Monday, October 31, 2011

No rest for the weary

To avoid squabbling over my time, my boss asked me to work evenings and try to wrap up these two projects this week. Then I can take some time off next week! I'll need it!

This evening I pulled into the garage and hadn't even got out of the car before the neighbor girl came asking for candy. Being a heartless, practical person I promptly put her to work carrying in groceries. :)

I had two soft shell eggs today. Definitely icky to pick up.

Sigh...back to work.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chickens!

My crew tend their clean up duties diligently.


Even braving ruffled feathers!


Popping inside for a break from the wind is always a nice option.

The coop

Spoiled hens? Indoors feed choices include cracked corn, layer pellets, grit and a scratching block (which they haven't figured out yet); outside they receive garden gleanings, kitchen scraps and odds and ends.


I keep ceramic eggs in the nesting boxes to encourage them to lay there. I need to put up the second roosting bar to hold the rest of my young hens when I bring them over. It may feel a bit cramped but the extra heat will help in the winter months.


I love the 'spaceship feel' of the insulated walls.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quiet

Why do I always feel colder when I can hear the wind blowing? I even nudged up the thermostat a little. It's not that cold yet anyway; still in the fifties.

The electrician was working on getting the lines run from the garage solar panels to the basement today. We're still waiting on a couple pieces of equipment that should be in this week.

We watched Captain America tonight. My son wasn't too impressed with the graphics and thought they were silly to follow the comics so closely instead of making it more realistic. I liked it; I can do without too much realism lately. :)

I've gone off the prepping blogs for a few weeks now. Maybe it's because I feel like I'm doing enough at this point and I really need a break from reading about it. Speaking of breaks, I wish I could have taken a week off after the last work project. My reset needs pushing!

I hate that soon my parents will be relocating to winter quarters. It wouldn't be quite so bad if they were going to the city where I work but they chose the opposite direction. I will miss them terribly and hope we have such a mild winter that they spend some time at home too.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Adventures in knitting

Now that it's getting colder I've got the urge to pick up my needles again. I ordered some yarn online, re-purposed a videotape rack from the basement and arranged my stash. I've already ordered more so I'll have to clean up another rack when it arrives.

There is something very cozy about yarn even before it's been made into anything warm and useful.
This is a blanket a friend made from left over bits of yarn. The photo doesn't do it justice. To truly appreciate the warmth and pleasure provided, you must drape it over your legs with a good book. Be sure to run your fingers through the ruffled rows quickly because it's guaranteed that a cat will be in your lap within minutes.

I'm starting with my basic dish washing cloth as I recall the mechanics of knitting. My goal this year is to finish the scarf begun last winter!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Moody

We've had a long dry spell which ended this weekend. Logically I should feel good about moisture on the garden and trees, about the rain barrels filling up again. Instead I just feel fed up with everything and crabby.

I'm sure it's partially due to the work-load at my job and the sinus headaches from the weather change. The result is that I let my cell phone battery run out and I'm hiding until work forces me out again.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

wow

That's what I kept saying as I harvested this beauty today. A full seven inches across and much better looking than anything I've seen in the store.



Almost more amazing than the size is the complete absence of bugs. I may have to freeze some...this was just off one of many plants!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This, that and some of the other

These are the heirloom chocolate cherry tomatoes I planted this year. Sadly, they don't taste like chocolate, but do have a nice tomato flavor. :)

Only four eggs from the farm chickens today; rather a poor showing for 19 hens considering the very nice weather we've had. Allowances: some are quite old and a couple have begun molting. The hens I brought over are settling in well. I chose the gold speckles because they're mild-mannered and the white because she wanted to set (a silly time of year to try to hatch babies!). Moving to a new coop with strange youngsters around has changed her mind about setting at least.

I had my annual mammogram this morning. Unpleasant, but over quickly and definitely worth it if I should ever develop cancer.

I really don't like how early the sun goes down now. It's a daily reminder that soon I'll be driving to and from work in the dark. Ugh.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Adult hens



I brought three hens over from the farm to introduce the chicks to society. They don't mingle much yet although the chicks were fascinated by the hen that could easily be a mum to them. After dark I had to fetch the speckled hens out of the branches of the honeysuckle bush and put them inside the coop. Hopefully they catch on soon.

Chick time



The chicks are growing well and have adjusted happily to the coop and pen. In fact, they seem fearless. When the dog lies down with his nose against the fence to watch them, they settle in a row on the other side to watch him.

They tend to stick close together. Earlier today when I didn't have my camera they laid down snugged up against each other and every one leaned over and stretched out a wing and a leg. It was hilarious!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Trees vs solar



Now that I have the solar panels up I could see how much my trees shaded them at different times of the day. Along with the problems in the big garden from not getting enough light it was enough to motivate me to have some of the trees cut down. Eight black walnut, one box elder and one dead horse chestnut were removed and it's really opened up the space. Since the walnuts were over 60 feet high and some quite near the house, I had to hire professionals to do the cutting. Spendy, but Madison Arborcare does great work.

Don't worry about the squirrels - I still have 25 more mature black walnuts in the back yard along with a sprinkling of other varieties.

It also means I have some great firewood ready for next year when I get a wood-burning stove!