Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Here we are in the middle of September already.  We've been busy the last couple weeks trying to get things ready for winter.  We got all the hay in last month or so, daughter cleaned up the carport and has been putting summer type things in the sheds for dry safe keeping.  We will not be using them until next summer.

Now that she has most everything put away we will begin bringing in our wood supply.  We've got two cord out in the field next to our house that's been there since early this spring.  It was already dried but this summer was so warm it will be dry and perfect for winter burning.  With our wonderful forced air furnace the house is usually warm enough, unless we have a power outage, or it is windy.  Then that wood stove sure feels good.  Its mostly just a safety measure these days but every once in a while its nice to feel that wood heat on my backside.

Its been so hot the chickens actually stopped laying for a few weeks.  Since the weather has cooled from the 90's down to the 60's and 70's they have started back up again.  Good thing for them!  I was about to start eating them.  We've been oiling their eggs for storage.  The claim is they are storeable for around a year or more.  We shall see.  Haven't tried one yet and its been only around two months.  But since they are 'fresh' eggs (not store bought) and still have the bloom on them they should be pretty good.

I've just started blending some more fiber for my sister's friend.  She gave her friend some alpaca yarn quite a while ago.  But the friend ran out so I'm trying my best to blend and spin this to match the old yarn.  Sure hope it comes out right.  I found a picture of the old blended fiber but not the yarn itself.  Darn.

My fiber area is always pretty messy, but I love it.  There's always something fun and interesting to do or going on.  And I know just where everything is.

Here's Bella trying to help me.  She (and all the animals) love the smell of the fiber.  Its all been washed and cleaned so I don't know what there is that's so interesting.

The baby blanket I had been weaving for my niece was a hit with her.  Here's a picture of it that I didn't want to post until after her baby shower.  It was fun and went fairly fast.  Now I'm ready to start another project as soon as I get this yarn spun up.

Almost forgot, I have been making goat cheese.  Just finished the third batch this week.  The first two were a firmer cheese by letting it hang longer.  This one only hung around four hours and is the consistency of cream cheese, just a tiny bit firmer.  We eat it with crackers, on toast ... any way we can get it.  It is really delicious!

The first one hung for 24 hours, the second one about 20 hours, both by mistake.  I just looked at the clock wrong the first time and forgot about it the second time.  But they all turned out very tasty.

I don't use rennet or any additives except spices.  I did learn not to salt it until I poured off the whey though.  First two times all the salt went out with the whey and the cheese still needed more salt.  The whey is very nutritious, the dogs and chickens love it.  We haven't tried it with the kitties or goats yet.  I have a friend who uses it in baking but I'm going to have to find a good recipe.  It actually tastes pretty good just by itself, surprisingly.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

May G-d bless Israel.  This was too beautiful not to share.

This is the IDF Chief Cantor and IDF soldiers singing the prayer "Unetanneh Tokef".  I don't know exactly what that means in Hebrew but since this is the Yom Kippur weekend I know it is about that.  Enjoy whether you are Jewish or not.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

We found a new friend!  This little frog was hiding in an old tarp we were going to use to cover up the hay in the truck until we could unload the hay.  We have several of these frog or toads around on the farm.  We used to have one that was about as big as your hand, but haven't seen him in quite a while.

Dexter did find one one night while we were parking the car.  He was carrying it around in his mouth.  Ugh!  I'd think they wouldn't taste very good.  He dropped it but I think it may have been hurt, Dexter isn't very careful sometimes.

But we have several little ones up at the pool.  Sometimes in the pool.  Maybe its a 'she'?

This week we made some goat cookies for our new babies.  They are still awfully shy and don't want us to touch them yet.  That will have
to change soon if we are going to be able to comb out the cashmere when they start to shed their fiber in the spring.  They have to be able to stand and let us comb them, sometimes for quite a while. 

The other cashmeres we had were too friendly and would overwhelm me when I went into their pen.  They were very jealous and wanted to be the only one who got any attention.  These guys don't seem quite so needy but they are starting to eat out of our hands, that is if we have the right treats for them.

Animal crackers seem to be the favorite, so far.

Remember that picture I took of them in the pen right after we got them?  All green and tall, lush grass?  Well, check out the pen now.  It sure doesn't take them long to learn to like that grass.

They have eaten this down practically to the dirt in some places.  Fortunately, we are supposed to be getting around 4-5 days of rain this week.  I hope it greens up a little, at least.

These guys are so funny, they love chasing each other around in the pen, jumping up on or over the upside down wash tub I sit on when I'm out there.

And the picture at the very top of the blog was Smoky getting too nosy about my camera when I was feeding him this morning.  Ha!