Monday, November 24, 2008

Too Busy To Blog

Two weeks ago we bought a small used wood stove at a real low price and with the help of my son Eric, installed it on our back porch. It helps heat the house and provides a warm place for our 3 outside cats who will be wintering on the porch.

All that first week we gathered all of the wood we had accumulated from trimming and removing trees here on the farm and any scrap wood we had from projects. Stacking it and splitting it as needed (the old fashioned way). I never realised how much wood one of these things eats. Our meager supply of seasoned wood was just about gone in 1 week.
Monday while going over to my brother John's to help him butcher a deer (and bring home some fresh venison) my van broke down. Luckily I was only about 1 mile from town and limped it in to where my son-in-law Eric works. He said the alternator was shot. I got a ride home from my buddy Dan, just in time to unload a huge pile of branches off my pick-up and get ready to got to my first day of physical therapy for my shoulder, to keep it in shape for future surgery and help aleive some of the pain.
After PT (Painful Torture) I went home and called some junk yards looking for an alternator. Luckily I found one close by and had just enough time to get there before they closed. I got the alternator and figured that since I was close by, I would stop over to Johns and pick up some seasoned wood he had laying around. We loaded up the truck with the help of his grandson Nick and I even got some venison (since I haven't been able to hunt he has provided me with venison). On my way home the truck started acting up, I dropped the alternator off at my van and limped on home.
Tuesday morning Dan picked me up for our chiropractor appointment and them took me back to get my van which Eric had fixed during his lunch hour. It worked fine and I went home and we unloaded the truck and stacked wood.
Wednesday and Friday I had more PT. Saturday it was shopping and getting hay for the rabbits. Today I spent the whole day sawing wood into proper lengths and spitting it.
In my FREE time, besides taking care of the livestock and feeding the fire, I was kept busy with other chores, such as:

Letting these guys in and out every half hour.

Petting poor Harley who is not ready for winter and is suffering from "cabin fever".

Find ways to entertain these two of the three brothers.
And cuss at my slow computer and ISP.
Today my wife made her first attempt at baking bread. She used the recipe on our daughter's site
As you can see it turned out pretty good and tasted GREAT. It was even better than what my mother used to make. (SORRY MOM) But of course mom never used bread flour, just all purpose flour. Thanks for the recipe Ang. We will be making lots of this from now on.


Anonymous said...

You guys shouldn't have given us all that wood when you need it!! Have you guys been able to go without turning the heat on?

Tell mom to give the loaves more rise time for both rises and the bread will be even larger and less dense, which makes it a great sandwich bread. This is our all-purpose bread now, I no longer buy any.

warren said...

Great looking bread! It's hard to beat and may, in fact, be the only cure for cabin fever!

frugalmom said...

Pretty bread. I bet it taste fantastic. This is our first year with a wood burning fireplace and I have been really surprised at just how much wood I can go thru! Of course, I like it kinda warm in here. Nothing like Ang, who lives in a house like the tundra!

Country Girl said...

Woodstoves do eat LOTS of wood. I feel like I'm always tending the fire. Love your other name for PT.
I'm jealous of your labs, I want one!

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Wow, you have been busy! And despite it all, you *still* found time to get some exercise! lol. You poor thing, all that limping around you had to do!
Ok, for a first time breadmaker, your wife did an incredible job. Kudos of course to the recipe originator (Agnes), but -wow- if my first ever bread loaves had turned out like that, I'd have been dancing around the kitchen. Wait, maybe she is. Is your wife dancing around the kitchen right now? They are beautiful! I need to go check out Angie's recipe, that much is certain! :-)

GreyWolf said...

Agnes: Ha, you guys hardly took anything. The woodstove does a pretty good job of heating the house. We do keep an electric heater running in the living room though.
The bread wasn't dense at all. And we started with the smaller of the 2 loaves. It was light and flavorful.

Warren: I agree with you. There is nothing like fresh baked bread.
It's hard to be blue when you have a thick hot slice dripping with butter raised up to your mouth.

Maude: Ha Ha, you really have to visit her house in the middle of winter to appreciate it. But they are used to it. You should hear them complain when they visit our "sweat-box" in the cold weather.

Kim: I am thinking of naming our woodstove after our grandson's always looking for "lunch" too!
And Harley isn't a Lab...He's a MOOSE that thinks it's a dog. He only had 3 brain cells and lost 2 of them during the neutering process. Oh, I jest, he only had the 2 to start with!!! No, he actually is a pretty good dog, just not the sharpest tack in the box.

Dorothy: Well she wasn't quite dancing around the kitchen but she was VERY pleased with herself, "dancing on the ceiling" (Lionel Richie song)would be more like it. And she about fainted when I told her it was better than my Mother's!!!
Definitly do try it, but make sure you talk to Agnes first. She needs to add the amount of salt to the recipe she posted.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Mmmm! That bread is just beautiful. And I'm sure it tasted good, too.
I'm sitting here munching some potato bread that I made in my breadmaker today actually. I'm still on a b.r.a.t diet (bland) so no butter or goodies on top, but it's a very rich delicious flavorful bread without it.

We've been lucky so far with our heat. Last year our temps were in the below zero mark for a while and in the teens most of the winter, at night. Brrr. We spent about $1,600 for propane. gah!

Of course, my family was crazy and spoiled running around in t-shirts, shorts and cranking the heat up to 75F!

This year we've got some sense. lol!
We've had temps in the 60's during the day, so far, and down to the upper 20's and low 30's at night. We haven't even turned on our furnace yet, and we've only used our gas fireplace for a few cozy evenings watching TV.

We got smart and bought a couple electric heaters for the bedrooms to take the chill out of the rooms before we go to sleep, too.
And I have an electric blanket as back-up. lol!

I think we've also been so lucky because our house has passive solar and our days have been beautiful and sunny, which heats up our house using all our windows all day long.
So far so good.

Stay warm, my friend,
New Mexico