Today

It's 12:25am.  I just finished making 4 cookie cakes, 2 coffee cakes, a double batch of coconut graham bars, a double batch of cottage cheese and a potato, corn and basil cold salad.  A lot for the party, some using up the milk and our lunch finished and ready to go. I've got some activities out and a to do list a mile long. It's the day of our country kids party. We hope you join us and we cannot wait to see all you Yee Haw country kids. It will be a relaxing of afternoon filled with play and memories.
 
I clearly need to get to bed, before long it will be milking time! Although this life is a busy one, I wouldn't trade it for anything!



Our County Fair 2015

Imagine waiting a whole year too go back to your favorite place and then your mom tells you it's time to go, go get ready.  Excitement.  Then imagine finding out your nam and pap are going to be there too.  More excitement. Then imagine getting there and seeing one of your most favorite little friends in the whole wide world just happen to pull in at the same time. Beyond excitement.  And then getting to spend the day with your BFF (Best Farmer Friend) at the fair?  Well, it doesn't get much better than that.

And Audra? She's happy to go anywhere, as long as she can wear tights.






















Gardening 2015: Update 8

Gardening 2015: Take One
Take two.
Take three.
Take four.
Take five.
Update 6
Update 7

Here's what the garden looked like on August 8th:
 And here's the garden on August 22nd
 Well, this garden.

It officially has produce MORE than double the produce compared to last year.  I currently have brought in 519.5 pounds of produce.  That includes a lot of our squash and sugar pumpkins...those squash bugs are mighty frustrating.  They got all of my winter squash as well as my zucchini and summer squash.  Tomatoes have blight, but I'm still bringing in baskets full of them.  There's an annoying tiny yellow fuzzy bug that ate our beans.  Some potatoes are turning brown and are ready to dig.  Weeds are tall and everywhere, I have given up taking care of them.  Even with all that, our basement is filling up with the goodness. Canned food, squash storage. Our pantry has many dried goodness too. And our bellies are filled with our own produce.  Especially since adding the milk cow, it's been so much more possible having nearly all parts of our meals homegrown.
 The first of many bags full of pumpkins and winter squashes.


 The sunflowers they planted on eco day.
 Proud that this was all that was left a few days ago.  Umm....yeah. There's more now.
 Seriously, the best helpers ever.






 Tell me, how is your garden doing? I do love garden talk...

On having a milk cow... Part Two


A bunch of you have asked me to tell more about having a milk cow. If you missed part one, here it is.

We decided we definitely wanted the duo we met.  Ophelia and her calf, who we called Oliver.  Next step was getting the duo 2 hours south to us. We asked a bunch of friends, random strangers, the feed store. In the end the folks who we bought them from found us a driver. 

You know, there's nothing like the flurry of excitement and nervousness floating around in our belly with these beginning stages. Am I crazy? When will we get them here? Where will we put them? Will I like having them? Are we capable of keeping them alive and thriving? Can I really milk everyday?  Do I have what it takes?
 
I thought I was working through the to do list in getting ready for them.  Only it all came crashing together the weekend of. I had brought my two kids and our fresh air kid to the store to get the materials needed for fencing. I had no idea what was needed to put a fence up. No one was available to help me, so I'm trying to read and figure out what I needed with overtired kids distracting me at 7pm. I did end up finding what I needed and had planned on putting up the fence that weekend. Only it also happened to be the same weekend that the farmer who hays our field decided to do his haying. Oh, it also happened to be just about the hottest day of the year. My husband hadn't slept in a full 24 hours (due to his job) and we were trying to figure out this fencing thing with our kids and  an extra little boy distracting us every 3 seconds.  I wanted to cry. 


As it turns out, we just left the cows in the barn the first day and my husband did a great job putting up a small area for them to graze the next day. I guess this was my first lesson in the "It's all going to work out" book that we've been writing in our minds living in this farmhouse.  Anyway, the duo arrived and we all were just so happy. 


Let me share with you my tidbits.

-I about had a heart attack when the calf got out.

-I got really good at lassoing a calf.

-There's many parts to a fence and it's beyond frustrating when there's no electricity and you cannot figure out why. 

-It's quite interesting leading a cow to pasture who doesn't have regular practice being led.

-Hungry cows go through our little corralled pasture sooo quickly that the movable fence needs to be moved daily. (Cannot wait for a permanent fence!)

-A woman can really surprise her husband, even after being together over a decade ,as he utters in disbelief "I had no idea you could handle an animal like that." 


-A certain three year old thinks the calf is her chair.

-A certain 4 1/2 year old was caught a number of times that first week just looking at them and smiling.

-I get home from work and they come running to the edge of the fence to greet me, often with a moooo.

-I no longer have to lasso a calf.  He comes to me willingly now. (success!)

-It's been me and only me who has taught these two to walk halter led. (And they both do beautifully now!)

-My 2 kids roll out of bed and head directly to the barn, which how neat of a childhood is that?!

Overall, their transition to our home has been a good one.  It really feels nice having this duo on this farm. In fact, there's a special place in our heart for this bovine love.

Stay tuned for next time, I'll talk about milking.

Thrifted.

 1) That random basket that Adrian thinks is a portable fence for his cows. A muffin tin. All that felt!  Watercolors (Brand new!) and all those brand new workbooks. They may or may not be of use to us, but couldn't pass them up at a bargain price. $5.00
 2) The marble track. Two I Spy games, A metal tin. A heavy rooster lamp. A dress. Brand new stride rite shoes, the size up.  Random Christmas glasses.  Two books. $5.50.
Yards of fabric (many vintage ones too!), patterns, random notions, scissors.  I don't even remember how much it cost. A bit more than $5, definitely less than $10. Certainly a bargain!

Snippets

 
This time of year is exhausting. There's just so much coming out of the garden that needs attention. Never mind all that milk.  Never mind this giant house that needs major cleaning. Not that I'm complaining.  It's a good thing, it really is. It's also such a good thing to find little snippets of goodness around this farm. Takes my mind off of the list and focus back where it belongs.

 







 
 

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