It's Friday!

Warning.... I am full of so many emotions, and so thankful for so much - this post is a rambling one...

I sometimes keep myself so busy with fun projects, the rescue, and the farm, that I tend to forget to look at my life and take in how lucky I am. I have one amazing, loving, and kind-hearted, incredible partner that I share this life with.... Christian is beautiful inside and out.. When I started devoting so much time to the rescue, he took on cooking dinner every single night. YES. EVERY NIGHT. He keeps me from getting hangry, he even keeps the kitchen clean. I cannot tell you the last time I washed dishes. It is pretty amazing. He has a heart of gold and always tries to make my life easier in the ways he can.... and let me tell ya, this last few months have been extra tricky...Honestly, I did get a little over my head with the whole volunteer thing for about a solid month, and I was pretty much a ghost around the farm. When I was home, I was knee deep in the continuation of the land clearing and 'training' the grass to grow, which is therapeutic for me as well as super gratifying..

Last night was rough, though... I saw more than a few volunteers cry happy and sad tears as they were happy all their dedication had made such a great difference, but also sad to see 'their dog' - the one or many that they had bonded with, go far away to wonderful homes. It is really hard to not get attached to these animals. I got super attached to Rosie, as you all know, and anyone should be so lucky to adopt such a super girl. 

Back to my point, I am notorious for getting involved in too many things, having too many projects, and being consumed with farm projects. This means it is hard to get downtime/veg out/chillax time with my guy. He understands. I love him dearly and am so appreciative of the support he gives me every single day. 

He never had a dream of living on a farm... that was ALL me, yet last weekend, he pitched in to help me with yet another farm project. We are in the process of expanding the current goat field to stretch out all the way to the workshop. The ground between the current goat field and the workshop is rough and very hard to maintain, so the goats will help 'condition' it a bit.... just another little thing to maximize the use of all of our property...

I go into this day, the last day of June, hoping that you all have a good weekend! I look forward to starting yet some more new things with the beginning of July. Wish all our little rescue workers,  doggies,  and kitties luck and safety on this trek up to Connecticut in this rainy weather - and let's hope none of these amazing animals come back! <3

I leave you with a picture of some of these rescue dogs... mostly because, well, Christian doesn't do social media! 




want/ need/ hear/ read

Yes. I desperately want one of these. Three years into this place, and I am getting tired of doing it all the hard way. I guess the bright side is, not having one, keeps me pretty active out here....Anyone want to gift the farm one?? Anyone?? :)


some new rain boots. Mine have dry rotted and now just pretty much collect water when its wet out. I used to have a bright red par of Hunter boots, and I think it's time to bring back some color to the rainy farm days out here!
This week's song has a special memory attached to it for my secretary, Jeannie.... She was humming this for weeks, and I asked her why it was special to her.... She said it reminded her of riding with her older brother in his 1964 Ford Station wagon driving over to Island Beach State Park where he was a Ranger, while they both sang along to this song....



evolution of this blog....

Yeah, yeah, I normally post the midweek mixtape on Wednesdays, but this morning I woke up really thankful for my farm, my Eddie Ray, my Christian, all the other critters, and my drive to learn enough to be where I am today with this whole 'farm' deal. I read a few of my old posts, that I have linked at the bottom of this post, and found myself really proud of what I have done out here. It's been a LOT of work, dedication, and refusal to accept anything less than I feel I deserve, and that old distant dream of being able to drink coffee on my porch while gazing out across the land to see my animals, well, that became my reality.... <3

(my very first experience milking a goat!!!, 2010)

(my very first calf roundup!! 2011)

 (trying to hand feed Taco the cow so that she can be handled and milked one day)

 When I started this blog, I was 33 years old, with no farm, no farm animals, just the normal cat + dog type thing, and I was just becoming increasingly interested about where my food came from and how to be more responsible about what I was eating...... Back then, I was so afraid to eat an egg from a free range chicken, that I fed one to my dog first! It wasn't USDA certified, so I was skeptical!! This little place was born on a little piece of land that I shared with a friend from high school. We started this on ONE ACRE, and then by the end of the first year, we each had our own farm/ garden things going on - he was raising turkey, boer goats, and selling eggs & milk on several acres, and I was figuring it all out across town on a little three-acre plot. I tend to do better if I am thrown in - or throw myself in to a situation where I have no choice but to figure it out....I did well, I think ;)

My, how so many things have changed... I will be 41 this summer, Christian & I have been growing some of our own food and flowers, actually have our own farm, complete with goats, horses, chickens (and we all eat their eggs! ;) !), a dog, and cat. Although some of my interests here at the blog have changed over the years, there are a few constants.....

~ my love of photographing animals

~ my desire to live more sustainably 

~ my obsession with raw goat milk
(hooked since the day I milked my first goat ever!)

~ family - we are thick as thieves. Tight. I am so lucky in this regard...

~ coffee. pour over. hooked on 1000 Faces for over a year now. 

~ thrifty vintage finds.
 Although I have become increasingly aware of the lead used in older ceramics,
vintage toys, etc., so I have been sticking mostly to clothes....
which I have recently began purging so that I can have
room for a few new-to-me things...

~ my amazing friends.....
I have really great friends that love me through the times when I
don't have time to see anyone due to the rescue work,
one of my many fun 'me-time' projects, or the farmwork.
I always find windows of time to devote to my friends eventually,
there are just some realllllly long stretches in between sometimes. 

These days, a typical weekday is spent at my nine-to-fiver still (yep, M-F), but now afterwards I am involved in the animal rescue in some way or another. I took on becoming the volunteer coordinator, and almost burnt my self out during my 33 day straight run with no days off, training new recruits, setting a solid schedule, and still having to take care of my own farm and animals! It was tiring, but verrrrry successful and worth every minute of it. I now only am scheduled for three days a week, but this week I am there a bit more...It's a very important week. SEVENTY dogs are participating in a huge adoption event, so there is much to be done....

My purpose in doing this blog from day one, was to learn about farming, food, sustainable living, all the while documenting it for others to hopefully show anyone that if I can do it, anyone can... I overcame my silly fear of bees, fresh eggs, and raw goat milk! We haven't used paper towels since 2011! We got rid of our plastic coffee maker back in 2012, along with Tupperware, and since have eliminated our kitchen of most vintage dishes (most contain lead, unfortunately), we use mostly glass dishes, and never anything with a 'nonstick' coating - that's what a good seasoning on a pan is for, am I right?!?! I have become better informed over the years, and now try to make better, healthier choices for the most part, because the first 33 years was a free for all with fast food, no exercise, and late nights! 

I hope you enjoy reading as much I enjoy typing it all out here.... If you would like to read one or two older posts from this blog, I am linking one  HERE  and HERE.

Hope you all have a great day and I am looking forward to making lots of blueberry goodness in the next few days after picking blueberries with Jeannie (my secretary) yesterday at a neighbor's house!



monday, monday.....blah.

It was a great weekend and I got a lot accomplished even with all that rain. One of them being goat field expansion....I also started a workout routine! Eeeeesh. Yeah. I had to.... I do pretty well with the walking and physical work just being active at the farm, but I still somehow am managing to get flabbier than I like.

Lunges. Weights. Sprints. Pushups. Situps. These are my staples.

Yeah. It is time. We shall see if I get so buff that I start having the weekly 'worn' installments again....

Until then, here are little bits of the happenings from Sunday, starting with the Sunday Sweet Stuff.....check yesterday's post for full recipe.
New expansion of goat field means fighting through some milk thistle.....
New expansion area! 
.....annnnnd I finished cleaning the loft! Well, almost. Still have to cull some clothing from the herd.

Sunset on the dirtroad.....
Well, HAPPY MONDAY! Here's to another week! 




Sweet Stuff Sunday! Coffee Crumble Cake....

I was thinking this morning as this cake was baking that I have been at this 'Sunday Sweet Stuff' thing since 2000! I used to work at a drug store downtown, and I would bake something every Sunday, and the elderly folks coming in to pick up their meds would be treated. It was really special for a lot of them because most of them lived in a retirement facility that was also downtown, and a weekly token of love, such as these treats was often their highlight....They called me 'Sandi Sweet Stuff'....

Anyway, this week's treat is a coffee crumble cake. I was going to add a cajeta drizzle over the crumble, but used up all my sugar in the cake and crumble. Bummer!

This crumble is by far the most delicious that I have had... I actually nibbled on it while mixing up the cake batter.... 

For the crumble:
1 C 'Cup 4 Cup' GF flour
1/2 C light brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground organic cinnamon
1/2 C butter (melted)

Make the crumble first, because as it sits, and while you are making the cake batter, it will get more 'crumbly'....

put your dry ingredients in a med bowl....
mix dry ingredients with a fork....
 pour in melted butter, and 'crumble' with fork....
 Set to the side and start on the cake.....

Preheat oven to 375....
Put a pat of butter in your 8x8 dish and put into the oven for a few minutes to melt. Swish it around, so that sides and corners are buttered up.
For the cake.....
Put all these ingredients into a large bowl and mix with a fork:
1 1/2 C 'Cup 4 Cup' GF flour
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 T melted butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C raw goat milk (this is what I use, regular store bought milk is perfectly good too!)
 ...spread out in your dish....
 ..top with the crumble...
 evenly distribute the crumble...
and bake for 25-30 min!

 I am so happy to be back to the regular blogging! Hope you enjoy this first-in-a-lonnnnng-ass-time Sweet Stuff Sunday treat! 



saturday snapshots ....

a picture an hour......




7am: coffee
8am: I walked down to the neighbor's house to pick blueberries.....then it decided to rain...
9am: After I washed the berries, I decided to look at our fruit trees - looking good!
10am: Out with Eddie, I noticed a yawning Rose.... and I just had to...
11am: After a tasty brunch of fresh eggs, broccoli, and potatoes, Eddie prewashes my bowl...
12noon:...and I start to tackle my loft. Geeeeesh. This is one helluva task.
1pm: Little progress...
2pm: It is raining yet again, and I take a break from the clutter in the loft.
3pm: A break in the rain and I walk out to check on Rose & Hazel. Mushrooms EVERYWHERE!
4pm: Getting ready to cook a throwback classic tv dinner: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, & peas.
5pm: Another Eddie walk. I am going stir-crazy with all this rain. BUT I LOVE IT ALSO! 
6pm: Dinner is served.
7pm: The clouds are AMAZING, and it is about to rain AGAIN. I feed the animals, & snap this...
8pm: It's PIE TIME!
9pm: While the pie bakes for over an hour I soak....
10pm: yummmmmmmmmm




So happy it is Friday! It has been one heck of a week... My awesome secretary has been on a mother-daughter-granddaughter trip all week, and I have been slammed at work! I think she comes back today, but I am not totally sure...Either way, IT'S FRIDAAAAAY!! Eddie and I just got back in from our morning walk/ fenceline check, and once again, it was dewy, beautiful, and perfect!

This weather has been amazing, mild, and wet. A very welcome change to last year's drought. I have been waking up every day super excited to walk the lush property with Eddie every morning....here are a few pics from this morning's walk:

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic Friday! Got any plans you'd like to share? I have been struggling with what to do on these rainy days.... I need some indoor projects to do when I cannot play outside. What do you do when its too rainy to play outside? I guess i could always dust off the sewing machine and have some 'back burner' projects... but the rain has decided to give us a little break, and I have so much planned this weekend! This evening I have the rescue dog walking, and then in the morning, I am planning picking blueberries at a neighbor's house. I have a few landscape/ patio projects for the shop-in-progress/ outdoor island staycation getaway on the property, some painting, some baking (yes! Sunday Sweet Stuff is in the works!), some more de-cluttering of the loft, and to top it all off, some quality chill evenings with my guy and some good eats. I have a fun throwback tv dinner alternative I am making tomorrow night that is healthy, organic, delicious, AND gluten free! So check back tomorrow eve to see what I whip up ;)