The Donks Want You to Know...
After a warmer afternoon melted much of what snow we had in exposed places, I awoke to the same amount, freshly dumped in the wee hours.... and it has kept falling all day today.
My two older girls get a special treat when the temps drop or they are exposed to prolonged rain and get wet and chilled:
When the weather gets cold, out comes the bowls of grain, moistened by boiling water from the house, so that there's half a chance of its being lukewarm by the time the donks get started eating. This not only makes it more palatable, but assures they are getting some water when it's too cold to want a glass of ice. They also each get a handful of vitamin pellets thrown in.
Rita (in back) and Louise chow down... Louise in particular has had trouble keeping weight on this winter and is now 28 while Rita is 24. This is middle age or better for them, as donkeys routinely live past 40, but they need pampering.
The others were a little jealous, but they get extra sugar in the from of extra carrots and apples when the weather expends more body heat, so don't let their sad, long faces fool you. From left, Assteroid, 2, April, 6, and Rose, 9.
In other homestead developments, we got our first box of winter vegetables from the CSA we signed up to mid-season, Mountain Bounty Farms, located about 10 miles from us. Our friend Bill encouraged us to join, and even offered to make our weekly pick-up for us and drop the boxes off the next morning on his way to work near us. Beautiful organic rutabagas are the star this season, in produce that farm owner John Tecklin is bringing up from another CSA in the Capay Valley, on the western side of the great Central Valley, near Woodland. I roasted a large pan of rutabagas, parsnips (a personal favorite), carrots and turnips, which had been doused with olive oil pureed with some of the provided green garlic the first night, while prepping and starting a crockpot of minestrone, using some of the leftover roast (we get grass-fed, non-certified organic beef annually from my cousin, who now tends the ranch that has been in my mother's branch of the family for 85 years). I also dried the cilantro, and plan to make cole slaw from the big head of cabbage... I am finding that to save time, I prefer to prep veggies for at least one other meal while cooking, and haven't gotten back to more cooking this weekend, as I did my coursework this morning, sorted yarns for my anticipated version of the Ruana in Folk Shawls, and then took up my Ruffled Shawl this afternoon.
I haven't touched it in a long time, probably six weeks, as I stuck with small projects and dealt with the stress of change. Of course, I had stopped midway through the short-row foundation points for the ruffles (yes, I was THAT close to finishing), and messed up the first ones I attempted and had to rip back when I noticed they weren't matching the way I had done the first half, but now I am back on track and only have a few more left. Then, it's on to the red ruffles. I plan to cast on my Mountain Stream shawl tonight.