Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Chicken update and tree hunting

Busy week, probably for all of us, so please enjoy these lovely photos.

 Here's my favorite (and only) lap chicken, Esther, pretending to be a flamingo.  It's always easy to get good pictures of Esther, number one because she's beautiful, and second because she likes hanging out with me.  Her muff and beard are growing back.

 Finally, Toasty Crunch is molting.  She's looking even more spotted than this today, and she's growing those feathers back.

 Indigo and Rocky are laying eggs.  I really thought they wouldn't be laying at this point, due to molt and lack of light.  But I'm not going to complain about receiving eggs.

 Koko is clever and inquisitive.  She has finally started losing feathers.

 I growled, "smile," at them.  And they did.
 Tree huggers.
 Timber!  Bubby didn't give anyone else a turn.

Friday, November 22, 2019

We need one of each: Random Thoughts with Scarlet

Speaking of Just Dance...ok, we weren't.  Just go with me, here.

Y'all!  Not only did I finish 1st in three different songs the other day, I also finished first in a tournament (which is three songs in a row--highest cumulative score wins).  Eek!  My theory is that all the really good dancers have moved on to Just Dance 2020, but that doesn't make me any less geeked when I see my name on top of the leader board. 

So if the really good dancers have moved on, does that mean that there's another World Dance Floor out there, where all the really good dancers are dancing to 2020 songs?  How long will my 2019 World Dance Floor continue to exist?  Dunno.  I'll keep you posted.


People!  Rocky laid an egg.  What. Is. Going. On?  I am not prepared for these already-molted chickens to lay eggs again until spring(ish).  I am not complaining, because eggs are delicious; I'm surprised.


Speaking of chickens, I could spend hours looking at chicken breeds online.  I know that I could, because I do.  Some of them have feathers on their feet and/or legs!  Some of them have crests, muffs, or beards!  Some of them have five toes!  Five!  Some of them lay blue eggs, or chocolate brown eggs, or pink eggs!  Pink!  They're all so wonderful--I'll take one of each, please.


Speaking of wanting one of each, the other day Hubby said we needed more chickens.  I couldn't agree more.  We're gonna need a bigger coop.


I've mentioned that I've distilled my Warm Me Up Sausage Quiche down to the four essential ingredients, and I try to always have those four ingredients in the house.  I almost always have those ingredients, but they're not always in usable form--the sausage is raw and frozen and the cheese is ungrated, in blocks.  Well, yesterday I decided to cook a bunch of sausage and grate a bunch of cheese, so now I have three bags of cheese and sausage in the freezer all measured out and ready to be made into quiche (along with a baked quiche in the fridge).  I'm so excited to have streamlined the quiche process even more!  Batch cooking to the rescue!

Here's my current recipe:

  • Mix together 6 eggs, slightly beaten, 8 oz shredded cheese (I usually use sharp cheddar), 6 oz breakfast sausage, cooked and crumbled (about 8 oz raw), and one 7 oz can diced green chilies.
  • Pour into a greased 9" square baking pan and bake in a preheated 400°F oven, for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through and no longer jiggly.

The Just Dance 2019 World Dance Floor still exists.  In addition to all of the accolades mentioned above, I've become Dancer of the Week for three songs!  That means that I achieved the highest score for each of those songs in the past seven days.  Of course, my titles were short-lived, but it was super exciting to see my name up there.


I've been making lots of Cricut projects, but I haven't been very good at taking pictures of them.  Whoops.  Here are a few of the projects you haven't seen yet:
 This is actually a reversible sign.  I took the "gather" picture before I put the frame on.

 I love these pantry labels.  Side note: who else has four or more different types of flour in their pantry?  I actually have six, but only four of them are in labelable containers.

My Cricut project list just keeps growing, so stay tuned!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Menu plan for the week of November 18

I bought a turkey.  It is difficult to resist purchasing a turkey at this time of year, when they're such a good price.  Unfortunately, all of the good-price turkeys at my store were around 16 pounds, which is kind of a big turkey, especially when you're a family of five (one of whom lives elsewhere most of the year).  Oh, it's not a big turkey for us to eat.  No, that's not a problem.  It's a big turkey to store in our starter freezer.  So, yeah.  I have a freezer full of turkey, currently.

Speaking of that family member who lives elsewhere most of the year, he'll be home on Friday.  I think he told us Friday.  That's why the menu takes a sudden AKD-centric turn later in the week.  I love feeding that boy man.

Speaking of feeding people, Hubby was talking with some teenagers and they revealed to him that not everyone eats supper with their family most nights.  Or any night.  At least one of these teenagers said that every night is fend-for-yourself night in their house.  That just makes me so sad.  Those families are missing out on precious time together.  I get it, though.  People are so busy.  And it is so tiresome to have to cook every day.  Not just the cooking part, of course, but the planning part.  It's difficult.  As much as I angst*, though, I can never stop.  I just love our family meal times too much.

How about you?  Do you eat meals together as a family?


  • Pepperoni rolls (this is something we were introduced to in West Virginia (I associate them with our friend Paula, for some reason), basically biscuits stuffed with pepperoni.  So good), raw veggies
  • Nachos, guacamole, taco toppings
  • Sausage egg biscuits/English muffins, fresh fruit
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, chips, green beans
  • Beef barbacoa (from the freezer), tortillas, guacamole, taco toppings
  • Shepherd's pie, rolls, applesauce
  • Peppered steak with portabello mushrooms, mashed potatoes, grilled green veggie


  • Cookies.  It has been far too long since we have had cookies in our house
  • Muffins.  Ditto on the muffins (although far too long, in the case of muffins, is about 4 days)
  • Taco bean soup.  I eat it for lunch every day, and supper some days.
  • Warm me up sausage quiche.  Modified down to the 4 essential ingredients.

* How d'ya like that verbing, eh?

Friday, November 15, 2019

Why are black olives sold in cans? Random thoughts with Scarlet

I keep having random thoughts that I want to share with y'all.  None of them warrant a post all on their own, so I decided to just start a post, add to it whenever I think of something I want to share, and then publish it at some point.  Maybe Friday.  We'll see.


I bought green olives the other day.  I almost always have black olives in the house, but I don't buy green olives very often.  As I was perusing the shelf, it occurred to me, for the first time ever, that green olives are almost always sold in glass jars, while black olives are almost always sold in cans.  I would really appreciate it if black olives were sold in jars, because then I wouldn't have to transfer them from their can to another container, which inevitably leaks in my refrigerator drawer, to store them.

So I googled it: why are black olives not sold in jars?  And I found an answer that was kind of a non-answer, about jarred black olives causing botulism in the early 20th century.  It's a non-answer, because by now, the world has figured out how to jar low-acid foods safely.  So why is this still common practice?  I don't know.

The good news is, due to my musings, I have finally realized that I don't have to put my black olives into plastic containers to store them in the fridge--I can put them in glass mason jars.  Which are much less likely to spill, and also make me much happier.


I am loving having sugar scrub in my shower!  The current iteration is peppermint: 1 c. granulated sugar + 1/3 c. coconut oil + 1 T peppermint extract (you could use several drops of peppermint essential oil instead).  I use it on my elbows, knees, ankles, and feet almost every day, and I can definitely tell the difference when I don't use it for a while.  No more rough, dry skin for me!


In a surprise turn of events, Indigo has started laying eggs again.  It is so strange, considering that she wasn't laying eggs regularly before she molted, and then she molted (which slows down or halts egg production), and then the days got shorter (which also slows down or halts egg production).


In other chicken news, Toasty Crunch has entered the feathers-fly-everywhere-whenever-she-shakes-her-body-or-flaps-her-wings stage of molting.  There are feathers everywhere.  I really wish she had lost her feathers with the others, because it is cold right now.  It is legitimately January weather, and she's losing feathers.  Silly chicken.  And then there's Koko, who hasn't even started her molt.


I found a (dead) moth in the neck of my water bottle the other day.  How did it get there, and how long had it been there?  IdontknowIdontknowIdontknow!  But I didn't notice it (because I was drinking (water) while driving) until the water was half gone!  Ewww!  Please excuse me while I brush my teeth (again) and gargle with high proof alcohol (again).


Eek!  I got my first 1st place finish on the World Dance Floor!  And it was on my sis' favorite song (or at least her favorite the last time I knew her favorite).  So exciting and gratifying.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A New Morning Routine

Earlier this year, I told you about my new morning routine, which consisted of getting Bubby on the bus, then doing devotions with the chickens, followed by Just Dancing.  I loved that routine, and it worked perfectly for me, for a lot of reasons.

And then this school year happened.  Bubby catches the bus much earlier, and it isn't light out at that time.  I could grab my headlamp along with my Bible and prayer journal, but since the point of doing devos outside with the chickens is to get exposure to early morning sunlight, that would kind of defeat the purpose.

So I was waiting until it was light out to go out, which was about an hour and a half after everyone had left the house for the day.  I started doing other things, and I ended up not actually reading or visiting the chickens most days, which led to not Just Dancing, either.

It made me sad, but I wasn't sure what to do.  The school district is not going to adjust the bus schedule based on my needs.

I wasn't sure what to do, that is, until yesterday.  Why not, I thought to myself, reverse?  Why not start Just Dancing as soon as the others clear out in the morning, in the basement, where it doesn't matter whether or not it's light out, and then go out and read with the chickens?

Y'all.  Why did it take me this long to figure this out?

So we're back in business, friends--morning routine: exercise, God-time, and early morning light exposure--back on track.

Speaking of Just Dance, the 2020 version came out last week.  I wonder how long it'll be until the World Dance Floor switches over to the 2020 songs.  And will I still be able to access the World Dance Floor with my 2019 game after that happens?  I hope so.  At least I think I hope so.  Maybe I'll feel differently when I start not knowing the songs, and not being able to practice them on demand.  I'll let you know what happens.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Menu plan for the week of November 11

Friends!  Did you figure out something to eat yesterday?  I mean, I know y'all rely on my menu plan wisdom to feed yourselves and your families, and I failed you. 

So...better late than never?  Hmm.  That one's kind of like "it's the thought that counts," which is a phrase with which I take issue.  Anyway.  Here is this week's menu plan, a day late (it's a very parenthetical menu plan.  I've taken the liberty of italicizing the parentheticals so it's (hopefully) easier to see the actual menu items). 


  • Chicken Alfredo (found the Alfredo sauce in the cupboard--Hubby asked me to buy some for him when the kids and I went out of town, and he didn't use it.  The chicken was already cooked and diced in the freezer) with fancy noodles (I bought these to use for a pasta salad when we had guests recently, and we ended up not using them), green beans (from the garden)
  • Cauliflower (from the freezer--I used half a head for a recipe and froze the rest) and Kielbasa (also from the freezer.  I probably bought it for a recipe and never used it) stir fry, asparagus (leftover from the weekend)
  • Nachos with guacamole (from the freezer.  I've been making it without tomatoes and freezing it.  I used to just freeze the avocados because tomatoes don't thaw well, but then I realized that I can add fresh tomatoes to thawed everything else that is the goodness of guacamole), taco toppings
  • Sunday night stew (I'm putting this here, because it's on the menu plan, but I'm pretty sure we're not going to eat it on Thursday because of the after-school schedule.  But just because we can't eat it doesn't mean you can't.  If it does get made this week, it will include tomato paste from the freezer--don't you just hate it when you need a tablespoon or two for a recipe, but you have to buy the whole can?  Two things you can do: scoop the extra out by tablespoons on to wax or parchment paper or a silicone mat, freeze, then store in a bag in the freezer until you need it, or buy tomato paste in a tube, and store the extra in your fridge) and mashed potatoes (leftover from Sunday.  If you don't like leftover mashed potatoes because the texture changes, try adding extra butter and milk or cream to them as you're reheating them).
  • Pizza, salad
  • Hamburgers, buns, chips, fresh veggies and fruits
  • Grilled chicken, salad, raw veggies

  • Cookie butter cups (a gift for someone(s) special)
  • Chocolate Chip Graham Cracker Muffins (I've been loving the silicone muffin liners that I received as a gift this summer.  They're reusable, so there are fewer paper liners making their way to the landfill from our household)
  • Bread (I think we're going to run out before my next shopping trip, which is ok, because homemade tastes better, anyway)
  • Warm me up sausage quiche (I have further modified this recipe down to its essence.  Four ingredients, which I endeavor to always have on hand.  I bought 48 cans of diced green chilis last week, so hopefully that'll last us for a while)

Monday, November 4, 2019

Menu plan for the week of November 4

Did y'all notice it's a new month now?  It is.  We're four days in now.

Did you also notice that I didn't post a 9 for 2019 update?  Yup.  I didn't.  I did think about it on Thursday, and then again on Friday, and again on Saturday, but I didn't do it.  I didn't do it, because, once again, I made no progress on my goals this month.  I had planned to execute my final playdate with myself, walking downtown and visiting shops, on a Friday in October.  The weather was gorgeous that day: sunny and around 55°F.  What I had neglected to remember, though, was that the kiddos didn't have school that day.  So I ended up not going.  And, yeah.  No progress on the FofL book, either.  You're not surprised, are you?

So yeah.  I'm a failure.  Let's move on. 

This week, I searched my freezer, fridge, and pantry for items that need to be used up, and planned my menu around those items.  Know what I found?  That's right: I found evaporated milk.  The same evaporated milk that you've been hearing about for (what feels like) years now.  Here's the kicker.  I thought I had used that evaporated milk for something, and I bought more last week for a pumpkin pie!  Yeah.  I did (at least I actually used the evaporated milk that I bought to make the pie).  I'm gonna use that can of evaporated milk as a substitute for heavy cream in the Alfredo Chicken Casserole this week.  I don't want to.  I mean, I really would rather have heavy cream in my casserole, because heavy cream is yummy.  But desperate times call for desperate substitutions.

Here's what's on the menu this week:

  • Leftover pulled meats from the freezer (there are two containers.  I'm pretty sure one is pork and the other is chicken, but I don't know how they're seasoned.  Hopefully the fam will eat 'em up), buns or tortillas, green beans
  • Alfredo chicken casserole, rolls, applesauce
  • Corn dogs, chicken tenders, and French toast sticks (again from the freezer.  We don't have enough of any of them to make a meal, so together it is), raw veggies and fruits
  • Meat sauce (leftover) with angel hair, garlic toast (from the freezer!), green beans
  • Salsa verde chicken, tossed salad
  • Hot dogs or brats, buns, jello, grilled veggie
  • Steak, mashed potatoes, asparagus


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...