Friday, June 17, 2011


Meet Matilda.

She is our new farm cat. 

Walter was a very sad boy after Henry passed, so we decided to get him companion. Lets see how their introduction went...

Matilda is released from her travel kennel and begins exploring.

I call for Walter.

He comes running because I am his favorite. Even over Daddy.

He spots an intruder.

He cautiously approaches the trespasser.

She is clearly unimpressed,

Walter doesn't care. He just wanted to play.

One thing we have learned about our Matilda is that she can often be found in some strange places. 

Exhibit A

Now, I may not have owned many cats, but Im pretty sure they shouldnt be on the counters.

Exhibit B

Its cool, Matilda. I wasnt trying to watch a show or anything.

Exhibit C

Pardon the messy linen closet.. Wait.. What IS that?!

Exhibit D

Naughty Cat.

Exhibit E


Yes, folks. That would be hamburger that she is eating. You will be interested to know that following the taking of this photo, we found an empty hamburger wrapper.  Hmm.. I sense some cat/dog cooperation.

Exhibit F

She is fearless!

Exhibit G

Is it a cat thing to want to get into the dryer? Henry used to do that too.

Silly cats.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My First Quilting Adventure!

For my birthday this year I got the coolest Pfaff sewing machine. I was a little hesitant at first because I had never sewn before. But I chose to dive right in and begin my first quilt!

My baby sister (youngest of 4 daughters, my poor dad) was graduating high school this year and I decided to make her a quilt for her cute little dorm room at my alma mater, Washington State University. 

This is what became of it.

Lindsey's favorite colors are bright green and gray. I decided to use these colors as the window panes in my quilt and chose to use different fabrics that reminded me of her. It really gave it a 3D effect. 

I then used some of the remnants to create a little border. 

I gave it to her last saturday at her graduation dinner and I'm assuming she loves it, because that night she sent me this picture of it on her bed already!

Here is my baby sister on her big day! So proud!

I also attended a baby shower and for that, I chose to make a baby blanket for the birth of the little girl. This is the result of that.

I had a bit of a difficult time at the end with the fringe, but I think it came out pretty cute.

As you probably read here, we went to Oregon recently to meet our new nephew, Jonah. I thought that since the last blanket came out pretty well I would make him one too.

I wasn't as happy with the way this one came out, but I think that had a lot to do with the type of fabric I purchased. The checkered blocks were made out of something other than the standard cotton and I found it quite difficult to sew. 

When it was done, I threw it in the wash to make sure it would al stay together.  Good thing too, because it did not survive. That checkered fabric decided it wasn't going to stay in place. Needless to say, it is now a dog blanket. Bummer deal!

In hindsight, I probably should have washed and dried the fabrics before hand.. Oops!

Anywho, I am having a lot more fun with this whole sewing thing than I thought I would. After seeing Lindsey's face after getting her quilt, I decided to make her a matching pillowcase from some of the scraps. I'm just winging it on that, so it should be interesting. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Can You Grow Cotton?

We can! 
Lots of it!
We are in the middle of our annual cottonwood storm. Every square inch of or yard, the garden and the front field are covered. It is terrible! The tree is huge and nice to look at. However, the cotton pieces are so light that when you inhale a breathe, all the pieces in the air quickly turn towards you and go right into your mouth or nose! If there is a cottonwood tree on the land that we will eventually buy, we will quickly cut it down.

Hope you don't have a cottonwood in your yard.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Big Egg vs. Little Egg

Look at this Halpern Homestead record small egg, looked more like a small golf ball.
3/8 of an oz!
The quarter was just an eighth less.

Poor lil guy must be cold in the big carton.

Compare that to this monster! Our biggest egg yet. Looked like a triple yolker
It weighs ten times as much as the little egg!
As big as my measuring tape.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

First Pea of the Year

And it was delicious!
Plenty more are growing. We love peas, and we are hoping for a huge crop this year. Freeze them, eat them and enjoy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Down Side to Being a Long Haired Hippie Chicken

Meet Roberta AKA "Bob". Bob is a Black Crested White Polish, or a long-haired crazy chicken.
The problem with the long hair is clearly demonstrated in this photo. Bob cannot see things above her, which happens to be a lot of the world! Bob has no idea that Julies is standing above her. She seems to be oblivious to any direction you approach her from. She will only notice you when your right under her beak. The white color on the head also makes her easy to spot by the flying predators. This is a problem for free range chickens.
As most of you know, I love the hippie hair. As of this spring I had long hair too, so I understand how Bob feels. The hair really does obscure the peripheral vision. 

So what is a young homesteading couple to do in a situation like this?
A haircut of course.
Walter came over to give Bob some kisses during the trim.
Bob had the eye of every animal in the house.
Watching his every move.
Carefully watching.
Here is the after photo.
Kinda of a poopy cut job. Home haircutting is trendy right?

The great thing about Bob is that she has no fear. She'll walk right up to you and saw hello. 
Well, curiosity killed the cat right? We have had overly curious/confident chickens before. They don't last too long here. Jump the wrong fence, hang out alone in the far field, and general misbehavior. Oh well. Hope the haircut helps her vision.

Maybe Juliette will keep an eye on her?


Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Our Trip to Oregon, Packed Full of Pictures

This week Kelsi and I had the opportunity to make a quick trip down to Oregon to see our new nephew who was born last week. The city we went to was six plus hours from the homestead.  We left Tuesday and came home yesterday. It was a long, quick trip.
Kelsi didn't mind though. Any of you who know Kelsi, know that she loves any excuse to play with baby stuff. Like this moby (baby holder thing).

We have been to this part of Oregon before, but not wearing our 'farm' eyes.
I have decided that this part of Oregon would be a great place to buy land and start a sweet farm! Look how green it is! I realize that the growth and the lush green vegetation is a result from daily rain. But still, I can dream.
In the farm land surrounding Forest Grove, every farm seemed to have an acre or two dedicated to tree farming or potted shrubs/bushes. Maybe a good location for the Halpern Homestead's greenhouse?
We saw some cool animals eating some hay. That pretty much make's a good day, any day.
Most of the farms had some sort of grape vines growing too. This vineyard had acres upon acres of these beautiful rows.
Beautiful land.
We also found this beautiful barn along one of the roads we drove down. We want one just like this some day.
Rich colors.
The driving team! 
Can you see the baby fever in those eyes?
Every acre seems to be planted with something different. I really appreciate the vast variety planted here. Much better than Eastern Washington. Brown wheat fields or this?

Columbia River

We came home to this big basket of eggs. 

All in all, it was a good trip.