Monday, January 23, 2012

He is a very old cat

We have owned him for just about 15 years, and we got him as an adult.

He has been my husbands good buddy: the cat actually LIKED! to rough house with my husband! They would tussel every night. He was a fierce little cat: the neighborhood dogs were all afraid of him. He was very good at catching mice, but the golphers in the lawn usually eluded hims

Ah, well.

The cat has been on pills of one sort or another for over a year, and now we have switched to comfort measures. The kids are upset: they each have a strong young pet of their very own but they do not remember before the old cat came into their lives.

The pain pills are working for now, though I am giving them in a higher dose than is correct. He is tolerating the dose well, but even if they sedated him I would give them. Nothing will make him live forever, but I can at least ease his pain.

He has been a very good cat.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter is Time for Inside Projects!

I have finished the table. Check.

I need to have the leaky dishwasher looked at and the kitchen floor replaced: The linoleum is cracked and broken. It should have been done a long time ago, but there were so MANY family emergencies that there was no Time to look into it! And, even though I felt badly about the appearance of my house I firmly told myself PEOPLE FIRST!

But now, please God, I hope to put my OWN house in order!!!

Between visits from the workmen, I intend to take a kitchen drawer in to Home Depot and match the stain. I can then scrub the kitchen cupboards and touch up the stain. DH wanted to replace them but we have one kid in college now, another to go into college in a year or two, and we are presently in debt. The debt comes because the car broke, the house broke, the car broke again, and the house broke again.... Life happens! To make things more amusing, both of our car windshields are badly cracked and I must get that taken care of again. I wonder if the insurance will help?????

I should call them.

First, though, I have a birthday this weekend that I will tend to! I will take the day off, actually! I am going to have DH cook ribs on the grill and open a can of baked beans. I am going to research a particularly fine nursery catalogue that I got in the mail yesterday: a couple of things interest me and so I will check the varieties out on-line. Since the power company is taking my apple trees I need to buy a couple more. Since the kids are almost grown I think that I will choose a dwarf tree or two that has 4 varieties grafted into it. It might yield less than my 9 individual trees, but the kids might be gone in a year or so, and then I will not need as many apples.

After 2 decades of trying to grow-more-more-more, for kids and for selling at the farmers market, I am now streamlining things down to the essentials for the two of us. The kids will elave and I no longer have the energy to sell at the Farmer's Market. This acre, which had looked rather SMALL for the last couple of years, is now looking much, MUCH larger!

I still want a milk cow, though, and I cannot have one. We are not zoned for cattle. Rats!

To compensate, perhaps I should bring a bee hive from the 5 acres we own outside of town: THAT I am allowed! I also considered a pen of pigeons- so bright and lovely- but I would not want to eat them, and so I would get no benefit from them. Instead, I just admire the pigeons while I am in town!

Well, it is time to put on my Mother hat: I need to shop for food, check the Emails, and do the sort of things that every parent does!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I got my first egg of the year!

When I went to shut the chickens in tonight, I noticed that my most reliable layer had more pink in her comb and wattles! I checked where the chickens sleep, and sure enough there was a nice brown egg in it! YES!

She is 3 years old and still laying well: I WOULD hatch out some eggs from her but my rooster is shooting blanks. He is sterile, pure and simple.

Eggs have a small disk on them that is slightly larger in fertile eggs, and none of my eggs show that. Just to be certain I let the banty set on some: she did a good job of it but after 25 days I knew it was hopeless so I removed the eggs. Ruby is one of the 2 best hens that I have ever owned, and I would LOVE to have her daughters in my laying flock! But the rooster is sterile.

This spring I will post a "free rooster" ad at the feed store: I have gotten rid of unwanted birds like that before. If I HAVE to I can kill a bird, but this rooster is not sick or mean and there is nothing wrong with him. He is simply useless.

More to the point, it only takes a few hens to keep my family in eggs, and if I tried to add another rooster the boys would fight all day. And, an angry rooster is sometimes mean to the hens. I simply have to get rid of
 this rooster before I get in a fertile one!

MinWax Polyshades works if you ignore the instructions!

The can  CLAIMS that it this polyurethane designed to be used right over the old finish, but this was a bust.

Every defect in the old finish resulted in the MinWax beading up to avoid the defect, and because the MinWax Polyshade was colored, this was BEYOND noticeable! It looked great going on, but after 10 minutes or so it gave the table a polka-dotted, rippled effect!

So, I stripped off the Minwax and the old finish, which took perhaps a half-dozen times with the stripper. I went from treating the entire table to treating spots of residual varnish, but it did take a good half-dozen treatments. I then stained it, and then I put on the thinnest layer of MinWax Polyshades that I could, and this time it worked.

The second coat is due around noon. The color settles out as the can sits, and this time I will use the clear upper part and not make the second coat something that is barely there. I want enough polyurethane on this table to last a few years!!!!!!! So the next coat will be a LITTLE heavier, and if I use the clear part any beading up will not be so noticeable. Though, since I was VERY carefull on applying the first coat there should be no defects in the base coat to cause beading.... I think!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I am beat, but the table looks GLORIOUS!

 I stained the table today, and it looks wonderful! I can see light areas where wear and tear damaged it, but they are faint and the wood is rich and lovely!

Tomorrow, after letting the stain dry for 8 hours, I will try again to put on the polyurethane coating. I will post more tomorrow!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I spent the week stripping the table.

I stripped it and I stripped it and I stripped it, but the stuff was caught in the grain and it would not come out.

I used the wash that they sell to remove any stripping residue: Nope. The sandpaper wasn't useful either!

The kitchen scrubbie DID help, but it means that I must go over every inch with a scrubbie. The one that works is a sponge with one rough side. I scrub, wipe, rinse the scrubbie. Then I go on the the next small area.

Know what? I WILL be stiff tomorrow!!!!!!

On the GOOD side, the kids and I got the brush in the back yard burned! Some limbs came down last summer during a storm, and there was a burn ban on. The limbs got cut up for firewood but that left a LOT! of twigs!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Greenhouse in Winter

Much to my surprise, the turnips are starting to make roots: I got 3 the size of quarters to sliver into the New Years Day Salad. And, while the leaves USED to be too harsh  to use, there have been a few frosts inside the greenhouse and the greens are now mild and very good.

I also got some 2 inch long lettuce leaves, pulled 5 radishes, and picked a few chives. When added to the store bought lettuce the salad is large indeed!

I am REALLY surprised that the turnips are starting to bulb up: Elliot Coleman writes that his turnips quit bulbing up when the day length falls to less than 8 hours. We got just a couple of small bulbs for Thanksgiving and then the turnips quit growing: that coincides with the daylength falling to less than 8 hours as Mr. Coleman said but we are STILL getting less than 8 hours of light! It is only January first!

By the way: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!