4 Meals Out of 2 Whole Chickens

If the idea of cooking a whole chicken scares you, start by reading: Whole Chickens – Why they are Better than Just the Breasts and hopefully you will be given some incentive to convert to this brave new world.

I love when things come together… so well that it is almost as if they were created to be that way.  The more and more that we get into homesteading and traditional cooking, the more I see these occurrences.  For example… when a cow leaves a mess on the ground and a mass of chickens come running over to “clean it up” – it makes you think… hum, it’s almost like they were created that way for a reason.  When you make lots of cheese and have the byproduct of lots of whey, which just so happens to be a wonderful nutrient for pigs – – it makes you think… hum, it’s almost like they were created that way for a reason.  I could go on and on, but for now, I’ll spare you – this is a post about cooking chicken.

So – we use two chickens to make the following:

  1. Chicken Tacos
  2. Chicken Tortillia Soup
  3. Coconut Chicken & Rice
  4. Chicken Stock + Leftovers

We want to be able to utilize the stock for the second two recipes, so the menu does best when you start with the Chicken Tacos for your first meal.

Day 1

Defrost 2 whole chickens the night before.  If you prefer to defrost your meat by leaving it in the refrigerator, you might want to do this a bit more in advance.  I just throw my in a sink full of cold water and they are good to go in the morning.

 

Day 2

Rinse chickens and place in a crock pot.  The size of your chickens and the size of your crock pot will determine if you need one or two crock pots.  Sometimes I am able to fit both birds into one crock pot, but sometimes the brids are a bit larger and it just doesn’t work.  I don’t mind using two crock pots anyway since this gives me an opportunity to make more broth at a time.

The best way to cook a chicken in a crock pot is upside down – this keeps the breast nice and moist.  Literally, I just throw them in there with nothing else.  You may add seasoning if you would like, but I prefer to start from scratch in the season department with each of my meals and the broth, so I leave them plain.

I cook them on low or high based on what time they go in… earlier in the morning, I use low, later in the morning, I usually use high.  By the time late afternoon rolls around, they are generally done.  You can tell that they are done by pulling on one of the legs – if it falls off, they are perfect.  If not, but you need to get moving on dinner – cut into the breast and make sure there is no pink remaining.  The bird will be a little harder to pick apart, but perfectly good to eat.

Once done – remove the brids from the crock pot(s) and allow to cool till you are able to manage them comfortably with your hands.

Now start removing the meat – I make four piles:

  1. the brests go onto a plate that will be used for dinner tonight
  2. the skin and extra parts that do not look all that appetizing go into a bowl for the dogs
  3. the bones all go back into the crock pot to be used for stock
  4. the rest of the meat (legs, wings, thighs, backs, etc.) go into a glass container with a lid to be saved for later in the week

Once I’m done sorting, I cover the bones in the crock pot(s) with water and add a splash of ACV (apple cider vinegar).  The ACV helps pull everything out of the bones in order to make your stock as nourishing as possible.

Now for dinner – I shred the chicken breasts and throw them in a pot or skillet and simply add taco seasoning (homemade recipe is below) and some water to help it all integrate well.  Stir and heat till the water has all evaporated and/or integrated and your meat should be good to go.

We like to serve our tacos with slightly fried white corn tortillas and any of the following that we happen to have on hand:

  • lettuce
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • avocadoes
  • beans (pinto, black, refried, etc.)
  • shredded cheese
  • salsa
  • sour cream

Generally, with tacos, we will have extra meat left over since there are so many extras.  Save the remaining seasoned chicken for Chicken Tortilla Soup tomorrow.

 

Day 3

This 4 meal formula actually came about on accident.  We had the extra meat left over from the chicken tacos (which I only made because I didn’t feel like putting together my originally planned meal after a hard day).  We had been eating some version of tacos for the last 4 or 5 meals and I couldn’t do it again.  But… I had leftover chicken with taco seasoning on it.  Finally, a light bulb went off – Tortilla Soup!  Something different, but still carrying the same flavors that my family loves.

So, for your second dinner, use the leftover seasoned chicken to make the Tortilla Soup recipe below.   It is especially good with sour cream , raw onions, and avocados on top.  You also have the homemade chicken broth ready to go in your crock pot!

Be sure to add water to your broth throughout the day if you noticing it getting low.  Also add when you take out a majority of it to make your soup.

 

Day 4

I hope that you are taking the opportunity to scoop up some of the delicious chicken broth you have simmering on your countertop and enjoy it here and there as a snack.  I like to sprinkle a little bit of garlic salt in mine and then add an ice cube so that I can drink it up right away and not burn my tongue.  You may also have some Tortilla Soup left over, which would make a perfect lunch for today.

Now for your last meal, you will need to get the rice going a little early to make sure it is done in time to add to your dish.  Don’t forget to use the chicken broth to make your rice!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had chicken broth on hand that I plan to use to make my rice or beans and completely forget when it comes time to make it.  I like to throw in a little butter or oil as well and season with salt.

After your rice has been cooking a bit, add your veggies to a skillet or pot.  Once they are good and translucent, add your chicken that you set aside a couple days ago.  If you did not shred this completely when you saved it, just throw it in the pot and break it apart with a spoon or spatula while it is cooking.  As it heats up, it will come apart nicely.

Next, add your seasonings and coconut milk… then the nutritional yeast (optional) and rice.

Serve with a fresh salad and a sweet potato for a full course meal.

 

I hope you enjoy this menu medley and that it encourages you to come up with some of your own.

 

 

Print Recipe

Taco Seasoning

Source: Christy Comstock

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Mexican

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 12 cup chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 teaspoon black pepper
  • 14 teaspoon cayenne pepper

You have 4 ingredients in your Pantry.

Directions

  1. Measure all ingredients out into a mason jar and shake.
  2. If substituting in a recipe that calls for a packet of taco seasoning, use just under 1/2 of a cup.

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Print Recipe

Chicken Tacos

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Mexican

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 4 whole chicken breasts shredded, whole, organic, pastured chicken
  • 1 cup taco seasoning homemade
  • white corn tortillas
  • butter oil, or coconut oil
  • Optional Add Ons
  • romaine lettuce
  • diced tomatoes
  • chopped onions
  • avocado slices
  • sour cream
  • cheese shredded
  • salsa

You have 3 ingredients in your Pantry.

Directions

  1. Cook chickens in one or two crock pot(s) by placing in pot upside down (breast down). No need to add any water or seasonings.
  2. Cook for approximately 6 hours or till meat is falling off the bones.
  3. Remove meat from birds – I like to use the breast meat for the tacos and then save the rest for another dish.
  4. Shred meat and place in a pot or skillet.
  5. Add taco seasoning and enough water to help the seasoning coat the meat and then evaporate completely.
  6. Stir consistently
  7. Lightly fry tortillas in oil, butter, or coconut oil till just crispy and still flexible enough to fold into a taco.
  8. Assemble tacos with your favorite toppings.

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Whole Chickens – Why They Are Better than Just the Breasts

I used to be a “chicken breast only” kinda girl.  It was the only part of the chicken I ever ate growing up.  Even when it came to rotisserie chicken – we would eat the breast and dump the rest.  Now that we are farmers, this has changed.

 

I’ve learned to be more frugle, so “dumping” anything just doesn’t fly in our house.  I can’t stand to see the waste.  And as I once thought to be unfortunate, you can’t grow chicken breasts on their own… they come with the rest of the bird!

We have been raising meat birds for about 5 years now.  Not anything on a large scale, but a handful of birds here and there.  After various losses and a select few that we let go to customers, I think we ended up with only 6-8 birds this year, which is a huge bummer in more ways than one.  Mainly being that I can now say that I prefer the whole bird for a number of reasons, and I’m stuck with chicken breasts bought from the store!

Why the whole chicken?

  1. Stock – this was probably the main incentive that pushed me towards working with the whole bird vs just cutting it up raw.  I love having our own stock on hand that I know was made with no additives, from birds that were raised organically, on pasture, and humanely.  The health benefits are amazing and it makes for such a quick and easy snack when you have some simmering in the crock pot.
  2. Many meals in one – I can make 2 whole chickens and stretch that into 4 meals for our family of 7.  Read about it here: 4 Meals Out of 2 Whole Chickens.  I’m not saying that hubby doesn’t complain about wanting more protein, so maybe I’ll have to start throwing a third in there for him to eat on his own.
  3. Sustainability – Just think about it, if you are only eating chicken breasts, imagine how many legs, thighs, wings, backs, etc. are being produced as a byproduct.  As we started growing and raising our own food, the realization set in just how “on edge” our current industrial food system is.  If you wish to shift your eating habits towards the local food movement, eating just specific parts of an animal is generally not sustainable.
  4. Economics – it is cheaper to buy a whole bird than it is to buy just part of it.  Your dollar per pound value goes up, but you also receive more of the bird to work with.  If you just purchased chicken breasts, lets say 2 breasts that weight between 1.3 to 1.5 pounds – that would run you $9.79.  Bump that up to a whole chicken and with a weight between 3 to 3.25 pounds, your cost only increases to $11.29.  That is $1.5 that you are paying for the rest of the bird!*
  5. Variety – there are so many things you can do with a whole chicken.  Roast it in the oven with some hearty root veggies, cook in the crock pot “upside down” for deliciously moist, perfect chicken every time, throw it on the grill rotisserie style, or cut it up raw and use each part for a different meal.  The options are endless…

If you are someone who is a “chicken breast only” kind of person, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try out a whole chicken.
If you are experienced in whole chicken cooking – please share your ideas!

 

*Pricing was taken from Door to Door Organics pricing on “natural” chicken.  The overall price on this chicken is low because although it is produced locally, it is produced on a large scale and not organic and/or pasture raised.

the part that sucks…

We lost a puppy. 🙁 Actually, as I write this, she is still with us, but it will not be long.  Kevin is holding her and has been for the last couple hours… making sure she knows she is loved and is as comfortable as possible for her last moments with us.  I have to remain on “baby duty” – although I have free hands at the moment, that could chance in a second.  The chores get pushed and our schedule gets jumbled… all for this precious little pup.

We noticed that she was not gaining as fast, and then not gaining, and then loosing weight.  This came as a surprise because she was one of our biggest gainers the day before.  How does a puppy go from thriving the most, down to not thriving at all?!?  We made attempts to get her to eat as much as possible.  I was up late last night and Kevin was up every hour after I finally went to bed to try and get her to nurse.  We both got her to latch halfheartedly  a number of times, but it just wasn’t enough.

The saddest part is that there is another.  The runt of the litter who has actually been thriving alright, but has been on our watch list from the beginning.  Always making sure that she is the first to eat, watching to make sure she doesn’t get pushed off, etc.  She nursed and had energy around 2:30 this morning, but a few hours later, her quality has dropped.  As I write this, I have stopped a number of times to try and get her to nurse and although she seems to have the vigor, it’s as if she has forgotten to latch.  We will do our best to help her figure it out and pray for a miracle.  Yes… I hate this part.

The kids are now all up and entertaining each other so that I can take the pups that need comforting and Kevin can can go down to complete the barn chores.

handling it all…

I didn’t grow up on a farm.  We had quite a few animals (as in definitely more than most) and I’ve experienced plenty of death, but it is never easy.  As we settle into our farming lifestyle… there is death.  There is death, and it sucks.  Sometimes, we are able to determine a reason, but sometimes not.

For some reason, I have always hated sharing about an animal dying in our house.  I have always felt that it was my fault, ashamed that it happened.  With each death, it makes you feel like make you’re not the best person for this job.

But then, on top of the death, we also have to deal with telling others about the death.  This part is almost as hard as the death itself for me.   Not only the sadness and pain stopped me from discussing and sharing, but also the fear of judgement.  Which is strange… I’ve never been much of person to care what others think of me.  As long as I’m doing my best, doing what’s right, and good with God – that’s all that matters.  But death… for some reason it’s a different story.

Before I decided to share our story publicly, I wrestled with this issue of death and how was I going to deal with it and writing our farm journal.  It took some time, but I made the commitment to be real… about everything, including death.  So, here I am, a little sooner than I had hoped, discussing just that.

doing our best and remaining thankful

At a minimum, I know that we have done everything we could do for these pups.  Kept an extra close eye on them, made sure that they were the first to eat, put them on extra to eat more.  At this point, I just have to trust that it is all in God’s hands and be thankful for the pups that make it.

There is good and there is bad that comes with this life… it seeps to be exemplified in the world of farming.  Unfortunately, we can’t have one without the other.  It is hard, but we do our best to keep our focus on the big picture, a God, that loves us dearly, and be thankful for countless blessings.

Delilah’s Pups & a Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree…

We always get our Christmas tree on the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving.  I would probably put it up the first week of November if tree lots opened that early!  We tried doing the “cut your own” thing for a couple years, but I hate that you are not able to go out (if you are going the permit route) till the first week in December.  Once I learned that, it was decided that if and when we went out to cut down our tree, it would have to be for a second tree, because I needed one in the house before that!

We went out on Saturday to look for a tree.  We went somewhere new and abandoned our normal tradition of driving up into Denver to go to a specific tree lot up that way.  We looked and looked, and could not find a tree that “fit” with what we were looking for.  So, after walking around a few more times (thinking there had to be something), we left… tree-less.

Now, I’m sure it had nothing to do with the place we went, but more so with a few other facts…
First, we have had vaulted ceilings for the past 9 years, so we have always gotten a HUGE tree.  This probably stems from my childhood memories of always having the largest tree brought in – something my dad always made a big deal out of.  So… we choose to carry on that tradition the last number of years.
Second, we went during the day.  I don’t know why, but I’m super picky about the fact that you go to pick out Christmas trees at night (well, at least when it is dark out, which is pretty early these days).  Maybe we always picked out trees at night when I was little, or maybe not – for some reason, it is just something ingrained in me.

So… we discuss heading up to Denver to the traditional tree lot to pick out a tree – that night (Saturday), and then on Sunday, and then on Monday… and it keeps not happening.  Finally, on Wednesday, Kevin declared, “I don’t care what is on the schedule, we need to go get a tree today or else it might not ever happen.”  So, we cleared the evening schedule and headed up north.  Eyeing Delilah as we walked out the door, and praying that she didn’t whelp while we were gone.

Picking out the tree was a fun experience… Every year we go to the same place, and every year I tell Kevin that I don’t like it.  It feels scummy to me – they don’t have prices on their trees, and the salesmen work on commission – so their goal is to get as much money out of you as possible.  It feels very “used car salesmen”-esque to me. (sorry if you’re a used car salesmen – no offense intended!)  So, I, once again, had a hard time finding the “right” tree and probably drove the salesmen nutz.  By the time we found one, he was willing to give us what he claimed to be “an amazing deal”.  It was a good deal compared to where his price started, but relative to what?…

{Side Note: The best part of all this is that we don’t have to worry about picking a place to go get a tree next year since we will be selling them ourselves!  Of course, we will be picking ours out at night. 😉  Our 2016 events are listed here if you have not seen them yet: 2016 Events}

We finally get the tree home after 8pm and leave it on top of the car because all the kids are asleep and need to be carried into the house (which hubby does… one by one) so I can get ready for bed and take anyone who gets upset in the process.

As I write this, our tree is not decorated and sadly, took a couple days to even make it into the house!  So much for my early Christmas tradition…

and Puppies!

2015-12-03 16.31.19The very next morning at 5am, Delilah had her first pup.  She was going crazy to get out of the house, so Kevin took her down to the barn with him to do chores and locked her in a stall to make sure she didn’t bury herself somewhere (what she tried to do last time).  Sure enough, she had her first pup down there.  Kevin came running up with the pup, gave it to me, and then went back for Delilah.  For some reason, the three youngest kiddos were all awake for this event – yes, at 5am!

The first few pups came slowly, probably due to us moving her around trying to get her to stay situated (and out of the corner!).  And then they kept coming.  I try not to get my hopes up for a lot of puppies – I prepare myself to be happy with just a couple just in case that is all we get.  This time around, we were blessed with 13 little fluff balls.

I just love how different each one of them is already… they all look a little different and each one of them already starting to show their own personality.  I am noticing it even more this time around.

With her last litter, we had just moved into our new place and life was CRAZY (as if it isn’t now)… But, with it also being our first litter – there was a lot of anxiety that came along with the whole scenario.  This time around, I’m finding that I am actually able to enjoy the pups and relax through the whole process.

Some lessons from the last litter…

DSC_7974We did end up loosing two out of the last litter (she had 10) when they were just under two weeks old.  I think that for some reason I let my guard down once they hit 10 days thinking they were all good to go from that point… But apparently (and obviously), when you have more puppies than the mom has nipples, you need to be very careful to make sure they are all gaining weight at a similar rate.  At the point in time we lost them, I was making sure everyone was gaining, but I don’t think I was looking close enough at the ratios.

We have learned from that experience and I’m now looking at each one individually (total weight gain, ratio to their current weight, and ratio to the other pups) on a daily basis.  I pick 2-3 at each weigh in that need to be “focused” on for that day – meaning that they need to be put on mom to eat as often as possible and clear out some of the other pups so they don’t sneak in and steal from them.  It’s amazing how fast the little guys can get pushed out of the way – and if we’re not watching and assisting, how fast they can start growing slower, which gives them even less energy to fight for food – it is a fast downward spiral!

We may turn to splitting the litter in two and keeping any slow gainers with mom at all times as they get a little bigger.  Right now, she seems to be doing a great job with them all, and they each seem to be thriving well.  Praying they continue to do so!

 

Watch the puppies grow here

 

The Best Turkey Brine

As we prepare to process the last of (and bulk of) our turkeys this year, it reminds me to also finalize our Thanksgiving menu.  We have a pretty traditional menu that doesn’t change much from year to year, but somehow I often forget to brine the turkey.  I’m not quite sure how or why – possibly because we have processed the birds much earlier in years past and they were frozen.  I had a hard time remembering to defrost the turkey the weekend prior… it just seems so early to start preparing for Thanksgiving on Thursday.

This year, we are going for fresh though – processing turkeys on Tuesday, which gives us just enough time to chill Tuesday night and brine Wednesday morning.

Here is our recipe for the Best Turkey Brine:

 

Print Recipe

The Best Turkey Brine

Course: Main Course

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2 gallons cold water add enough to cover turkey
  • 2 cups brown sugar make your own using organic evaporated cane juice and molasses!
  • 1 12 cups salt we use Real salt by Redmond
  • 8 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 inches ginger sliced
  • 4 peals of oranges just add the peals, not the orange itself
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 whole bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons pepper corns
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole allspice
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks

Directions

  1. Pour water and cider into large stock pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Take off heat and add salt and brown sugar – stir till dissolved.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and allow to cool.
  4. If you do not have the time to let the brine sit and cool, substitute one gallon of water with up to 10 cups of ice – heat the liquid with a little less water, add ingredients, then add ice to cool.
  5. Once brine is cool, place turkey in large pot, bucket, or brining bag and pour liquid over top of turkey. If liquid does not cover turkey fully, add cold water and agitate slightly to mix with the brine.
  6. Leave turkey in brine for 12-24+ hours (closer to 24 is ideal). Refrigerate if possible, leave outside if cold enough, or consider a large cooler if necessary.
  7. When ready to roast, grill, smoke, or deep fry turkey – remove from brine and rinse prior to preparing.

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I hope to be back between now and Thanksgiving with some more of our favorite recipes…

For now – I figured I’d add in this quick reference for turkey roasting times since this is one of the things I have to look up every time I make a turkey.

Turkey Cooking Times

As a general rule, you can plan on cooking the bird for about 15  minutes per pound  in a 350°F oven.

Weight                 Cooking Time                       

10-14lbs ———— 2.5-3.5 hours

14-18lbs ———— 3.5-4.5 hours

18-22lbs ———– 4.5-5.5 hours

22-26lbs ———– 5.5-6.5 hours

26-30+lbs ——— 6.5-7.5 hours

 

The goal is for the internal temperature of the bird to reach 165°F.

You will also need to take into consideration how the turkey is stuffed.  The more stuffing in the turkey, the longer it will take to fully cook.

 

Let us know if you try the brine and how you like it.

 

Uses for Extra and/or Sour Milk

Raw milk is such a versatile product.  On its own, without any added ingredients, it can be used for a number of things.  With just a few additional ingredients, this list multiplies exponentially.  The cheeses alone that can be made with a mere pinch of culture are countless.

If you ever find yourself with extra milk or soured milk – do not pour it down the drain!  Honestly, it doesn’t really matter how old it is – it does not “go bad” as pasteurized/homogenized/store bought milk does, but simply continues to “change”.  I’m sure that you can find at least one suggestion mentioned below to make use of your extra or soured milk.

Milk Based Recipes

  • Ice Cream
  • Smoothies
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Chocolate Milk
  • Pudding
  • Milk Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Use the Cream off the Top as Soured Cream to add to Mexican Food, Baked Potatoes, Soups, Chili, etc.
  • Make Cream Cheese
  • Make Cultured Buttermilk with a Buttermilk Culture
  • Ice Milk
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Homemade Cajeta
  • Clabber
  • Butter & Buttermilk

Baking or Cooking With Milk

You can use soured milk in pretty much any recipe that calls for milk and will never know the difference.

  • French Toast
  • Scrambled Eggs or Omelets
  • Quiche
  • Soak Oats and Make Oatmeal
  • Pancakes or Waffles
  • Cream or Alfredo Sauce
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Cornbread
  • Substitute Soured Milk for Buttermilk
  • Use Soured Milk rather than Water for Soaking Grains
  • Banana Bread, Pumpkin Bread, Zucchini Bread
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Soaked Muffins
  • Use as a Marinade for Fish
  • Cream Based Soups or Chowder
  • Bread Pudding
  • Soak Chicken for Fried Chicken
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

Make Cheese!DSC_5124

  • Chevre
  • Ricotta
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Feta
  • Mozzarella
  • Cheddar
  • Farmhouse Cheddar

 

Use for Alternative Remedies

  • Pink Eye
  • Sunburn
  • Poison Ivy
  • Dry Skin

 

“Other” Uses (non-consumption)

Maybe you’re just not there yet and still associate soured milk with the milk from the grocery store that has gone “bad”… There are plenty of other uses for soured milk that do not involve consumption.

  • Garden Fertilizer
  • Feed it to your Dogs or Cats (better yet, start adding raw milk to their regular diet!)
  • Bathe in it… or use as Conditioner
  • Make Soap
  • Use to Polish Silverware
  • Homemade Lotion
  • Let it turn to Clabber and Feed to Chickens or Pigs
  • Milk Paint

Freeze for later use!

…and last but not least, if for any reason, none of the above suggestions suite you – return the soured milk to your farmer.  I’m sure that he or she will be happy to feed it to the chickens or pigs.

 

Do you have any other uses for extra raw milk or soured milk?  Please let us know in the comments.

03.28.2015

2015-03-28 19.14.09Good day on the farm… but things move slow!

It was gorgeous today – 75 degrees and sunny.  We’re going on our second day spending a majority of the day outside and we’re all starting out the season with some nice sun tans!

 

2015-03-28 19.17.54We spent the morning working on our very overwhelming to do list, had a visit with some good friends to show2015-03-28 19.25.54 them around our new place, and then did some work on fencing, etc.  The sad part about that list that I previously mentioned… I think about 0.5 items got crossed off it today.  I’m realizing that things really do seem to slow down in the country – now to get to the point where I can embrace that.

2015-03-28 19.17.46We had to run up to the feed store to grab some supplies and I’m still in awe of how close to town we are!  I’ve spend the past 5 years learning how to live away from town and being very strategic about not having to run out for one quick thing… but now, it’s an option.

 

 

The boys just love helping Daddy with farm work!  2015-03-28 19.19.28

2015-03-28 14.49.49

We also saw four hawks flying overhead this afternoon… mental note to keep a close eye on kittens, chicks, and probably even puppies!

Moving Day

I2015-03-21 15.57.54 felt like things were moving a bit too smoothly.  I remembered how much I hated moving and over the past month as I was packing, I kept thinking to myself, “this isn’t too bad”.

2015-03-21 20.26.49I then realized, I hadn’t hit the part of actually “moving” yet!  I will assure you, if you have any doubt in your mind… moving still stinks!

Once we got into the new place, the kids enjoyed some pizza… best part – it was actually delivered!  It’s strange that we have moved into our best “farm” property yet and yet it’s close enough to town to get delivery!

 

This is how you move a freezer… especially when you have 5 freezers and 2 refrigerators to move – it’s FULL!  2015-03-22 14.03.45  2015-03-21 11.59.28She was obviously concerned that we were going to forget her!

15 Moves

2015-03-19 13.40.55This little kitty (Isabelle, aka Biz) is going to be making her 15th move with me!

I got her when I was just 19 – during the summer after my Freshman year of college.  She started with me in Petoskey while I was working 4 different jobs – I worked most days at Black Forest Hall and Black Forest Farm, I ran the beer cart at a family friend’s golf course on occasional evenings, I worked at Teddy’s as a waitress other nights, and then also took care of feeding and caring for all the reptiles and small animals at a pet store in Petoskey.

2015-03-19 13.40.32The pet store didn’t have much experience with small animals and I had spent the last two years working at Preuss while I was still in high school and through the previous year in college.  I was able to swing by and care for everyone on my own time schedule, which was nice with my crazy work schedule.

2015-03-19 13.41.50Kitties were sometime included in my list of animals cared for, and early in the summer, the pet store got a Siamese mama cat in with her kittens.  I would let some of them out while I was working and play with them, and day by day they were sold off.  This sweet little girl was the last one left and I couldn’t bear to not bring her home with me… and we’ve been together ever since.

Places we’ve lived together:

  1. Petoskey House
  2. East Lansing Apartment (sophmore year at MSU)
  3. Okemos Home (my parents home, briefly before moving up north for the summer)
  4. Harbor Sp2015-03-19 13.40.01rings – BFH Trailer (while working a second summer on the farm)
  5. Okemos Home – (my parents home, briefly before I moved to the Lansing house)
  6. Lansing House – (junior year at MSU)
  7. Royal Oak House (for my internship in Detroit with Deloitte)
  8. Haslett Apartment – (senior year at MSU)
  9. Rochester Hills Apartment – (started my career in public accounting and attended grad school at Welsh College)
  10. Schick Home (purchased my first house)
  11. Aurora Condo (temporary housing when Kevin and I moved to Colorado)
  12. Foxfield House (in Castle Rock, Harbor was born in this home)
  13. Larksong House (in Castle Rock, Greyson was born in this home)
  14. Lake Gulch House (our fist move to the country… 40 acres in Castle Rock, Asher & Lynden were born in this home)
  15. Meadow Green House (in Franktown, Elias was born in this home)

2015-03-19 13.39.32And now, we are making our way to Elizabeth… and so very excited about it.  As you can see in the background of some of these pictures, we’re almost done packing.  We’re making the move ourselves, with some help from good friends.  To help make things go smoothly, we’ve moved all packed boxes and furniture down to the basement for easy loading.

We move in two days… can’t wait!

 

PS – it snowed today (among all the 60-70 degree weather we’ve had all week and will continue to have into the next week).  Happy we were planning on doing inside packing today!

2015-03-19 13.45.12

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