Friday, March 27, 2009

What was I thinking??

Our cat, Miss Kitty had her kittens. 5 of them! And they have been in the house in a box since they were born, because she had them in the barn on the coldest night ever! It was around -25. That was February 16, by now the kittens are very active, ornery and starting to eat some actual cat food. But most importantly, going to the potty in the office! A definate no-no. So, we put them in the box, along with Miss Kitty and moved them to the upstairs of our machinery shed, where they will be safe and warm, but have plenty of potty places that does not make my house smell funny.
Well, 3 of them found their way back to our back door, and I let Emily pick ONE. Then told her that when we get a small litter box and when the kitten is fully weaned she may have one as a pet. Now what was I thinking?? Well, it is a cute little thing.... It's a boy, but Emily says that it looks like a girl to her. Hmm...not from where I looked! But, the kitten is named "Angel". Oh boy!!

We made our first batch of cheese for 2009 yesterday. I can't believe how smooth it went! Last year for our first batch I was a basket case! Trying hard to remember everything that needed done, some of it not really knowing what to do, but just playing it by ear. The cheese we made yesterday, and will make until mid-April is called 'Jersey Emment'. We only make it in the spring, right before the cows go out on grass, and right after the first week they are on grass. The cheese is white because of this. I was able to wash up last night before I went to bed. The only thing that needed done with this batch of cheese was turning it over in the brine. I didn't realize that a wheel of cheese would float in water, until we started doing this.

Wheels of Jersey Emment floating in brine (salt and water), salt is also sprinkled on the cheese.

I also packed up 3 wheels of cheese for the farm market tomorrow. I enjoy doing that, not sure why, but I usually turn the radio on and it's kind of my "quiet time". Emily is generally in the front "sales room" where her toys and tv are, and she does so good at keeping busy. She pops in where I'm at occasionally, and it's so funny, because she knows she has to have a hairnet on.

Me cutting up a wheel of our 'Hill Folk Jersey'. Takes some muscle to push that knife through!

It looks like I'll be taking in another market this summer, starting May 1. We're going to try to juggle the Guernsey County farm market, located in Cambridge by the courthouse. Should've gone last year, but I was so overwhelmed by everything else we were doing. I feel more ready this year, and really excited!

Well, I'm off to clean up some eggs to sell as well. Hoping tomorrow is a good day. We're having a special event, so that usually brings folks in! Especially when there is some good food cooked up! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I don't think I remember a time when my Grandma didn't wear an apron. She usually wore the waist aprons. She used them to sit her food on when she ate. We had a small kitchen, and I remember that she had her chair out away from the table, so she didn't have anyplace to sit her food, but on her lap. I also remember that she was a firm believer in keeping some handy tissues in the pocket of her apron.

I think that her use of aprons has stuck with me. I didn't realize that I had accumulated a few aprons since getting married. I have one that was my Grandma's. And a few that my friend and neighboring vendor at the farm market has made. She has a talent for making nice aprons. And as long as we're "neighbors", I'm sure that I'll be acquiring more! Sell some cheese and I end up buying an apron, or two.

My grandma, Lottie Konkler

This is one of my grandma's aprons.

I made a nice big pot of chili the other night. Yum!! It will, hopefully, be the last pot of chili that I make to take the chill off from a cold wintery day. But, we still like it even when summer comes. I used some of the spice mix that I buy at our farm market. I don't think I even know how to make chili anymore if I don't buy that! Good stuff!

Today felt like spring. It felt so good! It was warm, and the sun was finally out with just a nice breeze. After taking a trip to St. Clairsville to ship some cheese out, I sat out back on my swing and let Emily run amuck in the yard. It felt so nice out that I could've took a nap! But, I took the time to read through my newest issue of Food & Family magazine from Kraft. Some very good recipes I will most certainly have to try soon!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Busy, busy, busy...

We're busy around here. That's good too, it keeps us out of trouble!
Spring has almost sprung, and I'm so happy! I finally took down the Christmas decorations, I always wait until the weather is nice. I hate taking decorations down when it's cold and snowy. I noticed that my bleeding heart plant is starting to pop up through the ground, along with our daffodils. I imagine they will still get a bit cold a time or two before it's all said and done. Our yard was full of Robins hopping around looking for a bite to eat. So spring is not too far off.

Of course with all the "spring-like" things taking place, a lot of folks around here felt the urge to clean up their yards. It's a good thing, but burning brush during this time of year is dangerous. Our neighbor was burning off some brush from one of his hills, and it got out of control. Could've been very dangerous our way if the wind would have switched directions. Thankfully, the fire dept. did a good job of getting it under control and keeping an eye on it well into the night to make sure the hot spots were put out. 25 acres total was burnt. One fireman was life flighted to Morgantown, WV and a total of 5 fire depts. were called in. Needless to say our neighbor is facing some pretty serious fines as it is illegal to burn during the months of March, April and May in Ohio. However, common sense really needs to kick in somewhere along the way, considering we have not had any good rain for quite some time and the wind was gusting around 40 mph that not a good day at all to burn.

This is the smoke and fire on the neighboring hill to the east of us.

The small "dot" above the hill was the life flight helicopter.

My dad came for a visit on Wednesday. It's been almost a year since we've seen him. Emily was so excited. She had him on the floor playing, poor Papaw! Getting up off of the floor is the hard part!

I went to the ladies meeting at our church last night. I was in charge of food, which was a first for me and I was excited! I picked out a recipe that I had never tried before, and it was a hit! The cake was really good too. I will post them on the side under "recipe of the week" soon.

We've had a lot of baby calves born. Right now we have 12 on bottles. Emily and I will be in charge of that. I'll get some pictures of all the babies soon.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fun in the Barn!

Babies everywhere! And we're just getting started!
Emily is loving this! She has made friends with and named each baby calf so far. Of course the names change occasionally, or each calf will have the same name. Her favorite name so far for cows and calves has been Rosie. I'm seeing a trend here with that name, since that is what I have named my dishwasher..yeah...I name my appliances..
I finally took my camera to the barn last night during milking time. I had to steal the batteries from Emily's flashlight to put in the camera. So I did get some pictures of Emily having some fun with the calves.

We had one baby heifer who couldn't walk for a few days after she was born. Emily worked with her, gave her attention, patted her head, told her stories (there were some good ones, too!), and we would stand her up with help several times a day. Yesterday that calf was up and not just walking, but running, jumping and playing! Did that calf and Emily have some fun last night!

I've been trying my hand lately at yeast breads. I have always feared them. Don't ask me why. Just seemed like a lot of time involved in producing one loaf of bread, that, in our house, would last less than an hour. But, I had a wonderful idea, should've dawned on me long ago, but didn't. We have a bread machine that was a Christmas gift our first year we were married. Why not use that thing to do the work. Hmm... Now I don't care for the shape of the loaf or how crusty it makes my bread, so I just put the thing on "dough" cycle and then put it in one of my own bread pans and bake in the oven. Hmm...that's genius!

This is a loaf of Flavorful Herb Bread.
Well, now I am off to actually get some things done before I go to my dentist appointment. Something I do not look forward to. But, I sure don't want to have this so called "Wisdom" tooth hurting much longer. Why are they called Wisdom teeth. I don't feel much wiser....

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