Hooked On Curlicues and More Hats

I started crocheting curlicues and I think I am hooked. (pun intended)


I made pony tail holders. These make me miss having little girls and putting fancy ponytails in their hair.

I made bookworms,



and this octopus that was a gift for my Grandson, Jackson.

These things work up very quickly and I love using the variegated color yarn for this.

I also found another hat pattern that I like. It was a free pattern that you can find at the following link.


I have made a two so far.


I have been using some of my yarn stash to make these, so finding complimentary colors that work is a challenge.

IMG_3796 (2)

This is my precious granddaughter Addy modeling the hat I made for her,


and my beautiful, great-niece, Kenzie wearing the hat (with curlicues) that I made for her. You can see more of this style hat in this post.

While crocheting all this has been lots of fun, I have to admit that I am really anxious for the nice weather to get here, when I will trade in my crochet hook for garden tools. Bring on spring!

Things I Have Learned About Raising Chickens – Don’t Put All of Your Eggs In One Basket

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Metaphorically I think this is great advice. I believe it is very important to have several ways to meet our needs and accomplish tasks or goals. When you hear this phrase you might immediately think of financial investing, but I don’t think the implications should be limited to saving or making money. This should also include things like heating the house, cooking a meal, and transportation; the list is endless.

On the other hand I am not convinced that this is always a best practice when going to the coop to collect eggs. While it makes sense that if you happen to drop one basket with all the eggs you stand to lose them all, carrying more than one basket with a couple eggs each seems like it could be even more risky. For example if you have the eggs split between two or more baskets when you return to the house and have to open the door you will probably try holding both or all of baskets with one hand. Now how safe are those eggs?

When we collect eggs we actually put them in more than one basket. Our egg basket(s) looks like this.



The reasons for the two baskets like this is the basket with the handle is easy to carry but we often have just a few eggs to collect and they roll around in the bottom of the larger basket. In the smaller basket with less room to roll the eggs are better protected. Crazy as it may seem, it works for us.

Whether you use one basket, several baskets or a basket inside of a basket, the important thing to remember is to use a basket. DON”T PUT EGGS IN YOUR POCKET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for reading.


Coming Clean – Aloe Soap With Yogurt

A while back I wrote about making  Aloe Soap with Yogurt  and since my husband and I have recently tested this soap I wanted to share our thoughts on it.

Before I do I find it necessary offer this prelude. When our daughters were growing up we had some pretty strict rules that they had to follow. These rules served several  purposes: help maintain order, live within a budget, teach the girls responsibility and self discipline… One of the rules was that their showers were limited to eight minutes. We generally find that eight minutes is an adequate amount of time for us to get in, wash, rinse and get out. We bought a kitchen timer to keep in their bathroom. They were required to set the timer for 8 minutes and when the timer went off they had to get out of the shower.  It was done on an honor system, but if my husband or I were around when they got in the shower we would occasionally set the timer in the kitchen for 8 minutes to see if they were cheating.

It’s been about two weeks now since I first showered with the new Aloe Soap . I was thrilled with the outcome. The lather was rich, bubbly and creamy, it rinsed off well and left my skin feeling soft and clean.

After I had used this soap for a few days I gave my husband a bar. I didn’t tell him what I thought of it. I just asked him to let me know what he thought. After his shower he told me that he loved the soap. Several (at least four  probably more like six) times throughout the day he repeated to me how much he loved the soap. “That lather is amazing.”

The following morning after breakfast my husband said, “I’m afraid to get in the shower.” His statement caught me off guard and I asked him why. “That soap feels so good I don’t think I will want to get out. I might stay in there for a couple hours until I use up the whole bar.”

“Oh, no!” I laughed. “Eight minutes.”

He said he had already considered finding the timer and setting it. (I’m sure none of the girls took it when they moved out.) He also had wondered, if he did set the timer, if he could/ would cheat.

I found this pretty funny and I thought it was a wonderful testimony for my soap, but knowing that the girls read my blog could I really I confess his temptation to them and the whole world?

He didn’t really get out the timer, and I don’t know whether he stuck to eight minute showers, but I did not notice his showers taking longer than normal. A few days ago he announced to me that the bar lasted him for six showers which is about average for him.

As you now know I did decide to “come clean” because even if the girls try to hold this over his/our head the worst they can do is razz him about it since they are now paying for their own hot water. Hmm, I wonder if they will use this soap.


Things I Have Learned About Raising Chickens – Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

Let me start by saying that I am no authority on chickens (or anything else for that matter). When writing these posts I am simply sharing what I have learned through experience.


All joking aside – Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?  I find the answer to this dilemma to be nearly as simple as the lame joke that’s been told over and over throughout the decades. The answer is the chicken crossed the road because it could. Chickens have absolutely no natural boundaries, left on their own they just wander aimlessly and tirelessly scratching and pecking. The world, as much as they can access, is their playground and their dinner table. Chickens are not trainable, they are not obedient, and they have seemingly short attention spans so giving them something to entice them to stay where you want them will only work for a short time.

If there is somewhere you don’t want the chickens to go you must set up a boundary.


In our case crossing the road is not the worst case scenario. Our neighbors haven’t complained about the chickens foraging in their yard, and drivers who encounter the chickens crossing tend to yield the right of way to our girls. There are, however, some things the chickens find especially enticing, such as freshly worked soil, wood mulch, and straw, and these things can become a problem. Chickens are quick to wander into the freshly planted garden and scratch up all of our hard work. They will dine on the grass seed we just planted, and rearranging the flower bed while digging through a fresh layer of mulch is something a chicken can not resist. It doesn’t take long at all for chickens to destroy all of that hard work.


In 2012 when we began planning to raise chickens on our farm we first built the chicken yard. Our chicken yard is what I consider prime real-estate as it is built in a grove of beautiful mature Shagbark Hickory trees. The dimensions are 90 ft. by 45 ft. so the chickens have plenty of room to roam. The four foot high welded wire fence is generally sufficient to keep the chickens  in, although we do have an occasional escapee. In addition to the shade provided by the Hickory trees the chicken yard also had a wide swath of shrubs that not only offers shade from the sun and protection from the wind, it helps to protect them from overhead predators.  Even with all these amenities our chicken yard is not perfect. It does not have the assortment of grasses, clover, plantain and other plants that are found elsewhere on our farm. Thus as much as possible we allow our chickens to roam the farm and forage for their food. We have fence around all of our garden areas that keeps the chickens out but to be fair the fence serves to keep deer out as well.

We have accepted the fact that the mulch in the prayer garden may not always stay pretty and neat, and that we will inevitably find ourselves herding chickens back to our side of the road, but the lower feed costs, the delicious and nutritious eggs, and the insect control provided by our free range chickens https://www.healthambition.com/caged-versus-free-range-eggs-nutritionally/  are certainly worth it.

Thanks for reading and follow along so you don’t miss future posts is this series – “Don’t Put All Of You Eggs In One Basket” and “Chickens Come Home To Roost”.



Planning Future Gardens – A Seed Saving Tip

Spring is just around the corner here in the U.S. and garden planning is in full swing. Are you are gardener who plans to grow several varieties of each type of vegetable? Are you a frugal gardener who will purchase heirloom or open pollenated seeds so that you can save the seeds and not have to purchase seeds again next year or the next. If you are new to gardening it might be worth noting that these two methods of garden management are not necessarily compatible.

When growing multiple varieties of the same plant cross pollination can occur. If two varieties of the same type of plant do cross pollinate the product of that year will not be affected. The plant will still bare the fruit of the seed that was planted. Changes that occur due to cross pollination will only become apparent when seeds from the current years crop are grown in future years. Cross pollination can effect the color, size, and/or shape of the fruit or there may be less visible changes like flavor or texture. While the product would still be edible you may be sadly disappointed with the results.


Squash and pumpkin crosses (like the one above) are usually visually apparent. Changes in corn or tomatoes might not be as noticeable.

I have included the some links that you might find useful in preventing cross pollination




and I hope that all of your gardens are bountiful. 🙂