Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, Chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...

Apr 28, 2013

Coop Re-Do, Spring Veggie Garden

Anya Watching the Spring Birds

Coop Re-Do-
After much gathering of materials & building I finally was able to paint yesterday! 75, clear, sunny and a little breezy.

Before painting

After painting and decorating! Same color as before- our house trim color

My new sign from Bainbridge Farm Goods- Etsy  I like the purple and sage combination

My old yard sale sign

My $10.00 door!

The old coop, nice but hard to clean. We saved the sun room for winter, and will use then.

Spring Garden-
Today I planted oak leaf lettuce, french radishes and flat leaf Italian parsley in our cold frame. I planted some starts of other lettuces, collard greens (which did awesome last year!) and Swiss chard last week. I got the pansies in my kitchen window basket, which I love!

Apr 25, 2013




From a Facebook posting:  Not for the kiddies!

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's 20, much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid

ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral...
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
And last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

Apr 20, 2013

Homemade Elderberry Syrup, Henny The Poo, "Making Home" Book

Homemade Elderberry Syrup-
In the scheme of wanting to make more homemade supplements, etc, I found this post- Everything You Want to Know About Elderberry Syrup, courtesy of Frippery Farm. I LOVE Pure Cajun Sunshine's blog, looks like she stopped posting after a horrible snakebite. I hope she's ok, cause there's lot of fun stuff there! Anyway, after going thru two rounds of bronchitis and a cold with 2 weeks in  between where I thought I was ok, it's time to make elderberry syrup. It will be good to have on hand. I went thru a doctor visit, 2 rounds of back-to-back antibiotics just to finally get rid of it. My doc says it's the worst flu season she's seen, with a lot of other people going thru the same thing, back-to-back infections. I found some dried berries online here I've ordered some and am going to follow the recipe list on the first link. I'll post photos when I'm done. It's so MUCH cheaper, and fresher, to do this yourself. The sugar-based syrup sounds like it has a pretty good shelf life. I can see using this during flu season to boost the immune system in general, and sounds like it would be good for other types of infections. Great on pancakes too!!!


The Adventures of Henny The Poo-
Sorry, I couldn't resist. If you raise chickens you have to clean them up once in a while. If you don't know how to do this yet, it's actually very easy and may save you a lot of grief with a very sick, or dead, chicken. Thus was the case with Rosie, no photos, so don't worry about hurling! Last week I saw a big (like an egg almost) round poo ball hanging off her little feathered butt. So.............. off for a bucket of warm soapy (a little dish soap) and an old washcloth. It was mild outside. In the winter I would have done this inside and sanitized everything afterwards. So..................... you get the chicken in place, I held her under my left arm facing away from me, since I'm right handed. Grab very sopping/dripping washcloth and get it very wet. Bend over a little so you don't get the mes on YOUR shoes :)  Then start very gently massaging. After about one minute or less, chunks started coming off. Keep dipping rag. All gone! Now I have a clean chicken with a very wet end. I set her down and went in to get some paper towels. Rosie kept trying to look back like "what the heck just happened to me? My butt is wet!". I dried her off very gently, as her poor rear end looked a bit irritated. She dried off nicely fairly fast. Next day she looked perfect. A good reminder- check your chickens. This can actually kill your bird, I'm not kidding. Next time I'll take pictures, maybe. I will add- the girls have lots of fresh, clean water and good quality food. Shit just happens. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
                            Download book Making Home: Adapting Our Homes and Our Lives to Settle in Place (Mother Earth News Books for Wiser Living)

Making Home Book-
When I saw Sharon Astyk had written a new book Making Home- Adapting Our Homes And Our Lives to Settle in Place I knew I had to buy it. I took Sharon's food preservation online class last spring, and she's awesome! I'm just getting into it, but it has great ideas for people like me who want to grow and store their own foods, etc. It also talks about learning new skills, security and all kinds of useful stuff.

Apr 13, 2013

A Show For You- Northern Lights Tonight in The U.S.!

Maybe A Show For You- Northern Lights Tomorrow in The U.S.!
Special thanks to Caitlyn at Goat Song Farm for the heads up! I love watching the sky and usually miss the northern lights here for some reason. Here's a link with more info timing-wise Dazzling Northern Lights

Apr 11, 2013

The Hens & The Wearing of The Green

Little Blackie (rt.) and Molly 

The Hens & The Wearing of The Green-
 It seems like everything has greened up so FAST! Yesterday, after work, I let the girls out of the garden, into the main yard, and sat on the deck. Camera in hand all the girls gradually came over for a hello. I shot a lot of photos, and nothing beats a DSLR for getting really clean shots. The only thing I did with these is crop and a little white balance. I LOVE my new camera! These came out pretty nice I think. Chicken portraits :)

Ellie remembered how she liked to do this as a chick apparently!

This shot of Rosie, always curious, cracked me up!

Is it dinner?

nice little herd- Ellie, Rosie and Molly

all the girls

comfrey is up- great for burns!

rhubarb is up 

Apr 10, 2013

During An Illness- How Not To Say The Wrong Thing

During An Illness- How Not To Say The Wrong Thing-
The following article really hit home with me, as I have been on both sides! I think it's excellent advice-

It works in all kinds of crises – medical, legal, even existential. It's the 'Ring Theory' of kvetching. The first rule is comfort in, dump out. By Susan Silk and Barry Goldman

When Susan had breast cancer, we heard a lot of lame remarks, but our favorite came from one of Susan's colleagues. She wanted, she needed, to visit Susan after the surgery, but Susan didn't feel like having visitors, and she said so. Her colleague's response? "This isn't just about you."

It works in all kinds of crises – medical, legal, even existential. It's the 'Ring Theory' of kvetching. The first rule is comfort in, dump out.

"It's not?" Susan wondered. "My breast cancer is not about me? It's about you?"

The same theme came up again when our friend Katie had a brain aneurysm. She was in intensive care for a long time and finally got out and into a step-down unit. She was no longer covered with tubes and lines and monitors, but she was still in rough shape. A friend came and saw her and then stepped into the hall with Katie's husband, Pat. "I wasn't prepared for this," she told him. "I don't know if I can handle it."

This woman loves Katie, and she said what she did because the sight of Katie in this condition moved her so deeply. But it was the wrong thing to say. And it was wrong in the same way Susan's colleague's remark was wrong.

Susan has since developed a simple technique to help people avoid this mistake. It works for all kinds of crises: medical, legal, financial, romantic, even existential. She calls it the Ring Theory.

Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie's aneurysm, that's Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie's aneurysm, that was Katie's husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. One of Susan's patients found it useful to tape it to her refrigerator.

Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, "Life is unfair" and "Why me?" That's the one payoff for being in the center ring.

Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings.

When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you're going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn't, don't say it. Don't, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don't need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, "I'm sorry" or "This must really be hard for you" or "Can I bring you a pot roast?" Don't say, "You should hear what happened to me" or "Here's what I would do if I were you." And don't say, "This is really bringing me down."

If you want to scream or cry or complain, if you want to tell someone how shocked you are or how icky you feel, or whine about how it reminds you of all the terrible things that have happened to you lately, that's fine. It's a perfectly normal response. Just do it to someone in a bigger ring.

Comfort IN, dump OUT.

There was nothing wrong with Katie's friend saying she was not prepared for how horrible Katie looked, or even that she didn't think she could handle it. The mistake was that she said those things to Pat. She dumped IN.

Complaining to someone in a smaller ring than yours doesn't do either of you any good. On the other hand, being supportive to her principal caregiver may be the best thing you can do for the patient.

Most of us know this. Almost nobody would complain to the patient about how rotten she looks. Almost no one would say that looking at her makes them think of the fragility of life and their own closeness to death. In other words, we know enough not to dump into the center ring. Ring Theory merely expands that intuition and makes it more concrete: Don't just avoid dumping into the center ring, avoid dumping into any ring smaller than your own.

Remember, you can say whatever you want if you just wait until you're talking to someone in a larger ring than yours.

And don't worry. You'll get your turn in the center ring. You can count on that.
Susan Silk is a clinical psychologist. Barry Goldman is an arbitrator and mediator and the author of "The Science of Settlement: Ideas for Negotiators." From-

Apr 7, 2013

Coop Add-Ons, Feed Sack Fabrics & Use, Fish Tacos w/Lime Sauce, Immunizations

Gardening bench ready for spring!

Coop Add-Ons-
When we looked at what the new coop needed Dave wanted to upgrade the electrical components. We also added some pavers to the entrance, and new hardware. I was going to paint this weekend but too rainy and cold. So the new stuff-
New light $5.00, and Dave read chickens actually DON'T benefit from flourescent winter lights
vs. incandescent. It can cause a drop in egg production according to some research. Heat lamp is below.

new switch

new receptacle

new conduit

new/used handle

pavers, not quite finished

perch added to bottom of upper shelf/perching area

new ramps, we had to re-configure them

Feed Sack Pillow Cover - Floursack Pillow Cover - Rustic Pillow Cover - Bewleys Best Pillow Cover -  Reproduction Fabric - 18"
Photo From Etsy

Feed Sack Fabrics-
After Mama Pea posted her giveaway Feed Sack Potholders, it started me thinking about the other reproduction fabrics that might be out there. I found this- Ewenmeprintables, then these
Floursack Pillows Etsy. Then I found this interesting looking book-Feedsack Secrets: Fashion From Hard Times. I decided to get mine from the library, always free! I love the fact you can do an intra-library loan and get books from out-of-state. It all reminded me of the quilts my maternal Grandmother made, all from recycled fabrics. It wasn't "recycling" or retro then, it was sheer survival. I'll post some snippets of the book when I get it!

Sorry about the shadow!

Fish Tacos With Lime Sauce-
I was in the mood for something citrusy, and this fit the bill- Fish Tacos with Lime Sauce  A friend suggested a similar sauce and it's limey all right, but I add extra. Sauces always taste more diluted in the end. I added a couple of chopped green onions and used panko crusted tilapea fish (thick), nice and crunchy! I did toss some of the sauce into the slaw mix before I served...

Your tax dollars at work- what would this do to your child's immune system, and who makes all that $$$$?

Apr 4, 2013

Grab My New Button, And a Giveaway Coming Soon!

Grab My New Button, And a Giveaway Coming Soon!-
Grab my new button, send some friends! When I get up to 75 followers, or 275 posts there'll be a giveaway! Oh boy!!! If you have a Dark Days button just swap em !

Directions for a new button if you need one- Make a Blog Button for Blogger

Apr 2, 2013

Dark Days Challenge is Officially Over

Dark Days Challenge is Officially Over-
Since Spring has sprung the D.D.C. is all done. Thanks to the folks that participated. Next time I might try doing a Linky tool for that. If you have a pin on your blog please remove it. I'll make up a new button for here, if you want to add that and send some friends my way!
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