Down the lane is also four little calves
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Down the lane is also four little calves
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
especially since I spent quite a bit of time yesterday finishing stacking wood. All but this little pile but the kids said no more. Okay, they didn't exactly say no more but the tears and whines amounted to the same thing. The wheel barrow rides with the kids taking turns riding back to the wood pile to fill up again
weren't compensating for the preoccupied Grandma. They wanted some attention. So here it sits eating at me because I can't hardly keep my eyes open and I've so little to stack. It's amazing how much wood you can haul with one arm holding a 1 year old half of the time.
So wood stove users out there what is your guesstimate for heating a 2400 square foot in Wyoming where the winters are pretty cold, below freezing most of the time where the wind suck the heat out of a home in a hurry? Ours is well insulated. I took a quick glance on the Internet yesterday before the eye thing and found only one spot in my rapid search that said 22 cords. Is this high or low. We probably only have 10 -12 cords. And if that ifs the case we'd freeze half of the winter.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Maybe that is why I chose the cookies I made. They are something a bit unusual and always have been one of my comfort foods. Yes, I have a food issue, stressed and I crave sweets. So out came the Pineapple Cookie recipe and yes, since they aren't my husband's favorite, I made Snickerdoodles too but forgot to roll them in cinnamon and sugar in my tired state. The 7 loads of laundry did get folded though and the old series on DVD - Hogan's Heroes- lulled me into a relaxed state while I finished the last few loads. Today is change the beds day so it's high hoe, high hoe we've more laundry to go.
But first, I'll give you the recipe just in case your having a tough time too and need some comfort food.
Mix the above together and add:
Monday, April 26, 2010
So come on all you scientists why do we stick out tongue out when the going gets tough. I went to the internet to look for the scientific answer and must of typed in the wrong words because all I got was opinions. We can do that so what's your theory? Why do you stick your tongue against the back of your teeth, against your lips, or down right out there for all to see when your concentrating? I could really use a good laugh so don't worry if your thoughts sound a bit silly to you. I'd love to hear them. Boy could I use a good laugh. It was a really tough day with the kids. Who knows you just might be the one to enlighten us all.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Look at the thick stem on this Siberia tomato I mislabeled as Siberian.
With that thick stem it should withstand the windy weather we have around her even though our daughter's trampoline didn't. Yup, the 45 mile an hour wind pulled all those pieces that just fit inside each other but weren't bolted together apart into lots of pieces and scattered them for 200 feet beyond our property. The base which I had anchored was still sitting where we'd set it. You'd think the wind had fingers the way it dismantled that trampoline. With that in mind, we'll see how well the Long Keeper tomatoes do. They are suppose to store really well for a long period of time but can they withstand the wind and colder temperatures remains to be seen with their wimpier stems.
As for the Siberia tomatoes, they are another experiment. They are a determinate, thank you, thank you. Why the melodramatics? Well, I had a choice of indeterminate or indeterminate at the greenhouse last spring and I spent all summer trimming the 18 plants for a much much smaller crop of tomatoes than I've had in the past. That experience along with others in trying to find tomatoes that will grow well in our area has led me to the conclusion that to do it right you have to do it yourself. The tomatoes the greenhouses get are those reported to do well in a lets say 5 to 10 state area around you. I wouldn't grow the same tomatoes over the mountain four hours away that I grow here. The weather isn't windy over the mountain where I was raised. Here it seldom isn't. The weather extremes are more dramatic and the growing season shorter.
My plan is to put some of the tomatoes out two weeks early in wall a waters which equates to mid May and then place those wood window frames in a tepee shape that have plastic in them that I got off the construction site over the top. The anchoring of them I don't quite have fully worked out yet but Kirk bought the hinges to attach two together. It will be really exciting if the double greenhouse effect works well in giving the tomatoes an early start. Wall of waters are great for protecting the plants but they still don't grow very fast in them at first. That's where I'm hoping to make the change. The faster they get big the sooner I'm hoping to be eating a ripe red tomato.
I put up a new grow light this year, the traditional starter light, and I'm hoping to get some lovely fresh herbs going well under it along with growing salad greens this winter. The traditional starter light is far less expensive and is much larger than my other light and should therefore allow me to start more plants along with keeping herbs and salad going all winter. I figure I'll just do a bunch of smaller pots so that I can stagger the plantings to keep a steady supply going. For now I'm just doing two plantings. Two plantings, two hatchings. Maybe I have a fixation for two this year.
As for the cucumbers, I started this year instead of direct seeding in the garden, well, I should have read the label. Do not start until a few weeks before frost. Okay the label didn't exactly say that but it should have because boy are they going to be big when I set them out. I hope they can withstand the cold. I plan on putting them along the east fence where it gets hot and draping clear plastic I've recycled from the hay shed down off the fence and over them forming a mini greenhouse. Just in case I tucked a few more cucumber seeds in soil today for a later planting. Beside them under the plastic will be cantaloupe that I just seeded and will lay plastic on the ground around them to raise the soil temperature. Never had a ripe cantaloupe before.
Also today, I planted some broccoli since larger plants with stand the dreaded flea beetle better than smaller ones. Into pots went two kinds of pumpkin seeds a red heritage one and a cooking kind. I started some more pepper plants, some more herbs, and even one lone zucchini. Usually I direct seed my pumpkins, and zucchini but last year the pumpkins did so well from the plants I received from a friend I thought I'd do it this time only with different varieties I'm trying for the first time. Actually what I think was the catalyst for all the seed planting today was the room left over under the new grow light I just put up. I just couldn't resist filling in the space. Kind of like the freezer thing I think. Anyway in this country you need all the jump you can get on the growing season and I refuse to feel guilty about it. Now if only I can figure out where I'm going to put all these plants in the garden space I have.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
and fruit smoothies with black berries, strawberries, and a banana.
The Refrigerator Bran Muffins were such a big hit I thought I'd pass on the recipe. Our middle grand daughter ate four today, and the oldest three, while the youngest downed two.
I wasn't quite as fond of them as when I was a kid but they rank high because of convenience and the kids loved them. It's pretty nice when you can mix up the batch and place it in the refrigerator. Back in my mom's day they said 6 weeks it would last but I don't keep mine over 5 days. Something about having raw eggs in the dough makes me nervous and when would you keep milk for 6 weeks? I have to wonder about the safety of such instructions. The recipe is great if you have kids who wake up with their tummies rumbling or if you've company coming for the weekend and don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
So here's the recipe
2 cups milk (I use goat milk but the original recipe calls for buttermilk)
1/2 cup oil
3 cups bran flake cereal with or without raisins
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. In large bowl, combine the milk, oil, and eggs: beat well. In another bowl add all the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, soda, salt, and nuts. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until equally distributed but don't over beat. Fill muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Wow I actually have a time limit on baking. Wonder if it is accurate. The recipe even says it is for 36 muffins. I made 10 and I don't think there is anyway I'm getting 36 but maybe I'm just too generous.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
That's why I don't fold clothes upstairs. She unfolds them and runs off with them. The middle daughter who loves to changed clothes upmteen times a day would see them, become inspired to try them on and nothing would be folded.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Then when the kids wanted peanut butter and honey sandwiches and I didn't have any honey that wasn't crystallized I thought that's it. I'll talk briefly about honey. But first I had to solve a mystery that has been plaguing me for some time. Why does our honey sometimes crystallize really fast and other times more slowly.
Crystallizing doesn't hurt the honey any, you just put it in a glass container in a pot of warm water and turn the stove on low, slowly melting the honey back into a liquid. Honey is sugar and water. Unlike white sugar it has some minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a health food and recommend you eat up but it is definitely much better to consume than white sugar. All the medical properties of honey I'll go into in another post as 3 little munchkins are begging for attention so this needs to be snappy.
6 or 7 year old honey and it has darkened considerably.
Ta, Ta, the munchkins are howling at my side. Have a good evening!!!
Monday, April 19, 2010
It was a delight for this poor tired Grandma's eyes to see such joy in the kid goats and peels of laughter in our grandchildren.
Friday, April 16, 2010
That story will soon not be true. Tried to call and place an order at our local feed store for 4 Auracana hen chicks. They quit taking orders two weeks ago, a shortage of chicks I guess. I just thought since you have to order 30 baby chick at a time and I didn't want 30 only 4, I'd just go in on an order from the store. I guess we'll see if we can trade a few eggs from our neighbor's Auracana hens which will be bred to an Australorp rooster and see if they produce hens that lay green eggs for the grand kids. Yup, more and more I'm having to search further for the things we once bought at the local stores. Fabric stores for instance are few and far apart in Wyoming.
Sorry, I got off topic a bit. I was talking about the ignorance in the general population. The fact that our oldest grand daughter had the opportunity to watched over and over the hatching of chicks made me fill grateful for our lifestyle. She KNOWS where chicks come from. The part that fascinated her the most this time is how the umbilical cord tore away from the egg. Next year, she will be 6 and we will go into more details about the incubation period and hatching such as the absorption of the rest of the yolk through the umbilical cord which provides nourishment for the chick for the first few days. That is how the hatcheries are able to ship chicks through the mail. They have three days to get to their destination and 30 chicks have to be shipped in one box to provide enough heat for the chicks to remain warm.
Upon arrival they are put in an enclosure that remains at 99 degrees like the 99.5 degrees their incubator was set at. This is provided by a heat lamp. To tell if the temperature in an enclosure for baby chicks is warm enough, you can use a thermometer or just watch the chicks. They will tell you if they are cold by huddling close together for warmth under the rays of the lamp. If hot, they will spread out away from the heat. Just right means they will be scattered fairly equally around the enclosure.
Week by week the chicks will provide more of their heat requirements internally and this dictates the elevating of the heat lamps to lower the temperature in the enclosure. The same principle that applies to a newborn human baby which has a poorly functioning body temperature and should be kept wrapped up warm in a blanket until their body too begins to function more efficiently.
To take the 3 chicks to class I put a heated pad wrapped in a towel underneath them and enclosed them in a cardboard box with a crack in the top until it was time to open it to show the kids. This trip to the pre-school reminded me of a friend of our daughters who asked, " When does a chicken become a turkey?" She was a teenager at the time. Education is the responsibility of the parent. Whether he or she chooses to use outside help does not diminish the fact that the result is still their responsibility. Poor education, poor parenting. So though my little grand daughters will most likely be taught in a public school - while I'm around I will see that the gaps are filled in and they gain the knowledge they so deserve.
Inside was a note telling me to call fast because it works and the person only had to pay shipping to receive the product. Now it was only last summer that a group of ladies from Canada at a neighbor's high school graduation party asked me what my secret was to looking so young. Now here just months later I was receiving an advertisement for anti-aging cream. Imagine my confusion. It definitely wasn't my sisters that sent it. So who did? Had I really gone down hill that far this past 8 month? For someone who's never had a pedicure or had her nails done. In fact, abhors a finger nail file since I equate it to fingernails on a chalkboard. Clippers are my best friend. Yup short and clean that's my philosophy besides you can't really dig in and work with long nails. They just break. As for hair, the less I have to do with it the more happy I am. Curl my bangs on week days and the rest on Sunday or when I need to look nice leaves me not having to look in the mirror so often. I have my grandmother's square Swedish face. Not unpleasant but no beauty. It is a face that babies love and many a stranger's child has thrown themselves at me in a grocery store line. So I don't spent much time looking at myself in the mirror except when I pluck my eyebrows. The ones that are so pale you can barely see them. So imagine my surprise when I began catching myself studying my face in the mirror every time I passed one. Some one had sent me an advertisement to help reduce wrinkles and now I'm wondering why. Had lines slipped in on this face unbeknownst to me? Yes, and no. Those radiating lines around my mouth are getting a bit deeper. And oh my, look at those pores. They are large. I'd forgotten about them since Zits don't come my way too often now. I can thank my Dad for them. Well, I do have crows feet around my eyes. They're just light lines right now and I prefer to call them rays of laughter since I think they denote how much a person laughs. Of course I suppose they could be squinting lines too on someone that doesn't see so well. That's me without my glasses.
But look under those eyes, oh my. They do look pretty bad. The aging lines are nothing compared to the puffiness from a hypothyroid and whoa, those gullies below the puffs. Yup, my adrenals are still taking a nap. Wish I had time to take a nap. Alas, too much to do and so little time. Good thing the doctor is sending me a new kind of adrenal drug to go along with the Hydrocortizone I've been taking for the past few years. Now if that anti-aging cream got rid of purple gouges and puffs I'd call for a case of it tomorrow.
I suppose some of the lovely color, our grand daughter's favorite color by the way, is due to extra bodies in our bed every night, a double bed mind you. Yup, 2 and definitely 1 child finds their way each night sometime after midnight into our arms snuggled between us. Funny, it isn't the same child each night. The 3 of them seem to take turns. Of course in the morning they all pile in just like our kids did when they were little. We broke a few beds over the years over loading them.
The oldest and youngest children aren't too bad but the middle child... Let's just say black and blue is the theme when you sleep with her. Oh, I suppose we could close our door at night but then we figure the little tikes need all the love and comfort they can get right now when their world is turned upside down.
I'd kind of forgotten about my neck and hadn't been studying it in the mirror until our youngest grand daughter started pinching it repeatedly. We have pinchers. Our oldest daughter pinched as a way to comfort and relax herself. No she doesn't still do it but two of her nieces do. I'm getting a bit sore. Do you think I can order anti-pinching cream instead? Or better yet, a cream that fades moles because the grand daughters will grow out of it but I just seem to collect more and more of these ugly brown spots. They're an inherent gift from my Welsh grandfather. Thanks a whole heaping lot grandpa. As for the wrinkles across my neck well, I don't mind them. They cover up the thyroid surgery scar. As I continue to produce more nodules each year in what remains of my thyroid, I will most likely need those wrinkles to hide another thyroid scar in the future.
So if you were the thoughtful person who sent the anti-aging cream advertisement, thank you I now know in detail every wrinkle on my face that I've earned over my 50 years of life. LOL! Now I figure since I know all the details I can go back once more to ignoring my lack of beauty until the next advertisement show up in my mail box.