Homemade noodles

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As a kid I remember my mother making homemade pasta. Mostly because my brother and I would sneak into the kitchen and snag the doughy pasta as it was drying on the racks. Having a few extra minutes on my hands now-a-days I decided to make my first batch of noodles as an adult. It seemed well worth it when I was done. Also, our chickens add a little fun to it…  Here is how I did it: Continue reading

Busting ground – and the lawn tractor

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We’ve promised a lot of follow-ups on the projects from the winter – but it’s always easier to write about things that are more recent. So here’s a quick update for the spring.

Time to mow the lawn:

While we have a large garden, pasture and woods on our property – we still have no shortage of manicured lawn. That will likely change as we increase the footprint of the “farm,” but it will always be a sizable amount. So, cutting our grass is a time-consuming endeavor – made increasingly complicated by the constant upkeep of the lawn tractor. We bought a used one three years ago with a 42-inch cut and a few hundred hours on it for a 1/5 of what they cost new. A decision I’m mostly happy with. Many parts are cheap online, so upkeep has been more a matter of sweat equity than dollar bills.

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Remove paint form door hinges and hardware

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My husband and I have different opinions on how the finer things in life should be done. Such as painting over hinges and hardware on doors. He can’t stand painting over hinges. I don’t care. He has the mindset of if you are going to do it, do it right, while I have the mindset of lets just get this done as quickly as possible. I must say, this being the third time we’ve encountered this problem, I think he might just be right. Continue reading

Redneck Hay Rake Vs. Nature’s Velcro

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I guess it’s more of a bur cutter – but that didn’t have the same ring. Why am I “mowing” the pasture in April with a barbed-wire infused log? Well, despite the fact that the plants are almost totally dead by October, they’re mischief is just beginning at that time. The stalks collapse very slowly and the prickle seed of the plant is ripe for the stickin’ for months to come.

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Easter Lilies = A Silent Killer…MUST READ!!

A farm for all seasons

It’s Easter time!!! One of my favorite holidays as a kid. Waking up to an Easter basket filled with candies and chocolates, searching our small backyard and house for hidden eggs and dyeing eggs wacky and weird colors was all part of the greatness of the holiday. As I grew older some of those traditions have slowly faded away. My mother now tosses me a bag of my favorite Easter candy and says, “This is from the Easter bunny…” However you celebrate this holiday or don’t celebrate this holiday there is one surprise you may not be in for that stems from this occasion.

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Down with the dropped ceilings

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The first step in remodeling both the kitchen and the upstairs bedroom was the removal of the dropped ceiling. I’ll be honest, I have never in my life seen these ceilings in the living space of a residential building; outside of a basement. However, we’ve learned it wasn’t terribly uncommon in rural homes as it was a cheap way to insulate and a fast way to have a new ceiling. Our prior owner also used it to hide new wire runs – which were easier to do over top the old bead board ceiling. Although in some places he still went above the bead board and through the joists, so I don’t know… Continue reading

Fall like a sparrow, fly like a dove

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I have a soft spot for pretty much all of God’s critters – although the spot for raccoons is growing more callous by the day. Ironically, while designing new defenses against the masked invaders that insist on using my barn as the world’s biggest toilet, I was able to help a distraught bird.

At first I thought a barn swallow was making a home in the garage. Unlike the coons, swallows are more than welcome in the barn. I love the way they dart around and the beat of their wings has a soft, comforting tone. However, as this bird started slamming into walls and doors, I realized it needed a help.

After exhausting itself I was able to simply bend down and pick it up. Upon further inspection, it was a little small for a swallow and lacked the forked tail. Furthermore, a barn swallow wouldn’t get trapped in a garage like that if their skills at navigating the barn are any indication. I think it was a Baird’s Sparrow.

Never the less, he stayed in my hand panting at first but seemed to relax after a bit. He was too exhausted to fly so I placed him on our wishing well. After a few minutes he regained his strength and took flight again. Godspeed little sparrow – leave the barn and garage exploration to the experts.