Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A day with the Bosses....

 When the Bosses are around; everyone pays attention.  Watching them is the highlight of my day.

 Get the ball Sisco...

 Thomo and Sisco ~ fast movers these two ...

 Sir Bandit ~ Who was loving the whole "Sharing" theory ...

 My Baby Tesla ~ Love this dog to death ...

 Thorn ~ scores a 9.2 for his hiding efforts...

 Watching Tesla play is great ~ Here he was shaking his head and butt,  to make the  log  move side to side.. it's the Tesla Ride...

 Time and time again, our animals have done a number of things to make us laugh, but  what better medicine at the end of a long days work.

 and knowing they are part of the family.. Well that makes them feel great as well.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Sweety ..

This is the love of my life.  

I love taking care of him, cooking for him, watching him work, and spending time with him.

There is nothing like his passion for animals, any animal.

 The knowledge he has for plant life ~ leaves me breathless.

He is always right there any, and every, time I need him.

 Most of all... I love the way he loves me.

 Nothing makes me happier then to hear him call my name.  I can't get enough of his praise when he eats my meals.  My sweeties laughter, lights up my soul. 

 He makes me want to stay home and do this for him all day long...

My Sweety I love you bunches ...

Two Wild Dogs, a Helpless Pig, and a Sad Horse..

 I live in a fairly quite area.  A few lots down is a guy who runs a fire works stand, so every now and then he sets off a fireworks display that can be seen and heard within the area.  When I first arrived at my mothers place,  maybe two weeks after I was here, there was the display of police choppers and police cars.  Seems a field of "herb" was growing in the area.  Problem solved, and we haven't seen any more police choppers flying around. But I am more then sure that didn't take care of the problem fully, the "growers" , most likely, just got smarter.  

One of the biggest problems I see out here is, it has become a place to drop off unwanted animals.  Dogs and cats roam around with no place to go.  Finding refuge under the houses of unsuspected homeowners.  Getting meals often from trash cans.  

Today, while working out in the yard with my sweety and my mother, we seen the cause and effect of such unwanted animals.  The term Wild Dogs brought on new meaning. 

 We were cleaning out the flower beds {seems to be a weed friendly place}, and setting the flower pots on bricks until they mature.  The benefit of this move, is we will enjoy the colorful blooms as they grow and mature.  

Mom has always wanted a water fall that starts in the corner of this flower bed, and falls down slate rock and into the concrete area in front of the flower beds.  She talks about it, and you can not only see the water fall, but hear it as well.  Making this flower bed a home for the flowers, never crossed our minds.

 I was pulling weeds when I hear the loudest squelching sound ever.  It was the sound of the neighbor, 2 lots down, pig.  Our own dogs were barking and racing to the fence.  I turn around to see what the pig was screaming about, when I saw it.  I yelled to my sweety "B A B Y,T H E   D O G S  !!!"  He turned and thought I was talking about our dogs.. so loudly  I say    "T H E I R,  T H O S E  D O G S  I N  T HE    D I T C H"  as I point toward the neighbors ditch.

 Right there, in plain site, was four dogs attacking a small black pig.  The squelching screaming sound was horrible, the poor pig was defenseless and being bitten all over by the dogs.  In a flash my sweety began running toward the dogs in attempt to save the helpless pig.  following behind him was my mother {although she wasn't running} and myself.  Paul made it to the ditch {no one even thinking about the fact of there being 4 wild dogs and one human, not until afterwords}and scared the dogs off.  The poor little pig ran toward the property in which he lives, and hid next to the fence under cover.  The owners of the poor pig never came out to see about the animal.  My mother and myself thought the little pig would be dead by morning.

 When we all seen TWO little black pigs, we jumped for joy.  The pig who had been attacked made it through the night.  In the pictures above, the female pig was the one attacked... she is the one in the top picture looking at the camera.  In the second picture, she is on the left.  If you look at her left hind leg, you can see the large mark where she was being eaten.  How she lived, is beyond me.  But I am so thankful to she her running around, limping.. but alive. 

 As for the dogs.. Well two of them were picked up by the Humane Society.  My biggest fear, if they could attack a pet pig, was the four dogs attacking a small child.  The dogs were obviously hungry,  they must have been dropped of in the area, because you can see they are healthy and wore a collar.  Unfortunately, they got the bad end of a deal from their bad owners.  

Yesterday, my sweety and I ventured out to the local feed store.  Now, I know nothing about horses, but in the same lot as the two small pigs is a horse.  I have been watching this horse for a week, day in and day out the horse eats grass.  The area in which it grazes is more then thin on the grass side, which happens when the animal is left with only grass to eat.  Like I said before, the owners live on the property with the horse.. and two pigs.. and a area built onto the home {in the back out of site} full of baby and young adult squirrels.  I don't think I even want to know what is being done to the poor squirrels. 

I had to do something.  Friday was the first day of Autumn, and with how skinny the horse looked to me.. I knew it would be a rough winter for the poor animal.  It may have been a small dead, but to the horse; it meant the world.

In attempts to get a meal, the horse is pulling down the fence to get to the grass ..

The saddest thing ever.. ribs are showing and the hip bones stick out...

With the slightest move, the poor horse flinches..  But the hay, he loved.

From what I understand, a starving animal has to be reintroduced to food slowly, and that is what we did with the hay.  I would hate to cause any more discomfort to the poor horse, but just from looking at him, you know he is hungry.  In Texas, this would get an owner hung... But I am not in Texas {where it is a crime to treat a horse like this}, when I talked to the humane society here in Florida, I was told "We don't do livestock.  Try the sheriff dept, if they don't want to handle it they will tell you to call us, but now you know we don't handle livestock ."  I could have yanked her through the phone ~  But, kept it together like a lady should...  A yanking would have felt great though.

The horse ate, and the pigs joined him in eating the hay, I am guessing they aren't getting the food they need either.    One step at a time, and I hope to blog good progress with the horse.. maybe he will be alittle fatter in the next photos.  Now, if only I could find a place here in Riverview/Brandon who wouldn't mind donating food to help this horse out...  

Any ideas where I could check?

Let The Cooking Begin: Part Three...

I have come to like the gathering that happens in the kitchen.  I look forward to hearing the reviews of my family.  There is something about knowing; my meals are well liked by my siblings and mother.  Not to say, I loving hearing my sweety say "Mmm Baby, that was good".  My head might have gotten a little bigger, and my pride is over flowing.  

I can not seem to stop myself. 

Ground Beef for Stuffed Bell Peppers

It's disgusting. 

It's madding.
It's time consuming.

And I love it.   

So, maybe "love" is a strong word to use.  I hate spending the time cooking and then having to clean up the dishes.  Not the cooking dishes {utensils, Pots/pans, measuring cups and spoons} but, the lunch dishes.. and the dinner dishes... and I've failed to add; the breakfast dishes. 

Otherwise; I am having the time of my life trying new dishes.  Making meals.  Baking.  Learning.  Yep, this is better then what little I learned in high school.  None of that cooking stuck with me.  Not even the kitchen lingo. 

2 cups of Rice for the Stuff Bell Peppers

I went grocery shopping with my mother at a local Spanish store.  The Village.  I could have shopped in there for hours, in fact I am almost positive we did.  The store was not huge; like Walmart or Publix, but man was I in Spanish heaven.  The peppers was such a pretty color, so I bought some saying "I am going to make Stuffed Bell Peppers.  Did I know how to make Stuffed Peppers, no; and that did not stop me.  I picked up the brightest Green Bell Peppers.  Yellow Bell Peppers.  Red Bell Peppers.  and the prettiest Red Pablanos Peppers I have ever seen.   Not, in truth, I have no idea what to use a Pablano Pepper for; regardless of the color, but the color was so pretty that I was going to show it off.  So they are currently sitting in my Veggie Basket while I figure out their use, and I will figure it out.

With my Green and Red Bell Peppers, dinner for next week was in the making.  With the help of my daughter Tabitha and the online web site {}  she provided me with,  a combination of a few ideas was placed together, and before I knew it; my Stuffed Bell Peppers were in the making.

Stuffed, and over stuffed, Green Bell Peppers

First,  as I cooked the ground beef , the ingredients were added:  all season {two shakes from the bottle}, black pepper {1/2 TBSP}, paprika {1/2 TSP}, Oregano {2 shakes from the bottle},  Diced Onions {1 cup} and Goya Sofrito Criollo Seasoning {2 Tablespoons}.

While the ground beef was cooking, I started the rice ~ 2 Cups.

During the cooking time of the ground beef and the rice, I started on my Bell Peppers and Chicken {there will be an explanation for the chicken later}.

Multitasking in a small kitchen is very hard.  I have to say, and stress strongly, my mothers kitchen is big but the counter space is VERY SMALL.
I cut a hole in the top of the Peppers, cleaned out all the seeds and membranes {of course saved the seeds so the natural green thumbs can grown more peppers}, rinsed out the insides and placed them in a steamer above boiling water.  Now, I let the water come almost to the bottom of the steamer, put the lid on and let the water boil fully BEFORE I added my Bell Peppers to the steamer.  Once the water was at a good boil, I added the Bell Peppers.  Because the Peppers were so big, only three fit at a time, and this was just fine.  I let the peppers steam for 5 minutes.  Then took out the first 3 peppers and added the last 2 peppers

When the ground beef was fully cooked, I drained the fat and added the cooked rice to the pan of ground beef.  Mix ground beef and rice together well.  You now have your Bell Pepper Stuffing.  Mm mm Yummy!!

~ Added ground beef and rice mixture around Bell Pepper ~

I spooned the Bell Pepper Stuffing inside each pepper {I stuffed it full}, spooned tomato sauce {or spaghetti sauce} over top of each Bell Pepper, topped it with plenty of shredded cheddar cheese, dont be afraid to fill the Bell Pepper opening and over fill it.  Nothing is better then melted cheddar cheese.  Beside, I am talking three hungry men here... there can never be "enough".

When all the Bell Peppers were stuffed, I put them in the oven at 325 for 1 hour.  The stuffing will get nice and hot, the Bell Pepper wont be to soft, and not to crunchy.

Your family will  L O V E  {harps are playing as an angel sings in the back ground}  them

Garnish your bowl with what ever you'd like.  I added a few additional spoons full of my ground beef and rice mixture around the bowls.  But you can add crackers or sliced toast.  What ever your heart desires. 

My brother Mark, doesn't like Stuffed Bell Peppers ~ so I made him oven baked chicken.  He loved that.

I cleaned the chicken first, beat two eggs {added 1 TBSP All Season, Black Pepper [just a shake], dipped the chicken in the egg/seasoning mixture, poured season bread crumbs in a zip lock bag {about 1/4 way up the bag}, added the dipped chicken to the zip lock bag and shook until the chicken was covered with bread crumbs.  I put the chicken in a round baking dish {a pie pan to be exact} and baked right along with the Bell Peppers.  Poof, Dinner for Mark was well on it's way to cooking.

Dinner was done, and another meal learned.  I could really get use to this cooking idea.  To use to it.

****  Note ***
 The dinner turned out awesome.  I could not have asked for a better meal to make a group of hungry men, and my mother loved the Stuffed Bell Peppers.  Only thing.. My sweety slept through dinner time.  My brother Fred, well he was out like a light as well.  As for Mark, he did not come home until much later.  So the only one who was able to enjoy the Bell Peppers out of the oven, was my mother... Who loved every single bite.  Funny thing is ~ my mother and I worked in the yard ALL day long.  Cutting grass at her neighbor Lois yard, and weed eating our yard.  I was burnt {still am} and she was worn out; yet we were the only ones in the house awake.  Ha, silly men.. though they could out work a women.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Plants and The Lime Green Thumb ...

Some people have green thumbs naturally.  No matter what they plant in a pot or the ground; it grows.  Other peoples thumbs are lime green.  These people can buy a plant and keep it healthy; but have no skill with planting something and making it grow.

This is the case at my house.  My mother planted a Sweet Potato and it is growing like nothing I have ever seen.  She did the same thing as a young child, and produced a wonderful plant, that she wasn't able to take when her family moved.  She wanted to retry as an adult and, BAM, instant plant.

Now, there doesn't seem to be a thing that my sweety can't grow.  I think he could find a dead twig, and grow a tree.  Really.  This is the pineapple he planted about a month, or so, ago... And what a tasty pineapple it was!

The clipping from my grand mothers Bamboo Plant.  It is thriving like crazy.  Of course.

During one of the Operation Property Clean Up days, my sweety removed a plant from the top of his carport.  I did not think it was going to last through the week.  I give you ... The Wandering Jew.  

What I would have thought as a weed, proved me wrong when my sweety pulled out a black plastic temporary pot, added soil, water, and some TLC.  POW... A Yellow Moss Rose is born.  Look at that yellow bloom. Oh, did I mention that he pulled this Moss Rose up out of my mothers back yard?  Yep, that's right, it was the same height as the grass, and almost lost its battle with the lawn mower.

Here is a Pink Moss Rose that was saved by the master green thumb.  Again, growing wildly in my mothers yard, my sweety carefully and gently pulls up the small Moss Rose, pulls out a black pot, adds soil, water, and his TLC.  POOF.  What bright pink blooms it produces.  

There is nothing wrong with the Lime Green Thumb planter.  That would be me. I have been able to keep this plant {and her twin} alive for a few years now.  In fact, I brought them from Texas years ago.  Her clippings have warmed my mother neighbors living room, filled my daughters large flower pot {that sits on my mothers porch}, and is currently producing new growth in a few other pots that sit on both porches at my mothers place.  

~ The Twin ~

I am quite proud of my store bought plants.  They have done me proud.  Now if only I could figure out how my mother and my sweety do it.  Who knows, maybe my Lime Green Thumb will mature, and I will be able to keep a Rose Bush alive. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Daredevil, The Dreamer, and The Stalker...

Job: The Great Sunflower Heist 

Speech:  Here's the plan boys.  Get to the stash of Sunflowers before The Stalker or The Imitator has us for lunch.  If you are spotted, don't move.  What ever you do, don't move; be a statue, stay very still.  OK team, mount up and head out.  

The Look Out ~ its job is to call out when danger is close...
The Dreamer ~ Sunflower Seeds are the only thing he has his sights on...

The Dreamer makes it to the first feeder, the Sunflower Seeds have him tasting heaven.  The Daredevil gets the go ahead, and joins The Dreamer ...

The Daredevil is so close to his slice of Sunflower Seed Heaven.  The Dreamer isn't stopping for anything in the world...

Touch down for The Daredevil ...

The Stalker sees all ... Takes all in...

D O N 'T   M O V E   DREAMER ...

The Imitator moves in closer ...

This is good, but ~ H E Y !!  Where did he go??

They got away this time, but....

We'll keep watching.  They wont be so lucky next time.