Monday, January 31, 2011

monday confessions...

If your interested in getting to know me, keep reading...

Is it wrong to eat a Little Debbie snack AFTER you work out?? Well I totally did that! It was good too, the work out and the snack!  It was a German Chocolate. They remind me of the old girl scout S'Mores cookies. They are so good! I don't get them often, so they are a treat for me. Yes I know they are full of bad for you things, but if I have a craving for them, I buy them. It does me no good to deny that "thing", weather it's chips (another weakness of mine) or chex mix, or fresh pineapple, or what have you. I feel like if I'm really craving something I should eat it and end that craving, and move on. I don't go hog wild on that craving, moderation.
I read in a magazine that you need to do something for 21 days for it to become a habit, and six months for it to become second nature. I stopped and thought about that for a while too.  I think that is true, at least for me. When I started working out, and don't think that I am a freak about working out and have weights, and  have this long process of working out, and all that stuff, because I don't, and I'm not. I just know that the older I get the harder it is to take and keep weight off, and having four kids, let's just say it changes the waist line. That said, I would NEVER not have kids either. They are a blessing and our heritage, and I feel blessed to have them and love them very much. So,  I work out 3-4 times a week. How do I find time? Well, I kick my husband out of the living room, send the kids off to bed, crank the music and do it! Not long after I started, about 2 years ago I felt better, and that just motivated me to continue. Plus my best friend was getting married and I was in her wedding, and I wanted to loose weight! Motivation for me is key! I changed lots of other things after that too, and lost the weight, and have kept it off. I hope I can keep it off for good too. I can also tell when I haven't worked out for a while too. So I guess I need to keep my German Chocolates to a minimum! Good thing only 8 come in a box!!

NEVER put chocolates on your dryer either. I did that too. Just regular chocolate chips. They melted. I put bleach on top of the bag, and then when I used the bleach on the towels, I found my missing bag of chocolate chips. Oops. Now why did I have a bag of chocolate chips on my dryer you wonder? Well I was trying to get the grocery's put away, and put them on the dryer while I was rearranging my jelly cabinet (my husband made it for me, and yes I put jelly in it, and extra pasta along with my pizza sauce!) to put some of the pasta away, and imagine this, I got distracted, forgot they were up there, and left them there.  Now I guess I'll be making some homemade chocolates, again.

My kiddos told me today that their lunch was tad poles and grass! It wasn't. If I have to state the obvious!

I'm a fan of Jason Aldean's music!

Here is my jelly cabinet! Ya, there is a small book case next to it too. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

winter fun

I lost a day this week. Don't ask me how that happens, but it did. All day today I thought it was Thursday. I kept making plans, shocking I know, for home school. But it's Friday. I'm glad too. I'm ready for the weekend!
 Last night was a friends birthday and we, a bunch of us gals, crashed her house for a girls night in! The kiddos, mine and all the other ladies were not invited, and we had a blast! A bunch of friends eating and laughing and having a great time together. We had some of that microwave fondue, and I was in charge of heating it up and, I've never done that before, fondue that is, and I burnt part of the plastic it was in! Oops! It smelt like burnt popcorn!  Fried zucchini all over again! Well they made me try the chocolate and it was fine, the stuff that was not burnt, and we had strawberries and some other yummy treats! Gotta have yummy snack food for a girls night!  I didn't get to bed until 2:30am! And let me tell you morning came really fast too! Matthew let me sleep in, but I was up at 8:00, but laid there until 8:30. He did all the chores while I slept, what a great man I have! I could have stayed in bed, but my eyes refused to stay shut. Go figure. So we had school, and carried on with the day. I had 2 glasses of coffee today instead of one. Yes, I drink my coffee in a glass, it's iced coffee. Yes you read that right it's iced. I don't drink hot coffee. Yuck. Not even when it's -12! Earlier this week some in-laws came over, and my brother in law decided we would do a kid swap. So the kiddos had to be good in school all week, his kids and ours are very close in age, and they home school too. So tonight we did the kid swap. Emma and her cousin, they are 2 days apart in age and just like two peas in a pod, are here for the night. Two five year old girls, oh boy! Well DaLaney and another cousin are three months apart in age, went to the in laws house. Two seven year old girls, oh boy!! Could prove to be interesting for both sets of parents! It's all good, they've spent the night before...
So what did I do this afternoon? Well I wanted to take a nap, but that didn't happen. I'll show you what I well we did this afternoon.

What on earth is that?

This is interesting... the boys deep in thought...

OK, now it's looking like something. Know what it is yet?

Oooooo, doors going on! Nice hands honey...

Ta da.. got it yet??

Isn't she perty?

What? Oh that's the inside of it!

"Fire it up and watch them horses run"... Oh sorry, I love that song! Know it?

We're in business, well almost... can you smell it?
 OK, I didn't realize I had taken so many pictures. Actually I have more, but won't share them all. We got our saperator set up today! And when I say we, Matthew was the one that bricked it up. I watched and took pictures and handed him the bricks! Apparently you buy the saperator, and then you have to brick it up and then fire it up and let the bricks cure. So that's what we did. Now we have to level it on one side, because if it's not level it's a nightmare to use. I still need to show you what we used to have compared to this one. I haven't found the picture yet. I'm sure we'll have a learning curve with this one. Hopefully it will be a short one and we can get it and have fun with it. If it had been the middle of February today we would have had a good run of sap. But it's only January.  It started to boil, the water, we put in it in about 10-15 minutes! That's fast, but the fire comes right up, and well, it's too hard to explain, I'll have to see if I can get a picture. Oh, and if your wondering why there is a tarp looking thing hanging up, it's because we had a space heater blowing on  the bricks to help them dry and it kept the cold out of the sap house to help them set while we glued them on with the cement. Now we need to empty the saperator because it's supposed to be really cold tonight! What were the kiddos doing while we were working? Well they were outside enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, and temperature's that didn't freeze you, and they were riding their bikes too! No unfortunately I don't get a picture of them. Would have been great picture too! Maybe tomorrow. It was kinda tough riding the bikes with the snow, but they tried, and had fun doing it too!

Oh and the name of the song is My Kinda Party by Jason Aldean!

Note: I know it's called a sap evaporator, and if your wondering why I call it a saperator and have the time and inclination you'll have to read the other posts with the label syrup to explain the meaning of the word. It's cute how it got it's name!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the fruit of my hands...

I'd like to think I'm bettering my family by cooking from scratch, and us raising our own food and such. I like it when I can pull a chicken that we raised on our farm out of the freezer. I know what that chicken ate, because we fed it, I also know what it didn't eat and know that he/she lived the way a chicken should. You know outside in the fresh air, able to eat bugs, scratch the ground, roll in the dirt, all the fresh water/food it could want and 20 or so of his/her friends. We put them in a chicken tractor and move them everyday to a new spot. They also fertilize a field that really needs it, putting out what they put in! I'd like to think it had a good life and one bad day. That is what we strive for with our animals that we eat. I believe that Joel Salatin said that of his animals. I like that our kiddos help with the chores and know that we will be eating these chickens and we need to take good care of them, so in turn they will take care of us. Filling our bellies! The chicken tastes so much different then the store bought ones. I couldn't believe the diffenernce the first time we had one. I'll admit the first time we raised meat chickens we learned A LOT. What not to do and what to do differently the next time around. It's OK that we didn't do we everything right, we learned and now we have a better system. The point is we tried. Thats all you need to do is try. I'm not a fan of watching the killing of them, I get a bit squeemish. But once they are dead and the blood is out I like to put them on the plucker! I haven't been the one to gut them either, again squeemish. I have watched them get gutted and it's not that bad. Really makes me NEVER want another hot dog though. YUCK! I do get the wonderful job (I like that job)of washing them out and freezing them. I also do get to make sure there are not more guts left in them. At one point I did have to have a brother in law help me with that, too many guts. I got a little grossed out. I know what a girl right?!! LOL. It's OK I can poke fun of myself! My husband is wonderful and doesn't expect me to do the things I don't like when it comes to killing them. I stand off in the distance. At some point if I can stomach it I'll help more, but until then I do what I feel I can handle. Besides it stinks. Even outside in the open. YES we do it outside!! Gasp. I'll admit I've never seen the killing of any other animal, and I'm OK with that too!! Just a side note here, I have killed mice and rats, but don't intend to eat them nor do I like them! Some of the kiddos don't mind at all, and others can't handle it. In time I'm sure we will all just do it. No rush. When I do cook a chicken Emma asks if I can put "the rubbin' stuff on it?" She's French like her mother and talks with her hands, and gestures with her little hands back and forth like she's rubbing stuff on the chicken with a look of excitement on her face, her large, round, blue eyes twinkle with life! I usually always do put the "rubbin' stuff" on a chicken when she asks. I'ts too cute! What is "rubbin' stuff?" Well sometimes it's a Pampered Chef mix, and if I don't have any of that stuff I mix my own stuff and rub it on the chicken!

My own mix of E.V.O.O. rosemary, fresh garlic, salt, & pepper. That is what I had on hand for this bird! 

Mr. Chicken, with the "rubbin' stuff" sitting on a holder. You can put a can of beer, or soda in the holder and make it juicier  and flavored. I haven't tried it yet. But it makes it kinda  fried on the outside. 

Mr. Chicken all done. Smells good and tasted even better!

Homemade bread. Half wheat, half white is how I make our bread! Slap on some homemade butter/jelly and your in business!!

Add some sort of homegrown veggie and you have a meal!!  

Is that not farming?

good quote

"Tack is getting your point across without stabbing someone with it."
I found this quote in Guideposts magazine by a reader named Shirley Zieve. I find it to be very true.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

monday confessions...

I'm beginning to wonder if the winter is ever going to end. It's been snowing A LOT! It's also been very cold here too. It was -12 the other morning. When Matthew milked that morning he said when the milk hit the side of the pail it froze! Burrrr... We kept the animals inside that night. Their barns that is. I don't usually like to put blankets on the horses, but if it's is going to be that cold we put the blankets on the horses. We locked the kittens in the cow barn that night too. Twelve below and the sheep won't stay in their barn, they sleep by the horses  barn!
Monday, was a typical Monday for me. I seem to be very scatter brained on Mondays. I seem to go from one thing to another, and go around in circles, and accomplishing some of my tasks.Try as I might it just is that way. The kids are hard to corral for school too, two days off and they seem to think it should continue. They settle into school by Tuesday though. That Monday morning it wasn't too cold, but Maggie put her foot in the milk pail, so we dumped the milk, then Matthew asked me if I could milk that night so he could get some more hay because later this week we are supposed to get more snow! I said sure. I was glad to do it, it's felt like forever since I milked, so I happily went and was milking away when Maggie moved her left leg, and knocked the pail over. Milk went everywhere! I didn't grab it in time, and then she decided she needed to do her business! Bad thing is I was almost done milking too! Uuugggghhhh. No fresh milk on Monday. Supper was late that night too, we had last minute company for supper and Matthew had to help our neighbor get the snow off his roof, and he fell off the roof. Thankfully he landed in a nice soft fluffy snow pile, and is fine. Our neighbors wife saw him fall and he said the look on her face was horror, as she watched. She asked if he was alright, and he gave her a thumbs up, he looked like a snowman, covered in snow! I'm glad all went well considering and Monday is over, until next week!! Hahahaha...
Anyways I was glad to have dessert that night. I had my favorite dessert! I have a weakness...



Yup, that's what I'm talkin 'bout! These are my favorite things, almost ever!! Yumm-eeee
Yup, whoopie pies! I got the recipe from one of my sister in laws. And I have to say it's the best thing ever to eat too. Not too sweet and just wonderfully chocolaty, but that may be because I use rounded over tablespoons of chocolate!!  I'd have to say chocolate makes Mondays better!! Hahahaha. In a matter of speaking of course.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

heart popping...

I just gotta brag for a minute so please indulge me on this. I went out to do the chores this morning. The kiddos wanted to come out with me, but I told them to wait because I didn't know how cold it would be. It was only 7:15. Well it was 6 degrees. I know I said I didn't want to look at the temps anymore, but...  I told them  they could go out later. It really wasn't a frigid 6 either. The air was still and the sun was wonderful. I opened up the door to the cow barn and Maggie looked at me as the sun came streaming in on her rump. Oh it was nice to sit and milk her this morning with the sun shining on my face and my nostrils didn't freeze shut! The man who plows our neighbors driveway stopped and hollered something to me. I peeked around Maggie and he looked surprised to see me! I guess he was expecting my husband. I smiled and told him it was nice out! Yeah we got bombarded with MORE snow yesterday. Don't know how much, we get wind up here!! Anyways I finished milking and was going to put Maggie out, well I threw out a small amount of hay, and unlocked Mags and she just looked at me NOT impressed. So I grinned and proceeded to talk to her as I  opened another bale of hay and tossed out 2 good sized flakes, and Maggie went out and happily started munching on it. I guess she told me! Well anyways I get in the house and Little Matt was putting something in the microwave. I asked him what he was doing as I stomped around the house to weigh the milk with all my winter gear on. Little Matt smiled showing off that dimple of his, and said he was making me some hot chocolate. Oh what a sweet boy I thought. He told me he knew it was cold out and he wanted to warm me up with something hot when I came in. Oh my heart grew with love. You know those moments, heart popping shall I say?! He also warned me that it was very hot and to be careful when I drank it. Knowing that his mother is a chocolate aholic he made it nice and chocolaty! I thanked him for the wonderful thought and kissed his cheek. It was good too. And yup it warmed me up before trudging back out in my famous thigh high snow drifts to the horse barn with water...

The kiddos sledding the other day in all the new snowbanks we get with the tractor! Pig pile affect! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

cabin fever...

What have I been up to you wonder? Well I'll tell you.
I've been sitting on my couch, by the fire, eating chocolates, sipping double espresso lattes with ... NOT. I don't drink lattes. HAhahaha... Sorry, bad I know. No I really haven't been up to a whole lot. Just the regular everyday things, cooking, cleaning, home school, barn chores. It's been so cold out that you walk out the door and your nostrils almost freeze shut, the air bites your face, and you want to run and dive back under the covers of your nice warm bed that you drag yourself out of in the morning. It was 6 degrees one morning, and 4 another. Burrrrr.. I decided I didn't want to know the temperature anymore, so I stopped looking at the thermometer. So yes I have a touch cabin fever. I think it came early this year, for me.  All I really want to do is sleep for about the rest of the winter. Matthew and I were going to go out on a date, but it just didn't work out... maybe another night. The kids watched National Velvet the other day, because it was too cold to play outside, and the next thing I know they are setting up jumps all though the house and running and jumping over them!! I decided to join in the fun and we were all running, jumping and hollering wildly "Come on Pie! Yyyaaaa!" It was fun! Reminded me of my childhood and all the crazy horse things my best friend and I used to do!! I won't share that stuff though. I'll let your imaginations run wild with all the silly things two young horse crazy girls can do:-) FYI, my best childhood friend and I are still best friends to this day! I'm thankful for her friendship too. And yes we both are still horse crazy!

I think I'll share a photo now...


Me and the kiddos. It was taken a year ago, but I just love this picture. We were playing king of the hill, but stopped long enough to get our picture taken! That snow bank was huge! 

You didn't ACTUALLY think I'd put up a picture of me when I was little did you?? Nosireee... Not today anyways...

I need to get going on some of my winter projects. Maybe that will help,my cabin fever that is. I volunteered myself  to make five people something homemade this year, kind of a pay it forward thing. The people wanted it, I didn't force them to sign up for it.  I'd like to get creative in what I make for them too. We shall see. I have a whole year to make them!! I hope it doesn't take me a whole year...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

good quote

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
Martin Luther King Jr.

"I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something to die for, he isn't fit to live."
Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 14, 2011


 The kiddos are happily painting and coloring at the table so I figured I'd sit and show you the pictures of the dessert I made last night. I have a picture of what it's supposed to look like and what mine actually looked like. Funny how they NEVER look like the picture! Well at least mine never do, but they taste good. Usually. I've had a couple whoppers in the kitchen though!Yikes. Like my first time I made fried zucchini. Oh was that bad! Makes me laugh when I think about the look on Matthew's face when he ate it. I'll share my horrible/funny tale. When we were first married I was not a very experienced cook, to say the least. I put my energy into barn chores! I was given some zucchini and I loved my Moms fried zucchini, and I called her and got the recipe. So like a happy newly wed wanting to show off her wonderful cooking skills, to her poor unsuspecting husband, got things ready. Key word being fry. I put the battered zucchini in the hot oil, and it started to fry, all hot and bubbly. Oh good I thought. Smells great! Well, then I had to flip it over. Oops, now what do I do? I grabbed the closest thing I could find, not wanting it to burn! Well it was, can you see it coming??!! a plastic flipper! Yup PLASTIC! Silly newly wed, plastic and hot oil do NOT mix! Well it melted, and I wondered about that. Oh well so I lost the plastic flipper. I'll use a fork instead, not plastic this time mind you, and continued to fry the zucchini in the same oil I accidentally melted the flipper in. Not my best move. When Matthew came in and we started eating he wanted to know what it was so I said fried zucchini.( I don't remember what else we had that night). Well he took a bite and as politely as he could he choked it down, and guzzled down a large glass of water, and coughing he asked what I had done to it. It tasted like plastic! Gross! I grinned and told him what I had done, thinking I should have changed the oil. He agreed. I felt bad, him eating plastic flavored zucchini. He wouldn't eat fried zucchini for years after that. It made him shudder just to think of it. Poor guy. I wasn't in a hurry to fry anything for a long time after that incident. Wonder why?! I do now,  with stainless steel, not plastic. We laugh at that now, well at least I do. To this day Matthew doesn't like fried zucchini! So chalk it up to a lesson learned in the kitchen, and a jumpy husband when he would smell grease. He'd tease and ask if it was zucchini?!
So now if you dare enter my kitchen I'll share the dessert!! hahaha...

OK, this is what it's supposed to look like!

This is what mine looked like!
 OK, some of the difference is because I don't really like white chocolate, so I used regular semi sweet chocolate on the berries. And I forgot the cool whip, I actually make it with homemade whipped topping. No HFCS in that. I know, I know I have a cow and all the cream I could want, but for some reason fresh cream doesn't whip, or at least when I tried it, it didn't. I was tempted to put cornstarch in it, but didn't. Maybe I'll whip it longer next time, we'll see. I asked my man how he liked it and he said "excellent!" Not in season or anything locally grow, but so very worth it on a deary Maine day!
Until next time, happy cooking!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

check this out...

So we got lots of snow yesterday! Today was the clean up! I took a couple pictures of the drifts we got. We get some serious snow drifts too. Literally thigh high. I'm not the tallest gal around but let me tell you schlepping myself out to the barn to do chores last night with drifts to my thighs is NOT easy! Add water on top of that... Matthew was over at the mill and was going to be late getting home, due to the roads. We live in the country, need I say more? I told him the road was plowed, but the driveway was one huge drift. Last night was my MIL birthday, so in the storm we went over with supper along with other brothers. Nice evening with the in laws.Was nice to come home to a warm house though!
Don't believe me about the snow drifts? I can now prove it!

Yup, that is my leg in a snow drift to my thigh. I couldn't find my Carharts and had to go without them. Not happy. My boots are calf high, still got a boot full of snow.

Another shot. Yup just a point and shoot picture, but I think you get the picture. I had to traipse through that almost all the way to the horse barn to feed them last night! See what farmers do for their animals? It is a labor of love sometimes I swear. 
I took a picture of out back, and it was about 3:30 pm. This was what it looked like at my house.

Poor lonely clothes line. Can't see the driving wind and snow whirling around my body as I took this picture. 

All work and no play? Not on this farm!

That's me milking this morning! Yup we hand milk into a pail. We wear gloves when we milk too. Once we get three milk cows we'll get the milking machines... yummy milk!!

Emma. The sled got ahead of her! Looks like fun!

Our baby and the sheep.
Truth be told, I'd rather...

Someday I will do this!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

a sure sign of spring

After a fast morning of breakfast, getting the kids ready to go to their grandmothers, chores, clean up and rushing out the door (OK so it was 9:15 by the time we got out the door) so I could go grocery shopping, yuck, and my man could get to the mill to work on an order at the mill, we stopped at the post office to get a weeks worth of mail. DaLaney asked for the magazine on the bottom of the pile and I offhandedly passed it back to her and we were off again. I am not a real big fan of grocery shopping, but I like to eat on a daily basis, as does my family. Living in Maine its hard in the winter to get local things, and even harder to strive to eat "seasonally", as you look at all the produce your surrounded by when you walk through the door! You know, no strawberries in February are growing here! Not to mention January. But somehow a pint wound up in my cart. I didn't even have my fruit girl with me! I've got a summer dessert that has been requested by several members of my family to make. So in they go, along with some blueberries. I'll snap a picture of it and show it to you. Oh man is it good! It's called Red, White and Blueberry Dessert. Yummy. Anyways... after reading the book my wonderful husband secretly bought via one of my sisters for Christmas a year or 2 ago, called Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, highly recommend it, we try to eat more locally and seasonally. Then the first time you bite into a sweet, fresh, juicy strawberry and the juice runs down your face you almost squeal with delight and think "it's been so long!!" Yeah I love strawberries! It's not always easy to be what is considered a localvore, in Maine, but we try. Yet another reason we farm, to raise our own. Although there are times it would be a whole lot easier to just grab something prepared off the shelf on one of those nights I think, "not another meal?!" groan... But then I stop and think about what is IN that food?! I don't really consider that stuff food. Shivers. And I just can't do it. Nope, it doesn't go in my cart and I move on and think alright, I'll make cookies from scratch and my own pie crust and my own home grown chicken and veggies for that chicken pot pie... But there are times I'm tempted. But it quickly passes. Thankfully. Oh just on another "bunny trail" here, my husband and one of his many brothers went to a meeting the other day and they stopped at a fast food joint, will not name it, and Matthew got a cheeseburger, and fries. He proceeded to take it apart to put it back together, guess that is why they call it fast food, and his brother laughed and said, "don't do it man, just put it together and cram it down your throat!"  He finished the meal and was sick to his stomach afterward. He couldn't believe he used to like that stuff. I guess we have "crossed over" when it comes to food, and knowing what real food tastes like. Sorry for all the bunny trails, I'm kinda all over the place today. Anyways my point with all this is to show that you can train your taste buds to like things like egg plant, mushrooms which I'm still working on, and the taste and texture of fresh eggs and chicken. The kids can too. I grew up not raising my own food and thinking that my food comes from the grocery store. I knew that hamburg came from a cow and yada yada, but it was nameless. I really was disconnected from my food. We did have a garden and Mom canned, which I'm thankful she taught me to can after I got married.  Matthew grew up in the country and his family raised some of their own food. I liked to tease him when we were first married that when we wanted pork chops for supper we went to the store and bought them, we didn't go out back and kill the pig for it! Now I laugh, because we have raised a few pigs! Funny how far you can come in 11 years!
Now what does all this ranting have to do with spring you wonder??  Well you remember that magazine I offhandedly handed to DaLaney? Well it was our  Seed Saver Exchange catalog!!! I love that catalog. I drool every time I look at it and all the wonderful colors and all the heirloom vegetables! I always make out my wish list in that catalog and it's always about 300$! I do want to save seed from our own crops, but haven't yet been up to that challenge. You have to be so careful with the cross pollination and non heirloom seeds contaminating your seeds. And covering them when they are in bloom and so on. So I have not done it , yet. I do need to learn and I think the sooner I do it the better! I love all the weird names of the different breeds of tomatoes and such, like Wapsipinicon Peach, Tommy Toe, Dragon! Purple Top White Globe! Love it! Can't wait for my purple carrots! The cover alone of the catalog it ripe with color! Can't wait to get my hands back in the dirt!
Alas, I have to go and finish taking care of my groceries and start making out my Seed Saver list and there is always another meal looming in my near future!
Happy planting!!

A sure sign spring is coming right around the corner when you get this in the mail!! The colors jump right off the page!!

I couldn't resist this wonderful clump of tomatoes! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Alright, just a quick update on Maggie. We missed her last heat last month, or rather we didn't really miss it, the AI tech never got back to us and well, there goes that. So we have been watching her like a hawk this month, and really wanted to hit the mark. Well she was showing signs of being in heat the past day and a half, different then the last time, not so much of the tail, and flirting, but hanging around the chicken tractor and mooing a lot yesterday and today, and other visual signs I won't write, but were there. YES! we thought, and we put in a call to the AI tech. He came this afternoon, and after checking her out, he said yup to breeding her. That she was ready!  We wanted to re-breed to Denali , but no such luck, not that I believe in luck, he (the AI tech) had sold out of him earlier today. Bummer. What are the chances of that, not that I believe in chances either. So after chatting with him and looking at the bulls all over again we decided to go with a bull named Stone. He's on the tall side, and Maggie is on the short side, so maybe a baby in between. He has a high cheese merit, high fat, and produces "exceptional udders," and for a dairy cow that is what you want, and he settles his cows well. I guess this post would not be for the faint of heart, but then neither is farming! The cheese merit is good, because I want to make cheese, and the fat is good for butter! And come to find out Maggie may have never settled last time, because cows don't usually abort that early in their pregnancy, but rather absorb it. I'm learning so much, and have so much more to learn! The kids had a few questions, and we answered them too. I think it's best to be honest with them, and answer their questions. They are trying to put it together, and they don't want Maggie to get hurt. We assured them she was not hurt. Tonight Rachel asked with a big semi toothless smile if Maggie was going to have a baby, and we told her that we hoped so. She informed us she did too, and wanted a girl! I asked Little Matt what he wanted to name the calf, and he grinned showing off that cute dimple in his left cheek "Dandy," (Dandelion) was his reply. Now we are looking at an October calf. So now we wait... again.

**Just a side note, I'm still trying to remember my other posts and what I labeled them, so if they don't make since, bare with me. I'm not the most computer savvy woman! It's OK, I can handle that!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

some things I've learned...

OK, so as I was doing the dishes this evening my mind was wondering to the cow, big surprise right?! and what I have learned since having her. So it may be a bit random or "flying by  the seat of my pants" in thoughts, but that is how I roll!
I told Matthew the other day, that Maggie is a great first cow for a number of reasons, and two being that she is  head strong enough to keep me on my toes, and docile enough to give me, a first time hand milker/cow owner the confidence to milk/handle her. I've figured out just how much fun, and well, stressful it can be to literally chase a cow all over your neighborhood the day after you get her! Yup, we did that! As well as putting fence back together as your cow runs wildly through the neighbors fences for his cows! Not to mention how many people say, after you say the cow jumped over the fence to get out, literally jumped the fence and cleared it! that "the cow did jump over the moon!" that is not so much funny to me, anymore. I think from the cows perspective she must have been scared too, not knowing where she was, who was chasing her, and wondering where her buddies were. She had been born and raised on the farm we bought her from. I would like to learn how to rope, while riding a galloping horse, because you just never know when that skill might come in handy!  Just how sore my hands can be after milking 23 pounds of milk from your cow. How many gallons of milk I need to get 2 gallons of cream to make about 4 pounds of butter! How to make good yogurt. How long it takes me to make and process 4 pounds of butter. How much I hate, loathe, despise,  hot dogs, don't even get me started on hot dogs! Amazing where your mind can go while you milk. How much I actually enjoy milking, and the noises I've discovered about my life while miking. Looking, or rather stumbling around, for a cow at 2:30 am in the pouring rain is not that much fun, but would probably do it again! When you wean a calf from it's mother, they really are sad. When you loose your first calf it's sad. Although we had a crash course in homeopathic medicine for calves, and learned a lot, and hopefully better success next time around. How to AI your cow and the questions that come up from the children from that. How much more time I spend at the sink washing all the milk stuff! That a cow has a very long tongue, and can lick your face without a moments notice and almost french kiss you! Yikes! Cows like to lick, at least my Jersey does! How funny it is to squirt your unsuspecting kid in the face with the star on the end of the cows teat, and listen to them squeal as it hits them!!  I'd like to try my hand at making cheese too, and cow's milk soap (sounds weird to say that, cow's milk soap, as opposed to goats milk? And I do like goats milk soap)! That is in my near future and a goal for myself this year. I think I'll start with mozzarella cheese, and soft cheese for the "expensive crackers" (LOL)!! I'll let you know about that...
It's only been about six months since we got Maggie and that is just a handful of things that I've learned, and I look forward to more time with her and any other cows that come our way...
I also know how much I enjoy sitting down on my comfy couch, with my man, and enjoy a large piece of  homemade wacky cake and a tall glass of fresh, cold, raw, organic, milk, from my cow!

Check out my glasses! I love these, the way they tilt, can you see the tilt? I do love 'em!!! (TY  SIL) 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

cow, meet horse. horse meet cow...

Happy New Year all! Welcome 2011!!! We are excited about what this new year will bring to us and the farm!

That said yesterday Matthew and I worked with Time Out and she did so super well that we decided to put her out with the cow!! They have only ever seen each other, never touched, but we figured why not. The cow needs a buddy and Time Out needs to get away from Abby. So...
You have got to be kidding ME!!

I am so not impressed with this creature in MY pasture! I think I might jump the fence! I did it once before!

Yeah, OK, I'll eat her hay. No problem!

Ring around the rosie...

pocket full of posies!

OK, so maybe we can get along and eat hay together, but I have my eye on you!
Thankfully Maggie did not jump the fence, but we thought she was going to for a few minutes after putting Time Out in her pasture! We stood by and watched them, and Maggie was not too sure what we were up to, and she didn't really like Time Out, and Time Out was wondering what her problem was. She made herself right at home, eating Maggie's hay! No one got hurt, although they both kicked up their heels a bit, and walked circles around each other. We threw Maggie some of her own hay after Time Out decided to eat what was out, and Maggie ate some, then the pest came over and Maggie hurried off,  and she ate that hay too! They did touch noses once!  (Got it on the cell, but can't get it on the computer, yet)! They settled down and ate, and were together for about 30-40 minutes and then Abby decided she needed the pest back, and the pest happily went back with her Mommy! Now we will try it again, and see if they can build a friendship, and Time Out will get some cow sense!!!