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Archive for the ‘Chickens and Guineas’ Category

Beauty abounds.  Some days beauty is harder to recognize than other days. Life has a way of getting heavy and our eyes get clouded by burdens, but all we have to do to find  beauty around us is slow down and take time to look for it. 

Here is some of the beauty God has provided for our pleasure. 

Tiny keets…soon they will be mature enough to set free.  They will be wonderful watch dogs.

Out in our yard flowers are blooming…looking at blooming flowers always raises my spirit and reminds me of God’s goodness.  Just think how bleak this old world would be without rich-colored flowers and delicate blooms.

Asters…

Daylilies…only here for a day, but Oh how glorious they are while they last.

Our Vitex bushes are blooming. Vitex is a natural source of estrogen…The lavender blooms make Vitex one of my favorite decorative bushes.

And a little red hen…

Coming soon…a very exciting Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway. Very exciting. Keep checking back. You won’t want to miss this!

Until next time…

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.  Psalm 34:8

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Most people have a great aversion to rats and mice. (I’ve met a few who look upon them fondly…bless their hearts.) For years mankind has attempted to build a better rat trap only to fail in his efforts. The best simply cannot be improved upon. A few weeks ago our calico female bestowed a litter of kittens upon us…a litter of lean, rat-killing machines. Since welcoming a couple of feral felines onto our property we don’t worry about rodents.

Meet the latest generation…

In all truth, this furry little kitten had nothing to do with the demise of the rat. His mother proudly carried it onto the back porch and dropped it. I had to wonder if this was a lesson in “how to earn your keep”. Mama is a beautiful calico cat who disappeared before I captured her with my camera.

There were five beautiful kittens in this litter. Two have been placed in a loving home…three remain with us. Hopefully we will be able to place them in good homes, too.

This little fellow is solid black and has a ferocious hiss…

A wee bit less hissy…I call him “Oreo”.

And “Goldie”…this one will be hard to give a way. It has such a sweet little face.

Just as I finished taking pictures of the kittens another subject showed up on the porch. This guy is our boss hog rooster. Both of our red roosters avoid his wrath.

There is still time to get in on my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway…but not much.  Entries must be in by midnight.  The winner will be announced tomorrow.  That unnamed person is in for a real treat!

Until next time…

Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. Deuteronomy 13:4

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This morning I put the finishing touches on a 3D flower pincushion I made for a swap.  I figured before I wrap it up and send it on its way I’d share it here. Remember I’m trying to make an effort to keep my blog updated during the summer months.

The little butterflies are free-standing lace made with my embroidery machine.  Beading is not something I’ve done much of…I adlibbed and am not sure how successful I was. 

Here’s the one I received…I like it a lot…a lot…and was tempted to duplicate the pattern but decided that would be wrong.  A big part of the these “artsy” swaps is expressing your creativity…not someone else’s.  When I compare the two pincushions the one I received looks so much sweeter…sigh.  I’m always my toughest critic…maybe.

Last evening my DH took our dogs outside for their “routine romp when Papa gets home from work”.  Shortly after leaving the house DH returned with two tiny keets in hand.  He saved them from one of our boxers.  The dog chased the mama guinea and scattered her keets. That’s when Papa rescued two of the three keets mama guinea had remaining from her hatch.  Guineas may be the worst parents in the animal kingdom.  Rarely does a keet survive to adulthood.   The interaction left an extremely agitated mama guinea who stalked Papa when he went back outside to rescue the last keet.  Two out of three is not bad.  And aren’t they darling?

That’s a wrap for this post.  It’s way past time for me to get busy around the house.

Until next time…

He who has no fire in himself cannot warm others.  ~  Unknown

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I’m not bragging.  Really I am not.  Last week’s Tea on Tuesday overflowed with winter blues (greys) and blahs.  I wished I could send sunshine and warmth to each of you and lift your spirits.  For the time being Southeast Mississippi is being blessed with glorious, sunshiny weather.   Today I am sharing some of my warm sunshine.  This morning I worked outside with herbs until lunchtime and enjoyed a light lunch in the sunshine.  I stand amazed at what a good dose of natural vitamin D will do for a girl’s mood, and I hope you can visually soak up a little of my beautiful, not too hot, sunshine that promises to head your way soon in the pictures I share.  Most are pictures of the herbs I worked with…sprucing up this year’s new growth and transplanting new.

Before getting started playing with rich soil and fragrant herbs sheets hit the line to flap in the warm sunshine and gentle breeze.  There’s nothing quite relaxing as the smell of linens that hanged on the line to dry in the fresh air…thinking about it makes me want to go crawl in the bed and take a nap.

Catnip is one of the herbs I grow to use in medicinal infusions and blended teas.  Of all my catnip plants from years past this one looks the happiest today.  It’s growing in a chicken waterer that leaked and would have been discarded without my intervention.  My favorite containers are unique.

Another new growth plant that seem thrilled to be alive is my garlic chives.  They look so perfect I hate to start cutting them, but they’ll taste wonderful chopped on a hot baked potato and in salads  and add delicate flavor when cooked into so many dishes. 

Of all my periannuals my most beloved are stevia plants and lemongrass.  Both are desparately difficult to obtain in this area.  They also both take a VERY long time to grow from seed. 

Stevia is hardy in southeast Mississippi, but lemongrass is not.  Each spring I keep an eye out for the stevia to peek out when our weather begins to warm, and I shelter it during any cold snaps we have.  It’s not uncommon for our temps to drop back down below freezing until after Easter so tender plants are easily lost up until then.  Throughout the growing season I give stevia plants good haircuts and dry all I cut for use in tea blends. 

The first year I grew lemongrass I set one plant out in the ground and a second in a large, deep pot.  The one in the pot over-wintered in the laundry room and just barely made it.  After a year of “recovery time” it boasts only a few blades.  I covered the one in the ground with a thick bed of pinestraw and all was well through the winter.  When the weather warmed early like now it emerged, healthy and full.  During the first deep cold snap I lost it.  Thankfully my favorite local nursery gets a few plants a year, and I managed to make a visit while they still had three.  I bought them all even though I felt really greedy and almost guilty as I claimed them.  Lemongrass adds nice lemon flavor to tea  blends and recipes.  I won’t overwinter these in the ground and will make sure they are happy with their indoor winter home.   I’m hoping we can add a greenhouse to our place before the end of this summer growing season.

While I played with herbs and soaked up the golden rays I took several pictures, but since I waited so late in the day to post my tea Tuesday, I’m fast forwarding to my much needed lunch break.  My tea selection wasn’t fancy, but it was perfect paired with fresh, Louisiana strawberries.  Lemon Lift is one of my favorite afternoon/evening teas.  The rich black tea flavored with natural lemon lives up to it’s name.  I’m enjoying a second “mug” as I compose this post.

These bad boys have enjoyed their day, too.  It would just be wrong not to share them with you.   Aren’t they gorgeous?

I know reading my tea post is not quite like “being there”, but I do hope it renews your hope that spring really is just around the corner…If you enjoy tea, check out Kimmie’s blog Art In Red Wagons home of Tea on Tuesday and follow the links to read more wonderful tea posts.  You’ll be glad you did.

Until next time…

I got nasty habits; I take tea at three.   ~ Mick Jagger, Live with Me ~

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This post is a continuation of “Look Who’s Knocking”.  Our weather continues to be spring-like…complete with a line of thunderstorms passing through during the night leaving the morning air fresh and crisp.  It’s a perfect spring morning in Southeast Mississippi.  Even though I spent yesterday in bed fallen victim to a nasty bug, I could not resist a brief walk outside to see what another day’s growth and warm sunshine revealed.

Rufus knows this day is something to crow about.

This is the day the Lord hath made.  We will be glad and rejoice in it.  Psalm 118:24 

Nothing says spring like daffodils.

Keeping an eye on me…I think he heard a rumor about chicken and dumplings being on Sunday’s menu.

Pear blossom bouquet…

Honey bees a buzzin’…

Stevia emerging…how sweet is that?!  Of the three plants I grew last year all are coming back.  Woot, woot!

There’s one off-topic thing I’d like to share.  A young friend needed an outfit for colonial day at school.  Her mom asked if I would make her a long skirt.  Of course, I did…here’s a pic of Ashton trying her new “old-fashioned” skirt and apron on.  Isn’t she a doll?

It’s time for me to get busy.   Housework is calling (after a downtime day it’s screaming) and as much as I’d love to stay and play, “it’s time to go now”.

Until next time…

It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!                                                                                                       ~ Mark Twain ~

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Southeast Mississippi is blessed with glorious spring weather today.  Days are gradually growing longer; trees have begun to bud and bloom.  Hypothetically speaking…spring is knocking at the door. 

The sun is hiding behind thick clouds this morning, but spring’s emerging beauty is not hidden beneath them.  One needs only to look around to see God’s amazing handiwork.  After feeding our outside critters I took a few minutes to capture just a small bit of the beauty that greeted me when I went about my work. 

Just outside our back door a huge sand pear tree is beginning to burst into bloom.  The blossoms are delicate and white.  They remind me of fine Japanese art.  If our area gets another heavy freeze we won’t harvest many pears…if any.  Here’s hoping our pears survive the early bloom.

Longer days mean increased egg production.  With hens still about the business of producing the day’s offering, I was able to collect  ten beautiful eggs that were already laid. 

The flowers of this bush are not fancy and showy.  It has no flashy foliage to catch a passer-by’s eye.  If you are in a  hurry as you pass this “Plain Jane” by, you  might not catch a whiff of its sweet aroma.   Therein the “treasure” of the Sweet Olive lies.  This particular bush is especially special to me, because my dear dad gave it to me years ago.  Today is a sweet reminder of him.

These are just a few of the wonders of spring I encountered as I went about my outside chores.  Time for sharing has passed too quickly this time around.  I will share more later.  Break time is over and housework summons me.  A young friend will arrive soon to be measured for a colonial costume, and I’ve still got work to do before she knocks on the door…not hypothetically speaking.   We have company coming for supper, too, and I need to get that started for before I get busy with my young friend.

Until next time…

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.         Genesis 8:22

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A week or so ago my DH and I went Kansas to visit our Kansas kids.  We took two of our teen-aged grands with us and actually enjoyed the fifteen hours in a car with them.  :)  That’s a real bonus when you really think about it.

Some time before our trip my son asked if I would make a twirly skirt for his daughter…our Lily.  Of course there was only one option.  Since three-year olds are easily delighted the skirt was a big hit.  I think she wore it three days in a row before we got it away from her to wash.  Lily requested another skirt and was very certain of the colors it should be…pink, purple, blue and yellow.  She will get it!  Here’s Lily modeling her new skirt…

A multi-media craft group I belong to on Yahoo has a challenge going on this week using anything purple.  Yesterday I put together this funky little chicken pincushion for the challenge.  It is made of felted wool from a thrifted sweater. The tail needs some work…After finishing this quirky little chick I decided the tail feathers should have been placed along the top back seam under the comb, but I’m thinking a button will provide the perfect little tail lift.  :)  I can see making more of these just for the fun of it.

That’s all for this time.  I hope you enjoy your Saturday.  Green beans from our garden await my attention…it’s time to can.  I’m thankful for the plenty so I can can.  :)

Until next time…

Just One

One song can spark a moment
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest
One bird can herald spring
One smile begins a friendship
One handclasp lifts a soul
One star can guide a ship at sea
One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness
One laugh will conquer gloom
One step must start each journey
One word must start a prayer
One hope will raise our spirits
One touch can show you care
One voice can speak with wisdom
One heart can know what is true
One life can make a difference

~ unknown ~

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