Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16, 2014

     Good morning. First I want to thank my sister M and her husband for keeping Mom last weekend. My husband and I was able to get away. We wanted to go somewhere and look at fall leaves. We waited to long to look for a hotel and couldn't find any where we wanted to go. The hotel where we usually stay in Wheeling had one room available so we got that one. So we went back to Wheeling but we did more that we usually do when we go up there. We went to a farmers market, zoo, the Oglebay mansion and gift shop, watched Left Behind at the theater, Cabel's, casino, pet store, book store, pawn shops, thrift stores, and ate at Quaker Steak and Lube twice.  
     The farmers market was small, we didn't buy anything. The zoo was The Good Zoo at Oglebay, it was kind of small but nice. It was my husband and my first time going to a zoo. After walking the zoo we rode the train which takes you all over the zoo. We had a great time there. The Oglebay Mansion was interesting.... First you have to pay to get in, you walk all over this mansion museum. You get to see old things in old rooms all set up and decorated. You get to learn about the Oglebay family. I like to see and learn about old ways, it is always interesting to me. At first I was happy and excited to be there then after the first few rooms I got angry. Their lavish lives are such a great contrast to my great grandparents who were around at that time. I may have been a bit jealous. Discussing these feelings with my husband and some other ladies who were touring at the same time proved that I was not alone in these feelings. How did these people gain so much money? From the backs of my, and your, ancestors. Also we noted from all the pictures and paintings from back in that time never, not one black person. Humm, you know that there had to have been many, many people slaving to keep those over privileged people nice and comfy and warm.
     The Left Behind movie was good. It was based on the first book in the series. I have been reading that series for years and just recently got the last few books that I was unable to find. I hope to finish reading the series soon. I also hope they keep making those movies.
     I know I am probably the only one who has ever said this but I did not like Quaker Steak and Lube. My poor husband got umm an upset tummy after eating there the second time. I said you can't  eat at a place with lube in its name and expect to not get sick. He was so sick that night and the next day I ended up driving most of the way home, he got us out of Wheeling then had me drive the rest of the way.
     Over all the trip was good and we were just so very happy that my sister M and her husband kept Mom for an extra night so we could have an even longer break. That extra night we went to King's at Rosebud Plaza. We had ordered pizza from there in the past and it was always great. They have pizza, Italian and Mexican food. We got Mexican food and it was awesome! We had a new young waitress, she had no idea what she was doing. After we ordered our food the entire Eagle's football team and their parents and coaches and cheerleaders showed up. Every table was full and some were left standing. They ordered ten or twenty(I can't remember) pizzas for the boys and cheerleaders. The adults ordered various other things off the menu. There was only two waitress, one of which was our new young waitress. They were overwhelmed to say the least. I felt so bad for them. We got some of the wrong food but it was corrected. We ate and left as quickly as possible. I left a very nice tip. I hope she made it through the night ok. We will surely got back when it is hopefully less busy.
     Today we have a very busy day planned. I am going to clean out the chicken coop then we are going to rearrange it and put in new nesting boxes. Three of the girls are laying eggs, we think. But they like to lay on the floor of the coop and some days they don't lay at all or are laying them outside some where. We are hoping that if we spruce the place up a bit they might lay in there more. They might not be laying as much due to the decreased light and season change. I also have to put mulch around our new fruit trees and fence them. And we need to finish cutting down the old trees. Plus the usual caring for Mom. And planting the flower bulbs that the place where we ordered trees sent us for free. And mulch around the blueberry bushes and the flower bed. Take down the ac's and find a place to store them. We also need to get the garden weeded and put plastic down to get it ready for winter, but I don't think we will get to that today.
     Well I need to get this day started. Have a good day.
          
                                                                    April Whitehair

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 9, 2014

     Good morning. The last week or so has been busy. First we butchered our first rooster! He was getting aggressive. He was an all around pain. My husband and my first time butchering anything. We watched a lot of you tube videos to learn what to do. It wasn't a hard process. I didn't even cry. I baked it that night and it was nasty! I mean really bad tasting. We couldn't eat it. I have done some research on why it tasted so bad and it is either because stress on the animal before death, piece of organ left inside, gall bladder breakage, or scent gland not fully removed. We are not sure. We thought we did a good job gutting and cutting the tail/scent gland off but we are newbies so we are not sure. I hope that if we do decide to butcher again it works out better.
     The day after butchering the rooster we got out first egg. Our Easter Egger hen, Carmel, layed her first egg while sitting on the roost and it broke when it hit the ground. Her eggs are the color of cement, a greenish colored tiny egg. She is the third smallest hen that we have. I have no idea why she was the one to start laying first. The next day Emma, our big Rhode Island Red hen from the original group, layed her first egg. A medium sized brown egg. The are kind of on a schedule, Carmel lays every day and Emma lays every other day. We have two more hens yet to lay eggs, Cloe is the sister to Emma but she was the one to be attacked by the coon so I figured she would be slightly delayed and then there is the baby, Jelly Knife, she is so small though she is the same age as Carmel. I can't imagine her laying an egg anytime soon if she does it would have to be the size of a robin egg.
     I ordered four trees last month and they finally arrived. Two Granny Smith apple trees(good for making pie) and two Elberta peach trees. We got them planted and had to remove a couple trees from the back yard, good thing I bought that chainsaw last year. They are so small, they look like sticks sticking out of the ground, so it will be several years before we get any fruit. But I am glad we got them.
     The Salem Apple Butter Festival was last week. I entered the apple pie contest, I hadn't entered in a couple years. I got honorable mention. I use the jarred apple pie filling that I had canned recently. It wasn't the best pie I had ever made but my husband enjoyed it. My sister H got first place on both of her pies! Next year I won't use canned apple pie filling.
     Saturday was the festival parade. We go every year. I took Mom. It was rainy and very cold. Thankfully my sister A went and got my car and backed it in where we usually stand so Mom and I could sit inside while the parade went by. It was a nice time and Mom seemed to enjoy the high school marching bands.
     Mom has been doing fair. Her hip bothers her. I think the change in the weather is not helping any. She had a moment of sort of clarity the other day and asked where her daughter A, my sissy, was. I told my sister about it and told her that it was nice that Mom thought of her while having a moment of clarity. Mom never remembers that she even has daughters so for her to remember her by name was awesome. It made my sister sad. I told her that even if Mom doesn't seem remember us she still does love us. The disease is keeping her memory locked away. Honestly I was a little jealous that it wasn't me she thought of.
     Well I need to go. Have a good day.

                                                         April Whitehair

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 25, 2014

     Good morning. It has been a very long time since I wrote. I think I have figured out why I haven't wanted to write as much. I am waking up later than I use to. I basically wake up when it is time to get Mom up and after I get her up I am not in the mood to sit and write. I use to wake up a couple hours before her and I had time and the quiet to think and write. I will try to do better and start waking up earlier.
     Life here is just about as usual as ever. Mom is doing just about the same. She has been complaining of pain in her right hip for a month or so. (Not the hip she broke.) I took her to her regular doctor's office and had x-rays done around a month ago it showed arthritic changes. Yesterday was her follow up appointment with the doctor who did her hip surgery and he did his own x-rays also. I am glad I got to talk to him. I am occasionally feeling guilty about Mom not walking anymore. I even had someone (a stranger on a support group) say I should be doing more to get Mom walking again. Her issue of not walking is mental not physical. Anyway... the doctor yesterday told me how bad Mom's osteoporosis is and any fall or even bump could easily break her other hip. He said it was probably a good thing that Mom isn't walking with her instability or we would be back in the hospital with a broken hip again.
     I have been trying to keep busy. I bought a bushel of apples and canned 19 quarts of apple pie filling. I have yet to make a pie with it so I hope it will be good. My husband bought me a apple peeler to make the canning process go quicker. It still took me forever. The second day of canning he helped me thankfully.
     I placed the order for my apple and peach trees. They should be here sometime in October. I am planning on planting them along the creek bank behind the house. I had thought before that I would plant them on the hill behind the house but with the guy I hired to clear the hill taking sooo long, (good thing I didn't pay him in advance!) and I also realized that when the trees are big enough to be picked I will be older and won't really want to walk up and down the hill picking apples. So now I have to go out there with the chainsaw a bought last year and cut down the trees that are already out there. Hope that no one (my sisters) mind that I will be cutting down the lilac bush/tree and those other trees that are out there.
     My chickens are doing well. I have been letting them free range all day and they seem to be enjoying it and I think they have all grown because of it. We have 3 roosters. When I went and got the five off of the local couple three of those were roosters. Now we have to decide which to keep and which to eat. I think I am the one who is going to have to do the butchering as I don't think my husband will be able to kill his friends... I made a point when I got the new bunch to try and not get attached because I knew this was a likely situation. We still haven't gotten any eggs. But they say they should start laying between 4 and 6 months and the older girls are almost 5 months. Plus with Cloe's injuries early on when attacked by a coon, I think it may have set her back a little bit. Cloe is quite a bit smaller that her sister, Emma, who is the same age. We are becoming very impatient.
       Well I think I have wrote enough for today. Have a good day.

                                                                     April Whitehair

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 2, 2014

     Good morning. You may have noticed that I had taken a small break from writing. I didn't post anything for two weeks. No real reason except that I just didn't want to write. But I am back and ready to share.
     I had a birthday recently. I had a wonderful day with my husband. He got me just what I wanted and asked for. I got a 12 gauge pump shotgun! I just love it. I wanted that sound. I know I am such a girly girl. LOL. We also went out to eat dinner. Actually I wanted to go on a picnic so we got food from KFC and ate at a picnic table at the Deegan and Hinkle Lake in Bridgeport. We had a nice quiet time and got to watch some geese. Then we went home to shoot my new gun. I also received a card and a couple books from my cousin J and a card in the mail from my prayer partner.
     Mom is doing ok. She complains at times of her hip hurting, not the side she broke. I took her to her doctor for an x-ray of the hip and there is arthritic changes. It usually only bothers her in the morning when we are getting her cleaned up and dressed so I have decided that if she says it hurts than we will not try to dress she in pants or shorts and just put a gown on her. No need to make her be in more pain just to put shorts on her. Other than the hip pain she is doing well.
     I decided that since my green beans didn't grow well in the garden this year that I would buy some to can. I bought a bushel. I didn't realize how many beans that was till I got started with them. I canned a total of 47 jars of green beans. By the time I was done I hated even the smell of them.
     My husband and I went to the Doddridge County Fair. I love going to the fair for two reasons. First I love walking through the barn and seeing all the animals. Second I love funnel cakes. We spent a little time at the livestock sale. It was very interesting and I plan on being there next year to watch all of it. We watched a couple cows being sold and it was a real eye opener. Do I really want to get into this topic or not....Hummm.... What the heck here I go.. I will just stick to the cattle at the fair sale. The cattle were raised by the students in the FFA and 4H then sold at auction. The way it use to go is local farmers and ranchers would bid a purchase these cattle, wonderful. Now the big oil companies way over bid and drive up the price to where they only can afford them. Sounds wonderful for the kids and families that raised them.... But what about the local farmers that use to buy them? There is no way for them to afford to buy them. Humm, if local farmers can't afford to buy local cattle they can't pay their bills, they have to sale their land to who? Oh yea to oil companies.... Less local farms less local food. The big oil companies do this under the guise of being nice by buying these kids' cattle. Ok that's what I wanted to put out there. What are your thoughts about this?
     I need to go tend to Mom. Have a good day. Oh and support your local farmers!
                                                              April Whitehair   
    

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 14, 2014

     Good morning. Today is the first day of school around here. It is way to early in the year for kids to go back to school. I think mother nature heard that the kids are starting school early so she started autumn early too. Seriously, have you noticed some of the leaves are changing and already beginning to fall? I never did like the very hot days of summer and loved fall time but seriously where did summer go?
     My chickens are doing well. Except my husband says he heard Houdini rooster crow! I didn't hear it so I don't really believe it. I hope that if Houdini is actually a rooster he is the only one. Can't have more than one rooster. We are going to work on the hen house this weekend. The fence floor is going to be pulled up and concrete put down. That way it will be easier to clean and safer, preventing predators from getting in.
     I had to go to the DMV yesterday and get my drivers license renewed. I have been putting it off for two years.... I had to change my name and address. You have to have several documents proving everything. I must say it was a very easy and pain free experience. Why did I wait and worry about it for so long? The workers there were very nice, especially the lady at the front.
     So the movie Noah.... I had heard a lot of bad reviews about it when it was in the theaters. Mostly because it was not accurate, does not follow the Bible. I decided then that I would not pay money to go see it in the theater but I wanted to see it for my self once it was on tv. The other night my husband rented it from red box and I watched it. My opinion of that movie is this: first of all it is very very loosely based on the biblical Noah, that being there is a man named Noah who had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Lots of bad people on the Earth. God told Noah to build and ark, which he did. Pairs of animals on the ark along with Noah and his wife and sons.. Rain for forty days. Raven sent. Dove with the olive branch. Water dried up. Rainbow. Noah got drunk off wine. Those are the things that were the same in the Bible and the movie. Every thing else in the movie was a show of imagination. All be it a very good show of imagination. I am on both sides of the fence on this movie. I really enjoyed the movie. It was a very good drama. It was exciting and interesting. But I can also see where very religious people might not like the fake display of one of their beloved stories. Also I can see where it is not good for those that don't know the Bible to watch this movie and think that this movie is an accurate display of what the godly man is and would do. Not good. Also if this is the only 'Bible' a person 'reads' that is not good. With all that being said I really don't know how I feel about it. I didn't want to like the movie and watched it with a critical mindset. But I did like it... Hmm.
       I don't want to tell everyone this but I try to write this blog with honesty even if it is embarrassing to me. (Though I do try to keep personal things private.) I did something that I am not proud of and am quite embarrassed by. I boiled my pressure canner dry and warped the bottom thus making it unusable as a pressure canner anymore. I know you all thought I was going to admit something worse, huh? I felt so bad when I realized what I had done. My husband gave me that canner, my first canner, for my birthday last year and I loved it. I had the heat way to high throughout the canning process and boiled all the water out. I will use this as a learning experience for sure. My wonderful husband already bought me a new one, just what I wanted, one exactly like my ruined one. I told him I am calling it my birthday present but he says it is not. Lol, a new canner every year for my birthday, what more could a girl want.  
     It is getting late in the morning and Mom is needing my attention. Have a good day.

                                                                April Whitehair

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 7, 2014

     Good morning. I am so sleepy this morning. I have a wisdom tooth that I needed cut out years ago that is starting to bother me. I was awake in pain for most of the night last night and can't seem to wake up this morning. So far peroxide rinses and acupressure help with the pain during the day but at night all I can focus on is ouch, ouch, ouch.
     Mom seems to be doing well except for being sleepy lately. She sleeps at night, I think, but will still fall asleep off and on all day also. She just appears tired.....to me.
     I have been reading a book, Ambushed by Grace, Help and Hope on the Caregiving Journey, by Shelly Beach. I have only read to the middle of the second chapter so I can't really give my opinion on it yet. But I came across one sentence that has struck me as true to how I feel. I would like to share it with you. I have came across the question myself on how long will I continue this journey of caring for my Mom. I had always answered, as long as I can or until she becomes violent with me. Well she has already scratched me and smacked me and threw things at me. I am still here. I have had breakdowns, mental and physical. I am still here. So where is my proverbial line in the sand? The sentence in that book hit home, it is: "Until I've given more than I've received." Wow. That is how I feel. All summed up in seven little words. A mighty big concept for such a short sentence. Now how do I figure out how much I have received. I can't seem to find a simple math equation that would work in this instance. Like Mom's love x years I have been alive = amount of care and time I should devote to her care. Like how do I add up all the times she changed my diaper, fed me by bottle or spoon, cooked for me, cleaned for me, cared for me while I was sick, dressed me, provided for me in all areas of life, carried me when I couldn't walk, things she taught me, money she spent on me when she could have spent that money on her self, pretended to be happy so I could be happy, bathed me, worried about me, took me to church and taught me about Jesus, and on and on through infancy, childhood, adolescence, troublesome teenage years, and adulthood. How much does all that add up to, could you even begin to try to put a price on making me hot tea, chicken noodle soup, and grilled cheese when I had strep throat? I can not. So I will stay. I will stick it out. I will, just as she would and had. I will.

                                                                               April Whitehair

     My husband wanted me to add this, I think to show off his smarts. LOL. The other day I made the mistake of using a permanent marker on the dry erase board that I have on the refrigerator to keep track of what I need to do, need to buy, and my honey do list for my husband. I thought I would need to go buy a new one but my wonderful husband knew how to remove the permanent marker. Get this, you just have to cover the permanent marking with dry erase marker and it wipes right off! Totally cool!  Have a good day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 29, 2014

     Good morning. Last time I wrote was the morning of Mom's birthday. She had a nice birthday. Her daughter, my sister M stopped by to wish her a happy birthday while I was getting Mom up for the day. Then after breakfast I took Mom down to visit with her twin sister, Aunt E. Right before dinner cousin J stopped down to visit with Mom for a few minutes and gave her cards from the church and her family. Then it was time for dinner of chicken and dumplings and blue cup cakes and ice cream. She had received a few card in the mail during the week that I saved for her to open on her birthday and I also got her a couple of gifts. Then later in the evening Mom's granddaughter, her boyfriend, and Mom's grandson stopped by to visit and give her a card. All in all I think it was a good day for her. Also at some point during the day Mom's sister, Aunt B, called and wished Mom a happy birthday and also gave me a few tips on canning.
     Saturday was Mom's family reunion. It was nice to see everyone and eat some good food. Uncle D said there was one thing wrong with my cheesecake that I made, I didn't make enough. He didn't get a piece so next year I will make two. When Mom seen one of her brothers she knew his name which is unusual for her to remember anyone anymore.
     Life for me has been normal, well normal for me anyways. I have been working of canning more things. I canned chicken and made chicken noodle soup with it and with carrots and peas fresh out of the garden. Aunt B gave me ideas and checked a recipe that I found of Mom's that I will be working on in the very near future.
     I just want to say that Citric Acid tastes like super strong lemons! What? Ok I will explain. I used lemon juice as the acid in the sliced green tomatoes that I canned. When I fried the up to test them they tasted a little like lemons, Mom wouldn't even eat them. So I found some where to use citric acid in place of the lemon juice. I did that, haven't tried them yet. Then I read somewhere that citric acid is made from lemons, I grabbed the jar of citric acid and tasted it and WOW super strong lemon taste. I don't see how it wouldn't make the tomatoes taste like lemons. I posted about using citric acid in my canned tomatoes and Aunt B called me and told me how she has always done them. Thank you Aunt B! I have now canned another batch of them, her way. I have yet to eat them but I will soon. I now have 19 pints of sliced green tomatoes, some taste like lemon but I think they will be ok when winter rolls around and I get a craving for fried green tomatoes.
     Well I need to go get this day started. Have a good day.

                                                  April Whitehair

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014

     Good morning. Today is Mom's 73 birthday. I will try to get her down to visit with her twin some time today. I have been taking Mom down to see her every year on their birthday for the last few years. Mom don't seem to remember who she is but aunt E enjoys seeing Mom. Later today my husband, Mom, and I will have a small party for her. I made cupcakes and bought her a couple gifts and have been saving the birthday cards that have came in the mail for her to open today. Nothing big, but this weekend is her family reunion and she will get to see everyone then.
     I have been canning sliced green tomatoes so this winter we can have fried green tomatoes. The first batch I canned, a couple weeks ago, I used lemon juice as the acid and I opened a jar this week and fried them up and they tasked kinda like lemon. Mom didn't like them. They were ok just a little lemony. The last batch I used citric acid and I will open a jar sometime and fry them up and see how they turned out. I have been reading about canning meat and am excited to try that sometime in the future.
     I had a new girl come down and spend the day with Mom yesterday. She is actually a cousin. Ms. M had to call off due to a illness in her family and my husband and I already had made plans. My husband always gets ripped off in this whole deal/living arrangement/life. I feel bad that he has to miss out on things because of my responsibilities. I am grateful to have good, trained, caring relatives that are willing to help out.  
     Well I need to go. Today is going to be a busy day. Have a good day.

                                                           April Whitehair

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014

     Good morning. Life seems to be catching up to me, or maybe I should say over running me. I seem to be busy but honestly most of my time I spend reading. I have fell in love with reading again and can't seem to get enough of it. I always seem to be reading something. From The Encyclopedia of Country Living to Amish books to farm magazines like MaryJanesFarm. I love that magazine. Also I have been trying to finish up reading the books in the Left Behind series. Sometimes, well a lot of the time, I find myself reading when I should be doing other things, like writing this blog.
     Sunday was our family reunion. The Pratt family reunion is always filled with lots of food and good times. We had some rain but it didn't seem to hamper the fun and most definitely didn't stop us from eating. It was a hot day and Mom got a little over heated and had to go kick back in the ac for a little bit. But she was just fine after that.
     My chickens are doing great. They are starting to try eating new things. They use to be very picky and not want to try new things. One of their favorite things are cucumbers. The also really like a certain kind of leaf, not sure what kind it is just some weed. They go crazy when I give them some of it. They also like bananas. nectarines, tomatoes, cooked corn on the cob, and watermelons.
     Well I am going to go not to read but to get something accomplished today. Have a good day.

                                                             April Whitehair

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 3, 2014

     Good morning. It seems like such a long time since I have wrote. Last week was my amazing vacation week. It is so good to just spend alone time with my wonderful husband. We get along so well, we are so much alike. We enjoy doing the same things. I am very grateful to have found someone who I can just be myself around and someone who lets me just be myself and likes me for me. Though most people may look at us and think that we are boring and to some we might be but to us we are living happy and isn't that what it is all about. Happy.
     So last week while on vacation we spent a lot of time at the beach, swimming, sunbathing, people watching, talking, and just plain old relaxing. We both got a little sunburnt and tried the Earl Gray tea sunburn cure, it didn't work. Our hotel was great, small and cozy but what more do you need than a bed and shower? It also had a microwave and refrigerator. The refrigerator came in very handy to keep soda pops cold and the ice machine was great to fill our cooler up to take to the beach. Though I must say that the very cold air conditioner spoiled us a little. We went out to eat for every meal except for breakfast and my husband would go every morning to get Dunkin Donuts which was almost next door.  We ate at out favorite pizza place, Chicho's Pizza, four times. Yes, they are that good. They have a spicy sauce that is worth the 6 hour drive.
     We also ate at Hooters, my pick, once. I have a lot of opinions about that place.... I think the food is good. I had heard so many good and bad opinions about that place I wanted to go to see for myself so I could make my own opinion. The waitress.... They all had their major private spots covered but little more than that. For me being a modesty convert it was very uncomfortable to be expected to eat in that atmosphere. If you are a literal ten commandment follower and you believe looking at someone other than your spouse lustfully is adultery, a sin, then you do not want to go their. If you are in the same mind setting as me and take that idea literally and personally you also don't want to cause others to be tripped up by your own actions and attire causing them to sin, this is a perfect example of that. Men and women alike are tempted to look at areas of the female body that should be for their husbands eyes only. I have heard all the good arguments about the Hooter's company I call it BS! You still could do all the good things with shorts that cover butt cheeks and shirts that covered some cleavage. Don't even get me started on the Mothers and Grandmothers that I saw bringing young girls to eat their. That is something I don't believe should be shown as acceptable to young impressionable girls. I am done with this topic.
     We were glad to be home when vacation was over. We missed our cats and chickens. Thankfully they were all well taken care of while we were gone. The chicken had grown so much. The garden is doing well except needing a weeding badly. Next year we are planning on using plastic.
     Mom had a wonderful time with her daughter and family for the week that I was on vacation. I am so grateful to have a good family who will look after Mom when I need time away.
     Well I have wrote enough for today. Have a good day.

                                                                April Whitehair

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24, 2014

     Good morning. First day of beach vacation is done. I can't believe we were awake before 6am this morning. Guess no sleeping in for us even on vacation. Luckily there is a Dunkin Donuts almost next door. I can see a lot of donuts in my future.
      Our first stop was our favorite pizza place, Chicho's Pizza. It is just as good as ever. They have a spicy sauce that is worth the 6 hour drive. It truly puts our local Domino's to shame. Next stop was our hotel. Small room but big enough for just the two of us. A quick unload of the car and into our swim suits then it was off to the beach. My husband thinks the walk to the beach is longer than it was at our campsite that we stayed at the last couple years but I think it is close to the same distance. The waves are stronger here than at the campsite but not too strong. There is a lot less people here than at the Virginia Beach proper area. The wade distance is a lot shorter than at the campsite beach.
     Neither of us seem to have gotten sunburned from our first day. My husband did get some sun on his arm while he was driving here. I was thinking if we got sunburns we could try that Grey Earl tea sunburn treatment, I even brought some to try it but I hope to not need to.
     The area we are in is about 4 miles north of Virginia Beach. It is a lot less touristy. We like to go further north when we go out to look around, it is more the locals area. Lots of fast food and small shops. A lot cheaper prices. I found three thrift stores already and we stopped at one last night. I love thrift shops. Tomorrow is suppose to be rainy so I figure we will be doing some shopping then. We are going to look for some pawn shops, we think there might be some good things there considering we are close to a couple of military bases.
     I can't seem to relax yet. When we first got to the hotel room I had to unpack and put everything it its place. At least we didn't have to set up a tent and pump up an air mattress. I think that is why I like the beach so much because once you get on the beach and get your blanket spread out and you get done swimming and walking in the surf you have nothing left to do but sit around and relax and take in the sounds and scenery and nap.
     Well my husband is making plans to go walk around. I think he is getting antsy and wanting out of this hotel room. I may write again or I might not, we shall see. Have a good day and week, we sure will.
                                                            April Whitehair

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 19, 2014

     Good morning. Not much going on here today. I have just been working on getting ready for vacation. Just a few more days before we leave. I am so excited. Planning a vacation is so much work but hopefully the week away will be relaxing.
     I am not sure if I will write any while we are gone. I didn't think I would last year but I was able to every morning. Now I can look back and remember all the fun we had. But the way I think is that this is my vacation and if I don't want to write than I won't, if I do want to than I will.
     My husband and I went for a drive in the country yesterday morning looking for berries. It is just a little to early for them to be ripe. Didn't see many on our drive but I just love getting out and seeing things. I love seeing other peoples gardens and farm animals. Oh the things I could do if I had just a little more land.
     Well I need to get off here and get this day started. Have a good day.

                                                           April Whitehair

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 17, 2014

    Good morning. I can't believe we have less than a week before leaving for our yearly beach vacation. I am so excited. But I seem to be getting a cold. Runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. I so hope it is gone before we leave. I really don't need to be sick now, I have so much to do this week to get ready. I first want to say a big Thank You to my niece C for house setting for us and looking after our inside animals. She doesn't want to take care of the chickens, I think she is afraid of them... It will be nice to know that she will be here all day spoiling our cats like we usually do. I also want to thank my sister H and her kids for taking care of the chickens while we are gone. And I have to give a big thanks to my sister M and brother G for taking care of Mom while we are gone. And a big thank you to Ms. M for being on call for my sister M when she needs a break. This is a much needed vacation.
     Last week was Bible school. We had a good week with a good group of kids. I am so proud of my niece C for stepping up into the position of beginner teacher. She was so good at it. For her being a young lady at 18 years old and having that kind of responsible, God loving spirit that she has is admirable.  Her boyfriend J came with her to Bible school everyday and helped her with the little ones. It was so good to see a young man help the little kids with projects. He was our much needed snake killer when the kids ran across a snake in the church yard. It was very interesting to see him kill a snake with an ice scraper and pocket knife. LOL !! The week at Bible school was interesting to say the least. We had a bad storm Wednesday night and had two mud slides which blocked the road to the church. We had to cancel Thursday's class but we made up for it on Friday. Plus the kids enjoyed watching the state road on their big equipment clean up the road and ditch. We are all very thankful that the slide missed the church but it was close.
     The Bible school lesson was on Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit. The lesson was wrote by our wonderful youth educator extraordinaire June. She is such a wonderful mentor to me. I learn so much from her. She seems to be able to do all things and do them well, plus she is very humble and honest. She tried to count how many kids have attended Bible school at our church over the years and she counted over 90. That is a lot of kids! I have a lot of feelings and experience with being a kid attending Bible school then growing up to try and walk my own way only to return to church and God because of a simple song and message that I learned in that little church. Even if it seems that the young kids are not listening or retaining anything, they are. It is hid in their hearts to be used later in life when they need it the most. All you youth church leaders, educators, and fellow church goers keep up the good work, it does make a difference.
     So now on to the chickens ! This last week has been very eventful in regards to the chickens. After the loss of two of my first feather babies and the injury of one more my husband said we had to get more. I can't believe he was the one to say it. I was on the fence about getting more. I felt very bad about being a bad chicken mother by letting a coon get to them. They are my responsibility to keep safe and I failed miserably. But now I am very glad that he pushed for me to open my heart to other chickens. I think I wrote about finding a lady locally that had chicks for sale.. I went and bought five off her though my husband only wanted me to get four.. oops! I just couldn't say no. Anyway... After I had the new babies for a couple days we noticed the rir mix had a crooked beak. This condition is common is severely inbred chickens. The crooked beak makes it had for the chicken to eat, some people feed them separately and with different food than the rest of their flock. Their decreased ability to eat can lead to malnutrition and sometimes death. There was no way I could go through that. I get so attached. The lady I got the chickens off of let me bring her back and get a different one, another Easter Egger! I am now slowly letting my self get attached to them. But they will never take the place of our poor Josie and Leo. Miss Emma has now stepped up to the role of mother hen. She takes care off all the chickens and keeps them in their place. She also takes very good care of her sister Cloe, the one that was injured in the coon attack. Cloe is doing better, her tail is healing nicely and she is getting around better but still has a limp. Being a chicken mom is a learning experience to say the least. Yesterday while they were out in the run I was in their spreading their treat feed on the ground and it scarred one of the newer girls so bad she flew up to the top of the wall and just walked out of the fencing !!! Then she got trapped in the wall between the plywood and cross-ties. It was a scary situation. But we was able to rescue her safely and we put smaller hole fencing up. Her name is now Houdini. Our names for the chickens are getting strange, we now have Emma, Cloe, Houdini, Jelly Knife (a play on my nephew's cat named Butter Sword), Peanut Butter, Carmel, and Cookies-n-Cream. They are more of joke names but I have a feeling they will stick.
     So I have wrote enough for today. Have a good day.

                                                     April Whitehair

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014

     Good morning. Well it has been an eventful few days here on our mini farm. A coon got into the chicken coop and killed two of my chickens and injured a third. We found Josie dead in the coop and poor Leo(Cleo) was never found. I believe he died trying to protect his girls, what a good rooster would do. The one that is hurt I think is Cloe, she had lost all her tail feathers and has an injured leg. Emma, the one that wasn't hurt, is being a good sister and won't leave Cloe's side and is very protective of her. I want to thank my cousin John who made two trips to my house to help us during this difficult time and gave us lots of good advice. The floor of the coop now has three layers of fencing which has already proved to be working because the next night the coon tried to get in again. We had a couple live traps set up which the coon was able to get the bait but not get trapped. Last night I sat on one side of the coop and my sister H sat on the other side and happily I must report that I have now avenged the death of my baby chickens. One coon down. I have never killed anything before but I didn't feel bad at all for doing it. It needed to be done and I think my Dad would have been proud of his girls for protecting the property. But this morning I have learned that my hunting isn't quite done just yet. My sister seen another coon in her back yard in the middle of the night and a possum this morning.
     On a better note I found a local lady who had baby chickens for sale. I came home with five. Oops I was only suppose to come home with four but it was so hard to say no to them. I am proud of myself for only getting five of them. They had so many and so many kinds of chickens plus turkeys and gennys(sp). They took me all over the farm and showed me everything they had. Very nice people, chicken people. All of their baby chickens were mixed breeds. So I don't know what exactly I got. I know one has Rhode Island Red, another has New Hampshire Red, one is a Easter Egger, the other two I don't remember. They are lighter in color than my first ones and some even have a lot of white on them. The Easter Egger is all black and very tiny. They all are a lot smaller than my first ones are. She said they were four weeks and mine are almost six weeks but the new ones look smaller than month olds, maybe I have just spoiled mine and fed them to much. So now we have seven chickens.
     This week is Bible School. Ms. M is coming down every day to stay with Mom so that I can go teach at Bible School. Thank you so much Ms. M. I am also getting to take Ms. M's daughters to Bible School with me. We had, I think, 15 kids yesterday. I teach the middle class, the same class that my Mom use to teach. She was such a wonderful Bible School teacher. I am no where near half as good as she was. I loved being in her class. She always studied and prepared extra things for us. She could control a large group of kids, me I have four and I feel at times I am in over my head.
     That's all I am going to write for now. Have a good day.

                                                      April Whitehair  

P.S. Happy Birthday to my sister Michelle. Love you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 4, 2014

     Good morning. It has been a while since I have wrote anything. So today's post will probably be a long one. First of all Mom is doing well. Nothing new to say about her. Ms. M still takes care of her a couple time a week, thankfully.
     The chickens are doing well. They are growing like crazy. They are still picky with what they eat but that may be us spoiling them. I believe Cleo is a boy so his name is now Leo but my husband insists on calling him Cletus. His name will not be Cletus! Anyway a while back I had posted a question on one of the Facebook pages for chickens and asked if I would be able to tell them apart when they get their regular feathers. They said most likely I would not be able to tell which is which. Some nice lady from the UK offered to send me some colored leg bands for them, free of charge. See there are some nice people left in the world, they are chicken people! I put them on them when I got them, a different color for each one. They wore them for a couple weeks and the other day when my husband and I was trying to take pictures of them I noticed the Leo's leg band was way to tight. We had a heck of a time trying to get that thing off of him and it had left an indentation on his leg. We went ahead and removed the bands from the girls also. So now sadly, very sadly for me, we don't know which one is Emma or Cloe. Cleo/Leo is the boy so we can tell which he is and Josie's comb is slightly bigger and redder than the other two girls so we can tell which one she is. Yes I cried and my husband laughed at me. I felt like I lost a baby by not knowing which is which. Today I do feel better about it. I will just call Emma and Cloe one of those names and have a 50% chance of getting it right. I don't think they will mind.
     Vacation is coming up soon. Under three weeks now. My sister M will take care of Mom and Ms. M will be here as needed. And hopefully my sister H will take care of my animals. Her kids and her can take care of the chickens. The chickens shouldn't need much tending except their food and water topped of every now and them. And their coop door opened and closed daily.
     We made the vacation hotel reservation back in March. We always go to the same area. The same place we got married and return for our anniversary. We had always stayed at the First Landing State Park, tent camping. Last year we got their a day early and found a hotel, we stayed their one night and loved it. It is a small cheap hotel not in the main tourist area of  Virginia Beach. In a little town a little north of VB. It is a short walk to the ocean. We decided last year as we lay suffering in our tent with major sunburn and no way to cool off except for a small hand held battery powered fan that we were done tent camping. We decided it was better to spend less days on vacation to pay for a hotel then spend less money to suffer in a tent. Ok anyway back to the reservation.... We made it and paid for it back in March. Yesterday morning my husband and I was talking about how excited we were to go and all the good, fun things we are planning on doing. I looked at the reservation confirmation email that has been in my email box for months and looked at several times. I was reading all the room details to him and being super excited... Then it happened. The worse thing possible! We missed it! We actually missed our vacation!!!!!! Somehow the reservation was for March 24 not June 24! How did that happen we checked and double checked and tripled checked before we actually hit the pay button when filling out our reservation. I freaked out to say the least. I was sick about it!!! My wonderful husband calmly called the hotel and explained the situation to the lady at the hotel and was told to call back at 3pm when the manager would be there. We had all day to worry and check other hotels to try to find a room and worry some more. Well my husband called them and talked to the manager when he was told to and thankfully that guy was very nice and understanding. We luckily were able to get the room with the accommodations we had wanted, we had to pay more than we had originally. How did we not realize that the rate we paid was way too low for June anyway? Since the March reservation was considered a cancellation we were charged the cancellation fee but he deducted that from the price of the new reservation. My husband decided that if the manager was nice when dealing with this problem then we would book an extra day at the beginning of our stay, which he was so he did. We had planned on stopping along the way at some places and probably staying in a hotel in the middle of Virginia before going to the beach but now with this extra day we will be able to not worry about finding a room somewhere along the way.
     While trying to plan our route to the beach I was wanting to find some places to stop and see. You can't find much info on yahoo or google maps like that. I came across a site that I just loved. roadtrippers.com  You put in your start and end locations and it will show you all kinds of things along the way. Nature, museums, lakes, shopping, history, entertainment, and more. You pick what you want and you can print it off, a map and directions to everything you want to see and do. I highly recommend you check it out before your next road trip.
     Last week my husband and I went on a date day while Ms. M was here. We went to Grafton, his hometown. He knows how much I love water and putting my feet in the water. So he took me to Tygart Lake. It was so quiet, no one was around. Very peaceful. I was able to put my feet in the water for the second time this year. The first time was on the way home from the casino in the Ohio River.
I seen a Amish sign in a window of a store in town and made him turn around and go back so I could check it out. I was the Tygart Valley Bulk Foods. Loved that place. All kinds and types of food. It was a small place but had lots of stuff. They did have some Walnut Creek (factory Amish) products but they had so much more. Flour organic real stuff, cheeses, jams, fudge, mixes and more stuff than I can remember. They also had a small deli where you can get sandwiches on fresh breads of all kinds. I got the chocolate covered peanuts, the were very good. I will definitely stop there again when we go to Grafton.
     Monday my husband and I went to Dickey's Barbecue Pit for the first time. I had been hearing a lot of good things about that place. My opinion of that place is this. The pulled pork sandwich was very good. Their bun toaster was broke down while we were their so the bun was not toasted so I can't comment on how they are with a toasted bun. My husband ordered the mac and cheese with his meal and he ate it so fast I didn't get to try it but he said it was very good. The barbecue beans were ok. The jalapeno beans are just larger sized beans and fairly hot. The waffle fries were not great, I am use to seasoned waffle fries and these were definitely not seasoned. The sweet tea was way to sweet a lot sweeter that McDonald's sweet tea. Over all I would go there again and try some other things. Also I want to say that the staff did not seem very polite and the seemed quite disorganized. And the cashier if she doesn't hear what was ordered has to ask you what you got. It was just a little odd.
     That is all I am going to write today even though I have a lot more to talk about. Maybe I will find time to write again this week sometime. Have a good day.

                                                               April Whitehair

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014

     Good morning. It seems like it has been a long time since I wrote. I has been a busy last week and sometimes I can't find the time to set down or a quiet time to think. Hopefully this week I will be able to get back on schedule.
     Thursday we had a girls day out. Ms. M found, on Facebook, a new local business selling Amish goods and antiques and also having a yard sale. I love anything to do with the Amish and also yard sales. So Mom, Ms. M, and I took off for an adventure and just to basically get Mom out of the house for a little bit. The woman had advertised quite a lot of things and we were excited to go shopping. The yard sale was quite small but I did buy two Longaberger purses, I love those and will buy any that I see but I wont pay full price. Now the small store that that woman had advertised was a let down. Most of the things she said she had to sell she hadn't even put out in her store yet and the things he did have displayed was very expensive or had no price at all. She had an old coffee grinder that I was interested in. I asked about it and she said she didn't know how much to sell it for and that her husband gets mad when ever she sells anything for cheaper than what it was worth. So she never quoted me a price, I walked away shaking my head, not a very good way to do business. Also I was disappointed with the 'Amish' goods they were selling. The were the Walnut Creek brand that you can buy in most grocery stores. Plus the prices were way marked up. Like a can of beef broth for more than three dollars, I looked at the local IGA and theirs of the same brand was under three dollars. I love to support new local business but this one needs a lot of work before I can give it my approval. The owner said that the 'Amish' products were not selling as well as she had expected and they might stop selling them and focus on the antiques. That may be a better route for her to take but I very rarely see an antique store do well for very long especially in this area and when you ask full 'internet' prices. I think she may do well with the Amish products if she would sell homemade Amish goods not factory made 'Amish' products. Just my opinion. After stopping at that place we decided to go on to Ollie's. Ms. M had never been there before and I figured Mom would like to get out and see something different than just the inside of our house. After that we stopped at Hardiee's for lunch. We had a good girls day out. Had some laughs and hopefully Mom had a good time as well.
     Friday my husband and I finished the chicken coop and got the girls (baby chicks) into their new home. Well they aren't really babies anymore they are almost a month old now. I must say that they are quite boring... I had read so many chicken owners say how much fun it is to sit and watch their chickens. But I must admit that even if they are boring I do enjoy sitting and watching them, it is kind of relaxing. I was worried at first, when be put them in their pen, because the would just lay down and roll over and look dead. But I quickly figured out that they were just sun bathing. They had never been in the sun before. The have been outside for four days now. The first night they were out I was so worried about them, afraid something would get to them, like my cats, but the coop and run seem to be secure. Every morning when I go out to let them out of the hen house and into the run they seem to just stay in the hen house, I have to actually make them go out and shut the door or they will just go back in. They have plenty of food, treats and water out in the run and also shade. I don't think they understand yet how it all works. Hopefully as they get bigger they will get smarter.
     So I am thinking that one of the girls just may be a boy.... I am not sure yet but all the signs are pointing to rooster. Which would be fine with me. My sister H/neighbor my not like it if it is a boy and he wakes her up every morning. The hatchery where I ordered them from said it has a 90% accuracy on gender. We shall see in a couple months if we have a Cleo or a Leo.
     We finally got most of the garden in... all but the buckwheat and wheat left to plant. I also my try to find another place to put more sunflowers in. I hope to grow some of the chicken's feed by growing corn, buckwheat, and sunflower. I also have started a meal worm farm but I don't think it is doing all that well.
      Saturday night my sister H took care of Mom so that my husband and I could go out on a date. We went to the drive-in. Did you know at one time there was over 4000 drive-ins and now there is only about 400? I believe this is something we all should support to keep them around. So everyone go to the drive-in some time this summer. The first movie was Blended it was good. The second movie was Godzilla but we only stayed about twenty minutes into it because I got a bad headache and we had to leave. I seem to always get a headache when I go to the drive-in.
     The rest of the weekend was spent planting and yard work. And ya playing with the chickens.
I painted the inside of their run, the plywood, with paint I got for ten dollars at Lowe's, it was one of their reject cans. I also got a ten dollar rebate, so I pretty much got it for free, which is good because it is very ugly. But the chickens don't seem to mind unless that is the reason they don't want to go out into their run...hum.
      Well I need to get off here and get something accomplished today. Have a good day.

                                                                   April Whitehair

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014

     Good morning. I know I am writing on the wrong day but yesterday was just to busy and I didn't have time to sit down and write. Mom's caregiver was here yesterday to make up for a day she had to call off last week when she and her daughter had that nasty flu bug. So my husband wanted to go out to breakfast then we got started on the chicken coop. We got the roof of the hen house done and the chain link fence on the run on and the plywood up over the cross-ties and both doors up. We are so close to  being done, we just have to put up the rest of the fencing and the roost and nesting boxes and move the chickens out. I will be very happy when they are out of this house. They smell ! Well actually I think the smell is coming from them splashing their water everywhere and getting the pine shavings wet, I can't stand the smell of wet pine shavings. They are getting so big and have most of their feathers. So I think they will do ok outside. I will probably put their heat lamp out their just to use at night if it is going to be a little chilly.
     After working on the coop we worked on the garden. I have so many things I want to grow that he had to extend the garden. I got more corn in and potatoes. We also planted sunflowers, beans, and peas. I planted the first two packs of peas before I realized they were sugar snap peas, not the regular kind that I wanted to plant. Oh well I will figure out something to do with them.
     The other night we had a frost warning, well it was two nights in a row. We had to cover all the plants. It looked like we were trying to grow sheets and pillow cases, they were all over the place. Now I am working on washing and drying all of them so I can pack them all away to have to use next spring. This is when I would love to have my outside clothes line up, all the ones I had up last year has been taken down when people were working in different areas in the yard. I would love to have the T-posts to put a permanent close line up. Maybe after we get the chickens settled outside and the garden all finished I can start figuring out a way to get some T-posts.
     So Saturday was a difficult morning for me. Mom was being overly difficult and my patience was gone... Also it was the third day in a row without help due to Mom's helper calling off when she was ill. I was at my limit. I got her up, out of bed, dressed, and fed. Then I set her in the recliner with snacks and drinks, my husband was asleep in the next room with the door open. And I took off in search of some patience, some distraction. I went to the small farmers market in town. And I mean SMALL ! There was two tables set up, I understand it is early in the year. I wonder if more people will set up tables as the summer goes on. I have had some thoughts of setting up a table and selling some garden goodies but I don't think I will have very much to sell now that I have lost all those seedlings that I started. Anyway one of the people who were selling was the Staddon family that sells their honey. The same people who I went to their house back in the winter and bought honey from. I had to buy from them and support a local family, I only bought a small honey bear bottle from them. I love their honey. The other person that was their was selling homemade breads and other kitchen goodies. It all looked good but I have issues with eating other peoples homemade goodies, but I can eat at restaurants or at others houses but not buy things at places like that. I know it may sound crazy but I am a little crazy at times. She was a very nice lady and she was also selling farm fresh chicken eggs and I started up a conversation about chickens. I do feel like I am in some kind of a secret chicken club now. Also I am very proud of myself that I was actually able to have a decent conversation with a stranger. I have always been so shy and kind of felt a little backward in the conversation department. But now with chicken people I feel like I belong..... I could kick myself because I didn't see how much she was selling her eggs for, I may one day need to know how much a dozen fresh farm eggs go for around here.  
     After the farmers market I decided I would drive around and check out some yard sales, being that it was suppose to be the big RT 50 yard sale day. I found one sale and didn't find anything to buy and the other place I found was way way out in the middle of nowhere but I drove to it but their driveway crossed the creek and the water was up a little due to all the rain, I was too afraid to cross it so I just turned around and drove all the way back. That is all the yard sales I found and I was all over the place around here, all the way to West Union and almost to Clarksburg. I did go out one road and just enjoyed being out in the country. There was a lot of farms and barns and things that helped me feel happy and calm and brought my patience back. I think I have found a way to recharge with out spending any money, except for gas. Just get out and take a drive in the country. Seemed to sooth my soul.
     I made it home Saturday after my adventure and Mom didn't even realize I had been gone almost two hours. She was happily watching tv and petting her dog and probably feeding him some of her cookies I had left her as a snack. I don't think my husband would have even realized that I had gone if he hadn't gotten up and seen the note I left him on the table.
     Well Mom is up and wanting my attention. Have a good day.

                                                             April Whitehair


Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014

     Good afternoon. I am really running late today. It seems like such a busy time of the year. I must say I feel much better now that I am over busy than I did when it was cold and I was stuck inside all the time. I love to be outside in nature even though I will do everything I can to not be in the hot direct sun of mid day, on a hot sunny day. I love that I have a large porch with a swing on it that I can enjoy being outside and still be in the shade. Also I can get Mom outside and we can sit on the porch a good bit when it is warm. I will go out and work on the garden and flower beds early in the morning or late in the evening before the sun gets over the hill and after the sun goes behind the hill.
     Yesterday we got a good storm, lots of hail and rain. I love being out on the porch and watching it storm. I must have got that love of storms from my Mom, she use to love to be outside and watch the it storming. I brought some hail inside to show Mom yesterday, she would have been to cold outside and she doesn't like getting rained on anymore, but she liked watching the storm out the window. The ditch in front of the house isn't really a ditch anymore it needs to be cleaned out. All the water now comes into the yard and there is no way to plant in the spot that I wanted to plant the wheat and buckwheat. Also where I have planted the regular garden for the last couple years gets flooded too, I thought all my plant were going to get washed away but they seem to have survived, thankfully.
     Today is my sister M and brother-in-law G's Anniversary, Happy Anniversary ! Have a good time at our beach. They are at the beach where my husband and I go to every year and where we got married. I must say I am a little jealous but it will be just a little over a month and we will be there. I can't wait to go on vacation and get away from all the responsibilities at home.
     The baby chicks are growing. They are getting so fat, they sure eat a lot. They all are getting a lot more feathers. They have wing, tail, and neck feathers. Hopefully we will have nice days, without rain, on my husbands next days off work so we can finish the chicken coop. They will soon be to big for their tote.
     I need to go. The day is going by way to fast. Have a good day.

                                                        April Whitehair 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 13, 2014

     Good morning. Wow it has been hot the last couple days, I am not use to the heat yet this year. I don't like it cold or hot. We need to get the ac's in. We are planning on buying a small ac for the kitchen window when we can find some spare cash to buy it with.
     Friday night we went to a graduation party for my niece and several other graduates in the family. We had a good time and had lots of good food and cake to eat. I think Mom had a good time. She likes just getting out and being around other people.
     Sunday was Mother's Day. I made a strawberry rhubarb upside down cake. Two of my sisters stopped by to visit with Mom. Mom got a card and a humming bird feeder and a wood wind chime. Monday my other sister stopped by to visit with Mom and brought her a hanging plant and sat around chatting and eating cake. Mom may not remember who her daughters are but you can tell she loves all of us and has a smile on her face when she sees each one of my sisters, like she remembers their faces but can't place where from. Me she has no idea except if we are out in a crowd and she sees me she knows that I am the person she is suppose to be with.
     We got some of the garden put in. I had to go buy plants because all my plants that I started from seed has died. Oh well I will try again next year.
     I am making strawberry rhubarb jam for the first time. I hope it turns out ok. So far it looks and smells wonderful.
     The baby chicks are growing like crazy. I am still having a hard time finding them something to eat other than their regular chick food. They did like the live meal worms but they don't like the dead ones. I am trying to start a meal worm farm. We shall see if it works and they grow.
     Mom should be waking up soon and needing my attention. Have a good day.

                                                                      April Whitehair

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 8, 2014

    Good morning. I have been working of planting the garden. It is a little early in the year than I usually plant. My husband thinks it is time so I went ahead and got some plants in the ground and will cover them as needed. Almost all the seedling that I started have died. A few bell pepper plants are still alive but don't look good. I am so upset about the loss of all of those plants, over 100 plants gone. Next year I plan on not starting so much and also not using the large trays, none of the plants did good in those. I will just use egg cartons to start seeds in next year.
     I went yesterday and bought three more tomato plants, six different pepper plants and planted all of those. I also planted corn, cucumber, zucchini, melon, onion, and pumpkin. I hope they all do good. The strawberry and blueberry plants all look good. I have lots of seeds left to plant and I hope to get those in the ground soon.
     The baby chickens are doing great. They all have wing feathers and all but one has tail feathers. I gave them strawberries for a treat the other day and I am not sure if they liked it or not, they didn't eat it all and slung it all over their tote. I gave them yogurt, I heard other chicks love yogurt, but they did not eat it. They just ran through it and got it everywhere. They all got a bath after that and I had to clean out their tote. I won't be trying that again anytime soon. I hope to get outside today and find them some bugs and see if they will like those.
      My niece and nephew come up and see the chicks every couple of days. The chicks love those kids. They are much tamer for the kids than they are for me. The kids can hold them and pet them and the chicks will just set their and let them do what ever. But when I try to hold them they freak out and flap their wings and try to get away. Also my husband can hold his chick, Josie, with ease. She will just sit in his hands with no problem. I am a bit jealous about all that.
     Well Mom is awake and wanting to get out of bed. Her tick bite is all better, no more redness or swelling. Hopefully if it is nice out today I can get her outside for a little bit. She use to love being outside but now she complains all the time and doesn't seem to like being on the porch much.
     Have a good day.

                                                   April Whitehair

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 6, 2014

 

 
     Good morning. I would like to introduce you to the babies!!! I waited so long for them and I love them so much. They are such a joy to watch and spend time with. Each has their own personality that I am getting to know. 
 
 
                                          EMMA
                                          EMMA ! Emma is the runt. She may be small but she has the biggest personality. She is such a hand full. She is the lightest in color. She is the first one I have seen run around their tote/cage and launch off the log and try to fly.

                                          JOSIE
                                          JOSIE ! Josie is considered my husbands. He chose her name. She is the darkest in color.  And the largest in size. She is the boss! She will boss everyone else around and no one is aloud to sleep unless she is. You can see in her top pic she has a enlarged crop, how her chest looks bigger on one side. The crop is the sack off their esophagus that stores their food till they are ready to digest it. She is a little pig, but so is all her sisters, all their crops are enlarged. I was worried about it at first until I learned what it was.
                                          CLOE
                                          CLOE ! Cloe and Cleo are very close to being twins. I named them Cloe and Cleo because I figured I would get them confused and mix up their names anyway. But now I can tell them apart. Cloe has a dark stripe on her head. She was the first to have pasty butt and needed a bath which she didn't seem to mind. Pasty but it basically just a dirty butt but if not cleaned it can block the vent and kill them. This is such a learning experience for me.
                                          CLEO
                                          CLEO ! Cleo is Cloe's twin except she doesn't have the dark stripe on her head. She has also had pasty butt and needed a bath. She seems to be the calmest and likes me to hold her and snuggle.
                               The girls just hanging out. I think they like to get their picture taken.
                                          EMMA and CLEO

     Today the girls are a week old and they got their first treat today. Strawberries! At first they didn't know what to do with it. I sliced it up real small and Emma took a piece and ran all around the tote and chirped really loud for a couple minutes before figuring out how to eat it. Then they all went crazy and started eating the strawberries. It was a feeding frenzy. Baby chick grit was added to their food along with the special food that my husband had bought for them. I think he is going to spoil them like he did the cats.
     Ok, ok, enough about the baby chicks. LOL. Saturday was the church rummage sale. We, church ladies, can have a good time no matter what we are doing. A lot of hard work but laughing together and at each other makes it a lot easier. Cousin J (SJL) thought it was sooo funny that I named my baby chicks, but boy do I have a funny story on her, which I won't tell.... Some things are best left untold, at least not on this blog. LOL. Mom was with us at the sale all day. She did good being up and around other people. I think she especially liked the Dairy Queen lunch and her caramel sundae.
     Well I need to go. My husband wants to start building the chicken coop and will need my help, umm or at least my bossing around. LOL, my poor husband is so confused about that chicken coop because I keep changing my mind and thinking up new ideas. We need to get the coop finished soon because it won't be long till those babies are all grown, they already have wing feathers and a couple tiny tail feathers. They are sooo cute!

                                                          April Whitehair  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

     Good morning. No baby chicks yet. I am so excited and driving my husband crazy. I think every word out of my mouth is about the chickens. I have their baby house set up and ready. It's a big tote with pine shavings, a water and food feeders. I also have the heat lamp but I have been unable to get it in the right position to provide the right heat, we are working on that. I think I need a new thermometer, that may be some of the problem. Now my husband is working on building, completing the big chicken coop. It will be interesting how it turns out because I keep changing my mind and coming up with new ideas.
     My Mom got bit by a wood tick the other day and the skin around the bite got all red and swollen. I have never seen a tick bite look like that before. Sometimes I feel like a worried momma. I took her to the doctor and it is infected. She is on antibiotics for 10 days. They said it will probably look worse before it looks better. I don't see how it could look worse. She doesn't complain about it hurting or anything so that is good. I don't know how it wouldn't hurt. It hurts me to look at it.
       We have a busy day today. My car needs to go into the shop, we have to go get supplies to build the chicken coop and Ms. M will be here in just a minute to look after Mom for me. I need to go get this day started. Have a good day.

                                                        April Whitehair

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014

     Good morning. First I have to tell you that I actually did it. I ordered my baby chickens! I got all the supplies I will need for them and I placed the order yesterday. They will be coming via express mail and should be here on Friday or Saturday. My husband wanted Rhode Island Red chickens so I ordered four. The coop is in it's beginning stages but it won't need to be done for several weeks, the baby chicks will inside in a tote under a heat lamp for their first few weeks.
     I am just about to give up on starting seeds inside. I set all my baby plants out in the sun the other day and they all got to much sun and it killed almost all of them. I haven't had any luck with them this year. I have lots of seeds to sow directly outside when its time. So I will still have a big garden but just not as big as it could have been.
     My husband did the first tilling of the garden the other day and mixed in some manure. It will have to be tilled again before planting but it looks good and it will be larger than we had in the last couple years. We already have the strawberry and blueberry plants in the ground. Both are looking good and growing. We actually planted 25 strawberry plants with the two from last year we now have 27, hopefully they all make it. And we planted three blueberry plants which already have blooms on them. We were told to prune them and keep them from blooming and producing this year so the plant can put all their effort on growing and not producing fruit. We haven't don't that yet, they are more my husband's plants so I am leaving the pruning up to him.  
     My oldest niece went to her senior prom Saturday. I can't believe she is old enough to be a senior in high school soon to be graduated and an adult. WOW ! Where has the time gone. She looked so beautiful and her date, boyfriend, so handsome. I am so proud of her. She has grown into such a lovely young lady inside and out. She has such a kind heart. And the same sense of humor as the rest of us in this crazy family. I love you C.S.T. ;)
     Well I need to go get this day started. Mom will be awake soon and needing my attention. Have a good day.

                                                            April Whitehair

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 24, 2014

     Good morning. First I will tell you about my opinion of a new restaurant my husband and I tried the other day. We had heard a lot of good things about Mia Margarita, the coal fired pizza oven place. Nice place in an up and coming location. The best part was the very nice and knowledgeable waiter, who help us make sense of the menu. The menu was in English but for us country folk it had words that we were not very familiar with. We just wanted your basic pepperoni pizza and a couple basic salads. He helped up order as close to that as we could. Their basic salad came with garbanzo beans, which we had him leave off, and two kinds of olives which my husband loved, I did not. My opinion of the meal was the salad, with a little modification, was good, not too big or too small. The pizza was good, not the best pizza I have ever tried but no where near the worst. (The best pizza award has to go to Chicho's Pizza in Virginia Beach. It would be very, very difficult for anyone to top their spicy sauce pizza.) The most fun thing at Mia Margaritas had to be the tray with the little spoons they bring out when you ask for red pepper flakes. The tray also has olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Would we go back probably not, not because it was bad but because we could get equally as good pizza and salad at a much better price at other pizza places around here.
     Guess what I got in the mail yesterday... Yes more seeds! The seed guy, the seed club I am in, sent me Squash, Chinese Cabbage, Corn, and Pumpkin(Curshaw). Yes curshaw pumpkin! Those are good to make pumpkin pies with. I had a couple years ago found a bag of curshaw seeds that Mom had saved from years before and tried to grow them without any luck. Also the other day my husband and I was at Kroger's at just the right time and seen tomato plants being loaded off the truck. They were the biggest, healthiest tomato plants from a store that I had ever seen. We had to buy one. I know GMO and non-heirloom but I decided I don't care because I wanted that plant. Also my husband who thinks I am crazy for having and getting more and more seeds and plants was in a convenience store and came across a package of onion sets and had to buy them for me. LOL. He may think I am crazy but I think he is becoming as crazy as I am.
     So I wanted to knock down the old cross-tie (railroad-ties)building and using any of the good cross-ties to rebuild the building to use as a chicken coop. The old building was used years ago as a chicken coop but was old and falling in and had bad, rotten cross-ties that needed to be removed. I hired cousin S to do all the hard, heavy lifting. He cleaned out the junk and knocked down the building yesterday. I knew it was going to happen but I was very sad to see it down. Today he came back and used the good cross-ties to rebuild a part of the new chicken coop. Now we just have to build the roof and the yard area. I am so excited to get this done and get chickens. I already have a couple people asking to buy eggs off me when I get them. I am so excited.
     I need to go get something done today. Have a good day.

                                                         April Whitehair

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014

     Good morning. It was a very busy weekend and it looks like it will continue to be busy for a while. Friday was Good Friday and a busy day for me. Mom desperately needed a hair cut, so Ms. M,  Mom, and I went driving around looking for a place, any place open with time to give her a hair cut. If I wasn't such a procrastinator I would have thought about it earlier and scheduled her an appointment. Every place in town and in the towns around were packed. We ended up in Adamston at a small beautician's shop who apparently catered to old ladies by the clientele that was at the shop. I am not going to say which shop we were at because it was a very bad hair cut and cost $15. We ended up coming home and Ms. M had to fix it. Also when we got there, there was an older lady there who was getting her hair dyed, she said she was almost 90, she looked much younger and very healthy, especially compared to Mom who was sitting next to her. Well this lady who was getting her hair dyed, we were totally worried how her hair was going to turn out. She sat there way too long with the dye on and the dye was all over her skin. I would have loved to see what she looked like when the beautician actually got around to washing the dye out. Anyway, Mom's new hair cut, with Ms. M's help looks great.
     Friday night was Good Friday service at church. I didn't go. I feel extremely bad about that. I was so busy and tired preparing for Easter Dinner at our house on Sunday and everything else I was doing. I feel like I am being pulled so many different directions. Mom, husband, home, garden, dinner plans and cleaning, sisters, picture project, church, etc, etc...... I feel as though I am not getting the order of importance right.
     Saturday was busy cooking and cleaning. I am very thankful for a wonderful husband who will help no matter what I ask him to do. Not everyone is as lucky as I am to have such a great support and partner in life.
     Sunday was Easter Sunday. I woke up very early and my husband had to work that night and got home around 7am and jumped in and helped get everything prepared. Mom had to be up dressed, fed and then redressed to go to church. Church was at 8:45 am which is extremely early for us. Mom is not normally up and out of bed till around 9am. Church service was great. We are lucky to have and go to a church that is a small country church. We are all family if not by blood then definitely in heart and spirit. Everyone knows every ones' names. Of course there was more people who attended than who usually attend.  I don't go as much as I should and use too. My unacceptable excuse is it is to hard to get Mom there every week.
     After church service there is an Easter egg hunt, the junior class and adults hide the eggs for the primary class to find. It is always fun to see the happy excited little kids finding eggs.
     My uncle who is also the superintendent of the church was sick and in the hospital during the Easter Sunday services. He was greatly missed. He is such a kind, loving, Godly man. A great role model for any man. And a great role model of a Godly person for me. He is dear to me and so many other people. He was released from the hospital just in time to join his family for Easter Dinner.
     We had 16 people here at the house for our Easter Dinner. We missed one of my brother-in-laws, who had to work, and one of my nieces and her kids.  We always have a good time together. Also our family keeps growing. One of my nephews brought his girlfriend and one on my nieces brought her boyfriend and his sister. We definitely have and open door policy. Any hungry or lonely person may stop in and grab a plate and join in with the craziness.
     My husband was able to try out his new turkey fryer that my sister M got him for Christmas. I was very scared about it. But he was safe and cooked the turkey successfully. We all had to go outside and watch him put the turkey in and take pictures. The turkey was delicious, so wasn't all the rest of the food. We are such good cooks!
     I had been working on a project for several months that I had wanted to complete before Easter but only got partly done. Mom had collected many, many, many pictures but had never did anything with them. I decided to put them all in picture albums. I got 12 albums done then couldn't do any more. But it was ok. My family all sat around most of the day on Sunday and picked out all the pictures they wanted and took them home. Some how I ended up with another suit case full of old family pictures from my sister's house. Great, that is what I really needed, more pictures!
     Well I am done writing for today. I will write again on Thursday. This was a very long post! Have a good day.

                                                                        April Whitehair