Monthly Archives: June 2012

Milo Returns….

I don’t know what it is, but lately extra dogs have been instinctively flocking to our house like the salmon of Capistrano (name the movie!)….Milo’s back!  Which means that Thing One and Thing Two are together at last….it has been a Frenchie ballroom blitz since yesterday afternoon.  Rather hard to tell where one frog ends and the other begins….

Milo….quick like a fox!

Steve’s fighting face.

Milo’s fighting face.

Profile comparison.

Steve and Milo, bff (best frogs forever)!

Beach Chickens!

The in-laws made their every-other-annual trip to Kauai this week, and though the offer is always on the table, we, yet again (*big sigh*), could not go with them due to Jonathon’s show schedule.  As a consolation prize, they’ve been sending me photos of the beach chickens (distinguishable by their visible tan lines and generally relaxed disposition).  Am I the only person who thinks this is awesome?  I love me some beach chickens!  Thought I’d share:

Yoga chicken.

Trouble in paradise….

Camouflage chicken.

My dad-in-law attempts to feed the models….they don’t seem to be eating….

The chicken-photographers (distinguishable by their visible tan lines and generally relaxed disposition):

Meanwhile, back on the farm…..

Steve the Dog

Nope.  That’s not Milo.  That’s Steve the Dog, our latest guest at the exclusive Farmhouse38 Frenchie Resort & Spa.  He’s been working hard lately (check out what he’s been up to on his Facebook page–yes, that’s right, his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Steve-the-Dog/109098005809561), and is finally getting some much-deserved Steve time.  He’s reserved his favorite room, the garden suite, as usual, which comes complete with personal butler, feather bed, complementary wireless internet, and a spectacular view of the grounds.  He’s making the most of his vacation: napping with his buddies on his private sundeck, sipping filtered water cocktails, and catching up on True Blood via iPad by the wading pool.   Perhaps later he’ll schedule a massage.  It’s good to be Steve the Dog.

On a side note….I need a hobby.

Rush Hour at the Watering Hole

A routine has been established.  Each morning, after they have been fed and freed, the birds make the long journey from their coop (back, eastern most corner of the property) to the side door of the house(front, western most corner of the property), to mutter at me through the screen door.  They can make those mad faces all they want, though.  It’s not happening.  NO HOUSE CHICKENS.

This morning, however, there was a new addition to the routine.  We keep an automatic dog waterer right next to this door, and several more placed at intervals throughout the property.  Until this morning, the one next to the door was the dogs’ preferred waterer because it was the only one that was theirs and theirs alone (aside from the one we keep inside the house, which is safe, for now, because–NO HOUSE CHICKENS).

Let’s all take a look at Chance’s demeanor when he realizes the chickens have found his watering hole:

But, in the spirit of sharing, he begrudgingly waits in line:

And, as Gertie finishes up, we actually get a waggy tail out of him:

A few more chicken antics:

Abbie arrives late and misses the water-cooler chatter.

And the birds realize that the chicken wire on the front gate is similar to the screen door….must….get…to….what’s on…the other side….in this case, Ladies, a rather busy street, urban wildlife (sweater-wearing terriers and soccer moms), and zero automatic waterers.  Let’s mind the perimeter, hmmm?

Dandelions and Superheroes, Courtesy of the Neph

“Two for one, and one for all!”  Is the battle-cry I heard all morning as the Neph went about some very serious ‘Mousekateer’ business (aka, Musketeer): throwing me and the dogs in jail for bank-robbing (it wasn’t me!….it was the one-armed man!).  This was when he wasn’t dressed in his Captain ‘Merica finery, or up to his elbows in Play-Doh.  Nephew shenanigans….my favorite!

Bullet-proof turtle jammies.

This is the ‘Mouseketeer’ hat, in case you were having trouble placing it.

But the dandelions were the most fun….

Dandelions are awesome!  (what he was saying here…look at that face!)

Very Free-Range

This.  Keeps.  Happening.

I guess this is how it goes when you free range your chickens and are used to keeping your doors wide open.  Please take special note of the guard dog in the background that could be keeping this from happening.

This is, incidentally, my husband’s chicken breaking point, apparently.  When I started talking about getting chickens, he said nothing and sighed.  When I started reading books on having chickens, he said nothing and sighed.  When I announced that I was going to the feed store, with or without him, to get baby chicks, he sighed and came along.  When he was volunteered to help build the dreaded coop, he swore a lot, but made it happen.  Yet this is where the line has been drawn.  Chickens.  Do.  Not.  Go.  In.  The.  House.  Is it bad that I think it’s hilarious when the ladies just drop in unannounced?  Because it is.  It just is.

That’s more like it Chance.  Nice job.

Now, this is just sad.  Chickens don’t like banishment.  I think we’re going to have to repair that rip in the screen, though….I don’t like the way Gertie is looking at it.

Sunday Dirt

I managed to squeeze some garden time in today between playing nurse and butler to the convalescing husband, and it was damned good to be out rolling around in the dirt a bit.  My list was long: the herb gardens needed taming, seedlings needed transplanting, and several new additions needed adding.  And though my partner in crime was not there to do the heavy lifting, my misfit gaggle of tag-a-longs was there underfoot, as always, to trip me as much as possible.

Mildred keeps a close eye on me as I mess with her flowers.

Freshly-planted dahlias–gorgeous!

Transplanted heirloom tomato plant and its new trellis.  With the ladybirds hovering in the background.

New Lemon Cucumber plant.

Newly added Blanket Flowers.

Chance keeping cool in the dirt.

Sunshine, dirt, flowers….happy camper.

First Black-Eyed Suzies!

‘Double Delight’ rose….my favorite!

‘Ferdinand Pichard’….close second.

Boots and hydrangeas by the chicken coop.

Garden chair.

At the end of the day, the Adirondacks are looking pretty inviting….

So I kick back on one in my snazzy pajama pants, and this is what happens….no rest for the weary.

Some of you may be wondering how I was looking after my husband (who is recovering from surgery) if I was out in the garden all day.  To you, I say….good point.  I’d better go check on him.

Meatballs, Watermelon, and Wound Care

Just a normal little Saturday at the farmhouse!

Jonathon’s had better days.  Unfortunately, he had to have a bit of minor surgery last night (10 pm surgery on a Friday night….seems legit), to remove a mole that had gotten a little interesting.  Even more unfortunately, it was located on the small of his back, and they had to take a rather sizable expanse of acreage.  For anyone who hasn’t experienced this, it’s pretty crappy to have stitches on that part of your body–you can’t bend, you can’t twist, you can’t lay down.  So, there he sits.  And there he stays.

Suffice it to say that he was incredibly happy to be included in this blog entry.

This seems like a good time to talk about food.  Right?  Right.  Well, we were meant to be next door at our neighbors’ party today, but those plans went south the second we realized just how immobilized the husband was.  And, out of solidarity, I decided I’d hang out and taunt him with my camera instead of going next door for a cocktail.

I had promised a couple of appetizers, and since we had to bail, I decided to, at least, deliver on the food.  I found an awesome recipe online for a little something called Grape Jelly Meatballs, which are apparently a big deal in the south (though the farmhouse Texan had never heard of them).  Suffice it to say, these things are pretty ridiculously amazing.  The recipe came from http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2008/12/grape-jelly-cocktail-meatballs-or.html ….such a great southern cooking blog.  Love it.  I went the lazy route and used store-bought, frozen meatballs, and also upped the pepper jelly quotient since I like to hurt people with my food.  These are durn good.  Durn good.  I highly recommend the balls and the blog.

The second item I did was a variation on a summer salad I’ve made several times in the past.

These are a festive little bites of watermelon, feta cheese, caramelized bacon, lime curd, and ground pistachio bits.  Pretty and yum!  The only thing that takes a little bit of work here is the bacon.  You cook it as you normally would, and then let it cool.  Once cooled, coat one side of it in granulated sugar and then use a creme brulee torch to brown it up.  I’ve heard you can do this in the oven, too, but I just really jump at any chance to use that God-forsaken torch.  Even though I’m kind of afraid of it.  To assemble: stack bite-sized pieces of watermelon with feta cheese, a bit of the bacon, a squirt of store-bought lime curd, and finish with a dusting of ground, salted, shelled pistachios.

Man, that party sounds like fun over there (it’s a beautiful day and all our doors and windows are open).  But I’ve got dressings to change….and I don’t mean the salad variety.

The Last Battle

Milo goes home today!  Sad faces all around (except for my nephew who can’t wait to have his frog back!).  I just had to get some shots of Abbie and the frog wrestling it up before he headed back.  These two are non-stop when they are together.

Now for some fur-flying, jowl-jiggling action shots:

I love when I post photos that show just how much dog hair is in this house.  For the world to see.

Milo always looks like he’s getting his a** handed to him, but trust me, this is a brilliant battle strategy.  Abbie’s usually the one to cry ‘uncle’.

Here you can literally see the fur flying.  I may need to vacuum.

This was an aerial attack by Milo from the window seat.

And let’s end with some beauty shots:

Miss that face already!!!

Farmhouse38 Donut Cocktail

Glazed Donut Cocktail by Farmhouse38.com

OR

Powdered Sugar Donut Cocktail by Farmhouse38.comNational Donut Day.  It really sneaks up on me every year.

How to celebrate?  With a cocktail, of course.  Why shouldn’t there be a cocktail that tastes like a donut, I ask you?

 

The Donut Cocktail:

Ingredients….

–1.5 oz. heavy cream

–1 tbs. dark brown sugar

–1/2 oz. cake-flavored vodka

–1/2 oz. vanilla vodka

–1.5 oz. plain old vodka (TITO’S!!!)

–3 dashes of cinnamon

–1.5 oz. Dr. Pepper

–powdered sugar and a powdered sugar donut hole, or mini doughnut to garnish, OR hold the powdered sugar and use a glazed or sprinkle donut as garnish.

Mix everything but the Dr. P and garnish in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake gently. Pour chilled, mixed cocktail into a highball glass either with ice or without, whichever you prefer. Add Dr. P and stir. Garnish with doughnut hole, and then powder the whole thing (including your countertop) with powdered sugar. Now drink your doughnut.

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