Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Feathered Friends

The evening light was so pretty last night. I rushed to get my camera to click the clucks. See Rhoda on the right? She's my evil sex link hen. See how she's running to attack me? Scary stuff.

I so enjoy watching my hens devour the weeds I had just pulled from the garden. They eat the weeds, 
then poop and I put the poop right back in the garden. Recycle, reuse. But am I recycling weed seeds? Probably.

 I still have the main coop separated into two 'rooms', with a large screened panel dividing the area. The chicks have been in their little annex for 3 months now. I want to join the two gangs together in harmony but every time I try, the older gang members (The Coop Crips) peck the younger gang members (The Chicks) until they bleed. Which makes The Chicks cower in a corner and defeats the purpose of giving them more room. And they're bleeding. Not good. So every day, I move them to their play pen in the sheep barn where they have free roam. I carry them one by one and they put up such a squawk. I tell them they should be used to this routine by now, but they scream and flap anyway. But when I release them, they run around gleefully.

 Every night, I do this in reverse. I wait till it's dusk and they've roosted on the beams that are just within my reach. Easy peasy. Here are Mabel and Matilda waiting to be carried back to the safe house. 

Ohhh, they know something's up. 

Matilda giving me her beady eye. But they're all tucked away in their little room in the hen house. Soon I'll try again to get the gangs together. Can't we all just get along?!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

More Girl Time

I spent a few restful days in Cumberland last week. My knee behaved well enough so I could get some biking in. This is the view from the C&O Canal leaving Cumberland. To just rest your eyes on that is relaxing enough. 

But to be on my bike and ride like the wind with my girlfriends is my idea of relaxing.

Jeri invited us out to the farm for a delightful dinner on her porch overlooking the fields, flowers and barn.

See how relaxed we look? Wine helps with that!

I thought this was a brilliant idea to keep your woodpile dry. 

Our woodpile will be sporting a new 'roof' soon.

The girls surprised me with birthday cupcakes and presents. Lucky me!

And back out on the trail the next day to work off those cupcakes. We got on the road at 7:30 to start the day because it was going to be a scorcher. But up in Ohiopyle, it's much cooler so it really was a great ride. Now it's back home to catching up in the garden, painting furniture and splashing color on yarn. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Getting Together

Two years ago, we gathered for the first Miller family reunion this decade. Betty and Bill Miller had five boys (yikes!) and all were there. Jim was the only one one missing this year as he and his family live in California and couldn't make it. Houston, his brother George, and I drove down to Winston/Salem NC for the weekend. 

These are most of the grandkids and great grandkids of Bill & Betty. 

 I asked that everyone at the party stand for a portrait photo. I got harumphs and rolling eyes, but nearly everyone obliged. George is pictured above, number 2 in the birth line and resides just two houses down from Houston and me. He likes riding trains and long walks on the beach.

My hubbie, Houston and number 4 and lives with me. He likes riding bikes and climbing mountains.

Chip is number 1 and lives near Charlotte. Chip likes anything to do with computers.

Chuck is number 3 and lives in Winston/Salem. Chuck likes painting and riding his black bike. He and his wife, Debbie organized the event.

Diana is Chip's wife and loves grandkids and puppies.

Debbie is married to Chuck and likes hopping on her bike and riding on river trails. She looks smashing in pink.

Houston took this pic of me and got way too close. I had to photoshop out some wrinkles.

Shannon is Chip's daughter and brightens everyone's day with her huge smile. I'm glad I'm her Facebook friend.

Jennifer is Chip's other daughter, making her Shannon's sister. The girls live next to each other on a big farm near Charlotte. Jennifer has a thick Southern accent that you could listen to all day. She's an EMT, saving lives right and left, sort of a super hero. (Her husband, Ryan, couldn't come)

Tim is married to Shannon, easy going and very likable.

Eric is Chuck and Debbie's son (my nephew) who lives just miles away from them. He likes WWW (not the world wide web, but World Wide Wrestling). He's a sweet, gentle soul and I always enjoy his company.

My niece Corey, brother to Erik, is just a doll. She lives in Raleigh, going for her masters in social work  (correct me if I'm wrong Corey). Her mom, Debbie is from Minnesota and Corey has carried on those Swedish genes. 

Doug is Corey's boyfriend and our grill master. He stood out in the hot sun (with Chuck) grilling our burgers and corn. Thanks!

Thomas is Shannon and Tim's son. He's a computer wiz and an all around delightful young man.

Nathan is also Shannon and Tim's son. He's soft spoken and polite and I'd like to get to know him better.

This is the first time I've met Jennifer's boys. There's four of them (!). This is Jay, the oldest of the four. 

This was Austin's pose. What a ham!

Grady posed perfectly. What a cutie.

But I couldn't get Mason to stand still. He was a bit shy and was wary of me so I had to run around and get candid shots of him. He's just four and such a darling.

Baxter is Corey's dog and I think she had the best time of anyone at the picnic.

She got heaps of attention from all the kids.

Lucy is a quiet girl. Storms kept passing through all day and she didn't like that one bit. Debbie ended up taking her home and giving her a little chill pill to calm her down. Hey, who wouldn't want that?!

Here are all the girls with big smiles...

...compared to the boys, who looked like they would rather be having their teeth pulled than be in front of the camera!

The 3 D's: Debbie, Diana, Dalis

With Doug and Chuck at the grill, and hours of getting the fire started and grilling burgers and corn, George wanted this pic taken so he could take credit for the grilling. But now you know the truth. 

Yum, yum, yum. Grilled corn is tasty.

and tasty this was too. Nothing like a Southern girl baking an peach pie. Thanks Shannon!

Doug stepped away from the grill for 30 seconds to fortify himself for more grilling.


A beautiful day and time spent with family....good times.