Monday, March 28, 2011

OK...I am On And It's A Miracle!!

 I am on the computer!  Remember I was having computer trouble and we thought it was fixed?  Well, I couldn't even get ON yesterday at kept crashing!!  And today it has crashed (so far) 3 times since I booted it up.  And ran 2 diagnostics... (I am pretty sure it is a internal computer problem with the we'll see what happens)

I can not take it anywhere to be looked at, until (I HOPE!) Thursday!! 

SO if you don't hear from me, I an off line maybe without a computer!! 

I will get on when I can, but Saturdays post was interrupted about 4 times before I could finally get it what I am hoping to do while "incommunicado", is LOTS of early spring work shouldn't BE "early" spring work, but it feels like it!!  Hopefully I can take pictures as I go along...

See you later, (I hope)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Help With Planning Menues

In todays world things are expensive.  I don't know about anyone else out there, but my grocery bill just doubled in about 2 weeks, many items were put back, and I certainly didn't seem to get any "good" things..(aka junk/fun food...not that we eat a lot of that anyway, but it is nice to have a good snack around sometimes) and where it will end who knows! 

Unfortunately when they tell you can go grocery shopping, and spend such and such for ONE week, they are not including other grocery store needs like toilet paper, and aluminum foil, shampoos, etc....not to mention things you might want to have on hand for baking, or restocking (or even keeping it stocked in the first place) pantry.

This week I have been cooking out of the pantry and freezer I have been sorting and labeling and purging out of.  So I didn't post a menu, because it is anything goes!!

But I found this really good blog about making frugal dinners.  Some of them I even remember from when I was a kid, like the "Poor Man's Spahagetti dinner, only we used elbow macaroni. (Did anyone ever read White Trash Cooking?  What a hoot...unfortunately growing up in the 50's I remembered a LOT of those recipes!! LOL! I am not sure my guys would eat it at this point in their lives, but there are some really good recipes on this site.

My goal for the coming month of April, is to find healthy, local grown, spring like meals, that aren't going to rob me of what income I have!!  (I also have to get a skylight replaced and both of our cars are going to need transmission work soon..AND I haven't gone to the store for seeds for the garden yet!)

Thinking, and dreaming, of Spring on a February feeling day (where IS Spring??)

Here are some "borrowed" pictures of spring flowering trees (in parks) to remind me of whats to come.  Our town is so full of spring flowering trees that it DOES look like a park in spring..I will be glad to snap some local pictures when the time comes..

See you later...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our Onion Snow....

Well lets hope this is it for March..only a short time left then on to April...(the "Lettuce" snow is generally only flurries and not much else...mostly rain for April right?)


Woke up this morning to a couple of inches of wet stuff...that is already gone...ground is hard though and they expect February temps for the weekend and most of next week.  I brought my hoses in again...       
                                                 And we thought it was done!
                                                           My potted pine...

                                           Emerging Daffodils and budding shrubs.....

                                         This is a picture of our "Super Moon" good as it gets with what we have.  My son shot this...he laughed because be stepped forward before he took it to "get closer"....

I am off to continue "Pantry Spring Cleaning"...I didn't post a menu this week because I am purging the pantry and just using what we have there and in the freezer, so nothing is planned....

See you later,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Girl With The Beautiful Eyes......

I just learned that Elizabeth Taylor died today.

The first time I ever saw her was in Lassie Come Home..and then  National Velvet ... ANYTHING that had animals or horses in it I watched!  Of course these movies were on Million Dollar Movie and we watched them over and over and over...all week....even though they were made before I was born... (but not too much before!)

She actually (but my families standards anyway) was not that that is sad...


My thoughts, and prayers are with her family and close friends at this time.....

See you later,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Blustery Chilly Day To Reminds Us.....

It is still March!  After 72 degrees yesterday we get March back.  I hear we might get some wet snow this coming week..maybe it is our onion more to go right?

If we do get snow..any snow, it is most likely the Onion Snow.  The Onion Snow is commonly known by farmers as the snow that comes around the time you plant onions.  Cool huh?

                                                       It usually looks like this

A reminder that it is still March.

As a side note-I changed my profile picture and put a real one for a change...

We have had computer trouble all day, not even being able to connect to the Internet all morning.  After working with Tech for a long time, we finally are connecting..but my computer just crashed continuing story!!

Bye for now,
See you later,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Signs of Spring-Finally!

 With thoughts for healing for Japan, I am off to do what I can do in our corner of the world....

                                  “The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.  
                                   Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.”

                                              Philipus Aureolus Paracelsus quotes

We are finally getting signs of Spring.  Yesterday and this morning I walked around (and my youngest son did too) and took some crocus pictures, while looking over what needs to be done.


                                           I found some crocus after the rain we had yesterday morning
                                                          This is one of my son's shots
         We tried to get the rain drops left on the flower but even with macro setting it was hard. 

                                          Today brings sun and nearly 60 degrees at 1pm.

This is in a wooded area in the back.  One of the gardens I am planning on completely changing over.


The whole area was alive with the movement of bees...busy and happy after a long winter, to finally find something to collect.......
The purple crocus is in the cactus garden.  These cactus simply jump out at you form even a foot away, so they are cleared around, and handled VERY carefully....


                                     My oldest son has the day off, so we are looking forward to a warm and pleasant day together...a little sprucing here and a little sprucing there....

I am going to scout around and see if I can find anything to add to a salad yet!

Just to let you know..this computer crashed on me 3 times while I was writing this post...(and too several tries each time to restart!)  Glad I saved it!!

See you later,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Day Late But Here It Is None The Less....This Weeks Menu

Yesterday found me so busy I forgot to post the week menu.

Of course with the weather lightening up there is more to do outside, so I just lost track of time....

Thoughts turn to warmer weather and lighter meals...(but not quite yet) also faster meals so one can DO the work needed outside... I have many errands to run today and possibly tomorrow also.

I am posting in no particular order because who knows what the days will bring...

1-English muffin pizzas

2-Hamburgers, french fries (home fries), and cole slaw

3-Freezer ready (homemade) stuffed shells (the last of them)

4-PAD THAI WITH CHICKEN (and veg that do not normally go into this dish but some a Philippine friend used to make it healthier) (I didn't make this last week because our schedule got turned around so it's back on this week with left over shredded chicken)

5-Tuna Sandwich with red onion

6-Wild caught Salmon if I can find it-I think I might make a Greek salad with this

7-Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff (saute pearl onions and mushroom, and garlic, and 1" pieces of carrot. Make a cream sauce, and toss in the sauteed veg.  Cube chicken to 1/2 to 1" pieces, and place in the slow cooker.  Add the veg and cream sauce.  Cook low 6-7 hours or high 3-3 1/2hours)
When time is finished, add 1 container of sour cream (light or regular) and stir.  serve with cooked noodles and a green salad..easy dinner on a busy day...

Last week I wanted to make a salad with dinner but had no lettuce.  All I had left was carrots.  So I shredded them, and added crumbled went over really really big.  I made a vinaigrette to go with it, and my oldest had his with Ranch..(he puts Ranch on's his Ketchup)

I plan on making some Irish Soda bread this week, to go with a meal or 2.  REAL Irish soda bread is generally white flour (not dark although they do make it with whole wheat sometimes too) with no caraway or raisins.  It is a plain white soda bread they use at the table with dinner.

And am also looking for a good brisket to corn some beef.  It will take longer then a couple of week so it will be a "belated Irish treat..." (I am not Irish, but my son's have Irish on their father's for them...)

See you later,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Everybody Awake Yet?

Well, the time has lose an hour.  I hope everyone remembered to turn their clocks ahead.

Do you realize we now only have about 4 1/2 months of standard time now?  Although it is nice to have longer nights, anyone with animals knows how hard it is on the animals and feeding schedules.  The older I get the harder it is to adjust their (and my) times.  You would think it would get easier through experience but no....  Many farmers do not change their clocks.  Especially those with cattle that need milking.

On another note......

My thoughts and prayers, and heart goes out to those in Japan, and any other countries in the wake of the Tsunami.  We have many friends who come from Malaysia who has family there.

The Japanese are a strong resilient people but that doesn't mean that this was a dramatically traumatic experience.  I can't help but think of what this might do to the children, and pictures of the orphaned children in Haiti flood my mind.

                                               Such a trying time, for such a beautiful country. 
So it almost feels disconnected to be able to say that today, I am hoping to finish bagging leaves in the front, the back is going to take much longer.  But we all have our jobs, that we have to do, and it does keep your mind occupied and off the sadness.

It will be a quiet day for the most part..everyone home and resting for the start of a new week, and reflecting on what we have, and thinking of Japan..

See you later,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

All In A Day's Work

It was nice and sunny this morning, but I didn't have a camera with me.

I snapped some pictures later on.   Of snowdrops and crocus.  Finally!  I am missing quite a few of them.  Of the yellow crocus which used to be quite a patch I see 2 bulbs made it.  ONE purple one in the cactus, that is just peeking out of the ground-no flower yet.....and a handful of snow drops where they're used to be quite a LARGE clump of looks like this fall I will be planting (if we aren't moving on by then)

The sun being clouded over, of course the crocus weren't open any more...

My camera is focusing on the ground even with the macro setting...if I back off more the flower is barely noticeable...



                                           An hours worth of work taking "some" of the leaf cover off the daffodils that are left and emerging daylillies, I don't want to take too much off yet, it is still cold.  And it is not unheard of to have a fairly big snow storm even in the end of march or beginning of April...although they are generally short lived.  (I am just getting antsy for spring!) This front corner of the yard by the driveway used to be a garden.  But in the past year I have moved most of the plants in it, and will probably let it grass over this year with a few daffodils coming up through it.  I also left a strip of daylilies next to the driveway and a row of Hostas.

I got one full bag of twigs and branches (that I broke into pieces and will use this summer in the BBQ grill.  And a pile of leaves..only a small small corner of the yard (and the front is much smaller then the back) is started. Easy does it, a little at a time...

Off to make a snack and read the mail.

See you later,

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Oh My...So Behind!! So much Trouble in the World...

Well after being in for almost 2 weeks with the Flu...and then this week running many many "catch-up" errands and appointments, I am SO behind on inside work!! 

It is too wet to go outside and pick up sticks..the first job I think to be I am inside plants ACHE to be outside but it is way too early...I have a lot of re-potting to do and trimming and rejuvenating ...yikes..will I ever be able to get this place ready to move??? And is this the WORST possible time to think about that in this area?!

My cousin Upstate NY (Rochester) sold her house, and is looking for another.  She sends me pictures of what she is looking at.  Some of the yards are soo nice (potentially that is) and I can see plans in my head..what I'd do if they were mine.  Isn't it funny how you can picture what to do someplace else but not your own?  Kind of like seeing other people's "problems" but you over look yours....."What me?  Problems? No way!"...
The problem with our yard, is it is now in such deep shade that I am planting (or longing) for planting in sun....and it is just not growing. I really want to replan and plant in a place where someone else might come in and do it "their" way!?  So I plan for low maintenance over beauty and desire (for me anyway) and my worst "fear" is we end up staying here and I have to do the yard all over again..for me... 

I am also way, way behind in computer and email work, so I have a LOT to do.  I haven't even been cooking regularly!  I want to get started again doing the FFWD (Dorie Greenspan's French cook book done of Friday) and her From My House to Yours baking book, on Tuesdays (I really needed a break from baking sweet stuff....I am working on sour dough loaf today)

And right now, my thoughts and heart go out to the country of Japan, and hopefully everything works out for the best.  Although I am not sure what could be "best" about this situation....Even Tokyo looks devastated...they are still getting after shocks, roads and trains are closed down, and of course MUCH communication is shut off...

The news said so far no Amercians have been injured, but it is early...and totals come in much, much of homes and buildings being swept down flood rivers and crashing into the sides of a dam are not pretty, and you can not imagine if anyone was in them they survived......I am sure we will all be shocked at the loss...

The Japanese people experience many earth quakes as routine, so they appear to be handling this, (and in fact the news said that many who may even have to sleep in subway tunnels tonight, consider themselves "lucky" because they are alive..). But I am not so sure about Americans living there because this one was so big it scared even some of the Japanese...roads are closed..especially the upper tiers, and they are now worried about the nuclear plants recently built keep praying for them...

So back to some sort of work...

See you later,

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Menu For The Week

Here is the menu for the week.  And a very busy week it is going to be....many appointments..almost one a day!

Monday- Ravioli and Italian bread with vegetable sticks and Ranch dip

Tuesday- Hamburgers, french fries (frozen but the ones with the good oil) cole slaw

Wednesday- Split Pea Soup (in the freezer) and cheese biscuits of bread

Thursday - Lemon herbed Turkey tenders or Chicken breast with Greek salad and orzo

Friday OUT!!

Saturday-Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

Sunday- Shrimp or Chicken (left for Thursday)Pad Thai (from Cooking Light)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Busy Busy COLD day...Chickens, Feeds and Computers...Oh My!

It is only 10:30 am and it is 22 degrees..compared to yesterdays 53 it feels frigid!!

I am off to collect whole oats for the horse..I got an extra bag for the chickens because they seem to like them so much, and also will get some chicken feed.  No one uses whole oats any more so I have to special order them, and there is only one place here that will do it. 

Seems everyone just wants the "ease" of animal fast/junk food!!  Pre-made etruded is like packaged foods we can buy in the store..while they tell HUMANS this is junk and to try to get away from it..companies keep pumping more and more items to tempt us is what people generally feed their animals...

WHY it should cost more to make whole foods, which means less processing, and less chemical additives, I don't would think it would be cheaper..

Whole oats still have the germ and oils in them.  I have heard people say that when they feed whole oats to horses they pass them right through..first of all check the teeth...they might need floating.  But generally the reason is because they don't soak them.  When you soak oats they swell and soften, I soak mine over night, and along with the swelling, the enzymes in them start to change.  I have a horse that has been riddled with health problems since she was born, and no vets ever helped her.  I had to do my own research to find out what I could do to help her stay alive..she has several life threatening experiences...I have contacted breeders, bio chemists, and homeopathic Drs, and natural Vets.. (Dr Dan the natural Pet Vet is the best!) and this is what I came up with whole oats and grass hay..unlimited as much as they can eat...and vitamins..human vitamins (as recommedend by a breeder of her breed) Easy Peasy...

Her health problems have turned around.....I am happy to say..she still sports a bad injury to her front foot ( which happened while she was in training, when she was 3 years old, by someone who should have known better) so it makes riding her probably something we won't be able to ever do, but she is healthy and fun...we can do things on the ground with her...

                           she takes my breath away when she is walking across the corral..

Chickens and feed....  It is very interesting that I have noticed lately the chickens pick through their scratch grain and leave the cracked corn.  I found out that they use genetically engineered (altered) corn in scratch and the chickens won't eat it...So I did some research on that, to find out if it was true.. and many people have said that when the corn in scratch grain is altered the chickens won't eat it...makes sense..too bad humans aren't as smart...I am going to check and see if I can get whole wheat, and barley, for them and maybe if I can find the other grains in scratch grain bags, (flax seed is good too) just mix up my own....when I give them some of the oats I seem to get more eggs..I think it is just because they are eating something whole...(? my guess anyway..probably not scientific) that combined with letting them roam the property when the garden isn't new and just coming up (they can make a mess out of the garden when it is just seedlings)

Although they are still getting layer pellets and that is a commercial mixed feed, so maybe negates everything I just said, but I give it to them free choice so if they need it they eat it...

Last night I kept dreaming about the whole process of starting chicks, and when and how to move them to an already established chicken house.  We have done it many times, I was running through the process in my head..funny how the brain works.

Some fresh spring flowers on the geranium in the back of the is about 5 or 6 years old now...there are quite a few stems waiting to bloom...

Plants waiting to go back outside in the late spring....


A little pot "buddy"...I got a couple of them at AC Moore's one year..cute.. hour after I first started this.....I was interrupted by a rather long phone call NOW I am off...

See you later,


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March Being March....

 It was 51 degrees today..tomorrow it isn't supposed to get past 15 or so..with windchills in the single digits...March....gotta love it....means something better is coming, right? 

ALMOST all the snow is melted..I still can't cross the property yet in the back, but the spaces in the paths are getting wider and wider...the corral is pretty icy..hard to walk in...and except for the icy piles on the road, the front is pretty much melted (except the sides of the driveway...)  I have a feeling a lot of bulbs aren't going to come back this year..oh well..means starting over..or simplifying ..or something....don't want to put too much money into it.. (which is agony for me)

I am having so much computer trouble crashed 4 times this morning alone, and I couldn't use it for most of the afternoon, running every program we could think of....scans, restarts, recovers, updates, you name it.  We use Mozilla and I can't even get it started right now.  I am on Internet Explorer (but I don't like it) the whole format is differnet.  I can't even check this post before I send it! 

So if I is the computer..(it is a NEW computer, but I DID have a couple of weeks where my virus protection lapsed before I got new programs on we'll see what happens...)

See you late,
Enjoy the weather...unpredictable March...whether heading into Spring or Fall...


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I did it..I bought new chicks....I kept putting it off because whenever I looked at the catalogs it was like picking vegetables and want this, and you want that..and you want the other one too...

I like a mix of colors in my eggs.  Like the garden.. I like some brown eggs, some green, some white and every shade in between.  So every time I'd sit down to decide what to get, I would end up with about 30 birds.  Not that thats too many, but it is if we move.  It is easier to take a few or leave them at the local farm, then 30!  I even found a new one I never saw before that laid white eggs..usually I have various shades of browns, blues greens and even some pinks and khaki.  I never really saw a white egg layer (breed) that I liked... this year I found 3 I liked....

The Norwegian Jaerhons, the Mottled Ancona, and Austra White chickens.  I liked them all because they were both cold hardy, and not flighty and good foragers. 

A lot of white egg layers and small nervous birds..flighty and can fly over fences.  My brown layers (and tinted egg layers) tend to be larger heavier birds (usually for dual purpose but I let them live out their lives here) and they are usually calm and gentle.  Some breeds can be nasty.  I found that to be the case with Barred Rocks and Brahmas.  We once had a poultry farmer tell us he would never have a Brahma rooster if he had young children, because they are nasty and agressive, and very big.  They like to spike people..and he had a friend who was spiked in the neck from behind by one.  He told us they are perfect child height and could probably do serious damage to a child if not kill them spiking them in the neck...that was enough for us (we did have one at the time and had that experience with him trying to spike us.  Up until that point we just chopped the spikes off, but once we heard what he said we got rid of the rooster all together.

This time of the year many birds/breeds are sold out.  I didn't order any of the white layers. And I ordered from My pet Chicken because you can order a SMALL number..I settled for hoo...

I ordered them form My Pet Chicken

This is the company that offered the white layers (actually the offer over 300 breeds) I liked but that is going to have to wait until next year.  I would absolutely have a separate hutch/ run for fancy birds, if I had the room for them...some of the are so beautiful...then again I would also have Guinea Hens if I had the room too.  I will miss my Buff Orphingtons (I Love them) and Black Australorps..oh and Speckled Sussex..pretty calm gentle birds and great layers and winter birds...and MORE Aracaunas!  Next year right?

Aracaunas- they come in various shades of browns, from light to very dark, and some of them quite pretty, and the chicks look like chipmunks....

See you to prepare a place for them until they are big enough to out in the outside house...they will arrive some times during the week of May 2 ....

Janie here!

                                           "March is the month of expectation,
                                            The things we do not know,
                                            The Persons of Prognostication
                                            Are coming now.
                                           We try to sham becoming firmness,
                                            But pompous joy
                                            Betrays us, as his first betrothal
                                            Betrays a boy."

                                         -  Emily Dickinson, XLVIII

And ya know what?  I JUST commented to one of my son's last night that for whatever reason (must be attitude?) I do not feel like this was a "forever winter",  like a lot of others do, despite all the snow and shoveling and clogged roads..etc...and I don't know why..and I almost think I will miss the snow... 

It seems like it "felt" long....but really, it was only as long as it was supposed to be.

It DID seem to start earlier (earlier snow falls) than usual, but to me..winter is a rainbow of color in the snow covered ground, and black/brown branches against a blue sky. (even if those days are only far and few between)

This is not to say I am not looking forward to Spring, and the garden and the flowers...

March is the "clean-up" month...

The month of walking the property and picking up branches.  The month or peeking under wet leaves to find spring bulbs (unfortunately for me I think a lot of mine died this winter)

The month of God's tree trimming"....winds and changeable weather as it lets go of winter, almost painfully, and transitions into Spring.

I Love each season for it's own beauty.....much like how I feel about all the differences in peoples of the whole world...

See you later,