This is Candy’s attitude towards Hurricane Sandy.

Wait and see.

I have a tarp that I’ll cover Candy’s hutch with to keep her dry when the winds come. But The Empress says that for now she has to keep watch over her realm.

Hurricane Sandy Wind Speed

IT Guy Steve has added local wind speed to the cams. (For those new to this site, we are about 30 miles west of Boston.) Right now it’s quiet, only a few miles per hour. But, tomorrow things will pick up and we’ll see gusts up to 50 MPH (at least that’s the current prediction.) At the end of this storm all of the leaves will be down, but hopefully, around here, not much more than that.

Still, we’re being warned about fallen trees and widespread power outages. We’ll be staying home, inside. To prepare I made Hurricane Sandy Pie.

This is made with my good butter crust, filled with local Cortland apples and brown sugar, and topped with a butter/oat/crystalized ginger/pecan/cinnamon/flour topping. Oh, and a sprinkling of maple sugar. (No recipes, I just  throw it together.)

No refrigeration required, so when the power goes out, this will be on the counter, ready to eat.

There’s just one problem. I made it today. We still have power. But, the guys in the house want to eat it now. I think I’ll go join them.  Which means that I’ll have to make another Hurricane Sandy Pie tomorrow. Hope the power stays on long enough for me to bake that one!

Preparing For Sandy

The heart of Hurricane Sandy is going to pass well south of here, in New Jersey, but it looks as if we’ll have trouble enough from this storm. Predictions are for three days of rain and high winds. The trees are heavy with dying leaves and strong gusts will bring down a tangle of branches. Power outages are expected. Flooding is expected. We’re not too worried here, inland from the coast. We’ve seen worse. But it’s best to be prepared.

When the power goes out, the well can’t pump water, and so we’ve filled the animal’s waterers to the brims and have also filled the big tub.

The goats hate getting wet and so will be in their stall. I’ve cleaned it and bedded it deeply with shavings. I’ll keep them busy with hay. They’ll likely look quite round by the time Sandy leaves the neighborhood mid-week.

Candy has been given a flake of fresh hay to burrow in and we’ll cover her hutch with a tarp to keep out the blowing rain.

The hens will be inside. I’ve cleaned the coops and put down fresh shavings. I don’t think there will be any dry dirt outside for quite some time and so I’ve filled the purple tubs with sand and DE for dust baths. I’ve also given them a new pumpkin to keep them amused.

Now, with the barn chores done, I have a few things to do inside of the house while we still have power. I’ll do laundry. I’m going to fill up zip bags with water and put them in the freezer. Freezers stay colder during power outages when full. Also, the bags can be defrosted and the water used if necessary. I’m going to get the flashlights and candles out. Hopefully, they won’t be needed.

Steve is busy doing IT stuff. I’m not exactly sure what, but it includes backing up the computers and other important things.

Then we’ll settle in and watch the rain come down. Stay safe and dry, everyone!

Dressing The Goats For Halloween

I was in a pet store the other day and saw holiday collars for dogs. Let’s call them “neck tutus.” They were sparkly and silly and happy. I never dress up my dogs (Scooter hates wearing even the lightest weight collar) but I am embarrassed to say that I thought, I’ll put these on the goats!  However, I couldn’t bring myself to spend money on something so frivolous and which was sure not to be worn more than a few moments before all chaos broke out, so I left the store without them.

But, I couldn’t get the collars out of my mind and so for the price of a bit of elastic and ribbon on sale, I made neck tutus for the goats. Sorry, boys.

This is what Pip thought of it. I think that he’s saying thppptttt!

Of course, wearing decorative collars was yet another excuse for head butting.

But it was all worth it (to me) for this one adorable moment.

Just wait, goaties, for what I have in mind for our New Year’s celebration!

Poultry Banner Giveaway!

UPDATE: A winner has been selected with a random number generator. Congratulations, Patti!

I confess that I procrastinate on Etsy. I make the excuse that I mostly look at chicken things. That’s sort of like working, right?

I was very taken by this banner of prayer flags made by artist Miranda Gray.

Prayer flags have long been flown in Tibet and are an integral part of Tibetan Buddhism (a way of life that the Chinese continue to try to wipe out.) The thought is that the prayers and symbols on these squares of cloth are brought to life by the wind and are carried off into the world. I’m not Buddhist, but many of the blessings on these prayer flags are meant to create harmony and peace, and just the sight of them, I think, fluttering in the wind, is a reminder of living a mindful life.

Miranda has generously offered this banner of 9 Prayer Flags to the winner of this giveaway. The flag is shipped rolled up and wrapped in a paper prayer which reads:

May the Wind carry these prayers
for our barnyard birds
who feed us and enrich our soil
who are our comedic companions
May we humans honor and respect them
for their place in our lives

I think that’s a fine sentiment.

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is to go to MIranda’s Etsy store and take a look at her listings. Then come back here and let me know which is your favorite. (I know some of you bee keepers are going to love her bee banner, and she has bunnies and goats, too!) One entry per person please EXCEPT if you put a link to this on your FB page or Twitter feed, then you get another entry. Just come back here and let me know that you’ve posted it. You must enter here on my website. Comments on my FB page won’t count (sorry, but it’s just too hard to keep track of.) The winner will be selected by a random number generator on Tuesday, October 30 at 10 pm EDT.