This Week Is Off & Running

Jonathan & I feeding the new calves.
Jonathan & I feeding the new calves.

Well, Monday dawned bright and clear and found Tony and me headed down the road.  We were headed to Jersey Girl Raw Milk dairy to purchase our new Jersey calves.  I love that drive, small Farm to Market Roads winding  though rolling hills and woods.  It is a lovely part of Texas and a drive through it for any reason is like therapy.

We picked the little fellows up and headed back to our farm.  I have a full blog post coming about them, but I am too tired to write it tonight.  Once the calves were settled in their stalls, I started in on Monday’s chore list.  Laundry was done, linens were washed and hung out to dry (where they are still because I forgot to bring them in…)  All the stuff that gets all over the house was picked up and put back where it belongs.  Homeschooling was done and the run to the feed store was made.

On Sunday, I started sorting my recipes that had been collected over time.  This is the second set of sorting to be done on my recipe book.  In the first sorting I pulled out all the recipes I had actually cooked and liked and grouped them in a new binder.  The others were left in the old binder to be dealt with later.  Later  had arrived and I sorted them out by category and had them all over the table.  Paperclips came out today and I clipped each category together to be integrated into the current binder at a later date.  As  I sorted, I was wondered how I could possibly have this many recipes.  Then it dawned on me- I was a foodie before there was such a term.  There was no Food Network, I faithfully watched the Frugal Gourmet, Nathalie Dupree, and Burt Wolf everyday on PBS.  I still have hand-written recipes that I scribbled down while they cooked.  20 years of recipe collecting and developing leads to a lot of recipes.  Now those are being tamed into a functional book that my kids will fight over when I am gone (whatever). Now the dining table is of use for meals again.

Chef Jonathan- making fried pork chops.
Chef Jonathan- making fried pork chops.

Once the house was back in order, I headed out to get groceries at Sam’s.  I do like that shopping trip and this time I was alone- how unusual and how nice.  When I returned home about 7:30, dinner was being finished.  Jonathan (my eleven year old son) had made fried pork chops and hand-cut french fries with his own seasoning mix a green salad rounded out the meal.  That boy loves to cook, he is the only one of my four who is by my side every time I cook.  He is quite good at it, too!  Grilled pork chops were on the menu but the grill ran out of gas.  It is nice to see that he can be flexible, as well.  Tony did help him out a bit, the burner was too high and the pan started to smoke.  He is still learning.

Now to bed, Tuesday brings bottle feeding, a trip to the library and lots of planting in the greenhouse.

 

A Day For Changed Plans

“All dressed up with no place to go…” Have you ever heard that saying?  Well, that was me this morning.  I was dressed with my hair done and even make-up on!  It was about that time when I was ready to walk out the door that I realized my keys were not to be found.  It seems that Tony took them to work with him in his bag.  Needless to say, I was peeved.  I was really looking forward to my Master Gardener meeting.  Oh well, the best laid plans.  What was crazy it that later in the day when Jonathan could not find a drill bit I began searching the junk drawer looking for a bit I found a key that looked like it should go to the car.  Guess what?  It did fit my car, but now it was 11:30 and the meeting was ending.  You just gotta laugh!

So, I shifted gears and then went on about my day.  It was a good day despite me not getting what I wanted.  I finally got in touch with the gal at The Jersey Girl dairy, they have 3 bottle calves and we are picking them up on Monday!  There are only a few things cuter than Jersey calves, I can’t wait.  Bottle feeding is time consuming, but it is really fun.  There will be lots of pictures coming, I am sure.  In the past we have bought them at the sale, which is a challenge because of the stress on the calves, but overall it has gone well.  We developed a routine that kept everyone healthy and happy.  These little bull calves are already a month old so that will be really nice.  The jersey steer, Porterhouse, made the best beef that I have ever had.  We are looking forward to a full freezer- in about 18 months.

This is a bottle calf from days gone by.
This is a bottle calf from days gone by.

Even though we had beautiful weather today, I did not work in the greenhouse.  Until the seedlings develop their first true leaves, I am waiting.  Gardening will teach you two things- the sense of urgency and patience.  But never fear, I was not without things to do!  I have had a project waiting in the barn.  A pig waterer has been on my list for a while.  I bought the components awhile back so today seemed to be a good day to start it.  I found the directions on line at this site.  There will be a full post on this when I am done.  Today I drilled a hole and put the spout in the pipe.  There was  a very small leak that will be fixed with epoxy and I need to glue the cap onto the end of the PVC pipe with some plumber’s cement.  I couldn’t find any cement so I am hoping that Tony has some stashed.  If not, I will hit the hardware store in the morning.  Once finished, the water pipe will provide water for the pig without the pig being able to make a mess of her pen or her water.  Because pigs are so strong you must go to extreme lengths to come up with a water trough that the pig can’t or won’t flip over to get water and mud to wallow in at will.  I am looking forward to this water pipe, kids who show pigs use them frequently.  I choose the thickest walled pipe available, I have seen the strength of hogs.  With the large diameter and long length, we shouldn’t have to fill it up very often.

The water spout in the PVC pipe
The water spout in the PVC pipe

Etsy has been a job I have been working on and it has been slow going.  It would make it easier if I had more experience at this sort of thing, but I don’t so it has been a learning process.  One of the things that had me held up was shipping the products.  After a trip to the post office this morning (before Savannah left in her car and before I found a key to mine) I felt so much more confident.  Sunny, my sister, will be receiving a surprise in the mail (unless she reads my blog) and I will know how the packages fared.  The shipping cost was not as much as I had expected, that was a good thing.  Things are shaping up.

Herbal Oil & Sea Salt Scrubs- ready to be purchased from Hollyberry Herb Farm
Herbal Oil & Sea Salt Scrubs- ready to be purchased from Hollyberry Herb Farm