Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Celebrating a fiftieth birthday!

      But it's not mine! The hubs turned 50 yesterday! He doesn't look it, and he certainly doesn't act it! What's a 50 year-old supposed to look and act like anyway? They're only the numbers of years that we've lived on this earth, not the total of years that we'll ever live! I passed that mark a couple of years ago, and I feel better than I did in my 20's! I still get compliments, so it must not be all bad! Happy birthday, baby!

      UAB got in touch with my niece and set up an appointment to do tests on her Monday. So next week may be the week when we get baby Riley! Her big sister, Win, is waiting anxiously, as are the rest of us! My other nieces arrived home from Morocco and are on their way here today! I finally get to see them! That's why I'm blogging now, in case I don't get to later in the week. They will be here a couple of days at least.

      I canned potatoes this past Saturday and I'm pleased with the results! I went by Aldi's yesterday and they had the already low price of potatoes, marked down even more! .39 a bag! I got four more bags and am contemplating starting on them when I finish this post. Since the girls are coming, I may need to wait. (I waited!)

      I started back juicing today, preparing apples, spinach, carrots, celery, an orange, frozen strawberries and blueberries, in the VitaMix. It tasted like orange! That's the only distinguishable flavor I could taste! It was delicious, but I don't think it will hold me until dinner! My head feels funny and I'm kind of hungry! I need to loose some weight so I thought this would be the healthiest way! I may just have to be hungry until my body gets used to it. I'll let you know how it turns out! Thanks for reading and following along on our little homestead journeys! Blessings from Bama!

In case you don't know what peeled potatoes look like! LOL!

All chopped up and ready to go in jars.

All ready to be pressure canned!

Fifteen jars of canned potatoes.

This is a tool made entirely by hand from a young man my husband knows.

My cake I made from scratch. I had no confectioners sugar and made my own. The icing is not as spreadable using the homemade version.

Happy birthday boy! The stool was hand made from pallets by the same person who made the tool!
A neat idea I got from someone's blog. Saves room and keeps the onions fresher.

My 'haul' from Aldi's!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Loving this "fall-ish" weather!

      The sun is still plenty hot, however! The angle of the sun is very different, too! It's rays are shining in rooms it usually doesn't. I just love this time of year! It's quite cooler this September than it was last year! Last year, the month of September saw 100 degree days almost every day! So, this is more like it! The highs have been in the low to mid eighties and the lows have been in the fifties. The temps don't stay in the fifties for long, though. (I just hope it's not a windy, blustery kind of winter! I can't stand to be out in the cold wind!) The high school homecoming is tonight, so I hope we win! Great weather for a football game!

      I've been in the kitchen a lot this week, peeling, cutting, and chopping pears. It seems like a lot of work, but when I take the jars out of the canner, they look so pretty! I might even can more pears, but I'll have to get more pears first. Last year at this time, I was more in the crafty and yard sale stuff. I made a fall banner and had fall decorations everywhere! This year, my mind is more about canning and filling the pantry. Funny how time changes things! I still like to craft, and will, if I ever get through with canning. Amber and the girls will be home from Morocco Sunday and I can hardly wait to see them again! I hope they will come here next week! We may be getting a baby next week, if UAB decides to take April's baby! We'll see! If all of these things happen, don't be surprised if you don't see any posts from me! I'll get back with ya'll as soon as I can and let you know. Of course there will be photos! Ya'll have a nice weekend! Blessings from Bama!

Win was here and spent the night. She loves to slide and play outside!

Win loves to go in the 'forest' behind our house. She found these acorns.

Here is what the pears were supposed to look like! They taste delicious! Use like applesauce.

Daisey and Delilah in their favorite spot!

With all of those pear peelings and cores, I made more vinegar!

The dark one is red wine vinegar and the other one is the first pear vinegar I made. See the 'mother'?

I ran across a recipe for Italian dressing and gave it a try. I used it in the pasta salad, and it tastes delicious!

I just took these lightly sweetened canned pears out of the canner. Aren't they pretty?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Goats and Pears!

      The baby goats are proving to be entertainment for us! They are so fun to watch at times! They both can climb on the doghouse now, and try to push each other off! That is a sight to see! They jump around, head-butting each other until one goes down. Usually its Daisey, but she's getting stronger so sometimes it's Delilah! It has been raining a little yesterday and today, so they aren't out much. They usually like to show off when someone is outside.

      I have acquired more pears! The first batch I tried didn't turn out to be a jam! It has a good flavor and can be used as a syrup on pancakes or ice cream. I guess that says a lot about the recipe I didn't follow completely. I thought five cups of sugar was a lot, but that was without peeling the pears! I peeled the pears! I found a similar recipe I am making next, using only one cup of sugar to three pounds of peeled pears. That sounds more like it doesn't it? The recipe also calls for ginger; you should've smelled it cooking! It smelled delicious! It even smelled good just sitting in the pot! I cooked it so long trying to thicken it, that it lost the good gingery smell and taste! Oh well, live and learn! It would be so nice to have a mentor instead of learning things the hard way, but that way I won't forget! I think it can be used as a syrup! The guys will let me know! I still like trying new recipes even though they don't all turn out right the first time!

      I'm so excited! Lots of good things are coming up! My nieces will be back from Morocco next week, and we will be having a girl baby shower for April! (Amber, don't forget the Argan oil!) Her baby will be here before we know it! We're hoping that she doesn't have to go to UAB to deliver since she is high risk with the pancreatitis and asthma! Pray that all will go well and the baby will be full term! Hope ya'll are experiencing cooler temps! We are, except for the high humidity! Have a good week! Blessings from Bama!

They love their 'Jeep'!

Daisey dominating the top!

Now Delilah is right up there with her!

Daisey is standing her 'ground'!

Delilah likes Ran's cap!

I think she would eat it if she could!

Skylar watching.

I like this view!

The peppers I pickled last week: mild banana peppers are sliced, and the other peppers are mild, too.

Pears that were picked off the ground and some were like this on the tree.

These are from the tree.

It's a little 'brown'!

The syrup in jars.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Enjoying the 'babies'!

      Ya'll will probably get tired of reading about goats, but just endure for while! They are such little characters! Yesterday and today, they were climbing on their house! They also climbed on the little 'Jeep' we put out there for them! It was such a sight to see! You'll get to see in the photos below. It doesn't matter who's outside, they are going to call for your attention! The neighbors, Skylar while he's working on his Jeep, or someone walking down the road! They don't care, just so somebody pays them attention! They even call for me when I've been in the house too long! I love their little cries! I just love farm animals! I am so glad we have them!

      We ordered some local breakfast sausage and we'll be picking it up tomorrow! I think it's about an hour away, but that's OK because the scenery between here and there is so beautiful! It's between here and Chattanooga. We may even get some glimpse's of fall! I am seeing changes in the way the trees look already! I can hardly wait for the little mountain across the street to become alive with fall colors! It is so beautiful when that happens! 

      The hens are laying between two and four eggs, now. I really don't understand their cycle and I just hope they will continue to lay! Oh yeah, my Mom identified the plant with the berries! It is poke salad with berries, which are called poke berries. There may be another name, that's all she knew. I'm glad to know what they are so I won't be wondering all the time! 

      I'm hoping to get through with all I have to do today so I can go and pick pears! I hope I haven't waited too late, since the season was early this year! I picked them as late as the middle of October last year and they were so sweet! Hope ya'll enjoy your weekend! Blessings from Bama!

I snapped this photo just as she was climbing! I was so glad to get these pictures!

Delilah made it! Now, if only Daisey can figure out how to get up there!

She took off the other side while Daisey is still trying to get up there! She never made it, though

This old Jeep is coming in handy for the girls!

Daisey made it!

They look so cute in here!

How about a nice hot, roll? They turned out delicious!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our goat babies are here!

      We are so excited about our baby goats! They are so cute! And they sound like a real baby when they cry! They love our attention, and when you are outside, they cry loudly for you to come and visit them! Right now, we have them where the chicken yard was. We closed off the entrance so the babies could not go down to where the chicken feed is. I'm afraid they'll eat too much and get bloat! It's a temporary thing, until we get the back fenced off. The hubs wanted to go ahead and do that this week! So when he gets home every evening from work, we'll be working on the new fence. We purchased them from a very sweet couple, that we new from church, years ago! They have a very nice farm, garden and orchard! She also sells homemade soap that I purchased, and I absolutely love it! It smells better than any soap I've ever smelled! And, its all natural with essential oils!
      Oh, did I forget to tell you? The goats are Nigerian Dwarfs. They originated in Africa, thus the name. They are the perfect size for the smaller homestead. The milk has as high a butterfat content as an original sized goat! Maybe even more! You can be assured, I'll at least give cheese making a try! I just think about all of the things I can make from their milk! But, I've got to find a billy to breed them with. Local, of course! I know God will hook us up at just the right time, like He has done now! I still have to look, though! 

      I just planted some more swiss chard, turnips, beets, and spinach. The other seeds I planted are turning into small plants! It's dry again, so I'm going to have to water everything. The okra is coming in nicely. I will cut some more today. I have some photos to share, so I'll end for now. I can hear the babies crying for me as I write this! That is so sweet! Ya'll have a great week! Blessings from Bama!

Hot banana peppers and jalapenos, ready to come out of the water bath.

Dried green beans and zucchini chips.

Skylar loves animals! The neighbors horses love attention, too!

Notice, the grey horse is looking at the baby goats!

After coaxing out of the doghouse, they seem to be enjoying the blackberry vines!

It so funny how other animals react with different kinds of animals!

The markings on these girls are so pretty!

The dog house makes a nice shelter for them.

A better view.

They seem to like this tall grass!

Even the dogs are watching the goats!

Randy really likes his new 'babies'!

What is this? It's everywhere out here!

Daisy and Delilah like the shade!