Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

And then it just kind of died...

Do I sound faster? If yes it may be due to my fancy new computer. My poor, long suffering laptop finally just kind of died. We are trying to get everything off the hard drive but its taking a very very long time.


I have a shiny new laptop and it's the beez kneez. It's superfast and really deluxe. Since a few folks have asked.... it's some kind of Dell thing with a 3 in the descriptive number. That's just about all that I know about it...and the "a" key is a little too far away for me. I'm having a remarkable number of 'a'-less words... I'm working on tht.. I mean... that.

Honestly, I should never have anything this nice. It will probably end up dropped, peed on, covered in flour, or flooded with coffee. So I'm being very, very careful. I need to get my pix off the other computer before I can do a proper update.

And.. you know, I gotta figure out how to use Windows 8. I spent about 10 minutes trying to tap the screen to get those fancy panels to work. It's not a touch screen and I know that now.

So in the meantime, I hope everyone was able to enjoy the mild weather. I had the windows open on Wednesday....but I understand that by Thursday morning it will be 20* and icy.

Happy Thursday everyone! For heavens sakes - it's the last day of January, how did that happen?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Coffee with a Canine interviews me!

Hey check it out! My pal over at Coffee with a Canine interviewed me and my hard workin' farm dogs!

Thanks, CwaC, so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about Lucky and Ti. This was a great interview and a fun way to talk about my dogs. I loved the questions!

Coffee with a Canine is a great blog with interviews of dog owners - many are writers and they feature some terrific books. They talk about their dogs....and coffee. 

Why does this interview focus just on Lucky and Titan and not Zander and Kai also? Well... you know me. I could talk about my Dog Horde all day long. So I chose just to introduce my best farm workers. Commander Zander and Princess Kai are my hunters, as you know, and I didn't think that rat killing was the best interview subject. Altho you know I love a good rat shoot.....

Grab yourself some coffee and run right over and check out Coffee with a Canine and let me know what you think!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Folklore Apothecary & Tilton Hollow

I'll tell you what, friends. If you want to make a farm pal happy - give them a gift bucket. Not a basket.... a gift bucket.
It was a real bucket! With great products!

And that is exactly what I got from my pals over at Tilton Hollow. It's a real farm bucket and it was filled with their products. And beets. You heard about my beet woes, now solved, which was great - but I am wow'd by Tilton Hollow's spectacular products.

Even tho I'm not girly-fancy, I am very particular about what products I put on my skin. Mostly it's out of self defense. I'm allergic to most of the so called pure products out there so I only ever want naturally made soaps and such.  The goat milk soaps and Folklore Apothecary products by Tilton Hollow offer exactly that - natural ingredients without any of the funny stuff.

The soaps, Raaw and (wal)nut scrub, are divine. You can smell and feel the quality and again - no funny stuff. Except, you know, the nut scrub is hilarious to me because of ....well... nuts. Of course, that is my favorite soap! The Raaw is just pure goat milk soap and it's unadorned and perfect. Aside from being hilarious the nut scrub smells heavenly. Not perfume-y but just clean and lovely.

I also received two of the salves... oh golly... I have to tell you about the salves. They come in adorable little tins. I've been keeping the tin of Smoothing Salve on the arm of the couch where I sit so I can just reach up and get a little lovin' for my poor dry hands.  The thing I love most about it is that it's not greasy. I can rub some on my cracked and dry fingers and then just go back to typing away. It absorbs into my skin and doesn't get all over my laptop. Or the cats.

I'm completely gaga for the Foot & Hoof Salve. There's something about the easy scent that I couldn't place. Then I figured it out... it's the pumpkin that gives the peppermint and the lavender some ooomph. It's perfect. And my feet just love it. After being cold, wet, and shoved into workboots my hooves need all the help they can get. Now my feet go to bed happy with some Foot & Hoof Salve.

Need a gift for a farm pal or just want to treat yourself? Check out Tilton Hollow's products. They have a stunning line of 100% Natural Goat Milk Soaps. The milk comes from their lovely dairy goats on their beautiful farm. Their Folklore Apothecary line contains the salves and soothing soaps. They also have a Farmhouse Collection with candles and such. If you'd like to learn more about their farm be sure to click on their Brand Graphics link - the pictures are amazing.

You may purchase Tilton Hollow' products at some retail shops listed on their soap page here or check out their online store.

We are in that long stretch now where spring seems just a little too far away. So why not soothe yourself with some products that will make the wait a little easier? Or maybe you need a perfect gift for a farm friend? Be sure to fill a real bucket with Tilton Hollows products - they will love you for it. Guaranteed.

Happy Monday everyone! Look - I smell clean now! Thank you Tilton Hollow for this generous gift!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

How about a little petit déjeuner?

Croissants. Nailed it.

Any body want to come on over for a little chocolat chaud  and some croissants? It's what's for breakfast.

Finally! I solved the mystery of the complicated pastries. They are light, flaky, and buttery - not bread-like last ones but these are the real deal.  

Thanks to my pal, K, who sent me this excellent video on how to make croissants, I think I got the hang of it.

As I expected from my earlier near miss, I needed to be much more careful in how I rolled out the dough. I used my Never Wrong to make sure it was rolled to 10 inches by 20 inches. I also made sure that I brushed the extra flour from the dough before I folded it.

I found this extra fun video which explained the process even more.  How great is this girl?  At first I couldn't place her accent but then I clicked around on her site - she's from Brazil. She is super fun.

In addition to the plain croissants I also made a few apple pastries....

...and some chocolate croissants ones as well.

I don't know what you are doing today but I'm sitting around having hot chocolate and croissants.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Snow Day 2013

Finally! We got a little snow to go along with our bitter cold. Yesterday was our first real snow day of 2013.

This little hen, one of my favorites, was unsure of the white stuff.

The dusting we got gave everyone something to talk about. Today, tho, we should be in for another snow - up to 4 inches which is kind of big news around here.

Easy Nibbles, no need to hurry!

Nibbles couldn't be stopped from waddling on down to get some pine needles.

I think she looks pretty good. I'm guessing 3 babies this year.

And the runner ducks weren't exactly running but they thought the snow was pretty good.

Runners, not running.

Speaking of ducks. Would your look at this handsome drake! He's here temporarily - he's on his way to someone else but my lady duck just thinks he is the most handsome guy she's every seen. I think he's striking.

You know who you are, look at this dandy!

Of course the dogs loved the snow. I wanted to show my friend, SD, how long Zander's legs are getting. He's very tall these days. Our Bubby is getting very, very big.

Zander and Ti love the snow.

Our beautiful Kai made a funny snow face.

Isn't she funny with her tongue hanging out? Kai! Such a goof.

Happy Friday everyone! Are you having a snow day?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gato Diablo. He's Real.

You might have wondered where I came up with the character, Gato Diablo, in my Adventure Tails. Here he is...

Its true. He's real. His name really is Gato Diablo. And he's crazy. Like looney-toons crazy. Like out of his mind crazy. As in totally batsh*t crazy.

Gato is our basement kitty.  We make no excuses for him. But we love him anyway.

His best friend is Moose (who is "Moose the White" in the most recent tail, The Horn of Battle Part 3) Gato hates everyone else. Unfortunately he is extremely predatorial so we need to keep him away from the rest of The Insane Posse. Sometimes he makes a escape and there is a wild chase to catch him before he does too much damage. One time tho, our Sweet Peep stood her ground and Gato got a nasty scratch. We think that made him even more nuts.

Gato has an interesting story. Some folks found him as a very young kitten in a parking lot and they pawned him The Big Man. Mostly things went pretty well for Gato until I showed up with my old lady cats. Then it all went downhill. Too many women for him.

Once Gato made an escape and ended up in a pickle. The Big Man came home from work and couldn't find Gato. He looked high and low. Then my husband looked up high again and found Gato in the gutter of the second story of the Old Farm house. Some how that crazy cat got out of the house,  up on the roof, tumbled down the slate roof, and landed face up in the gutter. He was totally wedged in and could not get out.

The Big Man got the tallest ladder we had and scooped Gato out of the gutter. Anyone who has had to retrieve a terrified cat from a high place knows this is not easy task. It's almost a good thing that Gato  got stuck because this second story drop was a long, long way down. However, it was a hot day and that poor cat was probably there for a good long while. Thankfully, aside from being dehydrated and a little scared, he was OK. It may have made him a little more crazy tho.

So that's our basement kitty - any body else have a crazy basement cat?

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Beet Relief and Cold. Ice Cold.

I'm so excited! We visited some friends and not only did I have a terrific time.... I got some beet relief. 

My salad was superdeluxe today because of beets given in friendship. You know who you are - thank you VERY much. I think I'll be able to make it now.

I needed some extra sustenance because oh baby, its COLD out there. We've had extreme windchill warnings since yesterday. This was the first day that all the water buckets were frozen solid. Now that is cold.

When we went out for chores this morning we had to bust all of the ice out of the buckets. I had a pile of ice when I was done.

No one was outside today - there was no sense in letting any of the barnyard animals out. The dogs only got to go out for a few minutes at a time. So far so good. The only ones we are kind of worried about were the barncats and they are the toughest of the lot! Even so we set up a warm spot for them. We hung a heat lamp safely above the chair where they have been sleeping in the garage. I don't think they moved the whole day.

This cold weather reminds me about some tips for extreme cold weather livestock care. This post is from a couple years ago and this is how we manage.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Are you keeping warm? Did you have to bust all the ice out of your buckets today?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Complicated Pastry Day - Part Two

I just loved my Complicated Pastry Days so much I just can't stop talking about them. So now... the puff pastry portion - part 2. Would you just look at this lovely apple pastry?

This is how we do an apple danish around here!

I got a bee right in my bonnet a while ago about some kind of cheese danish. But you just know I wasn't going to go and buy some of that frozen puff pastry from the store. Instead I reached for my new favorite thing... my autographed copy of The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle and looked up Tom Douglas' "worth the effort puff pastry." There were four pages of instructions. I almost drove to the store to get the stupid frozen puff pastry right then. But undeterred I soldiered on...

At the end of the first day I determined that the exact detail was extremely helpful and every word mattered. The big difference between the croissant dough and this puff pastry - aside from the yeast - was the exactness of the instructions. Even the technique was mostly the same - use a butter heavy dough, roll it out, fold it, then chill it between roll 'n folds...do that several times.

My trusty Never Wrong measuring tape was the key to my success.

The Dahlia Cookbook goes into exact details about how to roll the dough out - with measurements given.  For instance you roll the dough to a size of 8" x 20",  for instance, for most of the turns. Also the biggest 'helpful hint' was to brush the extra flour off the dough before folding.  You then use a little spritz of water before folding. This seemed to bind the layers together better. This puff pastry dough did not use the butter square that is the basis for most croissant doughs. Even tho it looked the same as the croissant dough after the first couple turns - this version seemed to disperse the butter much more evenly. I believe this was because of how thin it was rolled out.

You have to be exact...and then brush off the extra flour before folding.

I found a link with the instructions on how to make the puff pastry but I'm pretty sure you'll fall over when you see it - and yep, those are all the steps. Don't forget to read the the notes before getting started! It looks like a lot of work over the course of two days but wow the results were amazing! And how fun is it to learn something new? It was an absolute thrill to see the uniform layers of the dough when it was done.

Look at those layers!

This is a great project if you are going to be inside anyway - say on a canning day or an all laundry day. It doesn't take a lot of work, just a lot of steps and a certain amount of precision. It was kind of fun using a measuring tape for cooking.... as with most things I name my tools so my old friend, "Never Wrong" was with me the whole time.  My measurements were spot on and it paid off.

Applesauce plopped on a puff pastry - amazing!

The puff pastry project totally gets an A+. It was a fun thing to do and the results were fantastic. It's easy enough to keep the cut pastry in the freezer, top with fruit or jam, and put them in the oven until they are puffed and golden. I made this apple danish with just some chunky style homemade apple sauce and a quick caramel sauce. I also made a couple with just blackberry jam and nothing else. In the next couple of days I'll try a cheese danish ...and I'll make savory one as well.

The caramel sauce was just gilding the lily...

As a follow up to the croissant post I asked my pal K. over at Living the life in Saint-Aignan, if he had any experience with baking croissants? No, they had never made them but he gave me this incredible link to a french video of "how to." Subtitled in English, this video taught me more in a few minutes then I could ever learn randomly clicking around on the interweb.

So armed with the expertise of the video and everything I learned about being exacting (and brushing off the extra flour) from the Dahlia Bakery cookbook - I'm pretty sure my next croissant day will be a raging success. With our extra cold weather coming in and my almost empty plate of croissants... I could have another complicated pastry day before you know it.

Happy Monday everyone! Now don't you want to run right out and make some complicated pastries? You'll never have to go to France again!

(Just kidding.... I miss Paris sometimes....)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Morning

My new Sunday morning...

Who am I kidding? I didn't have just one little croissant!

We are about the get a cold spell - could be the coldest weather we've had since 2009! So we are hustling to get everyone bedded down. Today we'll need to get everyone fresh straw and even set up some heat lamps.

Oh! And the puff pastry turned out amazing.. I'll work on some pix or that as soon as I have another croissant....or two.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Complicated Pastry Day - Part One

Thanks for everyone's interest in my Complicated Pastry Days! It was very fun. There's a lot of 'splaining to do so this might be a multiple part post. First tho, I think I did OK. What do you think?

Homemade croissants - not bad.

They lean a little "crescent" but are still croissant-y. The finished product reminds me more of the coronetti I had in Italy. More bread-y than a real croissant....and I definitely need to work on my flakiness.

Lots of layers but needs more flakiness.

My goal for Complicated Pastry Day(s) was to learn about puff pastry and croissants. I was inspired by a pic I saw on foodgawker. I figured if a regular person could make croissants then I should give it a go. And what else was I going to do trapped in the house worrying about everything I wasn't getting done. Plus there isn't a decent croissant within 100 miles of our farm and I was starting to languish from lack of pastries.

Want to give it a try? You'll need two days of being at home for this bad boy. No kidding. And you can't monkey around with the timing.  So clear your schedule, take all your foldin' money down to the store and buy the most expensive butter you can find, and roll up your sleeves.

I won't do a step by step because this is really the best explanation I've seen. A WARNING tho - this .gif heavy post may make your dizzy. I copy 'n pasted the instructions on a static page so I wouldn't become homicidal.
Fresh from the oven. I'm not being arty with the lighting. I have very little natural light in my kitchen.

Since I was going to be chained to the kitchen with this not-so-labor-intensive but surely needed-my-full-attention process I thought I'd kill two baking birds with one stone. I also broke out my new favorite baked goods book, The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle- I wanted to try his "worth the effort" puff pastry dough. I used two different timers and a sticky note to help manage these two different processes going at the same time.

I learned a lot of things. First, the ham and cheese croissants I made were a hit right out of the park. Delish! The chocolate ones were pretty darn good, and the plain croissants were a solid "good." In all, I'll give this project a firm "B" and I'll definitely do it again. There are a few things tho that I'll do differently next time.

While I was glad for the simplified process given by Top With Cinnamon, it was probably missing some steps and institutional know-how. Granted I probably would never have tried making croissants without this short hand version - more detail in the "how to" is warranted for the next go round. I did a quick search and discovered that other folks had similar results to mine. So I didn't feel too bad about my lack of flakiness. But I want to do better next time.

I will also get the best quality, highest fat butter I can find. But wait, isn't regular old Kroger butter good enough? Probably not. From what I can tell, the fancy-pansy pastry chefs use higher in fat "European" style butter. So I'll get my hands on some of that.

Little croissants on a tray just waiting to rise.

Also, I need to get better at my timing - the first two batches of croissants should have been baked sooner. I had to go to town during the "rise in a cool place" step and I think the butter in the croissants started to get too soft. The last two batches of croissants did much better - and the ham and cheese ones were great.

The best thing about my Complicated Pastry Days was doing both the croissant and the puff pastry dough at the same time. What I needed to learn for making better croissants was taught to me in the puff pastry instructions. Oh yeah.. my man Tom D. did not let me down at all. Those 4 pages of instructions were worth every word. The puff pastry was stunning. I made a few little tarts from the scraps and they were terrific.

I'll do more research and incorporate what I learned from the puff pastry into my next round of croissants. The puff pastry is resting comfortably in the freezer right now.  I'll bake up some of the puff pastry squares as tarts and do a follow up post with details next. 

So what do you think? Has anyone ever made real croissants before? Do you have any tips?

Complicated Pastry Day - Part Two coming soon.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Great Beet Crisis of 2013

This is it. The very last jar of my home canned beets.

I'll soon be beetless. Then what? Wandering around aimlessly looking for some kind of beet substitute? It won't be the same.

I love beets and I don't care who knows it. I love everything about beets. The greens. The beets themselves. Watching them grow.... they are perfect. Easy to grow, multi-purpose, and lovely.

Lately I've been eating them in a salad with a lot of homemade ranch dressing, iceberg lettuce, and black pepper. Today will probably be my last beet salad. Dang.

Come on... where is that spring?

Oh well. Looks like I'll have Complicated Pastry Day Part Two. Yesterday's Part One was epic. I dominated the first day of making both croissant and puff pastry dough. I hope it works out. I'll need to drown my beetless sorrows in complicated pastries.

Happy Friday everyone!  Anyone else on their last home canned jar of something?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Worries

Winter worries are different than summer worries, don't you think?  During the summer I worry about the farm animals flopping over dead from the heat - or not getting enough water. Or I worry about the garden and I definitely worry about not having enough time to get the projects done.

Radishes. Cause no worries.

I think the big difference between winter and summer worries is that in summer you can actually DO something about your worries. We can take action to get everyone cooled down, or water the garden, or do something to make things grow, work, or thrive. Winter tho... winter is a whole other ball of wax.

We don't have the kind of searing cold that freezes livestock in their shelters or in the pasture - so we are only mildly concerned with the weather. And heaven knows that we can withstand a big snow storm or two and that's nothing like a "land hurricane" coming to ruin and destroy our little farm. We know that everyone has enough food and such. So aside from making sure everyone is fed and happy - there isn't really anything to do.

Everyone's comfort frees me to worry about......everything that could happen. And there is not one thing I  can do about it.

No concern about this lovely dahlia.

During the winter I think about all the work I'll have to do in the spring, everything that needs to be planted, weeded, fixed, moved, re-fenced, re-seeded, re-stocked, tilled, mowed, and painted. I worry if I'll have time to get that post re-set on the wonky gate. Or if I can get enough land cleared before the poison ivy takes over or the blackberries over-grow everything, or if the pond will stay full.

And I stare endlessly at the goats trying to figure out if they were bred, how many babies they will have and when, and if we will have enough milk or feeding and cheese making and making all kinds of things. I worry about the hennies and if they are slowing down their egg production because of the season or if they are past their laying prime. I worry if that one little hen will ever get over her bad molt and get back to business. I worry if I'll have any hatchlings this year - unlike last summer.

My garden hat stares at me accusingly... wondering why we don't get outside and work.

I really don't like this down time. All I do is sit around and worry and wonder about things that I can't do one thing about. I know earlier I was saying "where is winter?" but I think I've moved on to "where is spring?" I just can't keep sitting around wondering and worrying. I need to take action.

Well. There is only one thing to do. I'm going to try and make croissants. Carry on, everyone. I'm just going to bake myself happy today.

Happy Thursday! Is it just me or does anyone else have the "winter worries?"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Life is Good

If you follow me over on 'the facebook' then you know I'm always spreading optimism by liking and sharing the Life is Good products. Doesn't everybody just love those guys? Do you know their story? I started seeing their tire covers on jeeps and figured it was some hippy thing.  But I tell you the truth there is just something infectious about their happy message.

My favorite hat of all time. Gives me courage under fire. 

I bought my Life is Good hat - yep the one here in my self portrait - several years ago at an airport when I was having a particularly bad day. I thought I needed some inspiration and that simple message, Life is Good, gave me courage on a bleak day. It's a great reminder that happiness is a choice, even if you are slogging thru a hard time. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances - or be overwhelmed by them. How you respond to life depends on you. It's better to remember that life is good.

Who could be grumpy with this mug?

This is why I like to promote the LIG products. I love their joyful, easy, simple messages and I see them as an encouragement to keep on keepin' on. Sometimes, if things are really grim, I'll double up and wear my inspirational tshirt AND hat at the same time. That is for the toughest days. It's kinda funny how I got that shirt. Come to think of it, I bought that Life is Good shirt at an airport also.

I was on my way home from a not particularily fun time visiting a new mommy. She was in "that" phase and insisted that I wash all my clothes in her "approved" laundry soap. Just to be in the same room with the new baby. I wasn't even approved to hold the baby. For heavens sakes. It is a fact that I am allergic to almost everything scented. Not only did I not want to smell like a fresh baby diaper... I did not want to break out in hives. But I was assured that this special baby laundry soap was totally hypoallergenic so I gave in and handed over my clothes.

Several days later - there I was in the airport on my way home - scratching. And I was mad. Real mad. I shouldn't have washed my clothes in that Acid and Barbed Wire bubbly stuff. It was not hypoallergenic and I smelled ridiculous. And I had a rash.

I figured I'd adjust my attitude and get a new shirt. I picked up the softest shirt the Life is Good store had and rushed to the cashier. "That will be $39, please" said the too-perky-for-my-bad-attitude cashier. My jaw dropped. Apparently there is a lot tax at the airport....but it was worth every scent... I mean "cent." I'd need all the encouragement I could get for my journey home.

I boarded the plane and found my seat. And then he showed up. Oh gosh. You know that fellow traveler. I call him Smilin' Guy. Typically an executive who is trying to overcompensate for having to be in the rear with the gear....with all us travelers in coach... instead of first class. He's the one with too much cologne, a too crisp shirt, and an expensive watch. He's gonna try and impress you with his flashy smile and small talk. I hate small talk. I hate it even worse on a plane. And if I have a bad case of the scratchies...well then golly.

Immediately I stuck my nose in my book - a tome about ancient war generals - and avoided eye contact. He was persistent tho and pounced as soon as I looked up to see if they had started the beverage service.

"So! How's your day?" He over-enthusiastically asked.

"Bad. It's real bad, friend." But I didn't really say "friend" like I meant it. He didn't hear me anyway and he kept on yammerin'. "On the way home or heading out?" He kept on.

"Home. I'm going home and I've had a terrible trip." At this point the flat tone in my voice was lost to him.  He started to ask me something else but I cut him off. "Where's my waitress? I need a drink." I said looking around.

About that time the flight attendant was at our row. "I'll take a double, honey. And just leave the can of tonic, if you would." I said. Even that gal could tell I was starting to crack so she left me extra limes and gave me an understanding look.

"Boy, you weren't kidding...a..about the drink." Smilin' Guy said looking a little nervous.

He was still trying to break the ice when I threw back my second gin and tonic. Finally I leveled a look at him that has been known to stop a sassy rooster mid-step, silence a naughty child who wasn't even mine, and make a grown man give me a 10 foot radius. He went back to looking at his important papers and I went back to reading about how to divide and conquer an empire on horseback.

Mercifully the plane touched down in the Good Land and about that time my scratching stopped. My Life is Good shirt had fixed me. Not only was my skin rash gone, but by the time I ran out of the terminal and into our big work truck driven by The Big Man, it reminded me firmly that happiness is a choice.

They have great dog shirts. My Dog#1 had me at woof.

Life is good, friends. And its ok if you need a reminder now and then. I have a hat and a shirt that proclaims this simple message.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Editor's note: Do you love Life is Good products? Would you like to support this blog? Head on over to my store on Amazon and get a great shirt, hat, or coffee mug. Any products you buy thru my links support this blog. Shopping anyway? Click on the Amazon badge to get to the regular Amazon site...or use the black Amazon search box on the right. Thanks!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Three Things About Winter

For the last couple of days we've had weirdly warm, spring-like temperatures. It's more like April out there than January. I was a little disappointed to tell you the truth - being out there in shorts.

It hasn't looked like this very much.

There are a few things that I like about winter:

* The rare opportunity to sleep in on these long dark days.
* Winter chores are much faster and easier - no goat milking and fewer bodies.
* Sitting around eating carbs and all kinds of baked goods because what else are you gonna do?

So while having the windows open was an opportunity to air out the house... unfortunately it wasn't as great as it sounds. It's muddy and I think it's harder on the animals when we have these kinds of odd temperature fluctuations.

Haven't seen this either.

We went out to find the meat chickens panting the other day. It was 60* when we did evening chores. It's easy enough to keep the chicken coop windows open but golly, I'm not sure what to do about the dogs. We've noticed that Zander's coat is getting shaggy.....even tho he and Kai are built for cold weather, I'm not sure it would be ideal for Zander to "blow his coat" when we still have a couple more months of winter. He'll need his thick undercoat for a while yet.

None of this...

Today our temperatures will be dropping thru the day and so I think we are getting back to winter. Today, after I got up way to late, we will be to hurry thru chores, and so I can get back inside and bake something.

I'm kind of hoping it will snow again but there is none in the forecast.

Happy Monday everyone! Are you back to winter?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Soup and Nicholas

Looks like I need another day on the couch. Today I have soup.....and Nicholas.

Talk about homemade soup! Step one was go and butcher the chicken in the yard, step two was make the noodles. It was delicious.

Nicholas is helping me hold down the couch and smirk unamusedly at daytime TV. For heavens sakes.

This is one of the rare days that I wish we had cable....but then again... I think I'll just see what's playing on Hulu. Any suggestions?

Happy Friday everyone! Anyone else holding down the couch, watching TV, and eating soup? Whatcha watching?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Warmer Weather and Sandwiches

We are expecting the weirdest weather ever in the next couple of days. Instead of looking like the Ice Planet Hoth... we are going to have spring storms and temperatures in the 50*'s and 60*'s! I know its a false spring but its kinda nice to have all the hoses running and not to slide all over the ice.

Unfortunately tho, when we have these weird weather swings I usually end up under the weather. So me and Nicholas are holding down the couch today.

But nothing perks a person up more than a baked sandwich. So I made some. I've also got some chicken stock going on the stove. Tuesday we had a meat chicken day harvest and had incredible results. I don't think we'll be able to finish up tho. I need another day if sitting around.

Me, a hot sandwich, a mug of chicken stock, and Nicholas. That's what I've got going on today.

Happy Thursday everyone! Is your weather normal?
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