Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cheerful thoughts

With all the sadness lately I need something cheerful to think about and to post about.   Although I don't want to rush time, a fresh new year sounds good to me.  Maybe 2014 will be a better year for lots of us.

The Obedient plants are beginning to bloom...Flowers are cheerful!  With all that spring rain we had, it looked like these would be the prettiest ever...but then we had that dry spell... 



Fall colors...






Finally got around to picking that bouquet of country goldenrod...



One of the Araucana hens has started laying!! 






Chickens make me happy.  Many many years ago I remember going to my Grandma Comer's house.  Grandma died when I was young...maybe 10 years old.  Anyway, I remember being there once and there was an old Dominicker hen with a bunch of baby chicks in the yard.  She would puff up and cluck and all those chicks would disappear under her.  Mama would tell us to stay away from that old hen because she would flog us.  I didn't know exactly what "flog" meant but I stayed away!!  If mama said be afraid...I was afraid!

Thank you for looking in.  I hope to get back in the swing of things soon...that reminds me...I want to build that rope tree swing!!!   Coming soon!!

Love,
Henny Penny






Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Poppy, me, and the Chickens

I had started this post over a week ago.

Talking about arrowheads and Indians in a previous post reminded me of something that happened back in the early 1980's.

One Halloween night there was a dance at the Holiday Inn.  This was back when Poppy and I were dating!   Everyone went in costume.  There was a contest for the best costume and a $50.00 prize.  Poppy and I actually did not enter the contest...we just enjoyed dancing and was on the dance floor most of the night.  Around closing time the announcer came on and said, would the cowboy and his Indian maiden please come up...that would be Poppy and me...we won the prize... What a fun night that was!!  :)


Being Henny Penny...I have somewhat to say about chickens!! 

What a ragged bunch of chickens we have here!   It is moulting season and the chickens, especially the older hens, look just awful!   Moulting has affected their egg laying too.   A month or so ago I was gathering 10 to 12 eggs a day.  Now it's 2 to 4. 



During moulting, the chickens lose their old feathers, usually  in late summer or early fall, and then grow new ones.  Our older hens, like Annie (far right in above picture), actually mope around like they feel bad.  Feathers are everywhere!!!

"Big Boy" sporting only one tail feather...Probably a good thing he and his hens can't see themselves in a mirror! :0

Keeps me busy cleaning out waterers and feed bowls around here!  Natural apple cider vinegar added to the chicken's water is supposed to give them a boost, make them feel better, and start laying again, so I'm taking the jug out with me this morning.  It amazes me how much water chickens drink!!



This Walking Stick bug was crawling on the bedroom floor this morning.   Have no idea how he got to the bedroom but is now outside again!!!


So, I have missed you all!!  Thank you for visiting.  I hope to have bunches to talk about and will be back soon.


Love,
Henny Penny


Goodbye to Joe


The memorial service for Joe yesterday was very special.  Joe would have been proud, to say the least!  Joe lived in a rustic, cabin type home surrounded by 3 or 4 huge oak trees and situated on 50+ acres of land which join a wide, rocky, beautiful river. 


Joe was a people person for sure!  Once a year he held what he called "Riverfest".  All the family, and all of Joe's friends from far and wide were invited.  His friends brought their friends!  There was plenty of food, drinks, and live music.  All were welcome to stay overnight as long as you brought a camper, tent, or a plain old sleeping bag, or didn't mind pulling two chairs together!!  

The memorial service was like a little Riverfest only more melancholy.  It started yesterday afternoon at 4:00.  A couple played the guitar and sang hymns, and later in the evening played and sang some other old favorites!  Everyone talked and shared stories about their special times with Joe.  There were groups constantly going to and coming from the river, which is about a half mile walk from the house.  Poppy managed to slip away and walk alone to the river.   He stopped at some of the hunting spots he and Joe had shared, as recently as two weeks ago!  It was a special day!

Joe will be missed by all of us!!!


 Love,
Henny Penny


 






 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sad News

 Joe and his granddaughter

We got the saddest of news yesterday.  Poppy's brother Joe passed away.  In two of my latest posts, I talked about what good hunting buddies the two of them were....  Joe was not only Poppy's brother, but was his closest and dearest friend.  Joe was 62, much too young to leave us.


Hope to be back soon.

Love,
Henny Penny

Monday, September 16, 2013

Back to Work

Poppy went back to work this morning after taking the week off to deer hunt.  Bow season came in and Poppy had a new crossbow to try out.  Fact is, he didn't kill a deer.  He didn't really see that many deer.   He waits patiently for that trophy buck to come sneaking in.   While down at his brother Joe's, better known as "Riverjoe", a large doe with a fawn walked up to their stand but neither of them wanted to shoot her.  My hat goes off to them!!!   We need more hunters with good hearts...especially up in this neck of the woods!!! 

You have heard it from me before, but we do not, I repeat, do not,  need another deer head or turkey tail on the wall...If Poppy never kills another turkey or deer, he has plenty to show for his efforts over the past years!!  Running out of space in the living room, two of the deer mounts have been moved into the bedroom...one over each side of the bed!!!  We wake up every morning to a couple of bucks looking down at us.   Nothing feminine about this house!!!  Just kidding!  But now you see why I so enjoy my little dining area and the sewing room.  Every woman has to have a little lace and ruffles, bonnets and dolls!! :)

I was never too much involved in Poppy's bottle collecting, but together we have quite the collection of arrowheads.  Back when we were dating we loved to look for arrowheads and we had our special secret places to look...dirt roads, especially after a hard rain, and tobacco fields after they were plowed.   On Sunday afternoons, Poppy and I, both dressed in our Indian boots and suede coats with long fringe, would take his Jeep and go out looking for arrowheads. 
 

Just a few of the arrowheads displayed in cases...

If you are ever lucky enough to find an arrowhead, you get the fever...it is so exciting thinking about how many years ago an Indian sat and chipped that arrowhead from rock and then used it for hunting, or for protection.  Arrowheads can be found almost anywhere.  It has been many years since Poppy and I actually went out arrowhead hunting, but Poppy found one in Joe's front yard just last week. 

Thank you for looking at my blog.  Hope to be back soon, and hope you will be back to visit too. :)   

Love,
Henny Penny

Friday, September 13, 2013

Jackie

Been thinking again about the 1950's,  and growing up in Robbins, which makes me miss my family.

My dear sweet niece Vicki sent me a copy of a picture of her Dad, and my brother, Jackie.  Pictures of Jackie are scarce around here, so I appreciate this  so much.



Jackie was in the Army and served three years in Germany in the early 1960's.  Jackie and I were very close growing up because there was only 14 months difference in our ages.  Jackie was my protector, especially so after our family moved to the country.  Nights became eerie and scary for me.  My bedroom was at the end of the hall.  At night after everyone was in bed and the house was dark and quiet, I would lie there looking down that hall, wide awake, afraid to move.  I imagined there was a big German Shepherd dog coming down the hall toward my bed and I was seriously afraid to close my eyes!!!  With my heart racing and growing more frightened by the minute, I would somehow find the courage to get up and run into Jackie's room asking, "can I sleep with you", as I crawled to the back side of his bed against the wall.   Jackie would answer a long, sleepy "yes"...Feeling safe, it was easy to fall asleep.

I remember the wallpaper in Jackie's room was a western design, brown and red, with saddles, bridles, boots, spurs, and cowboy hats.  We each got to pick out the wallpaper for our rooms.. That was a fun time!!!

Back before Daddy had the small house on the farm remodeled, we would go spend weekends there just to be in the country.  Aunt Agathel and Uncle Myron, and our cousins Pat and Geraldine went with us occasionally.  I remember all us kids getting in a dark room and telling ghost stories.  Shelby told some old scary story she called "will-o-the-wisp" that I think she was making up...and I was seriously afraid!  Scarred for life, I was!!   Shelby put fear in me many times...like the time I jumped off the back porch because she was chasing me with her hand drawn back, ready to hit!!!  Of course, I deserved it...she said, "don't touch me", and I touched her!!!  We were accustomed to the sounds of living in town.  We were not used to the pitch black nights in the country, filled with the call of the whip-o-wills, the owls, the frogs...

Jackie and I were so close in age and size, people used to ask if we were twins.  I, in fact, was a twin, but sadly my twin sister died shortly after we were born.  I have always wished for my twin.  Mid 1940's...


During the summer time in the 1950's we often packed a picnic lunch and spent the day at Aberdeen Lake.  Let me tell you...Aberdeen Lake was the place to go!!!  There was swimming of course, picnic tables, huge swing sets, monkey bars, see-saws, (I haven't thought of the word "see saw" in years)...a large grassy playground.  There was a concession stand, juke box, and pavilion for dancing.  This is mama, Jackie, and me.   Some lovely cars parked in the background...I wonder which was ours?? 

Jackie was a sweet and lovable little boy, but there was not a bashful bone in his body.  He would ask anybody anything!!!

A while back I posted about my Aunt Berlie and her daughter Virginia.  Well, mama and daddy invited Virginia to come visit us in Robbins one weekend.  They wanted her to meet Archie, a nice looking young man who lived around the block from us.   Archie's dad worked with daddy, so our families became friends.  Anyway Virginia was at our house and waiting for Archie to come over.  The front door bell rang, Archie was invited in, and Jackie came running through the house and into the living room and said, "hey, are ya'll gunna get married?"

If Jackie ever decided there was something he wanted...a rope, a banjo, a Red Ryder bee bee rifle...whatever...he was relentless in his pursuit to get the item.  He would beg and plead until daddy would pull a bill from his wallet and toss it to mama saying,  "I want you to go get him that rope (or whatever the item) today"!!  Jackie was very tenderhearted and loved animals...especially horses, and dogs!!!   Jackie could leave for school wearing a new leather belt, but come home that same afternoon with no belt, but carrying a new pocket knife.  He was always trading stuff.  It drove mama crazy!!

I loved both my brothers and miss them every day.

Love,
Henny Penny 



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Deer Season...Again!

With all the deer talk in the house since last Saturday,  dear friends, I've been hard pressed to even "think" about something to post!   I've been on the back of the 4-wheeler with Poppy, a  feeder, 2 fifty pounds bags of corn, and a camera as we made our way through the woods to one of his hunting spots.  I was needed to help hold the big barrel feeder while Poppy strapped it to the tree.  However, at 8:00 this morning I watched as Poppy pulled out of the driveway and headed south to his brother Joe's place, two hours away in Robbins...yes, Robbins, my most favorite small town in America!!   Actually, Joe lives more north of Robbins, near High Falls, than where I grew up in down town Robbins.  Joe has a nice country place on the river...lots of good hunting there.   Poppy and Joe have been hunting buddies since way back in the early 1960's...

That's Joe on the left and Poppy on the right in their Jungle Jim outfits!  Sorry about the picture quality..I still only know how to download a picture!! :)

I hardly know what to do first this morning...and here I sit at the computer!!  The plants in the garden need dusting.  I have already seen a tiny black worm on a collard leaf...the same kind of worm that totally ate the kale and cabbage plants last spring.    

Poppy plans to stay overnight at his brother's place, so I am in charge here today! :)  There is nothing cooking for supper tonight, nor will there be...let me tell you!!!  Pizza and ice cream sounds good to me!!!  Late tonight when the sky is black and the only sounds I hear are the crickets, frogs, or an old barn owl,  way out here in the woods alone, I may not want to be in charge any longer!!!

Last night while out closing the chicken house door I spotted this very bright sliver of the moon through the trees...


   
An old birdhouse built by Poppy several years ago...which houses more spiders than birds now, looked lonely in the darkness...


There something fun about taking pictures out in the dark.

A quick update on Fiona.  Now, Fiona may be a male but I simply cannot call him Theodore, or Fling Fling, so his name will remain "Fiona Ling Ling".  Anyway, he has grown very large and beautiful and waddles right up to my feet.  He likes his Old Roy dog food dropped into this pan of water...




This is not much of a post so thank you have stayed long enough to read this. :)  Hope to be back soon.

Love,
Henny Penny

   


Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Little Gardening

If this fall garden produces collards, turnips, cabbage, mustard, and broccoli...I will be totally shocked!!!  It would be a first for me!!!   I Put these plants in the ground this morning after single-handedly :)  turning the soil with the gardening fork  and making new rows.  I know, you can't see anything!!!  The plants are puny looking.  This is my before picture...  :)



A friend stopped by today with a bag of Butternut squash...now I've never cooked butternut squash.


So I went on line and found this recipe.  Split the squash in half.   Place split sides down in a baking dish with a little water..1/4 cup...and bake for one hour in a 350 degree oven.  Scoop out seeds and stringy stuff, for the compost bin.  Then scoop out the soft, baked pulp into a bowl, add butter, and a little brown sugar.  To my surprise, this was really good!!  So tonight we will have the butternut squash, stewed cabbage, navy beans, and a pan of cornbread for supper!!!  I looked the beans earlier and put them on to cook with a little piece of fat back!!

Remember a couple of posts back...about the beautiful yard and large black walnut tree that belongs to a friend of my sister, Shelby?  Well she suggested I look up 'lasagna gardening' on line...as that is how she built her garden beds.  So I did...and here is my beginning...boy, do I have a long ways to go...



This is the third layer of old hay, leaves, mulch, etc., covered with an old sheet.  In Lowes last Monday I bought a couple of inexpensive rolls of burlap...which looks better spread in the yard...By next spring, if I do this right, this should be a nice rich bed to plant in...thanks to Shelby and her nice friend for sharing this information!



All of our topsoil has washed away down toward the pond.  This side of the yard desperately needs building up.  Hopefully, I can keep extending this bed.

Aren't you glad wheelbarrows are lighter weight and easier to push now??


Chives and Oregano in pots...




A little patch of Basil...


And...a watermelon...imagine that!!!




Oh, and a picture from Poppy...this was hanging up at the garden in a web.  Could this be baby spiders?  If so, they must be big ones!!!



Monday, September 2, 2013

Country Stuff

Mimosa trees are beautiful and grow really fast.  Poppy and I planted this one a few years ago on the hill by the pond.  There was a Mimosa tree in our yard in Robbins back in the 1950's.  It was a fun tree to climb in and the flowers remind me of ballerinas.



Speaking of trees, I still haven't bought the rope needed to build the tree swing.  Other jobs keep coming up during the day and time simply runs out!!!  While in town buying hay for the goats and scratch for the chickens this morning, I bought a pack of 9 collard plants, drove home, dug a row in the garden, and put the collards in the ground.  Now to get the collards to grow!  I'm having a hard time finding kale and turnip plants.

Do you love old country roads?  I do!  That's our driveways on the right...


Do you love old well buckets?  I do!  Jackie gave this one to us when we moved here in 1989.  




I have talked about Jackie in previous posts.  Jackie, my younger brother, by fourteen months, died much too soon.  He was only 49 years old when he suffered a massive heart attack.  Jackie was a free hearted, kind, handsome man, who loved animals, especially horses.  I once had a picture of him in his Army uniform that I would love to show you.  Maybe I can get a copy from someone in the family.  If so, I will talk more about Jackie another time.  You may remember from an earlier post that Jackie was known as Roy Rogers around our block in Robbins, growing up.  "I was Dale Evans, by the way!" :)

Do you love the Golden Rods that bloom this time of the year?  I surely do.  Seems to be something about an old dirt, country road that attracts Golden Rods.  I love to put a big vase of these flowers on the front porch in early fall...


Plenty of grasshoppers here for the guineas.

Thank you for stopping by.  Hope you all are having a good Labor Day.  Poppy is working, but we plan to grill a steak later on...a rarity around here!!!  :)

Love,
Henny Penny