Thursday, January 30, 2014

What to do when it snows

 I started my picture uploading in the wrong order.... oh well. 
My children are older but these are things you can do when it snows.
I keep our Gingerbread kits handy. We usually get so busy at Christmas we forget about them but its fun to do close to Valentines Day as well! (add in some Valentine candy!)
 My baby girl had a little trouble with her house (above)
 I had trouble with the teens texting while we were supposed to be having some "family time"
 When they were younger I was always prepared to make Valentines cards very early one; That way, if it snowed we could make them in our time cooped up in the house!
 We also make snow cream and home made hot cocoa.
 We don't get a lot of snow here, so when we do, we have to make the best of it. 
Its been so cold (this morning it was 0 degrees) I have to take hot water out to the coop and pour in the watering bucket to melt the ice and give them something to drink! 

I often cook them some oatmeal with cranberries or raisins as an added (warm) treat.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

This Week I .....

 This week I sold my Americana rooster. I have loved watching him grow up and was sad to say goodbye but when my little friend's chicken turned out to be a rooster, it was a bad combo (to have two roosters) so we sent him to a new home.
 This week I watched Lucky Bear grow more! At 7 weeks old he is about 7 lbs.
This week I applied for part time jobs to help with expenses and to help get me through the summer. (no interviews yet)
This weekend I rested a lot. My immune system has been working hard these last few months in the new job. This weekend Ive been finishing up the Dexter series on Netflix and catching up on blog reading.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Not healthy but yummy

 In these parts, local churches sell Brunswick Stew and sell it for around $6 a quart. Its always a yummy winter treat. They cook them in huge cast iron pots outside. 
Recently, my cousin posted on Facebook about buying collard sandwiches. 
I had never heard of them! She also lives in N.C. but in her area the churches sell collard sandwiches as a fund raiser. She told me about them, so I decided to make some at home,
You fry cornbread in thin pieces (like a pancake) and then add the collards and either top it or serve fat back on the side. Now, I'm not a fatback fan most of the time but I decided to try it.
Next time, Ill leave off the fat back unless I'm serving those who really like it. 
 Over all, it was oh so good on a Saturday afternoon when I'm not feeling quite up to par. 

Over the next week I will be getting my mind ready to begin my green smoothie/healthy (clean) eating journey. In the mean time, if I want a collard sandwich or some Brunswick stew, I'm gonna eat it! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Who Am I (aka All About Me)

I started blogging years ago. Some of my current readers were followers back then. I started blogging about my family. It was a way to update family and friends about our family and eventually it was more of a place to write my thoughts.  

I am not so important that many want to know about me. When I decided to close my former blog Fried Green Tomatoes and Sweet Tea I came to the conclusion that I will probably always blog regardless of whether anyone reads my blogs or not. 

I have always loved writing. As a teenager I wrote poetry and short stories. As my family grew, I grew more and more busy and left writing behind me. About ten  years ago I found my way back to writing. (poetry, blogs and most recently a children's book) 

I grew up being raised by a village. From the age of three I lived with and was raised by my daddy. My sister is a few years younger than me. I grew up helping take care of her. We grew up spending summers and afternoons with our grandparents. One the weekends we went to our aunt's house.

I grew up attending church on a regular basis and met my husband there when I was four years old!  (yes, I said 4!)  I grew up around him and eventually developed a small crush on him. He joined the Army when he was a teenager and when he returned home we had both grown up a bit. We became friends and hung out together at church and eventually he asked me out on a date. 

Fast forward 27 years.....

We have four children. Our only son is in the Marines. Our daughters are growing up quickly and all too soon we will be in this  double wide mobile home with only one child left at home. That makes me sad but at the same time it will give us a few years to spend all our time on her. 

I am not a pretender. I am  a woman who loves her children more than life. I love my husband and my job. I am a believer in Christ but have struggled in recent years over what church to attend. I love chickens! Yes, I said Chickens.  I am overweight and feel that I have always been overweight, until I look over my photos from the past. I don't know what made me feel overweight but I wasn't overweight until I started having babies. 

Here I am with nearly grown children and all too often I feel unhappy about my health and my weight. I am self conscious and simply not happy. About a year ago I read about and tried green smoothies. My family wasn't interested but now... they are. 

We watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and that is an eye opener! My husband has lost nearly 20 pounds in three weeks replacing meals with green smoothies. (though we differ on what we like in them and the consistency of them) They are simply up to you.

Here I am....... I am beginning a journey next week (after pay day) to get healthy and lose weight.  My husband is on this journey and one of my daughters will also join us in this journey. (and Ill be blogging about it) 

I am getting organized in my house, in my life and on this blog. I intend to blog more often and only on certain topics. (What would you like to read about?) 
Starting next week, Ill be blogging about our health journey, sharing recipes, talking about pets & family, ideas on date nights/family nights and sharing a little about my faith and upcoming children's book!

I welcome comments and contributions so please...... let me know you are still here and interested.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Thunder in Winter = Snow?

 There is an old wives tale that says when it thunders in the winter there will be snow/winter weather within ten days.
 Years ago I wanted to prove that saying wrong. Every time we got thunder in the winter (which is not often) I wrote it on the calendar and paid close attention to it.
 It was RIGHT about 95% of the time! Seriously!
Ten days ago today we had a thunder storm. Seven days after the thunder we woke to a beautiful dusting of snow.
I love snow.I always hope for one good snow day. (Several inches of snow) but we haven,t had that in years.  States up north got more than they have had in years but us down south.... we still are without a decent amount of snow. It was nice to get this much though.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Not for the squeemish- egg bound hens and house training puppies

Our little Lucky Bear isnt so little anymore. Hes growing so fast and is developing spots.
This weekend Ive been trying to work on house training..... which is difficult when you have a 13 year old who keeps letting him out of the crate. 

We also had a sick chicken.
 I found her in the coop floor hunched over and not moving. I knew immediately she was egg bound. Ive dreaded the day that this would happen. Poor thing was dirty and had dried poop all over her.
 We brought her in and soaked her in warm water and epsom salt. I tried to clean the poop off of her and eventually she started standing and straining.
 Her bottom area was swollen, red and caked with poop. In the end, we had to put her down as we couldn't help her and she was dying.
We are now down to ten hens and 1 rooster.
Tomorrow the Americana Rooster will leave to go to a new home and our Foster Rooster will remain with the flock forever!
Raising chickens is not as easy as I once thought. I still enjoy it, and wouldn't change a thing.

The leghorns are the ones I rescued and due to their bad health when I got them, they have one by one died or had to be put down. Out of 6 that I started with, I only have two left.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Our Ugly Buzzard Blossomed!

 Remember this cute little chick ?
 Remember this cute little guy?
 My little friend here watched chicks hatch from eggs at school last year. He wanted to keep one so he asked if it could live with me :) I agreed and have had so much fun watching it grow.
 It was quite ugly once it lost its baby cuteness. We joked about him being a buzzard. It started to change a lot recently and it was today that I realized that cute little chick is a ROOSTER! 
Unfortunately he is fighting with my other rooster so we have to find a solution soon!
He;s turned out to be quite handsome!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cold Chicken

 This week we had some very cold weather. Lower than its been in more than a decade. 
We had to prepare the coop to keep the chickens safe.  We put the heat lamp (from when we had chicks) in the coop and kept it on 24/7 It looked like the coop was ablaze!
 Of course the light kept the chickens awake more which makes them eat more.
I put out extra feed for them to eat. The digestion of the feed also keeps them warm. 
Each morning I went out with boiling water to pour over their frozen water. I also fed them some leftovers!  They did well in 4 degree weather! In fact, in the past two days we collected ten eggs! (which is unheard of here in the winter!!)
 I found a few eggs in the door of the fridge, Id forgotten they were there! 
I used a little trick to test the eggs to see if they were good or not. Your egg should stay at the bottom of the glass if its fresh and good. As it ages it will stand up and eventually, if its too old thus bad to eat, it will float (like the photo above) 
If the egg is fresh and good to eat, it will stay at the bottom of the glass like the photo below.
In the winter I find myself purchasing grocery store eggs. I don't like to do that anymore but we do what we have to do. Ive read about how people use lighting in the coops to keep their chickens laying eggs year round and I had no interest in doing this, that is, until I saw what a difference it made in the egg laying this week! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

When you die

When we pass on, the most important thing is that we had given our heart/life over to the Lord before our passing. Not just saying a prayer but living the life God intended for us. Its a daily walk and battle. 

Have you ever thought about your obituary? Or what they will say about you when you are gone from this Earth? 

One thing that sticks in my mind about the movie "A Christmas Carol" is the scene where friends and family were talking about Scrooge when he passed away. In the story, he was able to watch and listen to what others thought of him and what kind of legacy he left on this Earth. It was heartbreaking to empathize with him when he finally saw what others saw in him. 

While what others say is not the ONLY thing we should think about, it is something to consider. Consider what you say/do to those around you. Is it a Godly impression?

Along those same lines, take the time to read THIS OBITUARY. 

I didn't know this lady but I wish I had. I can only hope that memories like these stand out to others when I'm gone.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Growing Lucky

 Our little Lucky Bear is growing quickly. Look how sweet his big eyes are!
 And he loves to sleep on his back!
 He is one month old now. He loves his bottle but we are beginning the weaning process. He now gets a big spoon full of mushed puppy food and milk in the mornings.
He loves to play with his little friend the hedge hog.  See how big he is next to his little friend? Now look how big (little) he was the day we got him and his hedge hog.

Are your children egocentric?

I have studied early childhood for many years. I find the stages of development fascinating from early childhood to adolescence.  Jean Piaget said that children show egocentric behavior. states that egocentrism is having or regarding the self or the individual as the center of all things.

Does that sound like your child? As an example, children ages birth to two years old are completely egocentric. They are just learning about the world around them and it is understandable that they would think in this manner. From the ages of two to six children are more developed but think in terms of images and symbols and therefor find it difficult to distinguish their point of view from others. At the ages of six to twelve children have developed cognitively and their egocentrism declines but is still there on a lower level. 

I have the most difficult time dealing with the final stage which is from age twelve to 19 or so. At this age the egocentrism has declined and they can understand various sides of the same situation. Still, at this age they most often feel that the world revolves around them. They feel that everyone is looking at them and often think they are invincible. For this reason, our military branches are able to recruit our young boys. So often boys of the ages seventeen to eighteen think it will be cool to join the military, they think they will be a bad a%$# and no harm will come to them because they are in control and are invincible. "It will never happen to me" most say. They simply cannot fathom the world as it is, they only see themselves. Since they feel so invincible the military is able to scoop them up before they see things as they really are.

As a mother this is so frustrating! My son is a Marine and I couldn't be more proud but I know at the time he made this decision he had no idea what he was in for. He has grown up so much in the past four years and seen things most adults don't need to see. My heart breaks for these young boys that are not fully developed cognitively making lifetime decisions.

At the same time, I think about the teens at home. The things that teenagers get themselves in to ! 
Usually because they are thinking only of themselves.They do this, because their brains are not fully developed but how frustrating it is for parents ! Sometimes teenagers make decisions that cause more harm than good not only to them but their families. An example is texting and  driving, drinking and driving, and/or sexual behaviors. Not only can these things affect the teenager directly, it affects the world around them but they usually don't understand that. They simply think that no matter what they have seen or heard of happening, it doesn't relate to "their" situation because no one has ever encountered this exact situation.

Its the egocentric behavior.

A teenagers decisions can cost families to separate, parents to lose their job and put their siblings and others lives in jeopardy. We adults see these things and understand so much more than they do. 

How can we get them to understand when their brains simply aren't fully developed. 

This post isnt directly related to any one event that has happened or is happening in my life. Its something that Ive thought about for a long time and decided to finally post it for the frustrated parents out there.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A little Crafty

 I told you about the local Dairy Farm that I fell in love with. 
Maple View Farms is a family business and they do awesome field trips for children and have the best milk, butter and ice cream around. I love these bottles that their chocolate milk is sold in and I had to think of something to do with them. I made Christmas gifts!
I bought paint that was made for painting on glass. I took my time and poured little bits at a time and moved the bottles around until they were completely covered. Then, I turned them upside down over a paper towel to drain all excess paint out. I let them cure for several days. 

Then I used the vinyl rub on letters and designs to create names or designs on them. 
I tied a ribbon or rope around the top and there is a nice personalized gift!
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DIY Show Off


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