Thursday, September 29, 2011


It is likely I will be offline until October 5th. Changing internet service providers and putting the bill in my name.

... ...

My husband asked me for a divorce a month ago. I didn't say anything then, because he has done this in the past, but the papers were filed a few weeks ago and we have a court mandated meeting today so there's no denying it now.

He says we are just too different. We want different things. He is right. He has no interest in homesteading, or country life, or chickens. I have no interest in video games and crude humor movies. (There's a lot more to it than just these things, but you get the picture.) It is hard to swallow after 9 years, but honestly the last two have been rough for both of us. I think we were both trying to stick it out for Bastian's sake and that is never a good reason to stay together. It is a good reason to try counseling, which I wanted but he refused. Or a good reason to get some outside help, which he also refused. In the end it is frustrating, but perhaps this has to happen for me to be able to realize some of my goals and dreams.

Did I mention he hates chickens!! *laugh* Blasphemy!

I was upset but I have come to accept it now and even move on from it. Bastian and I will be ok. We are staying in the apartment and Scott (the husband) is moving out. I have full custody and Scott will be able to see him pretty much whenever he wants. I draw the line at him taking Bastian overnight on a school night but other than that I feel it important to have Bastian be able to keep a good relationship with him. The official paperwork says just Spring Break, Summers and every other holiday, but I feel those are more guidelines for if one of us moves out of state or further away than a few hours. As long as we are both in the same town there is no reason not to share.


As of December 1st the paperwork will be final and this chapter in my life will officially be at an end. I have read enough books to know that there is another chapter on its way, though and it will likely be happier. *smile*

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


So I read at Dicky Birds Nest yesterday that September is National Chicken Month. What a wierd thing to celebrate, but as I LOVE chickens I am certainly not complaining. I thought I would take the opportunity to write about the chickens I one day want to have on my future farm.

This is a Dark Brahma. Isn't it gorgeous. I love the feathered feeties. The male is on the left, the female on the right. I also like the lacing on the female, very couture. *laugh*

The Brahma is an outstanding breed. They are thought to have originally been raised in India as meat birds, but they are also very decent layers and setters. I love that they are dual purpose. I also love that they do well in a cold climate, as it is pretty chilly here in the mountains of Colorado at least half the year. They are reported to have an excellent temperament, which to me means less pecking at your hands when you go to retrieve the treasures they hide!

They lay brown eggs, which I also love. Not because white eggs are worse, I just like the look of brown eggs. It says "Farm" to me rather than "Store." When they reach butchering age they can be between 8 and 10 pounds depending on sex, so it is a decent size for cooking with. At least as big as the ones you would buy at the store, once plucked, and in some cases bigger. All the chickens I've ever bought at the store whole were only ever about 5 pounders. They are slower to mature than most breeds which is why they are not a commercial breed.

Brahmas in general also make great show birds. They are very large and generally gentle, making them excellent show prospects. The patterning and lacing on some of the Brahma breeds, such as the dark and golden, also make them popular for the showroom as well. For those who want chickens in the backyard but don't have much room the Brahma also comes in a bantam breed. Which for you non chicken people means miniature breed, sort of. I want the full sized ones though. Not enough meat on a bantam! *laugh*

Overall I love these chickens. I love all chickens, honestly, but I do have my favorites. I think a mixed flock of Brahmas would look awful nice on my front lawn. Though I want the majority to be dark, I am also fond of the white and the buffs.

Hooray for chickens. Happy Chicken Month everyone!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Things I One Day Wish To Have - Ep. 01

So I've decided to start a new segment entitled "Things I One Day Wish To Have." Wherein I discuss .. what else... things I want! *laugh* I don't need these now, certainly, but one day I want to need them.

Today's feature: The Cream Separator

Ideally I would love a good hand crank cream separator. They are expensive if you buy them new, so likely I will look for one that is used.Goats milk is notoriously hard to get the cream out of without one of these. It can be done but not easily. If I want to make butter and have cream for baking or cooking I'm fairly sure one of these will be needed often. Not to mention the milk once separated will be leaner, which I prefer. I never did much care for the taste of whole milk on cereal or in a glass.

I want a hand crank one because I don't like the reliance on electricity. I'm not saying I want to live without electricity, but I feel safer knowing I can still complete routines and chores without depending on it. Some places and homes in the city would just shut down completely if there were no "juice." Laundry would never be washed, dishes would be left undone and people would go a bit stir crazy because of the reliance on video games and t.v. for entertainment. *laugh* Well, maybe I'm not giving them enough credit, but I'm sure you can see my point. The whole idea is to be self reliant and self sufficient. That to me means doing what you can to cut reliance on everything, not just grocery stores and the like.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Cute and Some Culinary

The cute: While putting on his socks this morning my 5 year old became frusterated. "I can't get them on all the way!" he told me. "You can do it." I said in reply. "No, I can't." said he, "I can only make them into foot puppets!" (I laughed so hard.) They really did look like foot puppets dangling half on his feet like they were. Ah, good morning for a Monday.

The Culinary: Today I thought I would share my crock pot Chicken and 'Shrooms recipe. This can be made in the oven as well, but the chicken will fall apart practically melting in the crock pot. The oven method requires a different serving technique.

1 lb boneless chicken
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can Golden Mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
Onions, chopped well. (optional)
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced (I sometimes use lots more if I have room. We like mushrooms here.)
Salt & pepper

Make it up:
-Note: Oven method is in parenthesis.-
Place the chicken in the crock pot. (Or in a casserole dish for the oven method.)
Add soups and water then stir. (Layer mixed water, mushrooms, onions and soups over chicken.)
Top with the onions and mushrooms. ( You already added these in step 2.)
Cover and cook on Low for 4-7 hours. (Place in 350* oven for 45 minutes.)
Taste and season. (Taste and season.)
Shred the chicken vigorously with a couple forks. (No shredding with oven method.)
Serve over noodles of some sort. (Serve beside noodles of some sort, layer sauce over noodles and chicken. Or use no noodles and just serve chicken and sauce.)

The oven method doesn't vary too much, but you don't get the shredded, melt apart chicken. This is very good over egg noodles, but we have had it over spaghetti before as a kind of fake alfredo. I don't make it too often, but maybe once a month... especially if it is cooler outside.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Early Birds Need to Learn to Sleep In!

What an early morning. Neither the sun nor my son slept in late enough. Still it has been good overall. No real plans for the day. Should really go deposit that birthday check and then do something nice but it's such a wonderful day I don't want to move!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Such a Chore!

Chores today. I washed the laundry yesterday and it needs to be folded and put away. Need to take out the trash and vacuum, too. Could probably do the few dishes in the sink. Mostly a casserole dish and a pot and bowl I made no bakes in a few days ago.

It will honestly take no more than two hours to get all I want done, done. Starting it however is a chore in itself. I can procrastinate with the best of them. I know when it comes down to it I'll buckle under and finish before the days end. Still....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cats and Yarn

My cats love that I crochet. They think it's the best thing in the world. They like to play with the scraps, try to kill the enticing balls which elude them daily and cuddle in the finish product. Of course they are both still very young. 10 months old. So I fully expect yarn death to be a part of my life for years to come.

Today I wanted to share some pictures of my cats and my yarn.

 Skif is my best cat. And yes, it's only spelled with one F. He loves to snuggle, demands it in fact. He has a special green blanket on the bed that is his favorite and every night without fail he cuddles up to "nurse" it. He will meow until you arrange it over your lap though, he only likes to nurse if there's a people involved.

This is Kephri.  You've seen her in other yarn photos. She's a bit more vicious than Skif and a constant source of frayed and chewed yarn ends. She's so beautiful though I can't help but forgive her. She has the softest fur coat of any cat I have ever known. I thought she would grow out of it when she hit adolescence, but it seems softer now than when she was a kitten.

Skif and Kephri have a very sweet romance together. He loves her very much. I caught this picture of him grooming her. It looks like he is tucking her in and kissing the top of her head!

My cats are very important to me. They help sooth me after a stressful day! They also remind me I'm living for more than the next sunrise. Bastian does this too, of course... but he isn't quite as fluffy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

King Ranch Chicken

As promised to my loyal few followers: the recipe! Now this recipe is the one I learned from my family. There are probably twelve different ways to make this casserole. Mine is just the one I use because it's the one I grew up on. I will try to list all the variations I've experimented with though so you can pick and choose to suit your family!

  • One whole chicken (or if you are in a hurry 4 breasts or 2 breasts 2 thighs if you want the dark meat light meat combo)
  • One bag corn chips or 2 cups rice or 10 tortillas (depends on what you want, each is different flavor/texture wise)
  • One can Ro*Tel or similar product. (We use Hatch Diced Tomato and Green Chile mix now because that's what they have up here.)
  • One large can chicken broth or one cup stock if you are using the whole chicken and corn chips.(if you are using rice 2 cans/cups, small can or1/2 cup if using tortillas.)
  • One can cream of chicken soup.
  • Cheese to cover. (We use either Mexican blend or Colby Jack.)

If you are using the whole chicken, degut it and put it in a large stock pot. Fill with water to the top, boil till cooked. Try not to add more water unless you have to so the stock is richer.
Reserve stock and allow chicken to cool.
Shred chicken, discard bones.

If you are using the breasts just boil them whole, cool them and shred them.

The Rest:

Use a 9x5 casserole dish or Medium to Large Crock pot.
Oven to 375* for 45 minutes or a Crock Pot on Low for 4-6 hours.

Layer in a casserole dish or crock pot:
Start with the corn chips or rice or tortillas. Spread evenly in the bottom.
Layer your shredded chicken over your base (evenly as well.)
Mix in a seperate bowl your Ro*Tel (drained unless you want the casserole spicier), cream of chicken and broth. Stir it up then pour it over your base and chicken. Also evenly.
Final layer is your cheese. There's no set limit to how little or how much. Depends on what your family likes or the depth of your dish/pot I suppose.
Place in oven or turn on crock pot.

I made this yesterday in the crock pot and it turned out very good, however I suggest using a crock pot liner, especially with corn chips or tortillas. The corn chips baked on to the sides after 7 hours, I would imagine the tortillas would do the same. I had to leave it on since my husband was late getting home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Doldrums

Very slow day. Not too much to do. Except the dishes. *glares angrily at the sink*

The only thing I despise as far as chores go. I don't even know why! It isn't like it's hard, or that it takes too much time. I can usually get them all done in less than an hour depending on the amount and how many large dishes there are. I.E. frying pans, casserole dishes, etc. I suppose it would take even less time if I did them daily, but I usually just rinse them and stack them to wait until "dish day". Which is whatever day the sink becomes full. What I wouldn't give for a dishwasher! I mean if I have to live in the city I should be able to have that luxury at least!! *laugh*

Ah, well. King Ranch chicken tonight. Definite favorite around here. Making it a bit different than usual. A very close friend of mine told me it's much better in the crock pot. So I'm taking his advice and giving it a go. It's all layered up and simmering as I type. I'm very excited.

Now there are two schools of thought on King Ranch chicken. One is the rice school and the other is the corn chip school. My husband prefers the corn chips, I prefer the rice. I usually make it with the corn chips, just because I'm a people pleaser... but I think rice is a bit healthier and also adds less sodium. It also lends a different taste and texture. Either way is still good eats!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday - Barn Hop Day!

A little late from the gate this Monday. I don't know why, I had all day to post. At any rate today I want to share my No Bake Recipe. I love these cookies, they are quick and easy to make. The texture is great and they pack well in lunches or for snacks. I love to use them when we go hiking because they pack a goodly amount into a tiny package. Peanut butter, oats and chocolate....

No Bakes

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (can be crunchy if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
 Heat cocoa, sugar, milk and butter over medium heat. Bring it to a boil slowly, don't rush it by turning it to high.  Boil for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
 Add oats, peanut butter and vanilla with a big wooden spoon (wooden works best, though I have used plastic in the past.) Once mixed thoroughly drop by large spoonful onto wax paper. I have in the past just poured the mix into a glass casserole dish and sliced it into bars once half cooled, but you have to remove them before they set all the way or they are hard to get out. Perhaps you could line the dish with wax paper and that would do it. 

My family loves these, though I do not make them too often. They are practically pure sugar. I wonder if you could substitute organics and have it turn out better. Organic PB would have less sugar if it's all natural.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Happy birthday to me. 30 years down, who knows how many more to go.


Friday, September 16, 2011


What is the meaning of this word... rest? I don't know that I quite comprehend!

Today Bastian was off from school and we spent the morning doing little things around the house. Then we went out to the book store, the pet store and the yarn store. Traded in about 12 books for a few I needed for my collection. Bought dog food on sale for the big white giant and then picked up another couple skeins of that high sierra stripe to be sure I have enough to get those granny squares done. Got 4 skeins for only 6 dollars! Sales are the best. Coupons help.

Now I have to scrub the kitchen floor where a certain 5 year old decided crayon drawings would look fancy. Lucky that wax comes right off the linoleum. Better than drawing on the walls I suppose, though he knows better than to draw on anything but paper. I have no idea what he was thinking with this stunt!

Ah, the work never ends. Just slows a bit. It's an ebb and flow much like the ocean tides. Sometimes there's more mess than usual, sometimes all is calm and serene. And then you get the occasional tidal wave! *laugh*

Thursday, September 15, 2011

No Bakes

It is nice and chilly out and perfect weather for baking. Even though No bakes aren't technically baked. Still the gooey chocolate oatmeal clumps are wonderful in this season. Everyone loves them and I can never seem to make enough no matter how many double batches I churn out! I think I may also make soup or chili for dinner. Seems like the time for it. Potato soup, perhaps.... Yum.

No school for Bastian tomorrow. Teacher work day. He's thrilled. They had a bit of a scare today at the end of the day and were in "lock down" for almost an hour past the time school was supposed to let out. Someone apparently saw a suspicious character in a green jumpsuit carrying a rifle! The police were everywhere and the parents were all very confused looking. It was interesting. I don't know if they found the guy or if they called off the search and chalked it up to a false alarm. It is good to know they are so cautious, but at the same time... if you have a parent there with their ID and you know they are the parent of a child..... a lot of parents were pretty ticked off. I didn't mind waiting, the weather was nice, even if it was overcast. If it had been raining though, I'm sure it would have been a bit different. Many more disgruntled parents, I would guess.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It's raining today. I love the rain. Well, when I'm not out working in it, of course! I love to listen to it patter down and run off the edges of buildings. Even the thunder can be soothing, when it's a gentle rumble.

Today was very laid back. Cooking in the crock pot means less work for me, less cleanup too. With the weather being so cool lately it's been nice to throw wide the windows and let the breeze air out the apartment. The cats love to sit in the open window and smell the fall. I don't blame them one bit.

I did tidy some today, but didn't vacuum like I should have. Perhaps tomorrow. Today is a good day for relaxing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scarfin' Around

Working on yet another scarf for a Christmas gift. Using a galaxy stitch this time, which is actually pretty tricky at first. I'm surprised at how fast it's moving along though. The only hard part is when I try to alternate the colors. Still... it looks good so far. I would post a picture but it's a gift, so I can't! I am going to take pictures of each scarf I make and post them after Christmas though, including the names of the stitches I use in case anyone wonders.

I am also making a slow inroad on finishing that evil blanket. I think it will be ready for a border after another 4 skeins of double crochet. I plan to use the granny squares for the border itself, instead of in the center as I had planned. I'll post a picture of what I have so far:

The yarn color is called High Sierra Stripe. It's from the I Love That Yarn brand. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby, but I think Michaels carries it as well. For the bulk of the blanket I've used an easy double crochet. Once I finish it out I'll add the granny squares to the edges on three sides, leaving the top edge blank. At least, that's the plan so far. I already have 32 granny squares done, I will need more, I'm sure, but don't want to do too many... so I'll wait till I'm finished with the base before I count out how many more I need to edge.

I think this color goes very well with my new green walls. I may also do a few throw pillows in the granny square style and just use this instead of buying a new comforter set!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday... Done Day

Well usually I try to post a recipe or other home style thing on Mondays for the Weekly Barn Hop website but this week I didn't make it. I was very busy today trying to make up for being sick over the weekend. Ah, well... next week I will get back on track.

Cooler weather is rolling in here in Colorado. 50's at night means I can leave the screened windows open for fantastic airflow and I haven't had to run the air in a week thanks to the 70 degree weather! I do hope this is here to stay, and that it gets much colder. I'm a sucker for cool crisp air and a warm blanket. If only I had a porch to put a swing on I'd be in such a state of bliss.... ah.

This is my favorite time of year. The leaves change, the weather is beautiful, crops come in and everything just fits together so wonderfully. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving. I think most of all though I like the colors. The deep earthy tones of orange and red, brown and green all mingled and mixing. That is the best part of it all. The only thing I dislike about living here in Colorado is that it doesn't snow enough for me i nour city. Higher up the mountains it does, but not here. Yes, it does snow... we have snow days for school and get good dustings certainly... but it doesn't stay. I want blankets of snow from mid December through March. A girl can't have everything though, and for the time I am content with what I have. At least the seasons change, unlike when we lived in Texas. I've made a vow to myself never to live any further south than Kansas. I used to say Oklahoma, but I lived there for a year and it was no better than Texas weather wise for me!

Ideally I would love to settle in Maine. I'm in love with that state, though I've never been there. I know it is an even bigger fantasy than me owning my own ten acres stead, but you never know. I could win the Lottery.... of course, you have to play that to win it and I don't... so I guess I couldn't actually win. Still... It's lovely to dream about it. At the very least I would love to visit there. Stay at a bed and breakfast and eat maple candy. Someday, perhaps.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Well, after sleeping for pretty much two days straight I think I've finally shaken the worst of this cold bug. I still have a bit of a cough and some drainage, but that should clear up in the next day. There really is only so much herbal teas can do before you have to resort to NyQuil and Tylenol. At least I got some much needed rest. Bastian was so loving yesterday, even cuddled with me for a short nap in the afternoon. I have the most thoughtful 5 year old on the planet.

One week until my birthday. One week until I'm not in my 20's anymore. I suppose I shouldn't be as down about it as I am. I haven't felt like a 20-somehting in years, why should the date make a difference? Still... I guess I equate 20 with young and 30 with old. My parents are 30, how can I be!? (Well, of course they aren't now, but they were when I remember them best....) I'm a parent now so 30 is inevitable. That doesn't mean I have to like it.

I'm not having a party, or anything fancy. Maybe some cake for myself. I'm hoping for that sewing machine, but thinking I'll probably have to buy it for myself. I have hinted that that is what I want to my husband, but our relationship lately has not been the greatest and I doubt he cares. We shall see.

I'm going to take one more lazy day and not clean anything. Tomorrow is Monday and I can clean just as well then. Probably better since Bastian will be at school.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Still sick...

Probably should have rested yesterday instead of redecorating. Fever is back, throat is worse. The plan is to drown it in extra pulpy orange juice and Nyquil. If this doesn't fix it nothing will. Take that you evil virus.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Bedroom

Well, I certainly didn't waste any time with this project. Forcing myself to be active really helps keep depression from strangling me. Here are some pictures of my new bedroom, well... same bedroom new color! I found the coolest wall sconce at Big Lots on clearance for $10. It was too gorgeous to pass up. And the deep green is very me (it's actually a bit darker than the pictures show, but not by much.) I'm a very earthy person and it just feels right. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do a contrast color on the lower half of the two outfacing walls, because they have that weird shelf thing, or if I'll just leave it white.

 I really need to buy some new bedding. Now what I have looks shabby compared to my walls!
 The white lower wall looks worse than it actually is. I think it was the sunlight from the window making it bright.
 I love my sconce! You can see the deeper green color of the wall in this photo better.
The window was open so the air kept moving the curtain, it was hard to get a good picture of that wall. 

The walls are so far a bit bare, but I plan to add some photographs in nice dark wood frames and maybe a picture or painting or something if I find one I feel fits well. I also have plans to do a runic inscription border around the top, a blessing or something. I have the silver paint and brushes but want to put more thought into it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The weather is turning and the nights are cooler. It's wonderful to be able to have the windows open. I love this time of year.

I am thinking about redecorating a little. Perhaps some paint on the walls and some radical rearranging. I know we won't be moving this year, sadly. We resign the lease tomorrow. Perhaps another year here will allow time for saving more money though. If I'm going to have to be here, I may as well make the best of it. So paint it is, and maybe some stencils or border wallpaper? Who knows. I don't want to get too crazy, but I do want to look at something other than white walls all the time!

Monday, September 5, 2011


I believe I have caught the cold virus that has been plaguing everyone else. I thought I had dodged it, but apparently it was lurking somewhere waiting to pounce on me unsuspecting. I was up most the night with drainage and a small but nasty cough. Today my throat is sore and my nose a bit stuffy. It doesn't seem so bad yet, and I'm hoping to get a jump on it and pin it down before it goes all crazy like my husband had. He was hacking for days and sneezing like he had been dumped in a dustbin full of pepper. He looked miserable and I have no desire to be anywhere near as unhappily ill. So the plan is herbal teas with honey, vitamin C and orange juice. Rest, rest, rest... as much as can be had with a 5 year old on  Labor Day break... and if it doesn't seem to be fading by the evening perhaps some Nyquil. At least it's just a cold and not the flu....

Now where did I put that peppermint tea.