Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cleaning House

JP and I have been off work this week.  By that I mean that we are not going in to the office, but JP has been spending about 3 or 4 hours/day on charts, and the rest of the time we have been working our butts off outside.

On Monday morning, I cleaned the house, while he started cutting up the first of 2 timber piles for use in the outdoor wood burner.  After that, I raked/shoveled gravel in the chicken yard, that the hens had managed to scratch about 15 feet out from under the concrete slab that the chicken house is built on.  By that time, JP had enough wood cut for me to start hauling it and stacking it under the barn lean-to.

On Tuesday, JP finished cutting the first timber pile, and moved to the second.  I finished hauling and stacking that, and then cleaned up the bark and sawdust.  It made these nice stacks of wood under the lean-to.

You can see the split wood stacked along the back - that
is for the woodstoves indoors.

We were side-lined for a couple of hours on Tuesday when the tractor got a flat tire.  JP & Dad were able to fix it, so we could get back to work.

Yesterday morning, Mom & Dad helped us butcher and clean the old hens.  We are now down to an even 2 dozen young hens, and we got 18 small eggs yesterday.  That afternoon, JP continued cutting wood, while I canned chicken (8 quarts) and cooked the backs for broth (4 quarts), and hauled 2 loads of water for the cistern.  He also "stacked" what he had cut, and now says he is done for the season.

My piles are prettier than his!
We all went out for dinner to celebrate JP's birthday last night.  It was lovely to not have dinner to cook and dishes to wash!

Dad has been busy too.  He built a permanent compost bin down where our temporary packing crate bins have been.  He will rebuild the other side next year after we use the compost out of it.

This morning, JP had an appointment with his Ophthalmologist, who gave him the bad news that he will need surgery.  It is tentatively scheduled for the end of October.  I had a Parent/Teacher conference with L's teacher, who was SO impressed with her reading!  I stopped for an oil change for the Subaru on the way home.

Once we were changed, we masked up and cleared a year's worth of litter from the chicken house, then cleaned and closed down the other side where the peeps grew up.  It smells fresh and clean out there now, since we used shavings from Dad's wood shop.  The young hens seem to enjoy it too.

Now I am headed out to clean all of the minions (aka stink bugs) out of the tree house, so that the girls and I can have a tea party out there this afternoon.

It will be clean houses all around on Poplar Ridge!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Where's the Bear #46

Looks like Stella is spending some time with the bear this week!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

4 and 20 Blackbirds

I have been asked about the object in the middle of my pie.  It is a pie bird, a hollow, ceramic device used to support and vent a pie with a top crust.

I think he's rather cute!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The End of the Season

Today I brought in a basket full of tomatoes and some basil that was past its prime. 

They simmered together all day on the stove, and this evening we had a lovely tomato sauce for our pasta.  There were 4 containers to stick in the freezer for another day as well.

I also baked an apple pie.  Possibly one of the prettiest pies I've ever baked.

There is cheese in the crust, so it baked up a perfect golden brown.  I can't wait to cut into it.

It smells like Fall in the house!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stress Relief

Do you know that feeling when you finally get rid of a bunch of things that have been worrying you - like you've just slid off a backpack weighing about 200 pounds?  That's sorta how I'm feeling today, or WOULD be feeling if I wasn't so exhausted.

For the past 2-3 weeks, a rather nasty cold has been circulating through our family, thanks to Miss J, who brought it home from school.  The primary symptoms are sore throat, congestion and cough, along with a general sense of wanting to stay under the covers and moan when the alarm goes off each morning.

I was lucky enough to be the last person affected, and for some reason, it is lingering.  I have been up every night for the past week sitting/napping in the recliner, because the cough is less persistent in that position.  It makes for a sore neck and excessive irritability.

Thankfully though, the other couple things that have been stressing me lately sort of dissipated this week, so now I feel light as a (lead) feather.

Last week I was approached by my Supervisor with the offer of a position with another local practice.  I was reluctant to jump on this because the Powers-That-Be recently told JP that they were working on ways that I could help out more at his office, and I am wary of getting in over my head.  I did agree to meet with the Dr. on Monday.  It ended up being the most awkward interview I have ever been at in my life - after being kept waiting for over 20 minutes in the office waiting room, I spent 5 minutes with the Dr.

I was informed afterwards that the chilly reception was due to a misunderstanding, but the interaction certainly made up my mind about whether or not I would want to work in that environment! issue gone.

For the past 2-3 weeks, I've been having numbness of my right hand and arm.  I was concerned that it was stemming from something in my neck, because of the positions that it happens in.  I finally had an appointment yesterday with the Physiatrist, who did EMGs (nerve conduction studies) in my arms.  He told me that it is coming from my neck, but there is no nerve damage.  He feels that there is likely compression at C6 in my neck, but that it should respond to Physical Therapy.  I was secretly worried that I would need to have neck surgery like my Mom, and the thought has been freaking me out.  Poof...another stress point vanished.

Today I am thrilled that I have nothing pressing to do except pay bills, do laundry, go grocery shopping, take L to the Dr., pick up J from school, and take her to soccer practice.  You know, all the regular stuff.  There is a slight possibility that I can slip a nap in there somewhere!

Where's the Bear? #45

The bear is watering the plants on the high shelf this week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Where's the Bear? #44

The bear seems to be engrossed in the Funnies!