Free At Last


Free at last, free at last, the chickens are free at last! (I should have posted this on Monday. Heh.) This winter has been really hard on the chickens. We have rain instead of snow, and temperatures fluctuating between mildly warm and slightly chilly. And the forecast calls daily for mud, mud, and more mud. I have young chickens in the chicken house/yard, and all this muddy chill is hard on them–the mud gets in their feathers and weighs them down. They need to be out on the grass, away from the mud. I’ve had my chickens locked up tight in the chicken house for a long time now after a long series of problems with them free-ranging. (Roosting in the wrong places, and chicken poop where you don’t want it.) But, they’re all well-trained to the house now, and I run at light on a timer that comes on a few hours at dusk, so time to try daytime free-ranging again!

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The Winter It Was Weird


These are some of the newer Blue Swedish ducklings (all grown up!) that I got a few months ago, along with the Black Swedish and Cayugas. This picture is from last week when we had around 3 inches of snow followed by a few days of single digit and teens temperatures. Then it was nearly 70 degrees. Then it was 40. And now it’s back to 50s and 60s, supposedly for the rest of the month. What is that about??? I’m not complaining, but this is not looking like the bad winter we were supposed to be in for. Of course, we haven’t had February yet, so maybe Winter is taunting us… The grass and the trees aren’t going to know what to do!

Meanwhile, finally recovering after the mad rush of Christmas on Etsy, and finding my way into a routine. My best shipping days (for baked goods and 1-3 day priority mail) are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, which gives me more “free” (ha) time in the second half of the week to work on other projects and get back into writing. (Just a head’s up to those of you checking in that I’ll be around more here the second half of weeks than the first.) This is a weird Monday–speaking of weird–because it’s a Monday holiday. No shipping today.

A couple notes to respond to questions: One, Precious is fine! And Pepper is a girl, FYI. I put a dress on her this week to help her feel more girly after so many people thought she was a boy! Also, update on the kids for those of you who asked–Weston is at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, over halfway through his stint in the Army. Ross is halfway through his first year in Morgantown at WVU, and Morgan is still at WVU. They’re all doing really well, and it was nice to have them all here at Thanksgiving, though Weston couldn’t come back for Christmas since he only had Thanksgiving leave.

Cows are bred, I think/hope, and new little layer hens are growing and in the big chicken house with the big chickens. The ducks are quacking in the non-stop puddles from all this rain, and the goats are mostly staying behind their fences. And I’m BAKING! A LOT!

How is your winter weather? Weird or as expected? I can’t figure out this winter.

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  1. img_2958 December 23, 2016 - I Dream of Pepperoni Rolls

    When I posted A Hand-Crafter’s View of Etsy a week ago (December 15), I’d had 160 sales in my Etsy shop. A week later, I’ve had 226 sales. Do the math, you know what I’ve been doing! All of those sales weren’t pepperoni rolls, but probably half of them were. I’ve never made so many pepperoni rolls in my life. I … Continued…

  1. img_9627 December 15, 2016 - A Pinch of Pepper

    This dog is tiny, like the size of a pinch. A pinch of pepper–because her name is Pepper! I didn’t name her. Thank goodness, since the last dog I got, I named Precious. Heh. Pepper is a pound dog, though I didn’t get her directly myself from the pound, but from someone who got her from the pound and really wanted a … Continued…

  1. img_9460 November 28, 2016 - My Past Week

    ALL THREE of my kids were home for Thanksgiving. It’s been a year since I’ve had all three of my kids in the house at the same time. Now that Ross is out of the Navy and going to college at Morgantown, it’s a little easier to get all three of them together with just one (Weston) still in the military (Army). Ross is going to WVU, where Morgan is still attending, … Continued…

  1. img_9282 November 15, 2016 - Surfacing

    This picture has nothing to do with anything, really, but they look delicious, don’t they? (They are for sale, if you want some. Chocolate Snickerdoodles. You can find them in my Etsy store.)

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  1. img_9213 November 2, 2016 - All the Pretty Packaging

    I finally got my new packaging in last week and wanted to show off how my items ship out. Here are a few pictures of items packed and labeled and ready to ship.

    Everything is going out wrapped and packaged suitable for gifting.

    A handwritten thank-you note goes in every box along with soap samples. If anyone wants the … Continued…

  1. img_9152 October 31, 2016 - Valentina and Hickory

    Valentina and Hickory, sitting in (under) a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g! Hickory may be little, and young, and he may need a downhill start at it or a ladder, but he’s doing his best! He’s after Valentina all the time. He’s eager, willing, and appears to be able!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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