Monday, February 23, 2009

Another Hint of Spring?

I found something else peeking out of the cold, wet ground! My elephant garlic is about 4 inches high! Trying to grow right through the snow. That stuff must be pretty hardy!
Today when I got home from workat 3:50 PM, I got the bowl of bread dough from the fridge and pulled off a grapefruit sized ball of dough. I tucked the ragged ends underneath it and plopped it on a cornmeal dusted flat cookie sheet. I let it raise 1 hour, then baked it at 450 degrees for 30 minutes and we had fresh bread with our Chicken Noodle Soup that I made yesterday. It was just tooooo tasty! And sooooo easy! There is one little trick though. The first 10 to 15 minutes after you put it in the oven, you cover it with a metal bowl or an aluminum lasagna pan, to trap the steam. Then you remove it and let it bake. Yummo!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spring is Coming!

I think Spring is teasing me! Here is one of my tulips that is poking its head out to see if it is OK to come out yet. There were two or three of these showing above the leaves a couple of days ago. Then last night and today, it snowed, AGAIN!! I want to get my hands in the flower gardens and get dirty! Hmph! Winter just won't give up yet!

The dining room is open! The feathered friends just need to wait their turn at the table. Sometimes there are 20 to 30 American Goldfinches all trying to eat at the same time so of course there are some minor arguments too. I have two feeder for these little birds and they are always waiting in line for their turn. They are lots of fun to watch.

When the ground is covered with snow, the number of Starlings that we have quadruples! They empty the birdfeeders in no time. They also eat the chickens' food and by the time we get home from work, the chickens are very hungry. We have put the chickens' feeders inside the chicken house but the starlings go in and out the little door for the chickens and eat it anyway! And they poop on everything, even the horses backs if they spend any time under the tree. Nasty birds!

Isn't this a lovely color? I think this is such a beautiful bluejay! I'm sure God loves color too with all the color there is in the birds.

I found an intriguing site on the internet through another blog I read. The writer is a lady in Australia. Here it is

This site has several recipes and also gives the how-to. It is so easy to do!

I printed out these pages and made my first batch of bread dough. I baked a loaf the next day and almost ate the whole thing! It was so good. This bread has a crispy crust, and a moist and yeasty inside. I have already made my second batch. I like them so much, that yesterday, E and I went to Barnes and Noble and purchased the book. I used a gift card that we have had for over a year. The book has recipes to make sweet breads, rolls, and all kinds of different bread recipes, using this same stored dough formula. I love that I can make fresh bread even AFTER I get home from work! Try it and tell me how you like it!

Monday, February 02, 2009

We have a bathroom drain that actually drains now! E got all the pipes replaced and now we just need to figure out how to repair that huge hole in the floor! I can't wait to get everything that was in this room, back in there, so I can find the livingroom! I am planning to sort out some more of the 'stuff' and donate it, so I won't have to put so much back in there. I think I inherited some of the 'save everything' genes from my grandmother, but that makes for a lot of clutter and 'stuff' that we don't need to have in this tiny house. Makes keeping the house neat pretty difficult. So I am going to be ruthless when it comes to keeping all this 'stuff'!! We had a relaxing weekend. I slept a bit later than usual. We read books, sat in front of the computer awhile, worked on my quilt, did the laundry and some house cleaning. I tried a new recipe called Crockpot Enchiladas. I loved them, even though I think I would not cook them quite so long next time. E said they weren't too bad, but he doesn't like anything with a lot of tomatoey sauces. These were rich and saucy. Yum!

E surprised me by cleaning the horses' stalls and rebedding them! I always do the cleaning while he takes care of the chickens. When I came outside to clean stalls, they were already done!! He is such a sweetie!!
This little black kitty will follow me absolutely anywhere. He is a pest! But he purrs so loudly when I pick him up and he licks my nose, and just loves every second of his share of my time. The snow was a problem for him as he couldn't walk on top of it, he kept breaking through, but he didn't care if he could climb up my legs! OUCH!Solomon got a 'boo boo' on his face. I don't know what happened. I suspect that Katie, who is standing next to him, probably made a mad face at him and he smacked his face on the hay feeder that is in their run-in shed. He used to be the Absolute Boss Man, but Katie and her daughter Maddie, have taken over and Katie runs him off from the gate, the water tank and just because she can! It is hard for me to believe that he will be 20 years old in May of this year! I helped him come into this world, and it just seems like yesterday! He is as healthy as can be, but has some arthritis in his right rear stifle that makes him have a bit of a hop when he is moving faster than a walk.

This is my sleeping garden. It is warm and cosy under its blanket of snow. I can hardly wait to get my hands in some warm garden soil! Some years the daffodils are coming up in mid January, but I think they are hiding this year!
My father in law gave me 4 grape vines that he dug up from his garden. He was tired of messing with them. I think they are about 4 or 5 years old. They are sitting in the garage in big buckets. I don't know if they will survive their winter storage or not. I hope so. I wish we had planted an apple tree or two when we first moved here twelve and half years ago. We would most likely be harvesting apples now. But...hindsight is wonderful isn't it!
Lets hope for an early spring!