Monday, December 31, 2012

Thank you for a great year!

Thank you to each and everyone of you for all of your love, support, friendship and encouragement in 2012! Thank you for reading my blog and for sharing all of these moments with me.  Here is to a fabulous 2013!  

Many Blessings, Emily

Recipe: Chicken Tetrazzini

As the holiday season wraps up here at Aisling Cottage I will forever remember Christmas of 2012 as one of my favorite holidays thus far.  This year was full of giving, decorations, friends, and simplicity.  I was determined that this year would be different for me and it was. 

I actually entertained 3 parties here at the cottage, and I think that was the most amazing part of the season.  My favorite party was the one with my friends from work.  The ladies that showed up for this party are some of the greatest women in my life and it was an honor to have them come over for dinner, drinks, and laughter.  My goal for this party was to feed them food directly off the farm.  (These are women who are genuinely proud of my urban farming and were so excited to come over and dine with me!)  It was a success!   We ended up eating a delicious chicken tetrazzini dish made from chickens that were fresh from my backyard.  We served this with an orange almond salad, and garlic bread. 

If you are looking for a simple, yet delicious recipe, try this chicken tetrazzini recipe!


4-5 pound chicken, cooked, deboned, and diced
8 ounces spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
6 tbsp. butter
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
¼ c. flour
1 c. light cream
2 ½ c. chicken brooth
¼ c. dry sherry
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. butter
Salt and pepper


Heat the oven to 425°. Butter a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish.  Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  In skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat; sauté sliced mushrooms until golden brown. In a saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter; stir in flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until smooth; add chicken broth and cream. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened. Add chicken, cooked mushrooms, and sherry; heat thoroughly. Place noodles or spaghetti in a buttered baking dish; pour on sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 425° for 20 minutes, until hot.  

This recipe mixed with a few good friends or family members this a guaranteed good time!  Enjoy!

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lost Belgian Tervuren!

Alright readers, I was asked to share this girl's photo by a friend of mine in rescue.  If you know me, then you know this is a breed of dog I always share my life with.  As I sit here posting this picture, my own Belgian is laying here with his head in my lap, and I just can't imagine ever loosing him.  This sweet girl's family is devastated.  Please post and cross post this girl's photo.  Let's bring her home to her family!  Hoping you are found soon sweet girl....

Friday, December 28, 2012

Restful night on the homestead

The Urban Farmer had to work tonight so I, The Relecant Farmer thought I would update you on tonight's happenings on the homestead. There is a forecast for snow tonight and it has already started.

More Snow for Us!

No Birds Right Now.

Larry has deiced to stay warm inside and is passing the time helping to plan the garden for the spring. He's found the  tomato's and potato's, but he's still looking for the steak plants. 


It's going to be a quiet night here with just me and the doggies. Hope you all stay cozy and warm!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

First sign of spring!

I got a text message from the Reluctant Farmer today with an excited exclamation about what she had received in the mail.  The first seed catalog of the season!  I tell you, when there is 10 inches of snow on the ground, there is nothing warmer than a catalog full of the wonder and promises of spring.  I can't wait to plan the garden this year. 

We are set to add several more beds for tomatoes, and to rebuild our beds from last year.  (We used recycled cargo crates last year and they didn't hold up very well.....).  I also really want to try potatoes this season.  In the past I was afraid to try potatoes, due to the risk of having the potato exposed to light, however after seeing several people grow them in the community garden, I think I can do it.  I am also going to have to figure out a squirrel deterrent this year, which may keep me busy for the remainder of the winter!  (He is most likely plotting his attack on my garden as we speak....)

Is anyone else thinking about the garden yet?  I miss it like I would miss breathing, and can't wait to feel the dirt between my fingers again.....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We survived!

We ended up getting 10 inches of snow today, which we survived.  Christie and Briley came over to babysit the homestead and the dogs clearly enjoyed their company.  Not only did they come hold down the homestead, they were so bored Christie did my laundry!  

Due to the fact that Brent is unable to come pick them up until tomorrow, we are having a sleep over and they are staying with us tonight.  I have loved having the company!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A blizzard, oh my!

Photo credit:

The next 24 hours might prove to be exciting in our area.  We are currently under a "blizzard watch" until Thursday morning at 1 am, with a forecast of 3-8 inches of snow fall in our area.  In my mind this is hardly a blizzard.  However, since the Reluctant Farmer and I are both full-time health care workers provisions for the farm have been made.  (Hospitals much like farms, do not stop for holidays or weather...)

We are both on call tomorrow, and I know there is a real possibility that if we get 8 inches of snow I will not be coming home tomorrow night.  My bags are packed with enough provisions for 3 days, and it would not be the first time I have has to stay over because other people were unable to get in to work.  It is what it is....

I was a bit snarky with the Reluctant Farmer because she was worked up over the "white death" we experienced on Friday, and tonight she scoffed and asked me why I was paying so much attention to the weather for tomorrow when I just posted about the "white death paranoia" and I had to break it down for her....  To plan ahead when you have other beings depending on you for basic necessities is not playing into paranoia.  It is rationally using your head.  I need to leave here tomorrow morning with the assurance that if I can't leave the hospital and come home to feed and water my animals, they are going to still be alive when I do happen to return.  (The last time this happened I was gone for 3 days...)  You won't see me running around like a chicken with my head cut off over 8 inches of snow, you will see a finely executed plan of preparedness and calmness.  As soon as I realized that this storm might hit us, I called the Remy family and worked out a plan with them.  If the Reluctant Farmer and I are unable to return tomorrow night, Christie and Briley will come over and stay at the homestead managing all of the livestock needs.  Good friends are essential to farming, and I feel good knowing these two ladies will step into my house and run it if need be.  I am so blessed!


Friday, December 21, 2012

The White Death!

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Well, today was supposed to be the end of the world.  As I write this I'm still here though, which is an encouraging thing!  (Guess those canned goods will have to be used later this winter!)  We did managed to get a dusting of snow over night and winds of 55 mph, so I sit here rather cozy in my warm little cottage with a cup of tea and a blank screen.  All of the barn animals are snuggled in and are happily munching on hay and pellet rations, while the dogs laze around just happy to be inside.  

I find it funny how this weather turns people into paranoid beings running in circles, scared for their life.  Perhaps the 1" of snow is the end of the world that the Mayans predicted?!  I think life is what you make of it.  Some people see the "white death", I see a chance to relax, catch up with myself, and watch a spectacle I never get tired of seeing:  dainty, white snowflakes dancing on the wind are a welcome sight in this house....

I hope this blog post finds you safe and warm, and I hope you find reason to enjoy everything about this season.  If you are one of my many friends who can's stand the snow and cold, rest assure today is the winter solstice so the days are going to get longer from here on out, 2-3 seconds per day!  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Looking for answers after loosing Cher....


This morning I went out to feed and water the rabbits and noticed that one of my favorite French Angoras still had a full bowl of pellets and had not touched her water.  This is very unusual for her!  I opened her cage and was talking to her and she hopped towards the back of the cage.  When she moved I noticed her back legs seemed weak and she was wobbly.  I took her out of her cage and brought her inside the house.  I gave her yogurt, bananas, and pineapple in an attempt to entice her into eating.  She still would not eat anything, so I ran to the veterinarian and picked up some sodium chloride, B vitamins, and dexamethasone in hopes of re-hydrating her.  Sadly, Cher was dead when I came back home.  I took her to the veterinarian for an autopsy because I wanted to know what she died from.  Whatever killed her was so fast!  

When the autopsy was performed everything looked normal, except her liver.  One of the lobes of her liver was hard and tough, unlike the other lobe that was smooth, and there was free blood in the abdomen with clots around the liver and a lesion on the back side.  The only other thing remarkable was the smell.  It was terrible!  The veterinarian diagnosed her as having a liver abscess, but with no reason.

I have been so upset all night.  Cher and Wilma are my world, and I have always joked that in the event of rapture   these two girls would have to be peeled out of my hands!  I love them so much!  I just want to know why?  What causes abscesses internally in rabbits?  I did some research tonight and the only thing I could find was moldy feed and coccidia as possible contributors to liver abscesses.  I know my feed was not moldy, and I am fairly sure she did not have coccidia.  (I am going to take a stool sample in to the vet tomorrow just to be sure....)  Has anyone else out there dealt with this or had this happen before?  Any suggestions or advice would be welcome!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The perfect gift....

Today I got a text from my dear friend Kelley stating she left me a "giftie" on my front porch.  I was so excited to get home and find this cute little combo.  It is so me!  A tablet of paper with my new motto: "I try to live simply, but drama just keeps following me around..." AND the world's cutest card.  Love!

Thank you Kelley for the perfect gift!  

For all of my chicken fans out there, the artist's name is Mary Hill and she is an artist from Vermont.  Her artwork it too cute, and is available on her website at

WW: Blogging makes Gus tired....

It's Wednesday!  Which means it is time for Wordless Wednesday!  Today's picture is of Gus.  Blogging makes Gus very tired.....

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas at Aisling Cottage

Normally I don't decorate for the holidays.  I will put a tree up for Christmas and that is a far stretch for me and my decorating tolerance.  The Reluctant Farmer is the polar opposite of me.  She loves the holidays, and the decorating and frills that go into all of that.  Usually accompanying my disregard for all things holiday, comes a nasty attitude as well.  I can't help it.  (Clutter and stringing lights on a tree make me homicidal!)

This year I decided to be different, VERY different!  The Reluctant Farmer went away just before Halloween, and I decided to con my mother into helping me decorate to surprise the Reluctant Farmer when she got home.  (My mom would give Martha Stewart a run for her money when it comes to decorating!)  Mom and I went to several stores and loaded up in harvest/fall/thanksgiving decorations and spent an entire afternoon decorating the house.  My mom knew how important simple decorations were for me, and she included ideas such as mason jars with beans and corn into the scheme as well as other simple ideas that I would have never thought of.  

When mom offered to return to the cottage to decorate for Christmas, I immediately took her up on the offer.  She spent the entire afternoon here working her tail off!  Truth be told I was so excited about the decorating, I have even hosted several holiday parties this year!  (Quite the Christmas miracle!)  I am so proud of how it turned out I had to share with you all!

Mom made the house look great, for very little money and it was so simple.  Thanks mom for all of your hard work!   I hope you enjoy seeing my decorations, and if you have decorating ideas on your blog, or are able to share your ideas please leave me a comment.  I would love to check them out!

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Praying for Sandy Hook Elementary

It is days like this that I am grateful for the urban farm that I have created.  A place where I can get away from it all.  We live a fairly simple life here with not a lot of access from the media, and I am glad we live without the drama and negative hype that goes on there.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives in Connecticut.  It is beyond tragic, and as a parent I can't imagine what those families are going through.  I can't fathom kissing my daughter good-bye in the morning, and never seeing her again.  All I can do for the victims and their families is pray for them and turn off the media.  It has been all over my Facebook page today, people posting and re-posting stories and the question "why?"  It really doesn't matter "why".  These answers won't bring back the victims of the shooting or give us a logical answer and understanding.  

There are people that want to blame the government, our gun laws, or the gunman's family, however I blame the media.  If the media wasn't so busy creating havoc and paranoia by interviewing traumatized children, and giving these low life creeps so much attention, then maybe they would just kill themselves instead of killing a bunch of innocent people along with themselves.  No one wants to die a nobody, and thanks to the news outlets the people that go on these rampages make a name for themselves.  It may be a negative name, but they are at least known for something.

I refuse to hit up the media outlets regarding this shooting.  I don't want to know the shooter's name.  I don't want to remember him.  I want to remember the innocent victims and their families.  I want to remember the heroes, the teachers and staff, that risked their own lives to save the lives of the children that were in their care.  They will be in my every prayer.....

Friday, December 14, 2012

Marty tries to play!

Happy Friday to all of you, and what a great day it is!  This morning I wrangled Marty into the bathroom so he would be easier to catch and feed.  (Normally he eats in his kennel.)  I decided since he was already out I would feed him on the bathmat, and after he was done he started barking at me.  I thought he had lost his mind, and then he started to attempt a play bow.  I clapped my hand on the floor and he just kept playing and pouncing.  This is a big deal for a dog who shows no emotion or yearning to interact with people.  I am so happy!  If you are new to this story, you can catch up on Marty's story at:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WW: Pitbulls are good for the soul....

Yawn....  Hi guys it's me Suzi.  My mum said I wuz in charge of finding da picture for todayz blog post.  Dis is da picture dat I picked.  Dis is a picture of me and my hooman seester on da couch.  I wuz keepin' her company and takin' a nap wit her.  I wuv her!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Oh, Christmas tree....


Usually we put up an artificial Christmas tree and load it down with an enormous amount of lights and ornaments.  This year I wanted to put up a real tree, and I wanted to keep it simple.  We went to our local hardware store last weekend and they had trees that were already cut and we were set to buy one of those when I noticed that they had been spray painted.  I wanted a live tree, but not a spray painted live tree!  So, today we went to the local tree farm and hunted for the perfect tree and cut it down ourselves!  This will now be our new Christmas tradition. 

There were hundreds of trees to choose from, and we were on the hunt for the perfect one!  The Reluctant Farmer has had her eye on a particular tree at this farm for several weeks, but when we got up close the tree was over 10 feet tall, and that just was not going to work.

There were trees that were too skinny....

Trees that would have made Charlie Brown proud!

And trees that thought they were shrubs.....

Finally after walking for what seemed like forever, we found the perfect tree!  It was full on all sides.  It was the perfect height for our living room, and it was a brilliant shade of green.

After finding the perfect tree it had to be cut down.  I use a hand saw frequently, but not a tree saw and it was difficult to cut horizonally.  I made it though I will be sore tomorrow!

 After we cut our trees down and hulled them to the front of the lot the employees hooked our tree up to a machine that shook out all the dead needles, and then we got to take a horse drawn carriage ride around the farm.  It was amazing!

I love the traditions of this holiday and that is what I have been focusing on this year.  I hope that even though life is busy, you take the time to honor your family's traditions as well.  If you don't have a family tradition I hope you start one this year.  Remember folks, that it is not the end that matters, it is the journey it takes to get there!  The memories you make today will last long after you are gone.  The tradition doesn't have to be expensive.  It only requires that you participate with the people you love!  What are your family's traditions?  If you don't have one, what would you want your tradition to be?

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