Clean Up, Flooding and New Refrigerator

It has been a busy few days, naturally.  When the rains hit, the first thing we noticed was that the back porch roof was leaking like crazy.  All the stuff on our porch was wet, and it was very discouraging.

I asked Tom to get a photo of me in my winter gear.  When it was really cold I had another layer of waterproof ski pants on and a Balaclava hat.  I got a really nice insulated cup for Christmas, and it has been wonderful during this cold stretch.  I have been wearing my snowmobile boots as my Sorrels are at our mountain cabin.

Here is a better view of our collapsed tarp shelter without as much snow on it.  This is where we keep our farm equipment so it is buried underneath still.  Thankfully Tom had ignored my advice to put the quad and tractor under there to keep the moisture off.  But we still have quite a bit of machinery buried.

Tom got the giant pine branch off of the trailer roof.  I helped haul the branches off.  Some went to the animals, and some are piled up behind them.  We tried to catch it on fire, but it was too wet.

I cleaned up Christmas as well.  The tree went to the animals.

Here is a view of the collapsed netting.  You can see the damage better without the snow but still too much to bother to remove it.  One of the walls of the “grampa shed” came loose so I nailed it back together.

I dumped the ice out of the water containers. This is the goose pool, and it was quite heavy dumping it.  The day before I couldn’t due to the weight.

And this is the ice from the sheep’s water container.

Here’s another view of the sheep eating the Christmas tree.  They do not seem to like the pine as much.

After more melting you can really see the damage to the metal of the tarp shelter.  Tom is pulling off the damaged tarp.

And you can really see the damage to the hothouse now.  It is so sad.

And today it is flooding.  On the way home from work this morning, our road had a torrent of water from the development above us flowing across our road in two places.  It was bad enough, they had two county vehicles out warning the drivers of the flooded road.  They never shut the road down that I am aware of . Tom said we lost power last night too.  And here is the view of our front fields this morning.  It feels like we are back to where we started.  The flood waters are about 10 feet from the front of our barn yet again.

But this time there is a wild duck swimming in our field.  I do not remember that from before.  We call the flooded field across the street from us “Lake Brad”.  I am thinking we should call this “Lake Tom”.  What do you think?

Her is a video of the duck swimming around.  Lake Brad always has lots of birds in it.  Maybe we will as well.


The frostbite on Big Orange’s comb and waddle are more apparent now.  I feel bad for him.

Another look at the tarp shelter with the tarp removed.  The weight of the snow must have been tremendous to bend the metal this badly.

So when Tom pulled the huge branch off the trailer roof, he was pleased that there did not seem to be significant damage to the roof section he had just put up.  But there are new leaks in what we call the cider studio.  First it was one leak, but today there are three really bad ones.  We cleared all the equipment out of the room, and Tom went out this afternoon and purchased a new tarp.  He just now got it placed over the old one.  The hope is to limp by with this section of old roofing until the weather improved, and he can build a new one.

Here is grampa’s rain gauge with the amount we received over the last 2 days.  Unfortunately it was so cold I had taken the glass portion of the gauge in during the snow events so do not know how much precipitation that represented here.

And, to top it all off, we have been living out of coolers on the back porch for over 1 week due to our refrigerator dying in the middle of this storm.  But today we got our new refrigerator delivered, and it is so exciting.  It is all clean and pretty.

I decorated it all up similar to the old one.  I blame my aunt Darlene for this.  I remember when I was a kid visiting my cousins that she had alphabet magnets and, I believe, drawings that they had done on their fridge.  Of course, they did not have nearly as much stuff as I do.  But I really enjoy the little mementos of our life in the kitchen.

Plus I have the alphabet ready in case a grandkid wants to spell something.

We got the food in the refrigerator and freezer sides.  It all looks so organized.  This will not last.  Having a functional fridge is huge.

Hopefully our luck will start to change.

Posted in Farm | 6 Comments

Tom’s Black Angus Birthday

So yesterday was Tom’s birthday.  It started out much like any day with chores.  And then we went out to purchased a refrigerator.  But then it was time to celebrate.  We started with cocktails, in this case Jet Pilot which has a lit crouton on top.  That was fun.

And then I proceeded to prepare a Black Angus restaurant style dinner.  I had purchased this book and wanted to try some of the recipes.  Both Tom and I have fond memories of these restaurants from our childhoods so we thought it would be fun to try some of the food again.  This restaurant was a staple for birthday dinners for adults in my family. Tom’s family did the same.  One of the last times I was there was for my paternal grandmother’s birthday rather late in her life.  It always felt fancy going there.

I wore the apron that Tom got me for Christmas as well as the T-shirt that Jay and Russ got me.  I was ready!

The first step was preparing the steaks.  I used the New York Steak with Pancetta Lattice and Sun-Dried Tomato Butter recipe.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find the recipe online so you will have to buy the book.  I made the butter with mustard, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, our parsley and Parmesan.  Then I made slashes in the steaks.  We didn’t have New Yorks from our cow so used T-bones.  I tried to incorporate the pancetta into the slices.  Here is how it looked at that point.  Not very elegant, I’m afraid.

Then I made the Black Angus Potatoes Au Gratin.   I hadn’t read the recipe closely enough that you need to boil the potatoes first so it took longer than I had planned on.  But here it is ready to go in the oven.

Tom was getting the grill heated up while I got the Original Ranch Bread ready.  I can’t find this one online either, but I can find recipes for Black Angus Cheesy Garlic Bread which evolved from it.  Basically you mix bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic powder and paprika together.  Then you dip sliced French bread into melted butter and then into this mixture.  It is then briefly cooked in the oven.

I also warmed some of our canned green beans.  Tom was grilling the steaks.  He is a better griller than I am.  I managed to forget to put the dry mustard, salt and pepper rub on the steaks before grilling though.  Here is the bread, potatoes and green beans ready for serving.

And here are the steaks off the grill with the sun-dried tomato butter melting on top.

I opened up a special bottle of wine for the meal.  It is a 32 year old bottle of Merlot from Cave B Estate Winery.

And here is my meal dished up.

The meal was really good.  It did bring back some restaurant memories, but none as much as we had hoped.  We did remember that the last time we went to one was together with Tom’s parents in Bellingham.

After dinner Tom opened up cards and presents.  This is a card from his financial adviser who is also a photographer.  His cards are always great.

And then Tom opened a present from my mother and step-dad.  It fit well.  Tom called it perfect.

Then for dessert I made Lemon Puff Pancake with Fresh Berries.  The Stuart Anderson book did not have any desserts in it.  I had wanted to make cheesecake, but the grocery store was completely out of cream cheese.  Crazy times.  But I had the ingredients for this and thawed our berries.  Here it is with some dinosaur candles.

And here you can see the light coming through the pancake wall.

It was really good.  Then we watched the movie Belfast on TV. It was a great film.  So we had a nice birthday celebration despite Omicron.

Please let me know if you have Black Angus memories.

Posted in Historic recipes, Recipes- farm | 6 Comments

Ninth Day of Christmas

Remember when I was advocating for the return of the twelve days? Well, we did that today, thanks to the weather.  We had the kids and grandkids along with my father and his friend over for breakfast and presents.  And it was perfect.

tree with wrapped presents

Horse present for Piper

Jaylene present

Piper opening barn present

William’s books

Piper with barn

William with guitar


Thomas and William with guitars

Thomas, William & Piper

Piper on horse

Piper with animal toys

Posted in Farm | 5 Comments