Monday, June 30, 2014

So who cares what color the is house anyway?

Must be nice to be so relaxed and calm about everything...

Easy to see Eli's favorite spot in the house. And on a white bedspread. That's okay though. It can be washed and when it wears out, I'm sure I will find another.

Well friends, things have settled down a little around here now that the painters have finished up and things are back in place. Poppy and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that we will be living in a little red house. It's just that all we've known since 1989 has been an old fashioned cedar log cabin and a few sweet old Labrador Retrievers. And now we have a little red house and a big white dog! 

I appreciate all the comments and your honest opinions on the big paint job. I enjoyed every comment.

Hope to be back soon. I am off to get a perm. Probably another big decision fixing to go awry! We seem to be on a roll here. :) 

Henny Penny

Friday, June 27, 2014

Big make-over!

You know what? I love writing a post but I just hate putting those label things at the bottom. Why do I hate that so much? I am not good at that and have a hard time pulling labels from my post. Imagine that! Now I am behind again and must go back an update five or six posts. Darn it!

Okay, the big, really big, make-over. I'm holding my breath waiting for your honest opinion...well I think I want your honest opinion. :) Yes, I do. 

Already missing that "Abe Lincoln" log cabin look.

Poppy and I got a really good deal on the stain. The story was that some young couple ordered 10 gallons of this redwood stain to do their house, but then could not come up with the money to have the work done. My theory is, this paint company some how screwed up and got a little too much pink tint to this large batch of supposedly redwood stain, got lots of complaints, put the stuff on sale, and Poppy and I happened by. We are good at that you know. Just my middle of the night thinking. 

Got lots to do today!! Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for listening!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Green Beans and Red House

I kept myself busy snapping beans yesterday as the painters opened can after can of Redwood stain and slathered it on the dry thirsty weathered cedar logs.

How did I sleep last night, you ask! Well, as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out like a light...mentally exhausted from the stress of the day. Worrying about the painters suffering a stroke in this 94 degree heat. Anxious about how the red color was looking but afraid to see.  Struggling all day with the dogs as Weetie has decided she just might bite strangers who come onto the property and Eli, on the other hand wanting to meet those strangers in the yard, see what was in those cans, and stand up on the ladders. So, back to how I 1:30 am I sat straight up in the bed as a loud voice in my head warned, "you have a red house, a red house! There is no turning back! This red house is yours! The neighbors are driving past, pointing and laughing, saying why would they pick that color?"  I tossed and turned and came up with all kinds of solutions as to how we could change the house color back to brown. How can everything seem so horrible in the middle of the night?

Okay, everything is not ruined, and that ugly splotchy pinkish-red first coat in the picture is gone. Folks, I was feeling sick. There will be pictures. The second coat of stain is going on right now.  I hate to show you the house just yet as I have noticed that as the stain dries it becomes darker. Whew! Here's just a peek. Still the first coat and excuse the mess..

With that said, I can get back to the green beans. After snapping and washing there were enough beans to process a canner quarts. Oh, and adding to the stress of yesterday was this pressure canner full of hot steam, rocking on the stove. I can picture that thing exploding one day. Things like that happen in my kitchen, you know.

And the beans turned out good. Every jar sealed...

Thank you, if you have managed to stay around this long.  :)  Hope to be back soon.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Memories of Mama and Aunt Bass

Every summer about this time...bean picking time...I think about mama. I don't think anybody in this world loved green beans any more than my Mother.

I just came in from picking the beans in the teeny tiny garden. Sure hope there is enough for a canner full. We have finished every jar of canned beans in the pantry...

It was hot in the garden but mama was totally on my mind. Could not help but smile, thinking of her and the things she used to say. You have surely heard this from me before, but always when picking beans with mama, she would say, "watch out for old snakes. You know Shirley was picking beans one time and reached under a bean vine and there lay an old Copperhead". Another of mama's little bean quotes was, "try not to tear the bean vines all to pieces. I'd like to be able to pick another mess".  Now there is another word I have heard all my life, especially from mama's side of the family. Picking a mess of something. Seems like the women were always fixing to pick a mess of butter beans, or a mess of okra, or a mess of creasy greens. Wonder what was considered a mess. I suppose it would depend on how many would be eating. 

Sorry to keep posting the same picture but it is the only one I have to show you mama's sisters when I talk about them. Aunt Bass is seated in front on the far right. My dear sweet Aunt Berlie is standing, third from the left in the back. And again, my sweet Mother is seated second from the left in front...

It took a big mess of butter beans and vegetables back when Aunt Bass put dinner on the table. I was there at the table a few times when the men folks would come in from the field in the middle of the day to eat dinner. I will never forget the size of the dinner table or the big bowls of vegetables. The homemade biscuits and freshly churned butter. The men folks coming in the door after washing up, and sitting down at the table. And I will never forget Aunt Bass with a gallon jar of fresh cold milk, filling each tall glass on the dinner table. Oh, and the thick layer of sweet cream that rose to the top of each jar of milk. 

Aunt Bass milked the cows that gave this delicious milk and she churned the butter. I remember seeing her walking to the house from the barn carrying a pail of fresh milk in each hand. I remember the churn sitting in the kitchen with a cloth covering the top. She gathered the vegetables that were cooked for dinner every day. These folks ate like this every day and you know what, there was not one fat person in the family. By the way, Aunt Bass had a beautiful name..."Ella Vastie".

What wonderful memories. I could go on and on but it is time for the painters to arrive. By this time tomorrow, the log cabin should be red! Yikes!  Have we gone crazy?! Yesterday they pressure washed the house.

Hope to be back soon!


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

Monday, June 23, 2014

A sunflower and a sweet pea

That big old Sunflower that volunteered and came up has opened...

I declare, if I was trying to grow sunflowers they would be little and puny. This one looks like something you would carry in a parade. Reckon I could make myself a fishing pole out of the big stem.

That fascia board around the house still looks awful! You may want to watch for a major change here.  We have hired a painter...starting pressure wash the house and then paint on two coats of Redwood stain.  The logs are beginning to look worn and faded. It is scary to look into that bucket of red, I mean RED stain.  If you don't see any more pictures of the house, well you will know somebody messed up.

The shed in the back yard looks redwood, doesn't it? I like red. Maybe it will turn out pretty.

This morning when I brought the water hose around to wash off the front steps, those chickens again!! I thought to myself, a picture of this should be put on my little blog! A look at how things really are. Pictures on a blog can make a place look absolutely perfect. Like our comfy looking screened-in back porch with the old iron bed. The two bags of garbage, tied and needing to be carried off were hidden from the picture. Just being a little honest. All is far from perfect here. :) 

Settled in for the night. I guess we will have to name the baby "sweet pea"...

Hope to be back soon. 

Henny Penny

Mowing this rough and bumpy back yard with a push mower is no easy task. Feels good to show somebody my work... :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Olive and Popeye have a baby

Just yesterday I was telling you about putting an egg under Olive, the little Bantam hen. Well look what I found when I went out this evening to gather the eggs...

Yes, a proud mama, and she waited a long time for this baby chick...

A surprise for Eli.  A $10.00 bone from Poppy... 

Not a peep was heard out of Eli for at least two hours.  Had to spread an old sheet on the living room floor to help catch the grease and crumbs. 

Poppy and I will probably have to re-do every room in the house once this big puppy grows up. The fat leather sofa we've enjoyed for several years now is totally scratched. Eli lays on his back on that sofa and looks like he's doing the back stroke and he has lots of toe nails to scratch with!

Eli and I stretched out on this old iron bed out on the back porch yesterday afternoon. I had been mowing up around the garden and was simply worn out. Trouble is, Eli and his teddy bear take up most of the room and Eli wanted to play, not rest. Needless to say, I was back on my feet pretty fast.

Mostly wanted to show you the new baby. :) Thank you for visiting.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

After the rain

Thunderstorms and rain reached our place around bedtime last night. We had been seeing lightening back toward the west and hearing thunder in the distance for some time. There is something exciting about waiting for a storm. That is, if I am not alone.

The garden really needed this rain. The camera was in the bucket with the feed this morning. So, after opening the chicken house door, putting out the scratch and mash, then letting the rooster out of the goat's lot, I walked up to the garden...

After several hot dry days, especially living on this dusty dirt road, a good shower of rain leaves everything looking fresh and green...

This surely is not a perfect garden and as mama used to say, "it looks to me like some dirt needs to be pulled up around these tomato plants".  Mama said those words to my brother Randall one summer, except it was bean vines she was referring to. It was probably Randall's first try at gardening. He had plowed up a little garden spot in the back yard of his new home and sowed various seeds in a few little rows. I was with mama that day she told Randall what his garden needed. :) Mama's are good at that, you know.

Let me tell you right quick about Popeye's wife Olive. She is setting on two eggs. Not her own two eggs however. And what a ragged mess of a nest she is in. She was sitting too close to the edge so I slid this box under her...

Bless her heart. She had been setting for several days so I checked to see how many eggs were under her. There were none. She wants to be a mama so badly, so I tucked two small eggs from another small hen, under her. For some unknown reason, Olive has never laid a normal egg. Now, about the nest...last winter when it got so terribly cold, I rigged up a raggedy old nest box, added a curved piece of old tin, and stuffed it full of hay. 

Adding a decent new nest box to the Bantam's lot is on my list of things to do. The lot is built onto the back of the chicken may remember when Poppy and I build the little lot just before spring of 2013...I was so excited!

Wish I had left that dog house inside their lot...but no, I didn't like the look! Now it's too late! :)

Oh my! Here it is 9:45. The day will be gone. Thank you for visiting.

Henny Penny

Popeye's pretty boring with Olive gone all day!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Starting the day off wrong

Here it is bedtime again. Poppy is yawning and talking about being sleepy. Where do the days go? And what a day this one has been!

My best picture of the day! Just look at those little paws...

We started the morning off by oversleeping. Then Eli had an accident in the house. Then I dropped an egg in the kitchen. But wait, that's not all! I washed the bedding in Weetie's dog house and hung it out to dry in the sun. Then I washed a load of white clothes and hung the super size sheet on the clothesline to dry along side the bedspread hung out to sun...notice the sag? Yep, the lower end of the clothesline broke dumping Weeties things on the ground. I picked up the broken end with the wet clothes still attached and wrapped the wire around a post on the compost bin...the best I could. Poppy say he will put up a new clothesline as soon as he has another day off.

Here it is Thursday noon. I didn't finish my post last night. It's hard to think when someone is waiting, yawning, wanting to cut the lights out and go to sleep.

Thankfully, this morning started off better. I did have another kitty cat picture...Bickett...

As soon as I finish up with the day's work and think I will relax and sew for a while, both cats and Weetie follow me into the sewing room. Weetie gets on a quilt in the closet and the cats play on the bed. Now we have Eli in the small sewing room too, that is unless Poppy feel like playing tug-of-war with a teddy bear.

Not much of a post. Hope to be back real soon. Thank you for visiting. :)

Henny Penny

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Slop Jar / Slop Bucket

I would never use the words "slop jar" in front of...well anyone, except family. I always figured the word "slop jar" originated in mama's family way back, as that is what everybody called these things. Only recently did I learn that a chamber pot and a slop jar is the same and it is okay to say "slop jar". 

These two "slop jars" belong to me and sit up on the dusty top shelf in my pantry/laundry room...

Aunt Berlie is in my heart and quite often on my mind. We surely had fun together back when I was a little girl. I must have started spending nights with her back in the late 1940's. There was no bathroom in her house, so that's how I came to know about the "slop jar".

There was a little outhouse that sat next to another old brown out-building in Aunt Berlie's side yard that looked a little, just a little, like this. Her outhouse was on the opposite side of the building and there was a huge fig tree growing between the two buildings...

           Picture from Wikipedia

Now there wasn't as much meanness going on back then as there is now, but once it got dark outside, me and Aunt Berlie stayed inside. Aunt Berlie usually bought a new puzzle when she knew I was coming to visit, so we would have something fun to do at night. We usually made one last trip to the outhouse before dark. If one of us woke up during the night and had to go...Aunt Berlie would turn on the overhead light. That light bulb was in the center of a high ceiling, and I mean high! I remember there being a long string that went from the light bulb to the bed post. Anyway, we would then pull the "slop jar" out from under the bed. Every morning the jar was emptied, cleaned and put back under the bed.

There is also a "slop bucket"which was kept near the kitchen to dump scraps in for the hogs...

Aunt Berlie didn't have hogs, but Mary and Clyde who lived just a little piece down the dirt road did. I used to spend time with them too, well, with their twin daughters, Ruby and Rachael, my cousins. I've heard Mary say many times, "Ruby, you or Rachael one carry that "slop bucket" out and feed the hogs." Ruby or Rachael would pick up the bucket, without one complaint, and we would walk down to the hog pen and pour the slop into a long wooden trough. It was fun to see and mostly fun to hear the hogs eating that slop. It was fun being with Ruby and Rachael. They were identical twins and always had pretty blond hair.

Well, I promised to show you the latest apron made from that new pattern...

The new pattern made all the difference in getting me back in the sewing room. Change is good! 

Thank you for visiting.

Henny Penny

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Almost a fire!

This is not a pot of stewed blackberries! 

Well folks, I've done it again! Almost burned down the house! Here's what happened...

I was bound and determined to finish up the painting out back. All that trim work around the porch, and the back steps and the rails. Poppy also had pointed out a place or two that had been missed. Working from 9:30 am until 3:00 pm, I was hot and tired, and had beads of sweat running through my hair and into my eyes. I hammered the lid back onto the can of cedar colored paint and walked into the cool air conditioned house. Oh man, wow! I reached for a fresh dry Viva paper towel to soak up the sweat and got myself a banana popsicle from the freezer. That's when I spotted the empty hummingbird feeder hanging by the kitchen window. Darn it, I meant to boil a little sugar and water earlier this morning.  There sat a little hummingbird on the edge of the empty feeder. I brought out the little pot used just for this purpose and put in 1/3 cup of sugar and 1 cup water and turned on the burner. 

Now I purposely and sternly told myself, DO NOT GO ANYWHERE! DO NOT GET INVOLVED IN ANYTHING THAT WOULD MAKE YOU FORGET AND LEAVE THIS POT. Friends, you may remember there are already two small pots buried on the property that Poppy knows nothing about.

Well, I hardly remember leaving the kitchen, but I proceeded right on into the bathroom to wash my hair and then soak in a nice long hot bath. See, I was now chilled from my clothes being wet from sweating and then eating a popsicle. The bath felt wonderful. There was a nice dry towel around my hair and a nice big towel to wrap myself in. There appeared to be steam floating in the bathroom which seemed odd. Especially since I had finished my bath and the water had cooled off. Anyhow, I opened the bathroom door and the smell of burnt caramel and the black rolling smoke almost knocked me backward.

Oh dear God, please, I prayed as I ran toward the kitchen, please don't let there be flames! Well the flames would have been hidden by the smoke. Seriously! I fought my way through the smoke to the burner, shut it off, grabbed a pot holder and the little pot and dashed through the living room and out onto the back porch! Where to put the pot, where to put the pot??!! Then I dashed through the house, opening windows and doors and turning on every ceiling fan and opening every vent. There was one hour left before Poppy would be home. That smoke had to be gone!

Black smoke rolled out of every window and door. My eyes burned like crazy but I managed to get myself dressed and take the towel off my head and comb through my hair. The hour passed and the smoke thinned out. All the windows had to be shut so the air conditioner could cool the house again. All was pretty close to normal when Poppy walked through the front door. What in the world is that smell he asked, looking around like there might be stuff all over the walls. Oh, I let a pot of sugar water get too hot, I said. Mel, you need to be careful, you are going to mess around and burn the house down.

It is a fact that our smoke alarm does not work. I've known this for some time and can dig up the pots to prove it. Poppy says it does work. He tests it by pressing the button.

Sorry to have gone on and on about this. I am very thankful that there was no flame, only smoke. I will say good night now. 

Henny Penny