Wednesday, February 27, 2013


When I was trying to decide what to write about next, several topics came up, such as canning, gardening, chickens, baking/cooking, etc.  However, some of that is not happening right now, and some just isn't very interesting at the current time.  In terms of "how-to" posts:  cooking on a wood cookstove, starting seeds, recipes, quilting; these have all been done very well on other blogs, and we probably don't need yet another post on how to make laundry detergent, for instance.  At any rate, I currently don't seem to be very motivated.  Part of it is that we are still in the middle of winter, although the high temperatures this week will be in the 30s, so that's encouraging.  My decision then is to take a bit of a break from posting, although I'll still continue to read my favorite blogs.

Here is a picture of part of our yard from last summer.  Looking at it gives me hope that spring will soon be here. 

I'll be back in awhile; until then, take care.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ready for Spring!

Well, we had another 3-4 inches of snow last night.  I promise this is my last picture of snow for this winter.  Yes, fresh snow is pretty, but by this time of year I'm getting really tired of it.  And you are probably getting tired of seeing pictures of it on this blog.

By February I generally have a bad case of cabin fever; so, today I pulled out all the pastel, spring-color things I could find.

Then I put them around mostly in the kitchen to brighten my day when I'm in there and to help me to think thoughts of spring.

Yes, these are artificial flowers, but they still brighten up the space.

Now, with all this nice color in the house, can spring really be far behind? 

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I recently blogged about how well our chickens are doing this winter.  Well, I guess I spoke too soon.  We lost two of them a couple of days ago, but not to the weather.  As it turns out, a mink found its way to the coop and killed two of the hens.  We set a couple of traps, and while we were doing that, the mink was actually still in the coop hiding in the bedding.  When Mr. M started moving around in there, the mink made a mad dash out of the coop and ran right through the 2x4 inch opening in the wire that surrounds the pen.  He didn't even slow down to go through it.  We have no idea how he got into the pen and coop because there were no tracks in the snow that we could see. 
A few years ago we had chickens in a small building that is attached to the barn.  It's close to the creek, and one day a mink killed several of the chickens.  I caught it in the act, and it ran away.  We set a trap and caught it a few hours later when it came back to finish the job it started.  Since then we've had the chickens in a coop nearer the house (and farther from the creek) and have a pretty secure pen to keep out predators.  We didn't think any mink would wander so far from the creek area, and we thought that with the buffalo grazing in that area that maybe any mink would have moved on.  So it took us by surprise that one of them found our chickens. 
So far he hasn't been back and we're doing our best to protect the rest of the chickens.  When this happened, for the second time in a few years, my first reaction was to tell Mr. M maybe we should just not have chickens.  Death itself doesn't bother me so much as any suffering the animal goes through prior to death.  However, Mr. M reminded me that when you have animals, sometimes things like that happen.  It's just part of life when you live on a farm and raise animals.  We really do enjoy watching the chickens, and the eggs and meat are so much tastier and better for you than what you buy in the store.  So, we'll continue to have chickens for those reasons.  And, to be honest, our chickens are raised much more humanely (other than the occasional predator like the mink) than those raised for meat or eggs in commercial operations.

On a more pleasant note, a couple of days ago we woke up to some really pretty trees.  We'd had a bit of an ice storm and then snow on top of it the day and night before.

Doves, Juncos, and Goldfinches at the feeders.

Wow, almost half way through February!  Today is our daughter's birthday; she's now 30 years old.
I can't believe it's already that long since she was born; time just goes by too fast sometimes. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


There's not a whole lot happening around here lately, so not much to write about.  We're just trying to stay warm, and I've been working on our taxes.  I want to get them in soon since we're getting a refund this year (yes!). 

     The garden is still under snow, and underneath that the ground is frozen.  So we won't be able to do anything there for awhile.  However, within the next few days we'll be starting the artichoke seeds indoors.  The other seeds can wait a bit. 

     All six are doing fine despite the very bitter cold weather we've had.  They huddle together and fluff up their wings to stay warm.  The newest hen, which we got in early December, is now almost as big as the other hens and she seems to have been accepted (or at least tolerated) by the rest of the flock.  We have even had an occasional egg.

     As you know, I've been working to finish several quilt tops that have been laying around for a while, some as long as nine or ten years.  I have completed eight of the 19 so far.

This is from a kit I bought two or three years ago at a shop along the north shore of Minnesota during the annual Shop Hop.  This shop actually went out of business about a month or two later.  It was a great quilt shop, so we hated to see it close.  This is a lap size quilt; I love the colors.

This is also from a kit I bought three years ago when visiting the city up north where we used to live.  This is a lap or baby quilt size.

Til next time...