Who Needs Lasagna

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Here’s the art of the “quickie” pizza pie!    Instead of hand tossing a crust (Martha Stewart needs to die), I cracked open a can of Pillsbury Pizza Crust Dough and pressed it into a greased 11×14 baking sheet.  Set the oven on 400.  Get ‘er good and hot.

Next I went to my cold bin of misfit food:  leftovers that had almost been forgotten.  There, I found a few mini wheels of salami, some diced pepperoni, BACON BITS, and a little sliced ham to create a meat-lover’s pizza.

Luckily I had a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese and a container of orphaned Eye-talian cheeses.  There was a basil plant on my window sill that needed a trim.  Grabbing a 14.5 oz. can of tomato sauce from the shelf and a pot to throw it in, I fired up a burner to reduce and thicken the sauce while the crust was baked naked for 8 minutes…just like the package says. Ok, I added the naked part.

To the simmering sauce I added some garlic, onion flakes, red pepper flakes, and 2 tsp. of Italian seasoning.  Stirred that till the oven buzzer rang.  Grabbed the half baked crust out of the oven and went into assembly mode.  Crust, sauce, cheeses, meats.  Badda Boom, Badda Bing.

Popped the whole thing back in the oven for 8 more minutes to melt the cheeses, heat the meat, and fill the house with bacony pizza goodness smells. The whole process was 16 minutes.  Who needs lasagna?  This pizza was gone in 60 seconds.

The very best part about making this pizza was when I looked out the kitchen window and saw my sweet hens digging up worms in the backyard!

 

 

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

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I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;

And live alone in the bee-loud glade. 


And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

 

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

                                                                                  ~ W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939

     

I relate to this poet in that day or night, his mind is always on its way “home” to a quiet lake where he yearns to be.  Earlier today, Remi and I left civilization behind and braved the spring gusts to commune at  Walden’s Pond.  It is a four acre lake hidden on our farm.  There Remi dug holes until her white underbelly was camouflaged by dirt.  She splish-splashed her way along the frigid shore, hunting the plops that frogs make.

There I found a place to quiet my mind and marveled at the new life beginning to spring.  We found tiny buds sprouting on prickly bushes and delicate purple petals bursting past the marsh grasses up toward the sun.  Sadly, I found the remains of a yearling that did not survive the state record snowfall we suffered this year.  Even in death there is beauty in the woods  when considering that this deer, through flesh, blood and bone,  has given strength to other animals in the circle of life.

One day I will live the dream that is this poem, leaving behind schedules, conflicts, and scheduling conflicts! to live out my golden years in a bee-loud glade.  My canoe will rest on the bank and, under it, you’ll find my trusty fishing pole.

Here’s Your Sign

True Story:  Yesterday I was at my local Target Store buying a large bag of Purina dog food  and was in the checkout line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

Really…what did she think I had, an elephant?  So, since I was feeling especially mischievous, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again.  I added that I probably shouldn’t because I ended up in hospital last time, but I’d lost 10 pounds before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.  The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again.

I have to mention here that

practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.

Horrified, she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stepped off the curb to sniff an Irish Setter’s butt and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

I’m now banned from the Target Store.

Spring Chickens

Coco is a stylish girl who likes to keep her feathers dusted.  She went all spread eagle on me and it was kind of embarrassing to stand there with a camera in my hand.  It was a dirty job, but I got the shot.  Not one to be shy, she recruited Nutmeg to watch.

The day started out with an April shower this morning and all the layers were huddled by the pop hole, peeking out every now and again to gather up the courage to make a run for the barn’s overhang.  There they know we keep extra snacks for just such a rainy day.

By one o’clock this afternoon, the sun began to shine and dried up all the rain so the itsy bitsy chickens strutted out in search of tasty bugs and wiggly worms, their favorite snacks.

Nemo, Margo, Nugget, Parsley, and Chick Norris (the orange Buff Orpington) were scritch-scratching away until the sun got really hot and then they gathered up Bonnie, Copper and Petal for a lazy afternoon of sunbathing.  In between all this clucking, rolling, searching, and resting, they managed to lay six brown speckled eggs and three shiny white ones.  What good girls!

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t love listening to my hens trill, squawk, chirp, or cluck out an alarm.  They are very social and engaging.   It’s not all sunshine and lollipops though…  Like. Today.  Bonnie plucked a pearl earring right out of my ear!  She was on my lap, getting some extra lovin’ and (possessed) decided to reach up and grab it.  It was in her beak and as she was just about to throw her head back to swallow it down, I grabbed her throat with one hand and extracted it with the other.   The post could have really hurt her insides!  Silly Girl.

Just when I think I’ve seen everything (after 20 years of poultry experience) there is always one more surprise!

    

Holland Pastoral

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After 33 years of living in Michigan, I’m still finding surprises along her wind swept shores.  On the west side of the state, situated on Lake Michigan, Holland has gritty sand dunes, world class, pure sand beaches, and a thriving downtown filled with eateries, specialty shops, and culture.  She also sports a working light house affectionately called, “Big Red.”

The city was founded by Norwegians in the 1800′s and thousands of  townspeople celebrate its heritage each year by dancing down main street in wooden shoes and Dutch costumes during its annual Tulip Festival each May as the beer taps flow.  There are specialty shops selling everything from chocolates to 18 year balsamic vinegar and infused oils, to art galleries, to fantastic clothing stores and kite shops.

When asked to name a peninsula state, most people reply, “Florida”.  They don’t realize that The Mitten State is actually two peninsulas bordered by three Great Lakes (Michigan, Huron and Superior).   We are keepers of the light houses dotted along our rocky shorelines and we have the longest suspension bridge in the world, The Mackinac Bridge, connecting the upper and lower peninsulas.

There are thousands of inland lakes and rushing waterfalls like the iron colored Tahquamenon Falls near Paradise, MI.   Along with Paradise, you can go to Hell, MI and follow that up by a stop at Climax, Christmas, or Turkeyville.  But I digress…

 

Holland happened to be my stopping point this weekend.  During my stay, the highs were in the mid 50′s and the lows were in the mid 30′s.  Did I mention that it was storming and gale-force windy too?   My Hen House and I had the entire campgroud to ourselves as Remi and I roasted our first s’mores of the season.  Sometimes taking the road less traveled, volunteering for tough weather conditions, and hitting the sights during the off season yields a picture taker some unique skies and boundless possibilities.

To Hell With Confucious

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1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL  DONE.
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside.  I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My father taught me LOGIC.
“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”
7. My father taught me IRONY.
“Keep it up, and I’ll really give you something to cry about.”

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9.. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
“This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it.”

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times.  Don’t exaggerate!”

13. My father taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out…”

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
“Stop acting like your father!”

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who love to have the wonderful parents like you do.”

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
“Just wait until your father gets home.”

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
“You ARE going to get it when you get home!”

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

19. My mother taught me ESP.
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. My father taught me HUMOR.
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
“Shut that door behind you.  Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

25. My father taught me about JUSTICE .

“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”

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