Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Early mornings, Snow and Surprises

The alarm went off this morning.  Terry got up....went downstairs.

I told myself to get up.  JUST GET UP.  Darryl needs a bottle.  Busy day ahead.  Get moving.


I fought with myself.  I felt so tired.

Finally I sat up in bed.  YES.  I can do this.

And I looked over at the clock.


I thought it was 6am.  I thought it was time to get up.

Terry was outside doing his cow checks.

And I spent the next 20 minutes trying to get back to sleep.

When the day did start at 6am and I went out to feed the bottle to Darryl......whose name is really Larry.....it was magical outside.  It was a snowday!  And there was no wind and the air was fresh and all the spring birds were singing.....

It was the second snowday in a row.  The first snowday was an ice day but then it changed over to snow and it snowed all night.

The kids were excited to have another day at home.  I mentioned that it reminded me of homeschooling days.  And they said 'Ya Mom....


Dad's here.  and he was never here when we homeschooled.

And also we live in a different house now.

And also no one is doing school work.'


Ya I guess.  But it's just that no one flushes the toilet and I'm not used to having to check toilets during the day....so it's sorta like the old homeschooling days.

So anyways, I had to take Sophie to her dentist appointment in Ottawa today.  Lydia decided to come too because she figured that she could get lunch out.  And she did.  So the three of us went for the appointment.  This was her third time there.  We pretty much go every week until they get the appliance in her mouth.

So last week the estimate was $1500 and this week the estimate is $7500.

I took a book to read but I couldn't read it because I pretty much just sat there feeling sick, crapping my pants.  She needs 4 baby teeth pulled and an appliance and elastics and braces and pretty much everything else.  And the thought of her going through all this just makes me ill.  And her mouth doesn't even look that bad....it's all the stuff they see on the panoramic x-rays and all the 'what ifs' that could happen.

In other news....

The zipper on my barn coat busted and I need a winter coat to wear to the barn.  It doesn't have to be fancy....it just has to be warm.  I figured that I would have a look at Value Village.  At the coats.

And they are way overpriced.  And really old.

But who owns the money in the pockets of the coats at Value Village?

I'm just asking for a friend.


Thursday, 12 April 2018

Lambs, Cakes and Cookies

It's snowing.  And it's suppose to snow tomorrow and the next day and the next day...

There are over 40 new lambs in the barn!  They are crazy silly.  They jump on their mothers' backs and run laps and hop crazy all over the place.

There were 2 sets of triplets and they were all doing well until we noticed one day that one wee little lamb wasn't getting enough milk....so I've been bottle feeding him.  I think his name is Darryl. His brothers names are Darryl and Larry.  Or maybe he's Larry....I can't keep track of it all.  I feed him and give him love and he follows me around outside.

The lambing all went pretty well.  There was only one night that it was minus twenty and the wind was howling and Terry woke me up at 3:30am and said that there were twins on the doormat that needed some help.  They were COLD and wet.  I worked with them for 2 hours...warming them with the hairdryer and talking to them and rubbing them down.  By 5:30am they were drinking some colostrum from a bottle and 7:30am they were back out with their mother.  She accepted them back and they are all good.

We've never had this many lambs this quickly and with the weather so cold we need to keep them all inside.  So we let the ones that haven't lambed yet outside for the day and then bring them in at night.  I'm always keeping an eye on the ones outside because some of them can lamb pretty quick.  I knew that this ewe was going to lamb but I couldn't convince her to come into the barn so I let her lamb her first outside...

and then she followed me in when I was carrying her lamb.  She was still busy cleaning off the first when the second one arrived.  She seems oblivious to the whole thing.

I broke the sac and wiped its nose so it could live....as she wasn't paying much attention to it!

It wasn't long before they were both up and looking for a suck.

And they sucked.  The lambs have sucked and the calves have sucked.  That's all we talk about....that's all we ask each other.....Did it suck?  Reminds me of this post from years ago...here.  Nothing has changed!

There is no spring yet but I can dream of it with buttercream flowers....

Today I made slice and bake cookies for the first time.  I've been missing out.  These are gourmet amazing!

When Lydia got home she asked if I made cookies and I said yes and she asked if she could have one and I said yes.  And then she said WHERE are they?  And I said...you are looking at them.  And she said those aren't cookies...those are pieces of bread.  But she took one bite and said....can I have two?


I doubled the batch.....and they are disappearing!

The recipe is from Sally's Baking Addiction.  It's here.  They are Salted Pistachio Chocolate Chunk Slice and Bake Cookies and they are yummy!


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

One Second Everyday, Lambs and Snow

Happy Easter!

Happy Spring!

Happy Wednesday...it's a Wednesday on a Wednesday....it's a snowday!  The yard was drying up so nicely and now it's covered in heavy wet snow.....and we are back to mud.

We had a busy Easter weekend.  We got the eggs dyed....I had to buy some white eggs at the store as our brown eggs don't colour well....

And the lambs started to arrive!  We have 25 now....lots of sets of twins, a few singles and a set of triplets.  We spent lots of time hanging out in the barn.

Lots of middle of the night checks as there are over 50 new calves out there too!

I decorated a couple of cakes for baby showers....

And this is our one second everyday for March....

I received news this morning about The Great Canadian Baking Show audition.  I didn't make the cut and neither did my cousin.  Hoping to hear if some of the others in my group made it.


Monday, 26 March 2018

The Great Canadian Baking Show Audition

March has been a complete whirlwind!  I'm so behind on this little blog.

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day for 2 weeks and did some March breaking in there too.  I will have to post about all of that....but FIRST....

I was invited to audition for The Great Canadian Baking Show last Friday in Toronto!

It took a small village to get me there....literally.....from figuring out how I was actually going to get there....how I was going to get a cake there....

When you text people to ask if they have a plug in cooler for travelling and they want to know what exactly kind of a road trip I'm heading on....

The cooler is for A CAKE....and once word gets out about what's going on I suddenly have a cooler for my cake!

I needed to take a 'signature bake' with me.

I decided to make a chocolate cake.  Actually everyone told me to make a chocolate cake.  I didn't decide that.  I knew it would travel well.

But seriously everyone has had my chocolate cake.  It's been served at community events, bridal showers, weddings, birthday parties, baby showers, church events.....  I recently had a friend use my chocolate cake to entice her students to learn their multiplication facts!

I was thinking of filling it with my homemade butterscotch sauce but then I quickly realized that it would be all absorbed in the cake by the time it was served and the butterscotch sauce would have disappeared and it would look like a lie.  So I made a homemade raspberry filling instead.

This creation had to represent 'me' so I decided to top it with all the things that I make all the time.

First up....oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  These are a staple in my house.  Also, I grew up with these.  My mom was always making cookies.  Always.  And now....I'm always making them.  I'm the mom that takes 600 cookies to the 4-H Banquet!

Then I made a mini version of my butter tarts.  I used to sell pies and tarts at our local farmers' market.  The butter tarts would always sell out.  I would make two versions....plain and coconut/pecan.  I did both kinds for this cake as well.

And then....nanaimo bars.  They are my absolute favourite.  My weakness.  When I first got the audition invitation I thought....NANAIMO BARS!!  That's what I will make!  And then I thought....duh??....you can't take a no bake square to a baking audition!  I knew I had to incorporate them somehow into my bake.  They are near and dear to my heart.  I believe nanaimo bars were my Grandma Helferty's favourite as well.  She was known for her baking.  I've been told that if you were ever invited to her place for supper....it didn't matter what she made for supper....you were waiting to see what she had made for dessert!  Unfortunately she was killed in a car accident when I was only 9 years old.  We found a container of nanaimo bars in her freezer a couple of weeks after.  I remember eating them knowing that she was no longer here to make us more.  So I learned how to make them and I have taught my kids how to make them.

I wanted to display some of my piping skills on the cake so I made some roses and flowers for the top and then I freehand 'doodled' on the sides.  I had a really hard time deciding whether to doodle with all different colours or just with white.  I eventually decided to do a ombre green underneath and then just doodle in white on top.

I had to add a wee bit of farm to the whole thing so I asked Terry to bring me in some barbwire.  He made it into a circle for me to put around the base of the cake and I made a few burlap roses to attach onto it.  He sawed me a piece of old barn board to set the finished cake on.

Then I packed it all in the plug in cooler and headed to The Big Smoke.  My sister-in-law Cecilia drove me.  We left on Thursday at 6pm and drove as far as Bowmanville.  We stayed in a motel for the night.

Then we headed to the audition in the morning at Cirillo's Culinary Academy.  I was a combination of nerves and excitement!

When I arrived, the group before us was leaving and amongst them was my cousin.  What are the chances of cousins both being selected for auditions?  That's pretty neat!

Seeing all the amazing creations coming through the door was incredible!  There was some paperwork to fill out and time to chat with others in the waiting area.  They let us know that we were some of the 90 chosen out of over a 1000 applications in the Toronto area.  I don't consider myself from the Toronto area so I spoke up and said that it must be for Ontario....yes?....as it took me 5 hours to get here!  I was asked...Where are you from??  And I responded with....'Up in the Ottawa Valley'.

And a gentleman quickly said "Where exactly in the Ottawa Valley are you from?"  And I said....'um, Douglas'...???  Like how could he possibly know where that was.

And he grinned and just said 'The Diddley'.

I nearly fell off my chair!  You have to be from the Valley to know that the Tavern is called The Diddley!  I asked him who he was and where he was from.

He grew up in Renfrew and we know a lot of the same people!  I can't reveal who he was as he went there under complete secret and he doesn't want anyone to know!  So funny....

So anyways,  we all had photos take of our signature bakes in the 'light box'.  I really need one of those.

And then we had photos of ourselves taken as well.

There were about 15 people in my group.  As we did our technical bake, we were interviewed by several different people.  We also had the chance to chat with the other bakers....and make some new friends!  It was a whole lot of fun!

And that was it.  I was home by 6pm.  I was only away 24 hours!

And now it's back to the reality of maple syrup.....

and cows calving...there are already 31 new calves now with one set of twins.....

....and baking more cakes!


Thursday, 8 March 2018

7 Years and a Yin Yang Cake

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The snow all melted and now it's snowing again.  It doesn't much bother me because it's March and it's not really cold out and it's all just going to melt anyway.  eventually.

And it's beginning to look like St. Paddy's....

Lydia looks like she's totally wired.  I kept telling her to open her eyes....so she opened them.

It was green day at school today because March break starts tomorrow and they are never in school for the actual St. Patrick's day.

Facebook reminded me this morning of what they looked like 7 years ago.

Help my heart.

They have been practising their step dancing all week as the festivities start on Saturday!

I made this cake on the weekend.

I just drew it on free hand with the piping bag.  There are lots of mistakes!


Thursday, 1 March 2018


It's March!

This was our February....

The new calves are beginning to arrive!  Spring is in the air...


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Twenty. and Square Dancing.

We celebrated a birthday on the weekend.

Johanna turned 20.


I made her a cake to reflect her studies in nursing.  She is in her second year of the RN program.

I asked her if I did those heart rhythm things right on the cake and she laughed and said NO...but it didn't matter!  Then she showed me what they were suppose to look like.  Ya....they're not quite right.

It's pretty neat to think back on the day she was born...just as I was about to give birth I was asked if a group of nursing students could watch...and I said YES!  of course!  I had no idea what was about to happen...I think it was a first time for all of us!  Everyone was thrilled when I delivered a healthy baby girl with a full head of hair.  The students were always checking in on me the day after....making sure I had water to drink...and they wanted to have another look at the 'hairy baby'!

So it turns out that now Johanna is attending the same nursing school that all the students were attending who watched on the day she was born....twenty years ago!

Johanna came with me on the night of the 4-H Square Dancing Achievement.  Sophie danced this year.  Johanna did not.  It was the first time in 10 years that she wasn't in the change room with all the girls putting on the dresses with the crinolines. Her 4-H square dancing days are over.....

But Sophie's 4-H years are just getting started...