About Me

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Indiana, United States
I'm a mother of five of my own children, very blessed adoptive mommy to one, step mother to three! Married to a wonderful man who forgives ALOT! Grammy to 6!I also have the best "kids in law" that I could have! I am blessed to be able to baby sit for our grandchildren a few days a week. I am blessed to be able to NOW stay home full time to take care of our home, children, and grandchildren!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gardening, Canning, and the Chicken Whisperer

The raised bed garden has been growing very well on our little "homestead"....can you actually call our little place a Homestead since it is a little less than an acre? Well, it's what God has graciously given us and I LOVE IT!! Our house is teeny compared to what we used to have when we thought we had to have "more." (about 2000 square feet smaller...)
But our yard is wonderful and backs up to a gorgeous woods. Just to the east of the woods is a huge farm field and across the road from us is more farmland. It is lovely and we have beautiful mature trees!!

I have built and filled 8 raised beds and they are pretty full of growing things. I have around 30 tomato plants and more to plant yet. I had started some from seeds and they are very slow growing...so hopefully I can plant them somewhere once they take off and we can still have some wonderful tomatoes in the fall.

I planted beans, beans, and more beans. I have 3 4X8 beds full of them!  I think I have....don't start laughing...around 860 bean plants. I'm gonna be in trouble in the summer. I think I MIGHT need some more canning jars.....square foot gardening MIGHT be the death of me!! Haha...Seriously.

We also have onions, rhubarb, lots of peppers, yellow squash, spinach, cucumbers, and a lot of herbs. I may have bitten off more than I can chew this year....since it is our first year for this. Well, I can always share.

Speaking of canning, I have canned more chicken breast. It is sooo easy! I buy it when it's on sale and then just can it. It is way more convenient than freezing and doesn't take up our limited freezer space. We have a big freezer in the garage but the electricity isn't sufficient to run the freezer. Hopefully we can get that taken care of soon! Harvesting would be a lot simpler IF I had the freezer space. Fresh then frozen green beans would be nice as well as having a lot, (and by a lot I mean a LOT) of beans canned.

Our little chickens are really growing up! We have six of them that are about 11 weeks old...one or two might be a rooster. OR we have a pullet that is really confused. We had to move them back to the back of our property in their runs. Originally we had them close to the house but we decided that we would just admire them from a bit farther away.....yeah, you get the picture. I might end up planting more garden in the area...after all, it is now already fertilized. Yuck.

Our other six chickens that I bought as tiny little chicks are getting big too! They're probably about 5 or 6 weeks old. They are pretty tame.

I've been letting them all out to roam around our yard. I have to let them out in two different groups because the bigger ones bully the tiny ones. Sibling rivalry.
If I walk past the group to go to the house or the garden or wherever, I turn around and see all those little chickens following me. I'M NOT EVEN WEARING A CHICKEN SUIT! If I plop down in the yard, pretty soon, I have a group of chickens around me. So, instead of being called the Mother Hen, I prefer to call myself the Chicken Whisperer. That's a little bit more up to date...kinda. Or I could be the Pied Piper of Chickens....

One of my poor little chickens, a Plymouth Black Barred, had a nasty run in with the bad black puppy. "Annie", the black lab mix is doing very well after her near death experience just after we got her. Evidently, she wanted to share the near death experience with one of the chickens.

It was really hot here the other day and I had been working in the garden. I decided to go in an cool off a little bit. So I let Annie off her chain and we started to go in when Annie noticed that we had left the gate to the chicken run open!! Before I knew it, she was in the little house and had a squawking terrified chicken in her mouth. Feathers were everywhere. It was awful. I had no idea that this chubby mommy/grammy could run as fast as I did but I got there just in time.  The poor chicken is ok....a little "plucked" but she is just fine. Whew!! Bad Annie...she's so cute!! She knows she did a bad thing but I don't think she really has a repentant heart yet... Have you ever seen a chicken pant before?? She just stood in the corner of the house and panted...poor little dumb chicken....Oh, wait, maybe that was me.....

Sunday afternoon we went to a relative's house to celebrate her high school graduation. The Mom also gave me some tips about graduating from homeschooling...something we will be facing in a few years. Anyway, we stayed quite a while and visited with them and all their farm critters. When we were about to leave, we were given a bunch of crackers and bread to give to our chickens. (The chickens loved it, by the way...) The crackers had been displayed circling the chicken salad so they were not able to be kept. They asked if we wanted to give the chicken salad to them, too....but I thought that was a little bit warped.....and passed on the offer. Cannibalism is not a pretty thing.

Well, that's the update. As soon as I get the area around my little garden mowed again I will try to take some pictures to post!

Have a wonderful day....

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Trying Times....

Good Grief, it has been a rough few weeks around here. God is still Good and looks out for us but we have had some trials come our way lately!
(Some of this may make you laugh....so bear with me.....)

A few weeks ago, I decided NOT to share a "roundabout" with another car and ended up denting my precious "Denim"...my new to me Ford Flex....I WAS there first, after all, and I preferred using BOTH lanes!!

A week ago, Roger (a.k.a. precious Hubby...) decided to become sidetracked and disregard a red traffic light, thus rendering his little car and the unfortunate recipient of his accidental blunder, undrivable...(I don't think that's a word?? Spellcheck doesn't like it....) Roger's car is totaled.

That gave Roger a broken hand and a torn muscle in his hand and lots of discomfort. We spent most of Wednesday afternoon and evening in the ER.

Friday Roger became violently ill....he was shaking so hard that I thought he was having a seizure. We assumed it was just the horrible stomach flu going around....thus I avoided him like the plague as soon as I could.....(I know....that wasn't very nice and I DID bath his poor little head with a cold cloth and emptied what needed to be emptied...if you know what I mean....but then I escaped into another room......SO I'M NOT FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE!!!)

Saturday was much the same and since my dear older sister had asked me out for lunch for my big birthday (turning 30 is rough! I'm a liar, too....)....I happily took her up on the offer...a.k.a....fled the scene......I really thought it was the flu!! Stop being so judgmental, ok????

Sunday morning, very early, Dear One woke me up and told me that he thinks he needs to go to the E.R.....he has the symptoms of cellulitis which has afflicted him several times in the past, always making him go to the hospital. Sooo....as I felt incredibly guilty, I took him to the hospital and they prescribed meds and I took him home.

Today, Wednesday, he got feeling worse and I suggested I take him to the hospital right away...so we did.
He is now in the hospital and I have just come home.

I came home to an incredibly incredibly incredibly stinking house. (This is the funny part....)

We have never had baby chickens live in our kitchen before, so I thought that the somewhat nasty odor was just the little chicks and their "residue"....although I have been cleaning the cage out daily.
The girls have had two or three candles burning to make the place bearable and the chicks and the cage were outside!!
STILL....stinky stinky, stinky!!!!!
Something had to be wrong.
Then it dawned on me that while all this other crazy stuff was going on in our lives this week, I had needed to can some ground beef and onions that I had bought on superduper sale! I had no room in our freezer so I had to can it. I had 15 pounds of it....So I did that Sunday afternoon. All that was good except that one jar exploded when it was being processed. I washed all the jars and put them away and thought I had done a pretty good job! Someone else.....I have no idea which of the five other people in this house did this.....removed my canner from the stove, replaced the lid....and I thought that that nice wonderful person had cleaned the canner out!! OH BUT I WAS MISTAKEN.......

You can imagine the rest.
Are you laughing? I am, because laughing is better than crying...and we are all fine and comfortable, usually happy, and alive. We are blessed. As soon as my hubby gets home, we will be even better.

I am writing this because I spoke to my ex husband today...who has also been in the hospital .  I called him because I am kind of a nice person sometimes....and I told him I hoped he felt better, etc....he knew what had been happening with us and I said, "Oh, it's ok, it could be worse!"
He said, "But it could be alot better, too."
And I said, "But we are fine, we are blessed, we could have lots more problems than we do and I prefer to look at it in this way."
And HE SAID, "AAALLRIGHT............." in kind of a nasty tone....(yes, I know, I didn't need to say that but sometimes....................)

It DOES make a big difference how you look at things! I think having our little Israel in our lives opens our eyes to just exactly what our lives COULD be like! He was starving....and now God has blessed him AND us.

So, there you go. More information than you really wanted to know but somehow I just wanted to say it and to praise our Savior through it....even though I can be a catty, selfish person from time to time...our Savior still loves and provides for us!

Blessings....I hope your week goes better than ours has!!