Chickens and the rain…

I was cleaning our house today when I saw a funny sight…

The chickens running in the yard in the rain…but not just running they seemed to be trying to dodge the raindrops, but then would stop and look up like they had been defeated. They would then give up and act as if it wasn’t raining at all pecking the ground. For some of them this was their first rainy day experience. If you have ever seen a chicken in the rain you know what I am talking about. I didn’t have a chance to get pictures, but will try tomorrow as it is still supposed to be raining. I thought I would just share this as it tickled me and gave me a good belly laugh while I was busy with things that needed to get done.

I got this one the other day before it rained. I think she is cute 🙂

 

Rainy day…

It’s raining today. I don’t always like rainy Saturday as it usually interferes with what I have to do and I get a major headache from them. Today I am ok with the rain as I need to clean house and get things back in order after our trip. I thought today would be a good one to share some more of my photos from our trip… Hope you enjoy !

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I love this tire off a tractor that was getting repainted…

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I took this picture as it reminds me of a barn that as a child I would have loved to pop in and out of the windows as a game.

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This is one of those lovely evening sky.

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This was the large sky I love in this part of the country.

My conference I went to yesterday was long, but very educational. I didn’t get home till 9 PM and was so tired I went to bed. I hope you have a good Saturday!

Dogs and chickens…

Baxter and one of "The Girls"

I am not really sure what our dogs first thought when the chickens were relocated to their yard home and were running around in the same space our pups spend time. Chase didn’t know if he should chase them, play with them, or run from them when they tried to peck him. Baxter on the other hand could care less he just wanted to get ahold of the ‘little treats’ they left around the yard. There is now a calm harmony developed in our yard, as the dogs and chickens just go about their business and mostly ignore each other. It’s funny to watch this scene and as long as they keep to themselves it is a happy yard. With the last few days being rainy and colder it has been hard to finish the coop and not get the boards and paint dry. Hopefully we will by this weekend to give our girls more space to lay.

I won’t be on tomorrow as I have a conference to go to, but will be back Friday. Happy Thursday!

Ice cream….

Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Today was an I need an ice cream day…

It was my first day back to work from vacation… I had 123 e-mails, 20 some phone messages, and 15 sticky notes from co-workers with notes about my client’s on my desk. Plus I got some bad news about an old client that was sad. I also had a packed schedule that I had to fit the e-mails, phone messages, and sticky notes into.

Yesterday while we were out we went to this little ice cream shop we like and I found a new favorite ice cream flavor… Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (say that three times fast). If you don’t like coconut, almonds, or chocolate chips this is not the flavor for you, but if you do… you will find a new favorite friend. I have been thinking of it every time I was stressed at work today. Ice cream is always a good way to think yourself happy (maybe not make your thighs happy, but hey we have to give somewhere).

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Is there a flavor you don’t like? Do you have a favorite place to get ice cream with your family?

Last Day of Vacation…

Today we spent some of our last day of vacation in the…

Town of Sharpsburg

We went over to Antietam Battle Field to walk the dogs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

We go to the battle field from time to time to walk the dogs and relax. Chase always has a good time watching mommy take pictures…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I saw a bird house on one of the fences… it looked like it was occupied. The birds are really out the last few days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sun went in and out of the clouds, but I still got some good pictures and it was a nice walk.

Burnside Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way home I saw a house/farm I love…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also loved the sky when the sun finally came through…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another day done and more to come… What did you get to do today?

A new coop…

I have been so busy since coming back from vacation. Today we spent most of the day building a new nesting place for our chickens (I’ll try to get a picture when we are done). Their old one is getting too small and since the new birds have started laying they need more room. We are extending their old coop to give them more laying boxes.

It also made me reflect on how these girls were just babies a few months ago and how much they have grown…

When they were a few weeks old...

When we got them they could fit in the palm of my hand (see above).

And now I am lucky to get them under an arm…

4 of the girls now...

But now you can see personalities come out… who is dominate, who is the runt, and who likes what. It is neat to watch them and I am loving the fresh eggs. Yumm…

Tomorrow the coop gets painted on the outside and the girls can enjoy their new laying boxes.

Sunsets and Thankfulness…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love sunsets. There is something about the end of a day that God created special. It’s a time to reflect on the day and count your blessings.

10 Things I am thankful for today:

1. My faith

2. My husband

My love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. My pups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. My health

5. My family

6. My friends

7. The property and home we have

View from our back deck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. The ability to serve others

9. The chickens

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. This day…

What are you thankful for? Let me know 🙂

There is no place like Home…

I am sure when we all hear these words we think of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, and the yellow brick road. Today I thought of how true these words are for me coming home from our recent trip to Nebraska. I missed our dogs, chickens, my bed, and just being in my own space. I think the best part of being in your own place is the sense of freedom you can do what you need without needing to ask so you do not disturb someone else space too much. It was great to go outside on a beautiful day like today play with the pups in the yard, watch the chickens, and work in the yard getting things set up for spring.

Chase

Baxter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Girls

The leader of our 10 girls...

 

 

Some more of The Girls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found while I was gone some flowers in our yard have started to bloom…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also found some on the vegetables I planted this past fall have come back and I am looking forward to cooking them.

It was a lovely day and a great start to the weekend.

I wanted to share some more photos of my trip as I got so many neat pictures. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Thanks for reading, your comments, and visiting my blog 🙂 Happy Weekend!

The red sky...

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought the sky was so beautiful this night...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A stream

 

Vacation to Nebraska…

Hello All…

I am sorry I have not been on in a week. My Grandmother turned 80 on Monday and my husband and I flew out to Nebraska to celebrate with her at a party my mother and her brother threw for her. It was such a busy trip that we are so glad to be home. We also missed our boys a lot…

Baxter glad we're home

Chase so glad we are home

I wanted to share some of my favorite photos with you tonight from Nebraska. I really enjoyed all the beautiful photos I was able to take. I hope you enjoy the following…

A beautiful sunset over the pond

Sunset over the fields

The sky is so big...

I love the colors of the sky

Barn in the field

I love old barns...

Even the barn windows I like...

The sky before the sun is gone...

I will post more as I go. I am glad to be back to blogging… Happy Friday!

Brothers…

They love to ride...

I was watching my pups today and again realized how much they act like brothers. The way they play, share, don’t share, and act… it’s almost human at times. My pups bring me such joy and love. It’s truly a blessing to have them in my life. I thought I would share this photo with you today as I took it recently while we were traveling back from one of the numerous events my pups are in that bring other’s joy. Don’t let them fool you, they get joy from it too. Goodnight all…

New trick…

So I was bringing my husband home from the doctor… he is sick, very sick. He has a blood disorder that causes him to get more sick than most of us would with the flu.

Anyways… I was driving down a back road and heard my back window open and saw Chase, our smallest dog, stick his nose out of the window. It’s common for us to put the windows down for him, but my husband was asleep and I hadn’t done it. Then I saw the window go down more and my husband stirred. I asked him if he had put the window down for Chase and he said he hadn’t. Hummmmm…

I finally figured it out, Chase has learned a new trick… how to put down the window for himself. Luckey he hadn’t put it down any further then we would and he was happy smelling the air. When my husband and I figured out what he had done we spent about 10 minutes laughing and being amazed. He just looked at us like we were crazy. It amazes me every day how smart dogs are. It shows me even more you don’t have to have a pure bred pup to have a smart dog.

I guess we will have to use the child safety locks from now on, especially when we are on the main roads.

After we put the window up he was sad...

Baxter’s Potato Kale Chowder

My whole house smells delightful and warm tonight. It’s been snowing off and on all day and my husband is sick, so I decided to make a warm and wholesome meal for dinner… So I made a chowder that would fill him up with good nutrition.

So What you will need:

1/2 cup Olive Oil  (divided into two 1/4th cups) and extra for the garlic.

2 whole Yellow Onions, diced

1 bulb Garlic, roasted

1 tbsp dried Thyme (you can use fresh but use 2-3 tbsp)

16 ounces Sausage, crumbled

4 cups Chicken Stock or Broth  (I use homemade chicken or turkey stock)

6 Potatoes, chopped (I used white potatoes, but if you use russets you need to peel them)

1 small bunch Kale, chopped

2 cups Half and Half

1/4 cups White Rice Flour (or gluten-free all-purpose)

Salt and Pepper (Black or White Pepper)

1 tbsp Garlic Powder

What you will need…

What to Do:

1.) Heat oven to 350*. Cut off the top of a bulb of garlic and place in alumium foil. Cover with olive oil and close up in the foil. Place on a baking pan and bake 20-25 minutes untill bulb is soft. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the bulb or use a spoon to scoop them out.

Garlic in the foil with olive oil.

Garlic after roasting

2.) Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat, then add onions and garlic. Saute until onions begin to soften. This takes about 5-7 minutes.

3.) Add in the sausage and break it apart into small crumbles until it is brown.

4.) Add in kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

5.) Add in potatoes and Thyme. Stir together with kale, sausage, garlic, and onion mixture.

Onions, garlic, sausage, Thyme, kale, and potatoes

6.) Add in stock or broth and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are just fork tender. (The cooking time with vary according to how thick you cut the potatoes, smaller chunks more like 15 minutes and larger more like 25 minutes).

7.) Slowly add in half and half, stirring, and bring chowder back to boil, simmer while you do the next step.

After adding the half and half

8.) To thicken soup… In a small pan/skillet put the remainder of the oil and the flour. Cook the roux mixture string with a wire whisk until it is smooth and starting to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Do not over cook or burn.

9.) Add to chowder and stir until the chowder thickens about 3 minutes. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

10.) Serve and enjoy!

The Chowder plated

Serving Ideas:

1.) I like to serve this with some shredded cheese on top. Other options would be bacon crisped and crumbled, chopped green onions, or chopped pieces of ham.

2.) You can use hot sausage for a hotter taste or any variety you might like.

3.) If you don’t like kale you can leave it out or use collard greens. If you want to use spinach wait till after you add the half and half or milk.

4.) You can also use milk instead of half and half.

Other Tips:

1.) Make sure to only cook the roux mixture until smooth and only slightly brown. If it burns it will not be good to use.

2.) If you want to re-warm the chowder do so on low heat and make sure to stir it often. If it is too thick add milk or half and half.

3.) Store in the fridge once it gets cool enough to put in, to keep it from spoiling.

4.) If you can not roast the garlic, finely chop 2-3 cloves and add when it says to add the roasted.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: With the garlic prep 30 – 50 minutes, without roasting the garlic 30-40

Serves: 8-10

Serving Size: 1 – 1 1/2 cup