Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sorta snow day

It's snowing, It's snowing, the Old Man is shoveling...

Nah... but it is snowing. We aren't supposed to get nearly as much as people south of here, but more than we would've in Craftsbury. The kids' school district was only one of a few that was actually open today; only to send them all home at 12:30. Good thing our official, on-file, family emergency plan is "Come home on the bus" because I doubt I would make it up the driveway at a quarter to one. The roads really aren't that bad, but I did see a few people slide a bit on my way to the grocery store this morning... mostly because people can be idiots and they were driving way too fast around unsanded corners. But, Who am I to judge??

The snow day is exciting for me because it means that afterschool activities have been cancelled, and I am therefore able to cook a real meal yet again. We have a had a real dinner almost every night this week. Sage had practice yesterday, but got home at the same time as Colin. And on Monday, Aidan did not bring all his work home for me to review, so he was unable to go to his game.

Nadia has entered a very crafty stage it seems; I am constantly catching her dumping/ripping/hiding/breaking something. And she is very pouty when you catch her... which makes it very hard to keep a straight face as she stomps off to her bedroom and pouts and tears up in the doorway.

We had another poultry catastrophe this week, as Janess's little poofy doglet ate 6 more chickens, and Naked Chicken (although his remains are still MIA) appears to have finally met his end. Very sad. He'd survived so very much, including being the nearly flat chick in the bottom of the box when they arrived last spring.

But we are not deterred (Or at least, I am not deterred). This spring my order goes in for specific breeds of ducks... we want Runners for their eggs (prolific layers) and their funny gait. Probably only chocolate and blue colors. And my Cayguas, of course. And perhaps some of the weird Albert Einstein looking thingys called "Crested" ducks. Colin wants only white ones, but I am inclined to get some funny colors of them, too. And then we are going for Aracaunas for chicken eggs (the "easter egg" hens). Probably a chicken-tractors-worth of meat birds. And lastly, some silkies. They are a bantam breed that has feathers that feel like hair (and a weird crest on their heads and feathered feet), and black skin/bones/meat. They are a delicacy in Asian cooking, but just coming up here in the states. Apparently their meat is very rich, and some people freak out when they see the color. I guess it is less actual "black" meat and more like the dark meat on a regular chicken, only all the way through. Very good for soup and hot pots. Also arroz con pollo. So I hope to do quite a few of these guys... they lay small cream colored eggs and are excessively broody... you can set them on anyone's eggs. So hopefully we can get males for meat birds, and females to set on eggs so we never have to order chicks again. They'll even sit on goose eggs! (Although we are not getting any geese naytime soon). We are, however, thinking about turkeys. What kind and how many are still up for debate. I have found a local source for the silkies, and maybe we can see what we can get at the feed stores in group orders. I am hoping to do my aracauna chicks that way. And maybe the turkeys as well.

Time for thinking about seedlings is in order, as things like tomatoes and peppers really need to be seeded indoors by Town Meeting Day (first Tuesday in March). By the end of March, usually a lot of other things need to be in the trays, so I am looking ahead to that.

Well, I had better go figure out lunch.... the kids will be here soon and I imagine they got sent home before they ate.

Love to you all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Year

Hey everybody!

It has been a trying month, attempting to get through the holidays and birthdays, and to find time to do my school work. We have decided I should take a leave of Absence next semester, and try and focus on the stay-at-home Momma child care and farm thing. I can bring in a decent salary with just 3 kids. And if downstairs ever becomes available, I can set up a real home center that would bring in a decent amount, and allow me to hire someone to work with me.

We've given up on recovering much from the computer, although I have gotten back most of the music. Wish it had been our documents and pictures instead!! Oh well!! We bought an external hard drive to save stuff on from now on, so even if we lose a computer, we don't lose everything else!

The snow is beautiful, and Nadia and the little girl I have been watching and I have been taking long walks in the woods. We wander up the trail the downstairs neighbors made with their snow machines, and walk for a good hour usually. Sometimes, if the snow is packed down enough, I can even push the stroller on the path in the snow. Or we wander up with a sled. The girls have enjoyed doing a lot of the walking themselves, which is new for Nadia... up until the middle of last week she wasn't interested in walking in snow. But with a new snowsuit, mittens, and wool socks, she is ready and rearing to go! Too bad it will be too cold ALL WEEK to go out! Up in the woods we find deer roads, and last week I even watched a deer bound off the trail in front of us into the woods. The hemlock stands behind our house are a state designated deer yard, and you can tell! (Especially when I found hoof marks in the snow in the chicken yard... we'll have to be extra careful that they aren't eating the feed!). We have also followed mouse trails, rabbit trails, and squirrel trails. There is great tracking out here, and we expect to see fox and coyote trails as the winter goes on.

Nadia, Aidan, and Sage have been picking up little phrases in German, and really enjoy the company of another child. For Aidan, it has been nice practice to go along with his babysitter's training course. He LOVES the course. Both he and Sage are doing basketball, and Sage is skiing during the same time as Aidan's after school course. It has been fun for her to be one of the kids that knows how to ski. In Craftsbury, my kids were always the ones who weren't born with skis attached to their feet! Her friend from London has never been on skis before, and Sage has been enjoying helping her. Sage is also kicking butt in basketball, despite being 7 and in 2nd grade on a team with 3rd and 4th graders. She's a tough cookie!

Well, I really need to get on with writing my papers... The little girl has been sick this week, and I kinda think they are looking for someone closer to them... they didn't realize the ride between Montpelier and here might take awhile. So I am interviewing another family tomorrow, with a set of fraternal twins, age 20 months... one boy, one girl. And I posted another ad, and will put up posters this week. As long as I can keep 2-3 in here, everyday, we will be doing well enough, and it will keep Nadia and I busy!