Sunday, September 25, 2016

Let me tell you a fish story

A few weeks back our family purchased an old aluminum fishing boat.  We cleaned it up and got it looking pretty.  The last two weekends we've taken the boat out to various lakes in the area, and trying our hand at trolling.

Yesterday my son caught his first Northern. It is a proud family moment and I'm so proud of him for bringing it in himself, with some help from his dad.

This Northern tried to make an escape a couple times while still in the boat. I finally put the fishing net over the tote we had him in and he finally simmered down.  

As we were driving home it was decided that this fish would be brined and smoked for lunch today. Both the boys were drooling at the idea of fresh smoked fish.  

We arrived home, the fish was carried to the back yard and photos were taken.  The Northern was 26 inches long. Look at the smile on his face!  When the photoshoot was done, my husband cleaned the fish and got it into a brine solution.  

This morning we ran off to Rice Lake for turkey feed.  When we came back my husband started the smoker and got ready.  Then he went to get the fish.  

Guess what? (This is sad)

The fish was gone.  


He yelled "The fish is gone!"  I was cleaning out the coop so I walked outside and said "What?!"  

Yes, the fish was gone.  

At some point, a coyote came into the yard and snatched the fish.  The fish was grabbed and nothing around the bucket was disturbed. 

Talk about heartbreak. I think I was in disbelief for at least five minutes.  Oh, the devastation.  After all the hard work yesterday no one gets to enjoy the fruits of the labor. 

Some brats ended up being smoked, since the smoker was going.  Those turned out tasty, but I know nothing would compare to what would have been. 


Monday, August 29, 2016

The return of the blogger (Or, summer, why did you go so fast?)

I feel like this has been my busiest summer ever. After what felt like waiting FOREVER for summer to arrive, it feels like it's moving in the blink of an eye.

Today was the last hurrah before school starts. I took the day off and schlepped my son up to Leif Erickson park, and rose garden.  The rose garden took my breath away.  It is SO pretty there. My son and I looked around the rose garden and my son went "Wow, mom, you need to step up your game." To which I replied "You need to buy me more roses."

It was a first time visit to the park. No viking ship though. It's still in restoration.  I would have taken photos, and I'm kicking myself for not bringing my digital camera, but I'm so used to taking photos with my phone, and my son was using my photo for Pokemon hunting. We got to the park before the rush of Pokemon hunters and we walked all over the place. Once the park started getting busy we sat for a short while and I people watched for a bit. It was interesting, to say the least. It rained this morning so the setting wasn't ideal for a picnic.

Going back on the summer a bit:

Once the nice weather hit my area we went out and about nearly every chance we get.  We've done a lot of fishing.

Taken this weekend.  Love those early mornings.

We checked out one of our old haunts out this weekend.

Also taken this weekend. Just me, being silly

The fishing is slowing down now. We haven't been doing a lot of watersports this year. I noticed that it seems to be not only us slowing down on the water sports.  I'm wondering if it has something to do with the weather, or what.  When we go out on to our favorite lake we don't see people doing much more than fishing, or cruising on a pontoon.

We did some home improvement projects. The end of June/early July I decided I would like to stain the deck.  A certain someone was happy to help me.  I even got a power washer.  Those things are awesome to use.  And I've wondered how I went this long without one.

My beautiful deck

 And to keep my deck beautiful, and free of chicken poo, my husband build me a little gate.

A gate to keep the chickens from pooing on my deck.

Some landscaping around the house was done, too. This makes me very happy, as well.

This is a small portion of what we did.

I won't bore you with pics from all around the house.  This is the jist of what it all looks like, except by the deck, where I have my rose bushes and fountain.  That area is a little more unique.

The garden grew like crazy when I wasn't looking.  Ooops. I spent some quality time in there and it's looking much better.  A few things have already started producing. The cucumbers, the green beans, some tomatoes (they aren't doing as hot this year), and I even have a winter squash growing and looking all pretty. I figure I've got at least 4 more weeks of garden weather. 

 I can't wait to make some dill pickles.

My messy garden

The chickens have been enjoying this nice weather and consider it their absolute right to be outside as soon as chickenly possible.  They've also been kicking out a massive amount of eggs this summer.


This little girl loves hanging by her humans.  She's extremely chatty this year.  My son named her WeepingBell.


Heading over to the water cooler.

This girl was wondering what I was up to.

We call this one Mrs. GoogleEye.  She always has a surprised look on her face.

I told them to "act natural."

Grandma P still doesn't have time for shenanigans.

Trey, our Roo, strutting his stuff.

Some of the girls trying to get at the turkeys food.  The turkeys are very messy.

The turkeys grew from these adorable babies to big birds, who are now on the cusp of turning into the heavy weight champs they are meant to be.

A little video from this afternoon. The one turkey displays almost non stop now. 

The Brahma babies are doing fine. They are sassy little babies.

I just love those feathers on their feet.  We decided they remind us of the Dallas cheerleaders, from back when they had the white boots with fringe.

They are still too little to be with the bigger ladies.  We may keep them separate through the winter. Hard to say.  Brahmas are slower growing chickens, and they take a while longer before they start laying eggs. They are adorable, regardless.

I'm in awe that it is the end of August already. I'm also a bit disappointed with myself that I didn't write more.  Without realizing it, I took the summer off from writing.

School starts this week.  My son is going to be a middle-schooler.  How did that happen? We will be adjusting to some changes to the schedule, and the various changes that come with him being in the middle school now.

I'm still crafting. I've been working on the same two projects all summer.  They are both done. I'll write more in a later post.

I have neglected my poor spinning wheel. I looked over at it this weekend and realized there was dust and webs on it, from disuse. So I gave it a nice little spa and cleaned it up. I feel bad. It's so much easier to start and stop spinning, when needed. I've got a spinning project going and I'm concerned my spinning might not be to the same gauge as the yarn already spun. Also, I think I stored away the yarn I was spinning. I will need to dig it out so I can try and match the weight.

There is a small quilt I finally wrapped up during the Olympics. I've been sitting on it for nearly two years.  Once I got all the pieces together, made the quilt sandwich, hand quilted, and put the binding on, it took far less time than I expected to finish it.  Oh, I can't believe I waited so long.  I showed it to a few people and they were suitably impressed. One gal, who is a quilter, told me my points were very good for a beginner.  It is about the size of a baby quilt.


I've also done a wee bit of reading.  Way back in January, I think, I started reading "Sense and Sensibility." For various reasons, I set the book down and pursued other books and whatnot.  I came back to it this past month and Oh-my-gosh, I do NOT care for it.  Even with cliff notes and spark notes I was struggling with it.  I feel like I went through a ten-step program, trying to decide why I didn't like this book. I finally decided that I felt complete disconnect from the main characters.  They were so up in other people's business, who made how much money, and the desire to find a man to support them.  Ugh.  SO not my scene. I finally completed the book a week ago, or so.  Now, when people discuss Jane Austen I have an informed opinion and say that she is not for me. Yes, I understand that her writing is a commentary on the time she lived in.  I am so glad I do not live in that time. I highly doubt I will read any more of her writings.  I *do* have the BBC version of "Sense and Sensibility" on DVD and will watch it sometimes this winter.  My coworker said I might understand it better after watching the movie.  I don't think it will change my opinion on the story though.

Well, I reckon that's all my blather for now.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Turkeys' first day out

Last Saturday we opened up the turkey coop and let them come out so they could wander around a bit. The had a wonderful day outside. The chickens seem very accepting of the turkeys, as well.

Everyone got along and the chickens had the turkey food. Seriously, the chickens loved having access to the turkey's high protein feed. They weren't shy about it either. Now, as soon as the chickens are let out, they make a beeline to the turkey coop and barge on in.

Saturday night, when my son went to go tuck the big girls in, he couldn't find the turkeys.  Mild panic happened, until we realized that the turkeys followed the chickens into the big coop for the night. This was surprising to me.  I thought it would be a while before the turkeys felt really comfortable with the chickens.

The next day, after letting everyone out, everyone started working through the pecking order again.  One of the wynadotte's tried to start a fight with one of the turkeys, and it earned her a turkey wing slap down.  Wow, is about all I can say.  I heard that wing come down with a crack. The wynadotte was still holding her ground, but the turkey earned her respect.

Now everyone is coexisting peacefully.  The turkeys are still following the ladies back into the coop for the night.  Most every morning we carry the turkeys back to their own coop, so they have access to their food and waterers with deeper troughs on them.

However, last night we corralled the turkeys into their coop for the night and they started crying.  After I made sure they had enough to eat for the night, I opened their coop and let them back out.  The stared up at me like, "What now?" I said "Go to the big big coop" and walked away. They followed me, walking like gangly puppies, over to the big coop, up the stairs, and into the big coop. They were happy as could be and settled in for the night. Silly birds! You could almost hear the "Oh boy! Oh boy!"

Friday, June 10, 2016

The months that flew by ... And now we are in to June

Where did April go?  Oh, that's right, I was busy baby chick wrangling.

April is this sort of haze of baby chicks, incubator alarms going off, turkey calls, and tending to all sorts of chicken-related chores.

We've hatched out quite a few baby chicks in April, and was able to see them off to their new owners. All "totes adorbs" and sassy in their own little way.

And now May is one-third done with. We are almost halfway done with June. Where is the time going?

Since May started we've experienced some really nice weather days. However, since I last posted an entry, we've experienced more cold, windy, rainy days than should be legal. The wood stove is still running in the evenings.  Sometimes we get it going in the morning. Depends on the temperature inside the house. Yes, that's right.  In *June* we are running the woodstove.

So, a chicken and turkey update. ...

Well, the turkey's have grown significantly, and are out in the open air coop.  They are happy to be outside but are eager to start spreading their wings, so to speak.  We are thinking that this weekend we will let them venture out on their own for a bit.  We will need to keep the big ladies in their coop for a while.  They know each other's smell but I'm not quite ready for a face-to-face meeting.

Believe it or not, the fat babies grew up and had a fabulous life.  They are already in their permanent home in the freezer.

They were processed last week. Thirty birds in two batches. We are happy to have it taken care of so soon in the season.  Sounds like we are ahead of everyone else too.  One person we were speaking with said her birds were nowhere near ready to be harvested.

We still have a mess of chicks.  They are going on two months of age now, and loving life out in the little coop. Bit by bit, they are all going to their new homes.  And that's okay.

My son is all done with school for the year. It's amazing how fast the school year went.  He was sad to see the year end.  However he is greatly looking forward to Y camp, and being a middleschooler next year. I'm still wrapping my mind around him being in middle school.

I've been doing a little bit of knitting.  Bits and pieces, here and there.  For a while I was cranking out a few dishcloths. Then I made a couple bookmarks.

Currently I'm working on a vanilla sock using this yarn. The sock is my purse knitting.  I've been knitting it a few rounds a day.


I have about an inch and a half more to go before I can place the scrap yarn for the afterthought heel.

The Pamuya Shawl. Cascade heritage yarn.  It's deep stash yarn and I have long since lost the ball bands.  I'm cranking along slowly.  This is my second attempt at the pattern.  I need to be focused when I work on it.


A mood scarf. A different color for each day, for the month of June.  I need to take a picture from today.  This photo is a few days old.

On the garden front, I *finally* got the garden in this past weekend.  Then the next day we had hard rain and I'm not sure if my seeds washed away. I should know within the  next week if the seeds stayed or not.

No reading has been happening, sorry to say. I haven't been in the mood, which is odd, because we have had so many rainy days.

Now that summer is in full swing things are going to be busy, busy around the homestead. I'm enjoying the little bit of down time before the garden starts sprouting (fingers crossed) and all the other things that will be occupying my time. Thanks to some "found" free time, I've written my first blog entry in a few months, I won't be quite so hesitant about writing again and trying to think of ALL that stuff that's been going on.  Now would be a time to mention my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook social media, I think.  I post photos a lot more frequently than I blog, lately. I didn't mean to, it just happened. The buttons to my other social media is on the right side of the blog.

Well, I guess that's the jist of the last couple months. :-) Let's get in touch again, sooner than later, okay?

Saturday, April 2, 2016

March is hanging on

Yesterday after work we called L & M and was informed they have meat birds in the store.


So we drove down there and picked up 20 Cornish X meat birds and brought them home. 


I forgot how cute they start out.  These guys are still pretty active when they aren't dog-piled together, sleeping. 


I need to remember this phase once they get older and they turn into the eating machines they are known for being.

Once we got home, I set the brooder box up quickly and got them settled in.  They didn't act stressed in the least.  One was trilling for a while. 

 This evening the boys each took a chick and held them for a while.  I don't imagine many people treat their meat birds like this.  Why not?  They should get to experience some love and affection, like the other chicks.


This one fell asleep under my husband's chin. 

We woke up this morning to snow on the ground and the wind blowing it all around.  Not a nice way to start the weekend.

Ran to town and did our shopping, came home and ate a late lunch.  Then I went out to the coop to do chicken chores.

If we are feeling miffed at Mother Nature, I can't imagine how the poor ladies are feeling. They want to be outside in the worst way. They won't walk in the snow so they are stuck in the coop.  I felt bad and gave them some extra scratch and that appeased them a little bit.


I see a lot of ladies going for their fair share of treats.

After doing the other things that needed to be done, we've basically relaxed for the day. Not that we had much of a choice.  The weather is just so crummy.

My "relaxing" consisted of making a low-carb coconut pudding for my guy, and some scones for myself.  I tried a different recipe and I'm pleased with the results.

The scones will go great with the "Highland Cream" I made last night.  I didn't cover this batch of cream.  The result?  A beautiful buttery yellow crust on top.  It didn't detract from the flavor or the consistency. But ... I think I'm going to stick with keeping it covered.  I think I like the texture from when it's covered better than when it's uncovered.

Some coloring happened tonight. Nothing too intricate or fancy.  I did this while watching "Alone" through the History website.

"Alone" is interesting.  We binge watched and viewed six episodes, I think. The wannabes quit pretty quickly. I had to shake my head at the one guy quitting after the first night. I guess they are all wilderness survivors, as long as they are in their back yard.

Yesterday I finished "Summers at Castle Auburn."

If you enjoy coming-of-age stories, with a bit of fantasy and a sweet love story, this book is right up your alley.  I enjoyed this book SO much.  The writing is fantastic and I'm so glad I learned of this author.  I'll be checking out her other books.

There was one line that stood out to me.  So much of the book made me smile and this is one of the sections.

"Everyone will tell you she chose foolishly, but it's a wise girl who knows what will make her content."

The entire paragraph is great.  The girl being spoken of is the girl who marries the prince, but winds up with someone beneath her station, and she couldn't be more happy because she is with the one she loves. She walked away from the life that had been thrust upon her, from the day she was born, for the one she chose, and the man she loved with her entire being.

Seriously, go get the book!

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Listening to an audiobook and a section where the main character explain love, and having my husband reach for my hand and say "That's how I feel."

2. This Meme has cracked me up every time I've looked at it.

3. The fat babies, aka cornish x meat birds are happy and healthy.

4. My son's love of nachos.

5. Highland Cream.  Oh my gosh, I love it so!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring break

Let me give you an update about the baby chicks.

This little one decided to tell us a story back on March 27. 

Those sassy little budgies of mine have been going to new homes, group by group. 

And then we were down to nine babies from I don't remember how many.   I love the perky little tail on the one to the far left.

On Monday this final group went to their new home.  They will have a little girl taking care of them.  She was excited to get them.  She's in 4-H and will be learning how to show poultry at the fairs and such. Before they even left the house she pulled one of them out and was holding it while the adults talked. 

One of the ladies that came to pick them up decided she was in love with the white one in this photo and said she hoped it turned out to be rooster so she could have him. I guess she gets all the Roos and is happy to take them in. The chick right next to it is the one who had the straddle leg.  Look at her/him!  Legs are like nothing was wrong. I love those cheek puffs!

It was sad to see them go off to their new homes.  There are so many different emotions from hatching them out and keeping them for yourself versus hatching them out and sending them off into the world. I feel good about each family that came and picked chicks up.  This helped ease my mind.  One lady sent a photo to us as soon as she got them settled in. I though it was very nice of her.  Her little girls were thrilled to be getting baby chicks.


But never fear, we have more babies on the way! Yup, we now have two 'bators. We have 11 more days until the next batch starts hatching out.  *Squee*

Good mail arrived last week. I've been flipping through the encyclopedia a bit and learning all sorts of new things.  I haven't had much time to go through the chicken health book.  I also ordered myself a candler for checking eggs. 

 Last week was spring break for my son.  The weather was not optimal. On Wednesday the wind was going strong enough that we decided to check out the big lake after work.

 It's been many years since I've been out to the point.  My hands were instantly cold and I didn't have gloves on. The waves were baby waves compared to what I've seen in the past.

My son said he LOVED seeing the waves and would love to see them again. 

On Good Friday I had the day off of work.  I took him to the roller rink for the afternoon. He had fun and that's all that matters.  Me, it was too many people.

The epic mural is still there.  This mural is part of my childhood. I think people would have rioted if the owners tried to paint over the wall. I'm pretty sure it's been touched up a bit.  Still just as awesome!

On Saturday we celebrated Easter.  It was a very nice and laid back affair.  It was also great to catch up with family.

And now ... back to work.  Thankfully work has been kind to me.  It's been quiet this week.

On the knitting front ... I completed a few things

Firs thing off the needles was the hat I was making from a pattern by Plucky Knitter, and knitting with double yarn.

It turned out slouchy for me.  I have mixed feelings on it.  I have been assured I look adorable in it.

So far I've been wearing it around the house.  If I was wearing it in the wind I'm not sure it would stay on my head.

The next thing off the needles was a scarf. I used US size 15 needles, cast on 200 stitches and knit, double yarn, until I ran out of yarn.

I just barely made it!  I was playing yarn chicken at the end.  It is LONG.  It's got to be 9 feet long at least.  I can wrap it around my neck several times and it's really cozy.

If I could do it over I'd cast on 150 stitches, so it would be a bit wider.

I do have a small crochet project going on.  It's a cowl. I'm not really feeling it so it may go to the frog pond. I'm still deciding.

On the book front ... I finished "Helena" for book club. 


I liked it.  I annotated all over it.  My first time doing so to a book.  Felt a bit odd at first to be writing in a book but after a while I got over it. It was nice throwing my two cents in.

Last week I picked up "Summers at Castle Auburn" from the library and started it this evening. 

One of the book bloggers I follow recommended this book.  I can't remember who it was.  Sorry.

I'm just over a chapter in and I'm hooked.  I'm not sure what it was that piqued my curiosity about this book but so far it's a good read.

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. Fires in the woodstove.  It was so damp and dreary today.

2. Starting a new book.

3. More baby chicks are on the way.

4. Laundry is all caught up!

5. I didn't have to leave the house today.