Sunday, September 27, 2015

Jacob Turns 8!

Happy Birthday to our sweet, cute, witty young man. Determination and strength of spirit are two very dominate parts of his personality. He can be strong willed and at times very stubborn, but it shows that he can be driven when he truly believes he needs to be.
He has a warrior's heart, but can be a very soft-hearted and gentle spirit that looks out for those smaller than him and is a very sweet boy.

He is always ready to find something new to investigate, discover and learn; active and adventurous, loves to explore. He is always ready with a new and imaginative story or joke and can't wait to make a new friend where ever he goes.  

Happy Birthday my sweet little man! May you continue to grow in your convictions; may your will and determination
continue to guide you in the right direction with strength and steadfast spirit that keeps you on your path through life. 

Love you always!

Monday, September 21, 2015


Happy Birthday to my bright eyed adventurer.
We have had ten non-stop action packed years with this guy. Always on the go and ready to find that next exploration. He has definitely kept us on our toes. He could climb before he could walk and was always finding new and exciting ways to keep life interesting.
At 10 months he wiggled out of his strapped car seat to lean over and tell me hello. At two he climbed the tennis court fence at our apartment, climbed all the way up threw a leg over and went down the other side. Now we are likely to find him high up in a tree, trying to figure out how to build something, put up a shelter or fort of some sort, off on a bike, hiking through the woods, knee deep in a mud puddle, wading in a pond, collecting interesting things, or playing with an animal, or trying to catch some kind of animal or critter.
I love this tender-hearted, curious, adventurous, mischievous, high-spirited kid.  He has a sweetness and always thinking of others around him and willing to lend a hand, but always trying to surprise you and catch you off guard.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Baby Chicks

In early February(the 6th, to be exact) we started incubating a new batch of chicks for the spring. This new group is a group of eggs that come from a special line of French Black Copper Marans, and a motley mixture of our current layers that are Ameraucauna, Cinnamon Queen, Rhode Island Red, Olive Eggers(Easter Egger/Maran mix), and Buff Orphintons with a French Black Copper Maran Rooster. Hopefully these new chicks will be laying in late summer to replace some of our older hens that are becoming less productive.

We are working toward specializing in a couple of breeds that we prefer to have as a dual purpose breed that is appropriate for both high production egg laying and still be big enough to use as a meat bird. So far my favorites are Easter Eggers, Olive Eggers, Marans, and possibly a couple of egg layers that are blue in color. There is nothing better than opening a carton of eggs and seeing a rainbow of just can't help but smile, really.

Back to the chicks...They began hatching on the evening of the 26th and as of this morning 20 of 24 have hatched out successfully. More than likely the last four will not be hatching, but I just have to give them a couple of extra days just in case. I hate the idea of not giving a late bloomer a chance at life. 

 Last night I spent quite a bit of time with two of them that were having a hard time getting out of their eggs on their own. I carefully helped them break just the shell around the edge that they started to unzip making sure that I did not tear the membrane on the inside of the shell. I added water to dampen the membrane to keep it soft so that they could work their way through a little more easily. They were both very week and although they were able to finally break free from their shells, they did not look like they would make it until morning. 

This morning I was excited beyond words to see that both, even though they were weak, were still alive and hanging in there. Now they are running around with the rest of the pack and trying not to get pushed around. One of the two has a toe that was crooked, but I have put it in a splint to help it grow right. I find it amazing how observant these little guys soon as I put these last two chicks in with the group, they immediately started picking on the one with the curved toe...which although is sad, they saw a difference and reacted to it.

Happy March First Everybody! Hoping the new life of these chicks encourages some great Spring weather.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Cream

Today we had snow cream...I tried this a couple of years ago when we last had a decent amount of snow fall. I have to say, I really didn't like it too much. It came out soft, mushy, and didn't have much flavor to speak of. Today we tried again with a different recipe and it came out really good. It had a fluffy creamy texture, and had the look of damp sand. It clumped together when it was scooped with the ice cream scoop, but was still a bit crumbly. We made chocolate, and vanilla, but everyone agreed that the vanilla was just better, of course we ended up with lots
more chocolate than vanilla. The secret to this snow ice cream...condensed milk. It was a little difficult to stir in and get evenly distributed, but it was really worth the extra effort.

Snow Cream
Snow...A couple of big bowls full to make sure you have enough.

vanilla extract...I didn't measure I just poured a little bit in.

1 can of condensed milk

Start out with a large bowl half full of fresh clean snow.
Pour about 1/2 the can of condensed milk and vanilla extract in and start mixing. I say mixing, but it will be more of a chopping, scraping, folding, smashing process. The snow quickly freezes the condensed milk and makes it a little difficult to work into the snow, but keep at it until the color is evenly spread throughout. If it gets too mushy add more snow and keep mixing in until you get a texture you like. Scoop and serve.

The chocolate one that I made was a little different because we unfortunately only had one can of condensed milk. I took some half and half and cooked it with a box of chocolate pudding. Cooled it down and added it to some snow. It didn't have enough chocolate flavor or sweetness for ice cream. I did like the texture though. I think next time I will add the pudding mix to the condensed milk. It was a fun and yummy experiment for this cold day...Now hopefully Spring is in the air and we can get to the business of warmer weather.