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Friday, April 29, 2011

Tornadic Activity

You will be relieved to know that Kathy and Eleanore made it through the heavy rain, wind and hail just fine.
Our neighborhood got pretty lucky and wasn't hit too hard. Unlike these.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Little Known Facts

#6 There are four cities in the United States that have the word "chicken" in their name: Chicken, Alaska; Chicken Bristle, Illinois; Chicken Bristle, Kentucky; and Chicken Town, Pennsylvania.

#7 The greatest number of yolks ever found in a single chicken egg was nine

#8 Chickens experience REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

#9 The chicken is the closest living relative of the tyrannosaurus-rex.


"Scientists have at last uncovered the closest living relative of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, the most feared and famous of all the dinosaurs. For the first time, researchers have managed to sequence proteins from the long-extinct creature, leading them to the discovery that many of the molecules show a remarkable similarity to those of the humble chicken."  - guardian.uk.co

#10 In Gainesville, Georgia, (the chicken capital of the world), a local ordinance makes it illegal to eat your chicken with a fork. 

Apparently Gainesville, GA is considered the chicken capital of the world because there are so many poultry processing plants there. Probably not a favorite spot for feathered families to vacation.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ever Wonder...?

If there is a dedicated shoe store for people that only need one shoe?
What a lightly beaten egg looks like in comparison to a regularly beaten one?

Sometimes I will see "lightly beaten" in recipes and it always makes me think of an egg that got in a fight, but not too serious of one. Maybe not a broken nose and missing teeth, but probably a black eye...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Creepy Crawlies

While Aaron and I were babysitting for our newest niece on Friday, we decided to take her up to the chicken coop to see the birds. She walked right up to the poultry wire - fearless. I collected the eggs and showed them to her. She wanted to hold both of them. So I let her. One in one hand, one in the other and immediately started clapping them together.

On our way back down to the house I let out a "Hooahahewewewewoyoyoy!" My arms flailing, my knees high. And then Aaron saw it and let out a more manly "Uhhhh uuhhh". His knees high. 

We think it was a black snake.

Saturday on my way back to the chickens my eyes were wide and scanning the yard. I tip toed back to the garden checking where my foot would land next and then walked comfortably back to the house.

Yesterday, my case of the willies almost over with, I opened the shed door and "Plop!" Something wriggly fell from above and dropped near my feet. I made another noise and scanned the ground, unsure if I should move... then I saw the salamander, started breathing again and let out a nervous laugh.

I'll be inside on the couch for the rest of the spring and summer if anybody needs me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mushroom Hunting

I have been hearing people at work talk about going hunting for mushrooms. Not just any mushroom though, morel mushrooms. There is only a couple week window where they are in season. I kept hearing how these morels are great fried in cornmeal. (Does anything really taste bad if it has been fried in cornmeal?)

About a week ago Charlie and I were out for a walk but we weren't on our usual route. While Charlie was across the road sniffing the remains of something I saw 15 or 20 mushrooms that looked like this:
Pretty crazy looking, huh? Before I picked them I checked to make sure I wasn't going to get into something poisonous and get yet another skin rash. I brought my bounty in to work Monday morning. Today, I ate one that had been fried in cornmeal. It is a lot less intimidating in coated pieces. (Kind of like calamari.)

Was it good? - It wasn't bad
Tastes like? - Well, fried cornmeal.
Similar to...? - any meaty mushroom fried in cornmeal.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Little Known Chicken Facts courtesy of Poultry Hollow:

 #1 Chicken are pretty fast. The chicken can travel up to 9 miles per hour when it wants to.

#2 The largest ever recorded chicken egg weighed nearly 12 ounces, and measured 12.25 inches around.

#3 Chicken language has real meanings. The birds give different alarm calls depending on which type of predator is threatening them.

#4 There are more chickens on Earth than there are humans.

#5 Chickens can cross breed with turkeys. The result is called a 'Turken'.
(This one may not actually be true. Something about different number of chromosomes... However, there is a type of chicken, the Naked Neck Turken, named for its resemblance.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Picky Eater or Super Power?

Even though I enjoy growing vegetables, I don't actually enjoy eating vegetables all that much. Especially the cruciferous ones like broccoli and cauliflower - but you might remember that.

I was looking for recipes involving vegetables for people that don't like them and came across an article from Web MD. (It was the first one I have ever read that didn't immediately make me a hypochondriac.) It said that some people, about 25% of the population, are super tasters. A super taster has more sensitive taste buds and is more sensitive to the bitterness of many veggies. It all makes sense now.

I must have other super senses too. I think I would fall in the Super Smeller and Super Hear-er categories. (SmellER not SmellY, Aaron) 

For instance, just the other day I asked a coworker if another coworker had been in the lab earlier. He said he didn't know and asked why. I replied "Oh, I can just smell him." Lo and behold, that other guy had been in and out of the lab before anyone else got in.

The Super Hear-er is kind of tricky. I often have a hard time hearing/understanding what people say, but if their nose is whistling or they are chewing on something, I can tell from a mile away. (Not really a blessing. Not at all.)

Anyway, back to the tasting topic... I have often wondered if people tasted the same (as in the taste buds transmit the same flavors to the brain). It just never made sense to me that someone could love the taste of say... blueberries, but someone else could hate it.  Now, I know. People do not taste the same. (Honestly I have never wondered in the cannibalistic manner.)

So, thanks Web MD.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Peas, Please

About a month ago a friend gave me some peas to plant. Sugar snap peas to be exact.
I started them in a damp paper towel, then transferred them to the same planter box that all the rescued worms are in. The onions growing out the onion got transplanted. The planter box was getting a little crowded.

Grrr - the browser keeps getting stuck when I try to upload a picture... I'll try again later. But for now, I leave you with this:

Peas porridge hot
Peas porridge cold
Peas porridge in the pot 9 days old

Some like 'em hot
Some like 'em cold
Some like 'em in the pot 9 days old.

My mom would recite this occasionally if we were having peas with dinner. (And now I probably do.) It never really made me want them more. (I am slightly better about consuming veggies than I used to be.) But I always enjoy a good rhyme!

Monday, April 11, 2011

In the words of Elton John...

Yesterday I noticed that Kathy's plumage wasn't quite as full as it used to be. She has all of her tail feathers, but she is looking a little thin on the sides. Thin as in "plucked".

It appears that Eleanore is now the ruling queen of the coop. I am not sure what happened this time to affect this change, or how Kathy got overthrown.

Maybe my chickens just aren't who I thought they were.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inbox Gem

You may have seen this before. Its seems to happen every couple of months that I get an e-mail forwarded to me of Awkward Family Photos. This one cracks me up every time. I think its the caption. FINALLY!

Do What?

I was speaking with my sister over the phone last night. She let me in on something kind of important to the readers of this blog...

She had no idea what the charts were about.

Sorry 'bout that.

The charts of my "stats" that I was so excited about were showing that not only did my blog get viewed 40 times in one day, 28 of those views happened between 1 and 2 pm. (Hence the rambling about what I was doing at that particular time.)

Hope that clears things up.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The One o'clock Hour

What were you doing during the hour from 1 to 2 this afternoon?
At one o'clock this afternoon I had just finished eating lunch and returned to work. I was pretty productive for the one o'clock hour. (I won't say what time it is now, but you can guess how productive I am being...)
Regardless, I was checking my "Stats" and look at what I saw!

That is pretty darn exciting (and a little reassuring).

Monday, April 4, 2011

March Mathness

57 Eggs!

Our egg consumption has slowed considerably.
If  you can get a carton or 1/2 carton to me or to Aaron we'll fill you up asap.