Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm writing this entry at 6am on Friday in "notepad". The internet is out for 2 days now, more than likely from ice on the cable lines outside. It always seems to do this in bad weather, blahhh...but I'm not really getting worked up over it, it gives me time to sit and read.
Yesterday when I left for work at 6:30, the temperature was 1 with windchills of -9. Today I just watched the weather on the news, and it's -11 with a windchill of -26. Oh yea, I can't wait to be in a giant unheated concrete basement at this hotel job today.....Yesterday was like working in a freezer all day, I can't imagine what today will be like down there.
The chickens and rabbits are luckily in the garage this winter, so they aren't exposed to these sub-zero temps. The birds have 3 heat lamps on them, and the rabbits have more than enough straw in their cages. With the heat lamps, it's actually enough of a temperature difference that the garage windows get frost on them. I have to check their water 3 times a day to check for freezing, but it's not as bad as it is outside by any means.
If all goes well, we'll be increasing the flock next month. We got our McMurray catalog last weekend, and Lisa has been looking through it ever since. I heard from my friend tammie yesterday via e-mail (when the internet decided to work for an hour), and she sent in an order for 25 birds to get the better pricing, but only wants to keep 15. So...Lisa and I talked about it last night and will be taking a few of those off her hands. We still haven't decided on a number, we'll either take 3 or 5, increasing the flock to 12 or 14. Of course tammie was laughing throughout her email about how we caught "the chicken bug", lol. I guess they ARE addicting. I'll just have to make something to keep the chicks inside when they arrive, but that's an easy one. I never would have though a few years ago that we would have our own flock of chickens, but here we are.
Other than that, it's just been too cold to do much of anything. We've been sitting around talking the past few evenings about more changes in the house, and the latest thing will be something we've already started: reducing the amount of plastics that come in (and of course out) of the house. It's really shocking when you sit and list everything you buy that's packaged/wrapped/sold in plastic. Plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic wrappers, plastic's a pretty big list. Try listing it yourself sometime, you'll definitly be shocked. So, this one we'll start to attack this weekend a bit by searching for alternative options like finding things sold in glass jars and in bulk, which can be distributed into plastic containers already here rather than throw them away/put them in the recycle. Again....something I never saw myself doing.

I'm finishing this post on Saturday morning since the cable and internet are back, (for now). Yesterday was not a good day at all. It was freezing cold, we were working in an unheated basement at that hotel job, hanging 200+ pound pieces of 6" ductile iron pipe off ladders. Yea.....I was whooped by noon. Our owner stopped by and talked to us, and the conversation wasn;t very good. We're all staring down the barrel of a layoff. Job bids just aren't coming in. Ones that do go out are getting cut by other companies, it's getting horribly cut-throat. For example: We were asked to bid a job from a local contractor since they like our work. The bid went out, and the contractor called back. "XXX Sprinkler company beat your price by $5000, can you match it?". My boss refigured the price, and at that much of a cut, he wouldn't make a dime. He said yes anyway, just to keep us working. The next day, the same guy calls back...."Hey, YYY Sprkinkers undercut you by $1000, if you can match it, the job is yours". Thats the way it is out there now. Undercutting bids JUST to get the job, even if it's at breaking even or at a loss. I've talked about this before in other entries, so I won't go into it now anymore. I'm just passing along the info that I may be layed off soon, and no idea for how long. We're worried about it, but already making cuts and preparing for it, in case it does happen.

Anyone got any fire sprinkler systems in your home you need worked on?..........No????

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dutch Baby recipe

I mentioned this one yesterday, and figured I would post it this morning before I forgot:

Dutch Baby Pancakes (oven pancakes)

1/3 cup butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

In a deep pie plate, melt butter in a 425 degree oven. Blend eggs and milk, then add flour till it's thoroughly mixed. Pour batter onto hot butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden.

The recipe says to sprinkle with lemon juice and powdered sugar, but we just used the powdered sugar. This will NOT come out like you may expect LOL The outside will puff up tall and fluffy while the middle/bottom will be lower and flat.

I don't plan on sharing recipes here, but this one I just HAD to post since I loved it so much, and it uses 4 eggs at a time. I'm sure we aren't the only ones that get occasionally overrun with eggs and this is a great way to use a few up! Hope ya like it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Snow snow snow

It snowed here pretty much all weekend. It started Friday afternoon and stopped Sunday morning. The total forecast was for 11 inches over the 2 day period, and we seem to have gotten at least 10 of it. The roads were a total mess till Sunday morning, so we spent the weekend in the house. I only had to run out once for milk, and I gotta say that Pontiac AWD did GREAT! The old Saturn would have been sliding all over the drive, but this one pulled out with no problems at all.
Saturday I finally got the chance to try out the snowplow on the Lowboy, or so I thought. That thing runs on 50w oil, so it was like jelly with this cold. I put a heat lamp on the motor, covered it to retain the heat, and let it sit. 2 hours later-nope, 4 hours later-nope, arrgh. I gotta get an engine warmer for that thing. I took my neighbors over some more eggs, and he sent his grandson over with the 4 wheeler to plow the drive for me. After he plowed his grandpa's and mine, they popped off the plow and spent the rest of the day with his brothers and cousins playing in the snow with it. They had a long piece of rope attached to a tube and ran that thing around pulling each other till after dark. LOL kids. I'm happy to see kids that age outside playing rather than spending the day attached to a video game.
Saturday morning Lisa was trying to find some recipes to use up some eggs. With just the 2 of us here now, and getting 6-7 a day, we're having a time keeping up. Even with giving eggs away to family and friends, we're a bit overloaded. She found this recipe for " Dutch Babies" and made a batch. Yummmmmmmm! It comes out with the consistancy of a big pan-sized french toast, without the toast part. Light, fluffy, and delicious. We ate it with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar and cinnamon, and it was so good that she made more on Sunday. I'll get the recipe and post it later when I get home since Divahick was looking for some more egg using recipe's too. I think we found our weekend breakfast food! lol

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