Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Departing gate #1


Yikes! I cannot believe how much time has flown by in the last few weeks. And here I am post less  and find myself just a few days away from picking up two of my grandgirls for a winter visit before their classes begin again.

There will be more of this during their visit and a slight promise of perhaps some of this

Which would be really great for them to get to be part of.  And we will be playing tourist going to
Which may look more like this
Please check back and I hope to have new adventures and photos to share. And if I don't see you until after the New Year celebrations please have a safe and joyful one.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Oh Christmas tree and scones and spinning


 
Twas the week, er 5 days, before Christmas and things are gearing up around the farm . Yesterday the 19th  husband Geoffrey and I took a drive up towards Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park. Armed with a saw and the annual forest service permit to cut one tree we were on a mission. Our first stop about 40 minutes from home didn't yield a tree. Just and area of beauty that had few if any young trees in it. A quick U turn took us back from the direction we came and about 10 minutes later the boots hit the ground and we were off again. 
 
 
 
The boots are mine and after loosing sight of husband several times we finally met up in an area that had a nice selection of young Noble Fir trees.














And after a close inspection of a tree I had pointed out the harvesting began. Please note Geoffrey is harvesting I am the self appointed photographer.

Then after the tree was carried by the self appointed harvester back to the truck it was gently laid in the bed tagged with the appropriate sticker so we weren't pulled over for harvesting in a restricted area and we were on our way home.




Where I promptly jumped into making two batches of Cranberry-Orange Scones . One for the house and the other batch for my friend Janet across the way on the cattle ranch. Janet and her husband have been knee deep in calving season leaving little time for baking or sleeping or just about any other activity. Anyway I owed her as she generously gave me the cream from her Jersey milk cow Punkin to use in the recipe. 

Today I went to town for supplies and to finish up my Christmas shopping for the tree harvester pictured above. And no I can't say just yet what I got as it could spoil the surprise. But I had a nice surprise when I came home this afternoon to this. 

 
And it won't be long before I pull up a chair and do a bit of this. 
 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

END OF WEEK ODDS AND ENDS


From roughly 11 PM Friday night to 8 AM Saturday morning we had 2.6 inches of rain. Here are two seasonal creeks that run east to west on our front 21 acres. 

video 

                       Mt. Shasta this afternoon peeking between the land and clouds.


Then there is what I have dubbed the Raspberry Parfait Quilt. Tucked away in the Priority mail due to reach it's much loved recipient on Tuesday. Not a Christmas gift a gift of love for a special Aunt.



Note the binding hence Raspberry Parfait title.
 








Lastly if you take a good close look you can see some of the lovely long arm quilting my dear friend Pam did.


And not to be overlooked


a lovely hand woven scarf for a special birthday girl. The warp is cotton and the weft is merino, silk and bamboo. A fun weave to be sure!

Dinner for Thursday and leftovers tonight. Irish Shepherds Pie yes lamb is involved and it was delicious!





Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy one more photo of Mt. Shasta from our road. I love the layers the pasture the trees then the moutains in the distance and the layer of clouds above that. The "poof" cloud to the left of center atop Shasta in the middle that little bit of snowy peak. 



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

DEMO DAY IN THE DOE BARN


I love this show and get a big kick out of Chip and Joanna Gaines of the DIY show Fixer Upper . So why the photo? To go with the post title of course. I got in and did some serious demo work in the doe barn the last few days Chip would have been proud. Note the photo below the far gate and existing division are no more. No small feat considering that there was a 4x6 with a 4x2 piece added to both ends and buried under about 6 inches of dirt and attached to both end post and a strip of fencing. Like I said I think Chip would say "you rock!"

 
Note that I left for now the second post on the left which was installed only for the gate but I find having the panel on it useful for hanging water buckets which tends to keep the water cooler in the summer and not as likely to freeze as in the winter. The post to the right of it is load bearing and I like to keep my roof on so it will stay put. It is also sunk about two feet down in cement. Not going any where.






First I kicked the barn crew outside. It is next to difficult trying to do anything with Pyrenees and goats in the area of intent. The Pyrs want to lie on your feet and the goats have a need to  inspect every inch of what you are doing. I am sure they are checking to see if we are up to code. I hope they don't ask to see my building permit!






Then after that was done I cleaned the entire area including the smaller pen to the right of the third photo. I then leveled out the area and gave it a spray of water enough to get it to stick together but not enough so as to leave surface water puddled. Then I moved pallets , feeder and lastly brought in a whole bale of straw to cover the entire area.

So everyone has a nice even surface to be on the dust is down and they have new sheets on their bed so to speak.

                                                            


I also changed out my fly trap system . I found it at https://www.enasco.com/farmandranch/
you can purchase them and other essential livestock supplies online. I took a series of photos so you could get an idea of how it works and it is the 1000 foot roll. I usually find the need to replace the roll only once each year. We do have a cattle ranch across the road and the cattle free range. The flies tend to become an issue only during times when they need to be penned in close proximity such as branding times. Other wise we have the least fly population we have had in years at the other two locations that were much closer to neighbors.


 
  
                                                                              

The unit starts at the entrance of the barn and continues around in a U until it ends in a similar unit that it rolls onto. After replacing the full unit and all the nasty no good very bad flies go back into the box that held the new tape. The original unit that is now empty is put in place to become the receiving unit and the new roll is attached to the beginning point.         

All in all a very well spent two days. The girls are tucked in for winter and to test it out we are waiting on some snow today. We had a low of 19 at six in the morning and had a good hard freeze. The clouds are gathering the temp is currently about 30 and another cuppa is in my future.








Friday, December 2, 2016

NO RAIN MEANS AN INCREDIBLY BUSY DAY !





We are having a few days of no rain . None until Sunday afternoon and then it is on again and the temperatures are going to drop like a rock with snow possibly down to 2000 feet we will see. We love snow at the farm makes for winter wonderland.







    

At least until it melts. Then is just becomes well messy!

So today I did a considerable amount of barn things. Moving around hay and stacking straw to keep those goat toes warm. I started the day with some pressing issues such as making bread, grinding ham for ham salad and trying my hand at toasting raw sunflower seeds in a recipe from my friend Debbi in Idaho. 

Starting with this loaf of whole wheat, sunflower (not the toasted ones), quinoa and flax seeds. It takes about 16 hours from start to finish but is well worth it!







 Then using my late  mother-in-love's (a more gentle and appropriate term for her) very old hand grinder. My Mama had one but I have no idea where it landed after she passed. I am fortunate to have this one and use it often.
And while grinding the ham for the ham salad the Honey Roasted Sunflowers from Debbi's blog toasted away in a cooler oven then the 500 degrees needed for the bread in the above photo. They are wonderful with coconut oil, raw honey and a bit of Redmonds mineral salt mixed with the sunflower seeds. Check out Debbi's recipe on her blog http://hearthwench.blogspot.com/2016/08/honey-roasted-sunflower-seeds.html
More happening tomorrow in the barns and will get photos to share. Have a wonderful evening and weekend!