Saturday, February 28, 2009

Glass Roses

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This is my back door. My brother drew the picture and my sister-in-law used the picture as a pattern and made the stained glass window. Then my brother replaced the glass that was in the door with the stained glass. She is very talented and has made lamp shades, ornaments and other windows. I'll post some of the other windows she has made another day. I would like for this door to become an inside door and replace this door with an outside steel door.
Bears you know...

Today, I need to get a post up quickly because the power company is going to turn the power off in for at least 15 hours. They are installing some new equipment and have given their customers warning. Tom said he is not going to run the generator unless he needs to tomorrow. Maybe they will get things put back together earlier than expected? 


Friday, February 27, 2009


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(click photos to enlarge)

The chickens were very happy
today to find the leaves
were partly dry
and that there was
sunshine for
them to  enjoy.

As soon as I let them out they
ran off into the woods and then they all trooped over to the greenhouse.

This side of
the greenhouse
is the chickens
favorite place
to flock together
and bask in the warmth.

Can you see Morgan in their midst?

I was surprised
to find
small patches of snow
next to new growth
coming up among the rocks.

This Australorp
is enjoying the day
and because of her
black feathers
she is 
especially warm!

Doesn't she look happy!

We called her our "naked" chicken
because her feathers
took such a long time to grow back after her molt.

Tomorrow, is going to be sunny, so the chickens, Morgan and I will be taking advantage of our time in the sun. I need to do something with the chickens yard. It has become quite muddy due to the snow and the rain. I wish I could get some straw to put down, but maybe I can find some mostly/partly dry leaves to cover the coop yard. I'll check around the property for a spot that gets a lot of sun and see what I can find.

Tom came home today from visiting with his Mom and Aunt Jean sent us a wooden folding shelf... well, there are three shelves. I'll have to get a photo of it to post.
I'm feeling better and would like to get back to my quilt.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dirty Dozen

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I'll blame the fact that this post
is backwards on the migraine
I got last night.

At least I can see today,
but I am reduced to just doing
mundane things, like
collecting eggs and getting wood for the wood stove.

The photo above shows the eggs
finishing drying.
I then use a pencil and date each egg
and place them in the container,
cover and put them in the refrigerator.

Here the eggs
are getting dried off
after their cold water wash.

I put the eggs on the vent 
to finish drying.

Oh yes, and here
are the muddy eggs
just in from the chicken coop
waiting for their trip to the sink.

I collected eight eggs
and went out later and found this one
to make up the nine eggs you see above.
[there were already 3 eggs in the container]

The post would have made a lot more sense
if I had managed to put the photos in the reverse order. 


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mud and Eggs

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It just looks like it is going to rain
but the rain we had so far
fell last night.

Morgan and the chickens
don't mind the wet leaves
and muddy spots.

They just plow on through
while they look for their prizes.

I wanted eggs for breakfast
so I checked in with the girls
and got some hard stares.

They wanted me
to go away and come back later.

So, I did.

And this is what I found.

Dirty eggs!

Well, two of them were clean.
Wonder how they did that?

The Hen Cam lady
says not to wash the eggs!

Except when they are muddy
or dirty, and then she
just washes them off with 
cold water.

The cold water got the mud off just fine. This is the first time I have tried the cold water routine. I usually wash them in very hot water with organic soap if I thought they needed it, but I am willing to learn new ways of doing things.  The scrambled eggs were very tasty!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Someone Forgot to Lock the Gate!

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One of my birthday cards had the saying, "Celebrate like someone forgot to lock the gate!" There was a picture of a little dog running across a field.

 That's how I felt today when I saw sun instead of rain and I could go outside.

First thing was to work in the chicken coop and clean up the area and refill the feeders. They really didn't make too much of a mess considering how long they were inside because of the
snow and rain.

I put the buckets of chicken stuff in my little flowerless garden. After I get the paths finished I will do some posts on me fixing up the garden.

The blue plastic circles are lids from large containers that we use to haul trash to the dumps.

Chickens are very messy and wasteful eaters.
They flick the feed around with their bills when they are
eating and a lot of it ends up on the ground.

I would like to feed them their feed in pellet form but they don't seem to want to eat it and I have always given up. Maybe I will try it again this summer.

After I finished with the chickens, I went out to walk some of the paths. I took the rake because I thought I would find small twigs and leaves to clean away. 

However, I was not surprised to find large limbs and trees down along the paths and in among the trees.

Here is a before and after photo of a limb that came down in the storms.

I moved the limb and...

now it is behaving itself as a border guard along the path.

Lining the downed trees and branches up along the paths is my solution to the debri removal problem. 

If the branches are too bushy, then we have to burn them or I can pile them up for the tree people to chip.

This is a tree that fell down.

I checked and saw that it had rotted away at the base where it had suffered what looked like burn damage from a long time ago?

It was getting late so I locked up the girls and...

went inside to relax and have a last piece of cake.

That was yummy cake!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Rain Today

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Rain Showers throughout the day and night.

Back to weather forecasting...

The rain has come back and has chased the snow away. I guess I am a real California girl because, although I like the white stuff, I am very glad to see the snow melt away.

There is something so comforting about being in a warm home listening to the sound of rain drumming on the roof. We heard some branches crashing around outside last night, but there was no damage we could find. I slept a lot today repairing the damage the migraines did to my poor head.

If the sun comes out at all tomorrow, I will try to get outside and work in the chicken coop.

The chickens are staying inside, well, except for one silly hen who keeps checking the outdoors.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday

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Happy Birthday to me!

Tom cooked us a great roast beef dinner and Kristine got a cake for us all to enjoy. Annnnd.... there was rocky road ice cream to go with the yummy cake.

My MIL Dolores and Aunt Jean and my sister called to wish me Happy Birthday and I received some lovely cards. How neat is that!

The weather report shows that there is not much snow left to melt off tomorrow in the rain. At least I hope there will be more rain tomorrow. 

It will be such a trial having to stay cooped up with all this cake and ice cream.

Wouldn't it be terrible if the power went out and I had to eat up all the ice cream before it melted. tsk tsk


Saturday, February 21, 2009


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These cabinets are called Hoosiers because around the time they were made in the early 1900's almost all of them were made in Indiana, the Hoosier state. There were millions of the cabinets made by over 30 companies. This was the kind of cabinet that grandma or great grandma had in her kitchen! 

In this cabinet is a tin flour bin, tin sugar bin, tin bread drawer, and a porcelain pull out counter. I don't have the spice jars that fit in the doors and I use it now mainly for book storage. When I had it in the kitchen in the house we built I used it to store staples: rice, flour, tea, cereal, etc., but I never put food in the tin containers. The tin was old and dirty and I couldn't get it clean enough to put flour, etc. in the metal. 

There were wider and taller hoosiers to fit any kitchen. This poor little Hoosier has had a hard life and is not in very good shape, but I was very glad to find it tucked away in the back of a shop where it was being repaired. I like the way they used to build things with no wasted space, and someday, I would like to get it back into use in my kitchen area.

The sun has been trying to melt the snow but it has stayed cold enough to slow the process 
to a crawl. The forecast keeps being for rain, which I would like to show up and wash away the muddy mess.

I'm getting rid of my migraine after effects. Kristine is back to work. Things are looking up!

We all kid about Morgan being afraid of the dark because she does start to get anxious at dusk and bark if she hears something. Maybe she doesn't see that well in the twilight? She comes in the house as soon as the chickens are locked up tight. I miss not being outside with her.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Home Away From Home

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This is our motor home all snug and dry under its very own structure. We have this motor home because our house was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in the Santa Cruz mountains. The house was red tagged and we needed a place to live for  two and a half years. It took ten years to get our house fixed and ready to sell so we could move. I have lots of neat earthquake stories, but I will have to save them for another day.

Today I got another migraine which is not good, not good at all.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Bench

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The bench is showing! The snow is really melting and I can't wait until I can get outside and do things. I want to clean out the chicken coop and trim trees and clean off the garage roof
and rake more leaves and paths. Lots of stuff. I like the snow but I like being outside doing things even more.

I thought a lot more snow would have melted today, but some is better than none.

Morgan likes having her dishes up this high. I used to have the dogs dishes up on special dish

racks, but having them by the stove works out just fine.

Kristine is still sick. I'm getting better.
Boring being sick.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Slushy Snow

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Slushy snow shows that we are on the tail end of the storms; we are looking forward to seeing some sunshine tomorrow. It is going to be in the fifty's during the day for the next week.

Monday we are planning to go out for lunch for my birthday. There may be snow Monday night, but we can leave for home before dark.

Yesterday, I had one of my horrid migraines, which knocked me for a loop. I so want to be over the aftermath of the attack. Nothing much happening but me sleeping and being a wimp.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Weather Report

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This posting business has degenerated into a goofy weather reporting cycle.

I'm posting these photos taken in the middle of the day because the power has just come back on and I want to make sure I can get todays post online.

It has been snowing off and on last night and today. Then a bit of rain will melt some snow and then back to snowing.
The wood stove is keeping us warm and even heating water for tea and leftovers for meals. If I can get the fixings for stew I may make a stew in my dutch oven on the wood stove. 

This fire doing its happy dance in the wood stove is the only cheery thing going on around here. Kristine is sick again. I'm still fighting off the bug. 
The stove is getting a real work out because of the snow. Usually, in the winter, if the sun is shining during the day, we light a fire in the morning and evening. But, we don't have a fire going during the day. The wood stove has been burning away steadily for days.


Monday, February 16, 2009

The Storm?

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The storm showed up at last and left an inch of snow on the railing. I think we are on the edge of the storms as they move through the area. So, we are lucking out not having to deal with the high winds and heavy snow.

More storm fronts are forecast, but maybe they will pretty much miss us too.

The quilt has stayed under cover. Not much happening in my quilt world. It is too dark and gloomy for me to spend time trying to see what I'm doing. Forget the thinking part. I'm still up in the air when it comes to what to do for a design.

I have decided that I don't like the light borders on the blocks and I'm going to take them off and add borders that are not wonky. The wonky doesn't seem to work.

I like the dark blue and the dark pink as borders.
But, I need more contrast.
I know I have too much going on...
well, at least for me.
I don't like things that are too busy.

I do like the dark blue against the gold.

I think I will work with that...
Moon print background
Dark blue around blocks
Gold as a separator strip?

??? I need to leave it alone.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Waiting For The Storm

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A lot more thinking about the quilt has happened than any actual sewing of blocks. I'm at the choosing of strips or background for these blocks that may end up being center pieces of the quilt... maybe.

We are still fighting off colds and not doing much of anything constructive. The satellite is blocked because of the snow, so DVD's have been called into play. 

I have been dreading the wind and snow storm that was/is supposed to hit today and tomorrow. However, I think we are just getting the edge of the storm. So far, we haven't had a lot of wind and no more snow has fallen.

There are gust of wind that will lift the flag and flip it, but most of the time there is little to no wind.

It would suit me just fine if the storm passed us by, except for the fact that we need the rain. Rain would be good! In fact most of the forecasts are for rain with maybe a little snow tonight. Of course they also said we were going to have a terrific wind storm, so who knows what is going to happen?

I was waiting to post so that I could have some great photos of the wind and snow. But, we are stuck with these poor boring pics. Sorry.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Early, Early Saturday

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Well, in this case early means around 1 o'clock in the middle of the night. Before I go to bed I wanted to record the snow level on the benches.

I took a plastic ruler and stuck it in the snow until it hit the bench. Looks like another 2 to 3 inches above the top of the ruler. Wish I had used the ruler in yesterdays post.

But, I would say we got around 4 more inches of snow today. I am really not looking forward to the windy snow storm that is due in next. We have too many trees around the house. High winds make me nervous. The old oaks have a way of just falling over. Ka-boom!

P.S. Most of the snow fell out of the trees during Saturday and the new storm did not move in except for a bit of wind. Very little of the snow on the ground/deck/benches melted. The next storm is supposed to hit on Sunday. More photos tomorrow.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Soggy Doggie

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Poor little doggie, all wet from running around in the snow chasing squirrels from tree to tree. Exhausting!

Morgan, wouldn't come back in the house until she got wet and cold. Then she came and sat in front of the slider. 

We got more snow last night and expect to have more snow fall tonight and over the weekend.

Back to the question of squirrels in trees... maybe there weren't really squirrels in the trees. Morgan, might have thought that clumps of snow falling off the branches meant that there were squirrels jumping about? Hard to tell.

We need the rain! So, I'm very happy to see the storms come through, but I didn't expect to have this much snow this year. Some winters we don't see any snow.

I'm posting this much now in case the power is cut. A tree or two hitting the lines wouldn't surprise me at all. I'll try and post some photos of the next snowfall later.

P.S. It is late afternoon and it has been snowing for awhile and we may get thunderstorms.
No thunder yet.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sunny Snow

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I like how the colors all work together in this block. The decision to make this 1st quilt for myself has birthed some new ideas. One is that I'm going to make a nose to toe size lap quilt. And I do have some ideas about the overall design of the quilt floating around that I need to think about some more.

We woke to blue skies as we are between storms.
The snow is already melting and falling to the ground.
If you click on the photos and enlarge them,
you can get somewhat of an idea of the glistening beauty
of the sunlit snowy branches.

Kristine's dad is giving her a lesson
this morning in driving in snow conditions.
And they are going to buy
a quilting magazine for me after she attends class.
Pretty neat!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some People Really Shouldn't Drive When It Snows!

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This morning the snow was melting away.
I thought that would be the end of the snow for awhile.
So, I played with my fabric
and made "what if" blocks.

It was getting cold!
I checked on the wood stove and found Morgan
curled up in front of the fire enjoying the warmth.
She seldom does that, so I knew it really was cold.

I checked outside...
Oh, yes, lookie there, it is snowing!

It kept snowing.

It kept on snowing.
As of this post there are 6 to 8 inches of snow on the deck.

But, what is terrible is the way people are driving.
My daughter was almost in two terrible accidents
while driving home on the mountain roads.

She came around a corner and there was
a snow covered car abandoned in the middle of the road.
She barely avoided the car and ending up in the ditch.

She had someone pull out in front of her going very slowly,
Kristine had to flash her lights and hit the horn.
There were cars stuck in the snow
and people were wandering around in the road.
They were wearing dark clothing.
Go figure.

People really, really, shouldn't drive in the snow
if they don't have the skills to do so safely.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow and Decks and Porches

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Today, as you can see in the photo below, there are patches of ground showing where the sunlight can reach. As I sit here typing I can hear the sound of snow sliding off the roof and hitting the deck.

Speaking of "deck" I have a story to tell. When I was putting this blog together, I was stumped for a name. In my first post I told how my daughter yelled, "the chickens are on the deck," and I thought, ah, ha, there is my blog name.

I was raised in the olden days when decks were on the high seas and people had porches, so when I went to type "deck" somehow, my fingers typed porch... and that was that. It was too complicated for me, a brand new blogger to figure out how to change my URL, so my blog became chickens on the porch.

And now that we need a new deck, I have been wondering about the differences between decks and porches. I remember porches with swings, railings and overhangs/roofs. Friendly porches vs large flat decks. I'm going to have to check them out. I would really rather have a porch. I'll post about that someday.

The snow is melting
with a forecast of rain tomorrow.
Will there be more snow?
Yes, I do believe we may have more snow
because there are a few stray flakes coming down.
More snow?

A white store bought extra large grade AA egg.
One of our hen's eggs.
And a small Cochin egg.
Don't know why she lays such small eggs.
Must be a Cochin thing?

Time for bed.
Some of the girls hurry to roost.
To get the best places?

And some of the girls stop for a bedtime snack
before retiring for the night.

"Sashiko and Other Stitching,"
is one of the blogs I check everyday. 
Today, here
she posted some wonderful Japanese quilts.
I especially like the last one.
It has chickens!!!

And there is even a quilt with my tree idea.
My idea is in excellent company.
"Yamagata" are, I think, quilts made by the
Peaceful Heart Quilt Group

I'm still trying to come up with a quilt design for my Japanese fabric.
And I'm realizing that most of the problem is trying to come up with something to please someone else. (even though she says do what ever you want) If I was making the quilt for myself, I would be much more at ease and free with my ideas. OK! How about I make two quilts. One for me and one for my daughter. I'll make the first one for me. Let's see if that decision kick starts my brain or sets it free or something like.

My sore throat feels much better today
but I'm still taking it easy.