Friday, April 30, 2010

Blooms and Birds

Two nights this week we got a heavy frost. I covered my Wisteria with sheets. Some of the little branches got bit, but the rest is blooming beautifully!!!


They smell heavenly!!!!

These baby birds (I think there are four of them) are in the bluebird house. I am not sure if they are bluebirds or not. I have not seen any of the parent birds hanging around or going in an out. Anyone care to guess if they are bluebirds or not? Any experts out there?


The Honeysuckle bush is blooming as well. The children who live on our property play underneath it. They say it is a train station. I am not sure if they will continue playing under it once the bees find the blossoms.

This is the second weekend in a row that we are supposed to have rain and storms. We need to get the chicks out into the field. They are getting too big and too many for the brooder.

A Little Whine About Cheese - No Whey!!!

OK, so the title was not very punny. :) I am truly not whining either. I enjoy cheesemaking. It is a HUGE part of my life right now. I currently have a fresh cheddar drying on my counter and a round of Monterey Jack with its first half coating of wax.

I have this pot on my stove that has almost 4 gallons of milk in it. It is being turned into ricotta and soft cheese spread.

This pot is also on my stove. It has 4 gallons of milk in it. It is being turned into Colby cheese.

And here is the milk fridge. I still have 5 gallons in there, with 2.5 more coming this evening. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Life is Full!!

We have been busy here on the farm. Last week, I made feta cheese using the cow's milk. It tastes wonderful and I am thrilled with the final product. I have 2 rounds floating in brine. I also tried Monterey Jack for the first time. We are going to age it a bit before tasting it. I need to make cheese again today. I am going to make either Cheddar or Colby. I will be making bread since we are out. :) Tomorrow they are having a bake sale at Michael's work to help feed homeless people. I am making a huge batch of cinnamon rolls to send. I guess I have my work cut out for me today. :)

Yesterday, before Michael got home from work, I happened to glance up just in time to see a cow go by my living room window. :) You never know what you will see when you look out the window here. I heard a noise one time in the night. I went to see what it was and Buttercup was eating out of the bird feeder right outside the window. :) Anyway, I figured if one cow was out, then others were as well. Sure enough, they had broken out and came to visit Buttercup who was in the pasture up front. They were standing there chatting with her. Praise the Lord for the Wonderful Neighbors and the "Cow Patrol." I called and the four oldest children came to assist me in putting them back in. I was trying to use Star to assist me in keeping the cows away from the house area. Using peanuts, I lured Clover to come to me and grabbed her halter. The WN Girl came and got her and started heading out to the big barn. The two steers went into the barn across from the house. I went in to try and herd them back in the direction they needed to go. Instead of running out toward the other barn, they went over near the back side of Buttercup's pasture. It had a fence partially around it, but the one side was open and if they went that way, they could go into the WN's garden. I was trying very carefully to keep from spooking them in that direction. They headed out to the far end of the pasture which was enclosed with fence. I started pulling posts on the movable electric netting and closing them in. I was able to contain them in a fenced area to await Michael's return home. :) The WN children had gotten Molasses by the halter and they attached both Clover and Molasses to the hay ring. They got Nutmeg in as well. Something was wrong with the charge on the wire. The cows had chewed it in half up near the barn. The WN girl tied it back in a knot and they turned the fence back on. Michael arrived about 10 minutes later. He took care of the details with the fence and the WN's helped him to get the two steers back to where they belonged.

Life sometimes gets too busy and I don't get outside to get pictures or even get on here to blog. We are going to have a possible freeze tonight and the next night, so I thought I would get some pictures of the plants outside in case the freeze kills them.


This is my bleeding heart plant. It is right outside my door.


If you look close in this picture you can see the first little buds of the flowers starting.

I have Iris blooming out front as well. The Vinca vine that you see was planted in a whiskey barrel planter probably six years ago. It came back the next year on the outside of the planter. It has slowly spread across the front. I am letting it go as it makes a nice ground cover.

My Wisteria is just starting to bloom. I am praying that the freeze does not kill it. This is only the second time it has bloomed. I just love it. Here are several pictures of it. You can see one of my sheep in the background on one of the pictures.




I think the frost killed some of the Lilac buds. This is the only thing on the 2 bushes that is blooming.

I opened the bluebird house and took a picture, but it turned out too dark. There was at least one baby bird in there. I could not see if it was a bluebird or not.

Monday, April 26, 2010

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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 God's love and His presence in my life. There are days that I cling to that. It is enough even if other things aren't quite the way I think they should be. I don't know what others do when they don't have Him.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

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Monday, April 19, 2010

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 that God gave me a son. He has also given me a precious Daughter-in-Love. I had hoped for a large family, but God chose a different path for me. I am grateful that included Joshua. He and Brittany are back from Florida and it has been so good to see them this week.

Joshua has a birthday this week. He will be 26!!!

What are you thankful for?

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Blessings of Lots of Milk!!

We milk once per day. Buttercup was down to a gallon or just over every day. It was perfect. The Wonderful Neighbors milk one night and keep the milk, and the rest of the milk was enough for us and to make some cheese each week. Then came the spring grass. :) She is now giving between 2 and 2.5 gallons a day. I have been making lots of cheese. Most of my cheese rounds are made from 4 gallons of milk.

Today, I have this milk on my stove and I am in the process of making cheese out of it.


I just took this cheese out of the cheese press. I made it yesterday. It is Colby. It has to air dry until it gets a nice rind on it.

I have this cheese that now has its rind. I need to wax it today.

I still have 7 gallons of milk in the milk fridge. :)

Oh The Wonders of Spring!!!

I am hoping and praying that my Wisteria will bloom again this year. Here are the buds on it. They get bigger each day. We are supposed to have some lows in the low 30's this weekend. I am praying it does not kill them.


The sheep are enjoying the green grass. They sure keep it cut for us.

Here are my lilac buds. They are starting top open a wee little bit.

There are blue eggs in my bluebird box. I am not sure if they are from a bluebird or not though. I will have to keep a close watch.

The May Apples are up. They look like a group of little umbrellas.

The chicks are 1 week old. Here is a picture of them in the brooder this morning. This is before I filled their feeders and cleaned out their waterers and refilled them.

Here is a video that shows you just how loud and rambunctious a batch of chicks can be. :)

video

These are the flowers starting to open on the Flowering Crab Apple Tree. I love the color of the blooms.

These are the Spring Beauties. They are all through the woods and the edges of the yard nearest the woods.

The Peach Tree is blooming. Only half the tree is left. The other half fell off in a storm.

The grapevines are starting to put out leaf buds.
This is what I saw when I was walking out of the woods. It is the tiny cherries starting to come out on a wild cherry tree.

Here is a close up of the Spring Beauties.

The Apple Trees are blooming.

I have HUGE patches of violets, but when you try to take a picture to capture the beauty, they don't even show up good.
Here is one of the patches.

Spring is a time of year for new beginnings. It is a time to take stock of all the things in your life and see how you are faring. Are you too busy and need to get rid of some things? Do you need to reach out to others more? Take some time to ask the Lord to show you what He sees for you in the near future. :)