Friday, December 30, 2011

2011: The Year in Pictures

2011_collage1 copy
2011_collage2 copy
It was a very good year. Here’s wishing you and yours a wonderful 2012, filled with many blessings, much peace and love.

From all of us to all of you.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

do you hear what i hear?


Goldie at almost 5 months…

all legs,

and EARS!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Annual Hee-Haw Tradition

One to-do was marked off the Christmas list (several more to-dos to do, by the way). 

But, for now, these two girls want to stop by with a Christmas message…CARD3_sm

In spite of all the hustle and bustle, let’s always remember the reason for the season..



It’s good for all that ails ya!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Double Nickels!

Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and full of much love and gratitude. Ours was!

And, guess who turned double-nickels this weekend? Happy Birthday to my Blacksmith!!!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

bona fide

[boh-nuh fahyd] authentic, true. What does this have to do with anything? It’s just one of my very favorite words. Or would that be two words?
Remember our Goldie Pup? Well, she has finally won over the rest of the family (for the most part). She and Chloe are actually playing in the top left photo, although it looks like a scuffle!
The chickens have been molting, therefore we’ve had very few eggs for the past several weeks. The good news is their feathers are almost all grown back and they are looking good. After months of picking/pecking each other (and actually eating the feathers.. gross!).. they really needed some improvement. Their manners toward each other have thankfully improved as well.
We’ve had some pretty skies… during daytime hours and at night.
Hmmm… what else has been going on around here? I made 35 half-pints, plus 4 pints of Green Tomato Relish (delish – recipe here). We had loads of green tomatoes at the end of the season.

I painted this sign.
Life’s been busy, but good. And bona fide.
{these girls are truly bona fide}
Hope all is well and bona fide with each of you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Gander named Gus…

{and other random thankfulness}

Meet Gus -  Greta’s husband #3.


Goose Pen~

goose pen1

and a special latch that my Blacksmith made for me.


Beautiful late October days… we’ve been so spoiled.


Chyna Cat.


A healthy supply of winter wood – almost done!

October evenings and quilts and warm pups.


Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.
--Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday Walkabout: Autumn Delights

10-6-11 Mosaic2

Bee Hive Area.


Our next door neighbor’s lake.

Hope that you’re enjoying the season wherever you are!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Introducing Goldie…

The newest member of our family -- Mr. W’s 2 month old Mountain Cur puppy.goldie1 
It’s been a long time since we’ve had a puppy around here, and she is a fireball.  Banjo (our almost 10 year old JRT) and Chloe (our 6 year old Corgi mix) are not pleased.




Pecking orders are being established, and slowly things are calming down a bit.


I hope :)


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Operation: Sting

Also known as: Our First Honey Harvest and Extraction

How about some good news first? About 30 pounds of pure liquid gold “clover with a smidgen of wildflower” honey was harvested this weekend.

Casualties: 1 sting for me (over my eye when I took the water hose to rescue Mr. W) , and numerous stings for my Mr. Also, 3 plus stings for the Fiddler (and he wasn’t even on extracting duty, but splitting wood several yards away). We are all fine, and the Fiddler even boasts that his allergies are much better after several stings to the head. Ouch, but maybe a good dose of apitherapy is all he needed?

I have a ton of pictures to take you along with us on the photo story of Honey Harvest 2011, then I’ll close with a list of things we learned.. and also a quick update of what we’ve been up to the past, oh.. month? Good grief, how time flies! Please pardon what is sure to be a record-breaking lengthy post for me as I try and catch up.

Pulling the frames. This method was a good back-saver too (more on that at the end). Frames were pulled individually from the super, and we used the smoker and a turkey feather and bee brush to “tickle” the bees as I called it ;) It actually worked pretty well, and the nine frames were put into a large rubbermaid box. Much lighter to carry back to the ‘honey house’ than the entire super would have been.



Back at the ‘honey house’ (garage), each frame was scraped with a regular serrated knife to uncap, in preparation to place in the extractor.


Cappings were placed over an old oven rack to drain into a plastic box. (Definitely should have used a screen-type cover instead).


Uncapped frames (four at a time) were placed into the basket inside the renovated antique honey extractor.honey5

Cranking away as centrifugal force spins the honey to the sides of the extractor and…


…out the honey gate. Here are the first drops of pure raw unfiltered honey, dripping into the filter over the honey bucket.



The drained cappings also produced an amazing amount of honey. Some bottling was done tonight, but more will be done tomorrow after it settles a few hours.

It is delicious, and beautiful, and oh-so-addictive. Did I also mention we’re firm believers in the healing powers of honey?


It was a little bit of work, mostly in preparation. Things definitely did not go as planned, and as we look back on this experience, those boo-boos seem so funny.

A few things we learned:

  • those velcro strips on the bee suits are meant to be closed. do not question this!
  • do not wear holey britches to the bee hive area, especially when bees are already irate because you’re removing ‘your’ share of their honey.
  • quickly remove empty frames back to the bee hive area for the bees to clean out. do not tarry on this one! The bees WILL find the remnants of honey, and they WILL then take over the entire yard.. and hold humans hostage until they finish it!
  • Irate bees who invade the yard in search of honey remnants like to bury themselves in your hair. This produces a little dance we call “the bee dance” and gives the neighbors something to talk about as they drive by.

All in all, I think we did great though.. and we are looking forward to next year’s beekeeping experiences.


Now, a quick update of what we’ve been up to the past month. Mr. W had his second back surgery of 2011 earlier this month. He is doing great, and plans to return to work in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, he’s been doing everything he can possibly do that doesn’t involve lifting, twisting, pushing, pulling, etc. Including coaching the wood-gettin’ team.


We also had a wonderful two-day visit with Osage Bluff Quilter and Blacksmith a couple weeks ago. Read about our Amish trip here on Patti’s blog – she’s a much better blogger than I am. Oh, how I wish we would have taken pics of those wonderful fried pies.. but we snarfed them right up! And, the same thing happened with Osage Bluff Quilter’s homemade Peach Salsa (the BEST in the world!) – all I have is an empty jar to show! We even got to visit with them the following weekend at the Heritage Festival – check that event out here.

If you’ve stayed with me this long… bless your heart! Thanks for stopping by.. and hope all is well in your neck o’ the woods!

Till next time…


Updated to link to:


Monday, August 29, 2011

As Summer Fades

Where has this month, and Dear Summer gone? We have been busy, but somehow it seems there is a new priority every day… and we keep spinning around in circles. Does anyone else feel like that? Here’s some randomness that’s been happening in our neck of the woods.
We said goodbye to an old wagon heirloom last week (Peter Shetler).
I’ve been working on a new pen as time allows. It will be  “Fort Knox” for geese (Greta and her future new gander friend), plus a hangout for roosters occasionally. This will consist of 3x6 foot panels with hardware cloth (14 of them). I chose the panel method so I can change my mind in the future and possibly move the pen or expand. You just never know :) There will be something over the top to deter raccoons and other predators. I never ever want a repeat of what happened to Grady Gander :(
Yesterday was planing day for the walnut lumber we milled last Spring. It was dry and ready to go. Hmmm, we will have to choose special projects for this dear old tree from our backyard that turned out to be our first sawmill project!
planing walnut_planed
Our Hive #2 of Bees (we thought they were Carniolans) had a problem. They were without a Queen. While we were debating what to do, it seems the bees took matters into their own hands. Hive #1 (the Italians) started taking over Hive #2. Also, a frame of brood was moved over to Hive #2 from Hive #1. The objective is of course to somehow end up with a Queen in Hive #2.  We will check in a few days to see if there is any sign of a new Queen. So exciting! In the meantime, Hive #2 is guzzling *two gallons of sugar water per day*. Amazing.


Finally, I’ll close with a mosaic of our Sunday evening drive from yesterday. Just a few random views from our neighborhood. We shared the camera, depending on who had the best view at the time!
Also, Mr. W has had a  recurrence of his back woes. We are not 100% sure, but think there may be yet another back surgery in his future. We would appreciate any good thoughts and prayers on his behalf.
Hope all is well in  your neck of the woods!
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