Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coming to the end of the season

Last Wendesday we woke up to no power.  Actually, the power went out right after we went to bed Tuesday night.  I fretted a bit and was up and down a bit.  I think I annoyed my DH because I kept getting up and walking through the house.

Our house gets *really* dark when the power goes out.  Goes to show how much stuff is softly illuminated nowadays.

Thursday is kind of a blur. I don't remember anything significant from that day.

Friday I cleaned out both coops.  Cleaning the big coop takes a lot longer than cleaning our little one.  I had to find a new spot to start dumping the litter.  I found a spot but it requires rolling over some fallen trees.  If I remember, I need to get out there and move the trees out of the way.

I also canned some green beans for the first time and blanched some cabbage for the freezer. Freezer space is now at a premium so I decided to put my big girl boots on and pressure can some beans.  For the record, it was not nearly as nerve-wracking as some have made it out to be.

I got to use my fancy hot plate again. I'm still thrilled to bits that I have it.  I'm also learning how to get things ready so water doesn't take too long to heat up.  I'm used to canning outside on a camper stove, so things heat up really fast.  Using my hot plate isn't as fast as my camp stove  BUT I can now pressure can to my little hearts content indoors.  I love the stove that I picked out when we bought the house, but yeah, I didn't really think it through regarding pressure canning.  I keep reading you can pressure can on glasstop stoves but I'm leery.  This stove has to last me a good long time. Again, thanks to my MIL for getting me a hot plate for my birthday.

Cabbage is one of the easiest things to preserve, in my opinion. You basically, cut it, blanch it for three minutes and then bag it for the freezer.  We didn't plant much cabbage this year and the four bags full of cabbage is plenty for soup this winter.

Saturday we went and got the last of the wood we purchased. We managed to cram the last of it into one load.  It was a beautiful day and I mostly puttered around the house and tended to the ladies and gents (chickens and roos).

I also spent some time out in the garden and dug up some carrots and beets.  I was so proud of some of the beets I pulled up -- until I turned them around and saw that critters had been gnawing on them.

Boo!  I lost a lot of beets to critters.

I haven't dug up all the carrots and beets yet.  Figured I'd so some more this weekend since I don't have to worry about losing those crops to frost.  Saturday night I cleaned my harvest so I could pressure can Sunday. 

I don't mind canning and saving the harvest. I just wish there wasn't quite so much chopping that needed to be done.

In the end I wound up with a decent amount of jarred food.  Not a ton but enough to make me happy. 

If you look at the beans you will see I used my fancy blue jars.

Next year I NEED to plan the garden better. I'm not gonna lie, thanks to the weeds taking over the garden I lost a lot of produce before I even got out there.

This weekend we thought we lost one of the Americauna chickens. My son had put the girls to bed Friday night and didn't do roll call. Saturday morning he was upset because he thought we offed her because she developed a limp.  We called and looked for her but she never appeared.  Figured a hawk got her because she couldn't run fast.

Well, as I was picking up the yard I over turned a box and *BAM* there she was, under the box.  I think she tried to sit on the edge of the box and managed to flip it over on herself.

Lesson learned.  Don't leave boxes in the yard.

I'm just glad she's safe and sound, and still with us.

School is still going well for my son. He must be enjoying it because there is no complaining and whining in the morning. The school bus is still a success. He loves it. I do pray it stays that way.  I know he feels more grown up and responsible.

The evenings are getting more chilly so we've been running the wood stove. I've missed it a bit. The fires make the whole house feel more cozy.  I'm also getting pretty darn good at getting it started.  No more waiting for my man to come home and light a fire.

Friday I started listening to "Beautiful Creatures." I'm enjoying it immensely and it is really helping the commute go by.  As I told my one friend, I've been a good girl and I haven't read about the book to see what's going to happen. Then I found out it is the start of a series.  Oh boy, I can see myself falling down the rabbit hole.  Once the weather changes for the winter I can see myself getting lost in books again.

Daily 5 things of the day that made me happy

1. The smell of wood smoke.

2. Having a good book to listen to on my way to and from work.

3. Things are starting to settle down into a routine. (Ha! I may have just jinxed myself)

4. Something really awesome is happening for one of my friends.

5. Carmel apple season.  

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