Thursday, December 31, 2009


As many of you know my friends Rusty and Lynette have been on a long journey with their daughter Olive Hope. I have been praying and rallying for them since her birth. Two days ago they arrived back in the USA from Thailand. What a blessing it is that they all arrived safely. I didn't know it, but they even landed in Atlanta, which I think is pretty cool since so many of you here have been praying for her. And is God's cool little way I received my purchase from the Auction for Olive around the time that they landed here. I think that's pretty cool.

Today Olive Hope goes in for a major surgery. So many people are praying for this little one. She is so special. Check out their updates and lots of pictures on their blog here. What a little miracle.

Many thanks to all of you who have fallen in love with Olive. Your prayers mean so much. I love knowing that my dear friends are so compassionate and caring. I think it also so cool how you have kind of gotten to know my other friends in this crazy blogging world. You mean the world to me!

I am off to start my day and be praying for Olive, her mommy and daddy, the doctors and nurses all along the way.

Oh, and happy New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And We're Back

Wow, is Christmas really over? It flew by. Christmas eve was lovely, Christmas morning delicious, and the after Christmas celebrations truly enjoyable. I really don't like traveling at the holidays, but I do love our families. They make it worth it.

The highlights of this year's Christmas:
1) Surprising my niece with a guitar! She thought that she was getting one but was really bummed for it not to be under the tree Christmas morning. that is what you get for snooping and reading your mom's emails. That was the saddest kid face I have ever seen on Christmas morning. We showed up with it and knocked her socks off.
2) Time around the fire outside in Deland. So peaceful, restful and relaxing.
3)Gifts not being the focus this year. Seriously you could count the gifts under our tree on your fingers. I want to keep it this way. The real gift is Christ's love for us and our time spent together.
4) A day spent with old friends. I love our Christmas tea times, movie time giggles and times shared. Old friends are the best.
5) Our Christmas tree. I love it!! It was really Charlie Brownish, and true to form magically transformed with all of the ornaments and lights into a beautiful tree.

I suppose that today is the day to take down the decorations. I swore that I would leave them up into the new year. I love our tree!! But we are trying to decide if we can install a wood stove in our living room. That is hard to decide with an evergreen taking up so much floor space!! I will try to get some pictures up soon. And maybe some of a wood stove come to life!!! Here's to hoping!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing You all a Merry Christmas...

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, Christmas Eve. It is a long standing tradition in my family for us to gather together on this special night, exchange gifts and enjoy each other's company. When I was little the anticipation of gifts made dinner seem so long! We would entertain ourselves by playing with candles, searching under the tree for gifts and playing games. My cousins and I shared such joy in passing out all of the gifts. After everyone opened their gifts we were glued to the t.v. to see where Santa's sleigh was. We would come home and Mom and I would watch midnight mass on t.v. before going to bed.

They were magical nights. Some years we started the evening at a church service, others simply around the table. Every year we cherished our time together. And we still do. These days it isn't about the gifts anymore. It is about being together. Celebrating Christ's birth and the year that has past, getting ready to rejoice in the next one. Everyone makes an effort to be there. It is rare that anyone misses our special night together. This is the big one!

We have simplified our time together even more in the past couple of years. Instead of cooking a big dinner we switched to spaghetti so that the focus was on family time, not cooking. This year we have taken it a step further- take out pizza! I am really excited about this. No fuss paper plates and just good time together.

Dave has to work tonight, the duties of a new job. I will miss him. We'll have breakfast with my folks tomorrow and head out for his family tradition. They meet together the day after Christmas! These family times are our favorites. This year the focus is definitely not on gifts but on time spent together. I love it and hope that we can keep it this way.

Do you have any special traditions for this special day?

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Back to Blogging

Ok, I have to get back into blogging mode. Life has gotten the better of me and I haven't sat down to record all of it's happenings. I truly want to keep accounts of my cooking and our life with chickens on a regular basis. I need to.

Things have been hectic around here. Dave started a new job at the beginning of December. It is quite a change and not quite what he was expecting. His schedule has changed a couple of times and currently he works evenings, which means that we hardly see each other during the week. I know that eventually we will appreciate seeing each other more and spend our time together wisely.

Yesterday we went to a Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree. I picked one with not so great pruning practices this year. Who knew?!?! We ended up with our very own Charlie Brownish pine tree. It is on it's way to looking delightful. I have to decorate it today.

Tonight we have friends coming over for dinner. I am really excited as we haven't truly entertained in a while and these folks have never been to our home. I am making a Sombrero Chicken . Haven't made this in a while. I am also making a big ol side of collard greens, mac-n-cheese, lady peas, and trying something new ~ a mixture of sweet potatoes, apples and onions. I found the recipe at Farmgirl Fare. I love this blog! It reminds me of Pioneer Woman, but different. She has tons of recipes!!! I have already made her Easy Beer Bread. We loved it. Go check her out.

Alright, since we have company tonight, I should go finish decorating the Christmas tree. Well, start decorating it actually.

I promise to write again soon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Sad Day for Chickens and Roosters in Roswell

You all know that I have chickens. I love my chickens. They are wonderful pets and the only ones that I know of that supply food for their owners when they are happy and content. I have been regularly attending city council meetings in Roswell standing up for people who want to own chickens in their own backyards.

Sadly, last night the Roswell City Council passed an ordinance that severely limits the number the chickens that one can own and banned roosters all together. I know quite a few people that this will affect. They will have to give up their beloved pets, or be ticketed. If this were my community, I would already be out of compliance with 7 chickens. I would not be able to get fertilized eggs from friends to hatch at home or at school because they would no longer have roosters. This is not the end of the battle my friends. People around the world were watching this case and their cities were waiting for this ordinance to be drawn up and passed before they wrote theirs. Here is the article from the AJC.

Roswell approves backyard chicken ordinance

By Ralph Ellis

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The protesters squawked, but the Roswell City Council approved a new backyard chicken ordinance Monday night that bans roosters and uses lot size to determine how many chickens a resident can keep.

The ordinance doesn’t apply to property of two acres or more that’s zoned agricultural or land that’s been annexed from Fulton County, most of which is farmland. And chicken enclosures must be set back at least 50 feet from neighboring property lines.No birds will be allowed at single-family homes on one-third acre or less. Homeowners with one-third to one acre can keep six birds. Homeowners with more than one acre can have 12 birds per acre, up to a maximum of 36. Chickens can also be kept at schools.

The council went back and forth over roosters, which many residents said caused noise problems with crowing.

“Ban the roosters,” said resident Keith Badalamente. “I’m asking for no roosters at all.”

But a last-minute motion by Lori Henry to allow roosters died for lack of a second.

The council spent two-and-a-half hours discussing the ordinance and listened to 20 members of the public who favored and opposed an ordinance. The final vote was 6-2.

Chicken keepers seemed surprised by last minute changes.

Under the most recent version on the table, residents could have kept up to 25 birds in some sort of enclosure at single-family homes, no matter what the lot size. People already keeping more than 25 chickens could have obtained a permit for up to 15 more birds. That version was based largely on Atlanta’s law.

Andrew Wordes, who had led the charge to loosen up the city’s backyard chicken law, seemed stunned after the meeting. He said he has about 150 birds, some miniature sized, and didn't know the proposed ordinance had changed.

“I’ve got .97 acre, so legally I’m allowed six chickens,” Wordes said. “I don’t see how we can have murders happening near city hall and we’re concerned about chickens.”

Roswell code enforcement officers cited Wordes in January for keeping chickens in his backyard. Former Gov. Roy Barnes, a professed chicken lover, took on Wordes’ case. A judge threw out the old ordinance in May because it was vague.

On Monday, several chicken keepers urged the council to take no action, saying various laws on the books already dealt with noise and smell problems that occur with chickens.

Mayor Jere Wood will be affected by the ordinance. He said he keeps two chickens at his law office at Woodstock and Canton streets. Those birds will have to go somewhere else, he said.

The law takes effect right away, but residents were given a 90-day grace period to comply.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So Much to Write About...

I have so much to write about but so little time! I have to get some more chicken pictures up. Sorry that I have been bad about that. We love having the girls around. They are a hoot to watch and be around. We are currently getting 1 to 3 eggs a day. That means that a few girls are laying. We just don't know who the others are.

We did a bunch of traveling for Thanksgiving. And it looks like traveling is on the ticket for Christmas too. I can't believe that it is so soon! I am ready for some time off.

I have to run! Girls night at Ikea. We won't buy too much, don't worry. Actually one of my friends has a list. I don't have one.

I hope to write more soon. Thanks for stopping by!
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