Friday, October 3, 2014

What is this Celebration Cake of The Garry Farm All about.......??

Sometimes we need to celebrate life.   It may not always be the momentous beautiful wondrous birthday of age 84 where The Garry Farm celebration cake was delivered by her daughter Jane Griffin to her sweet mother Doris Chestnut in Alabama.  I hear that Doris enjoyed the love of her family but also her cake two times that day.

I can see where the gals in the family get their wonderful great looks, beautiful hair, face, smile, spirit of love and kindness and JOY!  All are natural beauties and I'm so glad to count them as special friends of The Garry Farm! Jane Griffin, I love your dedication & love you show to your mother and what a joy you are to me at market!  Always so enthusiastic and Joy filled!   and the love continues through to Nikki and her family too!

Then there is celebration of Zinnia's first birthday.... A special picture of her time with the candle, the cake and the camera!   Truly a farm birth and youngun and already helping mom and dad build their home!  Busy as a bee fits here and this picture of one of zinnias on the farm is a perfect match and have to share!

Please remember these little cakes are for celebrating lives.  Sometimes, we just need to celebrate the fact that we made it through the week ..... or even the hour...or to another benchmark year!

We have criteria for all the food made in The Cookery....  That it is made with Love and hand crafted in small batches, That it reflected natural goodness and simplicity and incorporated farm items and that our recipes are crafted and designed with joyful creativity.  This cake is moist and flavorful... Needs no topping but is happy toasted with preserves as a topping, or with a simple topping of fresh fruit, or even ice cream or cream/milk. SO like the small size as it is personal and assures we will savor the flavor without "over celebrating" So tomorrow we will be bringing 6 little cakes to market.... Who will celebrate with us?   Also bringing white chocolate chip cookies and amazing roasted red pepper cornbread featuring our cornmeal, local grown wheat berries, freshly ground in time for baking and also our roasted peppers! Recipes for the roasted red pepper cornbread are available. Most of ours are not.

Here's hoping you will enjoy your life.... Moment by moment and don't postpone all those pleasures until we are 100!  LITLA

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mamma don't let your girls give up their overalls!

Mamma don't let your girls give up their overalls!

Here I am with my prize overalls later ruined by chicken chasing with brussel sprouts as my cheerleader's baton, having a lovely time at our local market, 

Cotton Mill Farmers Market, Carrollton, GA

Overalls or even work jeans, my Aunts and grandmother never wore them.  The following were done in dresses. Sometimes accessories included kerosene rags wrapped around their ankles, handmade bonnets & aprons with large pockets.  This is how I remember them as They:

  • milked the cows,

  • chopped firewood and wood for the wood stove, 

  • planted gardens,  

  • hand cranked out the clean clothes out of primitive washers and hung them up 

  • hand plowed behind a mule, 

  • delivered calves

  • drudged in the woods to rescue calves or to call in the younguns from wild blackberry picking  

  • And any other farm activity.

Sometimes in boots that were for men folks but claimed by the women folk....I never really understood whose boots they were but they were never new to the women....Never boots tried on and fit for them.....The oldest generation of farmer men relatives went to Church in stiffly starched overalls with a very stiff and very pressed white shirt. Menfolks knew about overalls.  Now some of my younger male relatives say born in my generation or maybe just one before wore suits or a nice shirt and a pair of pants... But the older and earlier men wore Overalls and always there was the best overall reserved for revivals, church meetings and the occasional going into town. I remember funerals where the best overall was worn by my relative.  It did NOT seem strange to me at all....But this is a story of girls and wanna be women and women who lost part of their farm roots but then found them again...

I loved overalls as a child...I owned none in the city home I grew up  - Atlanta. They were NOT allowed in the house.  Mother grew up on that farm, worked her way through College and there was no way her daughters would suffer through all that.   She never said that but in her actions I knew that she wanted for us an easier life, not knowing that in my blood, I had inherited the need to farm...  In fact, DIRT was not allowed in Mother's home...Dad may have been king of some decisions but there were no dust bunnies in mother's house, but that's another story. Smile...

But I digress.... within 5 minutes of arriving at Granny's, first of course smothering myself in her wonderful hug and smelling all the scents in her old apron from cooking all morning, grabbing a tea cake, running to the old cedar chest with the broken hinge, I found the old worn out pair that was mine while in the Country, soft as a 1000 thread sheets, smoothed my hands over it and sighed, I was home, the smell and feel spoke of times to come covered with possibilities of love and fun and adventures and probably a little danger from poison ivy and snakes and more! ...For the longest, I thought the overalls were spelled and pronounced overhauls, because certainly my spirit felt completed overhauled when I was in them!  My symbolic I'm a country girl not only clothed me but embraced me with the love from the country. All the predictability of life in the city disappeared and all that it meant to me lifted as I held those overalls and breathed in the air of the country still held in them - well that and a heady dose of mothballs.

Sadly, there came a magic age and it must have been say around 11 or 12 when my girl cousins quit wearing overalls, work jeans, woods exploring clothes...  Being the impressionable, favor seeking, following, idolizing cousin that I was, I left my overalls and all my other boy clothes behind. Looking back now, it was too early but I did it anyway...Cousin peer pressure is real... And called them boy stuff.   I tried to join in the reading of magazines, painting of face, burning of skin to get tan,  listening to the swooning records of that time - mostly 45's and the finger and toe nail painting contests with the girl cousins.

But deep inside me I wanted my wornout boots and my overalls ........Decades later I'm back in my overalls and worn out jeans.   I still love the broken in jeans the best...I won't buy new, I like my clothes worn out and at the point of no return, They bend and fit the best!  I now have my own old straw hat, which I treasure.   It's not quite broken in as it is only 14 years old. I'm so glad to be wearing overalls, they fit me to a "t"! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Encourage, lift up, and lighten up!

Living in a world where I get so tired of seeing so much emphasis on negatives and still cannot believe that a crowd will gather for a person on a ledge to encourage them to jump and "unhappy news" sells more than happy news, I look at social networking and often see something of a contagious negatory attitude, in an environment of bashing.........

But then I see some posts that encouraging, memorable for the joyous uplifting, positive, kind, goodness and life changers.  Even the cute pictures of a stray dog leading a rescue team to her babies.  So.....

Those positive ones are the posts that mean the most to me.   

Don't want to go through my long lists of medical things but I will say that God has been with me each step of the way.  And I have encouragement from many that always was perfectly said or felt.  So recently asked my Facebook friends what words they gave ore received that they thought were helpful. 

I received some real gems.   Treasures!!!   I'll quote a few and then ask if you are reading this blog, that you post things that have helped you through rough times.   

"You gotta keep on keeping on. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13"   Johanna

"Just keep swimming!"  Trina and Mary Beth
 "help someone else"  Jane

"encouragement to me is when one will tell me the truth, but remind me that Jesus said HE would never leave me nor forsake me. When I am on the bottom looking up, I really need to be reminded that Jesus will be there. Many times when I've been that low, my dad would take his finger and point like he wanted me to see something very far off. He would say, I want you to look way, way down there. Can't you see there is light at the end of the tunnel. He said, you may not see but just a little flicker, but there it is, see, it really is light. OH JESUS YOU REALLY ARE SO GOOD AND KIND. "  Suzette 

"If God brings you to it he will bring you through it. Jesus is the reason and I put my hope and trust in Him." Christine
"The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, " Nahum 1:7  Celeta

Practice random acts of kindness, and senseless acts of beauty. Lori

What I have found personally helpful for me....

"You know that God loves you, but I am just saying that people are looking to see if your faith will waiver under what is going on."     

I prefer "feel good" movies like Polyanna.... one of my favorites

As a younger person, I began reading biographies of people who were quite exemplary in how they handled life.... and overcame what seemed to be impossible situations.  

Music guides my thoughts and can transform my emotions.  One of the best modern songs about overcoming.   Wonderful Mandisa with Overcomer.   Just saw the vidoe for the first time! (click the blue hyperlink next to this to hear and see her)  Mandisa - Overcomer

Sometimes solitude is needed and sometimes a good cry or sometimes a laugh or even both.

When I become anxious, words of comfort like these help: 

" Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"  Matthew 6:26

When I feel I can do nothing anymore, just nothing and feel the start of a major pity party, I start planning something to do, a prayathon is a likely event or a surprise for someone else

My mother used to give the quietest and sweetest comfort to me.   It would go something like this "I cannot make this go away, but I'll stay with you as long as you need me to and I know you are strong and will work your way through this.      And she seemed to know innately what people needed.   She never did "tell" people what to do - other than to tell my Dad NOT to track up her very clean kitchen :)   But she was the kind of positive sounding board folks still need.   

But most of all I look for the rainbow that God will send....His promise to me and to the world.  There will be a better day....   Life is never easy but it becomes much easier when I tell myself.   God loves me.  He has a plan, a purpose, a reason for everything and everything unto its season..... Just Like Ecclesiates 3 says....

Feel free to add your thoughts about encouragement...  LITLA   


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The inspiration at the bottom of the colander

Not much blogging going on in 2014  It's been a myriad of hospitalizations, doc visits, more rare diseases, mostly lung- a few skin, etc. since January. But in the middle of all of this, I try to do regular farming things..... Like picking strawberries, cleaning them, making strawberry jam, farmers markets and tending animals, etc.

This week I had just had a biopsy and it was my first complete "all out" one, so of course it went fine in technicality.  My thoughts throughout it were, how long will this biopsy take? because I have strawberries I cleaned and cut the night before waiting for me in The Garry Farm Cookery.

So when The Doc got to the questions I might have, I said "how many pounds can I lift without ripping these stitches wide open?"   (This is a wonderful new Doctor and he gave me a quizzical look and I explained I had fresh strawberries that had to become strawberry preserves that afternoon.  They could not wait)..  He was negatory on my moving the large cooking kettle full of water, He did not understand my spirit that I would find a way.... Probably would have been for the the heavy soup cookers full of strawberries like this one:

Dear hubby didn't want me to do anything after surgery but he knew better than to "waste his time" He helped by filling two heavy pots full of water and the rest was mine! For me, making preserves is Extreme Precision, absolute therapy.  It is a mind over matter game.  Keeps my mind off of "me",  as I must focus 100% on the task at hand, one wrong move and hours and hours of picking and preparation and product are wasted.   Everything is sanitized and ready and slow cooking without pectin takes hours. Heavenly smells of strawberries wafted in the Cookery.

During the last boiling for the filled jars, I sat down for the first time in 4 hours and glanced at some photos made the day before of the cleanup.  I was filling up a bucket for the compost from the colander over the sink and what did I find?   A tiny scrap in the shape of a valentine.   Somewhere a little sweet angel sent me some encouragement in the tedious job of cleaning up the kitchen sink.  My berries were very dirty as they had been splashed by dirt in a rainstorm. and it took quadruple washing and a very soft vegetable brush before the cleaning was completed.  I think the spectacular gift must have been from my sainted sister as only She ever loved strawberries as much as I.   All of her china had strawberries on it and many of the items in her kitchen. Strawberries always seemed to find a place in her home, on aprons, pictures, children's clothing, and more.  Thanks Annelia, sweet sister angel. That strawberry valentine has found a place in my treasure of memories and as I was cleaning, my heart just changed from dread of the drudgery to JOY of the journey. Have you ever had something occur that did that?

If I had not been looking, I would have missed that strawberry and everything it means to me.  May I always be looking for encouragement and miracles Lord.   And for those of you who think it is a coincidence.  I've trimmed mega thousands of strawberries in my lifetime and never before found a valentine shaped scrap emerge at the bottom of my colander.    Farming brings me so many delightful and joy filled moments.  Thank you Lord for each of them.  I am so grateful for the joys and everything that it takes to bring me closer to you! Amen. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Garry Farm Grows Faith.............and more

Spring and the nearness of God is in the air for me.  It's a wonderful day as it was yesterday and shall be tomorrow! Jacque is headed to market and last time he can use our little car - wagon.  I am at home doing scheduling of eggs and bunny pickups and burning my breakfast, but that's another BLOG, LOL. Thanks be to God and all our farm helpers, produce is bustling. And next week we need a trailer!

Who would believe two flats of strawberries TODAY after all our freezing weather? Counting that as a miracle.  For you non farmers, I would have been on my knees even just grateful for 1/4 of the strawberries to have survived the winter.  Instead, I see maybe 1 plant missing in 20?  Thank you Lord.  When temps get as Low as they did in Georgia even with row crops or covers, to me the game is up.  Meaning, totally up to God totally.  Man cannot make what God can provide .

And the field that was wall to wall last year where I practiced strawberry yoga, tippy toeing between the plants, is getting perfect for a back up picking and we did NOT Cover that one at all. NOW that is the 100% cannot argue with me Miracle as it was next to all the covered plants and those rootings survived minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit!!!! Where we 100% trusted in God to provide, He most certainly did and more abundantly than what we did ourselves! The old plants died away and now we have new plants with blossoms ready to set in a few weeks for fruit.  I don't know how atheist can farm.   I'm not trying to be superior or set myself up for a bunch of negativity.  But I could never even watch a farm or definitely be part of a farm if I had no faith and if I was not surrounded by a Man and people of faith. Every time I hold a newborn baby chick - Faith and Hope and Belief and Love....I feel it.

The floods, the droughts, the unrelenting cold temps crushing on us, the predators, frailty of seed, last minute squash beetles, bee swarms, tragic animal deaths and destruction by predators or natural disasters and more.   I have really come to believe now that the Garry Farm grows a Lot More than fruit, vegetables, eggs, milk, bunnies, etc.   The Garry Farm grows Faith and Hope and Belief and Love and Spritual Molding.   At least it does for me and for that I am eternally grateful. And all of that is Losses seem as a distant memory when I walk through the tall grass and weeds in the front and back yard, dreading the sneaky snake, just to see a little bee bringing in early pollen to go back to his Queen.  Eternal Optimism is now added to the list of what The Garry Farm brings to me !

Lord, thank you for the teaching and blessings you give me here at the farm.  May I please find a way to share it with the world or at least the part of the world YOU choose. Every moment Lord I am grateful for the Life you give me.  Even those really hard Molding and Learning moments because it is in those that I know you the best.  That I feel your presence 100% and I am most aware that all Good is this world is from You and of You and that I am dependent upon your tender Mercies. May I never fail to give YOU the Glory as nothing I ever do that is worthwhile is of ME, it is of You.   May I always set my eyes upon you. And dearest Lord, I thank you for Spring and our Farm.  Where flowers I didn't plant grow around the farm and even weeds, like me, take on a Crown of Glory of yellow in nature as the bees circle around them.

I am so tearfully grateful of all Blessings about here and may I never fail to acknowledge them as yours and share them!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Are you waiting to do what you want to do right now?

Are you waiting to do what you want to do right now?

Do you find life just slipping away? Are you living for Fridays and Dreading Mondays?

Do you catch yourself with a bad case of the "If Onlys"?????  I used to hear my own if onlys until I shoved them out of my head. still have to fight them)..  If only I were stronger, if only I were younger when I started doing this, if only I had more money, if only I had a veterinary degree, were not afraid of driving antique tractors, could work more than 10 hours a day consistently etc.

Yes, I who adore farming and the goodness about it tried to argue myself out of farming while still yearning for it with a passion and had lots of folks to try to discourage me in a "helpful way". 

Little comments like  "at your age, you need to be enjoying life and not work so hard",   "honey you know you are frail", "no one will buy anything because they grow their own produce",   you'll go broke,   you don't even know how to can or preserve.   My favorite was "well, you know you can't teach an old dog new tricks".   I realized these were either folks who had given up on their own dreams or just really thought dreams could only belong to the strong, young, rich or famous or were just eaten up with negativity.  I quit trying to explain and just "plowed" ahead with the farm dream.

Get a grip folks.   Only God knows the number of hairs on our head or the seconds in our lives.  I really believe this.  If you have really prayed about your dream and really believe in your heart and soul and mind, that it is valid and God wants this for you, I vote yes.  I have some quick advice. Although most of what I write about refers to farm, it would apply I think to most dreams.

Do you have a dream but in your dream vision, you can only see things only one way.... Do you say, I want to have a farm, I need to borrow or have $500,000 to do it. I must have a minimum of 50 acres and  fully stocked with every imaginable animal - oh say a few hundred or more.   It must have a modern house with all the conveniences.   I will not be in a leaky, drafty, old farm house.  Okay shake that plan away, dust it off and get real.   If you have $500,000 to invest, lease a farm for a year and get it out of your system and move own.   That way you can not be stuck with a huge mortgage and not be earning dividends, interest etc.& have a 800 feed bill for animals.  Also $500,000 won't buy the 50 acres and nice huge modern house .   A $5,000 plus monthly payment frightens me.  

When I was so eaten up with the "dream of the farm", it took many forms,  First the out of control suburban farmer where the farm overran the inside and outside and front yard of our subdivision with plants, trees, flowers, a few bunnies, fishpond, etc.  I tiptoed with bare feet to be able to reach and pick 100+ tomato plants compactly planted...And then I started dreaming at night and in the day, of green grass and fields and open land and bees and more animals.Then the farm dream reshaped as we look for a real farm. So I suggest having several dreams - one that might be short range, longer range, alternate #1, Alternate #2 and then the dream that God answers for you. 

But why don't you try on your dream first for size?  If you don't really have any planting space where you are, not even a huge barrel so you can plant a tomato, cucumber and a pepper, let's get some dirt under our fingers!  Go work on a farm .... We do take volunteers and can occasionally pay in produce or real money too.   And be sure and also work when it is rainy, blowing cold, suffering hot, icy, no running water.....  Don't just do this on a sunny day. Take a really long gruesome day, a typical farm day.....  Pick really bad weather and then run for the endurance.   Can you really work outside in the rain for 6+ solid hours - not warm rain, but cooler temps that make you shiver?   Farming has its uncomfortable moments.

Are you willing to make sacrifices for your dream?   Monetary, routine, time, social, physical, emotional   Are you willing and eager to be a life long learner? To fall and fail and get up and do it again over and over?  To admit that you know a lot but that what you know is NOT enough.   You will become obsessed with learning more. You will live, eat, breath, and research and ponder much if you farm.  Your life and previous freedoms will really disappear if you are a farmer and especially if you include animals.   You cannot just up and leave for any period of time without extreme planning.   Are you willing to always be last?   If you are hungry and thirsty, are you willing to wait hours while you do emergency animal care - as in delivery assistance, or while you water your plants, or cover a crop before a storm.  You may find yourself very short of sleep and energy when your day is over and in about 5 hours you take another go at it.  Your friendship circle will shrink.  Many do not understand your new dream and why you cannot just hang out or go to this event or another.  Farmers are friendly and farmers love people.  That's part of why we farm.   But a farmer is a very different kind of person where our hands and feet are still the main instruments no matter how much technology or tools we have.  Small farmers become mechanics, make doers, recyclers, etc.

I have said before and I will say again,    Farming is the lowest paid, hardest work I have ever done.  The rewards are great but they are not monetary.   It is the love of the land, the smell of a newborn goat, the satisfied smile of the customer with that strawberry in their mouth, the person I got to teach how to make real corn muffins from real ground meal from our farm,  it is the taste of the first tomato, the eating of safe and good food, the sharing of farming knowledge with others.  It is the adventure.

But the best reward to farming, is the closeness to God because in farming we are so dependent upon His protection, benevolence, guidance and Direction.  Days are begun and ended with prayer, and when we pray over our food, it is different than prayers I had before I farmed..Songs are played that are uplifted to the plants, etc, etc,..Prayers during the day to God for direction on what to do with an animal.  And yes He has provided insight into farming situations that otherwise made no sense.  Years ago, we had poultry over drinking water and literally drowning their systems drinking the water.  They were suffering from kidney stress!! Vets called , etc, etc, healthy birds drinking 4 to 5 times regular amount of water.  Finally God literally spoke to me in a dream and said EAT THEIR FOOD.   I did and it tasted like I was licking the salt off a pretzel.  Calls were made and sure enough, there had been numerous similar complaints and it was a huge commercial mill that was apparently NOT cleaning between making minerals and chicken feed and our chicken feed was toxic with salt.   Even before we made those called, we grabbed the food away from the poultry and substituted another brand, and within 24 hours losses began to slow and finally stopped. I could tell you hundreds of examples like this.   So I literally ask God to show me to speak to me about how and why and what?  It is beyond intuition, it is things I have never read about or experienced and He literally shows the way, as clearly as the lighthouse in a storm to a boat.

Well, I hope this blog has been of interest.   In the writing of it, it has given me great joy as I have reflected over much about the farming.  May God bless you and guide you and always be with you as you examine your dreams.   And most of all I pray that you bloom where you are planted.   You may well be in the training grounds RIGHT NOW for your dream! And later in that next stage of your dream you will have an AHA! moment where you know that the office situation helped you know how to break up a hen fight.  But that's another blog ............Until Then....

Friday, March 14, 2014

Egg On Your Face!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are a bad egg eater!

Before our farm, I never knew the depth and meaning of this expression.   Oh I understood it was like guilt unquestionable,  proof a person had done something wrong,  But Egg?   What was that like a bit of egg yolk dripping on your chin or in the corner of your mouth....It made no sense to me!

On no, as a farmer I can tell you when you feed your hens sacks and sacks of feed and watch your egg production start sinking, you think,  mmmmm  I have a snake that is an egg eater, an opposum or perhaps a raccoon, a rat or there is a broody mother who snuck the eggs away, oh let's add calcium, let's bring more protein treats, it's winter, and they are resting. Or even a swooping crow can snatch an egg if a hen is a ground layer because she's trying to start a nest of babies!   And on and on and on, I made excuses for this flock for about 6 months..... Oh say about 150 to 200 dollars of food. Skip the care time, water, especially in the wind storms, the rain, the ice, etc. And I wanted their eggs.  I needed the eggs for market, to bake, to eat..... sigh.  Loss was probably over 20 eggs a week .  Yes a big loss for months!

First Offender! First hen caught in the act the afternoon of 3/13/2014 at 2:30 pm EST.  I catch her by her hind legs and then fall (me) over a stump in the big yard.  She's free and the sly one starts to clean her beak in the ground so she won't get caught. HA, I call hubby Jacque and misdial some one and scream, "Help Egg Eater !!!."..........The poor person getting that message still wonders, never returned my call.  Realized I called the wrong number and redial. Jacque brings the net and I am almost in tears and told him she had cleaned her beak.  He laughed and got the only one with a wet dirty beak and splashed yolk above her eyes. Offender #1 is removed and isolated in a holding pen.  No question, no need to call her attorney for representation, no jury needed - She has Egg on her Face and She IS Guilty.  

Possible solution #1 Electric Debeaker $379 plus shipping That's a lot of change and I have two offenders.  Roughly $200 to keep these ladies continuing to produce eggs and hopefully make a clean cut and not take my hands or part of hand with it

 Possible solution #2 Manual debeaker $14.99 plus tax plus 10.00 shipping - less expensive BUT the issue of the pain caused by this and that I could do a wrong cut and infection and continual pain could be present

Second Offender! I decide to visit the same pen. Dragnet Farmer Nancy Returns to the scene of the crime. It is 3/14/2014 at 3:45 pm EST. I see a hen with her backside hanging out of the front of the nestbox.  For you non chicken people, hens face forward, toward the light and opening.   If a hen is backwards in the nest box. she is up to something! So Farmer Nancy, Chicken Wrangler, make a clean grab and the hen was so absorbed eating the egg she didn't even sense my presence.  She had gotten the yolk and was finishing up the white. She has Egg on her face and She IS GUILTY.  Offender #2 is removed and isolated in another holding pen

Both hens were from the same yard.   It is a huge space.  I even brought them treats today.  Feeder always full. Lots of water.   High protein feed.  I think this has been going on a long time. Because it seemed like egg production was about 1/2 of what it should be for months. On the plus side, since eater number one was pulled, 2 eggs were gathered by Jacque from the pen just minutes before the second hen was doing her egg eater act.

In our farmer years, I have learned how to do a lot of things. Sadly I have never been able to rehabilitate an egg eater.   It seems to be a driving force not unlike my craving for coffee and great chocolate.   Economically when there are egg eaters in your flocks, the price of getting the few eggs you can get keeps going higher and higher.   Apparently the two egg eaters in this flock could wipe out 3 and 4 eggs a day plus feed, treats, water.   They literally are the heaviest hens in the flock.

Egg Eater Intervention Rehabilitation Techniques Tried in the past:

  1. Verbal warning that nothing is worth dying for,  That I won't literally die for my coffee
  2. Removal from pen to another pen of hens.
  3. Behavior modification effort. Put cracked egg in by the hen, sit and wait for her to start eating it, dunk her head fully in water.  Repeat as needed.  Do this on a warm day. You and hen will be very wet and all eggs will be eaten.
  4. Move her into the duck pen, worked for 2 days until she started trying to eat her eggs and the duck eggs
  5. Put a frying pan in the pen.  It's an old wive's tale, it didn't work. 
  6. Add fake marble eggs, golf balls  eggs covered with hot sauce!to all the nest boxes
  7. Bring many high protein treats, greens etc to the yard
  8. Put a two liter bottle in the yard with water and shiny penny for her to play with
  9. Hang bacon and/or cabbage for pecking needs
  10. Processed the hen.
Things I haven't tried.   Buying a professional debeaker and cutting the pointed end of the beaks off.
I have read it is NOT humane and it is painful both while doing it and for the rest of the life of the hen.   As a female, I hate to say this but my roosters DO NOT and have never eaten eggs!

Sadly, it looks like chicken and dumplings will be on the menu next week.  I tried in the past.  I really did.   I am out of tricks.  Unless I keep my offenders in little cages and their eggs all roll out in to a catch area.   Nope that's called caged eggs and we don't do that.   I'm sorry Offender #1 and Offender #2.   I did my best.  You did what you craved.   Life has consequences on this farm.   I cannot afford you to be pets and costs me hundreds of dollars a year and eat the eggs the Farm needs.  You are big girls and big eaters.   And this is one of the hard parts of farming.........

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hi speed is sometimes too fast!

Have you ever found yourself just going too fast?   Making dinner with your cell phone on speaker phone, stirring two pots of food and checking a fragile baked item while trying to scan your e mail on the computer at the same time.   And this is the kind of pace you kept all day long. I do this far too often. 

I realized this morning I had been going too fast too often because.when I wanted to grind coffee, I didn't have a way to grind it, until I remembered I had a very old vintage coffee grinder never used by me, bought at a Thrift Store in Cobb County almost 13 years ago. (My electric one is reserved for grinding flax and my grind and brew coffeepot quit working after about 13 very hard months of a second lease on life)

Well, the grinder was layered in dirt and due to being stored in an unheated room, it was trying to corrode on the outside but IT was fully adjustable and operable.  After cleaning it and learning how to adjust the grinder for the grind I needed. I cranked the coffee and was fully into the experience of getting it done, the rich smell of coffee filled the air and it was so wonderful.  My mind drifted to remembering Granny grinding coffee on something that looked about like this....

I then realized I never smelled or experienced that coffee grinding so in a very noisy coffee grinder.   I feel like for about 5 minutes a day, that coffee making will be different the slower way.    I may even graduate over to using my blue campstove perculator, if I can find all the parts!!!

Slow down and enjoy some of the experiences of life.   Sometimes we save more than electrical energy by using our hands or simple tools.  We can save our sanity and "downgrade" our high speed to worrying about the speed and keeping some of the stress causing by multi tasking all day to a lower level as well.  So at the risk of being trite, please "Slow down and smell the coffee."   Literally and figuratively!

I'm sipping and my coffee and really smelling and tasting and enjoying it........SLOWLY.... Have a blessed day. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Don't Whine, Just Dine ..... The Development of the Pickle Omelette

Do you ever catch yourself whining about what you could not do or eat?

Oops, I was almost in that place yesterday.   I have lost my taste buds due to certain medications for an ongoing lung issues, asthma meds and medical procedures.   The loss may be permanent or temporary.  I do not know, but I know I can only taste salt if I ate by the double teaspoon (not heart healthy), vinegar, or honey.  I can still smell onions, garlic etc but the taste is just a texture taste with no flavor.  I have begun to be dangerously thin so I must up the healthy calories. (Don't hate me, my health issues, especially the lungs eat up the calories) So yesterday I thought about doing a pickle rinse with the pickle juice before I ate to make things taste again!

It helped a little but this morning I pushed the culinary envelope and made a pickle omelette!

  1. Two duck eggs with about 2 tsps of pickle juice (whisked), 1 tbsp of real butter in the omellette pan
  2. filled with kale from last nights stir fry (about 4 TBSP)
  3. about 1/8 cup of country cheddar, accompanied by our homemade pickles
  4. seasoned lightly with ground white pepper 
  5. Cook as traditional omelette but garnish with smiley faces on omelette and plate!

I could taste it, it was pickly and deliciously pickly...  LOL.   I will move from my 105 to a minimum of 112 eating healthy food, full of protein and with the Lord's help maintain the weight.  So I will be a great contender in the light weight division.  It is getting increasingly hard to find childrens size 12 pants that are long enough in the legs to be anywhere near the ankles (LOL)

Morals of the true story!   USE YOUR IMAGINATION!  Pray, Trust and believe.   You can find some answers.    And who knows.  This may be the beginning of a whole new career for me.  Instead of the bunny lady or the goat lady or the chicken lady, maybe I should be the Pickle lady!   Have a blessed day!     PS Yes, I spelled omelette incorrectly....It was in France so many decades ago, I ate my first Omelette and that is why!