Happy Birthday Ann

Today is Ann’s birthday, and I am going to make her a
special breakfast.

I apologize for the delay in blogging, but I have been so
busy this month, that I do not have time to breathe. I never
want to be this scheduled again. Too much work.

So, what has been going on? Well, I went to my first
duplicate bridge regional tournament, and I won a gold
point. It is too complicated to explain, but it is a big deal.
The tournament was in Gaitlinburg, and it is the largest
regional tournament in the US. It was overwhelming.

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This is one part of one half of the room. I saw that maximum occupancy was 4,000. That is a lot of people playing duplicate bridge, and I am addicted.

I am going to a sectional tournament next Friday, and then another regional in June.

Back to Ann’s birthday. I could not post my crochet project because I was making it as a gift for Ann.

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I saw that Becky had made a bag, so I tried it myself. Becky’s bag is so much tighter than mine, but I will get better as I go on. This was my first project other than an afghan I made my mother thirty years ago using only a single crochet.

My brother is coming for a visit this weekend, so I am excited. I am also cleaning. lolol

In May, I am only working Saturdays and Mondays, so this should give me some time to get some of my crafts done. We are joining a craft fair at the end of August, so I need to have quite an inventory by then…..aprons, bags, rugs, and I do not know about soap. I guess I should do soap.

Have a great day, week or month….whatever it is until my next blog!

Posted in Crafty Me | 4 Comments

Spring has popped up, thank goodness

My big adventure of the day was Violet jelly. Carrie and I were

talking about it during the week; so I picked mine, which were

not many, and Carrie picked hers. She had about two cups.

I had a quarter of that.

They looked like this:

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This is what it looks like when it is finished. After you pour hot water over the violets and let them sit, the water turns a bluish purple, very light. But when you add the lemon juice it turns a beautiful pink. The taste is very light and honestly tastes like what you think a violet might taste like. That is, if you ever thought about that before.

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We have begun our spring planting. The peas have been in the ground for a few weeks now, and they have started to come up.

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We built a special trellis for them today, so they will have good support to climb. Peas are one of my favorites.

I got all, well most, of the flowers I will need for my rail boxes. I will need them for many of the other pots, but that can wait. We are going to take an old wheelbarrow, spray it red, and put plants in it. Ann is good at coming up with ideas for the yard. On that I go along with her.

This is our thrift, a kind of phlox.  We lost a lot of it the winter before, but it seems to have come back. We are going to plant this on our bank, but it will take a few years to really cover it.

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Ann’s red bush came back beautifully. It was planted last spring.
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I asked Ann what this plant was and she said purple flower. Then she said the the Latin name was purplus flowerus. lol
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There is a bloom on the iris already.
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This is ginger, and it seems to be doing well. I planted it last year, and I have to give it a year. Well, the year is up, and it is popping up in many places. I will harvest it at the end of the summer.
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The next are for my six rail boxes. The are long, and I will probably put two of each of them in each box.

Dusty Miller, which is one of my favorite plants.

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Verbena
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Geraniums.  I wanted them this year, because the pansies just did not like the amount of sun the front porch gets.
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This is a different lavender than we have had. It was so soft that I just wanted it. Our lavender did not do well over the winter, so we will need to get more. This will go in a special place.
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We got our yearly ferns too. I love to see ferns on front porches. One year birds built a nest in them, and that was exciting. Oh, speaking of birds, the hummingbirds should be back in two weeks.

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I hung my hammock swing on the front porch today also. I need to get a photo of it. I just did not use it enough when it was set up on the back deck. Now I can sit and read or just sit.

I also started power cleaning the back deck. I have about a third of it done, and it is suppose to rain the rest of the week. At least it will get fully rinced.

April is massively busy for me this, and I look forward to a calmer May.

Posted in Channeling a Farm Wife, Food, Nature | 7 Comments

A New Craft

I must have a dozen crafts going all at once, but I really wanted
to learn to crochet. I knew the single crochet stitch, but you
cannot do a lot with just that.

Becky, who is Ann’s niece (and technically mine too) and who is
part of the blog, is a very talented crocheter. Ann’s mom did
incredible thread crocheting, and Becky has inherited the talent.
She is amazing, and I asked her to give me a lesson. Right now,
Becky is making doilies. I can only hope that one day I am good
enough to do them. Take a look at these:

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Can you believe these? I think she could sell them for a lot of money.

I went to visit Becky on Sunday, and she showed me a double crochet, triple crochet, blanket stitch and a slip stitch. I have taken my project apart many times, but I will show you what I have so far.

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No, it is not a coaster. It is not a yarn Frisbee. I am not telling what it is, but I will post photos as I go along. At some time it will become apparent.

Posted in Crafty Me | 16 Comments

Now the unnamed chickens….and a flowering tree

I am putting the name Fiona on the bald one, from this point forward. So, I have introduced Jax, Fiona, Pea, Phyllis, Misty Day and Queenie. That leaves three. Two that look very much alike, and a gray one. I will call the black ones the Laceys. The gray one is Cagney.

So this is Cagney. I think she came from Maria also. She is a peace keeper, but she gets in there when the treats are coming.

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Two look just like this, so these are the Laceys. One of the Laceys spends most of her life being broody, but I do not think she is laying any longer.
She just spends her time remembering.

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One of the last sets to be hatched turned into a rooster. He is living at Carrie’s now, and he is beautiful. I will have to get a photo. He is totally black except for his neck, which is silver from his shoulders to his ears.

It is spring finally, but we are suppose to get snow flurries on Friday night into Saturday. Of course I am driving a trolley on Saturday, and it is suppose to get all the way to 42. We changed out our winter clothes for our summer ones, and I will have to dig out some wool socks to wear. My feet get so cold on that trolley on a cold day.

We have this peach tree that produces three peaches a year, and the birds usually beat me to them. It is a volunteer, meaning it just grew there; we did not plant it. It is flowering right now. If the number of flowers means the number of peaches, we might have a bumper crop this year….four. I just looked up the reason large crops are called bumper crops.

Note: I just realized I had forgotten to put up the photo…duh.
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I think I will do bios of the dogs and cats next. They all have interesting stories, but I will have to dig up some photos on that.

Posted in Chickens and Birds, Nature | 8 Comments

The Day of Phyllis

Phyllis used to be a competition chicken. She was bathed almost weekly, and she supposedly enjoyed being blown dry. This is a totally different life for her. She now has a poop butt, and she only gets bathed when that butt gets too nasty. She does like sitting in a bowl of warm water, though. Maybe I should regularly schedule a spa day for her.

The day I took that photo, she refused to be inside the coop with me. When we had all the ice a few weeks ago, I watched her slide down the hill in the outside coop. It was actually funny. Obviously, she made it back up or I would have gone out and helped her.

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Phyllis has never liked me near her, but when I pick her up she is ok with it. She is a good mama, and she is the one who mothers the new babies, but obviously she has never mothered one of her own eggs. I am told that in chickens, white is the dominate color. That means a white hen and any other color chicken would produce a white chick. We have never had one. We usually get black or buff.

When Phyllis decides she wants to be broody and sit in the nest, she will growl and hiss at me when I lift her to take her egg or whatever egg she is sitting on.

I did not name her. Phyllis was her name when I got her as an adult, and I did not want to mess with her head.

The next one I actually know the name of is Misty Day. We took that name from a television show, and it was a character who was infatuated with Stevie Nicks. Misty Day is a splash. She is grayish white with splashes of black. She is extra fluffy, and I got her from Maria, up the hill. She is a good layer, but not so good at the setting. When treats are thrown, she is one of the first to come running.

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This is Queenie. She is part frizzle, which makes the feather crumpled looking. From what I understand, you cannot mate a frizzle with a frizzle because it is technically a birth defect. The chick, if it lived, would be very weak boned, and it would be a cruel thing to do.

As you can see, Queenie is beginning to molt. Queenie came from Maria also.

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Note: Norma, without your detective work, I would not know the names of my own chickens. I do really appreciate it.

Posted in Chickens and Birds | 5 Comments