Love at first sight…

Do you believe in such a thing?

Well, let me tell you about today.  We picked up Ande from school and she asked us if we could stop by the animal shelter on the way home so she could show daddy some puppies that we looked at the other day.  Dad agreed; Mistake #1.

We went and looked at the kittens and rabbits and daddy remarked how we needed a kitty cat around the farm.  The only bad thing about cats for me is that I am allergic to some of them for whatever reason, but anyway.  So, then onto the dog room; Mistake #2. Ande ran to look at the little pups we saw the other day, which look much like a Golden Retriever/Lab/Pyrenees mix and they’re absolutely ADORABLE.  We talked to the dogs on that side of the run when we rounded the corner.  Jason (daddy) said, “My Lord, what is THAT?”; Mistake #3, ’cause it made me look.

Well, standing no more than 7 inches from the floor was the biggest set of eyes I had ever seen in my life; and I do mean big, bulging eyes.  I think I knocked Jason out of the way, squealing, “OH MY GOD!!!” I couldn’t even speak.  There sat the cutest/ugliest dog I had ever seen in my entire LIFE; and I just knew that we weren’t leaving that shelter without adopting that dog.  Jason kept asking, “What IS that? It looks like an alien!” Well, I was too busy blubbering over it since now, 30 seconds later I was cradling the tiny thing in my arms, and it was covering my chin in puppy kisses.

Turns out, our little ‘alien-dog’ is a Brussels Griffon/Petit Brabecon (sp?) mix if not purebred.  If you have never seen one, you are in for a treat. They have a Pug-like face with less wrinkles and a tiny nose that is shoved back into their face with these funny, long legs and adorable floppy sort of ears.  Anyway, after playing with her for several minutes, we signed some papers and we’ll go and pick her up after her spay in a couple of days.  I am estimating that Francesca (oh yes, i had her named in 30 seconds, no lie) is about 5-6 months old as she has most of her adult teeth. Anyway, I will be sure to post pics of her when we get some.

The thing is; I can’t understand why in the world no one would come looking for this kind of dog.  They’re pretty hard to come by!  Then again, you never know about people anyway.  You’d think that a shelter would be the first place people would look for their pet, and it’s been a week today that she has been there.  Well, I’m really looking forward to Thursday.  Funny, Jason and I were just talking about dogs this morning; about the holes that my Mastiff has dug around our house (we have 15 acres, yet he is compelled to dig right beside my foundation), and about how sad it is that some people don’t take very good care of their dogs.

You can be assured that Francesca will be attached at my hip from here on out.  I was just joking about the “mistakes”; I don’t really believe in mistakes, anyway!  I think that there was a reason we went into that shelter today, and saving Francesca was it.  True, no one NEEDS another dog, but maybe Francesca needed us.

Looking forward to Thursday!

BTW, there are some of the cutest little dogs at the Klein Animal Shelter, Jacksonville, TX. Including those little pups I was telling you about, a little SUPER CUTE Rottie mix pup, an adult Brindle Great Dane mix that wants to lay on you, and the most gorgeous Doberman.  Well, the Dobie needs some good food in his tummy, but he is HUGE and will fill out really well and seems to be quite sociable.  Just FYI…

The Chicken Shack

Well, so we’ve been working on our chicken coop for the last two days. I’m trying to make it as predator-proof as I can…I’m trying to bury wire, use concrete blocks and bricks and hardware cloth to keep little buggers out. Hopefully it will be the Fort Knox of the chicken world!

This was a chicken coop at one time, but went into a major state of disrepair. It was covered on top with wire, and the weight of about a million pine needles caused it to collapse in on itself. Plus it didn’t help that the 4×4 posts were untreated and rotted at the ground!. anyway, we had to rip out all of the old chicken wire (I fell about a zillion times all over myself) and then I started reinforcing all of the exterior walls against critters that would love to munch on my future chickens.

I’m sure I made a sight of myself, with my old crappy 7 year old Old Navy sweatshirt, a hot pink doorag, and covered in dirt up to my elbows when I went back into town for something, lol. Oh well!

So yesterday, in the same garb described as above, with the exception that I had on a ‘safety orange’ doorag, we went down to Maydelle, TX and had lunch at a place called Big Bertha’s. If you have never gone, you are in for a treat! Yesterday, we had the all-u-can-eat catfish platter. Comes with homemade hushpuppies, homemade slaw, pintos, tartar sauce. The platter itself is a whole mess of cornmeal crusted, perfectly salty catfish and a huge wad of fries. Let me put it this way; when she sat the platters in front of us, there was so much food on it, my husband just said (out loud), “Oh my God.”. Now THAT’S a lot of food! And let me tell you this, too. The other day we went down there and I got a chicken fried steak. Now, there’s nothing I hate more than one of those crappy chicken fried steak McNugget patties that came from Ben E. Keith or wherever. Our waitress assured me that Bertha (well, I’m assuming that’s who’s doing the cooking) hand breads them herself right then and there. Let me tell you, it was excellent! A REAL honest-to-God tenderized round steak with a perfectly crispy coating, just the way that God intended a CFS to be. It was slathered in cream gravy and I got french fries to go with that. Also, the coffee is free and hot. (you can make a donation in the Coffee Kitty if you so choose) Big Bertha’s is right at the intersection of Farm to Market 2138 and Highway 84 in the heart of Maydelle. Right next door is the Maydelle Store and Ol’ Tom’s Bar-B-Que shack which is also EXCELLENT, and I am picky about the quality of my food. Tom makes briskets, burgers, sausages and perfectly smoked boudin, and the best doggone BBQ tater I have ever had the pleasure of stuffing down my throat. Unfortunately, the taters are only available on Saturdays. Ol’ Tom’s is located in a tiny portable log cabin-like building right next to the Maydelle Store. If you’re like me and you like to ride around the countryside, stop on in for lunch sometime. While you’re at it, take a peek into the Maydelle store and you’ll see a true General store. They have everything from knives to fishing poles to baking powder. I do mean one of EVERYTHING. The only bad thing is that the ‘regulars’ smoke in the store, which I’m allergic to, but I still like to run down there and buy stuff.

Well, there’s my report for today. At least we’re having some decent, though very windy, weather today. Highs in the 70s, although will be disappearing tomorrow!

Saying Goodbye

I found out today that my best friend’s dad passed away.  It was completely unexpected and sudden.  He was a wonderful person, and will be deeply missed. I guess all I really have to say is please remember to tell those you care about how much you love them because you just never know what tomorrow brings.

Fireplace Beans

So I said I’ve been reading Mother Earth News…there’s an article about ‘hearth cooking’ this month.  Essentially, that would be cooking in/beside your very own fireplace.  Apparently it sounded so good to my husband that he got his new 12″ Dutch oven and made a huge pot of beans and sausage.  I have to admit; the end result is AWESOME!  He first started out by putting the DO (dutch oven) on the very lip of the fireplace and pulling up some red hot coals to the side, stirring and turning occasionally.  Then we left for lunch and by then there was nothing left of the fire but hot embers and coals, so we put the DO directly on the firedogs/andirons/whatever they’re called, and that finished it up.

Talk about excellent!  And we didn’t even have to use the propane :0) Plus the wood was free!  I took some photos and I’ll upload them later.  I had never thought about cooking anything in the fireplace other than weinies and marshmallows, but I don’t really know why.  Now my DH has been examining the fireplace, seeing how he could weld in some swinging arms for pots and the like, lol. 

Pintos and Feral hog sausage
Pintos and Feral hog sausage











Well, here’s to new experiences.

We have arrived…

Well, two months ago, we finally did it.  We were able to move from suburbia to the country, the sticks, the boondocks.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier.  There is room to breathe and to grow!  Imagine that.  I was becoming increasingly paranoid living ‘in town’, especially after we had about $2,000 worth of OUR STUFF stolen from our house.

I don’t have to worry about people eyeballing MY STUFF or neighbors who drop in every time I was in my front yard. (sigh)  Not that I mind company, but you know, for someone who gardens, it can get pretty irritating to have someone want to chitchat every single time I was out in my yard!  I even started gardening after sundown, lol.  I actually drug a worklamp out in my front yard and planted herbs. 

Anyway, I don’t have to worry about that anymore! 

I have been rabidly reading Countryside, Mother Earth News, and the Farmer’s Almanac.  Oh yes, and Backyard Poultry.  I’m really nuts about birds. Seriously.  As a matter of fact, I….er, I mean SANTA, ordered about 20 Silkie chicks today and they should be here on the 23rd of this month.  I’m so pumped!  Last time I had my chickens, it was about 7 years ago.  These will be strictly for pets and eggs, but come spring, I’m going all out with some dual purpose breed; possibly Plymouth Rocks or something of the sort.  Yes, this will mean eggs AND meat.  I’ll have to write about that after we do our first ‘butchering day’.  I have to admit that I am not looking forward to that; however, I also cannot have 15 something roosters running around, and after all, I DO eat chicken.  I’d rather know exactly what my chicken has been eating and what its life has been like. 

Well, that will have to be almost it for tonight.  I’m terribly cold here in the sunken room…you know, there ain’t no cold like ‘country cold’.  It gets a lot colder out here with no houses to act as insulating windbreaks.  Also, we have a heat pump rather than a furnace, so it does run cooler, esp. tonight when the weather is below freezing.  Blech!!!  I’ve got on 2 shirts, my longjohns and pants and 2 pairs of socks, lol.  Thank you GOD that we have a fireplace out here!


Here’s a new photo I snapped a couple of days ago.  Ever heard the saying, “Red skies at morning, sailors take warning”?  Well, this particular morning, our entire bedroom looked pink and I ran outside to snap a photo, and this is what I got.  I’m kindof a weather buff/nerd.  So, this was taken Monday morning, I believe.  That night a squall line blew through and temps went from the 60s to the 30s.  Today it has sleeted and snowed and has not broke 40 degrees.  Anyway, there must be something to that old adage.