Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We Finally Got Some......SNOW!

      It is so beautiful out here! I haven't seen snow like this in about three years! January is the most likely month for us to receive snow. It was predicted farther South than us, with just a light dusting here. It turned out to be much more than that with schools dismissing early and the roads full of fender benders. I didn't venture out in the weather, since I already knew the temps weren't supposed to get out of the twenties. I stay home most of the time; especially when its cold! Since we rarely see the pretty snow, we don't know how to drive in it. It seems to have a layer of ice under it, thus the reason for all the wrecks. But I know it won't last for long! Tomorrow the schools are closed, but Thursday we'll see temps climb back into the forties. That's just the way it is here! Houston is supposed to have seventies by the weekend! The snow definitely makes it colder! The temp is 21 and dropping to 12 or so tonight. That may be warm for some, but oh so cold to me! I can hardly wait for it to warm up again!

      We celebrated Winterlynn's birthday this past Saturday. Her birthday is actually today. Happy Birthday Win! She received lots of warm clothes that are coming in handy about right now. Her cake was Lalaloopsie. She wanted Sponge Bob but we talked her out of that. So hard to believe she is four already! Where is the time going?

      I've started the week off with jumping and exercising again. Last week my body wasn't up to it so I took off everyday except Friday and Saturday. I really am enjoying the rebounder! I'm enjoying challenging my body with all the other things as well! I haven't lost any weight yet that I can tell, but I feel better. I still walk outside when the weather permits. Walking is my favorite thing to do! Besides cooking and working in the garden! 

      Speaking of garden, we lost our bees! I may have told ya'll that before, but I hate that we've lost two hives! Guy, our bee mentor is going to set us up with another nuc in May. I hope they will make it, and even give us honey this year! Gardening and homesteading has it rewards and disappointments! But I still want to keep on doing what I'm doing! Another thing we're looking forward to is breeding our Nigerian dwarf goats in a couple of weeks. That means we'll have "kids" this summer! That will be so neat! I hope to milk the mommas. Time will tell!

      Ya'll stay warm in this cold! We've got a fire going in the fireplace so we're nice and cozy! Oh and here's the link to the English muffin recipe. http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/breads/english-muffins-4/ Why isn't this highlighted so you click on it? I guess I don't know how to do that. Anyway, you have the site. 1/4 ounces yeast is 2 1/4 teaspoons, fyi. Let me know if you make these muffins! Oh and I don't know how that photo showed up so large below! It's not on the page where I post! I don't know how to remove it. I need lessons on blogging! Thanks for reading! Blessings from Bama!

She's the only one brave enough to walk in the snow! The rest are huddled under the hen house.

The snow is a couple of inches.

You can barely see the driveway.

The house looks pretty in snow. 
Chelsey doesn't mind the snow at all.

Taken when the snow first started.

Made this last night. We almost ate the whole thing! It was a delicious chicken casserole made with homemade version of cream of chicken soup.

I've been sitting with an Amish starter all week. I finally got to make the bread. It was delicious!

My sister holding her grandchildren.

Riley's grandma.

Win is showing me she's four.

The girls weren't looking at me!

Riley trying to jump.

The birthday girl!

Skylar made these pull-handles for his Jeep. They are made from para-cord.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pizza and the Girls!

      As I sit here writing this, Randy is smoking chicken for Skylar's lunch this week! Tomorrow, I'll grill chicken for the rest of his lunch this week. Why didn't my Mom do that for us? The lunches are a lot worse now than way back then, that's why. Randy is also trying to build a ramp for the boy goats to climb on, but Java keeps head-butting and tearing down what he's doing! Silly goats! They don't realize he's trying to make their life more pleasant! Goats are funny creatures! We are going to breed our girls next month in hopes of babies this summer! Have you seen baby Nigerian Dwarf goats? They are adorable!

      The sun is shining nicely but it's still cool! Even though the temp says 53, it feels like 43 cause of the wind. The temp is supposed to be much colder this week. I do not like cold weather. I'm ready for warmer days! We just don't usually have this many cold days, here! I'm contemplating planting tomato seeds soon, but the guy down the road says he doesn't start his until mid-February. I don't know if I can wait! I love to watch them grow! I hope to have more cardboard again this year to lay down for a weed barrier in the garden. I also hope to add some more blueberry bushes where the chicken run used to be. We closed that area off and added a different section for the hens. They seem happy with the new area, but last week I saw one running to the closed off run and bounce off the fence! I felt so sorry for her!

      I've been working on the layout of the blog a bit. I like the new colors and I'm hoping I have the watermark figured out. I tried to change the favicon and add a signature but no success with either. I spent way too long to try again soon! Tech stuff doesn't come easy for me. I'd rather be making bread or jumping or something! I forgot to download the photos to picmonkey so I could watermark the them. Guess I'll have to figure out something else.

      I wanted some English muffins for breakfast last week, so I looked through my stash of recipes and found one that sounded good. They turned out really good! I'm enjoying them with my eggs, or just alone with my homemade blackberry jelly. The recipe I use for my pizza dough is found at King Arthur Flour. I have the cookbook, but you can find it online on their website. It's the first one they post. It makes enough for three pizzas. I also found a super easy recipe using the Cuisinart that makes three doughs. I don't know which one I like better. I think the Cuisinart one, cause it's so quick!

      The girls, all four of them came Friday and stayed until Saturday. Can you believe they all slept through the night without waking up? They did so good! I'm glad Ran was here to help cause with the baby, they are a handful! He enjoys them as well as I do. They may be here again this weekend as we will be celebrating Win's fourth birthday! So hard to believe she'll be four! They are growing up way too fast! The baby,even though she's small, is walking all over the place and climbing and saying words! She jabbers all the time! She's so cute! My house! Anyone want to volunteer to help clean? I didn't think so! Oh well, I had to clean it anyway!

      I had to order a new rebounder. The one I got at first from Walmart was fine for a few days. Then my toes and feet started hurting, so I used my shoes. That didn't help. Then my knee started hurting so I told Ran this wasn't going to get it. I loved jumping on that thing so I decided to get a Cellerciser. I did a lot of reading and comparing before I chose this one. It's like jumping on a trampoline and the other one is like jumping on a brick! What a difference! I can hardly wait to get back on it tomorrow! It is so much fun!

      I hope ya'll are staying full and warm! Have a nice week! Blessings from Bama!

Delicious Italian grilled chicken!

English muffins cooking.

All done and cooling! They taste more like a yest roll until you toast them. They are probably as good as I'm going to make.

The girls really enjoyed jumping on the rebounder from Walmart.

They love uncle Randy!

Fixing the top so the goats won't slide off.

Sam loves to get inside the area where the hay is.

Silly Java!

Posing for his pic!

The three pizza doughs.

English muffins after being cut. They have been sprinkled with corn meal.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy Fifty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

      Today is my Mom and Dad's anniversary: a wonderful fifty-five years! Well, I don't know if it's been so wonderful, but isn't it great they've endured so long? And they're in good health and can see fairly well! I hope Randy and I live to see fifty-five years of marriage! That would be wonderful! We're at 22&1/2 so we have a good chance! How long have you been married?

      We finally got over that Arctic blast! Did it blast you? Some people are still recovering from it. The only evidence today was some ice in the animals' water bowls. They can access the water, since the ice is thin. It was crazy, pouring water in the bowls just to have it freeze right back! We haven't seen temperatures like that in a very long time! We're back to normal now, thirties at night; forty-fifty in the day. It is supposed to warm up to 59 tomorrow! I may have to get my shorts out! It's rainy, so the rain makes it feel cold, until you bring several armloads of hickory wood up a steep hill! I got a wheel-barrow load and put the wood on the porch to dry for smoking. I hope the wood isn't too rotted. It's amazing how quickly wood will disintegrate!

      A new year has brought a new work out. I love to try new things, so after reading Katie's blog: Wellness Mama, I'm trying her workout. Now, I do have to modify some of the moves, but I love it! I had a rebounder before, but it got left outside and isn't usable except for the kids. Rebounding is so good for your body! 

  • Helps promote lymphatic drainage
  • Supports liver health
  • Good for bones
  • Helps cellular cleansing
  • Improves endurance
  • Helps with digestion
  • Helps the body detoxify on a cellular level
     You can read more about rebounding on Katie's blog or just Google it. When rebounding with fast, slow, and alternating moves: blood flow is increased, the body is oxygenated, and muscle tone is improved. What I like is that you only have to spend twenty minutes once each day! I get up a little earlier so I can rebound first thing. I find I have more energy during the rest of the day, especially in the afternoons! Maybe I should have dedicated this post just to Mom and Dad, and another one to exercise. 

      I also am doing kettlebell swings. I love them! I won't go into details like with rebounding, but they are so good for the body! I spend half the time working out! And I'm sore! These workouts aren't for everybody. One just needs to read and find out what is right. That's what I'm doing. So far so good. I'm also practicing doing pull-ups. They seem impossible! I have to do assisted. You will be informed as soon as I can actually pull myself all the way up, un-assisted! Using your own body weight is one of the best ways to workout. Pull-ups, chin-ups, and push-ups, all of which I hated before, are great weight-bearing activities. I only do a couple sets of 5-7 reps. I also found out about Tabata sprints. They only take 4 minutes! You can use any method for sprints: running, walking, re-bounding, stationery bicycle. I hope this encourages you to get up and start moving! I can hardly wait to see how quickly my body gets into shape!  Warm blessings from Bama!

Deep dish pizza!

Yum, good!

Wished I had a piece right now!

These apple muffins were delicious!

A new flag found on clearance to celebrate the hens happy home!

Smoking chicken breasts to make Skylar sandwiches for school.

Yummy spinach quiche! It didn't like me, though.

Do you ever get a 'hankering' for stewed tomatoes? I love 'em' right out of the can!

Picture of a picture taken at the show in Pigeon Forge. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Enjoying the glow of my salt lamp.

The African violets are doing well! Remember the plant Rubi got a hold of? It's growing too!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Welcome, 2014!

      I haven't posted since last year! Corny, I know! Christmas was celebrated with family, and so was New Year's day! We just didn't have as many family members here New Year's Day. Missed ya'll Amber, Yasmine, and Lulu! We went to the Smoky Mountains the day after Christmas and came back the day before New Year's Eve. We had a very nice trip! My Mom and Dad went too, so we took them to a show we saw last year! It was the Smoky Mountain Opry Christmas Spectacular! It was spectacular! Besides the show, our favorite thing to do was eat. We went to dinner every night and the food was good everywhere we went! Now we know where to eat if we go there again! Things are getting really expensive there so if we do go again, we probably won't see any shows. And, we might take our own food to cook on the grill, since eating out is also getting high. There's plenty to do there if you like the outdoors.

      We had an incident with Rubi a couple of weeks ago. The hens found an escape route and made their way into the yard. Not without Rubi's awareness, however. The girls were here and I was preparing their breakfast, and something made me look outside. I wished I had looked a lot sooner! I called Rubi, but she didn't come. I saw her standing over something white. It took a few minutes, but when she didn't respond to my call, I realized it was Silkie. She was dead. Rubi got her first taste of blood. God helped me to get the chickens back in but it took forever! Trying to keep the dogs away from the dead chicken and not eat any more of the live ones was a huge task by myself. Randy finally got home and helped. But one was unaccounted for. Later, when Randy left, the girls were outside playing and came running to the house to tell me Rubi was killing another chicken! I ran screaming and peeing my pants, trying to rescue the poor chicken! Miraculously, the chicken got up off the ground and went running to a place where I scooped her over the fence to safety. I thought she would die since her feathers were all over the ground! She is alive and doing well! Then the day before yesterday, I looked out and saw Rubi inside the area where the chickens roam! I yelled at Randy to hurry and get Rubi! He was home that day and quickly got her out before she killed another chicken. That very day, our prayer was answered and a nice young guy who wants to duck hunt, came and got her. She took right up with him and he with her. God cares, even about things like that! My life will be a little lonely, but a LOT less stressful! It will probably take half a day to clean up all the mess she's made around here! And I can wear what I want outside and not worry about getting it ripped, torn, or dirty, by Rubi! If we ever get another dog, I will pray and read up on which one best suits our homestead! Jack and Chelsea are like new dogs! They had taken a back seat to Rubi, but are like my normal pets again! They seem happier! They are even barking more!  

      I'm excited about the photos below! They were taken with my new camera I got for Christmas! I hope they are better than before!  Ya'll stay warm and have a good week! Blessings from Bama!

My uncle, Dad, Skylar, Randy, and brother.

Amber and April showing some of the girls new clothes.

Yasmine and her new boots.

My Mom.

Willie and his baby girl, Riley.

Cutie 'Lu'!

Yasmine and her 'super hero' stuff.

Showing Uncle Randy their new things.

He always welcomes us to Pigeon Forge.

Such a pretty place to visit.

Randy's boss's wife made me this shirt. She has an embroidery business.

I sort of wanted to ride this, along with the hot air balloon and the helicopter. My fear of heights must be overcome!

I don't know what kind of bird this is, but he sure is pretty. Made upstream from our campsite.

It rained all night and the next day, thus the rush of water.

The air was much colder there than here.

My handsome man!

It's hard to get a good photo in motion. The Christmas decorations are so pretty here!

I love this restaurant! It used to be a house. I had a delicious spinach-Gruyere quiche. I will let you know how the recipe turns out when I make it.

We are a happy family!

Love these pretty mountains!

Everywhere we went, there were this many cars!

Welcome to Gatlinburg!

The space needle.

Reminds me of a postcard.

Happy couple! We like this little shopping village!

Love the girls colorful costumes! The guy is ice-skating!

Ice skating to a country-sounding Christmas song!

A cute act.

Slim the juggler. That's an actual bowling ball!

Duck Dynasty impersonators. They sang good! 

A lively finale.

Nice place!

Two cuties!