Saturday, May 30, 2009

Getting the hang of it and saying goodbye

We sold the 2 Dexter cows and 2 heifers to the same guy and promised to deliver. I was dreading the loading as it seems to always be a nightmare if you don't own (or know where to borrow) a loading chute. Anyway, I woke up thanks to a certain bull who kept mooing and didn't see dh so I got up and there he was outside already hooked up to the trailer and backed up to the corral area. He was about his morning routine and I went back to bed to play with the baby. EE woke up and noticed Lot and Quinn out of the pen, that got my attention. Fearing the worse I got my shoes on and walked outside. DH was walking over to the bull with a 2x4 over his shoulder, I inquired what was going on and it turned out that he had loaded the girls into the trailer (much to the dismay of the boys) and they escaped when dh tried to pull forward to close the gate. Lot's been crying ever since, lol, poor baby. Seeing dh they immediately walked back into their place and continued to cry for their women.

As I walked back to the house I realised that dh has really gotten a handle on working the cattle. He moves them around very well and today loaded them without me even knowing. Two days ago he roped sweetiepie so that we could finally get her ear tag in, and that was a comedy of errors, though more so because the tagger kept malfunctioning :( I am really impressed with how well he has done with this bunch, ornery as they were. We'll be picking up another lady for Lot on our way home. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's my Birthday!!! YAY!!

Happy Birthday to me :) Today I am 30 and I must say it feels like took forever to get here, lol. I have never really understood the problem people have with getting older, personally I don't mind it so much. I could do without the extra aches and pains but I am thankful to be rid of the aches and pains of childhood too. I have lived life to the fullest as best I could and may few (if any) apologies for it. I hope not to lose that willingness to risk it all for the things I feel passionate about. Hope you have a blessed day today :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I've lost this battle but maybe not the war

As you know I have been pursuing my MBA, today I was academically disqualified from the program as my GPA has not achieved the required 3.0 (it is 2.96) :( I will have to wait 6 months to be able to reapply and appeal :( I know that most people think I had taken on too much, but I had hoped that I could make it work :( Today I feel defeated . . .

Over the last week or so I have been looking into my options for a business and there are a few classes I will need to take but I think I may have a good idea. My 9-5 began layoffs in my absence and figuring out what I maybe able to do has become very necessary. I had wondered when I'd find the time to take the classes, I guess my dance card just opened up. I may win this war yet :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A year ago today

We signed the papers for our little farm. As I sit here listening to Sammy bark at who knows what, I remember the joy that filled us and the anxious feeling that carried through till it was all done at 4pm. God is great, His love is endless and His grace is sufficient. I wish you every blessing this fine day and pray that neither your house nor mine, be disrupted by chaos. :)

On a side note, our well pump is having some issues, and we are going to have to have someone out to take a look. Please pray that whatever the problem, it is one that can be easily (read: cheaply = cost, not quality) be repaired/replaced. :)

Oh and HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY SWEETIEPIE!!! She was our first calf:)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chicken Pelau

The recipe is the simmilar to the Pork Pelau. So here are the pics to help you through :)

light brown/white sugar
vegetable oil
2 cans of pigeon peas/gandules
4 cups of rice
black pepper
3-4 lbs meat (chicken, beef or pork)
Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce
coconut milk/chicken stock/water

1. Season the meat with the Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce , salt and black pepper.

2. cover the bottom of the pot with a small amount of oil, then add just enough sugar to absorb the oil. I use a medium high heat to then "brown" the sugar - (refers to the caramelization).

3. Quickly add the seasoned meat to the caramelized sugar and stir properly to coat each piece. Then cover and let the meat cook.

4. Add pigeon peas, tomatoes, habanero pepper (do not let it burst if you do not like very spicy food) and other desired veggies can be added here.

5. Add rice a few minutes later and either coconut milk or water to cook the rice. Remember that there is already liquid in the pot, so estimate and adjust the amount of liquid to be added based on rice package. (Do not use instant rice).

6. Once the rice has cooked the dish is done. Enjoy :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chicken time


We decided to begin butchering the chickens this weekend, we were pleased to see that there were volunteers.

We printed out the instructions and got everything set up.

AR has been waiting patiently on this day so he was allowed the first kill.


The headless chicken was then hung and dh got to work removing the skin, complete with feathers.

Once the skin was removed, revealing the meat desired we began to remove the breasts, legs and thighs.

To say the least the breast took a little bit of skill to make sure not to cut too deep. It was not too difficult.

In the end we got what we needed and discarded the rest. (We are debating the dog and cat food suggestion for next week's batch of chickens.)

To celebrate the occasion I cooked up a delicious chicken Pelau, picture tutorial will be posted tomorrow. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fair Warning

This afternoon we began processing our chickens, we are going to be spreading the job over several days as we have a big group. We have opted not to use the traditional gutting and defeathering method as it is far more time consuming and frankly I don't make broth or stock so there is no real point. I know it is less frugal but . . . anyway, we are using the skinning method that is available for preview on the sidebar: How to process a chicken in 20 minutes or less. I would definitely recommend this method to a beginner. ;) Anyway, there will be pics tomorrow so if you can't handle it, consider this your fair warning. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Check the bill

I have a new appreciation for my cell phone provider, Alltel :) I received several calls over the last week and today I decided to answer. It was a really nice lady calling to solve the mystery of the high usage. Not sure what she was going about she finally said, your most recent bill is going out for over $700. I was immediately interested in finding out more, can't imagine why. She started looking deeper into the bill she noticed that there were a ton of data calls being made from my phone, I explained that that was not possible since I don't use those services. She agreed that something seemed off and transferred me to the billing to dispute the charges.

I don't like that guy at all, he basically told me that I would have to pay them to send a detailed bill or print it and send them a copy with the disputed charges. He refused to look any further. Luckily I lost the call (they do that a lot out here)and went to the website anyway. Finally I went to print and found that there were 170 pages :( I opted to download it instead, did I mention I love Excel too? :)

The sort and filter feature showed without a doubt that the mysterious data calls had used over 3000 minutes on my phone alone, of which close to 1500 were charged to my anytime minutes :( I called them back immediately and the sweet lady from India, downloaded the bill and saw what I did and without any more fuss issued a credit. She then advised me to talk to tech support to figure out why the problem occurred so that it would not happen again.

I am thankful for their vigilance, it is nice to know that there is an entire department dedicated to looking for these types of issues, with the goal of making sure that the customer is taken care of. They work on modifying plans to get you the best value so that you never have to get an outrageous bill. I'm impressed :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The time is now

Since I had the baby it was time to start thinking about getting myself in better health. The big factor in this would be some MAJOR weight loss, we won't discuss how much but know that it is a lot. The point is I have opted, thanks to the recommendation of several momys who have tried and are currently using the program, for Weight Watchers. So far I have been really impressed by their online program and the flexibility. It's nice to have a program that is customizable to nursing moms. I'll let you know how it goes, I signed up for the 3 months plan and found an online coupon to waive the sign-up fee :) Have you tried Weight Watchers, what did you think?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I was working on little May's registration when I realised that she really was neither black nor brown (dun). Does she look sort of red to you? I would need to have her tested to be sure of course but I'm curious, what do you think?

Curry + Crockpot = Can it be?

I was here and saw this recipe and she raves about it so I am going to give it a try.

The Ingredients.

- 1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 4-6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 T tomato paste
- 2 T curry powder
- 1 t ground coriander
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1 inch peeled and grated ginger
- few dashes of hot sauce
- 1 yellow onion. chopped
- 2 or 3 cloves of smashed and chopped garlic
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 of an eggplant, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped

The Directions.

Assemble all of your spices, coconut milk, tobasco sauce, and tomato paste. Combine the sauce ingredients in the bottom of your crockpot. The sauce will be a lovely yellow.

Add the chicken, flipping it over a few times to coat it nicely. Pour in the garbanzo beans.

Wash and chop all of the vegetables, and then add to the Crock-Pot. Don't worry about stirring them in the sauce. Let them sit on top of the chicken and steam away.

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 4-6. I cooked our dinner on high for almost 6 hours. The chicken was fully cooked, but still had shape, and the vegetables were soft and quite nice.

Stir carefully to mix flavors. If you stir too rough, the sweet potato will fall apart.

Serve over rice.

Everyone should be this happy!!

Parental Rights

Sunday, May 10, 2009

She's here!!

Our newest princess was born on Saturday morning. Labor was longer than usual but all went well. Mom and GH are resting up as there has been very little sleep in the last 48 hours.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Building a Basic Pantry

Whether you're a college student, just got married or are moving into your first apartment, cooking for yourself can be overwhelming—especially if you're starting from scratch. While the Food Network may seem like the obvious place to start, the trick is to begin with simple recipes and work your way up to more complicated dishes.

Before getting started, make a list of all the ingredients you'll need to create a well-stocked pantry. The following items are just suggestions, so don't run to the grocery store and buy everything on the list. However, most of the ingredients are basic enough that they can be used to make a variety of meals.

Various Oils: Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Peanut Oil, Vegetable Oil

Spices: Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, Parsley, Tarragon, Cumin, Crushed Red Pepper, Thyme, Bay Leaves, Paprika, Cayenne, Ginger, Mustard Powder, Marjoram, Allspice, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Salt, Pepper, Whole Black Peppercorns

Extracts: Vanilla (a must), Lemon, Peppermint, Butter, Almond, Maple

Basic Staples:

 Baking Soda
 Baking Powder
 Corn Starch
 Flour
 Sugar (Powdered, Granulated and Brown)
 Yeast
 Stock (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable)
 Maple Syrup
 Cooking Wine
 Milk
 Butter
 Eggs
 Mustard
 Lemons (or Lemon Juice)
 Mayonnaise
 Garlic
 Hot Sauce
 Onions
 Parmesan cheese

Check your basic staples periodically for expiration dates. Believe it or not, even baking soda has an expiration date. Replace them as needed so they are always fresh and available for when you need them. Buy perishable items like milk, eggs, fresh vegetables, cheese and meat in small quantities so you have a chance to use them before they expire.

Other Handy Pantry Items:

 Dried Beans
 Pastas
 Spaghetti Sauce
 Canned Soup (Cream of Chicken or Mushroom)
 Various Cheeses
 Sour Cream
 Cream Cheese
 Canned or Frozen Vegetables (usually frozen taste better)
 Potatoes
 Celery
 Carrots

With just a little time and effort, you can learn how to make simple dishes that are much more satisfying than microwave dinners, not to mention much cheaper and healthier. Try adding cooked ground beef and frozen vegetables to your favorite spaghetti sauce and pour over pasta for an inexpensive Italian meal. For an easy casserole, mix cream of chicken soup with cooked rice, leftover chicken and frozen broccoli, top with cheddar cheese and bake until bubbly. Another option is to top salad greens with a variety of ingredients, such as chicken, ham, tuna, chopped egg, carrots, green peppers, diced fruit, raisins and nuts for a healthy, easy meal.

Once you get comfortable making a few basic dishes, try substituting different meats, vegetables and spices to add variety—the possibilities are endless. To find other simple recipes, ask friends and family for suggestions or go online to search the countless recipe and food sites.
Good luck cooking!

List provided by the good folks over at Kraft

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bovine Sibling Rivalry

Well it is odd but Sweetiepie has been acting up for a few weeks now and I suspected it was because her mama was coming close to birthing her competition. During the birth she mooed constantly and acted out, escaping the fence to get mama's attention and having to be locked down. Once Christmas gave birth she was not content to be a silent observer, Lot and Christmas were all over little May and she was not having it. Once we opened up the pasture to the cows, Sweetiepie spent her day up against the fence making sure that she was not forgotten. It's kind of cute really. I spoke with Patti Adams of Kansas Dexters and she told me that this was really normal, in fact it is not uncommon to have to separate an older sibling to prevent improper imprinting. I was looking at some old (last year) pics and May is the splitting image of Sweetiepie. I will post their 2 day old pics side by side this weekend, it's uncanny. Lot and Christmas will have lots of dun babies together :) Though it makes you wonder if she ever feels like she wishes just one of her babies could look like her?


Dh arrived home this morning to find tiny little hooves sticking out the back of Christmas. He ran in and asked for the camera, which is code for "get up we're having a calf" :) I got up and found her at the same point, figuring that she probably didn't want to birth in the barn I asked dh to open up the arena for them. She was thrilled and began to graze while laboring. She kept looking at us and I realised that we might be the problem. At this point we'd called every cow person we could think of to make sure that everything was going as it should. Dh went about the regular chores and I went inside. The kids were so excited. After working on chicken water and setting them free to free range, he ran into the house to announce that the calf was on the ground, YAY!!! He grabbed the camera and set off to get pics, the kids and I could hardly contain ourselves. We jumped into the car and drove over to the arena fence to see what we could see and there she was laying on the ground being cleaned up. Lot was so cute, as all first time father's are. He even came to help clean her up and help her get up and walking around. It took a little while but soon she was up and moving. Christmas kept her walking in circles as she tried to get a hold of a teet. Finally she was able to latch-on and baby and mama are doing very well. On a complete side note, Dh was able to get up close and personal with mama and baby as he took her out some grain and she let him take a closer look at the calf. She is to be called May. :) Check out the slide show below:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kentucky Grilled Chicken Two-Piece Meal Coupon (KFC)

This coupon was talked about on Oprah. It is available for download here

Here are the Terms:
Get two pieces of grilled chicken, two individual sides and a biscuit!
Limited Time Download
Coupon download available from 9 a.m. CDT on May 5, 2009, to 9:59 p.m. CDT on May 6, 2009. Coupon is redeemable at participating KFC® locations in the United States from May 5, 2009 to May 19, 2009—excluding Mother's Day, May 10, 2009.

* Terms: Free offer good for two pieces of Kentucky Grilled Chicken™ (manager's choice) and two individual sides and a biscuit at participating KFC restaurants located in the Unites States, while supplies last. Limit one offer per coupon, one coupon per person during offer period. Must be redeemed in person. Not good with any other offers. No photocopied, mechanically reproduced or altered coupon accepted. Coupon cannot be sold or traded. Valid only if downloaded from Applicable tax extra. Void where prohibited. By downloading coupon, you agree that KFC is not responsible for any technical problems or malfunctions of computer systems, servers or printers or lost or unavailable network connections. You are limited to 4 downloads of coupon. Coupon fraud is punishable by law.

Monday, May 4, 2009

He did it!!! YAY!!

This morning Dusty (cat on the left) caught a mouse, YAY!!! Yes I know cats have done this for thousands of years but I've never seen it. It was brilliant! I would prefer that he not play with the thing when he's done but to each his own, lol.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

All Star Adventures *PIC HEAVY*

Thanks to Don hall and the good folks at Kissin Country we were able to spend our day at All Star Adventures. We had a wonderful time at the park. The kids have never been to an amusement park and a chance to take them all for free was too good to miss. SL was not very thrilled to actually ride the rides but he was eager to look at them, lol. I was not too thrilled at the 1 hr wait at the go-karts, nor very thrilled that after that long wait AR was deemed too tall for the ride :( We were able to get in and out of the whole experience for about $30, not bad for a family of 7, for 5 1/2 hours of fun :) Here are the pics:

Ok there is actually more pics but I think I hit the blogger max, lol :) I mentioned that it was a fun day, right?