Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ten Random Things....

1.  Greg said I can get more chickens in the Spring, I'm already planing which to get and where to put them all.....

2.  I'm going to Scrapcamp 2011 in less than 2 weeks.  I'm barely prepared at all...

3.  I'm putting off laundry by updating my blog.

4.  I don't like Shocktop Beer anymore.

5.  I stress every morning about Declan and Teagan waking Maren before I can get them to the school bus.

6.  I think my house should look like it belongs in a Country Living magazine all the time.

7.  Once it's landscaped, I think someone should submit my house for Country Living magazine!  LOL!

8.  I've let Maren go out in her Jammies.  Lots of times.

9.  I wake up every morning thinking of how much I'm going to get accomplished, but never get anywhere near that much done.

10.  I always pour one more cup of coffee than I actually drink, then feel guilty for the creamer I wasted when I pour it out later.

Thanks for coming by!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The "Spa" post

Our spa gets it's own post today!  When we bought the house the spa was partially covered and many critters lived (and died) in it.  One day last year I got the wild hair to see if it worked.  I did what anyone would do who has no experience with something....  I made a call to a repair man!  Well, several repairmen actually.  Turns out no one could come out right that minute.  Me, being one that can rarely wait two minutes,  I put on my rain boots (same ones I put on to kill the baby rattlesnake...) went out to figure it out myself.  After finding out the make/model I Googled it and found the manual online.  Out I went to drain and clean the spa!  The living critters (frogs) were appalled at my idea.  I was appalled at how many dead lizards were in there. 

After cleaning and filling the spa, I switched the thing on to see what would happen.  Well, I'll be... the dang thing worked!  For 4 minutes.  Then it turned off and had an error code on the screen.  I drained the water out, covered it back up and figured I'd deal with it another day.... 

Fast forward to last Wednesday.  Same wild hair reappeared.  I think it has something to do with the sunshine.  This time the repair guy I called could come right out so I had a good feeling about the whole thing.  Turned out the valves were not all the way open, starving the pump of water, thus shutting the motor off.  He opened the valves, cleaned the filters, filled it and turned it on - it worked!  He offered to clean it and put chemicals in it, get it ready to go.  He said I could be drinking my glass of wine in it that night.  We had a deal.

To say the kids were excited is an understatement.  They all came out in their swimsuits while he was still cleaning it!  The water was 59 degrees.  The water didn't heat up enough for us to go in that night.  The excitement continued to build until the kids finally got to go in on Friday night.  Declan stayed the night at a friends house on Saturday so Greg, the girls and I went in on Saturday night.   After much pestering we let Declan and Teagan go in yesterday, but the fun was short lived as Declan choked on water and puked in the spa......  I'm still trying to figure out what to do about that.....

The big question now is what color cover to get.  With the house being yellow, white trim and a green/black roof, I'd love to hear your suggestions for color.  Here is a picture to whet your whistle for suggestions.

Thanks for coming by!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I think he wants chicken for dinner....or breakfast!

So I go out one morning to let the chickens out and just happen to notice this guy sitting on the handrail by my kitchen door.  I had no idea what he was so I went inside to get a better look from the dining room. 

Then I got sneaky and peeked out the kitchen window to get an even better look.  There was no sneaking up on him though, he's a predator!  I think he was waiting for Sassy, my little biting chicken.  Just to be safe I didn't let the chickens out.  He watched as I helped newly 3 legged Otis go out.  When I got too close he swooped off into a nearby tree and continued to keep his eye on us. 

I've made the homemade pizza's a few more times and figured I'd post the recipe here for those interested.  I use my bread machine to make the dough, add them in the order listed here.

Pizza Dough
1 1/2 C Water
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 3/4 Bread Flour *
1 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast

*Add 1 Tbsp of Vital Wheat Gluten per cup of flour.  I mill my flour from hard white wheat berries.  If you are using pre-milled flour, I'd look for whole wheat white flour, I like King Arthur.

1.  Measure all ingredients except yeast into the bread machine baking pan in the order listed.  Tap the baking pan to level ingredients.  Make a depression in middle of flour and sprinkle in  the yeast, making sure it doesn't touch any liquids.

2.  Insert baking pan into bread machine and select DOUGH setting, press START.  This takes 2 hours in my machine.

3.  When done, remove dough from machine.  Preheat oven to 400.

4.  Make the dough into the shape you want, I have cut into 5 pieces so we each have our own pizza.  Lightly brush with Olive Oil, cover and let sit for 15 minutes (oops, I have never done this!).

5.  Spoon pizza sauce (BELOW) onto crust and add any toppings.

6.  Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

Makes (2) 12 inch pizzas.

Easy Pizza Sauce

1 15oz can of Diced Tomatoes
1 6oz can Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp ground Oregano
1 1/2 tsp minced Garlic (I use fresh)
1 tsp ground Paprika
1/2 Tbsp ground Basil
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Onion Powder

I put it all in my blender and it's ready in 15 seconds.  If I have extra I freeze it for next time!

And here is one last picture, Otis doing his very best pathetic look, so you feel really bad for putting the 'cone of shame' on him!
Thanks for coming back by!

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm going to just skip over Christmas...

For this post anyway.  It's too many pictures and details to go over!  I've only scrapbooked 1 Christmas for the exact same reasons.  I'm getting ready to go to 'ScrapCamp' in a couple of weeks and my goal is to catch up on all of my Christmas layouts.

Aside from the holidays, we've been busy around the pseudo farm.  Just before Christmas I sold my guinea hens.  There were originally 12, but 1 got dead, and one got missing.  So I sold 10 to a man from Elk Grove.  Those poor neighbors.  2 weeks ago I sold my goats to the contractor who has been doing some work on our house.  I was sad to see them go, but the difference in the amount of work has already been a relief.

Otis hurt his leg over Thanksgiving, pulled a muscle.  He continued to re-injure his leg to the point that it was non-operable.  So, two weeks ago we had his leg amputated.....  I know!  Add it to the laundry list of major expense this dog has been.  Greg says we're not getting anymore pure breds!  LOL!  Now we have the zippiest 3 legged whippet around.  He seems to feel much better and gets around fine with the exception of going up our wooden stairs.  But honestly, I've seen those stairs slow down a human being.

We've also got a trip planned to Disneyland.  We'd been talking about going for quite some time and I'd been asking my friends when was a good time to go (ie: not as busy).  We booked the trip and I began thinking of a way to surprise the kids to tell them.  Should I make a pizza like on a commercial I saw...  would I make a banner?  Well, Greg took that additional stress away by just walking in the front door and telling them!  Phews.

Well, I've got a wild, currently unsupervised 3 year old heading upstairs, so I'd better sign off for now.  Thanks for coming back to my poor, dusty blog.....