Wednesday, May 30, 2012

goats, goats, goats

SO the sun is trying to come out and dry up all the clouds and fog in the air. My neighbor told me yesterday in between the down pours we got about 3-6 inches of rain the other night. That doesn't include all the rain we got over night last night, and thunder and lightening! WOW some amazing sights and sounds last night. Thankfully they didn't last all night. But most of yesterday was rain and thunder storms. Chores were lots of fun, in all the rain...ya.
On inspecting the gardens this morning after chores it's not all bad. The tomatoes and peppers took a bit of a beating. I need to stake them up. I covered some roots to some melons. Some onions need to be replanted and about 2 rows are under water. I didn't dare go in the garden just along the edge, I didn't want to sink in and do more damage. So, we shall see how it drys out, if it does with any more rain that might be coming. Part of me doesn't even want to look at the weather reports. I just don't know if I really want to know. But I'm hopeful...

Well onto more fun and exciting things. We went to a goat show. Say what?! I did say it was fun. One of my kiddos is just crazy about goats. She wants one sooooooooooo bad. We did have goats at one point, but gave them to my sister. They tend to not like wide open fields with nothing but hay. They don't do well with that. So for now we can't have goats. One of my sisters has goats and was showing one of them, so we went to check it out. At the time we were there they were not showing, maybe lunch break. We waited around for quite a while, and only saw some does showing. We had to leave before she showed because we had tons of things to get done on the farm. But she said it was late by the time she showed. She did well too!  Here are some pics!

 My sisters buck. He didn't like that she was walking away, and leaving him!

 Some beautiful does.
 Goat pile. I thought they were cute, and my girl liked them.

I love the color markings of this Alpine doe. Just a beauty!
Some kiddos saying goodbye to a sweet little doe. They liked her too.       

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

gardening time

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! OK I feel slightly better now. Not really. We planted our gardens the other day. It was beautiful out! Nice and sunny! Our little seedlings were doing so well. That night we had a light rain! Ah perfect. Then I look at the 10 day forecast and now I want to not have planted our gardens. Basically they are calling for rain, rain and more rain, oh and some thunder storms for the next 10 days. Fantastic! Now where is that sarcastic font? It's poring out there. I have a feeling one of our gardens will be a wash out. It's low enough and if this rain keeps up it'll drown the seeds. I'm concerned about the tomatoes. I have 30 plants! I really need them to do well, we want to save some seeds from them, and I need the tomatoes. I'm just praying that it really doesn't rain that much, and things will look better. I'm just not really wanting to look at the 10 day forecast again for a few days! I'm trying to look on the bright side of things. Here are some pics of the gardens.
 Ah the wonderful tomato! I love tomatoes!! I'm not one for going barefoot in the garden, or ever. I don't really care to have the dirt in my toes. My hands, that's another story. I love dirt under my fingernails and covered in warm dirt. During canning season my hands are usually stained from what I'm canning. Carrots and beets are the worst. I don't mind though. I know, I'm weird. I'm ok with that.

 More tomatoes. I have 8 pepper plants too.  I just really hope they are not green peppers. Yuck. The pic on the package was purple, so I'm going with that.  The rope is so I can keep the row straight. Drives my husband crazy if they aren't. I just laugh.
 My loves. Planting carrots. My boy every year gets his tractors and plows and plays in the garden with them. He's over there in the tomatoes. The hay field looks amazing. Too bad it's not ours to hay.
One of the kiddos took a picture when we were planting onions. I zoomed it and cropped it and just got our hands. I love this picture.
 Here is garden one. It's the one we started in, and over the years have gotten bigger. And now we have..

Garden number two! This one has never done amazing. We piled the manure on it over the winter to let it compost down, put more manure on it, and tilled it all in. The soil looked so different afterwards. So we are hoping that the manure works.The rototiller, corner of the horse fence, and bike add to the pic don't you think?!

Oh and with the wool, I was asked a couple time what we do with it. Currently nothing. I have a spinning wheel that my husband bought me, and yes I spin wool and love it, as do some of the kiddos, one gal in particular. But I'm hopeful to getting it washed, I could, but really don't want to. A friend lives down the road spins wool and has offered to help me with the washing of it, and maybe I'll take her up on it. I just haven't gotten around to it. When/if I do I'll let you know and snap some pics. I have worked some of the wool "in the grease" and it's beautiful!
 I have more posts of what I've been up too. So come on back! Have a great day all!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I have had so much going on here I don't know where to start! I've only had a few minutes here and there to blog or rather to read a post or two. My camera is still working, so far. I'm hopeful that it will work for the parade tomorrow. I need pics of my boy! Not the first time he's in the parade, but his first year with the Boy Scouts. Anywho. So what to share first?
 I know, how bout some nudity! Get your mind outta the gutter, it's sheep sheering time!

 Here's Daisy. Where she's black my man decided to get her done first. Ya those are hand held sheers. All man power. She's our Romney Finn. He ended up sheering her in the horse barn. It was really hot.

 Oh look at that wool!!!!! So nice, and right chalk full of lanolin!
Now it's Minty's turn. She's out Finn sheep. Daisy, her buddy, bleated the whole time. Big mouth that one is. She was done outside. Just pointing out the obvious!
NO he's not putting his weight on her in this picture. He's sliding his hand down to start the nest area of sheering. I love the color of her wool! See her nose sticking out?!
Now today they were both happy and much cooler, and now I have some wool.
Have a great evening everyone. I'll have more to come on what I've been up to lately, but not tonight!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

good quote

"Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff."
Catherine M. Wallace

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


OK, so I have a few updates on things I've been working on, and ya'll asked me to let you know how things turned here it is.
Oh and yesterday I dropped my camera in the horse's water troth while I was washing it out, so I don't know how much longer it will work. That otta almost seal the deal to get a  new one. Not cool.

Not the greatest picture of the seedlings, but it was raining on them when I took this picture. They are adapting to the outside nicely. They are almost ready to sleep outside full time and are getting huge. I can't wait to get them in the garden. The other day I got to till the garden with the tractor. That was fun! Now both gardens are ready! We made them a little bigger this year too. And we'll be planting in the next week. Memorial weekend we always plant. The earth is warm enough now for everything, and shouldn't have any more frosts. Talk to any of the old timers around and that is what they all say, to plant Memorial weekend. So that is what we do. And have always had success!

My second batch of Komboucha! The kiddos and I love it! I have just put these in the cupboard to get a little fizzy and flavored. The one on the left has blueberries in it. You can see them floating around in there! The other one is just regular. I'm still not 100% of the taste. To get it just right, so I'm playing around with it. But so far I'm happy with how it's coming along. Something new to learn!

Here is the baby blanket I've been working on. It's almost done. A few more rows to finish it off and then tuck in all the loose strings that you can see hanging out! The pattern was new to me, but once I got it figured out and didn't want to poke out my eyes with the knitting needle it want quite well. ;-) The rows look like they area at an angle. Kinda cool!
So there you have it. 3 very different things going on at my house. Have a great day all!

Monday, May 21, 2012

my weekend in photos

 Well sorta. I won't include all the laundry, dishes and cooking I did. But there was a lot of it. I had 7 kiddos all weekend. So needless to say I was busy.

 I just LOVE  these flowers. They smell amazing. They don't last long enough as far as I'm concerned. Our little lilac bush is small and doesn't have lots of flowers, but it's growing. It's a shoot off my MIL"S massive tree. When the wind blows I can smell the lilacs in my living room. I have some in my bathroom and kitchen too. Couldn't resist.

 A long time friend of Matthew's came over Friday to hang out. Then decided to work with Time Out (T.O)  We didn't get her tied into the shaves of the cart, but she did get introduced to them. She really didn't like them at first, but once she realized that these long, scary looking poles were not going to kill her, she was fine with them being there. Still have a little work to go before she's ready for the cart, but we are that much closer to getting there!! And we'll be working on it too! Now that the weekend is over!

Maggie chewing her cud under the apple tree. The grass has taken off. It's increased her diet, she's out all night, we've cut back her grain, and she gave 29lbs of milk the other day in one milking! That's about 3.5 gallons of milk.  That's a lot of milk. Looks a little like this, plus some...

So now I'm making lots of butter, and cheese. I need to try Cheddar, but it's really involved. That and I don't have a cheese press here. But I really want to try. I'll let you know when I do it. Maybe when we are done home school and my morning's aren't so busy... It's expensive to buy and we all love it and I like to cook with it.
Sunday evening we had our boy's cross over ceremony into the Boy Scouts. He had done another camp out on Friday with the Boy Scouts and had a blast. This time it didn't rain on them! He and his friend crossed over together. They have been in scouts since they were Tigers. Just little guys. Now to see how they have grown, and changed is wonderful. My boy has really come a long way.  We are so super proud of him!

Here he is getting his awards for all that he has accomplished this year in Cub Scouts. He's still a little bashful when he has to stand in front of everyone. 

 Here he is getting his Arrow of Light Badge. That is the highest honor the Cub Scouts give. It's a lot of work to get it too. It's the only badge he can put on his Boy Scout uniform from Cub Scouts too, (along with his WEBLOS badge takes 2 years to earn that badge). He and his friend both earned that badge! He'll be marching in the Memorial Day parade with the Boy Scouts this year too. Oh I can't even tell you what I feel in words. Kinda like a heart popping moment of love and pride when I see him growing into a fine young man.

His WEBLOS and Arrow of Light badge. That is how they will go on his shirt, when her gets it.
Have a fantastic Monday all!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

this and that

Didn't realize it had been a while since my last post. I've popped in and read some posts here and there when I've had a few minutes to sit. We've been busy.
Last night we had my BIL and SIL's kiddos over, well three of the 4 of theirs. My boy went out camping again with the Boy Scouts and some Cub Scouts. This time out in the woods. He'll be crossing over into the Boy Scouts on Sunday. Sniff, sniff. He's growing up so fast. We are having a small get together in the evening with family to celebrate his hard work. So I guess I better get the house cleaned up.
I've started hardening off the seedlings in the house to get them planted outside. Got a week or so to go before they can go out full time in the garden. I'm going about it different this year and not shocking them. And slower too. I think I did that last year and that was part of them not doing as well, that and the late blight. Oh well, lesson learned.
One of my sisters came over and we cooked some yummy food. I don't have any pics because I couldn't find my camera. But OMW I'll tell you that we had His and Hers Burgers from PW's new cookbook! Amazing! With some homemade pesto, and mayo, (Thanks to Candy C over at Lazy J Bar C blog). I used her mayo recipe, very yummy. And this time I used a blender and it whipped it up the right way, unlike the first disaster I tried. Oh and the dessert we made was PW's Pot De Creme. I think that's what it's called, not sure about the spelling, but basically it's chocolate, vanilla, eggs, and hot coffee. With whipped cream on top. Trust me it's wonderful! But don't eat a lot of it, it's SUPER rich, but I savored every bite. And besides cooking I had a nice visit with my sister.
I made cream cheese, eeeerrrrrrr well I tried to make cream cheese, but it was not edible. I tossed it. I'll have to try again.
We went to a friends house for supper. Had chicken parmesan and that was really good. I've never made it before, but had had it. The kiddos asked if I could make it sometime. So I'll be making it sometime!
It's a great day here today. Full sun! Oh how wonderful it is, after all the rain! The ground is really wet, and the grass is tall and thick. My husband mowed the lawn last night with a riding lawn mower. We need to get another push mower. Last year I managed to break the shaft and it was awful to try to mow. Felt like my arms were going to shake off. Thankfully it was the end of the season, so it was OK. haha. Now that the lawn monster has been tamed I can get out there and mow. I like to mow with a push mower. I like the exercise. Besides my kiddos always bring me ice cold water while I mow. And pick me more flowers while I mow and put them in cups on the counter to surprise me when I'm done. To make the house pretty.
The laundry is drying out on the line, the kiddos are running around in the fields, my man if off to the mill, and I need to get some cleaning done so I can sit in the sun and work on my knitting!
Have a wonderful weekend all!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

what's cooking in my kitchen

Alright, so I know I just did this on Saturday, BUT...I had to share this one with you and I just couldn't wait another day. I feel the need to share this amazing cake with everyone!!  This is the other dessert my little one and I made on Saturday. And yes we did have a fabulous day together too. As I type this late Sunday afternoon I am hearing thunder... should make for an interesting evening. Awesome...
So what did we make??????

Oh would you look at that??!!! Yes it's as good as I think it looks too! What is this wonderful little treat called? Lemon Blueberry Cake. How on earth have I lived my whole life without it??!! I have no idea. But now that I have found it I shall make it again!!
I was actually looking for a Lemonade Cake. All the ones I found were made with a box cake, and I didn't have one on hand. Never do. Humph. Now what? Well I scrolled on down the page and saw a picture of this cake, only there's looked much "prettier" then mine. Mine looks homemade, there's looked professional. But I'm ok with that. It still tastes wonderful. And that's the point. Right?! I thought so too.

Here it is before I cut into it. It's kinda lop sided. Not sure why all my cakes are when I layer them. But this is as fancy a making cake as this gal gets. I usually just leave it in the 9x13 pan and slap on some frosting. One of my many SIL's makes cakes, and sells them. She does the fondant thing, and wow are her cakes beautiful. She even made a wedding cake recently. I hang out with her too. Just in case you were wondering. Anyways she does a beautiful job and they taste good too. Even better. Just a little bunny trail there for you.

I took lots of pics making this, but there are many steps and 3 different parts to making this cake, it would make for a very long post. So I won't post them.

Here is the filling in between the layers. It's homemade lemon curd. I say that because I was asked if I had made my own. I had no idea you could buy lemon curd. Nope no dye in it, just some farm fresh egg yolks there for ya. Perty hu? I put some of the frosting around the edge so the curd would stay in. That is the white stuff around the edge.

Now if ya like here is the recipe. Oh and I found this on a google search. Type it in and your sure to find it.

Lemon Blueberry Cake (Sorry I have no printer friendly version, so if ya want it yer gonna have to long hand it ;-)
2 C flour +6 T
1 t salt
2 t baking powder
3 C blueberries fresh (I only have frozen, and didn't coat them with the flour per the recommendation.)
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C milk
2 t vanilla
3/4 t lemon extract
1 t lemon zest
1.5 C sugar
4 eggs
2 sticks butter-soft
Preheat oven to 350. Sift dry together. Take out 1 T flour, and save to coat blueberries. Coat the blueberries if they are fresh, with the 1 T.
Stir milk, sour cream, vanilla, lemon, lemon zest together in a bowl.
In mixer cream sugar and butter until it's nice and creamy looking. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each.
Mix in flour and milk mixture, alternating each and mixing well. Fold in blueberries. Divide into 3, 9in  round pans, that are greased and floured. Bake about 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Curd
3 egg yolks
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 C lemon juice
6 T sugar
4T butter cut into chunks
Combine everything but the butter. In sauce pan over medium heat stirring constantly until it gets thick. Want it to coat the spoon. About 5 min. Remove from heat and add butter 1 T @ a time. Keep it smooth. Cover and put in fridge for an hour before using. Make double batch of this for the cake.

Zesty Lemon Frosting
1 C butter
5C icing sugar (I had no idea what this was so figured it was powdered sugar and that is what I used.)
2 t lemon zest
60ml lemon juice
1/2 t lemon extract
6T whipping cream
2 T water

Cream butter and zest. About 3 min. Slowly add sugar. Beat 2 min. Add rest of ingredients and beat another 3-5 minutes. Want it nice light and fluffy.
Layer the cake, put curd in the middle, frost the top. Keep in fridge due to the curd.
Enjoy!!! Just so you can see the cake you'll be slaving over for a while one last time before you's worth it!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

what's cooking in my kitchen

OMW!!! I have to share this recipe with you. It's soooooooooo good! My youngest and I are home alone, all the others went off with Daddy, so we have been cooking up a storm here this morning. We have our supper with my in-laws tonight, and I'm in charge of dessert. I have another one that I will share with you next week. And washing dishes. I asked her if she would wipe them for me and she gives me a devilish smile and say "only if you give me some chocolate." with her sparkling blue eyes and toothless grin. I happily give her some chocolate and she happily helps me with the dishes. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree I guess! She talked my ear off the whole morning.
So what did we make????
Almond Joy Bars!!! Oh ya!!! Once your done drooling over the picture you can continue!! ;-)

 Here they are all done, just waiting for me to put the camera down and pop one into my mouth.

 Mix brown sugar, flour, sugar, and butter together

 Smoosh it down in a pan and bake it for 8 min, just to brown it up.

 Mix lots of coconut, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk together. Stir it all up and...

 plop it on top of your cooled crust. Spread it around, go ahead and take a small sample if yer into that sorta thing. Pop it in the oven and bake it a little while.

Melt some chocolate and smear it on top  of your baked coconut delishiouness. Chill it, and then cut into small pieces and enjoy!!!
Here is the recipe if ya like.
10 T soft butter
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 t salt
2.5 C flour
Beat sugar and butter together for about 5 min to make it soft and fluffy looking. Then add flour and salt and mix so it looks like crumbly bread. Bake 350 for 8 minutes and then cool.

Mix together
28 oz coconut
28 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla
Plop it on top of the cooled crust, and bake it at 350 for about 20-25 min. Just to firm it. Take it out and cool it.

Melt 5 C bitter sweet chocolate, and spread it on top of the bars. If you like almonds plop them on top before you spread the chocolate. Put in fridge to harden. Enjoy, that's it!!

Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

what's cooking in my kitchen

First of all thank you so much for all the well wishes! The elephants are slowly!

Now for cooking. Well I had two recipes I wanted to share, but deleted the pics of one of them. I'll tell you it was a Blueberry Puff Pastry!! OMW!! So good. Just have to make another one, and not delete the pics, before I get them on the computer. Oh darn.
The other one I made with my SIL. And lets just say they were AMAZING!! I only have two pics though. What did we make?
These bad boys!!! 

Pioneer Woman's Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas!! They are sooooooo good. I just love grilled chicken, and fresh pineapple, so why not throw them in flour tortillas? I made her homemade flour tortillas too. They are so much better then the store ones. Basically all that is in them is cheddar cheese, chicken, jalapenos, pineapple, BBQ sauce and cilantro(I didn't have any so didn't put it on). Easy peasy right?! We ended up adding some red onion, and yummy! Served with rice. My kiddos didn't like the hotness of the jalapenos, but the rest they liked. So I will leave them off next time for my kiddos.

Here they are all grilled and melted together for a wonderful flavorful mouthful! (say that 3 times fast!)
There you have it! Enjoy if yer so inclined!
Have a great day ! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

something new

I'm trying something new. Never made it before. A friend of mine gave me the mother. What?
It's Kombucha. Ever had it? Do you like it? I tried it, and  it's not bad. It's expensive to buy it at the store. I can drink some everyday or every other day, and see how it goes. Maybe my kiddos will drink it too. I decided to give it a try. Why not?! I love to try new things. Besides it detoxifies. haha I had to google the benefits. But now that I know I'm all set to try it. I'll let you know in 7-10 days how it turns out, depending on the weather. Needs to be warm. I put it above my fridge and that should keep it warm. It's just the original kind. You can make all different kinds. So here are the pics.

sugar to boiling water

4 tea bags. it's decaf so my husband can try it too.

everyone needs a mother, including kombucha

gotta have some kombucha from a previous batch to add

here 'tis.

all ready for a warm dark place.
Can't wait to try it!
Have a great day all!

Monday, May 7, 2012

moving fences

Sunday afternoon was such a beautiful day. So beautiful that after church and lunch that I took an hour long nap! Yup I did. I've got a terrible head cold and it's like an elephant is sitting on my chest and in my nose. Yeah. Awesome. So after my nap we all went outside and put up the pasture for the cows. It's really a two person job. We set up the perimeter, then we will section it off and rotate the pastures. The grass is still not real thick and lush all over, it's early here, but it's coming nicely. We just needed to move the pasture so they didn't go through the fence to eat the greener stuff. We are all for rotational grazing! Actually grass based is what we want, but due to our situation we do what we can! It's what we are striving for. So anyways... Walking around the field with an elephant is not really all that great. Plus with the new life that is springing out everywhere causes me to sneeze and blow my nose every few steps. My husband told me to go sit and take it easy. I didn't listen and said I was fine as I gasped and wheezed and sneezed the whole time. haha The kiddos were out there with us talking, laughing, and running around the field. It felt so good to be out and have the sun on me and listen to them and chat with my husband. Joel Salatin has said if you wanna be a grass farmer you better like to walk, or something along those lines. So true as I learned last year! But you know I enjoy walking around the field with my man catching up in our conversation and spending time with him. The kiddos are never too far off and their laughter and chatter bounce off the air and surround me like a warm blanket. The cattle mooing at us to hurry up and move the fence so they can go enjoy it. Then watching Maggie go out last night as the sun was finally going to bed, and listen to her munching happily on the lush green grass. The slight sound of her hooves sinking a small amount into the water logged earth, after all the rain. To watch her flick her tail and shake her head and see her ears flop back and forth. The sun seeming to glow off the soft brown of her coat. The contentment I feel surrounded by the things I love.

apple blossoms

sun setting as we finish up the pasture
It was a good Sunday in the country for this country girl.
Have a great Monday all!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


A friend of mine is having her first baby . A girl! So happy for the couple! So I am making her a baby blanket. I finally picked up the yarn and have picked out the pattern that I'm gonna use, and even done a small trial run on it. It's a new pattern I have never made, and I think I can do it, if I pay attention. I have until some time in August to get it done...But I know 3 women that are pregnant and due around the same time. Guess I better get busy!! I love to make baby blankets! Here is the yarn. I just love the color! It's Persimmons. Kinda orangy colored. When I actually get some done on it I'll show you!
Do any of you knit? I can't crochet to save my life. It's bad all the way around! I'd love to learn to make sweaters.  My grandmother makes beautiful ones, I should go spend the day with her and try it out. I'd love that! She knits too.
Any who...

Oh and FYI I have two new recipes, one I made with my SIL, you know the one I hang out with all the time! Maybe someday I'll tell you her name;) The other I did not. SO that will be coming next week. And it's a whole lot of yummy deliciousness! If yer into that sorta thing!  Just a tease!
Have a fantastic weekend all!