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Sunday, July 31, 2016

I help with editing.

I help with editing.

I can't believe today is the last day of July. In less than a month, Lauren will already be back to school, and my nice commute to work free of school related traffic will be over.

After I got up to take a break from editing photos, Mark caught Cookie  standing up on my desk chair. The funny thing is that once she gets up on a chair like this she can't figure out how to get down. She'll just stand there and whimper and whine until someone comes to get her.

When you have a pencil for everything.

And just for the record, here is the photo that Cookie and I were working on. Trying to get those back to school themes up for sale before it's too late!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Flowers for Friday.

Summer flowers.

It's Friday! This weekend I'm going to... lots of food that's bad for me like pizza and ice cream
...get my hair done lots of baseball in my sketchbook journal

Bare pawed in the grass.

Here's my little flower picking partner. She likes going bare-pawed in the grass.

Watching a bird.I

I had to keep shooing mosquitos away from her. If you look closely, you can see one feeding off of her ear.

Having a roll in the grass.

Looks like Cookie's plans for the weekend involve a whole lotta nothin'.

(Side note:  I fixed the settings so now I can post larger sized photos. So your eyes are not deceiving you - they are bigger!).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sometimes it's good to try new things.

Skillet quiche

For the last few weeks, it's been very hot and humid, which poses a challenge when trying to come up with a dinner menu that :

a.) Doesn't involve using the oven.
b.) Consists of something that all three of us will eat.
c.) Consists of something that all three of us will eat, and none of us ate that something for lunch that day.
d.) Consists of something that all three of us will eat that's not the same something that we had for dinner within the past three days.

Needless to say, the options are limited. Since we usually have an over abundance of eggs, quiche is a good way to use them up, but I haven't been able to make one because of the heat. So it occurred to me that there must be a way to make it on the stovetop.

And sure enough, skillet quiche is a thing!

In order to make this quiche, I had to overcome my fear of using our Lodge cast iron skillet. Many years ago, probably before we were even married, Mark's late Uncle John bestowed upon us a brand new Lodge cast iron skillet that he got for free by turning in UPC codes from his cigarette packs. At the time, I was committed to the non-stick wonder known as T-Fal, so the whole cast iron concept was foreign to me. Not to mention it was so heavy that I could barely hold the pan without getting an arm cramp. Somehow, the cast iron skillet survived a couple of moves as well as a few garage sales, and remained unused in our basement. It wasn't until last year when we were planning our Girl Scout troop camping trip that I decided to remove the Lodge label and cure it. It had accumulated a little bit of rust from sitting in a damp basement for years, but it wasn't anything that a Brillo pad couldn't handle. However as fate would have it, it rained the weekend that we went camping, so I didn't get to use it after all. Since then, it's been sitting in our basement packed away with our camping equipment.

So today I gave it a try-out, and I can say, hide no more Lodge cast iron skillet, for you have now earned a spot in among my other pots and pans!

Now I realize that my my quiche doesn't look anything like the one in the recipe. I used too much spinach (a whole package of frozen) and no bacon. I also should have used more eggs than the recipe specified. Our chickens' eggs are closer to medium sized, while I think most recipes expect you to use large or even extra large. I also felt that the hash browns could have used more seasoning, and they were a little soggy because I obsessively keeping the heat low so that the crust wouldn't burn.

Mini waffle iron.

I also decided that it was time to break out my new mini waffle iron that I got on clearance at Crate and Barrel a few months ago. It makes four inch waffles - so cute, and just as tasty as the ones that are as big as your plate.

Mini waffle.

Another lesson that I learned today is that I am not cut out to be a food blogger. I was literally sweating just trying to make sure that I didn't burn the waffles and the quiche, well enough trying stage these photos properly with fancy accessories!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chicken update.


People are always very curious when they find out that we have chickens. Often they ask if we bring our chickens inside when the temperatures get very low, but no one asks if they get to come inside and enjoy the air conditioning when we're having a heat wave. In fact, chickens are much more susceptible to heat than they are the cold, but thankfully our flock seems to be doing well as we head into our fourth week of temperatures in the nineties. 

Man's best friend?

Holly is the sweetest, most domesticated of the group. Cochins are naturally people chickens, so it's not surprising. If you walk away from her, she'll run after you.

That looks tasty!

Cookie is curious about the chickens, but she knows that she'll get a good peckin' if she gets up in their area. Mark always says that he's going to bring Holly in the house, so I can sit on the couch together with all of my white pets.

Cricket being all broody.

Up until recently, 3 out of 4 were laying eggs. That is until Cricket went broody again. She's more interested in hatching an egg than laying more eggs.

Move over!

Besides the lack of egg production, the other problem is that she never leaves the nesting box, making it a challenge for those that are laying eggs. So when nature calls, Holly or Ivy will just barge in and squash next to her. I guess it's kind of like four roommates sharing one bathroom.


Poppy hasn't laid in several months due to some unknown illness. It mustn't be anything life threatening because she seems fine other than looking anemic. Mark has treated her for both fungus and mites, and she's gained some of her weight back. She's also had to adjust to her two sisters being replaced with three new roommates. She's closest with Cricket, or at least she tolerates her the most. Occasionally she likes to boss Holly and Ivy around, just to remind them that she's still first in the pecking order.

Ivy free ranging with Poppy.

Speaking of Ivy, she's the feisty one of the bunch. She may not be first in the pecking order, but she's the noisiest and the hardest to get back into the coop.

A man and his chickens.

But she does love her owner the best, so she has that going for her!