Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hakuna Matata

Here at the university there is a long tradition of decorating "ole Jeremiah" the canon.  This happens almost nightly and sometimes more than once in the night.  There have been some real creative decorations but I think this one today is AWESOME!  They must have spent a lot of time preparing for last night's escapade. 

Who doesn't love THE LION KING?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

101 ways to use Goats Milk

Last December we were given 2 pygmy goats for pets on the farm.  They are curious little things but not good for much of anything.  We spent the spring building them a pen to keep them out of trouble, especially to keep them away from the neighbour's flowers.

In June we acquired a Saanen goat who was giving milk.  I have spent the entire summer and fall milking her twice daily.  Zach, Talia and Amber have even milked her a few times. I bought a hand milker to simplify the process. She started out giving 3 litres of milk daily.  She is down to 2 litres now.  That is a lot of milk to drink! 

We have had to come up with different ways to use the milk.  We pasteurize it for the girls to drink.  Separate the cream for Rod's cereal, butter and ICE CREAM.  And of course there is GOATS CHEESE!  I have tried 3 different ways to make cheese - a crumbly cheese, spreadable and mozzarella.  I have flavoured it with salt, herbs and even fruit flavoured.  There is so much milk that I have even frozen it for using later.

My newest use for goats milk is SOAP.  Last night I made my first batch of soap.  I found a great site on the web where I can purchase lye and different oils and google and the library have provided information on the process.  The first batch has been processed and cut into bars and is now curing.

In 3-4 weeks I should have some soap to share with my family and friends.  I have found some interesting recipes that I want to try.  How does Hot Chocolate Soap sound?  How about Bubble Gum?  Lavendar?  So many recipes to try.  I need more supplies and more shelves to store curing soap on. 

Two ducks on a Pond

Widdle Waddle

Our property started out with a tiny pond the deer were using as a watering hole.  Last summer we had a fellow come in and enlarge the pond.  We were able to skate on it last year.  This summer with the drought we were down to very little water in the pond but the fall rains have improved that. 

When we had the pond enlarged we ended up with huge piles of dirt on the sides of the pond and trees removed and lying around the area.  Rod spent the summer moving the trees to another area but we never got around to landscaping the pond.  The summer had been spent keeping our new trees watered.

Now here it is November and the weather is cooperating so we finally have time to do some landscaping.  Rod created a pathway around the pond and stairs down into the water.  He put some large rocks around the edge.  We have been busy adding rocks to the sides to keep the banks from eroding. 

We also built a simple raft so we could paddle around and clear off the branches etc before the water freezes so that we will have a clear pond for skating on. 

Grandpa and Gracie
November 11 was a beautiful day with the temperature at 16C.  We took the little girls - Gracie, Sydney and Audrey down to the pond and Grandpa gave each of them a ride on his raft.  They had a great time.

We are sure having a great time living in the country.  

Grandpa and Audrey
Audrey, Sydney, Gracie

where has the summer gone?

Wow, is it November already?  I can't believe how long it has been since I have blogged.  Where to start?

In August Cody and Mimi and baby Hannah moved back to Ontario.  How excited are we!?!?  Cody is attending Queen's University studying to be an Engineer.  They bought a cute little house in Kingston and are busy making it their own.  We, Rod and I, were lucky to be able to take a few days in August to drive to Kingston and visit them in their new home.

September was back to school and the start of a big adventure for Gracie as she started Junior Kindergarten.  Gracie is the second generation to attend Gateway Drive Public School.  She is sure growing up.  Gracie loves to print her letters and colour rainbows.

September also saw Talia and Paul move to Ridgetown for Tal to start her VetTech program.  They are enjoying setting up house and starting this new stage in their life.  

October brought Thanksgiving and the arrival of our little grandson Evan William Merrill.  Evan weighed in at a whopping 6lb 1.5lbs.   He is such a peanut but growing quickly.
hours old

one month

And now it is November. Not long and 2012 will be over and we will be starting a new year.  I wonder what excitement 2013 will bring.