Friday, February 24, 2006
A month or so ago Ken surprised me by announcing that it was time to start researching wood cookstoves! We've talked about getting one for a long time but I thought it would be in the far distant future. Well, our gas (propane) bill has been so high this winter and the electric bill doubled too! We have to do something. With almost 30 acres of woods it's crazy not to take advantage of all that free fuel. It's also tax season and the refund we will be getting back will almost pay for the stove.
So, after much looking and weighing of pros and cons we boiled it down to the Pioneer Maid. It's made by an Amish man and used in many Amish and Menonite households. We chose it because it will also heat up to 2000 sq ft. of space. So hopefully we can wave goodbye to those high heating bills. The one we ordered is just like the one in the picture above. It will have the optional water reservoir and warming oven.
We're expecting it to be delivered on Monday and the sweep is scheduled to come and inspect the chimney too. Not sure when we will have it up and running though. Ken will have to set it up and connect the stovepipe and all that. Then the fun will really begin. Cooking with wood is a whole lot different than using a regular stove. There are no knobs for setting the temperature you have to learn where to place your pans for high or low heat and regulating the oven temperature is something you have to learn too. I have no previous experience with this so look forward to pictures of burnt offerings!
I found some neat looking recipes on the Maine Windjammers Association website. All the cooking is done on wood cookstoves in the galleys of these schooners.
Also found this interesting article .
I'm so excited! Can't believe I'm actually looking forward to cooking. It's a breakthrough!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I finally remembered to take the camera with me when I went to feed the rabbits.
This is our pair of California meat rabbits, Huygens and Cassini. We bedded down the horse trailer with hay and they have the run of the place. It's just temporary until the weather warms up and we have time to build something else for them. We're hoping Cassini will give birth around the 8th of March and be a good Mum. She isn't the worlds friendliest rabbit. She comes running to attack our boots and growls like a little bull dog when we go in there! Huygens looks a bit hen pecked at times.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Here's another picture taken yesterday. I love to walk way back to the edge of the woods and look back at the house. It looks so cozy and remote.
Today was sunny and quite warm. We spent most of the afternoon outside playing in the snow. Josh enjoyed some sledding and I got a good work out cross country skiing. I'm extremely rusty and fell flat on my back a few times! I love having this long hill. It's a bit of a slog going up to the back pasture but when you turn around you have this really great glide straight down to the house! Wish I could master the "skate" skiing technique like you see on the Olympics. It looks so easy but I can't get the hang of it and this snow was too deep for it.
We did another couple of runs with Nanuuk and the dogsled. She really put some effort into it today but we kept it short just the same. It's so much fun though. I'd like to get a couple of Alaskan Huskys that have pulling experience but perhaps didn't make the grade as racers.
Speaking of races, the Yukon Quest is going on right now. You can follow it here.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
And about time too! This is the first real snowstorm of the winter.
We got out the dogsled and hooked up Nanuuk for a bit of mushing. She did very well but I haven't been working her much so we had to go easy on her. Just a couple of runs DOWN hill and we called it a day. It was fun though and she was very proud of herself.
There's not a lot going on here at the moment. My time's taken up mostly with feeding and watering the animals, walking the dogs and homeschooling. Oh and the chickens! What was I thinking when I decided to hatch chickens at this time of the year??!! I was forgetting that this isn't North Carolina. Now we have two of them in the house and it's still too cold to put them outside even in the pigeon loft. I have to clean them out two or three times a day. They're driving me batty. So is hubby. He doesn't have much of a sense of humor about some things! Chickens in the house is one of them. It's supposed to warm up considerably by mid-week so I think I'll put the oldest one 'miracle' out in the loft. It's fully feathered and getting BIG.
I've made absolutely no progress on the knitting. In fact I can't remember the last time I sat in the livingroom for any length of time. As soon as my bum hits the rocking chair I remember something else I should be doing. But, I have managed to do a bit of eraser carving and will post pictures soon. I still need to order some good paper for printing on though.
I was looking at the calendar today and figured out that hubby retires in 70 days!! Just in time to start on the garden! I'm turning the area by the side door into a kitchen garden. It get's full sun all day. I think it will do well there because the deer don't usually come up so close to the house. This is the year we are gong to try to grow a good portion of our food including meat with a view to eventually becoming as self sufficient as possible. So far we have a deer in the freezer and the meat rabbits are bred. Babies are due around March 8th. We'd like to raise a steer for beef but we still need to get the pasture fenced. That's going to be a big job with this rocky soil! Oh well, lots to look forward to. I'm sure it'll all come together slowly but surely. For now we'll just enjoy the snow.