"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future! "
Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hello!

My name is Gena, and I'm an Amberlink hen ..... Mom's pride and joy. (shhh.....don't tell the others ..... they all think they are, but I know better!) lol Actually, we all are. She loves us ALL very much!

If you have a moment, get a cup of tea or coffee, and I'll tell you a little bit about myself.

I am an 8 month old white hen, with a red comb and matching wattle. I love to sing, especially while laying my eggs. I lay one a day and after a few days, I take a vacation day! I enjoy running around the yard foraging for good bugs and grass, giving high chest bumps to my sisters, taking dirt baths, sunbathing, and just breathing in that good 'ole country air. I also like playing outside with my 6 sisters while we chase Dexter (the dog) and show him who's boss!

I really like it when Mom comes outside to feed us and give us water. She plays with us and gives us big hugs and scratches our backs. (ahhhh!) She always makes sure our shed is warm and clean (until we mess it up) and we have something to play with. (to read about that, please click HERE!)

I LOVE cheesey grits, apples, homemade bread, cabbage, lettuce, cracked corn, toast, and so many other yummy things that Mom makes for us. We are excited that she is going to be getting us some seedless grapes soon. She said she can't wait to see us eat them. Somehow I think that it's more for ENTERTAINMENT purposes than as a treat, but hey.....food is food, right?

So.....who are YOU and what do YOU like to do?

Buk buk buk buk bukka~
GENA

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bull Dog Brittle

I had Bull Dog Brittle a few years ago when a sweet Georgia friend of mine brought it into work and I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT! It is absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS and soooo EASY! I am making this today so I don't have a picture for you, but I will try and remember to take one. Today is a busy day here on the farm, so I am kind of scatter brained! lol (I know....what makes today any different!) :> )

As always my favorite recipe's are those that are delicious and easy. This is so good and so inexpensive to make that you will probably want to double the recipe. BTW....it makes an awesome gift too! :> )

For Bulldog Brittle you will need:

8 whole graham crackers
1 cup of chopped pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar

*Break crackers into fourths. Place on foiled lined cookie sheet pan, leaving space between crackers.

*Sprinkle chopped pecans over top of crackers.

*Melt margarine and butter in boiler. Add sugar, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil exactly 2 minutes.

*Pour over pecans and crackers. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. DO NOT BROWN. Let cool and break into pieces.

ENJOY!

Monday, December 20, 2010

WHEW!

Wow, it's hard to believe that it is CHRISTmas week already. We have been so busy with our musical at church, that so many other things had been pushed to the side, especially my house. On top of that, I have been sick with a bad head cold. This seems to be my new CHRISTmas tradition that I am not to fond of :> ( Thankfully, this time I have only been sick a little over a week. Last year, I was sick from the beginning of October till February.....so not cool!

Saturday evening and Sunday morning was our CHRISTmas musical, "STAR!" We could have used another week or two of practice to work on lines and lyrics, but we again saw for ourselves that NOTHING is impossible with God and we got through both performances. There was some great add-libbing done by some of the cast that was hysterically funny! I will try and post some pictures of the program when they become available to me. I'm usually the one behind the camera, but this time, I was in front of it, in the choir.

The chickens are continuing to be spoiled and are still gifting us with 6-7 eggs each morning. Yesterday Saturday morning, I opened the doors to let them out and they just stood there for about ten minutes looking at the snow, wondering "what on earth is THAT?" lol It was extremely funny to watch! I gave them a whole head of cabbage and they just went crazy. They are such sweet little ladies and I love giving them special treats!

During the holidays, we don't travel anywhere....we never have. We are homebodies and like it that way. Hopefully, we will have a white CHRISTmas this year. I'm really praying for it!

So what are your plans for the holiday? Do you stay home like we do, or do you travel to visit family and friends?

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Praise You, Father

Almighty God .... The Great I Am ..... Removable Rock ..... Omnipotent .... Powerful ..... Awesome Lord!

Precious Lord. . . . I PRAISE YOU, Father, and thank You for who You are. I PRAISE YOU for all the blessings you have bestowed upon us. I PRAISE YOU for all that You have done and continue to do in my life and the lives of my family and friends. I PRAISE YOU for the BEAUTIFUL snowfall that you are gifting us with today, even though it has put a hold on the decorating of our church float for the parade tomorrow, I know You have a reason for keeping us all home at this time and I thank you for the extra special time with Kiddo this morning. Be with those in need today, Father....You know what is on their hearts. The spiritual needs, financial, health issues, whatever it is they are going through. Be with them, Father....meet them where they are. Place Your hand of protection over all of them....give them peace in their hearts. I ask this all in Your Precious Name....AMEN!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Old Fashioned Potato Candy

My daughter Bean, from "Baking Blondies" made a batch of potato candy yesterday and it turned out WONDERFUL! She found this recipe on "CooksRecipes.com" but she had to change the amount of powdered sugar that she used to one bag due to the size of the potato.

For this recipe you will need:

1/2 (or 1 small) boiled potato
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter

1. Mash potato, add butter, vanilla and enough powdered sugar to make a slightly stiff dough.
2. Roll out dough (on a surface dusted with powdered sugar) and spread on the peanut butter.
3. Roll dough up (as for jelly roll) to make a log.
4. Cut into pieces, let air dry for about an hour. Store in air tight container.

Makes about 2 dozen confections.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Things You Can Do to Keep Your Chickens Warm

Keeping a small flock of chickens in your backyard means they will need some extra attention to make it through the winter healthy, happy and warm. Where many large-scale farmers don't go that extra mile to pamper their chicks, those of us who have small flocks need to remember that a handful of chickens produce much less collective body heat than that of a large flock of 50 or more chickens. (You can tell if your chickens are cold if they fluff their feathers and stand on one foot...they're trying to stay warm.)

To help your chickens live through the cold weather, here are a few things for you to consider:

Add Light
If you live in extreme climates, adding a brooder lamp is a way to keep your chickens warmer. Besides taking the chill off the coop, your egg production should increase, as chickens like to have about 14 hours of daylight for optimal egg laying conditions.

Add Insulation
Chicken coop insulation can be as easy (and cheap) as sheets of foam or cardboard. I read of a lady who insulated her coop using scraps leftover from others cut and carry purchases at a home improvement store. It cost her less than $25 to insulate her entire coop this way. If you use regular insulation, remember to cover it up. Chickens love to peck at anything. Insulation isn't good for them to eat, but it does help keep them warm.

Patch up Holes
If your coop is drafty or has lots of open spaces, consider covering them up for the winter. Just don't cut off all their ventilation because they still need some fresh air.

P.U.P.
Yes, this means.....PICK UP POOP! Don't neglect cleaning the coop out in the winter. Chickens tend to stay indoors more when it's cold, and if you close up the coop more than it is in the summer, all that smell can irritate your chicken's lungs. Keeping your coop sanitary is a must, not only during the warm months!

Keep Water Unfrozen
If freezing water is a problem where you live, consider getting a heater for the water. They actually make heaters for chicken water containers. Tuck it inside your water container and it will keep your chicken's water from freezing. I don't have a heated water dish, but it is something that I am looking into since we have already had the water freeze twice already, and it's not even winter! :> (

Add Plastic
Chickens don't like to be wet or hang out in the wind. Adding plastic, a tarp, a shower curtain, or something similar to the outside of the chicken run, will cut down on those things significantly. I am going to staple 2 of the 3 walls of the chicken run, leaving one side exposed. This way they still have one wall uncovered so they can see out and still get fresh air.

Add Entertainment
Chickens need exercise! In the winter they'll be less likely to be running around foraging, so give them an incentive to exercise. Throw cracked corn or other grains into the chicken run and let them run around and scratch for it. Put their food and water containers at opposite ends of the coop so they have to walk from one place to the other.

Giving your chickens something to do will also cut down on them picking on each other out of boredom or grumpiness from being cooped up. One idea I read is to get a whole cabbage and drill a hole through it. Then, run a rope through it and hang it just out of the chicken's reach, making them have to jump up to get it, tearing off bits and pieces to eat. Not only is it nice to have fresh vegetables to feed them, they'll get their exercise as well.

Add Extra Bedding
In the winter months, add extra bedding to the coop and nest boxes. If you live in a cold region, add extra straw. If you live in a warmer region, add extra wood shavings.

Paying attention to some of these details will help ensure that your chickens survive the cold weather. As in most things with these easygoing birds, it doesn't take too much work to keep them healthy and happy. They will appreciate the extra pampering, and may even reward you with some eggs......even in the cold winter.

It's nice to know that with just a little extra pampering, your little sweeties will reward you nicely! :> )

Sunday, December 5, 2010

This Is How I Want To Go

I was visiting my friend's daughter Brit over at "Toddler Mania" this morning. This is what was on her sidebar. . . . .

I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk's lawn.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with the childrens sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.

-- Marjorie Pay Hinckley