Slim stretch

Slim stretch

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

QUICK EASY DIPS/SPREADS

JALEPENO DIP

Place a block of cream cheese in a bowl.
Chop 1/3 cup of jalepeno peppers (I use Hot Vlasic)and spread on the top and sides of the cream cheese.
Allow to soften and serve with chips as a dip or spread with crackers.

(This is good served right away or you can make it in advance and it is even better the next day.)

CRAB DIP

Place a block of cream cheese in a bowl. Use the back of a spoon to form a shallow dip in the top of the block of cheese.
Empty small can of chopped crab meat into the shallow dip on the cheese and pack lightly. (Be sure the crab meat is well drained.)
Pour small bottle of cocktail seafood sauce over crab meat and cream cheese.
Allow cheese to soften and serve dip with chips or spread on crackers.

I think this is best consumed the the same day.

Monday, April 28, 2008

YOU CANNOT SEE INSIDE A SOLDIER

You may have a parent, sibling, child or other relative and/or friend who has served in the military. That causes some people to claim they are experts because of this connection. It is like a person saying I understand racial discrimination because I have a black friend.

Yesterday my sister and I talked about the one-way bridge crossed over by members of the armed forces. We cannot cross that bridge with them and they can never come back from what they have experienced.

My spouse is retired military and as close as we are, I know nothing about his many years of military service. He tells me funny stories about people he served with and places he saw but he does not discuss with me what I cannot feel empathy for. That discussion only takes place with other veterans. Ron crossed a bridge when he served in the US Navy during the Cold War and Vietnam . He can only talk openly with others who have crossed that same bridge. They speak a language of mutual understanding and respect.

Last year a movie came out called Home Of The Brave. It did not receive rave reviews from Hollywood because they said it did not properly reflect the military. Well even I know enough to believe it probably represented our soldiers better than any movie ever made. It showed the inability of friends and family to recognize the difficulty our young men and women have returning to “normal” life after returning from a war zone.

“Thank you” is all you can really say to a veteran. One absolutely cannot say, “I know how you feel” unless they actually served.

(This is just one of those opinions that popped into my head and I needed to share it. Also this is a great blog to read up on military activity.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

IT'S A CHICK'S LIFE




The baby chicks are safe and warm under the brooder. Their food and water can't be stolen by the big chickens and the little ones can get out and walk around the pen. If they feel threatened, they can run back under their metal tent. One of my Araucaunas is trying to get under the hood to steal the chick feed.
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OUT IN THE COLD





My son and Dillon and Beth came to help us this weekend. We got a lot done but the best for me was getting the dusty chicks out of the house.


The 30 Cloelles are now under the brooder in the chicken house with the other birds. So far only one of the chicks has proven to be an explorer. She went all around the pen until she found an escape. We patched that up but it will only be a matter of time before she finds another outlet. Guess her name will be Sacajawea.


She would not go back with the other chicks and adopted our crippled Twyla #4 as her personal body guard or perhaps her mother figure. (I may not have told you that Twyla #4 was injured by a predator a few nights ago and we thought sure she would die, but she is rapidly healing.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

HOME

Changes In The Wind has inspired this post on my favorite topic -- HOME.

"Home is where the heart is."
"There is no place like home."

My home is decorated in Early Attic. There is a story that goes with every piece of furniture and every decoration. Sentimental value cannot be insured.

Vintage photographs, gifts from family, treasures uncovered in travel, memories of my childhood and my husband's..

I look at catalogs from IKEA, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and I enjoy seeing things that mix and match to create an aura of this period of time. However not one item from those catalogs would match the decor in my home.

A favorite story is when my children had friends over and one of the kids ask about a certain piece of furniture. I began a story and my son, in disgust, interrupted with, "Mother is there anything in this house that doesn't have some story connected to it!"

"No son, I don't believe there is."

"I'll bet I can find something here that you won't have a story about."

I took the challenge and we began walking through the house. I had a story about everything he touched.

Finally, out of frustration, he grabbed up a loaf of bread, and said, "Well, you don't have a story to go with this!"

It just so happened my neighbor had been to the store and bought four loaves of bread on special and as a gesture of friendship, had brought me a gift of that loaf of bread.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

LIVING IN THE DUST BOWL

We are hoping to get these 30 chicks outside soon. It is unbelievable how much dust they can stir up from their large wooden crate in the den. The entire house has to be dusted every day as a thin film on powder appears on every piece of furniture. We believe we'll be able to take them out in another week.

Also, having baby chicks is a lot like bringing home human babies. At first their poop does not stink and then..........whew!

Is that TMI?

Monday, April 21, 2008

INTERESTING HOPE

Conversations with Hope

Hope overheard talking to herself in the living room: "Cackle,cackle, cackle is all I ever hear."

I say: "Hope are you tired of Granny Annie's chickens?"

Brief response: "Yup"


At the dinner table eating corn on the cob

"Do you like using those corn holders Hope?"

"Yes"

"Do you use corn holders at home?"

"Yes"

"Are your corn holders like mine?"

'Yes, ...only ours are clean."


Hope is crying

"I miss my mama"

"Do you want to call her?"

"No, that makes me miss her more."

"Why do you miss her?"

"Because she is so special."

Hope at the Poultry Swap Meet (that is like a small carnival):

"I wanna" "I wanna" "Can I have?" "Oh I'm so thirsty." "I haven't had cotton-candy in a long time." "Please get me" "Please let me" "Please, please, please" "I'll be good, I promise."


When ANYTHING is amiss and you begin to inquire of Hope how it happened, the words "Michael did it." are out of her mouth before you can complete the inquiry. (Michael is Hope's 13 year old brother) I asked, "Hope, you always blame Michael. Don't you ever do anything wrong?" Her response, "No, I just walk around and Michael does everything." Of course when pressed with a stern look and a demand for truthfulness Hope will reply, "Okay, I did it."

Count Down

We are at the flea market. I tell Michael and Hope they can each select an item for $5.00 or less. Michael shops and quickly decides what he wants. Hope bounces back and forth among several items. Bracelets, necklaces, slippers, purses, etc. She cannot decide on any one thing. Finally I tell her we have to go so she must decide by the count of 5. The count goes slowly and she does not select until I reach 4 and 3/4s and the yet unspoken number 5 is formed on my lips.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

THE CHICKS BEGIN THEIR THIRD WEEK



Our grand niece, Cloelle, visits her birthday chicks. We brought them home on Cloelle's first birthday, 4-2-08. Today the chicks begin their third week in our home. Look how big and bright they are getting. Look how big, bright and beautiful Cloelle has become!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

LOOKING FOR SIGNS

Reverend Ole is the pastor of the local Norwegian Lutheran Church, and Pastor Sven is the minister of the Swedish Covenant Church across the road.

One day they were seen pounding a sign into the ground, that said:
"DA END ISS NEAR! TURN YERSELF AROUNT NOW BAFORE IT'S TOO LATE.."

A car sped past them, the driver leaned out his window and yelled, "Leave me alone, you Skandihoovian, religious nuts!"

From the curve we heard screeching tires and a big splash...

Rev. Ole turns to Pastor Sven and asks, "Do ya tink maybe da sign should yust say 'Bridge Out'?"

Saturday, April 12, 2008

SOUTHERN FLOOD SURVIVAL KIT


Toilet Paper?..................check!
Bud Light?......................check!
Keystone Ice?.................check!
Budweiser?.....................check!
Red Dog?........................check!
Yellow Mustard?.............check!
Other alcohol?.................check!
Plywood to float the old lady and your booze on?......check!!!

God love dem red necks!

Friday, April 11, 2008

DRAG OUT THE ARK

It is happening again.
Q: What follows lots and lots of rain?
A: Flooding!

We went to town yesterday and could not get back home the usual way. Our main road was flooded. After winding around several different directions, we managed to get back to the house.

The wind came up and our power began to flash. At about 5:30 PM the power went out. My new chicks immediately began to peep, peep, peep for their brooder lights. I covered their box to keep in as much warmth as possible and called the electric company. A pole was down and we would have power back in a short while. It was about 8:30 PM before the lights came on. The chicks were huddled together in a lump but all were alive and well.

We watched TV for a while then I went in the kitchen to prepare the coffee for in the morning. Thankfully I was able to get a full pot of water. The electric well pump had not kicked back on and we had no water. Having enough water for coffee was the main thing so we decided re-starting the well could wait until morning. Here we were with flooding around us and no water! Now I know the meaning of, "...water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink."

And the thunder rolled.

Rural life is always eventful.

We don't have an ark but we do have three boats.

HAREM COLLAGE




Wednesday, April 09, 2008

MULTIPLE PERSONALITY

My astrological sign is Gemini. I am often told it suits me well because I seem to have multiple personalities. Well, I also have about 18 wigs. The above photos are all me. (Well, the first photo might be someone else:-)

LAUGH, I THOUGHT I'D DIE

LOOK OUT FOR FLYING PIGS by author and Tulsa World columnist Jay Cronley. See what makes me laugh.

NAMESAKE


Can you find St. Jim? It is the one in the middle with the obvious halo:-) When my brother was here he wondered why I had a chicken named for my sister, my mother, my dad and not one for him. Everyone say hello to the distinguished red sex-link with a shiny golden crown.
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BIG GIRLS


Celebrating the beginning of their second week with Granny Annie. The red sex-links are maturing much faster than the black ones.
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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

MY HERO

Yesterday we went to an All-You-Can-Eat buffet. You cannot take leftovers with you unless you pay by the pound. We always laugh to see people stuffing things in their coat pockets and purses. Yesterday was the first time I was tempted to try to slip out with something. The dessert buffet had some delicious fudge. I ate two pieces and am almost positive that I emitted rather obscene noises while indulging in this chocolate delight. My sweet husband was mortified but he certainly got the message that I liked the fudge.

We left the restaurant and got in the van. We were halfway down the highway when I glanced at the center console and saw……….TWO PIECES OF STOLEN FUDGE! My dear husband who strictly prides himself in obeying all laws managed to slip out with the candy wrapped in a napkin and tucked in his shirt pocket. These two pieces of fudge (gained at considerable risk) were an even better gift than a bouquet of flowers or whole box of candy.

Oh don't we gals love our rebels!

A LIFE LESSON

My mid-term test was returned by my Freshman year professor of English Lit. My grade was a D! How could that be?

I had answered most of the questions correctly. The final question was an essay question that asked:"What is your opinion of Edgar Allen Poe?" The professor had marked an "x" over my entire answer and counted this high percentage question as totally wrong.

Did I protest? Of course. How dare he ask my opinion and then count my answer incorrect! How could my OWN opinion be incorrect? His answer: "We have spent a lot of time on Poe these past several weeks and by now my opinion should be your opinion."

My grandson Michael has been given an assignment by his seventh grade teacher to draw a cartoon reflecting the student's feeling about the war in Iraq. Michael, an excellent artist by the way, has drawn a large U.S. Marine boot stepping on a Mosque. I haven't seen the picture but I know Michael's clear, concise and expressive work.

My daughter has given me the belief that his teacher has a less than favorable opinion of the war. Should Michael's mom encourage him to make a different cartoon or simply prepare him to anticipate a less then perfect score on his assignment or should they let him experience a life lesson by learning that educators asking for your opinion are setting traps.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kentucky Derby?

And they are off.....! If you make any sudden loud noise in our den (cough, sneeze or.....ahem...fart), the chicks are off and running. Thirty chicks in a long wooden box remind me of race horses at the gate as the sound of the starting pistol sends them running.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

THE NEIGHBOR CAUGHT ME

Yesterday I was in the chicken house gathering eggs. We have a long driveway and we have a blacktop road in front of the house. I can always hear vehicles coming and make it in the house before they can turn in our drive. Why would I need to be on alert? Because once in a while I run outside without my wig or a cap. Yesterday was one of those days and how our neighbor with a very noisy truck managed to pull up to our door without warning is beyond me.

There I was with a basket full of eggs and my bald head exposed to the world. Should I step out and greet the guest or duck down inside the pen? I simply stood up straight and walked out as if nothing was wrong, greeted the man and invited him to come in and have a seat in the den while I found Ron. The neighbor followed me with mouth agape and didn't say a word.

What could he say? The man has no teeth.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

YOU CAN HAVE CHICKENS TOO

If I did not live in the country and have space for many chickens, I would have an Eglu from Omlet. This way we could still have our delicious fresh eggs. If you want chickens, you should look at this neat backyard chicken house.

WELCOME BABES


We arrived at the feed store yesterday before 8:00 AM to select our newest chicken children. We were not alone. The parking lot was full and the store was letting people in early. Thankfully no one else was looking for sex-links. We purchased 30. We have fifteen black and fifteen red. It is a wonderful feeling to have Spring chicks in the house. We will keep them in the house for at least four weeks. We stopped at the lab for me to have some blood work done and I told the technician that we needed to hurry because we had a van full of baby chicks. She said, "Oh, I hope they are in a box!" I laughed at the mental image of thirty chicks running loose in our van. Yes, they were in a box in the van and they are in a big wooden box in the house.