After a random rainbow following a sudden shower (this view taken from my home office window looking out to our front yard), the weather has been dry and feeling more and more like spring! It's now regularly in the 50's (and occasional low 60's!) in the days and that.is.rad.
With the warmer weather, the ladies are all back to full time laying. All four chooks are laying in the duck coop, Lucy is laying once again wherever she darn well wants, and Blondie, one of our original ducks, is continuing to lay in the chicken's nesting box. Update: like the little dogs taking over the big dogs' beds and vice versa, I happened upon Betty and Lucy in the nesting boxes as well this morning! I switched over from straw to pine shavings and the chooks did not like that one bit, but really, as long as they're laying somewhere consistent, and the ducks don't mind? I'm good. Now back to the old conundrum...what to do with all the extra eggs? We've been contemplating the idea of bringing in more birds and selling some, but the commitment makes me unsure as we have post-pandemic plans that are enticing us...
Baking quite a bit lately, primarily for the benefit of my husband who is trying the 'sumo wrestler' dietary tactic to try to gain weight, so I literally send him to work with a mini-loaf of his own. Bagels, however, are definitely shared, as they are SOOOO delish. The latest bread was an artisan wheat recipe from Mother Earth News that I found which I sprinkled za'atar on top before baking that turned out pretty good. Loaves aren't exactly sandwich sized though so going to adjust the approach next time. While I have other good recipes, I'm enjoying trying the various techniques out as there seems to be as many ways as there are bakers out there. This one had added wheat gluten to it - a bit of irony considering I was gluten free for a number of years. Not sure it made a huge difference in texture or flavor, but that's what experimenting is for.
The biggest part of the week, however, has been in a major repair/renovation of the gnarly old deck on the back of the house. I should have a good 'Before And After' post next week to show y'all, but here's a peek into the nastiness of it, the fun of pulling out whole and partial boards, redoing a rotten staircase, my husband donning the gas mask and sanding the old stuff off, myself and lots more. Thank you internet videos for lots of tips on how to DIY all of this! (Note: on the left side of the picture you'll see the 'starting point' for our chicken tractor - not a weird tent - as we have 40 Houdan chicks arriving next week for delicious meat chicken raising - our second endeavor - in 2021!)