Damage Report

Well, so if Thursday’s thunderstorms were delightful, last night’s storm was frightful.

The day was beautiful for the most part.
Hot and melty, which always means there’s a chance of a thunderstorm.
I went ahead and cleared out a few of the small garden beds and planted my hot peppers.

After chores were done, I had a few minutes to have a coffee, before Hubby got in with groceries.
Well, The Kid and I watched the wind whip up and just as it started to rain, we figured we should go put the birds to bed.

Aaaaannnnd just as the last bird house was closed the wall of water hit us…

After the storm…

Before the storm the ground wasn’t dry, but it wasn’t showing any puddles. Everything from Thursday’s storms had already soaked in…last night it came down so hard and fast, the ground didn’t have a chance.

My crappy cell phone picture was taken about 10 minutes after the storm passed. The ground was already absorbing the moisture, so as much as you can see, there was more.

Preliminary reports are that we got just about 35mm of rain in about 45 minutes.
That’s a lot of water in just a little bit of time.

Today, I’m seeing what kinda damage we’ve got…

Good news first!

All the animals are fine.
No injuries on mares.
Everyone’s legs are good, might have a sore back or two from running about in the mud and muck, but that’s easy peasy to handle with liniment. πŸ™‚

Chickens and ducks are just happy to be out of coops.
Ducks were mad we made them go to bed early last night, but today they’re enjoying the puddles and earth worms all over the poultry yard.

All outdoor cats are accounted for.
Wet, a little grumpy, but everyone came to the deck for breakfast and pets.

Daphne just wanted to play in the puddle this morning…lol
And indoor cats, well, they just slept through most of it.

Sump pump has been working without issue.
Thank the Gods of Electricity!!

Now the not so good news…

Water in the basement from 2 spots.
The ground has been so dry for so long, once the water came, it couldn’t hold it back. No damage to anything, just wet spots.

Had a leak in the master bedroom…there’s a spot on the side of the house at the roofline that needs repair to the siding/metal roof.
Guess what we’re doing tomorrow?

And then, there’s my poor garden…

I had put in 13 of my tomato plants on Thursday.
I thought I lost them after that storm, but it looked like they held on, and with a bit of tlc, would be fine.
Not today.
Done. Gotta replace ’em.

Hot peppers?
What hot peppers?
There is no sign whatsoever that I had planted hot peppers.
Gotta replace them too…

Pasture is still under some water, so I’ll have to keep an eye on hooves. We made it this far without thrush, hopefully we don’t get hit with a round of it now.
But, even if we do, I have treatments that can put a stop to it fast.
And, tomorrow, I just may do a pre-emptive treatment, just in case.

All in all, we got hammered, but as always, we’ll pick up the pieces and keep going.
At least now I don’t have to worry about the pasture drying out and dying off too soon. The land really needed the water.
Rain barrels are full for when we do need to water the garden, and to give the chickens.
I’m not frantically worrying about the state of my well in drought like conditions.
The burn ban in the area should be lifted.
Once the water soaks in, the wheat on the big field ought to be just fine.
And everyone came through the storms healthy…

Can’t ask for much more than that.
Well, I *would* like to hit it big in the lottery, but that’s a whole different discussion.
LOL!
πŸ˜‰

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Pumpkin Wine

I started my first batch of pumpkin wine back on November 5th, 2017.
I bottled it this past weekend.

I’ve had a few people ask about the recipe I used, so I figured I’d share it here, with my review of the bottled product. πŸ™‚

I’m going to assume anyone who’s looking for a pumpkin wine recipe has basic wine making knowledge. If not, trust me, Google is your friend.

Pumpkin Wine

20 lbs of pumpkin
~ I weighed my pumpkin after gutting and cubing. Then, I roasted it to bring out the sugary goodness of flavours.
I also used a pumpkin I like the flavour of…don’t use one of those watery jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Use something like a pie pumpkin, with lots of natural sugars.

10 lbs of white sugar
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp potassium metabisulphate
1 tsp tannin (optional…I figured I’d try it)
Water to 23 liters
Yeast

Now, I used a mesh bag for my pumpkin, which makes racking out of the primary so much easier…and cleaner.
I also added the water *before* putting the bag of pumpkin in…so know that you are going to need a bigger than 25 liter pail to start, because once that pumpkin goes in, the liquid level rises.
A.
Lot.
My starting gravity was 1.070 and it finished fermenting at .990
When I racked to the carboy I added 2 cinnamon sticks.
I could have added more, but I wasn’t sure how strong the flavour would be.
I could have doubled the amount easy, or even added 1 stick per gallon.
I also think adding some ginger, either in the primary, in the secondary, or both, would have been beneficial.
I may try that in another batch.
When all was done, I stabilized and back sweetened with 2 cups of sugar.
This, of course, is done to taste, so it takes trial and error with smaller amounts and then…math to know how much to put in the big batch. πŸ˜‰

So, after months of waiting to get to the end product going into bottles, and finally getting a good taste of the wine, what did I think of my pumpkin wine?

This:

Pumpkin wine review…

Now, keep in mind, I like a strong, bold flavored wine. Typically reds and heavy on fruit flavors.
This pumpkin is…interesting.
It’s a white. It’s beautiful. Clear and just plain pretty to look at.
The scent?
Again, not being a white wine person, I find it off putting.
But, there are very few store-bought whites that I like the scent of. In fact, right now, I can’t think of any, sooooo….yeah.
The flavor is nice. It’s not sharp, it’s smooth with a nice finish.
I didn’t back sweeten it as much as I would a raspberry or a blueberry, so it’s drier than I normally drink, but that’s because I found it cloying with as much sugar as I’d normally use.
The flavour doesn’t say “pumpkin” to me, but there is the barest hint of cinnamon to it (I added several cinnamon sticks in the secondary) which makes it interesting.

All in all, it’s not bad.
It’s not, however, one I would personally rave about.
It’s not a green tomato wine, to be sure. πŸ˜‰
But, anyone who likes a semi dry white, I think will really enjoy this.

Now, that said, would I make it again?
Yes.
But I would tweak it.
Add in more cinnamon, leave out the tannin (not sure it brings much to a white wine anyways), add some fresh ginger, and then I’d back sweeten with a fruit syrup or juice instead of just plain sugar. Something that adds a little more flavour to the party.

All in all, I’m glad I made it.
It’s not a favorite, but it’s a good recipe to play with to find what, exactly, I like.
Besides, how can you not love this label??

Arrrr!!
Cap’n Max says this wine is his!!

Thwart

I swear, Mother Nature is working to thwart my spring building plans.
Or, maybe I’m just too antsy to get things going.
Ultimately, I think it’s a mixture of both.
Weather wise, we’re a good 10-15 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year. Which means there’s still frost in the ground, and we still have a lot of snow to melt.
I’m waiting to move last summer’s duck house into the garden.
It’s frozen to the ground right now. :/

Once the duck house is in the garden, we can put up the fence around the garden. There’s 2 reasons for this fence…because I want to use the adult poultry to weed and feed the garden before planting. Ducks, I have learned, are awesome at killing and eating any and all plants they find.
So, I want to put them to use cleaning up the remaining weeds from last year. Like I’ve always said, the only animals around this Farm with no real job are the horses. They get to eat money and be pretty. Everyone else works.
The other reason is cats…I’m hoping a fence will keep them out. A freshly tilled and planted garden is just too tempting for lazy cats who don’t want to go to the pasture to make their daily deposits.
And I’m tired of cat poo in my garden.
Fingers crossed the fence will help.

Once the poultry are moved to the garden, I get to give the coop a deep cleaning, install some hardware cloth in the bottom and then we put chicks in there.
Both eggies and a first round of meaties.
The plan is (and goodness knows, things rarely go according to plan, but I keep trying!) to get 2 different varieties of brown egg layers (10 of each) from the hatchery we buy our meat chicks from, and then to get 15 easter egg layers…which, if I’m understanding chicken things right, are a barnyard mix who lay colourful eggs.
I just want a little bit of pretty colour in my egg basket. πŸ™‚

And then, near the end of May, when the weather (hopefully) gets back to normal, the year’s pig babies will come.
*sigh*
It’s hard to have patience when there’s so much to do, and yet, the time to do it isn’t quite here yet.

In the meantime, here’s a few pictures of the mutt…just because her excitement and exuberance with a jolly (no longer) ball makes me smile…

It once was a ball, I swear!!

The 55lb chewing powerhouse destroys all…including horse toys.

Sometimes she slows down enough for a posed picture…not very often though!

And then there’s this one…

Oh how I love this boy!

How can one not smile when face to face with a cat napping in the long grass and sunshine? ❀

Feline Friday

Nancy and I were having a discussion this morning…

It was a “facts vs feelings” based discussion.
I’m big on facts.
I haven’t always been, I’ll admit. There have been times where I let my feelings rule me. If I hadn’t been like that, I wouldn’t have moved the Family out of the city for a horse…a horse who turned out to be one of my Great Loves of my life. πŸ˜‰
Nowadays, I try very hard to make fact based decisions.
Sure, I want to eventually get a 4th horse, but the facts of ownership make me far more cautious and careful as I ponder the idea.

Nancy has absolutely no interest in facts.
He’s a cat, so that’s no surprise.

“Look, I iz pretty, I don’t hav to be smrt”

This morning’s conversation went something like this:

Nancy: “Birds! I have to get in the window!”
Me: “Nope. No cats in that window”
Nancy: “But birds!!”
Me: “Nope. My plants are there.”
Nancy: “Birds!!”
Me: “Get out. You’ll kill my plants, and I’ll kick your butt!”
Nancy: “But Mooooooommmm!! BIRDS!!”
Me: “I don’t care! Go look at them out the living room window. You are not getting in this one!”
Nancy: “You just don’t understand…birds!!”
Me: “Oh, I understand, I just don’t care. Fact is, you’ll kill my plants that I have worked hard to get growing for the garden. Fact is, I’ll kick you fuzzy butt for killing my plants. Fact is, your feelings about birds can be expressed in the living room. Now, out!”
Nancy: “Mean. You are a mean Mama.”
Me: “Yup. And don’t you forget it.”

“Why you so mean to me, Mama??”

It’s a rough life being poor Nancy NotSoFancyPants. πŸ˜‰
He was feeling rather betrayed by my meanness…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And, just because I love this photo of him, my lovely formerly feral Ghost…

Sweetest big boy ever πŸ’ž

Sharing with Feline Friday at Comedy Plus

Well Now…

Yesterday I had planned on doing a photo shoot that I’ve had in mind for quite some time now. I figured while Hubby went off to work (booooo for Saturday working, but yay for o/t $$$), I’d prep what would be needed…
Unfortunately the 70km/h wind gusts put a kibosh on that.
*sigh*
When the wind gusts start out like that at 4:30 in the morning, you just know plans have gone awry.

So, I made the coffee, had the shower, and went to log into the Facebook…only to discover a 72 hour ban for posting something against community standards.
Well, okay then.
Normally when that happens, whatever the post was just gets removed.
Musta really upset some folks…
Thought I’d check and see if messenger was still available to me.
There I learned that I had apparently deactivated my account, but could still use the app. without reactivating my account.
Huh.
Well, since I had been offline since the night before, I’m pretty sure I hadn’t deactivated anything.
So, I’ve sent an email to the Facebook to see what, actually, is going on.
Knowing them and how slowly they respond to emails, 72 hours will have come and gone before I hear anything.
In 72 hours (or more) I’ll know if I actually had a ban in place or if I was hacked. πŸ˜›
Which is why the Farm Page feed is missing on the side bar…because when my account got locked up, the Farm Page got unpublished.

Meh. Whatever.
FB is a cesspool right now anyways.
Even if I can’t recover my account, it won’t be a huge loss.
Anyone who wants to can follow me here at the blog, or I can just start a new page. We’ll see how interested I am in 72 hours.
Though, one of the things I will miss are the Ag groups.
There’s a lot of good info, a whole lotta laughs, and some great people who really understand the inappropriate sense of humour that is needed to live Farm life. If’n I lose my account, I’ll definitely miss those bitches. πŸ˜‰
And the Farm Page.
I’ve done a lot of networking and followed some other great small farming/homesteading pages.
I’ll miss reading those adventures. :/

In the meantime, I have work to concentrate on here.
Taking the time suck that FB is out of my day oughta make for some super extra work getting done. LOL!
It’s already given me more time for photo editing, and that’s a good thing for y’all. That means I have more images to share here…which leads me to my storage here. I’m at 80% usage for images. I’m getting to the point where I have to think about either starting a new, free blog and linking to this one, or going paid.
If I go with a paid account, I just keep on going here.
But, I have to decide if it’s worth the $60 a year to do so.

Decisions, decisions!

I’ll think about it, and in the meantime, y’all can look at Ruby in all her unicorn glory, having a nap in the sunshine. With her 2 trusty side kicks, Astrid and CoalCat. πŸ™‚