Sunday, January 22, 2017

Spreading pine straw again

Out feeding the animals this morning, still in my pajamas, I couldn't resist the urge to move a few wheelbarrow loads of pine straw. 

Good thing we live down a private dirt road with very little traffic...what with me wearing pajama bottoms tucked inside rubber boots and an old ragged army coat. But hey, I got four big wheelbarrow loads of straw moved and spread.

This is the second, or third, not sure which, big load of pine straw from our neighbors Fred and Ann. It's funny, Fred rakes and rakes and rakes all the pine straw from his yard, gives the straw to us which I then spread in our yard. I offered to give Fred all the leaves that I rake up, but he just laughed. :)

Looking too at the little peach tree, how much it has grown. It will need pruning in February and I'm hoping it will be covered in pretty pink blooms this spring.

and that little brick path leads to the bunny pen, homes of Bun Bun, Fiona, and Penny...
here's Bun Bun with a little piece of cabbage.

and shy Fiona with a piece of hay...

there you are! Penny's picture was a bit fuzzy. Maybe tomorrow I will get a better picture. 

This has been another dark cloudy dreary day. It was just beginning to rain at 5:30 when I went out to close the chicken house door. 

Sorry, this post was meant for yesterday. That's when I started it, but never finished it. So it was Saturday morning that I spread the pine straw.

Oh, talk about being excited! Poppy and I carried the big wing-back chair, the one Poppy sits in all the time...

the chair that I upholstered all by myself, what! you can't tell?  :) just look at that great pattern matching...

The upholsterer wanted the chair at his shop today. That way he can start on it first thing tomorrow. He says it will be finished by Wednesday or Thursday. That's  pretty darn quick, don't you think?

The fabric I picked out is a dark brick red with some touches of gold. You know how I love red and gold in the living room.  

Better get busy now. Hope to be back here soon and for sure with pictures of the new chair. Gosh, will I even know how to act? 


Thursday, January 19, 2017

A big thank you!

Thank you dear friends! Your  kind and funny and  sweet and understanding comments on my peanut brittle post, made my day. I appreciate you all so much. 

This note of appreciation was meant for yesterday, along with a little post, but there wasn't much else to talk about except maybe the weather.

These warm spring-like days suit me just fine...and each day brings us closer to spring.

The bright warm sunshine on the back porch was definitely enticing. Of course, all the animals felt the same way. Bickett was there first, then along came Eli, the big furry throw, who politely nudged Bickett off the bed.

Fine! said Bee. I'll just have another bite to eat.

me too, said Smokey.

Just set foot inside the laundry room and the cats come running...assuming I am there to pop the top on another can.

Poppy says I have them spoiled.

Have I told you before how much Bickett loves Poppy? Well, he does. Bickett doesn't like most folks and will bite, if you pet him and linger too long. Poppy says, Bickett, you want to play? Bickett runs under the stool and with his back feet, pushes himself out to hand fight with Poppy. 

I've simply got to get busy. Poppy just backed the truck in the driveway with two bales of hay to unload. I really need to be out there for things to run smooth. :) you know, kind of like Poppy helping me with the peanut brittle. 

Thank you.


Monday, January 16, 2017

A day in the kitchen

Have you ever made peanut brittle? Did it turn out right? 

We've had a large bag of raw peanuts sitting on the kitchen counter since Christmas...a gift to Poppy from the manager of the deer processing plant.

Poppy wanted peanut brittle. If you will shell the peanuts, I'll make the candy. Friends, this turned into an all day job.

Here's what went wrong...Didn't cook the stuff quite long enough to begin with. When the baking soda was added, the boiling candy doubled in size, almost boiling over and had to be quickly poured onto the large buttered pan. Of course it did not become brittle, it cooled down to the texture of sticky taffy.

Nothing to do but to boil it again. It took Poppy's arm muscles to pry the sticky stuff from the pan and wedge it into a bigger pot. Pulling out three more pots, I rigged up a makeshift double boiler. Darned if I wanted to stand for an hour stirring this mess until it became liquid again. 

Poppy was so sure that too many peanuts kept the candy from becoming brittle. Recipe called for two cups. I argued that the peanuts had nothing to do with cooking the sugar, Karo syrup, and water to the right temperature. Nope, he still argued that the candy had too many peanuts.

So, while the sticky mess slowly melted, I went on line and found a simple recipe for brittle using just sugar, water, and a little salt for the this point we were out of Karo syrup. (making another batch would spread the peanuts thinner) So, I measured and put the mixture on the stove to boil. When this had boiled for about three minutes, I added it to the almost melted candy...then stirred and cooked the whole shebang until it turned a rich golden caramel color...then pulled out a bigger bread pan, buttered it, and poured on the boiling candy.

Did it become brittle? Nope! But we have four bags of peanut brittle with the texture of pralines...very sugary, very sweet. I love it! Poppy doesn't like it. He says he can't understand why it didn't turn out right...IF I followed the recipe!  :[   Okay, I will shell the peanuts and YOU can make a GOOD batch of peanut brittle. How bout that?

Talk about a pile of sticky pots and pans, spoons and spatulas! Instead of using my little red dish pan, I filled the sink with hot soapy water and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. ..Finished up and out the front door I went, into the fresh air...and got myself busy doing something fun, like cleaning out the goat barn!

A friend once said to me, "a man has no business being inside the house". 

While out and about yesterday, I bought this...for Poppy.

and this...

for me...a new kitchen rug to stand on, if I ever decide to cook again. :)

Thanks for listening. I needed this! 


Note to self: buy a candy thermometer

Friday, January 13, 2017

Busy cleaning and a birthday

For the last few nights, seriously, I have been trying to post something on my blog, but realize when I sit down at the computer, just how tired I am. I've been terribly busy since that snow and ice melted. Tell me, why is melting snow so much wetter and messier than rain? 

What a muddy sloppy mess we have here. Our country dirt road looks like a part of the Alabama Mud Fest. And the goat's lot, more like a pig pen. The last two days, I've pushed load after load of pine straw and spread it in the goat lot and in the chicken lot.

and speaking of the last two has been like springtime! 69 degrees and sunny! Why we jumped from record breaking cold, right into spring weather.

warm enough even for lunch on the back porch. Not a very pretty set table but it was fun. 

Guess who has a birthday today. Our sweet Eli. Three years old already.

Seems like it was just yesterday that Poppy and I drove to the little town of Micro to bring baby Eli home.

he was born in this big red barn.

what a sweetie pie he was, from the very beginning.

well, I did have to finally cut the fringe off this rug. His favorite place to sleep.

smelling the spring flowers in 2014.

Eli is our guard dog, even if does carry his teddy bear for company. What in the world did we do for entertainment before Eli came along?  

We bought Eli a birthday party hat, thinking we would get a cute picture, but absolutely not!  As long as that silly hat was in the house, he would stay on the porch!

Anyhow, guess that's about it. Appreciate your visit. Thank you!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

The sleet turned to snow!

We had more sleet than snow Friday night and into Saturday but then the sleet changed to snow and wow! Eli look!

Eli played and played and played!

last time we played here, Eli's red ball rolled into the pond and floated to the middle before I could grab it. Poppy had to get it out for us.

Weetie says be careful! When Eli comes running wide open like he does, why, there's no telling who might get knocked into the pond

know what's neat about this picture? The snow has covered all those leaves I haven't had time to rake.

I really really wanted to get a picture of all the Cardinals just outside the kitchen window. Why, there must have been a dozen of them. I would get the camera turned on and ready, then tip-toe to the window and slowly aim the camera and, the birds fly!  Managed to catch seven of them in this picture. 

These are not the greatest snow pictures. We don't get snow often here in NC, so it looks mighty pretty to us. :)

there's "wittle mokey" near the bridge. He comes out to play with Eli and Weetie in the back yard.

Actually Smokey is the only kitty cat we have that will follow us all the way around the pond. He runs and plays along the way.

Hey, would you like to see how our little log cabin in the woods looked in 1989, after our very first snowfall...

My goodness, how things have changed! We didn't have a covered front porch then, just a little deck...

and we finally got all those spindly little trees cut from the front yard too...I do miss that cedar color the cabin had back then.

Okay, I've gone on long enough. Surely don't want you to leave and never come back.  

We've had snow! Now I am ready for it to melt away and ready for the weather to warm up a little.


Poppy moved his truck and made a perfect feeding spot for the birds.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Busy outside today

 Supposedly, we have snow coming our way Friday night, but I will believe it when the ground is white. When the weather people are this sure about a big snow storm, we usually get rain. We'll see.

Anyhow, to be safe, we moved the mama hen and baby chicks into the big house with the big chickens...

it's safer and warmer, and the other chickens will benefit from the heat lamp too, with all this cold weather coming our way. Looking warm and cozy inside.

the chicks enjoyed exploring the big open space...

I piled sticks and limbs around this old stump and have been amazed at how all the chickens, even the older hens,  have enjoyed climbing on them.

anything wrong Ms. Hen?

While we worked, Eli practiced balancing on the logs in the goat lot...

not much room for sitting!
Good boy, Eli!

Not much of a post. Looks like I need to buy a new camera. Maybe a better camera. Lately, my pictures look fuzzy. Got to have pictures!

It's almost 9:30 here and feels like bedtime. It was a busy day. Hope to be back soon.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A few thoughts this morning

Here we are three days into the new year and I don't really know how to follow through with my resolution of, "living in the moment". 

Yesterday was like a flash. I did get the house straightened and a little of the dust wiped off some of the furniture and all the while thinking, "tomorrow, I will shampoo that filthy living room carpet". Don't think I've changed one bit.

Will y'all be glad when the last of the Christmas candy is gone? I should throw it out, but no, I feel like every piece must be eaten. What do you think of my newest bunny? This little bun bun gift was from my Granddaughter Madison.

Sunday, Poppy and I drove to the Cracker Barrel in Emporia Virginia where we met daughter Andee and son-in-law Todd for breakfast. "Pecan pancakes" for Andee and me! It was fun and the pancakes were delicious. We ate breakfast, exchanged gifts, and visited a while before parting. Emporia is about half way between our home and theirs. Let me just say, my camera was in my coat pocket the whole time...carried along so there would be a picture for my blog! Think I'll change my New Year's resolution to, "remember to take pictures"!

Looks like our scarecrow has lost weight and grown some hair. His clothes are all wet from the rain. I've made him a new smaller head but waiting for the rain to stop and for him to dry out a bit.

Between rain showers I've been spreading that pine straw in the goat lot. Grass is what we need, but for now, I'm trying to stop the little goat lot from washing away down the hill and into the woods.

this was from one warm sunny day a while back. The lot slopes down a pretty steep hill in back.

Not much to post about this morning except maybe the weather. There was a tornado warning issued about thirty minutes ago for a county quite a few miles east of us, but still in NC. Hope this front moves right along! Thunderstorms in January!  :(

I need to stretch out and relax, like Smokey.

Hope to be back soon.