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.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sunrise Chores

Farm animals wake up a little earlier than I want to.
They are up with the sun letting us know it's time
 for us to get up too.

The chickens are let out first mainly because the rooster's crow increases in volume if you don't.

The pigs prefer to sleep in ~ all except this little one who wants to know why I disturbed him without bringing him breakfast.

And of course the goats are ready to recieve their handful of grain and handfulls of petting.

Oh look, there is a great blue heron on the pond this morning.

One of the boys goes to feed their cattle.

Lugging 50 lbs of grain, they hop the fence.
The calves are always waiting for them.

A quick peek at the horses to make sure they are all ok and we're almost done.
Looks like D has a friend this morning.

Let's stop to smell a rose, shall we?
As cold as it is, they won't be around much longer.

And what do I wear to do these sunrise chores?
Yes, of course, satin pjs, warm fuzzy white robe,
& work boots!
I mean, what else would you wear at sunrise on a farm?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Big Ole Buckles

Nothing better to a young cowboy than a shiny brass belt buckle that he earned.


Last night was our youth rodeo's awards banquet.
Jonah won Reserve Champion for Chute Dogging.


WooHoo!  Way to wrestle those calves.


And Jared made Finalist.


Plus Jared was surprised to recieve a special award of sportsmanship!  This one was in honor of a girl that lost her life in a rodeo accident years ago.  She always had a good attitude even if she lost and always cheered on her competitors.  This year the award was given to our little guy.



Those are big ole buckles!
Good job, guys.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This boy and this dog

You never know what they are going to do.
J3 likes to find long stems of grass and put them in his mouth.
So, of course, Sammie has to too.

I know it's a dark picture & I'm sorry but it's just too cute!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hawk in hand

Jake is coming along training his new hawk, Valora.


I just love to see her fly to the fist.
They have been practicing this a lot


increasing the distance each time.

Look closely.  She's flying close to the ground.
 Raise the hand.  Blow the whistle.
Fly!


Perfect landing!


It's amazing how fast a falconer can connect to a wild bird.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Flower garden revival

The cooler temperatures have put my cottage garden
back into full bloom.


These white periwinkles are voluntary
and actually growing in the gravel path.


The gaillardia is always a favorite and has provided constant color
 even through the drought.


The knockout roses are full of blooms.


I almost ripped out this varigated lantana because it didn't bloom all summer.  It's making up for it now.


A few mums to fill in dead spots and some pots of pansies with pumpkins and it looks like fall around the farmhouse.


I love fall!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who-Who! Who's on the roof?

Barn owl
but not just one,
a pair.

photo credit: hawkinghomestead

Serenading each other in the moonlight.
One on the peak of the roof.

and one on the stove pipe.
How romantic.

If you're not trying to sleep, that is.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Farm Pedicures

That means the farrier has been to the farm.  Every 6-10 weeks (depending on the season) he visits to make sure the horse's hooves are in good shape. 

They are trimmed,

filed and shaped up.

Our farrier has been with us since before we started working with our natural horesmanship trainer.  In fact, he's the one who refered us to him.  They haven't always stood so nicely for their pedicures.  It's rewarding to share with him about how far we have come in our horse journey.


It's also nice for them to be in great shape for riding too.


 Now if I can just convince him to trim the goats.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Favorite Farmhouse Feature - Providence Quilt

With the cooler weather coming on, I've been reminded how happy I am with our bedding choice to curl up under. Every farmhouse needs a quilt.  Frankly, I don't think our home could be a called a farmhouse without one. I've been asked many times where our quilt came from and the answer to that is Pottery Barn.  Although it is new, it possesses a vintage feel with old fashioned fabric prints and hand quilted stitches.  Was it a splurge? Yes.  But after nearly two years of daily use, it still looks the way it did when we first put it on our bed.


We paired the Providence Quilt with a set of pure white Matelasse shams and a white linen tailored bedskirt.  The combination is not frilly but certainly comfy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Typical Monday


Running here, running there.
After lunch I needed to take one of the boys to a homeschool class.
I always try to look nice when I go there.
You know, my one day out that I see my peers.
Grab my cute brown denim jacket on my way out the door...

"What?  There's chicken poop on the front of it!"
"Great."  I run to closet to get something else that would match my outfit.
My well loved gray sweatshirt is the only other thing that will do.
**Sniff, sniff**
"Oh no!  It smells like goats!"  I played with the little goat guys yesterday in that.
Run to the bathroom for a little Bath & Body Vanilla perfume.
That's better ~ I think.

Off we go...
Jump in the truck.
Forgetting that I picked up hay this morning at the feed store, I rolled down the windows.
  As soon as I hit the gas, the stray hay swept through the truck
and into my hair.
"Good grief!  Now I smell like goats & vanilla and have hay in my freshly curled hair!"
This is not a glamorous life I lead.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Angel Biscuits

Light as air
&
fluffy as feathers,
these biscuits live up to their name.

With both baking powder and yeast,
 these are sure to rise.
And butter ~ oh my, 2 sticks!
Slather some on top too, why don't you?  You can never have enough butter.


This recipe is from this month's Country Living magazine.
Chef John Besh contributed this one and it's a keeper.
His easy cobbler recipe is a keeper too.
Identical with mine.  Yes, John and I swap recipes. {yeah, right}

Back to the angel biscuits.

1 pkg. active dry yeast
5 cups flour
1/4 sugar
2 T baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
2 sticks butter
2 cups buttermilk

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 warm water & set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. 
Using a pastry blender, cut in butter. 
Stir in buttermilk and reserved yeast to make a fairly wet dough.
So far, so good.

Sprinkle flour on work surface.
Divide dough in half.
Roll half out to 1/2 inch thickness and about 9x12 size.
Fold dough lengthwise in thirds to create layers in your biscuits.
Cut into six 3 inch squares.
Repeat with other half.

This will make 12 large biscuits.
Or cut smaller (like I will next time) to make more.
Place biscuits, just touching, on nonstick baking sheet.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

{If you are like me and just saw the "overnight", don't worry!
Just put them out to rise and bake.  They will still be de-lish!}


Bake at 400 until golden brown for 20-25 minutes.
Don't forget to slather with butter.
Heavenly!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chicks rock!

It almost seems like spring here with cooler temperatures
and baby animals on the farm.

Since I have been selling eggs, I decided to expand my flock this fall so the new pullets would be laying by spring.


The post office called at 6:40  (Yes, that's AM)
to tell us they had arrived and to please come get them
NOW.

Ordered 27.
Recieved 30.
1 didn't make it :(
and 1 is being nursed along.


There are some really cute Americanas in the bunch
but the stars of the show are the Polish girls.

Meet the band ~
Blondie, Tina, & Stevie


They've got the 80's dos to carry off those names, don't you think?


Jared wanted some cool chickens so these girls are just for him.
 He's convinced (and so am I) that these 
chicks rock!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jake's new hawk


Over the weekend, Jake went with his falconry sponsor and caught his new bird ~
a Red Tailed Hawk.
After all of us logging nearly 21 hours in the car looking for the right bird, we couldn't be happier.


She is a beautiful young girl.  You can tell she is a passage (juvenille) because her tail is not red yet but rather striped.  And he knows it's a female by it's weight.  The girls are heavier.


She is getting used to sitting quietly on his hand and doing very well.
Every once in a while she tries to fly away though.


Just look at those wide wings
and those beautiful intimidating eyes!


He's pretty proud of her.
For Jake, the hard work of training now begins.


For the full story of Jake's falconry apprenticeship see his blog.

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