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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Frost & Fog

It is a frosty, foggy morning today. We got down to 22 degrees last night, but we're up on top of the ridge. I know that lower-lying areas had colder temps.

This morning when I stepped onto the front porch / entrance to grab an apple for Tom's lunch (freshly picked from my folks' orchard), I came in with my nose wrinkled and exclaimed, "Pee-uuuw! Low pressure today, and I smell the paper mill!" Tom asked, "Are you sure it's not the septic tank again?" No, given the thick fog, I was pretty sure it was the result of the air pressure. But, there was no smell outside when Tom pulled the car out of the garage, so now I'm not so sure. And, BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY (ah-hem!), my second guessing is going to make me unscrew the top of the tank today to take a peek. Keep your fingers crossed!

My broody hen is still sitting, BUT she was off the eggs long enough the other day for them to feel pretty cool to the touch. So, I'm worried that they've gone bad. And, I think it was my fault that she was gone so long: I was holding out for Tom to drive the 3 1/2 hours south to pick up more feed last Friday, and so, aside from scratch, she didn't have anything handy to eat. So, I think she went out foraging. If this is the case, it's my bad and the loss of 11 eggs. :( But, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she knows what she's doing, and that there's at least one viable chick in there that's causing her to keep setting.

Along the same line, I FINALLY found an egg yesterday! Yes, AN (as in, singular) egg. Aside from the eggs in Mrs. Broody's box, the chickens have been going thru the WORST molt I've ever seen them have, and I haven't seen an egg in over 2 weeks, I'll bet. (I wish I'd kept track.) Maybe it's just that they have really good hearing, though, and needed some incentive: it was just yesterday morning when I said to Tom, "If those chickens don't start laying, we're gonna do a massive butchering right after the busyness of the holidays! I ain't feedin' all winter if they're not layin'!" ;)

I need to take pictures of my latest batch of hats. I have the 5 hats for that set of grandchildren 90% done. I finally got all their measurements, so now I can finish the bottoms, make & add tassels / pompoms, and sew up all the loose ends (no pun intended). In between my work on those, Tom asked for a black hat with purple accents, so I whipped that up. As it was progressing, he said that it needed some zip and requested the addition of a bright, spring green. I asked, "Are you SURE?"

I'll have to post a picture of that one. Personally, I don't care for it. I think it looks too immature for a 55 year old man to wear. And, he's only worn it once. And that was here, at home. So, I think he agrees with me. It may just disappear one of these days and reinvent itself as just a black & purple hat!

And, I'm finishing a floppy red-with-red/pink-accents hat right now. It's sitting here on the chair arm right next to me. I really love it, but I don't think they are "my" colors. So, it will go into the Gift or To Sell pile.

I got 19 pints of Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Applesauce processed yesterday, and that felt good to get done. I really enjoy "putting up". There's such a sense of satisfaction that comes from it. ESPECIALLY when the food is free, save your time. I can't imagine NOT doing something with it! Now I'm on to an attempt at hard cider . . . but I don't have a cider press (nor a juicer). I'm going to put it thru a meat grinder in the hopes of squeezing enough liquid out that way. And, if that fails, no worries: more applesauce! :) (I put the applesauce in such small containers because they will be Christmas presents for the babies / parents-of-babies I know. And, the last thing you want is for something to spoil before it gets used up!)


  1. So how did the septic situation turn out?

    And why didn't you borrow some chicken feed from us to tide you over??

    Word Verification: watedahi (Wateh dat hi in da septic system?)

  2. I lived near paper mills twice! Once in Ferndale, CA and again in GA - yuck! I used to pack a suitcase with CLEAN clothes and then fly somewhere "not smelly" and open my suitcase and it would about knock me over - don't miss that at all, lol! Would love to see the hats. I just finished buying 2 new winter hats for the boys for our trip home to MN this weekend. I am so lame, I know nothing about knitting! My mom can sew so well, and I inherited NONE of it! Good luck with the hard cider. I would love to do that, but we are too far south for fresh decent cider apples so we settle for homebrewing.

  3. Well, aren't you a busy little bee! The fall weather seems to bring out the nesting urge in us all....I've been painting (walls) and sewing curtains. It's slow going, as it all has to happen between my day job (PA) and my early morning and evening job (mom). I really wish I only needed 4 hours of sleep per night!

  4. Mom, ha! I completely forgot to check the septic tank! See, in one brain cell, and out the other! I'll add that to my holiday to-do list. ;)

    Oh, and why did I not borrow feed from you? 'Cause I already do that TOO much and take advantage of you two too often!!!

    Erin, I'm so glad you're reading! :) Yeah, the smell of paper mills: I cannot tolerate it. Makes me sick to my stomach. I could never LIVE in the same city as one. This one that we smell during low pressure times is located about 50 miles away, as-the-crow-flies, I'm guessing. Maybe more, even! I'll take & post pictures of the hats soon. If you wish, though, go down to Labels (on the right hand side) and pick 'Homemade'. Or 'Handmade'. Can't remember which. And, yes, I inherited NOTHING from MY mother in regards to knitting, one of the things I wish I could do! Finally, I'll trade beer for cider! ;)

    Clairey, as much as I used to HATE you saying, "You can sleep when you're dead!" . . . I now believe it!

    P.S. Ha - how apropos: word verification is 'bedless'. Yes, I WOULD like to spend more time IN bed!


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!