Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Oh Happy Day!!

Woo Hoo! We finally went and got what we needed and finished hooking up the Pioneer Maid cook stove!!

Before we got done I was looking around online and came across a terrible review of our stove! This guy had nothing good to say about it at all. Said that it wouldn't hold a fire for more than a few hours, wouldn't heat the house as advertised, had a hard time keeping it clean because of the top loading fire box which allowed ashes to float out and cover the stove heart sank. I was so worried that we'd wasted the money and were going to regret not buying some other brand. So, it was with great trepedition that we put in the kindling and started the first fire. The instructions advised that you should start with a small fire the first day just to break the stove in. So that's what we did. Wow! were we surprised! With just those few little stick burning the temperature in the dining room went up from 60 to 75 degrees in no time flat! The next day when we put in a larger fire an got the oven hot it was 85 in here and the temperature in the livingroom and hallway went up to 73 degrees! We left the furnace set at 65 just to keep the chill off in the night but I didn't even hear it come on last night. The house is -and stays-SO cozy! I absolutely love my stove!

Here are some pics.

And this is our first complete meal! Deer stew, crusty whole wheat bread, cornbread, - Joshua put in a special request for that- and some wonderful white wine David and Susan bought us! Thanks you two! We miss you!!! Posted by Picasa

The first thing I made was some wholewheat bread and this pan of banana bread. It came out a bit darker on top than usual but it's not burned.  Posted by Picasa

The red things hanging on the back of the stove are hot peppers from the garden. We picked them all before the frost killed them. I strung them on heavy thread and hung them on the back of the stove to dry. You can see potatoes set out on trays on the floor to dry out a bit too. Ken had just dug them. We havent finished with the base yet. We will be adding another row of pavers around the front and sides for the hearth. Posted by Picasa

The fire box. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 09, 2006

Backyard Camping

We've had a large pile of brush sitting out back since we had those pine trees felled. Last week Ken decided to start burning it. It was too large to just set fire to so he made a small fire and just kept feeding it with the brush. It was so warm and cozy we got the tent out of the barn and camped out. We cooked hamburgers on the swing grill over the fire and toasted marshmallows. Afterwards, we did some star gazing through the telescope. Even though we had just about every blanket we own plus a hot water bottle we still got a bit chilly during the night! Our tent is really only made for the warm summer months. About 4am Ken came up to the house and refilled the bottle and got the campfire blazing again.

We didn't get much sleep. There were so many strange noises out there what with the animals in the barn banging around plus other unknown things in the woods. It sounded like the rabbits in the horse trailer had got a hold of a trampoline! We spent half the night saying "what was that?!"

Needless to say the next day we weren't moving very fast at all. When we came inside it felt like we'd been away for a week!

Our little camp. Looking down from the hillside. Posted by Picasa

Josh and Mom. Posted by Picasa

Enjoying the fire. Posted by Picasa

Ken sitting on a bucket drinking a beer and Josh poking the fire. Posted by Picasa

All snuggled up. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 02, 2006

Crystal Getting Her Hooves Trimmed

It's that time again. Horses need their hooves trimmed about every 6 to 8 weeks. I really like our farrier. We met by chance one Tuesday afternoon when I was buying alfalfa pellets down at the feed mill. She gave me her number and told me to call her when we got the pony up here. She's one of only two full time female farriers in Virginia and really knows her stuff! I always learn something whenever she comes.

Last time she was here she said she would look out for a companion horse for Crystal and two weeks later called to say that she knew of a very nice mare that may be in need of a new home. The mare's name is Shady. We went to see her a few weeks ago and then went back and I rode her a little. I love her!! She's also a grey like Crystal. Also part Arabian like Crystal. But she's also part Percheron and has more of the draft horse disposition. Very calm! She's been ridden by a little 10 year old girl. Anyway, the family came out here yesterday to look at our farm and see if it would be a good place for Shady. They really loved it here and hopefully we'll be getting Shady in a couple of weeks. I can't wait! Posted by Picasa

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