Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Musing - New Life

 
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Springtime is baby time! Perhaps it is one of the reasons that I look forward to this time of year. Chicks are a favorite of mine, hard to believe that some of those sweet fuzzy little chicks will turn into mean birds. Roosters are often pretty to look at, but the scar on my leg reminds me how they can act. We like to have a rooster here, but prefer to raise them ourselves.

Last year, we had a spraddle legged chick; he spent time in the Chick I.C.U. and received Poultry Physical Therapy. This sweet little chick turned into a rather pretty bird. Looking at him now, you would never guess that his life almost didn’t happen. He is a good rooster, and takes good care of his girls. His name is Doc, and like all of the animals he has a nick name, it is Docky Doodle and comes running when he hears me call him by that name. Doc likes to walk around with me, and is interested in anything that I am doing. I have tried to explain to Doc, that I don’t want to be friends; I just want him to take care of his girls. His feelings may have been hurt by that revelation. Kevin informed me yesterday, that his days were now numbered. Doc has become aggressive towards Kevin.

We anticipated this, and set up the incubator a few weeks ago. Patiently we monitored the temperature and turned the eggs regularly. The eggs were candled at the appropriate time and we watched the new life form. It is awesome to watch these chicks moving inside of their shells! Our patience paid off last weekend as the chicks began to hatch.

We heard a muffled peep, and later that day there was a pip in the shell! We kept checking and have to say that I wanted to help these chicks, but knew that my help would kill them. So I sat cheering the chick on. This chick fought and pushed out of the shell. We watched this new life take those first steps, dry off and look up at me, to discover who the familiar voice belonged to. 5 chicks have hatched; time will tell if there is a rooster among them. No matter how many times I see this miracle occur, it remains a new and fresh experience. God’s miracles continually amaze me!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Boneless Hot Wings a.k.a. Hot Bites

The only problem that I have found with these Hot Bites, is that there are never enough! Baking the chicken makes it tender and the sauce sticks to the meat better too.

Melt about 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in a baking dish. Add about 2 tablespoons of oil to the melted butter. I use olive oil, we like the flavor.


 

In a plastic container, combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Cut boneless, skinless chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Flour the chicken. I keep a plastic bowl in the freezer and refill with seasoned flour as needed.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 1 hour, turning chicken halfway through.


 

While the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce. Melt one stick of butter or margarine in a pan. Remove the melted butter from the heat and add the vinegar, paprika, and hot sauce to the melted butter. Stir well. Allow to cool and pour the sauce into a bowl.


 

Remove the chicken from the oven and place in the bowl that contains the hot sauce. Stir gently to coat all of the chicken pieces.


 

Serve warm with sauce of your choice, french fries, cheddar biscuits, and jalapeno poppers!


 
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Hot Bites
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter or margarine.
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the butter in the dish to melt, when melted, add the olive oil, stir gently to combine. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and coat with flour. Place the floured pieces in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and turn chicken pieces, return to oven for 30 minutes. While chicken is baking prepare the sauce.

Sauce
! stick butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 small bottle hot sauce

Melt butter in a pot, remove from heat and add the vinegar, paprika, and garlic powder. Add the hot sauce to taste, I use about half of a small bottle, use more if you want it hotter. Stir until all are combined allow to cool.
Stir and pour into a bowl just before chicken comes out of oven. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and stir gently making sure that all of the chicken is coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Joining
Miz Helen's Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday

Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Porch Lighting

 
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This is my "new" porch light fixture. I took the picture over the weekend, yesterday was so windy that I did not work on the porch at all! Glass jars with candles will provide the lighting.
This is truly JUNK!! When my parents took the whirlpool tub out of the downstairs bath, we salvaged the boards, this was part of the tub surround. It was sitting in the backyard shed. I have seen the pictures using an old ladder for a light fixture, did not have an old ladder, but had this piece of leftover wood! The chain was leftover from a previous project, the jars will be leftovers too. The wire used to hang the jars will be salvaged as well. The only cost will be the purchase of battery operated candles!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Musing - The Atticus Fan Club

 
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Recently at the vet’s office, a member of the staff stopped to tell me that she enjoyed reading my newspaper column, now this was the highest compliment that I have received. She knows Atticus, and continues to read this column. The day that he was dropped off for his “special surgery”, I let them know about the real Atticus. Now in his defense, he does not act the same way at the vet’s office that he does at home. He is much better behaved at the vet’s office, but I was concerned about how he would act. I know how he acts when it is time to put him in his carrier for a trip to the vet. Perhaps it is his plan to make these good people believe that he is well behaved, increasing the amount of fans he has. Atticus was not supposed to be my cat, he was supposed to live with my daughter. You can see how that worked out. Now she can’t have him, besides she has a cat. My daughter knows how Atticus acts, and the mischief that he is capable of causing. After reading about our Christmas tree mishap last year, she called me to offer support, and to tell me that she was on Team Mom, not Team Atticus. There are people in my life that I call “friends”, yet they defend Atticus, and scratch his head and tell him that they don’t believe he does the things are written about him. Obviously, these traitors are on Team Atticus. Perhaps I will hand the phone to Atticus the next time one of them calls. Atticus’ newest fan is Honey, a Pomeranian/Pekinese mix. They have become partners in mischief, and drink from the same water bowl, to tell you how fond Atticus is of Honey. Atticus can open doors and he does so for Honey, allowing her into any room that she desires. This mischievous duo will pretend to be innocent; however it is my belief that Honey is being led astray by Atticus. Honey will have to learn the truth about Atticus, or maybe she is his friend because Atticus pretends to be a gentleman and open doors for her. Whatever the reason, Honey is the newest fan for Atticus, and there is one less member of Team Mom.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New Chicks

There were new arrivals this weekend! We placed 10 eggs in the incubator 20 days ago, Saturday morning, this was the first arrival.

 
We had heard peeping Saturday morning.


 

It is amazing to watch! I wanted to help so very badly, but helping can kill the chick. So I sat and cheered them on!


 
Hatching is hard work for these little chicks!


 

Finally free from the shell, this chick has learned to walk.


 

3 chicks have hatched so far, and there are pips on a couple of more eggs.


 
Not the best picture, but this was the first to hatch.


 

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Hoping to wake up and find the others have hatched. There are pips on the other shells, and we hear peeping coming from the eggs!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Barn Cat Eviction

The barn cats have been evicted from the back porch. Now I would feel bad if there was nowhere for them to go, but they are barn cats, they have a place to go.
Mamie Jane and Monkey Tail (yes, that is his name, he has a long tail, just like a monkey's tail) have chosen to sit on the steps, in the hopes that they will once again take up residency on the back porch.

There is still touch up work to do, but the porch has been screened!! Woo Hoo!
This was not as easy as we thought that it would be. We must have forgotten that we live in a home that is over 100 years old - nothing is square anymore. so I had to remind myself that for every one thing that I do not like about this house, there are a thousand things that I love about this house.


So the work continues, the barn cats wait and hope that they will return to the "new" porch.


The painting continues, now I have to paint the furniture that will go on this porch. Also have to decide which furniture will go on this porch. This is a picture of the chairs that I think will be used. The chairs are rejects that I found years ago, no cost except the paint, and the table was a thrift store find, cost was $15!




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More cleaning and painting today. More decision making, what to paint and what to use out there. It is exciting, and my excited side wants to make more plans for more projects. My reasonable side reminds me that this porch is not finished, nor is the attic room! Really hating that reasonable side right now!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Attic Room Lighting

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We have a lighting fixture now!
This fixture hung in the dining room, it was here when we moved in. The fixture was replaced and we saved this one. It sat in that barn, waiting for an opportunity to come back inside. We cleaned it up and my husband removed the wiring. It was given a couple of coats of white spray paint. The lights will be the small candle lights that are battery operated. There is no electricity on this side of the attic room, so a creative solution was needed.
The paint was a can that we already had, the chain was leftover from another project, and the hook in the ceiling was another leftover. This project is still under the $50 budget, with the only purchase being a curtain rod.

Spring Snow

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Really you ask, snow? No, it isn’t snow, but it covers our area better than snow. It is everywhere, just look outside, and you will see it. The golden green coating is everywhere, causing us to sneeze, cough and rub our eyes. There are things about spring that we all love and wait for, but pollen is probably not the highlight of your spring. It is certainly not the highlight of mine. How can the pollen that means new life, mean misery for so many of us?
There was a magazine lying on the counter at Mama’s house yesterday. The cover boasted of an article that promised helpful advice for allergy sufferers. Hungry for relief, I read the article. Finishing the article, I wondered if it was a cruel joke on the part of that writer. What was wrong with this person? The advice was the same that we hear every year, stay inside as much as possible, wash your hair every night, and keep windows closed.
That is old information. I was in need of help, and this cruel writer offered none. This article reminded me of the commercials on TV, the ones that show a sick and suffering person. Then the person takes the advertised medication and they are feeling mighty fine. They are able to play outside, and bury their face in the cat’s fur. We believe these commercials in desperation and purchase their products only to discover that we don’t feel mighty fine after taking the advertised medication.
When I was a child, my parent’s home did not have air conditioning, as did many homes of that time. We slept with the windows up, the sounds of sneezing and coughing were the music we heard at night. Clearly my parents missed a golden opportunity. We could have been the Musical Sneezies, and shared our unique musical abilities with the world. We could have been rich and famous! My Mama could have stood backstage with a vial filled with pollen, and made us take a deep sniff before we went out onto the stage to perform. Now that opportunity is gone, we missed it, the world will never know of our talent. The spring snow still falls, and those of us that suffer pray for rain in the hopes that it will offer relief.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Attic Room and Excuses


The attic room is not finished yet, but some work has happened in the room. A mirror was taken from the guest room, and hung over the chest. The good and bad thing about this room, is that the bedroom portion is only half of the room.
The room is large, and we have used it for storage.


It has been an unloved and uninspired room.


There is another part of this room, my old sofa, end tables. chair and entertainment center were placed here. Unloved leftovers taking up space. Daddy's old ladder made it's way to this room. It has a future as a shelf! This side of the room has electricity. There was still the problem of lighting for the other side.

I remembered that when we moved into this house, there was this light fixture in the dining room. It was missing a piece of glass on one of the lights, and one piece of the glass was broken.
My husband put the fixture in the barn at my request, where it has remained for 5 years. He removed the wiring, I gave it a coat of white spray paint. My new candelier will hang in the bedroom of the attic room!

We have also been working on another project, which is why the attic room is not completed, so there is my excuse. It seems that I have a problem focusing on one project at a time. I think that it is called ADD now. When I was a kid, ADD was unheard of, it was called not paying attention, and I got in trouble for it a lot!!
Now I can claim it as an excuse. Whatever the reason, my mind thinks of so many things that it wants to do, then I get excited about the prospects of a new project, and begin something new. I have to force myself to finish projects sometimes. Fortunately for the attic room, I am still excited about it! It will not be neglected.

My husband has heard his wife beg him to do this project for 5 years now. In order to stop the begging, he gave in. We had a back porch that deserved this project. This porch is just off of the kitchen, and the barn cats love to lie around on this porch. So it was never clean, and I couldn't have flowers there. Have I mentioned that we live in south Georgia? Meaning gnats, gnats, and more gnats! We thought that it would be nice to have a place to sit outside without gnats and other pests - meaning barn cats.



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The porch will have room for a small table and my potting bench. My herbs will go on the porch and flowers that are barn cat free!! Ideas are bumping into each other in my head, but hoping to have this porch finished this weekend. I am so excited about this, the barn cats, well they know that something is up. They just don't know that it is an eviction notice!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Musing - Clover Was Right Again

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Clover and I share many discussions, these conversations are often one sided. Clover is agreeable as long as her special goat cookies are involved. Mostly she does not care what the conversation is about, she just loves the attention. If Clover feels that an answer is in order, then she will rub against me for a positive response. The negative responses are always crystal clear, a snort, turning and walking away, or banging her head against the gate, the most emphatic way of voicing her disapproval.
My gentle, mischievous, and smart goat always knows exactly what she wants and attempts to help me understand goat language. My boys are older now, and the possibility of keeping one boy for Clover has been an idea that we tossed around. Each boy was carried to the gate, Clover sniffed his face, stomped her foot and banged her head against the gate in disapproval. Guessing that she means no way is that happening.
There has been a previous attempt in securing Clover a husband. Bill E. Goat attempted to persuade Clover to take his hoof in marriage, but Clover refused. Bill shouted sweet goat nothings to Clover, she ignored him. He called to her through the night. Clover refused to look his way. The final attempt to begin the courtship ended with Bill standing behind me trembling, and an adamant Clover stomping her foot. Poor Bill E. Goat left in disgrace. Bill trembles when he hears that name now. Professional help will be required to restore his damaged ego.
Clover is a goat woman that knows what she wants. Freedom of choice is demanded by this head strong female. Neither of the boys will be acceptable. Clover has made her choice. A conversation with Clover’s previous owner revealed the wisdom in Clover’s decision. These sweet little orphaned goat boys were born to Clover’s sister. Clover can’t marry her nephews! I am beginning to think that we will never have a Crimson to go with our Clover, and what about Tommy James! Oh well, Clover was right again.
Yesterday, one of my little boys went to a new home. He went to a loving home, and is a child’s pet. He was a gift from Grandparents to a very special little granddaughter. His twin brother will remain with us for a while longer. Time will reveal the rest of this story.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cinnamon Coffee Syrup

Living in a rural area, visiting a coffee shop is not a possibility. Purchasing these syrups at grocery stores is costly.What's a girl to do but learn to make her own. The ingredients are simple.
You will need
2 cups of water
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon vanilla


Pour the water into a heavy saucepan and add the sugar, cinnamon sticks and vanilla. Stir well and bring to a boil. Let this simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and place a lid on top and allow to cool.

When the syrup cools, it is ready to use. Use syrup to taste, I like to add 1 teaspoon to my coffee along with a healthy splash of milk.


Serve your coffee in pretty cups and share with a good friend for best taste! This is a cup that I picked up at a yard sale. Just thought that it was so pretty!



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Cinnamon Coffee Syrup
2 cups water
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pour water into heavy saucepan, add sugar, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla and stir well. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and place a lid on top of pan, let sit until cool.
Joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday
and
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Night Special

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Corn Flake Candy


Corn flake candy is a treat that my Gran made sometimes for our Sunday afternoon visits. Adults and children loved it! Like all of Gran's recipes, the ingredients are simple, but the taste is amazing!
Assemble and measure all of the ingredients first. You will need 1 cup sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, 1 cup peanut butter, and 6 cups corn flakes.


Pour the corn syrup and sugar into a heavy pan, use a pan that is large enough to hold all of the ingredients!


Over medium heat, stir continually the sugar and corn syrup until all of the sugar has melted and the mixture has come to a boil.


Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter, and stir well, careful the mixture is hot!


Add the cornflakes to the mixture and stir until all of the corn flakes are coated with this yummy peanut butter mixture.
Pour into a buttered pan, allow to cool and cut into squares, or drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.


Corn Flake Candy
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups corn flakes
Pour corn syrup and sugar into a heavy pan that is large enough to hold all of the ingredients. Stir over medium heat until sugar has melted and mixture has come to a boil. Remove from heat and add corn flakes, stirring until all of the corn flakes are coated.
Pour into a greased pan, allow to cool and cut into squares, or drop by spoonfuls into waxed paper. Enjoy!!



Joining the party at Miz Helen's Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday
Dolly Is Cooking for the Country Homemaker Blog Hop
My Simple Country Living for the Country Homemaker Blog Hop
White Wolf Summit for Farmgirl Friday
Deborah Jean's Dandelion House for Farmgirl Friday

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Musing - Cookook Addiction

There is something that I have to confess. There is a problem here. My husband is aware of the problem, but the truth is that he does nothing to end my almost addiction, he encourages it. Never complaining, always encouraging and assisting my condition. He knows that he reaps the benefits of this sickness.
The problem is cookbooks, I love them. These books are stacked throughout our home, and provide reading material for me, inspiration, and new ideas for supper. My favorites are the books that once belonged to someone else. The pages are examined for the most used page, and all of the notes are read. Kevin is the official taste tester at our house and decides if a new recipe is a keeper.
Kevin doesn’t complain about a new cookbook, rather his eyes twinkle. He wants to know how he can help, meaning he plans the new shelves. You didn’t think he was going to clean up the kitchen did you? This is not a new problem; it has been growing through the years. Several years ago I purchased a small bookshelf. The decision was made that when that shelf was filled, it would be time to stop. So I stopped, sort of. I stopped long enough to find another place to put the books. My collection has long since outgrown that shelf and other remedies had to be discovered.
There are a few magazines that were good, and now have a permanent home in my kitchen. The pages are marked by paper clips, or sticky notes. Kevin laughs because these books and magazines are so well known to me that when he makes a request, I know which book it is in. The stacks beside my chair and bed are rotated regularly.
I have an endless wish list and once a book is acquired, more are added to the list. Do you have a favorite? Tell me what it is, because I might need to read that one too.
Perhaps this is some type of addiction, or sickness encouraged by my husband. There is no end in sight, my list is long, my collection growing, and my husband is happy. If a cure exists, then we don’t want it.
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