Thursday, December 25, 2008


Go and Celebrate the REAL Reason for the Season!


Monday, December 22, 2008


We are LOVING having Chickens! It's currently 15 degrees out and was only 2 degrees overnight. But apparently the girls don't mind the cold weather!

This morning, MAN and BOY managed to polish off 7 eggs just between the two of them. I was a bit concerned because I am making Christmas Sunrise Strata - and it needs 6-8 eggs. But within a few hours, we got 3 SUPER JUMBOS...and I mean JUMBOS! I'm guessing 3 yokes.

First is a normal Large Buffy egg between "Star" eggs.....

Then we have yesterday's Arica Egg next to today's Arica egg! YIKES!

Finally, we have our egg carton with the new eggs is back position 1, 3, and 6. No, they don't even fit in the holes!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Egg Pictures!

So How fun is this...
5 days worth of effort on the girls' part = 14 eggs.

I told the MAN and BOY that they could have eggs after I got my first dozen. So this morning, we had eggs!

The first Americauna egg was a double yolk, as I had suspected.

And one of the buffy eggs was a double also.

The general opinion: We like home grown eggs!

Monday, December 15, 2008

EGGS!!! Finally!!!

We finally have eggs!!

We got one on Friday, one on Saturday and THREE on Sunday including one from Arica our Americauna hen. Her eggs are GREEN! How fun is that! First is the picture of our first little lone egg...then we got the second picture is the HUGE Americauna green one next to a white one from Kroger. Then all of the eggs together. The one Brown egg (from one of the Buffies) and the Green egg are beyond JUMBO. In the next day or two I will use them and find out if we have any double yokes. That happens sometimes when they first start laying.

Oh, I bet you are wondering about Arica and Star...I forgot to update with our newest additions. There was a person in Johnstown that needed to downsize his flock. Later, I would decide that he is less than trustworthy. Anyway. He said his birds were already laying and that it should prompt ours to start laying too. So I got a Black Star (named Star) who lays brown eggs, and a Americauna, sometimes know as an "Easter-Egger" as they lay green, blue, pink or brown eggs. Her name is now Arica. She is very pretty. Both are black. Star is so black that she has almost a green tint to her feathers. Arica has a brown almost tiger pattern on her feathers.

After I got them back home, I discovered that I was an idiot and didn't inspect them before I left the farm. Both had patches on their back that had the feathers broken off at the skin. And Star has a deformed foot that doesn't work at all. Both had mites. Still I put powder on to kill the mites and put them in the coop. I didn't realize just how BIG the buffies are until I saw these two with them. They looked like.BLONDE.AMAZON.BIRDS! Immediately the whole "pecking order" stuff started. Dumpling did not like the newcomers (she was the current TOP.BIRD) and was picking on them all the time. The two new birds decided to hide out in the nest box the MAN had built for all the birdie. After they made a royal mess of that, I blocked it so no one could get in.

Then Dumpling got sick. I thought maybe she was egg-bound, and won't know for sure because MAN took care of her little body for me. But another local farmer at the feed store took me under his wing (HAHAHA). The day after we lost Dumpling, Arica had bubbles coming out of her eyes...Yes, very odd indeed, and enough to freak me out! So I ran down to the local feed store, the new owner couldn't help me, but called the previous owner (a farmer of 50+ years) and we talked on the phone for 20 minutes. He said that he didn't think that Dumpling was eggbound, that she likely had an upper respiratory infection (yes, my chickens had a cold!) and now Arica had it and likely all the rest were on their way to getting it. There is nothing more pathetic than a chicken sneezing!

So armed with antibiotic that is good for ALL livestock, and as my new farmer friend said, "if your kid gets sick, put a spoonful in his milk, he'll be right as rain. It's the only thing I use!" So as MAN put it, we have new FARM-aceuticals. HAHAHA!

We rigged up a light to warm up the coop, and put the antibiotics in the water. And within a few days, all was better. So that is how it comes to be that we lost one chicken and yet still have 4! AND.FINALLY.HAVE.EGGS!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Grocery Game

Some of you know I am huge fan of The Grocery Game and so is the BOY! Every week he asks when we are going "gaming." And you thought he was talking about video games! I heard about it last spring from the Man (who heard it from another man on The River Radio station), and decided to give the 4-week $1 trial a shot. I will start posting pics of my "stash" and my savings so you too will be convinced.

The first few weeks were a bit confusing, but after I got the hang of things I decided to keep going. Before GG, I "played" at being a coupon shopper, and truly thought I was getting the best prices at Walmart Supercenter or Aldis. Boy was I WRONG! That is exactly what Big-Box discount retailers want you to think, and their marketing is very effective at convincing you of just that.If you have never heard of The Grocery Game, here is a quick explanation from their website:

The Grocery Game is a website that can save you hundreds of dollars on grocery bill each month. Log in, spend a few minutes with a pair of scissors, and you're off to win The Grocery Game!

When you play, you'll get a weekly list (called Teri's List) of the lowest-priced products at your supermarket matched with manufacturers' coupons and weekly specials -- advertised and unadvertised. The Grocery Game does all the hard work and research, and presents it to you in a straightforward format.Why can't I just do this on my own?Coupon pros spend hours preparing to shop. They research ads and match their coupons to sales, only to discover twice as many un-advertised sales once they get to the store. More hours are spent standing in the aisles sifting through their files for coupons to match those sales.

Members of The Grocery Game eliminate those time-consuming hours and usually save even more than the coupon pros. For example, just because an item is on sale doesn't mean its time to play your coupon. Our databases track the sales history on nearly every item in the supermarket, waiting to use a coupon on rock-bottom sales. Now, the best possible savings are quickly accessible to busy professionals, overworked moms, single adults or anyone who wants to cut their grocery bill by 50% or even more.

I do realize that GG is not for everyone, but it certainly works for me! Let's see if I can overcome some objections I have heard:

  • "I don't have time to shop this way".Baloney! I have a full time job, a kid, 3 chickens, 2 dogs, homeschool, a full "extra schedule", and a husband. You can make time if you truly want to save money. Watch one less TV show per week and replace it with couponing. I actually use my "TV time" to clip coupons.
  • "I am not organized enough to be a coupon shopper". Have you seen my house?!? Organized and Rea are not found in the same sentence! But my coupons are organized, and that makes me smile. I feel like I have control over one small part of the organized chaos that is my home. It has actually motivated me to get other areas of my life in order as well."
  • "I don't usually buy what is on the list".Do you buy toilet paper? Cheese? Yogurt? Soup? Cereal? I thought so. There are also usually many convenience snack items on the list. If you are super frugal and cook mostly from scratch, the list is probably not for you. But, if you are a busy mom like me, those items are a necessity.
  • "I don't have room to stockpile". I have carefully found ways to store my bargains for future use. You probably have some clutter lying around you never use anyway, so get rid of it and stock up on things you WILL actually use!
  • "I feel guilty paying so little for so much". REALLY??Get over it. Retailers and manufacturers would not give us coupons if they actually hurt their bottom line. Every store get reimbursed for every coupon accepted, plus a handling fee. Also, the vast majority of Americans don't shop with coupons, so why not put them to good use? Millions of coupons get thrown away every week, what a shame.
  • "I prefer one-stop shopping."I understand this one all too well. The problem with one-stop shopping for me (usually at Target) was all the extra impulse buys that were adding up. Now, I stick to the list, get in and get out. My spending has dropped tremendously, and I am much less impulsive in a grocery store.

If you want to throw any other objections my way, I am all ears.Here are some of my tips for using the GG:

  • Don't sign up for too many stores, or you will get overwhelmed. Two or three should be plenty to get you started.
  • Print your lists on Saturday night, circle the coupons you need, and check each one off as you find it.
  • Head to the store with nothing but your list and your coupon holder. Leave kids at home if possible. Stick only to the list for the most savings!

Still not convinced? Try it for 4-weeks, it's only a dollar. You can cancel anytime, without hassle.

Please email me for an invitation, or sign up directly using as your referral source, if you don't mind.I would love everyone's feedback! Have you tried the Grocery Game?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


All Summer the Boy and his friend CC have been catching toads (and crickets to feed them). Today while we were walking in the yard, he found an actual frog! He played with him for about an hour and then let it go in the creek on the side of our yard.

Look how big the birdies are!

The birdies have gotten to almost their full size, which is about 7 pounds. Their feet are very strong and sharp. They are less tame now, but still come for their food. Whenever we open the top of the tractor to fill their feeder and water, they fly up and perch on the cross bars. We've been moving the tractor about every 3rd day, and the first places we had them have beautiful new grass. I even saw an article on Yahoo about how Kansas farmers are trucking in chicken "litter" from Oklahoma for their fields because nitogen fertilizer is really expensive and the litter is extremely high in nitrogen! It will be great for the compost heap!
"Here, Buffy!"

Our pretty girls! The dogs like to play with them too! And actually the birds run to the tractor when the dogs come out. Kristl puts her nose up to the wire and gets pecked at least once a week. It's quite a show because then she gets in the play pounce stance and "talks" (which is a funny howl actually)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ye Olde Mill Fieldtrip.

About 6 families from our homeschooling group (which equalled about 25 kids) went to the Velvel Ice Cream factory in Utica, Ohio. It's in an old 1918 Water mill.

We had a picnic lunch before hand...
Then we were able to watch them actually making ice cream that would end up in grocery stores all over.

Here is Boy with one of his best buddies!

Then off to the kids' museum for lots of hands on activities.

Afterwards we were treated to ice cream cups with chocolate or strawberry!

I'll post the article the Zachary wrote for the homeschooling newspaper when I get back to my home computer.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


This is the culprit that has eaten the broccoli and squash plants in the garden. Grrr...if she wasn't soo cute!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A hurricane in OHIO?????

Yep...hurricane force winds from Hurricane Ike hit our house on September 14th.

We lost only one tree, but have a million and 47 sticks in the yard. The birdies did really well, didn't even seem fazed! We lost power about 3 pm on Sunday, got our power back on Thursday evening. Only lost the food in the refridgerator, and had to eat all three of the "frozen" pizzas as soon as the power came back on. So therein lies my reason for not blogging for two weeks!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fun at the OX Roast

Boy, Man, Nana and I walked down to the Grandview Ox Roast. Everyone ate roast beef and rode rides!
Boy on the swings! I went with him, but look decidedly GREEN in all the pictures.
Nana rode the ferris wheel.
Boy did the slides on his own.
And Boy and Man rode this box thing that you throw your weight around to try to get it to go up and over.

They got very close but didn't quite make it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Could it be?

That this is the endangered "Painted Oscar Meyer Moth" larvae?
I've seen it up close and believe me the picture looks better than the real thing. It's ok until it moves and then it's just plain disgusting! Let's skip grilling out for a while. I think I'll just have Chicken Noodle Soup...

-The Man

UGGGGH!! What kind of caterpillar (or cutworm) is this?!?!!


I'm missing a few of the first pictures from this adventure and will add them tomorrow. (I didn't bring the picture card with me that has them on it!)

Scott found someone on Freecycle that had little sour-not pretty apples that they were giving away in Mt.Sterling (quite a ways away from us) I responded, but they had already been spoken for. The next morning, I saw another ad for apples on Freecycle, this time in Reynoldsburg--come to find out...same apples! She went and got them for her juicer and then decided she didn't want them. So we have been in appleland! Sorry for the blurry picture...yes, very artsy, but it wasn't intended that way.

Apples boiling, and another pan of boiling water to sterilize the jars and lids.

Apple Butter cooking in the crockpot.

10 jellyjars of Apple Butter, 4 of Apple Pepper Jelly. I still have the actual apple jelly to do. I have 2 gallons of juice to use. I also made applesauce, and apple dumplings. (Not all shown!)

Then tonight on freecycle there was a lady offering pears.....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Update to the Strawberry Post....

So back in June I put up Strawberry Jam...I did both traditional canning and freezer jam. Well, when I made the traditional, I was told to put the jars upside down to help with the vaccum seal. I did so...not realizing that it needs to be turned right side up within about an hour....or this happens.....yeah, gravity has NOTHING on me!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Putting in the fall garden.

(Pictures will be posted soon-on other card)

I know I've mentioned my deep appreciation for Craigslist before *ahem* I found a wonderful lady that grows veggies and sells the plants at dirt cheap prices. So even though I didn't get my garden in this past spring, I have put in a fall garden. I did some research on and found that in my area I still had time to really get some good things grown. SO I spent $20 from the garden lady and got 5 HUGE, and I mean huge (As tall and 1 taller than me at 5'10") tomato plants, 2 bell peppers (sorry, N) 1 Sweet Pepper, 1 Japanese Eggplant for the Boy-he wanted to see the purple veggies, 2 cucumber plants, 2 zucchini, 2 summer squash, and 20 broccoli plants. Oh, and oregano, cilantro, basil and chives. Pretty good for $20, eh?!?!

Then we have the strawberries that I planted in the spring that have started to bear again, and the pathetic raspberries and blackberries. I do have ONE red raspberry on the bush.

So the Boy and I worked on putting in the garden today. I had the coop open and we only have 1 birdie that comes out to see us and that's only on the rare occasion. They are pretty content in their home. Well, today as we are working the wonderful planting boxes that the Man built (5ftx5ft) here Buffy comes right into the box. She walked across the yard to see us. Then along comes Muffy and Dumpling. All helped to "cultivate" the garden. And Muffy took a dirt bath. They wandered around looking for good bugs and even went out into the woods. I was amazed that they would come when I called them. And when I picked up the feed, well, it's a RIOT to see chickens run! Muffy even flew, but ended up landing in the firepit (thank goodness, it wasn't lit) but she got all ash-y.

I can't convince the Boy that his sweatband should actually be on his forehead. Ah, well, whatever cools him off!

Here he has his Buffy.

The "State of the Garden" address is schduled for August 25th.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Feeding the Birdies

So, when the Boy was a baby, we didn't have a "playpen" How fun was it for me to put him in the Tractor, and tell him I'd be back in a few hours....nah, not really, just long enough to grab the camera. That's the "New" Buffy sitting in his lap and Muffy& Stuffy (AKA Dumpling) eating from his hands.

"This is my bird! Meet Buffy!" They have lost 98% of their baby down and are getting bigger by the day. They are loving the weeds and leaves we put into the tractor. And the corn on the cob and watermelon too! The really loved the worms I pulled out of the raspberry patch while I was weeding it!
Now isn't this the best picture! This is my grown up boy. He lost 2 teeth this week. One on the 6th and the other on the 7th. He looks so different! Where'd my baby go? Love you, Boy!