"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway


Friday, March 30, 2012

Real Food: Yogurt


I am on such a 'rant' with yogurt at the moment! Purchasing what I like is not easy for me due to geographic's. So, let's dissect yogurt - real yogurt. 

Now, for the sake of argument, I am going to be referring to yogurt when you are purchasing it from a store -- making you own is usually the better option, but that is a whole other post for another day :)

Reading labels is so crucial anymore if you truly want to know what you are buying and eating. Just because something claims to be 'natural', 'organic' or 'cage-free', doesn't mean you are getting what you think you are. *Gasp* I know - how annoying. No wonder so many people throw in the towel and go on with life and the motto 'Well it hasn't killed me yet'. It is so frustrating with all the false advertising. But the key word there was yet!

Let me first say, I purchase PLAIN yogurt and then I add my own flavorings - maple syrup, honey or homemade fruit syrups etc. Plain yogurt is an acquired taste...or at least it was to me. If you are used to eating the fruity, chemical packed yogurt cups dyed to look pretty, it will probably be an acquired taste to you at first too. And you might need to help yourself get used to the texture. It isn't molded into the container, jiggling like Jell-o, all while holding the shape you scooped it out in!

Second, I always purchase full fat yogurt. I don't buy into, or purchase, any of the 'low-fat' and 'fat-free' labeled garbage out there. Because...it is garbage. Another good topic for a later post!

So with that being said, my first choice for yogurt is the Seven Stars Farm Brand.
I.LOVE.THIS.YOGURT! 

It's ingredient list is simple: organic whole milk [from Jersey or Guernsey cows*] made in small batches right on their farm, only adding in natural live active cultures Acidophilus & Bifidus.
Their cows are pasture grazed as long as possible before snow sets in and their farm is cared for using biodynamic and organic practices. I could go on and on about all the great things they do, but you can check it out for yourself here!

Unfortunately, the closest store to me that sells it is not right around the corner -- it is about a 35-40 minute drive from me...and in the opposite direction of where I usually am traveling. So, I can't just swing in regularly to pick some up. 



When I can't take the trip to purchase the Seven Stars Farm brand yogurt, my back up choice is Dannon's All Natural, Plain Yogurt. But, again, I had to read the ingredient list; just because it says 'All Natural', doesn't mean it really is.

The ingredient list for Dannon's All Natural Plain Yogurt is: Cultured Grade A Milk. It also notes further down on the container that it contains Active Yogurt Cultures including Acidophilus.

That is pretty cut and dry. Chances are the milk is from some Holstein working overtime, pumped with hormones and antibiotics, in a feed lot type industrial dairy barn - a far cry from Seven Stars pasture grazed gals. I realize this and take this into consideration. These are things that are not printed on the products container - I doubt they ever will be - but when consumers educate themselves, these are the things you 'see' when you read into the label. And you make the ultimate decision what you are, and are not, okay with. 


At my latest trip to a local grocer, neither of these choices were an available option so I had to check out all those that were, and again, make the best educated decision possible. I chose this Stonyfield brand [below] of Organic Plain Yogurt.

Let me preface by saying, I have read up enough and learned enough by now to be hesitant of most larger companies touting themselves as natural, organic and everything rainbows and green grass with happy, content livestock. When you go to the Stonyfield website, it screams corporation with a marketing department paid to make you think they are natural, organic & earth loving hippie farmers ... but maybe it is just me that notices things like this since my professional career is in the marketing field. I much prefer to pull up a website like the Seven Stars one; this site looks like a small, family-ran farm that does love the earth, and their cows, and has doesn't have a marketing department that meets in the board room to finalize marketing plans. Their 'boardroom' probably doubles as the mud room in their barn :)

So, where was I? Oh yes, about the Stonyfield yogurt. Well, who knows if they are truly organic - sad you can't trust what the label says, isn't it? How's this article for a smack in the face? I know it is dated, but none the less. According to their container, their 'Organic Promise' is that the yogurt is made without the use of antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones and persistent pesticides. Another thing that makes me wonder is the claim it touts that the yogurt  'tastes creamier than ever' - I ask, why? What did you chose to add to it to make it that way. And for the record, I don't care for the yogurt - taste or texture.

The ingredient list is the longest yet out of the three brands compared here: cultured pasteurized organic whole milk, pectin, vitamin D3 and six live active cultures.(elsewhere on the container, the 6 live active cultures are listed and include the ones we've already seen on the other brands, acidophilus & bifidus).

Things on this list that immediately struck me were the added pectin; I assume this was to achieve their creamier texture which is probably done to ultimately please consumers since they are most used to the industrialized yogurt of today's age molded into cups. My other immediate thought was the addition of D3 - why? Shouldn't that already be in your milk? But, if you are using pasteurized milk, D3 most likely is killed of in the pasteurization process. Stonyfield, unlike Dannon, is marketing themselves to be the happy, hippie organic farm yogurt so they want to make sure you know that D3 is in there. Dannon doesn't tout this on their container so while D3 was probably lost in the pasteurization of the milk they used too, they don't really have a need to discuss that with their consumers. People who buy Stonyfield and people who choose to buy Dannon are most likely 2 different types of consumers....or on rare occasion, maybe a freak like me that make a novel of a blog post out of the whole thing!




****

After dissecting these three yogurts, I think it is clear, if you are trying to go the route of a Whole/Real foods diet and you are purchasing your yogurt from a grocery store, your best choice is going to be Seven Stars Farm. They can be tough to locate, but if you find it, you have a gem! And boy wouldn't it be nice to be local to them; they now offer heavy whipping cream in their local area. Also good to note is that they are listed in the 2012 Weston A. Price Foundation's Shopping Guide as a 'Best' Choice for yogurt! (For further record, neither Stonyfield or Dannon are listed in there). The Cornucopia Institute gives them a '5 Cow Outstanding' rating on their website as well.

And gosh, I may just have to forgo my other choice options after re-reading this myself and make sure I am always stocked up with Seven Stars!

So are you curious what is in the yogurt in your fridge right now? Go look! I bet it has all kinds of sugars, like high fructose corn syrup, some other nasty stuff, and probably the ever ambiguous 'natural flavorings', which can really mean MSG, or, really, anything. Thanks FDA...thanks!


*Of course I don't stress over what breed of cow my dairy comes from...for the most part! But is is good to know when it comes from quality Jersey or Guernsey breeds -- their milk is top quality when cared for properly, compared to the Holstein breed, which for the most part, has become so industrialized it is like the Cornish Broiler Chicken of the Industrial Poultry World.

***
This post is linked up at Freaky Friday, Monday ManiaYour Green Resource and Real Food 101

***
All opinions on this blog post are 100% mine! I was not compensated by any companies mentioned.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Hive has Arrived!


Late last evening, around dusk, the honey bee hive arrived in the orchard.


We are 'renting', you could say, the hive to be here while the orchard trees are in bloom. 
I am excited to watch the bees work and see how they help our fruit produce!


It would be neat to eventually have our own hive so that we could harvest our own honey, but one thing at a time. The laying chicks arrive in less than 2 weeks!


Stay tuned for many more photos of the hive and it's residence! I am told by the beekeeper there is between 75,000-100,000 bees in there!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - End of March



I don't know why I say 'Wordless' Wednesday...I can't go without saying anything! But here is a glimpse at the end of March on the farm!

Broccoli Seedlings


Copra Onions


End of March Blooms


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pink - The Magical Moment


We are about a month ahead of what's consider the norm in the orchard. This weather has been wacky, to say the least.

A few Pear trees have already blossomed on us and most of the Apple trees are already in their magical 'pink' stage.






Pink is the short stage right before full bloom. You will hear some apple farmers refer to it as the magical stage. I'd imagine that is because it is gorgeous and it doesn't even last long enough for you to blink!

These photos are from Saturday. Last evening, Monday night, we had a frost roll in. This is a very delicate stage for the trees so we are keeping our fingers crossed the frost didn't do too much damage.  We'll know in another few weeks when we get actual fruit sets on the trees.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan [plan for leftovers!]

This is a pretty easy meal plan for the week, depending on the size of household you plan to feed. We had leftovers available for lunches and for a dinner as well.

Monday: Crockpot Shredded Beef Tacos with Mexican Rice.
The Mexican rice is super easy! Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a dutch ove pot. Stir in a chopped onion, garlic and 1 cup of rice and sautee until it starts to lightly brown. Pour in 2 cups of chicken stock, or water, and one can of diced tomatos, 1 tsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and take down to a simmer. Let it cook for about 15-18 minutes, until rice is tender. Once finished, remove from heat, stire in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and some cilantro & enjoy! The best part is, you can change this up to meet your tastes! When peppers are in season in the garden, we like to add those too! And note, you have to use 'regular' rice for this recipe -- quick cooking type rices won't work!

Tuesday: Steak on the grill with Baked Potatos

Wednesday: BBQ Crockpot Western Style Ribs
I am still working on this recipe, but this time around wasn't bad. I mix up my own 'bbq' sauce. Also, for this, I use bone-in western style ribs because, a) they have more meat than a spare rib and b) when cooking in the crock pot for 10-ish hours, bone-in works better with a long cooking time. They don't dry out as fast. If you turn on your crock before you leave for an 8 hour work day, you know you likely don't get to the food it is cooking for at least 10 hours :)

Thursday: Leftovers
We still had plenty of shredded beef left over for some quick soft tacos/burritos as well as some ribs from the night prior.

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night!
This is a handy, quick meal. Make up some of your favorite pizza dough or pick up a dough ball from your local pizza parlor on your way home! If you make your own, usually the recipes call for enough to make 2, so you can freeze one for next Friday :) Our favorite way to do pizza, which happens to be my husband speciality, is to simmer down a can of whole tomatos and a small can of tomato sauce, add our favorite seasonings and then we kick it up a tad with some crushed red pepper, load it with cheese and some mushrooms and cook!


So, what are you cooking for dinner this week?

Linked up with Pennywise Platter!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sights of Spring!


Signs of Spring are everywhere on the farm.

It's gorgeous.

I can't believe it is March!


Magnolia Bush...smells heavenly...


Shedding Pony!

'Pink'....more on this coming soon...

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Weekend Dance


TGIF
This has been one.long.week!
Seriously, thank god it is Friday!


Even if my little babe still isn't feeling this well again yet!




Happy Weekend Everyone :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Motherhood Hazing Ritual

I realize I am not the first mother this has ever happened to, nor will I be the last. More so, I realize I have just been added to 'the majority', so that is why I can now say I have completed another motherhood hazing episode? event? rite of passage?

Let me explain. Tuesday evening when we got home for the night, I could tell the babe wasn't feeling all too great. He'd felt warm to me for a day or so, but otherwise was eating and acting normal. Tuesday evening after he ate, he was sitting in middle of the kitchen very still and quiet - very unlike him. I figured he was just doing his business in his diaper, but he sat their longer than normal. No fussing with the dog water bowl or the door to the basement - just sitting.

I picked him up and headed to his room for a diaper change. No sooner did I have one foot on the carpeted hallway and the other almost on the wooden bedroom floor and it was a scene from the exorcist. Projectile vomit - dead on - down the [inside] front of my shirt, then again in my hair, and again, and again. I stood there stunned. I didn't see that coming! And the poor kid looked like a 21 year-old the morning after their birthday. Sweating, beat red and exhausted....and covered in puke. We were both COVERED in puke.

I yelled out to Allen who was outside cleaning the horse stalls. I asked him if he could come in and help, that the kid had puked all over and I needed assistance. He then yells back 'Do you really need me to come in? I am all dirty!!'. WAS HE SERIOUS?

So I strip off what clothing I could right there, then waddle out to the patio, baby on hip, still covered from the waist up in vomit and say 'CAN YOU HELP ME PLEASE?' -- once he saw us, I think he discovered the urgency in my original request. So, we stripped the baby down outside (don't worry, we are experiencing unseasonably warm, 80 degree temps at the moment!) and I got his bath ready. Then I gave myself a shower! Then we continued on with the evening until the poor little guy feel asleep.

Enter 1am - I am woken up to an antsy babe next to me who proceeds to projectile vomit again, all over me, him, the bed and my hair. UGH. I know why mom's cut their hair short now! So I wake up Allen (who had taken up residence on the couch!) to help us, we get the baby another bath and then Allen holds him in the rocking chair until I get showered [again!]. I hear Allen yell out to me while I am in showering 'The baby puked again all over me - help'. So I think to myself 'Do you REALLY need me, I am in the middle of a shower!' Can you sense my sarcasm!...

So, off I go, in a hurry to finish my shower, get dressed again and get my babe washed up...again. Now, next time, when we have child vomit and I call for help, I am pretty sure my husband will know that means 'get over here and help me NOW...or else' :) And, I will be a little more prepared and not taken off guard now that I have had the pleasure of this wonderful experience!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Seed Starting Experiment


Inside real estate is at a premium when it comes to seed starting so I like to reserve it for my tomatos. If I could have a good tomato crop this year, it would be a miracle! I would love it!

I prefer to direct sow as many seeds as I can, but some just don't dig that!
I started Broccoli, Cauliflower and Celery seeds over the weekend.
I am kinda basing this experiment on what I read over on Mimi's blog.


Since our weather has been so unseasonably warm, I decided to lets these sit outside inside of take up prime real estate!


I have them covered with these crates so that the Farm Manager, Savannah, doesn't destroy them :)


And then I used an empty feed bag to keep them covered from the rain we had plowing through.
Fingers crossed this works well! I will be disappointed if I have to go buy plants from the garden center! They certainly wouldn't be the same kind of Heirloom ones I am trying to grow - that's for sure!

Has anyone else tried a method like this? Have you had success with it?


Monday, March 19, 2012

Starting my 2012 Seeds!

Yesterday I finally had some time to get some of my seeds started!

I started my Tomatos
[yes, I know, I have a problem...that is 6 different varieties of tomatos...plus one more not shown!]


And I also started my celery, broccoli and cauliflower.
I am trying something different this year with those three. I try to direct seed as many veggies as I can, but some just don't do well in my area unless they are started earlier indoors.

I was reading on the back of the seed packets for these three though, and it mentions the cooler weather and growing when it hits no more than 70* during the day and 45* at night. Right now, with this freak [nice] weather we are having, I can try this! I have the seeds now started and haning out on the patio. More on them later this week.

I also thought it was worth noting, LAST YEAR when I started seeds, it was the end of March.

Check out my post to see what the weather looked like then, as well as my little seed helper!

Now look at him this year...and we are outside on the patio doing the seeds. So much change all around from last years process! And here is to hoping that the cat doesn't jump on my seedling trays this year, seeding them upside down on the ground, to be runined before they can even make it out to the garden ;)




Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan [break out the grill!]

Ok, so I said I was going to start posting weekly meal plans. I haven't had time to decide this weeks, so I am starting by posting last weeks :) Hopefully this might help you out in trying to get together your dinners for the weke.

Monday: Whole Chicken & Roasted Cauliflower
I just half a lemon and stick the two pieces inside the chicken, salt, pepper & sometimes throw on some thyme or tarragon and bake at 350* for 90 minutes or so depending on the size of the chicken. For the last 15 mimutes I turn the oven up to 400*. The only thing I put in the pot with the chicken is some butter, a carrot and a celery stalk for the chicken to sit on! Roasted cauliflower is too easy; drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and bake with the chicken the last half hour.

Tuesday: Homemade Burgers [on the grill] and oven roasted red skin potatos
For our burgers, we mix it up depending what we have on hand, but it is usually at least a chopped onion, one egg, bredcrumbs, mushrooms and some red wine mixed into 1# of ground chuck, topped with cheese. Roasted Red Skin Potatos get halved and thrown into a baking dish with coconut oil, salt and pepper and into the oven at 375* for about 30 minutes. You can cook in less time if you up the oven to 400*. Shake the pan every ten minutes or so to help prevent any from cooking to it :)

Wednesday: Homemade Fettucini Parmesan with Broccoli

Thursday: Pork Chops in Caper Cream Sauce w/ Rice (I told you we eat this often!)

Friday: Homemade Fish Sticks with Kale Chips
For the Kale Chips, I tear the Kale into pieces, throw it in a bowl to coat with some olive oil, then onto a baking sheet. I spread it out, sprinkle it with sea salt and bake for 12-15 mintues at 350*. You have to keep an eye on it, or at least I do, because otherwise I end up burning them sometimes! And trust me, if my husband request these, then pretty much anyone would like them!!

This post is linked up at Real Food 101, Pennywise Platter and Monday Mania


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reading a Horse: Gypsy

One of my most favorite 'horse people' are Linda Tellington Jones. I love her 'TTouch Methods' and use them frequently with my horses. Linda wrote a book called Getting in TTouch Understand and Influence Your Horses Personality. It is my bible! I.LOVE.THIS.BOOK.

It was especially helpful when the horse rescue I worked with was active as we'd bring in new horses frequently. New horses we knew nothing about. All I had to do was 'read their face' and I had a pretty good idea what we were in for. Swirls were my 'do or die' indicator ...as in, figure it our fast, or else! LOL More on swirls later.

So, this is Gypsy. You all know her by now :) Sweet, Simple, Easy Going, Loves Kids, Former Lesson Horse, Unbelievably tolerant....
Let's 'decode' her face!


Reading the Head
The Profile: Gyspy is a 'roman nose' profile. According to Linda, roman nose horses are often bold, very tough and resilient and seldom seem to get hurt. They are ideal for polo ponies and school horses.

The Jowl: Gypsy is a 'large, round jowl', which means she is intelligent and cooperative.


The Eyes: Though it is hard to see in my bad examples for pictures [regarding the eye] Gypsy has the Large, Soft Round Eye, which indicates a horse who is willing and usually trusts people. (I can also say, Apollo does not have this eye! But we'll save that for his profile!) In addition, which is also hard to tell from this photo, Gypsy has what Linda calls a 'Supraorbital deep depression (an indentation above the eye) - actually all 3 of my horses do [the mini donkey does not, which I am guessing has something to do with how her genetics make up her face] - this, according to Linda, is indicative of a stressful life or a past severe illness. Makes sense knowing [as little of] my horses backgrounds prior to their rescues, as I do.

There is much more in Linda's book to read on your horses face. The ears, the mouth, the chin....
One other part of this book though that fascinated me was, the swirls, the equine equivalent to our fingerprints. Linda makes note that swirls must not be read on their own and need to take into account all the other contributing factor [such as those I noted above]. Generally, a horse has one facial swirl. However, some have two, and very rarely, some have 3! For those with 2 or even three swirls, the least I can say is, these horses would not be for beginners! Gypsy has one swirl, about smack dab between her eyes,which generally means an uncomplicated horse.

There is so much more to learn from this book. Truly I couldn't recommend it enough if you have horses or are involved with horses. It is truly fascinating. Can you tell I could just go on and on!

For those who know my Gypsy girl, then you know that these readings into her face [a horse never lies!] are pretty accurate!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Link Loitering, March 16

More fuel for my fire  - this is why I don't want my child consuming food coloring/dyes. Or myself and hubby for that matter. Hubby is to tough one to break on this.

Then, I stumbled across this blog - I am in love. Look, I am not trying to tell anyone how to feed their kids/families, but I think, at the least, it is worth taking a minute just to read into some of this.

Good blog post to help you identify Sugar in ingredient labels.

That's all I got for this week! I think it's plenty :) LOL Stay tuned -- tomorrow we finally get the try the corned beef I have been brining myself all week!! TGIF!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Joining a CSA

Do you belong to a CSA? Do you know what a CSA is?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA's allow for people to purchase local food, in season, from local farmers. Sounds like a win-win to me! We just joined a meat share CSA for this year to provide us with local pork and poultry. Let me explain to you how a CSA works, using the one we just joined as an example.

The farmer we purchased our CSA share from farms pasture raised pork, chicken and turkeys. (Beef to come next year, in the mean time, we are still searching our beef options). He offers 30 CSA shares - each share is a set cost and includes 1/4 a hog (approx. 40#), 10 chickens, 20 dozen eggs and 1 Thanksgiving turkey. Because this amount is sufficient enough for our family for the time frame the CSA runs, we chose to purchase just one share. Larger families may like to purchase additional shares.

We have our own hens joining our farm soon so I asked the farmer if we could purchase the Pork/Poultry share minus the 20 dozen eggs. He had no problem with that and deducted the cost of the eggs from the total amount of the share. Don't be afraid to ask, when inquiring on a CSA share, if something can be subtracted from it if you do not need it. Some farmers specifically state that you can request, for example, more tomato's in place of summer squash, if you do not eat summer squash. This farmer also offers a poultry only share that I was going to do, missing out on the pork, because I thought I would have to accept the eggs that came with the Pork/Poultry share. This is why it's always good to ask!

Every CSA is laid out different in terms of details, including payment. Our farmer is gracious enough to accept payments on the share, instead of requiring it in one lump sum up front. So, we have agreed to mail him 2 payments, and make the final payment on our share when we drive to his farm for our first pick-up in June! Don't hesitate to ask if the farmer offers a payment plan - most are willing to work with their customers.


Our CSA share will run from June-November. We will have a 1x a month pick-up at the farm. The hog order comes to us all at once in what will most likely be the last pick-up, in November. Obviously, the Thanksgiving turkey will come to us in the November pick up as well. This leaves June-October to be pastured chickens in our pick-ups. The farmer will email us with a schedule of pick-up dates once we get closer to the start. Some CSA's have multiple pick-up options if they attend farmer's markets; they will allow CSA members to stop at the market to pick-up their share.

When I set out to look for a meat CSA, these are the things I was looking for:
Pasture raised/grass-fed meat (humanely raised as well!)
No Hormones/Antibiotics etc given to the animals
Price
Meats we would eat
Heritage breeds a plus
No work required

So, let me explain a few of these. Obviously, it had to be affordable for us. I wanted the share to include meats we would eat. This share, as already mentioned, includes a whole turkey and chickens. The pork cuts include an assortment of pork chops, roasts, ribs, ham steaks, bacon, sausage, kielbasa, ground pork.

When I say heritage breeds of meat are a plus, I mean, heritagee breeds are a plus! As opposed to the frankenbirds that are usually what you get at the grocery store. Now before you get all hot on me, I have purchased 99.9% of my meat from grocery stores and a local butcher. But for the .1% that came from local farms, there is just no comparison. And this is what prompted us to start purchasing meat through a CSA instead. They say, 'Know your Farmer, Know your Food'....and now, we will! Most farmers offering CSA's are also happy to give you a tour of their farm, and, no pun in tended, let you meet your food!

The pork in our CSA share comes from a heritage pig breed, the Tamworth. According to the farmer, this breed is one of the oldest and rarest breeds of pig, originating in Staffordshire, England. They have the ability to gain weight off of the pasture grasses, something not possible with modern breeds of pigs. Tamworth pork is not sold in the grocery store as these pigs grow more slowly than the modern breeds and can not tolerate the cage confinement. Due to the slow growth and the fine grain of the meat, Tamworth pork is some of the best tasting pork you will ever eat. I can't wait to try it!

Tamworth Hog

The turkey is also a heritage breed, as are the chickens. The chickens will weigh in around 5# and the turkeys can be up to 26#!

Some CSA's do require you put in so many hours of work on the farm. This is great for those wanting to experience farm life, learn how their food grows, and get some hands-on experience. For us, however, we searched out a 'no work required' CSA because, as you may have gathered, we have enough work of our own on our farm!

Other things I took into account when choosing this farm were the testimonials and reviews of his meats on his Local Harvest page. This is a great website for sourcing out CSA's in your area. And there are CSA's for more than you think! I have seen CSA's for fruit, veggies, meats and even fresh cut flower, local eggs, honey and maple syrup!

And just incase you are wondering how in the heck we'll be storing our CSA bounty, we're treating ourselves to a deep chest freezer with tax-return money! Big spenders over here -- let me tell ya! Some people take a vacation somewhere tropical - we buy a deep chest freezer :)

So tell me, do you belong to a CSA; what were your experiences? Would you like to join a CSA?

This post linked up at Pennywise Platter Thursday


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Special Announcement!!


ATTENTION: WE HAVE A WALKER!

video


Just all of a sudden, yesterday, he decided to walk - crazy!
And yes, the lunch box is his motivation.
And yes, he prefers to not be clothed!



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tough Love Season


Tis the season for tough love when you are a horse owner!
Spring is around the corner - the weather is changing - everyone wants to be out.....


But for the horses, this is what I call 'Tough Love Season'!


They want so badly to be out kicking up their heels, rolling off those shedding winter coats and nibbling on the fresh sprouts of Spring grass.


However, if they were out kick up their heels and nibbling up that fresh spring grass, there'd be no nice, lush field of green come July. And though they are rather pissy with me right now - they'd be beyond pissy come July ...or June....or August, if all they had was a dirt pasture to stand in and pass the time!


So though they stand with long faces and 'feel sorry for me looks', it is tough love keeping them in on these nice days. It is what is better for them [and their summer sanity] in the long run :)

*I should note, too, that they still get out of their stalls :) We take them on strolls through the orchard and let them nibble some grass. Whenever it seems 'decent' out in terms of how muddy it is, they do get to romp around in their 'sacrifice pasture'. And Gypsy, my precious old gal, gets run of the barn aisle during the day while we are at work to ensure she gets those legs stretched!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Birthday Recap


What a wonderful Birthday Weekend we had :)


I'll just say one more time, I can't believe my baby boy is already ONE! I guess I have to start calling him my 'toddler boy'!


The 'toddler' had more presents than he knew what to do with!


Of course, head first into his own cake, courtsey of his Momma! Blueberry Banana :)


Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!


One year ago today, I met my baby boy for the very first time!
My how time flies!

Today Allen & I took the day off from work so we could be with our little guy. We celebrated his birthday by taking him to the zoo! And tomorrow, we'll celebrate with family and a birthday party!





I am pretty sure his favorite part was the fish...just like his father ;)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Helper


I am not sure if I mentioned or not yet, but someone turns 1 this week!
I've been busy, when I am home from work and done with all the regular to-do's, trying to tidy things up for the big birthday bash!

Someone has grown right before our eyes. Now he is Daddy's Little Helper with everything!


This babes favorite past time was playing in the bathroom vanity drawers so I am not sure he was too happy about this project - child saftey locks for the drawers = no more playing!


And hubby wasn't happy about a pair of scissors I had in one of the drawers...
Are those duck pants ca-ute or what? Better get good use out of them now - a few more months and he won't want to be caught dead in them!!


Final Inspection over Daddy's work! Everything looked good!



Monday, March 5, 2012

Hip Mountain Mama Review

I was selected to be a member of the Hip Mountain Mama Sisterhood! For those unfamiliar, Hip Mountain Mama is a Handmade, Sustainable and Fair Trade online store. As part of the sisterhood, I was able to choose an item to be sent to me to do a review on.


I chose the Organic Peace Knee Hi Socks! (Of course I did, right!) Since I am known to not really worry about matching my socks, I thought these would fit my collection nicely! Knee highs are a bonus in the winter so when I go to work, I don't have to wear long underwear under my pants!


I loved the socks! They didn't slouch down on me during the day, which is a bonus. And they have a nice, soft feel to them. I waited to write this review until I was able to wash them a few times so I could attest to how they held up in the wash.Though they are a thinner sock, they are holding up nicely and still keep my feet warm. I have washed them about half a dozen times already. I don't have much experience with organic cotton yet, so I assume it has a naturally 'thinner' feeling to it, yet it still keep my tootsies warm :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Smiles



Someone has a big day coming up this week!
Just a few more days until he enters the 'single digit' age club :)


He already looks too grown up!