Chick Date

chick dateJan asked me on a date today.

He said he would pick me up as soon as he got home from work and then we would drive through the beautiful countryside on an adventure to pick up the week old baby chicks he bought from a guy on the Swap.

I like dates. I like baby chicks. I like drives through the beautiful countryside with my husband. So of course I said yes.

We took off in the Geo (the little tin can on wheels that Jan drives) across miles and miles of gravel roads.

And all those gravel roads were covered with new gravel.

Trust me when I say that driving on new gravel in the tin can car is not an enjoyable experience.

But we finally arrived at the farm of the nice older man who was selling the chicks.  This fella was quite the character and entertained us for at least 15 minutes with stories punctuated with “dadgum” and “cotton picking” before he produced the chickens from somewhere inside the house.

We pronounced them perfect and paid him.

Then he continued, without a breath, for another twenty minutes with more “dadgum” and “cotton picking” stories.

We finally pulled ourselves away and took our box of chicks to the car.

I climbed in first and Jan handed me the box saying, “You better hold them.”

So I did.

Off we go, in the Geo, down the gravel road covered with new gravel, with a box of week old chicks in my lap.

Did I mention the fact the Geo makes makes strange and wondrous noises – especially when it is bouncing along on new gravel?

All these noises and wild bouncing frightens the little chicks. Do you know what little chicks do when they are frightened? I immediately wished for a thicker box as that tiny car started to smell very ripe.

I, of course, got a nose full and was praying for deliverance when my husband announces, “I think the guy we get our honey from lives down this road.” And he turns down a gravel road in the opposite direction.

The bumpy turn on new gravel really sets the little chicks off and they attempt to fly out of the box on my lap.

So now we are taking the long way home, in the Geo, on gravel roads with new gravel, while I’m holding a box of week old chicks who are pooping up a storm and trying to fly in my face.

It was a long, smelly ride.

It is safe to say that I did not enjoy the beautiful countryside, nor could I enjoy the lovely fragrance of the wild plum blossoms that lined the ditches on both sides of the road.

At least he came through with the adventure part.

Trust me when I say that I plan to be the only chick on our next date. :)

The Gentle Art of Persuasion

786px-All's_well_that_inks_wellBuddy’s writing assignment last week was to write a persuasive letter.

Which he did.

In style.

I have given this same writing assignment to all of his siblings, but no one has ever turned in an assignment quite like this one.

I laughed out loud when I read it and thought you might enjoy it, too.

Here it goes…

 

Dearest Angel Girl,

As you are undoubtedly aware, the eponymous movie Cinderella has a showtime this weekend in the local Princess Theater. I have reason to believe that you are formulating plans to go and see said “flick” and I am writing this letter to try to persuade your persona to allow me to venture with you.

Now, we have gone to movies before and you’ve realized that I am a very fun person. It would be a grand time, two siblings, making a night out of it.

You might say that I am an annoying person, to which I offer no counter, but even so, said ability to perturb is occasionally a method of great enjoyment. It would not be fair to judge me on that alone.

Of course, if we went together, it would be a great time for sibling bonding. I might also be persuaded to buy part of your ticket. It could be of monetary gain for you to let me come with you.

All in all, I hope that I’ve managed to peruse your curiosity in order for you to allow me to venture along with you.

Your affable brother,

Buddy

 

He got an A on the assignment.

And a ride to the movies.

Never underestimate the power of persuasion!

Photo credit to Chris Wightman

First of the Garden Produce

Would you believe that we had fresh kale and lettuce from the garden already?!

That’s right – on March 31 – which is officially the earliest we have ever eaten from the garden – we had our first salad.

lettuceI was going to publish this yesterday – but then I realized that some of you might think it was a hoax because of April Fool’s Day.

But believe me- this is no joke.

So how did we get to a harvest so quickly when this is the time most people are just getting things planted?

Remember back last fall when I happened to mention in a post that Buddy and I transplanted some late cabbage, broccoli, kale and lettuce into a thrown together cold frame of cement blocks and old windows?

broccoliWe had hoped to harvest fresh veggies into the winter – but that didn’t work so well. Everything stopped growing, some even looked dead, so I called the experiment a mistake and forgot about it.

But then the weather warmed up this spring and some of those plants perked right up and started to grow!

it was a miracle!

cabbage

And now, for the first time ever – instead of playing catch up with my Amish neighbors –  I’m ahead of them!

Never mind that I had to start last October and it was kind of an accident.

Hey – I win is a win!

And fresh veggies the last day of March is most definitively a win!

Spaghetti Squash Pie

spaghetti squash pieWould you believe we still have spaghetti squash from last year’s garden? I’m amazed at how well and how long they have kept!

We’re eating it at least once a week – using it to replace pasta, or as a yummy side, and sometimes as a main dish.

Speaking of main dishes – this is one of our favorites! I used my spaghetti pie recipe to create it and served it to rave reviews.

It’s easy to make ahead and refrigerate. I’ve even made it in the crock pot (just heat on high for about 4 hours or low for 6.)

Spaghetti Squash Pie

spaghetti squash (3-4 cups of cooked squash)
1/4 cup butter
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Greek or Italian spice mix
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 pound Italian sausage
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Cook spaghetti squash until soft. (Click here for my tutorial.)

Use a fork to “string” it into the noodles.

Melt butter in a pan with the chopped garlic clove. Add cream cheese, Parmesan and spice mix.

Pour over spaghetti squash. Use a fork to gently toss together. Set aside.

Brown sausage and drain. Add spaghetti sauce.

Place spaghetti squash mixture in the bottom of a greased 11 x 7 inch pan.

Cover with the cottage cheese followed by the spaghetti sauce and sausage mixture.

Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Serve hot and bubbly to an appreciative family!

All of the amounts are flexible. Use more spaghetti sauce if you want it saucier. Add more cheese.  Use more or less spaghetti squash. Try hamburger instead of sausage. Add mushrooms or peppers. This recipe is versatile enough to make it your own!

Enjoy!

Bubble Head

11081379_809259099167815_1237937052_nIt’s always a good idea to use your head while cleaning.

Not that I do. Actually – I spend a great deal of time daydreaming and planning and talking and singing and don’t always pay attention to what I’m doing.

Like on Saturday.

I was almost done cleaning the bathroom when I saw a spot on the mirror. I had a towel in my hand so I just reached over to wipe it off.

And when I reached over to wipe it off, the other end of the towel just happened to brush the top of the sink and knock over my ceramic soap dispenser.

Which just happened to crash to the tile floor and break.

Which spilled hand soap everywhere.

I had just filled it.

Oops.

Did I start thinking then? No. Of course not. I immediately took the large super fluffy bath towel in my hand and started to mop up the soap.

It wasn’t until I put the towel in the sink to rinse it that I realized my mistake. An entire soap dispenser full of soap makes a lot of bubbles.

A LOT of bubbles.

So many bubbles it took me 45 minutes of rinsing and squeezing to finally feel safe enough to put it in the washing machine. (That Brady Bunch episode when Bobby puts all the soap in washing machine and the bubbles flooded the room made a huge impression!)

The funny thing is – this is not the first time I’ve broken a ceramic soap dispenser.  I replaced our plastic ones with ceramic a few years ago thinking the kids were old enough now to not break them.

They are – but I’m not. I’ve broken every single one.

And all while cleaning.

The score stands- kids: 0, mom: 9.

Jan’s comment? “Plastic works well. ”

And so it does. Which is a good thing – because sometimes this momma is a bubble head!