Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trick or Treating @ Walmart.

Living in a rural setting can make things like Trick or Treating
Well...a little tricky.

We have a total of 4 neighbors on our 1 mile long road, 3 of which are set well off of the road behind closed gates...and one neighbor in the 5yrs he has lived down the road we have never actually met.

So I had not planned to bother with the whole thing this yr...Until our local Walmart decided to re-introduce the in-store Trick or Treat event again this year...At 9am this morning we had not even decided on a costume, a cow girl?? a princess?? Snow White?? (yes I know she is a princess too but there is a difference in the costume as any of you with daughters will know)

Then Sara's teacher commented to me on Facebook, she thought Sara would be going as Fancy Nancy, her very favorite story book character....DING DING DING...WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

The Walmart staff did an awesome job with arranging this community minded event...There was Story Time with Sheena...Who did a great job of keeping the kids occupied for almost an hour with her story telling skillz...She truly is a natural as she drew the kids in and got them involved....The Costume Contest had three age groups and was judged by a local law enforcement officer and 2 teachers from the Elementary School...Then Employee's stationed throughout the store gave out candy which we knew was safe for our kiddies to eat...

If the zonked out Fancy Nancy in the back of my car is any indication...it was a fun filled afternoon.

Thank you Chiefland Walmart Management and Staff...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homemade Baked Beans in the Crock-pot

It has "bean" awhile since I shared a recipe with yall and this is a newly tweaked family crock-pot favorite...I find my 3.5qt or 2.2lt is the perfect size and shape for this job...With my large oval shaped one, the beans spread out too much and do not get that true stewed effect you want for baked beans.

Homemade Baked Beans

4 Cans of pinto beans (I have found I get the best results if I use Bushes Beans - Low Sodium)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3 Teaspoons yellow mustard (or in my case 3 good squirts and call it good)
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 Pound of bacon (I use low sodium bacon)
1 Diced medium yellow onion
1 Large green sweet bell pepper (capsicums for you Aussies reading this)
3 Large diced garlic cloves

Optional additions:
Salt and Pepper to taste...I find I don't need either as this recipe is packed with plenty of good flavor without them.
3 Teaspoons Liquid Smoke...This gives the beans a good BBQ flavor, but they are delish with or without it depends on your family's tastes.

Empty pinto beans into large colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water, let drain and add to crock pot.

In a mixing bowl combine Sugar, Ketchup, Mustard and Water...If you are using the liquid smoke add it during this step also...pour mixture over beans and stir lightly.

Chop bacon in to 1 inch strips and fry until slightly crispy...drain on paper towel to remove excess grease...save 2 spoons of bacon grease in pan and saute onion, garlic and bell pepper....reduce heat and add lid to pan to sweat for an additional 2 minutes.

Mix bacon and sauted veggies to crock pot and mix thoroughly.

Cook on high for 1 hr then reduce setting to low for an additional 4 to 5 hours depending on your individual crock pot.

I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

Blessings Kelsie

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Autumn Colors

I am in the market to upgrade my camera and have been test driving a Nikon Coolpix 5700...Of course I have not taken the time to read the manual so I know there is much more this camera can do...but for not I am pretty happy with the results.

Teacups from my autumn sideboard display with dried flowers and autumn leaves..
Taken using no flash or lighting beside what was streaming thru the backdoor...Macro setting with Spot focus....Post editing was minimal, with auto color correct and cropping only....I am pleased with the quality of the colors.

Squirrel on a post...This was taken from about 30ft away from subject using full matrix focus and manual zoom...Would have liked to tried a few different settings but my subject was spooked by a hollering child....

Nature photography rule number 1:
Do not try to take photos of wildlife with the help of a 3yr old.

Bird on fence with field of sorghum in background...Don't you just love the colors??
This was taken from a distance of 30 to 40 ft away...Center weighted focus and manual zoom.
Post Editing, Auto Color correction and cropping.

Blessings Kelsie


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lunch at Treasure Cove in Fowler's Bluff FL

Even though Thursday was a chilly windy day, Hubby, Big Daughter and I headed out to Fowler's Bluff to discover Treasure Cove for ourselves...


Many pirate legends tell tales of buried treasure hidden in Fowler's Bluff, just 30miles up the Suwannee River from the Gulf of Mexico...

Well since we did not take a shovel and a map, we went in search of the other hidden gem...In the back of a quaint little general store called "Treasure Cove" is a restaurant of the same name..

As you can see they boast a goodly size dinning area...

Hubby and Big Daughter happily (because I said so) posed for a photo...The views from the dinning area are just amazing, though a little chilly since it is only screened in.

After lunch we wandered down to the dock area...This is the view looking down the Suwannee River towards the Gulf of Mexico.

And looking up river...

It is such a charming little spot to visit and we plan to go back again, of course without Lil Sara as she is not the most co-operative child anywhere near water...But since it is an easy 20 or 30 minute drive from Chiefland it is very do-able...Though next time I would like to leave earlier so we can explore the area on foot a little more.

I would like to add that all these images where taken with my cell phone because of the death of my small pink travel camera....There was a couple of other things I would have loved to share but the images just did not turn out well...Maybe next visit I can take a real camera and try again.

Blessings Kelsie

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My goats are not spoilt at ALL

Just because each day I go out and cut a couple of fresh Oak branches...

And then serve those branches from the holes in the top of their spool...

so they can pretend they are eating from a shrub and not eating off of the ground...

This does not make them spoilt brats...

All the goat snuggles and huggles does that...

Blessings Kelsie


Sharing today:


Fall Farm Friends Friday @
http://www.verdefarm.com

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Country Princess Photoshoot

I have been wanting to do a Country Princess photo shoot with lil Sara and have been hunting for 3 weeks, a pair of cowgirl boots.

And wouldn't you know it...In the past 24hrs I was given 3 pair lol.

All three pairs are very different...

Later this week Sara will be joined for a photo shoot by her BFF Wil

And since one pair of the boots are brown with no princess sparkles...

He is going to be her Country Boy..
.
That grin tells you just how happy she is about that...

Happy Blessed Weekend
Kelsie

Joining
Pink Saturday @
http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/
and
Outdoor Wednesday

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Neglected flower garden

My poor front garden has been sorely neglected this last month or so...things are going to seed left and right and the weeds are taking over....Which is why I need HELP from those of you that can identify plants at a glance.

Is this a weed or a plant I should keep??

The flowers are about the size of a quarter I guess and though they look like a hibiscus flower to me, the leaves look nothing like the ones on my standard size hibiscus bushes.

Been super lazy on the front porch too, and used these lovely ferns that were given to me by my MIL, to hide the mess on the shelves we use for putting the seedling trays when we are starting plants...Maybe one day when I have a greenhouse I can move the shelves from the porch all together.

Thank goodness for mulch or I think I would have lost this to the grass along time ago.

The rose in the suitcase does not seem to mind being ignore for the time being and has even grown a companion basil plant volunteer...You see how shaggy the lawn was getting...I took this photo yesterday morning and hubby came home from work and mowed the front yard..

The Daisy bushes and mum's are doing well...though I see a few stray weeds since I never did find the time to remulch this bed over the summer...

The sweet potato is blooming among the weeds in the middle garden bed...

The Mexican Petunias are filling out nicely and giving a good show each day thanks to all the rain we got at the beginning of the week.

Blessings Kelsie

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Veggie Garden

Finally found the time to get some of the fall veggies seedlings planted this week.

Farmer Brown aka Hubby, planted 7 more rows of corn seed...The soil (who am I kidding I live in FL it is sand) was good and soaked thru from all the rain earlier this week.

Bok Choy ( Chinese Cabbage)

I mixed in some cow compost and then covered with used hay from the goat pen...I hope this will do well to build up the "soil" so we can avoid having to add any man-made chemicals...

We still have plenty more to plant....Hope the nice weather holds.


You didn't really think I could do a post without a goat update did you?

As you can see they are settling in well and lil Sara is even kind enough to share her slide with them....

I do also want to explain why I have not been visiting all my favorite blogs much lately...Being out in the country we are on satilite internet...and this comes with limited daily bandwidth usage...With Big Daughter home, not only does that put a 3rd person on the internet, but also she needs it to fill out job applications...So as any mummy would do, I have scaled by my own usage to allow for the extra draw on our bandwidth...I miss seeing what is going on out there in blog land and all my fellow blogging friends.

Blessings Kelsie

Sharing today:

Fertilizer Friday @
http://www.tootsietime.com/
Fall Farm Friends Friday @
http://www.verdefarm.com

Monday, October 10, 2011

Soggy weather, dry goats

We have had a low pressure system moving thru the area, winds at 15 to 20mph with gusts up to 50mph...thunderstorms all night (the tail end of the last batch of storms is almost done moving thru now)...the weather alert radio has been going off most of the morning since 3am and we were under tornado watch for hours...Now a flood advisery for the low lying areas (thank goodness this is not us, we are on a high spot thanx to hubby's clever homesteading ancestors)..So now we have the steady drizzle and everything is soggy and wet..

Inside the pen is nice and dry for our little goats...
Notice the blue dog lead, this is to keep Boots from dumping all the eating hay on the ground when he is playing King of the Hay Manger.


I went and mucked out the goat pen and laid them out fresh dry hay....I am so glad we decided to tarp the top of the 10x10 pen so they are not stuck all day in the little shelter...They are able to move around without getting wet and have dry feed to nibble at...Even though I do have to go out periodically and empty the water off of the tarp so it does not cave in...We are going to make them a solid roof soon I think.

On a positive note about the rain, the dirt in the veggie garden should be good and soaked for planting seedlings Wed :)

I had promised myself that I would not post another goat post until I had posted something decor or garden related so those non-goat lovers would have something to read...Oops sorry...But soon I promise.

Blessings Kelsie

Friday, October 7, 2011

First morning in their new home....

This is something you rarely see, a photograph of me on my blog...I am enjoying a morning cuddle with our little boy Boots...

Princess (the Goat formally known as Deenie) however is a little more weary of us all...She will allow us to pet her if approached slowly...So as you can imagine, Sara is yet to pet her lol.

He seems happy to be home and enjoying lots of cuddles and scratches from everyone...He really is a very affectionate thoughtful boy.

Here is a closer look at their house....Inside has all the amenities...Running water...Hay manger to keep the eating hay clean and dry....bunk beds, they both seem to like the top bunk and have pooped all over it already.

From outside the fenced goat yard...

From inside the fenced goat yard...
You can see the tarp on top also gives them additional protection from the rain as well as shade (even though we put the pen under the oak tree as well)...It gets hot our in the Florida sun...did not want to cook our goats....

At least the menu seems agreeable to Princess (the Goat formally known as Deenie)

Now the goats are in place and all is function-able in their pen, I am itching to have time to make it "pretty" too...I guess hubby is making a start with that part since he is busy outside at the moment cleaning up all the tools etc that you can see laying around in the background of the photos..

Maybe over the weekend I will find sometime to cleanup and pretty up inside the people house too hehe.

Blessings Kelsie