Independence Days Update: Mac the Marshmallow

Sharon January 19th, 2010

So the big event around here was the arrival of our Great Pyrenees puppy, Maccabeus.  He arrived along with six inches of snow the same color as he is yesterday.  He’s a very sweet dog – he already loves the kids and wants to be with them.  He’s very nervous, and a little sad because despite being six months old, he’s only just been taken away from his Mom.  He’s clearly looking for her everywhere he goes.  He is beautiful, affectionate and while a little nervous about the unfamiliar surroundings, astonishingly relaxed around people and animals.

The fly in the ointment has been Mistress Quickly, who has always been fairly mellow about other dogs, but is officially NOT PLEASED about Mac’s arrival.  He is already twice her size, so he mostly ignores her growling and snapping, but she’s convinced he’s a threat – every time one of us goes to pet him, she puts her body between him and us.  We’re working on reinforcing her positive behavior, and on softening her attitude towards him (there was a temporary truce when we did a little joint training, in which both dogs realized they had common ground – they both like cheese ;-) .)

So between Mac the Marshmallow whimpering at night without his Mommy (I finally slept downstairs with him, and he wedged himself between the sofa and me to get a Mommy substitute) and Mistress Quickly asserting herself as boss, things have been a little hectic and dog-centered around here.  We’re still figuring out how things are going to work, but it is, at least, exciting. 

I’ve also got a line on a couple of possible bucks for our girls, which is really exciting to me.  We have to work out timing and details, but it looks like our goat situation may be set to expand fairly soon, and, yay! no more “drive thru goat sex!”

Not too much else going on her, except that Mom was visiting and we were able to borrow her BJ’s card to actually get a couple of things that we can’t get as cheaply anywhere else.  I don’t think it is normally worthwhile to pay for a warehouse membership for us – we get most of our bulk materials elsewhere – but there are a few things that are a better price, most notably the pull-ups Eli has to wear to school and the dog food that Mac has been eating (we’ll shift him gradually over to our food, but we do *not* want a giant dog with an upset stomach!) ;-) .  So we did a little stocking up.

It took me a few days to really recover from last week’s workshop, and I’ve been focusing on the book as much as anything else.  I still haven’t finished my seed orders, which are one of the pressing issues for this week – since I want to do a lot of stratified things this year, and am planning on going to market with my plants, I need to get organized ASAP.  Otherwise, not so much going on here.

Plant something: Not this week

Harvest something: A few leaves of kale out from the snow during our thaw last week, as well as milk and eggs.  Got 5 eggs today (we don’t light) as well as finding a broody cochin hen, so spring will actually come!

Preserve something: I made some applesauce out of apples that were failing.

Waste Not: Nothing new

Want Not: Added more pull-ups and dog food to our reserves as well as a few other odds and ends (worcestershire sauce, old bay seasoning, nutella for the husband ;-) ).  Also picked up more cat food earlier in the week.

Eat the Food: Roasted vegetables wraps, stir fried kim chi and lamb in garlic sauce were highlights. 

Build Community Food Systems: A possible new project came my way, but has to be tabled until after the book.  Otherwise, nothing new.

How about you?


13 Responses to “Independence Days Update: Mac the Marshmallow”

  1. Susan in NJon 19 Jan 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Plant: No

    Harvest: thyme, rosemary from pots, sage from outside

    Preserve: dried orange peel

    Waste Not: discovered what the smell in the storage room was from – our visiting chipmunk had been drinking out of shelf stable milk individual packs, very neatly but left-behind dregs had fermented; mostly finished unpacking from our holiday trip and sorting accumulated laundry; worked on budget with partner; made broth.

    Want Not: A couple of good housekeeping/homesteading books at a clearance warehouse; bulk FT/org coffee, caf and decaf;10# onions; some divider boxes for organizing problematic kitchen drawers; replaced a worn out nonstick pan with enameled castiron and got a great small used castiron frying pan; some catsup and raw honey for my true love and triscuit for me; updated storage log.

    Community: Monthly meat/cheese farm delivery pick up

    Eat: egg salad; smoked fish with loose sushi; roast chicken with root vegetables; chicken, root vegies and rice; chicken shreds and chopped roast vegetables tossed in parsley noodles; green and white pizza; oatmeal with dried fruit including home-dried strawberries.

  2. Mia @ agoodhumanon 19 Jan 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Photos of Mac the marshmellow please!! He sounds adorable.

    Here’s my update for the week. I’ve slight modified my format to link to my bigger goals of Independence and Self-Sufficiency, but I remain true to the cause :)

  3. Shauntaon 19 Jan 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Awww…I want a Mac the Marshmallow. I’m trying to soften my hubby up about getting a dog.

    I posted my Independence Days on my blog.

  4. Sonrisaon 19 Jan 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I haven’t commented on these before because I’m too lazy to type it up (typing is probably my least favorite activity), but I’m trying to avoid going out to work on my aquaponic room;p. Plus I’m trying to be more involved in things. So here goes.

    Plant something: A few beets, broccoli, and lettuce seeds into the empty spaces in the greenhouse.

    Harvest something: A little lettuce and turnip greens, also from the greenhouse. Milk from the goats. A few eggs from the quail. I was getting a full round (about 30) until about three weeks ago, then they all started to molt and I was getting about 5 a day. Most of them are completely feathered again and starting to lay. These little buggers seem to do everything at high speed!

    Preserve something: Nope.

    Waste not: We are now “preprocessing” everything we can through the pigs before it goes to the compost:).

    Want not: Ordered 5 pounds of tomato powder,as well as smaller amounts of lemon, chicken and beef broth, and worcestershire powders. Made an order for a bunch more trees (fruit, biomass, and animal feed). Our little sow went into heat yesterday so we put her in with the boar. which means with any luck we’ll have piglets in the spring. Maybe that should have gone in plant something. lol

    Eat the food: Nothing new, but one of our favorites is sandwiches with bread made from our wheat, homemade mayo (our eggs), mozzarella from our goat milk (even made homemade rennet this year:D), and sometimes I’ll roast up a brined goat leg. Yum! It’s even better with tomatoes when they are in season.

    Build community food system: The main things that are grown for sale in our town is alfalfa and beef. We try to buy our hay locally and purchase from the local store (even if it’s just marked up w-mart stuff). Other than that community in general is a weak link for us here. All town activities are centered around church. Plus, I am part Hispanic and have walked in on more than one unpleasant conversation about Mexicans. It makes it hard to build community. But that’s a different topic and I should go do some work:).

  5. Devin Quinceon 19 Jan 2010 at 4:25 pm

    We recently got an Australian shepherd puppie how is obsessed with using us a a replacement for his mom.

  6. Gabrielleon 19 Jan 2010 at 4:58 pm

    This week I barely accomplished anything on the list. No planting, only a few herbs harvested, no preserving. I think I wasted MORE than usual because I was helping to clean out my grandmother’s home. (She recently passed away). While I made an effort to give as much as we could to family members and then to put the next tier in an estate sale pile and the rest went to Goodwill, I still saw bags and bags and bags of trash leave for the dump. It pained me.

    On the positive side–I picked up 15 pounds of pinto beans to add to storage. I ordered a case of local cheese with a friend. I tried to order a case of locally made salsa, but apparently the owners aren’t filling orders now. I organized the milk co-op. That’s about it. Not much of a week, but we made it through.

    I’m too tired to correct my grammar and punctuation today. Next week will be a bit better.

    Here’s to hoping next week/this week is more productive,
    Gabrielle in East TN ;)

  7. Robinon 19 Jan 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Plant: nada

    Harvest: Beets, cauliflower, cabbage, parsley, chard, chickweed, miner’s lettuce, cilantro

    Preserve: nope

    Waste not: the usual, kitchen scraps to chickens, weeds to goats.

    Want not: no stocking up this week

    Build Community food systems: not this week

    Eat the food: Highlights were homegrown meatloaf, homemade cinnamon raisin bread, and bubble and squeak

  8. curiousalexaon 19 Jan 2010 at 5:30 pm

    6 mos old and already twice her size?! oi.

  9. NMon 19 Jan 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Oops, I just accidentally posted this on last week’s Independence Days.
    Aww. Poor Mac, missing his mama. When we brought our kitten home two years ago at the end of November, he’d get cold in the very early morning, after an early breakfast of cold canned food, since we turn the heat off at night. So after he ate, we’d go back to bed and he’d stretch his tummy across my neck until he warmed up. He also liked to curl up in the hollow between my neck and the side of the couch where he and I slept for the first few weeks, until we were ready to bring him into the bedroom with the dogs. He still likes to sleep on my shoulder, but I finally had to tell him, no more stretching out on my throat. There’s a whole lot of difference between a fluffy three pound baby, and a hefty 12 pounds of adult cat, and I need to breathe! …
    Plant: nothing
    Harvest: local eggs, vegetables from the farmer’s market
    Preserve: Nothing.
    Waste not: composted vegetable scraps, as usual. Saved some for making stock. Husband replaced the leaking hot water valve on the kitchen sink, which was a relief, since we’d had to keep it turned off for several days, or it ran nonstop. Which was a reminder that not having hot running water in the kitchen is a real pain. Cold water doesn’t cut through or wash out grease, so even rinsing dishes became a nuisance, and washing them became a production. I can live just fine without a lot of modern conveniences, but please, please, leave me the hot water.
    Want not: No — been buying lunch out too much this week instead of bringing it from home, and need to get back with the program.
    Community food systems: I’m the one who organizes and places the egg orders at work and collects the money every week for our local farmer. Wrote up bi-monthly cooking column. Told a friend she could cook with chicken fat, instead of throwing it out, and it would make her vegetables taste wonderful (pretty funny to both of us, since I’m vegetarian and she’s not. But now she’s excited about the possibilities).
    Eat the food: Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin quick bread, home fries with cabbage, spaghetti with home canned sauce.

  10. homebrewlibrarianon 19 Jan 2010 at 5:59 pm

    It might still be winter, but there are tiny little green things coming up inside! The peppers planted last week are just starting to come up – it’s looking like I’ll have 30-40% germination. The old lettuce seed seems to still be viable but slow to germinate. After about a dozen seeds sprouted in two days, most of the rest are moseying along. Spinach, on the other hand, looks to have at least 90% germination, possibly higher. It’s a miniature forest of two leafed plants in a tray!

    Plant: I couldn’t wait for another 3-4 weeks for baby greens so I soaked and started mung beans. Bean sprouts by the weekend, I’m hoping!

    Harvest: Nope.

    Preserve: Dried some soured pumpkin puree ;P but since it’s a small additive to the cat food I make, it’s still usable. Steeled myself to check on a bag of small cabbages harvested back in September and found them to be mostly and in some cases completely salvageable. All the red cabbage got turned into future sauerkraut, the green will go into this week’s soups. Took at look at what pears remain and the verdict wasn’t so good. Might try making pear puree this week. At the last food preservation class, we worked on prepping fruits and vegetables for drying. I’m hoping to get by Cooperative Extension sometime this week to pick up my share. Dried bananas and strawberries (also apples, pears, raspberries, peppers, parsnips, zucchini and raspberry leather), mmmmmm. Oh, and more kefir.

    Waste not: All the peels, cores and seeds from various fruits and vegetables that were prepped at the food preservation class were bagged up, taken home and frozen to be taken to my chicken wrangler for her girls on the next egg run (except for the banana peels that went into compost). Other organic matter is saved in buckets for future compost piles.

    Want not: Made another two week batch of cat food and replaced a 8-cup glass measuring cup that shattered when placed in very hot water (not Pyrex obviously) with a Pyrex one. Also took advantage of the 50% off one item at JoAnn’s and bought another skein of the same yarn I’m making a scarf out of. Finished the seed order but haven’t placed it yet. That’s on for this evening.

    Community: I brought up budgeting with another of my upstairs neighbors and briefly explained the outline of doing one. We’ll see if it’s taken to heart. Looks like garden planning for both the house and the church is going to move up the priority list since I’ll be off doing mission work during the growing season. Everyone seems a little panicky that I won’t be there to help supervise. I’ve spent a lot of time calming people down and getting them ready to take notes. My other upstairs neighbor and I spent some quality time at the local brewery poring over our garden porn and creating our seed list (while enjoying a very fine, locally produced beverage or two). I used the opportunity to discuss gardening with friends who stopped by to chat and saw the catalogs. I’ve noticed that most of the people in my social circles have come to accept my urban farming efforts as normal. Sometimes they even start conversations about planting seasons, food preservation or something along those lines with no initiation by me. Yay!

    Eat: Dug some slightly freezer burned salmon out with the intention of making salmon cakes but ended up just baking and eating it. Chopped up some stored turnips, cabbage and brussels sprouts plant leaves to add to my breakfast soups this week. Tried a recipe for whole wheat sesame crackers and decided that the recipe needs tweaking before trying again. Nice flavor but too dense. Made chickpea salad from ingredients at hand and cooked up some stored oat groats. Found a recipe for a potato tortilla – more a frittata if you ask me – that included potatoes, onions and eggs but was further enlivened with chopped ham, sun dried tomatoes, home brined nasturtium seed and garlic. Also went out too many times this week and have leftovers to consume – perhaps that should go in Waste not!

    Kerri in AK

  11. Chileon 19 Jan 2010 at 11:55 pm

    I’ve heard that wrapping a ticking clock in a soft blanket for young dogs helps them make the transition away from their mothers; it mimics the sound of her beating heart.

    I’ve been really bad about keeping track of Independence Days stuff lately with all the busy-ness around here, but here’s what I can remember off the top of my head.

    Plant something: My hubby planned to transplant the tomato seedlings into buckets but opted not to with a week of cold, rainy weather heading our way. So, nothing new planted. All the seedlings are doing great, though.

    Harvest something: Purple cayenne, broccoli leaves, rapini leaves.

    Preserve something: 3 kinds of kimchi using cabbage, carrots, black Spanish radishes from CSA

    Waste Not: Sifted through all the contents of last season’s buckets from the garden. The clay balls went back into their bag for re-use in hydroponics. The roots and plant debris went to the compost pile for cover material. The soil, coconut coir, peat moss, and vermiculite that was left was all mixed together for this season’s planting.

    Want Not: Got cereal on sale with coupons.

    Eat the Food: Kimchi, Hakurei turnip Korean salad with spicy red pepper sauce, guero escabeche & homemade vinegar… Mostly ate fresh produce from CSA.

    Build Community Food Systems: Nothing new but may get to salvage lemons from someone planning to prune their tree soon.

  12. hickchickon 20 Jan 2010 at 7:16 am

    I’d love to hear more about the decision to get a great pyrenes…I hear so many different things-like the need to get them young and keep them with their intended herd to get he protective benifit and if they are focused on the herd they are not so family oriented. I realize every dog will be different but I would like to find out more as they are on my want list for next year.

  13. Claireon 20 Jan 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Well, at least the temps got more seasonable – actually a little warmer than normal – but it has been foggy for several days. My DH says it’s like living in Seattle without the high prices. For me, the consistent foggy, near-freezing mornings are energy draining. Plus, now that it got a bit above freezing for awhile, there is a nice layer of mud on top of the still-frozen ground. No desire to go into the garden.

    Plant: no.

    Harvest: no, though I did notice a few collard leaves that look semi-edible after a few mornings of near 0F lows. Maybe I’ll get them later today. I did get some of the leeks, radishes, and Jerusalem artichokes out of the root cellar for use in cooking in the last week, does that count?

    Preserve: no.

    Waste not: I started running some of the paper I would have recycled through the hand-cranked shredder and collecting the shreds for later use in the worm bin, compost pile, or the to-be-built humanure toilet. The goal is to reuse all the paper in this way and send to recycling only glass, metal, and plastic, and minimal amounts of those. Set aside cardboard for mulch liner. Ripped the mailing labels off the padded envelope that some of my seeds came in and set aside the padded envelope for re-use.

    Want not: finished my seed ordering for this year (at least that’s what I think right now). Ordered and received another 25 pound bag of wheat berries and 5 pound box of raisins.

    Build community food systems: writing article for our Zen Center’s newsletter on seed-starting using minimal resources and money.

    Eat the food: stored butternut squash, seeded and peeled, cut into chunks, the chunks lightly coated with olive oil, dried rosemary and dill sprinkled over, and the dish baked for one hour. It got good reviews at a potluck lunch. The stored radishes and J-chokes were included in stir-frys. The leeks were included in leek-potato soup. I got lazy one morning and made a loaf of bread with only white flour – a good opportunity to notice how much better the bread made from a mix of home-ground whole wheat flour and white flour is. I have been making all of our bread the last several weeks and grinding flour for most of the loaves. I’d bake them in the sun oven, but this has been an unusually cloudy winter to date.

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