Saturday, December 27, 2008

I spent my day in the kitchen. I baked Amish Sugar Cookies, Oatmeal Scotchies (for E) and a cherry pie. I absolutely love this pie pan! It does such wonderful things for the crust on any pie I have baked in it! Being cast iron, it is heavy, but that is most likely why it crisps them so well.
Oatmeal Scotchies are E's all-time favorite cooky! I wanted to add some chopped nuts, maybe some golden raisins too. But he says "why mess with perfection?" Since I made them sepecially for him, I restrained myself!
E went to his workplace this morning to hang a couple of fluorescent light fixtures. I rarely have a weekend day to myself, so I made the most of this one! It was so windy outside, but so warm at 69 degrees! Love this short sleeve weather!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!
What a beautiful day today was! Sun shining! Crisp and clear! 35 degrees! After a rainy yesterday, it was so nice!
I have had the last two weeks off because my little guys have been in Texas visiting their mother. I actually enjoyed cleaning the horses' stalls early in the day, and giving them an extra slice of hay for lunch. Something I can't do when I am at work all day. When it was 25 degrees and freezing rain was falling, they were glad to go in their stalls during the middle of the day!
I baked Amish Sugar Cookies, which E ate most of! I gave the horse shoer a sackful of them when he was finished with trimming the horses feet last Friday. And the satellite guy was here to trouble shoot our satelite dish, and I gave him a sackful also. Told them Merry Christmas and their both their faces lit up with anticipation! Glad I could make their work day a bit brighter!
Today we went and spent the day with the grandboys and ate a wonderful lunch. It was a lovely day.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

My birds were having a hissy fit this morning! It was 9 degrees and they wanted breakfast, but someone was sitting on their dining room table! He wouldn't scare away by clapping your hands so E finally threw a boot at him and he ran under the porch and finally left the birds alone. He is one of our cats, one of the two kittens that showed up last July 4th, with their momma. He is a pest, getting under your feet, in the way as you try to walk! but if he gets my birds, I don't know what I will do with him!

I stopped in the local St. Marks Mission store one day this week and bought a bread machine cookbook for 25 cents. I made a Potato Bread recipe that was perfect! It was well worth the quarter I paid for the book and there are at least a dozen more that I want to try too!
Here is the Potato Bread recipe:
2/3 cup potato water
2 1/2 tablespoons of margarine or butter (no need to melt butter or margarine first)
1/2 egg (use either one yolk, one egg white, or two tablespoons of egg substitute)
1/3 cup mashed potatoes
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour ( had to add about 2 tablespoons extra, once it started kneading as it was too sticky. Flours are different, humidity makes a difference too).
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Boil 1-2 peeled potatoes. Save water to use in bread. Mash potatoes without butter or milk and cool to lukewarm.

Put in bread machine pan according to your machines specifications. Mine requires the liquids first, with flour, then yeast last.

We had the grandsons last weekend. We picked them up from on our way home from our Thanksgiving Day dinner at Lebanon with E's dad and assorted family members. The boys are 8 and 4 years old in October. Since we don't have an extra bedroom, one slept on the couch and the other one on the cot in the living room. They stayed an extra night so they could both have a turn sleeping on the cot! E had that week off from work, so he was here with them when I had to work on Friday. He made them waffles for breakfast which they loved. I had to work on Friday so I brought my little guys (3 year old twin boys) home to spend the day at our house. We made M&M cookies, while the 8 year old helped E take care of the animals, get the eggs and split some firewood with the log splitter. Try making scratch cookies with lots of little hands all wanting to help! They all got to stir and put in ingredients, and of course eat raw dough and M&M's! They had a ball! On Saturday we took them to Wonder Lab in Bloomtown. They didn't want to leave, but we had to meet their Mom, who met us half way and picked them up.
It sure was a whole new experience to have little ones in our house. It was noisy but fun, when it is usually so quiet here. We will surely have them again! Their Mom says 'you can have them any time!'

Monday, November 24, 2008

A few days ago, I found a recipe where someone said they 'canned' butter. Strange thing to do, I thought. So I did a bit more research and found a couple more recipes to 'can' butter! It supposedly will keep for 3 years, without losing quality. Any butter on sale will work. So I had to try it. Since our local grocery store had butter on sale this last week, I purchased some, with the intention of trying this. So as yesterday was a cold, overcast, icky day I got out my pots and my pint jars and canned some butter! It looks pretty. Tastes like butter. I'll let you know how it performs. Supposedly, it retains its spreadability. I'll post a photo, when I have time to take one.

Ed has this week off to go hunting, but the weather didn't cooperate today. It rained a good bit. So what did he do? After taking a nap in the recliner, he went outside and dug up our water hydrant that we use to water the horses, when they are in their stalls. It is right outside the back door of the barn. It has been problematic for a few years now. It will freeze during the winter, usually during the worst weather. We have dug it up before, and thought we fixed it. It would not drain out all the water in the pipe, then would freeze. Frustrating as it would behave sometimes. So today, Ed dug it all up and replaced the hydrant. And hey, it has a lot more water presure now. No standing there waiting and waiting to fill a bucket! and do you what else???? My washing machine works now too! and all we did was replace that hydrant out in the yard by the barn!! The wash machine didn't have enough cold water running into it to fill the tub unless you had all day. The water would just trickle in. It would take 30 minutes for the tub to fill with a cold rinse water! (We used a hose attached to the cold water faucet in the nearby bathroom to fill the tub for a rinse). It has been like this for a few months. We checked this and that, and the hoses, and the filters, and nothing helped. Now, after replacing that hydrant, I threw a load of clothes in the wash machine and turned it on, never dreaming any thing had changed! And it had a full flow of cold water! Ed says it has NOTHING WHATEVER to do with replacing that hydrant, is so weird to have it working now! He will never convince me until he shows me how it could never have made a differense!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I didn't fall off of the end of the earth! I'm still here, somewhere. Lets see if I can bring this out of date blog, back to the present.

My dear hubby presented me with an early anniversary present a couple of weeks ago. (our anniversary is tomorrow). He gave me a cast iron pie dish! I didn't even know there was such a thing! Since cherry pie is his very favorite pie, I made him one in it. I used a recipe from Mary, his step Mom. He has always like her pie best, so I asked her for her recipe. My first pie in this unusual pie dish turned out perfect! Cast iron holds the heat much better than other kinds that I was a little concerned about how to bake in it. The crust was nicely browned even in the bottom of the pie. I will use it again soon and try a pumpkin pie. Here is a photo of the first pie.

It is hard to imagine that Solomon will be 20 years old in the spring! He looks good. I haven't ridden him for several years, except for about 15 or twenty minutes last summer. He has arthritis in his right stifle joint and has a little hitch in his gait if he is moving faster than a walk. One evening last week when we were putting the horses in for their evening feeding, I noticed that Solomon had a wet mouth, kind of foamy around his lips. I looked at his mouth but didn't see anything. I put him in his stall and he started to eat his supper, but he would hold his head at funny angles and stick out his tongue. He stopped eating and walked over to the door and stood there. This was out of character for him as he is a pig when it comes to food. I asked Ed if he would get the halogin flashlight, which he did. I grabbed his tongue and pulled it out of his mouth to the side and Ed shone the light in his mouth and he had a piece triangular piece of wood stuck between his upper molars! Since his tongue was pulled out to the side, he couldn't bite me, so I stuck my hand in his mouth and knocked it loose and it fell out! What a relief for him! He went right back to eating and enjoying his supper! Whew! Glad that was a easy fix!

I was given several overripe bananas a couple of days ago, so this morning I made a Banana Nut Cake with Caramel Frosting. For someone that doesn't like the taste of ripe bananas it was pretty good. Better than that, it was very tasty! I was quite surprised! It was moist and just sweet enough and I can't stop eating it! Ed wasn't sure he would like a banana cake, he wanted me to make a Banana Nut Bread, and since I had a few more of the bananas left, I made one of those too. I added a cup of dried cranberries to the dough along with the nuts and it was tasty too. Ed loved it with the dried fruit in it.

A couple of weeks ago I made an Old Fashioned Fruit Cake from a recipe book that my Mom has that was published in the 1940's. It makes a 10 pound cake, and takes 16 cups of fruit, but it is so good! I don't make it every year, but when I do, it makes enough for our family holiday meals and some goes into the freezer for the next year. It keeps very well. It is dense and fruity. Nothing like the ones you buy in the grocery store. It is best made before the holidays so it has time to mellow. So yummy!

The fall leaves here in central Indiana were just beautiful this year. I took my camera and went on a couple of picture taking drives. Here are a couple of photos that I took before all the leaves fell off.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

That Hurricane Ike was something else! And we just got the leftovers! From the high winds that we had, gusting to 55 miles and hour, I would not want to be anywhere near a real live one! Sure do feel for all those people down there in its path!

We pretty much stayed in today. I did some laundry, vacuuming, made a chocolate cake, (it was Ed's birthday today), rice krispy treats with carmels and cashews in it. These were for adults, and were pretty tasty! But now my mouth is sore from the crunch of it. Ouch!

I put some sliced apples in the dehydrater to. We like dried apples and eat them like candy. That is why I don't make them very often. But it is apple season, so I should put some in the freezer, right?
Last weekend I canned several pints, but couldn't get my butt in gear today. It was such a lazy, laid back day today. Had the house windows open, until the wind got so strong it was blowing everything off of the desk and table, so had to close those just to preserve housekeeping!

Here is a photo of Maddie, checking out the pile of old hay that Ed was burning. She was so curious! What is that stuff! He had to run her off a couple of times!

Here she is getting tooo close! The other two came to look then went on about their business, but she had to get right there and see what was going on.

I noticed the kittens batting at something near the woodpile and went to check it out and this is what they were playing with! It was shaking its tail and striking at them! It is about the thickness of a pencil and is about 8 inches long! I got it into a bucket and took it up into the neighbors hayfield and let it go. I've never seen a snake like this one before. Have no idea what kind it is. Anyone else know? I don't like snakes, of any size, they give me the 'willies'!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nuttin New

Since there is nothing much going on in our neck of the woods, here are some random thoughts and a photo or two.

I have been busy making spaghetti sauce, chili sauce, and apple butter. I have made two batches of apple butter and that should do us for about 5 years! Well, not really, but it should last us a while! I like to have lots of pints of spaghetti sauce and chili sauce on hand, but we didn't grow any red tomatoes this year, so have had to buy them. Therefore, I shan't make as much as I'd like to. But NEXT YEAR, I would like to have lots of our own RED tomatoes!

I did have one nasty mishap! Last weekend we hauled a load of firewood home and as I was about to help Ed unload it, I fell off of the back of the trailer. I took a step and thought there was enough of the trailer to step onto. There wasn't! I scraped my arm as I went down, and twisted my knee as I hit the ground. It made me cry it hurt so bad, but I'm back to my usual self now, with no permanent harm done, Praise the Lord!

Oh, and I had another messy mishap too! Last Saturday, as I was busy in the kitchen I decided to do a load of laundry at the same time. But the washing machine has a bit of a problem. When the cold water is supposed to run into the machine, it just trickles in and can take 30 minutes to fill up! So Ed hooked up a water hose to the nearby bathroom bathtub faucet. I put the hose end into the washmachine and went back to the kitchen, intending to come back in a few minutes. But I got busy with my tomatoes and FORGOT!!! All of a sudden I remembered it and by that time it was tooooooooooo late! There was an inch of water on the floor! I turned it off and frantically scooped up three, five gallon buckes full and dumped them outside. Then called Ed to come and help me clean up the mess. He used the wet/dry vac, (which I had not thought to use). We had to take everything out of the room and put it on the porch to dry out. We couldn't move the freezer so just used towels to dry underneath. What a mess! But we finally got it all dried out and back together again. Sure won't do that again!

We had a large maple tree taken down a few weeks ago. It was between the house and the barn, so if it fell, it would likely hit one or the other. It had a large hole in one side of it that has been there for as long as we have lived here. Probably for many, many years.

Does it have holes or what? After it came down, we found out how rotten it really was! The whole tree was full of holes! Now we have a huge gap where the sky shines down on us!!

My Grandmother Bread just came out of the oven, come and have a piece with me!

Here is a photo I took of a funny looking little man! I think he is kind of cute!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ordinary Stuff!

Here are some ordinary photos of my ordinary life. At the moment there is nothing going on to blog about, so you get to see some photos of our outing last Sunday to the Derby Dinner Playhouse for my Moms birthday surprise. We all had a wonderful visit and it was worth every penny, just to have everyone there and to sit and enjoy our buffet lunch, and to talk and just to be together.

These photos were taken at Leavenworth Indiana, at a bend in the Ohio River. That is Kentucky on the far side of the river.

My baby sister, Sarah. It is hard to imagine her, all grown up! Cute cousins and their Auntie Sarah!

Who ARE these people???

Two pretty young ladies, Ruth and lovely daughter, Sarah Beth.
This photo is my contribution to the Olympics 'Chinese' theme. It is a small concrete garden piece, made up of three seperate pieces. It is in one of the gardens where I work, taking care of my little boys. It has an oriental look to it. There are hostas, and large limestone rocks all around it. Pretty, I think.

Here is another surprise that I found in the woods. Paw paws! There were lots of the shrubs growing in the area where we were cutting. They were all green and not ripe yet. It has been many, many years since I tasted one, so I don't remember what they taste like. I have seen recipes for using them. Maybe I will go back to get some, when they are ripe, just to taste them. If all the wild animals don't eat them first!

I hate these things, Cockleburrs, but I thought it had an interesting flower and the green burrs were rather pretty. But do they ever stick to the horses manes and tails and the dogs fur, if you let them grow and mature! Eeeek, they are nasty. I left this one alone as it was in the woods and on someone elses property.
Ed and I went to cut fire wood yesterday and when he was busy cutting, I was walking around with my camera and found this guy. He was so well camouflaged that he was hard to see! I also was sitting on a chunk of wood that had been cut last summer when something moving at my feet caught my eye. There was a toad, and how in the world did a toad survive, on this dry, logged over, hillside? There was not water, ANYWHERE near the place! There were lots of butterflies but I couldn't get any closer to them than about 10 feet, so I gave up on getting their photos.
Ed planted several Dewberry plants a couple of years ago. I have never seen such big berries! One berry is a mouthful! But when he fertilizes his garden in the spring, he puts some on these too. They taste good, but not quite the same as a blackberry. We have picked about a gallon and I froze them to make some jelly or a cobbler with, later.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yummo! I just made another pizza and we ate the whole thing! Shame on me! If you were here, I could share it with you, instead of eating it all! So come and get some!

Today we went to Helmsburg to an antique store/ junk store, but it was closed. So we drove closer to Columbus and visited a big flea market. We had been there before but it has been four or five years ago. We each found a couple of items and I found a perfect little cooking pot, that I wanted but I didn't want to pay 14.00 dollars for it! So E said he would buy it for my birthday. Sounds good to me, so now I have a wonderful addition to my cookware. Oh, and I found a nice cookbook too. Don't tell E, since I already have too many cookbooks. S if you come up here soon, I will give you a bunch of them, if you want them. There are all kinds of different cookbooks.

It is time for getting in the firewood for the winter. Saturday a week ago was the first time we have been to cut wood. We went to the same place as last year. It was so hot and muggy on that day!! I thought I would melt! Here is a photo of our first time in the woods for this year.

Here we backed the tractor down into a ditch to get it as close to the tree as we could get. We attached the chain to the tractor and the tree and after E cut off the smaller limbs, he puuuullllled that tree right up out of there and up onto the flat at the top of the hill. We have just been laying them out up there on the hilltop, to cut into stove lengths later, after we get these tree tops all trimmed and easily accessable. Here is the tree just before he started up the hill with it.

I usually drive the tractor and haul the logs up the hill to the log yard. I have to get off the tractor and (set the brake, of course) and unhitch the chain and go back to where ever E is cutting the limbs off of the next one. Then he attaches the chain and off I go again, to the log yard. If it is in an area that I don't feel safe, or is an especially big log, then E will do it. But it saves time for me to do it, when I can. I will be glad when we are done for this winter!

Life at Stone Ridge has its ups and downs. Last Monday, when the manager arrived at work, he found one of the recipient mares dead in her stall. She had a three month old filly, still nursing. Enrique, who does the weekend feeding, says she was fine at 9:30 PM when he did the barn check. But we are all suspicious. He has had sick horses at the farm before, and says, Oh, she be alright. She be alright. He is supposed to call the manager, but rarely does. This time it was too late. We will never know what really happened. It was a big job to get her out of her stall, as she was bloated and stiff at 7:30 AM, when she was found. Had to remove her with the tractor. (How else do you get a 1000 lb horse, that is dead and stiff out of her stall?) It wasn't a very good day for anyone. She was our favorite one of the recipients. Her filly is doing ok, but when we bring in the other recipients and their babies, at 4:00PM, she starts calling, looking for her mother, I guess. Otherwise, she is a calm, quiet little girl. Here she is, photo taken later this past week. She is a very pretty filly, and they are pinning a lot of show hopes on this little girl. This photo doesn't do her justice at all. She is so feminine, and petite. She gets turned out with another already weaned filly so she won't be too lonely.

Then, on Friday, when we came to work, the manager says, did you see the cow???? Huh? Cow? This is an Arabian Horse Farm! No, really, did you see the cow? It is in a stall in the lower barn! We could not believe our eyes! There was no cow when we left on Thursday, but there stood a cow, in one of the horses' stalls!

Well, it turns out that Mr. and Mrs. G went to the County Fair the evening before, and there was a little girl, bawling her eyes out in the cattle barn. She had raised this pretty steer for 4-H and couldn't stand the idea that it was to be sold for slaughter. Mrs. G couldn't let that happen to the little girl, so they bought the young Jersey steer, and had him delivered to the barn with out telling any of us. So there stood Bucket, when we arrived on Friday morning. His name came about
because he was an orphan and was raised on a bucket!! He is very gentle and easy to handle. But very lonely, as he doesn't have any bovine friends at the horse farm. He loves to be scratched and groomed. He has lots of different sounds. When he hears us come into the barn, he talks and moos, and when he sees you are leaving, he sounds so lonely. He stands in his stall and stares at the window, but it is up too high for him to see out of. Monday we are supposed to turn him out for part of the day. I hope it makes him happy. Here is what we saw when we came in on Frday!
I have been riding Maddie! Do you think she is old enough? At 5 years old? Well, I would think so. I have always ridden my other young horses at age 3, but somehow, Maddie sort of got put aside, while other things got done. And as she isn't getting any younger, I put the saddle on her about 2 weeks ago and with E's help, I rode her! He led her around with me on her, then walked in front and she followed him, then I rode her on her own, and she has done a good job. She has not put a foot wrong, at least so far. I need S. to come and ride with me now, and get Maddie used to the trails. She is so bored with her life in the dry lot. She has developed an annoying habit to entertain her self. She plays in the water tank, and sticks her tongue in and out of the water, rapidly, making weird sucking noises. She isn't drinking, just playing in the water. It really irritates E. But she has nothing to do all day, day after day, after day. So she entertains herself. Here is a photo that E took of us this evening.
Here are some random shots of some of the babies at the horse farm and some of the other residents. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I have been at Stone Ridge for three weeks now and it has gotten easier. I have callouses on my hands again, and the rest of me has toughened up too. It is still hard work, but I can keep up now, at least.

Enrique had a mishap with the riding lawn mower. It was a zero turn mower, that they had begged for, for years. They have had it for the three years that I have been gone, but on Friday he was mowing around the large pond and got too close and drowned it in the pond. He went in too, up to his armpits. They had to drag it out with the tractor. It is completely out of commission and we don't know if it is totaled or not, until it is taken to a repair shop for an estimate. OOOPS!! Mrs. G was away at the time at her mothers funeral, so she doesn't know yet. I'm just glad it wasn't me!

Friday a week ago, Ed and I were standing in the kitchen looking out the window and saw a cat creep up under the bird feeder, stalking a bird. I walked out onto the front porch and she came right over to me. I started to pet her and she was so skinny that there was nothing under the fur but bones. I went into the house and got her a bowl of cat food and she ate and ate. She was the most skinny cat I've ever seen. She was around all day, eating and wanting to be petted. While we were doing chores, she disappeared. About 20 minutes later she reappeared in the yard, along side the garden fence. And she had brought a little black kitten back with her! The kitten was skittish and we couldn't get near it. The mamma cat sat out in the yard a little while and then she and the kitten were gone again, back into the woods along the drive way. It seemed like she brought it out just for us to see her baby. The next morning the kitten was asleep in the hay in the dog house that is on the front porch. After work when we went to do our feeding she and her baby were in the garage. Ed was standing nearby, waiting for me to finish what I was doing at the time, when he said"we have another one"! And there were two babies with her! Both of them black and very skittish, most especially the second one. She moved them to the tall grass, weeds, and brush that is behind the barn, for a couple of days, bringing them into the barn to play and eat, then taking them back at dark. After a couple more days, she took them under the house, bringing them out and letting the eat and play, while we were out and about. Now they are on the front porch most of the time. She hides them during the day when no one is home. One of them is friendly and approachable now, but the other one doesn't seem well. It is very skittish, but it doesn't play much, and just sits or sleeps. I just might take it to the vet, if I can catch it, as the vet is open late on Tuesdays, I think. Here are some photos of them.

Here is a photo of a nest of barn swallows at the horse farm. They were just a coupleof days from leaving the nest. There are about 24 nests of these birds scattered around various places in the barn. This one is right in the center of the stall, above the stall light fixture. Aren't they cute?

Here is the flower garden that I made last summer. Some one had put down plastic bags, then a 6 inch layer of dirt and on top of the dirt were this large limestone rocks. Some of them were as large as my fist. I dug all of that out, dug down and turned the hard yellow clay and put old rotten horse manure and rotted shredded leaves in it and dug all of that in. Then I planted it with garden phlox, purple, pink and one called Bright Eyes. Several different hostas, and purple coneflower. Also yarrow, (a pink one), a yellow lily, columbines, a few gladiola bulbs, and a few other things that I can't remember. These were all 'found' plants. At the home where I worked with my little boys, some previous owner had made a large perennial garden. Then when I went to take care of my boys at Grandmas house, I was told I could have what I wanted of the plants. So this is what it looked like when I started.

This was (above) last fall, just after planting it. And this one(below) was taken yesterday.
This is the planting of hostas, that I had planted earlier this year that I wrote about before, that the dog got into and tore it all up and dug out all of the plants and some of them were in sad shape, shredded and broken. I took this photo yesterday and they are slowly growing back to their former beauty. It will probably be next year before they get as large as they were before that fiasco, but at least they are alive. These came from the same place as my other flowers in the above photo.
Any one hungry for homemade pizza? It sure was tasty! Had sausage, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese on it. I made the dough too, but would use a different recipe next time. There was too much of the crust. Yummo!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ok, I survived the first week, working back at the horse farm! I would come home 5:15 so tired I could barely put one foot in front of the other! It seems so much harder this time, than before. For the last two and a half years, I really haven't done this much physical work, and I'm paying for it! I have been using the weedeater for hours, it seems like, grooming horses, cleaning stalls, cleaning the barn, dumping and cleaning water buckets and refilling them. Helping bring the horses into the barn in the afternoon.

There are five mares and their foals, three of which haven't been handled hardly at all and are as wild as a deer! I've been working with them sometimes, just getting them so they will trust me a bit, and can be touched and rubbed.

Here is a picture of the mares and babies. These are all recipient mares. The babies are embryo transfer babies. One mare is a nurse mare, because the birth mare tried to kill her baby and the vet and attendant. The nurse mare was brought in from Kentucky and she and the baby bonded and she is doing a fine job of raising her Arabian filly, even though she is a Quarter Horse mare.

Not much has changed around there. Enrique is still there, and they have a new manager since September last year. I like him, he is easy to get along with.

Here is a photo of an unusual bird to find in our yard. I went out to put the horses fly masks on and when I rounded the corner, this is what I saw! It is a Peahen, we think. Or maybe a juvenile Peacock? Anyway, she was visiting our chickens. A little while later, she flew up on top of the horses run-in shed and the dog spotted her up there. That scared her and she took off flying and landed in the neighbors still uncut hayfield. The dog couldn't get to her and she didn't come back. Our only neighbor that has a peacock says it wasn't hers, but if it came back she would like to have it. But we haven't seen it since.

Last Sunday we had a good visit with the family and got to see David, Danielle, and Isaiah for the last time before they move to one of the Carolina's. I didn't know until we had left that they were leaving in two weeks or I would have taken more photos, and for sure a group photo. But I didn't know that.

Here is a photo of another cute couple, my baby sister and her husband. Aren't they cute?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Surprised you again, didn't I??!

Yesterday, Ed came home early so we could go and get a load of hay. Spotty thundershowers were predicted, so we wanted to get going. We got two loads, each one with 110 bales of hay on it. The farmer and his two helpers, put it on their hay wagon straight out of the hay baler, then Ed and I transfer it too our trailer to haul it home. It is hot, dirty, and scratchy, but hey, the horses have to eat, and they said thanks for all the hard work! Now we just have to get 400 more bales. Hopefully, 200 of those will be our own hay, waiting to be cut and baled. I really do dread all that work, as it is too much for just the two of us, but you do what you have to do.
Here is the scene of the crime:

And we have arrived at home at the barn and are about to unload and stack it in the loft. There are 90 bales on the trailer and 20 on the truck. I unload the trailer while Ed is in the loft, catching the bales as they come off of the elevator and stacks them. After loading and unloading 220 bales of hay last night, I was pooped! Did something to my finger because now I can't hardly use it. Hurts like 60!!

Here are some photos I shot of the farmers cows, while waiting for the baler to 'do its thing' on these windrows of hay. Do cows have personality? I wouldn't know, never having had much to do with cattle, but these girls look entirely different and number 23 was very interested in what I was doing. She came the closest and stayed the longest, watching me, so very curious.

And guess who was hiding behind all the 'girls'? This big boy!! I'm glad I was on the other side of the fence!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I found a very interesting bread recipe a couple of months ago and yesterday I decided to try it out. It is simple to do and tastes wonderful. It makes two large loaves. Here is the link to her recipe: And no, it is not supposed to have any fat or oil in it! I was kind of skeptical about that, but the bread was perfect. She writes an interesting blog, and I have been reading it for months now. Ed likes this bread and also said it makes good toast. (He compares everything to what is purchased in the store, so for him to praise something homemade is a BIG step up!

My little boys are in Missouri for the next 7 weeks, with their mother and their maternal grandparents. On Monday, I'm going to Stone Ridge for a talk with Mrs. G, and a temporary job for the summer. From what I have heard through the grapevine, things haven't been all that wonderful over there. Things like an employee mistreating the horses, etc. That one is now gone. She told me they have five new foals, and several other young ones, so I am guessing my day will be full. I'm not looking forward to the drive over there or the long work day,(6:30-5:00) but it is a job.

Enrique called me here at home yesterday to confirm that I was coming back. He didn't believe it! He is collecting and freezing the bumper crop of mulberries and wants me to make mulberry jelly again. I told him I would if I could have some for myself too. I think a couple of years ago, when he froze them, he had about 14 gallons of berries!!! I made 4 cases of jelly from them, in pints. Of all the jellies and jams that I have made, I think the mulberry is the most popular. It just can't be beat, on a toasted, buttered Enlish Muffin!

Do you want to try another wonderful recipe? Ed does not like rhubarb, but he loved this, and it was soooo goood!! Here is the link to the best rhubarb recipe that I have ever eaten!
Enjoy and tell me how YOU liked it!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I thought an update might be in order, before someone starts yelling again! Here are a few random photos, now that I have my camera back

This is a wildflower called Dutchmen's Britches. We went for a walk back in the woods and came across lots of these growing along the path.

We have finally dried out enough to get in our garden without standing in the mud. Everything is growing well so far. We want to cut our hay, but the ground underneath the growing grass is still squishy! It needs cut but we just wait...and hope it doesn't rain anymore for a few days.

It seems that the gnats are much worse this year than last. If you try to work in the garden, or just go outside for anything, they are buzzing you, getting in your eyes, hair, walking on you! Yuck! Here is a photo of the horses that I took this morning. Notice all those gnats? I covered the horses with flyspray, but it only seems to work a short time, then they are after them again. Do you see all those insects buzzing around their heads? EEEEK!
We have a family of wrens nesting on the front porch. She built her nest in an old tin can that was laying on its side on a shelf. Here she is with a caterpillar, ready to hop up on the shelf. They are fun to watch, very busy little birds. They also have a beautiful song, that the male sings frequently, through out the day.

Here is the Hamburger Bun recipe that you wanted, Mom.

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons instant yeast (I used 1 pkg. of Rapid Rise yeast and added it to my dry ingredients)

1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes or 1 teaspoon of onion powder, optional (I didn't use either)

1 teaspoon of salt ( I used 3/4 teaspoon)

2 tablespoons of melted butter

1 egg

1 cup of warm water

In a mixing bowl, place flour, sugar, yeast, (onion powder if using) and salt; mix well. Add egg and melted butter. Add water and mix and mix dough until well combined. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 to 15 minutes or until smooth and elastic, (dough should still be quite soft.) Place dough into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and sed aside until doubled in size. (mine took 35 to 40 minutes)
Divide dough into 8 or 10 pieces. Shape into rounds, and place on greased baking pan and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Bake in 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. These were sooooo good!
Here is Elliot. I think this photo that I took this morning, shows his sassy personality! He is terrified of anyone other than Ed and myself, but he is a playful, sassy, friendly little cat. He is also a good mouser.

We should be starting to get pullet eggs near the middle or end of September, then there will be all the fresh eggs that your little heart desires. At the moment we don't have enough eggs for ourselves and all the people that want them. Our neighbor lady has been buying all of our eggs that she can get her hands on, as 17 of her hens were murdered by a neighborhood dog. I have two people that buy eggs regularly, besides her. So there aren't enough to go around. When these new ones start laying, we will have about 33 layers. (At the moment, we have 13 hens.)Neighbor lady says she can sell any eggs we won't need! We will see what developes.

Hanging begonia on my front porch. Isn't it beautiful?