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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Friday, December 30, 2011

A Cats Tail

I've had many posts about my animal kids, and many have been about Andy. Regular readers are very familiar with him, and new readers, curious. So I decided to tell his story.
I worked at our humane society, and one of the things I did was take potential adopters back to see the animals. One day, a litter of kittens came in, that weren't your normal run of the mill cats. They were a litter of five. The homeliest of all was this little kitten, who rapidly tugged on my heartstrings. When I'd take people back to see the kittens and cats, he would be the butt of many a joke. I knew I had to bring him home, and give him a chance for a good life.
This is one of my favorite pictures, he was 7 weeks old. As you can see, Andy started out with much more hair. Being a Sphinx mix, gradually the hair fell out, and the real Andy appeared.
Now, that he is grown, his hair (or lack of) is what will always be. From day one, Andy has loved to ride on my shoulders, around the house, while I'm cooking or cleaning, or sitting down. I had to have him declawed on all fours because he would climb up my back.
Andy is the caretaker in the house. Toby and Tyler, my two toms I rescued from the yard after their mother, who was dropped off, gave birth to them under a piece of steel roof, are his charges. He stays close to both, bathes, and tends to their needs. He lets me know when they are out of food, and when the water bowl needs filled. And, he always lets them eat first.
So, no, Andy isn't your typical looking cat. I've been told many times that he has a face only a mother could love. I have to agree, I love Andy with all my heart. I don't see what others do, I see his heart. And it's big as gold.
Momma loves you Andy!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In One Word,


Marilyn, Delights of the Heart, has an awesome blog. She has challenged her readers to come up with a word for the year. A word could sum up a goal or dream you have for the new year? An aspiration? I have a word, and on the first of January I'll reveal what it is.
Do you have a word? What do you aspire to in 2012? In just one word, think, what would it be?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christ is Born

Joy to the World!
Merry Christmas to Everyone.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The children were nestled all snug in their beds...




Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Another Year for a Timely Tradition

Again this year we continued our family tradition of filling gift bags for those forgotten at Christmas in a local nursing home. Each year, they look forward to our call asking for names. This year, we did 60 bags. Sixty. And that's not all that are with no one during the holidays.
It's so great to see the next generation so willing to help with the delivery! Jacob, Jordan, Kayla, and Jason were all on hand to load and unload.
And each child took load after load into the building,
under Ken's direction.

My sister Marlene always helps with the delivery also. And two large carts, two layers high, took the bags to be given to the patients Christmas Eve. Now, it feels like Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Cats in the Hats

Catherine, of Corner of a Cats Mind,has an awesome cat called Banjo. He's a mischievous little fellow, and the topic of many of her posts. He's given me many smiles and laughs! Catherine posted this adorable picture of Banjo, on her blog. Well, I decided to put Andy in the Christmas spirit, and tried a hat on him.
Well, it isn't quite the same effect! But rest assured, Andy really is a happy guy, and truly wishes all of you a Merry Christmas!
Not the Bah Humbug that he appears to be.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Light four candles to watch for Messiah,
Let the light banish darkness.
He is coming, tell the glad tidings,
Let your lights be shining.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Evening With Mom

Tonight was a night of celebration. It was the Christmas dinner for residents and their families at the center Mom has been moved to, and a celebration of her being back home.
The Regency knows how to throw a party! The evening started with shrimp cocktails, an assortment of cheese balls and crackers, and bread baskets.
The main course consisted of prime rib, asparagus, and real mashed potatoes. Pies were served for dessert, along with a wide choice of beverages.
However, getting to spend time with Mom, was the highlight of the evening for Ken and I,
and my sister Marlene.
There are 18 decorated trees, here we are in front of the one located in the Pub, where we sat for our dinner. It's estimated 400 people attended, with tables everywhere!
We were entertained by a wonderful pianist and vocalist.
And as the entertainment went on, Marti took Mom to the floor for a dance.
Mom loved it. So did those in the room. It was such a nice time, we hated for the evening to end. But with her only being a couple miles from our home, I'll be visiting almost daily. It's so good to have Mom back!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Help! I can't stop playing this!!

I dare you not to keep replaying! My dogs are lovin' it!


Click on the picture and it will take you to the video!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mom is Being Released!


We received very good news from Mom's doctors. She will be released from the hospital this week, to rehabilitation to regain her strength. Mom has improved so well, she no longer has to go into a nursing home, and will live with my sisters and I, splitting the time. We are so grateful for all the prayers and concern all of you have given my mother and our family. She's coming home!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Third Sunday of Advent


Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe. Your prophets spoke of a day when the desert would blossom and waters would break forth in the wilderness. Bless us as we light the candles on this wreath. Strengthen our hearts as we prepare for the coming of the Lord. May he give water to all who thirst, for he is our light and our salvation. Blessed be God forever.

Light three candles to watch for Messiah,
Let the light banish darkness.
Lift your heads a lift high the gate-way
For the King of Glory.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Second Sunday of Advent and Another Christmas Tradition

Second Sunday of Advent
Blessed are you, O Lord, ruler of the universe. John the Baptist calls all people to prepare the Lord's way for the kingdom of Heaven is near. Bless us as we light the candles on this wreath. Baptize us with the fire of you Spirit, that we may be a light shining in the darkness welcoming others as Christ has welcomed us, for he is our light and our salvation.
Blessed be God forever.

When we were growing up, each Sunday in Advent, Mom would light the candles and recite a prayer, always before we ate our Sunday dinner. It's another tradition my sisters and I have continued. I wish Mom were here to light the candles, I truly miss her.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent

Some years ago, my sister Kathy made her first Advent calendar. Each day of advent, an ornament verse was drawn from their pocket and hung on the small Advent tree. Since then, my sisters and I have made many a calendar for family members. This one, I made for my niece. These calendars are now a tradition in our family, and still being made for the kids as they grow.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

From Mom to All of You

"Thank-you to all of you for your prayers and kind words. You have no idea how much it means to me to know how many people care. Please keep me in your prayers."

I agree Mom, and yes, prayers are always coming your way.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ivory Necklace

My father served in WWII, and brought back several beautiful pieces to my mother, from Iran. This is one of those treasures, hand painted ivory necklace. It's quite long, with four scenes repeating. This is a portion of it. Hard to believe this is 70 years old.
Mom
We're hoping that a new team of specialists will be able to help Mom. We've had so many ups and downs, we just want her to be ok. Thank-you to all for your thoughts and prayers. Our prayers continue for healing and a turn around for her.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

God is in Control

After being in surgery for almost 7 hours, Mom is out and in ICU for at least 48 more hours. The surgery didn't go as planned, and because of this, it is going to be a long haul. We are back to square one with finding out what is wrong, and all I can say is please. All the prayers she can have right now will be so appreciated. We don't know where all this will lead. I don't have the energy to go into detail, except to say we need a miracle.
I haven't kept up on my reading, but will get back to all of you soon.
Blessings,
Laurie

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mom Update

The last two weeks have been crazy! Mom is now in U of M hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. My sisters have been back and forth, getting updates from the many drs. and specialists that have gone in and out of her room. Originally, we were told Mom's surgery would be on Saturday, but we don't know where the misinformation came from, as there is so much preparation for this rare surgery. Scopes, electrocardiograms, catscans, etc. have been keeping Mom and her team busy. Yesterday, she finally got the ok for surgery, tomorrow. We will know a more certain time this evening. So please continue the prayers, it will be so good to have this over and Mom home again.
Bless You,
Laurie
Update:
Surgery is scheduled for 9 a.m., had to change from non-evasive. Please heap on some extra prayers, not an easy surgery.

Friday, November 18, 2011

U of M Patient

Mom was transported to University of Michigan Hospital today, for her surgery Saturday. She should be home in a week, good as new. Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just For Me!!

I LOVE burnt potato chips~since childhood, I've dug through open bags looking for what were the prime chip."Bendy foldy's" and burnt. To me these are the chip of chips! So, it's only natural that the perfect bag of chips would be just that. A burnt potato chip paradise!
Somebody at Bettermade, must have used telepathy to read my mind. Finally! My dream came true!
Bendy foldy burnt chip heaven!! Just look at that beautiful bowl of chip goodness, Slices of potatoes burnt to perfection! Oh thank-you Bettermade! You made my day!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Power of Prayer


"Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of thee."

During the past several months, we have watched my mother decline. Loss of appetite, signs of dementia, severe weight loss, forgetfulness, the list goes on. When she ended up in the hospital this time, we prepared ourselves for the inevitable. Mom would be in a nursing home. How would we get through this? Every morning, hoping the nurses could revive her after having her blood sugar dip seriously into danger, even after pumping her full of glucose, and high carb foods. The frailty that became part of her. My feeling was of no hope.
Then, this afternoon, life changed for Mom. Her endocrinologist came in, to reveal the results of her blood work up. "We have an answer!" Words that we longed to hear, but thought were just a dream. Mom has a small non- cancerous tumor on her pancreas, causing insulin to pump constantly into her bloodstream. All the other complications she has been experiencing are the effects of this tumor. And, there is a surgery to correct it! Medication to prepare her for this surgery will be started as soon as it arrives, then to either Mayo Clinic or U of M to one of the few drs. who preform this surgery. Recovery is short, and then? Mom will be perfectly fine and will be able to go home to her apartment!!!
God has truly answered our prayers. And I want to thank each and every one of you, my dear dear friends for your words of encouragement and your prayers. We have our Mom back. Praise God!

Eggstatic!

First, thank all of you for your kind words and encouragement for our family and my mother. We are in for a hard couple months, and all the prayers we can receive are so much appreciated.
Yesterday, in all the confusion of the day, I didn't post that my buff orpington, Bella, laid her first egg!
She was quite restless for some time, she wanted me by her. Whenever I'd walk away from the coop, she'd come to the door clucking at me. I guess her first "birth" was a little frightening to her?
So this is her first triumph! Much smaller than the picture makes it appear, but a nice size for her very first. She was more relaxed today, just went in her nest, deposited her egg, and went about her business. So, two down, eleven to go.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Time: A Friend, and an Enemy


Time changes so quickly. Circumstances you know one day may come, rear their ugly heads and force your hand. On October 9th, we celebrated Mom's 85th birthday. Now in the hospital, we are faced with the fact she can no longer live on her own, and because of health problems that force our hand, my sisters and I will be meeting with the hospital social worker to determine where she will go. Whether assisted living, or adult foster care, the realization that yes our mother is declining, and because of the care she needs, living with one of us is no longer an option. She seems fine with assisted living, and hopefully that will be the solution. We love our Mom. This new turn in the road is hard to face, but necessary. I know there are more of you that have faced this situation. How have you or do you cope? Right now, I don't know how.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Everyday Italian!!


I won! I won! Victoria, of "Things I Learn From Bear" had a give away of this fantastic Italian cook book. What I love about it, it's everyday ingredients and awesome recipes! Thank-you Victoria, first I think will be the turkey stuffing recipe, I'm going to use it with my chicken. Just for starters!! Pop on over to Victoria's blog if you haven't already. Love it!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

In The Shadows

I saw Andy keeping warm in the sun behind a curtain, and had to take some photos.

This one reminded me of a chocolate bunny!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finally got It!

For some time now, I haven't been satisfied with the name of my blog. I have another blog for my needlework and crafts, none of which I talk about here. I tried Blue Waters, but it just didn't speak to me. My life is basically made up of my family, which is made so interesting by my furry and feathered kids, of which I talk of often here. So, I changed to a name that I finally like. Tails From The Hen House! This is inclusive of all that I love about my life. So I hope you continue to stick with me, and the daily adventures I call living.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Feather Patterns

My girls are now 5 1/2 months old. Only Matilda is laying, but the other 12 will be any time now. When I come outside, they come running, and gather around my feet. I love to look down at them, and see the beautiful feathers they have developed.
Sweety Pie welcomed her daily pat, she is one of four Barred Rocks.

Precious is my Auracana ham. she doesn't mind being photographed, in fact is always fascinated by the camera. I love this picture because it shows the beauty of her feathers so perfectly.
Gracie is a New Hampshire Red, and her feathers are so pretty. I love how the deep red blends into the pattern of her back feathers.
Bella is my only Buff Orpington, and is such a pretty hen. Her feathers are the most beautiful colors, and she really is a sweet heart.
Matilda, another Barred Rock, is very familiar to me as my father had many in his flocks. I love the pattern of her feathers, almost like waves. And this breed is one of the most gentle.
Wynonna and Molly are my Golden Lace Wyandotte's. this is Molly, her gold color is lighter than her sisters. I love the pattern, so perfect!
Wynonna is the darker of the two. She received her name from Miss Pearl, a dear blog friend!
This is another close up of Precious, my auracauna. Her feathers are gorgeous!
And this is Olivia, named by my niece, Kayla. She is a Silver Lace Wyandotte. Her diamond pattern is so pretty. The thing that amazes me about my girls, is that God gave each of these breeds a unique beauty all their own.