Archive for the ‘Food’ Category


Amy and Hildegard

My friend Amy is always doing fascinating things.  She is the one who took up Contra Dancing.  And before that it was Jumpology.  She has taught piano and is a violinist, but is now taking cello lessons.  And she got a trucker’s license in order to drive preschoolers in a school bus.  And she is a marathon runner too.  There is more.

But Amy’s latest endeavor is raising chickens.

She and her sons built the perfect stable safe house for them, better known as a chicken coop.  She then bought four beautiful egg laying chickens and she gave them old fashioned names:

  • Penelope
  • Gertrude (Gertie)
  • Esther, and
  • Henrietta

And they all laid beautiful delicious eggs.  But sadly, Henrietta passed away.   They said it was from an inherited disease.  Amy was distraught, but soon went out and purchased two more cluckers:

  • Esmerelda and
  • Hildegard (Hildegard is now her favorite chicken!  She runs to greet Amy and rides on her shoulder).

Unfortunately, Amy just discovered

that Hildegard and Esmerelda are EGG EATERS!

Oh no!

This is not good.

This is a very bad thing because it teaches all the other chickens to eat eggs too.

It is a nasty habit, egg eating, and very hard to break.  But Amy is determined.

What to do.  What to do.

Amy thinks this blog post may help others of you out there who are raising chickens who turn out to be egg eaters.  After assiduous research and concentrated efforts to watch, wait and trick the ladies, things seem to be paying off.

Try these remedies:

  1. Watch, wait and grab newly laid eggs of the “good girls” ASAP.
  2. Replace real eggs in the nesting box with golf balls.  The chicken ladies will peck the hard golf balls and this will make their beaks hurt.  This is breaking a habit with negative suggestion…. like pain.
  3. Replace real eggs with Mustard Eggs!  Ever hear of that one? To make a mustard egg you blow out a real egg so only the shell is left and then insert mustard.  Chickens HATE mustard and when they peck at such an egg the taste is awful.  More negative psychology.  It would cure me of eating eggs too!

Do you have an egg eater in your family besides of the human variety?

Have you successfully convinced your chickens to stop egg eating?

Please share your remedies.

We are in search of a cure.





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The “kids” were here last week and they washed my car!  It’s a pleasure now to see more than the wiper outline of the back window.  They Armor-alled the inside too.  Wow!

Bill and I went to a memorial event for a good friend who died Christmas morning.  This was no ordinary wake because it was a poker party for the men and a talk fest for the ladies.  Bud (our deceased friend) started the poker group 25 years ago and he absolutely loved the game. What better way to honor him?  And while the guys were playing poker downstairs, the ladies were having lunch upstairs.  We were all served lobster rolls in typical Maine tradition (also a favorite thing of Bud’s and served many times over the years).  And finally, it was Bud’s birthday!

If you love the color pink and if you loved Elvis, you will love the Pink Cadillac restaurant on the outskirts of Lexington, Virginia. That’s where we had dinner with friends on Sunday.   The food there is good hearty stuff, the staff are fun and friendly, and the place is “clean as a whistle.”


Bill at the Pink Cadillac

I ignored BigFoot today  and made an exciting solo trip to Walmart.  To some this may seem boring but…..

  • Even though I parked in a handicapped spot and staggered in, there were no electric carts on that side of the store.
  • I met a fella with a Walmart nametag and he fetched me a cart from the far side. My hero!
  • The little cart’s battery lasted through all my wanderings. Yahoo!
  • My friend Nikky, works there now and called out over the crowd, “HI DOROTHY!” and left me with warm feelings and great love for friends.
  • Checking out the checker actually came around and helped to unload the groceries onto the conveyor belt. Imagine?  It has nothing to do with the fact that I may look ancient and helpless of course.
  • On the way out I got a haircut in order to look young and independent again and Nikki hollered, “BYE DOROTHY!”
  • After unloading the last of the groceries into the car I was wondering if the electric cart battery would last long enough to get the apparatus back into the store and plugged in.  I turned to get back on it but the cart was gone!  I am still puzzling over that one.

Now how exciting can you get?

More excitement.  I have fallen for a television ad and ordered a foot machine that promises to heal everything within seconds.

I am also ordering a constant stream of vitamins and supplements that guarantee eternal youth and flexibility in all joints.

Are you selling any snake oil?  Lemme know.





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Last week the son came.

Then one of the three granddaughters arrived with Kota the dog.

Followed by the middle grandgirl.

And finally, the oldest who lives the farthest away.

It was her (Jessica’s) birthday!


A day and a night and a day.  Some left and returned and the son stayed.

What did we all do?

A whole lot of talking.

The girls made stir fry vegetables.

We ate out.

And there was  a whole lot of talking and catching up to do since “the kids” have all grown up.

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Nice View Here

It was 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit outside when I opened my eyes this morning. I was looking at the ceiling where we can immediately know the time and the temp all lit up like a starry sky above.  It was 6:00 AM and who needs to know the time and temp that early anyway?  In fact, knowing made me want to go back to sleep.

But I had to get up to put chicken in the crock pot.

I was thinking,

“How can I arise, dress in something warm and cozy,  and then head out to the kitchen with nary a sound?

“Should I just go back to sleep and forget the crock pot?”

“No, I answered.  You have to stay on plan.  So, it’s cold.  You will survive.”

Now I am aware it is colder elsewhere in the country.  And wetter.  And snowier.  Feeling sorry for myself and broadcasting that “woe is me” attitude is definitely self serving.

“Stay in bed, I thought, You are entitled to selfish self-serving pampering.”

“No, get up!”

“Get going.”

“Bill will love not having to cook dinner!”

“Just a little snooze huh?

This  internal struggle continued and jumped to other concerns about the cold temperatures.

Do the lights go out just because it’s cold?

Why then, do I have the urge to hoard water and bread and why am I wanting to stock up for a surprise power outage?

Lucky us!  There is no wetness in this part of Virginia.  Not even any humidity.  It’s just well, COLD!  My youngest grandgirl was supposed to be here yesterday but she was stranded in Charleston, South Carolina! They had 6 to 7 inches of snow that melted a little and then froze.  Bah Humbug!

The sun is up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  And by golly it looks warm out there.

Never mind the ceiling flashing 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit at 7:30 AM.

The chicken dish is in the crock pot and if you are interested, here’s the complicated recipe:




Ingredients:  Chicken, a can of black beans, and a jar of salsa.


Put however many pieces of chicken in the crock pot

Dump in a can of black beans and a jar of salsa.

Put on “Low” for about 8 or 9 hours and plan to serve over noodles or rice.

And go back to bed!

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Twin White Steeds


Equine News in the Neighborhood!  

On the bright side, rumor has it our neighbor will be renting his pasture to a horse (the owner will pay the rent of course)!  I had been missing daily stop-by visits with Rosa-the-mare (who sadly was lost due to some equine malady).  A new horsey neighbor will be a grand treat.

Two other horses at different homes developed abscessed feet.  I mean, each horse has one lame foot. They are both on antibiotics, have wrapped hooves, and both have cast off their wrappings and are healing nicely.

I can empathize….  me-of-the-gimpy-foot too.  It’s a neighborhood epidemic!

Bagging a Chicken!

Today I roasted a chicken that came bagged and fully seasoned.  Instructions were to cut a slit to allow for expansion and bake for 2 hours.

Talk about SIMPLE!  And the results were delicious.  I hate to admit that because the bag-less version is to rinse, pat dry, oil, season, and baste.  Maybe this bag thing is positive progress!

Tree Surgeon Mending

Our tree surgeon is also nicely recovering from having a tree fall on him some weeks ago.  Country living is fraught with unexpected danger.

He is the fellow our community hires to trim trees along our road and sometimes to remove trees entirely (those threatening to fall on homes, etc.).  He is always a wonder to watch traversing limbs at dizzying heights.  We are just happy he is on the mend.

New Life in Town

‘Tis a university town (Lexington, Virginia) and school is back!  Our downtown is alive and writhing again (I mean “thriving”).  The kids are back at Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University.  Why is it they look younger every year? And now the local restaurants are packed as families come in to help all the young’uns get settled.

Horrible Harvey

Sending thoughts to my Texas blogger friends who so eloquently describe their own experiences with the monster storm, Harvey.  I am so glad you are high and dry and thank you so much for your perspectives.

It has been an unendurable week for many in Texas but to see how millions are dealing with the aftermath is to understand the value of good neighbors, the ones who become heroes when they themselves least expect it.

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If you are weary of hearing about my bear visitors here in rural Virginia, I do understand.  I hope you are able to “grin and bear it.”

But I must recount the latest episode.  This time I was away from home with a friend.

We were out for lunch at a general store (and diner) in Natural Bridge Station, Virginia.  That is only a few miles from the actual Natural Bridge (an awesome sight indeed).

The Natural Bridge  is also now a Virginia State Park.

Anyway, we pulled into the driveway of the little general store and there he was – Bruno’s father! BIGBruno!

He was crossing the parking lot right in front of us.  And he went loping down an embankment to a little stream, and up the other side to cross the road into the woods.

Could I get out of othe car without fear of bodily harm?  No.

I was on the bear’s side!

Could I outrun the bear?  No.

Still having trouble hobbling around on a bad foot, but even if it was normal……. well, you get the picture.

Was I stupid enough to get out of the car (on BigBruno’s side) and slowly make my way to the diner entrance?


And so it was.  Lunch was a breathless affair recounting the story to the hostess.  She said they had been frying bacon all morning.  Well, no wonder BigBruno was enamoured of the place!

And on the wall was this frightening image!

It looked just like him.

I still don’t know if it was a photograph or a painting, but BigBruno loomed out of the canvas as big and wild and beautiful as I could ever conjure up in a dream/nightmare.

Lunch was delicious by the way.  A very informal setting with all natural all fresh salads and sans – everything to a bear’s liking!

Another adventure in Virginia country living.

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Friend Lunch

Dining in a Virginia Orchard

The bear came back today.  I was preparing lunch when there was Bruno having his own lunch in the “orchard.”  The orchard consists of two fruit trees that didn’t make it and one pear tree that may still be offering something edible.

Bruno is a teenager or young fella who is out on his own I think because we never see the Mama Bear.  Anyway, as I sat down for lunch I was imagining joining the kid and sharing a pear or two.

Fortunately, reason and abject fear stopped me from being mauled to death.

Shopping Delusions

I thought I finally purchased the perfect pair of jeans yesterday!

Some stores have mirrors that make things look great.  The illusion is usually fleeting. This store was like that.  Wow! I looked young and glamorous in that mirror.

And the jeans even felt good – the stretchy kind you know and high wasted like in the old days so they wouldn’t slip down below my belly button.  A bit long but I began hemming them as soon as I got home.

Well yes, they are comfy all right and I wore them all day today.  But some people (like me) don’t have the right body image for jeans.  Mine always seem rumpled and a bit too baggy (my body as well as the jeans).  Obviously, jeans should emphasize curves shouldn’t they?

Having a flat butt doesn’t help I guess.  I mean you have to have curves to emphasize them.

Yesterday’s Outing

Yesterday was a big shopping day and lunch out with my friend, Norma.  We do something exciting like that once a month.   A lot of talking goes on (stored up for four weeks).

As for shopping, I am almost overwhelmed in those big malls with so many choices. Living in small town rural Virginia you get used to limited buying opportunities.  This time my friend and I added “The Cheese Shop” in Stuart’s Draft, Virginia, for spices and nuts, dried fruits and homemade jams and jellies, and cheese of course.

We had lunch at a Thai restaurant but I missed Bruno. 

And on the way home we stopped for a frozen yogurt dessert.  It was a cool ending to a lovely day.


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