Monday, April 8, 2013

spring clean-up, mud, and yarny things

The ground has thawed and the air has finally warmed up here in Western PA. This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous, sunny, and in the upper 50's! Saturday, Brad and Sergei spent a good portion of the morning hauling wood chips for our blueberry plot, and then Brad worked on tilling up the plot so that it doubled in size. Now, I'm waiting for a call back from our blueberry supplier so I can place our order. We'll have 30 plants after we get the new ones planted. I sense a potential business opportunity for my children here in a few years once the bushes start producing.

Brad and I tag-teamed the chicken coop also on Saturday afternoon. As much as I love my chickens, I so do not love cleaning the coop. This was the heavy-duty spring cleaning. We use the deep-litter method in our coop because we then use it for compost, so there was a whole cart load full of compost that Brad shoveled out. Then I went in with the hose and broom and scrubbed it down.

Now it's so nice and clean. Clean walls, clean nesting boxes, cleaning roosting perches, and nice clean pure-smelling pine chips on the ground.

Unfortunately, I've been battling a bad sinus infection for the last three weeks, so despite the fact that yesterday was absolutely gorgeous, I was in bed with a headache and sinus pain. Brad took the kids for a bike ride, and I felt like a total loser curled up in bed. I finished my first antibiotic this past Saturday, and immediately the pain started to come back. So my doctor ordered me another week's worth this morning, and I am really praying that this clears it up so I don't end up having to have surgery again.

Last night after everyone was in, we sat by the open windows while Brad strummed on his guitar and the younger two performed acrobatics on our bed.  You must think that I neglect Sergei here on this blog of mine, but, honestly, he kind of makes himself scarce. Plus, he attends school during the day so he's not home when I'm taking most of the photos that I post on here.

And today. Oh my, glorious day. We did our math lessons this morning, and the kids have been out playing ever since. They've been making roads and such through one of my raised beds. I stuck them in it because I figured that they would have fun and they'd also work the soil loose in the process!

Some spring flowers popping up!

The kids and I have been having fun putting my new yarn ball winder to good use. Now that I have one of these little gadgets, I don't ever want to go back to working right from a skein or winding by hand. It winds up a 6 oz. yarn cake in under five minutes. It's really unbelievable. And fun. And kind of addicting.

And, of course, Lily just had to wind her skeins of yarn!

I'm also working on a new crochet project, this cowl. I really like this pattern. I like the stitch and the pattern is easy to follow.

Well, have a most blessed day. The kids are cleaning up for lunch, and then we're heading to town to pick up my antibiotic and make a trade with one of my friends (my chickens eggs for some of her kefir grains. I love trades.) Then I'll probably pick up a few groceries, and then head back home to finish up the rest of our schoolwork. It's a backwards kind of day today, but I just had to let the kids take advantage of our first really warm (upper 60's!) spring day!


Rachel E. said...

So sorry to hear about the sinus infection. I had one just a few weeks back and it was a long one. I didn't go to the doctor though. You might try a home remedy. It is what I tried.

Use raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. Organic is better, but I used the non-organic. Mix 8 ounces of water with 2 tbs of vinegar, 1 tbs of raw organic honey. Stir to dissolve honey. Drink it up. Drink it quickly and the only vinegar taste you get is at the end. I actually ended up putting it over ice and slurping it up with a straw. It worked better. I did this three times a day.
Your symptoms should begin to go away after three or four days.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Amber! I was just wondering a couple of things about your chicken coop; First, I am curious about the golf balls I saw in one of the pictures. Do they serve a purpose? And secondly, I was wondering if you guys followed a plan for the coop or did you just build your own design. We have 4 free range Americanas that need to have a coop and yard for the exact same reasons you had. Mainly, POOP! And destruction of all things landscape related! Thanks!
Monica Goldstrohm

Sandra said...

There really is nothing worse than sinus infection, or sinus anything for that matter. I suffer from them too and the pain is awful.

Sorry you've having to deal with that, hope this next batch of antibiotics helps you.

Love all the pictures, I can't wait to have my own house so I can get some chickens :)

Pam said...

I love your spring pictures. They are inviting. I am having a tug of war with spring and gardening right now, because our weather is still so up and down. One minute I am in my shortsleeves and flipflops, and the next in a sweater and slippers... It is like the weight of winter is still on us. Sorry about your sinus infection. Have you ever tried salt water? You take distilled water, and mix it with real salt... or sea salt, then snort it through your nose... repeat it a couple of times a day, for a day or two. It sounds like a terrible thing to do on purpose, but it has helped us all when we have had sinus infections.. even Eddie has done it, and it helped him. It feels a little like getting water up your nose when you are swimming in the ocean... but its do-able, an amazing results. Your cowl is very pretty, and the color is scrumpscious.

We like the litter method too.. for the chickens, and the goodies they add to the compost is great.

Have a great week. Hope you feel better soon.

Pam said...

I was just reading Rachel's comment... it looks like we all have some ideas for you hehe. I think all of those things are good and really do help us too.

Heather said...

I'm sorry to hear about your sinus infection! That's not fun at all. Hope it clears up soon.

On a happier note, I love seeing photos of your little homestead! It looks so warm and wonderful and lovely. Don't you just love spring time?

sweetpea family said...

love your pictures - you sound so busy. Hope you feel stronger soon and thanks for popping by x

Anonymous said...

Hi! I hopped over from Sandra's blog. You have a beautiful home, gardens, and family! I am from western pa originally, from Sykesville, PA. I certainly miss the countryside!