On Our 3rd Anniversary

Every year when our anniversary rolls around I go through our wedding pictures. Each and every one. Oooing and awwing over the moments captured in time. It's funny though, each year different photos speak to me. Something to do with the stages we are currently in or the moments the photos represent. This year this simple stunning black and white spoke, loud and clear. 

Spoke of the simple, Biblical vows we recited and the way we held on to each other that day. The sunlight shining down and the frigid wind that blew the skirt of my dress and made me scoot closer to Jerrel in my silk gown. The drape of the shawl he lovingly made for me and the silly suitcase that wouldn't stay open. And you can't seem him but Tim, our pastor is there. Captivating us with yet another message, but this one maybe the most important we had heard from him yet. 

That one little picture says all that. Who knew. 

And now here we are. 

Not near as dolled up. Not quite as fresh. But just as happy and thankful to be in this place today, with him. Each year is together is to be celebrated, so Happy Anniversary to the one who's love, patience, and devotion to us and our family seems to know no bounds.

Here's to another year with you.



Chicken Lady--Our First Experience with Broodiness

So we have a bit of a chicken situation in the hen house. 

When we got hens maybe you remember me mentioning that I was reading this fantastic book by Harvey Ussery. In the book I skimmed everything. Wanting to be totally, utterly, mildly informed on the livestock that was entering the premises. But my knowledge and memory has waned over the last year, in the day to day doings of feeding, gathering, cleaning, and giggling at these silly birds and their antics. Over the last few weeks though, something has changed and it's left me scratching my head. 


It's when your hen is ready to sit. She wants to be a momma. She's ready to rock and roll. There's just one problem. We don't have a rooster. And as you know, it takes two to tango. Well I hope you know that. If you don't...go talk to your mother. 

It all started with my wicked chicken Doris, spending an awful lot of time in one nesting box. I just kept collecting eggs, snatching them from her because, well, she let me. Then Doris gave up. Next in line was Gail. Then SHE started spending time in the nesting box. She stopped coming out for kitchen scraps. Then she started pecking at us when we reached in for eggs. When we would open the nesting box she was in this deep trance like state, kinda like when the hens are roosted for the night. Very zen...until you bothered her. Broody. Crud. 

She's stopped laying, doesn't have eggs, and we just keep hoping she will break of it. Last night Jerrel suggested I get my Chicken Bible out and read up on what Harvey had to say. So I did and I learned a few things. 

  • Many chickens today don't go broody. The breading selection process doesn't see broody as a desirable trait. It's a job that can be done by an incubator and broody hens don't lay after a certain point so they aren't being productive in the industry's eye. So today, generally, hens just don't go broody, they have "forgotten" how. 
Say what you want about factory farming and mass production but when a creature of Creation "forgets" to do something that is vital to the continuing of the species...that's sad. And a little scary. 


  • She will usually only go broody once a year. 

  • You know she's broody when she won't move from nest and when she is "unfriendly" when you try to take eggs. Bingo. 

  • You can break broodiness by moving her to a different area, away from her flock, without bedding. 

We had been leaving her alone. We thought surely with the move she will break it herself. That kind of upheaval can't continue the cycle, right? But what did Gail do? She went right back into her nesting box. Dang. 

Harvey's suggestion is going to happen now. So I'm off to make some kind of chicken pen with a dog carrier because it's what I got. Some kind of set up that when my husband comes home he will say, "What in the world..." Because obviously my girl Gail has a serious hankering to be a momma but I've got nothing for her, she's got nothing for her. But I appreciate her broodiness now. It's nice to know she's still got it. 



The Craftsman-Kitchen Roundup

I'm trying to play a bit of catchup with you. Originally Jerrel had set the moving date to April 23rd. I played around with that in my head. Thought about how we live as a family and then kindly said that I wasn't sure it was going to work for the family. 

We had a friendly discussion and came to the date of May 7th together and said "Ok, lets do this." That was two weeks ago and much has happened since, so here's some updates. 

My father-in-law had the idea to make a counter by the stovetop. I decided to add some architectural details to the piece. I hadn't been able to get anywhere to shop for old spindles so new had to do. I did my best to make them distressed. My husband was less than impressed.

"I'm going to give you a nice shiny new kitchen and you are going to beat up these spindles."

Hey man, you knew what you were getting when you married me.

I stained them with Antique Walnut, painted them the white of my trim, then sanded them to my liking. He rigged up the peg system himself to install and it works pretty dang well.

I think it turned out cute and I have a basket that will fit perfectly in that little niche for my oven mitts. Clever huh! 

Now I'm trying to decide if I should do shelving or just hang some art. 

Check out my stove too! Isn't it pretty! GE Artistry Series. Retro look right?! I love the white. I'm pretty sure I would go crazy trying to keep stainless clean. Everything is all hooked up and ready to rock and roll.

Millie is thrilled to have the countertops in so she has a place to "Sit!" Plus the sink is working now too so that's an added bonus. 

My darling child. Girl has 'tude. 

Pretty Pantry. Still probably my favorite space. 

Ignore the curly light in the fixture. I have Edison bulbs to put in them. 

I mean...that kitchen looks functional. Like how did that happen? When did that happen? What's happening to this house. TRANSFORMATION! 


And it's still not totally done! 

I'll leave you today with a picture of butcher block. Because I love it.

Catch ya later. Next up is photos of mud, mud, and more mud. Because we love our plaster walls and are treating them with the respect they deserve. Even though it's probably the worst job of the whole deal.

My husband is the best.



We Needed A Break

We have set a moving date. Saturday May 7th. Like next Saturday. Am I packed? Kinda. Am I ready? Sorta. I'm coming to terms with the fact that if we get moved we get a little of our life back. We will be in the same house together most of the time. Millie can see her Daddy much like she used to. She can play in her backyard with him and her Chester dog. I can ask Jerrel to take out the trash without feeling like I'm asking too much of him. Because now, when he comes home to me, he just looks like he is ready to crash. 

So the last two weeks have been full of late nights and early mornings, compound joint dust, holy compound joint dust, paint and more paint. One more room to paint and then we can clean. For days, weeks or maybe even months. The other night I could read my husband needed a break. Or maybe the fact he said "When we move can I take a break?" gave me a hint that he needed a few hours to relax and recharge. His parents house is always a good place to do so. 

They live far out where it's quiet, have a lovely view, and nice covered patio. The weather was great so we headed out. 

I know my mother-in-law will wish I didn't share this picture of her "beautiful lawn" as she puts it but I love how the sun is hitting those dandy lions. And you know some people see weeds others see wishes. I'm going with wishes right now and you should too Sandy!

The evening wasn't totally without house stuff. I made myself a cup of tea and finalized paint colors by the fire pit. 

My husband spend a little bit making the latest yard-long Menards list which included fencing supplies and a reminder to pick up kayaks-that's right KAYAKS. We are so ready to be out in the sunshine at the lake with our girl.

Uncle jake came home and Millie had to put up with his terrorizing for a little bit. I guess it's character building. 

Naturally, Chester acted like he hadn't had attention for weeks. Wait...maybe he's actually being realistic this time. Poor guy is ready for his life to be back to normal too. Painting and paw prints don't mix so he has been missing out on the house action the last week. 

In retaliation for his neglect he found something dead to roll in and smelled horrendous this night. Then I couldn't let him in the house because he smelled so good job Chester you made your own life more miserable. 

Seriously, worst smell ever. 

Finally, PawPaw pulled up and everyone was home and accounted for. Then the real party could start. Smores.

Seeing this little smile let us know that it was ok to cut the night early this time. Our girl needed us, her Grandma, PawPaw, and yes even Uncle Jake to have some fun together. We left recharged with a belly full of Smores and smelling smoky but slept sound and ready for the next day full of house projects.