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Odd morning finds

I knew this morning was going to be slightly different; starting with the fact I didn’t have to be at work to open.  This meant I could sleep in, which for my old man-ness apparently means 6:15am. This is okay for this time of year because that is when then sun is doing the first job of her morning which is to wake up the chickens and ducks.  This of course leads to my first job of the day, letting the fowl out of their coops before they start making enough noise to wake the dead.

After coming back in to complete the other morning rituals (shower, shave and food), I had plenty of time to…..to….well that’s where I run into trouble. I still have to go to work, so I don’t want to start any big projects.  I decide on a nice walk out to check on the pool.  Only I open the door to find that the ducks have left the pond and decided to take the 100 yard trek up a hill to snoop around the front porch. 

  
This picture of course is after I regained my bearings, grabbed my phone from my pocket and snapped a picture while they high tailed it out of the area.  I calmy herded the ducks back to the pond, while asking them why they were up at the house.  They quackered back and forth, about this and that, but never answered my question.

As I came back up to the house I spied another oddity for this morning.  This one was near our shed.  When I say near I mean on top of. 

  
Funny I don’t recall leaving that tree on the roof of the shed.  I also don’t recall any storm or wind last night, and really don’t recall hearing the sound of a tree braking off and landing on the shed. Perhaps the wife ordered for me as a present. I’ll go ask her.  Be right back. Hey honey…..

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the unique cabin #1

After the company cookout we had at the homestead, I have decided to start another continuing series of blog posts.  Several of the guests commented on the unique items we have gathered over the years.  This made me think more about an idea I’ve had for a while now,  that being what makes our home unique in the world.  In other words, what is it about the items found in our home, that while many others live in log cabins, makes ours one of a kind.

So let’s start this day in one of the most used areas of our cabin, the kitchen.  Now our kitchen is like most, a fridge, an oven, a sink, and like many other log cabins has a cast iron skillet hanging on the wall.

  
But how many other log homes around also contain a Hello Kitty rice steamer?

  

And a samurai bento. 

  
I would bet that those put our cabin in a very unique class. 

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How to make a chickens day

Over the weekend, we had a company cookout at our homestead.  We had collected duck eggs for several days and hoped that folks would each take a few to try. Unfortunately getting people to take more than one or two eggs was very difficult, and even when they did take a few they were highly skeptical. Thus we were left with a plethora of duck eggs on this fine Tuesday morning.

I decided to make the chickens day and made them a 33 egg duck omelette.

  
Now just opening that many duck eggs can be a little bit of a chore.  For those not experienced with duck eggs, they have a slightly harder shell than chicken eggs and an inner membrane that can be as thick as a ziplock bag.

  
Scramble and garnish. I mean we’re not uncivilized out her in the country.

  
Then serve to your adoring crowd.

  
That’s the great thing about chickens, they will eat just about anything. The fact is our chicken feed bill is very low due to the fact that we feed ours all of our kitchen scraps.  If it’s good enough for us it’s good enough for them. Eat and enjoy my girls.

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a morning of reflections

As I sit here on a Saturday morning, with my yearly recognition of another trip around the sun looming in two days, I have been thinking about another  anniversary that recently happened.  It has been one year and one month today since we closed on our property and made the move away from city life.  We have tried to recall what brought about the decision to move out to the country, but have never been able to put an exact pinpoint on the moment in occurred.

A couple years ago we joined a farm co-op, which for a yearly fee allowed us to place a weekly order with a group of local farms.  It was like having a farmers market that took place on a website every week.  We would go online and see what was available over the weekend and then on Thursday would pick up our order at a local church.  One of the items we enjoyed the most was what the various farms would label “Best of the Farm.”  This was a box that would be filled with whatever was in season and available at the time.  When it was time for tomatoes thats what you got, or squash, or zucchini, or peaches, or onions, or lettuce.  At that point we never knew what to expect and every week was a surprise for the unknowing city folk we were.   It was our first experience with eating seasonally, and left us feeling more of a connection with our food.  We wanted to expand that connection and our tiny, two bed, raised garden was just not going to ever be able to produce crops that were any more than a novelty.  We had meet while working at a greenhouse and nursery, and both enjoyed putzing around in the yard.  So began the quest for a new home with a larger piece of land.

  
At that point I was 40 and my wife a few years behind, if we wanted to try a different life we needed to do it right then while we were able.  We weren’t delusional with thoughts of an easy, quiet life out on the plantation. We knew it may be hard and we may not like it at all once we actually got out there.   We told each other that if it didn’t work out we could always move again in a few years.

I will admit I had very little (ahmmm, no) role in the search, and it took a long time for a property to pop up that fit what we were looking for.  We knew we wanted about ten acres and a dwelling that was “livable.” We thought we would be okay with an old farm house that needed a new person to love it, but those places just weren’t popping up.  Then one day what sounded like the right size land in the right area showed up.  There was only one issue, it wasn’t the quaint farmhouse we thought we wanted. It was a log cabin. Not one of the nice, new pre-fabricated, manufactured cabins either.  A true, cut down the trees on the property and make a house log cabin.   We decided to make the trip out to see the property primarily because the description said that there was a pond, one of the items we had said we would love to have.  Trust me it was not because of the online photographs of the place, they did not do it justice at all.

  
The moment we stepped out of the car at the property we were in love.  Not with the cabin, but with the land. We thought the land was perfect for us, it was only after we bought the place that we thought about the battle with clay soil.   The cabin had not been lived in for a couple years, and you could tell.  That was probably what kept it on the market for so long and made the owner drop the price into the range that popped up on our search.  The cabin  was empty and it was very hard to imagine living in it.  Looking at it now, full of our stuff, I really think they should have put at least a minimal amount of furniture in it so potential buyers could picture themselves living it. Oh well, their lose was our gain.

We made an offer a few days later, before we had even listed our current house.  Our offer was contingent on us selling our house, which turned out to be so little of problem it is almost laughable.  Because of all my wife had done to the house over that last year in getting the house ready to sell, our little starter home was on the market and had multiple offers within 72 hours.

  
We were moving to the country.  Wait what’s that you say?  We have “well” water, and there is no trash service. No problem.  Let me just jump on the internet and look for…..what’s that?  No internet service provider except satellite?

Looking back I still can’t recall why we did it, but I know even with all the hard learning experiences we’ve had so far, we are enjoying it.  Know if someone could just find were these bats are getting into the cabin that would be great.