Sunday, February 23, 2014

Frogs and Willow Trees

This has been the coldest winter we've had since moving here 15 years ago. One night it was -30 with the wind chill. The air made my skin hurt.  We've had lots of snow - and two storms that covered our farm with at least 6 inches of snow each time.  Nothing compared to y'all up north but quite  different for us here in the south!

However, towards the end of last week I stepped outside one evening to enjoy the stars.  There are not many lights out here in the country so sometimes it looks like the stars could be plucked from the sky. And then I heard it.....down in the far field.....frogs!  When the frogs begin to sing again, spring is in the air!  I love the song they sing and always wonder if it isn't praise to our Father!  I'd love to hear the translation but I'm just sure they are singing about His glory.

The next sign I'll be watching for is the "greening" of our willow tree by the pond.  It happens quickly.  Brown in the morning and tinges of green in the evening.  I expect it soon.  Then the peach trees will begin to blossom - usually too soon because we almost always have another frost that kills the buds.

At about the same time the willow tree begins to turn green, mint will spring up everywhere!  Come April, it will be time to start cutting and drying it.  I love mint in my tea, mint to season our food with and making ice cold "mint tea" for hot summer days!

In honor of spring, I'm putting all of our "mint" soaps on sale this week! Refreshing Rosemary & Mint Shampoo, my'll want to taste it (but don't!) Chocolate Ice, my germ busting Peppermint Tea Tree,  my best selling soap and personal favorite  Remy's Rosemary & Mint, and that scent from the past... Double Mint.  Save 20% on my "mint collection" starting now and ending at Friday at noon!

Hope spring is in the air at your home!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Whipped body butter volunteers?

I'm looking for a few local guinea pigs volunteers  who would be willing to try out my new whipped body butter and then give me an honest review!

This scent is based on my very popular Chocolate Ice if you don't like peppermint, this is not the time to volunteer.

Isn't she lovely?

 To volunteer...

1.  You must be local :)

2.  You must suffer from dry skin.

3.  You must be willing to give me your honest opinion ....I'm talking brutal people!

4.  I'd really like my jars back too!

Leave your name or zip me an email if you are brave enough.

Oh...Elijah says it tastes faintly minty with a hint of chocolate...seriously?

Maybe we should make another rule....this is not to be eaten - just slathered on your dry skin!

 Thanks in advance!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Life With Boys....

Don't know...

didn't ask....

 And yes....they are under my kitchen table...   

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter Cow Chasing...the new Olympic Sport!

We just tried sending 2 steers to the butcher. 

Notice the word tried.

My sons put the steers into the corral the night before the butcher came to pick them up. 

The plan: Butcher backs trailer up to the gate, we open the gate, steers walk into the trailer.  It is how it always goes....usually without a hitch.

Notice the word usually.

Elijah went down to open the gate for the butcher.  I watched from my window. The steers balked.  Even the butcher was surprised. Usually Jersey steers are pretty docile and cooperative.

There is that word usually...again.

They began snorting and tossing their heads. Backing away from the gate and moving forward.  I then watched one of them jump the fence! A 4 foot fence.  Like a cat or dog would do.  In 15 years, I've seen cows push through fences, try to walk through fences, find ways around fences but NEVER have I seen a cow just jump a fence. 

He got his feet tangled and fell on the other side of the fence.  Elijah got him untangled but now he was in the far field...that goes to the creek...that goes to the valley...

Elijah took off after him.  In the meantime, the other steer walked into the trailer and the butcher secured him.  I got my farm boots on, grabbed my coat and took off to help.

As I headed down the hill,  Elijah chased that steer back into the field that was secure.  That steer saw the open gate I was headed towards and began to run.  I know he was thinking "freedom".  I began to run downhill and it was a race to see who could get to the gate first!

I won. Barely...don't know if you know this but cows can run really fast!

As I swung that gate shut, Elijah tried to drive that steer back towards the corral.  And once again, that steer jumped a 4 foot fence next to the corral.  No...he didn't jump....this time he sailed over it.  Like he had wings.

Forget the "when pigs fly" about "when Jersey's fly"?

Elijah took off after him - now he was in the pond field - a whopping 11 acres with hills and valleys.  Elijah has the gift of perseverence, he would have chased that steer all day. What should have been a 15 minute operation had now turned into one hour of chasing this steer.

I called Elijah back and told the butcher to go ahead and haul the one steer.  We'll call him back to get the "jumper" when we have a few more people here to help.

Our new plan? Open to suggestions!

We may try to make that fence look bigger than it is. He only has to walk 6 - 8 feet to the trailer.

I know one thing...that jumping cow is going to taste so much better than the cooperative cow.  We've learned over the years that we always enjoy the more difficult cows the most.  Relief, and victory,  are lovely things to taste when it comes to cows!

This has been a wild winter.  According to the weatherman - it's about to get a lot wilder. Evidently, snow will start here in just a few hours and continue to Friday.  5 to 10 inches is what they are calling for.  It's headed our way from the gulf which has the locals murmuring about the winter of '93. I wasn't here then but after asking some questions I found out that 21 inches of snow came down pretty quickly.

I thought I lived in the south! 

This does not look like the south! This is our last snowfall...just about 2 weeks ago!

I like one good snow fall a year.  I still like to sled and make snowmen with my sons.  I might even throw a snowball or two (ok...I definitely throw snowballs!). Then I like to come in to warm by the fire with a cup of home made hot chocolate while a pot of baked potato soup simmers in the crockpot!  The best of winter...but once a year is enough.

Our temps have been to -17 (-30 with windchill). When it is that cold out it makes your face hurt, your skin burn, your bones ache and you just can't seem to get warm. You'd think we lived in the North Country like my friend Scott!  I'll spend this snowy Friday listening to his interview with Richard Grossman. Hope you'll join me - Scott talks about all things agrarian and Richard is an extremely knowledgeable farmer!

I think even our animals have been cold this winter.  It's so odd to see them walk around in a snowstorm with several inches of snow on their backs. We've been giving them a treat of beet pulp now and then with their hay. 

And we've been spoiling our horse with frequent apples.  He is spending a lot of time at the fence in front of my kitchen window looking very forlorn.  He looks across the yard right at me with those big, soft, brown eyes. I'm pretty sure he is begging.  I usually go out with a carrot or apple so I can stroke that lovely soft nose of his!

When the temps drop to single digits, we bring the farm dogs in for the night.  Boy are they getting spoiled! They've been in so much they now think it should be a daily thing.

The barn cats burrow down together into the hay in the hayloft and keep toasty warm. All that shared body heat!

Our chickens seem to be thriving through this very cold winter.  We've had no frostbite to their combs and we are still getting 6 to 8 eggs every day.  When it warms up to 32 we usually get 10 or more. I think I need recipes that use a ton of eggs!

I'm so thankful to my Father that all of the creatures he has entrusted to us have remained healthy this snowy winter.

How are y'all faring in this crazy weather?

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