Author Archive

postheadericon While I’ve Been Away..

As usual, I can’t make any excuses for the severe neglect that this dear little blog of mine has been suffering.  My only excuse is that I’ve been super busy in the great outdoors.  Mr. MoonCat and I have been working on expanding the chicken runs and temporary coops.  I have great things planned and my hardworking, ever-suffering hubby usually is the one to make them into reality.  Good thing he loves me…

A few pics to show why I’ve been preoccupied elsewhere:

My two-day old babies

 

Are YOU talking to ME?

 

My baby blue roo

 

Voracious appetites

When I am inside the house I spend a lot of time:

Saying “Aren’t they cute?”:

Then acting as referee:

 

She’s MY mommy & I want to lay in her lap
~Notice my normally rotten Porkchop just
ignores them & continues with his nap

And, trying to convince a large hound that I can still see him behind a tiny pillow:

“Maybe she’ll think I’m part of the sofa..”

So that’s just a tiny peek at what we’re doing around here.  I won’t make any promises as to when I’ll see ya next ~ I’m not very reliable that way lately….

postheadericon Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all,
whether your kids have skin, fur or feathers.
I miss you Mama

postheadericon Cowboy Up!

We had a fun time out at the ranch today.  After having a lively breakfast, horseback riding was the scheduled event.  The star of course was Rowan!

Our favorite little nephew dude dragged his parents and his Grandma up to visit Aunty Julie, Uncle Mike and Papa Bill.  He was sporting his brand new cowboy boots and told them he just had to go on the long drive to see us.  We weren’t fooled though, he really came to see the horses, the chickens and Adolph the dog!  We’re all aware of our place in line 🙂  I think the tractor we call “Greenie” has also moved ahead of us..

Rowan was all dressed up for the occasion
-Uncle Mike, not so much

 

Rowan on Hailey, Uncle Mike on Ace

 

“Tickle, tickle Hailey!”

 

Rowan showing Papa Bill how to drive “Greenie”

 

He’s a natural farmer!

It was a fun way to spend a sunny morning with loved ones who don’t live close enough to see as much as we’d like.  We’re already looking forward to Ro’s next foray into cowboying.  Look out Hailey!

postheadericon Recipe – Basil Beer Bread

While I do grow most of my basil from seed, I sometimes can’t help myself and MUST buy a beautiful plant when I see it.  I recently snagged two gorgeous basil plants while out shopping.  I was pleasantly surprised when one of them had the following recipe included on the plant marker.  Because I had all of the ingredients on hand and just reading the recipe made my mouth water, I tried it.  And I loved it….So here it is…

Basil Beer Bread

3 cups self-rising flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
12 oz warm beer
1/2 cup chopped basil

In large bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Pour mixture into a well-greased loaf pan or dish.  Put loaf pan into an unheated oven.  Turn the oven on and set at 350 degrees.  Bake for 50 minutes or until lightly browned on top.  Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

***I think I would leave it in the oven for a few minutes longer and just keep a close eye on it.  This first loaf didn’t get quite as brown as I would have liked.

The basil smell alone was enough to get the hubby wandering into the kitchen to find out what I was up to.  I  sliced it up while still warm and used some of this overly delicious herbal butter that I had made up the day before.  I followed the recipe I found at my idol Nancy aka The Lemon Verbena Lady‘s blog.  (Be sure to visit her site for great recipes and herbal wisdom.)

It was a huge success as we skipped dessert and opted for another piece of bread instead.  Needless to say, this will be a recipe that we’ll use quite a bit in the coming months.  Many thanks to the lovely Nancy for the awesome herb butter recipe 🙂

postheadericon Dawg Days

The little tyrant tells him off and then attacks
(Cailen and Pippi)
The old man ignores them all
(Muttley)

 

Bottoms up!  Vole hunting..
(Chandler, Cailen & Pippi)

 

How can you stay mad at this face?
(Pippi)

 

Mama’s big baby boy
(Chandler)

 

Chandy has the toy and is ready for take-off!

postheadericon Wedgie’s Week of Woes

Wedgie had a lot of firsts this week – he was FINALLY weaned from his mama, he got his first big boo boo, his first haircut AND he had his first hoof trimming.  All pretty much within 48 hours.  Little guy’s world was turned upside down.

 

We had planned on weaning him a couple months ago, but the unbelievably wet weather the last two months made it difficult.  We didn’t have any spare stalls or inside pens that were dry, so the pasture was the best place for him and his mama.

 

Walking the Wedge
The use of a “butt rope” laid loosely around his hindquarters helps teach Wedgie to walk forward while being lead with the halter.  This is a very common training technique we use with foals.
He was actually taught to lead and accept a halter when he was just a few days old.  He was then turned out with his mama and the other mares in the pasture where he was allowed to just be a baby. (The photo above shows him getting a reminder to go forward when led.) 
He’ll be worked with up close in the barn for a few weeks again while he’s completely weaned and then turned back out to pasture to continue learning how to just be a horse.  He’ll now be out with the rest of “the boys” instead of the mares.  At two years old, he’ll be brought up again and start very light training to be ridden.  Their leg bones are still maturing up to about three years old, so heavy riding at too young of an age can actually be detrimental to their development.  He’ll probably be gelded at this point as well.

 

Boo Boo wrapped in blue
Wedgie’s boo boo.  He cut himself on the ankle when he was having a tantrum over being separated from his mama.  We put them in side-by-side stalls when weaning, but he still managed to have a fit and bang up his little leg on the wall.
**On a related note ~ Horses tend to find numerous ways to hurt themselves.  It’s a full-time job trying to keep them safe.  For instance; if you have a mile of fence posts and only 1 has a tiny nail sticking out, the horse will find that 1 tiny nail and cut himself on it.  I think you could put them in a padded cell, cocooned in bubble wrap and they’d still manage to do something!  It’s part of their nosy nature and part of life with horses. 
Wedgie’s 1st trim
Wedgie received his first pedicure or in equine terms: hoof trim.  A lot of times this is a very difficult task as the babies don’t like their legs and feet messed with and lifted off the ground.  This first trimming was made much easier because we got him used to us touching his legs and looking at his hooves when he was just a few days/weeks old.  The more they’re handled when young, the easier it is to do the necessary tasks as they grow.  He was a perfect little gentleman while Dad trimmed his hooves.  He won’t actually get his first set of shoes for another year or so.
Wedgie’s 1st haircut
This photo was more of a snarky comment by my husband on the similarity of Wedgie’s wild forelock and mane and my wooly head.  It was pretty foggy that day and with a lot of moisture in the air comes lots of curls and frizz in my hair!  So yes, the Wedge and I both have naturally out of control locks.  We did manage to trim what is called a “bridle path” for Wedgie (not me).  It is a strip of about three inches of his mane right behind his ears that we trim down to the base.  It makes it much easier for the halter to fit snugly and secure.  It’s also more comfortable for him as the halter won’t be sitting on top of a wad of mane and pulling his hair.

So that’s pretty much Wedgie’s traumatic week.  He’s doing fine and starting to enjoy being in the middle of everything at the barn.  He has already learned to pull the lid off of the grain bin as he goes by and tries to snag a mouthful of hay when passing the bales.  One thing is for certain, Wedgie will be in the middle of things on a regular basis.

postheadericon Pippi’s Opinion

Pippi, aka Peepers, Rodent, Rat Dog, *&#@(&^, etc. recently shared her opinion of Mr. MoonCat while occupying the couch with him.  I told him that it is unclear if she was commenting on his breath or his attempt at whistling.  Could be a combination of both…

 

What ARE you doing Daddy?

 

Ewwww, what IS that?

 

Make it STOP!!!

 

Just a note, Mr. MoonCat CAN NOT whistle.  It is a major cause for amusement around here as Pippi is demonstrating above.  I have to call/whistle for the dogs (or he has to yell for them) because when he tries to whistle, the dogs all just look at him with their heads cocked to the side as if asking “Why is the air escaping from Daddy’s face while he turns blue?  Why doesn’t he just have Mom whistle for us?”

postheadericon Saturday Sweetness – Crummy Fruit Crumble

I haven’t posted a recipe in just about forever.  So I thought I’d share a super-yummy one that I made last week for the hubby and Dad.  It got rave reviews and I apologize for no photos, they ate it rather quickly!

This is based loosely upon a recipe I found in a book I’m reviewing this week over at One Book Shy.

 

The book is a cozy mystery by Anne Canadeo called “A Stitch Before Dying“.

It’s a part of her Black Sheep Knitting Mystery series.  Since many of you are avid knitters and readers, you may be familiar with it ~ if not, check it out.  (I’m not getting anything by telling you about this, I just enjoyed the book.)  Like I’m hoping you’ll enjoy this:

Crummy Fruit Crumble

Ingredients

  • 6 cups thinly sliced apples (I used Fuji, Macintosh, and Delicious varieties)
  • 2 TBsp lemon juice
  • 1 TBsp orange juice
  • 2 TBsp lemon zest
  • 1 TBsp orange zest
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces – keep cold
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 TBsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl toss the sliced apples with the lemon & orange juices and zests.  Add 3 TBsp white sugar, 5 TBsp brown sugar, 2 TBsp flour, 2 TBsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg.  If the mixture is still too juicy, add a bit more flour.  Set this bowl aside.

Lightly butter the inside of a 9×12 baking dish or pan.  Be sure it’s deep enough to hold the mixture or you can go with a slightly larger size.  Pour the apples into the pan.

In a large mixing bowl put the chopped up butter, the rest of the flour and both sugars, plus the oatmeal, granola, walnuts.  Add 1 TBsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg.

I then used my clean, damp hands to knead this mixture until it was completely combined and had started to form into crumbles.  (Since my beloved sister-in-law Cindy gifted me with a stand mixer for Christmas – I can now use that with the paddle attachment instead of my hands!) Sprinkle over the top of the apples and then bake for about 30 minutes.  The crumbs should crisp up and the apple mixture will start to bubble.

It is wonderful served warm with vanilla ice cream or whip cream.  YUMMMMMMM – I’m making myself hungry 🙂

*You can substitute other fruits for the apples – I’m thinking raspberries or peaches – or maybe combined!!  yummmm again..

Let me know if you try this and tell me what you think!

postheadericon Saturday Sweetness – Rum Balls

Yummy treat for the upcoming holidays..

This is a recipe from the ultra-amazing Emeril Lagasse for Food Network.  I’ve had it for several years and it is always a big hit.  Check it out..

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup finely chopped, toasted walnuts

Directions

In large bowl, sift 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder and allspice. Stir in rum and corn syrup. Stir in vanilla wafers and walnuts, mix well. Place in refrigerator to firm up slightly, about 30 minutes. (The mixture may appear crumbly and dry; this is O.K.)

Place remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out portions of the chocolate mixture and press into 1-inch balls. Using your hands, roll the balls in the confectioners’ sugar, coating evenly.

Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, placing waxed paper between the layers to prevent sticking.

postheadericon Out of Kontrol

What happens when you combine a Renaissance Faire, four crazy talented guys with too much time on their hands, and a hot sultry day?  You get:

I was first introduced to these guys about five years ago when I worked with Mr. MoonCat (then just Mr. Maybe) at a Reniassance Faire.  He wanted me to watch his friends’ act.
Dusty, Bogus, & RJ
I was hooked after watching these clowns perform their amazing antics.  They are outstanding jugglers and comedians, plus just all-around fun guys.  The stands – or haybales today, are always packed when these guys take the stage.
Tommy

 

Dusty with “Sara”

 

One of the funniest things to happen was in the last performance of the day.  Part of their act includes Dusty finding a willing volunteer – female and cute of course, from the audience.  Normally the young ladies throw themselves at the guys to have a chance to be up on stage with them.  Um, not today.. Poor Dusty got shot down twice by two of them before he just gave up and came on stage with “Sara”.
It was hysterical!  RJ didn’t do very well at keeping his composure when he was introduced to the volunteer, but he did great job with the spiel that they normally use as he gave “Sara” the same instructions he would a living, breathing non-straw bale woman.  Of course, Dusty and Tommy had their work cut out for them making sure “Sara” turned and ducked when necessary during the act.


RJ
“Sara” and the Boys
If you ever get a chance to watch these guys at a Renissance Faire or any of the many places they perform, don’t miss out.  They are guaranteed to make you laugh, with them or definitely at them!
Bogus, Tommy, RJ, and Dusty in the Finale.


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