Friday, January 30, 2009

21 days ago!

21 days ago was my last post. If you've wondered that maybe I wandered off and fell into a snowbank, I didn't. Not un-intentionally anyway, but I did get to reading alot of my old posts and came to a conclusion. My life is kind of boring. The same stuff that happens last January, happens this January, mainly that it is cold and it snows. I routinely beat on frozen water to make it drinkable, haul firewood to heat the house and then haul ash out again.

Sidenote: I should be saving those ashes to make lye water, so I can make soap, because.... yeah, I need another hobby!

But, this January, I did take a trip. My brothers, parents and I all met in Colorado for a long weekend. The first day we hiked 40 miles up to 40,000 feet straight up. (My brother who lives in Colorado seems to think it was more like 4 miles and 11,000 feet. He's wrong, I was there, I did the math, mostly laying face down in the snow gasping for what little oxygen hadn't already been gasped by everyone else).

The following day we all strapped boards on our feet and headed out to the slopes to torture what was left of our aching muscles. Great fun! We grew up skiing, and being a bit of a fearless fool anyway, standing at the top of a really big hill and pushing off to go breakneck speed down said really big hill seemed like a great idea. Yes, I did fall a few times, but in my defense, my legs were sooooo tired from the previous day that I could not successfully accomplish what is known in the skiing world as "stopping".

We lounged in the hot tub (there were at least 16 of us in that tub and the floor had no drain - you do the math). Hmmm, a hot tub room with no drain. Someone didn't have their Wheaties that day.

I wandered into a coffee shop in outback Colorado (big buck - I think- in Fairplay, CO) and found..... are you ready....... sitting down for this one.....

YARN!! Well, not really yarn, but pre-yarn, roving in cool little packages. I didn't even care that it cost more than my plane ticket, I had to have it, just because I found it by accident in a coffee shop in some really small mountain town far far away from N. Mich.

That was pretty much the excitement for January.

This weekend, if the weather gods permit (meaning if it's not 75 degrees below zero) I've got to get out to the barn and build a calf feeder, they are wasting too much hay and I fear I may not have enough. And just now looking at the calendar, June seems to be about 1/2 year away.
This was not a good discovery. Still half a year before 1st cutting and my barn is maybe only 1/3 full. Most likely we'll be buying hay this year.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The New Roosters

My new roosters are working out well. (In case you didn't read about where they came from, they were dropped off, probably as a joke. See, people don't just drop off furry cute kittens and puppies, they drop off other livestock too.) They seem to have found their place within my little chicken community. There's a heirarchy, but they've worked it out. I found both of them battered and bloody one morning and was concerned that we may have had a creature trying to attack, but it was just them, working out which rung of the ladder they belonged on.

It has been determined that Mr. White Rooster will spend his nights guarding the barn, and Mr. Black Rooster will stay in with the ladies in the hen house. I say ladies, but there are 2 young gentlemen in with them... I don't wanna know....

And, as a gentle reminder that roosters don't only crow at sunrise, as a lot of people have been led to believe, they crow whenever they want, even if that whenever is 3 AM, Mr Black Rooster crows all the time. I have to believe he's strutting his luck with his ladies. That's ok with me, the neighbors? Probably not hearing it this time of year, I'm sure they have their windows closed.

So, on the knitting front, I've already broken 2 of my 3 New Year's Resolutions. The first being to not buy any more yarn until I can walk around in my craft room again (too much stuff in there!) and the second to not cast on for any more projects. But this didn't count (it never does!) Besides, I had to do it to fulfill the 3rd of my resolutions.

My grandson has a birthday in March, he's at that age (13) where there's nothing you could get for him other than cash or something electronic that would make him happy, except for maybe.... A scarf knit in U of M colors (blue and gold) with the U of M logo on it.

1st resolution broken - bought more yarn

2nd resolution to be broken - cast on for new project

3rd resolution to be kept - to try to knit something for each and every one of my 7 grandkids for their birthdays this year. (the twins will be interesting, as often happens with twins, their birthdays are coincidentally on the same day as each other! How does that happen??). Clearly whoever planned that one wasn't a knitter!

So, birthday one is in the works.

See? I can justify any resolution breaking, especially if it involves knitting. Got a resolution you want to break? Send it to me, I'll justify it for ya!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Keeping Murphy Away From My New Faucet...

My new faucet is here, my new faucet is here! Alert, alert!
UPS delivered it yesterday. To hubby's shop. And he forgot it. Sigh!
Oh well, that's ok really, I didn't have time to do an install last night anyway, probably won't get done until Saturday. Have to dig out the new sink and get that ready too.

And I hear there are silicone applications to be done. Yippee! Silicone is fun!

Assuming that the existing sink is the same size as the new sink it should all go fairly well. Having said that..... yeah! But it will be really nice to have that done. Might even inspire me to start thinking about refurbing my Hasty Baker Stove.

Assuming that the existing sink is the same size as the new sink is probably where all of this is gonna fall apart. I've heard they're all the same. People have said, don't worry, it will fit. But I do. Worry, that is. Because me and Murphy? Best Friends Forever! Yeah, that's us.

I've only installed one sink ever and that was close to 20 yrs ago. Thinking through the process, it didn't seem all that hard, but I'm wondering if maybe I should replace the counters also, at the same time? Hmmmm. Have to think about that. Kind of flies in the face of my "nothing new for 09" strategy (the faucet and the sink were both bought in 08, so they don't count).

What I could do is this. Dig out some of the floorboards left over after we installed the hardwood floors, use them, sand them down real good, put a nice thick layer of poly on them, that would look nice! And while I'm at it, I could build a backsplash and, and, and.....

This might work, will have to think about it some though.

Nah! The existing counters are just fine, they don't need to be replaced. And I will probably need those floorboards when we finally get the upstairs loft done. Yeah, I have enough projects, don't really need any more, and, keeping Murphy away from my new installations will probably be all I can handle!

Obligatory rooster photos, well one anyway, it's dark in the mornings and evenings when I do chores, so hard to get a good photo!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Well, It's Been Awhile

So let's take a look at what has been happening around the farm lately.

You know those old farm houses on the end of the road where people drop off stray cats and dogs? We have one of those. Well, not an old farm house, but we are at the end of the road.

And to be honest, I've only had one drop off puppy, one we ended up keeping for a long time, and the cats that show up, well cats do roam so...

But, I'm not talking here about dropping off 4 legged furry critters. Nope. Here's the story.

I was sitting at my computer the other morning and kept thinking I was hearing a rooster. We have 2 roosters, but they're young, and to my knowledge haven't found their "crow" yet. At least I've never heard them. If you've ever heard a rooster trying to learn to crow, it's not pretty. Pretty much sounds like they're being tortured. But this was a full on crow.

After daylight I ventured out to the barn to do chores and what did I see? A rooster! A real, full grown, complete with a healthy set of spurs, rooster! A really pretty one too, black, with reds, browns and iridescent greens and blues. Very pretty. Ok then. We now have an honest to goodness rooster. Whatever.

Part of my doing morning chores dictates that I open up the hen house so the chickens can escape, wander around the barnyard and peck at the grains and corns that the horses and cows leave behind. Part of my morning chores involves counting my little birdies as they exit the hen house, just to make sure I didn't lose anyone. Currently there are 14 birdies living there. Or so I thought. Until I opened up the door and out strutted another rooster, proud as could be (spent the night with 12 ladies and 2 young gentlemen....). This one was also very pretty. White with black and brown and red and other colors, iridiscent blues and greens, very pretty, but very much different from the other one.

So now I'm curious, just how many roosters found my barnyard, when did they arrive, and most importantly, how in the world did they get there?

There's close to 4 foot of snow on the ground between me and the other farms in the area, not likely they just strolled over. Domestic chickens don't fly real well, so that's not likely either. They had to have had a ride. But who??

Stay tuned for the answer coming up after this ad.....

Hey? Need your driveway plowed? Need your walk shoveled? Just call the local Mr Snowplow man (who also, conveniently as it happens, has a few extra roosters, want a couple?)

Ah Hah! There's the culprit. Seems he had a few too many (roosters). Seems they were eating him out of house and pig food. Seems last year he asked me if I wanted a few and I said, "Sure, why not!". Actually that last part I don't remember, but he swears he "mentioned" it. And while he's "swearing that he mentioned it" there's an unmistakable gleam in his eye and a shit-eating grin on his face. Uh huh! Ok. You "mentioned" it. Was I anywhere near you when this pseudo-conversation took place?

But it's all good. I needed a new face in the flock anyway, gotta introduce some new dna every now and then to keep from getting chickens with fur, or 3 eyes and stuff, or feet growing out of their ears. And these boys are gorgeous! They will make pretty babies. Unless of course they don't know how to do that, then, Mr Snowplow Man and I are gonna have a 'scussion!