Friday, August 30, 2013

Horse Camp, 30 Some Years Ago!

I ran across some old pictures of my kids at a week long horse camp
at Bear Creek Ranch when they were young.
Notice, back then, no helmets, no correct shoes, Michele riding in shorts, 
and standing up on horses after a week!!!!
(I must have signed a heavy duty waiver!!!)

Some fun days!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fall Vegetable Garden

I've never planted seeds in late summer or early fall before.  
I've never tried to have a fall/winter garden.
This year I'm trying it.
I cleared out my bean bushes that were done and also my couple zucchini plants that were just about done.
I've planted carrots and some lettuces and spinach.

Today when I pulled out the zucchini plants, I planted some bush peas.
The tomatoes and peppers are still producing well.  And my swiss chard is still good.
When I pull the tomatoes, I'm not sure what to try.
 When I pulled the plants I threw them in with the chickens and made them happy.
I love the way they sort through things.
These were the last four zucchini.  I still have a big plant in the front garden though.

I might try and put some PVC tubing hoops over the top of the raised bed and cover it to make it last longer.  Next year I'll have more of these boxes! 
Speaking to you gardeners out there; do you plant in the fall?  And what do you plant??


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dirty Girl

She's the smallest of the flock and at the bottom of the pecking order.
Yes, it's Lily.
She's white and always a mess!
She's an easter egger; she lays pretty greenish-blue eggs.
But look at her!  Her little puffy cheeks are always dirty.
Now she has started molting so she is all raggedy looking too.
She has a couple feathers always sticking straight out from her sides.
She's a sweetie though.

I'd love to just wash her little face, but I don't think she'd like that!!!!

  As the chickens go into molting now this fall, the egg production will slow down or stop for awhile and all the girls will look all scuzzy.  They will need extra protein in their diets to help them grow nice new feathers.
Lucky I'm raising meal worms!


Tasty Blackberry Cobbler

I found this recipe online.  It sounded so good I went out and got the blackberries and made it!
You'll need buttermilk and heavy whipping cream too, which I also had to get.
It was well worth it!
(I'll post the original site at the end.)
Start with 3-4 cups of blackberries in a bowl
Add 1 C sugar
1/3 C flour 
1 TBSP lemon juice
Toss gently and put in a greased 8 or 9 inch baking pan

In another bowl mix:
1 3/4 C flour
3 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Cut in 1/4 C shortening

Mix together 1/2 C whipping cream
1/2 C buttermilk
Add to dry mixture and mix
Spoon this dough over the blackberries
Brush the top with 2 TBSP melted butter 
Sprinkle about 1-2 tsp sugar over top

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes.
Serve warm topped with cream or better yet, ice cream!

Here's where I originally got this recipe:

Hope you'll try it too!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Garden Stuffed Zucchini

I wrote a few weeks ago how I wasn't getting any zucchini from my garden!  
I even blamed it on the bees!
Well, my two plants then started producing big time.  I've had enough to give away and I'm planning on making some double chocolate zucchini bread that I just saw online!
Today I made stuffed zucchini with the zucchini, tomatoes and onions from my garden.
I hollowed out the inside of three zucchini taking out the seeds.

Here are the stuffing ingredients:

 3 medium tomatoes, skinned and diced
a big clove of garlic, diced.
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup long grain rice (not minute rice)
1 tbsp brown sugar

Mix well and stuff zucchini.

For the tops, I put some slices of onion, a sprinkle of brown sugar and watered down catsup.

Baked at 350 degrees for 1 hour 20 minutes or until zucchini is soft.

This is the second time I've made these in the past couple weeks.  Really tasty.

Yes, that's cottage cheese on my baked potato.  I like it better than sour cream.  Try it!

I'm linking up with Foodie Friday

Have a great weekend.

Molly and Her Rubber Egg

Yesterday I found a shell-less egg in one of the nesting boxes.  It was just the inside of the egg.  
The white and the yoke.  I knew Molly had been in there so I went to find her.  
Sure enough, the rubbery egg membrane was caught on her back feathers.
I cleaned the egg out of the nesting box, being glad she didn't eat it.  Egg eating is hard to brake if they start that.

Well, today, out in the yard, I found another egg without a hard shell.  Unfortunately the membrane broke when it hit the stones.  They're called rubber eggs and are fairly common.  I'm assuming it is from Molly.  She seems perfectly fine.
There's many causes of this but she is eating Layer Pellets and I keep free choice oyster shell grit in their run.  I'll see if she goes back to laying regular hard shelled eggs before I search out a cause.
They are strange birds!  Always something with them.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Earth Fare

I took a little drive to Earth Fare today.  It's a healthy foods grocery store with a lot of organic foods.
I've been reading about how the things we eat are so bad for us and I really would like to eat better, more healthy.  An article I recently read about vegetable oil really sent me right to the healthy food store!  It was about "the ugly truth about vegetable oils and why they should be avoided!"  Man, it's a wonder we all haven't keeled over by about age 30!

I enjoy going to Earth Fare.  They have great produce and meats.
The only problem is the prices.  It's a shame that it costs more to eat healthier!

This is their buffet.  I've eaten lunch here a few times.  If I lived really close I'd just eat here!  I think it would be less expensive than buying the organic foods to stock your kitchen.
They do have big cases of meals you can take home too.

On another subject:
Yesterday I got my hair cut and on the way home I stopped at the Oreck store.
I've had my Oreck for at least 14 years and it's badly in need of repair and reconditioning.  However, to do everything it needs, it would cost close to buying a new one.  So, they had this spiffy one on sale.  ($100. off!!) so, I got it.  It's very powerful and is even self propelled.
Now, isn't that exciting!


Monday, August 19, 2013

In the Chicken Yard

Every nice day, I try to give the girls at least a couple hours out in the big yard space that I made them.
I open their regular run and they run as fast as they can over to the grassy place.

They like to sun themselves as they don't have much sun in their run off the coop.

Pepsi, the little barn cat likes to be in with the chickens.  They have become friends I guess.

Martha is curious about that tail!  This is right before she gave it a peck and Pepsi ran away.
Well, Pepsi, you should wiggle it like bait!!


My Rare Household Tips!

It's pretty funny that I would be giving household tips as believe me, I'm not what you'd call Miss Tidy Housekeeper!
I don't enjoy cleaning and believe me, organizing and de-cluttering has gotten away from me!
But here's a tip I saw on line that I've been using and I really like it.
In the morning, I fill my big kitchen sink with warm water and a little Dawn and all day I put all the dirty dishes I use into the sink of water.  At night, I load and run the dishwasher.  It soaks off any food and grease before it enters the dishwasher.  

I have never believed you can put food laden dishes in the dishwasher and expect them to come out clean.  I have a newer dishwasher and believe me I've tried it.  Doesn't work!  It just bakes it on!

This works well for me because I have a second little sink to use too.  (To wash my hands or dump something down the drain.)

Here's another; probably obvious tip to most.
I have soapstone counter tops.  I oil them a couple times a year to keep them looking nice and dark and beautiful.  I noticed that if I sat my bottle of Dawn on the counter, the soap on the bottom would cut through the oil and leave a ring.  (Of course, it's dawn, it removes grease and oil!)
So I just set it on a little paper plate now.  Problem solved.

Another thing I've been trying my best to do this summer is to hang my clothes out to dry; especially the bed linens.
Since my dryer is electric, this saves a good deal on the electric bill.

So, there's my little household hints of the day.  Pretty obvious probably for most of you.  But hey, it's me . . . . 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ava in the Chicken Yard

My grandkids were here today.
Jack was in the house watching something on my iPad but 
Ava loves to be out with the chickens.  She checks for eggs about every two hours.
She let them follow her over to their yard today and spend some time with them giving out some scratch.

Ava starts first grade next week so she won't be coming to Nana's on Wednesdays.  Jack will be coming another 3 weeks before his pre-school starts.

Little Lily is lowest on the pecking order so Ava makes sure that she gets her share.

The whole time Pepsi was sunning herself on top of the little coop in the yard.  She squeezes through the fence.  She's little.  The chickens are pretty much bigger than her.  She isn't much interested in them. 

A nice cool day today.  Sure doesn't seem like August in Ohio!
But I'm not complaining.  Better this than 90 and humid!!!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chicken Stuff and a Hawk Scare!

I had let my chickens out in the yard, (the fenced in area I made), and I was in the family room.  I just happened to look out of the window at the right time as a large red tailed hawk landed in the tree over looking the yard.  I RAN out into the yard and collected my girls getting them into their covered area and I chased the hawk away.  Well, I waved my arms around.  I don't suppose he was too scared.  I will have to sit out with my girls from now on since Mr Hawk knows where they are!!!

When I checked my garden today, I found this gross tomato hornworm trying to make short work of one of my green tomatoes.  They are huge!!  I pulled it off which was no easy task as they really attach themselves to what they are eating!  I ran with it over to my chickens and threw it in before it got me!!
The girls ran up to it, pecked it a couple times but seemed a little timid!  They talked about it amongst themselves for a long time!  I don't know which one actually got to eat it but it was gone when I went back to look!

I also picked some herbs and rose petals from my garden and put them in the chickies nesting boxes.  Gives the boxes a pleasant smell and is also good to keep down any bugs that may be around.
The girls weren't quit sure about their colorful quarters but finally accepted the new decor.

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