Freezing and Drying

Image may contain: outdoor, nature and textLike every year at this time, we were determined to hold off turning on the furnace as long as possible. I lost the game on Saturday night. I went to bed but thought, “Brrrr. I’m a bit cold.”  So I stuck my head out of the bedroom door and said to EJ, who stays up later than I do, “It’s ok if you want to turn on the furnace.” He just laughed. I went to bed, but I was still cold. I got out of bed and stuck my head out of the door again and suggested, “We could always set the thermostat to 50 or something so the indoor temperature doesn’t go below that during the night.” He laughed and said he would turn on the heat. Last year we kept the thermostat at 65 degrees (F) to save on heating costs. We were fine with our warm sweatshirts, sweaters, and blankets/afghans–and a dog and cat or two. So this year we decided we’d try setting the thermostat at 64 degrees. 🙂

We’ve had some indecisive weather over the last couple of days. Sunday it rained all day, and also hailed or sleeted (I’m not sure how to tell the difference), and EJ said he thought he saw it snowing. Even when it wasn’t raining, hailing/sleeting, or snowing, the damp cold went right through us. Brrrrr. Today we had periods of sunshine, rain, and snow. The snow was like rainy-snow or snowy-rain, we weren’t sure which–sort of neither one nor the other. When cold weather first arrives, it’s always a bit of a shock. Once we get used to it, we enjoy the winter weather.

When it wasn’t raining/snowing, we made more preparations for winter. Yesterday EJ harvested the rest of the garden produce–the potatoes and pumpkins. Today we put away the patio furniture.

A few trays of apples drying on Sunday.

Yesterday I cut up some of the apples we picked on Saturday and put them in the “Magic Mill” dehydrator. I’ve never dried apples before–usually, I just dry herbs–so I only did a few trays to experiment. EJ said they turned out splendidly so I cut up more apples this afternoon and they are drying now.

I also made homemade granola yesterday. I hadn’t made it since before JJ was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. I didn’t know where my old recipe went to, but I like this newer one better: Granola Recipe. It turned out well. We ate it all so I made another batch today. We like to eat it with yogurt. I will be making it often.

Some of my creations.

I’ve also been crocheting a lot. I have a lot of very cute new items in my e-store, and I have a lot more that I want to make. You can check them out here: Terics Treasures. You can help me out by also sharing my store link with others.

Saturday night we heard the coyotes howling like banshees. We heard them again Sunday night when we took Hannah Joy out for the final time before bed. They sounded extremely close the second night–the closest I’ve ever heard them. Their howls are very spine-chilling, and we were all a bit spooked. Hannah Joy finished her “business” and we all hurried back to the safety of the house.

I was glad that the chickens and outdoor cats were all safely shut up in the coop. All of the young ones are now roosting with the older ones in various places. I took a few photos of them tonight. The young ones don’t yet have full combs on their heads. It’s very cozy in the coop.  (FYI: The yellow kitty litter buckets are filled with chicken feed.)

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