Monday, April 25, 2016

A Dozen a Day

The chickens are producing about a dozen eggs a day now. This is pretty good for 18 layers and I'm happy with that. Over the winter, we were doing well to get four eggs a day. So having a dozen a day is a big change. I have several friends who are happy recipients of my extras.

Sometimes one chicken will go over the fence (even though I've clipped the wings) during the day and I sometimes find a random egg somewhere in the bushes. A few times I've found a pecked and eaten egg (bad chickens!).

I have a little basket I keep out in the coop to carry my eggs to the house. Then I transfer them to egg cartons I reuse and I date them with a pencil. I sometimes like to make patterns in the cartons with the different colored eggs.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Youth Expo

It was the county Youth Expo recently. This made our third (and last) year being involved in this event and we were beginning to feel a little more knowledgeable about the proceedings.

Read about the Youth Expos in 2015, 2014, and 2013.

Daughter is in the local FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and wanted to make two entries: one Food and one Creative Arts. She made a cream cheese pound cake and knitted fingerless gloves. The food event is very hard to be noticed because there are just so many really good things. The judges must have a very difficult time. The crafts are all very different so are a little easier to stand out. She placed second with her gloves which meant she was able to participate in the "Sale" at the end of the week.

Sale Day

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Flea Style

A few weeks ago we went up to Dallas to an event called Flea Style. It was held in one of the buildings at Fair Park (where the state fair is held). It was being advertised as "an indoor curated marketplace."

From their website:
Expect a highly curated array of items from art, furniture and paper goods to clothing, jewelry and dog gear. Vendors are carefully hand-selected by the Flea Style team and must hawk vintage, handmade or one-of-a-kind wares.
I guess the Craft Fair has moved on.

We went to look, not so much look for anything in particular. I'm a sucker for anything Texas related. I ended up buying a couple little Texas themed things. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Kelly Kettle

During the power outage the other day, I was getting a little desperate for my  morning cup of tea. And since it was a little chilly I thought it would be a good way to warm me up a bit.

So I got out the Kelly Kettle.

I had seen one advertised on one of the websites I follow and thought it was such a clever invention. I just had to have one for our back up plan. I think it is really intended for camping.

It has two basic parts to it. The top part is the kettle where you put the water. Except that it's not your typical kettle. It's hard to describe so I've taken several photos which I'll include below. The middle of the kettle is hollow and acts as a chimney, with the water chamber on the outer circle. The bottom part is a dish where you light the fire. You can use any small pieces of twigs or leaves. Luckily we had a little bucket of that inside that we use to light our fireplace. All of the pieces are stainless steel.

The hardest part for me was getting the fire going. I'm not a boy scout. I had matches, so getting it lit wasn't the problem. It was a little windy that day so I had to move it around a few times until I found a good spot. After several attempts I finally got the fire going. And then it scared me a little because the flame shot up higher than I'd expected, since I was on the porch.

I was silly at first to think I wouldn't know when the water boiled, so I used one of my kitchen thermometers. But after it started to boil and bubble up, there was no mistaking that the water was on a full boil because you could hear it.

The trickiest part was pouring the water from the kettle. The kettle is hot and the water is boiling! It has a wooden handle and a little safety chain on the side but the spout is bigger than I'm used to. I set my teapot on the ground nearby, but ended up spilling most of it on the ground.

With the power still out by midday, I had a second try later on. I still had trouble getting the fire going.