Monday, February 1, 2010

Rain ... Cold ... Is it SPRING yet?!?

Around South Carolina ~ well, since I didn't blog for Christmas, I'll add these now. 

I usually love Christmas, and decorate everything.  This year I put up only a small tree, some greenery, and some stockings.  I discovered that stockings hung by the chimney with care can turn from soft fuzzy white, to sooty around the edges lol.  But, it was still Christmas and we were in our own home, on our own land ~ and it was great.

I had let the blog go because we've been putting things away, and mostly trying to stay warm or dry ... sometimes both.  It rained all but four days in December.  I know we set new and beat old rainfall records (and we are definitely out of drought status), but it didn't do anything towards getting any cordwood walls built.  In fact, there were several days when I considered starting a rush job on an ark.

We have gotten a some things done inside, and things are a bit more settled.  The hens and their king are growing.  They've gone from

That's the roo on the back left ... to

He's gone through his voice change and no longer sounds like someone is choking him when he crows, to a full fledged crow that makes P want to choke him lol.  Isn't he gorgeous?
And, the ladies have begun making these!

Those were the first three.  Small (teeny even) and very dirty.  They've gotten much better at it now, and I've been getting blue, green, and pinkish colored eggs.  One of the ladies consistently gives me pinkish eggs with double yolks! 

We started with a moving mess that looked like this ....

Got it put away and added 'sort of' cordwood walls ~ and a door!

It's a good thing that the door is there, because it not only rained, it got cold.  Most of the eastern seaboard got cold, and we were not spared.  I wasn't aware that dishwashing liquid could freeze, but it can.  Not only does it freeze, it forms what look like little snow flakes on the inside of the bottle lol!

I bedded the dogs down with more straw than most horses see in their stalls ....

Many of the outside kitties took up residence around and under the fireplace ...

I did get back to cooking again ~ which both of us had missed ~ as well as baking.  Wow I've missed real bread!

This is plain old white (nothing really plain about it) ... and sandwich fixin's ... along with some of those purty eggs.  They still come in various sizes, but they taste great.

I made my 'chicken stuff' which is a version of PA Dutch pot pie and oatmeal bread ... this is an OLD no knead recipe that is super easy, slices beautifully, and tastes sooooo good with lotsa butter and preserves slathered on top. 

And, along the way, on one of those cold nights, I figured out the solution to a problem I've had.  My garden.  It's been a while since I've planted one, and I spent last year collecting heirloom seeds and I can't wait for spring so I can get started.  But, where to put it has been nagging away at the back of my head.  I can't put in the permanent one because we're traipsing back and forth building where it's supposed to be.  I have to be careful about where else I put it because we still have some large trees that another person will be cutting down.  He uses large equipment and wants to drop them whole. 

So, I wandered around in www land and found a solution.  Straw bales.  I can plant in straw bales.  Since we can also get free pallets, I will build a fence around the garden with straw bales, stack my potato towers along one wall, add some cold frames and a work table with a sink, and I'll be set.  I can even start my asparagus and rhubarb without waiting until next year!  And except for the bales, it will all cost nothing.  Yup, I'm ready for spring!  If nothing else, I can start the potatoes and get my seeds in some dirt :-)

I have a feeling Ma Nature isn't quite there yet ... and I suppose I'll be able to wait ... if she doesn't take too long!  I hope even more that it warms up enough soon to be able to mix mortar and actually have it set up!

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