Monthly Archives: March 2013

Traits from “dad”, Cleatus



We are excited about seeing some neat colors/color patterns in our calves this year.  In an effort to breed more “beefiness” into our herd, we purchased a shorthorn bull, Cleatus, last year.  This is our first round of calves from him.  Thought it was cool to see his influence on Cuke’s tail.  Now that she’s all cleaned up, we can see a neat variation of colors on her coat.  Can’t wait to see the rest!  🙂

Here are some pics of Cleatus from last summer that I never had a chance to post.



WELCOME – 1st calf 2013

AND AWAY WE GO… Mike went up to do the calf check this morning & saw PeaPod off by herself. Her official due date was for NEXT Saturday, but, all indications were that she was most likely gonna have one TODAY. And right he was…

Went back up to the field about 6 hours later, and here’s what we saw…


As we got closer, we could tell the calf had just been born – getting its first bath…


It’s a GIRL!! Her name is Cuke. 🙂




We were hoping we’d have all next week to be more prepared, but apparently the Lord thinks we are ready enough, lol.

Mike worked on putting the runway fence back up, and had some help from his brother and Paul.



By the time we were ready to bring them down to the barn, Little Cuke had a nice fat tummy, and had plenty of energy to make the long walk down to the barn. 🙂



Cuke’s Aunt Pepper joined in the parade down to the barn. Her baby is due any day now, too. 🙂




Pantry peek

We take our harvests and try to stretch it to feed us for one year. Rather than work to a certain “number”, we take whatever our harvest is & divide it by 12. Saves us a lot of stress – that fear of “not having enough”… It encourages us to be more content with what we have and plan our meals accordingly. 🙂

I do keep a record of each year’s total on the pantry shelves with a piece of masking tape – just so I have a ballpark idea of what we had the previous couple of years. Helps with knowing how many canning supplies I should invest in for the next season, too. And quite honestly, once we finish processing, I stop thinking about it & my brain can’t recall those numbers when someone asks. (This blog is actually helping to document tallies as well…) 🙂

Once the monthly breakdown is calculated, I mark each jar with the month it can be used in. It helps me to see at a glance what items I have “available” to use & plan our meals accordingly. Since we all cook here, it allows the current chef to assess his options from our pantry “grocery store”… And it keeps my boys from eating 22 quarts of dilly beans in 2 months, lol! 🙂





I have yet to remember to weigh our potato harvests. While the kennebec potatoes we grow don’t last us a full year, we can usually go 6 months or so. Last season we started with 3 milk-crates of taters, and are now into our last crate. They are sprouting, but not soft.



And Grandma’s special sweet potatoes are wrapped in newspapers & stored in a crate as well. I forgot to weigh these, too – but I do know we had 2 crates full. These taters last longer – I bet we go 9 months or so… 🙂


Evidence spring is coming…

What a beautiful weekend we just had! Thought I’d share some pics of spring bursting forward…

Daffodils shooting through the dirt…



Buttercup looking HUGE, lol…


PeaPod’s udder is getting bigger… Her due date is just 12 days away!


And Tangerine is swelling up, too… Her due date is the 29th.


We’ve begun our morning “calf-check” walks. A wonderful way to begin each day… 🙂


Spring inside…

The anticipation of spring is one of my favorite times of the year. Thoughts of vibrant colors & new life are right around the corner. 🙂

It makes two of my least favorite chores enjoyable: hand-washing delicates, and ironing…time-consuming tasks that are tedious & slow moving. But this act of tenderly washing delicate craftmanship & smoothing out its wrinkles, parallels my walk with Jesus. And I love reflecting on this while I prepare for the new season, the new births, the new outdoor activities… Jesus has tenderly washed me of my sins, and straightens out the wrinkles of my life more and more each day. Fits so perfectly with preparing to celebrate His Resurrection in just a few weeks! 🙂

Thought I’d share some pics of what the transformation of spring looks like inside our home. 🙂











Marbles? Yes, marbles, lol… Love that they are old & colorful – and um, hidden meaning here… On those hard days when I feel overwhelmed and like I’m “losing my marbles” – this visual reminder will help me stop & LOOK UP to where my Hope comes from. 🙂











our bean soup recipe

Since this is a favorite soup of ours, we make a huge stockpot of it, and freeze portions for future meals. I like that I can make lots of soup without using up a bunch of our canned broths…

Hydrate 2 pounds+4 ounces of dried beans. (Click here for my “bean formula” & how we prepare our beans.)

Once hydrated, place in 8 quart stock pot with 6 quarts of water.


1-1/2 pounds cooked & drained ground beef

2 quarts of whole tomatoes, crushed

3 cups of chopped celery

3 T sea salt

3 t dried parsley flakes

6 garlic cloves, minced

3 t dried thyme

6 bay leaves

1 T coarse pepper

a couple whole hot peppers, optional

Cover the pot & allow soup to simmer for hours, stirring occasionally. It tastes great the day you make it, but gets better & better as days go by! (May need to remove the hot peppers after the first day or so, depending on how spicy you like your soup!) 🙂