Friday, April 13, 2012

Biding Time

We had a spell of unseasonably warm weather. It really went to my head. I was out in the yard, burning tumbleweeds, clearing out leaves, setting up the compost area and cultivating in the new garden. Randyman put a fence up around it with used post and rail fencing and some chicken wire will go along the bottom to contain the little scavengers once its time to let them in to de-bug or to polish off the harvest in the fall.
The tomato seedlings were ecstatic to spend a couple of days in the portable greenhouse, as they get very little light here in the house. Spinach,  head lettuce and radish seeds went into the ground, along with another 50 strawberry plants. I raked some of the cultivated soil into rows which are ready to plant the peas in. The critters loved the sunshine, in fact, getting too hot for a spell as the hair sheep haven’t yet lost their winter wool. They all wandered back up to the corral for a drink and a nap. 

Two heads are better than one.

More must be better. I think the goats finally got bred. Peebody should be proud.

Stinky is getting brave. If they knew he was behind them, they would clobber him.

The Polar bears have begun to shed some of the heavy undercoat they grow every year. They have been doing a great job of staying with the critters in the pasture. They previously would patrol then take up squatting in front of the house like the busybodies they are, wanting to see what is going on at the ranch. Hundreds of trips back to the pasture, resorting to tying one of them up at a time has convinced them that their duty lies elsewhere. Cletus usually sleeps with the stock at night while Bruno patrols. It won’t be long and I will feel ok leaving the gates open at night so the sheep and goats can start grazing in the early mornings, which is their favorite time for breakfast, instead of later on, when I can finally drag my carcass out of bed.
Yesterday reality hit. I woke up to beautiful sunshine and continued following my little cultivator through the garden, throwing up dust and dirt, until around 9:00 the clouds set in, the temperature dropped and it started snowing hard on the mountain. It eventually reached here, slushy cold wetness falling from the sky, raining on my parade.
I think the spring wheat is just now beginning to come up in the “chicken corral”. The yellow headed blackbirds have been swooping down in great numbers to steal my seed. I yelled and threw things at them. Bruno took it to heart and has been exhausting himself chasing them off. I found a dead one laying in the corral. He must have caught it ‘red handed’. Funny he will chase the blackbirds and pigeons off, but has no problem with the wild geese. Whatever it takes, to protect the flock.
After 6 weeks of no internet, another 2 weeks or so of sitting on a little ladder to access the modem which is up by the ceiling,  the new router finally came. What a relief! I can now resume my mindless web surfing.
Since its not very much fun to be outside today, I am dutifully staying inside and tending to my various indoor duties, such as laundry and cooking. I have ground several cups of hard red wheat, to make a bucket of boule bread for pizza dough, feed the sourdough, plus I soak some wheat flour for making more sandwich bread, I think I will put a little yogurt in it this time, in lieu of buttermilk and a poolish for sourdough WW waffles in the morning.
 After cleaning up the mess and all the yeasty stuff, I skimmed some more heavy cream off the gallons of milk in the fridge and made some cream cheese and mozzarella. We just might have some blintzes for breakfast one morning this week if I feel good enough. I always think of my sons when I make those and that always makes me happy. Though seldom seen, they are much loved and I am so grateful for the years I DID have with them, and glad I wasn’t gone all the time working, although horseshows did take me from home more often than I would have liked. Those growing up days are gone when they are gone and can never be redeemed.
I had a gallon and a half of heavy cream in the fridge still, so I made almost 5 lb of unsalted butter that I will use later for ghee. I didn’t want to wash it as well as I would need to for cooking or table butter, so ghee it shall be. No problem you can never have enough of it, and it doesn’t go bad.

There is some left over roasted chicken in the fridge from the Claypot chicken we had the other night so I think I will just make a chicken alfredo with salad tonight and call it good.
I have had to go out to the back pasture three times in the very cold wind today. Of course, it probably feels a lot colder because I am wearing shorts as the only pair of jeans I own is in the washer right now. Thank goodness for internet, 3 more pair have been ordered and are on the way. Stinky was happy I showed up with his bottle. He’s gotten good about going back to his friends afterwards instead of dogging my heels all over the darn place. I had a chunk of roast that was getting too old for sandwiches so I took it out to the Polarbears who were very grateful. There is just something about seeing them out there keeping guard over everything that makes me feel so warm and secure.
Gotta check the soap inventory and make a list of what I want to find at the material store to make stuff with the treadle. The two sundresses I made for Miss Abby I think came out real cute. I need to start working on quilting real soon. I think some placemats and a table runner might be a good first project, so that’s the direction I am leaning.

Sooner or later, spring will be here for real.


  1. Lovely sun dresses!

    Those lucky pups - a picnic with roast out in the field :-)

    1. Thanks! I hope Abby likes them! :)

  2. Girl, you were busy! Amazing what a little sunshine will do for your energy. Cute sundresses! Looks like you'll be getting a few more animals pretty soon when your new mamas have some babies! Love that first picture. Makes me want to come help in your garden!

  3. I know that feeling of our children leaving and the distant memories of that time when we took care of their lives for them. I miss some of that too.
    Love the two headed Nubians and all the animals laying around in the sun.
    You also have a wonderful way of writing about your life on this ranch. Hope you write a book someday. I want one of the first signed copies.
    Take care.
    p.s. I think that my old Singer machine is exactly the same as yours. There are beautiful works of art, aren't they?.

    1. They are. I love the fact that I can leave it out and it doesn't look like i am in the middle of a project!

  4. Our spring came early and we all got anxious, too. Even Mother Nature who should have known better! After weeks abouve normal temps plants have bloomed and even begun to set fruit. Then.... a cold snap. :( We may not have grapes this year as the new growth and tiny grapes got bit by the freeze. So sad. Looks like the cherries may have faired better, good.
    The sun dresses are adorable. I only had boys and grandsons. I would LOVE to sew for a little girl. :) (I think my MIL has the same machine. And would not trade it for any new fangeled one.)

    1. My fruit trees have done the same thing. I am hoping it all works out, as we have had snow, but not a real hard, hard freeze! I love my treadle. I really do.

  5. You are a busy woman Petey! My boys are men now also, and there is a certain melancholy ache about flown time in my heart.
    Spring is inching it's way here too. Love all the pictures as usual...beautiful animals, adorable sundresses.
    Your little Minty Fresh checking out his harem...:)

  6. Those little sundresses are so cute! What a great job you did. I love how you just whip up some ghee, some pizza crust , skim some cream and make some mozzarella. You are a busy, busy farmgirl! Thank you for sharing once again. Staci, Stubborn Hill Farm

  7. Thanks, Staci! We'll know what Abby thinks of them real soon, I hope :)