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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.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Feeling like Spring Cleaning


Good day to all my favorite blog friends!  Spring was in the air here for a bit but now we are getting tons of cool weather & now the rains have come again...but we need the rain since we had very little snow up here this year.  Makes me sad though that I have to wait to get out in the yard again....daffodils are up & a few things like the lilac bushes are sprouting & starting to bloom but the veggie garden will have to wait til I get back from my trip to Hawaii in a few weeks.

Things have been a bit crazy...ok like that is ad-normal around here!  We accidentally ran out of propane for our stove & hot water heater last week & when I called in to have it refilled they didn't tell me I needed to shut off the in-house valves..plus they weren't coming out until Monday (4 days) to refill it....yeah you see where this is going...well I had decided to rearrange the living room & mop the dirty floors the day after the phone call.  I sat down to rest a bit & feel asleep for 9 hours only to have my kitty Monk head butting me & jumping on me.  Well I kept trying to get him to stop so I could go back to sleep. finally I woke up to a killer headache, dizzy & a bloody nose.  That's when I realized I could smell the gas up in the living room.  Our kitchen is one floor down so it was pretty strong to be one floor up.  Thank goodness the in-house injured chickens weren't dead & I opened all the doors, windows & fans to get the smell out plus shut off all the valves to the stove & water heater.

I am so happy my little boy didn't give up on waking me up when he did.  Hubby was out & didn't return home until an hour after I got up & was able to clear the house of the gas but I tell you what a scare for me....not so much about me but the idea I cold have killed my chickens made me sick to my stomach.  I have been watching them the last few days & they are all alright.

Today the propane company came out & checked to make sure there were no gas leaks & we were good to go but I told them I was never told to shut off the in-house valves & that they need to tell people who are like me to do it...I have never had to deal with propane so it never entered my mind that I had to do anything with it if it ran out...Well I will tell you I learned my lesson & am still her to tell you about it.

Another thing I learned is that smoke/carbon detectors don't tell you if there is propane in the house, so will be getting one that I can set  up in the kitchen. Who knew??

Getting a bit of the Spring fever...you know the feeling you get when you need to dust, clean, shake out rugs & sort through things?...Well its hit me, now I am not saying it will stay with me long once the sun & heat come back...I tend to ignore the house when the weather is super nice & the dirt is coming to me.  But for now I am sorta doing the spring cleaning bit here.  I am always surprised about the amount of dust this house has....its like it comes only here on this block to visit....soon I will expect the dust bunnies to come knocking on my door to hang out with the funny little cobwebs that just show up in the oddest places.

I learned to mop floors on my hands & knees & even with my small steam floor cleaner I still like to do this when I can...the knees & back aren't happy about it but it makes me feel like I am really getting the floors clean. Plus there is something therapeutic about it that makes me feel like its a well worth job.

After 4 years of the same living room I also decided to move things around so it has a new look & easier to walk through....now if I can just figure out where to put the small stuff...lol.....

My 'kids' (chickens) are doing really well & I have a few broody ones that I am letting have 2 eggs each to sit on.  I don't really need anymore chickens but if they want to hatch a few I can deal with that plus it is so wonderful to see happy baby chicks running around here.  many of my girls are getting old now..over 4-5 yrs old & don't lay as much so having a few new ones won't hurt any.

As you know if you read my blogs I don't butcher my chickens I just let them hang out & grow old when they quit laying,  I have about 3 to 5 that have pretty much quit laying all together but I am so attached to them that I am happy to say I can just have them here.  Plus these older hens seem to keep the other younger ones in line & are a calming affect on the whole coop.  I do have the young ones that were hatched last July who are still what I consider babies in their behavior & when they get too out of control a older hen steps in.  I have noticed all it takes is a noise from a older hen & the youngin' will calm down...pretty cool if you ask me...kinda like a grandma who just has to look at a kid to stop the behavior...lol

Less than a month & I am off into the wild blue yonder with my bestest Friend to Hawaii, I have everything set up for us & even have been printing out directions ect to the open air markets there...I am not a good driver in unknown areas so am so happy I have a printer now so I can download the maps....but if we get lost we are on an island so its not like we will end up in another state! For some reason every time I am with Anne' I get us lost when I am driving...never tend to do that with others but with her its a given that where ever we go we will have to turn around or ask someone where we need to go.

I think its cause we see each other so little, that we are talking so much, I am not paying attention to the signs & we end up on a adventure.  Thank goodness we always get to where we need to be even if its a few hours past when we thought we would get there.

I don't remember if I told you all I got one of those electric smokers awhile back.  We used to have a traditional one but it rusted out & since I am older now & the memory isn't as good thought this might be a good thing for me to have.  You set the time, temp ect & it does its thing & then shuts off when its all done...how easy is that..no checking it, replacing woodchips or water plus its the size of a college dorm refrigerator so you can load it up with more than one thing...definitely something I like & want since I cook many meals at one time to save time & energy.  anyway I finally pulled out a big deer roast & a small turkey today to thaw so I can try running it tomorrow....we normally do hickory chips but found some apple chips which are suppose to be milder & sweeter for the meats so am excited to see how they make the meats taste.  The nice thing about this cooker is its also set so you can dry foods & steam foods so I get 3 times the amount of things done with it.

Normally this cooker/smoker cost $400 but during the winter I found it on sale for $229 including the shipping so I am hoping I get plenty of use from it in the coming years.  I plan to smoke/steam a bunch of corn on the cob this fall & then cut the corn off the cob & can it up for the colder months if it taste good....will do a small batch first so I don't waste the corn if we don't like it. I also do a lot of canning of pears from my neighbors yard that I would like to dry up this year as well...so wish me luck!  I will let you all know how it goes.

Since I am on vacation until the end of May my gardens will be late going in this year but I mainly only do tomatoes & green beans so I should be alright...I am planning on a few new things to add plus put in the garden for the chickens.  I know it will be something fun for me to try & hopefully the chickens will like all the fresh greens they get.  Yeap they are spoiled!

Well I guess I had best go for now, need a cup of coffee & the living room is calling my name.

Have a great chicken day!......M'

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