Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring has sprung

Wow...in spite of the rapid onset snow storm we had this weekend (which did not, fortunately, drop the anticipated and predicted 6-8 inches on us), we are definitely in the midst of spring. We've spent the last two days cleaning out a chicken coop (still not even half way done, as the bedding was very wet and difficult to move after the blowing snow/rain of two days prior), cleaning up SuperCow and Willie Boy's manure from the yard proper, and putting all of that onto the house garden, which El Husbando kindly broke for me, last Friday.

The cows are actually doing a pretty reasonable job of keeping the grass down in the yard, which is a nice bonus...of course, they also discovered my small clump of iris....and ate it down to the rhizomes in places. Iris that were quite well leafed out, too. I am....well, disappointed. God willing, they will grow out again, in their new, protected area (I had EH put out some t-posts and some heavy metal mesh fencing, to keep them from getting to the vulnerable plants).

I have discovered one very nice part of the cows being in the yard...manure collection is *much* easier. Instead of having to tramp over 8 acres of pasture, and having to work *much* harder, I get to wander about the yard in a somewhat orderly fashion, cart in tow, with my large pitchfork....I got three decent cartfulls today. Didn't do anywork on the coop--I figure I will tackle that some more tomorrow, after giving it some more time to dry out a bit....

Tonight is the night that EH starts a new work schedule. It is most unfortunate that he has to go back to shift work, but we are blessed in that he has a job, with the economy the way that it is going..

I made an experiment this morning...EH, while he enjoys the money savings of the homemade laundry soap, has not been too thrilled with the scent (citronella-ish). Alright, I thought, I will try something different...

Here is my recipe link for the laundry soap I make. I use recipe #1, and double it. I also use it for my dishwashing detergent, and it works very well..especially with white vinegar in the rinse aid cup (cheap, and it does a great job--who could ask for anything better?)...


Having gotten to the bottom of the large 5 gallon bucket I use for storing the laundry soap in when doing laundry and dishes last night, I knew that this morning held a soap making chore...so I got started on it as soon as breakfast had been cleaned up from. This ended up working out very well...since I had to grate the soap, I started the inital "soap melting water" on the stove, and threw chunks of grapefruit rind into the water, to hopefully extract the scent....then I proceeded to grate the soap, and made the soap as usual. While I am not sure about the scent yet (the soap is still warm and setting up in the laundry bucket), it sure did turn it a pretty orangey-pink color! I will hope for the best. I only used one grapefruit this time, If there is a change, but not enough of one, in the scent, and EH likes it well enough, then I will make sure to use two grapefruit rinds next time.

After the laundry soap, it was time for housework, and then the yard clean up. EH made a wonderful lunch, of a wilted lettuce salad, with a dressing we made for the first time last night. It was quite delightful, and we're definitely going to add it to the family repetoire.

Here's a link for anyone wanting to try it:


This is a good low carb dish with a lot of flavor....definitely worth adding to your list of things to try, if you're trying to lose weight and are watching your carbs like I am....

Yes, I am back to carb watching. I have PCOS, and should be doing it all the time (basically, PCOS means I need to be eating Atkinsish for the rest of my life...in conjunction with other alterations to my life. I love my desserts, but I'd really like to be able to have a decent skirt size. So if you would please pray for me? As much as I enjoy being in better shape, I also enjoy food, and that makes any sort of dietary changes uncomfortable, at least.

I'm also revamping how much (okay, how little) exercise I was getting, so I'm going to be doing a good bit more work out of doors--which is natural enough with it being spring, and God willing, we'll be able to get the garden in soon. We've got more rain predicted for Wednesday night into Thursday, and I am praying for very minimal amounts...we've just got to dry out some more...it is hard getting the cart into the garden, for dumping the manure and bedding, as it gets stuck in the mud and muck, if there is too much of a load in the cart...and yet, it isn't worth it to just haul a little bit.

Our latest chicks will hopefully be arriving in about another 3 wks. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will be healthy and that there will be no more cold snaps. We will be keeping them under the brooder lamps anyway, for a little while, until they are big enough to handle normal temps. But the less time that that takes, the better, obviously enough.

With SuperCow and WillieBoy still doing their regular escapes into the yard, I will have plenty of opportunity for manure gathering this spring, and that will be good enough work for me, at least once a week or so. Upper and lower body. :-)

We are finally over the stomach bug we had been graced with a week and a half ago, and of course we did not go camping...or paint the family room. Or do much of anything else, except prepare for the "blizzard" that only slightly appeared in our vicinity (I think we ended up with an inch, max).

So, hopefully I will be able to get to the painting sometime this spring. EH's job schedule will be switching over to days, come the first of May, and so I will hopefully get a chance to do it then...good weather permitting, of course.

For now, though, just trying to keep my spirits up (I was shocked at how many grams of carbs there are in a single Almond Joy candy bar...sigh), and hopefully lose a little weight in the process of getting the garden up to speed...

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