Around the Farm

Welcome to the farm little ones!

These are the two newest members of our family; 'Fluffy' and 'Turkey Lurkey'

We will say that our son named them...
'Fluffy' is the brown and white faced, not-so-fluffy Hereford, 
and 'Turkey Lurkey' is the white, somewhat fluffier, Charolais.

If someone had told me twenty years ago that I would be living on a farm, I would have tipped over with laughter....

Now, my sweets, I'll be doing the tipping.


ps. Don't fret PETA member friends;
 I actually don't tip cows.
Especially the ones we house.

Filter Fun
The other day as my son bounced his little heart out on the trampoline, I couldn't help but capture the awesome sky...

What a gorgeous evening.

I had so much fun with the different filters!



Jazzed up!

One of the originals

Filter #1

Filter #2

Filter #3

Filter #4
My favorite!

Per standard, I could not make up my mind which one to post, so I decided to share them all with you!

Snow Hike
Finally, school was not cancelled yesterday! 

Because running outside is almost impossible right now, and a trip to the mountain on President's Day was less than appealing, I set out down the driveway with intentions of doing a few short laps to get a little fresh air...
then I realized how absolutely beautiful it was outside! 
A short walk was not going to suffice.

So, I went back in the house, strapped on my big-ass snow boots, grabbed a pair of poles, and I was off...

Whether it is because I have been pent up for the past few months with various illnesses, snowstorms, or allergies, it truly was the best two + hour snow hike ever.
I came home with full intentions of buying snowshoes and starting a new hobby.

Snow Selfie


A Field Just Waiting to Be Snow-Shoed

Thank you Katie and Allie for making miles of tracks! I still sank, but this hike would have been impossible without them!

So quiet and peaceful!

Anybody Home!?

Critter Scuffle #1

Critter Scuffle #2...yes, that is blood...:(

Katie, Allie and Elias' Snowman

2 hours later and still toasty warm!

Thank you school for not cancelling, Mr. Golden Sun for shining, my boots for keeping my feet warm, and Katie and Allie for snowmobiling the perfect paths through the fields and forest! 

It was a charmed day.

February Ice
Well, Wednesday was pretty dreary, and I felt like sticking a pencil in my eye around 2:30....anotherrrrr snow day!?! 
They used to be so grand when I was a teacher, but now that it means I am stuck inside with a toddler for another day it makes me want to scream.
Especially when the roads are clear and there is not a cloud in site.
Give me a break!

Okay, I'll stop complaining.

Well, yesterday as Mr. Golden Sun came to visit I was reminded to not be such a bitch...
It was very pretty.

Thank you for the balance Mother Earth!

Look at this ice!
It shimmered like gemstones.
It was the type of snow that a toddler could walk across with ease. 
The ice that formed on top was the perfect layer of glass. 
For me, or anyone over 38 pounds, however, it was the type that you crash through and kill your shins with every step. Ouch!

Well, at least it was pretty!

Bring on the weekend!
Have a great time out there!
Stay warm and enjoy the season....

Mid - January Gloomy Beauty
Gloomy Beauty
It has been pretty cold, drizzly and damp out there the past couple of days, but as the fog rolled in yesterday I captured these shots.

Sometimes you can find beauty in things if you are just willing to shift your perspective.

Stay warm friends!

The Winter Solstice

"Live each season as it passes; 
breathe in the air, 
drink the drink, 
taste the fruit, 
and resign yourself to the influence of the earth." 

- Henry David Thoreau

A quote for this winter's solstice. 
Have a great weekend everyone.

Winter is officially here!

*Image, again, taken with my trusty iPhone. 
The best gift I gave myself this year. 

Winter Sunset
On another cold and snowy day, it is moments like this that warm our senses.
Thank you Mother Earth for keeping us in balance.

I took this shot after our first snowfall. 
Now that it is apparent that winter is here to stay, I have to suck up these moments every chance I get.


Think Warm Thoughts
On frozen days like today, I like to look at images like the ones below to warm me up.

I hope you are all staying toasty in these sub-zero temps!

I took these images a few months back from our back patio. 
You can almost feel the warmth!

Think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts.....

A Borrowed Day
What a moment in time.
Thank you mother nature for another beautiful evening.

Once again, I took this with my trusty iPhone.
The love affair continues...

Happy Hour
I think I am going to title this one 
"Still Life With Toddler and Mama; The Makings of a Perfect Happy Hour"

What do you think?!
I think it is perfect!

Have a Great Weekend Everyone!

May Your Marshmallows Be Perfectly Toasted, and Your Glass Half Full!
Daylight savings always reminds me of my good friend Julie, who, in college, told me late one night to make sure to turn my clock back. 
Which was so nice of her.
However, when I got to class, there was nobody to be found. 
It wasn't daylight savings.
(I thought it was strange that I didn't pass my regulars on my walk to Houghton House...)

So I had to sit outside for an hour and freeze my ass off in the sub-zero Geneva temperatures until class actually began.

Thank you Jules...I'll get you back someday.

I captured this sunset a few weeks ago, but it seemed appropriate to post around daylight savings...
See you in a few months, dear sun.

This was taken on my beloved iPhone and chirped up on Instagram.

Campfire View
It has been a little hot the past few days, but as we cling to the last days of summer, we have been maximizing our porch time.
I hate to wish it away.
It will be cold soon enough.
Here is a shot I took this week, pre-marshmallows.
Taken from my beloved iPhone and cropped on Instagram.

What is your favorite photo app?!
We'd love to hear fresh suggestions!

August: Gardening Bliss
I think I am the very first person to ever have a garden....Oh, the pride.
We are knee deep in clipping, pruning, weeding, picking, blanching, freezing, pickling, canning... 
I can't imagine what this is going to feel like once I get the knack of this.
Let it grow!

Our First Pumpkin!
Heirloom Explosion
Our First Eggplant and a Few Hole-y Tomatoes For The Ripening
Did I Mention That I Love Having a Garden!?
I can taste the sauce already...
Tomato Elephantitus
Peter Pepper....
The Broccoli That Will Not Stop Growing...
Hopefully our freezer doesn't shit the bed like last year...and luckily Todd did all of the clipping, soaking, cleaning and preserving.
Good man!

Now, what should we make with all of this stuff!?
Did somebody say dinner party!?

Our Hummingbird
This little guy is now a part of our family. 
He is a constant fixture on our porch, and we welcome his regular visits.
He is small, but he is a badass. 
I never knew that hummingbirds could be so mean to one another, but apparently they are very territorial. We even saw him take on a wasp the other day. 
We don't let people mess with our food in these parts!

Taken with my Nikon SLR; No Filter

Hi Fish!
Here are two fun snaps I took off of our deck a few weeks ago.
And yes, those are real fish.
No photoshop tricks here folks; wanna come for a swim!?

Taken with my iPhone 4s with filters

July 2013

Beet This; Let the Pickling Begin
In learning this whole gardening thing, I thought I over-planted my beets; however, once they were cleaned, roasted and pickled, it didn't seem so over the top.
I adapted this pickling recipe from one that I used last year for my green beans; 
I thought that the heat from the peppers would balance the sweetness from the beets, and I believe it was a success. 
Plus, the acid from the lemons added dimension and balanced out the sweetness as well.
I made one batch and it was enough pickling liquid for three jars of roasted beets and one jar of green beans.
Now, we can eat our garden at leisure!
Do you have any good pickling recipes you want to share!? 
Send them our way!

Roasted Beets, Peeled, Cleaned and Ready to Rock
A Season of Snacks
The Magical Fruit

This recipe is for pickling the roasted beets. If you want to adapt it for pickled green beans, simply trim, clean and blanch the green beans and add a 1/4 cup of sugar to the recipe. Also, these should be stored in the refrigerator until they are eaten; if you wish to can them, follow the link provided below.

4 jars with lids
8 cups of beets, cleaned, roasted and peeled; larger beets cut into smaller sections 
Dried Chile Peppers (Such as arbol or thai; 1 per jar)
1 lemon, sliced thin
2 cups apple-cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon of multi-colored peppercorns
2 tablespoons of kosher salt

1. Clean four jars well; put cleaned, roasted beets in the jars with lemon slices. Try to put the same amount of lemons in each jar.
2. Bring water, vinegar, sugar (for green beans), salt, chiles, and peppercorns to a boil. As soon as the liquid boils, pour over the beets into the jars, making sure each jar gets a chile pepper, and equal amounts of peppercorns.
3. Seal jars and refrigerate at least overnight and up to a few weeks to let the flavors develop.
4. Enjoy on tiny party forks.

Here is the link if you wish to can:

Tell us, what is your favorite food to pickle!?

Let It Grow
This weather has been brutally hot; so when the sun went behind a cloud yesterday, I scurried out of hiding to check on my much neglected garden.
I was afraid of what I would find, but things were doing better than I expected.

However, I really must learn moderation.
Seriously, what am I going to do with all of these beets? 

Roasted beets, pickled beets, beet juice, sauteed beet greens....The next time you see me I will be a lovely shade of red.

Keep Growing Little Garden!

Beefsteak, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Cherry and Heirloom...Flowers Flowering!
Handy Wagon 
A Lesson in Moderation
Happy Full Collander...
Symmetry in Nature
Trimmed and Ready To Roast
First Picked
First Batch...
Pumpkin Patch from Last Year's Pumpkin Compost. 
What a Nice Surprise!

I feel so green!
I am going to totally devour my cookbooks tonight in search of new garden inspired recipes (especially pickling and preserving:) 
Watch out Alice Waters. 
There is a new girl in town.

Hollow Radishes
I am relatively new to this gardening thing. 
So, in Pennsylvania this makes me a total rookie, and in most company around here I am laughed at when it comes to my novice knowledge and skills of raising vegetables, fruit and the such. 
For those of you who know me, know that I don't take very well to being made fun of, and I have difficulty admitting when I am wrong... 

Well, I should have taken my husband's advice and picked the damn radishes two weeks ago...

However, in my own defense, these radishes look totally beautiful, don't they!?
 But in their defense, I should have picked them when they said to...because they are all hollow.
Translation: The radishes are compost.

I am admitting I am wrong. 
And not very good at this stuff.
Off to Wegman's

Someday I'll be good at this gardening thing, right!?


Spring has Sprung!
Our first root vegetables have sprouted, and I am reminded of how much I love my garden. 
Having grown up in a town where nothing grows, and if it does the deer are ready and waiting to annihilate anything green, I truly appreciate being able to grow most of our summer food.
A friend and I got laughing about how spot on trend it is for me to be gardening, raising chickens, cows and fish. 
Truth be told, however, here in Pennsylvania it isn't much of a trend. 
It is called farming. 
Shockingly, this is how people have been getting their food for years!?!
Who knew!?
 ps. I am admittedly a novice at this gardening gig, and I have realized that I need to practice much more restraint when planting my seeds next year. 
Was it really necessary to plant 5 rows of radishes?
Time to research pickling recipes...
If you have any send them my way!!!

 Let's Meet at the Local Watering Hole!
I honestly could not have staged this any better. Thank you to my son for inspiring this Friday's post.
Everyone here was the cat.

Happy Friday Everyone!

After the longest winter ever, it is such a relief to get outside and enjoy the earth again. 
Here is a quick snap I took this weekend of the maiden canoe voyage of this season.

Did I mention that I love my iPhone?

Ahhhh Spring, 
Let Me Count the Ways I Love You!

Goodbye Snow 
Hello to All That Blooms!

I hope you all have a great weekend, 
now get off your computers and get outside!

Is that white wine season I smell knocking at my door!?

I believe it is!

I hope you all have a great weekend filled with all things Spring!

Here Fishy Fishy
So, last year I made a resolution that I would learn how to fillet a fish. 
I didn't....kind of on purpose...  
So I remade the resolution this year.
I figure if I'm ever going to be any kind of cook, I need to learn such things. 

Typically you would skin a catfish, but with a little help from my husband and friends, I gave filleting a go...

I was enthusiastic, but a surprising sissy throughout the entire process. It was disgusting, and unbeknownst to me, catfish are tough as shit. 

Here is a little photo spread of the experience.

Stage One: Reluctance/Dread
(Check Out the Size of That Thing!)
Stage Two: Learning
Stage Two, Part II: Still Learning
Stage Three: Crying
Stage Four: Re-Learning
Stage Five: Crying Again
Stage Six: Re-learning. Again.
Stage Seven: Being Mocked
Stage Eight: Still Being Mocked...
Stage Nine: Stone Cold Fish Killer!

So I didn't do such a stellar job. 
In fact, I made quite a mess of that beast, but I did it nonetheless. 
I filleted my first fish. 
We fried it and it was delicious. 

Thank you!

From the Photo Vault:

Last Second of Light
Fireflies or Sprites?!

I was looking through some old photo albums and I found these lost pictures.
What a beautiful night we had.
This is where it all began...

Goodnight + Sleep Tight!

December 3rd...

Is there something wrong with this picture? Two days ago the ground was covered with snow... Yesterday, this is what my run looked like. Beautiful, sunny and warm.

I'm not complaining because it got my butt off of the couch, but I think I'll put the aerosol bottles away...

Chloe vs. the Chickens...

Where we sit...

What we see....

Ahhh! This weather is absolutely perfect. I hate bathing suits, and I hate snow, so Autumn is the perfect time of year for me. Last weekend I hiked to the top field with a good friend to take in the view. It had been over four years since I had done the short hike, and I realized that a large tree had grown right in front of the bench my husband had put there years before. Regardless, I re-realized how beautiful it is up there. Since last weekend I have been taking full advantage of the beautiful weather and every free moment to take the hike. This is our view...taken a little left of the giant tree. Today I have made a date with my son to make the hike. Tomorrow maybe I'll get Todd up there to chop down that view-blocker. Just in time for Christmas! ho ho ho!


*Disclaimer: These cows were raised with a lot of love


  1. I think i know who that good friend was! A beautiful view indeed.... love you so much! Those cows stare at me in my kitchen every day... mooooo xoxo