That Was Close!

No quality content for you today…
Just a declaration of the close call I had.
😂😂😂

Last night, for unknown reasons, our internet went out.
And then, this morning?
Nothing.
Yikes!
And here I am, on a posting streak…today’s post makes 21 days in a row.
How awesome is that?
Yeah, I know…some of you post everyday, no matter what.
I try to, but I don’t always manage to, so this is pretty exciting for me.
😛

But then, with no internet, I began to worry.
Well, if worrying means drinking coffee and reading a book after last nights dishes were washed up this morning…then yeah, I was worried.
I did put in a call to our service provider, but as always, there was only the voice mail to leave a message.
Not that this is a bad thing.
They absolutely do call me back when there are problems, but 9 times out of 10 the connection has been fixed first.
It’s a small company that has treated us well, so I try not to be a p.i.t.a. 😉

Oh, but then, out of the blue, the internet came back around noonish.
So here we are, happy as can be, with the 21st post in a row.

See you all tomorrow for post #22.

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Saturday Morning Chuckle

There seems to be a wealth of spam comments lately.
For the most part, I just empty the spam folder and go on with my day.
I do, however, try to remember to check for real comments that might have gotten sent there by mistake…because as good as Akismet is, it does still make a mistake sometimes with real comments.

Yesterday, I got this one…

Now, even with the body of that, it’s pretty easy to tell this is from a bot…no one who actually read the This Horse post would write that…spamming is just scheme to get more link clicks for traffic. It’s annoying to 99.9% of the real world.
But I have to know, what part reminds this person of their room mate?
Is it the eating of plastic?
Is it the over grown toddler who likes to put everything in their mouths?
Is it the part where I had to stick my hand in the over grown toddler’s mouth to pull the plastic out?
Ooooh…maybe the commenter has to do that to his room mate?
Or maybe, the room mate had to do that to the *commenter* , because the room mate was going to have a “good read”.
😂😂😂

And then, mouse over the link (because you always check the link in spam comments) and BOOM…there it is…

It’s a spam laden cialis website.

I may have laughed myself a wee bit silly about it.
Of course, I also mighta been a bit punch drunk from the insane cold snap we were in last night.
Or real drunk.
Either way, it was funny to me, and I’ve had another darn good chuckle this morning over it.
😂😂😂

Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Scheme.

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There’s an easy to find, spanky new link on the sidebar too…

Landscape

Week 2 on the Capture52 photo challenge is landscape…
What’s better to shoot than in my own back yard?

“Does this landscape make me look fat?”
Ruby asks.

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Wordless Wednesday
and
Word of the Day Challenge for Turning…because so far, so good, this photography challenge is turning out to be a good way to keep me shooting through the colder days. 🙂

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New Year’s Eve

For the past few years I’ve done a big long retrospective post on New Year’s Eve.
Not this year.
This year I’m just gonna wish you all a Happy New Year’s Eve…
And maybe tomorrow there’ll be some spanky new 2020 images to share with you for the beginning of the new year and new decade.
😉

Thanks for sticking with us this year.
See you next year.
🙂


Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday
and
Word of the Day Challenge where begin is the word of the day.

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Back Again

Well, that was a long 7 days.
A lot of work was done.
Freezers are nicely filled…with some room yet for a deer. 😉

We put down the 3 pigs all at once.
We didn’t have much choice, because the second the first one went down, the other 2 were on her, trying to eat her.
Pigs is assholes.

So the other 2 were shot right there.
Because it wouldn’t have been safe to go into the yard to try and take out the first one, and we didn’t raise them for 2 to eat one.

From there, it’s been a bit of a blur of butchering, dishes, showering, laundry, sleeping and getting up early to do it all over again.
It was a crazy lot of work.
Today I’m finishing up with canning pork soup.

The final break down looks like this…

George weighed a whopping 265lbs live weight.
For a 7 month old pig, that’s amazing.
I can only imagine how big he might have gotten if he’d gone over the year mark!

Jinger was 181lbs live weight.
Sophie was 176lbs live weight.

Biggest pigs we’ve ever raised.
Weights were determined using the heart girth/length measurements, so they are, of course estimates.
Only way to know 100% what they weighed is to scale them.
We didn’t have that option, so weights are within 5%, based on the online calculator I used.

Heads, feet and offal went to a friend of Hubby’s.
He was very happy with getting those parts.
We were very happy to give them.
They’re parts I don’t use.
Normally they would be dog treats, but, I’d rather give them to people who would use them instead. So when Hubby told me he knew someone who would use them, I was happy to let them go. 🙂

All trimmings went to the chickens and ducks.
After the pigs ate as many chickens as they did, we figured turnabout was fair play.
And poultry ain’t vegetarians, no matter what the marketing hype might try to tell us.

Fat was saved for a local soap maker.
I would have kept it for myself, but I still have lard from other years that I haven’t gotten to using.
Plus I have deer tallow from last year for whenever I get my ass into gear and make soap. lol

Fat, trimmings, feet etc. are not included in the final tallies.

Final tallies look like this…

Total take home weight of meat put into the freezer was 304.32 lbs.
A whopping 66.46 lbs was bellies! That translates into a whole lot of bacon…once I get to brining and smoking.
52.36 lbs of ground. Some of that will become sausages. Some will be made into yummy spring rolls. Most will stay as burger…because we enjoy ground meats.
28.74 lbs of boneless loin chops.
47.51 lbs of chops, both bone in a boneless…can you say “hello bbq!”
Then there were the tenderloins, various roasts/hams, stew chunks (which I canned yesterday for using as quick pulled pork) and soup pieces.

Not included in the final weight were bones used for soup stock/bone broth.
That was another 8ish lbs.

We paid $270 for the 3 piglets.
We used $558 worth of barley/wheat feed.
Plus they ate garden scraps, excess milk/left over coffee, wine making fruit scraps, weeds, grasses, hay, straw and rooted around their entire yard.
The hay and straw were left overs from last year’s horse supply. Things that could not be given to The Merry Mares, but made pigs oh so very happy.
The cost of the barley/wheat feed is high.
But, we feed the same feed to the chickens, and instead of (properly) tracking how much went to the bird bin and how much went to the pig bin, I just kept track of the total amount purchased.
Lesson for next time, track how much feed goes in what bins. 😂😂😂

So, expenses wise (not including the chickens they ate…assholes) was $828.
We brought them home May 27th.
They went to Freezer Camp 18th.
9 days shy of being here 5 full months.
Our total cost per pound of meat in the freezer is $2.72/lb.
Not too shabby.

Now for next year?
No pigs.
I’m in need of a year off of them, like I said before.
Next year we’re hoping to do a steer.
And I’ll be pushing my poultry growing program.
Probably invest in a 2nd incubator, and I’m looking for a new drake for my duck hens.
Donald seems to be infertile.
Out of 2 nests sat on, and an incubator full of eggs, *nothing* hatched.
Muscovies are supposed to be very prolific breeders, and hens excellent mothers.
Welp, the girls tried, but the eggs all rotted.
I figure that means my boy is the issue.
So, we’ll replace him…hopefully before the snow flies to stay, so that in the spring the new guy can get right to work.
And the pig yard from this year will be turned into the duck yard for next year…and likely beyond.
For the next time we have pigs, we plan to build a different yard, with a new set up.
Something that shouldn’t allow chickens, ducks or cats to go into the yard.

In a month or so I’ll make the bacon. And the sausages.
But for now, with soup almost done, I’m taking a few days off of winter food prep.
Still have to tarp the garden for the winter.
And have to get hay home for The Merry Mares.
Then, deer season.
Once that’s done, we have to cull roosters for winter.
And finally, I can rest.
For a minute or 2 before the next thing comes along.
😂😂😂

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(after the last week, I sure could use coffee!!)
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Apple Wine

A few weeks ago, I put out the call looking for locals who had apple trees with apples that they weren’t going to use.
Said we’d happily come out and pick the trees, take away the apples and return with a few bottles of apple wine.
Got a few nibbles, but mostly it was people who wanted me to make them an entire 5 gallon batch, plus pick their tree…one woman told me I could have all the half rotten ones on the ground if I picked the good apples for her.
🙄

And then, I got a message from a friend of friends, a local horse woman, who had an apple tree, and hankerin’ for a few bottle of wine.
Well, with a little back and forth, we set a date, met up and I came away with a bag of roughly 50lbs of apples.
Gorgeous, sweet, crunchy eating apples…perfect for a batch of wine.
After I ate a couple. 😉

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Way back when we were in the city, our tree there was producing 250-300lbs of apples a year.
We could only eat so many, so I started making and canning juice.
But I got tired of the old cook it on the stove top, strain it through cheesecloth method of making juice, and went to my parents and stole (with permission) my Dad’s juicer.
Now?
I make juice by running the apples through the juicer.

Big bowl of sliced apples, ready to be run through the juicer.

Once the juicing is done, the mush that comes out the other side is put into a mesh bag.
That goes into the primary fermenting pail, with the juice itself.
I want aaaaaaalllllllll the apple-y goodness going into my wine. 😉

Cores get cooked down and strained for juice…nothing gets wasted here!

Once the cores have given up everything they had, those get tossed to the pigs.
Pigs ❤ love ❤ apples!
The juice is then added with the other juice and the mush to the primary fermenter.

From there I add sugar, pectic enzyme (if I have it on hand…with the cooked juice, the wine finishes with a creamy mouth feel with out the pectic enzyme. Some people don’t care for it, but I don’t mind it, so I don’t get frantic if I don’t have the pectic enzyme to add), k-meta and water to 6 gallons.
I let it sit for 24ish hours, then pitch the yeast and add some yeast nutrient.

That’s all there is to it.
Over the next week, I stir the pail a few times a day, and squeeze the bag of mush.
After a week or so, I pull out the bag of mush…that goes to the pigs…and depending on the specific gravity reading, I’ll either give it a few more days in the pail or rack it off to a carboy.
Once it’s on the carboy, sealed with an air lock, I let time do it’s work.
Anywhere from 2-5 months.
Honestly, I put it in a corner and forget about it.

After a while, I’ll come back to it, rack it off the stuff at the bottom (the lees), stabilize it and usually I’ll sweeten it.
Typically with some raspberry syrup…because apple raspberry wine is fan-effing-tastic!
And then, into bottles for a few more months.

All told, it’ll take anywhere from 4-12 months before it’s in the bottle and ready to drink.
Trust me though, it’s worth the wait!

Linking up with September Days at The Hearth and Soul link party hosted by April J Harris.

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Buy Me A Coffee

I’m sure y’all have seen this at the end of the last few posts…
“If you like this post, feel free to buy me a coffee”

Buy Me A Coffee is a website where people can choose to say thanks to an artist, be they a writer, a photographer, a graphic artist, or what-have-you, with a monetary donation.

I’ve heard it a million times…
“You should write a book!”
Well, maybe, but that takes time.
Time I don’t necessarily have…without cloning myself. 😉
Y’all *know* how busy things get here!
And honestly, I’m not as interested in writing a book as I thought I might be.
I much prefer the bites and bits of the blog.
This way, I don’t have to have continuous unity throughout so many pages.
I can write about topics as they come up, pop into my head, or as you Dear Readers request.
Plus I can randomly insert pictures of the animals any where in any post.
Far more fun than a book!
😉

Then I thought about ways to monetize the blog.
Because who doesn’t want to get paid for doing what they love, right??
This became a challenge…I’ve encountered a few blogs that I loved where they’ve monetized and now only post small tidbits of info/their life. To get anything of substance, you have to pay a monthly fee for access.
I sure don’t want to do that here.
I don’t, in my opinion, think that’s fair…to build a blog that people come to on the daily, then tell them they can only have access if they pay.
And I’m not saying it’s the wrong way for those folks to go…I’m saying it’s not the right way for *me* to go.

So when I was introduced to Buy Me A Coffee, I thought “ahhh, *that’s* the way to go!”
I love coffee.
Like seriously, can’t live without it, it’s the lifeblood of the universe, love coffee.
What better way to let folks know, if they choose, they can offer a thanks by, metaphorically, buying me coffee.
*grins*

At the same time, this means more good things for you readers.
It means more content!
YAY!!
We’re in a bit of a lull between the gardening season and butchering season, so I’m stockpiling posts so that you don’t go weeks and weeks without hearing from me.
I think if I’m going be asking y’all to buy me coffee, I need to pony up way more content than a post every 2 weeks or so.
Let’s be honest, it ain’t fair for me to not work and still ask for patronage.

So I hope everyone likes what they’ll be seeing.
And if you like this post, or any others, feel free to buy me a coffee.
All you have to do is click the link and follow the easy peasy instructions on my b.m.a.c page.
🙂