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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gift for Susan and Mark

My sister in law has been after me for quite a few years, hinting here and there that she would like a painting of mine.  Well I surprised her the other Sunday and gave her a 4'x6' painting.  She said she had always admired the painting I gave Bill and Dawn - John's brother and wife- of a street in Key West and my painting of Key West Lighthouse, so I combined the 2 essentially and painted one of Whitehead Street, Key West with the lighthouse in the background. ( FYI: Key West Lighthouse and Ernest Hemingways house is on Whitehead St)  She loves it.  Thank god, because I get nervous doing paintings as gifts, I always think, what would I do if they say, 'Oh thats nice."  I would be so upset if someone didnt like my painting I did for them. It was a great moment. I do love what I do.

Whitehead Street, Key West.  4'x6' Acrylic

Chicken Coop

John and I want to have chickens running around our acreage, so we decided to build a coop. We bought all kinds of books and read up on the chickens.  We would like to have about a dozen (or more) of 4 varieties: Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks and Leghorns. NO Rooster --my neighbor said he'd shoot it-- they are noisy and you dont need one to get eggs, only if you want chicks.  All our breed choices are prolific layers, so we should expect quite a lot of eggs. Then when they stop laying, they become dinner!  I cannot wait. but we are having a hard time trying  to find the time to finish the chicken coop.
We built the coop from scratch with 2x4's and reclaimed wood from an old fence

John's quite clever and talented at this. He had the whole thing designed in his head. Although its taking longer than he had thought it would.

Its coming along quite nicely!!

  This is the coop all painted .  looks good.  but it still needs the enclosed area for our feathered friends to play in and the roosting bars inside.

These boxes on the outside are nesting boxes that John designed so that we can get the eggs out easily and not disturb to chickens. We're so thoughtful :)

So as of today.... This is as far as we have gotten. 

We are 95% complete. IF we could just find 1 more day of no interruptions we could get the %$^& thing finished :)  Life gets in the way of all the fun sometimes. We have their screened lanai up but not completely screened yet.  We have to finish the roosting bars,the little ramps to get inside coop, finish screening and then put a 18" barrier underground so that the other critters cant get in and eat the chickens. When thats done we can go get the little buggers and make them work for their supper, cause I want eggs.!!!!   All this fuss so I can get fresh eggs.  But I think it will be worth it.

Next after this I think I will start raising RABBITS!!!!! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spinach, Bean Potato Soup

I am a lazy cook, but as my sweet mother in law tells everyone -" Its not that Linda can't cook, its that she doesn't like to cook."  She loves me! :)
I am constantly trying new recipe ideas and I come up with some tasty ones. I love one pot meals and I mix and match ingredients til it works - Im glad my husband likes soup!!!  This one was pretty good.  I thought I'd share it with you. Enjoy.

You can use any canned bean that you like, I just happened to have these on hand.

Spinach, Bean, Potato Soup


5lb Potatoes- peeled and cut into pieces
2 bags Spinach
1 can Black Bean with juice
1 can Northern Bean with juice
1/2 cup marg
1/2 cup of half and half
1/2 milk
garlic powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp  pepper

Boil  potatoes 20-25 mins in large pot. use enough water to cover potatoes 2 inches or so.

Drain approx 1/2 the liquid off. You can throw it away you will not be using it.

Fold  the rest of the ingredients into the pot of boiled potatoes gently. you can break up the potatoes if they are still too big or leave them if you want a more chunky soup.

Let simmer for 1 hour.


add extra salt and pepper to taste.

this makes approx 12 - 1 cup servings.  approx 365 calories per cup.