Friday, December 4, 2015

Bottles of Wine and Barbed Wire...

So, I've been staring at a blank page for like an hour while also staring at Jimmy Kimmel's face on my television.  He is looking good with a beard.  Oh.  Hey...  My ADD is in full effect tonight and it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm on my third glass of wine, which for those of you that know me, know that is the equivalent of an entire bottle.  Don't be judgy.  I'm on holiday.  And stuff like this happens on holiday..

I seem to have developed a pattern of only blogging at the beginning or end of a semester.  I have one final next Wednesday, then I'm done until January.  AND I graduate in May.  What the what!?  Sometimes I want to kick myself for not finishing school a long time ago, but the truth is that up until maybe a year ago, I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to be when I grew up.  It was like adult purgatory.  Which is an extremely uneasy feeling.  Now that I have chosen my path I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Although I graduate in May, my intentions are to attend another University and after 3 semesters I will do my student teaching and then I'll have my BS in Ag Ed. Then more than likely I will press on and go for my Master's.  Because, why not?  I love what I am doing.  Like, absolutely love! I'm good at it, and it makes me seriously happy to wake up every morning to learn more about, and I absolutely cannot wait to teach it. It's super crazy looking back on all the things you didn't do in your life...the things you are always questioning while looking back on them, or wondering why they didn't happen.  Eventually, everything falls into place right where it is supposed to be, and then looking back it is crystal clear as to why those things are happening now, but didn't then.  Funny how that happens...  Tis a reason for just have to be patient I guess, and just let things fall into the right the right time..  :-)

Ya'll!  My bestie moved.  What the heck.  It was bad enough that for the last 7-8-9 years she was like 800 miles away, but now she is like 2000+ miles away into a different time zone.  Which seriously sucks.  It does help that I never sleep so we get to chat a lot at night.  Before she moved we would always text first thing in the morning.  Now, I wake up in the morning, and I'm looking at my clock like hmmm..ok, she basically just went to sleep so now I have to wait half the day for her day to even begin.  Knowing for months leading up to the move we rarely talked about it (the move).  They weren't getting stationed where they wanted to be, so it was bad.  Lots of tension there.....It was something that rarely got brought up even though we all knew it was looming in the corners and was coming fast.  Bad.  Sad.  I was worried about them, I was worried that I would feel so far away from them that it was like she was in another country.  But, of course it doesn't.  We picked up right where we left off like we always do, and are excited to plan my trip to visit in the Spring.  It sucks when people you care about move far away.  Like why can't I go too?  If you have to, then so should I.  I can teach Ag anywhere!  On her road trip from Texas to Washington she sent me so many wonderful pictures.  I definitely traveled vicariously through them. Plus, she sent me spoons from just about every stop.  I love spoons!!  You know.  Like a little old lady with a spoon collection hanging on the wall.  Yep, that's me. I'm like a little old lady.  If someone goes on a trip and asks me what I would like...I want a spoon...a Christmas ornament and a bottle of wine. I'm easy to please. Please and thanks.  I can't wait to explore and be all touristy and stuff with one of my favorite people.  <3

All of my girls are laying now.
I think a day or two after my last blog Cora started laying her beautiful blue eggs.

and big shocker...she's still my favorite!  She is just so pretty and she absolutely adores me!  She constantly want so know where I am and what I'm doing.  I used this picture in a presentation I had to do in Animal Science where I had to discuss Poultry.  So basically...she's famous now.

Agnes got all hormonal and went broody on me a month or so back. I so wish I could have gotten my hands on some fertile eggs for her to hatch, but I don't need any more chickens than I have at the moment.  A lot of chicken keepers try to stop their girls from going broody because they stop laying during this time, or because they don't eat and drink like they should because their instincts are to protect their nest.  I read many articles on how to "break the broody" and then I decided, you know what..if this is what her body wants to do, then we are just going to roll with it.  We got her out of the box often just so she would move around and free range a bit, but we never prevented her from laying on her nest.  She would let us take her out of the box without a fight, but it wasn't too long before she disappeared and was right back on her nest.  We figured it would be about 21 days of broodiness and that was spot on.  Poor girl,  She wanted to be a Mama so bad.  So instead, I just let her be Winston's other Mama.  He doesn't seem to mind.  She can herd him in like cattle.  Those two are something else!

If I go inside they'll follow me to the back door and just wait for me.  I always hear something tapping, and when I go to look out this is what I see.  Hazel likes to knock (peck) on the back door and then pretend she didn't.  She's got jokes.

Wreath week has begun.  Actually it began last week, but I took a break for a few days because of my classes.  I'm basically already over it.  It's so exhausting and I just want a nap.  Plus I'm itchy.  I think I'm allergic.

Since I have to cut so much greenery for the wreaths (a pickup truck load makes maybe four) I tend to have to go to some random places.  One of the best places is along I-24, and just so I don't get spotted by a kidnapper I like to go in the back way..Which consists of climbing over old rusty barbed wire fences....  Wellll, last year I hit the same spot several times and one of those times on my way down the other side of the fence... I snagged my britches.  I remember thinking owww and reaching back to feel for a tear in my pants, but I couldn't tell because I had gloves on. I asked my friend if I had a hole in my pants?  She busted up laughing and couldn't even say anything.  She would stop laughing, try to speak, look at my rear again, and bust out laughing with tears.  I was laughing because she was laughing, and I didn't yet know why she was laughing.  Then I finally felt why she was laughing.  The barbed wire split the rear end of my pants from the very top.  To the very bottom. My entire right cheek was out there for all the kidnappers to see...We were laughing.  Crying.  Hunched over belly laughs...I was trying to cover my rear.  It was freezing cold and I was exposed...So, now..I take a ladder to put over the fence so that I don't get a scar to match the barb scar I currently have on my hiney.  Climbing barbed wire is clearly not my thing..

I'm a little more than half way done..I believe I have 9 left... but I need to hurry up because I'm sure people want their wreaths before Easter.  And I need to shop for Christmas presents.  I can't even tell you the last time I was in a store to buy something other than as needed every day essentials...I'm sure my family would appreciate it if I went to the grocery store.

Thank goodness for the internet...If I was a Transformer my name would definitely be Amazon Prime... That two day shipping will be convenient when I have to buy last minute Christmas gifts.

I love seeing my wreaths on my way in and out of my neighborhood.  They especially look beautiful at night with the spotlight on them.  During the day I have almost ended up in the ditch a few times when I'm leaving the neighborhood.  I can't help but stare..they really are pretty!

Speaking of my neighborhood...It only took ten years but they finally voted us yard of the month!!!  What!!!!!  I about flipped out when I came home Wednesday and the sign was in our yard.  Actually, I jumped out of the car to call Kyle and forgot I left my car running.  I did that once when I was a caller on GMA radio..I think this was before I met Robin Roberts in person, but I had just pulled into my office parking lot and was so excited that I was actually speaking to Robin that I jumped out of my car and forgot that it wasn't in park. Umm, so the first few seconds of our conversation was me freaking out because I was jumping back into my car to stop it and put in park.  Never a dull moment, folks.  We got yard of the month for having the best Fall decor in November.  Those Fall window boxes I did definitely paid off!

Well shoot, I know if Nicole texts me to tell me goodnight that it is way past bedtime, plus the wine is all gone... so I guess that means I should wrap this puppy up..

I hope your Friday is just as amazing as you are!! 


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Who Needs a Tan Anyway..

Hey ya'll!!  It's been a while.  

I didn't realize since end of April, while, but you I am now to pick up where I left off.  It's hard to believe that summer is almost over.

Blah blah.

I've been cranky the last few days, and I'd like to say it's because school is almost back in session, but in reality I'm seriously annoyed that I don't get to be a stay at home dog Mom forever.  Like for the rest of my life forever.

It's sad, right?!

Recently, I had some surgery and was out of commission for a few weeks.  Prior to surgery, in between freaking out because I was going to be put to sleep, which is odd considering sleeping is one of my favorite things to do..Never mind that I had a giant tumor, and would wake up minus an organ and who knows what else, but instead I was terrified about being put into a deep sleep with a tube down my throat.  Anyway, I was like woohoo I get an entire week off!!  A whole week off of cooking, cleaning, working, everaaything..I wouldn't have to lift a finger unless I wanted to...I'll get to organize my financial statements, pack a few boxes to declutter before we list the house, do a few blogs!  Yassss!!

Ummm. No.

I could barely keep my eyes open for the first week thanks to heavy narcotics that I was taking every four hours on the dot.  Then I tried to go back to work early the next Monday because I felt like they needed me there, and was quickly sent home and told not to return until the next Monday..Don't have to tell me twice.  It's all fun and games until someone loses an organ.  So, now that I am about 90% back to myself I am severely spoiled, and seriously depressed that my stay at home dog Mom days are over. Why?!  Why does it have to end!!  I have tears people, real tears!!  Even Brodie wants to know why!

I keep throwing out random suggestions to my Husband of fabulous ideas that he could be doing to supplement my income so I can stay home.  I can tell some of my genius ideas make his wheels spin, and then's gone in a flash.  A girl can dream..

The sisters have started laying eggs just in the last few weeks.  We have gathered well over two dozen by now.  It's like Christmas morning every time someone finds an egg.

Hazel is the smallest hen and lays the biggest eggs. She will run with her sisters, but she likes to explore on her own..I guess she is like her mama and marches to the beat of her own drum.  Nothing wrong with that, or talking to trees.  I don't think she gets that from me though..  ;-)  She likes to eat the bugs climbing the trees.

Stella is the only other sister that is laying at the moment.  Her eggs are small right now, but she is proud of them and so are we.  We think they're wonderful! Stella loves to sing the egg song and announce to the whole world and even into outer space that she just layed an egg.  Lord have mercy.  That girl has a set of lungs!!  

My favorite girl, Cora, hasn't started laying yet.  From what I've read, her breed is sometimes a few weeks behind other breeds, so we are just waiting to see what her eggs will look like.  It shouldn't be too much longer now.  Meanwhile, she steals all my kisses!!

We can't leave out Agnes.  She would probably get her feelings hurt if we didn't mention her.

Especially since she likes to be all up in everyone's business.  If something is going on somewhere you better believe she will be right in the middle of it, and if she's not yet, watch out because she will knock you out of the way to put herself right in the middle..usually by charging her way through head first.  She's a hot mess, and the comedian of the bunch.  She gets all of our laughs!

Kyle finished the coop.  All in all we figured it cost us around $500 to build the coop.  We used a lot of recycled materials which made a huge difference in our pockets.  It turned out better than either of us ever imagined, and without having an actual plan or blueprint he really did an outstanding job.

You couldn't buy anything better than this for under $1,500.  Trust me, we looked!  Now that I know what he is capable of I have a list of future projects.  Mostly for our new house.

We have always talked about eventually buying a farm.  Just in the last 6-8 months we have been serious in our search for our future forever farm.   We started out with the intent to buy the farm Kyle grew up on.  The house there was built in the 70's and is just beautiful.  It would only need minimal work to make it last another 30 something years.  While that would be the perfect place, right now we are in a situation where it's out of our hands while his family makes decisions and plans...since they are currently living there.  So. we continue to explore all of our options.  We have looked at so many houses and vacant land near our house and in surrounding counties.  We just haven't found the one.  If we found one that could be "the one" it was either pending or there was something about it that we couldn't overlook.  Like last week I absolutely fell in love with a house and some acreage.  It was everything we wanted on paper.  It was a newer home that was built with old charm, which is exactly what I had just enough acreage and even barns and outbuildings...We went to look at it and the neighbors house was just a short walk across the lawn...way too close and totally disappointing..Not to mention the neighbor didn't look like they enjoyed cutting their grass...So, no biggie...Next!!  We are going to look at one this evening if the rain holds off.  Trey and I are really excited about this one.  We have both had warm fuzzies about it since we stumbled across it two days ago, so I hope it's not too good to be true, because it usually is.

Either way I have faith that we will find exactly what we are looking for one of these's just not something we are willing to rush, or settle on. Even though I really would move tomorrow!!

I seriously can't wait to live in the middle of no where.  It is so exciting to think about and plan for!!

So, that's pretty much my exciting summer in a nut shell. I didn't do very much, and I don't have the tan to prove it.  :-)


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chickens and Selfies

Somehow we got into the habit of calling the girls "sister(s)"..It's pretty cute, especially when we start talking about the sisters in our chicken/dog voices, the dogs light up and practically wag their cute little tails off! They absolutely love their sisters..I cracked up the other day when just Winston and I were hanging out inside and I saw him catch a glimpse of himself in my floor length mirror, so I started pointing to the mirror like a lunatic saying "who's that baby, where's the baby!? Then I was like what the what when he was practically spinning in circles looking all over my room..I soon realized that I was talking in my sister/dog Mom voice and he must have thought one of the sisters was in my room.  It was hilarious!

The sisters are officially teenagers now - actually as of a few weeks ago.  Much easier to handle than the human teenagers.  Like, really!!  I am beginning to believe that I was destined to be a Mom to dog and chicken teenagers, rather than the human kind.

Agnes has the most beautiful green eyes.  When I'm holding her I always tell her how beautiful they are...hopefully she will continue to allow me to admire her beauty and she won't peck my face..because that for real.  My girls have not pecked me yet, but I was talking a selfie with a chicken once (who takes selfies with chickens? < quietly raises hand in the back of the room > ) and it pecked my nose.  It hurt like a mother!  So, anytime I have my girls within pecking range of my face I instantly flash back to that mean chicken.  I can't make this stuff up.  This is really my life. 



The girls each have their own little personalities, which is pretty darn adorable.  Agnes and her sad face make me giggle to myself...she is actually my most photogenic sister, and bless her heart,she has the saddest little face.  Rest assured she is a very happy hen who thinks she is the boss!!

Quite often I would, one at a time, let the dogs sisters sniff out the sisters, and touch beaks while they were still little infant sisters in the brooder.  The day I finally decided to let them free range with the chickens was a big day.  

Scuba was the only one I was worried about because he would lick his chops like he couldn't wait to get his jaws clenched on some fresh, juicy chicken..To my surprise he loves his sisters!!  He is very protective of them and just likes to hang out near them.  The boys swear that he is afraid of them, but if some little beak came chasing after me to peck my paws, I would probably run too.  

Brodie is the same, he mingles well with the sisters and as long as we throw his ball he honestly pays them no attention.  I have noticed if we don't throw his ball for a while he will start playing with the sisters to get them riled up, which makes me totally nervous, so I panic until I can find his ball to toss it.  Well played, Brodie..well played.  ;-)  

Wintson, on the other hand...Oh Winston..what am I going to do with my almighty barker!  He still has to be on a leash when they are free ranging.  I don't yet trust him with them one bit.  He is the only one that doesn't listen to commands (from anyone) and will full force senior citizen dog run after them.  He makes me so nervous, so for now he is a work in progress.  As long as he is leashed he doesn't even try to go near them, but he won't take his eyes off them either..


My sweet Cora is probably my favorite.  She is the only one that will sit as quiet as a little house hen while I pet her.  She'll coo and cluck a little, but won't move a muscle. 

I think she likes me the best too.  And I swear she knows her name.  Ok, well I haven't decided yet if she really knows her name, but if she hears her name, or my voice she comes to me, or turns her head towards me.  Perhaps it's my fabulous sister/dog Mom voice!?   Either way, I just love that girl!!

It's certainly never a dull moment around this little homestead, and with these little sisters around things are especially bright and shiny!!

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, March 26, 2015


Between this semester at school, work and just life in general.. I have purposely neglected my blog. In my spare time I usually have my face stuffed into a pile of flash cards and books.  I absolutely love being in school again and don't mind one bit that it takes up the majority of my time.  I think I could be a professional student at this point in my life. I love learning, especially about something I'm so passionate about.  

Besides all that..I have some exciting news that I want to share with you guys..

Last month we added four more pets to the bunch..This makes 8 total...Three dogs, one nameless fish...and four of the most precious baby chicks that you ever did see.  

Yep, zookeeper here.

I'm finally a chicken mama and so over the moon in love with them!! 

I picked up my girls at the end of February..We all go crazy over them...even the dogs.  I try to engage them with the dogs regularly...Hopefully they will love their sisters and not want to eat them for chicken snacks.  I can certainly say that now that I'm a chicken mama...chicken absolutely does not taste the same as it did pre-chicken mama..Obviously, we only got them to use as laying hens and will never harvest them for meat.  

They have the cutest little personalities, and I've made sure that they know I'm the mama..Although, I'm pretty sure they love Trey the most.  He's pretty easy to love the most, so I don't hold it against them...But I have thought about holding it against him when it comes to the morning shift once they move into their new house coop.

Kyle made them a roost and they love it!! It's super cute when all four of them are on it at the same time.  Which, of course, they promptly hop off of as soon as I try to snap a picture of them roosting.

I think they must agree with me that they're the prettiest little chicky babes ever since they wait in line to sit and stare at themselves in the mirror..

This is Cora...
She is an Ameracauna and will lay the most beautiful blue/green eggs.

Stella is a Silver-Laced Wyandotte and will lay beautiful brown eggs.

Agnes, my smallest girl, is a White Rock.  She knows her name and will follow us around wherever we go.  Agnes has the cutest personality and loves to have her chest rubbed.  She'll lay brown eggs.

Hazel is a Golden-Sex Link.  She doesn't really seem to like anything, or care a whole lot for anybody.  She falls all over herself to get to the nearest corner of their brooder just so no one will pick her up.  I give her extra lovin' just because I'm the mama, and that's what mamas do.  Hazel will also lay brown eggs.

Now that you've met the newest loves of my life I hope you stop back in to read about my new adventures as a chicken mama..These girls grow super fast!!  You wouldn't believe how much they change every day!

Agnes wanted to thank you for stopping by to read all about her and her little chicky chicky boo boo sisters...

Oh, and by the way.. this is her happy face... :-)

I've come to the conclusion that life is just too short not to have chickens!!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Baked Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Marinara

Holy Mother of goodness ya'll, this recipe is the absolute tastiest that I've made in quite a while. Having said that, I just had a flashback to my most recent dinner recipes, and this may or may not be the only (newish anyway) recipe that I've made lately...I've been so busy and I already feel as if I wear a lot of hats, but being the awesome multi-hat wearer that I the end of the day "cooker" is just not the hat I choose to don..You feel me?  So, anywho...thank goodness for Pinterest, right!?  If only I had a personal chef...

Alright, sooo. This is easy. And fabulous.  And you may even want to lick your plate clean once you've devoured it.  

That wouldn't be very ladylike, but the thought did cross my mind.. :-)

Let's begin with the homemade marinara sauce...It's marinara-licious!  I mean you could use marinara in a jar, but come might as well give it a try.  Trust's totally worth it!


1 tablespoon olive oil
8ish garlic cloves, pressed or thinly sliced
(I say 8ish cloves because I personally used a whole bulb..I have major garlic probs)
1/4 (ish aka or more) cup fresh basil
2 -28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Heat olive oil in a large pan over low heat.  

Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they are golden.

The sight of garlic makes my mouth water.  

Have I ever mentioned that I have major garlic probs?

Hello, my name is Carrie and I'm a garlicolic.

I totally just made that up, but it sounds legit, right?

Tear your basil into pieces or strips and toss around with the garlic and olive oil..

I'm staring at this picture and I'm droolin'!

Stir in both cans of crushed tomatoes..Bring to a boil, then add the salt; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 40-45 minutes, then stir in the balsamic vinegar and the pinch of sugar.   Cover and leave the sauce on low until ready to serve.

While the sauce is a brewin' you can get started on other part of the recipe..


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise in half..or use 4 cutlets, which is what I did.
3/4 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
spaghetti (measure how ever much you think you will need)
fresh mozzarella, sliced, or you can use 3/4 shredded mozz

I use Bel Gioioso fresh mozz and let me tell you, it's a game changer!!

Preheat oven to 450.  Line your baking sheet or dish with foil, parchment, or a sil mat if you have one.  I used foil and lightly spritzed it with olive oil.

In a large pot of boiling water cook your noodles according to the package instructions.  I typically use thin spaghetti and I boil the noodles for 8 minutes. Once the noodles are complete, drain well.

In a small bowl combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan.  

One at a time brush the butter on both sides of each chicken breast.  I seriously contemplated not using butter.  I thought about using olive oil, or even just plain ol' water, but I still ended up using the melted butter.  Make it your own, if you so could even use an egg.  

One at a time dredge the chicken breast in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the crumbs to the chicken to coat.  Place onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  Flip and bake about 5 more minutes, or until the crust is a golden color and the chicken is cooked through.  Then remove from the oven.  

Not done just yet!

Spoon a tablespoon (ish) of marinara on each chicken breast, then place one slice of the mozz cheese on top.  Place back into the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted on top.

Grab a plate and top your spaghetti with your homemade marinara-licious sauce, then add one of those amazing looking chicken breasts and top with any left over basil you may have.

You's so good!!  Like I want some right now!!

Definitely a keeper in my cookbook, especially the marinara-licious sauce!!

Let me know how it turns out for you...