Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rain = rest! whew!

Tuesday couldn't get here fast enough. Well, not that I don't like weekends, with the hubby home to help around the place... but THIS Tuesday sends the "promise" of rain. Not that we really NEED rain, but personally I need rain. Rain = rest. If it is raining, I can't go out and pull weeds, or move dirt, or fix fencing, or get firewood. Oh, there are a lot of things I need to get done...but today, I NEED rest. This morning after chores I stopped at my little strawberry bed...and It really is little. Only about 4 x 6 but boy oh boy can that little bed hold a LOT of strawberries! Yesterday we had company come out, a friend with her 2 boys. I let them pick from the strawberry bed. And my Son Robert came out with the 3 grand kids...they too picked from the strawberry bed...but that didn't stop this little bed from giving its all. This morning I picked these!
Yummy sweet strawberries! I really like that 4 of these can fill my hand.
We just finished off the first quart I picked 2 days ago. I believe these are destined to make a strawberry cake. Doesn't this look DELISH!???
Here is the recipe...for YOUR dining pleasure. Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake 12-16 Servings Prep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling Ingredients •1 package white cake mix (regular size) •1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin •1 cup water •1/2 cup canola oil •4 egg whites •1/2 cup mashed unsweetened strawberries Frosting •1 cup heavy cream, •1 cup confectioners sugar •2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced or halved. Now, get out there and get yourself some strawberries...and make this cake...just TRY not to eat it all yourself!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial weekend = garden work and BBQ

Oh boy! The weather has been PERFECT for working in the garden and making sun tea. Our first jug of the year. Oh boy, it really hit the spot today! Yesterday I started in the small garden, mounding up the taters. They look so much better. I noticed today, they are starting to bloom already! Wow.
These are the before and after pictures. Whew! Wore me out. After this was finished I went to the big garden and started mounding the taters in there. ( Yes we have taters in 2 gardens) I was only able to get 2 rows finished before I was totally worn out. So today... back to the big garden. I finished the last of the taters, then had to add more dirt to the end of one of the green bean rows. Only about 6 ft. Then replanted that area. I forgot to get pictures. But, let me tell you, it was a BIG job! I paused long enough to pick a quart of strawberries and take them inside to clean and prep for later. They were so delicious! After about 4 hours of working the gardens, I put the hammock back out, and rested in there for a bit. I almost fell asleep. It was so peaceful, warm outside with a great cool breeze. Had to get up before I fell asleep. Hubby cleaned, washed and waxed my truck for me today. I came inside and made macaroni salad, got a few small steaks out to marinate for a little bit before supper. Hubby cooked them up perfect on the grill, while I put the corn on the cob on to cook. Had a great supper. Finished evening chores, got a cool shower and relaxing with a cup of coffee. What a great day! I think tomorrow we will take it easy...relax...and reflect on the meaning of this holiday weekend. Hubby is snoring in his chair next to me....poor guy is worn out. It won't be too much longer and I will be snoring next to him. :) I hope you all have a great weekend...productive or relaxing... just be safe!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Horney goats.... not what you think,

So, last night at 10:30 I had that feeling, better check on the goats. Ever get that feeling?? You KNOW you just HAVE to go do it. Good thing I did as Mini had her head stuck in the fence, but good! She poked it through, THEN, poked it back through the other way in a different hole! She was looking like a goaty pretzel. *sigh* So, I was just fed up with pulling her out of the fence all day yesterday, and really scared she would break her silly neck. So... I grabbed a piece of 1X1 and some wire, and took care of THAT problem. When I went out this morning I wasn't sure what I would find. At first, she didn't greet me at the fence, bawling like usual. My first thought... NOW WHAT!??? By the time I got into the barn, she had run out, but peeked around the door at me.
She was NOT happy with me. Well, I am a LOT happier now that she can't get her silly head through the fence. She wouldn't come near me so I could check to make sure it wasn't coming loose...but from what I can see...it is on there pretty tight. Maybe THIS will teach her a lesson? I doubt it. Silly goat!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Horned goats and fencelines...Oh boy!

Today was a busy day...well. sorta. I spent a LOT of the day freeing one of the goats from the fence line, 8 times! Can we say.....persistent little booger!?? Mini is the shy one...but today her and I had a lot of "us time" When I went out to do evening chores...I freed her from the fence. The time it took me to walk to the gate, and get on the outside, she was stuck again! I get her out of the fence....talked to her about our "situation" and when I turned to walk away, she stuck her head in the fence AGAIN! Grrrrr, G O A T S !!!!! After dark, I figured.... they will settle down and sleep....she should be OK for the night. About 10:30 pm, I had this feeling....better go check the goats...and yep.... stuck again!! Except this time she REALLY did it. She put her head through, then somehow, brought it back through a different hole. Double stuck! THATS IT! After I got her out, I went and picked out a 12 inch long piece of 1 x 1 and got some thin wire and fixed her up good! Oh, she looks goofy, but I don't think she will be able to get her silly head through the fence. I didn't get pictures, too dark. I will get pics in the morning. I could hear the other goats laughing at her as I walked away. Serves her right!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A little here, a little there means a whole lot got done.

Ever have one of those days.... where you pitter around seemingly mindless only to realize WOW, you actually got quite a bit done today. ? That was me today. Started with cleaning the wood stove and getting a fire going with coffee in hand. It was 36 degrees this morning. I wanted to go out and check on the gardens...but then again, I didn't want to see the possible destruction. So, I sat down with my coffee for a bit. After 2 cups of good coffee I just had to get outside and feed the critters. Walking to the barn, I saw that Mini decided to stick her head through the fence, you know.. * the grass is always greener* Well, she was not dehorned and getting her head back out is quite the challenge. So, she was standing there, bawling to me to save her. Funny thing about goats being stuck in a fence, OK, not really funny...but to get them out, you have to PUSH their heads back through. Ever push on a goats head?? They push back! So, I am struggling to push her free from the fence, and she is pushing back against me. *sigh* Took a few minutes...but I finally got her free. On the way back from the barn, I stopped at the big garden....everything looked good. No frost damage. YAY! Spent a little time in there pulling weeds...all better now. After chores I decided to make us a "late breakfast" Fuel for the day. Bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy was on the menu. opened a jar of our blackberry jelly to top off the warm biscuits. Cleaned the kitchen and with a full tummy settled in with another cup of coffee. :) Wasn't long before I decided to head out. Hubby headed to the back yard where the grass was almost a foot tall. The push mower decided to quit on us, so hubby used the weed eater on it. Luckily it is not a BIG yard. Once he finished, I raked it up and shared it between the pigs and the goats. They sure did appreciate it. Then I moved into Elvis's yard, where these weeds had tried to take over. He had a skinny little path in there from the front to the back. Only took me about 30 minutes, but I pulled them all out, and shared them between the geese and the pigs. Next, moved to the front porch where I have these little wooden barrels on each side of the front door. I put plastic flower pots in them, put Styrofoam in the bottom of the pots then filled with dirt, topped off with potting soil and planted a few yellow Merigolds in them. I also put in some Zinnia seed. Should be pretty once they get growing and filling in.
Decided to come inside for a bit of a "rest" HA! Yeah, not so much resting going on. Cleaned out Nikki's cage and vacuumed the family room and office area. I had 3 little ducks inside, time for them to head out into the brooder. Got them all settled in and oh boy, am I glad! I did take a bit of a break and drank some tea. Then headed back out to start mowing. I was just about half way through when the darned belt broke. Well poop!! Hubby was mowing, so I let him finish. Headed back out to do the evening chores and close coops and barns. The neighbor told me he heard a "pack" of coyotes across the road last night. Gonna have to keep everyone on lockdown for a while. Threw a pizza in the oven, made coffee and now... color me DONE!

It IS the middle of MAY....right!???

Holy frozen gardens batman!! Woke this morning to 36 degrees!!! Yes, we are in the middle of May...or...did I sleep a looooooong time and it is fall already?? *checks pantry* Nope, still not full, so it IS the middle of May. Had to put a fire in the wood stove...the furnace is OFF for the year....and I really do not care what temp Mother Nature throws at us. I REFUSE to turn the furnace back on! And people think I am *crazy. Mother Nature...come on already!!! One of my momma ducks outside has babies....3 more setting nests. I hope this cold snap didn't mess those up! I will sit here with my coffee....watching the fire....keeping it going...waiting on the temps to warm up a bit before I go out to assess the damages. Can you believe in 3 days, we are supposed to be close to 90?? THREE DAYS!! No wonder people are getting sick. *Grabs blanket and coffee, grumbles*

Friday, May 16, 2014

One last fire in the wood stove..... I hope!

So, after the few days of heat and humidity.... Mother Nature gave us a "cool down" Tonight is supposed to be in the upper 30's! I really am hoping this is the last of the cooler temps. We have so much on our plate this summer, I need to get started soon! I tried working on the goats cabin the other day. The girls had torn down the inside panels and I had to nail them back up, just a temporary fix. I plan to tear it all out this summer and do it all over. So, while I was trying to get it done, Lulu one of the little doe's decided she needed to "help". She quickly grabbed the hammer, and took off like a shot. Oh boy, she really keeps me on my toes! She is one of those , in your face and space goats. So nosey. So, I took off after her to retrieve my hammer. This turned into a "keep away from mom" game. After I got my hammer back, I finished the cabin repair....not as quickly as I wanted to. Lulu was in my face, tugging on my jacket... putting her silly little nose where I was trying to hammer. I tried to keep her busy with a flake of hay but she lost interest quickly. Today when I went out to do evening chores I noticed Lulu was limping on her front left. So, I clipped on the short leash and proceeded to lead her to the barn. You would have thought I was leading her to slaughter! Oh boy, she protested the whole way. A hand full of grains and we were on the way. The best way to a goats heart IS the tummy. I put her on the stanchion and started inspecting her leg and foot. Nothing seemed out of order however I decided that since I had her there, now would be a good time to trim her hooves. SHE on the other hand did not agree. After a bit of fussing and playing tug of war, I was able to get her trimmed. They were not bad, not bad enough to make her limp, so I will have to watch her over the next few days and see how she is doing. Once the weather decided it really IS time to warm up, I am sure we will jump right into the near triple digits. This is why I am trying to get all of the garden mulched over well.. to keep it from drying out and to minimize my work of needing to water or pull weeds. The strawberry plants are loaded this year. I can't wait to have that first few farm raised strawberries. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Lazing in the hammock with a big bowl of fresh strawberries and a ice cold glass of tea...HA! Who am I trying to kid? Most likely that first strawberry will be eaten on my way to get started on another project. Once we get through this cool night, we should be in the clear. I am ready to get this summer started... are you!?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Heat ---- Humidity----gardening.

Gardening is in full swing here. How about where you are!? We are nearly all planted...and most everything is coming up great! It won't be long now until we will be sinking our teeth into fresh tomato's....tasting the fresh green taste of green beans. Little round red jewels of beets...Pickled to perfection, chilled overnight with a few hard boiled bantam eggs...just bite size balls of yum! Here are a few pictures from a couple days ago. The green beans...coming right along....
The green onions....really popping up after the rain...
The grape vines are loaded with blossoms. Oh boy, I can't wait!!
The potato's *sigh* I can't wait to have fresh green beans and new potato's with a little... or a lot.. of our home grown bacon.
Everything is coming together... now we are hoping we do NOT have a late freeze. I have the old sheets on the ready, just in case. How is your garden coming together? Are you getting excited?

Monday, May 5, 2014

No rest for the .... farmer.....no matter how big or small.

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest...and while I DO try to rest...there is always "something" to get me up and going. Yesterday was another planting day. Hubby and I got outside after I finished morning chores....and started in the small garden. You might remember, I planted 3 rows of potato's in there a few weeks ago?? Then I left the gate open and the chickens said " thank you for the new dusting area, and all of the compost to scratch in" *sigh* So last week I replanted potato's...in the BIG garden. Well....yesterday's plan was to get the small garden cleaned up again, to plant beets. I started pulling the clover that was trying to take over...and throwing it to the pigs. Oh boy were they happy! Once I finished pulling the clover...I realized that there are 2 rows of potato's for the most part untouched by those pesky chickens. Ooops! Looks like we will have PLENTY potato's....if all goes well. So, the hubby got out the tiller, and tilled the rest of the small garden...and I planted beets. 3 rows of red beauties! Then I replanted the "bare spots" in the potato rows... and CLOSED THE GATE! LOL After we cleaned up from that...we finally put up the hammock. Oh yeah....a place to relax....when there is time. Of course we just HAD to test it out.
I almost fell asleep...so we climbed out and got back to work. Planted the cucumbers...pumpkins...and cantaloupe. Almost finished with all of the planting. Now we wait...and wait...and mulch... and weed.. and wait. This morning is busy with Dr. appointments.....then if the rain holds off....I will be moving load after load of mulch...to the big garden. Hoping I have the time to make the strawberry bed bigger....I will most likely pot up a few dozen strawberry plants for sale. Oh, and we have a mystery.... Saturday as I did the evening chores in the barn...I counted the kittens... 9 of them, all accounted for and fed. Sunday morning.... NO KITTENS! They are about 5 weeks old....and just gone!! I looked everywhere...just gone! :( By evening chores....there was one little kitten back in the barn. Headed out in a few to see of there are any more. I have no idea where they went...hoping they come back so I can find them safe homes.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Giddy as a school girl.....

With the days getting warmer...I am all giddy inside. I can spend more time outside...and less time building a fire in the wood stove. YAY! The mornings are still a little crisp...being in the 40's however the days are warming up quickly. I think today I will try to get the hammock put up, and spend some time relaxing. After all..it IS Sunday...time to rest...right? Now to get the morning chores done...and grab a book... Have a great day everyone!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Spring has sprung...grass has grown...

So, how are things going in your neck of the woods? Here on this little farm, there has been a planting frenzy going on. Yes....maybe we are a little early on some things, however, I just NEEDED to get in the dirt. Last weekend the hubs fired up the lawn tractors and I fired up my green thumb. And directly jammed a piece of last years corn stalk into it. As we were clearing out the old stalks, a piece broke off into my thumb. The importance of wearing gloves.... don't try to be tough...just wear them!
I am here to tell you kiddo's.....THAT HURT! You really don't realize just how often you use the pad of your thumb, until you get a splinter in it. Wow...NOW I know where "sticks out like a sore thumb" comes from. Took a few days to get it out too. So any ways...back to planting...I felt like I was planting all of the winter blues under that compost. Worked for 5 hours in the garden and was able to get about 90% done. 4 rows ( 15 FT long) of potato's , a dozen tomato plants, 4 green peppers, 4 Brussels Sprouts, 50 onion sets and 2 rows ( about 25 FT long each ) of green beans. I believe this year we will be "potato poor" as they say. See, a few weeks ago I planted 3 rows of potato's in the small garden. UNFORTUNATELY I left the gate open and the chickens went in there and scratched up every row. I was frustrated so decided to replant...before I really checked on the small garden. Well, a few days after planting all of those new taters....I checked the first plantings....and there are 2 rows in there that seem to have been untouched! So, this means there are another 2 rows, about 15 FT each, of potato's. Yes, if all grows well, we will be "potato poor"
May not look like much right now...but soon we will be eating fresh again! YAY for growing season!! I still have a long list of things I need to plant... beets...those little red round globes of perfection..yes, we love beets..pickled! Then the corn...radishes, carrots, cucumbers, pumpkins, and maybe this year, watermelon. The strawberry bed took off this year like crazy! Looks like I will have to increase the growing area here..
My mouth waters just thinking of a bowl full of these babies! In a few weeks I will build up an herb garden as well. Cooking with fresh herbs from the garden...now THAT'S good eating! Soon the hammock will be put up and the warm sunny days will find me laying in the hammock, watching the garden grow...sounds "romantic" doesn't it? Well, I WILL get the hammock up...and I HOPE to find time to actually lay in it at least once! So, now that the weather is warming up....get out there....clear those cob webs of winter...and get your planting started. It really makes a difference in MY attitude...how about you?