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

November 30, 2011

TT with Linky: Service Animals ~ Guide Dogs for the Blind Field Trip

On this soon to be Thankful Thursday, I'm thankful for the service animals that help us in our world.  Today I'm not talking about our beautiful bovines, but these adorable, intelligent pups that have a HUGE responsibility to tend to.

But first, I can safely say, planning a field trip the Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday is a win-win situation.  The kids get to roll gently back into the school routine after a few days off and we were the only field trip/tour group at Guide Dogs for the Blind....we had the place to ourselves!















Our tour began in a classroom type setting with our guide, Alex, who immediately took a liking to Paige because she reminded him of his grand daughter.  She got a little special treatment that morning.


In the classroom presentation we learned about the history of Guide Dogs for the Blind and how every guide dog trained in this facility is born on the campus.  The pups stay with their mothers for about a month then they're moved to the 'nursury' for another month.  Once a puppy reaches two months old they are delivered to  host families, mostly 4H families who live within the eight western states until they reach 14 months old.  During their time with the host family, they are handled with love and just get to be puppies.

At 14 months they are picked up by one of the many Guide Dogs for the Blind vans and brought back to the Guide Dogs campus in San Rafael, CA where they begin their three month training to become a guide dog.
Only half of the dogs that go through the training course graduate as a guide dog. 

There is currently a very long wait list to adopt the 'career change' dogs that don't graduate to Guide Dog status.

The guide dog campus has dorms large enough to house 28 blind people who come from all over the U.S. and Canada for their own three week training course before going home with a guide dog of their own.  All costs are paid for by Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The 2011 operating costs for Guide Dogs for the Blind were, or will be $36 million dollars....all donated money.  Amazing, right?!

In the photo below we were lucky enough to see a blind person on his first day of guide dog ownership training.  The trainer, in the red shirt, is holding a guide dog harness and pretending to be a guide dog and the trainee is learning how it feels to be guided by him.























This guide dog trainee walked right through our group without becoming distracted at all....good boy!






















Alex, shows us some new born pups with their mother on the web cam.

And then we had the pleasure to meet a few pups.  SO cute.  No one is allowed to pet, or touch them other than their handlers. 























We all wanted to snuggle with these adorable pups....

In the wash room, something special happened.






















This guide dog, who was being blown dry after a bath was ready to come out.....






















and since he wasn't in his training harness, we were allowed to pet him....he loved it and so did we.













Pretty soon, it was time to end the tour.













Time to say bye.....

But not before we got one more unexpected puppy fix out in the parking lot.

To learn more about, volunteer, donate or find out how to get put on the 'career change' adoption wait list go to: 






Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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November 29, 2011

Muffin Tin Mini Pies

My friends over at the California Milk Advisory Board just sent me this fantastic recipe for muffin tin mini pies.  What a fantastic project to make with the kids at home, school, 4H or any other baking function.  Everyone can have their very own muffin tin mini pie when it's all said and done!

Below you'll read the press release on these bite sized treasures and find the recipe as well!























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November 28, 2011

Woodworking For Kids

You guys know how much I love the 4H program if you're a regular reader here.  Our 2011-12 4H season just kicked off and this year along with cooking, both the kids are also signed up for woodworking.  The projects they create can be entered in the county fairs next summer if they decide to do so.
Safety first.

















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November 25, 2011

Winner of the Frosty the Snowman Giveaway

Happy Black Friday to everyone!  Hope you had a wonderful day, what ever it is you chose to do.  After a full day of food, drink and football yesterday, I decided to stay home and not fight the crowds out there on this drizzly day. 

Image courtesy Google Image

I'm happy to announce the winner of the Warner Brothers Frosty the Snowman giveaway is......... 

Jenny!  with her favorite Thanksgiving tradition being:

"Our favorite Thanksgiving tradition with the kids is disguising "Tom the turkey" so he doesn't get eaten for Thanksgiving dinner :) "

Congratulations Jenny!  Please email me your mailing address so Warner Brothers can send you your copy of Frosty the Snowman! 

email:  WifeOfADairyman {at} gmail {dot} com




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November 24, 2011

Simply Thanksgiving



Giving Thanks
For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the "Land of the Free" --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

~Author Unknown

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  Hope you are enjoying a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving today!

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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November 23, 2011

TT: Healthy, Delicious Blueberry & White Chocolate Chunk Ginger Cookies

Are you a ginger lover?  If so, you're gonna love these healthy blueberry and white chocolate chip ginger cookies from Eating Well.  You may remember I attended my Healthy Cooking Group last week and thought I was going to be really late due to my annual mammogram appointment which was sceduled in the evening, bringing an appetizer or side dish was out of the question so dessert and wine was what I came up with.















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November 22, 2011

Starfall~Children's Education w/Linky

It's officially the Holiday Season, which means no school, lots of home time, play time and time to come up with things to keep your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews entertained.  If you read my post yesterday, then you know today I'm featuring a fantastic children's website that my kids use often.  It's educational, fun and creative all in one. 

I was turned on to Starfall.com by Bryce's teacher three years ago and it's a free public service to teach children to read with phonics.  The website has helped us to enforce math and reading skills in a fun way.  There are so many options to choose from; you can print out worksheets, color pages or just create scenes right on the computer screen. 















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November 21, 2011

Frosty the Snowman + a Giveaway

My friends at Warner Brothers, just turned me on to his all new Frosty the Snowman Winter Wonderland website!  While I was previewing the site, my five year old, Paige walks up just as I clicked on the cool Frosty coloring pages and asks,

"Can you print those Mommy?!" 













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November 18, 2011

BOTW: Thanksgiving Pomegranate Sangria

Are you in need of a Thanksgiving or holiday cocktail recipe that you can make ahead of time?  When I have get-togethers at home, I like to have one signature cocktail, ready to go, in a pitcher along with beer and wine.  So for this week's 'Best of the Web,' I'm featuring Bobby Flay's Pomegranate Sangria recipe.


















photo courtesy Google Image
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November 17, 2011

Healthy Cooking Club~Featuring Turkey Waldorf Salad

The other night I attended our monthly, scheduled Healthy Cooking Meeting.  Healthy Cooking Group was formed through a local mother's club organization I belong to and I've been a member for around six years, or so. 

Every month Healthy Cooking Group, a group of around 15,  meets at a different member's home for dinner.  This month dinner was held at Mendy's house and the theme was healthy Thanksgiving dishes.  We drink wine, sample all the food, talk about where we found our recipe and what's in it and catch up with each other.

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November 16, 2011

Organic Pastures Raw Milk Recall

I know many of you purchase raw {unpasteurized} milk produced by Organic Pastures, here in California and wanted to help spread the word that there has been a recall on it after five California children became sick with E. coli. 

Three of the five children were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can lead to kidney failure. State officials could not say, however, what the children's current condition is.
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November 15, 2011

How Proposed 'Child Labor' Laws could affect your kids

Have you heard of the newly proposed Child Labor laws that may possibly go into effect very soon?

Even though the newly proposed labor law would not impact my kids at the present time, they are only 5 and 7 years old, we want them to experience caring for our animals in the future. We believe, and Dominic experienced growing up on our dairy farm, that learning to feed and care for our dairy cows gives kids a head start on work ethic. If a pre-teen or teenager learns work ethic at a young age, he or she will be more likely to continue to have good work ethic as an adult. Helping to care for animals and working on our farm will help our kids build character and responsibility.




















Both of my kids are currently involved in the 4H organization. When they reach the age of nine, they will be able to show large animals in the county fairs and they are already looking forward to it. Part of showing animals through both the 4H and FFA organizations is learning how to properly care for your animals, yourself. If the proposed labor law goes into effect, it would impact thousands of kids. They will not be allowed to care for their own animals and this would be a tragedy, not only to the kids but also to the future of our country. Learning these skills at a young age, is necessary to instill the foundation of agricultural knowledge to be able to help feed our nation in the future.

If you would like to help the agricultural community, submit your comments before December 1, 2011 to the Department of Labor. To submit written comments, reference RIN 1235-AA06 in your letter and mail it to:

The Wage and Hour Division
U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502
200 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

To learn more about how the Child Labor laws will affect agriculture and the 4H and FFA organizations, here are some articles and stories on the subject:
Changes in Labor Laws Affecting Farm Kids
Proposed Labor Laws Could Limit Youth Farmwork
New Labor Proposals Would End Farm Work For Kids
Impacts of  "Child Labor"

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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November 14, 2011

We Have the Fever

The Forty Niner Fever, that is.  Yesterday, our home-town team played the N.Y. Giants and all four of us had plans to go but a few days prior, something came up and Dominic needed to stay at the farm to work.






















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November 11, 2011

Veterens Day Tribute

Veterens Day.  An annual U.S. holiday honoring military veterens.  No school today, no mail service, banks are closed as well.  If it wasn't raining, we would have attended the Petaluma Veterens Day parade, one of the few around our area.  But it was, so after a little lesson about Veterens Day, I took the kids to the movies.


From the bottom of my heart, I give thanks to all the veterens and active soldiers out there.  Thank you for all your and your family's sacrifices just so our family can enjoy the freedoms of this great country.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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November 10, 2011

Tailgating ~ Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad

I'm a huge football fan....the 49ers are our hometown favorite and I'm actually taking my kids, along with my niece to the game on Sunday.  We'll be tailgating with one of Bryce and Paige's teachers, her family members are Pros at tailgating....they've had their season tickets since 1949, they know what they're doing, I'm sure of it.

To contribute to the tailgating party, I scanned some of my favorite online sites for some ideas on what to bring along with us.

Here is one of the contenders.......let me know what you think....




















Photo by Eating Well


Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad

Make It a Meal: Scoop up this salad with warm corn tortillas.

4 servings, 2 cups each
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients

3 large ears of corn, husked
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
2 cups shredded red cabbage, (see Tip)
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 cup minced red onion


Preparation

1.Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add corn, cover and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs using a sharp knife.

2.Meanwhile, place pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

3.Whisk lime juice, oil, cilantro, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the corn, pine nuts, beans, cabbage, tomato and onion; toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tips & Notes

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Tip: Convenient pre-shredded cabbage can be purchased, in bags, in the produce section of most supermarkets.

NutritionPer serving: 410 calories; 16 g fat (2 g sat, 8 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 57 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 16 g protein; 13 g fiber; 477 mg sodium; 537 mg potassium.


Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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November 9, 2011

TT w/Linky: Red Barn Scenery

Every morning on my way back from school drop off and later in the day, on the way to pick up, when it's quiet in my vehicle for a short seven minute drive, I can honestly say I never tire of the scenery of gentle rolling hills, the cows grazing, and the grape vines all along the way. 

But just as I'm about to reach school, nestled in a little valley sits what I envision in my mind to be the perfect, quintessential family farm....red barns and all.  Red is my favorite color, therefore, I have a tendency to be drawn to all things red, and I most definitely have a thing for red barns. The contrast between the red on this barn, against the colors of nature is nothing short of a glorious view for me.













So today I'm thankful for my red barn scenery I so enjoy, at least five days a week.
















Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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November 8, 2011

WW: Awesome

This is a true Wordless Wednesday post for me.  There's nothing to be said about how beautiful this skyline is, right?! 

I was headed down to San Francisco last Saturday morning and HAD to stop in the church parking lot, down the street from my house just to take this shot.  I'm so glad I did too, because by the time I made my stop at Starbuck's the salmon color had turned to blue and white.


I tend to over use the word "awesome" but in this case, I think it fits.

Linking up for Wordless Wednesday to:
Pinke Post
Project Alicia
Live and Love Out Loud


Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!

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November 7, 2011

Foodbuzz Fest 2011

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 3rd Annual Foodbuzz Food Bloggers Fest in San Francisco.  A weekend full of food, friends, drink and spending time in one of my favorite places....San Francisco.

Friday night, the kick-off party was held at Terra Gallery for the welcome reception, dinner and blogger awards ceremony.  I was an hour and a half late due to horrific traffic heading over the Golden Gate, I totally forgot to adjust my travel time by compensating for Friday night traffic into the city.

Once I finally arrived, the party was in full swing.  With camera in hand, a plate of food and a cocktail, it was time to relax and enjoy.
















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Winner of the WB Giveaway!

The winner of the Warner Brothers Giveaway is.....
Suz and Allan!  "I'm a big romantic comedy fan and this is one I've been wanting to see!"

Congratulations on winning the DVD, Crazy Stupid Love!  Hope you will enjoy it.
Send me your mailing address so that I can pass it on to Warner Brothers to send out your movie.

email me at WifeOfADairyman {at} gmail {dot} com






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November 4, 2011

In Honor of Foodbuzz










This weekend I will be hanging in S.F. with 350 other food enthusiasts at the third annual Foodbuzz Food Bloggers Fest.  Tonight we're spending opening night at Terra Gallery where we'll enjoy dinner, award presentations AND a presentation by Tyler Florence!  {pics coming}

So in honor of the Foodbuzz Fest, I want to share my recipe for Asian Noodle Salad, which made it into their Top 9 one day and sparked my initiation into their featured publisher program.

Asian Noodle Salad
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November 3, 2011

A Sight For Sore Eyes

You may remember me blogging about a couple of old, rusted ranch trucks that look as though they don't run, but in actuality, they do.  Well on my way out to lunch the other day, I was pleased to see these ancient looking trucks departing the ranch.  Loaded on a trailer for recycling. 

Big changes here on the dairy...out with the old and older. 



















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November 2, 2011

TT w/Linky: A Date at Sam's

A few weeks ago after Dominic and I attended the San Francisco Vintners Market, we stopped in at Sam's Cafe in Tiburon for an early dinner.  Dominic has lived in Marin his entire life, other than his college years, but he had never been to Tiburon before so I was happy to share a Sam's Cafe experience with him on a glorious autumn afternoon.
















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November 1, 2011

A Warner Brothers Giveaway!

This past Saturday night, Dominic and I had date night in.  After a family dinner of my favorite, Filet Mignon, we put the kids to bed and I was actually able to stay awake to watch an entire movie.
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