Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

Deck the WHOS!?

In Farm and Family, Pictures on December 8, 2010 at 12:21 am

Well, it’s that time of year again. Sigh, yep.  The time of year when people start singing about beating me up with  plants that have spiky leaves, and poisonous berries.  Why can’t we just stick to “God Rest Ye Merry Gentelmen” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” ?  You would think they could find a better subject to sing about, but alas! Oh, well. 🙂

This afternoon I went on a photo taking hike (as much of a hike as you can take on our property).  I walked back behind the row of wild Blackberry bushes and was crunching along through the tall grass, when I heard this big THUMP THUMP THUMP like something really big  jumping. I looked around and saw this big gray/brown thing with a white tail jumping off into the woods (that I was on my way to). The first thought through my head was “Kangaroo!”, because it had such a long tail, but then I realized, there haven’t been any kangaroo sightings in Missouri in decades, so I decided it must have been a deer.  I went on through the (very small) woods, and saw some squirrels, but they must have been Amish, because they didn’t want their pictures taken either (something about religious convictions).  I also found some very interesting trees.   Then I came to a place that reminded me of something from a story, like where Elves would live or something.  

And my favorite picture is a panorama, so it’s too big to upload here. 😦

I stayed here awhile and looked around. I wanted to take more pictures than I did, but the camera was already saying low batterie, and I wanted to get some bird pictures. 🙂  On I walk, getting back on the nature trail Claire has been mowing around the fence-line.  Boy! When I found birds, I found lots of them, but, if you’ve ever tried to take pictures of birds, you know they have very similar convictions about pictures as squirrels, so I didn’t get very many good pictures.

Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal

My FAVORITE picture of the birds


The Cardinal MOFS (Mothers Of Fledglings) group. The snack today; Hedge-apples.


I had a few little metal wreathes, and a little tree, that I couldn’t decide what to do with, so this evening I made some Christmas cards with them. 

 two finished products 🙂


And one I’m not quite satisfied with yet :\

While I was working on cards, Meg was busy making Kitty “Stay” in a small box for such a big dog. lol  

Our cats have been moved to the garage.  They started being naughty! One of them wet my bed, and earlier Whiskers was scratching the couch.  It’s been quite a trick keeping them in the garage though! Anytime you open the door, one or both of them bolt into the mud room!  I’m kind of sad about it, I was hoping we could keep them inside. I love having a cat in the house (if it is civilized lol). 

To end on a high note, Tim Hawkins, Do you hear what I hear? 

Well, that’s enough for tonight! I really must be off to bed!

Amy's Dutch Apple Pie

In Food, Short on December 5, 2010 at 9:47 pm
2 C ap flour
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C oats (quick or old fashioned)
1/2 t salt
3/4 C (stick and a half) butter, melted
4 C peeled, sliced apples (I like Granny Smiths)
1 T cornstarch
3/4 C white sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 C water
1/2 t vanilla

Combine first 5 ingredients and stir until blended. Measure 1 1/2 C of this mixture and set aside for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom and up sides of 9 in. pie plate. Arrange apple slices in plate and set aside.
Combine white sugar, cornstarch and salt (1/2 t) in saucepan. Whisk in water. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour hot mixture over apples. Crumble reserved topping over pie. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Then, cover with foil and bake 15 more minutes.

Note: I’m soooo glad I can wear my boots again! 🙂 lol

Why You Should Not Feel Guilty for Drinking Coffee, a persuasive speech

In Musings on December 2, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Once  upon  a  time, as legend has it,  in  Ethiopia,  there  lived  a  goatherd  named  Kaldi.   One day as Kaldi was tending his herd, he noticed that some of his goats had been eating some berries from a nearby bush.  A little while afterwards, the goats began to frolic around and were very energetic and excited.  That  night they did not want to go to sleep.  Kaldi decided to gather some of these strange berries and try them himself.  He boiled them and made a bitter, but energizing drink.  Word spread about Kaldi’s discovery, and people all over started making and drinking this amazing black concoction.  And then, once upon another time, in the 17th century, Kaldi’s black drink had made its way all the way up to Europe.  It quickly became a popular drink, but it had it’s enemies. With the arrival of this drink to Venice in about 1615, many clergymen condemned it.  Referring to it as the ‘devil’s brew’ or a ‘bitter invention of Satan,’ one group beseeched Pope Clemente the 7th to forbid its consumption by Christians.  The Pope decided not to pass judgment on it until he had tasted it for himself.  He found the drink so satisfying, it’s said, he was heard to exclaim, “This beverage is so good it would be a sin to let only unbelievers drink it!”  You may have guessed by now the drink I’ve been alluding to.  We  drink  it  hot,  cold,  blended,  Iced, Baked  and  frozen.  Coffee.

Despite such strong papal approval, coffee still gets a bad reputation,  but many experts say it should be the opposite.  Various studies have  found many benefits from regular coffee drinking, such as,  reduced risk of heart disease, type 2  diabetes,  stroke, Parkinson’s  disease, liver  cancer and many other ailments.

First, results of a study by University Medical Center of Utrecht examined data on coffee  consumption from 37,514 residents of The Netherlands who were followed for 13 years.   They found that those who drank between two and four cups of coffee a day had a twenty percent lower risk of heart disease than those drinking less than two cups a day.  Moderate Coffee intake  also slightly lowered the risk of death from heart disease.   The obvious protective effects may be  due to the antioxidants and other plant chemicals found in coffee, although it is unclear how they work.  There  is  also  evidence  that  moderate  coffee consumption  is  associated  with  a  decreased  risk  of  type   2  diabetes.    Still,  it’s  too early  to  make  specific  recommendations  on  coffee  and  tea  drinking  for  the  sake  of better  health. Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association noted the ongoing   controversy   over  the health  effects  of  daily  coffee  drinking.    “Here  is  another  study  that reaffirms  there  is  no  increased  risk  of  heart  disease  and  stroke,  and  in  fact,  when  drinking  coffee  in  moderation,  there  is  possibly  a  reduction  in  your  risk  of  heart  disease,” she  wrote  on behalf  of  the  AHA.  “Many people still have a lingering belief that coffee might be dangerous, because early studies suggested an increased risk of heart disease. said Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Some of those studies used self-reports from people after a heart attack, so there was a problem of “recall bias,” Hu noted. “Certainly, moderate consumption is not likely to cause harm in terms of cardiovascular health,” he concluded.

Next, in  an  article  Published  on  the  Mayo  Clinic’s  website  Donald  Hensrud,  M.D.  says  “Newer studies have  also  shown  that  coffee  may  have  benefits,  such  as  protecting  against  Parkinson’s  disease    and  liver  cancer.    It  has  a  high  content  of  antioxidants.  But  this  doesn’t  mean you  should  disregard  the  old  maxim  “Everything  in  moderation.”  Hensrud  goes  on  to  point  out that coffee  is  usually  paired  with  cream  and   sugar,   adding  calories  and  fat,  which  can  offset  the benefits,  but  for  most  people  the  health  benefits  outweigh  the  risks.

Also, The  American  Heart  Association  found  that  drinking  at  least  two  cups  of  coffee  a  day was  associated  with  lower  stroke  risk  among  nonsmoking  women  in  a  long-term  study.  “The  beneficial  effects  of  coffee  can  only  be  applied to healthy people,” said Esther Lopez-Garcia, Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain.

 And finally, more obscure  sources  such as WebMD   also hinted at lower risks of  Parkinson’s  disease,  type  2  diabetes,  liver disease and cancer, colon cancer, gallstones, prostate cancer,  breast cancer and uterine cancer among coffee drinkers.

When it comes to coffee, as it turns out, a few cups a day could help keep the doctor away when it comes to heart disease, type  2  diabetes,  stroke, Parkinson’s  disease, liver  cancer and many other ailments.

From goats in Ethiopia to Starbucks all over the world, Coffee has come a long way, and as it turns out, it’s actually pretty good for you.

My Leetle Freend

In Pictures, Short on December 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm

This is Whiskers.   Monday and Tuesday she sat in my lap all afternoon, purring and being very sweet, unless Hannah, Adam or one of the other kids came up and tried to pet her.  She’d let them pet her for a few minutes, and then she would get up and move to the other side of my lap, or meow at them. lol  We’ve decided she “picked me” (Meg said Kitty Dawg “picked her”, when she walked up and sat in her lap when we first went to look at pups). 

 She looks like she may be part Miniature Maine Coon (note the fluffy ear hair :).  She’s pretty small, but she’s had at least one litter of kittens.  Hopefully she will get the picture about the litter box soon so we can bring her and Clawed (formerly Shadow) inside the house (for now they are in the solarium, but that’s better than outside 🙂  The black cat is Clawed, Whiskers kitten.

Random: I LOVE CHORAL CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!!  See if this works 🙂

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