Thursday, February 27, 2014

Polar Vortex number 3...or is it 4..... or 5??

Yes, we have plunged back into the bitter cold. *sigh* Just when I thought we were going to get a break... WHAM! The weather gal is using words like "Bitterly cold" and "Painful cold" Yeah, I am thinking that winch doesn't know what cold really is as she stands there in the newsroom.... in her short little dress and thigh high leather boots. (seriously) Then she does this little *shiver* HA! She needs to spend a day here on the farm.....then she can talk with experience about the "bitter cold" At least we had a few days where the water troughs and rain barrels actually thawed!! I think I had 4 or 5 days that I didn't have to carry water. I felt so blessed!! Of course those warm days just gave way to thawing poop. So I spent a few of those days FILLING the garden wagon with rabbit poo/bedding. I am going out today to lay a piece of wood over it can "cook" a bit before it goes on the garden. Ahhhh, the garden... have you been dreaming about getting dirt under your nails...inhaling deep the fresh scent of newly turned soil? Makes my heart go pitter patter. And, have you started your seeds?? That is something I am going to work on this weekend. I will be starting tomatoes, cabbages, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers, pumpkin, and a few herbs. Maybe I will lay down a tarp....dump out a few bags of soil... get my supplies together and get down there on my hands and knees and pretend I am in the garden. That might help raise the gardening spirits! Then of course, if I do might just be the last straw for hubby to have me committed. I admit... this long winter has taken it's toll on my sanity a bit. We have had the wood stove going almost non stop for 4 months this point, I can't even THINK about bon fires this summer. So....put on the layers again...head out there and face the cold...and can't last forever.... it might just seem like it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Finally a warm up

This winter has been BRUTAL! Not only for us here, many places have suffered the wrath of the "white death" WOW! I know I am ready for spring here. Oh sure.... in a month or so.. we will be complaining about all of the mud and muck then a few months later we will undoubtedly be complaining about the heat and humidity...but for now.. I am dreaming of warmer days. We are headed for a quick warm up here... and with that brings the threat of severe thunderstorms for Thursday. *sigh* That's ok will NOT be snow! 50's and 60's... for a few days, just a teaser as we will plunge back into the 20's for highs soon after. For today tho, I am going to sit in the sunshine and recharge my internal batteries. Oh, I know I SHOULD be out there cleaning out something.... or shoveling out something but I think I will just pay in the sun with a book for a few hours. Of course, that is after I take care of the morning chores...clean the kitchen... get supper planned out.. bring in more firewood to get dry...and run the sweeper. I hope you all are having a sunny warmish day too... if you are, try to get out there and ENJOY!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter is ALMOST over, *sigh*

They say winter is almost over....It has been a long, COLD winter so far. More snow than usual, and in places that don't usually get it. Global warming... Hmmmm. We are in for another snow tomorrow. They are calling it a Winter Storm Warning. We are to get 3 to 5 inches. I am not worried....for us here. I DO worry about those who are out of fire wood or propane...or homeless. We really NEED spring. Supposedly we are to get temperatures in the UPPER 60's by next weeks end. I sure am looking forward to it. Those temps will let me get out there and get the barn and coops cleaned out before they start to stink... and not freeze while doing it. My plan is, to clean out under the rabbits, put all of THAT in the wagon, maybe add some of the dirty hay from the sheep and goats waste...cover it with a tarp, and let it do its thing until spring planting. Once all of this thaws will be "mud season" I better start buying Lime I have a good stock pile before hand. Lime helps with the smell. So the other day, after I cleaned out the wood box, I was thinking... " there has to be something I can do with all of these wood "crumbles" from the bottom of the box." I decided to try and make fire starters with toilet paper rolls. Here is how I did it. Take a TP roll and fold closed one end...stuff the wood chips inside, then fold closed the other end. They work great! I am going to make a bunch of these for next year.
The other day I was needing summer so bad... I decided to try to force myself into feeling better with this.....
It sorta worked... we really enjoyed it, even if the strawberries were store bought. The end of February is time to plant those seeds. I am super excited to get them going. Before we know it we will be sitting in the shade of a big tree, enjoying the fresh produce from the garden...the bite of a warm tomato, fresh from the garden...cucumbers by the pounds...fresh greens, and herbs...Ahhhh, summertime...I long for it! But for now...I will carry in a bit more firewood...wrap myself in my lap blanket.. with my big dog at my feet, and dream.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February 5th... and another winter storm. *sigh*

Well, here we are in February and yet another winter storm is upon us. *sigh* It started yesterday with afternoon snow....then rain and sleep to top it off....and this morning, a little more snow, to make sure that everything is nice and slick. Morning chores we fun. No, really, they were. See, there are a *few* cats that live in the barn, and in the morning they come to the front porch to greet me, and walk me to the barn. You know.... to make sure I find my way to the kitty food. As I headed out several came running towards me and when they tried to stop.... they didn't! They went skidding across the top of the snow and ice, scrambling. I laughed so hard I had to sit down the buckets of warm water I was carrying. We all finally made it to the barn, safe. Once I came inside, I had a recipe that a dear friend shared with me for Pita pocket bread. We love pocket sandwiches. Brown some sausage in a skillet, add sliced potato's and a bit of water. Cover and let simmer until the potato's are done. Then add your red and green pepper slices. add salt and pepper and let simmer, covered until peppers are not completely soft, but cooked. Slice your pocket bread open...and stuff this inside. YUMMY! Oh, here is the recipe for the Pita bread. It is so easy, you will never buy it in the store again! Wimbush Family Pita Bread 1 tablespoon yeast 1 ¼ cup warm water 1 teaspoon salt 3- 3 ½ cups flour Dissolve yeast in water for about 5 minutes in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add salt and 1 ½ cups flour and with the dough hook, beat to make a batter. Add additional flour until a rough, shaggy mass is formed. Knead 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if it is too sticky. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into six pieces for large pitas or ten for smaller. I make all sorts of sizes to suit different snacks and meals. Form dough into balls, then flatten with a rolling pin into ¼ inch thick discs. Try and keep an even thickness as this is what helps them ‘puff’. Let rest on the floured surface 30-40 minutes until slightly puffed. Preheat oven to 425F. With a large spatula, flip the rounds of dough upside down on to a baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes until light golden. Stick around for the first five minutes of baking when the pitas perform their magic and puff up from flat pancakes to proud, four inch high pitas. These store for up to two days well wrapped or frozen for three weeks. It really IS easy!
And there you have it... now go...get your bake on!!