Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One of These Things is Not Like The Others

Our Chippewah started laying last Saturday. 
Her first egg is the one on the left in the photo below. 
Her second egg is in the middle, just slightly bigger than the first egg.
But what about the egg on the right? It is bigger and a different color....
That could only mean that our Oreo, started laying eggs today!!! 
I am so excited! 

This shows eggs from Americus, Chippewah, and Oreo. 

Elyssa, holding Oreo's first egg.  
She said the egg was the same color as her...

Finally, we are getting somewhere with this egg laying business. 
Just 2 more chicks to go! Bob and Sprout are only about 16 weeks, 
so we still have some waiting to do. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

decisions, decisions.....

Hmmm, I am trying to decide between 2 different posts.... The Ugly, After Dinner-Carnage post or The Beautiful, God's-Paintbrush post. Is there any conceivable way to choose between Negative and Positive. I like to think that I am a positive person. However, sometimes writing is therapy. And immediately after seeing the carnage I was able to see the beauty in something else.  So maybe it will just be better to combine the two?

Family dinners are the norm in our house. That means every night you better be to the table when I call you in for dinner. We don't eat in the living room or the family room or our bedrooms. We eat as a family at the kitchen table. That is another post altogether. Anyhoo, after dinner Ashton gets up from the table and walks just into the living room area. There he stops cold and exclaims, "HOLY COW!!!"
My first thought is "uh oh". But I had no idea, what exactly, I was going to find on the other side of that wall. We were all a little hesitant to check it out. 

It was

 "The Death of a Snowman" 

And it took less than 30 minutes for that little scoundrel,
 to find a stuffed snowman in the basement. 
And proceed to tear the stuffing out of him.
I was kind of shocked.  
But I know what a beast this dog can be on certain days. 

                                               A few days ago she had one of my chickens.
 (don't worry she made it through with out a scratch)
The same day she chewed up her first cord.
 I am pretty sure she got zapped! 
The same night she choked on a penny at 4 in the morning. 
So, I am just about ready to sell her to Cruella DeVille!!!! 
She is SOOOOO lucky that we love her!

Ugh what to do?
 I guess there was nothing I could do, 
but walk into the other room and grab my camera,
 and document the death of the snowman. 
 And immediately after that I needed to get away from the carnage. 
It is a good thing the sun was setting and I have a new Polarizer for my camera.
It gave me something positive to dwell on. 


Color Therapy,
 from my front porch to yours!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

enough to keep away the vampires...

I harvested about one-third of the garlic in the garden. 

 About 10 heads worth. They smell incredible! 
I want to make marinara and bruschetta.
 Pasta with a garlic butter sauce with a little white wine.
 Ohhhh, and stir in some chicken. 
I want garlic bread. 

The leaves alone are so aromatic,
 I had to take them out of the house and hang them to dry outside.
This is our first time growing garlic and I think it has been a success.
In 3 weeks I will go out again and harvest the rest of the garlic.  
I think this is the easiest crop I have ever planted. 
The bugs stay so far away from this plant! 
I may need to plant garlic around all of the edibles.
 But how to plan for that? 
Something I must ponder....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our 4th of July Celebration

Good food, great friends, some fireworks and live music...
 I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

These pups stayed by the cookies and guarded them. Bellies flat on the floor, noses touching the container. But they did not bother them one bit. It was hilarious to watch them, watching the cookies. 

Fun was had by all. 
I just wish I would have gotten a photo of our flag,
 when all of the fireworks were going on overhead. 
But my camera died.

I took a dish to share that I think I will be making again. As I was waiting to check out at the grocery store I picked up a magazine to see the front cover. It had pictures of stuffed Jumbo pasta sea shells. They looked yummy, so I decided to make them. 

Appetizer stuffed shells
1 box jumbo pasta sea shells
1 bag frozen meatballs
1 lb. mozzarella cheese (shredded or cubed)
1 jar marinara (use your favorite brand, mine was homemade from last years harvest, that is what I had on hand)
1 small can tomato paste 
1/2 cup water
Parmesan cheese (shaved or grated)
2 tbsp. Italian seasoning to sprinkle on top. 

Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Drain, set aside.
Mean while microwave the meatballs for a few minutes until completely thawed and set aside.
Bring pasta sauce, tomato paste, and water to low simmer and let cook 10 minutes.
In a 9"x13" baking dish spread about 1 cup or more of the sauce, enough to cover the bottom of the pan. 
next start filling the shells with 1 meatball and 1 cube of mozzarella cheese. Line them up fairly tightly in the pan. When they are all stuffed, pour remaining sauce over the top of the shells. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Then microwave for 5 to six minutes until heated through. It is too hot to turn on the oven right now so use the microwave if you feel like it. 
The sauce was very hot so that cut way down on the microwave time. This was most definitely the easiest recipe for stuffed shells I have ever made. Also it made a great appetizer. I will be making these again and serving them for dinner with a nice summer salad and a crusty loaf of french bread. It was such a quick and easy recipe.