nine days of bekee

normally, this only happens once a year—on my birthday. but this year, our work vacation for the fourth of july grants us three days off next week, so i took advantage and won’t be at work at all next week.
we wanted to finish up the coop; it needs to be water sealed, flashing needs to be cut, and the roof needs to be fastened. but it’s supposed to be 140° all week. we *might* get some rain over the weekend, but it’s doubtful.
the chickens survived the heat wave yesterday, but we still have a summer to get through. apparently, non-layers have an easier time in the heat, so that’s comforting this year. but next year…
their coop was 100° last night.
maybe this is a good week to get the soft goods room set up so i can stop talking about trying to do it.

new recipe

i just typed this out for a friend and thought i’d stick it here in case my three readers would benefit:
i have the uncanny ability of making 4-5 servings of any meal without really measuring… so i’ll try to get the amounts right.
yummy pesto orzo salad
ingredients:
4 servings (check package) orzo cooked in lightly salted boiling water for 7ish minutes
1 baseball-sized chunk of fresh mozz (or you could get the little balls but i think they cost more per oz.)
1 $4 package of a chunk of feta (the already-crumbled feta falls apart too easily)
1 pkg grape or cherry tomatoes (at woodman’s, the grapes are cheaper for some reason)
1 red pepper
some frozen peas (for color–not required)
one little jar of pesto
i add onion and garlic to everything–green or yellow onion works best here
salt and pepper to taste
method:
dice up the onion(s) and garlic, sautee in olive oil until translucent
halve the tomatoes
dice the pepper
slice up the mozz and feta into bite sized pieces
put all of that into a big bowl (or two, you’ll be stirring in the pasta and pesto, so sometimes two is easier)
once the pasta is done, drain it and rinse with cold water (to cease the cooking, and not melt the cheeses)
pour the orzo in and get everything mixed up, then start adding the salt, pepper, and pesto to your liking. if it’s not slippery enough, add some olive oil (or more pesto!)
i refrigerate this and bring it to work, by lunch time it’s room temp and yummy.

happy summer!

it seems weird that it’s just now summer, since we had a hot spell in march and a cold spell in april. this summer has been coming along very nicely. the chickens are happy and clucking (save for the last two days when it’s been a heat index above 95). mom and i split a bi-weekly csa box this year from soldier’s grove and the first box yielded salads and potato-broccoli soup, and radishes and the best sugar and snap peas i’ve ever eaten!
we intend on putting in two more raised bed gardens and a flattened patio area in the middle of the back yard, but i have no experience in landscaping and pounding sand to make a flat surface, so that’ll be another thing to learn.
the foster cat is content and everyone is getting along swimmingly.
i have another week of work before i have nine days off.
i don’t have any new chicken pics to show you; i’ll try to get some this weekend.

pipe dreams

all of the changes that have happened in the last year or so have gotten me wishing i could set up a stand in my front yard selling kombucha, eggs, mealworms (they work for fishing, too!) and knitted goods.
we could start a little llc, eventually peddling (literally—we’d transport everything by bike) our wares at the farmer’s market.
then, reality sets in. it’s not sustainable year-round, so i’d have to keep some sort of job. we’d not be insured if i wasn’t working full time and cobra costs a lot. i still have enough bills and debt that require me to stay where i am for a little while longer.
maybe some day.

been busy

i haven’t had time to pen the entry i’ve wanted to since monday, but i think i found a few moments today to do so.
after getting home from work, throwing some mealworms at the chickens, walking the dogs (who produced some questionable outputs), feeding the two cats, two dogs, and two birds, i decided that this might be just the amount of animals i can handle at one time.
that’s a lot of mouths to have responsibility for. don’t you think?
in other news, those mealworms i talked about down there? they’re friggin expensive. so we’re going to start raising our own. it will cost how ever much my friend wants for his old 10 gallon aquarium, the wheat bran they need for their living requirements, and however a buncha mealworms cost.
they get all creepy crawly tho. i’m not sure how i’ll feel about moving them from the aquarium to the chicken run.
i guess we’ll see!

another weekend passed us by

we didn’t get as much done this weekend as i had wanted; the heat was oppressive. we spent friday afternoon getting more chicken related stuff, as well as dog food and people food. we came to learn that chickens love mealworms and the ladies will take them from our hands! perfect for coaxing them back into the run if/when we let them out into the yard. they also seemed to like the scratch that we got… now we need another container for that.
we didn’t secure the roof or put the flashing on the coop yet, but i did have a plumber-friend come over to see the mess that is the crappy plumbing job someone’s cousin did in the kitchen before we bought the place.
i would have liked to sleep in this morning. i could hear the rain hitting the window a/c and it sure would have been nice to doze to that.
i’ve been reading a lot of vegan cookbooks lately, and it basically means i need to get another spice rack.
oh, i also intend on installing a nipple watering system for the chickens. the stupid fount is annoying, it gets dirty, and it won’t fill the pan like it’s supposed to. the nipple watering system will be good for above-freezing temps.

lazy weekend, hopefully

during my mid-sleep trip to the bathroom, i remarked that i could feel more of my foot than i’ve been able to in the last few months. and my butt muscle is hurting again, so it seems like it’s reverting back to normal? we’ll see.
we don’t have a whole lot to do this weekend… i want to finish up the coop roof (it needs the flashing put on), and maybe install some brackets on our new bracketless shelf so i can put more than 10 cookbooks on it. no where on the packaging did it give the weight limit; we had to open it and read the instructions. it’s probably why there was one on the shelf that was returned.
we’re going to my cousin’s high school graduation on saturday. i hemmed and hawed over what to get her; and i’ve decided on a gift cert/card to half-priced books. and if she hates it, she can sell it to her mom.

housey stuff

much to my sweety’s chagrin, we spent a lot of saturday … cleaning. we started with a short and sweet breakfast across the street. matt commenced with clearing out the day spa to make room for chicken stuff; i think it might soon become the “chicken spa” while i cleaned out the closet of random nails, tools, and lots of dog hair. i also cleared out a shelf in the basement to make room for our new power tools. i think, once project basement-cleanup and project soft-goods-room get accomplished, we will have room for a workbench and project hard-goods*.
after i felt comfortable with the status of our various tool assortments (we have six measuring tapes), i started in on installing a bracketless shelf (i hate lathe and plaster). i needed matt’s help because i got frustrated.
shelf.jpg
then, i managed to put together some more calzones. i think i need to use less flour when i roll out the dough. mine don’t look that pretty.
sunday was matt’s 28th. he had to work, but made a good time of it.
matt28.jpg
i took the day off yesterday, cuz i knew we’d want to sleep in… we had breakfast at the cupcakery and went to the avengers. after killing some time at mickey’s, we had dinner at takara.
my next vacation is the first week of july. i’m already looking forward to it.
* project hard-goods: we’d like to cast metal rings at some point down the road… and the basement seems a good place to weld and bang.