Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jurassic turtle

I was headed to town one day last week and as I drove down our driveway, I saw a big, black blob in the road ahead of me.  When I got closer, the blob became a turtle.  (I really need to get some new glasses.)

I quickly turned around, went back home, got my camera, drove back, realized that the card wasn't in the camera, whipped out my phone and 'snapped' this picture of a snapping turtle.  I took the picture from the safety of my truck because this big girl can scoot!  In the short time it took me to go back to the house she had gone quite a ways into the field and was hunkered down trying to hide.  

So, how big do you think she is?  With no perspective, I know you can't tell.  The shell on her back was about 15 inches from front to back and her head was about the size of a softball.

You might have stayed in your truck, too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The chicken line

Sunday afternoon I spent some time sitting outside reading a book and soaking up some of this beautiful spring sun.  The chickens were out scratching around in the dirt and had come closer to the house since I was out, also.  The birds were singing, bees were buzzing.

And then a hawk made a little screech from above our heads.

Before I share with you the "rest of the story", I want to make sure you know that hawks kill chickens.  I have seen one swoop down into our chicken pen and kill one.  The hawk wasn't able to pick it up to carry it out, but if I had not been there, it would have had a good, big meal.  After that day we have kept either chicken wire or a roof over the girl's heads.

So, back to Sunday afternoon...

The hawk screeched and the chickens did a very funny thing.  All at one time they ran under a magnolia tree, lined up in a straight line, stretched their bodies very tall, and stood totally still.  They only stayed that way for about 5 seconds, but it was long enough for me to watch them and wonder to myself, "When did they practice that move?"

I have never seen the chicken line.  We have heard hawks before and the girls have only run toward some shelter.  This time they looked like short, feathery fence posts in a perfectly straight line.  It was really funny.

If you like chicken humor.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Why I love my grandchildren

Reason #438 - they enthusiastically go along with their Minnie's silly parties

Me:  Jonathan, I think that we should have a potty party for Daniel and Bella since they are potty-trained!
J:  That is a great idea since 'party' and 'potty' both begin with a 'P'.

4 days later

Me:  (on the phone) Hey, Jonathan!
J:     Oh, hey, Minnie!
Me:  I have been thinking about the party for Daniel and Bella.
J:     Oh, right!
Me:  Since 'party' and 'potty' both begin with a 'P', I think we should eat foods that begin with a 'P'.  What do you think?
J:     That's a good idea!  But, all I can think of is pizza.
Me:  I know, but we just ate pizza together on Sunday, didn't we?  I was thinking about some other 'P' foods.  What about pears?
J:     Pears!!  That is a great idea!  Oh!!  And we need the right kind of pickles.  We will need the sweet kind.
Me:  Got it!  And what about having pasta sauce with meatballs?
J:     Ummm.  Okay.  (Not much enthusiasm there.)
Me:  For dessert we can have pie and pudding.
J:     Right!  Be sure to get the chocolate kind of pudding.  And, I also like the kind that has some vanilla in the middle of the chocolate.
Me:  That is a great idea!

Our menu:

Meatball sub sandwiches with Pasta sauce
French fried Potatoes
Key Lime Pie

:  :  :  :

Reason #439 - they love any little gift they get from me

Lily and Bennett are headed to the beach this weekend so I went to Target and bought them some little beach gifts.  Lily's is a straw-looking fedora sun hat with Hello Kitty trim and I got her some Hello Kitty sunglasses.  When I got to her house she was already dressed up in full princess costume.  She added the hat and sunglasses to her look and then went to check it all out in a mirror.   I could hear her talking to herself from the next room:

Lily:  This is just amazing!!  I look amazing!

After I had left and it was time for Lily's afternoon rest there was a thunderstorm rolling in.  She is a little fearful of thunder so Abbie told her about the storm and to expect to hear some thunder while she rested.  Lily said:

I'm not scared.  My hat keeps me safe.

:   :   :   :

A grandchild fills a space in your heart that you never knew was empty.

:  :  :  :

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring pounced

I had a plan.

First, I would wait until we had several nights of hard freezes.  Then, when all of our grass in the yard was totally dormant, I would spray Round-Up across our yard.  The idea was to kill all of the clover and burweed while the grass was sleeping.

The hard freezes never came to our part of the world, though, and while I was thinking "Surely we will get one more cold snap", spring weather pounced on us!  So, I tossed the Round-Up plan and moved on to the 2-4-D plan.  All I needed now was a still, calm morning so the spray wouldn't drift onto the pansies.

Unfortunately, Alabama is pretending to be Oklahoma and every day has a wonderful, sheet-drying breeze.

Oh, well.

Does anyone have a goat I can borrow?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring came when I wasn't looking

It's time to move on.

It doesn't seem like winter ever arrived this year.  There were too few nights by the fireplace snuggled under a warm quilt.  No snow.  No ice.

But, also no frozen pipes.  No flooded roads.

Spring has come while I was waiting for winter.

Blueberry bushes,

fig trees,

peach trees,

 and violas.

They know when it is time to move on.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Harry has a home

One day this week I remembered my fifth grade self.   When Dad was stationed at Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana I had a friend, Darla, whose family lived in a home surrounded by corn fields.  Her dad worked on the farm, I think, and they had a big barn beside their house.  While  Darla and I were together one day we decided that her cat needed a house of its own.  And what better house for a cat than a room in the barn!  We took the junk out of  an old storage room, swept it clean, and then added the cat furniture:  a towel-lined box and an old chest of drawers.  This project of ours took all morning one Saturday and I can still feel how excited we were to be on a great mission.

It was several years before I thought about the fact that the cat probably never stayed in that room for more than a few seconds.  It was such an adventure for my friend and me, though!

This week I did some more home-building in a barn.  It seemed like the perfect time to segregate the chickens.  Separate the boys from the girls, you know.

We have had three divided, yet connected, pens for the chickens.  I closed off the third section from the other two and began cleaning it out to make a home for Harry, the rooster.  The outside doors were wide open so everyone could enjoy a day of freedom.  Chickens are curious birds, though, and several of them stayed right with me in the pen.  Their little feet were busy finding any bugs I had turned up by cleaning out the old straw.

After I added new straw and set up a temporary roost, the new room was inspected by Miss Delaware.

"Perfection, Mom!"  She knows I need a little positive reinforcement.

I wondered how I would get Harry into his new home.  After all, he isn't the kind of rooster who wants to be told where to go.  But, when I walked away from the pen for a few minutes and came back, Harry was there!  Curiosity even got to him!

And this time he brought some friends!  The last time we had this guy penned up he was by himself and he escaped.  Several times.  (Thus, the name Harry Houdini.) 

So far, all three of them seem happy and content.  Now, I wonder if these hens will sit on a nest and raise some chicks.  We'll see!

This is something to crow about!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Farm style

Shiloh came to the door wearing her newest outfit.

Yes, you are beautiful, sweet girl.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Banana pancakes for a rainy Saturday morning

So, I was listening to Jack Johnson on the Ipod and I thought, "Banana pancakes must be really yummy if you want to name a song after them."

A few weeks ago I found a recipe for them on and made some for me and Daryl.  They were really good!

Today, when we woke up with three little grandchildren and a rainy morning I knew that banana pancakes were the only thing that would do for breakfast.

 "The more you eat, the happier you are."
                                                      Daniel Greer

Here is how I made them this morning:

Banana-Chocolate Chip Pancakes

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups pancake mix
3 eggs, separated
chocolate chips

Stir together the bananas and buttermilk.  Add the pancake mix.  Stir in the egg yolks.  Beat the egg whites until a little frothy, then add to the pancake batter.  I added some more buttermilk to get the consistency right.  Add a few chocolate chips to the top of the pancake after you pour it on the griddle.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I finished a project!  I love it when that happens!

This project is a dress for Lily.  My reason for making it was just so I could have an excuse to sew with some fine fabrics.  I used Liberty of London cotton for the dress, Swiss batiste for the collar, and some nice lace as a trim.  

While I like the results, and I think she will look sweet in the dress, I'm not sure I will make a dress like this again any time soon.  The fabric cost enough that I was hesitant to begin the sewing!  You know, you don't want to do a bad job on good fabric!  And it is a little frustrating that you can buy a smocked dress for under $40.  Most of them are made in China by strangers, not by loving grandmothers, but from a distance you can't tell any difference in the dress.

So, I am happy I did this little experiment, but I'm moving on to less formal sewing.  Right now I have a play dress cut out, the fabric bought for another, a lap quilt in the planning stages, and a prayer shawl on the knitting needles.  

A garden to till, chicken pens to clean and get ready for  baby chicks, clover to cut, moss to pick up, and a house to clean.

I'd better stop blogging about it and Do It!