Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Laurel and Hardy (and company) Shear sheep

Before we could start shearing Peaches had to be put on her cable she was a little too eager to "help".
Then it was Laurel and Hardy and company shear sheep. My son, Anders, his fiance, Emily and I got started. Their little one, Joel, joined us later to watch from his backpack. And eventually Brian wandered in to help when the bailer broke for the umpteenth time.

We had the sheep "corralled" in the stock trailer for easy catching. Thank heavens my son is young, strong and has long arms. He caught each sheep and I slipped a halter on. Then it was me pulling and him pushing and sometimes carrying the reluctant sheep to the stanchion.
This is the first year I have done the shearing myself. Some of the sheep look pretty good... Some of them look like I clipped them with the weed whacker. This is our ram we are clipping.
Toward the end he was getting rather impatient and my hands were buzzing from the vibrations of the clippers. It took Brian and Anders to hold him still while I did his chin. Emily was elected official photographer... and no I am not posting the overly closeup pic she got of my backside when I was bent over!
About the time I thought I was really getting a pretty good technique - we ran out of sheep.
Now I'll have to wait until next year to practice.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Brian beats the rain

For the first time in three years, Brian got all the hay he had down rolled up ahead of the rain storms. Granted the bailer is toast and he had to borrow my brother's bailer. But it's done and that is a good thing.
Now if he'd just get his truck put back together so we can leave for Oregon on Thursday that would be icing on the cake.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

We may complain about out government and rules and regulations, but we still live in a country where we are free to speak our minds.That is something to be thankful for.

Friday, July 2, 2010


They're still green but our persimmon tree is loaded with fruit. The branches are weighted down and several are nearly touching the ground. It's hard to believe something that hard, green and pucker producing will become one of Indiana's best loved wild delicacies. I can't wait 'til fall when they turn burnt orange and sweet. Persimmon pudding is one of our favorite foods around here. You can check out our Persimmon pudding recipe on our website . Maybe this year Brian will create a persimmon icecream. Hmmmm. . .

It's a hogs life

I want to be a pig if I get to be reincarnated. Why? So I can apply  the appropriate amount of MUDD Factor 90 sunscreen and lay around in the sun all day, get free mudd facials and have someone wait on me hand and foot with meals and cool drinks.
;^) lol

This is Star sunbathing in the clover. Life is just sooo hard.


Plants are popping up all over the garden. We may have had a hard time getting the garden in the ground. We feel like everything is in really late, but it's all in now and sprouting like mad. The top pic is bean seedlings stretching for the sun and the bottom one is watermelon seedlings. Now it's mulch, mulch, mulch!

Home dairying

Oh the joys of having our own cow! So far I've made gallons and gallons of yogurt. Brian has perfected ice cream in at least 4 flavors and he's plotting his next creation as I write. I've made baked custard and Rennet custard. And there are several one gallon bags in the freezer filled with lovely yellow butter balls.
So for my next trick I decided to tackle cottage cheese. I read the directions in the Rennet package. It didn't look all that difficult. I thought I sort of remembered the process from when I was little and my mother made cottage cheese. So after the morning milking I strained the milk into a big stainless steel pot. Added the required number of Rennet drops and buttermilk. Then I placed a linen towel over the top and placed it carefully on the counter to wait.
Wait. Oh yeah how long did it say I had to wait? 12 hours... let's see it's was 11am by the time I got everything in the pot... so it should be curd by 11 pm. No big deal I thought. I have to work tomorrow so it will good to stay up tonight and get "flipped".
So at 11pm I was cutting my curd, heating it to 115 degrees slowly in a water bath, stirring every 5 minutes so the curds didn't stick together. Then straining off the whey. Plunging the curd in ice water. Hanging it to drain. At 2 am I decided it was just going to have to be drained enough because I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. I tucked it in the fridge and crawled into bed.
This morning I added salt, pepper and cream. Yep that's right cottage cheese is supposed to be swimmin' in cream. Then I tasted it. YUMMY! It's going to be great with fruit and for stuffing pasta. Thanks Hazel. :^)


Brian has 4 fields of hay down, 1 raked and he's started baling. Now if the baler will quit breaking we might get it all rolled up before the weather changes again and it starts to rain.
 I want to see pretty big round bales all neatly in a row waiting for the freezy breezes of winter. I always feel better when the haying is done.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The good and the bad and the ugly

While walking through the garden I caught this butterfly with my camera. Butterfly - both good and pretty.
Then I checked my rose bushes only to find these little monsters munching away. YUCK!  Time to get out the Neem-Py and spray at sunset.