1st snow proves that Henny & Penny are hardy lasses, indeed!

Posted in Urban Farming on October 11, 2009 by xxxicana

I was awakened Saturday morning to Tom’s loud exclamation, “Oh, F@#k . . . it snowed last night.”  Needless to say, Mister Man is not favorably disposed to the winter season.  Fortunately, it was just a light dusting.garden ball in snow

But, it did require some “farm” chores.   Henny and Penny weren’t too sure what was going on . . . it was their first snow.  So, I raked up the snow from around their yard so their little toes wouldn’t get too cold.  Maybe I should ask Onion Tears to knit them some gloves!  Tom had already fortified their coop with straw bales to keep out the wind and retain heat.

winterized coop

Here’s a video of the chickens enjoying the brisk winter air (and Balam, too).

I fortified the “chickie cave” to keep the snow out . . .

photo chicken cave

The girls seem to appreciate it!

The rain barrel had to be drained

rain barrel

So, that was Saturday morning . . . trying to winterize in early October . . . frankly, we were not prepared for snow.  We still had not taken the garden hoses off the spigots and Thursday evening we were out at 11 pm picking green tomatoes in the dark.  Global warming is perhaps a misnomer . . . we should call it global climate change.  Our summer was very cool and winter has made a fairly early appearance.  The cats, however, don’t seem to be too phased by the whole thing

interloper

They spend most of the day sleeping

fast asleep

The kitties are best buddies now.

Tom & cats

Mister Man enjoying cat company

cleo & car sleepingCleo and me taking a nap

What better way to enjoy the cooling weather?

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Phew, what a day!

Posted in Musings, Urban Farming with tags , , , , on October 4, 2009 by xxxicana

Mister Man had a gig with the New Delta Boogie Boys at the 4th Annual Veg Fest held in the “Historic Havelock District”.

VegFestPoster

This event was organized by several organizations that we support . . . and they invited the NDBB to play.  It was a brisk afternoon, pleasant enough, but hard on the musicians (stiff fingers).  As always, Tom, Stan, Pablo, and Patrick served up some great  blues to entertain young and old alike.

Delta boogie BoysYou can keep track of upcoming gigs at   http://www.ruminentrecords.wordpress.com

Veg Fest also hosted a salsa contest (the condiment, not the dance) with the stipulation that the ingredients had to be locally grown and include melon.  Luckily, our neighbor Keith had just given me a watermelon earlier in the week. So I diced, seeded, chopped, tasted, salted, sawed, scooped, and garnished a recipe I made up for the contest.  Here’s my entry:

Watermelon and Mint Chiffonade Salsa

salsaJudging was by Pepe Fiero (owner of Pepe’s Veggie Mex Bistro), Maggie (owner of Maggie’s Wraps), and Judy a la Carte  (radio host on KFOR).  It was a blind taste test . . . competition was a little lacking . . . only 3 entries until the final minute when two more showed up.

judgingJudging. . . . .

Ta-da!

certifFirst Place!!  And there were prizes!

1st place

Woohoo!! A Rain Barrel!!

1st place 2the long view

At the end of Veg Fest a few of us headed over to

Bobs taverto enjoy a few brews with friends.

Dave and Joan were kind enough to schlep the barrel to our house since it wouldn’t fit in my car even if it hadn’t been filled with Mister Man’s guitars, gig bags, guitar stand, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Had beer & wine with Dave and Joan.  Ran out to DeLeone’s for quick Mexican food  . . . and then just enough time to powder my nose, touch up my lipstick and drive over to Q to join my BFFs for the Drag review.  We had a great time.  Girls looked great  . . . I was complemented by a couple of performers on my hair and boots !!!  YES!  What we all need sometimes – validation that our internal diva-ness is workin’ it!

A lot of fun packed into one day!  Phew.  I think I’ll take it easy today.

Adios to Detective Bobby Goren :-(

Posted in Musings with tags , , , on September 26, 2009 by xxxicana

Ah, such is life . . . constant movement and change is needed for us to remain healthy.  Doesn’t mean we have to like it,  I suppose.  Vincent D’Onofrio is bowing out of L&O: CI (although he does hint at possible guest returns).  D’Onofrio is a fabulous actor . . . stretching himself to the limits in very odd roles such as in The Cell, Full Metal Jacket, and Impostor. This last flick is not as well known as his other movies.  But, it is the first role that made me remember D’Onofrio.  I naturally saw Impostor when it premiered . . . it’s based on a story by Philip K. Dick.  PKD stories and novels have suffered and benefited from Hollywood treatment.  Anyone who knows me will tell you what my all time favorite movie is (Blade Runner).  In Impostor, D’Onofrio foreshadows his role as Goren.  He is a government agent trying to track down an alien impostor that has infiltrated earth with the intent of causing much mayhem (isn’t that what all aliens do?).  As the plot pitches, turns, and folds back in on itself, we are sure that D’Onofrio is right, but he doesn’t seem to represent good.  I loved the film . . .

Anyway, that’s my ramble for now.  I’ll miss D’Onofrio  . . . I’d let him interrogate me anytime!

vincent

It’s a girl!

Posted in Musings on September 18, 2009 by xxxicana

We took Cleo for a well-baby vet check . . . Phew!  all test results returned negative for the nasty diseases.  I did ask the vet to check the kitten’s nether regions . . . I checked yesterday, but couldn’t find any external parts.  I thought maybe  I was losing my touch (so to speak) . . . but turns out that Cleofides is FEMALE !  So, now Cleo’s full name will be Cleopatra.  Cleo is NOT a happy kitty right now . . . shots, blood draw, frontline, dewormer, nail clip, and an anal probe >:-(

sleeping

Teeny tiny Cleo weighs only 1.86 pounds . . . all that trauma has sent her into a deep slumber . . . . .  shhhhh!

New Kitten Redux

Posted in Musings on September 17, 2009 by xxxicana

Well, we just couldn’t live without a kitten . . . so we adopted a new baby last night. I named him Cleofides – Cleo for short. Here’s our new guy:cleo & car

tom & cleo

Cleo is an orphan . . . his mother died so he was bottle fed.  As a result he is a little on the runty size at 8-10 weeks.  He has a vet appointment tomorrow for his first baby shots.

contact 1stFirst contact with Balam went smoothly . . . Amby paved the way.  I think we are all happier now but miss our little Amby terribly still.

amby

Amby – our time together was too brief

Posted in 1 on September 13, 2009 by xxxicana

Am 2bAmby lit up our home for less than three weeks before he died prematurely of FIP (Feline infectious peritonitis).  It all happened so fast and there’s no cure.  Two dear pets lost in only a month . . . very very sad.

Domestic Diva and State Fair Winner!

Posted in Urban Farming with tags , , , on September 5, 2009 by xxxicana

bandana, cropped

Never thought that I was going to adapt to Nebraska . . .  but I realize now that my upbringing pre-adapted me to Midwestern living.  My grandmother taught me to embroider when I was in kindergarten; I still embroider as means of keeping busy while watching TV [after all, idle hands are the Devil’s playthings].  My Mom and Grandmother can/canned, so I learned to appreciate the process of “putting up” food for the winter.  My Mom has recounted her childhood memories of her grandmother drying squash to make calabazitas in the winter.  I vividly remember my Grandmother’s chokecherry jelly.  On a couple of occasions I helped my Grandma roast, skin, and bag Hatch green chilies.  If you check out Onion Tear’s Blog, you’ll see that this tradition has been passed on to my daughter.

sanchez women[I “stole” this photo from Onion Tears Blog . . . 3 generations of crafty and domestic diva women]

This culinary “herstory” is not the stuff of books, but rather of tradition.  Generations of women, from many different cultures, regions, and walks of life have passed down food preservation techniques, recipes, arts and crafts, and other over-looked domestic tasks.  However, how much do we acknowledge these oral traditions, folkways, and women’s experiences?  For me, cooking, canning, embroidering, and other domestic tasks provide great personal satisfaction.  Now that I live in Nebraska, I have found a means of showing off the skills I learned from my mother and grandmother — the State Fair.

expo bldgThis year I entered four projects:  embroidered tea towel and pillowcase, canned Hatch chiles and escabeche (mexican pickled cauliflower, carrots, peppers, and onion).  I won three ribbons — the escabeche didn’t win (the vegetable colors faded and I think the taste might have been too “exotic”).  So, here’s how things turned out . . .

1st place pillow

First Place Ribbon for Embroidered Pillowcase

pillow case

This is the full view

2nd place tea towelSecond Place Ribbon for embroidered tea towel

tea towelFull view

I thought I would take 1st place by capitalizing on the Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign.

But I was blown out of the water by the first place winner

1st place tea towelVery nice work!

2nd place hot peppersMy New Mexican Hatch chiles won a Second Place Ribbon.

cannerMister Man gave me a HUGE pressure canner last Christmas . . . I had to wait until this summer to use it.

Now I am able to can all kinds of things, including . . .

corncorn.

winnerHere I am in front of my chiles.

Note the western shirt . . . when my sis and I were little, our mom ALWAYS got us new cowboy shirts, jeans, and moccasins for the Monte Vista, Colorado Stampede.  I still love to wear western shirts . . . especially the grotesquely gaudy fringy types!

After checking out the exhibits it was time to get food.  Mister Man and I opted for Polish sausages with onions and peppers.   Following up we had dessert . . . .

cakesFunnel Cakes!!!

funnel cakeCaught in the act!

While we were sitting eating our deep fried dough and probably laying down a coating of cholesterol inside our arteries . . . I noticed this food vendor . . .

beef sundaeNebraska is a major beef producer . . . but what the heck is a Beef Sundae?????  I didn’t have the nerve to ask.

Regardless, the notion is just gross!

So that was our State Fair experience.  We didn’t stay for the evening’s entertainment: Brett Michaels.  I didn’t care for Poison the first time around, I wasn’t going to be tortured by him cover bad hair band  tunes out of tune.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

More Domestic Diva stuff.  Yesterday I drove out to Martin’s Hillside Orchard to pick peaches and raspberries.  I picked up a small bag of apples since it’s still a tad early for the really good apples.  I spent about an hour gathering this beautiful fruit.  The peaches are DIVINE!  I’ve never eaten a fresh picked peach.  The scent wafting from the fruit in the trees was intoxicating . . . I ended up picking 20 pounds!  We’ll eat some, I’ll make a cobbler or two, and then I’ll can the rest for later in the winter.

fruitSome raspberries will be individually frozen and packed.  But my favorite is raspberry jam, so I’ll load the canner up for that.

Speaking of canning, I’ll be directing a boiling water canning workshop next Saturday for Community CROPS.  We’ll be canning tomatoes.

So . . . that’s some of the recent news from Lincoln, Nebraska.  Henny and Penny are doing well, laying progressively larger eggs.  Balam and Amby (who’s nickname is now Bunny) are getting along very nicely now and chase each other around the house.  All’s right and well in our little home.