Sunday, February 22, 2009

Meet the "Girls" Chickens and lambs

Columbias or white-faced ewes....there a so very many breeds of sheep, you would not believe; but we had Columbia and Rambouillet along with Suffolks or black-faced.

This is my little buddy...she is first to greet me at the quonset door and she follows me everywhere..."more treats, Judy"...that is what she is thinking! She races to the feed bunk and dives in to get what she likes the best. I think it is the sunflower seeds!

Here is a little grouping of my flock of chickens...I have about 30-ish or so...hard to count...they dash here and there!

The chickens lay brown eggs...the Araucana lay colored, pink, green (they are brown eggs with color). The Araucana (actually called American Araucana because they are a mixed breed) are the reddish chickens you see in the pictures. They are very nice chickens and do not pick at each other. I do not have any roosters, because they are nasty critters and have very nasty mean habits when dealing with the hens. Roosters can also be very aggressive to small children when children come into the area! We only get roosters by mistake when we order laying hens.

This spring we will have to get some more baby layers, my girls are getting old and have quit producing eggs. I do not butcher my "girls" -- they live until they die! Some of my laying or not-laying-anymore hens live a very long life. I had a Banty cross live about 8 years!

We do like to let the girls out of the quonset when it is nice, but then I have worry about eagles, hawks, and some of my dogs! Turk will kill a chicken and I do believe his son, Boo-Boo, will also! It is not a very wise decision to allow chickens and dogs to be together. Although, for years my chickens and my older Anatolians, and Kaina (blue heeler cross) left them alone...the Anatolians would bed down in the quonset...but then I caught Sweetpea snacking on eggs, so that ended that! We have had badgers, skunks, owls and such take up residence in the quonset after the Anatolians were kept out. The badger would snack on my chickens, the skunk would eat the eggs, and the owl also liked the taste of chickens.

It is an absolutely beautiful day here by the mountains -- the temperature is in the 50's. I really need to wash my is suppose to be this nice most of the coming week! I sure hope and snow are not my favorite anymore...if they were ever my favorite.

I will add a picture of a grouping of my lambs...finished a few yesterday and today.

It was an interesting night last night. The coyotes were really "talking" so that made all our dogs bark all night long. I heard a coyote very close to the house and became worried about our old Anatolian, Feather, she still thinks she is fierce, but her age has caught up to her (such as it has with me). So I got out of bed, got dressed, got the flashlight and went outside to find Feather and see if she was okay. She was close to garden, which is rather close to the house. Buster, an Anatolian cross, was on guard with Feather. He, too, was now close to house. I was going to walk out to the stackyard (where the hay is kept -- stacks of hay) but thought better of it, just in case a bear might have gotten up early from it's long winter nap. Drove out there and flashed my lights around...could not see any eyes reflecting in my headlights. So, my morning started very early today. Took Turk for a potty break. He had been howling and barking in the porch all night long. He is attempting to open the porch door...there are teeth marks on the knob! Guarding is in their blood. Yikes, so not much sleep was obtained by anyone in the household.

My daughter-in-law made butter from our milk cow's cream. I made eclairs the other day and for the filling I use instant vanilla pudding and cream cheese and milk...well, this time I made it with the thick! it was such a creamy wonderful pudding filling! Don't ask about the calorie count! I use a cream puff recipe for the eclair, and then make a fudge topping -- oy! So very good!

Have to go and do something constructive....or not! I wonder if it is too late to wash my car...I would have to haul the water from the house and toss it onto the car...messy...too cold for hoses! How much do I care about what my car looks like....hmmmmm!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Test Post

Waterfall on hike to St. Mary Falls
This is where we turned around when other hikers said they saw a very large grizzly bear. We were not feeling brave or foolish that day!

Top of Logan Pass or Going-to-the-Sun Highway
This is a beautiful waterfall that is right on the road as you round the bend to go down on the west side of the Pass. There are usually quite a few mountain goats on this bend.

Fall in Glacier National Park on the West side of the pass heading down to Lake McDonald Lake.

This is a test entry to see if I can move my pictures and put entries by each picture!

It's Friday!

Of course, Fridays do not mean as much when a person is retired! It is a nice sunny day here by the mountains...with not much wind.

Turk is progressing in his healing and is still spending his time in the porch when not on a leash taking a walk for a poddy break. His soft brown eyes are so sad that he has to stay inside. He wants to be outside sitting on a snowdrift and rolling around in what is left of the snow. Just a few more weeks, Turk.

My little Valentine Lamb did not win the poll, but came in with 21 other that was very nice. My thanks to all that voted for my little lamb.

So, when is the last time you made noodles, pasta or whatever you call it??? I made some today. There is nothing as good as homemade noodles. And they are easy to make! I will give you a recipe that I have based my noodles on -- since I never seem to follow a recipe, giving my recipes to others is quite difficult. But here is a basic Egg Noodle recipe:

2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup water

(now, in my own recipe I use: 2 cups flour, 1 to 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 Tblsp vegetable oil, and enough water to get the right consistency...)

Make a well in the center of the flour. Add eggs, salt; mix thoroughly (I put the oil in here). Mix in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is stiff but easy to roll.

I now knead the dough on a floured mat until it becomes blended together and you can feel the elasticity that you will need to roll out the dough. I use the heel of my hands to do the kneading just as you would bread dough.

You now have a lump of dough and are wondering what the heck you do to make noodles! You will take this lump and begin to roll it out with a rolling pin (I use my old Tupperware rolling pin). (It is rather funny, I can remember my Mom using a jar of vinegar to roll out her pie dough and anything else she wanted to roll out or crush...I was rather thrilled to find out that there actually was a real rolling was hard to get used to the uniform ends of a real rolling pin!)

Anyway, you roll out the dough -- this will be a little hard at first, but you can also place the dough (once it is rolled out enough) around the rolling pin and roll away making the dough stretch. I use a mat for cutting out fabric pieces to do my noodles and my bread! It is big (like huge) and cleans up nicely.

The dough will be getting bigger as you roll it can then gently pull the dough out to the sides and then roll it even more, being careful to not get it so thin that it begins to pull apart.

When I have the dough as thin as I want it, I then cut it into quarters with a knife. I then begin to cut strips of noodles through the dough. You can make them as thin or thick as you want.

I then take a metal spatula, scoop the noodles up and on to my hands and then put them into the boiling chicken broth, salted water, stew, or whatever you are making. Cook until tender (12 to 15 minutes).


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Little Lamb entry in poll on Etsy

I received some very exciting news yesterday from a team member on the Big Sky Montana Etsy Team that I belong to. One of my little lambs had been added to the Etsy "Lovey Dovey Poll". If you would like to look over the list of entries and vote, here is the link:

I believe you have to have an account with Etsy to vote on any of the entries. It is very easy to sign up with Etsy. Join in the fun and choose a favorite item.

The picture at the top of this post is the lamb that is featured.
Have a really good day, I have to go and create some more little lambs!
When you have time, check out the Blogs of the artisans that are following my blog. There are wonderful pictures, writings, and a great display of their creations! Check them out!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lovely Sunny Day!

, another sunny day...does that make two in a row...maybe three in a row! Always makes me feel better when the sun is shinning!

...finished my quilt block for "Save Handmade for Kids!" I will post it on my blog. It was fun to make the block once the idea came together...actually I start with a lamb (new smaller tiny little lamb pattern I made) and then go from there. Once I have the lamb made, things begin to fall into place.

...I will also post a current picture of myself with my lambs/ewes.

...I have to go and walk Turk, while he recovers from his leg surgery, he needs to be restricted and he does not like this...but he is a perfect gentlemen while he "gives you the eye" -- big soft brown eyes and let's you know that he would rather be running with the wind! He tends to try and take advantage of laying his big body against me and trying to change my direction away from the house and back out to a meadow!

...more later...I have to learn how to put the pictures WHERE I want them! They do not insert where I want them to...they always go to the top of the narrative...

...okay, walked the dog (Turk)! Collected the chicken eggs...what wonderful things come from some very messy creatures...I mean I really enjoy my chickens...but good golly do they make a mess of their environment. I will have to take a picture of them some day...they all look so good now that they lost their feathers and are in full "bloom" once again!

...I will also add a picture I took on Sunday last up by St. Mary Montana. It, too, was a beautiful day. This picture is looking toward upper St. Mary Lake and into Glacier National Park, off US Highway 89.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Patience Turk!

...It has been many a-week that Turk has been under "house arrest" -- at first he thought it was not too bad...but it is wearing on him. We take him for his walks...he loves to roll in snow drifts and eat the cold snow...then he will just lay on top of the snow as if he has gone to heaven and there is no better place for a dog to be. I would say his patience is wearing very thin about this "porch" in the porch is not very exciting, no new smells, no new sights. So, Turk has taken to a whooling type of voice to show his displeasure...he does not bark...he whooles...and at night when the other dogs are on guard and they are barking -- he whooles...which is actually a whole lot better than a constant bark coming from the porch which is very close to my bedroom!

To do his "business" he has to have a rather long walk...I think he "holds" it in until he feels he has had as much time outside as he can before we say, "Okay, Turk is it time to get serious, 'cause we are heading back to the porch!" Of course, he has to "mark" a lot...this is what a guard dog does...marks everything, especially if it has been marked previously. Hard to say where he keeps all his "marking" water/urine.

The sun was shining yesterday, but not today! Bummer, it always makes it so much better when the sun shines down on us! The temperatures are mild in the 40's, but that darn wind still blows all the time.

You know spring is coming when all the seed catalogs begin to arrive. We sit there drooling all over the wonderful array of fresh fruits and vegetables...then we begin to narrow down what we really can grow in our unpredictible area...which is not that much. And of course, you have to remember the constant winds...what tall flower can survive that...or new tree or many other plants and shrubs. Root vegetables can grow here. Then there are the birds that love the few berries that ripen as much as we do. Birds attack the tomatoes that we were trying to grow in our climate. I put cages around the plants, covered them at night...they did not grow very well, and any tomatoe that did come on was pecked by the birds. Tried to grow go! Tried some squash again...poor things! The lettuce was good, the cabbage was full of bugs. I don't know what happended to the radishes -- yikes, they were just flat scarey! We do get potatoes. We would like to get a greenhouse of some sort...afraid it would blow away!

...this day is passing fast, I have walked Turk, collected the few eggs, made lunch, and I must get on to other pressing matters.

...enjoy your day...