Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Christmas in July! - Not!

Here are some videos of the new 40’ container delivered today. Of course it seemed like the hottest day of the year! I think the videos speak for themselves, so take a gander and let me know what you think. This is an ongoing project, and I’ll keep you posted. Next, finish digging the hole, stabilize the container by welding on angle iron around the entire outside and adding 4x4’s inside for additional support. Then the fun part, actually pushing the container in the hole! It felt great to finally have it on site and know we’re moving on to the next phase! Thanks Ron for meeting us there and helping out!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

She Was One of a Kind

Never a complaint or a criticism fell from her lips.  Not a hair out of place, perfectly pressed clothes, and wearing her apron and slippers.  Wearing a glowing smile.  The kind that made you all warm inside.  Busy, from sunup to sundown.  Whistling in the kitchen while making breakfast.  Singing a church hymn while sewing or doing laundry. 

This is how I’ll remember my Grandmother, who passed away this morning as a result of the dreadful disease Alzheimer's.  She was one of a kind.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

That's Called Life

Our Saturday began as most, up before the sunrise, a quick breakfast, and then packed up and headed to The Compound.  You’d think we’d get sick and tired of what seems like the same old-same old, every weekend, but we don’t. 

As we head east, and watch the beginning sunrise we talk about our plans for the day.  What chores we need to tackle how we’ll divide up the workload and when we plan on closing shop and heading home.  Most of the time it doesn’t ever really seem to happen the way we’d planned.   I don’t mean that in a bad way, just not how you would like to lay it out.  That’s called life, and most of the time it’s a blessing and not a burden.

We had plans to

Clean out the chicken run, and put down some new dry shavings.

Mow the yard

Clean out some of the weeds in the garden

Continue digging the hole for the container

Trim branches from an oak tree

A couple of guys that have become part of our extended family, Donnie and BJ were there when we arrived first thing in the morning.  Donnie climbed one of our oak trees to trim back some branches so the tractor trailer could deliver the container in this same area without hitting the tree.  He’s so good at what he does, it was about a half hour, and he had shimmied up the tree, and cut down the branches that were in the way.  One job done on the checklist.

I took care of the chicken run.  Cleaned things up, and laid down new wood shavings.  I loaded and unloaded around 20 wheelbarrow full loads of shavings.  It was really needed.  Helped dry things up in the run and gave them new things to scratch and bugs to eat.  They were very happy!  Another job done on the list.

I tried to mow the yard, but it was just too wet.  The grass needs to be mowed, but not at the expense of over working the mower itself.

Donnie and his brother made a delivery of fresh wood shavings/mulch earlier in the week.  They have access to wood chips and wood through their job and make a delivery or two for us when they can.  We seem to use it up as fast as they deliver it, but free is good, and it saves us the time of running to pick it up by the trailer load.  We’d need to make 2-3 trips for every 1 load they bring, and we wouldn’t get any wood for burning/grilling.

Well, it rained and rained some more at The Compound this past week, and made the ground very soggy, so when they made a delivery, their truck got bogged down.  They almost got stuck a few times.  Needless to say, we needed to fix the driveway in anticipation of our 40’ container delivery.  The Moose and BJ began the daunting task of moving wheelbarrow full loads of dirt to try and fill in the low areas.  We were in the middle 90’s and humidity levels were unbearable.  After a couple of loads, both had to change t-shirts.   Not fun. 

The Moose decided to enlist the help from down the street.  It cost $60/hour, and while we would have like to barter for services, our neighbor really needed the money.  So I guess, we all got what we needed.  He spent 4 hours moving dirt to fill in the driveway, and then he dug out the hole for the container.  All this while most of us sat looking on from under a shade umbrella.

I never did get to pulling any weeds in the garden.  It was too hot, and too daunting of a task for as tired as I was.

So this along with a few other things gets moved to later next week.  Where we’ll make plans that will likely change or not happen.  Funny how life gets in the way sometimes.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It Begins....

By now, you know the Moose and R (Ron) picked up some not so free light poles. We have plans to use them to move a 40’ container into a shallow hole and bury the remaining with at least 2’ of dirt. This will give us a place to store items and keep them relatively cool. I promise to keep you posted as we progress. This is one of the bigger projects we’ve undertaken at The Compound. So, the next endeavor is to dig a hole. Donnie, the Moose and I started this past Saturday. We staked out the area, 12’ x 44’, which will give us 2 feet on all sides of the container. We may end up needing more, but for now, we have to start somewhere.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Had to Share

Just had to share. Here's Miss Connie with her 2 chicks. They are now a month old, and Mom was more than ready to let them care for themselves. As soon as the Moose opened the door, she flew out. The chicks followed, and Momma spent some time defending them, but gave up and headed out doors for the first time in a couple of months. Poor little things were terrified and picked on. The hens were actually pretty good around them, but the "teenage" roosters were pretty mean. So being the big softie I am, I picked them up and they are now housed in a large dog carrier with food and water, until they get large enough to defend themselves.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Changing Things Up

Our hens are faithful egg layers.  We’re up to about 6 dozen eggs a week, and have 15 girls laying at the moment. (Two went broody)  Rarely have I ever found an egg outside of the coop or nesting box area.  I think a rat or mysterious pest may have carried one or two off in the past, but typically if they’ve laid an egg it’s in their nesting boxes.  That is until I placed an opened bag of wood chips in their coop area so it would stay dry and available for when I need to change out the material in their actual boxes.

Our Easter Eggers have decided to change things up a bit and lay their eggs here, instead of the boxes of which we have 6 openings available.



Has anyone else ever wondered why, when you do have 6 nesting boxes, they all want to lay their eggs in one or two?  I’m guessing that way, if someone else gets the hankering to go broody, their offspring will be included.  Would you consider that smart or lazy?

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's So Barrassing

Only my immediate family would understand the word, barrassing.  When Daughter #1 was little, she didn’t understand the word was embarrassing, it was barrassing.  It’s now part of the family vocabulary of favorite words.

I am totally embarrassed by the state of my garden.  With the work around the house, throw in rain and some travel, it has become a shambles.  I am determined to get it back in order, and it will take some doing.  I’m collecting cardboard boxes, which should help kill off some of the culprits, along with a lot of weed pulling.

I am going to try a weed killing, natural recipe.

1 Quart Vinegar

¼ table salt

1 tsp dish soap

Placed in a spray bottle.  I will apply it to the weeds in the garden and see what happens.  Nice thing, it won’t change the PH of your garden, and won’t hurt the chickens or dog when they run through the area.  I have read it will only help small/new growth weeds.  I’ll let you know the results. I'll need to make this recipe in a large vat for the size of my garden though!

I’m also considering baking soda.  Have you used either of these methods?  Failure, success?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fat Bottom Girl

Maybe the title should be Sore Bottom Girl instead.  This ginormous egg came out of a little Easter Egger hen.  Poor girl.  The egg would not fit into the carton.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013


My favorite picture of the week;

I took several pictures and this little lizard just hung out and watched me, watching him!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Winch Way Do We Go

Now that the Moose and R had the trailer back at The Compound, it needed to be offloaded.  The weight of the poles makes it nearly impossible to lift even with two or three guys.  So the Moose, R and D hooked up a winch, and chain and the made short order of emptying the trailer.  They ended up with about 15, 12’ poles.

We are bringing in another 40’ container and will use the poles on the ground to move the container in to position when the area has been prepped and ready.  What better way to move roughly 8,000 pounds?!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Treading Lightly, Literally and Free Doesn't Mean Free

A friend of ours found a location at a power company that has light/power poles for free.  We have an upcoming project that would make good use of them, so the Moose decided to make the trip.  He gathered up the R half of R&B, who was more than willing to take a break from watching the local trial in Sanford to help the Moose with the heavy lifting.

Now, this story actually begins earlier in the week, when as we travelled in the area, we stopped by to make sure A; they had some poles, B; if there was a cost.  After the Moose had a conversation with the light pole Nazi, and was told “maybe”, “I guess if you are here on Friday by noon”, and “you better wear a pair of jeans” (the Moose was dressed up for work, so I’m thinking the light pole Nazi assumed he was a wimpy city guy), he agreed to be back on Friday.

The Moose went out and bought a pair of jeans.  No he didn’t have a pair, he lives in either dress clothes or shorts and t-shirts.  He wasn’t going to take a risk the light pole Nazi would turn him away. 

So off they went, trailer in tow.   I’m not sure how the transition from light pole Nazi turned to having a new BFF (best friend forever), but the Moose and R were happy to get the extra help with the forklift, and moving around of the long poles. The poles were around 24-25 feet long and had to be cut to fit in our trailer.  It was a lot of work, but the day was progressing.

Until, that is, the ride home.  Traveling 70 mph heading south on I-95 one of the trailer tires had a blow out!  They pulled off the road, unhitched the trailer and were on a hunt for a replacement.  I made several calls with no success.  But R came in to save the day, and they headed to a location he’s frequented in the past, and bought 2 new tires.  They had to travel back to The Compound to pick up a hydraulic jack, and then it was back north to the trailer.

As the dark storm clouds were approaching, the trailer kept slipping off the jack.  An angel appeared in the form of a truck tire company, who had the correct lifts to help raise the trailer so they could switch out the tire.    The Moose is a very independent sort, and not always willing to pay someone for work he can do himself.  But the rain clouds kept coming, it was hot and humid, took one look at R, and the forked over some money to get the help they needed.  They were both very thankful!

So, the moral of the story; nothing is free in this world even “free” light poles will cost you $240.00 for new tires and roadside assistance!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sufferin Succotash

What makes a succotash, a succotash?  I moved south from Wisconsin a couple decades ago, and until I moved south, unless it was uttered by Sylvester on Looney Tunes/Warner Bros., I never heard the word, much less knew what the heck it was.
I got the drivel of a newspaper this week, and came across a recipe for corn, string bean & potato succotash salad.  It just so happens I have fresh corn, beans from our garden and a few potatoes beckoning me to make use of them.   OK, I can make this recipe, but I still had no idea what makes a succotash a succotash?

Per Wikipedia; succotash is a food dish consisting primarily of corn and beans. Other ingredients may be added, but it’s the corn and beans together that make it a succotash.  Relatively inexpensive, it was popular during the Great Depression.  Can be served warm or cold, depending.

So, here’s my first foray in to the world of succotash;

4 thin skinned potatoes are put in a pot of cold water w/salt.  Bring to boil over medium-high heat.  While that’s going shuck 4 ears of corn.  Once the water is boiling add the corn and cook for 3-5 minutes and then remove and let cool.  Place about ½ pound of string beans (trimmed) in pot and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and place in ice water.  Drain the potatoes when tender in about 20 minutes.

Cut the corn off the cob, drain the beans, slice or cube the potatoes and place all in a large bowl.  Add 1 finely chopped shallot, 1/3 cup olive oil (more as less as needed), salt, pepper to taste and a handful of fresh parsley leaves chopped.

Lightly mix all of it together, and you have a succotash!  It was pretty good, and a good use of a few items I had sitting around.  I served this cold.  Should make enough for 4-6 people.
From the Orlando Sentinenl 7/10/13, Adapted from “Canal House Cooks Every Day” by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding w/Amaretto Sauce

Here’s the recipe I use for the Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding, not one I created, but one I found.  As you’ll notice I did not include any information on fat and/or calorie count.  This one’s free!  Free to be enjoyed to its fullest, or until you are full!

I try and make it only for special occasions, and I figured the Moose has been a pretty good guy lately so I’ll make him something he really enjoys. 

Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce

Emeril Lagasse


For the pudding:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 4 tablespoons melted
  • 6 cups 1-inch cubes of day-old bread
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 pounds peaches, peeled and seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the sauce:


For the Bread Pudding: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10 by 14-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the softened butter.

In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, heavy cream and milk and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the bread is soaking, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of softened butter in a large skillet and, when butter begins to bubble, add the peaches and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peaches are golden brown around the edges and softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg and whisk well to combine. Stir the egg mixture into the bread mixture and fold to combine. Add the warm peaches and fold gently but thoroughly to combine. Pour into the prepared dish. Drizzle with the melted butter and bake until golden brown, puffed, and slightly firm when pressed in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack until just warm, about 20 minutes.


For the Amaretto Sauce: In a small, heavy enameled or other non-reactive saucepan over medium low heat, add the butter and cook until melted. In a small bowl combine the cream, sugar, and egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the cream mixture to the melted butter and stir well. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and add the amaretto. Transfer sauce to a small heatproof bowl and serve hot or warm over warm bread pudding.

Copyright 2013 Television Food Network G.P.
All Rights Reserved


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Huh? and Challah Bread

OK, I made two loaves of bread today.  Same kind, one rose up the other didn’t.  I have no clue as to why.  I measured carefully, and double checked.  I think I have a gremlin in my kitchen!

Challah Bread, I need it for one of the Moose’s favorite things in the whole world; Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding.  I’ll share the recipe once it’s done.

Challah Bread Recipe

1 egg plus enough water to equal 1 cup plus 1 TBL

3-1/4 Cups bread flour

1-1/2 tsp salt

2 TBL sugar

3 TBL butter

1-1/2 tsp yeast

I use a bread maker at this point; place ingredients into your bread machine in the order it requires (mine is liquid ingredients first).  Use basic dough setting, remove when completed.  Divide into three equal parts, roll out into ropes approx. 10 inches long.  Pinch all three together on one end and create braid, pinch final ends.  Let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Brush with egg wash (1 egg and 1TBL water).  Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Once I finish his favorite dessert, I’ll l share the recipe.  It gets rave reviews!

Monday, July 8, 2013

In a World

In a world of fake noses

In a world of fake boobs

In a world of fake nails

In a world of fake reality t.v.

In a world full of credit cards, creating a fake sustained life

In a world where our stock market is held up by fake money or margin bets

In a world where it’s acceptable for our politicians to lie to the people

How long before we look behind the curtain and realize we’ve been worshiping fake idols, and not God?


Sunday, July 7, 2013

All Things Well on the Eastern Front

We had a great extended holiday weekend down at Daughter #2’s apartment.  Had a great time and of course ate too much!  Why does everything seem to involve food?  What party or event did you last attend that didn’t include food?

We ate at a local favorite, Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour and had ice cream sundaes the size of your head!  The place was hopping, had a waiting line to get in, but it was worth the wait.  Fun experience

Saw the fireworks show from her apartment balcony, so we didn’t have to deal with the traffic or the crazy crowds.  Got a bit of shopping in, and otherwise relaxed and played some trivia which we all enjoyed especially Grannie.

One thing we learned about our family, too many chiefs and no Indians makes for an interesting weekend!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

If You Had To Choose

If you had to chose on what you'd like to see more of on this blog, what would it be?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Independence Day travels await!  The Moose and I are heading down into the bowels of Florida; Ft Lauderdale/Miami  this coming holiday, to visit Daughter #2.  Visiting her will make up for the craziness of that area.  We left there 9 years ago, and are glad we escaped.

To my followers, have a safe holiday weekend! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Alone for the Ride

Now this is a silly question; do you ever feel alone, ignored, made fun of? What do you do when your closest family and friends don’t come along for the ride?  By ride I mean, even remotely believe or follow your ideas of what’s happening in the world or how you chose to live your life.  Or if they do “kind of sort of” believe, are they just placating you in the moment?

Most of you that follow this crazy blog are of like mind, at least that’s how I see it.  I can tell by the comments you leave, and the posts on your own sites.  My question to you is; how do you deal with the closest friends and family that you know make fun of you or talk behind your back when you’re not around? 
I have this issue going on right now, and it is getting harder to deal with.  How do you handle it?