Becky's Farm Life

The simple life, living off God's land, one day at a time.

Answering Your Questions :) & Updates

Most of these have to do with Canning Potatoes post. This post is the most read/looked up/searched for post on this blog. Which to me is a little funny as I have canned potatoes for 10 plus years. Now more and more people are canning more than just jellies and  vegs.

 

Tanya: love your web site…I too am into canning and have gotten a friend of mine into it but she came across a problem that I have never had so wondering if you have…She canned potatoes and at least half of them the lid actually popped up..later when they cooled off they went back down but left wrinkles in the lid..do you think they are safe and has this ever happened to you…thanks for any help are suggestions///

Tanya,

Sometimes this happens to me too, at least one time a canning season. I think it’s the lids (weak). If the jars have sealed, they are still good. But I do use those with the wrinkled tops first. If they didn’t seal put in the icebox and use as soon as you can.

 

 

Katye Birdsong:  Becky, Do you have a recipe for canning peppers? chili and banana peppers?

Katye,

No, I don’t. I usually freeze mine.

 

Oscar:  Good afternoon Ms. Becky I hope you and your family are well. I would like to can the makings of a potato soup/stew. Can potatoes be canned along with other vegetables such as onions and carrots….or beef?
Take care. O.W.

Oscar:

Yes, you can can potatoes with all you listed above. But I have found it easier here at our home to can them all by them selves, as you can do more with them not mixed. When I make Beef stew- in a pot put a jar of: potatoes, carrots, beef(meat), and any thing else you like in there, cook to warm up and eat. But if you want to mix them look in a canning book and see which takes the longest and can for that time for mixed things. This goes for all things you mix to can, use the longest time. Hope this helps, if not let me know and I’ll try again. ok

 

Yvon:  Becky, I just got a pressure canner and was very eager to try it. Mom has done her veggies all her life in a water bath but thought I would do the safer thing and get a pressure canner. I just tried to can to qts of potato for my first try. One didn’t seal so I thought I would taste them. I’m a potato lover and I have to say I have never tasted worse potatoes in my life. They almost had a burnt taste without being burnt or over cooked. What did I do wrong. I followed the Bernadin book. It’s early June and used old potatoes, could that be the problem? Thanks   Yvon, a newbie at canning.

Yvon:

It is best to pressure can most vegs, some are safe to hot water bath, but not many. Old potatoes are your problem for sure.  I have at times used store bought potatoes on sale but they must be hard still, with no eye growth. Most times I can the potatoes out of the garden, dig up one day and can them the next. Good luck and let me know how it goes canning this year please.

 

Katye Birdsong:  Becky, Have you ever thought of writing a book? Your website is so interesting! I’m sure it would sell! My husband came up with that idea.

Katye:

Ok Lord, I get the hint. Katye you see, you and your husband are not the first to say that. My late husband being the first( 2 1/2 years ago.) and then other readers here.  But that would be stepping out of my comfort zone. And second, I have not the faintest clue were to start, or how to put it in a book form.  So for now you all get it free here. 🙂 But as this writing a book thing keeps come up all around me, I will look more into. But please pray for me in this area, that the Lord’s will be done, as this is why I started the blog here.

 

Updates:

  Tasha’s baby, Gabby, is now about 6 1/2 lbs as of today, and is due in under 3 weeks. We are ready and trying hard to wait on her. Tasha had an ultra sound today, the last one. Little Miss Gabby is head up and feet down. Please pray that she will turn the right way soon. Thank you for all your prayers for me and my family.

    I’m doing good most days, more so than a month ago. Thank you Lord. I really miss my better half, a lot. And I’m learning to live again, one day at a time. I’m finding me. (Only moms and wives will understand this.) Some how we lose ourselves over the years. The girls are doing great. We are waiting for our blessing from above, Miss Gabby.

   The farm is doing good. I have made bigger chicken pens. I need to make 2 more different pens. We are chicken sitting for about 8 weeks. Now that’s a true farm, chicken sitting (watching for a out of town friend). Really starting to miss the fresh cows milk. I have a few gallons in the freezer for when I get the withdraw shakes for fresh raw cow’s milk.  🙂 🙂

   I have not found any new tips, hints, money savers lately. I only planted tomatoes and strawberries this year. Our food barn is full ( only 3 girls eating and no men, should last us way longer than a year), and it’s been a long time since I/we have enjoyed a summer, more than 10 years. So the girls and I are going to see what we can do besides hoe and weed all summer. I think Tommy knew this too, when he had me start stocking foods 3 years ago. But next year will be garden time again. This will be a easy summer for us because of Tommy’s insight.

   Well I better go for now. Thank you all very much for reading my blog. May God bless you all. Have a great day.

Becky

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Canning, chickens, family, farm life, freezing, garden, self sufficiency, Stocking up, update | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Down at the Farm

It’s been very lively here at the farm. 

   Well those two push mowers would not start again. But I traded the tiller for a newer push mower. They needed a tiller and had a push mower they didn’t need. Thank you Lord.  The yard looks good again.

   Dogs got after my Silky chickens, killing all but 2. I was not a happy camper. A rooster and hen ( sitting on 14 eggs) were left. So I moved them to another pen, and now have baby silky chicks. Thank you Lord.  My nephew, Matt, came by yesterday and helped me make the chicken pen bigger, and reinforce it to keep the dogs out.  Matt also did weed eating, and moved some things around for me. Thank you Matt. I worked his city boy muscles. But he said he liked working on the farm.

   Miss Jenny blessed me with enough homemade clothes soap to last a year. Thank you Miss Jenny.

   The landlords came and fixed the bathroom. I have a new bathroom now and it looks great. They were also kind enough to climb on the roof to open all the vents for me. Thank you Lord.

   Then Tasha’s laptop got attacked by Trojans.  But my step son fixed in a hurry. So if you need computer help for home or business, His company is the best, with great prices. He can fix your computer on line. Please go check them out.  http://twistednetworx.com/

promoTJ WORK 

Here are some photos from Tasha’s Baby Shower yesterday.

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Tasha and Becky( my first grandbaby almost here, Boy I’m getting old)

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Ok, Miss Gabby, we are ready for you to come on, 4-5 week wait.

 

   Well hot weather is on the way, time to dig out the fans and make sure they work. And put the attic fans in the ceilings in kitchen and food barn.

   My days are getting better. The girls have been a great help to me. Thank you girls. The Lord always sends me people and blessing right on time. Thank you Lord.

   My power bill has dropped to it’s lowest in 10 years, dropped by $90, and I did two happy dances. 🙂  🙂  I could not believe my eyes, I almost called the power company to see if it was a mistake.

 

  Hope you all have a great day.

Becky

 

 

  

May 31, 2009 Posted by | blessings, chickens, family, farm life, making do, photos, Trojans, Twisted Networks | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A deep breathe-some tears-a lot of Prayers

Well it’s been a long week. This is what’s been going on:

*Took my truck in, it was not acting right. Well I now need a new engine. The engine will last 2 days – or 6 months or maybe a year. Cost if they can find a used engine $1,800.00. Ok Lord, let’s watch and see what You do. I need to sell the tractor to pay for the engine.

*The man came and put a new glow bar in my gas stove. While he was testing it, the safety switch would not shut off. Now I’m not to use the stove at all until it’s fixed, this Tuesday or Wednesday. Cost $250.00 for safety switch, glow bar was $166. The Lord sent someone to buy a hand gun I have which will pay the the safety switch. Thank you Lord. Now I’ll have a new stove, which will cost more than a brand new one.

I am glad I have a grill and a two eye gas stove outside.

*Well I had the stove man check the washer and dishwasher while he was here, ( so I would not have to pay another service call fee). The washer needs the arms that hold the tub in place. And the dish washer needs a sprayer bar. But they are cheap and he’ll bring them out with the safety switch. Thank you Lord. I’m taking very deep breaths with a few tears.

*Then I go out to mow the grass, I have 2 push mowers. To start, the best one, I had to turn on it’s side to get a string that was around the blade. Well when I set it back up right there was oil on the ground. So this house wife went and got a quart of oil to refill it. Would you not do the same? Well it took the whole quart. I started it up and mowed for about 10 minutes and the thing started smoking really bad. So I shut it off and called a guy. Did you know a push mower is Not supports to have a whole quart of oil? I didn’t. So he tells me to drain it. I ask, How? He said there’s a plug, or tip it again to drain it out. Well I looked and looked, could not find a plug, so I tipped it again. I got the right amount of oil in it. And mowed for an hour, and it stopped working. Ok Lord thank you I have another mower. So I go get it going, and mow another hour when it dies. Ok Lord, this yard really needs mowing. So inside I go to rest and cry a bit. I go back out and try that mower again, it starts. Thank you Lord. I mow another hour and it stops yet again. Then it dawns on me, the mower stops when it’s hot.  Sure enough I go back out when it cools off and it starts. Thank you Lord. Then I have to turn it off to take a phone call. I go back out and I don’t have the strength now to pull the cord to start it. Ok Lord, no more mowing today. Will this mower or mowers start again today? I am praying hard they will.

*The closet that holds the hot water heater has a hole in the floor to the ground. The main bathroom floor has dropped 2 inches. The landlords just left and they said they’d fix it tomorrow. Thank you Lord. While they were here they treated all the ant hills in the yard. Thank you Lord. They said all their rentals were having the same problems with ants.

Things I learned:

*I have also learned I do not have enough hands to do all that needs doing. Yard is clean – house a mess or yard a mess and house clean. I have to find the middle ground somewhere. Please Lord.

*A push mower does not need a whole quart of oil. And you need  good arm muscles to keep starting them.

*The Lord always sends people to help you in His time.

*Prayer is so much better than worrying. Worrying never fix a thing, while prayer fixes everything.

*Tears are good, they clean your eyes and heart.

*There is always something good to be found in the bad things that happen. In ALL things give thanks. I forgot to do this with the mowers and stove. And the Lord will still work everything out for my good.

Thank you Lord for Your mercy and grace.

Well let’s see what happens today on the farm.

Have a great day and God bless you all.

Becky

May 11, 2009 Posted by | blessings, farm life, life, making do, Prayer, saving money, self sufficiency, update | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Learning New Things

Thank you all for your comments. I’m staying here until the Lord leads me some where else.

Yes, Amanda: It was your post. I not know how I found it but I did, and it really blessed me. Thank you very much. Mrs. Olson: TommieLynn and I will both get Social Security. And I am very thankful to get it. Pam , Linda, Sheila, Marlys: Thank you for your prayers.

My hands have been full here. We have had snow this week. And tomorrow will be in the 70’s. I have not done much in the garden, due to the weather. So I have been trying to get the house, spring cleaned. Tasha’s boyfriend, Carl, came and mowed the yard for me. I can’t drive the small tractor mower. So I used the push mower to get were he could not. ( just like Tommy and I use to do.) We got done fast, and the yard looked great. A man is taking down the fence lines for me for half the posts. This will give Tommielynn a lot more room to play, which she is looking forward too very much. The chickens are doing great. I need to make a few more pens and houses, hopefully soon. My gas oven has stopped working. So I am using a small toaster oven I had stuck back. Tommy always got on to me about put things back that we did not use, until he needed it. I just smiled as I used the toaster oven. Someone had given it to me last year. Tommy asked why I was keeping it/ wanted it. I just told him you never know. Thank you Lord. I am trying to live now on a smaller income. TommieLynn gets mad at times when I tell her to turn a light off. But she is getting so much better at helping cut back. She won second place prize at the Easter egg hunt last Saturday. And with her $10 prize, bought her friends hamster, she has been wanting for weeks. She was so happy, She could buy it with her money. Carl showed me how to use the air compressor to pump up the wagon and wheel barrow tires. And how to change the tires on my yard wagon. And who said you stopped learning after 40? Or your to old to learn new things? Next he’s going to show me how to use the skill saw, so I can make chicken houses and pens. Now that ought to be a funny sight.

I did go and get bullets for the guns I have. Yes, I can shot, but better with a 22. But I need to get better. Carl is going to show me how to clean them, and break them down. Tommy always did this, now I need to learn. Why do I need to learn more? I might need to put meat on the table. And well look around, more and more people are doing things ( both good and bad) that they did not use to do, due to the economy. I pray I don’t need to use them. But like I’ve said before, I prepare for the worse and pray for the best. I am having to learn a lot of new things now, things Tommy always took care of. I am so glad that Tommy taught TommieLynn to shot. That is something she will carry with her always.

My garden will be smaller this year. And I can’t wait to get out there in the dirt and sunshine. I will be trying my hand at growing potatoes in buckets/ big planters above ground. I will keep you updated on this. I am praying it will work well for us. I am picking out seeds to plant now. Tommielynn wants watermelons this year. We have not done those in years, but we’ll try. The man I get apples from every year called and said the snow and cold has not got to his apple trees. Thank you Lord. We’ll have apples again this year.

With Tommy now watching from above, the men who come to buy the things in the yard, I no longer need, are not giving me a hard time for being a woman. Which I am so thankful for. I stand my ground. But at times they try to get me to go lower on the price. One guy said, would you be upset if I made an offer? I said, Yes! He just smiled and said ok. I am learning more every day. Some days it puts my mind on overload, but I making it one day at a time.

Last Sunday was a wonderfully great day. Tasha and Carl went to church with us, what a blessing. The service was just what I needed, Thank you Lord. Then we all went to dinner. Were we laughed until we all had tears in our eyes, a wonderful feeling. Over all the best day I have had in a long time. Thank you Lord. Thank you Lord for Carl too, as he has been so much help to me. Which has really lightened my load.

Well I had better get something done toady. I was trying to wait for it to warm up just a bit. More house cleaning, washing clothes, and hopefully I can get out side today. Thank you all for everything and all your prayers.

Becky

 

 

 

April 8, 2009 Posted by | economic situation, farm life, garden, making do, saving money, self sufficiency | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Not always easy being a women

Yesterday we got the first of Tommy’s ER and hospital bills — $5,246.25, $43.00, $220.00. That’s a lot of money, and I know that there are morning coming. Show us the way, Lord.

Tommy got up about 11 am. And I got ready to go to town. In town I got : 100lbs gas tank refilled $70 ( both were filled at the first of the month- one ran out in 7 days due to the cold weather, so I need another tank to make it the rest of the month.), picked up 4 of Tommy’s meds ( one was the cough pills and the pharmacist was a little up set that the new hospice was making us pay for breathing meds. So he dropped the price down to half – 60 pills- 15 days- $25. Thank you Lord. The other pill was for his sinus $11.52.); picked of meds for Tasha from our old drug store( she opened the bag when i got home and found on the bottle that they owed her 12 pills more, she was up set. Tommy and I told her that’s why we changed, it was costings we to much to go to town twice to get 1 whole med filled.) : at Family Dollar, I got 4- 2liters of sprite (which had a coupon saying “buy 3 sodas and oreo’s cookies and get $2.00 off.” you kids know my love for oreo’s, so I checked there price- $2.25. OK, I got my cookies for 25 cents, what a blessing and a treat.) : then went to the feed store and got 200 lbs of feed, ( the ladies working there know I buy seed potatoes this time every year, so they tell me they only have a few of my kind left and the next order they place the prices go up. So I paid for my feed and charged to my account 50lb bag of seed potatoes until the first of the month, the bag was $15.75, so at least I had one bag for now.) : At the thrift store I found 4 new looking bras for 25 cents each, 3- mine and 1 for Tommielynn: then picked up a few groceries.

When I got home, I called up the road to a friends house and asked if her husband could help me unload the 100lb tank off the truck. He came down and unloaded it for me. Another blessing.

Then while I was unloading feed and putting it up, a man (which was here days ago, wanting to buy my chickens, I said no then). While he asked me how much I wanted for my chickens. I told him again I was not selling my chickens. He said, well I talked to Tommy earlier today and he told me to come out this evening. ( Well Tommy had told me he talked to him while I was in town, and that he’d told him he’d have to talk to me about it. Tommy has always let me handle the buying and selling of farm things. Even if the older farmer men don’t like dealing with women that know what they are talking about. Some have just left the farm when Tommy tells them to talk to me.) Well back to this man, he then asks to buy my young roosters and again I tell him no. Then he asks to buy my yard wagon, no. Then he wants to buy my meat bull because he looks so good, NO. He said, you can’t take care of him with Tommy down. OK, now my blood is really starting to boil. As calmly as I could I said, I have been taking care of this farm and bull cows for many year now, and I’m the one that got that beef bull to look good. He just shook his head and started walking around the yard again. He came to the camper shell Tommy had made for the back of the big truck, and asked to buy it, NO> Then he wanted our blue small tractor/ mower, NO. He said, What are you going to do with it? Well I said my yard still needs to be mowed. He asked if I did it, to this he has gotten his first yes. Now he sees the big farm tractor and asks about it. I tell him it’s $2000 with everything. He asks how low I’ll go. i told him it was not leaving the yard for under $2000. He was not happy and thought a minute and said, You know that tractor will tip over easy with you driving it. I said no it would not because I didn’t drive it. So he says then let me have it for under $2000. My lady manners are starting to leave my body. I said no, it would sit under cover until someone had $2000. Then he walks right back to my young roosters and asks to buy them again as I don’t need 5 roosters– ANOTHER NO. I tell him Tommy’s up and watching TV, why not go in and say hi as you are his friend. He said , no I have to go. thank you Lord, he’s leaving. As he is getting in his car, he asks again to buy my silky chicken and buffs. I take a really deep breath and say no yet again.

I go into the house to tell Tommy. He just said I handle him well just like I always handle farm business with old men. I told Tommy I was so very close to losing it and so very mad. I asked him if I had a “dumb” sign on my chest. “No”, he said, “some old men are that way. And that they think you will sell things cheap now that they all know I’m dying.” I asked Tommy to pray for me to have wisdom to handle these men now and in the future. He said he would but I was doing a great job now. I don’t feel that way at all. I know I’m not the kind of women these old farmer men are used to, but I’m not dumb and stand my ground. Over the years now, a few have really gotten ticked off when I showed, I knew what I was talking about or how they were wrong about something they were selling, and me knowing the fair price. I have fought these kind of men for years now, but today’s takes the big prize. There really needs to be more women farmers. I’m praying this man does not come back — for his sake. Now I do have to give credit to a few old farmers, who once they found out I knew what I was talking about , we all became great friends.

The lady at the feed co-op said today that more and more young people, then ever before, are coming in to get garden supplies and asking about how to grow gardens.

Becky

February 19, 2009 Posted by | beef cow, blessings, family, farm life, garden, update | , , | 3 Comments

Update and My Wings

TJ, Tex and Janet came up this past weekend. They got the tools out of the shop, so we can close it and stop paying rent there. They also got two large buffets out of our living room. This really open it up. And will allow Tommy to use his walker easier now. Now I have to find a place for everything that was in them. I still have some boxes in the floor. TJ put a part on the truck. We all worked hard this past weekend. Thank you all again for everything you did and all your help.

 

I sold the milk cow this past Tuesday, a mixed blessing. No more milking but also no more milk. TommieLynn is so very happy to be done with milking. I froze and canned some milk yesterday. And I thought I’d get to sleep in Wednesday morning, well only until 7:30 am as the dogs woke me up wanting out, oh well. And this morning, I am up at 4 am coughing really hard, but I will let the dogs out and go back to bed. I’m still fighting this yuck in my chest, and I’m almost done with round two of antibiotics and on my 5th bag of Halls cough drops, and week 5 of this. I have tried everything under the sun, even herbs. How long can this last???

 

It rained really hard yesterday and is to do the same today. We had rivers going through the fields and in the yard. The poor chickens looked so funny, them being all wet and muddy. Tommy told me to tie a rope to the truck and tied it to the porch. It was bad, we have not had that much rain in years. Yes, here we really needed it but didn’t want it all in one day.

 

A friend, Jenny, said the Lord was giving me my wings, when I talked to her last week. To be honest it felt like He was cutting my wings, with all the changes. Jenny said He was giving me my wings to fly. And at the time (last week) I felt grounded, very grounded. I didn’t feel like flying, and did not see it that way. And this really bothered me. Why I could not see what someone else saw. So the more I thought about it, the clearer it became. The things being taken away, the changes being made, were to lighten my load so I could fly. A bird can’t fly when it’s loaded down with things it really does not need. I see it like a bird who’s wing was broke, and it could not fly for a while, but still remembers flying. And has to wait for the wing to heal, and then relearn to fly again. Or like the fighting roosters tied to a little house, they can move some but can’t fly very high or far. I have always like the song, “ On the Wings of a Snow White Dove”, so Tommy has brought me doves over the years. And as I looked around my house at all the doves, I remembered, He sends His love on the wings of a dove. Now I see that the Lord is teaching me to fly again, and like the birds learning to fly again, it’s hard work and it hurts. And some birds don’t want to leave what they have known, being grounded by string or broken wing or just caged. They have forgotten what it is like to fly. I too, have forgotten what it’s like to fly, but I am remembering now. I want to fly again. I have allowed things and people to ground/ cage me. But my wings are healing and the door is opening, freedom is in the air. And just like the birds, I too, will fly through the storms of life or soar above them. I want others to see His love on my wings again, I want to fly for Him. To bad, I did not see all this sooner, so as not to fight it so hard. But I am thankful the Lord did not give up on me and keep at me to fly again. Is the Lord working on your wings?? Are you grounded or caged? Has something in life broken one of your wings? The Lord is waiting for you to fly again, He’s waiting to heal you, too.

Come fly with me.

Becky

 

January 7, 2009 Posted by | blessings, family, update | , , | 6 Comments

Changes in the Mist – Ready Or Not

I have been looking ahead and trying to make a plan before Spring and Summer gets here. There has been a lot of changes in my life this year – some good and some not so good – little and big. I am not very good at change.  Some changes are good for us, some hurt really bad, some don’t last to long. My family is smaller in size now, needs are changing from a few years ago, and I’m getting older. We loved are full farm and all it gave us. But now there are not as many hands as before working the farm. And it’s finally hit me, I can’t run the farm by myself. Don’t get me wrong the girls help all they can. But a farm is a  lot of work year round.  And I really would like to spend more time with my family.

So here is some of the ways we are going to down size some:

  • I am selling my milk cow as soon as I can. We love the milk but thinking ahead there is no way I can keep the fence lines weed eat or all the fields mowed and do a garden.  And come fall, the thought of loading and unloading a 100 bales of hay for winter use, is not a good picture. And we no longer drink 4-5 gallons of milk a week. So it’s time to say good bye to milking.
  • The Black Angus Bull now running in the field, will be fatten up and put in the freezer as fast as we can. And while we are eating his meat, I’ll put some money back every month to buy a half cow for meat. I know where I can do this cheaper than store prices and the cows are feed the way I feed mine. ( I’ll also be able to buy half a hog when needed). So we will still be able to get great meat without all the work. I worked the price out, it’s only 50 cents more a pound if someone else raises it.  Which is about $1.09 a pound, cut and wrap and fast froze. Still cheaper than the store meat, and better tasting too.
  • My husband is selling his big tractor. We will not be mowing the fields any more or having a great big garden. We are switching to raised beds for most, and making a fenced in area for potatoes. We no longer need a big garden to feed us. I still will be able to get apples and pears off the ground from friends.  So I think I have our food planned out.
  • We will keep our chickens for meat and eggs. And sell chickens and eggs.  They are very easy to care for. And I HATE STORE BROUGHT EGGS.
  • We have 3 freezers that I would like to get down to using just 1 or 2. Which means canning more meat. 

We  will be growing a few more vegetable and I’ll can every thing I can get my hands on.  This new life is going to be really different, as we have lived this way for 10 + years. And it has kept us feed well. But changes are here like it or not. The Word says there is a season for  everything, I guess my season is changing again. Time to learn new things, new and different ways.

 

Tommy and I are not looking forward to selling the milk cow or his tractor, we worked long and hard for both, Tommy and I together broke the milk cow to hand milking and  she was  born here on the farm, and Tommy has wait years to be able to buy the tractor: but now it’s time.

 

This blog will still be about farm life, now just a mini farm life. And I will still share all I have learned and will be learning here. 

 

Well for now we will be down sizing to fit our needs better. Will I ever have a full farm again, only the good Lord knows that and He’s not told me yet. So for now it’s one day at a time, going where the Lord leads us.

 

Change is in the air,

Becky

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Tommy’s Tractor

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Peaches milk cow, bull meat

December 28, 2008 Posted by | family, farm life, farming, food storage, garden, making do, self sufficiency, update | , , , , | 6 Comments

Farm Life Update – 11/4/08

Winter has not made up it’s mind here yet. At night we are at freezing and during the days in the 70’s. I go out to milk in layers of clothes and at lunch time back to 1 layer. Last night it was 45. With the temps going up and down, my sinuses are back this year. As soon as mine started, I started nose drops of the colloidal silver water, 3 times a day. Oh, what a great difference it’s made.
We had 5 baby chicks hatch out a few days ago. My chickens- Silkies,
( Tommy says their mine as they are the funniest looking chickens he’s ever seen.), but they make the best sitters. Right now, I only have one hen and two roosters. I am praying the new batch will give me a few more hens. As the roosters are not big enough to even eat. I might give Silkie roosters as Christmas gifts.

I canned another 20 pints of milk for this winter. Peaches ( milk cow) is now down to just about 2 gallons a day. The end of this month, she will have been giving us milk for a year. When she gets down to under a half a gallon a day, we will dry her up. We are praying she is breed back, to the bull that is running with her. Praying he did his job, and did it well. She has showed no signs of heat for almost two months now. It’s really hard for us when the milk cows dry up, as we are use to having all the milk we need and then some. We really count the days until she drops a calf, as it gets close we are looking out the back door every hour for a calf. So hopefully, in 7 months we will have a new meat calf and milk again.

I have knitted another 3 pairs of socks for the winter. Tommielynn said the next pair has to be hers, so I’ll let her pick her colors.

Tommy had a good weekend. Hospice is upping his pain meds, and will be coming out 5 days this week.

Thank you all for your prayer, they keep us going from day to day.

God bless you all,

Becky

 

 

 

November 4, 2008 Posted by | farm life | | Leave a comment

Lessons Learned

With our potato crop not doing well this year, we did not get enough potatoes to last us until next year, first time in ten years, I bought instant potatoes and the dried sliced potatoes in boxes. First lesson, when trying something new with your family, only buy 1 box, (I bought 10). The sliced potatoes(with cheese, seasonings, etc.) I fixed twice, the dogs would not even eat them. And I even doctored them up, adding more seasonings. They tasted awful to us. I know some of you really like these kinds of potatoes, but after you have lived on real potatoes for years, these are really awful, and that’s being nice. As for the instant mash potatoes, well we can eat them if I add enough butter and cream to them. I know you are supports to add milk, but I have a lot of cream, and the cream helps them taste better.  Store bought food is not looking good, we may not eat our usual  amount of potatoes this winter. Tommy says it’s my fault they will not eat these things as I have spoiled them with fresh home grown foods. Now it’s my fault, what am I to do?

 

Having to stay in the house to watch and listen for Tommy, I have knitted 2 pairs of house socks and working on my third. I cut a set of queen flannel sheets into 10″ squares to use as tissues and napkins. Second lesson, that’s a lot of hemming to do. And don’t think you can get it done in one day at the kitchen table. This is not possible, the sack is very tall, and took me a whole day just to cut them out.

Third lesson , the harder you try to be quiet, the more noise you make. This goes for old and young alike.

 

Fourth lesson, don’t try and feed your family store bought cakes or cookies, even if they are given to you. They make funny faces and weird sounds and want to know what they did wrong.

 

Last lesson, don’t spoil your family as this makes it really hard on you. An easy night in the kitchen is 1 hour instead of 3 hours. So much for store bought. Please don’t get me wrong, I love my family and love cooking for them, and will keep doing so. And at times I think twice about making something new from scratch as I know I will then always have to make it from scratch. But I keep doing it, just to see the smiles on their faces, and their big belly’s.

 

I really enjoy the way we live. To me it’s the best for all, a little work, a little good food, a little fresh air, a little fun, a lot of smile, a few tears, lots and lots of prayer, a little rain, a little sun, a lot of great friends. Boy, life is good, and God has blessed us all.

Well I better get this day started and see what I have to get into.

 

Becky

 

P.S. As an award to my family for having to eat store bought goods, I have to make a pineapple upside down cake today. Oh what a hard life I have.

 

 

October 10, 2008 Posted by | farm life, ideas, knitting, making do | , , , | 5 Comments

Farm Life & A Great Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

I woke up this morning to 36 degrees and our first frost. It was cold. Winter is coming to fast, I still have a lot to do. And I’m going as fast as I can. Any one else in this boat with me?

Yesterday, I put all the house fans in storage. Tommy closed off the ceiling vents in the house. Looks like when did it just in time. Last night we started our normal winter snack, homemade hot chocolate after dinner (the recipe for this is in the recipe tab at top of page). And boy, was it good.

This morning I’m making cookies, to help warm the house up. Now there is a story with these cookies. Tommy does not like oatmeal, period. So some boys I know, Stevens Brothers, let me try one of their cookies. And it was great, wonderful cookie. So I asked them for the recipe so as I could make them at home for me.  Thinking I could keep some cookies I like around the house more than 3 days. While I made a batch, Tommy asked what they were, I told him oatmeal cookies. He said said let me try one, I said there is oatmeal in them, he said I want to try one. I thought oh no Lord, just let me have one thing.

Well, he loved them. But these are great cookies that are good for you, too. So in away I am happy Tommy likes them, he needs the fiber. And at times we all have had them for breakfast.

 

Wonderful Oatmeal Cookies By: the Steven’s Brothers

1 cup shortening

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups plain flour (all purpose)

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp water

2 tsp vanilla

3 cups oatmeal old fashion

1/2 – 1 cup walnuts (can add)

Cream shortening and sugars: add eggs, then dry ingredients, water, and flavoring. Do this with a electric mixer. Stir in oatmeal by hand, plus add walnut. Drop in small balls on ungreased cookie sheet, then press down with the backside of a spoon. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.

They freeze well if you can make enough. Enjoy.

 

I just pulled first batch out , and for some reason  they have already been eaten. These are really good. (shhh, I just had two, warm ones are so much better.)

 

Have a wonderful day.

Becky

 

 

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October 2, 2008 Posted by | cookies, farm life, recipes | , , | 3 Comments