Another Catch-Up Post

sunflowersSo, we are cleaning out the garden … gathering up the last of the ‘bounty’ and putting things to bed.  I am currently trying to dry sunflower seeds in my sunny studio window (where all the garden pre-starts began) … We emptied out  our sweet potato barrels … not an amazing amount, but enough to make me happy.  We ‘harvested’ our acorn squash, as the plants are all dead (thanks to some frost, but mostly to the awful HORDE of squash bugs our plants were infested with this year)!  And, I gathered all of my beets (about 4 pounds worth – my goodness!) along with a grocery bag full of marigold blooms for the chickens …


bean-spinach-sausage-soupWe’ve done a bit of cooking:  Trying out Amish Sour Cream Cornbread … Meh – not our favorite; A Zucchini/Corn/Mushroom Pie (more along the lines of a quiche), it was good, earning a place in our family cookbook.  [Thank you, Lindsay!}  And, soup weather is officially here – so tonight we made our version of Bean Spinach Sausage soup (a favorite, thanks again Chungah!).  Last week we tried Creamy Cabbage soup – which was good ( I love all cream-based soups), but I will add more vegetables next time …Thank you Stacie!

amish-cornbread zucchini-pie  cabbage-cream-soup

pumpkin-chicken-treatSpeaking of vegetables – I’ve been gathering pumpkins for our ladies.  They like them raw, but last week, I filled half of one with chicken ‘treat’ – to help with gaining5-eggs weight for the cold weather coming.  {Thanks Cath!)  Meanwhile, 8 of the girls are laying (!)  So, we’re getting anywhere from 4-6 eggs each day – Yay!  It’s my silly Polish ladies fox(Ava & Tosh [Natasha]) who are holding out …

I don’t blame them though, as DH recently caught this photo about 100 yards from the coop, mid-day … in full sun!  We’ll be setting some large (live) traps to see if we can re-home our new unwelcome guest.

And, I’m making cards (in between filling fused glass orders – Thank You early Christmas shoppers!)  I cistud-thankspulled a few ‘thank you’ cards together, along with an all-occasion ‘Hello’,  and finally our oldest son’s birthday card.  He is in law school, so I felt the fancy card was ‘fitting’ … Our baby turns 26 this week … Dang, have I mentioned … someone here is OLD!  [We’ll be prepping a proper home cooked meal with birthday dessert for him later this week.]


woodplank-thanks thanks-nuvo-shimmersmitch-bday mitch26

We’re struggling through some extended family issues and drama … Here’s hoping we have made it to the sunny side of the saga … Anyone willing to send healing prayers and thoughts our way, we would surely appreciate the help.

Leaving with a cute photo of our garden-helping posse – all the bulldogs, along with Victor and Josie … Awww!


So Long Summer …

My garden is winding down …. We do have a handful of beautiful sunflowers (standing amazingly proud and tall) in their 5 gallon buckets, as DH wouldn’t let me cut any holes in the black mat he so painstakingly installed this spring … We also have the sweet potatoes, some beets, winter squash and the last of the pole beans to collect.  And DH and I shivered through our final dip in the pool on Wednesday, before we closed it up for the winter … [Heavy sigh!]


But, our Ladies have picked up the pace … Not only is Miss Buffy laying eggs just about every day, but someone has joined in to help out.  We haven’t figured out who it is that’s all grown up now, but we’re watching!

And, I’ve been making in the studio … Here’s our latest batch of spoon rests – with some new designs.


bespoke-birthday-cardI’m also working on a special ornament … for a friend’s granddaughter first birthday.  Here’s the blank in the kiln and here is the design.

It started with a requested birthday card and I couldn’t  next-glass-project

I’m also working on a kiln-load of snowman ornaments for a special order.  Yep – winter time is coming … [Heavy sigh!]

Time to switch gears and start thinking ER nursing thoughts.  I’ll leave with a quick photo of Miss Linda ‘babysitting’ one of our pups … Awww  SmileLinda-babysitting

News, News and More News …

Another catch-up post!  Heeeeere we go … Eight days after Josie had her babies, our Gaia’s water broke – a couple days earlier than planned and a c-section was in order … Her pups are doing great, however first-time mom (our Miss Gaia or ‘Lady G’) has redefined the phrase ‘picky eater’ – and Mom’s Kitchen has been working in overdrive! 

So, here we are 2+ weeks later, and Gaia’s appetite is coming around.  She still doesn’t like canned food, but will eat the occasional bowl of kibble, loves puppy formula, rice with cheese and all (human-style) meat.  Instant pot and slow-cooker to the rescue as DH watches over our clan through the day and I run the kitchen while keeping all safe through the night.  A quick photo of two of Gaia’s babies earlier tonight…


Somewhere, in the middle of it all, I survived day-walker hours to attend ACLS recert … It’s all a blur now, but I’m grateful it’s done!

We pop into the chicken coop a few times each day, to check on the Ladies, give treats and laugh at their shenanigans – like sharing the dust bath tire.  Here’s  Daisy doing her pirate parrot imitation with DH.  And Buffy finding a new perch on me …

hanging-out-dust-bath  daisy-and-dad  buffy-me

Speaking of Buffy … She’s had a rough couple of days, singing the egg-laying song of her people.  It worked, as she laid her first egg yesterday … Here she is getting acquainted with one of the nesting boxes, and the present she left for us!  Daisy and Miss HotLips have been singing quite a bit lately.  We’ll see …

buffy-nesting our-first-chicken-egg

I’ve been doing a fair amount of cooking for DH as well.  [OK, for me too!]  This week, we had corned beef and cabbage with carrots and potatoes from our garden (no photo).  We tried sweet potato corn bread (not amazing).  Last night, I turned our latest tomato (Roma and Honey Delight) garden haul into sauce for a pan of mostaccioli I’ll make as we roll into the weekend. 

sweet-potato-cornbread garden-tomato-sauce

I also collected basil (for freezer basil pesto) and marigold flowers to add to a flock-block (chicken treat) recipe.  We continue to pick beans every few days, and will have more potatoes (red and sweet potatoes), a few zucchini, tomatoes and some winter squash to harvest, but with our cooler nights, the garden is slowing down …


I’ll leave with a silly photo of our Viola, who loves to explore in the pond … even under the bridge!


A Busy Week …

But a GOOD week!  Our Josie had her babies while I was working Sunday night.  DH kept me updated.  So, we spent our week on ‘pup watch’, with DH taking the day shift and me watching over the nights. 


first-august-harvestWhile I miss my studio time, it always amazes me to see our babies grow and develop.  Josie is a gentle, very careful mom, so I’m able to work in the kitchen in bits and spurts.  And, we take our early morning or late afternoon outside trips to work a bit in the garden. And visit/feed our Ladies (chickens).  Here are some of our garden harvests this week.

beets-pattypan our-potatoes bean-harvest-2

I made zucchini bread, roasted beets, roasted potatoes with basil, sautéed zucchini/egg plant/pattypan squash with parmesan cheese, blanched and put up another giant batch of beans.

zucchini-bread  roasted-beetspotatoes-basil zucchini-eggplant-pattypan blanched-beans

egg-salad-prepTonight I made egg salad (along with some extra hard boiled eggs for Josie), prepped green onion for freezing and crushed those egg shells (calcium supplement) for the Ladies … who should start laying their own eggs within the next couple of weeks!

Yep, a good week!  Next up … 24 hours of ER nursing fun!  Leaving with  a cute photo of Miss Linda Blue …   Be safe y’all!


Sweet Days of Summer

Another catch-up post … DH and I are enjoying the summer.  We had the kids out last week to celebrate 3 of the 4 birthdays (the twins are 23, and our oldest daughter will soon be 28 … Dang, someone around here is getting OLD!!!).  It was a fun night, and we’re so proud of the adults they have jewelweedbecome!

Speaking of our oldest, she managed to tangle with poison ivy not long ago … She’s over it now, but has quite a bit on her property.  We recently discovered jewelweed here at our house (which is helpful with the itch of poison ivy as well as the sting of stinging nettles – which we have in abundance!  Much of that nettle is in my raised beds this year – Grrr!) … So she went home with some jewelweed – hopefully the transplant will be successful!

Our garden is producing.  We recently put up 6 quarts of (green/yellow/purple) beans, and have gathered another 6 (or more) for freezing.  We’re putting our eggplant to good use, too.  I made tian (or a version of ratatouille) last week.  This week we made spaghetti with zoodles (zucchini noodles), adding spinach, eggplant, ground turkey and a touch of cream cheese to the sauce. (While it may not look so good in the photo, it tastes great!)


tian   spaghetti-zoodles

asparagus-beanWe harvested our first asparagus bean … check out that bean!  They are really starting to climb the cow panel trellis!

The Ladies (our chickens) are doing well, greeting us every time we pass the coop – wanting more treats (they may be a tad spoiled, but they’re my girls!) …

Our canine crew is doing great too.  We will be having Neapolitan Mastiff pups next week, as our Josie is getting quite large.  Puppy breath!!!  I’m excited!

I’m producing in the studio in bits and spurts, mostly spoon rests.  I’m also cleaning/organizing  – and that helps rekindle the mojo …

I’ll leave with a quick photo of our pond, which was recently ‘rented out’ for the day by a gaggle of geese.  They’ve since moved on, but I think they enjoyed their get-together … Winking smile


Goodnight 2019 …

Our tax prep is DONE, dropped off to our favorite tax man, we’ll find out how well we did next week.  But, can I just say THANK GOODNESS!


It wasn’t all bad, as we took plenty of breaks … Fed the Ladies a bit of watermelon (they love it!); We enjoyed some pool time with our new ‘Sharkey’ thermometer (DH’s nickname); And caught Linda enjoying our sweet peas (just sniffing, no eating) …

                ladies-with-watermelon sharkey-thermometer Linda-sweet-peas

We also kept up with our garden, which is filling in so nicely:


My tomatoes are growing – and that means my experiment worked! Yay!  We have Roma and Honey Delight Cherry tomatoes ‘cooking’ as I type.  Plus, we harvested our first ever Japanese eggplant along with a handful of purple beans … (Now I’m on the hunt for some good eggplant recipes …) Smile



And we ate well, trying another version of the Chicken with Bok Choy and Mushrooms recipe … YUM (Thank you Caroline!)!


So, that huge (tax prep) weight lifted, I think we’ll tackle a few must do house jobs (a little painting, a little deep cleaning) … after a weekend of ER nursing fun, of course!

I’ll leave with a quick pic of Chloe – “Whatcha sayin’ Mom??”  Winking smile  Have a safe weekend Y’all!chloe-whatusay

A Hot Minute …

This catch-up game is tough – so many photos.  The garden is rocking, and I’m refraining from a full photo tour … (you’re welcome!)  But, I do need to share a few photos … My experiments are working (so far, anyway)!  My sweet potatoes finally grew some slips, and are now in their own pot (along side the purchased sweet potato plants).  And my roma tomato (sliced from organic store bought) plant is flowering!  Yay!!!

sweet-potato-slips  sweet-potatoes-plantedroma-experiment  tomato-flowers

We’re starting to get small harvests from the garden, too.  Our first cucumber went to the chickens, but … tonight we had grilled chicken (NO – NOT ANY OF MY LADIES!), roasted radish and sautéed radish greens for dinner … It was good. 

radish-harvest   chicken-radish-greens

Speaking of The Ladies – they’re growing and are so fun to watch.  Even Chloe likes to keep a close eye on them.  Oh – they love their clown car!  Smile

Chloe-and-the-ladies   chicken-car

Last weekend, DH did a whirlwind road trip (Alabama and back in 32 hours) to bring two Neos home to our clan.  So we welcome Tito & Gaia.  And for Father’s day, we gave him a drone.  I’m hopeful we can get some neat aerial photos soon – once he reads through the huge instruction manual and figures it all out …

Tito-Georgie   drone

That pretty much gets us up to date.  I need to squeeze in a few hours of mandatory nursing competencies, and will find some pool time before heading back to work this weekend.  So for now, I’ll leave with a photo of Victor and the Bulldog crew catching a sunshine nap … Awww!


Good News/Bad News …

and catching up to date.

So, the good news – I was off work this weekend.  The bad news – it was supposed to be our oldest daughter’s wedding weekend.  The good news – she has already chosen a new date for 2021.

The good news, I’m feeling better.  I saw my doctor and we have a solid plan for dealing with the abdominal addition I’ve named Hollis …  The bad news, I have to get back to work (ER nursing), while I still have a bit of waddle in my stride!

avaThe good news – The Coopa Cabana is open for business (complete with indoor camera).  The ladies have moved in, spent a couple of nights and today were introduced to the Henitentiary (their run).  They ate bugs, nibbled on grass and ran around … well, like chickens!  The bad news – Dovey missed the automatic closing of the chicken door, which freaked her out a bit.  [She’s back in the coop, safe with her sisters now.]  We’ll work on it.

coopa coopa-cabana-henitentiaryroosting-on-camera ladies-gathering

The good news – the garden is rocking.  I have sweet potatoes, red potatoes, green and yellow squash, roma and cherry tomatoes, nasturtium, radish, beets, bok choy, basil, spinach, egg plant, cucumber, parsley, zinnias, marigolds, bush beans (in yellow, green and purple) and chives … all growing beautifully. (Struggling with watermelon and winter squash … but we’ll keep at it!)

raised-bed-garden-2020sweet-potatoes potato-potszucchini yellow-squash tomatoesnasturtium radish cauliflower-beetsbok-choy-bolting eggplants-pepper-parsley beans-partially-weededcucumber-zinnia-spinach chives

I still have a few things growing in my studio window (thyme, patty pan squash, sweet peas and sunflowers).  DH vetoed growing corn this year … but I can’t complain!

booboo-salveThe bad news … I haven’t found my studio mojo yet.  Not for glass or card making.  It’s there, just waiting for me to find it …  But here is the BooBoo (skin care) salve I made from plantain and dandelions from our yard.  I like it!

And, finally – the good news:  The pool is open and I’ve already had a couple of sun-days!  [Photos to come …]

Now for 24 hours of ER nursing fun.  Stay safe Ya’ll!

Silent/Healing …

I’m not sure why I would decide to develop abdominal cellulitis now.  I don’t know how one goes about creating abdominal cellulitis … But, I’ve been quiet lately, in part – because that’s what I’ve been doing/GROWING???


IV-bruiseAbsolute craziness!  Not what I had programmed.  But, there you have it – this body has it’s own plans … I don’t recommend it.  I don’t like it!  If you get a choice, don’t choose it!  Deep belly ache, crazy Native-American-esque red slashes across your gut, and they are HOT!  Brew for a few days … Next up –  a super-fun ER visit!  Great Nurse, Great Doc, GREAT CARE … Here’s my IV bruise – so colorful!!! (I bruise easily … It’s something I’m naturally good at!)

Now, add in some stomach-CLENCHING oral antibiotics for a couple/few weeks … Meanwhile – my HEAD wants productive stuff to HAPPEN here!!!

DH is helping, as much as he can.  I’m waddling around with a 7 month pregnant BELLY (down from 9 months), F.U.L.L. –  with that short-of-breath abdominal gut … Uhmm, WHO ORDERED THIS?  Waiter, can I send it back???  Any way – moving on!

brooke-ahne-creativeDH is building the chicken coop.  Our oldest daughter sent a hand-lettered sign, “Coopa Cabana”  for Mother’s Day … I love it!

And, he’s building a PALACE for these Ladies!


received_584951955738185   coop-almost-done

Our girls are growing.  This, I can watch over!  We have 10 LADIES, and I’m sure we will get into all of their names –  and their shenanigans!


The garden is planted … mostly.  I hope DH can help make the last few parts happen …  Here is a quick pic of the pre-starts I still have growing in the studio window:


I am happy.  I’m waddling – which is not on the happy list!  My Coopa and my garden are in … I can waddle – until the antibiotics kick in, SOMEDAY!

Lastly, I stumbled on a salve recipe, made from readily available yard ‘weeds’ (plantain and dandelion flowers) … It’s supposed to be anti-inflammatory and help with arthritic pain … Who couldn’t use some of that!?! … So I have it ‘brewing’ in a crock-pot:


So, This Happened …

DH woke me to tell me we have chicks!  OMGoodness, they are so stinkin’ cute! Now the pressure is on him, as these babies will need their coop within the next 3-4 weeks …


We talked at length and settled on some plans for building the raised bed garden.  Here’s my non-architect sketch.  Those are 15 foot beds in there, which will also need to be ready within the next 3-4 weeks!  Who’s a spoiled girl?  This GIRL!!! Winking smile


sweet-potato-slipsSo, with that in mind, I continue to scour the ‘net, searching and learning all things gardening.  With my latest discovery, I’m trying to grow sweet potato slips.  It may or may not be too late to start these for a successful growing season … It all depends on what kind of Indian-summer (mild fall) Michigan decides to give us … We’ll see.  Here’s a quick photo of my (indoor) ‘kiln garden’ starts …

I had a few requests at work for additional thank you cards for our (ER nursing) unit to hand out.  So, I made some … 

more-thank-you-cards thank-you-card even-more-TY-cards

Next week, I need to clean this studio and work on a few glass projects.  And, play with chicks, and puppies, and … … …

Have a safe weekend, Y’all!