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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cream Puffs

At the urging of Tara and Kiley, I made cream puffs with home made vanilla custard filling. What a treat! I allowed myself a small one, and am envious I can't eat more. The recipe I found on the internet was wonderful. Tonight is southern goulash, Chad's favorite, with the puffs for dessert.
I'm taking back a bunch of bottles tonight, then going back to the Brass Armadillo for a little something to take home. I'm thinking one of the beautiful cup and saucers, and an antique lace hanky I saw. Either that or one of the childrens paintings from the 40's in the style that I just love. I saw so many there.
Then tomorrow it's pack for the trip home on Thursday. Then I can post some of my favorite pictures from this trip, and look forward to my return in the fall.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Family Time

I really wish I could post pictures! (I really wish I could type with these nails!) For some reason I just can't get my computer to work.We had the most fun today, went to downtown Des Moines to go to a place called Valley Junction. We couldn't find it even with the gps that kept saying we were there, so we went over to the capital building and the surrounding area and got amazing photos. The sun was shining, the weather was perfect. Afterward we went to the Golden Armadillo Antiques. Wow! What a great place! I saw so many things I would love and know next time to bring more money! Chad, Tara, Kiley and I just had the best time. Then we went to dinner at the girls favorite restaurant, Legends. Great food, and the best home made onion rings I've ever had.Yesterday, we cooked a full course Chinese dinner at Chad's request. We started with Jade Soup, then egg rolls, fried rice with stirfry over top, fried eight pieces, and teriyaki chicken wings. Dinner started at 5, and we finished the last course at almost 11! We waited in between some entrees for our food to settle. I'll post the recipes soon, mmmmm!

Iowa 2

Well I'm having a lot of fun here in Iowa, my little family keeps me quite entertained. What senses of humor! Yesterday I took advantage of my pamper day to go have my hair done and my nails. I went to this little place that was recommended for my manicure, and couldn't understand the tech at all!! I just found myself agreeing with her, she was talking about these two jars, one with a pink powder and one with white. She kept leaning toward the pink by all I could tell, and I just agreed like an idiot! An hour and a half later, I was done and went up to pay. The guy said what beautiful "porcelains" I had and asked for 51.00! I couldn't believe it! That's the last time I agree without knowing what I'm agreeing to! They are beautiful, I wish I could post a picture but I can't here for some reason. Needless to say, by the time I had finished with the hair and nails, I have no money left to shop! We're going to ride to a little town that has some antique shops, second hand, and scrapbook store tomorrow just for fun, but what a drag I can't buy anything. I know when I come back in the fall to bring more money!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What is Vintage?

While looking up items on e-bay, I look for things that are vintage. Then I saw that items that were from the 70's were considered vintage, and I suddenly felt old, since I graduated in 1972. Old? Vintage? So I looked vintage up in the dictionary. The definition?
Vintage: adjective Characterized by excellence, maturity, enduring appeal; classic!
Wow! What a positive definition! So from now on friends, I am no longer old. I am Vintage. I am classic, mature, have achieved excellence, I am classic! That's the mantra I want for myself. Positive, upbeat, and proud of myself and my accomplishments. Not conceited or haughty, but comfortable with who I am. Do I have any "vintage" friends in agreement?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This is Funny, and True!

George Phillips , an elderly man, from Meridian, Mississippi, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things. He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?" He said "No," but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me. Then the police dispatcher said "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available." George said, "Okay." He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again. "Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I just shot them." and he hung up. Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips' residence, and caught the burglars red-handed. One of the Policemen said to George, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!" George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"
(True Story) I LOVE IT! Don't mess with old people Live well, laugh often, love much!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'm having a very nice time here in Johnston, Iowa. My son Chad and my granddaughters Tara and Kiley are keeping me occupied, and very much entertained! They have such fun sense of humors, and dinner time is never dull. I laugh so much here!
I had intended to finish several sewing projects while here, and each of the girls got a sewing machine from their other grandparents, so I wouldn't have to bring mine. Well, they left the machines there when they moved! So I'm going through withdrawals!
Chip and Bobby had upper respiratory infections, airborne, and can't be around other dogs so Chip had to stay home. :( I just talked to Ken and he and Andy are doing quite well, Chip was a stinker at first, but is now adjusted well to me not being there. I miss him and Andy, can't wait to hold them again!
Meanwhile, Winston, Chad's dog, has been my sidekick during the day, we are inseparable! He's a HUGE chocolate lab, the size of the dane I had. And such a sweety. I took lots of pictures, but for some reason I can't get them to download here. When I do, I'll be sure to post!
Tomorrow, I go for a haircut and a manicure. I've never had my nails done before, so this will be a treat. Chad gave me the money and told me to go pamper myself! The neighbor lady here gave me the name and address of her beautician, so that's where I'll go. She also gave me a long list of places to visit so I programmed them into my GPS, and will go exploring this week-end.
I'll post some more when I can get some pictures to download!
Everyone take care,

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hey Where Can I get One of These!!

It's allergy season here, this is just
the ticket! Yeah people may stare,
but I think it would be worse to
spew all over myself!

St. Patty's Day

What a wonderful day! Ken and I spent it with Mom, my sisters, and my son Chad, Jenny, and the girls. It was such a fun time, plenty of corned beef and cabbage, Jenny's great salad, she makes the best, and German chocolate torte cake for dessert.
I finished the quilt for Liisa, OWOH winner, today and will post it tomorrow. I also started working on ATC's, they're a lot of fun! Now it's time to pack for my trip to Iowa to spend time with Chad, and my grandaughter's Tara and Kiley. We leave Sunday morning, and I'll be there for 2 weeks, my laptop will go with me so I can keep in contact and share my adventures!!
I think I should hit the hay though, I really need to try and get to bed earlier than 3:30 in the morning!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Thanks to all of you for your kind comments regarding my father. I truly appreciate each and every one of you. I spent the day remembering my Dad, and all he offered. I remember him working on the railroad, and going to see him at the round house, and the big pot bellied stove that the men sat around eating their lunches. It now warms my brothers work shop. The rides Dad would give us on the engine and let us ring the bell. The smell of oil and musty papers that filled the office and the building, and the turntable that he would turn the engines on to go back from where they came.
I remember going to Beard's Hill, where we would take daring rides along the steep hills, with Mom nervously asking him to move from so close to the sides of the roads, and the huge rubber inflatable cushion he brought home from one of the boxcars, that we used as a raft, and floated down the river on.
The home made breads, pies, cookies, biscuits that he enjoyed making, and the aromas that came from the kitchen.
Going to Grandma's every Sunday to visit, and listening to stories of when they were growing up, and the pranks he would play on his brothers and sisters.
Our family trips to visit friends in Ohio, my sister when she lived in Virginia, and crossing the river into Washington D.C. Nebraska, Wisconsin, Niagra Falls, all pleasant memories.
That was my Dad, the man who made life fun, and created memories to last a lifetime!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

His Legacy

Tomorrow, March 12th, marks the 4 year anniversary of my fathers' death. Though time has been kind in healing the depth of sorrow I experienced, I still miss my dad, and know I always will remember him as the kind, caring Dad he became. Besides being a very devout Christian man, Dad left many legacies to which he can be remembered. He started Our Family Puppeteers in 1987, in which he created many puppet characters, intricate designed props, wrote amazing, beautiful shows that will be remembered by hundreds, and a stage and lighting system that couldn't be matched. We performed many shows, most of which he charged no fee, our pay was the smiles and gratitude from our many audiences.
Dad was also a bee keeper, for many years he had hives that he built himself and filled with swarms of bees. When we were kids, he raised chickens for the eggs, and for poultry he supplied to the local meat market. Dad always had ways to earn extra money to keep food on the table for our family of seven.
He built and flew model airplanes, and made many a plane with my brother and his grandsons. Cherished memories for my son Chad.
But one his favorite hobbies was his radio. Dad call sign was K8IEK, receiving his license in 1955. Many a time Dad could be found in his radio room, sending out Morse code, to far off places all over the world. He looked forward to the mail, QSL cards arrived almost daily, from those he contacted. I can still here the sound coming from his room, Dah di dah dit, dah dah di dah, cq,cq,cq, this is K8IEK. And the replies back from distant lands were carefully journaled in his log book. So fascinated, I worked hard and received my ham radio license, and the many memories of working with my dad in his "ham shack" were created. After his death, Mom sold his radios, and now the room sits empty of the things that were so special. Yet the memories remain, so clear. I'm fortunate enough to have his key, which has a special place of honor in my room, his log, and many of his QSL cards, and also received his call sign which is on my license plate. Such memories, such a legacy from a Dad that will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

ATC' s and Pinwheels

I have always been drawn to these ATC swaps, and finally found a place on-line where you can sign up for them, or anything else you'd like. Swapbot.com has swaps from crafts to clothes. Check it out! I signed for my first ATC one, and made my cards today, just waiting now for the names of whom they will be sent to.

I'm getting the pinwheels done for the baby quilt I'm making for Robyn's niece, and working on the OWOH giveaway also, for Liisa in Sweden. There's other projects I'm starting on soon, a quilt tutorial and an Advent calendar. These will give me plenty to do when I'm idle at my sons' house!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Craft Room Additions

I've been putting the finishing touches on my craft, sewing, relaxation room! This was painted for me by my Granddaughter Tara, when she was 12. I love this picture, and am so awed by her talent.
On the top of my shelves, I put my baskets, so handy for carrying crafts. The brown one in the back belonged to Ken's aunt, and is over 100 years old. A little worse for wear, at least it's up out of harms way.
I set up my book shelves, and added my favorite things. "The Boy With A Drum" was the first book I bought for my son, and is 33 years old already! It was his favorite, along with "Pokey Little Puppy".
The book "Succulent Wild Woman" is a hoot! Filled with so much great advice for women, and written in her own handwriting. It's a great read, and one to reference often.
I need to set up my sacred space somewhere else, but for right now it's on my shelf, 3rd from the bottom. The Adirondack chairs are Christmas presents for my sister and brother-in-law, they need to pick them up or I'm keeping them! They were made by Ken. so that's my room so far, and where I can be found most of the time. I love the privacy, peace, and total relaxation I feel when in here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Forth!

No not a typo, a command! March 4th is the only date of the year that instructs us to do something! Two years ago, my sister Wendy had a March Forth party. Since the instruction is March, she chose a foot theme for this. We all had to wear crazy socks, for which there was a prize for the best, all the food had foot theme names, and we had the best time! We really wanted her to do this again this year, but she declined. So next year Wendy, you need to do it again!

So since there is no party to celebrate, I will "march" to the beat of my own drum! I'll step a little livelier, exercise a little more, and have foot long subs for dinner, loaded with extra veggies! How about you? What does the command to March Forth say to you!?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Current Projects

I was finally able to finish one of my give aways for OWOH after a problem replacing one of the fabrics. Tomorrow it's on it's way to Monique in Montana. I received the pictures, and embellishments to create the memory wall quilt for Liisa in Sweden, I ordered a fabric for it that should have been here by now, hope it gets here soon! In the mean time, I'm quilting a baby blanket, and starting the quilt tutorial from Bumblebee Bags! I'm trying to get as much done before my trip to Iowa, I'm lovin' my craft room!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thanks Cathy!!!

Cathy, Tolens Treasures, sent me this great plaque today! I was so thrilled to see one of her creations in my mailbox. I love her primtive designs, visit her site and see what she does with her amazing talents! Thanks Cathy!!