I realized, a couple of days ago, that I hadn't blogged in almost twenty days. I got here, posted once and dropped off the face of the New Mexican earth. I had good reason. My pal Ellen Mary, over at Coneflower Ranch, recently posted with "What I Have Been Doing Instead of Blogging". I have been doing that too, other things instead of blogging, I mean. You want to know what they are? Okay, here goes:
1. I've been cleaning, the house, the yard, you name it. I'm not done, and I still have to paint.
2. I've been baking, or rather I should say I've been experimenting with baked goods. This experimentation includes and apple almond pie with an oat crumb crust that while delicious, was a bit dry on the inside (that altitude water evaporation thing), and a bit
burned toasty on the outside. I was trying to bake it long enough to cook the apples and when Anthony suggested, in the midst of my wailing about dry pie, that I make a sauce for it. So I whipped up a creme Anglaise which I couldn't stop stirring long enough to take the overly well toasted pie out of the oven in time. Sigh, it was delicious anyway.
3. I've been driving in and out of town. With the exception of the post office, which isn't the one our mail comes from anyway, we have to drive 12 miles (20 minutes) to get to an Albertson's or our Coop, and further to get to almost anything else. This means that as a someone who has newly moved into a house and needs all sorts of little things like cup hooks and wood screws and cheesecloth and blood stop powder to complete projects, we do a LOT of driving around. This takes time.
4. Our car broke down twice and had to spend days at the dealership. Actually, it overheated, and when you live twenty minutes from anywhere and up a mountain - that's the same as breaking down completely compounded by the fact that this particular dealership seems to keep no parts with the exception of the occasional oil filter in stock. Everything had to come from Albuquerque, which though only an hour away - takes three days to get parts from. The darn car might as well be a bicycle. So we've actually been doing a bit of our driving around in rental cars.
5. We've been working non-stop and making product to fill all the back orders from when we were in NY at Rhinebeck and came back with practically nothing left to ship.
6. We picked up our chickens!
7. We made Maple Walnut Ice Cream and Ricotta, which is idiotically easy to make and is completely delicious - I'll share the recipe later.
8. Our chickens got sick and this isn't even the end of the first week. Yesterday morning, one of them picked her tail bloody, and then when the other girls saw the blood, it was a pecking frenzy. We rounded up Miss Bloody, scrounged a dog crate, lined it with straw and plopped her in. She was NOT a happy chicken. She spent the rest of the day and last night in her crate moaning and wailing the whole time. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening searching for feather plucking remedies and deterrents (remember, we've never had chickens before). Then this morning, while A and I were planning our trip to town to get the Blue Lotion that was recommended for feather plucking chickens) the white and red girl whom we named Lucy in honor of Lucille Ball because she's so brave and bold and she's a hoot to watch, puffed up her feathers, had diarrhea and promptly fell over. YIKES!
So we rounded HER up, which wasn't hard because she didn't even try to get far. Scrounged up ANOTHER dog crate (fortunately for us there are several of them laying around) and plopped her in it. We gulped coffee, and ran into town for the Blue stuff. While we were at the feed store, we also bought some brown tarry stuff to "deter pecking and cannibalism" some blood stop powder (which REALLY works well by the way on people as well as birds), and some mite and louse powder and I have no idea if that works on humans too, though I don't see why it wouldn't. Nice.
We go home and look at Lucy in her crate. She's brightened considerably in our absence and is busy trying to scratch her way to China through the floor of the crate. We pick up Bloody Girl and spray her with the Blue Lotion, which is colored with Gentian Violet and really does stain clothing too, just like the label warns. We turn her loose only to see another girl pecking HER tail bloody.
She's got so much blood on her beak the chicken yard looks like the set of a Grindhouse movie. Oh of course, right, it IS Halloween today - I almost forgot. So I nabbed her while she was busy pecking herself to death and we sprinkled on the blood stop powder, tarred her up with the anti-pick goop which smells rather pleasantly of spearmint/tea tree and gave her a good spritz of the purple colored blue lotion just for good measure. I held her for a minute until her saturated backside dried a bit and let her loose. She immediately reached around to her coated rump and took a healthy bite of tar and feathers. BLECCCHHH! There was a whole dance and a lot of beak rubbing in the grass and a lot of what looked like chicken spitting, if they can do that. But she didn't venture another taste.
So Anthony thinks we have to tar them all. I'm thinking maybe tomorrow. Oh yeah, and the guy who sold them to us hasn't returned a SINGLE phone call. And there isn't a single poultry vet anywhere freakin near here. And I thought my knitting night was tonight, but it's really on November 7th which is good because I'm tired now.
But then, we do get all this: