Wednesday, March 30, 2011

catch up...

Well between home school, collecting, we have 75 taps, boiling and finishing off maple syrup, regular farm chores and house hold duties, not much else has been going on!! haha! I've been so busy these last few days, I haven't had time for much of anything other then my life. My head hits the pillow and I'm out, not to mention I have a horrible head cold! Going to the concert was great, and am so glad I went, that said now I feel like I'm playing catch up on everything else. I'm three days getting the laundry caught up, and way behind on the house work! But I guess house work is never really "done." At least for me it's not. I've been giving the kids a few more duties of house work too. At least the older two. They enjoy it, and ask for more, sometimes. Other times it's not received joyfully. I don't always joyfully clean my house either, I don't always enjoy it, I'd rather go clean the horses stalls or better yet take one out for a spin! Ha silly girl dreaming!

The past few days we have been putting TO (Time Out) out with Maggie. Neither one seems to really be thrilled with that idea. Maggie hangs out at the back fence line and TO pases the front line. We put out two different piles of hay for them and they switch back and forth. TO would winnie at anyone who walked out the door, drove down the street, or anything that moved. She'd come up to the fence and just wait for anyone to answer her, and to give her a rub on the head, and winnie again when you walk off. I love her voice, it's so different then Abby's, I like Abby's too though. They look at each other and walk the other way. Maggie has laid down a bit more today, and seems to be OK with TO, as long as she doesn't get too close while she's taking a snooze. Abby on the other hand seems to be enjoying her time without the pest with her. She's been laying down and will sprawl out and I watch her sigh as the warm sun hits her belly. And all the hay I put out she gets to eat and doesn't have to share it! But when I put TO back in with her at night, she greets her warmly, sniff noses, squeal and run around. Then are ready for their grain!

We had Maggie preg tested today, and it's official! She's with calf, and due October 12!!!!  The size of the calf is a little bigger then a softball! We were fairly certain that she was because she hasn't shown any sighs of coming into another heat, but we wanted to be sure, and now we know!! We are very excited about that too! The kiddos were out there and watched. Boy the birds and the bees come early on a farm!! A few more questions to answer and they were satisfied. One asked if it was a boy of a girl, we laughed and said hopefully a heifer! That was cute! So now we wait for October. She was 9 days late (I think it was 9 days) with her last one, so give or take a few days we'll have another birth on our farm! It's so exciting! Would love to see this one, we missed the first one. I'd like the kiddos to see it too. We'll see.

The boys went rabbit hunting with one of Matthew's brothers, for the afternoon. He has the dogs and all that and is right into hunting with his dogs. Tomorrow is the last day, and Little Matt really wanted to go, and it worked out for them to go today! He took the camera and I really hope they see something, I'm not too interested in eating a rabbit, or cooking one, so I don't care if they get one, but it would be fun for them if they did! So now the girls and I have the rest of the afternoon to do something. Maybe figure out what to eat for supper, I was going to make a pot roast, but forgot to get it going early this morning to cook all day. By the time I remembered it was almost 12. Oops. There is always tomorrow, but what to do about tonight??!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

fun, fun, fun!!!

I had such a blast at the concert! It was loud and just wonderful, I think I may need hearing aids when I'm old because of all the concerts I like to go to! I love concerts that rock and the bands are great and the singers sound better live then on the radio! Then you know it's gonna be good! There were a few drunks taken out of the concert area when the main event came on. Too bad for them, they missed a great show. I spent the night at my sisters house and well we didn't get much sleep, we sat up until 4am talking and laughing like school girls! Then we crashed. My head hit my pillow and I was out. I woke up at 8:40, I don't remember the last time I slept in. But seeing how I went to bed at 4 I don't think that is sleeping in!! One sister lives on a small farm, like me, only her farm is different then mine, if that makes any since. My other sister works, and is not a farm girl, at all, and she had to work last night, so she couldn't come. We missed her :-( Maybe next time! :-) So this morning after barn chores were done me my sister and her kiddos had some, imagine this, farm errands to run! So we hopped in the truck and away we went. The first stop was to get gas, then we went over to Dunkin Donuts. We needed coffee, or we wouldn't have made it! We went to a natural food store, I needed to get some stuff for my next project, because I don't have enough to do! and that was real nice. They had local products from local farms! Oh how I love that!!! Then we came back and I had to get going. I had some farm errands to run of my own. Silly, eerrr maybe a total blonde moment I had, I could have done them with her in town. We went to a farm store! Oy! Didn't even cross my mind! Guess that is what lack of sleep will do to me! So I drove all over the state of Maine and got my stuff done. When I got home I was greeted by my wonderful family with lots of hugs and kisses. I was told how much I was missed too! Even better! I managed to make pizza for supper with my eyes half closed, then got a few other house chores done and now here I sit, totally wiped out and ready for bed! But I have a few pictures I want to share about what I'll be up to tomorrow, and next week and I wanted to let you know how awesome the concert was! WOW!! I love Country music!

this was sitting on my stove when I got home. The on the right was there last night. They are all ready to be heated and put into jars!!! My project for tomorrow. Matthew will be helping. Right now to filter this and bottle it it takes two people.

yummy delishisness right there folks! ya it tastes as good as it looks too! right after I snapped the shot I ate what was in the spoon!! couldn't help my self!


any guesses?


This is my new project! Finally! Granted not everything I need it there, but most of it is. I'm going to make some cow milk soap! I have lots of milk around here, and I really want to try it. I've made goat milk soap before and I love it! I no longer have a goat, but have a cow and so now I'm gonna try it! I've read that Jersey milk is comparable to goat milk, b/c it has a high fat content and will be creamy. We shall see. I don't always believe everything I read... but I'm gonna try it on my family first and see what happens. Then see if I can scare up some more guinea pigs!! Maybe my in laws...

Anyways enough rambling on. I'm going to bed! Have a great night all!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

learning curve...

...gotta love it. gggrrrrr. Some times anyways. The new saperator wasn't working right. Not doing what it's supposed to do. After all the talking I did about how wonderful it is. It still is wonderful, and will be even more wonderful when it's fixed. These new fangled things have so many bells and whistles and gages and valves and buckets and filters that  they all have to be working together to make it work, not to mention that when you buy the thing it needs to be put together and all bricked up on the inside. Well it needed to have more of a flow, so the fire wasn't able to escape properly making the sap take forever to boil down. We had the man we bought it from come out and take a look at it and he told us how to fix the problem. We were very thankful for that. Now maybe we can get it going. Only a few bricks needed to be moved around. And when I say we I really mean Matthew is the one redoing it!  Yesterday Little Matt and I collected all the sap. All the buckets were full and overflowing! It took us a while, but we got it done! We got 11, 15 gallon buckets full of sap! So I guess the new learning curve came with putting it together to make it work. We figured we would have some sort of a trial with it, seeing how it's the first year with it. Hopefully the season will go smoother now that we have some wrinkles ironed out! I'll let you know!

I'm going to a concert tonight with a friend, who also happens to be my sister! I'm excited to get out and have some fun away from the farm!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

102 and counting

OK, so I noticed that I have put up 101 posts already. This will be 102! Can't believe that, guess I do talk a lot. I would like to say thank you to all my followers, those who "follow" and those who follow openly for reading and posting comments. I love that! I enjoy following all the blogs that I do follow and reading about what other farmers are doing. It's nice to know that there are others out there who are farming and making an effort to be  more self sufficient and be more local aka localvores!!! So thank you for reading about our journey in life as SweetLand Farm grows!

Any guesses what Matthew bought for me? He wanted to get me something for a surprise. This is what it is. Keep reading and I'll tell you what it is...


Our supper last night was this...

I liked the colors

grab a kiddo that had been lurking in the kitchen and wanted to help, and have her stir

yummy!

I asked Matthew what he wanted for a dessert, and he said Oatmeal Raisin cookies, so I made him some!
It's called Pasta e Fagoili. Like the one at the Olive Garden. I have never tried the one there because I like mine and would hate to think differently of mine if I had theirs!! I got the recipe from my grandmother, and I have no idea where she got it from. It's as follows:

1lb hamburg or sausage cooked
1 C onion
1 C carrots (I use my canned carrots so they are already cooked)
1 C celery
2 garlic cloves
1 Qt stewed tomatoes (that is what I use because that is what I have from the garden)
15 oz can of Great Northern Beans
15oz can of Red Kidney Beans
1/2 lb Ditali Noodles, if you can find them, I never can so I use the small pinwheels
15 oz V8 Juice (more)
15 oz Tomato Juice
1 T white vinegar                           1.5 t salt                            1 t Oregano               1 t basil
1/2 t pepper                                 1/2 t Thyme
Cook noodles until al dente.                      
Cook beef/sausage with onion, garlic, celery, S & P.
 Then add thyme, basil, vinegar, oregano.
 In a large pot (it makes a huge amount, so get a big pot!) Mix everything together. Simmer until warm, serve with bread if you want and enjoy!
I usually add more of the V8 Juice and Tomato juice because the noodles soak up some, and it's nice to have some "broth" in the soup. It's very filling and usually tastes better the next day when all the flavors have blended!

Your final clues on my gift!!

got it yet??

Butter molds!! Thank you honey!! I love you!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

monday confessions and a ranting...

OK, so here is to a very productive Monday!! Hey it CAN happen! I hope...

My baby fell asleep in my arms last night. She's got a cold and a mild fever, and she was just too tired to keep her blue eyes opened any longer. It was 5:45 when she drifted off to sleep. I sat and held her until I could no longer feel my arms. Then put her to bed, tucked her in, kissed her chubby cheek, and whispered I love you in her ear. She woke only once in the night and needed some caugh syrup, and she went right back to sleep.We put the humidafier in her room and that seemed to help.

We went to church yesterday and then to my parents. It was my Dad's birthday! The first day of spring no less! It was a nice day, not real warm, but nice. We had a BBQ. Love BBQ! I could live on them all summer long. Ya everyday I could have a BBQ! There are so many things you can do with them. Ya I'm the one that does the grilling. The Man is not interested in cooking, at all, not even on a grill. For Mother's Day 2 years ago he asked me what I wanted, and me being ever so suttle (not) told him, a BBQ grill.  Haha! So that is what I got! I really enjoy it too, as do the kiddos. I'm a much better griller now that I have learned HOW to grill. We had some "burnt offerings" as we would jokingly referred  to my very well done burgers, and anything else I would grill. The death of my first grill happened on a very windy day. It was on the porch and the wind took it off and smashed it on the ground. Killed it right there. I was glad that it didn't start a fire with the propane tank still hitched on it, yikes! Now I keep my new one on the other side of the house next to the shed. Not so windy there!

I hung out some towels this morning. I'm really pushing the gammet on this I know, but I can't wait to hang my clothes on the line all the time instead of running the dryer. I had to bring them in after a few hours because it started to the snow! Yuck! Snow. We're supposed to get 6-8 inches tonight. More yuck. It won't last though. We don't have snow here, and I'm not getting out the snow stuff again this year. My parents and sister have lots of snow left, and still have the kiddos ski pants out! I put mine away, along with the extra hats and mittens. They each have one hat and one pair of mittens.

Here comes my ranting...
I'm not a fan of hooligans joy riding around in their cars all hours of the night and rutting up the fields and scaring the animals. We have some from time to time. They need something more productive to do, you know like a job that requires them to WORK, so they can be tired at night to sleep, rather then destroy other peoples property. So disrespectful. Life doesn't owe them something just because they are here and breathing. Add/earn something to this life rather then thinking that you are owed something. A healthy does of resepect would do 'em good. Or a night in jail...  Yes we have called the cops on them before too, the neighbors have too. About the time they go joy riding in the cow pasture they are going to be met with two very unfriendly farmers... No I'm not sympathetic to them or what happens to them. Time to be held accountable for their actions, if they are driving around, they are plenty old enough to have some sort of job. And for goodness sake would people please grow up and have some respect for others!!!!!!! You may not agree with me and thats OK. Feel free to have and voice your opinion, all I ask is you be respectful of me and others...

ON a lighter note...
I have some pictures of the St. Patrick Day's Delight to share. It's as good as it looks too! If there is any interest I'll post the recipe later, this is kind of a long post.

the crust, pardon my fingers...



first layer going on

second layer going on...

topping!! yummy!!!
An update on my new girls. They are in that ugly stage. Loosing their buzzy butts and getting their feathers.
The Partridge Rock. I think she's gonna be nice looking.

they were very interested in me and the camera, and kept getting closer and closer to me. They really enjoy pecking my ring.

Oh and one last thing before I go be productive, yeah right! I'ts Monday!! No, just kidding, so far it hasn't been too bad...
when we collect we dump it into these containers, they are old teat dip containers, all cleaned, bleached and washed and dried, no residue of iodine.

then we filter it into this barrel and pump it into the white barrel, in the back ,and it gravity feeds into... 
the saperator! Can you smell it? (The white barrel in back there) Yes our sap house is small. We joke with each other that we are so glad we have so much room! 
Loving this new saperator! It works wonderfully!! Boiling time has decreased a tremendous amount! Such a relief to have 4 hours of boiling and not 3 days! Yup with the homemade one it would take days to do what we can now do in hours!! Not complaining though, we learned the whole science behind the making of maple syrup on that thing, along with the help of some wonderful people who also make maple syrup. We've come a long way, and we still have a ways to go, but we are so thankful for what we can do here on the property we are on! We feel truly blessed.

Friday, March 18, 2011

bagles

Well today was the first time I have ever made bagels! They are for breakfast tomorrow. The Man has to get up real early and get out of the house to go to a conference, so I made bagels because, well I've wanted to for a while, he needs a quick grab and go breakfast, and I need to do chores alone tomorrow morning and need to feed the kids asap when the chores are done, and myself. I like to get the animals done before I feed myself. The recipe makes 10 bagels. I decided not to double it because I didn't know how they would come out and wasn't sure if I would like them, that and they are kinda time consuming. Well I couldn't wait until tomorrow to try one, so I ate half of one and Little Matt ate the other half. WOW!! Love them! Classic fresh bagel taste. Chewy and soft on the inside with a little bit of a crispy outside. I didn't toast it either, I was too impatient, I just smeared some cream cheese on it and devoured it. So now there are only 9 left. Guess I'll be making more real soon, and probably freezing some too for a later date! I hope that everyone else likes them, I know Little Matt liked them. We are bagel kinda family ya know, and if they don't, all the more for me and the boy! I think I will be hard pressed to buy bagels again now though...
Anyways I took some pictures to share what they looked like. The recipe if a Martha Stewart recipe if your interested in making some yourself. She boils them before baking too in this recipe. Way too many directions to type out for me! My grand mother gave me one of her cook books for Christmas a couple years ago and it's in the one called "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook". I've tried lots of recipes in there and they are very good. Lots of butter and eggs!

The dough all mixed and ready to rise, about 2 hrs... 

the balls start a 20 min. rise, then roll them in to sticks, then shape them into bagels...

let 'em rise again, then boil them in water with Barely Malt Syrup (that is why the water is brown) for about 30 sec on each side...

put a topping on 'em if you want. I did 2 garlic, and 4 sesame seed, the rest plain...

bake 'em for 5 min on 500, lower the temp, cook more,  flip 'em and cook more!! 

didn't get real brown, but they still look good...

the inside, yummy! 
Have a great weekend all!

not for the faint of heart...

Oy!! This all happened yesterday...
 I'm tired. My day began at 7:20 when I dragged my carcass out of bed to go milk the cow and didn't end until 9:30ish when exhausted I fell into bed.
I beat Matthew out to the cow barn this morning! He did the other chores while I milked. Then we went to collect sap, seemed like it took all day. It really didn't. Matthew helped one of his brothers move his skidder that had been in the "shop" getting a gas leak fixed. I came home and washed out more buckets to put the sap in, the buckets were over flowing! When Matthew got home we had some lunch, then finished collecting. The kiddos were super good too. While we were collecting I saw an empty beer can (we find lots as we collect and the snow melts) on the side of the road, and thought I'd go get it and make .05cents, well that was my first mistake. As I leaned over I realized I need to take one more step, can you see it coming? Stupid me I did and fell to my waist in the snow covered ditch! Both feet landed on the ground, in the water, as I let out a little screech of surprise! I'm glad I had on my rubber calf high boots. The water was up to my ankles, and snow to my waist. Matthew was laughing as were the kiddos! He came over and took a picture with the cell phone laughing the whole time, as I tried to climb out, but to no use. I held out my hands as Matthew grabbed them and hauled me out of the ditch. I could see the humor in it as well and I laughed at myself and demanded to see the picture that he sent to one of his brothers so he could laugh too! Oh well. It was kinda funny and I can laugh at myself. Oh and if your wondering if I got the beer can I did. Was it worth getting snow down my boots, dirt and wet all over my lower half? The jury is still out! After we got the last of the sap we came home and  I changed. Then we went to the mill so Matthew could get some things done over there, I took Little Matt to Cub Scouts and DaLaney had a sewing lesson at Mie Mie's. The little two stayed with Daddy and I went shopping. I had limited time to shop and was in a hurry. Late afternoon is NOT the time to go grocery shopping if your in a hurry, or if your hungry. Thankfully I had a shopping list and did well not to buy snack food. I had to be back by 4:30 to get Little Matt, DaLaney and the others do evening chores. For all the running around I had been doing and falling in a ditch I bought myself a Dove milk chocolate bar and an iced tea. They were gone in no time flat. I was hungry and very thirsty. By the time we got home it was 5 and Matthew went out and did chores as I looked through the fridge for something to eat. We had leftovers. Nothing to get real excited about, but after a busy day running and literally not being home all day I was not in the mood to cook. If I hadn't found anything in the fridge we would have had PB J's!
 So I guess farm life, sap collecting is not for the faint of heart. It's hard work. My arms were sore and my back hurt after falling in the ditch. But today I find myself anxiously waiting to start it all over again and wondering what today will bring in the day and life of a family farm! I'm praying for a great farming year for SweetLand Farm, starting with the sapping season, and ending in the fall with the fall harvesting of our garden, and possibly planting some more winter wheat!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

let the running begin...

...the maple syrup that is! You didn't think I was taking up running did you? Actually I feel like a short distance sprinter when sap season comes around with all the collecting that we do everyday! We drive to the trees and let the fun begin! The kiddos are big helpers too, they can empty buckets and hang them back up, provided the buckets aren't overflowing, or "ovy flowed" as one calls it, still! They can even help drill the holes in the trees. The older two have come so far over the years that we have done this, the younger two are getting there! At least they are not in the car screaming anymore! Oh the screaming baby in the car! Had our fair share of that as they kept coming, seeing how I was either huge pregnant or they were just too little to help during sap season! I had spring babies, three of them, and a fall baby. We don't have the tubing,  we use the old fashioned buckets and spiles at this time. The trees are not on a hill, but we have found a huge bunch that has potential for the tubing...!



How cool is that picture?!!! I had to take a few to catch those drips too! I can hardly wait to drizzle that sweet maple syrup on my pancakes, or french toast! My own maple syrup that is, not someone else. I have a huge since of satisfaction making maple syrup.We are excited to get the new saperator going! We are praying that it's a better year for it at well, and the way the sap has been running, it seems as though it is! We've had people asking us if we have any for sale yet, and I've told them we're working on it! Weather permitting!

video

You'll have to please forgive me for the dogs barking in the back ground. We were down the road and the dogs were going crazy at the house we were tapping trees at (the dogs are not ours). The sap was flowing real well yesterday and I wanted to listen to it drip, drip into the bucket! I took the video with the intent to put it on my blog and share with you! Hope it works!


My baby. She is such a Mommy's girl. Follows me around everywhere! Those cheeks! Just wanna kiss 'em!  The snow is almost gone too! Bare ground in some places, other places you sink to your knee as you get to the tree on the road side!


The Man drilling a hole and the girls are eagerly waiting to put the spile in and hang the bucket! See the road? It's nice to be close to the road and not have to go deep into the woods. We are praying we are blessed with land that has a sugar bush on it! That would be sweet! We did not tap some of the trees we tapped last year because they were old and just didn't give much last year. But we found some new younger trees to tap, so we didn't loose any taps. We may be expanding the number this year.


My boy! He got that leather bag, that he and his Daddy sewed together, moccasins, that we didn't let him wear because his feet would get wet for Christmas, and my Mom made that leather shirt he has on, it's got fringe on the front. He was Daniel Boone yesterday, and Davy Crockett the day before! He didn't wear his coon skin hat for some reason. That is a new tree that he picked out and tapped all by himself. The Man has been teaching him all about trees and wood stuff when they go hunting, fishing, or to the mill to work. He can now tell me about trees and trails in the woods. I'd get lost! A few tips from Daddy about the tree he wanted to tap, and he was good to go!
Sometimes we use the old fashioned drill, but after a while we use the electric one. Makes the holes get done faster!

Monday, March 14, 2011

monday confessions...

Determined. That is one word  I would use to describe myself. There are many others as well, but that is one thing that I am. I'm not one for giving up because something is hard, or I fall on my face, sometimes literally. If I need or want help I'll ask, and I'm not afraid to ask for it either. It doesn't make me feel any less capable, of whatever the task is, I know my limitations and I'm OK with that.
One example in my life is my willingness, drive, desire to buy a horse. I was in high school. I was in love with this one particular horse named Baby. She was an old ex Quarter horse race horse, a good one at that. She was a red roan with a red face and a white spot on her beautiful face. My best friend and I would go see her and her pen mate Sara everyday, sun, rain, snow, sleet, sub zero weather, and that is no joke. We were 2 horse crazy gals, still are, never out grew that. Anyways Baby had a little spit fire of a filly that I fell head over heels in love with. And while most of my other friends were getting their drivers licence, and deciding what boy to date, I was busy getting a job and closing my small bank account to buy this spit fire filly. I got a job, down the road from my parents house, washing dishes at a bakery. (my parents said I had to get a job and close my bank account to help buy her. They helped out a lot with the price of her.) Let me tell you, after I got out of school for the day, I would go wash dishes for hours, then come home to homework! Not nice plates, oh no these were the heavy, industry size mixing bowls, with dried on bread, cookie dough, and various other stuff. And then I had to learn to wait on customers. eeeee! Wasn't prepared for that part, but I did it. I would swallow that lump in my throat, smile and wait on the customer. I learned real quick who liked what, and could usually predict what they would want when they walked through the door. Like my Dad, he would pop in from time to time, passing through, and he would always get the giant soft molasses cookies, sometimes a doughnut if any where left over. It would thrill me when he would pop in and say hi and tease me about working, asking if the filly was worth it. She was. It was nice to know he was checking up on me. I would run the bakery on certain Saturdays by myself. That was a huge step in responsibility for me, I was 16. I only got my license when my mother got sick of driving me to the barn for riding lessons, that I would earn by cleaning stalls, and various other barn chores that I loved to do, and cleaning an old ladies house. Ya I really slept, ate, breathed, lived for horses. As did my best friend. We were joined at the hip practically. I miss her terribly. We still call each other and chat on a regular basis.We have the kind of relationship that doesn't come around very often, doesn't matter how long it's been since our last conversation we pick right up and talk like we just saw each other. I wish we lived closer, and could just "meet half way" and finish our walk together. That is what we did, I lived up town, and she down town, we would meet half way between our houses and walk even father down town to see our beloved horses, Baby and Sara. My best friend and I met when we were in second grade.
I eventually met and married the love of my life, and had a family, so at this point in my life horses have taken a back seat. I have a family that needs me and I need them. I still have that spit fire filly, and now her filly. I have plans and am determined enough to see them through. I will be back in the saddle, galloping through the fields again! Soon!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

random thoughts below...

The other day Matthew went and helped some Amish cut some ice for there ice boxes! He was gone all day too. Hard work, but with lots of able bodied men it got done. What an awesome covenant they have and how they help one another! All the ice they cut went to one family. How cool is this!!?? I have to admit I like my fridge though!

cut and getting ready to load it
loading
the ice cutter

I made homemade devil dogs the other day! They came out really good if I do say so myself!! Along with others I blessed with the treat. Took a long time to make them with lots of butter and milk, actually I think they used butter milk. I decided that cooking sounded like more fun then cleaning! Pioneer Woman Devil Dogs if you want the recipe! They really were good! I've been cooking a lot this week and not blogging. Here are the pictures of my devil dogs.

The cake, homemade of course...was really good...
Oh my the frosting! Rick, creamy, wonderful...
I cut the cake in half, and filled them, they would have been really thick, and wouldn't have gotten as many, and I wanted to share the love...
Mouth watering... delish!
Got a family get together tonight, so I gotta run and get things ready and clean up the kitchen! I made St. Patrick's Day Delight and Tuxedo Brownies! Yummy! I'll take a picture and show you later!!
Have a great weekend all!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

if you can appreciate horses...

My girls
I love to go outside in the horse barn and just stand there quietly and listen while they eat, especially if I'm in a bad mood, or just need a few minutes to breath. They lift my spirits with their quiet acceptance of my grumpy mood. The way they always welcome me with a heart felt winnie or the light wicker you have to be listening for, and I know the sound of their "voices". I love the noises that they make and the scents that hit my nostrils when I enter the barn. The hay, the sweet smell of grain, the leather, the manure and just the wonderful smell of horses. Anyone that loves horses, loves those smells, and can appreciate it. Kinda like your husbands cologne, you know it, you love it, and you sometimes find yourself burring your nose in his shirts just to smell it. The rustling of the hay as they move it around to eat the best stuff first, the munching sounds they make as they chew it, the occasional thumping of their hooves as they move around their stalls. The soft snort and hot breath in my face as I run my hands down their soft, silky necks, and bury my nose in them and breath deeply. How they nudge my hand and pockets looking for a horse cookie or carrot. How they have quietly, and trustfully made me fall in love with horses and everything that comes with them.
 Ahhh, this country girl and her horses...
  I love my girls...

Monday, March 7, 2011

monday confessions...

It's been raining for 3 days!! UGH!! But I'm actually happy about it and I'll tell ya why
THE SNOW IS ALMOST GONE!!!! GONE!!! Kinda excited about that. I've been watching the well casing out back and it was almost covered. Now most of what is left is well, huge lakes of water, they are no longer considered puddles. In some places it's ankle deep. Very thankful for calf high rubber boots on a morning like this when I went out to do chores! We have gotten some freezing rain as well today and the trees have that beautiful look on the branches. We had the power flicker, and made sure the fire was going. Hope we don't loose the power, or we might loose some chicks. With the wind howling around out there, and the weight of the freezing rain, it could happen. We have some extra water for us, the animals, the toilet... just in case.
The chicks are doing well. They are getting into their ugly stage where they are loosing their baby fuzz and getting their feathers. Been a while since we've had chicks that are not broilers and what a difference in size and activity. They are busy little girls and already trying to roost! We lost one, but got 2 replacements today. Not a Top Hat, but I still want one.
I made the kiddos eat pears for breakfast while the man and I ate the leftover french toast!!
I don't know about others, but when my feet get cold, I get cranky. I'm seriously considering buying some BOGS next year, after all the rave reviews I heard about them. Winter boots as well as water proof. Extra bonus.
If I could describe my husband with just a few words, well it would be hard, but  I'll share some of him with you, he's my best friend, quiet, gentle, strong, and loves his family. He wears wanglers and cowboy boots too!! Love that!

This is looking down our road. 

This is across the street, that huge thing in front is a snow bank. It's shrunk a lot, and was taller then me. Maybe I'll have my son take a picture of me in front of it tomorrow... Just so you can see!
Because I'm a dork, I snapped a picture of the frozen hay outside. 
My 2 oldest kiddos outside.

  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

happy girl!!!

Alright, so I have a problem. I know, shocking right?
I get very excited when I get a package in the mail. It doesn't happen very often. You should see me when the UPS man comes! I know this is a problem, but I'm OK with it, and so is my family! Anyways we went to pick up the girls at my brother and sister in laws, I needed to get out of the house for a few minutes and a ride sounded nice. Well, we have a PO Box, we get so much snow I'd be afraid a road side box would be taken out multiple times in the winter. Just not worth it. Well I went in to get the mail and saw one of those yellow thingies that indicate you a have a package too big for the box, so I went and got it, and it was for ME!! Y.E.E.H.A.W. YEEHAW! I got back in the car, after almost falling on my face from the ice patch I stepped on, and two of the kiddos asked excitedly what it was! It runs in the family. I opened the red package and low and behold! I even let out a little squeal of delight, when I saw it! Oh I was instantly happy to see my present, which was from one of my sisters! A birthday present! No it's not my birthday. Don't ask. I had coveted, eerrr, I mean wanted one since I saw it! I had openly hinted to The Man about it and said Mother's Day is right around the corner. My sisters tell me I'm about as suttle as a gun!!
Well here it is!! MY NEW COOKBOOK!! Oh sorry I didn't mean to yell...


Y..E..E..H..A..W...!! Pioneer Woman Cooks. Ya I 'm a fan...

I drool just about every time I look at or cook some of her food! I know another problem, but...
Perhaps that is  why she wrote a cookbook, she makes awesome food!  Now hopefully I can save some money on ink and paper now that I don't have her cookbook! Can't wait to try some new recipes, because I'm always looking for them, and try them on unsuspecting people, like my family!! That and the ingredients are normal things, like butter!! I hate it when I find a recipe that looks great, but the ingredients are impossible to find, very pricey, and I'd never use it, unless I make that one thing. Hate that.
So that's all folks, now you know why I'm excited, and happily cooking up new things in my kitchen. Currently working on Devil Dogs! Not sure if they are in the cookbook, but yummish looking, can't wait to try them!! I'll let you know how good they are!!





















Thursday, March 3, 2011

lemons...

Yea, this is fresh squeezed lemonade!! Oh it was so good! But it was gone way too soon...

These were on sale at the store the other day when I went shopping. I had 2 kiddos with me and they really wanted to bring some home. So we did!
I just so happen to love fresh squeezed lemonade and had one at a fair with my sister years ago. Oh it was so hot, and it was towards the end of a busy, happy day of food, and rides for the kiddos, and I decided that fresh squeezed lemonade sounded good, and I was thirsty so I bought one. As did my sister, and well, it's now a weakness for me, and if I dare go out on a limb, hers too!! It's kinda addicting! Can't go back to frozen concentrate! Yucky! It was expensive, as is all fair food, but worth every penny. I really wanted to get about 6 more too! The kiddos wanted more, but I declined to buy them each one. Now when they (lemons) are on sale I buy some and we enjoy it! Oh thank goodness for Florida lemons!! Or California, where ever they come from. When it's five below and winter in Maine I don't care about local lemons, not that your gonna grow lemons in Maine. I wanted one, so I made one, and can't wait to have about 6 more! And sometimes when you have a craving, you just have a craving! The oranges were really good with breakfast this morning and I still have a few left over for tomorrow. The kiddos were excited to have something fresh too eat, they love oranges.
Anyways, we paid off the saperator the other day!! We took out the loan in October and we paid if off with our tax return the other day!! Woo hoooo!! We are very pleased to have it paid for too, now if it would warm up so we could start boiling that would be great!! We have another cold snap coming through this week. Wind chills make it below zero!
DaLaney is spending two nights at Matthew's parents house. That is the plan anyways. She was very excited too. She gets to play with her cousin that is the same age as her as well. And she gets a sewing lesson with Mie Mie. She has been asking for a while, so I talked with my mother in law, and she said she was more then happy to teach her, I had already  decided I was not going to teach her how to sew, her grandmother has the stuff, time and patience to teach her!  I do not. And I can't really sew anyways, unless someone is right there telling me what to do next! Not the best way to try to teach someone!! Better to let someone else do it. I'm totally fine with that! Besides it will give her some time alone with one of her grandmothers, and the confidence to try something new, with someone besides me!
Well we have company coming over for supper tonight, and I need to get busy cooking it, or we won't have anything to eat!! And I have no idea what to make! This could be interesting! haha

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

listen to this!!



I think it is cute. Enjoy! They are happy little chicks!! They will have a good life here at SweetLand, and live the way a chicken should!!

video