Wednesday, December 29, 2010

our friendly organisms....yeast

Today was the day to get off of one's duff and get back to work. Besides doing the normal household chores, and waxing and drying cheese, it was time to make bread again.

I had enough yeast left to make my per normal five loaves of bread.

But I got to thinking, that today, I guess I love my teenagers, so I will make them some cinnamon buns.

I had to open a new package of yeast. I had purchased this package of yeast in November 2009 The whole time it was sitting in my fridge. I noticed the expiry date was for back in May. I thought what the heck, it should be still good. Well, my buns didn't rise like they should have. Now, it could have been the yeast or the lack of warmth in the house today. It was -28 Celsius earlier today. And I think it was cooler in here than out there! (We heat with wood)

So for this blog, we are going to say it was the yeast. It got me thinking, maybe I have been storing my yeast all wrong. Although the other package of yeast, once opened, sat on my fridge door for over a year. (I bought two packages of yeast back 2009. I never buy just one of  anything)

So this is what I have discovered.

Instant and active dry yeast will remain fresh for at least a year, and can be used directly from freezer or fridge.

Once the yeast is opened it has a 'life span' for about two weeks at room temperature, six months in the freezer. (However, I stored mine opened, in the original package, on the fridge door for thirteen months.)

Once opened however, the yeast should be stored in another container. It has been suggested that the yeast, depending on the quantity you purchase, should be put into two different containers. One with the bulk of the yeast in it, and stored in the freezer. The other, with a smaller amount to be stored in the fridge for immediate use-to be filled up once empty from the container in the freezer.

Keep in mind that moisture is the 'arch enemy' of yeast. Your containers must be moisture proof.

To test your yeast for "proof":

~add one teaspoon of sugar to 1/4 cup warm water (100°-110° F), stir in 2 1/4 tsp yeast.
~let stand 10 minutes
~if the yeast foams to the 1/2 cup mark, it is active and still usable


Okay, so my yeast is still good. The house is just to darn cold.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

orange

Madeline loves the colour orange. I think it is a faze. I remember Cassierae enjoying the colour orange when she was in her teens. I shall never forget those fuzzy orange pants of hers.

Maddie wanted an orange scarf crochet, back in October when hunting season was just starting. She wanted to make sure wayward hunters, who may have trespassed on our land wouldn't accidentally mistake her for a moose while on the back of her horse.  Needless to say, I never got it done. She was stuck wearing her father's orange toque instead. And there sat her big ball of wool that she bought.

Last week out of boredom, I told her to look for a scarf that she would like me to make. She comes back in about  five minutes with a question.
"Ma, I found a scarf that I like, but I don't know if you know how to do the waffle stitch."

I have been crocheting since I was about 16. I aint never heard of no waffle stitch.

I told her, I will just learn how to do it, and I will Google it. Google it I did. I found it on you tube. Here is the link . The fella that was doing the tutorial did in four parts. Here, I knew how to do it all along.  It is just double crochet, and a front post double crochet.

Now that I have you all confused-- here is Maddie modelling her scarf.


She wanted a very long one. So she could wrap it around her neck. 


Here is a closer look. Does't it resemble cheese coloured waffles? 

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lunar winter solstice eclipse



The lunar winter solstice eclipse that happened last night is a rarity. It hasn't happened for over 400 hundred years. The next one will happen again 2094. I know I won't be around for that one, so I stayed up extremely late for this one. The following photos are courtesy of my daughter, Cassierae. Thanks Cass!!!










How many of  you gave up your beauty rest, to watch the eclipse?

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Jynx

sitting so prim and proper
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

snow fall

We started getting snow late Tuesday afternoon, until late last night. Cool.We needed that foot of snow. For spring run-off. Other than that...ugh!!!!

About 4.30 am this morning the county had the graders out. They are suppose to do the school bus routes first. News flash! We are not on the school route!!! No kids in school. Ha! Ha! We even got a truck load of  gravel this past fall!! It is quite obvious to us, that the school division does not update the county! We think it is great.

Anyways, this is not what this entry is about. It is about the grader operator's job. He isn't very good at it. At all. I'll tell you why.We live on a no exit road. Meaning just that, the road ends here. At our place. Yes, it is great. No traffic. No neighbours, for two miles. Before you come into our driveway, you have to cross a set of railway tracks. It isn't too bad. The train only goes through once a day, at no set time.

Our land is on either side of the tracks, in this photo. The tracks cut through the edge of one of our quarters. This view is East, South East. I am standing beside the tracks, on an approach into the quarter section of land east of the home quarter. We call this quarter, The Long Field.








This view is North, North-West. If you look carefully you can barely make out the crossing signs. You also can barely make out the road in the upper right side of the picture. I am still standing on the approach to the east quarter.







In this shot, I am standing on the crossing, looking North, North-West. Can barely make out the tracks at my feet.The trees to the left in the photo, is the road allowance. Just before the road allowance, our driveway starts. You turn to the left.

What I am trying to get at,  is the shitty job the grader operator did. Did you notice it? He was not suppose to leave these 'snow banks' on the tracks. They are  mid-thigh deep. I wonder if he is a new operator? I also wonder if CN is going to be sending out there own 'railroad graders' I know that isn't the proper term for them. But we know they exist. We have seen them.

Not only did he leave snow banks for the train, he also plowed the snow at the end of our driveway, and buried my corner fence post. I wonder what Frank will say when he comes home tomorrow night from camp and see this!!
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Shabby Makeup's Giveaway


This is my daughter, and she is having a give-way on her blog. Click here to enter! http://shabbymakeupandmore.blogspot.com/2010/12/elf-giveaway.html
Contest closes Jan 15th at midnight mountain time
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something new

I was checking my email, and Madeline says 'Mom, can I check something on Google?'

'Sure. Just open another tab.' I was curious as what Madeline wanted to Google. She is always finding new, interesting things on the net.

And sure as shit, she did. She types in dzo.

'What the hell is a dzo?' I asked.

'I don't know.'



This is a dzo. It is a cross between a yak and the domestic cow. It is technically a hybrid male. He would be unable to reproduce. A female hybrid is called a dzomo, and she can reproduce. Either bred her  back to a bull yak or the domestic bovine bull.

These crosses are used as pack animals in the Himalayas. These animals are suppose to be good milkers and meat producers.

Now I think these would be cool to raise!!! But would I have an end market? Definitely a niche market.

This is what I learned new today. So far. And it is still early!!
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

a dilemma

One thing I like about trying to live off of the land and being to provide for one's family, is knowing I will have pretty much an endless supply of food. In this particular instance, eggs and milk. But one can in a very short span of time become over run with an over abundance.

Let me introduce you to my fridge. It looks very ordinary.



It looks very ordinary.  A newspaper article on Warner's Stables. where Madeline worked for the summer at Banff. Magnet letters for the grandkids to play with. A wish list of what we would like to purchase or do on the farm. A grocery list. Postcard from Banff. A photo of Madeline on a horse, in Banff. A drawing that Austin did while she was here this past summer. The usual adornment that one may find on a fridge.

It isn't very big. It doesn't have a 'freezer' section. This is all fridge. Really it is more of an over sized beer fridge. But hey, it was here when we moved here, and it hasn't died....yet!!!

Now, lets open her up......


What do ya'll see? Well for starters, ignore the few beer bottles on top. That particular spot where the bottles are sitting is suppose to be only for the cream.  Every spot in the fridge is suppose to be designated for something. Yeah, I am a control freak that way. So this disarray is totally irritating the hell out of me.

But I am starting to digress. Digressing is good....sometimes....

Next the blue jug is eggnog.

Behind that blue jug, are two gallon jars full of milk that has already been skimmed. The other tupperware jug also contains milk. 

The shelf under that, has two ice cream pails of milk, and two dozen eggs, and leftovers.

The meat drawer, yogurt, jar of whey, jar of pork drippings off of our roast from last night, and a jar of butter- milk.

Next five ice cream pails of milk Did you total that? I have roughly 8 gallons of milk. Maddie is bringing in about 3 gallons a day. That is what she brings me. She feeds probably close to a gallon a day to the barn cats. Thank God!! 

Finally,12 dozen, yup you read right, 12 dozen eggs. I am getting almost 3 dozen eggs a day. Total 14 dozen in the fridge. I can only make so many pickled eggs in a week. Besides, the kids no longer wish to eat eggs.Of any sort!! So much for breakfast.

I think I need help as what to make or do with all this excess. Any suggestions?


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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas traditions

Over the years, I have tried to 'create' Christmas traditions. When I was growing up, I don't recall anything special about Christmas. Except dad getting liqueured. Some how I don't see that as a tradition. 

Part of the things that I do at Christmas I wouldn't consider a tradition.Until the other day that is. Cassierae was unpacking Christmas decorations, and decorating the tree and the house while she was here. She came across a set of Mr and Mrs Santa Claus green candlesticks. I had never burned them. My mom gave them to me probably 22 years ago. I do believe they were an Avon purchase. Those candlesticks have a hint of cinnamon, bayberry and something else. I haven't put them out for a few years now. Cass said those remind her of Christmas. All my kids said it isn't Christmas without Bony M singing Little Drummer Boy. They all have their own Christmas memories tied to a goodie, a song, a decoration, and even an event that we have done at Christmas.

This year, because I am feeling a little Scrooge about Christmas, I wasn't even going to make eggnog. Young Frank, a couple of days ago, kind of gave me heck. Apparently he really enjoys homemade eggnog, and doesn't care for the crap from the store. His words. I even cleaned it up a little. He also gently reminded me that I haven't made my eggnog since we moved here. This will be our fifth Christmas at Deadwood. So here is the recipe along will photos. Maddie took the pics and she was having issues with the camera when it came to the part of adding the milk. So no pics on that. No worries. We all know how to pour milk.

YULENOG



You will need:

~ 6 eggs separated
~ 1/3 cup honey
~ 5 cups cold milk
~ 2 tablespoons of rum extract
~ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ 1 cup whipped cream
~ nutmeg for garnish





~ beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.











~ add the egg yolks and the honey.
~ continue beating.
~ slowly add the milk, run and vanilla extracts, and beat until blended. ( I mixed these all into the same measuring cup)
~ chill. (if you plan on drinking this right away, like we did, there is no need to chill)






~ just before serving, fold in the whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

CHEERS!!!


note: since I haven't made this in a few years, and because I suffer from iforgotagainitis I couldn't remember if I am suppose to beat the cream. So I didn't. I am not that mean of a cook. And it still tasted good. Maybe next batch I will beat the cream. Just because.




This is a ps.....when young Frank got home from work this evening he commented on the eggnog. He said,  ' Mom, it tastes good, but why is it runny?'  Now, I know. Whip the damn cream!






Since I kind of gave away my punch bowl set to the kid, I poured my eggnog into a juice jug. Hey it works. Nothing fancy around here.

Now for those of you who like your eggnog with a little bit of a kick, Spiced Captain Morgan goes good with this. As always, drink responsibly this  holiday season.

I like this recipe for the amount of eggs, milk and cream I can use up out of the fridge!
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bring on the snow

measuring on top of the deck railing
One, of the two reasons why I like winter is the snow. The other is the hoar-frost. I don't do any of the winter sports, nor do we own a ski doo. Much to the dismay of a certain son. One day.

The snow makes for a shitty drive to town for groceries, or feeding livestock. But it is much needed for that important spring run-off.

We use the dugout by the house for the cattle waterers, and the hydrant by the garden.  Frank also made a few smaller dugouts out in the pastures for the cattle. We also have another dugout in another area of the land.The only way that any of these dugouts can fill up is either by spring runoff or by the rain. And since we didn't have much of the latter over the past couple of summers, we really need the snow.

The first winter here we had close to ten feet of snow. I am hoping we get that again this year. I know, I must be a sick person.

Since November, we have had two feet of snow.
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water usage

While I was having my shower this morning, in a very cold bathroom ( we heat by wood), I was thinking how much I despise  winter. Not so much the snow, but the temperatures. We having been sitting at -25 all week, and it doesn't look like we will be warming up for another week.

Where we are currently residing, in northern Alberta, most people have either cisterns or a dugout for their water source. We have a dugout, but we have made its main purpose to serve the two cattle waterers, and the hydrant by the garden. We do not use the dugout water for the house.(another story for another time) Since we moved here almost five springs ago, we all have learned how important water is. Our old farm we were a tad spoiled. Our water well was about 350 feet deep,endless water supply. The most softest water ever. Boy do I miss it!!

turtle tank

July of 2006, hubby Frank, put a 250 gallon turtle tank under the house. We also have an identical one on the back of the ole green bomb. In the summer it is no problem to drive down the road a10 mile round trip,to the water station to get water. But in winter time, when the temperatures are so cold, the water freezes, the nozzle freezes, and the hubby's temperature goes up. So we get water only when we run out. We usually get water once a week. But if we have visitors or company for a few days, we go through more water.

Back to the water conservation. There are several 'little' things as individuals we can do every day to help conserve and/or cut back on their water usage.

When my twelve year old washing machine finally died, I ended up purchasing a top load, HE. A lot of water gets wasted in washing laundry. I always try to have a full load for the wash.We do not have a dishwasher. Nor do we flush the toilet after every use. I raised the kids from the time that they first started to brush their teeth, turn the water off. Since we get our drinking water from a different source, we don't run the water until it is cold for drinking.  Now with this said, I am having a hard time to convince one particular teen age daughter, to put the plug in the rinse sink when she does dishes. Lets just call it a work in progress.

I know there is more that I could do on a daily basis to save that precious resource. It takes awhile before the hot water tap in the kitchen gets hot, I could be saving that water in a juice jug to use for later in cooking. In the bathroom I could have a five gallon pail in the tub, while we are waiting for the shower water to get warmer, and than use that water to flush the toilet. I know it all seems mundane, but every little bit helps.

Have a look around your place, whether you live in a city or on the land, and find ways of saving some water.
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difficulties of horse back riding



On one of the 'warmer' recent days-in this case closer to minus twenty-the kids decided 'lets go horseback riding'. One of the challenges that face the kids when riding bare back, when you are layered to the nuts, is getting on the back of the horse. Frank tried leading Georgia to the chopping stump, but she would not cooperate with him. If you can't take the mountain to Mohammed, take Mohammed to the mountain! Frank ended up moving the stump to where a very stubborn mare was standing so he could mount up.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

a frosty November morning

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just a bit of Christmas baking to share

WHIPPED SHORTBREAD COOKIES

~ mix together:
    2 pounds (4 cups) tub soft margarine
    2 cups icing sugar
    1 cup cornstarch
    6 cups flour
~ whip it, whip it good!
 ~ whip until it looks like stiff whipped cream
~ lightly grease cookie sheet
~ drop by teaspoon
~ bake at 325 degrees til golden brown on bottom
~ watch carefully
~ you can sprinkle 'sprinkles' on or use chopped fruit.
~ add your decorations before baking.


These never last long around my household!
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new friends


Ben and Jynx
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Monday, November 29, 2010

R.I.P Mr Mallard

It is with a sad heart that I must report, that Mr. Mallard passed away peacefully in his sleep. Frank found him  yesterday morning, with his head tucked under his wing.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Really I do enjoy milking but....


Since Madeline left on Wednesday, it has been left to me to do all the milking. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy milking. There is something very soothing sitting beside your cow, while she is chopping done on her rolled oats, and hay, while you are pulling on her teats. The cats meowing with anticipation waiting for their bowl of fresh warm milk.  I enjoy the peace and barn noises. However, what I do not enjoy is when I can't get any cooperation from Misty.

I do believe, that Madeline 'spoils' Misty. This cow thinks she can get away with anything.

We milk on the right side of the cow. Which means Misty's back right leg needs to be back. With the beginning of arthritis in my left hand, her leg needs to be further back than what she is accustomed to. Trust me, Misty does not like her leg back! It takes me a little longer to milk her than Madeline, which doesn't help. So the fight is on! 

So with all that bullshit going on, she is thinking 'I'll get even'. So, she is decides to take a shit! Now that is a sure sign, that you know when she is pissed off with me for taking to long milking, and messing with her back leg. I didn't quit milking like she thought I was going to. Nope. Once I cleaned up her mess, I went right back milking her. Trust me, she didn't like that either. But I got the job done. I told Frank, that is it, Madeline is not allowed to go anywhere when there is a cow to be milked. 

I have been milking by hand for 16 years now, and with sitting at the cow's side for that long, you learn a few of their 'signs.' I knew Misty was pissed with me, so I was prepared and ready for when she pooped. No shit splatters on my stool, or my milk pail. I have learned over the years, I am boss, not the cow. But I can't seem to teach that to Madeline. One doesn't have to be mean to the cow, to show her who is boss. But I didn't quit milking until the job was finished. But I have learned as I get older, I need a fresh new cow that is learning how to become her role as a family milk cow, and that she will be standing for about 30 minutes in the stall getting milked, because this ole girl is getting older, and it takes me a little longer to do a job that use to take me only 15.


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

designer assistant



I was working on one of the gifts that I was sewing for one of my girls for Christmas, and Jynx thought that I needed help.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I have been busy in the kitchen.....


first there was mozza cheese....

than there was farmhouse cheddar cheese.....

redneck cheese press

than there was Italian bread made with the whey....


than there was pizza, made with both the whey and the mozza cheese....


and finally, butter....



Tomorrow I will have a wheel of cheese to wax, that I had made yesterday. The one that is currently under the 'press' right now will be waxed on Sunday. I will also be making more butter tomorrow. Today I also made some cottage cheese. 

Madeline left today to go to Penticton, BC to visit her high school friend, Erin.  Quentin, Erin's dad,  along with her brother Josh, came and picked Maddie up this afternoon. Erin doesn't even know that Maddie is coming for a week for a visit. Erin just thinks it is her dad and brother that are coming. I can just imagine Erin's reaction when she opens her door tomorrow!!

So, with Madeline gone, that leaves the milking to me. Yep. Me. With arthritis rearing its' ugly head in my left hand, this should be fun. Misty is a little harder to milk than Annie. Misty's teats are shorter, and she is way more impatient than Annie. Misty figures you should be done milking in about 20 minutes or less. You can double to almost triple that time limit for me. Plus Misty gets milked twice a day. It is going to be a very long week!!

Mr. Mallard got moved out to the hen house, late afternoon. We clipped one of his wings, so he wouldn't try to fly away. So far so good. Will keep you all posted on his well being.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

could you help me....I need directions


Sunday morning Frank is out checking the dugout. I guess he wanted to make sure the aerator was working properly, you know bubbling.  Can't have the dugout freezing solid, since this is the only source of water for the cows waterers. What does he find trying to swim,  to survive, to live in the open water? Well Mr. Mallard of course. (That is what I have dubbed him.)  The ice is really thin where the water has been 'bubbly', so Frank can't even lay on it with a fishing net to try to catch this duck.

First Frank put some straw out there on the edge for Mr. Mallard to rest in. I think the temperature on Sunday was -26. There is no place for this duck to get dry or even warm.  A little later in the day Frank put some grain out for the duck. Mr. Mallard tried flying away, but he was flappin' in slo' mo'. So, now the great duck rescue has been put into action.

So the boys decided 'lets set a trap for the duck.' They set up this wooden crate-which  Frank initially built for a wood box a few years ago. When it was around 6 ish,  they figured the duck went to 'roost' inside the wooden box. They walked to the south side of the dugout-the trap was set up on the north side, and they shone the spotlight into the box, and young Frank said 'he is in there!'  They walked around to the north side, sprung the trap and carried the duck and wooden box into the house.

Mr. Mallard is now a house guest. He huffs and blows air at you if you get near his box. Frank has been feeding him grain and water. We know that he has been eating, because his water dish  always has bits of grain in it.In another day or so, we will move him into the hen house. Frank has an area  already set up  for him. Mr. Mallard will become a resident of Good nuf Ranch until spring.

And it is a good thing, that Frank found him when he did. Sunday night/Monday morning we were down to -35. For sure Mr. Mallard would have perished in our dugout.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

mmm...doughnuts!!!

It definitely feels like winter today. At 6 am this morning it was a balmy -18 and it is still that temperature. We had about another inch of snow through the night. The hubby is grumbling about how much he hates winter. Me, I am a bear. I hibernate through winter.

The kids did chores while I worked out. When I was done, I finished with my fromage blanc cheese. I had to take it out of the cheese cloth. I had it hanging since 7.30 pm last night. I mixed some of it with a minced garlic clove, dill weed, parsley, salt and pepper. Maddie tried some on a wafer cracker. She enjoyed it. But the garlic was strong. Not bad for one tiny little clove. Powerful stuff  I tell ya!!

Young Frank had plugged the tractor in, when they were out doing chores. Yep it is left up to us to do the feeding. I hate trying to spread bales out using the tractor. The hubby makes it look too easy. I told the kids you feed cows and I will make you some doughnuts. (I betcha you were wondering when the doughnuts were going to enter in this post). Here is the thing with the doughnuts. I haven't made them in years. And I have never made them since we moved here in 2006. According to the peanut gallery it has been forever and a day since I have made them.They are acting like I am depriving them of 'goodies'. My response? Whatever!

Cassierae had phoned me shortly after I had made them, so I had to rub it in. I told her the only way she could enjoy the doughnuts was to look at the picture of them on my blog. Without the recipe. She said no fair. Ok, so I will post the recipe also.



SWEET MILK DOUGHNUTS


- beat two eggs, add 1 cup sugar beat very well
- stir in: 1 cup milk
            5 tbsp of melted shortening or lard
            4 cups of flour
            4 tsp baking powder
            1/4 - 1/2 tsp cinnamon
            1/2 tsp salt

* mix with hand until blended. the dough will be very very sticky. I ended up adding more flour. I don't know how much. I just added until the dough wasn't sticking to my hands. I also kneaded it like you would if you were making bread. I did that with the dough in the bowl. 

-heat your oil. I have a deep fryer so that is what I used. 


- roll or pat your dough to about 1/2 thick on a lightly floured surface. 




-using a doughnut cutter, or whatever you have on hand. keep your cutter well floured, so the dough doesn't stick to the cutter.


-here is a little trick with theses doughnuts, this is what I did. I put the doughnuts and holes on a piece of lightly floured wax paper while my deep fryer was heating up. By allowing the doughnuts to 'dry' for a few minutes, they will absorb less fat while frying.

-once your oil is heated, place a few doughnuts in at a time.


- they will float to the top
- each doughnut takes about 3 minutes to cook. you will have to flip them over to brown the other side. be careful that you don't splatter hot oil on to yourself.



- when they are done cooking, place on a paper towel covered plate








- when the doughnuts cool, dust them with icing sugar. and easy method of this is to use a paper lunch bag or glaze them. 
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a normal day

Since I am not working anymore, I have been trying to get myself back on to some sort of schedule. You know, laundry done on... well lets say Monday. Right now it gets done when ever anyone is available to haul me water. Not to mention trying to get the regular house cleaning done. We will just call this work in progress.


Today I managed to get bread baked. Used up those bananas that were sitting on the counter top almost beyond their prime. Young Frank managed to eat a loaf of banana bread to himself. Me thinks I might be starving that teenager. I also made a batch of Fromage Blanc cheese. Made a few phone calls. Inquiries really. Trying to get my wool processed and if I have enough. I will probably wait until after next spring's shearing session to guarantee that I have enough poundage to make it worth mine and theirs. Worked on a few Christmas gifts that I am making. I guess it was a 'productive' day.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

yesterday's activities....

Yesterday, it started to sprinkle in the morning, and we figured we would have to put off  Ivomec-in' the cows for another day. But fortunately for us, it didn't rain past sun up. We manage to get the cows, the sheep and the heifers (that we are keeping for replacements) all done. The whole crew got another shot of  8-Way, and some vitamins. Done playing with the cows in the corrals until next spring.  And believe it or not, the hubby never yelled or swore at any of us. I know, totally amazing! We have a motto-What happens in the corral, stays in the corral. That includes the name calling, the 'pleasant' way certain members of the family have of telling each other to !@#$ off! It was actually nice yesterday. I would work a thousand head of cows, if it went as smoothly as it did yesterday. Yep!

We weaned Misty's calf, Jr (his other alias is One Nut). Madeline started milking her this morning. Gotta love that cow. She is giving about 4 gallons a milk a day. Can't wait to start making cheddar cheese again. Yum! Yum! We, I mean Maddie and I, have decided to dry up Annie.




Last Tuesday/Wednesday, Annie should have come into her cycle-which she didn't. She was behaving 'silly' on Monday. But Marianne told that she has to be standing, for the other cows to jump her. So now, I need to wait until December, and hopefully we can get her to come into her cycle so we can A.I. her. Also, Misty hasn't come into her cycle either. Which she should have done by now. Man I need a Gomer! Marianne was telling me about a product that is a strip which 'glues' on the back side of the cow, across her hips. And when she is cycling, and the other cows are jumping on her, the product that is inside this strip 'breaks' than you know she is reading for breeding.

Back in October, we received about eight inches of snow. I thought for sure, it is going to be another long winter. But, about a week later the snow disappeared and we had ourselves a wee bit of an Indian summer. Loved it! It was totally awesome! About 5 am this morning it started to snow. We got about 4 inches of the white stuff. Oh well. We have been here 4 1/2 years, and this is the first time that we have made it this far into November with such gorgeous weather! Aint complaining. Now with that being said, I sure hope we get a lot of snow, to fill up those dugouts come spring!
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

homemade laundry soap

When I started this blog, I wanted to learn from other s, who were thinking along the same lines as myself-being more self sufficient, being  frugal, living simply, living within ones means, and  leaving a small carbon footprint. One action at a time, by several people will lead all of us to greener environment. Something we all can be proud of, and that our grand children can look on us, and be proud of the changes that we made. So with that all in mind, I went searching looking for things that I could do that would save me money, help me to live within our budget, and to be a wee bit more self sufficient. All little changes happen within the home, so I decided I would start with laundry soap. Hence that is what I am going to share today. I know there are a few blogs out there with the same info, but everybody doesn't always visit the same blogs.

To start with, I went to the thrift store to get a saucepan, measuring cups, and even silicone molds. Yep, I am gathering for another project I would like to try-soap making. But I will start with the easy ones first. I don't do well with failure.

The second step after finding a simple recipe, was to the grocery store. In Peace River, at the No Frills, this is what it cost me.

       Borax             - $4.29 for 2 kg box
       Washing Soda- $5.29 for 3 kg box
       Sunlight          - $2.19 for 2 bar package

Of course, depending where you live it maybe more or less.

You will need:

1 cup soap grated
1/2 c washing soda
1/2 c borax

I grated both bars up, measured out what I needed, and put the remaining soap into a quart jar for next time.



-add the ingredients and 1 1/2 quarts water into a saucepan, heat mixture, stir 'til completely dissolved and remove from heat.
-get a large container (like a 5 gallon bucket or a mop pail-make sure it is clean) anything that will hold about 10 quarts. Measure in 8 quarts of cold water, and add soapy mixture and stir.



-as it cools, the mixture turns to gel.
-pour into used laundry detergent containers or whatever you have. Leave some headroom for shaking.


-shake before every use, approximately 1/2 cup per load-adjust for dirtiness.

You can add essential oils. I haven't yet. I have made this twice now. But my son, told me "It doesn't have any smell. Can't you add something to it?" So I shall next time. I took me less than 30 minutes to make this. What took me the longest was pouring the soap into my jugs. At the time I didn't own any funnels, which now has been rectified.
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