Monday, September 28, 2009

Almost October, Already???

September has come, and is almost over. Where did it go?? We'll be winding up most of our summer work soon. Haymaking is just about finished for the year, ended up with a good amount of hay to see us through the winter. Bringing firewood in will soon take the place of making hay. I feel so cozy knowing that we will have plenty of wood to see us through a few years or so. We'll be finished up with this years cheese making after October.
October 1 will be our 9th anniversary. I can't believe it's been 9 years already. Now where did time go?? Seems like the years are going by quickly. We've been truly blessed these past 9 years. A lot of hard and difficult times, but so many happy times. Looking forward to the years ahead of us together. Not sure what we will be doing on that day. A simple day together would be just fine with me. We did take today together. Ran some errands, but had lunch and walked through our favorite gift shop. Ok, probably more MY favorite than Al's, but we both seem to enjoy it. They do carry Ohio State stuff, so that helps!
Al's birthday is coming up on Sunday, I want to plan a special day. And my birthday is in the 8th. We keep it all close together!
The festival is over. We packed up yesterday around 5 p.m. It seemed to go fast. Enjoyed it very much! Sold quite a bit of cheese, chatted with some really wonderful customers, enjoyed visiting with the other vendors, and ate some really good food!
Overall, it has been a really great fall so far. Looking forward to enjoying October!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

2009 Barnesville Pumpkin Festival

You know that Fall is here when the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival is underway! We took a couple of hours today to spend there. Since I don't set up until tomorrow, we figured this would give us time together to enjoy it. When we're set up, someone stays at the table at all times. A lot of good food!! I love Kettle Corn, and of course the folks are there making it, and the smell is Heavenly! You can also find some good pumpkin bread, pumpkin fudge and buckeyes (candy). Not the best place for a diabetic to be nibbling, but I did control myself, I only had a couple chocolate chip cookies (homemade, mmmm...). Looks like tomorrow is going to be sunny! I'm glad, I hope that Saturday and Sunday will be, also, but it looks like rain those two days. I took a lot of pictures today!

A nice display on the porch at the vet office.

Some little pie pumpkins.

My favorite, Indian corn.

Silly faces!

Some goodies from the garden entered for judging.

A nice looking Farmall at the Antique tractor show.

Emily picked her a green tractor that she liked.

Some of the "smaller" pumpkins.

What a cute couple!

Emily and Daddy found a tractor,
it probably doesn't break down often!

Emily posing next to one of the runner-up pumpkins.
It's actually bigger than last years King Pumpkin!

"What are you pumpkins looking at??"

A family shot in front of the King Pumpkin.
A nice lady that works at the festival offered
to take the picture of all three of us. Our
first family shot in front of the pumpkins!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Favorite Apple Crisp Recipe

This is my favorite recipe for Apple Crisp. it's out of a cookbook I've had a long time called Home Cookin' from the church Gloryland Nazarene of Lancaster, OH. I like it because it's easy to put together, and tastes so yummy!!

Apple Crisp
6 apples (Iused a mix of Gala, Red Delicious and Yellow Delicious)
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
In mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Set aside. Peel, core and slice apples and place in a greased 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle dry mixture over apples, dot top with melted butter and bake for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Delicious with ice cream.
This is my favorite first day of Fall recipe!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Farmer's Creed

This is something that I found several years ago in our issue of New Holland News. We've had it on our Elsie cow/Jersey shelf in our living room. It sums up what I feel and believe. Farmers are facing some really tough times right now, and I fear that times will become more difficult. I know that right now, we will be feeling pinched, but are still blessed to be doing what we love to do, and what is our life.

The Farmer's Creed

I believe in freedom, freedom to work the soil and care for the land, and freedom to worship as I please, but do not believe that freedome is free.

I believe a man's greatest possession is his dignity, and that no calling bestows this more abundantly than farming.

I believe hard work and honest sweat are the building blocks of a person's character.

I believe that farming, depsite its hardships and disappointments, is the most honest and honerable way a man can spend his days on this earth.

I believe my children are learning values that will last a lifetime and can be learned no other way.

I believe farming provides education for life and that no other occupation teaches so much about birth, growth and maturity in such a variety of ways.

I believe many of the best things in life are indeed free; the splendor of a sunrise, the rapture of wide open spaces, the exhilerating sight of your land greening each spring.

I believe true happiness comes from watching your crops ripen in the field, your children growing tall in the sun, your whole family feeling the pride that springs from their shared experience.

I believe that by my toil I am giving more to the world then I am taking from it, an honor that does not come to all men.

I believe my life will be measured ultimately by what I have done for my fellow men, and by this standard I fear no judgment.

I believe when a man grows old and sums up his days, he should be able to stand tall and feel pride in the life he has lived.

I believe in farming, because it makes all this possible.

Just remember to take the time to thank a farmer.

If Farmer's Fail, America will Fail.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pictures from Cheese Make Day & Some Cows

I have some pictures! I'm making up for my post yesterday that didn't have pictures! Busy day today, but it doesn't seem like much of anything really got accomplished. I did clean out or refrigerator, which needed it badly!! I'm thankful for the glass shelves, I can scrub them so much easier. I did remember to take my camera with me when we went to get the cows in for evening milking. The light really wasn't the best, so I may try to get some more pictures in a little while as the sun goes down and the light gets softer.
We brought the baby calves in. Had a terrible time finding the baby bull calf. Mama hid it very good! Our other cow had a baby heifer. Mama's will be milked tomorrow evening. Babies will stay with them until then in a lot next to our barn.

Emily loves to help water the heifers in the evenings.
Emily helped us get the cows in for evening milking.

Butterfly on a thistle, so pretty!

Another butterfly.

And one more...I was on a roll with butterflies!

Baby heifer calf, just born last night.

Bull calf having his dinner.

Dinner time for the mama cows!

A117 with her bull calf

A11 with her heifer calf

Unwaxed cheese is flipped over everyday.
After waxed, it is flipped every 3 days.

Cheese cut into wedges is placed in
coolers for the farm market.

September 10 batch of Gouda floating in brine.

14 wheels (148 lbs) of Gouda,
wheeled into the cooler.

Gouda being pressed, 69 lbs. of weight at
the time this picture was taken.

Now I am off to make sure I have enough cheese packed for Saturday's market in Marietta and get things ready for making cheese tomorrow. Think we'll go for a batch of Hill Folk Jersey. Then I need to find a good Beef Stew recipe for our lunch tomorrow. Yum!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Small Town Living

It will be 9 years this October 1 that I have lived in this community. I grew up just outside of a small town, but worked and spent most of my time in a larger city, Lancaster, OH. I met my husband through a singles ad through a dairy magazine called Hoard's Dairyman. So, we chatted online through MSN chat for a couple of weeks, then decided to meet in person, and were thrilled to find that we both lived in Ohio. So, the day before Memorial Day in 2000, I drove 2 hours to meet up with this dairy farmer. We went to dinner and a movie. Our second date was the very next day, so another 2 hour drive to meet up with him at our "gas station". Then we drove about 2 more hours to Wooster, OH, to the Wayne Co. fairgrounds for the Spring Jersey Sale. Yep, our date was a Jersey cattle auction, and a lot of fun too! Obviously, I was into the farm stuff, good thing too. By July, he proposed, and on October 1, 2000 we were married. Yes, that is only just over 4 months of dating, and we only dated on the weekends when I didn't work. So, here I move to this farm in the hills not knowing anyone but my husband and his family. I found out quickly how folks jump in and get things moving around here. Our wedding was decorated with pumpkins, gourds, indian corn, mums and corn shocks. Beautiful!! I think fall is the best time of year for a wedding. Our dear, wonderful friend (who pretty much adopted me right off the bat), Wanda made our wedding cake. It was decorated with fall flowers. The decorations were provided by another local dairy farm family who also raises pumpkins and gourds. I remember picking them out for the wedding. We had just over a month to plan our wedding. Thank goodness for the local help we had! That was 9 years ago, well, it will be on the 1st of October. Our area is the kind where everyone seems to know everyone, looks out for everyone, and yes, knows what's going on with everyone, even before you know what's going on. I've learned to love where I live. Our local diner is a great, cozy place, and when we walk in, we know everyone. Kind of nice to have extended "family".
Our neighboring town, Barnesville will be having the annual Pumpkin Festival next weekend, Sept. 23-27. Yes, I'm shamlessly promoting it, so if you are close enough to check it out, please do! It's a lot of fun, a lot of good food, some really BIG pumpkins, and I think most houses deck out their yards and porches just for the event. A good parade on Saturday. Oh, did I mention there will be some cheese there? I will be set up again this year, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I'm in good company too. Lots of goodies to be found at the Train Depot. Walker's Ice Cream sets up right next to our shelter house, and has some Apple Dumplings that are so delicious!!!! Yes, I am diabetic, but that is just too much for me to have my table set up that close to such delicious goodies!! So, yes, last year, I did treat myself to an apple dumpling.....ok, ok, 2, I had 2. But on different days! That's ok, right?
Now, this has to be a small town thing, I noticed in the paper write up about the festival, there is a tobacco spitting contest. Yeehaw!!! Now nothin says country like that! It was right next to the hog calling contest, which isn't really a rare thing, but it does say country festival just the same. My only regret is that while I am there every day, unfortunately, I set up alone, and did not see the festival at all last year. Well, except for the 1/2 hour or so of trying to get through town when my day of selling was done. Hoping that this year, Al and Emily will be able to drive up and visit! Then I could actually walk around a bit.
Looking forward to the fall drives. The rolling hills covered in trees are beautiful when the leaves all turn. Seems like there is a small window of time to see the colors, since we usually get a good hard windy rain just when they look pretty, and that will knock them all off. Last year we drove right across the county to the river. Then followed the route along the river. Planning on doing that again this year. This year I will remember my camera, and have batteries too.
Have to share an "Emily Funny". Heaven knows we have a lot of those moments, but this one was good. Saturday night we were watching the Ohio State/USC game (which was very sad), so we needed a good funny moment. Emily went to the potty, so while she was sitting there she decided to use my curling hair brush to curl her hair, yes, while she was using the potty. She must have been bored. She ended up getting the brush stuck, and needed help getting off the potty, but did not want us to know. So, we wondered what was taking her so long, decided to check, there she sat, very quiet, but worried. I almost thought I would have to cut her hair to get the brush out, but after about 5 minutes of working at it, she was finally free. Oh my!
No pictures this time. I have some on my camera from our last cheese make, but haven't been able to get them on the computer. Will do that in the next day or so. I am really proud of myself, I managed to get a Facebook page done for our cheese, but I also figured out how to put the Facebook Badge on our website, which for some reason was a challenge. After I actually did it, I found it was really easy. Go figure!!
Well I have some eggs boiling on the stove that I need to check on. I'm trying my hand at pickling some eggs. I have 15 dozen eggs, and they have been selling slow right now, so I'm working at getting some things made with them. Tomorrow will be homemade noodles. Yum!! Will post the recipes as I make this stuff.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Just some every day stuff...

Ah fall!! The air smells so sweet, the leaves are just starting to get some color, especially the walnut and locust trees. I have noticed that the really old Maple tree on top of our hill behind our house is started to turn red too. It won't be long before the trees are all turning color.
Our county fair was the week before last. We ended up staying almost two hours, a lot longer than usual. But, we bumped into some friends and ended up chatting much longer than we planned, but I like days like that!
Was hoping to get a batch of cheese going for tomorrow, but the walk in cooler is not cooling right. It's still a good, safe temperature, but we want to make sure that tomorrow we are able to get someone in to work on it before it goes from being a concern, to a really bad thing.
Emily got all ready today to go to the barn with daddy. He had to give some shots to some heifers, and she helped. Her job was to swing the gates around and pen the babies in. She was so proud of herself!

Emily has her barn hat on! She's all ready!
Got her boots on too!

This book is a wonderful book!
I found it at a store nearby called Ollie's.
I LOVE that store!!! And the illustrations are darling!

One rainy day last month, Emily and I did
a frog craft together. It is so cute! And it was easy!

Family photo of us taken by a local newspaper,
The Barnsville Enterprise.

Emily holding our barn cat, Lola.

Poor Lola looks as though she wants to escape!

Emily went with me this past Friday to the farm market in Cambridge. She enjoys going so much! A lady makes little crowns, and Emily bought one, which is pictured. She also buddied up with another little girl her age. They seemed to have a good time!
There are also plenty of Mums, pumpkins and some beautiful sunflowers showing up!

Princess Emily with a fall leaf that she found,
and we did bring it home pressed in a book.

Some bright, orange pumpkins,
all ready for the season!

Beautiful sunflowers!

Since fall is here, I've been in a cooking/baking mood, as I've probably said before. Yesterday, Emily and I made 3 personal, homemade pizzas! Yum!!
Last night we baked the following, which was posted on Facebook, from
Sopapillla Cheesecake
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 (8 oz. ea.) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Beat the cream cheese, with 1 cup of white sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth; set aside.
Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each sheet into a 9x13 rectangle. Press one sheet into the bottom of the baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent dough, and brush with melted butter. Stir together 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
Bake until crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
I used Splenda, instead of the sugar. And we served it with Cool Whip! YUM!!
This is a wonderful, fall dessert. I wanted to make it again tonight, but that might be going a bit overboard, maybe....ya think?? It was yummy...
Today I made Cream of Tomato Soup, it's a very good recipe from Gooseberry Patch Christmas with Family and Friends cookbook. It is so much better than just plain old tomato soup! Had that along with a loaf of homemade bread.
Speaking of cookbooks....I just received my copy of Farmhouse Kitchen, from Gooseberry Patch. They used 2 of my recipes in that book. Al says that he don't mind my collecting their books, just as long as I get a few of my recipes in them and get some free copies!
Now, Emily and I are off to the barn to help with the evening milking.

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