Friday, June 18, 2010

Weston Is Home

After losing Hannah in December, we knew we wanted another German Shepherd Dog. I found a breeder in New Hampshire whose lines I wanted to purchase a puppy from. After a bit of time and the flight Gods with me, I have him home. On Wednesday I flew out of Atlanta at 10:25 am, then to Philly, then on to Manchester, NH. I had about 40 minutes to get off of the plane, go down stairs, collect the puppy, check him in, go through security and then back on the plane. As luck would have it, all planes were on time and I flew back to Philly and then home to Atlanta and arrived a little before 5:00 pm, with an hour and a half drive home. I flew him under the seat in the cabin with me and he was really quite good, I do have to say.

The puppy's name is Weston and he has adopted me as HIS human. He follows me everywhere and is just as precious and loving as he can be. He was definitely worth my wait.

He won't fit under the furniture much longer!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chicken and Broccoli

Odd title isn't it? At first you think it is something that is going to be cooked. NOT! Poor June's eggs didn't hatch for whatever reasons. I tried to find some Bantam peeps to put under her at night and take the eggs away so she would have babies to raise, but couldn't find any peeps in my area. Had to take her eggs away from her. She was M-A-D!!!

Now, Harriet has been laying and I've left her eggs alone. She has 11 eggs under her and is setting again. Some will be too old to hatch, so we will see how it goes. Should have peeps around June 2nd if all goes well.

Now for the broccoli. I started a straw bale garden this spring. I now have broccoli that is about ready to eat. So very cool to do! Raise your own food. I also have lettuce in the bales that I have been harvesting for salads, but the birds have had their way with my strawberries. Need to do something about that. For the meantime, here is my first head of broccoli...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flat As A Pancake and Motherbound

I'm on the edge of my seat. Waiting for June to hatch a couple of eggs. Any time now I should be hearing little peeps from under her. She is a Buff Japanese Black-tailed Bantam, so she is small. Hopefully I can catch her and the little ones to bring them inside until the peeps are big enough to meet the rest of the chickens. June is a bit flighty, so it should be a challenge. She really doesn't appreciate me popping in and looking at her sitting on her eggs. Just keeping my fingers crossed here!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Enjoying Children and Books

Pia sure does love children and loves books and being read to. Can you tell?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Paper Trail

You know, sometimes you should be mad over things, but sometimes you just have to laugh! I left my sewing room door open yesterday when I went to do something in the other part of the house. I know better than to do that! When I walked back into the bedroom, I found that a culprit had gone into my sewing room and had stolen my paper towels. Hmmmmm....wonder who?

All I could do was laugh. When Pia steals things, she likes to bring them and hide them in Darla's bed. No hiding this time!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And The Winner Is...

I had fun with my give-a-way. I wrote all names on sheets of paper, folded them, put them on my ironing board, looked at the ceiling, mixed them up and mixed them up and finally pulled out a sheet of paper. Sharon is the name of my winner! Congratulations Sharon and thanks for participating. I'll be sending your pin along shortly.

Thanks also to everyone who participated, I do appreciate it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Altered Key Giveaway

I want to celebrate something with you, my blog readers. A friend of mine, Mar (you can check out her blog on my side bar), designed a blog page for me with my work on it. I love my new blog look. To celebrate my new look, I am hosting a give-a-way, the first I have done. For those who respond to this post, I'll put your name in a bowl and pull a name as the winner. What are you giving away you ask? Well this altered key pin of course. It is titled 'Adore' and I think it is appropriate because I adore my new look.

Deadline to respond is February 28. I will pull a name on March 1 and post the winner.

Oh, and make sure I have your email addy so I can contact you for your mailing addy if you win!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Westminster Kennel Club Show

Pia and I were talking about going to the garden. I told her she had to be an AKC Champion of record to enter and participate. I also told her it would be a long trip from Georgia and it would probably be a lot of fun. Do you know what she said to me?

"Yes, I know I could go..."

"But you know what? I think I'd prefer to lie on the couch..."

"And take a nice nap..."

Oh well, I guess she knows where she has it good! We'll just sit on the couch together and watch it on TV...that is if she lets me have a spot!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This Old House

Many of you know that we live in this old 1800's farmhouse and are in the process of restoring it. Sounds romantic, doesn't it? An old farmhouse with original heartpine wood walls, ceilings and a lot of history with family that grew up in it who lives nearby to tell you what went on here from the time their parents bought it to now. Many tales and memories that have been had here. Many dreams fulfilled, and some lost. Tales of buried bodies from ages past and the little man that lives upstairs (he passed away years ago and only bothers those he wants to). It is tucked away on a small acreage. A little rural area where the house is not easily seen from the road in the summer unless you are looking for it. A place to have farm animals and to usually enjoy a quiet life.

We have a Pecan tree so large that you couldn't begin to tell it's age, but by looking at it you know it has been here for ages. The owner that bought the property said it was huge when she and her husband bought the property in 1947 (along with 332 acres) and the Pecan was quite large at the time. It is home to racoons, squirrels, wood peckers, mason bees, a black snake, an host of others. It is also a roost for vultures, crows, Robins, Cedar Waxwings and other birds that are flying by and need a high roost. The picture below is of 'The Great Pecan' that was taken one morning as the sun was rising. You can see the dead vines we had purposefully cut from the tree that were strangling its life.

We have torn down the original wood ceiling in the den/dining area. Parts were beyond restoration, so the best thing was to take down the wood and use it in other areas and then to replace (with wood) what was there. As we tore down the ceiling, you could see the attic space above and the original wood that was hand made.

This is one of the roof rafters that holds up the ceiling. Notice that is is a real tree!

This is what the beam looks like that is attached to the wall. Notice the marks on it from the hand work...

The nails that were recovered from the boards in the ceiling...

Yes, sounds romantic doesn't it? Now picture this...winter...below freezing...15+MPH winds blowing outside (might get gusts to 50MPH) and you can see the outside through the cracks in the walls. You want a breeze? Just hang out in the dining/den area that is adjacent to the kitchen. You'll get a breeze alright. Heat? What heat? Heat doesn't help much, and at 10:00 in the morning you can still see your breath in that living part of the house. If this is romance, someone else can have it!

Calgon, take me away!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Peace In The Valley

Well, as some of you know I had 3 guineas (a roo, One Toe, and two hens, Two Toes and Geraldine). The chickens and guinea's were all raised together and roosted together in the evenings. The guinea's followed me around where ever I went and never roamed out of the back yard.

It is spring and breeding season. The guinea's were 4 times the size of my bantams and began to pick on the bantams unmercifully. Poor Ozzie got bloodied up one day and I put my foot down and had to put my big girl panties on and make a decision that I didn't want to make. I had to send the guinea's to freezer camp. I called the neighbor who gave them to me and he came to get them. I can't process them or eat them (especially when they were my pets) so they went to my neighbors freezer camp.

Now there is peace in the valley once again and my chickens can come out and play safely. I took them some tomato treats this morning and everyone enjoyed their special time. The lightest one in the front of the photo is Gordon, the little peep that Harriet hatched (September 18) and raised. So lucky that she turned out to be a little hen. Harriet still knows that Gordon is her peep and takes care of her, never letting anyone bother her special Gordon. Everything is good in the chicken world here. Ozzie takes care of his hens, Harriet keeps June in line and Gordon, well, lets just say she runs off the yard birds...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Try A New Meal For The New Year


Try something new for the new year. Here is a meal that will make memories and impress your guests.

Today on the menu is:
Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce
Pommes Anna
Ocean Perch with orange slices, butter and rosemary in Papiotte




This will be needed for both the Hollandise sauce and the Pommes Anna. It can easily be made in the microwave. You want clarified butter because the burning point is much higher when used in cooking. I usually keep some in my fridge for when I need it. It will keep well for a couple of weeks.

You will need:
3 - 4 sticks of unsalted butter (not margarine) cut into cubes and placed into a microwave safe dish.

Place in microwave on low heat and gradually melt butter a little at a time. It will separate and look like this from the side after it has cooled.

The top will look like this.

Once cooled, gently ladle the fat from the top and discard.

After, pour the middle section (the clarified butter) into a separate container for use, being careful not to pour in the bottom section of the butter.


You will need:
1 cup clarified butter, warm
1 T water
2 egg yolks
2 T freah lemon juice
Salt to taste
Dash of Cayenne pepper

Place egg yolks and water in a stainless steel bowl and beat well.

Hold the bowl over a hot water bath and continue to beat until tick and pale yellow.

Take the bowl off of the heat and slowly beat in the warm butter using a wire whisk. Add the butter, drop by drop in the beginning. Once you see an emulsion forming you can add the butter faster. Beat in the lemon juice and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Keep warm.


You will need fresh asparagus for this dish. I prefer the little one's because of the tenderness.

Hold the asparagus by the spear and the cut end. Where it bends and snaps is the separation point from the woody tough end and the tender end.

Place in a steamer and steam until slightly tender. It is best when it still has it's beautiful bright green color and not mushy. It will have a lovely and flavorful crunch to it when eaten.


You will need:

Potatos, peeled and stored in water before slicing
1/2 c. clarified butter
Salt and pepper

Slice the potatoes very thinly. Do not soak in water after sliced. In a heavy saute pan or cast iron skillet, spread half of the butter. Lay out the potatoes in a spiral covering the bottom of the pan with a nice design. Season. Here is a picture of the start with a slice of potato in the center.

Spread out the rest of the potatoes evenly and season. Put the rest of the butter on top of the potato cake.

Cook the potato cake on top of the stove until it begins to brown. Finish cooking in the oven at moderate heat (about 325 - 350). When the potato cake is vooked all the way through, remove from the oven and carefully invert onto a plate or sheet pan.

Allow to cool and then cut into wedges. Heat in a hot oven just before serving.


Ocean Perch (or other firm fleshed fish)
Fresh orange segments
Salted butter
Rosemary sprigs
Wisked egg white
Parchment paper

Fold a piece of parchment paper and cut out a half heart shape. When you open it, it will look like this:

Now place your fish on one half of the paper and layer it with the orange segments, butter and rosemary.

Next, use your egg whites to brush around the edges to act as a glue to hold the parchment paper together.

Begin at the top of the heart and brush with whites and fold over the cut/open edge.

Continue until you go around all of the open/cut edge.

Now just give a light brushing to secure the open/cut edge.

Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. The packets will rise with the steam. Serve the parchment packets to each guest and allow them to cut open their packet and enjoy the steamed flavors. Make sure to let them know ahead of time that the packet will produce steam once opened.

I hope you give these dishes a try this year and enjoy them. I wish for all of you a delightful and prosperous 2010 with many happy endeavors. HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ME TO YOU!!!