Category Archives: Nature

A purple sweet potato pie

Our friends grew some purple sweet potatoes this year, and we were blessed to receive some of their harvest.โ˜บ๏ธ [click here to read more about Ipomoea batatas]

After we brainstormed a bit for possible choices, Mike’s mom chose a “purple* sweet potato pie for her birthday “cake!”๐ŸŽ‚

*Some funny behind-the-scenes-trivia: we actually thought these were called “BLUE sweet potatoes,” so the whole time we were working with them, we kept remarking about how PURPLE they looked!๐Ÿ˜‚ Glad to learn they are, in-fact, PURPLE!๐Ÿ˜*

I have two sweet potato pie recipes in my collection. Decided to do the simpler one here, so we could get a better appreciation of the purple color. First I washed, and then boiled 1.2# pounds of taters for about 40 minutes.

After that, I ran cold water over them and started by peeling skin off with a knife but ended with just using my hands and rubbing the skin off. Came off SO easy!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Had about 50 grams more than the one pound of sweet potatoes the recipe called for, but decided to just use it all.

Added 4 oz. of our butter and was struck by the color contrast of deep yellow & vibrant purple!๐Ÿ˜

Mixed above well, and then added the rest of the ingredients:

1c (145g) sucanat, 1/2c (4 oz.) milk, 2 eggs, 1/2t ground nutmeg, 1/2t ground cinnamon, & 1t vanilla extract. Mixed on medium speed until mixture was smooth, and poured it into the single pie crust I made before I started.

For it, I added 140g of unbleached flour to 4g of sea salt + 78g of butter and used my pastry blender to pulse it up. Added 2.5T cold water and blended it a bit more until it formed a ball. Rolled it out and formed my crust.

Baked it for about 1 hour and 5 minutes at 350ยฐ.

And here you can really see the purple vs. blue color next to this blue lid…๐Ÿ˜‰

Tasted great and was fun to celebrate Mom’s birthday with this pie!โค๏ธ

Thank You, Lord, for the gifts of family, friends, harvests, sharing, and celebrations. You weave everything together in amazing ways…Amenโค๏ธ


So many storms going on right now. Details might be different, but the needs are the same. I was led to Isaiah 40:11 this morning while I was praying for a friend and it struck me how the answer is always the same: JESUS! He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Good Shepherd, the Comforter, PEACE.โœ๏ธ

Father, draw more to Yourself through these storms in our lives. As we submit to You, help us to recognize You are THE SUSTAINER: carrying and gently leading us. You will never leave us nor forsake us. PRAISE GOD!๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผโค๏ธ

[pondering Isaiah 40:11, Matthew 11:28-30, John 14:6, John 10:11, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, John 14:27, Deuteronomy 31:6]

Resting in green pastures

Getting the girls this morning for milking…this scene made me think of Psalm 23, especially verses 2-3.  He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.

Lord, our girls are so good at resting in green pastures. Show me how to feel rested like that. Restore my soul in the midst of Today. Amen๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

10th calf 2017

FINALLY – Fiskars had her calf! Went up this morning and saw a cute little white face laying near her. {click here to read about when Fiskars was born}

This is her 3rd calf for us. {click here to read about last year’s calf} We gave Fiskars to Paul when she was a calf, and he promptly renamed her Bubby.๐Ÿ™„  This birth makes her an “official” cow.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ She’s graduated from first-calf heifer, to second-calf heifer, to cow…๐ŸŽ“

It was just Mike & I, so we headed back down to the barn to set the gates/fences up and grab a halter. The calf was pretty laid back and it was easy for Mike to get the halter on it.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

It’s a boy!!๐Ÿ˜Š

Fiskars walked this poor little guy all over Mordor before we got them through the gate. Seemed like it took forever to get them down to the barn. She pretty much zigzagged all the way down, so it’s like he walked double the distance.๐Ÿ˜ฌ Ended up having Paul meet us and carry him to the barn for the last leg. He was tuckered out!๐Ÿฎ

Fiskars meeting Junior…๐Ÿ˜ป

Paul and his girlfriend decided to name him: Jed. “How did you guys come up with that, Paul?” I asked.๐Ÿค” “It was a cross between Jeffrey and Fred, Mom,” replied Paul.๐Ÿ˜ณ Lolol – ok – there ya have it! A perfectly random name from my dry-humored, random child.  Jed.๐Ÿ˜‚โค

Jed ate like a champ this afternoon.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Taking pics was a challenge, though, as Junior photobombed almost every pic, lol…๐Ÿ™ƒ

New tally: 6 boys and 4 girls. Not quite sure exactly how many more we’ll have this season. We think 1 for sure, but it could be 2 or 3…๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Last year, the neighbor’s bull jumped our fence twice. Soooo – if a calf is born before the 27th of this month, it would be from our bull. And any calves after that, would not be…๐Ÿ˜‰ Time will tell how all that will work out. Stay tuned!๐ŸŽฌ

9th calf 2017

Got up to Mordor this morning and saw our heifer RedRobin looking like this:

Sure looked like she had just had a calf – but there was no calf to be seen…๐Ÿ˜ฒ

So Mike and I split up and began searching. I looked inside the fence, and Mike looked outside the fence.๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿป (We try to keep the cows away from this area due to all the briars; but for some reason, they love to hang out right at the edge…๐Ÿ˜ฌ)

Wasn’t but a couple minutes and Mike spotted the calf. Outside the fence. Encased in briars.๐Ÿ™„

Decided to leave it be until we had the halter and the boys to help bring them down. So Mike headed back to the barn, and I waited up in the field for them all to come back. Here is RedRobin staring at where her calf was laying from her side of the fence.

And here is a picture from the opposite direction so you can see the single line of fence sectioning off that area. (RedRobin on the left, and calf hidden on the right.)

Here come my boys…โคโคโค

They positioned themselves around the area in case the calf decided to bolt. (WHICH WAS A REALLY GOOD IDEA, LOL)๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Can kinda see Michael’s head as he waited by his post…๐Ÿ”Ž

As Mike got close, the calf jumped up…

And it took him and Paul to keep the calf from running so they could get the halter on it. NOT fun amidst thick, sticky briars…๐Ÿ˜–

RedRobin started bawling as she heard her calf…

They enjoyed their reunion, and all was well.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Meet our 5th bull: Smith. We are so thankful our second first-timer this year had her calf unassisted and healthy! (First one was Pinetar with her twins.) One more heifer to calve yet this season…๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

{Click here to read about when RedRobin was born.}

RedRobin led us all around the outskirts of Mordor. And Smith did a good job following her, but you could tell he was losing some of his steam.

Right about here RedRobin pretty much said goodbye to Smith and started down to the barnyard at a brisk pace…๐Ÿ˜‘

With his mama long gone, Smith lost his momentum and ended up hitching a ride in the wagon the rest of the way…๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

(Sorry – couldn’t resist putting that pic in…๐Ÿ˜ป)

Updated tally: 5 boys and 4 girls. (2 more, we think!)๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

8th calf 2017

I guess afternoon babies is the trend this season! Went up around 2 and found Gluey with her calf…in a mud pit…๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ฌ (This is typical Gluey-style. She drives us crazy sometimes!)๐Ÿ˜

Mike encouraged them to move to a different area, and they were headed that way when we left. Figured we’d give Gluey time to clean him up proper and check back in a bit.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Wesson is our 4th bull this season. [Click here to read about Gluey’s calf last year.]

Here’s a better picture of him a couple hours later…๐Ÿ˜Š

Now our count is even: 4 boys and 4 girls. 3 more calves left (we think)…๐Ÿ˜‰

Stop back later tomorrow to see the pics from Gluey and Wesson’s trip down to the barn.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽฌ


Added from this morning 3-31-17

What a rainy, muddy mess it is today!โ˜”๏ธ

As soon as Gluey saw us coming, she and Wesson hightailed it AWAY from us.๐Ÿ™„ 

Thankfully, we could kinda direct them towards the gate. So we waited for a good opportunity to get the halter on Wesson. Seized it when we got it, and all went well the rest of the way down.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

7th calf 2017

So today’s calf has a different story… Uno had her calf, with emergency vet assistance, in the milking barn.๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Not the way we prefer, but sometimes this is how farming goes. We are grateful there are those trained to handle these types of situations, and that they can arrive when we need them to.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Mike and I had done a calf-check up in Mordor around 2, and all was well. But when Mike’s mom took her walk this evening, she noticed Uno walking around/pacing with a foot sticking out – and the foot was not facing the normal direction… Here is Uno.

I don’t have the best view here, but you can barely see a white hoof sticking out towards the top of her tail…

Fortunately, we didn’t have a ballgame tonight, so the boys joined Mike and I and we brought Uno down to the barn to get her in a headlock.

This kinda stuff is really out of our league. So we made the decision to make an emergency call to our vet. Within 45 minutes, Dr. Angel arrived and to our delight, pulled out a backwards calf – ALIVE! In less than 10 minutes!๐Ÿ˜ฏ Truly amazing!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Here are some pics that are a bit graphic. Feel free to skip over them if they aren’t to your liking…๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh – and it’s a boy! Welcome Breech! (Thought the name seemed appropriate since he arrived backwards and it also loosely fits the gun category…๐Ÿ˜) He is Uno’s second calf for us. [Click here to read about her calf last year.] And click here to read about when Uno was born.

Check back tomorrow to see how things went overnight for mama and calf. Sadly, Uno left Breech to go outside to eat and look for her friends…๐Ÿ˜ก 

We placed some hay around him so it wasn’t as slippery, and toweled off Breech as best we could. Mike+Michael carried him outside to the grass. With a flashlight, we directed Uno over to Breech, and thankfully, she began to tend to him again. We took a couple pics that looked like progress to us, so we’ll see how things are in the morning.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽฌ


Next morning: 3-29-17

Such a beautiful site as we came over to begin our day…

Although, Breech was on the wrong side of the fence, you could tell Uno took good care of him through the night.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

We knew Breech must have been able to walk ok since they were in a different location from when we left them last night, but we were surprised at his quick maneuvering when Mike went to put the halter on! Mike almost had tackle him to keep him from running!๐Ÿ™ƒ But all ended fine and he’s settled in the barn. Thank You, Lord!โค

Tally: 4 girls, 3 boys (and 4 to go, we think!)๐Ÿฎ