Tuesday, February 28, 2012

farm photos

Today it's cold and windy. Feels much like a January day, rather then the end of February! So what did I decide to do? Go outside and take some pictures! Why not? Froze my hands and all!

Dandie wanted to say Hello! How cute is that face!?

She's getting so big.

She would like to be a mommy hen. She's always sitting on eggs.

The other hens are busy laying eggs. The have done so well. We have turned the morning light off and will be turning off the evening light soon. They need a 2 month rest, and have been slowing down a bit. So... I hope we don't have to buy eggs soon.

I went into the horse barn and was surprised to see Minty peeking around the corner of T.O's stall. Daisy was in there too, behind the wall. Guess it's not as windy in the barn as it is outside. They do have a barn of their own, but they must like the horse one better.

 Abby and T.O. Abby looked up and then buried her face back in the hay.
Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, February 24, 2012

{this moment}

A single photo, I want to remember.

good quote

"Difficulty mastered are opportunities won".
Winston Churchill

"All great change in America begins st the dinner table".
Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

totally bummed

Bad news is Maggie is not preggo. She bled out yesterday. Boo. Now if we catch her next month that means a calf in December. Boo.
The good news is we can now better track her heat cycle because we know when she bled out. Yay. We can breed her again next month. Yay!
I know just what ya'll wanted to read! Right! haha
Just part of farm life. I just thought I would share. Just kinda bummed that she didn't settle. Here's to better success next time!

Monday, February 20, 2012

monday confessions

What a busy weekend I had. It was really fun though.
We reached 100 day in home school last week! whoot whoot!! And that is no easy feat. Really. It's not a cake walk to home school. There are good days and bad days. Sometime a combo of both. But we made it, and I'm so thankful for that.  I wanted to do something nice for the kiddos, so I came up with a plan to have some friends over for them. Friday night we had  a niece over for the night and day, then on Saturday I had a nephew over for the night. It didn't work out to have them both for the whole weekend, so they each had a night. The kiddos were surprised and I told them how proud I was of them for all their hard work in school, and that was just a little something for them, from me.

On Sunday we had church and then a party at my grandmothers. She likes to have little holiday parties with her family together, because we never see each other except at these parties, (my extended family that is), I like to go visit my grandmother when I can.

I have been letting Dandie out in the afternoons and putting Maggie in. Matthew was around when we first put her out and she was fine. She did laps around the small winter pasture we have for them. Was funny to watch her. Now when she gets out she still runs around, but then settles down and eats. I've been calling her into the barn in the evening before chores with the rattle of the grain and calling her. The other day she jumped right in the barn and looked at me for a minute, then came over and stuck her head right in her stanchion!! I was so excited!! Yay!! She's getting it! She only tried to nurse of Maggie twice, but I hollered at her, and she jumped back so fast she fell out of the barn and landed on her butt in a sitting position!  That was kinda funny. I guess my voice speaking firmly at her spooked her. She didn't try it again the next time she came in the barn.

We still have yet to start tapping trees. I'm concerned about it this year. We didn't get the snow we usually get, and was an open winter, so I don't know how well the sap will run. I'm praying they will run well though, and have some yummy maple syrup to enjoy and sell! I think in the next week we will be tapping trees. I'll post some of the fun we are having, provided my camera doesn't die on me.

Our land situation is still hanging in the balance. It hasn't sold yet, but there is someone interested in it, and if they buy it, it's not a problem for us to keep using the land. But we are still praying for the door to open for us to buy our own though.  So we continue to wait...look...and pray.

I have to run, my afternoon watering, haying and cleaning stalls are calling me, and I still need to get in a lesson with one of my kiddos!!

I just had to post this picture. I saw a picture of tomatoes and I had to post mine. I can't wait to have some growing in my garden. A few more months and I'll be planting some new kind of tomato!! Can't wait to try them. They are a canning type of tomato, a friend gave us the seeds. I'll let you know more later!
Have a great Monday all!

Friday, February 17, 2012

what's cooking in my kitchen

Anyone who's followed my blog for any length of time knows that I have a love affair with chocolate. Yup it's true, I do. I just love it, just about in any form. My husband is OK with this too.
The recipe I'm going to show you I love for three reasons. First, it's the best (in my opinion) homemade recipe for chocolate brownies. I've made several, and none of them compare to these wonderfully chocolaty, gooey, satisfy any craving for chocolate you may have, thick, chewy brownies, EVER! Second it's throw it all in one bowl,  beat it, throw it in the oven and wa-la! Third it's simple to make. I don't even like the "box" brownies I used to love. Had some and threw the piece I had in the trash. I'm now officially a brownie snob ;)
My sister in law (believe it or not she has a name) I hang out with quite a bit came over once with them. OMW they were so good. I got the recipe from her who got it from a different friend. And I have no idea where she got the recipe. Follow that?
So on with the pictures. You remember this picture? Yup these are the ones I'm talkin 'bout!

 Finished product! Oh so good!

 To make them, just put everything in your mixing bowl. Beat it well. Then...

Put it in a 9x9 pan and bake it. I like to sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. Just because I'm crazy like that.
Here is the recipe if you want it.

Homemade Brownies
2 C sugar
4 Eggs
1 tes Vanilla
1 1/4 C flour
1 C butter (melted)
3/4 C cocoa
1/4 tes salt

Put it in a mixing bowl, I love my Kitchen Aid, and beat it really well. Put it in a 9x9 pan and bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. If you want a a 9x13 make a batch and a half. They are really thick.
 Simple. Easy. Wonderful. Yup all of the above!


Anybody got any good ideas on how to cook these bad boys?

Parsnips. Never cooked them before. Go ahead and laugh, I'll wait...
I have more, but don't really have any idea how to make them taste good. I'm not even sure I like them, but a farmer friend gave us some, so now I need to cook 'em, and I'm hoping some of my blogger friends can help me out! Please! :)
I mean besides the obvious of peeling, cutting and boiling them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Aaawww he loves me!
While at my in laws he grabbed me and spun us around. He does that from time to time, just because he can!
Happy Valentine's Day all!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

cool bowls

Matthew's uncle made these two bowls for us.

They are made out of cherry wood that Matthew sawed out and has had drying for a few years now. They are kinda neat. One of them we will use for a bowl, and the one that has the ridged bottom, I'm not sure. It's not very deep. His uncle came over last week and got another piece of cherry and is going to make me a bigger bowl that I can wash my butter in! We have priced them and they are around 100 bucks. For some reason the butter doesn't stick to a wooden bowl, I don't really know why, but I can't wait to get it and try it! I'll post it on here when I get it. I just thought these bowls were nice and they are hand/homemade and wanted to show you them. I mean it's not everyday I get a bowl like this, and made of cherry no less!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

{this moment}

A single photo. A moment I want to capture and savor for a while longer.

Friday, February 10, 2012

what's cooking in my kitchen

I had a real hankerin for Chinese food last night. Since we live way out in the country and delivery is not an option for us, and I didn't feel like driving all the way into town, I figured I had better either deal with my craving or make it myself. So I made it myself! Probably cheaper and better for me to make it myself too!
What did I make? Mmmmm. Sweet and Sour Chicken, and Fried Rice! If I had really planned a menu this week, which I did not, so I've been flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to meal planning eerrr rather not planning this week I would have made Terriaki Stake, oh and egg rolls would have been great too, but I didn't. Maybe next time! Maybe I'll share sometime;-)
 So on with the cooking right? Sorry some of the pictures look a little off. My camera is not always working properly. Whaaaa. I think I need a new one.

First up the Sweet and Sour Chicken.

 You gotta have chicken and dip it in some eggs.

Then you roll it around in some flour mixture

 Pile it up on a plate

 Then you fry it up in some oil for a few minutes. Just to get a coating one it. It's Olive Oil, so it's good for you right?!

 Then you make the sweet and sour sauce. Don't worry the "floaties" are crushed up garlic!

Once it's all fried a bit put it in a pan and dump the sauce over it.
Then if you care to add some cherries and pineapple.

Then it's time for the rice.

 Make some rice. Who wants to look at that cooking? Then dump it in a pan after you have sauteed garlic and onion in some butter! Then add your seasoning and mix well. Smells really good!

Then add some peas and carrots and mix them all up. If using frozen then I would heat them up before putting them in the rice. Just makes it a little quicker.
Push all the rice mixture around the pan and dump in some beaten eggs in the middle of the pan.
 Scramble the eggs until cooked.
 When the eggs are all cooked stir it all together
Then serve it with the chicken

OH would you look at that! So yummy!!!
I hope I've made ya'll want Chinese food now!! Hahahaha
Have a great night all!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

these boots were made for

...farm girls!
Kinda excited!
I got some new barn boots, and I had to tell you because I knew you would be excited too! I know silly farm girl gets excited about boots?! hahaha! OK I can laugh at myself. Well these are the highly talked about BOGS. Well at least my sister talks about how she just LOVES her BOGS. I wanted some last year, but didn't end up finding any at the end of the winter that were in my size. They run small. I had to get two sizes bigger then I normally wear. Don't look at the size if you'll have a complex about big feet! Present company excluded. (ahem). They are warm, and water proof! What more do you need slopping around in cow, horse, sheep, and chicken, manure in the spring, summer, ok all year long! I have some rubber boots, but my feet freeze in them in the winter, even in my wool socks. Now they should stay warm in my BOGS! Oh and I didn't even tell you the best part. How I got them. My sister was out shopping and she calls me, and our conversation goes kinda like this,
"Hey. You want any barn boots that are BOGS?"
"Um ya."
"Well I'm here at such and such a store and they have them here, and I was wondering is $45 dollars was a good deal on them?"
"YA! That's half price!"
Giggle. "I know!! Right! So do you want me to get you some, they have sizes ....."
"Yup. I'll take the purple ones!!"
Then we chatted for a few minutes! I'll spare you the rest of our conversation.
I was at my moms today and I picked up my new boots! So here they are!

My handy wood box my man built for me behind the boots! Just an FYI!
Have a great night!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

battle of wills

For the last few weeks I have been working on training Dandie to freely go into her stanchion. We put Maggie outside and keep Dandie in the barn, where she runs around loose. We can't put them together because Dandie would try to nurse. At this time we don't have two pastures and can't make two because the ground is frozen and it would be kinda hard to put a stake in the ground! Matthew hasn't been around to put Dandie out and keep Maggie in and I don't want to do that on my own for the first time. I have no idea what Dandie would do, if she would do anything. I'd just assume have Matthew home just in case. So I go out around 4:30 to put her in. I always pet her and love on her first. Then grab some grain in her bucket and shake it by the stanchion. She just looks at me. I  grab her halter, catch her, and to put it on. She plays hard to get. Then I gently pull her head forward, and she pulls back, and plants her feet or in her case hooves! I keep pressure on her head and I'm talking to her. She keeps pulling back, then takes one step forward! Then she gives in after a few more seconds and walks forward to her stanchion with me guiding her where I want her. I lock her head in and praise her, give her lots of love, and of course the grain. She loves her grain. Then I get a little bit of grain for Maggie and call her in, and she comes in and eats her little treat until her supper when we milk her. The grain is just the bribe to get her in. That is what I have been doing every evening with Dandie. She's been getting better. Her will to not go in is not as strong as mine to get her in! I want to get her to come to her name and the shake of the grain. Well tonight I went out and she jumped right up and came over to me. I talked to her and rubbed her soft, thick brown neck. She licked my coat and got my face too. Calf kisses. I got some grain out and she knew what was coming, as she figured out about two days after I started this. She was near her stanchion and saw her bucket and I shook it and called her name. She came right over and stuck her head in her stanchion as I quickly locked her in and dumped her grain in her crib in one swift move! Success!! I loved on her and told her what a good girl she was! I was so pleased. I couldn't believe it! She did just want I wanted her to do. Watch tomorrow she'll make me catch her and pull her back into her stanchion, ;-) but for tonight I was just so pleased that she's learning! What a good little girl!
I'm just guessing here on training her, I've never done this before! But it seems to be working, I mean she came this evening. I think I'll keep it up! Besides I'm having fun too, and she's such a nice little heifer, and we like her that way!
Have a great night all!

Monday, February 6, 2012

monday confessions

Friday I had to go to town. That was my first mistake. I hate going to town on Fridays. Everyone comes out of the wood work. And it was super bowl weekend. I think that must be a national holiday or something...And it was in the late afternoon! What was I thinking? Apparently I was not. I only had to get a few things and had 2 kiddos with me. They like to shop. One of them had a gift card to spend and she bought a Onesie and a stuffed animal for her baby. So cute. The girls love their babies and the baby clothes. Well I did the rest of my shopping at warp speed just to get out of the insanely busy store. The girls were laughing and telling me I was taking them crazy all over the store.There were not enough lines opened and they were all backed way up. I picked one lane and stood there and chatted with the girls. I am always aware of where I am and my kiddos are in relationship to me. I mean hello! How can you not be! I'm like a mama bear. Don't come too close or you might get bit. Seriously. As we are standing there this young man comes up to wait in line behind me. I can see him out of the corner of my eye because of the way I am standing. I look around. The young man is on his phone. I see my neighbor in a different line and mouth a hello and send a small wave. I'm standing there in line for a while and can feel this man getting closer to me. I tried to put some distance between us by moving, twice! He moves too. I'm really wanting to take a step back and step on his toes or "bump" into him. He has no idea how close he was, totally consumed by his phone. The wait in line was long. Just not moving. My comfort level is uncomfortable. A man in the same line is cussing about everything. I'm hoping my girls don't hear him, and this punk behind me is practically in my back pocket! Growl. Still consumed with his phone, and insistent on being in MY SPACE!. I get to the check out person and wait until the order in front of me is done to not confuse the orders. The cussing man tells me to just put my stuff up there. I  glared at him and sent him a look that said shut up, and he didn't say another word, just looked down. I couldn't get back by my cart because the punk with his phone was practically in my cart! I'd had enough and suddenly I heard the very irritated, yet calm voice of mine saying "Could I have some Space please?!" with an irritated look on my face. He looked startled and jumped about a foot back and stuttered "oh sorry."  He had no idea who was around him or how close he was to me! Irritating!! Breath. Now I had the cart between me and him, and he was no longer consumed with his phone! I felt better. I pay for my things, and my daughter uses her gift card and we leave the store. Still a mad house. I was glad to be done and able to come back home. Don't think I'll shop on a Friday afternoon anytime soon again.

I still haven't finished my blanket, and didn't go to the baby shower on Friday:(

I went out with my sisters on Saturday night. We wanted a mommy night out! Had fun too! Then we did some shopping! More fun! I like to look around and see the people that are out and what they are doing. Again, aware of my surroundings. There were lots of people out and the restaurant was busy. There was a couple that was sitting near us and the guy was glued to his phone. Didn't even look at or talk to the woman who was sitting in front of him looking bored and flipping through the menu. We left before them and he was still on his phone and she was looking bored and ignored. How sad. There was an older couple out and they were having a lively conversation with each other. That was nice to see. There was a group of folks out that were very loud and laughing next to us. Nice. There was a group of women out together and I wondered if they were having a mommy night out too! Our waiter was great, and made sure our drinks were full and we were happy with our food.The music was getting louder and louder as we ate, and until we left. The food was great!

The Giants won the super bowl in case you hadn't heard. One of my sisters is a huge fan and I was happy for her that they won against the Patriots, again! Whoot whoot!! I didn't watch the game :(

So when you go out are you aware of your surroundings or are you the annoying one with your nose stuck in your phone?! Just wondering!

Have a great day all!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

not related

I needed a break from my current project. Knitting a baby blanket for a friend. The baby shower is tomorrow, and I don't know if I'll get it done or not, due to my complete lack of planning. My eyes are bleary from knitting and I keep messing up the pattern. So annoying. So I figured I'd take a break and blog and read a few posts while I'm at it. Should be nice if I can keep it straight!

The pattern is called "tile". Simple enough. I like how it looks.

Yesterday was kinda cool. The weather was nice, but really moist. Then as the day went on and the temperature dropped the trees were covered with a frost of snow.

It was not a very sunny day as you can see by the gloominess of the pictures. The sun only came out from behind the the clouds when it was setting.

Today was a chocolate kinda day. I was tired and cranky, so I made some homemade chocolate brownies. That made me feel better.

Have a great evening.