Friday, October 24, 2014

Rocket..... Farm Tough

Farming is in no way for the weak or faint of heart. Period. That's just a fact.
Although this beautiful newborn, Rocket, will just about melt your heart,
she has had a tough start in life.
It's because of the blessings like this little one that we continue to farm.

I can remember visiting farms as a little girl.  The cows looked so pretty
out in the field.  They came up to the gate that I hung on, and licked my hand as I 
just watched the herd relax and chew their cud.  As we drove around the 
country, horses grazed peacefully in the pastures, and the chickens
 ran around clucking their happiness.  
What a dream world, what a perfect way to live, I thought!

Well, do I still think farming is a perfect way to live?  ABSOLUTELY!
But it is not for everyone, and no one should be fooled into thinking
that it's all sweet licks and happy clucks.  Farming is tough.  There
are those days when it's almost too much to take, and where
our hearts are wrenched into a million pieces.  Those are the days
where we have to thank the Lord for the blessings He has given us 
on the farm, and know that He is in control.

That's the story of Rocket.  Named for the way she came into the world-
she shot out fast and strong- Rocket is now an orphan.  After a very 
difficult and sad downhill decline, her momma succumbed to infection
and milk fever when Rocket was just over a week old.  
That was one of the worst days we have ever had on the farm.
Sometimes it's almost impossible to understand why these things happen. 
 That's where our faith has to come in, and we must stand strong in 
knowing that God knows what He is doing.  
Now we must move on and help Rocket live out her story.

So far, this little calf is strong, is taking the bottle well, and has found a 
new "momma" in the form of our great calf bottle-feeder here at One Ash.
Rocket doesn't pay much attention to the rest of us, but when her milk-momma
comes along, watch out!  She is running and hopping and attempting 
her young-calf "moooooooo"!  Thanks to the other dairy girls, Rocket
has plenty of warm, fresh milk to fill her bottle 3 times daily.

It's up to us to help Rocket grow into a dairy cow, and one day we expect she
will be in the milking line with all the girls.  It's just a part of farm life that 
her real momma won't be there with her.  But she is a perfect example of why 
we love what we do,
and why this is the way we choose to live.  


Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review- "Miracle in a Dry Season"


In all honesty, I almost stopped reading this book after the first chapter.  It just didn't grab me, and the name of the main character (Casewell) was for some reason just a mouthful that I couldn't ever get past.  But........Miracle in a Dry Season, by Sarah Loudin Thomas, ended up being perhaps the best book I have read all year.

This story of extreme faith, and God's provision for us all, was a wonderful reminder of His strength and blessings for those who believe in Him.  Page after page I read about the strong faith of the residents of Wise, West Virginia.  And because we were without rain here as I was reading this book, the story of their drought resonated with my own needs at the time.

This story is a bit predictable, but the way the town folk interact and live through the tough times is a story that all readers can learn from.  This is a great story of hope and survival.

~this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Want to buy Miracle in a Dry Season?  Or try a Sample version for your Kindle or reader? Click here.

Book Review- "Deceived"

It's been quite a while since I have found a book with not only strong character development, but also with great twists and surprises as in Deceived, by Irene Hannon.  

I am not a huge fan of mysteries, but this one offers a plot line that is a true page-turner.  The main character, Kate Marshall, finds herself caught in what could be a mothers worst nightmare when she sees a boy who looks like her deceased son.  As the story goes, there are those who appear to be heroes, and then those who turn out to be just playing a game.

As this intense, suspenseful book unfolds, the reader learns exactly why it is titled Deceived.  Without giving away any secrets, I can safely say that it happens more than once in this story.

~this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Oriental Shrimp Salad & French Bread


Last evening after one of our Farmers Markets, we pulled together a quick and delicious supper that I thought I would share with you all!  Oriental Chicken Salad has always been one of my favorites, but this version with fried shrimp comes in a close second!  And when paired with a loaf of homemade french bread and butter, it's a great meal for the entire family.  Here's what we used to create this meal-

Oriental Shrimp Salad

1 box frozen breaded shrimp "poppers", cooked per box directions
1 bag organic Spring Mix Salad greens
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Crunchy Chow Mein Noodles
Dried Cranberries (or canned Mandarin Oranges, drained)
Sliced Almonds
Sesame Seeds
Sesame Ginger Dressing

We divided up the shrimp and let everyone make and top their salad according to 
their own tastes. 

Homemade French Bread-  click here for the link to our recipe. You can make this ahead and keep a couple of loaves in the freezer to thaw and eat.

Homemade Butter-  click here for the link to our directions on how to make your own.  You can also make this in bulk and keep it in usable portions in the freezer. 

I hope this gives you a new idea for an easy meal-  enjoy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cherry Dreamsicle Cheesecake


This light, fluffy, no-bake dessert is perfect for a weeknight treat, 
or to take to a church potluck.  I made it as cherry, but you can
substitute other flavors easily.  Have fun, be creative, and enjoy!

Cherry Dreamsicle Cheesecake from One Ash Farm Recipes
(makes two 8" cakes)

1 -  3 oz. package cherry gelatin 
(or any other flavor- maybe lemon, lime, orange?)
1 cup hot water
15 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup butter, melted 
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can evaporated milk

Mix the gelatin with the hot water in a good sized bowl, and set aside.

Crust-

Crush the graham crackers (I use a pastry blender or potato masher, and my hands)
Stir in the melted butter until mixed.  The mix should stick together if you mash a bit of it.
Press the graham/butter mix into the bottom and sides of 2 pie or cake pans.
Save about 1/4 cup to sprinkle on the top of the cakes.

Filling-

Cream the sugar, vanilla and cream cheese until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whip the evaporated milk until thick.
Add the cream cheese mixture and the whipped milk to the 
gelatin (which should be somewhat thickened by now) and beat until fluffy.
Pour the filling into each of the graham cracker crust lined pans, 
and top with the remaining crumbs.
Refrigerate and enjoy once cooled!





Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lemon Water Benefits (and a warning!)


For a long time I have heard friends and others talk about the benefits of drinking lemon water. But, I have always hesitated, worried that it will affect the enamel on my teeth.  Well, that is a correct concern, and before you read this great list of benefits from Lifehack, know that you should always drink lemon water, and other acidic drinks, through a straw to reduce the destruction of your tooth enamel.

But with that warning said, it looks like this could really be a simple way to help with a lot of the things that we work so hard to correct.  I think it could be worth a try- how about you?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sunrise Blessings



Some mornings it's hard to get up out of bed.....I mean really hard to get up out of bed!  It's so tempting to want to just cuddle down under the quilts, and go back to sleep after I hear that "beep beep beep" of the alarm.  But, that signal telling me it's time to start the day also signals my chance to once again take a look at all of the magnificent blessings that God has in store for me.  From the first crow of the early rooster, to the bark of a dog when they see me awake, to the calves that "moo" knowing their feeding time is coming soon, to the aroma of the coffee brewing in the pot, this is another day that the Lord has made for us to experience and enjoy. 

There is peace and joy to be found in rising early each morning.  I love to step outside with the dogs as the sun is just peeking over the horizon.  Everyone is so quiet and slow as they begin to awaken. As I take my first sips of coffee, I have time to reflect on my life, family, friends and the overwhelming blessings that I have been given in my lifetime. Spending these few precious minutes alone with the Lord, thanking Him for what He has done, and what He will do for me today, is the perfect way to begin my next 24 hours.  I know that He holds my future.

I hope that you find time in your day to praise the Lord, and that you are enjoying the blessings of this day!

~This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24~