Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pumpkins & Frost

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"
By James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

I love Autumn. My friend Ginny even likes the sound of the word Autumn. :) We were talking and she mentioned something made with pumpkin. I said, "That sounds really good!!" She wondered out loud if there was anything with pumpkin in it that I did not like. I love pumpkin... Pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin crunch, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread.... and the list goes on. With that in mind, today was a GOOD day!!! :)

We had friends come over to milk tonight. They milk and keep the milk from Buttercup. They brought me this....


That my friends is pumpkin fudge. YUM!!!!! When we lived in Florida, we used to go to the mountains each Autumn to see the trees in color and to pick apples and to just enjoy the cool crisp air. I always found someplace that sold pumpkin fudge. We would buy just a little bit, but oh it was so wonderful. Now, I live in Ohio and I don't have to go to the mountains to experience Autumn (although I would rather be there). However, I can't always find pumpkin fudge. Thanks to these friends, I can check that item off my Autumn list. :) It is wonderful by the way Rachel!!! Michael said (yes, I did share) that he thinks it tastes like pumpkin icing. Then we were invited to the Wonderful Neighbors tonight. The WN Girl (the apron sewer) made pumpkin crunch!!! YUM!!!!! So, I got to have a piece of that with some coffee. Today is a good day!!! :)

We had some visitors last weekend and they brought us this HUGE butternut squash. I left my coffee cup in the picture so that you could see how big this thing is. I have plans on cooking it up this week. They keep really well.

The same friends who brought us the fudge also brought us these wonderful tomatoes from their garden. We got all of our tomatoes put up, and then all the plants died including the slicers. They just picked another seven 5-gallon buckets of tomatoes. :)

My allergies were really acting up yesterday, but they did much better today. We may get our first frost tonight. The low is supposed to be around 34. BRRRR..... It is still too early to light a fire though. So, I just add layers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Count Your Blessings Monday!!


Here is an opportunity for all of us to give thanks unto the Lord for a blessing in our lives. If you would like to take part great. If not that is OK too. If you would like to share your blessing, just leave it in the comments. If you want to use the picture above and list a blessing on your own site, then leave a URL to your site in the comments. There is no pressure here. I just know that I am incredibly blessed and I would like to share that and give thanks to Him who all blessing come from. This is a way that we can encourage one another. I know that I am often encouraged when someone shares a blessing with me. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!!

Today, I am thankful for the rain. We have had drought conditions for 3 summers now. We have gotten some good rain the last week or so and we are very grateful for it. This morning we were woken up by a big thunderstorm. I love thunderstorms and we have not had very many in recent years. Star (our dog) likes to be VERY close when it thunders. :) When you have not had something for a while you appreciate it even more.

I Heart Faces - Blue

A baby sized chicken dinner. :)


O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Ps 34:8



Sunday, September 27, 2009

Aprons

The Wonderful Neighbor girl makes darling aprons that I sell in my store. She sells some aprons at a local store here as well. They make great Christmas gifts by the way (hint hint). :) She makes most of them to your order. You get to choose a quilt pattern for the bib part and your colors. She has been branching out and making some new designs. Here is her latest creation. I LOVE it!! You can click on the pictures to make them bigger and see the detail.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Clover and Nutmeg

Today, I got to be the cow patrol (actually a very small part of it) for the Wonderful Neighbors. Their steer got out and decided to come and visit. :) I got my camera out, but too late to catch the round up. I decided to take some pictures of the calf. I actually was going to try and get a video of her running. She quit running when I came near. Here are some pictures from today of Clover and Nutmeg. I like the sound of their names together.
Nutmeg... Isn't she a beautiful color? She will probably get much darker.

Clover


I found this as I was going back to the house. A Wooly Worm. From the looks of him, winter may not be so bad. I have heard that it will be a cold and snowy winter again, though.

Here is a short video of the Momma and baby.
video

Who Are You Really??

Someone sent this to me. I thought it was really good!!



Your thoughts
Become Your words

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Your words

Become your actions

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Your actions

Become your habits

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Your habits

Become your character

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Your character

Reveals who you really are!!

Pantry

I am trying to organize my pantry. I thought I had it all figured out, but that is not the case. I was going to put all my canned goods on this set of shelves. I figured the top and bottom shelves were not a good place to put jars. The top would be to hard to reach into the back, etc. The bottom would be hard to bend down and reach all the way to the back. So, I ran out of space for jars and had to put some on another set of shelves. My garlic is hanging in the net bags. It will be planted in October.

This contains mostly store or co-op bought goods.
Here is the other set of shelves. I still have applesauce to do, plus I will have around 26 more jars of sauerkraut once it is done. I am going through the big pile of bags of stuff and trying to find other containers for it. I hate to use my gallon milk jars though.

This set of shelves has empty jars, dry staples and also some of my dehydrated items. It is still a work in progress as well.

Since I mentioned the sauerkraut up above, I thought I would share this with you. When I picked cabbage out of my garden, I got 10 heads that I made 18 pounds of sauerkraut with. The cabbage was Early Jersey Wakefield which is a smaller head of cabbage, but still a nice size. I bought 8 of the HUGE heads I showed you in this post. Out of those 8 heads of cabbage I got 49 pounds of sauerkraut. I paid $4 for the 8 cabbages. Michael said to forget about us growing cabbage and we will buy it from the Amish. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Seasons

Eccl 3:1-8 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Life is about change. There are many seasons to life. There are seasons as in Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. There are other types of seasons as well. There are the years that you are young and in training. Then the years where you are a true helper to your parents. Maybe you are a young married woman. A precious season comes with babies. The first years are harder as you have little ones with no big ones to help. Then the older ones grow up and you find new seasons as you parent through new stages. Then a child leaves home to start their own home. Loved ones go on to heaven before you.

Sometimes change is hard even when it is good change. It can stretch you and grow you. It can leave an emptiness or an ache. I am trying to figure out this season of my life. I still long for more children but realize that stage may be over for me. I see and hear of other couples adopting or having babies. I am thrilled for them, but it creates longings within me. We are headed into October. It was in October that I lost my Mom. I seem to miss her more this time of year, so the ache increases. October is also a wonderful reminder. Joshua and Brittany celebrate their first year of marriage.

I have been very melancholy these last weeks. The garden is all but gone. We are almost done with the harvest and the putting away for the winter. We still need lots of wood since that is what we heat our house with. There were a few things that did not get done that I really wanted to do. We need to get things ready for the winter cold and snows that will come.

Change can lead you down wrong paths if you let it. In the new Bible study we are doing, God is reminding me again that I need to live deliberately. I need to give thought to what I am doing and why. If I live on auto-pilot or default, it is easy to not do the right thing. Do you MAKE TIME for your quiet time with God? Do you take the time to listen to a friend and respond to what they say, or are you waiting with the next thing YOU want to say? Have you ever talked with someone and they are so excited about every little thing going in their life, but when you share about yours, they don't even respond because they are thinking of the next thing they will share? I don't want to be that way, so I need to be deliberate in my actions. I need to be willing to not share some of my life and let them share theirs and rejoice or mourn with them. Have you ever shared something very meaningful and hurtful to you and someone's response is... "I'm sorry. Did you hear about the new..."? We are all caught up in what goes on in our own lives. To be "other's minded" means that I need to be deliberate in my listening and deliberate in keeping my own mouth shut.

Another way for me to live deliberately is to look at the seasons... the ones that are over, the one that I am in and the ones to come and realize that they are by God's design. I need to be deliberate to thank the Lord for each season and enjoy it or grow through it and learn from it. I said above that change can lead you down a wrong path. I could sit and be down in the dumps because I did not get the twelve children I wanted. Instead I need to be grateful that God gave me a son. Again, I need to be deliberate. I don't always understand God's ways, but why should that surprise me. He has orchestrated my life and the things in it to be the "best" for me. I don't even begin to understand all that He has done or allowed or brought into my life and why. I just need to trust and believe in Him. Another thing we just went over in this Bible study is that this world is not our home. Our home is with God. We are just here for a short time and we need to be looking forward to heaven. I truly am looking forward to that day. He has given us a map on this journey on earth. It is called the Bible. It gives us all we need. God through His Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the truths and treasures that are hidden in it. However, we have to have a heart that truly desires this, longs for it and takes the time to read it, meditate on it and memorize it.

Too often we get caught up in life's daily tasks. You get up fix breakfast for the family, get your husband off to work, homeschool the children, fix lunch, think about what to thaw for dinner, music lessons, sports practice or the games, what you will do this weekend, whose birthday is coming up and do I have a card or gift, do the sheets need washed, how much laundry is there to be done, did I write down on the grocery list that we are out of that, etc. We need to pray for our husbands and our children. We need to ask God what He would like for our family to do this weekend. Is there someone who has a need we can fill? I don't think it is wrong to do fun things together as a family. I am talking about deliberately looking for what God has for us to do instead of just living life as it comes. I need to remind myself of this often.

We need to encourage one another daily. We need each other.


Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Apron Give Away

To celebrate the Autumn season, Emily Elizabeth is giving away this adorable apron and pot holder set. Go on over to her blog and enter.


Calf Name And Other Stuff!!

The calf's name is Nutmeg. I was really leaning that way, but I also liked Sweet Pea and Sunflower (Sunny). I was really thinking a flower name, but Nutmeg just seemed to fit her. Nutmeg actually won in the poll as well. It got 12 votes the last time I checked.

The WN children had brought me a couple of Georges recently. The one did not hatch out, but the second one did. This will probably be my last one of the year. Here he is out on the wreath fanning his wings.


I picked a bunch of peppers. If they were starting to turn colors I picked them. I found as I brought them in and they sat a couple of days, they turned colors. There are some nice yellow ones in the bottom that you can't see in this picture.

I wanted to do some more sauerkraut, but the rest of my cabbage did not do well. I had gone to pick up some onions from a local Amish lady and they had these HUGE cabbages for 50 cents each. That is a price that can't be beat. I bought 8 of them.

Michael found a hidden cache of eggs. We brought them in to float them to see if they were too old to eat. Several of these were starting to float but most of them were good. It is so nice having the extra sink out in the pantry. I can wash veggies and eggs out there. We also wash the dairy stuff out there.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Count Your Blessings Monday!!


Here is an opportunity for all of us to give thanks unto the Lord for a blessing in our lives. If you would like to take part great. If not that is OK too. If you would like to share your blessing, just leave it in the comments. If you want to use the picture above and list a blessing on your own site, then leave a URL to your site in the comments. There is no pressure here. I just know that I am incredibly blessed and I would like to share that and give thanks to Him who all blessing come from. This is a way that we can encourage one another. I know that I am often encouraged when someone shares a blessing with me. I think that many times we forget that it is a blessing to be able to breath, to get out of bed, to hold a baby... Share your blessings with us. We can share so many other things.... special gifts, recipes, let's take the time to share how God has blessed us!!

I am blessed in so many ways. Too many times I want to concentrate on the negative things, but there are so many blessings if I take the time to look around me. I am grateful that even though I get discouraged and feel like my bucket is empty, I have Him. He finds a way to let me know He cares. Sometimes that is through the Word, sometimes through a friend. I am grateful that some of the times He uses me best are when my bucket is empty and I have to totally rely on His strength. I have a God who CAN!!!

Name the Calf

Here are some of my favorites. Three of these are really standing out to me. Let me hear which one you like best of these five!!


I Heart Photos - Completely Candid



This weeks contest is to get a completely candid photo. One that is not posed in anyway. I was getting a bang out of watching these little ones play. They were giving the "puppy" treats.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Little Brown Heifer Calf



I need to give this calf a name. There is still a probability that she will be in the freezer one day, but there is also a slight chance we would keep her as a nurse cow. I will put a list of the names that have been suggested so far. I will probably pick 5 of these and put a poll up on the blog. :) I am still not sure that the winner in the poll will be her name. I am weird about naming our animals. I have to feel it is a right. :) I am still leaning toward a flower name.


Violet
Cocoa

Coco
Meadowlark
Meadow

Daisy
Allspice

Pansy

Fudge

Lark
Dandy(Dandelion)
Shee
Taffy
Lupin
Rosey
Primrose
Sunflower

Honeysuckle

Lily
Chrysanthemum (Chrysi)
Rhubarb
Honeydew

Ivy
Sweet Pea
Wildflower
Butterbud
Hershey
Flower

Tulip
Brownie (goes well with milk)
Kobe
Black Eyed Susie
Missy

OK, out of this list which ones are your favorites?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Still Putting Up the Harvest!!!

We got 10 quarts of sauerkraut. We are trying a new way and not canning 2 of them. I marked them and we will eat them last and see how we like it. I have read and heard of people just putting it in the jars and letting it go. I know it is better for you, but I am not sure how strong it will get.


Another batch of meat birds got butchered last Friday night. We already have our chicken for the year in the freezer, but I wanted to can some, so we kept 8 from this batch. By the way, the normal average weight on one of our broilers is 4.5 to 5 lbs. This last batch had an average weight of 6.1 lbs. :) On Tuesday night, we cut up the 8 chickens. We put the boneless skinless breasts 2 to a bag and leg quarters 2 to a bag. These all went in the freezer. Yesterday, I cooked the rest of the carcass and picked off the meat. Today, I am canning the meat and the broth. I got 10 pints of meat and so far I have 14 quarts of broth. I have at least another gallon to go. It will be so nice having this on the shelf.


I thought you would like to see a picture of the new little calf standing up. We still have not given her a name. We have gotten a bunch of them though. I may pick my favorite top 5 and put a poll on here. :)

Worry

Are you a worry wart? What is worry? I heard this the other day and really liked it. "Worrying is like paying on a debt that you might not even owe." This really brought it into perspective for me.

There are many people who worry a lot. If you notice they are sort of negative. They wonder if they will get everything done that they need to (this one I visit often). They worry about finding a mate for their child and how old the child is getting and there is no one around. They worry about how they will pay for something that has to be done. They are always looking for ways to solve their problems, but worrying that they might not be able to.

I know in my life, when I worry, it is simply me not trusting my Heavenly Father. Lets look at the above situations one by one. Worrying if I will get everything done I need to.... I am one person. I have so much time in a day. I will work hard and worst case scenario is that it doesn't all get done that day. I can't manufacture time or extra hands. So, why do I worry about it? I should just keep my nose to the grindstone and do my best. Worrying about finding a mate... I know of several families in this category. They are all searching for a fellowship in their area that has not gone wishy washy. They feel the need to plug in NOW, but God has not led them anywhere. All the worrying and fussing helps nothing, but tear down our bodies. Worry causes stress which is horrible on your body. Worrying about paying for your bills... You have so much money. If there is a true need, then God will provide for you. He promises. If there is nothing you can sell or some way to bring in the extra money, what does the worrying help? Again, NOTHING. So, why do we do it.

Lack of faith. This smacks me in the face all to often. I can talk a big talk, but does my walk match? What do you worry about?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

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Help Name the Little Heifer

I would like to hear some name suggestions for this little heifer. Her Momma's name is Clover and her Grandma is Buttercup. She will be put in the freezer one day as well. I thought about Daisy, but Michael said no and then told me a story why. :) I would like to hear your suggestions. Here are pictures of the little one from this morning. She is so soft and sweet.



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's A Girl!!

I thought I would put some other pictures and thoughts at the top of this post so that I could warn you that there are birth pictures below. This way, you can read this part and not see the birthing pictures. If you are squeamish you might not want to read this post.

I want to thank my dear friends and neighbors. I was having a discouraging day today. I had so much to accomplish and my leg was bothering me. I cut up and froze 10 quarts of bell pepper strips. I also checked my sauerkraut and it was done, so I canned it. They caught Michael out in the field and asked us to come over for some watermelon. He told them that once we came in from chores that we had to cut up chickens. Here came Mrs. WN and the WN girl. They were coming to bring us watermelon and help me cut up chickens. Before they got to the house, they realized the cow was having her baby. So, they came and got me and out we went. My leg hurts if I stand on it too long. We were out watching the cow and it was getting pretty bad. Without saying a word, the WN girl went and got the lawn chairs from our front yard and brought them out so I could sit down. That is the kind of people they are. I almost cried. I was so thankful.

While I was sitting out in the pasture, the WN neighbor pointed out what a good picture this view would make.

She then went over the hill the other way to see where the other two cows were.

There were several of these out in the pasture. There is a ring in the grass with mushrooms growing around the outside edge. The WN girl said that it is a spot with fungi and the middle ones die off.

Here starts the birthing pictures. You can see two hooves at this point. Bless her heart, she was really pushing.

Here was the audience. :)

Her udder was so big, that it made her leg stick straight out.

Here you can start to see the snout and the tongue. :)


At this point, she had been pushing hard for awhile and not making any headway. The calf was breathing and snorting. We did not want it to suffocate.

When she pushed again, Michael grabbed the legs and started pulling. The WN girl got right in there with him and they pulled together. She loves stuff like this and we wanted her to be able to take part.

Here is the little heifer calf out on the ground. The WN girl is cleaning out its mouth and nose. She did not mind her hands getting yucky or anything. That is the kind of help you need.

We had a short scare after the baby was out. The Momma just laid there and did not even try to get up. We finally started pulling on her head and she sat up. Michael brought the calf around to her head and she started cleaning her up right away. Then she stood up to do it proper. The other two cows kept nosing in. Buttercup is such a good Momma, she was acting like it was her calf and pushing her way in. Molasses was just being a pain. :)

Now, we have to come up with a name for this little girl. Her Momma is Clover. However, the baby is half angus and will be hamburger some day.

Well, we got the chickens cut up and the parts we are keeping to grill or whatever are in the freezer. Tomorrow, I will cook down what is left to can the meat and broth. Its also kombucha day tomorrow and I have jalapenos to process.

I have been making water kefir. It is really good. It sort of reminds me of Fresca for those of you who can remember what that tastes like.