The dogs were having a bark fest this evening, so Dan went to incarcerate them in the van, so we can sleep peacefully while the bobcat or whatever's out there eats our livestock. Snowflake doesn't do cars, so she ran inside. Here's what I found on my way to bed. Laura's on a mattress on the floor because that's what we did Christmas Eve for Spinster's sleep over. Snowflake is also on the mattress on the floor. Sirius Black is about to sleep with Laura, as per usual, but decides, on second thought, to go up with Katie and her new toy horse, Oreo. Katie's the victim of a hot toddy in this photo. She had a persistent dry cough that made it impossible to sleep. The hot toddy made it impossible not to sleep.
Here's our Christmas dinner photo. The family with whom we shared Christmas doesn't put photos of themselves on the web, so I'll share my profound and artsy picture, taken in darkness. After too much coffee, apparently.
Here is our centerpiece that was on sale. Behind it, you can see the field, which is why I posted this. It's back to a brownish green color. Maria (pronounced Mariah)is getting ready to have a calf any day now. Mr. B the horse may or may not be getting a blanket, since his shed collapsed and he's old. He may just get a raincoat for wet weather, since blanketing isn't a very healthy option. The animals and people of Providence Farm are now just waiting for spring to come. Oh, we caught 4 out of approximately a billion hens and threw them into Azkabantam. If they are laying any eggs, at least we'll find them.
The neighbor is out of school this week, so it's sledding and snowman making all day long. Already the melting is happening so fast that all I hear when I walk outside during the day is the rushing of water.
My cousin, http://bandsp.blogspot.com/, is a gifted and hard working keeper of her home. And her blog is full of wonderful advice about how to excel at being the keeper of your home. But somehow, it doesn't rub off when I read it. I'm thinking of making up new blog ideas for Christian women who haven't quite gotten the hang of this homemaking thingy. Perhaps this photo could illustrate "ADHD Tuesday." This is the tea that I've microwaved a total of 7 times, trying to find time to put in my sugar and milk. The cookie dough looks all homeschooly, doesn't it? I didn't make it. My daughters have to make their own cut out Christmas cookies if they want any. So if anyone wants to follow the blog of a homemaker who flies by the seat of her pants all day, every day, Providence Farm is for you.
For those of you who know Joe, this photo will seem like a hoax. But I don't actually know how to photo shop, so you can be assured that Joe is really on the couch with Dan. You see, the pit bull across the street has threatened to murder Joe. So Joe has no choice but to disguise himself as a tame pet dog.
Both of my soap making readers know that rebatching means taking already made soap, shredding it, adding liquid, and stirring to make soap with it again. This would normally be done to add pretty flowers which wouldn't look so pretty after a lye bath. It could also be done if you were a very bad soap maker and left a chunk of undissolved lye in your original recipe. I figured out what had gone wrong, but the weird part is, the soap had turned immediately into a thick soap, only to separate later. I took the soap out of the mold and tore it apart by hand since it was still soft, took the chunk of lye out, and heated it on the stove till it was pourable. I have no idea the fate of it from here on out. The color is so ugly I think it would make a nice gift for Shrek and Fiona. But it smells nice.
Here are five batches of goat milk soap. All made from the same recipe. On the same day. But the batch of Christmas Memories (center, dark green, wet looking)separated, with normal seeming soap on the bottom and two inches of oil floating on top. If any soapers or scientists read this and know what could have happened, please comment! The good news is the rest of the soap looks promising. I procrastinated so horribly on some orders that I had to heat the soap in the oven to ensure it will cure this week! From the top right, counterclockwise: Energy, Southern Gentleman,Christmas Memories, Dragon's Blood, and naturally colored pure lavender oil Lavender (yes, it looks brown, it'll be a naturally tan soap after it cools.)
Tomorrow, I make another five batches. The line up is: Rasberry Violet, English Rose, Gingerfish, Jasmine Dreams, and Fresh Snow.
Here's me with my pirate parrot on my shoulder. Or maybe Peepers, the chicken who likes to ride on backs. She was riding the goats earlier, then decided to fly up to my back for a better look around. I took this photo myself.
Charlotte's baby was born moments before the snow hit yesterday. I tried to get close, but then Charlotte charged me. The calf seems lively and energetic for having been born yesterday. The cold and snow don't have any effect on her. (Or him.)
Jane gave birth November 30 to this little boy. Colonel Fitzwilliam is named after Mr. Darcy's cousin in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. He has an overprotective mother so we didn't know if he was a boy or girl till the report from the girls came in, "He pees from the middle. He's a boy."
Only 6 inches so far. It's nice lightweight snow, easy to shovel. This is the grill at 3 a.m. This is the field at 8 a.m. Danny got Charlotte and child into the shed. Snowflake had a short romp in the snow, and is now gazing longingly out the window at her friends. Still power and phone. Satellite internet is very sketchy in this weather.
I'm blogging furiously because I'll probably be without power and phone for ages following this storm. Here are snowflakes falling at Red House Market while Dan fills the truck with gas. We have kerosene, diesel, milk, and lamp oil. Right now, we're getting the bath tub cleaned before filling it with water. I have the heat up to 67 whopping degrees as opposed to the 62 we've been used to this year. Danny's driving around the field looking for Charlotte, who had a calf at 3 this afternoon. I saw him/her up and nursing, but now Momma's not with him or with the rest of the herd, so I should close and help him find his old cow. I have a feeling it's gonna be a long night.
When I see what my kiddos were doing while I was running around the countryside looking for kerosene, diesel, and milk, I regret not exposing them to snow more often. Perhaps a trip to Vermont is in order.
Snowflake had her hysterectomy today, so she's drugged and unhappy. We had to bring her into the house to recuperate, since the storm of the century is about to hit. We lost her, and were searching frantically, till we found her secret hiding place.
We had terrible weather most of the way to PA. Here you can see a little of it. Katie was ready for winter. Fortunately, the ice that was so treacherous early that day was gone by the time we got there. Sadly, I forgot to photograph the Bakers when we stopped to see them on the way. They all looked good, trust me. Trent was his usual cheery self. The kids all had a blast. They are missed here in Charlotte County.
Thanks to a wealthy donor, Snowflake's a new addition to Providence Farm. She goes to the vet tonight for her initial exam and shots, and later this month for her ObGyn appointment ; ) If you have a guess about her breed, I'd like to hear. I was stymied, but the neighbors might be onto something with their Jack Russel guess. She has a terrier bark.