Monday, August 27, 2012

Around the farm stuff...

I must admit that although our garden and farm are still producing, by this time of year, my get-up-and-go kind of goes. I'm not checking on it like I should be. Granted, it's waning. But, we do have tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, and jalapenos that are coming in. I've put a few pints of beans by and some salsa as well. Last year I turned to freezing because of the ease and speed, but this year I am considering the benefits of the preserved food being able to sit on a shelf as opposed to spending money keeping it cold. We have two upright freezers that live in the basement and they stay pretty full with meat: farm-raised rabbit, pork, and chicken; venison and squirrel; and beef from down the road. Any space I could free up in the freezer would be good. Occasionally I get a little help in the garden. I call for my "eagle eyes" to find the green beans hiding in the depths of the plant. They come in night gowns or sometimes nothing at all to help me pick for a minute or two. Or, at least stand there with me while I pick.

My favorite tool for harvest is my apron. I find myself tying one on frequently in the kitchen or when I'm headed out to pick. Although, I have recently been designing one in my head that has a toggle for easy carrying. 

In other news, we took our goat Louisa, to the open goat show at the Harrison County Fair this year. Last year, Cam went just to observe and see what it was all about. This is not the 4H show for the kiddos, anyone can enter. So, we took a goat this year to see how she'd do and for the experience. Turns out, she WON! Grand Champion! She not only won her category of senior does (she's actually just a yearling milker), but she won overall! We were so pleased!
Showing goats has some rules to it, you see. Cam was really not familiar with the showmanship aspect of it. Luckily, the families that were there were very friendly and helpful. One loaned Cam their clippers to trip Louisa's tail in the required fashion (buzzed with a tuft on the end). They gave him pointers for the future about how to spruce her up a bit for the competition. It was great. They were even whispering pointers in the ring about where to stand. Now, that's sportsmanship.

We all went to cheer Cam and Louisa on. Lila told Cam afterward he'd done a "stupendous job!". We were very proud of both of them. 

Cam tried really hard to get a good pic of Louisa with her ribbons. She was none too cooperative. She's trying to flee the scene! We hope that next year Lila will take the reigns and show the goats in mini-4H.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mollukah XXX

I turned 30 last weekend! It was a grand celebration with friends and family of all ages. 

 I used wrapping paper for a table runner. I was looking for something inexpensive and beautiful and came across this at Target. I was then able to scan the pattern in and use the flowers on the cards for the table.

 My dad brought beautiful flowers to put in vases.

These "fairy lights" were hung from the tree boughs.

Ezra and I chowed down on the cake and ice cream pops. I made ice cream balls, dipped them in homemade magic shell (2 parts chocolate, 1 part coconut oil melt and mix) and Maggie helped me sprinkle them with red sprinkles. They were delish and a very easy way for everyone to literally grab their ice cream instead of waiting to have it dipped out.

Jeremiah and his Momma, Kim
 After the kiddies enjoyed being kids, the music got started. My friend Susan was there and she did some contra dance calling. She called at our wedding, as well. It really was a lot of fun. The littles just squealed with glee and didn't want it to end! The musicians followed that by a couple waltzes and we all had a lovely time. At that point, the evil bedtime monster struck every last one of those littles and we all knew it was time to wrap up. However, the musicians played on late into the night with the candle lights flickering. What a fabulous way to celebrate my 30th year!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

First day of Kindergarten

Lila and her buddy "Blue"
My girl started kindergarten last week. I did not think I would be that mom, my mom always called me "hard-hearted Hannah" because it was so hard to get me teary. Of course, that was when I was ten. Kindergarten really threw me for a loop. My brave little girl has never stayed with anyone but family or close friends and rarely for more than a few hours. But, she was ready! I distinctly remember thinking shortly after she was born, "Some day she'll start school. That feels like an eternity away. Five years." And now, the day has come and gone. Time really does fly when you're having fun.

Daddy made a special pancake breakfast on request. Including whipped cream hair (partially eaten in photo), a chocolatey face, and scrambled egg beard. She woke up happy and energetic, willingly ate her breakfast, and eagerly got dressed in the outfit she picked out the night before.

She was so eager, in fact, that we had time to kill before we had to leave for school. So the girls snuggled on the couch with their matching "snake tongue" hair-dos and watched Bob Ross paint some happy little trees. We don't have any reception for TV, so the girls have interesting viewing habits. Some of their favorite DVDs are "Primetime Bucks" "Whitetail Madness XI", "Strawberry Shortcake", and "Bob Ross". Typing this makes me laugh. The funnier part is, the only time they really watch these DVDs is when Cam is exercising. Most people exercise to an actual workout DVD, but not my husband. He burns some calories to Strawberry Shortcake and Bob Ross.

Anyway, back to the kindergarten girl. She wrote her own name on the board. I'm interested to see how her "signature" of sorts changes this year. They have already started writing in "the kindergarten way". She was so proud to go to school. 

Sisterly love. A rare moment caught on film.
We have been wondering how all this would go in regards to Lila and Maggie being apart and Maggie being at home alone. Let me tell you, Maggie does not mind one bit. She is in hog heaven getting never-before-seen-one-on-one-time with grandparents and parents! She thinks it's the greatest thing ever. When Lila gets in the car after school, they are so sweet to each other for like two minutes. It's a joy to behold. Maggie is starting dance class with Miss Sally this fall. As luck would have it, Miss Sally (or Miss Hally to Maggie) had a drop-in class on Lila's first day of school, so Maggie got to go to dance class while Lila went to school. Worked out beautifully.

Lila had her heart set on an Ariel backpack, so we found one on Amazon and ordered it. It claimed that it came with an attached "lunch box". The zipper compartment that is attached is no more a lunch box than a paper sack is. It is made from the same fabric as the backpack, has no insulation, and is rather small. So, I set out to work making her one.

I followed the pattern in One Yard Wonders except that I added a strap for her to carry it with. You can't tell, but the pink side is "quilted" with a little wave pattern. Awww... She loved it and told me it was perfect. After my heart melted, I gave her a big hug. This big kindergartener of mine. When we picked her up, we were so nervous about how her day had gone. We were relieved to see a big smile on her face. When asked what her favorite part was, she simply replied, "The whole day".