Monday, September 29, 2014

September is Almost Gone

and where did it go?

To be doing absolutely nothing of importance, I am amazed at how fast the time goes.

Life is running pretty smoothly on the farm. We have had lots of fall babies born.  More are showing their Holstein genes this year.  There can't be much Holstein blood left in them, but I was told many years ago by a neighbor that it could flare up out of the blue and that seems to be happening.

I had DH do some pictures for me.  I always enjoy what he takes.  Usually he has a different perspective from mine.

These are of Jewel, the Jersey milk cow and her "baby" that should be weaned very soon1

and Jewel,

This is a shot of the silo and the blue sky above to old barn.

and I will leave this one just to show how we are doing better about piling debris back here.  We now just pile it on the trailer and then we can remove it to the back of the farm,

This is the west end of the Milk Barn (freshly painted) It is just east of the garage where DH was standing,

The chickens are still laying nicely.  They haven't begun to molt yet.  Surely they will and then production drop quickly.

I talked with my Sis yesterday and she was talking about expired driver's licenses....I told her I had never let that happen.....something told me to check.....My license was due on my birthday 9/22/14!  Egads.  Usually the state notifies us; not this time.  Guess where I am heading today!!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Last Rose of Summer (really just last flowers)

Another gorgeous morning.

Up way too early again even though I stayed up later.....nuts I know.  I did sleep in my chair another couple of hours.

Helped Max milk.  I skimmed yesterdays milk and bottled it and set this mornings  again.  I think she gave more this morning.

I wanted to catch a picture of Jewel and her very large calf but they didn't cooperate.  Willows older son was standing by so I caught him  He is such a pretty red.  I see he needs fly treatment.

From September 2014 Journal

I took a few pictures of what is left in bloom on this next to last day of summer:

 This is Kerria japonica pleniflora with salvia farinaces and salvia Black and Blue in what used to be the Ash Tree Bed.
 and this is in the New Bed next to the smokehouse, sedum, salvia farinacea and Laura Bush petunias with some self-seeded (well so are the salvias) nicotiana sylvestris in the back ground.

 This is about the only decent thing left in  the Hummingbird Bed in front of the kitchen.  It is anemone Robustissima.
 Closeup of Robustissima Blooms.  I am trying a small bouquet to see how well it  does.  I have never picked them before.
and my old standby quick cover for the compost pile, Hyacinth bean vine

The two above are the hyacinth bean blooms.  The seeds are s pretty as the blooms, solid black with a white eye.

We did some errands and I picked up another two pork roasts on sale for $l.15, these did have the bone in but I think it is still a good buy.  I am cooking one in the pressure cooker for lunch/dinner.

I may do some trimming later in the day (after a nap).

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Am Feeling Much Better....Good, Infact!

I was up way too early again, 2 AM, but felt quite rested so just stayed up.   I even made coffee at 3:30.

Good news about my knee.  It 90% improved.  So much so that at 5 AM, I washed both light fixtures in the kitchen, the ceiling fan and the cold-air return grat;  got down on my knees and mopped the floor in front of the cabinets before I stopped.  Wow.  (it needed doing).  I have neglected things.

I went to the barn and helped DH milk.  I am now storing the milk overnight so I can skim the cream and make butter which I just did.

I had  l full pint and a part of one from last week.  I use the Food Processor and it goes very quickly.  I also used my new Butter Muslin that also worked well.

I ended up with 8+ ounces of sweet cream butter.  As it accumulates, I will freeze it.

About the middle of next month, I will wean Jewel's calf and if she is giving enough to justify it, we will milk her daily also.....more butter.

DH is in town doing some errands for his mother. 

I am vehicle-less.  The battery is down on the car.  He has it on the charger.  I almost wish he hadn't told me.  I will now fret even though I have no plans to go anywhere!

I have a very small cherry cobbler in the oven.  I had a part package of cherries and a single crust in the freezer so I just rolled it out over the top.  Very simple.  I shouldn't have watched that cooking show last night; they were making baked desserts; my weakness.

I will restrain myself!  I will!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Milker issue Resolved and other Mundane Things

7:00 AM.  I am sitting here in near darkness and listening to the beginnings of a thunderstorm.   I was so afraid it would  move on before raining but this time, I was wrong.  We are now  (9:40  AM) at 2 inches and it is still raining lightly.  We have moved the herd east of us and I can watch then enjoying the cool rain.  I don't think they have lifted their heads from the grass.

The Gods are smiling on us this morning.

The last time we shopped at our local market  they had Boston Butt pork roasts (boneless) on sale for $2.39.  I bought 2  weighing over 3 lbs. each.  I also noted that sausage was between $3.99 and up.  I decided to grind the roasts and make my own.  I wish I had taken pictures of the process, but I didn't.  I used the grinder attachment (Mom's that fit her old KA mixer and that also fits my new Pro Model.
Worked like a charm.  I didn't have sage, of all  things, so I had to stop midway and let it rest overnight in the Milk Parlor fridge which wasn't a bad thing.  That allowed the seasonings to meld into the meat.

Bought the sage and then decided to make it half breakfast sausage and half Italian Sweet Sausage.  I had all the spices for the Italian. 

The long tubes are the Italian and the rest is breakfast.  I had to make some small links because one of our GD's likes them that way.

We had some for breakfast and it was very tasty.  I still can't taste the sage.  I think my home-grown sage is much stronger so I will be planting another one next spring.

For lunch I am making a pizza using the Italian sausage.  I will let you know what we think.

On a more personal level, I am having a lot of trouble with my right knee.  I finally gave in and will be seeing the rheumatologist tomorrow.  I am torn between just working through the pain and keeping on keeping on or staying off it as much as possible.  The last choice won out.  DH did all the mowing this week and he is also milking Willow using the new milker.  I haven't even  gone to the barn.

The story on the milker was there was nothing wrong.  They are just more sensitive to loosing vacuum than the inline system and we were doing a minor thing that reduced vacuum just beforetrying to attach it to Willow.  It has worked like a charm once we found that out.  We still haven't  found a calf to put on Willow.  I am guessing that more people are keeping them now beef prices are so good.  I hope to try more  cheeses that I can freeze.

To that end, I bought a dairy thermometer and muslin for straining the curd.

Now if the doctor can just improve  my knee..........................

Sunday, September 7, 2014

First Week of September

Well, I did it so busy  that I didn't take time to blog.
Weather-wise, the good news is we have had some very nice rains and things are greening up again.  Also we have had a few very cool days.

This is the strip between the house and the newly painted smokehouse after mowing and trimming.  I was almost dead before the rains.(clothes line across).

We have been so busy getting DH's mother moved that there wasn't much time for outside work or anything else.  She is settled and loving it.  The auction went better than we expected and once the closing is finished we can all breathe a sigh of relief.  I got her computer installed on the new stand we bought and she is enjoying her games again.

Speaking of stands, it actually went together easier than the recent shelving I did.  I made a change in the house shelving.....I  knew I would.  I moved the wooden ones to the back porch and put a black wire unit  in  its place in the kitchen.
The wooden ones fit well on the porch which is where I wanted them in the first place!  I have room for one more...if I can survive putting another set together.

I still have two plastic sets in the garage to do but they are simply a stacking job.  I want for the milk barn and DH needs another one for tools.

I hope to never have to put something together again!  It is never as simple as they make it sound.

We spent some time mowing yesterday afternoon but the tall grass in the orchard was too wet and will have to wait for a sunny day.  I did about an hour or more of weed whacking.  Now have the working area between the Milk Parlor and the east sheds where the gas tanks are done.  There is lots more to do. 

The milker wouldn't start this morning and I had to milk Willow by, I am not up for that anymore.

I will put a call in for a technician in the morning.  I hope it is something simple (and cheap)!
I have my neighbor checking to find a calf to put on her....sure hope he can find one.  I understand they are now selling for $3-400 per calf.  That stunned me.