially put on it was not strong enough to handle the back and forth on the pushing mechanism.  It went forward just fine, but was very SLOW going back.

Sunday, we had grocery shopping to do, stop at Lowe's to pick up one more part for the log splitter and some 1/2 price perennials, go home to unpack and put everything away.  Watched a little football (darn Panthers....), then while I planted the new plants out front and ripped everything out of one of the raised beds in the garden, my husband finished repairing the log splitter.  Yay!  Then I moved the chicken tractor onto the bed I emptied and set the chickens to scratching it all up.  Boy, did they have a ball!  Then we moved the log splitter to the back yard and started splitting some wood.  It worked AWESOME!!  Much better than before with this new pump.  It made short work of the few logs we split - we have a long way to go!

Yep, it's ugly...but only cost $300 so far.  The most powerful one at Tractor Supply is $2,000.  And this has way more power.

Then we went in to eat some chili I had pulled out of the freezer.  It was a chili kind of day :-)  The weather was very cool this weekend, with overnight temps dipping down to the lower 40s.  Daytime temps only got to the low 60s.  Perfect weather to get stuff done outside!

The only two things we did not get done that we hoped to were to close the pool and clean the chimney for the wood stove.  Oh well, there is always next weekend, right?!?!