Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earthday was a bust!

Today was a long day. I wanted it to be good. I wanted to fix all our food at home and have a picnic and plant some plants, make "Earth" cookies and work on cleaning up around our house. But instead my Earth Day didn't go over that well. It started out at 8am when Johns alarm clock went off. He went and opened the chicken coop then climbed in bed and started to go back to sleep. we needed to get up though. I asked several times for him to get up. I even pleaded with him a couple times. By then the dogs were trampling me. Roxie was going back and forth between chewing up hangers that she strategically places around the house, so that I can't find them, then she brings them out when ever I try to sleep, and a giant stuffed squeaky bone. That she likes to bring up and put right in your face and squeak it over and over. Mind you this is a toy she drags around the house and into her kennel. This toy is covered in hair! So hair goes every where. And it the chewing and squeaking isn't bad enough, Sophie, the chubby dog that can stand to lose a few pounds, comes over and lays down with her paws on my chest, and her warm, sticky, stinky breath panting in my face. So no sleep for me!I get up and of course by then I am annoyed, my blood sugar is low, I am hungry, grumpy, and just over all in a bad mood. I normally have oatmeal with peanut butter, flax, and brown sugar. But yesterday I chopped down on a oat hall. My stomach was already sick so I decided sticking that in my month this morning would result in throwing up. So I skipped the oatmeal. Wanted a smoothie. I couldn't find the bullet blinder! It is lost somewhere in the stupid, messy kitchen. So then I think biscuits.. passed on that too. Because the kitchen was a mess. So what did I have half an apple & yogurt. I go to take a shower. Wake John up when I realized it is already 10am. I need to go to the City tax office to get a license sticky for the year. Because mine expired 2 months ago and I am just now noticing... Finally get ready come back out to the computer desk and one of the cats has knocked the yogurt I forgot about onto the key board & mouse... So then I need to clean that up! and you would think it would get better right... Ha..It only keeps going down hill...

I called the DMV at the beginning of the week because I never received my new registration. They tell me to go to the city tax office and they will give me one and I can buy the new sticker. John and I bicker on the way to town (about 30 minutes) not really about anything big. Just knit picky little things which we never see as anything big. We make it there and they tell me that they can't help me. Because I don't have the new registration. I tried to explain that the DMV told me to go there and she got pissed and copped an attitude with me. So I asked if I could use her phone to call the DMV. She states that calling the DMV will not help me over the phone so she doesn't know why I need to use her phone. So I went back out to the car pissed! She was such a B****. I was so mad. She didn't need to get an attitude!

The we need to take some aluminum cans to get recycled. They have been laying in bags, in a pile, for far to long. So we took in I think 57 pds today and they gave us $28.50. Last week we took in 22 pounds and Got $11.00. we still need to take in like 5 bags but we have almost taken them all and I am sure it will look much better. we are working hard to get everything cleaned up outside this year.

Then we drove another 20 minutes to the DMV office and waited for around 30 to 45 minutes. The guy there was really nice and helpful. He answered all my questions. I got our new sticker. $30.00 down. But he was really nice! Then we had to wait another 20 minutes for John to get a new drivers licences photo. His had our old address on it... we moved almost 4 years ago.. oops...

After that everything was on the up and up. I guess. We went to Lowes and got some landscaping posts, flowers, bricks, organic garden soil, and a hanging plant for in the house. I miss having green, living plants around the house. The cats kill all my plants. So John let me get a $10 small hanging basket. It is super cute. We ended up spending about $74.oo after his veterans discount was taken off. The landscaping logs were on sale for $1.98 each and we got 8. The organic garden soil was on sale too. It was $4.98 for 1.5 cu ft. So I got 4 of those for the new flower bed. I got some dark red, pink, and white lily bulbs and some other misc plants to plant around them. So that was a good stop. But none of that money was on budget... Not good.

Went to the store and got Cat, ferret, and chicken feed. Then went to target. Spent some more money thats not in my budget. Bra $10.99, Johns new shoes $29.99, Tracfone $39.99, 4 GB Memory Card, on sale for $12.99, 7th generation dish soap $2.49 & laundry detergent $7.99, some other small stuff. Spent around $125.00. I had forgot to transfer money so the transaction wouldn't go through. So I had to go to the ATM and fix it. But when I went to the ATM to transfer money the bank receipt said I had $7000.00 more than what we did.. Yeah right!!!!! :) No. I went back and the atm had lied.. Stupid ATM! :) I had only went to target to look at the Nikon D3000 which I really have been thinking about picking up. I wish it wasn't so expensive. But the cameras didn't have batteries so I couldn't play with it and check out its features :(

Didn't get to go grocery shopping, get the cypress for the garden, forgot to get my shampoo again, what was I thinking spending all that money.. Now I just look back in regret knowing I should have....

O yeah to beat it all I go online to set up my electric bill payment and instead of the normal $80 or less... It is $243!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Money I don't have!!!! So I guess they have been estimating my bill for the last 3 months. I just seen that on the news the other night that people may have a surprise. But I thought my last bill had been read. It was $55.. What the heck is the power company doing. They will be getting a nasty phone call from me tomorrow!!!

Tonight again we didn't do anything... We have watched Hurt locker, Where the wild things are, and getting ready to watch Brothers.

So crap Earth Day. I am sorry Earth. I had planned more. I wanted to celebrate your gorgeousness. I wanted to do something good for you. But I failed. I hope next year I can make it up to you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Eating animals

Words Meanings

I was waiting on my husband one day, in our local Walmart, sitting at a Subway Restaurant, located inside the Walmart, not eating but taking up their valuable table space and getting dirty looks from the employees, while reading the Word Meanings Chapter of Eating Animals. When my husband finally showed up the first thing I had him do was sit down and read the first sentence of:

Excerpt from CFE
"Common Farming Exemptions make legal any method of raising farmed animals so long as it is commonly practiced within the industry."

I had heard of this before when I was much younger and had forgotten the term. Until reading the Word Meanings section of Eating Animals it never really dawned on me again. But it definitely really made me sick to think that its not bad enough that the animal industries have the government eating from the palm of their hands. But they really are setting their own laws and regulation with this one little sentence. As long as everyone else is doing it, its fine and seen as perfectly acceptable. So the old saying your parents told you while growing up...

"If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?

and in this question yes everyone in the Factory Farming industry fines it acceptable to hold animals in deplorable conditions and deny them of every god given right that they should have. So when these people were growing up, were they never asked this question, or did they just not learn the lesson.

Just because everyone else is doing it, it doesn't make it good or acceptable.

But then again I guess most adolescents go with the crowd and jump... Ignorance, stupidity, & insanity... Which were not listed in the Word Meanings section. But I feel this law is ridicules and should be described as so.

I bet my parents regret asking me that question so many times when I was growing up. Maybe thats what gave me a mind of my own. A feature that my Dad doesn't seem to find very acceptable and tells me "You wasn't brought up that way". Meaning I will speak up for myself if I feel I am being dismissed or taken advantage of, or if I have something to say. I am not rude about anything but I will speak my mind. I am myself and thats what I am meant to be. I was never one to stay with a crowd anyways but... Who knows if they wouldn't have asked me this so many times maybe it wouldn't have stuck, and maybe, just maybe I would have never found my way into a lifestyle that is not seen as the "in" thing to be. Because I have no need or want to be with the "in" crowd just because I can. Eating meat might be the thing every one else is doing but again that does not make it responsible, respectful, acceptable, or the right thing to do.

My husband was just as annoyed as I was about this "law". "Law" because it is horrendous and any Representative who helped put this in place is really saying do what you will as long as you fund us. "Law" obviously only means pay me enough and I will write up anything you want. So you really have no responsibility for the cruelty you put onto these animals. Because every one is doing it and getting paid not only from peoples pockets but from subsidies... So sad and embarrassing to live in a country were this is acceptable.

I really liked going through the Word Meaning section and I thought it was going to be boring and just stuff I already knew. But it was more than just definitions and really put a new look upon certain things I thought I really understood. Not that I didn't understand, but gave me a new way to think about certain topics. Like the Small elevator comparison to Battery cages.

There are some statistics listed. I really haven't learned alot about fishing/dredging/ etc. And the amounts of fish. But some statics in this book opened my eyes more to how much bycatch there is in the industry.

Excerpt from Bycatch
"Shrimp account for only 2 percent of global seafood weight, but shrimp trawling accounts for 33 percent of global by catch."

There is also a list of what sea animals are considered "Bycatch". A long list...

Good section of the book.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Storms Bring laziness, Ebay, & Dinner

Well today it has rained on and off all day which means the husband and I was lazy for most of the day. We have been having storms but at least the severe ones have seemed to go around us.
I did get some movies watched though. We watched Food Inc..... Finally, Death on a Factory Farm, which I had DVRed a while back on HBO, and Sherlock Holmes. We cleaned up after the animals, took care of the chickens, did some dishes, shopped on ebay...., made dinner, and did one load of laundry.. But other wise laid around and had a lazy day... And John, I, and the dogs have enjoyed it.

Shopped on ebay for the first time in probably a year. Ever so often I get in the mood for some ebay shopping. Tonight I was watching some Wii games & Wii remotes plus some books. I hate it when people run items up before the last few minutes. I wish they would figure out if you bid at the last minute things are not ran up in price so much. So I always wait till they last 10sec to place my max bid. Some times even less time than that. I did get the 2 items I bidded on tonight. A wii remote & numbchuck for $25.45 and they are the actual Wii brand not some knock off that isn't actually Wii. To purchase the Wii mote & numbchuck new would cost around $60 so I had never invested in a 2nd remote. So I am happy we are finally getting a 2nd. The other item was the Martha Stewart encyclopedia of crafts. Won it for $15.03 on amazon it is $23.00. I really want the MS Encyclopedia of Sewing ... Its only $20.00 on amazon. But I haven't ordered it yet. I am still watching some games & books on ebay but I might have gotten it out of my system with tonight's winnings.

Dinner tonight was simple and didn't take long at all. I roasted half a head of organic cauliflower & a bunch of organic broccoli with salt, pepper, & organic olive oil, baked sweet potatoes with a little organic olive oil & organic brown sugar. We also had Morningstar riblets in burrito shells fried in a skillet. So quick and simple but really good.

Chicks, Chickens, Gaint Eggs, & Gardening

The Chicks are growing and becoming out going little ones. They run around with their little wings flapping. One will start and then the others will follow. So sweet. They jump up and lay on Lil Bantis back and she clucks a calming motherly cluck. So sweet. She is loving being a Mama. Yesterday was the first day they went out and into the grass. They pecked, scratched and ran around. Lil Banti took her first dust bath in a can't tell you how long. Actually she decided to take it in the only bare spot she could find... The chick feed... I know crap picture. She laid there flopping he feathers in the dirt & chick feed and I think she was actually teaching her babies while enjoying it herself. They starter trying. They would lay and copy her. The lil white chick fell over on her back and had to use her little wings to put her self back on her feet. But they laid and basked in the sun. They loved it. To bad it rained and was cool out today. They never came out. But they are very healthy. They are feathering so fast. It is hard to believe. We have had them for a little over a week now and they are even starting to get tail feathers. Their food intake is steadily increasing. They are a joy to watch. Just like the other chickens. I love watching them all. They still are not out around the other chickens. Gaia & Mabon especially look at them like they are walking meals. So it will be a good while before they are allowed out with them. But they are being raised right beside them so they can get used to each other.

Two of the chickens are laying huge eggs ever so often. Except in the last 8 or 9 days I have seen 4 of these giant eggs and I have brought them in to weigh them. Regular Eggs are between 2.0 and 2.3 grams. The big eggs are 2.8-3.2 grams. So a whole gram bigger than normal. I think it is Gaia definitely lays some big eggs. The light colored huge egg I have no clue who laid them because we only get that color sometimes... Not very often. Some of the eggs are shaped weird, a weird color, or uneven colored. I am not sure what to think about these eggs. The Vet said not to worry if it wasn't frequent. But when one chicken lays 2 in a week that is kinda frequent. Am I doing something wrong? I don't know... But I hope I can figure this out.

Regular Size Top. Bigger Bottom. Size Comparative. Uneven color. Mis-shapen egg

I did finally figure out who the most of the different egg colors belong to though. From Left to right. Gaia, Ivy, Mabon, Big Red, And Isis.

Started working on the garden beds yesterday too. Cleaned out 2 of them with Johns help. I didn't use them last year so they had totally over grown with dandelions and weeds. So I cleaned them out and fed the weeds to the chickens. They really enjoyed them. Then we covered the beds with black garden bed covering until we add more organic soil and straight sow or plant starters. So no more weeds... Still need to cover the other place we are starting a garden bed..

Grass is starting to grow on the little hills of dirt we have been leaving there to spread out. So we better get to it. I am also going to put a garden bed in front of the front porch but I am not sure that is going to get done while the growing season is still realistic. I hope so though. I am still so excited about this growing season. I hope it turns out great. But so far I am not having luck with my starters. I have very few plants starting. I think that first rain storm did my plants in by moving the seed out and around. Starting plants in containers seems to be much harder than starting them in the ground. I have never really found any info about it either. Luckily I checked out a book from the library yesterday. Its called Good Garden Magic. This book has a lot of good, basic info that I am finding useful. It is understandable and is almost like having someone there to tell you basic gardening techniques. Its not a large book but to me its very useful. I plan on ordering a copy soon. We did a couple other things too. When we went to the library we walked. That was the first time we have walked to town in years like 6 or so years. But I enjoyed the walk and John did too. We hung out at the library for an hour and then came home.

The day before we went to Books- A- Million and sat for a few hours looking through books. I haven't done that in a couple years either. I miss just going and having a laid back day with John. It was so nice!

This 4 day weekend has been really, really great! :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Eating Animals- Sharing 2 Paragraphs from Chapter 2.b

Just finished reading the 2nd chapter of Johnathan Saffran Foers book "Eating animals" Two paragraphs I would like to share:

"More than any set of practices, factory farming is a mind set: reduce production cost to the absolute minimum and systemically ignore or "externalize" such costs as environmental degradation, human disease, and animal suffering. For thousands of years, farmers took their cues from natural processes. Factory farming considers nature an obstacle to be overcome."

"I felt shame for living in a nation of unprecedented prosperity- a nation that spends a smaller percentage of income on food than any other civilization has in human history-but in the name of affordability treats the animals it eats with cruelty so extreme it would be illegal to inflict on a dog."

On to chapter 3....

Lil Banti and her Babies

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Garden Planning is turning into plants

Planted my garden starters about 8 days ago and I am starting to see the first plants. So excited yet again this year to have the starters sprouting these tiny little plants that will feed us this summer. Hopefully...

In the past I haven't had the best luck with starters so my fingers are crossed and I will watch them vigilantly so they will hopefully make it this year.

In the 8 days since planting they have already had drowning rain early one morning when I was still sleeping and fought the strong gusts of wind that has just brought in a cold front. Yuck... The rain happened a couple days after planting the tiny seeds into there little starter holes. Problem was it drenched them and I am not sure if the seeds stayed in their own little starter holes. Ha ha right... So now we just have to wait and see what comes up and in what starter packs so I can re- separate them. The wind also took its affects on my poor, little, defenseless, starters. My whole Red & white swiss chard starter blew away... Stupid wind. Now the warmth of the sun is hiding behind this cold front and I will have to bring them in tonight. But hopefully they are going to be ok. But I am already seeing green. Some of the cosmos, lettuce, scallions, tomatoes, and a couple other things were peaking out of the soil. :) Some of those were laying on top of the soil from the rain beating down so hard. So I had to put them back into the soil. But still excited :)

I got a couple more packets of seeds to plant. I am going to plant Organic mammoth sunflowers & Organic Autumn Beauty sunflowers both for the chickens. Plus I picked up some Cat Grass seed for the kitties but I am assuming it is just over priced wheat.. I guess we will see once it grows.

Breakfast for Dinner- Potato hash & scramble & Almond milk gravy

Tonight John and I buckled down and got the kitchen cleaned up. So I decided to make a big dinner of breakfast. It took about 30minutes to make and was so good.. But John and I both over ate and fell into a food comma and about an hour and a half later.... fell to sleep...

This recipe is enough for 4 to 6 people at one setting. Or 2 to 4 people for dinner and breakfast the next morning :).

Potato Hash & Tofu Scramble

3 Potatoes, Cut into small cubes (Leave a potato out if you want to cut the recipe down)
1 to 2 Sweet Peppers, Chopped ( I used some organic frozen peppers that I froze a while ago.)
1 onion, Chopped
1 Light Life Veggie Sausage pack
1 pack fridge tofu in water (Drain well)
1 or 2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Turmeric, for color
Olive oil
Vegan Butter of choice

Chop up all the veggies and set aside. Heat large skillet w/ Olive oil. Add onions & peppers. If peppers are frozen let the water cook off of them before you add the potatoes. When onions are translucent & peppers are getting soft add the some butter, potatoes & paprika. After you add the Potatoes add a Lid for 7 minutes. Until half ways cooked through. You can add the sausage straight to the pan to break apart & brown at that point. If your skillet doesn't have enough surface space get a big pot and brown the light life sausage then add to the potatoes and peppers. Start letting the potatoes brown. You can either use your favorite tofu scramble recipe or just use the ingredients in the recipe and through the drained tofu in with the potatoes and peppers to cook. Or you can cook it separately and then add it back to the mix. Then heat everything together for a few minutes. Thats what I did. So that it gets cooked and not mushy & doesn't break apart. Chuck your tofu like an egg would look. Add salt & pepper to taste.

  • You could also wilt some greens into this. If I would have had fresh spinach I would have.
  • Could also add mushrooms
  • Tons of different options for something like this :)

I also made Biscuits from Garden of vegan. Which is just a simple regular biscuit recipe. I even left out the vinegar. And we also had Almond milk gravy. which is quick and simple.

Almond Milk Gravy

4 Tbsp Flour
4 Tbsp Butter or/ and oil
2 to 2 1/2 cups Plain Almond milk

Put Oil & butter in pan to heat. Add the flour and whisk together. Cook a minute or so then add a little milk at a time. I normally add about half a cup and whisk till it gets thick. This way you won't have chunks or flour/butter floating in the gravy. I add the pepper and salt. After the first half cup of almond milk. This is basically a pepper gravy so add a good amount of pepper. But it would also make a great sausage gravy if you started out with the lightlife veggie sausage. Add the half a cups of milk till if is the consistency that you want. Don't let boil. It may separate or spoil. I always leave it right under boiling.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Book Eating Animals- Story Telling

Somethings have past through my mind long ago and not really triggered an emotion. But then to read it on a page and really discover that my children will never eat any foods I grew up with or food that our families make, will never be able to have cake at a birthday party or ice cream at a summer stand, or eat at a family reunion. It will really be different. I think this hits me more now for some reason. But I know it is for a greater good. For teaching them respect and that life is not ours to take and give as we please. Life is something to be cherished, be it animal, human, insect, etc. That life is the most important thing to that individual just like our lives are to us. Memories are what we make them. If we hinder ourselves by saying, but they will never have this, then we are not doing them any good. Find new traditions. Families who are interested can work on some of their recipes and make one of them vegan but really close to what it was. Its not hard. Find places that serve something vegan an make it a once a month trip. Or even make it a tradition when you travel to stop by one particular place to grab vegan ice cream. Celebrate Earth Day, & World Vegan Day, etc. I long for the opportunity to show & teach my children about life. And I know even though their child hood will not have some of the things I grew up with, that it can be great with new traditions. So I will not let these things hinder my family & I. :)

I know there are so many reviews of this book floating around. Good ones, Bad ones, and everything in between. And I was really expecting, after seeing some interviews of Mr. Foer and reading other reviews, to give this book a bad review. But right now I am thinking it has some interesting info in it and I am going to keep my mind open to give his book a fair review. I like how he is telling about his journey as the books unfolds. and I think a good number of people can relate about their feelings on family & how it can be affected by taking on this lifestyle.

"What would happen if I didn't eat any vegetables?"

I have a link on my site that tells how people find my blog. There is all kinds of searches that come to my blog. But this one was kinda strange.....

"What would happen if I didn't eat any Vegetables?"

So I thought I would answer this persons search....

You would be constipated w/o fiber from vegetables. You intestines would have to work very hard and still would not totally empty your body of waste. The lower your daily fiber the more increase in the risk of colon cancer. Since fiber cleans out your system. When bacteria sits in your body from not totally eliminating it it can cause all sorts of problems from bad breath to cancer. Eating lots of meat to make up for the loss of your other foods will also increase your risk of colon cancer. And digestive issues because meat breaks down slowly. Meat and dairy also causes on acid effect in your body which makes greater risk for disease. Breaking down of food in the body takes oxygen. The longer it takes to break down a food the more oxidation occurs. Oxidation causes free radical build up in the body. This is not good for you. Depending on if you are male or female your risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer also increases. It increases your blood cholesterol levels which increases your chances of having a heart attack. Risk of disease from eating a diseased animal is also presents. Specially with all the info on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) commonly known as Mad cow disease. You will not know if you have contacted this disease until you are alot older because it can sit dormant in your system. In humans it is called Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Also most all chicken has tumors and it is not known if eating tumorous meat can cause tumor growth in a human body. Though thoughts are that it could because tumors are cells that grow out of control for some reason. Introducing a tumor cell to your body could cause cell development. Mass raising animals also has other issues like pesticides on the animals, in the animals food, antibiotics that no longer work because they are always in meat and so strains of viruses become immune to them. So when people are sick they have to come up with new antibiotics to treat the virus that can no longer be killed by the original antibiotics. I could keep going but there is so much information to give.

Vegetables are very important to the diet. They give you tons of vitamins, along with fiber. They lower your risk of a lot of cancers. There are tons of different veggies and tons of ways to cook them...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Lil Banti's Baby

Well Lil Banti's Baby was born today sometime before 1pm. When I found the baby he was already gone. His little body had either started breaking down or never fully formed. I think it was the later. His head had not fully capped forward meeting the front of his skull. His belly to his tail had also not formed or was breaking down. His little black & white feathers all though wet looking had already dried in a slick looking clump.

We could hear his little chirps on Friday. We sat outside for hours waiting for him to find his way from his shell. Lil Banti would answer him back in soothing motherly clucks. Then there would be quite for a while. We heard his little voice. It sounded so strong. We have been looking forward to his birth. I'm not sure what happened & we of course really didn't get the chance to meet him. But he will be missed everyday in our chicken yard when his bright little chickadee face isn't there to greet us.
Rest In Peace Lil One and know that you were & are loved.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Garden Planning Part 2 & A Spring Memory of my Grandfather

I planted rhubarb last year that I got from my grandfathers garden after he past away. I was so worried that it would not come up this year after all the horrible weather we had this winter. It was so cold outside. I planted it in pots which worried me even more. Because I thought it would definitely freeze and kill them. But I must have had some luck because this year even when it was still chilly outside I started seeing a few rhubarb shoots. It made me so happy! I didn't lose the plants and spring was finally here. I did however lose one. Or it just hasn't started coming up yet. I planted one in the ground because my pot was not big enough for it. It was the largest in the group and I have yet to find it. We finally moved the dirt where I thought I had put it. Because we are moving our garden beds this year. But I didn't find any roots of anything. So I am not sure where I put it. But for the other ones. I am so happy they are doing well. I plan to bring a few more home this year so I can have enough to make a few pies. It is nice to have a piece of my Grandfather right out side. Every time I walk past I think of him. The garden in general makes me think of him. He raised a huge garden every year. He always sent us home with potatoes, corn, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. Yummy fresh veggies. He past away in the middle of march last year. So there was never a garden planted or planned. He had been sick for a while. After he had past spring came and the rhubarb came out of the ground to greet us with the presents of his garden. It reminded me of a time he cut a rhubarb stalk from his front yard and told me to try it. He told me it was a little sour but good. I wouldn't try it. I was alot younger when that happened. So after the rhubarb came up I asked my Grandmother if I could take some of the plants home. And she told me I could have as many as I wanted. We took a few and left the rest. Some other people also took some of it. This year I am going to get some more. And find a big beautiful pot or make a nice raised garden bed just for the rhubarb. So I can make many Rhubarb strawberry pies year round and think of him.

Well made it to the store Thursday. Picked up the most of what I needed. what everything that I needed at that point. I have just recently thought of a few more tings I would like to pick up and plant...

Anyways, Friday I went outside on a bright, beautiful, warm afternoon and planted all the other plants that I intend on growing this year. Except for the few that I am going to direct sow. Soon I hope. Depending on when the husband can get some more stuff in line.

I love planting starters. I hope they work out this year. I am almost wondering as warm as it has been if I should have planted them straight into the ground. It has been strange this year going straight from Furnace to Air conditioning. I hope this summer isn't going to be overwhelmingly hot & humid... yuck.

But the garden is on its way and I am very excited this year to have so many different plants. At this point I have planted 30 different varieties on plants and I am going to straight plant some more soon. We just need to finish moving the garden beds around and decide exactly where they are going. which with the way we procrastinate could be a while but I am in hopes that we can pull it together to have a gorgeous garden this year. So I can learn to can & not need to purchase stuff like organic canned tomatoes for $2.50 to $3.50 a can...

Here is the list that I planted the other day. I still need to count how many I planted.

12. Organic Peppers, Cali Wonders, Burpee,9
13. Organic Peppers, Carnival Mix, Burpee,9
14. Organic Peppers, Habanero, Burpee,9
15. Organic Peppers, Jalapeno Early, Ferry Morris, LYS,9
16. Organic Onions, Scallions, Burpee
17. Organic Head lettuce, Butter Crunch, Burpee,9
18. Organic Head lettuce, Bibb, Ferry Morris, LYS,9
19. Organic Lose Leaf, Flame, Burpee
20. Organic Swiss Chard, Red & White Mix, Burpee,9
21. Organic Pumpkin, Sugar Baby, Burpee
22. Organic Watermelon, Sugar Baby, Burpee,3
23. Organic Watermelon, Jubilee, Burpee,3
24. Catnips, Store Brand, LYS,9
25. True Lanvender, Burpee, LYS,9
26. Organic Basil, Burpee, LYS,9
27. Flower, Snap Dragon, Store Brand, LYS,9
28. Flower, Cosmos, Burpee, LYS,18
29. Organic Eggplant, Black Beauty, Burpee,9
30. Strawberries, Allstars, 10

I have been keeping track of all my plants this year with the quick to print "Seed Starting Worksheet" from the Martha Stewart website. I list organic or not, type of seed, brand, how many I planted, and the date. Then I will go back later and fill in the Planting date and some notes on the weather, what I used on them, and where they were planted, how much sun light they got, etc. I kept notes a couple years ago on one that I actually purchased and I have lost it since. But I really like to know what works and what doesn't and the weather and maybe why something didn't work or why it worked so well.

Easter Dinner at My parents house

I actually cooked today! and I had fun doing it. For the most part. I did however kill cookies... oops. Don't know exactly why they did turn out. I have been wanting to try these cookies since I purchased this book a while back and was just waiting for the right moment. Vegan Cookies Invade your cookie jar has alot of cookies that look so yummy. But I was specially looking forward to the Lazy Samoas (Toasted Coconut Chocolate Cookies) on Page 173-174. The recipe said that the batter should be very thick. Mine for some reason wasn't. I told John before I even put them on the baking sheet that I thought it needed more flour. But I didn't add it. So they spread completely out and ruined.... Good thing I didn't melt the chocolate. But I will definitely give these another try! Everything else turned out nice. We had Tofurky ( Johns choice), Sausage stuffing, Baked Cauliflower, Roasted Sweet Potatoes & White Potatoes, Green Beans, & Roles.

I love stuffing. and saying that I only have it 3 or 4 times a year. Normally only holidays. All those carbs are better left to just a few times a year. But I have been adding extras to the carbs lately. Instead of just plain stove top stuffing. Last year I added Celery. This time Lightlife Vegan sausage. Be careful when you purchase you stuffing. Alot of stuffings have chicken, turkey, clam or pork in them. So make sure to get a brand that doesn't. Watch out for milk additives too. I can find stuffing but regular bread crumbs normally have milk & egg listed.

Vegan Sausage Stuffing

1- Light Life Vegan Sausage
4- Servings Stuffing Bread of choice
Veg Broth
Vegan Butter
Olive oil

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Cook the light life sausage while breaking it up into small pieces about the size of the stuffing. Brown & set aside.
I make mine in the microwave normally. Even though our bag doesn't give instructions for the Microwave. I use the bread & broth measurements on the bag. I Put the Veg Broth & a Table spoon or 2 of butter into the microwave till it boils. Bring out and add the bread stuffing. Mix well make sure it is all wet and that there is enough moisture to make it soft. Then pop it back into the Microwave for a few more minutes. After taking it from Microwave place the Casserole lid over it to keep the moisture in to soak into the bread.

Baked Cauliflower

Whole Head Cauliflower
Olive Oil
Garlic- Optional

Preheat oven to 350F
Cut up the whole head of cauliflower into bite size pieces around the same size.
Place in a large bowl and drizzle with enough oil to coat all florets. Add your salt & pepper. I add garlic by just crushing a few cloves and throwing them in. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until soft and lightly browned. I also turn it at least once so it can brown more.

Baked Sweet & White Potatoes

2 Sweet Potatoes
2 White Potatoes
Olive oil
Herbs- Optional

Preheat oven to 350

Chop Potatoes into bite size wedges. Place in bowl with drizzled Olive Oil to coat. Add salt & Pepper. Add the herb of choice. I used Oregano. Turn at least once or twice. To help brown. Bakes for about 1 hour. ( These are actually very pretty when cooked. Don't look at he blurry picture and think it wasn't. Just a crappy photo :) oops. )

We had a good time at my parents house. I wish we would do it like once a month. Instead of just on Holidays. I think it would be nice to sit that time aside.

John & I
My Mom & Dad
My Lil Sis Chey & My Mom
My Plate
Johns Plate, My little Sister even made everyone place cards.
The scraps the go to the Chickens. They work as my compost crew... :) Waste not ! They even played chicken football with the apple ends. What I call chicken foot ball. Where one grabs the best piece that every one else wants. And then the chase is on! Someone else grabs it! Then the hen tries to tackle the rooster. Its very cute. I will have to video it next time.