Thursday, February 28, 2013

Five Out

One to go! I want it to hurry up so I can cuddle these chicks!


Here is a stop-motion video I made of the first chick hatching. We now have 3 hatched, the other three have pipped and one of those is pretty close to hatching. The excitement continues!

First To Hatch

The first one to pip the shell hatched out at 6:20 this morning. A beautiful dark Brahma chick with feathers all the way down the legs. Noisy little critter. Four other shells are pipped and one looks pretty close to hatching as well. No activity yet from the sixth egg, but it is still early, so hopefully soon!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chicken Progress

The chickens started peeping in their shells around lunch time and I just noticed that one has pipped. Eeeee! Exciting!

Good Morning

My busy little boy pulled down some of his books this morning and did some light reading. He would finally get the pages open and then he would be so excited that he did that, he would shake his arms up and down and the book would close again.
 Next it was time to explore by the window. Check out the plants and the cat.

We have basil, cilantro, onion, pansies, marigolds, calendula, and brown-eyed susans growing here.
 Baby cilantro.

 These are my latest felting project. We worked on these style slippers on Monday night. I like them very much! I think I will be embellishing them next Monday.
And now I hear my little guy waking up from his ridiculously short nap. What happened to the days of 2 hour long naps? Now we are lucky if they last half an hour!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Larder

After a Summer with no canning, my Winter stores have been pretty pathetic. But they are starting to look fuller again. I now have 12 bottles of dandelion wine, 7 jars of rosehip jelly, and 6 jars of mango chutney.
 We made the mango chutney today. It smelled so good! I can hardly wait to try it.
 It just makes you feel good and secure to have food stored away.
In other news, my eggs are on lockdown in the incubator, so hopefully we'll start to see some pips in the shells by Thursday and have them all hatched out on Friday! It is so hard to wait!

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Wheat Field!

Guess who's desperate for Spring? Couldn't be me.... I marked the 100 square foot patch of land where I will be growing my wheat this Summer and then I shovelled the snow off of it. I know, know. But it felt so good to be puttering about. And then I started to dig the turf off of it. I've only got about 20 square feet done, but that is a pretty good start, considering it is still February. Since then it has snowed a bit, but everyday it gets above zero and then freezes at night.
From our house it looks like an archaeological dig happening. I did unearth a plastic toy cow and a big rusty nail. Such treasures! Ha!
Even if it snows more, this patch will have a head start when it come to melting and hopefully I'll be able to plant my wheat in time to have a harvest this Summer/Autumn.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

4 Days To Go...

And if you watch carefully, you'll see the eggs wiggle around when the chicks inside shift. I am so excited for Thursday!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Dog Sled Races

It's that time of year again for the Caledonia Classic Dog Sled Races.

You may notice that most of the dogs don't look like the traditional huskies that you associate with dog sledding. Most people are using Huskies crossed with Pointers. Some people explained to me that years ago, a guy showed up on the scene with these hybrid pups and blew everyone out of the water. Pretty soon everyone was switching over to Huskey/Pointer crosses. Although, with new breeding with Huskies, there isn't much of an advantage anymore. Some people have troubles with Siberian Huskies, however, as they are too much of a hunter and may get distracted during a race.

The dogs that aren't racing at the moment wait in the crates, so they don't pull too much on their lines and make themselves raw and tired out. These dogs love racing and you can hardly hold them back when they sense it is time to go. You should hear the whines and pouts coming from the dogs left behind during a race!
Here are some more traditional types of sleds.
Remember this dog from last year? The cute cross-eyed, cross-eared pup named Glee? She wasn't there this time, but I spoke to her owners and they told me she is doing really well and is a great lead dog. Way to go Glee, you cutie pie!
And I made this little video with shots from yesterday and today. Enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wine Labels

I made a couple of wine labels to go on my bottles last night.
 I think I like the colours and contrast on the one on the right better, but I like the whimsy of the one on the left? What about you?
I wasn't sure if I should put the year that we made it or the year we bottled it on the label. In hindsight, I think it should probably be the year we made it. Do you know?

Dog sled races start today! Yippee!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dandelion Wine Part 4

Well, we finally got around to bottling our wine! 8 months later! Here we are, about to taste it for the first time since we set it to ferment. (Here is part 1, part 2, and part 3)
I think we were shocked with how sweet it tasted! It was really delicious, but I know some people don't like sweet wine. I don't really like wine because it isn't sweet, so this was right up my alley.

"I taste a hint of meadow with citrus undertones. Hem hem."
The bottling begins! It only took us maybe half an hour at most. A very quick process! Except for the part where we ran out of bottles and had to dig out more from storage.
Look at that elbow grease I am putting in to corking those bottles!
28 bottles! It made so much!
A little musical interlude. Look at that arm in motion!
After the bottling, we walked around the farm. We visited the bees. Bees don't poop in the hives, so when it is really cold in the Winter, they don't venture out far, which is why there is so much poop on the outside and in the snow. So fascinating! The things you don't realize if you've never had bees!
We visited the calves next. These are the same little gaffers that we saw last Spring.
They were enjoying their grains, and pushing each other out of the way.
Next we visited the chickens, but we forgot to take pictures :(.

And now we get to sit back and feel accomplished that we made wine from dandelions.

p.s. Can you see the little nesting box I made coming out of the side of the chicken coop? It even has a flower box that will be planted in the Spring!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Skiing at the Fort

Kesten and I went for a quick ski today at the Historic Site to take a few pictures. 

Hot and sunny! What a February this has been!
 This guy wasn't outside, but he will be waiting to greet guests in June at the Visitor Center. Aren't sturgeon the coolest looking fish? It's a little hard to believe that they live in our lake!
 A dug-out canoe, the flagpole and our lake.
 Dimpled skies.
 Here are the parents of the eggs in our incubator. They look pretty ugly right now as they are moulting, but they are beautiful birds normally.
 Snow was melting off the roof of the Officer's Dwelling House.
It is always so tranquil at the Park, and the views are incredible. I love that it is a ten minute walk from my front door.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Felt Making Workshop

Today we had a facilitator come up to the Fort to teach us a 6 hour course on how to make felt. We made felt boots/slippers as our project. It was so much fun and I learned lots! 

We had beautiful colours to choose from to embellish our boots.
 My boots are all ready to start the felting process. Most of the time is spent arranging the wool on the boot pattern. Once that part is over, the felting goes fairly quickly.
 Kesten came with me to the workshop. I was a little nervous about how it would go, but he was awesome and was so interested in watching everything. He spent the time between the backpack, the playpen, and my arms, babbling and playing and he even squeezed in a couple of naps. What a guy!
 Kesten visiting with our wonderful facilitator.
 Our group and our finished projects.
 Ta da! They are still drying.
 It's hard to see the colours in this light, but I love them.
What fun! Have you done any felting before?
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