Friday, November 28, 2014

keepin it real

Some of the Thanksgiving mess I had on my table as I was getting ready to host Thanksgiving at my house this year. I shouldn't have cleaned some of it up prior to the pic... Just a small gathering of my side of the family (but snow came our way and they didn't come). Not to worry, my family was together and that is what matters. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday actually.
 So much has been going on with us. And I don't blog much anymore.
I was so busy this week. Crazy busy. A lot of time on the road. My son got his braces off Monday!!! YAYA!! (It's a 1.5 hour ride to the Orthodontist one way). Then Tuesday I had to go back to get his retainer and make sure it fit and all. I just gotta say his teeth look amazing! Worth everything!! He was excited because he could eat peanuts and pop corn! 2 years without it and he was hungry for both! He's such a great kiddos! So all day Wednesday I was cooking and cleaning. The kiddos helped out a lot too. They were great! And Thursday morning we were getting ready for our meal. My husband was outside cleaning up the mess from the snow we got Wednesday.
 We had a great Thanksgiving meal. I only had a few minor glitches in the food prep...but such is life. My turkey came out good. It was a fresh, locally raised one.(No we didn't raise it. But we will). I made a champagne infused turkey! I just love that recipe. I've made it several times and I've yet to be disappointed with the results. Just gotta add that we had local corn, and potatoes, homegrown carrots, and squash (that I forgot in the microwave) apple cider, and butter!! We had some other food, but not local stuff ;) Just gotta plug that local food thing, ya know!

I forgot the squash, one of my favorite things to eat. I knew something was missing, but couldn't put my finger on it..until we were picking things up and I found it in the microwave... ahhhhh. Our table with all my life gathered around it. Made my heart full!

My turkey. I always try my hand at decorating it a bit...whatcha think? I'm no Martha Stewart fer sure!! haha. If your wondering what is on it, it's onions, seasonings and some parsley.

Me and My Man dancing. :) :)

No I didn't go shopping on black Friday either. Nope. Nope.
Have a great day ya'll!!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

the view...

...from my world never gets old. Ever.

Have a great day all!

Monday, June 16, 2014


says hello!

Today they are out in the pasture enjoying the sunny weather and fresh green grass! Everyone is doing well. Maggie has not come down with milk fever and I think she's going to pass by it this time. I think the calcium pills must have helped. I'm relieved too.
All is well and quiet on the farm today. We are getting ready for our haying season. The weather should be nice for a good 5-6 days in a row!!! That is a lot for us this year. So hopefully we can get our first crop in. The fields are finally ready!
Have a great Monday all!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

new life

Oh this time of year on a farm!!! Maggie had her baby yesterday.

On her due date no less! Just before the rain came in, about 1:30. Missed the whole thing. Totally bummed about that.
 When we did chores yesterday morning we checked her out, and she didn't look like she was gonna have it. They slept in the barn due to down pours the night before. I'm glad she didn't have the baby during the night. The kiddos and I had lunch and then were headed out to check on things and there was the baby, fresh wet and super cute. I ran in the house and called my husband, but didn't reach him. He was pulling in the driveway as I was dialing his number. He was coming home to check on me. Apparently I had left the phone off the hook, for almost 2 hours, and he was concerned. I ran out to tell him about the baby, my camera in hand. We walked out to the pasture  and I snapped the above photo. Then tucked the camera under my shirt, because it was starting to rain. He grabbed the calf's back legs and looked...
a heifer!!!!!!!!!!
 As you can see Maggie is cranky. She has had 5 calves, and this is her 4th with us. She didn't charge at us, (as the picture would indicate she would) we had a stick in case she did. She shows a great deal of tough, and throws her head and paws the ground. We know her, and we know our limits with her. We are always careful.  My husband picked up the calf and I kept the stick close to Maggie's nose in case she decided to be funny. She didn't try anything. She stuck close to my husband and mooed as we walked to the barn. I think she must trust us with the babies now. She has calmed down since the first one she had with us. She is a great mom.

Mmmmm yummy colostrum.
Maggie looks pleased with herself. She has given us 3 heifers in a row. So I'm pleased. I'd be happy  if it were a bull calf. But I'm not gonna lie, I'm very pleased it's a heifer!!  I just want everyone to be healthy. And this little girl is healthy.

Cuteness all over the place!! We are in love with her already. Her name you wonder?

                                                      Black Eyed Susan AKA\ "Suzie"

She is named after one of our daughters favorite flowers. She is her calf.

 So far mama and baby are doing well. We are watching Maggie closely. Her last calf she got milk fever, but we caught it early and she came out of it, without too much complications. We gave her a calcium pill this last night, and she'll get one later today. So that hopefully will keep it away.
Have a great day all!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

whats cookin in my kitchen

So maybe I've been a little busy. Or just sitting in the sun that actually made an appearance the past few days. Yes we actually had SUN and warm weather for three days in a row!!! Oh the joy and happy dance I did. That is very rare here this year, so far. I even got a nice tan...err rather burn first then it became a tan!  And not to be too excited, today its pouring. So very sad. I love warm sunny weather...makes me very happy!
So I told you last time I would post something wonderful, and today I will make good on that. Go ahead, I'll wait while you drool....

This is so amazingly good. I promise!  If you like lemon and cream cheese. BUT I will say that the frosting (that is where the lemon and cream cheese are) light, creamy, and dreamy. I've already made this 3 times. So I should know, right?! And I have not been disappointed.
So what it this dreamy dessert? You wonder. It's called (a copy cat that I actually modified again) Olive Garden Lemon Cream Cake. Where did I ever find such an amazing combination of wonderfulness you ask yourself? Pinterest of course!

So easy to make. Really. Easy. The recipe follows if you are inclined to lemon and cream cheese.

The cake:
 Yellow box cake mix.
Gahhhh I shudder to think. This gal don't go that way. So I decided to make Pioneer Woman's Red Velvet Cake. What?! Wait a minute this cake is NOT red. OK, so here is my other thing. I HATE red velvet cake, it tastes like a chemical to me. Gross.  I use this recipe for any yellow cake I make, I just leave out the red dye and chocolate that she puts in it. This cake is so good and moist and well I just love it.  But if you like box cake mix go ahead. I won't judge. (But if you want the recipe I used it's called Red Velvet Cake by Pioneer Woman).
But make the cake you want, and put it in 2 greased round 8-9 inch pans and bake until done. Cool.

The frosting/filling:
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
2 C powdered sugar
3 T lemon juice
1 C heavy whipping cream
 Beat cream cheese powdered sugar and lemon juice together until smooth and creamy.
Whip the cream to stiff peaks.
Gently fold in the cream cheese mixture in to the whipped cream. Put in the fridge to keep it cold and the flavors to blend to a perfect creaminess.While the cake cools

* Crumb topping:
1/2 C flour
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
4 T butter
Cut together till crumbly
*I  only make half of this. It makes a large amount.

Once the cake is cool cut each in half. Put on a plate and spread half the frosting/filling on it. Then put the top on and put a little more frosting on top. It's all good if it oozes out the sides and down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle some crumb topping on it. Repeat with other cake.
Keep in the fridge so it won't spoil.
I put some lemon slices on top to make it look pretty. So there you have it. I just love this cake. It's light and creamy. Mmmmmmmmmm. I think I might have a large slice for my lunch!
Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

whats cookin in my kitchen

OK. So last week I teased with this...

mmmm looks so good. Well today I will share the recipe I used. I found it on Pinterest, and modified the frosting recipe they had with it! 

Swiss Roll
1/4 C cocoa
1/3 C flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t instant coffee
1/2 C sugar
1 t baking powder
4 egg whites and yolks (separate them)

Sift dry without the sugar. Whisk egg yolks with the sugar. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. Add it to the dry. The mixture will be dry, don't worry. Just mix it. Add 1/2 of the whites and beat to combine. Then fold in the last 1/2 of egg whites. (makes it light and fluffy).
I cooked it in a well greased stoneware pan. Or use a greased and lined jelly roll pan. Larger then a 9x13, so it's thin.  Bake 425 for 6-8min.
Once it's out of the oven let it cool for about 1 min. Get a tea towel, and drape it over the roll, flip the pan over and let it fall on the towel. (This is why it needs to be well greased) Once out, roll the roll in the towel and let cool on rack.  I wish I had pictures. Sorry, I hope you understand ;)  Cool completely. Make frosting.

For the filling I didn't use what the original recipe called for. They used marshmallow cream in their frosting, and I didn't have any. So I used my whoopie pie filling recipe. And that is as follows. And I didn't copy down their filling recipe either.

2 egg whites whipped to stiff peaks
3/4 C shortening
2 C powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
 Put in mixer and beat until smooth and creamy. 
Unroll the roll and spread filling on top. Carefully re-roll the roll up. Then...

Ganache Topping
1/2 C heavy cream
2/3 C dark chocolate
Warm cream and melt chocolate in it. Mix until smooth. Pour on top of jelly roll.
I found this was way too much ganche, for the size roll. Crazy I know, but it was. So I would only make 1/2 of this.
Dump this on the top of the roll.

To make it look pretty I sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top right before I snapped the picture. But I will say that it dissolved into the ganache, and made it look funny. So I wouldn't do that if you plan to make it and sever it later. People might think it's molded..just a word of caution.:)

* I found this very sweet. The roll and the frosting together, was too sweet for me. So I would try a different filling next time. I think I would use Pioneer Woman's "This is the best frosting, ever" recipe. It's sweet, but not overly sweet. I think it would complement the Swiss Roll much nicer.
But all in all I'd say it was good and I will make this again! If you make it let me know what you think! I'd love to know!
Oh and don't forget to check back soon I will have another recipe that I will be sharing! Oh it's amazing! Simply ah-maz-ing!!!  Trust me!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

memorial day

Happy Memorial Day to all past and present veterans! I am so thankful to you and your families for your service and sacrifice to this great country! May God add His blessing.

Monday, May 19, 2014

because it's monday

because it's raining...again. Because I can. And just to update you a little as to my life. So pull up a seat and some homemade Swiss roll and join me, if ya want. Just don't lick your computer screen!!

So ya I made this Swiss roll to lure you in, thinking I would have a recipe for it. Naww I just wanna tease. I found the recipe on Pinterest. Imagine that! I hope it tastes as good as it looks.

So Daffodil turned 1 on the 17th.

Here she is out in the field. She's got a personality of her own for sure! She is not one to be ignored, or to let you forget she is around. She will moo louder and longer then the other two, and for no real reason, other then she just wants you to know she is there! She will rub her head all over you if you are standing anywhere near her to get your attention too. And if you have your back to her she will butt you. If you go in the pasture with her she will come running to see you and want you to play with her. She is a big love really. And won't let you leave her out of anything! Kinda funny really. She's like the baby of the herd or something! Ha! For now!

Here is Magnolia! She is getting big! She's due in the middle of June. She decided to look down and eat, and then
she said "Gimme a kiss." Hahaha! Love my cows!

It's getting green here and the grass is growing. It's supposed to rain all week. Gahhhhhhh. Yuck. Been a cold wet spring here, and I'm sick of it. But I know there are droughts out west and all. I'd gladly send some rain out there for some sunshine and heat! I'll deal. I just might grumble a bit about it.

Got some seedlings for the garden this past weekend. No I didn't start my own. Blah blah blah...I know all about it. Didn't get around to it this year. Maybe next. I'm not too worried about it.  We've got the seeds to plant. Now it needs to warm up, not rain for a week, and dry out...again. Actually we don't plant until Memorial weekend. Should be warm by then...right?! I'm looking forward to the garden after such a long, cold winter, and now spring. I'm hopeful for a warm summer... time will tell. I got some herbs to grow again. I told my husband I wanted some pots so they didn't take over the garden, and he said that we could do that. I love to grow herbs! Fresh mmmmmm yummy. I've had them before, but decided to mow over them because the grass was too thick in parts of them and they were taking over my flower garden, and then the sheep came... So I figured with some big pots, that would be better. I'll find out!
 Oh and I do have the fire going today to take the chill off and keep the damp outta my bones. Gheez!
Farm life rolls on slowly and we get closer to the busy time of year.  
Oh and if you want the Swiss Roll recipe let me know and I'll post it. I don't want to keep all that deliciousness to myself! That would not be nice!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

maple syrup

So this year has been anything but a great sap season. Oh we had plenty of snow to help out the run of the sap! Rain and ice to boot. But the weather was so cold most all winter long, and well into the season it was still too cold, or just too hot. Really weird.  Anyways we did get some maple syrup, and some to sell. Not as much as previous years, but whatever. Tis the year for crazy weather.

My oldest girl, collecting one fine day.
 My second oldest girl collecting some more sap one fine day.

I'm stuck in the house finishing off some maple syrup. It was all darker stuff this year. I'm floating 60 briks in the cup back there. Time to bottle it. Just in time to get it done before chores if you can see the time ;)
Smells really good too!

Here is an area where we tap trees.
This is the ditch down the road from us. Looks more like it would be a stream. All the snow and rain we got finally melted!

Have a great day all!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


So on this very long dreary Saturday I decided to post.  The snow is almost gone here, and the rain has been falling. I know some are getting flooding with the snow they have and then the rain. I'm glad I live in wide open spaces on a hill ;) But it is wet here. It's spring after all.

So I have been milking Maggie, and my husband has been milking Dandie. Just to get her used to it. I milked Dandie once while my husband tailed he, a few days after she had her first calf. She knocked me off the stool, into Maggie. I managed to get the pail before she spilled all the milk but landed in Maggie's stanchion. I curled up to keep from getting kicked in the head, thankfully she didn't kick me. She just scooted to the side away from me. I picked myself up and looked at my husband. He just grinned at me and said "If that happens again, hit the gutter." The gutter being where all the pee and crap lands, if you didn't know. I curled my noes up at that, and began milking Dandie again. She didn't knock me off the stool again. I have milked her since then and she's doing better.

Our son has been chomping at the bit to milk his cow. We put it off to get Dandie more used to it, and we needed a new disc for the camera. We needed a picture. So the other day he got to milk his cow, the front quarters all by himself, by hand at that.
Here is my boy milking his cow. The black thing is a cow kicker, to keep her from kicking. She hasn't kicked with it on either.

Here is the milk coming out!! We didn't have any gloves that fit him. The purple boots in the back are me! I'm watching with a great deal of pride.
My boy didn't stop smiling the whole time he milked. He kept at it and didn't complain his hands were sore at all. Now he milks all four quarters by himself sometimes. He's always quite pleased with this new chore. He loves his cow, and now that she is productive it pleases him he's big and strong enough to milk.
Have a great rest of the weekend all!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

good quote

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." Winston Churchill

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

bitter sweet

Mama and son resting Saturday the 23. I took this picture and it was a bitter sweet moment for me. All of us really. We knew going into this birth, that if it was a bull calf then he would have to go. We couldn't use him for breeding, or have a "pet" and not for meat either. He was my son's calf and he decided that the sooner he went the better. My husband made calls and found someone that wanted him. So late Saturday morning he took this little charge and took him to a new farm with goats, bunnies, cows, and such.  The girls got all teary and didn't want him to go. We told them we didn't have a choice, and he had to go. Such is life on a farm and we can't keep him. My boy was gone for the day and when he got home my husband told him about it and he seemed ok with it. Dandie can have more and maybe next time she'll give us a heifer. That made him feel better.
Dandie went outside. She looked around and mooed a little. When they came back in the barn both cows mooed and looked around. I think they were a little confused. I felt bad. But all in all she seemed to take this ok too. The calf never nursed off her, so I don't know if that helped with her not being too attached to him. Not really sure. I try not to humanize it too much because it kills me. Being a mom and all I get all sad and melancholy when I think of taking the babies away.
As for the questions I got in the comments: Yes it was a bull calf.
Yes Dandie is a calm cow. She doesn't get too upset at things. Right from the get go with the calf she was calm with us being close to her, and him. We shall see how that goes with more babies as they come.
Yes Dandies tits are small. It's hard to milk her. We have to "strip" the teat rather then the regular squeeze. She prefers to have us start milking the front quarters first, then the back. Weird I know, but she stands better when we do it that way.
Have a great day ya'll!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

first milking

Here is my husband milking Dandie for the first time...
I'm actually tailing her while snapping this photo. I'm super talented like that you know. For those of you who don't know what tailing is, it's when you hold the cows tail straight up in the air. It puts pressure on the spine and makes it uncomfortable for the cow to wanna kick. Yes even though Dandie has been with us for her whole life and handled daily, and touched everywhere, she still did some kicking and dancing. We hand milk still. I know way like olden days. But I actually love to milk by hand. Again, I'm weird, and when we go to milkers I will miss hand milking. But all in all Dandie didn't do too bad at all. She's a calm cow anyways and she didn't get too bothered at this milking...

Here he is the next morning 3-21-14. It's a little blurry because my camera was on the wrong setting. My bad. But still, he's super cute. Looks like his mama. Pale brown, and not real red like Daffy was.

We feel like in a way we've come full circle on the farm. The first heifer cow that was born here, has now had her first calf.

Monday, March 24, 2014

much ado about spring

So here we are in the north country and it feels like it's the middle of January, not the end of March. Bitter cold and snow storms and more coming this week. Yuck is all I'll complain about the weather. Just looking forward to the warmer weather.

The 20th of March came. It was a mild day. The first day of spring. It was snowing and over cast, but the temps were not that bad during the day. We had been keeping an eye on Dandie as you all know. They were in the barn because of the snow. I went and did afternoon chores and didn't notice anything exciting. My husband came home around 2 and went to check the cows. He came in the house and said Dandie was in labor. We decided to put her outside so she could walk around. More room and well sometimes walking helps keep and speed up the labor (well for a woman it can). So out she went. I had my camera ready and we were in and out of the barn.

Dandie decided to lay down for a spell. She had some contractions, but nothing major.
My anxious son watching his cow labor all afternoon. We left the other cows in the barn so Dandie could labor alone and do as she pleased.
It was about 5pm and we started our evening chores. Dandie was up and moving around. Having contractions. She even let my son pet her over the fence line while she was contacting. She would put her head down, round her back and almost dance her hind end back and forth.We didn't let him in the pasture because we didn't know how she would be. Labor does weird things to a female, even the most clam of them. Right ladies?
We were concerned about the time of day, the temperature falling and not knowing how long this was going to take. She was doing fine and not showing any signs of distress. Even though we were feeling some stress. First time heifer cow and all. It was my first time with a first time heifer cow, and labor is never fun to watch. As you can see we have snow...still. And ice.
We got chores done and went in to have some supper. I had been in the barn all afternoon so we had whatever we could find in the fridge and cupboards. I wasn't real hungry due to the nerves and excitement I was feeling. Dandie laid down. I kept a watch in the window. She had been down for about 1/2 hour. My husband went out to check on her. He had a spot light because it was getting dark. I threw my jacket on and hurried out. My new camera in hand.
Can you see the feet? You gotta look close. If your into that. I ran in the house and told my boy to get outside. Thinking it would be born by the time we got out there.
It was not. We waited another 20 or so minutes. She would push and push and that calf was not coming out any father. My husband slowly made his way to the barn to get some baling twine. Not really wanting to have to pull the calf out, but Dandie was getting tired, and we didn't want it to die or worse have her die.We didn't want her to stand up and have the calf go back in either. (It's happened) Thankfully she trusts us and she stayed down... carefully my husband tied the rope around the hooves, and as Dandie pushed he pulled. He knew the calf was still alive, because the tongue was out and moving.

Three push pulls and the calf was out!
It's out and breathing and he's taking the rope off! About 7:30 pm. I felt relief that Dandie was done and the calf was out. I knew she still needed to clean and we are still not out of the woods yet, (so to speak, any number of things can still go wrong). My heart was pounding. My boy was shaking as he held the spot light. We called over and asked what was it?
A bull calf. My heart sank. But then I was so thankful. After all the ups and downs and lessons we have learned in breeding cows. Dandie has finally proved herself able to get bred and stay settled and deliver a live calf.
Scooping up our new very wet bundle and heading to the barn. Dandie was getting up. And they went into the barn.

Mama and son bonding. She was licking him and so was his grammie. You can't see her, but Maggie was all about this little guy. She wanted him too. Was really sweet to watch this love between the cows. And all the mooing and licking they were doing to dry him off and stimulate his little body. Even his little moos back to them was wonderful to hear! Don't tell me animals don't have feelings. I'll never buy that lie. I've seen it first hand.
We left them awhile later. Everyone was ok.
We checked on them during the night. Dandie had cleaned, the calf was sleeping in front of his mama and all was well.
Our new adventure was going to start very soon. But I was so thankful that things went well. I can't really find the right words to describe how I felt as I tried to close my eyes and sleep. But mostly thankful and relieved come to mind.
Have a great day ya'll!

Monday, March 17, 2014

and here...

is Dandie!!

She has 6 days left until her due date!! We are very excited for the arrival of her first calf. It will be the third generation from our first cow on the farm! I'm hoping I will be able to see the delivery and get some pictures of it! I got to see out last calf born from a distance, and hope to see this one a little closer.
Here's to a safe delivery and healthy baby and mama!!!
So exciting! SO thankful.

Monday, March 10, 2014

almost spring!!!!

Well it's almost spring, and I am looking forward to it. This has been a cold and long winter here in the north. And it's not over yet. The weatherman is calling for MORE snow! Gheez! Can't catch a break. But I guess it's almost over. I hope. Warmer temps and longer days I am looking forward to.

I have ordered a new camera. Mine died on Christmas morning no less. But thankfully my wonderful mother in law saved the day by letting me use hers. So now it's coming, and just in time too. Little ole Dandelion is gonna have her first baby soon. We are very excited about this. She is our first heifer on the farm and now she is going to have her first... bull/heifer!!! I'm hoping for a heifer, but mostly a safe delivery. So now I hope to get a picture or two before she has this little bundle so you can see how big she is. And then once the little one arrives... eeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk I'm so excited!!!
Gotta run! Life is waiting for me to get back to it!
Have a great day ya'll!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

deep freeze...again

Just a quick post to let you know I haven't frozen, but almost, or dropped off the bloggers world completely. Just life gets busy, and there is no "spare time." 

This winter has hit us hard. We actually have had a winter. We haven't really had a Maine winter in a long time. I think we got a little spoiled with milder winter temps and no snow. But that all ended this year. We've had some big snow storms. An ice storm.( The last one was back in 98. I won't tell you where or what I was doing or how old I was). ;)  And some heavy rain fall causing some flooding, and really bad driving conditions due to the temps dropping and it all freezing again. A very long deep freeze with -30 wind chill temperatures, yes you read that right. A
 week of mild weather that was really nice to have, after the extreme cold. Now we are back in -0 temperatures and some wind. Sigh
But with all the cold I hope it's killed off lots of the flies, ticks and such creepy crawlies! They were getting really bad here. 
Makes me look forward to the warmer weather that I know is coming...eventually.

 Just a little bit longer and we'll be out tapping trees! I look forward to that. I'm hopeful for a good year. With all the winter weather we've had I hope the sap runs well. Last year was pretty much a flop. So we could use a good run! 

We are looking forward to the warmer weather too for the farm. Got some new plans for the new year!! So hopefully, prayerfully things will come together for us! 

Have a great night all!!