Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Dog Post

39° here this morning, no quite so cold and yesterday was a pretty sunshiny day.

Yesterday was a "dog day" here.  First the vet appointment was for 8:30 which kept us hopping.  She did really well but was so afraid she trembled. Of course, she liked John (vet).  He is so good with all kinds of animals. She nestled up to his chest and rested her head against his throat.  He just stood very still and said let's just see what  she does.  He was really taken with her.

He verified  she is part Great Pyr because she had the detached extra set of dew claws on her rear legs that only they have.  He also agrees with the previous owner and all of us about the Pit Bull part.  The roof of her mouth is mottled mostly black with pink.  He didn't mention the Boxer part so not sure about that mix. He said having the Pit Bull mix is a very good thing.   He thinks they are wonderful dogs and the easiest breed he works on.  He said Sugar will be the best dog we have ever owned and will be easily trained.  So far, we are agreeing 100%.

We stopped by the little store in Ash Grove where the vet is located so I could pick up a couple of items and see if they had the extra ingredients I needed to make her my Sis's recipe for dog treats....I was amazed that they did.  I know I still have the expensive ones from the pet store,  but once I get an idea for something......So I did the batch of treats.  Good news; she loves them!

Here is the recipe for them.  There are lots of them on the 'net that are much simpler but I chose to do these.  For one thing they make a huge batch.  It is a very stiff dough but I used the KA Pro and it worked well. 

First,of course,I made some changes!  I hate it when I get a recipe and they say that.....I substituted chicken livers because I didn't want to dig and hunt for the beef livers that I hope are still in the freezer from butchering.  I did have to make some adjustments in the liquid because I didn't measure the water that I cooked the livers in.  I used dried garlic flakes; no brewer yeast.   That all being said, it worked out fine.
If you make it by hand, you will find the dough very stiff and hard to get all together.  I would add more liquid but remember it must be very stiff and not soft at all.  The end product is very hard; not cracker like.

Char's Dog Treat Recipe

Cook together:

1 cup (½ lbs liver cooked and minced (Note:  I froze the rest of the ckn liver slurry for another time)
2 or 3 cloves garlic
2-1/2 cups water
Note: The above seems unclear to me; I cooked raw livers in the water with the garlic.  Then slurried it all in the Cuisinart. You could drain off the liquid and add later then chop the liver.  I hate chopping raw liver.  I never asked her what she does.  May way worked fine.

1 t. honey or sugar
1 T or package of dry yeast
½ cup warm water

3-1/2 cups flour
2 cups ww flour
2 cups cornmeal
1-3/4 cups rolled oats
¼ cup wheat germ
1 cup non-fat dry milk
1/3 cup brewers yeast (opt)
3 tsp. Iodized salt
3 eggs beaten

Cook garlic and liver together. Remove from heat and cool. Grind all and set aside

Dissolve yeast with honey

In a very large bowl blend dry ingredients ;add cooled yeast mixture, liver slurry,  eggs. Mix well

Knead 4-5 minutes

Cover let rest 15 minutes

Preheat oven to 300°
Grease 2-3 sheets
Divide dough into thirds
Note: 1/3 dough filled two standard size sheets and I froze the other 2/3)

Roll out 1/8 x ¼ or ½ thick. Cut into desired shape
Note: Sis uses 'bone' cookie cutter...I used my wheel type pizza cutter. Sugar did not refuse them because they weren't bone shaped.

Bake l hour.

Here are some pics of the process that might help.


 Rolled out 1/3.  I probably had mine a little thicker than 1/8 but not 1/4 inch.

Before baking,

I got tired of transferring them with a spatula and finally just slid them off the board onto the sheet. As you can see, I did not separate all of them.  The broke apart easily after cooking.

and the baked treats...maybe a little too brown because of my oven, but not burned.

These are about 3/4 to l inch in size but you can do whatever size you want.  

We are just using them as a reward when she comes inside or comes to us when we call her.

OK, promise. No more proud parent posts......maybe I will slip in a picture now and then. My Sis is getting a kick out of both of us.  We are being a little silly I know.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bread Day

It is a chilly 25° here this morning at 3 AM.  I got up at 2 to let Sugar out and never really went back to sleep.  I am embarrassed to tell you how early I went to bed to 'read' which never lasts very long.  I got enough sleep.

DH has a very bad cold which means in a few day I will have it too.  I think I will start Vitamin C today to see if it will help me ward it off.  He started feeling bad after our  company left Saturday.  I do hope none of them catch it.

We did a couple of errands yesterday afternoon.  I got a harness for Sugar to help me get her into the vet's and also a bag of treats.  I almost fainted at the price of the treats, 6 oz. for $4.99!  I have a recipe from my sis and will be making them asap.  I  also got her a bed.  The back porch is tile over non-insulated concrete and I thought she needed a better barrier between the floor and her rug. I think water could freeze on that floor.


We weren't  out of bread.  I still have a loaf of the Hodgson Mills white bread (3 risings) but I needed hamburger buns and wanted some of Annie's whole wheat.  I had leftover steel-cut oats from breakfast and decided to add a cup to the 4-loaf recipe (think I could have added more) which worked out great.  You can see the little bits of oats in the risen dough,

I think I overcooked this batch  slightly,

and here are the free form hamburger buns.  I just read Ilene's blog  and think I need the pans for the buns!  Mine are never quite the same even though I weigh each one.  I have enough points on Amazon to get them. I love those points.

DH had an egg and bacon sandwich on one for dinner....I had a half slice of toast with a glass of milk.
He reports  the oatmeal  didn't hurt them at all.

We will be rushing this morning to get to the Vet's by 8:30.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Post Thanksgiving -

Up at 3AM, 37° now but a cold front is moving in.

Dinners (yes, I said dinners......nuf said) over, family is gone and we are back to normal you can get with a new puppy in the house.  Sugar is doing really well; lets us know when she needs to go out and seems to like everyone.  Our granddaughter was really taken with her and so was our daughter and SIL.  He took over puppy duty while here which was nice for me.  She goes to the vet Wednesday...that should be interesting.  I am shopping for a harness and a bed for her today.  She is almost to heavy for me to carry very far.  If we have to carry her in, DH will get to do it.

The dinners went well but two turkey dinners back to back are a bit much.  I swear each year I will have the nerve to stop it but maybe next year......


The great doors  project is done!  They came two days before Thanksgiving and finished up.

This is the Milk Parlor door.  My daughter thinks I shouldn't paint the patch work; looks very cottagey...I think she may be right....I am thinking some Grandpa Otts on a trellis in front......

The old chicken house (west side of yard)

and the east  building,

I have booked them to paint the milk barn in the spring; will have to remind  them probably but that is OK.

Still haven't got the bill  yet; that may be a shocker.  I don't stress over repairs and upkeep; they are what keep a property looking good and holding value (I hope).

We had a serendipitous moment after the job was finished.  We had them haul the bulk tank to their place to take at  their  leisure into town  for salvage....meantime someone  they knew came by and wanted to buy it!  Good news.  He is a dairy systems installer  and he came over  to get some peripherals that go with the tank if used and I talked to him about rigging my stall with a unit to milk Willow into the fresh cow bucket.  He said it would be a simple job and promised me Wednesday or Thursday.  I want all options open. It just takes 3  minutes  to milk by bucket.....cleanup is more but if I have a flareup with my
hands, DH can milk!  I just reminded DH, he could milk her  then....he  was not nearly as excited about that as I was.


I am living proof you can teach an old dog new tricks.  I have been making biscuits for over 50 years and just learned a new technique from Thibault's Table (thank you Ann).  We both use the same recipe but I have never used the folding technique with the dough.

Here are the results from this morning:

Note: I forgot the dimple so I did have a couple lean a little sideways.

I like those little layers....also the biscuit breaks open easily instead of just the top as sometimes happens.

Here is why I should have done the dimple:

Check out her blog for explicit directions and the recipe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The sun is shining; it is 46°; Willow actually let her milk down this morning; the crew are hanging the outbuilding doors; our son is coming in this evening; our daughter tomorrow.  We are both well. All is right with the world and I am happy and truly thankful.

The puppy is doing well and is in full puppy mode!  E gads!, what have I done?  It has been a while since we had a puppy and we had almost  forgotten.  She has had no more accidents and lets us know when she needs to go out.

The Range Farm crew came out yesterday to finish up the milk parlor and the two outbuildings.  Remember they had been out earlier to measure, spread two loads of  gravel and take the  bulk tank out of the parlor.  They are a local business and do outstanding work.  They also do custom hay and we had them do our hay this year.  We were very pleased with that too.

We have also engaged them to paint the barn in the spring.

This is the owner hard at work on the new entrance door to the Milk Parlor/Exercise Room.

The new door in place,

This is the old chicken house on the west side of the yard.  The men finished hanging the new doors this morning,

They will add new siding to the two narrow strips  on either side of the door.

Those same two men are now hanging the sliding doors on the east shed.

We are both so pleased to get this project  done. 
I asked their permission to post the pictures and tell you about their company.  We  recommend them highly. 

I have two slabs of baby back ribs in the oven now for our dinner with our son this evening.  I will also be testing my new deep fat fryer with french fries.  I am making him his favorite cream pie.
More on how all this turned out later.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and eat until you drop.  We can all start dieting the day after.........or not.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

strugglingwith new layout-bear with me please.


I was awake very early again, but came to my nest in the kitchen and fell asleep while reading and slept another hour.

It seems we spent the week running back and forth to various stores; I kept forgetting things I wanted for Thanksgiving and then there was the bird seed I wanted....I think we are finally in good shape and stocked up.

I hope the bird seed will last all winter. I got 50lbs of black oil sunflower seeds and 40 lbs of wild bird seed. We got out three feeders,  cleaned them and filled them with a mix of seeds. So far, no one has showed up.  I wish I had them out when the first birds came back a few days ago.  Hopefully, they will return. 


I needed sage a week or  so ago to make dressing and was out of ground sage.  I have a very old sage bush in the garden and harvest two branches (note to self:  I need to prune it severely in the spring).  I dried them in the microwave, starting with one minute and had to do it  a little longer.  I was very pleased with the results. It stayed a very bright sage green and stripped off the stem and crumbled in my hand nicely.  I think it was better than just drying the normal way.

I want to have a real herb garden next year.  I have already started by planting my rhubarb and some chives by the back door.  I have several lavenders and the sage and a few others that slip my mind.  I don't think it will be dry enough or large enough where they are now, but think I can use my landscape timbers and extend and raise the level that should make it work.  Something to ponder this winter.

Farm Life

DH has moved  the cows to the  east side of the farm to the 'new 40'.  This would be the top  right of  the t-shape of the farm.  He said there was lots of grass for them for now.  We have discussed renting the water from the new Texas neighbors for next year; not a critical factor since one of the fields has a pond, but makes it nice to use the three fields separately for grazing. He said no problem. When the previous owners of both places lived here,they had put in a water line to the back of that field with an in-ground concrete stock tank and we have always rented it from them. 

We are going to look  at some puppies today.  We miss having a dog. These will be large dogs; both parents are part Boxer and part Great Pyrenees.  The mother is short haired but the puppies could go either way.  We will keep it in the house this winter and then it will probably be an indoor/outdoor dog.We will have to figure that out.  I don't want to loose another one to the front road!  This little project should keep us both busy this winter.  He DH wants a male; I want a female. We will  probably just choose the friendliest puppy.  I think this mix  would make a  very good farm dog.

If I complain down the road about it digging in my garden and flower beds, feel free to remind me that I  did this free choice!

This is a recent picture of my future milk cow, Jewel: (I hope I haven't already shown it)

She is still such a sweetheart of a cow; so different from Willow.  She will  come right up to you for scratches under her chin or to chew on you.  I do hope she stays that way.


Surprise!  The Kumson forsythia is blooming a little bit-----again.

The foliage of this one is very nice,

These are two garden plants that just don't do well for me here,

I have mentioned geraniums (the potted kind)before and the other is  forsythia!  I see forsythia everywhere in the spring that are such a solid mass of yellow blooms and mine have a scant few.  I even cut the huge one in the east yard  down to the ground one year and waited almost three years for it to bloom again.....still very unimpressive.  I have two more including the Kumson and don't get lots of blooms on either.  My soil may be missing something???

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bathing in the Cold - Guest Photographer

2:21AM (this time change is killing me!)  33 ° ,  slept in my chair in the kitchen for a hour or  more.  DH got up and made  our first pot of coffee.

Weather is still quite perfect for  fall,especially in the Ozarks where we sometimes just skip fall go right to winter.

Some trees, especially the oaks are still hanging on to their leaves.  I keep wanting to  take a  tour of  the farm, but we hear guns during the day so I will wait until deer season ends.

The following photos are the gift of my live-in photographer, sometimes know as DH,  my helpmeet, my banker and some others that I will not share publicly lest you think I often swear............he  does like  taking pictures and  took this series while I was reading in the kitchen.  These are all out from the window above the sink.

I thought they were very good.  God bless  that little Canon and  him.

This is just to give some perspective showing the  birdbath and the Nandina bush (red berries) outside the kitchen window.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chore time (feeding and doctor appointments)

It was 35° at 3:30 Am this morning.  Our little warmup has arrived.

This is the morning for my 'unusual' doctor's visit. I got a call wanting me to just come in to catch up, update things, etc.  I told her  I  was not up for a physical or anything of that nature.  Oh no, just an update (and an office call for the insurance and Medicare).  I am going more out of curiosity than anything else.  I am also fasting just in case they want to do blood work and I  have to go back (another visit!) like they recently did for DH.  I am a crafty soul.......wonder how many tests they suggest I get??? The appointment is for 8:15  and is near my store for King Arthur flour so we will be stocking up.  Also I want to get bird seed at  the nearby farm supply store.  I noticed my little finches are back and checking the hummer feeders.  I don't want them to move on.

I took some pictures of chore time.

This is Jewel,my future milk cow.  We have begun giving her just a small amount of grain daily.
She is still such a pet; I sure hope that carries over when I start milking her.

and this is Willow eating while the babies are  eating,

Dinner for two:

I think the new calf needs to fill out more, but he seems to be getting his share of milk.  We stay with them until they finish to be sure.

and, always, the cats.  I  am not keeping a  spread sheet on how much food they are eating.....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fall in my own Yard

4 AM, 24°.  We are a little cooler than norm  now but the rest  of the week promises to be very nice.  A possibility of rain exists for the weekend.  We ended up with an inch over the weekend.  The grass is still  looking very good for the cows.

I was afraid my October Glory maple  tree was going to loose  all its leaves before turning color but it didn't.  It has had better years, but no wonder with the summer  we had.

One of the first things we did when we moved here in 1991 was plant  4 new trees on the west side of the house to replace some we have to have taken down due to rot or storms.  I know now I planted them too close to the house but I chose the same locations  the previous trees were in......too late now.

This was taken looking northwest just before the rain came in.

I planted starting from south to north, a Swamp Oak (does not require a swamp to flourish), a White Oak, a Pin Oak and the October Glory red oak.
The Swamp Oak  doesnt show in this only the white (left to right) and the pin oak.
From Fall 2012

This is the Swamp Oak.  The bark is a highlight of this tree.

and this is how I leave my yard; I love the leaves over the grass.,

I saw these way across the field to our west boundary fence.  This is with the 12x zoom:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 2-10- Random Farm Pictures

Running behind as usual.

We are still enjoying perfect fall weather but a change is a coming.  Today will be mid-60's and tomorrow mid-40's.  This is very typical of Ozarks weather.  It is windy today (Sunday) and has dropped 2 degrees since I got up at 4 AM.  I hope the promised rain shows up.

The week has gone by very quickly with just normal and not so normal events. I spent more time cleaning the barn and have finally swept out my milking side the the hallway connecting both sides.  I am still cleaning off the selves in the hallway.  I am very sporadically using the treadmill.  Have I mentioned I hate exercise as such!

We had to  make a doctor run for Max.  He had an ear problem but that has been fixed so that was a relief.  Then,of  course, they wanted him back in for blood workup (and he should be back in 6 months for another  one!) also want him back in 4weeks to check his ear.  Do you see a pattern here????

I go in tomorrow for the final  (I hope) crown to be installed.

The election more to be said on that.

I have milked twice...all very routine.

The non-routine farm related thing was DH discovered a neighbor's bull on us.  Neighbor asked if he could leave him for some time.  We said sure.....maybe some new genetics for our recently freshened cows.  Then our back/north neighbor called asking if we had found a young rented bull on our place.  I told him no and then explained about the south neighbor's bull.  Well,  when DH checked the cows later that morning, he found the second stray bull.  The got him up the next morning (Saturday) and we loaned him our trailer so he could return the bull to the man he got him from.  I was glad to see that one go.  Rental bulls have been exposed to lots of animals and we try to keep a closed herd so disease isn't ever a problem here.  We don't think he bred anything so that is good.

We have both taken a few random farm pictures.  I hope you enjoy them.

This is the 'old farm', a 30 acre parcel we  kept when we bought this one.  It forms the north west branch of the t shape.  I have tried unsuccessfully to find what the brown, curly grass one seems to know.  I think it is interesting  looking.

This is taken from the seat of the ATV (see the camera bag) on the old farm in front of the pond.


This is a rear view; I cannot figure how he got this shot; usually they keep an eye one anyone near and all you see are heads.

and  this is some of the fall babies:

Can you see them?

DH had my old Canon that only has 4x zoom.

This was taken across the road from the porch using the 12x zoom on the Panasonic.

I have to share this one, the Paul McCartney rose.  I have a love/hate relationship with roses.  I think they are very difficult to grow well without constant attention.  I have had this rose for at least 15 years.  I can't believe it myself!  It has had very little attention.  I don't detect any fragrance.  I do love the large hips in the fall.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Kitchen Cabinet Cleaning Project

I am happy to report the project went well yesterday.

Here he is just stepping down from the step stool telling me don't take my picture.......

I have to admit I can't see the difference but they do 'feel' clean and I know they are now.  I did the curtains and windows and the ceiling fan.

I also did the old fashioned floor mopping (down on your knees) but just around the cabinets; I will finish that today.

Here is the view out my sink window without the curtain and looking through a clean glass for a change.

From November 2012 Blog

 I was tired by lunch so I found some frozen chicken and noodles and had a salad with craisins and toasted almonds.  I made a simple vinaigrette using sunflower seed oil.  I had laid out a sirloin steak earlier but didn't want the mess so put  it in the fridge and will have it  today.  We toasted the last hamburger bun to have with the meal.  No dessert.

Speaking of lettuce, usually I don't like buying it out of season but last week when we had company coming and I was trying out the new Walmart Neighborhood Market I spied this product.  It was $2.50 and didn't look like much for that price.  I had never bought lettuce in this kind of a container before  and gave it a try.  I am sold.  There are 4 individual little bunches of a gourmet type lettuce and they keep remarkably well.  I bought them October 21 and the remaining lettuce is perfectly good, only the 'stump' end that you cut away is browning.  Each little head makes us two salads.  I think it is a good buy and will stop just for it when we visit the MIL.  I don't know if the regular WM carries it or not but will check.

Routine Day

The weather continues very 'fallish' and wonderful.

Yesterday was milk day.  Willow seems to be settling more into the routine.  She comes willingly (well,with some 'rear' encouragement) up the ramp into the barn and ,  best of all, the last two times she has actually let her milk down more.  I got 3 half gallons yesterday morning and a cup and a half  over.

I got on the treadmill for a couple of minutes and decided that  the bike was the vehicle for me.  I didn't do very long.  Could have done much  longer but the boredom of the thing drives me crazy.  I am taking the radio and some cd's  out  for the next time.  Remember the equipment is in the room where  I process the milk so I have no excuse at all for not using it.

My new tooth is ready but my dentist is not.  I am scheduled the second week of November.

I am getting the helpmate to start  the cabinets today....will let you know how that goes.

My red maple that normally get a beautiful red all over has just a small twig that has turned color.

I think it will loose the rest of the leaves without turning at all.

The chickens have begun their annual molt.  That means egg production is dropping quickly,  only one yesterday and three the two  days before.