Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Fun!

Okay, okay, I know it's been a while, and I had phone trouble and had to have the software reinstalled on my iPhone, but I have to say that now it is working better than ever!  YAY!

So to begin, let's see.  In November, Rob and I officially now have two teenagers in the house as Liam turned 13.  Yes, 13.  Let's take a moment and ponder that.  Liam, 13, 13, Liam.  Hmmm, it's still sinking in.  Also, I am now officially the shortest one in the house as both Liam and Kara have passed my amazing height of 5' 3-3/4".  Kara is now 5'6" and Liam is 5'5".  Rob is still in the lead at 6', but that may change in the coming years.

So with Liam being 13 and all, he has gotten some noticeable manly man hairs and has started to shave.  This would be him the other morning before shaving.  (And no, he is not standing there with nothing on, he had his boxers on.  Didn't notice til after I took the picture that it looks like he has nothing on. haha)  

He got money from his aunt and grandpa and friends, so purchased himself a new catchers glove (with a little help from Rob and I) for this year's baseball season.  He has been breaking it in at the catcher's clinic he is attending.

This would be the turkey for Thanksgiving.  I tried a new recipe from and boy was it delicious!  Definitely a keeper.  The link for the recipe is Orange and Maple Glazed Turkey.  No this was not one of our own turkeys as we butchered the following day, did 5 turkeys and 13 chickens at that time which are all in the freezer now.  We will be having one our turkeys for Christmas dinner, though.  We did get a meat grinder at the thrift store to try.  Rob and I (okay mostly Rob) ground up one of the turkeys using the grinder, which was okay.  Might have to try a different grinder and see if there is any difference, as we had to run it through the grinder we had three times to get to the consistency we wanted.  It was very, very lean meat, as when I cooked it, there was absolutely no fat, but it did taste fabulous.

So on to December.  We got our tree the first weekend of December.  Found a tree farm out Highway 9 north of Sedro Woolley.  Great place and found a wonderful tree.  Kara and Liam had fun and Liam cut the tree down most of the way with Rob helping a little bit.  Kara and Liam did all the decorating after I put on the lights.  I have to say, I believe this is the most symmetrical tree we have had in a while.

And this would be Kara and Liam having fun at the tree farm!

Kara and Santa!

Along with the tree decorating, they also put up Rob's village with the fire department, farm house and lighthouse.

Kara arranged the reindeer, and

they both hung up the stockings with care.  lol

And, on to the animals.  The buff orpingtons and light brahmas are getting bigger.  They have been moved into one of the larger chicken tractors and will be separated in the next few weeks, so we can keep the two breeds separate.  They obviously thought I had food when I first came out cuz they all made a beeline for me.

And then once I added food to the feeder, I was forgotten.  But I am sure I am still loved, as I do bring the food.  hahahahahaha

The two baby Narragansetts are growing.

And the new rooster, Dudley, who is a Maran, is totally coming into his roosterness and taking care of the hens left and right.  (if you know what I mean.)

This would be Mr. Marty's nest that he has created in the side of the goat house.  He seems to be adding things to it all the time.  Leaves, twigs and such.

The pig pack is doing well and growing, growing, growing.  Still looking at February as butcher time.  They are always on the lookout for food.  In the picture, the one in front is actually up to his front legs in a hole he was digging to see if he could find something to eat, I am sure.

I have just been knitting up a storm and cooking things for Christmas.  Gonna be a very homemade Christmas this year, which I am totally having a great time with.  Found some new recipes and have made some favorites also.  Can't show any pictures, cuz that would give away what is to come.  haha


Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Happenings

The chicks are growing and becoming more feathered.  They will be moved to the same tractor that the meat chickens are in, as the meat chickens are being butchered this next Friday.  The chicks definitely need more room, as they are larger chickens to begin with anyway.  lol

Here is the pig pack.  As you can see from their noses, they love to dig!  They have dug up rocks and dug in the leaves, so when it is time to butcher them, the ground will be ready for the garden this next spring!

Here is our new Rooster, still haven't named him yet.  He is much larger and has feathered feet on the outside of his feet.  I believe he is a Maran rooster.  He hasn't come into his "roosterness" yet, as he is still young, but will soon I am sure.  Notice the wood chips in the bottom under his feet?  These were made by us with the new chipper/shredder we traded wood for.  It works great.  Even made up some bark mulch so to speak for the end of the house in the flower bed.  Looks and smells great!

Here are the tractors in place for the winter with the midget white turkeys on the left, meat chickens in the middle (which will be where the Buff Orpingtons and Light Brahmas go), and Narragansett turkeys on the right.  We will be putting some sort of barrier around the back and sides for the wind and rain to keep a little more out.  Probably using bales of old hay we have.  Just have to chip wood or mulch leaves for the flooring to keep the deep bedding going.  They still get let out on alternating days.

The midget white turkeys.  We are going to be butchering two or perhaps three of the toms which would leave us three hens and one tom.  Then we will see in the spring how many hens get broody and have more.

The meat chickens are looking/growing great.  The two Wellsummers that are left, I know one is a hen and am not too sure if the other is a hen or rooster.  Those we will be keeping but since they are about the same age as these guys, they have been hanging out together.

Here's the Narragansett turkeys.  That is one of the babies right in the middle.  They are growing so fast.  Not sure on the sex yet, but we weren't sure for a while when we got the others also.  Both will probably be butchered for eating sometime next year.

So, there I am, putting all the makings for sloppy joes in the crockpot and I am stirring it up with the rubber spatula, when I pull out the spatula, it looks like the photo below.  I laughed so hard my eyes watered.

Here is the spatula and the piece I had to then fish out of the crockpot.  Guess I don't know my own strength when I am stirring.  haha.

Anyway, got the best book at Half Price Books last night called Crazy About Crockery by Penny E. Stone.  This is where I got the sloppy joe recipe and boy does it smell wonderful.  I am making hamburger buns for this for dinner tonight, they are in the bread machine mixing and rising as we speak.

There are soooooo many great recipes in this book, so if you get a chance check it out, not sure if it is at the library or not, but it only cost $4.98 at Half Price Books new.

Have a wonderful Friday and rest of the weekend!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday morning, brrrrr

A little chilly this morning.  27 degrees when I got up at 6 a.m.  (Yes I did remember to set my clocks back an hour so it really was 6 a.m. lol)  Started some dough for cinnamon rolls, as that just sounded good.  Did some work on the laptop and then spread all the goodies on the dough and rolled and cut and they are now rising before putting them in the oven.

And here they are all done.  They were very very yummy!!!  However, the cream I poured over before cooking did boil over and created a lot of smoke in the house, what a pain in the ass!  So now I am cleaning the oven yet again, which I had just done like three weeks ago.  Now it will be super duper clean, I guess.

This last week, Mom and I canned 80 pounds of pears (Mom kept commenting, "Whoever thought we would be canning pears in November?"), but we got such a great deal at Fred Meyer and purchased 40 pounds of Bartlett pears and 40 pounds of D'anjou pears.  We also "broke in" Mom's new cooktop which was large enough to do two canners at the same time, making things go a little faster.  Raymond was the official pear peeler and did a fabulous job.  Then Mom halved, took out the core and sliced in fourths and my job was to put the pears in the light syrup mix, then into jars, ladle syrup into jars, lids on and then into the canner.  We did the Bartlett pears one day and the D'anjou another.

Below is what 40 pounds of pears looks like canned.  So we have double this as we did 80 pounds.  However, Liam seems to be having at least one jar a day, so if he continues at that rate, mine will not be lasting very long.  :)

Mom and I also got our kitchen islands painted.  They started out white and we "transformed" them to black, which fits much better in both our kitchens.  I really like it soooooooo much better than when it was white.  Yay!

Project today is to move the chicken tractors to one spot for the winter and start the deep bedding process so we don't have to move them this winter and they can make new garden beds that are well fertilized for us!  Also, the Buff Orpingtons and Light Brahmas will be moving to a larger chicken tractor as they are growing, growing, growing and the crate they are in is too small.

We are also taking down the washing machine, that broke right after Mom got hers installed.  We have been using the "Kanarick Laundromat" to do our washing.  How convenient is that?!  hahahahaha  Anyway, we are taking our machine in to hopefully get fixed.  We called out the repair guy that has fixed things before and it is the mother board that is not working, so he informed us the cost of repair would be $600.  Umm, well that really did not work for us.  Rob called the appliance place located next to Harvey Field in Snohomish where we have gotten a few used/scratched/dented appliances and they said they could fix it for $160 or so if we bring it it.  So we will be dropping it off today and picking it up sometime this next week, and hopefully it will be good as new.

Enjoy your Sunny Sunday!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fall Happenings!

October is Homecoming month at the high school.  Kara went to her Homecoming dance with Tyler.  Can't believe my little girl is so grown up!  How time flies when you are having fun!!  Cousin Makayla did Kara's hair which was gorgeous!!!

Also, fall is hunting season and Rob and Liam headed off in late October for deer hunting.  And........ Liam got his first deer!!!  It was a doe, about 75 pounds and is currently at the butchers being made into salami and pepperoni.  He was very excited and check out the smile on his face!!!

Rob is elk hunting now so will let you know how that turns out.  He really wants to get an elk this year.  The camp they were at he saw no elk for about 3 days and so they packed up and moved the camp to a different location.  Now he is seeing elk, just hasn't seen anything he can legally shoot at.  Hopefully, he can get one this week!

Just to catch up on the farm, the two turkeys that Momma Turkey hatched out are growing bigger.

These would be the meat chickens which will be processed in a couple of weeks.  There are about 12 of them with six going to Alex's dad and four going to Aylia and Alex.  The remainder will be for us.  The Rooster in the center that is black will be replacing Dumbledore, I believe.  Dumbledore hurt his foot somehow, probably sparring with the big turkey tom as he likes to do and has been limping ever since.

The midget white turkeys are growing also.  I believe we may process two or three of the males at the same time we do the chickens this month, as we are trying to get down to a breeding pair.

And, Robert has been busy once again.  When is he not busy, really!??  This would be the pigs' new house, made out of pallets and they love it!!!  They make a pigpile in that back corner and are happy as can be.

This would be the pig pack.  They are sure growing and are very muscular, looks like they work out!  hahaha

And I noticed the early garlic has already sprouted!!!!!  Yay.  The late garlic has not sprouted yet, so hopefully in the next week or two.

These are the new Light Brahmas and Buff Orpingtons that we got.  We did lose one Buff, not sure to what, but that's how it goes.  They are getting more and more feathers and Mom and I are going to be setting up their place outside, still with the light for a while, as this space has become too small for all of them as they are growing.

Mom and I have been busy dehydrating apples, and are canning more pears also.  Liam seems to have a jar a day if not two, so not sure how long they are going to last.  :)

It's chilly and windy up here today.  Might have to start a fire in the woodstove!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taking Advantage of the Sun!!

So the hunter's are off on their yearly sojourn.  They tried on the west side, but there were way too many hunters and not enough deer, so they just arrived in Colville this afternoon and will be hunting there for a while.  

Kara and her boyfriend Tyler carved pumpkins the other night and the one on the left is Tyler's.  If you look closely, you can see he asked her to homecoming.  Very sweet!!!  She did say yes of course.  Unfortunately, the chickens were out the next day and they enjoyed the pumpkins very much, so they don't look quite the same now.  But at least we got photos before that.

Mom and I cleaned all the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins Kara and Tyler carved and dehydrated them with a little bit of olive oil and salt.  They are so very, very yummy!

Here is the pig pack in all their glory.  They are eating and growing like crazy and they are so funny, running from end to end of their pen.  They really liked all the raw pumpkin pieces from the pumpkin carving!  Marty got some too!

On a sad note, last Thursday and Friday, the Welsummer chicks we were raising had an unwelcome visit from an opossum, raccoon or something and well lets just say only two survived.  They are in with the meat birds and are doing fine.  We did lose only one meat bird.

So below, after searching online for chicken types and what we wanted to get to replace the Welsummers, I decided to get Light Brahmas which are a large chicken, very tame, very friendly, and very hardy bird along with the Buff Orpingtons, which again are a larger bird, very tame, friendly and hardy.  We got 11 of each with hopefully at least one rooster per breed.  These were all hatched on 10/05/11 so they are a day shy of two weeks now.  The Light Brahmas have feathered feet and black wings with the Buff Orpington being all, well, buff.  Colored that is.  hahahahahahaha  They are all so cute and very soft!

Mom and I purchased two different kinds of garlic to grow for this next year and planted it yesterday.  We got Italian Late and Chinese Pink which is a very early maturing variety.  We are very excited to see how this turns out next spring.  We also pulled all the pumpkin plants, all but two of the zucchini and have the lettuce that we let go to seed in bags to dry.  Yay!

These are the sunflowers on the side of the house that have all started to open.  Not sure due to weather if we will get any sunflowers off them, but they look so pretty!  And they are huge!!!

All is well otherwise.  Mom and Ray's house is getting together slowly but surely.  They now have gutters, the skirting is being put on today, they had their oven installed, have the washer, dryer, and the fridge also.  They are still waiting on their stove top, though.  Otherwise, they are very happy to be in a little larger space than our RV.  To say the least.

Enjoy the sun while you still can!