Still here

A busy winter has turned into an equally busy spring. We’re navigating the waters of going gluten free for one family member (which means we all will, more or less), and experimenting with old favourites like chocolate chip cookies. Verdict: these were very nice, but just not the same as what we’re used to. Now there’s a shocking finding.

GF chocolate chip cookies

Not one to be left out, Reggie has food allergies of his own. No rice, if you can believe it. Or turkey. He’s taken to walking around with his food bowl when he wants to be fed (which, as he’s a Lab, is pretty much all the time).

black-lab-with-food-bowl

Now that it’s getting warmer out there, the chicken coop has had a big clean-out and a fresh load of straw.

Chicken coop and fresh load of straw

My husband also added chicken wire to the windows, which really need to be open now.

Working on chicken coop

The first day out after winter for our Americaunas was quite funny. At first they all piled into the tiny open air enclosure that housed Esme when she had eight tiny chicks; at one point, all three roosters and six hens were stuffed in there like a phone booth challenge. The ground was still largely covered in icy snow, so it’s hard to blame them. As the sun warmed the ground, they got a bit more adventurous.

Americauna roosters and hens

Chickens grazing

We’ve started some outdoor projects, including a partial rebuild of an old picnic table that still has life in it and picking up where we left off at the tree house last year. Oldest son loves getting to bring out the Dremel, which he’s using here to trim off old nails sticking out of planks from the picnic table.

Boys working with sparks

My wonderful new desk/shelving unit in the kitchen is nearing completion. Still up: painting of the doors and the beadboard behind the counter top, finishing of the counter/desk surface (maple boards), blackboard paint for the magnetic notice board. Nearly there…

Kitchen desk and shelves

In the meantime, getting out for walks and even on our bikes as the weather gradually becomes more consistently spring-like is awfully nice after a long winter. I don’t have a companion picture to support this, but husband and youngest son had their last ski of the year and first bike ride of the year all on the same day.

Walking with Reggie

19 thoughts on “Still here

  1. Wow, it’s a hive of activity over there! Love the photos of your beautiful surroundings; especially the fourth photo, which makes our garden seem positively postage-stamp sized in comparison! Your dog is a classic, and your shelving unit looks fab. Ahhh, boys and blowtorches. I can relate. My eldest is going through a soldering faze at the moment. Best of luck with the coeliac diet. My niece and bro-in-law are gluten-intolerant. This blog is fantastic: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com.au/

    1. Thank you! It’s such a brown, dull-looking time of year, but I still can’t help but love to feel the spring coming on. It will transform! A soldering faze sounds like fun 🙂 Thanks for the blog link; I think that having to make this change with such amazing resources freely available on the web will make it all as easy as can be.

  2. Gluten free, huh? Well, I figure you were probably just looking for a new cooking challenge anyway :). Maybe you can work beets in there…
    The desk is looking awesome, I am sooo jealous. Maple top is going to be just right. The roosters are so handsome; hilarious picture of them all crammed into that little shelter.

    1. Oh yes, it just gets too boring around here without food allergies! I’m definitely going to see it as an opportunity to sneak all kinds of healthy stuff in. Glad you like the idea of the maple top; that was the hardest decision to make in the whole project! The hens are pretty, but as you say the roosters are just so darn fine-looking. I can see why they make such a fuss crowing! 🙂

  3. Busy, busy! It’s great to be able to get out and ‘do’ again isn’t it! Poor Reggie no rice or turkey, good to see that it hasn’t stopped him asking for his dinner 😉

    1. It’s truly wonderful to be out and doing again, we find the winter long that way. Reggie’s definitely got the right moves figured out!

  4. It’s so strange to think of our pets having what we consider “human problems”. One of my cats has asthma. She had a bad asthma attack a few years ago and we had to give her inhalers twice a day! They were regular human inhalers from the pharmacy, with a special attachment to make them work with small animals. I think the pharmacist thought I was punking him when I told him they were for my cat.

    1. It’s true, the world seems now to be divided between those who know that pets can have very ‘human’ problems, and those who don’t. Hard to convince someone you aren’t joking. A dear friend has a 16-year old cat she’s been giving insulin injections to for years for his diabetes, and her other cat has had epileptic seizures – both eye opening for me at the time I first heard of them. And now I’ve got the dog with allergies, of course! I hope your cat is doing well. 🙂

      1. Yes! I’ve known animals with both diabetes and seizures as well. My cat is great, she’s as much trouble as she ever was 🙂

    1. You too! So far we’re okay; we actually had to be travelling during the storm, which wasn’t great (but we’re safe home now and still have power). I’m so ready for the real spring to step forward!

    1. We just had another snowstorm after spring had begun the process of settling in, but the snow has already melted and we’re so ready for spring to re-assert itself! Good riddance to the housebound lethargy, Dohn, you are so right!

      1. It’s been really fantastic again this year. We used about three-quarters of a cord of wood and feel that we’re getting the hang of smaller, controlled burns. We’re also trying to get into harvesting the dead wood on our land for burning so that we’re actually producing more of our own wood.

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