Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brandin' in Twenty Twelve

As promised, here are some photos from our brandin' this year.

Heading out to round up the cattle.

Bringing the cattle in.

The cattle are caught in the catch pen and it is time to sort off the mama cows.

Let the sortin' begin.

As the cows are sorted off they get poured with Ivomec.  Ivomec helps control a broad spectrum of lice, worms, and flies.

Calves are ready to be worked.  First we rope them.

Then a crew goes to work.  The calves will get branded, vaccinated, and if they are a bull calf they will be castrated.  Rocky Mountain Oysters anyone?????

Careful....that's HOT!!!!!

Here is my daughter and her bestie.  Watch out boys, because these country girls know how to throw a calf down and castrate them too!!  Here the calf has been worked and my daughter is pulling the calf around so he will head out to the pasture and not back into the pen with the calves that haven't been worked.  The little guy on the horse is our friends son and he out roped all the adults that day!!!!  He is only 7 years old!!!

My hubs is giving our daughter's boyfriend a lesson in castrating.  I am sure every father would like to show the boyfriend this!!!!! Ha!!

Funny thing is, my daughter has been castrating for years!!!  It could come in handy!!!

Every year I seem to get one picture that takes the cake.  This is the winner this year.  The calf has been worked already and I think it got a little rambunctious.  Our hired man is on the ground and his brother is hugging the calf.  LOVE IT!!!

The future crew!

And our new puppy Roscoe was thrilled to chew on a cornstalk and chaps, boots, jeans, and cow poop!  He's flexible like that!!!

When the work is done there always seems to be some more fun.  My daughter and her friend had a plan to take my hubs down.  Here was daughter was going to get on all fours behind my hubs without him knowing it and then her friend would go up and talk to my hubs and then push him so he would trip over our daughter.  Oh yeah, and I was instructed to take pictures of the whole event.

It didn't go as planned because my hubs felt my daughter behind him with his spurs....which she informed me "kinda hurt"!  Good try girls....maybe next year.

After this, we went to our shop and fed everyone for their hard work.  I love BRANDIN'!!!


Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY Kitchen Remodel

I wanted to pop in real quick and give you an update.  We have been busy working on my SIL's kitchen.  However, we haven't got to devote as much time to it as we would like because we only manage to get a few hours in after work in the evenings, but have made great progress considering the time we have.

First things first, we have to have the essentials in order to work....doritos, chips ahoy, peanut butter, bread, water, a camera, some jewelry, and of course a couple of iphones....ha!!

We first lightly sanded every inch of the cupboards and doors prior to painting with 220 grit sandpaper.  Then we used a vacuum to remove the dust as well as cloth to make sure they were completely clean prior to priming.  You can use tack cloth, but we didn't have any so we just made sure we vacuumed well and wiped the dust off with the use of good ole fashioned "elbow grease"!!!

We could have saved ourselves a lot of time if we only painted the cabinet fronts and the doors, but we are going for a crisp clean look even when you open a cabinet door so we went ahead and primed the inside of each cabinet too.  We did 2 coats of primer on everything.

So that is a quick peak of our progress.  I am glad we are done with the priming!!!  We have broke out the paint and let me tell you it is looking amazing!!!  I can't wait to show you more.  If you want some sneak peaks of our progress be sure to like my Facebook page.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Getting My DIY On...

Wow, what a weekend we had around the farm.  We planned on branding our cattle on Saturday and we were threatened with severe weather warnings.  We woke up to fog, rain, low laying clouds, and tornado watches and warnings.  My hubs and I were torn as to whether to reschedule {which means I had enough food to feed an army that I had no idea what I would do with it} or not.  Plus, we are heading in to the planting season quite early and really needed to get the cattle worked so we could focus on the field work.  Thankfully, we lucked out and the rain stayed away until we were finished and we got it done {picture me doing a happy dance here}.  There was some tornado damage not too far from us though.  I will post some photos from our branding soon.  You can check out last years branding here.

I am so excited to bring you some DIY remodel projects.  We remodeled our house three years ago which was two years before I started blogging so I don't have any BIG DIY projects on my blog to show you, BUT soon I will.  I will be getting my hands on an entire house!!!

The house I will be working on is not ours.  My BIL and SIL live about three hours away from us.  However, they run cattle here.  They make the three hour trip often to check about the cattle and my BIL helps out on the farm.  My SIL works for the Post Office and our little town Post Office was going to close when the postmaster retired because there was nobody to take the job.  When I got wind of this I called my SIL to tell her.  She put a call in to the big wigs at the Post Office and within a matter of a few days she was able to be the replacement.  Since August my SIL has been living out of her suitcase and staying with us, my MIL, and my other SIL.  They have thought about buying a little house here for years and now with my SIL working in town they finally took the plunge and bought a second home.  It will be nice for them and my niece to have their own place when they are here.

The house is nothing fancy....yet!!!  Our big project is going to be the kitchen.  We have started on some of the demo and hopefully this week we will break out the paint brushes and start giving this little place a new adorable face lift.

Here are a few before pictures.  Notice the is G~O~N~E!!!!!

And that soffit is also G~O~N~E!!!!!!  Those lovely 4 inch tiles with a newborn baby poop yellow speck are also G~O~N~E!!!!

Another view of the wallpaper.  I am sure it was cool in the 90's!!!  We lucked out and the wallpaper peeled right off the wall.  It took all of ten minutes!!!  I hate removing wallpaper and was pleasantly surprised that it came off so easy.

Here is a sneak peak of the progress.  Check out the soffit!!  Underneath the wallpaper was some sort of paneling with a lovely avocado green and harvest gold accent.  Beautiful...ha!!

I was glad to see that hideous tile go.

   Stayed tuned for the transformation.

Like The Farmer's Wife on Facebook here and get an occasional sneak peak of our progress.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter Egg Cake Balls

Thanks for stopping by The Farmer's Wife.  I want to thank each and every one of you and tell you I really appreciate you taking the time to read my ramblings.  I am especially grateful when you leave some comment love.  It is nice to hear my readers enjoy my projects, recipes, and our adventures of farm life.  I try to keep things light and humorous here at The Farmer's Wife like I did here.  Just keepin' it real is what I like to do.  Be sure to keep up with me by becoming a follower or on my new Facebook page.  I will have a button soon, but for now click here to check it out.  Now, on with the why you are really here...cake balls.

Every year our county 4-H puts on a carnival.  Not a full blown carnival, but more like kiddie games and such.  It is kind of like the kick off to remind us parents to get busy with our kids and their projects and NOT wait until the last minute...LOL.  The younger kids really enjoy the carnival and the older kids enjoy helping the little kids.  The carnival would not be what it is, but we live in an awesome small community with wonderful volunteers.  The local businesses make donations for raffle prizes.  The carnival is run by the 4-H kids and their parents.  

Each year we have a cake walk at the carnival and the winner will receive a "purdy" cake and not just a plain cake.  This year I tried my hand at cake balls.  This is my first attempt at them and surprisingly they are quite easy, but a little time consuming.

What you need:
Cake Mix
Can of Frosting
Almond Bark
Popsicle Sticks

First bake the cake of your choice according to the package directions.  I used a strawberry cake.  Allow the cake to cool completely.  Once the cake is cooled place it in a large bowl and use your hands to crumble it.

Next add 1/2 to 2/3 of the frosting to the crumbled cake.  I used cream cheese frosting.  Mix it up with your hands.  You want it to be "sticky" enough to hold a shape, but just a little crumbly.  Make sense??   

You want it to look like this consistency.  Form your cake mix into 1" balls and then pinch one end to give the ball and egg shape.  Repeat until you use all your cake.

Place cake balls on a cookie sheet line with wax paper and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.  You want them to be cold prior to decorating.

The strawberry cake mixture kind of looks like meatballs prior to cooking huh?  

After your cake balls are cooled melt the almond bark according to directions.  I like using a glass jar because it is deep enough to dip the cake balls in and the glass holds the heat longer so the almond bark doesn't set up so fast.

Then take a popsicle stick  and dip one end of the stick in the almond bark.  

Then poke it into the "egg". This helps secure the cake to the stick and since the cake is cooled it should only take a few seconds for the almond bark to set.  

Then dip your "egg" in the almond bark and spin until the cake is covered.  You can continue spinning it or tap it a little on the jar if there is too much on.  You want to get it as smooth as possible. 

It should only take about 30 seconds for the almond bark to set up since the cake is cool.  If you want to add sprinkles do it before the almond bark is set.  I used green, pink, blue, yellow, and flower sprinkles.  I spun my stick around and shook the sprinkles on rather than rolling in a bowl of sprinkles.  I also added some food coloring to the white almond bark and put it in a medicine dispenser to add stripes and dots.  Once the almond bark was set I was able to lay them on some wax paper.  If you have something to stick them in you could work a little faster.  I tried using my strainer turned upside down which worked okay, but I found holding them was easiest.  HINT: Only take 5 cake balls out of the freezer at a time.  Since it doesn't take long for them to return to room temperature I had to stick mine back in the freezer to make them easier to work with.    

To keep the almond bark from setting up place it in a jar of hot water.  This will keep it "workable"....remember I said these were a little time consuming.

Next, I took an Easter basket and piece of foam and hot glued it to the bottom of the basket.

Then I added Easter grass and carefully poked my cake balls in the foam.

There you have it, my version of Easter Egg Cake Balls.  What is your favorite cake ball recipe?

Thanks again for stopping by!!!

sew many ways
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
Ivy and Elephants