Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saying Goodbye to 2008

I can't believe that the new year is almost here. Already!!

This past year has gone by so fast, I can still rememeber things from last winter like it was yesterday. We've accomplished quite a bit in the past year, more than I thought we could ever do at the time! We completed our first year as cheesemakers. A huge challenge to say the least! We're hanging on to business, even during a sluggish economy.

Emily turned 3 this year, which has been exciting and exasperating!!! We skipped the so called "terrible 2's". I thought I was getting by pretty good. Yeah...right!!! She just saved up until she turned 3! The things she has learned over this past year have amazed me. She can write her name, most of her letters and numbers, and can spell out about 5 words and recognize a lot of sight words. I KNOW I didn't do that at 3! But...sometimes she's just a little too smart for her own good! Like the time she had a little fuzz ball in her tights at church...she was practically undressing herself during the meet and greet part of services! Oh My!! And then one Sunday she stood up and declared she had a "wedgie". Loud too! This child does not know the meaning of "whisper". Love her to pieces though... couldn't live without those crazy, embarassing moments. Although, I would like to maybe minimize how often they occur..

Our farm has seen it's challenges this year. The grain price soared through the roof, while our milk price stayed ho-hum. Hard to pay for the feed if we don't make anything from the milk. We have had several people call about buying a "family cow", but just don't have enough cows milking right now to part with any. Hoping that next year we'll have a group of about 10 to sell. We may still have some young heifers to sell this spring, depending on how many heifers are born this March and April. Hoping it's not an all bull year, again.

I just finally caught up our herd book. Each month we take samples from each cows milk, and also measure how many pounds she milks (8.6 lbs= 1 gallon). Generally our cows hold pretty steady around 40 lbs. a day during the warm months when they are on grass. We have a few that milk more, and some that milk less (usually our first calf heifers). We run tests on the samples of milk to measure how much fat% and protein% and SNF% (solid non-fat). After those are done, I enter them in a book where we keep detailed records of each cow, including her calving records. I kind of enjoy doing that, but have found that it is hard to keep up with it each month at times! Especially when we were making cheese 2 times a week. Now that it's winter, I can catch up on the book stuff, including our favorite (Just Kidding!) doing the taxes. Ugh! I usually don't mind doing them, in fact I used to get excited to do them, but this year is our first year of including the cheese business and I don't look forward to that challenge.

Getting the stuff organized will be half the battle!! You should see our office! LOL Looks like a bomb went off in here. That may have to be my New Year's resolution... organize!

Now, I'm off to get something done today. I actually don't have to go anywhere, except the cheese house later to wax some cheese, and wipe down the shelves in the walk-in cooler.

Hoping that this coming year is a good year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Nice, Peaceful Christmas

Christmas has come and gone for this year. It seems sad in a lot of ways.
I didn't get as much done as I had wanted, but it still was good.
I woke up around 4:30 a.m. and went outside to our van to carry the presents in, which was a challenge since our back sidewalk turned to ice overnight! Almost knocked our tree over trying to get into our living room door too. Had to wake Emily up around 6:30. She was afraid to open her presents! haha!! After she got started she didn't want to stop!
Before we opened presents I made some sausage gravy and homemade biscuits for our breakfast, and put a pot of coffee on. The house smelled so yummy!
Emily played with her new stuff all day, we played some games with her and rested!
Then it was time to do the evening milking. That part of farm life doesn't take the day off for any holidays! We like to play Christmas music in the barn. Makes the barn feel pretty cozy.

It was kind of nice to have a quiet Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I am tired! I had hoped to have more done for Christmas by now, but I'm afraid I didn't accomplish as much as I had planned.
I still have a couple of days, I suppose!
It's just been so busy around here. Last Thursday and Friday I worked on cutting up and packaging cheese, and putting gift baskets together to sell as well. Saturday I was pulling out of here by 6:30 a.m. The market was a busy one! And I sold the 3 gift baskets that I took in the first 1/2 hour. I wasn't sure how they would do, so that is all I made up. Next year I plan on doing a little more with that. I did some Christmas shopping while I was there, and picked up some delicious chili seasoning to make some homemade chili this week! YUM! I buy this from these folks every week when they are there. It's the BEST!!! For those interested their website is: www.unclebunks.com They do mail order.
I got home around 2-ish. Al was sitting back watching some of the first college bowl games with our neighbor/hired help. Emily was doing all she could to make sure they didn't get to see the ball game!
Yesterday afternoon I worked on getting some packages ready to UPS for some Christmas orders. Had them all set so I wouldn't have to worry about doing too much this morning except get to the hardware store to ship them out. But..... had a call this morning for a large order and I thought I could have it all ready to go before noon, but it was one of those things where I bit off more than I could chew. Plus I ran low on packaging and the vacuum sealer stopped working. Thank goodness it's working now, but it sure didn't help my day any! I did have to call the customer, and we set it up that I'll drop her order off tomorrow morning. And, I spent this afternoon trying to locate the bags that I needed to get her order done. Our little town doesn't handle that sort of thing. I finally got online and ordered a large order of the bags so I won't run out anytime soon after next week.
Hoping that tomorrow morning goes A LOT smoother than today... Monday, ugh!
Now, I just need to catch up the laundry and clean up the kitchen so that tomorrow I can hopefully get around to making some buckeyes and hard candy... we'll see...
But, first, I'm heading to the barn to hay the cows and make sure the chickens are all tucked in for the night.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas is getting close. Are you ready yet?
I'm almost there. Still have to wrap presents, but have to find a day to do that without a nosy child and husband tagging along. I have the gifts stashed at our cheese house in the back supply room. That is the only way I can keep these two from finding them. It was so easy when Emily was a baby, she didn't know and didn't really care either! As long as her bottle was warm and her diaper was dry, she was content. Now, she is pretty thrilled to see each and every toy commercial on tv.

We have snow on the ground and it looks pretty! I'm happy about the snow today, just as long as the roads are clear this coming Saturday. I have to make it to the farm market. It's the last one before Christmas, and these folks take their cheese pretty seriously! And they already asked me last Saturday if I was going to make it this week. I told them that as long as a blizzard didn't hit, I'd be there... hope I don't end up eating those words! I'm planning on cutting up some extra cheese and make up some gift baskets. Would love to get a slicer so I can sell sliced cheese for sandwiches. That's on my to do list for when I have money! LOL Someday.... I do think it would be something folks would like.

Yesterday was warm and raining, which is why I did all my errand running then. I had 3 orders to UPS out, and one to deliver in person. Love doing that! I fixed her order up real nice in a gift basket, she was thrilled. I ended up getting some yummy chex mix to snack on as a treat from her. Since I don't go to St. Clairsville that often, I figured I was already there making the delivery, I might as well do a little Christmas shopping. Emily stayed home with daddy, so I had the day to myself! That is rare! So, I put it to good use..

Since yesterday was such a good, productive day, of course today has to be the opposite! I accomplished very little today. I did do some laundry, whoopee!! Had some trouble getting my sugar leveled out. Went very low today, and felt miserable after that. So... I rested after I got a bite to eat. Feel somewhat human now, and I'm all geared up to accomplish something, and it's time to go to the barn and do evening chores. What I wouldn't give to get some candy made tonight! There's always tomorrow.

Had a couple more cheese orders called in today. I'm so excited about that! One lady is a return customer from last Christmas. She likes to send her sister cheese as a gift, and she usually orders a little for herself.

That's about it for us around here...just the same old same old.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Can you just smell Christmas baking!?

I've been baking! I just love to cook and bake! Now that I can't enjoy as much of the goodies as I would like, I'm going to bake for others. I like to put trays together for those who do things for us all year. Our milk hauler, supply delivery guy, mail carrier, and feed truck drivers just to name a few who will get some goodies. A few may get a bit of our cheese tucked in too.

Here are some of the yummy recipes for the goodies I've been baking!

1 1/3 c. flaked coconut
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Drop from teaspoonfuls one inch apart onto well greased baking sheet. (I personally use parchment paper). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove at once from baking sheet.
You may also dip half of the cookies in melted chocolate! YUM!
Apple Cinnamon Bars
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 c. flour
3 eggs
1 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. apples, cored, peeled and diced
Garnish: powdered sugar
Combine ingredients together in order listed; pour into a greased 13x9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes; cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar; cut into squares. Makes about 2 dozen.
Chocolate Peppermint Drops
1 c. margarine, softened
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. flour
3/4 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. candy canes, crushed
Combine margarine, sugars, extracts and eggs in a large mixing bowl; mix well.
Add remaining ingredients except candy canes; blend well. Chill for 15 minutes, or until dough is easy to handle. Roll well rounded teaspoons of dough into balls; place on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 11-13 minutes, or until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Remove from oven; with the back of a spoon, immediately and gently make a well in the center of cookies. Spoon about 1/2 tsp. crushed candy canes into well. Let stand for 2-3 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's that time of year...

Christmas time seems to bring out so many feelings in me. Of course I feel all cozy and excited. But sometimes sad. Christmas eve will be 12 years since my Grandma passed away. She meant so much to me. Still does. I often wonder what she would think of my life right now. And wish she could see Emily. She'd probably wonder if I have lost my mind with making cheese!

I remember how angry I felt that night she passed away. The ride home from the hospital was so hard, seeing all the Christmas lights and decorations the people had left on later than usual because of it being Christmas eve. It didn't seem fair that everyone was so happy and excited, and I had just lost my best friend. Now, 12 years later, I am looking at it differently. Amazed that it worked out so perfectly, since Christmas eve was her favorite, and how nice she was able to spend that Christmas morning with Jesus.

I've been doing some baking, finding it hard to keep all of us out of the cookies that I put in the freezer for later. I made some yummy Chocolate Peppermint cookies last week, and will have to make another batch since we only have about 4 cookies left! Same with the Macaroons (sp??). I don't particularly like coconut, but love those things!!! I'll post recipes later.

We set up our Christmas tree on Sunday night. It looks so pretty. And so very different than how we decorated it several years ago. We used to use all white lights, red bows, red ribbon laced through the branches and only glass balls and special ornaments. Now, we use colored lights, gold and silver garland, and anything that looks remotely like an ornament is put on the tree. Including ponytail holders, headbands, toys, and even a spoon.... Of course between the cat, dog and child, I'm not sure which of the three will bring the tree down before Christmas morning...right now my bet is on Miss Emily, but the cat is coming in a close second after her little stunt this afternoon than included knocking an ornament off and playing with it. The poor tree skirt just doesn't look quite right either. The cat (Miss Kitty) has claimed under the tree as her bed. She won't move from that spot unless she gets hungry, or needs to go outside to do her business.

I did manage to get some lights and decorations set up outside. Looks nice, even though a few nasty words may have crossed my mind (and mouth). I'm not the most patient person when it comes to untangling lights. But, Emily thinks it's a Christmas wonderland, so it was well worth it. Thankfully I finished up just as the rain started.

Cheese sales have been very good this month, thanks to the holidays. Several individual orders going out for gifts. That makes us feel pretty good. We'll start making cheese again around mid-March.

I have barely started Christmas shopping yet. We do have a couple of things for Emily, but that's pretty much it. Money is so tight this year that I'm not sure really how we will be able to do much at all. We're going to concentrate mostly on what we do have. We have a closet full of games, movies and some popcorn. To me, that sounds like more fun than getting all stressed out over what to get or how much we can't spend on each other.

It is past midnight, and I should have been in bed a couple of hours ago (at least!!). A certain little girl isn't sleepy tonight. This seems to be the thing lately. She never has been a good sleeper...I sure hope that someday she learns how to rest all night. I guess I never did like to settle down at night either. I always got in gear to do stuff in the evening.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Day at the Farm Market

I had a really good day at the farm market. And not just in sales, although they were very good due to Thanksgiving coming up, but in so many other ways.

I have so many customers that come in every week, and never fail will buy at least one pack of cheese, and they usually have a kind word and respect for the work that us vendors do to be there each week. My regular customers have become more like friends to me, over time I learn about their lives, and who they are. I have one customer, and I honestly never did know his name, and he would come in each week and buy the same size pack of the same type of cheese. Well, he hasn't been in since last spring, and I've been keeping an eye out for him, but worry since he was an older man, and hoping that his health is not keeping him away, or worse. Makes me wish I had his name...

There is another customer, she is in her mid-seventies, and she spent her life running in marathons worldwide. Still does some too... She always has such an amazing personality when she comes in, always very chatty and never holds still for a minute. She also does ballroom dancing with her grandson. I sure do hope that I am that active when I reach that age. Although, I don't suppose marathon running is something in my future, but hey, who knows about that dancing! ;)

There is a vendor who I feel especially fond of. She is so easy for me to chat with, we seem to feel the same about most things, and our views are very similar. She makes the prettiest aprons, I've bought a few from her, especially for the apron swaps that I participate in. I'm unsure of sewing myself, but I know I can always count on her aprons to be top notch!

I have a lot of heavy coolers to lug into the building each week, but I rarely ever have to carry them. There is usually someone right there ready to help.

Today we had a bean and cornbread lunch. The president of the market and some others cooked beans over an open fire in a large pot. It was delicious! Along with Christmas music playing and all the holiday crafts gave the place a nice feel!

I was given some "bruised" apples from the folks who sell apples and cider. The apples look really good to me! I'm going to make something for Thanksgiving with them. A customer gave me a jar of Apple-Orange Spice, it is like apple butter. Yum!!

I guess going to the farm market sometimes helps me feel pretty good about folks!
No matter how much nasty stuff you hear on the news, amazingly there are still some good people out there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas!

Here are some recipes (totally not diabetic friendly!!), but delicious!

Perfect Peppermint Patties

1 lb. powdered sugar

3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened

2-3 tsp. peppermint extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 C. evaporated milk

2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz.)

2 Tbsp. shortening

In a bowl, combine first four ingredients. Add milk and mix well.

Roll into 1 inch balls and place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Chill for 20 minutes. Flatten using a glass to 1/4 inch; chill for 30 minutes.

In a double boiler or microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and shortening.

Dip patties; place on waxed paper to harden and freeze for a short while.

*I also have used maple, orange and raspberry flavoring. Yummy!!!

Pineapple Nut Cake

20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice

2 eggs

2 c. flour

2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. sugar

2 tsp. baking soda

1 c. nuts, optional

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. butter

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together and frost cake while warm.

Done for the winter

We've finally finished our cheese making for the year! An amazing accomplishment for us.
Now, to drum up some business with a sluggish economy!

Now our focus is getting the cheese house cleaned up completely for next spring, advertise for the upcoming holiday season (which by the way, we are having some special pricing, visit our website if interested! www.buckeyegrovefarmcheese.com ), and making sure our cows are nice and comfy for the winter.

Our daily chores will include hauling a lot of sawdust that thankfully a local pallet wood shop lets us have just to keep their shop cleaned out, making sure the cows have plenty of hay to keep their bellies full, hauling some manure when the weather allows, and we'll need to get a few more loads of firewood from our hayfield fence rows. Plenty of trees fall when a storm blows through.

We had our first good snow last night. Almost 2 inches! We stayed outside for a little bit last night and played in it. Emily had a blast! She seems to find the fun and excitement in just about anything we do.

I've had to change my eating habits lately, I've found that I'm diabetic. So, I will work on posting a few good recipes that I've tried so far. It's actually fun to try new recipes! Not fun having to watch how much sugar I eat though....
It's amazing what a serving size REALLY is. Much smaller than what you will get in a restaurant! I may lose some of these pesky pounds that have found me!

I started some of my Christmas baking (not for me though!). I'm making the cookies and bars ahead of time and freezing them. I keep saying that I will do this each year, and never have. So this year is the year! Hoping that it makes getting the cookie trays ready much easier when it gets closer to Christmas.

Well, now I am off to get a little one ready for bed, get a few odd and end things done, and hopefully get to bed soon! I'm tired tonight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Fall Walk

Yesterday evening Emily and I took a nice fall walk. The air smelled just like fall, the beautiful goldenrod were in full bloom, and now Emily is sick today with allergies! Guess that is what happens when you walk right through the goldenrod patch. I never had too much trouble with them, so didn't think about little Em having allergies to them. Now I know!!

We were supposed to make a batch of cheese today, but we didn't get any sleep last night. If Emily don't feel well and can't sleep, she will see to it that the rest of us is up too! Of course today, despite feeling under the weather, she is quite chipper. Ugh! Wish I was.

So, instead of making cheese, I've been working on signs and printing out recipes for the Pumpkin festival next week. I'm getting excited about it! I'll take this afternoon and tomorrow to make sure I have enough cheese cut up for this coming Saturday in Marietta, and then next week starting Sunday evening or Monday, I'll start packing like crazy for that weekend.

I'm actually pretty proud of my signs. I used the computer mostly because I know if I make signs free hand, it would be better to just have Emily make them for me! I'll get some pictures up of those soon.

Monday, September 8, 2008


A silly, self-portrait family picture...
Emily on the Merry-Go-Round, with (of course) her arm hiding her face!

Having some fun while watching the Olympics
Silly Mommy and Emily self-portrait.

It's not officially fall yet, but it is close. I see some people putting their pumpkins and scarecrows out. I'm a little behind, I guess.

I getting things organized for the Pumpkin Festival. Found a nice piece of material to use as a tablecloth. It has a fall "feel" to it, but not loud and noisy like some of the vinyl table cloths seem to be. Still working on my signs. Just can't get it right. At least I have a little over 2 weeks to get things prepared. This will be my first year going, so it will be somewhat different than going to the weekly farm market. I will be set up Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 until 5. But, it is usually busy! Emily will be staying home with daddy, at least the first day or so.

Emily has started writing!! We're so surprised and excited. Her first written word.....Ohio, then shell, Emily, hi, he. She's actually recognizing most of her sight words. Amazing! Of course I am bragging a bit, but I guess that is a mom thing!

Not too much else going on around here in the way of exciting. Just this and that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

County Fair Days

We took a day off to go to the county fair today. Of course it was hot and humid, that's pretty typical of our county fair, since it's in the hot days of August.
Where I grew up, the fair was in October, so you could get a nice variety of weather, all in the same week! I remember some years it was cold enough to have a small amount of snow, and other years it felt like mid-summer. Especially the year I took my rabbit to the fair. I didn't think the poor rabbit was going to survive the week.

Emily had her first taste of cotton candy. (And I forgot my camera!!!) She liked it ok, but said it was too "ticky" (sticky). I never was fond of cotton candy, even as a kid. Now give me an elephant ear or funnel cake any day and I'm pretty happy. I also like those sugar waffles, but our county fair doesn't have them.

There was a table set up under the grandstand selling homemade jellies and jams. Different flavors than I had ever heard of... banana jam, watermelon jelly, A&W Rootbear jelly, Mountain Dew jelly...etc. I picked up some of the watermelon jelly. Emily is crazy about anything watermelon. She'd eat a whole melon if I let her! So, we'll see how that tastes.

Emily also had some fun riding the Merry-Go-Round with her daddy. (Again, I forgot my camera!!!!) She looked so cute waving at me each time they went around. So cute!

Of course we had to look at the animals. She didn't care about seeing any of them, until we got to the horse barn. She is bonkers about horses! She must take after me! I thought she would be excited to see the rabbits, sheep, and pigs, since we don't have any of those here....but, she didn't seem to even care.

That is pretty much the fun around here. We may make another trip down, this time in the evening when it is a little cooler!! They're having a square dance on Saturday night. Sounds like fun to me..

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Slow week so far...

It's only Tuesday, but so far this week has been slow. Not sure why. We're planning a cheese make on Thursday, but if we don't get some rain, that make may be postponed. We have a cistern that is rain fed. One inch of rain can fill it up, but we haven't had any significant rain for awhile. And cheese making can use quite a bit of water.

The weather is much nicer lately. Feels more like September than August. Fine by me too!

We are almost done with our last hayfield for 1st cutting. Not good to be in August still doing 1st cutting. We're pretty sure we'll have a good 2nd cutting off of our 1st and 2nd hayfields. And as of now we almost have 400+ bales of hay made from just this years. And we have leftover hay from the past 2 years that is still looking very good. Thankfully, we have had the help of our neighbor, and he raked the hay yesterday so Al could just follow behind him and bale. Makes the work go a lot faster!

We've been enjoying the Olympics the past few nights. Staying up a little too late, but it seems like they show the good stuff right at 11:00 p.m.

Last night I made us a treat to nibble on while we watched the games. It's a wonderful recipe sent to me by my friend Marion (GLU). Delicious!!!!

Taco Dip

Preheat oven to 350*.

Jar of Salsa

1 (8oz.) pkg. of cream cheese, softened

mexican cheese

Spread cream cheese onto bottom of an 8" ovenproof dish.

Spread salsa (1/4 of jar) over cream cheese.

Sprinkle Mexican cheese over it all.

Cook until cheese is melted.

Serve with tortilla chips. (We had the Frito's Scoops with ours)


Of course I felt a little sick most of the night because I enjoyed the chips and dip a bit toooo much! But, it was so worth it. I actually have enough ingredients to whip it up again. May wait until this weekend to do that.

Ok, now I'm off. I'm planning on getting the waxer turned on and melt some red wax and get some Gouda waxed today. Also need to pick up some boxes that our vet office has held back for us. They are so good about saving boxes and cold packs. We appreciate that so much! Never too many boxes around here!

Monday, August 4, 2008


It's been a long day. I'm tired!

We made a batch of cheese today. We ended up getting 10 wheels of Gouda, each wheel weighing about 10 lbs. each. It didn't finish up in the press until after 10 p.m. So, I'm still up, sleepy as can be, but just can't sleep just yet.

We're planning on making another batch of cheese on Wednesday. I sometimes hate making batches that close together, it takes me some time in between to catch other work up that slides. But, the last of the week is supposed to be clear, so hopefully Al can get back to our back hayfield and finish up the haymaking, at least until the next cutting comes on.

Went to some more yard sales this past week. I'm so shocked and disgusted at how much people really think their junk is worth. And yes, I did mean JUNK. Now, on the other hand, I did find some good sales that had nice stuff for cheap. They got my money. Emily will be well dressed for the remainder of the summer, and into fall. I even found some clothes that fit me nicely for almost nothing.

It almost feels like fall today and tonight. Low humidity, sunny. Tonight the crickets were chirping, that is a sure sign that summer is on the downhill side. Some of my dear GLU friends will be thrilled with the coming of fall. I do enjoy spring and summer, but I have to admit that I am starting to look forward to the cooler days. And cheese making will be ending at the end of November, so that means about a 3-4 month break over the winter months.

I will be a vendor at our local pumpkin festival in the lovely town of Barnesville. I'm sure I'll be busy, busy, busy. But, I do look forward to it. It's also a lot of fun seeing how big the "King Pumpkin" can be each year.

Now I'm off to bed. I need some sleep. I get to look forward to cheese house clean up in the morning. I could've/should've done it tonight, but.......

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Emily & Kitty


I have an interest in clouds, sunsets and photography. Tonight we had some rain and thunderstorms go through, and it resulted in a beautiful sky.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quiet time

It's quiet here. A rare thing!

Al is in the field trying to salvage some hay that was cut almost a week ago. It may do for bedding for our heifers. Emily is napping on the couch. She needed a good nap, she's been grumpy today.

We tried playing outside earlier, but she was just too tired, and it is HOT out today.

I should be doing some laundry, and getting something for dinner right now. But, I just enjoyed a bowl of cookies and cream ice cream instead. I think I picked something better to do!

We had a late late night last night. Had to (unexpectedly) process a cow, in a lightning storm, with 2 young'uns asking tons of questions. We appreciated the help of some good neighbors.
We have a freezer full of some good beef for the coming year.

Emily had fun playing with the neighbors little boy. I get a kick out of watching her joining in the fun with others. He's just as ornery as she is, and I think he asks more questions (if possible) than her!

We did make it to the car show, it had about 24 cars. Nice ones, though. But they sure do have it at the hottest time of year, at the hottest time of day in the sun. We walked through quickly.
Had lunch at our wonderful local restaurant owned by neighbors. Of course by this time Miss Emily was way past her nap time, and was a little bear. Something about getting too tired anymore is making her really grouchy. Guess we can't skip that afternoon nap!

Not much going on in town today for the festival. I think the firehouse is serving Chicken and Ribs through this afternoon. Makes a nice dinner.

Now, I'm off to actually do something productive. Not sure what just yet, but I'm sure I won't have to think too hard to find something to get into.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Heritage Days

The smell of food, the sound of music and folks square dancing in the middle of the street. It must be festival time in our small town.

Nothing like taco in a bag, the sound of the fiddle and a voice calling out to the dancers.

Seeing the townspeople sitting around and visiting is just fun!

It's amazing, I've only lived in this area now going on eight years, but I think I actually know more of the locals here than I did in my hometown.

Emily really got into the music and dancing. Before the night was over, she was out there shaking it with the best of them! Of course we had to tone her down a bit when she felt the need to show a little "princess pull-up".

Tomorrow is the car show, hoping to make it to that. I'll see how soon I make it back from the farm market, and how much hay Al gets done.

I've been having some fun hitting some of the local yard sales. Nothing like finding some good bargains. Finally found 6 (count em!!!) matching chairs for our nice table we were given last summer. They actually look the same!! I don't think I've ever had chairs that were the same. Woohoo! I just have to have at least one holiday dinner here at our house this year, just to show off the chairs!

Was so excited to find a soup tureen. Never thought I would need one, never really knew what it was called until one of my GLU sisters told me. It was unique and caught my eye. I'm sure I'll use it too. I just love using that kind of stuff on a regular basis for my family. No sense saving it for a "special" occasion, since every day I am blessed to sit down with my husband and daughter, I see that as special.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Busy summer..

It's been a busy summer, but still don't feel like we've actually accomplished much.
We're halfway through 1st cutting of hay. We should be done with it right now, but rain and
breakdowns have slowed us up.

We've been making about 2 batches of cheese each week, trying for about 7-8 batches a month.
I'm finding that we need to make A LOT to keep up with the demand. Good problem to have I suppose.

Cheese making seems to be getting easier. Learning a lot as we go. Finding that patience is very important, since the cheese needs to age a certain length of time before it tastes just right.

Miss Emily went to her first 4th of July fireworks last weekend. I was worried that the loud booms would scare her, but she just sat there laughing and squealing at them. She thought they were great!

Just got a new catalog from Gooseberry Patch. Shame on them for sending such a tempting thing! ;) I did, however, place an order yesterday... Their cookbooks are addictive. Such good recipes in them!

I'm off now to finish up the packing for Saturday's farm market in Marietta. Probably will mow the yard this evening, since the rain we've had did the grass some good.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It snowed on April 29th!!! I don't remember snow that late in the season in a long time!

We are making some cheese!

It's been busy busy busy here! We started making cheese early April. Trying to make one batch a week, this past week we did two. Seems like a marathon race!
Long days. Our inventory is low from the winter sales. The cheeses we have made so far won't be ready until August and November (and some later). So, some of our stores may have to wait until later to order those types.

The farmer's market has been going well. I go to one right now, but have three more that are asking about our product being sold at theirs also. Feels like I'm being stretched a bit.

Emily will be 3 next week. That doesn't seem possible! We went through 2 pretty smooth, not too many tantrums. I've noticed the closer to 3 we get, I'm sure we may have the terrible 3's instead of 2's! Overall though, she's great. Loves to play on her own and amuse herself, which is great considering what we do each day as far as work goes.

I have a open day tomorrow, nothing is on my calendar that I have on our refrigerator. I don't know how to act! It's been awhile since I have had nothing planned. Cleaning house will probably be the plan for the day, though.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Farmer's Market

The weather cooperated, and I made it to the farmer's market. It is great to be able to get out and see other people! When you get snowed in on a farm, the cows, cats dogs and a 2 year old are just about all for conversation!

It wasn't the best day in the world for the market, I think if the sun would have peeked out some it would have improved. A Home and Garden show in a building next to us helped some!

Sadly, however, a lot of new customers just don't realize there are cheeses out there besides "Velveeta". Gives me an oppourtunity to educate a bit.

I do have to say that I think my regular customers, that miss me when the weather keeps me home, are great! I've been called the "cheese lady".

Little Miss Emily stayed home with daddy this morning. That seems to work out great! She loves helping him with the milking. (Her favorite spot is in the sawdust cart). She takes her shovels and dumptrucks to the barn to play in what she calls "haydust" (aka: sawdust or wood chips). We have 7 baby calves that are on bottles, and that is one of her favorite things to help with on Saturday mornings.

I made it home this afternoon, wanted nothing more than to sleep, but that never happens! ha!

We usually have the cheese house open on Saturday afternoons, but after a lot of thought and discussion we've decided to do away with the set hours. It seems that some weeks we have maybe 1 or 2 customers on Saturday afternoons. So, during that time I either stay at the cheese house (where it is cold in the winter, even with the heat turned up), or wait at the house, hope to see the car go up the hill, grab little Pumpkin (hope she isn't napping, or naked!) and get up the hill before the customer gets contrary.

So, we've decided to have customers give us a call and schedule a visit. That way I can have customers in here Monday-Saturday, and I have more control of what time. May make juggling 50 milk cows, a 2 year old, and all the other crazy stuff happening here, easier.

We are halfway through March, and have had almost a dozen cows have their babies in the past 2 weeks. And more are due anytime between now and April 1st. Busy! Mostly bull calves. Not as good as heifer calves. Bulls are pretty much useless on a dairy farm, unless we can keep one for a breeding bull. Don't like to have them around either, because they can get down right mean by the age of 2. Kinda like kids!!!

Our target date for cheese making is still (keeping fingers crossed) March 25th. If I don't have anymore dentist, dr., meetings scheduled. The calander on my refrigerator is getting full. I call that my brain, if I didn't write it all down, I'd be lost.

Other than all that, I'm done for the day.....except for getting bills paid, shutting down the cheese building, getting a little girl tucked into bed, dishes, laundry....LOL Never done around here!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spring has to be soon...

I'm anxious for spring to show itself, soon. I did see the robins yesterday, as snow, ice and rain was falling, so the poor thing probably wondered why it came to Ohio already.

Thankfully today the snow is mostly melted, just enough out there for a little 2 year old to have some fun. She wanted to have a snowball fight, so we made some snowballs, but when I hit her boot (so lightly it wasn't even funny!), she pouted and said "That hurt!". But, proceeded to slam me pretty good for a little thing, with a big snowball.

I was pretty pleased to find on the web yesterday that one of our cheeses had a really good review by the food magazine called The Nibble.

You can look at that at:

We are the first Gouda listed, under Buckeye Grove Farm.

We are almost all set to start cheese making, hopefully March 25, and hopefully figure out what we're doing! I'm getting pretty anxious to start this challenge. Plus, our walk in cooler is getting very low on wheels of cheese, so time to get those shelves filled and start selling!

That's about all the happenings here on this lazy, cold Sunday. And thanks to the time change, it's been a real lazy day....

Friday, February 29, 2008

Snow Day!

The weather called for maybe an inch....hmmm...it looks like we have about 3-4 inches so far and it's still coming down. Looks nice, especially since I don't have to get in our van and go anywhere.

I need to bundle Miss Emily up and make our way up the hill to the cheese house and get some stuff that I need at the house. Since our van won't make the hill climb, we'll walk, slide or just mosey. Her wooden sled should come in handy to carry the stuff, hope the sled doesn't get away from me since on the way down the hill it will be carrying some expensive glass. A Lactometer, glass bottles, pipettes and some other misc. stuff. All for running tests on our milk samples that we took this morning. We do this once a month. Also check to see how much milk each cow is approx. giving us.

I've been working on getting a brochure made up to send in to the American Jersey Cattle Assoc. Still can't seem to get it right. Will try to get that accomplished today.

Was planning on going to the farmer's market tomorrow in Marietta Ohio to sell some cheese, but it looks like the weather will be keeping me home. It takes me just over an hour to get there, and I don't like to get their by sliding.

So, thanks to the snow, it's going to be a slow, lazy (sort of) day.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Welcome to my blog.
I thought I would put this together since I have nothing else to do!
Actually, I seem to keep pretty busy. My husband and I have a dairy farm where we milk around 50 Jersey cows. I say around 50. Right now we are milking 29, it's winter, and we dry our cows off about 2 months before they have their babies, so they are not milking. Next month, I guess next month starts this Saturday, will be our busy month, we have almost 20 +/- cows due to calve (have their babies).

Also starting mid to late March we will start our newest challenge in making cheese. We made a few batches last August through October, but it was under the instruction of my mother-in-law. We did make two batches solo at the end of October, but thanks to my handy cell phone my mother-in-law was able to help us out.

We have a daughter, Emily, who will be 3 this coming May. She is full of energy, and keeps me busy enough without all the other stuff!

I cook and bake, a lot. That is why I find it necessary to have 100+ cookbooks. My favorites would have to be my Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks. I have a few that actually used recipes that I submitted.

Other than all that, it stays pretty laid back around here..... ;)
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