Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hershey Cake & Sauce

A couple of weeks ago a co-worker gave me a recipe that is to die for. Rich and full of chocolate flavor, it is now a current favorite in our household. My first go around with this recipe had me using the wrong type of milk for the sauce. However, this recipe is very forgiving and it turned out very edible. Maybe a little too edible....

Hershey Chocolate Cake

1 cup self rising flour

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 stick butter, melted

1 can of Hershey's syrup (this equals 2 cups of syrup, if you don't happen to have a can of it)

Mix all and bake in a 13x9 inch pan for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven. (pre-heated please)


1 stick butter

1 cup sugar

1 small can evaporated milk

Mix and boil for 2 minutes. Add 1 tsp vanilla and serve over cake.

Enjoy and don't eat it all in one sitting...easy to do.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Musings

Well......the calves arrived yesterday and seem to be doing well. Here are a few of them looking a tad suspicious of the woman taking their picture. They should be relieved that I didn't bring my Border Collie with me. We have Angus and what is known locally as, "Black and White Face". This would be a cross between a Hereford and an Angus. A good mix for beef cattle. It has been a little over a year since we had cattle on our farm. We had other business ventures going on last year and allowed our farming to slide a little bit. We are all glad to see our farm being used once again.

After hiking a bit to check on the calves the chiclets decided to climb a tree...one in which we can't seem to identify. So, if any of my readers know what this tree is, we would be most grateful. Here is Toots sitting in it.

And, here it The Deerslayer towards the end of it. I say, "end", due to the fact that it has grown a bit sideways. It also has strange twisty branches. Beautiful, but certainly not typical for our farm.
All of our fruit trees, (plum, pear, peach, and apple), are now in bloom. We are having a bit of a cold snap at the end of this month.....and no let up in sight. I am hoping for no sign of frost.
March seems to be going out like a lion, I do believe.

Wishing everyone a great week.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yet Another Year Has Passed

This week the Deerslayer turned fourteen. When did all those years pass? Wasn't he just a tiny baby who loved having his tummy rubbed by his dad, a few days ago? Really it feels like it could have been just last year.

Now he is fast approaching the six foot mark in height and he loves being taller than his mom. He continues to be quite the marksman and loves to hunt and be outdoors.

In fact this week he and I took a day off together. He was able to pick what he wanted to do and that included squirrel hunting on his uncle's farm. So, I drove him to the destination in my ruby red caddy. I asked him, on the way there, if he had an appropriate, "squirrel receptacle", should he hit his desired target. He responded that he did and was absolutely ready.

Yes, he did end up killing a squirrel and his receptacle was less than adequate. You would think I would have checked that out before we left our farmette. Thus, we ended up placing said squirrel in a box that we found by his uncle's cabin....that had advertising on it that I shall not mention on this blog.

And yes, I had to drive around Smalltownland with that squirrel in the trunk of my caddy.

John Folse makes the harvesting and cooking of a squirrel sound like such a true southern endeavor. I would like to say I do not join him in his enthusiasm for such tasks.

And no, I did not cook the squirrel, but I did sterilize the trunk of my car.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Beauty of Rural Decay

Recently my husband came in the house telling me he had something good to show me. Told me to jump in the Suburban because he knew I would want to photograph it.
Hmmmmm......I was intrigued, but seriously we live out in the sticks. What is he going to show me....a cow? He assured me I would love it, so off we went with a camera in tow.
Then he drives out to this. A very old house. Rural decay at its finest. Wooden covers on the windows and primitive siding that has the look of brick, but is most certainly not.

Moss and small trees were growing all around the structure.

Vines were entwined around the doorways.

A peek inside the doorway revealed some wonderful shelving and the skeleton of an old piano.

But, the best structure on the property was sitting just behind the old house. Just a peek around the back of the house exposed this beauty, which hasn't been used in many a year.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Cloudy Supermoon

Last night was the debut of the Supermoon. A much discussed phenomenon this week where the moon is actually closer to the earth than it has been in eighteen years. I was looking forward to some photographic opportunities, but was sorely disappointed when our light cloud cover continued through the early evening. Even with a bit of clouds, the brightness of the moon lit up the entire farmette. Our very own nightlight.
A full moon in March is also known as the following:
Full Crow Moon - The calling of the crows signals the end of winter.
Full Sap Moon - Sap begins to run in the trees, thus a busy time for makers of maple syrup.
Full Worm Moon - Worms begin to show in the soil as spring begins.
I have been seeing plenty of worms lately, so I do hope spring is here to stay.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Man Hands

So, here in the next couple of weeks we have a calf, or ten, coming to live at the farmette. Secret Agent Man has been getting ready by fencing a new pasture area. And, as you can see, he does a lot of his farming in a pair of Merrells.
I am glad our son is his designated helper. This does not seem like fun to me. I was ever so glad to be busy painting the wicker furniture.

But, he did do a fine job on the new gate. And in red...my favorite color.

And, he still relied on his hand operated post hole digger for this project. Seriously.

When you are outside doing this kind of work you end up with a pair of dry and leathery man hands. Even lotion can't fix this people.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thoughtless Thursday

A bit of the green for all of you on this fine St. Patrick's Day.

Erin Go Bragh!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Your Time is Limited

Your time is limited,
don't waste it living someone else's life.

Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people's thinking.

Don't let the noise of other's opinion drown your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.

Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Daffodil Day

This morning I arose and left the house much earlier than I would on a typical Sunday. My goal was to drive to, "town", and photograph a rather famous hillside....with the hopes that everyone else in the county was still in bed, or getting read for church.

The hillside in the picture is locally famous for the wild Daffodils that flourish here and herald the arrival of each spring season. I also have to mention, as a lover of old houses, that the house in this picture was built between 1810-1825. I have no doubt that this structure has witnessed the arrival of the Daffodils for many years.

Here in my area of central Kentucky people refer to Daffodils as March Lilies. Never have I heard a person refer to them as Jonquils. When I was a child I always called them Buttercups.

People here flock to this hillside in spring, photographing their children in the flowers and also enjoying the beauty.

As I sat down in the field it was like being in a sea of flowers, literally.

And to think when I lived in the city I actually bought Daffodil bulbs to grow in my flower garden.

Here they grow wild in the woods, field, and anywhere else they have naturalized. Tipper has a great post about Daffodils today as well. Please check her out.

What about you? Any Daffodils to trumpet the arrival of spring in your neck of the woods?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Random Ramblings

This week has been a blur of activity in our household. With the arrival of spring comes ball and trap shooting practice. The adjective, busy, would currently be an understatement for us. So much like this past week, this post is a bit crazy. Sort of a miss-mash of what's up on the farm.

The following picture is one I dug out of my archives while searching for something to submit for a photography contest. Why these yellow butterflies loved this old baseball is a mystery, but I love how vibrant they look against the drab background.

Yet another found photo of Mr. Praying Mantis.

And here we have a Passion Flower that I had totally forgotten existed in my files. I found this while out walking on the farm one day. Seriously. There was only one flower in a mixed hedge of Blackberry Brambles and thorny tree limbs. I have been back to its location, but haven't witnessed another blossom like this.

During the occasional free moment my family has been checking out the Eagles, Liberty and Belle. They are on a nest in West Virginia and their two eggs are set to hatch any day now. It is a live camera feed and thus far I have witnessed the mom and dad trade nest duties. Also, the male brought the mom a snack. Yes....I watched her eat the mouse. Educational, if nothing else. If you would like to watch Liberty and Belle, you can do so here.

I have had several people tag me with awards and meme's in the last month. I confess that I am not very good about posting those, though I very much appreciate the recognition. So, in an overall response I shall not bore any of you with details about myself, but I shall leave you with a list of my all time favorite books. I would love to hear what yours might be.

The Alchemist

The Poisonwood Bible

Cold Mountain

Thirteen Moons

Animal, Vegetable Mineral

The Scarlet Letter

The Widow of the South

Prodigal Summer

A huge thanks to all of those who take the time to leave a comment here. I read each one and enjoy them immensely.

Oh....and one more thing. Why does Blogger either leave too many spaces between my paragraphs or no spaces at all?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ladybug, Ladybug

"Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home...your house is on fire, and your children will burn. Except little Nan, who sits in a pan, weaving gold laces as fast as she can!"
I now know for certain that spring is on its way. Yes, I did see a robin and some daffodils blooming, but isn't the real reason I know spring is arriving. And, no it isn't because the time is changing this coming weekend. At my house when spring arrives, the Ladybugs come out to play.
Ladybugs are one of the few insects that actually hibernate during the winter months. I have heard, and read, that they will hibernate in the insulation as well as under the eaves of a house. After consuming aphids during the summer, Ladybugs see shelter for the coming cold months. This can occur in hollow logs, under dead leaves, or in houses....like mine. They like to hang out until the aphids are back in full population mode. At that time they will devote themselves to eating and mating. After their eggs are laid they will die and the cycle will start all over again. Legend has it that the Ladybug, or Lady Beetle, got its name during the Middle Ages. When swarms of insect were damaging crops, the people prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon after the prayers, Ladybugs came and ate the pests, thus saving the crops. The heroic insects were then named, "The Beetles of Our Lady", and over time became known as Lady Beetles and/or Ladybugs. The red wings are known to represent the Virgin's cloak and the black spots are symbols of her joys and sorrows.

Folklore states that if you find a Ladybug in your home you should count its spots. That is how many dollars you will soon obtain.

If you hold a Ladybug in your hand, while making a wish, the direction that is flies away shows where your luck will come from.

Some Asian cultures believe Ladybugs understand human language and have been blessed by God.

In our home they receive the kindest goodbye. A little sweep up in the dust pan and out the door they go.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Sign of Beavers

The great thing about living on our farm is the nature factor. When I lived in a suburban neighborhood, several years ago, nature was virtually absent. No rampant wildlife, little to no trees, and not a stunning sunset in sight. Now, however, we are enveloped in the trappings of nature everyday.
My son had been telling me about beavers that were on our property and I have to admit that I almost didn't believe him. He told me I needed to see it for myself and I let him lead me on a hike that ended up lasting a couple of hours. He showed me many trees that were on the verge of falling, just as this one is.
Then the real deal....a beaver dam. A serious engineering feat, in my opinion.
Here we have The Deerslayer himself showing just how strong it really is.

We also ran across some man made structures. I am sure the tree on top would have not survived if it had not been for the stone structure underneath.

And, what about you.....any signs of nature where you are?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Just Four Words

Several days ago I wrote about Mrs. E and how she lifted my spirits with the gift of a small book....and some kind words. Many of you asked about the book and here it is. Written by Patti Digh, who is also the author of the book, Life is a Verb, this book is a collection of four word phrases to simplify life and provoke thought.

Twelve issues are incorporated, such as: Community, Love, Stress, Travel, Soul, Wellness, Success, Green, Activism, Children, Generosity, and Endings. Each phrase is illustrated by original art from the readers of her blog, 37days.

Some of my favorites are:

give up toxic people

mean what you say

risk your own significance

say what you can't

turn off the screen

know it will end

What about you? Do you have a special phrase, four words or not, that speaks to you? I would love to hear it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Some Musical Enjoyment on This Tuesday

I discovered this music clip while at Sheeps and Peeps this weekend. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have. Before you listen to it, please scroll down to the bottom of my blog and turn off the music player. Oh....and make sure you have a dance partner handy.