Monday, September 29, 2014

Eli and our visitors

Lately there have been new followers to my blog and if I have not said how much I appreciate you, well, "thank you". I get so excited and so amazed the anyone would read anything that I write with my third grade sounding vocabulary. Seriously! Thank you.

Sometimes you can have a little too much help around the sewing machine...

You get up to use the ironing board and somebody gets your chair. Then somebody knocks the dolls you are working on off onto the floor...

We'll get through it somehow.

Yesterday turned out to be pretty special as Lynn and Michael came out for a visit. What a shame that we don't see each other any more than we do. My goodness, we're only an hour and fifteen minutes apart. But life is busy!

Eli and Michaela hit it off big time. Eli had a blast! Finally! Somebody young! Somebody who can still run!

We all got a laugh when Eli got his teddy bear and climbed into his big chair. It was like, you people stay as long as you want, but I'm tired. Remember, I live with a couple of old folks.

Eli loved Lynn too. He had kisses to go around to everybody...

Oh, and while we are on family, I have a recent picture of my youngest grandson, John...

John looks a little tired to me, but then, he had just gotten off work...third shift. I would be tired too.

I'm a dull blogger today. Could possibly have something to do with the dreary, rainy day. Maybe I will be back tomorrow with more fun stuff. Thank you for visiting.


Saturday, September 27, 2014


I had to laugh this morning. Am I weird? Probably! These citron seeds drying on a piece of waxed paper...

were laying on the bar near where Poppy sits every morning to eat a bowl of Wheaties. Wheaties are the breakfast of champions, you know. Anyhow, noticing him looking at the seeds I said, guess how many seed are in this pile. He said, did you count them? Well yeah! I can't just stand idle and eat lunch so while I ate my biscuit and peanut butter I counted them. Poppy said Mel, don't complain to me again about not having enough time to do everything if you had time to stand and count out two hundred seeds. I said, actually there are four hundred and eighty nine seeds.

Oh golly! "seeds" reminds me again of my very favorite riddle. The riddle that mama and I laughed about for years, years! Here it is again!

If it takes a hen and a half, a day and a half, to lay an egg and a half, how long would it take a grasshopper to kick all the seeds out of a cucumber?

I am a counter. I count my steps to and from the garden and to and from the pond. I count bricks, cinder blocks, hickory nuts, acorns...anything I am picking up. It is especially important to count when going up and down stairs. Is that strange? Guess I will worry now every time I see a white van pulling in the driveway...afraid they are coming to get me and put me away. :)

Poppy putting on his shoes this morning and Eli, big boisterous baby that he, trying to prevent it.

Can you tell Poppy was saying, "Eli, boy, move!  I've got get my shoes on and go to work"!

Okay. My Saturday post. Thank you for visiting. 

Henny Penny

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nothing but Flowers and Peppers

The bees seem happy. The obedient plants, Physostegia Virginiana, have decided to bloom again this year in spite of the many weeds...

This front flower garden is totally out of control. The weeds and bamboo grass have almost taken over and I don't know where to begin cleaning things up. Somewhere in the midst of these flowers are two small pear trees Poppy and set out a couple of years ago...

It was good to see the sun come out today. On Wednesday we woke up to rain. The rain came down steady all day and into the night leaving three and a half inches in the rain gauge. The rain stopped yesterday but the sky was dark and cloudy all day. This morning we awoke to a light mist falling. By noon today the sun was breaking through the clouds, lifting my spirit!

How many times have I said "no more garden pictures"?  Well, one more. How about a peck of unpickled peppers?

I had no idea there were so many peppers in the garden.

Not much of a post, I know. Thank you for stopping by.

Henny Penny

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making Preserves

One word, "Citron"!

Remember the 1967 movie "The Graduate" with Dustin Hoffman. Remember the part where Mr. McGuire says to Benjamin, "one word, plastics".  My favorite line. Dustin Hoffman was hilarious in that movie!

Anyway, "Citron"! Citron preserves. Look! I've actually made two jars of citron preserves...

Am I proud of these or what! It was a sticky job for only two jars but wow, am I proud of these two jars! It really wasn't a mess until I let the pot boil over, just a little. Thankfully I saw it before too much went down in the burner.

It seemed to me like the preserves were not getting thick so I called Shelby. She makes jams, jellies, and preserves daily, DAILY! I would be crazy! Anyway she told me how to check and tell when the preserves are ready. The trick is to keep a saucer waiting in the freezer. To check the preserves put a teaspoon of the boiling mixture on the saucer and then return the saucer to the freezer for two minutes. I did this probably three times. It works! Did I mention how proud I am of these preserves?

I filled the two hot jars, put the rings and lids on and processed them in a boiling water bath for fifteen minutes. Both jars sealed...

While on the subject of citron, look how pretty the seeds are. These look like watermelon seeds except red...

Once upon a time many years ago my Aunt Berlie picked enough wild cherries to make a jar of jelly. One small jar of jelly! Aunt Berlie being proud of that jar of jelly was holding it up to the light, admiring the clear red color when the little jar slipped right out of her fingers, crashed on the kitchen floor and broke. Can you imagine the feeling. 

Another bit of news today...I was rushing around trying to get out the door and to my early morning dentist appointment. Eli was stretched out between the dining room table and the living room, blocking the way into the kitchen. As I tried stepping over him either I lost my balance or Eli moved...or both and I started to fall. There was no stopping at this point. I was on my way down, and hard. I didn't want to fall on Eli and hurt him. But in the shuffle I somehow wound up on the floor and Eli on top. I moaned and groaned a bit. Both knees were hurting.  Eli seemed fine and before I could get back on my feet, he gave me two wet licks across the face. Weetie, worried too was trying to get between Eli and me. What a mess. I'm okay and did make it to the dentist.

Thank you for visiting. Where have the days gone this week? 

Henny Penny

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cooking supper and making stick dolls

Shoot! I wanted to write a quick post but here it is 4:00 Sunday afternoon and I have nothing cooked for supper. At least here's a start. It will take only a few minutes to put the chuck roast in the pressure cooker.

I'm back...and it took more than a few is 7:15! You know how it goes...once you get in the kitchen there is no getting out. I cooked the roast, then peeled, cooked, and mashed the potatoes, cooked a bag of frozen garden peas and...what the heck, why stop now. I turned the oven on and baked two biscuits, then made the gravy. I set the table, poured the iced tea, and called Poppy. We sat and ate our meal together. Poppy got back on the computer whilst I put the food away, washed the dishes, dried the pots and pans and put things away...fed Bun Bun, put the rooster in the goat lot, and closed the chicken house door for the night. Whew! Wonder how long I can sit here now before somebody wants a bowl of ice cream or needs to look at something on the computer? How did everything get to be "my job" anyway?

Over near Poppy's deer hunting spot I cut down a tall maple sapling perfect for making old fashioned dolls. I sawed the sapling into the lengths needed for dolls and peeled the bark off...the fun part...

Actually what I am making is my version of a tall clothespin...

I carve out the head and make the legs, sand it real smooth, then make the stick into a doll...

I hope to be ready for the craft fair that's held at the farmers market in November where Shelby and Jimmy sell their goods every Saturday. It was fun last year. 

These are the real clothespin dolls...

Making the larger clothespin doll is a good change and a little easier on the fingers...

That's about it for tonight friends. Hope to be back tomorrow. Thank you for visiting.

Henny Penny

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Scrounging in the garden again

I was scrounging around up in the teeny tiny garden earlier today gathering anything left that might go good in a pot of homemade vegetable soup. A few tomatoes and lots of okra was about all I found, for the soup anyway...

Okra needs to be cut every day or it gets tough. All of this okra is way too big and old. I did however find several small pods. Now that all the old pods have been cut, more tender pods will grow...

Eli was with me in the garden and for those of you who have never seen him with dirty paws...

How could I tell to stop. He was having so much fun. He loosens the soil better than any tiller could...maybe next spring??

We found a few more orange peppers growing...

and, poking around...

we found three Citron melons...

This melon tried to grow on both sides of the fence...

Daddy used to say that citrons were not fit for anything except for hog food. I have learned recently that citron preserves are delicious. Our friend Nellie makes citron preserves and last summer brought Poppy and me a jar. She also gave me the recipe. Now I have never been a jelly, jam, preserves making person. I love pear preserves but they never turn out right for me. I plan to try once more with these citron melons.

Today has been a good day. It started off cool...59 degrees. I was bound and determined to cross off a few things on my list today and I did just that!

Thank you if you have managed to stay around this far. I said no more garden pictures but stuff to post about around here is pretty scarce these days. :)

Henny Penny

Thursday, September 18, 2014


In case you haven't noticed, I've been away for a few days.  On Monday I actually packed a few things, told Poppy and the animals around here goodbye and drove myself to Yorktown Virginia. You see, September 8th is my daughter Andee's birthday and September 14th is my birthday. We look forward to having a special day together to celebrate our birthdays...time to talk, have lunch together, laugh, and do a little shopping. We did all those things on Tuesday. I drove home on Wednesday. I loved having some time with Todd, Andee, and Madison. 

It was absolutely wonderful to get away...even for just a day. Going to Walmart two or three times a week has been my only outing in the last six months. That is pathetic!

Here in beautiful Yorktown and my only pictures are taken through the windshield of the car crossing the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel on I 664. The total length of this bridge/tunnel is 4.6 miles which makes me just a little nervous...

Notice the white Toyoto in front...that is Andee. How sweet is this...she drove from Yorktown down to Suffolk to meet me and I then followed her home. Andee knows me pretty well. It was comforting to know she was up there leading the way. 

Heading into the tunnel...

The bridge leads right down under the water into the tunnel...Wow!

Hope it is okay that I borrowed this picture from Pinterest.

Gosh, here it is 10:30...bedtime! Thank you for stopping by.

Henny Penny, world traveler!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My dream, my plan!

I am a list maker too! Lists on top of lists! And I can not throw my old lists away. Yesterday two items listed early last spring got crossed off by me. I washed the teeny tiny greenhouse that sits beside the teeny tiny garden and cleaned out the teeny tiny gutters that were packed with rotted leaves. Here all dirty and grungy...

Now nice and clean...

I then pulled all the weeds from a small flower bed near the back steps...

We've simply got to add more red crushed brick stone to this oldest path in the yard. 

Friends, I've come up with a plan. A plan I'm telling you! The greatest plan EVER for our little hobby farm. But getting Poppy to listen and be excited and get involved. Oh my, there's got to be a way to do this, my dream. I've spent many an early morning hour lying awake working on this project and just this morning did I finalize the plan.

Anybody who reads my blog knows how much I want a donkey, or two donkeys. We have a small goat lot but no pasture.  If we fence in the back of our property, the entire back, beginning at each back corner of the house...

running a fence from the right (the chimney) to the left (past the swing) with a gate opening to the path that leads down to the dam of the pond (the green you see behind the little red shed), then run the fence all the way down the side of the dam, turn right at the far end and then run the fence across the back side of the pond along our property line...

view across the back of the pond (lots of green grass back there)...

Then on the right side of the house...

from the corner of the house (the screened-in porch), run the fence to the right, into the woods, then turn and run the fence down our property line, which would be opposite the dam side of the pond to join the fence at the right back corner of our property. 

This hill and green grass is on the right side of the pond...more green grass...

Whew! Did I actually explain all this? Sorry for the ugly muddy pond right now from the four and a half inches of hard rain last week.

The fence I have in mind would be made from eight foot metal T-posts and probably dog wire? or cattle wire? What I need to do is figure the cost, yeah, this should blow the plan all to heck. The area would probably be three acres to fence in, maybe? And then there is Eli. We could let this big fellow out the back door to run free all around the back fenced area.

After Poppy had his coffee this morning I quietly, calmly mentioned my dream, my plan. Poppy's response...Mel, at our age I'm not going to make a change that big to this place. My response, if I, at the age I am now, decided I wanted to become a doctor...really really wanted to become a doctor, I would go for it. Why not? I'm not quite ready to settle in and wait to die. I may not live another day, but then again there may be twenty years ahead to watch two donkeys grazing in the grass on the hill above the pond. So there!

Oh my! Time to jump off my soap box and get busy sweeping the kitchen floor. Thank you if you have managed to get through this ranting. :) Thank you friends!

Henny Penny