Monday, April 29, 2013

The potting bench

Saturday morning I woke up early, like 3:00 a.m. thinking about building a potting bench.  I've been cleaning the woods around the greenhouse and garden.  A potting bench would be perfect!!!  A place for pots, plants, tubs, and tools!!!  I could not go back to sleep once I got this on my mind!  Wondering if I could find enough stuff to use without buying anything???  As soon as I saw Poppy out the door, fed the animals, made the bed, and put a load of clothes in to wash, I got my basket and marched outside.  Here's what I came up with (about 8 hours later and dead tired.  Lugging those 16 heavy cinder blocks from down in the back yard just about did me in!!!)...

I don't know why I didn't think about needing a potting bench before now.  Usually I have soil in the wheelbarrow and just sit what needs to be potted on top of that.  Bending over the wheelbarrow can be tiring.  Creating this potting area was fun, almost like building a playhouse. :)  I'm still thinking of things to add.  That old barrel type pot underneath the bench will hold the potting soil, but a big wooden box with a lid would be better.  You know what would be perfect, an old kitchen sink fitted into the center of the bench, then hook the garden hose to the sink.  I've seen this done before in a magazine article.  I need to search for that magazine!! Then I need to talk to my nephew Greg, the plumber...He probably has an old sink, or 2, stored out behind the barn!!!

The potting bench is just to the left of the garden and small greenhouse...

Every year I think "we have plenty of sunshine in the yard", but then when everything turns green and the trees leaf out!!!  It looks like the rain forest!!  We left way too many trees when we build this place.  Remember the old bluegrass song, something about "my little old log cabin in the woods"!!!  Well that's what we wanted.  Leaves knee-deep up to the door steps!!  But then I decided I wanted a yard full of flowers!!!
We've had probably 15 to 20 trees cut out of the yard since moving in!!!  Here the leaves are still small.  Mama used to say the leaves would be "full grown" by May 10th.

The rain is coming down hard this morning.  Now that the garden is planted, this is what we need to make it grow.:)

Thank you for looking at my blog.
Henny Penny


Friday, April 26, 2013

Trying to build a wattle fence

My wattle fence didn't turn out so good.  Looks like I need help!! :)  I planted a few pole beans around it anyway.  We'll see what happens.  Maybe in two weeks or so there will be a few vines...

I've rooted so many many Hostas.  I had planned to sell them at the farmer's market along with the bonnets and aprons but I'm not doing the market anymore.  I have given Hostas to all the neighbors... Wish I could give you all a few!  These need to be divided and re-potted...

I caught Bickett sleeping again!!!  Imagine that!!  Got to show you this .  He is so funny...
I love cats.  Daddy loved cats.  Growing up, we had a cat named "Pepper".  He would jump into the bath tub and with his paw, push the stopper into the hole.  Then meow, wanting us to run a little water in for him to drink.  Not long before daddy died, he stopped by to visit us.  Lynn and Andee were small.  Daddy said he had something for us...It was a little kitten.  He told Lynn and Andee to always make sure it had fresh water to drink.

There is quite a story about how we got Bickett.   I'll save that for another time.

A hint...I got so tired of getting to the garden and realizing I needed something.  So, I loaded down this gardening basket with everything I could possible need!!!  3 pairs of gloves, a bandana, 2 pocket knives, a tool kit, scissors, twine, seeds, a saw, pruning shears, etc.  It weight about 10 pounds, it sure helps having it with me!!

I didn't quite finish this post yesterday.  This morning there were several deer on the hill.  You know how hard it is to sneak up on deer!!!  They all scattered when I opened the back door except this mother and her half grown baby.  Wish I could have gotten closer...
Again, if you've stayed this long, thank you!!


Henny Penny


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yard full of flowers

I should stop taking pictures of the yard.  I remember thinking, when we first moved in, I will NEVER have a yard full of flowers.  I didn't know where to begin.  Now I look around and think, how did we ever plant all this!!!

This azalea has been so bright and full this spring...

There is something special about an old No. 2 tub.  Poppy said when he and his siblings were small, growing up in Georgia, they got their baths in one of these old tubs, out in the smoke house.  All the boys used the same water.  Can you even imagine???  And after going barefoot in that red Georgia clay!!!


  Looking up from under the snowball bush...

I worked in the garden most of the day.  Got everything planted except the okra and yellow squash. Hope to finish tomorrow!!! 

I don't know what I do to post pictures, some on the right and some on the left...oh well!

Henny Penny

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fog over the pond

Good morning!!!

Fog over the pond early this morning, and a chilly 36 degrees!! 

The baby chicks are growing fast...Little Jewel has turned out to be a good mother hen.

Better get busy.  Poppy went back to work this morning.  Lots I want to do, like build a wattle fence for the pole beans to grow on.  I've cut down several maple saplings to use for this fence.  Never tried this before.  If it turns out, I will certainly post a picture..If not, well, I'll probably never mention it again... :)

Henny Penny 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thinking of mama

Dear friends,

Do the weeks fly by or what!!!  Here it is Saturday again!!  When your normal daily routine is changed, well it just gets me all confused!!  Doesn't take much to do that anyway!!  Poppy has been on vacation all week because of turkey season, and no, he hasn't even seen one.  Back during deer season, says Poppy, "there were turkeys everywhere"!!    Sorry, but I kinda pull for the turkeys and deer.  I am always relieved when he comes home empty handed.  And besides that, we DO NOT need another turkey tail or deer head on the wall!!!  As mama used to say..."There's not enough room to lay a pin down"!!

I did get most of the garden planted this week.  Still need to plant some half-runner green beans and crook neck squash.  Oh, mama again...used to say "green beans are not fit to eat unless they're old timey half-runners".  And the squash, well mama couldn't stand "those old big yellow squash".  Only the "little crook neck", and they "need to be picked while they're real little".  Mama was always right too!!  Oh my goodness!!! To have one of mama's meals again.  After my sister, brother, and I got to be teenagers and moved to the country, (daddy decided he wanted us to know what it was like to farm), we worked in tobacco to make spending money.  All the farmers around grew tobacco.   My sister and I were hired to "hand" the tobacco, which paid .50 an hour.  My brother got to drive daddy's tractor and help in the field which paid much more!! He practically got rich!!! :)  We would ride home on the tractor around lunch time and mama would have dinner on the table...half-runner green beans seasoned with fat back, sliced tomatoes, fried okra, stewed squash, corn that had been cut off the cob, fried chicken, cornbread, and sweet (of course) iced tea.  Mama most always had a pie made...custard or chocolate with meringue.  I'll never forget how the house smelled when we three walked in, hungry and tired.

I wish you could hear mama talk about the "play houses" she and her sisters made.  They each picked their spot in the woods and swept the ground clean, then set up house.  It was such fun finding stuff to use.  An old piece of wood on a stump for a table, a board on two rocks for the bed, oh and big clumps of moss were always good in a playhouse.  As each sister got too old to play house any more they would auction off the things they had collected.  Aunt Martha had half a coconut shell she used as a wash pan and all the sisters wanted it.  Mama would laugh and say "Macy was  always the doctor".  Mama had seven sisters and two brothers...I love the girls names.....Ella Vastie, Berlie Sarah, Macy Ruth, Ruby Camillia, Martha Lucinda, Lillian Jewel, Eva Estelle, and Agathel Mozelle.  

My mother, Lillian Jewel, is second from left, front row.  The boys are Henry and Charlie. Sorry for the picture quality.  I only know how to download a picture and not how to improve quality. 

Goodness!!  If you've stayed this long, thank you.  I best get busy...I want to finish the garden and put some kind of mulch or straw between all the rows...

Henny Penny     

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Just inside for a brief rest and something to eat, if my legs will bend!!!  I've been digging in the garden since 9:30 this morning!!!  It is now 1:30!!!  I did finally get the potatoes planted.  Also got 3 more rows about ready to plant...with something!! 

A while back I posted about how I added layers of fresh hay to the chicken house floor all winter.  Then in spring when I plant the garden, I use the old hay to put between the rows.  Just wanted to mention that when doing this, take care to not have chicken manure where it could contaminate the vegetables, like during a hard rain.  I'm careful to make sure I am walking on hay between the rows and not chicken manure.  Just got to worrying about this. :)
 I use a turning fork instead of a tiller to loosen the soil in the garden.  In a small garden this is easier to do.  Not much to look at right now...

These are pitiful looking cabbage and kale plants.  I added compost and old hay (from the goat's lot).  Hopefully, these plants will start to grow...

These are my "before" pictures.  Hopefully, I can post a good looking "after" garden picture in a few weeks!!!

Good morning!  I started this post yesterday and just now getting around to finishing.

I'm going in to town this morning.  Need plants for the garden.  I have one new picture to share with you, "Clyde", the sweet rooster with only one leg... My buddy...

Henny Penny

Saturday, April 13, 2013


As Lynn says, "where do the days go"!!!   I actually hear women say they never want to retire because they couldn't stand being home every day with nothing to do!!!  There is not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I WANT to do!  I can spend a day rearranging pots around my little greenhouse.  I still have not planted the potatoes and onions, and it may now be too late in the season.  After getting a row ready, we had a heavy rain.  Oh well, it's fun to keep trying!

Out early this morning, opening the chicken house door and throwing out the scratch feed, I couldn't help but notice how fresh and beautiful everything looks...It really is spring, finally.  The Dogwoods are beginning to open...

Oh, and this moth I spotted near the kitchen window this morning.  Green  outlined in purple!  Lynn could probably give us all the info on this beautiful moth...

One more picture, this sweet smelling "Chocolate vine".   Lynn had one in her old garden...

Need to get busy.  Poppy has gone turkey hunting this morning.  Today is the first day of turkey season in our area. 

Hope you all have a beautiful day!!!

Henny Penny 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Early "Good Morning"

This is our early morning.  Up at 4:30! 

Yesterday was sunny and warm, well actually it was hot!  I'm not complaining.  I've been waiting for this!  I made a row in the garden for potatoes but was too tired at that point to plant the potatoes.  I was tired before ever going to the garden.  I spent the morning cleaning the back porch and hauling off stuff that had collected there during the winter.

I noticed the prettiest patch of vinca in bloom.  During leaf raking season I wonder why I ever planted this.  The leaves collect there and are hard to get up.  When it blooms I remember why I planted it!

Out closing the chicken house door last night, I peeped in to see where the bantams were roosting...
One Guinea was roosting alone in the cedar tree by the chicken lot...Kind of eerie looking...
Guess I had better get busy...

Henny Penny

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I am posting a picture of "Needy" and "Greedy", 2 baby Starlings.  This was 14 years ago.  These baby birds fell  from a nest high above a door on a loading dock.  They landed on a cement floor.  The birds were tiny and had no feathers.  A worker brought them to me.  I did not think they would survive.

Look how they have grown.  With a lot of care and the right food they were soon fully feathered.  "Greedy" was rambunctious and bossy.  "Needy" was smaller and quiet.

We loved these birds!!!! 

And when they learned to fly, we set them free.

However, Anytime we were outside and "Needy" or "Greedy" saw us they would fly down and visit. 

Thank you, Jen, for your comment.  We have taken in many needy animals here...

Henny Penny

Monday, April 8, 2013

Baby Chicks

Dear Friends,
Three brand new baby chicks are here !!!  What a surprise!!! I knew  "little Jewel" was sitting on 2 eggs in the goat barn, but I didn't think she would sit still long enough to hatch an egg.  She hatched 3!!!

"Jewel" is not like the other chickens.   A couple of years ago she came walking up the driveway.  I fed her and she stayed.  I've heard of stray dogs and cats wandering up but never a little hen!

I named her "Jewel".  She watches me and follows me around.  If she wants out of the chicken lot before I let the others out, she flies over the fence! 

It was beautiful here today.  Warm and sunny.  A good day for baby chicks. 

Henny Penny

Friday, April 5, 2013


Dear friends,

It's amazing how my mood changes with the weather!!  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday  the sun was bright, the skies were blue! I was energetic.  There were dozens of outside projects I wanted to work on.  Today it is raining, cold, and gloomy.  I cannot get in the mood to do anything but, (as mama used to say), "hunt and search" the cabinets for something to eat!!  Maybe posting something will cheer me up and get me out of the kitchen...

I have loved dolls my whole life.  My sister still tells the story about the time she wanted me to go to a movie with her and her boyfriend, and another boy.  A double date.  I was sixteen.  My answer to her was, "I don't want to, I had planned to dress up all my dolls tonight".  Imagine that!!  Sixteen years old!!  Not in this day and time!!  Or maybe there was something wrong with me!!!

This picture was taken when we lived in Summerville, SC.  My sister, my brother, and me (asleep on the end).  Mid 1940's.

One of my first dolls.  Looks like chickens in the background. I don't remember that.

I was about 10 years old in this next picture.  Mama didn't go anywhere without me, if I had anything to say about it!  I loved being with mama.  She was my favorite person in this world!!  She was just the BEST!   Is this a 1950's kitchen or what??


This was in 1954.  Daddy brought me this most special, beautiful, Saucy Walker doll from a New York business trip.  (Cousin Pat, do you remember this day.  That's you in the background)!!

It makes me happy to talk about mama and daddy.  Thank you for listening.  I do have one other picture.  Poppy bought me an old Saucy Walker doll last Christmas.  She is not exactly like the one I had, but enough so that it brings back lots of good memories.

Henny Penny

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bantams Moved In

Dear Friends,

The new lot is finished and the bantams are moved in!!  It's SO NICE to be able to walk into their lot.  In fact, being in the lot, I noticed the little grey hen's leg and foot.  It looked just awful!!   All crusty, swollen, and two of her tiny toes were about to fall off, seriously!  It's somewhat visible in the picture.  Her left foot.

Everything I read sounded like "scaly leg mite".    I had no idea how serious this can be .  A burrowing mite causes raised encrusted scales on the legs and toes.  If left untreated their toes can actually fall off. 

Southern States, our local farm supply store, recommended using "Vet Rx".   After applying the "Vet Rx" only twice, her condition has improved!   

That old bantam lot was awful (guess who designed it)!!  I had to crawl in and still couldn't get my hands on the chickens or even see them very well.  The old lot is torn down and every board, nail, piece of wire, and the dog house put back in it's place!!!!

On a brighter note, I want to show you the lettuce growing in the greenhouse...I've never had any luck growing lettuce.

If you've managed to read this far, thank you.  I can be pretty boring...

Love,  Henny Penny