Tag Archives: farmhouse,

Our hens

Remember Olivia? I did a picture memorial when she died. The Chicken Chronicles continue.

Olivia 5/5/03 – 3/21/09

Well, apparently we couldn’t go on forever without more chickens, so in early October, a friend gave me three baby chicks so we could have fresh eggs again. Fiona is a silvery grey Americana who will be laying bluish-green eggs and the two Wellsummers will look like the Kellogg’s rooster.

The Wellsummer roosters – ain’t gonna lay eggs 11-14-10

Literally. In mid-November, they crowed. They went to a new home around the corner at a neighbor’s who was in need of new studs.

Fiona towering over little Bantams, Ruby & Pearl 3-8-11

After the boys moved out, Ruby and Pearl, two Japanaese bantams, moved in. Fiona is quite vocal, having learned to crow from her brothers. Thanks, boys. Little Ruby and Pearl make cherbly noises, Ruby trills and Pearl makes little “uh-oh” noises. The little ones are like two salt and pepper shakers. Fiona is so loud, we fear trying to hide our contraband chickens in our new home. We’ll have to tell people we have a parrot.

Fiona strolling in the garden 3-12-11

Please hit the “chicken chronicles” tag on the right to see my posts on Life with Chickens.

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Spring Garden

Ahhh, the flowers of spring blooming in our garden. Nemo loves gardening and smelling all the flowers.

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Under the category of “did you know” comes these little tidbits about gargoyles, about which I did my final discussion board post for art history class. I also took a picture of our garden gargoyle “Boo Boo” whom we rescued from a debris pile back in my home town. He’s missing his toes and a piece of his wing.

The Word Gargoyle 

The word gargoyle is believed to come from an old French word ≥garguille≤ which means throat. 

 The original function of a gargoyle was to direct water away from the cathedral, and were similar in shape to a throat. This French word is also the origin of the English words gurgle and gargle. 

Today any drainpipe leading off of a building is technically referred to  as a gargoyle.

 A carving that does not direct water is a grotesque. If a carving depicts a combination of two or more beasts it is a chimera.


 Folklore held that the gargoyle frightened away evil spirits while serving its practical function.

After the introduction of the lead drain in the 16th century, gargoyles primarily serve a decorative purpose.

Source: http://www.gargoyle.us/

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All was going extremely well. Buyers’ home inspection on my house was a glowing report calling my house “a real gem” with “quality renovation work.” So why all of a sudden do the buyers have cold feet and want to back out???? Extremely frustrating because I had finally emotionally accepted that it was “a go” and started looking for moving boxes, then got hit with this yesterday.

No point in getting upset, although fending off the emotion of disappointment is tough. This is me trying really hard to let go and leave it in the Lord’s hands.

St. Joseph, please find me a new buyer asap!

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House for sale

Finished putting up the site for our house listing. Anyone interested in a great, old farmhouse that has been lovingly restored?


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Mother’s Day

How did my mother and I spend Mother’s Day weekend? Putting down this lovely linoleum in the dining room. No mushy card, candy, flower or potted plants for this crew, no sir. And the crock pot handled the corned beef for dinner.

We’re productive!

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Plum tree knowledge

Not that I have much expertise in the way of fruit trees except to pluck fruit and eat it, but I could answer this recent question:

What are you doing to make your plums grow? I have two plum trees and last year they produced about thriteen plums a piece. This year one did not produce at all and the other only set two plums.

Believe it or not, I do nothing except keep the long branches pruned so they don’t bend way over and break, no fertilizer, no bug spray, etc. I was very surprised that the tree was so fruitful this year, and only three were found with any sort of blemish whatsoever. How weird is that, right? They were just perfect and about the size of apricots.

I bought the house in 2005 and the tree was small, about a year or two old then, so it’s maybe a seven year old tree just bearing now. Same with the peach tree, which isn’t doing quite so well. For starters, the entire tree consisted of one puny vertical branch up until last year when I threatened to yank it out entirely if it didn’t grow. My threat worked and all of sudden, the tree is bushy and about 9 feet high. It, too, had a proliferation of tiny peaches. Has, actually – it’s fruiting now. But since it’s the first year, even though there are hundreds of 1.5 inch peaches all over it, peach trees apparently are needy in the way of insecticide to keep the little bug nibbles and spots off of them. I don’t do bugs (ick) but I also don’t do bug spray, so I dunno.

I can, however, pass on this advice from my father-in-law who has a hugely successful peach orchard of nearly 900 trees in several varieties about five miles from here (in NE NC): after the peach tree (and I assume this could apply to the plum, too) blossoms have turned to little fruit nubs, if you want decent sized fruit, you need to snap off nearly a third or more of the baby fruit so that there is not too much on any one branch – about a full hand’s spread apart, he says. Yes, it seems crazy and he thought so, too, when the Ag guy showed him how to prune and “pinch” fruit that first year! First, it keeps the branches from getting heavy and breaking (which if you keep it pruned to under 10 ft high and no more than 4 ft branch extensions should help). Second, it allows more nutrients to flow into the remaining fruit and thus bigger size. He sells them to the local supermarkets as well as a private client list, so I trust his know-how. He does use pesticides and fertilizer, which ick me out, but the peaches are the size of baseballs, so he’s the expert.

The only other contributing factor for the plums I can think of (besides age of trees and maintenance on my part) is that we had a particularly long (for here) and wet cold snap this winter which must have benefitted the trees.We’re original from NW NJ, so we know from apple trees needing a frost to produce sweet fruit and that bulb flowers need to “chill” in the ground to get good flowers in the spring – here, it doesn’t get cold long enough for either. Speaking of which, the five-variety apple tree that came with the house and is more like ten years old, is also having a bountiful year – but same as the peach tree as far as size and quality of fruit. Next year (if I”m still here), I will definitely do the “pinching” off of the excess fruit!

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