Monday, August 29, 2011

My Mornings.

Feeding Chickens, 1915. Via ceropegia on Flickr.

I'm really proud of the steps I've taken lately to become self-sufficient. As Jenna from Cold Antler Farm similarly wrote a while back when her garden wasn't going exactly as planned, I'm learning how to become self-sufficient, but I'm not having to depend on it just yet. My garden became overgrown with weeds from my inability to get out there as much as I like (I now know that Joelee isn't a big fan of gardening, and I also know that next year I won't have to worry about her whereabouts as much as I did this year because she'll be yet another year older and thus more independent). Before my garden became a jungle, I ate lots of meals off of it, and froze lots of bags of pureed tomatoes, and green beans, so I don't consider it a complete loss.
My rabbits are thriving, and I'm very pleased with how they are producing meat for my family. I've got a small goat herd down at the barn, a batch of chicks to add to my flock of chickens, and a few sheep to put in the freezer this winter. Plus, next year I'll be adding more livestock and trying yet again at a successful garden. It is all trial and error and so far the outcome has been more positive than negative.

This morning I did the farm chores, fed the kid, fed myself, got bread dough kneaded and rising, and a batch of granola in the oven (my kitchen smells amazing right now). I'm making spinach pesto linguine for supper, and I have a huge feeling of satisfaction in knowing exactly what I'm feeding my family. Here lately about every other morning finds me making bread and granola. It's become a wonderful routine, and truly doesn't even feel like a chore. Plus, the outcome is so tasty that it really is a win-win.

The image I illustrated with is inspiration for me. I want to be as incredible as the farm women were in the "early days." I'm the 'farmer' here. My husband helps, but he works off farm, so it's my duty to make things stick together here. I'm not out to make money (although what little I do make helps some). No, my main objective is to raise food for us. A wonderful perk of small farm living is that my daughter gets to learn so much about responsibility, and just the wonderment of the cycle of life.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Update.

My husband and I had a 'date day' and saw a matinee at the movies. It is a rare occasion that we get to go out together alone, so it was a great time. Life has been really busy, and my allergies have arrived, so I've been a bit in a tizzy.

I illustrated this post with the girl's torso above as a kind of 'inspiration point.' My abs used to look just like that. I miss that strong, farmgirl that I once was. I'm at a healthy weight, but I want my strength back. My biggest problem is that when it comes to my hectic life, it's so easy to put aside my exercise time in lieu of other things. I've got to make myself quit doing that. It's become a terrible habit.

I've created a little printable table to keep myself honest. It is a check-sheet to make sure I do my exercises, my housework, my business stuff, and something creative every single day. I hope it helps me keep on track. You never know, the next torso that I post might be my own, and it might look just as great as the one above.

What do you do to stay fit? Any advice for a busy mom/business owner?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I've got to make myself on of these...

Cutest little diy project via here. There are also instructions to make a paper-onsie. Too fun.

Lots of Yumminess.

At the moment I've got granola cooling on the stove, flatbread dough rising on the back porch, broccoli and spaghetti cooking for my lunch, and I can't wait to eat it all.

I wanted to share a great granola recipe (although I don't use the exact recipe), we've been eating at least one batch a week for the past month.
Image via Kitchn.

The basic recipe I follow is:
3 Cups Old Fashion Oats
1 Cup Slivered Almonds
1 Cup Puffed Brown Rice
3/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300-degrees. Mix all ingredients in large bowl. If you want loose granola place mixture as is onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you'd rather have clusters then take an egg white and whip it until foamy and add into the mixture before placing on the sheet. Bake for 45 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. After last stir take spatula or spoon and press granola into cookie sheet to create a mat of granola. Take granola from oven and cool completely. The longer you let it cool the better clumps you'll get.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Craigslist Cravings.

This set of caneback chairs was for sale in Terre Haute, but I didn't contact the lady first, so I lost out on them. I loved the lines of the legs and thought they'd look awesome redone to match my someday reclaimed wood dining table. I was pretty bummed, but then I came across another set.They are very similar to the above set, but the lines aren't as nice. They are a bit simpler, but the basic style is there. I'm supposed to go down and pick them up Saturday evening. The second set also comes with a dining table, which we really don't need, but I think we can make it into something neat.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Craigslist Cravings.

A dresser in Ellettsville for $75. I like its lines. It would look great in my closet. It's fun to window shop, but I hope when it comes down to buying furniture for our house I'll be able to find all this great stuff again.

More Baby Goats.

Yep, that's my little girl. I asked her to 'pose' and this is the face/body positioning she gave me. What a comedian. She's the best farmhand a mom could ask for. She loves her new puppy, and the baby goats are pretty neat too. Her favorite jungle gym at the moment is the mare when she sticks her head through the slats in the barn at the feed manger. It's pretty cute. She ducks under her neck and stomps down the length of the feed floor, turns around and does the same thing. She also hugs and loves on the horse's big old head like the biggest teddybear you've ever seen.These girls were born Tuesday morning. They are LaMancha/Boer cross. So far they are doing great, and they are adorable. They've got tiny little ears that add to the cuteness.
So, now I don't have to walk down to the barn at all hours of the night checking on the goats. Since I just had the two pregnant does, my kidding season is over. Next year I'll have five does to kid, so I imagine it will be lots of sleepless nights again.

Craigslist Cravings.

A nifty little secretary desk/hutch for sale in Bloomington for $100. If only I had money to spend, this would already be in the back of my truck heading for my house.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Holy Cow I WON!!

So, you know how I entered THIS great contest via The Farmer's Trophy Wife?
Well, this morning I checked my email, and she'd chosen the winner...MEEEE! I've never won anything before, and the Junk Gypsy store has been something I've drooled over for so long, so this is such a big deal to me. I don't know how I'm going to decide what to buy. I'd take everything home from their store.
Thank you so much to The Farmer's Trophy Wife and Junk Gypsy for this awesome belated birthday gift. You have no idea how happy I am!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lovin' This Song And Video.

Some Apartment Therapy Love.

If you haven't ever ventured over to Apartment Therapy, you've been missing so many greatthings I can't even begin to tell you. Quit reading this post immediately, click the link, ogle the wonderfulness for the rest of the day, and come back to read my blog tomorrow...that is, if you've stopped reading Apartment Therapy. They've got the main design blog, but also have a special food section (Kitchn), kids design section (Ohdeedoh), a green living section (Re-Nest), and a technology section (Unplggd).

Just wanted to show you a couple finds from this morning.

So, yeah.

On a different note entirely, I moved the bucklings and their momma out of the birthing stall and into a stall where they can go in and out to the pasture. I thought the younger doeling would get along with them, but she was being a bit too rough, so she got relocated to the dog pen at the barn (the weeds were growing up in there anyway). The still-pregnant nanny got relocated to the birthing stall (I hope that puts her in the mood to push out some kids), so we'll keep our fingers crossed.

I've been having quite the entourage with me while I feed anymore (an almost two year old little girl, a ten year old stock dog, three or four barn cats, my mother-in-law's two geriatric mutts, a handful of hens hoping for some of the horses leftover grain, and the new puppy). Joe did a great job this morning keeping the puppy back so I could move my mare from her lot at the barn out to the east pasture. It was a win-win for me because it kept both of them out of harm's way. I just don't trust the mare very well. She proved my point this morning when she threw her head up and swung her back in around all willy-nilly when I pulled her from the lot. Then when I turned her loose at the pasture she proceeded to buck and kick all the way over the hill. She can really be obnoxious some days.

One of my best friends is coming to see me today for a belated birthday visit, so today is going to be GREAT!

Ooops. Aparently I was in such a hurry to get stuff done before my friend arrived I completely forgot to post links. It's fixed now. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Junk Gypsy GIVEAWAY from The Farmer's Trophy Wife.

I can't say enough amazing things about the Junk Gypsy company. They've got this vintage-y, rustic, rugged quality that is so natural and not contrived. Everything they have for sale is so fantastic you just want one of each (sometimes two). Well guess what? Right now over at The Farmer's Trophy Wife you can enter to win $50 Junk Bucks to buy a few Junk Gypsy items for yourself.

Here are a few great items from their website:

I entered to win the giveaway myself, and it would make a great belated birthday wish me luck. Unless you're hoping for the prize yourself, and then, may the chosen person potentially send some Gypsy Lovin' my way.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Puppy and a Birthday.

So, a few Fridays ago I went down to Dinky's which is an auction barn nearby. It was HOT out. So very hot that it wasn't fit to be about in, but I wanted to see what chick prices were at because I want to buy a few Americauna chicks before fall.

Anyway, I was walking around outside and there was a wire cage with two puppies sitting in the sun. They'd knocked their water over and the one wasn't doing so well. He was laying on his side, and I don't think he was going to make it much longer. I couldn't leave the other puppy there, so I scooped him up, gave him some water and brought him home with me. The top of the cage said FREE PUPPIES: Pointer mix. He looks like an English Pointer, and so
far has been an excellent pup. He can't be over six weeks old, but he's taken to farm life rather well. While I type this he's sound asleep at my feet. We're sitting out underneath a Maple tree in my front yard enjoying a lovely breeze while Joelee is taking a nap upstairs.

Isn't he a cutie?

On a different subject my birthday was last Thursday. I turned twenty-six. Funny irony last year on my birthday I was wearing my favorite pair of jeans and I ripped them wide open on a fan down at the barn. This year I was wearing a different favorite pair of jeans and dang if I didn't rip a hole in them too first thing. That morning my mom came down and picked up my daughter and me and she took us out for lunch at The Farmhouse Cafe in Bean Blossom, Indiana after I got a massage at a great place called Head to Toe Salon and Spa in Nineveh, Indiana. When we left the restaurant we drove past the dairy where I used to buy my Brown Swiss calves, so we stopped in to visit for a bit, and introduce them to my daughter.

After that we headed up to my Grandpa's and picked him up to go out for supper at Lotus Gardens where the waitress (May) hasn't seen me in about two years, but still can remember my order. Makes a girl feel really special.

My mom then took us to her house, where we were going to stay the night and then go to the State Fair the next morning to see how my photographs did. My sister stopped by to say "Hi." And while she was there my husband called. Now keep in mind, I've been waiting on my goats to give birth for over a month now. I wasn't exactly sure on their breeding date, but all signs were pointing toward them being ready to go any moment.

"The Alpine is in labor." Was the first line from his mouth. I honestly thought he was just picking on me. "Don't joke like that." Was my response.

However, he wasn't kidding. Sure enough she was having her kids on my birthday with me being about an hour and a half away. I got quite the play-by-play from my mother-in-law though which was entertaining to say the least. My husband had to help the first one out, but the second one came on it's own. So when I got home I had twin bucklings awaiting me.

Here's One of Them, and Maria (the Momma).

Before I came home though, we ran up to the State Fair, and I got to see my photographs up among a ton of other Professionals. Not to seem immodest, but I felt confident that mine held their own weight. I didn't place, but all three of mine were on the main photography floor which made me happy since there were over a thousand entries and only about a hundred were in that area (the rest they put up on the third floor). Being that it was my first year to enter, I was a bit nervous, but I'm very satisfied with the outcome. Who knows maybe next year I might even place?

So all-in-all it was a great birthday. I don't think anybody could say theirs was exactly like mine.

Recipe Finding: Look where you might not otherwise.

I am by no means a vegetarian. But finding good veggie recipes can be a bit tricky. Lately, I've taken to reading the issues of Vegetarian Times that are available on They have tons of yummy sounding recipes, except wherever tofu or other products replace meat, cheeses, milk, etc. I just replace them with the real thing. It's worked out really well so far, and it gives me lots of new options for recipes. So vegetarian or not, I suggest you check it out.