Thursday, December 09, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Movies

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Here are my favorite Christmas movies:

  1. 1. An Affair To Remember YouTube - An Affair To Remember Trailer
  2. White Christmas YouTube - White Christmas Theatrical Trailer
  3. Miracle On 34th Street YouTube - Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Theatrical Trailer
  4. It's A Wonderful Life YouTube - It's a Wonderful Life Part 1
  5. (2)Scrooge YouTube - Scrooge the Musical (1970) Part 1 --  Scrooge 1951 YouTube - Scrooge (Alastair Sim) #1
  6. Die Hard YouTube - Die Hard (1988) Part 1
  7. A Christmas Story YouTube - A CHRISTMAS STORY trailer
  8. The Bishop's Wife YouTube - - 1 - The Bishop's Wife (1947)
  9. A Charlie Brown Christmas Trailer YouTube - A Charlie Brown Christmas Full Movie Trailer
  11. (3) Desk Set YouTube - Desk Set 1957 Part 1 Gig Young, Joan Blondell, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy
  12. (1) A Childs's Christmas in Wales YouTube - A Child's Christmases in Wales - In HD - Part 1 of 6 - From JK_Pro On PS3
  13. The Bells Of St. Mary's YouTube - Trailer The Bells of St Mary's -1945- (Re issue trailer)
  14. Meet Me In St Louis ? YouTube - Meet Me in St. Louis - (Re-issue Trailer)
  15. March Of The Wooden Soldiers YouTube - March of the Wooden Soldiers (1)
  16. Babes In Toyland YouTube - Laurel & Hardy - Babes In Toyland Theatrical Trailer (1934)
  17. The Nutcracker ---  YouTube - Rudolf Nureyev. The Nutcracker. 1/10  --- YouTube - Baryshnikov Nutcracker 1
  18. Bachelor Mother YouTube - BACHELOR MOTHER [1939 TRAILER]
  19. We're No Angels - 1955 - Bogart - We're No Angels - YouTube - We're No ANGELS 1989 (Part 1)
  20. The Thin Man YouTube - The Thin Man Trailer (Powell, Loy)
  21. Meet John Doe YouTube - "Meet John Doe" Part 1
  22. Love Finds Andy Hardy YouTube - Love Finds Andy Hardy Part 1
  23. Theft of the Royal Ruby YouTube - The Theft of the Royal Ruby {1/4} YouTube - The Blue Carbuncle
  24. Tom and Jerry - The Night Before Christmas YouTube - Tom and Jerry - The Night before Christmas [HQ]
  25. Home Alone YouTube - Home Alone Trailer
  26. The Shop Around The Corner YouTube - The Shop Around The Corner (1940) - 1/10
  27. Remember The Night YouTube - Remember the Night (1940) Pt.1
  28. Holiday Inn (1942) YouTube - Holiday Inn 1942 part 1
  29. Moonstruck YouTube - Moonstruck - The Movie [01/11]
  30. Muppet Christmas Carol YouTube - A Muppet Christmas Carol Part 1
  31. Holiday YouTube - Holiday - The Movie 1/13
  32. RED (Retired Extremely Dangerous) YouTube - Trailer - 2010
I'm going to take some Christmas vacation time
away from blogging.

I'll be back after the holidays
if not before.

No eggs.

I think it is too dark, cold and wet for the chickens
to lay eggs and it is probably good
for the hens to take some time off
from egg laying.

And I think it will be good for me to take some time off too.

Happy Holidays


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Remembering December 7, 1941

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In memory of Pearl Harbor

I found this video while searching for Christmas videos.

I was born in 1941.

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow.

The chickens are fine, penned up
and not laying.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Rainy, Sleepy Day

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I'm fighting off a cold. Rain today. I slept.

December 5th Christmas Movie:

click to watch trailer on YouTube

I couldn't find the movie on YouTube.
This is a fun movie!

click to watch a 60 second Christmas Story by bunnies... 


Back tomorrow.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Chicken Scratch 4, Chicken Pellets 0

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 The hens have voted with their feet and beaks. The scratch always wins over pellets. The hens can empty that small feeder of scratch in one day.

I don't know if the hens care about having a dry pen, but I sure do appreciate not having to walk around in chicken pen mud.

I just had to take a photo of the only snow I could find. No mud. Only the chicken pen gets muddy because of all the bedding stuff I put down.

The rest of the place has such good drainage that it takes a very big rain storm before we even get puddles.

I did hand sewing today
and find that I miss it.
I found a photo of a hexagon quilt online
that I would like to try.

First I will need to make
a hexagon pattern out of plastic.
That should be fun.

Christmas Movie
December 4th

click to watch on YouTube

I love watching Fred Astaire dance!
This movie always leaves me with a smile on my face.
This is not a PC movie, but I love the music and dancing.
And Bing Crosby and Fred are easy to take.
White Christmas is a remake of this movie.
I like Holiday Inn better.

(December 4, 2009)
Gee, last year I got 3 eggs.

[0 eggs today]
I think the chickens are on strike
until I let them out of the pen
so they can free range.


Friday, December 03, 2010

Snow's Almost All Gone

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Today the hens had their breakfast served on a big blue lid. They seem to like their food best when they can get their feet into it and dig a bit. Finger food?

I moved the last of the wood that was stacked on the porch inside and stacked it in the entry. Not much left. It's not so cold so maybe I can stretch this for a day or two?

I'm not looking forward to hauling wood from the shed. Hope Tom comes home tomorrow. Hauling wood is a lot easier for him to do than me.

We got the sign, "Cut your own firewood and it warms you twice," a few Christmases ago and it's true. But getting hot and sweaty moving wood when the temperature is low is not a good thing. Then I'm just hot, sweaty and cold.

I like cold weather better than hot weather, but I'm missing the sun. Dark dreary days wear on me and I find it all to easy to want to fold up and do nothing.

It would be so neat to have a little sun of my own that would hover overhead and follow me around. That will probably be an invention in the future. A personal weather controller that you could set to your ideal light and heat conditions. And it would probably come with cell phone, internet, camera, and other cool options.

I'm enjoying watching movies everyday to make sure they are still on my list of favorite Christmas movies. What I remember about a movie is not always true. Time has a way of distorting memories and in my case mixing up and combining parts of movies I haven't seen in a long time. I enjoy Desk Set more every time I watch it.

Christmas Movie
December 3rd

click to watch on YouTube

I like Katharine Hepburn
and this movie reminds me of the Christmas Parties
when I worked for a bank in the 50's.
I wonder if companies still host Christmas Parties?
In the 80's it was the employees who
organized the parties.
I guess it depends on the company.

I went to a few of the parties, but ended up not going to them because I was embarrassed to be around people at work that had been behaving badly, sadly or poorly. People really shouldn't drink at Christmas parties if they are going to be rude or drink until they're sick. I guess the saving grace for them was that they didn't remember and if they were lucky no one told them of their blunders.

The brainy machine reminds me of the early bank machines we had that read magnetic strips on each account ledger. It was a step up from Bob Cratchet's bookkeeping... that's for sure. It seems that I missed a lot of the 60's and late 50's working in the bank basement. When I got up it was dark and by the time I got home it was dark. Weekends were filled with doing all the stuff I was too tired to do during the week. I missed out on all the hippie flower children '60's stuff. Sigh...

(December 3, 2009)
The leaves were still on the oaks last year.
So, leaves still on the trees is normal.
Snow and rain earlier this year.

[0 eggs today]


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Rain Today To Chase The Snow Away

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Two orpingtons eating scratch out of the goat grain feeder. I like to use this feeder because it has metal hooks on the back side that fit over the metal on the fence... and the chickens can't tip the feeder over when they jump in it or roost on the edge.

Beautiful blue sky yesterday morning! I took the photo to make a record of the fact that the oak trees still have at least half their leaves after the rains, snow and freezes. I want the leaves and the dead branches to come down!  But not when I'm there.

Those oaks are very tall. I'm pointing the camera almost straight up to take this photo and those seemingly little branches are like the 15 footer (or longer) that I showed in yesterday's post.

Now that it's raining (the rain is coming down hard) I sure hope it washes away all that horrid frozen snow. 

Kristine brought home Thai food for dinner. There was brown rice and a vegetable soup that was quite spicy. At first I thought it was too hot, but the rice cut the heat and I am acquiring a taste for the seasoning.

The Christmas decorations are still in storage and will remain outside until there is a break in the rain and the porch is a safe place to walk.

I'm very glad I stacked all that fire wood on the porch this year. Not having to make my way out to the shed and haul wood was a very good thing. When the rain lets up, filling the stack back up will be a #1 job.

I'm still sleepy. I plan on trying to sleep tonight instead of staying up and keeping the wood stove full. The rain has brought the temperature up to 50ยบ. Lucky me!

Christmas Movie
December 2nd

click to watch on YouTube

This is a new find for me...
with Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray

A hoosier Christmas with a twist.
I like movies that leave me with good feelings.

I was going to post Moonstruck (with Cher) as todays Christmas movie, but YouTube has deleted several of the parts. I can find the beginning and the end and a few in the middle. Hope someone uploads it again. I love watching Cher, the story is neat, reminds me of Tom's Italian family, it has a happy ending, and it takes place at Christmas. Moonstruck is probably online somewhere.

Answer to the Last November Riddle is:
A Path

(December 2, 2009)

[0 eggs today]
I made the chickens up some warm pellet mash.
Chickens still penned and probably will be for
a week or so because it is raining and will be 'till next week.
Kristine brought home a bag of scratch.


Snow For December 2010

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This orpington would rather scratch up feed than eat the scratch out of the feeder. She would much rather be scratching around out of the pen, but it is still too cold and wet to leave Morgan out all day watching the chickens.

Behind the feeder on the left there is an australorp going in the coop through the opening I left open under one of the windows.

Most of the snow has melted where it is in the sun all day, but there is still frozen snow in shady places... like the porch.

Kristine just came in and asked me if I heard the thud. Thud? No. Turns out that she let Morgan out, turned around to shut the door and thud!

Morgan was laying on her side on the Sierra Cement trying to get up. And she has claws! Poor baby. She is ok. I hate trying to walk on that frozen snow.

When Kristine asked if I heard a thud I thought she meant that another tree fell over. Not unusual for trees to fall.

On my one trip outside today I came upon this tree limb that fell during this snow. I put my walking stick on it for size comparison. The stick is near five feet, so the limb is around fifteen feet.

I don't plan to be spending time outside until we have a good wind storm that will knock the rest of the dead branches down. It's a bit creepy walking around under the tall trees knowing there are dead limbs just waiting to fall.

I was up all night again keeping the wood stove filled and watching films on YouTube. I also made a list of over twenty five Christmas movies. I'm looking forward to watching some old favorites and finding some new ones.

And I need to remember to keep my mouth shut when I go out. Or remember to put a muffler around my neck and mouth. My teeth ached for half the day from breathing with my mouth open when I was outside. It didn't feel that cold, but ouch!

Christmas Movie
December 1st
For each day of December this year I'm going to watch
a Christmas film of some sort.
Some old favorites - some new.

click to watch on YouTube

A new film for me to start off the month.
I liked the film, but couldn't understand all the words.
Don't know what people in Wales would think of it.

(December 1, 2009)
Last year I tried leaving up the Christmas decorations
for a few months,
but ended up taking them down.
This year we will leave them up until the grand children and family
come for a second Christmas.

[0 eggs today]
The tarp I put over the chicken pen
has cut out a lot of the sun light into the coop.
I think the loss of light has contributed to 0 eggs.


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Snowy Last Day of November 2010

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Some days I find a hen all snuggled up warm and cozy in a nest box.

But today all 15 hens are out and about in their pen looking for something.

Most of them have their new feathers and they are all full of scratch and pellets.

It is so cold I'd have thought the chickens would have all stayed in the coop where it is relatively warm compared to outside.

The windows are open to let the sun shine inside the coop to warm it a bit. I leave the windows dirty so the hens don't try to fly through them and break the glass. That still happens once a year or so.

The snow looks so soft and puffy, but it is frozen solid. What we call Sierra Cement, and it is very tricky to walk on because it is slippery and it will break when when you least expect.

I like stomping around in the snow when it's soft, but I don't want to have anything to do with this stuff.

The people and doggie footprints were made soon after the snow first fell.

A trip out to the shed and chicken coop once a day to feed and water is all I can get myself brave enough to tackle.

I really don't want to take a spill on this stuff and break myself. Sometimes, I take my walking stick with the metal point and stab it in the cement so I have a better chance of keeping my balance.

What I feel like doing at times is getting down on all fours and crawling to a place where I can find something to hold on to. But, I don't... crawl, I just walk very, very slowly and carefully. I hate Sierra Cement!

Someone gave Kristine these beautiful Birds of Paradise that were blooming in the snow.

They are lovely, but dangerous! I turned around next to them and got stuck in the eyebrow. So, I turned all the pointy birds to face away from the edge of the counter.

I manage to survive walking outside, but the flowers almost take me out! Sigh...

I haven't been doing much, except trying to stay warm and sleep. Can't sleep when I''m cold and I've been staying up all night so I can keep the wood stove full.

We heat the house with the wood stove, so when the fire goes out there is no heat and this place cools down quickly.

Hot chocolate, quilts and afghans, and wearing a knit cap helps a lot towards keeping me warm. But, I am sleepy and it seems like I'm repeating myself.

I've been waiting for it to warm up a little so I can start putting up Christmas decorations, but I don't think the warming up part is going to happen for a while. I'll just have to bite the bullet and go out and brave the cold and haul in the Christmas boxes. Tomorrow?

November - Last Thankful Quote

The road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And wither then? I cannot say.
~ excerpt from "The Road Goes Ever On (Song) by J. R. R. Tolkien

I am grateful for my paths
and being able to get around and make them.

I find that for me there is something magical about paths.
Love my paths!

Last Riddle: From house to house I go, sometimes narrow, sometimes wide. And whether there's rain or snow I always stay outside. What am I?

The answer to November 20th's riddle: Fire

(November 30, 2009)

(0 eggs today)

Here is the cute little black Australorp
who is laying the occasional egg.
Thank you, little black hen!
I really, really don't like the store bought eggs!


P.S. This is the second time I typed and published this post. The first one had the spacing all wonky and I couldn't fix it. I think the additional spacing happened when I reopened the editor several times to fix spelling errors and to change words. Goofy editor!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

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Happy Thanksgiving!
Sketch of Thanksgiving in camp
(by Alfred Rudolph Waud, 1828-1891, artist)
of General Louis Blenker
during the US Civil War on
Thursday, November 28th 1861

Around the holidays I often wonder about my Great Grandma Callie and how she and her family must have celebrated their holidays. I don't know how they celebrated. All I remember is my Great Aunt Bertha (GG Callie's daughter) saying that her Mom used to save up left over biscuits and make the best turkey stuffing ever. They were a very close family.

My Mom was raised by GG Callie and I know that a lot of the way I was raised came from GG Callie. So, in a lot of ways I feel very close to the past ways of doing things. Great Grandma Callie was born the year after the Civil War ended in 1866. I always think that must have been a very thankful family Thanksgiving 1866 to have her Dad come home safe from the war, a new baby in the family and to have the war over.

We always seem to be going through some kind of hard times. I remember the atom bomb drills at school in the 1940's, laying in bed hearing planes pass over and being sure they were going to drop bombs, hearing the all clear siren every week in the 1950's, the Korea, Russian and China scares, and now 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan and the terrorist threats.

Yes, lots of bad things have happened, but I'm thankful and grateful for all the good things, for my family, for people working together to build our country, for tolerance, for caring, for generosity, for understanding overcoming hatred and prejudice and for my blogging friends.

I have a hope that the worlds bloggers will bring about a world community, a family, that will make it much more difficult for countries to go to war, to hate, to blame or misunderstand and fear the "other."

Our little blogs just might make the world a safer place!

I'm thankful for my family past and present,
and wish the best to

Happy Thanksgiving!

Brrrr... It's Still Freezing

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It is 10:00 in the morning on this lovely sunny blue sky day and it is 22 degrees! Cold! It was around 17 degrees last night. The snow is frozen solid and it is scary walking around outside getting firewood and taking care of the chickens.

I'm not complaining. Really. It's just that this is California and I'm not that used to what is to me is really cold weather. I wonder if this is going to be the norm for a while? Colder winters?

The chickens are doing great. Yesterday, Kristine and I put down around 10 flakes of straw in the chicken coop for the chickens to use as bedding and they all came through the freezing weather just fine. We didn't add any heat lamps or anything else to the coop. The only thing I did other than add the extra straw was to board up part of their pen entrance to cut down on drafts.

The hens snuggle up in the straw in the nest boxes or pile up like a bunch of puppies in a pile on the straw on the ground and manage to keep each other warm. I'm so glad they managed to get through their molt and that their feathers grew out before this freezing weather hit.

I brought the hens a bowl of water this morning; their automatic waterer was a frozen block of ice. The chickens are enjoying the sunshine and also dry feet thanks to the tarp I put up over their pen.

I put the dry feeders back up so the hens had access to feed all the time and because it wasn't safe for me to try and walk around in the ice and snow carrying the water and feed, etc. They have a feeder full of scratch and one of lay pellets. There is also another goat grain feeder full of scratch.

The hens got a head of broccoli and two apples yesterday. Today they got some veggie scraps and some pumpkin. I was worried about them, but they are doing fine. They are going to have to stay penned up until after Thanksgiving and the weather warms up.

It is so cold out that my camera stopped working and I had to put it back in my pocket and warm it up a bit. Didn't know that would happen. That was a new one on me.

I took the photo of the tree tops after I came back inside and warmed the camera up... I opened the slider and took a quick shot.

I had to try four times to get the camera to work to take the other photo of the trees and snow when I was outside.

There was over 7 inches of snow on the railings, 2 inches under the trees and 2 inches on the clothesline when Kristine measured the snowfall one night.

There was a lot of rain and hail along with the snow, so I don't know how much snow we got all together.

Last night it was so cold that I slept on the couch in front of the wood stove. Kristine got up around 3 a.m. to add more wood because it was getting cold in the loft. I didn't feel the cold because I was under an afghan, a quilt and only 5 feet away from the wood stove. I think I will sleep there again tonight. It is supposed to be 22 degrees tonight.

Kristine turned the outside faucets on to drip last night, but some of them froze up anyway. Hope we don't have any broken pipes. I keep going out to check, but it is still freezing out.

This is how I'm keeping my feet warm... Morgan and I share her dog bed while I use the computer. I snuggle my feet under her when I can or I wiggle a foot and give her a foot massage.

I stopped trying to post because I didn't like using the computer when the power kept going off and on. I was worried the computer might get damaged. 

This is a quick post. I will try to get another one in for Thanksgiving. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Search For Fatwood Fire Starter Pine Stumps

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Update: Snow! Power Outages!

Power still going on and off... It has been on and off over 10 times. I'll post again when the power is back on to stay. Snowing 'till Wednesday.

The power went off last night just before I could publish this post. I'm finishing this up quickly and publishing it before the power goes off again.

I took this photo this morning. What's left of the stump is under snow. It warmed up and the snow was melting. There's not much snow under the trees. We have 4 inches of snow on the railings. Snow forecast 'till Tuesday. It's raining now.


Fatwood: Kindling wood full of pitch. The fatwood I know about is found in old Pine stumps.

Fatwood: If you click on this link to Google Images and enter the word fatwood in the search box you will see scads of photos of really great fatwood. The easiest way to get fatwood is to buy some. I like having the fun of searching around in the forest and finding my own fatwood.

Yesterday and today I spent time stomping around in the woods looking for pine stumps. Unfortunately, I didn't have much luck.

Most all of the stumps I found were oak or madrone and when I did find a pine stump they were beetle eaten and mostly sawdust.

There is a stump next to the axe and is a photo of the best one of the lot. I knocked it apart with a few blows of the axe. I think it would have come apart if I just kicked it a few times.

I lit one of the sticks over the sink to see if it was fatwood and would burn. I'm not really sure? From what I have read, fatwood should smell something like kerosine? This stuff is pretty much beatle eaten, but it does have a pitchy odor.

I left looking for fatwood too late in the year and this wood was wet, but it still burned when I lit it with a match. So, I kinda think it must be fatwood.

Anyway, the whole reason I decided to see if I could find the fatwood was because I wanted to put together some firestarter paper egg carton boxes.

I have read about putting lint in the egg cartons, melting wax, and then pouring the melted wax over the lint in each egg compartment. And then cutting apart each egg compartment and having lots of little fire starters.

I didn't want to mess around with the scary melting wax part of the project, so I thought I would just take a knife and shave some wax off a little candle onto the lint I had put in each egg compartment. I figure the wax would melt when the paper started burning.

I rolled up some of the fatwood sticks in some newspaper and put them on top of the lint and wax shavings. Then I shut the top and tore open the ends of the egg carton lid, pushed it closed and the lid closed. Neat.

The fire in the wood stove was almost out. There were some wood coals still burning red. I shoved the live coals into the middle and placed logs on either side of the coals. I put the egg carton fire starter I just made in the middle over the coals. Put some kindling on top and two small logs.

This test doesn't really count because there were live coals to help get the fire started, but I have had a lot of trouble getting a fire started with just paper and kindling when there were coals. So, I would say that this egg carton fire starter experiment worked out pretty good and was a big help getting the fire going.

I think I will make a few more of these egg carton fire starters to have handy when I need to start a fire from scratch. Usually, once it gets cold enough to fire up the wood stove we keep it going and just keep adding wood. Not much need to start a fire unless we get some warm weather and we let the wood stove fire go out.

When I use a fire starter egg carton to start a fire from scratch I'll post an update here.

November Thankful Quote

I love to to be warm by the red fireside,
I love to be wet with rain:
I love to be welcome at lamp lit doors,
And leave the doors again.
~ by Robert Louis Stevenson

I am grateful for my wood stove!

Today's riddle: No legs have I to dance. No lungs have I to breathe. No life have I to live or die. And yet I do all three. What am I.

The answer to yesterday's riddle: A volcano.

(November 19, 2009)

[1 egg today]
A cute little black Australorp
is the hen who is laying the egg.

The hens are happy out of the snow.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Covers For Old Ugly Oven Mitts

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This is the first and only mitt I have finished. Well, I still have to hand sew around the wrist part so it is attached enough so it can go in the washer and dryer.

I have 4 oven mitts and they all have burn, scorch and frayed spots. Ugly!

If I went shopping... got off this mountain once in a while I would buy some new mitts, instead I just cover them with some of the scrap fabric I have around.

So, there will be 2 mitts with a blue theme and two mitts with a red theme.

And best of all they will all have chickens on them!

First I laid out the fabric right sides together. ( I messed up on the blue flower fabric and had the right sides out. It would have been ok if I had cut out the blue chicken fabric with the right sides out too... but I didn't. I had to cut out an extra mitt cover.

Each mitt will have a chicken fabric on one side and a matching color fabric on the other side.

I'll post some more photos when I get them all finished.

Here is a photo of the extra mitt I had to cut out.

The bottom photo shows the tracing I made around an oven mitt.

I then measured out 1/4 inch and marked a line to sew on and then measured out another 1/4 inch and marked a line to cut.

The mitts are fat so I needed the extra 1/2 inch so there would be enough room for the mitt.

I'll be glad to get these sewn up and finished.

More chicken stuff in the kitchen!

Finished at last!

They look a lot better in the photo than in real life.

I ended up sewing it all by hand and the seams are not as neat looking as they would be if I had hauled out my sewing machine and set it up to use. I need a sewing table.

Oh well, the mitts are together and look better and will work out fine. Love the chickens!

November Thankful Quote

Drip drip the trees for all the country round,
And richness rare distills from every bough;
The wind alone it is makes every sound,
Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.
~ Henry David Thoreau - The Summer Rain

I am grateful for rain!

Today's riddle: My thunder comes before the lightning; my lightning comes before the clouds; my rain dries all the land it touches. What am I?

The answer to yesterday's riddle: A noun.

(November 17, 2009)

[0 eggs today]


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wood Stove Biscuits

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No burn spots! Hey... I'm getting really good at this wood stove biscuit making project.

This time I heated the lid and the dutch oven on the stove before oiling it and before I added my made from scratch biscuit dough.

I'm still using the biscuit recipe from my 1965 Better Homes And Gardens cookbook.

Baking Powder Biscuits
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup milk (1 cup milk for drop biscuits) (this time I used over a cup of milk... until the mix was wet and too sticky to pick up.)

In those days I used Crisco. Now, I'm so bad... I use butter! My favorite biscuits are Buttermilk biscuits. I know I can make a buttermilk subsitute by adding vinegar or lemon juice to milk, but I always forget.

Adding a bit more milk to the mix was a good move. It helped keep the biscuits from becoming too dry as they cooked in the dutch oven on top of the wood stove. Dropping the wet mix by spoonfuls into the hot oiled dutch oven worked better than rolling out the biscuit mix and cutting out biscuits. I like to do the rolling and cutting... fun... but, they don't come out as tender and flaky.

Every time I make biscuits I discover a new wrinkle. This time adding the extra milk and making sure the dutch oven was set up about an inch and a half on a rack worked great to control the temperature and keep the biscuits from getting too brown (burned.)

I'm glad the weather has turned cold
and the wood stove is back in operation.
Missed it! 

November Thankful Quote

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you
to enter the house of his wisdom
but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.
~ Kahil Gilbran

I'm grateful for all the wonderful teachers I have known.

I think the way this university professor has handled cheating
on the midterm a great move for the guilty students.
He gave them an out...
Professor Richard Quinn must be an extraordinary teacher.
Students don't realize their lives can be
because of some stupid choice.

In my day the students would have been given the boot. I remember a sweet girl who was kicked out of college because of staying out of her dorm and getting someone to cover for her (I think she was kicked out too.) That was a big no-no in the 60's I still wonder what happened to them.

Today's riddle: I am every person you can know and every place that you can go. I'm everything that you can show. Quite interesting too. What am I that you use?

The answer to yesterday's riddle: A chair. 

(November 17, 2009)

[1 egg today]


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Knit And Crochet Stuff From The Past

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I haven't seen this yarn and these supplies for eight years and I haven't worked on it for over fifteen. I don't even remember some of this stuff.

The first thing I need to work on and finish is the white afghan. I have all the panels complete in the plastic bag except for the one on top.

I don't have a clue how I knit all that!

I must have been much smarter in my younger days. I never could knit directly from a pattern. I would always get lost and spend most of my time trying to figure out where I was.

I'm a visual person and found that marking out the stitches on graph paper worked for me. I'm going to have to reread the pattern and the graph I marked out and get that all figured out before I can begin again.

I quit working on this afghan because I made the mistake of showing it to the person I was making it for... surprise! Well, it was for me. She didn't know it was a present for her and she didn't like it. Oops! So, I put it all away. sigh...

Well, I'll finish it and keep it for my own use. I'll try to finish it. I was just going to leave off the last panel. I still might if I can't get the gauge to look right.

Oh, well. I've got the time to work on it now and I have got over my negative feelings. At the time I thought it was such a complete waste of time and money (didn't want to see it) and chucked it a bag and stuffed it in a closet.

Kristine wants to crochet some things, so I'll give her some of the yarn and she can use the crochet hooks. I have a wooden crochet hook that I just loved to use. I lost one of my good knitting needles. Hope I can find it.

I have to admit I am happy to see all this
knitting and crochet stuff.

Thankful November Rhyme

All around the chicken coop,
The possum chased the weasel.
The hen on her eggs was fast asleep,
Pop! goes the weasel!
A penny for a ball of thread,
A penny for a needle,
That's the way the money goes;
Pop! goes the weasel!

I'm grateful for playing and having fun.

Today's riddle: I have legs, but walk not. A strong back,
but work not. Two good arms, but reach not. 
A seat, but sit and tarry not.
What am I?

Answer to yesterday's riddle: A mouse.

(November 16, 2009)

[0 eggs today]
Some of the hens have most of their feathers!
Hurrah! Eggs?
See, they are looking better.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Tea Cup Pincushion - Quick and Easy

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 I was going to hot glue the cup to the saucer, but decided not to in case I wanted to use the saucer for pins without the cup in the way. The blue pin holder is magnetic and works like a charm.

I need to get some straw needles and now they have a special place to live.

I put a lot of hot glue around the inside of the cup about a third of the way down. Put the pin cushion in the cup and held it down for a little bit.

Hot gluing the buttons was tricky

I cut off the extra material. Maybe not so neat, but it works.

I didn't want to take the time to sew and gather up the edge of the material. So, I used up some old pins and pulled the edges to the bottom and pinned.

I used an old tomato pincushion I got at a garage sale instead of having to buy a styrofoam ball. There are four layers of material because it is thin. And I used a piece of batting. Buttons for needle houses.

November Thankful Quote
(Well, it is really a bit of a poem)

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
~ John Howard Payne - Home, Sweet Home

I am very grateful for home.

Today's riddle: My tail is long, my coat is brown. I like the country, I like the town. I can live in a house or live in a shed and I come out to play when you are in bed. What am I?

Answer to yesterdays riddle: Teapot

(November 15, 2009)

[1 egg today]


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tea Cup Pincushion... almost

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November Quote

"In Ireland, you go to someone's house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you're really just fine. She asks if you're sure. You say of course you're sure, really, you don't need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don't need a ting.

Well, she says then I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn't mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it's no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.

In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don't get any damned tea.

I liked the Irish way better."
- C. E. Murphy (Urban Shaman)

I'm grateful for tea!
Thanks indeed!

I used to love to sing and act out the teapot song when I was little.

Didn't know I'd become a tea drinker.

I like the Irish way better too. I enjoy drinking tea every day and missed it a lot when I had to give it up for a time. I must admit to using Kristine's teapot because I have broken all of my big teapots and even broke one of Kristine's little teapots. I need to put new teapot on my Christmas list.

The photo above is my Tea Cup Pincushion in the making:

My favorite tea cup has developed cracks in the glaze on the inside of the cup around the bottom and sides. I'm afraid to use it anymore because every time I pour hot water in the cup I'm afraid it will shatter. I had that happen once to a coffee mug.

So, I decided to turn my tea cup into a tea cup pin cushion. Only, I want to reserve the pincushion part for needles and use the saucer area for pins.

My plan is to hot glue buttons around the middle of the pincushion and use the button eyes as garages to park my needles. Then hopefully I'll remember which needles are parked in which color button. Sounds like a plan. Hope it works.

I'll try to remember to get some photos of how I put this pincushion together. I'm using an old tomato pincushion for the middle. There are videos on youtube about how to make a pincushion. I'm using some of their ideas and some of my own.

The answer to yesterday's riddle: In order to get everything across the river safely.

The farmer leaves the fox and the corn and rows the chicken across the river, (the fox and corn are safe left together.) He leaves the chicken on the riverbank and rows back across and picks up the fox.

He rows the fox across the river, leaves the fox, picks up the chicken and together they go back across the river. And since he can't have the chicken and the corn together, he leaves the chicken and brings the corn across the river and leaves it with the fox.

Then he heads back across the river to retrieve the chicken and makes one more trip that unites them all.

(I like logic puzzles. That's a lot of rowing. There is a lot to be said for cages.)  

Today's riddle:
What starts with a T, ends with a T, and has T in it?
(The riddle may be too easy, but I like it) 

(November 14, 2009)

[0 eggs today]