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!”

Killer Cucumber Dill Dip

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Making this at Easter time brings a burst of spring zest to cabbage tongues; tongues soured by a long winter’s fill of crock pot soups and stews.  Try it and you’ll be planting spring bulbs the next day.

Ingredients:

1 – 8 oz. light cream cheese, softened

1 cup Hellmann’s light mayo

2 medium cukes–peeled, seeded & chopped

3 tbl. sliced green onions

1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

3 tsp. snipped fresh dill or 3/4 tsp. dried dill weed

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions:

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and mayo until smooth.  Add rest of ingredients, cover and chill for one hour.  Serve with Wheat Thin crackers.

Next Day Converstion:

Fabulous with grilled chicken on flatbread, in pita bread, or rolled in a tortilla shell.

Detroit River Walleye

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Sure was nice to have a sharp Iron River Works knife when prepping these fish for the fry pan!

Woke up 4:45 a.m.  Picked up my son, Adam, across town.

Got fuel and drove to the “D”

Limited out by 8 a.m.

Smallest Walleye was 20″    Largest Walleye was 30″, 8 lbs.

          Several 6 pounders.

Adam got one bigger! His was a 30″ pig. Mine had spawned already.

 

We had one heck of a time this morning with Captain Ed of Medicine Man Charters.  Great guy.  Knew where the fish were hiding.

Once we had our limit, we were upgrading and tossing fish back.  We threw back more than we kept and I almost wept when having to toss back 20 to 26″ walleye.   We were vertical jigging and the fish were hot.  Great day on a beautiful Ranger Walleye Boat.  Thank you Captain Ed!

Make sure you look at the very last photo!

 

 

 

…later that day, after arriving home to bag our catch for the freezer…THIS HAPPENED!

They are good fighters!

 

 

 

Now you know “THE REST OF THE STORY!”

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