Not What I Intended

I was hoping to get some cute video footage of baby cows walking. But instead, I got this.


I call it

"Momma Cow Standing"

Or alternately:

"I just had a baby and it's still kinda hard to stand up"



video

One of these is not like the other

Along the one side of our cow pastures there is a whole row of small pine trees. Well, the used to be small. Now they are each about 5-6 feet tall. They still seem small, but they are growing pretty fast.

Most of them look like this:



But one of them, out of at least 30 or 40, looks like this.

It has pine cones.

It must be an overachiever.

Baby cows don't know any better

The grown up cows now that they are given one section of pasture every day, and they must stick to that one pasture. They have learned to be content with what they are given.

But for little cows, the grass is always greener on the other side of the piece of twine that divides the pasture into pieces.

So you will often find them like this:
They know that momma won't cross that line. But they aren't phased by it, and off they trot to take a nap free from mom's watchful eye. (Though momma is never very far - that is her closest to the twine, staring at me)
Mom let's him be; you got to let the kids make their own mistakes sometimes.

But that freedom comes to a screeching halt when danger is around. The danger this time would be me and my camera. I looked a little too interested, and suddenly momma cow starts moooing like crazy. I tried to get some on video, but I hit the wrong button. So for now, just envisions really angry mooing.

Baby cow pretends not to hear, and momma cow elevates the mooing. If baby cow continues to ignore it, other cows will join in.

Eventually, baby cow obeys.

He gets up on his wobbly legs and saunters back to momma who undoubtedly gives him a severe tongue lashing.

Protective Mothers

Given that the cows with names (Molly, Big Bird, Bert and Ernie) all have names because they were abandoned by their mothers, one might begin to think that cows make for lame mothers. But as a general rule, this is not true. They are actually quite protective.

Quite protective.
They get this look on their faces that means business.

See it here? Momma cow, with baby cow behind. I am standing quite a ways away, but she can tell that I have taken an interested in that cute little blob, and she put on her don't-even-think-about-it face.


They all do it. See:

Another momma cow, another sleeping baby cow, and another evil glare complete with ears folded back.

Here I got the evil glare from 4 mothers all at once.


If you push the limits, they start mooing. Intense mooing. Angry mooing. Very different from talking-to-other-cows-mooing.

Then there is the mooing at the baby cows mooing. But more on that tomorrow.

Cracker Barrel

Last weekend Mon Amour and I went to Cracker Barrel with my parents to celebrate dad's birthday.

These are my parents:


In this photo, dad is taking advantage of one of the many great reasons to go to Cracker Barrel: the little peg jumping game that you get on your table. Good times. There is also the over sized checkers boards scattered around, but our food came too quickly, so we were not able to take advantage of that one.

Cracker Barrel was a family vacation tradition for my family. I had not been for a long time and had forgotten why I liked it. There are many reasons...but here are 2 of the top reasons:

The Root Beer.

Stewart's. Yum



The biscuits.

Hands down, yummiest biscuits anywhere.
The onion rings are quite tasty too.

Additionally - they serve downright enormous portions. Dad had room for dessert, but that is because he works 20 hour days and tries to sleep the other 4, leaving no room for eating. So he has to make up for it at some point.

After dinner(once we could move again, which took a little while considering all the food), we went to a nearby park and walked around. Mon Amour took pictures, I chatted with the parents.

It was a beautiful evening.

Mon Amour took a bunch of cool "Artistic" photos - which may become the subject of a future post since they will be fun to edit. But for now, here is just a sample, un-edited.


We walked some more, talked some more. Then eventually it was time to call it a day. It was approaching 8pm, and given dads horrendous work schedule, he also has to catch up on sleep whenever he can. This means that 8pm is bed time. So we called it a day.

In fact, we called it a very enjoyable day.

Smith

Given the relative success of my previous edited photo, I tried it again. This time with a picture that I thought I liked straight out of the camera.....
Note: Yes, I know that I did a horrible job smudging out our mailbox number. But its ok, I am only 1/2 paranoid about revealing where I live. I.e. - I feel like I should be concerned, but I am not too much.

This is our mail box. It says Smith. That is not our name. But I think it is fitting some how. One day when we move, I am going to miss the fact that our mailbox says Smith.


Nice picture, yes? At least, I think so.



Then I did this:



Namely, turned the saturation WAAAAYYY up!



We call it super-vibrant.
It looks a little artificial. But I love it.

What do you think?

Barley

I learn something new about the farm every day...or at least every week.

This week I learned that we grow barley. I saw the farmer filling his planter with bags of seed - and later found these in the garbage:

Barley. Who knew.

I also didn't know that barley seed is a little pink in color. See:


How interesting.

It's always a new adventure around here.

Preparing to Hibernate

Now that it is officially fall, it is time to start worrying about this:


Our very small wood pile. We are going to need a LOT more than this. Like a LOT a LOT more.

I asked the landlady where they get their wood - and she said "The Farm".
Not helpful.
I gave her my confused look.
"You can borrow our chain saw"
Also not helpful.
"Hmm..." I say.

That was all the helpful info she had, and since neither Mon Amour nor I are skilled with a chain saw, I think we may need to find other means of getting some firewood...

Fall - Edited

Today is the first day of fall. I really like fall. I have already been enjoying fall, despite the fact that it has technically still been summer. It's felt like fall, so I enjoy it.

The tree below has also been anticipating fall. It's been losing leaves for weeks now.

So, Mon Amour thinks that I should edit some of my pictures. That they are nice. But with a little editting, they would be extra nice. I am a skeptic. I don't have the patience for editting, and typically when I edit, I can either not tell a difference, or end up liking the original better.

But I humored him. Below is the original photo:


And here it is with my edits:


What do you think? Better? Worse? Neutral?

Mostly Dead

I think I may have posted about this before, but I can't remember, and even if I have, it still boggles my mind, so we will post about it again.

This is what the corn looks like right now:

It's mostly dead.

But there it sits.

The farmer waits until it's very dead before harvesting it. It's feed corn, as in, human's don't eat this kind. They harvest it when it's dead and grind it all up until animal feed.

It still boggles my mind that we let it sit there until it's dead though. Seems counter intuitive.

Curly on top

This little lady is about 1 year old.


And she has a little patch of curly hair on the top of her head.

Daphne

You probably don't know this about me....but I play the harp.
The reason you probably don't know this about me is because I sort of took a 1+ year break from harping. For no particular reason except that it wasn't a priority for me.

Then when I did want to play - there would be a broken string - which would involve buying a string, waiting for it to arrive, and then figuring out how to re-string it.

Note the broken strings:

Yeah. Well, I paid a lot of money for this instrument, and on top of that, I really do enjoy playing. So, after a year's sabatical, and 2 seperate string order, my beauteous harp has a complete set of strings, and I am going to play again. At least once a week. That's the goal.

Here she is:

Pardon the unmade bed and all that; and the protective case around the base.


Eventually I will post more about how I got started in the world of harping, and all that jazz. But for now, a simple introduction.

Harp, this is my blog. Blog readers, this is my harp. Her name is Daphne. She is a Salvi Daphne 47 extended sounded board pedal harp. She is as fancy as they come in the harp world, unless you wanted it gold plated, which just seems excessive.


A little wide

It was more obvious in person, so in case you can't tell - this cow is extra wide.


Like pregnant-wide.
Crazy to think that she is walking around with a little cow inside her - lots of pounds and hooves and everything.

Homemade: Pasta

This past weekend Mon Amour and I embarked on an exciting homemade adventure. We made homemade pasta. It was Mon Amour's idea. We have done it once before. It is not something I intend to continue to make from scratch...at least on a regular basis. Why use 4 eggs, 4 cups and flour and tons of time, when I can get equivalent results for less than 1 dollar from a box. Granted, there are some benefits - I suspect our pasta had more protein and normal ingredients than your every day box of pasta. I read the ingredients on a store bought box - whoa. It's ridiculous how I have no idea what they put in that. Crazy.

Anyway - that said, the pasta making was fun, and probably healthy. And not terribly expensive. But it was frightfully time consuming. Let me show you.

You need - 4 eggs, 3 1/2 -4 cups flour and a dash of salt.


Make a well of flour (and salt) in your bowl.
Put 4 eggs into said well.


Gently whisk the eggs, adding in some of the flour.

Mix in more flour...until you can knead it like a dough.

Knead into a ball. Refrigerate 30 minutes or so. When it comes out it will be yellow-ish and spring back when you poke it.

Roll it out.

Then slice it with a handy dandy herb-dicer. Or pasta maker, if you have one. We used the herb-dicer.


You'll end up with strips of pasta dough.

Separate the strips and put the in a heap. This makes a huge heap of pasta.

Bring some water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil for about 5 minutes.

Strain.

Then, pasta's done.

It's very yummy.

It was additionally yummy because we then added tomatoes and basil...


and topped with chicken wrapped in bacon.


It was quite a delicious dinner.


Cow Babies

It's the season for cow babies again. I think it was cow-baby season when I started this blog...so we must be coming up on one year of blogging. crazy.

Anyway - let me introduce you to the farm's newest:


You know how when you spend time with an older baby - say 4 or 5 months and up - and then you get to hold a new born and it just boggles your mind how small they are? Well, it's the same with cow babies. Big Bird has been on the farm since he was just a couple days - and he is not a couple months. But I still consider him to be tiny. Or at least I did, until I saw this little wobbly legged fella. He's tiny!

His mom is VERY protective. Look at those ferociously perked up ears!

I have a weakness for all things baby. What ever is most baby in proximity to me captures my heart. And right now the most baby thing around here is this:


How can you not love that face?

He needs a name. I think I shall call him (or her...I am not really sure) Snuffleupagus.

Marge, an ongoing expense

When we got Marge, we knew that she would add to our monthly expenses. She is not terribly expensive, but she does add a couple things to our budget that wouldn't be there if it weren't for her. Mostly those things are food, or chew toys - so I guess you could say she is eating through our budget.

But we didn't really expect her to literally eat our budget.


But she did.
Just one dollar's worth.
She pulled it our of Mon Amour's wallet.
And she swallowed part of it. So there will be no taping it back together

I know its only $1, but some how it felt really wrong putting that dollar in the trash.

Marge only felt marginally guilty.



Skinless Tomato Sauce

The other week, I decided to set out on what I considered to be a grand cooking adventure. I was going to blanche something for the first time in my life. This is how it went:

I started with some tomatoes from my garden:


I then cut an X in the bottom of each tomato. Not very deep - just a little slice.

I then boiled water, and when it was boiling vigorously, I plopped in the tomatoes.

One minute later I used my slotted spoon to scoop them out and plop them in a bowl of ice water.

I kept them in the ice water for a few minutes to make sure to fully cool them down.

Then - much to my great surprise and delight - it worked! Look at this:


It's a tomato, peeling itself basically. The skin is just falling off.
I helped it a bit to get it all the way off and ended up with lots of naked tomatoes.


At this point I could have done any number of things with the tomatoes. I thought about cutting them in half and freezing them. But I figured it I did that, I would just thaw them later to make sauce of them. So why not make sauce now, then freeze the sauce.

So I chopped them up and threw them in a pot.

Simmered for some time (probably 2 hours when all was said and done, though they would have been fine at 30 or 45 minutes as well)

Then took my trusty potato masher and gave them a good mash.


I added some herbs, and eventually it looked like this:


I poured it in a jar, and will use it for spaghetti, baked pasta, pizza, etc etc etc.