Rain, Rain, Go Away…

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Just took this picture from our bedroom window… Ok. That’s not true.

But today sure felt a lot like the picture above here on our modest little piece of Oregon. As often occurs this time of year, the winter rains begins to fall in earnest (Yes… there’s a difference), the wind picks up to near gale force gusts, and the air has a special kind of bite that only comes with late December in Oregon. It was simply not the kind of day to be outside doing anything, so we tackled some Zone 1 projects. Our house.

With the chicken project in full swing, my garage, den, and laundry room area – where we’re staging materials, tools, etc.. looked like someone rolled in a hand grenade and quickly closed the door in a misguided attempt at organizing it… So we spent the morning today taking care of the mess and getting it all cleaned up and organized. The project is nearing its end, and we’re looking forward to having things back in order – I can only take so much clutter before I start going insane, my wife can take far less. It finally got to the point I couldn’t stand it anymore, which means Shannon hasn’t been able to deal for the past 3 weeks… Thankfully the doctor says the patches of hair will grow back.

I spent the rest of the afternoon researching backyard beekeeping. Bees are our next live animal project after the chickens get put in. We’ve got the spot figured out, have the flight path diverter already in place, and will be researching further how to go about it, but step one – I need to build a bee box. I’m going to stick with the Langstrom style box, as I’ve got a couple of friends that have both – and greatly prefer the old tried and true Langstrom over the Top Bar… though I have much more reading and study to do into the topic we’re going to start taking the first few cursory steps. Anyone who has experience in this, I’d love to hear from you. (Comment or email me.)

Once that was finished, I figured it was time to update as I took a few days off following the events of Friday morning. I decided that ultimately writing down what I did that day wasn’t terribly important following the news that we were receiving, and as a parent I had much more important things to do. I’m going to refrain from commenting on the events, and I have refused to be drug into the arguments that have been flooding my Facebook feed. I have many liberal friends whom I work with in the school system, and I have many conservative friends from other walks of life, and the past 2 days my Facebook feed has been one giant argument over gun control, and why the other user group are idiots. (Between this and the inevitable annoyance of December 21st’s Mayan Fiasco, I’m thinking a Facebook break may be in order until sometime in mid-February) Regarding the events in Connecticut, I’m choosing to stay out of it, and I will continue to do that on here. I don’t want to turn this into a place where I rant about politics and issues of the day – there are plenty of other folks who do that in the blogosphere, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the street corner… frankly, one more voice joining the cacophony is a waste of breath.

This blog is not about the evil in the world. It’s meant to be about the beautiful things in life. It’s about getting dirt under your fingernails — building, creating and producing. Being content with what you have, working hard, living, loving, and learning… being able to look back when the race has been run and knowing you have made a difference, that things are better than they were when you started. That’s the goal on our little parcel of land. 

Monday – we roof the coop!! The roof is framed, we’re just waiting on metal at this point, and since it’s salvage metal, there are holes in it already – so we want to wait until we get it to put the stripping down so we can avoid caulking holes. I’m stoked for getting the roof on it, and letting the framing dry out while we head down to Texas for my brother-in-law’s wedding. Once we get back we’ll be able to do some of the finishing work and get the siding on it. It’ll be tricky fitting everything in over break this year, as we’ll be spending a few days in sunny South Padre Island, Texas… then visiting my family in not-so-warm-and-sunny Spokane, Washington. We’ll have to fit finishing the coop around that and my winter Steelheading schedule… you have to have priorities you know…

As I finish typing this, I can smell the delicious smells coming from the kitchen. The sounds and smell of chicken sausage frying, the scent of onion wafting gently through the air — today’s menu choice is Kale/Potato/White Bean soup, and it’s a perfect pairing for the day, as you can see from the picture above – it’s definitely a soup kind of day. 

I’ll post a picture of the finished soup as well as the recipe later this evening in case you want to try it – we stole it from Mother Earth News, and it is delicious, you should definitely try it.

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