Saturday, March 30, 2013


Today was sauce making day. I make sauce only a couple of times a year because it's an all-day affair. I buy sauce in a jar the rest of the year. However, I think that I'll be doing this more often. When I make sauce, I know exactly what is going into the batch. You have to take someone else's word of what is in commercially made sauce. Then there's the 4% unknown allowance...That's enough to make one sick, if you have an overactive mind like I do.
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
No. We didn't have spaghetti for dinner. We had leftovers. However, we had some Italian-style food last night for dinner.
Macaroni and Meatsauce
This is one of my favorites since I can put dinner on the table in 30 minutes.


1 jar spaghetti sauce, chunky is best
1/2 lb pasta, cooked
1 lb ground beef

Brown the ground beef. Pour off extra fat, if there is any. Add jar of spaghetti sauce. Stir until warm. Add cooked pasta. Stir until coated and warmed through. Serve!

As you can see, there are a few extras in my sauce. I add chopped onions, peppers and canned diced tomatoes. But, if you get a chunky sauce, you don't have to add extras. Easy!!!

Have a delicious day!

Take care.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Runaround Day

Today was a runaround day for us. We needed to go to get eyeglasses ordered. So we went to WalMart to get that done. They have a good selection plus a really great warranty on their glasses. We picked up a ham there for Easter dinner this Sunday. We're just eating in. No family plans.

Hubby took me to another really fun place to shop. OK. Call me a goofball. It was Harbor Freight. Oh, yeah! There are bunches of tools and stuff there for just about anyone who likes to mess around the house. I bought a whole box of 3" chip brushes for painting for $6. There are 24 brushes in the box. They are usually $1.29 each at other well-known stores. SCORE! Hubby got his sandblaster for $20 and an electrical tester for $5.49. There will be many more field trips to this place, I tell ya!

It was a day of using gas and having fun.

I hope you enjoyed your day.

Take care

Golf Day and Warehouse Club

I had a day off today so I went golfing with Hubby and his buddy. The wind was blowing, it was chilly, there were a lot of other nuts out there. We had fun. I sucked. Well, they were'nt great, either. They were just better than me.

After I taught Hubby to golf, he got hooked on it. I've golfed so much that I just don't care about it any more. I used to be pretty good when I was younger, but all of my skill went down the drain. I'm glad Hubby has someone who will go with him every week.

Then we went to a warehouse club to buy groceries. Of course, it was in bulk. Even though there are just two of us in the house, we spent most of our monthly budget on supplies. That's the bad thing about those kinds of places. The good thing is it is economical. You start buying because it's cheaper and you put lots of 'cheap' stuff in your buggy. Then, when you get to the register, the bad thing happens.

We started watching Netflix after we got home and we both fell asleep. Now I'm up trying to get my blog post in for yesterday.

So much for my exciting day!

Take care.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I've Created a Monster!

Yesterday, I got a router and USB adaptor. I connected it to the computer and our Wii. Now, this took a pretty long time to do as I am a novice geek. I'd say 1-1/2 hours to get my head wrapped around the whole thing and get it done.

Hubby and I are movie freaks and I got Netflix for us to stream to our TV in the den. We spent a couple of hours last night surfing the titles to get an idea of what we'd like to watch. OVERLOAD! We were amazed at what we had within our reach.

So, today, I figured Hubby would watch some movies. I was right. He got a couple of guy flicks watched. Then we watched a really hilarious movie (Play the Game) and a Bollywood flick (Outsourced) tonight. We never heard of either of them, but I'll recommend both. It was really nice not to have to watch commercials, too.

The only bad thing is that we'll probably be couch potatoes from now on. Not only have I created A monster, I've created TWO monsters!

Take care.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Here are some gifties I made for the people down at work. They really loved them.
Chain Maille Keychains
I asked the maintenance engineer for some of the nuts and washers that were laying around the plant. I made these little cuties with aluminum rings. It is a foxtail weave in aluminum rings, stainless nuts and washers and nickel-plated split keyrings. Everyone got one. Even the President of the company liked it. I'll be making more of these as gifts and to sell. They did turn out pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

If you haven't read much of my blog, I make some Boho style jewelry and I love doing chain maille as jewelry pieces. I am just a novice at it, but I love incorporating it into jewelry. I prefer aluminum rings because they don't tarnish and are very light weight. I wash ALL of my jewelry in soapy water and rinse after I wear each piece. Sometimes it's just easier to wear it into the shower to do this. When you wash the aluminum rings, they shine like silver.

What really freaks people out is when they admire a piece I'm wearing, I usually take it off and say 'Be careful. It's pretty heavy.' When they get it in their hand, it's light as a feather. The look on their faces is...priceless!

My tip for all who wear jewelry, cheap or otherwise...WASH IN SOAP AND RINSE IN CLEAR WATER. This takes off all of the body oil, which is what tarnishes the metals. Even gold will tarnish with a buildup of body oils. If you're diligent about this, you can keep a piece of cheap jewelry nicely for years! I have 20+ year old cheap jewelry that I still wear!

Take care.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Enchilada Casserole

This is what we had for dinner Sunday night.
Enchilada Casserole
While this may not look so tempting, it really is tasty. This picture is straight out of the fridge and it loses some of the shiny yumminess to it.

 Hubby and I went for a visit to Florida this past Christmas. We visited his brother and family. My BIL's one daughter made this and I made a piggy of myself. Of course, I got the recipe from her. THEN, I took my liberties to make it mine. Here is my version of her recipe.


1 pound ground beef
1/2 large onion, diced, optional
1/2 large green pepper, diced, optional
1 package taco seasoning, or similar seasoning
1 large can enchilada sauce, 20-24 oz
9 or 10 corn tortillas, the ones that are in a paper wrapper and lay flat
Cheddar cheese, shredded, optional
Salsa, optional

Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Add the onion and green pepper. Cook until the onion gets transparent. Add the seasoning and stir together. Add 1/2 can of enchilada sauce. Turn off heat.

In a greased 8" x 8" baking dish, put down one layer of corn tortillas. I put two whole ones in opposite corners and split a third one in half for the opposite corners. Layer on 1/2 of the beef. Add some cheese, if you want cheese. I used mozzarella for this one because that's what I had. Mozzarella gives a buttery taste and pretty much takes the flavor of the food. Layer more tortillas, meat cheese and ending with tortillas. Pour over the rest of the enchilada sauce. If you use a glass baking dish with a cover, use the cover. This is preferable. Otherwise, cover the pan with foil. The foil may stick to the corn tortillas.

This will bake and soak up most of the enchilada sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

Serve with salsa, if desired. I like mine spicy, so I heat it up with salsa. If you want, stick on some fresh lettuce and tomatoes. Take liberties with this. This can be tailored to your taste very easily.

It makes a great and quick dinner.

I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Today's Stuff

This morning at about 6:20 am we had a really loud crack of thunder followed by lightning. It shook the whole house and woke Hubby. Hubby doesn't usually wake up for thunderclaps or anything. He sleeps through mostly anything noisy. He got up and put the dog in bed with us because she was nervous and pestering him.

This meant we had rain. BOY did we have rain! The whole yard was flooded to mid-shin. The garden out back was partially under water. That's not a good thing. The strawberry plants were the ones mainly covered. That is the bad thing about living at sea level. This happens a lot.

Then we helped a friend of mine move some large appliances. Luckily the rain stopped long enough to do that. Then it started sprinkling again, just as we finished. She gave Hubby and I a tour of her new house. It was very nice. If you like Japanese food, you've got to check out her blog here!

Today, our dinner consisted of enchilada pie and salad. I'll take a photo of that and show you how easy it is to make. It is so yummy, too!

Now it's time for nite-nite. I am waiting for the dogs to come in from outside as I write this.

I hope you had a nice day today.

Take care.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Meatball and Sauerkraut Soup

Today was a first for me. I made Meatball and Sauerkraut soup. It doesn't look exceptionally tasty, but it really is! I found this recipe on but modified it for what I had. Take a look at the recipe here. There is a picture with the original recipe. Below is how I made it. It was really easy to do.

Heat about a quart of water to boiling.
Take 3 tablespoons of butter and melt.
Add 1/2 chopped onion. This wasn't in the original recipe. I use this for extra flavor.
When the onions are transparent, add 1/4 cup flour. Stir together until all the butter is soaked up.
Add the water and whisk vigorously.
Add 1 can evaporated milk. NOT the sweet milk! Whisk some more.
When the milk gets hot, but not boiling, add some precooked meatballs and sauerkraut.
Simmer on low until all is hot. This will take about 30 minutes.
If you need to thicken the liquid, do so.
Salt and pepper to taste.

I made about 4 servings because I had a dozen meatballs on hand.

This is really a yummy recipe, but, like I said, it doesn't look that yummy.

If you try it, let me know. I'd be intrigued to see if you liked it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Easy Recipe - Bean Salad

I love easy recipes! I hope you do too. This is one of my favorites which you can swap just about any beans you want. I use canned beans, but you can make this from dried beans.
Bean Salad
This recipe you make to your own taste, but the ingredients are simple.

Open a can of beans and pour into a bowl. Here, I used pork and beans. You can take out the invisible piece of pork, if you like.

Dice up some onion and put that in.

Add a little bit of vinegar and oil. I use about 1/4 cup of each.

Add some salt and pepper.

It's ready to eat! See. It's simple. You can use white beans or kidney beans. Use your imagination. However, the longer it sits, the better it tastes. I also like it cold, so you can make it ahead of time for a dinner or party.

Happy eating!
Take care.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Harvest of 2013

Guess what! We've had our first harvest of 2013! Take a peek.
French Breakfast Radishes and One Cherry Belle
I's not REALLY a harvest. But to us, it is. These went into a salad for this evening's dinner. This is a start. We see some more that will be ready in a few days.

Good Friday is coming and it is tradition to plant your garden on that day. It means a good harvest. So, my seedlings, which are quite large, will soon be planted in the great outdoors. I still have a ways to go with hardening them to the sun, but they are coming along. I had to bring the seedlings in last night because of the cold. They'll be in tonight, too. I may take them back out in the morning since it is supposed to be a decent temperature, but it's supposed to rain.

We'll see how things turn out this year. We have summer squash, radishes, peas, 2 lettuces, onions, carrots, green, red, yellow and long peppers (for stuffing). Oh yes. Did I mention strawberries? They are looking good right now. They should be bearing in a couple of weeks.

Take care.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Bed Stuff

This past weekend, we went shopping for a few items we've been wanting to try. We bought gel and memory foam pillows to try out. We're in the market for a couple of new pillows so we thought we'd give them a try. It took a couple of days to get used to because they're not as soft as a down pillow, but they're very supportive to the head and neck.

Then we had a gift certificate for one of my favorite discount stores. So I used that and bought a memory foam mattress pad. We spent a couple of nights on one while we were visiting relatives during this past Christmas. That's all we've been talking about since then so we took care of that, too.

So far, we've slept like babies each night since we got the mattress topper. Both items together make it really great to relax quickly. There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the night time, now. So, we give both items a 'thumbs up' for comfort on a small budget. Yay!

Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

To Go? Or, To Stay? (rant)

The neighbor issue has brought up a question. Since we've been having so many problems over the years, do we find a new place to live? Or, do we stay and tough it out?

If we go, we would be giving up. I don't like to give up. I've got a tough personality to put up with crap from people. I've been putting up with peoples' comments all of my life and not much bothers me. Hubby takes more to heart than I do. He grew up in a tough neighborhood, but he's got a good heart. He's the kind of person who will help you until his last ounce of strength is gone. Then he'll figure out how he can help you more.

I also don't like aggravation. Hubby and I are too old to play games with people which is why we're considering leaving our home. We live in the country to have peace and quiet. We like to garden. We enjoy sitting outside by a campfire in the evenings to listen to the tree frogs and crickets. It's just when we mention common sense things to people - nicely - is when we get chewed out from top to bottom. C'mon! Common sense is common sense! It seems to be at an all time low in our area! We are not know-it-alls. We learn new things every day. We make mistakes and take guidance from others...even when guidance is not asked for. We at least consider a new viewpoint before we make rash decisions. We look at things from all angles before making decisions, which is what we're trying to do right now.

Copping out and leaving means we'll be leaving behind a piece of land that has 12 years of our history written on it. Two of our dogs are buried here. Another thing is, we'll be taking ourselves with us. For us, that is a good thing. However, whatever we're experiencing now will follow us in another way. It happens. We can't run away from ourselves. Maybe we're creating our problems? Hmmmm. Maybe we're going against what is being asked for us to do? We're not listening to our inner guidance systems? Hmmmm.

If we stay and tough it out, then we'll feel like we have a strong backbone. We can decide not to communicate with certain people. We can create our own little experience on our land without the help of others. We can live our lives as we wish as long as we're physically able. Then we'll be able to bury our last two dogs with their sisters.

I don't like the thought of leaving. I love everything about us and where we live. We have a good life doing as we do. I'm all for staying. I just hope Hubby will feel the same way once this last issue blows over.

Sorry for the rant and rave. Thanks for reading. This is better than professional help. : )

Take care.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pollen. Yuk.

Right now, everything that blooms is in bloom. We have pine trees, yellow jessamine, spring flowers-mainly azaleas, oak trees, spring bulbs and anything that has pollen is blooming. EVERYTHING is yellowish inside the house and outside. There is a slight breeze and my black dog's fur is yellowish. Hubby washed my truck for me yesterday and it was pollen-ized within an hour. I walk 4 blocks into work from the parking lot and my black coat was coated with pollen. Allergies are horrible!

We had a little bit of blessed rain early this morning. This wets down the pollen and keeps it from flying everywhere. The counties around us are expecting a storm. We are not. Hopefully, the wind will change and bring us some rain.

How is your area when spring comes? Got pollen?

Take care.

P.S.  We did get that rain that was supposed to pass us by. Yay!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Today, On The Farm

We were supposed to have a visitor early this morning, so I didn't stay in the house. I decided to clean up around the yard a little bit. So I picked up puppy poo. Then I raked the River Willow branches from one sidewalk and put them in a burn pile. No visitor, yet. Then I got out the ladder and sawed off the dead stuff from the baby willow tree. It looks really nice now, but it's kind of bald. Like I say...dead is dead and it has to be removed. Then I trimmed off the dead branches from two Rose Mallow plants. No visitor, yet. Then I trimmed off a lot of the vines from the Confederate Jasmine plant. They were growing up into the weeping willow tree so I hacked them off. Still no visitor. So I scrubbed out the bird bath really good and filled it with water. Then I climbed the big willow and cut out all of the dead branches from there. There were a lot of large branches to cut. I carry pruners in one back pocket and a collapsible saw in another when I climb. I didn't get up as high as I'd like to have, but it will do for now. No visitor. I pulled some weeds from the flower garden. We have some kind of nasty weed here that has a tuber underground that looks like a white radish. It's a scourge! After that, I took a break and watched a little TV. Visitor came and left. We ate. I got lazy. End of day.

How was your day? Take care.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I recently saw the movie Avatar. I LOVED it! The person who wrote that must've been on some kind of trip to imagine something like that. I think the animator was on the same trip. I understand it was made for 3-D viewing, but the effects were really wonderful on HD. What imagination!

My hubby moved one of our outside lights from near the house to our back part of the driveway. We needed to get a little bit of light back there so we can see to turn around in the dark. This is situated next to my beautiful willow tree. Remember that tree from a few posts ago?

Where am I going with this one, you say?
As I was letting the dogs out for their final break before we go night-night, I noticed the willow glowing from the light that was just moved. It was gracefully swaying with a slight breeze and I instantly thought 'Eywa'. I have my own version of a real, live Eywa in my yard! It is so cool to see this effect at night. I've been trying to get a pic of it to put here, but it is very hard to do. If I do get one, I'll surely post it.

Take care. I hope you have a really cool day!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Got Neighbors? (rant)

We got 'em to the left of us and to the right of us. Real close, even though we've got a lot of property. Our land runs longwise, so we're physically close to the neighbors.

Living out here in the sticks, we still have issues. We had them today. 'Nuf said!

Just needed to rant today.

Take care. Hope your day was happy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Biscuits!

I shared with you my recipe for baking powder biscuits a few posts ago. Now let me share with you my version of cheddar biscuits. They are similar to the ones you find in a famous restaurant, but I like my version better. Of course, I'm partial to my own cooking. But, hey! Who isn't partial to their own cooking?

Michelle's Better Cheddar Biscuits

Use my biscuit recipe from March 12, 2013.

Extra ingredients:
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or a little more if you like
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, including the garlic powder. Add butter and shortening and cut into flour mixture until it is very well dispersed. Add cheddar and stir well until the cheddar is fully coated. Add milk. Stir until blended. Turn out onto floured surface. Fold and press dough upon itself 5 or 6 times. This will make layers. Cut and place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 20 minutes. The biscuits will be nicely browned when done.

Here you have it! Right out of the oven they'll be nice and warm and tasty. Slather them with butter and eat! Yummy with chili, BBQ ribs, fried or baked chicken, etc. I even eat them for breakfast and snack!

Have a yummy day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Homemade Sloppy Joes for Dinner

Today we had homemade sloppy joes for dinner. Yummy!
Homemade Rolls & Sloppy Joes
I was trying to figure out what we could have for dinner. I spent half of my day trying to be creative. We hadn't had them for a while. Since we had the homemade rolls from Sunday, Hubby agreed that sloppy joes would be good. Who am I to turn down homemade rolls?!

Here's how I made them. I'm pretty good at knocking off recipes by taste, so here's my version.

Michelle's Homemade Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, minced
1/4 green pepper, minced
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, heaping

Brown the beef until almost done. Add the onion and green pepper. After onions turn transparent, add sweet relish. Heap the spoonfuls of relish or use about 1/4 cup relish. Stir until warm through and add ketchup - just enough to make them sloppy. Add to buns and you're done! Enjoy!

I'd like to say that ketchup is a wonder condiment. It has so many spices and flavors in it that it is good in a lot of dishes I make. You don't really need salt and pepper when you use ketchup. There's enough salt in it anyway.

I hope you enjoy my recipes. Leave me a comment if you've tried them. I'll be glad to post more recipes later. If you have a recipe you're looking for or need an idea for a certain ingredient, ask me. I may have a good recipe for you.

Take care.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Biscuits, Anyone?

Baking Powder Biscuits
I thought I'd share my biscuit recipe with you since I tempted you with all of those other goodies I made this past weekend. I've used the same recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook for years. However, I got to experimenting a little and made a better tasting biscuit, IMHO. ; )

Michelle's Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups white flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of plain yogurt or buttermilk or sour cream
3/4 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of shortening (looks like lard stuff)

Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Add butter and shortening and cut into flour mixture until it is very well dispersed. You shouldn't see any large lumps in the flour. Add milk and either plain yogurt or buttermilk or sour cream. I like using yogurt or buttermilk. Stir until blended. Turn out onto floured surface. Fold and press dough upon itself 5 or 6 times. This will make layers. Cut and place onto an ungreased baking sheet. I use a flat pizza stone. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 20 minutes. The biscuits will be nicely browned when done.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Flowers Blooming

You know it's Spring when the flowers start blooming.
Mini Daffodils
The mini daffodils are one of those surprise bulbs you get at the lawn center. It says daffodils, but it doesn't say mini anywhere on the package. Too cute! I love them. Pardon the weeds in the background. I haven't had time to get any further than this part of my flower gardens.
Peach Blossoms
Peach blossoms are so pretty! There are only a couple out right now. This means it's time to spray for bugs before the blossoms all come out. If you don't spray, some kind of bug will crawl up into the blossom and lay eggs so it messes up the fruit. Not a good thing! Yes, that's my house in the background. I have a picnic pavilion in front of it that you can see. The red shed to the left is the chicken hotel. The little white hut is our water pump house.
Strawberry Flower
Yes! The strawberry plants are still blooming. Actually, they've been blooming since December, but the frost hits them and you have to get rid of the burnt flowers. This next pic is what I'm talking about.
Frost-burnt Strawberry Flowers
These are prime examples of what a frost-burnt flower looks like. The frost kills the strawberry dead and you should remove the flower so that the plant puts effort into making more roots and flowers. Don't leave it on thinking it will come back. It's dead. Dead is dead. The plant will reward you if you take these off, so don't be afraid to pluck it. If you do pluck one, please notice that the center feels empty. That is a dead strawberry. So pluck away! Plucking or pruning off dead flowers is called dead-heading your flowers.

Take care and see you tomorrow!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Busy Weekend!

This weekend I put food into the freezer. Woo hoo!!! What I do is pre-make food and put it into the freezer for using later. I like to do this every so often so we can have a variety of foods to warm up during the week. That way I don't have to do so much work during the week. This should last us about a month. I think you'll agree that I've really been busy!

I started on Saturday by making garlic and cheddar biscuits. Then I made Spanish Rice with rice left over to make Peppered Rice on Sunday. Then I made stuffed shells, gnocchi, cookies, banana bread. I pre-freeze the stuffed shells and gnocchi so I can put them into a container and they don't stick together when I pull them out of the freezer. It takes a little time, but it's worth it to be able to get just what I need out of the freezer.
Today, I finished off by making the Peppered Rice, meatballs and cheater stuffed cabbage. In between making all of this, I made bread dough for dinner rolls, pepperoni rolls and cinnamon pull-apart. This just finished baking a few minutes ago. I'll break apart the rolls and slice the pepperoni rolls to put into the freezer for later. Pre-cooking foods is the way to go, in my book! It helps out so much.
Cheater Stuffed Cabbage
Pepperoni Roll
I make all of this and then I portion it out so we don't have to eat so much at one time. It's just two of us and we both have special diets. So it's really necessary that we eat foods that we can control. For Hubby, we watch starch per his doctor. For me, we watch chemicals because this is what I've found to exacerbate my health problems. Even though I make some starchy items, Hubby can eat as long as we monitor everything with his glucose meter. And I just watch everything else to make sure I don't create any electrical problems for myself. The best part is I control everything that goes into our bodies with what I make. Pardon me, but health problems really suck! I have really been blessed by God with my knowledge of cooking. We are both fortunate for this ability!

Here is my recipe for Cheater Stuffed Cabbage, that's what I call it. We had this for dinner tonight.

1# ground beef
1/2# smoked sausage - sliced into 1/2" rounds
1/2 chopped cabbage
1/2 chopped onion
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 8 oz. can water
1/2 or 1 14 oz. can of sauerkraut, drained
Salt and pepper

Brown ground beef and smoked sausage. Add onions, cabbage, tomato sauce, the tomato sauce can full of water and the sauerkraut. This should be enough water because the cabbage and onions will give up a lot of water when cooked. Cover and cook on low, stirring every so often to mix ingredients. When everything is cooked, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

Note: I left some sausages whole for Hubby's sandwiches for lunch. If you like kraut, add the whole can. If not, you can use 1/2 can or omit the kraut, totally. There will be a flavor difference if you omit the kraut! 

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Take care.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Whole Other Rat Post - Or, Having Fun in The Dark

OK. I promise, for a while after this post, that I will not post anything more on rats. That is, until something interesting comes up. ; )

As I mentioned a few posts back, it is not all that easy to shoot rats. I don't mean with a shotgun or a rifle. That would be way too much firepower for these little things. I'm meaning with BB guns and pellet guns.

Now for the story...

Last year, hubby and I decided we'd had enough of the rats running rampant in our barn. First rule for building a barn: Do NOT insulate the walls. If you do, you're inviting rats to burrow into them and make nests. THEN you have millions of the little creatures running around everywhere.

A little about me. Way back, when I was very young, I was really good at shooting BB guns. I practiced with my brother's gun for a long time. Then, when I started dating, sometimes I'd go to an arcade with a boyfriend. I'd knock down a bunch of stuff at the shooting gallery and the BF always said someone else must've been doing that.

Fast forward 30-some years...Hubby and I went to a local farm store and bought me a BB gun. Brand-spanking-new! Just for me! He and I were going to shoot the rats in the barn and we were going to get rid of the buggers! Yeah! So, what did hubby and I decide to do? We decided to set up shop for nightly shoots.

Picture this: We set up our chairs and our supply of pellets and BBs beside us. We went out after dinner and took up our places. We had the lights out because we didn't want them to get spooked. So we waited in the dark and raised our guns. Ka-ting! Missed. Thwak! Missed. Ka-ting-ting-ting! Missed (ricochet). Thwak! Missed. Ka-ting! BB came back at me. Thwak! Pellet missed again. Ka-ting-ting! Thwak! Ka-ting! Thwak. All misses. We spent a couple of hours a night trying to shoot these moving targets, and didn't get a single one! It's pretty poor when you have a couple of seasoned small gun shooting senior citizens sitting in the dark, shooting at bunches of little moving targets that shouldn't be missed.

Who says you can't have fun in the dark?!

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Freaking Fantastic Blog and List Building Challenge

I suppose you've been wondering why I've been blogging for consecutive days, lately? I've taken a challenge to blog for 30 days straight. So far, I'm doing good! I don't remember who said this, but they say to make an action into a habit, you have to do it for 30 days in a row. It's getting to the point where I'm missing blogging if I get late with a post. Hmmmm. Maybe 'they' are right!

In a nutshell, Tiffany Dow has a marketing blog for people to learn how to create better content for their blogs and websites. She is very straight-forward with her writing and it is very interesting to read what she has to say. If you have a tendency to have your feelings hurt, don't read her blog. She tells it like it is. Her challenge is called The Freaking Fantastic Blog and List Building Challenge and it's open to anyone. Go ahead and join!

I am totally enjoying reading what other people are blogging about. It is fun to see who is checking my blog out, too! I am finding out that there are a LOT of interesting folks out there writing about things they love. My love is my homelife, little farm (sort of) and my animals. If you check out my blog from time to time, that is what you'll be seeing on here. 

Hopefully, you'll take the time to check out Tiffany's blog and the rest of the interesting folks in the comments section who are busy writing about things they love.

Take care. Happy Blogging!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Baby Strawberry Plants

A few posts ago, I showed you a picture of our large strawberry patch. We also have one for baby plants the I just couldn't turn under for compost.
Strawberry Nursery
Here they are. They are so tiny! I think these are the ones which came up from the seeds on the sides of rotten strawberries that I threw on the ground last year. The reason I think this, is that the plants are so tiny and they do not have a runner attached to them. There are about 135 plants here. This year they shouldn't bear fruit. They will grow and propagate themselves into another massive plot of plants. Next year, they will have fruit. I make a nursery like this in case something goes terribly wrong with the main berry patch. Then we'll have backups for planting next year. I do this with a lot of things. If you look up to the very top of this photo, you'll see another raised bed. This is my other nursery for herbs, onions and flowers that were too small to do anything with last year. I've already moved a lot of the small plants out of there and into their new home. In a little while, my herbs will take off. I have some onions planted in there, too. That is the green color you see.

So long for now. Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Why I Kill Rats

Awww! They ARE so cute. I love to watch them run around and play. However, here are my reasons for wanting them out of the coop.

1.  Once they establish, you will be overrun with them. All it takes is one litter to make a mess of your property.

2.  They chew holes through just about anything.

3.  They BM everywhere! You clean it, more BM shows up.

4.  They tinkle everywhere! You can't get the smell out of whatever they tinkle on.

5.  They shred insulation and carry it everywhere.

6.  They are fast! You can't shoot them easily. (This is a whole other post...maybe.)

7.  They eat everything except rat poison.

8.  They carry diseases, including rabies.

Yeah. I used to be a no-kill person until the day those 15 ran the rafters over my head. It would've been OK, but the roof was 6 foot high. The rafters were pretty low. The good thing is they are more afraid of me than I was of them and they ran like blue blazes. Now, if one would've fallen on my head, I'd probably have been institutionalized out of fright.

I hope you don't think bad of me for snapping them in a trap. They are REALLY a nuisance.

Take care.

P.S.  All bait suggestions are welcome. ; )

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Drat that Rat! (Not for queasy stomachs.)

We have chickens. Therefore, we have rats! Yeah. The big buggers!

We don't have just any ol' rats. We have smart wood rats. We bought this to humanely catch and release them.
Humane Small Animal Trap
We baited with yummy peanut butter. We tried yummy bacon. We mixed peanut butter and seeds. We sprinkled a light trail to the trap. We did everything we could think of, baited with everything we thought a rat would find yummy, and the rats are way too smart to take the bait.

Then, we tried the rat poison blocks. I'm not keen on them because if your pet gets a hold of them, the Coumadin in the blocks could kill your babies. Now, if you have 15 rats climbing the rafters a few inches from your head when you walk into the coop, this sounds like a pretty good solution, right? Guess again. They wouldn't touch it.

Then, we tried the spring-loaded traps. We caught a few with these traps. This was our best weapon, but it wasn't foolproof. Yeah. They snapped the traps without getting caught and ate the bait. I even attached the bait with dental floss so they couldn't take the bait without snapping the trap. The rats wouldn't touch it so the fire ants ate all of that bait.

When's the best time to catch rats? In the winter when the fire ants aren't so active. Otherwise, you'll lose your bait to the ants by morning.

Sorry for the bad post, but such is the life on the little farmstead.

Take care.

Monday, March 4, 2013

No More Weeping, My Willow.

The little green haze on our willow tree is a very welcome sight! This is a sure sign spring is almost here.
Greening of the Willow
This is my favorite tree to hide in. Every year I climb into the tree and prune out all of the dead branches. Dead is dead and it has to come out sometime. It may as well be at my hand...or, should I say possibly broken neck. LOL! I'm over 50 and you still can't keep me out of the tree. I love climbing trees!!!

Sometimes, when it is in full leaf, I go up there to trim and hubby doesn't see me. He couldn't if he tried because it's so dense with leaves. I watch him go from here to there to the neighbor's house and back. It is too funny, but I let him go. Then I'll call him from up in the tree. 'Where are you?' he says. 'I'm up here!' I say. He just shakes his head and lets me do my thing. This tree, in the pic, is about 30' high. I only go as high as I can before the branches sway. As it gets older, I'll go up higher!

We planted the tree about 8 or 9 years ago. This spot got a lot of water and you can see the tree loves it here. We bought a companion for it about 5 years ago and the smaller tree is still small. It grew a little bit, but not like this one. If you look closely, I have a small white bird feeder in it. I build these out of scrap wood and place them in a lot of my trees. I have about 7 around the yard. I have another one that was given to me and one I bought. I'll be making more feeders soon because these ones are starting to rot a bit. The birds don't care. They've been asking for seed and I've been procrastinating about filling the feeders. I'll make a note to do it tomorrow.

That's it for today. Take care. Climb safely! ; )

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Flea Market Sunday

Today is flea market Sunday. We usually go on Saturday, but I was expecting a couple of people to get some items I had on Craigslist. That didn't happen. Our flea market has a huge hispanic tent with all kinds of fresh veggies and hispanic delicacies. Yummy! The price for the veggies is about 1/2 the price I would normally pay at the regular grocery store. The tent is very clean and it is SO busy! It is totally worth the long trip to get there. Hubby loves getting his fruit there. It is much fresher than a grocery store and it doesn't go bad as quickly. WE LOVE IT!!!

Today was housework day. I clean, do laundry and make food for the week. I think hubby likes this day because he gets some good food made. He's a bit spoiled, but I like him that way! LOL!

I hope all of you had a good weekend. Take care.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

No More Poopy Coop!

Today is the funnest day of the month! Not really!

Coop cleaning is one of the messiest, stinkiest and dirtiest things I do. Top that off with an escapee chicken and nosy dogs, then you have a day of learning how to do many things at one time. Mainly, watching lots of animals at one time so no one gets hurt or eats stuff they shouldn't. (Yuk!)

However, it's a very quiet job. Raise hands to show how many would want to do this job? Thought so. These are my babies and I take care of them.

 Around the house, if you want something, you do it. This has been my job for about the past 10 years. They are so cute! All of my pet chickens have gone to the great farmyard in the sky. I used to be able to hold them or let them ride on my shoulder. Lola was the last pet chicken to go. She was really funny and a holding chicken. She liked jewelry and always pecked at my earrings and rings. That was the easiest way to catch her. Flash her some bling, and she'd come running!

Well. I have to go for the day.

Take care.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Picture of Our Strawberry Patch

Here it is in all of its glory! Ta daaaaaaah!

Big Strawberry Patch
There are about 1100 plants in this area. I'm tired!

Our one experiment is the difference between using the black landscape fabric and the clear plastic. We are going to see which grows best. I'm betting on the landscape fabric because of the porosity.

Our other experiment is the piping in the foreground. We took 50 foot long garden hoses and pierced them with 1/8" holes about every 6". We hooked them up to PVC pipe and a petcock to control the water flow.  It works really well. We'll have to see how it does over the summer.

We wanted to make it easier and more efficient to water. If we get to the roots quicker and without the water flying through the air on sprinklers, then we can get them watered in a shorter time. We can also save on evaporation. We water at night, so we don't usually get a lot of evaporation. Yeah, I know. We should water during the day so the leaves don't rot. We've never watered in the daytime because of burning the leaves. We get temps of 90 to 100+ degrees during the day. We've never had rot or mold on our plants by watering at night.

Wish us luck with our experiments!

Take care. Happy farming!