Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sometimes I get so caught up

Some days I get so caught up in reading about other people out there in the bog-o-sphere that I run out of time to update about what's going on here. I get in a snippet and a picture here and there and just gloss over what's going on.

Life has slowed down on the homestead with the coming of winter. The garden in done producing and I'm looking towards what I'm going to do with it next year. What changes I want to make, what to plant and what not to do again. Placement changes and variety changes.

The kids are gone. The boy is back with his Mom. Teh Spawn has gone to live with her Dad. It's quiet around the house when Scott is gone to work. No one to do the chores for me. No more slave labor. You'd think with the kids gone there would be less mess. Dinners for Scott and I still have to be cooked. I still bake bread once every other week or so. The dishes still pile up. Laundry still has to be done and put away. It just takes a few days longer to get there. Two days ago it finally felt like they were gone. Most of the time it just feels like they are just in town... at school, at a friends... The atmosphere almost feels like they're going to walk in the door any time. They still have stuff and belongings in their rooms. I find bits and memories here and there. I think I just spent over an hour going through the SD card on my camera looking over pictures I've seen before when one kid or the other had  control of the camera. I found photos and vids I had missed seeing before. It makes me sad. It still feels like they are just going to come tromping through the door, loud and boisterous.

My surgery is done and over with again. Three in the space of a year. Bowel resection, removal of a cyst and my right ovary. This time it was a huge cyst and removal of my left ovary. I feel like putting in a zipper. This was the first planned one though. Waited two months for it so I could try and get through the busy summer shave down season at work. I'm back to work now. They were able to do this surgery laproscopically. Less down time. Less recovery time.

The hot flashes have started. They started in the first week after I was home. Scott shared his head cold with me. This week I've felt like I was either getting frostbite when the fever was coming on, or I was going to spontaneously combust from the hot  flashes and burn down the house. The cold is finally leaving my system and I don't feel like passing out on the couch as soon as I get home from work.

Irrigation season is over for the year. No more moving the horses from pasture to pasture to keep their feet dry. We were bringing them up onto the dry lot in the evenings and letting them out on the grass during the day. Ben gets fat just from the fart of a near by blade of grass, there was no need to leave them out full time. I went out the other day and opened the fence between the short pasture and the one out in front. The hose will stretch to the short pasture and I can water them there.

We had to sell Patches, Scott's mare. It made me so sad. The bills were pilling up, and it was looking seriously like we weren't going to be able to get out from under them in time to buy hay for all three of them. A guy from Vegas drove up and bought her. I guess his girlfriend had a horse that looked similar to Patches when she was younger, and just had to have her. More power to them. She was marked so beautifully, but she was not a good ride. I hated having to get rid of her though. She was Scott's first horse he owned. It killed me to put up the adds. I put it off every chance I could thinking there surely was a way to make it all work without selling her. I know it made Scott nuts that I kept saying I would do it, and then never followed through. I just kept hoping though.

Why her instead of one of the boys? Ben is pushing 23 or 24. There was no one in their right mind gonna pay money for an unregistered horse that old. I thought he was only 18 when I bought him three years ago, and the only reason I did was he was dirt cheap and I knew the kids could manhandle him into going where they wanted to. That and I couldn't make him spook no mater what I tried, how I hung half way out of the saddle, or what I rode him over. Apache was my other choice, but again... unregistered, been lame on and off for a while, and he's small. He carries me fine, but Scott won't ride him because he feels he's too big for the little guy. So Patches was the only choice. I knew with the pattern she had, someone would give me money for her.

Tasty Pig is back from Scarrows and in my freezer.
Tasty Pig
We've eaten the sausage, bacon, ham steaks, pork steaks, brats, and tonight I made bone in pork chops. She lived up to her name, and was mighty Tasty. I'm very happy with the way this tastes compared to what I can buy in the grocery store. Does she taste better because of all the hard work Scott and I put into the building, raising, and feeding we did? dunno, but the outcome is the same, and I'm pleased with that. 

Finally got around to smoking the trout we caught earlier in the year. It was dinner along with some of the corn put away from this year's garden. I liked it so much I took some to work for lunch the next day. I never got time to sit down and eat it, so it became dinner two nights in a row. If I hadn't made pork chops for Scott and eaten shortly after he left, it would have been dinner again. 

Smoked Trout

Scott's been talking for a while about painting one of the walls in the living room as an accent wall. We (meaning he did it) finally got around to getting it done. It's a nice sagey green. It goes with the couches and the blanket I crocheted last year.  I really really like it. 

The new color on the east wall

It's also that time of year to start heating with the wood stove. It was getting just cold enough to turn on the heater at night, but with my hot flashes I kept it off. Scott would come home to me sound asleep, the window in the bedroom open, the ceiling fan on high, and it only being 65 degrees in the house.  :)  So he got down to cutting some wood. This year I learned my lesson though. Teh Spawn was so good helping split wood last year. We split it, and split those pieces into smaller pieces. Really we had glorified kindling when we were done with it. Good thing we didn't do the whole lot. just a good portion of it. I didn't know it was going to burn so fast that small. This year, if there is any chance I can cram it into the opening of the stove, it doesn't get split, just stacked whole.
Gir and the cut logs
There is just something about the feel of the heat a wood stove puts off. It's a totally different feeling than walking into a house with the heat set at 70, or even 72. I do have to crank the heat up till it's 76 in the front half of the house to warm the bedrooms. We still need to attach a blower to the back of the stove. One of the projects still in the works. 

Yay Fire

The only time you will see Fudge let a Bastard lay next to him.
Ashley taking advantage of the heat on the other side. See the pretty green wall? Don't mind the remnants of the mess from paining

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back log of pics

It's picture time!!! All the pics I've been meaning to put up and never got around to it. My laptop won't read the cards, and I never get around to going upstairs to the big computer. 

Dragonfly on corn stalk. 

Stanley wood cutting trip

Tasty on her way to Scarrows

Jess sitting in the truck with Spook,  Ben, and Patches
Love her

How cute is this

Beating the heat

Back when they were little

Scott helping me weed

Weeding when the garden was still starting to grow

Stanley wood cutting trip

Ima good supervisor

Scotty and Mike


Scott and Mike


Mike and Scott

Mike and Liam



Mike and Scott

Mike running the saw

Pressure canner at work for the first time

Spaghetti sauce

Yogurt draining out the whey

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My new fav bread recipe

This is my new go to recipe for bread. I love this stuff. I've made it twice now. It was easy to make. It wasn't the sticky mess that took forever to knead as the last recipe I've been using. It made a little less bread, but the time involved that I saved more than made up for it.

Now, my mixing skills weren't as strong as his. I had to stop with the spoon and start mixing by hand a lot earlier. Most of my kneading was done in the bowl.

The first time I made it, I didn't have to sprinkle any flour on the board to knead it. The second time, I just had to flour my hands.

I love the single rise, in the loaf pan. The first time, I let it rise in an oven that had been set to warm only for just a few mins and turned off. I forgot the bread was in there and it rose over the tops of the pan and started hanging off the sides. I punched it down and let it rise again before baking. I didn't get a good dome over the top of the pan after being baked, but it was still tasty. It was still rather dense. The second time came out perfect. Almost too soft and bubbly inside.

I let mine bake for 35 mins and could have let it go another 7 or 8 mins. It was very soft inside. Spreading softened butter was enough to tear it if I wasn't careful. I used less sugar in mine, and a little more salt. I did do the half wheat/half white flour the first time.

Home Made Bread
  • 5 to 5-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I used a little less)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt (I used 3/4)
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups warm water

  • Add the yeast to the warm water and stir to mix
  • In a large bowl add your flour, sugar, salt, and oil
  • Now add in the yeast and water. I didn't let it sit and get frothy, didn't add sugar to the water. Just let it set as long as it took to combine the other ingredients
  • Stir with a long wooden or plastic spoon until it starts to come together. It will be crumby underneath. I have to get in here with my hands sooner than the video and start squishing
  • Squish, knead, press the dough until it's all incorporated and all the flour and bits stuck to the sides have come together
  • Turn out onto the counter or a bread board and knead for 5 mins
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Divide your dough in half and place into two, lightly greased, loaf pans and let let rise to double in volume
  • Bake at 350 for 35 mins
  • Remove from loaf pans to a wire rack to cool. 


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