Saturday, January 18, 2014

Week's Worth of Life on the Farm

I have not been taking I could get things out of order but  my life has been out of order since I posted  last so........We had guests for 5 days.

 A week later had an overnight guest again.  Our granddaughter's girlfriend came down to surprise one of the boys for his birthday.  No one knew anything about it until she was ready to leave St. Louis. To say were were very surprised it putting it mildly.  It was just overnight stay this time.

The big farm news is we sold a trailer  load of prices ever.  We are feeling very fortunate about that.  The sad part of it is a very large heifer stuck her head though the panels in the loading alley and before we could get her out (she had a front leg and head on one side and a rear leg out on the other),  she died! We tried not  to think about the cost.....
We haven't lost an animal in a long time.  I used to go bonkers when things like this happened but it is part of farming or ranching.  She was the first one down the alley so that delayed things a bit.  It also spooked the other calves so it took a couple of attempts to settle them down.
 I was pleased that I was able to stay out and help drive the calves into the loading alley.  I worked the squeeze gate that crowded the calves into the alley.  I wasn't in the pen with the calves at all.....I know better than that after our last near disaster!

Our 'boys' wired 100 feet of coaxial cable through the attic so I could have television in the guest bedroom, but they were rushing to the birthday dinner and left me with an incorrect hookup and two 4 inch or so holes in the living room and bedroom wall.  I was so tired after them  being here and having the unexpected guest that I left things lay until Sunday.  I figured the correct hookup to the outside antenna and have the holes filled.  My new neighbor made me two face plates out of scrap material,  even beveled  the edges and sanded them.  I am letting the foam insulation cure and then will attach them to the wall, paint, and that annoying project will be finished.

I just ordered   a new cordless drill/driver set from Amazon with our Christmas money. It was a real bargain.  When I told our neighbor (he is a retired builder and jack of all trades) that I got as excited in the tool department as some women did in the clothing section of department stores, he said when we are next down, he will show me all his tools from the construction business.  I know I don't need any more but I do appreciate them.  I have a router that hasn't even been out of the box!

My next project is to build some shelving for the back porch.  It will be very simple, open type shelving and I won't even paint them.  Just clear stain like the Swedish shelving sold.   I have the lumber bought.  Just need to cut to length and screw together (with the new tool coming next Tuesday).  I am using black screws so they will be exposed.

I plan to get a seed and onion order placed this weekend.  BTW, my Sis just told me something she learned from  someone recently.  When your onions are dry and cured, store them in paper grocery bags.  She has done some that way and they are still as firm as day one.  I now have to see if my local store still uses paper  bags and start saving for next year.  I still have lots left but have also lost a few.

Nothing special in cooking just my normal bread-making,

By now most know I am l00% sold on using King Arthur flour for bread making.  I am delighted to find the Walmart in Bolivar, Mo. carries the regular in both l0 and 20 lbs bags.  I wish they did bread flour in those sizes too.  I am now buying the l0 lbs size.  I would get the larger if storage wasn't an issue.  I am thinking about buying food grade storage buckets for the larger size.

Today I need to make up my pie crust that I keep in the freezer.  I cheated a little and bought the lard in a l-lb package. I hate measuring lard and weighing it. 


  1. Your bread looks delicious! I've been baking ours lately...but it never looks quite that nice. I'm also a fan of King Arthur Flour...I use the unbleached kind. Is that what you use? I've been mixing in a little whole wheat with it.
    Sorry to hear about that heifer. It sure stinks when those things happen, and they inevitably do. Thankfully it's not too often!

    1. I use KA bread flour and SAF-instant yeast. When I make whole wheat I go about 50/50 white whole wheat flour. I also let my white bread do three rises.
      Let rise in bowl for first rise; punch down; let double again. Make into loaves and let rise the third time. It gives a really fine texture. I think secret to the high rise is the bread flour which has a higher protein content.

  2. Glenda,

    You've been very busy my friend. I can see taking a break for a while before cleaning or doing things around the homestead.

    Congrats on selling a trailer load of cows. I'm sorry to hear about your large heifer.

    Nothing like unexpected guests......been there, it's takes a toll on you sometimes.

    1. Sandy, I take too many breaks.

      Thanks for visiting.

  3. I've been storing my garlic in the bottom crisper, in paper lunch sacks. You can buy them at WMT where the plastic wrap and foil is. Our WMT also sells white paper lunch sacks. They are a little heavier than the brown ones. I'm going to try wrapping my onions that I buy at the store in newspaper. Seems like I always lose some of them before I get them used.

    I needed to buy yeast and bought SAF instant this time. Got a good price on four pounds at Amazon. Freezing three pounds, they came separately vac packed in 1-pound packs. I wish I could get KA bread flour here. Haven't seen it anywhere, I thought I might see it at Sam's but no. Our WMT doesn't carry it. So I'm still adding dough enhancer to wheat berries I grind up when I need them. Not as pretty as your bread, but still better than store bread.

    Looks like you have become the jumping-off point for those kids. It will calm down eventually. So sorry to hear about the heifer. Such a sudden death -- what did she do, break her neck? When they die accidentally like that can you get them processed for freezer meat or do you just have to bury? You can tell I don't know much about cattle.

  4. So very glad you got good prices for the calves. Curious here. That unfortunate heifer -- were you able to use the beef to any of your own advantage?

    Only 15F here yesterday and not much better going for the next whole week. Brrrr! I'm like you - I'd rather shop for tools than clothes. LOL (*sigh* My wardrobe really reflects that, though. *heh*) And doncha hate it when you have to finish/clean up after someone else's job? That happens more and more these days.

    I think I have to make some soda breads this week. You are inspiring me. :-D

    1. Kris, the cow would have release too many hormones (adrenaline?) from the excitement and the meat would not have been good, only for dog food (or varmints) so she really was a loss for us.

      I agree on today's workmen or work boys! We were paying way above minimum wages too.

      Slightly warmer here today.

  5. Dear Glenda ~ What an interesting post, so full of living life there on the farm. You encourage me so much with all that you do. I got a bit apprehensive this morning thinking about setting the clothesline poles, mixing up quickcrete. I need to calm down, and think it all through, and be brave!

    I was so sorry to hear about the calf. That would be heartbreaking to me, but like you said, it's part of farm life.

    Your bread looks scrumptious as always.

    Have a GREAT week and thanks so much for your inspiring posts.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Lorraine, I mix concrete in a wheel barrow right at the point of use and then can dump it where I need it. All you need is a hose, shovel and a strong back! You can do it! Wear gloves; concrete is bad on skin. Use a level to be sure you have the steel posts vertical before the concrete sets up.

  6. It's always a whirl wind on a farm.

    So sad for your loss. I hope you were able to save the meat. Our prices were good this year, thank goodness. Hay was plentiful.

    Have a wonderful week.

  7. Hubby swears by muck boots. I just want a pair that will go anywhere I want to, water, mud, rocks, hiking.

  8. It's me again. I can't find your email to reply to your comments. Your replay address is no reply comment blogger.

  9. I'm sorry to hear about the heifer...that was quite a loss. Glad to read the tip about storing onions, I'll have to try that if we have any this year. I wonder if the lunch sacks you buy in a package would work? Might be that they're too thin. And, the bread looks yummy as always! I love homemade bread. Yum. Stay warm!

  10. Good luck to you and your endeavours. I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.