Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow.... wonderful snow!

We woke this morning to over 8 inches of snow and it was still snowing! This is North Carolina we don't get storms like this. The kids and I loved it... Neil... not so much. This is the most snow we have seen since we left Maine in 2003.

Out in the barn I found all the animals crammed in the barn. I am sure they were confused since we had over 60 degree weather all this past week and now more snow then most of them had ever seen. Chores took a bit extra time since I had to lug water and shovel snow off of the hay bales.

Back in the house we warmed up by the fire and spent the afternoon cleaning up the house.

Tonight I finished knitting up a pair of Mary Jane shoes for Mckayla's Cabbage Patch doll. She is so thrilled will the doll clothes I am making. I have a que of knitting projects I want to get done and a doll's dress is up there on the list.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Beef Jerky.. yum!

I am excited to say that I made my first batch of homemade beef jerky today. I, of course, used our own home grown Dexter beef for it. It was super easy since I have a jerky kit that came with my dehydrator.

I mixed a pound of ground beef with a salt cure and a spice blend loaded it into the jerky "gun" and formed flat strips of jerky onto the dehydrator trays. Turned the dehydrator on high for an hour and then patted them to removed excess grease and turned the temp down to medium. Took another 6 hours to get a good dry product. Both Neil and I were impressed. I will be making more soon I think.

Other then normal farm duties I prepared as much as I could for our coming snow storm tonight. I turned the water off to the automatic waterers in the barn so they didn't freeze and burst. Made sure there was enough wood for the fire for at least 3-4 days (we have been cutting it as we need it this year). Neil's Dad brought over a kerosene lantern just in case we lost power. Come on snow!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Drying carrots... the outcome

Here is a photo of the diced carrots all dehydrated. I got distracted and forgot to take pictures of the shredded carrots.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cows, Carrots and Cabbage Patch

Cattle round up this morning. An interior cross fence gate came open at some point and the cows, donkeys and our male alpaca moved into our female alpaca pasture... meanwhile three of our female alpacas were out in the cow pasture. I think the gate was not shut tight after the kids were out there yesterday afternoon giving their cousin a tour of the farm. It took 20 minutes and some create bribing with apple wafers to get everyone straightened out.

I purchased 10lbs of Organic carrots on my last shopping trip and have been meaning to do something with most of them so they won't go bad. So, today I pulled out the dehydrator again. I shredded up enough carrots to fill two trays and then diced up enough to fill the other three trays.

The shredded carrots were done in just a few hours but I left the diced ones in overnight.

I finished up a cute little hoodie sweater for McKayla's Cabbage Patch doll tonight. I cast it on just two days ago so it was a quick knit. McKayla has requested more clothes for her dolls so I will be doing a few of these smaller projects in between larger ones.

Friday, January 22, 2010

More Easy Bake Oven fun

This time Pizza! McKayla and I made some little pizzas for her and Evan to have for lunch.

This Easy Bake Oven thing has turned out to be fun for both of us. lol

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Braised Rabbit for dinner

For weeks now I have been trying to empty out our deep freezer in preparation for our Dexter bull coming back from the processors. Well, this Thursday I will be going to pick him up so I don't have much more time to make space in the freezer. Yesterday I pulled out two rabbits to defrost and tonight I made braised rabbit with them.

It was mighty tasty and the gravy it made was wonderful over mashed potatoes. A few organic peas and the family ate it up with gusto.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Watch Dogs

I snapped this photo from the kitchen window this afternoon. I love how our LGDs are in the exact same position as they watch over the herd. They are very good at their job.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Water water everywhere....

and ALL of it to drink!

It was a beautifully warm winter day here and Neil and his Dad took advantage of it and finished piping the water from the barn to the four new no-freeze faucets around the farm. One is behind the barn right next to the cow's 70 gallon water tub, another is next to the shed beside my new rabbit hutches, the third is by the garage/work shop and the fourth is out in the pasture so I don't have to lug the 50 gallon drum of water out to the water tubs anymore!

Neil finished up by filling in all the ditches he dug two weeks ago and covering them with crushed rock to help with the red clay mud that got moved to the surface.

I am doing the happy dance!!

Before dinner Neil took the trailer down to Rougemont, NC and picked up two round bales of hay for the cows and 36 square bales for the alpacas and goats. It was dark when he returned so we covered the trailer with a tarp for the night as it is supposed to rain.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

McKayla looses first tooth

McKayla, who is 5 1/2 years old, has had a slightly loose tooth for about two weeks now. Tonight she comes up to me to show me how loose it is and that she can lay it flat both in and out... but it wouldn't come out. I told her it wouldn't be long now and most likely the tooth fairy would be visiting her tonight.

After four hours and it still was not out McKayla become concerned that it would never fall out. I gave her the option of me pulling it. After a brief thinking it over she decided that is what she wanted. I expected her to flinch and change her mind but she stood still as could be as I gave it a quick pull and extracted it. Brave little McKayla was thrilled! She wanted to go to bed right away so the tooth fairy would come sooner.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Taylor's 1st Birthday

I can't believe my baby turns one today! What a fast year that was. We had cake and presents up at Neil's parent's house after dinner. She liked her cake very much...