Friday, March 7, 2014

Oh the taste of SPRING!

Yes, I said it.... Spring like weather today. It is 10:30 AM, and ALREADY 52 degrees! Whoohoo! I am sitting here with my last cup of coffee of the morning.... the animals are already taken care of and I straightened up in the barn a bit. My plans for the day are to get into town and buy the pine shavings and straw I need to freshen up bedding. I will be working outside ALL DAY.. without a jacket! I am so excited to get out there...darned coffee is HOT! So... a few weeks ago, one of my favorite barn cats, TayTay came up missing. He is named after he lost the end of his tail when stepped on by one of the goats. Poor guy. But he is the sweetest barn cat. I went out to feed one day a few weeks ago, and noticed he was not there. I called...looked around, moved Tay. :( Several days went by, I called and called for him, no Tay. After 2 weeks I just figured he had been taken by a coyote...a vehicle on the highway...or a stray dog. I never gave up total hope...but just figured he was gone for good. 2 days ago, as I went to the barn for the evening feeding...I hear a cat calling...loudly. I looked around, and from across the field...I see an orange figure running towards me. Could it be!? I called to him....and he answered...It was my Tay!! As he got closer, I crouched down...from about 5 feet away, he leapt onto my shoulder, wrapping his paws around my neck and purring so loudly. I was so boy was home. He was so thin...and his front paws look like he had been digging at something for a long time. I figure he was somehow locked in a shed or garage somewhere for 2 WEEKS! I carried him to the barn and put out the kitty kibbles. He ran from dish to dish, grabbing mouthfuls at each dish. He was starving.. poor boy. I went along doing my chores...and every time I was out of sight of him, he would call to me...I assured him I was still there. Once I finished chores, I headed to the coops. He didn't follow right away, but about half way there I hear him calling to me again. I stopped and picked him up... carrying him with me to the coop. As I finished my rounds in the Duck hut he followed me to the big coop where there are 4 separate pens I needed to go in to feed and water. He bawled at each door...wanting me to let him in. Once I finished and headed to the house...he tried his hardest to come in the house. Now, he is a barn cat and has never been in the house, mostly because we have 4 dogs. I assured him he would be fine now that he was home, and I came inside. It wasn't long before he was running his claws down the metal door... screeeeeeeeeech! *shivers* So, we decided to let him in for a bit, and see how he and the dogs get along. He was fine with them, they mostly just wanted to sniff out the intruder. He would walk around the house, bawling, calling to me. When I answered, he would run and grab on to me....jumping into my lap every chance he had. He found the kitchen, and immediately jumped up on the counter. THIS is why we do NOT have inside cats. I chased him down....and after a few minutes he was back on the counter. So, I decided to put him back outside for the night. Every time I go outside, he is there, at my feet. I am so glad our Tay is home. I will have plenty time with Tay.... as I have a lot of outside work to get done while the warm weather is here. I am going to clean coops, get the rabbits back into their outside huts...put the rabbit mulch/bedding/poo on the spring garden, spread lime in the hog pen... boy does the warm weather bring up the scents of a farm! Whew! I also need to make a *Lime paint* and get the inside walls of the barn coated. This helps with the smell a LOT! Lots of project to do today.... and daylight is burning. So, I am headed out to see what I can get into. I hope the sun is shining where you are today...and warm enough to get outside. Put on those muck boots...warm weather means thawing mud/poo.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

\March 1st. In like a Lion... out like a lamb?

I wonder who came up with that? Hmmmm, I hope they are right. Today is March 1st and we are under a winter storm warming. Starting tonight, rain...then freezing rain...changing over to snow later tonight into tomorrow...and snow all day Sunday. One forecaster says 1 to 3 inches....another says up to 12 inches. At this point it doesn't really matter.....snow is snow...and I am just about fed up with it. Today I spent getting to the feed store, packing in the feed...setting up dry bedding....hauling water.... and slopping through the muck. It was actually a nice day... almost 50 degrees and a light breeze. Yesterday I had someone come over and get the last of the wood pile split up. So, what I have now.. is it. Mother Nature, do you hear me!?? I really do NOT want to have to PURCHASE firewood. I am hoping we don't lose power tomorrow....I want to make this Chocolate Éclair Cake. Doesn't it look so yummy!?? Chocolate Eclair Cake 1 cup water 1/2 cup butter 1 cup flour 4 large eggs 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding 3 cups milk 1 8 oz. container cool whip (you won’t use the whole container) or one batch of homemade whipped cream chocolate syrup or homemade chocolate sauce Instructions: Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9″X13″ glass baking pan. Eclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won’t be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (Mine only took 25 minutes.) You may want to check it occasionally-you don’t want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don’t touch or push bubbles down). Filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding. Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese. Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in fridge.When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of cool whip however thick you want it and serve with chocolate syrup. *If you want to make this even better use homemade whipped cream.
So, if we keep power... and are stuck inside because of the weather... I will be baking.. and of course eating this. I hope if you are getting this weather, you stay safe and if you can... stay inside and make this cake!!