Pretty Piggy

Sweet Baby Show Cows

Go tell Aunt Rhoady again!

We lost one of our African Geese today. Don't know why or how.. Just disappeared. Predator in the night. No sign of struggle. We will miss him. Now we are down to Five Geese.


Trail across the Moon

Sunset and Moonrise on the Lake

Eggs from Isis

Isis is one of our newest goslings. She created a formidable nest out of grasses and Iris leaves and hay that she gathered in the yard. She has about a dozen eggs now.. Can you guess which one she laid today?

Winter Freezes Turn Greens to Gold & Brown

The yard is hit pretty hard by the deep freezes this winter.

Yard in Winter




10 degrees

It was 10 degrees the other night.The two photos on the top are the view from the drivers seat of the windshield and the left passenger side window.. wow! The cars would not start and we had to get a jump. This last photo is the temperature after the sun had come up and started to warm the thermometer.. a whopping 12 degrees F! It was so unexpected!! I must admit that the view through the ice crystals was beautiful!

Mr. Blu's Beef or Bison Stronganov

Since the weather is colder- many people are looking for interesting Beef dishes outside of the BBQ grill. the Russian dish- Beef Stroganov is a great one for cold weather... ( click on the title above to learn more about the history and variations of Stroganov)
Mr. Blu's Beef or Bison Stronganov
This is my version of the classic dish

1 lb of beef ( or Bison) sliced into long thin strips of about 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long, and cut the meat across the grain, or it will be tough. ( Sirloin is great- round steak is fine too, the better the beef, the better the dish..)
butter as needed
I can or package of Beef Stock ( no salt no MSG) ( Pacifica has a salt free beef broth-, so does Swansons. Check with your local healthfood or Rouses' market..)
1 or 2 onions ( 2 if small ) yellow onions or 1 sweet vidalia onion. chopped
1 cup sour cream
1/4 c heavy cream
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 TBS tomato paste or 2 TBS of Extremely thin minced dried tomatoes..
Flat fettucine noodles or the pasta of your choice.. cooked "al dente "
(Intstead of pasta you can use it as fillings for crepes or Puff pastry shells )
1/4 cup each of chopped Fresh flat leaf parsley- and Fresh thyme leaves
The green ingredients are very important and should be stirred in just before serving- or sprinkled on the top.

Cook the pasta, and set aside
Cut the meat ( or have a butcher do this if you are unsure) and lightly pepper the meat strips with Black and Red pepper.

In a pre heated ( medium high) cast Iron Skillet;
SauteƩ butter, 1 onion finely chopped, 3 cloves of garlic
Lightly flour the beef and sear it in cast iron skillet to lightly brown it. adding it to the onions and garlic,
then add the 2 cups of mushrooms, (I prefer a high mushroom content and baby portebellos if available and affordable)
Then add Beef stock
Add 1 bay leaf
add 2 tbs of tomatoe paste or sauce and a tsp of dijon mustard depending on your taste- it brings out the flavor of the beef.. Some people add a dash of worschestire sauce, but I watch my salt so I do not..
Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream, stirring mixture...
Now add Sour cream.
I like to add this mixture to the Al Dente Pasta and allow the pasta to absorb a bit of the sauce .
Add the Fresh flat leaf parsley- and Fresh thyme leaves to
either stirred in just before serving- or sprinkled on the top.


Cold Dawn & Colder Dusk

When we got up it was cold and we expected it.. as the we headed home though, the clouds looked like snow clouds and the chill was really setting in. It was below frezzing before sunset and the birdbath had iced over already.. and it's supposed to be 10' F or below this weekend.... Brrrrrrr!

Portrait of Jackie O. Sparrow

She is just now getting her full feathers.. You can see the start of her Auracana whiskers...



A close up of an unfurling "Debutante". A beautiful example of a full peony form bloom. light pink and medium sized. It was imported by Magnolia Gardens in the early 1900's. How fitting that it blooms now in the season, giving us beauty and hope in Winter.

New Bloom

Mathotiana "Purple Dawn"

Old favorite- imported form Europe to the United States in the 1840's by Magnolia Gardens. A rose form formal double blooms crimson, and fades to a purple edges. Blooms are very large and it has a compact upright growth. It brings a bit of red and joy to a dreary winter garden.

Camellias Feed the Bees in Winter

In turn, the bees pollenate the Camellias and help the bloooms to open. That's why I don't recommend the use of pesticides on camellias.

Chilli Poised to Pounce

Nandina Berries


Narcissus Blooms

Chilli 2010

Bubble and Squeak Dasblauhaus style!

Cabbage stewed in duck gravy with green onions and celery, covered with creamed black eyed peas, topped with flax and sesame toast covered with a sunny side up fresh "layed today" egg, garnished with a mixture of fresh thyme, tarragon, rosemary and oregano. Served with chicory coffee or sweet tea.
Happy New Year everyone!