Friday, February 25, 2011

Sun and Snow

Gabe is out before breakfast, pulling a sled in the background. My photos can't capture the lighting of the early sun on the frozen snow.

Fluffy Frosting

February Calves

A little white-face calf was born outside my bedroom window in the predawn hours in the shadow of the barn foreground.

This calf and cow are headed in from the expanse of field where another newborn tries its legs and the eagles are fighting over the afterbirth .

Three new calves toddled, jumped, and skipped among the herd as the sun came up to touch the cold, white earth.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Late February Snow

Lots of snow this morning! The snow stayed beautiful throughout the day, and it is cold tonight.

Gabe was pretty pleased about the heavy snowfall this morning! It was great sledding! He was hoping!

Measured eight inches before it started to sag and fall with slow melt. The sun shone through the gray layer in the afternoon, before more snow this evening.

Valentine Leftovers

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Home Made Quick Valentines

These were the Valentines made for Family School. Fun, Fun! They were excited to receive the same amount back. Lydia exclaimed, "I've never had so many valentines!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chicken Status

Our hens are laying again! All but one took a long winter's break. One hen, Coconut, a Cornish white hen, was a faithful layer, at least every other day. Gabe and Lydia collected a dozen over the course of the week, protecting them from consumption until the carton was full. We ate four this morn! Wonderful to receive these golden gifts of nourishment.
The flock is free-ranging under the protection of Gabe and Lydia and the "eagle" stick. See those masked guardians? You might also observe, if looking real hard, the yellow insulators on the fence posts. Saturday, Marshal and Gabe spent the day putting up solar electric wire around the perimeter of the property. We had the cattle walk over the fence the Sunday before and graze the septic mound.
Silky-Doo! Grandma brought Gabe's rooster two weeks ago! He is so happy to have his own hens to crow over. He seems quite content, and his cockle-doodle-doo is getting more grand.

Coconut, Caramel, Salt and Pepper, Connie, and Turkle in the foreground. (Turkle is a special breed, called Turken.) Turk-Turk and Licorice are on the nest boxes in the hen house!

February Morning

So it is nearly the middle of February! I hadn't had the camera in hand in so long that I couldn't find it this morning. It was on the shelf, the one with the unopened paint can and stir stick resting on it since last Fall. I've pushed that shelf into oblivion consciousness, out of mind, out of sight. It works! No procrastination guilt at all. Only trouble was finding the camera that had disappeared from my mind's eye with the shelf! The mind is a powerful thing!
So February.... It is a cold, bright, sunny morning. My first photo on the camera is of my jar of yogurt. I hadn't made yogurt in a long time. This jar must be a sign that I'm settling in. I started the raw Jersey milk heated to 115ºF with a quarter cup of Brown Cow Yogurt. I placed the warm jar of milk in synthetic dishtowels in a large insulated lunch box in the cupboard by the gas furnace. It was 24 hour yogurt. It is not real firm but delicious with a mild, creamy flavor. It didn't need organic maple syrup, but who doesn't like dessert all the time?

Cousin Steve brought his partner, a licensed electrician, and we got some new, "safe" switches and outlets last week!

The kids are preparing for Valentine's Day. Grammy and Grandpa gave us the little light balls that we strung on a string of Ikea lights I had. Tomorrow we have a "Family School" Valentine's party, so the valentine industry must happen big time in our home before the day is out! They'll be exchanging with about 24 other home-schoolers their age.