Tuesday, February 22

*the simple woman's daybook

FOR TODAY  (February 22, 2011)

Outside my window... I see so much life. I see new grass peeking through where it has just recently been grays and browns, I see spring flowers starting to emerge from the soil and in the midst of all of that I see Robins, Blue Birds, Cardinals and many many squirrels.
I am thinking... of the long running list of things that I need to either start or finish for getting our garden ready for planting.
I am thankful for...my darling husband of 25 years! Today is our 25th anniversary and he is in another state.  He is a treasure with so many gifts to give, over the years I have from time to time seen the lack in him, but God has changed my vision over the last number of years and I see his gifts. I am truly grateful for my beloved and everything about him.
From the kitchen... does a bowl of Raisin Bran cereal count? Our youngest son is at our oldest sons for the night, so I haven't cooked in a few days. Chili is on my mind here at the end of the winter though.
I am wearing...the overalls that my beloved gave me for Valentines along with an undershirt and I am barefooted.
I am creating...a layout for some patchwork pieces that I started more than a year ago. I hope to get the quilt top laid out soon so I can sew a bit.
I am going...to pick up Henry soon so we can come home and get some planting done.
I am reading.. Her Daughters Dream by Francine Rivers, almost done!
I am hoping...to get all the raking done this week.
I am hearing...the lovely music from Dianna's blog playing in the back ground. I usually automatically turn the music off on any blog I am visiting. It is too distracting for me, in addition I often already have my own music playing, but this is simply soothing..
Around the house...it is quiet. My dear beloved was here for 9 days, and his parents were here for the last three of them but all is quiet now.
One of my favorite things...is watching my sons and husband interact with each other.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Finish tiling the ground for our rows of potatoes, plant the fruit trees we picked up, plant the berry bushes, lay some more tile, grout the tile, finish raking and spend an afternoon with some dear friends who are coming over for a visit from southern Alabama.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing..

I have decided to join many other lovely ladies who are journaling in their own Simple Woman's Daybook each Tuesday. My friend Dianna has several journal type post she makes and I always look forward to reading them, perhaps mine will be enjoyable as well!

If you are interested in doing your own daybook stop in at Peggy's to join me and many other ladies!

*one day old chicks fly (to Florida)

When I told my dear husband that more chickens would arrive during the time he was in Florida he expected that someone local was going to delivery them. Well, someone was going to deliver them - the postal office.  I wanted to add some interest to our flock so I made an order from Ideal Poultry (www.idealpoultry.com) with an assortment of chickens that were hatched out on February 16th.  The tiny chicks were boxed up just a few hours after hatching and sent on their way.  Our chicks left the hatchery on the 16th and arrived here at EriLyn on the 18th at 8:00AM.  When you order from a hatchery it is best that you contact your postal office and let them know you are expecting chicks so they can call you upon their arrival. The baby chicks do not need to ride around on the delivery truck all day waiting to be hand delivered to you.  

We started with Rhode Island Reds, Black Giants, and Americanas, upon the arrival of the new chicks we added these breeds:  White Giant, Buff Leghorn, Barred Plymouth Rock, Light Brahma, and the Deleware breed.  I ordered several of each of these, so we now have a total of 22 chickens in our flock!

Monday, February 21

*it's daffodil time!

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

These showed up just a few days ago.. quite a beautiful surprise. This spring will be like gift giving/opening time for me.  All that lies beneath the ground will soon burst forth and makes its grand entrance; I can hardly wait!!

Sunday, February 20

*a dog, cats, chickens and RABBITS, OH MY!

Recently I teased you all with a picture of some ears, so let me explain:  My dear husband has desired to become more self sustaining as far as feeding our family is concerned.  I am excited about what this will mean for our family; our boys and perhaps one day their families as well.  Although there will be more work here than either of our boys have ever experienced when we lived in North Carolina, it will be a simpler more back to the basics kind of life.  The property we bought came with all these cages we have used thus far as well a the feeders for the rabbits - what a blessing that has been!

We started out as you all know with 10 baby chicks which is the humble beginnings to our "farming" foundation.  Just a couple of weeks ago I made contact with a Californian and New Zealand Rabbit breeder.  These are the top breeds for meat production, so after talking with Bill on several occasions, I made an appointment to see and purchase some of his rabbits.  I left with two does and one buck to start with.  We are hoping that we can get one more of his bucks this week.

The rabbits are sweet. They are soft. They are beautiful.  They are a food source. I am totally alright with that.  I do hold the rabbits twice each day and I am sure I will get close to them over time. They will be with us as breeders for several years. We will always have 4 or 6 breeder rabbits and many kits waiting to reach fryer age or perhaps stew age at any given time if things proceed as has been planned. Rabbits can breed 4 times a year, hopefully giving birth to 10 to 12 kits each time.  The kits will be ready for butchering anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks of age. 

FYI:  Just an interesting bit of information you may find curious:  Do not feed rabbits lettuce!  Lettuce will give your rabbits diarrhea and that can be fatal for the critters.  Isn't it funny how all of the cartoons or advertisements show lettuce being fed to rabbits as a great and favorite source of food?  If you do by some chance find your rabbit has diarrhea you can feed him/her some Weeping Willow leaves which will clear this problem right up!

*peep update

Remember just a few days shy of a month ago we added 10 baby chicks to our madness?  They were just a week or so old when we purchased them from the feed store and now we guesstimate that they are about 7 weeks old.  They have gone from being soft puffy little critters to strong and almost fully feathered pullets!

We have had a great time watching them grow and change. The changes are so many that it seems they are changing daily before our eyes. Their pin feathers started coming in just a week or so ago and they are nearly fully feathered now, some of them still have some down on their heads and necks.  My little golden headed fave is almost undetectable among the other two Rhode Island Reds now.

I hope to add a short video soon of my feathered friends enjoying some greens. They love salad..and they love to be hand fed the salad, some will even run and jump to get at it if you hold it high enough. I am so grateful for God's creatures. I am especially grateful for them on a day like today,  they do bring some enjoyment in the midst of taking care of them.   This week Henry and I have to build a portable coop for these ladies!

Tuesday, February 15

*do you remember

A long time ago, in the mid 70's to be precise, when I was a young girl in elementary school we would make Valentine Boxes several days before the Valentines celebration.  These boxes were usually made of discarded cigar boxes or shoe boxes.  I always loved it when we could get a cigar box because it opened like a hinge which I thought was always more interesting than a lift off shoe box lid.   We would adorn the simple boxes with white tissue paper, red heart cut outs, glue and sparkling glitter.  Lastly we would cut a slot on the top so the cards could be dropped in.

Do you remember this time in your childhood? You arrive at school with your signed Valentine cards in a brown paper bag just waiting for the time to be right so you could walk around the room and drop your cards in your class mates boxes?  Your mother might come with sweet cup cakes or a bag of candy for the class. 

Today I was brought back to that time!  Yes it is a day after Valentines, but nonetheless the feelings came flooding in and filling my mind with sweet memories.   I received this Valentine card in the mail today. Simple Valentine in a simple envelope.  What made it so sweet to me was the fact that this is all that was in the envelope. For a moment I felt like I was in grade school again.  Thanks FranZiska! I think you are neat and sweet too.

Sunday, February 13


Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.- 1John 4:8 (NIV, 2010)


  "Forgiveness is the final form of love." - Reinhold Niebuhr


"True love cannot be found where it truly does not exist, Nor can it be hidden where it truly does."- anonymous 

"A loving heart is the truest wisdom." - Charles Dickens

 "The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate. It is focused attention." - Richard Warren (well unless it is raspberry chocolate fudge.. right FraZiska?)

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit." - Peter Ustinov

"You may only be one person to the world, but you may also be the world to one person." - anonymous quote

"Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly." - Sam Keen

"One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love." - Sophocles 

"Attention is the most basic form of love; through it we bless and are blessed." - John Tarrant

Happy Valentines Day to each of you! May each day be a day lived out with the attitude of "Valentines Day" on your heart towards those in your sphere of influence. We may not always be characterized by love, but the Author of love commands us to live in such a way that we might be!

Friday, February 11

*cathedral window opened again

While cathedrals were some of the most ambitious architectural projects conceived in their time, far exceeding the size and complexity of most other buildings and often requiring many years to construct, the Cathedral Window Quilt can successfully completed by an advanced quilter or a beginning quilter.

I had Wendie to give me lessons on how to create this beautiful quilt before finishing up my last classes with her this past year.  She has seen several books on how to construct this beauty, but recommends one written by Nancy J. Martin.   Nancy wrote Cathedral Window - A Fresh Look, unfortunately it is no longer in print so you have to find a copy on such sites as Amazon, Ebay, etc.   (Actually Amazon has a copy for just a few cents plus shipping)   I have even seen this book in a local used book store, so you  just never know where you might find a copy.  The book is well written and has many great illustrations - I love that in a teaching book since I prefer hands on learning.

I hope to finish this (one day). I was given this black and white toile decorator fabric with a heavier weight than a quilters cotton, almost like duck cloth but not quite.  When I spoke with Wendie about learning how to quilt the Cathedral Window I mentioned the weight of this fabric and Wendie agreed that it would be perfect for this project.  I am loving how this is turning out!

This project is an excellent project to take on the go.  It transports easy, all of the sewing at this stage is done by hand so you will not have idle hands while in the car on trips, waiting at doctor's offices or sitting at sports practices!

(Shared today August 14th, 2011 at: What A HOOT! BOMs Away Monday! )

Thursday, February 10

*husbandman arrives

One who is devoted to the tillage of the soil; one who cultivates a farm; an agriculturist; a husbandman.

Mr. Husbandman has arrived!  Eric was supposed to arrive tonight but he surprised me by one day early!  While Henry and I were "in town" (literally just at Walmart in the neighboring town 25 minutes away) yesterday, we got a call from Eric. He normally calls me on his way home from work; it was around that time.  He stated that he was on his way home and asked if we on our way home.  When we arrived back at Erilyn he was out by the barn showing our other cats their new Floridian home. After a potential snow in North Carolina on the day he had originally planned to leave he decided it best if he left a day early.

He brought me these ....

...and said "Happy Valentines!"  The beautiful thing about that is, I love it!  I don't require diamonds and gold, the simple thought of something so practical delights me more than precious stones. He knows this. He knows me.

Sneak Peek of an upcoming post: 

Sunday, February 6

*reveal (repurposing of doors)

This past week I have been somewhat busy unpacking more boxes that have been set aside for a few months. Since my beloved is coming this week and since he is blessing me in the way of bringing my sewing machine, I unpacked my sewing studio boxes! 

I have a large oak entertainment center back in North Carolina that I had always used for storing my quilting cottons on.  It is rather heavy and bulky. If I can get around not needing it, it will be one less thing that has to be moved when the time comes.

Henry assisted me in building the supports for each shelf.  While it is not a perfectly constructed shelving unit, it is perfectly functional and I am happy with it. I think I am going to add one more level of shelves.  This room is very spacious and will make a great sewing studio and perhaps doubling as a soaping studio.

On the opposite end of the room you will find our chick brooder.  Speaking of the brooder.. I am off to clean it and give them a fresh start for the week ahead! Have a great Sunday afternoon!