aggressive bird!
March 31, 2010, 5:18 pm
Filed under: chickens, liz

Poor Liz. She can’t lay eggs. She gets picked on by the other chickens. She doesn’t like to get her feet wet. She has the largest feet of all the chickens. While she is beautiful, she has many issues. Interestingly, while she’s on the bottom of the chicken pecking order, that hasn’t stopped her from being the MOST aggressive chicken to non-chickens. She will harass the goats–up in their business feather fluffed, even getting a good peck in. Poor Sydney takes the brunt of her attacks. She doesn’t counter attack the chicken, but looks baleful and moves away to let Liz take her dinner. Sigh.

Today I noticed another funny Liz maneuver. The chickens were out lawn hunting. Having a good time. A robin was also out nearby and I noticed that they all seemed to be focused on their own business. But then all of a sudden Liz takes a big flapping run after the robin. The robin is surprised and runs a bit and then flaps up–just barely escaping. What is with that? Would the chicken have really attacked the robin? Eaten the robin? Weird. I’ll have to google that.


boo bayer. boo epa. bees in decline thanks to you.
March 25, 2010, 12:08 pm
Filed under: bees, food issues | Tags: , , ,

Sigh. A depressing story hit my feed of yahoo news today. Bees in more trouble than ever.

One study found about three out of five pollen and wax samples from 23 states had at least one systemic pesticide — a chemical designed to spread throughout all parts of a plant.

Bayer got approval for a new pesticide in 2006, even though it had to wear a warning label on it saying it’s potentially toxic to honey bee larvae through residues in pollen and nectar. And surprise–it’s TOXIC!!! What is wrong with these people??! It’s been pulled off the shelf, but just another sign of corporate greed and a faulty review system.

Added to the range of other problems affecting bees these days, it’s a very sad time.

chana masala
March 24, 2010, 10:45 am
Filed under: beans, recipe

Things got a bit crazy here in the past couple of weeks. Came back from a stressful work trip to DC, got sick for a few days and then had company. Our friend from Japan in for a visit. We always like to see him. And now that the snow had melted, it also seemed a good time to have mom and dad come down. Finally, an old friend happened by the burgh and she was able to come out with her dog for dinner. That for us, was a part-ay. We decided to do it Indian style.

I made saag paneer, and (gasp!) defrosted some of the red lentil cauliflower curry. Then I made some chana masala. Tried a new recipe. It was pretty good. And if that wasn’t enough–we didn’t time to pick up any bread so i googled easy naan and found a recipe to try. It was ok. Need some work on that recipe. But you know, it was pretty good, and it WAS easy.

I usually make a Chana Curry in a Hurry recipe, but this time wanted to try something new. A variation of this recipe by Smitten Kitchen fit the bill. It had a richer taste than my usual, more depth of spiciness. People seemed to like it. I’d make it again.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
tiny shake of ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
2/3 cup water
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced

Fry up the onion in oil in a big pot. Add in garlic and ginger for minute, then the spices. Add in rest and simmer for bit. Add the lemon juice at the end.

cool financial tool–bundle
March 23, 2010, 6:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Surprise, I’m working out a budget on quicken. It’s pretty painless really–auto downloads of acct. information, then you can categorize things, and ultimately make up charts and graphs that show where your money went.

So where did it go?? Hmm. Well according to my calculations we spend 67.50 a month on petsitting! Impossible? No, it’s true. We spent 810.00 on our lovely pet sitter over the past year. A bargain really. But it works out to 67.50 a month. Sheesh. That’s harsh. Oh and I didn’t tabulate her Christmas tip in that so I guess it’s actually 75.00 a month!

And then there’s the other question. How much is that goat and chicken food costing us? 49.00 a month. Shocking really. You shouldn’t really look at these numbers too closely. Heart palpitations might ensure. Of course any expense looks frightening if you amortize it. Like when our vet came out to inspect the little goaties. One visit, long chit chat. Interesting, and we learned a lot but that’s 11.00 a month. Yikes.

Anyhow the next step was to get curious about how our spending compares with national averages. How nuts are we, exactly?

Well, lo and behold, there’s a site for that. I googled around and found bundle.com. Very cool tool. You can search by your age, household type and most importantly, geographic location, and then see average monthly totals. Cool!! Of course they didn’t have a realistic category that would include farmette expenses, so I was somewhat limited in my search for numbers.

Anyhow it also shows you where people are most likely to be buying things in that category from. It’s kind of creepy really. You wonder where all that computer debit/credit card info went. Well voila they’ve used it to create a pretty interesting snapshot of the nation’s spending habits.

March 22, 2010, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

The end run was tedious and nasty and we didn’t know too much about what was going on, but I’m sure glad you perservered President Obama and Speaker Pelosi. Thank you!

We’ll see what happens next, but I’m sure glad that you stuck it out. It was the right thing to do!

the smart goat
March 20, 2010, 12:17 am
Filed under: goats | Tags: ,

Ok, so it was easier to capture the escape artist on film than I thought. Check it out.

And take two.

Sigh. And here is Roppongi showing off her new skills. She’s so helpful-here’s how I do it she says. Watch and learn.

uh-oh, they’re smarter than we thought
March 18, 2010, 10:15 pm
Filed under: goats | Tags: ,

It all seemed to happen today. The goaties let their guard down and showed us that they’re not as dumb as they made us think. I thought they were pretty dumb bugs. Never seeming to figure out how to locate their grain bucket if it was the tiniest bit out of the sightline. Not being able to run around to another door when a closed door stood in their way. But today the ping pong showed us that she knows how to open the paddock gate! Sneaky thing. A couple of head butts and voila goats on the loose! She repeated it twice. And the doode watched her repeat it. Sigh. Guess we need to goat proof the place!