Friday, December 28, 2018

Winter Livestock Care

As the calendar pages flip from the exciting month of Christmas parties, gift wrapping, gift exchanges and all the other extras that December brings, farmers face the cold winter months of January and February. With the colder temps and the chances of snow, ice and bitter temperatures, most hobby farmers face a new set of challenges.

Hobby farming can mean most mornings you are up at daylight, but for a few winter months it may mean starting your morning and even evening feedings before it is daylight. Feeding in the dark can be a struggle. I highly recommend that you have a good flashlight to carry during those times that a trip to the barn can be a struggle due to the changing of daylight. Whether you could encounter a wild animal on your trip there or mice in the barn, a light is needed.

Preventing hypothermia is another step that farmers must take in the winter for themselves. A trip to the barn could be a life or death situation in the winter when accidentally slipping on ice and taking a fall. If injured, the situation could become dangerous quickly with the temperatures that many face in the winter months. A good pair of coveralls and a warm jacket as well as some heavy gloves are must haves during the next few months. Yes, they can feel cumbersome and hard to deal with, but protecting yourself is most important. Also, be fully aware of your feet with heavy thermal socks and great boots. Expense can be overlooked when it comes to being dressed for the weather.

Animals on the hobby farm can face new problems as well, so be winter aware of their needs as well. Depending on the animal, they may do fine, but some might need some extra care. You always want to make sure they have a warm and dry place to get into if they begin to feel the cold in the air as well.

If you happen to have horses on your farm, it is important to be aware that horses can sometimes be difficult to keep weight on in the winter. If you find that your loving companion is losing weight, there are a few things that you can remember to do that may help. A horse needs hay to graze on all winter. They get nutrition from it but they also get their "heat" from the hay. Also, adding some corn oil to their feed can help a horse to maintain weight throughout the winter months as well.

Keeping cows out of the bitter winds is the most important key to their winter care. I also believe that providing them a good barley or wheat straw will aid in the keeping warm process as well. Mature cattle are very sustainable in winter weather, but smaller cattle can be susceptible to the colder temperatures. I believe that grass hay is also some of the best feed for cattle even in the winter. Cattle that feed normally off of the grass in their pasture will need extra hay for the winter as the grass simply does not have the nutrients that they need.

I highly recommend that if you are new to the hobby farming life that you read as much as you can on the winter care of your animal/s before winter hits and be well prepared.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas

My family here on the farm wants to wish each of you the happiest of holidays. Today as most are busy preparing for the big day tomorrow, I am actually taking it easy and being thankful for the ones that I have near me and sending prayers for those that can not be a part of our celebration.

This is an older picture of our Elf on A Shelf, but Jolly Jingles wanted to say "Bye" to everyone and wish them a Merry Christmas as well. 
Here are a couple of the kids and their significant others. These girls have no idea how much they mean to me.  
These two men are a huge part of my life as well. The one on the left has been around over 25 years now and I must say that I still enjoy every Christmas that we have together. I can't locate a photo of my mother in law or son and girlfriend at the moment. 

Speaking of my son and his girlfriend, we had a nice visit with them yesterday and she bought me a nice bottle of blueberry Moscato wine and some wine glasses. I am pleased that she enjoys a good glass of wine as I do as well. 

I pray that you are all blessed with family, friends, and love tomorrow. Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas and my wish is for each of you to enjoy peace and plenty of joy!!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Last Minute Gifts

Hello all of my friends in blog world. How are you all? I'm good, I guess. I know that I have been busy planning and preparing for the holidays and realized yesterday just how close we are to it all being over. I hate the thought of that! I love the music, cheer, and excitement that comes along with the holiday season.

I also realized just how far behind I am! I only have a couple of the gifts that I intended to buy and I have not one thing made that I intended to make. UGH! I will do better next year! I promise I will. I have so many ideas and yet they seem to slip away and I am left with having to purchase items that I did not want too. This weekend will be spent looking for the items to replace those I intended to make.

I also have a friend picking up a gift for the hubby today and that should finalize his shopping once I pick up his scope at Walmart tonight. I know what I am looking for so that helps. No aimless wandering for me. LOL!! That is what he does when he shops and he loves the last minute stuff, which drives me crazy!

I want to share a video with you all today that reminds me of why we celebrate this season and the focus needs to be on the One who anchors our soul. This is a friend of mine, Buddy Mullins. I hope you enjoy!
Enjoy your weekend and I will return next week to share some more exciting farm news.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Christmas Baking

The granddoll and I have been quite busy today. She has her Christmas party after her gymnastics practice tonight and so I suggested that we make cupcakes. I cheated made things easier for myself by purchasing boxed cake mixes and I am glad that I did.

After finishing our first batch, my husband went to his mom's to see if she had the cupcake carrier and mentioned that we were making cupcakes so she wanted some along with his dad and the caregiver that was with them. After that he asked if I would make another batch since he was only getting one and it left nothing for the granddolls' parents. I agree since I had the cake mix. We could easily whip up a new batch and bake them and no real hurry to decorate them.

My grand doll loves to bake! She is good when she is baking and I believe Aunt Megan is buying her an Easy Bake oven for Christmas!! She likes to add the ingredients and to stir the mix. She tries to help put the batter into the cupcake liners or muffin tins, but she has not quite coordinated that yet. I love that she tries though!!

We wore our Christmas shirts today as well. Oh, I am certainly all natural here- no makeup or hair styled. 

Here is our finished product. I iced them and she added sprinkles! She likes to do that as well. 

Another one of her favorite activities is to have a tea party and we do that quite often! Today was no exception. 
We had our tea party while we waited on the first batch of cupcakes to bake so we had store bought Christmas cookies for our snack.  This is her newest tea set. It is only 2 cups with saucers and the tea pot but she loves it! 
We have to add honey to our hot tea so it goes in the small bowl and she has a spoon that she adds it with. 
No picture today Mammaw! She refused to look at the camera but kept saying take a picture of me. Little stinker!!!  I will add this to her scrapbook anyway. 
Here is a close up of her shirt as I think it is too adorable. It says Christmas Tree Rex! She loves dinosaurs and her favorite is T Rex so this fits her perfectly. She says her "daddy" bought it for her so I will have to ask him about it when I see him tonight. 

Well, life on the farm is waiting and it is about time to think about dinner so I better run. Have a great week and remember if you only have time to make boxed mixed cupcakes, they will work. Don't stress the small stuff this time of the year!! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Christmas Cookies

Making Christmas cookies is a tradition around here but I am looking to change the tradition just a bit. Usually, I am making them and everyone else is eating them. This year I wanted to include the grand doll in the tradition of making them.

At such a young age, I know her attention span does not allow her to be involved in the whole process but it actually went quite well. She was thrilled to be doing some of the mixing and was super excited to decorate them, but waiting for them to bake and cool was another story. She loves to learn new things though so she was listening intently while I explained different things in the recipe to her.

We made sure that it was a day that Mom was off as well so that she could help. We did not truly plan ahead or we would have done more baking, but it was still a fun day and time spent together means a lot at this time of the year especially.

More candy sprinkles on the mat means more for me to eat at the end, right?

I will make these two special for Pappaw!
Our sugar cookies, don't those look good?
Our gumdrop cookies look delicious too! 

If you are looking to do some baking for the holidays here are a couple of good recipes that you can use. 

Sugar Cutout Cookies

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream shortening and butter with sugar . Beat in egg, vanilla, and milk. Sift dry ingredients in slowly and beat until smooth and creamy. Chill for three hour, (although we did not do this). Roll a little dough at a time into 1/2 inch thickness and cut with floured cookie cutters. 

Bake 8-10 mins at 375 F. Makes about 3 dozen.

Gumdrop Cookies
1 egg
1/2 cut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup of gumdrops , cut in half

Beat eggs and sugars with butter . Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Ornament Swap Fun

A few weeks ago I signed up to take part in an ornament swap with The Enchanting Rose and was anxiously looking forward to this. I personally have never participated in anything like this but was willing to step outside my comfort zone a little and participate. I am so glad that I did.

On Friday, I came home to a box sitting on my porch addressed to me. I could hardly get my grand doll in the house and settled so that I could open it! It was from Angela Specht of Pennsylvania who writes here. She had enclosed a few very nice ornaments and some comforting items like tea and chocolate.
This is a cute picture of everything together . However, with the excitement that came with this I had to get individual pictures of the items that she was so very kind to send.
Everything was so nicely tucked into this adorable stocking! I love the design!!
These three ornaments were tucked into the stocking. The jingle bell looks western and I love that! Being that my favorite animals are zebras and horses, I would say an ornament would be a little more difficult to find but the red deer works perfectly. Considering I have red garland on my tree, he works in well.  I love the blue ornament as it is dated and I can place her name on the back and why I have it. 
Look at these delicious snowmen chocolates that I received! I love snowmen!!!!! I love chocolate!! I somehow did not manage to get a picture of the tea that she sent but I am enjoying a cup of the lemon zinger at the moment and a couple of these delicious snowmen.  Three packs of tea which I have thoroughly enjoyed over the weekend. Hot tea is one of my favorite drinks at this time of the year.
Being that I just got  the lights and garland on the tree today, I do not have the ornaments out of the attic yet, so Ang yours are the first ones here. The deer looks cute hanging here. 
The star is closer to the top of the tree so my grand doll doesn't play with the jingle bells too much. I may add it to the bathroom décor in a couple of days since it fits well with the western theme in there. 
Finally, the dated ornament is placed on the tree closer to the bottom as I want my grand doll to see the numbers as we talk about the season. I am super excited to have these new ornaments on my tree!! Thank you so much Ang!!!!

I also received a nice note from her telling me a bit about herself. She and I have quite a bit in common actually and I wrote a nice thank you to her and letter and hope that we can quickly become friends here. 

I am so thankful that I participated and I hope to do the same next year. My package is in the mail and I don't want to spoil the surprise yet as to who I mailed to, but I hope she likes hers as much as I like mine. 

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Saturday 9 -Call Me

Saturday 9 : I may be a day late but it is here. 

Saturday 9: Call Me (1966)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

1) Chris Montez sings that you can always call him, regardless of the hour. Do you believe that it's ever too late to phone someone?

A. It truly depends on the situation. If it is an emergency, then no. I do not think you should call before 8 am or after 9 pm though just to chat with someone. 

2) He insists that you can depend on him, even when your friends desert you. Who is someone you can trust to have your back, no matter what?

A. My husband and my kids. I also have 5 friends that I can count on for anything!

3) Billy Crystal serenades Meg Ryan -- via answering machine -- with "Call Me" in When Harry Met Sally. Answering machines have been replaced by voice mail. Who most recently left you a voice mail?

A. My daughter asking me about something she was to pick up at the store. 

4) Chris Montez is a graduate of El Camino College in Torrance, California. The average daytime temperature in November in Torrance is 70º. How is the weather where you are today?

A. The weather here today is decent. It is supposed to be in the mid 50's and sunny, but a little windy. I am thankful to see the sun shine. 

5) Today Chris actively promotes a healthy lifestyle to children. He was honored for his efforts by the group SOPA (Stop Obesity, Promote Activity). Do you believe you get enough exercise?

A. I don't really set to do a certain amount on physical activity, but with the grand doll being here, I get plenty. I also live on a small hobby farm so I can always find something to do. 

6) Released in late 1965, "Call Me" became a big hit in 1966, reaching #2 on the charts. Even though it sold millions of copies and was certified as a Gold Record, it never hit #1. Is winning, or being the best, important to you?

A. I strive to do my best in all that I do, but it is not always winning and I truly don't care. 

7) In 1966, when this was playing on juke boxes, kids were watching Batman and Star Trek. If you had your choice of watching an episode right now, which would you choose: Star Trek or Batman?

A. I never liked Star Trek so it would have to be Batman. After all, who doesn't like a Super Hero?

8) Also in 1966, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was born. Do you enjoy cooking?

A. I do if I am not rushed. I enjoy baking and will begin Christmas cooking tomorrow. 

9) Random question -- You have the opportunity to perform in the circus! Would you rather be shot from a cannon, or put your head in the lion's mouth?

A. Neither, I would want to be a acrobat or a clown. 

I encourage you to visit other participants in Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Deecorating the Farm

My house doesn't really qualify as a farmhouse but it is the house here so I call it my farmhouse. When I think of a farmhouse, I think of a beautiful two story home with a large front porch with a swing and this is certainly not that. I have grown to love the place though and if I continue to do some of the plans that I have it will be my farmhouse minus the second story and the huge porch. Anyway, after Thanksgiving it was time to begin to decorate it for the holidays.

Christmas has always held a magic about it and the mood makes me happy. Sitting around the fireplace listening to Christmas music with my family or friends and a cup of hot tea or with a good book is about the best life anyone could live. I enjoy the tree in the wee hours of the morning when the house it silent except for the clicking of these computer keys as my fingers happily type my next blog post here.

I have never been much for decorating the outside of the home but I have done a few things in the past. This year it amounts to a air up snow family. Boring but all I have decided to do outside. I have some great plans next year though.

The inside is taking shape and I will do more later today as I finally have the fir tree that I desired. Last year, it was a pine tree and the needles were too prickly and dried too fast so this year we went with a fir tree. My hubby is big on having a real tree and I do enjoy them. We decided that the tree this year would not be as big in diameter as last year in order to fit in the room better.

The newly fallen snow added some excitement to the decorating. I hate that you can see the fence that is falling between our house and my daughters but it is there. One of the many projects for summer that never got done. We had snow flurries for three days and only a light dusting of snow, but I am thankful as there were many things to do. 
I like to welcome all who enter and so I placed this little guy near the front door to greet those that might come in to visit. He is standing to welcome them to take their coats off and stay awhile. I also like to keep shoes or boots near this area so he is seen daily.
This is on the cedar chest that my husband had made for me that I now use as a bench. I enjoy sitting here to take my shoes off to place by the door. 

My husband doesn't like to remove the window air unit in this room so we leave it in and usually cover with plastic but this year, I decided to place these cute table covers over it and place one of my favorite Christmas pieces near it. This Santa sleigh is a music box and I sure enjoy it! Notice the Christmas curtains as well. The look like a scene from a beautiful picture that my grandmother had for many years. 
Also, right in my entryway, you will find this cute little snowman display. The two ornaments hang there all year as they look good with the western shelf. Usually, that Christmas swag goes above my door but I really like it here. 
Enter my living room and the focus was on the fireplace, which should have been lit up for this photo. Snowmen are my favorites at Christmas and so I have a huge collection of them and here it begins. 

This curio cabinet was purchased to hold Mary Moo-Moo figurines but now holds a large collection of some of my favorite snowmen figurines. I love the western singing Santa that was purchased before we bought the farm and I found this sleigh in our attic and decided that Frosty needed to be sledding. 
This is the table that I sit near on most evenings. I decided that I am over this lamp but until I find a new one, it would get some garland on it. I love the Pink Zebra simmering light in the back. It just reminds me of old days of getting in the car and going to the woods and getting a tree. 

This is the top of the curio cabinet. I love the décor here as well and the picture is so calming to me. I love the little boy on the pony as it reminds me of my grand doll with her pony. 
The dining room has not gotten much more than a picture yet, but isn't is beautiful? Another one of my favorite pieces of the holidays. Who can resist a sleigh ride in the snow for Christmas?
Next my kitchen window, isn't this little lady just a cute reminder of Christmas on the farm? Burlap dress, cozy home and freshly fallen snow. 

The top of our fridge is always a mess. It seems as though stray items always find their way there. This year, I added a few decorations to it as well. I have looked everywhere for the flowers I purchased to change the daisies from and can't seem to locate them. I have a real poinsettia coming soon and it will go there, I guess. 

I found this adorable snowman paper towel holder at Goodwill and fell in love with him. Look at him tip his hat! This is the mobile island that I have, which I love and I thought the snowman candy dish worked well for holding those Cuties(small oranges). Notice Jolly Jingles, our scout elf, had appeared this particular morning here. He actually had the muffin tin and some berries out for the grand to have muffins for breakfast. (We love our elf but he can be mischievous)
Moving on to the bathroom, this may also be one of my favorite displays of the year. This farm related scene with a couple of snowmen added. I love this western Santa on the right. Notice the truck with the tree in the top right. I adore that picture!! I have been looking for towels with that same scene as I know the red truck is popular this year. 

This small collection of Santa figures are an auction treasure. I bought a box of items and these were in there. I would love to find an entire collection. Each one has a year on the front of it and they showcase how " Santa" has changed over the years. They are beautiful and I usually have them on the shelf above the sink, but since little one can now reach that shelf I decided they were safer on the shelf of this cabinet. 
Finally, the grand dolls room. Decorated with a small tree and a drummer boy light she is very well showing her holiday spirit. The green walls will soon be gone. The color was chosen by her momma several years ago and I just don't like it. This room serves as her room and my Pink Zebra office, so it is sometimes a hectic space and I need a calmer work environment. I love the silver tree skirt with this tree. 

This is the top of her bookcase, which was mine as a child. This display contains items that she can touch, hold, move around or even play with. Notice the photo of her mom with Santa a few years ago. She asks where mommy is throughout the day so I keep this here so she can see her. I added the fake snow as a cute addition because she loves snow! 

Finally, her shelf is changed throughout the year to go with different holidays. It simply reminds her of special times throughout the year and if the current month is not filled with a holiday then she has two small dolls that sit there or some animals. 

Well, that concludes the decorating for now. I will share more photos as the house finishes coming together for the holiday. Have a blessed Saturday!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday 9_ Black Magic Woman

Unfamiliar with this week's tune: Hear it here.

ooo Santana! I love this song!!1

1) Black is this week's signature color because Friday, November 23, was "Black Friday," when retailers cut their prices and consumers flock to the stores. Did you score any "Black Friday" bargains?

A. I did very little Black Friday shopping, but I did score a few good buys! I got a Play Doh set for half price and I got some great deals at Menard's.

2) On busy shopping days,  carts often litter parking lots. After loading your items into your car, are you careful to return your shopping cart to the store or the designated cart receptacle?

A. I try to always return the cart to the cart corral, but if there is not one near our car and I have the grand doll, I sometimes don't. I can't walk away from the car too far with her in it and I usually make sure she is safely strapped in the car before I finish the cart. 

3) Who on your gift list is hardest to buy for?

A. My husband. If he wants anything, he goes and buys it and that makes for hard gift choices. 

4) Feasting and football are also popular Thanksgiving weekend pastimes. Do your Thursday-Sunday plans include enjoying leftovers or watching a game?

A. No, unless you count pumpkin pie as left overs. 

5) Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is an annual event. It began in 1924 as a local event in New York. Today it's nationally televised. Did you watch it?

A. No, but I will today as I made sure to record it because I never get time to see it when it is on. 

6) What did you give thanks for on Thanksgiving 2018?

A. I gave thanks for my family and my health. 

7) At the first Thanksgiving, there were no forks. Pilgrims ate with spoons and knives, and forks didn't become popular until the 18th century. Think about your Thanksgiving place setting. Did you have both a salad and a dinner fork?

A. No, we had plastic silverware and everyone used one fork each.

8) Pies are a popular Thanksgiving dessert. What kind of pie did you enjoy? Or did you have ice cream? Or did you skip dessert?

A. I made pumpkin, pecan, and banana cream, which I truly don't care for any of, but I will eat the pumpkin. 

9) This week's featured band, Santana, was named for its founder, Carlos Santana. He was born in Mexico. When at a Mexican restaurant, what do you usually order?

A. Grilled chicken and cheese quesadilla with chips and salsa and a sweet tea! I love Mexican food!!!!!


I encourage you to visit other participants in Saturday 9 posts and leave a comment. Because there are no rules, it is your choice. Saturday 9 players hate rules. We love memes, however. (#260)

Mother's Day

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