Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I have been making fresh hot bread every day, even on days that I work 12 hour shifts. It really is as easy as they claim.
I mixed up the large batch recipe ( which makes enough for 8 loaves) in a Rubbermaid type container I keep in the fridge and every day I pull out enough dough to make one loaf, shape it into a round ball and leave it in a either on the counter or in a bowl dusted with corn meal, wheat germ or just plain flour, cover it with a dish towel and let it rise for 40 minutes while I go about my day. To bake I don't use the pizza stone as they suggest, I preheat my oval ( you can use a round one too) dutch oven to 475 for about 15 minutes, shape my dough into a loaf shape, put about three slashes in the top of the loaf, sprinkle some wheat germ on top and cover. Then bake for 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for 10 more. That's all there is to warm crusty goodness! I am so impressed I will be buying this book or the authors other book "Healthy bread in five minutes a day".
Before I baked the first batch I found a bunch of U-tube videos demonstrating the method and they all agreed that it was a success.
I don't have a picture to share today, my loaves disappear as fast as I can make them, but they are almost foolproof, they are so easy. Knowing this is something I am going to make a part of my lifestyle,I plan on buying my next batch of supplies from Sams club they have the best prices on yeast and flour in bulk, I think I figure about 30-40 cents a loaf. With some hot homemade soup on a cold day it does not get any better.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
I heard that song a couple of days ago and it has been stuck in my head, as I sat down to write this post it seemed a fitting title.
This post is long overdue but it was very hard to sit down and write, I have been dreading writing it because by doing so I have to expose myself and my embarrassment. However, I knew eventually I would have to pull my head out of the sand, face the facts, live my life out loud and all that good stuff.
I sadly will be leaving my homestead. I have been working two jobs for over two years now trying to keep my head above water, after going from a 2 income home for the last 27 years to just me trying to keep it all going, I finally had to admit to myself that I can no longer keep up the pace nor do I want to. So I am allowing my home to go into foreclosure. I tried several attempts to get the bank to modify my loan but they won't do it. I am way upside down in the mortgage now that housing prices have bottomed out in my area and my home is falling apart literally lol!! I probably am looking at around 30,000.00 just to fix the things that need to be fixed to keep it and it is simply not worth it. The land is the heart breaker, I love that land with a passion, I pray that I someday will be able to have another homestead and begin again, in the mean time, I am determined to find ways to do an urban version of homesteading on a much smaller scale for now.
I have found a really great place to rent in a horse community so I can keep the horses and two of my dogs and still have room for my kids and grandkids who are all still living with me. With great sadness, I have been finding homes for all of my other critters, so far the ones I have given away have gone to great homes especially the dogs which is such a relief to me.
Going through 16 years worth of stuff is challenging to say the least but little by little I am making some headway. I rented a big storage shed and I am sure it will be filled to the rafters before all is said and done.
So, this blog has taken a turn in a new direction. I will still be following all of my favorite bloggers, living vicariously through the posts of people I have come to admire. I hope that a year from now I will have landed on my feet and be moving forward again with new enthusiasim and vision, but for now I am just trying to take it all one day at a time and do what has to be done to keep from losing my mind.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
I was born in Oklahoma City but when I was two I moved with my family to a suburb of Los Angeles California where I lived until my late 20s. I lived for about 6 years in a beautiful town up the coast from Santa Barbara Calif. not far from the infamous "Neverland Ranch" I still miss California very much but don't believe I will every return to live there again. I have lived in Central Florida for about 15 years and have grown to very much appreciate the ebbs and flows and more relaxed pace of the South, I will never ever love the humidity here and find summers to be miserable still. I hope someday to move to the mountains of New Mexico a place I love.
I love to read, especially period pieces that take me to another time and place and teach me something historical, I love movies like that as well and big epic pics like "Seven Years in Tibet" and "Out of Africa" are some that I loved. Although my favorite book has no historical significance at all it's "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton. I have no idea why that one struck such a cord with me but it did. I love blogs for the same reason they take me to different places, teach me new things about the world around me and let me take a peek into how others live.
I am a music lover, all kinds of music although I have no musical talent, I am a closet singer. I am proud that I passed that love along to my children.
When I was 18 I backpacked through Europe with a girlfriend, it was a great adventure and one that I am so glad I had the chance to do before I came home and married and had babies.
I believe in compassion for others and really try my hardest to have a live and let live approach to life even when it's hard to do so.
Alright enough about me, on to who to pass this award along to which is a really hard choice to make, I follow so many amazing blogs and continuously surprised and inspired by all of the talented a caring people out there in blog land. Many of the blogs I follow faithfully have already received this award so I am looking beyond my usually circle of blogging friends to some others that enjoy.
Although she has huge huge following and is actually bit of a celebrity I have to give credit to Jenna at : coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/2010/05/good-morning-from-cold-antler.html
I first read an article by Jenna in a homesteading magazine I can't remember which one and it mentioned her blog. Her blog was the first blog that I started following and I was hooked from then on. She has a variety of interests and she writes in way that pulls you right into her life and has you rooting for her. Jenna is a published author with a book and multiple magazine articles and a beautifully illustrated blog.
The next blog is the girls at: http://stickhorsecowgirls.blogspot.com/2010/05/c-when-opportunity-knocks.html two great friends who post about anything and everything and often leave me thinking or laughing. Intelligent and witty they feel like women you want to hang out with.
The next blogger lives in New Mexico not far from where I hope to move in the next few years so I live a bit vicariously through her posts, and i am in love with her little Donkeys , see them at http://www.the7msnranch.com/
Hope to have introduced you to some new bloggers,
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Please ignore the weeds around the bed, they are out of control, but I wanted to show the enclosure I made to keep the chickens out of the raised beds, I was going to cover the top as well but so far they have shown no interest in bothering the beds so I will wait and see. I was thinking that in the winter I will try covering it with plastic to make a mini green house for lettuce and spinach etc. It was really cheap and not to hard to make. Next time though I will cut all my pvc pipe in 2 foot sections and piece it together with connectors, if the sections are too long the pvc wants to bend and bow, I think shorter sections will be easier to work with and not as unstable.
I have been able to begin harvesting things from my garden and was able to make my first meal from the farm. I should have taken a picture but I did not think of it at the time. I had roast chicken, green beans and red potatoes all grown or raised here on my little plot of land. What a sense of satisfaction seeing my hard work return a yield. All of my kids are back home with me and along with a good friend have participated in one way or another in helping me keep it all going. I am so thrilled that my two grand-sons get excited when they see they find a big green bean to pick or that Logan the four year old snuck out and planted his own pumpkin seeds, imagine my surprise when they started coming up in the middle of my herbs.
I did not take pictures of the chicken processing, I did five white rock hens that I ordered from Murray Mc Murray, I let them live longer then I should have I think they ideally should be done at around 6-8 weeks to be the most tender. I procrastinated. If I am honest about the whole thing I will have to admit that I am not 100% OK with the killing of animals for my food purposes, I struggle with the whole thing a bit but keep coming back to either going back to being a vegetarian and give up meat all together or raise my own giving the animals the best life I can. For now I am trying to do the latter and hoping that I become more comfortable with the whole idea. The actual processing is not that bad for anyone thinking of doing it there are lots of places to find info, I am sure there are you tube videos out there. My only word of advice is to be prepared, have everything you need ready ahead of time. I used a deep fryer to have boiling water ready, a large table covered with a clean plastic drop cloth, a clean five gallon bucket a de-boning knife, an ax and a tree stump, I am sure every one knows it is not the most pleasant of events but when my five hens were all packed in freezer bags I was grateful for the experience. I am thinking about ordering another batch of 25 meat birds, but am not looking forward to raising another batch of chicks quite yet.
On a completely unrelated note, can anyone tell me how to get the blog spot to allow you to load more pictures?? If I have more then three pics and any text at all the blog program boots the pictures off. This post started out with three pictures and as I added text it bumped them off, to who knows where. It seems like I can type the text and then add the pics but then they all end up at the beginning of the post instead of spread throughout. Irritating!! I love seeing every ones pictures of their farms, kids, creative projects, cooking and critters and would like to post more of my own without having to create a post for every one of them. I am sure it is operator ignorance on my part lol, but I have no time to sit here trying to figure it out, there are baby goats screaming to be fed.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
This has not been the greatest week but I know when the sun comes out and I finally get a decent nights sleep (which is not tonight since its 2 a.m. and I can't sleep) things will look a whole lot brighter. As always, I have to stop and be grateful for all of the blessing in my life and know that I have it pretty good by comparison to so many but sometimes you just have to vent and move on.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I took a bubble bath tonight, I never ever take bubble baths at home. I always feel like I have a million things to do and no time to waste.
This week I am remembering that along with all of my pursuits I need to really stop and unwind every once in a while, seems so simple right but how often do we really really do it? I have to once in while steer off course open up to something new, challenge myself to learn, grow and let go.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Thank you Granny from "Grannys Garden" at: http://grannyandpa.blogspot.com/
for the Sunshine award.
I have to thank Granny for passing this award along to me and for her support of my blog since it's very beginning. Even though she is on the other side of the world she has loves the same things I do, chickens, gardening, finding treasures in unexpected places and a simple daily appreciation for life. Thank you Granny!!
To continue spreading the sunshine I must pass the award along to 12 blogger who brighten my day, they are:
Carmen at: http://waxedoutcreativelife.blogspot.com/
Deb at: http://www.howdyfromcowtown.com/
Misha at: http://frommyfrontporchinthemountains.blogspot.com/
Lisa at: http://laughingorcaranch.blogspot.com/
Texan at: http://www.blogger.com/profile/14560812716080117867
Author name unknown but I am a big fan of : http://myfarmhousekitchen.blogspot.com/
Twistie at: http://fromthecountryfarm.blogspot.com/
And lastly another favorite blogger whose name I do not know :http://aintforcitygals.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
In the past in my attempts to make it happen, I have jumped into way too many projects at once not thinking and planning things through as well as I should have resulting in losses, costly losses. I no longer have the luxury of making those kinds of mistakes. This time around I feel like I have a really good focus on what is important.
My steps towards my goals have been well planned and I have not taken on more than I could handle. The results are so gratifying. I have nine healthy hens who on average produce 6-7 eggs a day. I eat eggs almost every morning for breakfast and have a great sense of satisfaction that my girls are feeding me, we are dependant on each other. I have the beginning of a really good meat rabbit supply, with one pregnant female and two younger ones who can be bred in about five more weeks. My pair of Yorkshire pigs with hopefully produce a litter this spring or early summer and I will be on my way to a steady source of pork. I am paying very close attention to the health and well being of my animals making sure to learn as much as I can about the best practices as I go.
My point is that this time around I have been very careful to focus on how to get the best yield out of my investment and am constantly re-evaluating what my next step should be. Its really hard to blow 30 bucks on a new sweater when I think about how that might go towards the cool cheese press I have had my eye on, or the hand grain mill I have wanted for so long. My priorities have drastically changed. I feel like finally I am on the right track and as long as I maintain this kind of rational approach I feel confident that I will see my plans a success.
While I try to have a farmers attitude towards the animals I can't say that I am not attached to each and every one of them, I spend hours just watching the things they do and have established a trusting relationship with all of them. Killing an animal is not something I will ever take lightly, but I feel that if I am going to eat meat I can at least feel good about where it came from and the life that it led and know that it was killed quickly with the least amount of suffering possible.
Debbie awarded some of my favorite bloggers already so I will pass it along to some of my other favorite blog authors.
This award is given to blogs that bring a smile to your face, or just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
So to continue the tradition I award this Circle of Friends award to:
Brenda at:http://grannysbest.blogspot.com/, I have learned so much about goat care from this blog I constantly use it as a reference now. Thank you Brenda for all of the great advice.
Feral Female (don't know her real name it's a mystery):http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/ her blog cracks me up, she has an offbeat no nonsense sense of humor that I love.
Jaz at Octoberfarm: http://octoberfarm.blogspot.com/2010/02/indian-food-on-snowy-cold-day.html, this blog is visually stunning and I am in awe of her cooking talents and her appreciation for the beauty and bounty of mother nature.
Melodie from:http://laughing-duck-farm.blogspot.com/ , I find a kindred spirit in the day in and day out happenings at this blog. I am in love with her little goat Murray and I loved her post about living with a home schooled son.
Michell at:http://chocolateandmarmaladetea.blogspot.com/ This blog is real a girly girl blog and I love the retro feel of the blog, the graphics and the music and the ins and outs of her life always perk me up. I feel like I spent time with a good girlfriend after I pop in. She reminds me of a much younger me in another life ,back in California.
Jayme at:http://talefromthecoopkeeper.blogspot.com/ This is a blog I only recently found and have been enjoying her quest to get back to basics.
I forgot how many people I am allowed to pass the award on to. There are so many blogs that I follow each with a unique and different message, I learn something new everyday.
Thank you all for making my little escapes from reality so interesting and diverse.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Today I am on to the second part of the recipe the shaping, second rising and the baking. The house was pretty cold when I got up this morning (for Florida), it was around 63 inside, I suspect the dough might have risen even higher if it had been a bit warmer. I proofed as directed the bread in a pine needle Indian basket dusted with wheat bran, the basket was one that my daughter gave me a while back that looked a lot like the proofing baskets at the website. Alternatively, I could have let it have a second rise on a floured towel. The basket rinsed out absolutely clean , I was afraid that it might not, and I set it in warm the oven as it cooled to dry out after the bread baking was done
I baked the bread in my cast iron oval dutch oven, which gave it a nice loaf shape instead of the round shape as seen in the demonstration video. The finished product was amazingly good. The crust was a bit harder then I would have preferred, I am going to have to keep experimenting with how to end up with a bit lighter crust. It was so hard I had to slice it with an electric bread knife. However, the taste was really good. My grandsons kept asking for more, and when we added butter and fresh Tangerine Marmalade to the warm bread it went from good to heavenly
Here is a link to the site, the first short video tells you all you need to know to bake successfully, the second one is more of a way of advertising several of the products they sell. I have to say they have some pretty cool stuff , now that I am officially a bread baker I might have to invest in some real tools.
I have yet to figure out how to move the pictures in my blog to appear chronologically, it seems they just end up wherever the choose to, and I can't figure out how to delete them once they are there without deleting the whole editorial.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Charlotte and Wilbur the lucky pigs, (not very original names but fitting). The two of them might think they are dogs instead of pigs they come running whenever I call them. Both absolutely love to be petted and will fall over wanting a belly rub. Wilbur is a bit smaller then Charlotte and has yet to figure out what his part in the equation is.
The tree is a typical Florida Live Oak , those and the Sand Pines constantly threaten to take my property back to it's original state, picking up fallen branches and thinning trees is a constant battle.