Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This is where I am.....

.........although I am sitting in the dark right now!
In my fresh clean office/quilting room!

Whew, this room was a mess, and I will leave it at that!!!
I will spare you all the grimmy, dusty, cluttered details.
I thought my office was now deserving of a new wall quilt so I whipped this one up this afternoon!!
This is the Moda Nest quilt that I made and it was my first project on my Baby Lock when I got her home! I think the quilt has now found a good home!

Pardon the 2 baskets plus of excess "stuff" that still need a new home. The table in the middle of the floor was used to sit my machine on before Danny got home and moved the red enamel top table down from my sewing room. I will finish tidying those things up tonight or tomorrow, I promise!
But just look at that view!!
The stupid welder with the flat tire and all the grease/hydraulic fluid buckets behind the garage in front of the machine! Men? The green fishpond from the other window!!
I have to say it sure is a nice bright place to sew. I did a lot of sewing in this room for Robins wedding. I made her wedding gown, 3 flower girls dresses and 5 bridesmaid dresses while sitting in front of that window!

The view from the front window, the grandkids toys and my fishpond that isn't too green to enjoy. It must not be too bad because there are about 200 baby goldfish in there this year! That is another first for Sunny Morning Farm......other than the big fish pond, we have never had fish to hatch out in the smaller ponds! Yay! Anyone need any goldfish?
I have all colors, orange, black, white and any combo of colors!
Yes I still have paint that needs to be scraped off of the windows too..........among my many other things that I need to finish around here!

I can sit this winter/early spring and watch the Eastern Bluebirds in the crabapple tree out this window!

Now after I finish getting this box of stuff filed......

I can finish this quilt. I sewed the binding on it and apparently stretched the binding while I was sewing it and it is smaller than the quilt causing it to curl!! The crazy things I do!
I will have to remove it and start over.....urgh!!

Then I am going to play with my baby!!
She looks new and shiny doesn't she?
I plan to use this room and this machine only for quilting and doing the rest of my sewing and piecing in my sewing room. This way I have freed up some much needed space up there and it takes a good open space to be able to swing a quilt around while quilting it, I hope this was a good idea!

Half Time......

So girls.......I start my nursing job on Sept 13th in the surgeons office. That's a Monday and it is the day for system orientation. I can't tell you how many times I have had to sit thru this one. I have worked with the Carilion system in many different positions over the years and went to nursing school with them. Each time you transfer to another position (even within the same unit) or go to school you have to sit thru this ordeal! At least it is only one day now instead of 3-5 days like it used to be. Don't tell anyone but after I had sat in this "show" for about 5 times, I fell asleep during the fire safety video and had my head in my hand and my elbow on the arm chair and almost fell in the floor!!! When I woke up I looked around and everyone was asleep!!

Other than that Monday and a staggered crazy schedule for computer classes for the new electronic medical records they are using now, I will be only working mostly Tues, Wed, and Thurs!! Only 3 days a week....that leaves me 4 days a week, right? So I am trying to convince myself that I am going to be just fine working only part time. I am not having a lot of luck convincing myself of that tho. This morning it hit me that I will be only working "half time", actually less than half time when you consider that I will have 4 out of 7 days off to do the things that I love to do. I will have those other 3 days to make the money to support those other habits that I have on those 4 day breaks...sewing, quilting, sewing machine collector, farm girl, water lover, gardener, goat milker, cheese maker...etc etc etc etc........ Plus the time to work in my hair studio! Never know how that will pan out cause I am out in the boonies ya know!

Then if it happens that I have to work 4 days one week (the schedule is made out 30 days in advance) I am going to convince myself that those hours will be "bonus money" that will be used for special things!! I will make myself happy with this decision one way or the other!!! I am sure that I will be just fine once I actually get in the door and reality slaps me in the face. It is usually so busy with any nursing job that I have ever had that you can only daydream so much throughout the day about what you would rather be doing!

So I am going to think positive about this and go forth!! OK? OK!

Now in the next a little less than two weeks (but who's counting?), time that I have left, I am going to make some changes around here. I know you have heard it all before but like I told my sil..."don't believe everything you read on here!" She asked me one day if I had finished a quilt that I started many months before!! hahahahaha Like I said don't believe it all!!! LOL!! This time I am going to get some "so called organization going" like in my sewing room. I am full of ideas about how to get things organized in there so I can have a couple projects going at a time and be able to finish them in increments at different stages and different stations for each step in the process. You know my ADD and also I will "NEED" for sanity's sake to have something to be able to work on when I get home in evenings or on those days off. I will explain all that later and maybe with pictures!!

I am also on a quest to fall in love with my Baby Lock Quilter's Choice machine again. Remember I looked at the Elna Quilter's Queen at the fabric store last week. I DID NOT SEW ON IT, I AM NOT THAT STUPID!! I did however drool all over it......sorry ladies but I have it marked with my spit now so I guess I will have no choice but to buy it!! However, I am trying once again to convince myself that it is the "same" machine as what I already have and does the "same" things that my baby does! The Queen was just so shiny and new and had a different "powerhouse" look to her. I am going to give it my best shot with my baby today and hopefully get a lot of time in on her in the next 2 weeks to fall in love with her all over again. If I don't flip again, I will go back to the store and take the queen for a test drive and think about purchasing her in the next few months, or maybe I'll find a real nice used queen on ebay! This is the same machine that she has at Pleasant Home!

Better go I have some furniture to move!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 9 ...one coat closer.....

It was hot as you know where today and I gave up a chance to take the boat to the lake and spend time with my favorite cousins (on one side of the family hehehe) to paint!!
The stupid sprayer gave us a fit ALL DAY LONG!
How to you like the towel that is covering the door glass?
It's a beach towel that I got at a hair show at Myrtle Beach many years ago!
How appropriate? I have been using it as a drop cloth for a good while now!
It's getting there!
Needs at least 2 more coats of paint.
Ever tried to paint rough cut hemlock? Don't!

I have a surprise addition for the area to the left of the door, coming soon!

We ran out of paint about the time we ran out of energy......no not really, I had no energy all day because of the heat!
I can't wait to get the other zillion coats on so we can uncover the windows.
The ceiling of the front porch is going to be painted Morning Fog Blue and I hope to find a teensy tiny ceiling fan for it!!

I think I like it!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day #8ish.......A lot to talk about here.....

I have been one busy little bee this week!
I am working really hard to get my hair studio finished and open for business. This includes the decorating of the hot tub room next door that will be extra seating and a waiting area for my clients. Plus I have wanted this room decorated for a long time. I got it started several years ago but some how got side tracked and it wasn't finished...imagine that??
My inspiration has always been the dresser on the cover of this Coastal Living magazine.
I love that weathered beachy look! Those colors are just beautiful. The dark navyish blue
and the lime green!

So I got thie trim in that room started today and I can say that I am loving it already!
Of course these are nighttime pics and the coloring is a little off.
I have some more distressing to do to this.
I have hung some beachy-lake-water-relaxing-vacationy pictures that I found at a yardsale for a steal.

They add to the ambiance of the room.

Now don't laugh!!!
I hot glued all those seashells onto this mirror!!
I love it too!

When I get the beams painted in the same distressed look I think it will really look good. The hottub is a dark green/teal granite color that matches the trim or vice- versa!
I will have some comfy seating, a fridge and some form of entertainment in there.

The trim work on the hair studio is finished and we are ready to paint it now!!
Woot woot!!
Robin and Eric are in for the weekend and Danny saw the perfect opportunity and asked Eric to shimmy his little athletic self right on up that ladder and get to the high parts today!!
Afterall if he could run 5 miles in the time it took me to fix a quick breakfast this morning....what is a few screws in a few boards 20 foot off the ground??? Easy peasy!!!

I had these vintage linen curtains just waiting for a special place.
They had some spots that wouldn't soak out so I tea dyed them and hung them on the front door.
I think it was just the right place!

Don't you?

Another night time picture!

I can't wait to see it painted white!!!

ooooops I guess I liked this one a lot!

A horrible night picture of the whole studio.
I can't begin to explain what a difference the trim made on this little building!
I can't wait for the paint!
Did I already say that???
Oh well!!
I am excited!!!
Now about that call that I was awaiting last Friday about that nursing job?
They made me an offer but told me to think about it til Monday and let them know.
I will take it and then I will start on the 13th as best as I can say right now.
That will give me two weeks to get a lot of things done that I did not get done in the past 1 1/2 years!!
At least this is only part time!
(now I can tell you about it;-)
It is in a surgeons office....I worked for a solo surgeon for 5 years til he closed his surgery office and it was my best job ever! This is 5 surgeons, 3 of which I worked with in the ER!
A cardiologist (who I used to work with at the hospital)!
An adjacent family practice (know all of them too)
and the best part............ drum roll........
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 8-5!!!
If I was going to tailor make a job for me it would be this one!
Well since I can't find that job that will send me a paycheck while I sit at home, this one will be the next best one!!
NO I do not want to go back to work but I am going to bite the bullet and do it anyway.
I have a want list about 2 feet long and it takes a lot of money to get those items that I want!!
Robin and I went to the fabric store today and lo and behold they had an Elna quilting machine in there that was so pretty and shiny!! It had my name written all over it!
I will have to pull many hours in the Dr's office and cut many heads of hair to get that one alone and there are many other items on that list!!!
Wish me luck on that one!
In a few weeks I will have 3 jobs or more, goat farmer, nurse and hairstylist....among many more hats which I wear such as....manager of a vacation rental home, bookeeper for Danny's business plus the other 2 businesses that I run, chief cook and bottle washer!
OMG, I am already wored out!!!!
I will be back soon with pictures of the paint job on the studio, I hope!!
Goodnight all!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm back!

I am back in touch with the world! I missed it too! My laptop just died on Sunday afternoon and it was dead dead dead! I am sure that it was fixable for a price (even though my computer guy didn't suggest that as an option) but I opted to go ahead and buy a new one. I decided to go with a desktop this time because my laptop never left my office anyway. I went to 3 different stores today in search of something that would strike my fancy and yet fit my very limited budget at this time. Danny left it up to me because he knows that I knew how much we could put on a new computer and still eat this week and he knows that I love to eat!

At the first store I absolutely fell in love with this monitor!!! OMG I couldn't even stand to look at anything else. No others would suffice after seeing this one. I compared and priced them in three stores for about 3 hours and when I was completely ready to scream and my sponge was way too full of information and prices and packages.......I decided on a Compaq Presario and that HP 23" HD LCD Monitor!!!!! It is shown above but the picture is not very good. This thing is just awesome! I think I made a really good choice. This monitor is like a movie screen! Youtube videos are just unbelievable! Miranda Lambert never looked better! (on my end)

I also really like Windows 7's photo gallery and all the little tweaks that you can do to a photo! I know I will have fun with that one.

Since we talked last Danny has been very very very busy on my shoppe. I will get some pictures soon of the progress and let you guys see what a difference a few boards strategically placed can make! I love it!
Gotta go and play with my new Quilt Wizard software that I thought I needed since I had a new computer!! I am off to design another quilt......maybe one for the wall above my desk in my office!! hmmm.....

Guest Blogger

The guest blogger today is me, Robin, Becky's daughter. She knows that you all are waiting on the edge of your seats for her witty farm updates with the all the happenings going on around here and of course her beautiful pictures of all of her crazy farm animals, but that won't be happening for a while. She has worn out her computer. It is dead. So for now she's catching up on all things that needed to get done around her house and dreaming of getting a new computer while doing her chores! Although my daddy says once she does get one he's going to take it away from her so she'll continue to be so productive! But don't worry too long, she will return soon enough!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day one.....

Guess who is up, dressed and out the door with a large cup of coffee in his hand on his way to the hardware store to buy a 4X4 post for my shop sign? Yep, you guessed it! He took off like a streak to get there before they sold out of them. He will be back home and have those post hole diggers humming and a hole dug in no time flat.......he has waited a long time for me to decide where exactly I wanted that sign to be hung!! LOL

Guess who is coming home and as soon as he gets that post planted is getting to work on the trim work of the shop? He has procrastinated long enough on that project but he loved the pictures of my muse shown in my last post! He is just excited thinking about the idea that I told him that "I" would paint the building white when he was finished with the stripping and trim! He knows that I am afraid of heights and way too clumsy to use a ladder.....however do you remember the ladder in the back of the gator that I was on to paint windows?? We won't remind him of that one. I rephrased my suggestion of me painting to read something like this....."I will paint the porch and railing and the parts that I can reach and you can just pick up the pieces on the rest of it!!" We will see who climbs that ladder!!
I purchased some white mums for the garden beds yesterday.
I picked up some osnaburg fabric to cover a piece of foam for the porch swing cushion that I have had for about a year now.....who's the procrastinator?
I have some white linen fabric with "new curtains for the shop door" written all over it!
My wheels in my mind are turning ninety miles a minute right now!
Now if I can just get my legs and arms turning that fast, this project will be finished in no time!

I practiced a speech all day yesterday that I would use to turn down that nursing position, if I got the call with an offer, but what do you know, they didn't call me! I was told that they were going to try and wrap it up and let me know something yesterday but I didn't get the call. Oh well! I am glad that God didn't have that in his plan for me anyway! Thank You Lord! Right here on Sunny Morning Farm is where I am supposed to be!
Right there in my tiny "Showalter Place" hair studio making the valley folks beautiful one head at a time!!!
Gotta go, I've got a job to do!!!
Have a great weekend my friends!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Comparing notes.......

In my quest to find the right answer for that burning question...

"What do I really want to do when I grow up?"

I have been doing some super serious soul searching.

I have weighed out the pros and cons, the upside and the downside

of 'public employment' vs. 'be my own boss'.

Guess which side is probably going to win?


I have always been an entrepreneur at heart.

Never very good at it but always loved it.

Not the bookkeeping part but I have managed a few businesses over the years and the IRS hasn't found me yet ;-)

so I think I can do that part too!

This photo above is my muse.

My inspiration.

Although I think this is my dream that I have been dreaming for several years now and I just found the end of that dream a few weeks ago in the form of a blog.

Imagine that?

I knew all this blogging would pay off one day, didn't you?

This 'to die for studio' is My Shabby Streamside Studio.

Click on her name to go off to wonderland in the Catskills Mountains!

Click here to see her before pictures of her studio, before all the chippy white paint

and fru fru!!

Now here is Becky's hillside studio....teh hee

This building as you probably remember from last spring has been turned into a hairstyling salon and it is in my yard.

It is still not completely finished on the outside....well that is an understatement....it's NOT at all finished on the outside, but I have been doing business, albeit part time inside for almost 1 1/2 years. I just never could decide if this is truly what I wanted to do when I grew up or not.

I have NOT put up a sign.

I have not advertised.

I don't even tell anyone for an unsettled fear that they might actually want my services and I didn't know for sure if this was really the avenue that I wanted to trod.

So in my full week of soul searching, and I can do some serious soul searching in front of the sewing machine and ironing board, I have finally come up with an answer to that question above.

Yes I "do" want to be a hairstylist when I grow up!!

Of course I knew that 30 years ago, even before I went to cosmetology school, before I purchased my first salon with a friend, before I branched out on my own, before I moved my business to my home so I could work while going to nursing school...........wait a minute, back up here......oh yeah it's that ADD, good thing I did go to nursing school so I could diagnose myself for free!!

Here is the side view and it pretty much looks the same as it did back in 2008 when this picture was taken, other than the side of the building is now covered with weeds. LOL!
Well no, that is no laughing matter because I am the one who will have to clean up that garden!!
I am hoping that my dear husband will finish the trim on the outside and put the rock around the foundation for me though. I do know how to use a Skil-saw, a chop-saw and a drill if I need to. He just doesn't usually like for me to get started on something like that cause he will just have to come along and finish it!!
The building was intended to have the strips over the cracks just like my muse above. The intentions were always for it to be white too.
I CAN paint ya know?
Do you think she saw my plans?
This building has been built since 2003!!!
I needed to get a feel for this small space and so far it has worked out pretty well with my clients. Seating space for friends/family members is null and void, but we make do.
I will carry out my plans for a waiting area in the next door hot tub room.
Maybe a fridge with cold drinks and juice, snacks, magazines, hairstyle books etc etc for my guests.
I have done a lot of research online about tiny houses and businesses......seems it all part of the "green movement"! hahaha
I also have a lot of ideas that are in the works for the courtyard garden in front.
The red building and the hay shed will be torn down soon to make way for the new matchy matchy barn too. I will add some porch rail flower boxes and maybe some handmade gingerbread for the trim! Made by him of course, he can make anything. Maybe some homemade gingerbread for my clients too! Made by me!

With a little tweaking it will be exactly what I need.

Now I have to make my sign....again.... and get it hung this time around before I change my mind.....again!!!

I have to do some advertising, however Danny is my best word of mouth advertising that I have.
Not because he stays so clean cut....far from it, he has to beg for a haircut for weeks it seems, but he tells all his friends and coworkers. I have been cutting his bosses hair for well over a year now and they were talking yesterday about my decision to go back into the nursing field or not. He told Danny that it didn't matter if I went back or not that I was still going to cut his hair because I was the best!!! hahaha I have him snowed!
Another coworker overheard this conversation and inquired about my services, got right on the phone and called his family......immediately I had 3 new hair clients!!

The new salon name is

Showalter Place
Hair Studio
318 Showalter Road NW
Willis, Va 24380

now if I get that call today about that job that I interviewed for on Monday.......hmmmmmm???
What to do? What to do?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Basket Of Flowers Pinwheel Quilt

I have been itching and itching to get back in that sewing room!
I have had these turnovers for a good while now and a burning idea in my mind of what I should do with them. I just needed to pick up some coordinating fabric to go with the pack. I found this quilters cotton on sale last week at Joannes and thought it might just go with them.
I was right! I love the green with all the pinks, blues, reds. yellows, greens and whites.
I have suddenly gained this new love for green anyway, it brings out the green in my eyes!

Of course I love the pinwheel pattern so that was a no brainer.
As you can see I am cutting the turnover pieces down so the pinwheels are smaller.
I have one pack of turnovers finished which makes 40 blocks. I have one more pack for 40 more blocks. Total will be 80 - 7" blocks.
I have only worked on these for a little while for 2 days. I want to get the rest of the blocks finished this week and get the quilting started.
I will sash it and give it a border to make a full size quilt for my guest bedroom.
That room has my walnut bed that Danny made me 34 years ago. No it hasn't been painted!! I am not that crazy!
I did, however, paint a yardsale night stand in a really pretty sage green and this quilt is going to match it just perfect! The curtains in there are in a pink and white ticking stripe!
Bright and cheery but not too frilly. Just country cute!!! I hope!!

These pics were taken at night and the lighting wasn't the best so you can't really tell what the green looks like here.Take my word for it, it's pretty and that's all that matters right?

Monday, August 16, 2010

A "sign" or a "sign" ???

As I briefly mentioned in my last post, I had a job interview this morning. I was asking God for a "sign" to let me know what he wanted me to do in this situation. I mean I love my stay at home job but it doesn't pay very good in green backs but there are some really great benefits that I do not need to mention. The work here is hard too. I bring that all on myself though!! I think I have to plant a truck garden for the 2 of us, I think I can do any and every hobby that has been concocted in some bored housewives' idle mind, not that I am ever bored. It is quite the contrary actually. A little idle time would be great but remember my self diagnosis of ADD not to be confused with ADHD!!!!!!

On the other hand, since this great career that I now have doesn't pay very well in the greenbacks, I do have that darned nursing license. What was I thinking 12 years ago today when I started nursing school????? hahaha that's another chapter in my lifetime dreams!! It involves me sitting in my desk being the grateful little student, almost the oldest in the class might I add, and the program director asked each of us to go around the room and tell everyone a little about themselves and where we saw ourselves in 5 years. I HATE THOSE MOMENTS ANYWAY! It was just like my baby shower, as a married woman of course, and I couldn't even remember my name when we got around the room to me. I had heard way too many Mills (maiden name)and Moran (married name) last names that I couldn't even pull either one out of my mouth!!! I was the laughing stock of my baby shower!!.................anyway back to the story here Ms ADD............when it was my turn in class that 1st day of school .......I was stoked because I wanted to be a "NURSE" more than anything in the world! I had been on a waiting list, for the RN program, at a local college for 3 years and it was going to be a couple more before I got in. I found out 4 days prior to class starting that I was accepted in this program! I was ready to drop everything and start and that's just what I did too!!! I REALLY WANTED TO BE A NURSE WHEN I GREW UP!! So when they got around the class to me......I smiled really big and I opened my mouth and I fed them all a line of BS that went something like this....".....and after I finish this LPN program, I will go straight on and get my RN degree and then I would turn right back around and be a Nurse Practitioner and work in Cardiology."........LOLOLOLOLOL.....my director said "Great! I love to see a student with such ambition!"

Then I graduated and I swore that I would never ever ever ever go back to school again!!!!!

I did however enjoy the biggest part of all those years as a nurse. Nursing has it's moments though! So I was really particular about the job that I might ask for when I decided that I would bite the bullet and go back to work. This job is one that I thought from the ad was going to be right up my alley and when i went for my interview I found out that it was REALLY going to be right up my alley!! That's all I can say about that again!! I am supposed to find out something on Friday!! I am so happy here at home that I will be happy either way. If I get it I will be in a very good position and if I don't get the job I will remain in the same position....a win win situation, right??

As I mentioned above, I asked for a sign from above as to whether I should be here taking care of my home or at work caring for others. Yesterday my fridge quit working. Did I mention that there are not enough greenbacks to do everything that I want to do??? Well I do not have enough greenbacks to buy a new fridge. Of course it could have been worse, we do have that great Craigslist fridge in the garage and it may very well end up in the house! The repair man is on his way as I type tho.....we will see about this wonderful Whirpool. It has been a thorn in my side since it came out of the box but this time it's HOT!!! So on one hand that looks like my "sign" that I need to go to work. Then on the other hand my house is in such a disaster from all the days spent canning veggies and such that I had to race around like a crazy mad woman to make my house presentable enough to have a repairman come in!! There is a "sign" that maybe I should stay at home and actually do my job in my present career!! What you think???

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Made in the USA....

I am not sure if I have ever told you or not but I love galvanized anything!

I especially love that this new really cool tub is made in the USA and it was only $14!!

I love this made in the USA $14 galvanized tub even better when it is filled with fresh sweet corn from my garden!!
My freezer is full to the brim with corn this year.
We got over 200 ears white corn from a truck farmer, who was picking his corn for the market, along side where Danny was bulldozing one day.
He gave us this corn for FREE!
Leslie helped me put it up for half and it just so happened that her freezer has went on the blink so guess where her corn is?
I barely have enough room left for my corn that has just started to come in but that's OK, we will just eat hers first to make room for more!! ;-)))
I made a wonderfully yummy corn pudding tonight for supper to go along with a $2 whole chicken that I roasted, mashed potatoes and a loaf of homebaked fresh from the oven bread!!!
My house sure did smell good with all this going on!!
Wow that was a good meal!!
My husband is thinking twice about sending me to work now!
I have an interview on Monday!!
I can't share very much with you right now.
I must be crazy to mess up this beautiful thing that I have going here.
Pray for me, Please!!
If it's in God's plan I will be back at work, if not I will be right here cooking for my husband!
I do have my eye on a nice new quilting machine though!!!!

They're going to take my farm license away......

I can raise baby goats, sometimes, that turn out pretty good, grow up into beautiful young lady goats and then turn out to be good mother goats.
(Ellie Mae, my yearling, is pregnant!)
I really have high hopes for Miss Daisy!
I am still in love with all those spots and those long ears never grow old!

She is quite the bully on top of the mountain.

"What you doing in there Mr Big?
You rascally rooster!"

You say whaaaaat??
You like my curly ears?
I know everyone does."

Duke is a studdly little fella and I have high hopes for him being a herd sire for another farm next year! His face is just beautiful!!!!

Daisy wins again!
These are my very best, sweetest babies that have ever been dropped here on the farm.
(I like Thunder's offspring)
They are so quiet and docile!
I think that means they are happy!

They haven't caught wind of what a bad farmer I am yet.
They don't know how hard it is for me to raise chickens.
If they knew what "I" did to my baby chicks they would head for the mountains.
I will tell you and you will not mutter a word to anyone. OK?
Do I have your word? OK then, here goes........
I don't ever want it to brought up in conversation ever again.
My guilt is overwhelming enough.......
Need I say more?

ps. the picture above is Mr Big as he prepared to leave his coop
this morning to go to work protecting Sunny Morning Farm!
Now if he would just be able to warn me of the safety hazards spotted...........

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Life is just "Plum" good....

I made a nice little batch of Plum Jam today.
I used the Damson Preserves recipe in my Ball canning book.
I have no idea what kind of plums these were but Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy!!!!!!
It is good stuff!!!
My Dad used to like Damson Preserves better than anything he could ever get a hold of.
My Great Grandma Ella used to always make them for him and I thought it was nasty as a child.
I am not sure why I didn't like them but I thought Damsons were something along the line of Morels or something yucky like that!
I wonder if I would like Damson preserves now??? hmmmm????
If these are Damsons, I am converted!!
This is by far my new favorite jam now.
Look how thick!
You almost need a knife to cut thru them.
I am so proud of my 9 little bitty 4 ounce jars!!!
I will be on the lookout for some more plums to make more of this delicacy this season.
On to the other itty bitty's......
Momma and all her chilluns are tucked safely in bed tonight with their father watching vigil over them!! It just involved a flashlight, a cordless drill, the removal of a few boards, Danny. Leslie, Emma and I in the dark on a chicken hunt!!
I just love how chilled out a crazy spastic banty hen and all 10 of her babies are after dark!! No wonder they fall prey to so many critters......it's like
"Oh just take me and do anything you want to me, just don't wake me!"
You chicken folks will know what I am talking about here!!!!
We did go buy us a live critter trap today and we have it set behind the coop tonight.
I am pretty certain there will be a big old barn cat in there tomorrow morning :-)))
So life for me is "Plum good" right now!!!

Banty update!

They are alive!! They are still all under the chicken coop and I can't seem to coax her out but as of right now they are all alive!!! I went down there this morning and I could still hear chirping. I went to a very small hole in the back of the old building and I placed my eyeball right up there in that hole knowing perfectly well that there were creepy crawlies on the other side of that hole. I spot a black blob about the side of the hen but couldn't see movement and I was afraid it was her dead body. I ran back to the house and got my flashlight went back to the hole and threw my eyeball back up in there and came eyeball to beak with a live chicken!!!!! She seriously could have pecked my eye out too!!!!!!! I started talking to her and she started talking back and she hopped up and a bunch of itty bitty babies run out from under her!!!! Thank You Lord!!

I moved all the goats out of that field and I have the rooster out there to try and coax her out and back up inside today! Wish me luck on that one. Poor Mr Big is just beside himself too. Probably feels like his whole family is stuck in a mining tunnel or the likes. If she keeps them under the building they may very well be consumed by a predator at night. WE WILL BE BUYING AND SETTING A LIVE TRAP TONIGHT!!!!!!! That's another good excuse for me to go back to Red Hill general Store!!!! Thanks for the well wishes girls!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

In a pickle.......

I feel like a pickle!!
I have been in so much vinegar this week that I should be pickled myself!
I made this gallon jar of refrigerator dill pickles today. They are supposed to ready to eat in a week, just in time for our family reunion!!
The recipe did not call for carrots but I just couldn't help myself when I saw a bag of petite carrots calling my name today.

These are Dill Spears from the same recipe that I made the dills this week.
These cukes were a little large for slices so I speared them and soaked them in lime and I am sure hoping they will be crisp.....fingers crossed!!
It really is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
I am in such a habit of cranking that rim down on those jars as tight as I can get them. I am having difficulty getting it thru my thick skull that Miss Kim at Ball doesn't want me to do that any longer!! I backed these off and they did not pucker after processing them!!!

I had to make a run to Red Hill General Store today....which I am fortunate to live about 15 miles from.......to buy canning jars that they had on sale. While I was there I just had to buy this pickle book too!
Maybe I will learn something about making pickles ;-)))
I just wish I had enough time to read it.
My kitchen table is covered with October beans drying off that were picked tonight. They will be canned tomorrow along with the batch that Danny hulled tonight.
I have 10 pounds of beautiful sweet plums in a basket to make jam with tomorrow.
I have a huge watermelon that the nice gentleman at the farmers market gave me today to use for watermelon rind pickles. It had a small brown hole that looked as if a stick had poked it in the patch and he said they couldn't sell it so he gave it to me. I am hoping that we can enjoy the melon and have a good rind for the pickles too.
I would also like to try some watermelon rind preserves this year.
This is the year for me to pickle or preserve it seems!!
Most years I am so busy putting up the big stuff...bushels of beans and tomatoes at a time and no time is left for small batch canning.
Well 11 quarts of pickles at a time shouldn't be considered small batch I guess!!
Remember Miss Carrie my banty with 10 of the cutest babies ever?
Well Miss smart*** here decided that she should be turned out yesterday to get some exercise and allow her babies to frolic in the grass.
Frolic they did too. The babies hopped around in the grass like bugs or little black grasshoppers and my heart just fluttered!!!
In about 30 minutes she took them under the chicken coop and they have not been spotted since.
Danny got down on the ground with a flashlight tonight before dark and he said he could see all the way thru and there were no chickens, only a lot of black feathers. SOBBING SOB SOB SOB.........oh be still my heart
I have been so sad all evening thinking about what I did to all my babies.
After dark tonight I remembered that I did not lock my other chickens up so I went down there and I could hear what sounded like 10 babies under the building!!!! They were just a chirping!!
I sure hope their mother is OK and she brings them out soon before some other critter gets all of them.
I made a trade with my Dad this week.
He gets a pair of banties, I have a pair that came from the incubator batch, and I get 8 Rhode Island Red laying hens!!! Good trade huh? He thinks so too. He thinks his hens are too old at age 2!! They are young in my book. My hens are at least 5 years old and I get an egg almost everyday from them!! He is getting the same but he is afraid they will stop soon and he has too many anyway. They will carry me over til my Buckeyes start laying this fall and then I can get rid of some of my old hens. I have all my eggs sold that I can spare now!!! woooowoooo!!! that has been a long time coming too. I also have 5 gallons of goat milk sold each week!!!
Finally this farm is going to hold it's own!!
Do you believe that one??????
Happy canning!!