2nd Barn Hunt Competition

Arty’s 2nd Barn Hunt official trial was this past weekend.  Unfortunately it didn’t go as smoothly as the first.

I had signed him up for 4 Novice runs, two Saturday and two Sunday.  After receiving the run schedule I guesstimated that we’d be in the ring for the first run Sat before 10am, and got us there a little after 9am.  He had diarrhea when he pooped shortly after arriving there but by itself that didn’t mean anything.

I guesstimated wrong.  We didn’t get into the ring till after 11am.  Arty’s not the patient sort, and stresses easily.  So by the time he got into the ring he was too stressed to really look for the rat.  His 2nd run, a bit after 12-noon didn’t go any better.

Got home and he had another bout of diarrhea, and then puked up his lunch, refused supper, and puked up bile.  By 9pm he was still curled up into a miserable ball on the couch and I called off the Sunday runs.

Sunday his tummy was back to normal, keeping down the light meals I gave him, and he didn’t have diarrhea, but he still spent the day curled up in a little ball.  Poor stressed puppy.  Not sure he had a bug, or if it was just stress (which is my bet).  On the other hand I definitely picked up a bug somewhere, cause by the end of the day Sunday I was pretty miserable, though at least mine isn’t based in my tummy!  So maybe it was for the best that we didn’t do the Sunday runs.  

Oh well.  Next local competition is in March, with practices starting back up in January.  So I’ll be working on making sure he’s comfortable on site as much as standard practices……


(for everyone who asked: the insane snowfall that hit Buffalo and the northern parts of the state didn’t hit us.  We got a dusting.  Apollo’s disapointed, and I have to admit that it would have been fun to watch him go berserk over snow deeper than I am tall.  But I’m just happy I didn’t have to try to clear 6+ feet of snow…..)




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……


Smoked Turkey Breast and Hot Wings

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!

Quick and easy rolls

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.

Mice and Rats and…..

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…..


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….