Saturday, April 30, 2011

broiler on the loose...

We have some broilers that are doing really well. But we have one little one. And it is little. It can slip right out of the chicken wire of the chicken tractor! The others are way too big for that! They are 3.5 weeks old now. We come home and it's running around in the grass, it's never in the tractor! I think it's a girl, causing trouble! Thankfully none of the older laying hens bother with it, and neither do the cats! Surprisingly. But when we get close to the broiler it runs to the tractor peeping loudly and climbs back in! She stays there until we are gone and then takes off again! It's kinda funny to see this scraggly little white/yellow bird running around! It still has some chic fuzz on it. We always make sure it's in at night and it is, snuggled up with the other birds.


She's running for the tractor! Too funny, and yet kinda cute too! The broiler on the loose... she is running out of our lawn mower tractor shed!

Getting bigger, and notice the wire

This one just decided to pose for me. And you can see it would never fit through the wire.

Friday, April 29, 2011

flip flops...



OK. So now that I have your attention!! Hhaha. No this post isn't about flip flops, but I did just get some today at Payless. A bogo sale, so I had to get two!! I thought I'd share them with you. I think they are cute! Yup I am a girl that likes shoes! Yes, I wore them today and you can see my feet marks.Wore 'em right out of the store! At least I spared you my feet in them!  What did you expect the royal wedding? Nope didn't watch it. Maybe I'll catch a clip on You Tube.
Actually I've been busy, if you can believe that! I've got a few things going on that I need to hurry up and finish, and then I've got things I need to hurry up and get started. Makes my head spin.
Yesterday was kinda busy with school, house work, farm chores, and laundry see a pattern here? I also had to make a menu and grocery list. That takes a good chunk of time, well at least for me it does. It was a little humid out, and the kiddos were tired, so we all sat down late in the afternoon and watched a movie together, while I was working on something. As the movie was coming to an end Rachel looked out the window and exclaimed "Maggie's out!" "What?" was my rather surprised response. Again, Rachel pointing out the window with her chubby little finger exclaimed "Maggie's Out!" I jumped up and saw her trotting down the road. I grabbed a light jacket on the back of the chair in the kitchen, told Little Matt  "call Daddy now", and ran out the door to the barn. Not even really thinking I got some grain and took off after our cow. The wind was really starting to blow too, and it was even more humid. I called Maggie and shook her grain can, it was around 4:15. At one point she turned and looked at me, and I thought "yes she'll come right home". Wrong. One of my neighbors was in his door way with his phone to call me, the other was out working on his truck. Guess seeing a loose cow running down the road was nothing to get excited about and he just went back to his work and didn't look again. Maggie decided that my other neighbors cows looked like more fun and their grass looked batter then her hay. He has beef cattle, and a bull. Thankfully she's with calf (Haha) and not interested in him and he didn't seem to care much about her. But they all were interested in looking at each other, but none of them tried the fence. It was snapping and it's super hot! Thankfully! I talked to Maggie and she was looking and listening to me. I even got close to her with the grain and let her have a bite. Then thought "drat, I don't have a rope." So I dumped the grain on the ground and let her eat it. I took of running as fast as my legs could carry me (did I ever mention I used to run track?) comes in handy when your a cattle wrangler... I tell myself as I'm sprinting down the road to get the rope I forgot, I really needed a cow horse and learn how to rope. Again would come in as a handy skill... Little Matt was outside when he saw me and I told him to open the gate and Maggie's barn door. He said Daddy (my man) was on his way home. Oh good I thought. I might just need all the help I can get...I got some more grain, her halter and a rope this time. My lungs were burning and my whole body was shaking. (I don't run on a regular basis, but I'm glad I'm in shape to go catch my cow, and all my years in track taught me how to run) The air was so heavy and the extra weight of the jacket was killing me. I kept it on, not even realizing it was still on me, and wondering why I was so hot. Beside all the running. I told the kids to go back in the house and they could see me down the road out the window. I took off running again, and as I reached the driveway to my neighbors cattle barn I looked over my shoulder and saw My Man driving down the road to help!! He had the window down and called to me with a big smile "hey there farm girl, need some help?" I stopped and returned the smile and waited for him to get out of the car. Maggie was a little closer to the road by now. I shook the grain and she decided to run in the other direction. My FIL showed up and went down the road a bit and stopped. Matthew and I walked slowly, me catching my breath and trying to talk. I knew that Maggie would come to me better, so Matthew hung back and I went slowly to Maggie and again she came to me a bit and I dumped the grain on the ground, and as soon as she put her head down to eat I grabbed her collar tightly and didn't let go. She wanted to run and started to turn away from me, but I only hung on tighter and dug my heels in and pulled on her collar, she stopped and Matthew was there in an instant and got the other side. We slipped her rope halter on and took her home. I had to smack her on the rump a few times because she didn't want to move. But we got her home, and all was well again. The kiddos were on the back deck and came running out into the field and were very happy Maggie was now back home. Phew. The horses were running around and neighing. Guess they wanted to have some fun too! Thankfully I didn't have flip flops yesterday. Ever try to run in those? I don't recommend it. Bad, just bad.
Supper was late last night, partly because of all the cow chasing, and Matthew had to get some more logs sawed out at the mill. I did chores so he could stay later, and finish things up. We had Chicken Fried Stake, smashed potato with gravy (for those who like it) and green beans. I took a couple pictures but they didn't look nice at all, and made the food look rather unpleasant to look at and make you not want to eat it, so I figured I'd just tell you it was good! It really was too. I didn't have much for leftovers. I was told I could make that again sometime! :-) I slept really well last night too.
Today was another busy day, but a good day. We were gone all day. I helped Matthew over at the mill for a while, this morning, then made a delivery for him, then I went shopping. Of course the delivery and my shopping and banking were in two different directions. I took DaLaney with me. She loves to go shopping with me, and I enjoy her company. I like to take one of the kiddos with me. A chance to talk and giggle or just be together with none of the others around. It's nice to have that bond with them. I also like that they like to come with me. DaLaney helped pick out my flip flops. She liked that job. She also likes to push the cart and fetch things off the shelf. Although she decided that cart was a little too awkward for her to push after a while. She also got to pick out some real baby clothes for her baby doll. She just loves her babies and was thrilled to get some real baby clothes! She likes the color pink and picked out some real cute pink clothes for her baby named Eliza. (Well, thats her name for now. It changes once in a while).
Again we were late getting home and supper was late. I made Gorditia's, from a kit. I took the easy way out, and I'm OK with that. Little Matt ate 3 of them, and would have eaten more, but they were gone, with some chips, a little bit of left over Easter candy, a piece of cake, and a tall glass of milk. Some days I'm amazed what he eats. There are days he eats more then Matthew...oh and the teen years care fast approaching too.. too fast. But I still have some time left before they hit... my kitchen!
Well I'm done rambling for now. That's two days in the life of us as we know it!
Have a great weekend all!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

progress

The plants we have started in the house are doing well. I have managed to not kill them! One of the kiddos knocked them over, but we replanted them and they are still thriving. I did replant some of them that never came up, so we'll see if they come up this time. I'm excited to see how well they do, to see if we can transplant them outside and have them live, to enjoy them right from seed to seed!
 Last year was a bountiful harvest, and we were thankful for it! We are praying for another bountiful harvest this year too. But I'm not rushing the season!  I'm looking forward to the summer and some much warmer days!
Here are the pictures I took today. I think they look good!

tomatoes!

watermelon & cantaloupe! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

what's cooking in my kitchen?

Chocolate-Covered Oreo Cookie Cake, that's what!

1 pkg devil's food cake, plus ingredients to make the cake, (I just used my own homemade choc cake!)
4 squares Chocolate semi sweet (I used 4oz choc chips)
1/2 stick butter, softened
 8oz  pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 C sugar
2 C Cool Whip
12 Oreo Cookies crushed, (then you get to eat the rest of the Oreo's while you wait, if you like to snack while you cook!)

Make cake according to directions. Bake in two 9 inch pans. Cool.

Melt chocolate and butter together.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in mixer until well blended. Then fold in Cool Whip and cookies.

Place on cake on a sheet and top with the cream cheese mixture, then plop the other cake on top. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top. I think these would be great as cup cakes too!

Enjoy! Keep leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge!! Oh and the picture again just in case you didn't see it the other day! And I like to see what things look like too. Oh ya! So simple yet oh so good!

Monday, April 25, 2011

monday confessions...actually it's our weekend!

What a whirlwind of a weekend we have had! It started on Friday actually. Hopefully my creative brain is working and my blogger block is gone... even if it's Monday! And a typical Monday it has been for me thus far! :-)

Friday, late morning my SIL came over and dropped her three girls off for the day. She had things to do and I was more then happy to watch the girls for the day. Little Matt was gone with Daddy for the afternoon. He really didn't want to stay home with 6 girls! So the girls were all happily playing outside. What a beautiful day it was too. Warm and sunny. Finally! It's been such a cold spring, compared to last spring! I had lots of baking to do for the weekend that was coming. Salads and desserts and bread to make for the Easter weekend. So in between checking on the kiddos and cooking I was busy. We were having an Easter with my family on Saturday and with Matthew's family on Sunday after church. I made an Oreo Cookie Cake, and hamburger buns for my family get together. We (meaning my family) tend to not always go with everyone elses' "traditional", and kinda go by what we want and enjoy doing. So we had a BBQ! Oh and yes I have a picture of the cake too! Oh it's a wonderful little, ahem OK so it's not little, but it is good cake!  I stick it in right here! If anyone wants the recipe I'll post it later! Oh and yes it tastes like an Oreo Cookie!

Oreo Cookie Cake!
Then I made the rolls. Well the first batch was a disaster! I could only think of two things I did wrong. I either killed the yeast with the temp of the hot milk, or I didn't put enough yeast in it, I mean with everything else going on that was the best I could come up with. I made a double batch. And at this point in the day it was getting late and we were heading to church for a Good Friday service. I still needed to get the kiddos bathed, they were a mess, and I still had my SIL kiddos. Matthew and Little Matt were still not home and it was almost time to milk, and I still needed to make more buns, and supper! So I threw out the first batch and made the second. My BIL came and got the kiddos, and dropped off some bunnies. He needed to get things ready at his house and wanted to keep it a secret from his kiddos. Well, long story short I got the kiddos bathed, the buns made, and supper, Matthew and I got the chores done and we were off to church a little later then we planned, but we made it there safe and sound! Phew!

Saturday proved to be just as busy! Chores, and getting everything ready to get to my parents. OK, so it wasn't really that busy just regular stuff to do and then we were on our way. Had a great day too! It was cold. It was about 40 degrees, but the wind was just raw. Mom had set out some eggs for a hunt, and we all bundled up (some of us wished we had a snow suit), went out and looked for eggs. It was SNOWING! What??!! Yup snowing. Great big fat snow flakes. It didn't last long, maybe 20 minutes. But crazy weather! When we got home I made a pasta salad for the meal on Sunday. I was going to make another dessert, but still had half of the Oreo Cake left and decided that was going to be good enough. It was late, I was cold, tired, and I really just didn't feel like cooking anymore. So I didn't!

Sunday we went to church, and had a wonderful service. Lunch was going to be at two, at my MIL, so that worked out well. We had to come home and check on the animals, and again, load up the car. We had a traditional meal of ham, carrots, rolls, and salads. Oh and the desserts. There are always tons of desserts at Matthew's family functions. They all have a sweet tooth!  Four out of the 5 boys and families were there too, and that means 13 were kiddos! Ages 15-10months! Yea! (I think the oldest is 15, maybe 16). Oh and Matthew's grand mother was there too! We had another Easter egg hunt, for the younger kiddos, and so of course more sugar! But we had another great day!
When we got home around 5 to do chores, Maggie was way out in the field. She looked up and watched the car coming down the road, recognized it was us and ran down to the barn and was waiting there when we pulled in the driveway! Just like a dog happy to see her people! We all thought that was funny. Rachel was asleep in the car. Matthew had to go get some more hay so Little Matt, DaLaney and I started chores, while Emma, Rachel and Matthew went to go get it. It was nice to sit and milk Maggie and relax after a very busy weekend of running around.  Listening to Maggie munch on her grain, the two older kiddos running around helping feed the smaller animals, and the light chatter of them coming in and out of the barn. It turned out to be an OK day, not real warm, but warmer then Saturday. Late in the day it warmed up even more. When Matthew and the girls got home and the hay put away, and finished feeding the animals we all started to play ball. Then we got out the kiddos BB guns and had target practice on the back lawn. It was so nice to just laugh, run and play with the kiddos. Just us coming back together as a family and enjoying ourselves after a long, busy weekend!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

   HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY EVERYONE!!! 


  MAY THE GLORY OF THE LORD SHINE FORTH THIS DAY!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

april showers make my brain soggy

I feel like I have writers block lately. Every time I sit down to blog I just draw a blank. Maybe my mind is just soggy from all the April showers and I just need to let it dry out! That is why there are not a lot of post lately.

 It's been so wet it's hard to get things done outside, and if it's not raining the wind will blow you into the next county and it's cold! The ground is just so wet you loose your boots in the ground, I did today when I fed the horses! Today we have had rain, hail, thunder and lightening, and wild wind!

Not much is going on farm wise, it's too wet. We can't even spread manure because we'd probably do more damage then good at this point. We have the broilers, and they are doing well.Growing and eating us out of house and home! The laying hens are growing. The pigs are growing, and they are just cute! No I still haven't gotten a picture of them. They are white with big ears!

I could talk about food and show you pictures though!

And that's about it in a nut shell! Happy blogging all!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

monday confessions...

Ya I know it's not Monday, but I don't have time to blog tomorrow, I have too much to do, so it's now!!
What have I been up to now?
 Besides all the endless laundry, I, well actually we have been spring cleaning our house!! It's more like a deep spring cleaning! What is deep spring cleaning? Well, for us it's been getting rid of stuff, and lots of it too! Like the closets! eeee scary stuff...I am amazed at how much stuff we have accumulated over the course of our marriage and the kiddos that we have been blessed with along the way. Some of the stuff is just that. I was once told by one of my sisters that if you don't love it, use it, like it, want it, why keep it, or something like that. Another good one is if you haven't used it, worn it in 6 months to a year, get rid of it! So we have made four piles of the stuff, keep, sell, toss, and we added a burn pile too! Actually I am not interested in selling anything I have so we give it to Good Will. Let me just rant here for a minute. I don't want to have a yard sale. That means I would have to save and store all the stuff I want to get rid of until the sale, then I need to drag my carcass somewhere where there is actually traffic on the road, advertise, unload it, set it up, price it, and hope it sells, and if it doesn't sell I need to pack it up and take it to Good Will, or throw it, just seems like a lot of work. I don't have the time... err rather the desire to do any of that. Now I know that some people have great success with them and I think that is great. I do from time to time stop at a yard sale and look to see if there is anything I want/need and I have found some good stuff before, also at Good Will, kinda hit or miss I think. But we live in a small space and with 6 people living here, I don't want to store it any longer. I could take it to my moms... just kidding Mom!! hahaha!!!! It feels wonderful to fall in bed at night and know that things are leaving and not coming back, and we are decluttering our lives in the process. I see all the bags, that are currently piled up in my living room, to leave and am just giddy! One stop and it's gone! And then on trash day even more will be gone! The trash men will just love us!! hahaha
 Last year I hoed out my kitchen cabinets. I couldn't believe what I found pushed way in the back.Things I've never used, and some still in the package! I threw everything I didn't want. Not because it was broken but because I wasn't going to town the next day, and it was trash day the next day and that just made it so much easier. In a matter of a couple hours and then the next morning it was gone! All of it. I kept obviously the things I use all the time.
Another thing, what about the proverbial "junk drawer." I hate that term. What is the point of that anyways? Shouldn't the term junk be a clue? Why keep junk? Me? I'm not a fan of doing that. I have a drawer that I keep some of my kitchen tools in, like measuring cups, rolling pin, knives, bag clips, and the like. But I don't call it a junk drawer I use everything that is in the drawer, maybe not everyday, but it's used on a regular basis. It's not really organized, how can you organize some of that stuff anyways, and it won't fit anywhere else. If I don't use it I get rid of it, if it doesn't work for me I get rid of it. Kinda like the pineapple cutter I bought, can't get my pineapple cut with it, so I got rid of it. It was quicker to use a knife.
 I think as Americans we have too much stuff. The baby section is overwhelming to go through at the store. All the new wonderful "must haves"! I mention that because I went to a baby shower on Saturday, and had to go into that section. Aaahhhhh!! All that stuff! I found some of the most basic things were what I wanted/needed for my babies. I didn't need all the latest must haves, some of them were nice, but a lot was just unnecessary stuff.
In case you haven't noticed I'm not the most sentimental gal in town. I do keep some stuff, but only if it really means something to me. Like the tea set cups my grandmother gave me. They were her mothers. Tea cups were my great grandmothers "thing" she liked to have. I have them saved, all wrapped up and will give them to my kiddos. I can't put them out, they would get broken at this point in my life! So I keep 'em safe. Then my kiddos can have something that was their great, great grandmothers! I think that is kinda cool. They never got to meet her, and I have limited memories of her, but I cherish them, and can share them with them. For the most part I don't keep much. It's more the memories and pictures that I have that I will keep. Besides, those can't be taken away from me. Yes I love to scrap book! It's the stories of our lives, and part of our children's heritage, that is why I do it!
Have a great day all!

Friday, April 15, 2011

not farm stuff... food stuff... today

Because I just don't wanna talk about farming and all the chickens, horses, cow, pigs, and because I've had a piece of sawdust in my eye all day and because I'm feeling a little grumpy and cold, I'm gonna make you all hungry! Or at least I hope I can tempt you a little bit!!  I've been cooking, lots, no big surprise there right?! So I thought I'd share a few of my "go to" foods in a pinch! And the one's I've remembered to take a picture of! The pizza in this picture is not the normal pizza I make, but will make it again sometime, it was good! I lost track of the time and had to scramble to get supper ready. I loose track of the time?! Imagine!;-)  Still didn't eat until after 6! It's been 6:30 - 7 before we eat here lately. Maybe I should keep better tabs on the time late in the day! I have a roast in the fridge I need to do something with now that I think about it! And I know just what to do with it, thanks to my new cookbook!!! Oh and because it's spring, in theory, and I am thinking about BBQ, and all that yummy summer food! So I have a few pictures to share with you. Hope you enjoy looking at it!

My sister came over to have me watch her kiddos one night last minute, and my son was over the moon excited. He loves to play with his cousin he doesn't get to see very often. Then I thought oh no, their vegetarians. I told her to bring over some veggie burgers (b/c I didn't have any) and I'd whip up some homemade hamburger buns, and we'd have burgers, and home french fries. She laughed at me and said she's made them before and you don't just whip them up! They do take some time, but they are wonderful, and taste so much better then the store ones! I was just pulling them out of the oven when she and the kiddos got here. So my family had...

Yummy!!!! Makes the burger look small!
Grass fed beef, from a local farmer! At a decent price too! Home made buns! Tomato, from a local greenhouse! Onion, I have no idea where they came from I just like onion on my burger, lettuce, don't know where that came from either, probably California! Cheese, organic Heinz Ketchup, I'm picky about my ketchup and I like Heinz! mustard, and mayo. And chips, forgot the fries but oh was it good! Just wonderful! I had to squeeze it down to fit it in my mouth, after I got the picture of course! My sisters kiddos had their veggie chicken patties with the buns, chips and fries! Everyone was happy and full! Nope no dessert!

Then I made on a different night...

homemade pizza dough, potato, bacon, leeks, cheese

before it's cooked

after it's cooked!

It's Potato Leek Pizza, and it is really, really good!! I know I thought potato on pizza??!! I'd never had that before, much less leeks, so I thought go for it! 4 out of 6 liked it. My husband was one who liked it, he said it had really good flavor. I really didn't know how he would like it, but he did! Every once in a while I spend a little extra on one meal, and this was it, I used fresh mozzarella cheese, and that's not cheap, and I've only made it once, so yet another reason to make it! The cheese that is! I'll let you know when I brave that task again. I made it once and it came out like rubber! Gross. Really.

Then another night I made...
blueberry pancakes
Every time I make blueberry pancakes Matthew reminds me that it was the first meal I ever made him! We were dating and he was at my parents with me and it was time for supper and my mom told me to make something. Great I thought. Now I gotta feed this guy, and I can't cook! So I made pancakes. My pancakes were NEVER edible.  They used to come out like a lead balloon, and I was scared they would be horrible, but I did it anyways, and I was told they came out just fine! He still tells me they were fine, but I wonder... He still married me! Must be love right?? Hahahahaha

Then I made...
black olives, sour cream, and Colby jack cheese


chili, I just wing it when I make it!


So there you have a few meals that I have made. Nothing real fancy, but we like them. Some of my go to foods and others I just like to try new things. Like the pizza!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

some random pictures...

And this is what they did after the buckets were collected, washed, and air drying! Right after I snapped the picture some wind came up and knocked some buckets down on their heads!! Matthew, one of his many brothers, and his sons came over and helped clean up the maple syrup stuff! It was a beautiful day for it too! I was thankful for the help, I didn't have to do it! Thanks guys!!

Me and my life! My kiddos! The only one missing is my man! We went and jumped in the leaves at my parents last fall! That is one thing we all love to do! The kiddos look forward to it every year. I think my parents do too. A day with some grand kids! What a blast we had!

One of the many snowmen the kiddos made this winter! They kept coming in the house and shed and taking things outside. Then they came and got me to see their creation! Rachel was sleeping when this picture was taken! 
I love, love, love this picture of DaLaney and her sheep. She just loves them and I think they return the feeling. They will go right up to her and they all just love on each other!
This is one of two Monarch butterflies that we found as a caterpillar and watched it hatch out as a butterfly last year. It was very cool to watch it fill up it's wings, gain strength, and then watch it fly to a warmer climate! I hope they both made it! The kiddos enjoyed it as well. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

busy days...

Despite my best efforts to post lately it has not been happening. Life just got busy. Geez can't imagine why! Endless house work, home school winding down, and farm life in the spring! Plus making some new plans for the farm! Now that maple syrup is done we are getting ready for planting the gardens and raising some meat! We have the broilers.Can't wait to have them out on pasture and fertilizing as they go! Maggie will be happy for the company when they are in her pasture. She gave us an almost painful moo when we took the chicken tractor out. She was mad when it left and ran around in protest. Kinda funny. Kinda sad. She really needs a buddy, she and TO just haven't connected yet. Matthew wants to get a heifer, I do too, so we'll see.

We took DaLaney to the ER the other day. She slammed her finger in the door at her grandmothers and then pulled it out. Well her little finger swelled right up, we were concerned about the knuckle. It's her right hand the fourth digit right on the last knuckle by her fingernail. Thankfully it's not broken. The x-ray confirmed that. She liked seeing her skeleton though! That was neat! Then the doctor, who was great, did a procedure to drain the blood from her finger to get the swelling to go away and not get and infection. The blood just oozed out her fingernail. It was so swollen her nail bed had risen, noticeably . It was neat how they did it too, I watched while Daddy held her head away so she couldn't see. I'm sure it felt better not having all that pressure in her finger. The pink color of her hand came back as the blood came out. She said it did feel better. Then they put a splint on her finger to keep it clean and from bumping it. The nurse said that she would need a note for writing for school, the doctor said her mother is her teacher! (he had asked her about school and she said she was home schooled that is how he knew I was her teacher). So now I get to write some of her work, at least for a day or two with the splint on her finger, it's hard to hold a pencil. She's right handed. I was really hoping for a lefty. I'm the only lefty in my family!

We planted a few inside plants, peppers, tomatoes to see if we can grow them from seed. I don't remember what all was planted. We've tried before but have yet to be successful at it. They are in the window in the living room, so I can see them and remember to keep an eye on them. So hopefully it will work! I'll let you know...

The sheep will be sheared soon too. The weather is slow to warm up, but I'm anxious to have it done and hopefully get it cleaned and be able to spin this summer! I know the kiddos would like that too, they like to spin wool too.

We have a bunch of birthdays this spring too. All three of our girls have spring birthdays. We have friends and family that have kiddos with spring birthdays too, so it's that time of year! Exciting, but sad, my babies are growing up so fast. Seems like I blink and they grow. Life seems to speed by and I can't seem to make it slow down, or get it all written down, remember everything and get enough pictures! At least my days are full of blessings and I have the privilege to have what I have, and am so very thankful for it!

I have washed, dried and put away ALL the winter jackets and ski pants, again! Now I need to get the snow boots put away after they are dried out, again. I am thinking that the snow is gone for good now. I hope.

Here is a cute picture for you to admire...

I thought this guy was just too cute to resist a picture! Fits right in there nicely I think!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Alright, so I find myself at home with 6 girls! Aahhhhahaha. The ages are 2-7 yr olds, 2-5 yr olds, and 2-3yr olds! It's like having 3 sets of twins!!  I'm not quite sure how it all happened, but it's been interesting to say the least. They are all on the floors in the bedrooms, far from sleeping at this point... maybe before midnight they'll be asleep!
I've been very busy with the farm, running with the sap, and chickens, oh the chickens! They require a lot, and we have just gotten 25 Cornish X Rocks yesterday. So far they are doing well. I went to a Pampered Chef party last night at my sister in laws. I was late getting there because Matthew was getting the chickens and we had to get them settled before we left. I had done all the barn chores as well because he was late getting back home, and I still had on all my barn clothes and ran out to give the cow some water before we left and we are in the midst of mud season here and I had on my rubber boots. Little Matt asked me as we were driving down the road "your going to wear your muck boots Mommy?" Well at that point I didn't have a choice, so I said "looks like it." Oh well, guess I wouldn't have won any fashion contests but I enjoyed myself and the gals that were there are used to me, and take me the way I am! I think that's a good thing! I was told I didn't smell like a cow, so I guess that's good... I wasn't too concerned about it. I think I'm getting more comfortable with who I am and just "wearing my own shoes" so to speak.  The new laying hens are still getting used to their new home. The older laying hens are still getting used to them being out there with them.We haven't had any problems so far, they really don't pay any attention to them, and the little ones haven't tried perching on their perch yet, so we'll see how it goes.  I hope they all just stay friendly and don't have too much of a pecking order problem.
Thankfully the sap season will end for us tomorrow. We are pulling the taps and will be cleaning them and putting the stuff away until next year. We still have some sap to boil, but will be done with collecting. It's been a great year and the sap has really flowed well, compared to last year. We had that learning curve, but figured it would happen, but now we know what to fix and what to do, so next year will be better. I think thus far we have finished off 10-11 gallons of syrup. I have lost track and I like to keep track of all that stuff for my own personal records. I told Matthew I look forward to the season and I also look forward to the end. No more running and the days and nights are warmer and summer can come anytime now! He said he feels the same way.
We have gotten 2 pigs this week as well. Currently they are over at my in laws, but will be coming home when we have their pen ready, they are cute, white ones. I have no idea what breed they are, but most piglets are cute, I think. I don't have a picture of them yet, but I'll get one on here when I do. I like to refer to them as sausage and bacon. Don't want to get too attached to them...
I do have a picture of the broilers though. Chicks are cute too.

Sorry about the color, the heat light is on them. Cute little fuzzy butts!

Here they are!  Cute!
Yes there is a lager black bird in there with them. This bird is one from the laying hens. Haven't figured out if its one of the hens or one of the exotic birds, but it's rather weak and we didn't dare turn it out with the others. So we are pampering it and hoping it will come around and gain some strength. The broilers just love it, snuggling right up under the wings, and the bird doesn't seem to mind at all. It actually perked up when the chicks were put in there! We'll see how it does.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

finishing maple syrup, part 2

OK! Here is part two of the maple syrup videos! It's about 1min 16 sec I think. Hope you enjoy it! Yes it's me talking again, and I still sound like the Nanny! The temp of the syrup is about 216 degrees, and it's a 2 person job to filter it and get it in the jars, so I didn't get that in the video. It needs to be hot to help seal the jars. As maple syrup cools it actually shrinks a bit in the jars. In the video I couldn't remember the name of the "brick floater", but it's called a hydrometer. We got almost a full gallon from what I finished off this afternoon. Then I wrapped it in a big towel and let it sit for about 24 hours, and it's sealed and ready to be sold. As the year progresses in the sap the maple syrup gets darker in color. We have some customers that ask for the darker stuff because they like it better. It tends to be a little sweeter and thicker too!

video

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

boiling sap, part one...

OK, per the request of a few people I have  part one of a two part video of the boiling down process of sap. It's about 1 min 40 sec, so.. I hope you enjoy. Yes the voice talking is me, you'll have to forgive me I've had a head cold for 2 weeks and my voice sounds funny, to me anyways. I was in a hurry to get the maple syrup finished that I forgot, hard to believe I know, to video the rest of floating the bricks, filtering it to get the tree dirt out and bottling it part. So next time I finish some more maple syrup, maybe tomorrow,  I hope to get the second part on the blog!! I already downloaded the video once, but somehow I managed to delete it. So I'll try again! Me and the computer!! Auurrgghhh. I have a love hate relationship with it! So this is part one! Enjoy!

video
I hope you enjoyed the video, and got the idea of the process of making maple syrup. We have enjoyed making it over the years and hope to continue for a long time to come! Remember that part two is coming!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

16 years

Well 16 years ago this firey, long legged, champagne white marking on her beautiful face, sorrel filly came into my life and forever changed it! I have so many memories of the two of us, some good, bad and well just plain ugly too! From halter training, showing, riding, ground driving, to vets and shots!! Aaaahhhh the stories I could tell. But I won't. Let's just say they include black and blues and sailing through the air hollering profanities and landing in horrible positions, tears, blood, sweat, all from me of course, but I wouldn't change it and I wouldn't sell this wonderful mare that has been mine from the day she was born for any price. I love her like my own kid. I can't believe it's been 16 years already. Even though things didn't turn out like I planned with her, I still have her and still have plenty of time to do more things then I thought, I guess it's not in my timing, but that of my Creators and His time. I pray it comes soon!!
I take a picture of her every year on her birthday and either make horse cookies or give her carrots. I got a few pictures of her today but it's a wet dreary day, and she was not going to cooperate, and TO was being the typical pest, then the batteries in my camera died and now I have to charge them. Ugh. So pardon the lack luster of the pictures. The weather has been anything but nice the past few days or so. Very depressing. But...

Happy Birthday Abby!!
This is the best shot I got before the camera died. TO decided to eat her hay pile, and she was irritated  by that. Haha see her nose!!
This was last summer. Happy, and taking a snooze. Lazy summer day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

mother daughter bonding

It's been snowing all day. No this is not an April fool's joke either, I would not joke about such things. I don't really get into the whole pranking people on Aprils Fool's day. Never really got it. But anyways. I had to begrudgingly dig out the kiddos winter stuff again. Yes begrudgingly. I did not want to look at that stuff all over my house again. I wanted to cry when I saw it, the ski pants and the snow. But surprisingly the kiddos had fun in the snow, after all their complaining about it weeks ago, they were out throwing snowballs at each other and sliding down the snow banks! Imagine! They never sees to amaze me!!
Yesterday late afternoon (before the snow) I found myself home with just the girls. The boys had gone out rabbit hunting again on the last day. We were sitting on the couch chilling and then I decided we would have a home spa day. Never having done the whole spa thing myself, I took a swing at it! I dug out the nail polish and the clippers and all that wonderful stuff and we proceeded to have manipedi's at home! My girls are right into that sort of thing. Their best colors are pink and purple, no big surprise there right. So they picked out the colors they wanted. Then got creative about which hand, foot would be what color. They only picked two colors they liked best though! I like to paint my toes when I wear flip flops, and I even like my toe ring. The girls would like a toe ring, to be like Mommy! I might have to get them one for the summer! Wow would they like that! So while we painted toes and fingers the girls had hot coco and I had some tea, Tazo Chai at that! Yum. In the midst of making the hot coco it got spilled all over the table all over one of Little Matt's school books and all though the hot coco container. Now Little Matt's spelling book smells like chocolate, could be worse...LOL  So we proceeded to make some more after we cleaned up the chocolaty mess. We laughed and talked and giggled while we painted fingers and toes. I'll be the first to admit that I am not the best at painting those wiggly, chubby fingers and toes, but we had fun just hanging out and taking it easy together and enjoying a little pampering! Once all the toes and fingers were dry and the hot coco was gone they went outside and played in the dirt! At least they had boots on their feet! My girls can be real girlie then turn right around and get dirty while playing and not even think twice about it! I love that. They truly are farm/country girls! I didn't get a picture of them playing outside, because Matthew had the camera while they were hunting. But I did get a picture of all my wonderful girls toes and fingers! I did not take a picture of mine, and your welcome! haha
my girls fingers and toes, aren't they cute??!!! Can you guess who is who?


By the way, the boys did see some rabbits while hunting, and one of the kids that was hunting got one! Little Matt had a good time and is looking forward to going out again. But I'll have to blog about that later, after I get more information about it from Little Matt!

For supper last night I made a pot roast, and it was delish! I did get a picture while it was cooking, but didn't get one before it was devoured. All of it was gone! I cooked carrots with it, and had mashed potato, with gravy my family likes gravy, Rachel and I do not, and had blueberry pie for dessert. The pot roast and potato are gone. And only a little bit of pie is left! I guess hunting and a spa treatment makes everyone hungry!  But here is a picture of the roast. Made the whole house smell good with the seasonings!

Roast, carrots, onion, rosemary, thyme. It's Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast if you want the recipe, it's really good!! We give it two thumbs up times six!!!