Hyacinth. Pregnant or not?
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The previous owner of the property had built partial loafing sheds. Mostly they were four poles with tin roofs. A couple of them have wooden sides half way up. We found that these were not enough shelter for the animals when it was both raining and freezing. They didn't seem to mind standing in the rain, even pouring, driving rain this past summer, but they were obviously miserable when they got wet and cold. From what I've read about donkeys, their coats don't shed water like a horse's will. They just get soaked to the skin. It didn't seem to be a good idea to let the babies get soaked with the freezing weather coming.
The sheds didn't do much more than provide shade in the summer because the wind blew through them, carrying the rain right along. So Tom's project as been enclosing the sheds on three and a half sides. It's much cozier for them and they hunker down in the sheds when the weather gets bad.
To enclose the goat shed, Tom used some tin that he got off the old barn. Then he bought some new tin to enclose the donkey shed. His plan was to paint the sheds to match the barn. I didn't like that because I'm sure that painting the sheds will be such a low priority that it will never get done, but Tom insisted that he will paint them. Then, we priced the paint and discovered that it will cost more to paint the sheds than to buy the tin already painted the right color. Sigh.
Anyway, Tom got two sheds done with a little help from me and more from Paden and his friend.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
It's been a month or so, but we finished the breezeway, which was previously a covered outside walkway/narrow porch between the kitchen door and the carport (turned garage) door. I'll post pics of the inside later, but in the meantime, this is a pic of the outside...where the two windows are is where the walkway used to be.
We discovered that the brick was Antique Chicago, which actually does mean antique Chicago. The bricks are from old buildings in Chicago that have been torn down and repurposed. It wasn't possible to match what was already on the house, not exactly, because obviously, the bricks used on the house 30 years ago were from a different building than the bricks we were able to buy now. An interesting thing I found out that the different colors on the bricks are caused by signs that had been painted on the old buildings. Like, if you get some with red or black or white, it may have been a Coca-Cola sign. Anyway, needless to say, our brick doesn't match, but it's very close and I don't mind. If you look closely, you can tell. The color difference would probably have been much more noticeable if I hadn't noticed and stopped the brick layer from using grey grout. The rest of the grout on the house is a dark tan. I felt bad because he was already starting on his third row of bricks. But who uses grey grout on a tan grout house? He was a good sport, though, and took it all down, remixed the grout to my satisfaction and did a fantastic job otherwise.
Oh, and we have a whole pallet left over. The place where I bought the brick estimated that I needed two pallets, but we only ended up using one. Then they wouldn' t take the other pallet back. Oh well, I'll just have to think of some fun project to do with the brick.
Apparently, I have no clue as to when to harvest my vegetables, as evidenced by the giant zucchini and now the giant v. tiny carrots. I read somewhere, Howard Garrett's book? carrot seed package? that carrots are to be picked when the tops are wilted. That didn't sound right to me because when I see carrots with tops in the produce section of the grocery store, they always have pretty tops. But I tried it anyway. I waited and waited and the tops never wilted. They just got bigger. So I pulled up a test carrot and it was enormous, so I pulled up several more. Some of them were tiny babies, some were normal sized, and a couple were freakishly large.
We, well, not me, ate some for lunch on Sunday. I made a roast for us and we invited the visiting preacher and his wife. I always put carrots in the pot roast. I don't like them, but the rest of my family does. I guess they were OK. Nobody complained. But I didn't use the huge ones. For some reason, I think that overgrown ones might not be good.
The goats and donkeys enjoyed the carrot tops.
Oh yeah, I harvested some broccoli, too. In the middle of December. Amazing!
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Awww! Yesterday, for some unknown reason, birds started crashing into the living room windows. I don't know what is different than all the days before when they didn't crash into the windows, but it was happening all day. Then, this morning, when a HAWK crashed into the window, it prompted me to go have a look. This is what I discovered. Two sad little birds, a Cardinal and a Woodpecker, must have broken their tiny necks in their headlong dash toward what they must have thought was a clear passageway through my living room. I taped a piece of newspaper up in the middle of the window in hopes that it will give the rest of the birds enough pause to save their lives.