Sunday, February 5, 2012

Taking "angry birds" to a whole new level.

It is a game that if you own a smart phone you probably have it on there and have spent an hour or two of your valuable time wasted on trying to send tiny little birds flying through the air to knock over some walls.  Though it is something I doubt any of us would admit to doing.  I know I sure have never played the game...cough,cough...;).  Anyways I am not speaking of tiny little cartoon games today.  I am speaking of more of the bigger, feathered type that don't want to be caught nor butchered.

This story begins with a conversation between a friend and I about how this seemingly wild flock of turkeys have taken up residence on her property.  Days went by, weeks went by and they never left.  They would roost up in the trees at night and scrounge her property during the day.  Even wander through the town near by.  That sent neighbors over exclaiming to my friend that "her" turkeys were in their yard.  She would assure them they were NOT her turkeys but they for some reason have adopted her.  In our conversations we discussed the idea of getting these birds butchered that were eating food meant for her actual animals.  They were pretty much free for the taking since they were on her property.

The plan evolves when we set up an appointment with the local poultry butcher.  We have both raised turkeys in the past and are very familiar with the birds but these were not domesticated and were a different story.  The idea was we would some how catch the birds throw them into my horse trailer then I would trailer them over to the butcher.  Well I have never met a smart bunch of turkeys until these.  As soon as they noticed their friends going missing they high tailed out of there and didn't return.  The good news is that we caught 3 of them.  Though we were looking forward to all 7 it was better than nothing.

The next day.  I drive them out to the butcher shop and let the butcher know I am here to drop off 3 of the 7 we had schedueled.  They sent out about a hundred pound amish gal to help me catch them and bring them in.  Here is where the angry birds comes into play.  Who knew that catching 3 turkeys in an enclosed space could be so difficult??  I have never seen a turkey as strong as these and the biggest one was amazingly tough.  There were feathers flying, wing smacks to the face, quick manuvures to avoid turkey claws and when it was all said and done there were feathers, blood and sweat everywhere.  Luckly all the blood belonged to the the turkeys.  I looked as if I had been tarred and feathered and so did my horse trailer. 

Though the turkeys may have won the battle I definitely won the war!  Guess which one of us is in that pot?!!

I'll give you a hint, it's not me ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Taking Turkey Time to a whole new level.

If you know me you will know that I have a pretty addictive personality.  Or I like to consider myself passionate.  When I do something I do it full force.  Often becoming so focused I have tunnel vision.  In a conversation if you bring up one of my addictions you will quickly see my eyes light up and my mouth start running, spewing all the sheer excitement I have pent up.  The problem is not many people that I come in contact with have these same addicitons so it is not long before I see the glaze come over their eyes and I snap back into reality that, 'no Amy no one really wants to hear about your issues'.  Then my ingrained manners kick in and I say, "so what have you been up to?"

It is pretty much the social norm when a woman is addicted to shopping.  Going on the hunt for that perfect fitting pair of jeans for the right price is not unheard of but pretty common.  So if I simply state that my addiction is shopping it sounds much better but when I am completely honest and say I am addicted to shopping for rock bottom prices on produce, meat and groceries it makes me sound a bit coo coo.  Well what if I said I was addicted to buying turkeys?  What will that make me?  It is true.  I have bought not one, not two, not 3 but 4 turkeys and not one of them is being served on Thanksgiving.  We are traveling to visit family for Thanksgiving this year so I am not responsible for the bird for the first time in a long time.

Meijer is having this crazy deal on turkeys and if you are smart crazy like me you are able to get a 16 lb turkey for $3.  That is 18 cents a lb!!  This excites me way too much!  So I have purchased turkey after turkey which means then I have to do something with all these birds too, right!  A friend and I have dismantled 3 so far and have ground, boiled, canned and frozen many pounds of poultry the last few days.

Next week I will be doing 2 more birds.  Mostly grinding with some canning and freezing involved.  I do the same thing with produce in produce season, with gardening and the Amish produce auction.  Buying mass amounts of produce and canning and freezing.  It is my way of contributing to the family and I take it so seriously it is probably not healthy.  I was recently called lazy and unimaginative by someone who does not know me.  I would love for that person to come spend a day at my house and see if they change their mind.  Crazy, passionate, intense, reactive, opinionated with an addictive personality that I am.  Lazy?  HA

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jalapeno popper balls

Sorry it is a bit late but maybe you chopped some of those prolific peppers and froze them.  Here is something to do with them.  I typed this up a while ago.  Not sure why I never posted it.  I have been MIA for a while but I really hope to be better about keeping up.  I have some great posts in the works.  Making the time to get them on here is the bigger challenge.

Have jalapenos and don't know what to do with them?  I have made the traditional poppers in the past and we enjoy them but with the variablness from pepper to pepper alot of time the peppers are just too hot.  We like some heat but homegrown jalapenos can be over the top.  So I came up with this idea as a way to control the amount of heat.  We made a few to try it out and not only were they amazingly yummy but they were easier to make.  It is sometimes hard to get an even breading coating over the shiney side of the peppers and it was messy trying.  But with the balls they coated evenly and easily.

          12 ounces cream cheese, softened
          1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
          1 tablespoon bacon bits
          12 ounces jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
          1 cup milk
          1 cup all-purpose flour
          1 cup dry bread crumbs
          2 quarts oil for frying

  1. Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the  balls first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each.
  2. Dip the balls in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs and repeat into the milk then breadcrumbs.
1. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon bits and minced jalapeno. Form into 1 inch balls. 

2. Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the balls first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each.  

3.    Dip the balls in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs and repeat into the milk then breadcrumbs.

4. In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F ( 180 degrees C). Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel.      

Finished product!  MMM...mmmm..mmmm

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What is value?

Is value interpretive?  Is it cut and dry?  Black and white?  Or is it all perspective?  I am talking of all things within God's laws and values.  I am talking about good things.  Good things to do with your life, your time, your energy, your love.  Is there a good, better, best?  I think I find my value in some very different areas than most.  I think it is safe to say I have NEVER gone with the flow.  Or fit in any where or at any point in my life.  And I have devoloped into a woman that is very much that way.  I am not the 'typical' woman persay.  I don't love shopping or shoes or care to have a career or like to watch reality t.v.  Though I do enjoy a good mani, pedi session and getting dressed up and having a night out.  So I feel like there is some balance in my life.  But on the day to day I find value in saving money, feeding my family healthy, making as much from scratch as possible, staying at home and taking care of my children.  In my mind "a penny saved is a penny earned" and if I can save my family money that money is just as good as the money I could make out in the 'real' world.  But actually it is even better because I get to be here for my children, have a relationship with them, have time to spend with my children and husband, I know where my food is coming from, what goes into it and that it didn't come from the freezer section at the grocery store.

I grow my garden, have a milk goat and raise some turkeys for meat.  It isn't much though it is alot of work I know there are those that do more but they usually either have a husband that helps or older children that do.  So for one person I do as much as I feel like I can at this phase of my life without completely interrupting the balance.

But what happens when God unites you for all of your life with someone that just does not have that same value system, what ever that value system may be?  When the one person you love and live with does not support or even remotely find value in those same things.  When for them going and working a job is more valuable than any of those things.  That having a pay check and making the neccesary sacrifices that go along with that pay check is the only thing that will make them happy.  I feel I am confronted constantly with this problem.  I then feel I am confronted with a decision that needs to be made.  Do I do that which I value or that which the other person values?  Is there a happy medium?  Or is it just black and white?  These are questions of which I do not posses the answers.  These are questions that I don't know if there really is a 'right or wrong' answer.  If there was I would have made it.  On the outside looking in one might be able to come up with a reasonable solution but without all the ins and outs of the matters you probably cannot see the stalemate I feel I am in.

I had a person once tell me that  "I was just lucky to have found the perfect person and to have had a successful relationship".  This person has obviously never been in a relationship with one person for over a decade.  Or they in their ignorance would have surely learned by now that there is no such 'luck'.  There are no perfect people.  There is no one that is 'the one' that will forever into eternity make your life complete and utter bliss.  Those fairy tales are for the books.  The reality of it is that relationships are hard, they include, sacrifice, selflessness, forgiveness, mercy and even the depths of dispair at times.  They are not always beatiful and probably more ugly than most would like to admit.  BUT if you can do those things, not in perfection but even some of the time there are true moments of beauty that make their way to the surface.  And for those moments we continue on and try harder and do better and sacrifice and forgive and make those hard choices.  Because you know that you too will require those same things granted to you and when it is returned that is when the beauty truely shines.  And I guess that is my real answer.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sorry birds. No Vaccancy!

Weeding the garden one evening this little guy gave me a scare.  He is such a cute bugger and he gave my husband and I good laugh. 

Just hanging out on his front porch on a nice evening.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spring time in my back yard!

Spring time in my back yard means;

                                                            Farm fresh milk...mmm.

Oregano, chives, basil, lavender, dill, thyme, sage...

Tiny tomato plants

vining peas

tender lettuce


curious baby goats

                                                                       Ornery Mama goats

cuddly kitties

shedding winter coats

fluffy pony faces

sniffy little noses

tender little blue eyes.

Hungry chubby horeses

shaggy little ponies

irresistable little faces

pretty purple flowers

tire swings and the setting sun

pony rides

fun with friends

and meeting new furry friends

gorgeous days

life long memories

hide and seek in fields

and much much more....

A long over due update.  This is for you Esther :).  Spring time here is busy but this year I purposely made life a little less hectic.  It is just not the year for me to over do it.  Ha that was well done last year.  I didn't start any of my seeds and wimped out bought plants.  We have lettuce, spinach, onions and peas all growing great right now which were all started in the ground.  We have lettuce and spinach with almost every meal right now and it is yummy.  Herbs are coming in nicely and if you were close I would gladly give you starts of oregano and dill since they are very abundant.  Some tomatos are in the ground but I also need to get the rest of them, peppers, brussel sprouts and cucumbers in the ground.  Once again like last year we had a cold start to spring which turned into weeks and weeks of rain and more cold then as soon as the weather snapped it went from that to now we are hanging around high 80's 90's.  Not great planting weather unless you have nothing else to do but get up early and put in a garden, ha, if only my life was that simple.

We had some friends from college days come by the farm for a visit with their 3 adorable, sweet children.  We spent the day together chatting, going to the amish store, going on pony rides, chasing baby goats, cooking and eating.  It was such a blessing to have them.  Esther is such a sweet and transparent person that is just easy to get along with and I am so glad that after all these years we reconnected.

It has been a while since I last updated and not only have we had 4 baby goats since then but they are all sold and only one is still awaiting to be picked up by his new family.  Bubbles had quads this year!!  One was not alive when we found them that sunday morning before church.  She successfully raised all three that were left.  Now with only one still here I am getting milk agian!  I am getting about 1 quart when I milk once a day.  Early next week the last baby should be picked up and I will be getting 2 quarts a day, yumm.  That not only means plenty of the best milk you will ever taste but it also means CHEESE :).

I made the decision to not raise turkeys this year :(.  I know I will miss that delicious meat come fall and we will miss having them around the farm this year but I just needed to simplify things a bit for now.  I am going to be gone for about 3 weeks over the summer and it is alot to ask of someone to care for all the animals and then to add more on to that just seemed too much.  Even as I type I am still not 100% decided about this but as of right now we don't have any chickies.

Spring and summer are times that we really get to enjoy having horses.  We are not the type to have pasture pets or hay burners.  If we own them they will be put to work or good use.  Even if their jobs is just to give us pleasure or enjoyment they must do their job.  We ride them alot.  We went on a fabulous trail ride and if you want to see some videos from my new helmet camera from that ride just head over to my other blog and check them out.  It was great fun!  Though not without its scary moments but it was over all an amazing ride with my two older girls 6 and 8 and my Dad. 

I think that brings you pretty much up to date. Happy spring!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's my blog I can cry if I want to!

My mind has been in deep thought lately and I am finding it hard to bring myself out of it.  There is one word that keeps coming to mind, content.  I am finding it nearly impossible to be content.  Not with money or things, those kind of things mean very little to me and would give it all away if it were for the good of my family and others.  I could live in a shoe box house and be fine.  It would take some adjusting but I would be fine.  I have been blessed and am happy with what I have.  I am happy with the husband God gave me, the children he blessed us with, the home we own and the life we live.  Those things are not or are ever in question.  I live a good life and enjoy it to the fullest.

The contentment that I struggle with comes from a very different place.  It involves where we have been placed and the people that are in our lives.  Not only the family(extented) that we were given but the friends that have been in our lives.  I probably spend too much time in my life wondering and contemplating the state of these relationships considering the other parties seem to care less.  See things don't matter to me but people that is a different matter.  I love people, I love to be with people I love to have people in our lives.  Now the people that matter most is my husband and children they are a constant and loving relationship that I value beyond measure.  I feel they are first and foremost in my heart, mind and life, so nothing or no relationship can put those relationships in jeopardy or it will quickly be dismissed.

My first issue of contentment is with family.  These are the people in our lives that we have not choosen.  The ones that God gave us.  We live 3 1/2 hours from our nearest relative so involvement in our lives I guess you can say is limited.  If for no other reason simple distance is the cause.  But with the technology today involvement can take on many different forms.  It could be traveling to be phyiscally present or phone conversations to be involved in the happenings, or facebook to communicate or even skyping.  The options seem limitless on the ways one can be "present" in anothers life.  But it seems that those avenues are rarely utilized and for the most part the occassional monthly or every other month few minute phone call is the extent of involvement.  And with most family members not even that is the case.  The once or twice a year visit is all that exists in the relationship.  I can tell you from the family members perspective that is far away this can be tough to deal with.  You see your children growing up and grandparents seemingly content missing almost the entire process.  Aunts and Uncles that the children don't recognize for lack of involvement.  Cousins that just don't know each other.  In all of this I feel like the odd ball because it seems I am the only one who even gives a rats ass about the situation and lack of relationship.  So for the most part I keep quiet.  I have approached the subject on a few occassions but with little to no acknowledgement or change.  So I attempt to keep in touch but often find myself sucking back from the relationship with the mindset that "if they don't care, then why do I?".  I mean if you are the one always putting in the effort in, any relationship can be tiring and hurtful and I have found I could only sustain that type of relationship for a certain amount of time.  So if I were asked to define most of the relationships between my family and our other family members it would be, distant, uninvolved and hurtful.  Maybe the yearly Christmas letter is enough involvement for them?  It is like they want to veiw our lives from the outside but have no desire to be a part of it.  Then I find myself becoming defensive of our life and feel if you don't want to be involved then why should you get know what goes on in it?  I feel like they enjoy hearing and knowing of us like we are in a fish bowl.  People to be entertained by but not a part of.  This situation at times I have become accustumed too and just cope with it and at others it tears at my heart and I yearn for grandparents to really know my children and interact with them more than the occasional token visit.  For ones that though they may not be present on a daily basis but still find a way to show they care.  I wish that it couldn't be months that go by without as much as a phone call or card or anything.  That they actually had an ongoing relationship with their grandchildren.  Maybe I am asking for too much and I probably am I just have a hard time imagining someday not really knowing or even caring about my children and what goes on in thier lives.  The whole situation just breaks my heart.  I think it is made worse by the fact that I see how the same grandparents interact with other grandchildren.  Knowing that Grandma always makes cupcakes for one to take to her class on her birthday and that another is taking their grandchild to a museum because they just want to see their face as they see the dinasour exhibit.  Why cannot I not just be content without those things?  Why do I wish those same grandparents wanted to see my childrens faces as they light up with excitement or comfort them when they are sad?  Maybe they do care but it is hard to know someone cares when they really have very little to do with your life.  I need to learn to be content without those things and know that we will make it and our kids will be happy, healthy adults without those things/people but sometimes it is easier said than done to just let it go.

Then their is friendships or a connection with where we are and maybe the two things combined is what makes it all the more hard.  When we moved here over 6 years ago we didn't know a soul and it was tough.  We had no one.  We were in a new area with a toddler, a baby on the way, in new house and a new job. All hard things to deal with and adjust to and it was all at one time.  We struggled and went through some of the hardest time in our lives getting through it.  But really that was to be expected.  It is almost like we had a good excuse to why we were struggling.  But now 6 years later we have made "friends" we have attempted to get involved and connected to those people, groups and the area.  But is seems that almost everyone in our lives have come in and left.  We(my husband and I) can say we feel no more connected to where we are than we were 6 years ago.  Maybe we are not the only ones who struggle with this but it feels like we are.  It seems everyone has their family or life long friends that are in their lives and they know will always be there.  I have two people out of everyone in our lives that I know if I called them day or night they would be there to help in any way possible.  I am grateful for those two people and am glad they are a part of our lives but sometimes it hard to not feel guilt about always having to call on those two people.  That those two people are the only ones you can depend on.  To me it seems like a big burden to place on just two people.  But there have been many people that I thought would always be a part of our lives that have for some reason just "disappeared" from it.  I mean they are still there but not in our lives.  The kind of "friends" that you considered to be more like family.  That you invited to kids birthday parties and family gatherings.  Then you stop recieving invites to their birthday parties and gatherings and I soon get the hint that we will be taking on a new place in thier lives.  Maybe it was something I did or something about me that drives people away but I would think that if our realationship was important that I would at least be given chance to make things right.  But that was not the case and pretty much distance was put between us.  Not the physical distance that seems to be the challange with family because we live very close in proximity but emotional distance with little to no involvement.  I have way too many friendships that have happened this way and they can go back all the way to my best friend when I was 19 years old.  You know the kind of friend that you are inseperable.  Then one day you realize they are putting you at a distance.  I go to her to try to see if I had done something or if we could make things right and after the conversation you realize that anything I do will not change the fact that they just don't want you in thier life anymore.  Ouch it hurts and it took me years to get passed that relationship but I have seen it happen over and over again and I have to wonder if I am the common denominator in each relationship?  I don't know but I do know that I never stop caring and I would  be willing to fix the broken relationship but often are not given that chance and the relationship fades to the type that if you happen to bump into eachother at the grocery store you are kind and ask how the family is and then you part ways.  Sad.

Then on a little lighter side it feels like the area we live in is a black hole.  If you meet anyone when you first move here the conversation goes like this, "are you from here?", "no we just moved here".  The response is always the same, "WHY???".  Whether they are people who were born and raised here or are transplants themselves they all say the same thing.  Surely that is not a good sign.  Now I can see what they mean.  The area really has nothing to offer.  The landscape is terribly boring completely flat and all farm land.  The statistic are depressing with the highest droppout rate, teen pregnancy and divorce rates in the state.  The economy is just sad.  No jobs, poverty and poor school systems.  There is just not much to speak of at all.  And you are hard pressed to find an upside.  To make matters worse we moved here for my husbands job which since has changed and now he doesn't even work in the state.  His sales territory starts about 40 miles from here and goes about 150 miles out from there.  I find myself asking daily why we live here and I cannot come up with a good answer.  It is pretty much that picking up and moving doesn't seem easier of the two options with projects in the house needing finished and the housing market the way it is.  We would also need to move farther away from family but really I don't think that is going to make a difference considering how involved they are at this distance.  I mean could it really get worse??

I want to be content with those relationships or I want to be given the chance to make them right or maybe I just want someone else to care.  I don't know but I do know that I wish I had peace about all of it.  Sometimes I want to just start over.  Leave where we are and start again.  If only that was the easy way out!