Sunday, April 26, 2009

Where'd the week go?

This week seems to have slipped past in a blur. Wednesday was a busy day. Paul had to have minor surgery, but all is well. I advertised Heckle for sale this week and on Wednesday, when the Trader's Guide come out, someone called about him. It turned out to be one of our neighbors and now Heckle lives next door to us. Bella wasn't happy about losing her baby and spent a good amount of time crying for him that day. Since he was only next door, they could hear each other still. She's looked for him every morning since then when I let her out, but I haven't heard them "talking" back and forth anymore. Wednesday we also took Ivy up to stay with her grandparents in Ohio for a few days. So on Wednesday, I was up at 5 am and didn't get in until after 10 pm. I was exhausted--especially since Paul couldn't drive that day because of the anesthesia.

On Friday, Paul wanted to go check out a glass factory in Paden City, Wissmach Glass, that sells hobby glass by the pound. It was a dollar/pound, so he gloated the rest of the day over his good fortune. He's setting his shop up to have different work areas and has been working on getting his stained glass work area set up. So he was pleased to add to his stash of glass for such a bargain price. We also stopped at this antique/junk shop that I used to drive past years ago when I had a delivery route for work. I told him that I'd always wanted to stop there and check it out, so we did on the way back. It is a small house that is completely packed to the gills with old stuff. We dug through it as best we could while keeping two curious and squirmy toddlers in hand. Paul found a little oil lamp that he brought home and cleaned up and it actually works. I found some old linens and a casserole dish. I want to make some bags for my bread along the lines of this.

Since Heckle has been gone, I've started milking Bella twice a day. I had hoped to get twice the amount from her, but I have to admit to being a little disappointed. Before I was getting three cups a day, which was slightly disappointing as it was because a good milk goat can give around a gallon a day. But I kept telling myself, this will pick up when Heckle isn't with her. But since Heckle has been gone, I have only been getting about 2 cups more per day. Totalling close to 5 cups per day. I know the most accurate way of measuring how much milk you get is to weigh it, but I don't have a scale to use, so I'm just using my measuring cup to check it. And five cups is barly over a quart. We're still buying chocolate milk since Finn loves it, but I've been mixing it with half goat milk. And we haven't had to buy any regular milk since last week. So I guess that isn't terrible. I did have enough to make a quart of yogurt the other day, too. I almost thought the yogurt was going to be a waste because it turned out my thermometer had been compromised. (I noticed when I tilted the thermometer the numbers were sliding all over the place because they were only attached with staples to the thermometer part.) I left the yogurt in longer than usual to let it get to the right temperature, and it did set up. When I was making it this time, I used some gelatin in it to see if it would set firmer, and it really worked well.

This is on my list to buy next. I've been making some simple cheese with lemon juice and buttermilk that turns out like ricotta cheese. But this kit will give me the cultures I need to make mozarella, and I think I will be able to use the whey from the mozarella to make real ricotta cheese. I read several places that chickens love whey and if you have leftovers, they will gobble it up. So I took my leftover whey up to the chickens and they wouldn't have a thing to do with it!

Speaking of the chicks, they are growing like crazy. I haven't put them all together because it still seems like such a difference in size. Amazing what a difference a week makes! The littlest banties are about the size of the chicks we hatched out, but the full-sized chicks are about 2.5 times as big. These pictures are a few days old now and they are bigger yet!

You can see the comparisons in this picture where I put two of the older chicks in with the younger ones that we hatched out. The big black one is one of the barred rocks and the little black one is the Japanese banty. Those two are the same age, but such different sizes due to breeds. The other chicks are a week younger. They eat like crazy and grow like crazy at this age.

And finally, look who pulled into the station at the end of last week. James! If you remember Finn's reaction to seeing the trains when they were first out there, his response was, "Where's James?" So his Nanny and Auntie couldn't leave without adding James and then since they were going to be adding to it, they decided to also paint Sir Toppenhat and Diesel. And Paul had a chance to hang the chalkboard also. (This is on the back of Paul's workshop which is just his place to putter around with the different things he enjoys like woodworking and stained glass.)


brokenteepee April 27, 2009 at 4:22 PM  

In my experience mozzarella from goat's milk is a touch challenging. My tries have been a bit....plasticy. I am trying to remember if you can use the whey from mozzarella for ricotta or not - it has to be a high rennett cheese for the ricotta to work.

Chevre and feta are quite easy and if you want to get into hard cheeses they are too with the right equipment. Have you checked out ? That's where I got all my cheese making stuff. My cheddar and colby came out great and I hope to put up a bunch of them this summer.

Good luck. If you have questions I will be happy to offer the extent of my experience

Julia April 30, 2009 at 1:57 AM  

Hi Your son is the featured Jr. Apron God for tomorrow! Hope you enjoy. Thanks for playing along!! :)

Ryan Ashley Scott April 30, 2009 at 8:57 AM  

My little boy really enjoyed hte pictures of Heckle and the chicks. :) They are so cute!

I'm amazed that you make your own yogurt! That's so cool. (maybe you can tell I don't live on a farm?).

About This Blogger

I am a thirty-something mother of two girls and a boy ranging from preschool to middle school. My husband and I keep working and reworking on our goal of raising our family healthier. Our house is a constant work under construction--adding on and remodeling. We're happy to have bought our property a few years ago, but as any homeowners know, owning a home just adds to your list of projects and chores because there's always improvements to be made and maintenance to be done. On our burgeoning homestead, we have chickens, guineas, a few goats, and our most recent additions-rabbits.
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About This Blog

I picked the name Petalz and Finz a couple years ago when I decided to try Etsy out. I wanted to custom make some baby related items and have things for girls and boys. I felt the name incorporated both my kids (at the time) into it--petalz for Ivy and finz for Finn.

I haven't had time to do much of anything with my Etsy for a while, but it's still my in my long term goals. In the mean time, I'm having fun with this blog thing. I've found some creative inspiration through my own posting, but also through many other wonderful blogs out there.
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