January 31, 2013


One of our family's favorite pastimes is birdwatching.  Birds, no matter their size, color, or type, are fascinating creatures to me.  Over the years, we've become quite familiar with the personalites of several species and have made favorites. 
Goldfinches are one of those favorites. They are beautiful, friendly, and easy to please.  This is a picture I took of a male in my garden in Virginia. Unfortunately, we only have goldfinches in South Georgia in the wintertime when they are not nearly as colorful. Their personalities are the same though, and I've enjoyed keeping an eye on them the past several weeks.We try to get out to state and local parks as often as we can with the boys. Here they are on a Birding Trail in Smokemont Park in Cherokee, North Carolina, last June.

And, here they are at the lodge in Amicolola Falls State Park near my parents' house.  We happened to go there for lunch on the day of an owl exhibit.

I never knew about killdeers until I moved into my house in South Georgia.  They are in the gull family and lay their clutch of eggs on the ground. They have a fascinating way of protecting them. If a perceived predator gets too close, they will pretend to be wounded and lure it away from the nest.  Here's a picture of a nest in my front yard.
Of course, we have a bluebird box.  They love it, but have had horrible luck hatching out babies. Maybe they'll do a better job this year. This morning, I saw a pair taking nesting materials into the box. Here's a picture of four beautiful, but doomed, eggs from last spring.  Our cat killed the male, and the female's new mate threw out these eggs and started over.
I wish I had a better picture of our hummingbirds, but they are just too fast for me.
This is a pine warbler that stunned itself when it flew into one of our large windows. He eventually made a complete recovery.

January 20, 2013


I hope that anyone, especially back in our old Commonwealth of Virginia, that was snowed in or without electricity last week has gotten back to normal. All the talk of "Winter Storm Iago" (when did we start naming winter storms, anyway?) had me thinking about the fact that it will probably be another fifteen years before I see any snow here in South Georgia.  

For some of my Christmas decorations, the boys and I cut out paper snowflakes. We put them up with fishing line in the foyer.  We've never done this before, and we LOVED it.  I'm saving the ones we made this year and will add more next year. When I took the Christmas decorations down (yesterday), I decided to leave up the snowflakes because I love them so much and it is still winter.  They're probably the only snow we'll see this year.

January 7, 2013

Chicken Coop, Lettuce, and an Outfit

That's a random post title! 

I feel like I have a split personality. I have a farmgirl side that wants to be able to grow and raise everything we eat and become as close to completely self-sufficient as possible.  We are slowly working towards that goal - very slowly.  I also have a girly-girl side that loves clothes, shopping, cocktails, monograms, and Pinterest.  I used to believe the two could not mix, but I am now determined that they can.

Here goes:

We've been working on a chicken coop for the past few months.  It's almost finished. The only think left to do before the chicks can move in is to paint it white and to build and hang the door.  There is an old shed on our property that is falling down. Yesterday, we discovered three very nice hinges and some perfectly good boards in the rubble that we can use.  We've used as much of the leftover materials from our house as possible, but were running low. I like that something very old is going to be used. Here's a picture of what's been done so far:

Behind the coop, we'll build a completely enclosed yard for the chickens. We have a lot of hawks and other predators, so keeping the chickens safe is going to take some work.  I think some honeysuckle growing on the front and over the door will be nice.

On to the lettuce.  I get so sick of paying for lettuce at the grocery store.  And, I refuse to plant any more in the garden until we install a fence. The deer and rabbits eat it as soon as it comes up.  So, a few days ago, I decided to see if it would grow in the kitchen window.  This morning I saw that several seeds have sprouted!  If this works, I'm going to bring more pots inside and sow more - maybe arugula next time.

monday's homestead barn hop
Check this out for great homesteading posts!

Finally,  I follow some other bloggers that, in my opinion, have very good taste. I enjoy seeing what they are wearing each day.  I have wondered though, how the OOTD (outfit of the day) trend got started.  It occurred to me this morning that it would be a great way to keep track of what I've worn to make sure I don't repeat too often.  This wouldn't matter to me much if I didn't teach high school students for three hours each day. They will definitely mention it if I wear the same thing too often.  Aren't they sweet???  I've also wondered about the angle of the OOTD pictures I see like the one below.  Well, if you don't have a decent full length mirror, and if your hair and makeup have not been done for the day, this is what you get.  

Cheers for a wonderful Monday!