Good bye city life! Our family designed and built an industrial but old fashioned farmhouse on nine acres. Now we are building our homestead ~ or is it building us? Grab your boots and join us on our journey to country living.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday sunrise

The pond behind our house looked down right pink this morning.  What a pretty sight to see as soon as I stepped out of bed!  Sometimes I feel like God puts something in front of me just for me to see.  Hope you stumble across something beautiful today.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Men in boots eat quiche

 Quiche - it's a favorite dish in the farmhouse. Despite the fact that my rough tough men wear cowboy boots everyday, they love quiche!  And no matter how much I make, there are never leftovers.  This time I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9x12 dish, just to make it faster.  I also substituted the swiss for mexican blend cheese this time because that is what I had.  Any cheese is good really.
Bacon & Spinach Quiche

8 pieces cooked, crumbled bacon
1 cup cooked fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 (farm fresh) eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups grated swiss cheese
1 cup half & half (or 2 T. flour + 1 cup milk)
1 cup milk
dash of nutmeg
pie crust (your recipe or premade)

In bowl, mix together eggs, half & half, milk, and nutmeg.  Stir in bacon, onion, and shredded cheese.  Pour in pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Doubled and still no leftovers!  My biggest boy scarfed that last little piece straight out of the dish.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Confession - I have a cribbing horse

Bobbie is a great horse.  She's a reliable riding partner which is just what I need. She is wonderful with younger ones on her.  She isn't real affectionate because she's more dignified than that but she is warming up to me more everyday.  And she is pretty but she cribs like crazy and it's been driving me nuts!  In doing so she has been scraping the paint off the top rails of our new white fence. This had to stop.

For those of you who don't know, cribbing is when a horse places their top teeth on something, arches their neck and sucks air in.  It is also called wind sucking.  Apparently it gives them a little high.  It looks utterly ridiculous and sounds something like a burp!  We noticed she did this a few times before we brought her home but she was always kept in a pen or stall and pasture is supposed to help a lot.  We have pasture grass that horses dream of and it seemed to improve for a while.  Then she was back at it.  Stress of Red being introduced to the herd sent her on a cribbing binge.  It was time to take action.

It's not too noticable, I guess.
So I bought a cribbing collar.  It's the Miracle Collar by Weaver and made of sturdy leather.  And it works!  She can't do it!  Finally she has given up and stopped testing it out.

That little white belly spot makes Bobbie a Paint.  Cute, huh?

I feel bad for her though.  I mean it looks - well - embarassing.  It's like she is wearing a smoking patch on her forehead for everyone to see.  And the worst part is, I'll have to get used to it because the urge apparently doesn't go away after a while.  I'm going to keep my fingers crossed though.  At least it is the same color as her pretty coat.  She is wanting petting more often now which I love.  Either she needs comforting or she's just thinking I will take it off.

And now what is she doing?  Rubbing the collar on the fence!  I wonder which is worse.  Cribbing or not, she is still a great horse!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Walk around the house

Want to join me for a little jaunt around the place?  Put your boots on and let's go...

This is the horses' view of the front of the farmhouse.  If you walk out there you will have to stop for some petting time. 

Coming up the road, this is what you see.  The garage & rec room are detached from the house.  It creates a nice transition from outside world to comfy home.  The bay window is where the dining room is giving us a nice view of the flower garden as we eat together.  The kitchen window is to the right of that and allows me to see everyone coming and going.  That little window upstairs is a bathroom window, high enough for light and privacy.  Let's go to the garden.

I do love the view of the house from here.  Can you believe my roses still look that good?  Enough of the flowers though, let's move on to the chicken coop.

The chickens watch for me to bring them treats from here.
The back patio is where we hang out and watch the pond or someone riding in the arena.  Sometimes roast marshmallows in the fire pit.  It's a fun place to be.

We added these three little squares for character.  Fitting since we have three boys up there.

Kind of looks like a red barn from the arena, doesn't it?  We painted the bumpout white to make it look like an add-on.  The three windows downstairs match the ones upstairs and allow plenty of light into the house.  Most of the mechanical is on this side of the house so just pretend it's not there.

You may have noticed on your way around the house, we used several kinds of Hardie siding.  The main part of the house is 8" lap with the bumpouts being 4" except for the white one and that is board and batten. 
The garage is board and batten also and spaced 8" on center.  All the trim is 6" wide.  My favorite is thing is still the open tailed rafters.  Extra materials and labor, but so worth the look.

Well, that's it - small on size and big on character.  That is what we were shooting for anyway.  Wish you had time to come in for a cup of coffee.  Maybe next time.  Hurry back to the red farmhouse...

Hangin' in the mudroom

A pint sized flannel shirt and a frayed Farmboy hat.
How cute it that?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lettuce and other fall favorites

Spring Mix Lettuce in the Fall
It is hard to grow cool weather crops in Oklahoma.  We typically go from 80 degrees to 40 in the blink of an eye.  After having a failed attempt at lettuce this spring, I decided to try again.  And just look at all that!  It is only about 6-8 inches high but oh, so, good!  Not bitter at all.  Lately I've been out there twice a day picking some to eat right before a meal.

Other fall favorites in my garden-

Mums & Sweet Potato Vine in a  Feed Bucket

Verbena on a Stick - taller than ever
Sara Holmes Roses are still in bloom

and of course,
Purple Cabbage.  It's not fall without it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Farm animals for fun or food?

"Are you going to eat them?" is a question that I have been asked a dozen or so times.  Hmmm...what do you say to that?  And how do you decide?  And why would we have them if we weren't going to?  These are all things we talked about before getting livestock.  Do we have the heart for it?  Some people keep farm animals for pets.  I've heard those kinds of livestock called "freeloaders".  But when you have a big feed bill, you have to consider those carefully.

I know that some just wiggle their way into your hearts and you couldn't bear to do away with them.  My pet chicken, Lizzie, is an example of that.  But the others, well, they are chickens.  I love on them, talk to them, give them treats, and they lay beautiful eggs for me.  If they stop laying, should I continue to feed them until they die?  Could I eat them?  We will have to wait and see on that one.

But a steer and pigs, what else do you do with them?  Several of you asked me specifically about the piglets.  And the answer is yes, we intend to eat them.  (Sorry, Rachel, I hope you'll forgive me and still follow my blog.) 

We have decide to adopt this attitude for our livestock animals: 
  • Give them a better life than they would have anywhere else
  • Grow healthy animals for healthy food
  • Understand and appreciate the sacrifice animals make
  • And lastly be thankful that we had the opportunity to raise them

Plain and simple, most people eat meat.  And the truth is we have become so disconnected from our food that we feel it is more humane to buy bacon at the store than to raise a pig and eat it yourself.  But is it?  But please know that I am not speaking from experience on this yet!  We are newbies to farm life.  And the Charlotte's Web images of saving Wilber are firmly etched in my mind.  But I saw those piglets mama and she was big, stinky and scary.  I think it will be easier when they are not so cute.  Until then we will call the steer - Ribeye and the piglets - Bacon, Sausage, and Pepperoni (although pepperoni is technically a mixture of meats).  Just so we will continually reminded ourselves that they are not just for fun but also for food.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

When life reminds you of a childrens book

This morning when I woke up in the Little Red Farmhouse, it seemed all the animals were hungry...

The cows were standing in there corner and began to moo "I need my creepe!  I really do."

They mooed to the puppy, who began to whine "The sun is up, it's feeding time."

The puppy ran out to the chickens who politely (remember they are from Pemberly Court) said "I need my breakfast, I need my bread"

As the chickens balked, they awoke the pigs "Give me my slop and we'll dance some jigs"

As they snorted at the horses, who began to neigh, "We're hungry, so hungry, we're hungry for hay."

I heard the falcon began to squawk "I need my meat, get me off this block!"

With the falcon flapping the turtle churned "Please kind boy drop me a worm"

M-o-o-o-o;  R-u-f-f;  O-i-n-k;  C-l-u-c-k;  N-e-i-g-h;  S-q-u-a-w-k;  B-u-b-b-l-e;

I saw the coffee cup on my bednight stand; "Get up Sweetheart" my husband said.  I opened my eyes and said with a cry "Is it already time?  Oh, my!  Oh, my!

This morning reminded us of a book we used to read our boys when they were little.  All the animals were standing around waiting to be fed and we wanted to sleep in.  Wayne walked around waking everyone up telling them it was time to feed the livestock.  So much for sleeping in.

If you've never read the childrens book written by Pamela Duncan Edwards "The Grumpy Morning" you've missed out.  It's been a long standing favorite around our house even before we lived with the animals.  It's a must read with your children and grandchildren.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Honey flat bread (Communion bread)

Tonight I made one of our family favorites - flatbread.  It's made with scalded milk and honey and is soooo good.  We actually use it for a communion bread on the occasion when we have church at home. 

3/4 c scalded milk
1/4 c honey
1/4 c butter
1 t salt
1 egg
2 1/2 c flour

Warm milk, honey & butter.  Beat egg in a seperate bowl.  In a large bowl, mix salt into flour.  Stir milk mixture slowly into flour.  Add egg.  Continue to stir until all flour is incorporated.  Knead dough adding more flour but just until it doesn't stick to your hands. 

Roll out on greased cookie sheet pan.  Prick with fork and stripe with knife.  This is to symbolize Christ's sacrifice for each of us.  Isaiah 53:3 "But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed."
Yes, my pan is an oldie but a goodie.
Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.  Rub a stick of butter over hot flatbread until top is lightly coated.  Cut into squares.  Serve with grape juice or wine for communion or steak and salad for supper.

Or sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar for a sweet snack.  Or do all three.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Three little pigs

Our son, Jonah, has been really wanting some pigs.  Not to show, just to raise.  Today we got three little hampshire crosses.  They are about 7 weeks old and so cute.

Just look at that smile!  Jonah is one happy pig owner.

He spent about 5 hours building a temporary pen for them until he can build a better one.  It's a pretty sturdy pen with a straw bale house.  He spent the afternoon in the pen with them.
And how did we get them home?  In the back of the Tahoe, of course.  They didn't even cry we-we-we.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Got a Deere

Today was a milestone on our new little farm. 
Today we got a tractor!

Yep, it's a Deere.  Don't you just love that green! That color makes it cost more, you know, but it's just so classic. The boys (ages 78 to 11) are all excited.  It's a big toy but will no doubt make work around here easier. 
I even got to take it for a spin.  Fun stuff!
Jared is sporting a new green hat.  Probably will sleep in it tonight!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Caramel apples

Is there anything that says "Fall" like caramel apples?

I have been craving them for a week and decided today was the day.
Pretty simple really - 10 apples, 2 bags caramel (minus the ones you pop in your mouth when unwrapping them), sticks (mine came with the caramels), 4 T. water, & chopped walnuts.  
Melt caramel, dip apples, and refrigerate for one hour if you can wait that long.
Adding nuts to a couple of them insures that I will get to enjoy some too since the boys don't like nuts.  It's my own way of reserving treats for myself.  Ingenius, huh? You do what you have to do when you live with 4 hungry guys!

 Don't those look good?
What is your favorite fall treat?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Farm sign

It's finished!  I decided to let it distress itself over time.  With that rough cedar, I'm sure it won't take long.
We have a painter here today to finish making the new fence white.

If you want to see the process of making the sign see this and that.


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