Part of front and back yard

Good news, more rain is on the way Monday, into Tuesday and more chance on Thursday!   Around 6 am this morning we spotted geese flying North.  A sure sign that winter is coming to a close.

This morning a noxious smell of gas hung heavy in the air. We checked our meter and it was fine, but the smell made everyone a bit nauseated and headachy.   The gas company finally came out and said they had reports of a gas smell from other parts of town. Wonder where the smell came from?

Lots of work/projects to be done today inside and out.   Besides the flurry of plantings going on, there are trellises to be built, the solar oven’s reflective panels replaced for use come spring and summer, grey water system to put in and so much more…. and then there’s the cob oven.

The cob oven is covered in cracks and no matter how we try to fix it just doesn’t seem to work. I feel bad having gotten myself in such a situation.  It was my fault for thinking I could patch it up after it was damaged from a rain storm. And it was my fault again for putting off adding a protective coat of linseed oil. As much as we wet down the oven and apply the plaster, it still cracks. Frustrated and wondering how on earth I got myself in such a mess and puzzled at what, if anything we are doing differently from plastering it before, I did a bit of research on the internet and found that ideally it’s not a good idea to plaster cob in the winter. The cold weather causes the plaster to have a bunch of tiny hair-line crack. Uh-huh, I did have a sneaking suspicion that the cold weather was causing the hundreds of hairline cracks in the plaster. But, now if that’s so, how to go about finally re-plastering and coating the oven with boiled linseed oil so I can use the oven? I miss using it and I have only myself to blame. Now that I have gotten myself into this mess, how to get out?  

Perhaps the rainy weather will help bring down the cold, nighttime temps which will allow the plaster coat to dry properly.   The cob oven is useable, but the dilemma we face is this, Is it worth firing it up and really drying the oven out and having to spend days getting the oven moist or leaving it like it is and wait till ideal conditions?

Metal seed shelf

We got a new seed shelves! The wooden one the guys built a few years back was on its last legs (wood was bowing out and curving) and needed to be replaced. We expect this metal one to last much longer and it even has wheels… wheeee.   An incentive to having a market-garden, home business– such purchases can be taken off taxes. 

Even though we/I have my hands full at the moment, there are still new projects to tackle and old skills/projects to revisit.   Our homemade supply of soap is running low even though Justin declared that I made “enough soap to last 100 years!” So it will be fun again to pull out the soapmaking supplies and make batches of soap.  

Also, we’d like to get back to doing more sprouting. We went through a sprouting phase, but like with anything you get busy and such projects get shoved aside for new ones. Six years ago we bought a couple hanging pantriesand they were very useful for sprouting and sun drying.

The worms under the now dismantled, bunny hutch had to be moved and are awaiting their new permanent home, but that can’t really happen till we get a hold of what new plans we need to incorporate into the backyard garden.

It’s been a few years since we’ve purchased any books to expand our library here on the homestead,. But, this year we have decided that we should stock up on few more books more books to add to our collection.  

Cat Stevens

Our new kitty loves to hang out with the chickens, ducks and rabbit.   When he gets to be mischievous and in the way, we put him in the animal enclosure to be baby-sat by the other animals. He gets so excited knowing he is going to be hanging out with his new pals and sits quietly while he watches the animals go about their daily, quirky business.

Our other cat, Ringo, went missing for two days and nights. We got worried, figuring he got locked in someone’s garage or the school behind our home where he likes to prowl the halls for leftover morsels from the kids’ lunches. We talked with the custodian and walked the halls and grounds of the school.  I also called our neighbor two doors down who has 4 cats of her own and asked if she would open her garage just in case Ringo was left inside. Well, which ever place he was hiding in, he came back hungry and looking a bit disoriented.   He’s the type of cat that would be sullen and silent if we was ever caught someplace. All’s well, he’s back and going about his routine, hanging out with his best buddies (our cat Cassidy and Cat Stevens)

As for the new website, we are still working on it, folks, in between everything else. We are definitely coming down the home stretch ( I think), finishing all the little (urgh) details which is enough to drive a sane person crazy. Well, not that we/I am sane anyways. *grin*   Hopefully, once the new (de-cluttered) site is up, we gals will have recapture our extra free time, not to mentioned breathe a huge sigh of relief, to help the guys with projects and tackle a few of our own that we have been mulling over. Oh yeah, we were promised a celebration/party for finishing the website.   Let’s party!

On Thursday, the director of ‘Ready or Not?” came by to go through our many video tapes that we have of our garden, New Orleans trip, biodiesel brewing and more. One day, we’d like  to make a small documentary of the PTF homestead ourselves. We have enough footage; editing, however, is a whole other story. In the meantime, we hope to put on the new site a few short video clips or “video logs.”   So many things to juggle as it is and we continue to keep throwing things into the mix. So many plates to keep spinning at once.

OK, I’m dizzy just thinking about it.

So much to do!

No Comments

  1. claire says:

    what a happy looking cat, I’m glad your other one turned up, its upsetting when they go awol. Your seed shelves look great and I had a laugh at your “good news, rain is on the way”, while I know rain is essential I am reading this from a country with too much rain! Scotland, not always blessed with clement weather! good luck with all your stuff to do!

  2. Wildside says:

    That Cat Stevens is sure a cutie! And continued success with all you do!

    (Wait; aren’t I just repeating Claire’s quote?! Sincerely meant all the same…)

  3. Anais says:

    Claire, Wildside

    Thanks for your comments. Cat Stevens knows he’s a cutie too and knows he can get aways with things!

    Claire, we folks here in the arid West don’t know much about inclement weather. Our winter’s are mild, but we pay for it with extremely hot and dry summers. We go months without seeing any percipitation – everything gets dusty and the air smoggy.

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