Monday, January 30, 2012

Uh-Oh....My Computer Caught Something!

Yes, despite my careful web browsing and my anti-virus, my computer caught a nasty virus. The online tech guy is pretty sure it is a virus that the resident teenage boy accidentally acquired for my computer back in December. This one hid, took it's sweet time...and then attacked.
We thought we had solved the issue, but it keeps cropping up again...and again...and again... the next few days, my poor computer will be going in for a total redo. Crash, burn, wipe, load in a new operating system, the works. Going to add on some more memory while we are at it.
Some folks may wonder why I hang on to my old Dell Dimension 1100...but I like the old workhorse. I have had this computer for ages.It has served me well...traveling from Missouri to Texas and across Texas.
I bought it after I moved back to Missouri a little over 6 years ago.It was used when I bought it!
I have been through 4 keyboards and 6 computer mice (mouses?) and 2 monitors.
The CDRom drawer doesn't open anymore. I think that stopped working about...3 years ago maybe?
Still...this old computer has worked when I needed it to.
Scratched and a bit battered, it is still a good friend to me! to the computer doc and hopefully within a week, it'll be running better than ever!
I will post to this blog and elsewhere with the Darlin' Mans' sleek little laptop...which I really don't like....until I get my clunky old PC out of the shop.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One of These Things is Not Like the Others...

Every morning after milking, I open the chicken coop door and scatter scraps on the ground outside. This encourages the chickens to get out and about a bit. This morning, Baby (our rescued stray) decided to join in the fun!

The chickens don't seem to mind and even Red, our psycho rooster, is okay with the strange creature that has joined his flock!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Well, That Didn't Last Long!

The bread we baked on Sunday...all gone. Three loaves of regular bread, a dozen hamburger rolls and a dozen round pitas.
That's a lot of bread!
I don't have a bread machine, so it's all by hand, boys and girls!
So, after I fed the critters, fed the Darlin' Man breakfast, woke the kids up for school, milked the goat, started the pot roast in the crock pot for dinner and started the dishwasher (I use it when I'm rushed); I started my bread dough.
I am thinking two loaves of bread for sandwiches, toast and such and a pan of dinner rolls.

We go through a lot of bread here,despite my efforts to get everyone off the carb wagon and eat more salads. The Darlin'Man, conditioned by over 20 years of military meals doesn't consider it a meal unless there is a protein (usually meat), a green vegetable, a starch AND bread. Except breakfast, which is always a meat (bacon or sausage), two eggs over easy and toast/pita/tortilla.
I ate a salad for breakfast this morning, with a boiled egg sliced in it My lunch will probably be a couple of slices of gouda cheese and a pear. ( I LOVE fresh pears!)
I am not so rigid as the Darlin' Man when it comes to meal choices!
I can thank my parents for that! My father was not adverse to having pancakes and eggs for dinner....and a steak and potato for breakfast. He once told me that one of the best parts of being an adult was eating what you wanted when you wanted, lol! 
My breakfast choices for the last week have included the aforementioned salad, rice with vegetable broth, a hot dog with onions & sweet pickle relish & raw onions, scrambled eggs and a mug of hot cocoa and one day when I started with a tangerine and a slice of whole wheat toast.
Since I am making pot roast tonight, I will probably end up with leftover pot roast and potatoes tomorrow...which I'll make into a quick hash. I am very happy when I have good leftovers for breakfast!

How about you? Are you rigid in your meals, or do you go with spur of the moment choices?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gone With Wind!

We had wind last night...LOTS of wind!
Everything in the back yard was blown about. Tarps, lumber, panels on the goat pen, the chicken coop, feed buckets, etc.
It was a mess this morning!
Finally got it all cleaned up and put away, except for a few tarps that are still missing. I figure a neighbor will show up and let us know they found them. I returned a few items to neighbors myself this morning!
The chickens were a bit agitated this morning and wanted no part of coming out in the yard. They were staying in their coop, thankyouverymuch!
The goats were hiding in their houses...except for Molly and Paulis, as the panels of their house were blown off! I got those panels back on and fed everyone and milked Gabby.
The wind has calmed down a bit now, and I hope it won't pick up again tonight.
I have bread dough rising on the kitchen table. Hamburger buns, (great recipe here!), whole wheat pita bread and regular bread for sandwiches, toast and such.
I have gotten in the habit of doing all my weekly baking on one day.Any bread I don't plan to eat immediately gets frozen or refrigerated for later in the week.
Hope all is going well for everyone out there!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lets Get Ready To Rumble!

As you can see by the header picture, Red and Pendar are NOT getting along well these days!
I let the chickens out every morning to wander about the yard while I tend to the goats.
Pendar and his lady love Ugly Betty live in a coop with the peafowl.
Red, of course, has his harem in the bigger chicken coop.
Red and his ladies:
Forgive the bad quality of the pics...a little hazy!

Well, Pendar and Ugly Betty get out of their coop at the same time...and Red feels since he has the rest of the hens,he should have Betty as well! Pendar does not agree with Red on this point, and as is common among males of many species....this leads to chest beating, challenges and, finally, they come to blows.

No one has been hurt, as what they mostly do is fluff their ruffs out, flap their wings and then fly at each other while the hens scamper for cover.
As you can see, Red, our psycho rooster, is larger than Pendar. This does not matter to Pendar! He will defend Ugly Betty to his last breath!
I do find it funny that after a fight, Pendar runs over to Betty and checks her over as if making sure she is okay....and Betty clucks softly while preening herself. Pendar then crows his darnedest, proclaiming to the world that he has defended his lady successfully again.
Speaking of chickens...we have a new one!
A friend had five chickens, but because they had a dog that wanted chicken dinners, they quickly ended up with one.
They didn't want the fifth one to end up like the rest, so they gave her to us!
We named her Bess and figured we would put her in with Pendar and Betty as we thought putting her in with the big flock might end up with her being pecked.
WRONG idea!
Betty, who is tiny, proceeded to go absolutely crazy on the new hen! Pecking her, flapping her wings at her, jumping on her and just generally harassing the crap out of her!
"Stay away from MY rooster! I KNOW you weren't looking at him like that! "
So, I tried putting her in with Reds flock.
It worked! The hens accepted her in, shared their food and water and even Red was calm about it.
We named her Bess.
I know...she looks like every other chicken we have here...except she has these black under-feathers, so I can pick her out of the crowd easily!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Slow Progress

Things are puttering along at a slow rate here. Not "Winter" enough to get excited about, but not yet Spring.
This morning I let the goats out to play in the yard and so Champagne could introduce Cornelius to the herd. I wish I had taken my camera out with me, but, forgive me, I forgot!
The goats loved stretching their legs and reacquainting themselves with each other. I was worried that Molly (our farm bully) would get aggressive towards little Cornelius, but she behaved herself.
Cornelius was entranced with the great wide world outside his pen! He wandered off from his mama and suddenly realized..."Mama is not here! Where's my mama!?!" and started up a baaing and squalling that brought his mama running.
After letting everyone play this morning, I lured them back to their respective pens with the goat equivalent of candy...oats mixed with raisins! Oh my! The look of bliss on their faces is quite funny as they chew, lol! It's like giving me Godiva chocolates.
I am piddling along on my Declutter challenge. I think I will make much more progress in February as I am still organizing. Gotta post a few pics of "before" and "after" for you guys.
I have found that I sometimes work better when I dangle a reward in front of, I have decided that when I have the kitchen, dining room, den and living room decluttered and organized...I will paint them! And make new curtains. Since we have an open floor plan, I think I will go with a pale green in the dining room, a light caramel tan in the living room and a medium chocolate in the den. The kitchen...I dunno...trying to find a color that will work with the green, tan and chocolate. Right now all the rooms are white. Blah, bland, boring white. I really, really don't like white rooms. I LIKE COLOR! I think that comes from growing up in base housing where all the walls were white and we didn't live there long enough to repaint.
When we finally moved into our own house after my dad retired from the military, our color choices were....uhmmm...a.....little extreme. My oldest sisters room was electric blue.Seriously bright! I shared a room with my other older sister and our room was lilac. My mom and dads room was coral.Bright coral. The kitchen was teal blue and the living room was mint green. The bathroom was pink and brown.
My father said it looked like a paint store threw up in our house, lol! It took a few years for us all to calm down our color choices, but my moms house is much more sedately painted now.
I received a call from the kids school yesterday. That, in and by itself, was not unusual. What was different was the person calling had a HEAVY Hispanic accent and was having difficulty in speaking English.I could barely understand her! After I had asked her 3 or 4 times to repeat herself, I was getting frustrated (and I could tell she was, too). I told her that because of her heavy accent, I was having a problem understanding her. She retorted with "I don' hab a hebby aset." So,I calmly asked her if she could please have someone call back who did not speak English as a second language. Ten minutes later, another call from the school.One of the vice-principals telling me that there would be an open house on the 31st to explain the schools new tutoring program.Then the vice-principal asked if I was the one that had a problem understanding the young woman that had called before. I told her I was, and she proceeded to tell me that the young lady was born in the US and spoke English quite well  I let her finish her speech, then informed her that I was NOT born in the US and yet, no one had ever complained  that they could not understand me since I was 4 years old. I also told her that the young lady (turned out to be a student intern) needed to work on speaking English as she was extremely difficult to understand on the phone. I was informed that MANY of their students spoke nothing but Spanish at home and the transition to English at school is not that easily done.
Fine. I told the vice-principal to please make a notation that any calls in the future should come from an English speaking person, as this family does not speak Spanish. She told me that in this school district, we are in the minority.
I have lived in other countries. When in other countries, I never expected everyone to speak my language. I know enough French and German to get around. The Darlin' Man knows enough German and Korean to function in those countries, and a smattering of Dutch, Italian and Chinese.
I don't feel I was rude to the young lady. I was calm and polite. I think that since these kids go to school in the US (regardless of how close we are to the border), communications from the school should be in English.
Just another day in the Borderlands....

Friday, January 13, 2012


Remember Ugly Betty?Well,Ugly no more! AND she is laying an egg EVERY day, sometimes TWO a day.
Isn't she lovely now?

Some shots of our new kid:
Yes, Cornelius has one ear up and one down ALL the time...he just came that way! Gives him sort of a rakish look, lol!  He is nursing well and often and his mama is taking very good care of him. The first night I was concerned because he was so tiny and actually considered bringing him inside to keep him warm...but decided in the end to just keep checking on him and only bring him in IF he was in some sort of distress. Well,his mama kept him warm, so I didn't have to bring him in. Which could have been funny...considering I probably would have tucked the wee cuddly Cornelius into bed with us. I think my Darlin' Man would have been a bit disconcerted to wake up with a goat in our bed, lol!

Nina...looking pretty!
I can barely wait until she kids! I just know her baby is going to have lovely markings!

Gabby and her twins,just hanging out! Gerte got tangled up in some baling twine that got left in the pen, so, after taking this pic, I spent about 5 minutes untangling her.

Wang left us yesterday....on his way to a new home about 5 miles down the road. So, this afternoon we will move Gabby and the twins into the pen with Molly and Paulis and the geese. We'll see how that goes!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Gain and a Loss...Farm Life Goes On

I fed the animals yesterday morning and Champagne, one of our pregnant does was acting anxious.
She was pacing about in the pen and bawling a bit. She was due to kid in a week and a half, so I checked out her "rear view" . No discharge, just a bit swollen, although that's pretty normal at this point in goat pregnancy.
I came inside and got a few things done and then around lunchtime went out to check on her.
Tottering beside her was a wee kid. Really tiny! I checked and it was a little buck. I looked in the goat house and found the still body of a wee doe kid. The doe kid was easily twice the size of her twin.I checked over the little body, looking for obvious defects and found none. I have no idea why the doe kid died.Perhaps she was just too big and strangled during birth, I don't know.
But,the little buck was fine and frisky. On an adorable scale of one to ten,he is a solid eleven!
We have named him Cornelius.
How cute is that!!!???!!!
Look how tiny!
And cuddly...oh how cuddly!

Champagne is a good mama...and one of my most cooperative milkers.
I am sad we lost the wee doe, but am happy that this wee kid is doing well.

We have decided to NOT breed our does this year as we are planning on moving.
So, I placed an ad on Craigslist to sell Wang,our big buck. I got a few responses and had to weed through them...a couple of people thought he would be good to butcher (uhmmmm....NO.Older goat bucks are NOT a good choice to put in your freezer!), so I weeded them out immediately. Finally talked to one guy that wants him for breeding. He'll be here this afternoon to load up Wang and take him to his new home.

We have also decided to re-home Andy, our untrainable German Shepherd. He is a danger to the livestock...and occasionally US! He has broken windows trying to get at the goats and chickens when they were in the yard. He has knocked most of us down the back steps on numerous occasions trying to rush out the door. Andy has also gone after the peafowl and the geese.What Andy needs is a family that will love his goofy self and not have him around livestock. So, placed an ad for him as well. Have gotten a few responses, but not what we are looking for yet.

So, Cornelius is new...and Wang and Andy are soon to be gone. We should have had two new kids,but, alas, it didn't go as well as we hoped.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rain...then Snow...

Looks like an inside kind of day, which is just fine with me as I have much to do!
Started out raining, so I posted a pic of rain and leaves...then it started snowing, so I ran outside and got the pic you see in my header. Yes, clothes on the line...the ones the girl hung up yesterday, but the rain came suddenly before we could get them off the line, so I decided I would let them hang until today...when it was supposed to dry off here!
Well, the rain stopped....but then the snow started!
Today I am making cajeta and cheese, using henna on my hair and continuing with the declutter thing and organizing.
Baby, our little chihuahua mix stray has her own plans for this cold day...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Declutter Challenge...Are You In?

Along with "Organization" for my January whole theme for the entire year is "No Waste".
I have found the more disorganized we are and the more cluttered the house is, the more we waste!
With that in mind, I have joined the "Declutter Challenge "over at The Single Saver's blog.
Looks like a good challenge for us!
366 items to go out the door in the 366 days of 2012 (it's a leap year, remember?!?)
Since we are getting ready to move within a year, this is SUCH a good idea! We don't want to move *junk*!
If you feel the need to declutter, join up!

I Live With a Mummy...

Yes...a wrapped-up blanket stealing mummy!
Let me back up and explain...

I enjoy cold weather, but when I bed down for the night, I love to snuggle down under 2 or 3 blankets/comforters/quilts. (In hot weather...a sheet and nothing more than a sheet!)
My Darlin' Man HATES cold weather.
He is a mummy. He wraps up in as many blankets as he can find.
This leads to my having to fight him for blanket coverage during the night. Inevitably, I wake up with a scant corner of a blanket while he is warmly wrapped up.
 I try to tug some blanket over to my side.
Tug...tug...tug...and  I have just enough to cover a knee and maybe my feet.That lasts about 5 minutes and he does his death roll and snatches that small comfort away from me.I have tried snuggling closer to him, but that doesn't work, either, as he always ends up rolling again and somehow accumulating all the covers again.
Yeah...he is a blanket hog.
Yeah...that is usually about what it looks like in the mornings...

I figured I'd get smart about this.I staged a comforter on the floor on my side of the bed.
Sure enough, I woke up around 2 am with no covers. Smiling smugly, I pulled my comforter up on the bed with me and covered up.
I woke up around 4 am with no blankets again and with my Darlin' Man completely swathed in a blanket cocoon.
The next night, I staged TWO blankets.
Same result.
Last night...I added our featherbed to our bed, put the sheets on, put the normal blankets on the bed and staged THREE blankets on my side of the bed.
I woke up this morning a bit chilly and got to watch the spectacle of the Darlin' Man trying to fight his way out of all the covers he had cocooned himself in.
Ever put a blanket over a dog or cat and watch them trying to find their way out? was similar, lol!
My giggling aside, I have a new plan of action.
Gonna wear socks to bed. And flannel pajamas. I am normally a nekkid sleeper, or just tee shirt and undies...but I am tired of waking up with goosebumps!
My organization is going...okay. Somethings have gotten done...some things haven't.. Should be able to post pics in the next couple of days.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 and Objectives

Instead of resolutions, this year we shall have objectives.
Each month will focus on one theme.
January is (drum roll please!) ORGANIZATION .
No more stacks of books spread willy-nilly about the house. Clothes will be folded and stored in their proper places. I will organize my sewing bins >o<  (wince) and my desk. Closets WILL be cleaned (gasp!).
The tools will be organized and specific places will be provided for each one.
Today I am tackling my sewing bins. I'll take before and after pictures...although I will cringe and blush about the before pictures!
Ideally, the whole house, outbuildings, etc will be organized by the months end.
February will be CLEANING.
March will be CREATIVITY.
We haven't decided on April at this point...since we will be moving this year (hopefully), I am only working this in three month blocks.
I am hoping this works out for us.We'll see.
In the meantime, I have to go fold up fabric and gather up scissors that have migrated around the house...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Big changes coming this year....and I'll try to keep posting about them here!
First and New Years Resolutions this year!
Second.....trying to get my cajeta business up and running locally.
Third...We are moving towards...moving! A BIG move!
That about covers it.
Having a traditional New Years Day dinner tonight!
Ham croquettes
Collard Greens
Hoppin' John
Date Filled cookies

Hope everyone out there is bursting with optimism for the New Year!