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They are here!

We got the hens tonight. They are sweet looking. Leghorns, ten of them.

They are in the pen, with the traveling dog kennel in the pen with them, the kennel is what they came home with us in. We gave them water and mash, and opened the door. One brave soul ventured forth rather quickly, but no one else for several minutes. Finally a few came out, then seven were out, then the last one, two, three, and they were crowding round the bowl of food, peck, peck, peck they went.

Later we went back out to check on them, and they were all smooshed under the dog chainlink fence [the temporary roof] on top of the dog kennel, just a few inches of space available. One hen was left to perch on the swinging door of the kennel. Poor dear. Well, they looked comfy, all in all. They are accustomed to having higher places to perch on, where they came from, so we’ll have to get a shelf built for them. Next to the laying boxes, and under a solid roof.

Well, there was plenty of noise outside. The neighbor was drumming in his basement. That goes on for hours at nightime. And two dogs behind us were yapping up a storm, with other dogs pitching in around the place on occasion. Just our yard was quiet. Hens are not that noisy. Not like drums or dogs! πŸ™‚

A First for us — chickens

Last evening Frank and I banged out three and a half sides for our new chicken pen. The night before that we did the first half of one, and figured out what we were going to build, the design of it, that is. This is our first farming structure!

We used lumber from our house, that we took out of a closet in the half-finished basement, and we needed some more, and our neighbor had old lumber lying outside, he was doing some kind of renovation in his house, so he said take as much as we want. Mighty neighborly.

I’ll be stapling the chicken wire on the frames today, and starting to put the corners together … and Frank will help me finish that. We’ll contrive some kind of roof and a box for the layers to do their thing in.

We’ll have 7 to 10 layers in there tonight! Yippee!

Winter, spring-longings, and Winter again

It’s been a bit warmer for a few days, into the 50’s then the low 60’s one day, and then the high 40’s today. Nights have been above freezing. Now tonight it’s going to get much colder, into the low 20’s, and tomorrow looks to be a COLD day, and the night in the one digit numbers. BRRRRR!

There is a bush next door to our house that has leaves coming out on it. Bad news. Even our Pussy Willow bush, which we installed in the front bern last early Spring, is starting to show it’s fuzzy little do-dads in some places. Too early, not yet guys!

Well, January is the month that we’ve seen some Spring bulbs starting to show green spikes coming up, like Tulips or Daffodils … they take their time coming up, and have to, as there is still another full month of Winter to get through before the massive threat of freezing weather has abated. But I’ve not seen really the leaves coming out, like next door, this early. I’ll have to be checking our dear plants a bit closer now. Most of them are new, just nearly a year old on the property. The Summer was tough, and some branches are dead on the Dogwoods. We have to prune them back before the sap starts really running.

I also found one of our little tiny trees whacked off down low the other day. It’s one of the trees you can get from the Arbor Day Foundation, for membership. It’s a few years old, well, it was. Seem the dog must have chewed it off. It’s sticking up several inches from the ground, but the branches are all gone, and a whole lot of the trunk. Poor little Redbud tree! It’s one that I was looking forward to seeing this Spring, and seeing it really grow up a bit more this year. πŸ™ So, is it beyond hope, dead? Don’t know. I don’t know that tree’s habits. We will see what happens.

I have some bulbs in the fridge, from my mother for Christmas. I have to plant them sometime in February, since they weren’t chilled until we got them in the snail mail system. I’m looking forward to digging in the dirt. So if the Winter weather would just do it’s thing and then go away for several months, it’d be nice!

Frank is promising to dig out my new garden for sure this year. I didn’t have one last year. I’ll have tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, yellow wax beens, and don’t know what else. Those are the ones I like the best. And we have our apple trees to consider. We want to do them as naturally as possible, but some spraying is necessary. We had a few apples that survived the season, last September. They were a nice snack for the family. Just that, not enough for anything else.

The trees that give the fruit are LIBERTY semi-dwarf apple trees. Nice, just taking their time getting into good production, and we need to help them better as well. It takes knowledge and $$ to do that. So we are dependent on Frank’s job situation for all our property improvements, like spraying trees, and planting vegetable and flowering plant gardens. So, maybe Winter lasting longer is alright, now that I’ve thought it out to this end. It’d give Frank more time to get a better job going.

Ok. So, let it snow! [none this year yet, so we are due!]

Cold temperatures, but Mild Winter so far

It’s cold tonight, supposed to be around 15 degrees F. That’s the coldest of the season. That means a mild Winter. No snow or ice storms as yet. We did have flurries this morning, but very light and not for very long. It rained last night, and the temperature was about 36 to 34 degrees, and the deck had some ice crystals forming on it for awhile. But the rain stopped, then the temperature dropped below freezing. No ice.

We have a heat pump, and that doesn’t works so well once the temperature is just above freezing. So it’s been cool at night in the house. We don’t have wood for the fireplace this year. Good thing it’s a mild Winter. We have a few more weeks to get through until early Spring, but so far it’s pretty good.

That’s our exciting news for the day!

Web authoring

I’m working on our church’s web site. Once a new hosting site is found I’ll be updating the site with my pages. I code by hand, and it’s a task I enjoy. I’ll put a preview link here later, when I have some more content on my site. I’m loading on this site it to get it working ahead of time.

I’m using some css, actually, quite a bit. It’s the way things are going, and I sure hope that everyone who won’t be able to see CSS made pages will put some effort into getting a newer internet browser! πŸ™‚

CSS is a way to really enhance web pages, and make changes easily in the future, once a web site is installed. It makes adding pages easy, and changing the look of the whole site by changing just one, or a few more, pages, depending on how one’s site is set up.

It’s fun stuff!

How do I learn my HTML and CSS? By browsing, looking at other people’s pages, looking at tutorial sites, and absorbing the information and putting it to use. Some people would need to have a book or take classes, but I bet that others can learn how to do web coding the same way I do. Just jump right in and do it!

The Two Towers

We’re in Michigan, leaving on Friday. Last night, opening day, we went and saw The Two Towers (Tolkien movie – The Lord of the Rings, book/movie 2). We loved it. Of course it doesn’t follow the book exactly, but does produce a wonderful product, faithful to the content of the book overall, though not in all details. For us, we absolutely loved it.

Better than Fellowship of the Ring? Can’t compare them. They are equal in greatness, sort of, both different, and make a cohesive two parts of three. It’ll be hard to wait the year out for installment number three of the Trilogy!

Frank and I went alone. Our neice Renee watched the children. It was nice to have a “date”. Not a usual practice for us at all. We go for the DVD’s instead of movie theatres usually. We didn’t see Fellowship of the Rings in the theatre. We saw it on DVD in August when it first came out via that medium. I’ve seen it several times, therefore, since we bought it, and then the extended version also … which is even better.

If you haven’t read the book(s) read them first. Then get the DVD of Fellowship of the Rings, and then the Extended version. Rent the first one and buy the second one if you don’t want to buy all of them. Then go see the second movie or wait until it’s out on DVD. Then wait another year and go to see the third movie. You’ll need a DVD player too, they are really pretty cheap now-a-days! And worth it for the movies and the extra content you get on the DVD’s. Cool stuff!

December 2002

It’s December! It came really fast this year. Yes, the years go faster once you are an adult, but I must say this year sped past really fast, for that other years for sure. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that it snowed here at our house? Oh, that was December 2001.

Today it’s cold, as it is in much of the Eastern US. It’s nearly to freezing and there is water up in the sky that is supposed to want to come down sometime today in the form of freezing rain or mix. It’s been drizzly on and off, but mostly light as a feather kind of drizzly. It’s windy too, and there’s a chill factor in the 20’s. It’s 33.4 degrees F. right now, at 2:30pm. The temperature is going down. It was 45 degrees F. this morning, around 7:00am.

It’s been colder the last few weeks, but this is the coldest DAY we have had so far this season. We can expect up and down temperatures for the next few months, then it’ll be the real Spring for us. Our winter is like winter/fall/early-spring — Up, down, down, up, up, down, up etc. Snow, rain, ice, freezing rain, slush, any of those kind of days, and very cold days with blue, blue skies, as well as overcast days in the 40’s that feel kinda spring-like. And more. Winter is the worst in Dec and Jan always. But even with that, we have spring flowers beginning to push up their green tops in January or February usually.

We do have Winter, but it’s mild. We do have Autumn, but it’s late. We do have Spring, it’s early and glorious in the South. We do have Summer, it’s long. I grew up in PA and Frank in MI. We both had long Winters and short Springs and short Summers and short Autumns. Here things are quite different. We both lived in Florida for awhile, and so appreciate the South for it’s “real” seasons πŸ˜‰ We do get all four seasons, and they are just different than the North’s. Even the North can not claim a same season as all of the North. In MI they get more snow than in PA in most places, so my Winter of childhood is different in the realm of the Wintery weather, than Frank’s. Across different regions of a State this holds true too. In the South too. But the generalities of it all is mild winter, and good long growing season in the South. In the north there’s plenty of time to think about gardening … all the long winter long. Then get out there quick and grow some stuff before harvest time sets in. All the while Southern cousins are growing, growing, growing, sowing second or third crops of whatever … πŸ™‚

And can settle in for a few months of crisp, cold weather, with some snow and/or ice here and there. It’s nice.

Lexington, KY

We left MI on Friday morning and drove to Lexington, KY, where we had a hotel reservation. This cut our trip basically in half. We can go multiple ways home, so this one was by choice, for the views it brings.

The Lexington side of Kentucky is very horse farmy, with a few cows here and there (the brown cows are my favorites!) We stayed on the NE side of town. A few miles above is the Kentucky Horse Park. After dinner we drove to that, where they had what was called “Southern Lights” — 4 miles of horse themed Christmas lights. There were some nice views for our 6 year old, the other two were asleep, so the $12 it cost … a bit steep …

Before that we went downtown Lexington, to Joe Bologna’s, a local pizza place. Distinct pizza, and particularly a distinct atmosphere–an old church building. Originally built by a Presbyterian congregation in 1891 … they sold it to a Jewish Synagog in 1912. The floors are original Kentucky Pine, and the windows are all stained glass and protected on the outside by modern material to keep them safe. Our table was right under the big 18-foot high stained glass window that looks out over the street, and has since 1891. Gorgeous. The bar is at the opposite end of the building — yes, right where the Minister used to preach from! Not a problem for Presbyterians, who believe that the Bible teaches, and it DOES teach this, that alcohol in moderation is fine.

The bread sticks are huge, and come with melted butter/garlic in a dish, the dish which reminded Frank of some kind of church dish–metal and just not a shape expected for restaurant use … oblong and boat-like, yet not. Makes no sense as I’ve worded it! LOL

But the bread sticks are good. They are chewy and light, but not heavy and gooey, yet have body. Perfect for white flour bread. Better than any chain restaurant makes, across the board. How was the pizza we ordered? It was a 16-inch round, ham and sausage. The sauce was more like we like, a marinara-ish sauce. And the crust was crispy on the bottom and light and body-like the bread sticks only better. The crispy bottom really made the difference. Good pizza! My whole family ate each slice wholly. I mean, that’s not normal πŸ˜‰

So, if you are ever in the Lexington area for lunch or dinner, try out Joe Bologna’s downtown. Any local should be able to point you in the right direction, it’s a known landmark. The biggest disappointment is how North that State is. No Suhwheat Tuhee (sweet tea, to you non-southron’s!)

The Leonids a bust for us …

I saw one meteor. Faint and barely noticeable around 2am, with the moon brightly shining high in the sky but moving towards the Western sky. Things were clear.

At 3:15am I check things out, and there were a few wispy clouds, the moon was further away from the “viewing area” so that was an improvement on conditions actually. I was getting excited about the approaching “Big Show” time: 4-6:30am with 5:30am being the peak. I hadn’t been sleeping all night, save for a very short nap a some point after midnight. That all wasn’t planned. I do have a history of not being able to really sleep when something is going to happen, like the event of that night, or a trip the next day. Frank was up working on something with me on the computer, so it was nice to have company! A very odd evening, night, early morning for us both.

I was watching TV Food Network after checking conditions outside at 3:15am. I gave the skies some time to get closer to the event before venturing out into that cold air (high 30’s F.) So at 4am on the nose, I went to check. I looked through the window on the deck French doors, and couldn’t see a thing outside. That was weird, the moon should still have been shining, though more to the West, instilling some light on things out there. I opened the door and was so disappointed! The sky was totally overcast. Where did that come from? Forecasts had been for, at most, partly cloudy skies around that time. This was not that. Thickly overcast. So disappointed I went to tell Frank. The children would be so disappointed too. This was the BIG event for both of our lifetimes. Oh well. Maybe something else will happen in the ensuing years to outdo it.

So, I watched Ming Tsai make a Thanksgiving Meal on “East Meets West”. That’s the end of my Leonid early morning experience. Soothe disappointment like that by watching succulent food being made on TV.

Leonid and weather

We are looking forward to the “shooting star” event that should be fantastic on Tuesday morning, 5:30am here on the US East Coast.

Go to the above link to read about it. is forecasting a low of 38 Monday night-Tuesday morning. Better than the previous night/morning of 27, which is tonight! Brrr! This’ll be our first freeze. Fairly normal as our first freeze is Nov. 15 on the Average calendar for such. We nearly froze the other day, but just got some very cold weather in the low 30’s but above freezing and frosty tips of grass. The grass is still very green. We’ve had lots of rain lately. Thank you God! We appreciate it, so do the grass and trees and birds and flowers and weeds! Also the lakes and streams and rivers and wells and wild animals. Can’t forget them.

If you get out to see the show on Tuesday morning, check back here for my report, and leave your comments under that post! I’d love to hear your reports! We plan on having chairs and blankets and hot drinks out there, and all the children — if they wake up for us!

New computer!

I built our newest computer last night. It’s so nice to have a fast machine again. I still don’t have my laptop back. I’ll sure be glad when I do, but in the mean time now, I’ve got a decent machine to use!

Perhaps I’ll get some kind of posting of pictures done.

As for what I built, it was a starter kit which consisted of a case, fan, motherboard [for an AMD Athlon], floppy drive, and ethernet, usb, serial, power,etc. those little things. It came with built in sound and a small video card. And a keyboard and mouse.

I had to put in the rest of it, purchased separately. So we got a CDRW a few months back, for the old computer since the CD ROM died suddenly. The CDRW was slated to go into the new machine when we got it built. So then we had to get Memory, a Processor, a hard drive, modem, and whatever else we wanted.

I ended up having to use my old video card, from the old machine. We’ll get a better one some time. But the thing was –the video card wouldn’t work. No matter what I did. The old one I tried it, and it worked instantly.

But then I had trouble installing the OS. Ended up the mouse connection was the problem. I took that off the computer, and plugged in a USB mouse I have for the laptop. Everything installed smoothly after that. But that wasn’t until the third attempt to get it going, with something differnet flagging as the problem each time. Ugh.

So today was the day for the SP1 download and all those updates. Fun, fun, fun. Actually, it’s not so bad. The machine is fast and happy. So am I therefore, happy, that is.

The processor is an Athlon XP 2100+, and we have 512 of DDR 2100 Memory, a tiny 40 Gig hard drive (our old one was a 6 gig) oh, and no sound. The thing just won’t make any sounds. I’ll have to snag my sound card from the old machine now too. Well, we had planned on rebuilding that computer, but now it’s not so much worth it. Figures. The video card and sound card were good for the late 90’s. They’d work fine in a lesser computer, though good, as we intended to make that one. So we’ll have to shell out some money for this new computer, to replace these non-intended items.

Ah, the beauty of a starter kit. It gets you started, sure, that’s it. Next time we are doing this whole thing ourselves. Well, I put it together, Frank buys the stuff.

But hey, I like it. It’s not the fanciest case on earth, but it’s big enough, mid-size tower can hold quite a bit more, and it’s pretty in it’s own way. Just can’t compare it to any other case.

So I need to round up somemore software and get it loaded. Bye!

Silly old bear

Deep in the hundred acre wood
where Christopher Robin plays
You’ll find the enchanted neighborhood
of Christopher’s childhood days

A donkey named Eeyore is his friend
and Kanga and little Roo
There’s Rabbit and Piglet and there’s Owl,
but most of all Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff
He’s Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Willy nilly silly old bear

Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff
He’s Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Willy nilly silly old bear

I love “Classic Pooh” πŸ™‚

Paper Dolls – I

Paper Dolls online — download and print! There are some lovely ones you can easily find, and I’ll start posting my favorites here.

These first ones are from Gayle Broadbent-Ferris. She has others too, these are my favorite, more old-fashioned kinds.

[My recommendation is to right-click each link below, and choose “Save Target As …” then download them to your hard drive as jpg. images. Keep them if you like them, delete them if you don’t. If you load the links below, you might only have the option to “Save Picture As …” a bmp. To load the page you are downloading the image anyway, so download it as a Save Target As …!]


Christmas Bear – 2001

Christmas Doll 1975 (2000)

Bunny – Happy Easter 2001

Annie 1999

Valentine 2001

More links to my favorite Paper Dolls online … later!

Coloring Pages

Crayola Crayon’s Web Site

If you have young children, you might like to take a look at Crayola’s web site. Click on Activity Book, and there are lots of coloring pages to print. What I did was to open the printer friendly page for each coloring page I wanted to print, and then I right clicked on the main image and chose “save as” and saved the image on my hard drive. I categorized all the pictures in the “My Pictures” folder on my computer, and so now whenever I want to print a coloring page, it’s very, very simple (I use Win XP; the built-in picture printing utility makes it easy to print full size coloring pages.)

There are more coloring pages than just for “coloring”. There are learning, crafting, and thinking things. All organized under several categories. For home schoolers, this is a nice resource, or for those of you who have pre-school children at home (and this should make you see how easy it is to school your own children!)

[You will be prompted to register on this site, or to log in if you already are registered. For adults, it’s easy.]

Does anyone have any other links for children’s coloring pages online? Please leave them here under “comment” if you do.

Autumn brings …

It’s Autumn now. We’ve had lots of rain, the good kind, in the past week and a half. It’s raining today again, 1/2 inch so far today. It’s also cool, in the low 60’s. Wow! It feels so nice outside, even with all that humidity. It’s reminding me of how it’ll feel in another couple of months or sooner.

Why is it so good we have rain? We’ve been in a drought, like a lot of this country. But we are pulling ahead finally, at least for this month, and getting the rain the plants need for the end of the Summer/Beginning of Autumn. Tree’s have lost some leaves due to dryness. And some of our trees are attempting to re-leaf, and this rain is aiding that process. We also have bird seed sprouting in the big cedar bird feeder. It’s been so wet consistently that the millet is growing. That’s a first since we’ve had the feeder out and stocked year round since March a couple of years ago.

Happy 10th Anniversary to Us!

Well, Frank and I have been married for TEN years now. A whole decade of official marriage!

We were engaged on June 5 and married on August 22, 1992. Fast for some people, not for us. We met on December 1, 1991, right after the evening service at CRPC. I knew that month that we’d get married. It took Frank until June to figure it out for certain.

I’d been happy to get married sooner. Yes, much sooner. But all is fine with how it turned out. By having to wait, we had our wedding while many people were boarding up their houses in preparation for Hurricane Andrew coming.

Bride and Groom had NO CLUE until during the reception. No wonder there were very few men at the ceremony! LOL

So, our wedding is memorable. It’s the weekend that Hurricane Andrew was bearing down on South Florida. We had to evacuate our apartment. Our honeymoon was supposed to be in the Florida Keys. We ended up in Orlando. Blah.

Well, we count our Smoky Mountains week long trip in August 1994 as our REAL honeymoon. That was great.

Go to my Geocities site to see some of the pictures from our 2nd Anniversary trip. It’s not been updated or finished. It’s been months and months and months since I did any real work on the site. But, you can get a glimpse of the trip. It was delightful.


School is beginning in many places very soon. We homeschool, so nothing much is changing for us. We don’t do anything formal yet, in the way of education. Our oldest is Russell, and he’s 6. He’s learning to read, count, and how to learn. He’s exploring and expanding in knowledge. Well, the same goes for Victoria, who’s 3, and Asa who will be 2 soon.

Check out

This is information we’ve recently stumbled upon, but it’s pretty much what we’ve planned to do in our home all along. It’s really nice to find information published that validates your educational philosophy!

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

The Hummingbirds have become very active here in the past week, particularly.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the regulars in Georgia. We have one adult male for certain, and he is a “sentry” setting up in differenent spots in trees in the back yard, waiting for the other Hummers to come by on their way to the backyard feeder … and he heads them off in a variety of beautiful aerial manuevers, then back to a sentry point!

There are at least 4 other Ruby-throats around our feeders. One in particular is an adult female, and one for sure is a juvenile male. The other two I’m not sure about yet. And, there may be more! A total of 5 individual RT Hummers have been spotted at one time, a few days ago. They continue to do their thing!

I have some photos, on film still, of the adult male RT. Once they are developed, if there are any good ones I’ll get them online here!

Eastern Bluebirds

I saw my baby Eastern Bluebirds today! Mrs. Blue had both babies in our October Glory Maple, then they went across the street to sit on the gutter of that house. One of those babies I held in my hand on July 2. Oh how cute! They both fledged without me witnessing it. So nice to see them out and about finally!


Leave a note for me here— to just say “hi”, or if you have something to say that isn’t a reply to a definite recent post, or to tell me something unrelated to any posts, etc.

Thanks! πŸ™‚

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