One evening, when Gayle got home from work very early, we told the boys that we would take a picnic to the Hurunui River Mouth if they would get chores done quickly. Of course, they did, and we had a lovely evening there.
We were finally able to move on February 15th. That was quite a busy day, as you can imagine—actually, it was quite a week! We had been waiting for the power to be hooked up so we could move, and on Tuesday that week it was done. The electricians finished rewiring the house on Thursday; we cleaned Friday and moved Saturday! Wednesday was spent finishing the kitchen and painting. Thursday Gayle and the boys moved our firewood while I did things at home. We were very thankful for help cleaning on Friday, and for friends who helped us move on Saturday. We didn’t get very many pictures, because all hands were working so hard with the move, but I’ll share the few we did get!
The cattle had to move that day, too. It is about 7 km from the old house to the new, so we walked them down the road. From left to right are our steers, Curry and Checkers, then Red Heifer and her mother, Mrs. Moo (Nervous Nellie), the cow we’re milking while ours is dry. She goes back to her owners when they move to their farm the first of May.
As we went past our former landlord’s house, one of his dogs joined us! We couldn’t convince him to go home, so he went with us the rest of the way, and then Gayle took him back when they went for another load.
Our new home! This is the back door, the west side.
The littlest fellow still needs naps, although he doesn’t necessarily want them. One evening he fell asleep, and I laid him on the couch. When he started waking up awhile later, he ended up like this! While we were working on the new house, he took naps on a blanket in the corner of the living room.
This is a close-up of the windowsill in the living room. For 16 years, flies and bees had been the only occupants of the room! We scrubbed the white windowsill, then sanded and painted it—now it looks much better! I was amused at the layers of old paint on the outside; can you see all three?
This has been another busy day. We started out butchering roosters and making tomato juice, and while I cut up the roosters the boys worked on their projects. We also picked apples and made applesauce, and the boys helped their daddy cut off the rest of the cornstalks from the garden and bring them home; we’ll husk the corn tomorrow.
Now it is tomorrow; I didn’t get this finished last night. So, I’ll add the pictures and try to get it posted today!
I will be back soon with more posts! We finally moved two and a half weeks ago, and I’m almost done unpacking. We started school last week; today is our sixth day. I’m finally feeling like we’re getting into a routine again. We’re on our third day of rain and cold, so very thankful for that good woodstove in the living room. We also love this coal range (wood cook stove) in the kitchen. We run it for a couple of hours in the morning and have all the hot water we want for the day, plus can cook breakfast on it. This picture shows the boys cleaning out a shelf of honeycomb that the professional chimney sweep missed. They checked into it when the stove smoked badly the first couple of times we used it. It works great now!
I had a large head of red cabbage in the garden, so I cooked it up this evening. We have a favorite way to make it–a recipe handed down from my Dad’s Belgian family.
2 Tb butter
1 c chopped onion
1/4 c sugar
2 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t caraway seeds
1 c vinegar
3/4 c water
1 large (about 3 pound) red cabbage, shredded
Saute onions until golden in hot butter in large saucepan; stir in sugar. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
I don’t exactly follow the recipe; I used stevia instead of sugar, and I don’t bother sauteing the onions. I just omit the butter and throw the onions in raw and let them cook with the cabbage. This is delicious! We enjoy it for a meal, and then I freeze the rest in meal-size bags for winter. If any of my uncles read this, maybe they will remember who hand-wrote the recipe on a page for my mom’s cookbook? Thank you, which ever one did that, for passing on this recipe! Another generation is now enjoying it–my daughter loves it!
I got some other food put up for winter today, also–28 pounds of sourkraut, 16 quarts of green beans, and also made about 4 pounds of butter. Since there was extra space in the canner, I put in four jars of chick peas. I hadn’t soaked them, but they cooked up nice and soft in the 25 minutes I processed the green beans at 10 pounds pressure. We’ll just use them soon, since they didn’t get the 90 minutes processing they need to be shelf-stable. It was a way to take full advantage of the fuel to heat the canner.
Once upon a time, somewhere around 13 years ago, a certain little 2-year-old watched her mommy fix a book. After the book was fixed, her mommy went into another room to do some other job. The little girl saw where the glue bottle was put, and she decided that her mommy’s Bible needed fixing. So, she got the glue bottle, and she very carefully squirted glue between many of the pages of the Bible, until the bottle was nearly empty. After awhile, her mommy realized how quiet the little girl was and came to investigate. She was not happy at what she found! She quickly grabbed a roll of toilet paper and started wiping glue out of the Bible. She was able to get most of the pages wiped clean, but some had already stuck together too much and there were holes in them when she was done. She still uses the Bible today, but she will always remember the day she fixed a book while her little girl was watching.
Now the little girl is a big girl, and has a little brother. The big girl likes to drink tea with milk. She doesn’t always finish her cup of tea, and she leaves it sit till later. Her little brother loves to visit big sister’s room while big sister is not in it, and yesterday, little brother decided big sister’s Bible would look good with tea dumped over it! Big sister got to spend half an hour separating pages of her Bible and trying to dry them. Now, she will always remember the day her little brother found her tea and tried to help her (with what we aren’t sure!).
This is the little girl-turned-big girl, drying the pages of her Bible. And by the way, I did have her pre-read this post before I put it up, and she said it was fine to share.
Warning: If you don’t like pictures of raw meat, stop right here! You have been warned. This post is not for the squeamish. It is for people who like to start from scratch when making their food.
We hatched about 30 chicks in September–or rather, four of our hens did the hard work of keeping the eggs warm and hatching the chicks! Fifteen turned out to be roosters, and only one was wanted for future breeding. The rest were big enough by now to eat, and I didn’t want to move them to the new place, so we butchered them today. As I was cutting them up, I thought this would make a good post–maybe someone else wants to know how to cut up a chicken!
Start with a SHARP knife. Keep a steel close to keep a good edge on it. This is what will make or break your experience. I also like to have a wooden cutting board (anything else will dull your knife faster), and kitchen shears if I am splitting any breasts.
One day last week, we went to the sea for an hour or so. The older four boys rode their boogie boards in the surf, while the little ones played at the edge of the waves, and built a house from sand. The littlest was diligently taking handfuls of sand from the wall his brother built, and patting them down onto another part of the wall!
I spent most of the last two days on the couch or in bed, with a migraine and breast infection. The one good part of that was that I had time to watch the little boys play. As I laid on the couch this evening, I enjoyed watching the youngest playing with some legos. He was totally engrossed in snapping them together. I love the way he sat on his feet!
A bit later, the two little fellows were going to “play bank”, and then it turned into jumping off the stool. I love the way they play together, and the youngest imitates so closely what bigger brother does!