Sunday, March 30, 2014

The cleaning

Saturday was the first properly warm day on a weekend! So, to celebrate we cleaned out the chicken coop.
Penny posing in front of the pile.

And Ninja on top.
The chickens weren't too pleased with the disruption and my sinuses got well cleared out too. Finishing a large job like this was what led to our going out for Chinese dinner and the regrettable movie.

Today was also very nice so we went to the farm where my son worked on his forge while I pruned the apple trees. Then my parents showed up as it was move in day...back to the summer quarters. Mom was thrilled to be back home again and it feels right to have them close by again.

Now we have to keep an eye on the weather as another snow system heads our way. With luck it will go north and pass us by.

Noah movie review

1 star out of 5

If, like me, you saw the trailers for the Noah movie and thought it would be the old story with great actors and awesome modern cgi you are in for a disappointment. I wasn't worried about how closely it followed the classic story-line, but I expected the basics to remain. To me, Noah's ark was about building the ark and the animals...which is exactly what the movie isn't about.

Most of the building was done by 'fallen angels' depicted by hideously deformed giant rock monsters. There goes a monument to engineering, hard work and perseverance.

The gathering and loading of the animals was finished in a few minutes. After which they were put to sleep using a smoke that conveniently did not affect humans and were out of the picture for the duration.

So, what filled the other two hours of movie time? Angst. Watching Noah decide that humanity must die out completely and turn into a complete nutcase - not even considering the possibility that if a barren woman becomes pregnant that humans were supposed to continue or that killing babies is WRONG. As my friend whispered during the movie "This is so f***ed up."

According to my son the only good cgi was when Methuselah sent a wave of fire over an army. Which brings me to another point: the violence. Not just the flood deaths, the movie was full of brutal violence against people and animals. Seriously, the man who wrote the script needs therapy.

Why was the trailer nothing like the movie then? Greed. The studio knew very well that most people wouldn't be interested in the story they were telling and if they used an honest trailer the movie would bomb. Which it should.

Don't go.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Right there at the bottom...garlic!

And yesterday morning everything was covered with snow. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

HERC Oven Review

Ever since I saw this at I was hooked on the idea of an oven powered by tea light candles.

I received mine last week and Saturday was the day for experimenting. It arrived in a heavy, but compact box. The assembly instructions were clear and easy to follow. I had one tab that had a piece of excess metal, but a quick twist with a pair of pliers took that off. Peeling off the laser guard plastic from each piece was tedious, yet knowing it was a one-time job made it less irksome.

Fully assembled oven
Tea lights ready to slide under
 I decided to start easy with corn muffins. While these took a bit longer to bake than in the electric oven, there was no difference in taste, texture or appearance.

I had more trouble with the bread. In hindsight I realize that I shouldn't have baked both loaves together. The combination of the heavy stoneware pans and being angled to fit both in trapped the heat at the bottom and left the top undercooked. Of course, the chickens were thrilled with my mistake.

After it cooled off, I dismantled and put it into the carry bag provided.

My son thought it would be nice to have rounded edges on the bottom to make it easier to carry, but I'm not so sure. If it did it wouldn't be as stackable when put away.

Conclusion: I'm very happy to have this. Most of the year a sun oven would be useless here so this is a great alternative if the power is out. I will definitely do more experimenting when I have free time.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Last of the wood

Today is March 2, -17F and I'm looking at the last three pieces of wood allocated for this winter. It's been such a cold winter that we went through the wood much faster than normal. Now I'll have to start using what is stored in the wood shed for next winter. Good thing I'm a bit obsessive about being ready!

This is what happens when I get to longing for spring:

I just had to buy some flowers. Oh, they smell lovely.

I've been working on egg cleanup this morning. The hens are just as tired of snow and winter as I but keep laying.