Monday, July 8, 2019

Belated Birthday Cake and Pie

I thought summer was supposed to be slow and lazy. Not so around here. My mother was in the hospital for over two weeks, and she continues to need extra care. The garden needs weeding-- always. We've had a few small building projects (fence and shed). We've started visiting the pool for some swim time. So I've missed posting several pictures I would normally would post.

First up, a birthday cake. An easy birthday cake-- yay! My daughter (whose age is now in the double digits) wanted an artist's palette cake. Voila!

A few weeks later, my eldest turned 15. Fifteen?! What happened? Anyway, it seems 15-year-olds have more mature tastes. He's interested in making cheese and trying new cheeses-- even the ones I consider gross. You know, the ones with fungi. We allowed him to pick out some "fancy" cheeses for a meal with just our family sometime around his birthday, and he prepared our cheese tray. 

For his actual party, he picked vinegar pie for a dessert. However, I considered that our guests might be more likely to eat pumpkin pie, so I made some of that, too. However, they tried the vinegar pie and liked it. If you've never had vinegar pie, you should try it; it tastes much better than its name sounds.

My son didn't want wax on his vinegar pie, so the candles went on the pumpkin pie.

Now that our internet is working again, perhaps I can post a little more often. Have a lovely week!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

And Then There Were None

A little over a week ago, it was my turn to take our dog out first thing in the morning. This is the sight that greeted me.

In case you can't tell what that is, here's a closer look:

Yep, those are feathers. Lots of feathers. Guinea feathers, to be exact. I knew something was very wrong in guinea paradise. 

Upon further inspection, my son and I confirmed my suspicions-- the remaining two guineas had been brutally murdered by some nocturnal beast. I guess, technically, we could be wrong as we never found the bodies (only a few small chunks attached to feathers), but really, what nocturnal beast that drags guineas through a smallish hole in chicken wire would leave the bodies around as evidence?

As violent as this was, it wasn't heartbreaking to our family because these only two who were left were male and driving us crazy by fighting with each other. 

I guess that's the end of our first fowl experiment. We liked the eggs. We did see a decrease in ticks on our bodies; no Lyme disease while we had the guineas. My favorite thing about the guineas was just watching them; they are so funny!

The downsides to guineas? Well, when we wanted to vacation or visit family for a few days, we had to find somebody who was willing to take care of them. Also, they were not good for our garden; they either dusted and killed plants or ate my greens. We also didn't care for the meanness; they weren't mean to us, they were mean to each other.

In the end, we do plan on getting more fowl-- but not until spring probably. We all want different birds-- guineas, chickens, and ducks. I guess you'll have to tune in next spring to see what we settle on.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Good-bye, Emu

On Saturday morning we met the emu's owner who brought the trailer that would (we hoped) return our emu to its friends.

So how would this emu be caught? Well, not easily, that's for sure. It was lured with food, but it did take a few go-arounds and some corralling. And struggling. And coordination. And strength. And patience.


Predictably, the emu was not thrilled to be in the trailer. It tried to poke its head out the back to escape. It failed. My littlest one told me later that the emu was "saying goodbye with him head."

Then, ever-so-quickly, it was all over, and the emu farmer was saying goodbye with his hand.

And that brings us to the end of our little emu drama. There are no more installments. This story will not be continued.

Unless. . . 
 (I did tell you there were more emu sightings the next valley over, right?)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Emu- Up Closer and More Personal

My five-year-old woke me up on Friday morning with, "Mommy, the emu is still here!"

At a decent hour, I called the farmer and let him know the emu was back. I left a message, but he was in business meetings all day and couldn't get back to us until the afternoon. He was going to pick up a  friend's trailer to retrieve the emu, but he wouldn't be able to get to our house until Saturday morning.

Most of Friday the emu amused us with his antics. Once again, he disappeared in the later afternoon and came back in the evening. Once again, he was there in the morning. On Saturday morning early, Mr. Emu decided to hang out even closer to the house and even on our front walkway. He even strayed down near the cemetery again.

One thing we learned about emus when all was said and done was that emu feathers have one central quill (?) that has two floppy feathers attached. 

Tune in tomorrow for the final installment of our riveting emu drama!

To Be Continued. . .

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Angles of Emu

The farmer came on Thursday afternoon, but by then the emu was gone. He left some food for it. Later in the evening, the emu was in our backyard again, but that was not where the food was. In an effort to keep that bird around until its owner could come get it, we gave it food (scratch grains, corn, oats) and water. It seemed to like it.

Emu--from the side

Emu- from the side and closer

Emu- from the back- because everybody wants their rear end plastered online!

Emu- from the other side

Man, that bird was hungry! I wish I had snapped a good picture of it drinking the water; that was a hoot to watch as it scooped up water and then stretched its long neck up. Sadly, most of our pictures were blurry through the windows and in the darkening evening.

But that's not all!

To Be Continued. . .

Saturday, May 11, 2019

What Happens When. . . Emu Vs. Guinea?

Next the emu began walking around our house in a counterclockwise direction. However, one of our three remaining guinea fowl began walking around the house in a clockwise direction. What happens when they meet?

Emu decides to investigate guinea.

Guinea decided it doesn't want to be investigated by a much larger bird.

Guinea makes haste to deliver himself.

In the end, the emu wasn't interested enough in the guinea to chase it too far, and the guinea wasn't scared enough of the emu to run too far. While we had fun when the "chase" got a little fast-paced, the entire episode was rather short-lived.

But this emu episode is not over!

To Be Continued. . .

P. S. While learning about the emu online, we learned that this week is considered National Emu Week. What a coincidence!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Emu-- Up Close and Personal

If you thought the first emu post was something else, read on, my friend, read on. 

You see, the emu wasn't content just hanging out in the cemetery. It decided it needed to pay us a visit.

Certainly you have figured out that by this time, excitement levels in our house were quite high. The phrase "bouncing off the walls" comes to mind.

At this time, while children were bubbling over with crazy,* I was making phone calls to the town office (although we live 5 miles from town), animal control, and an emu farm. For future reference, if an emu happens to wander into your yard, I found the emu farm to be most helpful. 

I learned that our emu friend was likely from the farm I called which is about 21 miles away; they had several escape last summer. Recently, between here and there, emu sightings have multiplied. However, we heard from another source that another emu farmer in another directions (but also many miles away) had some escapees, too.

Anyway, the emu farmer I talked to hit the road to come check things out at our house.

To be continued. . . 

*FULL DISCLOSURE-- I may also have been on the high energy spectrum, but cut me some slack: who has an emu just show up at their house?!