Saturday, May 29, 2010


I am now the age my mother was when I graduated from high school.  This could possibly be depressing, but really, I'm happy to have lived all this life of mine.  My birthday was a wonderfully fun day, thanks to my darling husband and my dear children.  I slept in, had brunch in bed, rose to a family cleaning the house for me, finished a knitted t-shirt, and then took an hour and a half to get ready for a big date with my manly man.  He took me to DC to see an adaptation of "The Liar" by the Shakespeare Theater Company, and to dinner, and generally tried to show me a good time with flattery and humor and tenderness.  It was a great day... and I am a very blessed woman.

Also, he bought me a mug which features Shakespearian insults which makes me laugh... and since we recently bought a stovetop espresso maker, I had to christen it with a delicious, perfectly foamy cappuccino.  Et Voila!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hello, People!  I've been thoroughly enjoying the country life this past week!  We've had lots of rain, and I finally got my garden planted.  The baby hoed it over after I planted it, so the seeds are probably all in the wrong places now, but I think I'll just wait for them to germinate and then put them where I want them.  Evenings here are magical this time of year.  The humidity holds scent so wonderfully and since the fences around here are covered in honeysuckle, as you mosey along the dirt roads you inhale the perfume of clover and grass and honeysuckle... think the perfume Bluegrass, only more subtle and less flowery!  We've been contemplating housing for our 25 laying hens, as the above houses 12 comfortably.  My husband got a big mower to maintain the grass around here... it's fun to see the "meadow" growing up in feathery grasses, red clover, and daisies, but pastures need to be mowed to keep the good grasses growing, if no animals are doing it for you!  I've been reconsidering goats, as there are portions of our land that are particularly suited to goats, but will need some good fencing first!

My window box on the back of the house is looking really good, I think!  It's supposed to attract hummingbirds, but no luck yet.  We have spotted lots of other birds, though.  We've seen bluebirds, cardinals, and orioles, for example.  Also, we've got a healthy population of fireflies!  Sometimes it looks like you're in the middle of a stadium and it's full of cameras flashing.  I've never see so many at one time in my life!  I know this land hasn't been farmed in at least 10 years, and before that it was a cattle farm, so I don't think pesticides have been used around here for a good long time!  

There are lots of walnut trees on the property, which promises lots of good eating come fall, if only we can get the shells cracked... ever tried to shell a black walnut?  It's super hard, and dyes your hands dark brown in the process!  I saw a special tool that looks like something that belongs in a machine shop in a catalog once, maybe I should try to get that?  I've got a hemp t-shirt finished to show you soon, it's almost finished, and the chicks should be moved to pasture soon, now that it's warmed up around here, so more pics of chickens, too, hopefully on grass, soon!  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


So, I've assembled what I have in the Living Room, and arranged the furniture, but I'm sort of stumped when it comes to curtains.  Any suggestions?  I have the orange fabric that was in the old living room... not enough for drapes, but I could make valances or pieced drapes combining the orange with another fabric... I prefer drapes to valances, but beggars can't be choosers.  I also ordered some fabric swatches from Fashion Fabrics Club:

I also am brainstorming on a visual barrier to place behind the orange couch and beside my desk area... I only have about 8-10 inches depth there... So, a skinny console table? short, wide bookshelf? a constructed planter?  or a screen of some sort?

and what to use for the visual barrier?  An aquarium? Lamps? Plants? Hanging bird cages?  I am completely open to interesting ideas for this challenge!  Help!

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Arrivals

Well, we are officially starting our food production endeavors as of this morning!  The chicks have arrived!  This year to save time we ordered two specials from Murray Mc Murray Hatchery, the Barbecue Special (Straight run cornish x's or cornish roasters) and the Rainbow Layers Special (various breeds of chickens that lay colored eggs).  So, as of 8:23 this morning 51 little funny little feathery babies are living in our garage.

The Little Engineer wants to sell eggs this year so I got a dozen chicks for our family and a dozen chicks for his entrepreneurial endeavors.  Now, should we house all the hens together or separate them?

These are the meat chicks... they're born to eat and be eaten... these things grow so fast they're ready to butcher in 6-8 weeks... they really are bred to eat... they pretty much sleep, eat, and poop constantly...  This is not normal chicken behavior.  Normal chickens browse on grass, chase bugs, play roosting games, scratch, take dust baths, and can be trained to come when you call.  I don't enjoy raising the cornish x's at all.  They seem like something outside of the natural order, some sort of mutant monster out of a mad scientist's lab or something.  My sister wondered if eating animals bred for eating constantly has any effect on our own appetites?!  Why are we raising them?  I don't know... just because, I guess!

Here's our brooder set up:  not exactly high tech... it's packing boxes taped together in an oval shape and filled with hay!  It was virtually free and recycling cardboard to boot. The chicks seem warm and happy in their new temporary home.

A final shot of the cuties!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Moving Vignettes

This is the house, the day after we moved in... I started unpacking the kitchen right after I made the beds.

I think a cabinet that's white inside is wonderful!  Everything looks so clean and bright.  An old (as in long time) friend came to help organize things... she's good at it.  Plus she likes the kids, bonus!

And of course the Prairie Princess got busy dressing appropriately for her setting... perhaps she was between scenes and taking a break?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm Baaaaack!!!!

Hi!!!  I've missed you all!  My internet was installed about 10 minutes ago and the first thing I did was come tell you darling people.  I've been really missing my narcissistic ramblings.  Have you?  Probably not, but really, what is blogging but narcissism, really?

I have some good news!  I am the proud new owner of my dream house as of last Friday, thank Goodness. We were moved in late March by our wonderful, strong, and studly male friends, and a couple of ladies, too.  We've had some rough patches in the process, a delay in closing, business trips that kept getting lengthened, a death in the family, illnesses, and lots of car troubles, but what a wonderful set for the ongoing drama of life!  Besides, lots of good stuff has happened, too!  My in law's came for a wonderful visit, days of baseball, sun, and concession stand food, hanging flower baskets on my front porch, and daydreaming of fences, animals, and parties with friends on our own little slice of Heaven.

Well, I just wanted to drop in and say "Hello, I'm back in Blogland."  I'll drop by later for more pics and some updates on the new digs.