Monday, May 30, 2011

Recent Projects!

We are overwhelmed with farm projects, so much we want to do - so much we need to do - so much we have to do!  We are having trouble prioritizing.  And we all want to do our project first!
One thing we can agree on is the garden must be put in the ground!  To that end we have been working on it each day.  So far we have 40 tomato plants in the ground, 12 cabbages, 30 ft of lettuce, beets, squash, and bell peppers!  We still need to plant; acorn squash, peas, sweet corn, green beans, carrots, watermelons, pumpkins, popcorn, and gourds!  It rained today so no planting, if the ground is not totally mucky tomorrow we will finish then.

Ileigh and Donagan have been working with the pony, Ellie.  She was left here for us as a gift.  She is very tiny, but pretty sweet.  Although like most ponies she can have a bit of an attitude!  The other day Ileigh, Donagan and Ferran took Ellie down to our Amish neighbors to buy milk.  Ferran rode Ellie, and she did great.  The neighbors milk tank was empty but they gave the children cookies and cold water.  Donagan said it was worth the walk just for the cookie!

My projects have mostly been inside, with the exception of the garden.  I have been getting used to cooking on the wood stove.  There is nothing like an egg cooked on a wood stove, nothing!!  They cook very slowly and calmly, they taste like a cross between a fried egg and a boiled one!  YUM!  I've made fried chicken, baked ham, cookies, spaghetti,  biscuits, sausage, lemon bars, grilled cheese.  But my biggest accomplishment has been homemade bread!!  I've made it twice, the first time was good but a bit heavy, the next time it was a bit flat, because it rose too long. I was trying to get oven hot enough, and there was a lack of wood.  The boys have had a hard time realizing I need wood all day, every day, and they need to bring it in to me!! But they are getting there!

All in all we have been very busy, there is so much to do.  We just get done what we can in one day and go to bed thinking of all we can get done tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Trying to find a Solution

I am sitting at Mc Donalds in our town using their wi-fi because ours is all but useless on our farm.  The signal out there is just about non-exsistent.  I had hopes of posting every few days and puting up tons of pictures, but alas that is not to be.  I try not to go into town more than once a week, so the plan for now is to bring the laptop with me and blog then.  Not the most relaxed way to blog, but it will work!
I would like to make a few more posts now, but the weather radio, is saying severe storms are coming so I need to get home and batten down the hatches!!  By the way the tornados that hit Mo this week have been very south of us, so we here are thankfully fine!  Please remember the victims in your prayers!

Night Light

Here is our farmhouse at dusk, I love the way the oil lamp create a soft glow.  It relaxes the children and the grown-ups!  By 9:30 those of us not in bed are ready for it!!  It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be to not have electric lights, the children use flashlights upstairs, and we use the lamps and lanterns on the main floor.  I have been surprised by how quickly we have gone through lamp oil.  We have always had oil lamps, but we just used them for fun and power outages, when you use them every evening for 2 or 3 hours, it really goes fast!  
If you have any questions please feel free to ask, we're not experts on off-grid living, but would love to help you if we can!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Letters to Grandma

                                                       Dear Grandma,
I wanted to write and tell you all about my wood cookstove.  She is simply beautiful....lots of shiny chrome, and a firebox with a window in it.  I think you would be impressed!  We had some trouble getting it hooked up, the correct stove pipe was hard to find, and although there is lots of Amish around here we couldn't find anyone to help us get it going.  Dane persevered and we finally got it up and running.  I LOVE seeing the fire in the box, it is really nice!  The stainless steel top turned black as the fire got hotter, apparently this is normal, but at first I was appalled and worried we'd done something wrong!  So far I have cooked about 90% of our food with it, we are still using the propane burners Mom and Dad got us for Christmas some.  I LOVE coffee cooked on it, I can put a pot of coffee on in the evening and stoke the stove and go to bed, when I get, strong coffee, it is so tasty.  I am actually having a cup right now, I wish you were here to have one with me, I think you would be proud of what we're tyring to accomplish here!  My stove is such a part of my childhood dreams, I ALWAYS wanted one, I loved when you would cook pancakes on it for me, clown face ones!!  I can still see you standing front of it, poking wood in the firebox, moving pans and pots around, asking what shape we wanted our pancake!  Thank you, for such pleasant childhood memories, you made my life complete!

                      Your Granddaughter,

My Grandma Frankie played a MAJOR part in my life as far as old-fashioned living was concerned, she made the simple life fun and enviable.  Sadly she passed away in 2007, I wish more than anything I could show her my stove and my farm, I think she would approve!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

We Are Still Here

Hello Bloggy Friends and Family,
I feel so bad about not being able to post or answer emails.   We have NO signal here at our farmhouse and it's not much better in town, apparently our cell phone company is not supported in this area, I am looking at different options, hoping to find one that does not cost an arm and leg!!
Here are some pictures, this is not how I wanted this to work, I am sorry, soon I hope to have this all figured out!
Ok, I can't get the pics to work, I am going to publish this now and work on pics in a minute!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We Did Make It !!

Hello all,
Sorry, sorry sorry for not posting sooner, our laptop battery was dead and it took us until today to find the inverter to charge it up!  We have tons of pictures and tons of news.
A few highlights,
Have managed to heat water in the wood fired boiler for bathes for everyone, yeah!
Have met our Amish neighbors, and had some stay for lunch!!
My boys have hauled manure all day and were complemented by above mentioned neighbors for their willingness to work and stick with it!  Made me proud!
Our stove has been delivered and sits waiting in my kitchen to be hooked up!!!, tomorrows job, yeah
Have met new friends who were very kind and brought us Morel Mushrooms, yuumm, and phone books and offers of help whenever we need it!!
I would say all in all it has been a successful few days on the farm.  I have MUCH more to tell you and MANY pictures to show you, BUT Ileigh is asleep and she is the only one who knows how to get pictures on the computer, so that will have to wait for tomorrow!
If you think of us please say a prayer as most of the family is quite ill with a cold and cough.  Thank you very much, more to come I PROMISE!!