Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Raising the Coop

   Things have been happening around here.  David and I have been trying to paint the house ourselves, but we are learning our bodies won't always cooperate with what we think we can do.  I don't like getting too high up on a ladder anyway and I really don't like David to get up on one.  I have seen him fall off a roof and fall off a ladder and I don't want to see it again.

    Therefore, we decided to hire someone to paint the front of the house for us.  A young, vigorous man who can run up and down a ladder like a monkey.  I can't wait to see it get done.  This old house has been painted several times since we have lived here, but we usually paint it the same colors, a chocolate brown and an evergreen green for the trim.  Someone once asked us if we were trying to make our house look like a cabin and I took that as a compliment as that is exactly my aim.  If I can't live in a cabin, my house can still look sort of like one. 

   Anyway this old house is getting a facelift.  I've been painting the shutters and the trim I can reach.  I really love to paint and wish I could reach the whole house, but I know my limitations.

   Another thing we are doing is building a chicken coop.  Next spring when Rural King brings out the baby chicks we will go and pick out five of them and bring them home to their new luxurious home.  David is building this coop like it is for the richest chicks in the world.   I figure we will be paying about five dollars per egg when the chickens start laying if we factor in the building materials and food.  But, hey, they will be fresh eggs and if you have never had a really fresh egg from free range chickens, you really haven't had an egg.  The eggs in the store have such pale yolks.  I remember the eggs on the farm and the yolks were always a bright orange. 

  First David laid the foundation and put chicken wire under the floor so critters could not come up from underneath and get the chickens.


      Next he added the floor and started framing the coop.  See that brown dog in the foreground?   She has been keeping a close eye on the building going up in her neighborhood.   .

   "This looks like a mighty fine doghouse," says Belle to herself. 

  "Is this for me?" thinks Bonnie.  Uh, Oh, I smell trouble a brewin'.

  "It's my house."  "No, it's my house."  Girls, this coop is not for dogs.  Your new neighbors are going to be chickens.

  "Did you say, chickens?"  said the big bad wolf?  I've got some "splainin' to do.

   Okay, Bonnie and Belle, you are getting new neighbors next year. Chickens.  They are not for you to eat or chase.  You will be nice to them and protect them from critters.  Understand???

  "Okay, Mom.  I'll be the best chicken protector you have ever seen."

  Meanwhile David and I have been scavenging antique stores for a door and a window for the coop.  We found this one at Vic's.  It has really neat old hardware.  I have already sanded it and painted it and will show it to you later.  It turned out really well.

  Found this window where Yellow Brick Road use to be which is now a flea market.  David taped it for me and I have already sanded it and painted it.  Will show you it when it is placed in the coop.

   A chicken coop needs ventilation and we found this punched tin star at Yellow Brick Road also.  I have painted it and it will go in the side of the coop.  Can't wait to show you the finished project.  It's going to be so cute, I am begining to rethink using it for chickens. Not really.

  I have been thinking about names for my chickens as all my pets have to have names.  I want to use Biblical names and have Dorcas and Tabitha already picked.  Maybe I will have a contest to name my chickens and give away a dozen eggs when they start laying for a prize. 

   Hope you all have a wonderful day.  Cluck-cluck.  Bye.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Witches and pumpkins and a big fat toad

   Whoops, didn't mean to scare you right off the bat. My blog today is about decorating for Autumn.  Doesn't this little guy just scream Autumn to you?  He doesn't?  Well, he's part of my decor so get use to him.

   I love Autumn and I especially like decorating for the season.  Our old house looks its best in the Fall when the leaves are brilliant colors and the light seems golden.  The rooms seem to glow and I begin to get the nesting fever.  I love the colors of Autumn, the browns, golds, yellows and oranges set off by a brilliant blue Autumn sky.   I love the cooler temps and having to wear long sleeve shirts and jeans once again.


     Once the calendar changes to September I start getting all the Autumn decorations out. I begin with a candle that makes me think of baking and cold evenings eating a nice hot meal.  I got this candle in Cambridge City at the Log Cabin and I love the way it smells.  You don't even have to light it to smell it in a room. 

   Next I throw some Autumn pillows on the sofa and a quilt on the back.

  A table runner and a box I painted with some little pumpkins and votive candles inside.  I tried selling this box at a yard sale a few years back.  Glad it didn't sell.  I use it every year.

  A few pumpkins and some of my Halloween figures on the mantle. 

  Love this little witch and the book just suits her to a T.

  Jack Pumkinhead.  I read this book when I was a little girl.  Part of the Oz books that I collect.


    A Fall themed quilt or two on the walls and I am almost done.

   What's a rabbit doing on the mantle with the Halloween figures, you may ask?  Or you might not.

      He's dressing up for Halloween as Uncle Sam, you see.  Here's his mask.  So of course he fits right in with the decor.

 As the days grow cooler, I bake even more than usual.  Today I made a strawberry rhubarb pie.  Got the rhubarb from Appleworks orchard if you live around here.  Wasn't too expensive and if you add strawberries, there was enough rhubarb to make two pies.  I made one and froze the rest of the filling for another day.  Had to bake this for almost two hours to get the rhubarb done, though.

    Back to the toad.  I got him for a Christmas present one year.  I asked for him.  I think he is so cute and he sits in our livingroom all the time.  David says he feels like he is watching him.  I have never kissed him because I already have my handsome prince, but if you would like to come on over,  maybe he will bring you the man of your dreams!.   

   Here's to patriotic rabbits, pies and big-eyed toads.  Bye.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Come Autumn

  I don't know about you, but I feel like we have had an endless Summer.  It started in April after that one week of Spring, remember that week?  The days were cool and breezy and you felt alive and ready to spend all your time outdoors.  Everything was green and then.....HOT started to happen.  No in between days of cooler temps and rainy days.  Nope, just hot take your breath away hot, plant withering hot, run your air conditioner on high.  That kind of hot.  Days spent running up your water bill watering all the plants you planted and the garden you had so much hope for hot.  Wishing you could take a long walk, but know if you try you will be a wilted piece of lettuce before you walk a mile hot.

   I use to love hot weather.  The hotter the better.  I would baste myself with suntan lotion and lay out in the sun for hours turning my skin into a piece of leather by the end of summer.  Everyone said what a beautiful tan I had.  Now when I look at the wrinkles I think, "You were so dumb."    I do not like to spend alot of time in the sun except to garden and when it is hot I don't do much of that. 

   Now Autumn weather is upon us.  The garden knows it.  It is picking up steam again and bursting with bloom and vegetables.

This is a cucumber plant that I thought had died a couple of times.  Now with a couple of showers it is going wild, growing over our chairs and up a bush beside the deck.  David has picked several cucumbers from it.  Remember the giant one I wrote about?  He found another one just as big the other day.  He can't eat them fast enough so I made a brine out of vinegar, sugar, dill, garlic salt and salt and cut up some cucumbers in it and let them swim in it for a while and they taste pretty good.  I usually don't eat many cucumbers.

  When I planted tomato plants this spring I thought I only planted a couple of cherry tomato plants.  Turns out I have several scattered around the yard and right now at this minute they are going crazy.  I have hundreds of these hanging on the vine.
  With many more ready to ripen, I really don't know what to do.  And I just know these are going to reseed themselves and I am going to have thousands of these plants in my garden and yard next year.  Sounds a little scary.  Kind of Little Shop of Horrors scary. 
  The Autumn Joy sedum is blooming now.  Good thing since it's Autumn Joy.  The bees absolutely love it.  I haven't seen so many bees in years.  They were swarming this plant and I was afraid I might get stung, but they were too interested in gathering nectar to pay attention to me.  Find the bees in this picture.

  Mr. Bumble Bee likes it too.  My mother sang a song to my brother and me when we were little about the bumble bee.   Buzz, buzz, Mr. Bumble Bee, Sing a song for you and me, In your coat of black and yellow, you make quite a fancy fellow.   I always think of that when I see a bumble bee.

  Is that Miss Bonnie eating plants in my garden?  Naughty pup.

  And proud of it, aren't you girl?  You are so cute.  You can get away with anything.

  Meanwhile,  in my shop I completed all the twenty-four inch blocks for this quilt.  I love the colors and how easily this went together.  I don't know why I keep starting new projects when I have so many I need to finish. 
  This may or may not have something to do with the big project I am working on.  I just love these little jars of paint you can buy at Lowes in any color you want and they are only three dollars.  Since I have discovered these I am collecting alot of different colors because I am always painting something and these are just the right size for most of my projects.  
   One last thing.  My grandson, Tristan made me and his other grandmother necklaces.  He thought of it all by himself and made them for us.  Thought that was really nice for a four year old. 
  Here's mine.  I think it's really pretty.  I am proud to wear it.
  Here's to Autumn, cooler weather and creative grandsons.  Bye.