Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Update on the Chickens

There have been some ups and downs with the new Buckeye chickens I got from a neighbor. I gave three of them to my brother for Christmas (his first chickens) and a month or so after he had them one of them died. We are still not sure if it was some type of predator or something else that killed it. The two he has left are doing great though and just started laying the other day! He has had 4 eggs so far. 
As for the ones I kept, I am beginning to think that I got two roosters and two hens. I am still unsure on one that I think is a rooster but it looks like he has sickle feathers on his back end. Mine have not laid any eggs yet but they were a bit thin when I got them so I have been feeding them scratch feed to get them looking better and they are looking a lot better. 

The two in the middle are  my possible roosters which is such a terrible thing since my current rooster is not a very good one. I have tried to hatch eggs from his pen and they were all infertile.

My brother has a light in his pen to lengthen the daylight and I think that is what I need to get mine to start laying too. 

Here are some funny things my sister-in-law has been told since I gave them the chickens:

You'll never get eggs without a rooster.
You can't eat the first eggs they lay.
If you do have a rooster in the pen the eggs will taste funny,

Funny things my brother asked me:

Do I need a rooster to get eggs?
It is going to get cold tonight. How do I keep them warm?

My brother has his pen completely enclosed on three sides and half closed in the front. I am pretty sure his chickens are real toasty compared to mine. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Valentine's Day Cookies

These were absolutely the BEST cookies I have ever made! They definitely take a lot longer than any cookies I have ever made too but are so very much worth it. I got the recipe here . I found it because I want to try to do some cake decorating and these filled cookies just looked too good not to try.

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly right down to putting the cookies in the freezer for an hour.
It made quite a lot of cookies and for me to get the frosting so that it was thick like the recipe said, I had to keep adding powdered sugar so I had too much frosting even after all the cookies were filled. I froze my extra frosting for next time though or for the next cake I make.

I took some to my neighbor Diane so we would not be tempted to eat them all ourselves.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ham and Potato Soup

I may have done a post on ham and potato soup before. It is what I like to do with my ham leftovers after Christmas. I don't have a recipe for this so wanted to make sure I wrote it down while it was fresh in my mind. By now even the ham and potato soup is almost gone as Michelle and I loved it. Usually I do it in the crock pot but I didn't have time enough for that this time as I wanted it for supper one night so I cooked it in my cast iron pot. I think it was much better this time and will likely give up the crock pot entirely for this recipe.

Leftover ham
Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp. diced garlic
salt and pepper

Put it in the pot with enough water to just cover. Boil until the potatoes are done through, turn the heat down until it is just simmering. Add some butter. I believe I added about a 1/4 cup. Add milk. I really don't know how much milk I added maybe a cup, just enough to turn the soup white. Then thicken the soup with a mixture of water and flour. I usually take a small coffee mug, fill it half and half, then whip it with a fork until all the lumps are out. Slowly pour it into the soup while stirring. Cook a bit longer.

Taste, add more salt and pepper as needed.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Violin Playing Videos

I have now almost reached a year of taking violin lessons. Phil took a few videos while I was practicing today from his phone and I got them uploaded tonight. Merry Christmas everyone. I hope to have better videos next year.

This first one is Rosin, the Beau (Ireland) or Acres of Clams (US)

This one is Ashokan Farewell

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Dust Collectors

We live on a dirt road so everything collects dust. I don't like to dust, very seldom ever have time for it, so it...collects. My kerosene lamp collection sits on the entertainment center in the living room. So far it has been safe there from the cats (though the knick-knacks on the shelf below them...were not); they have not been safe from the dust. So today's job was to dust the entertainment center which meant taking all the lamps down, washing the shades and then washing the bases.
I have to admit though, they are much prettier when they are all shiny though you might not be able to tell from my phone picture (plus it is a dreary raining dark day).

There are seven lamps, a crystal candle holder and one odd oil burner thing up on top, though you can't see the ones in the back and there are actually four more lamps on the shelves below (sorry, someday I will get a new camera).

All of the lamps are usable though the small ones are not exactly major light producing. The larger lamps have often come in handy during power outages though I don't know how much we will need them now that we have a generator but you never know, generators all run out of gas eventually.

Maybe tomorrow I will move on to the dust collectors in the kitchen which happen to be all chickens. I decorated my kitchen with chickens and my sister has never gotten over it. She give me heaps of chicken stuff every year which I have no idea what to do with, consequently there are chicken dust collectors all over the kitchen.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

M&M Cookie Day

It is a cookie day for us today. We made the M&M ones. We got lazy and saved the chocolate chip ones for tomorrow. I used to make peanut butter, and oatmeal ones too but since I have to cut back on my sugar and we really don't need all those cookies for three of us this year, I think we will stop at just two kinds. The M&M cookies filled my big cookie jar as it is and I don't know what we will do with the chocolate chip ones if they don't fit in the little jar that I have left (someone will just have to eat more!).

I have next week off. There are actually a couple of trainings that I could go to but since they don't ever have any kind of training that has to do with my job as the membership clerk, I see no reason to go. It feels so nice to have a week off. I always feel like being home is my "normal" and being at work is the "abnormal" for some reason.
My plans are to clean this house some and try to declutter a bit.....but we'll just see. It seems like a week goes by so very fast.