Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our Christmas Tree - per request of daughter :)

Always ... the star at the top

Middle... too bad I don't know how to line these up



Some new ornaments I made this year....

Dried orange slices look like stained glass with alittle light behind them. (shown with my favorite hanging icicles to the left of them)

Cinnamon logs tied with flannel ribbons.

Older ornaments I treasure:
This next is an embroidered wreath made by the youngest as a home-school project when she was about 11.

a beeswax angel we used to make when we had our honey and beeswax candle business. I still have my supplies and have plans to be making more... They smell soooo good! Just a hint of honey smell

A bee-keeper ornament made by my SIL , the year was 1990

A primitive wax star (don't remember where we got this one)

a cross-stiched nativity (I LOVE this one .... so dainty)

The Christmas goose (we used to have geese... one got stuck in 2' of snow and I had too wade out to get her and carry her back... wore me out at age 40 or so!)

A cross-stitched bulb, made by my sister if I remember right

Lots of wooden toy onraments from when youngest was little.

there are others I didnt get unpacked this year, and some I sent on to the older children that I had made after the fire when they were little (thats another story).

But I think this is enough. I am a believer in balance in everything , because I tend to get overwhelmed and discontent if it isn't. The important thing to me is that even though Christ wasn't born on the actual Christmas day, we celebrate His birthday at this time. and God sent his Son into this world to give His life for us, and I for one am so grateful, because I am such a brat, I really needed a Saviour. Yes, so glad......

and now I have to get my house cleaned!!! and finish knitting that hat!!! Have a blessed day, y'all!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Home-made Gifts

I have been thinking about gifts for miscellaneous giving; ie, mail-person, Hubby's boss and/or co-workers, lady who runs the Todd County Welcome Center..... and came across this recipe from Leh*man's blog and decided to try it out.

Pumpkin Bread in a Jar
This recipe makes 8 pints! That's 8 gifts!!
With a Home-made card I think it makes a nice little gift.
What do you think??
Recipe (because I knew you would ask ;) )
Pumpkin Bread In A Jar
2/3 c. shortening
2 c. pumpkin ( I used my home-canned)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 2/3 c. white sugar
2/3 c. water
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
3 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar; beat in eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add to pumpkin mixture. Stir in nuts, if using. Pour mixture into greased wide-mouth pint canning jars, filling them each half full. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes. When done, remove one jar at a time and wipe off sealing rim with a cloth. Screw lid on tightly with band. The heat will vacuum seal the jar. Makes 8 pints.
Variations: Substitute one of the following for the pumpkin: 2 cups shredded apples; 2 cups shredded carrots; 1 can cranberry sauce; 2 cups mashed bananas; 2 cups chopped peaches; 2 cups applesauce; 2 cups shredded zucchini; 2 cups fruit cocktail; or 1 3/4 cups applesauce plus 1/4 cup raisins.
(Changes; I cut the sugar to 2 cups and 2 T, used 5 very small eggs cause thats what I had, and added 2/3 c raisins. (we cut one open this morning and Hubby liked it really well!)
Add your ribbon and a tag and there ya go! (I made my ribbon out of a strip of plaid flannel left from Hubby's quilt)I was able to gift one yesterday about an hour out of the oven to a lady who came to get a trailer-load of rabbit manure for her garden. When I told her I had baked it in my wood cook-stove oven, that made it all the more special to her!
Well, Merry Christmas to you all. Happy baking! Wishing you all a very Blessed New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yay! We are having a blizzard!!

I love snow!!! Don't get to see it much in Kentucky...

But today we are having a blizzard. See it blowing across the fields?

I am wishing for a sled, a long hill and a young body!

Just for today :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pie Crust Recipe and Odds n' Ends

For all who requested, my pie crust *recipe* has been added to the Apple Pie post from a few days ago.

I greeted my 2 new Nubian goats this morning on my way to turn the lights on in the rabbit barn and hen house. They greeted me back with "Maaaaaa" ...... no they are not purchased yet; just gettin' in practise :) (those of you who hold to the teachings of the Bible will especially understand this... )

I need to finish clipping Izzy now that I have found the combs that go onto the end of the clippers. Picture will be forthcoming.

Other things I am planning to do for today;

1.I will be baking bread ... or "Dorothy" will (the fabulous bread machine)

2.I am also getting presents ready to mail out by the 10th.

3.Knitting a slouch hat for youngest daughter.

4.Put nest boxes in rabbits pens that are due on the 11th (9 I think)

I am sure most evryone is is decorated and ready for Christmas except me, but I'll get there. No hurry, no rush :)

So what does your day consist of ??

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Decision Update

I really appreciate all who took the time to comment your thoughts on my goat decision. Its always good to get other imput.
So, here it is....
1. The decision on these particular 2 goats was made for me, as they were sold as I was deliberating.... I'm ok with that.
2. My hubby and I talked long about it, throwing ideas around, pros and cons, what would be needed as far as housing, feed, care.... and he actually was quite supportive. When I said we didn't "really have to (have goats)", he'd come back and say "well , we could put the door-way here..." He even told me about a co-worker that makes an alfalfa/grass hay we could buy...
3. Beings as HE bought me my first-ever goat before we were even married, we do have a long history with the animals, and do realize what all it entails, so not like we are jumping off a cliff here.
4.This would be different from our past history with goats; in that we would not be registering, showing and milk testing for awards, raising for export, and not multiplying, as in not having our own buck(s) and not keeping the kids.
5. So.... we will work towards (get ready to) have our 2 goats by early spring, for our milk, cheese-making, yogurt and a once-in-a-while awesome batch of goat -milk fudge! Just our do-it-yourself preference over consumerism.
I could post many, many pictures, and write alot about our past goat ventures; starting a goat 4H club in our county, then on to showing in 3 states through ADGA santioned shows, and once nationally, a wall full of ribbons, trophies, top-ten-in-the-nation milk awards for the Saanen and Nubian breeds, grand champions, best of breed winnings, top bloodlines, you name it.... those days were exhilerating! I'll just show you one here, lol ..... but.... that is in the past. And I prefer to go forward. So I choose to be content with not trying to do all those things and just enjoy two ( 2 ...... only two) goats for our use and purposes.
Again, I really appreciate the imput offered. It helped me think with a clear head, not just react. I appreciate all of you and count you as my friends!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Delema or A Blessing??

I am about to do something either very exciting (to me) or something very stupid. Please help me out with your imput.

I have been aware for sonmetime that I cannot drink/use cow milk even from a raw dairy without some stomach upset. Ice cream has also been making me sick as well (I CAN do without the ice cream though). I can do ok with yogurt.

I have just found I can purchase 2 goats (wow! honest-to-goodness dairy goats .... in KY... amazing!! ...... ) (we have raised goats previously for 20+ years in PA) and have fresh goats milk again... YUMMMM! These goats will be fresh early in the spring.

Question.... do I want to go this route again? The 2 x's a day milking?

1.Would probably mean no trips to PA unless the goats were dried off (where my kids and grands live) but then have only been once in 7 yrs anyway...

2. Would be a poss thing for me to look forward to each day. Loved my goats!! plus the milk !! Goats milk is good for you!!

How does one choose what to do??

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Apple Pie - My Way

There's no getting around it...... my Hubby likes to eat pie!
If I am going to eat pie, it has to have something in it other than fluff and sugar.

I make the crust using a good bit of old-fashion oatmeal added (1 part oatmeal to 2 parts flour)

Then I like to use fresh apples. I wash them good, then slice them up with skins on, saving all those good nutrients.

I stack it as high as I can, till they are falling off and can't be stacked any higher. More apple to crust ratio. I mix 1/2 cup flour and 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1-2 tsp cinnamon (its good for you) Dot with butter and "put the lid on". Sculp an apple shape in the top crust to let out steam.

Bake at 375* for about an hour. When it is done I sprinkle a little cinnamon-sugar mixture on top . It will melt into place from the heat of the pie.

......... and there you have it , a Good-For-You apple pie!
For those that requested, my pie crust recipe is simple, I am a "dump" cook.... a little of this , a pinch of that.
2 parts flour
1 part oatmeal (the old-fashion kind)
1 1/2 parts Crisco or lard
enough cold, cold, water to make into a nice dough.
Roll out immediately and put in pie tin. Make the top crust over-sized to fit over the apples. Crimp edges, cut slits and bake. I do my apple pies at 375* for about an hour

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Boy and his Dog

Faithful friend

"Don' mess with da Boy...."

Actually our Grand-dog Simon is a BIGGGGG Baby. Want to see???

Shown here with Papa and Little Miss Izzy.

Happy "Dogs on Thursday!"


I took a cutting off of a cherry tomato plant several weeks ago; rooted it in water, and planted it outside in a raised bed for a while.

A couple weeks ago I brought it indoors with the intention of trying to save it and see if those tiny 'maters on it would ripen.

There are even more blossoms on it now. I am going to try to pollinate them with a tiny brush. I thought it a pretty plant none the less, even in Christmas-y colors!

(I know it looks nice outside through the window, but its been 25* at night and only 36* right now!)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fall Firewood - a Good Time of Year

One of my favorite activities on our homestead/farm is bringing in firewood. Hubby and I get to do this together, at least part of the time.

This day about 3 wks ago was a beautiful day, 50-some degrees, just right for the task.

The sun was shining through the leaves, making the colors glow!

Reds, yellows, greens!

And there's my sweet hard-workin' Hubby,

He cuts and splits the wood...

My job is loading it on the truck (of course, he helps me with that, too :) ) and stacking the wood in the carport. I love stacking wood! (I think I told you that last year...) Did I mention that I love stacking wood????

And did I mention the fact that we heat almost exclusively with our wood cook-stove??, saving many $$'s. There is a picture on my side-bar of my stove. When I have time I comment there what I am cooking that day. Today happens to be lentil soup and whole-wheat rolls w/homemade strawberry jam. We will have pumpkin pudding for dessert.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Project completed

This was my knitting project for my new Grand-baby, Maddie. Its cold where they live in Pennsylvania!
Got to keep that little girl warm.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quilt painting finished

You can see it here if you like.....
I am chasing my tail today...
Ya'll have fun!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Making Bread

... yesterday. I am so used to just throwing my ingredients in, varied a little if I want, and whipping up a big batch of bread!

However, kneading bread has been wrecking havoc on my wrists the last few months. I need my wrists for important things like .... well... quilting... painting.... knitting, you know , the really important things. So talking to DD on the phone (after the fact) she suggested I get a bread making machine from Wal*Mart. I didn't think ours carried them but I called anyway.... then ran (in the car) to grab this on clearance, reduced bargain of the week! a whole $25! Made by Oster, it has so many features it will take me a month to learn!

I know.... you've seen bread machines before (sheepish grin)

but, oh it will save my wrists..... and

hubby can have his different kinds of bread without having to eat 6 loaves of one kind at once ....... and

no more freezer bread! At least not as much... but it is good to know, that I can still whip up a batch to feed an army :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I "AM" quilting ......

One of the reasons I am a Slow-P0ke-Quilter is because I also paint them :)
In fact, I paint much more than I quilt, but I just hafta quilt too... it's in my blood!

Momma Made This called for SPQ's to unite! I thought I'd do my best to do my part...

I will let you all see this when it is done. Ok, lunch-time is over.... back to painting!

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Residents

Hubby went to the Fairview bi-annual auction a couple weeks ago. He knew I wanted some more chickens..... and wanted to surprise me ..... he did...... 36 more surprises!!!

Some of the pretty new banties...
"Is it safe to come down??"

"Who's down there??" ( love this little buff brahma hen!)

Just too many roosters ....

There are 3 Araucana hens, all different colors. Isn't she pretty??

"Does this say 'Cafeteria' ???"

all sizes....

all colors....

Now have lots of black hens, and 2 nice big white ones...
None seem to have alot of age on them.

" 'I' am still master here!!" says my little Japanese rooster :)

There is also several Rhode Island Red hens (my least favorite of the chicken world) a couple Barred Rock hens, and a pair of Partridge Cochin bantams. Quite a menagerie, but isn't variety the spice of life??