Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

February 28, 2011

Chloe, the Escapee

Yesterday we were at my sister and brother-in-law's house for a combined birthday party for my niece and nephew.  They have a couple of puppies, Buddy {who you may have read about on my 4H Presentation Day post} and Brownie.  Chloe was invited to attend the party as well.

Maybe I should take some notes, next time, when I'm watching my niece train her puppy, because Chloe escapes at any chance she can get.  And she doesn't come when called......even if I have a handful of treats! I think she thinks it's a game......or she just likes to be a stinker.

So the front door was left open and that's all that Chloe needed to dash out.  Both Buddy and Brownie followed her. 

I guess the temptation of all the new smells were too much to handle.  There's sheep poop, chickens and pygmy goats after all!  Totally different than a dairy farm, right?

They headed down towards the dam, first thing.  Brownie and Buddy were the first to be caught.  Chloe was a bit more stubborn.















She had to go get good and dirty before she was caught.


















We did get a chance to go visit the two Pygmy goats that have recently arrived on the ranch.  Here's Georgie.














Paige wants one...........I want one!





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February 27, 2011

Bryce's Experience at 4H Presentation Day 2011

After a late night on Friday night at the MCFB Dinner, I had to somehow get both Bryce and Paige up early the next morning, feed them a good breakfast, have Bryce dress in his whites and ready for 4H Presentation day at 8:30 a.m.

We made it.....and with very little complaining, and if you're a mom, you know this makes things go so much more smoothly in the mornings.
















One of Bryce's projects in 4H is Photography 101.  The group of six came up with a Photography Presentation for Presentation Day.  Bryce and his cousin, Morgan, were the only two out of the group that were able to make it to Presentation Day to give the presentation.

Bryce is giving his presentation on 'parts of the camera' to the judges, while Morgan awaits her turn to give her portion of the presentation.

The both did really well.
















Morgan had a number of Presentations for the day.  Here she's demonstrating how she has trained her puppy, Buddy. This was the first time Buddy was put into an environment with so many people AND be asked to concentrate and listen to his owner at the same time.  Morgan and Buddy did great!

















There were some really cool displays that I saw.  Here's one on how to make a duct tape wallet. 
















I had never heard of such a thing and neither had Bryce.  He wants to make one now.  And who knew duct tape came in SO many colors??!!












Had to take a photo of the Steps, just in case I wouldn't be able to find them by googling it.


















Favorite Foods is always displayed on Presentation Day and here are some of the displays...














Pear Mice.















Reindeer Cupcakes that our good friend, Logan baked and decorated.











Peanut Butter Mice...how cute are they?!














After a few hours, all the presentations were complete and it was time for the Award Ceremony.  Bryce was excited and proud to receive a 'gold' for his portion of his and Morgan's presentation.  Morgan also received 'golds' for all of her presentations she presented.



















I know you've heard me say this in the past, but again, I can't say enough about the 4H program.  I've seen my niece, Morgan, go from a shy little girl to a confident young lady who doesn't even bat an eyelash at giving a presentation in front of a group now.  The 4H program has definitely been a huge factor in her level of confidence.


In August, Paige will be 5 and able to be involved in 4H herself.  She's so ready.



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February 26, 2011

Marin County Farm Bureau Annual Dinner

Last night we attended the Marin County Farm Bureau annual dinner.  There were around 116 people in attendance, which is a great turn out.  Our kids were two of the attendees.........they don't want to miss a thing!














The evening began with three members of our 4H club, leading the Pledge of Allegiance.....Logan Pomi, Bryce and Derrick Pomi {ages 8, 6 and 10}.  Great job 4Hers! Always good to give young kids the opportunity to stand on stage in front of a room full of adults and speak........just my opinion.














Gary Sack, CA State Farm Bureau Field Rep. gives the invocation before dinner.

















I found out Paige is a BIG ham and loves being on stage.


















CA Farm Bureau President, Paul Wenger attended the dinner and gave a very engaging speech to the crowd.  Speaking about some CA farm issues, and the important role social media plays for farmers by giving them the opportunity to share their stories.


















Award time; Joan Thayer who retired from the Assessor's Office, receives the Friends of Farm Bureau Award












Nelson Gremmel, who recently retired from the Office of the Assessor Recorder,

 also receives the Friends of Farm Bureau award.
















Ralph Grossi {center} is presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.













Some of the attendees included; Jamie Johanasson, Second Vice President to CAFB, Marin Co. Supervisor, Judy Arnold, Marin Co. Ag Commissioner, Stacey Carlsen. 













For more information regarding MCFB year in review, please visit the Marin County Farm Bureau blog.

It was a late night for the kids, in bed by 10 p.m. only to get up early this morning for Marin County 4H Presentation Day.




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February 25, 2011

A Kid and a Calf

There is almost nothing I enjoy more than watching my kids interact with animals.  Especially farm animals.   With dairy calves, just the kindness of them with a child is so pleasurable to watch.

A baby with a baby. 

Remember Brittney?  Well on our 'Secret Tunnel ranch walk' the other day, Paige insisted that we visit her at the calf barn.  It wasn't necessary to insist at all because I'm always up for a visit to the calf barn.

We love Brittney.  She's so interactive with us.  Even though Paige fed the calves a little snack of alfalfa, which is in the feeder underneath her, Brittney still took the time to give Paige some love.......and licks.


She gave me some also.


Brittney has the perfect temperament as a prospect to enter in the county fair.......if only my kids were old enough.  Hmmm, maybe I can talk my nephew, Gavin, into choosing Brittney as his heifer entry this upcoming fair season.  We'll see.





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February 24, 2011

Secret Tunnel

We drive by it every day. 


We and many others drive over it every day.













Walking through it from our farm, leads to Stafford Lake.  The Secret Tunnel, as I call it, is only secret because my kids didn't know it existed until yesterday. {and Bryce still doesn't}

While Bryce was in school yesterday, Paige and I went on a 'ranch walk' to see what we could discover.  I led Paige through the tall green grass on an area of the farm that's near the road.  Nearing the gated tunnel entrance, seeing it for the first time, Paige became excited with the prospect of experiencing something new on our morning adventure.

After opening the gate and walking through, Paige discovered we were now at Stafford Lake Park.  When she got her bearings and realized exactly where we were, she was amazed we didn't need to cross the busy road to get there.  It's acessable through the Secret Tunnel that only we can use.

The tunnel was once used {and is still used once in a great while} to move cows from our ranch, to the other side of the road where the other half of our property lies, behind Stafford Lake.















Once on the park side, we took a little stroll down a paved path.













Once we reached the end of the path {because X marks the spot}, we turned and walked back.


















Back through the tunnel, we stopped midway to wait for a car to drive overhead so we could hear how loud it sounded from the inside. 













We also found hints of another tunnel walker that had visited recently.  Looks like a racoon or skunk print.....not sure which.

My kids LOVE tunnels and I don't know why I haven't shown them this before.







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February 23, 2011

Birds of a Feather on the Farm

When I first moved to the ranch, almost eight years ago now, one of the things I noticed was among ALL of the black crows that live here, there were also a handful of Seagulls.  We live about 25 minutes from the coast but I found it amusing that some of the Seagulls had found their way to our dairy farm from there.
I thought Seagulls were solely beach dwellers.

Now almost eight years later, that handful of Seagulls has grown to quite a large number.  I guess they prefer dairy farm living because they've definitely invited their friends.  We have a few hundred of them that have taken up permanent residency.








They especially like to perch on top of one of the freestall barns, which is close to the commodity barn.












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The commodity barn is where they find their breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks.  The tofu is out in the open and they especially like to feed off of it.




Hmmm...... maybe it's the most intelligent Seagulls make their way inland to agricultural lands.  No begging for food needed here, they have free range of all the food they could ever want. 






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February 22, 2011

My Fitness Pal

While I was in Lake Tahoe, I had some cabin down time in between sledding runs and got to know my Droid phone a little better.  I don't know about you, but when I'm on vacation, I tend to consume more calories than usual.  So while looking through some of the apps on the Droid, I found 'My Fitness Pal'.

My Fitness Pal is a free app for Droid phones, if you have an iPhone, they have a similar one called 'Lose It' and these are apps that keep track of your calories on a daily basis.  If you have a certain amount of weight you would like to lose, you just punch in your current weight, height, age, level of fitness and how much you want to lose, and it'll come up with a per day calorie plan for you.

My Fitness Pal has over 600,000 foods in it's data base.  You just search for the food item and a list of them pops up where you can just choose the correct item and it tallies the calories for you.

I'm not a big calorie counter, but sitting in a cabin on vacation, if you're like me, you tend to think of these things.  So I downloaded it.  You can also log into it on your home computer and it syncs to your Droid.  Or if you don't have a Droid, you can just use it from your PC.

So here's my breakfast and lunch.  {just click on the screen shot to enlarge}
















I thought this was a handy-dandy personal fitness tool.  I love hearing about apps that people really enjoy and I enjoy this one, so I'm sharing with you.


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February 21, 2011

Rice, Soy, Almond "Milk" or "Drink"?

I just arrived home from Lake Tahoe, sat down on the couch to relax and picked up the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer and on the back page an ad for Rice Drink is being advertised. 

It reads:

Tader Joe's Organic Rice Drink is one of those "milk" drinks that aren't actually made with dairy products, so, technically, we can't call them milk.  But let's be honest; while we call it Rice Drink, you probably call it rice "milk".



















Do you have an opinion on these questions?:
Do you think a product labeled as "milk" should be labeled as such only if it comes from a mammal?
Do you think liquid pressed from these plant based products; soy, almond, rice drinks should be called "milk" or "drink"?






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February 20, 2011

Spectacular Lake Tahoe

There's a break between storms here in Lake Tahoe and it is just spectacular....no other way to describe it.
Perfect weather for playing outside and taking walks.



















The roads near where we're staying are either closed or chains required for 4-wheel drives.  Since we don't have chains for our 4-wheel drive, we're hanging at the condo in Tahoe City.

Another photo of icicles, can you tell I love them?


















No complaints from us though.  We built a sledding path right outside our front door, what more can you ask for?!  If the kids get tired or just need a break, the condo front door is just to the left in this photo below.

So we played 'cops & robbers' on sleds.  Paige and I were the 'robbers' and Logan and Derrick were the cops chasing us and Bryce decided to impale us with snowballs as we whizzed by.














Everyone took turns. 













I love having everything right outside the front door.  No driving required.  Cheers! 



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February 19, 2011

Lake Tahoe, a Magical Place

Lake Tahoe, a magical place, in my opinion.  So peaceful and serene yet with some very powerful elements.

The other day I shared 10 things I loved about the one-room school house that Bryce attends, one of them being the many field trips the kids are exposed to.  This weekend's field trip was a day ski trip to Soda Springs, near Lake Tahoe.  The school field trip was canceled due to the winter storm and potential hazardous driving conditions, but since we had reserved a condo for the weekend with our friends, the Pomis, we decided to take our time getting there and drive up anyway.

I'm so glad we did. 



Our annual snow trip with the Pomis to Lake Tahoe or Truckee has become a place where memories are being created to last a lifetime.


Great times with great friends......even though actual snow skiing has not occurred.


Maybe we'll get snowed in so we don't have to leave anytime soon.  I know that's what the kids are hoping for.




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