About Me

My photo
Fayette Co, KY, United States
I am a country girl stuck in the city, for the time-being. I enjoy the country way of life, and practice that in my home as best I can by canning and preserving foods, cooking and baking from scratch, crocheting, living vicariously thru the many blogs I follow about country life. I enjoy learning about raising livestock, and glean from my past employment and personal experiences of working with animals to fuel some of my postings. I have 5 cats, who keep my life interesting. And I am also an amateur poet. Thanks for stopping by and checking out this Farmer-gal who is caught in town, for now.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

I was recently emailing back and forth with Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm and was asking her questions about some ideas I had of what I want to do with my small farm in the country, when I get there. When I got her responses to all of my questions, I wrote back and told her thanks for not saying my dream was impossible. This is what she said to me: What's impossible, Kathy, is not following your heart. If God leads you to do something, He'll take you through to the end.

So, I was doing some studying, and came across these Bible verses that really struck home with me, and I'd like to share these words of wisdom with you from the Book of Psalms.

Psalm 20: 4-5
May he give you the desire of you heart
and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.

I know that there are some bloggers I follow who have not quite seen their dreams of having a small farm and self-sufficient living come to fruition. But hang in there. Your dreams will come true. May the Lord grant all your requests.
Take care, All. And have a blessed Wednesday.
From KY.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday's Treasures

Andrea, over at Rural Revival had a Thrifty Thursday Link-up last week.
So, I decided to show a couple of things that I might have found
going Thrifting, but instead I got them from my Grandma's home
when my family was cleaning it out. I should say, the stool below
I got from my Grandma's house. The next piece I got
from another relative.
The stool is from my Grandpa's parents' home that used to be
on Ross Ave in Hamilton OH. I remember my Mom having
kitchen chairs that match this stool, and using them in the
basement to sort laundry on. And I think they still had
the same color paint on them. She got them when they
cleaned out her Grandparents' home after everyone
had passed on that side of the family.
The stool is pretty heavy and completely solid wood.
Trouble is that I don't know what to use it for, so it's just
sitting in my livingroom by my computer desk,
but I wouldn't trade it for the world since it belonged
to my Mom's Dad's family, and I never got to know
any of them. But before they moved to Hamilton in the
early 1900's, they were farm people from the towns
of Landeck and Delphous in Van Wert and Allen Co's, NW Ohio.
Please excuse the clutter in this next photo. I moved back in November
and am still unpacking, and will be moving again soon,
so what's the use, right?
This washstand was also from my Mom's grandparents' home
on Ross Ave in Hamilton OH. My great aunt had it at her place.
Not too sure how she ended up with it since my great aunt was on
the other side of my Mom's family - but she gave it
to me a number of years ago when I moved some of my
Grandma's furniture to KY to use in my home.
I collect stoneware pitchers, and that's what all of those
are doing on the washstand. Some are Louisville Stoneware,
some Bybee Pottery from Bybee KY, some Roseville OH
Pottery and probably made by one of my favorite potters,
Robinson Ransbottom. I found these pitchers on eBay.
And I also collect the pottery made by the M A Hadley
Company located in Louisville KY. Sometime I'll post
photos of those items. And I guess looking at the photo
there are some odds and ends pieces of pottery there as well.
I like to collect hand-thrown rustic pottery because each piece
is unique, and I like the heaviness of the rustic pieces.
Sometime I'll post about Bybee Pottery. It has been run by
the same family since before the Civil War, in the same location
in Madison County KY.

These are my treasures and mean a lot to me since they belonged
to some long gone relatives whom I only know by visiting their
grave markers at St Stephens Cemetery in Hamilton OH.
And seeing them in very old photographs. Sometime I'd like to post
some of those old photos.

Feel free to stop by Andrea's Thrifty-Thursday Link-up and post your
finds or treasures so that others can view what you have found.

Thanks for stopping by and looking at my Tuesday's Treasures.
Have a good evening. Take care, All, from KY.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Looking Back on a Sunday Evening

I was looking thru an old Xerox box of treasures today
and came across this photo of myself at age 11.
This was the first time I'd gone fishing, and it was at
St Mary's Lake, I think in Celina OH.
I caught a little Channel Catfish.
I worked for a while with the US Forest Service,
and we did field surveys for wildlife habitat to save
when they were going to do timber cutting.
This is one sign we came across when doing some
field surveys. Don't know if you can make out the sign,
but it says, "Don't Even Think of Walking on This Property"
This is another photo taken of an actual place in SE KY
when we were doing wildlife field surveys for the
US Forest Service. I like this photo, it makes me laugh.
And how can I not include a photo of my favorite place
in the world to date - Rushville IL, where my ex-husband's
family had a farm. Steve's Dad has passed away, and now a cousin
is running the farm, and his Mom is living in town.
I thought this place was heaven when I first visited it.
And this was the place I was first exposed to working with hogs.
And I was hooked on farm-life. 
Today I had to share these photos, they bring back some good
memories. And I finally figured out how to scan in photos
using my printer, and was surprised at how well they scanned.
I hope you enjoyed walking down memory lane with me.
I've been in touch with Steve, and he is going to try and
get some photos to me of his Mom and Dad, and more
photos of their farm that I can share with you all.
Thanks for looking at these with me this evening.
Take care, All - from KY.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Easy No Knead Bread Recipe

Here is a pretty easy recipe for homemade bread

Gather your ingredients first
I warm my mixing bowl with warm to hot tap water so that when I put
the water for the bread in the bowl it won't cool it too much.
I put the hot tap water for the bread in the bowl, add the sugar
and then put in the packet of yeast.
I let the yeast, water, sugar mixture sit for
about 10 minutes so that the yeast will proof,
and then I know that the yeast is still good.
This is what it looks like when it has proofed.
When I make this bread, I make half the recipe
which is two loaves. So I put in 3 cups of flour
and beat on high for about 3 minutes, as it
calls for in the recipe. You can use white or
whole wheat flour. I use whole wheat bread
flour that is coarse ground because I like to have
the texture of the flour in the bread.
It makes it a little chewy.
Then I add the rest of the flour, which is about 3 cups
and beat till it comes together nicely and pulls
a little away from the sides, and I can see the
gluten strands in the dough. It will be a very
moist dough at this point, and that's the way  you want it.
I spoon the dough into a greased bread bowl for its first rising.
Before I spoon the dough into the bread bowl, and before
I grease the bowl, I will run some hot water into the bowl
and let it sit a little bit to take the chill off of the bowl
to make the environment optimal for the dough to rise.
And cover it with a flour sack cotton towel.
I let it rise for about 2 hours or so, until it looks
like it's doubled in bulk. I have a hard time getting
a good rise when I use all whole wheat flour,
but I like the whole wheat taste and texture.
Here, I've gotten the two loaf pans ready, and wiped
them with an oiled papertowel on the inside so
that the bread won't stick when baking.
This is the dough divided up between the pans. I just use
a spoon to divide it up evenly between the two until
they look even.
Then cover again with the flour sack towel
and let sit until double in bulk, or about 2 hours.
You can check it periodically to see how it's doing.
This is how it looked after about 2 hours or so,
almost double in bulk. But I don't get a good rise
usually, and maybe these bread pans are too
big for the recipe, and I should try smaller pans.
I put them in a preheated 375 degree oven in the center
of the oven, and bake for 30 minutes or so until
the loaves are nice and brown on top, and when you
tap the tops of the loaves, it sounds kinda hollow inside.
One note - be careful when transfering the bread pans
with the unbaked dough into the oven. The dough is very
wet and spongy, and if you bump the pans it will fall,
and you will have to let it sit and rise again before baking.
I speak from experience! LOL
Take the bread from the pans immediately, and cool on a
wire rack, and cover them with the flour sack towel.
The bread is very airy and light. It makes good toast in the
toaster. And I've also used it for french toast.
You can vary the recipe, and use honey or molasses
for the sweetening agent. You can add raisins
and cinnamon, and sometimes I've added
chopped walnuts or pecans.
And if you use a white flour mixed with the whole
wheat, you may get a pretty good rise on the dough.

Here is the recipe

Easy No Knead Bread - makes 4 loaves
from Beverly Nye's A Family Raised on Sunshine

In large bowl, pour 5 cups warm water. Add 2 pkgs. dry yeast.

When yeast is dissolved, add:
8 tbsp sugar or honey
8 tbsp shortening - I use butter, but any type of shortening or oil would work
8 tsp salt
6 cups flour

Beat on high speed with a mixer for 3 minutes.

6 more cups of flour

Stir in with spoon. (cover with a clean towel) Let rise. Spoon into pans. (cover with a clean towel) Let rise again. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes in large pans. (I just bake mine for 30 min, check to see how it's doing at 30 min, and go from there), or 30 minutes in small pans. Take from pans immediately, brush with butter, and let cool on racks. Makes 4 large 9 x 5 loaves or 7 small loaves.

I have a Kitchenaid mixer, so I use it to mix the dough after the first cups of flour are added, and when the second round of flour is added rather than stirring it in with a spoon. Do whatever works best for you. I hope you will try this recipe. I know from the photos it looks a little complicated, but it really isn't, and it's a good go-to recipe when you don't have the time to do a lot of kneading of the dough.

Happy Baking. Take care, All - from KY

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just Have To Share - Romney Ridge Farm

As some of you know from my past postings, I have learned to crochet. Recently, I started following Kelly at Romney Ridge Farm on Facebook - Kelly had an offer in the last week or so where she had too much of a purple dyelot. So, she offered a free skein of purple yarn if you bought 2 skeins of any color. So, I bought some of her yarn. 2 skeins of Red Grape, and 2 skeins of Lilac. So I also received 2 skeins of Purple. I've decided to keep the yarn for a project for myself, and will probably do some type of afghan. I'm not ready to tackle any type of crocheted clothing. But I wanted to share the yarn skeins with ya'll, so you know the high quality of Kelly's wool. You can also follow Kelly on her blog Romney Ridge Farm Journal and you can find her products and more information about her farm on her webpage Romney Ridge Farm

Now I'm going to try my best and get these 3 photos in the right order, in the right place on this blog posting. I'm still learning the ins and outs of my blog template, so bare with me here. LOL

Red Grape
Each skein is approximately 245 yards, and is worsted weight

That's it for tonight. So hop on over to Romney Ridge Farm
and see what Kelly has to offer. I highly recommend her.

Take care, from KY - 'night All.

What I've Learned From Cats

How to meditate on the meaning of life
That Mama's computer chair makes a better bed than anything

That yoga is not as easy as it appears
That sleeping in a sun-beam can be wonderful
That it's best to sleep with one eye half open
And lastly, sometimes one needs a break from trying to catch
bugs that are attracted to the lamp bulb

What have you learned from your animals lately?

Take care All, from KY

Monday, June 21, 2010

HenPals 3-Hole Chicken Nesting Box Giveaway

Hi All:

I am blogging today about a HenPals 3-Hole Chicken Nesting Box Giveaway that is being offered on Life on a Southern Farm blog. GA FarmWoman (Pam) and her FarmMan make these nesting boxes on their farm in GA. To enter, you can just post a comment on their blog. The contest ends at midnight EST Thurs June 24th. The winner will be announced on their blog on Fri June 25th.

Pam is a great blogger, and also writes articles for the online Grit magazine once in a while. Check out some of her old posts to get to know about her, and FarmMan, and their 100 acre farm and critters. Here is the link to the Giveaway post on their blog Life on a Southern Farm 3-hole Chicken Nesting Box Giveaway

You can also follow Life on a Southern Farm on Facebook and Twitter

Take care All - and have a great week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Poem for Sarah - My Tortoise-shell Queen B Kitty

This is my oldest cat, Sarah. She is 16 this year.
I picked her up at a shelter the day after Thanksgiving
in 1994. She was about 8 weeks old then.

In the Summer and Fall of 2005, I was in a Master of Fine Arts
Creative Writing program at a university here in KY.
One of my assignments was to write a rhyming poem.
And I chose to write about Sarah, and the dreams she has
while she is sleeping. She will cry and twitch.
And sometimes she will wake up with a start,
and hiss at things that aren't there.
So I wrote the following poem for her.
It's not that great as rhyming
is not one of my strong points,
but maybe you'll find it cute, anyway.

Poem for a Diluted Tortoise-shell Cat
Sarah, rest your tired head,
Jump up on my lap.
Dream is not a thing to dread,
And you can take a nap.

On your back, paws in the air,
Waking with a hiss.
Jolted up, you rise and stare.
Calm down, little miss.

Scared, my kitty lie again,
Once more go to sleep.
I will stroke away your pain,
And this promise keep.

Take care all. And have a great week.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mama's Afghan

I made myself sit down for about five hours today
and finish my Mama's birthday afghan.
And it's done except for weaving in the yarn ends on the back.
Here, Albert is supervising the picture-taking.
It turned out alright, but I am a perfectionist.
I still ended up with some of the same color squares together.
I thought I had it all figured out, then laid out the strips to
piece together, and got confused, so just left them as is.
I think I'll just work on the other granny squares
for my niece's baby that is due in December,
and not piece it together into
an afghan for a while. It took a lot longer than
I thought it would to do this one for Mama.
But I am glad I was able to
make it through my first afghan.
Now, the sky's the limit!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Really! How Many?

Just how many granny squares . . .

does it take . . .

to make one afghan?

OK - so I got carried away,
and kept enlarging this afghan for my Mom.

I wanted to make something for her 81st birthday.
She is in a nursing home now. Her birthday is June 29th.
Hopefully I'll get this sewn together this week,
and mail it off to my Dad.

Oh! The answer to the question is: 64!

Take care everyone, and have a great rest of the day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Championship Chocolate Chip Bars

I haven't made these for a while, and thought I'd do that today. Here are the steps with pix for Championship Chocolate Chip Bars.

Gather the ingredients - the recipe and directions are below.

Combine flour and brown sugar, then cut in butter or margarine till crumbly. Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

Press this mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish, and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes.

In same bowl, while crust is baking, combine sweetened condensed milk, egg, vanilla.

Mix in the rest of the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.

This is what it looks like when it's all mixed together.

When crust is done baking, spread mixture over crust, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Let cool to room temperature and cut into squares. Store covered at room temperature.

Below is the recipe with full directions.

Championship Chocolate Chip Bars
makes 24 to 36 bars

1 1/2 cups unsifted flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cold margarine or butter
1-12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour and sugar, cut in margarine until crumbly. Stir in 1/2 cup chips, press firmly to bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in same bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, egg, and vanilla; stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups chips and the nuts. Spread evenly over prepared crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature.

Happy Baking

Take care everyone. And have a great weekend.