Scraping marrow into beef broth – a new level of weirdness

Used up our last quart of broth last week, so its time to simmer another 4 roasters of broth. As I was straining the first two batches of broth on Monday, the strangest thing happened. All the bone marrow was STARING at me! I know, I know. I’ve seen it before, and I acknowledged it, but that was it. “Too weird. Not ready for that yet.” (I distinctly remember thinking that and even saying that to several people when it came up in conversations.)

And then it happened. Guilt. “Those articles (like this one and this one) you read a couple weeks ago DID make sense… And look at the marrow sticking out of those bones…” 😉

So, I did it. I took a narrow knife and scraped out the marrow. Whisked it up, poured it into the broth, and whisked it again… Funny thing is, I KNOW bits of marrow have fallen in it every time I’ve made broth. But (for me) there’s just something about taking the effort to actually do it on purpose, lol… 😏

I feel like that’s what happens in my walk with the Lord, too. I can be sooo stubborn. I get into my “autopilot” mode and completely miss the open door in front of me. Or worse, I see the open door, but choose to do what I’ve always done, and miss an opportunity to grow. The cool thing, though, is that EVENTUALLY, I catch on. Autopilot goes off, and I quit fighting change. It’s always hard to see just how much pride I still have in “my way”, but it’s so freeing to finally “see it”, seek forgiveness, and continue forward with a renewed spirit to let the Lord keep me off of autopilot. Thank You, Lord, for being patient with me. Keep making me more like You!❤️

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (‭Psalms‬ ‭139‬:‭23-24‬ NLT)






Dilly Beans – a family affair

We all worked together yesterday to make a family favorite – dilly beans. They are basically green beans that taste like spicy/dill pickles. They are pretty labor intensive to make, so a cooperative effort is much appreciated. I actually thought I had already done a blog post about them, but a search proved me wrong. So here goes… 👍

We set aside about 7 pounds of the straighter beans as we picked to can or freeze – they fit down in the jars better… (I like the bean tips to all be up so it’s easy to pull them out of the jar.)

Once filled with beans, we added a clove or two of our garlic that has been drying. (It’s pretty potent, so we didn’t put the full amount of cloves in as the recipe says.) Paul went out and picked some of Grandma’s dill heads to add – 2 to 4 heads/quart. Then we added 1/2t of Michael’s ground hot peppers. For the brine, we heated up 3Q+1/2c of apple cider vinegar with the same amount of water. (Wish we could have used our homemade ACV, but we didn’t have enough made.) Stirred in 1.25c of Celtic sea salt, and brought the brine to a boil. Poured the brine over the filled jars to 1/4″ headspace. Had extra brine, and needed 3 more quarts to fill the last canner, so we played with cuke slices and spears, too. Made sure the tops of the jars were wiped clean, placed the sterilized lids on top, tightened the rings around them, and water-bath canned them for 10 minutes. Only had two jars’ lids “crinkle”, so we’ll just use them first. (They DID seal, but I’ll probably just keep them in my fridge.) We normally let them sit in the pantry for at least 6 weeks before we dig into them. 😊




















Paul – 14

Celebrated Paul’s 14th birthday this weekend. After browsing through his birthday post from last year, I’d say he’s grown another 3-4 inches since then. He’s a couple inches taller than Mike now… Probably puts him at 6’3″ or so. Every time I go to hug him I get less face and more neck, lol… 😉


To kick off Paul’s b-day weekend, both boys enjoyed a Friday night out with Aunt Jenny & Uncle Matt…LOTS of food and a Mighty Ducks game. 😊




Tryouts for 2015 Stark County Terriers began this weekend, and both boys are trying out for the 16U team. Such PERFECT weather for baseball! We always enjoy watching Michael & Paul on the field together. Whether they make the team or not, it’s been a good experience so far… ⚾️

Aunt Jenny’s birthday is just 2 days before Paul’s, so we celebrated them both together yesterday. 😍



And today we took Paul to get his very own SabreCat Bat made. His is the same size and weight as Michael’s, but his color and finishing details are a little different. He’s excited to try it out in the cages soon. ⚾️















Here’s a shot of the boys at lunch, while we waited for Paul’s bat to dry… ❤️


And now my 3 boys are ending the day at a movie in the discount movie theater, and I sit in the parking lot of statcare around the corner to take advantage of free wifi, lol. Feels good to have a few minutes to blog again. 😊


WELCOME 8th calf – 2014

FINALLY! Got to meet our last calf of the season this morning… Here is Suezy, and her son, JamesMadison:


Click here to read about her calf last year.

Click here to read about our method for naming bulls this year.

His birth tied up the tally for 2014: 4 bulls and 4 heifers. :)

He walked down to the barnyard like a champ. Had to dodge some pretty big puddles and his mama ran him into the electric fence a couple times, but he was able to complete the journey… :)




Was so funny watching last year’s calves follow along the fenceline! :)



The end is near – almost there… :)


Made it! :)


A well-deserved rest… :)


Since we are done milking for today, JamesMadison will stay with his mama until tomorrow morning. With there being a little over 5 weeks between him and the last calf, it creates some challenges with our type of setup.

For instance, the first seven calves are already trained & adjusted to once-a-day feedings, but this little guy won’t be ready for that for a couple weeks… Makes it tricky for afternoon baseball and far-away double headers…

And we need his mama’s milk to help feed all the other calves, so she needs to be able to come into the barn for morning milking… But our barn setup isn’t the best for having a calf running loose in it, nor do we feel comfortable having a calf joining the dairy mamas in a single-wire electric fence as they are rotationally grazed…

So every year we think about experimenting with a “nurse cow” in the field with all the calves, but that isn’t as easy as it sounds either! Hmmmm – not sure what we’ll decide on, so I guess that’ll have to be a future post! :)

Thank You, Lord, for all these beautiful, healthy calves!

WELCOME 7th calf – 2014

“ThomasJefferson” was born right before our eyes this evening! :) (Click here to read about how we are naming our boys this year…) His mama is Disco. (Click here to read about her calf from last year.)

We were late in doing our afternoon calf check since we had double header baseball games all afternoon. Truthfully, all we wanted to do was get inside, thaw out, and eat, lol…BUT we also knew Disco was due a couple days ago, and kinda had some signs earlier this morning that today might be her day. Soooo, Mike & I headed up on the 4-wheeler to take a peek…

Found Disco pushing out some feet! :)


I left Mike with her, and drove back down to get some twine in case Mike needed to assist with pulling the calf out. But when I returned, he had already been born! :)


He’s a pretty good sized boy – and his coloring looks neat, too. We are looking forward to seeing what he looks like after he’s all cleaned up. :)

He’ll spend the night in the field with his mama and the rest of the dairy girls. It was too close to dark & we were just too tired to walk them down this evening. So tomorrow, I hope to add some more pictures to this post. :)







Updated 4-7-14:
Yesterday was such a beautiful morning!


ThomasJefferson walked with his mama out of the field, and then she completely left him, lol! She got through that gate, and just started truckin’ to the barn! Well this little guy is NOT SO LITTLE, and needs to grow into his long legs, so we decided he’d get a wagon ride down. He filled up the whole wagon, lol! His markings are pretty cool – and we are debating if we will keep him as a bull. :)









Only one more calf to come! Suezy is due 5-4… We are prayerful it will NOT be as chaotic as it was with her last year. Click here to read about that fiasco, lol:)


WELCOME 6th calf – 2014

Meet “Pinetar”, lol… Her mama is ScotchTape, whose name category is “adhesives”. So when we were brainstorming for possible girl names, (being the baseball family we are) Pinetar came up! We decided to wait and see what the calf looked like – to see if the name would fit. And it did! :)

Click here to read about ScotchTape’s calf from last year. :)

When we went up to bring the milking girls down to the barn this morning, ScotchTape was looking longingly toward a blocked off corner of the field…


Sure enough: her calf had gone under the single wire electric fence AND either through the big gate or through the high tensile fence into an adjoining field!! Probably wasn’t the smartest spot for ScotchTape to pick to have her calf, lol…


Even though Pinetar ran from us at first, once she got closer to her mama, she cooperated nicely with the trek down to the barn. :)










Some final encouragement from her mama to get through the last leg of the journey, lol… :)







WELCOME 5th calf – 2014

Went for a family walk this afternoon and found this little cutie who walked right up to us… :)


Caramel had her calf – a girl! Last year, she had Winchester. Click here to see that post. :)

We decided to make Caramel’s name category “flowers”, so meet: Tulip! :)

She made the trek down to the barn beside her mama, and will stay with her tonight. Then we’ll milk Caramel tomorrow with the others. :)

Thank You, Lord, for another miracle!