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!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!


To all of you, I wish the happiest New Year! I pray all of you have a very prosperious, joyous 2009, and look forward to the next 365 days to spend with all my blog friends, a chance to share in your adventures, and the opportunity to learn something from you I didn't know before! God Bless All Of You! Gratefully, Laurie

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

When I Grow Up!

This mother works at Home Depot...she is selling a shovel! The teacher thought she was a pole dancer! What did YOU think!?

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm Goin' In!!

O.K., I'm not afraid to admit it. There is a dark side to my house. It's called, "The Junk Room". Originally, this was to be my craft room, but it ended up being the "Land of No Return." Please tell me you have one of these. A place that anything and everything that doesn't have a permanent home, or anything that needs a temporarily permanent place to rest, ends up residing. Eventually, opening the door is like going into another dimension!

Well, I am officially declaring war! Pray for me, I'm goin' in! Junk, beware! Long lost items I don't have use for, out! Poor pathetic items that have been crying out "Help Me", I'm on the way! Bins and garbage bags in hand, I will purge all of you! Gone are the days of lining my bedroom with craft supplies while junk has a place of comfort and royalty! Soon my beloved necessities of the trade will reign supreme, and I will dwell in order and sanity! And yes, you, my dear blog friends, will be the first to see the results, and will be able to rejoice with me and my things, neat, tidy, organized, and ready for the new year! Yes, I'm goin' in. Let's pray I make it out!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gift Certificate Heaven!

To my delight, Hobby Lobby gift cards were the #1 gift this year to which I took advantage! And with the sales I found some great bargains. These are a few. This chicken caught my eye some time ago and was so pleased to see it still there, at half off!
I couldn't resist the seasonal, and found this snowman with a gift card from my friend Nancy to Mary Maxim's,
and this adorable candle holder at Hobby Lobby.
This pink blown glass bird clip was perfect for my pink tree. Mom always said a tree had to have a bird on it for luck. She held to that , and it's now a tradition I keep. Even the stick tree has a bird! I have balances on my cards and will use them for projects that come up. It was hard not to spend all of them, but I know when I need them if I don't, I'll be kicking myself!

Christmas Craziness!

Kiley and my nephew Jacob enjoyed having cans stacked on their heads.

Ever the hams, but such beautiful ones!

Kiley's self portrait in front of the kitchen wreath. How sweet!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Wonderful Christmas


Going in to this Christmas, I wasn't looking forward to it. My son is moving to Iowa on Monday, and with hindsight and regrets, it was just one huge depressing season. What happened, it turned out to be the most beautiful one I will ever remember. Have you ever felt you could have done things differently, wondered if you did things right? I have felt this way for some time, but found out Christmas day I did . My son Chad presented me with the most beautiful ring, two hearts intertwined in rubies, his birthstone. Through my tears he whispered to me that the hearts were him and I to symbolize that we would never be apart. My grand-daughters spent the night with me, and when we got back to the house they handed me a poem from my son, speaking of our relationship and our life as mother and son. These two things I will cherish for the rest of my life. The ring will never leave my finger, the poem will be read 1000 times.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas


To all of you, my friends, I want to wish a very Merry Christmas. I look forward to a new year with all, and also anticipate meeting more of you. You have all been like family to me, and it feels like I know all of you personally. Gods' blessings to all, have a safe, memorable holiday.
Laurie

Gift Bags for Marwood

Becky and Robyn came over yesterday to help ready gift bags for a local nursing home with many residents who receive no visitors or have no family. For the past 15+ years, our family has gotten the names of some of the most needy, and put together these gifts.
Ken and I find this to be the highlight of the Christmas season. He helps assemble, and we go together to deliver the bags.
This year we put together 23 gift bags, containing a throw, socks, lotions, powders, candy, hankies, a stuffed animal, (we were going to stop that one, but were told the animals were very well received and loved.) and usually an item that the recipient is in need of.
This is just a sampling of the bags that were delivered this year. We really look forward to doing this, and for Ken and I, this is what we do instead of exchanging gifts. Neither one of us needs anything, so this just feels right for us. Seniors have a very soft spot in our hearts, and it just wouldn't feel like Christmas if this tradition were to stop.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Stick Tree

Becky and Robyn came over, looked at the decorations, and the first thing Becky said was "Beautiful Mom, but it's not Christmas without the stick tree." What is the stick tree? When I first met Ken, in 1986, I also met the tree. At that time, it was 8 years old. Ken was not into Christmas. So the eccentric soul that he is, he had kept his last live tree, and each year cut off the dead branches from the previous, and set it up in the living room with a strand of light wound around the now bare trunk. Thus the tree became a tradition. I took off the lights, and re-decorated it to at least resemble a Christmas tree. Every year, along with the regular tree, the stick tree goes up. This year, it didn't, and I really caught it for not doing so. I didn't think I could find any more room for one more thing! But out of necessity, the tree is up, and yes, it does seem more Christmasy with our tradition in place!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thank-you To All

Today was the funeral for Becky's father. It was a beautiful service, and she read a very moving tribute to her daddy. We were all in tears, but everything she said about her father touched everyone's heart, he was one of the most selfless people I've ever known. We want to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and condolences. You prayers have made this very difficult period easier to bear. Bless all of you.
Laurie

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Just One More!

OK, I saw this idea on an HGTV decorating special, and had to do it! It was just attaching a wreath to the hanging light and decorating it like a tree. I wish the picture did it justice, so hard to capture how pretty it is. Clicking on the picture helps though. Diane asked about my banner, I bought this Nativity from TJ Max a couple years ago, it had me in awe, so I put it in lay-away. It's my favorite nativity. With snow babies, I'd have to say my favorite is Jack Frost, in the bottom of the curio cabinet, Light One Candle and the Snowbaby praying, in front of the tree on the 3rd shelf of the cabinet. Also, the puppet show that my son and daughter in law bought, as our family had a puppet troupe for many years. Each has sentimental value. I have many more, but finding space is hard this year also. I put all I could in vignette's in the cabinet.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Finally Finished Decorating

I have been a decorating fiend this year, always thinking there is one more thing I can do. Well today I declare I am officially done. I have added, tweaked, and re-arranged. Now satisfied, here are the final pictures of my holiday home! Click on pictures to enlarge.
I love snow babies, and filled my curio with as many as I could.



This stool sat at my husbands' family homestead for several generations.
I added a tea light to the wreath. I love these, they are little battery operated ones that through off the nicest glow, and no worry about it catching anything on fire.


Where From Here?

She never liked Christmas. As a child, as soon as gifts were opened, mostly from charity organizations which her mother greedily took advantage of, the tree was disassembled and put away, in wait for the next year. Rarely allowed to see her father, who was the only one that seemed to have true love for her, and held captive by an abusive mother and her influx of abusive boy friends, she retreated to a shell that became her only protection from the so called family she hadn't been blessed with. Once taken from her home after a report of abuse from her mothers next husband, Christmas became just one bad memory after another. Then years of foster care were no help either, and even after marriage and the birth of her daughters, mustering up any enthusiasm for the holiday was almost and impossibility. This year, she wanted things to be different, but it wasn't coming easily.
Then today, while at work, she received the devastating news that her dear father, whom as a young adult out of the grips of her mother was finally able to see and regain her beautiful relationship with, had died, his surgery for cancer just days away.
The grief and despair are more than she can handle. How do you tell this beautiful young woman, that things will be OK? Such empty shallow words. How do you comfort someone who's bitterness for the years taken from her and her father that can never be replaced and now their journey is over? How does she celebrate with her husband and two young daughters, when now Christmas holds another bad memory, another heartache?
My heart is breaking for her. I have had this beautiful young woman in my life for 22 years. She has been like a daughter to me, and I her mother, starting when she was 4 until she was taken away at age 11, and when a foster mother allowed her back into our lives 6 years later. You see, she is my husbands niece. We are the ones that reported the abuse, for which his side of the family never forgave us. She is my life. She is my daughter in every sense of the word. All I can do is hold her, cry with her, and listen. But it doesn't seem like enough. Please pray for her, pray that God comfort her in some way, that she be able to feel His love and presence, and somehow put this awful past behind her and move forward. And finally, please pray for me and Robyn, that we know what to say and do that will bring her some kind of comfort during the most difficult time in her life. To all of you, hold a love one, let them know how special they are to you and how valuable they are. Life is so precious.
Gods' Love to all of you,
Laurie

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Slow Down Christmas!


I hope everyone is enjoying Christmas Delights. I know I am, have seen so many beautiful homes and inspiring decorating. Now, I wish Christmas wasn't coming up so fast, that it would wait just a little longer. There are so many projects I lined myself up to do, so much more I wanted to make, and nooks and cranies that need to be filled. It's getting late, and time isn't cooperating!!! Does anyone else feel the same way? Christmas comes and goes so fast, and before I know it my favorite holiday is gone for another year. But I'm going to keep creating, keep up with the busy schedule, and as I accomplish, I will publish it! Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

You Should Have a Pink Christmas Tree
For you, the holidays represent a time of friendship and sharing.
You're happy as long as you're spending time with the people you care about.

You are passionate about the holidays, and that start of the holiday season makes you very excited.
You sometimes go a bit overboard in your celebrations. You just can't help it!

Passionate, easily excited, sweet, giving, love, friendship, sensitive, caring

Your pink tree would look great with: More pink!

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: The Muppet Christmas Carol

What you should bake for Santa: Rice krispie treats with red and green food coloring
What'>http://www.blogthings.com/whatcolorchristmastreeshouldyouhavequiz/">What Color Christmas Tree Should You Have?
I found it quite unique that it said my tree was pink! I love my pink tree this year, thanks to Deena for the idea. Everything else is right on, and the Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite! If you've never seen it, do. It's the best Christmas Carol besides Alastair Sim.

Snow Man Mittens

I made some of these last year, but they ended up selling like hot cakes! This is such a simple project. Paint a 1 1/2" wooden ball using acrylics, add blush for the cheeks. Just use mittens, fill the bottoms with rice, or beans for weight, and stuff the rest with batting and tack the end of the thumb to the body. This forms a space to add gifts, or pieces of Christmas picks. Tack or glue the cuff to the body, so face will face forward, and glue in the ball. Make a scarf, and tie with the long part over the side without an arm. Decorate any way you wish. I also did some where I made little hats and used the cuff as a turtle neck. You're only limited by your imagination. If you try this, let me know and post a picture. I would love to see it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gift Recipient

My niece Robyn has been the recipient of several of my crafts over the years, as she is very sentimental, and appreciates them, making it easy to give them. Above is the Advent calendar, my sister Kathy made one for her family years ago, and so the tradition started. My other sister Wendy and I have made several of these, now we need to make ones for ourselves. Bible verse ornaments are in each pocket, and added to a special Advent tree each day until Christmas.
One of the stockings made for her triplet sons.
This years and last years hearts,one of her favorite ornaments to collect. Her tree is always beautiful with decorations that have sentimental value. Robin can tell you where each ornament on her several trees came from. It's too bad she doesn't have a blog to participate in Deena's Christmas Delights! It's awesome what she does for the holidays!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hidden Beauty

This sewing machine has belonged in my husbands family for many years, and for quite some time was stored in the attic of their family homestead. His grandmother was an excellent seamstress, and made her own patterns for wedding gowns, and clothing. It has been many decades since this machine has been used.
We've had it for several years now, and I don't know why I never peeked to see if there were any hidden treasures in its drawers. Today I looked, and was excited to find many pieces of lace, well aged and beautiful. These are just three samples of what I found, along with its original oil can. I'm carefully going to ready these finds for use in my crazy quilt projects, as they have held up quite well. I learned from a past mistake, with one of my great aunts old hankies, to place the lace between towels to press. I'll show more beautiful pieces as I get them untangled and nicely pressed.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Finished Heart Ornaments

I finished another heart ornament that will be added to my big tree, if I ever get the umph to put it up. I'd rather sew or play on the computer than get done what I need to!

Christmas Oddities Called "Gifts"


I was just visiting http://shoozles-wearyourart.blogspot.com/, enjoying her post on gifts from her husband. OOHH did it bring back some rather best left forgotten Christmas "gifts" from my dear husband Ken. (Yes I did just drop his name!) Let's see where to start! Ken, being a man, thinks on the practical side. I guess that qualifies the gas can with my name on it as a "gift." (Pictured) Yes, a plastic 2 gallon gas can. What woman doesn't need that!? Then, of course the standard vacuum cleaner one year, followed by a floor scrubber. I have made it quite clear in years since, that these are gifts for the house, bought as needed through-out the year. Christmas is when I get gifts for taking care of the house and him, sort of in appreciation, and let's not forget to throw some love in there? But I have to say the most embarrassing, and the most unusual was when one Christmas, in front of the whole family, I opened up a "Gift" to find a box of sanitary napkins! Practical? Yes, A gift the whole family can enjoy? Let's just say they did and leave it at that.
Any strange gifts out there? Feel free to share!

Pawzaar Totals!


I am so excited for this years totals for the Pawzaar! We did $13,062. That's with the snow storm on Saturday. We also were able to donate to 6 other charities from the left over merchandise. Even with the freezing temperatures and no heat in the building because of broken furnaces, my heart is warmed by the generosity of so many kind people!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Favorite Cup

Sue over at Periwinkle Blue http://periwinklesuz.blogspot.com/ asked if we had a favorite cup or mug. (If you haven't yet visited her site, take a look!) Here is mine. I love this cup for everything from water to coffee, and especially hot cocoa. I received it from my sister some years ago, and what's most unique, I can keep my drink hot between sips. Butterflies are especially special to me, as they are a family symbol for my late father. My other favorite mug, with my grand daughters picture on it is over 9 years old and needs to be retired and replaced as it is fading. Of course with an updated photo of the girls! (Hint, Hint dear Ken:) Christmas is almost here.!) So what cup is your favorite?

Chips' Visit With Santa!

Chip was on his best behaviour for his picture with Santa yesterday.
I forgot to drape his little kerchief on Santa's arm, but this is what he looked like. He stayed with me for the afternoon while I worked the bazaar, and needles to say he was quite the hit. He passed through a lot of loving arms, and enjoyed all the attention.

My Pawzaar Treasures

Precious Little Lamb:
25 cents
Breathtaking Angel:
25 cents


Gorgeous wreath:
$2.00
Dainty little poinsietta candy dishes; set of 6:
25 cents
Funds raised for our furry, faithful friends:
Priceless.