Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fun Schoolwork

Devin doesn't love most schoolwork, but I'll say he seemed to have fun making this project! His class went to the Museum of Natural History and they had to make a project based on facts they learned from the museum. They had to chose from several different displays. Devin chose the dinosaur display.

He made this diorama by himself, with just a little guidance from me. He decided where everything went, cut everything out, and glued everything (except for a few little hot glue things I did). He even drew the pterodactyl by himself!

He was very proud of it and I think he did a great job. I had a lot of fun too!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Elmer and Buford Go to Town

A couple of weekends ago David and I took Elmer and Buford to town for a little socialization. We admit we've been a little lax about making sure to bring Elmer around other people and dogs, and we wanted to try to start early with Buford. We decided to take them into town to the Farmer's Market that's held every Saturday. There are always a lot of people and dogs there.

Elmer is learning to sit patiently while waiting to cross the street.

They decided to go up the steps of this pretty church.

Buford was a good boy. He's pretty young, so he just went right along with everything.

There were so many sights, sounds, and smells David took Elmer for a little "time out" to relax and watch everything.

I tried to get a good picture of them sitting together, but that was harder than I thought it'd be. Elmer, look over here Bub.

Buford, sit!

This was the best I could get.

On the way back we stopped by this flowerbed (on public property) to take a few pictures.

I think if we did this another few times Elmer will settle right in and relax a bit. They both did a great job though, and people loved them!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I found a thread on a dairy goat forum about something called cajeta and everyone was raving about it, so I had to google it. Cajeta is a "Mexican confection" (according to Wiki) made from milk and sugar, almost a mix between caramel and sweetened condensed milk. I had to make it!

Here's the recipe I used. I used goat milk for mine, because David pointed out that I had quite a stockpile of milk in the fridge. Cajeta is a good topping for cookies, pound cake, icecream, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The only negative thing is it takes a lot of stirring. I mean a LOT of stirring. I stirred mine for an hour and a half before it was ready. I almost cheered when it reached the soft ball stage!

I don't have any pound cake or icecream, but I do have apples. I think I'll go have some apples dipped in cajeta right now!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quick Knits

I have been wanting to do some quick, instant gratification knitting lately, so I decided to knit a few baby items. I knitted the pumpkin hat using parts of a few different patterns I found. It's made with Caron Simply Soft yarn (and the colors are Peach and Sage, if I remember correctly). It was hard to take good pictures because I don't happen to have a baby around the house to model it for me. :-)

This pink hat is just a simple baby beanie with a ribbed edge, made with Rowan Calmer. I forget which color it is, but it's a very light pink.

Both of these hats are in my Etsy shop, which has been neglected for a long time!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Favorite Time of Year

I love this time of year. Fall! It has been beautiful around here the past few days. The weather is cooler and the sun is shining. I only worked a half day yesterday, and I went to get a load of hay then came home and cleaned animal pens. I got a lot done, the chicken coop is cleaned out, the area under the sheep/goat hay feeder is clean, and the barn is partially cleaned.

I also spent some time with the animals. June was showing off for me.

Ta-Da! I almost felt like she was saying, "Look at this, Mom!" I can remember us kids saying that a lot to my parents...especially when we were swimming and wanted to show off our "tricks."

The sheep were contently grazing.

Theo, almost overnight, has transformed into a real buck. He's no longer just a kid. He's now grown up. He's got that "mane" of hair now and his tail is always curled over his back.

He and June love the camera.

And my ram lamb loves me! I love him too. He's such a sweet boy. He comes over every day for hugs and scratches.

Since the day he was born I told myself he was destined for the freezer, because I don't want this to just be a hobby, they have to earn their keep and be useful. I don't really need a ram full time, so I was planning on using him for breeding and then have him processed. I'm finding I'm really dreading the day when he has to go. I've become very attached to him. There's really no sense in me keeping him though, because he's Purl's son so it's not very practical for me to use him to breed her, and what's the sense in keeping a ram that can only breed one of my ewes? I do love his personality though, and I can tell myself he's had a wonderful life. My neighbor thinks I should wether him and keep him as a pet. I'd love to, but I can't afford to keep a freeloader on my small place. I don't know if it's worth keeping him around just for his fleece.

So I guess for now we'll just enjoy each other's company.

Oh yeah, and it's breeding season around here! Darla was in heat yesterday. The sheep and goats have been separated, just in case they decide to look past species. :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Turkey Processing Part 1

DISCLAIMER: Please don't read the following post if you don't want to see pictures of turkeys being processed for food. I'm not showing the actual killing, but I do show plucking and there is a little blood and some folks might not care to see. If you'd rather not see them, this is your warning!

Two weekends ago David and I processed 4 of our 9 turkeys. We started by getting the scalding water hot. We used the old fashioned fire method because we haven't yet bought a portable gas burner.

After we killed each turkey, I'd scald it in the pot and then pluck it. Plucking was the longest part. It took about 5 minutes per bird to get all of the feathers out. The majority of the feathers came out easily but there were straggling pin feathers I'd have to pick out individually.

After the bird was plucked, it went into a cooling bath of cold water for a little while so I could kill and pluck the next bird. After they were all killed and chilling in the water, I started the actual cleaning part. This stainless table works really well. I set up three for entrails, one for feet, and one for "keeper" organs. I keep the feet for stock, and I keep the necks, livers, hearts, and gizzards for cooking.

I gutted and cleaned each bird, which took a few minutes. I think this is my "favorite" part. I don't mean I really enjoy it, but I mind it the least. It was really nice to have that large body cavity versus the broilers which seem tiny in comparison!

I am really happy with how the birds looked!

Here they are all ready to go in the freezer. Out of the 4 we killed, 3 were broad breasted white and 1 was a broad breasted bronze. The bronze was a tom, and he was pretty lanky, weighing in at 15.2 lbs. The largest was a white tom which weighed in just shy of 20 lbs. The other 2 whites were hens and they each weighed 16 lbs.

Two of these birds are for my sister, one is for my mom, and the other is for Thanksgiving. The remaining 5 are for us and other family members. They'll be processed in the next few weeks.

I thought I'd be more sad to say goodbye to the turkeys, but it really didn't bother me as much as I thought it might. It probably helps that I still have 5 left. I can't wait to taste that first bite of Thanksgiving turkey!
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