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