Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Photography by Katie.

Thank You, Teaching Textbooks!

This is Becky working on a math lesson with an audience.

She and Laura are still in the review phase of their math programs, and are moving quickly through the lessons and quizzes.

TT grades all the lessons and quizzes for me, so I can just pull up the gradebook, make sure they aren't missing lots of problems, and let them keep speeding through the book.

I love this math!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pony Rides

I'm going to try to upload video of Katie riding, but since that may not happen, here's a little peek at the training.
This post is utterly unfair to Laura, who does lots of training and groundwork with Vidalia. But she's the photog here, so no glory for her.

Our Driveway Rocks

Photos for those followers who have a high regard for gravel.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Barn Update

Since I neglected to mention... Nobody was hurt in the fire. No people, no cows, no kittens.
It looks like there'll be some frolicks coming up to rebuild.
Believe it or not, ice was the reason for the car in the ditch. It's been sunny and warm in the days, but sure 'nuff, there was a big icy patch over on Vincent Store Rd.

The Barn Fire Today

I hesitated to put the last two pictures up, but I don't think you can see the faces of the Amish men clearly enough to be a problem.
I wanted to show the horses working alongside the loud fire equipment.
John's barn burnt to the ground this morning. It was started by the power source over heating. Hay was in the top, so it went fast.
The girls are making a huge beef stew to take later. There will be crowds helping for the next couple days, full time.
Danny's working there for today, and the girls and I will be visiting John's daughter and her little children, including brand new baby boy. It's very hard for this industrious lady to sit at home, alone with the littles.
We'll be trying to sneak some school and pony training in between trips to the fire.
Oh, and if the carnage in our yard and the loss of the dairy barn weren't enough excitement, a car overturned in a ditch nearby, and the Amish extricated the driver. Whew, Charlotte County is hoppin' today!

Eek! Graphic Violence

Last night, Snowflake brought home a deer. Piece by piece.
Now all of our pooches have plenty to chew on.
Thanks, Snowflake!
Museums everywhere will be wishing for a fossil collector this skilled.

Tranquil Morning

Katie got this photo first thing.
Who would have guessed how the day would go from here?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Peek A Boo Pony

Vidalia peeks hopefully around the stall door.
She had a good day, being trained by her girls.
No more burrs in her mane or tail!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pony Update

The pony is alive and well here at Providence Farm.
She's been played with for many hours today. The girls have brought her up to the yard to graze and meet the horses. They also took turns leading her around the pony ring full of miniature jumps.
Katie rode her while Becky led her.
Tomorrow we plan more training and just plain getting used to being a tame pet, rather than a wild Mustang.
She's a sweet natured girl who needs tons of time invested in her training and socialization.
She will be so very flashy when she's clean and tacked up, ready to carry her young friends.

More Katie Pics

Katie's Pictures From Friday

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Math with Teaching Textbooks

As I blog, the two big girls are taking placement tests for a new math curriculum, Teaching Textbooks, by the Sabouris. http://www.teachingtextbooks.com/Default.htm
We love Math U See, but I'm having a hard time helping Mr. Demme to teach them when they're stumped. Normally, extra math help came from Big Dan, but he's been tired every evening and hasn't the time to help out on a regular basis now.
As I perused the CBD catalog last night, I felt compelled to look more closely at Teaching Textbooks, since the Andreola family recommends them.
As you can see from the photo, we started trying out sample lessons on the computer right away.
Katie is tickled about the "buddy" they give her in Math 4, a penguin stuck in a block of ice.
Choosing to go to TT will be more costly than I'd like, but if it makes our days go more smoothly, and the math concepts more attainable, I'll go for it.
If anyone reading this has experience with this curriculum, please give me feedback.
Fat Dad, you may want to look online just to see how awesome our choices are for DIY schooling.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh Yeah, This is More Like It

Today I was able to turn off the heat and throw open a few windows.
I only got one load of sheets out to dry, due to poor planning, but tomorrow should be more productive.
The bright sunshine is a rarity these days, and I'm so thankful to see it.
I'm off to take about a million bags to the dump.
It's amazing what sunlight can do for my house cleaning skills.

Fool Me Once...

Houndog Joe didn't know about resurrection from the dead until today.
Mr. Possum did indeed start his waddle away from the dead chicken carcass area toward safety, but five dogs caught wind of his plan.
Joe has brought him up to the yard this time for safekeeping.
I'm secretly on Mr. Possum's side, and am trying to distract the dogs, so in case this new, improved death is also a hoax, he can escape.
It's not working. The dogs have learned that a possum can't be trusted to stay dead.

Playing Possum

The Wonderdog, Snowflake, alerted me to a predator this afternoon.
I grabbed the .22 and a clip, and went to check out the situation, hoping it was a snake or other small creature, rather than a bear.
As I went to investigate, Joe Houndog and the others followed me.
That was bad luck for Mr. Possum.
Joe and another dog, oddly I don't recall which, grabbed two different ends and pulled.
I photographed the poor dead creature for you.
Afterwards, I talked to Elaine at http://www.heavenscentfarms.com/ , who explained to me that when they play dead, possums actually look, well, um, dead.
These pictures are:
Snowflake eating some of the carion Mr. Possum came out for.
Snowflake looking at the possum.
The poor "dead" possum.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Farm Today

We went for a walk around the property since there was a little sun, and not quite such bitter temperatures as we'd been having.
Here's a view of the path, our personal ice rink, Cub Creek, high and icy,and a weird sand configuration up near the boggy path to the creek.
We hadn't seen sand here before.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Our Amish friends gave us some deer meat. Foolishly, I forgot I had the means to tenderize the meat via the pressure canner, so I told him to just give us a little. Next time I'll know better.
As you can see, we're up at the crack of noon, industrially cutting meat.
Here's Mr. canner, hungrily waiting for us to finish. Becky is way better at cutting up meat into 1 inch pieces than I am. Those white things are pieces of onion in the jars.
I wish my friend Karen had been a little more graphic about processing venison in her post: http://holesinmyjeans-kpannabecker.blogspot.com/2009/11/rainy-days-and-mondays.html
But the fact that she did it and posted about it was enough encouragement to get me started. Thanks Karen.
Update to follow. If I don't blow up the kitchen. Or house.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

This summer, Becky strung the ripe hot peppers and hung them in the attic. She learned this from reading Little House books.
Now that they're dry, she used the Vitamix to powder them.
The powder's really hot!

Spoiled Fat Cat

Sirius Black tucked himself in next to Kate before the other girl has a chance to get in the bed.
Becky got his picture before displacing him to his usual place at their feet.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thanks to Global Warming, it's bitterly cold and windy. So cold and windy that I had to get blankets for the horses. We were expecting snow last night, so we hopped in the van and headed for Tractor Supply to see what size blankets they had in stock.
They had one size 81, which was a Weatherbeeta Landa, modeled by Libby. They also had one size 78, which was a Weatherbeeta Orican, a little warmer blanket for delicate Mr. B.
That was exactly what I wanted to get for them.
If the weather doesn't improve, I can get a neck warmer for B to keep him safe from a severe chill, even in the wettest, windiest cold.
The new pony should never need a blanket, since she's shaggy and tough.
The girls bought her a peppermint flavored salt and mineral lick while we were out. If that doesn't make her love us, what will?

Here's Scott acting like a Border Collie, waiting for me to finish the horse portraits.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm on a Pony High

While chatting with Spinster as I post, I find myself giggling like a thirteen year old.
My inner horse loving girl must be the culprit.
Thanks to a wealthy donor, at almost 42 years of age, I'm finally attaining pony nirvana.

This is Vidalia, Mr. Funny Gummy Bear's and Bowling Beauty's new pony who is coming to keep their dog, Snowflake, company.

Winter Sunset

Katie was disappointed that her photo of the sunset turned out pitch black.
So I showed her how to use the "night landscape" mode to get this picture. She had to set the camera on the banister to hold it still the whole 15 seconds, but the results were worth the wait.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Maria's Calf

Looks like another boy was born today.
I would hate to be born in this weather, but this little fellow is as happy as can be.
So now we have 4 cows:

2 heifers (girls who haven't had calves):
M.C.(as in MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This")and Margaret.

And 3 baby boys.

Plus Captain Wentworth, who's out on loan, soon to be visiting the butcher.

And Elizabeth is expecting pretty soon. Gee, I wonder if it will be a boy?


Here's Becky, mixing up a rye bread since Dad likes rye.
She ground her own rye, and used the above recipe to make it. These are dough hooks on our fancy JC Penny Christmas mixer.
I'll post a photo when it's finished baking.

Friday, January 1, 2010

All American Canner

Thanks to a wealthy donor, I'm the proud owner of an All American pressure canner.
I am now capable of canning chili, stew, meat, and 14 quarts of anything I want to all at one time.
Becky's out with friends for the night, and the rest of us are going to start the new year with high adventure. We're eating over at Gretchen's.
Thanks, FSD and Beach Momma, for the gift. I'm making some Gingerfish so I can ship you a token thanks of soap.