Saturday, May 24, 2014

What the duck is going on around here? (

Good Morning, from your friendly neighborhood animal and bird sanctuary.................


Yesterday I was out planting, a little nervous because of the ground hog that had made it's presence known
this week ( by coming out right while I was working in the yard and ambling along the side of the fence )
cursing under my breath as the squirrels were running around everywhere dropping branches from trees,
when I heard a strange sound.
Cocking my head to one side to concentrate ( much like a dog since I happened to be on all fours at that point ) I could very faintly hear water lightly splashing.....................

Suzan says - We need to have the pool cleaned THIS weekend
John says - No one else has started their's yet around here
Suzan says - I don't care - we need to do it NOW
John says - There's plenty of things to do and -
Suzan cuts him off - screaming - I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE
Suzan says - I feel like I'm living in the wild
John says - What the hell are you going on about now?

What's next?
The Loch Ness Monster?

Suzan says - It's because the pool is filthy - it looks like the river - it's confused
Suzan says - I'm not cut out for this - I want to go back to the city - I need -
John interrupts - Ok Scarlett O'Hara - we only moved 15 minutes from down town - let's not get overly
dramatic over all of this.

I'm seriously traumatized here - every time I walk out the door I bang it shut to scare off all the wild life -

My daughter says - This is so awesome Mom - you're so lucky !

In my world lucky would be winning the lottery.

Anyway she finally flew away after about a half hour leisurely swim................

Later on I went out to finish what I was doing - and lo and behold

Her husband had arrived - and was contemplating going for a little swim himself

Suzan screams - JOHN - COME QUICK !!!
Suzan says - OMG - they're going to start a family

( 5 little ducks that I once knew - short ones - fat ones - skinny ones too - but the one little duck with the feather on his back - he led the others with a quack quack quack )

Mrs Duck says - Come in - the water's lovely
Mr Duck says - I don't know, it's a little dirty, even for us
Mrs Duck says - Don't be such a wuss, It's summer time and the living is easy..................

Mrs Duck says - Pay no attention to that lunatic jumping up and down banging a paint tin on the ground - she's been doing it all day and screaming for her husband............they're harmless really
Mr. Duck shrugs - and jumps in.

Suzan says - That's it - we're shocking the pool this weekend
John says - Oh stop already
Suzan says - What are we waiting for?  EELS to come slithering out of it?

Meanwhile Sammy the Squirrel looked quite enthralled by it all

Mrs. Duck says - There's too many squirrels here - and I hear there's skunks and a ground hog.
Mrs. Duck says - We're moving - I don't like it
Mrs. Duck says - It's not safe for the kids

I know the feeling Mrs. Duck - I definitely know the feeling....................

( btw - I've named them Donald and Doris - but I thought a little respect was in order, they don't know any of you after all )

Off to buy pool cleaner stuff - and a cover -
Duck L'orange anyone?

For duck
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (5- to 6-lb) Long Island duck (also called Pekin)
  • 1 juice orange, halved
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 fresh marjoram sprigs
  • 2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 1 small onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup duck stock, duck and veal stock*, chicken stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1/2 celery rib
For sauce
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 to 2 oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons duck or chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fine julienne of fresh orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer; a 13- by 9-inch flameproof roasting pan


Roast duck:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 475°F.
Stir together salt, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Pat duck dry and sprinkle inside and out with spice mixture. Cut 1 half of orange into quarters and put in duck cavity with thyme, marjoram, parsley, and 4 onion wedges.
Squeeze juice from remaining half of orange and stir together with wine and stock. Set aside.
Spread remaining 4 onion wedges in roasting pan with carrot and celery, then place duck on top of vegetables and roast 30 minutes.
Pour wine mixture into roasting pan and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to roast duck until thermometer inserted into a thigh (close to but not touching bone) registers 170°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more. Turn on broiler and broil duck 3 to 4 inches from heat until top is golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Tilt duck to drain juices from cavity into pan and transfer duck to a cutting board, reserving juices in pan. Let duck stand 15 minutes.
Make sauce:
While duck roasts, cook sugar in a dry 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Add orange juice, vinegar, and salt (use caution; mixture will bubble and steam vigorously) and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel is dissolved. Remove syrup from heat.
Discard vegetables from roasting pan and pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure or bowl, then skim off and discard fat. Add enough stock to pan juices to total 1 cup liquid.
Stir together butter and flour to form a beurre maniƩ. Bring pan juices to a simmer in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, then add beurre maniƩ, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add orange syrup and zest and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly and zest is tender, about 5 minutes. Serve with duck.
I think I'm going to vomit now. ( or start another blog called Decorating with Ducks ? )
Have a wonderful weekend everyone !


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My 1929 Charmer                              Beteween Naps on the Porch                          Kathe with an E


  1. We have ducks in our sparkly clean Florida pool. Every morning they come by and stare at me like I'm crazy as I try to scar them out.

  2. I have one word for you - RATS, nothing, not even groundhogs, can compare.
    When I moved into my present home with its tiny courtyard I thought I would be safe from wildlife. So I was washing up one morning gazing at the absurdly large raised flower bed and brick edifice that I think was originally the WC, and there they were, a family of rats marching along the wall.
    Within minutes I am on the phone to the local council offices yelling hysterically 'I have rats in my garden!'
    After a certain amount of confusion while they tried to establish who I was and where I lived (I might have been a little incoherent) they put me through to the pest control department.
    'We can send an operative to put down poison for a fee of £30' they say.
    'Are you mad' I say 'I can buy poison and put it down myself for a tenth of that, I WANT YOU TO FIND WHERE THEY ARE BREEDING AND PUT POISON DOWN THERE'
    I then went on to explain in the same calm and reasonable manner that behind my house there is a building owned by a crazy hoarder which looks like a perfect rat habitat to me.
    It transpires this is not something the council does, I won't go into details, as the conversation involved some bad language...
    So I bought some rat poison, which brings me to the moral of my story, beware of what you wish for.
    The first bodies to appear were - you guessed it - the baby rats.
    I hope none of my neighbours witnessed the daily ritual of me shovelling up bodies (often still in my dressing gown) and snorting back tears.
    I demolished the brick ****house and flowerbed and acquired two cats, which seems to have done the trick!
    Good luck with your zoo :-D

    1. OK - if I see a family of rats come prancing by that'll be it................seriously.
      AND you bury them - I was just going to go down and have breakfast - think I'll skip it today LMHO -
      Off to buy more flowers - to see what else we can attract - we're missing lions and bears and tigers..............xox

  3. Seriously? You have a pair of ducks in the swimming hole? That's too funny. I have friends who have been swimming in their pool in Moncton already so I guess you'd better get cleaning. What dull weather we're having. (not pool weather) Enjoy the weekend of pool cleaning, duck scaring, groundhog and squirrel chasing. It doesn't get any better than that in the country! :)

  4. well they are prettty, match the decor quite nicely,

  5. Oh dear. I live right, smack dab in the center of town, and I just saw a frickin' deer tap dancing down my street before reading this this morning And don't even get me started on the Canadian geese. This year we are lucky, I guess, by prior years' count - we only have 1 pair that had only 2 babies. It's usually 2-4 prs, and 6-7 each, smh. Squirrels are a given in my yard, but they seem to have dementia, as evidenced by the oak tree volunteers that grow from the acorns they hide in my mulch beds and containers. This year I had a rabbit nest in the middle of my lawn (Mr. red-shouldered Hawk came to my rescue and fixed that; all I had to do was fix the lawn). I feel your pain. Watch out for flying monkeys. I heard they can be real party animals. And wear a helmet when gardening - you never know what might attack you, and you need to be ready.

  6. LOL...I ALWAYS enjoy your stories! You seriously need to do stand up comedy or something. I actually love your ducks. Now...geese I am scared of! Don't know if you would make it where I live....Florida wildlife can be really scary! Think rattlesnakes, mocassins, alligators, bugs and spiders galore, possums, and plenty more! Your pool will be such a blessing when it is cleaned up...enjoy!

    Blessings, Vicky

  7. I don't like it when you make me snort coffee out of my nose, first thing in the morning! OK, actually I love it! This is hands-down one of your best (non-furniture) posts ever! We had ducks come for several years to our backyard - and we don't even have a pool. We named them Mr. and Mrs. Duck (aren't we creative?). Many times I think I am not cut out for this country life, either...I want to go back to NYC where the wildlife is roaches!

  8. Only you, and of course John. Why do these things happen to you?

    Enjoy your menagerie this weekend.

  9. You are so funny. those little ducks will not hurt you. We have a pair that come the the park at the end of my street and stay for a couple of months and swim in everyone's pools. We do have coyotes that roam at night and kill cats and little dogs. They are building up in the hills so they are loosing their territory. Also with the drought they are looking for water. Sooooooo things could be worse - like bears swimming in the pool to cool off. I would rather have ducks than snakes, bears and rats. I guess we all have some wild life no matter where we live.
    Suzan, you made my day today - have fun this weekend.

  10. Be careful of the squirrels. My mother in law came home one day and someone had been in their house. The stuff on their counters were knocked off, window shades torn, flour and crap all over the floors. But the doors were still locked and the glass fireplace doors were open. They looked in and there were two squirrels looking back at them. They had been nesting in the chimney. A chimney sweep had to clean them out and put the grate and cap back on the top of the chimney.

  11. Hilarious!
    Welcome to my world.
    We don't have ducks of our own...but we do have 'fly bys' and they are generally scoping out 1 of 1000 stock ponds in the area. I do not think they would care to hang out in our above ground pool.
    If I want to feed the ducks... I just go to the Sonic Drive-In in town, there is an RV park right next to it with a pond...and the TATER TOTS!

  12. LMAOROTF, Seriously. Out running errands and the cars up ahead slam on their brakes. One very fast ground hog was running for it's life across the road. I thought of you and smiled. We are 5 minutes outside of town and yes, living with lots of wildlife around us. Keeps you on your toes. Yes, cover the pool after it's cleaned. LOL! Patty/NS

  13. That's cute. At our former home, we mainly had Rocky Mountain Spotted toads swimming, even though it was clean. Once in a while, there was an unfortunate creature that drowned or the fortunate.

  14. Suzan, how much more excitement can you take Lol !
    You kept me involved In Your story as if I were part of it. I would have been your biggest cheerleader coaxing you one helping you win this pool cleaning argument :)
    By the way we have ducks here and all over my daughters college campus and they are not to kind. They seam to take over watch out that they don't throw a big pool party!
    Give that scare to John !!

    Beautiful weekend to you Scarlet :)

    See you soon :)


  15. Seriously. Ducks love swimming pools. My neighbor to the south and neighbor to the west both had above-ground pools that were occupied every early spring with mallard couples, LOL! I was oblivious until once gorgeous spring day I was out in the backyard cutting the grass, took a break and heard quack quack quack quack -- but sort of faint. I looked all over. Where the heck was the duck? I couldn't see any duck, but I kept hearing the quack quacking. Finally retired to my deck for a sit-down break and a glass of wine and that is when I spied the female duck paddling around the water left behind by melted snow on TOP of the neighbor to the south's pool cover. LOL! Neighbor to the west did not use a pool cover. Eventually they took out their pool (I can only wonder why...) Well, ducks need a place to live, too. So do squirrels. And groundhogs. Maybe you can start a kiddy circus and charge admission -- but would recommend having the scent sacs removed from your skunks...

  16. My pool is empty right now because it was green, literally, and the vector police came. Pool was breeding mosquitos! Unfortunately, we occasionally find dead rats in there, too. The frogs, though, I love. We have horses and live next to a creek, so that explains the animals, but no excuse for the green pool. Putting in new pump, etc as I type. My husband wasn't concerned, but all I could say was, "We have horses...have you never heard of West Nile Virus???" Very gross. We also get ducks and they are disgusting... they dive to the bottom pooping all the way!

    1. Well it couldn't have been greener than this one, let me tell you !!!
      Embarrassing and disgusting - now I feel even sicker about the ducks diving and pooping LOL

  17. Sorry I'm with your daughter that's awesome! Although its getting close to Summer time for humans to be swimming not ducks. I love you added the recipe lol

  18. They are too cute. The recipe? How could you? :)

  19. I think I'd like to live next door so I could just watch you all the time. Talk about a crack me up. We've only had ducks a few times, but the doves sometimes come and sit on the spillover from the hot tub to the pool. The squirrels just watch. I took a ton of photos last week from my office window. I love watching them!

  20. Suzan, This was hilarious. I totally enjoyed it and I enjoyed all the comments almost as much. I'm still laughing and getting ready to read this to my adult son. He's going to crack up. You made my day.

  21. I'm with Mel & your cool! I'm sure they'll be on their merry little way when the pool is clean.

  22. In Virginia we had opposums in the backyard all the time. Our lab carried one into the house. My husband calmly opened the front door then went over to the dog, grabbed the opposum by the tail and told our dog to "release". The lab let go of the critter and John calmly carried the beast out the door. I, on the other hand, was traumatized and had to calm myself with a glass of cabernet. Buy a lot of wine.

  23. I'm amazed at the fact you could get a squirrel picture without shaking! My sister has ducks that swim on the top of her pool cover when it rains! LOL! Welcome to the country lady!

  24. I love your ducks! If you stop screaming and jumping, they may let you swim in their pool in the summer!

  25. AWESOME! I love that you included the recipe. =D


  26. OMG I laughed so hard when I saw your recipe. That was ducking awesome! Cheers to one funny chick from the funny farm!

  27. Suzan, it does not matter how clean or dirty your pool is, there will be wild life. Get use to fishing out drowned voles, moles, mice, possums; catching frogs and snakes from the skimmer; and the variety of insect life swimming around will astound you. It is worth it for the daily swim and relaxation - I take a nap floating in mine each afternoon. Oh, I forgot to tell you of the bats which swoop down each twilight for sips of water and mosquitoes!

  28. We lived in apartments in So Cal that constantly had ducks in the pool! We get them once in a while here in FL too. I get freaked out by a lot of the critters we get here. One day a frog got inside while my husband was at work, I was absolutely hysterical. I was begging him to come home, he said he was in the middle of something and wouldn't be able to get home for at least an hour so I finally called maintenance. The maint. guy spent about 20 minutes chasing it around and I was standing on top of my bed screaming the whole time! We get lizards inside once in a while too...eek!

  29. We raise ducks Suzan. Those are Mallards. They're cheap ducks, about $20 a pair in this neck of the woods. Sorry to laugh but you are funny as a country girl. Yeah, the bats... look out for them :)

  30. At least it's not bats in your house! We killed 7 bats in our house before we finally figured out where they were getting in and got it closed up. But I don't blame you for being a 'bit' upset! At least you can cover the pool and hopefully discourage them.
    Dont even get me started on the squirrels. We live in a small town that is overrun with the little rats with bushy tails. Not a fan!

  31. You've got crapping quackers toooooo!

  32. You seem to be turning into a reluctant Dr Doolittle!

  33. Oh, I love this community of Suzan's! So many side-splitting comments. My SO is trying to watch a movie and I'm reading to him at the same time. He's a pretty patient guy.
    Thanks for the laughs, gals! You and Suzan make quite a party!
    Meantime, Suzan, be glad you don't have chiggers and ticks. They are so small you don't know you are in danger until it's too late.
    My nephew has a robot that scoots around vacuuming the bottom and sides of his pool. Get on and once you get it cleaned out properly you can just turn it on to keep it clean. The ducks might think it's a threat and leave or a companion-- and make up a family of three……LOL

    1. I know Marje - sometimes I sit here giggling my head off at the replies LOL -
      I am beyond grateful I don't have chiggers and ticks ( but if they're that tiny how do I know I don't have them ? ) The robots are really expensive so it won't be happening this summer with a ton of reno's still to be done - maybe next year - for now we'll have to use the manual one - won't this be a barrel of laughs?

  34. Hahaha...Oh, Suzan, this really made me smile. Those critters won't hurt you. I think. LOL... I think it's wonderful, but the wildlife lifestyle is just not for everyone. LOL... Well, I must say that you'd never survive in my yard with all the animals passing through. We have rabbits and groundhogs living under our she at the end of the yard. I adore them, and even invite them to hang out with me when I garden. Scary, no? Send your ducks over here. There's a creek in the green space behind my house; they'd love it there.

  35. Omg, Suzan, I was rolling on the floor laughing reading this post!! You would definitely not want to live here, I'm in the county with tons of 'critters' and I have to say, other than the raccoons eating our chickens, I love it! Thanks for a fun post to end my night with (Yes, I really think it's time for bed! Just looked at the time...2:30! Yikes) Debbie :)

  36. Your ducks are mallards. And do you know they only mate in the water? Just saying.....

    1. I just had supper - and I feel a little bit of it trying to come back up - thanks a lot LMHO - NO I didn't know that !!!


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