Sunday, November 23, 2014

Feeding the Birds Again

It is a dreary drizzly day here, but not very cold.  Looks like the heavy rains may have missed us.

The chickens have begun their off season of laying, the molt.  We are getting 2 or  3 a day now which may keep just the two of us supplied but we may have to supplement from the store.

I hope I have enough for pies for Thanksgiving.

Our granddaughter got in Friday night and will be with us for a week.  They get a full week over Thanksgiving.  She is thrilled because she has very little homework for a change.  We won't see her much I am sure.

The puppies are growing, barking, growling and getting out of the nest.  I am already thinking of doing an impromptu wire pen outside the building so they can get some sunshine but not wander off.

I am trying to handle them each day so they will know what humans are.....

I put out sunflower seeds and the birds are visiting regularly.  I need to buy wild bird seeds for the small birds but so far, they seem to be handling the sunflower seeds.

The birdbath is very close to the feeder hanging outside the window over the sink.

From Birds of 2014

From Birds of 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Winterizing and Moving Puppies

Today has been slightly warmer so I decided to get  some  more winterizing  done.  DH is not really a detail man...................

Yesterday I rewired the heater for  the chicken waterer.  Those things never  last over a few years and they are grossly expensive  for what they are.  It was sort of  an unlovely fix, but it works.  No frozen water  this morning.  I also drug the long outdoor  extension  cord out to the chicken house so both the  heater and a light could be accommodated.  Of  course, the hens thanked me  by cutting production in half!!!

I bought a heat lamp for the puppies and we got them relocated today to the east sheds.  The brown one with white on her face seems to be the most lively so far.  They are beginning to get  their eyes open when they aren't squinting them....and are  more active.  I hope they don't wander out of the box/nest.   DH says Mama will see to them.  I hope he is right.

This one once disturbed decided to find a snack,

and had great success,

I had a busy morning before it warmed up enough to venture outside.

I made a batch of peach  and  strawberry jam for the kids.  I  also made a small apple tart for us.

From Food

The skimmings are always reserved for the chef....and her mate:

The foamy stuff is a little tarter but  very tasty.

From Food

and the tart,

I was out of frozen crust so I made up the batch of Nathan's  Never-Fail Recipe (6 crusts) so I now have my crusts in the freezer for Thanksgiving.

I am finished for the day.

Tomorrow I will move  some potted things I didn't get planted to the Milk Parlor for the winter.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Winter May be Here

We are going to be much colder than usual for the next two weeks, even down in the 20's at night. Brrrrr!  Glad we filled the propane tank a couple of weeks ago.

The  leaves are  still falling.  I love how the west yard looks when it is covered.   The best that  I will do and that is a maybe  is mowing them into a windrow throwing next to something that could use the mulch.  I don't  rake and I don't bag.  I often think it is good that we live on a farm and have a 'farm' style yard.  No neighborhood organizations  to remind me  of how untidy I garden. 

The Red Maple is just showing color on one section ??? hope it finishes.

The Pin Oak has a good color this year:

and I have one burning bush left after the front ditch renovation.  This is a seedling nearer  the front tree and  shrub  border in the front  yard.

and the redbud has no leaves but I like the looks of all the seeds.  You can see why it sprouts up all over the yard.


I was happy to see a nice difference in the yolks of the eggs when I was able to let the range  for a while.  Even DH could see the difference.  I believe  the darker the yolk the better for you the egg.

Of course that little project  came to an end when one of the 'gifted' chickens began eating an egg a day in the nest.  DH thought he knew which one and tossed her  feathered fanny out into the grassy pen.  The problems seems  to be resolved....then yesterday the eggs were dirtier than usual so now we are wondering.  This morning I am going to make a little alley to the back of the larger pen so the main flock can graze again.   Grazing will soon be over because of the freezing temperatures.

This area is now almost bare of green things.  It is amazing how much they can eat.

Puppies are thriving.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pasta and Puppies

It is a very cool and wet day here on the farm.  We got a lovely l.25 inches of rain yesterday.  Today will be a high 50's day.

New events:  The Beagle had her puppies!  3 little butterballs

I treated myself to the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer.  I know it is silly for just us but I have always wanted a  pasta machine.  I did economize and bought it from Amazon  Warehouse at about $60 discount.

First the puppies.

She had them about4-5 days ago.  It took me two days to find them.....she kept coming out of the big barn so I followed her in and  found them in the far north stall snuggled down in a nest of straw.

I didn't  touch them the first time but took a few pictures.  She seems to be a very good mother.

I took these this morning.  I enlisted my grumbling mate to hold them for me....he wanted me to do it but I was afraid I might list sideways and drop one (uneven footing isn't good for me with the knee and dizziness) so I played my poor me card and he did it.

I see he picked up the same white faced brown one twice.  The second brown one has no spots and you can see it (don't know sex yet) in the group shot.  They wiggled and sounded like little kittens the whole time we were fooling with them.  The mama was not overly concerned which was good.

Puppy No. 1:

Puppy No. 2

Puppy NO. 3 is the solid brown with no white on its face.

and now the kitchen fun: 

I got the flat roller, the fettucini and the spaghetti cutters.

I used the recipe in the Kitchen Aid book that came with the set....made a lot of pasta.  I probably won't do that again, but the entire process didn't  take long from start to finish.

I kept one long flat sheet out and cut it with my pizza cutter for large egg noodles.  I sprinkled it with flour and folded it in thirds and cut it very quickly.  I cooked them for lunch and was really satisfied with the taste and texture.  It seemed that every time I made them by hand, I could never roll them thin enough.

I also (as  you can see) bought the cheap version of a pasta rack.  It works fine  for me.

This is one of those things that you do not need in the kitchen, but it was a lot of fun.  DH even came in and watched me.

Now what I need to find out is the best way to preserve the extra pasta.  I dried it and they broke a lot when I slipped them off the rack to bag....If any of you do this, please let me know how you manage it......or am I the only nut in the kitchen!