Welcome to Tails From the Hen House!

Thank-you for coming to visit! I'll share with you the daily ins and outs of my life, my little family, special fur and feather kids, and humor that I find in daily life. I hope you come back often!


I would love to know what you have to say! If you would like to leave a comment, at the end of every post is a link that says "comments" Click on this, write your comment. Then, if you don''t have a Google account, click on Name/URL. Type in your name, your URL is optional. Then just publish your comment! I can't wait to hear from YOU!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Spirit?

I was watching the news this evening, totally appalled at the behavior of people on Black Friday. A 34 year old man opening the doors at a Wal-Mart is trampled to death. A co-worker injured trying to assist, trampled also. Then the story switches to a mall south of us, with people fighting, swearing, acting like rabid dogs going for the kill. One woman the reporter interviewed said, "you do what you gotta do." The reporter then says, "the holiday spirit is truly alive." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Pardon me, but I was under the impression this Holy day was because a child was born that would save us. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." When did that change? When did it become so tragic that taking someones life to get an early bird special became nothing? That fighting your way to a display to grab a gift from someones hands became acceptable behavior? Mob scenes are just a part of the shopping routine, and a matter of life or death?
This Christmas season, let's take time to reflect on the true meaning, the true spirit, and the true love God gave for all of us, and pray for those who just don't get it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, ours was very special, shared with several families, with tons of food, laughter, and fun. Dinner always begins with my mother saying grace, a family tradition for many years, along with celebrating mine and my nephews birthdays. My sister Kathy bought me this snowman light for mine, isn't he adorable!? It's so much my style, I love him! We also celebrated My nephew Matt's birthday, home on leave from the Marines. We are very thankful he was back from Iraq for the holidays, safely. Blessings to all, Laurie

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In All Things be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends, near and far. I pray for a blessed holiday to all of you, and am thankful to have every one of you in my life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Modern Weather Station!?

In the Pink!

I found this little pink tree, complete with pink lights, from Big Lots. I'm using it for Deena's ornament exchange. http://www.deenasstory.blogspot.com
I also bought this beautiful applique from Colleen's on e-bay. It will make it's way on to the tree. I'll be posting pictures of the finished tree after I receive my ornament! I feel like "a kid at Christmas" literally!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I just can't resist those eyes! Poor Chip though, if I don't stop with the pictures I'm going to blind him!

I've been told that some are having difficulty posting comments, so let me try to help! Under Choose an Identity, Google is marked. If you don't have a Google account. Click on Name/Url instead, and just fill in your name, (URL optional) or you can go to Annonymous if you would like. Then click on Publish Post. I hope this helps!
Blessings, Laurie

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cards for our Soldiers

If you go to this site, http://www.letssaythanks.com/Home1280.html Xerox has many card templates from which to choose to send holiday greetings and thank-yous to those in the service. Please take advantage and send your card today!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quilted Sachet

I just finished this sachet, with several more to do before Christmas!

Giblets Anyone!?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blog Lists

Has anyone else had trouble with the blog lists not keeping up to date? I've noticed when I go to different sites that I follow, mine hasn't updated your posts on my page. I have to go back to Layout, hit save, to get the updated posts. Just curious,

I found this cute plate at St. Vinnies for only a quarter! I also got a bag of pretty lace remnants for .75, and some pink bell ornaments for my pink tree.

Mr. Andy

I'm working on the computer, and this paw comes from behind, reaching for a pile of embroidery floss! He was totally hidden by the screen, and it just looked so wierd! Sort of like the Hand on Adams Family.
He really did miss me!

I have to say I really missed him too. He's attatched at the hip! When I came home he was mad at first, I opened the bedroom door and he ran under the bed and wouldn't come out, but now he won't leave me alone. It's ok though, I love it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Trip to Mikado

Welcome to Willow Winds! Let me introduce you to my brother Jay, (Jim to all but his sisters and Mom), and his wonderful wife, my other "sister" Cheryl. They make their home in Mikado, MI, in the middle of the National Forest. If you haven't read past postings, Jay is a naturalist, and teaches Native American skills. He has traveled all over the United States, including Alaska, teaching these lost skills to Native Americans themselves, and also those who aren't. Among the things he specializes in are brain tanning, building canoes the original, traditional way, birch basketry, and foremost, is known for his cabin back in the forest that he built over the last 5 years, just as our ancestors did, with no modern tools, from cutting the trees and stripping the bark, to hauling, forming, and building. He has been featured in many publications, on T.V., and his work can also be seen in movies. Cheryl is a trooper. She gave in to his yearning to do this, moved north with him and the kids, and started life from scratch. Neither would trade this way of living for anything, and I am proud to say they are my family.

This is their home, which was nothing to brag about when they bought it. In need of total renovation, it's now the cozy little retreat they dreamed of.

These are some of the birch bark baskets Jay is working on. I wish I had gotten a picture of a finished one, the carvings on them are beautiful.

This is the room I sleep in while visiting. It's soooo homey!

Cheryl, freezing outside while waiting for me to leave!

This little tree and scarecrow sit outside the front door. Soon he will come down and the tree will be covered in lights. Cheryl herself is very creative and quite the seamstress.

I love this shop! It's my favorite. Everything she sells here is made of honey or bees wax. I get the only shampoo that has ever worked on my hair here.

This mural was painted by a local, who never took an art course. It's amazing!

This is just a sampling of the many products made at this little shop.

Woodpeckers are bountiful at my brothers, and love the bear grease put out for them.

These little squirrels love to hog the bird feeder.

Aren't they just the cutest!?

This hand built arbor and the heart shaped pond were built for my nephew's wedding. They were married under the arbor.

I love this old chicken coup, now a storage shed, in their back yard.

Let's take a walk to the cabin! Nestled on his property in the National Forest, it sits almost a 1/4 mile back from the house. The quiet and peace felt back here are amazing. You can actually hear the snow fall. I am in awe of the beauty. Imagine walking this path at night, with no lights to guide the way. Did that! We went of a night walk. We left the cabin, and I was totally blind. Jay and Cheryl helped my out of the cabin since I couldn't see the steps. I couldn't see a thing, so Jay told me to let my eyes adjust, and to use only my sense of touch using my feet to guide me on the trail. I was a little freaked at first, but then it became an adventure. When I brushed against a tree, he told me it was o.k., it was just the tree nudging me back on to the path. It was an awesome feeling when we made it back to the house, and I realized I did something I thought could never be done. I tackled nature and won!

My brother and my sister Marti built this outhouse. Classy isn't it!?

This is the front porch of the cabin, the perfect spot to sit when the weather is nice.

and the front of the cabin from the property.

The mirror on the dresser was brought here by my husbands ancestors from Germany, it's over 100 years old. The pitcher and bowl were a find from the "Mikado Mall" or St. Vincent's. It was only 3.00! Perfect for the cabin, Cheryl grabbed it right up!

A view out the picture window shows where the wildlife frequent. Deer, turkey, grouse, snowshoe rabbits, and a multitude of birds can be seen from this window throughout the day. I scared the turkey's that were out front when I came around the corner, and the deer weren't out when I took this picture, They're kind of in hiding right now because of hunting season. Can't say I blame them!

This desk was donated by Jay and Cheryl's new daughter- in -law, it was built in the 1800's and was her great grand-mothers.

This mantel is behind the wood burning stove, lined with antiques and some of Jays creations.

The kitchenette, authentic ironware, and a shelf built in for essentials.

A view of the bed, with a loft for sleeping above. It's complete with a buffalo hide which he tanned.

This jacket was tanned the way it was originally done, with no chemicals and using the deers brain to do the actual tanning. His skills and creations have been used in movies such as The Indian in the Cupboard, Thunderheart, Dances With Wolves, to name some, and he also created a coat using his skins for Wayne Newton.

And this dress he made for my niece, about 20 years ago.

Inside his workshop, is where the creativity takes hold. This is a canoe Jay is presently working on, no modern techniques are used. It's done the exact way our Native Americans did. His work is precise, and beautiful!

He carves into the birch, making the designs on the sides of the canoe. Here is a close-up of his work. Beautiful!

This bear was shot by Jay when he went up North on a hunting expedition.

So I hope you can see what fascinates me about visiting Jay and Cheryl's. I look forward to my next visit, during Thanksgiving break!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Let's Try Again!

Well tomorrow morning I'm off again for my brothers, http://jmwillowwinds.com/ hopefully with a little more luck this time. I have to pick up 250 lbs. of fresh beef, and I desperately need my coat! 35 degrees with a spring jacket just isn't making it! I need to borrow my mother's car, as mine is still in the shop for a transmission overhaul. Lots of pictures when I get back, I love it up there. One of my favorite places to visit is the "Mikado Mall." Mikado is such a tiny little town in the upper lower pennensula of MI. The mall is actually a St. Vinnies. Hey, it has every department, just like a regular store. Great finds and great prices! Then I know some time will be spent in his cabin, curled up in front of the fire watching the deer and turkey come in. Peaceful! See you when I get back!
Blessings and behave yourselves! (or not!)

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it SNOW!

It was snowing quite hard on our way home from Mom's.
I love the look of fresh snow, it's so light and dainty.
Chip also loved his first snowfall! I think he devoured half the snow on the lawn!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


It's snowing It's snowing!! I always look forward to the first one. To me it's the official start of the holiday season! Christmas, my favorite time of year, is not far off. The decorations are going up, the gifts are being bought, and the spirit is in the air!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blogging with Andy

Andy loves sitting on my shoulders in the morning, while I work on the computer. One of us needs a face lift! Not the cat, Me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Full Moon

I looked outside and caught this huge, beautiful orange moon coming up. I've never seen it so big!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jack Pot!

Today I decided to look in the wicker basket next to the rocker in my room, that I haven't opened for at least 2 years. I was so excited! I forgot I had put so much in it for storage, and found fabrics, laces, ribbons, that I forgot I even had! Yards of fabric!! From broadcloth to ginhams to calicos to Christmas and all in between, there is the most beautiful yard goods. Much of it, I don't remember buying or what it was for. All the time I've run out for muslin because I thought I was out? Tons of it!! I'm set for quite a while. I feel like a kid at Christmas! This cuts down on a couple trips at least to buy more material. WooHoo! I'm saving some bucks here!


My niece is 5, and has downs syndrome. She is the most beautiful little girl, and a true blessing to our family.
Now. Imagine another little girl with downs, approaches a stranger and asks for a drink of water. It's plain to this man that this child is truly thirsty. Yet, he turns his back and walks away, all the time looking to the ground. Imagine this same man, comes across a couple whose car has broken down at the side of the road, and the wife comes running toward him, begging him to please help her husband. Again, the man turns. A little boy, just wanting a friend, someone to hang out with for a little while, comes toward the man looking for a return of friendship. The man, once again, turns away a child. You are probably thinking, what kind of heartless person could be this despicable to turn his back on those in need? His elders, children with disabilities, children in need of a gentle hug? How could he be so cruel? Let me add the rest of the story. I know this man. He is my nephew, a marine. This is life in Iraq. What may seem so natural to us here, is not there. No one, not even a child, can be trusted. The little girl with downs? My niece is his sister. When Matt had to turn his back, when he so badly wanted to pick her up and hold her, he broke down and cried. Missing his own sister so badly,to not be able to help her broke his heart. The couple with the broken down car. When a woman dressed in garbs in Iraq comes running toward you, if you order them to stop and they don't you can shoot. She could very well be a suicide bomber. Children, like the little girl and boy, could take their own life along with you. Their parents think nothing of strapping a bomb to their own child. You watch the ground continuously, making sure you aren't going to step on an explosive. Marketplace is a battlefield, as this is where car bombs explode to take out the most people. In Iraq, you don't sleep. When you are not having nightmares, you are on guard because you never know what will happen next. Our soldiers are not fighting war, they are just trying to survive until they can come home. Now that you know the rest of the story, please take a moment to pray for our boys. Pray for our leaders to bring this to a close. Pray for our troops that are in the middle of the biggest culture shock one can imagine. And when they come home, pray they never have to go back.
Blessings to All,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Yesterday evening, I e-mailed with one of my blog friends, Diane. We discussed the bond created with women from so many different places, and the importance all have taken in our lives.
Until I started my blog, life was getting so routine, and nothing was there to spark my enthusiasm. Then it happened. I began to surf the different blogs by clicking on my interests on my profile. This opened up a whole new world, full of women of such diverse backgrounds, interests, and personalities. Several, including Diane, have become a part of my life. They are like old friends, my extended family. I look forward to their posts, forward to seeing how the day is going for them, their adventures, unique stories, creations, and ways of life. I have been so inspired by them. I laugh with them and cry with them. I rejoice in their victories. I draw inspiration from their faith and love of God. They have changed my life.
So to all you today, God Bless each and every one. You are as important to me as oxygen. You are my comrades, my inspiration, and my glimpse into the world. I love all of you.
If you are reading this, please, sign my guest book. Whether you blog or not, you are important to me. Let me welcome you into my world, as you have welcomed me in yours. Please let me know your blog address if you have one. If you don't, think of starting one, and when you do, come back and let me know! I look forward to your friendship. In the mean time,
Gods Blessings to All of you, My extended family

Monday, November 10, 2008

Well, That was short lived!

I'm home. Got half way there and ran into transmission problems, so had to baby the car back home. It looks like it will be next week for my vacation. Oh. The link for my brother is Willow Winds. http://jmwillowwinds.com/


Well I'm off today for my adventure up to my brother's house in Mikado, a little town in the northern lower peninsula. He is a very special person, built a business from doing what he is most passionate about. He teaches Native American skills, and travels all over the United States. He also built a log cabin on his property, back in the forest. The old way, it took him 5 years. I have a link on this blog if you would like to see it, and the other amazing things he does. His canoes are awesome! No modern tools, built the same way natives did. Jay (or Jim to everyone but his sisters, it's our term of endearment!) has been on t.v. many times, has written a book, and has had countless newspaper articles. Check out the site! I'm very proud of him! His wife Cheryl is the bomb! (does anyone say that anymore!?) Her and I love to do our quilting, and with the coffee and conversation flowing, along with her sense of humor, I know it's going to be hard coming back.!
See you on Wednesday night, pictures in hand!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Little Brite-n-Chipper and Andy

I love my pets! Every one is special and precious to me. Aside from Chip my pom, each animal is a rescue. Lucy was a puppy from a litter to our border mix Daisy, adopted from a shelter the day she was to be put down. When I went to have her spayed, the vet called to say she was quite far along in her pregnancy. Being so thin and sickly when we got her, we couldn't even tell she was ready to whelp. Daisy has passed, but we still have Lucy. Bobbie, our border collie, found me. I went to the post office, it was January and the weather was terrible. The dog warden was coming for him, he had been sleeping in the garage there. He too was in terrible shape. When I opened my door, he got in my car. I couldn't turn him away, and he is ours through and through. Then there is Punkin, she is 17. Her mother and the rest of the litter were found in our barn. Punkin was very tiny, so I took her in the house right away. When I went out to get the rest of the litter, they were gone. Sassy, our cockatiel, is also an orphan! When I was at my parents several years ago, the neighbor came over with a box, opened it to reveal this little bird. He had found it in his driveway, and wanted to know if it was ours. I told him no, but if he had no luck finding the owners to let me know. He did, and she is a great little bird. Andy, he's my little lap cat! I was volunteering in our local humane society when this litter arrived. He was such a scrawny mess, and because he isn't the "pick of the litter", no one wanted him. A sphinx mix, Andy isn't the most adorable of cats, but I fell in love! He is more affectionate than any of the dogs. He follows me around, and is always on my lap, shoulder, or riding on my back. So that is our family, and we love them to pieces!