Monday, October 31, 2011


Recently, I have had a lot of busy lunch times and late nights while we work on the goat pen.
So...quick lunches and some midnight snacks.
Thought I would post a few of my favorites for a quick meal or snack.
I have a microwave, and this is when it comes in handy!
My favorites:
Baked Potatoes. I microwave a potato and stuff it with any of the following (or a combo) :
Sausage and gravy (no time to make biscuits!)
Taco meat and salsa
Chili (or any thick soup or stew)
Scrambled eggs and bacon
Broccoli (with or without cheese sauce)
Kim chi (an acquired taste, to be sure) or sauerkraut
Radish sprouts, mushrooms and walnuts, a little Italian dressing on top (Hey, I'm weird)
In fact, anything you like to snack on is pretty good in a baked potato---unless it is obvious stuff like ice cream, now that would be pretty icky (YMMV).

Stuffed tomatoes are pretty good, too! Cut off the stem part and then hollow out the tomato. Dice what you dig out and mix it with your filling.
Stuff them with any cold salad:
Chicken salad
Ham salad
Macaroni salad
Tuna salad
Egg salad (my favorite)
Leftover fried rice

For a midnight snack comfort food, little beats Creamed Eggs on Toast.
Boil 2 eggs, peel, slice and mix with 1 cup medium white sauce
White sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (works best if milk is warmed or room temp)
Melt butter, whisk in flour and then whisk in milk. Stir over medium heat until thick.
Okay, mix in the sliced hard boiled eggs and pour it over a couple slices of whole wheat toast. (I tear my toast into small pieces like my grandmother used to for me when I was little)
Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika or some green onion if you like, maybe a bit of crumbled bacon.

My fall back is to grab a bowl of cereal..usually Raisin Bran, Life or Wheat Chex. But since I rarely have cold cereal in the house, I usually end up with one of the above choices.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Last Pics of the Night

We folded around 7:30 pm. Still have a few things to do, i.e.; build goat house in pen, get trough in, put fluffy straw in goat house, etc.
The gate is now totally installed. We will be putting plywood behind it to help prevent escapes!
Where the goat house will be.
The Darlin' Man finishing up. Yes, you only get to see the back view, he doesn't want his picture all over the internet.

More Pictures of the Build

Not quite done, but getting there!
Oh yeah, the lumber yard LOVES us!
Andy doesn't think it's fair WE can dig holes in the yard and we get mad when HE does it!
Holes dug, posts add fencing.
Our friend, Jeremiah, he is helping!
The gate is up, anyway!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Few Pictures...

Ear scratches accepted here!
Just relaxing on a Saturday.
Where the next goat pen is going in. 
Hey! Get off my back!     

Hello Saturday!

Yesterday , as most of you saw, was my birthday. The fella showed up the day before with 10 new laying hens for me! These, in addition to the peafowl and Nina and Lily (the new goats) were the final part of my present...althugh he came home from work on my birthday with a nice surprise for me!

Today we are building a nursery pen for the mama's and kids. After a doe shows signs of being pretty close to delivering, we'll transfer her to the new pen so she'll have a private and secure place to have her baby.
I'll be taking pictures later of the new hens, etc.
Stay tuned....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Still Alive at 55!

Today's my, I will be taking the day off from posting...except for my thought for the day:

"If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul"

- Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lady-in-Waiting and a Little Romance

Gabby the goat just keeps getting bigger and bigger! I swear, I think she is going to have twins...or one really big kid!
See what I mean? Gabby has also been pretty grumpy today, so I think labor is not far off!

And romance has arrived at Frippery Farm...
Remember Ugly Betty?

Yeah...the remarkable bird. Still no eggs.
Remember Pendar?
The gorgeous rooster, here staring wistfully into the peafowl pen...and no, the object of his affections is NOT the peahen.
Check it out:
That's right...he is adoring Ugly Betty. Ugly Betty is not so sure about him, but she accepts his adoration through the pen is fine, as long as he doesn't actually get too close seems to be her attitude!
I will wait until she feathers out more and then re-introduce them. Maybe even build them a little pen of their own...let them start up housekeeping, raise a few chicks...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Feels Like a Monday

It certainly does feel like a Monday, and the calender informs me it will be Monday all day long...ugh!
This cold of mine is still hanging on. Tried every herbal and/or over the counter remedy I can think of. The only things that really help are cups of hot tea and Riccola cough drops.
So, hot tea is the order of the day here. I add honey and a bit of milk.
The British have it right...a cuppa tea always makes you feel better!
Just a basic update today...
Ugly Betty still hasn't lain an egg. She's NOT a rooster, very definitely a hen.
Gabrielle the goat hasn't given birth yet, but she is due Nov 1st. Poor thing is waddling now!
Nina and Lily have settled in. Molly has turned a bit *bossy* and shoves some of the other goats away from the hay at feeding time. Going to have to figure out a solution to that!
Baby the stray has gotten into the habit of trying to chase Pendar the Rooster. Trying to. She found out that Pendar chases back!
The weather is cooler at night, which makes me happy!
The tea kettle is whistling, so I am going to go have another cuppa'. Hope all y'all are doing fine!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Exploring Different Cuisine

I like to pick a country and then explore their cuisine. Most countries have remarkably different cuisine in their different regions.Some small countries have distinct *flavors* that permeate all their dishes.
Right now I am exploring Moroccan cooking.
The problem with exploring the dishes of another country is frequently a condiment that is available there is not available in the US...unless you live near a big city that has many small ethnic neighborhoods with grocers OR you order online.
Such is the case with Morocco. Many of their dishes contain *preserved lemon*.
So, off I went to google to explore this ingredient.
I found several recipes...Preserved Lemon is apparently on the pantry shelf of most Moroccan homes.
Recipes vary, but essentially, you preserve lemons in salt and lacto-fermentation does the rest!
So, using a combination of several recipes, I came up with my own...
Basics...Lemons (Meyer lemons if you can get them!), coarse sea salt, cinnamon sticks, coriander seed, a quart jar and a sharp knife.
Cut the lemons...there are two schools of thought on this:
Either cut them almost all the way through and pour salt in
Slice them up and salt them.
Shove them into the quart jar and when you are almost to the top, add in one cinnamon stick and a teaspoon of coriander seed.
Let set three days at room temperature. During that time, a lot of the juice will come out of the lemons. After three days, add more lemon juice to fill to the top. Let set at room temperature another 3 days.
Now, for the lemon to soften properly, it needs to stay in the jar undisturbed for another 24 days...that's 30 days total.
I know, I know, that is a long time to wait...but I am a patient person.

I will be using these lemons to make chicken tagine in November. Down home cooking...Moroccan style!
I'll take pictures and post the recipe then!
Ugly Betty still hasn't laid any eggs...but she is doing well otherwise.
Gabrielle the goat is due to have her kid by Nov 1st. Gonna have to take a pic of her, she is HUGE, lol!
Baby the stray is exploring the animal pens...the chickens scare her a bit..
Yes, we got her a little shirt. The mornings are a bit chilly and she has very short hair. She was shivering like crazy when I put her out for her morning *potty break*. For the curious, the shirt says "I'm Adorable".
She loves hanging out in the mornings while I feed the goats and chickens.
So, my lemons have about 2 weeks left to ferment, Ugly Betty is still egg-less and Gabby should present us with a new kid any day.
Hope all is going well in your corner of the world!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Misc. This and That

It has been a rough October here so far. Every one of the humans here has come down with something the past couple of weeks! Strep throat, bronchitis, mild pneumonia, miserable colds, etc.
I had to make up some more of my herbal sanitizer and have been spraying down the furniture, carpets, the air...everything  with it! It seems to have helped a bit. The house smells better, anyway!
Refreshing memories of those that haven't read here long:
Herbal sanitizer:
1 cup alcohol (rubbing alcohol is fine)
1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
1/4 cup dried rosemary
Put all ingredients in a jar with a tight lid, shake up to mix thoroughly and then leave lid on and let set for 24 hours.
Strain and Pour into spray bottle and add 1 to 2 cups of hot water, shake well to mix.
I use it as a linen spray on the bed sheets, I spray down kitchen counters with it, etc.
Little Baby the stray is settled in and very happy. Never found a micro-chip and ads posted on base in an attempt to find her owner brought no response.
She and our big German Shepherd, Andy, have become best buddies.She follows him around, gets into mischief with him, and he flops down on the floor so she can *pounce* him for a wrestling match, lol!
The nights are much cooler now...I need to get to a thrift store to buy old blankets to fill some almost finished quilts with! Yes, I know I can buy batting, super loft and all that, but in my mind, that sorta defeats the purpose of my quilts! Quilts were originally made to frugally put to use fabric scraps and threadbare blankets.
I really like seeing how creative I can get with what I have, rather than buyng spanking new fabric just for a quilt. Most fabric I buy is put to use in making clothes or aprons, etc. The scraps go into my quilts. I will buy clothes from thrift stores to turn into quilts...especially old worn and stained clothes that I know will just end up being thrown away! Bag sales are wonderful things!
My new grandson should be making his appearance within a few weeks! The name is already chosen (Gideon Edward) and my son is so excited, along with his lovely wife. I wish I could be there for the birth, but alas, I am several states away and just can't afford to fly out there for the occasion. Maybe a Christmas trip?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

I recently learned of the death of someone I had once been very close to. I didn't learn of the death until months after the event. Still, it saddened me a bit, because it didn't have to happen.

The person that died was young by our standards. 54. A hundred or so years ago, a man dying at that age would not be considered that remarkable.
He spent a lot of his youth on farms. Doting grandmothers baked him cakes and cookies and he learned from his grandfathers and father that it wasn't a real meal unless there was a substantial slab of meat on his plate.
In high school, he worked part time and grabbed dinner at a local burger joint, and when he got home found his mother had left him dinner in the oven, so he ate that, too.
At 18, he joined the military and basic training peeled the pounds right off of him! He met a girl---also from a farm family--and they married and had a child. She had been raised on fried foods and meals with lots of red meat, too. He liked her cooking.
He got out of the military and moved closer to his parents. His marriage faltered and then failed. He moved back in with his parents, got a part time job and attended a local community college. Lots of fast food meals and double portions of his mothers cooking.
He met a woman and after a two year courtship, they married. The new wife cooked stir fries with small portions of meat and served fresh fruit for dessert.Salads were sometimes the main entree! He would stop on his way home from work and buy himself donuts or a meatball sub and eat them before he got home. His mother baked him cakes and pies and brought them over. On grocery shopping trips, he always made sure to sneak in a few bags of chips, a frozen cheesecake, a package of cookies, "Because I deserve them!"
Because of various reasons, by the time he was 39, that marriage faltered and failed as well.
Back to his parents and his mothers cooking.
At age 44 he discovered he had cataracts. At age 46 he was diagnosed with diabetes.By age 50, he was more or less bedridden. His father had died, but his mother was still there, cooking for him, and now, helping him in and out of bed. One day his mother was helping him get out of bed so she could change the sheets and she slipped and he fell on her, breaking her back. At age 52, his mother now unable to care for him, he moved into a nursing home. At age 54, after several heart attacks and two heart surgeries, he died.

I can still hear him saying "I deserve to treat myself now and again." as he piled another bag of chips or another cheesecake in the grocery cart.
Yeah, he was my ex husband.
I was never a big "meat eater". I just think it was my general nature as a child. I was raised a portion of my childhood in Europe and I learned early that a slice of good cheese, some bread and a piece of fruit is an acceptable lunch. My Irish grandmother spoiled me with stews and soups where meat was a flavoring, not a "star" of the dish. Fresh fruit was always more of a treat to me than any pie or cake.
I tried with my own children to teach them to enjoy healthy foods, and for the most part, I think I succeeded.
The Darlin; Man enjoys vegetarian meals...although the Girl still cries out in dismay "No meat?!?" when she sees a tofu stir fry about to grace the table. Cake is a rare treat here...birthdays or Easter or Christmas. I think I had a handful of potato chips..ummm...about 4 months ago.Tostada chips with a fresh salsa maybe once every two weeks for the kids. (I don't much like tostadas)
There's no reason for a healthy person to decline so badly that they die at the age of 54. I am 54. I am up every morning, feeding and milking the goats, cleaning out the chicken coop, etc. Breakfast this morning was a glass of 2% milk, a scant handful of walnuts, a few raisins and a small bowl of oatmeal.
Large portions of meat...I still don't eat them. I love a good steak, but most times I only eat half of what most people consider a "portion". I will over indulge on green beans and broccoli, though!
Look, homesteading is hard need your health to do it!
We all know how to eat healthy, all you have to do is look online, watch the news or pick up a book.
Don't dig your grave with a knife and fork...there is so much more life out there!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Holy cow! Read this!

Louisiana bans cash transactions for 2nd hand goods

By: Thad D. Ackel, Jr. Esq.
This summer, the State Legislature and Governor of Louisiana passed a law that bans individuals and businesses from transacting in cash if they are considered a “secondhand dealer”.  House Bill 195 of the 2011 Regular Session (Act 389) broadly defines a secondhand dealer to include   “… Anyone, other than a non-profit entity, who buys, sells, trades in or otherwise acquires or disposes of junk or used or secondhand property more frequently than once per month from any other person, other than a non-profit entity, shall be deemed as being in the business of a secondhand dealer. ” The law then states that “A secondhand dealer shall not enter into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of junk or used or secondhand property.  Payment shall be made in the form of check, electronic transfers, or money order issued to the seller of the junk or used or secondhand property…”  The broad scope of this definition can essentially encompass everyone; from your local flea market vendors and buyers to a housewife purchasing goods on ebay or craigslist, to a group of guys trading baseball cards, they could all be considered secondhand dealers. Lawmakers in Louisiana have effectively banned its citizens from freely using United States legal tender.
The law goes further to require secondhand dealers to turn over a valuable business asset, namely, their business’ proprietary client information.  For every transaction a secondhand dealer must obtain the seller’s personal information such as their name, address, driver’s license number and the license plate number of the vehicle in which the goods were delivered.  They must also make a detailed description of the item(s) purchased and submit this with the personal identification information of every transaction to the local policing authorities through electronic daily reports.  If a seller cannot or refuses to produce to the secondhand dealer any of the required forms of identification, the secondhand dealer is prohibited from completing the transaction.
This legislation amounts to a public taking of private property without due process or compensation.  Regardless of whether or not the transaction information is connected with, or law enforcement is investigating a crime, individuals and businesses are forced to report routine business activity to the police.  Can law enforcement not accomplish its goal of identifying potential thieves and locating stolen items in a far less intrusive manner?  And of course, there are already laws that prohibit stealing, buying or selling stolen goods, laws that require businesses to account for transactions and laws that penalize individuals and businesses that transact in stolen property. Why does the Louisiana State Legislature need to enact more laws infringing on personal privacy, liberties and freedom?
Motivating the introduction of this legislation was an increase in criminal activity, necessitating law enforcement to develop additional tools in tracking potential criminals. Thefts of copper and other precious metals have risen recently with higher commodity prices and mounting pressures from the economic downturn.  The added restrictions under this recent legislation have come about under the pretense of cracking down on crime and helping the government take care of you, all at the cost of your individual privacy, economic, civil liberty and freedom.
Interestingly enough, although Pawnshops are still required to obtain clients personal information and transmit their client database information to law enforcement, they are exempt from the restriction of cash payments.  A jeweler next door to a pawnshop cannot offer clients the same payment method offered by its competing pawnshop neighbor.
Act 389 passed by unanimous consent of the Louisiana House of Representatives and only mustered one nay vote (Senator Neil Riser) from the State Senate.  The governor signed the legislation into law on July 1, 2011.

Thad D. Ackel, Jr. serves as lead counsel at Ackel & Associates L.L.C. and Broker of Tribute Real Estate.  He may be reached by email @

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Uh-Oh! It Followed You Home, You Say?

We have Siona:
She is a competent guardian of the property, plus...look at that face!

We have Andy:
He looks like a competent guard dog....but in reality is what I would call addle-pated. Just a big galloping puppy that doesn't respect personal space and frequently runs into walls.
I am okay with these two dogs. Andy drives me crazy some days, but I am used to it now. Training him has been I suspect he is actually brain damaged in some manner---don't laugh, it can happen!

Well...the other day a couple of the Darlin' Man's co-workers called him and announced they had found a stray dog on the other side of the base and could he take it? He told them to call me as I was the one making decisions on all animals here (WHAT!?!? I swear, I wasn't the one that decided on Ugly Betty---who, by the way, has not laid an egg yet). Anyway, they called and pled their case and I finally said to bring the dog over and we'd see how the other dogs felt.
Let me explain, I don't like small dogs. At all. I worked as a vet tech and a dog groomer in the past and small dogs are always a pain in the butt! They are snappish and irritable, fragile and needy. Give me a big dog any day!
So, the guys show up with this:
A chihuahua mixed with....something.Small. Tiny, in fact. Fragile.Black and brown brindle with a white patch on her chest.
Also, malnourished and dehydrated when she got here.
...sigh...I checked her out. She had been spayed, appears to be around 2 or 3 years old. I gave her some water...then some more. Poor pup emptied the water bowl!
I let her take a whizz outside, then brought her in. She was timid and trembled when the other dogs approached. Siona sniffed her all over and then---those frustrated maternal instincts kicking in---assumed this tiny thing must be a puppy and started treating her as such. licked her, cuddled her, etc.
Andy figured this small thing was another toy for HIM! He pawed at her, barked at her and, finally, tried to see if she was a squeaky toy. Yeah, she squeaked. Andy got a rap on the nose for that. He settled down after a bit.
I told the two guys we would keep the lil' mutt until we found her owners or a new home. They left.
The little creature moped around the house all day...then the Darlin; Man came home. Now, mind you, this dog had never met the Darlin' Man.
He walked in the door and the wee canine greeted him as if he were her best friend. She jumped up, she danced, she jumped up next to him on the sofa and climbed into his lap! She watched him with adoring eyes and followed him around the house and yard.
He has named her Baby.
She slept on his clothes while he was at work was the only way to stop her from crying:
So, we are off tomorrow to get her checked for a microchip to see if there is an owner out there.
I so often happens around here....that a soldier was deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan and his wife decided she no longer wanted the little dog around and turned it loose far from the housing area.
I guess, if no owner is found...we have a new dog!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Peafowl Palace and A New Resident at Frippery Farm

The Peafowl Palace is complete!
I think the Darlin' Man, along with the assistance of his son and my son, did a fabulous job!
The peafowl are happy and content. We have a perch in there for them and a house will soon be in there as well, for them to cuddle in when it is really cold.
My chicken house project?
Errrmmm...not complete.
 ...sigh...I'll get back on that today...

Here's my milk stand (someone asked for a pic of my milking set-up recently)
Yes, that is a BBQ grill in the front. The fella forgot to attach a shelf or anything to put a little feed bowl on, so I found that the grill was the perfect height to set a pan full of feed on for the goat to nibble from while I milk. I took this picture right after milking and before I hosed it off. The height works really well when I sit in the lawn chair.

Yesterday the Darlin' Man called from the feed store and told me he was bringing a new chicken home. The feed store guy, Junior, told him this hen was laying an egg every single day. A good chicken, he said, a WONDERFUL chicken. He convinced the Darlin' Man to buy her.
I was expecting something like this:
That's Zoe, a gorgeous chicken that is a good egg producer.

What he brought home was:
Oh yes....this was a remarkable chicken, indeed!
She has been christened..Betty, aka Ugly Betty.
We tried to put her in the chicken coop, but she was immediately attacked by the hens.
We tried to put her in with Pendar, but he decided to romance her...and was so rough, the poor little hen was shrieking in pain and terror. She is so small. Easily half the size of Zoe.
So, she is the new roommate of the peafowl, Pericles and Persephone.
I wonder how she feels being house with such lovely birds?
Poor thing.

Hopefully, she will feather out just fine.
Softie that I am, I pet her and tell her that she is a lovely bird. The peafowl share their feed with her just fine.
So, welcome Ugly Betty to Frippery Farm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Giveaway at Krazo Acres!

Check it out here
Remember to ask her to post her cinnamon roll recipe!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meet The New Goats!!!

Yes, I have TWO new does!
Nina is the one in front...isn't she lovely?
This sweet girl is Lily. Such a pretty soft brown!
The two of them together, along with Wang *guarding* the new members of his *harem*.

The Darlin' Man got them for me for my birthday. And today he is finishing the peafowl house build. I have YET to finish the chicken house, so I am going to have to get busy on that!

The new girls are sweet natured and docile. Lily, especially, likes having her ears scratched.
I think both will be good milkers!

Just about 10 minutes ago a dust devil blew through the yard. It picked up the corrugated steel panels the Darlin' Man has laid out to use on the roof of the peafowl house and those suckers flew up about 9 or 10 feet and flew across the yard! Thank goodness no one was hurt! It bent one of the panels and put a hole in the side of the house where it slammed into it. I wasn't outside, but when it hit it sounded like a car wreck!
Just shows you to ALWAYS be alert! My son and the Darlin' Man and his son were all within feet of the dust devil. They ducked behind the posts of the new build in case anything flew their way. The posts are set in concrete, so a hit there would could have been deflected.

Friday, October 7, 2011

News Flash from Frippery Farm

Persephone escapes...again and again, finally put in chicken coop until we can build the peafowl pen.
Red the Psychotic Rooster gets his comeuppance! He is terrified of Persephone!
We put her in the coop and after examining the exotic creature in his domain, Red decided to start up with her...he pecked. Persephone didn't even flinch under Reds attack.
She was more like
Then she proceeded to smack Red upside the head with her wings until he retreated to the corner and sat there with his head tucked between the fencing. Totally defeated.
I knew peafowl could be a bit aggressive...but Persephone made it VERY clear she is not taking any guff off of Red! Good for her!

Last night, Persephone laid an egg!
Check it out (next to a couple of our regular eggs)
Impressive, yes?!?
So, for breakfast this morning, the Darlin' Man had a large omelet! I tried a bit of it, was delicious!
Persephone's eggs aren't fertilized right now (forced separation from Pericles until pen is built) and she won't feel like hatching out chicks until March/April  anyway.

The Darlin' Man just arrived home with some lumber and then had to hurry back to work. He'll stop on the way home to grab the fencing and the cement and fence posts.
I'll take pictures of the build!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Two Additions to the Frippery Farm Menagerie

Darlin' Man had overnight duty last night, so I called him right before he left for home and reminded him to pick up feed for the goats and chickens.
A little while later, he called and (excitedly out of breath) told me to open the gate and bring a pair of scissors with me.He had a SURPRISE for me!
He pulled into the yard and I looked in the car window and saw two mysterious bags in the back seat.
He pulled the bags out while my son fetched the feed and we went to the does pen.
He opened the bags and.....SURPRISE!!!
A peacock and a peahen!
The peacock...newly christened Pericles. He is in molt, so no long gorgeous tail feathers.
.The peahen, now named Persephone. Isn't she lovely?

Of course, the does pen is goat proof. That does not mean it is peacock proof.
We found this out a scant 5 minutes after the peafowl were released into the pen when the peahen promptly flew over the fence into Honey's, (the horses) paddock next door. The Darlin' Man immediately gave chase, and with Honey's help (she was very perturbed at the peafowl invasion!) re-captured Persephone and put her back into the goat pen.
After a few minutes of head scratching, we put up a *curtain* of screen fabric to dissuade her and Pericles from making any further forays into the neighbors property.
Pendar (aka our gender bender rooster) was annoyed at Pericles, but seemed to take a bit of a romantic interest in Penelope---which alarmed her. So, I grabbed up Pendar and moved him in the big goat pen.
Temporary solution, but working for now.
The goats were curious and started sniffing at the peafowl and then Pericles let loose the typical peacock *squawk*  and the goats all stampeded over to where I was standing and hid behind me, lol! They peered out from behind my legs at the fowl, then looked up at me as if asking "What is THAT thing!?!?

I know what our weekend project is this coming weekend...a peafowl pen!