Saturday, November 28, 2009

Busy week

Yesterday and a few days before we drove over to a friends place and helped them work on a pole barn they had started and wanted to get done before snowfall. We left our place early to get there about eight o'clock each day that we went.

The first couple days we fixed trusses and put a few of them up on the walls. The building was one that was taken down a few years ago so a lot of the trusses needed repair.

When the trusses were up we nailed on the cross pieces that you see in the picture above every two feet for the tin roofing to be screwed to.

The pink insulation we stapled down before the tin so that water in the air wouldn't condense on the tin and drip after it was finished.

We had all the roof tin all screwed down before we stopped for lunch. Then after lunch we put up almost half of the wall tin.

This is where we stopped for the night. We ate a good supper and then got home around 10:30 pm.

This morning Dad, David, Andrew and I went out on the lake skating. The ice is somewhere around three inches thick in most places. We went out to the peninsula where the beaver lodge is and back a few times (about a quarter mile) and only heard an occasional crunch in the ice so it must be thick enough.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Noodle making

After lunch I offered to help Mom make noodles since we were running low on our supply of them in the cabinet. I was in the shop when she called me in to tell me the batter was done being chilled and I could do them when I was done. David had asked me to help him make some miniature wooden cargo ships according to some directions we have in a book to try selling at a home business sale going to be held at the homeschool convention next year. We had just finished the step we were on so I went inside to roll and cut the noodles.
These are some of them. A little while after I had the first batch done Mom made a second batch for me to do since we had everything set up.
The noodle maker has seven different thickness settings so I started with 7 then went to 5 then 2, and that was thin enough. You can make spaghetti noodles with this machine but we were doing regular egg noodles. In the picture above the dough being rolled for the last time.

It makes it easier to put the thin noodles on the drying racks if you hold a butter knife against the noodles as they come out and lift up to make them drape over the knife then transfer them to the rack. It takes a little while to do a whole bunch of noodles but when we have a lot done we put them in the freezer to have in soups and casseroles later . So far as I can tell these noodles are much better tasting than store bought egg noodles!

We just got done with supper--fresh pork, fresh potatoes, beans from this year and homemade applesauce. Can't get much better than that! Makes me feel like going to bed.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hay feeder

This afternoon I put together another hay feeder for the animals. I just had one feeder for the main area and had to fill it up at least two, sometimes three times a day. Sometimes I can tell if the weather is going to change (for the worse) by how much the animals eat the day before. The air pressure must let them know a head of time when they will need more food.

The feeder is simply two pallets put together with sections of old floor boards with legs nailed on to those. When the cow knocks it over and it all falls apart you just put some additional nails in along with the old ones and it is like new again!

Now I will fill up three feeders each morning.

These were a few of this year's kids that we will soon butcher.

Pounce....... him!
That's what happens to mice around here. But we have been giving the cats cat food so they aren't hungry enough to want to eat the mice they catch right away so they play with the mice until they don't move any more and then eat it or else a different cat takes it away and eats it.

This morning the sun hadn't risen above the tree tops until around 8:15. So I do chores in the dark, morning and evening.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


It is another nice day outside today! On Sunday, a friend of ours and his family came up from the Minot AFB to visit and have supper. We hauled three heaping pickup loads of wood with his help from near the old cabin also. They left after supper around 9:30 pm.

The lake is almost completely frozen over now with thin layer of ice. We haven't chopped a hole to see how deep it is yet but when it is a few inches thick we will try skating on it. If it freezes before it snows we have a 60 acre skating rink! That is a lot of fun. We usually break off curved sticks for hockey sticks and cut a slice of hardwood for a puck and have fun playing hockey (with our own set of rules).

Jonathan is playing banjo now so I'll go join him,


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quick post

Today we hauled 4 loads of composted sheep manure from a neighbor north of us. He used his tractor bucket to fill up the trailer and truck and then we unloaded it by hand and spread it over the garden. With such a long fall we have been able to do a lot more garden clean up and preparation for next year that we hadn't been able to get done other years because of snow in the end of October or beginning of November. I got back not too long ago from picking up tables and vacuuming at metigoshe ministries. They had a quilting retreat and needed me to help clean up for church tomorrow morning.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yesterday and today were somewhere close to 50 degrees so we have been outside mostly. Today it has clouded over some and I think it is supposed to get colder soon. Yesterday I helped Andrew and David finish the dry kidney beans that were in the shop so today Andrew was busy cleaning up and organizing in there.

That is Henry on Andrew's back.

When I'm down at the barn Samson will jump up on the hay bale to get attention.

He loves it when you kick the ball for him to chase. He will pounce on it and then pick it up and bring it back to you to kick again. Any of the balls we want to keep nice we have to keep out of his reach or he'll ruin them within a couple of minutes.

Monday, November 09, 2009


We got the barn all painted yesterday. At least we used up the paint in the one 5 gallon bucket we started with and thought we had a whole bucket left but it ends up that the other bucket of the same company paint was oil-based and a totally different shade of red. We had all the sides that you can see on the barn painted and had 3/4 of the back side done when we ran out. We will leave it like that for now until we get some more paint.

Today we did homeschool like usual and after lunch I went to metigoshe ministries to vacuum. When I got back Jonathan was doing a final till in the garden so I went down and put a homemade latch on one of the barn doors. I came up with the design. It is just a piece of re-bar cut about four feet long, bent at a 90 degree angle five inches from the end (for a handle). The handle goes through a upside down "J" slot in the door and the top fits into a hole that goes through the top of the door into the barn wall. When the door is unlocked the handle rests in the bottom of the slot and the tip of the re-bar is flush with the top of the door. When it's locked the handle sits in the end of the "J" that is a few inches higher than the bottom of the slot and the re-bar is sticking up through the door into the wall. So far it has kept the doors shut.

This evening Mom made a new recipe that we hadn't had before. It was for bagels. They tasted really good! She had to boil the dough in water for a certain amount of time and then bake them. I will look forward to having them often!


Friday, November 06, 2009

Barn Priming

Today it got to be about 70 degrees so we were able to finish priming the barn. We all went down the hill to work on it right about noon and had lunch a little later and then finished it about 4 o'clock.

If it is warm enough tomorrow we put the paint on it. This morning Dad went to town and did some shopping and errands and then in the afternoon installed a window upstairs in the room where the bathroom will be.

Most every day Jonathan and I have been practicing music together and we like to listen to music while we work, so we brought the CD player down to the barn and played one of our favorite bands "Blue Highway." It was kind of funny to watch the animals reaction to the music. They were all sitting in the shade of the barn (because it was actually hot in the sun), chewing their cud and almost every single one of them (including the cow and horse) had their ears pointed towards the CD player and their eyes shut, listening to the music. We were wondering if we sped the song up would they chew faster? We didn't try it.

Mom is cutting everybody else's hair tonight. I had mine buzzed not too long ago so I don't need it yet.

I guess Dad is going to go read G.A. Henty to us so I will stop here.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hi again,

I think it's supposed to be nice out today but right now I feel pretty chilly! We didn't bother to start the wood stove this morning so my toes are cold. Yesterday Jonathan helped me put another door on the barn we built last fall. When Jonathan and I designed the barn, we made it with a 12'x8' door on each side so that it would be easier to clean out and let air flow through. Earlier this year our friend Steve came and cleaned it all out with his bobcat and it fit through the doors nicely. It's not a very big barn, 20' x 32', but it is big enough for our needs right now. It has 10' walls so we can add on an addition if we run out of room. Anyway, we had put up the doors on the north side last year but hadn't put the ones up on the south face until now. Now the snow won't blow in as much. We made the doors in two 6' sections that hinge and the part we put up yesterday was only the top 4' of the door so there's room for the animals to go in and out when the doors are shut. We will hang something over the opening that they can push through so it blocks the wind a little more. I'm still milking four goats and getting two quarts each time so we've been having yogurt for breakfast sweetened with homegrown raspberry sauce. Yum! If it warms up enough we are going to prime and paint the other half of the barn before it gets really cold out.

The cow is looking really big now so it won't be long until she has her calf. That will be fun to have a bunch of cream and butter!


Tuesday, November 03, 2009


"Wow!" that's what Mom said when I told her I was going to blog! It's been over a year now since I blogged last but now I would like to start it up again.

Today we spent the most of the day cutting up one of our pigs. Andrew and David helped Jonathan kill, gut, and skin it yesterday while I was away doing my vacuuming job at metigoshe ministries. We sold the other pig to two people and brought half down to the butcher in town for them to process and delivered the other half to people that wanted to cut it up themselves. We just finished cutting the fat into smaller pieces to be rendered into lard when Mom is ready.
This week is supposed to be really nice weather like today so we can get a bunch more outdoor things done before snow.
I've been having fun driving myself around. A week ago or so I passed the test and received my driver's permit down in Bottineau. The day after I got it we were going to Minot (100 miles away) so I got to drive there. It's not too difficult in the rural areas but I'm not comfortable driving in town yet. I have a silly kitten sitting in my lap right now that plays with anything he can reach even if he has to climb up your leg to get to it. He's watching my fingers typing ready to pounciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-ggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg---------------o0oooooooooooooo he just walked on the keyboard and typed his uyfrrrrrrrrrrrrr message to you.