Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Happy 86th!!!

Guess who celebrated their 86th birthday yesterday?

Grandma did!



Of course, we had to have a little celebration. With cake. You can never forget cake! And ice cream. If you have birthday cake, you gotta have ice cream, am I right?


Bryony even got in a festive mood, and you gotta know I'm going to post the obligatory dog-in-a-hat photo. Or tiara, in this case.

Bryony does love her Grandma. And the feeling is mutual. In fact, I overheard G-ma talking to Bry the other day and telling her, "Who's Grandmama's pretty baby? You are!" They've even started taking naps together every afternoon ;) But enough about that, and back to the real message of this post. . . . 

Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In Remembrance.

In remembrance of my Grandpa, Wayne, who died Thursday night after being hospitalized for nearly a week (You can read the post on our Facebook page about what happened here).

He loved golf and his family, and always had candy (in my case, since it was my favorite, bubblegum) on hand to give out.


You will be missed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Look.

If you've visited lately, you may have noticed something a little new.

Over the years, this blog has gone through many makeovers:



And those few above are just the ones that Wayback Machine has archived. What can I say? I change my mind. A lot. Word of warning, don't go shopping with me. We're talking Indecisive City. But I digress.

They all had their pros and cons, but my favorite was the chicken wire design from The Cutest Blog On The Block. As cute as it was (and so perfectly themed for my blog that I literally let out a verbal, "Ooooh," when I found it), it took a while to load. Or at least it did on my country internet connection.

Which is slow to say the least. Not quite as bad as dial up standards, but not far from it. By the way, in case you're wondering, that's one of the few cons of living in the country. . . stone age internet. Anyone that is considering a move to bucolic surroundings, be warned.

But back to the blog. This new look. . . I like it! And I think (after a few tweaks), it's going to be hanging around for a while. Plus, it has the one thing that I've always included almost from the very beginning: pictures of the animals. They provide most of the material for this blog, so, naturally they need to be one of the first things you see.

For any new followers, here's a little lowdown on who the animals at the top of the page are: (Clockwise, left to right) Mose the donkey (along with a couple of goats), Chickens (a Cream Legbar hen and three of the Naked Necks), Marigold (our resident indecisive goat - she and I have a lot in common), and our farm poodle, Bryony. [Click on the links to be taken to posts featuring those animals]

Something else new - The Country Chick button.

The Country Chick

Monday, August 4, 2014

You know you live in the country when. . .

Not only do your two-legged human neighbors visit, but your feathered fowl neighbors do too.



These guys have been over here so much lately that I'm starting to think we've adopted them. Our neighbors wanted to know a few days ago if the birds were bothering us (and to send them home if they were).


The answer was, of course. . . Nope. We're pretty chicken-friendly people, after all. And you know what? This is what I love about living in the country. The friendliness, the slower pace, and yep, the visits from our neighborly chickens.




Sunday, August 3, 2014

Maiden Hill Farm Summer Giveaway Winner.

And we have a winner!



Congratulations Nicole! I will be contacting you about your prizes in just a bit.

A big thank you to everyone who entered and remember to stay tuned for more giveaways in the future.

And if you didn't win, but would still like to purchase one of the many items available in our shop, visit Maiden Hill Farm on Etsy here (use code 10OFFMHF to receive 10% off your order).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

You know you live in the country when . . . .

A turkey on your porch is pretty common. Among other types of farm animals.



Pictured above: Snoody. Or his full proper name (which I'm sure he absolutely loves and probably because it makes him feel so much more important than Jim Bob. And when you're dealing with Jim Bob, our resident alpha bird, that matters.) Count Von Snoody. 

That's right, because all of our animals are named. 

Except the guineas. Yeah, they're a little too fast and a little too doppelgangerish for me to give them names.

And the quail. For the same reasons. 

By the way, Jim Bob, meanwhile, was standing at the bottom of the steps staring up at Snoody. I sort of think Snoody was having an "I'm the King of the World. . . . and you're not!" moment with him.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#HowDoesMyGardenGrow

So, how does my garden grow? Me of the seemingly eternal gardening killer thumb, that is.

Well, I think I may have finally made progress on the turning-said thumb-green front. Oh yeah. I'm feeling good about it :)

See for yourself:


Tomatoes!! My very first tomatoes!!! I'm so excited. Can you tell?

I have so many tomatoes, I don't know what to do with them all. I'm almost to the point of chasing random strangers down on the street and handing them a tomato.



More tomatoes.

And more.

I told you.

But I'm not complaining. Really, I'm not. I'm just super proud of being able to say that I'm finally a true Southern woman because the one thing that all Southern women are supposed to be able to do is grow tomatoes. And despite being born and raised here all my life, that's one thing that has eluded me. But I can now finally join the club :)

There's also Clemson Spineless okra that has just started producing.


And little baby okra. 


If you follow any of our farm/blog social media accounts then you know I'm very much looking forward to one dish in particular. . . scrambled okra. Literally the best stuff ever. If you're an okra lover, that is. If you're not, then the worst stuff ever. Good thing I happen to be of the loverly variety. Ooh, and if you're wondering what scrambled okra is (and there's a good chance you are because I've been asked more than once). . . it is basically just sliced okra sauteed in a little oil. Indescribably good.

And as soon as I have enough to make a dish of it, I'll be sure to share it with y'all.

Back to the garden.

There was also yellow squash planted in the garden. Emphasis on was. 

And they were huge with little baby squash just beginning to form - thanks to my secret weapon (more on that in a minute). Until the ducks developed a taste for squash. Oh well, at least I've learned a lesson for the future. . . . make sure the ducks can't get to them. 

My new feverfew that I was given in April by the Satsuma Lady (She grows, among many other things, satsumas. Of course.) has been blooming for several weeks.  


And we have pineapple sage. Which really is very pineappley. 


A little strawberry. 


Not surprisingly, no blueberries. But that will change.

I was told recently during a conversation, "If you want blueberries, get three or four bushes and in a couple of years, you'll be drowning in blueberries." Which lead me to say, "Three or four? But I have six planted." So, to all local readers and berry lovers, in a couple of years look for us (and a mountain of blueberries, of course) at the Enterprise farmer's market. 

And now on to my secret weapon that has really made a huge difference this year. 


That's right! The goats. I really should thank them for helping to make some extra effective compost for me. Thanks guys!!


Now, if I can just keep my two escapees (Clara and Rosalie) out of the garden. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

MHF Summer Giveaway!!!

I'm thrilled to be hosting our next giveaway for reaching 500 likes on our Facebook page. 


This giveaway will have one winner. The winner will receive one (2 ounce) bottle of goat milk lotion (made with fresh milk from our herd that I personally milked out. . . thank you!) and a handmade eggshell necklace (made with eggshells from some of our hens).  



You can visit our Etsy shop here
For the whole month of July, use code BRYONY15 at checkout to receive 15% off your order. 

Now for the legal part: Open to entries from the US only. One lucky winner will be chosen at random when the contest ends on August 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM CST. The winner will be contacted by email to obtain their mailing address - if after 48 hours I haven't received a response, a new winner will be chosen. When you sign in to Rafflecopter make sure to include an email address so that I can contact you. Prizes will be mailed out as soon as possible. 

Thank you for participating and good luck!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 14, 2014

Transformation.

If it's possible to be in love with a porch, then I'm in love with ours.

Or at least, I am now. Before a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't. But do you know what? A little paint can transform even the dingiest, most boring back porch into a masterpiece.

Well, certainly not a Picasso-Michelangelo-Titian type of masterpiece, but definitely a masterpiece of the I-usually-can't-paint-anything-and-have-it-look-even-halfway-decent variety.

I completely forgot to take a before picture (something I'm developing a habit of), so I did a little digging and found a picture from a while back. With chickens, of course. This is me, after all :)



And now, for the transformation process. Sans chickens.



A little Glidden Porch & Floor Slip Resistant Paint in battleship gray, some cheaper exterior porch & trim paint in white, and a whole lotta painter's tape:


So much better, am I right? 

And it only took me four days to do it. Truth be told, I think that's mainly because I'm still limping around a little bit. And to give you an update on my little mishap from several weeks ago. . . .  My ankle has healed fine and hardly ever even hurts a little, but the foot sprain is taking its sweet time to heal. At least, I no longer have to drag around the walking boot (and in this hot weather, you have no idea how glad I am of that) and have moved on to wearing a brace instead. All in all, I dread mornings and walking down any steps. Ouch. 

Back to the porch. Next up are the steps on the side of the house and the front porch. Considering how long the above project took to complete, I'm thinking the next two will take at least a week together. But they'll look so much better.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos.

I adore anything hot and spicy, especially if it has jalapenos in it. But it wasn't always that way.

The first time I ever ate a jalapeno pepper certainly made an impression. It was the early nineties and I was six years old. We had a huge garden that summer with corn, pattypan squash (yumm, one of my favorites), tomatoes, and. . . . you might've guessed, jalapenos. Enter one of my cousins, who with a twinkle in his eye (which should have been a clue) and hard-to-conceal grin, said, "Here, try this. You'll like it!"

An hour later, my mouth, hands, and eyes were still burning, and I vowed to never go near the evil things again. That was a vow that didn't last long, because I found out they're actually delicious.

Which brings us to these babies. Jalapenos, bacon (you can never go wrong with bacon, am I right?), cream cheese, AND feta cheese. Oh, I'm all about them.

Ingredients:
12 Jalapenos
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 (6 oz) package of crumbled feta cheese
2 - 3 green onions, chopped
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Bacon, cut into three to four inch pieces
Toothpicks

Tip: It's best to wear disposable gloves while working with the jalapenos, but if you don't and your hands are burning afterwards try rubbing them with olive oil and then washing it off.


1) Start off with jalapenos. Cut each one in half. Remove the seeds and membranes by scooping them out with a small spoon. Now, set them aside.

2) Chop the green onions. Then, in a small bowl combine the softened cream cheese, feta, green onions, salt, and pepper.

3) Fill each jalapeno half with a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture. 


4) Wrap a bacon piece around each pepper and hold in place by sticking a toothpick through it. 


5) Cook on the grill until the bacon is browned. 


Tip: If the bacon on the bottom is browned before the top, simply remove the peppers and finish them off in an on broil until the bacon on top is browned. 

I made these on the 4th and completely forgot to take a nice, pretty picture of these guys until after I'd already fixed my plate and started eating. There were only a few left by then, so, until I make these again, this will have to do:


But I will be making them very soon. Definitely.