2.28.2010

quotables

Dandy is telling Chickadee about his Sunday School lesson:

"I learned to not be a hypogriff!"

I ask you, am I obliged to correct him? and how about Chickadee and her pictures of the WormMaids (Mermaids?).

:: read the rest of quotables

2.26.2010

chickie season is upon us

So brace yourself for non-stop chickie posts.

Tonight we picked up three little day-old ameraucanas are peeping under the heat lamp.Note the pretty egg colors.




Tomorrow, I am picking up some Gold Penciled Hamburgs, full-grown and laying.
Next Wednesday, we'll fetch up 2-3 Golden Wyanndotes. That will bring us to 5-6 in our first of two rounds of chickies.














Then we have to wait until the end of March for the second round. I found some Lakenvelders available on March 24. I'm hoping to find some of these by then, to put them in the nursery with the Lakenvelders:


Barnvelders
Black Australorps
Buff Catalanas
Cream Brahanter
Spangled Russian Orloff
Sicilian Buttercup
Silver-Penciled Egyptian Fayoumi
Silver-Spangled Spitzhauben
Welsummers
White Faced Black Spanish


I can mail-order them from specialty hatcheries, but I can't meet the minimums. Want to go in on some with me?


Here is what we have, in case you are curious:
  • Black Polish Crested (1 hen, 1 roo)
  • Gold SexLink (1 hen)
  • Rhode Island Reds (2 hens)
  • California Grey (2 hens)
  • Barred Rocks (2 hens)



:: read the rest of chickie season is upon us

2.14.2010

16 Years Ago Today . .

. . . my blind-date love-at-first honey proposed.  I call him My Gift From A Generous God.  He routinely takes my car out and fills it with gas for me.  He saved my Dad's life (finding him in the dark and the rain after Dad had felled a tree onto himself).  He is good and kind and faithful. I love him.

:: read the rest of 16 Years Ago Today . .

2.09.2010

family pic

photo-shopped by Cherie Barth for maximum coolness.

:: read the rest of family pic

2.05.2010

Vote with Your Fork! State of the Pantry Report

As we continue our efforts to disassociate ourselves from agri-business, believing it to be harmful to our personal financial and physical health as well as being harmful to the well-being of others (financially, physically, and environmentally), we are moving more and more of our purchases over to niche markets.

Here are our goals, in no particular order, with the over-arching consideration in parentheses.

  • to shun misery-laden production practices (personal ethical health, preservation of small parcel agriculture[usually]),
  • to shun edible-food-like products that have factory origins (personal physical health, personal financial health, regional environmental health*).
  • to shun farming practices that rely on the intense use of petroleum-based fertilizers (personal health, regional environmental health).
  • to shun foods laden with antibiotics and insecticides (personal physical health, community/regional environmental health).
  • to source our food from as nearby as possible (community financial health, preservation of small parcel agriculture),
  • to purchase it directly from the farmer or as close as we can get (community financial health, preservation of small parcel agriculture),

Here is our State of the Pantry report:

Goals Met:
  • Beef -- Misery-free grass-fed beef born, raised, and butchered in one set of pastures within our region. Purchased directly from farmer.
  • Eggs -- Our own misery-free yard-fed hens give us plenty of these.
  • Flour -- Organic regional flour milled by locally-owned flour mill.
  • Salad Greens -- Part of the year we grown our own. Part of the year we buy Earthbound mass produced. We don't feel good about the latter. More later.
  • Apples -- Purchased directly the non-organic, but watershed activist, farm 2 blocks away.
  • Milk -- Purchased from locally owned grocery chain who buys it from the dairy 8 miles from our home and sells it to us in recyclable glass bottles.

Goals Unmet:
  • Chicken -- yes, well, obviously I could raise and butcher my own, but that is not going to happen. Purchasing misery-free yard-fed hens from others is really expensive. I found some at the local butcher (by butcher, I mean a man in an building that is a killing house for animals, not the employee behind the counter at a store that sells quasi-edible-food-like products), but they were pricey. Right now, we do without it, but it is so handy for a quick stir-fry. What to do . . .
  • Salad Greens -- During the off-season we end up buying the Costco bulk tub of Earthbound farms, which is an organic industrial producer of baby salad greens. The greens are machine-harvested and trucked across the country. There must be a better way. Build a greenhouse and grow our own? Find a local grower of winter greens and hire them to grow for us? I need to study up on what winter greens could be grown here (note to self - review this part of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and see what she grew).
  • Other Fruit -- planted 15 new fruit trees this year. Must get up to speed on spraying and storing.
  • Bread -- organize time better to bake all of our own, not just some.
This started when I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. My goal then was to take a look at my shopping cart and to alter the proportion of what I used to call manufactured stuff versus real stuff, but what I now call quasi-edible-food-like products versus food. My first goal was half and half: no more than half the cart could be manufactured stuff. At the time, this seemed like an honorable goal. Looking back now, I am ashamed that I would allow that much quasi-edible-food-like products into our home.

When the half-and-half goal was met, I budged it over to 25%/75%. When that became doable, I pumped it up to only 1-2 indulgences per shopping cart (Heat-and-Eat lasagna or pizza for Crisis Nights). This means that I am buying mostly ingredients and only a little bit of ready made. Canned goods count as food, as does bread and other items that involve minimal manufacture. This may sound odd, but if it is something that I could make at home, it's okay to buy it. If is something that I would have no idea how to make (Twinkies, soda pop), then I probably shouldn't be eating it. I don't make tortilla chips, but I could, so those are allowed, as are beer and wine by the same token.

Then I read Omnivore's Dilemma and realized that it is my civic duty to get as far away as possible from the agribusiness food chain. Last spring we got chickens and doubled the size of our Victory Garden. This year I aim to bake more bread and can and freeze more produce as well as to whittle away at the "Goals Not Yet Met" list.

Are you changing your food habits? How so? Why? Are we part of a tide change? or is this a passing fancy?

*environmental health -- the packaging, the shipping, the trucking. All of these are wasteful of natural resources and are wasteful of my money. When I buy the food, I am paying for the packaging and for the long-distance voyage. Why would I want to do that?

:: read the rest of Vote with Your Fork! State of the Pantry Report

2.02.2010

Pop Quiz: What Book Have I Been Reading?

Chickadee has been assigned lines: I will not barge in when Mom is typing. x10


Chickadee: WHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAA

Mom: That noise is hassling my ears. Would you like to quiet down? or would you like to take it upstairs?

(She takes it upstairs and has a right good screaming fit. Comes back down and sits and glares at her lines. All 10 of them.)

Chickadee: Mom?

Mom: Do you have a question about your lines?

Chickadee: No, but I . . .

Mom: We'll talk about it when your lines are done. Please don't talk to me unless you have a question about your lines.

Chickadee: WHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAA

Mom: That noise is hassling my ears. Would you like to quiet down? or would you like to take it upstairs?

(She takes it upstairs and has a right good screaming fit. Comes back down and sits and glares at her lines. All 10 of them.)

Chickadee: Mom, can I have lunch?

Mom: When your lines are done, we can talk about other things.

(2 minutes pass)

(I put on some Chopin -- which she usually loves.)

Chickadee: Mom? Can you turn the music off? It's bothering me.

Mom: When your lines are done, we can talk about other things. Please don't talk to me unless you have a question about your lines.

Chickadee: Mom? Can I have a snuggle?

Mom: When your lines are done, we can talk about other things. Please don't talk to me unless you have a question about your lines.

Chickadee: Mom? My toe hurts.

Mom: When your lines are done, we can talk about other things. Please don't talk to me unless you have a question about your lines.

Chickadee: Mom?

Mom: Honey, I keep asking you nicely to please don't talk to me unless you have some questions about your lines. I need to focus on my work, so now I need to ask you to please not talk to me at all.

Chickadee: WHAAAAAAAAAAaa. What if I have a question about my lines?

Mom: That will be a bummer.

Chickadee: WHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAA

Mom: That noise is hassling my ears. Would you like to quiet down? or would you like to take it upstairs.

(She takes it upstairs and has a right good screaming fit. Come back down and sits and glares at her lines.)

:: read the rest of Pop Quiz: What Book Have I Been Reading?

2.01.2010

Cream Cheese Teriyaki Frosting

Just wanted to let you know that if you are trying to pour maple syrup into your creamed butter and cream cheese, and that if you accidentally grab the teriyaki sauce instead, you can just dump the mess into a colander or sieve and rinse the teriyaki sauce out with cold water. One more crisis averted.

:: read the rest of Cream Cheese Teriyaki Frosting

180

hope for America



DIY Chicken Coop!


me! me! me!


Here I chatter about books, parenting, election 2008, recipes, teaching college writing, and the adventures of getting settled in with our two freshly (Fall 06) adopted school-age children from Russia. This blog is chapter two; chapter one is posted at Jamie & Suzanne go to Russia. I live in the City of Subdued Excitement, Cascadia, Land of the Free.

I am the wife of a man I call My Gift from a Generous God. I am mama to two lovely children, Dandy and Chickadee that became ours in September 2006 in a court-room in Siberia. I am the daughter of two people whom I love and admire. One of them, my dad, is a new (Dec 06) paraplegic.

In my previous life (B.C. - before children), I was a college English teacher, specializing in composition and ESL composition.

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This blog started life as hackosphere's neo and has been heavily tweaked and widgetized by Suzanne :: I got all the coding for the peek-a-boo posts over at hackosphere :: All my pretty little icons came from famfamfam :: The coding for the rotating banners came from Vince Liu :: The very cool tabbed sidebar widgets are thanks to the very cool hoctro :: The fun "Feeling Lucky?" toy -- which is currently disabled -- came from phydeaux3 (fido 3?) :: The pretty label cloud also came from phydeaux3 :: The elegant and easy to install related posts widget came from Jackbook :: I got all the social bookmarking icons nicely packaged for me at the aptly named Social Bookmarking Script Generator :: The 3 column footer came from Technodia :: The pretty sliding photo galleries are from CSSplay :: The recent comments widget is from Hackosphere::

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