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Lightweight, Easy Clean, Poo Droppings


Egads!  Summer is passing by like a ‘streaker’ from the 60’s.  Our garden has finally become robust in growth and I see that we will harvest an abundance through Fall.  About 40 tomato plants will yield greatly for canning projects, I we savour slow roasted tomatoes and garlic.  I am totally jazzed with the Amish Pie Pumpkins that have covered the pathway.  Today, though this chat is about cleaning chicken poo from below the roost.

 

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One change I have made on the chicken coop is the material for the droppings board.  Wood is just too heavy and bulky.  So after searching the internet for many days, I found the ideal material.  Floortex Ultimat Polycarbonate Smooth Back Chair Mat for Hard Floors, Clear, 47 x 30 Inches, Rectangular (12197519ER)
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

Two mats covered the length needed with a bit of overlap.  I placed strong cardboard beneath the polycarbonate mats so the semi-clear mat would look like wood.  Each day I scrape the poo with a wide metal plaster taping knife into a bucket.  It is a fast cleaning job inside or outside.  I choose to carry the two flexible and lightweight mats outside and hose them down with the jet spray.  During the winter, I will spritze with a ‘green’ cleaner and wash them clean in place.  No more sore back from lifting out the wooden boards (plywood covered with adhesive shelving paper) which was my first method.  My husband was not pleased with the cost of the polycarbonate mats until he realized it truly is a ‘back saver’ for me.  I also believe these mats are better for sanitation, as well as eliminating one more location for ‘insects’ to hide.  Next chore is to wash down the back wall and repaint!

Cheers!

izzi~avis

The Chicken Chick

 

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Feeding the Girls


Today I share a few ideas for preparing ‘happy meals’ for my 8 weeks old chicks.  They are a tad spoiled which is okay, I have time to do so.  I like to have all the chicks gather around my rubber boots anxious to eat the blend of the day.  This is the one time of day when they aren’t skirting away from me not wanting to be picked up by the giant.  

I use a base liquid, vegetable water from steamed or boiled dinner preparation.  I save the liquid for a batch of oatmeal for the chicks.  Home canned green beans appears to be their favorite, as I usually have a few beans leftover.  I smash the beans, boil the liquid, add oatmeal and garlic.  The platter or bowls of food are sprinkled with a bit of Pro-Biotic powder.

If it is carrot or corn water, I add chopped fruits, basil, rosemary and thyme.  This last week I poached some Tilapia along with barley and a sprinkle of garlic.  And, this morning I prepared Muslix with garlic, cinnamon, the center seeds from cantaloupe topped with slice grapes.  Thus Far, the top of the list of well liked foods must be the baked garnet yams.  Whoot!  The chicks are all over the platter.

The slide show essentially captures how well their mid-morning ‘treat’ was received.

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Cheers!

izzi~avis

The Chicken Chick

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Catching up, 2013 House and Garden


The blog brain took a leave of absence for a long while, and it is time to get the catch up posted.  Hubby was busy installing the pine ceiling while I got the seedlings started.  Using this metal rolling rack is perfect to put out in sunshine, then roll back into the house overnight.  I learned to check a bit closer when bring the rack inside, as I managed to bring a snake.  Undiscovered until morning when our guard cat ushered husband downstairs to see ‘snake’ lounging on the ‘heated concrete floor’.

We then got the tractor into the garden area for some revision to the layout in order to add more blueberry shrubs.  Raised beds were also prepped, as well as weeding in the asparagus beds.  I seem to have my best  intent in the spring, until the heat of summer drives the weeds into full speed over-taking the garden.

We also completed the back landscaping which is easy peasy maintenance and simplicity.  Husband also completed the entire retaining wall along the driveway, and with a gentle curving line we are pleased with the results.  He was free to get back into a summer hiking season, and I was free to garden til the late sundown of the evenings.

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Cheers!

izzi~avis

 

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Sunday Wagon Ride to the Coop Area


Greetings Peeps!

Today is beautiful and warm outside with full sunshine and most the snow is now melted.  Afternoon is the best for taking the 5 week old chicks for some scratching in the sunshine.  It’s a fitness challenge in itself to capture 14 of the 16 chicks (the 2 silkies are too small to go).  Once they are all in the ‘chick wagon’ life is good and they settle down for the big ride around the shop to the garden shed area.

The garden shed is empty, ready for some quick carpentry work, so we can move the chicks.  The run will take just a few more weeks to complete, until the ground thaws from over winter.  “Not I”, said the little red hen regarding digging post holes in frozen ground!

Once we get to the shed area where I place some rebar grids covered with old sheets, we let the chicks out of the wagon.  Actually, we uncover the escape route and let them each exit the wagon on their own.   Well, that takes much longer than a shake of a chicken leg!  Bait!  Yes, I rewarded them with a plate of baked garnet yams which they delight in eating.

 

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Cheers!  izzi~avis

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The Chicken Chick

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My First Spring Project, Baby Chicks


Baby Chicks hatched February 18th, packaged and shipped from My Pet chicken.  The fifteen chicks are one of the surplus 15 rare collection offered as an internet purchase.  Without the complication of details, minus 3 and plus 4, we now have 16 chicks.

PB, our special care chick.

PB, our special care chick.

 

More complication ahead as I was determined to build a coop myself.  This was a deal-maker between my husband and I since he was against my chicken raising project.  Since then chicks later became a source of mid-day entertainment as we watched the chicks, husband decided the existing garden shed would provide a quick solution acquiring a coop.

 

The Chick Rambler equipped with entry pole.

The Chick Rambler equipped with entry pole.

Tagged for coop conversion.

Tagged for coop conversion.

 

Call this the ‘Happy Dance’ solution!  This is a charming 8 by 10 shed that already has limited ornamental windows and a cupola.

 

 

 

 

 

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That is where this little introductory chat concludes until I have more information to share.

Cheers!  izzi~avis

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Weaving Over Time


SeanDonnaTomatoes 129

 

 

A batch of photos to show some of my project activity.

 

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Cheers!  izzi~avis

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Kitchen 2013


Here it is September and I am just getting a cooking post added to the blog.  Zucchini is ripe and shredded for the Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  I will post a slide show of options for toppings, and provide my recipe as well.  I do use organic ingredients when available.

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Here is my recipe, modified over time starting with a base recipe.

Avis’ Chocolate Zucchini Cake

½ cup (8 tablespoons) real butter

½ cup Safflower oil

¾ cup (6 ounces) Turbinado sugar (raw sugar) or Agave Nectar

2 teaspoons +/- vanilla extract (I like plenty of vanilla)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt +/-

2 large eggs

½ cup plain Greek yogurt (sour cream or buttermilk)

2 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour

¾ cup baking cocoa, extra dark if you like

3 single serving size packets of Starbucks Via instant coffee, Italian roast

3 cups shredded zucchini (a 10-12 inch zucchini)

½ cup chocolate chips (peanut butter chips or crushed Butterfinger bar)

Icing options:  1 cup chocolate chips, 1/3 cup peanut butter or 1 cup crushed Butterfinger bar (or any combination of these)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 325˚F, lightly grease baking dish if you desire.
  2. Beat together butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until smooth.
  3. Beat in the eggs.
  4. Blend in the yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk.
  5. Add the cocoa and Via.
  6. Fold in the shredded zucchini and ½ cup chocolate chips.  Scoop batter into baking dish(s) of choice.
  7. Bake the cake 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  8. The cake toppings are optional.  Sprinkle 1 cup of chocolate chips on top of the cake, return the cake to oven and watch for slight melting of chips.  Or, let the cake cool, add a layer of whipped cream and sprinkle your Butterfinger bits on top of the cake.  Or, spread the top of the cake with peanut butter and sprinkle chocolate chips or Butterfinger pieces.

Enjoy!!  Happy Gardening!

Izzi~Avis

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Kitchen Goodies


I’ve found a few recipes that our grand kids love!  When our grandson says that he loves the cookies he helped me prepare, I am pleased.

house2012 063                        house2012 061 (2) This is especially true when he helps me add an avocado to the mixture, rather than butter.  He understands we are making efforts to eat healthy, even if it is a treat!

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Garden Harvest 2012


Garden Harvest 2012

Abundance in sunny colors!

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Project for April 12th Guild Meeting, Summer Winter Weave


Time is running short,  and I am warping my loom slowly!  It took many hours for me to decipher how design and follow a Profile Draft.  This finally came together once I decided to use an Excel spreadsheet and program techniques to automate the design faster and cleaner.

Training my brain to go from a simple draft to a profile draft is a challenging task, and I am still in progress.  The good news is that I am now beyond the steps of determining Warp Sett, and order of Sley in the reed, and I am now threading the heddles.

Threading the heddles for my Summer Winter weave as I follow the Profile Draft is an exercise in ‘focus’.  I have to follow the block diagram and I have 4 threads per block (blocks A & B).  Threading order differs in that Block A is threaded 1-3-2-3, and Block B is threaded 1-4-2-4.
Once I finish threading the 251 threads, I must move onto the tying up of the treadles, again a challenging stage for my ‘still learning’ brain.

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Cheers! izzi~A

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It’s a Beast, It’s the Best!!


◊         A beast, if you don’t cut it into quarters for consumption.

◊         The best, only because I am partial to this sticky sandwich.

I make this sandwich with Franz 9 grain bread, Adams chunky peanut butter, shredded carrots, sliced bananas, raisins, and honey drizzled over before placing the bread slice on top.

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Cheers!        :-)         izzi~ avis

The Chicken Chick

http://www.tillysnest.com/2014/04/down-home-blog-hopnumber-82-bog-garden.html

 

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Playing in the Kitchen with Quinoa ~


Greetings All

Having awakened to the call of the ‘wise owl’, I am launching into 2012 with my eyes focused on improved fitness and general health.  Which for one point means that I am not consuming as many potato chips.

Big Sigh.

Quinoa is a wonderful grain added to my dietary agenda.  I bought and down loaded a fantastic cook book all about Quinoa (thank you Wendy Polisi).

I will post a link:  http://www.cookingquinoa.net/

I have baked Quinoa cakes in muffin pan that turned out yummers!  I modified my version from a combination of recipes found on an internet search.  Adding curry, yellow bell peppers, onion, garlic, and shredded carrots, and Mrs. Cubbison’s herbed seasoned stuffing cubes (http://mrscubbisons.com/products/herb-seasoned-cube-stuffing.php)  to the mixture resulted in a personally pleasing breakfast food.

I did toss together another Quinoa mixture to make roll-ups.  The ingredients shown in the photograph below added to a package of frozen ultimate southwest blend http://www.birdseye.com/vegetable-products/cw-pure-simple-blends/ultimate-southwest-blend provided a great filling for roll-ups.

Having fun!  And, as my sweet friend, Trudy says, “Enjoying the Ride”!

Cheers from izzi ~ A

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My First Knit Moebius


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Greetings!

I knitted my first Moebius, and once tied off, I handed it directly to my daughter Jenni as a gift.  Then, I realized I need pictures for this blog post now hoping her cell phone pictures show enough detail.

It is by far not perfect, but with the chosen yarn my mistakes may not be discovered by my daughter.  (heh-heh)  The yarn texture is delightfully soft and the accessory lays favorably upon my daughter’s shoulders.

The video posted by Cat Bordhi was an essential ‘learning tool’.  I paused, replayed, replayed, paused numerous times in order to fully understand what I was accomplishing.

Thank you Cat Bordhi for this great video posted via You Tube.   Your video share is perfect!!

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Fall 2011 Projects


Having completed by training with Kay R. (from our local Guild), it was time for me to embark on my next project at home using my loom. My used LeClerc Nilus floor loom was located at Canada, and Kay R. transported the loom to Washington State for me.

My dowel peg frame for winding the required number of threads to the required length for the warp is strapped to our scaffolding which ‘lives’ in the ‘big room’ upstairs. My husband and I have been building the house coming on year 8 now. We live amongst the disorder.  He went on some great high country hikes while I enjoyed weaving at home.

To make this solo project simple, I followed the same weaving draft as for the previous dish towels. I changed the yarn colors to a southwest desert theme with some amazing warp and weft configurations.

I then took the length of warp to the loom and proceeded to dress the loom front to back. I sleyed 372 threads in the proper order through the reed, and then from the back side of the loom I pulled each thread through individual heddles of four harnesses.

Once that was complete, I slowly untangled yarns (threads, whichever) and turned the crank arm to roll the warp onto the back beam of the loom. When all is set correctly attaching the treadles to the harnesses, I was ready to begin weaving.

The different projects I completed this last Fall 2011 were all from the same weaving draft with color and treadle variations.  In addition, once I had my first fabric cut from the loom I then tied each new warp of threads to the ones left threaded through the heddles and reed of the loom.  This saves time (they say), yet I found the tying on to be a tension-building activity until I got more practice.  Pictures of tying on a new warp will show in another blog following this one.

Cheers!  izzi Avis

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Sunshine!! Mountain Air!! Gardens!! Weaving!! Smiles!!


Greetings!!

Welcome to my blog page that is used for sharing pictures of crafts, hobbies, local area perks, and whatever drives my cognitive gears.

Today, I am adding pictures of my latest weaving project (dish towels) that I removed from my LeClerc Nilus weaving loom.  The project is far from being finished as now I must cut apart the woven fabric and hand hem each towel.

Cheers from izzi~

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