Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sunny Days

What a beautiful Saturday we got to enjoy!  After a breakfast of home made cinnamon rolls the morning was spent outdoors.  Firewood on the deck was restocked.  Branches were collected and hauled to the burn pile and the smaller ones were put in the burn barrel.  We had a pretty good storm a few weeks ago that sure made a mess of things.  More leaves were raked and taken to the compost pile.

The crazy thing is, the entire week has been like this.  I however, have not been able to get out much since this little guy has been sick.  He started running a fever (102 F) on the 17th with a cough and stuffy nose (it may have been the flu, who knows?).  Today he is feeling better and this is the first day he hasn't fallen asleep on the couch at some point in the day.  I can't believe how much homework a second grader has when missing 4 days of school (Monday was observed for MLK ).

Unfortunately we had a memorial service to attend in the afternoon.  I am thankful for a productive morning!

What did you accomplish over the weekend?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Oh, Warts!

My youngest son Cohen has developed a wart on his foot.  We noticed it in early fall.  I treated it with Compound W to the point it was gone (so I thought).  However, it was not and now it is larger than when I started treating it in the beginning.

My older son had the same issue last year but I took him to the doctor and $270 later the wart soon disappeared.  The doctor applied some type of very strong acid, so it was charged as a surgical procedure.

So before I go through this expense again (not to mention the strong and painful acid), I wanted to ask all of you out in the blogging world, how have you successfully and naturally treated warts?

Thanks in advance for you replies!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Christmas Cards. Where'd They All Go?

2013 appears to have had a huge decline in the Christmas cards in which we received.  How do I know this?  I save our Christmas cards from the prior year to make sure that those who have sent us one, receive one. We received 2/3 of the amount that we received in 2012.  E-greetings and posts to facebook are So. Not. Personal.  When you fill out a card you at least think about the recipient.  I love the ones with personal messages to us inside.

I have to admit that I don't send a card EVERY year (usually because I procrastinated to long), but most years.  As a society we are getting less personable all the time.  I understand it is faster and cheaper to just post Merry Christmas or email a Christmas greeting.  I don't get the same feeling from reading them as I do when I tear open the envelope to a card.  I wait eagerly for the mail to arrive daily in December because I'm hoping the mailbox holds more than bills & junk mail.  Christ's birth is important!  I hope all of you that read this continue to bless others with a personal Christmas greeting that can physically be held in ones hand.

Do you prefer a card or and electronic greeting?


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Applesauce. In January?

Please don't think that I have a secret and know how to get apples to ripen in January.  I don't.  What I did do was peel and core my apples a few months ago and stuck them in the freezer.  Summer and Fall are really busy here.  Our daughter plays traveling softball.  We are usually at ball games most weekends June through October.  

The apples came out of the freezer yesterday to help make room for the 1/4 of beef I'm picking up from the butcher today.  My brother raises beef out on my grandparents farm.  Back to the apples.... They went in the crock pot on low yesterday morning and were ready by late afternoon for a little sugar and cinnamon and in the canner they went.

Yesterday was a very busy day!

Made cookies for lunch boxes.
There were more, but the lunch box monsters took several of them.

Defrosted and organized freezer for beef.
Look how organized it is!  And room for the beef too!

Made bread.
It didn't rise as much as it usually does, but still tastes good.

Cracked two crabs and made crab pot pies.
First time I have made these, Yum!

Boiled rabbit organs for the dog.  When I have these on hand, we don't use as much dog food.  He's a small dog.
So glad I can utilize these without eating them myself.

And here is my beef I picked up this morning.
So excited to have this in the freezer!  Can't wait to start cooking!

What fruits or veggies do you freeze and process in winter?


Monday, January 13, 2014

My 2014 Goals

I decided to actually write down my goals for the year.  I don't think I have ever put them in writing.  At least not a list like this.  Especially in a place where so many could view them.  This will definitely keep me more accountable.  Starting a blog was one of my goals (check, done).

Household Goals:
Finish bathroom remodels
(new fans, trim pieces, tub faucets and cabinet and counter top in master)
Make curtains for the four largest windows in the house
Put trim throughout dinning room and living room
Fresh paint in Haley's room
Re-roof the deck
Move my mother-in-law from Washington, to our property

The green counter top just doesn't fit in with the grey and maroon. 
Farm Goals:
Successfully raise 40 chicken Fryers
Build a new home for rabbits
Add 6 Turkeys to our meat production
Start a worm Farm
Add two more raised beds to the backyard
Build potato boxes

I want to extend the left side of our shed to make a new home for the rabbits.
Personal Goals:
Stop eating fast food (even when the kids are whining because they are hungry)
Make my own chai tea concentrate (so Starbucks & Tazo don't get as much of our money)
Go on a date with my husband once a month

My morning beverage, pure bliss.

Well, I think this is a good start (maybe to much, Yikes!).  I will have to check back from time to time to see how we are doing.

What goals did you make for yourself or your family?


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Citrus Butternut Squash Soup

I accidentally made this delicious soup.  You see, my grandmother asked me to prepare a vegetable dish for Thanksgiving dinner.  I opened my November copy of Better Homes and Gardens and after flipping through the pages in the food section, decided on Maple Glazed Squash with Pancetta (I couldn't find pancetta in the grocery store so I used prosciutto, I'm sure bacon would work also).

After I completed all the steps to the recipe and it cooked in my stock pot for nearly 20 minutes, I spooned the squash onto the serving platter.  I observed there was a significant amount of liquid in the bottom of my pot.  Me, not wanting to toss any food out, poured it into a soup mug.  A few days later, I heated it up on the stove top and ate it.  It tasted delicious!

What you need:
3 oz. pancetta, prosciutto or bacon chopped
2 T. butter
3 lbs. butternut squash peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 c water
3 to 4 T maple syrup
1/2 t salt
1/2 c unpeeled clementines, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
*(The second time it made this, I peeled 2 oranges and tossed them in pot)
1/2 cup orange juice

 What you do (if you want a side dish):
Cook choice of meat in pan until crisp and remove with slotted spoon reserving drippings.
Add butter to pan.
Add squash to pan cook over medium high heat 5 minutes
Add water, maple syrup and salt
Reduce heat, simmer covered for 8 minutes
Stir in clementines and orange juice
Increase heat to medium high, cook uncovered 6 minutes
Remove from heat
Use slotted spoon to remove squash to serving dish and sprinkle with crisp meat

What you do (if you want soup):
Follow steps above except
Leave lid on pot for all steps, don't want liquid getting out
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra liquid (water or orange juice)
Toss crisp meat in at the end
Mash with potato masher or run through blender to get your desired consistency

 I like this soup, my husband and daughter say it's OK, but my boys think I am trying to poison them (but they don't like squash anyway).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Look what came in the mail!

I have only been gardening for three years now (I've had strawberry beds for a bit longer).  For the past two years when the Territorial Seed Catalogue arrives, I get so excited!  I love looking over the pages and wish I could plant a little of everything.  However, I try to only add a few items a year so I can keep up on maintenance and don't overwhelm myself or my family (lesson learned when we had to involve the lawn mower in the weeding process).  Summer is such a busy time for us.

Doesn't this cover speak summer to you?

I have already gone through and dog eared the pages in which I intend to order from.  I plan to find a place and start growing asparagus.  I need to replenish my green bean, corn and cantaloupe seeds.  I am going to add kale and I think edamame beans to the garden.  We usually place hanging baskets on our back deck.  This year I would like to try my hand at starting the petunias myself to save some money that I would otherwise give to a nursery.  

Do you get excited when your seed catalogue comes?

What new seeds are you going to purchase and plant this year?


P.S. Please be patient as I set up and change things on my blog.  Remember, I'm not a techie.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Welcome to Oak Springs Farm!

I have been following homesteading and farming blogs for a little over two years now.  For probably the past year I have wanted to start my own, but don't consider myself a techie person, which has held me back.  However, since I don't journal, I figured it would be a great way to record our successes or failures and also a place to record the happenings of our busy family.  So I made it one of my 2014 goals to start this blog.

Our farm name came together over a year ago when I participated in our local farmers market.  We needed to have a name to put up in our booth.  The kids and I were brain storming one day in the car and decided that since we have several oak trees out in front of our home and natural springs that pop up during the wet season, Oak Springs Farm was the perfect name.

I'm sure as time goes on you will meet the members of the family.  There are six of us in the home including the dog Max.  Currently there are twenty-two who reside in our small barn.  Six living out on pasture and two who make the back deck or hay pile there bed after scavenging the property for mice, birds, squirrels, moles, snakes, you get the picture.

We make northwest Oregon our home on a small piece of property that God has provided for us.  Actually, I have lived in this small community almost my entire life.  We spent the first five years of our marriage in another small town less than 15 miles from here, but my roots here were to deep and I came back.

Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to getting to know you.