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Archive for September, 2010

The perfect lunchbreak

I walked to lunch today. It was a gorgeous day filled with blue sky and scattered but fluffy grey clouds, a gentle breeze and intermittent sunshine. I got to see a lot of this because … well… I got lost. To those of you who know me, this will come as no surprise as I am unable to navigate my way out of a paper bag.

When I finally found the place, I sat inside and had a very sad and quiet lunch. I hate eating a lone – Most of the time I’d rather just skip it all together but today I was hungry.

After lunch, Now knowing where I went wrong, I followed the correct path back to the church, taking my time and enjoying the walk, shifting my focus from being alone to what a beautiful place the Covington Square is. I got back to the church early and so had time to sit on a bench and admire the day. With alternating kisses from the sun and gentle breeze, I closed my eyes and offered up my own devotions, delving deep inside my psyche for some much-needed quiet time and introspection.

I pushed aside the worry about the time and push to get back to work and just concentrated on the stillness and quiet of the day. Even the sounds of cars driving and people talking on their cells as they walked by offered no annoyance or frustration to my meditations, rather they were embraced as part of the sounds of the square.

It was a gorgeous lunch, after I pushed aside the loneliness and embraced the day and I wanted to share it all with you.

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The Haircut

The Haircut

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.

After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, ‘I
cannot accept money from you , I’m doing community service this week.’ The
florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a
‘thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill,
the barber again replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you , I’m doing
community service this week.’ The cop was happy and left the shop.

The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a ‘thank
you’ card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his
bill, the barber again replied, ‘I can not accept money from you. I’m doing
community service this week.’ The Congressman was very happy and left the
shop.

The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen
Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the
citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.

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Farm update

Well we scoped out the location of the new pen. It looks promising; fairly flat ground, inside the fence and more toward the center of the yard (equally away from each neighbor).

I’m not sure he realizes it yet, but I plan on fencing off an area to let the chickens run free, even during the winter/spring while we plan out the cement slab for the permanent structure. Whats the use of keeping them cooped up. I like to watch them peck and scratch in the dirt. I like to see them chase bugs and have mock fights over who is the biggest baddest in the pecking order.

I have to pull up the poles and fencing from the previous yard, why not take a portion and use it here. That makes sense to me.. đŸ˜‰

In the spring (My Christmas/Birthday present) I am getting approximately 20 Cornish banty chicks and 6 full-sized Silver lace Wyandotte pullets.
I pushed the geese acquisition back again. I was supposed to have the money to put in the pond for them this summer and that didn’t work out. Some day it will.

I did a count on my trees yesterday and consequently got eaten alive by the mosquitoes around here. If it keeps up I am going to look like one big puffy thing. Back to the trees…

2 Chestnut trees accounted for – although they need a little mulch and feeding this autumn
Four apple trees – Need to be pruned and sprayed down one more time since the rains
2 Pecan trees – One doing well, the second I still can’t find.
1 almond tree – Looking scrawny. I think a good pruning and some feeding this autumn might help it out.
1 fig tree – looks awesome!
1 Plum tree – missing but haven’t given up hope.
1 Peach tree – Doing great – actually got peaches this year. Well, the birds and squirrels did anyway. Needs a good pruning and feeding this autumn
1 grape-vine – Needs a good pruning and feeding this year
Berry bushes are dying out. I think they need a bigger feeding and more water. Perhaps it was a bad location for them.
Jerusalem artichokes – they came back strong this year. A good feeding should make them able to be harvested next year I think.
Rhubarb didn’t do so well. đŸ˜¦ I might be able to save it.

10 trees left to buy.
2 peach trees to join the one down in the flat. They like the water so much, I figure why not!
4 Native plum trees –
4 hazelnut trees

Still thinking about the wild apricot trees and maybe a wolfberry, or currant – in the wilds area.

I also need to set up my asparagus beds, and the garlic and onion beds.

We’ll see!
Anyway that’s my update for now

On to gratitudes
I am grateful for the gift of my senses this morning.
I woke up listening to insects chirping, roosters crowing and the sound of the wind rustling through the trees. I watched the sun rise through the leaves and I felt the warmth of the blankets wrapped around me and a kiss from my hubby. A few moments after I woke up I smelled the wonderful scent of coffee brewing! đŸ™‚
The working of all five senses is often times taken for granted. we see the same thing every day .. (or so we think) and therefore it’s not worth noticing. Sounds fall into background noise, scents become commonplace. But if we look closer and really pay attention to the here and now, there is so MUCH more that is going on. Insect life, patterns in the wind or water, a gentle breeze, a new bird song, a symphony of life all around us. It is simply amazing.

We’ll I am out of time – gotta run for work.
My love to all

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Well After the tree impaled my pen, it looks like we’re moving the chickens back to my fenced in yard. In a way that’s good. Less of a walk during the winter, easier time watering and feeding, not to mention gathering eggs.
(my property likes to ice in the winter and then try to kill me.)
The bad part is that they won’t get to run free in the yard, at least without supervision. My lab/Pitt mix considers it HER territory.

We were supposed to butcher the excess roosters I had last weekend, but due to a sudden wash of sinus issues, I skipped it. It’s hard to clean and skin while an ice pick is sticking out of your eye.

So on Friday it has to be done! Which means I have to choose which rooster I plan on keeping. Usually I keep two, but this close to the neighbors means I am reduced to one.

There is a beautiful and kind Red and black rooster that I really like.
and there is a gorgeous Black rooster with iridescent red, gold and blue feathers that I want too….

What to do .. What to do… What to do…
I may end up keeping both for now.. so I don’t actually have to choose until the neighbors are at my door with pitchforks and torches.

This coming Spring I’ll be ordering my game chickens from Ideal. I am going for the Cornish banties (25 of them) and 6 full-sized Silver Laced Wyandotte. I will be keeping 10 of my existing chickens and getting rid of the rest – at least that’s the plan. The ones I have simply do not forage well enough. I am feeding them and feeding them and feeding them.. and there are tons of bugs all around my yard. so I am reverting back to the Loud but foraging Game birds.

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Liver

We had liver last night…
Now I know all of you out there are going EEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!
But it is my son’s favorite dinner and This recipe is my dads and the only way I eat it.

Beef liver, cut into manageable strips with the gristle removed.

Mix Flour, salt, pepper, oregano, lemon zest and a dash of Cayenne

Rinse strips of liver and coat in the flower mixture, and set aside.

Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil in bottom of pan, saute sliced garlic until golden brown.
Brown breaded strips of liver on both sides, Adding a dash of lemon juice (which will make the pan sizzle – so stand back)

Notes:
The trick is to eat it right away.. have all your sides done (mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, whatever you like.)
As the liver comes out of the pan it goes on someone else’s plate.
It is not good cold (although my son begs to differ)

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Beautiful Autumn Day!

I almost can’t believe that Fall has finally hit.
Normally here, September flips a switch; One day its Summer, then as the first week of Sept rolls around, suddenly the air cools, the breeze brings with it a hint of autumn and you can visualize the sweaters, the pumpkins and squash, and smell the apple cider.
Not this year. Here it is, almost the first of October and today is the first really cool autumn day.

I’m not complaining, just explaining why I am SOOO excited about the Autumn arriving. It is my all time favorite Holiday!!!
Not Thanksgiving, or Halloween, or Christmas but the entire season of Autumn!
For me its One long holiday!!! đŸ™‚

Gratitudes – I won’t do Autumn because this whole post is a gratitude for Autumn, so…
I am so grateful that my boys are working. It is so hard in this economy to get and keep a job – especially for teens/young adults. So many people are out of work and some are even homeless. This year I want to work harder to donate to the food bank, and give to charities that focus on the homeless, displaced and those scrabbling to feed their families.
I am grateful for the Hubby’s job, keeping us with a roof over our head and food in the pantry, clothes on our back and even luxuries such as heating and air-conditioning.
I am grateful for the bosses and the co-workers that provide a sense of community and friendship – all of my boys (hubby included) have been blessed with wonderful bosses who look out for their employees. Life is good to us and I am ever so grateful.

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Back to the basics

Hello everyone.

We’ve returned to the basics. I get so tired of paying for my whole grain bread. $4.00 a loaf just seems outrageous. So I’ve talked my poor hubby into baking breads for me, again. Unfortunatly due to my lack of organizational skills, we’ve had to find a new recipe.

The Molasses bread is one that we warped for our own tastes. Im happy to say it has a good consistancy and even though its a little sweet, it has a good flavor. Of course all this playing around with recipes has left me a little low in the flour department, but the first is coming up.

Thats one of the great things about blogging my recipes. If I find something I like and put it up here, I can always access it again! YAY me.

We had a minor set back this morning – that has nothing to do with cooking.
During the wonderful rainstorm we had this weekend, a tree impaled my chicken pen with a dead branch. – and by impaled I mean shot a branch through the roof, seriously if not fatally wounding my pen. Luckily no chickens were hurt in the making of this minor setback.

My two boys pulled the limb from the pen and did their best to fix it, but its going to take money and work.. and thats going to have to wait until this weekend. Hopefully it will be an easy enough fix. (Fingers crossed)

What I really want to do is move the pen. Tear it down and rebuild it in another location. Another location that is not near as slanted as where it sits now. I don’t even really care if its a smaller pen, It would just make walking out there in the rain easier.
With any luck I’ll be able to convince the hubby. We are supposed to be saving for the Disneyworld trip in November, but I think this is important. We’ll see what happens.

Well I guess that is all for now.. I’ll leave off with my gratitudes.

I am ever so grateful for the change of seasons. Each season has its own merits and beauty and refreshes the soul. By Febuary I am soooo ready for spring! Enjoying each burst of sunshine and warmth. Marveling at the plants sprouting and the flowers blooming. It is wonderful.
Summer comes, and where as i am not a fan of the heat, I love the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. The variety that opens up for cooking old favorites. Also the long days, Waking up to sunlight and still having sunlight there when you leave work is fantastic.
Autumn arrives and I’m so very grateful for the break in the heat, not to mention the rest of the harvest abundance; pumpkins, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes and more. The days cool down and nights cool down and I welcome the comforting feeling of blankets and sweaters again.
Winter arrives and it is a time for introspection. The days are cold, so the comfort of sweaters, warm fuzzy socks, and hats are more of a necessity. There are fires in the fireplace, cups of hot cocoa, snuggling with a loved one and enjoying the many holidays that are tradition.

I used to always wish for the next season.. Longing for spring while in Winter, Longing for Autumn while in Summer, etc.. But now I strive to find and hold on to the good in each season. Embracing it for the joy and laughter and memories it holds.

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