This is my plant starting set up. You can see the florescent grow lights over the plastic bucket. See the heating pad underneath. Notice the toilet paper tubes. I also have a fan, but I haven't started that up yet. The broccoli and cabbage only took a couple of days to germinate. It was amazing. This is all set up in our basement on some wire shelving. I have room for a lot more when the need arises. The heating pads are the only pricey item.
The chickens hate the snow. They spend most of their time on a little path I've shoveled out for them. I had to bribe them to walk in the snow by sprinkling oatmeal on it. Even then most of them refused to go in the snow.
Here's R~ as a student nurse. No, it isn't a Halloween costume, it's really what he wears. He's so happy, not that he can smile for the camera, but trust me, he's thrilled to be back in school learning stuff that will allow him to serve. BTW stay out of the emergency room on Friday the 13th, he's going to be there working (as a nurse!).
Last post for today. I spun and knit this sweater. I was not personally acquainted with any of the animals (or plants) who supplied the fiber for this sweater. Does that make me any less of a fiber geek? The yarn is 50/50 dark coopsworth(wool)/pima cotton. I knit it in the round using Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system with my own additional of a "V" neck and wider hips. I knit because I love to knit, but if I keep knitting I eventually finish stuff. YEAH it's finished!!!!!
I spin. It is the most pleasantly relaxing thing in the world. In the picture I'm spinning cotton. Wool is much easier to spin. The sock I'm knitting is alpaca/wool. I'm knitting Gus. Gus is the honey-brown alpaca whose fiber I spun up and whose fiber is being turned into a sock. I got to meet Gus on the best homeschool field trip ever! We actually went down and visited an alpaca farm. Alpaca are insanely cute animals. With their big eyes and long eyelashes they look like they were invented by Disney. After meeting Gus I had to spin up some of his fiber and the socks I'm knitting are going to be the end result of that field trip.
I wish I could say my second attempt at making buckskin turned out perfectly, but only half the hide turned out perfectly. This is entire process is harder than I expected. I can say half of the hide turned out nice and soft, the other half is hard or at least crunchy. I'm going to try again. I've learned a lot and this attempt was MUCH better than my first attempt. What I think I need to improve is my graining. If I got that step down pat I really think the buckskins would be good (useable).
Pippin is our cat. Or should I say the ruler of our household? She is well beloved. She is actually sitting in my lap as I write this. Amazing how friendly she is in cold weather. The chickens are enduring the cold weather. The plastic tote is their hidey hole from the cold breezes.
The cold spell has passed and the chickens are happily back outside.
After consulting the suggestions on the seed packages I've scheduled my gardening on a week by week basis for the entire year. At least it is all down on paper. I have also got a seed starting station set up downstairs. I have wire shelving, grow lights, heating pads, a fan, toilet paper tubes, and potting soil. It is all good to go. Last year I did a lot better on starting plants from seed in the cold frame and this year I'm trying even harder. (I guess it should be called a seed starting frame, I didn't have much luck with it when it was truly cold, but once the winter had passed it worked great) It was very efficient having the baby plants ready to go into the garden as soon as there was space for them. Most seeds, even root crops, can be started in a cold frame as long as you're planning on putting them in the ground fairly soon after sprouting. I like the toilet paper tubes because they give you a longer space for the roots.
It got below zero and the chickens already have a few nips of frost bite on their waddles, so I brought them into the house. It is just too wierd. Chickens in the basement. I'm going to have such a mess to clean up when I move them back outside. We put them in the big long understairs closet. I had to clean out a lot of junk before I moved them in. I can hear them clucking down there now. Yesterday about supper time Chris got sick of the noise they were making and shut off the light. It is amazing-- when the light is off they sleep. It is as easy as that. If my kids had been that easy to put to sleep my life would have been much better as a young mother.
My DH, R~, started nursing school on Monday. He's so thrilled to be learning new things and having a change in career. He actually figured out it is simpler to take the bus than to drive. He took the car on Monday and was stuck in the parking garage for almost a half an hour. Public transportation is much faster. He wore his scrubs today and looked so professional. He's so happy about this. This will kill our savings but it couldn't go to a better place.
I'm always the healthy one. This time it got me. I've been hacking and coughing here for a few days. I'm feeling a lot better today, but I don't have much voice. On Sunday I had no voice at all and had to whisper. AND I was giving the lesson in Relief Society. I told the sisters they had to give most of the lesson. I would bring up an idea and write a few scriptures on the blackboard and had them discuss the idea. You know, it was one of the best lessons ever. I love the sisters in our ward. We were using the scriptures to discuss death and the what happens after death. The spirit was so strong and several sisters bore testimony of the spirit world. It was a very touching lesson. So I guess the solution to teaching the sisters in the ward is to get sick and let them teach themselves!
I loved my grandfather very much. He has lived a long life and has been very sick. He was ready to move on. We will miss him. We sure had a lot of fun at his funeral. It was wonderful to be iwth family. The girls got a bit crazy with the camera.