Thursday, 30 March 2023

Pasta, Pierogies, and Pussywillows

Mid MarchEnd of March

Crocuses are just now starting to open their flowers. I'm starting to wonder how so many European countries equate daffodils with February.

We had a few leftover scraps of bread so we tore it up and put the bits out with the peanuts for the bluejays and I was shocked to find after they cleaned out the basket, there were two little sunflower seeds!

We've considered that it may have been a thanks/trade for the bread which was new, or perhaps a request for next time, or maybe they just dropped these because they wanted to pick up something else. That said they were the only things left in the basket for a good long while.

I've been making pasta with fresh eggs from a neighbour. Because of the bright orange yolks, my pasta is yellow. The recipe I use converts 6 eggs to 3 bags of dry pasta, so one egg per serving.

I made up some pierogies for the freezer because the grocery store never has any I can eat. They're not difficult, they just take a long time.

Pussy willows are starting to pop, so between that and the crocuses, I'm thinking spring is properly here. The sunrise was certainly beautiful this morning.

Friday, 24 March 2023

Deals and Plans

Seems the last of the snow visible from the house has fiiiiiiinally melted last night. The picture is from yesterday and shows the last lil bit of snow that had been hanging on for the past two weeks. 

I've been bartering and it's terrifying. lol I mean everyone's nice enough but that's the scary part. With money, it's easier to haggle. I made a deal with a gravel driveway guy to do some work for some machines that came with the house, and I made a deal with a neighbour to trade a two dozen of her eggs for some of my baking. It's so hard to tell what's "fair". 

I feel more secure that the driveway deal was fair because he wanted those machines a lot and I wanted the gravel work a lot... But small stuff like eggs and cookies well... it feels more tricky. Especially with folks I see regularly. 

There's been too many assholes in my life and far too many folks who were more nice than they were kind. I don't want someone to say "sure, no problem" and really mean "I guess, but I hope you offer more next time". I've just gotta trust that folks will say what they mean because I'm not a mind reader. 
I've been thinking about chickens a LOT lately and have done a bit of reading to make sure I don't forget anything when building a chicken first aid kit. It'll take a bit more hunting for the more chicken specific items like BluKote and RoosterBooster but I have the basics of wound care ready. Most of the stuff is useful for humans too but some of it I had to re-buy because, for example, bandages that are 3" wide are less likely to be useful than the smaller sizes.

I promised myself that I would not bring a living thing onto this property until I could care for it... so I have to keep reminding myself to not look at chicken rehoming posts or let myself get swept up in chicken frenzy. Just a few more things for the first aid kit and a bag of feed plus a bag of crushed oyster shell.
Chicken time is soon.
"Chicken's on the grass" by g0d4ather is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The garden fencing is likely going up in the next week or two even though nothing is getting planted until May. I'm hoping that the deer will be warned off / trained before there's anything worth eating. I've been warned by neighbours that the deer definitely eat entire plants sometimes so...Wish me luck? :-)

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Spring is gearing up and so am I

I did a bunch of canning this week. Some chicken, beans, and also broth. I did have a bit of a scare when one of the broth jars popped it's top in the canner but I did some reading and it happens some times with broth and other high water things because the jars don't cool as fast as the canner causing pressure differences. I just have to make sure broth and juice batches cool extra slowly.

I've been talking with a local greenhouse installer to get some pricing. Hopefully we can have it ready to go by the end of this year.

Gluten Free Cheese Crackers

I made some banana bread and some crackers but I didn't realise how low I was on flour so the sandwich bread, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, cheesy dinner rolls, and carrot cake will have to wait until I get my hands on some more flours.

Just as the snow finished melting Tuesday, a gale blew through and tore off some more panels. It was flapping like crazy in the 100km winds to the point that I litterally told neighbours not to come down here because I didn't want anyone getting hit when one tore loose.

Thankfully the next day was warm and calm. I took down as many panels as I could get by myself and took the doors off to further reduce the wind resistance. We're planning to repurpose the arches as pergola or garden trellis posts but for now it can just sit there.

I assembled the Eglu yesterday so we're one more step closer to chickens. All that's left really is buying things. Food, ground oystershells, and a bunch of chicken first aid stuff I definitely want to have on hand before they get here. Birds are ridiculous in not showing signs of trouble until it's urgent, so I want the basics of wound care and supplies for common problems like sour-crop and bumble-foot.

Feeling pretty busy lately and enjoying every minute. Looking forward to all that spring will bring.

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

The snow stayed

The snow surprisingly stuck around this time. There's been a bunch of days over freezing but not long enough or hot enough to melt it all before another batch of snow. A kind neighbour plowed our driveway the first two times but the snow just kept coming back.

My french lessons are going well and are highly entertaining thanks to DuoLingo.

I made myself a lil checklist to manage remembering all the lil maintanence tasks the machines need.

I've been fairly busy in the kitchen. I've been experimenting with bread refilling baked beans and such.

Puttering around the house is fine by me. I'm glad to have the time to prepare for spring.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

February has been going well.

Hugslut's birthday just went by and in addition to going out for sushi, she was surprised by a few gifts.

Flowers from mumCupcakes from a neighbour's teen

I've been working on my gluten free breads and I also made a new batch of chilli.

Rustic BreadChilli with Meat and BeansSandwich Bread

This morning dumped a bunch of snow on us, but it will likely melt in the +4C rain tomorrow.

Snowy surpriseBlowing winds make empty spots.

The other day I realized that when we moved we left behind the "for guests" supplies we used to always have on hand so I made up a new menstruation station. A few more basics like toothbrushes and such should mean we're set for small surprises.

Menstruation Station.

Friday, 10 February 2023

Cold Snap

Games night went well. One neighbour and her two kids came over for some boardgames Which was lots of fun. They and the other neighbours will likely be available next time around so we'll have more folks next month. Shortly after they left Thursday night, the wind really kicked up and we got some snow.

The cold snap only lasted 2 days just like the weather app predicted so we just bunkered down for Friday and Saturday to avoid the -40 windchill. Unfortunately the partially assembled, already damaged greenhouse did not fair well in the storm. The cold and wind literally snapped two panels.

After some serious consideration we've decided to cut our losses on this project. It was designed in such a way that it needed to me put together perfectly, all in one go, before being exposed to any stresses. Our partial construction and then subsequent destruction, and re-struction(?) was not enough to make it work. 

This was our first big financial fuckup on the homestead and it hurts, but this is not a salvageable project. Instead, when the nice weather comes we're going to bring it all the way down. Then in the fall, or maybe some time in 2024, we plan to have a different greenhouse professionally installed.

Our flower bulbs seem to be doing fine, but the cold snap was the first thing to affect the garlic. They should bounce back no problem from this condition. I'm just surprised it took this much to wilt them.

We finally got around to trying some wild goose and I've gotta tell you, not a fan. It's like a weird taste combination of duck and beef with a fishy aftertaste. Hugslut said it was okay enough that she'd eat if someone served it, but she wouldn't go looking for it. Also, even though I tried my best, somehow there was still shot in it. 

I think I'll stick to farmed birds for now.

The dry air has been giving us both a hard time so this weekend we're picking up a humidifier. Hope this fixes the headaches and terrible sleep.

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Decor Decisions

Our ordered furniture was delivered and we did have to fix up one of the shelves with broken a peg hole, but overall we are very happy with it. The couch is very comfortable and we now have enough seating for the next big social event.

I'm starting to think my tiredness & headaches is due to low humidity. Going to need to get a humidifier. The weather has calmed down a bunch but we're expecting a very cold snap this weekend. Low of - 20°C but just for one or two nights. Highs and lows back up over 0 by Monday. 

We're going to have some folks over for a game night tomorrow, so I figured I’d get around to finishing the bathroom wall with some primer and paint. :-)

My Duolingo french lessons are going well. Not really anything to report on that front as it's not not quite been two weeks.