Friday, July 31, 2009

Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake

My in-laws come over weekly to get my FIL's pill boxes set up. We always try to cook up a nice dinner and dessert. I am always looking for something new and yummy to cook. A few weeks back I found a keeper of a recipe! It is amazing as is but even better right out of the oven with a dab or cream or vanilla ice cream. The recipe is here found on a blog called Food Blogga.
She has lots of other recipes that look and sound good, check it out!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What is your guess?

We are sure they are pregnant but by our estimations they should have piglets by now. The borrowed boar, "Romeo" came to stay with us for a little over a month starting April 1st.
They are suppose to carry for 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days. Hmmmm, any day. Maine Man consulted with the old farmer just down the road. He came up to check them out and he guessed 1-2 weeks. What is your guess, how many piglets do you think Ham will have?
P.S. I have yet to respond to the comments in my last post but plan to in my next post.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Who needs a Topsy Turvy? This brilliant idea came from Unusual Unusual Farm Chick's blog. She has lots of good ideas! The basket is from the dollar store. I bought it a couple years back and it was just stashed away in the hay loft.
On the top we planted some morning glories. Flower Girl also made a post about this a couple days back over at her blog. She has posted more than usual this summer thanks to her buddy Morgs. Morgs also has a blog, check it out. Flower Girl also recently posted some pictures of the fish birthday cakes that I made back in the spring. The idea came from Family Fun.
Ok, enough with the good. Now onto the bad & the ugly. Recently I have been overwhelmed with the tasks around the farm, mostly the animals. It is time to cut back! After much contemplation I have decided to sell the goats. My intention when I first bought goats was for milking. I have since come to the realization that adding another chore morning & night would send me over the edge. It is MUCH cheaper & easier to buy from my local farmer then to keep goats. I do not have to be responsible for watering and feeding day in and day out, no injections to give or hooves to be trimmed. Same goes for cows. I dream about having cows grazing in the back field but in reality it is just not in the cards right now. My garden needs more of my attention and we have a greenhouse that needs to be assembled. Oh yeah and we have LOTS of wood that needs to be hauled off the back forty, split & piled. At this point if I want raw organic milk it again easier to go support my local farmer for $4/gallon. As far as meat goes it would in our best interest if I put a little more time and effort into deer hunting. It is good, lean, meat that we do not have to tend day in and day out. Until this past year I have always taken for granted the deer meat in the freezer. You always miss something when you don't have a lot of it. From here on out I will cherish every morsel!
I am not quiting farming, just cutting back. Learning from our experiences and our mistakes. God knows I have made plenty of those, that is a topic all on it's own! After my pullets are all laying I hope to sell of last years hens, the turkeys are soon to meet their maker followed by those egg laying ducks (khaki campbells) Maine Man had to have. If the pigs ever have their piglets, we swear they are pregnant! They will be off to freezer camp as well. Maine Man is a little hesitant about that after bonding with "Pumpkin & Ham" over the last year but I volunteered to be the trigger man. Can you believe that? That is how badly I want to simplify & minimize before winter. 2 years ago even I would have said "NO way" but I must say this farming stuff has hardened me. I am jaded, kind of like working in the ER.
If it don't produce (eggs/meat) I am all set. Never use to be like this. This whole farming bit was never even intentional, it just happened.
My plan is to go through the winter with 24 layers, 2-4 muscovies, and a few rabbits. That's it!
Sorry for the rant but d@#! I feel better now! A bit hormonal ehh? The planned post to was suppose to be about thriftiness. Ha, Ha, Add PMS & ADD and this is what you get.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When I Least Expect It...

When I least expect it ....My daughter comes running into my house after rescuing a chipmunk from the jaws of our cat.

I assure you he was not calm and friendly as seen here in these pictures. Good thing she had a bandaid on or she would have needed one after this little bugger came to life. Despite our efforts to convince her that the chipmunk would not survive she said, "he's a living creature, we have to save him!" So into the kids catch & release tank he went with some fresh bedding, water, and food. About an hour later I glanced out the window to see Maine Man in the pouring rain over by the wood line aka our "pet cemetery". A few minutes later he walked back with carrying my baby girl weeping in his arms. When I l in least expect it..........I am greeted at my car after work by 2 excited kiddos leading me to the barn to show me what they (Chantal, our friends daughter) caught in our front yard.

This snapper was nothing you wanted to mess with weighing in at 35lbs or so. She managed to get herself out the kids 50 gallon tank which is like a 5ft drop onto cement and down by the pond 200 yards away. I could not beleive it when the kids told me she was missing. Thankfully our dog Callie spotted her. I had heard her barking but never thought much of it until I put it all together.
She looks small in comparison to him. I can't imagine why! ;)

Maine Man got her safely back to her desired location, across the street to the river. She got out of the net faster then expected and was playing chicken, nearly road kill. What they say about turtles being slow is a crock. Thanks to MM this story had a happy ending.

When I Least Expect It...while I am mowing the lawn the kids run over with this baby groundhog in a net . I nod my head thinking it's dead and carry on mowing. Later that evening to my surprise it is still alive in the catch/release tank. This cutie made it a couple days. No matter what they try to "save" death seems too be inevitable.

You just never know what you'll find in the tanks. So far this summer the kids have had snakes, mice crayfish, salamanders, frogs, toads, and frog eggs in addition to the above critters.
What next?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Back to Farming

A few shots of 3 of the 4 gardens we have. I did not get a shot of the pumpkin patch. These were from a couple weeks back. Not bad for almost a month worth of rain. This past June was the wettest on record so far. I think it rained 28 out of 30 days. Very devastating to Maine farmers! Fortunately we only lost several potato plants and some of our other crops were a bit set back.

Wanting to keep a yearly record of what we planted this season I will list what's growing:
squash (3 varieties)
peppers (green and hot)
cukes (3-4 varieties)
pumpkins (3-4 varieties)
potatoes (yukon and sweet)
swiss chard
green beans
edamame beans
gourds (*birdhouse, *snake, decorative)
garlic (3 varieties)
onions (red & white)
tomatoes (3 varieties)

(The items with a * are plants we've never grown in the past. Last year was the first time I grew herbs. I regret not growing those years ago.)

Wow that is a lot when you write it all down. I am sure I have forgotten but I will add it as I think of it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pig Roast ~ Picture Tribute for my Big Brother~

Steve, here they are! Better late then never. A couple weeks ago we had a pig roast to celebrate my OLDER only brother's birthday. It was one of the best parties we've ever hosted and the biggest (nearly 100 guests) one we have ever had here on the farm. It was so nice to get together with family and friends. I am thinking we should make this an annual event!

My niece (Steve's youngest)

Steve, Cousin Gary, and Uncle Everett

High school friend Travis and yours truly.

My brother and some of his friends.

Step-sister Sue & My Step Mom Carole

Cousin Denise & her daughter Colby

Steve and his oldest Meagan

My SWEET sister in- law and the babe!

My Maine Man and Neighbor Gary

Joni ~ Steve's significant other. She's a KEEPER!

My best bud Mary & her ex Leo who we still love dearly!

My AWESOME neighbors Dawn & Gary!

My Step Sister's Hubby Leo and Mary's Amazing Hubby Eric.
That water stain on his t-shirt is from doing lots of dishes and keeping my house in order as the party went on. Thanks so much Mary and Eric for all your help, you two Rock!

My friend Melissa's boy, Cam & Luke. The baby bunnies were a big hit!

Callie patiently waiting for a treat

Cousin Gary and his beautiful wife Denise.

Great friends Shawn & Marie

My girl Melissa

Uncle Norman

Cousin Ben's daughter

Joni's sister and her children

Everyone was amazed by the animals we have.

Mom (left) chatting with cousin Pat. God I love her spunk!

Cousin (crazy) Ricky and Diane

My Step Mom who is the one of the sweetest women I know. I was talking with her sister the other day and she said "She could write Hallmark cards". I couldn't have said it better! I called today to wish my Dad a happy birthday and 1 1/2 hours later I got off the phone with her.
Oh yes & Cousin Dave (Patsy's husband)

Chicken Tractor converted into a rabbit tractor. We are up to 26 baby meat babies and we just breed 2 of our does for a second time. Hope we like rabbit. Glad I am not part of the kill because I just can't stop kissing these cute little critters. We will see how this all works out.

My Cousin Rick's daughter Leah & Jillian

Our friend Jason

Don't ask!

We planned to eat at 5pm but the pig was a little delayed....3 Hours!!
Thankfully we had lots of food that people brought and I had cooked up 4 of our broilers. The pork was Delicious and well worth waiting for!
Thanks Maine Man for all your hard work!

Take note of this crew. They played a REAL interesting card game come midnight!

He even got 40 spanks.
It was a riot. I wish I would have put my camera on video mode!

Cousin Mike & Lisa