But baby it’s cold outside

 

 

 

I really can’t stay. But baby it’s cold outside. I’ve got to go way. Whoa, but it’s cold outside. This evening has been, In hopin that you’d drop in, So very nice. I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice

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oh cos it’s…  cold outside.

It is freezing outside! Absolutely FREEZING! Heck even my chickens want nothing to do with coming out of the run or the coop.

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Fresh Eggs? If we can get to them in the 20 minutes it takes them to freeze solid and start to crack.

I admit that I pushed Humpty Dumpty, I let the dogs out, and I am the fool always praying for a blizzard. But I like my cold in the positive numbers and more in the 20s. If it has to be this cold I like snow on the ground. I like a nice warm fire, but we have no fireplace and sitting out in these temps around the fire pit is not an option.

Yesterday we baked in an effort to help keep the house warm.  And boy did we bake!

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Love the smell of chocolate baking in the morning!

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Some Apple Pie Cupcakes and some chocolate hazelnut cupcakes.

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Some cupcakes for a customer, his company packages and distributes the hazelnut spread that I use.

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Made my new Valentine’s Day cupcake for kids. It is called a warm fuzzy and it has bubblegum flavored icing and white chocolate.

We even made a natural yeast starter for part of science and math. He also helped me convert a bunch of recipes and learned that 8oz doesn’t always mean a cup!

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B-man: is yeast a living thing?
Me: Yes, sir!
B-man: I will look it up to see what classification it is in……. it is a fungi! We eat fungi!!!
Me: Afraid so
B-man: Fungi tastes good!!!! We shall call the starter Francis Bobbio
Me: Wonderful

Here is how you start the Natural Yeast Starter: (The numbers are the days)

  1. 5oz organic whole-wheat flour & 5oz water; stir together and ferment overnight at room temp.
  2. 5oz starter from day one, 5oz organic whole-wheat flour, and 5oz water; discard 5oz of the starter add remaining 5oz of starter to the flour and water and mix to incorporate. Ferment overnight at room temp.

I will give you the rest of the instructions tomorrow for day three!

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I found some interesting learning material since most of the nation is stuck in this cold weather pattern.

NOAA has this webpage about changing seasons

KidsHealth has this one on Cold, Ice, and Snow Safety

CalTech has this webpage on a Guide to Snowflakes

USGS has put out this on the Water Cycle

NOAA has a site called SciJinks and has this on Why do we have Seasons?

We found this PDF on how to become a Weather Wizard

NOAA puts out this Winter Storms pdf

NASA has Climate Kids and has good links too

Frozen snowflake patterns

Lego snowflakes

Make a snowflake

If you are suffering through this frigid cold weather might as well make it a hands on learning experience.

Found this quote and this is where I leave you today:

If snowflakes were kisses, I would send you a blizzard!

 

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

Shannon

 

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Break is over

We took a break for Thanksgiving, yes we took the whole week off.  Today we started back with fractions, commas, pre civil war, more chemistry, and Pocahontas.

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I have a small baking business I do for family and friends out of my house.  I needed that week to get out all of my pies I had promised to people. It took me a whole day to prep, make, and bake 9 pies.

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Did you know that you need two different types of pie dough? One for the top and one for the bottom!

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This is a mealy pie crust bottom. You need a pie crust bottom that absorbs the juices of a fruit pie so you don’t get a pie with a soggy bottom.

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Your top crust needs to be more flaky.

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That way you get a pie that is perfectly balanced.

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Pumpkin pies are a bit different but I still use a mealy bottom crust to avoid soggy bottom. I like that phrase………. “soggy bottom”.

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I used fresh eggs from our chickens for the pie and it was amazing!

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We went to my mom’ house for dinner, she has a much bigger house to fit all 8 of us.

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We had ham, not turkey. My husband has a gallbladder issue and turkey triggers it.  Yes, that was my plate and the deviled eggs were mine too.

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We played Monopoly Star wars edition. It was good money counting practice for Monster Child.

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I was Princess Leia and spent 90% of the game in jail. But that didn’t stop me from winning the game.

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The game ended over a debate on if the gourds were real or not. I finished that debate when I put my thumb through the bottom of one. It was real! We took them home and fed them to the chickens. That was their Thanksgiving Day feast.

Peace, Love, & Cupcakes

Shannon

Coop Building

I did it again! Chicken math is not to be taken lightly. In case you are wondering what is chicken math? Here is a break down……..

it’s just a way we try and fool ourselves into justifying our flock’s numbers. It’s a really nice fun way to totally lie to yourself.
For example: Paul has 97 grown chickens right now plus about 35 chicks and over a hundred eggs in the incubator. So technically, he has 97 + 35 or 132 chickens, and if you count the eggs due to hatch, that number climbs and will be over 200.
In chicken math the eggs don’t count of course, because they are eggs, not chickens, therefore from over 200 just brought it down to 132. The chicks don’t count because they are just chicks, so that brings it down to 97. Of these 97, 15 are rooster, everybody knows roosters don’t count so now I’m down to 82 chickens. Ten of these are bantams which should only count as a half a chicken each because they are small, so now I’m down to 77 chickens. I have 18 that I’m going to trade off soon, so they shouldn’t count should they? So now I’ve only got 59. Now there are 30 laying hens for sale, I’m sure they won’t be here much longer so down to only 29 Chickens.

I’m not very good at chicken math, so an expert could probably trim a few more off those numbers somehow.

We suffer from chicken math at our house. We had 6 chicks, that turned into 6 laying hens. My husband’s boss tried to steal two chickens from us for himself.

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Instead, I bought 4 chicks, with the idea of giving him two. Then I went back into Rural King and saw a breed I didn’t have yet so I bought 4 more of that breed.

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Now I am raising my 6 layers, plus 4 new chicks for us and 4 chicks for the boss man! Chicken math!

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This put us in a pickle of not having enough room for all the baby chicks. You can’t put them outside with the bigger girls, they would peck them to death.

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Our answer?

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Build a coop for the “little girls”. I found a book on chicken coops at the local library and it had lots of plans to choose from We decided on the “A” frame coop.

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When I say “WE” I use that term very loosely as I didn’t really do anything but watch my husband build the thing!

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Getting the angles right was probably the hardest thing.

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Once you figure it out though it all goes fairly easy.

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We had left over hardcloth from the run we made.

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We added shingles to help heat it in the winter time.

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We decided to put it on this side of the run to help keep it warmer.

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The “little girls” seemed to like it.

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We even found them roosting up high!

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Abbey even approves!

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes

Chicken Update!

Back in March we got into chickens, we got six baby chicks.

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Over the last few months they have gotten bigger!

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They had to have a coop and a small run because they outgrew the Rubbermaid.

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We used and old playhouse for the main coop.

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They were getting bigger and bigger and soon they would start laying eggs. We had to add-on the condo!

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The condo was a 8′ long by 4′ wide run with nesting boxes in it.

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The nesting boxes were old milk crates.

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I had decided to buy a Dremel a month ago after my friend took hers to Malaysia.

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This thing is FANTASTIC! I love it!

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This is what it looks like now. We still have to add the door to the back to get the eggs without the chicken trying to peck toes or escape.

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Speaking of eggs, these beautiful girls are almost all laying. I think we have one that is not laying yet but she will.

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Here is our first egg, and it was amazing.

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She was very happy she did this!

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BTW- if you open the door you better have a treat for them.

 

Love, Peace, and Cupcakes

Shannon

 

Continuing to learn for free

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Day 5 finds us learning for free over at LWSP.

 Today your assignment is going to be to learn something new, a new useful skill or hobby or insight…..without spending a dime.
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I happen to be in love with Khan Academy. I happen to have a 15-year-old daughter who cries through math everyday. I never did well with math until I went to culinary school and had to learn these formulas and conversions. I find that doing this help me help them.
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Here is my current progress. Not to shabby.
Personally, I would love to learn how to knit. Here is a link to do just that! I think I have knitting needles in my room…… somewhere. I am starting a purge on Sunday of the bedroom, maybe I find them. While I am on the purge I know I have a book which I used to make a wreath. I also want to make this.
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Spring is coming and I have a beautiful flower garden I want Herbs and Vegetables.
This website will teach you how to start a simple garden. I also want to give this a try.
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Did you know you can take a free class online through the University of Washington? Yep you can, go here!
I am on a mission to get two chickens at my house, layers. I want to learn everything I need to know to raise them and make them thrive.
I will name them Bacon and Eggs!
My daughter is shocked by my choices of names. I told her at least I was not naming them Breakfast and Dinner!
What do you want to learn?