Month: April 2019

This Weekend’s Progress

To be perfectly honest, this post should probably be called “Saturday’s Progress” but it’s not our fault. We had a nice and moderately productive Saturday with temperatures reaching a whopping 55 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a very unproductive, rainy and SNOWY Sunday in. You read that right– snow in April. Maybe that isn’t all-too bizarre but it feels wrong. As per usual, Jeff seems to be working through the “good” weekends and home for the “bad” ones in terms of weather. This was one of his better weekends since the weather has been improving. Even so, it was a great weekend. We made some progress on the goat shed, had a date night out by ourselves, and spent the next day in with the kids.

What did our progress look like on Saturday? Well, I had been helping Jeff a little bit when it dawned on me that I should be taking pictures for the blog (duh!) but here is what we had going on that day (hands Jeff the mic):

 

There are a few components going into this project. First, for approximately $40 I picked up what was supposed to be a used 10×10 carport frame with no roof. As it turns out, it’s only an 8×10, which is fine because that is about the dimensions I need for the goat shed. They don’t need a whole lot of room, just enough to keep them protected on the three sides outside of their enclosure.

I decided to give them an 8×5 area for bedding and separate 8×5 off of the back for feed storage. The frame was damaged, so what you see in the pictures is only half of it. The rest will need straightened and welded before I piece it back together. Meanwhile, I picked up the plywood you see from work when they decided they couldn’t use it anymore, on the cheap. I even got some free help from our son Sampson when it came time to put it up.

In addition, I was able to pick up some free siding off of an old barn which will not only become siding but also the roof for the goat shed. All total including hardware, I will have spent less than $100 on this project. It should last 15-20 years when it’s complete.

You may have noticed a gap at the bottom of the back wall. This won’t be an issue once I add the other half, but I really should have notched the bottom of the plywood to eliminate it. Didn’t really notice until we were done with the walls. On the other hand, it won’t be in contact with the ground and acting as a wick for moisture.

We will post more pictures as we get further along so you can see the end result. After the shed is finished, we will put up temporary fencing (we plan to expand the enclosure later on) and finally get the goats moved home.

My New Kitchen Multi-Tool

This post is dedicated to my new kitchen multi-tool– that’s what I’m calling it anyway. It’s actually called an immersion blender, or sometimes referred to as a stick blender, and it sure is handy. We’ve had piles of eggs sitting around and I’ve been telling myself I really need to make some mayo, especially since we buy it almost weekly, but it always seemed like such a daunting task. I’ve made it before, with some failures and successes, but even with my trusty hand mixer, it took forever to make one darn jar of mayonnaise. So the idea of going through that again totally turned me off.

Last Friday night I finally decided to give it a whirl and– no bueno. I made a mess, it took forever, and the mayonnaise was “edible” but mediocre. So, after Jeff came home from work and got to hear me whine about my first-world problems, I mentioned an immersion blender and (supposedly as a majorly early birthday present) he got me one on Sunday afternoon. Yes, these are the things that adults get excited about.

Here she is in all of her beautiful glory:

And no, the photo is not staged. Why would I move a mess off of the counter at 10 o’clock at night just to put those items there and take a picture? Pshhh… ridiculous.

Anyway, you know I had to use this new kitchen gadget as soon as possible, so today became mayo-making day. What previously took me 15-20 minutes (which is a long time to slow-drip/drizzle oil and hold a hand mixer!) now takes less than 5 minutes. It is so easy and quick. The only damper (with this and any food preparation, for that matter) is cleaning up the mess after.

Not only did I use the immersion blender to make mayo, but I also used the whisk attachment to add spices to it and the food processor attachment to dice onion, celery, and carrots for my giant egg-salad dinner (and breakfast, and lunch, and dinner again…) Long story short, I recommend you hop on down to the store and get yourself one of these this Easter week/weekend.

Already have an immersion blender? Tell us what you use yours for in the comments below.

It’s That Time of Year!

Spring flowers are starting to pop up, trees will soon begin to bloom, and people are talking about gardens. This is our first Spring in our new home and we are so excited about the possibilities. We both have a lot to learn and practice, so this year may be a time of trial and error, but everyone starts somewhere!

“…some of us are learning more about plant-life than others…”

We decided we will let each of our older two boys have their “own” gardens to take care of. Our oldest son has proudly proclaimed he will be growing carrots and tomatoes, and he said he wanted daddy to plant an apple tree, climb a ladder and “put the apples on.” As you may have noticed, some of us are learning more about plant-life than others (haha).  Our second son wants to grow strawberries and starflowers (borage), among several other things. With the kid’s ideas and our wants and needs in mind, Jeff and I are going to be looking into companion planting, as well as considering which plants may be combative, to decide how we want to do things this year.

On our short list of things we want to grow would be cabbage, onion, garlic, peppers, basil, and sweet potatoes. As previously stated, this is our short list, but a good start. We are heavily dependent right now on our local grocery store. It’s great business for them, but bad for us. I would hope that someday we could reduce our reliance on them by about 90%, which would also help us cut down on plastic waste (another issue we hope to resolve).

We are still determining how to best use the space available to us. Jeff is going to print or draw out a birds-eye view of the property to help us with that, too. We will, of course, update the blog as we go and let everyone know how our plans are going (bad or good).

As always, thanks for stopping by, we hope you will come back to see our progress!