Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quickie Greenhouse.

We have another frost coming tonight so we build a quickie mini greenhouse around our green peppers since they are still loaded with fruit and flowers..

So happy to finally see my gorgeous chippy windows being used....Added such a fun element to the front yard (yes my peppers are in the front garden lol)....Maybe come next summer we might actually build the real green house with them.

Blessings Kelsie

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some sparkle and a tree

We dragged down the boxes of Christmas stuff from the attic yesterday...So now my living room is an explosion of boxes and yet to be placed decorations...

BUT...I added a little sparkle to the faux mantel..

AND we got the the tree up...
Which is completely finished except for the 2 new ornaments that we will give the girls on Christmas eve, as is our tradition...

Bless her heart Lil Sara jumped out of bed this morning to check for presents...alas she was disappointed...Time to make her an Advent calendar me thinks.

Not sure if we will do the outside of the house beside the wreaths this year...I have so much cleaning in the garden to get done and just don't know I will have the motivation or time to get to it all.

Sara has her last Bells rehearsal this evening and will perform next Sunday morning (Dec 4th)...I still need to find the battery changer for the cam-cord and make a bow/flower to match her dress...Plus I am working on the set for the older children's Choir who will be performing the same day.

I also only have 3 weeks to finish my Christmas shopping (and making the handmade gifts) since after that Lil Sara will have no Headstart until the New Year.

So today I officially welcome the "Silly Season" that leads us up to Christmas.

Blessings Kelsie

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Mantel

Despite the fact we have not brought the boxes of decorations or tree down from the attic yet this year...

Or the fact we don't actually have a fireplace or mantel...

I have begun decorating the top of the book shelves as though it was a mantel.

I still need to de-clutter Lil Sara's portion of the shelves

I hope when the boxes do come down from the attic, I will find some more sparkle to add to the over all look.

Blessings Kelsie

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving ♥...Roasted Tom and Basil Recipe

Today I am Thankful:

God put me right where I am meant to be
and has blessed me abundantly.
For my sweet husband.
For my wonderful sweet girls,
and that Mic is home with us again and found a job.
For a roof over my head and food in my tummy.
For our families, Here and Away.
Good friends Old and New.
For all the little things that make me smile throughout each day.

Blessings Kelsie

Roast Tomato and Basil Soup

  • 2 lg cans (28oz) peeled whole tomatoes, drained and seeded (reserve 3 cups of liquid)
  • 2 1/2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 ts ground allspice
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 8oz thickening cream
  • 1/4 cup or about 10 lg leaves basil leaves

Preheat oven to 450F. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Arrange seeded tomatoes in a single layer and sprinkle with the onion and brown sugar.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until all liquid is evaporated and tomatoes begin to color.
Allow to cool slightly, then remove from cookie sheet and put into a blender...Add a dash of chicken broth to help liquefy roasted toms...I do this usually in 2 small batches.
Combine liquefied toms, tomato paste, remaining chicken broth, reserved tomato liquid and allspice to crockpot and allow to cook on low for 8hrs (high for 4hrs)
I add my basil into a "tea ball" and drop into crockpot during the last hr..with 30minutes.
to go, finally add cream and mix well.

Serve with crusty bread and enjoy.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The fall garden is growing...

Farmer Brown feed the goats their Oak branches this morning

We have cute 2 little goats to entertain and give us goatie snuggles.

We were able to put up a temp divider in the chicken coop.

The new chickens got to enjoy scratching around in the woods for the first time today.

And THANKFULLY they all came home to the coop to sleep tonight.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are you done with chicken yet?

No Turkey's to be seen at my house, as I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year.

So instead I am sharing more photos of our pretty new chickens.
Latte is turning out to be quite the poser and is happy to come up close to check out the camera.

Some of the reds...These ladies are already averaging 3 eggs a day from 4 red hens.

New Rooster is very handsome...Look forward to seeing him in his full tail come springtime.

The white Easter Egger is a little shy.

And today we got our first...yup that's right GREEN EGG!!!
*Do a happy chicken dance now*

Tomorrow I will start working on a DELISH creamy Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup for Thursday...I will try and type out the recipe and share here later in the week.

Hope yall are well and have a wonderful Thanksgiving

Blessings Kelsie

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Final Count - First Egg

Thursday night we were able to go back and pick up the rest of the chickens we wanted from the neighbors house...A little sad as they are getting rid of their turkeys also, but we are just not ready to accomodate them just yet and being so close if we let them just roam loose they would return from wence they came...

Final Chicken Count:
2 Wyandottes
4 Road Island Reds
5 Easter Eggers (4 hens - 1 Rooster)

Plus the 3 I already had(Bravo and 2 White hens).

Giving me a grand total of 14 Chickens (12 hens and 2 roosters)..Oh My!!

I am going to divide the chicken coop in half.
Put the Reds in with Bravo and the 2 white girls, creating 2 separate flocks.
This will allow me alternate letting them our to roam during the day, but keeping the roosters separated, also come spring I would much prefer to know that "if" I can get one of the Easter Eggers to sit on a clutch that the off spring will be from the right rooster.

I am very happy to say yesterday we got our first egg from the new comers...Pretty sure it was from a Red...Farmer Brown aka Hubby, is really excited to see a green one and see if they taste different...I must admit I am pretty curious myself.

Right now I only have 2 nesting boxes so need to rectify this issue as well...We really had not planned to get any more chickens until the spring and had hoped to have the new coop built first...But hey, the fun of country life is not always knowing what to expect, right??

Blessings Kelsie

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Farm Journal...Unexpected Blessings.

This week I was inspired by two lovely ladies...One an old friend (and a hero of mine) Kari and one new friend, Patty ..

Kari, is like an organized, homeschooling, artist, CEO, motivated woman super hero and has taught me so much with her fun journaling photographs, lists, and sticky notes.

And Patty with her "Homestead Diary" posts on her blog, showing me what I really should be keeping records off and how to put them into words that make sense to us "new farmers".

AND that has motivated me to finally crack open the journal I purchased the same week the goats came home and make use of it.

So here we have it, my Farm Journal...

Each month has a calendar overview at the beginning, I will record reminders of upcoming animal shots, vet visit etc...Post-its have stuff I need to research farther...

Inside each month I will record, daily diets for animals, health updates as needed, garden needs, and that kind of thing...Today's entry was not written at the time I took this photo and had a lot on it...I might need to think about upgrading to a bigger journal before I get to far into the entries and have to copy them over.

One of the reasons for such a long entry today was the unexpected expansion of our flock of chickens....Our wonderful neighbors needed to thin out theirs and asked us to choose who ever we want and as many as we want because otherwise they are going to the auction.
OMGosh...*happy chicken momma dance*

How could I not take the 3 Araucona hens and Rooster??
At least that is what I think they are called...My neighbor told me they lay green eggs (which was my guess as soon as I laid eyes on them)...I was planning to order some "Easter Eggers" come spring so this just speed up my dream a little.

The moment I saw the B&W girls, I knew I had to have them...My neighbor thought them to be Barrocks but I think they could be Wynodottes?..Well whatever you call them, they sure is pretty.

Bravo was not happy to see a new man in the coop...And they spent the next hour or so fronting up thru the fence at each other...

I think I will keep that fence between them for a few days at the very least....

Tomorrow I will go and get 3 more hens...Road Island Reds...They will join Bravo's girls...So maybe he will be not so threatened once he and the new Rooster have the same number of girls each lol.

Blessings Kelsie

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Quiet Moment Between Chores.

Green Tea and Florida Orange Blossom Honey...Yum

Would love to know what you think about the names in yesterdays post.

Blessings Kelsie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What is in a name? *Update on list*

"That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet."
William Shakespeare

This month we celebrate 2yrs since we purchased our little patch of Florida and made way to built our little blue HOUSE...or should I say COTTAGE??
This is the debate Farmer Brown and I go over ever time we try and choose a name for the property...Yup 2 yrs later we are still undecided because we can not agree on this one little detail..

He says our dwelling is too big to be a called a cottage and I say it is perfectly cottage looking or will be once the "English Cottage Garden" is finished being planted, AND since I am wanting to start our own "Cottage Industry"...Would you not think cottage is the perfect name for our little blue dwelling?

So today (and I think he is just sick of the merry-go-round) he told me he will be perfectly fine with cottage if that is what I want....Well yer it is what I want, but I want him to understand why...Because I am a wo
man and we are just unreasonable like that...getting our way is not always enough lol.

And incase you are wondering why we are debating this atm...I need to put in the registration papers for our Doeling Princess Deenie and we will need to "name the herd"...So also keeping in mind that our Herd Name will also to a degree dictate the theme of the names we give future animal and we already have Little Boy Boots and Princess Deenie (you catching this theme)

Here is my short list:

Fairy Tale/Tail Cottage
(thought about farm but there was already many FairyTaleFarms out there)
Fairy Tale/Tail Cottage Farm
Story-Book Farm
Story-Book Cottage
Story-Book Cottage Farm

Other Options
Old Purvis Place
(in honor of Hubbies Ancestors)
Little Miracles Farm

And Big Daughter suggested we go with
Lil Blue Dwelling

Also just found out there is a Character limit on the registration forms for the goats so need to try and keep it under 15 spaces.

and then of course comes the question...Do I change the blog from "Our Country Home" to whatever we choose??

On to some garden randomness.

We had our first frost this week so before covering the pepper plants, just in case we picked what "fruit" they had on them..

Hubby sliced them up this morning and here they are in a gallon bag ready to go into the freezer...Amazing how quickly all those small peppers added up.

I would love to know what you think about the name...and of course do you think our dwelling is suitable for the title of "Cottage"

Blessings Kelsie

Monday, November 14, 2011

Goat Doctor

The goat equivalent to a Easter egg hunt....Foraging for acorns under the oak tree

I am excited, I think I have found a competent goat vet in my area...He answered all my question without pause, his advice lines up with everything I have been reading in my books, in the goat forum and on other blogs...He is all for minimal chemical use and fecal testing prior to treating for parasites...they offer both on farm visits and for less urgent needs more then happy to do in office visits by appointment for no call out charge.

Now the rest of my week is going to involve lots of poop.

Today I have to clean the goat pen and add fresh hay
Spreed the old hay (and goat poop) onto the herb garden so come spring I should have good nummy soil to plant in.
Tomorrow, spreading cow-compost in the Fall veggie garden.
And the Cockatiels are due for a deep cleaning of their cage.
Chicken house needs doing too.

And just for a change of pace at the end of the week I will be making big batches of fudge to take to our church Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday.

Blessings Kelsie

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dream Goats

Many years ago before Farmer Brown AKA Hubby and I were married, we talked about what the future would hold for us...We discussed all the usual things, children, career paths, our expectation of a future together, what country we would live in (he is American, myself Australian) and the logistics of the relocation etc....and of course GOATS....

Just like any other couple preparing to spend a life time together, right??

Of course our discussion about goats was about one day when we retire, it sure would be nice to own a little land and raise a few goats, sheep and potter about our garden enjoying the quiet country life style as we grew old and grey together...

Well seems this dream was closer than we could have ever possibly imagined back in 2000 when we tied the knot...Due to a series of events that started with 9/11 and the impact it had on the airline industry (my husband's chosen field) we found ourselves re-accessing, re-working and by 2004 relocating to a small parcel of land in FL that had been home to more than a few generations of my husband's family...(they homesteaded it in 1896)

Finally in Nov 2009 we had the opportunity to purchase the parcel of land for our very own and we began to build us a little blue house...We moved into the house on May 4th 2010 (Our 10th Wedding anniversary) and then started working on making our long shared dream come true..

This year we purchased our first 2 Nigerian Dwarf goats...and though we have a long way to go, each time I look out my back windows to see these funny little creatures (usually eating) I have to pinch myself....Because these 2 little goats are just the beginning of the dream...

They are our DREAM GOATS...

Blessings Kelsie

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Final Answer....

After much thought and pondering I have decided the Nikon Coolpix 5700 is the camera for me...Because though the L120 has more megapixels and much larger zoom capacity...the quality of the image comparisons did not justify the extra $150 it would cost me...
And there was other factors in the 5700's favor...Separate battery and memory card compartments...More logically located dials and buttons ,plus better menu settings that I control and are not pre-programmed questionably named ones.

So today I returned the L120 for a full refund, ordered a second lithium battery for the 5700 and called my good friend whom I am purchasing the 5700 from to tell her the good news.
And snapped a couple of photos of a Eastern Gray Squirrel playing in my pecan tree..

Blessings Kelsie

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rainbow Sprinkler

Who does not love a rainbow??...No matter where I see them, they delight me.

Taken today of the larger (giant) sprinkler system across the road using the Nikon 5700

Blessings Kelsie

Monday, November 7, 2011

Which one do I keep??

Playing with the zoom on the Nikon L120

So I purchased the Nikon L120 on the weekend and now have the task of comparing it's photos side by side with the Nikon 5700....I have 30 days from purchase to return it if I do not what this one...It is a tough choice...

The 5700 is more of a bridge camera and has easy to understand (for me at least) menu settings since they are the named the same on my old Nikon 990 that I also has more features than the L120...Better looking and more logical buttons (again could be because it is similar to the 990)...and I prefer the way the card and battery compartment are separate, making the card easier to remove..(I use a card reader not cables to remove files from my camera to computer)

BUT it was made in 2002 (though is in really good condition...I know and trust the person whom I could buy it from)..It comes with no warranty at all.

The L120 is a point and shoot... It comes with 14megapixels v's the 5 on the 5700...the L120 has 21x zoom v's the 8x zoom of the 5700...It comes of course with a 1 yr warranty...and has a fun continuous sports capture option....The settings are all pre-programmed which makes me feel like I have less control of my images...They do not use real photograph terms like Macro etc, but layman terms like close-up and it will take me awhile to work out what all 20 of these new names mean and the type of images they can produce...The battery door is similar to the 990 door that broke from wear and tear on my first 990, and since the memory card is also in this compartment this door is going to get used A LOT.

Now the biggest questions is will the L120 produce photos with so much better quality as to warrant me spending the extra $150 price difference....

28 days left to figure this out....Tomorrow I am going to be taking photos of a cute little baby boy, I will use both cameras and compare the results side by I am play with them outside and trying to work out comparable menu settings.

If only I had $1500 to spare I could just skip all this and get the D300 hehe.

Blessings Kelsie

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Boo-Hoo Buddies... *updated*

This is my first attempted and I am glad to say, I think the pattern (that I made myself) does not need any tweeking...I am hoping to make them for Etsy....What do you think??

Patched together using 100% cotton fabrics and filled with rice... Boo-Hoo Buddy is an eco friendly reusable hot/cold rice pack for a little one who needs a Buddy to Boo-Hoo to when they have a boo-boo...

Obviously this Blue Boo-Hoo Buddy prefers the cold...

And this Pink Boo-Hoo Buddy prefers the heat.

Blessings Kelsie

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting to know you...

Today I have a little bit of a random assortment of images to share with you...As I have mentioned in a previous post I am trying out a Nikon 5700 camera to see if I want to buy it...Well as with everything around here, it got interrupted and delayed a little.

BUT, Yesterday I did manage to find a couple of moments to take it out into the front garden...Alas all the squirrels and birds scattered and I did not have time to await their return...So instead...

I took a new photo of my little Cherub statue...
Don't blink, he might cry
(little Dr Who reference for those of you are confused right now *grin*)

Change of focus, Cherub in the background and a lovely new Lavender stem in the front.

Then in the afternoon Lil Sara, her dolly Wil and myself took a little stroll to see what we could find...

Look we found Daddy working on his cars...So Lil Sara and Wil helped him out some.

Then Sara checked all the tires where good and tight....

The cows next door were very curious to see what was up...Who would have thought dust from them running to the fence could look so pretty in the afternoon sun light...

Talking of fence...Only our southern property line is fenced...We dream of the day when the rest is too and we can bring in more animals and really get serious about raising our own food.

The gate in the south fence...It used to get used a lot but alas our neighbor moved away and now his house stands empty and his fields are rented out.

I hope today to have more quiet time to work with the camera so I can try and make a decision about buying it or not...We have a hawk that hunts in the Sorghum field behind the house each day that I am dying to get some photos of.

Blessings Kelsie

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