Sunday, January 30, 2011


So, Sunday night after hockey and watching the hockey All Star weekend, filled with games and events.  Go Ovechkin, who has won the shootout contest 3 years in a row.  Liam's team had 3 games this weekend, they won 2 and lost 1 and Liam scored twice.  He checked a kid today, clean check, but possibly broke his leg or fractured his kneecap.

Back to the Shelley Homestead.  Dumbledore the rooster crowed (or more appropriately I should say tried to crow).  It was a very poor attempt, but will hopefully get better with regular practice (haha).

We are not sure if all the girls, Monica, Rachel and Phoebe, are pregnant or not.  I am 99% sure that Phoebe is (only because she is the only one with teats that are getting larger), but unsure of the due date.  This weekend would have been the earliest, but none of them look big enough yet, so the wait goes on.  All is ready for the big event, though.

Marty the pig is going to be moved out to live with the goats when the weather gets warmer.  That way he can root up the blackberry bushes and any small stumps for us (like earning his keep, haha).  Also, he really enjoys being outside more than inside and around the other animals.  We might possibly be getting another weaner pig so he can have some piggy company.

Just printed off a recipe for caramelized leek and potato soup that was on Gardening with Ciscoe on King 5 Seattle.  Sounded so yummy and I love, love, love leeks, so can't wait to try it.  We are definitely planting leeks this year.

Ta ta for tonight!

Friday, January 28, 2011


Friday yet again.  Been a little off today, not sure why and it's only 10:10 a.m.  We are trying to decide what to do with the turkeys.  They are fun to watch and we do want to raise them to harvest for meat, but the decision is how to do house them.  I am sooooo tired of the poop on the deck and if we don't do something, they will be in the garden, which would make me lose my mind (no really, I haven't already, really (hahaha)), so something needs to be done.  Rob and I talked about make a turkey tractor like he did for the chickens, which I think would be great to just raise and then harvest them in, but if we want to actually breed them, then we will need a permanent or almost permanent large structure to keep them in with a movable run perhaps.  They really are gorgeous animals and yet can be so stupid at times, running up and down the fence because they can't figure out if they stepped back, they could go around the fence as there is no door.

We might possibly be getting rid of Joey, either harvesting him for meat or selling him, as we moved the girls to another pen and left Joey in to keep Gus company, but, AHA, now I realize why they put the bucks by themselves.  Gus has become a little too friendly with Joey and Joey runs about letting us know about it and how he wants out.  We could put Joey in with the girls, but really in the scheme of things, he is just costing us more money in feed, so he may need to go.  We do want to make our livestock cost effective, after all.

I finished 6 more garden beds yesterday, weeding around the edges and adding a layer of compost/mulch.  Only 4 left, which I will be finishing today.  Rob took down the fence around where the turkeys and chickens were and is in the process of moving it around the garden area to deter the animals, deer, and such from the garden area.  We talked about possibly putting gutters on the garden shed and the goat sheds to catch rain water in barrels to use for their drinking water and also for the garden.  Did not make a decision yet, but will let you know.

I think the corn is going to be planted in the front where we took out part of the flower bed, as it is good soil and will get full sun, and there is a water hookup right there, though if we add a rain barrel to the front corner of the house, we could use that also.  We just need to move the wisteria that is planted there.  Another project for Rob as I wanted an archway thingy to put the wisteria on.  Kinda like this.

That will be when he has "spare time" hahahahahaha, like he has so much.  (This is at Silverwood in Idaho, where we went last summer.)

OMG the sun has come out.  I am blinded by the light.  Now I have to go find that song on iTunes.  hahaha


Thursday, January 27, 2011


Thinking about sheep.  For wool and meat, more for wool, as that would be cool to knit with my own sheep's wool.  Perhaps 2 or 3, no more.  They could mow the lawn and fertilize it all in one fell swoop.  My understanding is that they are only second to chickens in producing excellent manure for gardens.  That would be really cool.  Aren't these guys too cute!!!  Little balls of fuzzy softness.

Will continue to think on this.


Starting the Garden

Finally, no rain.  I actually got out and started the garden yesterday.  It felt so good to get outside and do something, anything.  The last 3 years have been soooooooo busy with work.  Just the opposite now, which is not really good either, but I do have time to do other things, which I am getting to do again.  Yay!!

Anyhoo, I started cleaning up the raised bed planters that Rob made a couple of years ago.  I had to dig out some peonies that I had planted there.  Then I used a cool tool my mom picked up last year.  It is a handheld weeder with a round/oval shaped metal piece like a long U that skims in the dirt and cuts off the weeds.  This will come in very handy when weeding this year, I am sure.  So one bed had the peonies in it and lots of weeds, but got it all cleaned up.  The second bed I had had Nikolai flip the dirt over in and then cover with black plastic.  It has been that way for about 2 years now, so not many weeds, just about 10 around the rim of the planter box.  Got it all spread out and then covered both beds with chicken manure compost we have been storing/turning/composting from the chickens.  I will let that sit on their until planting time and then can either mix it in or plant right through it.  We had to repair the end of the bed in the front of the picture, as the wood had come unscrewed, but other than that, they are still in good shape.

There are 8 to 10 beds still needing to be done and I am going to try for another 2 today, as there is supposed to be no rain (won't hold my breath) today.  Only 2 other beds need to be repaired, otherwise the rest are in good shape.

I got all my seeds ordered and have started to receive some.  I am planning on starting some seeds, like the peppers and such that need the warmer weather, inside and then transplanting.  Am going to plant corn this year also, though probably not in a raised bed.  Will need to check out where I want to do that so I can get enough for us and for the chickens/turkeys through next winter.  Am going to try to plant some wheat this fall also.

Until later.  Have a good one!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Raining yet again :(

Really, really tired of the rain.  The back yard is a soggy mess.  Like the green, but do we really need all this rain?  Snow is so much prettier.  And not so soggy.

Rob made a new fenced yard for the soon to be momma goats, Monica, Rachel and Phoebe, and their soon to be kids.  It has been very noisy, as they are not at all happy at being separated from Gus, the buck and Joey, his faithful sidekick wether.  The girls stand at the fence and call, call, call and the guys answer back.  Hopefully this will settle down soon.
From left to right, Rachel, Phoebe and Monica.
Joey on the left and Gus on the right.

The new chickens and rooster, Dumbledore, are doing fabulous and are almost old enough to lay.  I can't wait for our own eggs again.  Yay!

We are definitely making a turkey tractor for the turkeys as I am very tired of the poop on the back porch.  Also, Liam and I planted some bulbs that they keep digging up as the new growth pops above the ground, so we have to keep planting them, like 6 times of replanting.  Pain in the behind!!!  And, since I am definitely putting in a large garden this year, that would drive me INSANE!!!!!!!!!

Speaking of the garden, I finished my list of seeds I need to order and will be ordering those today.  Yay!  I have been saving toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls to use to start the seeds inside, probably in the garage on a table.  It is so much easier to plant plant starts than seeds, I think and instant gratification is always nice!  To see the plants right away after you plant them not have to wait for them to come up and then not sure if they are plant or weed!  Haha.  This is the before photo of the garden.  Obviously was not used last year, but definitely in the years to come, so needs a little work, but will be worth it.

Just finished making a loaf of buttermilk, oatmeal bread.  Now the house smells sooooooooo wonderful.  Have a fabulous day!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting into Baking!

So, I have been scouring books and the internet for recipes and just made my first batch of homemade bagels.  They turned out wonderful!!!  YAY.  Also made empanadas last night with taco meat and cheese filling.  Very yummy with sour cream.  Am making pirogies today, will keep you updated on that.

I have been making my own bread for a while now, using my Zojirushi bread machine, what an awesome machine.  Made the bagel dough in this, also.

My husband made a chicken tractor for me for my birthday!!  The chickens love it.  They get excited in the morning, because they know they will get moved to fresh grass to peck at!!  They pace back and forth and "talk" to me as I am moving it.  Then they peck, peck, peck at the new grass to eat.  They are so fun to watch.  We are in the process of naming the chickens and will use colored leg bands to tell them apart, as they look very similar (all Delaware chickens).  My mom has named one Snow White 7D and is going to name one more.  I am thinking of names like Ethel and Lucy, and Betty White (hahaha).  We have one rooster, Dumbledore (yes, the kids and I are huge fans of Harry Potter series), and he keeps the hens in order.  They are 14 weeks old now, give or take a little, so hopefully in another month we will have our own eggs again!!!  Yay.  One less trip to the store.

I am going to try to be more faithful to this blog and type something each day.  Love you all!