Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter....we has it


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That photo isn't blurry, friends. Those are huge, gargantuan snowflakes pouring down. We are definitely having us some winter now.

This is the front of the barn.

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The chairs where we sit in summer to watch the chickens.

The chickens' play area is now reduced by two-thirds. The tarp collapsed from the weight of the snow and quarter-inch ice layer. I managed to prop it up so they can at least get outside the coop a little bit and scratch at some hay and cracked corn.

I can't keep up with feeding the birds. As soon as I throw down sunflower seed for the ground feeders, the snow covers it back up. I've decided to give up until it slacks up a bit. They will just have to make do with the hanging and platform feeders.

Did you think that was some yummy cookie recipe I was going to share with you? Nah, but the birds love it.

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I mix up lard, peanut butter and corn meal and put the mixture in suet feeders. I used to get fancy and put it in molds, then harden to cut into slices. Now I just cram it in the way it is. It's a lot faster and the birds don't seem to mind. It helps keep them warm in this nasty weather. I bought these feeders-inside-a-cage to keep the starlings from hogging it all up. Only the little birds can get in.

I've been getting complaints requests from some of the family to post pictures of the kiddies, which I admittedly haven't done in quite a while. So here you go, family. They're as cute as ever.



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The boys have had a great time dismantling this kiddie karaoke machine. It kept them quiet for hours.

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Char said...

brrrr, makes me cold to look at the snow...and the weather drastically changed here too. I'm about to heat up some leftover chili.

the kiddos are the cutest!

Bill said...

I'm so jealous. I love the snow but sadly we get little of it around here except for the rare freak snowstorm.

Beautiful pictures...


Susan said...

Thanks, Char! We kinda like 'em!

I just realized on my way out to the barn for the third time today, that my boots aren't nearly tall enough. I need hip waders! Brrrr is right!

Susan said...

Thanks, Bill!

I'd be more than happy to share some of this white stuff with you, especially the part on the path to the barn! :)

Natashya said...

I love that feeder!
I have had a problem with squirrels as well as bully blackbirds. This fall, I noticed wee mousies running up the outside wall to get to the feeder outside my kitchen window. Sigh. I can't win.

Cute little ones! Mine are all bigger than me now, next step is grandchildren, I guess!

Susan said...

Natashya, those are my grandchildren! Of course, you wouldn't know being a newcomer to my blog. I'm an old lady of 55.

I'm sure the wee mousies probably run up the tree in which these feeders are hanging. They just do it at night when I'm not watching. :)

Amy said...

Mmmm! How's about a big ole hunk of that lard cookie ya got there??? Your place looks about like ours does right now. I don't know about you but I think I've had enough of winter this year! I love the hats on your grandkids. Very cute and stylish!

VioletSky said...

Damn, that's not cookie dough?

We have been getting hours and hours of fresh falling white stuff, so it actually looks pretty up here in the city, too.

Susan said...

Winter, be damned! That's my new motto after shoveling a path to the barn and half the concrete approach to the garage so David can get in this evening. I think we got about 12 inches total. The sun's out now, so I think it's done.

Gosh darn it, Amy, I should've saved a big hunk of that "cookie" dough for you. Next time!

Susan said...

Sanna, I love to look at the snow as long as I don't have to shovel it. Of course, I don't have to worry about exercising on the treadmill today after that workout!

Actually, I could probably make cookies with that dough, but I don't think it would be very heart-healthy! Blecch!

Russell said...

First off, um, 55 is NOT old! Heh!! In fact it is quite young!!

Second, you have a nice barn! It looks pretty new with that nice door, etc. My barn used to be a corn crib and then people sort of converted into a barn. I like it and it works great for me - but I would sure like a newer shop building with nice doors on it and a big overhead door to drive things like tractors into it!

The snow pictures are nice. I believe your part of the world got the snow and to the south of you they got the ice. I will take snow any time - and here in Iowa we have had a lot of both this winter! Heh!

Take care - and those pictures of your grandchildren are worthy of being framed and put on your walls!

Susan said...

Thanks, Russell, we think they're pretty darned cute ourselves. As for age, I has me young days and me old-feelin' days.

The barn is actually a vintage barn that the previous owner dismantled from another site and reconstructed here. He installed a concrete floor and a second floor. We put in electricity. It's 20 X 30, so a pretty good size for a mini-farm.

You definitely get some fun weather in Iowa, for sure. We just never know what we might get here.

Russell said...

Sounds like a very nice barn. Having concrete for a floor and a second floor, well, that is nice!

Take care.

Ruth said...

Wowee! So much so much here!

Lots of snow for one. Glad for YOU! I'm almost ready to be done with it! But then we've gotten this over and over all winter. So pretty though.

I have been dastardly with the birds, not putting stuff out. I'll just leave it at that.

Do I count 5 different grandbabies? Oh they are precious and fabulous. The white head muff is tres elegante! You must have so much fun, and clearly so do they.

Love this!

tipper said...

Love the big snow-wish I had some snow. And the kiddos are all adorable!

Susan said...

Ruth, I'm sooo over the snow! We had to pay someone to clear the driveway today. I shoveled so much yesterday that I can barely move today. I always get scolded when I do that, probably for good reason.

Yes, there are five of them. Let me tell you when they're all here at one time, it feels as if there are ten! It can get pret-ty loud. Matthew is sooo gonna hate that pic of him naked in the Santa hat (you can't see the red part). I'll definitely use it as bribery. :)

Susan said...

Thanks, Tipper! We're pretty proud of the little ones. Smart and good-looking. What more could you ask for!

Elra said...

Beautiful snow, unfortunately I have to drive for 4 hours to get to see the snow. Your children are so adorable. Very good looking!

Cindy said...

yum! I'll have to make some of that dough for our birdies who've been deprived this winter as I've busied myself with so many other things. I have feeders just like that to hold suet. We used to have squirrels that ate the bird food (that was before we got our border collie).

Your grandchildren are cuter than cute. And you are NOT old!

Susan said...

Elra, thanks for visiting my blog! You have some lovely blogs. The food looks delicious and the photography is wonderful!

Susan said...

Cindy, I guess I was feeling old when I wrote that. After the shoveling, I was feeling pretty creaky. Much better today!

I know you didn't ask for a recipe for the suet, but in case anyone wants to know: Probably a ratio of 3:1 on the lard and peanut butter and then I just mix in corn meal until it gets hard to stir. Oh, and I soften the lard in the microwave first.

Ruth said...

If Matthew is like his grandma, he will have a wonderful sense of humor and sense of self, but I'm hoping he'll give you a hard time!

Word verification: frustorm

Oliag said...

Toward the end of January everyone seems to be tiring of winter...but it is great for photo-ops! Beautiful pictures! I love the pics of your lard cookie dough too...long ago I did something similar until the starlings took over my yard and I never went back..good to see someone has invented a starling proof lard feeder!

Gorgeous grandbabies!

Susan said...

Ruthie, a good sense of humor is the key to life. If I couldn't laugh, I would spend way too much time crying. :)

Susan said...

Oliag, I know what you mean about the starlings! That's why I had to buy those feeders. They still try, but can't get their fat selves through the wire.

And thank you!