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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Sunday, October 28, 2012

She's Got the Blues!

My little great niece Rainey is the sweetest little girl! She smiles all the time
 and is so happy go lucky!
However, I guess everyone has to have the "blues"!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

For the Love of Books

 I have two nieces who love to read.  Kayla, above, is in second grade and reads at a fifth grade level.  She's into chapter books, and one of her favorite things to do is curl up with a good read.
If my niece Claire gets a book for any occasion, all other gifts go by the wayside
 and she's in book heaven. 
Good for both of you my little ladies!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Next Time You're Told To Keep Your Fork.....

Woman and a Fork
There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly.. 'What's that?' came the Pastor's reply.
'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.
That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked. 'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone Would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork ..the best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation He had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.
Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. Cherish the time you have, and the memories you share. Being friends with someone is not an opportunity, but a sweet responsibility.

And just remember...keep your fork!

The BEST is yet to come!
 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Witches and Scattergories!

Each October, my sisters and I go to our friend and adopted sisters home for a small Halloween get together. For every year, Nancy picks a different theme. This time our theme was Witches Hats. We each had to decorate a hat, and would be judged on the best. This time though, there was no judging as they all turned out so well.
Wendy, doning her hat, holds our friend Carrie's hat. She was unable to attend, but had bought a hat for the occasion! It sang "I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me' while the eyes twirled!
 
Nancy created this hat in purples. It turned out awesome!
This is a picture of her hat from the back. It was adorned with feathers and spiders.
My sister Kathy crazy quilted her hat, "wow" describes her hat best!
A close up shows the spiders she created from beads and wire! They were awesome!
This is the hat I made, I wanted to make it like a fall harvest that I could also use on the table as a fall 
centerpiece. Some things were bought at the dollar store, others were gathered from my yard.
We played Scattergories, Nancy always makes up her own catagories depending on the occasion. As always, another great time! Next years theme? You'll just have to wait a year to find out! Let's just say it's going to be mounds of fun!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sphyx Sphacts

Hello ladies Kathy works with!
Now I know you think I'm a little on the homely side, 
but let me tell you a little bit about me! 
I am a  sphyx cat, a french breed.
I've been described as the "part monkey, part dog,
part child, and part cat, breed, as we have traits of each!

We are a very mischievous breed, very loyal to our humans as we follow them around and even wag our tales. Just ask my human, she'll totally agree!  We are highly intelligent and very trainable.
I am a heterozygous sphyx, as I possess only one copy of the hairless gene, which means 
I do have more hair than the homozygous sphyx which has two.
We aren't more wrinkled than any other cat, you just can't see them because they have fur!
Since we are the only breed that perspires through our skin,
we require regular baths, unless you want to your clothes
to be colored in a brilliant shade of orange!
Our breed has a fine down that feels like a soft suede.

Yes, we aren't the cat for everyone, I mean we do have a face that only a mother could love
I've heard.  But as far as cats go, I'd have to say that our breed is not only
the most unique in appearance, but in my Mom's opinion, 
I'm the most lovable and intelligent cat there is!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Willow Winds

This week-end, my sister Marti and I went to my brother's for his fall Michigan Outdoor Survival Skills class. (M.O.S.S.)  Classes were offered in making cordage, edible plant walk, birch bark baskets, and bow drill to start a fire. The colors were amazing, as can be seen above, with my brother and other class members walking down the path from the cabin.
We met in the workshop to work on our baskets, and I took some pictures
 of the many things that are my brother.
This old pot belly stove came from the round house where my father worked on the railroad. When they tore down the building, he got the stove, then it went to Jay for his work shop. A perfect fit!
Deer, buffalo, and bear hides hand from the ceiling after being tanned.
A wooden bowl and spoon wait to be finished.
Paddles and snowshoes which he makes, and a hide hang in the doors.

Marti and I cutting out the patterns on birch to make our baskets.
She looks through the spruce roots for the perfect one to sew up the basket.  In the background 
is David, or as I called him, the Greek God.  Now I don't know if he is Greek or not, but
hey, it's my truth!
He was very proud to show off his completed basket, which really did turn out wonderful!
We had a fantastic time.  Even though it poured all week-end, the atmosphere and the company
more than made up for it.  I put my basket on the bookshelf that has my brother's picture, 
the two baskets he made for me, and the one I made.
If you haven't seen any posts about my brother, you can visit
his website, Willow Winds.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Awesomest Chicken Soup

One thing I know, I'm a good cook.  I learned the basics from my mother, standing along side the stove as she prepared dinner each afternoon.  Since then, I have enjoyed cooking, and have put my own touches on family favorites.  One of mine and Kens favorite is chicken noodle soup. Over the years, I've tweaked this recipe, and now would like to share it with you.

Down Home Chicken Noodle Soup

1 small beef soup bone  Yes I said a beef soup bone!
1 whole chicken, cut up and skin removed.
2 cartons chicken stock (I like Kitchen Basics)
1 1/2 c. sherry NOT cooking sherry, I use dry sherry
1 onion chopped
3 stalks celery with leaf tops, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 tbs. onion powder
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tbs. lemon pepper
2 tbs. dry parsley (I rub this between my palms into the pot to release the flavor)
2 whole bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Place soup bone, chicken pieces, and vegetable in soup pot. Add seasonings. Pour broth and sherry over. Bring all to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, and cook until vegetables are tender and chicken begins to fall off the bone.  Remove chicken from pot and shred the chicken, add back to soup.  Remove the beef bone and give to the dog.  The bone really adds to the richness of the broth. Trust Me!
Add uncooked noodles to the soup. They'll take on the flavor of the stock rather than cooking separately and adding when done. Simmer til noodles are al-dente.

Here are a couple options. Last 45 minutes of cooking add 1 1/2 c. wild or brown rice instead of noodles.  You can also use white, I just prefer the sweetness of the brown. If using white, less cooking time is required.
Make your own noodles!
If you think it tastes awesome the first night, wait for the leftovers! Mmmmmmm!

If you make this, let me know what you think!  Awesome!!



Monday, October 8, 2012

Great Books!

Rarely do books come along that can keep you coming back for more.  But thankfully, I've found such a series, through Guideposts.  Tales From Grace Chapel Inn is a series about the Howard sisters who have turned their family Victorian home into a Bed and Breakfast after the death of their father. With 47 books in the series, it's easy to get caught up in the tiny village of Acorn Hill, the characters who live there, and the experiences of the sisters as they run the inn.  It's so good to read books that are free of sex, swearing, and violence. Books with Christian morals and stories. There are many series of books available through Guideposts, and individual books also. So if you want some excellent reads, check out Guideposts.org and find what interests you.  So many books, so many choices!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Peanut Butter

Let's face it. I'm a peanut butter addict.  If I were told tomorrow I'd never be able to eat pb again, life would be over as I know it. For the past several years, this has been my breakfast. Hot cocoa, (now made with almond milk) and an english muffin with ample amounts of peanut butter melted and dripping on top. Dipped in the hot cocoa, melting into my drink.  For this reason, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. No other breakfast fare comes close, or is acceptable. I ran out of my peanut butter two days ago. Not to fret, Ken was going shopping in the middle of the night,(if you read my blog you know this is Ken's favorite thing to do and my least.) and assured me I'd have my beloved butter for breakfast.  So when I got up yesterday, anticipating my morning delight, I was mortified to see that Ken had indeed not gone to the store, and I had NO peanut butter!! 
I ended up eating egg and toast. My least favorite. I can't even explain how not having my dream breakfast effected my day! I was in a terrible mood, I guess you'd say peanut butter withdraws.  I went after breakfast and bought a jar. Guess what I had for lunch!?  And Ken?  He came back from his shopping trip with extra jars.  I'm set!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Splendor

Last fall, the colors were nothing to speak of. It seemed the trees went from green, to brown, to bare. This year, is completely the opposite. The colors already are so vibrant.
These maples along our road are so beautiful.
And the sumac is the brightest red.
I went for a ride around our area to take pictures, and no matter which way
I looked, the view was amazing.
I mean look at the contrast!  Gorgeous!
I hope you have the opportunity to take a drive,
and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.