Friday, February 27, 2015

Hot Turtle Bites.....Served Hot!

As promised in this post......

 Here is what we do with the canned turtle!

First I drain all the broth off.....Your dog will love this, or your pigs, or chickens, or whatever....
Please excuse the wadded up tissue.........I'd like to say it wasn't used on my snoot, but that would be a lie....
Then I beat an egg with a little bit of milk......

Then toss the turtle meat in the egg/milk mixture....

Then toss with some seasoned flour......

 Now heat some lard in a cast iron skillet....

You'll notice a bit of funk in the bottom of my skillet....that's because I seldom wash it, and I also reuse lard or bacon grease quite a bit....again, sorry if that offfends, you don't have to do it that way....
And add the floured meat......

Brown on one side......

Then flip and brown on the other side........

Now put in a casserole dish with some hot sauce and butter........

And bake in the oven for just a bit to "set" the sauce.......

Now eat!!  We like it with a little bit of ranch dressing, or blue cheese, or shredded mozzarella...the possibilities are endless and if you don't "do" hot sauce, you could use your favorite barbecue sauce or it's even really good just plain!

Now go catch you a snapping turtle and make you some supper!

Till next time!

God Bless,

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Update on Dad.........

So Dad is doing well!

Well let me rephrase......his diabetes is pretty well out of control due to the chemo.  It was so high the other morning that his meter wouldn't even read it, which means it was around/over 600.

However, the chemo part of his cancer treatment is going well.  They have him on the strongest dose of chemo they can give him, his blood counts are all normal (with the sort of exception of his iron and I'll blab about that in a sec.), and the doctor told him that since they were able to get all of the cancer, they were trying to actually cure him, not just keep him alive for 5 extra minutes!  :)

The only side effects he's experiencing are fatigue and green beans taste bitter. beans.  However, this last time he went, his iron count was on the low side of normal.  He said they gave him an iron shot and that is helping with the fatigue.

He's in very good spirits and has a strong faith in God's will for him!

In other news, I have so many blog posts I need to do and no time to do them!  LOL!

I don't like to do a post without pictures and pictures is what takes the time, so bear with me.  I've got a rabbit update coming, a quail update coming, a goat update, a soap update, and I haven't forgotten about those hot turtle bites either!  Hopefully this weekend I'll get that stuff blogged about and scheduled!

I hope you are all well and good, safe and snug!

Till next time.....

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Standing On Conviction....or Passing Judgement.....It's a Fine Line.....

I am a person of strong convictions, and strong passions.  This can at times get me into trouble as I have no fear of expressing my convictions and beliefs.  I think when you have conviction, especially when your convictions and views on what is right and wrong go against mainstream society, it can at times be perceived as passing judgement.

There are certain things I will not do.  I just won't.  They don't fit in with my personal belief system, and the sense of conviction I feel when I think about doing it, tears me up inside.  These things may not be the tiny-est of a big deal to others.  I'm going to use examples here in order to prove my point.

I won't wear shorts in public.  I used to.  There was a time when I did.  I just feel as if it's inappropriate at this time for ME to do so.

I don't drink alcohol.  I just don't.  I have in the past, but again, I feel convicted about it, and it isn't something I'm "supposed" to do anymore.  I was never a big drinker, but now The Man and I are both teetotalers and have been for oh about the last 14 or so years.

I don't go out without The Man, and we've never spent a night apart in 19 years....not one.

I don't read sexy books (romance novels).  I used to.....used to really enjoy them.  But several years ago I began to feel really convicted when I would pick one up.  I began to read the "story" and skip over the sexy parts, and then even that made me feel convicted so I don't read them any more.

There are a lot of other things I could blather on about, but here is the point of my entire post.

There is NOTHING wrong with a person wearing shorts in public.  As long as your personal convictions aren't telling you it's wrong, then go for it.  I don't judge you. I don't particularly care what you wear to be honest.  Now I may make an internal comment to myself, or an external to The Man or The Youngun, but that's it and it's gone.  And that's because I'm human.

There is nothing wrong with alcohol in moderation.  Not one thing.  I don't care if Joe Joe down the street loves his beer and ends every day with one.  Don't care, none of my business and the fact that I choose not to partake doesn't mean that I think I'm better or that I'm passing judgement.

There is nothing wrong with a husband and wife spending time apart.  Vacations apart, girls night out, guys night out, whatever.  Nothing wrong with it, if both parties are willing and happy with the arrangement.  The Man and I have certain expectations of our marriage that we have talked about, discussed and that have evolved over our 19 years (next month).  You should have your own expectations that you've discussed and they are probably wildly different than mine.  Again, as long as you aren't doing anything that pricks your own personal set of convictions then you are probably fine.

What in the world is the point of this post?

It's my prayer that I can stand on my convictions, and stand by my beliefs without passing judgement on others who believe/behave differently!

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.Romans 2:1

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Canning Turtle...........Or Snapping Turtle is Food Too!

Umm...excuse me?  Did she just say canning TURTLE?

Yup I sure did!  We love to fish for catfish, and where we live, when you love to fish for catfish, you usually catch a few catfish and a whole lot of snapping turtles.

But that is totally ok, because turtle is DELISH!

So pretty much every fishing trip we come home with some of these...

And some of these......

Please do excuse my attire....I would NEVER go out in public in this state of affairs, and probably shouldn't be putting a photo on my blog.....
So how in the world do you reduce a snapping turtle to food you ask?  

The first, FIRST thing you do is make sure it's a regular old snapping turtle and not an alligator snapping turtle.  Regular ones are legal to take here where we live but Alligator Snappers are protected and shouldn't be harvested for any reason!

First thing you do is put the turtle in a tub (nice and deep and with a cover over it because they WILL climb out of things that you cannot imagine they could ever get out of.

We usually keep them in the tubs, in the shade, changing the water every day, from one weekend to the next.  We also put them one turtle to a tub because they will fight.....we've had them get each other bloody in the boat bottom together, so you really don't want to put them in a tub together for a week!

Then you fill the tub with enough clean water to cover the turtle.....

This is a snapping turtle in the bottom of a trash toter....the big ones that they give you from the trash's a REALLY big turtle...
Then you change the water every day.  This is how you "clean out" a turtle.

The water will get disgusting.  I mean.....for real.....super gross, which is why you do it.  You want the turtle to be as clean as he can be when you process him.

Then we process them.  Processing a turtle isn't for the faint of heart, but it is pretty quick and not that difficult.  We hang them up and skin them, and then cut the meat away from the shell.  There is some really delicious meat up between the spine and the shell, the turtle "back strap" if you will.  We slice that and fry it up fresh, but the rest of the meat gets soaked in salt water, and then de-boned.  Then I either can it right up, or freeze it to can later.

We also don't let the shell go to waste.  The Man totally cleans the shell, skull, and claws.  He then seals them with a coating of shellac and then we sell them or give them away.

This isn't the best picture of the turtle shells, but it's the only one I can find!
Lest you think we've been doing a lot of fishing, we haven't.  This de-boned turtle meat has been resting in my freezer until I had time to can it.  I got it out of the freezer last night and after a wonderful, uplifting church service today, I'm canning it up!

So the first thing you do is put your de-boned turtle in a stock pot and cover with water.

Bring it to a boil and boil for about 10 min or so....

Then pack your hot turtle meat loosely in a wide mouth quart jar, and top with your hot cooking liquid.  You can add 1 tsp of pickling salt if you'd like.

Wipe the rim clean and do all the good stuff you are supposed to do when you can, then put on a simmered flat and ring, and process for 90 minutes at whatever weight your altitude calls for (11#'s where I'm at).

Then you take them out and wait for the "ping"!

And that's how you can turtle!

What do we do with that canned turtle you ask?

Well stay tuned for a blog post entitled...

Hot Turtle Bites Served Hot

To find out!

Until next the preacher said today......Grow and Glow in the Lord!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Quail Report, Old and New!

The Big Quail are laying up a storm!  The Italian Speckled that live in the rabbit barn are doing just great.  We've got one covey that is made up of two Jumbo Brown hens and an Italian Speckled Cock.  The Quail Paradise birds are all Jumbo Browns.  We've got 4 hens and a cock out there.  We wanted to move the two Jumbo Brown hens that are currently living with the Italian Speckled roo out to be with the Quail Paradise birds, that way we would have all purebred eggs, however, 6 hens and one roo isn't a very good ratio.

So to that end, we put some eggs from the Jumbo Brown covey in the incubator with the plan of hopefully getting a rooster that we can put out in Quail Paradise and then move those other hens out there, giving us 6 hens and 2 roos.

Then The Man is going to move the Italian Speckled from the rabbit barn into an outside covey. 

 This pen is currently housing the first batch of quail that we hatched and they are growing and doing great as well!  They've started to crow and it won't be long before they are ready for the table.

The above is a week or so ago, and below was Sunday.....they grow so fast!

They like to go outside, but they don't know how to go back up the ramp, so The Man has to put them back in....

He's going to rework the outside part of the pen, raising it up and filling it with good soil so that we can plant some cover in it, and so that it won't be so high for them to get back inside.  The "crate" part of it, where the quail go inside is two sided, so we'll have three quail paradise pens.  The Jumbo Browns will stay where they are, and then the four covey's of rabbit barn Italian Speckled quail will be combined into two covey's and will move into this Quail Paradise duplex.  Then he has plans to build grow out pens for the table destined quail.

 Anyway, he set 20 eggs and they started hatching on Sunday!  With any luck, we'll wind up with at least one male.  They sure are cute at any rate!

Stay in the Will and the Word!  

Till next time......

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kidding Countdown 2015.......

Let the kidding countdown begin!

Tulip and Star were both bred on October 24, 2014 to this handsome buck.

His name is Silo and he belongs to Jen over at Our Little Farm.....Jen is the wonderful woman who bought Tulip and Star when we moved to Montana 

Picture courtesy Our Little Farm.....
This picture below is Silo's sire......

Photo courtesy of Dot's and Doe's Dairy 
And this is his dam.  I'm REALLY excited about her udder.....

Photo courtesy of Dot's and Doe's Dairy
And hopeful that these lovely teats will pass onto the kids of my girls......
Tulip and Star both have lovely udders, with wonderful attachment and great capacity, but they have small-ish teats.  I'd love to see these nice large, straight teats on some daughters of my girls.....

Photo courtesy of Dot's and Doe's Dairy
Ok, so this is Tulip with a little over 5 weeks to go.  
I'm going to guess triplets, however she did have quads her last two kiddings with Jen.  I just don't think she's big enough to be carrying quads this time, but I could be wrong.
I'd like to point something out...see that sort of round, ball looking thing high up on her left side?  That's the rumen.

You can sort of see it better in this picture.  The babies are low down on her right side.....
She's not bagging up at all yet, but that's quite normal for her.  Her hoo-haw (vulva) is getting fuller and softer, and will continue to do so as the weeks go on.....

This is Star.  You can't see her rumen as well, and she is much wider and heavier than Tulip.  Part of that is just weight, as she's a heavier doe than her Momma, and she is of course younger, but I really think she is carrying quads.  She's never delivered quads, but I'm thinking perhaps she will this time.  Either that or three really big babies.  I hope not, as Silo is a Nubian and I always worry about kids being too large.....

Her hoo-haw is also getting soft and full, and in a couple more weeks I'll give them their pre -kidding hair cuts and show you some detailed pictures of what that looks like!

It's always exciting to wait on goat babies, and nerve wracking at the same time.  I trust in God's will, but I still worry about my girls making it through their deliveries ok!

Until next time, I pray for God's strength and will in your lives!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Late Term Pregnancy Waddles................Or Star's Gotta Belly Full O' Babies!

So Saturday was GORGEOUS here and we enjoyed it!  We built and patched fence so that the goats can have all of their pasture.  We've been wanting to do this for quite some time, but it's for sure a winter-time project because it's so thick back in there, that you just can't hardly hack your way through in the summer!  

I took these videos of the goats while we were working.  In them you will see just exactly what a belly full of goat babies looks like.  And remember, poor Star still has a little over 5 weeks to go!

Star is so heavy with babies that she was panting coming up the hill!  She really wanted to just lay down and rest, but her old lady Momma Tulip was too busy feeding her face to go with her!

Tulip is still so spry, nothing slows her down. especially when it comes to food!

Ollie is such a handsome little fella and fits in with the herd just perfectly!

I'm going to do a post detailing their breeding's and my predictions later in the week.  Stay tuned!

God Bless till next time!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Learning to Submit.........

Does anybody remember this post?  One of the reasons I enjoy/enjoyed blogging so much was reading back over my posts to see how God talks to me.  You'd think I'd know to "never say never" and to NEVER try to guess what God's future plans for me are.  Maybe someday I'll learn, although I have to say I'm getting closer every day!  :)
So's this part of the post that is funny...
"I have no intention of ever entering the "real" work force again"
After we moved back to KY from Montana, we went back to the trailer next door to his sister like I said.   The Man and I still desperately wanted to work together in some capacity.  We tried several things that just didn't work out.  We tried "property preservation".....lets just say that didn't work out at all.  We cut wood, but that wasn't enough to make ends meet,  so we prayed and we talked and we prayed some more.  I applied at the school as a cook (because that's what I did in IL for a little bit) and I didn't hear anything. 

Pretty much this entire time I knew what God wanted me to do.  I could feel it, and He was saying it and I wasn't listening (STILL) because it wasn't what I wanted to do.  (See how that works there, I)  Finally in desperation because we were SERIOUSLY out of money, I did it.  What was it you ask?  It was to go apply at the Mickey D's in town.  I thought there is no way that I'll be able to work days, no way I'll get weekends off, no way I'll like it.  Off to town we went with a sour face and a bad attitude.  A toddler attitude of FINE if this is what you want FINE!  I walked up to the counter and asked for an application.  The girl said she'd get a manager.  The manager (Colby) came up and asked if he could help me.  I told him I was interested in a application.  He told me to go home, apply online and put his name down as the referring party.  I did so, and within a couple hours he called me for an interview for the next day.  I went to the interview, he asked me if I had transportation, what shift I wanted (days), he asked me if 3 am was too early to start and I said nope the earlier the better.  He asked me if I could go to orientation that day (it started in 2 hours) and could I start tomorrow at 3 am?

Do ya see a pattern here?  When it's what HE wants, it tends to happen very quickly for me.......

So I started working at McRonalds........I had a love / hate relationship with it.  I used to come home crying and telling The Man I couldn't do it, I just needed him to tell me I could quit.  I wasn't going to quit, but I needed him to tell me I could, (even though after a few weeks of working there I informed them that I wasn't working weekends anymore.  They could have me Mon-Fri or not at all, and they said ok, no more weekends for you).

I worked in the kitchen and there was a specific co-worker that just rubbed me the total wrong way.  I had good days, but I had lots of bad days.  I was good at it, very fast, accurate, and my days flew by, but I was so tired when I got home that I slept the whole afternoon away!  I was like a spoiled little brat, still telling God, I don't WANT to work here.  But then something happened.  I started taking my Bible to work and leaving it in the truck.  On my break, I would go out and read my Bible.  On the 10 minute drive to work in the inky black with the huge starry sky my only company, I'd talk to God.  I began to pray for that co-worker that I didn't like.  The change was pretty immediate.  I began to love my job!!  I had so many opportunities to witness.  So many opportunities to share God's love with people who maybe didn't know.  God led me to so many wonderful scriptures that have taught me so much.  He helped me to see (once again) that it isn't about me.  It really isn't.  AT ALL.  Life is not about us.  It's about what He wants for us.  It's about total submission to His will in our lives.  It's about recognizing and accepting that what God wants for us, and what we want are most often wildly different and learning to be really ok with it.....

I was pretty lost and confused, trying to figure out who I was without all my animals.  Without Champ, without my goat girls.  I was sort of like a ship without a sail.  I'd sort of lost my way.  It's hard to explain, but God had a whole lot to teach me, a whole big lot that I needed to learn.  I feel like He had to strip even more stuff away so that I had no distractions, so that I could really listen to what He had to teach me. 

During all this, The Man had his own things going on with our Maker.  He was looking for a job and not just any job, but the job that God wanted him to have.  He had several opportunities, but the one that he felt God leading him to take was at a small, family run cabinet warehouse.  We saw the job in the newspaper.  He went in and spoke to them one morning, and he had an interview with another company later that afternoon.  After getting out of the interview with the second company, the first place called and offered him a job.  He took it and quickly became the receiving manager.  It's the first Mon-Fri, 8-5 job he's ever had. 

After being at MD's for a little over a year, (and learning to joyfully submit to God's purpose in being there)  (and after actually getting hired at the school as a cook, and staying at McD's for 4 am to 7 am, then going to work at the school from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm and deciding I didn't like it at all and after summer break, deciding not to go back to the school but to stay at MC's full time...)  the inventory position opened up at The Man's warehouse and I went in and talked to them. I was offered the job at $2 an hour more than I was making in my current job, plus I would have health insurance.  See when insurance was offered to The Man, it was going to be too expensive to put me on the plan.  We prayed about it, and then just put The Man and The Youngun on it, having Faith that God would provide insurance for me in His good time.  And He His good time!

We went to Montana because we wanted to work together.  God led us out there and it was a wonderful experience, but it didn't work out for us to work together out there.  God led us there as one more learning experience. I'm so thankful that in His good time, he's allowed us to work together.  We get up together, get ready for work together, ride to work together, work together, have lunch together, and ride home together.  It is a wonderful blessing.  I'm sure not every couple would feel that way, but we truly love being together and we work very well together. 

The job hasn't all been sunshine and roses.  We've had moments of frustration.  Not with each other, just with the job.  Of course those come with every job.  We went through a spell a few months ago where we really thought God wanted us to go elsewhere.  There was a whole lot of prayer, and a whole lot of job searching, and a whole lot of job applications.  We kept praying for God to show us what He wanted us to do.  Well guess what??  We finally figured out that we are RIGHT where God wants us to be.  There's much more for us to learn right where we are!! 

Till next time.....I remain yours in Christ.....

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Eden's Litter (Continued)

Welcome to the Rabbit Report! Eden's litter will be four weeks on Wednesday, and I will make sure to post their weights either then or on Thursday.

Mama is already starting to get tired of them at times. We are planning on maybe getting her a platform to lay on so she can get away when they are all out. Some are definitely going to get the silvering like Spartan, and others I think will just be black. "Hoss" (the biggest of the bunch) is still larger than the rest, and it is a little buck with amazing type.  

This was what I went out to the other day... A nest full of squished together, healthy, fat babies.

"Smallish doe" (the smallest of the babies, a doe) was already out with mama as she always is and I didn't have to awaken her.


 The rest soon made their way out of the nest and started eating, drinking, hopping, and bugging their mother.

Instead of one big video full of editing... I just did a bunch of small videos... So sorry about how many of them there are LOL

As you can see, the babies are VERY active and doing well! Baby bunnies are such fun! :)

Until next time