Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Homestead

Here's hoping yours is Healthy and Happy!

Our Christmas eve was quiet.  Man's business is very busy so we spent the day working.  I've started helping out in the woodshop as well.  So all three of us were working like Santa's elves to get everyone's Christmas wishes completed for pick up.

A local family had a terrible fire night before last and lost absolutely everything, so I've been sorting clothes for the mama.  She is about the same size as I am.  Scott took a gift to the bank and we are looking at what else we can do.  Luckily, a neighbor saw the blaze and was able to pull the two of the family to safety.  They didn't have an alarm and they almost slept through it!  Thank God everyone is alright!! 

And it is a reminder to us to test the smoke alarms and burn a cresote 'log' to clean out the inside of the chimney again.  Since we heat only with wood, this is so important.

Boy's favorite friend and her family were to spend Christmas Eve with us, but they had unexpected the form of little hair they are having a "Lousey" Christmas.  Keep your chin up,'s almost over!!

Tomorrow, my sister will be over to have Christmas dinner with us!  We're on "puppy watch" as there is a 10% chance that Iona, the pyrenees might have puppies.  At this point, I don't think so as she doesn't seem to be "showing", but we'll see...she would be due between Christmas day and New Year's Day.  So right now she is living on the back porch.  We tried to bring her into the house, but she totally freaked out!

Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas!  Remember why we celebrate it!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Early Hard Winter

The cold came in fast!!  It went from 40* to 5* in a day....unfortunately, the animals did not take well to the quick temperature change.  We have lost all the Californian Rabbits except Robbie.  And we also lost Sweetie (the lop).  So far, we have lost 3 guineas (both the white ones) and 14 hens (mostly the newish Americaunas) and Gibby Gabby.  Most all we lost the same night...the first really cold one.  It's disappointing because we did have the coop winterized.  It's continued to be frigid and we have not lost any more in the past 4 nights, so hopefully the worst is over.

Here it is the beginning of Christmas week.  I can't believe I haven't posted since Thanksgiving.  Sorry about that!  2011 will be better!  I promise.  I will be posting regularly for a few different topics.  I've been coming up with my plans for the blog and the new year.  As I posted before, I will be blogging for an online "newpaper." and the articles will also be posted here.  I am mainly a homeschooling examiner, but will be posting on some other topics as watch for homeschooling articles.  I've also come up with some "themes" to keep me posting on a regular basis.  I will also be doing some reviews of products and will be able to do giveaways as well!  WOOT!  So start commenting.  The more comments I have, the more products I'm given to review and give away!

Here are some things to look forward to:
Made from Scratch Mondays
"Wordless Wednesday" (This is from another blog carnival)
Field Trip Friday
Homesteading Homeschool

Let me know what you would like to see....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's Thanksgiving week...and time to be thankful.  I'm thankful for my family who have had to deal yet AGAIN with my health issues....and my mental health issues.  For the farm despite all the work it is.  For bountiful crops and full pantries. For a job that has been here even when I don't love it and even gives me time to blog occasionally.

Last week we took the last 10 meat chickens to be butchered.  Well, I thought it was the last 10 birds...after returning from the processor...two more were lurking around.  We have a bit of a challenge with "chicken math".  Two nights before it was time to take them, I tried to count the number of birds we have.  There are so many right now that I don't really break it out by what they are...just a beak count.  I came up with 73.  THEN we took 10 to the it should be 63, right??  I counted 67...then found 4 more sleeping in a tree...HUH?!?!  So God multiplied where I subtracted.  Since then we have lost 3.  We had gone almost 6 weeks without finding a dead bird, so it was a bit disheartning to start counting again only to have them go and die on me.  So I think we are at "about" 70 birds. 

  • 2 silkies (Professor & Princess)
  • 3 adult Muscovy Ducks (1 Drake-Drake, 2 hens- Brownie & Quack)
  • 6 "teen" Muscovies (1 Drake, 5 Hens)
  • 1 Turkey (Thanksgiving-whom I think has been dieting as he is not ready for Thursday)
  • 11 Guineas (2 white, 8 purple, 1 white & purple)
  • 2 "left over" meat birds
  • 2 roosters (Boo the Americauna and Mohawk the Rhode Island Red)
  • 43 Hens (20 newish Americaunas, 2 newish RIR, and some of our named birds including the original Buffy and Muffy and Arica.  Also Susie and Gibby-Gaby)
We've had a dwindling of baby rabbits and are down to 2 "teen" Californias.  So the Rabbit Count is:
  • Robbie (Buck-Californian)
  • Meg & Mollie (Does-Californians)
  • Spot (Buck-Lop)
  • Sweetie & Frosty (Does-Lops)
  • 2 Teen Californians that need to be "checked"
  • There is a possiblity that I will be picking up another female "mini-lop" today.
Everyone is going to be breed this weekend.

We still have the 3 dogs.  Kristl, the inside Eskimo Princess.  Danny, the inside Eskimo Spazz (who was fixed on November 8th and just finished wearing the "Cone of Shame". and Iona, our barn dog Pyrenees.  She is getting on the thin side so we are working on getting her fattened up for winter.  Also, we are not completely convinced that Danny didn't have a romantic interlude with her before his trip to the vet....those cold be some interesting looking pups!

Friends of ours has asked if we would consider keeping a meat cow on the property for them.  We are considering it.  There is the whole fence situation...some areas are not very secure....and I'd like to have a goat or two to take care of the weeds and such.  If we do keep a steer for meat....I'm thinking we ought to have one for milk too.  But that's kinda getting the horse before the cart....oh and speaking of a horse....JK!

Our church had a "Thanksgiving" dinner last night.  I didn't get to go because of work, but the guys went and took my entry for the Cranberry contest.  Each family needed to make a dish with cranberries in it. It could be dessert, salad, etc.  I made a Cranberry and Apple Crisp Bake with Honey Crisp Apples.  There were 18 entries....and I got 3rd!!  WOOT!  So I hope I wrote down.....somewhere.....what I did!

So there's a quick update as to the happenings on the farm.  I am looking to redo the blog so it has tabs and catagories instead of having 6 different blogs going on.  I have been accepted as a local and national blogger for an online magazine site so I need to get this stuff figured out soon.  The bonus of having deadlines for my blogging is that you will now get more timely updates!  There will be tabs for homeschooling, homesteading, canning, scrapbooking, and also one for Zachary's "Smiles for Sam" blog...which was also updated this week.  There are also some other things that I am working on that will be a cool addition if I can get it worked out....hopefully by January. 

Stay tuned.....and please comment!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My apoligies

I have been very far from blogging see, I have a bad back.  And it has it's moments when it MUST have all the attention.  The last 5 weeks have been all about it.

It's not really better, and I'm coming to realize, that this is my "thorn", as Paul put it.  I'm learning to cope and relearn how to do what must be done, and can be done....just differently.

We'll be back with farm antics, homeschool antics, my new cupcake obsession, and the last of the canning very soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Canning Scoreboard

Below is the list of the jars on my shelf.....(I didn't put quantities)

  • Jelly / Jam
    • Sunshine (Peach/Pear)
    • Blackberry
    • Black Raspberry
    • Queen Anne Lace (aka Weed Jelly)
    • Cherry
    • Blueberry
    • Elderberry
    • Concord Grape
    • Peach / Cantaloupe Conserve
    • Peach
    • Strawberry
    • Red Raspberry

  • Veggies
    • Corn
    • Creamed Corn
    • GreenBeans
  • Fruits
    • Diced Tomatoes
    • Quartered Tomatoes
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Tart Cherries
  • Others
    • Spiced Pears Pear Chutney
    • Peach Salsa
    • Tomato Salsa
    • Tomato / Tomatillo Salsa
    • Pickled Peppers (Pepperochinis)
    • Bottled Tomato / Garlic / Basil
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Corn (not on the cob)
  • Blueberries
  • Peppers
  • Corn (Have I mentioned how much corn I got?  Look here)
  • Blueberries
  • Elderberries
  • Peppers
Other Harvest
  • Homegrown Popcorn

It's been a busy summer....and I still have two pear trees that need harvested and processed and also 2 bushels of apples to do.  And possibly a few more tomatoes.  And I need to dig up the potato harvest.  Oh, and I picked up Golden Raspberries at a U Pick...well, actually Boy picked, so that will be jelly soon.

Oh, I was asked if I am selling the jellies....yes, I suppose so...The local market for a half pint is $3.50.  Let me know....

Monday, September 13, 2010

for 'colie

I was picking up our RIR's and saw this crate.

Diversity and a Balanced Portfolio...

Our flock has never been told that they shouldn't get along with other types of fowl, so we have everyone free ranging together.  It's what I like to call a "balanced portfolio".  Who needs stocks and bonds.

So...see if you can find all our different types of birds in these pictures...You will definitely find more than one type per picture!!

Thanksgiving, the turkey
6 lavender guineas
2 white guineas
meat chickens
rooster, Boo
meat chickens
layer chickens
pullet chickens
mama duck
Drake Duck

Answer Key

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Rhode Island Reds

A lady who lives up north of us was looking to rehome 4 of her Rhode Island Red Hens and their Rooster.  Boy and I went up and after getting lost a few times...ended up with 5 very beautiful and healthy chickens to add to our flock.  Currently they are in isolation in the movable coop while everyone gets used to one another.  We're not sure how Boo (our Americauna rooster) and Mohawk (the new RIR rooster) are going to get along....but if one has to go, it will be Mohawk.  We love Boo and he is so gentle with his girls.

Boy and Mohawk

Friday, September 10, 2010

Apple Pickin'


We love Honey Crisp Apples.  And so does everyone!  There was a traffic jam getting into the orchard on the morning they were "released" and they were gone by the afternoon!!! 

We brought home a whole bushel!

Then we went to the farmers market and bough another peck of peaches, a peck of peppers, a bag of pickle cucumbers, an onion and an acorn squash
(I grew two but the chickens got to them--grr)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


No pictures with this post.  We butchered 11 of our meat chickens today.  What a mess...and an experience.  I was totally queasy at first, but after a bit you get somewhat de-sensitized.  But the smell. UG!  We wanted to do all of them (ME especailly as they have decimated my tomato patch!!), but with the "learning curve" it took almost 6 hours just to do those.

So the others get another few weeks to get bigger....and now that I know HOW to do it...I think I might see if I can find a local processor :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ducklings getting big!

Our first clutch of "surprise" ducklings are getting so big.  It's fun to watch them dipping for water under the watchful eye of Brownie, their mama.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Second clutch of ducklings.

Blackie our Muscovy has been sitting on a nest....forever!

Finally she hatched out 7 ducklings (1 didn't make it)
Here they are just a few hours old.

Unfortunately, within about 5 hours of the last hatch, we found Blackie dead on the floor.  What a dedicated mama that she waited until all were hatched.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Samuel earned his angel wings at 7:07PM surrounded by his family in his bed at home. Samuel is now healed, cancer free, running on both legs again.

Our lives, especially my son's, has been forever changed. We will again face the day in prayer for Sam's family, and the half a million lives (no exaggeration-that's how many unique visits his caringbridge site has) he touched. And also for my boy, as we deal with another loved one, gone for been reunited when we have completed our mission here.

Thank you for your prayers.

We are still collecting funds for the Bish family personally, and Zachary is still determined to do his bike ride, but now it will be a memorial bike ride. Please consider helping as they still have many medical bills that no parent should have to worry about right after losing their precious son to this disease.
The following is about the new Sam Bish foundation that is being set up.
" For 375 days, Sam showed us what it is to be a true JEDI. . . May he rest in Peace and soar in glory. He was on this earth for 3,494 days. . . He wanted to "live" for the next 50 years, well, Samuel I will make sure you will! A True JEDI, never to be forgotten. 
I promised Sammy if he wouldn't live for 50 years, I would make sure his name NEVER died. . .well, Sammy may be gone physically, BUT his name will carry on. . .I will tell you I haven't figured out all the logistics of it all, but this foundation will be made to support families with children battling this disease (Sammy's Jedis), and to bring smiles to their faces ("Smiles from Sam")

The Samuel Bish Foundation" on Facebook

Friday, August 20, 2010

URGENT!!! PRAY NOW!!! Please read below and PRAY!

Sam's church sent out an e-mail this afternoon asking for prayer for Sam and his family. I am sending out an abreviated version of this e-mail. If you feel led please be in prayer for their son sometime between the hours of 5:00-9:00PM tonight. Sam is continuing to "fight" but his body is shutting down.

The following is Acts 12:1-5: It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

The church suffered in two ways. First, their friend, James was martyred. This James is the second half of the Sons of Thunder, you know, James & John. James was close to Jesus, but died as Jesus predicted. Now a second threat rises up. Herod has put Peter in prison. Herod most likely will do to Peter what he had done to James. So the church prayed… read verse 5 again.

“So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. “

This verse made me think of Sam Bish. I’m not trying to be clever here, but Sam is also in a prison. The prison of his body. So here is my request. I would like the entire church to pray within a four hour time span a prayer that is sincere and brief: Maybe between 5:00P.M and 9:00P.M tonight. Pray…

“Dear God Almighty,

We bring Sam Bish to you once again. God, you know Sam is stuck in the prison of his body. God, we desire your will to be done in Sam’s life and in ours. That’s why we pray. Our prayer is this. Please deliver him from his prison. God, please perform a miracle. We know you did miracles and you continue to work miracles. God, please remove this cancer from his body. We know that with miracles come responsibility. We will be responsible to tell everyone what you did, so that you will receive the honor and glory. God, if Sam is not going to be healed, please again deliver him from his body. Take him home. Welcome him into heaven this day. Bring rest to his body and to his family who love him so much. We pray this in the name of Jesus.”


Hey, don’t forget – Peter got out. Acts 12:11: Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating." Who knows, God just might rescue Sam too!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Please pray....

I haven't mentioned this as often as it is on our heart....Boy's friend Samuel.  If you remember from some time back, Sam was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (cancer) on August 10, 2009.  He has had a rough year.  Many rounds of chemo, hospital stays, and surgeries.  We've been to visit a few times, but not as often as we would have liked.  He is always in our thought, prayers and conversations.  We were excited to know he and his whole family that we love were going to Florida to Disney with Make a Wish.

On the Monday before Grandma's funeral, we found out that Sam's latest scan did not come back with good news.  Not only is his cancer back in his lungs, but it has spread to other areas.

We are devistated for him and his family.  We are still praying without ceasing and asking for you to pray for healing and peace for Sam. And for his family.  His parents are having to do the unthinkable on the anniversary of his diagnosis.

He's at home now, no more hospitals, chemo, etc. Hospice is helping out.  Words fail me.  I've been trying to put on a "happy face" and blog like always, but the truth is...nothing is the same.  

We had another little friend, age 7, battling cancer that gained her "angel wings" this Saturday.  It is very very hard for me, as an adult, to wrap my mind around....I can't image what it's like for Boy to be losing friends...his age to this terrible disease.

Please pray....pray without ceasing...and hug your loved ones and little ones just a little tighter tonight.

Challenge for today!!! is the day...a wonderful scrapbooking / picture opportunity.

What are you doing at 05:06:07 on 08/09/10???  Take a picture!

I did this a few years ago at 01:02:03 on 04/05/06.  It was just a few days before we had to put our beloved Freckles down.  I had wonderful pictures of him and the Boy asleep.'s your turn....don't miss it can do it AM or PM.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I apoligize for the lack of posting this week...I will try to get caught up far I've posted 7 new be sure to look a few pages least 4!!!  I've posted stuff from the middle of July and dated it so it would be in order.

I discovered this week that I have not one, but two regular readers!  WOOHOO!!!  Hey A!!! Thanks for reading...I'll try to be entertaining.  grin. 

If there is anyone else reading...drop me a comment, so I know you are out there!

Monday, August 2, 2010


I have been very blessed in my life with friends.  I have some very, VERY good friends, most in the same place of their walk in life as me.  (Homeschooling moms, Christian).  Each one brings out different sides of me and all are a huge blessing.  They inspire me as to who I should 'grow up to be.'  Some I don't get to see very often, but when we do get together, it's like we've never been apart (Hello, Mabel!)

But God has given me 3 lifelong friends.  I have no doubt they will be with me until my dying day.

 First is my DH.  God knew just what He was doing when He brought us together.  I could go on and on about why we are a matched set, but I will save that post for later this week....on his birthday.

I was recently explaining to my wonderful Boy how we have the family that we are given...then we have the family that we choose. (Close friends).  This conversation came about after he asked me how he ended up with SO many Aunts.   So then we got to my cousin....and she is family I was given and family by choice.  We will always be friends because, well, we are related....and truly we are so different.  I grow rutabaga, she refuses to believe it exists.  But we are alike in some crazy ways.  And, I can't imagine my life without her in it.  In our family she is Aunt N.  She is a BFF!

Then there is Aunt S.  Aunt S and I have been friends since we were in the 2nd grade.  She screamed in the ear of a bully to get him to leave me alone.  We were both the new girls in class.  Despite me moving quite a bit, we stayed really close friend all through school. Then my cousin BFF met my school BFF and they became cool!  Then I moved to Arizona....yet we still managed to stay friends.  I moved back to Ohio and you would think with the closer proximity we would see one another more often...but we are both busy in our respective lives....she works days, me nights.  She has teenagers (Oh, MY!) and I have a bazillion chickens.  You get the idea.  But we stay in touch with email and I know that if I need her, she will be there.  Crazy enough, it's been about 4 years since we physically saw one another.  But....I sent an email about my grandma's passing and she was there at the visitation a few hours later.

Below all are represented in these pictures. 

My dear, wonderful husband (BFF) spent time talking with (I hope) one of my future BFFs (Boy).

Man was documenting the farewell to my beloved grandma...and caught me breaking down..

...followed by....being comforted by Aunt S...
....and then Aunt N...
And then Boy wanted to comfort (and be comforted) too...

I love all four of you!!  Thanks for being my BFFs.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

So how much is a bushel and a peck.....

According to this...and notice it is NOT takes 4 pecks to make a bushel.  A peck and bushel are volume measurements and not weight.  So a bushel of wheat is a different weight than say a bushel of corn.  A bushel is 8 dry gallons...making a peck 2 gallons....then there is the barrel measurement...3 bushels.

Now why am I discussing this....well because I thought it would be brilliant to put up not 1, no, not 2 but 3 bushels of corn this weekend.   According to the article above...if you were going by weight, a bushel of corn is 70 pounds....yes, so I shucked, blanched, cut, froze, canned, or dehydrated 210 pounds of sweet corn.  Yes, I did a whole "barrel" of corn.  Man & Boy helped with the first bushel....all processing pictures are of ONE bushel only.
Yes, brilliant!

The bag is 1/2 of a bushel....there were SIX bags!!!

And more importantly.....

"I love you a bushel and peck
A bushel and peck and a hug around the neck
A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap and I'm talking in my sleep
About you, about you

Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your pretty neck, I do
Doodle, oodle, oodle, doodle, oodle, oodle, doodle, oodle, oodle oo

I love you a bushel and peck
A bushel and peck though you make my heart a wreck
Make my heart a wreck and you make my life a mess
Make my life a mess, yes
A mess of happiness
About you, about you

Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your pretty neck, I do
Doodle, oodle, oodle, doodle, oodle, oodle, doodle, oodle, oodle oo
I love you a bushel and peck
A bushel and peck and it beats me all to heck
Beats me all to heck and I'll never tend the farm
Never tend the farm when I wanna keep my arm
About you, about you

Cause I love you a bushel and a peck
You bet your pretty neck, I do
Doodle, oodle, oodle, doodle, oodle, oodle, doodle, oodle, oodle oo"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Grandma

What do I grandma was so beloved to our whole family.  She was the quiet backbone.  Everyone went to Grandma.  She knew everything.  She has a special talent of making each of her grandkids (and great-grands) think that they were the absolute favorite.  (Even though, I know >>I<< was her favorite--grin!)  She brought out the best in each of us.

She was a breast cancer survivor before there really were survivors. She saw so much in her 92 years. She raised 4 sons with grace and humor. She told me that she loved the Lord and had accepted Jesus as her Savior.

In my life, she stayed with me while I had chicken pox.  I spent a week with my cousin at her house doing crafts every summer, and went to the fireworks with her and Grandpa at the main post office.  I walked to her house after school.  She and I rode the bus downtown to Lazarus to pick out my birthday present...a pink Minnie Mouse watch.  She and my mom and I would go "get lost" and explore different parts of the city.  She was at every milestone...Confirmation, Graduation, Wedding, Baby Shower.  She gave me wings.  She gave me the opportunity to drive to Baltimore for my Cousin/BFFs graduation....then gave me permission to go with my cousin and her friends on an unsupervised trip to Ocean City.  Something my parents were too protective to do.  When I "ran" off to Arizona, she gave me her blessing.

My darling son, as a preschooler, gave her a new name "Great-Grandma Big Clock" because she sat in the living room with her big grandfather clock.  The name stuck.  Every card he has from her has Great-Gma Big Clock as the signature.  (Or G-Gma and a drawn clock face)

She was so wise, so wonderful...I could go on for pages and pages with my memories.

I have been so blessed.  She went out to dinner with us just a few weeks ago for Father's Day.

Grandma went home to be with her Savior this morning. 

I did get to spend about 2 hours with her last night.  Despite everyone warning me that she was not very lucid and wasn't remembering who people were, she opened her eyes and called me by name.  She called Boy by name and asked him about his rabbits.

We sang Amazing Grace to her, and she tried so hard to sing along.  After falling asleep for a bit, she awoke and said "More Grace".  So we sang it a few more times.

She will be SOOO missed by everyone in our family.

I love you, Grandma!  I'll see you when I get there.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


It's Blueberry season! 
This is my first year picking and canning blueberries.  I found a great blueberry U-pick only about 10 miles from our farm.  I went out with a good friend and her brother, wife and his daughter.
It was hot!!
After picking one bucket worth...they were done, so they took me home and headed back to the city.  I got in my car and headed back to the blueberry patch to pick another bucket full.
While I was picking the second bucket, my mom called to tell me that my Grandma went home to heaven.  I finished picking with a heavy heart.  I had spent the day before with Grandma and was hoping to take her some fresh berries to cheer her.  But she was already somewhere infinitely blueberries could match that kind of joy.

To keep busy, I got the blueberries processed.  I have a few pictures, but I don't really remember doing the work.
I dehydrated 1/2 a bucket, I froze 1/2 bucket.
I made blueberry jam with a bucket and a small batch of blueberry syrup. (I don't like how that turned out so I will be reprocessing that when I find a different recipe.)

Boy is helping!!! He is stirring the pot.

12 jars of Jam,
3 jars of syrup
1 gallon of frozen berries
1quart of dehydrated berries

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Queen Anne's Lace Jelly

When you set yourself a lofty goal to can or preserve something everyday for a week and nothing is ready in the garden....nothing is picking at the "u-picks"....What to do...I got it...make jelly out of weeds!

Queen Anne’s Lace Jelly

18 large Queen Anne’s lace flower heads
4 Cups water
1/4 Cup lemon juice
1 pkg. powdered pectin
3 1/2 Cups + 2 Tbsp. sugar

Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add flower heads (push them down into the water). Cover and
steep 30 minutes. Strain.

Measure 3 Cups liquid into 4-6 quart pan. Add lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring
constantly. Add sugar and stir constantly. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil 1
minute longer, then remove from heat. Skim.

Pour into jars leaving 1/4” head space. Process in hot water bath for 5 minutes.

Makes about 6 jars.

Thank you, PixieLou, for the recipe!

My camera is not cooperating so check back on Monday for finished pictures..the verdict by the way...I think it tastes a bit like sweet pink grapefruit jelly.  Boy says "medicine".  Man says "It's acquired taste...but good."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Green Beans

We spent a really fun day as a family today...and with family friends.  First thing in the morning, off to a few garage sales...I was able to get some blue ball jars with zinc lids (very old) and 2 cast iron frying pans.

Then our friends came over...the two husbands, and 3 kids rode their bikes into our little town for "Fun Day".  It wasn't a big fair or anything but it was neat.  A few booths, a yard sale or two, a hotdog stand.  Then back to the house and onto a somewhat (not really) bigger festival 11 miles up the road.  The sweet corn was outstanding. (It was afterall, a sweet corn festival).  Not very much to really look at.  There was one vendor selling Amish produce. 

We got some delicious tomatoes...I can't wait til ours are ready, and a "candy onion."  Finally the beans looked so good.  I was just going to get enough for dinner, but the guy said he'd make me a great home we went with 1/2 bushel of beans.

I didn't get them canned until Monday, but ended up with 4 quarts and 14 pints of beans.  (I make more pints as we are a small family and usually I don't need a big jar all at once.)  I'd like to put a bit more up, but wait until a little later in the season.

I've started a "Can something every week/day" challenge.  Come along and let's see how much we can can this season!  List on the sideboard!

This was a big accomplishment. I have always done jelly and jam....water bath method.  I am scared of the pressure canner.  Today I used the pressure canner for the first time! WooHoo!! And it didn't explode.  One jar of beans in the last batch did break and go into the water, but there must have been a crack in the jar...clean shards or anything explosive in the water..Whew!

You can see the new cast iron skillets in the back.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ready for Camp!

Boy went to "sleep away" camp for the first time this summer!
It's a Christian Camp that is so close that we could hear the kids singing during chapel from the farm.
Off to camp....

Here he is at his cabin, by his bunk.

After camp, we learned that one of his cabin mates didn't have a rail on his bed and fell out during the night. Fell onto the concrete floor and the fire department had to come.  Firemen, EMT, ambulance, and his friend left camp to get stitches.  Boy slept through it all...just a few beds away.

He made some new friends and is already looking forward to going back to camp next summer.

Monday, July 12, 2010


So I told you in the middle of making Raspberry Jelly, you have to take a break.  Our choice, being in the middle of the midwest...of course...the beach.
OK, so it's a man made beach on one of our local reservoirs, but it does the trick on a hot day.
We met a few other homeschool families from our group. 
The boys made some impressive sand castles, and roadways.
Then after a few hours....back home to the Raspberries!


We love Danny. 
 But he has an issue....he is a chewer. 
It takes 3 seconds flat for him to find the most important item in the room, and destroy it. 
I woke up from my nap to see that he had a snack of my badge...I thought about bringing him to work to swipe on the card reader...but I was pretty sure that wouldn't work.  I did feel silly saying, "my dog ate my badge"..but at least I had proof.

Danny has eaten:

  • a roll of electrical tape

  • 2 of Kristl's stuffed toys (her cow and her baby)

  • Boy's New shoes

  • My Badge

  • Man's sandpaper

  • Ugly Bunny (stuffed toy)

  • Corner of my angel picture

  • Jewler's box

  • Corner of a pad of watercolor paper

  • 7 pens/pencils
It takes about 14.2 seconds from the time you leave him inside, until he has found SOMETHING he shouldn't have to eat.
So....this week....I was able to get him a cage from someone on freecycle.

He does NOT like it.  Boy is trying to convince him it's OK.  Think he is convinced?
Please don't call CPS on me...I didn't keep the kid in the cage!!
I promise!!