Life in the A-Frame

Life in the A-Frame

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

family update

Mike's dad passed away peacefully last night. He is no longer uncomfortable or in pain. Thank you to all the readers for the thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Armadillo Eggs

The Armadillo eggs were gone before I could take a picture because-I was busy....eating.
There are several recipes floating around here locally but I like the way that a local meat market makes theirs. If you would like to try some here are some general instructions:
1 1/1-2 lbs. pan sausage, any kind you like
4 fresh jalapenos halved and seeded
3-4 oz. cream cheese
8 bacon slices

stuff each jalapeno half with the cream cheese. Divide the sausage into 8 balls. Wrap each ball around a stuffed jalapeno half until it is completely covered. Wrap the bacon slice around the sausage ball and secure with a toothpick. Grill or bake the "eggs" for about 30 minutes.350 degrees.

**You can also wrap a thin piece of chicken breast around the jalapeno instead of sausage if you wish. These are really good**

Friday, February 20, 2009

Valentines are precious things

My husband has a beautiful philosophy about Valentine's Day. He doesn't think giving me flowers and a card is sufficient. Instead he dedicates the entire day to just being with me and doing things together. My celebration actually lasted 3 days. On Friday we went to Producers Co-op and bought three new fruit trees. Those are precious plants to me!
We went to Fritella's Italian cafe for lunch and had a really delicious, handmade meal. I ate the best lasagna that I've ever had. For supper Mike grilled "Armadillo Eggs" which are cheese and jalapeno stuffed sausage balls, and stuffed, bacon wrapped chicken breasts from a local meat market. Good food is really precious to me!
On Saturday we visited my mother. My twin nephews got the tractor and bucket and filled the truck with organic top soil and some organic compost from my childhood homestead. Soil from home is a precious addition to my garden!
Sunday, I was greeted with a big box of chocolates by the coffee pot. Then, of course, next came church and a Valentine's Day luncheon. Being with my church family is very precious to me!
Special hugs, gifts of candy or flowers and special thoughts from loved ones are always precious things. I hope your Valentine's Day was precious as well.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pets really are like family

I have been thinking a lot about the dogs in my family. Remember when I wrote about King recently? (2-4-09) I found out Monday that King, the little black pit bull/ rottweiler mix that my nephew owns, had contracted Parvo virus. He was in the Vet hospital and was given a 50-50 chance of surviving. I was upset and so shocked because he had gotten all his puppy shots but not the booster shots yet. I was worried about Ace, my son's yellow dog, because he lives with King, and about Tank, another nephew's pit bull because King visits him regularly. (I wrote about him on 1-12-09 waiting patiently beside Amos to receive a treat-remember?)

Ace got another booster shot today and doesn't show any symptoms. The Vet said it is unlikely that Ace will get sick. Tank has only had rabies shots, so we are watching him. Having King so ill and the other dogs in danger felt almost as if I were worrying about a human family member. Needless to say, I have been praying.

The good news is that King has improved enough that he gets to go home today-a miracle!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Amos settles down in my lap. It will soon be naptime. Maybe for me, too. He gets very calm and looks toward the ceiling. What do dogs think about during these times?
Amos then turns toward the window. Just outside, there is a bird feeder where a squirrel has visited twice today. Amos is not drowsy yet, he is obviously thinking. What do dogs daydream about?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Twist on Rachael Ray

My version of Rachael Ray's Buffalo Chicken Chili:

2 pounds of ground turkey breast (99% lean)
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. butter
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 grated carrots
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbs. paprika
1 can of crushed tomatoes
6 oz. hot wing sauce (I used Frank's brand)
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the turkey in the olive oil and butter. Add the chopped carrots, celery and onion. Cook until tender. Add the garlic, then add the rest of the seasonings. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with corn chips and crumbled blue cheese. Serve over hot baked potatoes if you wish. Delicious!
My version has turkey instead of chicken and twice the hot wing sauce. You can find Rachael Ray's original version on her official website or the Food Network site. She also serves hers sometimes with a cornbread topping. We all really loved it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My husband's new camera

I have been playing around with Mike's new work camera. It is much more fancy and complicated than mine. It has about 15 more settings and I've tried a few: Here is my nephew's pit bull puppy "King". Remember him from my post on 12-14-08? He has tripled in size. He is dark black, but is covered with dust here after playing with Ace. I used the Auto setting for this picture. This is the one Mike will always use.

This was taken with the portait setting. I thought the sunshine looked very pretty on the angel statue and green leaves.

This was the first time I've had the opportunity to use a Macro setting. It looks like I used the editing options to make this too dark. I like it but it is a little dark-I'm off to practice some more!Then I need to teach Mike how to use his camera.

Update on Mike's dad: he is stable enough for Mike to go back to work this week. Mike's original plan was to retire but now he wants to work a few more months, so we are trying to get back into a normal routine.

Monday, February 2, 2009

defining Texas-winter version

Can you tell that it has been warm lately and I have spent some time outside, looking around? I am desperately trying to find interesting things to photograph and found some-by looking at the same old landscape in a different way.

Let's take at look...

MELODY:this song is definitely "Bridge over troubled water".

PATIENCE: one day, the rains will come and the family will return to sit here, watching the dragonflies land on the water.

HIDDEN: Amos verses the herons. Do you see him on the other side of this little pinetree?

MEMORIES: all that is left to remind us of a tiny family who once lived here.

SECLUSION: this narrow path is surrounded by youpon and cedar, hidden from everything except the birds.

ENCROACHMENT: the cold front marches toward us and banishes the warm Southern breeze.

GREEN: Dry, Texas winter leaves only the cedar, youpon and prickly pear cactus to respresent the color green.

TREASURE: A rubber boot worn by my husband or son, left submerged when it became hopelessly stuck in the mud. After the drought, it appeared, a sunken "treasure" from years ago.

INVASION: a massive grid of tracks left by the Herons who visit the almost dry tank daily. I think the alternate title for this picture could be "Texas Pterodactyl".