In memory..

Verla Sharp

Jason is still in Alberta and today is his mothers funeral service.. Details listed above.

Hubby headed to the walk in clinic yesterday as he has the same cough and sickness as I do, the doctor says that its viral, and he got a inhaler and other meds and was told 2 to 6 week more of coughing to clear it..

I have been so sick this week.. I also needed to get some care and I am also on inhalers and meds and have been told another 4 to 6 weeks to shake the cough fully..  At least the doctors know what it is and that is making the rounds..

The coughing, lack of sleep, fever and more just take what energy I have left after chores, I must get to town but I have just not been well enough to do so..

On one hand there is nothing I “need” in town, I can manage on the farm and the pantry for ages really..

But I do need to get to the bank, the post office and such..  I have people wanting for things and I am aware of it.. I hope to be strong enough to get to town today..  We will see.. I have had a few very bad coughing fits but the chores are done. I hope to have a rest and then see if I can go into town this afternoon.

The critter are all good, the pasture critters are fully on hay at this time..  We got rain for the last day and half and the land really needed it.. I am not sure that working in the rain was helpful to me at all while being sick but I got it done.

Its been a week of sickness, a week of working behind the scenes getting everything ready for today for the hubby, a week of being mentally drained..

I hope your week has been good..  Despite everything going on..

I have stopped and enjoyed the fall colors outside my window, the reds, the yellows.. I adore fall, Always have.. Always will..

I have stopped and enjoyed watching my chickens in the yard.. such happy colorful birds.. the little chick that snuck though to be hatched and raise by its chicken mom and turkey grandmother lol is a girl.. so she will have a home here for life..

I have been grateful for phones that allow us to keep touch with loved ones, facetime is wonderful to see each other.. quick little texts to keep in touch and make sure I am back n the house safe and that the next thing on hubbies never ending lists have the next thing done.

I have been so grateful for dogs that cuddle in and press themselves close and seem to shove healing thoughts and love towards me.. for purring cats, there is something so soothing about the purr..

I am so grateful for Dezbot who has been outstanding as working dog this week.. she has stepped up.. I have not needed to do more then stand and give her commands.. its like she knows I am not well and she looks to me for directions but does just what I have asked..

I am grateful for well trained sheep that let my little sheepdog boss them around lol

I am grateful for a warm house, a clean bed, steamers, EO’s and air cleaners..

I am beyond grateful for hot running water, washing machines and heat on demand ( I have never forgotten being sick  by myself in my cabin way back in the woods with my wood stove and hauling in water.. I often think if not for my dogs on each side of me on that little bed that I am might have just froze.. I learned that lesson well.. living alone while living rough can be scary as it gets when it comes to being sick)

I am so blessed with the pantry I have put up and built.. the ability to just pull things and heat soup or stew, eat fruit and more..   I have not “cooked” in days.. and yet I have been eating healthy.

I am grateful for the friend’s that the few times I have reached out, are right there for me..

I am grateful for the friends that understand that I need to cancel and they will be there for when things calm down without resentment.. bless you!

I am grateful to be here and now..

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Crossing over

i have always enjoyed these photos.. Jason’s mom passed away last night..  I am glad that huby was able to fly back and have that time with her.

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Orange Cranberry Jam

Looking to spruce up your cranberry side this thanksgiving or want to grab a couple extra bags of cranberries to put up this awesome jam for winter

Just another Day on the Farm

Cranberries are such an awesome treat for Christmas but watch for those sales that “should” come after boxing day on them. It’s a perfect time to pick up extra bags and make up some awesome Cranberry jam.

This is a very simple recipe to make and can up using a water bath method.

  • 4 cups of cranberries (or two small bags)
  • 1 can of frozen orange juice (I used no pulp)
  • 2 cans of water in the orange juice tube
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 5 to 7 cups of sugar (I went with five because I didn’t want to it to sweet, please do not reduce it below 5 cups if you want to can it.. you can reduce it below 5 cups if you want to freeze it. If you want it sweeter, can use up to seven cups of white sugar)

Take your cranberries/juice/water/salt and add it all…

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Allergies Suck!

Man, I knew I would struggle to do the chores, but I thought it would be my body (back) that would give me trouble..  For regular chores the body is able and willing as long as I break things down and plan well.. we got this!

Allergies however are in full Bleeping force..  I did expect this to a point.. I mean I am allergic to pretty much everything I love.. from my dogs/cat to hay to birds and so forth..

I normally react to a point and then I get built up so that I do not trigger and away I go..  I figured if I wore my mask I would be ok, and I did hay once without it, it was  foolish, I know, I just thought, hey I will grab that and toss it over the fence to the sheep, you see I had dropped a piece and I did not want to leave it lying there till the next feeding,

Wrong, so wrong.. those little flying bits came right at me, wind to me instead of away from me and I knew it when it happened.. but I thought.. ok, up the antihistamines as I normally take none or the very lowest dose I can only when I truly need it.

Right now, I have moved over to the full dose allowed per day.. and I am using my lung EO’s in the steamer as well..  The good thing is that once I use my mask, I do see the difference with the hay..

However the mask only goes so far in the building.. the fowl are really triggering me, so I am moving food and water to outside pen feeding as much as possible..  which helps in this but means I must do chores more often in smaller amounts because I can not use the big 3 to 4 day feeders outside in case it rains and I would lose to much feed if it got wet etc.

It’s the one corner pen that is giving me the most trouble, there is just NO air movement in there and its solid walls, so everything just stays to much.. but where there is a will there is a way right! I pulled a smaller fan yesterday and set it up to move the air around and opened up more things..  I figure if that is bothering me, it could be bothering the turkeys.. (ok, it does not seem to be bothering them) but it can’t hurt them.. they do have a fresh air window with screen and I did open it more..

In fact that is one of my current idea’s when I feed the pasture critters, run extra water and top up the pasture water sheep tub and horse trough,  and the ducks and the big fowl pen, I open the doors, the windows to the croft and let it have the extra air movement for a bit before I go in for the next round of chores..  Of course I close things up tightly for the night as we can have raiders, and I do not need coons or a fisher or such saying, lovely open doors and windows.

yesterday I had to do a repair job, and of course it took longer then expected.. I did try and work smart, I loaded thing in my little car Cherry and drove them to where I needed it on the back end of the pasture instead of walking back and forth and carrying things that extra distance, I figured out how to fix it.. still in the end it was a 2 hour and 2 min job and I was a hurting mess..

I came in and took painkillers (the first since I stopped taking them when I was expecting) and hit the ice pack.. and rested.. then did my physio when I got up and was very PLEASED at how well I recovered from it..

This morning, I was so happy, when I got up and did my stretches and such and the lower back is holding up well.. yes it lets me know its being used and yes I have to watch it but its healing and I can really see that this week!

Now if I could just get the lungs to start to ease up, I would be a very happy women indeed!

We have had fine fall weather for a couple days which has been lovely.. I can enjoy the morning and the evening and I have been.

However the mid day is a swirling biting mess of Asian Beetles aka Asian ladybugs and those suckers bite and get in everything, they land in my hair, cloths and I have to de-bug when I come in.

They love soybean plants, I mean love them.. of course they do.. they are from the same area and know this plant.. every 3rd to 4 year the fields around me are planting into soybeans and it was cut this week.. so all those thousands of Asian Ladybugs homes are gone and they are moving into mine.

I had heard and seen that they had a spray that I could put around my windows and doors to help keep them out.. but when we read the bottle.. it had warnings it kills bees/wasps/frogs/worms and do not let it anywhere near food or pets etc..

Poison, straight up poison is what it is.. how can that be safe to use.. its not.. so I use the stuff I can in the house that is still bad and I use duck tape turned sticky side out and collect them and then kill them and put into the garbage, you do not want to put them in the good house vac as they have a strong smell to them.. but I can use the shop vac on them in some area’s..

I spray the porch and the foyer and then close the doors and each day dozens and dozens of them are dead in the morning for me to clean up as they tend to come in at the doors most.

Jason is holding up well from what I can tell on the phone and text visits, he is getting sleep, needs to start eating a bit better.. to much fast food.. but he has promised me that he will get to a store and get more fresh food.  He is sleeping well so that is good and the first couple days there has  been lots of relief help as his aunt and cousin plus brother have all been there.

Today the aunt and cousin fly back home to Ontario, so it will be more on his own in that way but of course still has his brother there who is the normal lead on this.. I am hoping his brother is finding it a breather to have the help there..

As for his mom,  she had a good bit with company and such seemed to have a rebound and it brightened her spirits but she also tried to push herself both in a small in hospital outing Thursday in her wheel chair and she tried for a outing yesterday but it was called off as she ended up having a multiple seizures.

They left her weak and tired and she was close her eyes and fall asleep.. If all went as planned late night, they were able to move her from the hospital proper down to the pallative care area of the hospital..

Hubby seems to really like her doctor and care team, says they are excellent.. when hubby says doctor is on the ball, excellent.. then that is just what they are..

Just to add a little extra stress, hubby left is cell phone in the wheel chair van but Thankfully! they found it and as they have a pick up this morning at the hospital, they are meeting up and he will get it back this morning..

Which is good as I thought for sure I would have to cancel it and all the work that goes into replacing it an so forth..  so so grateful that was not the case!

Well, I had better start getting to more chores today!

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Bump in the night..

It never fails that on the first night sleeping with just the hounds that I do not sleep well.. yes the house was locked up tight as was the farm. Yes I had my phone and a maybe a extra thing or two placed around the house “just in case”

It does not stop the lighter sleep..  I swear I heard every bump in the night..  every movement had me twitching.. I was not the only unsettled one..  My farm girl dogs had spent the evening on edge pacing and checking the windows and kept giving me the look..

Where is Dad? He is late? REALLY LATE?  Dez was the worst, she was not sure we should go to bed without at least one more check to see if we might have misplaced him somewhere..

On the other hand, it was a truly beautiful evening, no bugs, amazing stars, the moon so bright.. the horse’s and I had a lean and I enjoyed my late evening check with a trail of the dogs and farm cats

She also was listening hard to each sound outside.. twice getting up to go check it and then coming back to the bed, once the true dark hit, I spent most of the night with my one hand on her.. if the bumps made me look or twitch.. she would lift her head, listen and then relax.. I figure her ears and nose is MUCH better then mine.. if she is not worried, I figured.. I should not be worried.

The second reason I had a very poor sleep was the phone.. my gosh.. how do people take their phone’s into their bedroom! I never do, I normally plug my phone in and leave it in the kitchen.. if you text or call after I go to the living room or the bedroom, I will get back to you in the morning..

However this is not the normal.. so it came with me.. and I promised hubby that I would keep the volume up and check the phone.. what I did not think about was that it meant every time someone writes me.. the thing beeps..  I had to turn the light on, get my glasses and check the phone 9 times last night for just basic updates, messages that normally could and would have waited for morning..

It would be fair to say I did not get a good rest..

I am going super Frugal at the moment,  while I can always adjust from savings to make sure things are covered, I have no idea how much things will cost over the next few weeks so I am locking down myself and the farm to a “No Spend” for the next while..

The basic’s are very simple, of course the farms needs will be meet, otherwise my goal is to spend nothing for myself or the house itself for at least the next two weeks.. Only the animals needs are off this.. if I need something for them.. then of course it will be gotten.

Its also Oct unprocessed and I have been in general following along for the first part of the month.. only three meals in the  first 9 days did not meet the rules.. the rest I have been doing really well with it..

Now I am going to get more hard core on it! but the truth is.. Its more a solid.. Eat out of your Pantry then anything! Given the time of year, its just about planning, its not going to have me lacking anything.. my fridge is full, my cold cellar is full.. my pantry’s are loaded heading into winter..

Unlike my normal march timing.. things are not lean right now.. but having said that.. the garden is done at the same time.

Yesterday, Breakfast was one of the “3 off meals” but lunch was seafood based and veggie based.. No real surprise considering hubby does not like fish or seafood that I went with one of my favorite seafood blends almost like a comfort food in a way..

Supper was light, I had a sandwich, some pear butter and for a snack, I had a apple and some homemade pudding..

I had a plan for popcorn but it did not happen..

Well, on with the day..  On with the day!

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On my own for a bit!

Thankfully only physically.. my beloved husband Jason has flown to alberta to be with his mom.  The doctors said it was time to call folks in for their final goodbyes. At this time he will be gone for a min of two weeks but that is flexable depending on what is needed.

I am glad that he will get to spend a some time.. a few days perhaps with his mom and the family that is gathering and will be there to help his brother in regards to her passing and all the work that comes afterwards.

I will be home here taking care of the farm, the critters and working to process the things I can on my own as fall harvest is fully on us a this time. I will be working carefully as it important that I take my time, break things down into smaller parts and keep my safety in mind so that I will get everything done that needs done.

Now, I am grateful that the frost came when it did, as it means the push to get everything out and into the house is done.. now I can take smaller portions of the things in storage and process them..  (ok I would have preferred another 3 weeks of growing season.. but its still so much better then that killing frost coming while I am on my own)

I suppose for my readers here on the blog, it will be a good thing in a strange way as I will have more time to reflect and write..  when I am alone on the farm, that is when I am drawn to writing more and more..

I hope to share that somewhat between painting as well. I know that I will be kept busy that’s for sure..

 

Posted in At the kitchen table | 7 Comments

Musquee De Provence Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Thanksgiving is coming and I have seen a number of posts come across some of my local garden groups asking about if you could use other kinds of pumpkins or even squashes to make your pumpkin pie..

Of course you can! Yes it will change flavour and possible texture to a point, if you need to you can use a ricer as well as your masher or hand held blender to get that smooth creamy texture if needed.

If you are going to be bold and you have enough, make a new one early this week and confirm you like the taste of the finished pie before making a few more for the final dessert table..

Just another Day on the Farm

While I was doing the research on this lovely old French Squash, I read over and over again, Fine eating for pie.. Ok then.. you know I had to try it.

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I am going to do the farmgal (or any other Homestead Farmers) first, then I am going to do a more Modern Recipe

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Farmgal Recipe*

  • 3 Cups of mashed Baked Squash
  • 1 extra large Duck egg, 2 large chicken eggs or 6 quail eggs
  • 1 cup whole sheep or goat milk
  • 1 and half tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • sugar or honey to taste (start with half a cup and try the batter, you and only you know how sweet the squash started)

One bottom of a pie dough , I baked it in a cast iron fry pan at 350 for 65 min but I started checking it at 55 min.

  • Farmgal recipes are based on a few things…

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Hard Frost

It had to happen but its early..  three weeks early.. Oct 5th.. the first hard killing frost arrived on the farm.. even the things we covered which would have made it though a light frost with the covered, had been hit hard under their sheets and row covers..

This was not the first light frost of the fall garden season.. this was the killing frost of late oct.. and it did its job well..

Saturday very hard frost meant that the bugs took a huge hit as well, but it did warm up to 17 and while it had a cool morning, it was clear/sunny and a perfect work in the garden day..

I would like to tell you that I did a good amount of garden work but I did not, I directed and Jason worked non-stop. By early afternoon, I caved an crawled into bed for a rest while he kept on working.

We knew this frost was coming and so the night before, the last of everything was picked and brought in.. I buckets, crates and massive bowls all over the stairs, on cupboards, on the floor and covering my dining room table and more..

The beets where pulled up and are looking great, a massive tote of them are waiting for me to process into jars, some will be roasted and then pickled, others will be cooked, peeled and sliced for plain canning and a limited amount will be cooked, peeled and grated for winter beet soup.

The garden clean up has started, everything that could be pulled up and feed to the pasture herd’s or the flocks was done and those that can not where added to the compost piles.

So spring started late with hard frosts happening until mid-May.. anyone who put out “early” in spring of 2019 got caught by hard frosts and had to re-start and or replant or rebuy..

Our last spring frost was a full two weeks later then average and a full three weeks from “the norm” on the farm over 15 years of tracking.

I did not plant out my “heat” until the first week of june..  they had all been green house started and I continued to buy and plant out bigger starts for the next three weeks as the kitchen garden was built.

I planted things by seed in june and into the first part of july.. I was able to do a few rows into the later part of july even with the heat and drought in place as I watered those rows only twice daily and they all did very well with this..

I did not do any of my late fall planting, I listened to the tree’s and the plants that all said, fall is coming early.. prepare.. prepare.. plus I listened to my land that went.. drought and dry..

The second point is that the drought started close to the time of the heat.. but the rains did not come at the normal time.. they normally start in the first week of aug, second week and then we have the second heavy push of growth that allows me to extend long into fall..

This year.. the rain did not come until the last week of aug..  and did not really start till sept to be honest.. This put the rains a full three weeks late from the norm..

Are you doing the math?

Spring cold and slow- four weeks late to plant

Late summer rains- Three weeks late to arrive

Killing Frost- Three weeks early!

My garden season was shortened this year by 7 weeks.. I lost a min of 49 growing days this year! and that my friends is a massive difference in grow days!

I got around this by ordering in green house started plants for a number of my hots so they got the days they needed and yields were excellent.  I planned and planted heavy calorie crops, lots of roots and so many beans this year..

I wanted and got a put up year.. and while I am keeping back some seed on a few things, that was the second thing I gave up, I am really glad I didn’t grow or use some of my favorite seeds this year as I might not have gotten then to finish and would have lost the seed return this year.

Thankfully I had made the choice with everything going on that I would have a focus on heavy production with everything fully picked and no focus on seed saving this year.

I either bought seed or only used seed that I had a couple years put up of it from my seed stores.

Considering we started making these gardens in may and we are still making gardens now, I am beyond grateful for the yields and returns that where gotten from these new gardens..

I am pleased.. truly pleased with what the garden yielded.. yes I had some area’s that need work, yes I had struggles, yes I could have planted other garden area’s but I was tightly focused this year on what could be done and what could not be..

We have reaped the rewards of the focus and will continue to do so though the winter and well into next year.. jar after jar of produce has been put up, freezer after freezer is being filled..  and as planned, we will be heading into winter lean critter wise, which will reduce costs and give us more time/money to work on other projects.

I know that I got much bigger yields this year then many other people locally did.. as I have watch hundreds report their  losses..  I did have losses as well.. the corn did not produce anything and was used as animal fodder..  the squash was very poor this year..

My big gardens are full of plants.. most of which I do not want and that will need to be pulled out and burned at a later point in the fall if time allows it..

Time slips by, faster and faster!

As all gardener’s know.. next year is a new year!

 

 

Posted in Food Storage, Garden harvest, Life moves on daily | Tagged | 10 Comments

Healthy Fall Beef Stew Recipe

What a light but o so tasty Fall Based Beef Stew!

Fall Based Beef Stew Recipe.

  •  1 beef flank Steak (trimmed, and cut into stew cubes)
  •  1 Large Zucchini (a oversized one, peeled, and seeds out and then cut into cubes)
  •  1 Full leek, white and green, cleaned and sliced into rings and green bits
  •  4 cups of itty bitty baby potato (the kind you need to use first after digging up your spud batch) or if you don’t want to buy baby potato’s.. 6 med peeled potato cut into cubes
  •  3 peppers in this case I used green but you can use any color you want.
  •  2 garlic, peeled and diced.
  • 2 tbsp of oil or fat of your choice
  •  Salt, Pepper, Bay Leaf and some steak spice (if you want)
  •  1 quart of veggie stock

In a heavy bottomed pot, add your oil at med heat and put in your leek, garlic and beef, brown them and then add your zucchini, potato’s, peppers, spices and veggie stock.

The stock should cover the stew, if it does not add more.. (the size and shape of your pot might make it that you need more stock then I have listed.. just add another cup till its well covered)

Place this pot with lid on into a slow over at 300 and let it cook for 2 to 4 hours.. everything should be tender when checked with a fork.. the zucchini will have pretty much melted into sauce..

Serve a hearty bowl of it with a side green salad, or a fresh bread or as is.. your choice.

If you want it more “beef” you can use Beef Broth but I wanted this to be a flavourful but very light broth, allowing the veggie flavours to come though..

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Homemade Taco’s

Happy Taco Day! Some fun Taco facts, great taco pictures and all fitting into oct unprocessed.. awesome!

Just another Day on the Farm

So yesterday was national taco day, something that was all over the net but its also October unprocessed, no problem, I made a corn-flour yeast based dough and made flat breads for the shells.  I rolled them thin and cooked them in a cast  iron
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I cooked up onion garlic mushooms and fresh tomatos to which I added canned burger (our beef) and taco spices, some greens an salsa an it was a awesome dinner all the way round.
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For some taco history, I have linked to a site below and copied a part of it for you to read!
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Some Taco History
For a dish so widely available, the history of the taco is really unknown. But according to taco expert Jeffrey M. Pilcher, the word originates from the silver mines in Mexico in the 18th century, when taco referred to the little explosives workers used to extract the ore.

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