Best birthday ever!

Well, at least in years, that’s for sure. I turned 50 today and it was great! Started the day off with 1.5 hours of yoga, then got a massage. Did a little shopping with the guys at the ABC Store for Crown Royal and Goldschlager, heh heh, and then had a fondue dinner at the Melting Pot. The restaurant gave me birthday roses, a chocolate bar to make dessert fondue at home, and also took our picture which actually turned out pretty good. They even put it in a nice frame. And my friend E. gave me a “Chocolate Chess Pie” from a local restaurant, Angus Barn. (Recipe below.) YUM!

ANGUS BARN CHOCOLATE CHESS PIE
1 UNBAKED PIE CRUST
1 STICK OF BUTTER
2 SQUARES BAKERS CHOCOLATE (SEMISWEET)
1 CUP OF SUGAR
2 EGGS (BEATEN)
1 TSP. VANILLA
DASH OF SALT

MELT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE, MIX WITH OTHER INGREDIENTS WHICH HAVE BEEN BLENDED TOGETHER. POUR INTO A REGULAR PIE SHELL AND BAKE 35 MINUTES
(NO LONGER) AT 350?F. TOP WITH WHIPPED CREAM.

http://www.angusbarn.com/recipes.html

Egg production

Wow, it’s starting to happen! Since Sunday, we’ve gotten 8 eggs – 6 green and 2 brown, which tells me at least one of the Barred Rocks is starting to lay (brown eggs). The first couple of green eggs were kinda small, but now they’re bigger, and holy cow, look at that first brown egg! It’s bigger than the store-bought one that was “large” size. I can’t really tell a difference in taste but I can only assume ours are better, ha ha! because they have better living conditions, oyster shell supplement and decent/consistent food that is non-medicated. The brown eggs both got dented a little, probably because they were “first eggs” and I’m sure the hen was a little spastic. But they weren’t ruined. Hurray!

Went to shovel chicken poop and got a surprise!

First egg from one of my girls! I have 3 Barred Rocks and 1 Black Australorp who are literally 20 weeks + 2 days old. (In theory, they should start laying at 20 weeks old.) Not sure who did the deed but that sure made shoveling the poop a lot easier, lol! It’s kind of a weird gray/green color – I thought BRs made brown eggs, so maybe it’s the other one, I don’t know.

What’s funny is I had been contemplating making them a different kind of nest box. They’re in an A-frame chicken tractor with just a square foot box that has a 4″ tall edge. Didn’t seem to phase them at all – the egg was actually IN there. Some people put a golf ball in the nest to give the chickens a clue. I hadn’t done that.


CVS shopping

Well, I have started experimenting with this. CVS will issue “Extra Care Bucks” (ECBs) when you purchase certain things. If you plan it right, you can get items for next to nothing.

I purchased 2 deodorants, saved $.38 because they were on sale, and earned $3 ECBs. I also purchased a new razor, saved $1.00 because it was on sale, and earned $5 ECBs. (This is stuff I would have bought at Wal-Mart anyway, so I figured I would give this a whirl.)

Now I can take the bottom of my receipt where the ECBs are printed and use them like cash. In theory, I can go back next week when they have beef jerky on special (which I would also buy anyway during my regular shopping) and get that with no additional cash out of pocket.

We’ll see.

Neighbors

Not like we have any, exactly, but the folks in one of the houses up on the main road got a go-kart, dirt bike, ATV and a new Mustang for Christmas. Apparently the crappy economy hasn’t hit them yet. They came by to talk to us and I think C. said it was okay for them to drive on our driveway. I’m thinking I don’t like that too much. I was out with the dogs (electric collar walk/training) and vrrrroommmm! down the driveway comes their kids. The kids are good – both girls, one’s in 3rd grade and one’s in 6th. But just the noise was not in keeping with my homesteading/back-to-nature mood. Humph. We’ll see.

On a separate homesteading note, I got these blue barrels so I could move my chicken feed and pine shavings outside, what a concept! Although it was convenient to have them right by the front door, it wasn’t exactly part of my decor, ha ha!