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Archives for February 2012

WW: The Kitties of Our Lives

I talk about the puppy a lot, he’s nice and fluffy and loving.

But before we had Mr. Alfie, we had our Beast.

We adopted her from a kitten adoption drive at Petsmart in 2009
She owns us. She grew up with Mike and I. And the chinchillas.
She loves me and Mike. She still sleeps on me and loves to cuddle.
She HATES everyone else. Except my mom, sometimes.
The puppy has actually helped a lot. She’s much nicer now.

 We still call her “The Beast of **** Road”
She answers to ‘Rita’ and Beast

She is actually a ‘replacement kitty’

One day in October my mom was walking by her house (in the back woods) and found a tiny kitten.
I was working at a pet store at the time so she called me and asked if I wanted him.

We said yes and drove home to get him.
We named him Zed. He was our little zombie.
We spent about 8 hours at vet offices and $400 over three days.

He died in the night.
These are the only two pictures we have of him.
He is buried at my moms house.
I still cry when I think about him.
We try to find comfort knowing he got to be loved for a while.

 He is the reason we have our Beast.
We took all the stuff we bought him to donate to the Cat Coalition.
I was busy crying when Mike was telling the volunteers what happened.
I started petting a kitten and she started licking me.
That was the beginning of the end for us.
I made Mike call the landlord for permission (we rented).
He got yelled at because it wasn’t a “Sunday Question”
But we got the kitten.

 And our lives have never been the same

[cake] Pops O’ Gold


I have zero cake decorating skills, if you know what you’re doing, these will look so much better!

You need:
Cake Pops – I made vanilla and added green food coloring*
Candy melts: green, yellow and black
Gold gel glitter frosting (found this at Joanns)

*If you don’t have a cake pop maker/are lazy get some plain donut holes

Melt the green candy melts, I used about 1/3 of a bag for 12 oreos
Dip the Oreos, cover the top and all the sides
Sprinkle with shamrocks and green sprinkles

Melt the black candy melts. Dip the cake pops in up to the yellow, try to keep it level, I did a bad job at the part.
Before the candy hardens stick the cake pop to the oreo, the candy will pool and it will look like the base of the pot. Let them sit until totally hard or they will fall apart.

Melt some yellow candy melts. Holding the contraption by the oreo, dip the top of each cake pop in the melted candy up to where the black starts. Let the candy set (see a pattern?)
Melt some more black candy, put them in a plastic bag, snip off a teeny bit of the corner and pipe a line where the yellow and black meet. This is the lip of the pot.
When all of this is set, slap the gold glitter icing on the yellow candy (it’s mostly translucent) and top with gold sprinkles. Like these:

And there you have it! Some fancy St. Patrick’s Day treats

How to Make Homemade Scent Blocks for your Warmer


Hi I’m Sarah & I have a little blog home over at Renewed Upon a Dream.  I’m so excited to be here at Chicken Scratch today to share a little project with you.  Thank you so much Alecia for having me!  I described on my blog last week how I visited my brother last December & his house smelled amazing.  I have been testing different products to make my house smell great ever since.

One of the things I’ve been using has been wax warmers.  I have two.  One is a table-top warmer that is by Better Homes & Gardens from Walmart.  The other is a wall plug-in warmer from Scentsy.  Another thing I’ve tried is candles.  My favorite candles are always the ones that come in glass containers.  They seem to last the longest & the wax is contained, so that you don’t have to clean melted wax off of candle holders and/or tables etc. once your done with the candle.  However, I’m always sad when the candle does finally become so melted down that it is no longer burnable.  At this point, I’ve always just thrown the used candle out.  But no more!  I have a new use for these burnt down candles….

Woot!  Are you as excited as I am?  I have a bunch of old candles that are too burnt down to be of use anymore.  But I love their scents, so they had been sitting in my dry sink, feeling sad & alone while I figured out how to reuse them.

I have previously made some old candles into new candles, in new containers by melting them down & adding new wicks.  But after having my warmers for a few months, I thought that old candles could make wonderful new scent blocks as well!  To do this, just take some of your old candles & put them in the microwave to melt them down.  I put mine in at 50% power, for 5 minutes.  Our microwave is ancient though, like from 1985 or so, so you’ll want to keep an eye on them as warming power & time will totally depend on your microwave, but this power & amount of time works best for mine.

While the wax is melting, get your molds ready.  I used an old cupcake tin with some cupcake liners because that’s what I had.  I recently saw some rubber-y reuseable cupcake liners at the dollar store that I might purchase for this in the future.  I also think it would work wonderfully to use those rubber-y ice cube trays.  The hardened wax would be super easy to pop out of those, but I didn’t have any on hand.  You could also probably use the leftover container from an old scent block that’s been washed out.

When the wax is melted, carefully take it out of the microwave & poor even amounts into your molds.  I always make a mess doing this, so be prepared for that.

Then just wait for the wax to re-harden.  Once it’s done, pick them up out of the tin & separate the wax from the paper/rubber holding it.  Pop it in your warmer & there you go!

I really love this as a way to use up those last little bits of wax in these candles.  The wax always still smells lovely & is great for days in the warmers.  I hope you give this a try the next time your candles run out of wick!

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Hope you enjoyed today’s guest post!

I’m posting over at Sarahs Blog with the best recipe ever. ever. ever.

I’d love to feature some other bloggers here on CSNY so if you’re interested in guest posting drop me a line at chickenscratchny [at]!

Signs of Spring [In February?!]

One of the lovely ‘extras’ that came with our house was an established rhubarb patch.

This is how it looked when we moved in:

First thing was to cut off the flower stalks! I think I did that before we actually moved in.

And this is what I saw earlier this week (before the snow storm!):

See the little red nubs? That’s this years rhubarb.
Unfortunately the rhubarb is right where I want to put my herb garden, right out side the door in the back.
Fortunately the rhubarb should be divided so I’ve got to dig it up anyway.

I’ve also got my potato order in. I’m trying a new source this year.

I’ve used Ronniger Potato Farm in the past, and I was really happy with my taters but I wanted to go with someone closer to me this year.

I decided to go with The Maine Potato Lady
Prices are lower but they have less variety
They also had shallots for a decent price which I wanted to try out this year.

I ordered:
Yellow Moon Dutch Shallots
Rose Finn Apple Fingerlings
French Fingerlings
Laratte Fingerlings
Mountain Rose Potatoes
Red Gold Potatoes
Purple Majesty Potatoes (Love purple potatoes!!!)
Katahdin Potatoes

I got 1 lb of shallots and each fingerling and 2.5 lbs of the regular taters.

Yes, it’s a lot. But I think that if you’re going to go through the trouble of growing your own food, make it fun!
Also if you start out with quality, disease free stock you can grow from your own harvest for an extended period time.
Here’s hoping I don’t have to buy potatoes or shallots anymore!

Late Winter Haircut

Have I mentioned how lucky I was to get this house?
I’ll tell the whole story at a later date, but it really was a whirlwind!
I feel like this house was meant to be mine.
So many little things that wouldn’t mean a thing to most people sealed the deal for me.

We’ve got 3 established grape vines, a mulberry tree and a rhubarb patch.
[There were strawberries but during the time no one was living there the deer finished them off!]

Earlier this week it was really warm here in NY so I decided to take on some ‘late winter’ chores. Those grapes I mentioned? They got a long needed haircut. Grapes need to be pruned quite heavily to get the best quality fruit. These guys are trained to wires (good!) but they last owners basically ignored them so they turned into Cousin It. I’ve never pruned grapes before but with the help of a few book and youtube I learned enough to get myself in trouble.