Thursday, April 30, 2009

American Red Cross News Release

Red Cross Monitors Developing Situation with Swine Flu and
Recommends Updating Your Preparedness Plans

– The American Red Cross is monitoring the developing situation with this swine flu (H1N1 flu) outbreak and is in close contact with federal and state officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security
Your American Red Cross is all about preparedness and they want everyone to know that now is a good time for families, businesses and organizations to follow good public health practices and to review and update their preparedness plans.

Stocking extra food, water and supplies at home will reduce the need to go out should this swine flu strain become more widespread and schools or businesses temporarily close.

The Red Cross recommends storing a two-week supply of food, water and household necessities such as laundry detergent and toilet paper. A gallon of water per person per day should be stored in clean plastic containers. Family preparation steps should also include storing formula for infants, food for special nutritional needs, essential medicines and medical items, and extra food for pets.

Common sense basic public health practices should be followed. These include covering your cough/sneeze with a tissue, frequent hand-washing, visiting a doctor for flu-like symptoms and staying home when sick.

Your American Red Cross is committed to maintaining the blood supply for the public, to educating the public on preparedness and safety, and to ensuring that we can continue to provide disaster services to those in need.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Remember When...

It was great fun to splash in the mud puddles....
And nobody cared whether your shoes were on the wrong feet or not....

April Showers bring May flowers...

We were getting some April showers today so we thought we would take the ducks out to see how they would like playing in the rain.

They wandered all around in the grass checking out this great new world.

And I am sure they wondered what these strange duck feet were and where the duck was they belonged to...

The boys loved running in the rain along with the ducks...

Isn't she cute with her pants rolled up? The duck thinks she is the mother duck.

They kept trying to find someone they could follow. Mark wasn't too sure about that!

They are enjoying this! See their happy faces!

Not sure who is having the most fun here. The boys or the duck.

A duck is just made for water. What else can we say?
But all good things must come to an end.

Come to Mama so you can go back to your indoor home where wild animals won't eat you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bumble Bees...

I snapped a quick picture of these flowers that come up every year. I think they are called "Ajuga" and I got a start from my sister. They are like a ground cover so be prepared for them to spread.

They really attract bumble bees. I like the plant, hate the bees!

Once I was spraying my water hose out in the yard and a bumble bee invaded my "three foot rule" so I turned the water hose on him.

Well, the surprise was on me because that monster chased me completely around my house. All that water hose did was make him madder. These things are wicked!

I know it says in the Bible that Adam was to have dominion over everything on the earth and subdue it, but my guess is he left the Bumble Bee alone!

And that is what I do also!!

Prayer Request...

My niece's little girl Gracie will be in Children's Mercy Hospital this week having some testing done. Please keep them all in your prayers this week. She has been diagnosed with Turner's Syndrome and has had some problems with fluid around the heart.

Glad they will be staying in the Ronald McDonald House that we stayed in.

Our God is a great God and loves the little children!!

It's raining and raining and raining....

It's raining outside so guess I will take advantage of it and work inside cleaning my house today. My garden was needing some rain so am thankful and not complaining.

The plants inside my greenhouse are looking good. I have to water them almost everyday but that is O.K.

By the way, the ducks are not so exciting now. Ducks are pretty messy when you have to keep them in a small container until they get big enough to be put in the chicken house. I am hoping the chickens will be friendly about sharing their space. It is suppose to get down in the 40's tonight so is too cold for them to be outside yet.

Baby Kaden had to make a trip to the emergency room on Saturday. His incision was all swollen and red in one place. Think it might be caused by a disposable staple not disposing properly. He will see his pediatrician today to check out its progress and see if it is looking better.

Worked outside after church yesterday. Did some mowing, some weeding, some transplanting and some raking. Was such a perfect day!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

We have baby ducks!

We went to our local Orschelin farm store and the ducks and chicks have arrived. So the boys picked out the four they liked the best and we brought them home.

Aren't they adorable at this stage? Now the question is and I don't really want to know the answer. How do we know if they are boys or girls cause we want to eventually raise baby ducks. Guess I'll get on the Internet and get educated.

Mark named his something like Peep and Quack..

Of course Koda named his Thomas and Gordon. He's really into trains right now as you can tell.
On the way home Mark said a real farm has two things we don't have. Cows and horses. I told him we have a "farmette" because we won't have those two things. I like to keep things small. Like ducks and chickens.
Rachel was checking out the rabbits but no way.
I need a banty hen because they make such good mamma's and will take care of chickens whether they are hers or not. I am sure the same goes for ducks.
My chicken pen may have to get larger!
And I love to hear the chickens clucking away in the sunshine while I am working in the garden.
Aah, the simple life. If you haven't heard or seen from me for a while, I'm just busy "down on the homestead/farm." I'll be back some day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I am so sore that I can hardly move. So I hauled my tired body into a hot bath and drank a coke while I was soaking. Life is good!

My son in law reminded me that every year I say I am not going to buy any more flowers or have a big garden and every year when the first warm day hits, I am at my local garden center again. And so this year is no different than prior ones. Here's the flowers I have bought so far waiting to be planted.

I started my morning off by hauling out Tool Belt Jim's new tiller because I couldn't get mine to start even though it was taken to the shop for that very reason. I must be doing something wrong but it still is too big for me to operate even if Tool Belt Jim can do it with one hand. Too many gears and such for me.

So I tilled up a small flower bed down by the garden and planted some "four o'clock" seeds that I have had for several years. Hope they will still come up. I picked them on a trip to Kansas one year from this sweet old ladies yard. Hers come up year after year and are very crowded which causes them to stay more compact and not get so leggy. Hopefully mine will look like her bed did minus the rattlesnakes they have out there. I'm not into weeding the flower beds and working around the rattlesnakes myself. I lugged about 20 concrete stepping stones and put around the outside edge to use as a border. Hopefully that will keep the weeds from "crossing the line".

Then I planted my cucumbers where they can run up a cattle panel and climb. That saves them running all over creation. I planted "straight eights" and am hoping they work good for pickling or eating in salads. Took what my local Wal-Marts carried.

I also planted TWO zucchini plants. Anything more than that is just asking for trouble. But how I hate to plant only two of anything. But trust me, that's enough!

So now I have planted my potatoes (and hoping they didn't all wash out from a big rain we had earlier), onions, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and peas as well as my small bed of lettuce and radishes and spinach. Again, my plan is to hit the local Amish stores and buy in bulk from them for canning.

So that leaves me with green beans and whatever else strikes my fancy as I cruise the lawn and garden centers of every store in town that has one.

And I dug my clay pots out of storage and planted flowers in them. That's no easy task since I have lots of them. It is suppose to be 80 degrees tomorrow and our last frost date is April 15th so I think it was safe to plant them. If it gets cold, I'll just have to cover everything up.
I have decided this year to cut back by planting all my container plants in one place. And that's my downstairs patio. In previous years I planted pots on my front porch but they kept forgetting to get watered because we don't use our upstairs much. So I am simplifying things.

And, I forgot to mention that I cleaned out the greenhouse and hauled off two truck loads of stuff that has been taking up space for far too long. Tool Belt Jim says he will build me some shelves for canning jars and all that gardening stuff that accumulates that you can't get rid of because you might need it some day. You know the stuff.

Don't you love these? My hosta's are coming up behind them. At least these kind of deer won't eat them!!! My son Kevin bought them for me one year. He's a good son. Knows the kind of things mommas like!I got smart last year and dug up some of those violets that grow all over the yard and planted them in these large planters. My patio has lots of shade and violets love shade so works great. And I love flowers that come back every year. All I did was stick a trash bag over them at the end of the year last year. Pot is plastic and I have been told they won't freeze and break.

And so you see I accomplished a lot today and that is why I am soaking and soaking in that very hot water. I'm just hoping I can get out of bed tomorrow.
Got to hit my local garden center and buy some mulch! And whatever else I happen to find I can't live without!

Hope you had as good as a day as I did!

The ferns are coming up!!!

I love how a fern unfurls.
I dug my ferns up from my dad's house several years ago. That's my favorite way to add to my collection of flowers. And it is a good way to remember family members.

Movin the Iris...

Before we sold my Great Aunt Myrtle's property I got a start of some of her purple Iris. But they haven't done very well where they were planted and I have found Iris seem to especially like growing at the base of trees. So I moved them this year and hopefully they will now take off. Don't you just love old wagon wheels and Iris together? This is a little sitting area in front of my house. I think it will be a good spot for them to live.

It's turkey season again...the hunt is on!

Here's my son Kevin going after those elusive turkeys! Didn't see any this day but season goes for two weeks.

More beauty in nature...

Every year I look forward to seeing these two special trees in bloom along our main fourlane highway in the small town I live near. I think they are dogwoods, but I could be wrong. Doesn't God design nature splendidly!

Both of these trees are within a couple blocks of each other and both bloom the same time each year. I love them!

Here's Kaden smiling for his nana!

Great Quote:

The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rachel's Focaccia Bread Recipe...

This was the best sandwich I have ever eaten. Here's her recipe.

Water 80 degrees, 1 cup
Olive Oil 1/3 cup
Sugar 2 tsp.
Salt 1 and 1/2 tsp.
Bread Flour 3 cups
Dried Italian Seasoning 1 tsp.
Active Dry Yeast 2 tsp

Select Pizza dough cycle on your bread machine.

With oiled hands, evenly press dough into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Using your fingertips, make indentations in the dough.

Cover, let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes or until doubled in size.

Brush bread with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and rosemary.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool and slice into sandwich sizes. Fill with your favorite filling.

Rachel's Sandwich Filling:

Chicken from Deli
Cooked Bacon
Provolone Cheese

Layer inside bread and toast in oven till cheese has melted.

The geese are back..

Yesterday there was 2 geese down by the pond and today there was four. Hope they keep coming around.

Snake Hunt...

My daughter Rachel called me about 10:30 last night to tell me that she was "inviting" me over. And I needed to bring some boots, some gloves and a flashlight. It seems Steve seen a snake go across the kitchen floor and go under the dishwasher.
These are my snake hunting essentials.
And I thought it was pretty rude of her to take a picture of my "rear end" while I had my head in her kitchen cabinets looking for a snake. I "edited" it so hopefully it wouldn't look so BIG!
Needless to say, the snake was not to be found. I pictured the whole family probably spent the night all huddled up in one bed sure that the snake was going to eat them some time during the night.
At least I was color coordinated!

Got more chickens for the homestead!

Tool Belt Jim made a trip back to where we bought our last bunch of chickens and brought home five more. So we're back in business again. Just a little wiser now.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What a fish!!!

My son Kevin showing off the Channel Cat that he caught this evening down at the pond. Was starting to thunder. My dad always told me the fish bite just before a rain. Hmmm...
Guess we need to think about restocking the pond again this year so we will have lots of fish.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Stinson family pictures...

Baby Kaden is really enjoying having someone hold him all the time. But guess what that causes? But isn't it O.K. to give that little fella some extra attention after all he's been through? That's my story and I'm stickin to it!

Remember that little teddy bear that was always over his head while he was in the hospital. Rachel tells me he is trying to eat it here but I think he is kissing it!
Here's Mark and Koda lovin on each other. Threw it in because it was so cute.

Koda is trying to impress Kaden by reading him a story.

And here's dad and big brother Mark with baby Kaden. Isn't that sweet?
All is getting back to normal at the Stinson household.