Friday, October 30, 2009

Huge giveaway over at Praire Flower Farm



Hop on over here and you will see what a generous giveaway Linda is having in celebration of her 102nd post. Wow! I have the perfect place for this one!!!









So if you haven't been here you should go there now. Her blog is just gorgeous and her handiwork is awesome!!!






I bet she doesn't have those areas of her home that look like my hallway. Do you?
Good Luck to all!!
Becky

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just keeping it real!

Alright Sage you talked me into it. Here is my slap in the face of keeping it real!! I mean this is a real mess of stuff.
This is the little hallway that is actually in my bedroom. It leads from the kitchen door which you can barely see on the right. Come down the hallway toward the camera and you are in my bedroom. To the left is a big walkin closet.
Since this space is right beside my kitchen it gets more use than any where else in the house. I had planned on this being a shoe cubby with a lot of well designed (by me of course) slanted department store shoe shelves for all my italian leather designer shoes....HAHAHA!!! The jokes on me! I have a dowel rod sitting there that was to be used for a great curtain to cover up the shoes too.
Instead it is a seasonal catch-all........meaning it has something from every season in it!!!
You see beach towels and pool shoes from our boating trips, a bucket of green beans (from 2008's garden) to hull out for seeds to dry for 2009's garden (I think they are dry now), lots of canning jars, my milking supplies, unopened boxes of canning jars, a boiling water bath canner, a bag with a blood pressure cuff (you know I have to take care of dh), a big box of trash bags, food saver and bags for it and etc etc etc etc......... all this decorated up with my Sam Toft prints hanging on either side of the hallway!!
See I have more usable junk than I do designer shoes!!!!!
I worked all day cleaning my bedroom and closet today but I did not tackle this area as you can see. I had company this evening and I showed off my bedroom to her and she liked the idea that I had a place like this right off of my kitchen to use in this manner! I told her it was next on my to do list since canning season is over and I can move most of this stuff out to the cellar. I have the fabric for the curtain and I plan to get it made soon and maybe I won't be so ashamed of this space.
Trust me it wouldn't be exposed for all to see except it was done on a dare ;-)
Afterall how many of you ladies have pressure canners, milk buckets and buckets of green beans in your bedroom?
You might be a redneck/farmgirl if.................
Now ladies I beg you to step up to the plate and show me some of your "keeping it real" spaces!!!
Update~~~Yep...... I am a redneck farmgirl........ I was pondering this picture and saw that I have a pair of John Deere Gator seat covers made out of John Deere fabric on the shelves and realized that I was sitting here at the computer with a "Bits-n-Bridle" t-shirt on that says "What happens in the barn stays in the barn." Well I don't know about it staying in the barn!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I need a Christmas Tree....

to wrap this baby around.

Another Moda charm quilt that I made last year but just got the binding finished a couple weeks ago.

Care for a candy cane?

The new 'quilting room' really was a good idea. I stippled the skirt last evening around laundry and preparing supper a few minutes at a time and suddenly the project was finished.
Took almost all day today to handsew the binding ;-)



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New shabby chic quilting room. Won't he just love it?

It's my foyer!
I want to have a machine set up and a quilt in it to be quilted all winter. No not the same quilt all winter but a bunch of different ones :=) It will be easier for me just to run in and quilt a little at a time if I only have a little time. My friend Sage says that you can get a lot done in just 15 minutes a day!
My Christmas Tree Skirt from yesterday.


I am not sure what is going on with this piece but it seems to be dragging and not moving around easily on the machine today. It looks jerky! That's OK it is going to be on the floor under a tree and covered with lots of presents! So I wonder why I thought I had to put so much work into it???


Well I am just certain that Danny will be so thrilled to come home today and open the front door and see this!!!! After all my Christmas present from him last year was about a zillion new receptacles upstairs in my sewing room...........

Who cares? I can see the TV from here. I can quilt a few stitches while I am cooking and doing a lot of other close by activities!!
I am happy with my decision. At least it isn't on the dining room table.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Quilted Christmas Tree Skirt

I got this started today. It's is going to be a Christmas Tree Skirt made out of a pack of Moda turnovers. The pattern is Figgy Pudding. I love the colors and patterns of this fabric.

This is a great tool for quilting. The Shape-n-cut. I am not really good with rotory cutting because I always seem to not have it lined up perfectly or something. This tool makes it so easy to cut an exact piece.



Love the red with trees!



and the peppermints




This is my favorite tool in my sewing room!!
I have a Bernina as shown in my header but it is no where as good a machine as this $76 Kenmore! I bought it last winter new in the box on ebay. It cost right much more than that in the stores but not $1200 like my Bernina. My Bernina is getting ready to go to the sewing machine Dr because this nurse can't seem to diagnose the problem. I have a battle everytime I sew on it. Either it bunches up threads underneath when I start a seam or when I am stippling a quilt the threads are out of adjustment. I have tried everything I could ever imagine to fix it myself but I give up now. This Kenmore and my other Kenmore which is a cheaper version also new from ebay, without all the bells and whistles, work perfectly everytime I sew on them. This one is lacking one feature that I can live without but I would love to have is the needle down option.




I am using the pinwheel pattern for the skirt. Easy since the turnover pieces are precut triangles and all I have to do is cut the biege fabric in the same size triangles. I have planned for years to make a tree skirt but couldn't decide how I wanted it. I think I have figured it out now!! I have enough pieces left over for a table runner for my dining room table and I am going to purchase one of the coordinating fabrics and make valances for the dining room windows. Either the red trees or one with peppermints, either one will work.






Saturday, October 24, 2009

I just had to show you these......

This is my favorite picture of me! Was I not a beautiful baby? Yes I have to toot my own horn! I was beautiful! Look at those eyelashes and those huge green eyes. The dimples have left my face and went everywhere else now. Those perfectly shaped brows are no more. The curls....what I had curls? One would never know it! The yellow smocked dress was made by my Grandmother Goldie (she was my favorite person in the world) I had Robin's picture taken in the same dress at 1 year old and she had Morgan's taken in it too when she was 1 year old. I have to gather those up and let you see them too. But I want to just warn you that I was a much prettier baby than they were......wink wink wink!!!!! That's OK they are a lot more beautiful young ladies than I am!! (That's my brother with me, David. He was a dapper little devil too!)

Now onto these hotties!! LOL!!
I recreated this picture of Danny and I in 2005 (good thing I dated it, I have already forgot) in charcoal from a little 3X5 sketch that was done in a token booth at Chuckie Cheese. The kinda booth that as adults you have to squeeze into in order to get all your parts in the picture! We look scared don't we? We were afraid we were not going have ears when the picture was finished!! When it was finished I couldn't believe how it turned out, it was by far our best picture together so I had to recreate it. At first I was going to do it in oils but I wasn't sure if I could pull that one off. Charcoal ended up being very easy. I was so pumped when I finished that I wanted to do everything in charcoal.

My children are scared of this picture because they say that the eyes follow them around the room. I just tell them that their parents always have and always will be watching them!!!!!

The truth is ..... I am self taught and have no idea how to fix the eyes ;-) That's OK I'll just stick to my story.....

See I definately don't look as good as I did as a baby! What do you think?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Darling!


video


Happy 55th birthday dearest lover


father of my children


Papa Danny


my soulmate


my helper


my Knight in Shining Amor


my cowboy


my rock


my friend


my confidant


my provider


my protectant


my fishing line baiter


my spider killer


my biggest fan


the one who makes all my dreams come true


the one who loves me.


Enjoy this video of Danny Lane Moran & Co (hehehe the company is me and some other various animals) there are pics of him as a baby with his gorgeous blond curls, playing with his ponies and horses, his prized coon dog Dolly and all her trophies along side Robin our first born, one of his "I want to look like Lyle Lovette" days and the list goes on and on. My first favorite are our wedding shots....he was 21 and I was 14.....2nd favorite is the one of him with the dogs in the wagon!!! Oh yeah check out the one where he was practicing for his bullfighting days!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Did I learn nothing as an ER & ICU nurse?

Well just look at this picture and see if you know the answer! Of course I didn't! Well maybe a little. I did know to keep a phone right by my side so I if I did fall and was by some miracle still coherant enough to dial 911 I could. Have I mentioned that I am afraid of heights? Or that I am so clumsy that I have been called Grace more than Becky? Yep my girls could fill your little heads with stories that they think are mighty funny for some warped reason. They get that from their daddy!! Crazy kids!

Now you see we have this semi-maintenance free home....hahaha...that even sounds funny when I write it. We replaced the roof with this great painted metal, added vinyl siding and replaced some of the windows around 4 years ago....took a couple years to get finished.....anyway we could not begin to afford to replace these big huge windows with vinyl. We were quoted around $1000 a piece and we have 7 this size!!! $7000 for windows......he said no!! Paint is cheap in comparison. BUT who is going to get up there and slap some paint on them? Me of course. I did talk him into caulking them first. He did that last evening after some true begging from me to do so in order for me to attempt to get them painted today. Today was another beautiful day and the last one that the dear old weather man promised me for a while and I was scared it would get too cold to be doing any painting and then these wood windows would rot out this winter. So I came around the corner last evening and found my dearest but crazy husband up on the ladder in this contraption. What? I had a real quick flashback to a time that my sister in law did a similar trick with a ladder, paint and a pickup truck but she fell off the ladder and it really hurted she said!!


So of course I wanted this painting to be done today so I had no choice but to hike my clutzy self right on up there and git-r-done. I did git-r-done too. Right before dark tonight. LOL!!!! Two really good coats of paint and a lot of scraping, they will possibly be cleaned tomorrow weather permiting. Not via Gator and ladder though. I have one of those really cool brushes that goes on the waterhose that holds soap that I have used before and it does a good job. It is also telescopeing so it will reach and I can keep my little ole feet safely on the ground.



I came in the house tonight not to this serene setting but to a kitchen full of dirty dishes. This however is what it looks like right now. AAAWWWWHHHHH! I love that feeling!! If you click to enlarge you will see white paint splatters were I have cleaned so many brushes this year in my sink but it does wear off eventually!! How do you like my new/vintage enamelware dish pan? Well it's actually a jelly pot but I discovered a while back that it also makes for a great dishpan. It accomodates my large pots and pans with ease.

(I made the red dishcloth this week, 2 of them while winding down at night watching a little TV) That's called multi-tasking ;-)






Now that I can rest easily knowing that my windows may not crumble down around me this winter.....well I/we have one more window to go, upstairs in my sewing room, I/we can stand on the 1st floor roof to do that one. More ER stories come to mind.......when a patient came in and started their story with..."Well I was on the ladder........" we did not need to hear anymore!!!!





Anyway I can get to my sewing room and utilize this new fabric that came today. I told you testerday that I just placed an order with http://www.greenfairyquilts.com/ on Tuesday and it arrived today, Thursday. She is in Utah and I am in Va.......I wasn't really good with geography but I thought they were on opposite ends of the US are they not? Was that lightening fast shipping or what? I really have the wheels a turning now about what to do with these treasures!!!!!




Thank you Lord for keeping me safe today up on that ladder!








Now there are some rich thick hot bubbles calling my name! Hum, that could be hot cocoa or a bubble bath. I think I'll have both!!





Goodnight my friends! God Bless!


I have to add here..........You see those incredibly large "Spoon and Fork like Marie's from Everybody loves Raymond" spoon and fork? My 6 year old grandaughter, Emma asked me the other day why I had those hanging up there? I gave her many different answers and she never seemed to be satisfied with my answer. I take it she doesn't like them ;0(
I think they are kinda kitchy!! LOL!!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh my wonderful new cyber friend.....

My oh my what a gorgeous day we are experiencing here in the mountains of SW Va. It has been rather cold for several days even had snow flurries on Saturday.....bur bur. Today, as was the last couple days, it is fabulous. Today the warmest in the 70's. Perfect time for me to get some way overdue chores done that are outside awaiting patiently for me to show up and tackle or finish.
Finish the trimwork on the garage (pics are here) that we painted back in July and I said "Oh well I will get that trim finished in no time." Well hello it's October Becky, What are you waiting on, snow????
So I have been outside painting window trim on our garage and basking in the fall beauty..........
Then I had to come in for an iced tea break and of course hop online and see what you girls are up to and there is the sweetest post about my chicken coop makever on Linda's blog!!!! Oh be still my heart. I can't believe it was worthy of such high praise but let me tell you it sure does make me want to go out and decorate every outbuilding that we have!!!!! Starting with the garage, convienent how I had already started that project huh? I have to get the windows scraped and cleaned and I plan to make curtains for the windows too. I purchased the fabric back before we even painted the garage. Just some valances to spice it up a little.
I have been busy getting my sewing room revved up for the cooler weather. Breaking it in gently with some little quilt projects that have been started for a while ;-) and a couple new ones too. The one shown above and in my banner is just a pack of Moda Charms that were simply sewn together for a quick and simple wall hanging. I love how it turned out. I am very much in love with Moda charms and turnovers, actually any of the Moda fabrics. I have been busy buying more for my stash in anticipation of a long cold winter. I just placed an order yesterday from http://www.greenfairyquilts.com/ She has some really great prices and a great selection.
So anyway I need to hop off and get that outdoor work wrapped up but not before thanking Linda from the bottom of my heart!!!!!!
God Bless You All!!!
Becky

Monday, October 19, 2009

A giveaway!!!

Yep girls I am going to win this one........... I know, I know!!! I never win but I sure do like trying too. I really like the fact that I will usually find another great blog whilst trying to win something. As is the case here.





V & Co is hosting a giveaway for Kati's Cupcake's and I am deadly in love with her fabrics and patterns already.......10 minutes into the relationship too. It truely was love at first sight.





So go on over and check out both of these great blogs and see if you can win. If you guys win you have to make me something out of one of the 7 patterns that you win. OK???? So it's a deal then. Good Luck!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cheerleaders needed....

All of us go thru times in our life that we feel the need to lay it all on the line......sometimes it's in word form in blogland. As is the case with my dear daughter Leslie of getting thrifty. She has started a new chapter in her life and really needs some good words of encouragement!


She is such a super duper fabulous person that one would have to know to understand where I am coming from with that praise. She is a true "Proverbs 31 Virtuous Woman". She is a great mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend, Daisy Girl Scout leader extraordinar!! Most of all she is a precious daughter of Jesus!! She has been such a blessing to us!!


Yes I am sure that you are all wondering what is going on in her life that she needs encouragement for, right? Well ya see............she is on a diet!!!!! No she isn't calling it a diet but a life style change. Well yes that's the right attitude Leslie, but your family will still call it a diet!!! Your children and dearest spouse will want to choke you before it's over and your friends, mother, sister and the rest of your family will be sooooooooooo jealous of you when you reach your goal. I mean after all you already have everything else that any girl could want!!!!!!!!!

So my dearest blogland friends please hop on over to Leslie's new blog and watch her progress and cheer her on! I mean if all of you girls are watching how could she fail? Well if she truely takes after me ...........I sure do wish her luck in that department!!!!! So go on over there now before she gets that bag of Oreos!! Hurry!!! She belongs to me......hurry!!!!

ps. Leslie~I love you and this is done out of tough love for you!!!!
Mom

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You can improve on perfection.......

Yep I just did!
I posted about this Kentucky Butter Cake a couple weeks ago. When I posted about it we hadn't tasted it yet. Well after we tasted our lives haven't been the same around here ;0) Danny says it's the best cake he has ever tasted. Today I was in the mood for chocolate and he of course wanted "his" cake. I did a little research online and decided that this recipe could infact be made into a marbled cake with chocolate anyway!! I was right. I made the batter according to the recipe, divided the batter in half, added 1/4 cup cocoa powder to one half of the batter, alternated layers in the bundt pan, ran a knife thru the batter to partially swirl it and wallaaa a wonderful marbled kentucky butter cake!!!!!!!!!! Yes he really did like it this way too. We were both happy as usual. Well let's just say it's truely better than baked Zote!!!



If I keep making him his favorite cake maybe he will buy me one of these
Samsung Dualview TL220 cameras. What do you think? Yes? or No?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's for supper?

Well at my house we are having baked Zote! Do you guys know what baked Zote is? Well I have to confess that I didn't til today!



See I was drying some grated Zote laundry soap bar on a pan that just happened to be sitting in my oven. You know a dry out of the way place for it to just sit and dry out so I could make my homemade powdered laundry detergent with it.



If anyone knows me they would be able to tell you that I always check my oven for anything that is not supposed to be there before I turn it on. One time when Robin was small she baked a pair of rubber sole shoes in the woodcookstove oven and also a slew of crayons in the same oven at a different time. It was not until I caught a whiff of burnt rubber that I found either of these little prizes!!!!



Oh No not today no way did I bother to check the oven. Turned it on to preheat to make BBQ chicken for supper, found out the chicken wasn't quite thawed so it took a great deal of time to finish that process all the while baking to a crisp a broiler pan full of Zote. Did you know it smells burnt when infact it has lost it's pink coloring and has turned white and puffed up like popcorn? Let me tell ya though it doesn't even begin to smell like popcorn. Even the disgusting smell of burnt popcorn is better than this!!!!!!! At least it is a warm pretty day so I can air the house out good!!!!! Not sure if it will make good laundry powder now or not ;-)


I hope your supper tonight is better than ours!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Up on my soapbox now.........

I am not sure about you guys, but I am sick and tired of dealing with rude people. I wonder why the world has gotten to this point that people are allowed to be so hateful to other people. Was it their upbringing? Did no one teach them somewhere along the way about the golden rule? I mean I would be feared for my life if I was ever that rude to people........



What I am getting at here is our closest Joanne Fabrics store in Christiansburg Va. I have had to bite my tongue in there for several years now because of one employee. If she waited on me I would leave in such a bad mood. She had eye rolling down to a science, she perfected the huff and puff and her shrugging of her shoulders was second to none. I would see her at the matierial cutting counter and shop around longer to try to get another clerk to wait on me. Heaven help me if I had to ask her a question. I was huffed at, shrugged at, eyes were rolled my way and she would probably spit at me if she thought she could do so legally. NOT KIDDING!!!!!! What would I do..............I would keep going back for more abuse.



Then it seemed that one by one all of the employees learned all of her tricks. Now this chic was probably in her mid 20's......OK so it was her age. Even though my girls didn't go thru the "terrible twenty's"....... The other ladies for the most part are middle age.....ya know when people frown and pout all the time they look older than they really are. They have at least lived long enough to learn how to deal with people. Well I guess that's how some folks "deal with people" by stomping on them, cutting right thru them ignoring them etc etc etc.................



I went in one evening a few months ago and there were 2 new employees at the cutting counter........smiling and laughing and asking out of genuine concern if I found everything I was looking for....you know the nice kinda people. These 2 were probably 18 years old. I told them how happy I was to see a smiling face and that they were the only 2 employees that I had ever witnessed with a smile and I felt that the rest of the staff was unapproachable. I had to go back in for something else the next evening and Lo and Behold 2 of the "Old Bitty's" were behind the counter.......oblivious to the fact that you don't complain about customers in front of other customers and they were talking back and forth about the complaints of them being rude to customers a couple days before that. Well I didn't complain formally but I wish I would have. Someone else felt the same way as me huh?


Today the same 2 that were discussing the complaints brought forth about them were standing on either side of me today talking OVER me about even more complaints about them. What??? How long can this go on? I have walked by these 2 employees standing at the front door on the street smoking and they won't even smile at you while you are outside in their cloud of smoke. Of course neither of them even looked down at me today and asked if I needed assistance.


I had a terrible experience today (that I won't even go into now) and I have vowed to NEVER step a foot back in this particular Joanne Fabrics store again. I feel it would be hazardous to my health to do so. I get so worked up just trying to buy fabrics and crafty items that I will have a stroke. I always thought this hobby was calming!!! Now I would understand if I went in with a lot of questions but I have sewn all my life and I don't require a lot of assistance other than cutting my fabric. I do have a choice where my money is spent and I refuse to write these girls paychecks anymore!!!

That's all I have to say about that!

Update: After posting this I went to Joannefabrics.com and found a way to submit a complaint about my store experience. I copied this post and sent it to them. We'll see if it is even acknowledged!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

He knows me too well.......

Meet the newest members of my flock!

This little itty bitty pair of Black Rosecomb Bantams came from Amish country! Now just guess what my dear husband decided that they should be named..............

"Carrie and Big"

from Sex & the City...........................

OMG TOO FUNNY!!!!!

Yep he came up with this all on his own too!!! Of course he loves the show and the movie as good as I do. I just thought he would want to name her Samantha ;0)

I have a feeling their names weren't the same when they lived in the Amish community!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Chicken Coop Makeover

"It was just some boards of rough cut pine and a quilt of patchwork cotton"......oh no that was Brenda Lee's Big Four Poster Bed wasn't it? Not Rebecca Len's new rollaway nest boxes!!!
Yes they are also out of rough cut pine boards!!! That's OK if they actually work I wouldn't care what they are made out of. My hens are all apparently eating eggs. I have caught a many of them with egg on their face and I have heard that this will stop them. They can't eat what they can't catch right? The egg is supposed to 'rollaway' from the hen as soon as she gets up, and hopefully before she can turn around and grab it.

My dearest husband made these for me. I designed them and then of course he "tweaked" the design to his liking, sorta like our houses and barns and other buildings he has built me over the years ;-) I think they are kinda cute. I love the copper roof. I have always wanted a copper roof on something with a cupola!!!! Maybe my barn? Probably my next nest boxes if the hens will actually lay in them!!! I have probably scared them away from ever laying an egg again!!!


These are lined with some foam that we had laying around to prevent the eggs from rolling down to the wood and cracking. I hope to open this little door tomorrow and find a few great big white brown and green eggs in there!! Wish me luck on that one. Tonight after the hens went up I saw one of my big Buff Orpington pullets roosting in one of the holes....a good sign or not???



These new boxes and my friend Linda over at Praire Flower Farm inspired me to clean up the coop and decorate it up a little for fall. She is giving away a gorgeous curtain (or should I say 3 of them?) out of her own fabric that she designed. Wow!!! I am so impressed with her talents!!! Go on over and check her out. Her drawing will be held tomorrow. I think you still have time to get in the running. Good Luck!!! I could really use it in my chicken coop but as I never win anything.........I just settled on one that I whipped up yesterday. It is a sunny yellow the color of rich egg yolks.......do you think that will make them mad when they are laying their eggs and looking straight at those yellow yolks, I mean curtains?????

















Old insulators jus because......




















I can't get enough barn stars in my life.......







This is a vintage embroidery thread box that I got at a yardsale many years ago. I haven't really done anything with it til now......









I thought it would be a great place to store pens, scissors twine etc in the feed room.










Yolk yellow curtain














B&W version.....













I hope they can't reach this til at least Winter













Love me some white pumpkins.........my Goodwill ladderback chair


















I got this idea from my dad.......a paint bucket hanging feeder for my laying mash.. .......I made it all by myself back in the spring :0}
































Now here is the ruler of the roost.........meet Becky. She is my only white guinea and she is sooooooo the boss. I knew it from the start. She is just like me.......nosy, noisy, loud mouthed, pushy, needy, selfish, a pig, beautiful, annoying, a real mother hen, faithful to her brood and her friends, a fraidy cat at times, scared of bears, scared of spiders I am sure, messy, mean, ugly......oh no I already said beautiful so scratch that, ........etc. etc. etc............. She really watches over this farm. If you don't believe me just come for a visit!!!!!
I hope you enjoyed the little tour of Le Coup. It's not much but it sure is an improvement from what it was a couple days ago!!! After we were thru hanging the nest boxes tonight my dearest helper looked and me and said "Well it's about time you fixed up this chicken coop." ........I had to beg him to help me with this because he didn't understand why anyone needed to decorate their coop. He thought at first I had totally lost my mind. Again!!! But when he comes around to my way of thinking .............
Now for the sad stuff......... as I went to check on my little ladies in their new dive tonight I found one of my 4 month old White Leghorn Pullets laying in this new coop floor dead. Looked as if a dog had chewed on her. I had not been away for more than 15 minutes. Frankie is now in sooooooo much trouble. Frankie is our 5 year old miniature Dacshund who has never ever bothered chickens until today and he chased them all day long. Boy is little hiny in trouble.
God Bless You All!!!!!

Update: Saturday 11:29 AM They work!!! 2 eggs in one box and they rolled to the front uncracked!!!!
My helper found them and he was grinning from ear to ear!!! Leslie~~~ your dad/my helper said after this that he would come over and turn your boxes into rollaway boxes!!!!!















Thursday, October 8, 2009

This Farmgirl is pooped.....

What have I done to myself? You would think it was that first warm pretty day in spring time when you have springfever so bad that you can just taste the dirt in the garden and flower beds and on your brow all while your 5 loads of laundry are blowing softly in the breeze and you are trying to kill yourself one little callus at a time and running in circles not knowing what to do next but you have such high hopes for the day and you know you can accomplish anything today because the weather is just right and you have been cooped up all winter. (OK now I am officially wore out from that runon sentence!!!!) The humidity in the summer was so bad that I could hardly stand to be outdoors and I didn't seem to get very much accomplished. I feel that I should be making up for lost time now!!


Yes today was just one of those days. No I did not have 5 loads of laundry on the line, sure wish that woulda happened but it didn't. I ended up in the garden but for different reasons than in the spring. Are you sitting down for this one??????? Well here goes.......I CLEANED OUT MY CHICKEN COOP! NO I DIDN'T JUST CLEAN IT OUT I CLEANED IT OUT!!!! It has not been cleaned that good in for ever and just barely cleaned at all for several years. It had gotton so bad that it would just wear me out working a little while on it. I always felt that the job was getting bigger instead of smaller as I went.

It took me at least 5 sessions with it today followed by Coke breaks and 2 small naps but ya know I got it done!!!! This coming after 3 days of incredible back pain. I had overdone it on the treadmill on Monday and again on Tuesday. Yesterday it was all I could do to drive to the grocery store and get my groceries unloaded when I got home. I was better today but the shoveling really got to me and I would have to take a break and prop the feet up to rest the back. Just the sweeping of the incredible amount of cobwebs was in itself a feat. I could have opened for business with "The Haunted Coop".


Speak of haunted......I can't believe that my chickens actually went back in their coop tonight. I also did some decorating. It really makes these ole bitty's mad when someone else comes in changes things around on them. They did in fact go up on their own tonight. I guess they liked it or else they were just too nosy. I know they weren't tired because they warbled around under the blueberry bushes in the shade all day long and watched me doing all the work. They would catch me on one of my breaks and go in the coop and poop in the floor just to show me!!!!!


So I ended up in the garden with the incredible massive amount of chicken poop......boy will it make good veggies next year!!! We have awesome garden soil from the 8 years of chicken and goat poop that we put on it each year. This year we were ever so close to being completely organic. I think the only thing we had to spray was a fungicide for the tomato blight. That is a good feeling too. This was by far our best garden too!!!!! Took me a long time to get Mr I love fertilizer out of a bag to get on the same page as me but he is happy too.

Then I dug about 1/2 bushel of potatoes....we still have one more row to go....maybe tomorrow?? I couldn't even tell you how many that makes us yielding out of about 10 lbs of left over potatoes from our garden last year. Now that's living off the land!!!!

So anyway I have a lot of new buzz coming down in the coop and I hope to have it all finallized and pictures tomorrow night. It's looking good no matter what the ole bitty's are saying behind my back!!!!


I am off to to soak these sore muscles in nice long hot bath now. I will probably fall asleep and wake up in the tub sometime tomorrow!!! Oh yeah tomorrow is to be beautiful again ;0) Oh my aching back.........

Monday, October 5, 2009

Born again Born Boots & Angell's Freshwater Shrimp Farm

I purchased these Born boots that retailed for $189 on ebay still new with tags on them for $89. I think that's what I paid for them, I have had them for about 3-4 years.
I about had the big heart attack due to excitement when I saw the UPS truck pull in my driveway the day he delivered these. You know the day that you could hug his neck but you know better because he still has to deliver to your house again in the future!!!

Only to realize that they didn't fit.......bummer! Well I could get them on but they are made with a very straight shaft and I do not have a straight calf.....get my drift. So after 3ish years of wanting to reconstruct them I finally got the nerve to do so. Afterall if they don't fit well enough to wear them they are worthless to me. If infact I ruined them while trying to reconstruct them they would also be worthless to me. However if it was infact a good idea and worked then there ya go.
So there I went and grabbed the kitchen shears, ya know the heavy duty ones cause this is good leather that was to be cut thru. Are you getting nervous now? Well I was a shaking in my boots let me tell ya!
A few holes punched and a leather lace run thru later the end result was perfect! I am so pleased with myself for getting up the courage to cut into a very expensive pair of leather boots. I am trying to decide which pair of shoes or boots in my closet needs a makeover next ;-)



We have some lifelong friends who have a shrimp farm 1 1/2 hours away from us that we visited on Saturday. They were draining their ponds to harvest the shrimp that day. You can read about them here. Here you see a couple of their hands in the ponds watching to make sure that none of the shrimp get stuck in the mud.


If you click to enlarge and have a really good imagination you can see the shrimp jumping out of the water. They don't want to go thru that pipe to meet their demise. Can you blame them?




A crowd gathered around the pipe as they are caught.





Sharon Angell is in the orange tshirt answering some of the millions of questions of the day! I mean how many people even knew that shrimp can be grown in a fresh water pond? I didn't.






This is an amish gentleman who traveled about 3 1/2 hours to partake in the harvest and learn from Sharon all the ins and outs of shrimp farming. His family has a cow dairy farm and with the declining prices of milk they are also looking for another way to use their land for a profit. The Angell's were tobacco farmers for years and you know how that industry has declined.








The shrimp were taken from the drain pipe placed in baskets and rinsed well in clean water and then they are immerssed in ice water for about 1 minute to freeze kill them. What a way to go!!! Ouch!!







These shrimp are just lovely and delicious!!! It takes about 12-13 to make a pound. Big ones!!! We purchased 10 lbs of these babies. Came home flash froze them and then vacuum packed them with the foodsaver. They will really be handy to have around don't ya think? I feel really good about this deal because it is helping out our local farmers and also we know what they put in their ponds. Good clean food!!!