Hanging Here and New Life

Yesterday I came across a hanging. Over the winter, a couple of birds took up residence in my stove vent. Their nest wasn’t interfering with how the vent worked and since I tend to be a terribly lazy person at times, I had pity on them and decided to share the warmth of my house for the winter. Yesterday, I went to evict them because their nest was starting to drop materials on my stove. To my surprise there was a bird hanging by the neck from the vent by a thread! We had heard a lot of fighting out of them over the winter, but I didn’t think it was that bad! I am a HORRIBLE person. I laughed.


Grampa has some gardens coming up. He’s got beets, radishes, kolorabi, lettuce, spinach,onions and peas coming up. He’s hoping he’ll be able to get some potatoes, broccoli and tomato plants in this week. The farmer’s market in Burlington will be starting May 7th. Hopefully we’ll have some veggies ready to go by then.


Mutant chickens anyone? These are Cornish Crosses. I really don’t like these birds. They are the ones raised in most commercial poultry opperations. They are bred for meat production at the expense of feather and bone. It’s how they get those gigantic chicken breasts you see everywhere, but they never get all their feathers and they tend to have problems with broken legs. To me, they never really look healthy, but Farm & Home was practically giving them away and they were already 2 weeks old. They are ready to butcher between 8 and 12 weeks old so they were pretty big when we got them. They aren’t going to be pastured, but we are giving them lots of hay. They don’t seem to understand what to do with real vegetables like normal chickens do. We figured if we can’t sell them, we will put them in our freezer.


We just got this shipment of baby chicks in this week. We have 100 Golden Comets, 25 Black Asterlops and 25 White Leghorns. These are all breeds that have a high egg production record. The Golden Comets and Black Asterlops have brown eggs and the White Leghorns have white egg. We’re planning to alternate new chick purchases between high production and color.

Well, I’m off this morning to work for the US Census. I love this job! I get to tromp around the country side and see all the beautiful places God has created. I get lots of fresh air and exercize and … I get to punch buttons!

God Bless You All! ~ Love, Grama Sue

Buy Local

INTERESTING STATFrom: Animal, Vegetable, and Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Shereports “If every US citizen would eat just 1 meal a week (any meal) composed of only locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil per week. Becoming a less energy-dependent nation may just need to start with a good breakfast.”GRAMA’S TREASURES!Wow! We had a great hatch! Hatching 50% of the eggs you put in an incubator is considered good. We have 33 out of 48. That’s almost 70%! I’m happy! Most of the eggs I put in the incubator were blue and green in hopes that I will get more hens that lay blue and green eggs. I plan to do this at least 2 or 3 more times this summer. If you’d like to help me fill the incubator again, I plan to have an official fill the incubator day once a month. The first one will be this Saturday at 10:30 am. If you need chicks, I am willing to sell a few at $2.35 each.THE FARMER’S MARKETGrampa Tom went to both the Keokuk and the Carthage Farmers’ Market by himself this week. I went to the Hamilton Farmers’ Market this afternoon. That was a bust. Nobody there but me. I’d like to go to all of the markets, but I’m really not needed most days and there’s plenty to do here. So far, we’re not making oodles of money, but we come home with more than we spent to go. It’s a start!

One of the things we’ve been selling is egg noodles. I got a noodle maker thinking it would speed up my egg noodle production time. It doesn’t take anywhere near as much strength, but I’m not seeing the time savings I was hoping for. I was hoping to be able to sell my noodles at farmers’ markets for $1.25/bag but it just isn’t going to happen for less than $2 and even then I’m not making minimum wage – it is just something to do with unused eggs. I told Grampa if we can’t sell them, we’ll just have to give them to charity.

E-BAY

Neither of my items on E-Bay sold L! But I got lots of lookers for the bag. Decided not to re-list it because Grampa Tom hasn’t managed to get another one done and he wants to take it to the farmers’ markets. I did re-list the Epson T060120 black ink. It didn’t sell, but it might have helped if I hadn’t made a typo in the id#! So far this week I have 3 watchers on it. If you’d like to bid, you can find my stuff at
http://myworld.ebay.com/gramasues

ON THE CRAFT TABLE

The rug is coming along. I’ve got several feet braided, but I’ve got no idea how big this thing will be! It’s an adventure.

Grampa Tom suggested that I do a golden egg with IOWA painted in black. I think I can do that. Then I thought I could probably even do a Deere egg in green and yellow. Grampa isn’t an Iowa fan, but we sure do like John Deere.

THE GARDEN

We are still finishing the construction and planting like mad. This week we planted musk melon, garlic, basil, winter onions and more yellow onions, cilantro, marjoram, cucumbers and dill. We also transplanted quite a few petunias and marigolds.

We took the first harvest from our spinach and green onions this week. I also harvested and sold some fresh oregano. The broccoli plants that we put in last week is already putting on a head. I can’t wait! We love broccoli!

The potatoes look wonderful, but the poor beans! They’ve suffered from chickens scratching in them and my “other dog/lawn mower” (pet lamb) eating all the leaves off them! Here’s a picture.

If you come, be sure to ask to see our new raised bed gardens. We are following Len Pense’s plans:

http://www.gardeningrevolution.com/index.html

They take a lot of work to build, but once they are done, they are a breeze to care for. We’d love to build one for you or teach you how to do it yourself!

GRAMA’S WISDOM
(tips, recipes and ideas for saving money)

How to Clean a Microwave

This is one I learned from my daughter when I was over 40. Some of you young pups may think that’s disgusting, but bear in mind the fact that there were no such things when I was young. OK, OK, so I used a microwave for 20 years before I learned how to clean one! I’m not the only one! Almost everyone I share this secret with has never heard of it.

Put a bowl of soapy water in microwave and run for 5 minutes. Even the most stuck on stuff will come off! It is amazing.

GRAMA RECOMENDS

Great Chiropractors!

It is so awesome to sleep next to my husband again! For years, Grampa Tom has been severely overweight. This obstructed his breathing so much that he had to sleep sitting up so he slept in his big chair on the other end of the house. He also fell asleep quite often during the day and snored loudly all the time. He finally went to the Rexroth Clinic in West Burlington. They gave him some adjustments and some supplements to help kick start his metabolism again. He’s lost several inches off his tummy, sleeps in our bed and stays awake all day! The only problem now is that I can’t keep up with the guy!

Check them out! http://rexrothchiropractic.com/index.php

God Bless You All!

Chicks, Avon & E-Bay

WE’VE GOT CHICKS HATCHING!

So far, there’s 7 little babies and quite a few eggs that are chirping through little holes! I’ve got them in the house with the incubator. I’ll keep them in here for a few days just to make sure they stay nice and warm, but if you or your kids would like to see them, I’ll be happy to invite you in! If you’d like to buy a few, they are $2.35 each.

200 AVON BOOKS

Really, I mean really, it was my intention to just have a few Avon books and a lotion or two available for my customers in the garage! Somehow, I managed to order 200 books by mistake. I’m taking it as a sign from God. The same day I realized what I had done and that I couldn’t fix it, my “sleeping around job” ended. I know how to sell Avon. I used to support my family on it. Maybe God wants Avon to be a major source of income again. Needless to say, I’m spending a lot of time this week passing out Avon books!

THE FARMER’S MARKET

The Farmer’s Market in Burlington went very well this week. We sold out of egg noodles and I managed to sell quite a few of my golden eggs. This week it will be on the river just south of the bridge where it is supposed to be. If you want to come, it is held from 5-8 pm every Thursday. We should also be going to Keokuk on Saturday morning (at the Keokuk Mall) and to Carthage Monday afternoon (at the courthouse).

E-BAY

Back in the fall of 2006, I was selling quite a bit of stuff on E-Bay, but that project got put on hold due to my assessing job. This week I resumed it. I’ll try to put a couple of things on it a week. This week, I put Grampa Tom’s first shopping bag on E-Bay with a starting bid of $4.99 and some black printer ink for an Epson printer with a starting bid of $9.99. If you’d like to bid, you can find my stuff at
http://myworld.ebay.com/gramasues

ON THE CRAFT TABLE

I was amazed at how far I got my gazebo top to rug project last weekend. I actually got all the strips rolled into balls and have begun to braid the strands!

We bought some more paint to paint eggs with – even some red, white and blue for the 4th of July. I’ll probably experiment with that a little this weekend along with my rug.

THE GARDEN

The biggest project we’ve had going on this week has been the gardens. We’re finishing the construction and planting like mad.

We have planted tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber, radishes, onions, peppers, turnips, corn, green beans, lima beans, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, carrots, garlic, squash and pumpkin. We already have some herbs. The oregano and lemon balm are coming on strong and the sage is starting to leaf out. I also bought some seeds for dill, basil and marjoram. I’ll be drying most things, but if you’d like some really fresh herbs, I’d be happy to go cut some for you!

Be sure to ask to see our new raised bed gardens. We are following Len Pense’s plans:

http://www.gardeningrevolution.com/index.html

They take a lot of work to build, but once they are done, they are a breeze to care for. We’d love to build one for you or teach you how to do it yourself!

GRAMA’S WISDOM
(tips, recipes and ideas for saving money)

Hurting People Hurt Other People

Some old people are real sweethearts, but there are other’s who are just plain mean and if you are going to take care of them, you can’t take it personally. Most of the time, these are people who’s brains aren’t working right and/or they are in a lot of physical pain. They lash out at you because they are in pain, not because you did anything wrong. They still need to be cared for and loved, so you have to learn to look past their bad behavior and do what’s best for them in spite of themselves – kind of like putting a crabby kid down for a nap.

Actually that’s pretty much the way it is with all people. 90% of the time, people who are growly or mean aren’t actually responding to what you did. They are responding to situations in their pasts where they were humiliated, scared or devastated. Or maybe they are just tired, stressed out or hungry. Don’t take it personally! Forgive them and move on. You’ll be a happier person.

God Bless You All!