Monday, February 28, 2011

still with this arm

all weekend
ice ice ice
i can almost straighten it out but i still can't really use it
bernie did the chores for the most part.....i did hang the laundry sorta
this morning i cleaned the window on the woodstove (big mistake)
we are still rather puzzled about what actually set this arm off...... it could be lyme despite the 'negative' titers, since i did have that round red rash, my old doctor would have just treated me with the med when i gave him the bottle of that seasons ticks
this new one wants to see the rash, well it didn't last that long, just friday night to saturday......and NO we didn't think to take a picture
so she won't do anything with the negative titers
we are thinking maybe the water buckets, knitting, wood..... exacerbated it, anyway that's what we're beginning to think now.

we made turkey yesterday but didn't get bagels which upset me
(i haven't baked bagels in years)

i did attempt to make some chicks for our spring tree
nothing spectacular, just glued some greenery around the base of these dollar store chicks
and add a ribbon to hang
(and maybe a few handmade roses out of my silk ribbon box......left over from the doll hats)

i have some plastic eggs i want to decoupage with an old book that has bookworms
and some i want to just paint in pastels
i don't know if i'll do very pale chalky pastels or bright clear ones
maybe i'll do both- although i have to prime them eggs with plastic primer.....and it's raining

oh yeah, it's raining...... actually i am thinking noah would be in order here at the moment
i got flooded pens
i probably got a flooded cellar too
and unhappy chickens
*but extremely happy ducks*
i got a waterfall down the drive and down the slope to the back pens.....which are now swimming pools
and i got a caution from bernie not to take the ducks down there

so today i have to take it way easy.......seriously way easy
needless to say
i'm now bored
outta my MIND bored
i really can't do too much either since even trying to lift a bowl with my left arm isn't happening
it's got no strength in addition to pain
so i can't get into a situation where i need someone to 'come right now and hold this'
there isn't anyone handy enough!

ordinarily i would knit or sew the day away
or draw.....
i can't do much of anything
so maybe draw will work?
i do have that photo of amelia with the ducklings i want to draw as well as paint
(she's a feisty little one and is a bit broody right now)
we'll see
til next time

Saturday, February 26, 2011

shhhhhh it's really friday night

you however, will read this saturday morning.....
i won't tell if you won't....ok?

i been icing and using the rice sock all damn day  *** two cups of rice in a clean white cotton crew sock heated in the micro about a minute or so***
i can't straighten out my left arm
if this keeps up i am going to be at the ortho...... and what do i tell him?
i moved too much wood?
i knit too much?
hauled too many buckets of water? (remember when i had to tell the chiro 'i was wrestling with edmund my wether, and pulled out my back.......he wasn't too happy)
he can't give me cortisone cause of the 11B so what is he going to do that i'm not already doing?
PT? oh man...not another run of THAT

this was a pretty bad week, first with that plague that apparently everyone else in town has, and my arm.
but on the up seedlings are all up
the rain is washing the snow away...
drought conditions should not exhist
it's warmer and i can sleep in
i'm over the plague if not the arm
so mainly it's a good thing

bernie just called (remember it really is friday night) he's on his way home as he's worried that i will over use this arm trying to get supper on.
he knows i hauled water buckets for the animals today (used my other arm)
he also knows i may try to get supper on as i did do the meat part last night

*** i did a to die for oven pot roast, powdered celery, sweet peppers, onions and garlic in water, in a small enameled cast iron cocotte the oven at 250. made it's own gravy and it was wonderful---maybe i shouldn't have lifted the cast iron pots?---- oh and remind me to tell you all about the dried veggie powders i find myself making and using more and more as seasonings i need to do a post about that, you guys will love it***

it's warm out, i am so very tempted to put some spinach, mache, and lettuce seeds out in the deck planters. i will hold off on the snow peas and the garden peas, as the main garden is STILL covered with snow. but boy i wish my snow peas were up......i love the first flush of them steamed on salads during early spring...don't you all love those first spring salads from your gardens?

in budgie news, captain cuttle is out numbered as you all may recall- while he is mainly interested in his beloved emma, the other two girls are pestering him to feed them.
mrs fezziwig yells at him a lot (she's doing that right now) and i think mrs fezziwig needs a MR fezziwig......just as estella needs her pip. soooooooooooooooo as soon as heating is over
we get two male babie budgies, they'll have to stay in quarantine like the easter budgies did but that's ok.... then that will be it for budgie-dom (although a larger flight would be nice i think... like a walk in flight???)

this morning in the slushy snow i saw some interesting tracks..... unfortunately they are sniffing around the duck pens and the cellar door.
i saw fisher tracks, fox, raccoon, and domestic cat......
the fisher has me seriously worried though, and i don't think i can poison it.
so i may have to see if a trapper is interested,'s late though in the season, possibly too warm for a trapper to really want it.
i also saw bobcat, further back though
no skunk yet, (jen's smelled them so they're out now) but i also imagine the bear is out too
i think we are going to need some hot fencing soon

the baby ducks are laying daily, lilli no, phoebe possibly but she's hiding the eggs.
i am pretty sure that the hens haven't started up yet........which is ok right now, even though we can use chicken eggs. i am not seeing egglaying behavior in the chickens. colette follows me around as usual but isn't crouching, neither are the other sussex crosses......... and of course henrietta and dulcette are 5000 year old chickens, so when they lay, they are totally confused by it.
i intend to start up baking again as soon as i'm able, i have a largish stash of duck eggs waiting
we are also anxiously waiting for if not actually warm least no snow cover or ice....... everyone wants to get out and scratch in the dirt
i need the ducks to de-slug the garden
and the chickens to go after what i am sure is lurking in the squash beds......they can't do that with snow on the beds.

well everyone, i hope your garden planning and seed starting is coming along
i am planning on drying more veggies this year then canning ( i know....... but i love dried veggies, they take so much less space up)
i also am planning increasing my of my favorite nephews eats me out of pickles as soon as he knows i made them
(he'd better help plant cuc's this year......i keep telling him he's also going to learn to pickle....but he tells me he'll be in afganistan, and won't be able to get home......hmmmmm, i told him that at the rate he EATS pickles......that is NOT an excuse- he laughs at me, and of course i give him another jar of pickles--- he'd better bring my jars back... he's got some of my fancy jars)

gee i got the fever......
you all too?
ok everyone have a wonderful weekend
i know we have errands planned..... hopefully no more trees will come down in these winds
i hope you folks over in new zealand aren't getting any more quakes or tremors- i went to cnn and also to msnbc and watched clips from your is a nightmare for you all
some of the pictures reminded me of 9-11
ok everyone stay safe, stay warm......and talk to you all later

Friday, February 25, 2011

rain- it's the green snow blower!

i am watching the rain wash the snow away out back
i can see now where the ice patches still are
bernie cautioned me again about going down the slope to the back pen.
no i won't
i got my left arm in a sling
i did something really bad to my left elbow
we aren't sure now what, but we think it's a form of  tennis elbow... probably from moving firewood.
i can't even knit!
it is highly annoying
i have a lot to do but i can't do anything!
i wanted to start painting the front hall too-------

well this too shall pass like corn

today is friday, so that means a special friday night dinner......we have been doing a 'friday date night' so to speak lately
nothing formal, just a special dinner and some down time together.
this may be a rough one today, as i really can't use that left arm (you should see me typing this)

i would have liked deviled eggs, a tossed supper salad, twice baked potatoes with thin sliced pot roast and gravy.
i don't have the arm motion to do that though
i really hope this elbow resolves fast
even ice isn't helping
and i really was on a roll with another triangular shawlette (similar to the blue one but red- with beads)

the other thing i am debating is a shit load of petunia seeds..... maybe not ...maybe just a few?
i could add a slicer tomato to the seed order know for bernie.
the weather appears to be warm
or warming.......

Thursday, February 24, 2011

new zealand

i am so sorry for all the folks affected by this latest earthquake
what terrible devastation
there really isn't anything anyone can say to sooth you folks, or make it better

i refuse to have tv (or a cell phone) so it takes a while for news to get to me
the earth's magnetic axis has definitely shifted and the shift is causing the plates to move around to adapt to the new axis which means more of this happening, it has happened regularly over the course of this planet's exhistance. but that doesn't help the folks involved, i don't think there is a lot of prep you can do for this either...
i wish you all as fast a return to a normal exhistance as possible.
it won't be the same, but i hope that this was the last earth event happening for you all

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


my mom loved petunias
bernie does too, i think because mom loved them.
last year he got a planter full of them
this year i am considering growing them for him
(i did like that planter from last year though, the colors were wonderful)
i been looking for a mix that would be similar to what he had and so far i can't find any ONE mix -since i don't have a greenhouse, 'growing on' space is at a premium here ( note to self*** need a greenhouse)
i still think i am going to put some petunia seeds in though for bernie and for mom...

i do also have impatients started, just because it's so easy to. i grow nasturtium in the garden as well as marigolds all from seeds.
i like to grow the ten foot tall vining type nasturtium as well as the short mounding types... last year however the tall vining types didn't climb the fence but spread out over the bean bed......that isn't going to happen this year... i'll just transplant them if they give me a hard time
and this year i am going to do some marigolds in the house since slugs love them so much.....
gee i really wish we'd have gotten that greenhouse done last year......(insert HUGE sigh here..... maybe this year)
i know bernie is ready for spring and has spring fever as
he's looking at packages of baby lettuce leaves and multicolored peppers in the grocery store
last night we had sausage and pepper sandwitches...... he got orange, red, yellow and green peppers for them
i had told him 'get a red and a green'
btw, the sandwitches were so good that we had one and a half each!
(*burp* there isn't anything like sweet pepper's wonderful)
oh and just in case i forgot to tell you all
the seeds i planted the other day? all sprouted!
we have babies in the house!
and i need to move them on soon to larger pots to grow out in
first 4'' then gallons
i miss my plant light seed starting thingie

now even though it's still winter, and there is still a nice blanket of snow over my garden (all winter, that's a good thing), and the spring equinox is still a month or so away.........
spring is here in the house

wishing you all an early spring

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FO and more snow?

here is the autumn leaves shawlette for spirit trail in sunna.......

sorry it's so dark and doesn't convey the depth of blue in this....... it's quite remarkable in color-
this is one skein of sunna....... and those blocking mats are 24'' square so for one skein it's over 4' for wings....i could force it out to five feet if i wanted to but i'm not going to
i liked the pattern for the most part as well....i am liking textured lace lately
now if i could just decide on my NEXT project

as to our snow.....we were to get more but thankfully didn't.....the ducks aren't too happy about the snow either right now
malcom poor boy had to stay in while the babies and lilli went out
i am again down two pens due to snow...
yesterday i did however have very happy chickens as i cleaned part of the fridge and they got what i was 'tossing' more tomorrow as i am not quite done yet...
i turn leftovers into eggs!
talk about magic!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

can you say SPRING fever?

first off  i really do have spring fever... sorta early for this huh? do you think? i got this on the window in the front hall..... and i keep adding to it....
is that like sympathetic magic? you hurry spring (and my garden) along?
then we have the REASON i actually have spring fever.....yup more snow.......still snowing too now that the light is full on.

i have the cats all fed their hot fancy feast (see thaddeaus eating his with some of the freshly planted eggplant and sweet pepper seeds) i ate, the budgies are fed as are the chickens...the ducks have to wait until they go out

bernie said down by his shop the snow isn't as bad. thats good as his fleet will roll.
meanwhile i am going to start (more or less) my day. i have the usual plus some knitting (just about done on the autumn leaves shawlette for jen)
i have some easter-ish ornaments to make cause i got bad spring fever.... not that anyone would NOTICE huh? but i got it so bad that i bought a spring green tablecloth for the table! now that's BAD

and if i have time i have to start a duck drawing (of amelia talking to the other ducklings) oh and a few more seeds to plant of sweet peppers, should i plant some lettuce in small pots in the house? we're dying for greens so much so that we BOUGHT a bag of baby leaf lettuce.....
i still can't believe i bought lettuce..... where is my cold frame and greenhouse.....i NEED MY GREENS
oh and as an aside, bernie was reading 'territorial seed' catalog and now wants grafted tomatoes....yeah right, i don't have time to graft anything...i will however grow him ONE slicer..... most likely an heirloom ... well i don't want a billion tomatoes that i can't sauce or can sooooooooooo one heirloom slicer is about as productive a slicer as we can use
meanwhile i long to increase the size of the garden for sauce tomatoes, and sweet peppers.......some folks collect stamps or i collect pepper seeds (ok so i collect other things too but really love my sweet peppers)
and now i'll close today's post with a picture of himself ***thaddeaus peabody*** doing one of his MOST favorite things in the universe........ EATING HIS FANCY FEAST..... that's my boy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

high winds & babydoll southdowns

bernie and i were laying in bed this morning listening to the wind... talking about lawn mowers
and sheds
he wants a bizillion horsepowered lawn tractor that does everything including plow
i want a shed and something a lot more GREEN.
i am debating on putting up privacy fence and getting babydoll southdowns......
i would have preferred mini tunis but the southdowns may be easier to get.
and the best thing is...... small.....really small, the size of maybe a cocker spaniel? or a bit bigger.
no more lawnmowers!!!
but to insure that i would also need to tiny goats..... like kinder or pigmy goats
how about that?
i have the land
we could put in a small barn nothing elaborate
maybe what? 10X12.......that would work very well
with a second hay barn
our property is got the on 550 foot line already fenced..... the back line is over 700' so if we fenced that and the other side..... (which is partly fenced) we could let the tiny herd graze down the brambles and the ivy
the chickens would take care of the ticks
but we won't have deer much anymore......and there is a HUGE buck out there....feet the size of cow hooves..... we saw his prints in the snow along with a ton of tiny yearly doe prints
i am a bit worried about the bear and the coyotes though
the small goats are prey for them i think but i imagine that roofed over dog runs would work well
with hot fencing for temporary pens around the brambles etc- like i did with the movable duckling pens
the goats would have to freshen yearly..... we could get them serviced though, i think i saw pigmy bucks around here close
the sheep....well there is always AI
i also was looking at micro mini jersey cows........ one would work here, we have enough land for all these guys and to graze
imagine how great the garden would be

bernie just informed we need a chipper....... ok add that to the spring list
he also told me that it's amazing that the tree that came down didn't take the wires down
i saw that too
it just looks like someone plucked it and laid it down-it's perpendicular to the tree
if you saw how it was you would think the same's amazing-just amazing.

(now we're talking about the laundry, and figuring out what to wash for the indoor line today
and do towels for out door lines tomorrow when it's not as windy)

i have also decided we need two more laying hens.....orps this time
most likely buffies but i could also get a third ......if a lavender needed a home...... my speckled sussex crosses are nice but i really miss my buffs (my two buffs are 1000100 years old now)
as an aside, henrietta is no longer crying since she got back in her chicken pen and the ducks were evicted...
that chicken is a piece of work.....she lays and egg and crows like a rooster...... then she cries like a baby for weeks when the ducks tossed her out of the chicken pen
she's happy now but pecking at the sussex crosses- good thing they're young and agile

so that's this weekend
oh and i am getting a package from the post office today
valentine, st pats and easter decorations... from oriental trading
i need a tote for them to store in up in the attic but i can pick that up this coming week
i'll switch out the hearts today for the shamrocks i think
anyone want to help string plastic eggies on ribbons?

Friday, February 18, 2011

seeds are started!!!!

i started pepper and eggplants today
so far i have new ace and sweet banana peppers in the cups
and i planted orient express as well as hansel hybrid eggplants
then i put in some chard, silver beet, and fordhook giant
i sorted some seeds out as well

it was EXTREMELY warm out, i was shocked when i put the girls out
i got down to the big day pen!!! (it's been MONTHS) but the door is still iced shut.
my garden is still snow covered.
i got the little girls crate cleaned out......not as scrubbed as i would have wanted to but it's got all it's bedding changed
and tomorrow i think malcom will have his crate done as well
phoebe, amelia and prudence are all laying now
phoebe is still laying eggs the size of pigeon eggs
but she isn't bound so i'm ok with that
i put most of the chickens back in their pen....(i put all of them but as usual colette won't stay there)
if i had been able to open the back pen falstaff and lilli would have been out as well
i walked all three of the girls (not lilli however) around out back to mud puddle
and malcom too
falstaff has to wait though poor guy

i can not believe how warm it was today
amazing when i first walked was warmer out then in!
if it stays a bit warmer then is seasonal for the rest of the winter/spring
we'll be ok with wood
but this summer i swear i am going to just keep getting cord wood in
even if i have to stack it out back in OUR WOODS
i would really like 2 years worth out there
(i had that but bernie gave me a really hard time about it...... however two year seasoned wood burns NICE)
anyway, while i am not ready for summer yet...i am ready for a lighter winter
but summer DOES bring my garden, and i sure do miss my garden..............
i miss cutting supper salads off the deck plants
and flipping slugs to the ducks

it was really actually warm today, a high on the deck of 68!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

warm weather? can it really BE?

cause it was cold as shit yesterday, i don't CARE that stuff was dripping off the roof
i was out there
it was COLD
so today it's warmer
seriously as when i got down to stoke the stove it was pretty warm in here- even though the stove had a minimal amount of red coal
(started right up though)
i am actually pretty comfortable this morning in here

i need to start a few pots of baby greens, a few inside, a few outside.
and the rest of the seeds (peppers and eggplants are the critical ones)
i wish i could grow black barley......we had that in beef stew last night and it was AMAZING
i would love to switch to black barley (it's actually a purple color) to sub for rice more often
i need a bulk source of it

ok last nights soup/stew
we had picked up a bottom round for 1.79 a pound
so i cut that up into a bunch of chunks
i dredged it in seasoned flour  (salt, fresh ground pepper, paprika, garlic, onion)
browned it in some olive oil
threw the browned drained meat into an enameled cast iron casserole
i drained off the oil from the skillet, added water and boiled off the 'fond' which is the browned on stuck stuff on the bottom of the pan
added that to the meat
added my dried and powdered celery, and some dried/powdered broccoli (i do this from stems that bernie won't eat)
more garlic, more onions
and the black barley and set it to simmer...... i simmered it about 2 hours covered on low/medium
when bernie got home i added about 4 oz of fresh mushrooms washed, and chopped into coarse chunks
then simmered it about 15 minutes more while we had a family budget meeting
ok dinner was to DIE FOR
it was amazing
totally amazing and it's going to be even BETTER today
too bad that i only made enough for supper last night and lunch today as this was definitely a 'jar-able' meal.
it wasn't thick like stew but it wasn't really soup either.....
however it was so outrageous that now i want to try black barley in a LOT of stuff
i would like to use it instead of rice in my next pilaf
it's better for me anyway

it's naturally hull-less so i wonder if i can grow it?
if so maybe it's worth putting in a patch out back?

yesterday i put phoebe and malcom out
as the little girls (who are BOTH laying now btw) would try to fly down the hill so no way right now
but maybe by this weekend we'll have a cleared ice free path down the slope
they need to graze too
all of them do

i am at the turning of the triangle for that shawlette i am making
it's a wonderful happy knit now
even though i tinked back a few rows to start the turn at the suggested point instead of adding another repeat of the leaf lace..... it was fun
i can't wait to see this thing blocked out

bernie and i had a family meeting on our budget, work on the house etc
we need to get the siding/windows finished on the studio
and the kitchen done
we also had the yearly 'state of the retirement fund' meeting
actually we aren't doing as bad as a lot of people....
and all these years when ever i could i saved...........even if it was a dollar
some times we had to spend it all
but i still tried to save something regularly
now i am trying to push to pay the house off- we've paid extra on that all these years too, even if it was 10.00 a month
we don't have anywheres near what we should have for retirement but i am hoping to get more together there. and i am also hoping that all the bits and pieces will add up enough that we'll be ok
i think it may
at least i hope so.......
that kitchen however is a real thorn in my side

well it's time to put another log on the fire
and get another cuppa coffee
the coffee is pretty good this morning
(and i just scored 16 cans of maxwell house for 1.49 a can...... i should have gotten 32 but oh well, i DO have other coffee- now i have to replenish my Tpaper cause i am down to 100 when a good sale rolls around***no pun)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

it seems to be a time of remembrance

i ran across a person i knew online.....
i knew him a very very long time ago, not for very long, maybe a year.
he was a musician, and quite a good one.
i don't know how exactly i ran across him. possibly looking for a piece of music that he'd introduced all of us to
i remember he had a dream to play with a very famous musician.....and i also discovered that he achieved this-not for long apparently as he hurt his hands and can no longer play.
if you knew how amazing this guy was, you would be feeling really sorry for him right now
but that isn't what i want to talk about
i want to talk about life as a classroom
or a series of classrooms
i was wondering what on earth i had done with my talent?
sure i had a cover and some articles
some small bit of 15 minutes of fame in my field.
but did i fulfill the promise of my talent? or did i waste it?
and what exactly constitutes fulfilling the promise of your talent?
is it ok to do it once
or is it something that is only fulfilled while you are doing whatever it is you are talented at?
and as you move through life
you leave behind things, places, people, ideas, actions that were at one time so very vital to your sense of being alive.....
when years later you look back on them as so many dead and dying leaves dissolving into dust.

i have learned that at each stage of life, i see things differently.
now almost mid 50's, i realize how when i lived intuitively, i did ok. but if i stopped to think about things, not so much.
truly the act and dailyness of living does confer real wisdom
as well as change your perception of what is truly important
maybe time isn't linear but is a perception related phenomena that is from your changing attitudes?
maybe if you could precisely capture the feelings/emotions/thoughts of a time in your life you can BE THERE, not just relive it from here but BE THERE
(ok so maybe i am nuts and read way too much quantum physics for my own good)
but the question now becomes........would you really want to?

i know that now i know enough to design more of my life. how i want to live, why i want to live that way.
it's so many simple things that mean so much to me
the animals
putting food by
the rhythm of the seasons spinning eternally on
handcrafting a life as much as i can

these are things i started out with though, deep inside.....
now they are coming more and more out
so does aging mean you become more of yourself?
that you are finally free of others expectations?
either way
it's the options that you have and what you do with them isn't it?

in the end i mean

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

a big tree came down last night

woke us up around midnight
i went down to go see because we couldn't see from the bedroom window
it brushed the house on the way down so when it gets lighter out i have to look at the roof
then at 4am
fawn caught us all a mouse for breakfast (wasn't that sweet of her????)
she came up with the live mouse and called 'the family to dinner'
did i mention it was 4am?
it's really quiet at 4am
fawn was really LOUD about calling the family to eat her mouse.....
i told her how wonderful she was to have caught the mouse and how noble she is to share
what a good mommy she is.....
unfortunately (hahahaha) she lost the mouse...for which the mouse is grateful
i am grateful she lost the mouse BEFORE she jumped on the bed

oh and my knitting mojo is's back it's back and i am knitting sunna by spirit trail into a shawlette.......(it did NOT want to be socks that yarn-it wanted to see the light of day!)

how was everyone's valentines day?
bernie got home EARLY (well considering how late he normally stays he only put in about 10 hours yesterday as opposed to his normal 14-16) he got me a card which he almost forgot!
but he did come home early for me
we ate leftovers because we have a full fridge
and we sat a bit and talked
and then went up early....... ahem
then again got woken up by that damn tree......

the good news is that it's warm enough that i can stay in bed without worry about the house freezing
sleep is a good thing
although i was interrupted by mice and acts of god (and shriveled old lady bladders)
but at least i didn't have to get up because of it all


Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentines day!!!!

i hope you all have a good one.
it's early and i am down with the stove
the wood is wet though
we literally are going to limp through until spring
bernie keeps saying to use the furnace but that's for emergencies like when we are on road calls, or if i got the flu and can't get down to stoke the stove
duel fuel biomass is looking better and better though
with a 72 hour hopper
as bernie pointed out.....we got no where to store several tons of fuel for until i figure that one out...........
now if we do go with an addition on the north side.....we could put a fuel room on
just saying............

today i am planning on starting some peppers and maybe a few eggplants.
i could use 8 eggplants in the garden, and i would LOVE 50 pepper plants
we will be adding a few more raised beds this year...
last year we did 2 of the two foot beds and three of the 4 foot beds
this year i want to add three more of the 4 foots, another couple of the 2 foots and a cold frame
i would love to extend the garden but we'd have to cut down that big maple out back to do that.

i am also trying to figure out where to put 10 cords of wood for next season.... the only space i have really is by the fences
the north fence especially is good for the wood line
but i had so hoped for pepper plants and bean vines against that
clearing a bit more out back behind the garden wouldn't work as it's so bad to get down to during winter
i really hate wet wood and this year i've dealt with a lot of it
this morning the logs were hissing when the fire first woke up

what is everyone doing today? is anyone doing the whole Vday thing?
i'm probably going to make ravioli and chicken in alfredo sauce
and i want one of those BIG satin hearts......not with chocolate
just the heart
no that's not going to happen, it's a waste of money and just something else to try to figure out where to store off season ( closets, an addition of nothing but closets would work very
if the rest of the ice melts off the upper drive so i can get out
i am most likely going to get some paint for the front hall and living room
i think we'll stick with that same's happy and i like it
although i am most likely going to change the crown molding paint from harlequin diamonds to a solid.
i'll put the harlequin on the floor i think

i am also getting caught up on the laundry, somehow it got away from us....i am not sure how!
we do it weekly, but somehow it got piled up
i got sheets up here now to dry
next is towels
and then that's that......all the back log is done

did i mention i can't wait for my garden?
yesterday we again had a huge just wasn't enough salad for me
i could have eaten double that salad and more today
i miss my baby lettuces
i miss my mixed greens
i miss just going on the deck and cutting supper
i also miss canning
so i suppose i have spring fever
(i also want lambs's been a while since i had a lamb to raise)
chicks aren't going to happen this year, and it's not a duckling year
although i do intend on picking up a few pullets from jody to add to the flock
straight orps this time
a few buffs most likely
although the lilacs are REALLY looking lilac colored! it's amazing how they actually do look lilac!
but i still really love my buffs
i am anxious to see how the siberian garlic did, i never did get the georgian crystal in
(NEXT YEAR.....oye)
and i need to put in sage again..... possibly in the old herb garden, which could use a good restoration.
i should seed some impatients for the deck too.....maybe a few petunias for bernie

yup spring fever
i want a green house.......

Sunday, February 13, 2011

chandelier crystals are a beautiful the front window

i got a couple of lots of antique and vintage chandelier crystals off ebay recently.
i had some of my own stashed here and there (and hung in the windows)
but i got about 100 assorted shapes and sizes now.
so i am hanging them on ribbons off the branch over the front window.
(WHAT??? not everyone has a branch over their front window? why NOT?)
i have at least one on a ribbon in each window
but i got a ton in the front (east) window
i just love them there.
i also put some of my embroidered hearts on a garland on the mantel, along with the chickens susan sent me ( love them chickens)  we are ready (well sorta) for the BIG heart day!
but i will most likely add eggs and call it spring/easter too
cool huh?

now this week we're getting some warmer temps so i will be cleaning pens (finally thank goodness)
i want them all scrubbed and bleached not just the regular cleaning.
and i am going to be starting some of my veggie seeds, the peppers, and possibly the eggplants-
beans, squash, greens etc i start from seed outside so that won't be going on
although i am seriously thinking of dumping some lettuce seeds under the snow on the outdoor planters
i miss my garden so badly this time of year.

this morning i cut bernie's hair, the cat's toenails......and some ribbon..
i'm on a roll here
outside of that it's been pretty lazy for me
guess that's to make up for the 4am stove and laundry hanging thing
bernie let me sleep in
and i did!
boy did i....i got back to bed at 6am and slept in until 10
i came down to be handed a cup of coffee
and french toast for breakfast!
however now i am going to start dinner
after last night with our anniversary steak dinner.....something very light today
(chicken, salad and apple dressing)
til next time

Friday, February 11, 2011

the last of our wood and our anniversary

ok it's really thursday night
but this will post in the AM
bernie is bringing in wood from that last pile of 3 cords, it needs to last until end of april
keep everything crossed ok
there's no place to bring another load in
nor would a new load be dry enough to burn

so i am kinda nervous, if this intense cold lasts we're screwed... if it starts to taper off
and march has some days that i don't have to burn
we'll make it
i hate having to worry though

ok so by the time you all read this it will be our anniversary
we were married (ironically on a friday night) 34 years ago ......feb 11!
we eloped to texas
the stepmonster from hell picked the date (or we'd have been married on valentines day- or halloween!)
her plan- get me knocked up, then send me out to work while she took the money and the baby
MY plan- bring bernie home safe and finish art school
guess who won that one......... hahahaha
i only looked 12 and naive
we were supposed to wait until after i finished art school but we didn't
so here we are 34 years later.....
still together!
ups and downs
and downs and ups
we've both learned a lot...... matured a lot
we still prefer doing things together
we still look to the other one first
he's still my world
and they said we wouldn't last..........................

Thursday, February 10, 2011

today's goals

besides staying warm???
well i know i got dishes (duh)
i am going to again attempt to clean pens.......(one shovelful at a time... over 3'' of ice- while animals produces slightly LESS then one shovelful every few days????????)
i made chicken and dumplings last was wonderful. bernie was here in town working on the part of the fleet that's stationed here, so while he was late he was in town, which made his 'commute' about 7 minutes
he walked in to a STEAMING hot bowl of chicken with dumplings on top
it was literally done the second he walked in the door (i'm GOOD!)

ok fast way to make it
i had stock on hand from the non layers i had butchered a few months ago.
so i chopped some onions and browned them in a tiny bit of butter ( i used the BIG enameled cast iron sam's club dutch oven) then threw the still frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts in there with some water, covered into the oven
when the chicken had cooked enough to separate itself i took it out and cut it up into chunks
i added dried mushrooms crumbled
powdered dried celery
dried diced sweet peppers
and chopped fresh carrots
another cup or so of water
some garlic
back in the over for a bit to finish cooking the chicken (again covered)
then i made the dumplings

you can do bisquick dumplings which are down and dirty and quick as hell, which is what i made last night
i don't measure anything so bare with me

to a bunch of bisquick in the bowl
add some garlic powder
you can also add some shredded cheese and/or some butter buds powder
mix that up
now those are some of the combinations i use
sometimes i add some other things like powdered dried veggies
or dill and thyme
then add some milk
not too much cause you don't want it soupie
it's like really thick pancake batter or muffin batter

bring the soup to a simmer
and drop the dumpling batter into the simmering supper
cover and let it steam for a while until cooked
that's it
serve hot in bowls

now today i am going to prepare a bit for our anniversary tomorrow
34 years
actually i love bernie dearly, and there isn't anyone else for me
he's my world
now i get annoyed at him though especially when he's suffering the effects of testosterone poisioning.......
(ie: being a MAN)
but overall he's pretty wonderful
he's a city boy though, and doesn't quite still get country life, he grew up in apartments homeownership and the repairs really upset him
but overall he's a wonderful, funny, compassionate (at times, he does seriously think i'm lazy! no matter what i do or how much i do) generous, smart person
he's good at what he does too
really good
and throughout all the ups and downs of our lives together
i would still marry him again!
he is my family and i think the key to me is......bernie and the animals always come first

anyway that is tomorrow
today i am also looking into some odds and ends about heating and energy rebates
i wish there was an easy way through this, or that bernie would take it on as a challenge but it's up to me
and it's not my strong suit
what i am trying to see if we can do is, get the walls/siding/insulations/windows replaced in the studio
and get rebates for it
i am trying to wade through that now
i need a wiser head for this then i have

so folks ttyl

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

cold.. really really REALLY cold- if you know what i mean?

i came down to rhododendron leaves that look like tiny wires, they are so tightly curled against the cold.
here i was thinking...
'well maybe if i use the big crate as a sort of tobaggan i can get the soiled bedding down to the garden and the compost'
i don't think the hose or the ducks will make it outside today.. although if it goes get up above freezing i am going to risk both.

bernie is going to be shortly breaking into the last pile of wood we have. we've got pretty much all that's left of the big pile in the house right now. (does anyone remember when we broke into that one? i am hoping early december, cause then we should be ok)
i am really hoping that this pile will last us out the season, as if it doesn't we're screwed.
now for next heating season, i hope to have about 12 cords. as i want to make sure that we have very well seasoned stuff
i had wet wood at times this year and it wasn't pleasant.
i am also again getting up at night for an hour or so to stoke the stove, keeping the house warm all night
right now a duel fuel 72 hour on one fill furnace really is looking good
so is wind energy, as well as solar
anything to get a few more hours sleep
i got up at 7 however as i didn't think sleeping a few more hours would be good for me.........i may need it but then i'm kinda dopey all day.

right now, i still haven't had my coffee.
so forgive any grammar errors, mental errors etc.
and did i mention it's freeken cold out?

ok i need coffee

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

it was one of THOSE nights

you know the kind...... you fall asleep as usual......... thinking you will make it mostly through the night (a few pitstops for the pea sized bladder)
well that wasn't to be
thaddeaus woke me around 12:30am he smelled like woodsmoke and that woke me up out of a deep dream
and then i was up to after 2:45......
i had dreamt of a friend of mine 'bohunk' was her screen name
she was/is a soaper down the eastern shore of va
who i have lost touch with
drove me nuts all night and all this morning
cause i could NOT for the life of me remember her IRL last name
or the names of her third kid
i hate when that happens

meanwhile today so snow
no snow
and coffee
STRONG HANDSOME coffee.....BIG beer stines full of coffee
drip iv worth of black gold

so anyway, really i am not awake totally
it's raining here
NOT the snow we were promised
and i have come to the sorry realization that i need to paint the living, myself and i
oh shit look out world
are you ready for a magenta and orange splattered violet?

Monday, February 07, 2011

what i did over my spring preview weekend

they were easy too
i used some flexible 'copper' wire, some copper crimp beads, and three $1.00 sets of beads from AC Moore
i got a bunch of the green ones and 12 of the blues now the blue ones are 6 of the clear blue and 6 of the AB over darker blue but they kinda look alike in color
the little green ones just fit in that tiny tin i normally use for selling hand balm in (one of those tins of hand balm lasts a long long time too-i need to make more of them)

meanwhile bernie plowed us out... and we both did laundry as well as dishes.
it was a sort of quiet weekend.
i did hang some chandelier crystals on ribbons from the branch i keep over the front windows

doesn't EVERYONE have a branch over their front windows? no? WHY NOT?? it's great to put all sorts of stuff on......
i hang the following: (not all at the same time mind you)

fake birds and pastel painted bird houses.... occasional bird nests
chandelier crystals
black crows, bats, and skeletons
plastic easter eggs
plastic icicles and assorted sized glass balls
just bunches of different length ribbons in different widths but all the same color
banner letters

cool huh? bernie thinks i'm out of my mind
yup i surely am

Saturday, February 05, 2011

and yet another snow storm cometh.........

and i continue to walk on (frozen) water......
i actually like the snow and all that
what i don't like is not being able to clean my pens, and having to alternate duck baths
that doesn't make me happy as i like the ducks bathed daily

i am sitting down stairs waiting for the wood stove to kick off....... i've got it loaded and it's got the start of a nice fire going, but it's a matter of time
it's got to heat first the chimney and then the surface.

bernie is sleeping and i am going to let him sleep for a while
he fell asleep last night after over packing the wood stove and smothering the fire so i had to stay up for a while
i have more logs to add, i am just waiting for it to be a bit warmer inside the fire chamber.

with all the snow this winter does this mean that the drought is over?
i know that snow is 'poor man's fertilizer' so the garden is got that as well as an insulating blanket- and let me tell you that blanket is pretty thick out there...

well this is a post about nothing huh?
mainly it's a 'i was here, i didn't forget you all' post

Friday, February 04, 2011

ducks on ice........old ladies not so much

yesterday amelia surprised me by FLYING down the ice covered hill
the reason i was surprised is that i clipped her wings just in september.... and no one has molted primaries yet!
prudence naturally followed her (but pru doesn't fly as far, she isn't as light as amelia)

i called them back up, i rattled the food pans
they looked pleadingly at me
they stood on one foot waiting for me to come down and open the big pen door (which is iced shut)
they did the peepee dance (one foot up and then the other and rocked back and forth)
they finally sat down on their feet fluffing out their feathers
waiting patiently.....

so here i am ....... carefully inching my way down the hill......using my stick to crunch through the ice enough to allow my boot heel to break through so i have some sort of traction
took about 10 minutes!
i figured if i fell this time, i was a goner and so were my birds
i got to the bottom and picked both girls up
they are NOT spoiled
they aren't
not really
although while i was carrying them both up the hill i did warm up their feet with my wool mittens
and put them in the upper pen
on the hay
before i put them in the upper day pen
amelia took the time to kiss me on the cheek
i think she had some duck shit on her beak........
wasn't THAT thoughtful of her?