Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beets and Blue Cheese Salad

A couple of years ago I bought a salad at the food coop where I sometimes shop. It was a little outside my comfort zone but I was at the beginning of broadening my horizons when it comes to food.

OH. MY. OH. MY I fell in love with it. They haven't made the salad since but I do make it quite often at home. And I make different variations depending upon what I have in the house. It's really a simple salad.

Salad greens, blue cheese and beets are the main ingredients. Sometimes I add shredded chicken if I have some in the freezer, sometimes I have a little red onion and walnuts if I have them on hand. The one thing it doesn't need is dressing. The juice from the beets mixes with the blue cheese and makes its own little dressing.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pickled Eggs...Using up the leftovers

In an attempt to use up some of the leftover boiled eggs from Easter, I made a couple of batches of pickled eggs. Because seriously, you can only eat so many deviled eggs and so many egg salad sandwiches in one week. And it makes the mister overly joyed to have pickled eggs in the house. I couldn't find the recipe I normally use meaning that I seriously need to start a recipe binder like I've been planning on doing for years. So I messed around with several different recipes I saw here and there and came up with these.

One jar is made using 1 cup pineapple juice, 1 cup vinegar, salt, peppercorns and onions and some pieces of pineapple. I boiled these together and poured into the jar over the peeled eggs.

The red jar is beets and beet juice, peppercorn, salt and vinegar. Same method. Both can store in the fridge forever. Or at least a very long time. How long I'm not sure because they never last long at our house.

Disclaimer: I have not eaten these nor will I. However, the mister thinks they're the best thing since the last batch I made for them. To each their own! :)

I also made creamed eggs this morning from this inspiration. And let me tell you they were oh so good I will definately be making more of them.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Moments in life that take your breathe away.

We had a wonderful Easter. We started our morning at church followed by breakfast with our congregation. After church, the kids got a chance to ride their new bikes.

These two have birthdays in December so we did splurge on Easter because
we found a fabulous deal on both...and how much fun is it to get a
 bike in December when you live in Wisconsin.

Then we had an Easter egg hunt at my parents.

 And the kids got to break open a pinata.

We also ate a lot of really great food, made a bunny cake with the kids,
laughed and talked with family and friends.

But the highlight of the weekend (at least for me), was going into wake up my two oldest for church and finding this...

Cuz these are the moments that take my breathe away!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

A new skirt for ME!

Today I actually got quite a bit of sewing done. I finished up the little man's underwear from the other day. Six pairs in 45 that's a quick, satisfying project. And they seem to be working well. They don't stay as dry as a diaper but he does feel when he's wet and it telling me as soon as he pees. YAY!  :) As mothers we must celebrate all of our victories, no matter how small.  :)

I also got to sew a skirt for me. I really had no clue what I wanted but I wanted a new skirt for Easter Sunday. So I dug out some plain old black material and made a simple A-line skirt with a jersey band. Then I made up some strips of ruffles and sewed them to the bottom of the skirt. I did not put a hem on the skirt, just ran a single stitch all the way around. I want to see how it looks as it gets washed and frayed up.

Did you know that you can create a ruffle as you sew? I have a ruffler foot but every time I've tried it I end up jamming up the machine. I remember seeing somewhere about grabbing the bobbin thread as you are sewing and pulling it towards you. As you pull the bobbin thread towards you, it creates the ruffle or gather. Super simple! I mean really super simple. If that didn't make sense and you want to know what I'm talking about, let me know and I'll make a little video showing how it's done.

Off to play for the night.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baby Chicks are here!

Was waiting for a phone call this morning from the post office. Finally called them and after some confusion and phone calls, found our chicks. They had been sent to a farm and fleet store in the city that sorts our mail. So a quick trip (okay more like 100 mile round trip) our chicks, turkeys, ducks and geese are home in their brooder boxes. Just in time for the lovely (har har mother nature) spring snowstorm.

And then a walk further down the barn turned up these...hmmm. There were four, now there are seven?

Apparently the beef fairy visited last night...


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bulking up the underoos

I've always been a believer that a child will potty train when they are ready. However, I'm also not against helping them along a little bit in their training. Heck, I make and sell cloth training pants to do just that (shameless plug). :)

Anyways, I have a stubborn one and we've tried everything. He thinks the potty chair is great, when he feels like using it. He wants to wear his big boy underwear, but doesn't want to stop playing to go to the bathroom. And I do not like cleaning up puddles.

SO I decided to "bulk" up his underwear. This was all made using scraps of PUL and flannel.

 These are his favorite undies. He would literally wear them all the time. He has an obsession with Thomas the Train.
 I made a quick pattern based upon the measurements of the underwear and made a soaker of a piece of PUL and four layers of flannel.
 I then used a zig-zag to sew all the way around the soaker. I could have used the serger around everything first but this is meant to be a quick project.

There will be some fraying as they are washed but they are serving their purpose. They are keeping puddles off of the floor and he can still feel when he's wet!

Now to go sew the other half dozen.  :)


Megan the Mule

This is Megan.

This girl got her nose bent out of shape last night.

Ever seen animals establish a peeking order? We saw one last night. This young little lady tried to show the new old woman who was in charge. She lost. She needed to lose. Peace has been established in the pasture.

Megan is a mule and is about 20 years old. She belonged to a friend of ours who does a lot of hunting in the mountains and Megan is just getting too old for hunting. But she is so super friendly and sweet so she's come here to live with us. She's gentle and sweet and our kids can learn to ride on her. Em is super excited. Connor wasn't sure what to think. According to our friend, she has one speed...S L O W. Which is exactly what the kids need to learn to ride!

Megan needs a little love. Our friend was paying to have his mules and horses taken care of over the winter and they were a little neglected. Not to the point of abuse but they certainly could have withstood more food than they were getting (which sent our friend over the edge because he provided all of they feed along with paying to have them taken care of). He said he thought about taking her home first for a week or two because he was so embarrassed.

But all is well and she's home with us. She's getting a little extra grain for awhile and as soon as it warms up will get a good scrub down and brushing.

We're hoping she also helps with any predators that come into the area. Donkeys are typically good at dealing with predators so we're hoping she keeps up to the donkey in her!  :)


Friday, April 15, 2011


So many blog posts have been talking about spring forEVER it seems and here in Wisconsin it's finally going to make an appearance. But I am SO ignoring the weather forecast that is calling for freezing rain turning into a possible 2 inches of snow by tomorrow morning. Because really...this is what I'm seeing in my yard and I don't want to see snow covering them.

Strawberry Plants

Chickens digging in freshly turned ground.

 Rhubard peeking through the soil!

Eeeekk! Yay! Spring looks fabulous and yummy!

And a little extra wisdom...never ask a man to move something for you when he has his tractor out...oiu, it's no wonder I have heart burn!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

A walk around the farm

It was gorgeous today and oh boy do I mean gorgeous. It's still about 55 degrees as I type this and it's 7 o'clock! So, we took an adventure around the farm.

The turkeys enjoying the sunshine.
These two love to go for walks with us. This is Dora and Diego.
The black spots are bees buzzing around. I didn't want to get too closet because we didn't have a head net with us. We've had problems with bear knocking over the hives so we now have a solar electric fence around the hives. You can see the damage done last summer to the back of the box.
Clearing some trees and limbs that fell in storms over the winter and spring. We'll load these up for our wood supply for next winter.
Drinking momma's "offee." It's really just hot water and honey (one of my favorite drinks, especially when my throat is sore from my acid reflux).

The snow covering on the south side of our property.
This is a fox den. We don't know if there is a fox inside yet but we haven't seen any this spring. We did see a coyote last week on our property. Horrible predators! Last time we had a fox, we lost almost 40 chickens over the course of a summer.
Some of our chickens are escape artists and love to roam the barnyard.

When we have predators around, unfortunately, we have to lock up least at night. We also have a nice large yard off the coop that's built from a corn crib we took down a couple years ago.

One of our sheep.

We have a lot of old tractor tires left on the property from the old owners. This is one turned inside out for use as a hay feeder. They are expensive to get rid of so we're trying to creatively make as many as possible useful.
This barn I spent two days painting two summers ago. I still haven't finished the backside of the barn.

The mister's man cave. I'm generally scared to go in there because I end up finding new old stuff he's bought.

Our grain bin. We do use this although it has never been completely full.

The corn crib. We've used this over the years to house different animals. I keep telling the mister with the right fence, I could keep a pig in here...

Our house. More tractor tires that I use for small garden plants (lettuce, carrots, onions, radishes, greens). The three closer to the house hold my strawberry plants.
Uummm, the weeds got a little away from me last fall.  :)

The littlest mister experiencing his first nature walk.

Our brooder boxes ready for our shipment of baby chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese next week.

This is Chocolate.

And this is Buddy. Sometimes they escape their cages and make little Chocolate Buddy's.

Another sheep.
The newest babies awaiting their dinner.
This is what happens when there are too many roosters in the hen house. This one was taken out of the hen house to heal up. We have a bunch of roosters that need to be butchered this spring.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Easter Clothes

Am finally catching up on laundry and was able to iron and snap a quick photo of Em dress. It's almost 45 degrees already here in Wisconsin! Finally, we can open up the windows and let some fresh air in!!

I love how easy this dress was. I love how it's dressed up with the rick rack and I adore those little pockets with the bows on them. The pockets are really not very functional at all but they do look so cute.

And now that Easter sewing is done for the kids...maybe I can get back to some of that sewing for me!!  :)

Which may be hard to do. When spring weather rolls around, we tend to slow down. We spend more time outside going for walks, exploring, puttering around in the yard and basically just enjoying not being cooped up or having to wear 15 1/2 layers of clothes!

We also have chicks showing up next week. A mule coming this week (I think it's this week) and possibly a few more calves and some lambs! I love spring!!  :)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Easter Clothes for the boys

Thursday my mom (bless her heart!) took the kids for me so I could a) put my messy house somewhat back in order and b) get started on easter clothes. Friday and Saturday morning were spent sewing like crazy! I finished everything an hour before we had to leave with the mister getting home from work just in time to tie the tie and out the door we went.

I never thought I'd be one of THOSE mothers who did the matchy match with her kids but I will admit they looked pretty darn fine!! And we got lots of "Awww aren't they all adorable!" at the photo shoot. Well at least from the moms. Most of the dads just gave dad a little sympathy for having a mom who did matchy match with her kids.  :)

The little boys tie is from The Little Gentemen's Closet on etsy and comes as a pdf. Wonderful instructions and so simple to make.

The onsie is just appliqued and was also very simple. Looks a little wonky in the picture but is pretty straight.

The dress is now in the wash since a little girl snuck outta the house before changing and was found cleaning in her dad's shop while eating chocolate. Isn't it funny how neither two grown men (dad and grandpa) put two and two together that a 4 year old probably shouldn't be playing around dirt and grease in a brand new dress that mommy just finished sewing for easter. . . (can anyone else hear cricket chirping?)