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Monday, November 22, 2010

Gobblin' Gobblers

School is out this week in most places, so if you have children at home and nothing for them to do, here is something everyone can enjoy making and eating!You will need: Old Fashioned Creme Drops (Bon-Bons) or you could use Chocolate covered cherries, striped cookies, candy corn or Indian corn and chocolate frosting.
I give everyone their own plate with a dab of frosting and a spreader so there's no fussing or waiting turns.

Take a cookie and turn the striped side down for the base. Dab a small bit of frosting on over the hole and place a bon-bon over it.

Next put two little dots of frosting on the bon-bon front and back. Place a cookie striped side to the bon-bon then put a piece of candy/Indian corn to the front, and there you have your little Gobbler!

These are so cute and extremely easy to make! My sons made these every year for Thanksgiving when they were little.
These Little Gobblers decorate the table, are fun to make and eat!
HaPpY ThAnKsGiViNg!!!!
Until Next Time!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rooster Spur Removal

For months now I've had a dilemma. I have a rooster that I really like, he's kind to the hens and he was good daddy roo to the few eggs that made it to hatching over the spring. However, he had spurs that eventually killed one of his favorite hens. I didn't know that she was wounded or hurt in any way. I only have one hen that will come up to me and let me pick her up and that still has to be her choice. I don't have a habit of chasing them down to pick them up for examination, UNLESS they give me reason to do so, ex. limping, or just acting any rate, they just haven't warranted that to happen. The evening before she let me know something was wrong I was in the pen with them feeding them, they were all around me and she seemed fine. The next morning is when I saw her lying alone and she let me pick her up, that's when I knew something was wrong with her, but by then it was too late. Upon examination I saw where her thigh had been cut (by a spur) it had healed but it was a nasty scar, still sore to the touch. I waited till dark and put Domonique (my roo) in a pen to himself. I didn't know what to do, I had thought about putting him in the freezer, but it's still so hot. My husband doesn't like *putting things in the freezer* when it's so very hot outside. I don't blame any rate, I would let Domonique out for about an hour each evening to be with the rest of the flock, after all it wasn't his fault he lost his favorite girl, he didn't know he hurt her. So over the next few weeks I started feeling sorry for him and looked for an alternative way to deal with the problem. There isn't much on the net about spurs, I found a few about cutting them but you have to be careful of infection or cutting them to close to the quick. A spur is a lot like a finger nail. I did find two videos on youtube about removing the spur completely but temporarily. That's what I wanted to do!Here they are! My husband removed them while I held the roo. It was sooo simple, easy and no harm to him at all! He didn't even flinch! I videoed the last one being removed but it won't download on to my blog :(
It was a little blood but not much at all. I dabbed some purple violet antiseptic on each spur and put him back in his pen for the night.
How we did it:
He was already in a pen, which I highly recommend (it reduces his stress) (and yours);)
One person can do this but two makes it easier. Hold him with both feet in one hand (if you're alone)
Take a pair of pliers and gently place them around the spur. Twist firmly, but gently, ever so slightly back and forth. This shouldn't take but maybe two to three slight twists back and forth. You'll feel a *give* then finish with the twist. It comes off so easy! I was so thankful! Now I get to keep my roo!
Be sure to keep him separated for a day or two because the spurs are very tender. You'll even notice him stepping softly ;) Almost like having real long finger or toenails then having them cut real short.
He's fine...grooming himself ;) I let him go back with the girls the next afternoon, after checking his spurs and making sure he was healing okay. Now that I know how to do this properly and pain free, (for me as well) ;) I'll be able to it again, without worry.

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Do You See What I See?

I went out this morning to look the yard over before I cut the grass, but I was quickly sidetracked ;) Beauty and serenity engulfed me. I posted on my other blog (Buzzinhoneybeez) about the honeybees and bumble bees I found on the grass blooms and wanted to post these other beauties on this blog.

I was lying in the grass taking pictures of the bees when this little creature caught my eye. Can you see it?
When I was a youngster we called them "Walking sticks" I remember being so scared of these things....we were told that "they will spit in your eye and blind you!" I used to be petrified of them, our "Praying mantis", one of our most beneficial creatures of the garden!
I don't know if our "elders" meant for us to be so afraid of them that we would just leave them alone or if they themselves believed their "tall tales". I do know that a lot of "kids" were so afraid of them that they would kill them. I get a bit flustered at parents or adults that don't take the time to learn about the things in this world that we "need". Nature is so off balance because of our "lack of knowledge. So many of us just take for granted that what someone tells us is the truth. It's sad because if we believe them we become part of the lie.
I am so thankful that I had sons to teach....but more than not, they taught me. They taught me that life/nature isn't so scary. They taught me to read up on the things I just knew would kill them if they touched it! ;) They taught me that I need/have to go outside with them to make sure what they find/get into won't harm them ;) And in turn I learned that outside is a wonderful place to "bee".
We have become an inside generation......computers, TV, one gets outside to explore life any more. We need to educate our kids and be educated by them! Get them outside....AND don't be afraid of a little bug! Read up on'll "bee" surprised at what you learn! ;)

Have you learned from a child today????

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Crockin' Peanuts

I found a great way to cook peanuts, thanks to an idea from a friend. I'm sure there's a recipe out there on the internet some where but I didn't want to sit to look. I tend to get side tracked and never end up looking for what I started out for anyway.
I bought peanuts for a super good price yesterday and wanted to try them in the crock pot and I will never fix them any other way! These are so good and not to mention the easiest way ever!I wanted to try different flavors so I divided them up. Just enough for about four to eight people. I rinsed them well, although they weren't really dirty or sandy. Poured them into my crock pot, put in enough water to cover them (they float so don't try to literally "cover" them) ;)
I added my spices, turned on high and left them for the day. They were perfect! I sampled them from time to time so they wouldn't get to soggy. Be careful and don't add to much salt, especially if you use spices. For some reason I didn't use near the salt I have to use cooking them on the stove.
The first batch I used McCormick Roasted Garlic and Herb spice mix. I love this stuff. When I'm in a pinch and don't have time to run out and clip from my fresh herbs this is the next best. I've used this in my homemade cheese too and it's awesome!

These peanuts are huge! I have small hands but even at that, they are big.
I can't tell you exactly how much spice I put in because I rarely measure, but if I had to would be about 1/8 of a cup. Salt in this was probably 1/4 tablespoon.
Use your imagination, if you like to cook, explore with your ideas. Peanuts are good cooked with different spices and flavors.....
Try them and let me know what flavors you come up with and how they taste.
The batch I have in now is with red pepper flakes and powder.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fishing With My Son

I am so blessed and thankful.
Blessed that I have three amazing and wonderful sons.
Thankful that I am able to spend time with them when they have it.
Thankful to be alive and enjoy what God/ Our Creator has given to us to enjoy.

There is beauty all around us....we just have to take the time to stop and soak it all in. The Bible tells us to "be still and know that I am God"...I truly believe this is what he's talking about. His Glorious creations.
When my sons were small I used to take them fishing when their dad was away. It gave us something to do, something we all enjoyed. I miss those days....I miss them as youngsters.
But, on days like today, I am thankful that they have grown into fine young men....thankful that they want to call me up to get away for a while.
I'm talking like they take me fishing a lot but truth be known this is the first time.They usually don't have the time to take a whole day to go fishing, but will call up and ask me to meet them for lunch from time to time. So, I was thrilled when my oldest wanted to take me fishing.

I ran into a snag and had to make a phone call to get a license to fish, then I had to buy a tag to go with the license in order to fish in certain "public" fishing areas. The tag was a WMA tag. Wildlife Management.......I got upset at first because of all of the add ons, but after I calmed down and let the beauty of the place sink in again, something occurred to me......Developers are trying to buy up peaceful places like this all the time. They buy it up, doze it down and out and totally destroy the wildlife and beauty, all because they want the money and people want to live in places like this. It's sad to me...people want to live here, until they "live" here. We see it all the time! People want something and once they get it they don't like or want it anymore. Something about it starts to irratate them, bugs, animals, etc. then they want to sell out and move. This place and places like this are heavenly.......but I wouldn't want to live here. Places like this, is meant for "get aways", to relax, reflect, breathe, appreciate what we have. Wildlife has to have places to live, but we humans seem to be taking their homes from them, just because it's so peaceful and beautiful.......anyway, I understand now why we pay the price for licenses and tags......Thank you Wildlife Management for protecting these places for us to enjoy and the animals to live.
Beautiful butterflies, this was the only place they were congregated.
Catch of the day LOL It was just a wee bit larger than my hand which is small.
Not sure what type of bird this is, I haven't had time to look it up yet.
I learned somethings today that I've known for quite a while ;) It doesn't matter where you are, there is always beauty in your just have to look harder sometimes is all.
And spending time with your child/children is a blessing that no parent should ever take for granted. They are gifts to us, they didn't ask for us to bring them here, it is/was a choice that we made as a parent want-to-be. A parent doesn't have to give birth, just an open heart that's full of love...unending and unconditional.
Thank you my Son, for taking me fishing..I had an awesome day, because I was able to spend it with you!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do I have to go?

For those of you that are following me in my adventures with *nature* encounters and the egg eaters I've been trying to catch....I caught one more. Remember last post I freed one from the netting in my coop? Well, I caught the other one. I was so glad that I could release them together. The first one to scoot off was the entangled one, it was ready to go.
This one? Well, I had to do some encouraging to get it to scoot away, it turned and tried to go back into the can I took it off in. I know this is weird, but I felt just a little sad with it all, when she did that. I wondered if maybe she was scared? After all the area is new to them. Other snakes might be there with established territory rights. She won't have free, easy meals any more....she'll have to hunt.
I probably wouldn't have moved them if I'd have had more egg layers....hmmm. I don't know for sure, I do know I miss them just a little....but not too much. They apparently came from a large family because I found another one in the box the next day. I know it's not one of them because I took them miles away to acres of woods. I didn't want them to be in anyones yard because not everybody likes snakes and I didn't want them to be killed. They are harmless! They never once struck at me, they were more scared of me, I think than I actually was of them.
My cactus is blooming again! It has bloomed profusely this year! I left it in the greenhouse this year because it's * painful* to move in and out each fall and spring. It's gotten so big! A dear friend gave it to me when it was just knee high. We were living in Missouri, she got a piece of it from her mother. I gave a piece to my mother. This thing is huge! I'll try to get a full picture of it if I can. It's about eight feet tall now.
That's it for now. Just wanted to catch up with those of you that wanted to know the outcome of the tangled snake.....he's free again ;)....I hope ;)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh, My!

Okay before you read any further or look at the pictures I need to tell you something.....I never said I was a sane person...I've only ever claimed to be a "nature nut". I don't know where I get it from, I used to think I got it from my Grandmother *rest her sweet soul* but even I know she would kill........snakes.
This first picture is of my front yard pond, I didn't want to scare you off right away by showing things to my readers that don't like "certain" things in nature ;)....see my little bullfrog?? ;)

Now, those of you that do follow me and my nature trails, know that I have an egg eating snake problem. I've relocated the only one that I thought I had, across the road into a wooded area. Well....a few days ago I went to collect the eggs and found not one but two of them in a egg laying box! It was funny because I had been running *one* of them out daily for a while now, and when they saw me they tried to hide. As usual...when I don't have my camera on me things like this happen, so I wasn't able to capture the "Kodak moment". I ran in to grab my camera and when I got back one was under the box chamber and one still in the box.

We've been trying to catch them ever since so they can be relocated to the woods way away from here. I've also been checking the boxes more frequently trying to get the eggs before they do ;) So, this morning when I was out there something caught my eye and I totally had heart failure! When I calmed down and could see it was one of my egg eaters, I ran in to get my camera ;) I took the first photo then thought I'd try to see if I could catch it and start the relocation process. I got my snake stick and that's when I realized it was tangled up....really bad.

I ran in to get my favorite sharp little scissors to cut it free. I know....I know.....I thought I was crazy too, but sooner or later I would have to deal with removing it and I'd rather be able to save it than to wait for it to suffer this terrible slow death, knowing it was in my power all along to be able to free it.
People don't realize how important snakes are to our environment. I know they are fearful and intimidating.....geez I was shaking so bad I thought I would have to have a bottle of wine to calm my nerves ;) LOL Just kidding......but really I was a nervous wreck! I kept telling it if it bit me I would kill it LOL ;) I started clipping the netting away at the lower part so I could hold it's head to clip away that area last.....didn't want to take any chances...;)

You can see where it was cutting into it's skin. A snake is like an alligator in the way that when it gets tangled up in something it rolls and twist it's body, only to tangle worse. Once I got it free I put it in a cooler and brought it up to the yard....I want to make sure it's okay before I release it. It's head and jaws looked pretty messed up.
I put an egg in there to make sure it will be able to eat before I let it go. Once it saw the egg it went over to investigate and opened it's mouth. It looked like it was trying to make sure it still worked ;)
I'll keep you posted...if you are an interested "nature nut" as well....

Oh, for those of you that have listened to me about mothballs keeping snakes away......well, it doesn't work ;)

Until next time!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's a Bug's Life

I have been wanting this for some time...I stumbled upon these creatures one day on you tube, but I never actually saw a picture of what they look like, I just knew that they were beneficial and not pesty at kind of bug. I had no idea how to even go about getting them, I tend to forget things rather quickly and so it was in this case LOL ;) Until....a couple of weeks ago......
I opened a sealed bag of bird seed and freaked out!!! Can you see the creepy crawlies in there???

Perhaps you can see them better here.....I scooped some of them up for a closer *safer* look. ;) I had called my sweet, dear cousin for something "out of the ordinary" and we got onto this subject. She suggested that I might have soldier flies....I googled it and sure enough!!! That's what I have!!! How about that one for ya!!! Something I wanted and had forgotten about and now here it was.....freaking me out!!! LOL

Adult soldier fly....they have no mouth parts. After emerging from their pupae state they fly off to mate...lay eggs, then die. The best part is when they are larvae. They are nature's garbage disposals! They will devour food in no time. I have a yard debris composter and leftover "disposers" but these little critters are the answer for me on foods that my chickens can't or shouldn't eat. A huge plus also, is the larvae makes excellent food for your chickens, birds and/or fish! On you tube they have really nice composters for these, but alas, I'm someone that "if I can make it without it costing me money......well..."
I looked around and found an old empty tub. I had a glass cutting board that I NEVER use because "it's not good for the knives". I used that for my separator. The larvae has to have a dry place to migrate to in order to pupate into adulthood.
I placed a brick next to the separator to hold it in place long enough for me to get things going in the compost side.
Left side compost side...right side dry side It also has to have a drain outlet. I drilled a small hole and put a small hose in the hole. I also had a piece of old window screen that I placed over the hole on the inside. I didn't have a picture of that to post though.
Hole and hose on the inside.....left side...compost side
Hose on the outside, I put a stopper in it but ended up taking it out because of the backup.
Scraps and of course the larvae that was in the jar above.
Finished! Now to wait to see if it aim was to see if they would reproduce. Even though I saw a few flies hanging around I wasn't sure it would "work". Another very important thing is when making it this way you have to have it angeled so it will drain out of the tube.
YES!!!! Just what I wanted to see! See the end of the stick I had holding the top ajar???? See the white stuff??? That's eggs!!! I'm so excited.....
I know...I doesn't take much for me......what can I say....I'm just a Nature Nut!!! ;)