Friday, December 9, 2011

Mom... your on your own!!!

Conversation in the car on the way to school this morning... Well girls, I've seen my friend's chicken coop and she has an fenced in, roofed area that the chickens can hang out in safe from the elements and varmits and scratch and dust until they are content. I think this will be the project for 2012 ---to expand the chicken coop area to include a covered area for the 'girls'. To which they have replied... "sounds good mom, but your on your own!". Looks like I'm going to have to rally some friends, fill in the hole where the plastic pond is, dig some post holes, gather some wood, find roofing materials and chicken fencing to create my chicken oasis. Any volunteers? :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I wanted to get back to this blog, revive it and breathe new life into it. So today I want to start with my goals for 2011 and what I want to do for 2012. The things that I removed are to get the bees productive, make wine and try rutabagas. Our bees are doing well and I hope Emily and I tucked them in properly for the winter. The next day we have with temperatures above 50 degrees I will peek to see if they could use more food. Until then we have to believe in their survival instincts and hopefully the queen will be strong enough to lead her hive into the spring. The bees produced a fair amount of honey for us this year and I have to say this was the coolest thing I have ever done. Bottling honey is VERY STICKY work but so worth the effort. We received an inspection by the state of Ohio apiary inspector and we have to treat for varrora mites. The mites are not out of control at this point. We received our inspection in fall and will treat our bees in spring should they survive the winter. Our wine making efforts are in full gear. Jim has embraced this hobby and is excelling at it. Our only failed effort was the cranberry wine. I'm still saddened by this. I was so looking forward to this wine but alas, something went wrong in the fermentation period and he tossed it out. However we have sweet cherry and sour cherry, made from the berries, currently working which will be bottled late spring 2012. He has also made wine from kits including Merlot and Chianti. I am the official taste tester and a job I take seriously... as I feel compelled to check as many bottles as possible! ;) Now for rutabagas. We tried these unique root vegetables, however, I tried them out of season. DUH. I would like to revisit this vegetable one day to give it another try.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Allison and Helen. Helen, we had a great time during your visit. Please come back again.
Helen and the Blankie!!! :)
Helen, Emily and Kevin.
How many teenage boys can you get in the back of an Amish buggy? In this case...3! Robert, Michael and Collin.
2011 German students visiting Ohio from Hennef, Germany. We love you!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Another Thanksgiving was celebrated with family and a new friend. For the past two years our family has hosted a German exchange student via the high school German club. Working with a school in Hennef, Germany our coordinator finds host families to share an American Thanksgiving with these students. This year we hosted Helen and showed her Daffins Candy Store, Kraynaks Christmas tree lane, Wendell August Forge and Slovak Folk Center and of course Grove City outlets. We shared with her the gluttony that is Thanksgiving with all the trimmings: Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed potatoes (which were almost forgotten), sweet potatoes, wilted lettuce, green bean casserole, pumpkin and pecan pies. She also witnessed up close and personal the fiasco of Black Friday. Her group then took a bus trip to Washington DC ( a one day excursion that nearly did them in!). After some resting time it was back to the mall for Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch deals. Monday we went with her group to Sugarcreek, Ohio to learn about the Amish community. We had a unique opportunity to witness an Amish school day, ride an Amish buggy (those horses are amazing!!!) accompanied by more shopping and eating at an Amish restaurant. Tonight everyone will gather, hosts and visitors, for an American pot luck supper. I hope she enjoyed her stay in America and with us and will remember her time fondly.

Friday, November 4, 2011


It appears as though I only have a moment once a month to post to this blog. October was just as busy as September for our family and farm. I canned sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, cranberry apple sauce, and cranberry mustard. I never really liked cranberry because I have the image of this gelationous substance globbed onto a serving dish at Thanksgiving. I never really cared for the taste either. But Fresh Cranberries are wonderful and so are the cranberries that I preserved this year.
Our newest addition to the farm. ROSE our Jack Russell, Fox terrier and several more...mix breed puppy. She is adorable and smart.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Wow, I realized that I haven't blogged since August. What happened to September?

Today I made pumpkin bread. YUM!

September found me canning: (left to right) pickled beets, roasted red pepper spread and red root relish!

AND Jalapeno Jelly, Tomato Jelly and pickled Jalapenos!

I am earnestly working on our pantry this past season. I am quite proud of our efforts this year. I still hope to can pears and cranberries. We have some winter pears in the yard and I need to beat the deer to them! The cranberries should arrive when Jim returns from his hunting trip to Wisconsin. These will both be new to me to can. I can't wait.

I also want to make pumpkin rolls. I haven't had time in recent years to attempt this project.

Also, our lovely young ladies attended the Austintown Fitch Homecoming festivities with their friends!

Kevin, Allison and Katie

Alexis, Emily, Jamie and Alyssa

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Morning!

Good Morning. This is the beautiful sky that welcomed the day today. Emily is our resident photographer. Good job sweetheart.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chicken Scratch

I found this nice PDF article from West Virginia University Extension office about Chicken Scratch. I am declaring this my winter project (along with about a dozen others!). Chicken Scratch is embroidery on gingham and I remember it mostly on my mom's aprons. I can't wait to start. Then when I get good at this I'll make an apron for every day of the week! And of course, I found one with roosters!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


This is our first honey harvest. All this came from Emily's beehive. It's awesome and mmmm,mmmm, good!

Bottle trees!

This is my bottle tree! We are recycling wine bottles for our own wine. I was busy today sterilizing and de-labeling the bottles.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Adventures over the horizon for Okinawa exchange student - | Community news from Boardman, Canfield, Austintown and Poland, Ohio — Town Crier

Adventures over the horizon for Okinawa exchange student - | Community news from Boardman, Canfield, Austintown and Poland, Ohio — Town Crier

Another project for next year.

Whilst at the Ohio State Fair I spotted the miniature garden competition. Hmmm... I want to try this next year.

The Ohio State Fair

Hinata and Emily at the Ohio State Fair

Our family visited the Ohio State Fair as part of our exchange experience with Hinata. The 4-H family provided us admission and we participated in the International Day in the Youth Center at the Fair. Hinata displayed her EISA costume.

We then walked around the fair and found some interesting things... like WALDO!

A Very Large Rabbit.

And some beautiful foul critters!

Busy,...Busy Summer.

Canned Peaches

Peach Salsa

Peach Salsa

It has been a very busy summer.
Joel, our friend from Great Britain visited with our family early in July. We took him to see the Cleveland Indians beat the New York Yankees (oh yeah), Cedar Point and Niagara Falls, Canada. I think he enjoyed his stay.
Allison and Joel

Joel loving the Falls!

Allison ,Joel and Emily getting ready for the 4th of July parade.

We also went to the Deathly Hallows part 2 movie. Joel was priceless when he shouted before the movie started...."There's a troll in the dungeon!" Everyone thought his accent was spot on! LOL!

Now we are hosting Hinata, a student from Okinawa, Japan. She will be visiting with us for three weeks. So far we have taken her to a Scrappers baseball game and the Ohio State Fair. Many other fun things are scheduled for her as well.
As for me, I've been busy canning. My husband bought some delicious peaches from Rhodes Farm Stand and I canned peaches, made peach jam with Rosalie and Emily and even made homemade peach salsa.
Yesterday I took the girls to a friend's farm and picked some blueberries. Then another friend dropped off his excess pickles and for the first time I made sweet pickle relish and homemade (not Mrs. Wages) Bread and Butter Pickles.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Still more Grandma handiwork

Little Bunnies in a broken egg shell - Great for Easter... in pearly paints

A bell cookie jar and a Bell ! (Christmas Motif)JAMIE ADOPTED

Bunny and a Girl on a Pumpkin. (Can you tell Emily and I are getting tired? We are mixing the seasons!)

Another Boy and Girl Bell set and a candy dish. LINDA ADPOTED

Little girls standing in the wind. Small figures.

Candy Dishes, a Poinsettia 8"(COOKER), heart (8x6) and yeah 6"(COOKER).

A mini stein (does NOT open) and mini vase ala 70's... just add lava lamp :)

Santa...the bag can hold candy - maybe (its an odd shape and size), Snowman and Santa Cup.

4 mugs for you! Starting from left.... wooden style, Roman Chariot (?), Snow covered cabin, and a ship. All in awesome shape as are everything I've posted. COOKER ADOPTED

Music Box figure - pearly paints ALLISON ADOPTED

2 Christmas Bells.... not quite the same... Can you spot the difference?

Girl in a shell... I don't know if you can distinguish, but in the background Grandma glued pearls and rhinestones in the back of the egg!