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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Wordy Wednesday

Hmmm, strange how you don't seem to get as much done when you wake up 2 1/2 hours later like I did yesterday (in comparison with Monday)!

It was an even lovelier day yesterday with high winds and lower temps.  I got a LOT of lawn mowing done and didn't even have to wear my bug suit . . . although the mosquitoes certainly WERE biting, especially near the end of the day (a real reason why I stopped when I did).  HOWEVER, the mower suddenly got louder and was making a real racket near the end, too . . . I'll have to look into that before I mow again today.  I was starting to get paranoid that the blade was gonna come whizzing off and down either me or one of the dogs!  And, my fear over it being one of the dogs eventually got to me.  That and the bugs.  Frustrating, though, when a machine does that right after it's been repaired and, otherwise, is working better than ever!

So, this is war now:  I have caught four mice in the kitchen in as many days!  WHAT the . . . ?!!!  I can understand one.  Maybe even two.  But, WHERE are they coming from???  Okay, I know, I know:  it's through the screen door that I leave open at night for the cats and dogs, you'll say.  But, I dunno . . . I mean, how's a mouse gonna know to take a sudden 90 degree turn through a flap in the screen door and into a house when its running the perimeter?  Although, at this point, I'm beginning to think that "word's out" in the rodent community about my welcoming home!

It's doubly aggravating, too, because I spent a good chunk of my day yesterday disinfecting all my kitchen counters and all the appliances, etc., they held.  I was pretty sure all the health code violators had been killed.  Damn, damn, damn.  And gross.

After lawn mowing and a good dinner last night, I made Mama Pea's Blueberry Buckle.  YUM-EEEEE!  I actually physically started this morning as I lay in bed, thinking about getting up . . . and remembered what was waiting for me in the oven!  :)

First piece out of the pan.
But, really, only NOW is it ready to eat!  Anything like this (pie, cake, you name it) should be eaten in a bowl while soaking up fresh milk.  :)

While I was in the kitchen disinfecting yesterday, I also got a big batch of dishes done and a start on a new batch of dog food.  Due to the high price of good quality dog food (I was paying over $40 for a 33 lb. bag!!) and my limited funds, I finally started making my own dog food a couple of weeks ago.  And, I've gotta say, the dogs LOVE it!  The other thing I've noticed, too, is that their poop is SO MUCH smaller!  No more "filler" in the food = less waste.  Yayyy!

So, how do I make it?  Well, I'd like to have enough meat to not have to use any of my own filler (rice, mostly).  Maybe I can get a deer (from someone) this fall during hunting season.  But, since I can't make it all meat, I stew two old chickens or ducks in a huge pot (poultry in first, then fill to the top with water) and then strip off all the meat and fat when tender.  That goes into a food processor and then back into the broth. (I know I could probably skip this part, but I don't like the meat to be in large chunks because the dogs like it so much that they absolute gobble it down w/o chewing . . . and I don't want to risk choking.)  Then I add rice or millet to the stock and let that simmer for a day or so (stirring every time you walk by) until the stock has almost completely evaporated and the meat and rice have soaked up every single bit of the good juice.  Package and toss into the refrig or freezer, and voila!

Do YOU make your own dog food?  If so, what goes into it?

Another reason I found the need to do so much work in the kitchen yesterday (did quite a bit of organization & putting-away in the pantry, too) was so I could continue listening to my current book on tape.  It's 'Blood Oath' by Christopher Farnsworth and really good!  I discovered that he's written a sequel, too, so I'll put that on my list to order from the library.  I do wonder if Stephenie Meyer (author of the 'Twilight' series) gets any kick-backs from this book, though, because 'Blood Oath's vampires are just like hers.  I mean, if I were her, I'd be like, "Hey!  Invent your own creatures instead of using mine!"  ;)

Rambling on . . . I was looking at my teenage poultry the other day, and I think I've got 4 hens and two roosters out of each batch of six.  So, that means I'll have 8 layers and then 2 or 3 roosters to go into the stew pot.  Sounds good to me!  Normally, I'd like to have a larger flock, but considering that they won't be allowed outside until I have the time and money to redo the chicken yard to make it critter-proof, it's a just-fine number for the size of the chicken house.  All the old, inherited-from-Papa-Pea-last-fall hens (5) and one rooster are gone now, thanks to predation.  The rooster was the last to get it, and I thought he'd survive . . . until I went out to do chores one morning and realized I hadn't heard any crowing.  :(  There he was, in the corner of the fenced-in yard, deader than a doornail.  It seems to be a persistent marten that's gotten them all:  something not large enough to carry the chickens back out (like the fisher did last year).  And, of course, the blasted things are too smart to go into the live trap I'd set out.  The three remaining geese continue to live out there in the poultry yard with no (knock on wood) predator bothering them.

Finally, and most importantly, I've got a new blogger to tell you about!  Green Teen of Peace, Love, and Veggies is the incredible daughter of a dear friend.  She was raised, food-wise, in a "typical American" way.  I think that's a fair description.  Somewhere along the line, though (maybe it was Papa Pea's teachings to her when she was in 3rd grade?!), she got very interested in healthier eating as well as the treatment of animals in the process of turning them from sentient beings into food for humans.  So now, she's become a vegetarian . . . or vegan.  I think she's waffling between the two.  She's experimenting with new foods and recipes and is doing the bulk of the cooking for the family of four!

I'm in the process of trying to show her that she doesn't necessarily need to become a total vegetarian or vegan . . . but rather just learn about the healthful ways animals CAN be raised and treated in order to produce eggs, milk, and meat for us.  But, I'm certainly not telling her to NOT be a vegetarian / vegan, either . . . just, rather, to learn that there are options.  Anyway, take a look at her blog and follow her on the path to better living through better eating.  We can ALL learn something from her, I think!  :)


  1. Lots going on with you! Tell your friend to read "Compassionate Carnivore", it's my favorite of Catherine's books, she has such a way of encouraging all of us without using all that "trendy talk" and gets right to the real deal on what we can do to be smarter and still have our meat. Fantastic about the dog food, definitely see about getting on a kill list this year or even a donation list if your county has one. Our relatives in AK make all their own dog food, she's a breeder and the amount of food they make is mind boggling LOL, but they get moose every year so it's a huge family party/ get-together to process the whole thing. Sounds like your weather is really nice there, it's still too dang hot here to think straight. Hey make sure they tightened up the lawnmower blade, k? Sometimes they forget to tighten everything up good and I definitely cringe at the thought of that flying off! I have to check out your friend's blog later when I get a minute, sounds nice! And I'm thinking I might need to schedule a block of time to make that blueberry buckle! That's probably why the mice invited themselves in!

  2. Busy, busy, busy! I should be making B & S's food - I pay a lot, too, although I feed mine Eagle Pack, which has a buy 8, get one free deal and they offer $10 off coupons fairly often. I'd like to do it for the cats, but I have one picky one that would probably just die if he didn't get what he liked. Mice -- hate 'em! Mine occasionally get in my kitchen drawers which causes all kinds of gagging, cleaning, cussing, etc. I will check out the Green Teen's blog. I am all for smart food.

  3. talking about predictors,they had this creature on the news-from MN. THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS AND SINCE IT MAY ONLY BE A PART OF A ROAD KILL-SORT OF LOOKED LIKE A PIECE OF A ALBINO BADGER----SLEEP TIGHT

  4. Judy, ah, yes, the chupacabra! ;) Fits right into my 'Blood Oath' book!

  5. did you make that up? sounds like something from a horror story. one time when my daughter had started her menstrual cycle ,she had some weird pain the doctor said nothing to worry about its middle smurf---are you kidding me? years later I FOUND OUT IT WAS A REAL DIAGNOSIS,I thought he was joking!

  6. judy, you crack me up! It's "mittelschmertz"... German for "pain in the middle" LMAO!!! And chupacabras? I need some of whatever meds are being passed around up there :)

  7. First, I don't know if your quotes change up top or what, but I love the John Wayne! One of my favorite sayings is "I hate stupid people" Ok, on track now!

    On the plus side, the dog food you are making would serve nicely on a long dinnerless night for you too! I don't make ours, but fortunately we don't pay that much and it's a good food w/o all the fillers.

    Thanks for the tip on the book and your new blog buddy!


  9. With Making your own dog food you have to make sure to get vitamins and mineral for then.

  10. Middle Smurf... hilarious! I remember my mom telling me about mittelschmertz when I was about thirteen. I think she explained it as back pain related to ovulation or the middle of the menstrual cycle.

    And I second Erin's comment on "Compassionate Carnivore." Unfortunately, many standard vegan food sources involve industrial-scale monocropping, GMOs, and a hefty dose of petrochemicals just to reach our plates. Humanely-raised, locally-sourced free-ranging meat animals can actually be an ethical source of nourishment with a much smaller carbon footprint!

  11. Judy, hahahahahaha! "Middle Smurf"! That's how I'm always gonna think of ovulation from now on!!! :)

  12. Thanks Chicken Mama!! You are AWESOME!! I have had 120 views because of you! Let me know when you want to go to the dairy farm I am free anytime! P.S The little bro want to come with too <3


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