Monday, September 5, 2011

Fenton Lake, NM & A Nice Weekend

Another picture from our trip to NM.  Fenton Lake is a peaceful reflection of the sky nestled in the mountains near Los Alamos.  We didn't spend a great deal of time there because we were busy on a wild goose chase for a nearby warm spring. 

We spent our Labor Day weekend visiting family someplace far less scenic, although the company was good.  On our way home from the Dallas area today,  we went to what I call "The Disney Land of Furniture"--IKEA!  I usually don't get to excited about mass consumption, but IKEA is one of those places I have to keep the seduction of consumerism in check.  We managed to walk out with what I came in for, which included a few items to clear up some clutter around the dome.  I'm hoping to carve out some time this week to tackle the constant flow of paperwork that comes across my desk.  There's also some plans to de-clutter a bit  in the kitchen and living room. 

One of the things I manage to do well, if I do say so myself, is to keep MOST our home organized in a way that is functional but neat.  Hopefully, this week I will get a chance to deal with a few corners of our home that are neither functional nor neat!

I did manage to can some pickles for long term storage before our trip and again today upon our return.  I used a pickling spice mix from the store for practice, but I'm hoping, once I master the technique, to start putting together my own mixes.  I tasted the batch I made before Labor Day today.  The flavor was good, but perhaps a bit strong.  Unfortunately, they were extremely mushy!  This time around I pickled the cucumbers straight out of the garden rather than leaving them in the fridge for a couple of days.  Hopefully, this will help them turn out more crisp. 

We are also moving right along on farm projects.  My husband has arranged to donate a butchered hog to a local nonprofit in exchange for their food scraps, which has cut back on our feed bill quite a bit.  We are also ending up with enough to add to our compost bin for the garden next year.  I also have been really wanting to give back to the community, which is hard for us to do right now with money being tight, so I'm happy to have this opportunity.  

My husband has also increased the size of our Hog pen so our gals have more room to roam.  They weren't too short on space before, but now they really have room to walk around in a nice area that extends further into the woods.  We bought a buck to keep our 2 Boer goat females company as well.  They are old enough to be mamas now and we are hoping to have babies by spring.  I don't think that will be too much of a problem--they both already look like their boyfriend has worn out his welcome with all of his friendly advances!  Poor girls!!

Now that the weather has dipped below 100 (hallelujah!), I'm hoping the hens will start laying again.  They have taken to nesting in the woods, laying on the ground, and eating each other's eggs.  Anything chicken related is a hot mess around here right now!  When you factor in some mysterious predator from the woods, we're losing ground on a daily basis.  I think we've made about every mistake there is when it comes to raising laying hens.  We're trying to resolve many issues with our flock right now and I'm hoping by next spring I'll be back to selling eggs again.

At any rate, it's been a long day of shopping, driving, pickling, and many other endeavors.  I think it's time for this mama to head off to bed . . .

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