My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, www.rosemary-ridge.blogspot.com ... thank you!

Happy Birthday, Sis, and other topics

A quick happy birthday to my sister, Kim, who turns *^ today. I haven't seen her in a couple of years, and it's been about a year since I've heard from her, so I hope she at least got my card. Hard to believe we're in our 50's now, isn't it?

= = = =

On to other business... it is COLD today! We put 2 extra blankets on our bed last night, and requested that the Kid sleep with his door open so he can get a little more warmth in there too. When we got up today, it was 5 degrees, and by the time Hubby left for work, it had risen to a whopping 6 degrees F.! The high today is supposed to be 9 or 10 degrees, so yep, it's cold! The kind of cold where you face hurts when uncovered out in the cold for even a few moments.

That's why I decided to make chili tonight for dinner... warm up Hubby and me from the inside out. (I'll post the recipe tomorrow - experimenting with cumin!) The Kid doesn't like food with too many ingredients, so he bypasses things like chili, and has requested a can of baked beans for dinner. I'll make some rice for him too. We're out of carrots and greens for us and for the bunny - wonder if I can get Hubby to stop on the way home?!?!

I requested the approval letter from our mortgage guy in preparation to make an offer on that almost-2-acre property towards the end of the week. We'll need an inspection of the water and septic systems before we close, and if there's any problem, we'll either walk away, or lower the price of the property to compensate for the cost of repairs. Still waiting to hear about the boarded horses; hope they'll be gone before we close. Speaking of which, we hope to be in the property by the first of March. Keep your fingers crossed!

Using yahoo maps (or was it google maps?), I brought the property up on my computer screen, and traced it onto a piece of paper. Then I spent some time figuring out how to divide the 1-acre of pasture into 2 small pastures, a corn field (that will be a 3-sisters: corn, winter squash, and pole beans), and the fruit/nut-tree orchard. For 6-8 Nigerian Dwarf goats, who only get about 2 feet tall, the 2 small pastures I marked out should be sufficient.

Separate from that 1 acre pasture area is the other half of the property: house, barn, chicken coop, 2 sections of the back yard, and the front yard plus a large circular driveway. In the back, there's actually room for a "back yard" where the Kid wants some kind of a tree-house, and where we can put our shaded swing, a barbque (earth-oven) and picnic table.

There is also an area already fenced that has a few bushes, but those can easily be knocked down and my veggie garden (aka a "potager" garden) placed within. I need to do even more research for companion planting, to organize the six or seven or eight 4'x8' raised beds, to make them look good, and make sure they rotate. We also have one of those circle strawberry beds to fit in (for strawberries and spinach, companion plants). I don't plan on ever moving again, so I want to plan it all correctly right from the get-go.

I wonder if there's a map of the sprinkler system that we found in the garage? Or if it's even functional?

There's also room on the southside of the house for us to (someday) build a greenhouse so we can have fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs even in the winter! Hmmm... miniature avocado and citrus trees - heaven!

I know.. enough about the house and property. Well, for now!

Meanwhile, I sent about half of our Holiday Greeting cards yesterday. I just have to finish addressing the rest of them today. AND make appointments for our dental and vision checkups before the end of the year; hope we can get in!

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