May 31, 2018

End of May on the Homestead


As I reminisce about the month of May on our homestead a few thoughts immediately come to mind... May seemed to be an exceptionally rainy month at our place. There is lush green grass for the critters to munch on in the pastures, with beautiful wildflowers sprinkled throughout. And we were productive; finishing projects, starting projects, and planning/preparing for those yet to come.


Matilda is beginning to shed her dark winter coat. Her fur changes from dark brown to very sleek and light - nearly blond - in the summertime. She got her spring dose of parasite control this week, along with an apple and a carrot for being so cooperative. {smile}


Our nine hens are laying eggs quite regularly. Occasionally we find an egg in an unexpected place, but mostly they lay in their nesting boxes. We remain on high alert for predators since we lost two hens to a bird of prey recently, and we have an adorable family of foxes in the neighborhood.


Our goats also received their spring doses of parasite control this week. We have been rotating our little herd onto the beautiful (free!) grass in the barnyard so they usually are too full to do much besides nibble at their hay feedings.


Wildflowers abound at our place this year. We discover the first "something" of the season nearly every time we partake in a walkabout around the homestead. The above flower is the first prairie smoke wildflower that I saw this year.


There are lots of buds on the chokecherry bushes down at the creek.


And the creek is still rather high, but it has come down quite a bit since the high water of the beginning of this month.


Here is a view of the upper pasture. So green and laden with beautiful arrowleaf balsamroot wildflowers.


We bought the paint to refresh our coops and outbuildings recently, but the rain has been too regular and relentless... Lord willing, we will get to it next month.

And into June (and summer!) we joyfully go...

May 30, 2018

Little Foxes

There is a pile of logs in a field just up the road from our homestead. Those logs have been there for several years... perhaps one day they will be used to build a cabin. But for now, they are being used as a home by a family of foxes!


My dear hubby first spotted the mama fox atop the log pile a few weeks ago. In subsequent trips to town he would occasionally see the mama fox again, and once she had three babies out-and-about with her.


The other day, our whole family got to see the foxes on our way to town. First, we noticed the mama with one baby at her side.


The two of them played around for a bit. The baby was jumping on the mama and the mama was quite patiently letting her little one have its fun. Eventually, they both nestled down into the tall grass for a rest.


Another of the babies came out from beneath the logs and sat near the end of the pile.


Oh my, the cuteness of this wee wild critter!


This is the fox family's home. The logs are in a small pasture between the county road and the creek.


The ever-watchful mama of the family.


We were very excited to see the foxes and get some photographs of them without disturbing them from our vehicle. Their log pile home is about a mile away from our homestead and visible with binoculars from our deck. It has been quite a kick to keep an eye on their antics throughout recent days.

I hope you enjoyed meeting our foxy neighbors! {smile}

May 29, 2018

Seven Months Old


My Christmas puppy Jack... the once wee critter that bounded into our hearts and home when he was but seven weeks old... is now seven months old. Seven months already! And such a big boy and good friend to me - to all of us - he has become.


Jack had a great time with Juno at the beginning of the month. Our oldest daughter's dog stayed with us while our daughter was traveling and Jack had the best time for those weeks.


He has learned to recognize the sound of our family's vehicles and watches from the fenced yard when he hears the familiar sound of a loved one's ascent up our long driveway.


And to my absolute delight my two best animal friends seem to like each other quite a bit. Matilda actually comes to the fence when she sees Jack in the yard and the two of them touch noses. They are the cutest, those two!


Jack adores his ball. So so much! We are still working on "drop it" when we play fetch. He always drops the ball if he knows I am going to give him a treat in trade... that's a start! Often, he simply chews on his ball and lets it bounce up and down between his jaws. The ball makes a whistly sound since he wore out its squeaker, ha!


And Jack needed a few things this month. We got him a very roomy sleeping crate so he has plenty of space to lounge in, and he got a handsome new gentle harness in a size Large - it fit! The padded leash was more of a treat for me, though. So comfy when we walk. {smile}

We are working on his social skills and obedience training. His chewing (of things he should not be) has greatly diminished, although he still gnaws on things every now and then. But our big family does a pretty good job of keeping him active so Jack is usually having too much fun to get himself into trouble. Usually.

I love this dog of mine so very much.

May 25, 2018

A Grateful Heart


Such an exciting day it is, friends. As I type these words, my eighteen-year-old daughter is finishing her final exam for her math class and then her senior year of homeschool high school is complete. Graduation is upon us! We are wrapping up our twentieth year of homeschooling in our family with her graduation celebration!

And it was so sweet, I thought, that she wanted to have her nose and ear pierced to commemorate her well-earned achievement. This lovely Christian girl could not be sweeter and it makes me *so* happy that she has the confidence to let her personality shine through.

Oh my, I feel myself getting teary eyed as I think about the special years behind us, the adventures yet to come, and the love her daddy and I have for this suddenly all-grown-up girl of ours!

Congratulations, Sweetie! xo


Here are a few more recent snippets from my ongoing gratitude list ~

:: Sunshine! We have enjoyed the cozy-ness of the many rainy days of late, but how nice that the sun is shining today. It is beautiful outside!

:: A family of foxes. There is a mama fox with at least three babies living in a pile of logs not too far from our homestead. We often see them when we go to town and they are adorable.

:: Evening walks. My dear hubby and I like to take Jack for a walk in the evening as often as we can. We hold hands, we talk, we thank God for all that He has blessed us with. Good times indeed.

:: Knitting. It is such a meditative, creative process... I am still working on our daughter's graduation shawl. I kinda figured she would graduate before I finished it. Looks like I was correct! {smile}

:: Not done yet. It has been such a blessing to homeschool our sweet children for all of these years. I am abundantly grateful that we still have (Lord willing) many years of homeschooling yet ahead of us in our family. Our youngest child has only just begun!


Well I need to scoot because I have a cake to bake for our family fun night graduation party! I wish you all a cup brimful of gratitude, and I thank you kindly for coming by my blog today. Have a nice weekend.

Love,



May 23, 2018

Peanut Butter Granola

Today, I would like to share with you my recipe for peanut butter granola. It is amazingly simple to make and I greatly prefer making my own breakfast cereals to purchasing them at the grocery store for so many reasons...

Complete control over the ingredients and cost savings are the first couple to come to mind!

And do feel free to substitute a different nut butter for the peanut butter if you prefer... I have used almond butter instead of peanut butter in my homemade granola and it was very good. I haven't tried any other varieties, but perhaps they would be delicious, too!

Here is the recipe ~


Peanut Butter Granola {recipe}

Ingredients:

10 cups quick cooking rolled oats (oatmeal) - uncooked
1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar

Method:

Lightly mist two 9 x 13 inch baking pans with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (F).

Combine the uncooked rolled oats and the ground flax seeds in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to mix them together. Set aside.

Place the natural peanut butter and the coconut oil and the brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the ingredients are melted together and smooth. Remove from heat.


Carefully pour the melted peanut butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture in the large bowl. Stir well to coat the dry ingredients with the melted ingredients as evenly as possible. Divide the contents of the mixing bowl between the prepared baking pans and spread the granola evenly in the pans.


Place the baking pans into the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes - carefully remove the pans from the oven to stir the granola - bake for 15 minutes more - carefully remove the pans from the oven to stir the granola and turn off the oven heat - bake for 15 minutes more in the oven with the heat turned off (the oven will still be hot). The granola will be nicely browned when it is done.

Carefully remove the pans from the oven and allow the granola to cool completely. Store in a covered container and use it up within a week or so.


We most often eat my homemade peanut butter granola just like breakfast cereal... I like it with a sliced banana on top and cashew milk poured over. Yum!

I hope you enjoy this simple granola as much as we do!

May 21, 2018

Weekend Walkabout

It was a rather rainy weekend at our place. The sunshine did peek through here-and-there, however, and during one of those sunny snippets my dear hubby and Jack and I went for a walkabout to the creek and up the road and across the pasture before rejoining the rest of our tribe back at the house for a triple batch of popcorn and a movie.


We spotted a butterfly along the edge of the driveway.


Jack was quite focused on the pasture ahead. He is doing quite well walking calmly beside us on his leash... most of the time.


My hubby was excited to show me this large bunch of wildflowers. He had seen it alongside the driveway earlier in the week.


Ah, the blessing of a quiet country road... such a peaceful place to walk and talk.


These are the first of this kind of wildflower I have seen this year at our place.


Our stretch of creek is still well above its normal level and quite muddy and rushing through our summertime sitting spot.


Jack seemed right at home in the pasture near the creek. He is not quite seven months old so all of the sights and smells of springtime are brand new to him.


As we walked back to the house, we admired some deer in the field along with lots of arrowleaf balsamroot wildflowers. Pretty, pretty - all of it!

I hope you had a lovely weekend at your place. I wish you a wonderful start to the week!


May 18, 2018

A Grateful Heart

It is another rainy Friday at our place. I am glad for it because it naturally draws us inside, together, and I need that today.

It was a tiring week for me, frankly. I felt quite discombobulated and the words aren't freely flowing right now. But there is always something to be grateful for - I believe that with all of my heart - and God is good *all* the time.

And today I am thankful for my big and beautiful Jersey cow-friend Matilda and my boisterous and loyal and amazing dog-friend Jack. I love those two.





Thank you so much for coming by my blog today, friends. I wish you a cup brimful of gratitude and a lovely weekend where you are.

May 16, 2018

Around the Farm

Greetings from our happy gentle homestead, friends! I was outdoors yesterday afternoon and noticed that Matilda was lounging in the upper pasture, not too far from our yard. So, I grabbed my camera and wandered her way to say hello and have a look at the various wildflowers that are popping up all over the place at last.


One of our hens was scratching in a patch of dirt that she uncovered beneath the new grass. She looked rather contented with her activity.


Since we lost two chickens to a bird of prey (we think) recently, our chickens are under extra close supervision when they are not in the safety of their fenced run. So their free-ranging time has been reduced a little, but it seems necessary to keep a close watch over them for the time being.


There are wildflowers scattered far and wide across our property these days. I love them!


It was a bit unusual to see Coco atop the spool in the goat pen. But she has chosen to spend some of her time up there lately. It *is* a lovely spot from which to keep an eye on things.


There is just a bit of snow capping the mountains around our homestead now. And the grass is green and growing... happy days for Matilda!


And how lovely it has been to have Juno at our place for the past few weeks. She is always a welcome addition to our farm... I love my grand-dog and so does Jack.

I hope you enjoyed a mid-May peek around our farm. {smile} I am so grateful for the sunshine-y days and our barnyard of critters.

Kindly,

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