Friday, October 28, 2011


This is my tallow rendering set up in the backyard.  While Texas is sweating it out with the cardinals on TV I figured I could get a few things done.  So I'm rendering Tallow and hulling the black walnuts our incredibly awesome mailman/neighbor brought over.  He is the coolest mailman I have ever met, and I look forward to when he gets his first baby chicks for his yard. 
 My Walnut hulling set up
 Ripe and ready

So our back yard smells like a rotting corpse and the living room smells like "swamp mud" as Texas would put it.  Never smelled a swamp, but if it smells like decomposing walnut hulls I'll pass on any future trips to the swamp lands.  I'm glad to be getting these things done, but I really wish I was asleep right now.  Unfortunately, we all have to stay up and see who wins.  I am excited to see who wins, but it is so bad to wait until the morning to find out?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Elsie's new love...


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Strange day

 This morning started off with finding my neighbors dog up on their roof (seriously, see above).  Then continued with my daughter falling in love with two of the strangest foods. 

There are some things you just never think to feed your kids.  Convinced they would NEVER eat it.  Well today for dinner my daughter just devoured a plate of chicken livers with mashed potatoes and gravy.  When she asked for more "fried chicken" I thought best not to correct her, and counted my lucky stars when Texas thought better before finishing his sentence of, "actually Ann these are..."
For dessert Annie begged me for a piece of "purple bread."  The "purple bread" is purple because I made the starter with purple grapes.  I'm delving into the world of naturally yeasted bread, and today I made my first loaf from Rye and Grape starter.  The bread is dense, but incredibly yummy.  It's sour flavor goes great with apple butter, or a piece of raw goat cheese.  The best part is, no sugar, no dried yeast and the grains are soaked for 24 hours, so every piece is loaded full of 100% goodness.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A day in the life...

 of my husband is no picnic.  He spent his entire weekend building our chickens a new house, and it is turning out to be pretty amazing.   I will always miss my first chicken house, but moving it was a little more difficult than could be expected.  So, it was taken apart piece by piece and Texas is using all the pieces to make a new house on our modified boat trailer we picked up from craigslist months ago. So the neighbors can rejoice that we no longer have a dilapidated trailer parked in our back yard.  And only two neighbors seemed less than pleased with the giant chicken trailer taking shape.  I keep promising it will be cute when it's done, but at this point there's not much I can do to convince them. 

 The outdoor workshop:

 The pile of pieces:

Framing starts:

   Yes that is a door sawed in half.

With the roof on and the windows in, its the perfect play house.  We had half the neighborhood in our back yard this evening after Texas put his tools away.  The girls will be sad to see the chickens moved in, but I won't.  They need to move fast.  With the days getting so short they've already stopped laying but for one lone egg every few days, and I hate buying eggs. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Texas and Annie, Adventures in Garage sales

 All that you see above was purchased for less than $20, by Annie and Texas.  While Elsie and I made beautiful flower arrangements with Gigi, they hit the streets of Webster, Richmond Heights and Maplewood. 
 Elsie came home to a whole new world.   She couldn't stop smiling at all the things she had to climb on.  Annie walked her through all the new toys.
 And after a small Demo...
 Elsie was pushing Annie on the new truck.
She now walks all over the house with her little truck.

Off to work we go...

 My mother and I did Flowers for a wedding this past weekend.   Elsie got to tag along with me while Texas took care of Annie.
 Elsie had a blast with the church steps.  She climbed right up the steps like she'd been doing it for years.  Then she just sat herself down on the bottom step.   Sitting all by herself on a step watching her Grandma was pretty fun.  She couldn't stop laughing about sitting on the step.
 It was so cute.
It was a long morning, but she did great.


Annie woke up extra early on the morning in question; saddled up to the computer and then asked, "it is Friday isn't it?"  The second I say yes the computer is buzzing to life and before I know it PBS kids is blasting an episode of Aurthur into my living room.   Annie slowly eats her oats while watching, glued to the screen.   I have relished our no TV during the week rule.  It has changed our home life tremendously.  Annie plays, paints, dances and sings 100% more than she did 4 months ago (when I first instituted the no TV Monday-Thursday).  Friday mornings are so exciting for her now.  She wakes up thrilled to watch an episode of TV before school.   The TV no longer stays on all day, with it's constant stream of noise.  She watches a show and then it goes off.   Annie looks forward to the time when she gets TV and is perfectly content when it's not TV time.  Sometimes I forget how our kids need us to set the boundaries for them, even in the most simple of things.

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