Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's just my new perfume, no really...

I would like to report to all of my faithful readers that the skunk episode did not happen again at the farmette, but alas I would telling a big fat lie. After arriving home from work the following afternoon, the episode repeated itself in grander glory.

The Deerslayer was out hiking around the farm, as he is known to do. Toots was driving the Barbie Jeep and I was walking on our road. All was well and good with the world. But, Murphy's Law decided to kick in and I spied the Deerslayer walking, barely five feet, behind a skunk. Might I say, a king sized skunk at that. This duo was on the hill by the barn. The Deerslayer decided to take matters into his own hands at the sight of this animal and was throwing rocks at the offensive critter. The skunk was waddling away, all the while the Deerslayer kept throwing rocks at him(her). At this point I can only imagine that this creature is a her.....due to the full abdomen.

I, seeing a disaster in the making, start screaming/yelling/ordering the Deerslayer to halt all activities and come back toward the house. He does not listen to these instructions. And yes, he had to have heard me because I was yelling so loud that all surrounding farms could have heard. Our Border Collie sees his plight, and immediately goes to his aide. Thus she was sprayed and the Deerslayer was not. "De-skunking" ensued and all was bright and sunny again. Then, she went outside only to get sprayed, yet again. More "de-skunking" ensued and the last strand of my sanity went down the drain with the peroxide.

This morning Secret Agent Man was available for some face to face conversation. Because, as fate would have it, he has been gone all week working in a warm climate, complete with a beach and colorful sunset. He found the story of the Deerslayer throwing rocks at a skunk a little far fetched. However, when he realized that I had witnessed the incident he became quiet. I let him know that some skunk eradication was going to have to happen here at the farmette. His response to this was, "Hmmmm....."

I can see I am going to have to take matters into my own hands. There is no way I can ask a fellow employee to give me a "sniff check"....again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What's that smell?

Just when I think this blog is becoming a bit mundane, the powers that be send me a little action here at the farmette. A little blogging fodder, if you will. For those of you not in the know, it is the mating season of the skunk. They are out in droves around our part of the country. Many are sighted beside the road, having gone to meet their maker. Leaving behind their beloved scent for all of us to enjoy.

And, quite a few have been spotted here at the farmette. The Deerslayer came running back to the house this afternoon yelling that he had found a "nest". I did not take this well. I am the owner of four crazy dogs and a mom to one curious son. The Deerslayer passed the "sniff" test, but strangely I was missing three dogs in this picture. A few minutes later here comes the pack. The Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd were all good. Smelling like mud, but that was acceptable.

And then my trusty, loyal, faithful companion came running toward me. My Jack Russell, my sleeping buddy, my little snuggler smelled like HECK!

What's a Farmchick to do? I ran upstairs and googled some home made skunk remedies. Because, I just couldn't see tomato juice doing the trick. And quite frankly, all I had was some V-8 and that is for my lunch tomorrow. Here is the remedy that I used. I whipped it up in no time, because I didn't get a "C" in high school chemistry for nothing.

You will need:

1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda - do not use baking powder
1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid

*Mix all ingredients together in a plastic container. Pour on dog and rub into fur. Allow mixture to soak in for at least ten minutes. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

I actually did not have that much peroxide, but the mixture worked anyway. It took the smell right out of her fur. I have read that if you use this on a black dog that it can discolor the fur.

Tomorrow I am off to the grocery, because I can just see this scene being repeated tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This morning I was confronted with this. More of the white stuff that Mother Nature keeps sending our way.

Instead of snow, I am really dreaming of this. Flowers in bloom.

A shaded front porch on a hot summer day.

The garden statue draped in Wave Petunias.

After reading Chickens in the Road this morning, I have decided to join Suzanne on her quest to will spring our way. I have had my fill of "Old Man Winter". I am ready for garden plots, seed orders, baby chicks, and calves escaping their pen.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Toots

Eight years ago, very early in the morning......a baby girl came into our lives. She was a little bigger than anyone was expecting.

Her first look at me instigated a loud howl......from her, not me.

Several years and many howling nights later she has turned into the best girl I know.

All skinny legs and happiness, laughter and softball bats, and a total unwillingness to do anything with that hair.

We love her very much anyway.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Good Intentions

I had some really good intentions today of writing something intelligent and intriguing for this blog of mine. But, I was sidetracked by a dirty, dirty man. Dirty Jobs has been on the Discovery Channel most of the day. And, you know, I really like for the chiclets to watch that channel because it's so educational and all..... And besides that, it's always better to watch the telly as a family.

Mike Rowe is looking pretty tidy in this picture, though....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What's the fuss.....

Today's the day everyone, so I hope you are prepared. Cards, sweet letters, flowers, and chocolates are the norm for your sweetie, but how did we get to this point? The Catholic church actually recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. Although there are several legends associated with Saint Valentine, one is certainly more romantic than the others.

One legend contends that Saint Valentine actually sent the very first Valentine while he was imprisoned. It is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl, who may have been his jailor's daughter. Before he died, it is alleged, he sent this young girl a letter signed, "From your Valentine". The stories behind all of the Valentine legends are quite mysterious, but this legend certainly emphasizes the sympathetic, romantic appeal of a suitor.

So, here's to Saint Valentine and may all of you have a wonderful day with your loved ones.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More cookbooks....little cooking

Lately I have been perusing more cookbooks. I happen to own just a "few" cookbooks. I love to read them and I really enjoy older cookbooks. Would this happen to mean that I cook a whole lot.....ummmm, no. Just ask Secret Agent Man. I do cook, but if I cooked all of the recipes that I read/dreamed about, I would be a gourmet chef.

My most recent read is, The Church Ladies' Celestial Suppers and Sensible Advice. Let's just say that these ladies know how to cook and I get the distinct impression that they don't put up with any funny business either. The book is filled with recipes, of course, but also quotes, stories, and church tales. Some of my most favorite quotes would be:

Don't ever mistake my kindness for weakness.

If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.

If you can't judge a book by its cover, why are those men's magazines on the newsstand wrapped in brown paper?

The recipes in the book go from Buttermilk Macaroni and Cheese and Heartwarming Neckbones to Pastor's in Trouble Meat Loaf and Tang Pie. Yes, for real, like in the breakfast drink "Tang"!

While reading the recipes I came across one that is going to be a sure fire favorite for me. I can already tell, even before I make it. How do I know? Because it contains one of my all time favorite foods, Spam. Yes, I have now confessed it on the internet. I love Spam. I think I'll make up a dish of this and invite Southern Fried Momma over for a cocktail. She'll never guess what's in this dip.

The Ham-What-Am Dip

1 (12-ounce) can Spam
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 (2-ounce) package ranch dressing mix
6 green onions, washed

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until well blended. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pair with dill-flavored flatbread or triangles of rye toast.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The birds are tweeting!

We have finally thawed out here in smalltownland. Most people have their electricity back and school is in session. Yesterday we spent a sunny, Sunday afternoon playing outside in springtime weather. Ice one week and sunshine the next. It really is strange, but how can you complain? You just soak it in and enjoy, because we have a forecast for thunderstorms tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Snow + Paula Deen = Happiness

Ahhhhhh......snow. I have really had enough of it, but we were blessed with some more of the white stuff this morning. At least it wasn't ice. So, the chiclets and I had another day off together and we loaded up and made a massive trip to the grocery. Now, I was thinking.....middle of the week......who could possibly be shopping at Kroger? BWAHAHAHAHA! Wednesday, as I learned, is Senior Citizen Day at Kroger. I love me a good grannie just as much as the next woman, but holy smoke that place was hoppin'. After perusing the aisles, and saying, "excuse me", fifty gazillion times, we finally had our load and drove home.

After arriving home, I decided to make a little dessert. Paula Deen's Banana Pudding recipe struck me as appropriate for my group because she affectionately calls this recipe, "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding.

Let's get started, shall we? You will need:

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies

4-6 bananas, sliced

2 cups milk

1 5-ounce box instant French Vanilla Pudding (or use 1 3.5 ounce box and 1/2 of another)

8 ounces cream cheese, very soft

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

12 ounces Cool Whip, thawed

Place one bag of cookies in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. It is imperative that you do as I do and snatch the cookies off the shelf that still have Christmas decorations imprinted on them. Arrange artfully, making sure some of the cookies are upside down.

Slice the bananas and arrange them on top of the cookies.

Next, mix the pudding and milk. Blend in the cream cheese, cool whip and condensed milk. Mix this until very smooth and pour on top of the banana layer.

Place the second bag of cookies on top of the pudding.

Refrigerate for five minutes before your daughter begs for a bite. She gave this recipe a thumbs up. I do too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Annual Bloggers Poetry Reading

Willow says that today is the Annual Bloggers Poetry Reading day. I think this is much better than the groundhog seeing his shadow this morning. This has been one of my favorites since childhood.

Because I could not stop for Death

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played
At wrestling in a ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 't is centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)