Monday, February 27, 2012

More for Monday


Just had to share!

Exciting Monday Morning!

Good Monday Morning!  This would be the picture I saw this morning as I looked out the back door before going to feed everyone (though one thing is missing as you will see in a moment.)  I thought "Oh cool, the babies are out and so is everyone else."

Then in the background behind the goat house, I saw what was not steam but smoke and thought "Holy Shit!"  That would be why there is no picture of the smoke as I was hauling ass to get the water to the goat house.  

Apparently the goats had knocked down the light and it fell flat on the floor right next to the wall.  The house was filled with smoke and I was afraid if I picked up the light, the whole thing would go whoosh up in flames.  Of course this would be the morning the hose was frozen as it is only 30 right now at 9:48 a.m.  I grabbed the goats water bucket and went into the goat house, after picking up the light (and there was no whoosh just more smoke) dumped the entire bucket on the hole in the floor and the side piece of wood.  I refilled the water bucket three more times and dumped it on there to make sure there was no more smoke.

This would be the hole in the floor of the goat house and * right where that * is is where the piece of wood was that was closing the goat door, now removed.

That would be the piece of wood that was blocking the goat door on the left, the piece of log that was holding it in place and the hole in the goat house floor from outside.

This is the lovely light that the goats knocked down and landed face down.  The light still works, though there is black soot covering the entire inside of the metal casing.

All is well, goats and kids are fine.  Monica still has not had her babies, but should be soon.  We had a scare with the R2 as he had diarrhea, but gave him probiotics and cinnamon and it cleared right up!  He is bouncing around just like R1.

Below are the baby chicks, we had 24 hatch out but have lost 4 so are down to 20 now.  They all seem to be doing great and are very loud chirpers.  lol  A few have feathered feet, a few don't, a few have copper heads and some have white/yellow feathers.  Am excited to see what they look like as they grow.

These would be the veggie starts in the front window that will be planted this week.  Onions and kohlrabi and lettuce will be planted.  All the tomatoes will be transplanted and kept inside, obviously haha.  There are herbs, watermelon, and sweet peppers also that will be transplanted and kept inside.  We got some nice "blankets" for the hoops in the garden to keep it warmer as they are transplanted.  Still lets in light and rain through them.

Well, that is all for my exciting morning.  Thank goodness I didn't have to call the fire department as Rob was working and that would have just been weird.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Baby Chicks!!!!

So we purchased an incubator and automatic egg turner right after Christmas with the thought that we would hatch out our own eggs and not have to wait for the hens to go broody.  That way we could try to control the meat production cycle.  Rob put our first batch of saved eggs, collected the week before, 41 eggs in all, into the incubator on February 1.  And yesterday I heard peeping coming from the incubator! No cracks in the eggs at that time, but when I got up this morning, there were 5-7 eggs with cracks in them and this afternoon the first one hatched, as you can see by the pictures below.  It was very cool!

The little guy kinda got stuck like below for a few minutes.  He couldn't seem to get the top of the egg shell off his head, but he finally did.

And when I got home this evening, there are now two hatched out.  The first one is at the top of the picture below and is almost dry so I can take him out and put him the brooder Rob built.

They are gonna be a cross between a Delaware and Maran.  Mostly black, the first chick has a little bit of white on him.  I am excited to see if there are any other colors.  Will keep you posted!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Babies!!!

So I didn't feel like using the microwave the other night and the woodstove was going, so I cooked my dinner on the top of the woodstove.  A very yummy burrito with homemade spanish rice, cheese and homemade flour tortilla!  Was super quick and easy! Yahoo!

The puppy sleepover with Bowser went well!  He is such as cutey.  Meeah and Jake were too funny.  Bowser just wanted to play and Meeah and Jake were like "whatever" and "really?"  They are definitely not puppies anymore!  haha

And now for the big news!!!  Rachel had her kids tonight at about 8:30.  Two boys, both ears not flipped, and boy did they come fast!!  Monica will be next, probably in the next couple of days.

This is the firstborn, R1.

And this is the second born, R2.


and R2.

And the eggs have been removed off the turner for the last three days.  Should start on the 21st or so!!  Am so egg-cited!  hahahahahahaha  There are 41 total, so will see how many hatch.  Momma hen should start to hatch hers in about a week, one broke, so she has 6 to hatch now.

This is the wonderful brooder box that Robert built.  Notice the pole on the left hand side that will hold the heat light to keep them all warm and toasty!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hump Day!

So, we picked up our two pigs and Mom and Ray's 1/2 pig and filled the back of the Mini.  We were low riding all the way home.  Lots and lots of chops, roasts, and back fat for rendering lard, which I did today and am finishing tomorrow.  We pick up the hams and bacon this next week.

Below is the back of the Mini with all the meat loaded in it.  Just a bit o'meat.  hahaha

I have been making my own yogurt for a while and tried a new yogurt cheese.  Pretty much you make the yogurt the same way, drain the whey off and then press the "cheese" in cheesecloth and voila, yogurt cheese.  It is very yummy and pretty much just like cream cheese.  Now to make bagels to put it on.

We had my favorite Spanish rice recipe tonight, and made homemade flour tortillas.  They turned out yummy.

Pressed the dough balls in the tortilla press first and then rolled them thin.

Does that look like a happy tortilla or what?  Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that, just smiling back at me.  lol

Mom and I got the seeds started, finally.  And only 6 more days until hopefully we have baby chicks start to hatch from the incubated batch.  Will keep you up to date on that!


Monday, February 13, 2012

February - Soooooo Ready for Spring!

Busy, busy, busy.  Why does it seem like when you want to slow down and enjoy things, there are 80-million things that need to get done and you can't slow down to enjoy the things you want?  And my smart ass statement for the month, computers and cars, you love em when they work and hate em when they don't.  I have spent the past two weeks almost having to have a new hard drive put into the newest laptop, and then losing all my Windows files as the Windows 7 program was corrupted and I had to reinstall all that and then every other piece of software that I use for work.  Can you say "backup?"  Yeah, I know, I know, I just never got around to doing it, but hey, guess what, I am sure gonna do it now.  lol  In the midst of the computer debacle, I got sick.  Cold, aches, runny nose, no fever, but just kinda didn't feel right for about 5 days.  Just what I needed.  All ended well and I am putting up this post on the new laptop that is working correctly and I feel 99% of normal now.  (Well, whatever normal is for me anyway!)

Below would be the french bread I made the other day.  It turned out pretty yummy, if I do say so myself.  I did another back with whole wheat, which the kids informed me they liked the one with all white flour better, and I have to admit, so did I.

I got some new butter making implements the other day.  The paddle is fabulous for pressing the "buttermilk" from the butter (which I then use to bake my bread.)

And Ta-Da!  I finally found some butter molds.  I was using plastic containers before, but these are so much better!  Perhaps I should have read the directions first, however, as I didn't (hmmm now who does that sound like?) and had to use a knife to cut the butter around the edges and it slid out relatively easy.  This next time I will follow the directions and soak the mold in cold water for 30 minutes so it swells, and then as it warms up and molds the butter, it will shrink and the butter will slide out waaaaayyyyy easier.  haha

 So I got to fly down to AZ to help mom move back up to WA.  Below is the truck and trailer with the car (which we purchased from them and will probably be the car that Kara drives when she gets her license) that we drove up from Tucson through California, Oregon, and then finally Washington.  We started on Saturday about noon and got to Camano Island on Wednesday afternoon.  Not too bad.  Both Mom and I were a little worried about the Siskiyous and if there was snow, but there wasn't so the drive was pretty good.  I was the driver and mom was the navigator.  I would ask how much farther til we need to pay attention to the signs, and her answer would be "Um about an inch and a half on the map."  That became the running joke all the way.  It actually never rained on us driving until we hit the flats between Everett and Marysville.  Otherwise was sunny 90% of the time.  And we actually passed 5 cars then entire trip.  I didn't count the trucks cuz you know they slow down and speed up depending on the hills.  Our other worry was that there was no way I was backing the truck and trailer up so whenever we stopped I drove slowly to decide how I was gonna pull into the gas station/hotel/whatever to make sure I could continue to pull through and not have to back up.  Worked out pretty good!!

So we pulled into a rest stop and parked the truck, which then looked like a baby truck as the other trucks parked around it.

On February 1, we had collected 41 eggs from our Delaware hens with fertilization provided by Dudley, the Maran rooster we have.  It will be interesting to see how the chicks turn out.  All were placed in the incubator we purchased with automatic turner and are almost halfway done.  Hopefully, the majority will hatch and then the real fun begins with 41 new baby chicks!!!

This would be Baby Red who is now 8 months old.  We are putting him up for sale along with the girls. Might be keeping Gus and getting another pure bred Boer female or perhaps trading him for a beef or milk cow.  Kinda up in the air.  Both Rachel and Monica are due within the next month.  Phoebe ended up not getting pregnant, but was in heat last week so she went back in with Gus who was very excited to see her to say the least.  haha  Since Baby Red was in with them, it was like a conga line, Phoebe in the front, then Gus, then Baby Red bringing up the rear.  I'm sure that is not where he wanted to be but oh well it was funny to watch.

Also, ironically, one our new hens that Momma Hen hatched out last year went broody right after we started the incubator, and she is sitting on seven eggs.  She gets very puffy whenever you check the nest boxes and is doing a fabulous job of sitting.

These would be the last pictures of the pigpack before they were butchered.  This picture was hysterical cuz when the pigs lay sideways, their front top leg does not rest down across their body like out arm does, it ends up stick straight out.  Anyway, the pig on the left here has his top arm across the pig next to it and then his lower body was twisted so both his back legs were in the air.  I just had to take a picture. lol

They were really good pigs.  I went out the morning of the butchering and said thanks for being great pigs and providing the meat for us.

And Robert found us a new chest freezer off Craigslist.  It is huge and just what we needed for all the pork and chicken and hopefully soon, beef!  He and mom rearranged the shop and it fits right on the end perfectly.  Then Mom and I emptied out one upright freezer, let it defrost, cleaned it and then reloaded it with all the soups, jams, frozen fruits, shredded cheese, and other assorted goodies, but no meat.

All the meat was put into the chest freezer and Mom printed out a sheet of what there was and how much so we can mark it off as we take it out.  The same with the upright that has all the fruit and stuff in it.  She's such a good organizer.  Robert built the wooden slatted bottom for the chest freezer so things wouldn't get stuck to the bottom.  We are looking for some milk crates to separate out the meats into and label that can stack inside and make it easier to move things around.

The turkeys are doing well.  Mr. Tom is coming into his mating season and has been posing and doing his Tom dance all over the place.  He is still very friendly and you can pet him, which is really cool I think.  The Buff Orpingtons and Light Brahmas are now 18 weeks old and should start to lay pretty soon, so Rob is busy putting together some nesting boxes for them.  We are still looking at cows for beef and milk and I'm sure something will turn up that will be a good fit.  Other than that, Mom and I are starting our seeds finally today.  Yay!  Really ready to work in the garden again, and excited as we have expanded it so will have more room for the sprawling plants!  But that is for another post.  Have a wonderful day!