Saturday, November 16, 2013

First Proper Snow Fall of the Season

Today we had our first good snow fall accumulating about four inches.  We decided to let the chickens out to see how they would do in the snow.  Here is a quick video on how the girls did.

video

Monday, November 11, 2013

I LOVE My Chickens Part 2

It was such a beautiful day out today so I spent some time outside with my chicken girls.  I like them to free range but only if I can supervise them.  We have some HUGE cats in our neighborhood, and I have to protect my girls.  I love to watch them scratching, pecking, exploring, dirt bathing and running around. I have 5 girls laying and waiting for the other 2 to start. I think one of our adopted chickens has not started laying since she "moved" in with us.

We (when I say "we" I mean the girls and I) stayed out for about 2 hours.  I got my vitamin D and they had a great time.

My husband and I are planing on installing some lights on a timer to help with the egg production since the time has changed.  I understand that chickens need 12 to 14 hours of light to continue egg production in the winter.  I think we are going to get 4 more in the spring which will give us the max we can have in the city limits.  It will make a total of 12. I want to get a lavender orpington, a maran or two and who knows what else.  I so enjoy watching my girls.  They bring me such joy and peace.  Bonus is the grandchildren love them too!!!
 One of our twins.  We just call them both Mary Kate and Ashley!
 Henny and Gertie.  The "Eaglettes"
 Henny 
Blackie with the Eaglettes.
Marley our Black Lab.  I think he would be nice to my girls, BUT I really don't give him the chance.  Our  dachshund wouldn't be nice, he tries to get their feathers through the fence, and he has been pecked pretty good.  One day he may learn to leave them alone!!


Do you have backyard chickens?  How do you winterize them?  What breeds do you have?  What are your favorite treats to give them?




Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Annual Hughes Family Halloween Dinner

For the last several years, it's been our tradition, to celebrate All Hallow's Eve with a yummy dinner.  Our menus have ranged from the "gross" foods like witches fingers, swamp water, and bat wings to normal food like beef stew or Zuppa Toscana.  This year we celebrated with Zuppa Toscana, Harvest Salad, Rattlesnake Bites, French Bread, Shirley Temples, Roy Rogers and Swamp Water.  We had so much fun we started the festivities with donuts on a string.  The grandkids enjoyed the donuts along with some of the adults!


   
 Grandsons D and J giving it a try.
 Granddaughter K taking a bite!
Granddaughter C giving it a taste.

Each table setting represents a different character such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Witch etc.  Every few years we have come up with other characters as our family has grown.








Vampire blood (Grenadine syrup)

Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers.
 Granddaughter K as a Calavera for Day of the Dead.
 Granddaughter C as a Ladybug.
 Grandson D as Dracula.
Grandson J as a Zombie Army Man.

All four of my sweet grandchildren!!

Our photo booth.
Daughter Kim and Granddaughter C
 Grandchildren
 Daughter Liz with husband Brandon.
 Greg and I with our granddaughters!
Son Brandon with wife Brittany.

We had so much fun and are already planning for next year!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I LOVE my Chickens!!! Part 1

When I told my family that I would like chicks for Mother's Day this last May, I think they thought I was CRAZY!!  Well I wasn't.  I thought that these little birds would help me deal with my MS and depression because I would have something new to focus on. I have to admit there have been several times that someone else has had to take care of them BUT the times I can take care of them I do!!

 I got 8 chicks, not really knowing if they were male or female.  We can only have hens because we live within city limits.  So we took a chance and picked out 8 cute chicks.   Boy have they brought lots of entertainment for the whole family.  Here are some of my favorite pictures of family with chickens!!

 My Mother's day gifts from my husband and children.
 Our first time raising backyard chickens.

 This was the first month of our cute chicks!
 Acclimating them to the outdoors.
Keeping them protected from the sun and our curious dogs.

 Granddaughter K with her chick Flossie.

They are getting bigger!!

My son's creative way to lead the hens back into their run. 
Granddaughter C leading them with corn on the cob!!
Can you tell the rooster in this picture?  We ended up with two roosters.  
We were able to find homes for them and adopted two "new" hens.
One of our new adopted hens, a silver laced polish named
 Mary Todd Lincoln!! 
My sweet husband hand feeding some of the hens.  Our other adopted
hen "Lafonda" is a gray silkie.  She is so little and is giving us a daily egg!!
Grandson J is holding Lafonda.  They love playing
with the chickens!!
Oscar, our 9 year old dachshund is just waiting for a chance to 
get a taste of those chickens!!

We have a lot of fun and learned a lot with this experience raising backyard chickens. We are even more excited now that some of them are laying eggs!!  Part two of the "I LOVE my Chickens" will me in the next few days. I will update you with some new pictures.  I know you can hardly wait!!  I have to give thanks to my daughters who have helped me with some issues I have had posting this blog.  They are my editors and tech support.  Thanks girls for all of you help!!  



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cucamelons



I love to garden!  The feeling of the rich warm dirt in my hands just makes me so happy. When I started to plan our garden this year I researched GMO and decided this year we would try to grow as much organic as possible.  We planted lots of the standard garden veggies, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, brussel sprouts, some herbs and a new exotic fruit, the CUCAMELON!!  You may ask what is a cucamelon.  Well it is found in Mexico and South America.  I saw a picture of this cute fruit that resembled a mini watermelon and had to try it.  I ordered the seeds and waited patiently for them to arrive.  About 3 days later the seeds arrived.  I planted them in our mini greenhouse and again patiently waited.  Nothing happened.....until about 2 weeks of PATIENCE, and little green sprouts started to grow.  This plant was so fun to watch but again I had to be patient.  Can you tell it took a lot of patience for me to grow this plant!  I guess I expected it to grow overnight!!

After what seemed like forever I was able to transplant these cute vines (about 12 of them) into a large whiskey barrel.  We put in a trellis so my new plants would have something to climb.  I have to admit it did take some time before we saw any blossoms but when it did, the tiny yellow flowers were just adorable!  Then a few weeks later we had tiny "watermelons" hanging on the vine.  The taste was so different and fun.  Tart, crisp, and the flavor of cucumber.  We loved them.  I didn't make a dish out of them we would just pick and pop them in out mouths.  The kids were over on day and we would take a cucamelon, some fresh basil and cherry tomatoes and make a caprice snack.  YUMMY!!

We are planning to grow them again next summer!!

They are like tiny little "watermelons".
                                                          The vine looks like ivy.
The seeds are large but not hard, totally edible and delicious!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Begining of this Journey

I am so excited to start this blogging journey!  I am living with MS and need to find an outlet even if I am not able to do much that day.  I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was 24.  I had symptoms for about 8 years then was in remission for 15 years.  Unfortunately, I contracted a horrible bacteria and my MS came back with a vengeance.   I love life and especially my family.  I hope to post some of my favorite things to do and maybe connect with some others who are struggling to live with a chronic disease.   Let the journey begin!!!