Sunday, December 30, 2012


Some of the people who read my blog will know that we have a small 5 acre piece of land that I like to call a farm.  We garden, can vegetables, grow flowers and raise hens for their eggs. It gives us a lot of satisfaction to know we are eating freshly grown veges and freshly laid eggs.  It gives a great sense of satisfaction to know we are contributing to our livelihood.   I thought I'd share some picture of our hens with you.   They are easy to care for and so much fun to watch pecking around.

As you can see, we have a mixed variety of colors and types.  This gives us different kinds of eggs.
Don't you just love all the different colors?  It's hard to see in this picture, but some are blue and green. Each hen lays about 1 egg a day each, so that is a lot of eggs if you have 25 chickensOf course, we give them away to our family.  Here is a picture of the chicken coop in the snow.
The chickens have two large covered yards to roam in during the day and then a house to nest in at night.  We keep the hen yards covered to keep preditors out and the chickens in.
My husband built this little portable hen yard that will hold about five chickens to be able to move them around the pasture to scratch the ground.  It's called a chicken tractor.  This is good for the soil and it is fun to see them in different spots of the gardens. 
I also found a metal rooster at a consignment store, painted it bright yellow and placed it on top of the hen house. We don't have a real rooster so he stands guard. 
If you have never tried raising chickens, I think you should give it a try.  They are loving, easy and lots of fun.   

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pickle Ornament

Every Christmas our two boys search our tree for a pickle ornament we've hidden the night before. Whoever finds it gets an extra Christmas surprise. Soon much fun. Here is the story behind this tradition.

A very old Christmas eve tradition in Germany was to hide a pickle [ornament] deep in the branches of the family Christmas Tree. The parents hung the pickle last after all the other ornaments were in place. In the morning they knew the most observant child would receive an extra gift from St. Nicholas. The first adult who finds the pickle traditionally gets good luck for the whole year.

The last photo is the one who found the pickle.  He's so funny!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Well, it's Christmas Eve, 7am and everyone is still asleep except my husband and myself.  The rain is coming down, the fire burning and all is well.  I love thinking of my day to come with my family.  Cooking, wrapping and service at church are just a few of the day's events.

I am soo thankful to God for the blessings in my life and the ability for us all to celebrate His birth.  Stop a moment to take in a deep breath, and say thank you God.  Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Doomsday is supposed to be doomsday.  Well here it is and I am typing this to you and I am fine.  I know the day isn't over yet, but lets not focus on doom and just live our lives as God intended, to the best of our ability.  We need to quit predicting the end and just live on this wonderful planet we have been blessed with and give each other as much love as we can.  When the end comes, it comes, but until then, "God bless us, everyone."  Thanks to the people who visit my blog.  It means a lot to me.  Leave a comment and let me know you are here.

Girls night

I love to have a night that my mom, sisters and niece get together @ Christmas to just eat a simple meal after busy days of work, shopping and school.   

This year since I used red and teal in my dining room, I chose to use this as my starting point.  I like to give  pre-Christmas gifts to them, just a little something, and chose a zebra print bag from Hobby Lobby to put them in at each place setting. I then printed each person's initials on a piece of cardstock to label their bags.  I am really into initial things this year.

In each of their gift bags I put the hand towel I made for them with each of their initials, ( you can see how I made them in an earlier post) and put with the towel home-made sugar scrub.  This is a simple recipe and it makes your skin feel like silk.  Here's the recipe:

Sugar Scrub  
1.  Equal parts brown and white sugar
2.  Place this in whatever container choose
3.  Cover slightly with olive oil.
4.  Add a drop of vanilla extract or whatever scent you choose.  I chose peppermint.

I have these beautiful espresso cups and saucers from I. Godinger & Co.  The pattern is Regency.  I love these little cups and use them for lots of things.  Tonight I used them for both the shrimp cocktail and the dessert.  Just the right size.

Usually we girls do not eat much dessert so I kept it simple with two home-made sugar cookies sprinkled w/fine sugar, a dollop of melted chocolate and fresh blueberries.  Just right.
I also used these little lanterns with tea lights and a sprig of fresh rosemary on top at each plate.  The metal heats up the rosemary and gives off a beautiful aroma.  Then everyone took their lantern home.  It was a fun night.  Thanks girls.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Initial Hand Towels

Every year at Christmas, I like to make family members, as well as myself, a hand-made something.  It is usually an ornament, but this year I chose to make an Initialed hand towel.  The finished one looks like this.

I bought plain cotton hand towels to use.  I love to use kitchen towels but I wanted something a little thinner this time.
This is before I ironed the towel.  I then took a large letter stencil (you can choose from all types of letters), find the center of the towel and determine where you want the initial to be on the towel.  Next,  trace the letter with a fine pencil.  Some people choose to paint directly on the fabric with the stencil, but I find there can be bleeding and then you've ruined a perfectly good towel.

 I took black fabric paint and a fine tip paint brush and filled in the pencil marks being very careful.  Be sure to put a piece of paper or cardboard underneath just in case it bleeds through.  Mine didn't, but it might on other fabrics.  I then measured the bottom of the cloth to know who much ribbon to cut.  Each cloth can be slightly different so be sure to measure or you could be short on your ribbon.

 After measuring and cutting the ribbon, I hemmed up the edges with my sewing machine before pinning to bottom of cloth.  I sewed this ribbon on the bottom then topped the lace ribbon with a smaller ball trim.

There you have it.  A pretty hand towel for anyone's home.  I like white when giving as a gift because it will usually match most decors.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Small Tables

I wanted to finish sharing the last Christmas photos of some odd and end tables in the house. 

It's a little over a week before Christmas and we are all kicking into high gear finishing up readying the house, baking, buying but I do however, hope you will stop and take a moment and just listen for the sound of Christmas.

Christmas, the most wonderful day we celebrate every year.  The birth of our Saviour.  The day we celebrate His decision to step into our world and become one of us, for us.  Listen for Him!  You'll hear!

This is a chest in the foyer.  We are in the process of direct wiring the light above the art so we don't see the cord.  The piece of art if something my husband painted for me on our 10th wedding anniversary.  We've now been married 30 years.  Hope he paints something else for me for the 30th. 
 Our man on the mantle in the family room.  He's trying to get a glimpse of himself in the mirror. lol. Below is the whole room in the evening.  Love the glow of the tree lights.  Remember laying on the floor as a child and looking at the lights on the tree while squinting?

  The two photo's below are on the front porch.  Love lamps and lanterns.  I also love the mix-matched furniture.  Just keep to the same color for consistency.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Okefenokee Swamp

 If you are ever in Georgia, you need to try and visit a wildlife refuge called Okefenokee Swamp.   It is a place of natural beauty and full of various wildlife.  

As you make your way to the gate you are greeted by a beautiful drive through acres and acres of pine trees.  I imagined walking around through these trees, but the thousands of alligators living there stopped that thought process.  There is a guest center with videos, lots of information to see and wonderful displays of different animals that live in the area.  Then... you take a tour guided boat ride through the swamp.

Once the tour is over, which is a long tour and you love every minute of it, you can go a park down the road which has a wooden walkway through it where you can see even more nature, lots of animals and beautiful swamps.  This walkway is heaven.  It puts you close up to the swamps.

When you have finished your walk, there is another path yet to take.  It is a dirt road you walk that leads to an old homestead showing you how people used to live in this area.  It is a day full of fascinations and I would recommend everyone to go see this. 

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