Thursday, February 19, 2009


OK, I had this awesome blog planned about the new Pringles flavor, but that's going to have to wait because something torqued me off.

You know this "octo-mom"? I don't really care that she has so many kids or how she got them (since when is her medical record public knowledge? I thought there were HIPPA laws?) Anyways... everyone and there brother has an opinion about it, and well... I'm here to tell you mine....

1. No one should be able to regulate the size of your family except you and the father of your child(ren). So all these people who say that the doctor should be brought up on charges for doing this when she doesn't have money are wrong. Who's to say how much money is required to raise a child? Now if you say that the doctor should have seen to her other medical needs (including mental health) and that possibly the procedure itself was unethical, that's fine. But coming from someone who's done the whole infertility treatment herself, let me just say it's a business more than health care.

2. I should have the choice as to whether or not to donate money. I'm not saying we don't have a Christian duty to help mothers like her, or even a responsiblity as Americans. In fact I emphatically believe that we do have a responsibilty. But I can't say that anyone else has a right to take my money and decide who is the recipient of that charity. People do realize that the government doesn't actually have money right? It's yours and mine and everybody else's. If you think what this women did was wrong, don't give her money for it. If you think the doctor was wrong, well, don't vote for universal health care so he gets your money. But we aren't given the choice.

3. And once again, universal health care. Sigh. You realize we will be setting up this situation over and over again with that? How many other women would put themselves into the same position if they had the money. Don't worry, we'll pay for it for you! Then we'll give you money to raise the kids. Don't mind the fact that we can't afford to grow our own families because of the amount of money taken out of our checks in taxes....

4. If one more person tells me that it's not right for her to be living in a house with three bedrooms, I'll scream. OK, I'll grant you with her parents there it probably isn't unless the mom is sleeping on the couch. That's a bedroom for the grandparents, the mom, and only one for the kids. But guess what? Each child doesn't need their own bedroom, or heck, even their own bed. They don't need a ton of clothes, just clean clothing. They don't need name brand sneakers, just something to put on their feet that's in good condition. It's also not the parent's responsibility to provide their college education, it's a gift you can chose to give your kids. It's not easy to earn your way, but it can be done. As long as they have a roof over their heads, clean clothing on their back, food on the table, a chance at the basic educational requirements, and live in hygenic conditions, that's all the parent is required to do. (There's that whole love thing too...)

5. Imagine you (if you are male) or your significant other (if you are not) get a knock on the door and someone hands you a letter stating that you (or your SO) is the father of a child you didn't know about. And suppose the judge states that as the father you are required to pay child support and it's being garnished from your paycheck. Oh and btw you have no say over your child or their upbringing. (Granted this does actually happen...) Now the mother of that child decides to clone the child. Repeatedly. They decide you have to support all those children because a DNA test revealed you are the father. Now money is automatically being taken out of your paycheck to pay for children you didn't try to have, have no say over, and you can't control how many children there will be. But at least you got the fun part with the mother at the beginning. The rest of us are getting screwed in a different way, because money is being taken out of our paychecks and given to people to raise children and we have no say in how their raised or how many children they have.

6. Have you heard of Catholic Charities? Their purpose (among many) is to help out families in this exact situation. People CHOOSE to give their money to Catholic Charities. Families in need recieve services from Catholic Charities. It works. (There are others, I just can't think of any names...) The question was brought to me in argument, "Well they only have just so much money, what happens to families when they run out?" I responded, "Well the government only has so much money, what happens when they run out?" Oh the answer to that is simple, they'll take more from people who may or may not be able to afford it. Then those that couldn't afford it will be asking for help and drawing from that resource pool and the government will need more money and take more from people who may or may not be able to afford it.... Do you see?

I guess it all boils down to this. It's none of our business how many children she has, or how she got them because it's not our responsibility to raise them. But if it becomes my responsibilty to help her financially, then I want a say in the matter.

Sorry I'm in a cranky mood and this set me off... Pringles post coming tomorrow....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

First Blog Award

Hey I won an award!

HermitJim gave me an "Excellence in Blogcasting Award"! I don't know why, it must have been my titillating story of a faux romance between ducks? Or the fact I feed my family Rubber Chicken?

Now it's my turn to pass it on. That's the rules, once you win you have to pass it on. Here's my list.

1. FarmerGeek (cause he's my husband- and he's really cute.)

2. ColdAntlerFarm (cause I'm addicted...)

3. Dlyn cause she's way better at taking food pics than I am

4. Just Trying to Survive (cause she almost always makes me smile)

5. American Way Farm (cause I like her videos)

6. A Homesteading Neophyte (cause the pic on the front page is classic)

7. Muddy Boot Dreams (cause I can't wait to get mine dirty too)

So now you may take this award and award it to other blogs you like (up to 15).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rubber Chicken

I know we are all trying to save money. Even though most of us aren't directly affected by the economy, we've all seen what could be coming in our future. This is why I'm sharing the story of a rubber chicken.

I got the idea from Leanne Ely at Saving Dinner and if I remember correctly, she used a rotessarie chicken from the deli? I thought about it and thought about it and well, I'm a little scared of those chickens. Who knows how long they've been there and what chemicals they've been juiced up with? Giant Eagle had whole chickens on sale buy one get one free, so we stocked up.

Right this second I have a 6.56 lb chicken getting ready for tonight. It is labeled 12.36, but remember I got one free with it! Tonight we roast the chicken whole. Then after dinner, we'll take the meat off the bones and portion out enough for stir-fry tomorrow night. I think I'm going to throw it into a marinade. Then there's enough left for one more meal, you could make pizza or casserole or an omlet. Whatever floats your boat. We are supposed to cut out certain foods right now for health reasons, mostly refined carbs. So we're having a stir fry and omlette.

But wait-there's more!

Then I take the carcass and whatever veggies are leftover from last week and put it in my biggest stockpot to simmer for a few hours. I strain it (twice because I'm obsessive) and start making soups for FarmerGeek to take to work.

Today was salsa soup
Sautee carrots and celery and rosemary in olive oil. Add in stock and some salsa. All amounts to taste.

Tomorrow is Oriental Soup
I happened to have dried mushrooms but whatever... had I had fresh I would have chopped and sauteed in sesame oil, added tarragon, stock and frozen peas. (Note: Next time I would use onion, minced, chopped, or even those little baby onions...)

Wednesday Italian
Stock, basil, diced tomatoes, and a can of cannellini beans

Thursday Southwest
Stock, black beans, corn, shot of tabasco, can of green chiles, cumin

Now for the record, one $12.36 chicken will make us three dinners and four different soups for lunches. Or heck, for dinner. All low carb yumminess....

As you can see the possibilities are endless!!! Did an idea for soup just pop into your head? If so, feel free to share it here!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Little Video

OK, this video isn't exactly in my normal vein, but hey! I just learned how to embed videos and this is my favorite one cause I've been there- who hasn't at some point or another? Take the time to watch it then read the note at the bottom.
Now whether you share my faith or not, just know, believing what I believe, I cared enough to share this with you. Reflect on that, and appreciate the choreography as an art form and move on. It's like the whole "God Bless You" thing. You might not believe, but I do and I care enough about your sneeze to ask God to bless you when you do. Say, "Thanks you very much" and move on...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Duckster: A Love Story Part 3

As soon as Duckster's poor little webbed feet hit the ground, she got away from us as fast as she could and waddled her fluffy feathery butt into the coop. (Another way I knew she was definitely Duckster, she knew right where the door was and how to get in and no one was afraid of her--- well no more than normal.) From the other side of the fence we could hear her swearing at us in there.

Duckster: "You stupid sons of a (female dog who's had puppies) I was getting my groove on with Horace across the street and you (plural version of a part of the body that allows excrement out) come and drag me home. I swear to God when I turn 18 I'm out of here. And then you CLIP MY WING!?!?!?!?! I mean SERIOUSLY what if I WANTED it to look like that? And what do you mean I'm grounded???

DivaHick: Now Duckster, you may not speak to me that way. And you are far to young for that kind of language.

Duckster: #*($@ OFF!!!! ::Duckster angrily storms out of the coop::

DivaHick: Ok that's enough, you may not see that duck again, he's from the wrong side of the road.

Duckster: I do what I want! I LOVE HIM....

(I apologize to all my readers, I've been watching Maury again... well not really.... ok just the once.)

At this venture, Clyde comes over to see Duckster. He rushes over to her when suddenly the entire world slows down and they begin to waddle toward each other...

Clyde: Oh Duckster, I'm sorry it took me so long to get over the death of Bonnie. But time has healed my wounds, and I realize now that I love you. Please, please forgive me and give me another chance...

Duckster: Oh I do forgive you my feathered friend, and I love you... but... I may be carrying Horace's child.

At this precise moment she squatted and laid an egg...

Clyde: Is it... his?

Duckster: What does it matter, I'm not feeling broody anyways.

Clyde: Do you think, could you...?

Duckster: Oh Clyde, I do. I do love you!!! I'm so sorry about my fling with Horace and I promise to stay home where I belong from now on (at least until I molt).

Then Clyde embraced her, and did that thing male ducks have been doing to female ducks since time immemorial...

Happy Valentine's Day

The End

So basically, our duck flew away, we got her back, clipped her wings and mated her to our male Muscovy and I made a three part story out of it... and you read it all... suckers...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Duckster: A Love Story- Part 2

I know you've been waiting with baited breath for the continuation of the scintillating love story between Duckster and the Duck From the Wrong Side of the Road. And I shall bring it to you.

There the devastatingly beautiful DivaHick (hey throwing myself a bone here...) peered out the kitchen window, straining to see beyond the yard through the swiftly swirling snow. (OK- TOTALLY busted out the English degree there...) Alas, looking for a white duck in the snow was like, well, looking for a white duck in the snow. When, oh when, would the FarmerGeek return to the homestead full of wit and wisdom and an answer on how to rectify this situation. She wrung her hands and fretted. She paced the length of her immaculate kitchen whilst something yummy simmered on the stove and she twisted her apron in her perfectly manicured hands. (Can't you just give me this one please?)

Finally, FarmerGeek returned to the completely paid off homestead (I just had to get one more in, I'm sorry) and announced that there was nothing they could do, the search would have to be called off due to weather. Of course, they tossed and turned in the warm bed worried over the fate of the beloved duck. What if she didn't go across the road? What if a mink or fox got her? Oh no OH NO! Finally the alarm went off and it was still snowing. Not only that, but the farmers across the street would be gone for the day. Dare we risk the wrath of Sam the llama in our search? No we decided to wait another day before raiding the farm. We did however, go into the back sixty and comb for any suspicious patch of white feathers with our stealth bloodhounds. To our great relief, nothing was turned up.

Finally, the next day, the DivaHick caught a glimpse out her window of a group of ducks and there was just something about the one... Could it be? FarmerGeek donned hat and coat and gloves (remember the teeth and nails thing) and headed over. He found the duck in question, but really how does one tell one white Muscovy duck from the other? FarmerBrother1 from across the street answered that quickly- they clip their ducks' wings, if the duck doesn't have a clipped wing... (ouch- OK I know I know...) So they wrangled the duck into the position and clipped one of her wings. Now before PETA starts flaming my blog, they trim some of the feathers on one wing to throw off their balance. It doesn't hurt and will have to be redone when she molts.

So our prodigal duck had returned, older, wiser, yet discontented with her celibate life. As she was put back into the run she hissed angrily "Let go of me you bastards, there's no way in hell that I'm getting back into Castle Anthrax" to which we responded "There are men in there you silly goose..." And Duckster furiously hissed back, "Watch it bea-atch I'm a duck not a goose."

How will Duckster cope being separated from her lover? How will the other hens handle a more experienced bird in the house? Will more birds escape? Will Hermione and Harry ever cheat on Ron and Ginny? Will I ever stop asking stupid questions? Find out tomorrow on "As the Coop Turns" (or should it be "Eggs of our Lives" or "General Homestead"?)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Storm Damage

So we had an amazingly bad storm last night. Unfortunately for the very beginning of it, FarmerGeek and I were outside trying to batten down the hatches. And a very good thing that we did too, because the one side of the chicken coop's roof isn't attached anymore (the screws ripped out) and it would have been GONE!

Also since the winds were blowing at a sustained rate of 50-70mph (and our hill is usually the windyest place in the world) the puppy couldn't sleep all night because of the noise.

Luckily we didn't completely lose power. You know the guy at the electric company that's in charge of getting power back on when an outage is reported? Yeah he lives in the "big house down the road".

Anyways, here a pic of the tree from the yard next door.

To quote Walter, "We love it here!"

PS- Oh Mom- Go Steelers!!! Happy?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Let It Rain

It ain't the "the good ole days" but for today... it's enough...


Can anyone tell me, how on earth do you upload video from youtube onto blogger?!?

There's something I want to share with you...

PLEASE leave me a comment with instructions if you know!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Some Homesteading Medicne

This is the story of an asthmatic woman who is allergic to everything. This is also the story of a woman who's goal is to grow her own food, raise her own chickens, and make her property pretty. Year after year, she would medicate herself with pill after pill like Benadryl and Claritin. This cost roughly $1-2 a DAY! That was roughly 210 bucks a year! That doesn't take into account the emergency inhaler she would also have to carry with her everyday just in case.

There has to be a better way!!!

So last year, this woman read a couple articles. One was about milk allergies and asthma. She stopped drinking milk and guess what- the asthma attacks dropped to basically non-existent. Then she read in several places that eating a tablespoon of honey (preferably comb in honey- or even just the comb) everyday would help alleviate allergies. This made a lot of sense for people who had pollen allergies. I mean, what is honey made out of? So if you can eat honey without a problem, there's a good chance your body might be able to build up a tolerance for pollen and alleviate the symptoms. It seemed to work! She only used Claritin some days, not everyday.

Isn't it amazing how when the Lord said He'd provide, He provides?

By the way, it goes without saying that the FDA didn't approve any of these treatments (not that I bothered to ask them), and you should consult a doctor before trying them, and this website isn't intended to diagnose, treat, or provide medical advice. Did I cover it all?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Duckster: A love story

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd tell you about barnyard romance...

In our coop, we have two Muscovy Ducks- Clyde and Duckster. They came to us earlier in the winter from a friend who found herself having to move far away and not wanting to worry about moving her livestock AND children. So she had to get rid of one or the other. Although her kids are stinking cute, and we would have kept them, she decided to give us the ducks and roosters instead. Luckily, her circumstances seemed to have changed so that she may soon be able to take back her ducks (don't worry, she still has her kids too!).

Meanwhile, we have Clyde and Duckster. Who may or may not be father and daughter or brother and sister, I have no idea. I probably should have asked. But I had this hippie idea that we shouldn't clip their wings because it's cruel. Let them FLY! We have land and a creek.... The only problem there is well....

Our neighbors definitely have "free-ranging" poultry. In fact, they are so free-ranging that they have a tendency to waddle over and visit our place. On one such visit, Duckster fell in love with a Muscovy from across the street. Yes he waddled over to the fence, and she came out of the coop into the run and their eyes turned into the cartoon hearts. So she flew over the fence to be with him... Clyde couldn't bear to see his love go, so he flew the coop to retrieve her. At this auspicious moment, a well-meaning, innocent (yet striking beautiful) DivaHick wanders into the yard with a puppy. Lo and behold there are now four Muscovy ducks to the side of the house and three very hennish hens gaggling in the front of the house.

I- I mean she- very quickly dumps the poor puppy in the house and goes after the hens who are trying to cross the street. None of them got hit by a car. (Hey this is Ohio- people AIM for livestock.) She sprints over to the side yard where two Muscovy males lit out for home. Now wandering around our yard are the lovebirds. (Get it? Lovebirds?) Have you ever tried to separate two Muscovies in love? It's a lot easier than you think. Run full tilt at them and the male runs home (ok waddles quickly) and the female will try to get through the fence by running at it as hard as she can like it's Platform 9 3/4.

But no amount of chicken wire could stop their love.

It's true, just a few days from then I see Clyde waddling around the coop. He does not want to get back in the coop. Now for those of you who don't know Muscovy ducks or Clyde, well he's probably 8-12 pounds and has teeth and nails. This is not for the weak of heart friends. Luckily I had the puppy out and this time on a leash. Now here's how this would go peoples... I run one way around the coop chasing Clyde, and Clyde would naturally run away. Then guess what? Our little puppy would keep him from going to far. But I- I mean she, this is all in 3rd party voice right? Yeah, yeah SHE would chicken out and fail to grab the duck with teeth and nails. (Like how I remembered what voice it should be right then?) Finally she gets the $%(*#$& duck in the coop and return to the house. Yet something haunts her...

Trepidaciously, she returns to the coop and lifts the lid. One, two, three, four.......ten, eleven, twelve. TWELVE? Who's missing? OH NO DUCKSTER!!! There's only one place she could be, and that's across the street with Romeo. But, building on the dramatic nature of story, snow begins to fall. Soon it begins to swirl around and around. The entire area has been socked in by a snowstorm and the search for Duckster has been called off due to inclement weather.

Coming soon... Part II...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Simple Woman's Day Book

For today

Outside my window it is... beautiful with a cool night, a sky full of stars and a (nearly?) full moon.
I am thinking about... adopting children.
I am thankful for... our quiet life.
From the kitchen... I am getting ready to make oatmeal butterscotch cookies even though roasted chicken is still in the air.
I can hear... the dog chewing on his leg. Weird dog.
I am wearing... beat up jeans, a black SHORT sleeved tee and the gray fleece hoodie. With obligatory LL Bean mocs.
I am reading... a Tracie Petersen book- lost track of which one.
I am hoping... that when I call the case worker tomorrow, she says we have a shot at getting those kids.
I am creating... two bedrooms and scarves.
Around the house... it's too quiet.
One of my favorite things... is a clean kitchen.
A few plans for the rest of the week are... to finish up the kids rooms.

You are invited to participate in The Simple Woman's Daybook where you will get to meet many others doing just as you are, sharing little aspects of their day.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


OK, the temps are supposed to rise above forty tomorrow!!!!! Woo HOOOOOO!!!!!! And I'm feeling spring, we're going to start some seeds this week and Jenna over at Cold Antler Farm is holding the Great Pea Off (wait that doesn't sound right...) anyways, the deal is that you plant a pea seed on your windowsill on Feb 15. Peas can climb the window panes and you'll have a yummy indoor treat long before the ground is ready to plant. (OK, hopefully not LONG before, but still...)

Meanwhile, we're also itching to get planting. This weekend we are going to be starting some spinach, salad mix, and starting some tomato plants in the basement.

FarmerGeek has also been working on a website for our farm and we're thinking about selling some tomato starts. Anyone interested?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Winter Blues

I hate feeling sick... I spent much of last year feeling that way until I found an endocrinologist who finally figured out what was wrong.

Unfortunately, with our temps bouncing around, and being around paint fumes and all, I'm having a bit of a problem with a chest cold. I hate it. HATE IT.

But still, life has to go on. Chickens and puppies need to be let out. Paperwork must get done, and training classes have to be attended.

I'd rather crawl into bed and sleep.


Sleeeeeeeepppppp zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....................