Monday, December 31, 2012

December 20 - December 31

I think I set a record for no journal entries.....It has been a busy 11 days!

This our weather right now.  This is taken from the porch looking south,

What has been happening on the farm....
First of all, we had Christmas with our daughter before  Christmas....they left on Christmas Eve. I made lots of jams and breads for them all.

They left on the 24th

Our son brought his three down on the 25th.....on the way to a skiing trip to Colorado.  They spent the night and left by 5 am the next morning.  The middle one, Jen, 12, stayed the rest of the week with us.  She didn't enjoy the long skiing days.

They spoiled Sugar while here.  They got her up in their laps in my kitchen chair....daily.  That is a little habit I will have to break this week.

They packed up everything and left by 5 AM this morning. 

I am now out of bread....almost out of jam  and will be baking either later today or tomorrow.

I took a bad cold yesterday but am some better this morning.  I am taking massive doses of Vitamin C which I think is helping.

Happy New Year to all my Friends in Blog Land!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday, 12/20/12,  4/55AM.

I am listening to the winds whip around the house and watching the temperature begin to drop....from 55 at 2:45 down to 45 now.  It is supposed to drop down to 36.  This isn't going to last long for us here in the lower southwest Missouri Ozarks area. 

I don't want it to be blizzard conditions for farther north, but they sure do need moisture.

This has been a busy week.  I have made 3 batches of peach jam, 2 of apple jelly, one of blackberry, two of strawberry and 4 pints of apple butter.  Most will be for the kids for Christmas.  I am baking bread today for them also.  We decided some time back to fore go lots of adult gifts. 

I am cutting back on the goodies too.  I have just made a batch of peanut brittle (went to my MIL) and finally a successful batch of fudge!  Today I am making spritz butter cookies . They are a favorite of our daughter's family.  They are the only one to be  with us this Christmas.

I hope to squeeze in some divinity so I can share the method with my Ia. Sis.  She says she hasn't had good luck making it.

The tree is finally up....  For some reason the center  section of lights on the prelit tree hasn't worked for a couple of years now.  I have tried every trick in the book to find the problem.  Simple solution....restringing that section independently.  I hope I can dismantle it leaving those lights in place.

I had to thaw another block of puppy treats and bake for Sugar.  We need to be a little  more conservative with her treats....just as a reward for minding us about coming to us outside.  We have been more daring with her; letting her run loose outside while we watch her.  She has so much energy that walking on that little leash wasn't getting the job done!  She runs like a greyhound!

We are back to birdwatching:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 15, 2012

 I thought this had been published on the 15th......nada.  I downloaded Yahoo Messenger and have been loaded with lots of extras stuff....busy getting rid of it.  It also caused me to be unable to post pictures to new posts.....still working on that one!  May I never download another thing again...................Amen.

The weather has moderated a bit....48° at 3:30 AM.  We had a very light mist during the night. Poor DH had to take Sugar out 3 times. I think it is due to the wormer and thankfully, that is over.

Not much has happened since I blogged last.  I did remove  the shower doors and framing.  We found a curtain we liked and a few small accessories.  I am going to order reversible dark brown rugs to pick up the brown in the curtain. I will never buy a rubber backed rugs again.....these have deteriorated to the point of leaving traces stuck to the tile flooring that have to be scraped off.

My towels go with the curtain fine but I may order a set of dark brown just for a change.
These are the I have to keep the vanity cleaned better!

I still need to work on the silicone residue and apply the trim to cover the holes where the shower door frame was.  I will  hold off on that until I see  if we are going to love the curtains vs. the doors.


I made a batch of Mom's peanut brittle yesterday.  I made it for my MIL, she  said she would never  make it again and gave me her raw peanuts.  It was my FIL's favorite candy and he asked for it  often.  I was so happy I made him some just before he died.

This is such a simple recipe.  I have never had it fail.  The tricky thing is waiting for the light brown stage.  I start smelling the cooking peanuts just before there is just a slight tan tinge....then get it off the stove and finish it.,

Mom’s Peanut Brittle (originally from Esther Foster, Uncle Jess’s wife)

Start with peanuts at room temperature!
1 cup sugar
1 /4 cup water
½ cup Karo syrup
Pinch salt

1 teaspoon soda
1-1/2 cup raw peanuts

Mix first four ingredients into pan stir while reaching boiling stage.
Boil until a thread spins. Add 1-1/2 cup raw peanuts. Cook to light brown stage, stirring constantly.
Add l teaspoon soda and l teaspoon butter. Stir well.
Pour onto buttered cookie sheet. I stretch a little just as soon as I can handle it. I like it as thin as possible. When cooled break into pieces and store airtight.

Note: I forgot the pinch of salt once; just sprinkled very lightly over top with salt shaker. Worked great.

This is how it looks once you stretch it to the breaking point.

and this is after being broken into bite site pieces.

This filled a quart jar completely (we had sneaked a few pieces first)

Random Pictures

The birds have found the feeders at last.  We have woodpeckers, finches and white crowned sparrows so far.

I still haven't mastered shooting in the sunlight, but here is what I got from my desk chair shooting onto the porch (east) into the morning light.

The woodpeckers waste the most food.  Can you see the corn in the background.  They sort of root around looking for the sunflower seed, knocking out of the way anything they don't want.

The quality of this isn't good but I like that I can see four different species of birds at once.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Our cold front has arrived....22° here with a windchill of 9°.  I know that last number is true because I took Sugar outside at 3 AM and she didn't want to come back in so I had to walk back to the barn to get her attention so I could attach the leash.....I won't make that mistake again!

Things have been very quiet here on the farm.  The only farm related news is we now remember why we have some red calves this year (refer to previous posting).  Our neighbors giant Hereford bull is with us again.  They keep him all alone in a field behind ours (a very stupid thing to do) and he gets lonely.......of course, we do have cows in heat after fall calving.  We aren't even telling them this time; surely they will miss him eventually.  In the meantime we get this influx of very expensive, pure Hereford blood into our mix.

DH will be getting calves up sometime this week for us to check about weaning some of the largest ones.

I am trying to re-organize myself  and get into a schedule....we used to be very on schedule and I miss that.
So, no more lollygagging around all morning in my pj's and drinking coffee and reading or playing on the internet.  So by 5:30 AM this morning I was up showered, hair shampooed, makeup on and dressed....all before breakfast.  We shall see how long this lasts.........I do like it though.

I think today I will clean the refrigerator and bring out the Christmas decorations in the afternoon. (Update: haven't done that yet).

Random Pictures

I usually don't use family pictures, but this one was put on Facebook, so I feel free to put it here.

This our granddaughter who got to 'meet and greet' Cody Simpson.  (Yes, I didn't know who he was either....until I looked him up and listened to him on YouTube) She took her friend to his concert in KC Saturday night.  The meet and greet was arranged by someone at Hallmark where our daughter has worked since MU.  Isabel is on the left.

and a current (this afternoon about 10 minutes ago) of Sugar,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

November 29-December 3 Random Farm Pictures

We got a very nice rain last night.  Of course, I had put away my gauge and don't see  a bucket anywhere in sight.  The bird bath is full.  I am guessing at least 1/2 inch.  Yesterday was very warm and I worked outside in just a flannel shirt (and jeans!). 

I had planned to weed the struggling strawberry bed, soak it deeply and then till the rest of the garden.
My plans didn't work out exactly.  I did get the strawberries ready for mulch but by the time I pulled the rest of the corn stalks and mowed off the remain weeds, I was too tired to till.  After the rain, I will have to hold off on tilling.  No doubt by then, it will cold own fault for being too lazy to get it done before this.

The weeds in the strawberries were henbit.  Even in damp soil they are hard to pull, most were hoed out.

One thing I noticed was how the self-seeded malva sylvestris had grown vigorously this fall.  They are about bushel basket size or larger.  I may have to eliminate most of them.  Once they get started they are very difficult to remove.  The roots are like hollyhocks, touch and deep.

I also see I have a lot of dried Trail of Tears beans to harvest for seeds.  I will let them dry after the rain.

The puppy is so rambunctious that I can't let her roam free while I am working.....she heads to the front of the house or the road.....she slipped her collar when I tied her out in the garden with me.  My garden is not dog proof. 

Random Farm Pictures

DH wanted to take the camera with him yesterday to take pictures of a new 'tiny' baby calf.  She is out of a first calf heifer and is the smallest one we have had born.  We will keep a close watch on her; her Mama may not be giving enough milk. I can graft her on Willow if need be.  Willow's two could be weaned anytime.  They are 3 months old.

From Cows 2012

Not  sure which field this is, but just some of the cows still grazing.  We are now putting out hay daily just in case.

From Cows 2012

DH tells me we have two or three of these little red calves, a first.  I suspect our neighbor's Red Angus bull has been visiting.