Tag Archives: MJ

Holiday Cheer

1 Dec

As difficult as this fall has been, I decided I needed some holiday cheer.  It ended up with me deep cleaning the closet upstairs (which was a good thing for a stroll down memory lane).

Then I did a little decorating.  I wanted to use my schefflera as a Christmas tree.

Schefflera (with Bob sleeping under it)

I decided it wasn’t going to work for lights, but I did find some light snowflake ornaments that I could put on it.

I also decorated my little tree.

I added the ornament my mom and sister made.

MJ ornament

It’s my MJ.

MJ (from 2013)–I love that nose.

MJ was not unknown to wear a Santa hat

The cats were tortured.

Santa Salem

Just a little.

Herbie wiggled too much to get a decent picture.

I like how things turned out.

I am really looking forward to this holiday season.

Healthy Eating

11 Nov

Over the last year, I’ve really tried to improve the healthiness of the food I eat.  I’ve been a vegetarian for 18 1/2 years thanks to my animal family. Let’s face it–it was MJ.  I just couldn’t eat meat after him.

MJ (from 2013)

That means I have way less cholesterol in my diet, only from my dairy products.  I do love my dairy though, and I don’t think I could ever give it up.  The homemade mozzarella and yogurt are so much better than store bought.

Adding blueberries to some of the yogurt I made last weekend.

Seriously, I never want to go back to the over-salted mozzarella you buy.

Still milking Zinnia!

After my mom’s heart attack last summer, it really put the pressure on to cut the excessive sodium out of my diet, especially since I have heart disease on both sides of the family.  All of the prepackaged meat alternatives I was cooking with have tons of sodium.  I’ve spent the last year figuring out how to make my own meat substitutes.

slicing turkey seitan for sandwiches

I can do a pretty passable turkey, chicken, ham, roast, hamburger, and bacon.  They have no cholesterol and very little sodium.  But it’s hard to find the time to make it from scratch.

perfect for pizza, quiche, or sandwiches

The hardest part of cutting down on sodium was looking at my beloved vegetable stock and realizing it had to go.  I cannot believe the amount of sodium in basic vegetable stock you buy in the store.  One of the reasons I planted such a big garden this past summer was to raise the vegetables to make my own.

The garden largely failed this year, but I got my turnips and tomatoes, and I bought the rest of the vegetables, and my homemade vegetable stock has no sodium added.

Last month, I saw a news report on a new push for the food industry to cut back on the amount of sodium they add to foods because people can’t even cut the sodium out of their diets the way our food industry is set up.  I will attest to how hard it is.  The french fries we made from the potatoes we grew had no salt added, but the time it takes to cut, parboil, dry and freeze them compared to just opening a bag from the store is very restrictive.  But they are delicious.  You can actually taste the potato!

I’ve finally made the compromise to just do one potato when I want fries and deep fry it in the fry daddy instead of freezing a bunch at a time.  It might not be quite as healthy, because of the fat, but it is still way healthier than the store bought.

It makes me grateful to be out here where I can have a big garden and the goats and chickens to provide me with so much of my food.

Scurs

2 Sep

You might recall that Antigone had really weak horns that she kept ripping off.  I do think it was a genetic trait from her dad because a couple of her half-sisters also have those weird horns.  They just aren’t anywhere near as bad as Antigone’s.  That’s probably a result of her being an inbred oopsie baby.  Anyhow, I had the vets remove those horribly weak horns.  She was really older than one would typically dehorn, but it was medically necessary in her case.

Antigone

Well, one reason I don’t routinely dehorn my goats is scurs.

They tend to still get little horn growths that are loose and eventually fall off just to start the process all over again.  But with Antigone, there really wasn’t much of a choice.  She’s spent all summer growing loose scurs.

Often, when the scur comes off, it’s a bloody mess; although not as bad as what it was when Antigone was ripping her whole horn off.

Cows don’t do that as badly.  You remove a cow’s horn, and it’s just gone.  MJ, my steer, was actually born scurred; he had little sorta horns that were weak and didn’t really amount to much.  They were removed, and that was it.  Now, most farmers have selectively bred horns out of their cattle because being polled (without horns) is the dominant trait.

MJ (from 2013)

Unfortunatley, in goats there tends to be other undesirable genetic traits (such as hermaphrodites) that are paired with being polled that makes this less of a desirable option.

Bambi “I have no undesirable traits.”

Anyhow, back to Antigone.  I’m happy to say that Antigone’s longer scur fell off.

Even though I had prepared by purchasing blood stop powder, cotton pads, and vet wrap, it was completely bloodless and pain free.

Hopefully, that trend continues because she’s had enough pain from those horns.