Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Southern Drawl

When I talk I have a southern accent, at least that's what I'm told.  I get teased a lot about it, in a family of 14 my accent is the strongest.  Some of my siblings will do everything they can do convince you that it is fake.  Honestly me fake an accent?  I don't hear it, but people comment on it all the time.  Esp when I'm north of the Mason Dixon line or when someone from the north of the Mason Dixon lines comes south.

When I'm tired or stressed it comes out even stronger.  Words that should be only two or three syllables becomes a word that somehow has four or five.  I can say pie like they do in the old southern movies & Timothy claims that I'm faking the word greased EVERY time I say it~Come on there is a Z in there right? (My Grandfather said it that way, so it should be correct right? :D)   The main people who tease me or say that it's fake are my family members. Mainly because I didn't have it as a young child and it only really started coming out right before we moved out to the "sticks". And like I said I have it all the time but you mainly notice it when I am stress, really busy, or way to excited.

While in outside of Texas I would have people say "You're from Texas? You don't sound it...Oh, wait I hear it now!" lol And it wasn't like I was talking differently (at least that's what they said). But when they listened to how I was talking it came out, just a little. Throw in ma'am, sir, or Y'all and it makes it sound southern even if it comes from someone with an English accent.  lol (Ok, so I'm stretching things there.)

A couple weeks ago I was in a local computer store (best place to buy phone chargers) and I was talking with the cashier (because that's what you do in the South).  Towards the end of our conversation~Mainly about where I go to church~She stops & looks at me & asks "Where are you from?"

Me~Slightly Confused:  "Here, Houston Texas.  But I live in Waller now."
Cashier: "Really, I love your accent.  I love hearing every one's accent down here, but yours is really southern & nice!"
Me: "Oh, thank you!

I then Facebooked "I have an accent?"  where upon everyone except one sister came on & said yes.  Me? Well I don't hear it. But, how many people can really truly hear their accent, lack of, or how they talk?

So, if you have heard me talk....Do I have an accent?  If you have not heard how I talk....Well, you can guess if you want. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"You Are Living My Dream!"

I get it all the time--Rather we get it all the time...A customer walks up and starts gushing about how we are living their dream.  Once they say that I wait for them to continue and they are guaranteed to continue with "When I retire I want to move out to the country and have a goat farm.".  Oh, really thinks I.

Not to be cynical or anything, but it's a random thing to want.  A goat farmer really?

Have you thought this out?  Because I can tell you back in the day it's not something we thought out.  Oh, sure once we had goats for a few years, tried the milk, showed some, eat everyone Else's cheese, then we started thinking "Having a dairy might be something worth looking into."

Never did we think we would end up starting it the year we did,  we always said "Some day when dad retires.", So, I always thought it would be when I was no longer living at home that the dairy would be started.  We found out (one of the many time we found this out), God had a different plan for us & we started the dairy in 2009.  It was fun, it was stressful, it was educational & It was a time when we grew together as a family.

As the years passed things changed we went from ONLY milk & yogurt, to adding chocolate milk, flavored yogurt & kefir, but still we were NEVER going to do cheese.  Again, things changed.  Dad took a cheese class, Austin farmer's market asked us to bring cheese &  thus started the Swede Farm cheese part.  I did in internship in New York for four months, came home taught everyone how to do Feta & Ricotta & we added that to the diverse Swede Farm Line.

Over the years things have changed, many different flavors of cheeses, yogurt, & milk, as well as different types of cheese & I can't forget to mention the cajeta.  All from the goats at Swede Farm Dairy.  Things were hard sometimes but they were still, Fun, stressful, educational, & a time for the family to grow together.

Then two years ago we added another farm's milk to our milk for cheese & things really took off.  All looked good over the two years.  We enjoyed working with the other farm & they enjoyed our cheese.

But, God is in control & you never know what he has planned for you until he hands it to you & You sit there praising God for his blessings, feeling that you have everything you need. Or you sit there doing everything you can to remember that God IS in control & God DOES have a plan & God WILL take care of us.  But the former is easy to live with & the later is hard to remember & not question.

Earlier this year we dealt with those same thoughts, but carried on thinking "God got us through the fire & everything that went with it.".  But there were days where it was harder & days were you felt like burying our head & all would be well.  AS the year continued God, kept us afloat, but barely.   And he is still there with us, but there are still those days.

But, we also have to keep in mind that we don't know God's plans & they may not (and most likely aren't) what we won't them to e or what we think they will be.  We must always remember~Hard though it may be~That God is in control & knows what is best for us.

Here's a true look into what is going on at Swede Farm.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The End Of The Week

An an effort to post more often I'm going to just randomly post and hope that some where along the line inspiration will hit. :D

So what has happened this past week? Well, I've been removed from the cheese room (yes, I know.  pull your jaws off the ground you'll catch flies that way!) So, where does that leave me? Well as soon as I can get out of vacation mood--Which will be hard since I leave in 10 days again. I am now the one cooking the meals, keeping the kitchen clean, washing and drying the laundry, help teaching the kids.

Cooking I love to do (which is one reason I love the cheese room).  So, that's going to be a piece of cake, esp since I've got wonderful market food to cook with and creating new dishes and learning how to cook new food items & old items new ways has been a favorite pastime of mine since I was 12.  Now, the cleaning is a whole 'nother problem to deal with.  I guess that's one thing I can use my spare time with....Cleaning the kitchen, instead of having my younger siblings do it all the time for me. lol

Laundry not every one's favorite thing to do, but hey someone has to do it right?  As long as I don't have to put it away (I am forever mixing up the girls clothing much to their frustration.) I'm good.  I can wash, dry, and fold laundry all day long without a problem.  And with the extensive clothes line that we have I don't have to wait for the dryer to finish before I start the next load of laundry.  I can  wash and hang 7 loads of laundry without having to worry about waiting to start the next load of laundry. :D

Lastly--Teaching the children.  I LOVE teaching I've been teaching (either all the time or as I can squeeze it in around cheese making) for the past 8 years.  It's something I love doing more then cheese making.  So, way younger brothers & sisters you better watch out, school starts tomorrow!  (O.K. I'll wait until Monday.)

So, all that being said where does it really leave me?  Well, extra time on my hands.  Here I sit on a Friday night instead of packing or worrying how long it's going to take to pack I'm typing out this post about to head to bed as soon as I show Emma our new toy (a heating gun for shrink wrapping soaps.).  Also it gives me more time to run errands for the family without stressing over when I'm going to run errands and make cheese.  Add more soap making, maybe a more in person and online social life, more time for me & most defiantly a less stress full life for me now and in the long run.

So, that being said.  Night one and all, see those of your that I do at market tomorrow morning.  Those that I don't see have a good weekend!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Yes, I am Still Alive!

Yes, I know I've been lacking in the post department.  It's been bothering me, but other things in my life have taken over and it's left me with little to no computer social life.  :D  (Even to the point where people have commented that I don't post on FaceBook as much any more.) 

Give me a break!  If I had a choice between computer social life or live in person social life, I went with the live options (Sorry, to all of you out there who I can't have a live option & have to put up with the E-Social life.) But, hey if you had to chose which would you chose?

What's been keeping me so busy?  Well, if you read my mom's blog, then you might have been able to catch on to some of it.  But mainly it's just been life....Cheese making, markets, baseball, family interaction, etc. 

But, good news for you. Mom's moving me out of the dairy so that yet some more of my siblings can learn that side of the dairy. Which means less stress (please, don't ask my family about me in the cheese room!) more time in the house, & more computer social life. 

So, to round up the past 10 months....I've been making dairy products, selling dairy products, taking siblings to baseball practice & games, going to church, & running errands. 

What has happened in my life in the past ten months?  Well, I was contacted by the Ag office in Weslaco, TX asking if I would be interested in giving a cheese class & talk on marketing goat products.  So in the second week of July mom & I made the drive down there (7 hours) spent three days with just mom & I, helping other goat people. 

Last week Christin & I spent 2 days driving to Greensboro, NC where I spent three days at a goat conference & Christin spent three days sleeping in, sightseeing, sewing, & swimming. We then spent 2 & 1/2 days driving back & sight seeing.
The movie that was filmed at our place last year is making the rounds of world film festivals. The most noticeable one in our family was when it made it's world premiere at the Cannes film festival.  Mom, Dad, Christin, Sara, & Linnea went over to walk the red carpet, talk about it & of course sight see for 15 days.  Thus leaving Grace & I to watch Emma on down (for those trying to count that was 7 children 15 & younger).  Thankfully we had help watching children, going to little league, & markets.  But let me tell you it wasn't easy!

All the kids have turned one year older (except for Noah, his birthday is next month), Noah made it to the All-Stars again, No one has been added to the family, I was promoted to captain on the Sheep & Goat committee at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Goats have come & gone, ducks have been added to the farm. the house pig has finally started living outside, And I am still ALIVE!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HI and How Are you?

Again a quick post to say hi how you?

How was your Christmas?  Mine was great, laid back and enjoyable.  I decided on Sunday (little Christmas Eve) that I wasn't going to do any work on Christmas Eve & Christmas day. I was able to pull off no work on Christmas Day.  I had to do a little work on Christmas Eve, not a lot so not complaints.  :D

What's even better was I did not have to work any harder or do extra long days the days after Christmas and before Saturday's markets. Markets were slower then any other Saturday, but for a holiday weekend it was good.

Now, this New year's day I'm making cheese (pasteurizing and culturing it to let it sit.), relaxing, watching football, playing games, and enjoying my family and friends.

So, how was your Christmas and the week following to today?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Did You Know?

This is just a quick post to let you know....You can cause more harm to yourself stepping on soap, then if you were to step on a banana peel.

Yes, I learned this from personal experience.  (Plus the Mythybusters proved that it is VERY hard to slip on a banana peel.)

Friday, October 26, 2012

How Do I Think I've Changed?

"How do you think you've changed most since switching to farm life?"

This was asked of me on a previous post.  As sit here I'm trying to figure it out.  It's not an easy question to answer.

Before I start anything I want to remind you that when we moved out to the farm I was 16, now I'm at the ripe old age of 24.  So, it's hard for me to say "I've changed here, here, and here because we are now living a farm life.".  I have a hard time saying that some of these changes come from being in the country vs. these changes coming from my being eight years older.

Its really not easy for me to see how I've changed, I'm sure that my parents, older sisters, And some close friends could point out the places that I've changed, but I'm having a hard time to pinpoint where I have changed.  The biggest way that comes to mind is how I look at food and the processes it takes to get to my plate.

When I was 16 I never thought about how my food got from a living in a cage or on a farm to my plate.  I was just happy to have it on my plate or to be able to cook a meal with it.  Now, I pay attention to where my food comes from, how was it raised, what did it eat, etc.  These things come into mind when I shop for food & how I cook the items I am given to cook with. 

Not only do I look at my food different but I've been able to raise or make a lot of foods that I never thought I'd be able to make. I can plant, grow, and harvest a garden.  Now I did do this a little bit when we lived in Houston.  But never as big as the one I did out here.  Also I've learned to not just go to the store and buy what ever veggie plants they have on hand. I plan the garden with what I know we will eat, what will grow in my part of Texas and what I can handle growing.  (Small note, that while I can do the garden I don't any more, that pleasure is all given to Linnea now that I'm busy making cheese.)

I can raise a chick from chick hood to an age where it is either able to be butchered or starts laying.  I can then either butcher out the chicken or continue to feed to the chicken and get eggs from said chicken.  Now, I will tell you that I am not keen on chickens and I tip my hat to those people that raise them so I can have eggs and chicken.  Now, while I was one to help with the first (and second) batch of chickens here on Swede Farm I am not the a chicken farmer and leave that honor to Emma.

Lastly (for now at least) I can deliver goats.  Oh, sure my mom was a midwife I had seen a number of my sisters born before I moved out to the farm and I had considered being my mom's assistant, but I never though I would deliver goats!!  Now I have and when I look at our animals I can normally say "I remember when you were born" or "Don't you EVER give me a kidding like you did this last year around!"  But then my favorite is "You can repeat this year's kidding if you want!".  lol

Then I can take these babies that I helped deliver and help raise them to an age where we milk them twice a day everyday & then turn around and make that milk into a product I can sell.  Either a pasteurized milk that can be sold at market or yogurt, cheese, flavored milk, cajeta, etc.  And enjoy ever minute of it.

Lastly (not food related) I help to keep my family clean by making soap with our goat's milk.  Not only something I enjoy, but something that brings me a little money and that I can do while still staying home and helping the family.  :-D