Friday, October 29, 2010

The babies are here!!

Jim picked up the babies and they are installed in the basement for the time being. They are so small and so cute!! We have the cage all closed in to keep the temps up, supposed to be 90 at first and then slowly open it up more to lower the temps. By the time they are a couple of months old they will go out to the barn. Jim has been working on a nice place for them until they are big enough to run around more. He will also begin work on the larger coop for the older ones.
All of the chickens lay the brown eggs that people really seem to like. From what I have read with the chickens being pretty much free range the eggs actually more nutritious. As I mentioned previously the brown eggs go for more, so thinking next summer will be making a bit more, yeah!!

Hard freeze last night, no more maters from the garden all froze!! With the work Jim has been doing to the windows the house seems much snugger. We have had some really high winds and not a window was rattling or curtains blowing as in the past. Temps are still modrate compared to how low they are going to get, but I am pleased. He keeps finding new places that need insulation , he finally calmed the windstorm in the dining room which is more then good. Little by little,lol.

I am off to my nest as tomorrow will be a pretty long day, will be on the phone for most of the afternoon and early evening. If you know of anyone looking for something to do from home, have them get in touch.

Best to you all,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wild weather all around!! Thought the moon looked rather Holloweenie, wish I could get a shot that shows the face but have not figured out how to get it. Another challenge!! Lots of wind the last two days which in some ways was good, Jim found lots more leaks to fill in and stuff insulation in. The current puzzle is how to cut out the draft in the dining room. Jim finds it a real challenge to get insulation into some areas due to the construction of the house. He took some drywall down in the dining room and there is no insulation in the wall behind it, just lots of boards. All this is the upside to him being out of work, so much is getting done around the house. He has taken out and recauked all the old windows and done any repairs needed to them. When reinstalling them he is moving the molding over slightly so that the fit is tighter and hence no more rattling windows. Right now he is out putting our panels back up in the animals building to close them in and keep everyone warmer.

Tomorrow morning we go to pick up 20 more baby chicks to increase our chicken herd. Jim finished the new area for them so they will be toasty warm. At the rate the eggs are selling we figured it could not hurt to purchase some more. Buying them now gives them the winter to grow and by spring they will be laying also. As I mentioned before I plan on finding a larger farmer's market where I will be able to charge more for the eggs. Around here I only charge $1.00 per dozen which is very reasonable considering that in the stores brown eggs go for $3.00 plus a dozen. I have people showing up and buying 15 dozen at a time because they like them so much.
We went to the Fall festival and took a couple of the bigger pumpkins, didn't win but it was fun.
I really like the type that did win and want to grow some of those next year, they were so pretty. An other project,lol.

Jim went on another interview and all were impressed with his skills and all the certificates he has for different classes, that is the upside. The downside is the constant comment was "over qualified" , grrrr. He explained that we do not want to move and he is trying to find a job within driving distance so he does not have to live away from home again. They are supposed to make a decision by next week so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

We are putting up fliers all over the place for "Rent my Hubby" and Jim is picking up a few small jobs here and there. I am counting on word of mouth to spread his fame and bring in a bit more to keep us afloat. Never hurts to try.

I am trying to pick up more hours with my job to help, just so hate being in this situation, but very glad that with the help of friends and family we are surviving. Trying very hard to count all our blessings. Best to all, Barbara

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall is in the Air, sort of.

How to tell Fall is here, hummm let's see there are the thousands of Asian lady bugs that appear everywhere. I would love to find the people who thought they would be a good idea to import, they rank up there with the love bugs in the south. We have to resort to
spraying everywhere to try and keep them out. As companion to the lady bugs we have box elder bugs, yuck!! The goats are getting shaggy and the cats fuzzy. We had a couple of nights of frost last weekend which singed quite a few things. Jim helped me cover some of the pumpkins which helped and I had some row covers to put over the tomatoes and peppers. That was Saturday night, then we remembered we had a huge
tarp which we spread out for Sunday night. Lots of leaves died but the stems still seem ok. A lady who came to buy eggs saw the pumpkins and thinks we should take the biggest ones to the pumpkin contest. I think it would be fun, so if there is time that is on the agenda. The Maple trees we planted have grown quite well and are starting to turn color, not like in some areas, but still pretty.

Once again we had a disappointing apple crop, I believe part of it is no bees and the other the tornado. The apple trees were in line of fire when it came through and now their are sections that don't look so good. The new trees are doing well and Jim is making cages to go around them so they do not get attacked over the winter. So much to do to prepare all the plants for the sub zero weather to come. Lots of work but well worth it when you see them come back to life in the Spring.

Jim's job hunt continues, all the offers involve moving and none pay well enough to allow him to consider taking an apartment. He is getting some nibbles for work in this area doing handy man type things. We printed up some fliers and are leaving them all over the place, if he could get enough coming in that way we would be alright. I am slowly but surly mastering my job, still lots of stress but not the panic when the phone rings,lol. The basic calls go well and the emergency calls are better. I am able to be calm and remember everything the first time through. There are still challenges in trying to find some of the locations when they are out on the highway.
For me the major stress with the highway calls is time, I want to get them done as quickly as possible and feel inadequate when it takes me too long. I know how awful it feels to be broken down beside the road and how scary. Advise from the older agents is to take deep breaths and keep going and it will all fall into place.

I am so happy with all Jim is doing around here, not only did he put the new windows in the attic but has been repairing all the old wood windows. They have been neglected for years so they leak and are loose in the frames. He has been slowly recauking them
and making them weather tight. Some of them the glass was so loose it almost fell out of the frame. The majority of the windows still have the old wavy glass and we are trying to preserve them. He is also rebuilding some of the frames where the weather has damaged the wood. All kinds of new skills.

All the critters are happy and thriving, we now have a kitten room in addition to the bird room. We brought in all the barn kittens as there had been some hawks hanging around and I was worried they might get killed. It is a riot, Jim and I laugh so hard over their antics, he plays goalie when I open the door to feed them. There is an avalanche of small furry bodies pouring out the door. Each so cute in their own w
ays and funny, we will stand there with hands full of squirming , purring babies and it just makes the day so much better. They love attention and will try to climb your legs to get picked up and petted. All those precious little faces and the trust that you will take care of them.

I don't go on the phone until 5 today and it promises to be nice and warm so will pick peppers and maybe can some more. I did 12 jars of banana pepper rings and am thinking I will do some jalapeno and Hungarian hot wax rings as well. I promised a friend some jalapenos so will pack some of them up to send to her. I guess I will dry the Poblamos and not sure what to do with the Anaheim s. I have used some of my dill and will dry the rest, the basil plants are all in and have given several away. Still have not figured out how to harvest the horseradish,lol another new skill. I am already planning the garden for next year, trying to learn from what worked this time and what didn't.

Wishing much
happiness from the small things in life to all my friends,