Saturday, December 1, 2012

On the First Day of Christmas

 The tree was bought and set up.

The decorating of the guest room was started.

My grandparents manger was set up (with a few additions).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your Turkey taste delicious no matter what you cook it with!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Big Meadows/Shenandoah National Park

The mountains have had snow on the higher elevations ever since the big storm came through and the park closed for what I thought was for the season.  It is usually like that.  Open until it snows and then closed until the spring.  But the rangers and staff cleaned the roads bare and reopened.  I took advantage of it and drove up to Big Meadows.  So cold and stark up there.  Ice and snow crunched under my feet as I walked the path.  My car dash said that it was 31 degrees but the wind chill was so much colder.  I came home with wind burn on my face.  Less than 30 miles away from there the snow was gone (see last picture) and the world was totally changed.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Little Chicken Feet

If anyone had ever told us years ago that we would have 3 five week old chicks in a dog crate in our half bathroom they would have been met with raised eyebrows.  But we do have 3 new additions and just lots of love here.  Two hens and a rooster (silver wyandottes).  We were in the market for a rooster but didn't want him to come by himself.  Enter a breeder who wanted the 3 to go as a package.  Win/Win for both of us.  In a week or so they will have more feathers to brave the colder coop area.  But right now they seem to be happy where they are and Snoopy is beside himself with joy.  Chickens in the house.  It doesn't get any better!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween

Two days off of work due to the storm (which thankfully kept away from my neighborhood) gave me plenty of time to put up a few decorations this afternoon.  Tomorrow is back to work and German class.  On Friday it looks like we will have some new barnyard folk to add to the collection.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mountain Trip

The sky was so blue and bright today that it almost hurt to look at it.  Good photo weather;  a trip to the mountains was in order.  
The colors did not disappoint.  We don't have a lot of red here or at least not in the higher elevations so those trees really stand out.  The yellow leaves shimmered as the wind blew.  Remnants of old stone fences were hidden away for hikers to find.  A beautiful morning for discoveries.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Barbecued Beans

One of my favorite recipes, this one never fails to please.  Paired with sprouted grain bread it makes for a great meal.  

Just a note about the recipe.  It has what I consider a lot of sugar in it.  I drastically cut it down for this meal but sometimes I don't.  Depends on who is coming for dinner.

Barbecued Beans

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup commercial barbecue sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili pwdr
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can butter beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can pork and beans, undrained.

Cook and drain ground beef and onion.

Stir in remaining ingredients into mixture
Spoon into 2 1/2 quart baking dish
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour stirring once.

8 - 10 servings.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Preschool Science Experiment - Will an Object Float or Sink

I teach 4 and 5 year olds.  The current class has 13 and I have a coteacher.  Generally we each have a project going at the same time.

With that out of the way, this week we studied the letter F.  What better time to discover if an item floats or sinks?!  I found several inspiration pages on the internet and decided to combine them with ideas of my own.    On the green tray were placed items that we see regularly in class like blocks, toy cars, a toy turtle, cotton balls, buttons and feathers.  Did you know that wooden blocks can float?  Science is full of surprises.

On the yellow tray I put a clear bowl.  In that I poured water.  I had two children at a time come over to the table and we discussed what we thought would float and what would sink.  And we tried it out. That cotton balls would absorb water and sink surprised some.

The second part of the experiment was a little different.  I brought 2 pint jars, lots of salt and some raw eggs out.  I filled both jars with water.  I had one child put a raw egg in the first jar and it sunk to the bottom.  Into the second jar I had each child put a few tablespoons of salt into the pint jar.  I put some in also.  I asked them where they would find salt water and most everyone knew that it was in the ocean.  Then I had child #2 put in the egg.  It didn't sink to the bottom but didn't float like it was supposed to.  So we poured in more salt, waited for a moment and the egg floated to the top!  Very cool.  We talked about how scientists write down what they see (observations) and filled out the top half of the work sheet which I will put up on my next post for anyone to use who wants to.  Then I took the eggs out of the pint jars.

But we were not done yet.  Next we put in green food coloring into the plain water.  The color swirled through the water and turned everything green.  We put some in the salt water.  And the color laid on the top of the jar.  We recorded these observations also.  The children put their observation sheet into their cubbies and I cleaned up the mess to get ready for the next pair of children.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hiking near Blacksburg, VA

Though the park was small it had a lot of character.  Old rundown buildings.  A few silos and pond.  Fields that are mowed for aesthetic reasons as no animal will graze there again.  I had expected to see families out for the day but it was cool and cloudy and most people were at home watching  VA T*ch lose yet another game.  S1 and I went back to his apartment for a fantastic Korean dinner that he cooked.  Then it was time for me to come home.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Why a new blog.

This blog is a continuation of my old one Life on Two Acres.  Why a new one?  The analogy that bests sums it up is that having a new blog is like having a new pad of paper.  For some reason, a freshly opened pack of paper seems to have endless possibilities.  And life seems to be going that way at the moment.

  I'm 8 years older than when I started my first blog and a lot has changed.  Our children are adults now, living on their own.  With adding the chickens we own more pets than ever before - 9.  I'm back at college taking a course as is my husband.  And even though I still work I consider myself more of a homebody.  My crafting, gardening and general outlook on life is becoming different.  So, here is to new writings and new beginnings.