Sunday, September 13, 2015

Upon the Pillow, Soft

By Lisa Marie Harmon

When to the darkness of the night she finds herself resigned,
It’s time to rest and let the Lord renew her tired mind.
And so she lays her weary head upon the pillow, soft.
The worries of her day, in prayer, she sweetly sends aloft.
Tomorrow is another day with troubles in reserve.
Tonight she feels the Peace she knows she doesn't dare deserve.
This Peace, it comes from just one source, 
the Name Above All Names.
It washes all her sins away and swallows all her shames.
It fills her thoughts with gratitude; it fills her soul with joy,
A happiness no truth can shake, no circumstance destroy.
Her life has not been easy; she has known her share of pain.
But every night, this Peace, it comes, and in her heart it reigns.
The pillow’s feeling softer now; the comforter is warm.
Her eyes are growing heavier; her dreams are taking form.
But just before she falls asleep, a smile crosses her face.
For she’s received the Promise of His never ending Grace.
And In His Grace she knows she will find all the Strength she must,
To rise upon the morrow and that day, to Him, she’ll trust.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Today, On The Farm

Lot's of things going on this weekend at Harmon PFarms......

My reluctant farmer held off till the last
minute but did make it out by 9:00 this morning
to start our long day of farm work.  Aww.  Poor baby.  

A real farmer would have been out there by dawn....Just sayin'. 

First, We checked on the new chicks in the nursery.  There is a whole new set of meat chickens waiting their turn in the pasture pen. We've also got some laying hen chicks and 6 turkeys.  

Poultry Nursery
ClaireAnna with a young turkey. 
23 Cornish Rock meat chicks, several buff Orpingtons and some barred Rocks. 

Young Turkey's

Then we fed the always voraciously hungry meat chickens in the pasture pen. They are doing great and will be ready to butcher in a couple of weeks.

The pasture chickens.  Getting big!  

We spent most of our day out in the horse pasture, moving, piling and burning logs and debris from several fallen trees that has accumulated over the last couple of years.  We've still got one big section to do, but were very happy to get a lot accomplished and leave the pasture looking good!  The horses were so curious and hung around us all day, sticking their noses in the truck and piles of wood.  Weirdos.   (Should have gotten a photo of that.) 

This pile is all that's left of one of our favorite giant oaks.
 It fell during a big storm a couple of years ago.
The loss of it changed the entire look of the horse pasture. 

Before the fall.  This favorite tree will be missed! 
When we finally pooped out in the horse pasture for the day, Ted set an entire cow pasture on fire, burning off the remains of several round bales from winter hay feeding.  Men love to do this.  I stayed in the air conditioned truck.  


So while we were picking up branches from a woodpile, Claire and I came upon two baby snakes.  One was a green garter snake.  The other a black rat snake. Ted caught them both with his bare hands while Claire and I picked out jaws up off the ground. (Okay, he was wearing gloves, but when it comes to picking up snakes, that's the same as bare hands.)  Considering Ted is petrified of snakes, we were both shocked. Way to go, honey!   This is the baby garter snake.  

ClaireAnna picked up a log and noticed the earth beneath heaving slightly up and down.  

The center part of this divot was rising and falling in a very odd way.  

With a little scraping of the area with a stick, she unearthed this guy, still enjoying his hibernation.  Sorry, toad.  It's time to get up! 

Sleepy Toad

And the icing on the cake of creatures unearthed in the brush pile.....A huge tarantula!  Ted actually picked this thing up too, but he dropped it before I could capture it on film.  You'll just have to trust me.  He was having a particularly fearless day! 

We spent a little time today, caring for Ruby and Bell, who are getting some training time tied in the milk barn shed.  This is in preparation for the county fair.  Claire will be taking them both.  

Ted is moving out some manure as the cows adjust to being tied.
The dogs are trying to lend an air of calm to the situation.  
For some reason, Elsa likes to interact with the cows and had
just finished nuzzling their faces before she lied down here.
They seem to like her too.
Joey just wanted to be in the photo!  

Belle, the Jersey dairy heifer, is used to being
 haltered and is taking to standing tied very well.

She loves her scratches and cuddles from CliareAnna. 

Ruby, the Angus cross commercial heifer, was just haltered
yesterday for the first time and is not happy about it! 

"Get this thing off of me!  Let me go!" 

Monday, January 19, 2015

She's Not Going to Fall for That!

One of the many great things about homeschooling is the opportunity to teach your kids the subjects you feel are important.  ClaireAnna and I just finished this text on argument.  She is now very capable of identifying twenty-eight different fallacies and understanding how they invalidate an argument.  She's learned how to recognize these fallacies in our culture, discussions and media and she's not going to fall for them! This is a great study of informal logic that sets the stage for learning more advanced deductive reasoning skills. We enjoyed it and learned a lot

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Microwave Chocolate Cake For Two (Or One!)

There are two versions of this cake.  Both are delicious and nutritious, grain free and therefore gluten free, and refined sugar free.  One is sweetened with coconut sugar and raw honey and is a perfect treat for kids that you will not feel bad about giving them.  (I'd even let Claire eat this for breakfast since it is more nutritious and has less sugar than a bowl of cereal and is definitely healthier than waffles or pancakes!) The second version uses Truvia for a truly low carb, low glycemic cake that will satisfy ANY sweet craving you may have!  Every single ingredient in this cake has some nutritional value and on the whole, it is actually GOOD for you! Honest! We LOVE this cake!!

1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce, optional
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, or any unsweetened nut butter
1/2 tablespoon raw honey or pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon almond milk, coconut milk, milk, half and half or even sour cream
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter, melted but not hot
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Optional add ins:
1 tablespoon unsweetened flaked coconut
1 tablespoon chopped pecans or walnuts, or any other nuts
1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips

1. Beat egg in a small, microwave safe bowl (I use a 3 cup Pyrex glass bowl) or large mug. 

2. Add all other ingredients except nuts, coconut and chocolate chips if you are using them, and whisk till smooth.  Stir in your choice of optional ingredients. 

3. Microwave for 1 minute, 40 seconds.  If the bottom is still very moist, then microwave 10 more seconds. 

4. Turn out onto a plate or eat from the bowl.  The cake will come out easily.  

In order to make this a low glycemic, low carb cake, omit the coconut sugar and honey and use 1 tablespoon of Truvia instead.  You will barely notice the difference.  It is delicious! 

The apple sauce is also optional.  It moistens the cake a bit, but the recipe works well without it too.  You can add a little extra milk to make up the difference in liquid ingredients. 

You can make up baggies of the dry ingredients and store them in the freezer.  When it comes time to make your cake, you'll have half the measuring already done!

This recipe is plenty for two people, but I'm not saying I never eat the whole thing myself!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gift Ideas For Lisa

(This post is for my family, those who occasionally buy me gifts.) 

I don't need anything.  I have more stuff than I ever thought I would ever have and most of it, I don't use.  I don't really even want anything, materially.  I will shed no tear if I never acquire a single thing on this list.  However....if someone actually wants to buy me a gift, here are some ideas.  

I love trees.  For many years, probably more than 25, I've thought about a coffee table type book with beautiful photographs of beautiful trees.   Here are two ideas. 

Weston Pro 2300
Or a cheaper one if that's too much!

I LOVE this jacket.  

This is gorgeous! 

Western styled denim shirts fit me to a tee. 

My color! 

This purse just makes me smile.

You can find this purse HERE

I need one of these for my horse helmet! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole

The topping of this casserole tastes like caramel.  The filling has a surprising, but yummy bite.  This dish is not too sweet, using only natural sugars, but still gives that old fashioned sweet potato casserole feeling.  This is the sweet potato recipe I'll be using for holidays from now on.  It's delicious.


2 lbs sweet potatoes
2 T butter
1/2 Cup coconut milk
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-3 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt


2 T butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
14 cup coconut sugar
1 T orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans

1 Preheat oven to 350

2.  Peal, chop and boil sweet potatoes until they are tender, about 10 minutes.

3. For the topping, melt butter in a large skillet and add everything but the pecans.  Heat until the mixtures starts to bubble and let cook for about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the pecans and stir to combine.

4.  Beat the cooked drained potatoes with the other filling ingredients until very smooth.  You can use an immersion blender, a stand mixer or just a potatoes masher and your husband's arm.  (hehe)

5.  Pour the filling into a 2 quart casserole dish, add the pecan mixure and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Notes:  No one who ate this could taste the orange flavor but Ted, and he did not like it.  The rest of us loved it.  The orange juice is totally optional and barely noticeable unless you are just really sensitive to orange flavor.  I'd say to try it the first time.  You can omit it after that if you don't like it, but you might be surprised.  I was.

Classic Deviled Eggs

I like my deviled eggs plain and tangy.  These are simple.  You can dress them up with chopped pickles or bacon if you like.

6 eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I make my own)
black pepper to taste

1.  Hard boil the eggs and peel when cooled.

2. Slice eggs in half and put yolks in a large bowl and whites on a serving plate.

3. Add remaining ingredients to yolks (not paprika) and mash or blend till very smooth.  (I use my immersion blender or food processor.)

4.  Taste yolk mixture and adjust for salt, tang and creaminess.

5.  Spoon yolk mixture into a resealable plastic bag and pipe filling into egg whites.

6.  Sprinkle very slightly with paprika.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Zucchini Bread (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

This zucchini bread is really delicious!  It's moist and fluffy without being too dense as some gluten free baked goods are.  It's also not too sweet.  It is not "low carb" but it is gluten free and refined sugar free and filled with healthy ingredients.  I think it would be a perfect breakfast, especially if you added chopped nuts for protein.  We all agree, no one would ever know that this bread is gluten free or made with only natural sugar.  It is good enough for company. 

Dry Ingredients:
3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup oat flour
(You can use 1 1/4 cup Bob's and omit the quinoa and oat flours if you don't have them.)
1/4 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar

Wet Ingredients:
1 medium to large smashed banana
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (warm enough to be liquid, but not hot)
2 extra large eggs (or 3 smaller)
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup zucchini, shredded and packed
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) 

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well.

2. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl and whisk.  (I used my immersion blender to make sure the banana was completely broken up, or you can smash it with a fork.)

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk well just to combine.

4. Fold in the zucchini and nuts if you are using them.

5. Oil or butter an 8X8 glass baking dish and pour the batter in, spreading it evenly with a spatula.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.


This tasted delicious warm or cold.
You could certainly bake it in a loaf pan and increase the baking time or make muffins out of it.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What is WRONG With Some People???

This is what our beautiful farm road looked like this summer.  July, to be exact.  We spend a lot of time enjoying this pretty road with our dogs and horses.  

And this is what XTo Energy did to it.  

 I am speechless.  Most of the trees that were destroyed were not even any where near the road or encroaching over head at all!  You can see in the first picture that that side of the road was CLEAR!!  One young ponderosa pine was simply cut in half for NO REASON, as were many cedars.  All the branches and debris were left along the road. This was done, supposedly in order to maintain a clear path for the ordinary pick-up truck that drives it once a day to check the gas well.  There was NO notification or communication with us what so ever.  We simply came home to this destruction.  I'm glad the people who did this were not on the property when I discovered it.  I can not even describe how infuriated I was.  What is wrong with communicating with the land owners?  Who ON EARTH thinks they have the right to destroy someone else's property with out so much as a phone call?  Or a knock on the door?  They have my phone number!  I've contacted the man in charge, the one who ordered this attack on my woods.  He says he'll look into it and get back to me on Monday.  I can't even imagine what his explanation is going to be.  There is no excuse for this kind of outrageous and arrogant rudeness.