Monday, November 29, 2010


Since yesterday...when looking at my calendar....I was toying with the idea of advertising the rest of the chickens on craigslist.

My heart was not in butchering 19 chickens all by myself. Then I remembered I had a whole bird in the fridge that I had put in to marinade last night. I had to cook it tonight.

I decided on fried. I mixed flour, italian bread crumbs, salt, pepper and coriander. I fried it in my cast iron and I wish I could explain my change of mind. As soon as I began to smell it soon as I cut my first piece and the juice squirted soon as I took that first mind changed.

I will be investing in a good industrial vacume sealer soon. I want fried chicken this winter.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


These two jars = 7 pounds of boiled and shredded white potatos. I love dehydrating.

3 quart jars of white meat + 3 quart jars of dark meat + 1 pint of hearts and livers = 6 chickens


Well I almost "chickened" out. I had spent 15 minutes wiping down the counters with bleach, getting together all my utensils, trash can with a large bag, comfortable chair, table with a cover, garden hose and squirt nozzle, previously sharpened hatchet...everthing I might possibly need.

In the kitchen, the canning jars were ready lids ready, previously made broth warmed and ready, canner with water in it ready.

I had on my old clothes and my rubber gloves and was standing with a chicken in my hands and almost could not do it. My heart was sad. Who could I pay to do this for me? Then I realized that if I was going to eat meat, I needed to take responsibility to kill them on my own. This way I would know for sure that it was quick and clean.

Yesterday I had been wondering how to kill a chicken by myself w/out being able to ring it's neck. (tennis elbow) I knew I had the hatchet but that was a two person job. If only I could hold it's head in place and stretch out the body. So I improvised. I got two large nails and hammered them into the killing stump close together. Then I bent one slightly so that there would be room to slide the chickens neck between them. It worked very well. The chicken was held and he did not panic.

Just before I killed the first one a thought crossed my mind which has been there before. "Don't mourn those who die fulfilling their destiny". The destiny of this chicken is to be food. Mine, or some other preditor. He fulfilled his destiny today along with 5 of his brothers.

No pics..sorry too messy. And I am tired right down to my sore fingers. But I am listening to my canner hissing with 6 quarts of chicken meat and 1 pint of hearts and livers.

I forgot to weigh the meat but I only took the breasts, thighs and drumsticks and the hearts and livers. I know people say gizards are good to eat but I just can't. I might in the next group take them and can them in pint jars.

The thighs and drums I put in quart jars with the bone in. The breasts were huge so I de-boned those and canned them skinless/boneless.

I added 1/2 teaspoon of salt in each jar, filled it to 1" from the top with warm broth and washed the rims and added lids.

I am canning at 10 lb of pressure for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

When the pressure goes down I will heat up quart jars of broth and can 8 qt of those. If that is not all the broth I will do another batch.

Then I will see how much day light I have left.

ps...the chickens do have fluid around their hearts. It will be good not to let them live much longer. I have 19 more to go!

Saturday, November 27, 2010



I LOVE MY TRUCK and other stuff

Well I have been stressing over what had to be done today. We had to hook up the truck to the new tool shed and move it. I just knew either the engine would fall out of my truck.....or the tool shed would disintegrate into a million pieces, or it would tip over on my dad and kill him.

can we say xanax?

So just in case we needed it I bought a 7000 pound 20ft long tow strap. Man am I glad we did. Dad had a HUGE eye bolt and screwed it in to the bottom of the shed. We hooked the tow strap to it and my hitch and I just barely gave it a little gas and that she swung around like it was on a hinge!!

Then I backed up and dad put a 2x6x10ft board against my hitch and at the bottom of the shed and the truck pushed it back against the fence...slicker than anything I have ever done. I felt as powerful as the day I canned my first jars of chicken!!!

There is room between the shed and the house to run gutters and the rain barrels will be on frames to the right of the shed.

Dad built a cool little work bench and we put up peg board.

Still have to put soffit on the front and finish painting.

The window looks right out on my garden.

Dad brought me a porch light for the front. I will buy a fluorescent light for the inside.

I love the stocking stuffer section at Home Depot. I got a mini mag light and a head light in the same box for 4.88! They are sweet and will provide my light requirements w/out much weight in my BOB.

I also got a rain poncho.

No pics yet but I put 300ft of Christmas lights up along my deck rail. I need about 1000ft more just for the rail the posts and along the fascia.

I made about 3 gallons of broth from 3 organic free range chicken carcasses. I got out the hatchet and sharpened it today. I will go to wally world and get rubber gloves because I have cuts on my hands and don't want to process chickens for fear of getting them infected.

Tomorrow I will raw pack all the meat chickens into quart jars and fill them with boiling fresh broth and can them.

I am so tired but daughter wants me to come and listen to her boyfriends band play...he doesn't start until 9pm. I have to be home by midnight though or I will turn in to a pumpkin.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Today started early. Farm dog induced insomnia began at 3:45 am. When Bull would not stop barking and growling for over half an hour I knew I had to get up and help him. I saw nothing out there but maybe just having me walking around the yard in my winter robe, flip flops and head lamp was enough to scare off the unseen bugars.

I built up the fire and played on the internet and watched again how to make dehydrated potatos.

I got out the potatos that I had baked and shredded them, placed them on the trays in my dehydrator and plugged it in. Drank a cup of coffee and then got very sleepy and went back to bed around 5:30.

Back up at 7:30am and decided it was too cold outside for anything except feeding animals. I came back in and ate a piece of toast and another cup of coffee and got out my back pack.

I decided to take care of something very important that every person should have with them at all times A bug out bag. I will dedicate a whole post to my BOB at another time. It doesn't contain food or water but has 3 days of clothing, bath supplies, some fire starting stuff and will hold my ICE information, bug out plans which are maps of evacuation routes from my home and from work in case of roadway closures. I will have 3 evac routes for each. It will also hold my wallet and cash and 3 days of non cooked food and water.

When that was done I decided it was warm enough to start painting the shed. I had to at least get the house side painted so that Dad and I could move it tomorrow.

Here is what it looks like. I liked the cedar color better but it needed to be painted because the sides and rear are untreated pine.

I am not done with it yet. It is after all a girl's tool shed. I will wait to "fix it up" until after dad comes over tomorrow. Don't want to give him a heart attack. I have got to be the messiest painter in the world.

Likely last night's frost killed the pepper plants so I will pull all of these off today and can them or freeze them.

The birds are all enjoying the sun. The guineas are going to eat me out of house and home.

These birds are ready for the freezer.


My daughter brought her new boyfriend to meet the family and join us for Thanksgiving. We met at my sister's home. If any of you have followed this thread you remember that we lost her son last summer.

His urn sits on a cool little table in the dining room with some of his school stuff on it. His picture is above it.

Dale is a country singer and plays with a very good band. He is what you all would think of when the word "cowboy" comes to mind. Tall, southern dressed, boots.

When he came in of course out of courtesy he removed his hat. And since he was staying he found a place to put it.

Christy and I were walking past it and stopped to look at it. She smiled and said what I was thinking. "Wow Michael would have appreciated that."

Kinda freaked out Dale for a minute when he thought he had committed something blasphemus.


Thursday, November 25, 2010


I am going to be dehydrating my white potatos tomorrow. Here is the website with a how to video.

Tonight I am washing 10 lb of potatos and baking them in the oven on a cookie sheet covered with foil.

Then I will let them cool and put them in the frig overnight.

Tomorrow I will shred them into hash browns and put them in the dehydrator which will be going while I paint the new tool shed.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I found a U Pick em farm not far from my home today! Organic raised and very nice people. Nothing fancy. When you pull up there is a man sitting at a table in his garage. He takes you via golf cart escorted by two farm dogs out to the field. And this field is very very quiet. I could hear nothing but a far off plane and coyotes in the creek line.

He left me there with Misty (one of the dogs)for company and came back right before dark. He helped me load on the 3 paper bags of turnip greens (15lb)and 1 10# bag of turnips. The green beans weren't worth the back ache. I only got enough for a meal.

So 15lb of greens and 10# of turnips, about a pound of green beans, 4 free garden magazines and a cold can of 7-up all for $12. I am going to can some of the greens and freeze some.

Here is the shed! It is finished on the outside except for caulking and painting and mounting the rear gutter. We will be running it in to a rain barrel system for the garden.

Dad put in a little work bench. It isn't attached yet. I love this! Saturday I will be going to get peg board to mount so that I can hang my tools. It will be an all day project to get them put in.

Sorry the pics are fuzzy. It is dark and the light is from the truck head lights. It is hard to hold the camer still enough for a good pic in the dark.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Look at this tool shed!!! It is going to be wonderful. And it's creators. Dad and Bull. Bull works with dad every bit of the way. And makes sure that dad takes a break and gets some exercise. Friday dad went over to the house while I was at work to work on the shed.

Bull loves this because dad always brings him a treat. And sometimes shares his lunch with him. Well dad forgot to close the trunk when he started to work on the shed and Bull reached in and grabbed dads plastic wrapped sandwich!

Dad yelled and Bull took off running across my field with this 82 year old man in hot pursuit. He chased Bull for 5 minutes before pinning him against a fence. When Bull knew he was caught he laid the sandwich down (smiling) and turned his tail to my dad to scratch his back. No he was not contrite at all. After all he had not even put a hole in the plastic.

John Gillis came over today. He is my rabbit guy and he brought an extra cage and some tools. We put my buck in the cage and hung him from the end of the rabbit frame.

Remember my cage is long and is 3 part. We removed the two inside walls to make it a two part cage instead. This gives the does so much more room for nest boxes and babies.

This is my birthday present to my grandson. His first real hunting outfit. He goes on his first hunt this year. December 5th!!!

Tummies are all full and everyone is sleeping. One more week and I start putting them in the freezer. And you are not going to believe this!....

My turkey is not a hen. HE gobbled today and fanned his tail out!


Friday, November 19, 2010


Sometimes I wonder at the "wild hairs" that get in to boys. One grand son's cub scout den is visited by the high school shop teacher from Caddo Mills High School. Together he and the whole den of boys build a bird house.

My grand sons must have talked about it because we had no sooner pulled into my driveway tonight than they were asking permission to use my tools. Since it was dark I told them to use their bedroom.

All night I have heard hammering and sawing. One asked permission to use my power drill so I said no because they must learn how to use hand tools first and then graduate to power tools.

The end results. Still not sure what the oldest is making.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The song from Veggie Tales comes to mind: The yodeling veterInarian of the alps

"This is a song for your pregnant kitty
She's looking nauseous and a week past due
But if I sing for your pregnant kitty
She will feel better in a day or two
Yodel-leh-hee yodel-leh-hee yodel-leh-hoo
Yodel-leh-hee yodel-lee-eee-ooo
Yodel-leh-hee yodel-leh-hee yodel-leh-hoo
Yada-yada yada-yada yad-eee-ooo"

"Jump in your car, drive into the city
Buy a jug of milk for your nauseated kitty"

I got this stuck in my head yesterday only I have been singing:

"This is a song for your pregnant bunny
She's looking nauseous and a week past due
But if I sing for your pregnant bunny
She will feel better in a day or two
Yodel-leh-hee yodel-leh-hee yodel-leh-hoo
Yodel-leh-hee yodel-lee-eee-ooo
Yodel-leh-hee yodel-leh-hee yodel-leh-hoo
Yada-yada yada-yada yad-eee-ooo"

"Jump in your car, drive into the city
Buy a stalk of celery for your nauseated bunny"

Ok I don't get out much

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Well you are not going to believe this. I got an automated voice mail congratulating me on my approval of refinancing my home! I went online and sure enough there is was. It gave me 5 documents that I have to fax in tomorrow. Grain of salt here....I will believe it when I close.

But when this happens...not only does this pay off all but my truck payment of my remaining debt...but it lowers my monthly payment on all of these debts from $1300 down to $749 and lowers my house payment $100. And also because of the appraisal...I now have $40k in equity! Wow kinda hard not to get excited.

I drove in my driveway and saw what my daddy has been working on so hard for a couple of weeks. My tool shed is almost done. (pics later)

3rd...dinner tonight? Home made...home canned chicken and dumplings. (last jar though)

4th Wild hair. I want a pantry....I don't have one. What I do have is a hall closet that I only use for storing linens.

I have a cedar chest now in my room. I opened it and it is almost empty and smells soooo good. This is my parents that they gave me. I treasure it.

I unloaded the hall closet and found the following:
3 boxes of Christmas lights (woohoo)

2 irons
1 space heater

1 amazing dark brown suede duvet cover and matching bed skirt(see it under the linens?)

6 fitted sheets and 2 flat sheets...none of which match
18 pillow cases...why do I need this many? (transporting rabbits, trick or treating in really ritzy neighborhoods, carrying wild kittys to the vet for their shots, filling with acorns to smash against a tree and crack open...endless things)
5 antique linens
1 lacy table cover
2 baby washcloths and 1 baby blanket...just in case

The suede duvet cover will go on my bed and the rest are in the cedar chest.

Now for the nearly empty closet:

1. email sent to daddy with photos and request for next project after the tool shed is done...add two more shelves...see the wasted space?
2. install self rotating can shelves in the left and right sides of the closet to make that easier to reach
3. move my canned goods into the hall closet
4. begin filling used bottles with water and date and store in the bottom of the closet

I believe I may be able to store 6 months of food and water in this closet.

And lastly...6th

I told you Sunday I found that my buck is too young to breed my does. So off to the breeder and immediatly got one of the girls bred. The second...Jane Doe...had decided to become the only bunny nun. She had it planned and was going to the convent soon so she tucked her tail and no matter which buck he tried....she retained her prudishness. But after 2 days of almost constant trying...I got a call today stating I was going to be a baby bunny grandma. How did it happen? Well the big agressive buck had tried the hardest. In his cage was a slippery spot on the floor. This time when she tucked her tail her back legs were on the slippery spot and her feet slipped backwards and before she could pull them up....she was bred. She turned around and looked at the smug buck laying on his back on the floor of the cage as if to say...."Hey!"