Thursday, January 14, 2010

Having a BALL with jars

One day, when the kids are older and we host soirees where we lazily converse for hours over dessert and a glass of wine (without the interruptions of dirty diapers, whining toddlers, and early bedtimes,) I will gather all of my empty canning jars and set a table like this:

 I'd imagine that a little water in the bottom of each jar would keep the wax from sticking.

Notice the jars that are also used as iced tea glasses.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Feather Bowl 2010

Chickens (home) : 0

 Skunks (away)   : 3

That's what happens when it's the dead of winter and you're late locking up the hen house. Aargh.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The new drinking fountain!

I discussed my search for an outdoor drinking fountain a few months ago here. It took a few months of following eBay to find a decent one that was cheap. TIP: If you ever want to buy lawn furniture or a drinking fountain on eBay, wait until December when most of the country is snowed in!

We gave the fountain to the kids on Christmas eve. Hubby modified an old post to attach it to, but he'll need to go to a plumbing specialty store to find the correct pipe b/c they didn't have the correct kind at Home Depot. The pipe that is currently attached is a gas pipe and is full of rust.

Excuse my daughter's closed eyes in that pic!

I'll take another picture when it's finally installed!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Can I hold your dirt?

I put an ad on a while back -- advertising our hay bales for sale. A young, college-age girl called and we made arrangements for her to come over and pick up her bales. Like most customers, a 10 minute chore turned into an hour-long discussion of chickens, "Whereyafrom?" and other farm-related conversation. Turns out, she and some friends have formed (what sounded like) a hippie commune, where everyone gets to live on the acreage for free, so long as they help with the garden and their joint booth at the farmers market.

The area where these folks have their farm is near a sandy creek about 10 miles away from me. When this young girl turned and saw our garden, she freaked out. She kept asking what we amended our soil with. We explained that this was only our first year with the garden, and we didn't do a thing except till it up. She couldn't get over how dark and rich it was...and finally just asked, "Can I go over and touch your dirt? Can I hold it?"

That's the first time I've ever been complimented on my shirt dirt.

She even paid cash for one of our surplus roosters.

I like that girl.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Summer's End

I pulled our jackets from the back corners of the closets today. Our days of swinging barefoot in the summer sun have come to a close.

Thrifty Genes

I failed to inherit the thrifty gene. I don't wash and reuse Ziploc bags like I should, and I've been known to throw out clothing that needed mending simply because I knew I would never get around to doing it. I've always admired my maternal grandparents and their ability willingness to save, create, and reuse.

My mother brags that my grandmother would bring friends to her house in the midst of the depression, and her friends would drool. There was canned chicken, tomatoes, eggs, and preserves aplenty. They rarely went without a good meal.

My grandmother has rescued every fern and dying potted plant placed along the roadside, and within a year has them looking better than a newly purchased plant from the finest nursery. My grandfather disconnected the light in their doorbell to save on energy costs. No lie.

Recently, my grandparents brought my husband a stack of my grandfather's old clothing . Hubby is always ruining shirts on the farm, so it's a nice way to recycle. My grandfather finally retired, so he had a good excuse to downsize his wardrobe. I just had to take a photo of one of the shirts in the bunch.

My grandfather worked as a civil engineer for about 60 years. Like most nerds engineers, he had to have several pens and pencils available at all times. To this day, he carries a few writing instruments in his front pocket for working crossword puzzles. Well, sometimes my grandmother would find an exceptionally nice shirt at a garage sale or Goodwill, but it wouldn't have a pocket for my grandfather's engineering tools.Thus, the tail-pocket was born.

For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has cut off the shirttail and sewn a nice pocket on my grandfather's work shirts. She is so ingenious!

The title of this post reminds me...

    Following the birth of my 3rd child and a subsequent weight gain,  I went to an endocrinologist to check my thyroid levels. When all of my tests returned normal, he told me that I just had DNA that liked to store fat and that it's probably what saved my ancestors from many a long winter. He said I am blessed with "thrifty genes." Doesn't that sound a whole lot better than "You're fat!"