Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I started my day yesterday like I start every other day. I walked out to the chicken coops, opened the doors, swished out the waterers, and changed the mason jar feeder for the pullets. I was carrying the empty jar back to the house and trying to pull my sleeves down, because, seriously, it is cold in the mornings now! On my way up the deck steps, I didn't pick one of my feet up high enough, caught my toe on the step, and fell right down onto the deck. I twisted so I wouldn't land right on the mason jar, and fell on my stomach and arms.

I don't remember hitting my head, but the splitting headache and the nausea later on suggested that I might have. But even if I didn't hit it on my way down to the deck, I certainly wacked it a good one on the pullet cage later on in the morning when I went out to refill waterers, collect eggs, and give treats.

My pupils stayed the right size, though the headache still hasn't really gone away. So if there is a concussion, it's not a very serious one at all.

Other things I did yesterday include making a batch of yogurt, a loaf of bread, and a ton of favors for a baby shower that's happening this weekend. I'd post pictures of the shower favors, but then they wouldn't really be a surprise. I'll be sure to take pictures when they're all put together at the party, and post them when we get back next week.

I finished up the favor making this morning, so now I can put all the scrapbooking stuff back away, and get the folding table out of the living room.

Seems like this week is just flying by.

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Wow, it's been a strange week. And since I'm kind of OCD and like to post on my blog everyday, even when I don't post everyday, I'm just going to post three times today and tell you all about it.

On Monday, I had to drive my elderly neighbor to the dr, in order for her to get her last round of some shots. Now, I've written before about how driving pretty much scares the pants off me, and I know I've documented numerous attempts at learning to be a better driver and be less scared and more confident.

Recently, I've noticed an odd change. I'm still pretty intimidated by driving, but I'm not downright/panic attack/terrified to do it. I think part of that change may have come from the fact that I've spent so many hours this summer driving the lawn mower around and around the yard. Don't laugh! I think it really helped me be more confident in the basic operation of a vehicle.

Anyway, I drive more often and practice with more confidence, but it's still not at all something I'd say I enjoy, or one of the skills that I'd list high on my resume. But I know that when the neighbor, who is generally kind and who takes care of our chickens for us everytime we're away, calls to ask if I could please take her mother, who is such a special woman and who really likes me, to the dr for a last round of shots so she'll be able to travel to Ohio to visit the grave of her son, who was a Green Beret and died in Viet Nam, without as much pain next week.... well, I know what God wants me to say and do in that situation.

So, I did it. We got loaded into her car and took off for the hospital, which is about twenty miles away. I which I could say that I drove along the highway with the utmost confidence and calm. I did do fine on the way there, but once I was in the waiting room (for 3 hours!) I started to panic about driving back home. See, the exit with the hospital is also a very busy one with a couple of big truck stops, so there seem to be semitrucks everywhere and all around. It's very intimidating, having all those big trucks racing by and trying to find a space among them.

In the end, I chickened out a bit and ended up taking the country roads home instead of getting on the highway with all the trucks. It was a much more peaceful and beautiful drive, and it was very good to learn a different route, since my doctor's office is in the same town.

I know that avoiding the highway all the time isn't really the best way to become a confident driver, but until I have more confidence with it, I'll stick to the less busy, less truck stop-y, exits.

So, Monday was an exhausting day of triumph, that I'm so glad to have gotten over with!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Homemade Crunchy Granola for Yogurt Topping

I've recently been very into fruit and yogurt and granola parfaits. I wanted a homemade version of granola to sprinkle on top, though my first instinct was to crumble up nature valley oats n honey bars. But no! I'm frugal and natural, so homemade it was.

I used this recipe from Tammy's Recipes.

It turned out really well, and made the house smell wonderful, but I think it definately needs some nuts, maybe almonds, and some pumpkin or sunflower seeds as well.

This recipe makes a complete crapload of granola as well. In a good way.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Now my hands just smell like balloons...

I was planning to roast and then dehydrate these habaneros and hot portugal peppers today, but I guess I'm just too wimpy. I got as far as slicing them in half before my throat started burning. I suppose I'll have to leave it up to Ben, if he'd like them preserved. That's fair though, because I wouldn't eat any of them anyway, lol.
I was wearing latex gloves, to protect my skin, and now the smell won't come off. Not a big deal, but it's kind of giving me a headache. I was thinking to try lotion, but I thought that might make it worse, by mixing the two smells together. So maybe lemon juice would do it. That works for garlic.
The pepper plants are all doing really fantastically. I'm pretty impressed, since this small harvest is just the first, and there are many many more out on the plants waiting to ripen. They're good while they're still green too, so I'm pretty sure we'll be able to use them all. But I'm definately sticking to the bell peppers from now on, and leaving the hot peppers to Ben!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Glowing Home

Missouri Botanical Garden Sept. 2009

It's feeling good to be home and making things around here shine again. I spent this morning cleaning up and unpacking from our trip and doing laundry. Then I picked tomatoes and put them through the strainer to make sauce. Ben wanted me to use the cherry tomatoes for the sauce too, but I think in the future, I'll just use the opalka, because this batch is taking quite a bit of cooking down. The cherry tomatoes are much waterier.

I don't think I'll can this sauce, since I doubt I'll even get a full quart, so it's just going to go in the freezer. When I finish that, I'm planning to finish cleaning the living room (sweep the floors and dust), then I might sit and knit for a bit, and maybe watch Dancing with the Stars.

The neighbor dropped by and gave me some Oak saplings to plant. She's transplanting things, and has run out of room in her yard for trees, so now she's populating mine. I don't know where I'd want to have oak trees, but I wouldn't feel right letting them die, so I'll find some good place for them.

I'm off to enjoy just being in my clean house now!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009


I love my blog. It's absolutely one of my favorite hobbies, and definately one that touches on all my other interests and hobbies, since they're all reported and recorded here.

I find that blogging helps to keep me on track and become better at what I do. It connects me to other people and inspires me. It definately makes me feel very good about myself to help and teach other people through my blog as well.

I'm feeling a little sorry for my neglected blog lately, since I have a hard time getting to post while I travel or have visitors, which seems to have been happening a bit lately. And now I'm heading off for a wedding in GA this weekend, so I probably won't be posting again till Tuesday. Poor blog...

But I hope to have some fun new topics and lots of interesting pictures to share, once I get back into my blogging groove again.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Catching Up

Well, my mom and my sister, Angie, have been here since last Thursday. I have been having so much fun with them! But they wore me out. I don't know if I've been out and away from my house so much ever, not counting actually going somewhere on vacation.

They dragged me to the mall (I'm so not a shopper!), and even that was fun, since I got to hang out with them. And I got a bunch of much needed shirts, because I was starting to have a hard time finding clothes in my closet that were still fit for appearing in public. I seem to only have a handful of clothes in the rotation at a time, so they wear out and become pretty used looking fairly quickly. Now I have some new things for going out, and I can retire the worn looking things for everyday and working.

We visited St. Charles, which really is awesome, and I highly recommend to anyone in the area that if they get the chance, it's really worth the time to visit the adorable shops and see all the historical sites!

Last night was our big finale, StitchNPitch!!! It was so much fun, and the shirts we made were a big hit! And quick, someone write it down: I was the only person in the group who didn't want to leave a baseball game early! It was super awesome fun, and I'll definately post more about it tomorrow. We were even on the news a little, and the reporter borrowed the phrase Angie came up with for our shirts, "Knit One, Purl Two... Strike Three!" She asked her permission first, though, and Angie was flattered.

Today, I'm hoping to rest a little. Maybe I'll take a bath, since I have the big whirlpool tub all cleaned and disinfected, because I wanted it available for our company. It's usually very dusty, and more of a chore to get it ready for a bath than the bath is worth. I am working on the sleeves for my sweater. I made good progress on them last night at the game, and of course there's plenty of work to do too. Laundry, tomato harvesting, mowing the lawn, cleaning out the chicken coop, and generally cleaning up all my clutter from a week of not cleaning up clutter and shopping.

There's lots of exciting tidbits and pictures coming up in the week, plus a trip to GA on the weekend. It's a busy fun time!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sleepy. But good.

The house is nicely cleaned. I didn't really have to do much, but there's always getting ready when company comes. Our porch continually looks haunted, because the spiders just rebuild every day when I knock down the webs. I'm afraid I might have to start killing some of them. I don't want to, but I think they might be the dangerous kind.

The chickens are molting, I think. We haven't gotten an egg from each of them for a few weeks now (I mean to say, we get four eggs from five hens, but not five eggs, which they generally will lay), and there are feathers all over the run. They also look a little ragged. I hope that the new pullets will start laying next month, because that'll help keep the supply up for our customers while this molting thing is going on.

I didn't go to my homemaker's meeting today. I got a little sunburned yesterday and woke up with a sore throat this morning, so I decided to stay home and knit instead. I'm going to start the sleeves of my sweater, and I'm hoping to do them both at the same time, using the magic loop method. That way, I won't have to try to keep track of the first one to make sure the second one will match.

I've spent the morning doing laundry and some baking and various chores here and there, so I'm going to settle in and spend the afternoon with my sleeves. Unless I totally fall asleep while knitting and take a nap instead. I won't deny it, that is possible today. :)

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

An Eventful Weekend

I wrote this post this morning, but couldn't get it to publish. I'll try again now. I'm about at 50% on that to-do list. Oh, and:

Congratulations to my brother, Adam, on helping to lead Midland to victory as the Best Tennis Town, USA!!

Well, it was a nice weekend, but quite eventful as well. On Friday, one of the hens was limping, and looked quite droopy and panting. We decided to separate her from the rest, since we were pretty sure they weren't letting her eat or drink. We set her up in her very own cage, and she looked much better once she had food and water to herself. By yesterday morning, she was up and active, and wasn't limping anymore, so last night, we put her back into the coop with the others. I'll be keeping an eye on her, to make sure that she continues to do all right, and get plenty of food and water.

We also had some fun this weekend. We went out on Sunday with our friend Ken to the Japanese festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Such a beautiful place! And we saw a very fun cooking demonstration.

Now I've got to buckle down and get to work. My mom and oldest sister are coming to visit, and are arriving bright and early Thursday morning, so I want to be ready when they get here. I have a homemakers' club meeting tomorrow, so I want to to get as much done today as possible. I'm planning to mow the lawn, spray down the front porch, wipe down the kitchen counters, vaccum the couches and chair, sweep and mop the floors, and set up the air mattress in my sewing room/guest room. We'll see how much of that I accomplish, but I'm hoping to do it all. :) Here I go!

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Vignette

The scene:
Our storage area, where I'm proudly showing Ben that every canning jar in the house has been sorted and stacked neatly according to size, ready for the produce.

Ben: That looks good, hone... (shifting his gaze slightly behind me) Oh My God!!
Me: (frozen in place for a second) What? What is it? What?
Ben: Get away!

Upon recieving no answer about what the danger could be, I push past him, and run away, out of the room, closing the door behind me. Trapping him in, with... it.

Of course, he wasn't really trapped, there is a handle on that side of the door as well. And "it" was just a mouse that was on the shelf behind me. I wouldn't have been as scared of a mouse, they're not what frightens me. I was afraid it was a bug getting in my hair. Or a crab or lobster. Yes, I'm terrified of them. No, you may not ask how I could possibly be scared there'd be a lobster in my attic.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I have been spending my day in dust and cobwebs.

I started with the cobwebs all over the porches. I don't like to kill the spiders that live in the siding and on the porches. I mean, they're just doing their spider thing, and maybe they'll eat some mosquitos too. But, letting them live means huge Halloween style cobwebs developing and dangling all over the porch all the time. So I went out to knock down the worst of that and sweep the porch. Just to make it look a little less like we live in a haunted house.

Then I worked on cleaning the garage a bit, and brought in a couple of boxes of canning jars that had somehow gotten stored out there. I think that bigger spiders live in the garage than one the porch. I'm not scared of them, and don't mind them, except for that I'm terrified they'll get in my hair. Things in my hair is one of my biggest fears. Anyway, so that was pretty filthy too, and messy, since the garage is the only place in the house where my (slightly anal) organization doesn't reign.

So, since I had some canning jars to put away, I decided it was high time to go through all the jars my MIL had given me when they visited. I'd had the boxes stowed away, but I hadn't unwrapped and sorted them all out. I like to keep the jars sorted according to size and ready to grabbed when they're needed, so I got that all taken care of too. That wasn't as dirty a job, but there was plenty of newsprint all over my hands, so it felt dirty enough.

My canning jar status is something along the lines of: more quarts than two people can use, enough pints, I think, and just enough half-pints, unless I find grapes somewhere.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Chicken Scandals

Wow, the mention of scandal in the coop sure does pique interest!

The other day, in an idle moment, I tweeted about putting a webcam in the chicken coop. Well, I guess the flock has been following me on twitter, and they were pretty excited about it. When I explained I was joking, they began a campaign to show me they're ready for reality TV. Their methods include flashing passing raccoons, fermenting their feed and getting very drunk on it, and arguing violently about which one stole which one's boyfriend, which hen's turn it is to clean the kitchen, and who has formed an alliance. Number 3 actually slapped number 5 the other day in an attempt to prove to me that filming her would make good television.
Okay, the actual scandals were just that they haven't been laying as many eggs, and I'm concerned about integrating the two new ones which will be happening next month... but after the curiosity you all showed yesterday, I didn't want to disappoint. ;)

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