Saturday, December 12, 2015

This and That from the Farm

Up again at 2:30 AM, but slept in my chair a bit.  This is not unusual for me at all.

Today is a warm day, but cloudy and windy....rain supposed to be moving in tonight.

We made a run into Willard for me to get my hair cut and to pick up a primer bubble for my Stihl trimmer.  Thankfully our local Ace Hardware had one.  Now I just need to get it put on.  I hope Max is just buying high test gas for the cans.  A Stihl serviceman told me  that the cheaper gas destroys the plastic bubbles. 

I got the east end of the kitchen garden tilled a couple of days ago using my trusty little Merry Tiller.  I will have to use the larger one with slasher tines because of dead long grasses on the west end.  I am pleased.  I don't think I have done a fall till in a very long time.

I took this picture a few days ago.  It appealed to me.


We have traded out the hummingbird feeder for the winter birds.  It didn't take them long to find it.  They prefer all black oil sunflower seeds!  When that feeder is empty they will come to the song bird mix.....and only then. 


I am going to try using a timer in the hen house.  I ordered two very cheap and simple directions.  I must be mechanically challenged because I had to search the internet to find how to set the blasted thing!  I am using it in the kitchen tonight to check it out.  I am shooting for 15 hours of light.

Max is out feeding hay.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Interim Post for Mama Pea

BTW,  this was not easy to copy and paste!  at least for me.

From Mama Peas Blog.
Since I've been sadly lacking in ideas for interesting blog posts lately (maybe it's the visions of sugarplums dancing in my head), I'm resorting to these questions (and my answers to same) that I saw posted on the Internet a few years ago.  Here we go.

1)  Do you like blue cheese?

2)  Have you ever smoked?
 Tried it years ago for a few days. Not my thing.

3)  Do you own a gun? 
      We can now say “Property protected by Taurus The Judge. Our Christmas present for us.

4)  What flavor of Kool Aid is your favorite?
      Haven't had Koolaid since I was a kid!
5)  Do you get nervous before dental appointments?
      Yes, but not as much as I used to.

6)  What do you think of hot dogs?
      Granddaughter introduced us to Hebrew National Kosher All Beef and we are now hooked.

7)  What's your favorite Christmas movie?
     I don't like any Christmas movies (I know I may be stricken dead!).

8)  What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
      Latte, homemade.
Plain, strong black coffee.

9)  Can you do push-ups?
I haven't tried in years, nor will I start.

10)  What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
      I am not a jewelry person at all. I do love my wedding set.

11)  What's your favorite hobby?
        Gardening and reading.
12)  Do you have A.D.D.?
    No, but I am a Type A person. However, I can read for hours.

13)  Do you wear glasses or contacts?
        Wear glasses all the time.
14)  What's your middle name?
Lee, after my paternal Uncle.
15)  What are your thoughts at this moment?

I hope I can sleep tonight. I have a horrible sleep problem.

16)  Name 3 drinks you regularly consume.

Black  Coffee, Raw Milk and tea both iced and hot 
17)  What is a current worry of yours?

18)  What do you currently hate?
     No hates. Especially now that the fence rows are nice and tidy. I am pretty content with life these days.

19)  Where is your favorite place to be?
        Home.  I'm definitely a home-body. The same for me.

20)  What do you plan on doing on New Year's Eve this year?
Stay at home with my husband of 54 years. I don't even plan to try to stay up.

21)  To where would you like to travel?
I am good only for short day trips.

22)  Name three people you think will do this questionnaire on their
    Not a clue.

23)  Do you own slippers?
        Huh?  Dancing?  Ballet?  Bedroom?  No.  No.  Yes. Same here.

24)  What color shirt are you wearing?
     White tee shirt with a blue plaid worn out flannel shirt that I love..

25)  Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
        Never tried, but they sound cold. Same here. I prefer l00% cotton.

26)  Can you whistle?
        Yup, I even sing along with I tunes while on the computer.
27)  What is your favorite color?
      Not sure I have one. I like tans and browns.

28)  What songs do you sing in the shower?
      None. But sing along on the computer while listening to my favorites. But if I did, they would be old-time  country songs
29)  Would you be a pirate?
        Heck, no.  I'm afraid of big ships. Same here I also am afraid of the water and cannot swim.

30)  What's in your pocket right now?
Nothing; I have on sweats.

31)  What's the last thing that made you laugh ?

Hubby brought me a small soap size piece of wood that I had cut and sanded to use to level my back porch shelves......he thought it was a bar of my homemade  soap and didn't know why it wouldn't lather up! He should wear his glasses full time but refuses.

32)  What vehicle do you drive?
        'A 2015 Chevy Silverado that I absolutely love.

33)  What's the worst injury you've ever had?
 Car wreck when I was 19, crushed left foot (still bothers me) and broken arm.

34)  Do you love where you live?
        Yes! Double that Yes!

35)  Would you change your first name if you could?
There was a time I hated my first name but I have outgrown that.

Okay, now all the rest of you out there . . . how about YOU copying and posting these same questions on your blog with your answers.  Come on, I double dare ya. 

OK,  Mama Pea Count Me As one  who did it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Few Projects

 The following is just a diary of my days....feel free  to  skip.  I do like having a record for me so I may continue this format.


Up at 3:30 am.

Breakfast: english muffin and marmalade, l egg 2 bacon, 6 oz milk

Tidied house

Lunch: Alfredo sauce with chicken and noodles, pineapple slices, small milk


Canceled AARP supplementary insurance as of 12/31/15
Reconciled bank statement
Paid bills (taxes were high this year)

Next: Go through all insurance new files and see if anything needs doing
Already received membership cards.  This was a task I hated but did.

Max is feeding hay.

Saturday Dec 5,2015

Fencing man finished up south east property line perimeter. Three new wires and three new posts. He now has a permanent (maybe) job laying bricks (or hod carrier) at Nixa.  So we appreciated the work he did for us and maybe he can do some odd now and then things in the future.

Kenny, Lezlie and Kolton brought tiller back (after I called) These are our ex-neighbors who bought our old place but have since bought a bigger farm and moved several miles away.  They still keep cattle across the road on their cousin's acreage.

I made pasta and french bread.  I splurged a little  at Amazon Black Friday Week sale on their  double french bread pans.  Always wondered if they would be better than a cookie sheet.  They are not. They were relatively inexpensive so I don't mind too much.  I will use them. I am such a sucker for kitchen and cooking things.

Sunday, 12/6/15

Up at 3 AM
Read for a while and made coffee, unloaded dishwasher.
Breakfast, sausage gravy, biscuits using diy baking powder (2 cr of tartar, l of soda and l of cornstarch) works beautifully with buttermilk. And scrambled eggs.


Clean zinnia and cosmos bed by drive. In middle plant the lilac. Plant three spirea out front by road. I got the bed cleaned and planted the lilac. Also found three more pumpkins. Spirea still waiting.....

I have had a lot of little (and not so little) things pending.....things DH does not do!

First, we have/had a problem when we enclosed the porch because I now keep the screen door latched so people can't peer in my kitchen window from the porch.....this entrance is used by one and all as our main entrance. Our neighbor has been walking around the house to the actual front door which is a nuisance for him and quite a distance through sometimes tall lawn grass.

I discovered a thing called wireless door bells. Who knew! Not me for sure. I bought one and it was a simple plug in receiver and tape push button to door frame and voila! A door bell for the new porch.

The next project also involved the screened  porch. A few months ago the motion detector light blew up. I have been dreading replacing it and it was the simplest thing. The new fixture almost fit the old base.
I just had to drill one hole. The thing holding me off starting was I didn't know which fuse it was on and this old house is a real patch up wiring job. I bought a tester and when I turned off the light switch it was dead and I proceeded safely.

I even traipsed out there this morning at 5AM to see if it was angled correctly for a person on the ground level. It was.

I forgot the project I started with. It was my favorite because I will enjoy it daily in the kitchen.
Gail prompted this one when she posted about the Minn wax stain/varnish gel. That got me interested.
I wanted the chairs to retain their old, beat up look. They had been sanded a long while ago so I just had to clean them up and go. Unfortunately our local Ace Hardware only had quarts of mahogany and cherry gel so I chose the non-gel form in a walnut. I will have Max steel rub the backs and seats to smooth up the finish more. The cushions are new. I now have two extra chairs that I needed and had been looking online.....I saved over $200! These are from our first breakfast set so are probably at least 50 plus years old. I hope the don't collapse. I did glue some of the joints first.

These all went pretty smoothly and then I met my Waterloo! I bought a replacement blind for the back door in the living room thinking I had exactly the same thing that was in place and all I would have to do was hang new one. Wrong! I bought the 2 inch slats and nothing fit the same. It took two days because I had to recharge the drill, dig out the electric drill and pound some starter holes. It is finally up. I still need to remove the excess slats.....that will be for another day.

While working back in that dark corner, I could see all the cobwebs and dirt down on the marble flooring. It was a real eyeopener. I mixed up a gallon of hot water and soap and got down on my poor sore knees and somehow managed to turn the bucket over and flooded the marble. So now it is really clean. Thankfully I was kneeling on a huge bath towel (for said knees) and was able to stop the floating downstream under the wood stove (I hope. )

I even tidied up all the various screws and tools and Max took them back to their proper place.

Here is the next indoor project I bought the spray paint for several years ago. I have hated the brassy look of this since I bought it 24 years ago. I plan to remove all glass and bulbs, take the fixture down and spray paint it a nice creamy color.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Our First Snow of the Year

It didn't last long and was gone  by evening.  It was pretty while it  lasted but we were not sorry to see it go.

Not much has been happening.  I did hear that our  son and his family will join us for Thanksgiving.  This will  be the first  time in a long time  we  have all been together.  Something to be Thankful for!

Of course, I now have to add a cream pie  to the dessert list....that is our son's favorite.  I made a cheese cake for our daughter and a flan for our SIL.  Then we have to have the traditional pecan and pumpkin ( my home grown) pie.  There will be lots of left over desserts.

We had an interesting  meal yesterday.  We  had venison roast!  I was dreading even cooking it but did it in the crock pot with onion soup mix and it was delicious!  A young neighbor who hunts  on the farm finally got a deer  with his bow and brought us two roasts and a package of summer sausage.

Friday, November 20, 2015

A New Recipe

Max took a  couple of very good shots of  our damaged red maple tree this morning.

The  wind is so strong, I am sure the leaves will all be gone very soon.

I love English novels, and always am curious about the foods they mention.  I have been known to grab my tablet and look up various ones before continuing the read.  My latest was Cottage Pie (or Shepherds' Pie).  I found a recipe on All recipes and after reading the comments, made it using some of my own changes.  We really liked it and for my DH to comment on a new food positively, that's a real endorsement.

We ate some before I remembered to take a picture:

I copied the All recipe version and went back and added my comments.  I hope it is clear.


6 servings 512 cals
  • pound lean ground beef (I used ground pork but added beef base)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Reduced to a pinch!)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (I used my own mix of garlic, oregano and thyme)Taste!
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I actually had this growing)
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth (subbed water and beef base)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk (ignore this amount and just make regular mashed potatoes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 pound shredded Cheddar cheese ( I didn't do cheese topping)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. To Make Meat Filling: Place a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble in ground beef and saute 1 minute. Add onion and carrot, then continue to saute until meat is no longer pink and onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in flour, cinnamon, mixed herbs, and parsley.
  3. In a small bowl, combine beef broth and tomato paste. Mix together, then add to beef mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. ” Lower heat and simmer mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of liquid has been absorbed. Note: I stirred  the flour and spices into the meat mixture then added rest of ingredients and lowered heat and cooked until tender and very little liquid remained.
  5. Spoon mixture into a 9 inch pie plate.
  6. To Make Potato Topping: Place diced potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and place over high heat. Allow to come to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
  7. Mash potatoes until smooth, then add butter or margarine, followed by milk. Whip until fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread potatoes over beef filling. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until top is browned and cheese is bubbly.
Note: Since DH's favorite vegetable is peas, I tossed in a handful of frozen peas to meat mixture before adding to pie plate. Be sure to taste for salt and pepper.

This filled a deep dish 9 inch pie plate and made enough for at least two meals and maybe three for the two of us.  It was a great cold weather meal.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pumpkin Harvest (finally)

The rains are gone and in their place is  very soggy ground and a cold (45°) and very windy day. I told DH to bring the ATV down to the back door when he was finished checking the cows and I would harvest the rest of the pumpkins before our 20° temperatures hit.  We ended up with 5.25 inches of rain. 

He called me to the back porch and said look: He had harvested almost all of them and had a place cleared in the milk parlor for them. I spied a few more and sent him back to get them.....most and maybe all will become either cattle or chicken feed. I will pick the largest one with the best dark color for seeds to share.

We ended up with 25 total from one hill of maybe 5 plants or less.  I  will not be growing them next year!

He also had taken out the compost bucket and dumped. As I said before, he is a keeper.

The fencing man showed up today and we are having him clear the fence lines along the lane that runs down the middle of the farm. We thought the front ditch was still too wet for him to finish that up.

I hope to be finished with these projects soon both because of the cost and the never knowing when he will return.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Rain has Arrived

We are finally getting rain. 1 inch so far and a lot more promised for tomorrow if we aren't too far north to catch it. Springfield is supposed to get 4 inches. Today is cold, very windy and a good day to be inside (poor DH). I will be making chili.

I took pictures from the back stoop.....that is as far as I would venture.

I was worried the red maple wasn't going to color, but it did.

I zoomed a little too much here but you can see the wind and Willow and son in the far distance. That was after milking. She gave us 2 gallons which was very good after a cold and rainy night.

More wind in the oak outside the living room

The previous week was spent doing some extra cleaning.  Our daughter and granddaughter came down for a tour of Drury University on Friday.  I doubt she will choose it but needed to see a small school for comparison.  Both of our offspring are MU alumni but with their recent troubles there are no firm plans for her to attend their alma mater.  Sad, sad goings on.  Hopefully things will get straightened up.  She has lots more visits to make.  

I had promised to make our GD twice baked potatoes and barbecued ribs and knew I  wouldn't be able to squeeze that in over Thanksgiving so that was our Friday evening dinner.  I was worried about the ribs but they turned out great cooked in the oven with a rub, long and low heat.  Brushed on sauce at the last.  We got a kick our of our daughter.  She drank three glasses  of Willow milk at one setting.  That was a first!  Our kids were raised on home-grown milk and they still love it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October 31-November 3, 2015

The weather is dreadful for trick or treaters.....if they even do that anymore.  Cold, windy and light rain falling.  I got wet just going to the milk parlor.

We did something different yesterday.  We took a day trip to Arkansas.  DH used to travel in the Mt. Home vicinity when working and every now and then he likes to go back and reminisce.  We went down one way and came back another.  Arkansas scenery is pretty much like ours only more mountainous.  We could tell they were drier than us until we got just this side of Mt. Home.  Then we saw some green fields.  He decided we need another day trip.  We have done this one several times.  Arkansas is truly a beautiful state.  We have never been way down south near Louisiana.  I would like to do that some time but then you have to worry about livestock.....

We ate lunch out at a small place on the square.  I do love the old squares these country towns have.  The food was so so.  Dessert always seems lacking to me.  The cream pies all have that dreadful whipped garbage on top. Once  I found that out, I canceled our order and DH settled for a dish of ice cream.

I decided if we are  to ever  have what they call 'homemade' pie we would be making it at our home.  So..............
I made us a coconut cream pie using our surplus of eggs.

I have noticed restaurants rarely offer fruit pies....looks like that would be an easy one.

OK.  It is now November 4, Wednesday.

We are still in a warmer period but very cloudy.  Cold front and rain promised for the next few days.

Our "fencing" person returned and did the work in the orchard around the hydrant and removed a downed peach tree.  He also came back yesterday and installed another gate for DH to use  rounding up the chickens who 'crawl' under the new fence.  I think I will also be able to get the riding  mower back there to mow the back side of the garden where I used herbicides this year.  That will be good.

He is coming this morning to begin cleaning the fence rows facing the road.  I will be so happy to get them cleared.I think that will be all I want him to do but farm manager has things out on the farm for him.

We loaded out a few more calves  and sent them to market yesterday.  That may catch us up on calves big enough to sell.  I plan for him to bring down a couple of the largest ones left to begin graining for us.  We are all getting low again.

Inside Work

I made a list of things I wanted to get done before Thanksgiving in the house and am slowly getting them done:

Permanently attach shelves to back porch wall.   Done
Replace undercounter (broken out of socket) lights.   done
Replace ceiling fan broken out of socket light bulb
Wash down all kitchen cabinets   Done *(no help this time)
Paint two extra kitchen chairs (bought paint but not done yet)

Mop kitchen floor (down on hands and knees, if possible)  not done yet.

I will probably be adding to the list. 

Yard Things

I must save cosmos seeds before the rains hit (today)
Harvest rest of pumpkins (be sure to save seeds from  largest and best one)

Have you noticed:  One thing leads to another.  

Removed dead evergreen; need to paint or scrub smokehouse!

Friday, October 30, 2015

There is Frost on the Pumpkins

Quite literally!

This is the pumpkin patch this morning.

Life on the Farm

The fencing man who was supposed to show up Sunday and did not, finally did come  on Tuesday.  He finished trimming my broken  Red Maple and the other maple in the west yard.  He also  cut down the broken peach tree in the orchard and hauled off all the debris. He will be returning (no set time you understand) at some point to trim around the concrete building that is the orchard's west fence and to build a fence  around the orchard hydrant that has always been a weak link for the cattle.

I have lots of other things for him to do.........will add as he returns.  We make no firm plans knowing how these things go.

Daily chores continue.  The chickens are giving us 7 eggs consistently.  I am getting way ahead.  DH is checking cattle daily.  He also has rounded up and out three more calves that are ready to be weaned.  I can hear them bawling.  They will do that for a few days before settling down.

We are still not feeding hay to the herd.  We are feeding to the weaned group near the barn.  They are basically dry-lotted, meaning not grazing open pasture.


I made orange marmalade.  The first time I tried using Ina Garten's recipe and it was a disaster.  The problem may be my candy thermometer is not correct.  I should have just used common sense and the cold plate test but tried to get the batch to the correct temp.  Never did and ended up with jars of rubberized or candied stuff.  I think I can redeem it in my next batch of mincemeat.

I had oranges left and they were not really of good eating quality so I made a smaller batch using Alton Brown's recipe.  However, I used the time element not the thermometer and also used the cold plate test.  I think it turned out OK.  We did have a small test this morning on a half English Muffin.

I am very wary of internet recipes..much safer to use ones from friends or sisters!

I have several things I want to get done before Thanksgiving:  paint two extra kitchen chairs; wash down the kitchen cabinets (DH will help me with that) and fasten the back porch shelving to the wall with very long screws we got yesterday.  I also will be  soap making again.  I would like to have several batches curing.  I may try a different recipe  or two.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Minimal News from the Farm

The cold front arrived.  The temperatures  will not be above 70° all week  with nights down in  the 40's.  Still no frost or freeze in the forecast which is a little late for us.

This reminds  me  DH is needing new insulated coveralls.  He will remind me soon.  We set the trap in front of the gas tank but haven't checked it yet.  I am encouraging him to shine his spotlight out the back door for me.......he checked; nothing. 

Nothing new on the home front except for me making English Muffins  (2nd time) I also made two loaves of Oatmeal Honey WW bread at the same time.  When I finished I was have to cook the muffins on a griddle and stand over them all the time.  The good news is I was  very happy with the results.  I vowed never to make them again.......then we had a half split with butter and orange marmalade....I might do it again.....maybe.  What has peaked my interest is making orange marmalade.  I have found a recipe but will have to make a grocery run first.  I had bought a store brand  of marmalade for the muffins and we both liked it very much.

The yard and garden are now pretty much in fall mode.  I did catch a self-seeded Laura Bush petunia in the middle of a patch of weeds.  The color isn't true but is much nearer the fuschia of Laura Bush.  I hope she has self-seeded in other places because I am sure this one won't make it before a freeze finishes it off.

They finally got around to finishing our new road topping. Doesn't it look nice?

Have a peaceful, happy Sunday.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Good Day

Yesterday was another good day on the farm.  The weather was perfect for working outside.

I managed two good hours of weed whacking and mowing.  Even though rain is predicted, I watered the two roses on the garden fence, the Aloha and the heirloom rose.

The fence man returned (no truck mishaps this time) and we had him take out the half dead evergreen tree on the east side of the smokehouse and the seedling tree let go way too long on the north side.  DH didn't like that it was rubbing the edge of the shingled roof.  Both are now piled neatly until he returns to haul everything back to the brush pile.  I plan to follow Ilene's advice on how  her DH attached a cattle panel to the wall for the two clematis to climb on.  I have the panel and the scrap I will see if I can motivate DH to help me.

I hated to lose the tree, sort of, but it self-seeds like crazy and was also shading the south edge of the garden and there was the roof issue,

The monster pumpkin vine is starting to die a natural death.  I have harvested a few more and don't know how many are still hidden from view.

I will work up the one showing damage on the bottom.  This is always the weak spot unless I have been diligent and placed the fruit on a pile of straw and I have not.

My current project is to figure out what and where to plant something to shade the very naked new porch. 

All from the farm, 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fresh cup of coffee at the computer, breakfast over, and I will blog.  That used to be my routine and it worked for a long time.

I still have some aches and pains but have decided that it is something I  will just have to adjust to.  I had a little conflict with my doctor and it left me feeling less than happy with him.  He called me hyper!  I know I am Type A but I am certainly not hyper. He did not make a life-long friend or happy patient.  I will now just tolerate him.....and may be forced to ask for another doctor if and when I need one.

We have had some excitement on the farm since last we visited.  We had the fencing man back to cut up a downed tree and remove some downed limbs.  I had done several but we thought since he was at the neighbors we would take advantage.

I was sitting at my desk and saw his truck running across the front yard at a pretty good speed and he was chasing it (a loosing battle); truck crossed the drive and headed to the east fence by the cellar.  He fell right beside the truck and it grazed him.  I thought it was going to run over his body.  It happened so fast.  My new east fence stopped  the truck. It took out my purple smoke tree and broke a wire on the new east fence.  The sad thing is, the truck is a 1972 junker; he had to lift the hood to start it and it jumped out of gear and took off.  I guess the accelerator stuck.  He even tried to climb in the window because the door had slammed to and  locked!  I am guessing no insurance of any kind. I am so relieved he wasn't injured.  He has already repaired the fence, the smoke tree is cut way down, hopefully to  return.

And now more pleasant things,  my rose cutting of the Aloha is blooming.  My sis took several from my bush before it succumbed to Rose Rosette Disease and they took.  She sent me three last year and two have thrived.

I see this rose is now  available  commercially.  I can't praise it enough.  Very fragrant, glossy leaves and a lovely two tone pin.  It is very doubled:

I planted them on the garden fence next  to the white clematis.

Speaking of clematis, all of mine have re-bloomed a little this fall. 

This is the back side of Harlow Carr on the garden fence:
From blog Oct 21 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 2 to October 19, 2015 (yet another catch up)

The weather here has been wonderful,  very fall-like.  The only thing is we need rain.  We are beginning to have some fall color but it isn't at peak yet.  I hope the dry doesn't hinder it.

My Sis and BIL came down  for a couple of days the first week of October.  We had a wonderful visit.  They brought us three of their young Red Star hens and enough tomatoes that I processed 36 pints of various things with them. I was delighted.  My garden tomatoes were a complete bust this year.  Many others in the area complained  also.

I forced a pumpkin on her.....she isn't quite the glutton for work  that I am.  I think her BIL (DH) shamed her into it.  I have harvested several  more and the vines are finally starting  to die.

The beast that lives under the propane tank is still getting his share though.  When we set the trap outside the hole on the back side,  he created a new entrance/exit  on the other side.   I discovered this when I waded into the patch looking for pumpkins.....there was one hanging right by the new hole half eaten.

It is a large hole and seems very deep.  We will move the trap around the tank tonight.

I certainly have enough pumpkins.

I dug the sweet potatoes and they were very disappointing but still  enough for the two of us.

I did my yard tour this morning in a jacket and took a few pictures.

This is the grass miscanthus by the cellar.  I love how the sunlight shows up the plumes.

This just shows I haven't been completely idle.  This poor gate was barely hanging together.  I screwed the corners, renailed the  wire and rehung it and it should last a while.

The spirea has turned to fall,

Another little job, I got rid of most of the tall weeds and hand cut the saplings growing behind the shop,

There is not much left of flowers but this little self-seeded vignette still looks nice.  It is a native aster and gomphrena,

I took one cow picture:  It is the two milk cows and Willow's calf....where did those horn buds come from?

Enough for now.  I hope to do better blogging.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pumpkins and other Miscellaney from the Farm

This morning we are 'testing' the is working.  The living room was 68° so we decided to turn off the AC on the system.

I do love this time of year.  The only thing that would make it perfect is for it to rain!  Still nothing predicted.  I may have to till the garden in a cloud of dust.

Speaking of the garden, I keep finding snacked on and rotting pumpkins so a few days ago I decided to harvest a few.  I found some that looked the perfect color and some that should have been left on the vine.  At least, I got all I could possibly need for the winter.

I let them ripen for a few days and then decided to process one, not the best colored one:

I  scrubbed it good and diced it into chunks; tossed into my turkey roaster with some water and cooked until tender.  I ran it through the Victorio strainer using the pumpkin cone.  Bits of softened skin came through so I decided to scoop the flesh off before straining.  I used to just process in the Cuisinart.  From this medium sized one, I got slightly over 4 lbs. of  pumpkin.  I thought it was a little coarse.  Maybe because of the early harvesting ?   Anyway,  I made a pie and it was very tasty, not as fine textures as 'store bought' but certainly very good.

I stored  the others in the milk parlor and they will last all winter into spring.

The vine is still growing with no let up in sight.  I have no idea what will ripen if anything by frost which is just around the corner (l0/20).

The same is true of the sweet potatoes....tremendous vines....sometimes not a good sign; all vines and no potatoes.

I am happy to report that DH finally got around to hauling off all my chain saw we need to rake the dead leaves left behind.  I ventured up the side of the cellar once again and chopping down an elm sapling.  I will treat the stump with diesel this morning.

There is nothing left in the garden but drying bean pods for seeds; still producing peppers and the aforementioned sweet potatoes and the odd clump of garlic seedling here and there.

DH saw this in the road when he went to get  the mail,


I am thinking juvenile rat snake?

I did not dispatch it.

We are seeing lots of garden spiders in webs.  I don't mind them unless I drive into one when mowing which I did.

Got company coming Monday.  Sis and BIL who haven't been down in two years.  They will just stay a couple of to get back to the mini horses.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Blue Skies and Bagels

Not a cloud in the sky!  and it is very cool.  The grass is very wet.

Overnight these popped up:

We have had a new development in the varmint issue.  Yesterday morning vultures were landing just in front of the trailer right outside the back door.

DH found a very dead armadillo in front of the trailer  next to the garden.  No idea then what killed it.  Later on he saw a large groundhog near the carcass!  He shot several times but it got away.  We now think he is the guilty party.  I saw it again this morning in the garden but by the time we got the gun, it was gone.  We don't know now who dug the huge hole under the propane tank, the armadillo or the ground hog.  Either one is not welcome here!


While the grass is  drying, I think I will make bagels.  I have been out for some time and tried the store  version and was not happy with them.  The only negative is they are very messy to make and the kitchen will be a disaster area when finished.
Just finished and was pleasantly surprised at the lack of  mess......maybe I am getting more  organized????

This recipe is from Thibault's Table blog.  Every recipe of hers that I have done has turned out well......except I cannot make the French bread.  I have given up on that one.  I do a version but it is not the authentic very coarse holey one.