Biding Time - Home on the Range Blog at - 272795

Home on the Range

Biding Time 
Apr. 13, 2012 7:30 pm 
Updated: Apr. 24, 2012 1:36 pm

We had a spell of unseasonably warm weather. It really went to my head. I was out in the yard, burning tumbleweeds, clearing out leaves, setting up the compost area and cultivating in the new garden. Randyman put a fence up around it with used post and rail fencing and some chicken wire will go along the bottom to contain the little scavengers once its time to let them in to de-bug or to polish off the harvest in the fall.
The tomato seedlings were ecstatic to spend a couple of days in the portable greenhouse, as they get very little light here in the house. Spinach,  head lettuce and radish seeds went into the ground, along with another 50 strawberry plants. I raked some of the cultivated soil into rows which are ready to plant the peas in. The critters loved the sunshine, in fact, getting too hot for a spell as the hair sheep haven’t yet lost their winter wool. They all wandered back up to the corral for a drink and a nap. 

Two heads are better than one.

More must be better. I think the goats finally got bred. Peebody should be proud.

Stinky is getting brave. If they knew he was behind them, they would clobber him.

The Polar bears have begun to shed some of the heavy undercoat they grow every year. They have been doing a great job of staying with the critters in the pasture. They previously would patrol then take up squatting in front of the house like the busybodies they are, wanting to see what is going on at the ranch. Hundreds of trips back to the pasture, resorting to tying one of them up at a time has convinced them that their duty lies elsewhere. Cletus usually sleeps with the stock at night while Bruno patrols. It won’t be long and I will feel ok leaving the gates open at night so the sheep and goats can start grazing in the early mornings, which is their favorite time for breakfast, instead of later on, when I can finally drag my carcass out of bed.
Yesterday reality hit. I woke up to beautiful sunshine and continued following my little cultivator through the garden, throwing up dust and dirt, until around 9:00 the clouds set in, the temperature dropped and it started snowing hard on the mountain. It eventually reached here, slushy cold wetness falling from the sky, raining on my parade.
I think the spring wheat is just now beginning to come up in the “chicken corral”. The yellow headed blackbirds have been swooping down in great numbers to steal my seed. I yelled and threw things at them. Bruno took it to heart and has been exhausting himself chasing them off. I found a dead one laying in the corral. He must have caught it ‘red handed’. Funny he will chase the blackbirds and pigeons off, but has no problem with the wild geese. Whatever it takes, to protect the flock.
After 6 weeks of no internet, another 2 weeks or so of sitting on a little ladder to access the modem which is up by the ceiling,  the new router finally came. What a relief! I can now resume my mindless web surfing.
Since its not very much fun to be outside today, I am dutifully staying inside and tending to my various indoor duties, such as laundry and cooking. I have ground several cups of hard red wheat, to make a bucket of boule bread for pizza dough, feed the sourdough, plus I soak some wheat flour for making more sandwich bread, I think I will put a little yogurt in it this time, in lieu of buttermilk and a poolish for sourdough WW waffles in the morning.
 After cleaning up the mess and all the yeasty stuff, I skimmed some more heavy cream off the gallons of milk in the fridge and made some cream cheese and mozzarella. We just might have some blintzes for breakfast one morning this week if I feel good enough. I always think of my sons when I make those and that always makes me happy. Though seldom seen, they are much loved and I am so grateful for the years I DID have with them, and glad I wasn’t gone all the time working, although horseshows did take me from home more often than I would have liked. Those growing up days are gone when they are gone and can never be redeemed.
I had a gallon and a half of heavy cream in the fridge still, so I made almost 5 lb of unsalted butter that I will use later for ghee. I didn’t want to wash it as well as I would need to for cooking or table butter, so ghee it shall be. No problem you can never have enough of it, and it doesn’t go bad.

There is some left over roasted chicken in the fridge from the Claypot chicken we had the other night so I think I will just make a chicken alfredo with salad tonight and call it good.
I have had to go out to the back pasture three times in the very cold wind today. Of course, it probably feels a lot colder because I am wearing shorts as the only pair of jeans I own is in the washer right now. Thank goodness for internet, 3 more pair have been ordered and are on the way. Stinky was happy I showed up with his bottle. He’s gotten good about going back to his friends afterwards instead of dogging my heels all over the darn place. I had a chunk of roast that was getting too old for sandwiches so I took it out to the Polarbears who were very grateful. There is just something about seeing them out there keeping guard over everything that makes me feel so warm and secure.
Gotta check the soap inventory and make a list of what I want to find at the material store to make stuff with the treadle. The two sundresses I made for Miss Abby I think came out real cute. I need to start working on quilting real soon. I think some placemats and a table runner might be a good first project, so that’s the direction I am leaning.

Sooner or later, spring will be here for real.

Apr. 14, 2012 5:29 am
Wow, petey, you have been busy, as usual! My grandmother had a treadle sewing machine, which my brother now has, and it still works! I love how you talk about your polar bears (and all your critters). They sound like amazing animals!
Apr. 14, 2012 6:29 am
Nice blog! Your critters are all so cool to me - I love animals and love to read about them. You actually sew with that machine??!! I am impressed! I don't sew at all - not even buttons if they fall off.
Apr. 14, 2012 6:56 am
I love sewing with this electric machine feels like a chore. This one...think rocking chair
Apr. 14, 2012 8:06 am
That looks exactly like the sewing machine I learned to sew on. It was a gem! It is now in the home of a family friend. Don't you just love this time of year?!
Apr. 14, 2012 12:24 pm
That could be a clone of my grandmother's Singer. She taught me to sew on it. You really do make me feel like a huge slacker!
Apr. 14, 2012 1:40 pm
LOL!! I bet you do more than I do. Lots of what I do has to be done in increments, like the cheese making. Cream cheese I just mix it, then let it sit for 12 hours before hanging it. Leaves PLENTY of free time!
Apr. 15, 2012 6:27 pm
Hi, Petey! Thanks, again, for sharing. As usual, I find your blog so interesting!! You're ahead of me. We haven't gotten our new garden site turned under yet. The singer sewing machine is like the one I learned to sew on when beginning 4-H. My mother made me a "squaw skirt" (yards, and rows of gathered material, etc.) when I was in about 4th or 5th grade. She stayed up all night sewing it on that tredle machine, so I could wear it to school the next day. (My friend had a "store-bought" one. Mine was prettier!) I have a machine stashed away. I think I should get it out and teach my grand daughter how to use it. I think my 10-year old grandson would like it, too. Thanksm, again. Pet the dogs for me.
Apr. 15, 2012 6:54 pm
Oh, Petey, it is so nice when I look through blogs and see one of yours!! What a busy lady you are! Spring can be so disappointing! We get those beautiful days, and then the rug is ripped out from beneath us and we have 4 nights of 22* weather. We haven't planted a thing yet, but by Mother's Day I always need to have some dirt under my nails to be truly happy. The little sundresses are precious! LOVE hearing about the "polar bears". We await your next adventures.......
Apr. 16, 2012 8:00 am
Apr. 16, 2012 2:23 pm
Loved Pippin's limerick! That stinker escapes when he can and leads me a merry chase which I lose. I sure wish I had some of that butter but soon I hope I will at least have my own fresh eggs! How you have the energy for all that you do never fails to amaze me!
Apr. 16, 2012 6:23 pm
fits and spurts! I'm glad Pippin does good. :)
Apr. 17, 2012 1:56 pm
He gives me gray hair like a teenager. Fits and spurts, boy do I know that one! Cause that's how I roll into the day. But I don't have to milk anyone, just feed and clean poo up oh and then cook & clean inside. You do so much more then I think I could squeeze out of my day :) Still I wish I could have some of that butter and some of that soap. Now off for me to clean stalls and bring the horses in from the grazing pasture.
Apr. 24, 2012 1:36 pm
Sounds like weather in Oregon is as unpredictable as Texas weather. We always say if you don't like Texas weather just wait a minute and it will change. I also learned to sew on a treadle machine just like yours. My sister has it now in her home. She doesn't sew on it though.
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
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A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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