Halloween 2013

And I do mean “ALL” of us.

Yup, that’s a baby.

She’s due to arrive next March.

Yup, she’s a she.

And she’s giving you her best Halloween stare.

Creepy eye anyone?

We have better pictures of her I swear.

Happy Halloween from our growing family to yours!

– Joanna

P.S.  The fabulous chicken inspired giveaway is coming at you this coming Monday.

P.P.S.  That probably pales in comparison to the above news.

P.P.P.S.  Still.  It’s a good giveaway.  So stay tuned.

P.P.P.P.S.  If you have girl name suggestions, send them my way.  So far The Husband and I have not agreed on any.  Not a one.

Snap To It is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.



In case you forgot because Cinnamon took a little break there for awhile, the lovely blog Eat Pray Tri offers some helpful photography tips and then gives an assignment utilizing said tips.  The last tip was about shutter speed and Cinnamon shared some awesome flying confetti shots.

Shutter speed is all about freezing a moment in mid air after all.

She also did another post about her flying dog and I kinda decided to copy the idea for my shutter speed submission.

So here’s my submission.

Snap To It SS Midwestern Bite

I admit I took a few liberties here by combining three pictures into one.  I just couldn’t decide which pic to use so I cheated and used them all.  Here’s the originals.

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I read a quote once that said a photograph takes away from the moment unless the photograph is the moment.  This sentiment has stuck with me.

Photography is one of my favorite past times, but let’s face it, that Nikon DSLR I carry around is heavy and both a literal and figurative weight around my neck at times.  I want the snapshots of special occasions or even just the everyday to look back on, but I also want the memories.  If I’m photographing my child opening Christmas presents, am I really watching him open Christmas presents?  Am I missing the moment by trying to capture the moment?

Unfortunately almost no one else in my family snaps pictures and almost all my friends give me the sidelong glance when they see a two pound weight draped around my neck on trips to the park.

It was a pretty park.  With butterflies.  I can’t be blamed.

So that leaves me in a pickle.  I had to throw some food into my food satire blog.

Where were we?  Ahhh yes, pickles.

If I want the pictures I have to take them.  No one else is going to do it for me.  So yes, I will probably miss a few real time moments or two.  Recently I’ve been making a conscious effort when around others to limit my exposure time and just capture a few snapshots for a few moments rather than a hundred snapshots for a hundred moments.

When around others.

When all by myself the photograph is the moment.  It is absolutely the moment.  It is my moment.  My moment to capture a feeling, how I feel or the feeling around me.  I find solace and comfort in my time behind the lens.  Photography is an art and I hope one day to transform from the novice I am to an artist who can elicit in others a true feeling of a moment.  My moment.

Maybe I can capture a moment and be a part of it after all.

I hope this snapshot does that.  I can see what I felt when I took it.  Can you?

DSC_0021 RW

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Who wants to meet the girls?!?!

That’s right.  Girls.  Hens.  Five of them.  No roosters.  No dudes.  That makes me their dominant male influence.  Hence the totally appropriate – single entendre – title of this post.


If you’ve been following along in our fledgling livestock adventure, this is the moment for which you’ve been waiting.  You’ve had a few days to settle down after the euphoric grand tour of the coop I built.

Time to introduce the ladies.

Please meet:




Curly is a Blue Copper Maran and is about 18 weeks old.  She’s still a pullet (meaning a female less than one year old), but will hopefully start laying soon.  Pullets can begin dropping the good stuff generally anywhere from 18-26 weeks on average, so let’s hope she’s advanced for her age.

When Curly does start laying, her breed is supposed to lay very dark, almost chocolate colored eggs.

By the way, I’m sparing you a lot of history, breeding, genetic disposition, and other information I’ve devoured about various poultry breeds.  I do so because The Wife promptly gets that eye-glazed 1000 yard stare whenever I share it with her.  So I figure you also don’t care.

For instance, when I finished giving Joanna a twenty minute dissertation about this copper necked lovely, she shook the haze out of her head and said, “Wait, what is it called?  A Maran? I shall call him [sic] Curly.  Curly Moran [sic].  From Veronica Mars.”

So there you go.  Curly.

Next, meet Curly’s best friend:

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I know everyone has been waiting with bated breath to see chicken coop updates since you devoured my first Build report.  Well, prepare your gullets.  Here you go.

I like to spend as much non-office time wrestling with the world’s strongest Toddler… so this project has taken way too long since it was mostly relegated to snippets of nap-time-construction-time and after-night-night-total-darkness-build-hours.  However, I finally declare this beeyotch 99% done and ready for occupants!

Who wants the grand tour?  Just ignore the ugly tall unfinished fence post that’s part of my ugly tall garden deer fence.  I wanted the coop in here so they could free range every now and then helping to clear the garden of weeds and bad bugs, while being protected from our friendly free range canine neighbors.

Feast your eyes on the prettiest little coop Joanna has ever co-owned.  Such is the life of a lucky Gentleman Farmer’s wife.


DSC_1506 RW

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Ahhh… Booze.

Sweet, sweet wonderful Booze.

Homemade Booze to boot.


My wife’s Twitter feed tells me ’tis the season for every single food blog in the ‘sphere to be pushing spiced pumpkin things down my throat.  Allow me to slightly buck that autumn trend and tell the tale how Garden Patrick and I recently turned a metric ton of these picked from my small apple orchard:



into almost fifteen gallons of Homemade Hard Apple Cider.



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This is two months in a row Supermom and I have pushed our Thrift Gift Facelift reveal posts back a week (the dog ate my homework mom) so I won’t bother you with excuses for the second time (birthday party planning, ahem, cough . . . chairs don’t fit on motorcycles unless you’re the Father-in-Law and The Husband kept riding his bike to work so he couldn’t pick it up for me, cough again, hack, more coughing.)

But I’m here now ready to regale you with a fun and cheap chair makeover.

Title RW

If you’ve forgotten the haps, my blog friend Supermom from What Does She Do All Day gives me a thrifted (or in this case snagged out of her donation pile) item to DIY to my hearts content while I do the same for her.  We then post our masterpieces on the same day and our reveals are as much a surprise to each other as they are to you.

TGF Button 8

This month she gave me a chair.

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Remember complication mode?  I’ve talked about it before.  It’s where I jump into a project without fully considering its implications on time and space and feasibility.

Right now I’m still trying to get my dang painted wallpaper wall unwallpapered and then painted.

I have Sweetey Petey’s birthday to plan.

I just made up a cleaning schedule which I am determined to stick to (except I really should be steam vac-ing the kitchen floor right now instead of writing this blog post.)

I really want to read a book and pull out my sewing machine again and get some overdue cards in the mail.

Oh and I take care of my toddler all day and he likes to get into things and you can’t turn your back on him for two seconds.

Clearly I have a lot going on.

Naturally I decided to jump into harvesting walnuts from our black walnut tree despite the fact The Husband has warned me numerous time that it is a messy and time consuming process.

So . . . walnuts.  We all know what they look like in the shell right?

Walnuts 2 RW

Pretend they’re less black here.  We’ll get to that in a minute.

Black walnuts are called black walnuts for a reason.  They are encased in a black tar like substance that will stain everything it touches.  But we’ll get to that in a minute.

On the tree they are encased in a green husk.

Walnuts 3 RW

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In thinking about my blog header the other day I tried to narrow down the theme of my blog.  I know I’m not a mommy blogger or a food blogger or a healthy living blogger.  What I came up with was satire.  Food satire, when I’m being true to my roots, and photography with a little life, DIY and house stuff thrown in.  If you toss in The Husband’s regular contributions I’d also have to include “gentleman farmer” (his words, not mine.)  Clearly that makes for a complicated mess.  I’m no gentleman after all.

Articles I’ve read say consistency is key to blogging.  ‘Sota is Sexy brings the funny no matter what she blogs about.  Abby Has Issues brings the wit.  Aly brings food and LOTS of it.  Ann brings danger.  Oooooooooh.  I could go on.

So when I sat down to write a satirical post about squash, it occurred to me that squash isn’t funny.  Squash isn’t funny at all.

It certainly wasn’t funny to our Friend Patrick and his family months ago when we had them over for dinner and their acorn squash sat, for the most part, completely untouched on their plates.  Since our guests willingly ate the bizarre Sour Cream Raisin Pie I had made for dessert I can only surmise it was the squash’s fault for being just that unappealing (seriously, those things are hard to peel.)  Apparently even more unappealing than Sour Cream Raisin Pie.

We had another group of friends over last week (hi Julie, do you read this blog? I have no idea) and I had seven squash sitting on the counter.  Julie remarked that other than tasting purees with the kids she had never really eaten squash before.

Squash RW

My mom confessed she never ate the stuff growing up so it’s not really on her radar.  Mom’s never met a vegetable she didn’t like so in her defense I feel confident she would eat squash every day if I cooked it and served it to her.  Hell, I’d eat pretty much anything if somebody else cooked it for me.  Anybody else get tired of cooking every dang day?  Sorry, I’ve segued there.

My in-laws?  We shouldn’t even talk about them.  They do not eat anything they’ve never had before and there is absolutely no changing them.

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