Monday, April 30, 2012

Another Sunny Weekend

Saturday dawned a beautiful, sunny day in Sonoma County.  After staying up way too late the night before, I awoke to the sound of both of my alarms going off - one had been playing the radio for an hour and I hadn't noticed.  On weekends I allow myself to "sleep in" until 6:00 am.  The 5:00 am alarm had still been set, but wasn't as loud as a weekday morning.  I laid there for a moment, thinking about curling up to go back to sleep, and then ... Zeus crowed from across the room.  It was definitely time to get up.  One of the projects planned for the weekend was getting a chicken coop built for the chicks to go outside.  It's well beyond time.

I decided that it is also well beyond time to mix and mold some more goat's milk soap.  I'd been putting it off for a while, because I had the brilliant idea to purchase the last order of glycerine in bulk.  I didn't realize until it was delivered that the 25 pounds would come in One Huge Block, and not in the neat one-pound blocks I'd been used to.  It was a daunting task ahead, but since I'd successfully cut off a couple pounds before, I knew it was definitely possible.  This is one huge block o' glycerine.

I ground some anise seeds to put into the soap.  I love the smell of this soap and hope that it will work well on the web site.  This will be the first time I've listed soap on the site, so my fingers are crossed!

Bette brought down some more plants, so I got the rest of the tomatoes into two beds now, and we are working toward getting more raised beds completed so we can plant the rest.

The yellowjackets are still trying to build nests in the pickup, and I am knocking them down when I find them.  We bought a couple of traps, but they aren't attracting anything.  This is the first time I've ever had that happen.  I kept moving one trap closer and closer, until I finally decided to do this.

I've added more attractant to the bait and will see what happens this weekend.  I don't know why the trap isn't working!

Zeus waited to crow until 7:00 am Sunday morning, so he wasn't my alarm clock.  It's so nice to add to my morning routine a walk to the garden to tend to the new plants.  There's still so much left to do, but we are making good progress.

Sunday is Farmers Market Day in Windsor!  This seems to be the only day that Becca asks me to be sure to wake her in the morning and not allow her to sleep late.  We both look forward to going to the market.  We tried some breakfast burritos there, which we both found to be too bland.  That's probably a good thing, since I should be making them at home myself before we leave.  There were tons of plants, and my daughter and son-in-law picked some up (they met us there).  We brought home some beautiful Meyer lemons so Becca can make her wonderful lemonade.  These were organic Meyer lemons at half the price of "normal" lemons at the grocery store.  Bargain! 

We split up for the ride to my place, with Becca riding with her sister and brother-in-law, as we were going to work on a chicken coop.  When I got home I immediately noticed that one of my favorite, everyday use, cowboy boots was missing, and I had a sinking feeling.  I looked in the other room and found ... half of it.

I did a lot of yelling, and put Breezy in her crate outside.  I couldn't stop crying.  She used to be an awful shoe-chewer when she was a puppy (and destroyed a loveseat and chewed on the corners of walls), but in the ensuing many years she appeared to have broken that habit.  I don't know what has gotten into her to make her revert these last few weeks.  I use these boots every day and I don't know what I'm going to do without them.  On our way to the farmers market earlier in the day, I was even thinking I should check the soles when I got home to see if they need upkeep, because I wanted them to last a good, long time.  I guess that's not going to happen.

On a brighter note, my daughter and her husband arrived with Becca soon after to help us build a chicken coop.  They offered some comfort and several hours of distraction, which helped a lot.  Using scrap wood that I had around, Cory lead the design effort to put together a sturdy, comfortable home for the Americaunas.  The other chicks will join them when they're a little bigger.  Every time I look at it, I am so pleased with what we accomplished!

Becca went in the house to get Zeus and Persephone, and came out with one perched on each hand.  Just as she exited the house with them, the radio station played the song that she and Jessi had been waiting for to win tickets to a concert.  She rushed over, we opened the coop, and she rather unceremoniously placed them into their new environment.  I quickly opened the door again and saw them just huddled on the floor of the coop, looking frightened.  I reached in to pet and soothe them, and soon after they stood up and walked slowly out of the door.  They were immediately happy, scratching and pecking, eventually chirping.  It was a bit of a challenge to get them back into the coop later in the evening for their safety overnight, but we did.  I worried about them all night, and checked on them several times before going to bed, to make sure they were okay.  They're able to be in the cooler temperatures now, but aren't used to it yet.  I felt bad for them, but was relieved that the two biggest chicks were out of the house.

Being outside most of the day, on my feet and walking and carrying, etc., made for one tired mama.  It was all we could do to put some pasta together for dinner, then after showers hit the sack.  The tiredness and soreness was pleasant, though, after a day of fun, family, and projects completed well.

A short update on the hot chocolate mix I assembled earlier in the week.  On Friday morning, I used the homemade mix in the girls' morning mocha and hot chocolate, and didn't say anything about the change.  Becca asked me Friday night on the way home if I'd used it.  I told her yes, and asked if she liked it.  She said it was better, and that she liked the salt.  I hadn't even told her that I thought it was too salty.  Starbucks has been making a salted caramel hot chocolate, so I guess salt, chocolate and caramel all work together well.  It appears that I can use the homemade mix without objection, thank goodness!

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