Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What do I do all day?

"What do you do all day?" "How are you not bored?" "I would go crazy!"  I swear everyone asks me this. I don't mind. I sometimes wonder the same thing. However, i'm not bored, i'm not depressed, and I haven't gained weight! (I don't think. We don't have a scale so can only weigh ourselves when we go to Bed Bath and Beyond and take advantage of all their scales on display, or if we HAPPEN to be at someone's house who has a scale in the open. Oh. The last time we weighed ourselves was on a calf scale. Ranch life, I tell ya!)
To those who don't know. I live in the middle of nowhere (like the nearest hospital, Wal-mart, etc is 1.5 hours away.), and I live on a ranch, and I am not currently legal to work yet. With that being said, I just got notification that my paperwork to apply for work has been approved! So I should be getting a card within 30 days which'll allow me to work! But I reallly don't want to work. I'll likely get on at the post office part time/casual. Once summer comes, I will be a lot busier!
For starters, I wake up in the morning and cook lucky Jed breakfast. We really don't buy cereal. If I do, it's for an evening snack! We eat oatmeal every now and then, but he gets eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes etc for breakfast. I have fairly fast metabolism, so if I eat cereal at 7, i'll be hungry again by 8:30-9.  And i'm not even physically working! So I make sure he has a full belly because it's a long time between 7&lunchtime!
 He gets to come downstairs to his breakfast and tea, all hot and waiting for him to partake! Lucky him! I also get to see the sun come up (at least in the winter)

Typical breakfast for Jed

I love mornings!

I also try and do yoga in the morning and then in the afternoon. However, there are random times where I feel like REALLY getting in shape. So I do a workout. And then because i'm so out of shape, I am sore the next day so OBVIOUSLY you can't work out when you're sore, so I get a day off and then the next day I end up doing something else and then I no longer workout.
I try to take one of the pups out for a walk/freedom in a fenced shelter belt. They have to be tied up at all times because they are still young, and there are cows all around the yard now. If they get undone, they will go BERSERK and chase the cows in any which direction.

I also clean. A lot. We have no carpets or rugs, and it is ridiculous how much dust and stuff accumulates! It is also kind of gross because I now realize just how disgusting carpets/rugs actually are. Little germ collectors. I could easily sweep every single day. A thorough put all the chairs up, lift up all the laundry baskets, take everything off the floor kind of sweep. I do that a couple times a week. And then do a quick sweep after dinner because who likes having wet/damp feet and then walking on crumbs. Barf.
I am the dishwasher. That means washing a minimum of 3 sink fulls a day! I don't let dishes accumulate, and I can't cook with dirty dishes in the kitchen. That means I wash dishes. A lot.  Thank goodness i'm so good at it.
Clean house + natural light=my favourite

Our gorgeous bathroom which Jed can take all the credit for! Acid stained concrete floor, custom shower tile job, and hand painted wall (that design on the left!)

I also got this beautiful kitchen aid about a month ago. That means I try and use it as much as possible because I just love it! The colour is called Aqua but it's really hard to get a picture of it. It actually is almost the Exact colour of the blue in our countertops! 
Best picture I could get showing it's colour off!

And a thanks to kitchen aid for assisting in making Jed's current favourite cookie! Gingersnaps.
Also, I love the lighting in this picture. I love my 5' wide south facing window!


And I do laundry. Load after load after load. (Ok, maybe not quite that much) But I do do a lot of laundry! If we have to work cows (which is a fair amount right now, plus once calving starts in Feb/March it'll be more, and then once AI-ing starts in May, it'll be even more) the clothes are guaranteed needing a wash before wearing them again. I just do a lot of laundry! I believe this was 6 loads or so. Luckily I don't mind doing laundry. I do plan on training our kids to do their own laundry before they learn to walk though. Priorities, priorities. 

 And sometimes I help go feed the bulls. Push up hay, push up hay. By the way, this photo was taken in November. Hoodie weather! And it still is now!
Yes, I took a selfie. But it's not a selfie if there's cows in the background, right? 

Once the summer/spring comes I'll be even busier, luckily! February/March the calving starts, and yes, I will definitely be hanging out a lot more with my father in law then! Little calves are just so cute.  May is AI-ing, and I will be planting my garden hopefully then too. I planted it waayy too late last year. I figure if you plant too early, and it freezes, you just replant. No big deal.
AND I WILL HOPEFULLY HAVE CHICKENS BY THEN! I just have to work on getting the husband to build a chicken coop, and then I can order the chicks! (They come in the mail!) No. I will not be a crazy chicken lady.
I go and get the mail at the end of the driveway (1 mile) 3x a week. Such a good start to the morning! In the summer I take a quad, and in the winter I drive. I have walked, but that requires crossing 2 cattle guards (a fear of mine after falling through one) and if there are parcels, it's hard to walk with many parcels and mail!

I am very thankful for pinterest. I spend lots of time on pinterest, and I actually do make/use/create the things which I've pinned. It's very educational, so therefore it's ok to spend time on pinterest.
This basically sums up how i'm not bored. I keep busy, or I cherish how much relaxing time I have! I could work, and I may work once I get my card, but I really love being home, always being able to be reached by family, friends etc. I guess I just love my freedom!
I wouldn't have thought I would be content here, considering where I lived, and grew up. Quite frankly, I got SO sick of the city mentality when living in Edmonton, and got sick of the mixed nationalities that I dealt with at my work. It really gets annoying. 
We have no traffic issues here, no people that don't know how to speak english, and  the whole scheme of life here is just so basic. It's refreshing.  I don't LOVE it here, but i'm content. It's not a place I would raise a family (#1 reason is there is no hospital) but it's great for the time being!
We definitely won't be living here forever, or long term, but I am making the best out of what I have! Freedom, no traffic, country life at its finest, cows, soon chickens, and soon my garden!
Make the best wherever you may be! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Whipped Shortbread

This is the only shortbread recipe I've ever made and is the only shortbread I'll eat! It literally melts in your mouth. AND, it's not super sweet so you can eat a lot more without feeling gross!  Oh, it's also the easiest recipe ever! If you have a cookie press, definitely use that. Otherwise put the batter in a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off.  The flatter the cookie, the better.

Whipped Shortbread

1 lb butter 
1c icing sugar 
1/2 c corn starch 
3 c flour (all purpose) 

Beat butter til creamy. Add dry ingredients. Beat for 20 mins. Cook at 300 til lightly brown.  

(I wouldn't make these unless you have a stand mixer. Unless you don't mind standing for 20 minutes!) 

The first cookie sheet I made, I didn't think about using a ziplock baggie as I don't have a cookie press, so I just plunked the cookies down on the cookie sheet and they don't look that glamorous.  And because they were the first cookie sheet I made, they were the first to go into the container. And because we love these shortbreads so much, the nice ones are already eaten up. So therefore, I have no nice photo showing how tasty these turn out to be! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

It's feeling like home...with all the cold weather!

While the inlaws were away, it snowed! It rained the day before off and on, and then it snowed and the temperature dropped. Them cows were wet, and then got snow on them so have icicles! They sound like they have bells on them!  It is gorgeous here though. I love winter! And it is currently quite cold. Like home actually. I love it.  

Getting all bundled up! LOVE our Ecuador hats, scarves, sweaters etc!


Now I absolutely cannot figure out how to align the pictures on here so they're side by side. Makes me SO angry! I apologize for the many photos. I tried to make them be beside each other but no such luck. If anybody knows how to make the photos be beside each other, please please let me know. The 'align left/align right' does NOT work. It works once it'll seem and then that's it. 

Thanksgiving Weekend

I celebrated my first American Thanksgiving down here! We went to Jed's brother and wife's place for a delicious lunch. We had some deep fried turkey I've ever had! It wasn't greasy or anything, but super moist and tender! And of course we had the potatoes, buns etc etc etc! For those who are wondering, American and Canadian thanksgivings are like the exact same. Except it's bigger down here. All family (siblings, parents, grandparents etc) try their best to get together whereas it seems in Canada that it's not so big. Nonetheless, the food is delicious! 
Thanksgiving Shooting 

So happy to ride on the feed truck with me!

Jed is in amongst those calves! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

November in Montana

This is the oddest fall. Ever.  Probably because it's the first time in my life (aside from when I was in Ecuador) that there hasn't been snow in November! It's been like 8-12C on an average! I went for a walk up to Little Rock Hill yesterday and was wearing my t-shirt for the most of it. In the middle of November. weeeirdd. However, it is gorgeous! Clearish sky, sun and no snow! 
Bringing in some cows. I like to walk once they're all together and follow them in 

The dog and the cow checking each other out

This is where Jed proposed!

                                        Yucca Plant

I heard some crackling going on and realized it was the bulls, right out our window! 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Coconut Granola & Almond Biscotti

I have these plans of what i'm going to do all day and then Jed comes home from work early (like 10:30am early) and my plans get forgotten. However, I did manage to make some Coconut Granola! I eat granola with yogurt all the time, and it's cheaper to make it than buy it. Plus, you can put whatever you want in it!
 I sort of followed a recipe I found on pinterest (of course) but it's granola. So no real need to follow a recipe exactly! You can find the recipe I followed right here 

It's a good thing I ate some otherwise it wouldn't fit in the jar! 

I used hemp hearts, chia seeds, and no almonds because I was saving it for the biscotti! I think I ate about half of the granola yesterday. So full of deliciousness! 

Jed had told me that he has a good recipe for Almond Biscotti, and it was in one of his sketchbooks.  Meaning it could be in any of his many sketchbooks he has! Luckily enough, he knew which one and found it promptly.  I don't think I have ever had biscotti because I am not a coffee drinker and have trouble paying for a little piece of biscotti which likely costs $4 or some way overpriced number.  

 Jed made this almond biscotti and I realized then just how hard it is to Not snatch up some batter when it's not you making the batter. I was itching so bad to sample the dough.  Kindly enough, Jed left me a few crumbs to eat out of the bowl!
We let these cook for about 50 mins in total! They were so delicious with our hot chocolate!

Because this recipe only has eggs and some extracts for liquids, its a very dry mixture which you just pack into log shapes! 

Almond Biscotti:
1 cup blanched, sliced almonds
1tsp baking powder
1/8tsp salt
1/2tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
3/4cup sugar
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla 

1) toast almonds at 300F for 8-10 minutes, flipping occasionally 
2) beat eggs and extracts together
3) mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together
4) gradually add the egg mixture into the flour mixture
5) add the almonds about halfway through mixing the egg and flour mixture together
6) divide dough in half and roll each half into a log (10x2)
7) bake 35-40 mins or until firm to touch.  Cool 10 mins
8) slice off in diagonal slices 
9) bake 10-12 mins on each side 

*Jed used a wooden spoon to mix dough, and then his hands. The batter doesn't 'roll' out but rather you pack it into 2 log shapes! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

English Muffins

We bought some English muffins at Safeway a few weeks ago, and I re-realized that I love them! I don't eat a lot of wheat, generally speaking, but English muffins just shouldn't count. They're so good toasted English muffin with coconut oil and fresh honey on it! And of course, for Eggs Benedict.  I decided I would try and make some. I've made Jed some little French loaves a few times, but all I have is a handheld mixer, and that's no match compared to bread dough! And again, it proved true. My poor little hand mixer.  Soon, I will get a stand mixer. Soon. 
The recipe I used was pretty straight forward. You can find that recipe here
It said to roll the dough out to be about 1" thick. I did it thinner, just because it was rolling so nicely, and I've never had dough roll as good as this one did. So I didn't dare stop.  I'm glad I didn't because I did use the last bits and pieces of the dough to make it a bit thicker and those muffins are huge. 

I just made the dough, let it sit for a bit and then toasted each side
And then baked them in the oven for about 15 minutes, longer for the massive ones
Then they were done! I think it was the easiest bread recipe I've made so far!
I don't think any are the same size

Monday, November 4, 2013

Young Living, Thieves Oil

First of all, I am slightly obsessed with Essential Oils at the moment.  If you don't want to read about any oils, stop now, otherwise, read on and learn about the Thieves oil! 

The last few weeks, our house, us, our bedding, our clothes, our everything, has been smelling like the wonderful Thieves Oil!  For those who Don't know, Thieves is a Young Living Essential Oil   I personally believe it one of the best oils out there. It is a blend, consisting of Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary, Lemon and Eucalyptus Radiata. The blend of those oils are combined to kill practically every germ that tries to reach you! Plus, it smells like fall.
Our whole town is sick it seems, and Jed has been working with his brother who is sick with a cold as well.  I've (we've) been putting Thieves on our feet, diffusing it, putting a drop on our tongue, putting it in water, etc etc.  It is an oil that can be taken internally, so I have been making Jed some "magic" water to take to work. I put some Thieves, peppermint, and lemon in it. It's basically horrible. But it does the trick! (so far)

Some uses of Thieves:
  • put a few drops in a spray bottle and use to sanitize countertops, tables etc
  • use that same spray bottle and use as an air freshener
  • add to floor washing water
  • put 4 drops on a cotton ball and then into a baggie-open baggie to inhale the aroma
  • put a cotton ball with a drop of thieves in your shoes, purse, fridge, etc to eliminate odors 
  • apply a drop to your feet to help fight the germs
  • mix with 1 cup of baking soda and 6-10 drops of thieves to use to scrub a shower/tub
  • stung by a bee? Put a drop of thieves directly onto sting for pain relief 
  • add a few drops to your dishwasher or dishwater to eliminate smells and help clean the dishes! 
  • diffuse to help kill germs in the air
  • Thieves is also able to be taken internally-add to a cup of tea, hot cocoa, or water, put a few drops in a capsule to support your immune system 

This is just to list a few uses of the amazing Thieves Essential Oil.  Thieves is by far, the most used oil around our house! If you are interested more about Thieves oil, other products or signing up with Young Living, let me know. There are some great deals for when you sign up! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mailday Friday

Maildays are my favourite days I believe. Especially lately as we've been getting things in the mail, good things!  Things we've bought ourselves, or gifts. Today I got my pay-it-forward gift from Denise; some davidstea! The day only got better. My father in law gave me a big container of locally grown honey-yum!   I've been motivated for the last few days to do some canning/dealing with fall produce, for the first time on my own. Yesterday I cut open an average sized pumpkin and a small one. From those two pumpkins, it gave me: 13.5lbs of purée, some pumpkin seeds to make sweet and savory, pumpkin butter and a pumpkin loaf! Now I have about 20 more pumpkins to deal with!  In the past two days I've made a bunch of pumpkin stuff, soup for Sunday, yogurt and soup!  I think I've likely washed about 100 loads of dishes. By hand. 

Some of the bigger ones
The outcome!

Free samples too!
Local honey
Arg. I'm having a horrible time trying to get those two above pics side by side, or even centered. According to the toolbar, they are centered. Or any photo organized.

Making tomato sauce!
All it made

I have a super easy recipe for Crockpot Yogurtand haven't bought yogurt for months, I love it! It makes about two full yogurt containers full. We have company coming Sunday so I made a big pot of the best corn chowder soup ever!
Making yogurt
And Mom's corn chowder soup!