Friday, 30 November 2012

Sugar Cubes for the Horses

We gave the horses a couple of sugar cubes for a treat the other day.

This is Nora.  She was a year old this past spring.
 
This is Nora's Mom, Pearl.
 
Then I told them to stand nicely beside each other and I would take their picture.
And they did.
 
Brenda


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Photo Edits

I downloaded Picasa (it's free) the other day and we have been having fun editing some photos.

I used this photo....

and then I made it vintage...
 
and then I did something else....
 
and then I tried this...
 
and then I tried the pencil sketch...
 
and then I tried the sepia tones....
 
 
It's a lot of fun playing around with the different colour saturation and all the different options.  You can make photo collages too. 
 
Johanna has more luck with it than me...she can make borders and make part of the photo black and white and part of it in colour.
 
Trouble is....we don't know which one is the favourite.....the one for 'the wall'.
 
Brenda
 


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bird Bread

I'm on Pinterest.  It's a magical place where everything is so simple, so easy, so beautiful.  Sometimes it's all just a lie....it's not going to look like that in the picture at all.  It's not so cheap to make....sometimes it's just a big disappointment.

But not this recipe.  I found this recipe on Pinterest....and it's spectacular.

This bread is the most amazing loaf of bread I have ever made.

Here is the recipe.

It's an artisan bread.  There is no sugar or eggs....just water, yeast, salt and flour.  It's so simple it's beautiful.

Of course I had to change it up a wee bit.  I use 3 cups of white and 3 cups of whole wheat flour.  And after it has had time to rise for about 14 hours I don't roll it out in flour.  Instead of the flour I use poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, oat bran, and oatmeal.  I turn it into a 'bird bread'....that's what we call bread with seeds in it.

The kids all love it...except Grady....he doesn't like 'bird bread'.  He'd rather have the plain bread.

It's suppose to be baked in a special kind of roaster/pot with a lid but I don't have that kind of roaster/pot.  I use my Pampered Chef stone roaster with the lid and it works just fine.

I've made this bread several times and I've never had a bad loaf.  I'm making it again today.

mmmm...warm bread with butter.  SO YUMMY!

I'm roasting a meat bird today too.

Looking forward to supper....bird bread and a meat bird...mmmm.

Brenda

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Piece of Strawberry Gum

Lydia LOVES strawberry gum.  It just so happened that there was only one piece left in the cupboard.  Grady had got it out and put it in his mouth when Lydia asked for a piece.  He looked for a second package and found none.  He offered her another flavour and she said "NO".  She wanted a piece of strawberry gum.  So Grady confessed to her that the last piece was in his mouth.  She said that she wanted it.  He asked me what to do....and I simply said to give it to her.  I wasn't up for listening to a tantrum...and Grady really didn't care what kind of gum he chewed.  So she got the gum.

Then she decided to go outside and play with the rest.  I dressed her in the full winter gear...snowsuit, boots, mitts, hat (with pompoms that hang off it around her shoulders).  We were outside when she was standing off by herself.  Her neck cranked to the side...it looked like she was trying to lick her shoulder.  Johanna and I were asking her what was wrong.  She wouldn't answer.  She wouldn't move to face us...she just kept licking her shoulder.  Then Johanna said something about 'gum'.  I was thinking....oh no, the gum has come out of her mouth and it's lodged in the pompom.  Johanna ran to her and the next thing I knew everything was fine again.  Johanna was in stitches laughing.  She told me that the gum was sitting on her shoulder and she was trying to get it back into her mouth.  She got it in before it hit the ground.  Of course she couldn't use her hands because she had mittens on.

We all laughed...and Lydia happily continued to chew her strawberry gum.

Brenda

Sunday, 25 November 2012

23Z

by Johanna Dwyer

This past September I sold a market steer at the Renfrew Fair.  And with an extra pile of cash sittin' in the bank account, Dad suggested I buy a pure bred, full french Charolais heifer from Chester Patton.  Then I could show it as my 4-H project next summer.  Great idea Dad...I thought.  I loved the heifer I'd shown this past summer and she too was a heifer from Patton's.

So this past Friday I got to skip school and go to Chester Patton's farm to select my new heifer for the next show season.  Dad took my brothers and I and our neighbour Dalton for the 6 hour trip, we left at 9:00am and got there around 2:30pm.  When we arrived on the beautiful farm, Chester took us to his heifer barn so we could pick out our animals.

I was overwhelmed with excitement and felt right at home standing in the pen filled with wide eyed heifers all staring at Dad, my brother and I.  We used the tags in the heifers ears to tell them apart.  The tags had their registered numbers on them.  23Z, 10Z, and 17Z caught my eye right away.  The 3 of them were all showy heifers and were well built.  My brother was looking at 12Z, but when I pointed out 17Z to him he decided to buy her instead.  So I was left with 10Z and 23Z.  10Z was kinda timid and afraid of me, but 23Z was curious and coming up to me.  It would be easier to work with her if she wasn't afraid of me... I thought and she has a stubby nose.  (Cows with long noses are ugly in my opinion.) So 23Z was the one.

After the decision was made, Chester showed us his bull calves and some of his other cows.

Dad then took us to Cookstown for supper and after that we went to the Cookstown sales barn and watched the sale for awhile before heading home.

It was a great day away from school, and a good experience.  I'm looking forward to her arrival home so I can start working with her for next summer.

Johanna

Friday, 23 November 2012

Baking with Dates

I LOVE to bake.  I have a problem when I turn on my oven...I just can't make one thing.  I have to make a least two different things.  I bake in the evenings...it's my way to relax. 

I've baked cakes, cookies, pies, muffins, breads, buns, squares and brownies over the years.  I have all my favourite recipes written out in a book.  This book is almost sacred.  I had to rewrite it all in 2009 because my old book was falling apart.  I had started writing recipes out when I was in Grade 8.  I remember when I started and my Mother asked what I was doing.  I told her I was preparing for when I would leave and I would need all these recipes.  She laughed. Then I left and took the recipe book with me.  Then I think she cried because we had all been using MY recipe book!

A couple months ago I realized that I had never made a date square.  I don't know why.  But I decided that it was necessary that I make a good date square.

I googled for recipes and I found this.

The first time I made it, I thought it was really yummy...but really sweet.  It sort of made my brain twirl.  So I made it again and I didn't put any sugar in the dates.  It was better but still sweet. 

The night I was making the date square I also tried this recipe.  These cookies are SO YUMMY.  They are a nice change from the usual chocolate chip.  I have made 3 batches of these in the last three weeks.  I took a batch out to the CWL ladies this morning as they needed some sweets for a funeral luncheon.

Dates are good....a new favourite around here.

Brenda

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Map on the Kitchen Table

We have a world map on our kitchen table.  This is actually our second map.  The first one got kind of worn and faded...even though the table is covered in a thick plastic.  The kids asked me to get a new one.  They enjoy the map...and so do I.

A map is so much easier to look at when it's laying out flat on a surface.  I like looking down on it rather than looking at it on a wall.

It's surprising how much we use the map.

When we hear of a big weather story....like a hurricane or a flood...we find the place on the map.

When there is an earthquake or some other terrible news story....we look at the map.

When someone goes on a holiday and we want to know the EXACT place....we look at the map.

When we study history and religion we are always referring to the map.

And then there is this game that we play.  One person secretly picks a country on the map and then writes down four clues as to where they are.  We write down things like: I'm north/south/east/west of (country name) or I border with (name of two countries) or I'm an island or My capital city is (name of city).  We also sometimes write down the longitude and latitude coordinates as a clue.

I've become much more aware of our beautiful Earth since we put the map on the table...and so have the children.

Brenda

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Sad Day

Yesterday was a sad day.

Last week our neighbour died.  She was a very special lady and we loved her.  Her name was Catherine Gallagher and she was 96 years old...she would have turned 97 next month.  But the funny thing about her was that I never thought of her as 'old'.  She was always so full of life.

In fact she loved life so much that she always especially prayed for expectant mothers.  She would have a list of all the expectant women that she knew and she would pray for them.  I was blessed to be on her list 5 times.

She loved an old fashioned letter.  I remember reading the long note in our wedding card.  It was so beautifully written and so personal.  She would send us all Valentines in the mail and sign them 'Love Mrs. G'.  We looked forward to getting the Valentines from her in the mailbox and we always mailed her some too.

She was always so welcoming and she loved to have visitors.  Johanna did a homeschooling project on the life of Mrs. G.  She went for four different visits along with another homeschooling friend and they interviewed her about her life.  They had written up the questions before they went and each time they picked a different topic to talk about.  That little notebook was become a real treasure here.

She was so easy to talk too.  She could remember 'back in the days' when she was busy with little ones and farming too.  We always had great little talks about life.

I was so privileged to be invited to the tea party in her honour just two short months ago.  She received the Queen's Jubilee Medal.  It was a day to get all dressed up and celebrate Mrs. Gallagher.  She looked so lovely riding and waving to us in the antique car.  She looked just like a queen....and I was wishing that I had taken my camera.

After we arrived home from attending her funeral Mass and luncheon we had another tragedy on our hands.

Jack went up to the barn to feed the darling new calf a bottle and he came back to tell me that the calf was not well.  I went up to see and sure enough it was lying flat out and it was having trouble breathing.  He said that he had been fine in the morning...it was up walking and it had drank a whole bottle.

I checked it for a bowel obstruction...but it seemed fine.  There was really nothing else I could do.  It was near the end....I could tell by the way it was breathing.  It passed away shortly after.

I was speaking to a farming friend and she said that it was very common with a preemie.  She called it a 'crib death'.  She said that their little hearts just aren't big enough and they just stop.

We were all very sad.....no one even had an appetite at supper.

Brenda

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Walking the cows home

Two cows got out the other day.  They went over to the neighbours field to hang out with his sheep, ponies and donkey.
 
Yesterday afternoon, Grady and Jack decided that they should get a pail of grain and just walk them back home....down the road.  I thought it was a good idea.
 
I decided to stay back a bit with the van....keep an eye on the traffic.  Sometimes this road can have traffic.
 
Then Jack starts waving at me....I thought maybe there actually was another vehicle behind me.  But there wasn't.
He was telling me to go ahead and pass them.  I said that I was better to stay back here and keep an eye on all this traffic.
But he insisted, so I drove closer.  He suggested that I go on ahead and start the chores....feed the sheep and the hens.  So I drove past them...I figured that they would be able to handle all the traffic.
They seem to have taken their time.  I had most of the chores finished by the time they arrived.  Smart boys.......very smart boys.
 
Brenda

Monday, 19 November 2012

A Tiny Calf

Last Thursday morning was chilly.  The frost was thick.  We were doing the morning chores when we noticed a newborn calf in the pasture.  It was just lying there...in the frost...flat out.  It was so tiny.  I was sure that it was dead.  It had come a month too soon.  Grady went out and checked it.  He told me that it was still breathing.  I was shocked.

Grady took the tractor and fed a round bale to the cows.  That distracted the mother and she went to eat at the feeder.  I pulled the van up to the calf and we loaded it into the back.  I have nearly broken my back before lifting a newborn calf.  But not this time...this one was really small.  It was about the same size as our dog, Cleo.  The mother noticed us and came a chargin'....she's a real meal one.  But we made a break away.

We brought it home and put in in the back room on the heated floor.  We covered it in blankets and turned on the hair dryer.  Jack gave it a good rub and got it dried off.  It was laying flat out and it's nose was still cold....I figured it would be a miracle if it survived.

There was always someone checking on it.  Checking to see if it was still alive.  Talking to it.

I mixed up some powdered colostrum and I tried to tube it....I did that twice during the day.  But the tube thing was just too big.  It was meant for a big new born calf....not one the size of a dog.  I managed to get some colostrum into him but I made more of a mess than anything.

When Terry got home Thursday night he suggested we give him a bottle.  I knew that the calf nipple wouldn't work...that thing is huge.  Then I thought of the lamb nipple.  Luckily we have sheep ;)

It worked perfectly.  He drank a whole cup with the bottle.  And I got him to sit up nicely and I told him that we would be just fine.  He said, "BBBAAAA."  It shocked me.  He was really starting to look alive.

We went to bed and I heard him baaa a few times during the night but I just ignored him.  I knew he'd be fine until morning.

Then I awoke to find Jack standing beside my bed.  He said that the calf was trying to get up and he was hungry.  He was wondering if he could make it a bottle.  I looked at the clock.  It was 5am.  I told him to tear away and do what he wanted...but I wasn't getting up until 6am.

At 6am I came down the stairs and met Grady.  He told me that they had fed the calf and it was doing well.  Then he wished me a Happy Birthday.  I had forgotten...it was my Birthday!

The calf fed well that day.  I put it in the wagon and took it out to the horse stable.  I scrubbed the floor.

On Friday evening I was trying to get the kitchen cleaned and get ready to head out to the 4-H end of the year awards night.  I made up a bottle and sent Grady out to the horse stable to feed the calf.  He came in a few minutes later and said that it wouldn't drink.  Terry told him to bring it back into the house...it was just too cold out there for it to be out for the night. 

Grady brought it into the back room and wrapped it up in the blankets again.  I offered it the bottle and it drank.  I guess it had become attached to me as I had spent most of the day with it.

Saturday morning Terry went over to the Cull's and got some colostrum that they had frozen.  It's good to have friends in the dairy business.

The calf fed well on Saturday and we put it outside for the day.  He walked around on the lawn and lay on the patio stones and watched all the action of the cats/dogs/cows/horses outside.  When I went outside he came walking over to me....his legs all wobbly.  It was as if he was trying to show me what he could do.....he looked so proud of himself!

Jack moved him up to the horse stable on Saturday evening and put him in with 3 spring lambs.  He said that the sheep didn't like him.  I told him not to worry...he'd be fine with the sheep...he wasn't coming back in the house!

I checked on him yesterday and it was quite funny....the sheep are scared of him!  They won't go near him at all.  But he's doing really well.

Jack and Grady are in charge of mixing up the bottles...he's on the milk replacer now.  I help out the boys when they need me and I'm the official bottle washer.

As for the mother....she hasn't even bawled for him.  She's just to mean to work with.  Normally we would reunite the mother and calf but not this time.  It would be too dangerous...both for us and the calf.  We will look after him.

Only trouble is....we can't agree on his name!

Brenda

Friday, 16 November 2012

Family Photos 2012

My sweet sister-in-law, Aimy, took our family photos last weekend.  She's the one I turn to when I need a good photo.  She's patient and quiet and really good with her camera.  It is so difficult to take a good shot of 7 people....especially when you're dealing with the drama of two little girls.  And then there's the two boys that don't want their picture taken. But she did it.

She had to take over 225 photos.  She captured all the moments.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

Here are my favourites.

Thank you, Aimy.

Brenda

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Cleo's Pups

We have a dog.  Her name is Cleo and she is 13 years old.  She's tired and she likes to sleep.  She comes in the house and lies on the mat at the door.  This part of the house has a heated floor and the sun comes in the window of the door.  She lies amongst the shoes and coats on the floor. She makes it look heavenly.  Some days I think I should take a break and just lie there with her.

I was quite surprised when I went out to the back room and I saw that she had had pups.

Without any pain.  Without any noise. Completely asleep.  She gave birth.

It was a miracle.  Sophie was there.  She explained it all to me.

I said 'Congratulations Cleo'.  And she awoke and looked at me and said 'uuh?'  And then she smiled.

Sophie told me that this dog is the father.  That makes sense.

Sophie is a smart girl.  And A LOT of fun.

Brenda

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A Big Egg

We have laying hens.  They lay eggs...all different sizes of eggs.  We've seen super tiny eggs and super colossal eggs.

One of our hens has produced a super huge egg for the last two day.  We don't know which one she is.

Here is the egg beside a 'normal' egg.

Here are the two big eggs in with all the others.

We can't close the carton.

I fried one for Jack.  It had a double yolk.

Brenda

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A Kite

We went to the Renfrew County Ploughing Match back in September.  We got there early.  We were actually the first ones there.  It was still dark.  It was 6:00am.  The kids needed to get there early because they were in the 4-H Ploughing Club and they were serving breakfast.  It was a fundraiser for their club. 

While they were setting up for the breakfast and I was setting up to sell my "Cake in a Jar" this man was flying kites in the dark.  The kites were incredible.  They were huge and they had lights in them.  I had never seen anything like it.

I got talking to him later on in the morning.  He told me that he saw people flying these kites in China and he just thought they were amazing.  He tracked down the manufacturer and now has the rights to sell them here in Canada.

He had all kinds of kites.  There were some in shapes of birds and some with lights and some without.  I asked him about flying kites in the winter time and he said that it's the best time of year.  A kite with lights will get you out of the house on all those dark evenings. I knew I wanted a kite.  I just couldn't decide which one.  I had told him that I would be back and I kept thinking about those kites.

Johanna and Grady were ploughing that day and being judged.  It was all very official.

I was in a tent selling 'Cake in a Jar'.  I would run out and check on them and then go back to my table.

Then Grady came in the tent with this big long thing in a case.  He said that he won a kite from the kite guy.  I was so excited! 

The kite guy generously donated 3 kites to the 4-H Plough Club.  The leaders decided that the top 3 ploughers would win the kites....and Grady won!

When we got home we all went out to the field and flew the kite.  I don't know what it's made of but it's the easiest kite to fly EVER.  It's really big and really light.

There were some really beautiful, sunny days last week and we took the kite out a couple of times.

 

Of course, everything turns into an experiment around here....how many thing can we attach to the kite?

Here is barbie going for a ride.  I don't recommend you do this.

My Mother is crazy about kites.  I'm hoping to get her one with lights for Christmas.  I can just see her and the grandchildren out in the field flying her kite on Christmas night.

The kite guy is Todd Fletcher of Nite Sky Kites.  He said he lives near Haley's Station.  His cell is 1.613.433.1257 and his email is tjfletcher@me.com

Brenda

Monday, 12 November 2012

Lydia's Plaid Shirt

The last time we had a family photo taken was two years ago.  I thought it was time to do it again.  So, I decided on the location and then I had to consider all of our clothing.  The last time I dressed everyone in green and black.  I liked it.  I figured that this time we would go with plaid shirts.  We are farmers after all and there is lots of plaid in the stores right now.

The only one I had trouble with was Lydia.  I picked out a blue and white checked shirt and she said that she didn't like it.  I bought it anyway and I hid it in my room.

So we were all getting ready for the photo shoot.  My sister-in-law, Aimy, agreed to do it again.  She did it the last time and the pics were great.  We were to meet her at 3:00pm at the barn.  It was about 2:30pm when Lydia saw the shirt and started screaming "I'm not wearing THAT!  I don't ike that shirt.  I want to wear my wuffle dress."  I told her she could wear the dress but she would have to put the shirt on top...like a jacket.  She said "NO."

Johanna tried to convince her.  Then Grady. We promised her chocolate bars or suckers. Then Terry showed her the picture of the last family photo and explained to her that we were all trying to dress the same.  She refused to listen to anyone and she put on a pink sweater over the dress.

Then Sophie went upstairs and had a talk with her.  The two of them came down the stairs in tears.  Sophie is a perfectionist and she figured the family picture was ruined.....and we hadn't even tried to take any photos yet!

By this time it was 2:50pm.

Then I thought of the flowers that I have in the cupboard.  The ones that you can pin on a shirt or clip in your hair.  I showed a couple to Lydia and asked her which one she wanted to wear.  She is big on accessories.  She picked the pink one and I pinned it to the plaid shirt.  I told her that she had to wear it on this jacket.  She said "NO."  I pleaded with her.   I said that she would never have to wear the shirt again after the pictures were taken.  I told her that we would get rid of it.  Then she suggested that we give it to her cousin, Carmendy.  That was perfect.  She put on the shirt and we went to the barn.

We had the photo shoot and then Lydia took off the shirt and handed it to Carmendy.

And then we went to the store and bought chocolate bars and suckers.

Brenda

Friday, 9 November 2012

The mud room

It's been chilly the last couple of mornings.  We've had to break the ice on some of the troughs.  Jack mentioned that his toes were a little froze.  So were mine.

So we went into town yesterday to get some insulated rubbers.  Sophie and Lydia wanted a pair too but they don't make them in their size. 

Then I told the boys that I needed to pick up a few groceries.  I said that it would only take a minute.  They groaned.  I could do groceries with my eyes shut...I know that store inside out.  Then I walked into the store....everything had changed.  They moved it all.  It wasn't going to be a minute.  To make it even more complicated I hadn't bothered to make a list.  But oh well, I love a challenge.  We got it done.  And we bought lots of popsicles to make everyone happy.

Now that we've added the insulated rubbers to the mud room, there is no room.  There's just too many things in there.  We've got rubbers, work boots, running shoes, some winter boots and insulated rubbers.  It needs to be organized.  It's total chaos.  It's a moment when you hope a visitor doesn't come to the back door.  It's my job for today....or maybe the weekend.

And why is it called a 'mud room'?  That's NOT mud....

Brenda

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Rosie

When Terry and I were first married I asked him about getting some sheep.  He said, "NO."  He told me that they would ruin the fences and they would be impossible to keep in.

Then I was busy having babies and I had enough to do without asking about the sheep again.

But then Jack started asking about sheep.  He really wanted to have some sheep.  I never really got involved in the conversations.  I thought it was a lost cause.

Then it was August 2009.  It was about a month after I had given birth to Lydia.  We were out of milk.  I called Terry on his cell and asked him to pick up some milk on his way home.  He said, "NO.  I need to get straight home, right away."

I thought...what is wrong with that man?  I just gave birth to our 5th child and he can't stop and get a bag of milk?  He knows I can't function in this house without milk.

Then I thought...oh no, something terrible has happened and he has to come home and tell me.  He can't tell me over the phone.

But he sounded happy on the phone.

Then I thought...he's got something in that truck.  He needs to get home right quick to get it out.

I waited and then I saw him come flying in the lane way and sure enough he backed the truck right up to the horse stable.

I hollered to the kids to go and see what Dad had brought home.

And I thought...good grief, that better not be a pig.

Not that I have anything against pigs.  It's just that I had raised them before and I just wasn't up to looking after a pig.

Then the excitement.  It was a lamb.  It was our beautiful Rosie.  Our lives changed that day.  Terry decided that sheep would be okay.

We had her for over a year before we had her bred.  In the spring of 2011 she had 'Ronnie' and then this past spring she had twins, "Patrick and Patricia."

The children had so much fun with the lambs.  They would get out and jump all over the lawn.  It was a joy to watch them jump and play.

Johanna, Grady and Jack joined the 4-H Sheep Club and they have all shown lambs at the fairs.  The washing, grooming and training were all so rewarding.  We have made many 'sheep friends'....and they have taught us so much.

As for Jack, he just kept at him...asking for more sheep.....and for some reason Terry just can't say 'NO'!

We now have 14 ewes and a ram....much to Jack's delight!  It will be quite a place here when they all start to lamb....many sleepless nights!  But I'm looking forward to it.  It's so amazing to help/watch animals give birth.  New life is just so beautiful.


Brenda

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Hunt

The air is crisp, the leaves have fallen and a few snowflakes are floating about.  It's that time of year again.  Time for the hunt.

I grew up with deer heads, antlers of all sorts, even fish mounted on the walls.  For my Dad and three brothers the hunt was a BIG DEAL...it still is.  That was back in the day when women and small children didn't really participate in the hunt.  I was fine with that.  I never wanted to shoot a living animal anyway.  But shooting at tin cans and targets....that was fun!  I always enjoyed target practise and watching them do the skeet shooting.

Times have changed.  The hunt has been embraced.  It's now a cultural experience that we don't want to loose.  Women and children are now welcome in most of the camps.

I have no problem with the hunt.  The meat is not wasted...it's eaten.  But I'm not going to eat it.  I can't stand the taste of venison.  There were countless nights that I would eat the potatoes and not the meat.  Then my Mom started to feel bad for me and she would cook me a piece of chicken.  She knew I couldn't stand to swallow it.  It just left such an awful taste in my mouth.

So when I met Terry and realized that he didn't really care for the hunt I thought...GREAT!!  I won't have to cook any venison....and I haven't!  But he does go up to the camp for an evening to socialize with the guys.  Some of these guys he only sees once a year.

Then he started taking the kids with him to the hunt camp.  They became hooked on the hunt.  Now Johanna, Grady and Jack look forward to the hunt just like my brothers used too.  The guys at the camp love to see them coming.  This year they gave them gifts of new jack knives, sling shots and bright orange hats with "The Ruby Hilton Hunt Camp" imprinted on them. 

When they come home I love to hear of their hunting stories....but it always seems to be about the food. The guy who sat in the tree stand and ate a whole blueberry pie.  The homemade bean and ham soup that they ate....they said that I NEED to get that recipe.  The guy that spilled the box of dry spaghetti all over the floor before it went into the pot and then they all helped to pick it up....and throw it out. 

They have so many good memories.

I needed to call the high school and let them know that Johanna would be absent for the day.  The secretary asked if she was sick or if she was hunting.  I'm so glad that she is able to attend a good, country school.  When she returned to school the next day she said that she hadn't missed anything....most things are 'on hold' during the hunt.  That's the Ottawa Valley way.

Brenda

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A Party for Dalton

So, yesterday I posted on making the cake for Dalton's 65th Party.

I must post a little about the party.

I had picked up one of those trophies at the dollar store in town.  I figured I could make some sort of table decoration/gift out of it.  Terry thought I was crazy when I showed him the trophy.  He said not to give him that.  But he didn't know that I was going to transform that plain trophy into this.....

I filled it with some hay from the barn and added a big '65'.

The party was a traditional Ottawa Valley House Party.

There was music.....reels and jigs, waltzes and polkas.  You could request anything and they would play it.

There was dancing....step dancing.


There was food.....way too much food.

There were beans.  We needed warm beans on a cold November night.

There were these squares.  They were 'out of this world' amazing.  The kind of squares that you can taste the butter.  I ate many....too many.

We sang to him and had the chocolate cake...with ice cream.
 

Some people laughed harder than others.  Some people wiped the tears as they laughed.  I have pictures but I better not post them.

The kids played spoons in the living room.  The game was fast and very lively.  Their shrieks could some times be heard in the kitchen....and it was loud in the kitchen.


It was a good time.

Brenda

Monday, 5 November 2012

A Cake for a Farmer

One of our neighbours is having a birthday.  He's turning 65.  That means 'cash for life'.  That deserves a celebration.

He's a farmer.  He's always been a bachelor.  My kids love him....he always has lots of wise farming advice for them.  He's actually my mother's cousin.  His name is Dalton.

So we figured that we should have a party for him.  We invited about 40 people.  All the ladies were going to bring some food.  I was going to make the cake and some beans.  His sister offered to buy a cake but I said that I wouldn't go to any fuss.  Sophie wanted to put some cows on the cake so I thought I'd just keep it simple.

Usually I bake one big cake but because there was going to be so many people I decided to make two.  I made two double chocolate cakes and stacked them on top of each other....so that was really four regular size cakes.  It was bigger than I expected.

Then I raided the toy box and I became overcome with creativity.

After icing it first with white buttercream...to cover all the crumbs, I then covered it with a green buttercream and smoothed it out.  Over this I made swirls all over....this was to be the grass for the cows.

Then I added a fence all around the sides.  I put some grass along the bottom of the fence posts and put a few pink flowers to add some colour.  I wrote on the cake with the same buttercream as I had used for the fence.

These two little men just cracked me up when I found them.  Dalton is the one in the straw hat and he is having a few choice words with the 'other guy' who just dumped a wheel barrow full of manure.

This calf did what cows do....

And here is the finished cake.

Then we had to move it over to the Farmhouse.  Terry had to get a board to put under the cake.  It was really heavy and it took the two of us to move it.  I only stuck my finger in it once.  We were ready for a party.

Brenda