My husband captured these shots this week. The group of vultures were roosting on one of our old trees that fell victim to the recent years of drought here in Texas. The male painted bunting stopped by our koi pond for a quick bath. I wish the bunting photos were a little better, but we had to take them through the glass of our back window.
For the last week my darling daughter Rachel has asked me to make her some “Smack Mackem” which is her silly term for Salmon Croquettes. I’m not sure if this is a Southern dish or if people everywhere eat Salmon Croquettes, but I’ve eaten them my whole life. When I was a kid we dipped them in ketchup, but now I like mine with a little Dill Remoulade. Since mayonnaise is forbidden in my household, (Rachel hates it) I always substitute it with sour cream or greek yogurt. Have you ever eaten Salmon Croquettes? If not, here’s my version. I hope you’ll try it sometime and let me know what you think.
1 egg beaten
14.75 oz can Wild Alaska Pink Salmon crumbled and bones removed
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 TBS Sour Cream
1 TBS Melted Butter
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Yellow Corn Meal
1/2 tsp Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning or use Salt, Pepper and dash of Garlic Powder
Oil for Frying
Mix all ingredients and form into 4 equal sized patties. Meanwhile in cast iron or heavy skillet add 1 inch of oil and heat on Medium setting. Place patties into hot oil and cook about 4 minutes per side or until browned. Place on parchment paper to drain.
Sour Cream Dill Remoulade:
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 tsp Dill Weed
Mix together and serve with Salmon Croquettes.
When my family moved to our country home in 1995, we were eager to embrace all the wonderful opportunities that country living had to offer. We mended the old fence and barn and soon added our share of farm animals to complete our little country haven. Our animal menagerie included a flock of laying hens and a rooster to give us fresh eggs, but over the years our flock decreased and eventually our fresh egg production came to an end.
Recently, after purchasing a $4.00 carton of organic cage free eggs, I discovered all the eggs were disgustingly runny and obviously inedible. Having this less than satisfactory experience with store-bought eggs, and being aware of the absolute horrors chickens have to endure in the commercial egg production industry, we decided to rebuild our chicken coop and start enjoying our own farm fresh eggs again.
My husband spent all weekend building the new coop and we went to our local feed supplier and bought 4 baby turkeys, 10 chicks and 1 rooster Like our Rat Terrier, I too find watching the baby chicks completely spellbinding and I have begun to named them based on their personalities.
My favorite is the largest Black Spanish turkey that I have named Hey Zeus. He is just a baby, but he’s already trying to strut his stuff. I don’t think the girls are impressed, judging by the expressions on their faces.
Now for my contribution to the new chicken coop; the decor. My husband is quite the handy man and we always have wood scraps leftover from past DIY projects. I found these weathered wood scraps and thought they would work out great for making some homemade signs.
Next I gathered up my acrylic paint, paint brushes and paint sponges. Then I painted the wood a solid color and outlined the edge with a contrasting color, creating a framed effect.
Then I purchased two different stencils. One was a cursive type and one was block type letters
Using a sharp pencil, I traced out the word Farm Fresh on the wood using the cursive letters and the word EGGS using the block letters.
Then I highlighted the word Farm Fresh in a bright yellow and painted white eggs around the word EGGS.
Next I carefully painted in the words. You will need a steady hand and a very small detail paint brush.
And here’s the finished product. Add some eye hooks and a chain to hang it and throw on a couple of coats of clear polyurethane to weatherproof and it’s ready for the coop. Now to decide what to put on the other two signs.
The coop will only be used to protect the babies while they are growing. As soon as they are big enough, the door to the coop will be left open and they will have free access to the yard and pasture, as nature intended. If you would like to help support current legislative efforts in banning the barbaric and cruel practice of battery caged chickens in the US egg industry; please visit the Humane Society of the United States website by clicking on this link: Help Improve the Lives of Laying Hens
The following information was taken from the Penn State Live website. You can click on the heading below to see the full article.
“Compared to eggs of the commercial hens, eggs from pastured hens eggs had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, more than double the total omega-3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids,” she said. “Vitamin A concentration was 38 percent higher in the pastured hens’ eggs than in the commercial hens’ eggs, but total vitamin A per egg did not differ.”
”Eggs of the hens that foraged grasses had 23 percent more vitamin E than eggs of hens that foraged clover. “Results suggest that grass pastures may enhance vitamin E in eggs of pastured hens more than clover,” she said.”
I snapped this photo today of the Waxahachie Courthouse. The two old cars invoked thoughts of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, young outlaw lovers that went on a two-year crime spree (1932-1934) which ended in a bloody ambush lead by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer. The movie Bonnie and Clyde starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway was scripted by Waxahachie native Robert Benton, and filmed in this area 1967. Many old-timers still tell stories of their encounters with the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
~ President John F. Kennedy
Freedom is never free. This Memorial Day I want to say thank you to all the men and women who have fought and died, giving the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our country remains free. And to all the of the soldiers, past and present, thank you for your service, your dedication and the sacrifices you and your families have made on behalf of us, our country and for Freedom. It’s a day to cherish family and give thanks for the wonderful privilege of living in such a great country. It’s about the honor, duty and sacrifice of so many American families, just like mine.
The year was 1953, the world was still reeling from the end of World War II, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the newly elected President and the Korean War was being fought. All young men of that time period were required to register for the military Selective Service, so upon his eighteenth birthday my father dutifully completed his registration card. Around that same time he also met my mother and they fell in love. Following a year-long courtship they were married in February of 1953. My mother had just turned seventeen and my father was two weeks shy of his nineteenth birthday.
After their first year of marriage they were eager to begin their family and tried desperately to have children. But that greatly desired child never came. They continued to hope and pray for a family of their own, but after the third year of trying, they lost hope and decided they were destined to be childless.
In the early part of 1956, my father received his Order to Report for Induction; he had been drafted. He was to report to the Fort Ord U.S. Army post in Monterey Bay, California for basic training. My mother was heartbroken. How was she going to make it without him? So they did what all young couples in love do when faced with an unwanted separation, they made the best of it. They spent as much time together as they could until the day came for my father to depart for basic training. My mother wrote him every day and missed him terribly, so terribly she began to get ill. It seemed everything she ate made her immediately nauseous. This went on for a couple of weeks until her family suggested she might be pregnant. What? Could this be possible?
A trip to the Doctor confirmed her families suspicions and gave my mother the blessed news, she was in fact pregnant. Excitedly, she contacted my father in California to relayed the news. They were both overjoyed! Then reality set in. She would have to carry and birth this child alone. The plans they had made for her to come out to California and live in the on-base family housing were dashed. She was too sick to travel. Summer turned to fall and my father completed his basic training. Then he received his orders, he would be deployed to Germany.
Somehow, he was allowed a short leave for Christmas. My mother was overjoyed to see him one last time before he was shipped out and they spent a glorious Christmas holiday together Shortly after Christmas, my father had to returned to his military duty. The Army allowed him to stay Stateside until my brother Monte was born on January 15, 1957. My father learned of my brother’s birth via telegram and the next day he was on a plane to New York. Once he arrived in New York, he boarded a ship and began his trip overseas.
My father was a good soldier and soon was promoted to the position of Military Police or MP. He and my mother carried on their relationship via mail. They wrote to each other almost daily. My father got to know his first born son by reading letters and looking at photographs. While serving his country, my father missed all of my brothers milestones. When my brother got his first haircut, my mother tuck a lock of his hair in with the photo and letter she sent to dad. My brother’s first tooth, first Christmas, first steps and first birthday passed while my father was on patrol in snowy Würzburg, Germany.
My father honorably completed his military assignment and finally returned home to my mother and oldest brother Monte in the Spring of 1958… Nine months later my brother Randy was born. And a few years later, I came along.
Although my parents made great sacrifices during this difficult time, God poured out his blessings upon their lives. What seemed like tragedy was actually a gift. My mother thought she could never have children, but was blessed with three. And while my father was serving his country, my mother had my oldest brother to love, care for and keep her company.
After 59 years of marriage, my parents are still madly in love with each other. Our roles are reversed and I now have the honor of caring for them, just as they have cared for me all these years. I am so thankful my life is at a point where I am able to devote my time to them and truly enjoy our time together. They are the best parents a child could ever have and I love them dearly!