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.

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.