Friday Farm Fotos: Meet-n-Greet

"Hi, I'm Lily~ what's your name?"

"You smell funny!"

"Can't we stay just a little longer?"

"See you around... Mom says we've got to go..."

Happy Friday, everybody!


Home Time Tuesday: The cook is OUT

The temperature yesterday was near 50 degrees for the first time since November. Heat wave! Yay! I filled the birdbath with fresh water and sure enough, it wasn't long before a few decided to splash around in it.
I didn't grab my camera soon enough to get a picture, but I saw several male bluebirds trying to take a bath all at the same time. It was such a neat thing to see. (Not to mention colorful!)

From my Kitchen:

Today is mine and Hubby's wedding anniversary and we're planning on going out to eat this evening. We talked about maybe driving to Knoxville and eating at The Olive Garden, but with us, you never know.
One thing I do know....

My kitchen is closed today!
*Sound of me jumping up and down*

From my sewing room:

Still working on a couple more apron/bonnets...
I found this fabric a few months ago and had planned to do something else with it at the time:

Instead, I had a moment of inspiration hit me a few days ago when I found these tiny little roses I had saved in my embroidery program:

Even though they're only about an inch in size, I think the detail is wonderful.
(You can click on the picture to enlarge.)
I decided to use them on the ends of the ties for embellishment to see how it would look.

I have a few more steps to go before it is finished, but it shouldn't take long so hopefully I can get it done this afternoon.

Lily Mae photo of the day:

Potty training has been going very well for Miss Lily, except for those bitterly cold days when she looks at me as if to say...

"You want me to do what out here?"

Happy Tuesday, Everybody!


Friday Farm Fotos: Sunbathing Chickies

Despite the fact that it was only 40 degrees outside, the clouds opened up long enough for Whitey and Ruthie to get the urge to soak their old bones in the warm sunshine for a few minutes.

(And I mean old bones... by our best calculations they are at least 7 years old, maybe more- which in chickens years is ancient.)

This is the poultry equivalent to a weekend in Palm Springs....

12:05 p.m.-

12:11 p.m.-

 12:15 p.m.- Tanned and refreshed, now back to the hunt for bugs.

Happy Friday, everybody!


Home Happenings Tuesday: Sewing patterns and Chowder

A little sparrow cleans up leftover chicken feed in the snow.

 Our snow has finally started melting after being on the ground for over a week- which is very unusual for East Tennessee, where most snows are gone by the next day. I have to admit, it's kinda nice to see the grass again... even if it is brown.

From my sewing room:

I've not been doing much sewing this past week (unfortunately) because of the weather... the temperature was below freezing for several days and it seemed like I was constantly having to go outside and thaw the water out for all the animals... I don't like to be starting and stopping a project, especially when it comes to sewing- I'm afraid I'll forget a step and mess up.
However, I did take the opportunity to start organizing some of my patterns... gosh, I didn't realize how many I had! I'm trying to get them separated into groups, since some are for clothes, some are for crafts, etc.- then I'll put them back in order that I want to make them. I have a little plastic 3-drawer cabinet I bought at Walmart that works great for pattern-keeping. I know I'll never get around to making all of them, but maybe this will help me in finding one if I need it.

From the Kitchen:

A dutch oven full of potato chowder is on the menu for today.... we like ours served in a bread bowl and topped with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.
(I would rather make my own bread bowls, time permitting; but if not, I'll buy large rolls at the local grocery.)

Potato chowder with bacon

12 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium onions, chopped
1/3 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups milk
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Crumbled bacon for garnish

Place potatoes in dutch oven and cover with water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and place potatoes into another container; meanwhile, in the dutch oven, melt butter and saute onions. stir in flour until smooth, then gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Reduce heat, and add potatoes back into the onion mixture along with carrots, salt, and pepper. Simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and serve.

(Click here for the bread bowl recipe I use- it's one of the best I've found, but I did cut the sugar content down from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup.)

Lily Mae photo of the day:

Lily lays in the sun chewing on a stray sock that fell out of the laundry basket.....
(Only after 30 minutes of me looking for the sock everywhere... *jeez*)

Caught cha!!

Happy Tuesday, everybody!


Farm Happenings Thursday: Flying sheep and chicken tracks

"Did someone say...TREATS?"

I had a special "Home" Happenings Thursday to share with you today, but due to unforeseen circumstances (okay, okay~ I didn't have all the pictures ready... *sigh*) it will have to wait until Monday.
Instead, it has been replaced with another episode of  "Farm" Happenings.... besides, I just couldn't wait to share some pictures of our snowy week with you.

Hubby and I have so much fun watching the sheep when they take a notion to romp and play, but I never seem to have my camera handy when the mood hits them; even if I do, I'm never quick enough to capture the moment.

Until now.

No, your eyes do not deceive you~ on the far left of the picture is the very graceful and acrobatic Sweetie caught in mid-flight.

Not to be outdone, the not-so-graceful (and very plump) Tiny is bringing up the rear; trying his best to catch some serious air.
Notice how even though his front feet are off the ground, the rest of him doesn't seem to be able to defy gravity long enough to take flight.

And then there is this...
 for some reason this makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.

Chicken tracks in the snow.

 Notice the single pair of huge feet leading up to the spot where apparently a group of cluckies were gathered to brag about who laid the biggest egg this week...

Or were they line dancing?

Unfortunately, I have not been able to capture that on camera....yet...

Happy weekend everybody!


Farm Happenings Monday: Snow, sheep, and eggs

We had another visit from Old Man Winter on Saturday and lots more is on the way today- it's 5:00 a.m. and the snow is piling up fast. Hubby just left a few minutes ago- he has to go to work earlier than normal in bad weather. Lily and I are sitting by the woodstove enjoying the early morning quiet.... (well, I am- Lily is snoring again.) The only sounds I hear outside are my wind chimes singing softly in the cold wind and roosters crowing... I love it when all the roosters wake up and get started- it's like roll call: first one is always Beau, my biggest black silkie roo; then my little buddy, Cecil; then Buster, the splash silkie roo, and then last but not least, Whitey wakes his old bones up and eeks out some noises that sound nothing like a normal crow at first...but once he gets the frog out of his throat he really kicks it in high gear and crows for the rest of the morning.

I'm trying to keep a good fire going in the woodstove just in case we lose electricity... I have enough stacked up on the porch to last through today but if Hubby gets tied up at work (he works for the power company) I'll have to load my little trailer up with wood from the barn and bring it down the hill with the 4-wheeler. I'm so thankful I have this little gem to make light work of some otherwise tough tasks around the farm:

From the barn:

We seem to be doing pretty good on our hay supply right now... I've been trying to keep track of how many bales we've used so far and we're just about to the halfway point. I'm really happy we were able to put up on own hay this summer.... even though it was very hard work, it is really good hay full of nutrients and the sheep love it. It makes my heart happy to know my animals are well-fed and content.

The scoop from the coops:

It's official- the cold weather and short days have caused the Americauna girls to finally quit laying. Sarge and Big Bird, my two oldest green-eggers, haven't laid an egg since Thanksgiving and my four newbies: Goldie, Blackie, Shirley, and Chatty Cathy, who were all spring hatchlings, have also gradually slowed down and finally stopped altogether. Chatty Cathy is an interesting bird- I'll have to do an entire post on her sometime. I had a Chatty Cathy doll when I was a little girl, but Chatty the Bird talks circles around the doll. She will stand at my feet and go "rah rah rah rah" NON-STOP. The only thing that shuts her up for a little while is a handful of corn, and she gets that quite a bit.
Hmmm..... maybe she's smarter than I think she is....

Chatty Cathy, in one of the rare moments she isn't talking.



Farm Foto of the day:

Can you spot the sheep in this picture?
I think Edie is convinced the snow makes her invisible.

Happy Monday, everybody... hope you're staying warm today!



Home Happenings Thursday: beef stew and aprons

Old Man Winter paid us another visit yesterday... 2 inches in 2 hours!

From the kitchen:

I have beef stew simmering in the dutch oven along with sweet cornbread muffins for supper tonight.
I really love "one-dish" meals... not only does it make for easy clean-up after the meal, but it's really two meals in one because we always have plenty of leftovers for another night. I found the most wonderful recipe for sweet cornbread muffins- it is so quick and easy you'll never need to buy another box of corn muffin mix again.

Basic corn muffins
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup oil
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, grease muffin pan or line with paper liners.
Mix all ingredients together, then spoon batter into muffin cups. (Should be enough batter for 12 muffins)
Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes. For variety, you can omit the sugar and add shredded cheese, jalapeno peppers, etc.

From the sewing room:

I've been working on a couple of "apron/bonnets" this week for my ETSY shop... these are from a great old vintage pattern that belonged to my Hubby's grandmother.
Here is the first one in it's "apron form":
(you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them)

Isn't this fabric the cutest ever? *squeal*

And by buttoning two buttons on the side and cinching the tie in the back...

It becomes a bonnet!
(Modeled by the very demure Ms. Head.)

This is the fabric I'm using for the other one; I just love this retro look and I think it will look very cute as an apron.

This is a shirt I embroidered for my Dad for Christmas. He loves his motorcycle and I thought he would enjoy wearing a Goldwing when it's too cold to ride one.
I forgot to take a picture of it before I gave it to him, but he wanted me to launder it for him so I snapped a quick pic this morning before I give it back to him.

Lily Mae photo of the day:

Any dream that makes your eyes roll back in your head and your tongue stick out must be a pretty doggone good one....

Farm Happenings on Monday for all you sheepie and chickie lovers!
Have a great weekend, Bloggy friends!


New year, new beginnings

Photo from my very first post back in 2008

I've made my usual New Year's resolutions again....
You know the ones... the "taking better care of myself and losing some pounds" one, the "less TV/ more reading" one, etc....

Happily, I think I've found the secret to making the scales see things my way-

I've also decided that in the coming year I plan on trying to blog a little more frequently, and although I will still be writing about the critters and the other farmy goings-on around here, I'm also going to start sharing with you some of the things coming out of my sewing room. This was actually my intention when I started this blog three years ago... (Three? WOW!).... to share my creations whether they were good or bad; as some of you know certain projects turn out just great, while others seem to be possessed with an evil force intent on destroying your sanity. I have so much I want to accomplish this year, and some of my biggest goals are: I want to make a quilt, I want to go through all my hundreds of patterns and organize them by putting the ones I want to make the most at the top of the list, and.... I want to re-open my poor little neglected ETSY Shop for business once again.

Am I being unrealistic? I don't think so...
Will I feel overwhelmed? I'm sure of it.

However, I have several crafty long-time blog friends along a couple of new friends I've met recently that post about the projects they are working on, and seeing other people's creativity at work has inspired me to retreat into my sewing room and get busy.

I'm looking forward to writing about my projects, and of course there is never a dull moment with Smokey, the chickens, and the sheepies... oh, and sweet little Lily, who is doing a great job in the potty training so far.
I hope you'll keep dropping by in 2011 to see what's going on around here!