Thursday, June 14, 2012

A day full of experiments!

This was one of those FULLLLLLL days. It started early with laundry. I like getting it started early so it's done early, and then I can feel virtuous.

There was a mouse in one of the kitchen mousetraps that I keep out all the time. He was caught by the upper lip and whiskers on one side of his face. EEEWWWW.

Milk goats, feed goats, feed bucks, feed dogs, put away milk, clean up milk, clean up kitchen. The usual morning drill.

Two of Lonnie's rectangular planters now have portulaca and sweet pea seeds in them. Watered and ready to grow.

The turf grass seed got its obligatory morning rotation of 10 minute per section watering cycles. I only have to move the hose eight or ten times!

Checked on the guys who are taking the dead oak tree down at the Cabin in the Woods. It's huge, and they worked all day. I also tried to get the water system up and running again, but the gaskets on the water filters have GONE MISSING!! Those will have to be replaced.

The fellows who are taking the tree down are also my vehicle mechanics. What can I say, it's the Ozarks! Turns out my Tundra needs a new transmission. Rick showed me the ounce or so of metal shavings that came out of the transmission fluid pan. Curls of metal, metal filings, chunks of gears/fins. Pretty scary.

The security/alarm system repair man showed up to work on the wireless alarm that's in the workshop. We're having trouble with that, plus the two hour electrical outage the other day did bad things to the control box. That's all fixed again.

Today's cheese experiment is jalapeno cheddar. That's an every 45 minute "do something with the cheese" project that started at 6:30 and ended in the afternoon when the curds went into the press. A couple of turns in the afternoon and one before bed, then it will press at 40 pounds overnight.

Burned feed sacks and some branches. That wasn't really successful. The branches are awkwardly stacked, and the fire didn't catch well.

My Sun Oven came yesterday, so I experimented this afternoon by making egg custard using solar energy. Unfortunately, I used an unfamiliar recipe. I'll try again tomorrow, and the dogs can have eggs for breakfast.

Cyndy and I cleaned up one of the carports, putting away tools, throwing away trash, moving stuff to the SELL shed, and just making the area look tidy. It's ok with me if it looks like we live here and have lawnmowers and a charcoal grill, but I don't like the CLUTTER look. There's still a few things to be moved, but it's much better already.

I experimented with charcoal grilling the kielbasa from the Mennonite butcher shop. They were awfully bland when cooked indoors, but this time I seasoned them and grilled them. That improved them tremendously. I've just got to improve my charcoal igniting skills. I'm charcoal challenged.

Had a nice visit at the "Outback", which is going to have a name change. Angela likes to call it Meadowsong. I brought three cheeses: Ch'Rella, Cracked Black Pepper Cheddar, and the coffee and lavender aged cheddar. The first two turned out well. I fear the coffee/lavender is a bit bitter, and I don't know why.

After I got back, I planted Rudbeckia and Zinnias on the west side of the house. I hope those seeds will get enough sun to sprout there.

Then, I mixed up the Agri-gro foliar fertilizer and FINALLY got an experimental plot sprayed in the hay meadow. This is the first time I've used this 15 gallon tank sprayer, and the project went smoothly. The spray tank sits in the utility trailer and is towed behind the lawn tractor. The pump for the sprayer hooks by a long wire to the tractor battery. Very handy system.

Then, normal evening stuff. Milk goats, feed goats, feed bucks, feed dogs, put away milk, wash milk bucket and strainer, etc., etc. I think I'm tired now!