Sunday, June 30, 2013

10 Years Old!

Sugar Bug, 10 years went by way too fast!  I still see you as my little 3 year old quite often and have to remind myself you are growing up!  At her request we went to her favorite spot to have a birthday party. 

Blue springs..
This was taken about a month before our party.  In the summer it's hard to get a picture with out people in it as it is a popular site.  The water is so clear and cold!

     It was a beautiful day for a picnic. Super D spiked his hair for the occasion.

         Sugar Bug wanted a dirt cake complete with pigs and worms.
We had blast swimming in the springs and challenging each other to jump in. 
We got a pretty good group jump here. 

       Except the guy in the white hat on the rocks everyone else was with us.  From the left we have Super D, Sweet Ma (me), Sassafras, Mr. R, Aunt M, and Uncle W.  

   Super D of course found a snake to play with.  This is a water snake they are pretty common here.

  Happy Birthday Sugar Bug! (a little late)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Newest member of the S family..

  This is Sweet Pea... (we didn't name her but the name fits right in with us)

    She is a 2-3 year old Jersey heifer.  In cow speak that means her breed is Jersey and Heifer means girl  (usually it refers to a cow that hasn't had a calf yet) 
Sweet Pea is pregnant with her first calf now.  She is due at the end of the month (June)

So any day we will have a calf also.  As her name implies she is a sweet, curios cow. She reminds me of a big friendly dog that doesn't know her own strength.  She has caused a bit of trouble already escaping twice and going on her own little adventures.  Thankfully she comes home for dinner :)

    We are looking forward to fresh milk and all the things we can make with it! 
Our summer has been Super, Super busy and I have more coming as soon as I can get things uploaded.  Hope your summer is going well!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Turtle Season

So it's the time of year the turtles are coming out to warm up after the cold winter.  I think we are starting a turtle farm!  Here are some that we caught.  We've let several go in the garden but I haven't seen them since.  We've enjoyed "tagging" them with nail polish on their backs so we know if we find the same one's later. 

 The small ones are the cutest!  This is a small water turtle next to our smallest box turtle.

For perspective at how tiny he is.  Amazing these guys survive the rivers!

Box turtles this small are a bit rare.  They are quite quick for turtles too. 

I thought the kids has taken pictures of their art on the turtles but I guess not.  Next time though.  So far we have also found a couple skinks.
This guy was a neat color.
 He is called a Coal Skink.

My personal favorite.  This gal made a cocoon in the outhouse.  It was neat to see her transformation.

Isn't she pretty!  We have so many cool butterflies here.  One of my favorite things.
Even a year later we love discovering nature everywhere we turn.  Always something neat to learn and look at.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pancakes and Poor Man's Syrup

    Here's another breakfast for you.  One of our favorites....I make these pancakes at least once a week if not more. This is a recipe I got from Taste of Home magazine.  They have a better picture than I could take. :) 

Banana Oat Pancakes (Linked to Taste of home site with Picture.)

  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/3 cups milk
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Maple syrup

  • Directions
    • In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Combine the egg, milk, banana and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
    • Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with syrup. Yield: 1 dozen.

          Now Of course I typically adjust the recipe a bit.  I usually use whole wheat flour and butter.  Often I use honey instead of sugar if I have it and I have successfully made these with water instead of milk when needed.  I have to double the recipe and sometimes triple it to feed my crew.  
    We love to top these with strawberries and as the title suggested my homemade syrup substitute.
    I also play with the amount of cinnamon and sometimes add nutmeg and cloves.  One morning I was out of banana's and turned these into apple pancakes by adding diced apple instead. 

    Now I really do love PURE Maple Syrup but it is pricey and often we just don't have the budget for it.  I really don't like the store bought syrups that are mostly high fructose corn syrup. Mine isn't really much better in the sugar department but I feel better knowing exactly what is in it. :)

    Poor Man's Syrup 

         2 Cups Brown Sugar
         1 Cup Water
         1 Tablespoon Molasses (optional)
         1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    Heat all ingredients in saucepan until sugar is dissolved.  This makes a thin syrup that thickens a bit as it cools.  It is best hot and stores well.  Although sometimes it does crystallize just reheat. 

    The cost is about the same as the cheap store bought stuff.  If you want you can add Maple flavoring.  Some may not like the taste of  Molasses as much. Regular molasses will have a milder flavor than Blackstrap which is what I used.  I like the flavor and it adds some nutrition as Blackstrap is high in calcium and iron.  USDA Nutritional Value of Molasses  or Heath Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses


    Thursday, June 6, 2013

    Baker Creek

    So... this was about a month ago but wanted to get pictures up.  We spent a day at Baker Creek which is a old town tourist type place that raises veggies and sells heirloom seeds.  Their web site is
    They were having their spring festival and Super D was working too.
    Sugar Bug posing in front of Super D's and Boss's booth.  This place was packed with booths that ranged from plants, custom made crafts, and food.  It was so fascinating and neat.
     Sassafras was a little harder to catch in a picture.  She's even on the move in this one.  We were watching a blacksmith at work.
    This is on our wish list. A solar oven.  We tried baking cookies but this day was too cloudy so we weren't very successful but on sunny days this thing can really cook!
      One of the old time looking buildings. 

    We were so busy checking it all out I failed at getting too many pictures but we sure had a great day!
    I got a bag full of seeds for the garden and some plants.  Our garden is planted finally we're hoping to have a good crop this year!