Saturday, December 24, 2005

Here is the completed upscale, fancy, chicken mansion!! I haven't decided if they are grateful yet, because now they aren't really laying eggs. One a week, maybe. Click on last photo to see larger version.
Here is a shot of the 'old one' and the 'new one'. Quite a difference, eh?
Then, Ed pushed it into position with the tractor. It had runners on it, but they were rotten so Ed replaced them with treated lumber.
We set up a couple of jacks to hold it while we drove the trailer out from under it.
Here we are unloading it at home. We put a chain on the front of it and tied it off to a tree, and drove the truck out from under it.

Hey Mom, this is for you!! Here is our chickens' new digs!! And they love it!!
Here they are loading it on our trailer.

Well, lets see. How did my week go? Pretty uneventful, I think. I went to visit my former boss and took her some of my mulberry jelly, (the berries came from a tree on her farm), and a jar of the maple syrup that we made this past February. She was delighted with her gift. I also added a couple of extras this year, a Peach Plum Jam, and a Gingered Pear Jam.
I went over to the barn and talked to Enrique and the new manager. We talked for over an hour. The new manager asked me lots of questions about the horses and their former care and little quirks . He didn't know anything about the horses that he is responsible for, such as the fact that Stealth had coliced badly a few years ago because he doesn't drink enough water in the wintertime. And that Mickey had foundered several times, that Minnie has not been trained to ride, that Iris Anne has always been very round, (read, FAT). Little quirks and idiosyncrasies of the individual horses that he didn't know. Said he really appreciated my stopping by and talking with him.

Our chickens are taking a winter break. We have 8 hens and we are getting one egg about twice a week. I think they don't like cold weather! Well, neither do I!

Last Sunday we drove up to Lebanon and ate too much at the Wolfe Christmas get together. There was a lot of family there. It was nice to see everyone. The trip up there was slow and slick as it was snowing most of the way up there. The roads were slick and busy. It was nice to get home safely, even though it was 7:00 PM and the horses wondered what happened to us, as their supper was 2 hours late!

On an online Horse Training Discussion Board that I'm a member of on the internet, we decided to play Secret Santas. One member took the names and passed them out to others and we had a 10.00 limit to spend on a gift. It was a lot of fun. Here is a photo of the gift I received and I still haven't figured out who it is from!

Monday, December 19, 2005

So what is Kenny up to here?? Teasing someone, I'm sure. Wouldn't life be boring if we were never teased or whatever? Saturday was a fun day! All of us girls, and Mom, and a couple of the neices and nephews, all met at Lois and Kenny's home to bake cookies. We try to do this every year before the holidays, but sometimes there are too many other commitments that get in the way and it never happens. This year everything worked out well. It was a good thing Lois has two ovens. There were about 4 kinds of cookies baking at once!
The tasting was soooo good tooooo!!!! Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Chip, Potato Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter,
Molasses Crinkles, Sugar Cookies. I am sure I've forgotten some too. They were all good. We will have a cookie exchange and everyone will take home some of each. Sarah Beth and Timmy did a nice job of decorating the sugar cookies.

The BBQ sandwiches Lois made for lunch were yummy too. I love BBQ sauces. Try it on scrambled eggs! Ed says that is 'sick', but it is not bad at all, especially for those of us that like catsup on our eggs! But then, Ed doesn't like BBQ sauce. Gotta be something wrong with a man that doesn't like the taste of BBQ, right??

The good company was the best part though. The visiting and the catching up with each other, over a cup of hot coffee and a good cookie or two, or....three.
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Saturday, December 10, 2005

We have 6 inches of snow. No ice. Except what is hanging from the eaves and gutters. It isn't going anywhere fast when the daytime temps are only 24° ! Oh, where is spring????

The 4 young chickens (three hens and a rooster) haven't seen snow yet. (They haven't started to lay eggs yet, but should any day now). I made them go out of their house yesterday, and they squawked and hollered. I had to make them go back inside (it was 14° ) before they froze! The wouldn't even walk in it at all, just stand there, squawking! Their heated water bowl is outside in their pen, about 18 inches from the doorway. I even cleaned the snow away so they wouldn't have to walk in it to get a drink! I don't know if they came out or not. I guess if they get thirsty they will. The older hens in their own pen, would come out and drink their warmed water, then go back inside. The food feeders are all inside their houses.

Yesterday, I saw a squirrel jumping, running, hopping, up the middle of the back pasture. I don't know where he came from, but he was out in the open and if our little dog, Missy, (see above) had seen him, he would have been lunch, because he was a long way from any trees.

I saw a diferent bird at our feeder yesterday. I found out after looking it up in the birdbook, that it was a Carolina Wren. Haven't seen one at the feeder before.

I'm off to make some Christmas cookies. Ed had to work until noon today. They are doing inventory at work.

Friday, December 09, 2005

How is this for snow!!! YUCK!!! I hate winter! It was 9° this morning. Brrrr! Makes me want to hibernate like a bear. Just go in a hole and wait until it is at least 45° out there. The horses are in the shed, but are invisible!

This morning Ed didn't leave for work until about 8:00, because he waited for daylight so he could use the Kubota with the snowblower and clear the driveway. Since our driveway is just short of a 1/4 mile long, it took him awhile. He broke a shear bolt about half way through and had to come back to the garage and find a replacement. Then he finished by clearing a path for me to run my wheelbarrow up to the shed to feed the horses. I put a bale of hay in the wheelbarrow and push it up there, then throw it in the hay rack.

Poor Sis, she has been here since August 29, and the other three still won't let her near them. Well, Katie and Solomon won't. Maddie don't care one way or the other. But they run her out of the shed quite often, and she isn't aggressive enough to stand up to them. So she stands outside and watches them eat, even though she is hungry too. So I go up and make a place for her and she will go and eat as long as Katie, (who is the most aggressive towards her) stays on the other side of the shed. (It is divided down the middle with a wall). She stays out of their way. Katie has pinned her in a corner a few times, and she is very wary of her.

Lois called me yesterday from CoCoa Beach? Florida. She said it was 67° ! Made me jealous. I told her about going out to eat, and she said she would rather we all just come to her house like usual. Suits me. Cheaper. More personal than a restaurant. So...something to think about. Hey, Jeanie, you all come too. I wish you could.
Well, I guess this is enough rambling for now. Gotta go and get a sweater on!!!

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Today, Ed and I drove down to meet Sarah at Bedford. I expected to find Dustin with her, but Mom came instead. Dustin had bagged a second deer yesterday, and they were going to process it themselves, (Dustin and Sarah) and she wanted my book on taking care of wild game. It has a lot of color photographs on how to make the right cuts of meat, etc. We met Sarah at Bedford to loan her the book. We had a lovely visit.

But I sure don't envy Dustin his job! I have processed a couple of deer and that is a messy, icky job. When it is all wrapped in the white paper and labeled and put in the freezer, then I like venison.
Here's a little trick I learned. If you have some that you think has a little more gamey flavor than you like, soak it in milk in the fridge for a couple of hours. Just rinse it and cook it. Makes tasty venison, with NO gamey flavor.

I finally got some Christmas decorations out! Last year I didn't even open the boxes! We go visit relatives before and during Chrismas, so I thought...why bother? I would just have to take it all down again!! And I didn't want to bother just for us.
But this year I think I will bother!! Ruth, maybe your photo inspired me??
When I get done, I'll take a couple of pictures if you want to see what I have done.