Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I have wanted chickens since we got married. I kept asking for portable chicken coop that we could pull around our field. Josh decided to make a coop for me underneath our barn lean to. A dandy idea indeed. We bought 5 hens on Saturday and put them in their new home. We were hoping to let them roam free through the day but Duke, our dog, and Louise, Mom's dog, seem a little too interested in the chickens. Not sure how we are going to solve that problem.

Meet the girls, Henny, Penny, Hilda, Ethel, and Jane. I just made those names up. ha.

 They wouldn't cooperate for a group photo.

Their cozy home with an automatic door to the left of the big door.

Josh trying to make the dogs understand that chickens are not to eat or chase.

Hilda was a free range chicken before she came to stay with us.
She really enjoys any of the outdoors she can see.

The best part. Fresh eggs, five everyday.

The chicken lady,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Flower Potluck

I am overjoyed to be a part of this event.

We are partnering with some great folks.

Go to Kinfolk's website for more details.

For a peek of the venue go here.
This is a documentation of our last event held there.

A happy day to all,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CCA Seniors

I took photos of our church school seniors this evening. It was a lovely evening. Hanging out with seniors made me feel young again.

A cute but very annoying intruder, that would not go away.

 Little burger messed up a perfectly good photo. Gazing into the blue.

Congratulations seniors!

Boys and Blooms

I had been wanting to catch the local orchard in full bloom for a few years now and this year I finally remembered.

Girls in pink flowing dresses would have been lovely- but I will take little boys
with mischievous grins any day. I Love my nephews. If you haven't noticed:)


If these photos seem effortless to you- looks can be deceiving. There were marshmallow peeps for bribing, and very, very silly songs sang to make these boys stand still, and look at the camera.

Hi, Faith and Charity, I hope you are having fun in Indiana without me.

Love to all,
Aunt Hope

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pretzel Buns

Today was a fun Saturday at home with Josh. Working in our yard- trying to get the garden tilled and planted along with putting our new bee family in their hive. Josh is taking up bee keeping which I am very excited about. 

I had thawed hamburgers out for our lunch, but realized I didn't have any bread. I remembered a pretzel bun I once had from Costco- so I quick mixed
up my regular, soft pretzel recipe and made it into buns. Super easy and tasty. A new twist to your regular hamburger bun.

 Form into rolls, dip in soda water, slit the top and sprinkle with course salt.

30 minutes later you have fresh hamburger buns.

Bring on summer.

Pretzel Buns

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp. dry yeast
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4-5 cups of flour
course salt

2 Tbsp. baking soda
2 cups hot water
melted butter

Whisk together warm water and yeast. Add sugar, salt and flour and knead until elastic. Cover and let rise 10 minutes. Divide dough into ten pieces and form into rolls. Mix together hot water and baking soda- dip entire roll into soda mixture and place on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper. Slice the top 
of each roll and sprinkle with course salt. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes.
Brush the tops with melted butter.

 Our 15,000 bees finding their new home.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Board

Creative title I know. But It all really started with a dirty, ugly, board. I'm always dreaming up new things to create. I think my husband gets weary of my ideas at times. But this time, since it was working with wood, he helped my dream come true.

I sanded a rough walnut board down that we had and a lovely wood grain appeared. Josh helped me put the finish on just in time for my mother-in-law's birthday dinner. There is something fulfilling about carrying out a idea you have in your head.

My idea was to have a long board down the middle of our table with a finished surface so I could put food straight on the board. I wanted the board to create a relaxed atmosphere of fun- with a meal that had lots of components and place them on the board. Then folks could create their food as they talk and eat whatever they wanted to.

A soft taco bar, an idea come true.

Homemade tortillas, go here for the recipe. 
Just roll them out thin and fry them on a griddle instead of in oil.

The calm before the storm...

... and the wind came.

It really was a fun, relaxing evening. We talked about all sorts of things as we grabbed and growled. Awkward doctor visits and such. Not sure how that conversation got started. Too bad the board doesn't have a voice recorder to record all the conversations that will be spoken over it.

Happy birthday to a wonderful mother-in-law.


Artisan Style Bread

I had been wanting to go over to my friend Amy's house and watch her bake bread. She always bakes wonderful bread with a crusty outside and chewy inside. She informed me that I could do it, but I wondered if I had the touch. After watching her I thought 'I can actually create this goodness myself'. So I tried it by myself and it actually turned out.

You must try it too. Everyone should.

Just mix together ingredients and let set for 12-20 hours. Then pour dough on a floured surface. Fold it over once or twice. Place on floured cloth. Heat your dutch oven, plop the dough in and 30 minutes later, when you open the lid, you will be amazed. You will feel like you've climbed Mt. Everest in one day.

It about brings me to tears, of course, tears of joy.
I've made this three times within a week.

 I gifted my mother-in-law with a warm loaf this morning.
It was her Birthday and she deserves warm packages.

Go here for the recipe.
Thanks for the inspiration, Amy. 

Let me know how it turns out for you!