Friday, November 29, 2013

My Blog is Broken

My reading list does not show up half the time.  I have to refresh the screen a couple of times before it shows back up.  Also, a couple of blogs is now "hidden"  on the reading list.  I have to click show hidden blogs.  Why are they hiding?  How did this happen and how do I fix it?  I can't find anything in settings.  I use to have the blogs from my reading list on the side bar for others to see.  A lot of those are missing and I don't know how to "fix" it. 



Black Friday Sales

I used to go out for the Black Friday Sales but no longer.  I can get a lot of deals on-line today and most even have the incentives of free shipping.  I found the web site of No More Racks
today.  They have a lot of good deals and free shipping today.  If you click on the link I provided I get $10.00 off my order and you do too or so the web site states. Yes...I am shamelessly trying to get bargains today!  No, I do not work for these guys.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The coldest Thanksgiving I can remember!

The temperature at 7am under the shed behind our house reads 26 degrees!

The temperature on the front porch read just under 30.

Everything is covered with a hard frost and water in livestock pans is frozen.  We had about 9 hours of freezing temps!

The Marines fur babies just snuggled in deeper when I asked if they wanted to go potty.

The turkey is in the oven.  I use vegetables under the turkey instead of a roasting rack....They are not pretty when the turkey is done but has the most excellent flavor!

Tom turkey was too big for any of my pans!  I had to put another pan under his legs to catch drippings!

The only purchases I made from the store this year was celery, carrots, potatoes and cranberries.  Everything else that will be served is a product of the homestead!  How awesome is that?  We are truly blessed!

Have a blessed, safe and Happy Thanksgiving!  I will later be thankful for some Florida Sunshine!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Boys being boys during Thanksgiving Holiday

After yesterdays downpour, we have not been out of the 40's all day today and the windchill factor has been in the 30's.  It is downright cold here in Florida.  This is more like our January weather.  My pictures aren't the greatest as I snapped them from my phone.

This morning grandson and great nephew took off with the golf cart and ran the battery down so I didn't have it for a ride to distribute hay.  We got the little John Deere and hooked the garden trailer to it and filled it with hay.

The boys got about 5 hayrides distributing hay to all the critters.  They were my hay holder downers!  Grandson had to wear his Sunday shoes with his camo's.  Yesterday he stepped in mud at the pond and got stuck.  Both boots were full of mud.  That's them in the first photo drying.

Grandson found him a warm spot while I loaded the little trailer.

After the morning chores were done, the boys found an old set of steps and drug them to the barn.  They placed them next to a hay roll to have access to the top. Underneath the steps was used for their bunker.

They played on the rolls of hay for most of the day.  When we made them come inside they were still full of energy and not ready to slow down.

I got the Christmas tree up and strung the lights.  After that I turned the decorating over to the boys.  They are doing a very good job.

The Marine has lounged in his bunny pajamas and supervised the entire ordeal.  Don't tell him I posted a picture of the big, tough Marine in bunny pajamas!  Hope you all are having as much fun with family and friends as we are during the Thanksgiving holidays! 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Notify Me on Blogger

I have been away too long so don't know how long the new "Notify Me" has been on bloggers comment section but I am so glad it's been added.  Depending on how you have your blog set up, people can click and check the little box and be notified of a comment without having to leave a comment.  There were a lot of times I wanted to read the conversation going on in the comments from a bloggers post but didn't have a comment myself.  I felt like a stalker going back and forth to some blogs everyday just to read the comments!  A few of the blogs I read still has a separate window to click on notify me by email.  You do have to leave a comment on these blogs in order to be notified of a new comment.  99% of the time I forget to click this and still have to "stalk" that blogger...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jalapeno Poppers

I only planted 4 Jalapeno plants this past summer but boy did those things produce.  I canned many a jar, grilled tons of them stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon.

Then I found a wonderful recipe for poppers!  You won't find any better in a restaurant.

They are a little time consuming to make so make a bunch when you do and freeze them to have a wonderful appetizer later on. 

I place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen and then put them in a freezer bag.  I now have bags of these ready to deep fry or bake at 350 degrees until peppers are brown
and cheese is bubbly.

Here's the recipe!  I got it from All Recipes   Don't forget to wear gloves when handling peppers!

Jalapeno Poppers

12 ounces cream cheese,
1 (8 ounce) package shredded
Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon bacon bits
12 ounces jalapeno peppers, about 16 large seeded and halved
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 quarts of oil for frying.

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.
Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.
Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated.
In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F ( 180 degrees C). Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cheesecake Bars (with goat cheese or cream cheese)

If you are looking for something quick and easy for the holidays, this is it.  They are not overly sweet until you put a fruit topping on them. These are yummy plain as well.  If you want to make it more into a desert than bars just double the filling.  I was able to use a batch of my soft goat cheese instead of the cream cheese.  I also had fresh milk and eggs!

I have to do something while the concrete dries! 

Here's the recipe! 

Cheesecake Bars

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C).

To make Pastry: Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour and chopped nuts and stir until mixture becomes crumbly. Set aside 1/4 cup to use as a topping.

Press pastry mixture into 8-inch square pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on rack.

To make Filling: Beat together the white sugar, and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the egg, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix well. Spread filling mixture over baked crust. Sprinkle reserved mixture on as a topping.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on wire rack and refrigerate. Cut into bars or squares when cold.  Serve with fruit.

Finally....a real barn!

We have lots of outbuildings on our property that we built as we needed something.  A chicken coop, a turkey pen and shelter, several goat shelters, a birthing area for new does, a milking area and a food storage area but we have never had a real big barn.  We finally decided to invest in one.  What was so scary; the day it was started was the day the government shut down.  I wondered if we should be spending that much money.  All kinds of what ifs ran through my mind.  What "if" this was it and it was going to be a shtf situation and our funds would be very low but the Lord gave me peace about it and I am now enjoying each step that is being accomplished.

The first day all of the holes were dug.  I would love to have this piece of equipment to dig fence post!

While one fellow dug the holes, the other two drilled holes in the bottom of each 8 x 8 post and drove in rebar.

After the holes were dug, nothing more could happen until the building inspector could come out.  Would you believe it was just to look in the holes to make sure there was no water????
Next was placing all of the 8 x 8 post and concreting them in the ground.

This crew was quick and efficient and it only took a few hours to accomplish setting all of the poles and for them to begin placing the trusses.

Once the trusses were bolted in place, the rafters were installed.  The barn is 48 x 36.   The eaves on the side are 14 feet and the center rises to about 20 feet.  This height will eventually hold a loft.  I cannot wait for all of this storage space!

The metal roofing went on next.

All the roof now completed.

Papa Bear thought his was a nice picture of it standing behind palms and Goldenrod.

We came to a standstill about 3 weeks due to not being able to find anyone to come out and give an estimate for concrete.  We want 720 square feet poured for a workshop, a milk and honey room and a feed storage room.  I used the yellow pages and set up an appointment with two companies.  They never showed up.  My neighbor found a sign for concrete work about 4 miles from us.  He did come out and left an estimate on the gate post late one night.  He must have been ashamed as I knew he was much too high.  We could have had the entire barn poured for what he wanted for the 720 sq ft.   Papa Bear and I were beginning to think we would just build wood floors.

 I finally thought to place an ad on Craig's list.  I figured if someone was out of work we could give them a job to do.  I made sure to tell them how far from town we were so I figured we'd get only serious offers.  My ad wasn't even up 20 minutes before I started getting calls.  The one young fellow and his two buddies we finally decided on was just trying to make a living....not a killing.

They started to work on it this past Tuesday afternoon.  The first day was leveling out the area.

The next day they started digging the footers and placing the forms.

The ground was then treated for termites.

Papa Bear inspecting the work!

The little orange thing is called a chair that holds the rebar in place inside the footers.  Papa Bear said they used to use bricks but the building codes do not allow that any longer.  Seems to me the bricks would have been stronger than these little plastic pieces.

See that little white spot?  That is the drain that was installed for my milk and honey room.

Friday the concrete trucks arrived for the pour!

What a beautiful sight this was!

These 3 young men worked at this all day Friday.  The weather did not cooperate.  No sunshine at all after the concrete was poured so it was taking longer to set.

By late afternoon it was drying enough to start the final touches of smoothing it out.

Here is my drain for the milk and honey room....all concreted in! It has a thick paper coating over the top that is removed once the concrete dries.  This prevented concrete from going into the drain during the pour.

 All complete with wall anchors in place.  Now we wait for it to dry so we can start forming the walls.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Yep...This is Thanksgiving Tom.  He is spending his last few days in a pen all his own eating corn, oats and alfalfa.  We will do the deed early Monday morning to be able to brine him until Thursday as he is a big boy and a couple of years old.   This should make him tender and juicy!  

Thanksgiving Tom has spent the past year in the goat pen.  The other Tom's do not like him for some reason and beat up on him constantly.  At one point he did not have many tail feathers remaining.  We will dry pluck him like the others.  I have found it is easy except for the wing tips.  I use a pair of needle nose pliers on the wings and they pull right out.  This saves us from boiling water and smelling those stinking wet feathers.

gobble gobble

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Best Hay Feeder for Goats in the World!

I've been away from my Blog entirely too long and hope I have not lost my readers because I do enjoy your comments and am thrilled when I can offer something helpful.  Today is going to be extremely helpful for you goat owners and maybe sheep owners too.

I have found a plan and have built four of these feeders for our goats.  It is the most wonderful, awesome, beautiful hay and grain feeder in the world. Almost 0, yes that is a zero waste of hay. 

In the five plus years I have owned goats there were two, OK maybe three things I totally didn't like.  One,  if you go into a pen with a feed bucket , you are mauled no matter how much they have ate.  They always act like they are one grain from starvation and almost all of my goats have horns so I constantly stayed bruised or scraped.  They don't mean to hurt you....they just think they are starving at all times and a bucket holds the answer to all of their food prayers.  Second is the wasted hay.  I have tried everything for feeding hay but as you goat owners know they waste more than they eat.  We use about 2 bales a day and have paid $5.00 to $7.00 a bale depending on the market.  Everyday all I could see was money laying all over the ground.  A goat will not eat anything dirty.  If one backs up and pees or lets the nanny berries drop, that hay is done for.  The third thing is keeping a herd of 30 goats hooves trimmed but that is even going to get better with time but that is another post.

As my feeders are outside incorporated into the fence line, I built them from all pressure treated wood. If a child is old enough to hold a bucket with grain, they can even feed the goats.

This pen is my older does.  I feed grain in the morning and then fill it with hay.  They reach their little mouths through the panel and pull out a polite little mouthful at a time.   If they do drop a piece it falls into the tray.   I love it!

This pen holds my younger does or the teenagers as I call them.  They actually are one year or close to one year old.

These two feeders were put side by side in the fence line of our buck pen.  We started filling it with hay.

It took the boys about 5 seconds to come running from the woods to munch out on the hay!

Download the plans at Premier1Supplies

I built the single sided feeder which was on page 5.  Although I have purchased from this company in the past, I did not order the panel inserts from Premier.  Instead I bought a panel from the local feed store.  It was 16 feet long and 48 inches tall with 4 inch openings.  Less than $40.00 and Papa Bear cut it into 4 pieces with some heavy duty cutters to make 4 feeders.  All the tools you need is a saw, tape measure, screw gun and screws or hammer and nails and fence staples.  If you are building it alone as I was on the first one you will need a couple of clamps.  I built my first one in a few hours. 

Did I mention I love these things!

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