Sunday, May 29, 2011

fireside chat

I've been wanting to write and catch you up on all that's been going on around here.  We've had some big changes, and I even have a new place to be on the computer, right by the fire.  I took this picture before sitting down this evening. After the coals died down a bit, Kaley roasted me a couple of marshmallows, she's good at getting them just right.  We're all adjusting to going to sleep in new rooms, and waking up to new routines.  Moves are both exciting and nerve wracking.

This last week has been a whirlwind of activity getting moved from the barn to the big house.  It's all for the good, but is still a ton of work.  I can't believe how much stuff I had gathered and stashed away, just like a pack rat.  Well, now I'm going through it all, and either keeping and storing it, giving it away, or throwing it away.  I only want to move in just what we need to be cozy and comfortable. 

J has been getting the sink all set up and running, so I don't have to wash dishes in the bath tub anymore.  We still have a hose coming through the window, but the sink drains.  The new stove still needs a psi regulator, whatever that is, so I haven't been making bread... I know I said not long ago  that I wanted to make all our own bread, well now I'm letting the move take over for a few weeks until all settles back down, and I can get back into a good cooking routine.  Then I'll resume making bread again, there needs to be a certain peace in the home for bread baking.

We needed to make a reason to get the big house finished, and by moving in, it created the motivation to begin at a faster pace getting it all up and running.   Patience is a good thing, then when you've been patient long enough, bold action seems to do the trick.  We  have been gathering supplies to finish it , as items were found, or there was extra money to buy them, we did. 

We have the stone tiles to lay the floor, and the metal tubing to lay under the stone tiles, the floor will be heated.  We have a new Wolff range that has 2 ovens.  I am working on bringing the salvage sink back from years of a rusty leaking faucet that stained the enamel, bought at a salvage yard in Seattle.  Yesterday J spent an entire day sanding down and cleaning a butcher block table that I'm using as a center island, it was black and now looks like new, he also spent a long time scrubbing the metal base and drawers.  We have gathered wood for laying the wood floors, and granite counters for someday finishing the tops of the counters and cabinets.

For now I'm just happy everyday to see the sun and even on cloudy days the light coming through the windows, I can look out on my garden from the minute I wake in the morning.  There are big plans to finish taping the walls, and to get ready for painting.  I bought a couple gallons of paint, a butternut color, then got it home, and found it was too dark, I went back down to Lowes and bought a gallon of white paint to lighten it some.

In the farm news, Henrietta should be hatching out her clutch of baby chicks, there are twelve eggs, I put all of one days eggs under her, so hopefully they all hatch out in one day.  I sat near her today listening, and could hear the baby chicks peeping, still in their shells under her, pecking their way out.  I'll take some pics tomorrow if they begin to hatch.  Then 4 days later the cuckoo maran should hatch out, she has a dozen eggs under her too.  What will we do with that many chickens?   We'll raise the young roosters up until they're butcher weight, or if their nice enough looking we will try to find a good home for them with somebody who wants a nice rooster.  The hens will be for next years layers, as they lay the best in their first 2 years of life, so replenishing some every year is wise to do. 

Regarding the goats, I spoke with Kristi the owner of the goats I've been planning to get mine from, we talked about a month ago.  Her first planned breeding's didn't take, she was disappointed, and said she'd have a couple that may be kidding the beginning of May.  I still haven't heard from her, and will email tomorrow.  I wonder if any of her breeding's worked, she said something about re breeding.  I have been looking for nigerian dwarfs on Craigslist now, and also have the names and numbers of several known breeders in our area. 

The 2 pregnant mini rex rabbit does kindled several weeks ago, and the babies are already running all over with their eyes open.  I plan to sell them all when the babies are old enough at 9 or 10 weeks old.  The future plans are to change breeds to Silver Fox, and Champagne D'argents.

In the garden, I've been working on weeding, and getting beds ready for planting.  The cold frame J made several weeks ago has been wonderful for protecting plants.  This coming week is the time for me to get most of the garden seeds in the ground and planted.  Warm season stuff will stay in the cold frame for several more weeks, until the weather warms enough.  We've been having a spring like last year, very cold and things much later than normal.  The moon is still waning, so tomorrow I'll be planting root crops, carrots, beets, radishes, parsnips, and onions. 

I spent time today looking at my garden designs over the last few years.  Just double checking my notes, to see how to rotate crops and take advantage of rotational planting.  I have 6 large garden plots, 4 are for rotational crops, and I have each bed labeled A, B, C, D.  The other 2 beds are for perennial vegetable, grapes, strawberries, herbs and flowers.  There's another big new bed, I'm working on, it's where I'm currently building my mountain of compost.  Weeds, chicken/ rabbit manure, old straw, grass clippings, and leaves make up a large part of my compost.  I will be planting the new big bed with corn, pumpkins, sunflowers and green beens.

I hope you're enjoying this spring, and getting outside.
Happy Gardening to you!  Jewel

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