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Posts from the ‘Home and Children’ Category

Farewell to the Oak tree by the Mailbox


See that lovely tree on the far right—and the bed of ragweed on the right side?

That tree shades the mailbox on the farm where we stay when we are working on our farm house. It has a seat around it–and frequently the mailman will get out of his car, sit on the bench and eat his lunch or snack on the treats my friend leaves in the mailbox for him.

But this week, a huge rain storn with high winds swept through and the tree toppled over. It is a huge tree but it was quite hollow inside. Fortunately a neighbor wants the tree for firewood this winter. Across the Mississippi, the little town of Marquette Iowa did not fare well, old brick buildings with lots of history were torn apart and now lie amidst a pile of crumbled bricks.

Still it will be so sad not to see that tree welcoming me to a place that has become a dear and cherished place.


Wild Thing You Make My Heart Sing

Sylvia Weir Week 25 Wild Thing You Make My Heart Sing

This week’s photo challenge was ‘Wild Thing’.  I remember quite vividly Jim Morrison singing this in our courting days. And Proud Mary and Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival; none of which are particularly romantic melodies.

My husband has a lot of hair–and it is a little bit curly–not as much as mine–but still some waviness. When we married, his hair was about eight inches long and my mother was aghast. He also can grow a full beard in less than a week; typically shaving it off in the winter time==so altering his appearance that our youngest refused to go home with him after school—he was in kindergarten at the time but consented after he heard him speak.

I could write a lot more about him but after nearly 47 years he still makes my heart sing.


Beekeeping can be challenging and a lot of work at times. The flow (of nectar) has been particularly heavy this spring–surprisingly so and I have had to harvest honey three times this month from just one hive and really need to do it again when the weather clears up. Bees are not particularly fond of having the roof over their head removed while it is raining–and I’m not really fond of working in the rain–walking yes, looking at it from my window and enjoying the sound of the rain on the roof particularly a tin roof, yes==but not working a hive.

Here is my honey harvest from the first go round. I had so much comb honey I used all my freezer containers and had to buy morehoney20harvest-m

from the restaurant supply store.

I do like the carafes for storing honey for use in my kitchen. They are easy to pour from and easy to see how much remains. Unfortunately I do not have tight fitting caps for all of them, I think Toby chewed up one or two and thusly the aluminum foil cap.


Dressing up

One of the fun things about having a grand-daughter is sewing dresses for her and her American Girl Doll.

Her birthday is around Easter and so I made her a bunny for herself with a matching dress and a bunny for her doll with a matching dress—and of course a dress for herself and her doll. Doll Clothes require skill and patience. An 18 inch doll is easier than Barbies—and dolls don’t complain if a seam is sticking them someplace.


I took along some patterns I had so she could choose her next dress—and she chose all of them—but with lots of pockets.

Rain, Rain Go Away


We did need rain but now my backyard is a lake; my pond is full to overflowing and the wheelbarrow we had been using to mix mortar for the pond and left standing in functional position was full. Toads are busy making little toads, the birds are all hiding, and the dogs are beside themselves. Toby runs to the edge of the driveway to bark at the thunder, then to the pond to bark at the toads and this morning during a brief interlude of hopeful sunshine at the birds who were thrilled the rain had stopped.

But now it is raining again. I don’t have rubber boots to get out into my truck parked in the driveway–the ankle high boots I do have will not be enough.

Off to Tractor Supply to get some mucking out barn boots, then to the post office to mail the bills I worked on yesterday and the donation to SAQA—photo of it tomorrow.

Another day to stare out the window and wish for sunshine so I can add a super to my chicken yard bees.

Chicky Fluff


I had to work this past weekend–it involved a long drive on Friday and returning on Sunday. I loaded up their feeder, filled the watering bucket half full, changed the paper in the crate and left them on their own–the dogs were kenneled–otherwise I’m sure I would have no worries about chickens in the future.

When I arrived home early Sunday afternoon, they still had food and water–but there was fuzzy fluff everywhere–and these little chickies no longer had down—anywhere—just feathers. I took them outside in the crate and let them wander around on the grass—in the crate–they don’t really come when they are called–quite yet. Changed their paper, refilled feeder and water—and then put a handful of grass and some sand in the crate–they still yell….the sky is falling but then they take one look at that grass and dive right in.

Tomorrow they are graduating to their coop====before I retrieve the dogs from their vacation at the kennel.

Men do read directions

This is photographic evidence with no photoshopping or other alterations of a man reading directions.


It was a simple project—buy the kit at Tractor Supply–I had been looking for months, reading, consulting a friend, and trying to remember the ins and outs from my childhood–albeit a few years ago–and in a different climate. This kit was on sale–the company no longer making them–and it seemed sturdy.

I hauled it home in the bed of my F250; Glen backed my truck into the backyard, we used a rope around the end of it to pull it out–it weight 160 pounds a bit more than the neurosurgeon would advise me lifting.

img_5204-mWe pulled out the pieces–hunting for the directions–hoping it was originally written in English, not Chinese and then translated to English.

but it was a diagram with numbers. img_5203-m

So now I have a chicken coop with a small enclosed pen. Toby refused to go in carefully keeping her feet outside the doors.img_5208-m

Maybe some chicks this week.

Grandma Pleasures

Oliver now weighs ten pounds; I still had my grandma touch but he was hungry.

But James was ready to play with Grandma.

First we read his new Winnie the Pooh book. He is reading some fairly hard words—like delicious! He is full of laughter and smiles and enthusiasm–just as I remember his father. We talked about his recent field trip to a farm where he got to milk a cow–by hand. …along with a lot of other children. That had to be one patient cow.

We had to open the box of shortbread cookies—chocolate Scottie dogs and he ate one and then another–quite spoiling his dinner I am sure—but isn’t that a prerogative of being grandma.

Then we inspected his Lego creations, set off the Lunar Lander–over the balcony onto the fireplace–the astronauts landed on their heads but they didn’t seem to complain. We exited the upstairs with a demonstration of allligators crawling down the stairs—James–NOT Grandma–although I could have gotten down–it would have been more interesting to see how I got up!

Two bird feeders outside the front door were school projects and it seemed the birds really like the paper cup coated with seeds as only a few remained.

It was far too short a visit–but it will have to last for a month or so.img_5223-m

A cup of tea


There is just something about a cup of tea made properly from loose tea in a preheated teapot and steeped just right.

I didn’t grow up drinking tea of any sort–my mother would drink it when her stomach felt upset- but otherwise the parents drank coffee and the children drank milk–raw milk from the cows Dad milked twice daily by hand for many years and then with a milking machine.

When I married, I married into a family of tea drinkers–hot tea. The girls would sit in the formal living room drinking tea from the special cups–we each got to choose our cup for the day–and we would chat about this and that while the guys retired to the play room or garage to discuss–or fix–or admire–.

Then I spent a wonderful three months in Kenya with my brother-in-law and his wife–and quickly–after just one session became accustomed to morning and afternoon tea–there it was made with hot milk and lots of sugar. Tea was purchased at the market–with sieving s and twigs bought separately and then mixed.

We do not have a similar market here–but I discovered great loose tea at the local India food store.

There is just something about a proper cup of tea

A quilt for a little boy

boys haven quilt

Quilted earlier this week and awaiting binding, this flannel quilt was sewn by my dear friend Sherry from donated scraps. I used a simple loopy-do meander and then did the borders in a continuous fashion requiring rolling and re-rolling–not so hard with a simple loopy-dee-doo.

I always like to include a nice label with a wish/prayer for a better future. This quilt will go to a Boys Haven boy sometime in the near future. These are boys who are from troubled homes and who frequently have not had anyone voluntarily do something nice for them. This is an ongoing project for the local quilt guild–and I am happy to have contributed several quilts.