Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Haying at Last

The weather is still very hot and humid.  The rains have let up somewhat.

The cut about 15 acres of hay yesterday and it is now waiting to be raked.  The showered on it very briefly yesterday evening.  We still have a chance of getting it wet, but it was past time to get it put down.  Max is making all the decisions regarding the hay.......I get  torn  between wanting  it  cut and afraid it will get rained on.....I am not good at making decisions whether they are large or small.

I haven't done much outside the last two days  for one reason or the other.  I did finally get 4 bales of straw mulched on the garden fence border and the sweet potatoes.  I hated to do it but I resorted to herbicide for some weed control.

We put the trail camera out to see what was happening around the compound during the night.  First night in the chicken yard we caught zip until we turned the girls out the next morning.   Then we did another night and I put  the memory card in backwards................no excuse for that dumb thing.

We  put it out around the feed room last night and just caught ghost figures of light colored cats moving about.  We did get

some nice shots of some of the  cows (Jersey and friends) when we moved it the the gate in front of the garage.
From night camera
Varmint No.l before he took the memory card out.

We have been enjoying our morning coffee on the new porch.  This morning it was just 72° which was perfect.

When the sun came up I took a picture or two:

This is the seedling peach right outside the kitchen window.  I didn't  realize it had peaches until they turned color.

This is the hill of Long Island Cheese Squash (pumpkin) that I planted in the new bed in front of the gas tank.  I thought I would use it as ground cover so I wouldn't have to cut  the crab grass.  It  worked!  I am guessing it is at least 15x20 feet.  I still need to wade in and pull some taller lamb's quarter.

and another gift from the birds:

This is a perennial rudbeckia 'Herbstonne' that has been growing here for several years now.  I should figure a way to stake it because it gets 6 feet tall in really good years and tends to lean or fall.

The only productive thing I have done is make a  batch of Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies.

This recipe is from Bonnie Plants:
If time is short, you can bake the cookies immediately. However, placing the cookies in the freezer to firm before baking helps the cookies maintain a perfect shape as they bake. You can substitute chopped fresh rosemary or lavender for the lemon thyme.
Servings: 2 dozen
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine flour, thyme leaves, and salt in a small bowl, and set aside.
Process butter and sugar in a food processor until smooth and well combined, stopping to scrape down sides. Add vanilla; process 15 seconds.
Add flour mixture; pulse 10 to 12 times until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and forms a ball.
Divide dough in half. Roll each half to ¼-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface, adding just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. Cut with a 2-inch cookie cutter, and place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Place cookie sheets in freezer for 20 minutes or until cookies are firm to the touch.
Bake at 275 for 30 minutes or just until edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

At Last; A bright (and very hot) and sunny and dry Saturday Morning! Part 2

Now we have heat alerts looming over the next several days!  Ahhhhh, life in the Ozarks.

First thing I did this morning (still in my jammies and Muck boots) was walk out to the west lot where we have Willow and her new baby.  I was so worried.  Yesterday morning Max came in after checking her and said we had something that got after her and the baby during the night!  He had the camera so we had pictures.  I had the window open on that side of the house, but neither of us heard anything.

We have no idea what the beast was.  We mounted the game camera on the gate and will leave it for a while.  There was nothing on it this morning.

Her wounds are on her should and the calf has a torn patch of skin on the top of his left hip.  Max said the baby was up nursing this morning when he went out.  We will try to get the baby up into the barn but we have so much standing water and the calf doesn't want to cross it.

Yard pictures
The birds planted it and they are eating it.  Good for them; I let them down again this year.

                                                                                  Our driveway river.

I was not finished with this but must have hit the wrong key....I have already corrected two typos and there may be more.

I will now finish what I started:

Yesterday morning I made Goat's Milk soap again using dried goat's milk and increased the recipe to 32 oz.  which filled my mailer lid perfectly.
 I cut it into bars this morning.  We have decided we like using larger bars so I made these for us.  The soap will turn more brown as it ages which is normal.

Photos from resident photographer:

Max is getting very artistic with his photos:  He was looking up at the trees this time.  I like them!

This is the end!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mystery Varmint Identified and some flower pictures

Well, it is another wet day in the Ozarks.  We have had 1/2 inch of rain in the early hours and more is due this afternoon before a drier and much hotter spell.  Maybe the heat will dry out our swamps.  Tractors can't get into the fields  until some of this wet  goes away.

Mystery Varmint:

Mystery solved.  We got the beast out of the trap (after it was deceased) and I hosed it off.  Now you can see the rings around the tail and a faint white around the  eyes.  It is a raccoon that will catch no more of our chickens!

Water is now standing even deeper in the west yard.

This is the newly named Kerria Bed (for the kerria japonica pleniflora bush)

 I planted a few  white vinca at the edges, wish I had done more:
 Finally, for the first time a a few years, I planted zinnias which are just now opening:
 The next are some close-ups of the blooms:

 I even managed a second later planting hoping that the flowers would last longer:
Note the three small lavenders at the edges.  I think I have 5 or so planted at the edges of this bed.
 This is also the bed where I recently managed to get the clematis up on a small circle of green welded wire:
I forget the name of the variety but it is a Type 3 that you cut down each year.  I have another growing the an Alba Rose.
 This is the middle of the bed where you can see the ferny cosmos that will come on later.
 and of course, my old standby, self-seeded flowering tobacco, nicotiana sylvestris, that is everywhere!

The kerria is in a rebloom period now:

I have Max out taking pictures of Willow and her new baby (another Willow story coming) and the lane that is full of water now.

I think  I will make soap today.  We are getting low again.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

From the Swampy Ozarks

I have lost track of the running total but we have had another 2.25 inches over the last two days.  You go squish, squish walking through the yard and the chicken yard is standing water here and there.

More rain predicted over the next four days.

A side benefit to this weather is the way it sharpens my arthritis pain and discomfort!  I will say no more, but am thankful for Tylenol and Coated Aspirin.

I was up at my usual early time this morning.  I always read for a while and then do breakfast.  This morning it was scrambled eqqs and a new recipe from Allrecipes for Cinnamon Danish.  We think it is a keeper.

Original recipe makes 15 rolls Change Servings

  • PREP
    1 hr
  • COOK
    10 mins
    1 hr 40 mins


  1. Pour the warm milk into a mixing bowl and mash in the fresh cake yeast. Mix in 6 1/2 tablespoons of soft butter, eggs, cardamom, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, and 3 1/2 cups of the flour. Use a wooden spoon to mix the dough. If it's very sticky, mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
  2. Cream together the 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in the cinnamon.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it until it's firm, about 3 minutes. Divide the dough in half; roll each half into a rectangle no more than 1/2 inch thick. Spread each rectangle with half the filling.
  4. Stack one layer of dough and filling on top of the other rectangle of dough, filling-side up. Roll the dough up, starting with the edge closest to you, to form a long log. Cut the log into 1 inch-thick slices.
  5. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease a baking dish or two cake pans.
  6. Place the rolls on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 3 inches apart. If you like pull-apart rolls, arrange them in a greased baking dish or cake pans, spacing the rolls about 1 inch apart. Place the uneven end pieces on the baking sheet cut-side up for the best presentation. Let the rolls rest 20 minutes before baking.
  7. Bake the snails in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Pull-apart rolls will take longer to bake: after 10 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake the rolls until the sides are set and browned lightly.

I also made two loaves of oatmeal bread from Williams Sonoma's recipe for old-fashioned white bread.  I liked the recipe but next time would add less oatmeal (I subbed l cup for l cup flour) and more sweetener and less salt.

I put a pot of pinto beans on this morning.  That will be lunch/dinner.

We have lost 2 of our last 4 chickens lately, even after the new pen.  But Max didn't lock them up at night a few times and we paid the price (or they did).
We set the live trap but didn't catch anything for several nights.  Yesterday morning he took pics of the varmint we finally trapped.    It looks like a raccoom but has no 'bandit' eye patches.  Whatever it is, it is no more!


The rains have not helped the veggie garden or the flowers.  The pole beans seem to be enjoying it:

I like to encourage anyone, especially if you are an older gardener to give this method a try.  It is a hoophouse arrangement made from two cattle panels bent between steel t-posts.  I stand in the cool shade underneath and grab handbuls of beans.  There are a few I have to collect from the outside, but not many.

I have also harvested several eggplants and will try my Sis's method of cooking on the grill, cooling and freezing individually and bagging.  She then reheats them in the oven and says they are very close to fresh from the garden.  I like them better than DH, but he will eat  them.

This is enough for now.  I have taken a few more of the flowers but will do that later.