Happy Happy Day!

Happy Happy B-day to ME!

Yep, it’s my B-day and my cousin Mark’s.

Mark is 50 and I’m 51.

Happy B-day Mark.

Oh how I wish I could eat this dark chocolate cake…..I didn’t make it….it’s just a pic from google….but I’d still love to sink my teeth into it.  Did I ever tell you that I’m to be buried with a fork in my hand, so that I’ll be ready for the banquet table in heaven, where there are no calories or sickness or allergies!

AMEN! Here’s to dark chocolate cake!

Advertisements

Burr It’s Chili

DSCN4987

I don’t know about you…but we don’t eat Chili in the summer. Maybe you do, but we don’t need any extra heat. There’s just something about the crisp cool air and the autumn leaves that cries CHILI! And my men LOVE Chili.

My recipe is pretty simple…lots of onion, lots of garlic, canned (home or organic from the store) Tomatoes, 1 small jar of organic tomato paste, lots of Cayenne, lots of salt, grassfed ground beef, red kidney beans soaked overnight or up to 24 hrs and drained, and a bit of water to keep it from sticking. Start early in the morning and cook all day. Be sure to stir often.  Pretty simple, but oh so good.

How do you make yours? Do you add something that’s crazy but crazy good? Do share!

Josie is Heating Up

DSCN4848

Last Monday morning, oh, about 1:30am…..Josie started MOOOOOOOing and woke Honey up. I finally heard her at 3:30am and every half hour thereafter. She bellowed alllllllllllllllllllllllll day long. She was a girl looking for her bull. I was very very glad that our nearest neighbors were on vacation. And I’m guessing they are too! As soon as I heard her I said to myself….she’s in heat. Well, Honey didn’t know what to think so he’s outside walking all around the pasture like a good guard dog would do. He didn’t find anything and tried to go back to sleep.

It all started last Sunday, when Josie gave Joy a 20-30 minute bath. She fit the bill from what I read. Licking, curling lip, bellowing, mounting Joy.

DSCN4904

DSCN4906

Hold still while I get your neck.

DSCN4907

Boy your ears are dirty.

DSCN4912

You’ve really gotta do a better job washing.

DSCN4914

Time for a few head butts!

Last Monday Josie bawled until early/late afternoon and then she stopped. Then Tuesday morning, she had a bloody show. My window of fertility is very small and it seems to me that will be late Monday afternoon on the 26th. I’ve got my calendar marked 21 days ahead, so like clock work she ought to come into heat again at the end of the month. It’s a good sign that she’s having strong heats after her stillbirth.

Honey and I have decide along with my new cow mentor and vet that she ought to be bred now. That will give us a July calf and that will be good for Josie and the calf. There will be an abundance of green grass for the needed nutrients that Josie will need in the last two months or pregnancy. She will have a better start on this next pregnancy and we pray that it goes well for her.

I’ve been working hard to build her condition after the dead calf. She’s now on our pasture being supplemented with organic orchard grass hay, organic apples, organic carrots, sunflower seeds with molasses and organic mangels for treats. I give her probiotics, Selenium w/ Vit E, occasional herbs, Kelp, Cow Minerals and Vit C.

I JUST found a bull to be our sire….all for $25.00!! Wahoo! He’s 1/2 Jersey & 1/2 Limousine. He’s been throwing heifers, but if I get a bull, he’ll be a good beefy bull. And I JUST talked to my beef man and he’s agreed to transport Josie over to the mountains for her rondevu!

She’s not the only one heating up! I never thought I’d be giddy over such a thing!

All things work together. Amen.

(Joy has got to go!  She is nothing but trouble and I’m guessing she’s going to the Arctic Box!  If anyone wants her, come and get her!!!)

New Pots

These are pots  #t2 and #3.  They could pass as door stops.  That is obviously a lesson that I’ve learned.  My forth pot the teacher made me cut in half to see how uniform it was.  It was not bad.  I still am leaving a bit more clay in the bottom than desired but that comes with time.  I haven’t been back on the wheel for a few weeks.  It’s quite exhausting and takes a lot of strength.  I’ve wanted to get a few pieces made from slab, and my production line is moving along.  More later.

DSCN4901

This is pot #3.  I love love love the glazes.  Finally!  It’s Creamy Rust over Ochre using what I call Red Clay, I think it’s #4 Clay.

DSCN4900

A little crooked, but it eats yogurt just the same!

DSCN4891

This is pot #2 and it is h e a v y!  The glaze is Ochre over Jade.  Not bad.

I’m finishing up a canister to hold some handmade wooden utensils, a couple cereal/soup bowels and a butter dish for 1/2lb sticks.

Baby Greens

Saturday morning I sorted my seeds and got them ready for a long winters nap in the Arctic Box! I found a couple seed packs of Fall & Winter Lettuce Mix, Mustard Greens, Spinach and Kale. The Red Leaf Lettuce is up and almost ready to cut. All the spinach and beets that I allowed to self-sow are up and almost ready for cutting as baby greens. The kale is sweet and I hope to beat the Harlequin Beetles to it! No Carrot seeds, so I suppose we won’t be harvesting carrots in February.

DSCN4947

DSCN4948

All the Sunflower stalks are pulled but I still have the ugly job of pulling the Corn. Every Fall when I pull the Corn, I throw my back out….so, I haven’t been very anxious to start that job. While pulling the Sunflowers, I rubbed against the Tangerine Marigolds that I sowed in the Spring. I have never met a Marigold that I liked! On my trips to India, I learned to hate Marigolds. It’s their custom to adorn their guests with Marigold garlands at every welcoming event….they itch and they stink. The smell of Marigolds has to be the worst that God created and probably for a very good reason. These Tangerine Marigolds smell like….Citrus. I’ll be sure to save seeds from these little beauties.

DSCN4951

The volunteer Zinnias are still really pretty and I’ll let them self-sow again for next year.

DSCN4955

DSCN4954

DSCN4952

Limas are still growing on the vines for one more crop. And by the looks of all the blossoms, they could go on for a while, but a killing frost is not too far off.

Dreamin

This too could be yours for a small fortune!  It doesn’t hurt to dream.  I’m afraid mine is going to be made of straw bales, cattle panels and plastic.  A far cry from this beauty at Seeds of Change for a mere $3,199.00!   If I was at all handy with a hammer and nails I might go to the Restore and get old doors and windows and attach them.  But knowing how I am with hammers and nails….well, let’s just say it wouldn’t stand for long.  The first big wind would take it to OZ.

Stock Piling For The Dark Days

DSCN4927

Tuesday I went apple picking at our local You Pick Farm. I use to take the kids there all the time when they were little. Our play group would meet there for outings and pickings and picnics. There were lots of moms and kids there and it brought back lots of great memories.

DSCN4932

Our apple trees produce nice cow apples and I have managed to make sauce with them in the past, but they are just too much work cutting out all the spots. By the time I’m done with them, my hands are cramped up and it takes me days to open my fingers again. We don’t really do much to take care of our trees. I prune them in the winter, but that’s about it. The farm I went to, only uses sprays when they absolutely have to….what that means is they don’t spray too often. I’d prefer organic, but we don’t have any near by and well, mine are organic and they look pathetic. Since I can’t grow everything we need, or it didn’t grow this year, but rotted, I can either go without or buy the best I can. So, I chose to buy the best I could.

DSCN4934

I’ll store my apples in the shed this winter, trying not to freeze them. I’ll probably put them in a cooler for insulation and wrap a couple blankets around the cooler. Hopefully they will keep well.

DSCN4933

I hope to get some freezer sauce made, although since I’m having issues with freezer space, I just might have to can them. Honey and the kids love apple pie. So I’ll make sure that we have plenty on hand for the holidays.

DSCN4945

I picked 35 lbs. Which didn’t take any time at all. The trees were loaded. It’s too bad they wouldn’t give me the ones on the ground for sauce making. The only ones pickable were Ida Red, Stayman, and Golden Delicious.

DSCN4939

It was a nice sweater day.

DSCN4937

Fields of greens, broccoli and tomatoes for the pickin.

DSCN4928

And of course lots of pumpkins.

DSCN4940

I brought home a few cooking pumpkins for pies and some extra butternut and acorn squash that should keep well in the basement.

Sweet Girl asked me one day, “why do you call this simple living? it looks like a lot of hard work to me.” I guess it all depends on how you look at it. I don’t think my kids will be following in my footsteps, at least not anytime soon.

On my way home I stopped to see my AI man….(you know…artificial….)

DSCN4943

Seems as if my Josie girl is having some really really strong heats! That’s a story for another day.

DSCN4944

His Holsteins were out grazing and the corn was being harvested. (ask me how my sinuses feel? Just awful. The dust from the corn fields is killing me.)

I enjoyed my day riding in our country side.

DSCN4942

How do ya like them Green Acres? Nice horse farm.

But as I say, “you can ride a cow, but you can’t milk a horse.”