Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This and That

This was not supposed to happen! Yes, these little kits are cute, but it is cold here. Not the kind of weather Daisy prefers for raising babies. There are 5 of these little kits. Daisy always has 1 black kit in every litter.

The accident occurred because I thought that my sweet Peony, was a doe. The picture above is proof that I was wrong. I thought that Peony was so sweet and such a happy little bunny, now I know why he was happy. He had 3 girls in his pen! Needless to say, my sweet Peony now lives alone.

My Christmas cactus is blooming! I look forward to these blooms all year! This is one that Mama gave me several years ago.

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Last night we carried chili and hot dogs to Mama and Daddy's house for supper. Each time that I am there, I look for that part of my Daddy that is still there. Sometimes all I get is a tiny piece. I choose to do this because I can't spend the time that we have left together mourning what Alzheimer's has stolen from me, I have to focus on what I still have.
Last night I didn't get that tiny piece, I got truckloads! Daddy was himself last night. We all laughed so hard and had so much fun. If laughter is jogging for your insides, we all had a workout last night! My sides are sore this morning. Despite this beast called Alzheimer's, there are pieces of my Daddy still there, and I will continue to search for those pieces every time that I visit.
When I left I bent down and kissed his cheek like I always do, he kissed my cheek as usual and stopped me before I stood up, and told me to be careful going home, deer are moving and he told me that he loved me. I felt my eyes fill up with tears, but tried to hide them from him. Every moment that I spend with him is a treasure. Alzheimer's can take his memory, damage his body, and in the end take him from me entirely, but the man inside is still my Daddy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Autumn Colors

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The lovely autumn colors are fading fast! This year the pecan leaves have been gorgeous, soon the branches will be bare. The wind and rain expected today will take care of some of the leaves.
This weekend has been spent putting away the fall decorations, and getting ready to put up Christmas decorations. There is always so much to do!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Supervising

Yesterday afternoon, we picked up pecans.

We did not realize that we needed assistance, until Clover let us know that she had been left out of the whole pecan picking up process, she wanted to help. Clover has excellent supervisory skills, and thought that we would be appreciative of her skills. Clover was also in desperate need of a cookie.

M.J. wanted to help, as she feels that her supervisory skills are far superior to Clover's. M.J. took a place above our heads so that she could see everything we were doing. The chickens were not allowed to participate in the supervision, chickens love pecans, and chickens walking around while we are picking up pecans, yuck! Bad combination.


Adelaide prefers to supervise up close and personal. Adelaide thinks that the game of hands picking up pecans, while kitty paws try to grab the pecan is fun! Kevin prefers the pecan picker upper, but I tend to sit on a bucket and pick the pecans by hand. That way I can discard any broken pecans before they go into the bucket.


In spite of the excellent supervision that we had, we still managed to pick up a couple of buckets of pecans.

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I can almost smell the pecan pie in our future, and pecan muffins, toasted pecans, and an Italian Cream Cake too! Yum!! The tasty possibilities are endless! My daughter's favorite dessert is called Pumpkin Chiffon, I will be making that today, we will have it for Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope that you each enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Junk Shelf


This is one of the last projects that Daddy and I worked on before he became sick. Don't remember where I got the idea, but I found a frame at a yard sale for a quarter. Daddy had the wood on hand, and the stain was a mixture of what we had on hand.


Daddy built this together on a Saturday afternoon in about an hour.


I wanted a place to display some of my Willow Tree Angels and thought that this would be a good place.


I was not looking for a perfect piece that would look store bought, I wanted a piece that looked like this one. A piece that was built with what we had on hand at the moment. It took some coaxing on my part to convince Daddy to do it that way, Daddy is a perfectionist, and was not pleased with this piece, I however was pleased.


Willow Tree Angels are special, there are angels for the special times in life. These are gifts from family.





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The cost for this project was a quarter, the cost of the shelf, and the time that we spent building this shelf. . The wood, hardware and stain were things that Daddy or I had on hand.
Linking to Farm Girl Friday at Deborah Jean

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Abigail Update

Remember this little cutie? Abigail is still working on that goal to be as wide as she is long, and these days that is pretty difficult for her. She has grown so much, but she still tries to keep her reverse hour glass figure! Her back legs are working better now, sometimes she gets excited and her back legs want to run faster then her front legs. This results in a sideways run. Abigail doesn't run and climb like other cats, but she manages to run and climb in her own way. The vet says that she will be fine.



Don't be fooled, she does not lead a life of luxury. Abigail is very busy, she works very hard everyday. There are naps that must be taken, kitten food that must be consumed, toys that must be played with, and she has to make sure that she shows her family plenty of affection. Of course there is always a mess that needs to be made somewhere, can't let the people get lazy. A kitten's work is never done!

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Life is difficult when there is so much to do everyday, especially when you are trying to nap and someone keeps snapping pictures!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cheese Pepper Bread


This is one of my favorite recipes, and it is so easy. These pictures were taken at night, so the picture quality is not so great, but the bread is great. This recipe has been in my files for a number of years, and follows at the end of this post.
Stir together the dry ingredients and the cheese. I use a mixture of cheeses, but cheddar works just fine. The amount of pepper is variable, if you like it hot, add more.


Stir the eggs, melted butter and sour cream together, and add to the cheese mixture. Stir just until everything is moistened.


Pour the mixture into a greased and floured baking dish, and bake it for about 45 minutes.


Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool enough to handle.


Serve warm with a meal, or with a glass of sweet tea as a snack. This bread is also good the next day toasted.

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Cheese Pepper Bread
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper - may use more depending on your taste
2 cups shredded cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup melted margarine
Stir together the first 6 ingredients. Stir the eggs, sour cream and melted margarine together, then add to the dry mixture. Mix just until moistened and pour into a greased and floured baking dish. Bake for about 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of loaf test clean.
Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm. Makes 1 loaf.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mama's China Cabinet

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This is a picture of Mama's China Cabinet, I incorrectly thought that was more room on my camera, so more shots of this cabinet and Mama's house will come later. When I asked her if could take a picture of this cabinet, she laughed and asked who would be interested in looking at her dishes? I told her that there are people, besides the two of us, who like that sort of thing!
This picture is indicative of Mama's special style. She has this set of lovely dishes on display, and off in the corner is an angel candle that I gave her many, many years ago. I did not even remember that I had given it to her, but Mama remembers it. This candle was special to her. There is of course a story behind this candle, and I will have to ask her about it. She uses pretty things mixed with special memories to create a home that is welcoming and comfortable.
Mama and Daddy's home could not be described as trendy. They purchased furniture that would look just as good now, as it did when it was purchased, and would not be dated. I will show more of this wonderful home, and my Mama's special style later.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cotton Fields

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Cotton fields are a common sight in my neck of the woods, this one is a few steps from my back door. No matter how many times I have seen the cotton grow and mature, I am always amazed to see the cotton bolls that have formed from the lovely pink flowers.
The day that cotton is harvested is a fragrant day. The air is perfumed with an indescribable scent. If only the smell could be bottled. It is a mixture of earth, cotton, and fall in south Georgia. Perhaps the smell holds pleasant memories, and that is part of the reason it appeals to me so much. Whatever the reason, I inhale the fragrance deeply, hoping to keep the smell firmly etched in my memory.
The season is short this year, and quickly coming to an end. The cotton is being harvested and the stalks cut. The fields will be brown and dead for a time, and then one day I will walk outside and the smell of freshly turned soil will greet my senses, reminding me of the delights that await my senses in the months to come.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hoppy

We began keeping chickens in the spring of 2009. Our first flock was made up of 3 Rhode Island Reds, 5 Dominickers, and 2 Americaunas. 2 ducks joined the flock, but are now housed in a separate pen.
There was an Americauna that stood out, she hopped instead of walked. We named her Hoppy. This little girl had the best disposition, in spite of the fact that she was different. The other girls laid their eggs first, Hoppy didn't let that get her down, she knew that she would have her opportunity to sing the egg song. Hoppy was patient, and then the day arrived that Hoppy had a feeling in her little heart, and she felt the egg song rise in her throat. The other girls were so excited for Hoppy that they joined in on the song. The rooster was so excited that he found himself singing as well. Hoppy laid her first egg, a blue egg, as she is an Americauna. Hoppy was happy, but something was missing in her little hen life.


Hoppy went through her first winter, and was happy when spring and summer arrived. She began to have the desire to be a mama and care for her own chicks. Hoppy did not lay regularly as the other girls, so she moved their eggs to her own nest and began setting on her first nest. There were 7 eggs in that clutch, 6 belonged to the other girls. This happened during a heat wave, we worried that she would get too hot and provided Hoppy with plenty of fresh water, and removed the sides of her house and replaced the boards with chicken wire on 3 sides, leaving the door open. As the day grew closer that the chicks would hatch, wire covered the door, and Hoppy was let out regularly, when we could get her to leave her nest!


Hoppy was excited, and the girls peeped into her house regularly to check on her progress. Finally the day arrived, Hoppy had hatched her first egg! Hoppy was a proud mama, and waited patiently for the other eggs to hatch. Sadly, none of the other chicks survived, but Hoppy had this one little chick, he may not have come from her egg, but he was hers. Hoppy proudly sat with her baby, the other girls watched as she cared for her chick.
The two were moved to a separate pen, and Hoppy taught this chick all of the things that he would need to know in order to grow and become a successful rooster. This little rooster grew and took his place, this year with his own set of girls, as their rooster.


Hoppy continued to watch from a separate pen, as her baby took his own flock. It was now springtime, and a new set of chicks had come to the farm. Hoppy had a job to care for these new babies and teach them how to live successful chicken lives. Hoppy took her new babies and raised them well. She taught them how to do chicken things, and showed them where the best worms were. Hoppy was proud once again. Hoppy did not lay regularly, but she proved herself to be useful as a mama to many chicks. Sadly we lost Hoppy this summer, but the memory of this little hen, that had a desire to be a mama in spite of the fact that she was crippled remains with us. This gentle bird was a teacher in the chicken yard, not only did she teach her chicks, but she taught us the value of perseverance and believing in yourself. You can achieve what you set your mind to, only you can ensure that your dreams come true. Whatever your dreams may be, stick to them, just like Hoppy did. Hoppy's dream was to be a mama, and she made that dream come true.

Fresh eggs had been a dream for us, we felt like we could provide a better quality egg for ourselves with our own chickens. The girls are provided with quality foods, fresh water, and enjoy scratching around for worms. The result has been eggs that have golden yolks, and a taste that can't be purchased in a store. The eggs make baked goods taste better and provide a better texture in everything that I bake. I feel that the eggs are more nutritious, because we have provided quality food for the girls to eat.

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Banana bread is a favorite at our house, and it is simple to make.
Banana Bread
1 cup self rising flour
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until bread tests done.
We like to enjoy banana bread with apple butter, but putting a piece in the toaster oven, spread with butter is a treat too!
We have no regrets about our decision to keep chickens. It has been a learning experience for us, and we continue to learn. I share my love for animals with the family and friends that visit us. This has also given me the opportunity to share eggs with family and friends. We have shared our eggs with others, to incubate and start their own flocks. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to see others learn, and care for their own flocks. When they call and excitedly tell us about their own eggs, I remember one of the goals that we set has been achieved. Thanks for visiting us, and reading about our small flock!
Linking to Deborah Jean's Dandelion House
http://deborahjeansdandelionhouse.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-annual-hen-house-hop.html