Tuesday, March 25, 2014

End of March Doings

Drat!  I lost the entire post...............

This has been the  week our almost  19-year-old granddaughter is visiting so I haven't accomplished too much.

The  weather has been very unfavorable too.  Days in low 50's or less and nights freezing and below.  I don't work outside when it is  that cold and windy to boot.

I did manage to get  the  dormant oil spray on the orchard yesterday which was very near perfect.  High 50's and not windy.  Of course for me to spray all the stars must be in perfect alignment.  Nothing is ever easy.
First the battery on the mower (used to haul garden cart) was bad; new battery bought.  Next battery to run the  sprayer was down.  Had to charge overnight during which the 5 gallons of spray I had mixed thinking I was going to use the day before  all leaked out!.  So everything workin;g  new spray mixed....sprayed about 14 trees.  I also retied  my Jonafree apple tree and need to go back and  stake the new  apricot tree.  It is listing badly.  We have had strong winds all winter.

Next I decided to turn all the girls (chickens) out into the larger area since  some green stuff was showing.  They cohabited nicely outside in the larger area but still are vicious to the new girls once inside.  The good news is:

From March Blog

I don't know  who is happier to have our own eggs again,  DH or me.  We are getting 6-7 daily now.

They weren't too hard to get back up in the evening.

BTW, caught another opossum!  I am thinking of leaving Sugar loose at night. This makes 4 or 5 now.

I made  a pan of sweet rolls for the GD for breakfast (if she ever gets up!)

We tested two small ones  from the middle.....as always.

I also started another bottle of vanilla using beans  from  Olive Nation (no shipping on vanilla beans).  I hope it turns out as well as the other beans I ordered through Amazon.  These are also Madagascar beans.

Rhubarb is up!   

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mini Blizzard ---- again!

Saturday was almost 70°; Sunday started out (3:30 AM) at 54° and dropped in the evening down to 32°.  It is a very cold 17° this morning but the sun is shining and it is supposed to warm up and melt all the snow.  The rest of the week looks pretty typical, days in high 50's and nights above freezing. 


I guess I jumped the gun last week when I uncovered the strawberry bed.  I was out in cold drizzle yesterday morning recovering them.  I may them covered until May!

I have thyme( lot of it; the seed is so tiny I just broadcast it) up in a lettuce container under the back porch lights.  Out of 6 pots of hyacinth beans, only two are up.  That is more than enough since it makes a huge vine.  I have plans to do peppers and tomatoes by the end of the week.

Life is almost back to normal after company......We will probably have more over Spring Break (next week)!
Hold a good thought for me please.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Calves out!

Friday, March 7, 2014

This is not something you want to look out the window and see first thing in the morning (unlike yesterday's turkeys).

I am bringing up the rear as usual. Don't they look innocent; like what have we done?

They took the long way back to the calf lot, around the garden, under the downed Elm tree and along the back fence that is lined with five and six foot saplings.(chain saw required).

We found where they broke through a weak spot in the fence that will require some serious patch work.

I decided to go ahead and milk even though I knew Willow would be down in her milk because of all the excitement. She was, but just a quart.  Here  she is coming up the ramp into the milk parlor.

Back in the house I did a minimal amount of house tidying (bed and kitchen). I got out a loaf of bread and a chicken breast to thaw. I am making Ilene'schicken-fried rice for lunch.

Since I have extra milk now I set up a half gallon of yogurt. My Dannon starter was getting old but was frozen so I risked it.  I really only milk two or three times a week for normal use.....more if making something requiring extra. 

It is drizzling rain out so no outside work for me. I may go back to the barn......then I may not.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Sun is Shining on the Turkeys

 Began March 1, 2014

We are in the midst of the predicted winter storm. So far the predictions have been accurate for us.

Winds, cold from 33 down to l0 degrees last night until now. Maybe l/4 inch of sleet covered with a dusting of snow.

Our granddaughter and her friend came down Friday and were supposed to leave today. GD decided last night to stay over until Monday after the storm has passed. Friend left this morning and got a few miles out on I-44 and passed 4 wrecks and decided to come back. Some patches of the highway were very slick and the wind added to the trouble.

Now I am thinking it may be Tuesday before they can leave.
I don't want them to travel on hazardous roads. This points out the reason why no one should make unnecessary trips in the midst of winter. They may miss two days of college classes. My son will not be a happy camper over this one.

Cooking for them has gone well. Dinner yesterday was smothered roundsteak, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad of lettuce, tomatoes, slivers of mozzarella and toasted almonds. Dessert was cheesecake with choice of blueberry, crumbs (leftover from crust), or caramel sauce. I had never made this sauce before and it was very simple and quick.....very good too.

I think they made themselves a grilled cheese when they came in last night (late).

I am almost out of bread so I got up early (as usual) this morning and made my recipe of 24-hours refrigerator rolls. I took a third of the dough and made a pan of cinnamon rolls (breakfast) and the rest in large dinner rolls that we will use for sandwiches or just dinner.

This time I did a regular one hour raise and used the KA mixer to do the kneading. This has been a never-fail recipe for me over the years.

The girls are safely home and I am in letdown mode.

I did make a batch of bread (3 loaves) yesterday. I added just three cups of white whole wheat flour to the 8 cup recipe. I thought that would give us better nutrition but not change the texture and softness of the bread and I was right. DH was happy with it.

The sun is shining brightly this morning and will get up to 50° this afternoon. I need to finish some house work left from company so I can be ready for the next ones....over spring break.

Yesterday I did a new roast in the crock pot with a package of onion soup mix over the top and am happy to report that it cooked up very tender in the regular amount of time. I was so worried about this meat.
The real test will be some steaks that I will do over the weekend.

Today's plan is to finish cleaning the guest bedrooms and get ready for our next company which will be  around the l3th.

I just walked past a living room window and this is what I saw:

This is my favorite tree, a River Birch (betula nigra) in the morning light. I love the apricot/peachy color of the bark in sunlight: