Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Moment of Domestic Bliss

You know those moments when you are just overcome by the feeling of loving home?

I had one.
Well, I have a lot of them, but this one is more than share worthy.

It drizzled on and off all day yesterday, and the beds were so soggy, there was no playing.
I toyed around with the idea of mulching, but realized that wet mulch is heavy mulch.
It's an inside day.

So I'm listening to this:

And I'm ironing my kitchen linens :

And I'm smelling this in the crockpot:

Balsamic Roast Beef Recipe from

There's such a feeling of peace in the house, and a cool breeze coming in the back screen door - I look out and see about 10 Canadian geese waltzing through the yard, and I swear they were walking to the beat of the music.

It was just really fabulous, and made me so happy to be home.

I hope you find your domestic bliss today!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Soggy Coop Report

I just snapped this photo of my gardening clogs.

It's been a soggy, gloomy, cozy, cool, wonderful weekend.
I had company a lot this weekend, and I'll be darned if I didn't get a single photo.

The quilt for my mom-in-law was finished.

Glenco did most of the clipping on this quilt.  He comes in awful handy.

So does Slinx.

She's gotta be right in the middle of everything.

In between raindrops and company I did accomplish a few things in the garden.  This year, gardening is different.  Different as in there is no gardening budget.
At first I was a bit heartbroken - how would I manage without my 50-75 4" annuals?
What in the world will I fill my crocks with?
Will it be splendiferous?
It has to be splendiforous!
That's when it comes in handy to be creative.
They say necessity is the mother of invention.

Behold my beautiful, rustic, whimsical, and best of all, free - pole bean tower.
I'm kinda digging it. I hope the Kentucky Wonder pole beans dig it - and grow well on it.  I really didn't want to have to put strings around it or anything, but I may have to as the beans grow.
I made a couple of them.

Empty spots in the garden will be filled with vegetables.  They are cheap, they are green, I get food - it works for me!

I'm relying heavily on seeds this year - and have planted a lot of my containers with nasturtium seeds.  

It's not as instantly gratifying as buying the plants, but good things come to those who wait - at least that's what 'they' say, who ever 'they' may be.

Another awfully clever thing I did - at least I think I'm pretty clever, and I'm quite pleased with myself over - 

I filled my bathroom window box with little starts of perennials around the garden.  
This fall, they'll be nice and big, and I can replant them in the garden.
I might be on to something here!
I'm a bit determined now to fill all of my containers with things that I can either eat, or replant in the garden this fall.

In the past, I was pretty bad about just pulling out things that I considered weeds....little hollyhock plants that had reseeded in places I didn't want them, oregano, lambs ear, even starts of raspberries that were unruly.
Off to the compost pile they would all go!

No more!  Now that I'm unemployed, they are gold!
I've been potting them up as I weed the beds.
Look at the booty!

We (Glenco and I) also increased the vegetable garden by 750 sq feet.  I needed more room for pumpkins.
Photos to come.
I was finally able to use an old wire fence that I had.  I'm so excited, I could pee.
No really, I could.

In other news, it's come to my attention that I have arthritis in my hands.  
What I'm about to show you ain't pretty.
I'm getting knobs on my knuckles.
My hands are stiff a lot and ache, and, well...ache.
I tried to pick up a pen yesterday and I dropped it.
The cool, damp weather makes it worse.

What do you get when you work your fingers to the bone?
Bony fingers.

I hope it doesn't get any worse.
I'm eating well, so that I don't increase inflammation in my body.

The BoyChild seemed awfully concerned that my hands were aching me so - he made me rest them yesterday with the heating pad.  Fussed at me when I'd get on the computer - saying I needed to rest my hands.  Refused to let me make him some muffins.

He made me lie on the couch and wrap my hands in the heating pad after he massaged them.
What a doll.

Well my friends, since it's a bit too soggy to dig, I suppose I'll go love on the birds a bit, and clean the old house.
The clothesline is empty, and I do believe it will stay that way today as well - I have a feeling my brassiere would hang out there a week before it dried!  
Looks like another soggy, humid week here in Indiana.

Have a swell day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Meet Glenco - A Repost

It's come to my attention that many of you don't know I'm married, cause I don't talk about Glenco much of late.  I was looking through Ye Olde Blog Archives, and I found this from nearly three years ago, and thought that I would just repost it for my new readers.  I'll also repost the Meet Aaron blog that my new readers know he's my nephew, not my son, although I consider him my son...and his whole story.  Also, and update on Aaron is coming very soon!

Happy Friday!

Glenco isn't his real name.
It's Glen.
Glenco came about 20 years ago and stuck.
Double G is another nickname.
G Force

Would you look at those little arms?
Is it me, or does everyone wish they knew their husbands as little kids?
If we ever had a little boy, I bet he'd look just like that.

Glen is on the left here, holding a turtle.
I have so many cute pics of him as a kid like this, always up to something. I love his clothes in this picture. Those little socks and shoes.

Here is a picture of Glen when we first met. He was in a Christian rock band called 'The Risen Son' Band. He still loves music more than anything, and still fiddles with the guitar some. He feels as if he's missed his calling, he would have loved to have done something in the music industry. He was the church sound man for about 15 years. He drives a truck for a living now, delivering scaffolding and scissor lifts. He starts work at unGodly hours like 4 and 5am, but he's usually home around 1pm. Never complains.

We met in the spring of 1982 in a little Chicago church. I thought he was rather weird. I thought he was old. (He's nine years my senior). I don't know what happened, because within two weeks, I knew he'd be my husband.
He didn't get the memo and avoided me for months.
I started taking pictures of his band, and he said one day he looked at me, and just wanted to go with me when I was leaving.

We've been together since. Dated two weeks, and got engaged. Married within six months.
We were in a hurry. That's all I'm sayin' about that.

It's been a pretty easy road. We've had our share of bumps and turns, and still do at times.
Glen is like a rock. He's so steadfast, and mature. He's always in the same mood, which is usually a pretty good one. He's very quiet until you get to know him, and oftentimes he's thought of as aloof because of it.

He has the driest sense of humor I know.

A little story to explain how laid back this guy is. We are eating in a restaurant booth, facing each other. There is a man in the booth behind Glen. We thought he was laughing, pounding the table. Turns out the guy is choking. Seriously choking. Glen, never even putting his fork down, turns, whacks the guy in the back, the guy vomits on his table, sucks in a huge gulp of air, and is thanking Glen. Glen, still chewing, raises his fork in the air, smiles, and turns around and continues eating. Never missing a beat. That sums up Glen in a nutshell.

He single handedly re-built this old house.
I dream it, he builds it.
That's our motto.
There is nothing he can't fix.
My Kitchen Aid mixer bit the dust this weekend.
I may or may have not put on the meat grinder attachment correctly.
Within minutes, it was taken apart and the needed replacement parts ordered.
I'm incredibly spoiled by this, I know.

Glenco loves the sea. Loves fishing, boating and scuba diving.
He loves old cars even more.
He has a '64 Chevy right now, but really wants at '55 Chevy.

He gives me a lot of freedom to be me. He encourages me to do whatever it is I want, and go where ever it is I want to go. He seems to be happiest when he knows I'm happy.

He's always getting me out of messes. Remember the Tab soda, sink story I told you to not let me forget about? Well.....I just really don't know if I'm ready to divulge that one yet, but Glenco saved the day, as he does all the time, rescuing me from the cornfields I've accidently driven into, the snowbanks I find myself in, and when I'm hopelessly lost, I can call Glenco for directions. He never complains, but just shakes his head and smiles.

That's Glenco...the keeper of the Coop Keeper.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Some Things Ya Oughta Know

It's cold here.
Drizzly to boot.
A high of 54 today.
Here is a real time photo of my clothesline.

The Towels Remain the Same.

I'm thinking of leaving them up there for the entire year, just to give the neighbors something to talk about.

Something else you should know....garlic chives are delicious in scrambled eggs.

I was planning on mulching my finally planted vegetable garden, but due to the inclement weather and the fact that I'm a wimp, I may sew today instead.

I need to start the flannel rag quilt I'm making my mother-in-law for her birthday.
Considering yesterday was her birthday, I think today is a fitting day to start it.

I've started a bit of a detox/cleanse as well.

Behold the Flax Berry Banana Rice Protein Smoothie.
Due to manic gardening, I've indulged in foods that I haven't eaten in a while, and foods that I should eat.
Sisters, I have paid for it.

I know how maddening this whole weight/food issue is - trust me - I seriously do.

This is me on wheat/dairy/sugar:

This is me on fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and lean proteins:

Any questions?

Last but not least - I had to bring the baby chicks in off the porch because it's stinking cold out.
Of course, the cats wouldn't give them a minute of peace, so I covered them with a towel.

I hope I don't burn the house down.  
This reminds me of a story.
I was about 14, maybe 15.  I was babysitting on New Year's Eve for three young boys.
I put them on to bed, and one was scared of the dark, so I turned on the plastic mushroom lamp in his room.  Remember those?

Well, that mushroom lamp had a wig on it for some reason.
I didn't think anything of it.
I wasn't acquainted with wigs, and the fact that they were flammable.
I was fourteen, but should have had a little more sense I suppose.

A half an hour later, the child began to wail.
I entered the smoke filled room and pulled off the smoldering Dorothy Hamil wedge wig and put it in the bathtub and ran water over it.

The mushroom lamp was melted.
The wig was ruined.

I still got paid for babysitting.
: -)

Make it a great day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

As the Coop Turns....

I looks like it's trying to weather up here in NW Indiana, so I thought 
I'd take a moment to have a little Coop Chat.

I have no idea if this blog post will make a lick of sense.
I've traded my morning coffee for hot lemon water.
I'm in the throes of caffeine withdrawal, and like Uncle Joe - I'm movin' kinda slow.

I'm also overrun with ticks.
Now, before you tell me to get Guinea hens...let me tell you - it ain't happening.  I've found out the hard way that the Good Lord doesn't want me to have Guinea hens.  It's the only explanation for the constant demise that befalls them when I try.

How cool are they though?  Now I'm almost determined to have them!
I'm talking like I can't go hang up laundry without doing a tick search when I come in.
What's a girl to do?  I am constantly combing my hair with a fine tooth comb, and I might be on the edge of becoming paranoid.
Just a bit.
I've checked for ticks 8 times since I've started writing this post - every little itch, I think it's a tick.

And...we have a little poison ivy rash - again.
I know full well that I'm pulling poison ivy - but I don't care. 
 I wear short sleeves and take my chances.
It always wins.
I can't care.
So far it's just the size of a dime...stay tuned.
I have a nice mature vine of Toxicodendron radicans growing behind my weigelas.  
After the weigelas are done blooming, I was going to do a hard rejuvenation pruning of them, and get back there and hopefully eradicate it for good.

I have towels hanging on the line - going on two days now.  They got a nice rain shower last night, I bet they'll be super soft now.  I had to clip them back on the line today, they were hanging half off, a sure sign for all passersby that hillbillies live here.
Speaking of clotheslines...I need to know.  Do you guys hang your shirts from the tails or the shoulders?

I was thinking about this yesterday - in all the trials and tribulations in our garden of life - the good always outweighs the bad.  The flowers trump the ticks, the cool morning dew on the grass kicks poison ivy's butt, the first ripe tomato makes you forget all about tomato hornworms.  The smell of freshly sundried sheets on the bed makes you forget that your towels are still hanging on the line four days later because it's so danged humid outside.

There is more good in life than bad.
There are more good people than bad.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And if that weren't enough goodness for one day.....
prepare yourself.

My order from McMurray Hatchery arrived on Sunday!
The post office called me.  I was really confused, but yep, I had to go knock on some back door of the post office and pick them up.

Jax and Slinx are positively enamored with them.

If there are any ails that can't be fixed by baby chicks on a bed of fresh straw - I am unaware of them.

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Cape is at the Cleaners

I've lost all super powers.
I spent 14 hours in the garden on Wednesday - didn't even finish planting.
I have no idea how that happened.
All I do know - is that I got me a good case of the heat exhaustion, and by 8pm, after being up at 3:30 in the am, I was in tears, thinking ticks were in my hair, and wondering why I ever left Chicago.


This little bird is super skittish.  The others come running when they hear my voice, this one runs the other way!  I had to remedy that.  It sat with me on the couch and went through feline tolerance therapy.
Yesterday was a wash.  I could barely move.  I felt like a train hit my face.
I never dressed, I barely ate - I just laid on the couch and wished I weren't so all or nothing.
I got up a few times and my legs almost went out from an under me.
I'm not 32 years old anymore -it's becoming quite obvious.

I'm feeling better today, but I'm still delicate.
The feed store called that my 20 Freedom Ranger chicks are in.
I don't remember ordering them..ha.
They are meat birds.  Ya, I'm doing THAT again.

Tuesday my new laying hen babies will be here.
I have green bean seeds that were supposed to soak for two hours, sitting on the kitchen counter now going on forty-eight hours.
I have on no bra, and it's 10:15 am and I'm in my pajamas.
I want to make lilac jam.
I'm hotflashing and can't understand why it's so hot in this house when it's only 68 degrees outside.
I'm sitting on the enclosed front porch under a fan on full tilt.

Tomorrow is another day.
What I wish so hard for me, and all of you too, is that you'll love yourself where you are at.
I'm trying to love myself right now - in this new transition of my life - I'm feeling old - Aaron is gone - and I'm mighty perimenopausal.  My ovaries hurt all the time.  I require more rest than I used to.  If I eat junky foods, I feel miserable.  

Let's learn to be OK.  OK?  Let's learn that we are OK no matter what season of life we are in, that we are still worthy, lovable and deserve to be kind to ourselves.

Is it just me I'm talkin' to?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Planting Day

Today's blog will be quick - probably not funny - and no pearls of wisdom.
Hey - it's 5:30am and I've been up for 2 hours!

Today is planting day....I'll be spending my day in the above patch of dirt.
I have bags of hopes and dreams (seeds, onion sets, potatoes, shallots), and flats of happiness (tomato and pepper plants).

Thankfully, I think we'll see a high of just 82.

Here are my helpers...

Boo - the feline matriarch of our little place.
She looks all sweet and innocent...don't let it fool you - if you try to pet her past her neck, she is 'moody'.

Enough said.

And of course - Stubbs.
Today will be Stubbs last day out.  I hope she enjoys it.  I feel guilty locking her up - but even with her little stump feet, she could unearth the seeds, and dustbathe in the mulch - and well - it ain't happenin'.  She has more than enough room in her run - but I will still feel a twinge of guilt every time I look at her beak.

Thanks for all of your awesome comments yesterday!  I wanted to address a few...

Glad to know we've got some Lowe's lovers.  Our hometown Home Depot (I actually worked there over 10 years ago) is a hot mess.  I call it Home Dumpo - and Glenco calls it Home Peehole.
True story.

Beth - thanks for mentioning the D3.  I actually had some blood work done a month or so ago, and found out that my D levels were low - and I've been taking a chewable 2000mg D3 and wow - I did notice a difference.  I think my bone tiredness was from how I push myself...coupled with some seasonal allergies.  I've been Claritin clear for three days now!

Joy - honey will keep forever.  It's true.  It's the only food source that never eva goes bad.

Lisa - my 'loungewear' looks like Glenco's plain pj bottoms (pictured above with the coffee) that are about two sizes too big, and a worn out Life is Good hoodie.  My unkempt humidity frizzed hair completes the outfit.

A few of you mentioned about having my cousin make the beehives.
Law - that would be too much to ask, and he'd say no..: -)...they are a lot of work, the innards of the boxes are very elaborate.  
Pam, you are in the wrong business!  I have visions of making hives, and selling bees and hives.
One day - maybe when I'm 87. mentioned that I don't mention Glenco much.  I must remedy that.  I'd be working at the local five and dime without him.  He's pretty much the glue that holds everything together around here, and I'd not be able to do half of what I do without him.  I tease that he's kind of like Dolly Parton's husband. Ya, she's married!  Who knew?


Ok, y'all - It's now 5:42 in the am - there's a nice cool breeze a blowin', and I have a basket of wet laundry waiting for the line.  It's now light enough out to hang it, so I must take my leave of you.

So...we've talked about the birds, the bees...this post was about the didn't get that did you?  
: -)
Tomorrow...we'll talk about the trees....

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Latest Buzzzzzzz

Here's a tale about the beehives that involves no nudity.
A family friendly story if you will.
Sorry to disappoint!

Well, here they are - the beehives.  Painted lilac, all lined up in a very unlevel row.
It is what it is.
I was going to put those stones in front of the hives, for really no reason, since I don't stand on them - but I've decided against it, and have removed them - it would be a mowing nightmare.

As soon as we got the beehives moved a couple of weeks ago - the enormous fiasco that it was, I realized that I didn't like them where I'd put them.
Stubbs even called it a Fuster Cluck.
True story.

But what's a girl to do?
She drags her poor husband out on a dusky, rainy night - he endures a hellacious beehive move because his wife is undiagnosed bi-polar - and a week later she wants them moved again?


She did what any loving, intelligent wife would do - she didn't tell him.
I went to Lowe's - probably my favorite store eva - and picked up this 'Purple Hill' paint.
I'm a sucker for lilac.
I had a couple of empty hives - such as this one on the right - it has no bottom board yet, since it's empty - I just bought a new one, and have to paint it.

I started painting the hives late one morning last week - and as I would get them painted, I would move the empty ones over to the new area - which is almost exactly where they were before - another reason - we aren't telling Glenco.


Now, to appreciate them now - you must look back on how they were before....
Here's when I had two...

They look purplish in the above photo, but they are not...they are brownish, as you can see in this photo below...

My hillbilly bee yard.  Mercy - that was an embarrassment!
It's called - the bees are swarming - quick!  Get them in a box. I am, out back, painting beehives a lovely lilac - and Glenco arrives home from work.
I didn't know if we were going to have a confrontation or not - I mean, a man can only take so much.
Move the beehives AGAIN?
You bought paint when we have about 28 gallons down in the basement?

So, he meanders in the back and says - 'oh, that is a really pretty color' - and then he sees where I'm moving them, and says 'oh, ya - that's way better'.
Whew!  Dodged a bullet there.

He willingly helped me move the hives the next day, and it went off without a hitch, since we actually did it the right way.  No flailing, no stinging, no drama.

I now feel like my bees are organized, and that makes a happy CoopKeeper.
I have to interject something here....

Is this what I ULTIMATELY wanted?  No - not really.
I would have loved to make awesome hives like this...

Friends - it's not in the cards for me.
Numero uno - these hives are $400 a pop from Williams and Sonoma.
Second - I have no wood shop, nor the time or money to set one up and start making hives - even as much as I would like to.
I am seriously going to have to live to be 100 if I'm to accomplish half of what I'd like to.

I gotta tell ya - that's beekeeper's porn right there.
I think it's really important to do the best you can, and be happy with it.
If you aren't careful, you'll breed discontent in your heart, and sistas, that's a weed that will take root and be hard to pull out.

So - the beehives are lilac, in a charming little crooked row, and they have been inspected and the gals are happy, healthy and bursting with busyness.  We pulled six gallons of surplus honey off of the hives.
Many beekeepers will pull what I think is too much honey off of the hives in the fall, and then have to supplement feed the bees with sugar, or these fondant patties.  T'aint natural if you ask me.
I leave them more than enough, and take it in the Spring if there is a surplus.

We sold quite a bit by word of mouth - but still had a lot left over, so Glenco made this sign for me....

Isn't it adorable?
I want to plant some flowers around it.
We have sold 10 quarts and a pint in a couple of days since the sign went up!
I just have to remember to be dressed.
The first customer caught me in my 'loungewear'.

I really do enjoy beekeeping - even though I've been stung more times than I can count this Spring.  I think it was some rite of passage the bees were putting me through.  Truth be told - 99% of the stings were really my fault - just not being careful, or being in too much of a rush.

One bit of advice, if a bee ever gets tangled in your hair - do not, in any circumstance, bend over at the waist - and flail your head wildly while running your hands through your hair...
well, unless you like the feeling of a flaming hammer coming down on your head.

The bees continue to fascinate me, teach me, scare me, entertain me and keep me busy.
I'd say they're keepers.