Friday, August 24

*close to heart

Family is where we start, sometimes we really feel like we would like to part, but God has called us to keep each other close to heart! 

My favorite of all the pics we snapped! So cute!

There have been times in my life where I really didn't have the energy to work through certain situations with different family members, or should I say my heart wasn't willing, maybe even my head wasn't willing? You know what I mean? Have you too, found yourself there?  Don't stay there. Life is too short. Preaching to myself here!

Sunday, August 12

*road trip coming up with bee stings in tow

I am likely to be told that I am spoiling the men folk of my household once you all read this, but, well it is just the way we do it around here. I cook the majority of the meals for the household and when I am planning to be gone for a weeks time I like to prepare meals, treats, etc for my menfolk that are left behind.  On a day like today when I have a million things I need to get done, my kitchen ends up looking like this...

I am a VERY messy cook.  But when I am done.. I clean it all up...

I start out tomorrow to drive over to Georgia for weeks stay. The trip itself is really long over due and truth be told, we should all be going, but with the farm it really isn't possible at this time. I had another trip planned in my mind for some time now that would take place in the month of August, but the opening for that trip closed so I am taking the time to go visit family, so it all worked out.

As I said before when I take a trip that will be 6 or so days long I like to do things to make my dear husbands' life comfy and easy while I am gone. I make sure we are stocked up in the pantry area, clothes are done, house is cleaned all the way around and food is cooked to carry him over half way through my trip. With that having been said today I made a ton of egg rolls, a large shepherds pie, spaghetti sauce and an apple pie.

I had a list as long as your arm with things I needed to complete before I start out tomorrow. I did it! I am thrilled, the list is complete! I will open up a suit case and toss some things in tomorrow morning before I head out for the long drive.  One of the things we needed to get done before I left town was the extracting of honey from one of our hives.  Just this week, for my dear husband's birthday (my birthday, and Christmas for both of us), my dear mil and fil sent us a  Maxant Honey Extractor.  It arrived yesterday, we opened it and admired it. We all walked past it throughout the day and occasionally stopping to give it a whirl.  Today we decided to use it for real.  We harvest 5 frames from one of our hives today. I would have gotten all ten frames but the bees were all home, as it was overcast - not a great day to be working a hive. Plus on top of that I had to break off some (a lot) of honey comb they had built in a very awkward place in the hive. Needless to say, the were under impressed with me and my presence.   I some how managed to get stung 4 times while being fully suited. I was stung on my arm, my leg, the back of my neck (it hurts) and on my chin. I now look like Jabba the Hut. My chin just goes and goes down to the middle of my neck. It is just lovely.  I am hopeful that the swelling will be gone by the time I hit the road tomorrow. We ended up with 11 sweet pounds of amber colored honey!   I suppose the stings was worth the 11 pounds of honey.  

Tuesday, August 7

*chickens gone wild

I have found that to me, chickens are like potato chips. I LOVE potato chips. I LOVE our chickens.  And you CAN'T just have one! I seek out more egg customers before I have the chickens to fill the orders just so I can get more - makes sense right? I mean if there is a demand, there must be a supply.

We started out a year or more ago with 10 chicks that we purchased from a local farm supply store in the area. At that time we only had three different breeds, all good layers.  Since then we have increased to 10 to 15 different breeds and a total of 35 chickens. AND.. I am frequently thinking about more. I have a sickness and I only feel better when I add to our flock. HA HA.

On a serious note, we sold 14 dozen eggs a few weeks ago, some for consumption some fertilized for hatching.  We vaccinated our chickens this past week for "chicken pox" (better known as Avian Pox), and while there is no withholding time, it does cause their production to slow down a bit for a few weeks.  We sell 8 dozen a week to regular customers for consumption and have a steady customer who desires to by as many dozen as possible every few weeks or so for hatching baby chicks.  Speaking of baby chicks, one of our Australorpes has gone broody and has 13 eggs she is setting on now. OH! I just realized, that means I WILL have MORE chickens!  Some will stay and replace some of our girls that are no laying for one reason or another, some will likely be roosters (therefore.. meat birds) and some will be sold as young chicks to someone who needs them.

 Isn't this crazy. Absurd. Especially since Eric made sure that there were ample nesting boxes for the number of chickens we have.  Yep, it is true, they have their favorite box to lay in and they will pick at each other until someone wins.  I have also seen two head strong chicks stay in the nest together and lay their eggs on top of the other one if necessary. There were four chickens in this basket, but when I got back with the camera one had already thrown in the towel.

 On the far right end you see one of the largest eggs collected on that day, it was produced by an "easter egger" and beside that one is a regular sized egg, a large one mind you.  You will also notice what looks like a little marble, that is our Silkie's first egg. Isn't it the cutest thing ever? It was about the size of a quarter, perhaps a bit smaller.

 Down to two now, two Light Brahma's duke it out for the box. This went on for about an hour, yes.. I didn't have anything better to do than watch my chicken's fight over a nesting box.

 Say goodbye to Husan. Husan lost all of his manners once we added other chickens to "his" barnyard. The introduction of a few new roosters sent him over the edge. He flogged my mother as you might remember and he also began to show aggression to almost everyone who entered the yard.  If you look closely you can see his LONG bone spurs off of his legs, it had just gotten too dangerous to keep him around. Our neighbor has a friend who now had added Husan to their place. I am sure that he is glad he avoided the iron pipe (the instrument for breaking their necks here at Erilyn) at least for now he is safe. I hope he gets his manners back in order for his sake.

Monday, August 6

*not your normal "farm" feel good post

Photo Credit

Do you know some one who has an addiction to a substance that seemingly controls them? Such things as alcohol, nicotine, prescription drugs, food or even others? You know I think for many of us it is just sickening. We can't even understand why someone would get hooked on such things and just stay there, well it is likely that we will never understand it, the ones doing don't understand it either. I know personally I have lived years being angry at my own father for his choices in his alcoholism. (I have written two other post on my beloved father, and I wish you to read them before you get any further. Go HERE, and HERE. Then proceed) That will give you a little background on my father.

Somehow along the way my father got a kink in his hose. You know, things stopped flowing out properly, and I have to believe that even as a young person, long before he imagined he would have three girls, he tried to figure out where the kink was.  Seemingly, by looking back at his past he really never figured out where the kink was or even how to give the finding of it over the Jesus. Does that make sense?  I don't even pretend to know what happened, why it happened or why it is that he has not been set free up til this day.  I am not saying that my dad lives a "hum drum depressed all the time" life (if you read the other two post you would read of some good times). But the constant of joy in his life has not been present.  I have to believe that forgiveness has played a big part in his life, or the lack there in.  And in so, the things that entered his life have had power over him, and that of course is not God's will for any of us. That something in our lives have power over us.  Forgiveness is not for the one who hurts us, for they may never know, but it is for us. Don't let unforgiveness kink the hose of your life, the source of water is there.

My father I think has dealt with some things over the last few years, he has become more tender in his older age. He has a lot of time alone to think and work through some things. I have to believe that God speaks to his heart. I trust that with all I am, whether it be through a show he watches that gets him thinking, or a kind action someone shows him, undeserved love from one of his daughters even when he is unloving or unkind, or even in dreams.  My sisters and I (as well as others)  have been calling out his name to our Father in Heaven for years now for his salvation. I believe that on this side, he will come fully wholeheartedly to Christ.

He has recently, well 2+ months ago, stopped consuming the poison that has slowly deteriorated his body over the last 45 years.  It is an addiction. He has tried to quit before. Succeeded for a short while. Will I say to myself... oh, we have been here before? NO. No I will not, I will say, Lord even if he doesn't know it is you, will You strengthen him to make it through? I have to believe for him even if he can't believe for himself. He even spoke of DT's a few weeks ago and how he got past them.  If you have someone in your life that is dealing with a similar situation I think you have to make your self available to them in deed and in love. Yes, he had a choice to make years ago and chose poorly, so what? I choose poorly often, but God doesn't withhold His love from me. I am not saying be an enabler at all, I am just saying it might help that person if you offer unconditional love.

If you have read this far (I don't normally like reading long post about people's personal lives whom I do not know, nor do I write about them that often), would you say a heart felt prayer for my father? This place he finds himself really is a battle, perhaps an out and out war!  I want to see him win. I want to see him have clarity of mind, a restored life and that fullness of life that Christ speaks of. Thanks in advance for your labor in prayer for my father, and thanks for reading this through, I guess my  daddy is heavy on my heart today.

Sunday, August 5

*tucker dukes of Valpariso, Fl

 The Tucker Duke Burger.  On the menu, it states that the Tucker Duke Burger comes as is, NO EXCEPTIONS, NO CHANGES will be made to the burger, so don't even ask.  Henry asked. Sigh.

 The menu at Tucker Dukes is actually quite original. It is funny. (There were no stripper's sitting next to us at the bar, nor anywhere in the establishment) The wait staff were great, and the food was delish.  To our surprise, they have only been open for a month or two. Maybe that explains why we couldn't locate it using our Android Navigator.

 We of course didn't order any sides, who could eat fries, etc with a burger this size.  We took our onion rings off and at them with the burger as a side. I ordered a different burger and it was piled high with spring mix salad which I love as well as a few pieces of bacon thrown on for good measure, sorry non-meat eaters.  There was a special sauce made with sour cream and horse radish, ok.. it was yum.

Oh, and if you bring a photo of your dog framed (one time only) you get a free burger!  The story goes, that the restaurant is named after one of the owners dogs, Tucker Duke. There are framed photos of man's best friend all about the place. Soon, Frayja will be on public display for all to see at Tucker Dukes!


Saturday, August 4

*hollister model

You know it is that time of the year again, if your children attend public or private school, school shopping time has once again rolled around the corner! Henry is pretty easy, well both of our boys were pretty easy regarding clothes shopping. Henry's clothes all pretty much come from American Eagle Outfitters except for this pair of sweats. His cousin came for a visit this summer and brought his comfy sweats and Henry fell in love with them... so we had to enter the Hollister Store to pickup Henry a pair, LIME green, no less.

I am sure all the young people love this store, but I have to voice an opinion (and I know.. opinions are like butt holes... everybody has one)... I couldn't figure out if they were selling clothing to young people or if they were selling lust.  Just keeping it real. 

Henry will start his senior year in just a few weeks. It is hard to believe that our little Henry is in his last year of school.  He is hoping to score high enough on his ASVAB to enter the Coast Guard with his pick of jobs. 

(and actually Henry isn't showing enough skin to be a Hollister model)

*order restores creativity (to me)

I posted this picture months ago and I have been working towards getting all of my unfinished projects completed. I have done pretty good at knocking them out.  Over half completed, that isn't bad! I also started two other projects that were finished and sent out in addition to those above and I have one in the works right now that I started last week. It will likely soon go into a UFO stack.. because I have another project I need to start addressing my attention to. The Chicken Quilt.  At some later point you will learn about the chicken quilt whether you care to or not. 

I have worked on quilts pretty regularly this year, in and out of yard work, gardening, and all duties "farmish".  Basically that is all I did, work on the quilt at hand.. not really cleaning up and reorganizing well after each finished project. I can operate this way for a little while, then it starts to suck my creativity away.  You know, we all need a fresh new canvas to work with no matter our art medium and boy was it time for a freshening.  The end of this week I began the process of reorganizing and throwing out and cleaning up, etc. 

It started out looking like this a year ago, and over the course of weeks of working on quilts and not really cleaning up it started to look like a hot mess.  I had initially thought of painting the Sewing Room a dark chocolate color, but later decided that I would paint it a brighter color. Unfortunately I had already painted the little corner where this whole set up was located and I was certainly not taking it all down just to paint that corner. It worked well enough to leave it in the dark brown color because of the design of the room, so for the time being, I left it.   However, when I moved the furniture around (I like to move furniture around :(  , I had an opportunity to repaint that part of the Sewing Room. 

I took a few shots of the mess in the midst of the cleaning. My husband, son and companion (Frayja) thought I had lost my mind. Actually it is funny, well not really funny, but I ended up with the worst migraine in a LONG time the night I started this cleaning. It really didn't stress me out, I actually enjoy reorganizing, cleaning like this.  Anyway, enjoy the picture trail of the transformation. 

You will notice I started this process in the morn of the day and didn't finish until late night. I ended up sitting in the room and just reading for a while, enjoying the order that surrounded me. Today, on the other hand, I played with fabric, looked at quilting magazines trying to locate a pattern for the new quilt I must soon start and sipping some ice tea while dreaming of cinnamon scones...