Saturday, November 29, 2008

Success with the Beaver!

I know this will not be the last of the need for dam destruction, but I checked on our handiwork the next day, and I am quite pleased!

Remember when Christina went on her Great Beaver Hunt? She was up to her lace-covered butt hips in water crawling under this fallen log.

Now look at the water level at this same spot!

The pipe we laid is still fully under water and pumping water through the dam. Look how much of the creek bank is now visible!

This was when Christina was hanging on for dear life climbing the listing tree, with a still surface covered in leaves below. This same tree (which will be cut down tomorrow,) is visible above.

Once the water level dropped, more dams were visible in the distance. Tomorrow, barring rain, we will be back out with pitch forks and shovels, taking those down as well. I've already taken another pipe down, in case it's necessary!

A local friend, Debby, told Stud Muffin that people often set a lawn chair out near the dam, with a dummy sitting in it. After a while, the beavers stop worrying about it and then you can take the place of the dummy and fire away!

Studly told her that was a great idea, but he didn't think he could get me to sit in the chair out in the woods for a few nights!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Inconveniencing the Beaver!

Okay, so I don't know if this will become a Thanksgiving tradition around here, but this morning started off by donning waders (funny trousers, according to Marmy) and destroying the beaver dam. Not just poking at it with a stick, but getting into the cold water and ripping the thing apart.

We took a 20 foot length of 3 inch PVC pipe to act as our culvert, strapped to the buggy. It was a bit like jousting with the trees driving down the road, but we made it.

Stud Muffin started by trimming away some of the branches from a tree which the (&%^$%$$# beaver has caused to fall across the creek.

Then there was nothing left to do but actually climb down in there and start removing branches one by one.

It didn't take long for the water to start flowing. Keeping it going was going to be the challenge!. Using a stick helps!

I took a turn as well, but sitting on the dam was easier on my back. However, even with the waders, my butt was cold!!

See the pipe next to me? I was digging down in the silt to keep the pipe under water as much as possible. BTW, leaf mold and mud smell like *ss!

Pipe in place, concrete blocks from under the bridge keep the pipe from floating away. The bank has eroded away so much that the blocks weren't doing anything to hold the bridge up. Guess I can't drive over it until we do something about that! Like win the lottery!

Water flows through the pipe and no matter how high Monsieur Beaver rebuilds the dam, the water will keep flowing! Hopefully, he and his family will relocate much further away. On somebody's else property.

Is that mean of me?!?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

T'was the night after Thanksgiving...

After the Thanksgiving turkey is eaten and the dishes are running in the machine, men go off to unbutton their pants and watch televised football.

Women unbutton their pants and start their online Christmas shopping!

Photo by

And even though I am still working on one, I have listed my Farm Fresh Christmas stocking in the shop. Hopefully, I will have a cucumber stocking before too long, but at the moment, I need to start over. This stocking is too big and looks like the Pickle That Ate New York!

I am also noodling on an addition to the eco-friendly produce line, but it's definitely not ready for Prime Time yet. Stay tuned.

And a word of advise. For those of you who aren't aware, many stores are/will be closing their doors. Use up your gift cards soon and be careful about buying these store's cards for gifts!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm such a child...

just ask my husband.

While we were out running errands this morning, we stopped by the Petsmart store for dog food. We had previously decided that we would not get the dogs new toys for Christmas.

Yeah, we bought toys anyway. And then, as soon as we got home, the dogs could smell the toys through the bag and got all excited. So we (okay, I... it was all me!) gave them the toys. Merry Christmas, Nick and Sassy!

Nick claimed this toy, since it makes a hedgehog throaty honk/squeak. That made Sassy nuts, and she wasn't interested in the other toy that I bought just for her. She danced around whining for us to get the toy for her, but Nick growled (lovingly, if that's possible) when anyone came near his toy.

Eventually, Sassy distracted Nick and stole the squeaky toy. Then she crawled under the coffee table to better protect the treasure.

That left Nick with the "other" toy. The not-as-exciting toy. The "loser's" toy. And the chasing around for the good toy began in earnest. The only way to distract them (after throwing them outside and having them race for the toy when they got back in) was to ply them with rawhide bones. They go into separate rooms to eat those!

So, I'm a child for buying the toys and then giving them out immediately.

And then there is dinner. At Stud Muffin's request, I made a macaroni and cheese, after he baked an apple pie for Thanksgiving.

Here is the mac and cheese after we ate dinner.

This isn't a very big Pyrex, maybe 6-8 inches across?

Then I NEEDED pie! It was a pie-ial emergency! I had been smelling it as it baked. And I had been cheated out of my piece from the last pie!

So, here is our Thanksgiving pie:

A bigger dish than the macaroni was baked in. Proportionately more gone.

This pie might not make it to Thursday!

So, yeah... I'm a child. And if there were any Christmas gifts wrapped around here with my name on them, I would have opened them by now!

Monday, November 24, 2008

As those of us in the USA prepare for Thankgiving Day, remember that there is nothing worse than an undercooked turkey as the center piece of your dinner table. I have done extensive research on the internet to bring you this tip for cooking a perfect bird!

Okay, I actually stole this from Nick's Bytes. I even stole the same cartoon from!

A sure fire way to tell when your Thanksgiving turkey is thoroughly cooked! Add popcorn to the stuffing!

8 - 15 lb. turkey
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is good)
1 cup uncooked popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER'S LOW FAT)
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush turkey well with melted butter salt, and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven.

Listen for the popping sounds. When the turkey's ass blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room, it's done.

Of course, you could just wait for that timer thingie in every ceiling to start shrieking. As the smoke pours out of the oven, you'll know the bird it completely and thoroughly cooked!

More valuable cooking and holiday merry-making tips to come!

You're welcome!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Beavers explained

For those of you city-slickers, and Marmy, who don't understand what I have against a cute little beaver, I will explain. (No, Stud Muffin, I will NOT explain my beaver to you! After 24 years of marriage, you already know!)

First off, beavers do not look like this:

Cartoon at

If Marmy were to have her way, the picture would look like this:

Photo by raincoaster,files,

I want you to notice how large this beaver is compared to the woman kissing it! Folks, beavers are a member of the RODENT family! You know, rats and such! And they multiply like rodents!

Beavers can chew down a forest full of trees in no time, in order to build large waterfront condos for themselves and their numerous offspring.

Photo by

They all want swimming pools and pool-side cabanas too, so they take even more trees to build damn dams to hold in water.

Photo by

Damming up a stream does a couple of bad things. First, it slows the flow of water downstream, allowing leaves and junk to accumulate. Plus, I don't get to watch the water flow and that p*sses me off!

Second, when the heavy rains inevitably come, water backs up behind the dam and overflows the stream banks. This in turn washes away the surrounding ground, taking my roads and bridges with it. This p*sses me off!

Then I have to sweet talk Stud Muffin into selling his beloved car in order to raise funds to hire someone with a bulldozer to come build me a new road. I have to do unspeakable wifely things to accomplish this (like cleaning and cooking) and this also p*sses me off!

Finally, I have no more money and am reduce to being my own day laborer moving mulch ALL SUMMER LONG, because I can't afford to stimulate the local economy and hire somebody stronger than myself to move all that &*%&^$#$ mulch. This really p*sses me off!

The only way to eliminate a beaver population, is, well, to eliminate the beavers! Dynamite is preferred, but a bazooka is acceptable. We are going to try and just taking out the Welcome sign and see if they will relocate to Marmy's house. Otherwise, more drastic measures will be taken!

Now you all know why I want the beavers gone. As much as I would like to "live and let live," rodents bigger than my dogs freak me out. Worse than fish.

So, no more talk about leaving the beavers alone.

Photo by

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Lucky Day!

Today has been a very good day. Look what the mailman brought me!

My $1 check as promised as a refund on our closing when we sold our house in Las Vegas. Now I can go get my lottery ticket and win millions!

Plus, I keep getting emails saying I will get one half of a huge multi-million dollar payout for helping some poor "feriner" process a check! I keep telling them I don't have a bank account, but will go into a bank and cash it for them! Waiting to hear back, and mentally spending my money already!

In other good news, I sold my first log carrier on Etsy! A repeat customer (also my first!) bought this map print carrier for a birthday gift!

This afternoon, I went and retrieved some of the firewood Stud Muffin and I cut yesterday from a tree that uprooted and fell across the road.

This is only the top of the tree. We have most of the trunk yet to cut, but did get the road cleared again.

We have a new plan for getting rid of the beavers, which entails skewering the dams with PVC pipe, below the water level, to get the water draining again. Something like this.

Diagram by

Locals here say the when the beavers can't stop the water flowing by building the dam higher, supposedly they will go elsewhere. We'll see!

Dinner is in the oven. Barbeque pork chops and cornbread. Perfect for a cold blustery night!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh, man!!

I was (almost) so busted!!

I ran errands this morning, after Stud Muffin helped me take the trash to the dump. Nothing much to report, except I paid $1.83 for gas with my grocery store wavy thing.

I returned home with lots to do. The clouds are coming in and the temperature will drop to 25*F tonight! That's cold folks! I'll be shivering in my hula skirt.

So, anyway, I needed to get in some more firewood and mow (at least) the backyard to get rid of as much fruit from the Squirtwood tree as I could hit with the mower. Sassy barfed twice last night at 1:15 AM. I want these suckers gone, I say!

I mowed. The backyard and both side yards. When I returned the mower to the shop, however, my cell phone was nowhere to be found. I had put it in my pants pocket, so that if I drove off of a cliff into the forest or I mowed over a snake, I could call Stud Muffin so at least he could laugh at me. How could I explain that I lost my phone, in my own yard?!?

Check around the mower in the shop. No phone. Sh*t! Okay, drive the buggy over all the lawns I've mowed and pray feverishly that I don't compound the problem by running the dang thing over. Horrible visions of my pretty lavender Razr phone lying amongst the leaves in pieces after I mowed over it flash before my eyes.

Photo by jasonbaeder

Photo by kozumel

What if Studly won't buy me another new phone? What if I have to carry this old thing around?

Photo by Say, does this phone make my butt look fat?

I mow over things all the time. Walnuts, sticks, snakes. Some of them make horrific noises and shoot out in pieces. So, how could I find just where the phone squeezed out of my pocket like a Push-Pop? Driving around wasn't getting the job done. I got the house phone, started calling myself and walked outside.

There! I heard it! Singing away somewhere in the backyard! Hopefully, NOT covered in Squirtwood fruit!




There you are!!

Safe and sound, singing right along.

Whew! Okay. My heart rate is returning to normal.

And we won't tell Studly that I ran around the backyard yelling Marco/Polo into the great forest beyond. That's just between us, right?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Enough is enough

That's it!

I've had it!

I am so over the dogs barfing in the house because they keep eating every persimmon in the yard. I'm tired of waking from a sound sleep to the sound of retching, knowing that if I don't "hop to" and clean up a pile of steaming, fermenting fruit vomit, it will stain the carpet and I will spend the next day with the SpotBot.

Tired of Sassy bugging me endlessly to be let into the backyard so she can zoom around looking for more fruit to eat with me chasing after her trying to get to the fruit first. Tired of having my evening punctuated by a big cloud of doggie gas leveling the family room and making the actors on TV hold their noses!

Tired of finding persimmon seeds that have unintentionally ejected themselves from the hind end of a pet littered about the house. (Yeah, that was probably Too Much Information, but I'm just keeping it real here!)

There was no other choice. It had to be done. The persimmon trees (or Squirtwood, as Stud Muffin calls it) HAVE to go.

It's not like the fruit was good for anything. They are only about the size of a "shooter" marble, with flat seeds like bullets. And there were millions of them on each tree. And there are 3 trees in the fenced backyard where the dogs spend time.

So after Sunday morning waffles, we fired up the chainsaw and Studly "did the deed!!" Starting with the little ones and working up to the big, still producing one.

Stud Muffin wanted me to tell you that he sawed and sawed and the big tree didn't fall. Then I pushed on it and it dropped like a stone.

The truth is, he sawed and sawed until his back needed a rest. Holding a heavy, loud chain saw away from your body so you don't accidentally lob off your leg is hard on the back and arms. He told me that he hadn't cut the wedge all the way through, so he had more work to do. I pushed on the trunk and reported that it was still firmly upright. Then it cracked, I jumped, and the tree dropped.

I took a turn with the saw while Stud Muffin loaded the cart.

As expected, fruit went everywhere! I'm pretty sure that we shot persimmons into the next county!!

While Studly threw the tree branches over the fence, I filled bucket after bucket with fruit bound for the dump.

I can't say that I'm sorry to see the trees go. I've got lots more trees. I got a cartload of firewood out of the deal, and hopefully, after another week of ferreting out the hidden persimmons, there will be no more Spotbot-worthy incidents.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The recession is over!!

Photo from www.

Things are still wet here on Feet First Farm, and getting much colder! But our fortunes are improving!! Before I explain ('cus I know Stud Muffin is curious) I want to share what I made for lunch today!

I read about this Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp recipe over at The Pioneer Woman, and decided that it would be a great lunch idea for me to try when Stud Muffin was at work. You know, just in case it was a bomb. Besides, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be into it anyway, what with the orange juice in it. So, anyway, here it is.

Now, the recipe calls for Old Bay seasoning, but I didn't know what that was, let alone have any. So, I checked out the internet and made a substitution recipe for the seasoning. Also, the recipe calls for more cayenne pepper than I would want, so I just added a sprinkle.

I was really good!! I'm very pleased with my seasoning substitution but should have let the sauce cook down a little more to get syrupy!

As for my improving fortunes, here is the story:

A while back, I got an email from Chicago Angie, who was also our real estate agent in Las Vegas. {Shameless Plug: If you are looking to buy or sell in Las Vegas, Angie is your gal!} Anyway, Angie received an email (which she attached) from the new owners of our LV house, indicating that they had received a letter from a company trying to refund us some money. Angie sent along the information for me to call and provide a forwarding address to get the money.

I put off calling this company, because, frankly, I was worried that it wasn't a legitimate refund, but rather some sort of a phony offer to sell us something. Eventually, I looked the company up on the internet (gotta love it!) and found that they were for real.

Yesterday, I placed the call. Since I didn't have the actual letter, just the information, I couldn't provide an account number or even the name of the person who had sent it. I spent about 15 minutes talking with 3 different people before we got it all squared away. The final lady I spoke with was so happy that I had persevered so she could clear the refund from her accounts.

I am now eagerly awaiting my refund check (from title insurance or some such thing) in the amount of...... wait for it.....


The recession is over here on the farm!!

I told the lady that if she hurried, I could still get a large Sweet Tea from McDonald's for $1. She suggested that I buy a Lottery ticket instead. I like her idea better than mine!

Picture by

Next round of water is on me!!!

Edit: Barb has reminded me that I too am expecting a multi-million dollar deposit into my bank account as my half of an embassy payment from a some country or another. The good times just keep getting better and better!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It was a dark and!

A dark and rainy day here today. The dogs were being particularly pesky, so I decided to go to Kroger's and Sam's Club for supplies.

I did pretty well at Kroger's, especially since they send me targeted coupons when I use my wavy-thing card. I managed to save 48% today, including their coupons for free Cheerios, and money off of produce.

Sam's Club was for meat and cheese, and some fine dining for lunch. Hot dog and Diet Coke. That there is some good eats!

When I got home, I had 10 pounds of ground beef to deal with, along with some other meat to separate and wrap, and 6 pounds of cheese to shred. I ended up cooking 5 pounds of the beef to freeze for quick dinners in future, and freezing the rest of the beef in 1 pound portions.

The dogs were going nuts with all the meat cooking! Since I wouldn't give them the steaks they requested, I let them have the (cooled) pans a pre-rinse cycle, ala dog.

Nick wedges his pan into the corner, as always, but Sassy hasn't figured that out yet. She licks SO hard, that the pan travelled around the kitchen a couple of times. First we go one way,

then go the other. Repeat.

The rains have come in waves. Somewhere in the night, poor Mr and Mrs Frog-tree flung themselves off of their bench!

That's better, but they look like they have been "eatin' sh*t!" Mr and Mrs Frog-tree have been with us for 16 years, living in every garden we have had since then.

I told you it was dark today!

Oh, and the project I was working on when Stud Muffin was absconding with MY PIECE OF PIE, here it is, still in progress.

I will leave you with this helpful list courtesy of my blog-less friend Chicago Angie:

Who would have thought the solution to everyday problems was this easy?


Avoid cutting yourself when slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop.

Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by using the sink.

For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives; then you'll be afraid to cough.

You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.


Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

Daily Thought: