Rain, and more rain!

So we continue to burn wood. It  sure doesn’t yet look like Spring, and it actually looks a lot more like November outside, but we are definitely making some progress towards Spring planning. I already had ordered all of my starter plants from our neighbor, who has a small greenhouse business, but now I have all my seeds ordered as well. I found a site with an amazing garden planning program. Not only can you physically lay out the garden but then at the end it gives you a planting and harvesting guide to your garden based on your planting zone. This was a great tool. We have always had one little tiny garden by the kitchen, aptly named “the kitchen garden”. It included a sampling of tomatoes, chives, dill, sage, pepper plants and cilantro. Now this garden will become an all herb garden by the kitchen. We also had what we called the “upper garden” which was a lot like an overflow garden. Now in addition to these two gardens we will add what I call a “creepy crawly” garden, for squash and other vegetables, and melons that crawl and spread out, and the fourth garden will be the main garden, located not far from what will be the new chicken yard. Having all this planning done is very exciting. With my last bit of travel coming up in a few weeks, once home the planting will begin in full. I am hoping to get some things in the ground sooner, but with 5 inches of rain predicted to fall between the last few days and through tomorrow, there seems to be little hope of this happening anytime soon!

Another important decision has been made, and that is the ordering of the little chicks. The decision is to get a mix of Australorp, Buff Orpingtons and Silver Wyandottes, and a number of 12, it will be interesting to grow and learn with this little chick family! I am going to get started on setting up the brooder and hubby is working on the coop, as much as one can work when all it does is rain!

I have been doing a lot of baking to catch up after all my time out of town last week.

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My daughters have been making dog treats for their dogs and so this was a new thing to add to my list of “what not to get at the store anymore”.

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My friend approved:)

So now I am adding dog treats to the list of what not to buy! I am looking forward to adding more to the list. Grocery shopping has become a fairly brief experience these days!

Here so far are 13 things I don’t buy anymore…

bread

pizza

buns

crackers – this one was a revelation, it never occurred to me that there was any other way to get crackers than at the store;)

pretzels

tortillas

corn chips

salad dressing

dog treats

paper towels

paper napkins

anything in a can

prepared foods

NEXT to explore… Mayonnaise, bagels, pasta, and of course this summer… lots of PICKLES!!! I read recently that making Mozzarella cheese is super easy, might have to try that!

And now the tiny herd update: We had another episode of  “the newbies do some ranching” the other day. We had put in a “plastic weaner” in our young bulls nose a while back to get him weaned and it was time for this to come out. (Seems this is a debatable practice, next time we will see if Mama can take care of this naturally with her little one.) This did give us an opportunity though to see the new revised chute and head gate in action. Hubby has spent a lot of time working on this being a safe and well functioning piece of equipment. We focused carefully on calm, smooth, quiet behavior on our part during this procedure and on the scoring scale that determines the stress of an animal in the head gate we did darn well. We felt successful and even the little bull’s Mama wasn’t too bothered by it all. Seems this is getting a little easier each time, as we learn together.

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