Friday, November 18, 2011

Critter and project updates

Still haven't managed to get to my computer for some real posting, so via iPhone pics, here's an update on some of what's been going on around here.

We were getting lots of these (like 18 a day), but cold weather and short days have the girls laying only 4-9 a day now. Haven't seen a white egg from Miss Blue in about 3 weeks. Either she stopped laying, or she's hiding them somewhere.

The girls are enjoying the new pen I fenced off for them.

And Dunderhead, with his wicked unruly eyebrows, seems recovered (knock on wood).

It is getting colder, and according to LJ, it started snowing after I left for work.

This is just pretty. Snapped while hiking the trails on our property. We've had some raging storms over the last week, so I doubt this lovely web is still out there.

I made this stool for our library so I can reach the top shelves, and I have begun organizing my books. I ordered a roll of dust jacket covers from Brodart, and have only managed to get about 1/3 of my hardbacks covered.

I also made a woodbox for in the house. I got the andirons for $8 at an antique show, painted them satin black (they were a really awful antiqued gold before), and mounted the box on them. I put legs on the back of the box. Works well, holds two sling-loads of wood, keeps bark and chips off the floor, and is PERFECTLY square. I'm pretty proud of that last part. :) (Please excuse the unfinished tile work on the hearth, and the lack of baseboard on the wall...)

Also been working on this little side table I just picked up at the thrift store. It took me about two hours to chip out that awful concrete and glass mosaic. Yuck. Makes me sad, as originally this little table would have had tiles made by, or in the style of, a company like Taylor, Catalina, or Malibu. I've had a few of these tables with their original tiles intact, and just love them. I'm going to refinish this, and see if I can get repro tiles that will fit. If anything, I only paid $7.95 for it, and have some mexican tile that I could make work.

I made some of this (mandarin ginger marmalade), as well as apple sauce and blackberry jam, and learned that the Ball recipes put too freakin much sugar in everything. Luckily, I've skimped a bit, except for the blackberry jam, which unfortunately came out painfully sweet.

I also took some of our pig fat...

And rendered some lard. It's awesome! Though, the crockpot method was gross, and slow, and a pain in the butt. A gal I know swears by the dutch oven method, so I'll try that next. If I don't get a dutch oven for my birthday next week (Mom hinted I would), I'll go out and buy one. We need one anyway. :) (Lard is cooling below. Came out pure white once fully cooled)

And that's about it for now. Gonna spend the weekend cleaning and prepping for Thanksgiving.

Have a great weekend!


Brenna said...

Lovely lard, and I totally agree about typical jam and jelly recipes! Looks like lots of good stuff going on at your place.

Paula said...

I was just thinking about you this afternoon. We were on the way to Wilco to get Steve a spare pair of the Georgia Romeos that they had on sale, and running in that direction made me wonder how you guys were doing. Glad to hear that D-Head is doing better.

I like your stool! and the firewood box!

dr momi said...

Your phone takes some mighty fine pictures!! Love that spider web and frosty leaf!

Anonymous said...

You sure do fill every spare moment, don't you? Very productive.
I hope you get some time to rest and relax! B.