Friday, November 26, 2010

The Oreo Tree.............A Birthday Party, and A Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday we had my family here for Thanksgiving..........most of my family that is. 

My folks aka Granny and Pop Pop
My sister and her husband and daughter
Darling Auntie and Uncle Dino
Cousin Dee and her New Man
Uncle Big Dog, his Longtime Woman, and her two boys
And then of course the three of us.

Missing was, Cousin Dee's two kids who were at their dad's,  Aunt Kitty and Uncle 4, along with Big J, Little D, and Q-baby.  They were all at Big J and Little D's for the day.  Also missing was Aunt Kitty's daughter Mass-A-Ash, Mass-A-Mike and their 4 kids who live in Massachusetts.  Aunt Hoggie, Uncle Alki, and their two adult children who got to Uncle Alki's family for Thanksgiving.

That made a total of 16 for turkey and all the fixin's.  It was a lovely day and such fun! 

Some of my readers may remember from last year that The Youngun's birthday is on Christmas Eve.  Because of the busy-ness of December, we celebrate her birthday at Thanksgiving. 

After gorging ourselves on way too much good food, it was time for The Youngun to open her birthday presents.  The first present was from Uncle Big Dog and L.T. Woman, that's her in the picture helping The Youngun get it open.........

What could it be you ask??  Well it's an Oreo Tree of course!! 

This is Uncle Big Dog......he's my Daddy's baby brother.

Ever since my little girl was born, Uncle Big Dog has been telling her he has an Oreo Tree in his backyard in an attempt to get her to come stay all night with him.  Well this year the Oreo Tree had babies so he gave her one for her birthday!  I truly think this is one of the greatest presents I've ever seen!  I'd like to figure out a way to shellac the cookies so that she can keep it forever, so if anybody has any ideas, let me know!

This morning when I was getting ready to do this blog post, I put my picture card in the computer and I found this......

Lordamercy!  This is my blood people.  This is the man from whose loins I spring.........Help me!  I called him to ask if he had fun playing with my camera.........He said he did, but he bout had a heart attack from it.  I guess while he was making self-portraits he laid his teeth on his belly.  He then got up to get some more to eat and forgot his teeth!  He was in the kitchen before he remembered and was afraid somebody would've stepped on, and broken them by that time, but no, praise be, they were on the floor safe and sound............Again, I say it.......this is my blood ya'll

I loved having so many of my family members in my home.  It was a lovely day, although since we don't have TV some of the family was a little bereft without the football game.  My sister was able to get it on an itty bitty screen on the computer though so I suppose they managed. 

Hope your day was blessed as well!

God Bless..........

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I am thankful for........Salvation........
I couldn't imagine trying to make it through one single day without the loving guidance of my Lord and Savior

I am thankful for.............My husband........

God has blessed me with a loving man to share my life with.  Words cannot express the loving respect I have for this man who shares my life.

I am thankful for....................Our daughter..........

God chose us to be parents to this amazing child and I feel so thankful for that.
I'm thankful for...............Our home.........

Not just our house, but the fact that we have built a loving home together, on a rock solid foundation

I'm thankful for..................My folks........

I've got good parents who love me and even though we have our differences from time to time, they are always there for me.

The rest are in no particular order..............
  • Our land
  • Champ
  • Ellie
  • Homeschooling
  • Family
  • Being a fatty.........being overweight means I've always got plenty to eat and that is something to be very thankful for
  • Dirty dishes........again, means I've got food to eat
  • Running water and electricity 
  • Eyes to see
  • Ears to hear
  • Arms to hold
  • A thankful spirit
  • Blogging
  • Faith
  • Prayer, and praying together as a family
  • The ability to  grow and raise our own food
  • Being an American
I'm thankful for so many wonderful things, and I'm thankful to you all who read my blog and most of all to those of you who leave me comments.  May God bless you all during the holiday season and the entire year round! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Homesteading Update..........

Well well seems you can try to take the girl off'n the homestead, but you can't take the homestead outta the girl.........

After some discussing with the Big Dog (aka, Hubby)

I've decided to get Tulip and Star knocked up again.  Hubster wants to get a couple feeder pigs in the spring and if I'm going to have an outlet for my extra milk, then I want to be milking again.  We are also ordering chicks in the spring.......6 or 8 laying pullets for me and 15 or so Cornish X for the freezer, with maybe a few turkey poults tossed in for good measure.

Once again I have to praise God in His Infinite Wisdom in keeping us here on our place.  We would have been absolutely miserable in a little house in town or even living on the beach in Florida.  Yet another case of God knowing what we need, even when we are cornfuzed!

To explain The Crisis  in short..........I can't.  The only thing I can think of is that we were overwhelmed and confused.  Everybody gets down and The Man and I are no exception to that.  Our Faith keeps us afloat, but we of course have moments of sadness and desperation even.  The key difference in The Crisis is that we were both down at the same time.  That doesn't usually happen.  Usually when one of is is discouraged and feeling blue, the other lifts us up and helps us to see the positive side.  This time we were down in the hole together.  Through it all, we have immense Faith and we're just looking for God to tell us what to do.

This time around I'm going to keep a short leash on my animals situation.  By only having pullets (no rooster) I won't end up with 40+ chickens running 'round eating me out of house and home.  I will miss setting chicks and seeing this.....

But that's what pictures are for! 

I'm also not going to keep a buck goat here year round.  I just want to have Tulip and Star and milk them.  I'll hire out my womanizer instead of feeding him (and dealing with him) the whole year round to breed two does!  As for babies, they will be sold at weaning or else kept for the freezer.  It may be hard, but a family of three does not NEED 11 GOATS!  At least my family of 3 doesn't!  This will keep my stress level as well as my feed bill down to a manageable rate.

My garden is also being pared down.  I'll no longer have the smaller upper garden, just focusing on the big lower garden.  I'm going to keep myself to under a dozen tomato plants (instead of 34) and focus on the core crops that we really use. 

After this last vacation The Man knows more than ever that he would go coo coo crazy without our land.  He is too much of a do-er and I think he'd die of boredom.  However, he is learning that Rome wasn't built in a day and all the little projects that we want to do, can wait until we have the time or most importantly, the inclination, to do them.

As my blog title states........we are Thickin' and Thinnin' here at Goodwife Farm.  We never know what the Good Lord has in store for us, but we are game for it all.  With our hands firmly in His and our hearts open to His guidance we press on into the future! 

K.......on that supremely corny, yet udderly true note........

God Bless......

Monday, November 22, 2010

And These Are The Horses Of My Life...........From Champ Forward to the Future.....

Welcome to the continuing saga of The Horses Of My Life.....if you've missed the first two installments click here and here to get caught up.

In October of 2000, Champ came into my life and I've had a few horses after him, all the while never letting him go.

First I had Faith, a rescued Arab mare that had more than a few screws loose. It wasn't her fault, she'd just been abused one too many times and it had scarred her.  She was a gorgeous Egyptian bred mare, little but lovely.  I sold her to a wonderful woman who had her free lunging around her within 5 minutes of meeting her.  I have tons of pictures of this gorgeous mare, but they are all on the little square disks and I can't get them off! 

Then there was Dolly, an App mare I bought because I thought maybe I could get The Man to ride with me. Dolly tossed me off over her head the first time I rode her out of the pasture, and struck the clippers out of my hand the first time I got close to her so she went back to her old owner.  I can handle fear, but fear that manifests itself in aggression isn't acceptable at my house.

 Honey was the neighbor's mare who was older than Methuselah (late 20's) and I brought her to my house to rehab her and get some weight on her.

Honey and The Youngun before she decided she was afraid of heights and didn't want to ride.

She was a Three Bars bred quarter horse who was an angel of an old mare and I was able to get her back into pretty decent shape. She was the first horse I ever sat on in an English saddle and I enjoyed riding her. The only reason I gave her back to the neighbor was because we moved and I could only take Champ with me. Getting rid of him was not an option!

Champ, winter of 2009
When we moved down here to get closer to The Man's work, we bought a house in town so I had to board Champ. I actually enjoyed it because I worked at the barn and was there all day long while The Youngun was in kindergarten. I was in horse lovin' heaven and I learned SO much at that barn. After I'd been there for right at a year, I bought a yearling named Boss.

Camptown Boss
 Oh how I loved that boy! He was a draft cross and I did all his training myself. After living in the house in town for right at a year, things fell apart at the barn (way too much to get into in this long post) and The Man decided it was time to buy land again, so I could have the horses at home. We all three missed having a garden and such, as this was the first time we'd lived in town. We bought the place we have now and moved the horses home. I had always wanted to train my own horse, and having Boss was amazing. I did all of his training myself and we got along great.

Boss was a natural jumper, if he could get his head over it, he'd go over it!
He was a big boy and really beautiful. I started him under saddle very lightly at 3 and then started him more at 4. Things were going well until we decided to trot. He put his head down between his front legs and went to stiff-legged buckin'. That took me right back to my childhood and scared me.
Boss and I during another brief slim period in my life.
Boss, one of the first few times I was on him.
I can do rearing, I can do spooking, but bucking is my undoing. I kept up with his ground training, but was at a stand still with the under saddle stuff. I tried to get my old trainer to help me, but he wouldn't take him on unless he was broke; walk, trot, canter. Duh..if he was at that point, I could take back over!! 
Boss and Champ together

 Anyway, he turned 5 and I decided it wasn't fair to him for me to be holding him back and I sold him. He is in St. Louis somewhere competing in Hunter/Jumper, which is what he was born to do. I have moments where I regret selling him, but I've never regretted buying him. That big flashy boy taught me so much about training and trust and I'm thankful to have known him.

Boss and I
I have to confess that I really enjoy having only one horse.  That way I don't feel as if I'm neglecting one or the other, and I'm not torn between two.  Champ has Tulip and Star (the goat girls) to keep him company and I spend a lot of time with him.

After all of these negative experiences, you'd think the love would have flickered and died in me, but it is as strong now as it was at 3, probably stronger because now I know how wonderful it can be.  I look forward to carefully selecting my new partner when Champ is gone, because he has taught me how wonderful the bond between the right horse and rider can be!

God Bless....................

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fellow Blogger Giveaway!

Tonia over at The Simple Life is having a giveaway.  She's got a great selection of organic spices that she is giving away to a lucky reader.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on her post asking to be entered and then do a blog post about the contest.  Simple no?  Now get over there and enter!  I'm hoping to win because that chipotle spice is calling my name baby!

Oh yeah, and the pictures of my kitty are just cuz Tonia posted her kittens on the giveaway post and I was jealous!  ;0P

God Bless..........

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Vacation.........and The Hidden Evils of Honeysuckle......

Hubster has been on vacation this week.  He's been getting lots of stuff done, but I've been pretty much worthless.  I've got some sort of sinus muck going on.  I'm not really sure what it is, but my equilibrium is totally off.  It feels like my brain is swimming around in my skull instead of attached like it ought to be!  I've been to the doc (because of the dizziness) and they said I've got fluid in my ears and some nasal irritation.  I'm taking OTC sinus meds but the dizziness and disconnection aren't going away. 

Anyhow, today Hubby took me to town to get my supplies for Thanksgiving.  I'm not comfortable driving in my current state........LOL!

Here are some pictures of my handsome man workin' 'round the place.  I never tire of takin' pictures of him, even though he gets tired of being my model!

You can tell in this picture he was thinking......Lord a mercy woman stop with the camera!!  He is working on clearing honeysuckle from the back of our pasture.  Honeysuckle is evil and don't let anybody convince you otherwise.  At least here in our neck of the woods it is.  This stuff is almost impossible to kill and like kudzu in the south it will take over everything if you don't stay on top of it.  When we first bought this place it had totally choked the creek.  It was when we started clearing the honeysuckle that we found all the scrap.  I'm happy to report that the creek is almost totally cleared of scrap after 6 years of living here!

He has been clearing and burning and cleaning and now the back of our pasture looks like a park.  It is so lovely! 
Above is back in September......

This is the same area now.  There are some huge old trees back there that we didn't even realize how big they were because of all the scrub growing around them.  This will also allow more grass to grow for Champ to eat. 

And don't worry, there is still plenty of brush for these two to eat....... 

The creek banks are covered in honeysuckle and other browse that Tulip and Star LOVE to eat.  There is so much scrub brush that even when I had 11 goats they couldn't make a dent in it.  As you can imagine with just these two lovely girls they have their work cut out for them.  Star is in the background and Tulip is in the foreground.

Last but not least, I have to mention this girl...........

Have I told you all lately how much joy this dog brings me??  Yes we have 4 dogs and I love them all, but this is my dog and I adore her.  The Hub-Unit tells me all the time it's a good thing we only have one kid. The way I favor Ellie over the other dogs, if we had more than one child I'd be sure to favor one over the other!  ;) 

God Bless............

Monday, November 15, 2010

And These Are The Horses Of My Life........Part 2....The Teen Years....

If you have missed the first episode, you can click here to get caught up.

When I was 13 I had a much, much older distant cousin who had horses. He had a 2 year old Appaloosa mare named Gypsy that he wanted to sell me.

Gypsy and I in one of my senior pictures

Of course, I was horse crazy and didn't care what I got as long as I had something. He talked my folks into letting me buy her for $200 and she came home. The very first day I had her she was standing tied and pitched such a fit I was terrified to get near her. Things went downhill from there....LOL! She was such a nasty mare. I could handle her now with no problem because I'm experienced and know what to do, but boy when I was a kid it was awful. She got so nasty I couldn't even walk in the pasture. She would charge me with her ears pinned back and teeth snappin'. Every time I got on her I got thrown. I used to sing Amazin' Grace while I rode because I was so scared!

Gypsy and I.  Notice the tie down, to keep her from flipping over with me.  I cringe now when I see that bit and tie down.  I won't ride in anything stronger than a d-ring snaffle now, let alone a tie down!

She gave me whiplash twice and flipped over backwards with me once. Such a heifer she was.  She really wasn't a bad mare, she just needed an experienced rider and I wasn't it! She was physically a lovely mare though and I loved her.

Me shortly before selling Gypsy.  You'll notice this was one of  my many and brief periods of being slim.

I sold her when I was 17 back to the cousin I bought her from for the same amount of money, and I cried when she left.

You'd think I'd had enough wouldn't you? But no.........I started looking for another horse. Went and looked at a gorgeous black leopard App gelding. He was only 3, which turned me off, and he was BIG. I should have bought that horse. He was a wonderful, honest gelding and I think we'd have gotten along great. However, I had taken a friend with me and she talked me out of him, because he was big so he'd eat a lot and he was young.

This is Star two weeks after I got her.  Pretty no?  But I quickly learned that pretty is as pretty does!

She talked me into buying a Quarab mare named Star that was nuttier than a pet coon. Every time you touched her belly or her flank she would squeal and kick. Saddling her was an experience, let me tell you. Needless to say I think I only rode her a handful of times. This is the mare I had when I met The Man, and I talked about her briefly here.

Is the love dead and gone?  Will she ever find a horse to love her as much as she loves him?  Stay tuned for the next installment of.................And These Are The Horses Of My Life.........

God Bless...........

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful for Unanswered Prayers.............

For so long I was wrapped up in wanting to move.  I always wanted to live out of Illinois, always yearning to be in Montana, or Florida, or Alabama.  After our last vacation to Florida and the subsequent resolving of The Crisis, God instilled in me such an appreciation for this beautiful patch of earth He has blessed us to be the stewards of.  This afternoon I took Champ over to graze at the neighbor's and I just lay back in the grass and soaked up the beauty of the land around me.  Standing at the barn looking to the back of our pasture with the sun going down in the west...........the beauty nearly moves me to tears!  God is good, and He knows what we need even when we haven't got a clue!

God Bless.............

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Time For Caramel Corn..........

For some as yet unexplained reason, fall means many things to of which is caramel corn.  I love homemade caramel corn, and the store bought stuff pales in comparison.  I've had a hankerin' for awhile now, so today I busted it out!

You're gonna need some butter, brown sugar, white corn syrup, and a pinch of cream of tartar........

Oh yeah, and some popcorn would be the smaller bowl on the left I've mixed in some peanuts.  The other bowl is just popcorn......

Bring your schtuff to a boil

Yeah, that's lookin' good.........boil it for 3 minutes

And then turn off the fire and add in 1 tsp of bakin''s is going to foam.......looks yummy no?

Now pour it over that bowl full of corn and mix it up........

And dump it out on a greased cookie sheet.........and pop it in the oven!  You are going to stir it every 15 minutes and bake it for a total of 1 hour.  Then you are going to need to eat it up, cuz it's guuuuud!  Resist the temptation to overbake this yummy-ness.  When you take it out of the oven it's gonna be chewy, but it will crisp right up as it cools.

Caramel Corn
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 cup white syrup
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1tsp baking soda
Bring first 4 to boil, boil for 3 minutes.  Add in 1 tsp baking soda.  Stir (this will be very foamy)

Pour over 4 qts popped corn and mix well.  Pour out onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 1 hr at 250*  Stirring every 15 minutes.  Pour out on counter, cook, then break up and store in airtight container.

God Bless........