Tag Archives: cooking

Olio – 3-28-16

It is really trying to be spring time.  We are having more warm days and mild nights as not, but the threat of frost is not passed, nor will it for a few more weeks.  The tiny tomato plants have secondary leaves and the two of the four types of peppers are thriving.  They spend as much of each sunny day outdoors as they can, often tucked in a sheltered area as the spring wind is strong in this hollow.  The remaining two flats of still ungerminated peppers have been left indoors under cover and soon flats of basil and fennel will be added to that tray.  We can start putting these plants in the ground in another month.

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There are 4 comfrey seedlings, so I should have plenty of comfrey leaves to dry for salves, to feed to the chickens, and to use as mulch on the beds.  I love their huge shading leaves and purple flowers.

I have continued spinning on the Merino batts I blended at Hawk’s Nest and have produced several hundred yards of a beautiful royal purple yarn with gray and blue highlights.  It has spun and plied to a very soft fingering weight yarn.

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Skein winding off the bobbin.
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The first skein plied, but not yet soaked and hung to set.

On my drop spindle, I have created and plied a skein of the Romney that I received as my March Tailfeather’s Club installment.  It is beautiful too, but is going much slower than what I am creating on the wheel.

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It is light fingering weight.

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Wild yeast sourdough starter

The wild yeast sourdough starter was a tough start.  After about 5 days, I saw no activity, so I discarded most of it and fed it again.  Still not too much activity was observed, but daily stirring disbursed the odor that it was beginning to ferment.  Saturday, I again discarded most of it and fed it again and it bubbled happily yesterday.  It has a delightful fruity odor and nice development.  Today I fed it again and tonight, I will make the ferment and soak the flour for tomorrow’s bread making.  I am excited that I have developed a nice wild starter from just flour and water, some patience and a good daily stirring. Tomorrow, we will have sourdough bread of just flour, water, and salt.

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Our house was built with three dormers on the front.

Two of those dormers are in the living room and high up in the heavy timber roof line. They face north and are magnets for wasps and stinkbugs to gather during the daylight hours.  After a few days, the wasps will move down to the south windows and doors on the ground level and can be swatted and removed from the house, but yesterday, I realized that there were not one or two, but a dozen or more in those windows.  I hauled the 8′ ladder in, climbed to the step below the top and swatted wasps in both sets of windows.  I had hardly put the ladder away until I spotted another.  I must figure out where they are getting in.

 

What to do on a day at home.

Today, I am grandparent in charge. There is no preschool for N on Thursday. Most Thursdays are spinning day, except once a month, we can’t use the room. Mountaingdad, when he rode the Big Bad Harley to Roanoke on Tuesday, scheduled it’s spring maintainence for today, so off he was going today also.

I came downstairs to 5 overripe bananas and an empty granola jar on the counter, along with a sink full of dirty dishes accumulated since after dinner last night, a load of laundry in the drier that must have been drying when daughter’s family went to bed last night, so set about to remedy all of that. Dishes loaded, laundry folded and my load run, and a quick straighten up while grandson ate his breakfast. Once he was on his bus it was time to do some cooking. Since we are getting eggs and there was no spinning today to sell any, I mashed the 5 bananas and made 2 loaves of banana walnut bread.

Once they were on the counter cooling, the oven temperature was reduced and a half gallon of granola was mixed to bake.

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That will provide breakfast, snacks, and lunch supplement for daughter’s family for a bit.

Granddaughter and I took the trash to the convenience center and son’s hat to the post office and stopped for a pound of pasta and some salad additions. Once home, the last package of frozen tomatoes from our garden last year, half a package of frozen summer squash, and the next to last package of frozen Bell peppers were chopped and added to sauteed onion, garlic, and herbs and set to simmer for pasta sauce for dinner. There is a pint of left over pasta sauce frozen to add later. The last few jars of home canned sauce will be kept for a dinner night when I have less time.

Granddaughter is napping, but once she is awake or her Mom gets home, I am going out to plant the onion sets, peas, radishes, turnips, and kale.

Olio – February 20, 2016

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

On this day 29 years ago, my youngest was born.  He was 11 days late, I thought he would never enter this world, and when he did decide to come, he was presented sunnyside up, with a huge head, and weighing in at a whopping 11+ pounds.  We didn’t have to have a C section, but almost.  We are extremely proud of him as he became an EMT at 18 and has volunteered with it ever since.  He moved on to earn his Paramedic certification with Advanced Life Support and has worked in that field most of his adult life.  He recently has started his own transport company and is awaiting the final inspections to start moving with his two ambulances at the ready.  Happy birthday, son.

The snow from last week finally is gone except for a few sheltered places in the woods and on the north side of the house and barn.  There is a coastal storm that is threatening us next week, hopefully not to interfere with my friend’s and my drive to the spinning retreat on Thursday.  The forcasters can’t decide if it is going to be snow, ice, or rain, we are hoping it is only rain or if the snow or ice is on the earlier end, coming on Tuesday.

I am packed for the retreat and ready to go as compactly as I can be.  Since, I am only taking soaps, lotion bars and salves, I have packed it all into one large wicker lidded basket, instead of the usual 5 or 6 wooden crates when I also have yarn and knit wear. This retreat is for fiber folks, they make their own yarn and knit wear.

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The only items that didn’t fit were my cash box and my business cards.

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They will fit into the red and blue plaid bag on the floor.  The group has a nightly happy hour, and the bag will also carry the snacks and snack dishes for the items I will be contributing.  We do a gift raffle and as a vendor, I must supply one gift of $20 value or more and will as a participant, provide a second.  They will go into that bag as well.  That leaves only my clothes, spinning wheel and fiber to put together.  That won’t be done until Wednesday night, unless we are going to get snow and ice, requiring my car to be put at the top of the driveway or even up at the paved road, in which case I will pack it all before moving the car.

Today was a beautiful spring like day.  The melting snow finally allowed the Buffys to venture over into the garden area to scratch and search for goodies.  With the longer days, I am generally getting 3 to 5 eggs a day.  Interestingly, the two Americauna have produced more than half of the eggs produced in the past three days.  This puts the 6 Buffys to shame.

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One of the Americauna’s eggs are blue, the other more olive.  The Buffys eggs vary from pink to darker brown and from tiny like the top right to giant like the bottom right.  It is nice to have fresh eggs for breakfast and for baking with the bonus of having enough to share with some of my friends.  The girls will be cared for in my absence by Mountaingdad and daughter.

The house is quiet tonight.  Daughter and family went out to dinner and to a movie for the kids.  It is strange to cook just for two after 13 months of having a house full.  As I was food shopping today, I found a grass finished New York strip steak, so Mountaingdad got a treat tonight.  Risotto and sugar snap peas rounded it out and provided my dinner along with a glass of the Merlot that my brother made last summer.

At the Christmas party for my spinning group, I scored 12 ounces of California red wool. I started spinning it recently and have fallen in love with the fiber.  It is a natural white color and spins like a dream.  I have one bobbin full and it looks like it is going to fill 4 bobbins once done.  Once I see how many yards it is once spun, I will decide what it will become.  I definitely won’t sell this yarn.

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Our local Barnes and Noble sells Harney and Son teas.  A year or so ago, I went on their website to buy one of my favorites, Autumn Cranberry as a bulk loose tea and received a travel sample of Valentine Blend, a chocolate with rose bud black tea.  I savored that delicious, fragrant tea, hoping that it would be carried by Barnes and Noble around Valentine’s day.  They did not get it in, so again I visited the website and today, my 4 ounce tin and one pound bag arrived, just in time to tuck some into my luggage to go with me to the retreat.

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We are hoping that this week’s weather does not produce more school outage.  Grandson has only been in school a few days in the past two weeks due to snow, ice or extreme cold.

Tomorrow, I hope to enjoy the warm day to finally weed the asparagus bed before the new shoots begin to emerge.

Family, Feast, and Celebration Thankfulness

I wrote a version of this yesterday evening and when I hit publish, it all disappeared except for the first sentence, so as thankful as I was for the prior week, I gave up.  Let’s try again in the dawn of early morning.  The animals have been taken care of, Grandson A has been delivered to his school bus for a new week.  Granddaughter N is still sleeping after too many days of no naps and late evenings, daughter K is off substitute teaching, SIL R is at work.

We had a week of celebrations, family, and feasting.  If you are a new reader, we currently have our daughter K, SIL R, and two grands (N is 4 and A is 8) living with us, so our large log home has already been full of family and activity.  From Wednesday morning to Sunday afternoon, we also had our eldest son T, his wife W, and the eldest grandson L (10) here.  In this mix are our two large dogs, K’s large dog and their two house cats.  The rest of the animals, our barn kitty and the chicken flock live outdoors.  The house was a whirl of noise, laughter, color, movement with little time for quiet and calm.  Though the grands only saw each other occasionally prior to January, they have had much more time together in the past 11 months.  N and A have most of their toys in the finished basement, but when T, W, and L are here, they stay in the basement bedroom and on the futon in the sitting area, giving them a bit of private space too.

We feasted.  Thankful for the local sausage, the eggs I stockpiled from my Buffys, goodies grown and preserved from the garden and from the local Farmers’ Market and the 19 pound pasture raised turkey from a local farm.  The turkey was alive on the morning of November 21 and in our refrigerator that afternoon.  T had read an article on spatchcocking a turkey, so we tried it.  I will never prepare roasted whole poultry the traditional way again.  There is very little of the bird left after feeding 9 for most of the week.

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It was a week of celebrations as well.  The day we picked up the turkey was my birthday and we celebrated with wood fire baked pizza and later with homemade fudge brownies prepared by K.  Tuesday was N’s birthday, born on Thanksgiving day 4 years ago and we celebrated with Olive Garden and dessert, delaying her party until Saturday.  Thursday we celebrated with the full traditional feast, served family style at our extended dining table.  I wish I had taken a photo with my collection of all hand thrown pottery plates and serving pieces filled with the homegrown or at least locally grown goodies.

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Sorry the image is a bit blurry, but it is difficult to photograph a 4 year old on roller skates with a phone camera.

Saturday was birthday party day for the little lady.  She had a roller skating party that included the nine of us, her best friend E with her mother and brother.  Everyone but Mountaingdad and I skated.  The last time I skated, about 14 years ago, I broke a wrist and just don’t want to risk it anymore.  I will still snow ski and bicycle, but not skate.

Yesterday was daughter K’s birthday.  It is difficult for me to accept that our children are adults, all in or near their 30’s with families of their own.  Prior to T’s family leaving to drive home, we all went to a Thai restaurant for lunch to celebrate one last feast together this week.  Later K and her family went to a movie and the house was so quiet after all the activity.  We ended our week of celebrations with a delicious cheesecake (K’s choice), that was made locally by one of the Farmers’ Market vendors, ordered two weeks ago when I was a vendor at the Holiday Market and picked up Saturday at last week’s market.

The household is back to a normal routine for a couple of weeks.  It will be cleaned thoroughly and decorated for Christmas.  After the current winter storm of seasonal temperatures and cold rain end, the tree that T and I cut a couple of weeks ago and finished by T and W over the weekend will be handsplit and stacked in anticipation of warm fires to sit by and enjoy and to provide us with heat when we have winter power outages.  We don’t rely on wood for heating normally, but do burn the fireplace and woodstove when the power is out to keep the house warm enough to be comfortable.

December 12 is the December Holiday Market where I will again set up to vend my soaps, lotion bars, Beard Oils, salves, yarn and knit goods with a couple of gift box additions.  Come on out and shop local for your Holiday gifts, there are many non food vendors there for this with jewelry, blown glass ornaments, beeswax candles, pottery, my wares and more.

This Christmas morning will be exciting with two of our younger grands here to celebrate with T and his family arriving later in the day to have another feast and the second turkey we picked up on the 21st and to spend several more days together.

Maybe some day, we will have all three of our children and their families together for a holiday again.  It might require setting up 5 cots for the grands, a second table for the feasting and eating off paper plates, but it would be grand.

Pre Prep and Deliciousness

I tend to cook from scratch.  Rarely do we purchase “mixes.”  J loves pumpkin pie with holiday meals and it drives me crazy that so many pumpkins are sold in the fall, set on porches and left to spoil.  And when you look for a recipe for pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, it calls for canned pumpkin.  We grow pumpkins each year and the ones that were harvested in the fall of 2014 were such good keepers, that I cooked the last 4 small ones yesterday to use to make the two pumpkin pies that will be baked on Wednesday.

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None of the remaining pumpkins from last year were very large, just slightly larger than a grapefruit each, and cut in half, they all fit on my huge baking sheet.  The chickens benefitted from the raw pumpkin seed and cooked skins with the small amount of remaining meat that I couldn’t scrape out.  The 4 pumpkins only made just under 6 cups of cooked puree.  This will be more than enough for two pies.

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While the pumpkins were baking, I started a couple of loaves of bread.  I used to bake all of our bread, but A, the 8 year old grand that lives with us, prefers what I call balloon bread, the soft gummy square commercial loaves.  I keep trying to make a bread that is light enough to suit him.  The rest of us love a good hearty rustic loaf.

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My wooden bread bowl was put to use, more unbleached bread flour than whole wheat used and the loaves came out almost lighter than I prefer.

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Two beautifully risen,  golden loaves. . . and still not to his liking.  But the rest of us polished off a whole loaf with our dinner last night.  SIL will enjoy making his lunch sandwiches on the other one this week.

I need more flour, but with having 9 folks in the house for most of this week, I will do another baking when the oven is hot for pies on Wednesday.  We will need it for lunches and breakfasts later in the week.

Last night the bottom fell out of the fall thermometer. It isn’t as cold as we will see and it will moderate in a couple of days, but it was 26f when I got up and the chicken water is frozen for the first time this season. A has been dispatched to the bus, N has been fed and dressed, chickens have been fed, but I need to take some warm water over and see if I can thaw their water pail.

If it warms enough, I need to put urethane on the Beard and Apothecary gift boxes that I’m putting together for the December 12th Winter Holiday Market. If not, J and I still need to go to the bookstore to get N a book for her birthday tomorrow.

 

Olio – November 1, 2015

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

One of our favorite snacks around here is popcorn.  With that in mind, when I planted the garden last spring and decided to plant a three sisters garden in the new part, Pennsylvania Butter-Flavored popcorn was the corn part of the garden.  Burgess Buttercup winter squash and Seminole Pumpkins were the squash addition and Kentucky Wonder Pole beans to climb the stalks and give us some dried beans.

The popcorn did beautifully and I harvested much more than we will eat in a year, I think.  I spent part of an afternoon shelling about half a quart of kernels into a storage jar and twice I have tried popping it the traditional way in a heavy pot with oil only to have very little of it pop and what did pop was tiny and hard.  This was a huge disappointment.  Son #1 (AKA T from now on) asked if I used enough oil and alternately, had I tried air or dry popping.  Of course I used enough oil and I don’t have an air popper.  Last night, I googled popping home grown popcorn and found several videos on popping it in a microwave with and without oiling it first.  As I am currently home alone for a couple hours, I made myself a small bowl of my favorite potato cheese soup and was still hungry so I tried dry popping the corn on the cob in the microwave.

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You can see the cob in the bowl.  It was a fluffy, glorious success.

My knitting this week has been entirely on the Reverse Falls Shawl that I am knitting for my cousin.  It is nearing completion, with only a couple of 16 row repeats left to do.  The rows are quite long now, so the repeats don’t happen as quickly as they did earlier in the week.  I’m on the last skein of primary color and as the shawl both begins and ends with that color, I may not actually get two full repeats.

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On Friday, we had no grandkid duties, so we ventured off to “the big city” to have lunch and to allow a couple of errands.  One was to the Harley Davidson shop to look for a couple of long sleeve T-shirts for Mountaingdad.  I wanted to visit the yarn shop for some double pointed Karbonz knitting needles to finish my sweater sleeve.  They didn’t have the ones I wanted, but I bought an alternative as well as spending a bit more than I had planned as a stroll through the shop took me past the Mountain Colors, Mountain Goat yarn.  That is just about my favorite yarn and I left with two matching skeins and the hope to make a rib warmer out of them for me.

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Yes, my knitterly and spinning friends, it is another version of teal (with a bit of purple in it).  Do you think I will ever move on to other colors.  I realize it has the same teal as the sweater I am trying to complete, so instead of a rib warmer, it may become a hat and scarf.  Maybe I should get my designing hat back on.

I am home alone right now by choice.  Mountaingdad took off on his motorcycle.  He is so excited to be able to ride again after a whole summer of not being able to, that if the weather is above 60 degrees and lower than a 30% chance of rain, he wants to go out.  Today he volunteered to ride 90 minutes to Meadows of Dan to pick up some of my yarn and a check and then back, so he will be gone for a bit.  K, R, and grands A, and N are off looking for gunboats (shoes) for R who has the largest feet in the entire family, even larger than his 6’4″ BIL.  They were also going to get some lunch.  I wanted some quiet time to do laundry, read, and knit.  I am on day 3 of a headache and a bit concerned as I found a fully engorged deer tick embedded between my shoulder blades last night.  If a rash ring appears, or if the headache continues into tomorrow, I will head to the doctor’s office to determine if the little bugger gave me Lyme Disease.  I have had one prior scare with it right after we bought our land and was sick for 6 weeks in spite of antibiotics and a year of liver function testing once I felt better.  So fingers are now crossed that I don’t get sick and still crossed awaiting tomorrow’s announcement about the Holiday Market.

 

 

Autumn Delights

Yesterday Mountaingdad decided to see how he could do on his bike.  He hasn’t been able to ride since April, when an extremely virulent case of bronchitis caused a very long lasting case of vertigo.  We have seen doctors, first for the bronchitis, then for the fullness in the ears and vertigo.  Visits for physical therapy that helped some, but didn’t cure the problem.  He still has some fullness in his ears and will get dizzy lying down in the dark, but is doing better during the day.  He needed to put fuel in the bike before it got too cold to ride, so that he can start it periodically in the garage during the winter.  He did fine riding and since today was the last day of warm and no rain for this week, he took off to Black Bear, about 75 minutes away, for their final get together for the season.  Since it is Saturday, our usual Farmers’ Market day, he rode  to town on his bike, I drove and we had breakfast together before he took off for his ride.  The market is winding down, fewer vendors were there, but my favorites are still hanging in and I supplemented our supplies with beef, pork, onions, greens, turnips and radishes.  The flowers are done for the season, our nights of frost did them in.  I got the last bag of salad from Stonecrop Farm until next spring.

The kids, were off at soccer games, then to the pumpkin patch with the grands.  I am filling the house with the delightful scents of autumn.

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Cinnamon Honey Pecan granola in the oven.

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The apples from our day trip on Thursday were peeled and the Granny Smiths sliced and frozen for pies over the holidays and the others cooked down and canned into 5 1/2 more pints of applesauce for the shelves in the root cellar to be enjoyed later.  The half pint put into the refrigerator to have tonight.

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After the apples were cooked and the canner bubbling, dinner was started.  A package of pork chunks, sauteed with onion and garlic; a small Burgess Buttercup squash, pared and cubed in small pieces;  a couple of handfuls of tomatillos, a bit of cilantro and cumin; a few tablespoons of Roasted Salsa Verde and a couple cups of broth and stew is simmering.  This was a create as I go stew that will be served with rice, corn bread and the applesauce.  If it tastes as good as it smells, we are in for a treat tonight.

Outside, the smell of wood smoke is beginning to fill the air as our neighbors that heat with wood are building their fires for the chilly nights.  It hasn’t gotten cold enough for us to build a fire or light the wood stove yet, but we don’t rely on that as our heat source.  I still need to begin splitting the logs hauled up from the tree cutting a couple of weeks ago.  Maybe I will spend part of my afternoon with the maul and wedge while the stew simmers.

Tonight it turns colder and rainy again for a while and there is no warm up on the forecast this week.

Still loving life on our mountain farm.

More Wet Stuff

Our region is under water.  The forecasts have flood warnings, many roads closed, schools today had a 2 hour late start due to the flooding.  The morning dawned beautiful, but the afternoon brought more heavy rain.  You would think that in the mountains that flooding wouldn’t really be a problem, but the rivers and creeks are over their banks, fishing camps and river front yards are under water.

I turned the chooks out this morning to free range and graze on the new grass and emerging bugs.  When daughter and granddaughter came back from taking grandson to the bus stop, the dogs all slipped out.  Lately they have seemed to leave them alone when dogs and chickens were sharing the yard.  For some reason, I looked out to check on them and found our two chasing the chickens and daughter’s Golden Retriever eating one.  I don’t know who actually caught the bird, but I do know that we now have a problem.  The dogs and the chickens aren’t going to be able to be out at the same time again.  One of the dogs realized that opening through the electric fence that had a rope across it wouldn’t hurt them and barged right through.  This required me to move the fence around to create a new opening, narrower and on a different side of the fence.

I had planned on culling a few of the hens later in the summer, but didn’t plan on sharing them with the dogs.  After today’s stress, we only got 4 eggs.  Maybe the one they killed was the one laying weird eggs.  I guess we will see in a day or two.

Since the weather wasn’t good to be out and about much, I made Mozzarella and lasagna noodles and made a homemade vegetarian lasagna for dinner.  I love being able to make the cheese and noodles at home.  I noticed at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, that I could get raw cow and goat milk for a donation, perhaps I will try raw milk Mozzarella or yogurt.

Olio – March 27, 2015

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things

For a week and a day now, we have been grandparents and in loco parentis for two of our grandchildren.  During the weekday school hours, only the three  year old is with us. The routine is for me to get up by 6:45 to dress and wake the eight year old for school.  As the kids are currently sharing a bedroom at our house, that means trying to get him up and out of the top bunk without waking the three year old in the bottom bunk.  This is not an easy task, but we have managed most mornings.  Once he is on his school bus, the animal chores have been taken care of, then the three year old has my help getting her clothes out and she dresses while I prepare her breakfast.  She will always announce what she wants, “big yogurt with honey” (plain yogurt from the quart instead of an individual serving that big brother takes to school), “a stand up egg” (a hard boiled egg), or “scrambled eggs with bacon and cheese for my plate.”  This morning, the bacon curled into a smile and I couldn’t resist. . .

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So we played with our food a little.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends, a fan of my lotion bars from my Etsy shop, found a deal on blocks of Shea butter and sent me a link.  Once I got on the site, I realized that I could get organic Sweet Almond Oil, organic Cocoa Butter, and organic Coconut Oil as well at a very good price.  An order was placed and I was pleased with the quick shipping and the arrival of my goodies a couple of days ago.

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Tomorrow, we are off to pick up eldest Grandson for his week of Spring Break.  He will be joining the other two here until next weekend.  We will be leaving the critters and house in the care of our local house sitter and spending one night in Northern Virginia.  This will give eldest Grandson an opportunity to show off Washington DC to his Florida born cousins before we head home.  A driving trip up there always involves a good resupply of food for them and so a cooler of chicken, pork, and frozen Tomatillos will be packed along with jars of salsa and chutney, a box of pumpkins, and a few dozen eggs.  There are still more pumpkins than we will eat and they are beginning to go bad.

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There were only two half pints of the XXXX Salsa left on the shelf, but the Tomatillos and Habeneros were in the freezer from when I gave up on canning in the fall, so 3 1/2 pints were made this morning.  They aren’t sealed in the canner, but I’m sure they will be eaten long before they go bad.

Most of the laundry is done and bags getting packed.  This will be a short trip, but it will let the Grands from here see Washington DC for the first time and will give the three cousins some time together, though the 8 year old living here does have school next week until half day on Thursday.  The futon in the rec room is made and the house will be vacuumed to reduce the dog hair once the three year old gets up from her nap.

The Cherry Blossom Yarn that I was spinning was completed and added to my Etsy shop.  It is 121 yards, 4 ounces of Worsted/Aran weight yarn and quite soft.

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My current spinning project is the most difficult fiber I have ever tried to spin.  It is a 50/50 blend of Yak and Silk and is so slippery, I find it very troublesome.  It is going to be lovely if my patience holds out and it too will likely find it’s way into my shop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStill loving life on our mountain farm and we are excited that the spring like week and the recent rain are turning the fields emerald green and we are seeing squirrel ear leaves on some of the trees.

Winter’s Roar

Our winter has been unusual to say the least. Until a couple of weeks ago, I think the temperatures had been above normal with occasional snow flurries, a few barely covered the ground snow falls that didn’t last. Then things changed. We haven’t seen daytime temperatures rising above 20° (-6.7°c) and night time temperatures near zero (-17.8°c) in more than a week. On Saturday, we were expecting flurries and got several inches with sharp temperature drops. We had driven in to town to a nice restaurant to celebrate our 37th Valentine Day and Anniversary and the drive back home was a white knuckle ride.

Yesterday we took Son#1 and Grandson#1 to the bus to return home from bringing my car home and a weekend visit and it was brutally cold and windy, wind chills in the double digit negatives.
There were severe weather warnings posted for today and the school makeup day that had been scheduled for today was canceled.

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We woke to the expected snow. So far about 5″ with the heaviest part of the system due this evening and overnight. We may be looking at a foot or more with extremely cold temperatures and expected to drop to -10°f (-23.3°c) Thursday night. We aren’t used to that type of temperature. Our firewood supply is running low and our heat pump is struggling.
My chooks won’t come out of the coop when there is snow on the ground and with the temperatures as they are, I didn’t even open the pop door today. I have gone out 3 times to change out the frozen water, twice to throw down a scoop of feed into the straw and collect the eggs before they freeze.
Our neighbor has two very pregnant cows and we saw her go down to check on them before the snow cover got too deep. Our steep gravel road will be difficult to traverse in a couple more inches of snow. I hope the cows don’t calve before we have a moderation in weather back to around freezing this weekend.
The grands are playing in the rec room, I am knitting, reading, and cooking stew and homemade bread. A good way to spend a frigid snowy day.