Coffee

Coffee anyone?

I have a slight obsession with coffee.  I have been known to snub any coffee joint that may cover up mediocre coffee with sweet syrups and flavorings.  I’ll be blunt- if it ain’t good black, it ain’t good at all. Sorry, not sorry. It comes down to the essentials. Good water, good grounds.

I used to suck down anything remotely mocha flavored.  The more, the merrier!  After I found that milk treated me like a passive aggressive boyfriend I had to break up with my mochas. Fact is, almond or coconut milk just don’t froth the same.  Truth.

I tried bulletproof coffee.  Delish! It is a bit messy and a bit time consuming but worth it!  After a few days of that buttery goodness though I go back to the milky congestion.  Now I’m dating the coffee equivalent of a frenemy…

So, I decided to go black.  You know, my granny is onto something here.  It might be biting and bitter at first but it’s amazing how long you can savor one cup.  Now I don’t crave a “liquid candy bar” when I can have the real deal. Hot, black and full of flavor.

Photo on 2017-09-18 at 09.42 #2

Cheers!

Farm

Animals

We are currently housing 9 rabbits, 20 chickens and 1 dog.  We will soon acquire 1 cat and 2-4 goats. And possibly a few horses.  And let’s not forget the five humans that also reside here.  That brings the total body count to 35.  Possible growth…nearly half that.  It’s gettin’ real people!

A while back we tried our hand at horse boarding.  It was interesting to say the least.  Our first big mistake was not knowing what the heck we were doing.  Our second was poor communication.  Oh my land and my stars! We were in hot soup there for a bit as I contemplated retiring to Arizona early in life…alone.  All’s well that ends well though and we were left with zero boarders for a while.  That was ok by me.  We have new prospective customers again and will hopefully have a better go around this time.

Our goat pen is empty at the moment as they were sold at the county fair.  New baby goats will be purchased around February and we will see them frolicking about as spring peeks around the corner.  If you have never spent time with a baby goat,  you don’t know what you are missing! Seriously, it’s impossible not to be happy watching them.

We had a dear, sweet kitty not long ago.  Unfortunately she was allergic to the sedative given at the vets. We brought her in to get spayed and she never came home 😦 We now need a new kitty.  Female, preferably with shots and spayed if you happen to have and extra 🙂

Seventeen of our meat birds made their way to freezer camp this summer and that was a good thing.  They were getting kind of cranky and would peck mercilessly at you every time you came near.  Also, they are cruel hearted animals.  True story:  while I was plucking feathers from one of the newly departed two of his fellow inmates began to peck his droopy little head.  Cruel, cruel chickens.

My hens are also a bit pecky.  They learned this behavior from the naughty meat birds.  They will attack your feet in feverish pecks but will slow to a more curious pace when you brush them away. I was hoping they would not be swayed by bad influences. Those silly hens have no judgement.  Oh well, my batch of birdies gives me eggs so I guess I can deal with them being little peckers!

Our lovely pooch is a beautiful (large) hound dog.  She is sleek and black and tan.  And mouthy!  We love her and now that she is enrolled in doggy 4H we are loving that even more.  Now to train her to stay out of the trash! I am taking any and all suggestions!

Oh, horses.  This place was made for horses.  I’m sure the original owner had several.  We love them and they are so beautiful.  We can’t actually afford them but are glad to house them as they add to the scenery and also to the income.  It’s kinda cool that way.

I guess I could include the wildlife around here too while I’m at it.  We have seen several deer in our back field and have had snakes in the woodshed.  It is reported to me (by my son) that there is even an owl in the barn.  I plan on collecting some pellets if there is.  We dissected them at school as a kid and it might be interesting as a show and tell item.

The birds were singing some kind of mass chorus yesterday as we received our first good dose of rain in a while.  I’m not sure if they were rejoicing over the worms that had come to the surface or what but it was amazing.  I have never heard anything like it.  It was as if every bird in the world was singing at the same time.

Some of our more pesky visitors include squirrels.  While cute, these little rodents can be quite destructive.  Thankfully we don’t have much of a problem with them.  Other than the way they like to taunt the dog!

Well, that just about rounds out the whole cast around here!  Happy farming!

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Being Mama, Coffee, Get Happy!, Love, Random

Things that make me happy

In an effort to be more mindfully thankful I have put together a short list of happy things.  Life isn’t always peachy but I have lots of sweet spots! Here are a few:

My fire place! OOOH the comfort of wood heat cannot be over estimated.  I always hated having wood heat as a kid because it meant more work for us.  Now, I have a strapping young son of my own and the tables have turned- MWAHAHAH!  Seriously, come over here and sit by my fire.  You won’t want to get up.

Kids who like baking are also a win.  Who wouldn’t love sitting by said fire and having on of your very own kiddo serve up a couple of cookies or cinnamon roll to “see if it turned out right”. Yup, I am the official tester.  It’s a tough job 😉

Coffee- dear, sweet, magnificent coffee…

My hubs.  Yes, he is crazy.  Yes, he totally makes me want to smash something on occasion.  He is also one of the most giving and kindest people on the planet.  I’m not even joking.  The man would do anything for anyone- no, you can’t have his number and he will not be available to look at your ceiling fan.  ( I get protective)

The kids- a.k.a. the crazies 🙂 They make my home a wild, hairy mess and I love them.

 

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What makes you happy?  You don’t have to have it all to have a pretty awesome life!

 

Being Mama, Home, Life

Keep it together…

I have a few little helpers that I like to have at my fingertips.  I am not sure how many of you need to plan your life but I sure need the structure if I am going to keep things working properly and get things done in a timely manner. And not forget stuff, that’s a biggie.

I keep a day planner.  I have a beautiful rose gold planner that I love.  When I ran out of inserts I was going to buy more the same size (A5) but I found a bitty school planner that fit neatly inside.  This was better because I could chose to take the whole shebang or just the calendar.  I like options 🙂

It is essential to me that they are pretty and somewhat matching.  No, it doesn’t matter.   But, if I like it, I’ll use it.  I’m a simple girl. My planner is a Prima planner and the pocket planner is PlanAhead.  The pen is pilot. I change it up every year so brands don’t really matter to me (no, I don’t get endorsements)

I keep these bad boys hoppin’.  Monday is my stay at home day.  I clean, plan the weeks menu, shop if needed, prep meals for the week, do errands and any other tid bit that got missed during the week.  I also plan out tasks and events for the week ahead.

Saturdays I do a family meeting- usually just me and hubs.  We discuss the most needful projects and the items most worthy to receive attention on pay day.  This gets us caught up and lessens chances for disagreements later.  I can then write said items down on the white board for all to see. That way, we all know what the priorities are.  An added bonus is that if an unmentioned party *ahem* decides to change their mind we have a list to keep dollars and attention veering from the task at hand.

I have swapped my to do list out for a context based list.  You can find this concept at http://www.powerofmoms.com

It isn’t a new idea but it has helped streamline the amount running around I do.  i just made my own print outs. This can keep you moving forward with your day and those little to dos that often get neglected can start getting ticked off the list with minimal effort.

I hope to do a whole house edit in the future.  There is nothing like a good purge and declutter fest!  Happy adulting!

Being Mama, DIY, Get Happy!, Health, Kids

Monday DIY

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These are my lovelies.  Cute right?  I know, I am blessed!  I love them all but sometimes a mama need her own space!  And spa treatments…

Here is my Monday cure for getting myself prepped and feeling good for the week:

*Hair mask*

1 Tbs conditioner of your choice

1 Tbs oil (olive for thick/dry hair, coconut for finer hair)

1 egg

mix all ingredients and apply to clean WET hair- leave for 30+ minutes and wash as usual

 

*Face mask*

In a blender mix 2 Tbs oatmeal, 1 Tbs honey and 1Tbs warm water.  You can add extras like bentonite clay or charcoal if you have any of those fancy things.  If not, no biggie.  Blend until it is soupy and apply to clean dry face.  Leave to dry (it’s a thin mix, it won’t take long) Wash face as usual and moisturize!

Also, stop and get your favorite drink while running your Monday errands.  That is a treatment in itself!

Health, Kids, Life, Marriage

Investing in myself

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Today is Monday.  Most of the working world treats this day as one big UGH.  I happen to have Mondays off so I’m in errand mode most of the day. I have to start off with a little pampering first though.

I decided a while back to do some investing in myself.  This was long overdue.  LOOOONG overdue!  Let me tell you a little story…

My baby brother (ok, he’s 30) just graduated from the lineman program.  BIG DEAL!! Like, REALLY big deal.  This guy struggled through school and it was touch and go that final year of high school.  To celebrate the accomplishment there was a shindig- Yay! My dear sweet hubs decided that there was no room in the budget for this big sis to attend 😦 So I sold the boat.  He actually sold it but i convinced him as we:

A) NEVER use it

B)it needed repairs and

C) I was NOT going to miss the shindig!

Off I went on my merry way.  Hubs suggested I take the kiddos. (he had to stay home and tend the animals)  I suggested they would be more help on the farm than screaming in a car for 7 hours only to return in a day for another 7 hours….so they stayed.

Upon my return I called a friend and as my family walked in the door I was chatting away to a girl having a rough time.  I was in the middle of the convo and waved hello.  The fam was not happy.  In fact, they were all completely mad at me.  I had got their goat without even knowing it.  I had dared to return and not bring them presents or give them every ounce of my attention.

I.WAS.FLOORED.  Clearly, we needed a change here.  When did I change from an individual to the chief gopher girl?  It was astonishing how upset everyone was.  I simply had a call.  It happens.  Apparently not to mothers and wives though.  Somewhere there is an unwritten rule that we are not allowed.  I missed that.

So, I decided that I am going to have to  work a little less around the house -DELEGATE! I will make a point to take care of important things first and to make sure my name is at the top of that list. I vow to not let myself down.  I want more out of life.  My kids will thank me later.  My husband will too.  He will have a happier wife for it.

At this very moment I have my head wrapped turban style as I soak in a DIY hair mask. I figured I toss on a face mask while I was at it.  Yes, its a small thing but it’s a start.  I think I’ll book a massage and check out the schedule for the local fitness group.

Oh, and my amazon packages should be arriving today….

DIY, Farm

Homesteading

IMG_20140727_114443_599-001The writing prompt today was homesteading.  I often have too much on my mind to bother changing course but this one I can make an exception for.

When we bought our farm the whole drive for me was to provide 50% of our food.  I wanted healthy veggies from the garden and hormone free meat.  Chickens are terrific source for both eggs and protein.  Not to mention, they are quite fun little critters and no farm could be complete without a crowing rooster in the background.

The garden did it’s duty this year and we have been getting our fiber in.  If I had more skills and time I could preserve every last bit of it but I’ve only been at this farming business less than a year.  I am in awe of all the off gridders who make it work day in and day out.  I know they still purchase goods but to provide so much of your own food source is wonderful.

I get a thrill with every zuchinni I pick and every egg I gather.  Right now, we have enough eggs to begin selling off the excess.  I may can up a batch of pickled eggs with some as well.   (they are awesome canned with homegrown jalepenos!)  I have jams and soups lining my shelves as well as pre-made lunches for the kids.

My dirty little secret is frozen burritos.  It’s how I get out the door with the kids in decent time.  In an effort to cut down on burrito consumption for school lunches I canned up a “meal in a jar”.   Now, my kids can grab a mason jar filled with veggies, beans and meat for a hearty school lunch.  *bonus* If they don’t eat it, it won’t spoil in the car four days later.  Not that we have ever had that  happen before….

I actually love the burritos and I will still buy them.  They just don’t love us back.  We will see if a better meal makes a better school year.

Farm, Home

First year on the farm

Here on the farm the approach of fall and winter are kind of a big deal.  You’ve got garden produce to pick and process by whatever means.  Animal homes to cold proof so when the weather is foul your livestock is warm and snug.  Equipment to put up and equipment to get out – and tune ups for both!

Aaahhhh!  The list goes on.  All this on top of your regular dailies like feeding animals and keeping things clean.

We chose this life because it was important to know that what we were eating was, in fact actual food.  A variety of health problems (every one of us!) prompted healthier choices for all.  The farm just made sense.  Grow your own and help yourself.

There are plenty of “what was I thinking” aspects to this way of life.  For example, we both work outside the home.  Yeah, so no one ever said that a farm is a full time job and then some.  Add in an old farmhouse needing a remodel and three kids with schedules of their own to keep and you’ve got and interesting mix brewing.

This has been a struggle for us.  We are both workaholics but the pace is brutal sometimes.  I have taken to planning day trips and even have an overnighter in the works for the hubs and I.  Anything to get away for a breath and not be constantly faced with all the to dos.

That being said, we have accomplished so much in less that one year of living here.  Already we have established laying hens and get well over a dozen eggs a day.  We have contributed to our pantry with home canned items. I just learned to can in June so in 3 short months I was able to put by a fair amount.  It won’t last all year but I won’t beat myself up over that.

My husband was able to replace all the old piping to the outdoor water bibs – a big deal! He has also worked on our kitchen remodel *YAY* and is nearly finished replacing all the floors in the house!

Together we added 17 meat birds to the freezer that were raised from day old chicks.

The children raised goats for the local fair and should be getting their sale checks soon.

All in all, we have been busy!

Farm, Home, Kids, Life

We made it

Well, it’s Friday morning.  The first week of school is nearly complete.  The school year has begun and with it all the routines and schedules revived.  Gone are the lovely, lazy summer mornings or the impromptu fun days.  Gone are the long, hot chores days and the county fair prep days.

We had our first fire in the stove last night as our temps dove down.  It’ is always so thrilling.  My son and I especially take a prideful glee in that first blaze.  We were fortunate enough to have gotten some wood as a result of a tree removal in town.  We were double fortunate in that a friend let us borrow a wood splitter for those terrifically large rounds.

Ah, the farm life.  It’s is both laborious and rewarding in each act.  Caring for 50 day old chicks was a BIG task, but now that I get to gather eggs- Reward!

The garden was a monumental feat for us.  It has more than paid us back with it’s delicious and healthy offerings.

So here’s to making it- I’ll raise my coffee cup to that!

Life, Love, Marriage

I’m going with NO today

Home sick today… not sure what’s up. Sore tummy, dizzy, yuck! Anyway, got the hubs to take kids to school so I could get dressed and sit in quiet for a minute to decide if I really had enough oomph for school today.  Um, no.  That didn’t happen.

I get a call from hubs about an hour after he drops kids off. Do I want to watch a 2 year old for a few hours? For his co-worker?

Um, let me think about it….. at home feeling crummy, pawned my own kids off so I could reserve a bit of sanity, skipped work so I could recoup….that’s gonna be a no!

I love my husband…

I love my husband…

I love my husband???

Oh, yes, I love my husband…

UGH!