"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Working Hard...

These pictures are from 2 weekends ago.....before our last big snow storm. I was house bound doing laundry since I can't help much anymore with farm chores .... and don't be fooled - I hate it! I would MUCH rather be outside helping with farm chores than in the house doing laundry!

So, while I waited for clothes to dry, I snapped some pics from the window of hubby working!

My originial intention on posting this was to add some of my sarcastic humor :)

It looks like hubby is working hard......

But don't be fooled - the man takes his breaks ;)

But in all honestly, I have decided to take this opportunity, even though he'll never see this (he isn't a computer person) to recognize how much he DOES do! The week after these pics were taken, we had a HUGE snowstorm...then yesterday, just a few days later, the weather warmed up, all the snow melted, we had a full night of thunderstorms and woke up this morning to flooded horse barns - UGH. The poor horses were standing in probably a foot of water :/

So, hubby has taken the day off of work to stay home and get the barns cleaned out. We moved the horses to a neighbors barn this morning before I left for work. (Thank goodness for him and his empty stalls....and not minding us knocking on his door at 7am!) Since it is raining and cold, they can't be out in the pastures; they'll catch colds :) Rain & warm weather is ok -- rain and cold weather is a no-no....especially for my Gypsy girl since she is older.

So today, hubby will be draining water, stripping stalls (which mind you were all just filled with fresh shavings hence the pics above :/ ) and expecting a delievery of 8 tons of limestone which will them be shoveled into the barns and stalls to raise their flooring. I have no clue if he'll be doing some drainage things today too or not. I think it is way to wet to be moving the tractor around more than need be, but we'll see what he's done when I get home. And thank goodness for those who offered to help him out; I know he appreciates it. I hate not being able to help.

Although, at this point, as long as I don't go into labor before he finishes this project, I think he'll consider that help enough ;)

Apollo: The Ham

Apollo was quite the ham Saturday afternoon. Notice in the background no one else wanted anything to do with his antics :) Poor Apollo!

Shedding season has begin! 'Ahhh, thanks mom, that feels good!'
And I must say, look at those lucious lips! I love to kiss them ;)

Getting in a nice roll and getting off some of that winter coat!

Apollo and his Daddy; they certainly have formed quite the bond since I've been relying on Allen to handle most of the barn chores the past few months!

*Sigh* I remember when 'he' used to look at me like that.....Apollo that is ;)

Never a dull moment!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Seed Exchange - Leeks & Edamame

I have TONS of Heirloom Carentan Leek Seeds (via Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds) that I am happy to trade for something else. The packet I ordered contains way more seed than I need. This is the description of these leeks provided by Baker Creek:

Long, thick (2 inches across); vigorous and fast growing; delicate, deliciously mild flavor; great fresh or cooked. The Carentan leek was mentioned by Vilmorin in 1885. An old European favorite that is becoming rare. Very adaptable and yields are good.

I also have Envy Soya Bean Heirloom seeds from Baker Creek that are perfect for Edamame! Here is the Baker Creek description on these:

Early 80-day variety is great for the north. Perfect for Edamame, fresh shelling or dried, nice green-colored beans have good flavor; developed by the late Prof. Edwin Meader, UNH

If you are interested in either of these seeds, please let me know. It would be great to make a trade with a seed you may have an abundance of! Email me at apollosonacres at hotmail dot com

Thursday, February 24, 2011

And the clock continues to tick....

I am so exhausted...mentally and physically...and I really haven't 'done' much! Just another wonderful side effect of pregnancy I have discovered.

We are down to the wire, and a month or so ago, I would have guessed I might go into labor a week or two early, now I am praying I just don't go past my due date!! I will be serving an eviction notice to the little babe if that is the case ;)

In the past 9 months, I have managed to avoided getting sick. As my sister pointed out, I have been SICK, but that is sick in a different form. What I am talking about is flu like sick. I woke up this morning with a sore throat, runny nose and watery eyes! UGH - dear sweet lord how much more can I handle!

Tick tock....tick tock.....tick.....tock......tock...........

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Food for Thought

It's a funny feeling when your husband shows you the expiration date on the gallon of milk you are buying because the date is past your due date!

tick tock.....tick tock......tick...tock.....

Friday, February 18, 2011

February Friday

Today we got a preview of Spring. Well, the last two days actually! The snow is melting and melted and temps were at 50* today! Yahoo! Here are some views from around the farm this evening. Too bad I only had my cell on me - the pics don't do what I was viewing justice!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Seed Starting 2011

Everyone is starting to blog about what they'll be planting in their gardens this year. Hubby and I are always overly ambitious when it comes to planting -- probably since we have the room! Last year actually started off great....then, once I was slapped with morning sickness 24/7, I couldn't stand to be anywhere near food of any kind :/ Between the gardens, the orchard and the other general farm chores, it was too much for hubby to man alone so most of our harvest went to family and friends and weeding went to the wayside!

Anyways, I guess I am just a gluten for punishment because between reading everyone's blogs and scanning all the seed catalogs coming in, I already have a mile long list of seeds I want to order. Unfortunately, with the arrival of "Baby P" not too far away, I don't think we'll be starting any seeds indoors this year. Hubby wants to just buy plants already started and plant them once it is warm enough, but I still have some certain varieties in mind that I know we can't purchase locally - thus, I will still be ordering some seeds! (Plus I am all about heirlooms - hubby can sway either way)

One seed I am going to try this year is the Moon & Stars Watermelon! I am excited to try this one; it is supposed to grow well in our area.

I also want to try the Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean (and the Dragon Tongue Bean...not pictured)

And for one of our heirloom tomato's this year, I've heard so much wonderful feed back on the Cherokee Purple Tomato so I am going to try that. This one makes me nervous starting from a direct seed outside so I may have to persuade hubby, in between feedings and diaper changing and dog walks and horse stall cleanings, to start these inside under the grow light ;) Wish me Luck!!

I have 2 onions on my list as well that are good storage onions as well as a good pickling cucumber. I also have received some Purple Calabash Tomato seeds along with a Purple Haze Carrot seeds from a fellow blogger, Emily! Thanks Emily!!
So, what are you planting this year? What is something new you are going to try?
I am also on the hunt for the following if anyone knows where I can find them, please let me know! Tromboncino (vining summer squash, Small Sugar Pumpkin (supposedly grows on a trellis), African Jelly Melon and a Rocky or Agnes Pickling Cuc.
Any suggestions on a good veg to grow for making my own baby food?
Any suggestions on a nice Zinna flower seed to plant?
Ok, I have to stop.....my plate is overfull already :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

100+ Dog Seizure

Last week the local SPCA here in my county seized over 100 dogs from one home :( UGH

You can view the news story about this here.

If you live in the area, they desperately need volunteers to help with cage cleanings, housekeeping and laundry.

If you don't have the time or live in the area, but still want to help, go to their website to make a monetary donation.

Or, they need donations of the the following items:
  • Puppy Kongs
  • Dog Kongs
  • Peanut Butter
  • Rawhides
  • Dog Snacks
  • Good Quality Canned Puppy Food
  • Toys
  • Paper Towels

They do have dog food at this time. Any little bit you can do to help, I am sure, is much appreciated. The Medina County SPCA, in my own humble opinion, has come great lengths over the past year with their new director on board. They are going out on calls and they are not afraid to step in where needed and stand up for animals. They are prosecuting where needed; I say this because so many organizations 'don't' do this for fear of 'stepping on toes' or numerous other bs excuses which do nothing to help the animals.

Here is another news story on this case

And another including a video with the Exectuive Director of the SPCA.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Make-Shift Mash!

Ok, so I haven't had time to get to the feed store to pick up some mash for the horses. Since we've been in negative degree temperatures, I like to be able to give them a hot mash to help warm them :) It's a nice little treat. (And of course, Allen fluffs up lots 'o extra hay in their hay piles! What a nice guy! AND he goes into the house to get them warm water for their water buckets)

Since Gypsy & Romeo already automatically get their grain as a wet mash, I figured why not offer Apollo & Daisy's that way too. When you pour hot water over the pelleted grain in the winter, it mashes up very quickly and it is nice and warm. Then I like to mix in some carrots or applesauce/apples and some molasses (they LOVE molasses) and viola! It is like a warm bran mash, but it is their grain in disguise! Not that they care, they love their grain regardless, but on nights and mornings when it is -5 out, I bet they appreciate this :)

**pic coming soon, too cold this morning to get a decent one!***

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not 'Cool'

The added notificiation of 'Icy' just adds an extra slap in the face...right after the negative temperature bites you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baby P - 36 weeks

We are 36 weeks today - one month to go!
Baby P is already head down/face down and ready to go -- so I say, let's get this show on the road! We were able to see spikes of hair on his/her head...which doesn't surprise me with the fire breathing dragon heartburn I have had for the past, ohhhh, 6 months!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dreaming of Spring...

Warmth & Sunlight!!

Warm days when you can walk outside in a t-shirt!

Lawn Mowers instead of Snowplows!!
DANDELIONS! Who thought we'd be happy to see those ;)

Apple Blossoms!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Things that make you go Hmmmm

Today - we bought hay from a man I would have to assume was Amish.
  • he had a horse and buggy
  • he was dressed in traditional Amish clothing
  • we found out his cousin is our Amish neighbor


  • I contacted him regarding his hay for sale via his cell phone?
  • his house was not a traditional Amish house
  • he had a generator hooked up to it
  • he had gas & electric powered tools in his barn
  • and he said he offered delivery of the hay as well if we need it?

I am perplexed!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Horses Know

For anyone that doubts that 'Horses Know' - shame on you.

What a vague, but yet such universal statement - Horses Know.

I posted this statement on my Facebook the other night and all my FB friends who are horse people knew exactly what I was talking about.

Author Linda Kohanov states it best in her books when she makes a statement along the lines of if you try to pretend to be something you are not, or you try to mask your true emotions around a horse, the horse knows. And the horse doesn't like. And the horse will not lie. If you want honesty and compliance from the horse, you must be honest with yourself first.

I never try to mask anything around my horses. They know who I am and how I feel any time I am in their presence. And the other night was just an honest, touching reminder of this. I won't lie, it was a bum night. I was feeling down (pregnancy hormones I suppose) and just needed a good sigh and weep. I went into the barn while the horses we eating their dinner. Gypsy came right up to me and nuzzled me with her muzzle. She knew. I then when into Apollo's stall and buried my face in his mane (my favorite place on earth) and he stopped eating, turned his head towards me, and nuzzled me. He knew too. And gosh darn it if that combined with my prego hormones didn't set me off even more :)

But they knew. And they were there for me. And for that, I can only thank them by always being myself around them. And to think, what a virtue to have a being who wants nothing from you but for you to be yourself. How special it is to have that.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Milk & Honey Bread

This recipe comes courtsey of Tasty Kitchen from a gal named 'Twinks'! And it is good!! This is the first yeast bread I have made that I have actually ate....as in, ate all of it ;) It might have not looked like an artisan loaf, but it was edible...and delicious warm with butter and honey on the slices. Give it a shot!

You will need:
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1-¼ cup Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 3 cups Bread Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Instant Yeast (Bread Machine Yeast)
  • ¾ teaspoons Kosher Salt
And here is how you do it:

In a small sauce pan melt the butter over low heat. Turn off the burner and add themilk and honey. Stir to combine well, then set aside.

In a small bowl combine 2 cups of the flour, the yeast and salt.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the milk mixture and the flour/yeast mixture. Mix until smooth.

If mixing by hand, work in the remaining cup flour, then turn dough out on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. If using an electric mixer, add about half the remaining cup of flour, then switch to the dough hook and mix in the remaining half cup flour. Knead for 8–10 minutes on low speed.

Place dough into a oiled bowl, turning to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a draft-free location to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a work surface and form into a loaf. Place the dough into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 400ºF for 20–25 minutes.