Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey or Chicken?

This is the second year we've served chicken instead of turkey for the Thanksgiving feast. Why? Yes, it was the rising cost of turkey. And because that year Mom's home grown chickens had gotten really really big! Two chickens were just about the size of one turkey.

No one missed the turkey. The chicken meat was moist, the dressing tasted even better than ever, and because they actually fit in the roaster there was crispy chicken skin.

Best of all, there were four drumsticks and four wings!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Deer Hunting

The 2011 Deer Hunting Season started today at 6 a.m.

It's Himself's first season. He was excited to get up and go. My Dad is mentoring him. They saw a deer but Himself felt it was too far away to take a shot.

My Dad & my hunter husband showing off their orange at 6 a.m. too early for quality photography. :))

Little Sister Locs

Little Sister went first. 

Friday, November 18, 2011


Second oldest daughter has asked for locs.

I knew this was coming. So I've been studying up on it.

They're really tiny little braids or twists all over her head. We'll do braids since her hair won't hold the twists at the ends with all the swimming she does weekly. The idea/plan is that you don't ever take them out. Dreadlocks is another name they're called.

The biggest reason she wants them is so that she can manage her hair mostly on her own, forever. Except for the once a month tightening sessions, which can be done in stages, she'll be able to style her hair herself and change it frequently. Pony tails, barrettes, buns, head bands, braids whatever she desires!

Last year she sort of test drove this hair style when we put in genie locs or yarn braids. It was really adorable! And she loved the freedom. She's been talking longingly about that hair style all year. But she was reluctant to sit the 8 hours it takes to put them in again.

If she ever changes her mind about locs we know what to do too. Let the new growth grow until it's 2-3 inches long and then cut off the each loc. She looks cute too in a short afro and her hair grows quickly!

I'll post picture when it's done.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chasing Chickens

It's an expression. It's an experience.

Personally I prefer the expression. The experience of chasing chickens has become irritating. Just as the sun is going down and things are settling in for the evening I'm out in the yard literally chasing chickens.

We're getting better at rounding them up. We circle around them and hold out our arms and walk slowly in the direction we want them to go. The plan is that they'll saunter towards the gate to the chicken yard and through it. Mostly though they run crazy, squacking like Godzilla's after them. Then they veer in the wrong direction--not towards the gate. And then we start all over again.

Most of the chickens are well behaved and know the nightly drill. They go back into the coop where there's food, water, and perch. But we recently got 5 chickens from my folks. They had too many chickens for one coop and they didn't want to run two coops all winter long. Three of those are finding our coop and chicken yard agreeable. Two still prefer the woods.

I haven't been able to spy their forest hideaway. Hopefully the foxes and coyotes won't either.

Chasing Chickens Nightly,
Me & my kid crew

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Warming Trends

It's snowing!

The first snow fall of the year has succeeded in waking my children at 6 a.m. Actually it was my 4 year old's sleepy exclamation, "It's snowing!" that woke the rest of the troops.

Indoors though we're experiencing a warming trend. Yesterday our pellet stove was installed. We snagged a second-hand one through a local store 3 weeks ago. Another family was moving to Florida and they won't need their stove or their year's order of pellets. It was quite a find! We've been waiting impatiently for it to be installed.

This house is a 50 year old farm house. The original floor plan was a four room house. Since then it's had 4 additions. When the attic was remodeled into two bedrooms and a WC it wasn't ducted for heat.  Someone did put in electric heat base boards. But running those baseboards is expensive! And there's the risk of fire if one of the kids blankets accidently gets pushed against.  

But it's a drafty farm house.  The attic bedrooms, while chilly, haven't ever gotten lower than 50 degrees. Indeed we've all been adjusting to a lower setting on the thermostat after Himself paid the bill to have the propane tank filled. The furnace, water heater, stove, and dryer all run off gas. In the country that gas is from the propane tank out back. Propane, we've discovered, is the most expensive way to heat a house. So it's been a cool 62 degrees indoors. And we've a new friendship with our slippers, bathrobes, sweatshirts and socks.

The pellet stove was installed in the basement. Although we were assured that this stove is capable of heating 2000 sq. ft. we were dubious. But the heat in the whole house began to rise. It rose to a toasty 70 degrees! And upstairs in the attic bedrooms warmed to 62 degrees. Oh it felt so wonderful. My toes thawed. My nose was warmed. The kids slept soundly. Not so the pooches, whose floor-beds were suddenly too warm, they panted all night long in the "heat wave."

But it's snowing!

And inside it's toasty.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What does a mom do in her spare time?

In my free time I have become a chauffeur.  My friends who have teens all said this would come. It has arrived. Swim team is the newest addition to our schedule. Or I might say, we've added it back. The oldest children have done this before and they loved it. I love the energy it consumes and the calm it brings to our home in between practices. A whole hour of laps 4 times a week!

The trade off is all the extra driving.