About Me

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Full Time Mom, Wife, Work, Life - Mom to three children (adults), two are college graduates and now own their own homes, and the youngest is in college in NC; wife to Thomas; Work - one full time and multiple part time jobs; Life - whatever you can throw at me....

Monday, July 30, 2012


Fifth day in a row....with no eggs.  And they never left the coop today.  They just aren't laying.

I read in an article that if the hens get very afraid, they will stop laying.  I think that seeing two of your friends be pulled away by the raccoon, must have been scary.  So, I am hoping that in another day or two, they will begin laying again.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Mystery of the Missing Eggs

For four days now, we have not been able to find our chicken eggs.  Let me first say that for a few days over a week ago, they were laying their eggs in the corner of my garden under the squash leaves.  We found seven eggs in the garden one day....

So we have taken to locking them in the large coop each day with plenty of space to lay, eat, and peck around.  We let them out at about 5 o'clock each night to graze on the grass and then lock them in the small (critter-proof) coop each night.   But we can't find the eggs.  Tonight, I am locking them in the small coop and locking them in so they can't even get food over night.  (its just for one night and it's nice and cool tonight!)  My thought is that if there is a large snake or a rat taking the eggs, they won't be able to get in.  But in all honesty, there is no sign of a rat or a large snake (and we are looking!).  So, either these very young hens have stopped laying or they are really tricking us and laying late afternoon in a place that I just can't seem to find.  Bruno and I (one of the trips) spent an hour  today searching for eggs.  It was a like an Easter Egg Hunt with no eggs, no prizes or no money!  It was no fun!   I need my eggs.....

If anyone has a clue, let me know!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Wild Animals

Five days ago, three baby feral kittens were born in my yard to one of the feral cats in the neighborhood.  Many litters have been born under my front steps because there is a perfect place for them away from the elements and under cool cement.  The mom cat is so skinny, so I have been leaving dog food and water for her every day and she has been eating it.

Yesterday, we had rain storms that were quite heavy (which we needed!).  So last night, as my hubby was going to let the dog out (at 8:40 pm), he stopped himself because there was a skunk eating the wet dog food that was left over.  As we watched the skunk eating, her baby skunk came along (at least we think its her baby) and was eating our lawn.

Last week, we caught the raccoon.  This week, two skunks in the front yard, along with the feral cat with three babies.  I have no idea what to expect next.  I would like it to be a deer so I can have some venison....

Friday, July 27, 2012

CSA Week 8

Here is what we are getting this week:

Full Share

8 Ears of Corn
1 head of cabbage
2 bunches of collards
2 bunches of kale (curly & toscano)
2 lbs of cucumbers
3 lbs squash & zucchini
1 bunch of beets
2 bunches of carrots
2 sweet peppers
2 jalapeno peppers
1 bunch swiss chard
1/2 lb bag small broccoli

Last week, I was away so my sister got the whole share and she said it was awesome!  I can't wait to try the corn!  That's mine this week!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The wineberry and black raspberry picking...

....has ended.  The final tally was a lot less than last year - only12 quarts.  I know last year I got a lot more. It's okay though.  They were all foraged and free and easy picking!  I'm not complaining, because the jam will last a while!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Police Academy

My oldest son graduated from Uconn two years ago.  His dream since he was a sophomore in college (and maybe before that), was to be a police officer.  He had been taking the test for four years (throughout college), but there were a lot of highly qualified and older applicants over these last few years and he wasn't getting in.  They post the test for this area of CT a few times a year, but some departments do their own testing also, so he probably took five or six written tests and physical tests per year.

This was his year!

He got a very high score on the written part for one of the city departments that do their own testing.  From then on, the position was his to lose.  He persevered and started the academy last week.  It is like going to boot camp and college all wrapped up into one, with weekends off.  He leaves at 6:00 am on Monday morning and comes home at 6:00 pm on Friday night.  Every day is eight hours of classroom work, studying, physical tests, etc. and at night, he does homework, goes to the gym and shines his boots!  He has to wear police academy uniforms which are beige.  He has to wear a suit to the academy every Monday morning though and then change when he gets there.  He says the food is pretty good and he has three other dorm-mates that are okay also.

He will be in the academy for almost six months and then start his training for the city department for three months.  The city he is in is very close to our home and I couldn't be happier for him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

It was my dad's birthday on the 20th of July.  We had cake for him (two cakes actually because there were so many of us) and we sang him Happy Birthday.  He would have been 73 this year.

Do other people do that after a loved one has passed???

Monday, July 23, 2012

The bad and the good....

The bad news is that on vacation, my son couldn't get two hens into the second pen.  A raccoon got them.  I am down to two hens.

The good news is that the other son set a trap last night and got the raccoon.

I will still have to be diligent in watching and taking care of my last two hens.

Vacation and What is Normal???

I haven't been posting much as we took a few days off to go to Newport, RI and Cape Cod, MA.

The weather wasn't the best, but we made the best of it!  It was nice to just get away after a crazy work schedule and a company move from one town to another.

Life has been completely unorganized lately.  I (we) need to get it back on track, so my goal for the next couple of months is to find some normalcy (whatever that is) and to create some balance in this household.  With five adult people, coming and going, at all times of the day, chaos seems to reign.  So, the first thing that I'm doing is that I have started back up with my weekly meal plans.  It worked so good for months and months and then I got sidetracked....so, here we go again.

Vacation is over, the move is complete, my son has started his police academy training (another post on this to follow) and we have one month before my daughter goes off to college.  So, we are all trying to get organized for a little while!

I think we will all succeed, with a little teamwork!!

Here's to hoping!!  :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jam and cows!

I have been freezing berries for months - strawberries, wineberries and black raspberries.  But there was no room in either freezer - so today was jam day!

7 pints of strawberry jam
5 pints of black raspberry jam

I still have enough berries in the freezer for another batch of each of these, but I'll get to them when the weather gets a little cooler.

The reason that I have run out of freezer space is that I got another 1/6th of a cow.  But I wasn't expecting it!   The last time I got a 1/6th it was 93 lbs. of beef.  This particular 1/6th of a cow was 143 lbs. of beef.  I had to move things around and cook some things and obviously make jam to fit it all in!!

So, we have enough beef to last us through December, maybe January.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

College books

Can they get any more expensive??  Seriously!?  And I only paid full price for two.........She has a lot of classes plus labs that need two or more books!  $582.00 and that is through half.com and renting.....


Thursday, July 12, 2012

CSA Week 6

Here is what we are getting in our share this Friday:

Full Share
4 lbs zucchini & yellow squash
1  lb of green beans
1 bunch of green onions
1 bunch of hakurei salad turnips
1 bunch of radishes
1 bunch of swiss chard
1 bunch of beets w/greens
2 heads of lettuce
2 greenhouse cucumbers
2 bunches of kale (toscano & curly)
1 head of cabbage
 herb plants

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I know I talk a lot about my mother-in-law's backyard and her prolific crop of black raspberries and wild raspberries.....but I got the surprise of my life last week, when I was reading another blog.....I am definitely picking black raspberries, but the wild raspberries are actually wineberries.  Wineberries are not native to the USA. They are actually from Asia, but grow beautifully in our area and climate.  They have less seeds than regular raspberries and to me, they are much sweeter and they make a great apple/wineberry pie!!!!

So Catie, tonight, I'll be bringing you your quart of wineberries!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The flock and flocking: Weekend adventure!

On Saturday night, I was asked to go on a flocking mission.  I have pictures of my flocking here:

and I have always wanted to flock someone....so the mission was planned for 12:30 am (you have to flock in the middle of the night).  Now, because I am NOT a night person (definitely a morning person), I went to bed early!  At 9:30 pm!  I will talk about why this time is important later.

I got picked up at 12:40 am, we drove 20 minutes away to my girlfriends beach house, with fifty flamingos in the van - and there were six of us flockers!  We decided to approach the beach house from the beach  and as we approached the house, we noticed that lights were still on - now it's 1:00 in the morning and they (my friends) are still up!  So we waited and waited and waited.......Finally, lights went out and we set up all the flamingos in about five minutes flat and hightailed it out of there!  We got caught by some neighbors of the beach house who thought it was a wonderful idea!!!  Mission accomplished!  Back in bed by 2:00 am!

However, looking back to my 9:30 pm bedtime......My daughter and her friends were having a bonfire in the back yard and I am not sure why, but I totally forgot to close up the hens that night.  It was the first night that I forget and of course, one of the hens got taken (probably by a raccoon).....there was a trail of feathers up the wall and through the fence....I was so sad all day!  It was just a stupid thing to forget.  So now I'm down to four hens but still getting my four eggs a day.

Friday, July 6, 2012

CSA Week 5

Here is what we are getting this week!

Full Share:

3 kohlrabi


3 lbs zucchini & yellow squash

1 bunch of hakurei salad turnips

1 bunch of radishes

1 bunch of swiss chard

1 bunch of beets w/greens

1 head of lettuce

1/2 lb bag of leaf lettuce mix

1/2 lb bag asian braising/salad mix

2 greenhouse cucumbers

2 bunches of kale

2 bunches of collard greens

2 herb plants

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Here are some pictures from the fireworks in our home town this week - we had a great display!  The city across the river also does their fireworks at the exact same time, so it's like getting two displays at the same time.  It was pretty awesome....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary (and a shout out)

Happy 4th Anniversary to my wonderful husband! 

And a Happy Birthday shout out to our nephew Marty and brother-in-law Joe who share this day with us!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom and Freebies for June

Today is my mom's birthday!  Party at my sister's tonight to celebrate!

Happy Birthday MOM!

And here are the freebies for June - not much but better than nothing I guess!

Pupperoni dog snacks
Free Card for Father's Day
Free Birthday Card for Hope
Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Fish oil
Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Gummies
$5.00 gift card to Cracker Barrel

Sunday Afternoon

I needed to get some cooking done today as I have been too busy lately to do anything....

Meat Sauce made (10 quarts)
Organic Meat sauce made (5 quarts)
Escarole and Beans for my mom's birthday party tomorrow night!
Chocolate cake for the same birthday party!
Meatballs for Tuesday nights dinner for the kids
Sausage and Potatoes for dinner tonight along with roasted butternut squash
 4 london broils marinating for dinner on Thursday

And as I watch Spain beating Italy at the half of the Euro 2012, I am hoping for a better 2nd half!

Happy July 4th!!!!!