Farm, Home, Life

Frosty Morning on the Farm

We had an early morning appointment for my middle girl today. She has been seeing the physical therapist for her digestive system and her appointment times are usually 7 am. We were on the verge of running late but it was just so beautiful in that barely there light I had to take a couple of pictures.  I have never felt more at home than I do here. God has truly blessed us and this morning was a perfect breathless moment when it all flooded in.

Until my kids started fighting in the car at least!

Wherever you are I hope you are at home.

Food, Home

Baking 

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The Roulpat makes rolling out pie crust SoEASY! We have rolled out 6+ crusts on this bad boy in the last 24 hours! The crust peels right up and it washes off with no scrubbing- so nice 🙂

Fall is a time for baking.  We had a pie social after church and my neighbor had a bumper crop of pumpkins.  Perfect timing!  My kids decided to do other flavors so they left the pumpkin to me! (oh darn!)

I loved baking as a kid but soon fell away from it as my family grew and I saw my hard work disappear before my eyes.  Cooking lasted longer and I felt I could improve our health more with simple meals.  Fast forward… now I am finding that with a few handy tools (Thank you BONCOOK) it’s a bit easier, faster and more rewarding.  Plus, I have kids who love baking so my kitchen is gonna be a mess anyway, I might as well join the party!

I learned how to prep the puree from reading other blogs and tutorials but I’ll give you a run down in case you are interested.

Half the pumpkin and clean out seeds and strings

Bake pumpkin in a casserole dish with about 1/2″ water for 1 hour at 350

Scoop out soft flesh (once it has cooled) and puree in blender- that’s it!

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My lovely handled bowl…so simple and so brilliant. I loosely based my pumpkin pie filling off of a recipe called “Chef John’s Pumpkin Pie” on Allrecipes

 

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My mom had lots of ‘unrecipes’ if you will. I just start mixing things up when I cook. We are kitchen rebels that way. I did measure this time so this is my throw it together recipe: 2 sticks real butter 4 cups white flour 1 cup (more or less) cold water This made enough crust (bottoms only) for 4 pies

 

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I thought a monogram pie would be nice. Here I have my handy “soft knife” that will cut through crust …but NOT my Roulpat
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Ready to go in the oven!

 

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Aaaand another one
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This was my daughter’s peach pie. She did a great job 🙂

Hope you are enjoying your fall and happy baking!

Coffee, DIY, Family, Home

Time to Get Busy

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Another day another post.  I am sorry to say that my parents must return home today. It’s been fun and now it’s time to say goodbye. 😦 The next visit will be on us and we will have to make the trip over to see the clan.

Well, I shall not be bored in the mean time! I have a line up of projects that should keep me hopping for quite a while.  What’s in the works you ask? Let me tell you.

Finish staining and installing office shelves

Install large cork board

Mix glorious paint leftovers into something lovely

Paint office

Paint girl 1 room

Paint my room

Paint living room

Paint hallway

Stain stairs

Make wall words for my room- not sure which quote/scripture I’d like yet…

Make wall words for Living room- “As for me and my house” maybe?

Paint large mirror frame and install near entry

Make slip cover for “new” couch

Hmm… I think I’ll start with a cup of coffee and then decide which one I want to tackle first!

Family, Farm, Home, Life, Random

My Mommy and Daddy are Coming!

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My parents aren’t they cute? 🙂

My parents are coming over today 🙂 This will be the first time my dad has ever seen the farm.  So far, just my mom has seen it “in real life” *hint, hint family!* It’s a bit like Christmas maybe better because I don’t have “entertainment pressure”.  It’s just our family goofing off and doing dumb stuff together.

Plus, they are bringing me a desk! The final installment to my command center a.k.a. home office crammed in the corner of the dining room. I am a happy girl!

They are also bringing a couch so that our care group can all be seated comfortably when we get together which we do every week. AND they are bringing me leftover paint.  This is pure gold people.  You have no idea how much fun it is to mix up some leftover paint and create a gorgeous color …unless you have already tried it then maybe you do.  So I will be in the color lab soon to see what I can concoct for our recently acquired bedrooms.

We decided that since girl 1 was upstairs girl 2 ought to be as well. Now we have three kids relocated to 3 separate rooms.  Boy (and boy’s dog) have moved downstairs to the big room previously occupied by 2 girls.  Girl 1 gets the “craftroom” read: wonky room that was kinda iffy on the flooring.  Girl 2 gets the tiny room previously occupied by boy.

Everybody relocated well.  Everybody except girl 2 that is.  She is the master of messes. She is often getting distracted by a more interesting task.  Actually, it could be dish washing as long as she can avoid the task at hand a little longer!  To be fair, she is a collector and she has the smallest room so the odds aren’t in her favor.  I purposely gave her this room so she would be forced to deal with her mess on her own on a DAILY basis. No more big sis to clean up for her!

I plan to help her organize it and get it all set up then sit back and see how she does…should be interesting!  If I ever get the video figured out I’ll give you al a virtual tour.  I’m really not that tech saavy though so it may be a while…

Happy Friday 🙂

Family, Home, Life

Thrift Store Finds and Command Center in Progress

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Water color of a farm, artist unknown

I love a good thrift store.  We are fortunate to have a couple of them in our town.  I am in the process of setting up a command center for our home/farm.  I am hoping that our schedules and to-do’s will be a bit less hectic if I can organize a place for all of our paperwork.  We are still very much moving into our new home as we can only do so much at a time.  It seems  every project is preceded by about twenty others!

Anyhow, I have been hunting for office finds and have come across some great items to get things organized.  I will try to post complete before and afters once I get everything together.  My parents are going to bring a desk for me when they come next week to visit.  I will be painting it to match my aqua-gold-neutral color scheme. I can hardly wait to get my “office” up and running

Right now I have a table in the dining room that is my desk and all the various things and papers that are officey are scattered in a variety of storage areas near by.  One of the things my husband requested was a designated place for mail.  I found this:Photo on 2017-10-08 at 16.03

Mission accomplished!  It gets a place of privilege on a small side table that I also bought from the thrift store for a couple bucks and painted a neutral gray/beige color.

I needed task lighting and I found this lamp at the thrift store:Photo on 2017-10-08 at 16.07

It is simple and pretty and most importantly tall enough to  make sure that the light will be where I need it to be.Photo on 2017-10-08 at 16.09

This little key holder was from Home Depot and was just really cute. So I got it. I don’t have plans for it yet but it will match my stuff and I love it.:)Photo on 2017-10-08 at 16.11

This old wire three tired tray was a thrift store find that fit in perfectly with everything and it took no paint at all – yay!

I can’t wait until I get everything painted and in place- more to come!

Home

Henneke Farm

henneke farm SUNSET

A picture is worth a thousand words.  This one was snapped by a friend of mine as we chatted outside.  I have to say- this makes it all worth it.  The beauty of a country sunset cannot be beat.  I am a blessed lady for sure!henneke farm SUNFLOWERS

More glory from the garden.henneke farm MARIGOLDS

Giant marigolds- no joke, these guys got about 4 feet tall!

And that is all…

Farm bliss!

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!

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!

Home, Life

making home

So here is a bit about me.  I am currently living in a rural college town.  Yes, they do build Universities in the sticks.  I have always been a west coaster although now I am closer to the mountains than the sea.

Growing up, the trees and rivers surrounded us.  It was like a fairy tale to me.  The mossy trunks, the ferns so delicate, the spunky (and funky) skunk cabbage all added to the elfish quality of the surroundings.  And the fog… I loved it.  I could walk into the fog forever.  It was a blanket of mist surrounding me and shielding me.  Now,  I understand that on the road fog is dangerous but then it was a wonderful cocoon. I loved it.

My college dorm room was located right next to the elevator.  As in, the elevator shaft was closed in and that enclosure was in my room.  It was an old building too.  The oldest on campus.  I didn’t really mind too much.  Once I got used to it I began to predict who it was coming and going based on what time of day it was.  In some cases I would expect people and be ready at the elevator door and my predictions were usually pretty accurate.  The rumble of the cables became familiar and comforting.  Who was coming up?  A guest?  A friend? It always gave me a sense of expectancy.

When I rented my first apartment fog horns would blast outside my bedroom window.  My apartment overlooked the mouth of the Columbia and it was wonderful to see the water traffic going too and fro.  Another bit of magic and wonder to me.  I still love that sound coupled with the watery scent of the docks.

Nowadays I associate the blare of a fog horn to with the whistle of a train.  The train runs through my town and is required to blow the horn at certain points.  I have often been in that bleary state between sleeping and waking and mistaken my location because they sounded alike to me.

The soft earthy pine smell of the mountains replaces the damp earthy smell of the woods. There are no rumbling elevators in my house now.  But I can still hear the train whistle across town.  I suspect if I lived in South Africa I would associate the trumpet of and elephant with both the fog horn and the train!

So it is with me.  I am home where I am.