Thursday, November 18, 2010

Berry Crazyiness part 2

The chokecherry syrup came out delicious, Hubby wants to keep all remaining jars for himself! We did find elderberries (not what I was expecting, plant wise) and made some jelly/jam and chutney.
THEN...(as if I wasn't canning crazy enough) we picked 50 pounds of grapes from my parents back yard!!! We'll be trying the grape jelly at Thanksgiving. :)

Time for some pictures....

Monday, September 6, 2010

Berry Crazyiness

It was supposed to be a nice family outing, looking for Elderberries, chokecherries, currants and other wild edible berries. While it WAS a fun family outing, it turned into a ChokeCherry Frenzy!!! hahahaha we brought back 22 pounds!! And easily could have picked 20, even 40 pounds more.

I've never made chokecherry jam/jelly/syrup before tonight. Definitely need to learn some tips of the trade.

At least the 6 jars of jam have all "pinged" and set their seals.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated, as I have barely made a dent in the haul of cherries, and we are taking our friends out to the "secret spot" next weekend.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Alaskan Wild Mushrooms

I fell in love with all the little "Mushroom Cities" I saw along the road sides and in the woods. Looked just like little fairy cities too me.

Traveling Gnome

Thursday, September 2, 2010

County Fair time!

Darn! Forgot to take a picture of my crocheted things before I took them down to the fair. I'll get a pic tomorrow, or maybe Monday when I pick em up. Hoping to get some ribbons! This is the first time in years that I've entered anything in the fair. Kinda nervous, kinda excited, don't know why. It almost feels like showing off, hahaha.

We're also going to watch the livestock showmanship competitions by the 4-Hers. Shawn will be old enough to join here in another two weeks! I hope he enjoys it as much as I did, finds something to be passionate about and work towards.

More pictures coming soon, of all sorts of stuff. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Two of my favorite things

My two favorite souvenirs from our visit to Alaska

This blanket was crocheted by my Grammie (paternal grandmother). I found it in her basement, while helping to tidy things up, in bag stuffed in a box with other odds and ends (old drapes, towels, rugs, dust rags). She doesn't crochet anymore. I still have all the little toys and pillows that she sent at Christmas when I was little, and the items that she made for Shawn when he was a baby. Perhaps she is part of the reason I am so in love with Amigurumi and other small crocheted toys. I'll have to get all those little guys she made together for another post.

I LOVE how the granny squares are all different. And it's round. I'm thinking it's a scrap-ghan. To me it's the crochet jackpot! Now I have a Grammie blanket for my house! My mother has had a ripple afghan made by Grammie on her couch for as long as I can remember.
Grammie hasn't crocheted in years, so I'm thinking this is at least 10 years old. She doesn't remember when she made it. But it's like brand new!!

This was a treasure from my GGMA (maternal grandmother). Do you recognize what it is??? It's an old butter churn! With all the talk we've been doing of getting a milk cow (3 boys, gonna be teenagers at the same time, they can help milk that cow!) I've been playing around with home made butter. Buying cream at the store and shaking a jar. Hubby fondly recalls living out at the ranch with a big, doe eyed Jersey milk cow, and his mom making butter (she had an electric jobber) GGMa tells me "I have just the thing for ya. It's just gathering dust around here." While we were visiting she brings this out for me!
The lid is cracked around the rim, so I was thinking a little JB Weld should fix it up. In talking with a fellow crafting lady, who also loves antiques, I mention this guy. She says, as is, it's worth about $300. DO NOT attempt to repair it! That sometime you can find the jars, sometimes the lids with the crank and paddle, but together is quite rare.
While I think that's awesome, I WAS kinda looking forward to using it! After a bit of cleaning. I guess Hubby will just have to find me something else. After we get that cow. :)

Fall is almost here!

The nights are getting awful chilly, I've had to cover my tomato plants due to frost danger (hopefully I'll get some ripe ones before the big frost!).

The boys are back in school. With Paul starting Kindergarden this year I have mornings to myself! How fast the few hours seem to go.

Fair is this weekend. I plan to enter some of my crochet, and possibly some canned goods. We're going to try to watch the 4-H shows, namely the beef and poultry, to give Shawn an idea of what he can do next year. I'm so excited that he's finally old enough to join 4-H! I loved my time in 4-H (9 years) and I hope he finds some things that spark his interest.

I've been doing a lot of canning lately. My friend and I spent a whole day making chicken stock and canning it in the pressure canner. We started boiling down chicken carcasses and feet around 9am and finished up around 11pm. Whew what a day! Soups and stews are one of my favorite things about the cooler weather! I've also put up some beet greens, 9 pints of strawberry jam, salsa, diced tomatoes in their own juice, dilly green beans and plain ole green beans. I'm thinking I'll do more tomatoes and jam before prices on them go sky high. I've been buying them in bulk at a local produce supplier. Gotta make more ketchup today before the last of the tomatoes spoil. And I could use the room in the fridge!

My poor garden didn't do much this year. No ripe tomatoes yet and NO strawberries, except maybe 5 that the birds got. Time to freshen up the strawberry patch. The green beans are doing good, but they got a late start too. Note to self-check green beans today! There has been enough to have with dinner a few nights, I hope to get a good bunch to can.

The Swiss Chard did awesome! I found a great Italian recipe for it. The beets did quite well, but I didn't thin much, so not too many big ones. But the greens were tender and useable. The turnips did well too, but again I didn't thin enough when they were little. There was still a fair amount of decent sized ones. I left some smaller ones in the garden, as the greens were already moth eaten, so hopefully they'll plump up a bit. Now the question is, what do I do with them?? Lettuce was good this year too. I forgot I had planted little Romaine lettuce and mistakenly took it for Spinach that we had missed (yumm, the spinach was good too!). When I started rinsing it off and the "big" bunches were falling apart into little bunches I realized what it was! It was a nice surprise.

The little birds (the buffs and Silver laced Wyandottes) are out with the big girls now. They are soo cute to watch. They recognize me when I come outside and come running. We butchered the two roos that had come from my hatching efforts along with the meat birds. They were starting to harass the girls too much, and were related to some of em, so we figured putting them in the freezer was best.
I picked up a Speckled Sussex rooster from a lady in town. Shawn named him Bob (I call him Bob-a-Roo-ni). He's an easy going guy, and not related to any of them. He just started crowing today. I was wondering about him. Hearing the juvenile roos learn to crow is pretty funny. Almost sounds like they are being strangled. He sounds like he's saying "Booooooo-oohhh".

Ribeye and DaisyMae are getting so big! We let them graze the yard, but it has to be under close supervision, as they have discovered that chicken feed tastes good (but not as good as their grain) and that my little trees work ok for rubbing their big fat heads on. But that ticks me off!! I've worked hard to grow the poor little trees, to see them destroyed in a matter of seconds gets my blood boiling! The pasture should be up and growing next spring (we're planting crested wheat this fall), so they should have more grazing then. And the horses. Although the horses have done their fair share of damage to my trees.

Poor old Annie. She got a huge wound on her left hind fetlock the week before we went to Alaska. Thankfully I have some great friends that helped me out, changing her bandage daily and giving her her senior feed. But she is going downhill fast. She has Cushings disease, had a huge twisted gut surgery about 17 years ago, is going deaf (or getting selective hearing, hehe) and her eyes are clouding over. Her night vision is about shot. The vet put her body scale at about 2-3 when he came to fix up her leg, and she's dropped since then. Not for lack of eating. And eating, and eating. It's her metabolic issues (part of the Cushings and the surgery) and age. I said a few years ago that I couldn't look out and see her looking so skeletal (like an old horse down the road), but now that it's at that point.......It's so hard! She's still got such spark! But she won't make it through another High Desert winter. No way, no how. Not even with a huge pile of quilted, super warm horsey blankets. I'm gonna let her enjoy the rest of the nice weather, graze the yard to her heart's content (except when she scarfs down the chicken feed) and then....I'll have to say goodbye.
She was the first horse we bought when we moved to Nevada, has done it all. Pony Club (3' double oxers!), rodeo (she's the horse who wants IN to the barrel arena, not balking away from the gate), parades (side saddle, with an old bridesmaid dress; flags galore), and 4-H horse shows (local and state) out the wazoo. She's taught my boys (and countless other children) about horsey etiquette, brushing, picking of feet, haltering, riding, balance in the saddle, and a million more things. THIS IS SO HARD!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010


It's been a whole month since I've posted anything on this silly, lovely blog! But I *Think* about posting a lot. Does that count? Someday I'll catch up, not just on the blog, but all the other crazy things happening in my life! Like laundry! :P

I have wonderful pictures of the Leahman caves in the Great Basin National Park to post. It was cool. Cool to take my boys down into the depths of the earth, cool to take my Grandma (who vistited from Alaska-I got to have her for a whole week!), cool to be there again and see all the stuff.

I've been doing some canning in the cool evening hours, which usually means I don't get to bed on those days until around midnight! The Spicy Pickled beets were surprisingly easy, didn't stain my hands red for weeks (It lasted maybe an hour!) and were, best of all, DELICIOUS!! I think we've eaten them all already! Some did head back north with GGMA (my grandma), and maybe some made it to Salt Lake with my mom, but I pretty sure there are no more in the pantry. And I didn't get any pictures. Guess I'll just have to make more!

I'm currently in Salt Lake City for Dr appointments, but I plan on stopping on the way home to get some salt from the salt flats, take some pictures of things like The Great Salt Lake, the Morton Salt plant, the weird tree on the salt flats (with my phone, since my camera is at home on the desk).

I got 10 more chickies, cuz at 13 laying hens I don't think I had enough (ya right! I'm just addicted to chickens!). 5 Buff Orpington hens and 5 Silver Laced Wyandottes (sp? but I don't want to look it up right now). The SL Wyandottes are going to be so pretty! And Easy to find in the drab desert ladscape. I got 3 hens, and ordered 2 of em to be roos! Shhhhh-don't tell Dad! lol This was before we knew if any of the ones that I hatched would be roos, or at least how many. I have four of those guys left, two roos and two hens. A pair of Browns (Brown Roo looks like the Daddy roo), and a pair of yellow/golds. They have lots of white. Both little Roos are learning to crow. It's sooooo funny. Sounds like someone is choking them! But Mikey is OK with those boys, so I'm pretty sure he'll be ok with some SLW boys. Plus, they'll be so pretty!

I have a ton of pictures to post, once I actually download them off the camera onto my home computer.

This turned out to be a pretty good update, for a "quick, out of town update".


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wearing myself out!

I got up at 6:30 (I slept in an hour!) to work horses. Bolt got saddled up, Annie got to go eat some senior feed and pre-breakfast, and Whiskey got saddled up as well.
Whiskey got to stand next to Annie, to think some things out and work some kinks out. He's learning some patience.
Bolt (I'm changing his name to Hank the Tank) got to work in the newly cleared bottom pasture/arena with me. He was having issues with trying to force his way back up the driveway. So we went on a outing. He needed it. Bolt is LAZY! We went to "the creekbed" for some good galloping time, and the sand is excellent exercise to get this chubby horse toned up.
Got home to put Whiskey back in the pasture, cool Bolt out and give him a bath (he did excellent, his first whole body bath!) and Annie needed a rinse too. Finally all the horses get breakfast..It's only 10.

A small break (while filling up water for birds and horses) and then it's off to the garden. Pull some weeds. Spend 4 hours planting the rest of the garden-turnips, parsnips, beets, cucumbers, a block of corn, and three rows of green beans.

Now it's time to clean up the kitchen and start the scalloped potatoes. Perhaps I'll get a shower after dinner.

NO Wonder 5 am seems to be getting sooner and sooner!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


My mother's day rose needs planted.I actually got tulips this year! But the chickens have since destroyed this side. I didn't have enough fence to make it over here.

There are sunflowers in this, can you see them? I'm so excited, I'll have big beautiful sunflowers against the house this year.
More of my pretty PINK tulips. In honor of my Aunt Lorie, who fought breast cancer valiantly for over 10 years. We miss you and love you, LaLa!

The new Chicken Digs

This is my new chicken coop! Yay!Back view, the nest boxes are here
Lift up the board and there are now 6 nest boxes, which, hooray!, they are laying in!
I love the cute little door! (And my dear hubby's cute bum, lol)
The roosts. It took them a few days to get used to em, but they are roosting there at night now.
The first day I was sitting inside, trying to bribe them in with scratch grains and cat food. Didn't work.

I had to gather them up the first few nights, and lock them in, but now they all go in at dark. The 6 "big girls" and my 6 "teen ager" golds. The little babies will soon be joining them, but for now they like to sleep under neath or in their hay "hotel". But the gates didn't get closed and the cows came in and munched the hay hotel a bit, so it might be just under the Hen House. We'll see.

I've been locking them in at night, as it seems it was the wee hours of the morning that neighbor dogs and/or coyotes were grabbing girls (and Mr. Roo) out of the old dog house/hen house. I've been getting up at 5:30 to let them out, but it's getting light earlier now, so soon I'll probably be rising at 5, or even 4:30. Do I dare go back to bed, or stay up and drink coffee??

Crochet the day away

That's what I did all weekend! The boys went to Nana & Papa's house, which left some wonderful quiet time for Mikey and I.

Saturday Mikey finally helped with the project at church he agreed to months ago, so I sat in the pew, spread out on a few chairs and crocheted in church. Then our afternoon plans got a little rearranged, so I crocheted while watching a movie, and Mikey fixed up dinner. Even brought it to me in my crochet spot! Perhaps because I was finally working on his cardigan again? Don't stop the progress! hehehe

Then I crocheted Sunday afternoon until it was time to go get the boys, and some more before bed!

And now, drat, I'm out of yarn!!! Turns out the color Mikey picked comes in different length balls than the colors called for in the pattern. Shorter by 80 yards per ball!! We thought we had plenty of yarn, extra even, and it turns out we are short by probably 2 balls.

Soooo....I've had to work on a few other WIP's. Almost done with the green dragon, another long standing WIP. And Mikey can't whine at me about not working on the cardigan, because I'm waiting on more yarn.

And now I've started some baby shower gifts for a shower on the 5th, for a lady at church. Two weeks to get two little turtle rattles done, and possibly some booties. One set for a boy, another set for a girl. They are doing a "Surprise shower in a box" for a friend that moved out of state. I'll get to make something PINK!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pomp Poodle, in pink

I know, I have a enough projects in the works right now, but she's soo cute! Check her out at .
And since it's a crochet along, perhaps she'll actually get done in a decent amount of time??

Ugghh, buying this yarn breaks the "Yarn Challenge". Does it still count if I win the yarn? That would be pretty sweet! FIVE lucky people will win a gift basket with all the yarn to make Ms. Poodle, and I found out you can enter once a day until May 24th. *Note to self- enter every day; get coffee, enter contest, then check email, etc.* I don't think I've ever won any of these little contests, but it's fun to try!

Once I get one little cutie poodle done I have lots of different weights of yarn, to make them in all sizes and colors. Perhaps by Christmas I could get a whole pile of them done, I have lots of nieces!
I just might have to keep on for myself, too.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sierra Nevada Cardigan

My first piece of clothing.
Hand picked by my hubby.
He even went to the yarn website, chose his color and placed the order.

I need help figuring out the seams for the top of the shoulders.

I don't want a bulky, poke out noticeable seam.
Any ideas??

I've only been working on this since October 09. LOL
I need to get this done, so I can pick up a million other projects, without feeling guilty about starting something else.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

MJF potholder swap

One of the potholders I crocheted for Beth. Front and back.

just realized I forgot to take a picture of the other one. Drat. It was white on one side and a sage-y green, with a multi green and white trim.

I'll take pictures of the adorable green Pear potholders she sent me. Love em!

MJF crochet swap

One of my first swaps on the MaryJanesFarmgirl forum was a crochet or knit swap.

I received this lovely piece of work from Ms. Anna Y. Love it!!

An awesome crochet rug, made from fabric strips. It's also one of Russ's favorites. He watches me lay it out straight, and then rolls in it and musses it up again. Silly puppy.

I have a ton of t-shirts saved to cut up for rugs...Just need to get the cutting done. And perhaps a few more of my WIP's. :)

In return I sent her these:

I bought the yarn a while back, thinking something would pop up that I could make with it. Perhaps felting...I tried a small piece to felt, and in my opinion it flopped.
And then I came across the pattern for these "Orchard Mitts". I love em! I do believe I'll be working up some for myself, and my mom.

I may be hunting down more of the yarn. I was wonderful to work with! It's wool, but silky and soft, not itchy at all.....Now that I think about it I'm not sure I sent Anna any info on the yarn, in case they need washed!

I was making another swap at the same time and had some yarn left over. So I crafted a few scrubbies. A bonus for Anna.
This yarn makes me think of sunshine, and rainbow sorbet.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Look at this little Rascal. His name is Russ. He's got the coolest eyes, one a light blue, one half blue half brown. And he piddles. Especially when excited. Ugh. Good thing it's old carpet, hopefully soon to be replaced.

Here's puppy Russ. A cute little snuggler.

Dad is my blue heeler Jack, who thinks he's my first son. hahaa. Mom is our half corgi, half cow dog (heeler, aussie shepherd) Midget.

Just thought these pics were too cute to just sit on my computer and not share. Especially the top one!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Big day out

The "babies", two turkey poults and 9 chicks that I hatched in my incubator, are growing bored of the brooder box. Whenever the screen is lifted they have a "play day".

So, with a warm spring day upon us I took them outside to the "tractor box".

They are 15 days old in these pictures. Another two weeks and they should be ready to go outside full time, weather permitting.

I wonder how many of the 9 will end up being hens?

Chicken Math

My ever growing chicken flock was explained to me as....Chicken Math!!

Chicken Math is when you go to the feedstore to pick up your order, and they tell you that they have 25, even though you only ordered 20. There wasn't anyone else who ordered this type of chick, so they can all go with you, if you'd like to pay for those extra 5.

And you say "Sure. Why not? I'm already getting 20....and they don't have anywhere else to go. What's 5 more?"

Oh Goodness!!!!

I'm not calling them "the babies", I'm calling them "the piggies!!" I've cleaned their brooder box out three times in barely 24 hours! It is a bit small......Let the box hunt begin!!!