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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

By the way...

The email address from my personal profile here doesn't work. It's completely wrong and I dunno how to fix it. So if you send me an email it'll kick it back at you. I will keep trying to figure out how to change it. Sorry!

Winter Weather and White Cheese

We had some snow on Sunday morning. Not much, barely enough to see on the ground. But the fact that we had it meant the weather has been very cold. Not good gardening weather. It warmed up a bit and we have had a couple of rain storms since, which also isn't good because it's much too muddy to get anything planted outside.

Today we are going to move the open heifers from their winter pasture out to the spring/summer pasture in Windyville. This means one less chore for me in the morning. Hubby spent 2-3 hours yesterday checking all the fences out in Windyville. Mostly he said he had to restring the electric fences and cut a bunch of cedar trees out of the fence rows. Cedars aren't native here and are a serious nuisance.

This morning I found a little bull calf up at the dry cow pasture. He looks like a dandy. We will have to bring them in this afternoon.

This weekend I tried my hand at making white cheese. This is where you heat a gallon of milk to 180 degrees F then mix in 1/4 cup of white vinegar, stir for 10-15 minutes and then strain it and let it drip for 5-7 hours. You can salt it and can use it in lasagna...etc. Well, much of mine went down the drain when I accidentally dropped a corner of the cloth I used to strain it. But I ended up with maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cheese. It has a very fine curd and is pretty tasteless. I am not sure if it was worth the trouble. But it's supposed to be the easiest cheese to make. I guess if we get extra milk that won't fit into the bulk tank here during spring flush, I will make more of it, just to use up the milk. But I only have so much room in the fridge to store the milk. Well, we shall see.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Eat Nose"

From the mouths of babes.

Two days ago when Ellen was over at her grandma's, ran her finger up her nose, pulled it out and stuck it in her mouth. Then she announced; "Eat nose."


I told hubby, who was the one to relate the story to me, that she didn't learn that trick from me. She is her own little individual and comes up with these things on her own.

Last night she was playing in the bathroom while I was washing dishes. I heard her exclaim, "Oh, my goodness!" Then she came into the kitchen and said; "That cat food is a mess!" Of course she had spilled the cat's plate of dry food.

Yesterday when she was visiting, her grandma asked her if she'd been riding her tricycle; "Not too much," my little darling replied.

Not too much!

It is so funny how they pick up these little phrases and then trot them out when you least expect.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Garden Spot-the "Before" pic

Hubby almost has the fence completely up for our new garden spot. I thought I was getting a good shot of the hedgeposts he'd cut and used, but only the little cross pieces here are of hedgepost wood. He cut them down in the bottoms. I will have to get another shot. What's funny is that the main round posts you see in this corner here are actually made from a cut up utility pole that the electric company left across the way a few months back when they put in new ones. They don't care; if they are off the road they just leave them lay.

If you look closely you can see how I have been doing my exercising the past few days; there are piles of rocks in the new fence row that we have to get rid of in the next few days. Then we have to work on all the dirt clods. THEN we are going to plants beets and peas and onions and I don't know what all. I'll have to take an "AFTER" photo in a month or two.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Fun

Two or three weeks ago I got spring fever and joined a seed swap club. This is where you send packets of seeds, either store-bought or ones you have saved from your own garden, in along with a wish list of what you might like and you are sent seeds in return. As a new member I received much more than what I sent in.

These are the seeds I sent in:

3 packs of those hot red peppers I grew last year.
2 packs of watermelon seed
1 pack of wax bean seed

In return I received seed packs for the following:
(note picture above)

Orange tomato
Black Prince Tomato
Pink Brandywine Tomato
Marglobe Tomato
Yellow Pear Tomato
Beefsteak Tomato
Red Currant Tomato

Green Salad Lettuce Bowl

Burpless Cucumber
Pickling Cucumber

Ornamental Gourd Mix

Red Burgandy Onion

Choppee Okra

Detroit Dark Red Beet


Blue Goose Pea
Greasy Grit Bean
Mountaineer White Half Runner Bean


WOW! Is that a great return for my postage or what?! You DO have to send return postage of course, but that's pretty cheap considering what you'd have had to pay for all those seed packs in the store. Especially since some of them are heirloom seeds and not available just anywhere; like the Blue Goose Pea nad the beans. I can't wait to try them! I already have some of the tomato seeds planted. I am curious as to what this "Black Prince" will turn out to be.

I also broke down and actually ordered some raspberry plants from a seed company, along with some vine peach seeds. According to the company a "vine peach" can be canned just like a tree peach, but it's a gourd. I like to try new things so I want to give this one a go of it. I will keep you informed.

Yesterday hubby and I got our "table" garden in; onions, lettuce and radishes.

Then today I was cleaning out my flower bed and found what looked like an almond that had sprouted in there. I was bewildered for a bit until I looked around and saw the shell; it was actually one of the peach tree seeds from the peaches that hubby's aunt had given us a couple of years ago. I was so excited. I potted it in a flower pot and put it on the porch. I hope it does grow, though I am not sure where we will plant it.

Such excitement on the dairy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Blender Syndrome

A few months ago mother in law was talking to someone about kids and they said that they had a two year old and that the house looked like a blender had been run with the lid left off.

How true, how true! Ellen goes from one room to another stringing things along as she goes. Each thing only keeps her attention for 10-15 minutes at a time, if that, and then she is off to something else. I find work shoes in the kitchen, alarm clocks in the bathroom, rubber duckies in the living room and kitchen utensils in the bedroom. For some reason she loves to play with the turkey baster and drags it around quite a bit. She loves to "help" with the laundry and rearranges my piles with great zeal and enthusiasm. Some things she is good at putting away; her wooden puzzles for one. She will play with them and then put them together and back into the box. Her stuffed animals she will also put back on the shelf. But the rest of it keeps me hopping.

We are going to plant onions in the garden today. We already have stringy little tomatoes sprouting in the bedroom window. I hope they do OK. I can't wait to have a slice of 'mato on my sandwiches and burgers again.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Farmer Brown Buys a Truck

Here is a joke I received via email. I adjusted the final pricing a bit. Ha!


Farmer Brown Buys a Truck

There was a man, Farmer Brown, who had recently bought a
truck and found that the "basic price" was only the
beginning. Once the salesman had added on all the extras --
towing package, toolbox, fifth-wheel attachment, etc. -- the
price was quite a bit higher. Well, by a strange turn of
fate, that same salesman stopped by Farmer Brown’s farm one day to
buy a cow. The dealer examined the herd, picked out a likely
specimen, and asked about the price.

"That's a hundred-dollar cow," Farmer Brown replied directly.

"That's fair enough," said the salesman. "I'll take her."

"Well, now, that's the basic price," Brown added, getting
out pencil and paper. "There are one or two extras, of
course." He made a few notes and handed the paper to the
dealer. Here is the final invoice:

Basic cow: $100
Two-tone exterior: $45
Storage compartment and dispensing device: $60
Four spigots @ $10 each: $40
Genuine cowhide upholstery: $75
Dual horns @ $7.50 each: $15
Automatic fly-swatter: $35
Food to fertilizer converter: $50
Lawn Mower attachment: $30

Total: $450

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


...and other fun things.

It is so much fun listening to Ellen as she learns the English language. She generally pronounces things well, but some words just don't come out quite clearly. Like the word "clock." She doesn't pronounce the letter "l" clearly yet, so she talks a bit about her "c'ock." I have to giggle at that one.

Things dairy-wise are going pretty well. The prices may have bottomed out, but we are still hanging in there. If we had any kind of debt load things would be different, but so far it hasn't affected us TOO much. All the dairy magazines that we get have hard luck stories in them and talk about trying to rectify the situation and how to survive. Hubby says we don't want EVERYONE to survive, especially the huge factory farms, because if they all did we will just stay in the same situation. If some of these huge farms would go out of business there would be more $$ to go around.

We have decided to take Ellen to a different doc for a second opinion on the hernia situation. In all of our research we haven't found any urgent need for surgery as they all say these hernias generally heal up by age 4 or 5. Since the actual hernia is only a centimeter and isn't causing her any trouble we aren't too hot to have her operated on at this time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Good Weather and Bad News

Outside it's a nice, balmy 80 something degrees F (about 25 degrees C); a bit windy and hazy, but a nice change from temps in the teens. We finished our dehorning for the season this afternoon. I hope they are OK. There are some flies out in the warm weather, but we couldn't put it off any longer.

Ellen had her 2 year well-child check-up this morning. All went as expected...even the bad part. She is 35 inches tall and weighs 31.2 pounds. She dropped 2 lbs since last visit 6 months ago, but that is because she is more active and much more picky about what she will and won't eat. The past couple of days she hasn't eaten much of anything. Doc said to try mixing milk with orange juice to get her to drink it; kind of like an Orange Julius drink. Or just make her fruit smoothies with milk. I will have to try them both.

About the bad part; she has a herniated navel. Well, we already knew that from last visit, but doc says they aren't uncommon but if they haven't closed by age 2 then they have to be fixed surgically by adding a little mesh screen over it. She'll be knocked out for the operation. We have an appointment with a specialist on March 17 but we aren't sure if it will only be for a preliminary screening or if the doc will actually do the procedure then. We will call to see. I am hoping they will just do it then so we can get it over with.

That's all for now.

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's March already! Hubby is counting down the days that he has left to put out hay. It has been quite cold here, way below freezing at night (in the teens) and in the 30s during the day, so no grass is coming up yet. We got a bit of snow on Saturday the 28th, but on that same day early in the morning I heard the first gobbling of the turkeys down in the creek bottoms, so that is a sign of spring to come soon.

Usually it's on toward the end of March that the cows decide they are tired of hay and that it's time to go look for grass in the creek bottoms. They walk over to the gate leading down the hill and look longingly over it. Then they turn around and bawl. It's kind of funny how they remember.

Hubby has been working on a new garden spot for us, plowing and disking it. He's going to fence off a corner of one of the pastures. Preparing a new spot will mean plenty of rock-picking, as soon as the weather warms up a bit. At least this year Ellen will be able to run around a bit and "help" as much as she can. Hubby wants lots more tomatoes this year, to can. I would like to try for more melons, though I can't think of what to do with all of them. But Ellen loves to eat them, so that's a good excuse.