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I am a 50+ yr old stay at home wife of a scientist/Military man.  I raise chickens for eggs, rescue dogs & cats & spoil them all.  I am a silver/metal smith & stained glass artist.  I, at one time was an secondary art teacher & Social Studies teacher.  I am sorta a eclectic earth mother who recycles everything I can get my hands on.  Enjoy working with power tools & even built my own 10ft by 6ft chicken coop.  am pretty much interested in learning everything I can thur books, magazines & friends. I enjoy veggie gardening & doing gardens just for the chickens. I also sew & love making pioneer style comfortable clothes for myself & adding vintage lace when I can find it. I am pretty easygoing, but need my coffee first before I am ready to face the world & day.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Its cold & I am bored

I do so love the snow but with 5 foot mountains of it in my yard I am struggling to get anywhere. At least the driveway is only about 12 inches high but still makes going to get the mail a challenge. And with Thomas gone I can not shovel out the snow because we got sleet a few days ago & its so heavy I feel like the shovel will break just lifting it...lol...

We have been getting into the negatives at night, so last night I went down to check on the chickens in the basement coop & boy was it cold. I went & grabbed blankets & covered the door to the outside to block the cold air that was getting in, added another heat lamp & put a thick blanket around the tarped area to help cut off more cold air that might get in. In less than 10 minutes my finger tips were numb, so I am glad I thought to go down there & check on them. I even put a sheet over the top of their dog crate they have so they can get up on it & get closer to the nice heat lamps if wanted.

I know they are doing alright, but I do so worry about them. My neighbor told me yesterday she had to bring in one of her hens because of frost bite on the feet. That's what made me check my hens again. I have decided this spring when they finally go back outside that I am re-doing both coops with a better heating system. I love the lamps but always worry they may fly up & hit them or burn themselves on them. I am sure I have written about this before but when its -6 or -27 degrees it makes me want to bring them all 15 in & set them in front of the woodstove.

I decided to make chocolates the other night...I started doing this years ago as gifts & had so much fun with it that I now do it when I want something different to make. I will tell you right now they are not the pretty store bought candies, I make ugly chocolates but they sure taste good. I had found a recipe this winter for a orange cream chocolate that is like the peppermint patties you get at the store. Its the basic -powdered sugar cream recipe but with orange extract added...I decided to double the recipe & since it was 2 o'clock in the morning I didn't read the recipe right & added 4 Tablespoons of extract instead of 4 teaspoons. Well I was sure surprised that they tasted so good. I think they would have been too mild if I had read the recipe right! There is something fun about melting chocolate & dipping the stuff into it. I always freeze mine so the chocolate gets hard enough that when I remove them from the waxed paper its not a mess. now I have about 100 chocolates minus the few I have already gotten into to enjoy. I always buy the chocolate, nuts , powdered sugar during the holiday months when they are on sale so I always have them when the 'chocolate' mood hits me.

I also put on a pot of lima beans & ham that night, I only eat them when Thomas is away since he doesn't like them. They are one of my favorite comfort foods along with potatoes & cheese...not that I mix them all together but I think you see my point...we all have our favorite foods that we need when nothing else sounds good. Another thing I love which I really need to make is potato soup, my great grandmother made the best potato soup....she would take out part of the potatoes & mash them then stir them back in to make the soup nice & creamy. It wasn't fancy, just potatoes, milk, water & a bit of salt & pepper but on cold nights it was the best!

I am not much of a meat eater when my husband is away I prefer vegetables over everything else. Which makes it easy when I want to cook, a pot of veggie soup, beans or baked potatoes & I am a happy camper....well that & my handmade ugly candy as a treat.

I have yet to get back to tearing the wood shingles off the kitchen walls, for some reason I am tired & the idea of ripping them & the staples out doesn't appeal to me right now. I know part of the tiredness is from the worry of Thomas leaving for Afghanistan soon. I do well on my own, but I hate the idea of him going to a very unsafe country where he doesn't know who to trust. Iraq was bad, but here there are so many unknowns of who the enemy is & I worry not so much about him getting killed but getting injured by someone who is out to destroy everyone & everything. I will never understand this ideology of right & wrong religion. I am not a religious person but I think I am spiritual & I accept that there is a place for all religious beliefs in the world. It is not my place to say one thing is right & another is wrong. But I get so sad over the wars created because of ones beliefs.

Since I grew up as a child at home, then in a Childrens home & then in foster homes I got the chance to experience many religions, some I found odd but not wrong. I saw that the general idea was about being a peace with yourself, others & the world, to share joy, love & happiness with those around you. To learn to give of yourself without thoughts of what was in it for you & to enjoy being alive. a label of your religion really didn't matter, it was about what you did with your life to better yourself.

Ok sorry I got long winded about that :)

On to something else.....I got in the mail some great patterns for my adopted grand daughter the other day & am excited about making her some new bright clothes for the spring & summer. I even found a under garments pattern using cotton so I can make her pretty little slips, pantalooms & shirts. There is something fun about wearing cotton slips...I don't know why I love them, but they make me feel pretty when they peak out from under my dress or skirt. Maybe its the lace??

I also got some great books in the mail...one is on backyard blacksmithing. I am a silversmith who has always wanted to learn the basics of blacksmithing. I know its the same concept as silversmithing but you need more arm strength. I am sure to drive my neighbors crazy banging away! I have always loved weather vanes as well & got a book on the old original designs of metal & wood weather vanes that I want to do. I started a copper fish weather vane years ago & its been sitting there waiting for me to finish it. I also want to do a chicken weather vane to put on my shop in copper. I love working with my hands & am always trying to come up with things that I can create. My large 50 foot by 20 foot shop has a woodstove in it & I should really get out there & play when I am feeling this restless. but the idea of lugging firewood in there isn't something I want to do at this moment......too cold! Plus I lost my wonderful wool fingerless gloves that I use to help keep my hands warm. where they went I have no idea...they just walked off one day & I am sure hoping they will come back home soon.

Well I guess I am finished & should go find something to do...like maybe the dishes...or refill my coffee cup....have a great chicken day everyone....M'

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