Monday, December 26, 2011

Skating and walking away my vacation!

The vacation has been a good thing for me giving me time to re-energize and it is the best time of year to take a rest. Looking at everything in the greenhouses since the last harvest and realizing they have barely budged reminds me that this is a good time for everything to rest; plants and me, but don't tell that to the piglets they are growing like weeds!! They are emptying their feeder in half the time since before we left for Santa Cruz!! Santa Cruz was wonderful, which included my morning walks along West Cliff, shopping downtown with my husband and watching all the "interesting" events that happen there, and a day in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco at the Academy of Science. Christmas was a nice quiet event at home starting with the children's mass on Christmas Eve, which is always neat to attend. For the first time in almost 20 years we slept in on Christmas day, but maybe that was because my 20 year old was sick, she usually is the one up at 4 am!! Today we went roller skating as a family, and I won't tell you how long it has been since I skated, it will definitely give my age away, and let's just say walking tomorrow may be interesting. My vacation technically ends today with the rest of the week back outside planting!! What beautiful weather for it too!! I am re-energized and of course my brain was going over plans of planting and for the meat operation while I was away, and if things go well I will have some great surprises coming up, but no more until I have some details taken care of!! Merry Christmas everyone....remember to keep the spirit throughout the year!! Moonstruck signing out for the last time in 2011!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Poor Molly

Molly finally had to go to the doctor for that magical surgery that stops me from having more work to I do not want puppies!! (BTW she is only two days old in the picture). She also had her dew claws removed. They looked like they were just going to catch on a bush and rip right off. She is completely miserable with a cone that is two times too big so tomorrow I am going to the pet supply to try and find something better. She just drops her head to the floor, but I am terrified she will tear her stitches out. The bandages come off the feet Friday, but no spinning 360s in the driveway on the way to the animals for up to two weeks. We took her to Animal Medical Center in Hesperia and they were very affordable and took great care of Molly and were very nice people. We have a house sitter coming to take care of her while we are gone so she will not be alone. It was weird today not having her here....I caught myself holding the door for her, and turning around to call her and it was really quiet with her nails not tapping across the wood floors. I didn't think I would miss her that much, but she is a major part of my routine around here. The last of the pork is being delivered Thursday and Friday. I will be in Wrightwood Friday morning if anyone wants any turkey. I have one whole turkey, breasts, thighs and legs left. Sorry the spicy sausage and ground turkey is sold out, but I will try and make some more after Christmas. We are working with a local processor that is trying to get set up for processing USDA beef and pork....that means I can sell by the cut!! Wish us luck!! Merry Christmas everyone and thank you as always for all your wonderful support...especially all the email messages and kind thoughts sent my way!! Moonstruck signing out!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Simmering stock and falling snow!

Turkey and beef stock simmering on the wood stove. Some of my favorite things to do...turn off the outdoor irrigation and use the wood stove to do double duty...heat my home and simmer stock, and boy does it smell good in here!! Fresh bread cooking in the bread maker. Meghan is taking the time to make a Pralines and Cream Pecan Carmel muffin recipe she has been wanting to make since to say the least she is not running today and she was able to bake since we received 3 more eggs today than usual making it a total of 6!! The good news is that it looks like some of them are coming out of moult and between that and the days lengthening after the 22nd we will have eggs for you again....sorry my family goes through 3-4 dozen a week themselves so we have not even had what we need and have been on egg rationing. I checked on the pigs and they were tucked in under a pile of straw with only a stripe of pink or two showing. Filet was outside in the rain and snow all day...she usually is in her shelter...she must love the moisture!! Molly as tiny as she is did not show the slightest hesitation at the cold galloping happily everywhere! One of my favorite things about snow days is the peaceful silence. Most neighbors stay home and so all the noise we are conditioned to disappears and it feels as though the whole world has stopped or at least slowed down. It was not completely silent since as soon as the goats saw me they started bellowing and I could almost understand "make it go away!!!". They don't "do wet". The chickens were running around happy to have the ground wet so they could peck away for bugs....maybe that is why we received a few extra eggs...extra protein!! Back to soup making and turkey cutting. Merry Christmas everyone!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wow are the days short!!

Today started with the unfreezing of water lines and water bowls for the animals. I went to pour a tea kettle of boiling water on the metal pipe for the pig's nipple and within 2 seconds one of them figured out what I was trying to do and started sucking as hard as he could on it....the teamwork succeeded and within 30 seconds water was flowing!! I love pigs; they are such awesome animals. Later on I was nervously harvesting as I always am at this time of year due to everythings slow growth pattern, I realized that at about 2:30 pm the sun went behind the mountain enough to shadow the entire new greenhouse, and I asked myself why do I stress...there is nothing I can about the length of day at this time of year!! I tell myself each year I should close the whole month of December, but then the weather was so beautiful right up to mid November that I just could not do it. I even put zucchini on the shopping list this week. Of course I am going to have to short some orders because the 28 degree clear night we had last night finally took the zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and nasturtiums out in the greenhouses! Sorry no nasturtiums in this week's Moonstruck Salad Mix, but I did manage to throw in some pretty yellow broccoli flowers. I am still spinning here from being so behind, and quitting the market as heart breaking as it was to do it was a wise decision and to be honest I should have done it four months before I did. I just keep making note of the goals that we have reached and the fact that I have the "infrastructure" now to grow all that we need and more. We may even have a chance to grow at an alternative site that will become a community garden, but all that produce will be dedicated to the St. Vincent De Paul's Food Pantry. Another exciting project coming up for 2012. In the meantime we will be taking a little vacation from December 16 to December 30th...a little rest and a little work. In case I don't have a chance to write again....Merry Christmas everyone!!