Friday, July 25, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Garden Update Week 8

Beets/Green Beans Week 8

You have probably wondered what happened to the garden?!  I promise that it didn't completely get overtaken by weeds in the 3 weeks since I have written about it. Let's see:

1: We had the 4th of July and many, many family afternoons at the lake. Which means the garden was slightly neglected.

2: We purchased one of these cool bike thingies for Audrey and spent many an afternoon biking around town and on the rails to trails.

3. Hurricane Arthur blew through and dumped a ton of rain and debris on the garden. Luckily the plants made it through the hurricane ok they were half blown over and required some attention.

4. We had to kill one of the 9 meat birds early because she was not doing well (congestive heart failure). This made us feel weird and I didn't feel like posting.

5. Life!

And there are my excuses.  Now back to the garden:

This was last week: Week 7
Lettuce/Carrot/Potatoes Week 8
Corn Week 8
Pumpkins Week 8
Onions/Garlic Week 8
I'm getting there! As you can see there are still a lot of weeds but on the plus side this is one of the best looking gardens we've had. I make sure that the plant rows are free of weeds and also kill the potatoes bugs and cucumber beetles.  The aisles are really weedy but in the end that is helping keep the moisture content higher in the garden.  Every time we mow we add grass clippings to the garden and that is helping suppress the weeds.

What to do this next week:

* harvest beans (they are so close!)
* process beans with the food saver or by canning
* harvest garlic scapes to make scape pesto. Freeze said pesto for delicious winter treat.
* rip up the peas because they are dumb and didn't grow well.
* hill the potatoes with dirt or straw
* thin carrots and pickle the extra
* eat more lettuce!

I think that is more than enough to keep me busy!

have a wonderful weekend; we are off to the lake!

shelby g

*ps. has anyone heard Weird Al's new song about grammar? Couldn't help but feel he was singing about my blog. Nonetheless gotta love some Weird Al. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama

shelby g

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"The Cupboard Under the Stairs"

In order to bring out the magic in our child I have cleaned a space for her in the cubby under the stairs.

I asked to have a guided tour of her new play area and Audrey obliged:

"Here in the corner are a few of my toys. Mr. Squirrel, some blocks, and a plastic tubberware container."

"Wanna stay for lunch? Let me cook you up something fresh from my felt garden."
"And check out the ceiling... the stairs are right there. Pretty cool, huh?"

Well, I've had it. My house is a true disaster and although I have a stocking of my diaper store in less that 2 weeks and the sun has finally come out (after 2 days of rain), I have to clean the house.  And although this house will only really ever be "farmhouse clean" that will still be cleaner than it is right now!  While sewing away this morning I glanced over at the cubby under the stairs and remembered that it was full of useless junk. Half-finished sewing project, a tent, yoga mat, etc.  Not anymore!  Of course, now it is in the barn (I actually may have just heard my husband grumble) but I have separated the junk into "keep" and "yardsale" piles. Since we plan on renovating our home next summer I desperately need to get rid of stuff to make the renovation easier.  So hopefully, *finger's crossed*, by the end of August we will have a yardsale (which I love to go to but abhor hosting). 

For now the cubby under the stairs is clean and Audrey is already starting to display some magical talent.  Only 10 more years before we receive her letter for Hogwarts!

have a wonderful day!

shelby g

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Winter's Dinner

8 weeks old

Yesterday was the day. The day our meat birds joined the great pasture in the sky and our freezer.  Nice and plump these birds needed to be butchered yesterday or the would have died of health complications in a week or two due to rapid growth.  I guess that is the best thing about Cornish X (really?) the fact that you are forced into butchering them before it is too late so you can't back out. 

Anywho, I tended to the toddler most of the day and sanitized the kitchen for processing.  Jeff spent the morning setting up the kill cone, defeathering machine, and hot/cold water baths.  I had planned on hiding inside for the whole process but curiosity and necessity got the better of me. Once Audrey went down for her afternoon nap I ventured outside as soon as I saw a flurry of white feathers shoot across the lawn from the chicken defeathering machine.  (We purchased something simple on Amazon that can be attached to drill. Not the best plucker and we ended up doing a lot of hand plucking.) 

Seeing that the process would speed up significantly (already 2pm and only 2 chickens out of 8 defeathers and eviscerated) I jumped in and took charge of the plucking.  After a certain point the chickens became meat and it didn't seem to bother us too much anymore.  And for all the work I wish that we had 8-10 more chickens to butcher. It is quite lovely looking into the fridge to see 8 plump roasters waiting to be packaged and frozen.  And along with the yummy veggies growing in the garden and my hopes for significant food preservation I almost can't wait for winter meals (oh wait, I can).   I figured that we will be able to get 27+ meals from the 8 roasters.  (I should mention that we had to slaughter one chicken at 5 weeks due to health complications. Fine to eat, but very small compared to the 8 week birds).

Anyway, the lengthiest and grossest process was the evisceration and I obviously won't go into details. Jeff was in charge of that. But by 6 we had all 8 chickens resting in the fridge in ice water. Feeling accomplished we figured that we deserved some delicious ice cream for all the hard work of the day.

3 days old
 have a great day!

shelby g

Friday, July 11, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Impossible Cow

Just as Mr. Meanie and I sat down to enjoy our homemade pizza and watch the last episode of the newest Dr. Who on Netflix we heard a "moo".  Thinking that it was part of the soundtrack on Dr. Who (because all sorts of weird noises are associated with that show) we ignored it. Naturally. Then came another "moo".  Carlie suddenly appeared interested in the going-ons outside, barking loudly and wanting to go outside. 

Setting his pizza down (which Carlie later ended up eating... another story) Jeff peeked outside. "Shelby, there's a cow outside."  "A COW?!"  I looked outside to find a mooing calf staring inside our living room windows.  We were just  discussing how we wanted a cow and here was our sign. Excited I raced through the house, threw on my muck boots, ran to the barn and grabbed a lead line.  Thinking, as everyone does in this situation, "I'm gonna 'rassle a cow!" and envisioning lassos and hog-tieing, I ran to the backyard to find the cow missing.  A few thougths ran through my head at this moment, 1: I am crazy, there was no cow, 2: somehow I died on the couch, Jeff was still inside watching TV, and I was searching for a Hindu goddess in our backyard. 3. The cow moved (which I suppose is the most plausible given it's 4 legs and beating heart).

I decided on the 3rd option and walked slowly around the yard saying, "Moo!" and "Here Cow!" to no avail. Meanwhile Jeff was on the other side of the yard with the cow in sight. Determined to capture the cow we attempted to corner it, but it started running down the road.  And having a momentary lapse in parenting judgement we gave chase. About a mile worth of chase. In muck boots.  Midway through our run we were joined by our neighbor in his truck and another neighbor on his 4 wheeler. After several attempts of catching the cow we finally heard rumor of where the cow lived. I ran over to the house and knocked repeatedly on the door. No answered. I did hear a lot of children screaming inside (it was close to 9:30pm) but no one came to the door. The sound of children screaming reminded me that we also had a child, sleeping peacefully in her crib at home. Oops. With a painful blister forming on my left heel, I peeled my muck boots off and ran home in the dark, barefoot.  With the house still standing and the baby still sleeping I felt better about our parenting skills since we had only been away from the house for 20 minutes or less.

While I held down the fort Jeff continued to chase the cow, this time through the woods.  Suprised at the power of the animal, after several attempts, Jeff was able to over power it and tie a lead to it.  He and his cohorts were able to return the animal to it's owners. Needlesstosay he was less than impressed with the owners.  They did not say thanks; did not appreciate the time put into capturing their animal which at this time took about 45 minutes.  The story is that they just got the cow and tied it to a tree for the night. A TREE! Did they think that their cow wasn't going to get frightened and run off in the night or get attacked by a large predator? (I think we have all seen the goat scene from Jurassic Park to understand the danger the cow was really in).

So. When buying large animals have a plan. Don't be an idiot.  Yes I know I am talking about my neighbors here, but really? Don't tie a cow to a tree in a place they are not familiar. THEY WILL RUN AWAY.  Perhaps growing up on an horse farm has given me deeper insight to how larger animals think or how they should be treated, but I honestly think that it is common sense. Although cows are easier to take care of than horses they still need the basic needs cover, food, water, shelter. And fencing.

It is likely that the cow will get free again. In the meantime Jeff and I will hone our cow 'rassling skills.

shelby g