Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Christmas Sewing

Today I stitched up some cute little ornaments that have a pocket in them for holding gift cards, cash or treats.  They were really easy to do and fun.  Tomorrow I will be working on the girl's lap quilts.

Ed took some good photos of our chickens yesterday.  I will post them next time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My sewing project for today

I did the challenge project from my online quilting group today.  It was fun to make.  This bag is for carrying your rotary cutters (or for anything you want to use it for.)   : )  The fun part was trying the different quilting methods.  I am so happy with my new sewing machine!  I might just do more quilting of my small projects now!

Here are the photos of the finished project.  This is going to make a good Christmas gift.

This is the finished bag.  You can see the two different quilting methods.  The one on top is just a diagonal feather stitched at a 45 degree angle.  The bottom section is a cross hatched quilting.

This shows the inside of the bag.  There are two sections as you can see by the seam down the center.

And here is the back, showing my first ever attempt at what is known as stippling.  You aren't supposed to cross over any stitching, but as you can see, I did..........  lol!

More projects to come........

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We have been doing some Christmas decorating at Bountiful Acres.  We have our tree up and decorated, the other decorations out, our nativity scene which is our heading picture right now, and we have lights up outside.

This is our little tree.  It is a noble fir.  I am a terrible photographer, so I am putting up several photos of the tree.  None of them capture how pretty the tree really is.

Here is another shot.

This is the stocking area since we don't have a fireplace......

Here is my display next to my reproduction 1940's radio.

A close up of the snowman family.

The Nativity Scene.  I painted this when we lived in Alaska.  I used to do ceramics.  I enjoyed it.  You can't find any ceramic shops these days..........

This is my cute snowman luminary.

Here is a cute little ornament thing that my cousin Rita gave us several years ago.

And this is a closeup of our Angel that goes on our tree top every year.

Well it is family night at our house tonight.  I need to go and make some clam dip, some pizza and find our movie.  We will be watching our favorite Christmas movie.  A Christmas Story.  You know the one where the boy gets a BB gun for Christmas and about shoots his eye out?  The other little boy gets his tongue stuck to the flagpole?  (My oldest son Jeremy did something similiar when we was a young boy.  Only it was the pole at Safeway!  lol!)   Sorry Jeremy, couldn't help myself!  lol!

Gee, got a bit off track with that didn't I?  We have been doing game night, and movie night.  The girls really look forward to these nights.  We had to buy some new games last time we went shopping.  We had been playing Kismet, which is like Yahtzee only using colored dice.  So we bought Sorry, Uno, Skipbo and Chinese checkers.  Variety is the spice of life!  : )

May you all have a blessed weekend!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jerusalem artichokes

We went out and dug up some Jerusalem artichokes this afternoon.  Boy that was cold!  I am sharing some starts with a couple of folks on my Whizbang Chicken Plucker yahoo group.  : )

Okay I can hear you thinking---what in the world?  This is one strange woman!  And you may be correct.  he he he!

More about Whizbang Chicken pluckers later............back to the artichoke story.

We dug them up, and of course they are muddy from the damp ground.  Ed washed them in the bucket outside to get 50% of the dirt off them.  Then I brought them inside and washed each little tuber with a soft brush.  Then spread them to dry on a towel in the kitchen.  Tomorrow I will box them up and send them off.

Here are some photos of the process.  Minus the digging part, I never think to take the camera outside with me!

Here they are in the sink being washed.

After being washed.

Drying on the towel.

Okay now to explain the Whizbang Chicken pluckers group.  A fella named Herrick Kimball has written a book on how to make a tub style chicken plucker.  He calls it the Whizbang Chicken Plucker.  There is a yahoo group for folks to exchange ideas and chat about raising poultry and such.

We ordered the book and just got it last week.  Ed is going to build one for making things much easier on us when we butcher the poultry.
Here is a link to more information if you like to look.

And if you want to see one in action check out this YouTube video.  : )

We also went to the local hardware store and bought some of that pipe insulation for the water pipes that go to the water pump.  Our water was froze this morning.  We stopped at a place that sells firewood and bought a small amount to get us through until the cord we ordered gets here in a few days.  Stopped at the PO to pick up the flat rate boxes for mailing out the chokes tomorrow too.  I will use Clicknship online to print the postage in the morning and then just put them in the mailbox for our mailman to pick up.  Handy isn't it?

There you have the story of a cold winter day at Bountiful Acres Homestead.  : )

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Frosty December morning

This is looking off the deck over the garden and out to the barns.  See how much frost is on the top of the deck rail?  BRRRR!

We are having a cold spell here in the Coquille Valley.  I am soooo thankful for it too!  When it is cold and freezing and clear, it means there is no rain to cause the river to flood!  Thank you Lord for answered prayers!  : )

I took a few photos of the crispy crunchy views from my porches this morning.  It was 26 degrees this morning.  The high today is to be in the low to mid 40's.

This photo is looking at the new greenhouse floor through the apple tree off the deck.

Here is looking off the front porch.  See the strange looking thing in front of my car?  Looks rather like a boxcar for a train doesn't it?  It is our new woodshed.  Since we have the woodstove installed, we had to have a place to put our wood to keep it high and dry.  Ed used scrap wood and pallets to build it.  Well I do believe he had to buy 2x4's for it, but mostly it is recycled materials.

Here is the woodstove all installed.  Of course a few Christmas decorations too.

This is a very frosty spider web.  I don't think that spider will get much for breakfast this morning!

You can't see the chicks very well in this photo.  Better luck next time.  The mama hen is so protective that she keeps running them under the barn when I try and get a photo.

I finally got the batteries changed in the camera so I could put the photos of the Cornish/Sussex chicks on the computer.  I took some of our two Tom turkeys strutting their stuff too. 

Here is Frank and John trying to prove who is bigger and prettier.

We have been doing inside things mostly.  Ed is working on the new storage area behind the knee walls in my sewing room.  We are going to have that all arranged and organized soon.  Ed is doing most of the hard work.  Isn't he so good to me?

I will take a picture when it is done.  Right now it looks as if a bomb went off up there!

Well that is about all the time I have for blogging today.  Hope you enjoyed your visit!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy December!

Is it just me or has this year just zipped by?  Here we are headed for Christmas in 23 short days already.

Sally and I got the Christmas decorations out of the shop the other day.   I had in my mind I had tons of extra Christmas stuff.  Well I had forgotten it had been thinned down severely last year...............Well I had intentions of doing it this year anyway and sharing with others.  I guess I will just check that off my list of things to do now.  : ) 

I have recently found out about making friendship bags.  They are bags made up with some helpful things for those who find themselves homeless and we see them asking for help alongside the roads/streets.  I am going to get my girls to help me and we shall make up lots of them and put them in a box in the car, so we are prepared the next time we see someone in need.  I believe in teaching my girls to have compassion on others and be willing to help how ever they can.  After all we are to do as Jesus did.  He came and gave of himself even to die for us.

I do believe we shall also bake cookies and breads for the neighbors.  Oh and I must get some jams and jellies made to add to the gift baskets.

I will be doing some sewing for my family for gifts again this year.  We are moving away from the commercial aspect of Christmas and are celebrating the reason we celebrate Christmas and to give to others of our handiwork, and time.  That takes so much stress off at this time of year.

So what are your Christmas plans for your family?

More news!  My oldest son Jeremy is home from deployment.  He has been in South Africa. He is in the Navy and is on the USS San Juan submarine.  I am so happy and thankful he is home safe and sound.  Well he is "home" meaning in the US.  He and his wife Deann live in New Hampshire.  He is stationed in CT. but travels home on weekends and when he has leave.  Thank you Lord for watching over my son and keeping him safe while he has been doing his duty and serving our country.

Duke is doing much better and is healing up nicely.  He still has the wound on his leg that is healing.  And he must be careful with not slipping and splaying his legs out and hurting his hips.  But all in all he is doing great.

I am going to charge the batteries in my camera and see if we can't get some photos of our Dark Cornish/Sussex cross chicks in the morning.  They are growing so fast!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to wish all who visit my blog a very happy Thanksgiving.  May your families, homes and lives be blessed.  We have so much to be thankful for.

I have a wonderful family, husband, home and farm that is very bountiful and peaceful.  I am so thankful for everything I have been blessed with.

Mostly I am thankful for the gift of Salvation.  I am so thankful that Jesus took on flesh and came to this earth to live and die for my sins.  That I might be washed clean and stand before the Throne of God blameless.  Make me ever more like Jesus is my prayer.  Help me to be kind and giving and show the love of God to everyone I come in contact with.

Have a blessed day of Thanks!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Duke is home!

We brought Duke home yesterday, late.  He wasn't walking when we brought him home.  But after being home for a little while he got up and wanted to go outside.  He went out and did his business!  First time since he got hit.  He also walked up and down the stairs and walked all over outside.  Poor fella ran and got into his dog house!  Ed had to haul him back out of there and bring him back in the house.  He has been an outside dog, and he felt much safer out in his dog house I guess.  We are still giving him lots of meds.  He has steriods for swelling that is pinching on his nerves in his hind hip/leg, antibiotics, and pain medication and antibiotic cream for all the scrapes.  Funny thing is they gave him the same pain med that they gave my Dad after surgery!

He finally drank lots of water this morning.  We are just praying for a complete recovery.  We are so happy to have him home at last!

God is good!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Duke needs prayer

Duke got hit by a car yesterday!  He was chasing a cat in the field next to us, and ran out into the road and got hit by a full sized van!  He ran back home after laying in the road for a few minutes.  The woman who hit him had come to tell me she did it.  He was down the road several yards from our driveway.

We took him to the vet, who took x-rays and examined him.  He is badly bruised, skinned and has stitches in his back right leg/foot.  He can't seem to get up and walk right now.  The vet seems to think it is because he has so much swelling and pain.  We were all so devastated when this happened!  He is still on IVs and pain medication.  He isn't eating or drinking on his own yet.  We don't know when he can come home.  He needs to be able to eat and drink and get up on his own first.  Please say a prayer for his full recovery.  He really is a sweet dog and our girls and all of us are so attached to him.

The same day in the afternoon our wall heater in our kitchen shorted out and caught on fire!  Thank the Good Lord I was in the kitchen when it happened.  I yelled for Ed and he flipped the main breaker and I grabbed the baking soda and we got the fire out before it caught the wall on fire.  Thank God for keeping us safe!

I will post more updates on Dukes recovery as we know what is happening.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A little Frugal Friday tip

What are those little cups you ask?  They are the Ball freezer containers.  ( I just love them!  Aren't they cute?)  On the left are lemon juice and the two on the right are lime juice.

I buy 5 pound bags of limes and lemons from our local wholesale grocery.  They are so inexpensive this way!  I can usually pay less than 3 dollars a bag for them.  While at the regular grocery store I might be lucky to buy them two lemons for a dollar. 

And you are thinking, who in the world uses that many lemons and limes at one time?  I use several each week in my cooking.  Also we use the slices in plain water to fancy it up a bit.  Or I make lemondaid or limeaid once in awhile.  But for those times like this last shopping trip, that I can't use them all up before they start going bad.............I squeeze them and freeze the juice.  I can use it later on for cooking or for lemonaid.  That way I don't waste any of that goodness.  : )

We picked up our beef from the butcher yesterday.  Tonight I made chuck roast with potatoes and carrots, onions and garlic.  I must say this is the best beef we have ever eaten!  It is so fine textured, and tender!  I was so sad to have the cow butchered, but now we are blessed with hundreds of pounds of beef that you can't buy at any store. 

Next Wednesday the pigs are going to the butcher.  We will have a completely stocked freezer and pantry now.  We have been very very blessed.  We are so thankful for all the Lord has given us.

Last Wednesday Ed was laid off work without any notice.  They just showed up at our door, told him to clean out the truck and hand over the company cell phone, that his job had ended!  That was shocking and very frightening at first.  After being upset and shocked, we just prayed and thought about it and have decided that this is just another blessing.  Ed was planning on retiring next Spring, and this just made it happen a bit earlier. 

The girls and I are so happy to have Ed home all day with us.  He has time to do all the projects that he couldn't get to when he was working a full time job.  And we can wake up naturally without that annoying alarm clock going off at 5am.  We still wake up then, but know we don't have to jump out of bed right away and can doze off for another hour.  Yes, that is a blessing!

God is our provider and we are just to trust in Him.  What peace we now enjoy.

Have a blessed weekend all!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sewing at last!

I finally got to sew again today.  I hadn't sewn since last Spring!  I have had a new sewing machine for a couple of months now, but hadn't used it yet.  I can say I love the new machine!  It is the first computerized machine I have ever owned.  It sews so smoothly!  What a blessing!

I am working on blocks for a swap that I am doing with my online quilting group.  I am down to a few days before the deadline!  I will get them done and mailed off to the hostess in time I am sure.  I have two finished today and all the pieces cut out.  I only have 26 more to go.  : )

I will be doing more sewing posts as the Winter progresses.  I have so many things to sew for my home and my family.  I will be sure and share the projects with you as I work on them.

The photo at the top of the page shows my first two blocks.  So what do you think?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Poultry Flock Photos

This morning I took more pictures of our poultry.  Actually,  I never took photos of the turkeys or Dark Cornish, except for the mama hen and her new chicks.  So I guess I should say I took photos of what we call Barn #1, which is the laying flock and the ducks.  The turkeys and Dark Cornish chickens are in Barn #2.

Aren't those the cutest little fuzz balls you have seen?  If you could have heard the mama hen, she was just a clucking away calling them to the food.

Now they are getting the idea!  Standing right in the feeder.

Here we have some of the ducks before I let them out of the barn this morning.  The dark brown one with the white head and neck in the front is one of our males we have for breeding stock.  Then the small gray one right over his back is our newest male we are keeping.  And then the big white and black one with his head down to the right  of the chocolate males head is our third male.  He has black legs with yellow feet.  The girls have named him Yellow Socks.

The black duck with the tiny spot of white on his neck is a male that is for sale.  So is the white/black one next to him.  They are both males.  Then the two chocolate/white ducks in the left side of the photo are females that are for sale.  They were the latest hatchings of the year.  They will be breeding in the Spring. 

Our two males right next to each other in the left corner, plus our newest gray one in the center.  The two white ducks in the background are some of our breeding stock females.   Also the little one in the center.  Her name is Khaki, when she was younger she was almost a solid khaki color.  Now she is turning more gray on her tail and wings and her head has gotten more white.

The three brown/white hens in this photo are all for sale too.  Anybody want to buy some pretty Muscovy ducks for $15 each?

This is a picture taken of the layers waiting at their little chicken door to go outside.  The one Speckled Sussex hen was perched on the waterer and looking right at the camera. 

The rooster on the roost is one of our Speckled Sussex roosters.  He is really pretty.  He and I had a go around here awhile back.  He attacked me one day without any reason other than he thought he was the boss!  Well I took after him with the broom and chased him clear out in the field.   Then he thought he would come back for another try, I happened to be watering the cow at the time, so I put the hose on stream and gave him a few good squirts with the water hose!  We had a couple more "discussions" but he finally conceded that I am the BOSS of the barnyard!  Otherwise he would have ended up becoming what Sally and Audrey call "mean rooster stew!"  ; )

Everyone waiting in line to get outside.  Little did they know it is a terrible day out today.   Pouring rain and cold.  It is after 10 am and it is still only 43 degrees!

And here is a picture of our Araucana rooster.  He is so pretty in the sunshine!  You can see the nursery in this shot.  Inside the chicken wire are the ones I took pictures of yesterday.  They are several weeks old now.  We have them in their with their mama hen until they are big enough to go outside.  This way the other chickens get used to them and won't pick on them when they get let into the main flock.  Of course I noticed several of them  are roosters, so when they are grown they will go into the freezer.

And that is the last of the new photos for today!  Maybe tomorrow I will take photos of the turkeys and Dark Cornish in Barn #2.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New baby chicks!

Our Dark Cornish hen has hatched out three babies.  She has 4 more eggs, but they were put under her a couple days later, so we shall see if they hatch.  Anyway, these are our Dark Cornish/Sussex cross chickens we are going to be raising for meat.  The Dark Cornish hen has proven to be a good setter.  Now we will see how well she raises her chicks.

They are so cute aren't they?

I picked another wheelbarrow load of tomatoes from the garden yesterday.  The things I have left to do this season are:

Make ketchup and juice from this batch of tomatoes.  Make sauce and juice from my apples, make kraut, dry and grind my paprika peppers for paprika powder, can the rest of the peppers, make jams and jellies from my berries and fruit in the freezer.  Then I will be finished with the harvest.  It sure has stretched out for a long time this year it seems.  I am so thankful for the harvest.  God has blessed us again.

Here is our alien tomato!  Isn't that funny how it grew those two appendages?

Sally had to model the tomato too. And of course Audrey also pictured below.

Yesterday for fun the girls went out in the field where we have a huge maple tree on the outside of the fence.  They took the rakes and raked up leaves into a big pile and took turns hiding in it.  What fun to be a kid again huh?

This is a photo of the previous hatching.  This is the Blue Andalusians and the Rhode Island red/ Blue Andalusian cross.  They are growing so fast!

Their mama is the Buff Orpington.  She is a really good mama hen.

That is about all the news on the farm today.  Have a blessed week everyone!