July 29, 2010

My Day

I started my morning out by heading to barn to feed the goats and chickens. On the way out I paused to watch 20 something butterflies on this one plant! There seems to be more butterflies around this year and I've seen several honey bees on my sunflowers.
Bella's mad at me. I have cut back on her grain and we've moved to milking every other day and I will slowly decrease this and then stop milking all together. I have no more room in the freezer for milk! I think I have enough to last my husband through the winter until the does kid again in the spring. Plus I want to give her some time to rest between milking and getting bred again.

Got that done and headed back to the house to check on my oldest. He's at home today with a cold.
He was still in bed watching a movie when I came back in so I headed out to the garden and picked these two buckets of tomatoes.

Hopped on the 4-wheeler and headed to the pond to check on the geese. They found the pond last week and haven't been back to the barn since! On the way there, I spotted this gal getting a drink.
She stopped and posed for me for just a second before slipping off into the bushes.
The geese love the pond! They won't come and eat until I drive away. I think they are afraid I'll make them go back to the barn!
On the way back I noticed the persimmons are growing. I finally get to make persimmon jelly this year using my steam juicer. I've never been patient enough to peel and remove all those seeds before!
The apple tree is LOADED this year and next on my list of things to can, steam and freeze.
Jake's feeling a little better this afternoon but he's still in his PJ's! I gave the puppers a bath this morning and they were in the mood to play!
I managed to dry three loads of laundry on the line today in between the other things I've had going on, and I turned those tomatoes into these.
Another 9 and a half quarts to put in the pantry for chili and homemade vegetable soup this winter. Yum!

I have finally sat down to do my "paying" job now. I'd rather take a nap like Biscuit!
Today's one of the slower days at the clinic so I'll have about 2 hours of work then supper, baths, family time and bed.....then start all over again tomorrow!

Thanks for sharing my day with me!

Don't forget about the magazine give away!

July 24, 2010

Magazine Give Away

Putting up all this produce for the winters months got me to thinking about those cold winter days and watching the birds at the feeder, snuggling on the couch with a good magazine and drinking a cup of hot cocoa. The temp got up to 101 here today so it's not easy to imagine that scene right now but it will be here before we know it. Some of my favorite magazines are from Reiman Publications. Birds and Blooms, Country Woman and Taste of Home are my three favorites. My give away today is a years subscription to one of their magazines. Why? Because I'm ordering mine right now so I'll have plenty of reading material come those cold winter days.

I'll pick a winner next Saturday, July 31st....that gives you a week to comment and send friends this way. You don't have to be a follower but I would love it if you decide to be. Just leave me a comment about what you love to do during the winter months when there's less canning, gardening, farming, etc. taking up all your time.

You can email me with your choice of magazine if you win.
The choices are:
Birds and Blooms
Country Woman
Farm and Ranch Living
Healthy Cooking
Simple and Delicious
Taste of Home

Reiman Publications is not aware of or endorsing this give away. I just like their magazines and want to share with my wonderful readers.

Comments must be in by Saturday, July 31st at 9:00 a.m. Central time. Winner will be announced shortly after! Good luck!

July 23, 2010

Busy Summer Days

From blackberries to plums to peaches to cucumbers to corn and now tomatoes!
It's a canning frenzy around here. Jellies, salsa, bread and butter pickles,....
These are only a few of the jars stacked in various places around the house because my canning shelves are full! I also put lots of cut off corn in the freezer this year. Can't remember how many bags but we started with over 350 ears of Peaches N Cream sweet corn.

I froze peaches, canned peaches and made peach jelly. The new steam juicer was great for making juice with the peels left over from the peaches and the jelly turned out great.
My husband has been on vacation this week. I canned and froze and cleaned. He power washed the deck and front porch and stained and painted. We spent yesterday in the heat fencing the field next to the barn so the goats would have more pasture.

Today.....today we took the day off and went to the lake to swim! I took my camera and was too lazy to walk back to the car and get it. The boys had a great time and I got sunburned but it was wonderful to relax and not be standing over the hot stove, pouring things into jars.
Of course, when I got home.......these were waiting......but they'll have to wait a little longer because
I'm skipping again tomorrow and we're taking the boys to see a movie. I'll post my give away tomorrow.

July 18, 2010

Have You Met Bo?

This is Bo (short for Bocephus). There's a Hank fan or two in my family. Bo is my Dad's mule. He's such a pretty boy!
Look at those big ole mule ears....Photobucket
He looks so sweet and innocent....
but he's not....
he's ornery
and mischievous....
and as stubborn as a
And he makes funny mule sounds!
But we love him anyway!

July 17, 2010

Updates Coming!

My nephew (Adam), Luke, my niece (Kaylynn), my brother (Uncle A) and Jake

Holidays, family get togethers, church homecoming, appointments, canning...canning...canning...freezing....and....canning! It's a very busy time of year around here! Updates and a give away coming this week I promise!

July 7, 2010

Plum Jelly

I know I blog about jelly a lot (strawberry, cherry, blackberry......and now plum) but since I got the new steam juicer, it's so easy!! My neighbor was working in his yard close to the road as I was making my way home from picking up chicken and goat feed yesterday. His plum trees are covered in plums. I stopped and asked if I could have some. He said yes!
I picked a two gallon bucket full, washed them and threw them in my steam juice.
About an hour and a half later I had a gallon of beautiful plum juice.
Today, I made 8 1/2 pints of plum jelly!
5 1/2 cups juice
1 box Sure-Jell pectin
6 1/2 cups sugar
Boil pectin and juice to rolling boil, add sugar, return to rolling boil while stirring. Boil hard for 1 minute. Pour into hot jars, add lids and bands. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes!

July 3, 2010

Fireworks photos

I have tried for years to take fireworks photos and often get blurry shots but I took the time to do some reading and try out some settings on my new Nikon D3000.
I love this shot and wish I had had the settings right when I took it but these are the kinds of shots I used to get.
But I decided a new camera means learning new things so I spent the afternoon perfecting my manual setting expertise (which wasn't much before tonight and is still sorely lacking but I'm learning!)
It's amazing how much you learn from picking just one subject and learning what your camera has to do to get those shots.
First of all, for fireworks shots you need a tripod. I found mine in a box of junk labeled "Stuff" in the attic.
Now for the settings....
Turn your flash off.
Turn your dial to S and set your shutter speed at 4 seconds...yep 4 secs...that's why you need the tripod.
Then turn your dial to M....that M was kinda scary for me. I usually ruin my shots when I try to play with the M button.
Set your ISO to 100. Setting this as low as possible will reduce the noise in your photos.
I played with the manual focus setting like some of the tutorials I read said to do but I found that my auto focus worked much better for me. Use an aperture between 5 and 11. Mine was set on 5.6.
I also played with the Active D lighting on and off. I couldn't tell much difference at all but ended up leaving it on.
That's it, I pressed the shutter button and let the camera do it's thing.
Much better results than I have gotten in the past and I get another chance to play tomorrow night when we have our fireworks at church!
So in a nutshell...
Focus: Auto
ISO: 100
Shutter speed: 4 seconds
Aperture: 5 to 11
Hope you all have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!!


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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 pccrafter.com. Photos were taken by me and graphics were created using Photoshop CS2.
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