Drama with dressers

This past weekend we decided to clean up the downstairs of the house.  We cleaned out all the soap business stuff from Ezra’s room, moved the bookcase against the other wall in his room so he could use the cubby holes for his tpys and books, and we went to Ikea to look at toddler beds.  We decided against a bed for now and we are just having Ezra sleep on his mattress on the floor.  When we got home from shopping we decided to put him down for a nap, and Jesse just took the mattress out and put it on the floor but we didn’t take out the crib or dismantle it.  Ezra was VERY excited with the new setup.

Watching tv, I thought I heard something from Ez’s room so I paused the show.  Ezra was screaming!  I ran downstairs, thinking that he had probably been messing around with the crib and gotten a foot stuck in the mesh slats.  I only *wish* that’s what happened.  I opened the door and found Ezra on the floor with the dresser bureau laying on top of him.  It’s an Ikea dresser so it’s not super heavy, but it was completely full.  So he was trapped under the dresser and somehow his hand was smooshed UNDER the very bottom drawer, between the drawer and the bureau bottom.  I got his hand out, complete with bruised, scraped fingers, shoved the dresser back up, replaced a drawer that had fallen out.  In the meantime Jesse had run downstairs as well and was soothing Ezra who was completely freaked out.  I felt so bad!  We had meant to secure the dresser and the bookcase both to the wall but wasn’t able to find the brackets at that time.  You can be sure that once Ezra was situated upstairs with some ice on his fingers that Jesse found the brackets right quick and now everything is secure in Ezra’s room.

For the rest of the night Ez would show people “mah finger, mah finger”.  Luckily nothing was broken and he doesn’t seem to have any internal injuries.

We decided to put off butchering our growout kits.  We were going to process them, but Jesse and I both came down with colds, and there was yard work and shopping and it just didn’t get done.  Then I decided that maybe I would try to sell a couple of the rabbits as breeders.  If we can sell a couple from each litter, that would definitely help offset the cost of raising the others.

buck growouts

buck growouts

buck growout

buck growout

Blue Baby and kits

Blue Baby and kits

Mama and kit

Mama and kit

Mama's kits

Mama’s kits

Jesse finished putting up the first half of the new chicken enclosure.  The girls aren’t happy they don’t have the whole yard to roam, but it’s a good amount of space and eventually we’ll put in more fencing and double the run.  Our new chickens inside the house look like they are doing well.  We basically spend no time with them at all, not handling them or anything, but who has the time?  And really, as long as they are maliciously pecking at us or Ezra, I don’t need them to be too docile.

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We’re planning out where we want the garden rows to go.  Well, Jesse is planning them and I just nod amiably.

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Elderberry syrup is delicious!

I finally got the main ingredients to make some elderberry syrup.  The recipe I used called for some items I didn’t have, like cloves (note to self: buy cloves), so I substituted with a star anise.  I also used a whole cinnamon stick and I used fresh sliced ginger.  The process was pretty simple, but I think I had the burner turned on too high because what should have taken 45 minutes only took 20 and I couldn’t let it go longer or the liquid would have boiled out.  I’ll know better next time.

After I let the mixture cool down a little, I used a potato masher and mashed the berry mixture.  I wanted to get out all the goodness I could!  I then strained the mix through a fine-mesh metal strainer and let the liquid cool some more…except I let it cool a bit too long so when it came time to mix in the raw honey (which was a creamy, crystallized product) I had to work it into tepid liquid.  That was a challenge.  The final result, however, was worth it.  It was very sweet, and very berry-ish, and it will not at all be a hardship to take a tablespoon a day.  I think I may make a larger batch next time if we decide this is a supplement we want on a regular basis.  I would say the main cost factor would be the raw honey, which Jesse tells me we don’t actually have to use raw honey, we can use the processed kind.  But I feel like if I’m trying to get the most nutrients into us as possible, we should shell out some higher moola for the good stuff.

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We received our activated charcoal as well, so I gave it a try brushing my teeth with the powder.  I can’t say I noticed a huge whitening effect but I do notice a little one, and my teeth felt very clean afterward.  It did make a bit of a mess like folks said it would, but I was fairly careful and it was easily cleaned up.  I also took two of the pill capsules and I may get into a routine with those as well to clean out toxins from my body.  Of course, activated charcoal doesn’t differentiate the good from the bad, it just sucks everything out, so I don’t want to overdo it.

I have been keeping an eye on my ginger bug and it appeared ready for use, so I mixed the starter liquid with some coconut/pineapple juice and let it meld together overnight in a pitcher.  Last time when my bug didn’t work out, someone suggested that I should have let it hang out overnight to get the process started with the new juice sugars.  I poured the mixture into my flip-top bottles when I got home from work and let me tell you, that was a thick juice!  Perhaps I should have thinned it with water first?  I will let it hang out a couple days and give it a try.

Jesse showed me his plans to increase the chicken coop run, and it’s MUCH larger than I had anticipated.  It basically spans the entire length of our backyard, like a long rectangle, but really we aren’t using that particular area for anything anyway.  It will be nice for the girls when the time comes that we cannot let them roam the entire yard because of garden items sprouting.

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I mentioned that we bought six new baby chicks, didn’t I?  Well, we did, and we have lost one so far, but the other five seem to be doing well.  Then my sister let me know her friends are getting out of the chicken business and did we want seven adult layers?   Decisions, decisions!  We are still deciding because if none of the other chicks die we would have 19 chickens in our backyard, and even I think that is a bit much.  Jesse says we’d probably process a couple of the poorer layers, but that would still leave us with a bunch of hens.  We’ll see, but we need to decide quickly because they need them gone.  But we will need the new run in place if we do take them.  So much to do!  (Which, I’ll be honest, will all be on Jesse as I don’t build things.)

We purchased a pear tree at Costco a couple days ago to replace the one the voles had eaten.  It was only $12 for a good-size pear tree!  They had apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees available, so go get some while you can!  I cannot wait for our trees to start producing!