Good Things

Life just keeps scurrying along. This past week Kurt had LEGO Robotics camp. He LOVED it. The kids spoke his language and they were all creative geniuses. Kurt got glowing reviews from his teachers and at the end of the week, he was 1st place champion is his age group!!!!


Please pardon the goofy grin. He used to smile so well when he was a toddler. And he looks so cute with his braces too. At his elbow is the trophy he won and beside the trophy is their team robot. His team was 4th overall in the final robot challenge.

Also this past week, we finished the baby changing table!



I took the close up of the fabric liner so no  one would think I put flowered fabric in a little boy’s dresser! The Mom and Dad are so happy with it. Unfortunately, it was too wide to go through the bedroom door!! We never thought to ask about that before she made it. So, the chest and one of the drawers came back home for a shrinking event.  I got to hold their sweet new baby. He slept the whole time that Kristen and I passed him back and forth.

On Friday night Kristen treated us to a delicious dessert.


I had found a homemade chocolate syrup recipe and she wanted to try it. What better way to try chocolate syrup than with strawberries and ice cream? Oh, it was so good!

Kristen tried to sneak off to church this morning like this:


This was supposed to be her friend, Matt’s, cat. Matt’s Mom decided that this is not the right time to welcome a new cat into their family. Even though the little guy is litter trained, she stayed firm. So, we rechristened the kitten from Matt’s Cat to Mozart. Matt is a musician and Kristen was so excited for the little guy to be a musician’s cat – she even played music for him – aw.  This guy’s little face is contagious.

And That’s What’s Been Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Ok, no flame involved in this one.  I tried one of those readily available recipes for chocolate pudding made from avocados.  Oh.My.Word.  I couldn’t believe it.  My recipe called for 2 avocados, 3 Tbls. honey, 4 Tbls. cocoa powder, a splash of vanilla and a little milk to thin it.  I tried making it in the blender and my blender must be old because it didn’t want to puree very well.  Next time I’ll just whip it together by hand.  I’m also going to use another Tbls. of honey and one less of the cocoa.  I guess my stevia trained tongue just likes things sweet.  I couldn’t believe how good and believable the chocolate pudding was.  I’d never have known that it started with two soft avocados!  Go figure.

That’s What’s Cooking over the Electric Flame.

What Can I Say? Life Sure Got Busy!!

I just re-read my last post – from 2 months ago –  and needless to say nothing has changed in the busy department (and I’m no longer so intentional with my time, but I’m still trying; and I’m back to 10 cups of coffee 🙂 )

We finally pulled off the start of school on August 17th.  On August 26th SugarBelle went into labor.  I don’t know how long it had been when I found her, but the baby was presenting nose first.  Joel and Kristen both reached inside of her to find those legs, but they could only manage to get one hoof forward.  Sugar started to bellow with her contractions and we could tell she was tired.  So, Joel finally just reached in and pulled the calf out.  He was dead.  Exactly what I wanted from her,  a beautiful bull calf.  Joel went to work and Kristen and I cleaned up and buried the calf in our little graveyard.  I hope he’s the only calf we ever put in that little plot.

Thus commenced twice a day milking instead of milk-sharing with a calf.  Honestly that little guy was hefty and probably would have taken more than his fair share of the milk.  We spent a good month absolutely over run with fresh, raw milk!  Kristen has learned to make cheese and though I’m still bombing at yogurt, I’ve mastered a simple cottage cheese.  IMG_1149

Here’s Kristen stirring her very first batch of cheddar cheese.IMG_1150

The very first round of cheddar from the Happy Palace Hobby Farm!  Too bad you can’t see the little pig impression on the wax.  That’s a nod to Kristen’s future – From the Kitchen of the Little Pink Pig (remember Present the pig?)

We were really up the dairy creek when Kristen got sick a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t make cheese.  We had 2 1/2 gallons of soured milk and an entire quart of cream.  We managed to use up 2 1/4 gallons of the milk, but Kristen kept insisting that the cream scared her and so I finally humored her and poured that soured cream and the cream cheese on the bottom down the drain – oh it was hard!!!

On September 9th, Libby went into labor.  We noticed her when we were milking, so Kristen set up shop in the barn.  Hours later little feet protruded, but the head just wouldn’t come out.  Kristen was pulling those little legs for all she was worth.  I finally had the idea to get a hand behind the head and sure enough, next contraction the torpedo launched!  (Kurt had been asking since before Sugar’s labor if a torpedo had launched yet. )  So, fire in the hole!!  Little Torpedo arrived.

IMG_1148Karra declared him the tiniest thing she had ever seen and I doubt if he weighed more than 20 lbs., maybe 25.

Here he is 5 weeks later!


He definitely has LibertyBelle’s face and I just love his chocolate color!  He looks so scrumptious!!  Two long years until Torpedo Burgers get to the freezer.

For the last two long years I’ve been waiting for Kristen to turn 16 so I could take her to the rodeo to see bull riding for her Sweet 16 outing.  I made the whole family go and we had a pretty good time.  Joel liked the rodeo clown best and Kristen fell in love with the little kids “mutton busting”.  She says her kids are definitely going to do that!  We went to Buckin’ Ohio in Burbank, OH    It was a blast.  We couldn’t get any pictures of the action because a) we’re not the greatest photographers and b) they move so fast!!IMG_1154


Kristen had her eye on one cowboy in particular – I don’t think he’s in this picture though he was wearing red chaps.  Anyway, the guy she was watching ended up winning the whole thing!  It was so exciting and she wants to go every year.  She’ll probably want to take her IEA teammates next year!

Speaking of which – season starts on November 1st.  We are going to be so busy (ha ha like we’re not busy now)  We are co-hosting the second show of the season and Kristen may get to go to Penn State to observe a college show and then compete in a show there.  And I have to stay home and milk the cow!!

There is still so much going on around here that I don’t have time to write about today and hope I don’t forget by the next time I type to ya’ll.  My hutch finally has all of the white glass and some other pretties on it and an entire shelf of cookbooks – mine and Kristen’s.  She’s taken over two drawers for her cake decorating and cheese making supplies.  It’s a good thing I pared down my linens to fit in one drawer!!  And Present and Suzanna are having a tea party on the shelf by the cookbooks.

And just to prove I haven’t totally lost my creative streak – a friend sent me a chocolate mint plant and I decided to plant it in the pot from my old coffeemaker and put it on the cheese press base that Kristen made.  TADA!


And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm!!