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Posted November 14, 2014 By Ruth



I didn’t think the ground was cold enough for it to accumulate that way, but obviously I was wrong!  On the other hand we finally got our killing cold last night……


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Smoked Turkey Breast and Hot Wings

Posted November 7, 2014 By Ruth

So on a whim I picked up a boneless turkey breast to smoke, and, after poking around a couple places, I picked up some chicken wings to try too.

Turkey breast was brined for 6hrs in an impromptu brine of water, salt, raw sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, powdered mustard, pepper, a bay leaf, and allspice.  Smoked (with hickory) for 2.5hrs, with the smoker running about 200-225.  It weight 1.8lbs raw.  Internal temp was 155 when I pulled it off the smoker, I wrapped it in foil and carryover brought it to 160.

Wings were brined in water, salt, sugar, and garlic.  Smoked for 2hrs 15minutes.  Hot sauce was butter (1stick), 1/4cup of Red Hot, 1/2tsp of garlic, 1/4tsp salt, and one chopped habenaro.  It was brushed on the wings before smoking, and every 45minutes during smoking.

Oh yah, we’ll be doing that again!

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Quick and easy rolls

Posted November 6, 2014 By Ruth

I found this recipe here.

Ok, first off, despite the title of that recipe, they’re not 30 minute rolls.  If you actually follow the timing instructions you’re looking at a good 40 minutes from start to finish.  And mine took ALOT longer to bake than hers.  Could be my oven (though thats new and two different thermomters say its heating right), could be my pan (though I’ve now tried this with three different pans).  But give yourself an hour to make these.

Having said that, they’re still a very quick, very easy, dinner or small sandwich roll.  See the above link for the original recipe, below for my version of it

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (yes, TABLESPOONS)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3.5 to 4 cups flour (AP is fine)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Thoroughly butter the inside of your pan (see below).

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes or so, till the mixture is bubbly and foamy.

Mix the oil, 2 cups of flour, the salt, and the egg into the yeast mixture using a dough hook. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.  It should be smooth and not overly sticky when its ready to go.

Shape dough into 8-12 balls and place in your pan. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are just golden brown.


Pans: she recommends a 9×13 pan.  After trying a couple different pans I ended up settling on my cast iron Dutch Oven of all things.  Setting it on top of the stove while the oven is heating (and for the “resting” time) warms it a bit.  To bake in the Dutch Oven, leave the lid on for the resting stage, and the first 5 minutes of the baking time.  After 5 minutes remove the lid, and let them bake till golden.  This produces a fairly high risen roll.  However they still took 30minutes to bake for me no matter WHICH pan I used.


I have to admit that we mostly use them for sandwich rolls, and infact these are the current running favorite for sandwiches in the house.  The fact that they’re very quick and easy to make helps with that.  The olive oil flavor comes through nicely and blends well with the sandwiches, though not so much if you just want a buttered roll.

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corner shower install-bleg

Posted November 3, 2014 By Ruth

There’s a long blog post coming on this, but has anyone installed a corner shower or similar type unit?  Is there SUPPOSED to be a 2×4 frame-work on the wall behind the shower sides?

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Mice and Rats and…..

Posted November 1, 2014 By Ruth

Probably the only thing I miss about Evil Kitty roaming the neighborhood is the way he kept the rodent population in check.  He was doing a better job at it than I realized.  He disappeared last winter, and this summer the mouse population skyrocketed.  

A couple weeks ago I started putting out traps in sheltered spots near the obvious mouse holes around the exterior of the house, as well as near the corners where we’d heard mice.

Almost immediately started catching mice.  Had to swap out several of the cheap wood snap traps for some of the sturdier plastic ones as the wood ones didn’t handle the wet well, but pretty  much every trap was catching at least one mouse a day.  We were having a few empty triggered traps, but not a lot.

Then I couldn’t find one of the traps…..finally found it a solid 10ft away from where I’d placed it.  It contained a mouse head.  No body, just the head inside the trap.  

Then I started getting ALOT of empty triggered traps.  And then traps started disappearing….

I set up the trail camera to watch the spot where a couple of the traps are and caught this:

0075INFORMATION_STRIP_ON__TAG 29.45 inHg 37"F  10/25/14 05:32 AM  MYCAMER1

Yah, your guess is as good as mine.  Current running vote is raccoon.

Then Thursday Arty suddenly went berserk at one of the windows.  I figured squirrel, but looked out the window to check…..thats a funny looking squir….THATS A RAT DAMMIT!  And its FRICKING HUGE!!  Something tells me that explains the empty triggered traps, and maybe even the missing traps (though it still doesn’t explain the bodyless head in the one trap).


Started looking at rat traps.  I’ll be picking up some huge snap traps this week.  But I’m also looking at some of the electric zapper traps, since they’ll absolutely kill anything that gets into them, and is marginally less likely to snap on a dog paw when I’m not fast enough to keep them away from a trap…..

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Posted November 1, 2014 By Ruth

Borepatch reminded me that I’d found an article by a guy who’s studied “Halloween Sadism” and then never posted it, so there it is.  I’d assumed that most of the freak out over poisoned candy was the media’s fault, but I hadn’t realized how much of it was….

A casual friend was upset when she discovered we didn’t hand out candy.  But then she’s never met Apollo in guard mode either.  Not that it matters if we wanted to hand out candy, we’re rural enough that we don’t even see Trick or Treaters passing us by.  Most of the kids in the neighborhood know that knocking on Apollo’s door is a good way to get your socks scared off anyway….

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Photo dump

Posted October 27, 2014 By Ruth

Been a while since the last time I posted photos (and even that was mostly garden stuff)….

IMGA2669a IMGA3987a IMGA3989a IMGA5988 2014-08-27_20-28-37_438 2014-09-15_09-06-12_225 IMGA6566 IMGA6593 IMGA7378 IMGA7091a IMGA7251a IMGA7820a IMGA5731a IMGA5749a IMGA6286 IMGA6702a IMGA6814a IMGA6837a IMGA6847a IMGA7228a IMGA7319a IMGA7468a IMGA7511a IMGA7658a IMGA7681a IMGA7708a IMGA7816a

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Posted October 26, 2014 By Ruth



He is the first NGSD to ever hold a Barn Hunt Instinct title!

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Barn Hunt

Posted October 26, 2014 By Ruth

At some point in the last year I’d heard about a “new” canine sport called Barn Hunt.  Its basically a simulated rat hunt in a simulated barn setting.  Lots of “simulated” in there, but the idea was to work terriers as if they were barn dogs, charged with keeping the barn free of vermin.  But the sport isn’t just open to terriers, but to any breed of dog.  I thought it sounded like something that Arty would enjoy, and since I’ve been on the lookout for something I can do with him to get him out and about more I looked up local clubs.

No luck, the closest club was 2.5hrs away.  Not to far for competition certainly, but far enough that I wasn’t keen on dragging him out there for practices.

Then over the summer I found out about a new club starting up about 45 minutes north of me.  MUCH more feasible, location wise.  So I signed up Arty for practices.  And he LOVED it.  

So I went to register him with Barn Hunt so he could actually compete.  And that’s where  I ran into a problem.  Barn Hunt doesn’t care if the dog itself is register-able with any kennel club.  But in order for their breed to be listed with Barn Hunt the BREED must be register-able with one of the major kennel clubs (to keep the breed list from becoming a mess of -doodles and the like).

There’s something like barely 300 New Guinea Singing Dogs in the entire world.  Less most likely though I don’t have the current numbers.  And a fairly large number of those are owned by zoos, and research facilities, or in “group” settings.  The number owned by the private person, like me and my Arty is quite small.  Which just isn’t enough to get most KCs to be interested in recognizing them.  And two of the KCs that USED to recognize them no longer do.  I know what happened with one, but no one I’ve talked to knows what happened with the 2nd.

Barn Hunt refused to make an exception.  I was pretty peeved, for all that I understand the reasoning, there was no appeal process or anything.  I could have registered him with them as a “mixed breed”, but frankly the only thing I needed to register him for was actual competition runs.  I could still do practice sessions and “fun hunts” without registration.  So I refused, and so did every other Singer owner I talked to who was interested in Barn Hunt.

Then I discovered the IABCA lists Singers!  And Barn Hunt was willing to accept the IABCA’s listing!  Woohoo!  

That was 3 weeks ago.

Today Arty ran his first official trail.  He got his Instinct Qualification.  And his first (three are required) Novice Qual.  And although he wasn’t the fastest in the ring by any stretch, he did it with time to spare.  

There’s another Barn Hunt trial coming up the end of Nov, I can’t wait!

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Its still one of those years….

Posted October 25, 2014 By Ruth

2014 started out less than stellar, and its pretty much continued on the same vein.  I’ve resisted griping about it, because it really could have been ever so much worse (…..we still have the house, we’re still married, our own health hasn’t been affected… fate, thats not a challenge, k?), but the whole year has been pretty much a regular stream of”lets kick Ruth’s family again, one of them might go squirrely this time!!”, and it has very definitely affected my temper and general stress level.

Among other things a specific online community has helped keep me sane, I’ve been a member there for almost 3yrs, I’ve got friends there, and even most of the ones I don’t consider friends I know well enough to have a pretty good idea of how they’re going to react to things.

Till this week.  This week I discovered that several of the folks I considered friends weren’t.  Experienced an extremely personal attack that had nothing to do with the disagreement at hand, which two mods to the community apparently sanctioned and participated in, had another friend rather blatantly lie while she assisted in the personal attack, and then watched one of the previously mentioned mods take the personal attack out into the general board, while creating an environment that has the potential to do serious harm to the atmosphere of that community (as it already did serious harm to the mental state of the person who’s original quest for help triggered the above disagreement).

Obviously I don’t know some of those folks as well as I thought I did.

Guess thats what I get for thinking…..

At any rate I think I learned my lesson, participation in such online communities has been severely curtailed, and I’m cutting back my “I’m bored lets browse online” time.  I’m hoping this means I’ll actually end up blogging more, but don’t count on it…..

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