Monday, May 23, 2011

Free at last....

 April 19th was chick day! And yesterday was freedom day for those little cuties! We ordered 10 this year and for the first time did not lose any....YAY!!!

To our flock we added Light Brahmas, Black Giants and Araucanas. The Light Brahmas are a wonderful friendly chicken with feathers on their feet. Black Giants are a heavy breed chicken who lay eggs all year round (most chickens don't lay very well if it's too hot or in the winter). Both Brahmas and Blacks eggs are brown. Araucanas originated in Chile and are sometimes called the 'Easter Egg Chicken' because they lay greenish blue eggs. The hens are nice enough but the roosters are some of the meanest one's I've ever come across...therefore we only have hens :-)

In addition to our chickens we have 3 call ducks. Unfortunately they are all males...need to buy a couple females. I enjoy their quacking. When I first released the new chicks from their pen into general population one Brahma (the white little girl) was NOT afraid at all. As a matter of fact she wanted to be friends with the duckies. At first the duckies were fascinated that she was the same size as them and then decided they were afraid of was funny watching her walk after them as if to say "aw come one...can't we be friends?".

The new ones won't start laying eggs until fall, it usually takes until their at least 20 weeks old. But that's ok...just in time for holiday baking!

I am linking up to Homestead Revivals Barn Hop. Click on the link below to see more links. So interesting and informative! Thank you Amy for hosting the weekly Barn Hop.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A fun day at IKEA....

Pure heaven!!!

If you have never been to or heard of IKEA...go, run to your nearest store (or website) and prepare to be inspired! My house was built in 1920 and has very little storage. There is a built in secretary, hutch and a small closet in each bedroom...also a coat closet in the hallway off the kitchen that I suspect was added later. When you first look at IKEA they look sleek and modern...which they are. But, they also have so many different styles, models and colors they can be used in every home. From the skyscraping condo in New York city to the little farmhouse in rural Ohio.

I could do some cooking on this beauty!
The kids and I recently took a trip to the closest IKEA (Pittsburgh) to salivate look around and purchase a new storage unit for my office. There are so many super cool items and ideas in the store. And they are great about allowing people to take pictures, measurements and notes so you can develop the perfect space. While we looked in all sorts of wardrobes, drawers and sat on lots of chairs and beds...I found it interesting that the most "ooohs and aaahs" were expressed when we reached the kitchen area. And not just by me! My son and daughters boyfriend both enjoy cooking as much as I do. There was one kitchen we all agreed on. Couldn't resist snapping a few pictures while we dreamed what it would be like to actually cook and entertain in such a beautiful space. 

The built in island is to die for! My son said, this is where I would be all the time...he's such a good boy :-) It would be amazing being able to cook and visit with my kids, friends and family at the same time. You know how they have people who "live at wal-mart"...I want to live at IKEA!!!

Finally, I did purchase a Expedit 4x4 storage unit. It looks sooo much better and has an amazing amount of storage. One down IKEA wish list is growing daily! Happy organizing everyone.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


It has been snowing or raining here in Northeast Ohio for what feels like FOREVER!!! We had two nice days and I was soooo excited. We are ready for summer food! You know...anything on the grill, pasta salads, all kinds of salads really, fresh fruits and veggies. As much as I enjoy cooking and eating winter food (soups, roasts, casseroles) I'm 'over' them right now. Today was no different, weather wise, than yesterday and the day before, and the day before and....well you understand.

I decided to make meatballs for dinner tonight. I was going to make them sweet and sour but since it's a bit chilly and gloomy decided it was beef gravy and rice. Mixed some spices into my meat, formed the meatballs and browned them in a skillet. Moved them to a casserole dish and put them in the oven. Made a rue in the skillet and then beef gravy. Poured it over the meatballs and let them bake for about an hour. I wanted to make wild rice but didn't have enough so just used brown rice. A little boring but tasty.

Come on summer...Mama is hungry for kabobs and corn on the cob grilled over an open flame!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day...

"Just for Moms and Mothers"

This for all the mothers who
froze their cabooses off on metal bleachers at soccer games
so that when their kids asked, "Did you see my goal?" they could say,
"Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world,"
and mean it!

This is for the mothers who
have sat up all night with sick children in their arms,
wiping up vomit laced with Oscar Meyer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid
saying, "It's ok honey, Mommy's here."

This is for all the mothers of Kosovo who
fled in the night and can't find their children.

This for the mothers who
gave birth to babies they'll never see and for the mothers who took those
babies and gave them homes.

This is for all the mothers who
run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes.

What makes a good mother anyway?
Is it patience? Compassion?
The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it heart?
Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street,
walking to school alone for the very first time?
The jolt that takes yo from sleeping at 2 a.m. to put your hand
on the back of a sleeping baby?

Is it the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child
when you hear news of a school shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying?
I think so!

This is for reading "Goodnight Moon" twice a night for a year.
And then reading it again,
"Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who
taught their children to tie their shoes before they started to school
and for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
For all the mothers who bit their lips (sometimes until they bled)
when their 14 year old dyed their hair green.

This is for all the mothers who
show up at work with spit-up in their hair
and diapers in their purse.

This is for mothers who
teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for all mothers whose
heads turn automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd,
even though they know their own offspring are at home or are grown.

This is for the mothers who
put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children's graves.
This is for all the mothers whose children have gone astray
and who can't find words to reach them.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and
sleep deprivation.  And mature mothers learning to let go. For working moms and stay-at-home moms. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money and mothers without.

This is for you, so hang in there.
The world would be a terrible place without the love
of mothers everywhere.
You make it a more civil, caring and safe place for the precious
children in our world.

"Home is what catches you when you fall - and we all fall!"

Jon (son), Morgan (daughter), Grandma, Mom, Me

Monday, May 2, 2011

Who are you missing today?

I'm feeling emotionally exhausted today! I miss my Grandpa. I miss my Josie. I miss my Aunts and Uncles who have gone before me. I miss being a child. I miss feeling hopeful and secure. I miss sleeping at my Grandma's and waking to the smell of breakfast cooking, the sound of my Mom watching Johnny Carson (and laughing), the comfort and security of a big loving family. I miss playing ghost in the graveyard, 4th of July cookouts and begging my Grandma and her sisters to let me play cards with them. I miss when a hug and kiss for my booboo really could make it all better.

We will bury my Aunt Glory tomorrow. She is actually my Great Aunt. My Grandma is one of 12 children, I grew up with them. My Uncle and I are only 4 years apart. So my "greats", as we affectionately call them, are like regular ole' Aunts and Uncles.  I have been blessed to have a first hand account from the greatest generation to walk this land. The trials and tribulations, the simple (and greatest) holidays and birthdays, the days of baking bread and going without. As they pass, one by one, I am saddened to no longer have their harsh, but love filled, have their stories remind me what is right, what is wrong...what it is to love someone, not because they are just like you but because they aren't.

There are only four of them left. My Uncle Hen, Aunt Ruth, Aunt Mary Jane and Grandma. My Uncle Hen's eyes light up when he sees my daughter, Aunt Ruth is becoming frail and forgetful, Aunt Mary Jane always called me watcha majigger (she lives in TX now) and my Grandmother is the most gentle, God fearing, strongest woman I've ever known. Her strength shown through when, as a child, I sobbed next to the casket of my Great Grandma (her mother) as she comforted me...but showed her gentleness as I wrapped my arms around her at the pulpit while she cried at the loss of her sister this Sunday.

I have no good way to wrap this post. The price you pay for the blessing of an amazing family is the pain you feel as they pass on, one by one.