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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Aargh, Matey! Happy Dancing. Dastards.

Since there's no way I could put together a cohesive post today, I am going to subject you to more randomness. 

I did some research before ordering a new, small batch of laying 'hens'.  Black Langshans sounded perfect:  Large, docile, dual purpose homestead birds.  Ahem.  Someone must have switched birds in the incubator.  My Black Langshans are large, lunatic, dual purpose birds.  AND four of the six were roos.  I think there must be a hitch in my giddyup as far as the usual Little Lucky female mojo goes.

As there is only room for one - maybe two, depending on temperament - roosters on the LLF, two of the four lunatics were destined for the freezer this past weekend.  My neighbor and I have the best deal of all deals - I buy and raise them.  He processes and we split the resulting meat.  As Sunday was the best of the two days, I went in the coop to grab the 'volunteers' early in the morning.  It was total, utter, complete chaos.  I finally managed to grab-hold of two of them and stuffed them unceremoniously into the dog crate (cat crate being too small).

I then went about my usual morning chores.  As I was coming out of the barn with the sheep's hay, a neighbor was driving by.  He slammed on the brakes, rolled down the window and hollered, "Hey, you okay?"  I didn't figure I looked any worse than I usually do around the farm, so said yes.  I went in the house for a cup of tea and, as I leaned over the sink, blood dripped into it.  Damn.  The roos had gotten me right across the left cheek.  A little clean-up, a schmear of triple antibiotic ointment and we were good to go.  I look like a pirate.

Not wanting to jinx it, I have kept the fact that my sister and BIL were buying a house two doors down from my parents pretty much to myself.  I found out this weekend that the closing happened and they will move in full time in April!  Oh, my, did that produce an hour of happy dancing.  That got me thinking about happy dances.  Does everyone do pretty much the same thing?  My happy dance goes like this:  rapid rounds of fist pumping, followed by hip-swinging, fancy footwork, some rythmic foot-stomping, and all accompanied by woohooing.  What's yours look like?

Now, the dastards.  Not the first word that came to mind, but....sensitive souls might be reading.  I keep track of all the blogs I read through Blogger.  Well, someone (thestuffthatkeepsmeawake) has been hijacked by a blog called craft design architecture ideas.  It has flooded my reader to the point that I cannot find the blogs I want to read in all the crap.  I am highly ticked off.  And nowhere can I find a way to contact Blogger to let them know.  Darn and dagnabit. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Musings

Most spam that hits my inbox is pretty boring.  However, I now have a favorite spam:

Sender:  Support
Subject:  Broken emails is repaired.

All I can say is, thank god.

In my neck of the woods, this is the time of year when you start to see signs up for Holiday Church Bazaars.  I always get a warm, fuzzy feeling about them, but haven't been to one since I was a squirt.  We were members of a small, Episcopal church in Lorain, Ohio.  My father was a layman, my mother poured coffee after the service (always in hat and gloves - those were such different days).  The men of the church put on the spaghetti dinner to die for, and the woman all worked their crocheted/knitted magic for the Christmas Bazaar.  I thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world - all kinds of things that were in my limited budget.  (These were the times of the 50-cents-a-week allowance.  Did I just hear a Millennium hit the ground in a faint??)  I was riveted by the toilet paper doll cover.  I secretly longed for one but, if I recall correctly, it would have cost the equivalent of a month's allowance.  I did some of my best Christmas shopping there.  I am so tempted to check out the modern day bazaar - will there be an array of toilet paper covers?  Can I still cover my Christmas shopping within my allowance?  (Which, I'm afraid, is almost the same as when I was six.)  Friends and family, beware.

I was also in the church choir.  Every week at practice, we weighed heavily on the patience of our very patient choir mistress, Mrs. Pfaff.  I can still see her face as we drolly sang, "...and He forgetSNOT his own...", titter, titter.  That poor woman.  Every Sunday we would pony up as the mothers hovered over us, tying our bows (which I loathed) and trying to keep order.  I learned how to whistle in the choir.  Unfortunately, it was during a particularly long pause in in the sermon...

If I Google my blog name, it comes up on top.  Right under it is a listing for E-I-E-I OMG! 87 Hot Farmer's Daughters.  I wonder two things:  How many prospective readers have I lost to that much-more-provocative title?  And:  That Farmer must have been one hot ticket to have produced 87 daughters.  Punctuation, folks, punctuation...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Oooh, baby, it's cold outside!

Almost nothing of Lovey was visible this morning.


She was wondering what fresh hell this day would bring.  Her enthusiasm for winter wanes by the day.  Pepper was disguised as a brown fleece lump and Scrappy was pretending to sleep so he wouldn't have to go outside.  The Cruel Food Woman (that would be I) shooed them out into the frigid morning, where business was carried out at a brisk pace.  It feels like January.  The kitchen wasn't as warm as I would have liked it - mostly because the heat duct was blocked by a feline body.  So I roasted a butternut squash.  Nothing like adding heat and aroma at the same time.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm gaining on it!

I managed to get all my beets canned.  And all my applesauce canned.  And it only took me a month.  For some reason, I was not all fired-up as I usually am.  I allowed the beets and apples to reside in my fridge (taking up any available space left by the behemoth cabbages - which are still there...) while I blithely ignored them.  It was ridiculous.

So I pulled up my BGPs and got at it on Saturday.  I canned regular diced beets, then whipped up some spiced pickled beets.  Then, since I was on a roll, I pulled out the apples and peeled and pared my little heart out.  The sheep and llama were thrilled with the peels and cores.  I tell you, the way to a llama's heart is paved with apple peels.

You'd think, with all the whinging and whining and carrying-on, that there would be acres of counter top covered with canned goods.  This was it:

All my beets were Chiogga
or Golden.
I will have to say, in my own defense, that I had to deal with (and am still dealing with) an unexpected fridge full of chard.  (BTW, the score is Me: 4  Voles: 0 - if you don't count the bushel of beets and rows of chard they demolished.)  But, still.  I mean, really.

For the record, I will now be making applesauce in full hazmat.  While stirring away, a molten blob of applesauce erupted out of the pot and hit me square in the eye!  Thank goodness it landed in the space right above the tear duct and not IN my eye.  Geez.  I had to very gingerly apply my handy-dandy aloe plant juice.  It's getting so that I'm not safe in or out of the house!

Pic from Amazon.com halloween
costume

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Himself.

It should come as no surprise that Pepper is not an easy subject to photograph.  As soon as he knows that you want him to do something - such as sit still for two seconds - he does the opposite.  I guess that is why I am so fond of dachshunds.  They remind me of me.

His sweater was finished early yesterday morning, just in time for the low teens of the morning.  As soon as I put it on him, he spent every waking hour trying to get it off.  I would come in the room to find him with the one-shoulder look, having managed to pry his flibber out of one sleeve.  In order to save the sweater, I only put it on him before bed - for the double-layer effect - and to go outside.  We seem to have reached d├ętente.

I finally put him on the table so
he couldn't go far.

He is rather adorable, if I do say so.
It's his saving grace.

Lovey, on the other hand, loves her jacket and wears it all of the time.  I am hoping that she will feel the same about her soon-to-be sweater.

I have everyone's rapt attention - I am
standing next to the crunchy treat jar...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Well....


No matter how often I hear the weather forecast that predicts the first snow, it always takes me by surprise.  It had just started falling, very gently, last night and this morning we had three inches fluffed up on the deck.  Lovey has never seen snow.  It only slowed her down for one nanosecond before she embraced it wholeheartedly and went romping off through the poultry yard - flinging nosefuls of it in the air.  Pepper was not as impressed, to put it mildly.  I had to forcibly remove him from his burrito wrapping, bed hair and all, and plop him unceremoniously on the path I had shoveled for him.  He gave me a withering glance over his shoulder before stalking off down the steps.  Where he left me a nice little present/bomb right in the middle of where I have to walk.  Touche!

I am 99% finished with his first sweater - having cobbled it together with odd lots from my stash.  At least it is washable and not pink.  I'm saving the pink for my girl...

(Seeing this pic reminds me that I left the latest mouse carcass on the bird feeder - off camera to the left.  Thank goodness (haha) it's not going above the mid 30s today.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Projects of the knitting kind.

I finally finished all the hatware for the little noggins.  I am now ready to start on Pepper's first sweater - I figure, given the fact that he's about 2.5 inches off the ground, he will need multiple sweaters.  One to wear while the others are washed and dried.  It's amazing how much fuss is involved with such a small dog.  Scrappy needs:  hugs, treats, hugs.  So that's easy enough.  Lovey needs:  hugs, treats and exercise.  Ditto.  Well, maybe a sweater, too.  Pepper needs:  a hearing aid, combing, hugs, anal gland cleaning, an extreme amount of treats, sweaters, blankets, and a whole lotta patience from his person...

I did manage to take pictures of the last of the kiddie lot:

 





My table is not red-orange, but so goes the weirdness of my phone camera.  Top to bottom:
Baby bonnet (color is a lovely blue-gray) with apple button and embroidered flower in front for my friend, Rosie's great-niece.  Twins' earflap hats with i-chord ties.  Twins' big sister's alpaca pixie hat with ties.  If you don't look closely (and if you do, well, you deserve what you see...:-/), they turned out pretty well.  It's fun to knit small things.  The bonnet was particularly fun because you knit it in one piece, starting from the chin strap.  And, gasp, it involved short rows!  And I wasn't afraid!!

Once Pepper's sweater is finished, I will have him model it.