Wednesday, December 29, 2010

meet dottie

she is my new cuckoo marans hen. she is a bit nervous right now and has not come out of the coop, probably because the buzzards are circling....

well, right below her, just waiting to establish that pecking order. it's not a pretty sight, but it will all come together, eventually. i hope.

i think she is right pretty and

i can't wait to get my first egg. merry christmas to me. enjoy.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

wise guy eh?

who thought it would be cute to ask santa for snow? i know i didn't, but it started last night and is still coming down. we don't usually get too much in these here parts, but we are on track for at least a foot! here is my view from my living room couch, kinda nice, for the moment.


Friday, December 24, 2010

merry christmas!

merry christmas from beth, jamie, caroline and travis!

oh, also lucy, abby, minnie, daisy, cora, rosie, ruby chicken and lily the dog!

oh, also the whole herd of unnamed dust bunnies under my bed!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

easiest peanut butter fudge evah

two ingredients is all it takes to make this yummy fudge. when i saw the recipe on the net i just knew i had to give it a try.

here is what you do:

butter an  8x8 pan, in a microwave nuke for one minute each, a tub of vanilla frosting and one 16oz jar of peanut butter, mix together till blended, spread into your prepared pan and then pop into the fridge till firm. you are done.  i am now thinking chocolate frosting and peanut butter? chunky peanut butter? almond butter? hmmmmm.....

enjoy. i know i did.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

cinnamon and sugar pretzels

these are so easy and super fast to make. i snagged the recipe from baking junkie after seeing her pretzels posted on foodgawker. i like'em. i am going to make more, but with one change, i am upping the cinnamon to a full tablespoon. yum. go make a batch for snacking and packing, now. enjoy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

cappuccino fudge

caroline loves fudge and i usually make a simple recipe using  a popular sweetened condensed milk, which is pretty much fool proof, but the other day i stumbled across annie's eats  and her recipe for cappuccino fudge.  i knew i had to give it a try. i am so glad i did. it is delicious. it is creamy, smooth with big coffee flavor. caroline gave it two thumbs up, well, as she was licking her fingers, they flew up in the air, so i counted them. go whip up a batch today. it makes a great breakfast treat, well, in my house anyway. enjoy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

project "coop re-do"

well jamie had an entire week off of work, so you know what that means? it is "create a project" time and pass it off like beth asked for it. this time is was a new coop for the chickens. there was nothing wrong with the old one and i didn't ask for the new one, but it is nice. we retrofitted our garden shed to accommodate "my" birds.

so, we are leaving this behind, santa and all....

jamie got busy, first by dividing the shed....keeping one side for storage.

like the previous coop, he built this one with mostly recycled goods, like reusing our old screen door from our house garage....

nest boxes in the making....

i just couldn't resist hillbilly-ing it up some more....

inside shot of nest boxes, roosts and poop boards....yee haw.

the hinged gang plank to the nest boxes, which i can lift and latch to get in there and eggs today, ye must walk the plank matey, arrr!

installing super thick waterproof plastic, that will be covered in pine shaving, but will hopefully prevent the wooden floor beneath from rotting.

little extra storage created with the coop ceiling....perfect place for pine shaving, dust and feathers to accumulate. awesome.

pop door time! nosey critters keep running over to check the saw out. i was afraid one might end up like headless mike!! go look, it is for real, no hoax.

door cut, nothing fancy here, yet, we are planning to install an automatic coop door opener. i can not wait, no more trekking out there in the cold, rain, snow, you name it to let them out or in.

spoiled chickens....

well, it is pretty much done, maybe a little of bit of tweaking here and there, but they are in and they are confused. i have got some sleeping on the floor, in the nest boxes and the roosts. i have some laying on the floor and in the nest boxes. the first night, three made it in and the other four were huddle up on the gangplank to the old coop. i had to hand shove them through the pop door. they will figure it out. they better or it will be the stew pot. yea, right.

almost forgot, the backside of the nest boxes, where i can lift the doors and gather my bounty, well that is if they figure it out and not lay on the floor! santa, your alive!

as for the original coop, remember i said earlier we are big into recycling aka cheap, it is burning in the wood stove right now. actually, we had to take it apart to get it out of the run, but i truly wish i could have donated it to another backyard chicken beginner, like myself. oh well.

below is a link for a little chicken television for your viewing pleasure courtesy of me and my southern draw. enjoy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

christmas is here finally....

at my house. i just finished decorating the christmas tree while the kids slept. it didn't go too bad, down two ornaments, courtesy of travis, and i swore only a tiny bit. things are joyful.


Friday, November 26, 2010

thanksgiving 2010

was spent with my husband and kids at westmoreland state park in montross, va. it was fun. i would do it again. it could quickly become a family tradition. come take a stroll with the family and allow me to narrate, so follow the sultry sound of my voice....

common sense says that i should have taken a pic of the park entrance, but, well, what can i say? i didn't, so let us begin at our cabin for the holidays, #16. it was quaint, circa 1950's with screened in porch and rockers, updated with corian countertops and lovely thrift store finds, quite the mix.

the living area with the country blue action. please the note the extremely sturdy, yet utterly uncomfortable "this end up" furniture.

the master bedroom with its color coordinated husband, not included, but could be arranged.

bedroom number two, with the two standard mental hospital issued twin beds for my crazy children, very fitting indeed.

travis loved the bathroom and was fascinated that there were two faucets, rather than just one. it has a shower, no bath, no biggie.

the gourmet worked for me, mostly, but i will gripe about that later.

there is a nice deck with a picnic table, built in bench and grill off one side of the cabin.

 i know i am being very sarcastic, well that is just me, overall i have to the say the cabin was good, not fantastic, but state park budget good. it was immaculate, but there were things i just didn't like, such as having an oven knob with all hint of temperatures completely gone. i mean completely, so your biscuits end up looking like this....

i was not happy, thank goodness my turkey breast had a pop up timer, so i just covered it good with foil and let her rip! it was fine, but i can not say the same for the crescent rolls. also, there was no potholders!!! what? all linens were provided, so there were a coupla dish towels to use, but not the same people. hello, vdcr, ya need some potholders not to mention a good potato peeler, a hook on the back of the bathroom door, some platters, a non-cremated spatula and a few sharp knives, but overall, you did a great job, so let's continue on our stroll of this wonderful park....

the kids loved the beach on the potomac river with its shells and views of maryland, so cool.

the boat house, closed for the season.

the olympic size swimming pool and snack shack, closed for the season. i loved this time of year, no people, just a lone fisherman and two lone kayaks.

a cool picnic shelter with a rock fireplace all facing the potomac. i would have my birthday there.

some serious steps, straight up. no thank you.

starting our stroll to fossil beach....

okay, jamie was way up there and all i could think was that if he fell, i was drinking his coffee. i regret not catching his bear grylls descent, too funny and not to mention scary.

almost to fossil beach where....

we found no fossils only....

beautiful views and one annoyingly yappy dog.

we took a shortcut to rock spring pond by heading down the ravine behind our cabin. i was a little slower than the others. those leaves are like walking on ball bearings people. i was nervous.

we made it, walked back the long way and made a stopover at the playground.

where i gave the zip line a go. ow, painful. then jamie had a go, but with much more flair.

we ended our day with a yummy thanksgiving feast chock full of tryptophan, carbs and a token vegetable. oh, and a beautiful homemade leaf runner compliments of mother nature and my kids, just perfect.

happy thanksgiving and now where to visit for christmas? enjoy.

ps-i wanted to add that bird dog's country store, right outside the park's entrance, has the best hot chocolate on tap!