Friday, May 3, 2013

My Sister's New Family Pet...."Chick-On"....

 If you don't know my Sister, Holly, you are missing out on knowing one of the craziest people around.  Her humor and laughter are infectious and she looks at life from a different "angle" than most of us.  She has a husband that tolerates that humor with a shake of his head and a smile.

Recently one of Holly's chickens was being picked on by the rest of them in the coup.  It ended up bleeding and Holly rescued her and took her inside to see if she could fix her up.  She started out in a dog kennel in the garage and eventually ended up being a member of the family (they have a sign on their front yard that says "dump all strays here").  She was suppose to be "reintroduced" to the coup again but that didn't work out so well.  She ended up breaking her leg which meant even MORE care.  Holly said to her husband "if she stops laying eggs we know she isn't going to make it".  But, she kept on laying!

Well, now it ends up that she got a "name".  If you have ever had kids drag something injured, lost, stray home you know that once they are "named" they are yours for life!  So, this poor "hen pecked", broken legged chicken was named "Chick-On".  And "Chick-On" is with the French pronunciation "Shick-on", much like the French pronunciation of "Target" or "Tar-je".

Miss Chick-On gets a daily bath because with the broken leg she gets a bit "messy" back there!  Holly remarked "have you ever tried giving a bath to an animal that is really NOT suppose to be bathed?".  It's not an easy job but Miss Chick-On loves being wrapped up in her towel and getting a little nap in afterwards on someone's lap!

Easter came and by this time Miss Chick-On was a full-fledged family member which entitled her to her own Easter stuffie.  And what would you guess that stuffie would be?  Well of course, it was a little chicken that looked exactly like her!  You can see by the picture that it was love at first sight for them both.

Miss Chick-On also enjoys movie night with the family.  She has her own blanket that she lays down on by the kids and she LOVES popcorn!  And her favorite movies?  Well they are "chick flicks" of course!

Miss Chick-On has since healed up nicely from the pecking by her peers and her broken leg.  Sadly the other chickens will not let her back into the flock, they are the ultimate "mean girls".  So, Miss Chick-On lives in the house now, sleeping in the kennel each night in the boxes that laundry detergent comes in from Sam's Club that my Mom takes her each week.  They have the perfect U cut out in them that mimic the nests in the coup.  Holly says she won't potty in her kennel and "holds" it until morning when she goes outside!  She continues to lay her egg each day for her room and board.

Yesterday Holly's husband brought home a nest full of wild turkey eggs.  They were on an excavation site he was working on and would of just been destroyed (he would never of taken them if they hadn't been in danger of being run over).  They are hoping to hatch them out.  All but 3 are in an incubator at this time.  But, to pump up her "giving back" attitude Miss Chick-On has 3 that she is sitting on.  Holly said she is just the best Mama, sitting carefully on the eggs, turning them over with her beak and tucking them further under her belly and wings.  Miss Chick-On is "paying it forward" in her own way! 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Snowbirds Heading Home.....

We've been coming back and forth from our retirement home on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri for about 5 years now.  This Winter trip has got to be one of the weirdest of them all.  I was sick before we even LEFT the lake this past Fall.  A trip to the Doc's lead me to the realization that I was a lot sicker than I thought, a bad case of bronchitis took me down.  My thoughts were I'd snap around once we reached Tucson and the "warmer" climate.  NOT.....We have both been sick all Winter here.  I finally started feeling better about 2 1/2 weeks ago and then Joe came down with something, he got better and then I caught it again.

We have spent the last couple months wondering when we were going to have "Christmas" as a family.  We would plan on a day and then one of the grandkids would be sick.....then it started through the adults and, well, we have to report that we FINALLY HAD CHRISTMAS TODAY!  Christmas in March, that has to be a first.  Lindsay remarked today that she was glad she hadn't left the Christmas tree up!

There have been sick kids, sick adults, hospital stays by family members, a passing of a Dear Uncle of my daughter in laws, LOTS of babysitting, picking up of kids from school, a runaway grandson that was gone for 13 days (and returned safely) and SNOW, LOTS OF SNOW.  Even the little white dog has had it this trip.
All I can say is I'm just about packed up, Joe has the house closing "to do" list just about done, SisseeLou is wondering where her life jacket is and these "SnowBirds" are heading home!  Yes, it's still cold at the lake but we don't care!  We'll have the woodstove going and a pot of coffee made within 30 minutes of our arrival, SisseeLou will have every squirrel run back up the trees and then there will be digging out my seed catalogs and the planning of the garden for Spring, visiting with friends, getting busy with our Lion's Club friends, hugging everyone at church I've missed and working in my yard....ah....SPRING is just around the corner!

 Tucson, we love you but really, we've had enough of you this Winter.....hopefully you'll be better to us in November when we return!  See ya later!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Easter Gift Ideas....

Easter is right around the corner and with that comes those adorable baskets filled with goodies!  I went through some of my favorite Etsy stores and came up with some wonderful basket fillers that would be perfect for Easter baskets for everybody!  Hop on in and visit these wonderful Etsy Sellers and pick up some adorable, sweet, soft, pretty, lacy and just plain fun things!

This Infinity scarf is perfect for spring, use it to dress up a plain blouse or to add a pop of color.  Mona has several Infinity scarfs to choose from as well as adorable bibs and household items.  All are created by Mona, SewingGranny.

For that bigger "kid" in your house how about this gorgeous Bunny necklace by Sharla, BeadedTail.  Created with Green Lampwork beads with Peridot Swarovski crystals and an antiqued brass chain this necklace is the perfect Easter gift!

What an adorable bib for that Easter outfit.  Created lovingly by Peggy, ArrivingAngels.  Peggy has some other cute Easter toys for little ones in her shop, take a look today and pick up a few.

 Beautifully hand crocheted this little bunny doily would be the star in the middle of your table for Easter!  Delicate thread art by Maryann of CrochetbyMsa.  She has so many beautiful things in her shop!


 Have you ever seen a cuter pair of baby shoes?  Bet you didn't unless you've shopped with Annie of MyMiniMocs!  These are darling with their little wedges of watermelon!  Annie has many other pair available in her shop for little toes of boys and girls!

So, take a look at all these wonderful stores and see if you can pick up those basket fillers today!  You'll find these things and so many more!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lifestyle Change....Some Things I've Learned.

Changing ones lifestyle, especially at my age, is not an easy thing to do.  But I'm thinking that maybe you CAN teach an "old dog" some new tricks!

Since deciding back in October, that I really needed to drop a considerable amount of weight, I've learned so many "new things".  I thought I'd share some of them with you, take them for what they are, use them if you would like or just read them and smile.  I'll start with just 3 and future blogs will go from there.

1.)  There IS a program out there that not only works but is totally FREE, (yes, no meetings, no paying for online support, nothing to buy etc. FREE).  SparkPeople has to be one of the most comprehensive websites out there for people wanting to change their lives.  The operative word here is "wanting".  You have to work at it, be honest with yourself and give it time.  It works, it really does.  The premise is if you just change 1 thing at a time and be consistent with that change it will soon become a "habit".  Then move on to the next thing.  After a certain amount of time you have an entire new set of "habits" and your on your way to a healthier life.  I started there on October 30, of today I have lost 27 pounds, I exercise 60 minutes a day 6 days a week and have just about completely quit eating meat.  And to top that all off I FEEL great...the best I've felt in years!

2.)  You do not need a gym membership to get exercise.  Personally I hate "group" fitness...I hate using equipment someone else has been sitting on and sweating all over....there is a high "ewwww" factor there.  If you have 2 feet and a floor you can get fit!  If you can't afford to purchase exercise DVD's you can rent them from your local Library.  View several until you find one (or more) that you enjoy...then shoot for saving to make that purchase.  You can find them at garage sales, church flea markets, on eBay, Craigslist etc.  You don't need to purchase new.  Many times you can find them on sale, especially if they are considered "older" DVD's.  I tried several before I found out that I absolutely love Step Aerobics.  While wildly popular back in the 80's it's still a heck of a workout, gets your heart rate up and really works you good!  My favorite is Gin Millers "Simply Step".  It's not "dancy" because I have 2 left feet, her cues are on time and she shows you the moves before she calls them...great for those of us that just aren't that coordinated.  Frankly it took me about 3 weeks to be able to work up to completing the entire 60 minute workout but the results have been amazing.

3.)  Try something different.  And that can be anything but in this case it's food.  Since dropping meat from my diet I was concerned about my protein intake.  I started reading and found tons of information on a "super food" by the name of Quinoa (keen-wa).  It is actually a seed that's grown in Bolivia.  The Incas cultivated and ate this seed 3,000-4,000 years ago.  They referred to it as the "mother of all grains".  Quinoa contains essential amino acids like Lysine and contains good quantities of calcium, iron and phosphorus as well as 18% protein and is closely related to the beet and spinach family.  I purchased mine through Amazon, it's organic and has had the outer hull removed (which can be very bitter).  You can also find it at Trader Joe's and Costco.  It comes in "tri color", red, black and white.

Quinoa is cooked just like rice with a 2:1 ratio, 2 cups liquid to 1 cup seeds.  I make mine in batches and put in the fridge so I have it on hand.  It's great in salads, soups or by itself cooked in vegetable broth with added onions, peppers and herbs/seasonings.  It's very versatile and I just made a "Breakfast Quinoa" today, it was delicious!  Quinoa has that "staying power" and keeps your blood sugar even and holds you until your next meal with no problem!

Breakfast Quinoa

2 c. Cranberry-Raspberry Juice, Light
1 c. Quinoa
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 c. Dark Bing Cherries, chopped

Bring Quinoa and juice to a rolling boil in sauce pan, cover and reduce heat.  Cook for 15 minutes and remove from heat, add the cinnamon and cherries, cover and let stand about 5-10 minutes.  Serve warm or cold, refrigerate remainder.  Makes 4 servings 1/2 c. each.  You can add some yogurt if you wish but it really doesn't need a single thing.  The sweetness from the cherries and juice are plenty sweet enough and it needs no liquids.  Enjoy!

That's a start.....more later!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Coming Of Spring ~ The "Honey Do" List.....

Picture courtesy of Clark Hamilton

Ahhhh, Spring is coming and with it comes the planning of our first garden.  We purchased our home on the lake in Missouri about 5 years ago.  Part of our reasoning in choosing this particular home was the amount of land with it that would lend itself to a sizable area for a vegetable garden.  However, upon arriving and living there a year, we quickly realized we were NOT going to be able to do that.  One of the people that lived across from us was the neighborhood cat "hoarder"....the garden idea quickly vanished.

For the next 3 years we fought to try and keep the cats out of our yard that were using it and every single flower bed as one huge litter box.  They would even get on our boat and use it along with my potted plants, front door mat, patio furniture, etc.  Needless to say by the end of year 3 I was ready to move....the smell was overwhelming and we were not even able to enjoy being outdoors let alone leave our windows open.  Flash back to last Summer when a group of us got together and decided something needed to be done.....and it was finally addressed.  A group came in and "live trapped" 28 cats and removed them.  Now, flash forward to this coming Spring, and viola a vegetable garden in the making!

Joe is always busy, I don't care what it is, where it is, what time of year it is....the man pretty much never stays still.  He is always looking for a project to keep himself busy.  He needs to look no further than the side of our yard and the list on his desk!  He is pretty much been "spoken for" for a "honey do" list that would make any grown man shudder!  Here is the start of his list:

  1.  Level area for garden, removing top layer of junk dirt.
  2.  Build raised beds for plants.
  3.  Put up fence all around garden to keep the varmits out (squirrels, deer, racoons, armadillos).
  4.  Design and install some kind of netting system to cover entire garden from on top of fencing.
  5.  Build a 2 stage, contained compost bin.
  6.  Build a compost "barrel" that can be turned as the stage 3 compost unit for final composting of organic materials.
  7.  Run new underground water line from lake up to the garden area (and that's a LONG way up).
  8.  Purchase and install irrigation pump down on the dock for irrigation line.
  9.  Order truck-load of dirt to fill beds and "git er done".

So, hurry up Spring, he has lots to do and we can hardly wait to get going!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Author Robert Brault.....Words to Live By...

I love Robert Brault.  I have often posted Robert's quotes personally on FaceBook and to my Christian Friends Team.  Robert has a "way with words" that often make one stop and ponder their meaning.  So many times I've been searching for a quote to "fit" my mood, or something I may be going through at the time and I find exactly what I was looking for.  I lean on this particular quote of his quite often.  "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."  How true is that.

I guess you get to a certain age you suddenly realize how many "little things" you've spent precious time worrying about your entire life.  Being over 21 (WAY over) you start looking back and wondering where in the heck time went.  Seems like yesterday when the boys were little, driving me crazy while I was cooking, getting every single piece of the clothing they had dirty which lead to SO much laundry.  Then on the "flip side" I remember my middle child Jason, now a father of 4 with a beautiful wife, standing under the clothesline crying, hanging on to his wet blanket.  Your "memories" change from all the day to day stuff to those really important things you MUST remember.

Robert worked very hard on a project all Summer and into Fall.  It was a "leap of faith" for him and for the publishing company that took the project on.  He now has a beautiful calendar with pictures that just make you feel the stress leave your body and a set of note cards that match the calendar.  If you want to pick up a meaningful gift for someone on your Christmas gift list pick one (or more) of these.  They make the perfect gift, thoughtful, thought provoking, peaceful and beautiful.  You don't need batteries, they don't require assembly and they won't be the wrong size!

You'll find the order information here:  2012 Calendars and Note Cards

I count myself very lucky to have struck up a "friendship" of sorts with Robert.  He is a very wise man that loves life and is very passionate about what he does.  Talent comes easy to him, well, at least he makes it look easy.  He is not unapproachable, reads all the comments on his blog and appreciates everyone that stops to read or to just say hi.  Stop by and read some of his blog...I can guarantee you it's addicting and you'll find yourself smiling, laughing and sometimes thinking deeply about what you've read.

Thank you Robert for sharing yourself with us.  We appreciate it more than you will ever know. 

*The pictures here were "lifted" from Robert's own blog...I take no credit for them.  If I knew who took them I would give THEM credit.   

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Artisan Corner ~ Bob Gast

 I want to start featuring Artisans that I have come in contact with and have worked with on very special custom orders.  My very first featured Artisan is Bob Gast.  Bob has an online shop on ArtFire.  Bob's ArtFire Store  bobsrockwerksandgemcutting
I "met" Bob when he asked to become a member of a group I started there called "Christian Friends On ArtFire".  Seems God puts people in your path for many reasons.  Some we recognize and acknowledge why and other times we never know.  I think at that moment Bob needed us (the group) and I needed to find Bob!  He jumps right in and is a strong prayer warrior for the group!

 Bob is a Lapidary Artisan and takes great love and pride in cutting gemstones, rocks and minerals.  He creates freeform cabochons for making jewelry.  He has some jewelry in his shop that he did the lapidary on the rocks and set them himself.  They are beautiful!  You can see the time he has spent working on the many stones in his store.  Bob is a perfectionist as most Artisans are.  Here is a bit of information on Bob taken from his Bio;  

"I have been interested geology, minerals, and rocks all of my life. When I lost my job and my job search proved fruitless I knew that I needed to do something to occupy my time and earn money. All it took was a trip to the Lake Michigan beach. There, I began to collect rocks and beach glass. I bought a dremel rotary tool and a bunch of bits and started to carve, shape and polish the rocks that I collected. I soon learned that there was a lot more to rocks and the lapidary arts than I realized. I was hooked. Whether I am carving a rock with my rotary tool or cutting on the cabochon machine I am in my element. I am learning new techniques and aspects of the arts everyday."

 I approached Bob a few weeks ago and he has been working very hard on a very special Christmas gift for my 3 sons and my brother.  I can hardly wait to see the finished product and give them to the guys.  It has been a pleasure to work with him.  He listens intently, offers suggestions, is prompt answering email messages and is very meticulous in what he does.  These gifts will be well received and will become a family "heirloom" of sorts.  
Please take some time and take a look at Bob's store and see all the beautiful things he has there.  If you are a jewelry maker this is THE place to shop for quality stones and gems for all your projects.  You will not be disappointed!