Welcome to My Front Porch.....

Welcome to my front porch. It is a place where I entertain friends, family, and strangers. Where I have discussions on a wide range of topics. It's where I have long talks with my husband and where I do most of my homeschooling. My porch is also a place of solitude. Where I go with a cup of coffee and my bible for quiet time in the morning and where I relax after a long day with a glass of wine and a magazine. So kick off your shoes, have a glass of sweet tea, sit-a-spell and visit.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Free Things for Families in St. Louis

If you ever get a chance to visit St. Louis you should go.  Besides the Arch, and the Cardinals there are lots of FREE things for families to do.  In Forest Park there is the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis History Museum, and The Childrens Science Center all free to get in.  Forest Park itself is a beautiful place to go on walking trails, have a picnic, or feed the ducks.  It was also the location of the 1900 World Fair.  (SIDE NOTE......The movie Meet Me in St. Louis  starring, Judy Garland, is about this time period in St. Louis and the Christmas carrole  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas originated from this movie.)

Anyway, Grace is big time into astronomy right now and the Science Center is her favorite place to go when she isn't filming.  She not only enjoys the planaterium but she loves doing the experiments in the lab.

 At this station she is extracting DNA from wheat germ.  Other stations include looking at your own DNA under a microscope from your cheek saliva, learning how to use a pippet (a very useful tool in a laboratory), studying finger prints under a microscope, and viewing a flatworm under a microscope.
St. Louis has beautiful parks all over the city.  Hyde Park is where they did one of the scenes for the movie ,The Swing Set.  It has a public pool as well as beautiful grounds and ponds with ducks to feed.  I got a shot of Grace by one of the larger fountains..........
                                      Below is a shot from the other side of the same fountain.
                                           They have beautiful evergreens there as well..............

There is also the St. Louis Botanical Gardens, which is beautiful and extensive.  It costs a little to get in here but is worth it if you like plants and landscaping.  They also have a Six Flags which like all amusement parks is expensive.  All in all I would say St. Louis is a very family friendly city and the enterainment can be easy on your pocket book.  So if your planning your next vacation or just a weekend get-away I highly recommend St. Louis.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photos of the Last Scenes of The Swing Set

It takes a lot of people to make a movie.  Most of the young people working on this film are going to college to go into the film industry.  Sean Hunt (tall guy with the glasses and gray sweat shirt) is the writer and producer of this film and graduated from Webster University last year.He is a very talented young man and I think he will go far in the industry!

Below is Grace (playing Allison) with Burnie (playing the main character Dr. Smith). Burnie is by profession an Instructor at Webster University in St. Louis.  But, he also has a local radio talk show and is recording a blues album with his wife.  Sometimes we would film until 2:00 a.m. then he would take an hour nap get up shower and go in to do his radio show.  On top of all his wonderful energy he is one of the kindest men I've ever met.  He made Grace feel very comfortable and she really enjoyed working with him. 

I have two release locations and dates so far.  December 7 in St. Louis at Webster University and January 5 & 6 in Anderson, MO.  Right now Sean is trying to negotiate with Malco to have at least one showing here in Northwest Arkansas.  I know he will be releasing it on the Internet and also on DVD but I don't know the particulars on that yet...............I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Cat Thinks He's a Chicken

Everytime I go out to the chicken house my cat, Stormy, comes with me.  I don't let him in the gate he climbs over the 8' deer fence to get in.  The chickens go nuts cackling and running off and he just saunters around like he owns the place.  He doesn't bother any of the chickens he will even walk right thru the chicken door and check out the hens setting on nests and never bother them.

Even though my cats, dogs, and chickens live in harmony right now.........I'm afraid Stormy might think of the chicks as more of a snack than just something interesting to look at sooooooooooooo...PROJECT!!!!  Steve is going to put an electric fence on the outer perimeter to discourage Stormy and others who might find baby chicks "fun to play with".

The projects never end.  I think the list just gets longer.  At least right now it does.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


So far there are two and they are as cute as can be.  I love having babies here (especially if I don't have to be the main care taker) they are just percious and so fun to watch as they figure things out.  I think this hen is going to be a good mama.  Her instincts are right on target as far as caring for her little ones.  I need to mark her somehow.  I don't want to use a band because one of the characteristics of the French Marans are the feathers on their shanks and I think the band would cause her to loose hers.  Maybe I'll get my nail polish out??????????????
In Anne of Green Gables they say a house is not a home until it has had a death, a birth, and a wedding.  Not long after we moved out here one of our cats, Penny, passed away a few weeks after having kittens.  Now we have the chicks.....all we need now is a wedding........well maybe in a few years!  (I'm not hinting at anything kids!!)

This is a little video of the inside of my chicken house.  It's just an inexpensive 8'x10' metal building from Lowe's that Steve and I put together ourselves.  You will see my automatic chicken door.  Which I think is the best invention since sliced bread!!  It has saved my chickens from racoons many times and I can go to dinner with friends without having to run back to the house and make sure the chickens were shut up for the night before the perdators(mountain lions, coyotes, fox, and racoons,  you name it we've got it) come out.

The nesting boxes are metal and from an old commercial hen house.  We only need the bottom 5 right now so I keep the top tier closed up.  You can also see where I took chicken wire and loosely closed off the setting hen and chicks and the whole back corner of the coop so she could get up and get food and water from time to time.

We do have electricity in the hen house.  In the summer we run an exhaust fan to keep things cool.  In the winter we have warming lights and a warmer to put under the watering cans to keep them from freezing.  I also have a plain overhead light.  I wanted to put in a chandelier but my husband pretended not to hear me and kept installing the plain light.  Okay, okay, okay, I guess I have to draw the line somewhere.  I would have to dust it about everyother day anyway.

That's it for the chicken news for now have a wonderful day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hen Update

Well, I guess I can't count or something.  We still don't have hatched eggs.  But I hear peeping coming from some of the eggs.  I called the county extension office and talked to their poultry expert.  He told me to give it a few more days.  I also learned that fertile eggs will keep for up to 7 days at 70degrees.  Which means next time I can stick several eggs under my hen.

We have an older chicken coop that I'm converting into a brooder.  It has an attached yard and an automatic door.  All I have to do is build a few ramps and put in some nesting boxes.  This will work well for the next time I have a hen get broody.  I'm going to isolate her in here and keep her and the chicks together but away  from the flock for at least the first 7 days.

I have a building project right now and that is to build a small "cage" with 2 3/4" openings.  I will put the chick feed in here so when I introduce the little ones to the flock the adults can't get to their food and they will have a place to go if they start getting picked on.  Another porject is to build a small ramp for the little ones to get back into the coop.  It's no problem for the adults to step up 4-5" but I dont't think the chicks could do it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Broody Hen

Meet my broody hen (I stopped naming my chickens because everytime I named one the racoons would get one for a midnight snack).  Day 21 will be this Sunday, November 13.  There were 6 eggs under her to begin with but after candeling them only 4 looked like they had chicks.  So far she is doing a great job keeping the eggs warm, keeping her nest clean, and getting enough food and water.  The next test will be when the eggs start to hatch she has to give them enough room to break the shell but not let them get too cold.  Her instincts have been great for this long I think she will do well.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Change in Weather

We had our first hard frost the last week in October.  That  brought with it some extra work.  I harvested the last of the green beans and peppers.  I didn't plant a fall crop this year so all I had to do was get in the last of the summer veggies.  I will still have the watercress that grows wild in the stream for salads.  It adds a wonderful peppery taste to dishes, almost like radishes only not as harsh.

I had one of my hens go "broody".  She is setting on 6 eggs but after candeling them it looks like there are only 3 eggs with chicks in them.  Anyway I had to clean the coop, seperate the hen setting on the eggs and finish the chicken yard.  Normally I have a section of land about the size of a football field fenced with 8' high deer fence.  In this area I have some fruit trees, my garden(with a smaller fence around it), and the chickens who free range.  But in the winter time the Bald Eagles like to nest in this area and when the fishing is no good on the river they start eye-balling my chickens, as do the Chicken Hawks.  So, Steve and I found a lightweight netting to drape over the top of a yard we made for the chickens to keep them from becoming lunch.

Once that was finished,  I had to start looking for a formal dress for Grace.  She plays the harp and is involved with a harp ensemble called String of Pearls.  They are performing two concerts in December and a recital for parents and relatives.  Not only that the film she is involved in premiers in December or January and she has to have a dress to wear.  Anyway,  we went looking and she is at that age where it is hard to find annything.  It's either too little girlish or too grown up.  It has to be tea length or longer because of how she holds the harp.  Well, after looking all over town we went to the fabric stores to see if we could make something.  We didn't have much luck.  When I started getting winter clothes out and putting summer clothes away  I found a dress that both of her older sisters wore when they were about her age.  It fit the bill but it was all black (which I think looks very chic but she thinks looks depressing).  Anyway,  after some minor alterations and showing her some colorful embelishments we could add she liked it.  (When I do this project I will take pictures and post.)

We have also done some deep cleaning.  Like moving furniture and cleaning under everything etc.  I like having everything clean and neat for the holidays. 

Even though I haven't posted in a while I have been able to find time to read your posts and have enjoyed them all. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Christian Film Coming Out

Grace waiting for next scene

We spent last weekend in St. Louis.  Grace is filming a Christian film called The Swing Set  and they are trying to shoot the last few scences they need before releasing the film in December or January.  The last scene that she is in requires a beach and we are kind of land locked.  The producer wants to make the 14 hour drive to get the scene.  So that means another road trip soon.

Getting ready to shoot
It has been fun seeing how movies are made.  I can say this...it takes several hours and several "takes" of the same scene to get just a few minutes of a movie especially when you are using one camera.  The young producer we are working with is Sean Hunt who is trying to break into the film industry.  He is a very talented young man and I think he will go far.  The crew working on the film are all students at a fine arts college in St. Louis.  They are a very dedicated and hard working bunch of young people.

Grace was excited to do this film because it was about having faith that God is sovergien in all things.  You can have a peace that passes understanding even in the darkest of trials when your faith lies in God and His unending love.  She plays Allison who is a cancer patient who never blames God for what is happening to her and encourages others to trust in Him as well.

I will be posting again about the movie when I have a date of its release.  In the meantime you can check out the teaser trailer http://seanhuntfilms.com/swingset.php . We ask for prayers that this film glorify God.

Have a blessed day!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

How Fun It Is to Be a Girl

Journal Entry by Grace
October 19, 2010

Oh how fun it is to be a girl.  To work and labor in the home and not under the hot summer sun.  When you do somehting thourghly and sweetly for your mother the joyous look in her eye and the proud tone in her voice as she says, " that's my good girl", oh, what a thrill. And to be "daddy's little girl" doesn't that sound darling. I like the airy feel of a dress and the feel of the wind through my hair.  Such pretty rooms we girls have so bright and happy.  Our play is giddy and gay as we stick flowers in our hair and dream of how it will be when we are young ladies and women.  We girls are precious buds, then we grow into beautiful roses.


Thursday, October 21, 2010


My daughter does journal writing as part of her homeschooling.  She had a couple of entries I just loved and asked her permission to share them.  I've posted one below, hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Journal entry by Grace:
September 6, 2010

The color orange is used in so many things and in almost every season it's in summer, fall and sometimes spring.  It's warm, dark, light, happy, cozy, the color of fire, and flowers.  It's a beautiful mix between red a hot color, and yellow a fresh bright color.  Even though orange is its own color it is also like its "parents"too. It's like red because its hot, warm, firey and nice to see in cool weather.  It's like yellow because it's bright , happpy, and fresh, but at the same time it's its own.  I'm glad God made ORANGE!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black/Copper French Marans

I like a lot of things that are french, french funiture, french cooking and french wine.  So when I found out about the French Marans I had to investigate.  This breed is very rare in the United States which is why I chose to raise them.  I liked their characteristics and I wanted to contribute to strengthening the breed in this country since they can no longer be imported from France.

They have large to extra-large dark brown eggs.  The eggs have been described as Godiva Chocolate eggs. As you can see by the photo above they are quiet-a-bit darker than the average brown egg which sits in the center.  These eggs can be and are several shades darker than the ones in this photo.   It has been said that top chefs like the eggs because of their rich buttery taste. I for one have to agree!  Their taste is fantastic.   Their egg color is unique however and are so dark because they have a special gland that kinda spray paints them as they are layed.  Apparantly this gland is not found in any other breed that I'm aware of.  Anyway it makes for beautiful eggs.  (I feel a craft project coming on!)    
 The breed is very docile and grow to a medium size as far as chickens go .  They are a great dual purpose bird.  There are two standards being breed  in the USA, if you have the kind that have feathers on their legs  they are the french standard and the Marans without feathers on their legs are american standard.  There are several different colorings in the Marans breed.  I chose the black/copper because they are known for laying the darkest eggs.  
I'm hoping I have a broody hen(which means a hen who will want to set on eggs long enough to hatch them).  I'm wanting to see if they can hatch their own chicks.  So many breeds don't have broody hens these days because most people want to hatch the eggs themselves to have a greater number of chicks to survive and sell.  I for one would like to see the hens take care of their young.  I think that characteristic will help the breed survive in the long run.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Holiday Time Saver

We are coming into the busy holiday season so here is a little time and money saver for you.  Make up cookie dough from scratch (chocolate chip, ginger snaps, peanutbutter, etc.) and roll into logs with freezer paper.  Label it and put the temperature and baking time on the package.   
                             Then store them in the freezer.  It will keep for up to 6 months.

If you buy your baking  supplies in bulk and take an afternoon with your kiddos to make up several batches you can have warm, fresh, out of the oven, cookies all winter long. You will have cookie dough ready to make a batch for holiday parties, gifts for the neighbors, or a quick desert when unexpected company comes by.  The best part is it's half the cost of the store bought dough and you know what's in it.

Happy Cookie Dough Making!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Invisible Woman

Impress these words of Mine on your hearts and souls, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deut. 11:18-19

Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!  You have covered the heavens with Your majesty.  Because of Your adversaries, You have established a stronghold from the mouths of children and nursing infants to silence the enemy and the avenger.  Psalm 8:1-2

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Mat. 7:11

On those days when you wonder why I ever became a mom........the house is a wreck, you have nothing out for dinner and the kids are hungry, you've changed a dozen dirty diapers, your husband calls from some amazing restuarant that he found while on his business trip and you are talking with excitement in your voice but are sitting there with stained smelly clothes because the baby just threw up on you.....................GOD SEES..................and that makes all the difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

RECYCLED Barn Wood Cabinets

This post is part of the "Show us your Life - Kitchen Tour" found on http://www.kellyskornerblog.com/.

Two years ago we down sized from 4,000 sq. ft. to 1.200 sq.ft.  Because I loved to cook I had a huge kitchen and LOTS of dishes and cabinets to keep them in and a walk in pantry.  So when we moved I had to weed through the dishes then figure out where to put the food in my new kitchen.  I like my new smaller kitchen better.  It's different and very me.  Here's the tour............ 


We used wood from an old barn.  I put a coat of clear laquer so that it would clean up easily.  Then added vegetable handles.

I used silver patterned tin for the wall above the cabinets as well as the back splash to bring more light into the room.  Here is something you might help me with....I am thinking about changing the light above the table to a crystal chandelier.  I like mixing rustic and formal.  What do you think?

Since I don't have a formal dinning room I combined my fromal table with some mixed chairs.  The floor is cedar that was cut and milled within 50 miles of here.

Instead of using glass in the upper cabinets I put in chicken wire with a blue and brown floral fabric behind.
For a pantry I already had some 12" deep white bookshelves from my old house that would fit perfectly along one of the empty walls of my new kitchen.  So I had a cabinet maker come out and measure for some doors.  I anchored the bookshelves to the wall painted the doors to match and I have a pantry I can find things in.

I like the 12" depth better than the deep pantries with drawers.  You never lose anything this way.  You just open a door and can easily see what you have.  Above shows the baking and breakfast area of the pantry.

 Above is a a copper tree that covers the vent above my stove.  It was made by a craftsman at Silver Dollar City and covers the ugly vent nicely.  It also helps bring in the red from the cedar floors and the copper accents of my stove.

I love love love cooking with gas.  When I found this stove on craigslist I snatched it right up knowing it was a perfect fit for my kitchen with stainless steel and copper accents.  (Finding this stove was a God thing because I live way out in the country and the people I bought it from were only 10 minutes away.  Nothing is to small for God in giving us the desires of our hearts!!)

My sink is another unique find.  It is cast iron with brown porcalian and is extra deep like the old farm sinks.  The window above it looks out to my front porch and the beautiful views beyond.  The counter tops were put in by my husband and daughter Heather.  They are ceramic tile with glass accents.

Well, thanks for coming by I hope you enjoyed the tour.  Have a blessed day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It all started with a kiss....

Then two people fell in love...............
                                                    and  four wonderful children came into our lives....

 Jessica, Brandon, Heather and Grace.  (Brandon hold your "B" straight.)
 There that's better.

Here's a tip for you new moms.  Even when they are older they will not listen.......
"Okay kids put the letters down and let's do a serious picture now."

''OMG, knock it off or we'll be here all day!''


                                                      AWWW aren't the sweet when they mind.

I used to think my family would shrink as my children got older and moved out but I have experienced just the opposite.  My family is growing.......

Jessica met Kyle....
                           and history repeats itself.........


Steve and I have been married a long time
but it feels like we've only just begun..................................


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

 I like to cook with fresh herbs all year.  So I often will grow them in my windowsill.  This year however, I decieded to glam-up my pots with a little paint.

I just took regular clay pots and some spray paint.  After they dried I taped off the top rim and turned the saucer upside down.  Then painted them with chalkboard paint.  I liked the added black and you can write what you planted on the top rim of the pot.  Then next year wipe it off and plant something different.

Now I can have my fresh herbs growing in my kitchen in style.  I encourage you to go out and get some clay pots and add your personal touch!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Raw Milk Anyone?

Have you ever had raw cow milk?  Well, if you haven't you are in for a treat.  It taste so much sweeter and richer than the ultra pasturized version you find in the store. But you must be careful where you get your milk.  It must be a VERY VERY clean facility.  We get ours from Lomah Dairy near Tiff City, MO.  These folks are wonderful and take pride in their produt.  They are also gearing up their facilty to make and sell cheeses.  If you live in the area I recommend you go see them. 

There are several other benefits to raw cow milk.  For instance you can skim off the heavy cream and use it to make whipped topping for desert.  Just add about a tablespoon of sugar and about 1/8 teaspoon vanilla and mix on high with your whisk attachment until peaks form.   Or you can mix the cream with a paddle attachment on medium to make butter.  This takes about 10- 20 minutes. Or if you need something to keep the kids busy.  Put it in a glass jar with a lid and let the them take turns shaking the jar.  Drain off the liquid (this can be used for buttermilk busicuits) and VOILA....you have butter.
Another wonderful thing to make is mozzarella cheese.  It's easier than you think and only takes about an hour.  In large stainless steel pot put 1 1/2 teaspoon citric acid disssolved in 1/2 cup water add 1 gallon of milk and heat it up slowly to 88 degrees F.(you will need a thermometer with a long stem to get the temperature in the middle of the pan).  Stir slowly so the milk doesn't scorch the bottom.  Take the milk off the heat as soon as it reaches 88 degrees.  Add 1/4 rennet tablet already disssolved in water. mix well into milk. Let stand 5- 8 minutes.  There should be curds forming.  With a slotted spoon remove them from the whey(this can be used in bread recipes).  Then put the curds in the microwave for 1 minute.  Put on some heavy rubber gloves to protect your hands drain off any excess whey. Try to stretch the cheese.  If it doesn't stretch well it's probably not hot enough.  Put back into the microwave  30 seconds and repeat...knead, stretch, pour off liquid.  If the cheese is not real shiney and stretchy at this point put it in the microwave again at 30 seconds and reapeat the stretching, and pouring off excess liquid.  Depending on your microwave you may have to repeat this last step one or two more times.( I ususally only have to put it in for 1 minute once and 30 seconds twice.)   Form your cheese into balls and ENJOY! 

Of course there are other easy cheeses you can make as well as homemade ice cream and yogurt.  Here are some websites for more ideas and how-to information that I like to use: http://www.cheesemaking.com/ you can order cheesemaking supplies as well as instructional videos on cheese.  Another helpful  video is Homestead Blessings:The Art of Dairy Delights which you can order from http://www.visionforum.com/ .

If you haven't tried fresh cow's milk I would encourage you to find a local dairy near you and enjoy all the fresh things you make with it not to mention the simple indulgence of a cold glass with warm chocolate chip cookies.  Yum yum yum!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Strengthening family Ties

This is my whole crew from front to back, my son Brandon, son-in-law Kyle, daughter Grace, daughter Jessica (married to Kyle),my handsome hubby Steve, daughter Heather and her boyfriend Casey.

We have been taking a family weekend at Lake Taneycomo for trout fishing since the kids were little. Now that they are older they still enjoy going.  That makes it nice for our youngest still at home.  She likes spending time withher sibilings.  In fact we like spending time together as a family even though three of our kids are grown.  I contribute that to homeschooling and taking little trips like this not too far from home.   

I can't believe I didn't get any photos of our catch.  Well, we got some nice ones and will have a family dinner soon with trout as the main dish.  I guess you will have to take my word for it when I say I out fished them all.  Of course it helped that dad was kept busy baiting hooks and untangling lines.  You see he has a family secret that was handed down to him by his grandfather on how to set up your line and what bait to use on this lake.  We were bringing them in like crazy and everyone around us keep trying to figure out what we are doing to catch the fish.  We just look at each other and grin as we clean our limit in trout. 

I hope this inspires you to get out and do things as a family.  If you invest the time when they are young it will keep you close when they are older.  Who knows maybe soon we will be adding another generation to this tradition.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Diary Entries

The view from my front porch!!!!!
September 18,2010

Well, it is about 6:00 a.m. and I’m sitting on the porch watching the sun come up over the hill. The rooster is crowing in the background and all is well. I have my coffee. The dogs are laying at my feet and the cats are lounging in the chair nearby. There is a little bit of fog around but not so thick I can’t see, just a haze really.

I don’t hear any birds singing yet but I’m sure they will soon. I think a lot of birds have left and still more will be leaving to go to warmer weather. In the summer here we have the most beautiful birds. We have a type of King Fisher that is small and a beautiful green. We also have an Indigo Bunting which is the most exuisite shades of blue it takes your breath away. I tried getting a picture of it but never did it justice. We also have purple and gold finches that flit around the fields as I walk through them.

In the winter we don’t have a variety of birds like in the summer BUT, we have Bald Eagles. They nest here in the winter and fish in the river. I can walk down to the river almost any given day from November thru March and see about a dozen of them in the trees. They are so majestic!

With the logging we are doing I hope it doesn’t scare off the eagles this year. I am nervous about what the logging will do to the land. It seems like they are just cutting down trees and leaving a big mess. I don’t know if they plan on cleaning any of it up or if they will leave that up to us. The forest is very dense so there are plenty of smaller trees to take their place. But I don’t want them damaged by their equipment and falling trees. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t want a bunch of dead branches mixed with weeds this time next year. You can’t walk thru it and it looks ugly.

September 15, 2010

Well, we have had the new French Marans flock for a week now and they are all getting along with my two original hens. They have started to lay eggs but the shell are so thin that when they lay an egg the shell crumbles. I read somewhere that some people want that because they want the shell thin for the chicks to peck out easily. Since I want them primairly for eggs and secondary for chicks I want stronger shells. I think I can feed them some oyster shell and that will give them the calcium they need to have stronger shells. Otherwise the eggs get contaminated.

I have started making baby burp clothes to sell. The War Eagle Fair is coming up and I think I will have a big sale out here. I plan on selling burp clothes, left over construction stuff, some furniture, and my photos. So basicly a combination garage sale/craft sale. I plan on drawing people out here from the War Eagle Fair with flyers on their cars and signs. Also, I am planning on putting an add on Craig’s List. I hope I get the traffic I need to sell a bunch of stuff. Lord knows we can use the money right now.

G is doing well in school. We are doing a lot of writing which is good for her. She is doing pre-algebra and she seems to like it pretty well. Right now she is writing a movie. She has the main characters and is typing up the scenes. I need to get her a typing program so she doesn’t have to peck at the keys.

I got a call last night that a good friend of ours is in the hospital and will undergo triple bypass surgery early this morning. I think I might make some muffins and get some breakfast bars and fruit and take a basket up to his wife in the hospital. Sometimes you get hungery but don’t want to leave the room so this way she will have a little something healthy to snack on.

I also want to pickle some eggs. I have three dozen and would like to put them up to use in chicken and tuna salad sandwiches as well as on green salads. I have never done this before but someone suggested it and I think it is a great way to use and perserve eggs. I can’t wait to try it.
September 10, 2010

Yesterday was a very rainy day. My spirits felt gloomy too after awhile. I kept trying to focus on the posative……. We need the rain. We are all in good health. We live in a beautiful place with a comfortable home. I have plenty of materials, supplies and resources to teach with as well as craft projects to create . I just joined a woman’s bible study and am making new friends. We have plenty of food. So the day got better.

We drove over to Tulsa and bought some black/copper Marans from someone who was moving. They were a good price. The 6 hens are 9 months old and the 2 roosters a little more than a year old. Perfect for breeding. They come from good bloodlines and all have the feathers on their shanks. I am anxious to see how dark their eggs will be. I put them with the two little hens I now have and hope they will all get along. One of my hens was acting broody. Either that or she is sick. I hope it’s the former not the latter! I would love to put some fertile eggs under her and have her raise some babies!!!!!

I don’t quite understand why people have taken on the raising of baby chicks. It is a lot of work. It also takes the mothering instincts out of a flock. But I guess it all comes down to money. You have fewer losses if you control the environment they are in. If you leave them with the flock you stand a chance of a snake finding them or the other flock members attacking them. But they used to reproduce this way. So what happened along the way? If I have another hen go broody I thinik I will just let her set on her eggs, raise the babies and see what happens.

 We just finished the book , The Scottish Chiefs. I guess that is one of the things that got me going down the “gloomy” path. The ending was so very sad. But it was an excellent piece of literature overall. The writer kept you hooked and wanting to read more. When we were about 8 chapters from the end we couldn’t put the book down. We had to finish it. Even though it is considered fiction, it has a lot of historical accurecy and wonderful vocabulary which is why we are reading it.

Last weekend we found a dairy up in Missouri, that sells raw cows milk. They are about two hours from us but they have a very clean operation. While we were there they were setting up to make and sell cheese. We meet a young man that looked about 13 who was the son of the owner. He was very polite and knowledgable about everything and very friendly. Anyway, we have two gallons of fresh milk in the frig. I didn’t realize it but Grace had never had raw cows milk before so as soon as we got home she tried some and was hooked. She has had a glass everyday now. I must say the rich creamy sweetness is hard to beat. With the other gallon I think I will make butter and cheese.

Well, I better get off of here. I have a few more things to do on the computer while I’m here. Then I have to acclomate my new chickens to their surroundings. We have school to do and we need to clean house before the weekend. Hopefully I can get to the cheese and butter making this evening.

September 8, 2010

Yesterday G, and I went to the women’s bible study. She is going to help in the nursery while I am in bible study. When we came home Steve was at the cemetery helping three older gentlmen (all in the 80’s) level the grave stone of their mother. We have been here a year and a half and are slowly getting to know the people of this area. I would like to have a get together at our house some time in the near future.

Last week we had a team of people taking fish samples in our creek. They said they were from Beaver Water District. They were testing all the rivers and streams that flow into Beaver Lake. The last time this study had been done was 27 years ago. I can’t wait to see the results. They felt like our stream was one of the healthiest they had seen and might use it as a bench mark for all the other water sources.

This morning I woke before the sun came up. As the light fills the sky there is a cool breeze floating up from the river along with a hazy cloud of fog. The insects are still chirping along with a few birds. The howling coyotes and bats have gone to bed.

I like having the bats around here. They keep the insects (mostly mosquitoes) down. We can sit on our porch and front yard area and hardly get a bite. We don’t have to use any poisions to keep the flying insects at bay thanks to our lovely bats. Oh, and our chickens too. They run around the garden area eating up all the pesky insects and grass seeds that are generally a problem in the garden. Then they give me beautiful dark brown eggs. I love watching nature balance itself and work together for harmony.

Last night my hubby and I did some canning. So far this summer we have put up pickles, peach pepper jam, pickled okra, pickled jalepanoes, and habenaro peppers. I also have made pesto with the basil from the garden and froze it. I have begun to dry some of the herbs and Grace and I harvested the sunflower seeds from our giant sunflowers. The tomatoes didn’t do to well but I was still able to blanch a few and put them in the freezer. We are eating the cucumbers, cantalope, and watermelon about as fast as we pick them.