What the Devil is That?

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On the way back from chores we noticed something hanging in a tree over our pond.  A possum!  I thought possums were nocturnal.  Other than squished on the road, I’ve only ever seen another one up close and personal.  When we first got the karakachans, they stayed in our small pasture for a while.  One morning we found one dead in the pasture, the dogs had apparently played kickball with it.  My husband got the pitchfork that we use to clean the chicken barn with and scooped it up to fling it into the woods.  Good thing he didn’t spear it because when he walked by I noticed it peaking from under it’s paws which were crossed over it’s little possum face.  It was evidently playing possum so the dogs would leave it be.  Who knew?


A Magazine Photoshoot of Our Dinner

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No kidding!  A magazine came to town yesterday to re-create the lamb dinner we hosted earlier this month.  Our food writer dinner guest was doing a feature on our friend the shepherd.   That evening resulted in a request for everyone’s recipes, then a suggestion of re-creating some of the dishes served that evening (mine included) for the article.   The magazine wanted to include shots of the shepherd’s gorgeous farm & flock for the article so the do-over was held at their home.  Thank goodness, because I know I would have been cleaning windows and my refrigerator inside and out, along with scrubbing the rest of the house!  Along with the photographer, they sent an art director, food stylist and a chef.  The chef had prepared our recipes in his kitchen 3.5 hours from here, then they were driven here to be styled for the photoshoot.  It seemed to me they could have photographed the food anywhere because it was just a table but what do I know?  They shot the dessert first so we had dessert first.  It wasn’t from our dinner party but it was delicious.  Not as delicious as the coconut cake we had that evening, just sayin’.  They brought a layered banana pudding with graham cracker crust and a whipped cream topping with home made dulce de leche.  We got to sample some local hard cider that will be featured in the article, too.  It was really interesting to see the entire process.  I was expecting to see them do something like spraying glycerin on the food and arranging chopped parsley with tweezers but it wasn’t nearly that fussy yet still beautiful.  I think I watch too much Food Network!  A few of our depression glass serving pieces were used for the layout, as well as some of my homemade goat cheese.  There’s no telling what all will end up in the magazine, but I’ll post a link here when it’s published.  Should be early March.  I’ll also post my own recipes in the next day or two. It was a beautiful day on a beautiful farm and we got to take home leftovers.  How awesome is that?


Don’t Jump!

Bindi has found her way upstairs to our ‘Evita balcony’ which overlooks our living room.  She gets up there and immediatly wants down.  She cries and cries.  I have to go to the stairs and call her so she can find her way back down.  We play this game many times every day.  When we got up this morning, we found Jenna (who is confined to her kennel when indoors) and Bindi running around the living room together.  We’ve been anticipating Bindi busting her out one evening, and will very carefully monitor our long distance records this month.


We’re under a winter storm warning for snow, sleet and freezing rain, 90% starting this evening.  The sheep are not concerned.  They’ll stand out in the middle of it all in their woolies.  Last year their fleece weighed in between 5 and 10 lbs. each and spins into beautiful yarn.  It’ll be shearing time before they know it, and they’ll spend the remaining days of winter near the barn.  Until then, they’re just fine, thank you.

Little Visitor


It was inevitable… We left Jenna’s kennel door open an inch or so this morning and Bindi ran in to say “Hi, I believe we are neighbors”.  She stayed long enough to snuggle a bit.  Jenna indulged her young visitor’s invasion of her personal space with grace.   She pretty much pretended to ignore her, but kept glancing at her out of the corner of her eye.  Jenna pretty much ignores every creature that doesn’t have fleece and goes ‘baaa’.  We’ve tried to get her to chase deer, turkeys, geese and our goats.  If we give her a command, she just runs in circles looking for a sheep to boss around

Craftster Best of 2010 – I’m in it!

The best crafting site on the planet, Craftster, has awarded my post about our farm life as one of their best of 2010.   They also awarded Mieljolie for the paper mache witch boot she made me in a swap and also my good friend Cackle who has taught me everything I know about polymer clay.  Woo hoo!


It’s Seed Starting Time Again

At least it is at our house, which means the dining room is taken over by our set-up.  No more fancy dinner parties for us until everything gets moved to the greenhouse in a few months!  Shower curtain liners cover the oriental rug and grow lights are mounted above and below a utility table.  That’s our ghost pepper plant in the pot under the table, it’s just starting to yield.  We planted phase 1 of assorted hot peppers and heirloom tomatoes in the seed trays.  We’re first to market around here with both.  People jump on heirloom tomatoes after living with those flavorless grocery store ones for the last 8 or so months!

My $5 Quilt

We’re an hour from a Home Depot or Pizza Hut but have a fantastic sewing shop about 25 minutes away.  They have a quilt special every year where you come the first Tuesday in January and pay $5 for the fabric and pattern for a block.  If you make it and take it in to show them the first Tuesday in February, they give you the fabric and pattern for the second coordinating block for free.  I selected the batik option.  There was also a yellow country-looking option in the same pattern.  Pretty, right?  I’ve quilted before but it’s been 23 years and I was only doing straight line easy stuff at the time, like log cabin.  I’m anxious to see how this all comes together and plan to make all 12 blocks for $5.

Sophie Fatale

She’s a nubian dairy goat who came to our farm when one of our original nubians didn’t work out.  She replaced Dulcinea, who wasn’t properly disbudded (or dehorned).  We have a strict no horns allowed policy.  We figured since we’re new to animal handling, we didn’t want to have to worry about getting gored.  Disbudding isn’t pleasant, it’s done with a hot disbudding iron.  We do it ourselves with the kids born on our farm,  it’s my absolute least favorite part of farming.  Sophie had two kids last Spring.  She was a little skitterish before then, but got used to being handled during milking.  She’s a beauty who doesn’t live up to her dangerous name at all.

Umbrella Lettuce

As it turns out, you can grow cool season crops in a completely unheated greenhouse if you give your plants an extra layer of protection.  In this case, it’s clear umbrellas covering buttercrunch lettuce, one of our favorites.  The more you cut, the more you get and it’s delicious!  We’re going to take this experiment to a higher level next year, with more indoor raised beds and a fancier second covering that is yet to be designed.  Retired engineers need something to do in their spare time…

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