What Have We Been Up To?

For the past month, Frank has been attending a CERT class. Community Emergency Response Team. Some of it has been a good review/refresher to some of the things we learned in our EMT training. This training involved five Thursday nights, one Tuesday night, and two all day Saturday classes, with this last week involving a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. He finished up this afternoon. In the midst of this class, he also attended a Tuesday evening storm spotter class, during another week that CERT was on a Thursday evening and all day Saturday. Now he only has his monthly county Communication Support Team meeting, which is next Tuesday evening. It has been a rather busy month for Frank in this respect.

In the meantime, we have both been studying for our Amateur Extra Class license. This is the top level of ham radio licensure and is more involved and detailed than the Technician or General class license tests we’ve taken so far. We have been trying to put in an hour or two per day for our studies, but haven’t always been successful. There is an area ham fest coming up in about three and a half weeks where they will be administering licensing tests, but we’re not sure if we will be ready by then. It just depends on how much time we can devote to studying.

In the search for variety in our new low carb life style, I have come up with a new twist for egg salad. We have some Chevre cheese in the freezer we need to get eaten up, so I have been gradually thawing it out and experimenting with a ranch type of seasoning. Not long ago, Frank mentioned having egg salad. I have to admit, my egg salad has always left something to be desired. Like flavor. Well, this time I chopped up six boiled eggs and added a few spoonfuls of the ranch flavored Chevre, along with a little mayo and bacon bits. It’s actually pretty good for a change.

We had been crossing our fingers in hopes that the hay in the barn would last long enough for the snow to melt, and it did, just barely. So yesterday we cleaned the last of the old bale out and moved another large round bale into the barn. We shouldn’t need to feed much of it now that the temperatures are rising and the grass is beginning to grow. But we will need it in about three weeks when Penny, Cricket and Lady Bug kid

The other thing we needed hay for is the ‘baby pen’ where we pen up the kids at night, so we can milk the does in the morning. This will keep the babies from nursing in the night and will probably give us almost a

gallon of milk a day. After I finish milking, I let the babies out so they can have their breakfast. We planned to start penning the babies up a couple of weeks ago, but then went into temperatures in the teens and low 20’s at night and decided to wait until the weather was a little more cooperative. So, today

while Frank was finishing up his CERT class, I finished cleaning out and setting up the baby pen. I didn’t take one picture, though, so this is what it looked like last year when we penned up Penny, Cricket and Lady Bug when they were babies. When we did the chores tonight, we penned up Patch, Breakfast, Buttons and Lunch. Surprisingly, they didn’t do much complaining while we were still in the barn finishing up, but I expect they will be complaining in the morning when I go to milk.

I also moved the ‘garden’ outside today while Frank was gone. The weather was gorgeous with light winds, sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s for most of the day. 


We will leave the seedlings on the south side of the house in the sun during the day, and move them onto the west porch in the evenings when the temperatures are predicted to be in the middle 30’s just in case of frost. 

All of the seedlings so far are cold hardy, so they should be just fine. As long as the kittens stay out of them, that is. I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed on that one. 

While I was at it, I planted another 40 paper pots with carrots and 40 with beets. Now that the south window in the house is empty, it’s time to start the tomato and pepper seedlings. Maybe I can get to that tomorrow afternoon after church.

Transplanted seedling for a friend


My favorite watering can

That’s what we’ve been up to. We have been very grateful for some sunny, warmer days. The weeks of long, gray, cold, dreary days were really beginning to wear on me. They always do. Just looking out the window at the sunshine can make my day, and it’s even better when I can be outside playing in the dirt. 14 more days until spring. We hope you’ve had a good productive week. It always makes you feel good when you can get something done, even if it’s just the little things. Thank you for taking the time to read.

Until next time – Fern

10 thoughts on “What Have We Been Up To?

  1. Chevre freezes well, Vickie. I think two of the young does will have twins and the third one will only have a single from looking at them. I have definitely been known to guess wrong more than once, but that's my guess for now. We still have a little over three weeks until we find out.Peppers are VERY SLOW to germinate. Just when I know they are not going to come up, they finally do. When I plant them I water them with very hot water for the first few times. I have read where some people start them off with boiling water. I also keep them in a south window in the house where they will have sunshine and stay a consistent, warm temperature. Peppers and tomatoes don't like the cold at all, so I keep them in the house until they are well on their way. Hope this helps.Fern

  2. Oh – wow – I didn't know chevre was good for the freezer! Thanks! The goats look like they are getting pretty heavy with their pregnancy and I am excited to see how they do. Your seedlings appear to have a great start. I am also getting ready to plant some pepper seedlings. The last couple of years I have tried to germinate peppers, however, have left me in a fuddle! Do you have a hard time getting peppers to germinate? Or, do you have a secret?!

  3. It may dry out enough by Thursday to till the garden and start planting, Bellen. But it depends on whether we get the rain that is forecast for the next two days.My ranch dressing recipe, it's in my cheese making book, doesn't include dill, but I've thought about adding it. Thank you for sharing.Fern

  4. Terry, thank you for reading and thank you for the comment. I've still got about 2 months of study time, and I'm finding the Extra sharply more challenging than the Technician and the General. If, and when, I pass the Extra, I will let everybody on the planet know. Thanks again.73s, Frank

  5. Fiona, I've known lots of busy people that got little to nothing done. I've used this analogy before, and I'll probably use it again. Two dogs. One little yipper chasing his tail, barking his head off, and going in a circle saying, \”Look at me! Look at me!\” Next dog. An old hound dog, lazily walking, slowly down a country road. Going from point A to point B. Who is exerting the most energy? The little yipper is. Who is getting the job done? The old hound dog. The yipper is not going anywhere. The hound dog will reach his goal. Our world is filled with yippers, barking, \”Look at me! Look at me!\”Frank

  6. I used the same ARRL Extra study guide. As you know, it is great. You should do fine. I really liked the practice tests, they helped a lot. TerryFla.

  7. Your seedlings look fantastic and your goods look cute. 🙂 I didn't think chevre would freeze well, so I'm glad to know that. I'm thinking I should do all my hard cheeses early, when temps are cooler, and soft cheeses and mozzarella during the rest of summer. We're looking for this year's first kidding and day now!

  8. Your seedlings look great – bet you just can't wait to plant them. I just harvested my first carrot (1 of 6 in a large pot) – sweet & crunchy. Have a tomato that should be ripe on Wednesday, can't wait. Because we're so far south our gardens pretty much stop producing in mid-June thru August so we gorge on whatever's ripe.I make a tofu eggless salad with ranch dressing – I agree, the flavor is terrific. Ranch dressings main herbs, from the recipe I have, are garlic, dill and parsley. I've tried that trio on other things like chix and veggies and it does perk them up.Here's to warm sunny days and no more frost!

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