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Archive for February, 2011

Rabbits

Okay, One should never go into tractor supply in March …. even to buy feed for your chicks.
That’s all I’m going to say on the matter

No, wait… One should also not take along a son who loves animals.. They do not help .. only hinder.

I have two pretty little does in a hutch now. 😀 I am working on getting pictures.

This is not entirely unexpected, as I had always intended on getting rabbits. They are great, low cholesterol meat that is economical to raise. Each doe will give birth to 3-10 babies every 3 months. Each young rabbit reaches butcher weight at 3 months after that.
If you have enough does to cycle through, you can breed each month and butcher each month giving more than enough meat for a family.

I am starting them on commercial rabbit feed and will eventually build them a pen to run around and graze in.

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Spaghetti Sauce

Most of the spaghetti sauce is made “To Taste”
4 hours of cooking makes a barely passable sauce,
6 hours of cooking is fine
8 hours is good

basically the longer you cook it (without burning it) the better it will taste.

Second thing to note: I only know how to cook a big batch of sauce. Good Luck scaling it back down.

Ingredients
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Garlic
Tomato Sauce – restaurant size can
Wine – 1 Cup
Herbs – Any or all (Fennel, Oregano, Basil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, marjoram,)
Vegetables – Any or all (mushrooms, onions, bell pepper, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted tomatoes)
Meat – Any or all (meatballs, Italian sausage, ground meat or pig’s feet)

Directions: (What I use)
drizzle Olive oil in the bottom of the sauce pan.
add sliced garlic and chopped onion and cook until translucent and fragrant.
add 1 cup of red wine or dry white wine (depending on my mood)
add Tomato sauce
Add herbs – Basil, Oregano, crushed red pepper, black pepper, fennel, and let cook on simmer for one hour with the lid cocked to one side.
Stir every 15 – 30 minutes
Taste sauce and adjust herbs as needed
Add meat – Meat balls or Italian Sausage
Let cook for another hour to let the flavors infuse the sauce
Remove meat and set aside (if you leave it in the sauce it will disintegrate)
Taste sauce again
Add veges – Onions chopped, Bell Pepper chopped, Mushrooms sliced, Roasted tomatoes and onions
Let cook on simmer, stirring occasionally.

When you put the pasta up to boil for dinner, add the meat back into the sauce and heat everything back up for serving.

Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and enjoy

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Buddhist Wisdom
It is, what it is. With acceptance we can move beyond it.

Which is very similar to

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.~ Re-posting. (It ain’t always easy but it’s worth it!)

Perhaps God is trying to tell me something….

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Chick litter

One of my main problems with having chicks in the house is the smell. As with any baby, as they grow up, their poop starts to stink. In the case of chickens, it stinks bad. Normally I kick them out of the house after 4 weeks and by that time I’m changing the litter in the cage 2 – 3 times a day.

This time we tried something different. We used Tidy cat multi-cat clay litter. Let me tell you, I love it! It’s a little heavier than I would normally like in that tray, but it keeps the odor way down. (Now, part of that may have been that I have had a cold.. so future updates may change) 😉

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Sauce is started and there’s nothing better than the smell of it cooking. It smells like home and family and love; all that and more. Since the antibiotics are working and I am finally able to taste food again, I figured this was a grand way to boost my recovery. 😉

Taxes are filed today, It’s payday and if I can find the time today I’ll begin writing Chapter 7. The day is filled with promise.

Gratitudes:
I am grateful for my sense of smell and taste. How bland would life be without these two senses. How many memories would lack clarity and detail with out the ability to link our senses to them. Cinnamon toast reminds me of my grandmother. Warm memories filled with love and caring rush back to me, triggered by the smell of the toast cooking. I wouldn’t change that for the world, especially now since she’s passed on. When I am lonely or homesick or just missing her laughter, I go out and buy a loaf and remember all the good times in vivid clarity.
Spaghetti sauce cooking stirs up memories of family get-togethers, loud and boisterous but full of love. It is a warm familiar scent and is usually the first dish I cook in a new house and the last one I cook before I leave. To me it signals the never-ending love of family through feast and famine, poverty and wealth, through thick and thin.

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We are ending this Gorgeous weekend with temps in the 80’s. Can you believe it? Just Beautiful!!!!
I can tell you that there will be doors and windows open, to let the sunshine shine on in!

I may be making sauce today. I feel in a spaghetti sauce mood. Something that screams “Family” on this Sunday, as it should!
and I’d like to dig in the garden for a bit today. Prep it for the new plants I just picked up. 😀

I also plan on giving the chickens their chance in the sun to peck and scratch and sunbathe! There is nothing better than happy chickens to warm your heart.

Today, after church, we are headed to Lowes to pick up paint! YAY!
This week I will start on the base boards, sanding and painting. With any luck next week will be the chair rails in the dining room. I am so excited! After that, if there is paint left I will move on to the cupboards in the kitchen. I plan to do a little at a time to make sure each part has a chance to dry correctly.

Farm Life:

Those little chicks are growing so quickly. I am going to have to separate them today or tomorrow. They are already flying across the cage and competing with each other over space and food. Beautiful birds. Despite the trouble I had with Ideal Hatchery, these birds are alert and lively. They are feathering out nicely and just beautiful. I am happy with the stock.

Integration will be interesting, they are forceful little guys. I think they will give the existing pecking order a run for their money.

I had an interesting idea for the hutch that we just bought. I was thinking of changing it into a nesting box/brooding room for moms and their new chicks.

One of the main problems with having broody hens, is that all the other hens want to lay in HER nest. It mixes up the eggs and makes for a prolonged hatch, which is not good for either the hen or the chicks. This would solve the problem – Once she went broody I’d shut and lock the door. There is enough room in the cage to place food and water and she wouldn’t have to be pestered by other hens. Once the chicks hatched, they too would be kept safe and happy with their own supply of food and water. At least until they are old enough to survive the other hens in the flock.

There is only one issue with the whole idea… well two.
1) The double hutch is $200 – so I’d have to have the hubby to make one for cheaper.
2) I’d need more room, to replace the existing “Litter box – nest boxes” with these.

Still, I think it is doable and worthwhile. 2-3 double deckers should be perfect.

Trees:
My trees are all starting to bloom. Why wouldn’t they, in 70 – 80 degree weather? It’s gorgeous and it screams SPRING! Let’s hope there’s not a sneaky wicked Winter Storm out there just waiting for everyone to relax. I’ll lose all my flowers.

Gratitudes:
Despite my feelings about the medical profession – I am grateful for the miracles of modern medicine. Antibiotics are my friends. I have been fighting this cold since Feb. 14. and granted, although I was feeling better…. It was still here. I was still coughing up pieces of my lung and feeling run down and tired. One day on the antibiotics and I can breathe without wheezing and my cough is not as “chest racking” as before. two more days and I should be my old self again!

I am also grateful for a caring hubby who has been taking care of me since he gave me this cold 2 weeks ago. 😉
Maybe its Guilt… Maybe its Love… But whatever the motivation, I am grateful.

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We ran off to the Hardware store today to pick up the quarter rounds to finish the kitchen and dining room floor. I purposely avoided the garden center because everyone has plants out; vegetables, herbs and flowers. They call my name.. and since I have birthday money burning a hole in my pocket I am trying to limit my temptation encounters.

It didn’t work. Those tricky people at Home Depot had rows of berry bushes and perennials lined along the front door too. I twitched my way through the berry bushes when suddenly the asparagus and rhubarb reached out and grabbed me. I struggled for a moment, and then called to my husband for help. The traitorous man slipped across the line and joined the botanical side of the war. I couldn’t stand against both him and them and finally surrendered. We walked out of there with Asparagus, Rhubarb and Horseradish for my front herb garden, and quarter rounds to finish the floor.

Hubby is finished the wood flooring. Replacing the original kickboard around the cabinets with one that matches the laminate flooring that we put in. It looks really nice. 🙂

Gratitudes:
I am grateful for being able to sleep in, snuggled in the blankets, for a good nights sleep and to be woken up by the smell of coffee brewing. I am grateful for the sunlight streaming in and the sound of birdsong in my ears. I am grateful for the hard work of my family while I was sick. and I am grateful in advance for getting rid of this blasted cold. I am so tired of being sick. Sick or no.. it has been a wonderful Birthday weekend.

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