Friday, June 26, 2015

Childhood Memory -Lady the Milk Cow

   I was taking a stroll down memory lane trying to remember different parts of my childhood that my kids aren't going to experience.  There are differences but there are also similarities like raising chickens and having a large yard to play in.  I had a good childhood but we weren't exactly in the higher income spectrum...
We weren't "poor" but extra income wasn't there.
Our needs were met but we didn't live a life of extras.
   I know that my parents did the best they could but vacations for us weren't like they were for my childhood friends. Dinner was made from scratch and eating out at a restaurant was almost unheard of (!) however it was all good! I had a great childhood with a balanced mix of work and play and knew that I was loved- THAT is what is important.
   We lived on what I would call a "farm-ette"...I don't think that is even a word. :-) My parents raised or grew a lot of our food.  We had a huge garden, grape arbor and fruit trees so my mom canned, juiced, jellied or froze much of the produce. We also raised much of our meat. We were a family of 5 (my parents, my two brothers and me) and as many of you know, kids seem to drink a lot of milk. Since we already had several other animals my dad felt that it would be a good idea to get a milk cow.
   He came home one day with a small, gentle, brown cow. Her name was Lady and she was a Jersey. She wasn't easily spooked and that was good with 3 kids in and out of the small barn.  She would look at us with her big, brown eyes like she knew her milk was helping us to grow healthy and strong. I was probably about 7 or 8 years old and could help a bit with the milking but my dad usually did it while I was helping mom with my little brothers.  I can remember him bringing the big milk pail into the kitchen and mom had a stainless steel filter/strainer that he would dump the milk into. I can remember standing on a chair watching the creamy liquid slowly flow through into another container. 
   Mom would take the milk and put it in the fridge. After it cooled and separated she would skim the cream off the top with a spoon that she had bent into a ladle. She used the cream to make butter!  Oh my! was that good on a piece of homemade bread fresh out of the oven! 
   I make bread and I have even made butter so Madilynne and Ryder have experienced that.  We currently have cows on the farm but we don't milk them.  They are here to keep the grass down and fertilize it as they go.  I am not exactly sure how long we had Lady or what ever happened to her but I do remember her being a big part of our food supply for a while.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. June 23rd is National Pink Day. What's your favorite something pink?
We have a rose bush across from our house.  My grandma planted it there years ago.  It blooms every year and the best part is: I don't have to do anything to it!  It just always looks beautiful- every year!

 2. What did you enjoy most about gym class when you were in school? How about the least?
I liked gym class in school.  I can't say what I liked best though.  I had a really nice teacher who gave me my nickname that I use on this blog...Sunny.  He said I was always a happy kid in class; like a ray of sunshine.  I attended a really small school and all of the teachers invested positively in our lives or at least they tried really hard to be good role models. We had two gym teachers and it was great because we played a lot of games of girls vs. boys (student choice) and with two teachers one male, one female; we had a great time!  I didn't really like school but I do have positive memories about gym. 
What I liked least....being sweaty for the next class!  

 3. What memory is brought to mind by the smell of roses?

My grandma! She had a facial oil that she would use at night and it was rose scented.  She was also the grandma that planted the rose across from the house.  She grew many different roses here on the farm.

 4. Do you prefer to read or write?

Well as you can tell by the posts that have been written lately...I prefer to read! 

 5. Sam Keen is quoted as saying, 'Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.' Would you agree? Is laziness ever respectable? How will you be lazy this summer?

Laziness is one of those things that I just am not sure if someone is lazy or just overwhelmed and doesn't know where to start.  I have felt overwhelmed on where to start a project or something but I don't feel that I was lazy about it. You also have to look at medical/health factors in deciding if laziness is involved or not.  I am not quite sure how to answer this question because what is "in my head/heart" doesn't seem to come through clearly from the keypad.  That stated true laziness is not respectable!

 6. The Florida Keys, Disney World, or a resort somewhere on the Gulf Coast...which Florida destination would you choose (and why) if the trip were today?

Gulf Coast! It wouldn't be a resort though, my brother lives on the Gulf and I would go there without question!

 7. What question do you hate to answer?

Why do you homeschool? 

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

This is the rose I have been mentioning here. Such a lovely shade of pink! The rain has been really hard on the petals and this was the best picture I could get today!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge


 1. June is National Great Outdoors Month. Have you spent any time appreciating the great outdoors this month? If so where, and if not do you have any plans to enjoy the great outdoors before the calendar turns? 

   Yes, I have been appreciating the outdoors.  Madilynne, Ryder and I have been going for walks regularly.  Well, to be honest- Madilynne runs, Ryder rides his bike and I walk.  I am trying to keep up a brisk pace though. 

 2. What's a current hot button issue for you?

   There are many things that rub me the wrong way but the thing that is driving me nuts the most lately is not politics or Hollywood or any of the normal irritations of TV but it is honestly people who do not use their turn signals while driving! Really, how hard is it to bend your wrist and flick the signal on?  

 3. What's a food or treat that 'disappears like hotcakes' in your house?

   Fresh picked strawberries from our berry patch!

 4. How hot is too hot?

Any temperature over 75* especially when it is hazy and humid! I can't handle it! 

 5. Do you have an artistic outlook on life? What does that mean to you?

   No, I don't think that I have an artistic outlook.  I see it as it is, not a diamond in the rough.  I don't see the possibilities in junk.  It's not a treasure to me, just trash.  I don't like to change my furniture around or paint rooms.  However, I like color and enjoy looking at the beauty around us.  I just missed out on the artistic gene.  I don't really have the knack for mixing and matching patterns or colors and such. I leave that kind of stuff to Madilynne.

 6. What's one question you'd like to ask your father, or one you wish you could ask your father?

  Well, I see my father almost everyday, sometimes several times a day.  I don't think that I have any questions to ask him.

 7. Something you learned from your father?

   I have learned to most about farming and animals from my dad.  We always had some kind of farm animals while I was growing up.  We had sheep, pigs, a beef cow, some rabbits, chickens and dairy cows at different times while I was young. 

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

   Thinking about my answer to number 7 made me remember my childhood.  I can still picture the many sheep on the hillside.  The white sheep on a beautiful green grass background was striking.  We had over 100 of them and I really liked them.  They were so gentle and just beautiful animals. My mom was the dairy farmer in the family.  She did most of the milking in my teen years as my dad had a full time job away from the farm.  

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Blogging should be easy, right?

   When we started this blog, I thought it would be easy, like journaling. Well, I have come to a different conclusion---this is harder than I thought.  I have a journal that I write in almost daily.  It is fun and easy to do. I think that it is because I can write whatever I want and not feel judged. They are my thoughts and I write like I "think" and talk. I don't worry about people reading my journal and thinking that I am using improper grammar or that I used a word out of context.  I have read nasty comments on other folks blogs where people feel the need to correct the blogger's grammar, call them names, tell them they shouldn't be a blogger, etc.  OK, I may think that it was wrong wording/spelling but I would NEVER, EVER post that in a comment.  I feel that is rude, plain rude! If you don't like their grammar....DON'T READ IT!!  No one is making you click on their blog.

   OK, I will step down off my soapbox....Back to my original thought.

   I really did think this would be easier.  I didn't have any great ideas of writing a blog for money or to get a huge reader base....hey, that would be nice but not the reason behind it.  I just like to write and thought that I would give this a try.  I have posts in my mind and when I go to type them out they change somehow.  They don't sound like they do inside my head. I have music and drumrolls and bells ringing in my head.  They add dramatic flare to my thoughts.  I always seem to have a party going on up there and that doesn't come through in blogging. 

  I realize that am not going to take professional perfect pictures like some of the ones on popular blogs. I gave up that pipe dream long ago.  I take pictures that I like without all the filters and backdrops. I have zero interest in that. I leave that up to photographers who make a living snapping awesome pictures.  I will stick to my little camera and take a chance of getting a cute picture that will make me happy.  You can see by the pictures that I have posted that they are simple, easy shots focusing on the intended object and by all means, not perfect, but then again, neither am I. <-- How about that sentence?  HaHa!

   So anyhow, I thought blogging would be easier.  I am going to keep trying and will see how this goes.  Flaws and all!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Menu 6/1/15 - 6/5/15

Menus around here are guidelines and subject to change. We don't eat anything fancy or super time consuming. I try to keep it simple and reasonably priced.  I am only going to post the menu for Monday through Friday because we customize the weekends with Jeremiah. He likes to grill so Saturday and Sunday are flexible for us.  We add and change items (like sides) when necessary or when our schedule changes.

   M- Egg, cheese and sausage muffins
   T-  Blueberry muffins
   W- Breakfast Burritos
   T-  Bulls eyes (also known as Toad in the Hole)
   F-  Pancakes

   M-  Mac and Cheese and Ham slices
  T-   Homemade Hamburger Helper
  W-  Mac and cheese, ham slices (again! one of the kids favorites!) fruit
  T-   Tacos
  F-   Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

   M-   Spaghetti w/ meatballs, garlic bread, salad
   T-    Homemade Pizza
  W-    Gnocchi with Alfredo- Madilynne's choice
   T-    BLT's
   F-    Leftovers, clean out the fridge