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Sunday, December 23, 2012

P.S Holiday thoughts 2012

After I posted my last blog post I went into the kitchen to frost our sugar cookies and I was reminded of another thing I am grateful for today.
 I am was happy to have our old dog Thora standing in the kitchen shamelessly begging once again for a sugar cookie.The one and only thing she will beg for until you give in.Maybe Thora had her last walk in the woods with us this fall but she is still here to enjoy her favorite treat.
How could you say no to this face?

A younger Sol.

Also while looking for the photo of  Thora I came across this one of Sol,a younger fellow then.We were visiting a music shop and he tried out the guitar in the photo with glee.It is the same one he got for Christmas this year.

Holiday thoughts 2012

My it's been busy around here! A good kind of busy but busy.

Last weekend we took our Sol down to the PSU Farmer's Market so he could play his guitar with his teacher and to help Sol's teacher James pack up once the set was over.

James Clem and Sol.
Friends came to show their support for our budding musician.One said she must really love us to come down in the rain and the cold.

Ms Cole,all bundled up,it was a bit cold at the market.

Our good friends The Smith's came to town that day and stopped by before they went to the ballet.
A rare treat to have them here,after the ballet they came to stay with us for a night.
Little Miss Smith came from Sister's!
Somewhere on our computer is a video of the day but I am just not savvy enough to find it.The cherry on the top of the day was Sol got to bring home his Christmas present ,a new guitar of his dreams.I actually caught him hugging it he loves it so much.

We have also been busy getting our house back in order now that my Mom is resettled into her own place.I walked into our front room this morning and saw the Christmas tree and lights and could finally  feel that Ah moment,our house is back to being our house.I really feel like the photo above catches us and our vibe,music,art,vintage things and color all in one shot.Nothing very "homestead-ish" but what does that look like anyway?

On the homestead front we tried a small experiment with the chickens.We skipped a week of giving them some suet just to see, is it the suet,a random act of kindness on the hens part or a flop?So far no eggs during the week of no suet.Today I will restart them and see how it goes.
Chance and I have been busy doing lots of holiday baking.A point that I find ironic,here I am saying Issac and I should not eat grains and here I am baking a mountain of cookies.Well,we are not perfect,it is the holidays and we know our limits pretty well.
I blogged about my Great Grandma's Dark Secret's  three Christmas' ago and think they are totally worth sharing again.As always I made a batch and then had to call my Dad to say hello.The Dark Secrets are his Grandma's recipe and his favorite holiday cookie.Dad was pleased to know the cookies were at that moment in the oven baking.There's something to said about traditions and keeping them going. 

As I read through the Dark Secret post I was grateful we are past all of the woes we were going through then.Grateful  my family is well and safe.After the shootings in the past few weeks I have been thinking about so much awful news the reflection was good for me.That really sounds self centered doesn't it? It's not that I do not have compassion for the families who lost their loved ones,I do but that moment was like a little band-aid on my heart.We can heal and move on.

I work retail and have been a Preschool teacher so both shootings hit me pretty close.When teaching, my students were mine for a few hours out of the day and I would have done anything to protect them,even step in front of gun fire.I am a bear of a Mama and that bear-ishness always carried over on to my students.
The day of the school shooting Chance and I were in the car together and he said to me-
" When I heard the news all I could hear in my head were the heart wrenching sobs we heard in the E.R that one night." We had Issac in the E.R waiting our turn to get help to fix something we both knew could be fixed.But down the way from us parents had just lost their child to a gunshot.It has been a moment in time that will stick with us for all time.

One never knows do they? So be joyfully grateful for those you love and show it.Joy and gratitude don't cost a thing but the more you share them the richer you will be.
The Solstice has come yet again and we are turning towards the brighter end of the year.May your holiday be filled with brightness,joy,love and gratitude.
And remember to walk on the sunny side of the street. 

James Clem,Sol's teacher and his "Two Pea's in a Pod" friend.

One last thing before I close,I spied that I have a couple of new followers.Welcome ! Thanks for following along ,I look forward to hearing your future comments.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Empty Nest & Full Nest or Life is good.

Just a quick note-

We moved my Mom over the weekend.Did you hear a collective sigh from our house? Mom is happy and we are too.

Yesterday Chance found 3 eggs in the coop,the suet must be helping.Hopefully the eggs are an omen for us,one of good fortune and good things to come.

We are busy setting our house back in order so we can start thinking of the holiday and all of its cheerfulness.

On my holiday baking list is a batch of these peppermint bars,I do love bar cookies so easy to make.

It would be grand if I found the time to make a pom pom garland for the house.Small detail there,time.But I may make one just because and hang it someplace in the house anyway.

Have you ever been on Hunter Angler Gardener Cook? I like the website better than the book.

Holiday Cheer!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lay some eggs,Dammit!

 This time of year our hens rarely lay any eggs,a point of frustration for us.We have tried changing to a better quality feed,running a light out to the coop and made sure they are let loose in the yard to forage.Nothing has worked yet.Then I get annoyed,I am feeding you chickens and the deal is I buy feed,you lay eggs.

Chance was talking at the curb with one of our favorite neighbors who is a nifty guy who has spent most of his life on a ranch in North Dakota.He still goes back a few times a year to make sure things are running fine.But anyway,the neighbor asked if we were getting any eggs,nope.The neighbor suggested feeding the hens some suet,that it is a sure fire way to get them laying again.The suet will give them some extra fat which they will convert into eggs.

Mmmm,a tub of suet.

Last night while we were at the local natural foods store Chance spied a tub of suet crumbles in the meat departments freezer section.We picked up the tub in the photo above for $.88,big spenders aren't we?
The tub is the same size as a large yogurt tub.

Today is day one of trying yet another experiment to get the hens to lay during the cold months.Our neighbor has given us other very helpful tips in the past so I am hoping this stays true with this one.I did do a bit of reading online and the general consensus was some suet is fine but to be careful of the chickens putting on too much weight.I am going to start by just giving them a handful at a time and see how it goes.


******The hens loved the suet! Now we wait.*********