Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

Here it is New Year's Eve 2010. I don't have any resolutions to offer. I don't have any reflections on 2009 to offer. I don't have a special menu planned, although the Willow made a request for chicken parmesian that sounded pretty good. Ok, I spelled paremesian wrong but I don't know how to activate spell check on this mactop. When I was a kid I pronounced it parmeeesian cheese. My kids used to call it "good cheese". Willow doesn't like it and the Firebird uses it in VERY liberal quantities on any pasta dish. I will melt mozz on the chicken and red sauce and serve the "good cheese" on the side.

I also have some leftover chevon churizo sausage. Boss gave me a pound as part of my Christmas gift. When I cooked it up the dog freaked out-remember the lamb incident? He sniffed the air, looked alarmed, and hid upstairs. Til the delicious odor permeated the upstairs. Then he returned and looked like a beaten pathetic Mr. pitiful. I gave him a bite. He ate it. Next bite my hand came away wet-he was drooling. yeah, it's good.

We saw Avatar yesterday. My three kids and myself. It was great. A bit of swearing that might be offensive but not the f word. I liked the message they were going for. The special effects were par excellence. I had to pick up a few things at the store afterwards and I felt like I was flying.

Our goats have broken out twice in a week. Poor things, not much adventure to be had around here in the middle of the winter. I have been messing with their grain feeding-if I have to work at the farm they get it in the afternoon with just hay in the am. They really don't like that. Both times they have escaped it was at the grain gate. This am I grained them and went to do laundry and left the Firebird home. I backed the car in and opened the car door and he was standing there..."hello" scared me to death!!

He said, "the goats broke the fence and I can't fix it."

and here comes my cute little herd of goats behind him through the snow-oh, Mom's home.

I grabbed a bag of leftover wreath fir and started spreading it in the goat pen. It was snowing lightly at the time and they all came running back in. Then I gave them their afternoon hay and fixed the fence and tore a hole in my new thinsulate ski gloves-grrr no wonder I prefer the heavy suede work gloves for farm chores!

So that's it-my bum's going numb kicked back on the bed, and chicken-good-cheese awaits.

Happy New year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Once in Blue Moon

Our second full moon of the month is building. It was high in the sky through the snow encrusted trees well before dark tonight.

Yesterday I was practically cavorting in a tee shirt in the warm sunshine-temps have dropped drastically with 12F at afternoon chores, and howling winds out of the NorthWest as I type. A storm of "epic proportions" (according to the young weatherman on the local news channel) is building for this weekend. I hear that and I imagine a blizzard of several feet accumulation, but we have no snowfall amount predictions from the novice at this time.(*ed note: he is now saying storm of the decade)

I received a couple of ounces of fingering weight cashmere yarn from Boss as a Christmas gift, and I want to make a hat. I don't know how to knit, but I learned to crochet years ago from my grandmother. Granny squares. As a young adult I did some free form crochet as Christmas gifts, but I have never made a hat.

I found a pattern and diligently unskeined and balled the cashmere into a teeny tiny ball. I followed the pattern protocol and made a gauge; a number of stitches that are then measured to make sure the size is right. Wrong. Too small. UGH. The difference is that I am using very thin yarn. So I spent several hours trying to find a comparable pattern online. Usually my googling skills have high returns-not this time.

I did find one pattern that might work, so I might just wing it and see what happens. I suppose if it comes out too small I could give it to someone with a smaller head or rip it out and start again.

The hat, not the head.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Been busy! Worked Saturday at the farm with just S, and we got a lot of work done! He went through school with my oldest so I have known him since he was in kindergarten, and despite the age gap I think we make a great work team. He is a communicator like me, and we are very comfortable telling the other what we are doing next and chatting about everything else in the meantime. He even admitted sometimes he even talks aloud to himself about what needs to be done next and I had to chuckle because I am the same way.

Or I am chattering away to the animals.

Yesterday I was called in for R and poor Boss was doing all the cleaning when I arrived. Then it POURED rain and I was soaked through. Even my liners in my boots got wet. Yeah, I was glad to get home into some dry clothes.

I worked again today and was happy to see the sun! It was actually quite a lovely day out and a lot of snow has melted. We are due for more snow tonight.

i had to fix my mailbox this afternoon. As I was leaving this am I noticed it was vertical instead of horizontal. I thought, wow, that was some wind we had last night, LOL. It seemed as though someone had shoved it up and back off the post. Then as I was re-seating it I notice one corner was dented, so I checked things out when I drove to the town office to pay the taxes and license the dog. (yeah, I am a procrastinator). We saw a bunch of mailboxes on the main drag smashed so someone was vandalizing last night. Mailbox smashers really get my goat! So many people need their mail and older folks can't fix it themselves and a lot of folks can't afford to replace them. I was glad mine was repairable but still mad I had to spend 1/2 hour fixing it.

I used to watch CSI until one episode a guy was replacing his mailbox at night with one filled with cement cos he got sick of vandals. Well, the kid broke his arm and caused the driver to crash and they both died and they were going to charge him with manslaughter! And the CSI guys were defending mailbox smashing like it was a cool kid thing to do...I wanted to write the network I was so mad...

Well, that's about it unless you want to hear about all the food we are still trying to eat! :D

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

A few minutes before the turn of Christmas morn. A dusting of white last night gave the day of Christmas Eve a magical start. We finished rolling, cutting, baking and frosting the rest of the sugar cookies-all of my kids taking turns. I frosted a few myself-my method was to frost the whole top of the cookie with chocolate and then outline the details with colored frosting. Yum. We ate cookies all day, gave some away, and still have a pan full.

Due to an illness in the family, the Bosses decided to visit away for the holiday and I agreed last minute to do night chores on Christmas Eve. Willow and I had a chance to wish Merry Christmas to all our faves, and I had a heavy hand with the evening pig and goose grain, extra treats for the dogs, extra hay for the horses, and special words for our favorite goats. Nice and warm-above freezing at least-it was a nice break not to have to crack ice out of buckets with frozen fingers.

I had a huge laugh at the pig. I had been told she makes her own bed, and to see her dragging a flake of hay into the back stall was something out of a scary movie, but still sweet. She stopped making her bed long enough to get a big chunk of bread from Willow and myself as a good night snack.

The presents are finally all wrapped and tucked under the beautiful tree. More practical gifts this year, a few treats, and some old standbys. I stuck a few for myself in there-a waterproof pair of thinsulate gloves and a box of cello dark chocolate covered cherries along with a new mug-I needed one with a handle. I have a few gifts for myself from others that I can't wait to open. Alas, no Bailey's this year (probably a blessing) since that gift giver is suffering lean times, but I picked up a bottle of Sambuca since I like a bit of liquor while wrapping gifts.

The wrapping got a bit sloppy at the end-but I finished with a couple new toys for the dog, and I don't think he minds if there is a lot of tape and crinkles in the paper.

Merry Christmas, blessings, and smiles....:-x

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Hate Dell

I arrived home from work and the work luncheon and hopefully checked the mailbox for my long awaited part. Nothing. Then I checked the answering machine and had another message from Dell. Now the date is the 30th. I did not call to continue with the order. It has been 6 weeks waiting on a part that may or may not fix my computer and I refuse to play their game anymore. I thought about ordering it online, but if it is not the problem, I will be out the cash and still not have a computer. Buying another computer is out of the question.

So, I am really depressed about it. One of my favorite pastimes is taking pics . I don't want to go through the time and energy to deal with that on this state laptop. I feel like it is just time to find other ways to spend my time. I will certainly sign in from time to time and check out how my friends are doing. I just can't hang in limbo anymore.

I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and Happy New year.

Love, Tree.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


One Word...COLD!!!!

I was skunked at my local laundry yesterday-someone just beat me there and was taking the few big washers, so I decided to try the laundramat in Belfast. That was HUGE! And decorated to the max for Christmas. The laundry lady was very nice and I chatted her up and another customer who is a transplant from Capitol Hill in DC.

I grew up just outside the DC line so the three of us had a nice chat while I was folding mountains of laundry.

I did work the farm this am, although my fingers were screaming frozen-despite a double glove trick P turned me onto this year- after feeding my own goats before work. I was tempted at that point to call in, but I went in and poor R was by himself in the barn half frozen, so I am glad I went in.

Boss was in the house nursing a hurt back; P had called in sick. The wind chill was what killed us-well below zero. I found as long as I stayed moving my hands didn't get too bad since I was keeping the circulation going. R noticed the double gloved trick and said he was going to try that.

The base layer is a thin knit pair of Faded Glory two for a buckers-the top layer is a fleece-lined suede work glove. When working at the farm, the bulky work gloves often get in the way of collaring goats. I use my knees or armpit to pull the outer glove off and still have something covering my hand with the underglove. The knees or armpit help trap the heat in the glove until you can get it back on your hand. Nothing worse than putting a frozen glove on!

I could have used a scarf over my face today, though. I used to go bareheaded, but today I had on a cheap knit orange hunt hat and my hoodie. I was wearing a cotton turtleneck, a thermal long sleeve, a long sleeved henley, two polyester fleece hoodies, and a ski vest. Pants were a many patched pair of Tommy's jean and thermal longjohns (the front of them has worn holes so now I wear them backwards...LOL). Just a regular pair of socks and my new snowboots good for -30.

The only thing that was cold were my hands (always since I had frostbite helping Daphne kid in -20 a few years ago) and my face. I worked outside 1/2 hr at my own place, drove 1/2 in a freezing car to the farm, two and a half hours at the farm, and then another hour on my own night chores.

Is it spring yet?

Still no computer part-can't wait to post some more pics!!! New date: Dec 23.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Yesterday I scraped together as much cash as I could and went Christmas shopping. I found some good stuff for my kids! I even bought myself a couple of things! LOL. One import store I love to visit had a wool blazer made in Tibet half price for $22. It is a bit too big for me but I just had to have it! It doesn't have any pockets in it though, so I may have to put some in. The sleeves are long so I guess they figure that will keep your hands warm!

Then I stopped at a couple of cheap places and picked up a bunch more stuff for stocking stuffers. I was enjoying blowing money so much I even brought home take out from our favorite Chinese food place. When I arrived home there was a big box from Swiss colony in the snowbank from a relative! Then there was a huge styrofoam box by the back door from Omaha steaks from another relative! Both the postman and UPS drivers had been there in my absence! Woo-hoo!

Sacks of presents, food from relatives-if that didn't get me the holiday spirit! I finally got the lights and garland on the tree and the kids and I spent the evening decorating it and it is sooo beautiful!

Today is laundry day-boo! And we have bitter winds out of the Nor'West as well. Tomorrow it is supposed to be highs in the single digits with wind chill below zero. I am so tempted to play hooky from the farm tomorrow! I am extra help on Thursdays and I am not much help if I am frozen! Besides, I have been feeling very disgruntled again about it, underappreciated and overcriticized. Between P and Boss on Monday there are just too many hens in the henhouse, so to speak, and I seem to be at the bottom of the pecking order! I mean, the job is NOT rocket science, how hard is it to feed animals and clean a little poo? But no, one of them always seems to find some little comment to make and it really aggravates me!!!!! If I didn't need the money I would be sooo finished! Oops, what happened to that holiday spirit from a minute ago? LOL.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Still alive and kicking although I feel like I have been through a mangler.

I didn't make it to the farm on Wednesday, opting to close in the little goat house number one before the storm, and then we had a blizzard. I spent the afternoon stressed out about the goats and contemplating calling the guy to come and get them, but decided to sleep on it.

I worked the farm on Thursday, and had a couple accidents. The first I walked into a steel rod and whacked my cheek, but at least I missed the eye. That's what happens when you wear a hood up-you lose peripheral vision. Then at Prescott I went to dump the wheelbarrow and P tried to stop me so she could finish digging a path through the snow to the pile, but I said, "no, I can make it."

Ha. I went full bore with that wheelbarrow and hit the snow and the handles flew up and I went over the top and twisted around and fell to the side so luckily I didn't get any poo on me or go headfirst into the pile, but it hurt non the less.

P was in the barn but I think she might have seen it and ran back in laughing-it must have looked pretty funny.

R and I worked the farm Friday and he wiped out a couple times riding the sled with the bale of hay and just standing on his own feet, but I had the grace not to laugh and he's young and strong so probably fine.

Friday night Willow and I did night chores and it was freezing was Saturday am but I did manage to unthaw my fingers. I had a bad spot when I wondered if I could stay out in the cold. My fingertips are still a little numb and tingly as I type this..

Yesterday afternoon was pretty windy so I decided to strip the rest of the roof on the goat house and pull enough boards to finish little house number two. I was jambing a flatbar under the roll roofing that was covered in ice, and it went in really fast and far and the edge of the roll roofing caught me in the flexed bicep and I was in agony. My wrist hurst, my elbow hurt-I thought I busted a vein, but I kept at it until I was kneeling on three six-inch icy boards and figured that was good enough!

Then my knees were so tender from the ice and asphalt I could barely kneel on them today.

Today the wind finally died down and I went to drop some big standing dead fir in the goat pen that might flatten a house. The first went down fine-I knew the second was going to hang up in some trees, and the Firebird and I spent an hour trying to hook the top with a rope to pull it back to no avail.

We hooked it a couple times and I would start pulling and the rope would slip and I would go flying back on my tush...ha.

We never managed to get the tree down but we got it hung up pretty well so it should be there awhile.

So I moved on to little house number two-assembling it. It came out much better than number one, since I had realized where I went wrong, or where I could do better.

So the goats now have three little houses,(two new) a tarp house only Obiwan sleeps in, and the little dog house. They still have the lean to and side house off the old house; both have overhead shelter but are pretty drafty. It is raining right now so at least not the blowing snow from the middle of the week. Three goats could easily fit in the new little houses, but three of the wethers usually sleep alone so they'll have to figure it out, I guess.

Then we went Christmas tree shopping and cut our own tree.
(for $35 UGH! I'd rather cut a wild one but we didn't have a good one here this year) It is on the back step at the moment waiting for the stand to unthaw. I left the stand out a week or two ago and it has an inch of ice in the bottom, so that is by the stove trying to thaw so we can bring the tree in. Now with the rain the tree will be soaked and I don't know if I dare light and decorate a wet tree, so we might not get that in and started tonight, but we're getting there....

HO ho ho who wouldn't know? :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Had today off and decided to start tearing down the old goat house. It's not actually that old; I built it a few years ago. Trouble is, I built the roof around, and the house right up against, this huge maple tree, because I didn't want to cut it down.

The first spring there was about 6 inches of old goat bedding piled up around the base of the tree, and I cleaned it up. Two days later the tree died. That was two years ago, and now all the small branches have fallen and there are mushrooms growing on the trunk. The thing is leaning over the goat house, and in my worrying state I can see the thing going down at 2 am in the middle of a NOr'easter with blowing snow and zero degree temps, squishing a few goats in the process and at the very least leaving them without shelter.

I guess I should have sold them all to the guy who bought Nic. He went on about how nice my goats are and made me a package offer, but no, I had to say, "NO," just so I could spend my day off and hard earned cash building shelters for them.

The lumber company was a nightmare and tried to rip me off and succeeded in ripping me off on the price of nails, but the lumber was a good deal, although huge for the job. I wanted some milled 2X4's and they were more money than the rough cut hemlock. So I bought the rough cut and it's big enough to build a real house nevermind a little dinky shelter.

I cut the pieces for the frame and partially assembled it and then assembled it in the pen-a little tricky with the uneven ground and snow cover, but then I was set up to start tearing the boards off the roof of the other shelter to use to floor and side the new one. That was the part I was dreading, but the building was good and sturdy after I had to reinforce it last week thanks to Nic, and the boards came off pretty easily even if the asphalt roll roofing was hard to get off.

I felt a little melancholy taking it apart since I hand peeled all the frame out of trees I cut down myself and hand fitted it all. We even did wattle and daub on the back wall but the goats tore all that out. Still, it was learning experience and nothing lasts forever.

I pulled enough rows of boards to cover the floor, and knocked the nails out and sawed them and put them on, and then worked on trying to get enough for the sides but I ran out of daylight. So I have one of two little houses half built and the big one half unroofed, and we are getting a snowstorm tomorrow.

AND Boss called and asked me to work tomorrow for R (it's his birthday) and I left a message I would if I can get there in the storm...The extra money will help pay for that stuff at the lumber yard today. I have already agreed to work Thurs for R ( the day AFTER his birthday) and Fri for P (it's HER birthday) and Fri night chores for Boss (they're going to a show-a sit down one not a goat show lol) and Sat morning in charge for Boss as well. So no day off until Sunday but hey holiday cash! And I can always try and finish this project off some afternoon even though we are due for Arctic air on Friday...hmmm maybe Thursday afternoon then...

LOL mumbling out loud! and of course I have the Willow asking for the other Christmas boxes to unpack and the Christmas tree and oh yes, Christmas cookies...Too bad Christmas didn't come later in the winter so we had more inside time for all this stuff!!!

Next year I am definitely making the wreaths and garland BEFORE Thanksgiving!
Maybe on Halloween.

OH STILL no computer part-had ANOTHER call from Dell the new arrival date is the 15th. Yeah right...this is the fourth time they have delayed the part. I am getting annoyed-patience is not one of my virtues!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday snow

From torrential rain to 6 inches of snow-welcome December! I imagine this snow will be with us until May now...

Still waiting on the computer part-it has been delayed twice now and is due by the 10th. I had to call and reconfirm the order and I was like<"yes I want it and I want it NOW!" LOL.

Worked the farm yesterday with R. We corralled some chickens someone dumped at the red cottage next door. They are really pretty four hens that look like Rhode Islands and a big red rooster with a double (rose?) comb. Last weekend someone dumped a mother cat and three starving kittens there-P took them in and was taking them to the shelter yesterday. Boss decided to take in the birds. Mr. Boss wasn't sure how he felt about a crowing rooster! LOL.

Was going to cut brush for wreaths and garland today but now everything is under 6 inches of snow! So probably some overdue housework and sledding and snowman making this afternoon.

I might try and get some pics up. I miss my own computer and I don't know how to resize on this one so they take a year and a day to upload!

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nic Sold

Sold Nicholas the weck today. Good timing. Saturday after working at the farm in the pouring rain, I discovered that he had destroyed a partition in the goat house during the day, and as exhausted as I was, I had to figure a way to fix it. I want to tear that house down in the near, so I was pretty frustrated having to patch it up in the meantime.

Yesterday a very good friend showed up on the verge of tears over financial difficulties beyond his control. He has helped me out many times so I gave him a bit of cash and bags of pet food (I keep that stuff stocked up since the big bags are a much better buy) and some food out of the cupboards to see him through to his next paycheck. To me it is a testament to the sour state of the economy, as this friend has always had enough for himself and family and been there several times when I got in a pinch with emergency pet surgeries.

Three of the four of the last shifts I have worked at the farm have been in downpours. Today we had several inches of rain along with gale force winds; then the sun broke out this afternoon and the temps at two banks on the coast read 68 and 61 degrees F. I am letting the fire die out in the woodstove and have a window wide open upstairs. Phew!

Anyhow, I was soooo soaked through today-jeans, long johns, yes, even my socks shirts and underwear-even though I was wearing mudboots and raincoat. The trouble with all the rain, not just with getting wet, is I work short shifts-just doing the basics of hay and grain and extra bedding-so it hurts the paycheck. I was actually much relieved to sell Nic for the amount I gave my friend yesterday, since I wasn't counting on the money from Nic I broke even in the end. Plus I'll save a bit on hay and grain in the meantime-and will feel safer with the saplings in the goat pens since Nic was too aggressive and used to even shove me around.

I do feel badly for him-he was definitely the lord of our little herd-so I wish him well in his new home.