Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A beautiful Morning!

Woo hoo! The kidney stone is gone! Poof! hasta la vista, baby!

And 4 days after the surgery, I've finally woke up! Thank goodness for darling men folk who are capable of taking care of themselves, the house and the farm, as well as the zombie wife/mom. Flat out on the couch I was vaguely aware of dishes being washed, a hot water bottle under my feet, "sit up and take your pill", the smell of pine sol, Ken mopping the bathroom floor and singing, the washing machine running, the chimney being swept, wood being chopped, Joshua bringing the dog in and out and relaying a list of all the chores that were done, and what he was going to do next, cups of tea, hot soup, bacon sandwiches and chocolate truffles! "You're spoiled, girl! you're spoiled rotten!"

But, today, I woke up early and felt so good, I went outside for a wander around with the camera. Ken was at work and Josh was still asleep. The sun was just coming up over the ridge and casting long beams down into our hollow. It was beautiful. We're having amazingly warm weather for late November. Almost 70 F this afternoon! I didn't feel up to crawling around on the floor to finish up the painting so just messed around with a llama fleece that the farrier gave me. I went on line and learned how to wash it, pick it and card it ready for spinning. Hoping to have enough spun to knit up a scarf or something for her in time for Christmas.

Anyway, here are the pictures from this morning.

Looking down the valley and our dirt road. The neighbor's house is visible now that the leaves are gone.

The horses waiting for the sun to move around the mountain a bit. The pond was like glass. Frost still on the back pasture.

The old woods road. This was actually a state road a hundred years ago! It comes right under our front window, through the barn yard, across the creek and follows the creek up around the mountain past a 30 ft waterfall, and on up through another farm to the road on the other side of the ridge. This was a very busy place back then. People used to come down here to trade for goods at the old general store and to bring their corn to be ground at the water powered grist mill that used to be in our front pasture.

Goats enjoying the sun.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Pride comes before a -wall- fall

Thank you Cheyenne and Judy for the kind comments on my wall. I was feeling pretty smug about it. Alas, a major malfunction this morning. When I tentatively kicked a stone that looked a bit "off", it promptly fell out! Leaving a big hole. Of course it had to be one of the lower level ones too. I hadn't set it with it's length into the wall, and it was kind of wedge shaped, so the weight of the other rocks above it squeezed it out. I'll have to do some dismantling and build it back up again if possible. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

One of those days today. It was raining, so, since Ken had chopped a bunch of wood and kindling for me I decided to fire up the wood cook stove and put a roast in the oven. It wasn't a very cold day, but I thought I'd just keep a small fire in there and cook it slow all afternoon. Boy, locust wood puts out a lot of heat! I managed to keep the oven at about 300 F but Josh and I were sweltering. We had all the windows open. The kitten thought he was on the Costa del Sol. Instead of tearing up the couch cushions and curtains he spent the whole day spread out on the rug, stretching and rolling around on his back with his little paws in the air, blinking and yawning. The beef came out tough as old boots. Ken thought it was great and had two helpings but I couldn't eat it. Joshua cooked himself a store bought pizza.

We're going to have a slew of doctor bills this month.

Ken had to go to the doctor this evening after being bitten by a tick. It left a really nasty bite mark and he felt tired and weak along with a sore throat. No bull's eye rash, but the doctor put him on 15 days of antibiotics just in case of Lyme Desease. Sure hope he doesn't have that. Considering we live in the woods, we really don't see very many ticks.

Joshua's also on antibiotics for an ear abscess, that suddenly came up, and I will be going in the hospital on Thursday to get a kidney stone zapped!

Maybe we'll all be in fine fettle for Christmas.

We treated the cats for fleas tonight. The drops are supposed to go between the  shoulder blades, but Dexter was squirming so much that some of the medicine got on his fur where he could lick it.  Yikes! That's not good. We had to come up with a way to prevent his licking at it.  Here he is in his little catsuit. The leg off a pair of old stirrup leggings ( you can see the stirrup at the back of his neck.) I cut little arm holes in the under side. I'll cut that stirrup off before we go to bed so there's no chance of him getting hung up on something during the night.

He's coping with this undignified contraption amazingly well, for a cat.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My first drystone wall

Well, I finally started my first, free-standing, drystone wall. It's just about 8 feet long and will be about 4 or 4 1/2 feet high. The horses tend to stand over by the side of the barn when the weather is bad so I thought a wall here would make a good windbreak , and it would be an ideal practice wall. Nothing too challenging to begin with. It wouldn't win any prizes but I'm quite happy with the way it's coming together. It's very time consuming as I have to go hunting for the rocks and bring them 4 or 5 at a time in the wheelbarrow, plus all the rubble for the center "heartings".

When not working on the wall, I've been finishing up the floor painting and getting the doors back on the cabinets. Will take pictures when the kitchen is cleaned up a bit. I also started knitting a sweater for Joshua, and that's what I'm going to get back to right now!

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A give away!

No not here yet. But I do plan to have one soon.

If you would like to win some really cute baby stuff , head on over to Cheyenne's blog,  Little Prairie Baby  and leave a comment. The deadline is 19 November.

And while you're there check out her shop. She has lots of other lovely baby things for sale. Makes me broody!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Pigeons on the roof

Thought I'd post this picture of some of our pigeons. I like the way the branches of the Sumac tree form that little circle just above them.

My original intention for the pigeons, was to train them to home, then start a little wedding bird release business. The first few years they were plagued by blacksnakes that would get into the loft and kill the young fledglings, so I never had more than a handful of birds. But this year we didn't lose one baby to snakes. Right now I think we have about 16 birds, and what a beautiful sight it is when they are all flying in unison! They make huge circuits around the valley, swoop low over the pond and then all land on top of the hay barn.

I no longer plan to do wedding releases, but I can't imagine our farm without the pigeons.
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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Painted Floor Inspiration

This is just for you Cheyenne!
Painted floor pictures I 've found around the web. I keep them in my inspiration file. I always forget to make a note of where I found them though.

I heard that with a few coats of polyurethane, painted floors hold up very well as long as they're swept and kept clean of sand or grit. Love that bright blue kitchen one!

Liver and Onions

On Sunday afternoon Ken went over to a friend's farm to help them with their fall butchering. He came home with two nice lamb's livers! So, Monday we had liver and onions for supper.

                  First I soaked the liver in milk over night. Here it is after draining the milk off it.

                                                 Next, I sauteed an onion in butter.

While the onions were cooking, I put the liver in a bowl of seasoned flour ( just salt and pepper) and covered both sides. Then, remove the onions from the skillet and set them aside. Put the liver in the skillet and fry slowly in butter for about 4 minutes on each side. Try to only turn the liver once, or twice at the most. Once no blood comes out of it when poked with a knife, return the onions to the pan with the liver. Add a little water and cook it all for about 10 minutes longer.

We had ours with mashed potatoes ( seasoned with with a bit of rosemary) along with carrots and tomatoes from the garden. The liver was cooked well but very tender and tasty. Another mostly home-grown dinner!

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Monday, November 01, 2010

The Unthanks Here's The Tender Coming Live Later Jools Holland Oct 2009

Just discovered the Unthank sisters, from North East England. They sing in their wonderful Geoordie accent. This song is about the press gangs coming to recruit men for the English navy. It's living in my head right now.
Here's the tender coming, pressing all the men;
Oh dear hinny, what shall we do then?
Here's the tender coming, off at Shield's Bar,Here's the tender coming, full of men of war.
Hide thee, canny Geordie, hide thyself away;Hide thee till the tender makes for Druridge Bay.
If they take thee, Geordie, who's to win our bread?
Me and little Jackie better off be dead.

Here's the tender coming, stealing off my dear;
Oh dear hinny, they'll ship you out of here.
They will ship you foreign, that is what it means;
Here's the tender coming, full of red marines.
Hey, bonny lassie. let's go to the Lawe,See the tender lying, off at Shield's Bar,
With her colours flying, anchor at her bow.
They took my bonny laddie, best of all the crew.