Sunday, February 5, 2012

Penny The Cat

So several years ago we got a free little kitten-Handsome Husband picked her out. He says he "saved her from the clutches of death." She was quite sick with a respiratory infection and needed anti-biotics. She was so sick when we brought her home, I wouldn't let the kids touch her. In fact another kitten in the same litter died of the same illness.

So we nursed her back to health, and she is the SWEETEST cat ever. She tollerates ANYTHING from the kids and NEVER scratches or bites them. It's as if she is just so grateful to be alive, she never gets upset.

When The Artist was 4 she would tickle her belly, dress her up, pull her tail-Penny would just PURR her little heart out and try to get away, then come back for more. To top it off she is a great mouser!

So the other day Little Pumpkin-who LOVES Penny-was picking her up by her neck and tail. Penny just purred, would get away then track Little Pumpkin down for more.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chokecherry Jelly---A Taste of Summer in the Winter!

So there are a few things little pumpkin loves to eat-peaches and crackers-as I've already pointed out, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This morning she wanted peanut butter and jelly, so Thoughtful Son made her one with the beautiful chokecherry jelly we made in August.

We drove 2-3 hours up to Cheyenne where a nice couple have dozens and dozens of bushes around their yard they use as a windbreak. The kids and I picked chokecherries for about 2.5 hours and ended up with about 6 gallons. Chokecherries are quite tart and have a distinct flavor. Little Pumpkin even liked them off the bush, the older kids didn't care for them.

So we got home and rinsed and removed any stems, then cooked them in a pot with a touch of water-making sure they didn't burn. They have pits inside each of them and knew it was going to be hard to get them out.

I tried several different food strainers-a hand cranked food mill---the seeds kept messing it up, a food press with wooden pestle, regular strainer....not too successful. I finally asked my mom if I could borrow her wine press, and that was faster. I also found small batches through a tea towel with hand squeezing worked well too.

Added my sugar and ended up making 8 pints and 13 jelly jars-did a mixture of jelly and syrup. Was a lot of work, but NOTHING beats home made jelly. Tastes like summer!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cleaning Up The Chicken House

So our lovely 18 chickens, and 2 ducks (Hank and Bonnie) needed their little house and pen cleaned and since it was about 51 degrees here yesterday it was as good as time as any to clean it up!

We filled up the little pond for the ducks and they were SO happy. I love watching them in their little pond, cleaning themselves, dunking their beaks in and generally having a good time.

We made sure to clean all around the 'automatic' feeders that Handsome Husband made last year

and 'automatic' waterer too-even tho it's been too cold for it, so we have been hauling water by hand and using the duck pond.

We cleaned their little 'nest' box, which is really the bottom of an old dog kennel.

Then we filled the floor of the coop with wood chips--they smell REALLY good!

Finally, we took all that wonderfully 'fertilized' bedding and filled the bottom of one of our empty garden beds.

Then The Artist, Thoughtful Son and the puppies all played Frisbee!

Was a nice day.