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!

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