Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wandering Wednesday – Rome – Aquaduct Park

Aquaduct Park (Parco degli acquedotti) is just outside the walls of Rome. It’s a short metro ride and subsequent 4 block walk and almost no visitors go there. Only the Romans, who use the area to picnic, jog, play football, and just catch some fresh air and get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. 
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P1000333 We were there on a week day and saw lots of joggers doing what husband and I call the “Roman Jog” which is described as a gentle lumber as to exercise the body but not really perspire or muss ones hair. It’s a regal trot. I think it’s like the skill of walking on the cobblestones in high heels, one is just born with the ability or not.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Wandering Wednesday :) 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Popovers

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Sunday I had the biggest yearning for popovers. Usually my old standby recipe is from my vintage gold covered Fannie Farmer Cookbook, but sometimes Fannie’s recipe doesn’t pop. Lately I have been having so much luck with King Arthur, I thought I would give their recipe a try. With my popover pan mysteriously missing, I went for the muffin pan which worked out fine. It was a very basic recipe, with a lot of warming ingredients before mixing, which was new to me. But, I have to say it was worth it from how successful they were. They are nice and flaky on the outside and airy with just enough dough on the inside with a good taste.

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With a little butter fresh from the oven they were delicious and were all gone after Sunday meatloaf dinner.

We’ve hopped into the Homemaker Hop!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Persephone Laid an Egg!

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Yay Persy! For those that don’t know Persy’s story, she started life as a fertilized egg for very broody Betty in August. And she is now laying her own little eggs. She started squatting for me last week and has been more boisterous than usual the last few days. This morning, everyone was outside in the yard and she was missing. I looked everywhere and finally found her in the nest box. Of course, once she saw me she assumed it was treat time and came running from the empty nest box.

I went back inside and came out a couple of hours later after I heard a large racket outside and there it was. A tiny pale egg, still warm, waiting in the nest box. You can see how tiny it is compared to her adopted mama Betty’s egg.

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I have said this before, but the circle of life amazes me. Maybe now that the youngest is laying, it will urge some of the older girls to get a move on.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Finds – 2/24/2012

Yesterday the temperature outside was well above 50F. This morning we woke up to a coating of snow. Welcome to New England! The theme this week for Friday Finds is “Let’s get Cozy”. There’s no better way to keep your tea, eggs, coffee, hands, and hedgehog warm on these random chilly days than with a stylish cozy. I wonder if the cats would put up with a hedgehog in the family.

Dragon egg cozy, egg warmer - green. easter

Knitted Cup Cozy, Knit Mug Cozy, Oatmeal Cup Cozy, Neutral Mug Cozy, Coffee Cozy Sleeve, Tea Cup Cozy - Acorn Wood Woodland Nature Men

Apple cozy crocheted in pure cotton yarn with a Dorset button

Tea Cozy in Gray Merino Wool Felt

Psychadelic Small Animal Reversible Fleece Flannel Cozy Bed

I hope you’ve enjoyed my cozy Friday Finds. To see more, you can visit the treasury on etsy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Aphrodite Update

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After looking sluggish, acting a little ditzy, and not laying for two days Aphrodite was her old self today. The egg she finally laid had a bit of a covering of calcification on it, like it sat in the shell building department in the track for the two days. Otherwise, it was normal size and a little chalky in color. She never did the eggbound tail squat, so I don’t think it was stuck. Just a slow mover. I’ll keep an eye on her and hope this doesn’t happen again. Sometimes things just go wonky once in a while.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wandering Wednesday – Rome part 1

I have had a yearning lately to return to Rome. We try to go about once a year and last year was in February. This year will not be until November and I’m wishing it was sooner. As a small respite, I am going to feature Rome and Italy in the next few Wandering Wednesdays until I get it out of my system. I’ll revisit my tropical vacation at another time.

A lot of people I have talked to can’t see past the graffiti in Rome and the annoying bureaucracy that is Italy. I accept it for what it is and love how ancient and modern live and coexist in a bustling city. I have learned in Italy more than anywhere else to accept what I cannot change and go with the flow.

Staying in an apartment let’s you adopt a neighborhood for a period of time. Each neighborhood has it’s own outdoor market, it’s own butcher, it’s own salumeria, and it’s own “egg and pasta” shop. My favorite egg and pasta shop is on the Via Po. The older gentleman behind the counter was always very helpful and gave specific directions for each pasta. He spoke slowly (my Italian gets better with each visit but is still remedial. I am also a better listener than speaker) and made sure I understood his directions each time before I left. We need to start egg and pasta shops here in America. It still wouldn’t be the same.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Morning Grogies

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It feels like Monday today. Aphrodite was looking a bit pale and slow this morning. It was chilly last night, maybe she’s just taking a while to get going. In any case, I added Apple Cider Vinegar to the water and Chili Powder to the food just in case they need a little boost. Support the good enzymes, kill the bad stuff.

My little boost this morning was a big cup of coffee and some raisin walnut toast from the bread I made yesterday. It came out a little dense, but the recipe said it was hearty. It was the perfect filling breakfast this morning.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chicken Chat with the Girls

Saturday was so nice. The girls were out all day scratching and pecking. Betty couldn’t decide where they wanted to settle. I was outside for about 20 minutes with them and she kept leading them to different sections of the yard. It was like she had ADD. They would come over and say hi, then go over to the wood pile, then they would come back, and then go over to the compost pile, then the side yard, then near the house, and repeat. It was making me dizzy after a bit, but at least they were active and got some exercise. Nike kind of hung out in the middle and waited for them to drive by. Once she noticed they had moved, they were moving somewhere else.
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We are still only getting two eggs a day, one from Betty and one from Aphrodite. The other girls don’t seem to be in any rush. They should all be laying except for maybe Persephone.  She is about 22 weeks old now. But, has recently started squatting for me, so maybe soon. Doris is quite old enough to be laying and should be in her prime at almost 2 years old now and Nike, well Nike is special. We’ll put it that way. I just hope Betty keeps off being broody until the others pick up the slack.
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I’ve hopped on to Ms. Amy’s Barnhop :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My first ever Award!

Melissa at Tilly’s Nest was so nice as to award us with The Versatile Blogger Award! I’m so excited and thankful! There are rules associated with receiving this award and passing it on and they are as follows:

1. Add the award to your blog. (done)
2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you. (done)
3. Mention seven random things about yourself. (see below)
4. List the rules. (done)
5. Award to 15 bloggers. (will do)
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.

So my seven random things are as follows:

1. I never wear makeup.

2. I don’t believe chocolate and fruit belong together under any circumstances.

3. I love to read real paper books.

4. I collect cake plates. All kinds. But my favorite is the harp pattern by The Jeanette Glass Company.

5. I’m very very shy speaking in front of a crowd. But will talk randomly to people in line at the grocery store.

6. My favorite food is hard shell New England lobster boiled or grilled.

7. I’m always looking for chickens in people’s yards.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Finds – 2/17/2012

Happy Clouds :)

Happy Rainbow Cloud Womens Amercian Apparel T-shirt Teal

custom made to order) Happy cloud necklace---agate

Happy Cloud, Sad Cloud Earrings - Kawaii / Cute - handmade polymer clay

Felt Pincushion White Clouds in a Blue Sky

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Friday Finds. You can find more in the accompanying treasury on etsy :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Birds get the Flu too..

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I read the other day that they found 12 dead swans in Westboro, Ma last month. 4 of them had Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI). The other 8 did not and they don’t know why they died. The more deadly kind known as High Pathogen Avian Influenza (HPAI) is more often found in Asia but has been seen in other countries.
LPAI is not deadly in most birds, but it can make your chickens not well and go off laying according the the Mass DAR site. I’m always worried about bringing something home by accident. Chickens are very sensitive.
Long ago when we got our first chickens we established some rules to try to keep from unknowingly carrying anything into the backyard, which is the chicken zone.
- We have shoes that are only worn in the backyard. They stay by the backdoor. Outside shoes are left by the front door. The two never meet.
- No visitors in the backyard past the pergola.
- Chickens do not leave the backyard. This is sometimes easier said than done when they see something yummy on the other side of the fence.
- We wash our hands before we go in the back yard and after.
These are pretty simple rules. We do have visitors once in a while. I just ask that we clean the bottoms of their shoes or they bring clean shoes for the back yard. If we have been to another farm we will usually also change our outer clothes. I know that wild birds and any other animals that wander through can bring something in, I’m not looking for a sterile environment, just to cut down on the chances of bringing any unfriendly diseases in. We all want our flocks healthy and happy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wandering Wednesday – Galveston, Texas

I have realized that the beginning of my trip was really picture heavy, but not much toward the end. We started in the little city of Galveston a week before the Mardi Gras Marathon. Galveston has great potential. It was hit by a bad bad hurricane a couple of years ago and is still in recovery mode. My sister and I had a very nice time there for a couple of days before our cruise.
We went on a dolphin watch and cruise of the harbor, visited the offshore oil drilling museum, visited the train museum, had crab for dinner, and stayed in a lovely hotel. It was a very nice start to our vacation.   
The only dolphin I got a picture of. We saw more, but they are quick like chickens.
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Hope you’ve all enjoyed our little visit to Galveston. Some of the pictures have some hazy spots on the right hand side. It is not a ghost. I think there was a bit of salt on the lens from the dolphin tour. :) 
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