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Showing posts from January, 2011

New digs for the pigs

A huge winter storm is on it's way, and the three little pigs decided to destroy their straw bale house.
So this weekend a new house was made of wood.  We all worked on it and built it from start to finish in 5 hours.  Not bad for no plans.  Of course it has open tailed rafters ~ a must on this farm.  As with the chicken coop, we built it at my husband's shop and then had to transport it.  It got bigger and heavier as we went along. 

Then we had to figure out how to get it in the pig pen.  Luckily it was just narrow enough to slide between the fence posts.
But first, we had to corral the pigs because, believe me, you don't want to chase them around the yard.  I speak from experience on that!

Then the guys took down part of the fence, 

slid the pig house off the trailer,

and too the perfect spot in the pen.
 
 
And what did the three little pigs do?

They started chewing on the house!  There are teeth marks and mud all over it and I haven't even painted it yet.   I am …

Lemon poppy seed hand scrub

First, let me say thanks to HollyHox for inspiring me!  She always has such great ideas.  So yeah, I was a copy cat on this one only hers was lavender and I didn't have any of that.  Still it's so fabulous, I had to share it with you.  And in the dead of winter, who doesn't need a good hand scrub?  So...get to the pantry girl!  Let's make some.
Lemon Poppy Seed Hand Scrub
1 cup olive oil 2 1/2 cups sugar juice of 2 lemons 1 teaspoon poppy seeds That's it.
Mix it up.
Put it in a pretty jar.
And kiss those dry hands goodbye.

Head on over to Holly's for the Lavender Scrub recipe.

Classic white dishes

I LOVE white dishes!
They are just so classic.
I have a random assortment...


But I am slowly collecting these...

Tuxton Restaurant China purchase at a local restaurant supply.
They are inexpensive (around $6 for a dinner plate) and don't mark, chip or break.
I just got this set of 10 luncheon plates for Christmas. Absolutely love them!

Restaurant dishes are just so durable.  You just can't beat 'em. Seriously, I have had a set of these bowls used every day for over 5 years and have only broken one. One! And remember, I have 3 boys!  That's saying something.

Tankless hot water forever... you betcha

Can you ever have too much hot water?  I don't think so.  Wayne has been telling me I needed to do a post on our hot water heater simply because... it's awesome!
When we built the house, we opted for a tankless water heater.  No need to heat and reheat water over and over.  Honestly, that is like keeping a pot on the stove all day long.  It's natural gas (but it comes in propane also) with an electric circuit board and heats the water as it travels through the pipes.  You can adjust the temperature just like a regular water heater so it can be as hot as you want it to be. 

The best part is ~ you can wash clothes
wash dishes
and still take as long of shower as you want, all at the same time. Really, you just don't run out of hot water ~ ever! It's a much appreciated feature of our farmhouse.

Plotting pigs

I'm pretty sure the pigs are plotting...
Bacon has been up on top of the hay bale house several times today checking out possible escape routes.
Guess they heard me talking about sausage recipes and decided the tunneling progress was not going fast enough.

Portrait of Jonah

Being sick gave me some time to finish this portrait of our son, Jonah.  He's 5'7" and almost 14 years old now but this is my favorite photo of him. It made a fun drawing.
I should have taken the shadows darker but I'm still struggling with that.  I improvised on the anchor on the hat because it just didn't look right.  With each portrait, I learn a little more.
I just love the sweet look on his face.

Initial art

Every have a frame that you love and you can't figure out what to put in it? Especially one that has two spaces for photos?  I've been looking at this one hanging in my house and it suddenly occurred to me ~ Initials!  So, I grabbed some scrap booking paper with a linen look and printed giant letters in very dark brown.  5 minutes ~  Done!
Hanging over our matching robes ~  Definitely!

Taking a breather

It is rare that I don't post for a week.  In fact, I'm not sure it has happened before but the flu hit the Red Farmhouse. And although, I'm pretty sure the quarantine flag can be taken down, it has left my asthma prone lungs short of breath.  Normally, my breathing is very controlled.  In fact, I haven't had an attack in 11 years.  But yesterday when my face turned pale and lips turned slightly purple, it was apparent that my recovery might not be as quick as I would like.  Antibiotics, steroids, breathing treatments 3xday ~ I hate medicine.  But I do like breathing.  So, that is what I am doing... resting & breathing.  I'm not complaining or trying to drum up sympathy.  Just lettin' you know... I'll be back to cooking, crafting, and farm animals soon, but right now, I am taking a breather.

Crocheting when it's cold

When it's cold outside, you will find me here.

There is nothing better to me than curling up in my cozy chair with a ball of yarn and a hook.  Well, maybe a Jane Austen movie is better, but this is a close second.


I crocheted several gifts for Christmas and love making things for others.  But when I found this yummy yarn, I decided it was all mine.  Brown and pink alpaca wool ~ and so soft!  I'm making it into a skinny scarf with alternating rows of double and single crochet.  Nothing fancy ~ keeping it simple.  It will match my new pink Carhart vest that my boys got for me.  I'm glad it is cold.  It's a good excuse to sit by the wood stove with yarn.

A horse and a blue tarp

Horses and tarps don't mix.  Skittish horses and blue tarps blowing in the wind really don't mix.  But if the horse trusts her leader and the leader keeps her busy and works slowly towards it, the scary horse eating tarp can be conquered.  You can't imagine how amazing this was for us, especially for my husband and his sweet but fearful horse.  We have been taking baby steps in our horse training but yesterday was a big leap for them.  Good job, Honey!  And good job, D!

 Back and forth... Back and forth... and finally standing still on it!

1 farm, 2 houses, 3 generations

We live here on the farm with my in-laws.  That is something that many may not like but it has worked out well for us.  Working in a family business together has kept us close over the years so living next door seems natural.  Back when we were looking for land to build our house, Wayne's parents were looking too.  Then we found this piece of property and decided to buy it together.  Even though it is legally split into two pieces of property, it makes up one farm.  We share a road, a veggie garden, a storm cellar, our water system, a tractor, and lunch every Saturday.  The boys love having grandparents right next door.  And she stocks cokes and candy to keep them coming by to visit often.



Their home is so cute painted in classic country blue.   It's a one story, two bedroom but a little smaller than ours. Inside, it very traditional {unlike ours} but outside it's a perfect match to ours.  My talented husband designed his parent's home in 3 hours.  And then we contract…

What else could happen today?

I can't even believe what happened around the farm today...

We discovered that my whole flock of chickens has a fungus called favus.  We thought the rooster had frostbite at first.  Then we researched and then inspected all the girls.  And yes, they all have it.  It's supposed to be rare in North America.  We started topical treatment with Monistat cream of all things.  I'm concerned that some may have to be put down including Mr Darcy here.


Our youngest son found poison ivy and is covered in it.  Yes, even in the dead of winter.

And...

Ready?

One of the pigs ate glass!  It must have worked it's way up out of the ground.  Wayne heard "Sausage" crunching on something and tried to get it all from him but he was determined that the glass pieces were yummy and gobbled some down.  Good grief!  Try googling that!  "My pig ate glass." 

I can't even imagine what the vet is going to say tomorrow!

Crab & shrimp boil

Anytime we want to have a special dinner, we usually do a crab and shrimp boil.  They are lots of fun to fix and to eat. No silverware needed just some butter and cocktail sauce in bowls and some rather large cloth napkins! Yum!


You start with a huge pot of water.  I use my canning pot.  Then add one package of crab & shrimp boil seasoning (any kind you want) and a lemon quartered.  Bring water to a rolling boil.  Add snow crab legs and raw unpeeled shrimp.  For our family of five, I cook 5 crab legs sections and 4 pounds of shrimp.  {It's a lot but we have growing boys!}  Bring back to a rolling boil and boil 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let seafood set in water 5-15 more minutes.  This allows seasoning to soak in.  Drain and turn out on the table covered with newsprint or packing paper.  I also add a layer of plastic garbage bags on table so it doesn't soak through.  Let cool as long as you can stand it, roll up your sleeves, and dig in!

We started with a Caesar sala…