Monday, February 18, 2013

TV/Fire Room Updated

We have finished the first phase of this year's work on the house.  The TV room has been painted and rearranged.  We spent four days working on this room - from dismantling it to painting and then putting up the new ceiling!  Those boards are heavy, but the new air nailers worked great!  I could hold the boards up long enough to nail them up.  It looks great.  It even feels warmer with the beams all covered.  Gray-C was totally confused as to what was going on.  She didn't care for all the noise and paint smell, so she spent most of those four days upstairs.  But now, there are all kinds of new things to check out. Tomorrow, we start on the guest bathroom.  The new wood floor should be down by Thursday and that will be the end of this winter's projects. 

I have had some time to try my new loom out and I can make some pretty good woven scarves now.  I think I need a bigger loom now, as one can only use so many scarves........  I am definitely enjoying this!!

On an outside note, the chickens are not enjoying the cold too much.  When it flurries, they spend most of their time inside eating.  Sounds like the rest of us!! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Snow Aftermath

We ended up with 11 inches of snow about 11 pm last night.  A lot of power flickers, but at least the power stayed on.  This morning, we spent 2 1/2 to 3 hours shoveling and snowblowing snow.  Our neighbor, Marvin, came down and plowed out the lane to the driveway, so that cut down a lot on the snowblowing.  Still an awful lot to do, though.  We have some downed tree limbs and the chicken run has broken cross beams from the weight of the snow, but that's tomorrow.  It's going to be a bit of cleanup.  The chickens DO NOT like snow.  They will not leave the coop after one's bravery scared her!!!!  Took some pictures before we destroyed the untouched snow.  It was absolutely gorgeous this morning!!  (Tempered with the fact we knew how much shoveling we were going to do).  Happy Birthday to me!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 17th snow!!!!

Snow today, 3 - 8 inches predicted!!  So far, about 4 inches.  These pictures are at dusk, about 3 inches and still going...........  All of this after 7+ inches of rain since Monday!   What a weather week.....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What we did on our summer vacation!

We've had a pretty busy garden season this year.  While the winter squash and tomatoes didn't produce very well, the other fruits and vegetables did pretty well. Here's a run down of what we did this summer:
Canned goods:  dill pickles 3 quarts, blackberry jelly 4 1/2 pints, apples 64 quarts, blueberry jam 4 pints, strawberry jam 4 pints, red cherries 2 quarts, black cherries 4 quarts, pears 4 1/2 pints, peaches 19 1/2 quarts, yellow pickles 4 pints, grape jelly 12 pints, pickled beets 8 pints, tomato sauce 16 pints.
Frozen goods:  blueberries 2 gallons, stuffed patty pans 2 gallons, beets 5 gallons, green beans 16 gallons and counting, zucchini 1 gallon, yellow squash 6 gallons, corn 3 gallons, peas 1 gallon, pea pods 1 gallon, green peppers 1/2 gallon and countin, patty pans cubed 1 gallon, butternut squash 1 gallon, pumpkin butter in process, sweet potatoes still in the ground.
Still growing goods:  fall crops of turnips 9 rows, mustard greens and kale. 

We had a patty pan escape our notice and it grew to 2 pounds while the average patty pan we picked was about 5 ounces.  We made patty pan parmesan and it was good!!  Think we'll do that again; on purpose this time!

Tired? We are!!!  But we are still working on the gardens, and will be probably until the end of the month.  The chickens are producing 7 to 8 eggs a day average.  They are yummy! 

We also started composting this year.  We built a wire compost bin and we fill it with kitchen waste and chicken poo dirt along with branches and some leaves and rotting wood pieces.  Hopefully, we'll have good compost for the garden next spring.  I just love projects!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Today, July 13th, our ladies began laying eggs!  We had two today.  The first was cracked, but usable (and we ate it for breakfast).  Unfortunately, the second one took a leap from the run ramp and broke.  Hopefully, they will learn to lay on the ground or in the laying boxes - we'll see.  They are also now eating big girl chicken feed for laying hens.  That should make the shells a little firmer.  The gardens have been producing for about 6 days now.  We have harvested cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, patty pans, kohlrabi, lettuce and, today, beets!  We had about 14 or so that were about 3 inches in diameter - best crop ever!!!  Stir fry vegies have been on the menu along with really good salads!  Also, the blackberries have been pretty good along the road, so tomorrow we'll be making jelly along with yellow squash pickles and pickled beets - YUMMY!!!   We've also done cherries, canned as just cherries for pies and cobbler, strawberry jam and peach slices!   Tomorrow also should be the beginnings of green bean pickings!!  They are getting larger every day and should be ready to pick in the morning.  Our corn is chest high now, the tomatoes are forming and growing very well as are the peppers and peas.  The sweet potatoes are vining out very nicely and the winter squash vines have gone wild!!  We also managed, so far, to save a few branches of peaches from Mr./Ms. Squirrel!!  We hope to pick them sometime next week and finish ripening them inside before the wildlife gets them all!  So far we have almost 1/2 gallon of blueberries picked and frozen.  We may end up with about 3/4 of a gallon.  So at least one more year down in Sparta to pick blueberries.  (Blueberry buckle, and blueberry muffins rock!)  We've had a lot of rain this week after last week's really HOT weather.   We went to Charlotte last week and it was 107 degrees when we left but only 92 up here on the mountain.  The chickens did really pretty well with the heat, they just need frequent water changes and some ice cold watermelon in the afternoon.   It's going to warm up this coming week, so with that and the sunshine we should have vegies rolling in!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It has been a busy, busy week in Cowland.  After waiting for the seeds to pop, we have nearly complete poppage!!  Rows and rows of vegies!!  The tomato plants, sweet taters and peppers are all doing really well.  The eggplants had a little bit of a bug disaster - but we still have one plant without lacey leaves.  All in one day little black bugs ate their way through the leaves.  We think we saved the other one which was in a different part of the yard, with Sevin Dust.  Time will tell.  The two houses got baths earlier this week; all the green algae stuff is gone and the porch railings have been cleaned.  The front porch got a patch paint job on the floor and the back and side decks have been stained - and then it rained........  At least it had time to dry really well.  We put two grape vines in on the fence in front of Mom's house.  Green grapes and the plants had a little time to grow at Lowe's so the vines look pretty good stretching up to the first rail.   The chickens are doing well, still growing and eating and pooping.  Their sleeping habits have changed again - see the picture posted.  We are growing some sprouts for the chicks, hope they like them.  We went to Ikea on Wednesday and got a few things for the bedroom - curtains, duvet cover and some room accessories.  Sometimes it just needs a little updating....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Garden Is In

After a slight delay due to rain, rain and more rain; the garden is finally in.  We spent day #1 of the planting putting in the black cow and peat and day #2 planting the tomatoes, peppers and sweet potatoes.  As of today, we have poppage!!  The cucumbers have broken ground!  We hope to see more coming up by the beginning of next week.  I'd post a picture, but it would pretty much be just dirt to look at..........  Once the garden was in, we returned to the spring weeding and made some pretty serious inroads on that.  Just to be outside.....  Made some more mozzarella today and we are brining some more corned beef.  (I make lots of dishes)  The peaches are coming along very nicely.  Hopefully all the little bags of mothballs will trick those nasty squirrel noses and they won't find them.  Blueberries are looking great.  They are beginning to have a little blue tinge to the berries.  The chicks are growing like crazy and developing some funny traits - like feeding frenzies at weed-feeding treat times and greeting us for the daily poop scooping.  They like to stand on the trowel or lay down where I am scooping poop - so cooperative!  They have begun sleeping together on the top rung of the roost - all 8 of them!