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Meal plan for January 20th-26th

I smell a rat.  Or rather, six of them.

They’re in the coop.


I want to punch them in the face with a blow torch.

I knew we were going through WAY too much feed, so I went out there one night and saw their little asshole beady eyes.  I started bringing the feed in every night, but since it is dark when I get home, and dark when I go to work, I spend a few minutes banging the side of the coop and waiting for them to all get out before I go in there to hang the food back up.

Troy and I spent a few hours yesterday working on the coop.  And by “Troy and I”, I mean I was cleaning out the compost bin of chicken poop to spread on the garden, telling Troy “great job”, while Troy and a huge roll of hardware cloth got to work.  He worked his butt off, and did a magnificient job.

And the garden is fully fertilized thank you very much!

Last night, we had the same six back in there.

Le sigh.

So basically, I hate my life right this second.

The other night, I was laying in bed, thinking about having to go out there in the morning and scare the rats away.  Then, it started stressing me out, and I had what I’m assuming is a mild anxiety attack about it.  For some reason, my brain couldn’t get past the idea that one of them would be waiting above the door inside the coop (I am picturing it dressed like a ninja with a tiny bow staff strapped to its disgusting little back), and would jump on my head when I came in.

As you can imagine, that was a fucking great night of sleep.

Obviously, we’re going to have to do something about this, because plugging up every hole wasn’t the solution.  I can’t use poison because it would be near my chickens, and if I did traps, I’d have to deal with dead rats, and I’m not certain my gag reflex can take that.

We need a cat, but Troy is so allergic that it will kill him.  Plus, it would probably eat the chickens.

So all in all, a huge disgusting problem!  I need to develop a taste for wine, because dealing with rats while tipsy seems better than dealing with rats while sober.  I’d be tipsy, not the rats.

Get the rats drunk you say?  Great idea!

Have you realized that I’m quite tired?  No?  PAY ATTENTION, cause I’m a rambling crazy lady over here.

After rat-a-polooza, we all had a nice dinner of split pea soup.  Troy and I had soup, and Jack had a major meltdown over the two teensy bites I needed him to eat.  Rather than throat punching him for whining, Troy made him a quesadilla because I was just too tired to do anything about it.  Then, in a moment of brilliance, I decided that we should walk down to the little restaurant in our town to have dessert.  Because, what the hell, I’d be dealing with rats all freaking week.

Jack’s favorite waitress told him that she would make him a special dessert.  You should have seen his eyes when she brought this out.

Dear lord, thank goodness he didn’t eat it all.

Because if he had, I couldn’t have eaten the rest of it.  Ice cream helps reduce rat-related stress.  It’s true.  I’m married to an EMT.  Trust.

Speaking of ice cream, starting tomorrow, I’m putting a hold on sugar for a week.  It’s a seven day sugar fast that I need to jump start a return to more moderate sweets intake.  Troy was home a lot more in December, and finally, I asked him to PLEASE stop washing our clothes on hot, because my pants were barely fitting anymore.

He then told me that he hadn’t been doing laundry, nor washing them on hot.

Ohh…ahem.  Rats (eww), I guess it was just the copious amounts of candy I was shoving in my mouth on an hourly basis.

Meal plan time! Reminder, I only plan dinners.  My breakfast of choice has changed, and I’m now obsessed with homemade Greek yogurt with tons of cut up fresh fruit (or fruit I froze in the summer), and a homemade granola bar crumbled on top.  It’s delicious and keeps me completely full and satisfied until lunch. Lunches are always leftovers.  We rarely eat dessert during the week, and our dinner drink of choice is water kefir soda.

Monday:: I am making homemade pizza with a whole wheat crust and salad.  Our neighbors are coming over, and I believe they’re bringing dessert.  That I can’t eat.  Blah.

Tuesday:: We have our Azure Standard drop site pick up, and I’m not going to lie to you.  I’m going to pick up our healthy and organic food and then go to Quiznos.  #truth

Wednesday:: Married Single Mothers dinner.  Troy’s cousin’s husband is gone for a bit, so once a week we’re having dinner together.

Thursday:: My in-laws are out of town so I have to feed myself.  Really, not ok if you ask me.  I’m probably just going to make tomato soup from what I canned from last summer’s garden, salad, and quesadillas.  We also have some salmon cakes in the freezer.  Maybe I’ll do that.  Who knows.  You?  Please tell me.

Friday:: Popcorn dinner.  Yes, seriously we eat popcorn for dinner.  It’s popcorn, leftovers, cheese slices, fruit, and cut up veggies.  Everyone gets as much as they want, and no one leaves hungry.  I adore Fridays because it is the easiest night of the week for making everyone happy!

Saturday:: Crockpot French onion soup, no knead dutch oven bread, and salad.  Troy calls it fart soup because onions are not his best friend.

Sunday:: Another great family day!  We eat at my parent’s house; they provide the main dish, and everyone brings something to contribute.

This week I didn’t buy any raw milk (I have plenty of yogurt made), but I spent $52 at the grocery store and a whopping $115 at our local butcher’s.  I walked in to get two pounds of grassfed burger, only to see one of my bacon boyfriends carrying a huge cardboard box full of chicken boobies into the freezer.  Troy has been attempting to eat a bit more “paleo” of late, and we’re going through boobies way more quickly than before.

I yelled “hold it!  I’m buying them all”.  So, two pounds of grassfed ground beef, plus about 18 pastured chicken boobies was about $115 in all.  Not too shabby.

What are you having this week?

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19 comments on “Meal plan for January 20th-26th”

  1. These. I promise. Bait with a bit of peanut butter (or a small piece of snickers candy bar). Snap. Dead. Done. Easy to release without touching anything icky.

    • My dad put something out there today when I was out getting my oil changed. I don’t need to know all the details, but he said it will kill them dead.

  2. also, a great sight for first time coop keepers; here is an article “5 ways to keep rodents out of the coop”

  3. dig a trench 1 foot down and 1 foot in width, line the bottom with big (ish) stone, put the hardware cloth along the bottom of the trench and bend it up the side till you can attach it to the hardware cloth that is already there with screws washers and bolts, end of rat problem. it seems like alot of work, but if rats can get in, so can racoons and skunks; and those little bastard’s will kill the chickens just for the hell of it…

    • We actually did that! And then there is hardware cloth attached to the base. All we know is that they’re not getting in from the floor. For now. Sneaky little bastards.

  4. You can get the rats drunk, and it might work to get rid of them. From what I read in Mother Earth years ago you can set out dishes of pop, like Coke or Dr. Pepper. They love the sweet taste and they can’t burp, supposedly works pretty quick. I can’t say as I’ve always used poison since I want them dead FAST! Nasty, nasty things! I strongly recommend a shovel for getting rid of little rat bodies. Do your chickens have access outside the coop? That would be the place to set the poison, or under the floor if it’s raised, as that is probably where the nasty buggers hide. (Can you tell I don’t like them either?) If you can set it there away from the chickens, the rats will eat and die, and they really don’t smell because it dessicates their bodies.

    We moved into an old house, too, that was over run with both mice and rats. I would swear I had a mouse run up my jammy leg while I was sleeping one night, thoug DH says I was dreaming. We used to set the traps and go to bed and wait for the snap, then get up and reset them. I threw a lot of them away because I refused to empty them! When My MIL died (we were living with her at the time) we started letting our dogs inside at night. One of them was a Skye Terrier we had “inherited” from her. God Bless that little dog, she was death on rats and taught the other ones how to do it! We had no more problems after that, ever. And the Doberman was almost as good as she was, and scared off someone who tried to break into the house one time when we were gone! I won’t tell you about the roaches that invaded after the house next door burned down, whole other nightmare.

  5. We bought an abandoned house that needed gutting and redoing before we could live in it. It was overrun with mice. Everywhere. Even in the walls. When we moved in I went to the animal shelter and picked up a couple of feral cats to live outside. I’m not a cat person so feral was perfect. They don’t want anything to do with me and vice versa. They get a small bowl of food in the morning and the rest of the day they have to hunt. We have not had a mouse problem indoors since then as they like to prowl under the house. And they don’t bother our chickens at all.

  6. Suggestion for your furry little chicken coop intruders. Put all your chicken feed in a metal garbage can with a secure lid. Here in Oz, we have to keep EVERYTHING outside in metal containers so the mice, rats, possums, snakes, spiders (you get the idea) don’t get in. We can only hope the rats are smart and realise there is no more free food and find another home.

    • Our extra feed is in a metal can that has a locking lid, so they can’t access it; thank goodness! They were just eating it out of the feeding IN the coop. Since then, I have started bringing the food in the house at night.

  7. An outdoor cat shouldn’t bother allergies! You would run into all sorts of other issues keeping it warm and safe, though. And keeping it from having chicken dinner. Good luck! I would be completely freaking out. I hate mice (and have unfortunately battled them several times), but rats… they give me the creeps beyond compare. I would have several cats and cage the chickens so they can’t get them or something.

  8. You always make me smile!

  9. Oh my god, i think our boys are secretly related 😀 Mine is the exact same way when i try to wake him up. On new years eve, at eleven thirty i had to stand him up in order to get him back to the living 😀

    Oh and i really love your blog and i missed you since tuesday 😀 haha

    all the best from far far germany!

    • Troy was gone last week, and between working late, crappy sleep from being freaked out about rats, and all my other household tasks – I got really lazy with the blog. Thanks for waiting for me! ;-D

  10. You need a rat terrier. You can train it to leave the chickens alone, but maybe it will eat the rats. Less rats, less money for dog food :0)

    I hope to get the dishes done today so I can spend tomorrow making a ton more dirty dishes. I’d like to cook the weeks worth of food tomorrow while the hubby is home and I can make him help. Let’s see- I just got a pressure cooker so I think I’ll make pulled pork and put it on top of sauteed cabbage, then some pork meatballs with some steamed veggies. I have a small spaghetti squash that needs to be cooked, and I’d like to try making a cauliflower/carrot mashed something or other to go with the lamb shops.

    I hope you figure out your rat problem. That would creep me out too!

    • So Tina, I made some sweet potato cakes today for Troy to take for breakfast, and it might be an awesome side! Recipe coming later, but basically peel and chop the sweet potatoes, and boil until soft. Mix with a little butter and cream cheese (can leave out if you guys avoid dairy. Can’t remember if you guys do or not), then chopped bacon (yum) and sliced green onions, and a little bit of panko to bring it all together. Salt and pepper it, and then fry like you would a crab cake until the tops and bottoms (when flipped) are crispy. We couldn’t stop eating them, even though it was supposed to be for Troy to take with him this week!

    • yeah, that’s suppose to be lamb CHOPS.

  11. I call them chicken boobs too! (boobies….boobs. Close enough) My kids just shake their heads at me.
    I wish I had a solution to your rat problem for you.
    My oldest daughter made a delicious bean chili-stew dish that she referred to as “toot stew” It is so nice to see my family isn’t the only one like this!!!!!
    I loved your video!!!!! What a sound sleeper. I went to wake my 15 year old last weekend and got a little alarmed when she didn’t stir when I climbed in her bed with her. Her ear and cheek were cold too, so my imagination started to get away on me and I put my hand in front of her nose and mouth to see if I could feel her breathing and I COULDN’T. So I did the next logical thing and held her nose. She was not impressed with me. I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m laughing now!
    Thanks a bunch for your yogurt maker post from a while back. You get so many comments I am sure that you don’t keep track of who-said-what, but I asked for and received one for Christmas. I use my own thermometer as per your suggestion and my first batch was great! My second batch is ….cooking? incubating? …doing it’s thing as I type. THANK YOU!!!!! Now that I have a handle on how long it takes to get it set up, I can get a yogurty routine going. I’ve just been having it with a drizzle of honey and a blop of jam. Plus cooking with it. Next up, I’m trying blueberries, we have those coming out the wazoo.

    • Isn’t it lovely when you realize that “weird” and “odd” are truly universal? ;-D

      I am so glad you like your yogurt maker! I totally agree that it takes a bit of time to establish a good routine, but once it does, it’s pretty easy. I used to make it at night, but would always forget about it before leaving for work. NOW, I start the milk on medium low when I first wake up. When I get out of the shower, I turn it up a bit, and the milk is up to 190 degrees by the time I put my make up on.

      With our chilly weather, I’ve been putting the pot outside on the deck to cool quickly, but even during the warmer months, it cools enough for me to make put a batch in the machine before I leave for work.