Saturday, June 29, 2013


The poem that comes to mind this morning is the Mother Goose Rhyme...

                   Rain, rain go away,
                   Come again another day,
                   Little Johnny wants to play.

More bad storms last night.  Poppy had to work until 8:00 so there I was, alone again with severe storms headed our way.  Fortunately, a Goodwill store just opened in town...the sign in the window reads "open til 8:30 pm."  I'm getting pretty good at timing my ride to town just ahead of a storm!! :)  Not that this is a joking matter, I am seriously afraid of storms.  Walking around in Goodwill was more fun than sitting in the hospital waiting room.  Also, I paid for my visit to Goodwill with the purchase of a $1.99, one-quart saucepan...stainless steel, no less!!!  This little saucepan will replace the one that recently caught fire on the stove!!!   It was a week or so ago that  I strolled into the kitchen and my entire life flashed before my eyes!!! The contents of my favorite little stainless steel pot had cooked down to nothing but a roaring flame.  All I remember is running out the front door with the pot, and a roll of black smoke following me.   I vowed then, never again to walk out of the kitchen after putting sugar water on the stove to boil for the humming birds!!!  There was already one little saucepan buried on the property!!! :(

This rainbow was in the sky when I walked out of the Goodwill store.  What a way to end a storm!!! The colors faded somewhat before I could pay for my pot and get outside...still beautiful!!!

Speaking of fire, mama used to say, "three moves equals a burn", meaning, I suppose, damage done to furniture and household goods caused by moving too many times!!! Mama used to talk about some family way back, years ago, that moved so many times, when the chickens saw them hooking up the wagon, they would go ahead and lay down and cross their legs.  Asking mama what this meant, she said, "people used to tie their chicken's legs together so they would be easier to move" .  Who knew!!!

Mama had many many funny old sayings.  Mama was 90 years old when she died in 2007.  She would definitely make you laugh and then she would get tickled and laugh too!   Daddy was only 61 when he died in 1976.  My best memories of daddy are from my childhood.  Daddy must have been is his early 20's in this picture...he looks so young, and handsome!!!  I don't think I would want to go out fishing in that boat he's standing in.  He looks pretty proud of that boat.  I wonder if he built it!! 

Hope you all have a good weekend!! Looks like we are in for a wet weekend, and a wet week ahead!! That's okay though....I am very happy and very thankful for all that we have!!!

Henny Penny

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Good Neighbors

My neighbor Miss Ann, enjoys writing poems about the country life, and chickens.  Miss Ann wrote these especially for "Henny Penny Lane"...


Dawn comes creeping up to start the day.
The golden rooster sits on the bale of hay.

Wait just a minute, Mother Nature,
 "I will start the day"!

He stretches out his neck and crows and crows and crows,
 While sitting on the new bale of hay.

Nothing is like a big golden rooster sitting on a bale of hay,
To wake up a new day!

                            "Each Morning"

As I lie in my bed
 I smell the delights of the day.

I want to stay in my bed, oh my!
I hear the calls of the day.

I brew the coffee
and take out my favorite speckled cup.

I gulp down the dark hot liquid,
But only one cup!

I put on my old green boots.  The hens are awake. 
I hear the cackles and squawks.

"Fill the basket with all you can", they told the lady in the green boots.  So she does, and heads to the coop.  She collects the eggs, two dozen in all.

Now I will get my favorite cup, fill it with the strong brew.  The lady sips her brew, "good job girls, two dozen in all"!

                         "The Gossiping Hens"

Three busy hens are out walking, cackling, and squawking.
 Just a talking!

"Have you seen that new red rooster"?
"Oh yes", said the middle hen!

The first hen said, "yes, he sits on the hay and crows,
 He makes the day begin".

The hen on the end says,
"He makes this hen's head just spin"!

Once upon a time Ann and her husband had chickens of their own.  Deciding to get out of the chicken and egg business, they gave  Poppy and me their hens!!!  In fact, these two fat hens came from Ann.  I named them "Ruby" and "Rachael"...

Thank you!!!

Henny Penny

The back porch

Funny, when we first moved into our little log home we thought there was nothing like sitting on the screened-in back porch.  The cabin was built in the middle of thick woods, so there was an abundance of wildlife around.   Sometimes the frogs would get so loud you would feel like you were going crazy!!!  Anyway, Poppy and I don't sit out on the porch like we used to. 

The usual thunder storms started up around 7:00 pm last night.  When the clouds got dark and rolling and the wind got up pretty strong  we decided to sit on the porch!!!  Thunder could be heard rumbling in the distance, and I didn't feel too afraid.  There's something very special about hearing the sound of rain coming, and then all of a sudden it's over you, beating down on the roof.  Daddy used to say, "listen, you can hear the rain coming", run to the house"!!  I had just said to Poppy..."once it gets to raining hard I expect lightening"...and sure enough...a streak of lightening...I jumped  over that wicker table and Poppy's legs and made it to the door just as it thundered!!!

A few antique tools, bridles, saws, etc., on the porch wall...


 Speaking of old things...I love old granite ware!!!  A lot of this collects dust, but I use most the pieces.  The blue pot with the lid (top shelf) is perfect for cooking a turkey breast, and the large covered roaster pan for cooking a whole turkey.  The other large pots with lids I use when I'm canning bring the beans to a boil before packing in jars. It's just more fun to use granite ware...My chicken feed bucket is granite ware too.

Before I go, one more

Before the rain yesterday, Poppy asked for my camera...this is the picture he brought me...

Thank you for visiting.  Hope to be back soon.

Henny Penny

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another little garden post

Do you think time is passing faster that possible???  Seems to me like I got just as much done back when I had a job and was gone all day!!!  Maybe it's just me, getting older!!!  

After seeing squash bugs, and then noticing how puny and miniature some of the plants looked...well I haven't had the heart to even go up to the garden until this morning.  To my surprise the plants were still standing.  There were several cucumbers, zucchini, and one yellow squash big enough to pick!!  Also, lots of small green beans, and right many big green tomatoes.  Looks like we may get a few vegetables after all...might as well start here at the teeny tiny gate of my teeny tiny garden...Do you remember the story of the teeny tiny woman who found a teeny tiny bone???  Seems like she went through a teeny tiny gate into a teeny tiny cemetery. Anyway...

 Blackberries... :)

It is very humid and hot today.  Thunder storms are beginning to pop up all around.  I'm not crazy about being home alone in a storm!!! :(

There may be a dog story for tomorrow!!!  There is a stray near by...I plan to speak to Poppy as soon as he gets home...I want to keep this poor dog...

Thanks for looking in!!!

Henny Penny


Friday, June 21, 2013

Pickles and squash bugs

Some rearranging had to be done up at the garden this morning.  Just a day or so ago a friend asked if the deer ever bothered the Hosta.  I said "never".  Well...I couldn't believe my eyes this morning!!!  Nothing but nubs left in these pots!!!  What's left is now in the little greenhouse to recover.  I'm not sure if the leaves will grow back this season.  Anyway, now that everything is rearranged, it looks better.   Sometimes change is good!!!

There were a few large Hostas the deer couldn't reach, or were saving for tonight...The little greenhouse looks better with the plants back inside...

Being in the kitchen all the time is just "not my cup of tea"!!! I am no great pickle maker either...maybe good at getting myself in a pickle!!!  Anyway, I made a jar of pickles this morning.  There's cucumbers in the garden, but not for long.  The army of squash bugs is moving in even as I write, I've seen them!!!  Seriously, I love pickles and this is the easiest recipe...

Refrigerator "Cucumber Delight Pickles"

In a large Bowl:

Layer:  sliced cucumber
               sliced onion
                2 cloves garlic
                fresh dill

Boil        2 cups water
                2 cups white vinegar
                 1 cup sugar
                 3 T. salt 

Cool, and pour over pickles.  Cover and refrigerate for 3 days.  Put in jars.  These pickles will keep for 3 weeks.

To show you just how great I am in the kitchen, I realize now as I type this "easy" recipe that I did my pickles wrong.  I sliced and packed them in the "jar", not a bowl...I was supposed to let everything sit in the bowl in the frig for 3 days!!!  Oh well, maybe these will be okay.  If you don't hear from me again, you'll know why!!! :)

Speaking of squash bugs!!! :(  Where do they come from and how do you get rid of the pests???  Once upon a time, people could grow squash and cucumbers when nothing else would grow!!!  I can remember begging friends and neighbors to take home a bag full.   Now, as soon as the vines get big and beautiful those ugly bugs invade.  One day the plant is big and healthy, the next day it is wilted and dying.  Last summer we didn't get even one squash from the garden.  "Darn squash bugs"!!!

Oh, I was worried about the new chicks sleeping in the chicken house...well I went out to supervise (with my fly swatter) as the hens flew up on the roost and to my surprise, all six of the babies were sitting as close as possible on a roost.  There was very little fussing and fighting...thank goodness!!!

It's pretty hard to keep the inside of a chicken house clean...As you can see...(I could never swat a hen.  Just wanted you to know) :)

Thank you, if you're still there.

Henny Penny


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Six new chickens

Talk about being overwhelmed!!!   Every time I look out the window I see eight big trees laying in every direction across the back yard!!!  And, when the trees hit the ground, pine cones, leaves, and limbs splattered from one end of the property to the other!!!   Add to that mess, two storms with wind and heavy rain.  I've been trying to catch up with the work, inside and out, today!!!  As mama would say, "I am simply worn out"!!! :)

Some friends of ours brought us six of the cutest chickens!!!  Araucanas, the chickens that lay colored eggs.   These chicks are about half grown and beginning to get the little tufts of feathers on each side of their face...

It's hard to get a good picture of a chicken, for me, anyway!!!  None of these show how cute these chicks really are.  No two chicks are alike.

Finally!!!  Jewel's chicks have learned to go in the chicken house at dusk and fly up on the roost with the other chickens.  Now I have six new chicks to teach how to do this!!  Last night I put the new ones in a cage inside the chicken house for the they could see how it's done.   Bedtime tonight should be total chaos as the old hens don't like to share the roost with new chickens.  Old hens can be downright mean!  I may have to take my fly swatter with me!!! :)  Something to do with the "pecking order"!!!

The prettiest things in the garden this year are the sunflowers...And these volunteered and came up!!

This Cardinal stopped in just as I walked up to take a picture...

Thank you for looking in.   Hope to be back soon with  something new!!!

Henny Penny

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Storms and dogs

What's going on with all these terrible storms coming across the U.S.??  Are the news media trying to scare us to death??  One in five people could be affected by the storms today, seriously!!!  

Storms really really scare me; the lightening, the thunder, the wind!!!  This great fear of storms I inherited from my Mother...bless her heart.  The storms are supposed to be here around 4:00 this afternoon.  Poppy works late today...til 8:00.  So, I'm on my own!!!

I have eaten some of EVERYTHING today!!!  Oh that reminds me...My sugar free diet...I've been meaning to tell you.  Four days...I made it four days, TOTALLY sugar free!!  By late afternoon of day four, I had zero energy.  No kidding!!  Not enough energy to cook supper.  I don't know why I can't just eat healthy and lite, but NO, for me it's all or nothing!!! :)  So, that's my try at leaving off sugar.  Failure!!!

I said "no more pictures of big boy", but look, he knows what he's doing...He saw Jewel in the dog house so he goes in and Jewel flies out!!

This dog house is empty now.  It once belonged to Nikki, a 125 pound, half wolf, half Lab.. The most special dog ever!!!  Poppy and I keep the house, hoping to one day find another dog like Nikki.  This is Nikki..

Nikki in the snow in 2000

Nikki and Susie in the snow...

Poppy (several years ago) with Cocoa, Splash, Susie, Nikki, Bear, and Jack...Where do the years go???

Once upon a time, Poppy and I had a house full of big dogs...and loved them all.  We miss them all!!  Do we favor?  This is  Sweet Cocoa and guess who!!!

I can not believe I started this post over 5 days ago while listening to warnings about the terrible storm that was headed our way.  When the warnings got near our county, I drove about 5 miles to the local hospital, walked into the waiting room and took a seat.  When the storm passed, I came home.   The power was out and trees down across the county!!  Whew!  I was afraid!!

Forgive me for such a post.  I hope you will come back, after this.  It's been a little crazy here with stuff going, scary storms and rain, the yard a mess with the trees...I will do better!! :)

Henny Penny 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Working"...runs in the family

I post a lot about keeping busy and Poppy never catching me sitting down...well it runs in the family.  Mama's oldest sister, Ella Vastie, worked hard her whole life.  She was 98 when she died,  but all those years working on their farm, well nobody could outdo her or keep up with her.  Aunt Bass, as we all called her, loved to fish, and she let others fish in her pond.  However, if she had her arms full and was headed to the barn as fast as she could walk, don't stop her and ask if you can go fishing!!  One man did and Aunt Bass slowed down, glared at him and said, "NO, YOU'RE NOT A GONNA FISH!!  I DON'T HAVE TIME TO FISH, AND YOU'RE NOT GONNA FISH EITHER!!  The man thanked her and left.  That's Aunt Bass on the front row, far right...

My sister, Shelby, and I don't see each other as often as we should, or want to.  Shelby is about three years older than me (let me mention that right up front)!!  :)  I post about being busy and crossing things off my list of "things to do"...well Shelby is busier!!!  She doesn't have time to make a list in the first place!!!  While I play here on our hobby farm, Shelby and her husband Jimmy have a "real" farm!!!  I took this picture from their back deck.

The funny thing is...Shelby and Jimmy, both had careers and worked until retirement age, then became farmers!!!.   They both retired at the same time.  They did quite a bit of traveling before their farming venture.  While a lot people their ages are relaxing in their recliners, Shelby and Jimmy are busy feeding cows, hogs, and chickens.  They sell fresh eggs, and their home grown produce at the farmer's market, and they have recently gotten in to bee keeping.  Shelby sells jams, jellies, relishes, and baked goods at the market.  She always has a pot or two with some kind of fruit and sugar bubbling on the stove.  If you want to talk with her, you get put on speaker phone!!!

Their high tunnel is new, completed just this past spring.

Shelby insisted I take home a bag of mixed greens that she said were about to get too big.  You never leave Shelby's empty handed.  While I'm saying to her, "I can't take all this", she is loading stuff in the back seat of the car...half a crusty cream cheese pound cake, a new jar of jalapeno peach preserves, and bags of whatever they happen to be getting out of the garden at the time!!  Shelby will probably fuss at me, (as we say around here), for posting this picture of her in these big boots.  It was muddy that day and we both traded our shoes for a pair of boots that were parked on the deck.  I kept my big feet out of the picture!! :)

Shelby and I share funny stories.  Especially stories about the crazy things we do.  Things that are fairly common when you get our age!!!  She was telling me just the other day about being home alone, which is rare.  She was going out to the chicken house to gather eggs, and thought she might ought to carry the pistol.  Shelby asked me, "do you know how to open a pistol and look in the chamber to see if it's loaded?"  I said, "no"!!   Well, she said she had always looked at the barrel end of the gun and into the chamber to see if it was loaded, but her son Greg, insisted she NEVER do that again!!!  Not knowing what to do, she walked into the bathroom, pointed the gun at the mirror, and looked into the chamber!!!  Yep, it was loaded alright!!!  I think that was pretty smart, don't you?

It was hot and sticky working outside yesterday but I did get a lot of limbs cut off and hauled away.  I was sounding pretty smug in my post about using my chain saw!!!  Well, truth is, I lost my nerve.  It didn't even get turned on!!!   The little hand saw worked just fine!!!  When Poppy got home he showed me again the right way to hold the chain saw. :) 

All the bull frogs were croaking yesterday!!!   Actually, the males croak to attract females and warn away other males.  I love listening to them.  Mama used to say, "do you know what that old bull frog is saying?"   It's saying, "under the root, under the root, under the root"!  Then another bull frog will say, "wha daya chew, wha daya chew, tobacco, tobacco, tobacco" !  If you really listen, you can hear those old frogs saying that.  

A plastic owl keeps watch in the front yard.  This plastic frog keeps watch over the pond... :)

Need to get busy.  Thank you for looking at my blog.  Hope to be back soon!!!

Henny Penny

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


We had quite a scare last night just as we were about to sit down to supper!!!  A tornado warning with a funnel cloud spotted less than a mile from our house...traveling in our direction!!!  As it turns out, we just had wind and heavy rain, thankfully!!  Looks like our yard is washing away, with another 2 inches of rain in the gauge.  I actually pictured our little house washing down the hill and into the pond!!!

Here is the back yard with another 9 trees cut.  All the trees are still on the ground so there is big mess to be cleared away.  Anyway, couldn't wait to show you.

First "before"...

For years, I've worried that lightening would hit this tall pine...

 And "after"...

Looks like now we will have to clean and paint the wood trim around the back.  The shade and moisture has caused green mold, and discoloration.  Wouldn't that give the house a fresh new look??

Well, I won't keep on about this and bore you....There is so much work to be done in the yard, I hardly know where to begin.  I'm thinking I will run the drop cord and plug in my very own chain birthday present from Poppy last year!! :)  I can get the limbs cut off and pulled away, which will be a start!!!

I know...I'll be careful.  Are you picturing me tangled in the cord down in this ditch??  No doubt, Lynn and Andee are!!:)

Thank you for looking in....Will be back soon.

Henny Penny

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sewing and the market

The local feed and seed store in town, which is also the license plate agency, is also where I display and sell a few bonnets and aprons.  Lately, I cannot make myself sit down at the sewing machine.  I usually sew at night after supper is done, the kitchen cleaned, and the chickens are safely locked in the chicken house for the night.  Here's the problem...It stays light outside until 8:30 pm.  The chickens are later flying up on the roost!!  By the time I've finished everything, and dipped Poppy his nightly bowl of "Turkey Hill" ice cream, (notice that I am no longer included in the nightly ice cream), it feels like bedtime!!!  That reminds me of this "oh so true" quote...

"A man may work from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done".

Anyway...I must get back to my sewing.  Jimmy, the seed store owner said last night that a lady was in the store wanting to buy a bonnet and apron...guess I missed a sale. :(  I should be sewing now instead of visiting with you all.  Visiting with you is such fun, and I'm just crazy about you new friends!!! 

Sets like these sell best at the store and I am totally sold out!!!  The pink set..I hated the nylon lace, yuk!!  That lace was replaced with a ruffle.  Cotton eyelet and ruffles work best on country aprons.

This was taken at the farmer's market on a cold Saturday morning.  Not many vendors or customers turned out.  Sometimes I miss the market and may decide at some point to go back.  It truly was a fun job!!

The most fun was when Lynn and I both were selling at the market.  This was another cold day.  Lynn was setting up the beautiful brooches, dolls, and tags that she makes....

 It is dark, very wet, and cloudy this morning.  There is 5 inches of rain in the gauge.  Too wet to work outside!  Yep, I could be sewing...

Between downpours of rain yesterday, (as mama would say, "it was simply pouring"), I ran up to the garden.  The pole beans are growing and there are actually a few peppers to pick...Still nothing to brag about...

A zucchini plant, before the squash bugs set in...

Well, enough is enough!!!  No more garden pictures.  There is housework to be done.  

I'll be back soon.

Henny Penny