Monday, August 31, 2009

When God Speaks Out Of The Whirlwind

The Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible. It was written during the time of the Patriarchs (Methusalah,Abraham,Isaac,Jacob, Joseph)~somewhere in that time period.Last night I didn't sleep well. Several things were going through my mind concerning a friend who is hurting a great deal.Her 5 year old son passed away several months ago.I thought of Job, a man who hadstrong convictions and a strong relationship with and love for God.So does my friend and her husband.However, a strong relationship with God will not sidestep grief or its' stages .And so, Job ran through my mind.I realized during my night musings that Job was written BEFORE Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers ,Deuteronomy.This was nothing new to me but it suddenly occurred to me that since God inspired the writing of the scriptures that He determined it should be written long before the account of Creation was given to Moses and long before the giving of the Law.The Hurting of Job preceded the Ten Commandments.It preceded the 613 Laws given in the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible).I wondered if it was because God is not distanced from us but is acutely in tune with our sorrows .Laughter, grief,anger,fear,frustration ,relief,hope,despair,etc are all emotions that are part of the soul.
Two interesting verses in Exodus 6:2-3 state "And God spake unto Moses,and said unto him,I am the LORD :And I appeared unto Abraham,unto Isaac,and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them." The Hebrew words for God Almighty are El Shaddai .('El' equivalent to 'power'and means God.'Shaddai' refers to the Almighty but the root of the word, 'Shad' is also the word for a woman's breast. God is the nurturer and all sufficient One.(NO, he's not female).He lacks nothing to provide for our needs.As you get into the Books of the Law, especially Leviticus, you learn of the Holiness of God, hence His name Jehovah.It comes from a combination of two root hebrew words~ "Yah" and "Havah" meaning 'To Be ' and the 'Self Existant One' (another study all in itself).
Job understood God as his provider,that He nurtured him and his understanding of God was that if he(Job) conducted himself righteously and obeyed God than he would not be cursed .Job genuinely wanted to please God .

The above picture suggests that while you think that you are in the darkest of night,something worse beyond your wildest imagination is coming toward you. What do you do?
Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch woman who lived in Holland during the German occupation under Hitler. Her family hid Jews and helped them escape out of the country.Eventually they were caught.The father died of a heart attack before he was shipped to a concentration camp,her brother and his wife were killed.They managed a nursing home and cared for mentally retarded people.I forget what happened to Nollie, her sister but I know she died.She also lost another sister in the concentration to starvation & illness that ensued.Corrie survived and held onto her faith in Jesus Christ that she and her sister shared with others in the camps they were sent to.But she survived alone.All of her family were dead.Christmas would never be the same.Her famous story I never forgot was one her father told her.She asked her dad, when she was very young,a question that would require an explanation about the 'birds & the bees'.She was too young to understand at the time. Her father said to her, "Corrie, do you remember when we went to the train station and had the heavy suitcase?" She said, "Yes", she remembered. "It was too heavy for you to carry, although you struggled and tried. I said, 'Corrie, Let me carry this for you',and so we got on the train and continued on.". Corrie said that some things are too heavy a burden to carry and we must surrender them to God to carry for us.
It was not over for Corrie Ten Boom when she was released from the concentration camp.After the War she prayed for where God would use her. She would surrender her life to Him and serve Him. She became involved in Half Way Houses for concentration camp survivors to help them recover.One day she was at a speaking engagement where a large group of people gathered and she spoke of the Forgiveness of God and Salvation that was given freely to all . Lo and behold, who stood in the group but a German soldier who was in the camp where Corrie was imprisoned.He was involved with the death of her sister.Out of nowhere a darkness and hatred for this man resurrected itself. She wanted others to be Saved, but he was different.Not him. She wanted him punished, to suffer like her sister and so many others had.After she spoke, this man approached her with tears in his eyes ,broken and filled with remorse.As I recall, he did not remember her but she sure remembered him.Her most difficult decision and SURRENDER to God was to forgive this man.She later told him who she was and her concentration camp story and gave him her forgiveness. She said that at that moment a very great weight was lifted from her.Consider how she became a commrade to Christ in spiritual warfare and learned, first hand,the first lesson of agape' love~ forgiveness.
The New Jerusalem, the capital city of God,is described in Revelation.It is surrounded by 12 gates in its walls. The foundations are jewels and a huge pearl is in each gate.You must enter through a pearl. What is involved in the making of a pearl? It is the only ORGANIC jewel. 'Google' the making of a pearl and see what YOU come up with.All things like this are significant and represent something.
Bible study is a bottomless well of Living Water.~~~ ENJOY!!

Operatic turkeys

This morning an email directed my attention to a hilarious YouTube recording of Florence Foster Jenkins singing Mozart.I said,"OK, I'm game.Let's hear it." It turned out to be HILARIOUS and I replayed it 4 times, at least.What made it even funnier was every turkey and rooster came running over to the house and gathered outside my dining room window to listen and sing along with her!! The whole crowd of turkeys was there purring, clucking and singing along with roosters crowing.It was like Times Square on New Years Eve.You can't make this stuff up!! My husband was trying to sleep upstairs with this loud rackett going on and I'm rolling on the floor laughing.Now I know the perfect turkey call for next hunting season~ the Florence Foster Jenkins call.They will come running from every tree and hiding spot as I walk through the woods playing her recordings.

Below is a newspaper account of her performances and here is the YouTube address so YOU TOO can start your day with a laugh.

New York Daily News, Big Town

"She had enthusiasm, and she had enough money to finance her operatic career.

What she didn't have was talent.

For 30 years, Manhattan's upper crust paid good money to hear this hefty woman murder the melodies. Her name was Florence Foster Jenkins: the dire diva of din, the caterwauling countess of cacophony. At private recitals, she usually donned her Angel of Inspiration costume, a tulle gown and a tinsel tiara buttressed with a pair of feathered wings that made her resemble an overgrown turkey. To the accompaniment of a beleaguered pianist who rejoiced in the name Cosme McMoon, she would launch into her opening number, usually the Queen of the Night's aria from Mozart's "Magic Flute." The audience got caught full-blast with a sound like alley cats pitching whoopee.

She billed herself as a coloratura soprano, but Florence Foster Jenkins couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. Her voice shifted abruptly between a shriek and a whisper. Utterly tone-deaf, she wandered all over the scale, occasionally singing the right note by sheer accident. When attempting the high notes of an aria, her mouth would continue forming the words but no sound would emerge from her throat. Audience members would cram handkerchiefs into their mouths to muffle their guffaws.

After mangling "The May Night" by Brahms, La Jenkins would announce a brief intermission, then return dressed as Carmen, with a lace shawl and jeweled combs, clutching castanets and a wicker basket of red roses. The audience would remain riveted while she screeched her way through the Spanish waltz "Clavelitos," clicking the castanets and tossing the roses out one by one. When she ran out of roses, she flung the basket too. And then she threw the castanets.

Her fans - and she had many - knew that "Clavelitos" was her favorite song, so there were usually calls for an encore. This prompted her to send Cosme McMoon into the audience to retrieve roses, basket and castanets. Props back in hand, she would sing the entire number again.

After another intermission came the grand finale, and this time the matronly madame would return costumed as the dainty chambermaid Adele from "Die Fledermaus." Her closing number was usually that opera's "Laughing Song" - a good choice, since by this point the audience could no longer suppress their gleeful howls. She always finished to thunderous applause. Possibly accompanied by the rattles of dead composers turning over in their graves.

Florence Foster Jenkins died at the age of 76 fully believing she could not only sing but sing beautifully.

Here is a youtube video of Florence Foster Jenkins' infamous rendition of "Der Holle Rache" - Mozart's "Queen of the Night" aria from "The Magic Flute". But I caution, it can be unbearable to listen to if you have a musical ear. "


Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Ocean

I miss the ocean .It's the best exercise I get all year.I can jump up and down like an idiot and no one notices.I love the feel the the surf swirling around my legs at low tide.When I was a kid, my cousin Carolyn & I would pretend we were in a washing machine. I love BIG waves.Watching for their ridges thinning out like razorbacks seconds before they curl and crash down on your head.Of course I outsmart them and dive beneath them bobbing up on the otherside.Some days they come in quick succession so as not to give you a moments rest.Treading water becomes tiresome and your biceps scream for a break.The tide is coming in and your toes cannot touch to get a brief respite.Treading and diving under, treading and diving under.There was one of those days,years ago, I was sure I was going to drown .Fatigue was getting the best of me.My arms were becoming limp egg noodles.I couldn't 'ride one in',they were breaking too close together.I took care of enough broken necks in ICU in one of the shore hospitals and knew not to gamble with them.Anyway, eventually enough distance came between those beastly waves and here I am to tell it.
I miss the sound of the sea ,especially on soft summer nights.I loved getting to the jetti long before dawn, while the sky was still black and stars still bright.Strap my corkers over my sneakers to grip the boulders and hop from one slippery rock to the other.My son-in-law taught me all kinds of neat tricks to keep me from getting killed.Hang the flashlight with a cord around my neck to free my hands and it was amazing the periphery that was illuminated to see.Safer than a hat light which spoiled night vision.I could never decide which fishing pole to use, so I brought two.Then bait and bucket and bag of lures,knife,pliers,etc in tow and find the perfect rock to sit on and wait for the tide to come in.Gradually other fishermen would start arriving or I would suddenly realize there were others at the far end of the jetti on the point fishing for stripers long before I arrived. I didn't often see too many women there unless they were reading a book while their husbands fished. That amazed me.Many fishermen told me they wished their wives would come with them.It's a fun place! I remember one day fishing on the channel side of the jetti in Manasquan.There were a lot of Mexican and Chinese fishing that day. They are very good fishermen .The wind was at my back and I tossed my line 3/4's of the way across the channel. They, all at once ,leaped up and cheered! It was hilarious!
I love the quiet peacefulness of fishing.The salt air and smells and seagulls circling overhead.The grey pink dawn and the sun rising out of the sea.Did you know that the sun sleeps in the sea and rises out of it every morning ? I was there. I've seen it happen many times.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Corn pluckers

These are my cornpluckin' buddies.This is the first year in my life that I have had such bee-uuu-tee-ful perfect corn ! Usually I have to buy a case or two from the local farms, but not this year! I have hundreds.I've stashed zip lock bags of frozen kernals and corn-on-the-cob away in my freezer for the year. I read once to freeze your corn on the cob in its leaves;tight & unstripped (NO CHECKING!) Works better than ZipLock bags.But I store them in plastic bags in their leafy casings.Everybody's happy to see Corn~on~the~cob around here! MY horses greeted me (with their fly masks still on )and a big grin because they were getting a perfect, juicy, intact corncob.Sweet as summer.Fresh picked sugar~ no late picked starched taste.
Now~ my tomatoes did not do well at all! Blight hit this part of the state.I got 9 Qts and that was it! The plants are close to dead. So sad! Two years ago a similar problem hit.Cool nights,not enough sunny days and all green (no red) tomatoes.Fortunately I have farmers & Amish markets to buy 'canners' from.
But, we did well with most other veggies~ string beans,wax beans,cabbage(sauerkraut),broccoli,brussels sprouts lookin' good! Potatoes, peas, etc.
Tomorrow (Sunday) my twin grandsons will go home until next summer. I will miss them terribly! But we visit periodically during the year.

Thank You, LORD, for the Good Earth!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I love books with a passion.Two years ago I found a fantastic website where you can log on and get books free for a swap.When I joined they had 60,000 books accumulated through members.Now they have close to 4 million ! WOW !! I know there are books ONLINE and books recorded but there's something special about holding the book in your hand.Mulling over the words of a gifted writer is something very special.I recently read directions on How To Speed Read.That's fine if you're just reading some adventure or romance novel .Go ahead~ hydroplane through!But if you are lucky, you may alight upon the leaf of a Beryl Markham book who can turn words into jewels."West With The Night", published in 1942,was her account of her life as a bush pilot in British East Africa (Kenya).It was published at an untimely era and fell into obscurity in 1942 (the year Pearl Harbour was bombed). I suppose the interests of readers was reigned elsewhere.It was resurrected after "Out Of Africa" was filmed with Robt Redford & Meryl Streep .(Read it to find out why).I stumbled upon this book while doing a 'Book Search' as they were being posted by members.It takes awhile to scan through the junk usually posted,but suddenly a potential gem will appear.Grab it! Quick! Anything can be posted on this site~ cookbooks, textbooks, homeschooling textbooks,Classics,Elvis, Beatles,Lassie,Medical ,Gardening,HomeImprovement,CrossCountrySkiing, How to Build Your Own Boat,Animals, Birds,Harlequine( of which there is no end!),Adventure, Biography,Sci-Fi,Mystery,etc,etc. Whatever people want to put on is there~ Hardcover or Softcover.You can do an author search, topic or title search, NY Times Bestseller List or Oprah Book of the Month search. Maybe even an Adam Sandler search?
I have a little house. No room for a library.However, the bathroom had an unused wall. What better place for a wall of books?!! As you sit and think~~ponder the bookshelf! Read a page or two.Relax! Ponder and immerse yourself in AdventureLand.
Yes, Yes~~ I know!! That's a plunger holding the bookcase upright. So What!!

Filly to learn Proper Dress

I awoke a moment too late. My 3 yr old filly was already up and dressed. I was exasperated ! She pulled on 3 black socks and one white ! NO, NO ,NO!! I repeated for the sixty fourth time. Either 4 white or 4 black! Does she care what the neighbors think when they drive by? What about the Belgian boys she nickers to across the street ? Tomorrow I'm signing her up for classes in DRESS~AGE !


Monday, August 24, 2009


This is my girl Misty. She's a 3 yr old filly~ a black Percheron cross(probably with a Quarter horse).She's so pretty out there, especially when she's running and bucking.She just chased Alfalfa after meeting him tet'a'tet.Alfalfa is the 3 yr old ram.He's a pleasant boy with a cinder block head.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Horses are pretty finicky about what they eat in the pasture.They keep it trimmed down pretty nice but by & by the not so tasty weeds will begin to stand out and grow taller & taller.My sheep have the same menue tastes as well.I decided, last year,to add goats to our menagerie for weed control.Burt & Ernie are 2 Nubian wethers (castrated males)we bought from a rescue .I was shocked at their size (big boys!) but was relieved at their gentleness.Very pleasant fellows.I think the inspiration for the Star Wars character,'Ja-Ja Binks', came from Nubians.So, this year the pasture is weed free and looks tidy. They stay glued to the horses,probably for protection.Wherever the horses are, that's where you will find Bert & Ernie.The sheep are more independant minded and seem to only need each other.Nubians are fine dairy goats, but a wether is only good for a pet,for pulling a cart or for grass & weed control .

Then there are the horned non-castrated boys! This fellow scoured the turf around my Uncle Charlie's barn in 1973.He was kept leashed to a cinder block to limit his wanderings.
Last year I had a little Pygmy billy goat.He quietly walked about with the utmost confidence,sniffing and nibbling at this plant & that,stopping periodically to stare at you with those slit pupils & 'take you in'.The barn has a cement foundation that juts out that made a perfect sharpening tool for his horns.At first I thought he was just scratching his itchy head until I realized he was actually sharpening one edge, then the other edge of each horn, the same as you would sharpen a kitchen knife.He was quite skilled at this.He was able to slip under the gates of the pasture then begin decimating the fruit trees.He was collared, so I attempted to grab it & snap a leash on him to return him to the pasture.He was ready for me! Two quick moves and my forearm & wrist were battle scarred ! He stood there quietly staring, daring me to 'Try it again'. Zap!! He got me again with my next attempt."He's not going to get away with this!", I said. I grabbed a small wooden trellis that lay nearby & smacked him with it.YO-HO !! The battle was on!! Any whack to the head of any ram (goat or sheep) is all out war.The next thing I knew he was standing tall on his back legs ,his front hooves up high like boxing gloves and he leapt 3 times toward me.Then he quick as lightening dropped his head and charged! All battering ram~but I still had the trellis and blocked the attack with the grace of a bullfighter! El Toro!! I could hear the crowds cheering as we both spun around to face each other once more! I suddenly remembered advice from a goat forum I read on a website that warned to avoid hitting their heads.Instead, wrestle them to the ground, lay across them & pin them down.Before little Hershey could regain his stance I rushed him, crossed my forearms over the wrists & grabbed him by the horns twisting them and flipping him over.He was down and I was on top of him holding him there by the horns.Those yellow slit eyes glared at me.It took about 5 minutes before I could regain my breath, then I said,"WHO's The Boss ? HUH?? Who's The Boss ?? ME !! That's Who!!" My daughter was working in the garden picking beans, watching this fiasco the whole time. She yelled,"Are you having fun Mom?" ~~~hhmmmmm ! :)
Yes, I think I was having fun! But a goat has 24/7 to rethink a battle plan whereas I have no time for this. I placed an add on Craigslist & shortly after Hershey moved to a nearby farm where he had his own little harem of Boar doe's .Happy ending (:>

Here is a fun test of Reaction Time: catching Sheep

Border Collies are working dogs with indefatigueable herding instincts.They need a farm and a purposeful job~ sheep herding for instance.They definately become your new migraine if you live in a residential area with only school buses and children to herd.They can be high strung,especially if they see a potential project worth herding outside your living room window.Did you have a dime size hole in your window screen? Your border collie knows he can fit through that! That skinny space between the air conditioner and the window frame? No problem! Are chickens walking by unchaperoned? Is the glass window shut?~~~Crash!!!! Ooops! My border collie will be instantly crouching and cornering them,blocking every attempt to change direction and flee,completely unconcerned of the shattered mess he left behind.I've learned a new trait that chickens have that I never knew before~ they can PLAY DEAD! Did you know that? After too many frustrating attempts to escape Buddy's blockades they simply roll over, feet straight up in the air with eyes closed.Multiple times I was sure I saw a dead rooster laying in the driveway."Nuts!"~and off I'd go with an empty feedsack to toss the dead carcass in.Usually their necks were defeathered or very gummed up and matted with dog saliva from Buddy pinning them down to hold them still."Look at that!", I'd say."Who did this? You ??" And Buddy would crouch and slink away to a hiding spot."I see you, you BAD DOG!!", I'd yell.The rooster still lay there, still as death, eyes closed & feet outstretched or upward.That's when I'd notice the bird open one eye to peek to see if it was 'All Clear'.Just as I'd reach my hand to grab the feet, that crazy rooster would burst forth with a cackling scream and take off like a crazed lunatic for the barn scaring the life out of me.
The speed on these dogs is sensational.My dog is a little longer in the legs than the average for this breed and he runs like the wind.I've never seen a dog run so fast then change direction with the speed of lightening.He has broken countless chains and cables.The last was guaranteed for a 250 lb dog. Fat chance!One rainy day I let Buddy run free so he could do his business.Everything was penned up.Nothing to herd and distract him.He immediately returned when I called him,running like a locamotive.When he reached the house he didn't slow down soon enough and he skidded on the wet pavement and crashed full speed into my knee! It was like the Mafia smashing my knee with a baseball bat!
Did I forget to describe their energy level? What an education I got.This is what makes them the great sheep herders they are~endurance! Two years ago, in February, Buddy decided the ducks needed herding in the pond.Need I tell you how cold it was? The edges were beginning to freeze except where the springs are located.Ducks are no fools and knew they could swim just a tad faster than a border collie.They stayed just a few inches ahead of him,reached the opposite shoreline then turned and swam the opposite direction. This went on over & over and Buddy followed them.He completely ignored my demands to "Get out of that water right now!!~~~ Buddy, COME !!, etc. Then my worst fear~ he started slowing down and I was afraid hypothermia and exhaustion were setting in.The ducks continued to swim back and forth drawing him to the center of the pond.I took off my shoes and stood in the snow on the shoreline, ready to jump in and rescue him when he came my direction again."I Don't Believe This!!" , I bellowed.Then the ducks exited the pond and I was able to grab his collar as he slowly climbed on shore.I snapped the leash on as he shook himself, showering me with pond water.I expected a worn out exhausted dog but quickly learned about shoulder dislocations as he burst forth with new found energy dragging me with me to catch ducks.I wondered about him as a duck hunting comrade but the more I thought about it I realized I would spend more time in a capsized boat or watching him drag the Duckblind with him as he swam,mindless of any other concern except 'the catch'.
He's terrified of gunfire. Are all border collies that way? It has worked to my advantage that he is.One night I left him out to run and go to the bathroom.Suddenly I realized a large pack of coyotes were on the move nearby .Buddy took off to greet them! Holy smoke~ bad choice! Either they would pile up on him and kill him or other farmers would mistake him for a coyote.His body movements are similar, the way he trots, slinks and crouches.I ran in the house , grabbed my shotgun and left off 2 blasts in the yard.Buddy turned on a dime and raced back for the house and hid in the closet.The coyotes took off the opposite direction.It was 3:00 AM ~but so what?The next thing I knew I heard gunfire from several surrounding farms as the 'yotes ran through their farms.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Boy Buddy!

Here's a fine fellow~Buddy,my Border Collie.Here's a tip to test WHO is man's best friend: Throw your dog ,then throw your wife or girlfriend into the trunk of your car. Drive around for 4-5 hours, Stop~ open the trunk~~~ Who is happy to see you and lick your face? Wife or dog????

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Understanding cabbage & sauerkraut

I am really aggravated! For the past 4 or 5 weeks I have been fermenting sauerkraut under perfect conditions.I decided to 'pull it' today & can it~~ only to realize it smelled & tasted like KALE!! Yukk! I KNEW I shouldn't have used the dark green leaves, but NO!!! I gave it a whirl once again.Lost the whole doggone batch! I should have just given the dark green leafy leaves to the sheep & goats.
I have the fresh picked cabbages~~ but now I shall refrigerate them until as late in the season that I can.Old timers are right~~ make sauerkraut with the first frost. That should be in about 2 weeks (where I live, anyway).

Cabbage People

One upon a time there were Fuller Brush Men who came to the door selling every kind of brush.There were also bakery salesmen from Dugan's who would arrive on your doorstep with a large aluminum handled basket with boxes of cupcakes,raison bread,pies & cakes.Of course, the Dugan man was our favorite. Now we have NEW salesmen ariving at our doorsteps~ the Cabbage Men.They looked so pathetic, hot & tired,so I said "OK, I'll take ten". That revitalized them and gave them new hope!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Whatever Happened To Hats ?

Whatever happened to hats? Suddenly they have disappeared ,exited offstage.One day, a long time ago,Max The Hatter ,the haberdasher on Broadway in Bayonne,closed the glass door of his shop,turned the key for the last time and tipped his hat 'Farewell'.Who foresaw the day when hat boxes would be tossed to the curb after spring cleaning or sent to the Salvation Army's second hand store ? Was the obituary notice of Hedda Hopper the catalyst that stirred the rebellion and set us free? Even nurses shoved their caps to the back of the bottom drawer.They looked so nice in their starched whites and caps. Patients still whine to me about how nice nurses used to look and appeared so much more professional.It's true, they did ,but nursing caps did not add weight to their brain matter or make them a better nurse.If your hair was as straight and thin as mine, the bobby pins would slip free and the cap would flip over and land in a bedpan.But I miss hats, especially on Sundays and special occasions.Women always had their heads covered in church.Some wore a veil.Others a hat.It didn't matter if you were Catholic or Protestant, you wore a hat or something on your head.It's said that the bonneted women from the Salvation Army were always greeted with respect .There was something about the bonnet.Did it give the appearance of innocence? I don't know.
Remember the scenes from "My Fair Lady", "Gone With The Wind","Easter Parade" ,"Mrs Miniver-with Greer Garson,and countless other films from the late 1930's -'50's ? Edith Head and Adrian were the giants of fashion design.The blockheads of today's runways can't hold a candle to them. Go back to kindergarten,fools! Hats added the finishing touch to a beautiful dress and added beauty to the lines of a womans' face .A little veil at the hat's brim to the bridge of the nose made the eyes of a pretty woman even more beautiful.There was a women's hat shop near Broadway National Bank in Bayonne.Hats were piled high in the store's front window. There were hats piled everywhere you walked .Hats on counters,hats by your knees,"Watch where you're stepping!".Hats everywhere you moved your elbows.I don't know how the shop owner ever found anything in that place.It was the store my mother would take me to after buying my Easter dress."Let's find a match!".It added to the fun.
A hat will keep you warm in frigid weather wheareas an uncovered head will waste away body heat as it exits the scalp like a chimney.The Danes say "There is no bad weather-just bad clothes".Maybe hats will make a comeback someday.I hope they do.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Bit Lonesome

It's a bit lonely in the barnyard.The white meat chickens have found their way into plastic freezer bags.I miss seeing them sprawled out on the lush green lawn like picnic'rs in pretty white party dresses.It was a beautiful sight in the early morning mists .But, they were BIG girls! One single breast was 2 1/2 lbs ! Most of these chickens were 9 - 10 lbs.dressed.
Meat chickens are hybrids and will continue to gain weight until their legs break from under them or they just keel over dead. Occasionally they develope green muscle disease-a greening of the muscle tissue , usually on both sides of the sternum. It's believed that is because of the rapid growth rate.These were only 11 or 12 weeks old.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tradition & Pie Crust Rolls

For as far back as I can remember, pie crust rolls were the traditional thing to make when you finished making pies. What to do with leftover dough ? Make pie crust rolls.SOOOOOOO delicious !! Especially when hot! Here's what you do: Roll out the leftover dough and , with a butter knife, smear piecrust dough with margarine. Then take a shaker mixed with sugar & cinnamon, sprinkle across dough. Cut in strips.Then roll up and bake at 400F for 15 - 20 min.until golden brown.

My mom always made piecrust rolls after making pies at Thanksgiving & Christmas.They are so delicious and never lasted long. The other tradition was the cinnamon & sugar SHAKER. It was my paternal Grandfather's , then my parents ,then mine.My grandson, Brandon, is so very interested in just about everything that has to do with family.He takes in every detail,including recipes.I'm glad, because I'm very nostalgic ( if you haven't guessed THAT already !)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

EXCELLANT Chicken Recipe !!

What you need ~

: 1 big roaster chicken. ( FREE RANGE from my farm, preferable)
Olive oil
McCormick "GRILL MATES" LEMON PEPPER with herbs ( Absolute BEST of the lemon pepper shakers.(I bought this in the Dollar General or Weiss Supermarket.)
1/2 lemon

Rub olive oil over chicken
Sprinkle Salt & McCormick Lemon Pepper Seasoning all over ckicken.
Place 1/2 lemon inside chicken ( do not stuff with stuffing)

COOK 10 MIN ON 400f X 10 MIN
THEN 320 F x 2 lb/ Hr Cover and baste periodically

GRAVY: Allow all of juices to come out of chicken.Remove chicken to platter.
Heat juices in roast pan to boiling.
Add 1 can chicken broth (1 pint)
Add 1 chicken boullion cube
Stir well
Mix cornstarch ( a few TBs with a small amt of water to thicken and add to gravy.
Salt to taste

Saturday, August 1, 2009

String Bean Time!

Ten & a half lbs of stringbeans were picked yesterday & canned today. My son-in-law & grandaughter picked another big bag this morning.
The garden is water logged today from an additional rain last night. If it doesn't dry up soon I will have to pick the potatoes & store them early.I don't like to do that until the first frost.They stay fresher & last longer that way.
The stream is flowing like a banshee and the pond is completely cured, refilled & overflowing into the back stream thru the overflow pipe.
The corn is very tall but needs sun & heat to develope nice ears of corn.So~ we'll see.
Life is good! God is WONDERFUL !!

Pea Pickin' time

Well, it's over. Pea pickin' is done, at least for now. If we decide to plant another crop for the fall ~~we'll see.The time consuming part is shucking them out of the pods. If you have a nice nearby neighbor to help, like I do, it will go faster.It's especially pleasant to sit at a picnic table under a nice shady tree to do this. Once you have a bowl full of peas, the rest is easy. All you have to do is blanche them in boiling water 1 minute then drain, spray cold water on them, toss them in a freezer ziplock bag,immerse the bag under warm water just beneathe the ziplock- push all the air out, close the ziplock & remove from its' submerged state.Dry off & toss in the freezer.I don't like canned peas- just frozen.

Amish canning kitchen

With the kind of heat & humidity August brings, this is the ideal canning kitchen.Down the basement with the outside door right there , keeping it cool & breezey .The house kitchen stays clean from all the mess that bushels of vegetables bring. I have a steady parade of empty canning jars that accumulate in my kitchen from the days meals & juices.
This stove handles large capacities so that you can work with several canners & one BIG pot !
Also good for cooking down lard after butchering 'piggy sue'.

My ducks thought they'd have a nice peaceful early morning rest on the shoreline.Mama Muscovie duck sat on the duck and her adopted 4 Indian Runner youngins' hung out on the water's edge.Angus, the yellow tomcat, had the idea he could ambush them in the early fog.One quick pounce from behind the rowboat, but the Indian Runners are named so for a reason~ sorry Angus! They're ahead of you! I think they were teasing him to "C'mon out, the water's fine!"hahahahaha! (If you click on the picture it will enlarge so you can see up close).He trotted off into the woods, sullen and muttering to himself.

Chickens and turkeys are stretching their wings from sleep and have started pecking about .Roosters are crowing to awaken the the farm.The morning is foggy & wet but not raining.I have a lot to do.Canning stringbeans & some waxbeans is time consuming .I want to get an early start.