Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On the needles

My knitting stride is just about back.  Between moving, Christmas makings, and the puppy (oh and those kids), I've not had a lot of time to knit.

I think I'm finally under control enough to start back at my addiction hobby again.  Good thing too since I need to finish my kids' solstice/winter/Christmas sweaters.  I've forgotten that as they get bigger, their sweaters take longer.

All three are getting Tea with Jam and Bread.  As soon as this pattern came out I knew I'd make it. Not only is it one of my favorite songs, it is the perfect boy (and me!) sweater with its tunic style and pockets for various rocks, bugs, and other found treasures.

Each one is knitted out of Lark from  Quince and Co.  I've got a few knits for myself out of this yarn and I know it wears really well.  I should finish my medium boy's sweater today and then on to #3.  I hope to have it done by next week.

Between reading everything I can about raising chickens and coop building, I've also been reading and experimenting with recipes from Mary Jane's For the Farm Girl.  My oldest thought I needed to check this out from our library.  Turns out it is pretty cute and has some good, basic, whole food inspired recipes.  I've worked with sourdough this week. My bread was a fail though. I think it was just too much whole wheat. It will make good croutons though!

linking up with Ginny at Small Things

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekend Warriors

The last two weekends we've been able to ink out some good ol' farm working time.  Each have given us one day of temperature that was not at that "my teeth are cold" cold.

Last weekend we were able to organize the pile of lumber in the field next to ours.  All of that leftover lumber was available to us from the previous home owner.  We've put in a call to make sure but now it is out of the ground and ready to move.  Dragging wet, frozen boards a few acres at a time was not a lot of fun but our crew of merry men did it.  If we get the go-ahead with the lumber (again), we will be using them for the chicken coop. 

The Chicken Fortress layout has finally been decided - a 12x16 house for 20+ hens.  I'm tickled pink that there will be a green house as part of it.  A Green House.  I swoon.

The mud.  This makes for some really cold mama fingers since I have to prewash this stuff in the snow and water.  Outside.  Burr.

This weekend we had much of the same again.  Nathan was able to burn a huge pile of Hedge tree that he trimmed.  There is a lot more tree overgrowth to work on though!

The boys and I took their day off of school to clean out the dairy pen in the old barn.  Yikes.  I had no idea how long it would take the four of us - 5 hours!  I really wanted to finish the job with the crew on hand as it is a mantra around here to "finish what you start and do it well". 

We did.  Those kids of mine rocked it.

All of that soil "food" as the crew calls it, is our "pumpkin graveyard".  Last weekend we buried our Halloween pumpkins and leftover gourd seeds.  There was piles and piles of roofing tiles behind the barn and there still is a lot left. Hopefully those vines will help us dig them up.  Mason really enjoyed making each pumpkin a grave marker - hence, the pumpkin graveyard garden.

Little by little, before the ground thaws, we will empty that old, beautiful, falling down barn of all of its 40 year old gold.  I've bought myself of collection of books on soil.  I'm super excited to read them. Good thing I'm married to a science nerd and he gets my need for knowledge.

Happy "Famer/Cowboy/Monticello Worker" who is now not a boy but the a fore mentioned people at any given time. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

An extra day of break

With a snow storm currently blowing like mad outside, boys playing with Dad downstairs, and the littlest finally succumbing to a nap (after an exceptionally fussy afternoon), it seems like a perfect time to do a blog post!  It is on my list of things to do more regularly and now that we are starting our new adventure with our mini-farm, there will be a lot more to share! 

Our break from school for the holidays has been fun.  Long...but fun!  We started off before Christmas with visiting Nathan's parents and then back home for Christmas, followed by visiting my family.  It was more than wonderful to see everyone.  Next year I plan on either getting lots of B12 shots or living in a bubble so I'm not sick the entire time my niece is here! 

This Christmas brought us, thanks to my Mom and Dad, our first new animal to the farm, Carwyn!  She is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and is just the sweetest thing.  Like a true member of the family, she has already been to the emergency room (via our sweet neighbor's Lab) for being a bit too bold with her puppy bites.  Luckily it wasn't as bad as it looked and she no longer nips to hard. 

Naughty puppy.

Before the blizzard and the low temperatures (-15!!), we were able to do some farm work on our fence line.  Our goal is to be able to put up new fencing next fall and with the 40 odd years of growth to work through, we're going to need all of the time we can get.  We were grateful for even 2 days to work outside before the weather hit.  There will be so much to do come Spring!

Chicken house plans are steadily coming along as well.  We decided on an "old" style chicken house- the "half monitor".  There are so many plans for small coops online but we are anticipating 15-20 layers and finding those seems a bit more difficult.  We've got anxious little builders here and they are ready to start farming!