~It’s A Girl!!!!~

Even the coldest of weather can’t stop the natural cycles of birth!

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The kids found this fresh born heifer in the barn, wet and shivering.  She was carried into the basement to be warmed up.  After a good morning in the house and some nice warm colostrum she was ready to be returned to her new home.  Her name has to start with an A due to her blood lines and there is still a good debate as to which name it will be.  It’s a toss-up between Amore and Ariat.  She is so pretty and will be a nice addition to the farm.

It is so cold here, hard to believe anything can survive such temperatures.  She is snug inside of a home-made bale hut in the barn and is thriving so far.  As always new life is always welcome and enjoyed over and over again through the years on our farm! 

 

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She is a mix of Ayrshire, Guernsey, Jersey and Holstein!   I bet she’ll be an amazing milk cow some day!!

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~ Winter…Down on the Farm!~

 

Silvana and Marisa giving some gentle therapy to the calf.

Silvana and Marisa giving some gentle therapy to the calf.

Poor little December.  She came to us with two front hooves that were bent.  Fred and the girls put splints on her when she came in on a bitter cold day in early January.  She was four days old, which is why her name is December.   The splints were worn for a period of three weeks. 

A crippled heifer calf.

A crippled heifer calf.

 Now the little calf wears a pair of horse wraps.  The girls tighten them every night.  She is perfectly healthy other than the feet and yes she does walk.

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I can’t help thinking how good it is for the kids to have to tend to the weak animals.  Honestly, this kind of work can only be a labor of love.  Patience and kindness are a necessity on the farm.  She will most likely be a butcher calf eventually and the kids all know this.

Mario before milking.

Mario before milking.  He turned 10 years old recently!!

Niman Ranch pork for sale locals !!

Niman Ranch pork for sale locals !! Best Pork ever…..taste and see!

Bella loves her goats and is very gentle with animals.

Bella loves her goats and is very gentle with animals.

Content cat in a cozy barn.  A good life for cats too!

Content cat in a cozy barn. A good life for cats too!

Bella with our three goats.  There were two more that have been sold.

Bella with our three goats. There were two more that have been sold.

Fred built this new meat smoker for our bacon, hams, summer sausage and hotdogs.  He makes something out of junk!

Fred built this new meat smoker for our bacon, hams, summer sausage and hotdogs in two days.  We final finally figured out how to make these goodies.  YUM    He makes something out of junk!

 

Well cared for hogs. For livestock they have a good life too on the farm.

Well cared for hogs. For livestock, they have a good life too on the farm.

 

This hog is now bacon, hotdogs and summer sausage.  I didn't get any plain sausage......some chops and roasts.....We took advantage of a few warmer days.

This hog is now bacon, hotdogs and summer sausage. I didn’t get any plain sausage……some chops and roasts…..We took advantage of a few warmer days.

 

Summer sausage in the oven before Fred built the smoker.

Summer sausage in the oven before Fred built the smoker.

Life is good, down on the farmMay your lives be blessed……………

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~Merry Christmas~

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Okay it’s a bit late but Christmas seems to be ongoing here.  We actually have our beautiful REAL Christmas tree up still, today……..January 19!  I love that tree and especially at night when we turn on the lights to add beauty to the family rosary.  Also lit every night, are the porch lights which light up the yard and house so nicely.  I’m having a hard time giving it all up this year!  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if it was Christmas each and every day?  Christmas brings out the best in everyone!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that the joy carries on throughout this new year.

Full beautiful Mass at St. Leo's 4:00 P.M. mass.  Caleb was happy to serve!

Full beautiful Mass at St. Leo’s 4:00 P.M. mass. Caleb was happy to serve!

Fred and Sandra

Fred and Sandra

Caleb, Silvana, Marisa Magdalene, Clayton, Mario and Isabella Angel on Christmas Eve after mass.

Caleb, Silvana, Marisa Magdalene, Clayton, Mario and Isabella Angel on Christmas Eve after mass.

Francesca, Josie, Kallie Jo, Peter and Blasé Ryland at the manger scene in St. Leo.

Francesca, Josie, Kallie Jo, Peter and Blasé Ryland at the manger scene in St. Leo.

Everyone was home this Christmas except for Jessi, Luke and the children.  We missed them very much but are also happy for them now living in beautiful western South Dakota!  The photo below is from their Christmas card taken out west. 

Jessica, Shawn, Luke, Anya, Maura and Cael Dougherty.  A South Dakota Christmas!

Jessica, Shawn, Luke, Anya, Maura and Cael Dougherty. A South Dakota Christmas!

I’ve been pretty slack keeping up with the blog.  I always thought  I’d  have more time for things once the children got older but that’s not the case with mothering!  It’s great to be alive and healthy.  Hope everyone has a good New Year.  LIFE IS GOOD BY GOLLY.

Posted in EVERY DAY FARM LIFE | 5 Comments

~Thanksgiving and Food~

 

Happy Thanksgiving....blast from the past.  Before I married Fred !

Happy Thanksgiving….blast from the past…. just before I married Fred !

 

Thanksgiving Day Photo, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Photo with 8 of our 9 kids …2014

Happy Thanksgiving!  We give thanks for our Faith, family, friends and farm life.  Throw in good health, a warm roof over our heads, fair livestock prices, great honey sales  and wholesome home- grown food and we count ourselves blessed.  Thanks be to God we don’t have to buy too terribly much from town but it takes work to cook from scratch.  Cold weather makes everyone who works outside extra hungry!

The kitchen has been busy and here are some of the foods we have been preparing.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread!  108 buns and 6 loaves.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread! 180 buns and 6 loaves.

Fresh bacon that was made recently.  Fred did a great job with the flavor!

Fresh bacon that was made recently. Fred did a great job with the flavor!

 

Fresh ground venison.

Fresh ground venison.

 

Creamy Venison soup.

Creamy Venison soup.

Potato, yams, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic.....bake. This is a favorite!

Potato, yams, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, garlic…..bake. This is a favorite!

 

Potato and Yam bake before it is cooked!

Potato and Yam bake before it is cooked!

Cranberry Scones make for a nice 3:00 snack for my hungry crew!

Cranberry Scones make for a nice 3:00 snack for my hungry crew!

 

Honey, Velveeta Cheese and Chicken!

Honey, Velveeta Cheese and Chicken!

 

This Quiche was delicious.  Eggs, onions, milk, cheese etc.  Wow!

This Quiche was delicious. Eggs, onions, milk, cheese etc. Wow!

 

These eggplants were fried and frozen to be enjoyed all winter.

These eggplants were fried and frozen to be enjoyed all winter.

 

The making of a good eggplant parmesan.

The making of a good eggplant parmesan.  Making layers here.

 

 

Homemade bread with my own mozzarella grilled to perfection. YUM

Homemade bread with my own mozzarella grilled to perfection. YUM

 

Focaccia...white pizza grilled with our own cheese! Oh Boy........

Focaccia…white pizza grilled with our own cheese! Oh Boy……..

Grilling Pizza during cold weather.  Check out the Temperature!
Grilling Pizza during cold weather. Check out the Temperature!

Caleb had a pretty good trapping year.  Chief and Rowdy looking so cute!

Caleb had a pretty good trapping year. Chief and Rowdy looking so cute!

 

Better late than never…..  Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a wonderful life!!

 

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~A Trip To The Country~

Isabella, age 12, gave me a copy of this short story today.  She had cut it out of the Birthright newsletter.  I thought it was worth sharing.  This describes the farm life well!  A land of milk and honey but no money!

Isabella Angel Callens.

Isabella Angel Callens.

What It Means To Be “Poor”…

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people can be. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad.” “Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked. “Oh Yeah” said the son. “So what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they had four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

With this the boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”

Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. What is one person’s worthless object is another’s prize possession. It is all based on one’s perspective. Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for all the bounty we have, instead of worrying about wanting more.

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~Piggies In a Basement~

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Nine babies born in very cold weather.  They have been transported from our basement out to the waiting mamma Sow!  Since I started this post the other day, the babies have been weaned onto bottles of cow milk, fed every three hours, in our basement.  Hauling them outside for feedings in the freezing temps and even over night was too much work!!!!
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Two sows farrowed during the last two recent snow storms. One lost all of her babies, which were born early and froze up as she farrowed, all but 3, which later she laid on because the cold was to much for the little piglets to move out of the way. These are some big mamma’s! This sow will soon be visiting Mr. Boar. ( a little winter humor to keep the spirits up! )
The next sow farrowed last night and Marisa and Silvana spent most of the night bringing them in the house as they were born and keeping them warm. ALL nine of them!  They kept taking the little piglets out for the mamma to nurse.  Today the pigs are 5 days old.  ( I started this post a few days ago….time flies.)   Hope the weather warms up soon. 
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Winter is here and like it or not, it sure is pretty.
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Even in the wicked cold and snow…………..Life is good……….a wonderful gift from God!
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~Potato Stuffed Burritos~

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These burritos are so good.  We had a bumper crop of taters this year and Fred said I should use them three meals a day!  While I don’t actually do that, most days we have them at least once or twice.  Check out the basic ingredients and don’t worry about the amounts.  As long as they smell good………they’ll be delicious.

Fry chopped bacon and onions then throw in a bunch of sliced potatoes. Add some lard if the bacon isn’t greasy. Brown them nicely and add some spices.  We use sea salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika etc.  Then put a piece of cheese, any kind you have on hand, on a soft shell burrito. I use my homemade Velveeta usually and sometimes  mozzarella. Top it with the potato filling. Fold the burrito up and place in a Panini machine of some sort.  Any sandwich machine with two hot sides will work including a waffle maker. Leave it in long enough to brown and melt the cheese. If you don’t have a machine just smash and melt the burrito on a hot cast-iron pan!

These are really incredible tasting and are even great cold.  What a flavor and a great way to use up the tater crop.  Be creative…………use sausage, ham or pepperoni as well and if you don’t have any meat, leave it out!  If you have  too many eggs, add them to the mixture.  Enjoy!

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Thank you Gina McKeown for the Panini machine!

 

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