Everyday Activities, Photography Posts

Homestead on the Plains Photos (Spring and Autumn 2020)

Checking fences and saw an armadillo butt
Praying Mantis
The end of the day
Found some bones.
Rain Clouds
Sunrise
Sunflowers
Wildflower
Crepe Myrtle in bloom
Sundown and Sunflowers
🌻
Anole Visitor
Orb Weaver
Have you ever seen calf udders? Aren’t they adorable
Loaf of bread (it was super tasty )
Bread bowls (they were delicious)
One of my toads.
I made sub rolls (and another loaf) they were freaking amazing.
Hummingbird
The girls
Controlled burn getting a bit too close for comfort
The night sky
My new stove 😍😍
Miss Mia
Fizzgig being snuggly
Gizmo sitting in the window in my sewing room
Fizzgig
Gizmo
He thinks the highchair is for him and loves to curl up in it.
Sunset
Sunset and Cows

Until next time….

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Calves, Chickens, Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

I Am Terrible At This.

It’s been a while since I have posted. I would like to say, “I blame the Pandemic.”, but the reality is that life is just hectic and I rarely have a free moment to sit still and write. I last posted in May and so much has happened since then. So, I will start from the beginning.

Miss Chicken, who was my accidental Cornish Cross that lived in my mudroom/laundry room, passed away in June. Then I lost another Rhode Island Red to a snake. This year was insane for snakes, I don’t even remember how many were found inside of the coop, but thankfully all of the snakes I saw in the coop were non-venomous, but I did run over a copperhead and four rattlesnakes while mowing. The Rhode Island Red was killed by a rattlesnake. Hubby dealt with the hen and the snake before I even knew what had happened. He also had a hole dug and ready for Miss Chicken before I even woke up. He was so worried that I was going to lose it when I found out, but I didn’t. I had been expecting to wake up to her being gone for a while because she was a Cornish Cross and they grow so fast and are meant to be dispatched at around 8-10 weeks of age. I didn’t want meat chickens so she got to live out her life as a very spoiled house chicken. She had a good life and I am happy that she didn’t have to live the life of a normal Cornish Cross. She was a happy chicken.

Now that the bad news is out of the way, time for some happy things.

The girls are getting bigger.

My calves are no longer little. They are a bit ridiculous and feisty. I can’t bring out cubes without a fence between myself and the girls anymore because they have decided that they can headbutt me and food drops. Not a fun time.

This is a normal occurrence

They love to shove their heads through the fence to try and lick me. If you have never been locked by a cow, it’s like a cat, but much bigger and slimy and it smells like grass. (Huge slimy sandpaper tongues) Calf kisses are just gross.

She always has her head through the fence.

As you can see, their feed buckets have moved. Now, I can safely dump cubes in the bucket with zero fear of being headbutted or trampled.

She is the calmer of the two, but she’s also bossy towards her sister.

No, they aren’t actually siblings, but we call them sisters. The feed movw also meant more water sources because of the heat. We put the feed buckets in the shade and added four halves of 55 gallon plastic barrels. They also have two mineral buckets full of water and an actual water trough that holds something like 200 gallons. We haven’t used that one much because I haven’t figured out how to keep algae from growing in it in a matter of hours. So, the smaller ones are easier to scrub and much less water is dumped. I have a few experiments going on avoiding algae. If any of them actually work, I will share the info.

So, onward we go….

I have a granddaughter who is expected any day now. She has decided to be fashionably late and her due date has already passed. I FINALLY learned how to use my sewing machine that I have been toting around the country as I have moved from place to place the past 17 years. Yes, I know how insane that sounds, but I was detergent to learn to use it. One of the kiddos brought his fiancΓ©e he is an adult now) and she taught me how to thread it, troubleshoot tension issues, etc. and sat down with me daily for a full week and taught me everything I needed to know. Well, my first project was a baby quilt for my granddaughter. It is my first quilt sewn on a sewing machine. (I have been sewing by hand for years)

I used 1930s reproduce prints for the top and pink flannel with a polkadot print for backing, sashing, and binding. I hope she loves it.

I am currently working on a quilt for my grandson, who is almost three.

I removed the dark blue and the other three fabrics are what I am using for his quilt.
Everything is cut and ready to sew.

Hmmm…. what else has happened…

Ah, yes, I killed yet another washer. This time, I managed to find one with the center agitator, it fills all the way up, and I can wash a king size duvet without any issues. This made me very happy because getting motor oil, grease, brake fluid, and brake dust out of hubby’s clothes was almost impossible with a high efficiency washer. They always looked dingy no matter what I did. I strongly dislike HE machines.

My darling father in law absolutely hated my 1970s ,cast iron burner, dinosaur of a stove and he surprisingly me with a glass flat top stove (he specifically looked for one I could use cast iron on and I could also use for canning/pressure canning) it had to be reinforced because it’s a drop in, but he made absolute certain I wouldn’t have any problems doing anything I had been doing prior to the surprise of a new stovetop. He loves making breakfast when they visit and he couldn’t take it anymore. I woke up to him installing it. I guess it’s a good thing he consulted my mother in law because she knew exactly what I had been searching for in a new stovetop. I swear that woman takes notes during our conversations.

Hubby races IMCA 305 Racesaver sprint cars and this year he finished 7th in points. All we wanted was a top 10 finish. He even missed a few races. I don’t go to the track. I’m bad luck and I’m also immunocompromised so I would have had to wear a mask for several hours in the Oklahoma heat. Methanol fumes also give me a migraine and these cars run on methanol. I am always miserable at the track so, I stay home and do my own thing on Saturday nights. I have been sewing since I learned how to use my machine.

The only other occurrence was a nightmare. We had a pipe break in the basement. I woke up at around 4 am to use the bathroom and heard this weird sound. I realized it was coming from the bathroom sink faucet, turned the faucet on and no water came out. I ran downstairs, flipped the breaker for the pump, opened the basement door, looked down the stairs and saw water so I flipped the breaker for the air handler for the downstairs unit as well. Left hubby a note since he had to be up in an hour anyway. Woke up at 7 and he had already pumped most of the water out. Air handler was undamaged. We tossed anything soggy that couldn’t be washed and filled the dumpster. Fun stuff. Basement needed cleaned out anyway. Fixed the pipe. Basement is dry now. Thanks to the Oklahoma heat. We left the basement window and the doors on the inside of the basement that lead to the outside stairs open. The large and super heavy outer door was closed, but just enough air could enter for nice air circulation. It was completely dry the following day.

So, I think that is everything major that has happened. I am going to make one more post that will be photos only. I have been on the ball about snapping pictures.

Until next time….

Chickens, Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

Chick Update

The chicks are getting so big. They are fully feathered out and going outside during the day and back in at night.

It was super gloomy the other day and rain was on the forecast, but I didn’t want them stuck inside all day so, I sat outside and when it started sprinkling, I gathered them up and brought them back inside.

They really seem to enjoy all of the space in the run.

Hubby brought me a tire crate home. The gate is made from the top and bottom of the crate. I still need to paint it white to match and repaint the shed. The coop got a fresh coat of paint.

It looks like there is no fencing at all and there are two layers. One layer is chicken wire and the other is hog fencing. Hubby also built them a swing.

This is one of the sides of that tire crate. They are rather large tires. When he called and said he had something for me, I figured it was another window shipping crate. Nope, he brought me readymade fencing. πŸ˜‚ He had no idea what I would do with it, but he knew I would have been upset if he had told me about it later and hadn’t brought it home. They seriously just break these apart and toss them in the dumpster. The wood is heat treated and I make sure he doesn’t bother with anything that doesn’t have a HT stamp. Chemical treated wood is useless to me.

I took a close up of the fencing. It really is two layers and the green fencing is buried 2-3 feet under the ground, to prevent anything from digging under the fencing and getting into the run. The coop is built, but I am still working on security and don’t want to take any risks. I will be laying huge stones around the coop itself to prevent digging even though the coop has a solid floor and pallets underneath the floor. The floor was raised to prevent flooding because of water runoff. I am EXTREMELY protective of the chicks because our friends put their chicks out and lost every single one within a weeks time. They had 50. I only have 15. I am taking my time and making absolutely sure that NOTHING can get in.

I also got the bird feeder out and it doesn’t swing in the extreme winds here. I secured it to the tree with electrical fencing wire. It was heavy duty enough for the job. We also finally mowed the property for the first time this spring. (still need to weedeat). We also took down a HUGE tree branch that was threatening the powerline from the old dairy building to the stalls. I will get some pictures of that later. Oh, I almost forgot, I started painting the planter boxes (window shipping crates.)

They still need holes drilled in them, but they are ready to be drilled, filled, and planted. Hubby also bought me roses. Three bushes. I LOVE roses.

Two will go in the large window shipping crate and the third will go in a large planter that was used for tomatoes a few years ago. (It’s pretty large. I can’t lift it when it’s full.) I made sure to get three different kinds of roses. I know one is Oklahoman, but I can’t remember what the other two are.

Until next time….

Everyday Activities, Gardening

The Random Things Hubby Brings Me…

Our Anniversary happened earlier this month and it’s not really a big deal to us because we buy each other random things year round for absolutely no reason. We were going to go get my chicks on our Anniversary, but the local supplier for Oklahoma went out of business so, no one had chicks in Oklahoma on our Anniversary. We also had to go to a racecar parts store in Oklahoma City, Bishop’s. Hubby had to have the car put on the dyno machine and such and I was of course completely bored for a few hours. On the way home he somehow managed to park the truck and enclosed trailer in the middle of small town Chickasha (Chickasha is a big city, but they have what I assume is old Main street and it looks like a small town.) I always thought it was a small town until he took me through the city part of Chickasha. Well there’s a seed store in Small Town Chickasha and I absolutely love it. They have everything from bulk seeds to cast iron skillets. I didn’t really need seeds since I already got those, but I grabbed a handful of packets for herbs and such. Nope, I was on a mission. I wanted bird feeders. I didn’t want just any old bird feeders, I had specifics in mind.

Last year I saw my very first live hummingbird and it scared the bejeezus out of me. I thought it was a very large bee or wasp and I’m allergic to both, deathly allergic. So, I was in a panic while drinking my coffee and looking for this giant bug. Then I saw a flash of green. I had randomly bought a tiny hummingbird feeder that only held a few ounces. The hummingbird was at the feeder. It was beautiful and looked metallic. I am determined to have even more this year. They are in love with my lilies and cannas. So, I was searching for an unbreakable hummingbird feeder.

Spring in Oklahoma is tornado season so, the wind is brutal. It is brutal year round, but especially so, in springtime. I have lost so many wind chimes to the wind. Hubby kindly rest rings them with lacing wire when I buy them now. I currently only have one because the others blew away and I couldn’t find them.

So this was what I settled on for a feeder. It’s pretty tough plastic. It cane with a piece of wire and an S hook to hang it. I laughed at that. Hubby will hang them so they don’t blow away. I bought two of these.

Then I needed a regular bird feeder since all I have is a suet holder. My other feeder slammed into the tree too many times and broke.

I settled on this one for two reasons. First, it has a metal hanger, and second, I can secure it to the tree with the perch area. (It’s already hung and survived a storm.)

Bonus feature, easy to fill.

Of course I needed bird seed… Fifty pounds of it. πŸ˜‚

Grabbed some more suet blocks too.

This post was supposed to be about the random stuff he brings me though. So, let me get to that. He called and said, I have a surprise for you, tell the boy to get dressed and meet me in the driveway to help me get these out of the truck. Um… okay. So, I got the teenager out of bed and dressed. I swear my husband has radar for random things his wife will want.

I got three of these wooden sectioned boxes. He said, “I have no idea what you will use them for, but I figured you were going to be upset if I didn’t bring them home.” He had no clue what I was seeing when I squealed with excitement. I saw three raised beds already built and sectioned off. Oh but, there’s more….

Three small ones and one deep one. Seriously, he has a radar for these things. I was absolutely giddy. Now, I just need to remove the shipping stickers and paint them. If you are wondering what on Earth these are from, they are shipping containers for parts. Hubby is a diesel mechanic and the top 3 held windows so they have thick foam and lids. The bottom one held some big part for some vehicle he was working on that week. I didn’t ask specifics. I just know I need to paint them and destroy the stickers. (The stickers are gone. He brought the third small one home two days after he brought the others home.) I told him if there are ever more of these boxes, I want them. They break them down and throw them in the garbage. I will give them new life. Same goes for the burlap bags that shop rags come in, I have 4 of those, I line wire hanging baskets with it. Also, I made absolutely certain that these were heat treated only. He always says that I would be in heaven at a dump because I would dig through everything. πŸ˜‚

I have a strange habit of reusing everything possible and that only started when we moved to Oklahoma. Our small town has ZERO recycling. Lawton didn’t have it either. I don’t want to fill a landfill with a bunch of recyclable things. That just irritates me and makes me sad. So, plastic containers get a new life holding parts and bits and pieces in the garage. Others have been used to hold small amounts of paint for projects. At his last job, he brought me home 30 heat treated wooden pallets, 5 blue plastic 55 gallon barrels, one white 55 gallon plastic barrel, about 10, 5 gallon buckets, which he promptly confiscated for other things, and one metal 55 gallon barrel so I had a burn barrel. It’s safer to burn yard waste like branches in a metal barrel because it has less risk of catching the whole property on fire. He worked for a garbage company working on their vehicles. He hated it with a passion because warm weather means maggots. I was happy when he fina

This, job, he doesn’t bring me much home. Random bent washers, nuts for broken bolts (wind chimes), burlap bags, and now, wooden crates. Thankfully, this job isn’t super wasteful and they actually recycle. They return plastic and metal barrels to be refilled, which makes me happy. I have no idea why they throw these shipping containers into the dumpster, but I am kind of glad they do because I will use them. They even reuse pallets. So, this is weird and I hope they fix it, but until they do, I am happy to recycle them all. As I was writing this, he called to tell me he had two more of the sectioned wooden boxes, Yay!!! I can’t wait to go get paint and soil.

Until next time…

Barn Kitties, Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

A Rundown of December and January

So, my last post happened before the holidays and my house has been a whirlwind of absolute chaos since then. I am currently purging the house and organizing everything, but before I get into that, I will get you all caught up on the whirlwind that was December and the beginning of January.

We had a lovely holiday with just the three of us, the kids were all supposed to come home this year, but life happens and they were all unable to come home. I would have enjoyed having everyone here together and actually being able to get a recent family picture, but I completely understand that life is harder when you are a young adult and usually living paycheck to paycheck. The kids will all be visiting this year, but it will be at different times. I did get to see my daughter in law and grandson this month so, that was amazing and stressful at the same time.

I guess I will start with the pictures I took in December and January as a little bit of brightness to this post. Fizzgig and Gizmo thoroughly enjoyed the tree.

They didn’t climb it this year, but they loved hiding out under it and sleeping on the tree skirt. Fizzgig loved the lights when I turned them to twinkle instead of constantly staying lit. He would lie under the tree and just watch them twinkling. He was definitely being quite photogenic.

We also saw snow at the beginning of January and some ice as well.

It began snowing and I honestly didn’t expect much because it didn’t look like it was going to be much more than what is on the ground in this picture. Boy was I wrong. We saw almost a foot of snow by morning.

It was absolutely beautiful and the perfect snow for snowmen and snowballs, but it was brutal cold and while we invited the neighbor’s little ones, and the other children who were visiting her, to go sledding, we didn’t play in it aside from helping the little ones go faster down the hills on the back of the property. (Our neighbor’s property is completely flat aside from the edge of her fenced backyard which sloped towards the fence dividing our property.)

The barn kitties stayed inside of the dairy building aside from a few short trips around the front of the property. I am guessing they went to see if any small critters were out and about for a quick warm meal. I warmed their wet foot and placed their wet food and water dishes on waterproof heating mats. They also have special beds in the dairy building rafters that hold warmth when they lie on them so, they are kind of like a heating pat that warms them using their body heat. They were all being used, but I couldn’t get pictures because of how the beds are set up in the rafters. I have pieces of plywood across the beams to create an attic of sorts so they can be up high and not be in danger if a predator manages to get into the building somehow. Additionally, they are out of my reach unless I climb on stuff so, they feel safer if I come into the building and don’t have to bolt out of there. The pawprint pictures are all around the dairy building. The last one is at their entrance and there were at least seven cats inside the building when I went to feed them. I am glad they were safe, warm, and had free access to plenty of food (both kibble and wet food), water, and warm beds. They do such a good job keeping the mice and snake populations in check. I just wish they would let me pet them.

These pictures are before the second round of snowfall. We had approximately six inches of snow at this point and about a 1/4 of an inch of ice formed that night on top of the snow. The pawprint photos are the only ones I got of all of the snow. We shoveled the snow away from the door and entrances to the dairy building for the barn kitties so, there wasn’t as much snow around the door thankfully. We didn’t want them trapped from snow.

I know this is a terrible photo. It was taken from inside the house the day after the snowstorm. The barn kitties walked through the raised bed outside the window. It was in the 40’s F the following day and the snow was gone by the third day after the snowstorm. I am hopeful that we get one more good snow before spring. I will get better pictures of it snows again. I wasn’t feeling well and the last thing I wanted was to be cold and wet as well as feeling icky.

Fizzgig really liked the table linens and took quite a few naps on the runner. He had just woken up from one when I snapped this picture.

At the end of December or very beginning of January, we got some new neighbors. I am not sure when they arrived, but they sure are adorable.

I had taken Miss Mia to check the fence line and once I was done doing my checks, I took her back to the house and spent a bit of time greeting these sweet babies. They were fascinated with Miss Mia and kept sniffing me because I smelled like her. I can’t wait to get a few calves of my own, but we still have a ways to go before that happens. The previous owners had 100 head of cattle on 10 acres. This is insane because the suggested number is one cow per acre. We are leaving the property alone. We mow the yard, but have only really mowed the property once or twice a year because we wanted it to grow back. It was pretty bare when we bought the property and it finally has a good layer of grass. We boarded horses so they could give the soil a bit of fertilizer without destroying everything like cattle tend to do when they are grass-fed. It’s getting there, maybe in a year or two I can finally get some calves.

Gizmo has been regularly stealing Miss Mia’s bed from her. Miss Mia is not a young puppy. she has arthritis and she’s getting old. Gizmo has no shame. Miss Mia will NOT throw Gizmo out of her bed because she thinks the cats are her puppies. Fizzgig and Gizmo were bottle babies (bottle fed and very tiny at 2 weeks and 4 weeks old) and Miss Mia loved them, groomed them, and let them cuddle with her anytime they wanted. She would rather sleep on the floor than kick her “puppy” out of her bed. We have placed another bed right next to her bed so, she now has another bed to sleep in if Gizmo steals her bed.

Now for the pictures of my grandson’s visit.

He is 15 months old and he’s huge for his age. His momma had no idea what to feed him for snack time since I was in the shower he got a little bit of everything. He enjoyed it thoroughly.

Lunch was cooked for him. (He had a spoon when I gave him his food. It was immediately flung across the kitchen and he chose to eat with his hands.) Lunch was ham cubes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and noodles in a cheesy bechamel sauce. He ate three servings and I had to teach his mother how to make it because he tends to play with his food more than he eats it and he destroyed this meal. He did wear some of it, especially in his hair. πŸ˜‚

He fell in love with my Boston Red Sox blanket and slept with it for every nap.

Nonno stopped on the way home from the airport to buy his grandson some Batman clothes because he was wearing Captain America clothes and that was unacceptable. We chose to be called Nonna and Nonno because hubby and I are both from Italian backgrounds and these are the Italian versions of Grandma and Grandpa. I am 39, I am not old enough to be called Grandma. The wonderful thing about choosing to be called by these names is that he can say them.

He was so much easier to take pictures of when he was eating. He had French toast and sausage for breakfast and wanted cheese too. (I made omelets and French toast for everyone else)

He was laughing so hard the picture was blurry. He was laughing because his momma had hiccups.

He fell asleep holding onto her after giving her a serious leg workout.

My legs hurt just watching. He weighed 25.6 pounds (He loved the scale and stepped on it multiple times a day.)

He loves taking pictures.

He used me as a bed quite often. He sleeps like his dad.

Deconstructed taco salads were a hit too. We tried a plastic spoon because he didn’t like the toddler spoons or the baby spoons I had. He still ate mainly with his hands, but he tried really hard to eat with his spoon. I told him if he ate all of his food, I would give him an amazing dessert.

Needless to say, chocolate cake was a hit. (It was a TastyKake chocolate bell) I also gave him a bath. I wasn’t mean and I cleaned him up instead of just handing him back to momma and making her clean him up.

I also made him tiny pizza with tiny pepperoni when we had pizza and calzones for dinner. He had never had his own pizza before. He did exactly what his dad does, he picked off the pepperoni and ate those first then, he ate each slice.

It was definitely messy. (He had refused to drink from any sippy cups so, I bought some and got him drinking out of them. He still has his bottle, but this is a good start towards toddlerhood.)

I discovered that he loves snapchat so, these next few pictures are all snapchat filters. Some are a bit ridiculous, but those of you who haven’t managed to add me on other platforms will actually see my face.

We enjoyed being silly.

I am glad he came to visit. I said stressful earlier when describing his visit. He and his momma were both sick with the flu for their entire visit. Also, my house is NOT childproof. We bought a baby gate on the way home from the airport because we have stairs and stairs are dangerous for little ones. He also doesn’t sleep through the night so, I woke every time he woke, and he woke every 2 hours. Makes me glad my youngest is 18.

Fizzgig does NOT like tiny humans. He had a bad experience with our friend’s 5 yr old so he hisses, growls, and runs away from tiny humans. He does enjoy their comfy accessories though. He really liked camping out in the stroller.

So, that was a fairly quick rundown of December and January. I am purging and organizing the house because I realized just how much clutter we have after having a toddler locating chokable items and having to take them away and put them out of reach. While I will not be childproofing unless a grandchild is living with us, I do need to reduce clutter and get the house more organized. I realized I have a bunch of junk that needs to go. Maybe I will take some before and after pictures while I am purging the house. I am really glad we have a dumpster and not just a trashcan. I can throw out so much stuff without having to wait a week for the rest.

Until next time….

Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

My Day Consisted of Doing Nothing

Yeah, yeah, I know I was supposed to decorate today, but hubby got today off as a federal holiday to honor President George Bush (senior) passing away. He is very rarely home during the week so, he refused to let me do anything aside from playing a Lego video game with him. I took a picture of the tv screen while texting one of the kids and just remembered I had a picture. This is the game I was playing. Lego Marvel Superheroes

I REALLY suck at video games, but the controls for the Lego games are super simple. Other games, I can barely walk around because you have to move one toggle to walk and another to look ahead. My brain just doesn’t work that way. So, he buys the Lego games and we play together. My favorite part is when you hit an enemy they burst into Lego pieces. When you smash the things in each area, they also burst into lego pieces, but they also explode into coins at the same time and you collect coins to buy characters and vehicles. It really is a fun game and they have so many games from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings and even Pirates of the Caribbean.

I didn’t decorate today, but I have all day tomorrow to decorate and I WILL make a post about it with oodles of pictures of my decorating.

I did however, promise a blog post today, so I am keeping my promise. After video games we went upstairs like we always do because he wakes up super early, he goes to bed super early too. So, I put on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to watch until I go to bed. (I am a night owl and an insomniac so, I will be up for a while.

This post needs at LEAST one photo so, here’s a random picture. (I found the picture of my game after putting this in the post.)

I made an origami bat for my friend. I think it turned out fairly well. Okay one more random photo.

My son sent me this picture one day with the message saying, “Mom, I got a tattoo of you.” I am a cat lady and my kids share this information loudly and one in the form of a flash art (the random pre drawn tattoos in tattoo shops) I laughed and told him I thought it was sweet of him to have a tattoo of his Momma, but I hoped he didn’t mean that I looked like that. πŸ˜‚

Along with the above rambling, I am going to give you a list of some of my favorite things and some random things about I hope it gives you a little bit more insight into who I am as a person instead of just reading about all of the disasters that happen around here.πŸ˜‚

I adore art, both creating it and enjoying other people’s creations.

I love to read and prefer an actual book over a digital version, but I own both a Nook and a Kindle Fire.

I have a soft spot for animals of all types. I am the kind of person who traps and releases every critter except for wasps and scorpions. They come after me and that’s just not cool. If they ran away, they would be trapped and released as well, but they are mean.

I still color in coloring books, both children’s coloring books and adult coloring books. It is calming and relaxing.

I love to cook and bake. I bake bread when I am stressed, angry, or frustrated. I bake from scratch, no bread machine. Kneading is all done by hand. I make better bread when I’m feeling one of these emotions because I take all my frustrations, anger, stress, out on the dough and it ends up being so soft and fluffy. I will eventually start posting some of my favorite recipes (most from the late 1800s to the early 1900s)

I have a blanket addiction. I love blankets and I am constantly making them, buying them, or being gifted them. One can never have too many blankets.

My astrological sign is Cancer.

I sleepwalk, talk in my sleep, and snore very loudly when I rip my mask off in my sleep. I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine/ oxygen condenser that forces air into my nose along with oxygen.

I don’t drive.

I talk to myself constantly. As long as I don’t start answering myself, I think I will be okay. πŸ˜‚

I am also one of those crazy people who talks with their hands. (Not sign language, though I am able to hold a conversation in ASL, but the random flailing and flapping during vocal conversations.)

If you come to my house, I am going to assume you are hungry and feed you. Even if you say you aren’t hungry, you are getting a plate of food.

I love soup. Seriously. I make huge pots of soup and freeze it in individual servings and I always have at least four kinds on hand in the freezer.

Okay, last one because this has gotten rather long and a girl needs some mystery, right?

I can write legibly and draw with both hands. I have broken my wrist too many times and had to learn.

Until next time….

Everyday Activities, Homemaking on the Homestead, Journal Style Posts

Life Happens Sometimes.

I apologize to all of you for being missing for so long. So much has happened so, I will do my best to bring you all up to date in a single post because tomorrow is decorating day and I plan on making an entire photograph post for that.

If you have been following along, you know that so many things have broken and been “repaired” and then been broken again. Well, the air conditioning is fixed. The heat is working just fine and we are looking at snow and ice this weekend, which I am hoping doesn’t knock out the power. If it does, we will be just fine. We have a generator and an amazing kerosene heater, which I can place a pot or pan on top of and actually cook on it. They would be simple meals, but hot food is so much nicer than eating whatever I can quickly cook on a crappy hot plate plugged into the generator. I can also use an outlet on the generator for my crockpot so, we will be eating like normal. I just prefer to have my oven and stovetop.

The well pump was acting up prior to my hiatus and that turned out to be a MAJOR issue. It wasn’t just the pump. We ended up replacing all of the PVC piping from the basement to the well, the pressure tank (we upgraded to a 100 gallon tank from a 45 gallon one), the pressure switch, the pump itself, and all of the wiring from the basement to the pump. It rained just before the pump went out and I am so glad it did because it made the rock hard Oklahoma clay soft.

This is the old pressure tank. We replaced all of that PVC because it snapped when we removed the tank.

This is the new pressure tank and that funky looking piece right next to the tank makes it EXTREMELY easy to remove the tank. The end allows for drainage in case of sand building up in the tank. We will switch to a different filtration set up next summer.

This picture shows where the wiring was originally going through the well housing pipe. As you can see the hole isn’t very big and it was shredding the insulation on the wiring causing shorts to happen. We drilled out this hole and added a fitting so the white PVC pipe fits snugly and protects the wiring instead of shredding it.

Originally there was some metal conduit coming from the basement wall and when the pipe from the well to the house sprung a leak, water flooded through the metal conduit hole into the basement. The wiring was coming from the house through a hole and about a foot of metal conduit the rest of the wiring was just buried without protection and there were so many electrical tape patches. We replaced the wiring and it is now inside of the white PVC pipe. The black PVC is the water line. It’s flex pipe not rigid pvc so it is an upgrade from the random bits of patched together pipe that was in the ground. No wonder it sprung a leak.

This end is where the pipes meet the basement wall. As you can see, no more metal conduit. (Inside the white PVC, is a copper pipe that fits through the basement wall and the space between the copper pipe and PVC has been sealed with silicone so, it is water tight, but the pipe can be easily removed if needed.) The water pipe is connected to the old metal pipes for the house, which are original to the house, but most of the pipes in the basement have been replaced. We just didn’t want to cut a hole in the cement block that makes up the basement wall so we left this metal pipe section in place and connected it to the flex pipe with copper fittings, which have hose clamps as a backup measure for securing the copper fitting inside the flex pipe. I wish I had taken a picture of that fitting because I know that’s confusing. There is a screw in side going into the metal pipe and the side that goes inside the flex pipe has these ridges that dig into the flex pipe if you attempt to remove it. We just weren’t taking any chances and added two hose clamps for extra peace of mind.

So, that’s everything for the well that I took pictures of and still have the pictures. It took almost a week to complete everything since hubby still had to go to work every day and my son still had school. We had water except for one full day. Hubby had everything situated for temporary measures since we got muddy daily working on the well. Showers were a must.

Next up is the drafty doors. I REFUSE to get rid of the original front door. It is absolutely beautiful. I was tracking up thick blankets each year making the front door unusable and the back door, it’s a French door and while new (previous owners put it in) it has a serious draft and the glass just allows cold to permeate the living room. So, blankets were not cutting it for me or hubby. They looked terrible and we were forced to use the mudroom for coming and going. It was not fun.

I decided on a more permanent solution, which blocks the drafts and cold, but we have use of the doors and it looks much nicer than a blanket.

Okay, this is the back door. As you can see, theres a blanket still partially tacked up over it. (I think those are called French doors. Both open.)

This was my solution. (This is the front door) It is a sliding glass door curtain and it’s thermal as well a a blackout curtain. So, it’s pretty thick. There are single pane windows that are decorative and they don’t open, they are just panes of glass, which surround the door. It is lovely in the summer because it let’s in a ton of light. So, the curtain needed to cover all of that glass as well. (The glass is also original and I am not destroying the history of my 100 year old home.)

These are the best pictures I have of the front door and the surrounding windows. I don’t normally take photos of the doors because they aren’t exactly a needed thing usually. We discovered that Fizzgig knows how to climb a ladder while installing the curtain rods and the curtains. I do normally take a ton of pictures of my animals. So, these give some idea of how much glass is actually there. I am currently searching for someone to actually fix this door as well as searching for a solution for all of the single pane glass. I was thinking about using clear film as a bit of insulting. (Like tint for car windows, but it is clear) I am just not sure how it would hold up to the Oklahoma sun.

Finally, if you have made it this far, I am grateful for your patience. I will now reward you with some cute pictures of the critters.

Gizmo has claimed my fabric basket as her new bed.

Here she is checking out the tree, just after it was brought up from the basement. (Yes, I know the lights are uneven and it is completely crooked. I will fix it tomorrow and I will fluff it back out.)

Fizzgig sleeping in the empty fish tank, which used to house my Guinea pigs. I put an old sheet in there for him to snooze on once he learned how to get inside of it. He is dreaming about being a catfish.

This one is a bit older but they were both snuggled up to Miss Mia and it’s adorable.

Time for daily ablutions while nestled in hubby’s sweatshirt. Fizzgig loves coating his clothing in luck fibers. (Aka fur)

He also has a thing for heater vents and doesn’t care if we freeze as long as he is toasty and warm.

Miss Mia supervising the Chewy.com delivery. This is where I buy their food, treats, kitty litter, sometimes toys, and even the new leads I got for Miss Mia to go outside alone since she can get through all of our fencing. It’s just not safe for her to be outside without a lead since she will holt after a squirrel or rabbit and chase it for miles. We live on a state Highway and semi trucks are a real danger. She has 100 ft of freedom and she gets to explore the rest of the property on a leash with us taking her for walks.

Tomorrow, hopefully I will get my decorating completed and get the pictures posted tomorrow night. I will do my very best.

Until next time….

Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

Bad Things Come In Threes, But The Air Conditioning is Fixed

The air conditioning is fixed!!! I cannot even begin to explain how happy I was to see the AC repairman pull into the driveway today. One air conditioning unit was low on freon and the other needed a tiny little part that he called a fan start capacitor. Both are blowing super cold again. Neither of them has shut off or begun blowing hot air so, they are officially fixed. (He left his personal cell number just in case something else happened with them after he left.) As of 10:13 pm, the house is basically a polar cave, just the way we like it.

I am still waiting on the lawnmower deck. I keep looking outside and hoping it doesn’t rain a whole lot before the deck arrives. I am trying to find someone with a tractor and a brush hog who is willing to cut it for us for about $100.00 or so. (I would even pay 200 if they would do it just before the new deck arrives.) The deck is apparently back ordered until late August even though the website said, “In Stock”. I seriously cannot catch a break. With the Air conditioning, the lawnmower deck, and the dishwasher, that’s 3. They say bad things come in threes and that’s 3 things. (I am not counting the chicken coop because it just needs the cover secured again. It’s not broken, just slightly damaged.)

The dishwasher needs a new heating element. That can be repaired and does not mean I need a new dishwasher thankfully. I am just fed up with things breaking. I realize this is part of owning a home, but it still sucks. It raises my stress levels, which in turn raises my pain levels and by that point, I just want to flop on the couch and no longer more for the entire day. I simply cannot flop on the couch doing nothing. My household would fall apart rather quickly if I did that.

I am making the best of the stressful situation. I have no issues doing dishes by hand. I drive hubby crazy because I have a dishpan with sanitizer in it and I dip the dishes after washing and rinsing. I didn’t use my dishwasher to wash the dishes, I used it to sanitize the dishes. Therefore, sanitizer is necessary. (Yes, I realize that most people do not sanitize their dishes.)

I sanitize my dishes because I have a compromised immune system. I clean my house with bleach and a disinfectant called Cavi-cide. I love bleach. Bleach kills almost everything that floats around the typical home. Cavi-cide is normally reserved for the bathrooms. It’s a hospital grade disinfectant, which needs to be rinsed off of surfaces after letting it sit for 3 minutes. It kills stomach bugs, flu germs, the common cold, MRSA, TB, HIV, etc. It keeps me from getting sick and ending up with a week long hospital stay. (I hate hospitals.) Hubby will be replacing the dishwasher element when it arrives. Apparently it is an inexpensive and simple thing to change out. Until this happens, I will continue to sanitize my dishes with sanitizer tablets.

Aside from the onslaught of breakages, everything seems to be going fairly smoothly. I will be spending tomorrow cleaning up the side of the basement we plan to turn into two bedrooms. It is currently cluttered with holiday decorations, Army fungus (uniforms, gear, etc.), and boxes I never unpacked when we moved. I will have to wear a mask while I am down there cleaning. There is a section between the two large areas of the basement, which has a dirt floor. This is the location of the old coal chute for the coal furnace, which was removed long ago. The dirt is an extremely find dust and I don’t want to be breathing it in while sweeping it back to the dirt floor area. Once everything is organized and swept up, we can figure out exactly how we want to remodel the basement. I will take some pictures while I am down there. The wall has names and birthdays for the boys who were members of a Boy Scouts Troop/Den back in the late 1950s or early 1960s (I don’t remember the exact dates.) The original builder’s wallpaper is also in patches on the walls. The builder’s wallpaper was calendar pages from 1918. We plan on preserving these bits of history even though we will be remodeling. Hubby plans on filling in the dirt floor section with concrete once he has it checked out to see if it’s still dirt for a reason. I will be taking the metal detector down there before he fills it in. The area is approximately 12 ft. X 7 ft. and I am bringing the metal detector down there because there was a Boy Scouts Troop/Den meeting in the one side of the basement. The entire square footage of the basement is about 1000 square feet. The attic is another 1000 square feet, which we would love to turn into usable space. Right now, the attic is about 120Β° Farenheit (It was 165Β° Fahrenheit earlier today when the AC guy was up there checking the upstairs air handler. Both units are heat pumps, and I have no idea what the difference is between a heat pump and anything else.)

Looks like an AC unit in my opinion. I apologize for the dark picture. It was 3 am and I was taking pictures because it froze up. I will show you what that looks like.

The first picture is the piping for the freon. And the second picture is through the top where the fan is and the entire compressor was frozen in a block of ice. In order to keep the AC going somewhat, I would have to turn it off, allow it to thaw out, then turn it back on, I repeated this process every few hours. This was the upstairs unit and all of the bedrooms are upstairs so, this one was pretty important at night.

This is the downstairs unit and it needed a capacitor replaced. For this one, the fan in the top wouldn’t turn on. To keep this one going, I had to reset the breakers until the fan kicked on every few hours. The air handlers are located in the basement and in the attic. They kept blowing air. It was hot air, but both kept blowing air. I really am glad they are fixed.

I am sunburned from being outside while both units were being fixed. I stayed outside and watched because I wanted to know how he was fixing them. He was so awesome, he explained everything, showed me the readings when he tested freon levels, told me what normal levels were, and showed me when he tested the old capacitor with a multimeter. It was showing zero for a reading and the new one was showing a much higher reading. He also flushed the drain lines in the basement for the air handler. He explained how to do it in case the water started to show on the small section of concrete again in the future. (Basically, he blew air through the lines with a handheld air compressor. I really want one of those, but they are stupid expensive.)

Fizzgig was being especially cute and snuggly this morning while I was drinking my coffee. I hated to get up and disturb him, but I absolutely had to get dressed today.

He has been really snuggly lately and I am not sure why, because he rarely wants to snuggle with me.

He has even been snuggly with Gizmo. (Pardon my couch. I am married to a mechanic and he doesn’t always change out of his work clothes before flopping on the couch. Motor oil and other mechanical fluids have destroyed my tan couch.) I vow to get a black leather/pleather sectional when I replace the couches. They are 9 years old so, they are actually in pretty decent shape for surviving oodles of kids a grandbaby, other people’s babies, cats, Miss Mia and hubby and I sleeping on them for several months when he had his knee surgeries. (He has a titanium knee now.) Miss Mia is not allowed on the couch, but that has never stopped a dog before when no one is home. They have also survived a move across the country and another across the state. I still want to replace them. They are a two piece sectional and I want a “U” shaped sectional with recliners.

Miss Mia also got brushed this week.

The birds had a field day collecting the fur that blew away before it could be bagged. They will have super comfortable nests when winter comes. The small family of Finches, who live in the tiny birdhouse on the Hackberry tree in the backyard have been stuffing the birdhouse with her fur since they moved in the same time we did. The first decorations I hung was my birdhouse and then, my windchime. The windchime has seen better days. Hubby finally rebuilt it using lacing wire to hang the chimes and a large metal washer on a nut and bolt to hang against the chimes because the Oklahoma wind ripped the chimes off and the part that bangs against the chimes. It will definitely survive any wind that blows on it now.

This sunburn has made me feverish. I used my favorite sunburn remedies because I didn’t want to be in excruciating pain. Yes, I was wearing sunblock and I was covered, but I was outside for far too long and burned anyway because of the photosensitivity caused by one of my medications. Those remedies have been working EXTREMELY well for me for as long as I can remember and I added a few over the years. First, is the vinegar bath. I mix about a quart of white vinegar in about two inches of water in the tub, the water is lukewarm. I cover my whole body with this mixture several times and let it dry. Then, I keep aloe gel in the fridge so it is cold. Aloe is a wonderful thing for burns. I make my own gel now, but I have bought many bottles in the past. A few hours later, I take another bath. This time I grew a gallon of very strong black tea, (about 8 quart size teabags for a gallon of water.) I let it cool and with the tub plugged, but empty, I cover myself in the tea several times and let it dry. I add more aloe and sleep in super soft pajamas. (A tank top and shorts with flat seams and EXTREMELY soft fabric) by morning I have no sunburn symptoms aside from some light redness or pinkness. I am extremely pale so, I burn easily. I ALWAYS wear sunblock, but sometimes I still burn. It’s nice to be able to stop the heat and pain rather quickly. I am sure these old home remedies are probably NOT recommended, but they work for me. Please don’t take any of this as medical advice. I am NOT a doctor. I am just telling you what I do for myself and my kiddos. See a doctor if you have a severe sunburn as it could be sun poisoning or even a 2nd or 3rd degree burn. Blistering of any sort should be treated with medical attention.

With that being said, aloe gel is super easy to make. Just cut open an aloe leaf, scrap the gooey inside out, add a bit of witch hazel (just enough to thin to your desired consistency) and mix in a food processor, blender, or mash together with a fork. Pour it into a bottle and keep it in the fridge. Keep in mind fresh aloe will mold because it doesn’t contain preservatives. I have also made a spray by adding a bit of distilled water along with the witch hazel. For this, you definitely need to use a food processor or a blender and then, strain it so, your spray nozzle doesn’t clog. I firmly believe all aloe marketed for sunburns should come in spray form because rubbing it on can be painful when your skin is tight and hot. You can easily water down store bought aloe with a mix of witch hazel and distilled water to make a spray form as well. No matter what, the best treatment for sunburn is to avoid getting one in the first place. Sunblock is a wonderful thing. Reapply every 2 hours and after sweating or swimming. You should be using a shot glass full of sunblock for a child and 2 shotglasses (a shot glass is an ounce) for an adult. Use more if you feel that isnt enough. The lotion provides better coverage than the sprays simply because you can see exactly where it has been applied. I am a huge believer in sunblock. Skin cancer is deadly and terrifying. Also, sun damage to your skin causes your skin to age faster. You will see more wrinkles and more discoloration when you don’t protect your skin from the sun. Even the bottom of your feet can get sunburned. Apply sunblock EVERYWHERE. Remember, even waterproof/water resistant sunblock needs to be reapplied every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating. 😁 you can also buy clothing with built in sunblock, which is especially awesome for kids who hate sunblock or anyone with a sensitivity. This is the brand, Athleta, which I have personally been using. It is not terribly expensive considering that it will help protect you from UVA/UVB rays. It’s also cute and comfy. (I have ZERO affiliation with this company. I am simply sharing the brand that I have been personally using.) Their clothing is soft and pretty durable. I was expected something itchy or heavy feeling because its sunblock clothing. I am very happy with my purchases. I can’t wait to get more.

Now, that I have lectured everyone on the importance of sunblock, I sincerely hope, if you take only one thing away from my blog, this is that thing. It truly is important to take care of your skin. Until next time…

Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

General Homestead Update

As I stated previously, it has been a rough couple of weeks. I have been getting sunburned each time I go get the mail. I wear sunblock religiously. I put it on each morning, like most people would put lotion on. I reapply every few hours unless I am actually outdoors and then I reapply every hour. I managed to get severely sunburned while building the coop and I could not, for the life of me, figure out how I got so burned.

It took a few weeks to figure it out. I had gone to the pharmacy to get some stuff for my sunburn and the pharmacist came over to me while I was gathering different things off of the shelves. He asked me if I had been using sunblock, to which I replied, “of course”. He then asked me if I knew that my new prescription causes photosensitivity. I just looked at him dumbfounded because this tidbit was not listed ANYWHERE on the printout for the prescription, it wasn’t on the medication website, which I read thoroughly because I have so many allergies, it’s ridiculous. I asked why it wasn’t on the printout and he explained that they had just received the updated list of side effects since it is such a new medication (They had to order it for me when I filled it the first time.) I had no idea that this medicine caused photosensitivity. I had been using my regular spf 50 daily sunblock. I was burning every time I walked outside and I have been battling what I thought was a migraine for three weeks. Nope, not a migraine, light sensitivity due to this medicine. If it didn’t work so well, I would have called my doctor and had him change my prescription, but it works really well so, I’m not changing it.

They stuck a nifty warning sticker on the bottle this month that says, “Avoid exposure to direct and/or artificial sunlight while taking this medicine.” Wasn’t that nice of them?

I have found a way to avoid exposure. I have a very thin shirt that is long sleeved, but has built in sunblock properties. It’s a button down and breathes like I am wearing nothing. It’s that thin. I ordered a few more in different colors since the sun has become an enemy instead of just being a rival. I keep one by the back door and another by the mudroom door. I use the mudroom door a lot so, I needed one there as well. We never use the front door. I have no idea why, we just don’t. I was able to sit outside for a bit the other day earlier in the morning and I saw my very first humming bird ever. It was so loud. It scared me at first because I thought it was a giant wasp or a giant bug. I have a few feeders around the outside of the house.

The other lovely thing happening, which has delayed my chicks being ordered, is the air conditioning. We have two separate air conditioning systems. One for upstairs and one for downstairs. They are both on the fritz.

We have this nifty thing called a home warranty. It’s like insurance for appliances, plumbing, and electrical. Instead of paying full price, we pay a deductible and the home warranty company either repairs or replaces the appliance that fails. I highly recommend having one if you own a home.

The issue is that we live in the middle of nowhere so, they had to find a company willing to accept the job. This has taken two weeks. (Once they found one, the agent I spoke with told me how to avoid the wait in the future.) I finally spoke with the company and have to call Monday to set up the appointment.

So, for two weeks, our house has not been as cool as we normally keep it. I have managed to keep the air conditioning running for the most part by shutting it off for an hour or so and turning it back on after it thaws out. (According to the A.C. guy, it’s low on freon.) Heat compounds all of my health issues and makes me a very miserable human.

Hubby and I both agreed, that the chicks should wait until the air conditioning is fixed, since we have been in the high 90s and in the 100s these past two weeks. Once it hits 80Β° inside, I am useless. I swell up and I am miserable. It is definitely not fun. The other concern was regulating the temperature for the chicks. I don’t want them overheating. The humidity inside is also extremely high for some reason.

I probably won’t have many eggs this year, but I am okay with that. I don’t want to not be able to care for chicks because I am not fully functioning. I have contacted the company we are ordering from (I had to cancel my order.) They gave me wonderful news. They have Silkies hatching in July and August. This thrills me to no end. I think they are adorable. I can add a few to my order when I order in July. They had zero issues with me cancelling my order (the chicks hadn’t hatched yet) and were extremely understanding. I have room for 20 full grown chickens. I was going to get 10, but I think I will be getting more since they have a few colored egg breeds hatching in July and August.

Aside from my sun issues and the air conditioning breaking, we have had quite a few things happening around the homestead. Hubby finally taught me how to start the riding mower. This means I can mow any time I decide it needs to be mowed. I really enjoy mowing.

We are setting up the clothesline this weekend. I cannot wait for line dried sheets and linens. The smell and crispness of line dried sheets cannot be duplicated. I won’t even have to leave the back porch or put on shoes to use the clothesline. Hubby is setting up a pulley system so I can stand on the back steps barefooted and hang laundry or take it off the line.

We are also beginning a major project of finishing half of the basement. After having a house full of family in May, we both agreed, that we need more room. He really likes my idea of using corrugated metal for the walls. (Insulation boards behind the metal and waterproofing behind the insulation boards) He said we would never have to worry about painting and it would make the room so much brighter because light will reflect.

The one side of the basement can be turned into two bedrooms. The kids have already been bickering over who gets the basement rooms once they are finished. They bicker over who gets which room when they come home now. So, it wasn’t shocking that they are already bickering over the basement. Regardless of who gets the rooms, we will have to have Dish Network come wire the rooms for satellite tv and an electrician to wire for outlets and lighting. I am thinking of doing the industrial look for outlets and basic sconces for lighting. The ceilings are too low for ceiling fans or even normal lighting. Someone would hit their head on them. The ceilings are high enough that no one has to duck (as long as the kids stay under 6 ft they won’t have to duck) As far as heating and air goes, all of the duct work is already there, we simply need to add vents. That part will be easy.

We currently use the basement for a storm shelter so, having actual bedrooms, power, and television down there will make it much more comfortable for everyone. It will also turn our 4 bedroom house into a 6 bedroom house. Eventually, we will add a bathroom because water lines are already in place. There is a sink down there already.

So many projects are on our list. I don’t think we will ever be without projects. The coop has a floor, the window has been secured, we tested the roof with a pressure washer and ended up raising it a bit for better drainage. Gutters will be added along with a rain barrel, which will be a water source for chickens and for the greenhouse which will get added one day. The run is complete aside from the gate, which will take about 10 minutes to put it on the run. I still need to paint something on it so, it isn’t eggshell and boring. Perhaps I will do that this weekend since I have nothing else planned for the weekend except a clothesline. If I manage to avoid the sun and get it painted, I will take oodles of pictures. Until next time…

Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

Meet the Indoor Kitties and Miss Mia

I have already done a post about the permanent barn kitties, but neglected my two indoor kitties. I have two indoor cats, which I received as a birthday present from hubby. I didn’t receive them until November and my birthday is in June. We could not find kittens anywhere. I contacted every shelter and their kittens were with fosters who, refused to return my calls and one flat out told me no because we have a Husky-wolf mix.

This beautiful creature is Miss Mia. She is a now retired service animal. I decided it was time for her to retire, and just be a regular dog, when she started having issues with her hips. She was 7 years old. She is now 11 1/2 years old and loves the air conditioning. Her job was mobility assistance and seizure alert. She still alerts me to seizures, but my mobility has improved so, she doesn’t do too much assisting anymore.

This is the very first picture I took of Fizzgig and Gizmo. Fizzgig is the white and gray floof. Gizmo is the calico floof. As you can probably tell, they were not 8 weeks old. Fizzgig was 2 weeks old and Gizmo was 4 weeks old. They came to me when a teenager, who went to school with my son and daughter, found out I was looking for kittens. He had 2 litters and both momma kitties had been killed. One was hit by a semi truck and the other was killed by a coyote. He thought both litters were much older. He thought they were 6 weeks and 8 weeks. So, I bottle fed both of these baby floofs and he bottle fed both litters until he found homes that would bottle feed the kittens.

Gizmo was much bigger than Fizzgig. Hubby calls her Momma kitty because she mothered Fizzgig. She kept him warm and taught him to groom himself.

She never left his side.

They were so small. Fizzgig would curl up on Hubby’s boots each day when he came home from work. Hubby was NOT a fan of cats.

As they got older, they were still inseparable until they day they went to the vet to be fixed. After that, they started bickering like an old married couple. Gizmo never fights back and Fizzgig can be mean. We don’t allow fights to continue, they are always broken up and they happen every once in a while now that they are much older and far lazier.

This is Fizzgig snuggling with my youngest son.

Miss Mia wanting whatever I was eating. Yes, she has one brown eye and one blue eye. Hubby says her brown side is her naughty side. She is definitely not naughty.

I think they posed for this picture.

He was so tiny. I held him a LOT when he was little in order to keep him warm because he could not regulate his body temperature on his own.

Gizmo has a shoe fetish. Each day, when hubby gets home from work, she is in the mudroom, waiting. She harasses him until he takes off his work boots and allows her to stuff her face in them while rubbing all over them. She really loves shoes.

She also loves Miss Mia. Please excuse the random balls of fur. This photo was taken when Miss Mia was blowing her coat. When she blows her coat, no matter how often I vacuum or sweep, there is always fur everywhere. Gizmo loves to groom Miss Mia’s feet and her ears.

Fizzgig still snuggles like this.

Gizmo sprawled out on the couch.

She was teenie tiny too.

He’s the naughty one.

She was not amused with my antics.

She really does have a thing for shoes and they don’t have to be Hubby’s shoes, anyone’s shoes will work. It’s an addiction, but she will never admit it.

I made them a scratch box, they both love to sharpen their claws and then, ever so lovingly, they reach out as someone walks by, and they slice everyone open with their razor sharp claws.

He loves to sit on the vents when he’s hot. When he’s cold, he sprawls and covers the entire vent.

Gizmo would rather curl up on the couch in a fuzzy blanket when she’s cold.

She’s always willing to provide inspiration for my artwork too.

Fizzgig has found a way to pet himself with his back paw. It’s really cute to watch him pet himself.

I didn’t want to leave out Miss Mia. She isn’t very cooperative when a camera is involved. I think she’s camera shy.

They both love their toys.

Miss Mia is always a good sport even if she doesn’t like having her picture taken.

She also loves her toys. That raggedy looking gray thing In her bed with her is her squeaker fox. She’s had him for 8 years. He no longer has a single squeaker left, but she doesn’t care, she still loves him.

Gizmo sleeps with me every singly night. This was taken before I had laid down. I keep a pillow under my legs to reduce swelling and muscle spasms. It’s her favorite place to nap while waiting for me to lie down. When I do lay down, she demands to be the little spoon with her back against my stomach, laying on the same pillow you see here (It goes under my arm as I sleep on my side, I have another pillow between my knees and one under my head.) She wants her head on my pillow and she will not stop meowing until I tuck her in under the blanket. I am fairly certain my animals are spoiled.

Fizzgig sleeps on his throne each night, which is a hard plastic trunk (a tough box) with two pillows on top and a handmade knitted blanket on top of the pillows. Once my son falls asleep, Fizzgig either sneaks into bed with him or he comes and sleeps on top of me.

Miss Mia sleeps in her bed next to my side of the bed. She used to jump into the bed whenever hubby was not home or after he left each morning, but she’s older now and has a harder time getting up into the bed. She prefers her own bed nowadays.

Here are some weird tidbits about my furbabies. Miss Mia only howls when she hears sirens. It’s adorable and we love her howl. Gizmo is afraid of heights and freaks out if she is on top of our deep freezer and someone opens the door. She launches herself halfway across the kitchen to get down. Fizzgig is a thumbsucker. When he was tiny, he would suck on my thumb and fall asleep. Now, he sucks on my thumb, gently holds onto it with his teeth, and falls asleep. It’s really cute, but he bites down if I try to move my hand away from his teeth.

I love my furbabies. They are family and treated as such. The outdoor kitties are treated like family too. I have a serious soft spot for animals. I can’t help but spoil them. I hope you enjoyed meeting the indoor kitties and Miss Mia. Until next time…