November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just stopping in to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was blessed with family, friends and way too much good food! I know mine was! We went to my mom and dad's to eat at noon. My brother's, sister and their families were there. My grandmother and one of my aunts and uncle were also there. We all had a wonderful time and I brought home more food that I took! We have enough leftovers to last until the Christmas feast!

Joe and the boys have been playing video games all evening and I have been LAZY and enjoying every minute of it! I should have been out digging my elephant ears, we're supposed to get our first freeze tonight!

I have a couple new recipes to share soon!

November 24, 2009

Vacation Is Over!

At least for a couple of days, then everyone is off for Thanksgiving again! I have missed you all! I have been busy making dreamsickle fudge, chocolate fudge (with and without nuts), lemon fudge, coconut balls, peanut butter balls, and pumpkin rolls! This was something I always enjoyed doing at Christmas but the last couple of years things have been so crazy that I felt rushed and pressured to get it done and that took the joy out of it. This year I decided to do it early so I could enjoy doing it!

I sent 2 large trays (one for the hospital employees and one for the clinic employees) with my husband this morning and I have two more smaller ones to deliver this afternoon. And yes, I kept just a little but for myself!

I promised a Christmas Give Away and since I'm not sure the fudge would make it through the postal service, I am giving away one of my Christmas Light Blocks!
This is the "There's No Place Like Home" light block. This is not the greatest pic but it's the only one I have on my computer at the time. I'll try to get a better one posted before the giveaway ends! It's beautiful, I promise. It is is trimmed with a pretty burgundy colored bow that matches the holly on the graphic.

I use a light cord like this one with all my light blocks so the bulb is changeable and you can easily switch it on and off without unplugging each time!

How to enter:
Tell me a Christmas/holiday tradition you do simply because you enjoy it! Like baking or calling old friends to say Merry Christmas or trekking through the woods to cut your own tree......I wanna hear them!

If your email is not linked in your profile, please use the "contact me" link in the right sidebar to send me your username and email address otherwise I have no way of contacting you if you win!

Blog about this giveaway and get an extra entry! Contest will end December 10th at 9:00 a.m.

Don't forget to vote for Suzanne!
Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e

November 21, 2009

Don't Forget To Vote!

This is the second round! Let's help her win!!
Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e

November 19, 2009

I Am Here!

I promise! I have not fallen off the face of the Earth! My husband has been on vacation this week and we have been spending time with each other and the boys and doing family things together. I am also still having to fit in my typing for work here at home each day so I haven't been on much.

I will be back Monday with a give away for you! I have been missing you all!

November 12, 2009

I'm sorry!

First of all I want to say WELCOME to all my new followers. It makes me so happy to read your comments and get to know all of you.

Now about the I'm sorry part....

I want to apologize to any of you who happened to see the nasty post an anonymous poster left on my blog today. I disabled some of the security features like the word protection and allowed anonymous posters to post because it made things easier but there are people who take advantage of that so I have added the word verification security back and if this happens again I will have to moderate my incoming comments.

I have such a violated feeling when someone posts things like this. People try to have blogs to share their lives with others and meet new friends and there are a few who have to try to ruin that. I caught it 20 minutes after it was posted and deleted it so it wasn't here for long but any amount of time is long enough to offend someone who might innocently click on a link posted on my blog.

So again, I apologize if anyone happened to have clicked on the link that was posted and ended up where they did not want to be. I by no means had anything to do with that site.

November 11, 2009

Momma's Sourdough Starter and Bread

I have made quite a few different breads from sourdough starter recipes but I always come back to the recipe that my mom uses. This bread always comes out of the oven light and wonderful and it has that sourdough taste that I love. It's smells so good and I love to slather a thick slice of it with butter and homemade cherry jam. This can also be made into rolls like the ones above. These went with the pot roast I made for supper.

Here's the recipe for the starter.
3 pkg. yeast
1 cup warm water
3/4 cups sugar
3T. instant potatoes

Dissolve yeast in warm water, let stand 5 minutes.
Add sugar and instant potatoes. Stir well and let stand 8 to 10 hours then refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.

After 2 to 3 days, feed starter again with
3/4 cup sugar
3 T. instant potatoes
1 cup warm water
Let stand again for 8 to 10 hours. Remove 1 cup and bake bread using the following recipe. Return your starter to the refrigerator and begin the 2 - 3 day process again.

The next time you bake bread from this starter you can remove 2 cups and double your baking to 6 loaves. Each time you feed your starter then bake you can use more of your starter to bake more loaves or give starter to your friends so they can bake too.

(recipe makes 3 loaves).
I cut it in half for rolls.
6 cups bread flour
1 cup starter
1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. warm water

Mix starter, oil, sugar, salt and warm water. Slowly stir in flour and knead until dough forms ball. Knead a few more times then place in greased bowl. Roll the dough around a bit to get grease on outsides of ball. Cover and let rise until doubled. Add a just a little more flour and knead again. Divide into 3 loaves or into rolls. Place loaves in greased loaf pans or for rolls I like to put them in a greased cast iron skillet. Cover and let rise again for approximately 30 minutes. Bake loaves at 325 degrees on middle oven rack for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Bake rolls at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush the tops with butter before serving.

That looks like a horribly long recipe but it does include both starter and bread. Once your starter is ready, it's easy to bake bread every 3 to 4 days. My mom sells these loaves of bread as fast as she can bake them around the holidays. She usually bakes 12 loaves at a time.

November 9, 2009

Do You Line Dry?

Please ignore my multicolored towels. We go through towels like crazy around here so if I see towels on sale I grab a couple. I really don't care if they match my bathroom decor as long as there is a clean one when I step out of the shower! I do have matching ones that hang in my bathroom that everyone knows are just for looking pretty but under the sink you will find just about every color there is out there!

Not too long ago we decided to do some things to go a little more "green" around here. Putting up a clothes line was one of those things. The first load I hung on the line looked great hanging out there and I had visions of my clothes being like those on the Downey commercials.

I went out with my basket to gather my fresh clothes and they were as stiff as boards! The pants could have walked to the house by themselves and the towels felt like sandpaper!

I started reading to find out what I needed to do to make my clothes a little less board-like. Otherwise, the line drying was going to come a screeching halt. I couldn't stand scratchy clothes.

These are the tips I found that make my clothes and towels feel and smell good straight off the line.

  • I cut my laundry detergent by about half and add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar per wash load of clothes. This helps to break down the laundry detergent that causes that stiff feeling. I find that my clothes are just as clean and smell great plus I save on detergent.
  • I also give my clothes a good "pop" before I hang them on the line and when I take them off the line. Just grab whatever you take off the line and sort of snap it to loosen it up a bit.
  • The more wind you have on wash day the softer your clothes will be. The wind whips them around and helps them to dry quicker and softer.
  • If they need just a little softening, throw them in the dryer for just a few minutes after taking them off the line.

I love line drying my clothes. It's amazing how much you can save on electricity without the dryer running all day plus you get the added benefit of being outside and enjoying the beautiful day!

If you line dry, tell me your tips or tricks.

If you don't line dry but have the room to put up some clotheslines, try it! Mine is attached to two trees in our backyard. Nothing fancy but it works.

November 7, 2009

Goats and Guineas

Of course they have to be seen too! I'll never here the end of it if Nellie doesn't get to stick her nose in here and say "Hi!"
I am still milking Nellie. It's been 2 months now and my husband drinks it for breakfast every morning. I have made cheese, fudge and yogurt from the 2 quarts a day Miss Nellie May supplies me with.
Lucy and Marv are growing so fast. They are almost as tall as their Momma now. At two months old I have separated Marv from the girls. He is scheduled to be whethered next week and can rejoin his mom and sister. He's such a sweet boy. We will enjoy having him as a wether. Lucy is a loving doll baby. We have had to bottle feed her. Nanny just wasn't making enough milk for both growing babies. My boys have enjoyed that chore.

The little stinkers love to climb through the gate!
(The goats not the boys, the boys climb OVER the gates).

and then there are the guineas. I have 14 adults and they make A LOT of noise. I sold the 16 young ones I had last week.
They love to hang out on the stall doors and "talk" while I'm trying to take care of the other animals.

Here they are soaking up a few rays of sun out back at the barn.

Oh and about those hens I bought Thursday, I went back yesterday to get a few more and he had 2 left. I brought both of them home with me so I'm up to 29 now.

November 6, 2009

Script Error

I have spent the last 4 hours trying to decipher this script error pop up that locks up Firefox. (Sorry Callie!)

After removing numerous gadgets and trying to decipher several errors, I thought I would try the obvious and deal with the post itself. Since other posts were loading fine, it had to be something with that single post. I hit the edit button and tried the obvious first, I removed the labels, hit publish post and view and it loaded fine. Put the Farm Critters label back and it still loaded fine. Put the Dirt Cat label back and it locked up again.

Wish I had thought to check this before I deleted several of my widgets! So if you start getting a script error on your blog, try removing one or more of the labels you used for that post. I guess there is a glitch somewhere because other posts with this same label load fine.

I'm just glad I finally figured this out because stuff like this keeps me up all night trying to find an answer!

Kitten Jealousy

The barn kitties decided to show their cuteness so I would post about them. They informed me that the goats and chicken get their fair share of blog time and they would like to have their 15 minutes of fame....Please and Meow!
These are the babies of a stray momma that decided to take up permanent residence in our barn. Not long after she had her kittens, I heard a loud meowing in the barn loft. Little Bit here had decided to climb and then fall between all the bales of hay.

I moved 23 bails of hay one morning just to get to a stray kitten that I didn't need in the first place. She has always been the runt and has the funniest looking little smooshed up face. She makes me laugh every day!

I noticed the mother cat seemed to be sick one day and she later disappeared. Not sure what happened to her but I got to play momma after that.

The yellow and white one is by far the gentlest. She loves to be loved on. The boys make sure she gets plenty of attention. The other two are just getting used to being petted but not ready to be picked up.

I learned this first hand when I tried to pick up the gray and white one. I ended up with a few scratches BUT when their mother first disappeared and I started feeding them goats milk and soft kitten food, I couldn't get within 10 feet of them they were so wild.

And of course I have to mention the big baby of the family, Dirt Cat! He's looking for mice in the goat stall. He has had a long road to recovery but he caught a bird yesterday for the first time since he got sick. It made me smile to know he's back to being Dirt Cat, hunter, stalker, bird and mousenapper!

November 5, 2009

Some New Critters

There are some things that you always have too many of.  One of those things around here is roosters but what did I do today?  I bought another rooster!  The first thing my husband said when I called and told him was, You did what?  Another rooster?  We don't need ANOTHER rooster!  But I convinced him that this was no ordinary rooster, this was a beautiful rooster, a Buff Orpington rooster.  I've never had a Buff Orpington, so of course, he had to come home with me!  Here he is!
He's such a pretty boy!
I can't wait to raise some chicks from him and he seems to be very gentle.  I hope he stays that way.  I don't like mean roosters!
I am still trying to think of a name for him.  I'm thinking Pumpkin because he's the right color and it's the right time of the year but he seems too majestic and royal for the name Pumpkin.  What do you all think?  Any name suggestions?  He's a young guy and will get a bit bigger.  The hens seem to really like him.

I already had 8 young pullets that should start laying at any time but I wanted a few more so I found 6 today.  I was so excited to find what I have always called Fuzzy Faces.  After some research I have found that these are the Ameraucana breed.
PhotobucketMy grandmother had one of these hens when I was little and I loved that she laid pretty green eggs.
I asked to make sure and the Amish man promised me green eggs!
They had 3 of these fuzzy-faced girls for sale and I bought all three of them plus 3 more pretty ladies that look like triplets.
Here's the little hen party they have going on in the hen house.
They are "adjusting".  My pullets are being a bit bossy but I'm sure they will establish a new pecking order soon and all will be peaceful in their little yard again.  The older hens took a stroll by and checked out the newbies but didn't seem too interested.  As long as they have their own
hen house
..........roost pole,
............................laying boxes,
...............................................feed and water and
then they are happy. They don't ask for much (yeah right!) 
I love my chickens!  All 27 of them.  Now, I better start getting some green eggs soon!

November 3, 2009

Pear Honey

This is the time of year when some really lucky people have access to fresh pears! We have planted a pear tree but it still has a few years to go before we get any fruit. I usually manage to get a bucket of pears from an elderly lady down the road from us but someone came along and picked all her pears from her roadside tree this year before anyone else had time to pick them! They could have at least left me a few!

I wanted to share this recipe with those of you who have pears to put up this year. This recipe was my great-grandmothers and my mom somehow tracked her recipe down through relatives and made this last year. It is delicious! I love to eat it on homemade sourdough bread (which I have a starter for fermenting on my kitchen cabinet). My kids like it poured over vanilla ice cream.

Pear Honey
6 - 8 cups finely chopped pears
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
6 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1/3 c. water
1 (14 oz.) bag shredded coconut (optional)

Peel pears and remove seeds. Chop pears in a food processor until very fine. Mix with lemon juice and 1/3 c. water. Cook in heavy saucepan until pears are very tender. Add coconut if desired, pineapple and sugar. Stir often, will stick easily. Cook until pear honey is thick. Pour into hot, sterilized jars. Adjust lids and bands. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

November 2, 2009

My Little Transformers

When grandma came to see the boys for Labor Day she brought Halloween costumes. She said she had found them and thought the boys would like them. Like them? Of course they liked them, they were Transformers! Bumble Bee and Optimus Prime were a big hit around here for Halloween.

I was getting shot at in this pic.
and then there was BumbleBee.
Did you know that even transformers pout?  I have proof!
I don't even remember what he was pouting about, but the eyes say it all! 
We had a great time Trick-Or-Treating and visiting.  It's the one time of year we go back to the neighborhood where we lived in town so we have to stand around and talk for awhile at each house.
I hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween.
Don't forget to vote for Suzanne today!
and those of you who won prizes from the Sit Back and Relax Give Away, your packages are going in the mail today!  Stop by and let me know when you get them!


For those of you who are new followers/readers, don't forget to check out the forum and join in on our discussions there.

My Country Blog of This and That Forum

I love each and every comment my blogging friends leave for me!

All images and graphics on this page were made by me with the exception of that little rooster! He came from Beth Logan's Checkered Chickens at Photos were taken by me and graphics were created using Photoshop CS2.
If you see something you like please ask for permission before using it!
Thank you!