What a trip! The stove heated perfectly even though I had to light it with a lighter not the electronic ignition. (Still don’t have a pure sine wave inverter … but soon!) The quarts of diced potatoes I canned held a perfect pressure for the entire time; no fussing turning the heat up or down. I now have an entire two-foot deep shelf full to the front of diced potatoes. They are so awesome if you want a quick potato soup, drained for fried potatoes, or added to stews. (If you’d like to check into canning some for yourself, check out my canning book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food, available through BHM.)
We are tickled that the weather has warmed up. I’d been getting up in the middle of the night and going out to the goat barn, worried our doe would kid when it was -20° or worse. But she held off. Then, on our first warm morning, she suddenly cooperated. Sparkle, her beautiful black and white spotted doeling was born at about 7a.m. with temperatures near 30° F. I was so excited I could hardly wait to tell everyone. Her mom’s being a butt, not letting her nurse unless we hold her, but that’s kind of common with first-fresheners. So I go out several times a day and hold Bella so Sparkle can nurse. Bella has a near-perfect udder and teats so that’s another thing to be grateful for. And so easy to milk, too!
My wood kitchen range was acting up and not burning well so I knew it was time for a clean out. Alisha wanted to learn how it was done as she hopes to have a wood range some day. She got her first lesson on Saturday. Few people know the soot and ash eventually clog up under and beside the oven, in the space where hot air is supposed to flow around the oven to heat it. With the long-handled clean-out bar, Alisha attacked the ash and soon all was clean again — over the oven, beside it and underneath. That evening I lit the fire and it burned perfectly. Job well done Alisha! We celebrated with taco pie with cornbread for the top crust. Yum — and it only took ten minutes to bake.
With the warm weather, Will got busy and started cleaning out the big “compost” pile in the training ring. He removed the four planks on the north end of the training ring and with the crawler/loader, he started carrying buckets of rotted manure out onto the Sand garden. It’s about half done and looks great. All that poop on the garden gladdens my heart.
On Sunday, after church, several of our friends stopped by to visit, spin some wool, and pick up some seeds for their spring gardens. We had a great time and everyone was amazed at how fast and well Alisha is spinning perfect yarn.
Now it’s back to business as lots of orders for seeds are coming in. We try valiantly to send out seeds the day after we get the orders. We may not have all the bells and whistles big companies have, but we do have excellent customer service! The Post Office ladies laugh when they see me hauling in big bags full of seeds headed out all over the country. Yep, spring is almost here! — Jackie