Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life gets hectic

My life has had it's share of turmoil lately, but thankfully things are working out. I no sooner had returned to work after my long post surgical leave before I found myself in the midst of some pretty intolerable working conditions. I have never in my life walked off the job, but that is exactly what I found myself doing. I feel like it was one of those defining moments in life where you have to stand up for what is right at any cost. I quit my job on Friday and thankfully because I am an RN I had a new job by Tuesday. I am now in the middle of reorganizing my life to accommodate my new schedule.

Managing to care for my livestock, milk my dairy goat twice daily and continuing trying to grow some of my own vegetables are projects that I am determined to maintain because they bring me so much self satisfaction. I patiently await the arrival of the first eggs from my hens who are looking fat and healthy. I lost my Barred Rock Hen sadly to my dog Lola, the Boston Terrier who simply loses her mind when she gets close to a chicken or duck. I have tried everything short of tying a dead chicken to her neck and making her carry it around for a few days as I have been advised, to no avail. I still have my original nine Rhode Island Red Pullets and fingers crossed they stay alive and well, but that is a pretty big wish since they are all free range with no enclosure to keep them safe at night. I hope to build a safe structure very soon but have not been able to get to it yet.

I had really good success with my first batch of soft goat cheese made with lemon juice instead of rennet to curdle the milk. I followed a basic recipe for making soft spreadable goat cheese with lemon juice I found doing a simple Google search online. I added some chopped up lemon balm herb that I had growing in my little garden. The resulting cheese was soft spreadable with a nice sharp flavor very similar in consistency to cream cheese. Eaten over flat bread or toast was so delicious I will make it a regular addition to my homesteading projects. I hope to find a recipe for Alfredo sauce using goat cheese as well.

I made made a batch of 6 soy candles with a great pumpkin spice scent the candles are really long burning and I am very happy with them, however, I realized as I made them that they are not really moving me in the direction of self sufficiency because I must purchase all of the ingredients to make the candles from retailers. I need to do more research on home made candles. The only way I can see to truly make my own candles from my own materials would be to raise my own bees, so for now I will have to ponder that question.