Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monkey Muffins!

OK, I HAVE to tell you about these little buns from heaven!!
I found this recipe on Pinterest and just decided to make them today.  Took me less than 5 minutes to get them in the oven.  So simple!

The recipe is at the end of the post.
I used Pillsbury grand biscuits in the tube.  I just had a short tube this time.
 Butter and cinnamon & sugar on the bottom and on the top.

 This is a can of sinfulness in itself!

 Out of the oven and pour the sweeten condensed milk over the hot muffins.
A lot of it!

 This is the point where I almost passed out, swooned, got the vapors or something!!
They are that wonderful!
They rival my mothers sticky buns made from scratch!!
You could probably put pecans on top of these before baking too.

If you love sweet, you've got to try them.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Something I Never Thought I'd Say!

I'm raising meal worms!!!!

They arrived by mail today.  A box full of crawly little worms.
1000 of them!

I had my container ready like I read about on YouTube "University"
and opened the cardboard Priority Mail box.  Some had escaped from the bag inside and were crawling on the inside of the box.
I had my plastic container filled with an inch of oatmeal and dumped them all in.
I made sure I got every last one of them in there!!
Why am I doing this you ask??
It's because of the ridiculous cost of the freeze dried ones I've been buying for my chickens.
You see, the meal worms are like candy to chickens.  They will follow me anywhere for mealworms and they are an excellent source of protein for them.
Do they have to have them?
Of course not . . . . I just spoil my girls rotten!
This one jar of freeze dried worms costs $10.00!!!
And I was buying one or two a week!!
Not a smart way to go.

Now, don't freak out!
Here's my shipment of 1000 of them today.
It cost $18.00 including shipping and I will never have to buy them again.  
They multiply like crazy.
(One stage of heir evolution they turn into little darkling beetles!)
I'll deal with that in a week or so!
Any chicken people out there doing this???

I hope my sister will still come for visits!!!
Maybe I should put them in the basement instead of the craft room!!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Around the Homestead

Martha has hopefully recovered from her broodiness.
It took 3 partial days and 3 nights in the "timeout" cage!
She's on the roost with her other sisters tonight.

My son came to help me with something today and brought his young Weimaraner, Sofie, to visit.
My chickens where out in the yard in their net fence enclosure.  At first Sofie was a little afraid of those big birds but she quickly got over that and started to point!

She then started to run around the outside of the fencing, chasing my girls and getting them all excited.
At some point, which I didn't see, little Lily, my white easter egger, flew over the top and went to hid in the woods.
I didn't notice she wasn't with the group till after my son and Sofie left.
I couldn't find her anywhere!!
I was so upset!  My first lost chickie!
It took her 2 hours to come wandering back.  When she saw me she came running.
She had had a great adventure!
All turned out well and she ran back in with her sisters.
Now I know, (and she knows!) she can fly out over of the fence!!!
Oh, Oh.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Guess Who's Broody . . . .

. . . . . AGAIN!!!!

Yes, it's Miss Martha!

She spent all afternoon yesterday on the nest hoarding two eggs and I took her off twice, but then she spent the night on the nest.  So this morning I booted her out and put up the cage again.  
She was in there all day until they went out into the yard and I let her go with the rest of them.  She acted completely normal.  It started raining so I let them back in their run and coop and pretty soon, there she is back on the nest!!!
I should make her spend the night out in the cage but I'll deal with it tomorrow.  If she doesn't break out of it, she may have to get her bottom dunked in cold water!
Darn hormones!!!!!

It would be interesting to know what their conversation is!!!!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bees . . . Where Are You!

I have heard rumblings in the past few years about the diminishing bees and the problems that can become for gardening.  I, like many, didn't seem to have a problem with my little gardens and always seemed to have an abundance of bees around.  Pollinating here and pollinating there.
This year, even though, I only planted two zucchini plants, I usually have way too many zucchini for me and I have to fill my freezer with good ol' zucchini bread!
This year, I have gotten two measly squash off my plants!
I started watching my garden closer.  Was something coming and stealing just the zucchini??  No, I don't think so!  I have plenty of blossoms, but no zucchs.
The more I watched, the more I realized that I haven't seem very many bees this year at all!
Not like other years.
How sad.
I think this is all due to fertilizers and weed killers.
Last year I stopped any fertilizing and weed killing on the back half of my acre because of my chickens, but maybe next year I'll just due away with it all.
After all, this is the country.
Why do I need a perfect front yard?
I can always use chicken manure for fertilizer.  Heaven knows I have plenty of that!

My tomatoes, beans and peppers are growing good but it's the squash.  Some vegetables can self pollinate easier than others.  I think because of the big squash blossoms, maybe it's harder.
I may have to get out there with my little paint brush.  All I have to do is find out which is the male and the female blossom!

Here's my huge zucchini plants.  Blossoms are under there, but no squash!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Slo-Mo Monk

I'd write more blogs and FB posts about Monk but he doesn't do too much but sleep and eat. 
(And he does both of those a LOT!)
Monk is about 10 years old, which is getting up there for a dog this size.
His back legs give out on him at times and he gets really tired easily.  He was heart worm positive when I adopted him two years ago and went through the grueling heart worm treatment.  I'm not sure how much damage is left from the worms to his heart and lungs.
He's very happy here with me and is the most gentle and loving dog you'd ever want to have.

Here is what he does best.
Oh yes . . . and shed!!!

He is a good watch dog when he's awake.  He'll bark and let me know if someone is around, however, if anyone comes up to him he gives them a big warm welcome!  They definitely aren't guard dogs!!
You can bury more than half of the length of your finger in that fur!!
: ))


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Laying Low On 90 Degree Days

I'm not a fan of below 20 degree days and bad roads in the winter but these 90 degree HUMID days are worse!
You're sort of trapped inside for them too.  At least I am anymore.
I go out to do my jobs with the chickens and barn cats etc, earlier in the day and then for only short periods of time.
These were today's small accomplishments.

This morning, early , I shoveled a path of stones over where it's always muddy.
That will be better.

I opened up a pathway between the chickens two runs.

I made a short wire chicken tunnel there.

They like it and run back and forth all the time!

I put some cold water in this container and gave them a weed and clover salad.  They are supposed to stand in it to cool off but so far they're just leaning over to get their snacks.
(Yesterday they had cold watermelon.)

I found this rack? in the back and thought it looked like a perfect roost!
So far they haven't gone near it.

I put some cold water in the kiddie pool for Monk, the St. Bernard, to stand in but so far he hasn't done that either!  He can't stand this heat and just wants to come back into the AC.

When it's hot, the chickens dig holes in the cool dirt and dust themselves or just lay in them.
Pepsi wonders why on earth they want to get themselves all dirty like that!

I think they were talking.

I also, of course, changed out the chicken's, cat's and dog's water and scooped the poop board in the coop.
Then I went shopping in the cool stores!
Now I just may watch a movie this afternoon.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Misc. This N That

First I wanted to show you Monk, sitting in the chicken yard with me.  It was the first try and he was very good.  Dottie even came very close to say hello and Monk was, at the most, disinterested!!  That's good!  The problem is that I don't think he'd let me leave the fenced area without him.  He'd probably just mow down the fence netting!  He's such a baby!!!

My brother-in-law, Bob helped me put a plastic corrugated roof on the chicken run.

Of course, the very next day, (yesterday), we had a tremendous storm all afternoon as a front moved through.  It spurned some tonados and there's a lot of flooding.  So it wasn't a good test for the roof, as the torrents of rain just blew in all sides of the pen.  However, the roof didn't blow off!!

I was watching my two grandkids, so we went down to the basement when the sirens blew and stayed there for a couple hours!  We were fortunate not to lose power.  We had lunch, pigged out on some brownies that I had made a couple hours before, and told ghost stories!!  A big hit with kids and it got their minds off the loud storm above.

My daisies are still in good shape with their sunny little faces.

Here's my first meal with my own green beans and they are wonderful!!

So that's hello from my little square acre.
Have a wonderful day.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Is the Grass Greener Over There?

When my hens are out in their "free range" space in the yard, I usually sit out there and read.  They usually spend half of their time over by me,
They have a huge area in which to go scratch and peck and dig up stuff but they come by me.  (I'm really sitting out there to watch for hawks.)  I'd like to train Monk, my St Bernard to be in there with them and guard my chickens.  Maybe I'll start taking him in there on a lead.  He shows no interest in the chickens to this point.
The girls always try to get some grass from my side!!  "It's all the same girls'!!

This is dottie.  She's a silver-laced wyandotte.  So I named her Dottie.  My sister swears I named her after my mother, Dorothy who they called Dot.  Well, maybe     : ))


Friday, July 5, 2013

Things My Mother and Father Taught Me

I was ironing a long sleeve blouse this morning.  Something I very rarely do any more.  (Ironing I mean).  Everything I wear can come right out of the dryer ready to wear, if I don't let it sit too long after the dryer stops.  If I do, I just throw in a damp wash cloth and let it fluff some more.
Anyway, as I was ironing, I realized that I automatically ironed the blouse in the succesion my mother taught me.  Collar, cuffs, sleeves, then shoulders, left front, back and finish up with right front.
I've always done shirts the same way.  The way my mother taught me to iron.
My mother ironed everything.  Back in the 40's and 50's when I was growing up, she had a special day for ironing.  I think it was Tuesdays.
She sprinkled things which sat on the left wide part of the ironing board, while she ironed.
She ironed, shirts, pants, dresses of course, but also sheets, pillow cases, and even my dad's underwear!
I thought about all the things my mother taught me while I was growing up.
She taught me to sew, to cook, to knit, how to set a table, how to make a bed, to sweep and dust.

 She taught me a little about gardening but I mostly learned that from my dad and my grandma Wickersham.  My dad taught me how to measure, and how to use a hammer and screw driver.  Dad taught me how to fish, and how to catch crayfish in the creek when they hid under the flat rocks.  I loved going with him to do that.  We also would go out in the back yard at night after a rain, with flash lights and caught big night crawlers for fishing.  I don't think my mom did those things with us!
Mom taught me to do the basic things that a woman of those times needed to know and my dad taught me the other basic things.
But most of all they taught me right from wrong.
I've realized that I've been very lax in teaching my daughter the necessary things for basic living!!!!!!
She doesn't really cook anything from scratch, she doesn't sew and thus can't mend anything or even sew a button on right for that matter.  While she has always excelled in cleaning the house, she knows little, (or cares to) know anything about gardening.
Of course, during her years of being a bartender, she has learned how to make any drink, how to stand up for herself, and is very out going; something I never was!
She has started her own photography business and is very passionate about it.  She's now doing very well.  She's become a good friend and we share the love of horses and ride a lot together.  
My son has gotten his basic knowledge from my late husband, Jack.  They became buddies when he was older and learned all about golfing, fishing, boating and I think even some knowledge of cooking fish from him!  He has always had a good work ethic and through his construction job and a carpenter friend of ours, has learned a whole lot of very useful information.  He really surprises me at times all that he can do!
My son and his wife, Linda, had children in their 40's and I am amazed how he talks to them now as little tykes, and how gentle he is.  He teaches them the basic things he knows while he's building their tree house or the deck around the pool (my grandson LOVES tools!) and my daughter-in-law, has always taken them to the library, and to classes about just everything and to church.  Between the two of them my grandchildren are the smartest 4 and 6 year olds on the planet  : ))  
Both of my children have also inherited my love and passion for animals.  To me, I guess that is more important than learning to sew or how to excel in any book learning. 
I am sorry not to have passed down the things my mom and dad taught me but they are both loving, sensitive adults and doing very well, so I am smiling.

Below is a collage of my Dad and Mom and our family.
The picture on the couch, notice I have spurs on my dressy shoes!
Also, I think my Dad looked a little like Harry Connick Jr!!!!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Summer

Rain, Rain, Go Out West!!!
I've been trying to weed the front gardens between rains!
At least the weeds are really easy to pull out!


A bouquet for you.

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