Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hello September!

Labor Day on the farm...

foggy, humid morning...

the quiet, peaceful daily routine...

as August morphed into September.

And with September came the hot sun that had forgotten us for the month of August.

We spent the afternoon at Andy and Ashley's new home.
A family portrait with their new dog Sam...

a 5 year old lab/coon hound mix that they rescued a couple of weeks ago.

A melding of families, great food, conversation, games made for a
wonderful day.

The cakes I made.....well, the lemon-blueberry poundcake (recipe here) was yummy as usual.

The chocolate chip poundcake was my attempt at copying a bakery cake
from a now closed bakery in Philadelphia (Hesh's).
This cake was a favorite of Ashley's family and I thought it would be a nice
thing to try to replicate for them.
Looked good...tasted fine...

but it missed the mark.
Oh well, back to the drawing board.
I love a challenge.

Meanwhile, back on the farm... our barn kitties took Labor Day seriously!

No work being done here...

Nope, it was a day for rest!

And what better place for a nap than a freshly delivered load of soft grass-hay!
Bobby: "Could you please turn off that flash!  I am trying to sleep."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day, Friends!

Just popping in quickly, to wish you the happiest of Labor Days!
Whatever you are doing...hopefully it is a day of rest from your labors.
Can you believe it?  It is September 1st!
My how time does fly.

We have enjoyed a quiet weekend here on the farm.
And although the weather has been dreary, we have been treated
to a few lovely sunrises and sunsets.

We spent a bit of time on Friday afternoon picking apples.
During the next week I will be making apple sauce and another pie.
The horses and pigs are enjoying daily apple snacks.

They come running when they hear the gator...

in anticipation of a treat.

We took delivery of a wagon full of hay on Saturday.
With none of our own to feed the animals this winter,
we are having to buy what we need, instead.

We have had a weekend free from skunk and porcupine attacks...

I am more than pleased to report!

And today, we are heading to town to the "newlyweds'" home for a Labor Day
cook out.
I am bringing orzo salad and these two cakes (which now have frosting)...

lemon blueberry poundcake with lemon glaze,
and chocolate chip poundcake with buttercream frosting.
Ooooooh.....I can hardly wait to have a piece of each!

I finished a couple more aprons and made a few new styles of bracelets.
I can share them with you later this week if you are interested.
I think it may be time to re-open my farm market at the top of this page,
to showcase my projects.
(I just need the time to set it up.)

I hope your Labor Day is wonderful!
Tell me all about your plans...

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Perfect Day...For Spreading Manure?

There are some days that are just so beautiful,
they take your breath away.
Yesterday was another one of those magnificent days.
Temps reached 80... low humidity... 
as nearly perfect a day as one could imagine!

What would you do on such a gorgeous day?
Me, I'd take my tractor out for a spin, of course!

Actually, with the hay off of the hayfield (and no, it was not good enough to use as feed)...
it was time to spread the aged compost pile.

And so, with Jim on our "Tin Lizzy" 1953 Ford tractor...

and me on the "Deere John" with the bucket...
we scooped up and spread all of that manure/compost. 

Of course, the nosey chickens had to see...

what all of the fuss was about!

When we finished, I headed to the garden to pull some veggies for dinner.

I had thawed one of our "Amish" chickens and cooked it down for soup.
To the broth I added our carrots, celery, onions....herbs, white beans and orzo
for a hearty soup.

I stopped at the pigpen to share the tiniest carrots with Ginger...

 and MaryAnn...

and once again we discussed the value of chewing with one's mouth closed!

(For what it's worth.)

And lastly...you know my sense of humor is warped...
(You've been warned.)

Do you know what this is called?

"Carrotage รก trois!" of course.
I love how carrots grow in all sorts of wonky configurations.

Would you like to see the pesticide we use in our orchard?

Guineas on patrol...gobbling up every bug they come across!

And with that I bid you farewell for this week!
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.
I will be back with a post on Labor Day (Monday).
Until then.... be well, be happy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yesterday's Moments

That time is almost here...
I can feel it in the nighttime air!
Autumn, with all of it's sights and sounds and smells looms just around the corner.

And yet...
 yesterday gave us a taste of summer...
a taste we have yet to savor,
with it's ninety degree days... heat...humidity...cicadas humming.

Each morning, now, I awaken before the sun and am greeted
by the fog so typical of September.
At the barn, feeding animals... I hear the growl of the school bus coming down the road...
7:19 sharp...
every morning.

The blackbirds and grackles have begun flocking and are often sitting on the power lines...
I suppose contemplating and discussing their upcoming trip to warmer climes.

(two bales of the hay that came off of our field...will be used for wedding photo-ops...but not to feed our critters)
The grass remains green (so unusual for this time of year),
but some of the trees have started letting go of their leaves.

Apples fill the orchard... ripe, juicy, and big!

I need to pick this harvest and use them up,

until we have had our fill of pies and sauces and cobblers and such.

I am sure you have figured out by now that Ginger and MaryAnn love apples!
Thank goodness we have so many... the horses love them, too!

Evening comes a little earlier every night.
Before long evenings will be spent in front of toasty fires, wrapped in afghans.
Sweaters, soups, wool socks and comfort food await us in the not too distant future.
And while we warm our selves by the fire, the critters will be back
beneath their heat lamps.

(Ivanka, enjoying her nightly rub-down)
And though it will be sad to say goodbye to summer...
especially a summer that never really appeared,
Autumn is the most wonderful time of the year.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mysteries and Finished Projects

It's early morning.
Moonbeam has been beautifully coiffed,

 and the farrier is trimming his hooves.

Shortly after this, I will put on his fly mask and send him out to pasture for a few hours.

When he returns to the dry lot, he is covered with patches of dirt...
obviously having rolled around a bit.
(Why is it when they are clean, they do their level best to get dirty again?

Evening comes and it's time to remove fly masks.
Amanda helps out and takes off Moonbeam's mask.

"What is in his ear?" she queries.

Further investigation reveals a lump of horse manure in the tip of his ear cover.

I have no idea how this goober managed to get an ear full of poop.

It's just another farm mystery that will never be solved.
And, maybe I don't really want to know.
Nah....I am curious...
and Moonbeam's not talking!

For those of you who may have missed yesterday's Facebook post,
here is how my morning started.

Yes, those are more (12) porcupine quills.
Apparently Annie did not learn her lesson two weeks ago.
Luckily, Dr. Becky was home and had them removed in no time.
Annie, Annie, Annie....
Why my dogs continue to do this is yet another mystery.

And since I discontinued my sewing blog (just not enough time in the day)...
I will share my projects with you here on this blog.

I finished another leather/bead wrap bracelet.
For this one I used navy leather and tiny navy barrel beads.
It will fit a wrist up to 7 inches around doubled.

I finally finished my knitting project...
it's a cowl/shoulder cozy
(which looks a little funny since my dress form does not have arms!)
This project was a whole lot of fun...
with the exception of the three inch band above the bust....
which was done in "crossed" stitch and was challenging.

And lastly, I finished the apron that I started on Monday.

It is a vintage-inspired full apron (my own pattern)

with vintage inspired kitchen fabric.
The bias tape is handmade and matches the back placket.
One size fits most all.
All of my aprons are for sale...email me when the perfect one comes along!

Now, back to the sewing room to start another!

PS:  Today is Hubbs' and my wedding anniversary!


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