Thursday, March 31, 2016


Every Thursday, we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm.  
Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and hopefully recreate it...enjoy!

While perusing the Internet, looking for inspiration for the farm, we were looking at barn pictures.  Then it hit us:  We need a weathervane!!!  I mean, is there anything more iconic on a big barn than a weathervane turning with the wind?  The big N, W, S, E directions, the arrow pointing into the wind...too fun!

So we did some there are are about a million weathervanes out there.  Everything from roosters and hens and cows to dolphins, sports teams, and power tools.  Who knew?   So we're on the hunt for a good one.  We have to get something the right scale for the barn. 

 Do we put one on the mower shed too? 
 Or just the big barn?  
Rooster or hen or some other animal?  
Decisions decisions!

Be inspired!

P.S.  Adrian is better, allergies and that time of year, and my headache is long gone so we're both on the mend.  Catching up on comments too, thank you all!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


OK, so I decided to do something special at the farm for 2nd Man for his birthday.  Now that he has seen it, I can reveal it here.  This is what I did:

We had this pantry type space in the kitchen.  It is at the end of the wall where the stove is and next to the entrance to the guest room.  It's sort of the first thing you see when you walk into the kitchen.  After we had the house cleaned up and painted, we didn't know what to do with this space.  Of course, we could have put a door on it and made it a regular pantry but we already have all the shelves in the mudroom/pantry area.  This just sort of became a space for random stuff that didn't fit elsewhere. 

I had a different vision...

Empty Pantry
The first thing I did was the weekend of cleaning up the kitchen, CLICK HERE for that post, I cleared this out too and emptied it.  I ended up with lots of empty space just waiting for something...

Bakery Sign
I found this sign at the store and it is what actually inspired me to do this.  I hung it up above the space and started to work.  I had been buying jars of different sizes in preparation for this project, went to the grocery store and got out my handy dandy label maker with some clear labels...

Baking Pantry
The end result!

I had a dear friend make these red ticking stripe curtains to give it a more finished, and farmhouse-y look...

And also provide some hidden storage behind them...

Labeled Jars
And here are the jars.  There are currently twenty one of them...the large ones on the bottom are duplicates of what we have in town, the three things he uses the most of, all purpose flour, sugar, and bread flour...

Cracker Jars in the Pantry
Above you can see the labels on the jars a little better.  I went ahead and labeled and filled a few that I know he uses often, and then left a few empty for him to decide what else to put in there.  We have space for two more of those smaller cracker jars.

I also bought him a new Le Creuset pan he had been wanting, just to be on the safe side, LOL!  He LOVED it all and it made me happy!

UPDATE:  Click HERE for a link to cracker jars on Amazon, now I found ours at stores around town but they do sell them online.

Monday, March 28, 2016


SO...I woke up Saturday to a great breakfast but had the beginnings of a headache.  But things needed to be done.  So I drove to the farm.  Got there and saw the neighbors goat...I thought it was on the other side of the fence until I saw the pear tree bend over as it ate off one of the lower branches! 

BAD GOAT!!!!!!!!!!!

I ran over there when I realized it and chased it back, it ran back through the gap in the barbed wire fence and started grazing like it had never left.  J from 2nd Family said they got out in the road the other day so she called the sheriff who came and got them back in and warned the owner.

Barbed wire fence
The picture above shows the gap where the old wiring was bent down.  It's a quarter of a mile (or more?) long if we wanted to have it all replaced.  The neighbor is not inclined to do that and so we'd have to pay for all of it.  Not going to do that, right now anyway.  So I got R from 2nd Family (not their goats but the same fence borders their property too so he's always checking it).  He brought some barbed wire and we put another section in the open spot.  It was only on about four posts where it had snapped loose.  He said he was going to check the rest of the fence line tomorrow for us.  Headache still going on...

The above picture is from shortly after we lost the hive.  We had already thrown away all of the comb and the frames (you have to dispose of the frames as well).  But I still had to clean/disinfect the rest of the inside of the supers and each component to reduce any possible contamination of the new incoming hive.  While I was doing all this, I attracted a lot of bees, even though this is probably an acre away from our remaining hive, I guess they were curious.  I was constantly fending off curious bees.  Didn't help with the headache...

Hive components
I scrubbed and chipped away the propolis and then pressure washed them all.  I left them in the hot sun to dry and disinfect further, periodically flipping them to make sure all parts were hit by sun.  The sun didn't help me either...

Beehive matching barn
Here is it, put back together (minus the frames inside, those are on order).  It's ready for the new residents, which are also on order and should arrive the 2nd weekend in April. For now, I put the hive back in the barn so that nothing else decides to take up occupancy in it.

Weeds in a raised bed
Next I turned to the garden.  

Last weekend I mowed but this weekend I wanted to get the beds weeded.  Some were OK but a few that had their plastic panels blown off in various rainstorms got lots of rain and thus, lots of weeds.  I started pulling weeds, and about two beds in, I pulled up a weed that was in the middle of a fire ant mound.  I dropped it but 5 or 6 fire ants got my hand.  

That didn't help the headache either...

Raised bed weeded
But I pushed through and got ten of the sixteen raised beds mostly weed free like above.  The others I'll worry about another time.  At least we have some beds almost ready for planting.

Raised bed cover
I put the covers back on and hopefully we won't have any big storms (none in the forecast at this point) before next weekend.

Water manifold
The last thing I did, which wasn't on the list but I realized I needed to do, was make sure I got all the hoses hooked back up.  For Winter, we unhook, store away, and wrap everything to protect it all from freezing.  Of course, we had NO Winter this year but I still needed to make sure there were no leaks and that we had good, working, water capability.  I got it all hooked up and all is good.  

I've ordered our drip irrigation pieces and so now all that's left is the mulch.  Hope to get that ball rolling next weekend.  I did it all by myself last time and it dang near killed me, ha.  For those new to the blog, CLICK HERE to see what it looked like when I did it.  The picture below is after I did it.  Definitely beautiful.  Definitely a lot of work.  This time around, 2nd Man said we'll hire help.

Hopefully it won't be as bad.  

Right after mulch put down the first time, TWO years ago
But it SURE is pretty when it's done!  I look at this picture often to remind me that we need to get it done again.

I gave up and came home to rest...

Yesterday was my birthday and sadly, 2nd Man started getting sick.  He thinks he's getting a cold.  Sigh.  So we postponed an official birthday dinner, although he did make a wonderful dinner anyway, so it was still worth it.

Hope your weekend was better!

Sunday, March 27, 2016


2nd Man here. It is 1st Man's birthday today so I wanted to surprise him with a post. 

I hope I do this right as I like to leave the blogging to him.  

I'm sure he will take pictures of what I cook today and post them later.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


So today was up and out to the farm after that awesome breakfast (see this morning's post).  I knew when I left though that it might not be a full day because I was starting to get a headache.  

But I pushed through...

Got to the farm and a neighbors goat had gotten into the yard through the fence and chewed off a branch of the pear tree...

I chased it back through the fence and then had to do emergency barbed wire repair...

Cleaned up the empty beehive and had to fend off curious bees who were attracted to the old beeswax...

Started weeding in the garden, got stung by fire ants...

Didn't finish all the beds in the garden...

Didn't work on the porch...


Black Widow Spider

(but this time I got a much better picture with the brilliant red hourglass...)

I came back home early for the day...

Update later with pics of the day...


Ah, breakfast...

Farmhouse Biscuits and Dewberry Jam

Off to the farm today, after this wonderful breakfast of course.  Homemade biscuits, fresh butter, and the last jar of dewberry jam I made two seasons ago.

We had another 2 inches of rain on Thursday, so it will be wet I'm sure.  Today's agenda includes finishing the raised bed weed pulling, porch clearing, and cleaning out the empty beehive in preparation for the new bees coming in a couple of weeks. 

Hope your Easter weekend is off to great start!

Friday, March 25, 2016


Honey, why is there black hair in the whites?  
I thought we washed them?

Do you know anything about this?

Look at me!

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Every Thursday, we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm.  
Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and hopefully recreate it...enjoy!

Yellow bench, image via
We've been shopping for benches online (side note, some kind person sent us some links once for an online company that sold very affordable benches, we lost it, if you read this, please send again).  I told 2nd Man we need to have places to sit, not necessarily for guests, but for US, or perhaps I should say ME!  I find when I'm an acre or two away from the house and get tired, I really have no choice but to walk back to the porch.  It would be nice to have a spot to sit back and observe. 

We like this style of bench and figured we'd have to paint it.  While we like the blues we've seen online, we love this yellow.  I could really see this in a couple of spots at the farm (one I'm clearing now).  I'd like one by the bee yard too.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


BBQ ribs, mmm!  Several of you asked on 2nd Man's recent birthday what I made for him since he always makes such great stuff for us.  So this is what I made for his birthday.  He loves bbq baby back ribs and for some odd reason, we never tried making them at home.  I didn't want to mess with the grill at the apartment just yet, so I found some recipes online, modified them a bit and made this.  

We have to say, they were so amazingly delicious, we will be having them regularly.

Crockpot Barbecue Ribs
Nothing like a rack of babyback pork ribs and potato salad.  2nd Man LOVED it!  The potato salad was his favorite from the deli, so no recipe there but the ribs.  You HAVE to try them. 

Ribs, Coca-Cola, BBQ and a slow cooker
Here are the ingredients:  Pork loin backribs or "babyback ribs".  
I cooked two racks (we had one left over for the next day).
1 bottle of BBQ sauce (you can make your own but if you have a favorite it's much easier, we love Sweet Baby Ray's "original")
1 large onion, sliced
1 bottle of Coca-Cola (don't use diet, it's the sugar that helps flavor these)

And...that's it!  
Oh, you DO need a crockpot (or slow cooker) of course.

Oil the inside of your crockpot or use cooking spray, this will make cleanup MUCH easier.  

Sprinkle salt and pepper over the ribs and then put them in. They should be fresh, not frozen, and just spiral them around, standing them on the rib bone edges.  I suppose you could just layer them as well.  Our crockpot has heating elements around the sides and the bottom, whereas some just have heating elements in the bottom.

Place the onions over the top, nothing fancy just let them fall where they may...

Use ALMOST the entire bottle of bbq sauce (I saved about 1/4 cup).  Mix the coke and the remaining sauce together and pour over the ribs and onions.

Put the lid on and set on LOW for 7 hours.  
There is a reason for using 7 hours instead of 8.

This is what it will look like after 7 hours.  
Lots of liquid.  
CAREFULLY pour off that liquid.

BBQ ribs in the slow cooker
After you CAREFULLY pour it all off (don't drop your ribs!), pour the remaining sauce over them.  They are fully cooked and you can eat them but you want to make them more like ribs off the grill so now you have TWO options.  

First, you can leave them in the cooker, cover them and cook on HIGH for about an hour...

OR... can carefully (they WILL fall apart) put them on a foil lined baking sheet in the oven and finish them off that way (which is what I did).

Did I say they were falling off the bone tender?  
They were...this is me simply pulling a bone out in about 2 seconds.

Pop under the broiler on high for about 15 minutes.  The ribs have been done, they were done right out of the slowcooker, this just gives them a more finished "off the grill" kind of texture, as you can see above and below.

Slow cooker BBQ ribs
Once again, here they are, on the plate and ready to eat.

They were incredble!!! 


Tuesday, March 22, 2016


OK, so remember a while back, there was an inspiration post I put up about a wind chime garden?  Several of you mentioned that they could be scattered around the garden/yard in memory of loved ones/pets that had been lost.  

A shepherd's hook was a suggestion (and the ones used in the inspiration post).  

Well, last Friday, I went out on my lunch break and I stopped off at a random garage sale in a nearby neighborhood and found three of them!

Shepherds hooks
They are tall, when stuck securely into the ground, they are still about six feet tall.  This is just a temporary spot so they can be up and out of the way.  

Shepherd's Hooks 
They have great hooks on them and are thick and substantial enough to have a nice size wind chime hanging from each.

Clay plaque
The lady selling the hooks also had these cool clay "sun" plaques (for lack of a better description).  I couldn't pass them up either, they just need a bit of cleaning up and then we can find a place for them.  

Got all of it for $6.00!

Now we just need to start "listening" to wind chimes to find ones we like the sound of and then find the perfect spot!  We think we have a great place, and I'm working on that (clearing it).

Anyone have wind chime or other suggestions?

Monday, March 21, 2016


It was a very productive weekend.  Saturday I got everything mowed and edged (see Saturday evening's post HERE).  

Sunday I went back out and worked in the garden.

I had an audience of course...the neighborhood cows...I gave them some grass clippings, they were happy.

Above is the garden before.  

The storms last week played havoc with a few of the raised bed covers, and the rains made the weeds and grass grow.  Sigh...but I borrowed 2nd Family's push lawnmower and mowed...then edged around the beds, then started pulling weeds that had grown back in the beds.

And above is the end result of the garden after.  

I still had a few weeds to pull when I took this picture but it's all done.  Next is putting down weedblock of some sort...cardboard is ideal but I'm not sure I have time to gather up that much.  We might have to do the cloth again and put down deeper mulch than last time. We are running out of time to get things up and running in the garden and there is so much else to do.

I also cleaned up the front and put some landscape timbers down so we can get some flowers (marigolds?) and maybe herbs planted.

It was another breezy day with the windows open...though I can neither confirm nor deny that a nap may or may not taken place here...

Pasta with ground beef and spinach
And when I came home, it was this pasta dish that 2nd Man made up.  Spinach, ground beef, mushrooms and onions.  It was a great way to end a great weekend.

I didn't get to the porch but that's OK because I realized I can do that on a rainy day, or a hot day, since it's deep to be protected from the rain and shady to be much cooler than outside. So there is time for that later.  For now I have to focus on the yard.  

Hope you had a great weekend!

Sunday, March 20, 2016


The weather was wonderful.  It was 60's (50's when I got there) and a very strong breeze was blowing... 

Breezy curtains
I opened the windows to let the house air out and the curtains were flowing with the breeze...

Mowed yard
I got the yard and driveway and trails mowed.  I just love the satisfaction of how it looks when it's done...

There were flowers blooming along the fences, albeit wildflowers and weed flowers but it's all beautiful...

Steak dinner
And I came home to grilled steak, peas, mashed potatoes and gravy.  

It was a good day!

Since I had so much mowing and edging to do, I used yesterday to work on the yard and today will be focusing on the garden area.  I need to edge around the raised beds, mow between the beds and just generally clean up the area.