Monday, December 11, 2017

Turkey, Chickens and Cake.. Oh, MY!....

             Busy, busy busy day.  Too cold to go outside so I spent it...


... putting more frozen Thanksgiving dinners in the freezer.  Yesterday, all the turkey fixin's thawed so things moved along quickly today.  There IS a method to my madness about overdoing the Thanksgiving sides.  I freeze stuffing, potatoes and turkey every time I make a turkey and YUM... SO, many repeat meals.  Now, only two more turkeys to cook during this next year before Thanksgiving comes around again.

Thinking it's also time to get a rum cake baked.  I love them during the holidays and sure miss the New Year's Eve parties we threw in the valley.  I'd always make them for that.  This year I'm thinking of a twist on the usual cake.  I saw a picture on a blog where there seemed to be maraschino cherries added to a cake.  Wouldn't that make a cake even more festive?  Yup, sounds like a plan.  IF it works out, I'll post a pic.



Sunny is looking much better since her tail has fluffed out.  I wonder if she felt liked a drowned rat with most feathers gone and a few straggly left?  I think she can feel great that she's giving Red (next to her) a run for the prettiest tail around.



While out with the chickens, I decided to cut the few Century plants out that made it through summer (they may be them and they may not be them, but they look and are sharp just like one, but have different flowers).  Whatever they are, it is extremely painful to back into one, so they aren't allowed to live.  There won't be any of them to trip over or get stuck on if the snow ever appears this winter and buries them.

Problem with them also; you can't kill them.  The roots snake all over the place and another one just comes up to replace any taken out.  Steve's newest thing is pouring gasoline on them to see if that kills them.  Probably not, but I'll keep you in the loop.



Tonight, well... tonight the smoke made for this beautiful cloud at sunset.  This picture isn't even doing it justice, but the orange/apricot colors were SO amazing.

This cloud is almost as beautiful as our lights on the house...

... almost...



Thursday, December 7, 2017

The work is "smoking" along...

Winter has finally arrived on the homestead.  We are usually between 16 and 23 degrees in the mornings now, making us shiver until we can get the heat going.

It's probably DUMB that we don't turn any heat on during the night, but we sleep so much sounder when it's cold in the house and we are under the furry sheets.  We pay for it in propane bills as the heater runs for 3 hours in the morning.


The fires are still going around us but we can appreciate them as they are giving us beautiful sunsets in the evenings.  I've taken lots of pictures and this is probably one of the nicest.



Now that the electricity has been moved and boards have been replaced...



... it was time to get them sanded.  Steve is pretty picky about the sanding.  He didn't like some of the other boards, so he's also re-sanding and re-painting the poly on a few other areas along with the new boards.



Thought I'd put on this front steps picture as I never showed the end of this saga.  Until the front deck goes on, this is our attempt at sturdier steps.  Ziva hits them at a run and they stay steady, so they'll have to do until the deck work starts there. 

Today was the day the printer decided it was time to head to that repair store in the sky.  I'd been expecting this as it was very old and I couldn't buy cartridges for it anymore.  It was kinda like an early Christmas today as I unpacked the new one I'd bought, knowing that this was going to happen soon.  

Getting it all put together and getting online took most of the day.  So, now I need things to print.  Christmas cards come to mind... 



It's really cold tonight, too, and that always makes me want Mexican food.  I also always have a freezer full of chicken, so tonight it's chicken fajitas.  I prefer ripe peppers in this dish so I've thrown in an onion and orange bell pepper. 

The tortillas are heating and it's time to holler for Steve.  Hope everyone is having a warm night, too...



Monday, December 4, 2017

Electrical Work Finished... for the time being...


We had our trusty, dusty electrical man was out and he moved the outlets for the master bath sinks.   As always, there were some hiccups as to where the studs were in the walls and the outlets needed to be adjusted to fit.  I must say that we are very lucky to have found a guy who is good at these workarounds.  

Now, we need to buckle down and get the wood installed, sanded, poly-urethaned and sinks re-installed.  We are seeing the end-of-the-tunnel on this job and I'm so HAPPY.


The Christmas lights are looking so nice now that all the lights on the house, garage and coop are matching.  I'd hoped to get a picture of them in the dark, but none of them turned out.  I think I need a tripod for decent pictures.



The chickens have gone on strike, or the cold is doing a number on their laying abilities.  Of course, the molting has done a number on them, too.  This pic shows that I've gone soft and have started pampering them a bit.  Yogurt tossed with their greens, carrots and some corn casserole.  They barely seem to be eating so I'm upping the "yum" factor.

Almost done with everything for Christmas.  Most items wrapped and almost all food bought.  Now, can we get some snow to complete the picture?...




Thursday, November 30, 2017

Garden Closed... Chickens Naked...

Another prescribed burn going on near us and we are breathing smoke and coughing a lot.  It also seems to have brought on allergies that make sleeping difficult.  We're taking meds and squirting saline up our noses before bed and trying our best to hang on until this version of hell is over.


Meanwhile, YES!  I was feeling the pressure from viewers to get the garden finished for the winter.  So, egg shells added to the troughs and upper beds and FINALLY done until spring.  Now, please... don't pressure me into having a piece of pecan pie... Ha!


... Sunny...

... Copper...

Some of the girls are handling molt very well, but they are starting to show the ravages.  No longer fluffy.  Now, they are bedraggled and sad looking.  The blacks are still showing the worst of it.   The reds must've inherited better genes?

In the top pic, poor Sunny is shrinking as I watch her.  She was the biggest black and now... sad.  If you look close enough, you can see her new tail feathers coming in.  They are a very shiny black and still in their cases, but I can see her potential.  You can contrast her look with Gold, who's standing on the left.  She's still puffy and sleek, having not started the molt yet.

Copper has lost most of her neck feathers and her bottom is almost bare.  It is interesting that these chickens don't follow any pattern for where the feathers leave.  Well, most chickens lose the feathers around their necks first, but after that, all bets are off.

I have changed-out the coop lights from the candy corn lights for Halloween and Thanksgiving, to Christmas lights that match the house and garage.  I will make a forage to the garden tonight for a pic.



Our work in the master bath has commenced after the Thanksgiving break.  Steve pulled the sink out, pulled the two boards off that'll need replacing and we will get our electrician back soon.  

Meanwhile, I feel the need to pull my hair out.  One never realizes how much one loves their access to a sink and water until one has it taken away...




Monday, November 27, 2017

La Niña needs to... La Leave....

We are in the middle of a La Niña weather pattern now (and possibly all winter), which means we are hotter and drier than we should be for Winter.  

We are windier than we should be for Winter.  
We are grumpier than we should be in Winter.  

OK, it's not really that far into winter, but it isn't boding well.  

It's Spring by any other calendar than the one we're in the middle of.  We average 74 degrees during the day and only drop to the 40's at night.  I do appreciate that we are not near the 90's like the valley though.  I'll do some hoping for a cold Christmas.  Please, El Niño, come back! 

Somewhere I'm hearing a cackle... like Mother Nature is just tickled pink.



I've been working on the garden a little at a time, so I have some pictures to just throw out there.  It was past time to get the egg shells into the dirt a while ago.  I had a whole gallon jug full and started parsing shells out.



While getting tools ready, I had Steve dig out a wood stake that broke when I tried to remove it.  It held the garden cloth up around the zucchini this past season.  Found the reason it broke pretty easily.  The bottom portion was full of termites.   YUCK!  Only metal from now, on.



A good layer of shells was broadcast over the dirt and raked into each bed.



I, long ago, quit removing dead pine needles from the beds.  Not worth the work after finding out dead ones don't raise the soil acid levels.



This bed was done before I cut down the strawberries, but I was lax in getting this "tutorial" on the blog.  Ha!



Last thing to do with these beds for winter was to water everything in.  They will be left to perk calcium for the winter.



I also got the plastic over the strawberry bed so we are all set for winter there, too.

I will do a bit more work on the troughs and get back to you...




Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017.....

                                  Irish you a Happy Thanksgiving! 

                Hoping everyone is having a fun, joyous Thanksgiving.

        The family is up and we are too full and it's time for some napping.

  Then, we wake up and start the board games where everything goes wild.                   That's where all the competitiveness really gets us going...

                Not a lot of drinking at our place, but I LOVE this sign...


                SO, as soon as I finish my eggnog.... well, you know...