Our weekend.

Wade and I had a romantic weekend. Let me tell you all about it.

It started at 4:30 PM Friday afternoon when the temperature had cooled down enough to stand physical labor outdoors; we built fence. Lots of fence.

And we put up some electric fencing too.

Wade was thrilled that I had stopped to take photos of him working. Wade: really? Me: yes honey! you look sexy with those sweaty, fence building muscles. Wade: silence. I love my husband.

The sun set, we fed, watered, and went to bed. Then we woke up to go to market Saturday morning.

{ thanks to my sister for making this purdy sign }

After market we went to our friends (who own the only other sheep dairy in our county) to pick up our new ram. He’s a beauty.

He makes this gurgling/burping noise that sounds like a cross between a sea monster and a catfish. It’s really quite lovely.

On Sunday morning we continued building fence. Lucy was a great supervisor.

Our friend Niccolo (yes, he is miraculously still our friend even after Wade took him on a two day venture to Idaho…) came over and helped finish up the fencing.

After all the fence was built, we moved all thirty of our new ewes into the pasture. When I say we I mean Wade and Lucy…I was busy taking photos.

They were happy sheep.

On the other hand, my boots weren’t so happy. They were made for walking…not fencing wire!

And Bonnie and Clyde were waiting for us at the barn when we got back.

Clyde was in there somewhere….

And that was our romantic weekend. A fence building, ice cream selling, ram buying, sheep moving romantic weekend. And I wouldn’t change a thing. The end.

Loving life,

Alexis

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Salty Brown

Salty Brown. What a fun name! If you miss out, it would be such a shame! (I feel like I could break out into song here… but I will spare you…for now.).

I have been wanting to make a salty/sweet ice cream for awhile now, but just have not found the right combination. Until last week. The creamy richness of the brown sugar, paired with the, well, saltiness of the salt is just sensational (or saltsational!). I crack myself up.

Just look at that beautiful swirl. Shameless plug BEGIN: What is great about our ice cream is that the flavors our rich and full, with a light creamy mouth-feel, but the finish is still very clean. You don’t get the fatty feel on the roof of your mouth because all our ice cream is less than 7% fat. Oh, you didn’t know that? Well you heard right, less than 7% fat. Shameless plug END.

Look how light and fluffy it is! With it’s soft caramel color and it’s saltsational (couldn’t help myself) flavor, it is perfect. Perhaps I should write an ode to our ice cream…

We are serving this up at Farmer’s tonight and Saturday, and it’s already on a couple menus and going fast. Oh, and I should mention that our online sales are just around the corner.

Enjoy!

Alexis

A Spider. And a Painting.

A spider. And a painting. Yep. That about sums up my life recently.

What do I mean? Oh. Let me tell you.

Ok, we live in an old farmhouse with cracks, holes, dust, and slanted floors (no, I’m not kidding). Anyway, cleaning my house could be (key word: COULD — if I wanted to spend that much time cleaning my house) a full time job. The other day I was on a cleaning spree. You know, the kind of spree when you have let things go too far? When you are actually embarrassed about the condition of your home? When you want to crawl under the–well I would say bed but it’s probably dirty under there too…–under into the sheets and cover your eyes because you fear how long it will take you to clean your house? Um..what is that? You have never experienced this? Please tell me you have. At least once?? Please! It will make me feel a lot better about my housekeeping regimen…..

Anywhoo, near the end of the spree, when I got around to doing the dishes (we don’t have a working dishwasher…) I picked up a plate and found THIS underneath it.

Oh yes. You can imagine my horror.

Perhaps that photo does not show how large this beast actually was…

Ah, yes. That’s better. This thing was huge.

After the shock of this creature being in my sink wore off, I was just plain horrified. And not because of fear. I was horrified that my recent housekeeping was so poor that this THING had managed to be living in my house. Was I really that bad of a house keeper? I feel like I’m pretty on top of it….but then again, I guess hoarders don’t think they have a problem either…

But then I looked up from the sink and saw this.

You see that? THAT is the outside light shining right on through my window sill. Well no wonder the spider was in the house! It wasn’t my housekeeping skills at all! It just crawled right on in. Oh yes. I feel better now. My housekeeping skills have been redeemed!

I felt better about myself for a minute. Then I went back to being horrified. Not horrified about my cleaning skills (remember, they had been redeemed), I was horrified there was a hole in my house large enough for this THING to come on in. And help itself to my sink.

Farm life–I love it. I feel close to nature. I wouldn’t trade our¬†cracks, holes, dust, and slanted floors for just about anything. But this experience, well, it was just a little TOO close to nature.

And don’t mind the mint in the foreground. It’s a long story how I got that mint and it starts with the fact that there was this really pretty mint plant in front of this restaurant in town…

In other news, an extremely talented local artist Anne Laddon came out and painted our sheep! And now I have the piece hanging on our wall.

I love it. And I’ll be damned if any monster spiders ever get on this beauty.

The Cleaning Lady,

Alexis

 

 

F.O.T.M. {Fresh Mint}

So now that it is officially past the middle of the month, I figured it was time to share the August F.O.T.M. (flavor of the month).

{FYI: this photo does not do this flavor justice. It is a beautiful light, light green with tiny flecks of REAL fresh mint. And it’s REAL good.}

This month the F.O.T.M. Fresh Mint. I knew the month of August would equal mint ice cream because Wade’s birthday is in August and his favorite ice cream is mint. It just makes sense.

Anyway, I am calling it fresh mint, because that’s what I use. But it really should be called neighbors mint. Why? Oh, because when I first made the ice cream I forgot to get mint at the farmers market so I walked on over the the neighbors property, helped myself to the mint, and walked on home. I was trying to be stealth (figuring I would just give them some of the mint ice cream and all would be forgiven) but my menagerie of dogs (4 of them–Vivian the Shih Tzu, Bonnie and Clyde the Pyrenees, and Lucy the border collie) all followed me over there. Then my neighbors menagerie of dogs (all 5 of them) started barking at my menagerie of dogs and suddenly there was an even larger menagerie of 9 dogs all barking and playing. So much for my quick and quiet getaway.

Back to the point…Fresh Mint tastes like just that. It’s a little bit sweet and a lotta bit refreshing. And apparently people are loving it… we went to the Farmer’s Market last night and Fresh Mint was the first to go!

Oh! And by the way we are going to do the Saturday morning market in San Luis Obispo starting…tomorrow! Hope to see you there.

 

Beating the heat with the refreshing F.O.T.M.,

Alexis

 

{roasted} summer vegetable & quinoa salad

It’s been hot here. Like really stinkin’ hot.Yesterday was up to 106. I should mention we live in an extremely old farmhouse with zero insulation which means that by about 1 PM our house is approximately the same temperature inside as outside. So I have been savoring the cool mornings, with iced coffee in hand.

Yesterday morning I made this salad (while it was still cool in the kitchen) knowing that it would be nice and chilled by the time 6 PM and 106 degrees rolled around. I just used what I had on hand, and it turned out delightful.

{roasted} summer vegetable & quinoa salad

2 cups prepared quinoa (Israeli Couscous also works : Trader Joes)

1 medium onion

1 yellow squash

1 cup cherry tomatoes (any small tomatoes will work)

8 oz crimini mushrooms

1 red bell pepper

1/2 cup basil/cilantro/parsley (whichever you have available)

1 T lemon juice and 1 t zest

1 T white wine vinegar

olive oil

salt & pepper

_ _ _ _ _ _

Set oven to BROIL

Wash and slice vegetables (chunky = good). Leave tomatoes and mushrooms whole. Chop herb of choice.

Place squash, tomatoes, and bell pepper on baking sheet. Toss in 1-2 T olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven for 5-10 minutes (tossing at least once during roasting) until vegetables are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in medium saucepan heat 1 T olive oil and saute onion and mushrooms until soft.

In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa and all vegetables. Toss in chopped herb, lemon juice/zest and vinegar. Add more olive oil, salt, and pepper if necessary.

Let cool in refrigerator 2-3 hours. It’s easy, beautiful and most importantly tasty.

MY NOTES:

– any fresh vegetables will work

– use as a side for any grilled meat

– this was enough for 2 with plenty left-over, easily doubled or tripled for crowd

– goes great with a big cold glass of white wine…just saying

Trying to stay cool….

Alexis

Black and white woolies.

I took these pictures this past weekend of our new black and white woolies. They were wanting some blog love.

See the ram in the middle-right? The one all up in that ewe? (by the way, “all up in that ewe” is an extremely technical term). Anyway, see him? Yup. That’s our ram Brett {Please don’t ask how he got his name}.

When I took this photo I was focusing on the pretty black ewe in front; little did I know Brett was “sniffing out” (literally) his next mate (literally). Photo-bombing at its finest.

You know what 29 more ewes mean? It means 29 pregnant ewes (thanks to the photo-bomber Brett). Which means 29 more lambs will come. And all my sanity will leave.

Say what?!

Loving our new woolies.

Alexis

On being a cat person.

I was never a cat person.

That being said, meet Tommy. Or Thomas. TomCat, or Tom. You can choose.

—–

Side story about the above photo: Tommy has figured out how to sneak in the house without being seen. And when we come home we find him on our bed. And when I flip the light on to see him, the damn cat covers his eyes. The worst part about this story is that I am not even close to kidding. And it’s so stinkin’ funny to see him do it, I can’t even kick him off the bed.

—–

This is how the big T came into our lives: We were at the house up the road from us. There were kittens. We were asked if we would like a cat. Cowboy and I just shook our heads and said in disgust, “oh no. we’re not ‘cat’ people.” And then we chatted a little more. And talked about the weather. And then chatted some more. And then this mini ball of orange fluff came scooting around the corner of the house. Mini + fluffy = heart melting.
I want that kitten.

Cowboy “what?!

But it’s mini.

“No.”

But it’s fluffy!

“We’re not cat people.

But it’s mini AND fluffy!

 
And next thing you know Cowboy was capturing this feral, orange, fluffy, mini ball of fluffy. And we named him Tommy. Or Tom….¬† either way, he has grown on us tremendously.

And clearly, he is no longer feral.

Six months later I came home with a brown fluffy. She was mini. And fluffy. And I couldn’t say no.

{not the most flattering photo of her….}

She stayed small. Small like a kitten. So I named her KittenKitten. Clever, right?

Anyway, I was waiting for KittenKitten to get a little bigger so I could have her fixed and next thing you know KittenKitten has kittens of her own.

Now we have kittens (from KittenKitten). Confused yet?

I have to admit I never thought I would be a cat person. Ever. But here I am with two cats and five kittens. And I love them all. Because they are mini and fluffy. And because everyone needs some fluffy in their life.

Long story short: I was never a cat person. And please come get these kittens before I turn into the crazy, fluffy cat lady.

Alexis

Newes!!!

Newes = New Ewes!!!! I’m so clever.

As of Monday at 3:30 AM (yes, that’s AM) 29 more ewes arrived to our dairy.

Cowboy and our good friend Niccolo went to Idaho this weekend to pick up more ewes. NOTE: Niccolo makes gelato. We like to select our friends based on occupation. The frozen dessert occupation is preferred.

Anyway, Cowboy showed up at Niccolo’s home Saturday morning and informed him he was going to Idaho. What? Yep. Cowboy convinced him it was a good idea and after some resistance, off they went. They didn’t get on the road until 11 AM. Please note: initial departure time was 7 AM…oh well.

And then they drove.

And drove.

And drove some more.

But the view was nice! Here are some photos they sent me from the road…

I am not super clear as to when the two road travelers arrived in ID. But what I do know is that at 3:30 AM Monday morning, they arrived back at the dairy. With 29 ewes in tow.

I was excited to get more black ewes. For their great milk production?! Nope. I was excited for no other reason than black ewes make spotted black lambs. And spotted lambs are the cutest.

Our newes are settling in well. And Cowboy has decided he never wants to drive again. As for our good friend Niccolo… after Cowboy convinced him to ride 30+ hours in the car over a two day period…I’m not sure he wants to be our friend anymore.

Happy to have everyone home.

Alexis