Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Tropical Adventure

It’s summer.  Everyone is going to the beach and on vacation adventures, and while in my heart I don’t really want to go, I still feel a tad of sadness and a bit of jealousy because most of my family is in Florida and my best friend is sharing the same coast.  Although, I admired and agreed with a passage in a book I read earlier that said “there’s no where I want to go because there’s really nothing I want to get away from,” and “we live like we are on vacation.”  Not exactly the wording, I thought I wrote it in my journal but didn’t.  Alas… I wish I was there with them all to cook, play, sleep, read, eat…. at the beach.
But last night I too went on a tropical adventure, to an island.  I allowed myself, in the quietness of our room, to drift away to a sandy beach and beautiful blue water lagoon with warm breezes blowing and four friends along.  We explored the island and found a waterfall with crystal clear, clean water and a jumping rock perfect for diving.  We swam and sat in the sun.  We found coconuts and breadfruit and cannibals…Eeesh!  Luckily I was safe in my bed and eventually my friends were  too, all within the pages of my book.
I smiled and thought “I just had my own tropical adventure too… thank you Lord, I don’t feel so left out.”  It’s amazing where a good book can take you if you allow it to.
This week’s read:  Bed-Knob and Broomstick, by Mary Norton.  Yet becoming another  favorite… quickly.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Help Wanted

As you may or may not know, I design and spend many, many hours compiling stories, creating ads and putting a magazine together for Sleepin' Bear Lodge and Farms annual Dove Hunt.  

I have three covers designed and would love your input on which cover to go with.  Please leave your comment and choose either cover A, B or C. 




Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Eager Beaver!

Howdy Doo.  I am knee deep in yet another book by Edward Eager.  I'm stuck in the juvenile section and stuck on this author!  It's just child-like imaginative fun and has really sucked me right in.  After the second book, Half-Magic, I sought more on the library website and currently have two in my possession.  One of which I am reading now.  I was so utterly excited when I started reading this one, The Well-Wishers, because it is a continuation of the first book of his that I read in the beginning of this little book journey of mine. 

I am having fun with these books and can't wait to see what I'll pick up next.  The books I have chosen are fun, fast reads.  And so far, the Eager books have peaked my imagination. 

After popular request, not really just my lovely friend Stacy, I decided to creatively save my book journal page as a picture and post it here.  Feel free to blow it up, right click and copy it, print it or whatev!  So here it is.. have fun!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Product Review Time!

Time and time again while working in my kitchen I reach for one of my very favorite items... my herb scissors.  Herb Scissors operate just like regular scissors except the have five blades instead of one so chopping fresh herbs is easy as pie. 

This morning I was making potato salad for the big FDC 2011, (Father's Day Celebration) I popped out to the garden, cut some green onions, came back inside, washed them and cut them in to perfect slices in no time. 

My memory is foggy when I try to think of where I first saw a picture of herb scissors.  It must have been a magazine or maybe a kitchen website that I used to get emails from and on occasion a look book.  However I came to find them I do remember my jaw dropping and my eyes getting wide.  I actually got mine for free through my rewards on my credit card.  They aren't expensive at all so I had enough points to buy them.  I received them within a few days and have enjoyed them ever since. 

I know you can use a cutting board and chop the with a real sharp knife but truthfully, unless it's serrated, I'm not that good with a knife.  I like to hold my celery up and fhump the knife through it letting the ends fall into the sink.  I use my Pampered Chef food chopper to chop nuts.  I like my kitchen gadgets to an extent and if I were P.W. I'd have five pair of these hunnies to give away right now.   But I'm not so I can only pass on where you can get them for a very fine price. 

Herb scissors are a very handy kitchen tool to own.  They even come with a little friend that helps slide leaves and pieces from between the blades.  Here's where you can find a pair of your very own.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Casa de Pollo

Our second wedding anniversary was last Monday, June 6th, and as time was leading up to this day Shaun kept asking if there was something that I wanted.  One thing that has been on my mind for a while is to have a couple of chairs re-caned that are in desperate need of it.  There is a lady over on 41 in Greenbrier that does it but neither of us has had the time to drive over there and get her number.  I wasn't real sure if she was still in business or not.  The closer the day came I decided to think of something else and while I was at lunch one day the thought hit me.  I was actually driving back from the library and saw a fella on a small motorcycle with an old milk crate strapped to the back with freshly bought potted herbs in it and a bag of potting soil under his feet.  The guy was on a mission (where's the camera when you really need it?)  Why this made my mind jump to chickens I've not a clue but I called Shaun to let him in on my big idea for our weekend. 

We have been throwing the idea of getting some chickens back and forth for a while and I thought our anniversary would be a good occasion to welcome a handful of them to our farm.  We spent the whole weekend preceding our anniversary together building our chicken coop.  We used Miss Pepper's dog pen which she doesn't use anymore so she said it was OK.   
We built a house for them to get in out of the rain and cold. We hung chicken wire around the bottom and onto the ground, wiring it to the fence and hooking it into the ground to try and keep predators from digging under the fence. 
Shaun put boards and tin across the top of the fence and placed several heavy tires on top for that Sanford and Son look.  Naw I'm just kidding.... again to keep predators out.  However I do sometimes mouth the theme song out loud... wadom wadom, wadom wadom wadom wadom waw, wadow wadow.  You get the picture. 
We added an old metal nesting box that Shaun's Dad had and a couple of roosts for them.   
What we didn't finish over the weekend we worked on when we could during the next week and finished up this past Saturday.  After my Granddaddy's 91st birthday party on Sunday we drove to our friend's house to chase down chickens.  My husband is quite the chicken catcher I must say.  He caught four and we had them in the carrier box and then decided that we thought we had three roosters and one hen.  Mind you they are still pretty young so to us it's hard to tell the sex.  So he went back in and fetched us two more making sure to get what we think are the hens.  So we came home with three of each... we think.  
They are  enjoying their new home so far.  They've been on top of the nesting boxes, on the roosts, on top of the house.. you name it.  They are eating and drinking very well.  I am looking forward to our first egg, and the second, and the third!  Happy Anniversary to us! 
P.S. He also got  me a nice pair of farm work boots and some socks to go with.  Ain't he just the sweetest!  I needed them badly!  I can't keep wearing my rain boots all summer.. they're hot!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summertime Reading

I got inspired to have a summer reading program called "A Book A Week" after seeing a flickr friend's picture of some library books.  I am always interested to see what others are reading.  Her comments about the books peaked my interest enough to go on my library's website and search for them.  I got a few books headed in my direction, went and picked them up when they arrived in Inglewood and started reading.  Now mind you I'm not a speed reader nor do I have a ton of time on my hands.  I read before bed, on my lunch break at work and if it's a good book I'll spend some time on the weekends on my porch reading.  I finished one of the books within a week and started in on another. 

Another computer friend inspired part two of my summer reading program.  I really, really want to review the books that I read but the questions and comments that I was coming up with were too complicated and I was trying to be more literal than I am.  I had almost given up until today when a blog post changed my mind.  www.mommycoddle.com posted a book journal that she has going for her children.  Juvenile and simple as it may be, it was the simplicity that I needed to review my summertime books.  I made my own version, sticking with the points she used, and printed it on a regular sheet of paper, cut it in to fours, and taped it in my journal.   I will stick to just one journal and cram it with all sorts of things... including this.

A Book A Week  -  Week One

Title: Magic or Not?
Author: Edward Eager
Dates Read: May 25-31, 2011
Rating: 5 stars
Thoughts: This will be one of those reads that I revert back to in my imagination for a while.  I loved how vivid a picture that author painted and I was able to see each character and place like a dream.  I really enjoyed the way the stories in each chapter came together full circle and magically tied in at the end. 

I don't want to give away what the books are about.  I had no idea what they were about until I checked them out and started reading.  For instance, book one is a juvenile fiction book.  I don't even venture to that area of my library until now.  And I have been back since then I tell you!  That is part of the fun of it.  The "Thoughts" section of the review is simple.. so I will keep it that way.

I would love to hear what you are reading and also your thoughts on the books I am going to be listing if you pick them up for yourself. 

I can also email you a pdf file of the Book Journal entry sheet that I made if you so wish!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shoo Fly Don't Bother Me

Did you learn that song as a kid?  I did... and the dance moves.  You needed a few partners for that one.  I'm pretty sure it was more of a square dance.  Well in this case it's not flies I am shooing but gnats.  Tiny, annoying gnats that in some cases are called fruit flies.  I'm not sure why they want to hang out in here.  I don't leave food out, or fruit.  I can't figure what it is they are attracted to but they will buzz in your face like they are telling you to open the door and let them out or leave some fruit out please.  Regardless I complained about it in front of the right person at work and she dropped a really good hint that has worked.  Not that we were infested or anything but one or two is enough to want them gone.  Try it if you need to... I promise... it works!

Fruit Fly Gnat Magic!
1 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dish washing liquid

Stir ingredients together and pour into a few small bowls or glasses.  Make sure everyone in your home knows not to drink it... it resembles lemonade!  Place in areas that you have seen the gnats.  The gnats are attracted to the smell of the cider vinegar and when they pop in for a drink the dish wash soap gets them and they sink to the bottom.  It's quite lovely! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Working up the garden

When I hear my wonderful husband say, "I'm going to work up the garden!"  it means he is fixing to till between the rows in order to loosen that hard as a rock dirt so the roots of the plants can breathe better.  This is a wonderful thing and very necessary and if I'm out there while this is going on everything is usually alright.  It is when I am not out there that things go awry. 

The night before last I planted dill seeds (for the second time) and lavender seeds it two little nice and neat rows in the front right part of the garden which belongs solely to me and contains mostly herbs.  Needless to say if I had the following little project completed at the time of working up the garden this morning I would still have the two lavender rows that I planted.  Bless his heart, he felt so bad.  No big deal.. I have seeds soaking to replant them tomorrow and in the mean time I made some markers to my herbs so next time he'll know what I've done.

This is a simple, quick craft that requires only a few household items that most people I know already have. 

Items needed: used canning lids, wire coat hangers, pliers, a hammer, one nail and a permanent marker.

First cut pieces of the coat hanger using the pliers or wire cutters.  They can be any length you choose.  I got three out of each hanger.  Next hammer a hole in to the canning jar lid with the nail.  I stuck mine between pieces of wood on our porch.  It worked great and I didn't poke a hole in anything other than the lid... the second time.

Next take the wire pliers and bend one end of the wire cutting over to make a loop.  Thread the canning lid onto the wire and loop it on over so the lid doesn't come off.  Label the jar lid and you are ready to stick it in the ground or pot where you need to label what you've planted.  So as to savor your efforts.