harder than I’d imagined.

I knew when we moved out here that some days would be hard. I knew that I’d have to step up and do a lot of things I normally wouldn’t, pound fence posts, haul buckets and buckets of water, transport grain, move and stack hay; on my own or with the kids in tow. Hauling the pigs in yesterday was a point very near, “I can’t do this.” A knock on the door this morning and going out and find Ursa dead next to the road and I’m not ok.

I want to scream and cry about the injustices of life.

I would like Rocket Man to stop saying “Ursa? Ursa?”

I need a hug. Only 9 hours until SG gets home.
IMG_4501

Playing with me on Sunday.

Her birthday was tomorrow.
Night, night sweet lady.

I’m going to miss you.

IMG_4252

baking day and a new year

It is baking day here on the farm! I recently got some new baking books. The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guide Part 1 and Part 2. I’ve been pouring over them for several days now and it time to try a few recipes out.

IMG_4464

First up Breakfast Carrot Cake, it is already in the oven. Next, Lemon Bars and finally, a sandwich bread. The quality of our lives would be greatly improved by a sandwich bread. We could have eggs and toast again (as soon as those chickens get busy), things like ham sandwiches (the pigs go in soon), and even just a simple nut butter sandwich. Rocket Man and I could do cashew and the girls and Super Geek could do almond. We need a bread like substance.

IMG_4475 IMG_4478 IMG_4474

You can see I taste tested the things that were done. I’m hoping to hold the girls off for a late lunch and make some eggs (store bought) and toast for lunch.

Rocket Man helped me clean up – eating the left over banana.

IMG_4472 IMG_4467 IMG_4468

I’ve got tons of other things to post about … like the story of Pork Chop the fainting pig, my new sheep, my quest to buy hay in the middle of winter, and Christmas. Hopefully I can do some of those posts soon. I’ve been sick with a couple of things and I might be close to and up swing soon – let’s hope!

Here’s a picture of Leche. She’s so cute, I just couldn’t resist.

IMG_4455

banana bread

Today I am that awesome fun mom that has time for everything.
We are having banana bread for lunch … as soon as it is done baking … blueberry banana bread yummmmmmm!

The base recipe I use is from the Gluten Free Goddess blog. I can’t say how it is made as written, because I have to made several subs so that I can eat it, but with (even?) my substitutions it is amazing!

I use equal parts tapioca, rice and millet flour for the flour mix, make my own baking powder from cream of tartar and baking soda, brandy vanilla (cause that’s just what I make), tapioca in place of the arrowroot, guar gum in place of the xanthan, no cinnamon, enjoy life mini chips when I use them. I typically make a double batch, which equals two loaf pans, and put in a whole bag of mini chips. Its ok, we are REALLY know banana bread isn’t good for you anyway.

So, um, yeah. Since we are having it for lunch I’m going to have to serve up some extra veggies for dinner to compensate for this.

meet the kitties

Let me be clear. I do not really like cats. I do not really have a use for cats. Having a cat allergy does nothing for our relationship.

I found evidence of a mouse (or mice) about a 10 days ago in our mud room. This house is huge, but it has no room for a mouse. I know, I know, I might have sharing issues, but that’s another story.

Mice = cats. At least that’s how I see it. Farm cats, like the ones I spent so much time and energy getting rid of earlier this fall. Sigh. Guess I learned my lesson though. We’ll be keeping at least one, intact female around for a while.

So I looked around, found some FARM cats (not to be confused with the totally useless ones that are declawed and live and crap (shudder) inside the actual homes of some people). We’ve named them, they seem to want to stick around, they are becoming more and more friendly every day, and so I think it is time to introduce them.

IMG_4126
This is Mama Cat, our original farm cat. The ONE cat we agreed to “buy” with the farm. She moved kittens in the day we moved in. (I thought I had talked about all of this before, but I can’t find it – so I’m sorry if this is confusing.) I should have just charged the kittens rent.

IMG_4075
The Kitten. (Original names, I know, just wait.) The Kitten is the one kitty we kept from Mama Cat’s litter and of course we were responsible and got Mama and Kitten fixed early in our relationship.

IMG_4081

The Kitten is getting quite chubby, which is good I guess, because I do not feed them a large amount of food. These ladies live in the big red (sheep) barn. They have done an excellent job of keeping it mouse free. I know this because I store paper bags of chicken feed in there and have yet to find one with a hole. Mouse-on Mama Cat! My big vice with these is that The Kitten likes to crap in random places.

IMG_4072

Cali (the calico) and Arizona (the panther). These two are both super sweet. In fact, Cali lived in the mud room for a few days. I think it is this sweet kitty that I owe the demise of Ralph too. (Ralph was the mouse (mice). Cali loves the kids and they of course love her. Arizona isn’t so sure about the kids and hides if Mike is around. There’s a chance that she might be preggers already. Both of these came from the same home and I am fairly certain that both of these are female. These two currently live in the Quonset hut. That’s where the tools, garden stuff and things like bikes are stored. They love to sleep in this cat pan (unused) that I made into a bed with this old towel and in a big tub of wood shavings. Cali was getting quite brave and was outside on her own today. She is trying her best to win me over. If she mouses and learns to poop outside – she may make “favorite” cat status.

IMG_4066

Meridith.

IMG_4067

Christina and Meridith.

IMG_4069

Lexi.

These three came from another farm. They are not as friendly, but came with an excellent mousing reputation. They are currently living in our garage. (Think unfinished 100 yr old farmhouse garage – not finished suburban garage.)

Christina got out early and spent a few days in the woods. We are very happy to have her back. She is the friendliest of this bunch and possibly the ring leader. Meridith and Lexi have been more friendly since Christina returned. Christina charges the food dish and will almost let me pet her when she is eating.

Meridith likes to meow and meow, then turns and spits at you. (Did I mention I don’t really like cats? Reason #276.)

Lexi wouldn’t even come down out of the rafters of the garage while Christina was out in the wilds. Now she’ll come within about an arms reach when I’m in there to take care of them.

My husband installed a cat door for these three so they can come and go from the garage as they want. I would like them to be permanent residents of the garage, but I would also like them to spend time AROUND the house (keeping watch for Ralph’s relatives) and learn to go to the bathroom outside. (Reason #3.) I am not sure that these three are all female, but I can hope. They need to learn to stand up to Ursa, the giant not-as-stupid-as-she-used-to-be dog, so they can patrol the ground around the house. I’m pretty serious about them earning their keep. Any idea how to show a not-so-friendly cat how to use a cat door?

I’ve never been much of a fan of black cats. I’m not sure why, but Christina and Arizona have changed that. I don’t care what color they are as long as they mouse. I will say though, that I do think I like the orange tabby color the best still. Notice I don’t have one of those … yet.

I’ve also never been much of a fan of male cats. Their tendency to pee on things really pisses me off. (Ha!)

There’s been no sign of Ralph (and friends) in a week. I’m not sure if this is good news or bad. The mud room seems to be an addition and have no walls open with the original house. When I first found signs of a mouse, I tried a live trap and still found feces in the mud room. Cali was my next line of defense and she spent several days in there, but I never saw any sign of her catching and eating anything. When I took Cali out I put in poison, two old fashioned baited traps, and a baited live trap. I’m still afraid to call it good and clean and move all of our things (winter gear, boxes of shoes, dog treats, etc) back into the mud room, but at some point soon I need to.

All I want for Christmas are mouse free farm buildings (house included) and maybe a miniature donkey ….