Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Move to Higher Ground.

It has taken a lot of  hard work but my family is moving to another fixer upper that will be our forever home. The work on this house is more updating then anything but this wonderful brick ranch was over looked by so many others. Tom and I think that within about 3 years we should have this one in tip-top shape. I am looking forward to having more room and more storage. We are keeping in mind that grandma may have to stay with us again in the future and we just needed more space for our needs. new house

The move actually puts us closer to the more rugged mountains and for that I am grateful but not so high that I have no yard at all. We live at the top of what is regionally called Buckhannon Mountain. Upshure County is known for  Wesleyan Methodist College and the Strawberry festival that is the high light of every summer. We also love to visit the “Game Farm” where the state maintains a wild life zoo with regional species of animals and birds. We love to see the black bears and otters every trip that we stop by.

The house also sits only a few miles from a regional airport  and our house backs up to what was at one time an old air field.The land is flat and large and full of deer, ground hogs, birds or pray, mice and fox. Most of the community use the land for walking, letting dogs run, hunting and foraging. I excited to have such a nice “back yard”.

veiw of pine trees at the property line and old air field in back ground

view of pine trees at the property line and old air field in back ground

So this 1964 house is the loving creation of a family that we have been friends with for about 10 years. Andi’s mother and father built this house as their dream home and have continued to keep many of 60’s features of the house. Here are few of the photos of the houses present condition. Laugh if you want to, but this house has great bones and it totally livable. It just  needs some simple remodeling. In this case this will be our second kitchen remodel. Our first complete bathroom. The blue sink bathroom needs major renovation and the foot print of the fixtures will be moved to add a shower stall. Enjoy!

Kitchen with 1964 cabinets

Kitchen with 1964 cabinets

blue bathroom with shower

blue bathroom without shower

eat in kitchen and dining area

eat in kitchen and dining area

 

Family room

Family room

yellow bathroom

yellow bathroom

Laundry room

Laundry room

 

formal living room

formal living room

The house has 4 bedrooms.

my bedroom

my bedroom

Toms work room

Toms work room

Christopher's bedroom

Christopher’s bedroom

guest room

guest room

So I will be a little slow writing on the blog for a few weeks as our internet and phone will have to change companies.I will then have to find everything after move. Working hard never felt so good.

So in the mean time please have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to all of you.

Christmas 2014 at the new house

Christmas 2014 at the new house

Categories: Game Farm, grandma, Home, home remodeling, Moving Day, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Don’t toss out that ham bone, make Split Pea and Ham soup

I had a busy day today and have been working on cleaning out my freezer. One of the things that I wanted to use up was a meaty ham bone that was in my freezer from this spring. Our family usually has a large ham for both Easter and Christmas and I always save the bone for soup or beans. So today with the high temperatures only reaching 35 F degrees I thought Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with that ham bone sounded wonderful.

 

Splitpea and ham soup corn bread and sweet icetea on a very cold winter night

Split pea and ham soup corn bread and sweet ice tea on a very cold winter night

One of the great things about split peas is that they do not need soaked. I also love that in the slow cooker they cook down in a matter of 5 hours. So dinner was ready as I finished packing up another of the hundreds of boxes we have in the house now. We are packing to move once again but this time I think this is the last move for many years. So this soup was perfect as we work on getting things ready for the 19 mile move. 5 hours in the slow cooker and about ten minutes prep time and we had a great dinner.

For this soup you do need about a one pound ham bone or two ham hocks. They add a wonderful smoky flavor and the meat is a nice contrast to the creamy peas.

Slow cooker split pea with ham soup

1 pound split peas

3 carrots

1/2 large yellow onion

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons celery flakes

1 bay leaf

1 meaty ham bone or 2 ham hocks

5 cups chicken stock or 5 cups water with bouillon cubes

Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and sort peas putting them in the base of a 5 quart slow cooker,

Split peas in slow cooker

Split peas in slow cooker

Then add carrots, onions, garlic, spices and top with ham bone.

split peas topped with vegetables and ham bone

split peas topped with vegetables and ham bone

Cover with broth and cook on high 5 hours or low for 7 to 8. Remove bone, meat should just fall off, then cut remaining meat off bone when cool and add back to soup pot. Usually the soup is pretty salty so salt at the end of cooking. The soup will thicken as it cools so this is one soup that needs to cool just slightly for my family.

I usually make a sweet corn bread or muffin to go with the salty soup. The left overs freeze well and keep the deep smokey flavor. Hope you think of this the next time you have a holiday ham and don’t know what to do with the bone.

Yes, I did say we are moving and that will be a post for this weekend… closing is tomorrow. I will be packing up the computer very soon so my posts will be a little slow for a little while as we get settled again in another home. I will write about all of it soon. Thanks to all the new followers. I am really glad you have joined me and my family on our adventures. We will be moving closer to the mountains and will see more snow in the winter but it will be nice to have several hundred acres of open space behind the house that my family can hunt, forage and hike on!

 

 

 

Categories: Corn bread, Ham, Moving Day, soup, soup | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

My Bumble Footed Bunny

Sore hocks or Bumblefoot , is a condition that meat rabbits face.  I am in the middle of trying to treat it with Christopher’s’ large male sable rabbit.The condition is more likely to show up in large rabbits who get pressure sores on their feet. The main to problems come from being over weight and from rough surfaces like wire cage floors.The condition is hard to treat but we are making head way.

sore hocks and feet on sable rabbit

sore hocks and feet on sable rabbit

I first noticed that my male rabbit was dancing around his large cage and with in days he was always humped up while sitting or would not come out of the wood portion of his cage. I never thought in 30 days we could go from

new rabbit hutch

new rabbit hutch

totally healthy to this. The male on the left is about 3 pounds heavier than the male on the right. He is also a pure bred rabbit and has a finer coat and larger ears. I think the finer coat also contributed to the condition as the finer hair is easier to rub off.

Once the condition got noticed, I realized that we  had to get the boys up off the wire floor of the cage as much as possible. The first thing I tried was to use the store-bought plastic resting boards. For some unknown reason Diesel still would not sit on it. I then tried a portion of an old asparagus crate. Both rabbits liked the wood better even though the texture was not as smooth.

Diesel sitting on a wooden crate portion

Diesel sitting on a wooden crate portion

I then started treating the wounds. I washed his feet carefully with a anti bacteria soap and made sure that the feet did not have any oozing or open sores. If I had found any sign of an infection I would have taken the buck to the veterinarian. In this case I only saw scabs and missing fur. I then used a triple antibiotic salve on all 4 feet. I washed and applied the salve every other day for a week. The improvement was visible at about 10 days.

10 days improvement to sore hocks, bumble foot

10 days improvement to soar hocks, bumble foot

Both front feet have good hair growth and no scabs and are looking better. The large scab on the left hind foot had shed and was only a small spot. The foot on the right actually looks like it also lost its scab but a new small spot appeared.  I will continue to wash and treat all the feet for the remainder of the winter off and on. I will also try to thin Diesel down some. I am just hoping that I can spend more time with him on his leash but with winter weather it maybe hard to find days like this one.

Walking Diesel in leash in the fall.

Walking Diesel in leash in the fall.

If in the next month these basic treatments do not make the sores smaller the next step is to remove him from this cage altogether. I will return him into the portable cage and take him back indoors for a while.Moving him indoors maybe the only way that he will get enough time out of his cage to heal. He would be in a much smaller cage but one that actually sits in the pine shavings instead of above them. I also would be able to soak the feet with an antiseptic every day for few minutes by using a pet carrier as a foot soak.

The carrier floor needs washed and rinsed and then a small towel soaked in a anti septic covers the floor of the carrier. The rabbit rests in the carrier for up to an hour to soak the feet with out soaking the upper hair of the foot. The recommendation is twice a day for about a month. I am sure that in my case it will be once a day for a month. This clears any infections and jump starts the healing. It also stops me from having to return a wet footed rabbit into a cold outdoor cage where frost bite on the toes could be a real problem.

This will stop us from showing him at local shows for the time being. We were hoping to take him the State Fair and some local shows this summer but for now he is just a wonderful friend for Christopher. I guess sore feet just run in the family.

Categories: animal health, Bunny, rabbit health, rabbits, sore hocks | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Making a gift from the heart

My sweet little grand-daughter turned 4 this month.If any of you have small children in your family you understand the problem with giving them gifts. It seems that small children attract people who love to buy gifts. As they grow older the pile of gifts slowly shrinks until at 19 or 20 you are lucky if your own parents remember your birthday. So as this young lady is so loved I had to really think over what we wanted to give her. I didn’t want to add to the pile of toys that she already had and some how I wanted to give her something that would last past her fickle little girl loves of Minnie Mouse and the movie Frozen. So after talking with her mother and my husband we came up with the idea of making her a toy box.

We wanted to make one that hopefully would stay with her until she at least reached her preteen years. So while I was out-of-town Tom was able to get the supplies and assemble the box portion of the gift. Then when I returned home I painted the box with several coats of white enamel paint.

white toy box freshly painted

white toy box freshly painted

I talked with my son and his wife about what they wanted on the toy box. I could get stencils and put images of Disney Characters or even just put a decal on the box but I quickly realized that they thought that a painting of a horse would be something she would grown into and that it would be so nice for her room. Well that opened up a whole new idea for me.

I do like to paint and have a back ground in art, but the one thing I have never painted or even tried to paint was horses. It is hard to believe but they are my greatest fear in all the subjects I could attempt. I spent years raising, grooming, feeding and caring for loads of horses. I have spent hours photographing them but never ever drawing or painting them. I have no idea why.. I just never thought I could do them justice. They are so amazing and powerful just thinking about it I get over whelmed. So how do you over come a fear that has lasted over 20 years? You have a 4-year-old tell you ” I want ponies MaMa” and you just jump in and hope to not drowned.

So after a few days I found what I thought would look good. No ” My Little Pony” stuff on this box.I got approval from mom and dad and started the hours of covering the front of this toy box into a horse-box.

blocked in colors of horse toy box

blocked in colors of horse toy box

The process took about 10 hours from sketching to final clear coat. Several times I thought I had a total mess on my hands as I progressed through the layers of paint. I would paint a while and let it dry and walk away for a few days and try another coat and another fix. Each time as I sat at my kitchen table with the huge box on top of it I would think. Horses? Why Horses? I have no experience at this and I am sure it will look like I have no idea what am doing.

final coat of paint close up or horse toy box

final coat of paint close up or horse toy box

So the finale painting will pass as for a 4 years old toy box. I can still see my mistakes but, I am so glad that some how a 4-year-old was able to make me stretch my skills. She was able to make me face a fear I have had for years. I am so glad that we made this gift for her and that maybe she will keep it and some day share it with her little girl. It is truly a gift from my heart and made me so happy to see her love it !

Paige A Powers 4th birthday

Paige A Powers 4th birthday

 Happy Birthday Paige you Ma Ma thinks the world of you!

Categories: Art, Birthday, Family, gifts, heirlooms, Horses, Paige | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Count Down Begins, The Future With Out My Cast

Many of you already know that I have spent most of the last 12 months in a cast on my left leg. I was actually placed in the cast on Dec 9th of last year do to a tiny bone being fractured in the bottom of my foot. I started out being told it was 8 weeks in the cast and then that turned into 13 weeks and then surgery and then recovery. So all of this added up being 5 days short of a year for the recovery from a fractured bone that is the size of a dime.

Jolynn in her leg in air cast Dec 9th 2013

Jolynn in her leg in air cast Dec 9th 2013

So as I write this, I am days from finally being free from a 5 pound weight that I have drug around, walked around, stumbled over and fallen with for so long that I have almost forgotten what it is not to have it. I have actually walked through three casts in this time period. I some how just walk the rubber off the bottom and get a new one and keep on moving along.

Some how even with my limited mobility and at times high levels of pain. I knew that their was some lesson  that would be learned from my prolonged disability. I would emerge with some sort of insight that I did not have before. I have spent more time at home over the last year than in all my life. I have felt more crippling pain than I would wish on anyone.  I have gained more weight than with both of my pregnancy’s and am still gaining. But in truth I have learned and gained from being unable to live my normal life but it is not what I thought I would find at the end of this year.

Over this year of healing and being home, I learned about empathy, sympathy and love. I spent my time caring for some one who was suffering more than me. I spent much of my recovery helping my mother-in-law in her transition from cancer patent, to a weak woman in rehab, to a woman who is slowly taking back her life. I found that setting aside my pain and trying to ease the pain of someone else was a gratifying way to spend the long months that I was not able to work due to my own broken bone.Even just days after my surgery, while still on crutches, I got a call to please “help”. Somehow the two of us managed, sometimes with her courage and some times with mine,but always with the strength of some power greater than us both.

Grandma Wanda Powers with Christopher

Grandma Wanda Powers with Christopher

So as my health returns and my healing is about finished I watch as my Mother-in-laws health is also returning. We are both less dependent on each other and of those around us. She will be losing  her home health nurse in a few weeks because of her recovery and I will be returning to work soon. It is as if their was some divine reason that I had limited mobility, that I had the time to take care of her and that we could support each other through these difficult times.

I am looking forward to life with out my cast. I should be able to return to a life that  I love and be as active and healthy as I once was. The first step is only a couple of days away and I am so excited to take my first walk around the park in my brand new Tennis shoes( after wearing only one shoe for a year… I needed to buy new ones that I had not worn the sole off one shoe). I am looking forward to walking safely  through the snow this winter.

It is with new eyes that I look at recovery from any kind of health issue. It has made me thankful for the people who dedicate their lives to restoring us to health once again.I am blessed to know nurses, home health aides, physical therapist, occupational therapists and the volunteers who spend countless hours doing chores and running out to stores for those in need. It has made me rethink my career goals. In the next few months as my foot regains the strength I may discover that I am not able to return to the work that I have done for years,  a retail store merchandise auditor. I may need to think about the life experience that I have just gone through and see if my feet lead me down a new path?  Hopefully down one that supports both my Mother-in-Law and my recovery.

Air cast with other shoes

Air cast with other shoes

Categories: Cancer, Family, foot pain, foot surgery, grandma, Healing, health | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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