Saturday, October 27, 2012

new experiences...

NEW experiences! Asher goes hunting this morning, and kills two BEAUTIFUL pheasants.

I cooked them up with potatoes and onions, and also some squash we were given by our SUPER generous neighbors. And it turned out delicious. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

learning a language . . .

Recently the children have been having fun with languages.  More fun than they had been having trying to "study" a foreign language than before.
I started them on the Berlitz Method to study French this year.  For years they have been studying French from a book, not enjoying it, and not really learning much at all year to year.  And with my study of language aquisition, and my Master's study of culture, I found that conversational, real life situational learning works best.  Especially when learning a language.  First comes the verbal, then the book-work grammar, structures, and perfection of the language.  And when people study language rearely do they want to understand the sentence structures first . . . they want to SPEAK it.
So with the addition of the tape series Berlitz Method, the children have been using the google translate to help them along with the aquisition of the French language.  And that has morphed at times, to just playing around with noises, phrases, and sentences of ALL SORTS of different languages.  It is hilarious to have them play them while we are all sitting around the family room.  And a great way to get exposure to other languages in a fun way.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

getting used to school...

Okay, so it’s been a really long time since I posted anything, so I will give a splurge on school.
So the first two weeks I didn’t think I was going to make it through the day, let alone a whole YEAR, I was totally freaked out, about nothing and everything. (We also have to use computers a lot and I don’t like them, they keep doing things like their alive or something.) I also felt like everyone was inwardly laughing at my stupidity in all the things that were so normal to them. About the first time I was asked to put an MLA heading on a paper, or even getting an assigned a paper to write, I was completely at sea. After I got over myself and realized that the work was really easy, the teachers weren't going to eat me if I did something differently, and I was actually really cool because I lived in LA, and now lived on a farm, I started to enjoy school a little more. Now that I know some kids my own age, and it doesn't scare me when people talk to me, I'm ALL HAPPY now :)

( and it's BEAUTIFUL outside )
posted by Macy

Friday, October 19, 2012

tuck it under . . .

Last weekend Asher and I finally did some electrical work that I had wanted to get done since we moved here.  I wanted to put in a motion sensored spotlight by the garage so that when we drove up, it would turn on.  And another great feature of the light would be that we could play basketball at night!
About a year ago I dug a fairly deep hole and put this rusty post down in it.  I found the pole in the woods and planned to re-purpose it.  I had Asher take the pole out and dig the hole down 24 inches.
The next step was to run the wire down the pole and then put it back in the hole.  I opted not to drill a hole through a 1/2" thick metal, so the wire just came out of the top and bottom of the pole.  After putting a little clay/dirt in the hole at a time, Asher tapped it down so the post would sit solidly in the ground.
We finished the post part by adding the dirt around the post, and running the wire over to the edge of the concrete where we tucked it under the grass.  I used outdoor gray wire that will not compost even after a LONG time under ground.
I finished the wire up to the garage and used some old pvc piping to attach it to the outside wall.  I started to feel like a real elctrician.

Usually I work with electricity "hot" because I don't want to take the time to turn the main line on and off while I work, and most of the time I need the electricity to run a tool that I am using for the job.  But, since I was teaching Asher how to do it, the right way, I worked with the electricity off.  It is far safer and easier to work with wires when there is no chance of getting a jolt.  :)
And Macy came around a few times to let us know what she thought about our electrical work on the light pole.
And the photos . . . Maine is now our resident photographer.  She took all the photos for us on this activity.  I am extremely pleased at her photographer's eye.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

the second batch . . .

For such a long time we have been getting tons of milk.  Since Janey has come fresh, it has been anywhere from 4 to 6 gallons of milk a day.  With so much milk, we have been able to have as much as we want, feed the new calf, feed all the dogs and cats, and give some away for other families to enjoy.  And even though the milk has stretched that far, we are still having to pour some out on a regular basis.
Two weeks ago I started making yogurt out of the extra milk.  And it has been a fun process to learn.  First I added about two gallons of milk to a large pot.  The cream had already been taken off to make butter.
 I then heated the milk up to 110 degrees.
 Next I added some of the previous batch of yogurt I had made.  It had live active cultures in it which makes the yogurt "yogurt."
 Then Gresham adds a lid, slightly tightening it, and puts it in the oven.  We leave in in there overnight with the pilot light on to culture.
The next day we tighten the lid and put it in the refridgerator.  Presto, we have yogurt!  Since we have been buying some yogurt from the store, we add the one from the store, with all the fruit in it, to ours to make the Fruit on the Bottom yogurt last a LONG TIME.  Yum!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

surprise, surprise, surprise . . .

So I was walking in the barn pasture fixing some of the fence wires that came out of the posts, and Maine yells at me from the woods pasture "Hey dad, there's a baby lamb!"  She had been in the woods, and on her way out, she stopped by the pasture to get a look at what was following Clover around.  I walked over to where she was, and sure enough, Clover had a lamb RIGHT NEXT TO HER!  WOW, what a surprise.  We did not even know that she was bred!
Not know she was bred?  How could you not know?  Well, first off, she did not LOOK bred, and secondly, we kept the rams away from the ewes EXCEPT for a couple of times they all got mixed up together.  :)  Since we are not all that experienced with handling sheep, those types of things are bound to happen.
This is Clover with her new lamb Clementine.  As Maine has named her.
And last week we added a parakeet to the inside RAT that Asher has in his room.  I don't know what I am thinking letting the children keep pets in the house.  Have I gone mad?
In fact, it has shocked the children a bit that I have been letting them get and keep household pets.  And it is shocking me as well!  I guess in my older age things aren't as they were when I was younger.  I figure that a few little animals aren't going to hurt me.
I purchased this cage years ago (when Pottery Barn had no idea that bird cages were cool) and have only used it for decoration.  Now it was time to put it to use.  And since the bird has been here, only for a few days, it has gotten out of the cage twice.  What fun it is to try to catch a flying bird in the house.  :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

non-traditional . . .

Lately I have been working on a ton of chalkboard orders for menu boards.  It seems they are starting to pick up just as much as the little 3 x 4's have.  And I have also been changing the look of some of them, like the one pictured, to non-traditional black to some other colored boards that you can use ChalkInk markers on.  This one was for a farm down in North Carolina and I used a darker brown as the chalkboard writing surface.  The logo is displayed on both sides.