Monday, August 25, 2014

August Monthly Moos {Porch Sitting}


It's been a busy month here on the farm, with hot temperatures and not much rain.  


Eldon has been making great strides on his garage/shop.  He's been able to do the majority of it himself, with a little help from our son in law and even littler help from me!  I have been doing the painting though.   It's looking really good and is a great match to the house.  (The shed you see there behind the garage is going to be moved soon.  We have a permanent concrete pad poured and ready so very soon that little shed will be moved out of the yard area.)


We're super excited to finish this bit of construction because the next big job is the landscaping and fencing around the house, garage and all the way behind the tree.  We've got a huge job ahead of us as we'll have to bring in fill dirt and do a lot of tractor work to get it just right before we can plant grass and put in flower beds and every other fun thing!  We also plan to finish out the back porch of the house with rails to dress up the back a bit.  It's a never ending job getting everything completed!  (The front of the garage is not done yet, when Eldon gets the doors installed and the porch part trimmed out and I finish painting I'll post more pictures.)


Other farm news is that our last calf was finally born!  We've had an exciting spring and summer of calves because we've had 100% calf crop.  This little heifer is sort of a lonely only as she came many months after all the others.  Her Momma is Walter's Momma.  (Remember Walter?  If you missed that post you can read it here.)


 I love this Momma cow for several reasons but especially for one big one - we call her String Trimmer because she literally grazes every bit of tall grass and weeds under our (temporary) yard fence.  I hardly have to use my string trimmer she does such a good job!  


Cows are very funny.  They are creatures of habit and every single evening about sun down they make their way up to the top of the hill where they graze and bed down.  Every. Single. Evening.  


So we oftentimes find ourselves sitting here on the back porch watching them!  


But usually we are on our front porch where the view is!  We've been having beautiful sunsets almost every evening.  


At the end of the day there is nothing more relaxing than porch sitting while the sun goes down! 

 I hope your summer has been an extra special one.  Do you feel like me...  dreading to see it go, or do you yearn for Fall weather? 


If you've missed any of my Monthly Moos posts you can see them all here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Re-learning An Old Skill


I love to embroider.  The sad thing is that I get so busy with other things that I forget how much I love it.  (And I also forget how to do certain stitches.)


I have a book that I love.  And all I have to do is open the book and my heart starts racing and I'm ready to grab some needle and thread!  The book is called Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart.  



I recently started a new project that I am excited about.  I'm using some of my vintage feedsack fabric scraps that I absolutely adore!


I cut designs and ironed them on to pieces of muslin, drew in some of the lines and designs, then began some simple embroidery stitches.  


Isn't the blanket stitch the sweetest?  It is one of my favorites.


I love that you don't need much to embroider.  Needle, thread and little scissors.  (And my favorite book of stitches!)


I'm not going to divulge the full project because I'm not finished and because I don't know the end result quite yet!  But this lovely old window that was given to me is part of the package!


 Don't you think old windows, vintage feedsack fabric, and embroidery just go hand in hand together?


I've got a lot of stitching left to go, and quite a bit of figuring to get it all together.  But, in my mind it makes sense!  

Do you ever have a project that makes perfect sense in your mind.... and then doesn't work?  
This might be one of those.  

I'll keep you posted!  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Canning Salsa {Add Chips!}



I am ridiculously crazy about salsa.  I do not prize myself on being any kind of a salsa connoisseur, I just know that I love it.  


And when you have tomatoes and jalapeños ripening all at the same time in your garden.... you put up some salsa  for the winter!  Here are my step by step pictures with recipe at the bottom of the post.


Use all your ugly, scraggly tomatoes and place them in a large pot of boiling water.  Leave them for just a couple of minutes.  


Remove them from the boiling water into a large bowl and immediately cover with cold tap water.  Cut out the cores and ugly parts and the skin will just slide right off.


And now they don't look quite so ugly anymore!  


Chop them up to the size you'd like.  I don't like my salsa to have huge tomato chunks, so I dice mine fairly small.  


Cut your jalapeños in half and remove the seeds.  It is the seeds that gives the heat to the salsa, so I leave quite a bit of them.  


Chop them up into small chunks.  I cut an onion up to about the same size chunks.  


I had a bunch of these little yellow tomatoes in my garden so I chopped them up (peel and all) to give some color.


Throw all your ingredients into a large stock pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  (I do this outside on my porch.  I love setting up an outdoor canning area in the summer time. Keeps the mess and the heat out of the kitchen.)


Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Place the lids on tightly.  


Place jars in large stock pot with boiling water.  Process for 15 minutes.  


Remove from stock pot and let cool.  


And then do what I do...  sit down on the porch with a good book and some chips and salsa!  

************

Jalapeño Salsa

5 cups peeled, cored and chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped jalapeño peppers
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.  

**************

The garden news this week is that I have no wonderful heirloom, non-gmo corn to pick and put up in my freezer.  The raccoons have had a field day (well, a field night actually) in my corn!  Honestly, it was so funny I actually had to laugh.  It looked like a war zone in there!  Next year we'll get creative and come up with a plan!  

Oh... last but certainly not least.  The WINNER of the heirloom seeds is Teresa!  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Celebrating 100 and a Giveaway!



A couple weeks ago when I was doing a little updating and formatting on my blog I realized that my next blog post would be my 100th!  I decided it was cause for celebration.  So I began to think a little bit about doing a really fun blog post and a giveaway.  Then this happened....



If you read my July Monthly Moos post here, or if you follow the blog that my daughter and I write here, then you know that she and I started a little business of selling our heirloom flower bouquets.  It started out very simple and the first couple weeks were just easy with bouquets selling slowly and consistently.  


And then overnight it exploded.  And we got so busy we didn't know which way was up.  So, my special 100th blog post didn't get written!  


These precious little grand-girls of mine are amazing.  They keep themselves very entertained while we work madly and crazily whipping out bouquets before our customers beat us to the flower trailer!  

We are having the time of our lives.  Laughing, picking flowers, washing jars, making labels, getting the flowers to the flower trailer and set up as fast as we can, and then walking (well, running) away  and letting our customers take their time choosing flowers and putting their money in the drop box.  (The reason we run is because we are sweaty, dirty, and exhausted!)  We love the honor system, love the customers we've met, love the smiles on the faces of the children that buy flowers for friends (and glad for Facebook so their Mommies can tag us in the pictures they take!).  


And we love our flowers.   I ran down to the flower garden in the rain last weekend and picked  flowers to make the above bouquet for a friend who was celebrating her 90th birthday.  I felt like this bouquet was so full of love.  It was such a fun gift to be able to give.  

So.... I know you are waiting for the giveaway!  Please leave a comment about your favorite flower to put in an arrangement and next Saturday a random winner will be chosen to receive three packages of my favorite heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seeds.  (Since I can't send you one of my bouquets, this is the next best thing!)

And a very big thank you to my faithful blog readers, some of whom have been with me through every one of my one hundred blog posts!