Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Randomness from the Creek


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Hi, y’all!  It just occurred to me that it has been about two weeks since I last posted, so I figured I better get typing.

Our family stayed busy last week with a dance recital (Lucy), a birthday (the Tool Man), and braces (Ty.)  I hope to share some pictures of these events soon. 

This week has been full of activity too.  Business meetings, hair appointments, school, birthday parties…  I’m also planning to take the monkeys to the Biedenharn Museum for their annual photo shoot, weather permitting.  It’ll be Tacy Mae’s first time over there, so it ought to be an exhausting interesting day.  Not to mention I’ll have an extra kiddo too – Cousin Caroline – who is only 4 months older than Tacy.  Thankfully, my mom will be helping me corral kids.  Still, I expect plenty of shenanigans.

I’ve been working on my baking skills too.  There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh bread in the oven, don’t ya think?  Last night we enjoyed hot Buttery Sourdough Buns, and this morning I prepared a batch of fluffy Sourdough Waffles.  Yummo!

Perhaps the best thing happening around here is the change of seasons.  Spring is finally here!  Woo hoo!  It’s definitely my favorite time of year with the longer days and the warmer temps.  (Not to mention the fact that I can kick the monkeys outside for the better part of the day.)  Yesterday I actually noticed the first buds on my rose bushes!  I’m hoping that the freezing temperatures are all behind us now.  This is the South, doggone it!  Enough of the cold!

The Tool Man took advantage of the beautiful weather last week by doing some dirt work in our yard, chopping down “trash” trees, and planting some beautiful Leland Cypress trees.  Now we have our sights set on breaking ground in the garden.  I can’t wait to pick those first veggies!

Our hens are enjoying the changing seasons too, roaming around the yard foraging for bugs and grubs.  Thanks to some artificial light, they have faithfully supplied us with an abundance of eggs all winter.  At one point I had over 75 eggs in my refrigerator!  We usually collect about a dozen eggs every day from our 15 hens. 

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Recently we started letting the ladies free range in our yard.  Hey, as long as they stay out of my garage, I don’t care where the chickens spend their time.  The only problem with their free ranging is that they don’t always lay in the coop.  In fact, I pulled 10 eggs out of the dog’s house yesterday.  I wonder in what other secret places they’ve been laying.  Hmm…

I always feel so “farmer-ish” when I go out to collect the eggs - like I should be wearing an apron and humming “Old McDonald.”  Here my little helper assists me in gathering the precious treasures.

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For the most part, we have a good relationship with our chickens.  We love them and vice versa.

For the most part…

There’s an exception to every rule, right?

Meet Rusty the rooster.

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I snapped this picture of him while he was in mid crow.  When he crows it sounds just like he’s yelling, “Who just laid an egg?”  Lol.  (FYI: If you think dawn is the only time of day roosters crow, you’re wrong.  Rusty is vocal all day long.)

Rusty has gotten rather feisty lately.  Quite the little guard rooster is he.

That’s good if you’re a hen.

Not so good if you’re a chicken farmer.

Rusty will go out of his way to run you down.  I won’t collect eggs unless he’s at a safe distance.  The Tool Man is bit braver than me, and he’s got the scratches to prove it.  If Rusty doesn’t watch his step, he could be the focal point of our Easter BBQ.

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Next week promises to be full of excitement too.

I’m headed to Canton for a weekend of flea market fun!  Yippee!!  Can you tell I’m a little excited?  I’m hoping I’ll score some great finds – particularly for Lucy Lee’s room.  Poor thing!  She’s nearly five years old, and her sorry mama still hasn’t completed her room.  One day, baby, one day.

Well, that’s all for now.  Talk to y’all later.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sour Attitude

About three weeks ago I had a crazy idea.

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A really crazy idea.

I decided I needed something else to do in my “spare” time.

Like eat bread.

Fresh bread.

Homemade bread.

Sourdough bread!

For some time now, I’ve been curious about sourdough “starter.”  I’d seen it called for in recipes, but I had no idea what it was or where it came from or even what it looked like!

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Hmm… time for a little research.  Thanks to the wonder that is the internet, I educated myself on the ins and outs of making sourdough starter. Then, I plunged headlong into making a starter of my very own.  (See, I told you it was a crazy idea.)

I decided I wanted to do it the most basic way possible.

Flour + Water.

That was it.

I fed my magical mixture of goo more flour and water twice a day for the next three weeks, and finally…success!  I had grown my own culture of yeast.

Let the baking begin!

I chose to begin by baking a country-style sourdough round.

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With a dark, crispy crust on the outside…

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…and a moist, soft, chewy texture on the inside.

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What about the flavor?

Well, thanks to the slow, overnight fermentation, the taste was fabulously acidic.  Delightfully tangy, just like sourdough should be.

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Yum!  I can’t wait to try more recipes with my beloved starter.  I’m thinking I’ll make rolls next.

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P.S.  If any of my friends would like some starter, y’all know where to find me.  I’ve got plenty to share.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tacy Mae – 5 Months

Another month has come and gone.  Time to share pictures from Tacy Mae’s latest photo shoot.

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To say that Tacy Mae is a good baby would be an understatement.  I mean it.  She is good!  She only fusses if she’s in discomfort, whether that be from pain or hunger – usually hunger.  She’s terrific during church.  And when it comes to sleep habits, Tacy’s a dream.  (Pun intended.)  When it’s nap time I lay her down in her crib and she goes to sleep.  Yes, that simple.  And every night she sleeps at least 10 hours, usually from 10 pm until 8 am.  Thank you, Lord!

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It’s getting a bit trickier to take Tacy’s picture each month.  She’s about to outgrow the blanket I’ve been using to lay her on.

Come to think of it, it’s getting trickier to do a lot of things with Tacy, thanks to her ever-improving ability to reach and grab.  She tries to get her hands (and mouth) on anything that’s in front of her… a hot cup of coffee, a napkin, an iPhone, a computer mouse, a bite of chicken (more on the chicken later).  I took advantage of this and introduced her to baby rice cakes a couple of weeks ago.  She’s seems to like them and is doing quite well gnawing the cakes and making a general mess of things.

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Rat on the run!  Coco had to come check things out.

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Tacy has just started noticing our little chihuahua.  She’s gotten a handful of Coco’s fur and one of her ears a time or two.  Thankfully Coco doesn’t seem to mind Tacy’s loving.  She actually seems to like snuggling with the baby. 

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One new discovery Tacy made this month was her feet.  She’s even managed to get a toe in her mouth a couple of times, although she hasn’t quite mastered that trick.  Socks don’t stand a chance on Tacy’s feet.  She pulls them off almost as soon as you can get them on her.

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As far as Tacy’s hair goes, it’s finally beginning to lie down better this month.  Don’t get me wrong.  It still prefers to stand straight up, but at least it can be tamed with a brush and some baby lotion now.

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If you want to make Tacy mad, all you gotta do is lay her down on her tummy.  Tacy does not like tummy time!  Hey, if your belly was as big as her’s you probably wouldn’t like it either.  But she’s got to do it.  How else is she going to learn to crawl around and get into everything?

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When she’s older Tacy will probably hate me for this next picture, but I gotta show it to y’all anyway.  Have you ever seen so much adipose tissue in all your life?  Her rolls have rolls!  I love every squishy inch of it.

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Last but not least, it’s time for a picture with big sis.  Lucy insisted on wearing white too this month.

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Oh, Lucy.  You will be the one who sends me to the loony bin.  This girl is a hoot!  The things that come outta her mouth… I could write a book.  And “high maintenance” doesn’t even begin to describe her.

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Tacy’s so lucky.  No one has a sister who loves her more!

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Hey y’all.  Please excuse me while I’m doing a little housekeeping here.  I’m having some trouble uploading Tacy’s 5 month post.  I’ve got tons of cute pics to share with y’all, but I can’t get them to load up on Blogger.  Just trying to see if I can figure out the problem.  Hopefully I’ll get this worked out soon.