My Dad finished installing the wainscoting in our Dining Room today. Although I was corrected by my 8 year old, who said it was "wains-COT-ing", according to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, "wains-COAT-ing" is also an acceptible pronunciation. Regardless, it looks wonderful.
Here are before and after pictures:
In other news, I treated the hens for a second time this morning, and there was nary a louse to be seen!
We decided to take a break from cutting wood this weekend. JP tied up loose ends inside, and tried a temporary fix for our ailing water pressure tank. I did some mending and lots of laundry. For dinner, we decided to try something new: home made ravioli, with our *new* favorite home made sauce.
I cut the sheets of whole wheat pasta into circles, then put a dollop of ricotta cheese (mixed with mozzarella, Parmesan, fresh basil, pepperoni and egg) in the middle and pressed the edges. They were delicious.
Here is the sauce recipe...it makes about 2 quarts - some for now, and some for later!
Pasta Sauce with Basil
-Giada De Laurentis
1/2 c EVOO
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 (32 0z) cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
2 dried bay leaves
4 T unsalted butter (optional)
Heat oil over med-hi heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 min. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil and bay leaves and simmer, covered, on lo for 1 hr or until thick. Remove bay leaves and process until smooth with hand blender. Add butter 1 T at a time to round out flavors if sauce tastes acidic.
After the feast, we lounged on the couch and watched "Soul Surfer" together - a movie based on the true story of a 13 year old girl in Hawaii, who had her arm bitten off by a shark while she was surfing in 2003. It was an inspiring movie, and we had a nice, relaxing afternoon.
The 2 hour delay that was called last night was changed this morning to a Snow Day today, our 12th. The girls and I decided to make Fairy Gingerbread, and have a Fairy Tea Party. If you are not familiar with Fairy Gingerbread, as I was not until this afternoon, they are paper thin wisps of cookies that melt in your mouth. These gingerbreads left a kick of ginger that would knock the wings right off a Fairy!
The Fairies who live part of the time in the girls' "Hidey Hole" under the stairs were invited, and sent back a note of acceptance. Grandmom was also invited, although she was required to don wings when she arrived.
The girls got extremely silly, to the point of filling their tea cups with sugar and eating it with a spoon, so things disintegrated quickly once all of the tea had been sipped. It was, however, a good way to spend a cold and snowy afternoon.
Luckily, we only got 4-6 inches of snow, instead of the 8-10 inches that were forecasted. Here's hoping for a full day of school tomorrow!
I have just come in from outside, where it is hovering near 17 or 18 degrees today. I am sitting here in my long underwear (it's a great look, btw) and not feeling inclined to do much of anything. I just finished treating the hens with permethrin dust for the lice problem - 13 out of 15 are infested.
After I got all of the poison and lice exposed clothing in the washer, I spent less than an hour with my Dad in the wood shop, varnishing tongue and groove panels that are soon to become wainscoting in our dining room.
Have I accomplished enough for the day yet?
February needs to end. It is d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g along, making the worst month (although January is also in contention for that honor this year) last FOREVER.
We have had 10 snow days and 11 two hour delays since New Year. The low temp of 2014 is -10 F, and although we had 2 days of 40 degrees and sun over the weekend, for the remainder of February the ground has been frozen solid and snow covered.
I'm tired. I'm done. I don't want to schlep water out to the chickens 3 times a day any more. I'm tired of stacking wood, and checking the wood burner which results in becoming completely smokey smelling. I'm sick of bundling up every time I head outside to do one or more of the above. I don't want to have a fight with my daughters every morning about wearing their winter coats (they rebel - say the coats make them "look fat!") I'm exhausted from feeling anxious every time I drive up or down our driveway, wondering if I'm going to slide over the edge into the woods, or skid right out into the road in front of a truck.
Apparently Stella is having some late winter psychosis as well. Last Friday, before we left for the movie, JP asked "do you trust the dog enough to leave her out of her kennel while we are gone?" I told him no, but relented after closing the doors to every room, removing books and pillows that she's been known to gnaw on, and treating the legs of the chairs with bitter apple (she's been known to gnaw those too!) We came home to find this:
She clawed a hole in JP's new(ish) recliner (that we bought last year to replace the other one she chewed on!) She was punished and put in jail for the remainder of the night. She slunk around guiltily for several days, but I had mostly forgiven her by yesterday...until she clawed the same spot some more while I was down at the bottom of the driveway picking up the girls from the bus.
There is another Polar Vortex pushing down into PA until this weekend. At that point, they are calling for another 1-3 inches of snow or freezing rain. It seems that March won't be starting out much better.
**Just a word of warning...if you don't want this catchy little tune stuck in your head for the next 48 hours, DO NOT click on the link below.**
We took the girls out for dinner and to see The Lego Movie on Friday evening, then went through the McDonald's drive through for hot apple pies on the way home. It was nice to do something fun for a change, and spur of the moment like that. We found The Lego Movie surprisingly fun.
The weather this weekend has been lovely - blue sky and sunshine, with temperatures in the high 40's to 50's. The girls were outside most of the time, playing in the woods with sticks, their pocket knives, and a slingshot. This afternoon the temperatures have dropped, and it is grey and rainy - forecast is for snow tonight...probably just in time for a 2 hour delay in the morning. (We haven't had one for almost a week!)
Yesterday I discovered that at least one of my hens has chicken lice, which means that most likely they all do. I spent several hours thoroughly cleaning out the hen houses yesterday, including the nest boxes, and dusting everything (including some of the hens) liberally with diatomaceous earth. I also installed a "dusting box" in the chicken barge - a kitty litter box filled with sand and diatomaceous earth. (My research confirmed that lice are more of a problem in the winter when the chickens are unable to dust bathe.) Unfortunately, I fear that I will have to find the dreaded Sevin dust, and treat all of the hens for several weeks. I want the lice AND Sevin gone before we get peeps in the Spring!
JP and I worked on wood again yesterday. This time, we should have about 4 weeks worth stocked up, which should get us through winter - barring another polar vortex coming through (which is also forecast for next week.)
I had the chance to hang the girls' sheets on the line to dry in the fresh air and sunshine. I also scooped up a bucket full of dog poo that has long been buried beneath the snow drifts. I found a bunch of other things that had also disappeared in snow drifts, including our friend's eyeglass lens (lost in sledding accident last weekend), a chainsaw wrench, my stocking cap, the cover for the air conditioner, and plenty of trash.
Today we had a huge ham dinner with my parents at their house, and are having a relaxing and quiet afternoon. It is very satisfying to work hard, and then chill (and at our age, the chilling part is mandatory after a full day of manual labor!) It has been an awesome weekend, and I am very content. Everything is awesome!