Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Confections

White Chocolate Grand Marnier Truffles.
Liberty Junction Blackmail, black junior buck.

Tulamore Farms Slow Joe Crow, black junior buck.

Tulamore Farms Mr. Ashley, Black senior buck.

Doesn't Mr. Ashley look just like a Confection?
What could be better on a rainy day? Eating white chocolate truffles and grooming black bucks for a show. Not at the same time but on the same rainy day. It sure makes for an enjoyable day in between trying to mop up the floor from many wet dogs and wet boots. Newspapers helped alittle to absorb the muck.
We are supposed to get some really nice weather for the show on Saturday and I am looking forward to some sunshine. Rhinebeck is such a pretty town and it is such a nice drive along the Hudson River. This is the area where so many famous painters set up easels and painted the beauty of the river and the landscape. It should be particularly beautiful with all of the spring flowers blooming. I will try to be better at taking some photos. Don't have any photos of the senior does now that they seem to be really coming into nice coats over the last few weeks.
The black bucks sure are looking nice too. They do like dark chocolate truffles, don't they?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

What Maisy thinks of her Easter Outfit.
Looking for treats, Granma.

Don't you like my ears and scarf?

Prize for the messiest cook in the whole wide world.
We are cooking Easter Dinner at my mothers tomorrow as my stove is broken but I am trying to make some things ahead to take with me. There is a really yummy recipe for spring onion dip with shallots, green onion, parsley, dill, mayo and sour cream. I am going to serve it in a scooped out cabbage with baby carrots, radishes, and spring onions to dip. Could I possibly have more ingredients on the counter? There is no doubt that I am the messiest cook in the entire world but the dip sure turned out good. I think all is forgiven when the food tastes good.
I made white chocolate Grand Marnier truffles for desert. Also, a lemon mousse served in a white chocolate egg. You make the shells by dipping a small, blown up balloon into melted white chocolate. You have to spray non-stick spray on them first before you dip them. There was non-stick spray all over my kitchen floor and everyone was sliding around including the dogs. I will try to get a photo when they are finished tomorrow morning. Hope they turn out. The truffles taste good but look a little lumpy. Candy making is pretty difficult.
My Gran-puppy is visiting while my daughter and son-in-law are in Japan. Being her grandma, I had to get her an Easter outfit. I don't think she liked it very much except when it was in her mouth and she was shaking the dickens out of it. Oh, well there goes my try at turning her into a bunny. Hoppy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chicken Rodeo

We know it is our bedtime.
We know it is our bedtime.

We just want to stay out and party!

Oh, alright if you say it's bedtime.
We have always had chickens since we moved into this house. I was the one that brought the original 4 silkey chickens home almost 20 years ago. We have had as many as 80 chickens at a time. Our latest small flock of 4 was given to us by a friend of my husbands that couldn't keep them due to the crowing. There were 2 roosters and 2 hens. After a time the hens hatched out some eggs, more roosters. We then had 5 roosters and two hens so we were looking for some more hens to even out the flock.
The McGraws were looking for a home for their chickens so they could have the large hutch back for their big Flemish Giant. This worked out for both of us. We took the chickens home from the Lehigh Valley show and settled them into a large screened section of the barn for 2 weeks so they would know their new home in the barn.
Chickens have very small brains and it takes much work with them to help them understand the routine. After much time in the barn introducing them to the other chickens, the door to their section, the door to the barn and finally on a lovely warm, sunny, day, introducing them to the great outdoors. You would think that with all the time we were spending introducing them to their new surrounding, that they would get it. At night we all go to sleep in the barn so we will all be safe.
Oh, no, not us! Us chickens love to watch the silly Shepherds chase us around the yard with big rakes, having heart attacks. While we are trying to make their way back to Maryland. I know they are trying to go back as they always head south. After awhile, we chickens get tired of watching the crazy Shepherds and then we decide to go visit the barn and finally go to sleep. The baby goats think this is entertainment put on just for them and they race along with the crowd. Hopefully, the little chicken brains will get the routine before the human rodeo rustlers keel over. They are much younger and more full of energy then we are, so I don't know who will win in the end . Probably them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Long Island Show

Shepherds Bramble, Best Opposite Sex in show "B"
Shepherds Natasha, Best Opposite Sex Show "A"

Tulumores Mr. Ashley, Best of Breed Show "A"
How can I go to a show in a beautiful post and beam barn in a historic village and never take a picture? I think it is because it is always cold and I spend alot of my time trying to stay warm. Not only did I not take pictures of the location, I did not take any pictures of the BOB or BOS rabbits. On top of that, one of the fellows from the show committee, you know who you are, told me that Best 4 Class was at one table which I was watching very carefully so that I would take up Mr. Ashley. Meanwhile, Best 4 class was happening right behind me on another table. Ugh! Sometimes, I think that I am losing my mind. Of course, he didn't win BOB in the second show.
We were talking about how this is the show that I have gone to so many times, I no longer need to look at the directions. Also, how the show used to be held at a German Resturant in the Beer Garden under a canopy. You could go into the resturant and get some German specialties for lunch. I have never walked around and looked at the historic village. The Historical Group moved many old building and homes to the Old Bethpage Village and in warmer weather they have a variety of tours and demos. This time I did peek out the back door to the main building and watched an old fashioned baseball game, with original uniforms, happening out back.
They used to have an adorable gift shop that always had the cutest bunny things but they have been closed for two years now. Everyone misses them. Long Island is always a fun show and I get to see some of the people that have bought bunnies from me over they years and sometimes they even bring the bunnies in to visit me.
I was very happy with the show results even though I missed the Best 4 Class. Results as follows:
Show "A"
BOB- Tulamores Mr. Ashley, colored senior buck
BOS- Shepherds Natasha, white senior doe
BOSV- Shepherds white jr buck
Show "B"
BOS- Shepherds Bramble, colored senior buck
BOV- Shepherds Patience, white junior doe
BOSV-Shepherds white junior buck
My Daughter and Son-in-law left for Japan today with a straight through 14 hour flight. When I looked on the website, they were flying over Alaska. I will include some photos if I am able to figure out how to post them. I am excited for them but they seemed a little nervous. This is a trip of a lifetime so I am sure they will have a wonderful time.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Cleaning Part 2

Enjoying the breeze.
Do I smell daffodils?

That sunshine sure feels good.
There is nothing that feels better after a long cold winter then spring sunshine and daffodils. The only thing I enjoy almost as much is pulling cage stacks out of the barn and blasting them with the power washer. My husband bought me a used power washer for my Easter present last year. Although not a romantic gift, it sure was a gift close to my heart. When he started it up for me and I let the power loose on some practice cages he said "You can shoot poop into the next county with that thing!" I was thrilled. It makes cleaning cages so much fasted blasting hair and crud right off the wire. I have never been able to scrub cages that clean by hand no matter how long I scrubbed for. Anyway, either my son or husband broke the wand this fall and no one will admit to it, so I am back to hand scrubbing for now. Looking to find a replacment wand on the internet.
I did find a great hose nozzle, in Target, that has adjustments and a flow regulator that works pretty good. It has a dial around the front where you can choose a variety of spray types and blast away. There are some people that choose to burn off the wool from cages but living in an old wooden house and having an old wooden barn, I never wanted to take the chance of burning down either.
Another option for cleaning is when I put out the cages to be cleaned and then nature take it's course, with a ton of rain, like we are having today. Not my first choice but it is water after all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Started with this.
After a few minutes.

Rinse, rinse, rinse.

Spray with vinegar water.
I almost hate to recommend this product as it is very caustic and precautions must be followed when using it. I mostly use plastic Dura trays under my cages and over time, even with regular scrubbing and white vinegar soaking, they become covered in calcium deposits. I have never tried it on metal pans and would not recommend it as it may eat right through the metal. There is this product from the dollar store called "The Works". It is used for sinks and toilets and removes rust and lime deposits. It works amazingly on the plastic pans.
You must wear googles, heavy plastic gloves and long sleeves and long pants. Leave no skin exposed. I set this up out front in the gravel driveway so that if there are any spills, it will wash away where no animals can come in contact with it.
Have a throw away plastic container ready. Put a few pans, that you won't be using for a few day, in a row. Pour about 2 cups into the first pans and swoosh around. I use an old wash cloth to wipe the sides and edges. The liquid will bubble up and eat away anything that is in the pan. Let it sit longer for harder stains.
Stay by the pans so no animals come into contact with the liquid. Pour the liquid into the next pan and wipe down the back of the first pan with the wash cloth. Let the second pan soak and rinse, rinse, rinse the first pan with water all over at least 3 times. Spray with a water and white vinegar solution and let sit out side for a few days in the sun. Repeat with all the pans, using the same liquid that you started with. When you are done pour all the remaining liquid in the throw away plastic container. Pour into your toilet to clean that and flush away.
You see the results. The pans look almost like new. I usually rinse the pans a few more times before I put them back under the cages again. You may want to try it if you have trouble removing those heavy stains but please be careful with it as it is very caustic and read the directions carefully.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fulton Show

Angora Row. There was quite a turnout.
Lori having a good time grooming her beautiful REW.

Linda is speed grooming. Look at that brush fly.

Charlotte looking glam as usual.
Well, the Fulton show is one of the first for New Yorkers and there is always a big turnout, some 2,700 bunnies said the show committee. There were lots of English Angoras, over 30 if I calculated right. At least 9 junior bucks as everyone was saying it is a "buck year". That means a breeding season where no one gets any does and it seemed to be the case at this show. I have never seen so many junior bucks at a show before other than Convention. It was nice to see such a large class of bunnies of all colors, some beautiful agoutis from Canada and 3 black junior bucks in a variety of sizes.
I was happy to see Mr. Ashley, black senior buck, took BOV colored in show A. He is a sweet black buck with really dark color from Tulamore Farms. He is a breeding from their beautiful tort doe and a REW that she got from me. It seems to be a nice combination as the judge, Bob Shaftoe really seemed to like him. The rest of my group did well but are on the young side so it was hard to compete. Linda won a BIS in show B with her lovely colored senior doe, Glamor Gal.
The showroom is on a large lake and it was sunny and warm with a cool breeze. Just a perfect day for a show and fun was had by all. Thanks, Linda, for talking me into going.

Judge Shaftoe checking ear numbers.