Tuesday morning Estelle had a surprise waiting in the barn. These little lambs are about two hours old at the time of this photo. They (ram lamb and ewe lamb) are still a bit damp and just learning where mom keeps the food.
I spent a fair amount of the week canning another 21 quarts of potatoes and 60 pints of various type of dry beans. That makes it fast and easy to make a meal for one. And it helps heat the house to do this type of canning in the winter when the cold comes.
Then I organized the yarns that I had spun that are for sale.
And the cold has started. It is now below freezing and last night we got a smattering of snow. It is supposed to increase throughout tonight and we may wake up to 1-3″ of snow. But Monday the rains will be back so it will quickly melt. In this region, we aren’t used to these cold temperatures, so it’s nice it doesn’t stay cold a long time. February is usually our harshest weather.
These are going to be an interesting pair of socks. The colors on the ball are pretty enough, but I’m starting to have doubts about how they will look. However, no one will see them under jeans anyway, so I’m plunging onward.
Remember these very green tomatoes that I picked a couple of weeks ago and wondered if they would ripen. Here they are today.
I’m not sure what happened in the raspberry patch, but some of the supporting posts are lying on their sides. It may be that they have just rotted off. I’ll have to inspect, but for today, I just trimmed them back to knee high. We only need a few.
It’s been bright, but freezing cold outside, so what better to do than processing food.
In the summer, when time is at a premium, the tomatoes and other vegetables often get bagged and frozen for when there is more time. So yesterday, I pulled out the tomatoes, peppers, onions, celery tops, and other items including small left overs to make a tomato sauce which simmered all day. I started with 24 quarts of produce in 2 large pots. This morning, we jarred and processed it. I ended up with 12 quarts of tomato/spaghetti sauce.
This is what I saw walking up to the barn. Such a nice ram. It was cold and the hen found a warm woolly blanket.
The tree is standing now, the ornaments are pulled out and currently there is one big mess until the tree is decorated.
In front is the lime tree – a bit straggly, but has three limes.
The orange tree has 3 large oranges, but they are so very green. Does anyone know if they will still ripen? – They are in the heated hoop house.
Lemon lost one of its lemons so has one small lemon.
The hoop house garden is nearly done for this year. I still have to clean it up. I picked what was left, and still have the aisles to clean. There are new potato plants and garlic across the back a long with three kale plants. There is some winter broccoli up front and that will be all we will do in here this year.
All of you know how one thing leads to another. This morning after making Broccoli soup and steel-cut oats, I was cleaning off the counter top. I wanted to put the potato starch into a specific container. That was no problem, but I didn’t know where the lid was. Usually the lids are kept with the container, but this lid was missing. So I proceeded to look in the possible drawers. I ended up cleaning out 9 drawers plus the pantry, looking for that lid, which I never did find, nor did the counter get totally cleaned. I gave up
In the midst of this, I remembered that we are changing a few more sheep coats tomorrow and I needed to wash coats to have enough clean for that. Now I also have a few more coats to mend.
Next, I needed to move the dog food that Costco delivered Friday. I order every 3 months and get 12 bags each weighing 30 pounds. Again, not a simple task, because as you know, one thing leads to another. I got the tractor, brought it to the front door, and piled on 8 of the boxes (Costco puts each bag into a box). While I was doing that, I noticed that the plants in front had frozen, so pulled them out and loaded them on top of the food. I took the food to the barn, and put the frozen plant material on the compost pile.
Now to get three more boxes to take to the studio, which is where we keep the food for the dog who guards the sheep in the lower pasture. I picked those boxes up and went around to the studio, delivered them, and then decided that it was a mess around the door. So I loaded the peat moss , some garbage and the water trough that I will be using for the boys in an upper pasture. Off I went to take the peat moss to the upper hoop house along with some other items. On the way, I left the garbage in the garbage house, the trough near the gate in the upper pasture, and the peat moss in the hoop house.
But it didn’t stop there. Once you clean up a part of an area, you want to keep going, so we loaded all the parts of the fleeces that are too soiled to sell and took 3 loads of that up to the compost – well, I started a new pile near the new garden. Then there was another load of thermalite etc to go to the hoop house and another load of junk for the garbage shed. Most of this stuff was too heavy for me to move before I had the tractor. We spent 3 hours doing this and enjoyed a late lunch. It was nice to have it already made and we could just heat and eat.
After lunch it was back to the barn to clean a third of the stalls and feed the animals. We will finish the other two stalls tomorrow and sweep off the cement areas by the two back doors, since they are now free of all the “extras” Like I said, “one thing leads to another”, but it feels so good to have it done. Most of it I couldn’t do without the tractor. I am so thankful we bought it.
I was trying to make more interesting platters. This turkey will get a head touch up. I think the owl will get shortened and I’ll try avocado rounds for the eyes. They should be ripe by morning. Sometimes it’s difficult to get just the look you’re trying to achieve.
This has been a fast year, hasn’t it. We’re nearly to the end of 2018 and I for one will end the year with left over projects. Enjoy the holidays and know there’s another whole year to work on those projects. Happy Thanksgiving to each of you.
I bought 25# of beets last week. We have been feasting on them. Today, I canned 20 pints for this winter. Tuesday, I will go back to the farm and get fresh vegetables for Thanksgiving nibbles and another package of beets.
Usually I boil the beets, put them under cold water, and the skins slip off. These had to be scraped off. Have you ever had beets like that? Or can you tell me how to do it differently? That was a pain. But I have 20 pints of canned beets and would love to triple that number.
Potholders: Working slowly, but steadily, these are now ready for the Insulbrite backing, and binding.
The quilting machine has been updated with a new computer which I now get to relearn how to use. The older computer is no longer supported, so there really wasn’t an option if I wanted to use the computer aspect of it.
We also have been putting some time into readying the hoop house for winter. We will let it rest this winter as there isn’t time for everything. So the last of the tomatoes (I think) came in, the kale will stay where it is, in the back and I’ll plant the garlic yet this month. The citrus, we will move to a warmer place.
After 2 weeks of some type of bug, I feel that I’m back in the land of the living. I was not completely without something in my hands though. Here are two fibers which I plied
And I was given a sour dough starter which did very well the first try.
The weather forecast is for a week without rain, so there is much to do around here in that week to get ready for the rainy season. And I am loving the new tractor which is making some chores possible to get done.