Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fall...Winter??

It's the final days of NaNoWriMo and I am finding all sorts of productive ways of avoiding writing the last of my novel.

Today, the kitchen got a thorough cleaning, even BEHIND things.  It was a bit of a scary thing.  I made a batch of chicken broth and am finishing up a batch of chicken soup.  I annoy Paul when I make broth with a whole, raw chicken instead of roasting the chicken first...but it comes out so yummy and full bodied.  And I save the pieces of chicken in the freezer to throw in casseroles and the like later.  This time, I cut out the breasts and set them aside, so we can have baked, boneless breasts later this week. That should make Paul happy.  I'm trying to stay caught up on the broth so we never have to buy boxed chicken broth again.

I have a fresh batch of Kombucha ready to go.

I also made us yummy lunches to take to work tomorrow.  Stuffed Carnival Squashes...one for each of us.  I'm trying to be better about making us lunches for work.  Me, because I'm a chronic lunch skipper and that is SO BAD.  And Paul, because it seems selfish to just make lunch for me...besides, once I'm making one lunch, it's no big deal to make two.  And it's better for him than cafeteria lunches every day.  And cheaper too!  And I think he likes lunches I make better than work lunches...most of the time.

Now, we're off to do chores and take Troy for a nice, long walk.  It's good for him...and good for us too!  I'm hoping this is a new habit we can keep up for the health of both and all of us.

(oh, and despite the procrastination, I managed a few thousand words...I'm not done yet, but getting closer!)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November

Things are very busy in November.  NaNoWriMo began and that takes up a lot of time (though I must write that I beat my own record and wrote 10,0001 words in one day this past week--if I was only close to 'the end' of my novel, I might be feeling home free).

Paul's been splitting wood. We're burning through what we thought was a pretty good stash of wood faster than we anticipated and aren't sure we'll make it too far into next month, let alone next year!  Yikes.

The bees are are tucked in and put away for the winter.  Bree is now suspiciously quiet, I feel even too quiet for the cold, and I am worried for her survival already.  But we can only wait and see...Spring is just around...ummm...a few corners.

We've begun to delve into the freezer and are beginning our first real test of how far we can actually get with what we've stored.  I'm hoping to make it to 'WinterFare' in February!  I don't think we'll have to buy meat or eggs...isn't that a start?  And if we were better about using things from the freezer, that would help too!  But we seem to be getting better and better--there is, at least, an almost full freezer and more local meats on the way.

We're awaiting the first snow...maybe next week, but hopefully not early next week (because I'm not ready at work for any serious snow days).  In the meantime, I'm still occasionally hanging clothes on the line!

Troy is most definitely waiting for snow!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Autumn is Coming to a Close

You can feel the chill of winter in the air now.  And sometimes, when it rains, I swear, I'm seeing snow drops.

The garlic is finally planted.  We've got two full beds this year with our own garlic, with enough left over to hopefully make it through the winter.  I think we're finally where we want to be with the garlic: two beds should be plenty to plant and plenty to eat.  As long as the garlic forgives me for planting it so late and grows in the spring.

I do need to either plant the winter wheat...or grind and eat it.  I'm worried it's too late to plant it, but I might try a patch anyway.

The garden stakes and fences are packed away in the shed for the winter.

We still need to tie up the last honeybee hive.

The leftover seeds are accounted for and in the the freezer.  I'll be happy to peruse catalogs in January with a cup of hot tea, but I don't think we'll be buying much this year.  We're pretty set in the seed department.

And we had a call last night regarding Annie and Willa.  It would be nice to see us pared down to four goats for the winter, though sad to see those girls go.  Of course, I think I wrote the e-mail address down wrong and wasn't able to send the interested party pictures...and neglected to get a phone number.  So, we shall see.  

Thinking of the fire going, I also need to put the plant shelf that's on the front porch into the shed and replace it with the wood holder.

So, still a bit to do before we're really ready for winter.

I'm off to write...it is NaNoWriMo time after all: nanowrimo.org

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Avalon

Avalon has finally succumb and has not made it through the fall.  We knew there was something wrong with the Queen (or lack of), but it was at a point where we were not planning to fix it, so it was just a matter of time.  So, we cleaned up the hive and she awaits new spring bees.  We will think it through over the Winter as to how we would like to rehive her.

We might hope and pray that the other hives do well enough that we can split them, but I am leery of doing that as none of our hives is really that strong and we don't know how they will come through the winter.  Or we could hope to catch a swarm.  But what we will probably do is buy new bees.  Probably Russians, as we seem to have the best luck with them.

Eventually, we would like to be at a point where we are producing our own splits and no longer have to purchase bees...but that is at least a year off.


For those of you sharing Avalon with us, if you have not gotten your package, you should have by now.  It included 1/4 pound of honey, a bar of our goat milk and honey soap, and postcards of our bees!  We're only hoping our production goes up and up as the years go by.  We still have lots of faith in our little bees...and the good that we are doing keeping bees.