Friday, 19 January 2018

BIG CHUNK OF MEAT

Do we eat our own beef?  Lots of people that stay at the farmhouse ask me this.

Yes.  We eat our own beef and lamb and chicken and eggs.  We also grow a big garden.  We like to feed ourselves.

Usually we set one beef aside every year and have it killed at the local meat shop.  Because of lots of regulations it's not as easy as it was 20 years ago.  We don't have a cattle trailer so we have to arrange for someone to come and get it and take it there.  We need to think ahead.  You have to have an appointment for your animal....and it's sometimes months in advance.

So in December we were low on beef in the freezer and we had one 'ready to go' and the earliest appointment would be end of January.

Terry and the boys decided that they would kill and process it themselves.  We haven't done this in years.  YEARS.

The last time was when Johanna was maybe 4 years old and she was certain that she wanted to be a doctor and she went out to watch all the goings on and she came back in the house and said I THINK I JUST WANT TO BE A CHECK UP DOCTOR.

She is now in her second year of nursing!

So anyways....they killed it one day and then let it hang for a couple of weeks.  The weather was perfect.

And then we had some friends over to help with the cutting and wrapping.  And it was a whole bunch of guys in the garage having a party.  They set up the cast iron frying pan on a burner out there and they were frying smoked sausage and beef....and I don't know what else.  I stayed inside and just kept getting them whatever they needed.

My biggest concern was how we were going to get it all frozen.  The meat shop has huge walk in freezers and we don't.  But the weather was perfect.  We had extreme cold North Pole weather for days and we put half of the beef in the trunk of my car and half in Grady's car and it froze up perfect.  Grady didn't even actually know that he was driving around with all that beef for a week or more!

Now it is all in the freezer.  It is yummy.

I got out a roast the other night and I had to laugh.  When the meat shop packages it, it's all labelled with the different cuts....boston roast, sirloin tip, eye of round etc.  I know how to cook it by what it is on the label.  But this time it's a little different.  This is how it's labelled.....


BIG CHUNK OF MEAT.

And the ground beef is labelled 'Burger'.

I know they had a pretty good time that evening in the garage.  It will be interesting to see what other labels I find in there!

Brenda

Thursday, 18 January 2018

A Family Sign and a Tuesday.

What a week!


I went to a Sip + Sign fundraiser on Monday night.  I came home with a beautiful family sign!



On Tuesday morning I did up the breakfast dishes and was thinking that I had a couple of hours before I had to take Grady into the city to get his wisdom teeth out.  I have this little voice in my head a lot.  It's either my Guardian Angel or God Himself.  I'm not sure.  But I was told to look at all those papers on top of the fridge....and at first I was going to walk away and go and clean the toilet....but the little voice told me to get a kitchen chair and look at all the papers up there.

So I gave in and I did.  And when I saw a paper at the back I started to panic.  It was a form that I had got in the mail during the Christmas holidays.  It was a notice that Jack needs a needle or he will be expelled from school.  I had completely forgotten about it.  I didn't write it on the calendar because it was December at the time and we didn't have the new calendar on the fridge for January yet.  I was trying to find the date on the form....JANUARY 16th....and then I looked at the calendar....yes....it was indeed January 16th...TODAY.  Jack was suppose to be at school.

Jack usually goes to a co-op for the day....at another farm....but he had all his hours for the semester finished and because Grady was going to be away for most of the day getting his teeth removed....it was decided that Jack would stay home and do chores here.  He was outside somewhere feeding round bales...possibly over at the other farm.  I called and texted him but he wasn't answering.

I called the school and they said that the nurse was there giving needles....she would probably be there for another hour.

I started the car, cleaned off the snow....and then I saw the tractor.  I took off for the barnyard and Jack thought I was being extra nice opening a closing the gate for him....until he saw the look on my face.  He opened the tractor door and over the noise I screamed WE HAVE TO GO THE SCHOOL NOW YOU NEED TO GET A NEEDLE.  He was stunned.  A needle.  Right now?  You're kidding right?  Can I change my boots?

Yes.  but move it.  We have to go.

I take him to the school and I'm the only Mom in line with their kid.  And the nurse was wondering why...and why is he not in school....and he's in farm clothes??

It's all too complicated.  Just give him the needle.  I have to go to Ottawa.

I get Jack home and have time to just make a piece of toast with peanut butter.  I'm thinking it doesn't matter....I can eat while Grady's in surgery.

But they tell me that I have to stay in the building....I can't leave.

By the time that Grady is done it's late afternoon.  He's drugged and not impressed.

He gets released out the backdoor....because they always put you out the backdoor when it's the wisdom teeth....and as we drive away he's says that he needs something to eat.  He was serious.  He was so hungry.  He hadn't eaten or drank anything since he got up at 3:30am to go down to work at the milk barn.

I was so hungry too!  But I told him that really we couldn't go and get something to eat.

And he was less than impressed.

Brenda

Monday, 15 January 2018

Slime and Stuff.

So we had a 3 day weekend and this morning at 7:15am Sophie pulls out her homework.  She asked me if I could just read it....it really wasn't homework.  Only it was homework.  And I had to read it now because she had to get to the bus.  Only I was making lunches and telling people to eat something.  And Lydia came downstairs with her French braids all ripped out that I had put in her hair last night and Terry told her that it looked like she had just stuck her finger in a socket.  It actually sort of did.

And they went to school.

I got my half and half slab cake decorated on Friday.


And we made slime.



I don't know what it is with the slime but everyone can't keep their fingers out of it...except Terry and I.  We just don't understand slime.  I guess we are too old.

I tried making swiss meringue buttercream icing yesterday.  What a total flop.  It said in the recipe that it might curdle and if it does to just keep whipping and it will fix itself.  Mine curdled and I kept whipping until I was tired of whipping and it still looked really gross.  But it tasted good so I just covered the cake in it.

It looked like cottage cheese on the cake.  Before Jack took a bite he said IS THERE CHEESE IN THIS?  He doesn't eat cheese...only on pizza....that's the only exception.  He really hates cheese.  He can even detect if you have used a knife for cheese.  That knife cannot be used for something else that would touch something that he would eat.  Never.

He ate the cake and the icing.  He even had a big piece for breakfast this morning.

We are back to cold weather.  We lost all of the snow on Friday and then it snowed enough to just cover the ground....but there is grass poking out....it would be called a skift of snow.

It was quite windy on the weekend....too cold to go out for a walk.

Brenda


Friday, 12 January 2018

FRIDAY SNOWDAY

IT'S A FRIDAY ON A FRIDAY!

EEEEEKKKKK!

IT'S A SNOWDAY!

Only all the snow melted last night and it looks horrible out there and it's pouring rain and it was +10C this morning.  We are suppose to get freezing rain and a flash freeze this afternoon.

And it's only going to be -17C tomorrow.

And I'm talking about the weather again.  because that's all we ever talk about.

Everyone was pleased this morning with the snowday.  But then it started to pour rain.  Pour.  Grady and Jack just came in from outside and they were soaked.  They were trying to figure out which one of them was going to stand and open and close the gate and who was going to feed...in the tractor.  I suggested that they wait until it stopped raining.  But Jack said that it was never going to stop.  And they went back outside.

Sophie won a pretty amazing award back in November.


It was like the Stanley Cup for 4-H!


She received the Most Deserving First Year Member Award.  She had to do some paperwork when we found out that she was nominated and she had to go for an interview.  I really didn't know if she would win as there were so many other good kids nominated.

Jack had been nominated for this award when he completed his first year and he didn't win.

The award has been around since the early '70s and Terry was nominated for it as well....and he didn't win.  He had a good time studying all the names on it when she brought it home that night....especially at the name of the guy that had won it instead of him!

We are proudly displaying it on the piano for the year.  I need to get some silvo and clean it as it's really tarnished....hopefully I don't ruin it.

And I forgot to take a chicken out of the freezer last night for supper tonight.

Brenda

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Thursday.

It's Thursday.  and Thursday just turned out to be a Thursday.

No snowday.

All we ever talk about is the weather.  I guess because it's always changing.

It was North Pole cold last week and now this week it's so warm that the girls were asking if they could wear slush pants to school.  Slush pants?  No.  Just go to school and stand up at recess and don't roll in the snow.  That's what I told them.

I told them that it would be raining and they wouldn't be sent out for recess....but the sun is coming out now!

There was a prediction on some weather page on Facebook on Monday that we would get between 90-130cm of snow this Saturday.  WOW.  The weather apps we follow showed up to 20 cm and now this morning it's all been cancelled and there is no snow on Saturday.

The Douglas outdoor rink officially opened on Monday night and all the kids were told to bring skates to school on Tuesday.  But then on Tuesday it was too warm and they weren't allowed to skate.

I was making a cake this morning and it was to be a half and half slab cake.  So I was making the white cake and then the chocolate. 

As I was making the chocolate cake I was following the recipe for 1 1/2 cake batter when I measured out the dry ingredients but then I switched and started following my recipe for 2 1/2 cake batter as I measured in the wet ingredients.  It was a mess.  A big liquidy mess.

My recipe for chocolate cake has the recipes for 1 1/2 batter, double batter and 2 1/2 batter all written on the side of the original recipe.

I also threw an egg on the floor.

And dropped the cap off of the vanilla extract in the batter.

And covered everything in cocoa...including my slippers.

And then Terry came in and asked me what was wrong.

So I ended up making the half and half slab....and a ridiculous amount of chocolate cakes and cupcakes.....which we really don't need in this house right now because we just ate too much over the Christmas holidays....and we all sat around in the house because it was North Pole cold outside.


I went to town yesterday and tried something on in a change room.  Oh my.  I need to eat more of those salads.

Brenda


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

I think Thursday is going to be a Thursday.

When I tuck the girls in at night I get into Lydia's bed with her and we say prayers and have a talk and say good night.

So last night as I'm getting into her bed she says to me....

I think Thursday is going to be a Thursday.

I was confused.  I looked at her and said....

Ya.  For sure.  And I'm hoping tomorrow will be a Wednesday.

And then we looked at each other and started to laugh.  And we LAUGHED so hard that we started to make funny noises....and then we started to laugh at the noises.  We were in complete stitches.

Meanwhile Sophie is up in the top bunk saying...

What's so funny?  What happened?

But Lydia and I couldn't speak.  We could only laugh.

Finally Lydia says....

I meant to say I think Thursday will be a SNOWDAY.

And I said...

Ya. Good luck with that.

She had a very good Christmas and she really isn't enjoying being back to school!

I've been eating bagged salads for a couple of months now.  They are so good.  There are all different kinds of mixes of them....sunflower, southwest spicy....  I usually find a couple of bags marked at 50% off because they are soon going to expire but there is nothing wrong with them.

There is a lot of cabbage in them.  I've eaten more cabbage in the last couple of months than I ever thought was possible.  I mentioned this to Terry before Christmas.  I said that the cabbage farmers must be really happy with all these new salads and the amount of cabbage I'm eating.  He said yes for sure and that they would probably send me a Christmas gift.

But they didn't.  It doesn't matter.  I'm still buying the salads.

This is one of my favourite photos...


I look at it and I remember that night.  It was an evening in May 2013.

Terry raced home from his construction job in Ottawa that evening because the rain was coming and we had to get the crop in.

That's Jack and Lydia filling the seed drill.  All hands were on deck that night.  It was so dusty and the ground was perfect for planting....and the rain was coming!  Terry was in a tractor and Johanna was on another tractor....Grady might have been in a tractor too.

Lydia was 3 years old....using a coffee cup that she had found in the truck to help fill the seed drill.

We were all completely covered in dust.

I love how we all worked together....we still do.


Brenda



Monday, 8 January 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I just got the rest of Christmas packed up this morning....and it makes me a little sad.  I don't want Christmas to end.

We celebrated for 3 weeks....with food and house parties and food and movies and books and games and food and music and snapchat filters.

It was horribly cold.  like North Pole cold.  like -43.

I'd go out to the henhouse and praise the girl that had decided to sit on the eggs.  The eggs on the floor would be frozen.

I'd fill the sheep trough with water and shout at them all to come quick and drink....before it froze!  Of course they would just look at me like I was crazy...they seem to like to eat snow!

I got in the shower without checking first to see if there was a hair dryer in the house.  Big mistake.  All the hairdryers were in water bowls....but Terry went out and got me one.  REVLON has no idea how much they contribute to the farming industry.

And now that they are back in school today, it's snowing and beautiful outside!











Brenda