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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Well Bless My Sole!

A few weeks ago......well to be honest it's been more on to two months! Time has flown by so fast! My Mom and I took a small road trip to gather fresh veggies. We try to do this every year. Acres of tomatoes and peppers and lots of other vegetables but we were concentrating on those two especially, on this trip.
After a few buckets of tomatoes I was carrying them back to my truck when my shoe blew out it's sole! ;) My favorite "outside" shoes.....I've had them for years and lucky for me I had a old pair of scissors in the truck. I cut the flappy part off and was good to they are still my favs! ;) 
Tomatoes...they go on and on.......
I picked four pounds of jalapeno peppers. The whole time I was picking them I was dreaming and could even taste the ways I planned on preparing them. Honestly the heat and humidity created a lot of hunger ;)  
I had some bacon, cream cheese and extra sharp cheddar cheese at home just waiting to be joined with those jalapenos! 
First I found some gloves! (playtex) This step is very important when working with peppers! Trust me, your hands will hurt and burn for days and days if you do this with naked hands! I washed the peppers then cut them in half and deseeded them, put them in a colander to dry while I prepared the cheese and bacon. I cut small pieces of cheese and put it off to the side, the bacon, I sliced in half. As you can see in the pics just put a little cheese in the jalapeno half then wrap it with half a slice of bacon. After two pounds of bacon I ran out and had to unwrap most of them and double up on the cheesed peppers, so some of them are actually whole peppers with a mix of cream cheese and sharp cheddar ;) A surprise of flavor! 
I lined them up on a cookie sheet and put wax paper in between each layer so I could freeze them. Once frozen I put them into freezer bags. They won't stick to each other if you freeze them this way first. 
I made a lot so I could freeze them to use when I'm in a hurry, I can just get a few from the freezer, pop them in the oven and YUM! 
You can also grill these. I like my bacon crunchy so I bake them on a broiling pan.
450-500 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.....depending on your oven and how crunchy you like your bacon ;)

I have to warn you though....these will not last long! A few seem to be missing! My husband came in, just as they came out of the oven and before I could snap a pic! ;)
These aren't hot or spicy at all, which most aren't once the seeds are removed.
If you have a few jalapenos and like cheese and bacon, I hope you'll try these and enjoy them as much as we have.

Until Next Time!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Roody The Little Roo With A Big Heart

This is Roody, of all the roosters I've had in my life, I have to say he's the best at being a Dad. It's something he takes pride in, he loves it, it's a job he's serious about!
I want to share Roody's story with you ;) Last fall we were overrun with young roosters and if you've ever been around roosters you know they can reek havoc on the hens. When this happens I try to find homes for them but not many people want roosters, so......the inevitable happens :/  They go into the freezer.
Roody was one of those freezer bound fellas, but I had noticed he didn't treat the hens badly, as a matter of fact I actually thought he had a heart problem, LOL. My husband laughed at me when I told him after Roody finished "courting" a hen he went into a daze, staggered around and fell over! I walked over and picked him up and a few seconds later he came around. Now this didn't happen just once but several times (that I saw) so he became my little roo.....he was special. ;)
Roody is a Cochin Bantam Rooster.
Here he is with a few of his little peeps ;)
Before he became an adopted Dad, three of my bantam hens went broody. I wanted   larger hens so I put large eggs under them to hatch instead of bantam eggs and Roody isn't the biological dad either, so these peeps will be large chickens.
I have a large rooster younger than Roody, I keep them separated now because I've had to sew the poor little guy up once and the last time was almost over for him. He was beat so bad his eyes were shut for days...these fights were way before the peeps came to be. I've had Roody for two years now and plan on him living here for many more years! The other roo may not be so lucky ;/
Aren't they cute!? After they were a couple of days old I moved the Moms and peeps into the coop with Roody because something was coming through the fence holes at night (I think it was a rat).
Roody was filled with joy, seriously he really was! He took on the role as Father like no other I had ever seen. He watched over the peeps while the Moms had dust baths and time away! If they chirped too loud he was calling and trying to calm them down.

My niece loves to visit the chickens when she comes over ;)

You wouldn't believe the coaxing I had to do to get him to hold this chick! LOL
Well, as soon as the chicks learned how to fly up on the roost at night the mothers flew the nursery coop! They left the peeps with Roody and joined the old flock of hens! Now they are teens and the poor guy is still hanging in there with them. He still watches over them when they free range and they still sleep under and beside him night after night. ;)

He still is number one! This is them now...look at these teenage peeps! ;)
I have to smile at my Little Roody...he has totally exceeded my expectations as a devoted rooster. He has an amazing heart and soul to put up with this group day in and day out! How does he sleep!?
Happy Father's Day Roody!

Happy Father's Day!!!
Until Next Time,
Enjoy who you are and what you do!
Julie ;)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

She Grew From A Seed

Seven years ago this tree started growing inside my chicken pen. As the pen evolved and grew, it also grew, at one time it became entangled in the fencing and I had to cut the fence from around it. I never knew what kind of tree it would grow up to be but I knew I didn't want it to die. My husband and I eventually moved the chicken pen so it could grow outside of the pen.
This spring my husband asked me how old this tree is...."seven", I said and as he walked around her he found blossoms! We were so excited, but still had no idea what kind of tree she was. An orange tree? A lemon tree? A tangerine tree? A grapefruit tree????

My husbands brother lives next door and has a grapefruit tree that he grew from seed, it's a beautiful tree and delights us with white grapefruits every year! Since our bees have been visiting her, her fruits have become so sweet you can eat them straight from her branches! But we hoped beyond hope that it wouldn't be a grapefruit tree.....not a white one anyway.

For a couple of years now my husband has been wanting a pink grapefruit tree and when the blossoms turned into fruit (she only had five fruits) we hoped if she was a grapefruit tree that she'd have pink fruit. It was very doubtful that it would be so, so we forgot about it.
About a week ago my husband picked the largest of them, and tonight I cut it open. Can you imagine our delight when we saw that she's a pink grapefruit tree!!!! From a seed!

We each had a half and it was so good! Oh, and the seeds you see on the side....that was all that was in this one and they aren't actually seeds that will produce. I am amazed and can't wait to see how the other ones are. We are even more excited about the amount she'll produce next year! I love happy surprises!

Until Next Time!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Crossbeak And Three Lazy Boys

I have been so neglectful about posting to my blogs and to my one and only reader.....;) I apologize. ;) I will try to do better.

Back in January of this year, three of my hens went broody. They hatched out
an assortment of sweet baby chicks. A few weeks ago I noticed something odd about one of them that I hadn't noticed the day before. I'm not sure if it came on all of a sudden or if it was a gradual thing because to me all of a sudden it was just there.I have been around chickens off and on all my life and have been keeping them for 30+ years and have never before seen or even heard of "Crossbeak" before. (not in a chicken anyway)
I watched her and she was doing great, she ate and drank just as good and vigorous as her siblings and over the next couple of weeks she became my favorite in the chicken yard.

(please excuse the dirt under my nails ;) I had been planting)
Crossbeak comes on when the chicks are somewhere around 8 weeks or so, and no one is sure of the cause. Some say it's hereditary and others say something happens during the incubation period. I tend to go with the latter, because I have both parents of this little chick and neither have even the slightest cross. During the incubation (which was done under a live hen and not in an incubator) I did move the mother hens and eggs during the last part of incubation. I moved them each to their own secluded box away from the other hens.
I'm not sure of their life span and I'm sad to say that this little one didn't make it.
These are just two of my boys (still living at home anyway) ;)

Tigger and Oreo.......two of four siblings we rescued. They are Polydactyl cats, each have seven (fingers ;) *toes* on their front paws and six on their back paws.
This must be so nice ;)

These three are males (brothers). Their sister is lounging somewhere......not sure where though. They are always within sight distance (where they can see me that is) when I'm outside. They're laying on an old piece of carpet I threw out, to lay in various parts of the yard to kill the grass, so I can plant. ;)

So much to little time......

Take Care!
Julie ;)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Snakes, Spiders and Other Small Creatures

Can you see the little creature using it's camouflage abilities, in the pictures below?
This is a Click beetle. We used to play with them when I was a youngster ;) They are harmless, we used to (I still do) get a kick out of how they jump and click when they're on their back. They do this because they can't turn over with their feet, so they arch their back and flip over making a click sound, they can be scary looking with those big false eyes! ;)

A baby praying mantis....waiting for a meal to happen by.

(Upper pic) A small blue tailed skink....trying to get a sweet meal :( If you look to the right you can see an anole lizard trying to do the same.

(upper pic) A garden spider in my chicken pen

A garter snake that was hiding under a bucket in my chicken pen. This isn't the one I was after, but I'm glad I caught her, she was way over five feet long, I took her and the one below far away in a much wooded area and released them. They are totally harmless, but they were eating all of my chicken eggs! I rearranged the coop and so far no more snakes have been in there. ;0)
(upper pic) This little one is the one I was trying to catch, when I discovered the larger one!
(below pic) The release.....I still worry about them being in a new location :(  
(upper pic and below) This little guy is a bluffer! Poor thing, it's a baby/juvenile black rat snake and it's trying to make us think he's a bad poisonous snake, so we'll leave him alone. The sad part is most people kill poison snakes and even sadder is they kill any and all snakes they see. Last week I posted about adult and baby black rat snakes, this one is most probably related to the one that was in my yard. My husband and I had just finished up working in the bee hives when my adorable neighbor called me to come over and help identify a snake they had just caught. At first I wasn't positive that it was truly a black snake until it flattened itself out like a cobra and hissed at me. I've ran upon the adults before in the woods and they will act just like a cobra!

It's just a scare tactic though......I usually run the other way ;) I have total respect for nature and that includes snakes. They are a vital part of our eco system whether humans like it or not. It's just not fair to kill something so natural and a part of God's creation, just to turn around and try to take care of things on our own with chemicals and such! Makes no sense to me how people think sometimes! I'm known as the "weird one" by most, and I love it! ;)
If it weren't for nature lovers like myself......this world would be SO EMPTY!!!!
(upper pic) A garden (banana) spider in my friends garden, the pic below is one on my Mom's porch, arent they lovely ladies?
I hope you will take the time when you're outside to stop and notice the little things God has created for us to enjoy. Don't be scared or afraid, learn about your surroundings, read about the things you find or see. You'll *bee* surprised at how much more you start to enjoy the great outdoors and the joys of nature that God intended for us to enjoy.

Until Next Time....
Explore your surroundings!
Julie ;)