Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day 1 of holidays!

 Mom and I decided to close for 6 weeks this winter because otherwise we never get a break!  There are nearly 30 people coming for Christmas this year and so we have 11 days to prepare.  This first day off I am enjoying as a true day off, wearing my pyjamas all day, making soup, and doing some minor housecleaning.  Punctuated by treks into the blistering cold to collect eggs before they freeze.  Seriously, it's somewhere around minus-a-billion Celcius out there!  Those ladies are sure impressive, still laying at over 80% in these frigid temps and short days. 

Finally a photo of all three kitties where you can sort of see the scale.  The babies are 1 kg each (versus Samson's 5 kg), Ruby has the white on her face and is adorable and she knows it!  She's like one of those devious little girls who bat their eyelashes just to get out of trouble.  She chases Samson's tail and then complains loudly when he goes after her for it.  Darlene is a classic Tabby (named Darlene because she looks like Roseanne, who we lost in the fire and had named after the TV Mom), who is also known as "Adventure kitten" because she's the first to try anything new and get into something.  She and Samson love to play together, though he is still learning how to scale his excitement to match something 1/5 his size!  A sharp "miaow!!" and claw to the face usually does the trick.  We are blown away at how great he has adjusted to the babies.  We were hoping they would be company for him and it has worked out great so far!

 Dad thought something was wrong with these kabocha squash we grew this year, because we usually grow orange and green ones and this year we grew orange and blue ones.  They are not rotten, they are supposed to be that colour, and kabocha squash makes THE BEST soup.  Not to mention, look at the pop between those two colors!  Gorgeous.  We eat with our eyes first!  I love kabocha squash because it's thick and meaty and sweet and flavourful.  Here's a recipe for a great soup using this type of squash.  I can't say I'm being a saleswoman here, because we sold the last 2 last night!
And, I braved the minus-a-billion temperature outside to go a little out of my way and get a photo of the shed from a different angle.  There are 8 windows on the South side.  Eventually that space will be a veggie prep/storage/growing area.  For now, it's too cold to pour concrete and so it is just a shelter from the winter for the tractor.  We are also planning to park our cars in there this winter as it's just a short trek to the house and will save us cleaning them off.  On the far left you can see the hoops from the caterpillar tunnel.  Just right of the shed you can see the house in the background.  On the far right you see the crappy building that should have burned down!  Still have to take care of that next year.

There's a new billboard at the 18th Street bridge that catches my eye every time I cross the bridge.  It's a MB Hydro one and reads "Fire Safety Tip: Replace damaged extension cords".  Certainly learned that lesson this year, as well as one about hoarding.  We have gone to the dump over 8 times this fall with full loads of stuff from the house.  Ranging from unmarked agricultural chemicals, a truckload of coal, slimy magazines from the water damaged basement, to a dated set of encyclopedias.  At times it feels like every single scrap that came onto this property never left and very discouraging.  I think we can do better than that, so we have been working hard at getting it all cleaned up and "leaning" up our property.  Thank goodness we hadn't really started cleaning up the outbuildings yet, as it takes an immense amount of work sorting through everything, carrying it up or down stairs, and disposing of it.  Everything I touch now, I think, "have I used this lately?  By the time I want to use it, will I remember it's here?  Does having this add anything to my life?"  More times than not, I chuck it.  (By chuck it, I mean recycle, burn, donate, or otherwise properly dispose of it). What's the sense of having everything you've ever owned and no room to live?

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