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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

 This is what I bought myself for my birthday, which will come as no surprise to those who know that I love old sewing machines!  This one is PINK.  I have never been a fan of pink, except nowadays I seem to be leaning more and more towards it (scary thought).  When I was a child, I was an 'in the dirt, up a tree, wearing jeans, loves the color brown' kind of girl.  Now.......well, nothing's changed.  I just sort of like pink on this sewing machine!  (It's an Atlas, by the way - made in the 50's.....)




This is the first of the strawberries from my garden.  We're lucky to have gotten any of them!  THINGS come out of the woods and eat everything - rabbits, deer, elk, raccoons, crows, robins, mountain beavers....you name it.  Somewhere our place is published in WildThings Weekly as the place to be if you're looking for a good meal!
 This yummy pile of stuff is all from our place (yesterday's dinner).  We just got our butchered pork back, so that is a nice pork sausage patty with (real) maple syrup drizzled over.  New potatoes with (real) butter & dill, a fresh little cauliflower & some delectable broccoli.  Oh, wow.  What could be better?
It all went downhill after dinner, however.  Only 5 of the 6 milk goats showed up for milking.  One was way down at the bottom of the pasture BELLOWING from the wrong side of the fence.  And it was raining.  Hard.  Blech.



If my mom wasn't having chemo treatments every week, I would spend less money ;-)  Here is some of the fun LOOT that I picked up this week......The book is called 'Play With Your Food' and it's a HOOT!  I LOVE IT!   I'll use the old stuff in some of my Ebay primitive projects.
 Here's the rest of my plunder.  I already made a primitive little dress (see the next pic) out of the ticking fabric.

The springy things you see are rabbit water bottle holders - for my rabbits, of course!  I have English Lops, New Zealands and a couple of Mini Lops.  I'll take pictures of the litter of English Lops again when they get a little bigger.  SUPER CUTE and loveable - that's English Lops!  Ours are some of the most rare colors around - Black/Orange & Blue/Fawn Tri-colors, Magpies & Sable Points!



 Here's the primitive little dress I made and listed today.......

The bird's nests we found around in the woods, and the little sewing machine is a German one I found on the way home from a rabbit show at a creepy little Antique shop off in the woods......
These grungy sunflowers have been popular - these in particular as they have vintage quilt blocks in their centers.  After I sew them, I 'grunge' them with a coffee/spice mixture to make them look aged and primitive.  Then people display them tucked here and there in their vintage decor!







The weatherman has promised that today and tomorrow are our last days of rain for the time being and the temperatures are finally supposed to climb up near 80*.  We will think it is WAY TOO HOT as we are used to our cool damp climate!  However, we will make every effort to adjust - perhaps even wearing sandals and capris!

The vegetation has enjoyed our mild wet weather immensely (pun intended) and I'll have to spend much time beating it back into submission!  Off to finish making dinner.....tonight is Salisbury Steaks, mashed potatoes and peas.......and leftover pumpkin pie & iced apple pie for dessert ;-)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

 This past Thursday was my birthday.  I ate as many chocolate chip cookies and toasted angel food cake as I wanted.  Do you toast your angel food cake?  You should.  Slice it, broil it on both sides under the broiler in your oven until it is toasted, then butter it quick while it's still hot and DEVOUR nibble delicately with a fabulous cup of coffee!
 I was feeling terribly magnanimous, so I allowed other members of the family to eat my angel food cake, too.  Once you've tasted toasted angel food cake (say THAT fast five times!), you will understand just how benevolent and charitable that was of me.....
I got the usual birthday gifts.....a handmade crow with porcupine claw beak and a pair of hand made pieced wall quilts.  Isn't that what you got on YOUR birthday?
 We love hand made gifts around here.  It is so heart warming and special to know that someone spent their time making a gift just for you!
 I make and sell primitives on Ebay.  Yesterday I made strawberries to go with a rag doll and a pair of crows I sewed.  My strawberries are made of muslin and stuffed, then painted.  I even stitched little seeds on.   Don't laugh......people do buy them :-)
 Here's what my crows and rag doll looked like just after painting......
 I took pictures of my finished crows out in the strawberry patch.  This one is named 'Rascal' and the other one has a tag that says 'Pesky' on it!

Actually, it's the robins and Steller's Jays that steal my strawberries......and of course the Wererabbits.
 Here's the rag doll all finished, too.  I pinch-sewed her face and made up the pattern for her & her clothes with help from my daughter.  I think I've sold at least a couple dozen or more rag dolls now.
 Ok, enough having fun sewing & painting, now back to my real life of doing chores & farm stuff!
Here you can see how my little baby English Lop bunnies are growing like little weeds!
 This is Old Roy and Texas Jack - our newest bottle babies.  We're milking 6 goats right now and feeding these two guys, and of course an assortment of goat kids.  The calves came to us about 5 days ago - both about 3 or 4 days old.  Roy is doing GREAT.  Poor Texas Jack has the scours and we're working hard to get him over it.  I medicate him day & night and feed him electrolytes midday, but he's struggling.
 I'm sure this Wererabbit is giving me a dirty look.  We're on a dead end road surrounded by Weyerhauser Timber land and I'm pretty certain that if we were to leave for a couple weeks, the wilderness would completely take over!
 This is a pack rat.  He was in my rabbit house this morning!  Here's what wikipedia says about them:
Pack rats are nest builders. They use plant material such as branches, twigs, sticks, and other available debris. Getting into everything from attics to car engines, stealing their ‘treasures’, damaging electrical wiring, and creating general noisy havoc can easily cause them to become a nuisance.A peculiar characteristic is that if they find something they want, they will drop what they are currently carrying, for example a piece of cactus, and "trade" it for the new item. They are particularly fond of shiny objects.
 They forgot to mention that since they are rodents, they are also STINKY!

Here's our snack on the porch this afternoon since the weather was so nice......
See, sometimes we eat fresh fruit with our dessert and coffee!
It's been a busy week and I only mentioned a few things!  We've also been setting up to pour concrete in the barn & weeding the garden & flower beds.  The weather has been warm & wet, so I think you could watch the weeds grow.

We ate our first lettuce from the garden tonight in our salads to go with Chinese Pork Blobs & Rice and baked Yams.

I love Spring & Summer, but the work is killer!  Two cups of Epsom Salts in my hot bath water tonight!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cinnamon Biscuits - Definition:  A super-quick way to fake people into believing you slaved in the kitchen to make something fancy to go with your coffee!   Roll out biscuit dough (anybody can make biscuits.....), spread a little butter, sugar and cinnamon on, slice & bake at 425* for about 10 minutes, then throw on a bit of icing and VOILA! 
 Whilst you are waiting the ten minutes for them to bake and you have already whipped out a dab of icing, you can start a pot of COFFEE (essential ingredient in any happy gathering.....)

“A cup of coffee, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream…such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all.” – H. W. Beecher
 Remember all those pineapples we canned?  Well now we've used a jar to make pineapple cupcakes!  No, we don't live on dessert, but it sure does look like it here, doesn't it????
 I've cleaned and repaired about 3 old Singers in the last couple days.  I've still got a couple on the bench, but the sunshine was calling and I've been weeding & transplanting, mowing & raking....
 This is the chalk board above the goat milking stanchions in the barn.  Got any favorite 'pain' sayings to add for this week's outdoor theme?
 This is our most benevolent cat, Baby Deeds.  She sits around the farm, here & there surveying the scenery & life as it goes along.  Usually she is smiling.  Today she is wondering why I don't just fill the dishes with cat food and goat milk and put the camera away....
 As a child I dreamed of living on a farm.  I ached to live on a farm.  I wanted it more than anything in life.
I love this farm and praise God every day for the blessing of being the ones chosen to work this piece of ground for this time in history.  Thank you God for answering those childhood yearnings with such a fabulous blessing!
 If you look closely, you'll see the goat kiddies waiting at the gate by their bucket feeder, waiting (and hollering LOUDLY) for us to get the milking done.  Clawdette sat for the picture for a moment, but she hates the other cats and will run away presently.  (There, now do you hear the baby goats hollering?)
This picture that heads down to our valley reminded me of Robert Frost's well-known poem....








The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost (1874–1963


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


I had no idea until I copied this poem today that Robert Frost was still alive during my childhood!  He died in 1963!   I also found out from reading about him (googled it) that many people in his family suffered from mental illness.  He himself suffered depression (a form of mental illness?).......Do you think all creative people/people who write/people who write blogs suffer from mental illness?  (Not to make light of mental illness, but do you think there's a correlation?)

Well, I'm off.........(take that how you will.......)


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

 This is a bad picture of our beloved family piano.  All my kids play piano, except they aren't really kids anymore.....except to me.
We all LOVE to sing and we LOVE to sing hymns to the Lord!  My daughter asked me if I liked "Living for Jesus".....how's that for a loaded question?  (My answer was "I do!" of course!)
 This is my beloved Weck.  In case you don't know,  this is a water bath canner, which means you don't have to take up a burner space while water bath canning!  Or it can heat water for filling jars when pressure canning!  I LOVE my Weck!
Remember all those pineapples?
 Well, first I cut them up.  And then I sampled a piece.  Sweet and deliciously ripe!
 Now you wish you had fresh pineapple to sample gorge on taste don't you?
 Canning pineapple is super easy.  Is it cheaper than buying it?  No.  Then why do it?  Well, because it's sweeter and tastier and because I wanted to!  Besides what would you do with them all if YOUR husband brought home 20 of them?
 My mom lives with us and she's got Multiple Myeloma.  That's a cancer of the bones & blood.  She has treatments twice, sometimes three times a week.  (She's doing well.)  Today was one of them, so while we were in town we stopped at a thrift shop and I found some interesting goodies to play with!
I make & sell primitives on Ebay, so I found some rusty wire, bells, three small grapevine wreaths, decorative excelsior (fake grass) a quilt magazine and some cloth napkins. 
This is what we're thinking about now.  At least we will be when it stops raining!  This was my view last year while we brought our hay in.....I drive.  I do not lift hay bales.  I repeat:  I do not lift hay bales!  (Do you think he's listening????) 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

 Did your pancakes have a message on them this morning?  Ours did......anyone have a clue what it means???

P.S.  These are from scratch, of course.  Easy peasy.
 After breakfast (included real maple syrup from Costco and COFFEE, of course!) off to do my morning farm chores!  Checked on my litter of English Lop bunnies - they're about 5 days old now and so far looking pretty good!  Don't you love that little white & black spotted one curled up on top?  The coloring is called Magpie and I'm surely hoping that one is a keeper!
 Husband was out early and shot a were rabbit (oops! that's what we call them around here...).  Actually it's just a wild bunny that raids the garden all the time!  The coyote population is diminished and we're overrun with rabbits this year.  This is Baby DeeDee and she has claimed this feast as her own!  (Farm life is not for the faint-of-heart).  Wouldn't it be nice if she'd get a taste for wild rabbit and keep the population down a bit?
 On to my chosen job for the day....WEEDS!  My flower beds are coming back!  I'm winning the war on weeds (famous last words...).  Actually this is just one teensy spot that needed weeding and LOOK at that ridiculously large pile of weeds.  UGH.  I may not survive.
Epsom salts bath for me tonight!
 Honesty (also known as Money Plant - figure that out!) where it self-seeded under the steps.  This is on the north side of the house and gets mossy & needs painting every year!
 VIOLETS!
 BEARDED IRIS!
 SNAPDRAGONS!
Ok, I got tired of being outside (and just plain TIRED) and I never did make my son's chosen birthday cake back in May, so I came in and made Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake from the Mitford Series written by Jan Karon.  I LOVE those books and who wouldn't love this cake????  And then we ate it!
PERFECT after all that weeding!  Now I'm signing off and the day is not over yet!  Still have evening milking to do and dinner to make........
Italian Bread Crumb Chicken sounds good...Yes???



Thursday, June 6, 2013

 We heat our house with this wood cookstove.  Ever heard people say that food tastes better cooked on a woodstove?  True, every word ;-)

It's mild enough that we don't need a fire now until this Fall.  Just so you know, I don't cook all our food on this stove......but I could if I needed to!
 We're milking 6 goats at the moment and the excess feeds the goat kiddies and a couple of bottle baby calves.  Right now we've got three kids almost weaned (10 weeks) and three kids about 3-6 weeks old we feed twice a day.  The latest calf is about 12 weeks old and could be weaned, but then what would we do with the extra milk?

We were raising a pig, but he's at the butcher and soon will be coming home to Freezer Camp!
 Dearest Husband brought me TWENTY (you got it, honey, that's 20.....) pineapples!  What on EARTH do you do with 20 pineapples?  Well, you can them of course!  I'll do that in a couple more days when they've ripened a bit.  You think store canned pineapple is good?  Me, too, but you oughta taste home canned - ooooh baby!
We love to walk in our woods and one day last fall we found this grinning beast!  Wanna guess what it is?

I'm already looking forward to Winter (yep, that's what I said alright.)  I love the weather and being outside in Spring, Summer & Fall, but I get so BUSY that there aren't enough hours in the day and not enough day in me to do all the things I set out for myself!  I still haven't finished planting in the garden - the squash & carrots ought to go in!  Those 9 marionberry starts want out of their pots, the weeds in the flower beds are atrocious!  I want to quilt and write and read, but not much time for that until Winter sets in again!  Oh well, really I LOVE to weed (don't tell anyone) and of course Summer is the only time in W. Washington that it doesn't rain much.  Someone once said to my daughter "but it rains there all the time" to which she very honestly says, "oh, it only rains about 9 months out of the year - the rest of the time it's nice!"  Guess we're used to it :-) 
P.S.  It's the skull of a Roosevelt Elk.....