Monday, August 31, 2009

Perfect Solution!

I have a child, MJ, 12 who freely admits he acts dumb to not have to do things. He doesn't like doing chores or having responsibilities. I have fought, I have giving out consequences, I have talked, I have reasoned...... still he isn't going to do more than what I make him. So I came up with the perfect solution last night as we again talked about responsibility. He has NO responsibilities other than school this week! He has until 1 pm to do his school. He doesn't even have to get dressed. Simple! He doesn't have to use his smart brain to try and be dumb. He doesn't have to lie about doing chores right. He doesn't have to DO chores! At 1 pm he comes into the living room and parks on the red stool until bed time. I will fix his meals and bring them to him. I will give him water when he needs it. He will get quick potty breaks. The rest of the time he will sit on the stool doing what he likes best............ NOTHING! See it really is the perfect solution! I don't hassle him, he doesn't have to do :)

Even the girls agree it is a great solution! It will stop them from arguing about stuff. We all excited about this solution! Well, most of us! MJ doesn't seem to be very excited. He seems to be kinda upset about it. I explained it to him. His actions have show us that he doesn't want responsibilities. I have listened! :) I really do want to make my kids happy. I am doing the best I can to accommodate his desires. He won't have responsibilities, just like his actions have been asking for!

I will keep everyone posted on how the week goes and how much less stress I have this week.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

54 Cool Crisp Degrees!

That's the temp when I got up this morning! Normally it has been about 70-80 at that time of morning! We had to find the blanket at the foot of our bed last night. It was wonderful! Maybe fall is starting in the air? The weather says only 95 for a high today.

In other news I finally made granola yesterday morning. I figured out why it doesn't get made. I dread dragging out the oats, the sunflower seeds, the pumpkin seeds, the wheat germ..... Then after I make it putting it all up. So since I had all the stuff out I filled ziplocks. Seven of them! Next time I want a batch all I have to do is the "wet" ingredients then mix and cook. I made a triple batch yesterday, that is about 2-3 gallon jars full, but my jars are all filled with milk or at other peoples houses with milk so the finished product had to go in ziplocks too.

Today we are having a church play day. We are going to fellowship, kids swim, paint ball, play, visit, and eat. I am taking Frito salad, coleslaw, hamburger buns and 2 cobblers. I got strawberries and blackberries yesterday at produce so will make at least one like that. Kids want to do a fruit salad. Not sure if that will come to pass or not. I did get my wheat ground for cobbler crust yesterday. I have learned that flour needs to be cool, not warm from being ground. I will start the buns then do the cobblers after I finish buns.

Time to get my day started!

Friday, August 28, 2009


The barn is filled with lots of fun things. There are chickens to pet and love on.

I couldn't get one of him "rocking" or bouncing the chicken. That part just didn't show up. Maybe mommy needs to let him take a chicken home to "baby" while she baby's the new baby. His cow granny had a pet chicken one time.

If you run out of chicken energy you can always pet er pull the goats ears.

If that isn't enough then join in Goat milking 101!

MN is teaching a friend K to milk goats.

Last I heard K had it down great! They are happily milking goats and chattering and ....... I guess they will come in some time to eat.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Life lesson

LOL Life lessons from the farm! MJ doesn't "like" to milk. So he told the girls today. He wasn't going to help. They turned to me and I totally agreed with MJ! There is no reason for him to help milk! He will just not enjoy anything that has milk in it. No gravy, no smoothies, no glasses of milk, no cake or pudding or the zillion other things I put milk in since we have LOTS of it. He revised his statement! He is more than willing to help! Sorry Charlie! You can do without milk a while. Then we will see if you are more willing to help and do it RIGHT.

He isn't a happy camper!

We just had a LONG talk again last night about doing your part. That we all have responsibilities and it puts extra work on others when we don't do our part. We talked about in the Bible it says if you don't work you don't eat. So this little statement was not very thought out or wise on his part. I would say there isn't a meal around here that doesn't include milk. Either in foods or to drink, usually both.

Shared Pictures and the Joys of Grand babies....

Yesterday was the first day of baby sitting grandson K. I met mommy at the hwy to have her avoid opening gates and less of her time getting to school. She said he usually takes a nap about 9-9:30, and again around 12. hahahahh right! NOT! He finally shut his eyes for about 10 minutes around 11. Then again for a whole 30 minutes at 3. Yet he was totally happy. Never fussed at all.
I did call his daddy since I forgot to ask if any food was off limits. He said no so.......... we rocked this child's digestive system. He joined me in my smoothie then had some of S's for breakfast. At lunch I tossed a bit of the chicken soup, with LOTS of veggies, in the vita mix. Daddy had already warned me he doesn't do veggies well. :) He had chicken soup! when DIL B told C that he ate veggies her mouth dropped open. :) After I fed him his soup then he helped me with mine. He enjoyed the soggy bread and broth as I ate. I had him in the sling so it was a bite for me and a bite for him.
He spent the day being happy. He didn't fuss and didn't sleep. Most of the day he was in the sling. We did do some floor time, but since we have a helpful 2 yo you have to be right there for that. I really am laughing as he LOVES babies and wants to hold them. It should be lots of fun for mommy when she has the baby in less than 2 months.
Grandson T didn't just play with the baby. He had to borrow T's boots for a walk around the house. He walked really well in them, even if they were above his knees.
I didn't get any pictures but my ergo came after K left. Since I needed to see how it would fit me and all I ask T if he wanted to get in. For those that don't know an ergo is a belly/back pack for babies and smaller children up to I think 40 lbs. They are GREAT! Very comfortable. T was thrilled to get to be packed and I carried him around for probably an hour. I would ask if he wanted down, "No". So on we went. He snacked on bread and helped me drink my water as he was toted.
I was tired last night but it was a good tired, full of accomplishment and blessings. I don't get K again until Monday. Today daddy has daddy day care :) Then on Tue. Daddy is going to start K off right by taking him to the livestock auction. I am selling tickets to watch that show!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pineapple Vinegar and other strange foods...

I found a recipe a couple of weeks ago for Pineapple vinegar. They say it is a mild vinegar like rice vinegar. Since I just happened to have some Pineapples I decided to try it. It is still fermenting, but I did sneak a little out for a salad Sunday morning. I was impressed. The recipe calls for the skin from 1/2 a pineapple and a little of the flesh in a quart of water with about 1/3 of a cup of brown sugar. Leave it in a sunny window covered with plastic for a week take 1/2 the skin out leave it another week. Then strain it and leave it another week. We are about done with that week. Then just refrigerate and use.

Last time we did produce I ended up with LOTS of broccoli. I wanted to try something new. I shred the broccoli like you would cabbage. The since I didn't have any coleslaw dressing I made some. I used Miracle Whip and some rapadura for sugar then a bit of my new vinegar for zing. It was really good. DH even tried a couple of bites. He said it was OK but he likes his broccoli cooked.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Ramble

I started my day slow today. Quite often I have the laundry done by 9 am. It is after 4 pm but I still haven't gotten it all done. I did have to take time out to make laundry soap. Then I had to take time out to clean out my mess from making laundry soap. I did it in the vita-mix again, but zapped it way to fast to start and well think bubbling spring of soap!

Hershey is doing well. Yesterday morning I pulled and DH pushed to get her in to milk. She was NOT going in there. Last night my ds volunteered to help. He started leading her and ..... well lets say he might have met his match in stubborn. She laid down!
Now you can make them fall down even a big cow with a control halter, but he didn't get that chance. She just laid down. He being the clown he is sat down beside her to wait her out. She won. He sought shade. Finally we gave up and came in for a coffee break. Kids came in and told us when she got up. She was NOT getting up until we left!
I herded her to the barn, or close and he helped me do the push pull routine to get her in for milking. While she was totally ticked she never tried to kick. I milked less than 1/2 a gallon and let the calf have the rest.
This morning I got smart. I let Buckets come in and eat. Since she was eating Hershey thought she needed to eat too. :) I just shooed Buckets out and latch her in. I milked over 1/2 a gallon and there was probably more than the calf needed left.
Pups are doing good. They have been turned loose this afternoon from the barn pen. They are begging at the yard gate. I have reminded kids they are not pet me dogs, they are guardian dogs. :) Right! They did discover the pond. If they discover water they check to see how deep and cool it is. So they beg go cool off in the pond and beg some more for attention. No they are not spoiled! Nope, can't be! We watched them enjoy the pond a few minutes ago. They were bouncing in and out and all around. I will try and get pictures some time of them playing.
I made the mistake of letting MN milk Hershey a bit this morning just to show her how easy she is. Now I have a parrot on my shoulder going, "Can I milk Hershey tonight?" She milks goats! I may loose my milking job! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I think she's a keeper!

Yesterday we went and got Hershey. The other little cow I had planned on buying last week but didn't get to since she had calved and had trouble the morning we were to get her. I really really wanted her, but also worried that I was imagining how sweet tempered she was and how nice her udder looked. I bought her and the Holstein graft calf he had bought to go on her. She loaded like a saddle horse.

Last night I hand milked about 1-1 1/2 quarts. Not a lot, but remember she has been down and is only a heifer, a YOUNG heifer at that. I was quite pleased with how easy she is to milk. I did hobble her. I am a chicken. She never made any effort to kick. I struggle to milk the back to teats as they are normal heifer short. They will stretch! I then let the calf have what was left after I did as much as I could. The calf had gotten way to much the night before and has dirraria. I have him a large bottle of water with cider vinegar in it then just the left overs from the cow. This morning he was still not OK, but acts good. I added a little sugar to the vinegar mix and gave that to him. Once I finished milking he again got scraps. I hope by this evening he will be much better.

This morning she did NOT want to go in the stanchion. With some tugging and pushing we got her in. I milked a bit more than last night. I then wanted to see what would happen if her "calf" took on a new look. I don't have any real bottle babies. They are about grown but MN assured me this goat nurses on any goat that slows down. Sooooooooooo..................

Yep she was right! Hershey took it all in stride and didn't lift a foot. I think she is a keeper don't you?
She isn't eating as well as I would like. Everything is strange and new and different. This morning I brought Buckets in to share the pool pen with her. While she ignored the pan of feed Buckets didn't. If Buckets was going to eat.... well she had to have her share. That is what I wanted to happen.
On the way to get the cow we took the long way. Dh has been after me to find some guardian pups. We really miss having those gentle giants around. I had found some east of us about 30 miles. They had some 4 month old, and some 10 week old out of two separate blood lines. Come to find out the guy is pretty sure that the 10 week old are out of the same blood lines Shiloh was. You guessed it, we loaded TWO tiny sweet delicate puppies in the trailer.

Meet Snowball. She is VERY white and short haired for a Great Pyrenees. She is very laid back and calm. She loves to be petted, but loves a shady spot just about as much.

Then there is Grizzly. We wanted to go with the name Bear, but since that is what the bull was named when we got him decided it would be confusing. Since he is SO big and his feet are even larger we figured Grizzly would fit. With his personality he could well be dangerous. He might drown you in licks, or beat you to death with is tail or fall on you. Which would leave you stuck under him until he decided to move.
Grizzly took to the barn quite well. As you can see MN is milking goats next to him. If you look real close there is a stream of milk flowing into his mouth.

Now doesn't that tongue look dangerous?

Life is never dull around here!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Welcome to our Educational Center!

We are still working on it but here is the grand tour of what we have accomplished!

Just to review what we had when we started this project in June. This is what the garage looked like. This is the side that is now a bay window.

Now for the tour!

This is stepping from the kitchen into the EC.

You can see the edge of the door going into the kitchen here. This is our reading bed, setting bed or storm bed for my dil in bad weather.

The craft side of the EC. It has a work space in front of the storage bins. The bottom shelf is just under table tall so that short people can use it like a table. Toys are stashed under it in bins. The big wooden table is for projects or cutting fabric or working also. To give you an idea of size the yellow pallet rack is 10 ft long. The stuff on the bottom shelf is mostly craft stuff that the kids can do with little or no supervision.

Sewing machines! I have two in cabinets. One is open in this picture and the other one hasn't been opened yet. It is on the other side of the pole from the one open. Dh dropped an electric line down the pole to plug them in. They are in the center of the room.

Remember the first picture? This is the same area today! We have talked about putting a seat or toy box in the window. I think I have decided on a bench. I want it tall enough that produce crates will slide under. Then the kids can move the toys from where they are under the pallet rack into the bay window. The little kid book case is next to the chair in this picture. The bean back is in front of the little kid book case. Little kid desk are behind my "box".

This is the view of the craft area from the bay window area. On the back wall is a book corner that has the older kid books and the National Geographic. See the yellow at the bottom of the back wall. Those are ALL National Geographic! Thank You freecycle for someone sharing them with us. They are much read around here. More books don't show up on the wall where the chimney is.

School area from the craft area. Notice the computers open and ready to be used. Top shelf is more storage and stuff I need to work through. Same for the area not used for computers.

See this big box? It is HUGE. I use it to divide the school and craft area. I have packed and repacked it multiple times trying to decide what works best in it. Right now I have material and sewing stuff divided into crates and totes.

I still have some stacks of stuff that I need to decide what to do with in here. I skillfully managed to NOT show them in pictures! Over all it is finished though. At least it is very usable!

House Guest?

"Mom! Grab the camera and come look!"

I was going for a nose shot but she put her head down a little before it clicked. I am IN the house taking this, see the door latch?

I stepped out to get one final shot.

NO we did not keep the door open! As soon as I went back in she again stepped UP two steps to beg to come in.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to posting....

The not posting started with a couple of days of thunderstorms of a morning. Then life would start for the day and I just wouldn't take the time to post. With working in the educational center I wasn't even near the computer most of the day so it made it easy not to post.

I have spent more time with God, not always in His Word, but just meditating on Him. I have been seeking some answers to some needs/wants. But I am now back to posting... maybe not as often but some. For today I may do a couple if I find time to go take education center pictures.
For now you will just have to see my new way of roasting chili's.

I bought this pizza maker at the flea market. I payed a WHOLE $3 for it.

I thought making personal pan pizza in the camper would be great with this. We could do it on the table outside the RV and not heat the RV up. First I needed to see if it even worked. So since I had a few chili's that needed roasting I wondered.......

What would happen if we tossed them on the pizza maker?
Since it worked I then had another brain storm!

Get a child to do it! Well really this child was BEGGING to roast chili's.

Once they are roasted you have to "sweat" them a while. You put them in something with a lid while they are hot.

Roasted Chili's! She did 3 pans full! We will peel them this afternoon and freeze them. I am hoping I can buy a few more sacks full before the season is over. IF you decide to do this use gloves to peal them!!!!!!!

On to other news!!!
New Babies! Well they really aren't babies. They are bred jersey heifers. We named them Blossom and Buckets. Buckets went through several names before we settled on Buckets. She is the smaller of the two cows. She has horns, for now. The vet will "fix" that later. I wasn't sure just how gentle they were when we bought them. I knew they weren't crazy wild. The guy had 5 of them and about 5 other cows in a pasture. He poured out some feed and I walked through them back and fort as a stranger to see just which ones spooked. The prettiest one took her business and just left the feed. She got Xed on my list of possibles. Then I had 4 to pick from! Oh decisions, decisions! I loved Blossom. She was so picture perfect jersey. While Buckets wasn't near as pretty, in part I know because I don't like horns. She was the "ugly duckling" of the 4.
We got them Sunday evening. They were skittish and wouldn't let us touch. When I went to the barn on Monday morning MN had the curry comb and was combing Blossom. Buckets was still doing the touch me not routine. We messed with them off and on and on and on and off all day. It didn't take long for Blossom to be in the way of what ever you are doing in her pen, which for now is the back yard/pool pen. While Buckets would just avoid touching, unless you dumped feed out in a bucket. Anytime she sees a bucket of any size here she comes! She even checked out the green chili peels in a bucket!

Last night S told me she petted Blossom while she was swimming. Think of cow hanging her head over the pool for a pat.
This morning I petted both of them all over, even their udders. Buckets did give me half hearted attempt at a kick. I was not in range. I was messing with her udder at the time. It could have been a fly biting her on my side it was that half hearted. She didn't even stop eating her feed.

Later I took the camera out for pictures. Talk about a chore. I did get a picture of the flies on Blossoms face as she checked the camera out and tried to lick it.

With some work and the help of a tree I got some better pictures.




Blossom from a distance. Isn't she pretty?

While I was trying to take pictures T went and got some feed for them.
When Buckets saw the bucket here she came.
Blossom didn't want to be left out!
What was funny is neither one really wanted what she had to offer. They just had to check out what was in the can. I think Buckets might have taken ONE bite.
When I looked at these cows on Sat. There was one more that was HEAVY bred I wanted. I REALLY wanted her. In fact I bought her too, but she had trouble calving that night and was down Sunday when we went to get her. We called to check on her last night and she is getting up but not ready to be hauled in a trailer. I still want her. I am praying she will be ready to travel by this weekend. He was going to get a calf for her since she lost hers. I hope it all works out since she was my pick.
OK off here to peel chili's and maybe get education center pictures.