Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Eve

Hey everyone.  I have missed several days of blogging and because of our modem problem, I didn't get to get out to visit all of my friends like I usually do either!  So I will be catching up in the next day or two.  I am going to do a  random post tonight.  I  have my internet working better than ever, so I can do it quickly and then get my sleepy self to bed so the Easter Bunny will be sure to stop by our house tonight!!!  I am still plugging along with Weight Watchers.  I had a little backtracking to deal with on the old birthday week celebration!  Then it took a couple of weeks to get my head back in it.  Today I am down another 1.5 pounds, for a grand total of 9.8! Sheesh....I am pathetic!  If I were exercising, it would be coming off so much faster.  But until my knee is better I won't be doing too much.  So  at least I am one size down, and 10 pounds is still 10 pounds!  Okay... I lied.  I am .2 from 10 pounds.  But still, I will take it.  Moving on now.  I cannot tell you how much I am loving my chickens!!!  They are so fun to watch.  They talk to me the second they hear me coming.  I have them all named now.  Snacker...the one my brother gave me, will remain Snacker.  She is adorable, and I swear she is like a little puppy that follows me around the yard.  So gentle and sweet.  And she gives me a great big healthy egg every day!  The two older Rhode Island Reds are Lucy & Ethel.  Lucy is the bossy one.  Ethel is pretty shy and content to be in Lucy's shadow.  They get into trouble together though, just like Lucy and Ethel did on t.v.  The younger Rhode Island hen, she is young and hip.  Kind of punkish.  I am calling her Lady Gaga.  It suits her.  Here they are yesterday, as they were free ranging while I worked in my garden. 

I had the hose sitting in the wheelbarrow and they found a spot that was dripping.  They all huddled up underneath there for some water.  They have a full water feeder in the coop, so I don't know what the appeal was.
Turns out chickens LOVE to scratch in the soft earth of your garden.  So I had to rig something to keep them out.  Luckily I had this leftover chicken wire.  So I simply wrapped the garden area with it, and they can't get in.  I did have a naughty visitor last night in my garden.  He dug up my entire herb garden.  The only thing left was my sage, and wee bit of basil. The cilantro was completely gone.  And they dug two big holes in my other boxes, but narrowly missed the plants.   Grrrrr!!!

Two years ago I went to a composting class and learned so much.  I bought this composting bin, and have been making my own compost since. I can't believe how easy it is, once you get started.  The soil you get from doing this is fantastic for your veggies and flowers, and so nutrient rich.  Plus, you are doing your part to save Mother Earth.  I keep a bin right on a shelf in the garage, that I toss all of my kitchen scraps, fruit peels, egg shells, coffee grinds, etc into each day.  Then, when that bucket is full, I toss it onto my compost pile. To which I also add grass clippings, leaves, rose trimmings, etc.  I turn the heap once a week, and water it down lightly every few days or so.  If you are just starting, get a bag of steer manure, and put half a bag down on your heap along with your clippings and kitchen scraps.  This will give you a good start.  You won't be sorry with the results for you garden.  We were going to try to get to Home Depot today for my additional raised beds, and soil, but just ran out of time.  Monday for sure.  I put some hanging pot holders along the back wall of my garden and will be filling these with herbs and flowers too. 
If you are doing mostly a container garden, you will be amazed at what you can put into different containers to grow your veggies in.  Oak barrels, pots, old tires, cinder blocks make great divided spaces for small things like herbs.  Even an old porcelain throne, that has been thoroughly sanitized!   We have horrible soil here, so raised beds and containers work great for us.  Plus the ground squirrels don't take your veggies from underneath and then poke their ugly little heads up and blow raspberries at you while  you try to hit them with a shovel.
Time to gather the girls into the coop for their roost.

After I put the girls to bed, I climbed up onto the boat to sit and rest a minute.  It was so pretty and peaceful sitting up there.  A really different view.
 Definitely not the prettiest part of our property!!  This is where we keep the trash bins, and it is right next to my garden.  I need to come up with a better screen.  And  we did so much yard work last weekend, that even after filling our 4 large green waste cans, and our neighbors two, we still had to leave piles of it for next week.  So this is where that goes too. And when we have brush that we need to burn, or branches, it gets stacked over here too to dry out until ready for burning.  So, this is not the pretty side of the yard.  But with my garden and now my chickens, I am spending a good deal of time over there.  Do you see that little blue child's chair?  I put that in the coop and sit there to hand feed the three new hens.  I am trying to get them used to human touch so that I can pick them up.  They are getting better every day.
 That picnic table above is a favorite shady spot for having lunch and a cold drink when working in the yard and grove. And we have a fun tire swing there that my brother got for our grandkids, and a playhouse, and slide and things that they love to use are over there too.  Just behind that picnic table is a patio we like to eat at in the summer time, as it is shady in the afternoons there.  Someday we hope to put a built in bbq there.
You can see that the oranges are falling off the trees now.  They are so sweet you just can't even believe it!  I hate it when orange season is all over, and we have to buy orange juice at the market.  There is no comparison!
Saturday mornings has become routine for me to go to Weight Watchers, and then go to the local Farmer's Market.  Today I went with Gennifer and the girls.  We both got a few things.

 I bought a bunch of pink Gerbera Daisies, and then came home and clipped some of my irises and day lilies to add to the mix.
For the first time in almost 32 years of marriage, Greg and I dyed our Easter Eggs with no help from either children or grandchildren.  Kind of sad.  And kind of fun too.
Here they are, on parade, ready to be used as place settings for tomorrow.

I found these at Joann's yesterday for 50% off.  I love the darling little vintage look to these egg cups, and the colors with the aqua blue that I am so smitten with lately!  Check out mine.  Drawing is not one of my strengths!  It is a chicken, in case you couldn't tell.
We did our grocery shopping this afternoon.  The eggs are filled and ready for hunting.  The baskets are bursting at the seams for our three Lil' Dumplins'.  Mr. G is snoring on the sofa.  I am about to hit the hay myself.  Oh, one last thing.  I made my first make up bag last night.  I even used the fusible laminate to give cotton that oilcloth feeling.  I wanted to use that for the inside of my make up bag.  Fun product.  Worked great!  I quilted the outside of the bag in a diamond pattern.  My next one I will add a fabric wristlet piece, to hold onto so it can be used as a clutch.  Gennifer wants one for the cruise to keep her room key and lip stick and pool side essentials in.
 I know it is hard to tell, but that inside fabric is what I used the iron on laminate product.  Really easy to do, and perfect for this type of bag in case of a spill, it will wipe right off.
 Matching snap wallet.  I keep one of these in my purse to keep all of my gift cards in to keep them separate. 
I also like to give a gift card in one of these.  Makes a much prettier presentation than just to stick it in a card.
Wishing all of my friends a Happy Easter tomorrow!  See you soon, with more news from Grover Farms.


Suz said...

Hi..fabulous the one with the chicken about to take a drink cute
Thanks for the craft room 'my' space but it gets shared with everyone lol..the light is fabulous in there
Happy Easter Hugs XX

Holly said...

Can't believe what a farmer you've become. The Chicken Wrangler! Congrats on the 10 lbs! It's sure not as easy to lose it as it was 20 years ago, huh? Have a wonderful Easter my dear friend.

bellini said...

Have a wonderful Easter!!!!Eggs check, family and friends check!

❀❀❀Ðαωᾔ❀❀❀ said...

Very nice informative post. 1st you do not look like you need to loose any weight, but congrats on the lost pounds. 2nd my BFF has a chicken who follows her like a dog also and will even hop into a vehicle with you and ride like a dog. LOL, 3rd love your compost bin. I always throw all my tomato seeds in mine after canning and the next year I have the best tomato plants growing out of it, all I have to do is transplant them into my garden. 4th hope you do a tut on the makeup bag and gift card holder I love them both and will need to make some.
Have a Great Easter:)

Debbie said...

WOW...loved the long, newsey post!! I am enjoying these posts about your chickens...soo fun! Congrats on the 10 pounds! Trust me, I know just how hard that is. I have been struggling a bit again recently. I have lost 25 pounds and it seems to have taken forever! I love the bags...soo creative and busy. Have a wonderful Easter day Kris! Love the bunny name tag holders. They are adorable

Reality Jayne said...

Kris ...Isn't it fun people in different parts of the country live. Your back yard is full of interesting things, and your chickens look very happy. They are lucky to have landed there, where they will be well cared for...Wish i had orange trees. Our soil here is nice,but we only have so much time to enjoy it...I have rabbbits and squirrels everywhere that take all my garden goods...creepos...

Genn said...

This was a fun post to read.
COngrats on the 10 pounds! You are doing great.
I need to start composting too. And gardening. It's in the process...
Love your makeup bag. You are so talented with that stuff. I think you could make a ton of money selling those cute little bags on etsy.
The girls had such fun opening their baskets this morning. They can't wait for the hunt at your house.
See you soon...

The Garden Bell said...

If this is a random post. I'll take one of these any time. So, much fun, so much info, so much color, so much holiday joy, so much well.... you are the best. I so adored this peek into your life's journey today. And am glad to see you still know the kid in you.

Happy Easter,
Kate - The G.B.

deb said...

my Im tired just reading .....where do u get your
omg Im still SO jealous of your chickens!!!!!
OK I want to compost!!!! heres an idea for you..when you get your goat...and make your can do seminars...on chickens, soap and sewing....YOU are amazing!!!! OH and how to compost!!

Sunny Simple Life said...

Those egg cups are darling. I love their little faces too. I am so jealous of your chickens. Haven't convinced my hubby yet that the cat won't eat them.

Anonymous said...

1st of all I'm going to slap or love tap you for saying you are pathetic...You are kicking butt at losing weight! You are doing so good! 80% of what you look like is what you eat, 10% is genes & 10% is exercise. So good news, you're in the winning. :) Try walking on incline on the tread with some dumbells if you can, or if you do join a gym i bet you'd like cycling, I hear it's a great work out.
2ndly those strawberries you got look devine! And the flowers are pretty too! The pics of the chickens are so clear & close...and borderline creepy. Haha
3rdly I luv luv luv that you are doing a garden & that you & Dad did Easter eggs that is soo cute! They turned out good too!
Last but not least...I want to be you when I grow up

Reality Jayne said...

Erika.....verklempt here.....Kris your a lucky duck

Pam said...

Great job on the weight loss! I have fallen off a bit with my diet but you are inspiring me to get back to it! I have still been going to the gym which has helped. The veggies and fruit you got from the farmer's market looks yummy. I didn't know Chickens had such personalities! I'm glad you are having fun with them. And I love your cosmetic bag and gift card holder. Love them!! Have a great week!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Hey Farmer Kris, you and those chickens!!! Who knew? lolol
Love your little bags. Aren't they fun to make? I could make them all day long.And somedays I do. :) By the way, I think your drawing was very cute.

Pam said...

I love the chicken photos and your garden area looks so cute. I think it's great that you guys painted the eggs even though you had no children or grandchildren to help. Love the clutch and gift card holder.