Thursday, June 30, 2011


Seems like it's late this year. Strawberry season that is!!
 Finally they are ready after a cold, wet start. And for the first time in all the years we have been married My Man and I went picking together! Actually we all went, and with 6 people picking it was done in no time, but we didn't get all the picking done, due to lack of time and farm chores looming... I'll be going out again with one of my BIL's and some of my kiddos, don't ask me why, that's just how it works out. My mother in law decided to come over and join us while we picked and got a few quarts for herself.  We thought it would be nice if we could raise our own strawberries, but with all the extra work and lack of space at this time we will just buy them locally and enjoy them throughout the winter. I think I like it that way better anyways. Quiet time picking strawberries in the cool of the summer morning, killing my legs and back as I pick, and watch my kiddos happily pick just a few feet from me, snapping a picture or two or five. haha!
 This was the older two's second year picking with me and the younger two's first time picking strawberries. They were all excited to be helping and with the berries full and plentiful they were done the work in no time. And with  little ones that is a good thing, fast quick results. Makes them more eager to help next time they are asked to help. Makes them feel important when they know how they are helping Mommy! I froze what we got today, minus what we ate for supper and left some for tomorrow with breakfast. Mmmm just love warm, fresh strawberries and whipped cream!
One year my sister and I picked 100 quarts together. The berry farm we got them from had a deal, pick 100 quarts and you pay $1 a quart, so we figured why not?! Ya, I think we were a little crazy, but the picking was really good and we got it done, and had lots of jam in our cupboards and strawberries in our freezer.

they were a great size, juicy and sweet! and I just thought they looked pretty!

my man picking with us!

this boy picked 2 quarts by himself, and then popped that strawberry in his mouth!

my mother in law with the girls chatting her ears off!

she needed some help filling her quart, so she asked if I would help her.

blowing me a kiss! what a sweetie. check out the views in the back ground!

mmmm, they are so good! don't you just want to grab one and eat it?

ready for the freezer. 
 Just gotta mention the blade in the bowl. It's a melon baller on one side and clawed knife on the other, with a hollow inside, it's made to hull things like strawberries and I just gotta say it's a wonderful tool to have! It takes the hull off without loosing half the berry. It's a Pampered Chef tool, and I'm sure there are other brands out there, but that's the one I have. So just wanted you to know it really works great. I hope you can see it in the picture, because it's worth every penny!!

mmm yup only ten quarts, and just a start, but we had fun as a family picking them!`She was having a hard time not just sitting there eating them all! she really wanted a picture of her with the berries! my little fruit and veggie queen!!

We saw this lunar moth in the tent when we went to pay for the strawberries, and thought it was pretty so we snapped a picture of it. Don't get to see them too often.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

fire pit

My sister called me up one day and asked me what I thought about her getting my other sister a fire pit for Christmas. I thought that it sounded like a great idea! They often have a "campfire" in their tree stump that they have been burning. I said I didn't even know they had those. I know sheltered life in the country. We chatted about it for a while then chatted about other things. Probably about Christmas and how I wasn't even close to being ready for it! I never gave it another thought. Then when we had Christmas with my parents I got the fire pit and fire sticks to cook things on! I was surprised and excited to use it! But I would have to wait, and that seemed like a very long time.
 And then the other night we finally got the fire pit out!! Oh and my sister has a knack for finding these marshmallows on steroids too. I have never seen them so big! I still have no idea where she gets them. Well the kiddos had some left over so I dug them out and roasted marshmallows in the fire pit while My Man read a book to us all. Then we just sat around out camp fire and chatted about our days. We watched and listened to the farm critters. What one of my sisters calls "farm TV." I love that expression. As it got darker we could see the lightening bugs coming out, and the kiddos started chasing them around the yard. Some managed to catch them, and I tried to get a picture but it didn't come out, but a very small light on the camera. It was a nice evening to sit and relax by the fire and chat as a family, and listen to the kiddos giggle as they tried to catch lightening bugs. We didn't get them to bed until almost 10 pm. For my farm kiddos that's late, but we were having fun, and nights like those are just too fun to end!

this is the book

giant marshmallows, fire and sicks! we are set now!

the cheeks! 

how long do I cook this?

mmmm. it's almost as big as she is!!

that's fun in the country!

takin it easy with my man!
Thank you to my sister for all the camp fires we are going to have and memories we are able to make! Come on over for a marshmallow roast soon!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


you just gotta jump, run, slide and be a kid! Oh the boundless energy of youth. They can go all day long and then face plant in bed at night and snore five minutes after they get in it. They dream of their days and can't wait to do it all again tomorrow with the same excitement and energy of what the day will bring! They bring new energy to life, tears and laughter, and a few of those "heart popping" moments of love and pride when you look at them. Looking at my kiddos is looking into the future, wondering what life they will have and where it will take them. I guess I secretly hope that it won't take them too far from home, I'd miss them and it kills me to think of it, but with God in the drivers seat of their lives I know they will never truly be too far from home.

Yup the boundless energy of youth! I love it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


We had a pretty wild thunder storm the other night. We even got some hail that came along. It wasn't very big, the hail, and the storm lasted about 45 minutes. Most of it was the rumbling and grumbling of loud thunder and some amazing flashes of lightening! Thankfully the hail didn't ruin the crops that are just coming up and trying to grow. Then when small droplets of rain were all that were coming down, I looked out back and saw... 

How beautiful is that?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

making cheese part 2

OK, so I wasn't planning on a making cheese part 2, but I was having such a good time making it, I just had to! I made 2 pounds of mozzarella late this afternoon. I made it once before, but it was more like a hard, tasteless lump of rubber. Lets put it this way, it didn't even melt on the pizza I fed my family. My poor family! Ha!
Well this time I had a different recipe and it came out much better. It was like fresh mozzarella. Maybe not like the pros, but it at least melted on the pizza! Told you I've had some whoopers in the kitchen! With that said here are the pictures!

this is when it's just starting to cuddle

now it's starting to become cheese lumps

cheese curds and whey all separate and ready to drain

here is the mozzarella drained and ready to be warmed up to stretch 

warmed up and was working real well and starting to stretch 

TA-DA!! stretchy and ready for...

mmmmm pizza!!
I was so excited about this because it was homemade dough, sauce, and  cheese! This fall we'll have our own homegrown bacon to put on a pizza, and tomatoes! I love tomatoes on my pizza.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

making cheese

Yea! I'm very excited to be making cheese! Finally!
 I got the stuff the other day and now an happily making a cheese mess in my kitchen! I have looked online for some information on cow cheese. I'm going to try mozzarella, sour cream, soft cow cheese, like a Chevre cheese. I love Chevre cheese and am interested if it will be worth making again. Anyhow I think it's worth a shot at least! Then the Fromage Blanc, this is like a cream cheese! Then I need to whip up some bagels and try it out! I'm so excited!! I have wanted to make cheese for a long, long time now. I've gone to some cheese making talks/confrence or whatever you want to call them. I just find it so interesting to watch the process. To curddle milk, eat it and love it. I have access to a cheese press, but it's so big I don't know where I would put it. But I think I could maybe find room... That is for hard cheese like cheddar. I love sharp cheddar cheese, actually I love cheese in general! And now that I have a cow I have all the milk I could want to start something new. Who knows maybe I'll sell some and make a little money for the farm!!
I have finished the soft cheese, and will have the Fromage Blanc finished tomorrow!

heat milk to 86 degrees add the stuff and let it sit for 12 hours

drain through a cheese cloth

all drained

final product! add a little garlic and basil and I was good to try it!
Yup it's good too! I would love to have put fresh basil in it, but I didn't have any. Out of a gallon of milk I got a little over 2 pounds.

Sunday, June 12, 2011



The youngest two helped us pick rhubarb the other day. The older two were with their grandparents. We don't have a patch of it, but one of the neighbors up the road from us does, and she was more them happy to give us some. I have discovered a new use for rhubarb. It's called blue-barb pie! Oh it is soooooo good! I'll share the recipe and pictures of in a different blog post. Oh the suspense!!
I like to wash, and cut it all up then

I think it looks pretty!
Anyways, then I freeze it in 4 cup bags! Hey gotta tell you we bought a Food Saver, the real deal, and got a screaming good deal on it. The $200 one for $100. Yup half price! Can't wait to see if it really does keep out the freezer burn. I mean it's gotta be better then regular freezer bags right?! Was really happy about that! Now the rhubarb looks like this

Vacuum sealed!
So yes let the harvesting begin here for us! Weird if I stop to think about it. I think of harvest time in late August and September, and maybe if we get a touch of Indian summer October. Just trying to think of the crops we plant.  But I guess it really starts with maple syrup.
Oh well, either way I look at it, it's that time of year is here, and where we live in Maine we are always getting ready for the winter to come! Besides a blue-barb pie sure will taste good in January!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Sure why not!?!?! It is spring and I do live in the country!
Sure on Bambi they portray the skunk as a cute little thing, and "Flower" was cute. I mean they are kinda cute. They eat bugs and mice so they aren't all bad! I know a kid who had one as a pet when he was a pet. I believe that it had the stink taken out though. Somehow. Was a long time ago. Anyways, when your dog gets sprayed or one gets hit and you drive by it. Yuck. Last year when Matthew was haying the field he cut one with the mower. He felt real bad, and had to take care of it. Boy did that stink. Yes I'm getting there just taking a bunny trail!!
Had a great day yesterday too. Was hot, but I loved it! Went on a delivery with my man while the kiddos played at their grandmothers in the afternoon. Then last night we had my brother and sister in law and all their kiddos over for supper. We had a BBQ. It was really good too! The kiddos were all outside playing having a grand time of it. Every once in a while they would come in with a bunch of flowers for us. We could hear them laughing and screaming. Mind you it was a happy scream, there is a difference. Well all of a sudden we hear this shriek and hollering and mass entrance of kiddos, there were 7 of them, (one was in the house he just turned one), running through the front door all of them wild eyed and loudly proclaiming they found a skunk in the field!! I'm not sure who found who first! The smell of skunk suddenly filled the house and we shooed them back outside. The fathers were the lucky ones who got to do the sniff check while my SIL and I laughed!! Thankfully as the kiddos were running away and the skunk was running away they didn't get a direct hit of spray! Two needed a shower and their clothes hosed off and washed separately, but all in all it wasn't too bad. Guess I must really be country if I think getting a little dose of skunk on my kiddos is not so bad! I do have plenty of tomatoes and vinegar... At least we could laugh at the whole thing!
 So chalk one up to a skunk and 7 kiddos playing in the field at dusk!! Wonder how long it will take before they go play in the field at dusk again!! hahahaha
I think this memory of skunks will last a long time with all of them. At least I hope it does! I know it will for me!
Ah gotta love country life!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Alas we have gotten our gardens planted! I felt like it was never going to get done, but I really knew it would. The weather was just right the other evening so we took advantage of it. We usually plant Memorial weekend, but too much other stuff was going on. We have two medium gardens (at least I call them medium) that we rotate things around in. The kiddos love to help plant, and even weed, sometimes. I don't really like to weed, but it's a necessary thing, so I do it. Seems to go much smoother when we are all out there in the cool of the evening to do it. The kiddos like to use the hoes as horses and run up and down the garden, before it's planted though! I still need to get some lettuce and basil planted. I'd really like an herb garden. Well I did have one, but it's been mowed over by the horses and sheep... I'll leave it at that! We put a hot wired fence around it to keep the chickens out of it, they like to take their dirt bathes in it, and disturb the seeds or just eat 'em!

That's all. Just wanted to let all you gardeners know that it's finally planted! Now we pray for a bountiful harvest!! Happy weeding all!