Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's a Girl to do


CVS Reward ExtraBucks.  Just pledge to USE THEM and you get $2.00 in extra bucks for FREE to be used by 10/3/11.  You will need to have an ExtraCare Rewards CVS card.  The dumpster diving videos on their website remind me of a certain person - who shall remain nameless.

A little chicken art, Whopper, one of our chickens.

6:00 PM - September 30th - Book Tour - The President of the HSUS, Wayne Pacelle, will be speaking about his new book, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them and discussing a vision for animal protection in the 21st century.  "Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty."  University of Virginia Bookstore, 400 Emmet Street South.

 If you are an animal lover, this is not to be missed --- The HSUS encompasses "all" animals; pets, wildlife, and farm animals.

Abstract White Peony taken at Lewis Ginter Botanical.

9:30 AM - October 1st - Natural History Walk - $15.00 - Monticello Curator of Plants, Peggy Cornett, will lead a two-hour trek through the forests of Monticello. 

Meet at the Garden Center at the Visitor Center.  Pre-pay online.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Deal at Michaels

Today I stopped by Michaels to get a picture frame and used two coupons that I had clipped from their Sunday news-paper insert.  Often Michaels puts restrictions on their coupons but these were pretty wide open and I was able to use both of them in one transaction.   I spent $7.50 for an 8X10 matted frame, 16 month calendar, recipe cards, and an archival pen.

One of my ForsythiaHill prints for sale on Etsy.
The frame will hold one of my photography prints. At the encouragement of friends and family, I am selling my photos on Etsy.

The retro recipe cards were 75% off costing .30 cents! I received an additional $1.25 discount on the already "on sale" frame using one coupon.  The other coupon I used on the regularly priced acid-free archival pen, saving $1.40.
I noticed they have a section of $1.00 - $3.00 items at 75% off! It's a good week to buy a frame at Michaels, pack of note cards or recipe cards.

Happy shopping.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

What's a Girl To Do


50% off the NEW Java Dragon Coffee House.  Pay $5.00 and get a $10.00 coupon.  Coffee, smoothies, local desserts, and wireless.  Sounds like a place to surf the internet "away from the stressors of home" or grab some coffee and a pastry on the go.  Next to Integral Yoga Natural Foods on Preston.  SUPPORT A NEW BUSINESS!


Volunteer cleaning ears at the Clinic.
11 AM - 4 PM - September 24th - The 15th annual Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival will be held downtown in Lee Park (next to the Public Library).  This is a great festival sponsored by Voices for Animals.  Proceeds help with the Feral Cat Clinic that I volunteer with during the fall and winter months.  I will be manning the chicken booth

Knitters of the Newcomers "Stitch and Chat" group.

10 AM - Noon - September 27 - The Newcomers Club of Greater Charlottesville will host their annual Fall Coffee at the Church of the Incarnation.  Any new resident to Charlottesville during the last three years is invited to attend.  This is a well attended event attracting over 100 newcomers.  Newcomers will have information about their activities and area non-profits will be on hand to answer questions about volunteering.  Great FOOD and a welcoming social.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

United Way Day of Caring

Today a gang of Charlottesville Area Newcomers participated in the United Way Day of Caring

This annual event began in 1992 to rally citizen groups to help local non-profits for just one day. 

~ 2,100 volunteers were slated to help 100 agencies.

A portion of the materials to process.

From 1 pm - 5 pm, a "subset" of the Newcomers Club helped organize materials for the Safe Schools/Healthy Students program.  Sharon, Lisa and I filed, categorized, and labeled brochures that wrapped around the hallways of the Commission on Children and Families office suite.

Newcomers Club members helped 5 different non-profit agencies today as part of the United Way Day of Caring. 

The Newcomers Club has many groups that you can participate.  The club is open to new residents to the Charlottesville area and it's a great way to get to know your community.  I serve as a volunteer for the Newcomers Community Outreach group along with Tory and Sylvia.  Our task is to identify one day projects for area non-profits and recruit volunteers within the Newcomers Club membership.

Sharon and Lisa are all smiles!  Volunteering is good for u.
The Charlottesville Area Newcomers Club is open to any new resident to the Charlottesville area in the past 3 years.  Their BIG Fall Coffee is 10 am on September 27 at the the Church of the Incarnation.  Area agencies will be on hand to discuss possible volunteer opportunities.  This is how I met several new friends so if you are new to the area and possibly feel a little lost, this is "the" event to attend!


    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Heritage Harvest Festival Fun

    As expected, the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello was glorious fun.  I wished that it was not so chilly and overcast but fortunately the rain held off. 

    I arrived at 10 am and stayed until 3 pm.  There was so much to see and do. 

    Beautiful vintage jars holding Bean seeds!
    My first stop was at the Southern Exposure Seed Swap.  I used to collect hundreds of seed from my first garden back in Southwest Virginia so discovering that there are other people in the world that far surpass my seed collecting ability was quite exciting.  I was stunned at the number of seeds available for trading.  Hundreds, some neatly packaged and carefully labeled, others in jars ready for you to scoop.  The swap was quite organized, providing free seed packets and lots of pens for you to label your little treasures.  If you are a serious plant aficionado, you always want to know exactly what you are growing.  I noticed that first and foremost all seed was exactly identified.  I took a few packets of seeds to the swap but some people had bizillions of seed for trade - AMAZING.

    A few of the Tomatoes to taste!
    My next stop was the Tasting Tent.  It was great fun tasting TONS of heirloom Tomatoes, Watermelon, and even a Corn Bread made from ground Gourd seed (it was actually GOOD).  Herbal Teas made from Hibiscus and Holy Basil were quite unusual.  Homemade Marshmallows, and Dark Chocolate covered Candy Apples provided by Boars Head Inn, hit the spot.

    What's prettier, the VIEW or the Artichoke plants?
    After nibbling my way around the festival, I took my time strolling through Thomas Jefferson's vegetable garden.  Smelling herbs along the way such as Lavender, Rosemary, and Horehound while examining unusual climbing Beans, enormous Okra, and pretty Gourds.  Such a beautiful vista on top of the mountain looking out over the fairly undeveloped valley below.  Peaceful, relaxing, and oh so GREEN.  A gardeners paradise up in the clouds.

    There was music, great food, free stuff, plants for sale, beautiful hand crafts, Children's Projects, Sheep Shearing, Bee Keeping, and the list goes on and on.  I did attend one serious lecture about GMO's (Genetically Modified Organism's) in our food.  It's quite worrisome to think that our food is forever altered by greed.  I was happy to discover that one of the speakers is the farm owner that supplies my Chicken Feed.  My chickens eat safer food than we do! 

    An outstanding way to spend a Saturday among fellow gardeners.


    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Heritage Harvest Festival

    Just a reminder that tomorrow is the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, "the gardening event of the year".
    This is a festival to not miss.  Check out the schedule of some of the activities:

    There are too many to list but I'll be hanging around the Tasting Tent, swapping some seeds, and learning more about herbs.  See you there.


    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Chicken Behavior

    I've really enjoyed getting to know our six resident chickens.  It's been nearly 2 months since we got our little hens.

    I went out one day and it looked like I had a field of dead chickens.  Apparently in the afternoon, the chickens love to dig a little hole and given themselves a dust bath.  Laying on their sides motionless and hunkered down it appears they are dead.  I guess after they toss on the dirt they let it soak in for awhile.

    I've learned what chickens like to eat.  It can vary from chicken to chicken.  I read that giving black sunflower seeds is good for a molting chicken.  Unfortunately, my one molting chicken really didn't care for them.  Several others LOVE them.  They all seem to like chopped greens, tomatoes, and peaches.  We're very lucky that they devour STINK BUGS>  a new way to dispose of them.  Their favorite supplemental foods are corn on the cob, cooked oatmeal, and noodles!

    Chickens are fun.   


    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Meet Yer Eats Farm Tour

    Jessica had 50 chickens in Africa!
    Yesterday we managed to make it to six farms on the annual  Meet Yer Eats Tour.  Cindy and I had a special friend with us from Africa.  It was fun to watch Jessica interact with animals she had not seen before. 

    We headed out down 250 E to Ted's Last Stand.  We enjoyed the diversity of Ted's farm; the lovely flowers, Beehive, monster Rooster, and crazy sweet Donkeys.  A lovely setting with a pond, Ted's was a great place to start the tour.

    We hated to leave Ted's but next we traveled to Grubby Girl Meeting House Farm.  I always buy a few shrubs from Amanda.  I love her house and beautiful gardens and could easily live in such a secluded and peaceful place.  Her soaps smell divine and each are a lovely farm theme design.

    Off to Poindexter Farm where I brushed up on my chicken knowledge.  An educational farm experience with loads of kids helping with the daily egg collection.  Perfectly beautiful far reaching open countryside made you take a deep breath and appreciate life!  A great farmer with some hands on for the kids.

    A pure red Zinnia
    Forrest Green Farm was out next stop.  Specializing in herbs and produce, the most intensively landscaped farm on our stop - beautiful.  An educational lecture about herbs was in process that sounded really interesting.  We were in a dash to see other farms so didn't stay but I would be really had loved to hear more about the nutritional usage of herbs.   Grabbing some tastes of hot teas and homemade dips (yum) we were on our way. 

    We buzzed back West on I-64 to get to a farm on 20 S.  On the way and after lengthy conversation about how long it took to get to Carters Mountain Apple Orchard, we zipped up the hill to grab lunch - homemade Apple Pie.  I was happy to finally see this popular local attraction and the pie hit the spot.  It was a little misty but this only added to the view.  The fog rolled out long enough to get a wonderful peek at the surrounding mountains and valley.  I can understand why they have Sunset on Carters every Thursday in the summer!

    One of the many Goats at Caromont Farm
    We were on our way to Bellair Farm.  We were Mesmerized by the lovely 900 acre farm spread and huge CSA garden plot.  On entry we wound around rolling hills of farm acreage which led to the beautiful home on the hill, veering off to the barn, by now it was pouring rain.  We dashed into the barn where I purchased some lovely organic eggplant and garlic.  Because of the rain and because the farm is so expansive, we were driven around the farm by one of the farmers.  The best tour of the day, viewing the stunning countryside and organic crops, meeting the chickens, and watching the young pigs run in the mud and fields.  They were loving the RAIN.

    Our last stop was Caromont Farm where they raise Goats to make delicious cheese.  Oh boy was that cheese GOOD.  We were given a tour of the cheese making process and peeked into the cheese making room.

    What a great way to spend a day.


    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Saving your Dollars

    Seasonal sales can be so sweet. 

    $2.00 for shorts - C R A Z Y
    Check out these cute shorts I picked up at Marshalls today.

    Billabong Shorts - $2.00, saving $38.00 off Retail.  These Men's Swim Trunks were a steal and are great for sloshing around in the chicken yard. 

    Some good deals can be found in the Men's Department for Women.  I routinely buy Men's swim trunks because they fit me well and are lightweight.  I look for the type that does not have the strange webbing inside and with a pocket for my camera or cell phone.

    Wow, 2 pairs of shorts for $9.00.
    I love these cute navy blue plaid shorts.  They fit me amazingly well and plaid seems to never go out of style, especially in UVA-ville. 

    I'm now ready for next summer, spending only $9.00 for both pairs of shorts!

    Thanks Marshalls.

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