Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Whew! The holiday flew by.

What else is there to say. We had a wonderful Christmas with family galore. We did have to work Christmas Eve. Ted brought my daughter Tiffany and granddaughter Jasmine up from New Hampshire. They picked up my daughter Leah, Victor and my granddaughter Brianna from Bangor. They got there just in time for Alex and I to leave for work. Alex took time to nab a big hug from Brianna.
Leah had time to braid her hair and put beads in. I think she must have started listing to port with that weight. She was awake enough for a smile and a few dozen kisses before we had to leave. My daughter Sue and Tonya brought Alex's son Jake up and arrived early morning.
We got home on Christmas morning to a wonderful smell. The girls had started cooking. The turkey was in the oven. It felt so good to be home. We were so fortunate to have so many kids home at the same time. Jasmine is helping her Mom unwrap her presents too.
We started a Christmas tradition of building a gingerbread house. Each year the kids seem to get more on themselves and less on the house.

Tarah and Teddy came up from New Hampshire after visiting her family. They will both be at Thomas College this year together.
Even Ivy the Pug had a good time. We are working through a cold spell with lots of ice. We took a slide downhill backwards in the truck today. After that we went and got a small load of sand to spread over the drive. Hopefully we will have more traction tomorrow. We hope that everyone had a wonderful and happy Christmas. It seems that a lot of the everyday farm activities have slowed. Jasmine and I cleaned the chicken nesting boxes out yesterday. It smells better and the chickens seemed to approve. We hung another cabbage up in the coop. It was gone by the time we went to pick up eggs in the evening. No trace that it ever existed. We got 30 eggs from 40 hens today. That is pretty good for winter. We are having to keep the big brooder lights on in the hen house to keep them warm. It will be down in the 10's again this week. Brrrr...... Take care. Thank you to DC from Winnipeg for my first online soap order through my Etsy shop. That was a real thrill. We will be working three nights straight. Take care, keep warm. God Bless.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Getting Ready For Christmas

We were plowed out last evening and went out to finish the last minute Christmas shopping. Today is the day to clean, clean, clean. This has been a very busy day. I love a clean house but I would rather not have to do it myself. No housekeeper so we cleaned. We both have family coming Christmas Eve and Christmas. The house is decorated, and it does look warm and cheery. The stockings have a home. I have no expectations that our stocking will be filled. They just look really cute.
We have to work Christmas Eve so the girls are doing the cooking. We have a turkey and ham defrosting. Next year we hope to have one of our own turkeys ready for roasting. I have never had a fresh turkey, I'm told that there is no comparison. The last of the baking needed to be done so Alex started rolling out her Phyllo dough for Baklava. (I weigh 10lbs more now)

Notice the wicked looking knife?

Notice the evil gleam in her eye?

It's because I kept stealing the Almonds.

Here it goes into the oven.

Mmmmmm..... warm crunchy Baklava straight from the oven.

Our first egg nog of the season. Anyone up for a diabetic coma?

Here is an easy recipe for baklava, it is calorie free, fat free. Any recipe that starts with "melt 1 cup butter" is dangerous.

3 cups chopped walnuts
3 cups chopped almonds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar
Mix above ingredients together

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup honey
1 TBS lemon juice
Heat above ingredients until dissolved

Melt 1 cup butter

In a 9x13 pan (buttered), layer phyllo dough, buttering each layer with a brush. Be gentle, start with 10 layers of phyllo dough, cover with 1/3 of filling, then add 6 layers phyllo dough, top with 1/3 of filling, then an additional 6 layers of phyllo dough and the last of the filling, and end with 8 layers of phyllo dough. Brush butter on top, cut or score squares prior to baking. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Take the hot baklava from the oven, cut through scored layers, carefully pour hot syrup on entire pan, allow to cool.

We still have presents to wrap, egg nog to finish, take care, have a warm and safe evening. Watch out for crummy roads. Nite from Mainely Ewes Farm.


Monday, December 22, 2008

White Christmas in Maine

We worked 3 nights in a row, went grocery shopping just after work, went to sleep and woke up to this. Per the Weather Man we had 17" with three foot drifts. The wind is still howling up to 35mph. The sun is just now starting to shine, just in time to set at 3:30. The snow covered wreath on the front door was made with our very own hands. Alex was wearing gloves (allergy to pine/balsam). The wreath is Balsam, Pine and Cedar. We took a class at Mapleshade Farm in Garland Maine from Rachel and Linda Clewley. They do a really great job and ship all over the place.

The front pasture is knee deep, this is our outside Christmas Tree. I'm sure the snow plow folks appreciated the cheery lights as they plowed up and down Rt 221.
This is the wonderful job those heroes worked on. North 221 looking toward the beginning of the Appalachian Trail, Mount Katahdin in the far distance.
This is Metropolitan Bradford ,Maine. If you have a furrowed brow, it's a joke! Note our one and only blinking light. We don't even have a real traffic light. I love this place.
This is looking across the street to Kevin's, Cheata's and Nikia's house. Those people are the heroes I mentioned above. She was out plowing all night for DOT and Kevin is a Mechanic with DOT. Nikia came over to hang out with us this morning while mom and dad were working. She is a great kid. Notice, he is prepared with hay on a trailer. Cows will be happy.

Notice how pitiful the barn looks in the snow? Well it don't look so great without snow either. This is our summer project. If you notice the house trailer door on the side it gives you a great idea about some of the other "repairs" that were done in the past. The snow is way too deep for the girls to be outside. They have been on coop arrest. The snow slid off the barn roof on top of the coop and collapsed it in. Another summer job.

This is the beautiful pasture with an extra 50 fence posts. No fence, just posts. Winter surprised us this year. Use your imagination and think of a peaceful scene with wire, and sheep. While you're at it imagine green grass and summer too.
This is my winter look. I did not throw that shovel! Alex has a wicked sense of humor. I personally think I look good in Carhart.
(What is this Momma?)
I was reading a blog while at work the other night, (ok, so I like to play on their computer, it's much faster than ours) and read about giving the girls something to occupy their time. They tend to peck at each other when they get bored. We bought cabbage and hung it from the rafter on jute.
Hmmm....... what are we suppose to do with this?
Oh! Chicken Tether Ball

We wanted to leave you with a cute pic of Timba the fierce mouser in the rafters. Don't feel sorry for him he sleeps in a four poster bed complete with HDTV. We have another storm due Christmas Eve and on the following weekend. Winter has arrived. Take care and have a safe and Merry Christmas. best wishes from Mainely Ewes Farm. Love, Kelly and Alex.