Thursday, June 30, 2011

Party Prep

I've been gearing up for our big party this weekend. was going to be big.  Everyone we asked said they would love for us to have a big blow out on the 4th.  But in reality it is going to be a small affair with just a few family and friends.  Still, I'm trying to spruce things up around here.  It's not an easy task alone. The kids are out of town, Jon is working overtime, and Caedon....well Caedon.  This week I've managed to bath the dogs, power wash the outside of the house, scrub toilets, and pick up every piece of debris from the yard.  The dogs have inevitable rolled in the mud.  The inside dogs decided to shake it all off in the bathroom. The chickens have now soiled the back steps again and after washing the the dogs there is mud splash all over my washed house.  To add insult to injury not only did the dogs pull a sack of trash from the yard out of the burn pile, but they found a sack of old cloths and tarps left from the previous owners in the barn.  That is now all over the yard as well.  I think I'm actually making negative progress. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I never understood why God told the Israelites that they couldn't eat pork or keep pigs.  I mean lets face it.  Pork is AWESOME!  You got bacon for BLTs.  Ham for Easter (which is ironic considering the holiday is in celebration of a Jew).  Sausage gravy and biscuits.  Pulled pork sandwiches.  RIBS!  It definitely wasn't God protecting them from a foul tasting beast.  Some argue that it was because pigs are filthy.  Not true.  Pigs are filthy if they are forced to live in filthy conditions.  You know what's filthy?  Chickens are filthy but perfectly Kosher.  So why on Earth did God forbid the Jews from eating or touching pork?  I know the answer.  CLARK.  If the Israelites had had one CLARK in every herd of pigs they tended then they would have spent 80 years wandering the wilderness instead of 40 trying to find their pigs.  If they had had one CLARK they would never have won any battles because they were so tired from building new contraptions to keep him in.  Just one CLARK in every pig herd would have cause the entire spiritual down fall of a nation because the ANGER that ensued from trying do deal with wily pigs.  Yep.  God knows what He's doing.  He loved the Israelites so much he forbade pigs.  But they never had a BLT.  It's all worth it for a BLT.  Right?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Makin' Bacon

If you looked on my Animal Tracker page you may have noticed something very exciting.  I witnessed a breeding between Lois and Clark on Friday!!!!  We will know in 21 days if it took.  Pigs go into heat every 21 days so if she doesn't go into heat then she is PREGNANT!  If she is expecting we can expect piglets 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days from last Friday.  That will be October 18th.  Sweet!

Lana has not shown much sign of going into heat although she was standing for Clark too when Lois was.  Lana is a month younger so she may be going into her first heat right now.  I'll let you know!  Keep an eye on Animal Tracker for updates too.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Page on my Blog

If you haven't noticed, there is a new page on my blog.  It's called Animal Tracker.  This page is mainly for me, but I thought others might enjoy keeping track of who's being born or bred!  I've got to now!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Remember Squaccini?

Well after we cooked him up he actually tasted more like Squacumber.  It had a distinctly cucumber tang but looked like the above picture.  Not my favorite taste but perfectly edible.

When I got home from Dallas there was a surprise on the same plant.  This monstrosity.'s orange.  I figured it was edible too so I sliced it up for a stir fry of sorts.  It was very hard to slice.  My first thought was I had picked it too early but I left it on the vine for days and it never got bigger.  That wasn't the answer.  So I cooked him up and tasted it.  I had to spit it out!  It was tough an just plain weird tasting.  So my weird plant just got weirder.  I dub this vegetable a Squmpkin.  A mix between a squash and pumpkin (I do have pumpkin growing near too.). Of course it could be a Zuccmkin or a pumpkinni.  Or even possibly a pumpkuash.  Who cares.  You can't eat it.  I wish I had saved some seeds though.  It's kind of exciting to see what weird thing will grow next!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Hate.....


I know I said they were a joy.  But that ONE!  That stupid Clark!!!  He will not stay in his stupid pen and it's a piggy freakin' wonderland in there!  He better get to makin' bacon pretty quick or he runs the risk of BEING bacon.

But he makes the most precious squeaks.  I can't stay mad long.  Until he disapears again anyway.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I never really got a chance to brag about this meal.

It started out like this:
And this:

With this intermediary step:
To wind up with this:

The only things that were not grown on our place was the rice and BBQ sauce but I got those for free from couponing.  That looks pretty good for a "free" meal if I do say so myself.  I can't even describe the incredible taste. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Piggy Pleasures

I got home on Saturday and first thing I went to check on the pigs.  I got into the pen finally after being accousted by a flock of chickens and a pack of dogs.  I didn't see any of them at first but I figured they were staying out of the God aweful heat in their pig hut.  I peeked in and saw all three laying there.  At first they startled a bit but then the cutest thing happened.  They dashed out of the hut and began rubbing up against my legs like cats.  They were making this rapid fire "sqeak-oink" that I could have sworn was laughter.  I never in a million years thought these next words would come out of my mouth.  Pigs are a joy.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I love onions.  When a recipe calls for onion I put twice as much in.  I love onions raw on hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches.  My Dadadee loves onions even more.  He will eat them raw all by themselves.  I can't do that.  I have indigestion just thinking about it!  There is one thing I don't like about onions though.  The tears, the snot, and the pain.  Slicing an onion and it's fume production are no fun.  One time I heard someone say that if you don't remove the papery shell from the onion while slicing it will not make you cry.  Brilliant!!  The next onion I sliced I tried the new technique.  The slicing of the onion, indeed, did not produce the mucous response from eyes or nose as advertised.  No tears, no snot, no pain.  There was one problem though that was no mentioned in the new cutting technique.  What to do with the papery shell!  It was all in pieces within the usable onion.  I started picking it out piece by piece.  It was painfully tedious  and frustrating.  I decided then and there I would take the tears and pain over this any day.  I could have been done cooking by now!

It was then that God spoke to me.  Yes, while picking onion pieces.  It wasn't the burning bush or thundery voice kind of words.  It was the "knowing something all at once" kind of word.  Suddenly I knew that growing in God, and getting healing for our wounds was like chopping onions.  Sometimes we become aware of a weakness or hurt in our lives.  Depending on the person and the hurt, you can dive right in, remove that protective layer, experience the pain and the tears and get it done.  Then you can move on with the next part of the project (ie life).  But some hurts are so painful and powerful that they will take time.  Or maybe time is what has caused them to be such.  When God brings them before you, all the pieces are mixed in together, the good and the bad.  It takes time to pick through and get out the protective layer to reveal the tender usable part  Neither approach is good or bad.  It's just a way to deal with growth and pain.  Sometimes you may feel confident about an issue or a moment has presented itself for instant triumph.  Or you may spend an lifetime on one issue picking and picking away until finally, only in the presence of the King can it vanish completely.

If you don't like onions, to bad.  Onions are in everything.  Learn to like them, or at least grin and bear it when you are served!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Passion Horse Rescue

I am so sore, sunburned and exhausted.  I took the opportunity while in Dallas to visit with a friend who volunteers at a horse rescue.  I use the word "visit" lightly.  Yesterday I helped put up part of a new fence, hauled feed sacks, wormed horses and walked about 100 miles following the hay tractor to open and close gates for it.  I had a BLAST!!!!!  I'm not being sarcastic in the least.  Really I'm should know me better by now.  Ok it still sounds sarcastic but I'm not being sarcastic.  I loved working with Sara and Deb out on the ranch.  I loved getting to meet some of the most special horses in the world.  I learned so much about horse behavior and sadly about the dark side of human behaviour.  Passion Horse rescues, primarily, PMU horses.  PMU is short for Pregnant Mare Urine.  It's the main ingredient in a popular menopausal hormone replacement drug (name brand Premarin).  Yep!  Horse pee.  I won't go into the grizzly details of the plight of these horses.  You can google that and depress yourself on your own.  I will tell you of the great work that Passion Horse is doing.  I can tell you that the horses in their care are receiving all the love, training, and nourishment they require and deserve.  I can tell you I tried to stuff a 2 month old draft horse named Moose in the back seat of my car.  Well that would be a lie, but I was trying to work out the logistics in my brain.  At one point I was trying to calculate how long it would take to WALK him back to Oklahoma.  That's just how darling this baby is.  You can see pictures of him on their website.  He's on the home page under newcomers.  His real name is Bullseye.  You can also see other horses they have for adoption along with stories of heartbreak and triumph.  I know like me, most of you can not afford a horse right now...or maybe ever.  but if you have a couple of bucks to donate on their website, or for you Dallasites even a couple of hours to get some fresh air and hammer a few nails in the new fence they could probably use some volunteers too.

I just thought I was getting out of chores this week!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reappearing Chick

Jon called yesterday afternoon and said he started hearing peeping from Eythan's room.  After an, I'm sure comical, chase he managed to return the flighty guinea to his family in the brooder.  Now if they will stay in and predators will stay out.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Mysterious Case of the Disapearing Chicks

Last week I was admiring my baby guineas and my two baby Marans when I realized, there was only ONE baby Maran in the brooder.  Then it dawned on me that I used to have WAY more white guineas.  At first I thought that they had flown the coop.  But then I realized that one of the baby baby guineas was missing.  There was no way it could have gotten out.  Jon and I talked and decided that most likely when the kids were taking the 4 wheeler out, the cat was getting in and snatching a snack.  We were still left uneasy with the whole situation though.  Our babies were vulnerable.

I headed off to Dallas yesterday leaving Jon in charge of the daily workings of the farm.  I was sound asleep last night when my phone started ringing at about midnight.  It was Jon's ring tone and I was terrified at what it might be.  I answered and he says, "Check your email right now!".  Still a little groggy and confused I hung up and looked at my email.  This is the picture he sent me.

Mystery solved.  Jon said he was just about to go to bed when he heard noises coming from the brooder he had never heard before.  He said it sounded like a car alarm going off.  He ran in there to find on chick constricted to death, one in the process of being constricted, and the snake on the prowl for another bite.  Most of the chicks had flown out of the brooder (in spite of our attempts to wire them in as seen in the picture).  When Jon killed the snake with a near by shovel, several of them flew into the garage and one actually flew into the house and is till unaccounted for!  He managed to round them all up, except for the one in the house, and put them back in the brooder.  We lost a blue guinea.  That makes me sad because we only hatched 3 blues and they are really pretty. 

Hopefully this was the only snake visiting our buffet.

Monday, June 13, 2011


I picked this this morning. It's yellow like a squash but shapped like a zuccini with a little zuccini green at the top.
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Baby Got Backs

We spent all day (literally from 7am to 6pm) butchering, plucking, gutting, and icing our 17 cornish cross.  It was a dirty, wet, messy, and back breaking affair.  My mom offered to run down to the store and buy us chicken as she watched the labor go on.....and on.  The hardest part of the whole thing was how the chickens would walk right up to you when you went to go pick out the next one.  They always expect something good from me.  Saturday they were all disappointed.  I actually enjoyed the time with Jon though.  A lot of married couples we know don't have the same working relationship that Jon and I do.  We work well as a team and sitting next to him for 12 hours on Saturday was a blessing.  Having my mom there to watch the kids was a blessing.  It was almost like an extended date......with guts and feathers.  I'm sure there's a website for that.

And moving along...

Sunday Jon worked all day and I had to finish processing.  Doing it without him wasn't much fun.  I cut all the wings off the birds and put them in freezer bags of 10 each.  I quartered the birds and put a whole bird in each freezer bag and put the backs, about 5 each, into freezer bags for making broth.  I also separated the gizzards, necks, hearts, and livers into separate bags.  Lots of broth making in my future.

Monday I headed out for Dallas and left Jon at home working.  He also had some guys coming over later to do some work for him.  He called me part way through the day and said he was going to fix the guys some bbq as a thank you and wanted to know how I packaged the chickens.  I relayed the information and got back to my nephews party.  I didn't get home until quite late on Monday but Jon was still up and we talked for a while.  I asked him how the chicken tasted as I had not had a chance to eat any yet.  "It tasted fine." he said with some hesitation.  "But I'm just not sure about the way you cut it up.  There didn't seem to be any meat on the breasts."  I told him that there was a LOT of meat on the breast and wanted to know what he was talking about.  I spied the pile of bones from his cook out on the counter (still).  As I picked through them I couldn't contain myself.  "THESE ARE THE BACKS!"  I laughed.  I couldn't stop laughing and he still didnt' get it.  "There was wasn't much meat because this was the bag of backbones!" 

I'm so glad my husband has a sense of humor otherwise this story would be the death of me.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dear Diary

Diary of a Factory Chicken....

April 15

Dear diary,

Today I was born.  After some rough handling I found myself with others like myself in a vast, dusty, dim area.  We found food, water, and each others company.  It's warm and I feel safe.  I think I"m gonna like it here.

April 29

Dear Diary,

It's so dark.  There are some streaks of light across the floor for part of the day.  I wonder what makes them.  It would be nice to find out someday.  Speaking of the floor though.  It's pretty bad.  It's good we're all together,  but it makes a mess.  I don't really like standing in it.  We still have food and water though.  It could be worse.

May 13

Dear Diary,

I hurt.  My legs hurt and it's hard to breath.  Everyone else feels the same.  It must have gotten to some of them because everyday there are less of us.  The farmers come and give us food and take away the dead, usually.  I guess it's good some of us don't make it.  There is less and less room for us.  The food and water are steady though.  I'd really like to see the light.

May 20

Dear Diary,

I can no longer walk.  I just lie here in the stream of light thinking about what might be out there.  I scoot myself to food and water when needed.  The pain is immeasurable.  I don't feel well at all.  I"m tired of darkness and the closeness of the other birds that used to be a comfort.  I don't think I can go on.

May 27,

Dear Diary,

Today I saw the light.  For a moment as I was tossed from the dusty, dank, feces coated hole I'd only know into a truck I saw a green and blue world. I thought I would FINALLY get to see where the light comes from.  It was only a fleeting glimpse as my brothers and I were squeezed into tiny boxes and were again in complete darkness.  It is very hot.  There is no food or water.  I can't breath.

May 29

Today was a good day.  After days without food or water, in the dark, and dieing of heat they took us into another building.  I felt myself going as pain rushed into my body over and over and over.  I feel nothing now.  Today was a good day.

Diary of a Homestead Chicken

April 15

I was born today.  I saw other chicks like me and faces.  The faces were those of the farmer and her family.  I'd been hearing their voices for a while.

April 17

Today the farmer gave me sweet water.  YUM! and food.  She put me in a warm box with my brothers.  I like it here.

April 22

I hate that farmer.  She took my food away at night and I like to eat.  But I'm still here in this warm box with my brothers.  She does bring the food back in the morning.  And I like the smell of fresh wood chips.  And I still have water (although it's not sweet anymore)  I guess it's not all bad.

May 5

Today was kind of scary.  Farmer took us out of our comfy box.  She put us outside where there was light!  We stood on this green stuff called grass.  GRASS!  Grass is soooo good.  It was scary but our box was getting a little cramped.

May 12

Bugs are GOOD!  It is so fun running around chasing them.

May 19
Farmer gave us scratch!  I LOVE scratch, and grass and seeds and bugs.  I love sunlight and trying to fly.  I will fly one day.

May 28

Today was a bad day.  When the farmer came to us in the morning she didn't leave FOOD!  Instead she picked me up.  I didn't mind that.  She did that often.  She said, "Thank You."  I'm not sure what that was about.  But then she did the oddest thing.  She flipped me upside down!  It startled me, but was a little relaxing.  Then there was an awful pain in my neck for a moment.  I was sleepy then and went to sleep.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What a week!

So things did not slow down after the accident last week.  Friday came and so did dress rehearsal and being a room mom for that event.  Jon is also on double overtime for all of the tornadoes that came through last week so trying to juggle parenting is not easy.  Then Saturday Jon "took off" and we literally spent the entire day slaughtering chickens.  I might post about that later when I have time to process it a little more.  Then Saturday evening was Charis' recital.  Sunday I spent all morning quartering chickens then took Charis to her last Ballet recital.  THAT was anther issue because Jon was working in OKC and they wouldn't let me bring Caedon into the backstage area because he was a boy.  I couldn't help my little girl get ready for her recital.  I was bummed.  We got home and I finished quartering chickens.  Then I got a call from Jon.  "Come down to the driveway and go make a copy for me."  WHAT?  I look out the window and see emergency lights from several vehicles.  I hopped on the 4-wheeler and sped down there thinking someones dead.  Jon had had a fender bender with an older gentleman as he was turning into our driveway.  Everyone was fine, but apparently all the emergency workers in the neighboring cities had nothing to do.  There were 2 county sheriffs, a highway patrolman, and 3 fire vehicles from 3 cities!  There were also several citizens who stopped.  They hadn't seen the accident, but I guess they had nothing to do either.  It was a regular party.  It was well past dark when I towed Jon's work vehicle up the driveway BACKWARDS!  THEN we're on to Monday.  I drove to Dallas for my nephews first birthday, leaving Jon to work his butt off.  I didn't get home until after 10pm.  Of course Tuesday came around and they still hadn't done Wesson's surgery and said they wouldn't do it until Wednesday.  I took Charis early to her girl scout camp and got home in time for Jon to tell me I had to drive him to Ada to pick up a rental car.  Drove to Ada and back just in time to pick Charis up from camp which was just in time to head off to OKC for a girl scout reward outing for earning her bronze award.  We didn't get home until after 10pm.  Up again this morning to take her back to camp.  I'm home now and I had a few minutes to blog.  Sorry if I made you tired.  We are waiting on word from the Vet.  Pray for Wesson and us.  We visited him yesterday and his recovery will not be fun.  Doc said he won't be able to stand for a month, so we will be cleaning up after him.  Yuck.