Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Happy Surprise

Just a couple posts ago, I shared that my father-in-law said we could have powered our whole house. 
I misunderstood.
Since our pull was so low, they wired it to power our whole house!
We were without power for several hours last night. 
I think Mr LB was anxious to try out the new system. 
He had the generator out and plugged in in no time. 
It was strange that our house was the only house with lights. 
It was wonderful that after working all day, 
we could have our regular evening routine. 
The power was restored just as we were heading up to bed
so switched it back over to regular power. 
I’m not sure why more folks where we live aren’t set up like this. 
If I would have known years ago, it would have been more of a priority. 
What a true blessing. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Meet Hucklebunny

This my friends, is Hucklebunny.
She is actually a rescue rabbit of sorts.
I happened across an add that stated she was found near a busy street.
The request was to find the owner or a new home since the person who found her couldn't keep pets.
After a couple days, she was still available so I was able to pick her up.
Bunny "berries" are extremely good for the garden,
 and since this bunny is so tame,
I thought I would offer her a position at The Locust Blossom as
Chief Executive Officer in charge of crop (garden) fertilization.
She will be in charge of not only a certain quantity of fertilizer production but also supervise 4 employees (aka the hens.)
She seems very healthy other than possibly being slightly dehydrated.
I believe the gentleman who found her had a dish of water for her and she seemed quite pleased when I offered her a regular rabbit waterer. 
She has consumed quite a bit of water today for a single bunny.
At the moment she is lodging in a nice hotel (a cage in our house)
while the construction of Hucklebunny Headquarters is under way.
(I'm building her a hutch.)
Upon completion, she will move into her permanent accommodations
 where she can work efficiently throughout the day.
She has been working on producing some samples,
but her current situation offers minimal storage for such things.
She is hoping headquarters is completed soon 
so she can settle in and get to work.
We are looking forward to a long and successful career together.
Okay, feel free to call me a sucker down in the comments.
I wouldn't have really gone looking for a bunny,
but she is so tame and sweet, I couldn't resist.
I actually don't even mind having her in the house right now,
though I'm sure with time that would change.
Also, if anyone can tell me what breed she might be,
I would love to know.
It doesn't really matter as I will keep her anyways,
but I'd love to know nonetheless.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Another Aspect of Preparedness

As I mentioned in our last post, we were without power Christmas Day.
Being without power isn't surprising to us as it goes out on a semi-regular basis,
and during any time of the year.
You might say we are prepared for it.
(Sorry for the poor pix, but this was taken by flashlight.)
We keep a generator and fuel for it.
We have a wood stove for heat and can cook on it if we need to (or want to.)
We have a barbecuer that we can cook on as well.
The thing is, even with the generator, we end up with extension cords going from hither to yon.
As we age, dragging those cords around might become more difficult rather than just a nuisance.
They are also a tripping hazard at any age.
As folks were getting ready to leave Christmas Day,
I caught my father-in-law in the utility room.
He had spied the breaker box.
He couldn't reach it since it's above the dryer so asked if I could open it.
I grabbed a flashlight and reached from the side to open it.
(He was trying to be polite and not move anything.)
He is a retired electrician and stays up on codes and such 
so he can help various friends and family.
This time it was our turn.
He asked if I'd like to just flip a switch to change the load to the generator.
Well, I'm not a complete dummy head.
Of course I'd like that.
So he picked up the required parts, and they returned this weekend.
Mother-in-law and I chatted while I fixed lunch, and the guys worked 
one outside and one inside to get wires where they needed to be.
Did you know that it's a challenge to cook 
when someone keeps turning the breakers off­čśé
Within an hour or so we had an alternate power source.
It will power our water pump, living room, and kitchen.
Father-in-law was surprised at how little "the pull" was.
He said we weren't using much power.
Mr. LB laughed and told him, "Sweetie's all over that."
F-I-L said we could probably have powered the whole house.
As is, the only thing in the living room and kitchen that won't run on the generator is the oven.
Once our ground defrosts (spring,) I might poor a concrete pad 
where the generator hooks up.
For now we will move it back and forth with the hand truck.
If it makes its home on the side of the house permanently, 
we will want it covered and bolted down.
We are not "preppers" by today's definition.  We are not militant. 
 We don't foresee a zombie apocalypse.
 But we do like to be prepared for those situations we know we'll face.
This will just make our "power's out" routine a little easier.
Since we are thinking about retirement and what we will need as we age,
I suppose we are truly "middle-aged" and no longer have any claim on youth.
Bummer!
We've already decided that if we ever move, we will have a single level home
at ground level with wide doorways to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs.
Mr. LB's sister is in a wheelchair 
so it gives us a good feel for designing around it
(not only the doorways but the space needed to turn etc.)
It might sound odd, but thinking of these little nuances now 
might just make life easier at a time in life when we won't have the energy or physical strength to make the changes.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Serendipitous Butter ???

I hope you all had a joyful holiday season. 
It's kinda like a vacation to me-
enjoyable but thankful to be home or in this case back to normal. 
Christmas was at our house this year. 
About 11:30 our power went out - oh yay!
Just in case you ever need to know~
a turkey in a terra-cotta roaster fits on the BBQ,
and if you set a diffuser on the wood stove,
 a ham in the same kind of roaster will still cook evenly.
It all worked out fine really.
I'm not sure if I've shared in the past,
But we have desert first about 11:30-12:00,
then dinner about 1:30-2:00.
I had just finished making whipped cream for pie when the power went out.
I actually made waaay too much whipped cream.
At the end of the day, I tried to send it home with someone,
 but nobody would take it.
Neither Mr. LB nor myself eat it.
I left it in the fridge for a day hoping he would "help" and eat some but no luck.
The following day I decided I couldn't just let it go to waste without 
trying to make it useful.
I decided I would just put it in the mixer and see if it would churn to butter.
It did!
The only thing is -
I forgot I had added vanilla to the whipped cream so I made vanilla butter.
It would be superb over French toast ~which we don't eat:-(
There is a special cookie recipe I want to try making for Mr. LB 
so will use it for that.
I've used it for my eggs but it seems I like plain eggs.
If you enjoy toast, French toast, crepes or other breakfasts that use butter,
this is the butter you've been looking for all your life!
I have a feeling it will do well in cookies.

If you've never made butter, you can see more here.
That's the real way, but I actually just did this in my kitchen aide,
and it made a splashy mess when it turned to butter.
(I really thought after almost 2 days in the fridge, I was wasting my time but had to try.)
Isn't the definition of serendipity "a fortunate accident?"
In which case, this is definitely Serendipitous Butter.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Oh, It's You . . .

Well hello there January.
Where on earth did you come from.  I thought you were still December.
My, my, you brought a thick blanket with you.
Your temperature looks dreadful.

Here, let's stoke the fire and see if we can warm you up a bit.
Perhaps the smell of Six Bean Soup with ham
will comfort you while you settle in.
You are welcome old friend.
You always seem to admire our woolen sweaters and cozy quilts.
We serve hot drinks in your honor.
I know you won't be here long before your neighbor February crowds you out not to return for another year.

A very Happy New Year to you all.