Friday, May 28, 2010

Just hanging out in the garden....

Imagine my surprise this morning when I went out to cut some peonies off to put in a vase in the house. I wanted to enjoy the beautiful blooms a little longer in case it rained or hailed today as they were calling for. I just picked up this bloom and was getting ready to cut it off when I spotted this green monster stuck to it. Well now I am not afraid of frogs like my mother is! She is petrified of them!!!! Made for some good laughs over my lifetime too. I am not afraid of them unless they startle me by jumping on me. But..... I can tell you that this was probably a Funniest Home Video winner that went to waste!!!!
I did a dance that I didn't know could possibly be brought on by a little ole frog!! I screamed so loud that I am sure he died cause he was still there when I went back with the camera. All I could think about was him making a leap onto my camera lens while I was trying to film him, or worse yet onto me!!!!!!!!!
I have no idea what he is....I am thinking maybe a baby toad?????
Who knows we have the perfect habitat here for all sorts of creatures. We have 3 big bullfrogs in the water garden. I don't blame them I would like it in there too with the lillies blooming right now. We have all sorts of itty bitty bitty tiny frogs hoping all around the pond, maybe a half inch long. Pink snakes. Yes pink. Toads. Bear. I also spotted a big mud turtle in our fishpond this morning when I was mowing around it. Gotta set some turtle hooks in there. That is always exciting ;-)
They can make me dance a jig too!!
I got the mowing done. Danny came in around noon and we finished planting the garden.
Garden counts:
Potatoes, tomatoes~ Mr Stripey, Early girl, rutgers,Roma, German pinks and yellow pear, peppers green and jalapeno, brussels sprouts, swiss chard, beets, cabbage red and white, red,yellow and white onions, leeks, garlic, Roma beans, yellow wax beans, green peas, Amish pie squash, Acorn squash, cucumbers 3 different varieties, October beans, radishes, dill, chives, oregano, sage, thyme, Kandy corn, watermelon, cantalope, zuchinni
and there is not a place to possibly stick another plant!!
Now just let the growing begin. It is so hot out there and our soil has warmed so nicely that I feel like everything will probably do good now....Whew!!! That's a lot of work but it's so worth it in the end!! Think I am ready for a nap now!!

2010 vegetable garden is in!!

Well almost! I still have to finish the squashes, melons and cukes. The ground was finally dry enough and warm enough to get the late season crops in last night. We worked til dark and were both ready to kill over in our tracks. It was calling for rain today so we wanted to get it all in. The sun is shining beautifully now and I am going to try and finish the other planting and get this yard mowed this morning.

The early season crops are lovely and the weeds are just lovely too. We have some sorta weed here that we have no where else but the garden. It is vicious. The only good part is that it pulls up easily. That is when you have time, energy and a semi moist garden to walk in to do that pulling!!! For some reason that hasn't been the case very much this year ;-) Danny tilled the entire garden last night and I weeded everything but the peas..........................."OMG that's gonna be a lot of work!!"

The chestnut trees are Danny's. He set them out from chestnuts that came from Leslie's tree and he plans to set them out all thru the woods for the wildlife to have something to eat in the winter!! He's a good guy, right? Of course you know that he's a hunter too!!!!!

Hope you enjoyed a tour of my veggies and weeds!!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

7 Days.....

on a whole foods diet.
Has me making my own whole wheat bagels.
We are loving this new lifestyle too. We have cheated very little.
Tonight however we will bite the bullet and have
Strawberry not the whole foods way but the Granny Carrie way!
Danny's mom's shortcake with the biscuit cake!!
Ok Ok Ok I will throw in a little whole wheat flour to make all you guys happy!
It is fresh organic farm raised strawberries,
now that's about as whole as you can get!!
Robin and I finally finished quilting my quilt that has been in my frames forever.
I don't even remember how long.
This is the one that I made from a Moda Layer Cake just so I could practice with the new machine in the frames. I kinda (like really kinda) like it too!

I think not too bad for a beginner!!

The backing was a thrift store sheet and I pieced it so the edge would be up in the quilt about a foot.

Now ain't this just too cute??????
Homemade 1000 Island Dressing.
We have ate more salads this week than we have in our whole lives!

I am loving being able to open my fridge and see these big full jugs of milk!
A gallon a day!

I made my own Lemon Cheese with Dill and Chives yesterday!

It was a big hit!
Easy to make too.

Started another batch of eggs......wish me luck on these!

Been working a lot at The Fairy's Rest.
Like my little $10 iron bed from a yardsale??

I made this little bear about 15 years ago!
I still like him.

Urgh......the grass all came up!!

We mowed it on Sunday right before another big rain storm came thru.
I am sure it needs to be mowed again today ;-)

Danny disbudded/dehorned our babies on Sunday.

I don't like that either, but he did a really good job and they didn't seem to mind it too bad.

He was proud of himself too.
So you see we have been very busy around here but eating very good.
That's all I have to say now!!!!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Miss Minnie is a Maxi Milker!

After a very stressful evening yesterday an even more stressful night in her new home, Minnie gave me just shy of a half gallon of milk again this morning!! She came into the barn streaming milk. We had milked her at 5:30 last evening and I milked at 6 this morning but she was still pouring milk from her udder!!! I have seen a lot of cows do that but I have never had a goat do that!!

Guess what else amazes me with Miss Minnie??? She does not kick! She stood quiet as a mouse, raised her right leg up and held it there for a few seconds and then she put it back down. I did not wear milk back to the house this morning like I did so many days when trying to get Saphira broke to the milking stand. I am soooooooo happy with her!!! Thank You Danny!!

I can't wait to see what she can really do when she has not been under so much stress. I am sure that Saphira is very jealous of her and she probably whispered bad threats in her ears last night. They were a little segregated this morning. Minnie out in the field hollering at the top of her lungs for me, and Saphira in the barn to herself. I am sure they will bond soon enough though!

Now I am lying on the sofa resting a bum knee that I twisted last night and reading my cheesemaking book. Researching goats milk soap recipes and dreaming!!!! I am so happy!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Check out these tahtah's...ssshhh!!

All you goat farmers out there will understand my excitement here!
I have had goats for several years now but I seem to have trouble raising them, I think I have that little problem all figured out finally though, but I haven't had the very best stock. I didn't want to put a slew of money into really good stock for fear of letting them die as several have in the past.
Until last year when I started investing a little more energy
into trying to pick out better stock so I could gain strength in my herd.
I have some babies that are coming along nicely now.

Saphira may not be the best girl out there but we go way back.
She is a keeper!
She gives only a fair amount of milk but it is great stuff. So sweet and creamy.
This is a bad picture of her taken just before dark tonight.
She is upset with me cause I brought another goat into her territory!
Meet "Sunrise Valley Martas Minx"!!!
Danny said she cannot be called Minx, said she was a "Minnie"!!
I think it fits her!!
Hey, he paid for her so I can let him name her right??
Even though she is far from a mini goat!!
I will have to learn how to milk all over again!
Saphira's teats are very small and therefor are hard to milk.
Of course I have milked her so much that I am used to it.
With Minnie's nice long teats I can actually grab hold and milk the way you are supposed to milk a goat!!! Woohoo!!!!!

I have only dreamed of having a goat with a nice udder!!!!
You girls dream about udders?
I do!! LOL!!
I bought her from the lady that I had mentioned before that was going to sell me one of her 6 that freshened this season. This nice lady has had a terrible time as of lately, her mother passed away 2 weeks ago and she is also on crutches because of a knee injury. Poor husband of hers having to man the farm all by himself too!! He's a trooper like my Danny though!!
Anyway she picked out Minnie out of the 6 because of breeding purposes with my buck Thunder who also came from her farm. They will be a really good cross and should throw me some spotted babies!! Minnie is a two year old first freshener and delivered without difficulty a great big doeling kid that has spots!! Her was purtty too!! Of course I didn't get her.
I could have brought all those long ears home with me and I don't think Danny would have had a problem with that either ;-)))
He likes those long ears too!!
Of course he likes good udders and feels that just maybe he can learn how to milk her!!
Now I finally feel that I am heading in the right direction to get some good blood in my stock!
I am so excited to get some sweet creamy milk in my pail tomorrow morning too!!
I milked her tonight at their farm and it was just lovely. A full half gallon from one milking too!! I'll soon have milk coming out my ears! Made my hands sore but I'll get them toughened up soon enough!
He told me that she kicks occasionally....Whaaaa? I wouldn't know how to milk a goat that doesn't try to kick my teeth out!! Saphira and I have it all figured out by now and I think Minnie and I will have a great relationship too!!
Aaawwwhhh the cheese, soap, butter, ice cream.......................
dreaming bout udders full of milk again here!!
ps. she also gave me 30 more Buckeye chicken eggs to try my luck again at hatching them. She said that her husband reminded her that theirs didn't hatch til the 23rd day and they were all fine. I think I will leave these in there for about 35 days this time.....just kidding!!
Wish me luck on this hatch turning out better.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Come along girls.....

I am starting on a new adventure.
Won't you come along?
I have this very wonderful sister-in-law who has inspired me to veer towards a whole foods diet.
It wasn't hard she wasn't pushy at all.
After all I have tried them all, I will try anything once ;-))
She has been taking a nutrition class, that is being taught by a physician and his wife, and it is geared more toward coronary health.
She has lost weight in the 5 weeks that she has attended these classes and she didn't go cold turkey on this new eating plan either!! {{enter applause here}}
Just listening to her passion about this new way of eating struck a nerve in me and I changed my way of thinking about food at that very minute, during a short phone conversation.
She mentioned how much better she is feeling, she would not tell me that if it wasn't true either!
How tasty the foods are! That got me! hehehe
The idea is to eat our foods as close to the way they were grown as possible.
Now don't most of us farmgirls do that anyway?
NOT!! I was taught to take a green bean and cook it til it died!
Smother everything with lots of butter, gravy, cream and all those other delicacies.
Sorry Paula Dean, I love me some butter too!

I have had this cookbook for many years and I have made a few of the dishes in here, but just looking thru this book and reading the recipes and the description of the dish makes me drool. I want to run out and pray over each veggie in my garden that they will grow and be as tasty as I have imagined they would be in that particular dish.
This will really come in handy for me now!
I also have this one.......same way, I want it all.
This book has the veggies and fruits sectioned out by each fruit.
Blueberries it's own section, tomatoes their own etc etc etc
The recipes range anywhere from a Fresh Strawberry Pie right down to
Freezing Concord Grape Pie Filling!!!!
From cover to cover it is choked full of some great and tasty recipes.
I think all you gardeners out there would like to have these on your cookbook shelves too!

I don't have this one yet, but I am going to order it.
It seems to map out a diet very similar to the one my sil described.
I will probably never be a vegan or a strict vegetarian but we have to get healthier.
I am sure you guys are thinking "Poor Danny"!!
Quite the contrary actually, he is very happy that I am not killing him with my cooking anymore! hahaha
His slight kidney disease, (barely into the non-functioning zone now but irreversible)
and his very high cholesterol and high blood pressure leave him no choice but to try and eat as healthy as he can.

Yesterday was filled with preparing for this new chapter in our lives, a trip to the farmers market, the grocery store and the Mennonite health food store!
I came home with rhubarb, fresh onions, red potatoes, white potatoes, spices, whole wheat pastry flour, flax seed, carob powder, fresh roma tomatoes, garlic, fresh broccoli
dried black beans, lemons, Bragg's Amino Acids and many many other healthy items too numerous to mention!
I made whole wheat tortillas, filled them with a black bean and cheese filling for bean and cheese burritos for supper last night! Yummo!!
I was trying to mimic the Chimichanga served at our funky little international foods restaurant called aptly "Odd Fellas" which was previously called "The Three Legged Cow" !!!!
This is the first dish I got the first time I went there and I get it every time I go.....or if I know someone is going I have them bring me one back!! I can't even explain how good it is but I sure came awfully close to it last night!! I did not have guacamole in mine cause I forgot!
Danny was very happy and said that I never was going to get another meal out again!
That was truly a compliment!!

So come on girls.
Won't you join me on this new adventure?
If you have any healthy, low fat low cholesterol, delicious recipes will you please share them?
BTW all these books are available at!!

This way of eating is not completely new to me, however sticking to it for a long period of time will be new to me! I went on this whole foods kick about 4 years ago and I lost 28 pounds in 32 days! (back when Danny promised to buy me my Jaguar if I lost down to my goal weight, I got the flu and ended up in the bed for almost 2 weeks and went off my diet and never went back on it, I cried on his shoulder til he let "me" buy the car myself)
It was very easy to stick to and I felt so full all the time.
I am sure I was the healthiest I had ever been in my life too.
I also lost a total of 23 inches and 4 full dress sizes.
I was going to the gym everyday and doing calisthenics at home.
Actually it wasn't just me it was us!
Danny was right there beside me every step of the way, except for the flu!
We are a team and if I eat fattening foods he eats them but if I eat healthy he eats healthy too.
Thank you my dear sil!!
(BTW dear sil, you can leave an anonymous comment if you would like ;-)


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I am so sad!!!!!

I unplugged the incubator last night but Danny wanted to open the eggs and see if there was anything resembling a chicken in there. He just took them all down the hill and opened them and all but 6 eggs had a baby chick in them. One of them was very much alive and moving around. A lot of the others were moving around a little. Why did they not open????? This just breaks my heart!

There's fog on the farm, rain on the roses and goats in the garden....

It's just another rainy, cool and foggy day on the farm.
I thought this was the perfect time to show you my favorite climbing rose.
I like it in the rain too!

It has ever changing color and is so interesting to watch the flower change as time goes on.

Turning from a dark orangy red.....

to a very light peach as the days go by.
Sorta like a woman's hair??
Sorry but mine has not reached that beautiful shade yet.
Maybe as my days go on?

See the fog?
See the goat tracks?
I woke up to 3 little boogers (not the babies) in my garden!
Urgh Urgh Urgh!!! babies are doing just great!
They are the friskiest ones I have ever seen!
3 days old and venturing out across the field from their mom, playing king of the mountain and running laps thru the pasture!! Sooooo cute!!

Do you see goldfish?
I do, for the first time this season.
I broke down and purchased a UV filter to go along with the biological filter that was already installed. The guy on youtube said it would only take 3 days for the algae to be removed but it has taken almost a week for ours. We have stubborn algae in these parts!!

Rain is also very pretty on my Smoke Tree!

Except when you are looking at the whole tree.
It's sorta scary if you ask me.
Looks like something out of a horror film that will grab you as you walk by and eat you!

I forgot to share with you my once beautiful irises.
They are still in color even though not at their peak any longer.

and these!
I am not liking the rain, even though we need it really bad.
Yesterday was spent in a constant state of vegetation.
I finally got a puff of air up my bottom about 8PM and with it came a burst of energy that threw me in a tailspin! I have one very very clean bathroom and laundry room this morning!
However, I have lots of dirty dishes in my sink and dust bunnies all over the rest of the house!
Today is a repeat of yesterday,
other than waking up to goats in the garden, so I have to get started on some more cleaning.
I will have lots of outside chores soon enough and you can't drag me inside then!!
Have a great day!!
ps. I had no eggs hatch in my incubator. Zero. Nada.
Guess I am not a good old setting hen any longer.
My last batch was terrific at about 85% or more.
I am not sure what would have went wrong this time.
Everything should have been right.
I don't think I will try that again.
It's too much work turning those eggs so often.
Poor mama hen!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hello World!

Our names are Ruby and Diamond
Ruby and Diamonds are Robin and Leslie's birthstones.
I have always been able to keep the fine gemstone names going for Opal's babies.

Diamond has some peculiar markings such as this big gray patch on the top of her head.
Miss Clairol at such an early age?

Her father has spots in his bloodline and she got some of them!!
Ellie Mae's father was spotted and Thunder's sister so we are sure hoping for some spotted girls from her too!!

Ruby is just too darned cute and she is so sweet and quiet!!

She does have a moustache though!
I'm just saying!

My little Virginia farmgirl sure does like baby goats!!!
We had to go pick her up right after school so she could come over here and get some loving time in!!
Let me know when you get tired of baby goat pictures and I'll stop....well maybe!!

Thunder makes baby girls....

"Thunder" being my new Nubian buck!!
His first babies are here and they are twin doelings!!
My milk herd has more than doubled in a week!
"You say that's my daddy? No way!"

When I got up this morning I could hear some chanting in the barnyard from my porch so I knew something was up. My goats like to sleep in and are very lazy and quiet til bout 7:30!!
I ran to the barn and there was one little white tail wiggling in the air while she was getting a drink!!

They are both girls! Did I tell you that already?

Opal is a very very good mommy!!!
These babies are half Tennessee Fainting Goat and Half Nubian......
I wasn't going to breed her for mixed babies again but Danny felt we should!
I am sure glad cause look what I would be missing!!

This excitement never gets old!!

Dad seemed really concerned with the whole mess.
"I would rather be watching cartoons."
That's what Danny watched while I was in labor with Leslie!!

Ellie Mae, who is supposed to be bred to Thunder, was looking on too.
I believe she had different thoughts on her mind

She is thinking.....
"I hate boys!!"