Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teapot Topper

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The rubber band creates a great cool gripping surface!
This is my latest invention... a rubber band wound around the knob on the teapot lid. I left the pink rubber band on the lid because it would show up better in the photo.

There is a white rubber band next to the teapot that I used to replace the pink one.

I felt a bit guilty desecrating the lovely teapot with a rubber band until I reminded myself it was best for the  safety of the tea pot.

I'm very hard on teapots and have broken all but one. I want to take very good care of this new tea pot that Mary G. gave me.

I knocked the handle off the last teapot and broke the lid of the one before that. I try not to remember the other teapot disasters.

This teapot lid was always in danger of being dropped when it was hot and even when cool because the glaze is smooth (beautiful glaze) I had trouble keeping a grip on it.

It may not look beautiful, but the teapot lid has a much better chance of survival.

I wonder if there is a market for little chicken toppers made out of rubber band stuff?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bear In The Area

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Tom told me today that there is a mother bear and two cubs roaming around close to our property and to be careful. The bear was on a neighbor's roof last night. I hope she takes her cubs back into the deep woods.

I found this video on YouTube. Haven't had a bear on our roof, but we have had bears on our chicken coop roof. They haven't been able to get in and made enough noise that we were able to make enough noise of our own to scare them away.

Those cubs sure are cute!
I want to see how the cubs get down.
House attack?

Lovely lawn...
but I don't want to take care of all that grass.
I'm very happy with leaves and my paths.

I really hope the bears stay away. They are more likely to be after the chicken feed than the chickens. It looks like this bear is after the bird feeders. This is one reason I stopped filling my bird feeders.

The other reason was the mess the squirrels were making... they even took one of the feeders apart. They have acres of oak trees, but the bird seed must be like squirrel candy.

It would be neat to have my own video of bears on our property, but I really don't want to have that opportunity present itself! I'll do without that, thank you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Forest Paths

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I raked several paths, but still have about half to finish. The chickens are not a help. They follow me and scratch the leaves back over the paths.

The photos will enlarge if you click on them.

Click the enlarged photo and it will get even bigger.

The paths make it much easier to walk around without tripping over branches and pine cones.

I like the paths because they are pretty, are good exercise and I like being out in the forest.

This photo shows where the chickens have scratched leaves on the path. Sometimes they cover the path back up in places.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Winter Fire Wood

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 What have I been up to? Well, this small pile of fire wood was much bigger and has turned into a shed almost full of stacked fire wood ready to keep us warm this winter.

There is still enough wood in another pile that needs to be split and stacked that should fill the shed. This winter we will remove the far wall of the shed to gain access to very dry wood left over from last winter and use it first.

We had a very wet winter last year, not much of a Spring or Summer. It has been hot in the valley, but no triple digit heat waves in the mountains this year. So, are we going to get another wet, cold, snowy winter?

Next job is for me to get the chicken coop and pen ready for winter. I'll start by putting down a layer of wood chips and sawdust kindly contributed by all the fire wood.

The hens like to dust in the wood chips and their scratching in it 
yields them rewards. I watch them scratch and peck, but I can't see what they are finding. 

I did see when they found and chased the lizards that were living under the wood pile. I'm sure the hens would have made a meal of the lizards if they could have caught them.

I found the lizards first. Embarrassing! I was frightened and screamed because I was surprised by a lizard when I picked up a piece of fire wood. Well... I thought it was a snake. We have rattlers up here.

2 pretty brown eggs today.
There are still two broody hens (a Buff Orpington and a Black Australorp) sharing a nest box. They are in different nests at times, but together. There was an egg under them... I think they find and egg and then sit on it... if there were more eggs maybe they would not pair up?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road And Why Do I Blog?

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This hen is showing proper caution by checking both directions before venturing forth... no cars, dogs, cats or raccoons.

She wants to get to some choice treats on the porch. Watermelon!

I thought I better post something! I'm in the thralls of blog boredom or blog overload. Sad maybe, but I'm not reading blogs or posting and spend my time doing other things. Lately it has been stacking fire wood, raking, and sewing.

And sleeping.

 Yesterday, I had a migraine type episode with fortress lines and pain in the back of my head. The strange outcome is that after the pain wore off my sight improved and I have much more energy... not so tired and sleepy.

So, I could lay the blame for my not blogging on my migraine problem or just feeling overwhelmed.

The truth is that when I started getting over 200 hits a day on my blog it freaked me out! I couldn't handle the replying to comments and visiting blogs and just pretty much gave up. The blog is back down to about 50 hits a day and I feel much more comfortable.

I never thought people would want to read this blog but when they did I started trying to write interesting posts and the blog began not to be fun anymore.

So, I'm going to go back to just writing posts for myself and posting when I have something to record.

When winter shows up I will have much more time for the blogs.

In the meantime I'm going to take a page from Morgan's book and learn how to relax!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Best Laid Plans Deferred

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This video along with four others were made
to be posted on my Google+ page.

I'm not really up to taking care of two blogs and Google+.
I'm considering moving eventually to Google+
somehow hooking my blog up to Google+

Plans to clean up this blog design will have to wait for rainy or snowy weather this winter. I deleted some things, but it is hard to tell I changed anything.

I like all this clutter, but I suppose it does take a while to load the page?

Card Trick 12" blocks - backs
This is the backs of two Card Trick 12" blocks with only finger pressing done as I hand sewed them. An experiment that proved that I should take the time to iron the seams as I sew because trying to press them all at the end was rather a messy business.

I like these fabric designs and colors, but I am trying to come up with some ideas on how to brighten, lighten up the overall quilt when I put it together.

Maybe, put in colorful sashing strips between the blocks along with colorful borders?

I'm trying to motivate myself to do some painting and I need to box up stuff to go to goodwill.

I would rather work on the quilt blocks and a tea cozy than stack firewood for winter.

The firewood is winning the battle in the cool morning hours. 

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Blog House Cleaning

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My blog has become cluttered... I just kept adding stuff, but I need to be ruthless and go through my sidebars and dump stuff. Sniff... I have taken some things away, and I'm considering putting some of the things on a another page. I haven't found an easy way to move widgets off the blog. I guess I will just have to re-type them.

 My table is cluttered too... the Card Trick pieces on the ironing board are the wrong size. I cut the blue pieces of paper to use as a guide when I went through them all and checked.

Arrgh... I really don't like cutting out a bunch of little pieces that are almost the same size. I think I will stick to one cutting block at a time for a while.

I was going to sew this quilt on the machine, but I think it will be easier to fit all the pieces together by hand. If I can manage to cut the pieces the right size.

Morgan is so cute overseeing the chickens dinnertime. She will step in and goose a chicken that is being bossy and pushy. Morgan likes peace at supper time.

No dinner tonight... it is hot and no one wants to eat. There are plenty of leftovers if anyone gets hungry.

Well, back to the Card Tricks. Maybe I can get a block sewn together tonight?

2 eggs today.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Friendly Chickens And New Inventions - Word Lens And GLMPS

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 The chickens are coming, the chickens are coming!

I took Morgan out for a walk and the chickens saw us and started toward us... eventually they ended up all around us clucking away sending us chicken messages.

They didn't follow us down the driveway though... they stayed in the shade. My chickens are pretty smart.

I have been looking for a quilt block that would lend itself to dark fabric. I am happy to say I now have a stash (thank you Mary G.) and I think this block (CardTricks) works well with dark colors.

Now I just have to cut the block pieces out the correct size and number. I do better when I don't cut so many out at one time. I think I cut too many of one size? Ugh... I'll have to go back and measure.

I have been checking my Google+ page and reading posts. I didn't use Facebook or any other social site and most of my family and friends are not using Google yet, so to fill up some circles I snagged people off the Find to put in some circles to follow and I'm enjoying reading posts by the Google+ team and friends who post things like these two videos.

I'm sure I would eventually hear about these neat things and maybe everybody already does, but they are new to me and I think they are wonderful inventions.

I think I need these!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Two Chickens Make A Cozy Nest

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 This Buff Orpington and Australorp have snuggled up for a comfortable nights rest.

They were not at all happy to have me snap the flash in their eyes.

I was out in the coop counting chickens when I found them together. I knew there was a hen in the nest, but didn't realize there were two... I kept coming up one short.

So I went and got a flashlight to check out the back of the coop and then found the missing chicken here. Peep A Boo!

A few weeks ago I experimented again with my dutch oven and seasoned and wrapped some chops, set them on a rack and let them slow cook in the dutch oven with the lid on.

Note: there is a metal rack under the foil packages.

They came out fine. I'll have to try that again.

3 eggs today from 14 chickens... two broody.
Poor girls are too warm or too old or?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

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Wow! Imagine sitting on top of your houseboat, relaxing and gazing out over these boats to the city beyond!

Well... that's what my niece was doing when she snapped this photo of the view from her new house... houseboat!

I think living on a houseboat must be such a blast!

The photo doesn't show it that well, but the city scene of tall buildings is grand.

I'll have to ask her if people have a chicken or two on their boats? Fresh eggs!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Staple A Design Wall

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A design wall has been on my wish list, but getting the supplies to make one eluded me until a few days ago I ran across a piece of felt I had stored away in a stack of old fabric.

Instead of folding it up and storing it away for another ten years I took stapler in hand and stapled the felt on the wall.

There are only about 12 staples around the edges so the felt will be easy to remove and in the meantime I have a neat place to layout my block pieces before I sew them together.

The stapled green felt is just a temporary trial type venture, but so far it is a winner!

These two blocks are already sewn, but it was a real help figuring out which way to turn the blocks pieces. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to get the pieces turned the wrong way round.

I watched this video a while back and the staple idea stuck with me, so when the green felt showed up it wasn't fleece but I thought why not give it a try. When I ever get to a fabric store again I will buy some fleece. In the meantime...

I liked the Fourth of July quilt so much that I decided to use some of the blocks (the ones with 4 1/2 centers) to use up some of the fabric I have along with the new chicken theme fabrics.

This is fun! I love putting these one off blocks together by hand. But I got my sewing machine out on a table to use to put the next quilt together.

Now I need to decide if having a colored felt is better than white, or gray... or blue or?

The chickens are fine, but they have cut way back on laying eggs... some days no eggs.