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Monday, October 13, 2014

A questioning mind is a busy mind.

It's a good thing to have - a questioning mind.  It's better if the mind asks important questions like, "What is the meaning of life?", rather than, "Who are the idiots who designed this poultry waterer?!?"  I am sure I'm not alone when I wonder if any of the nimrods involved in the design of poultry waterers ever had to clean one.  I sincerely doubt it. 

My mind asked many questions this weekend.  Towit:  "If I have three pieces of applesauce cake and then go clean the chicken coop, will the intake of calories/expending of calories be a draw?"  Or, "If I give Lovey a piece of rawhide, will she be distracted enough to leave the applesauce cake alone?"  Or, "Why do dogs eat rabbit poop?"

I had a busy and productive weekend - Saturday threw me a few curve balls but, I am nothing if not flexible.  I was going to hang out two loads of laundry, pick apples early in the morning, then circle back, get feed, drive to VT, drop off two bags at Goodwill, pick up scratch feed (another ploy in my so far unsuccessful attempt to motivate the hens back into laying eggs - sluggards), get cheap gas, visit with my parents, pick up eggs (the shame of it) and my weekly pumpkin from a farm stand on my way home, then start on my to-do list.  I did it all but the apple-picking.  As I headed south to the apple farm, it started to rain (so much for the early start on my laundry).  I got feed, and headed north to VT.  After lunch with my parents, I headed over to an apple farm on the NY/VT border and picked up a couple bags of utility apples, then headed south towards home.  As luck would have it, the farmer was at his farm stand - I have been wanting to meet him for months.  I was sure he was in his 90s, but he is in his 70s.  Farming is a hard way to make a living.  Delightful man - we had a lively talk about cows, dairy farms, taxes (inevitable, if you live in the Vampire State of NY), land values, neighbors, chickens, the good old days.  I got a dozen eggs and a lovely pumpkin (for $1) and his promise that I could have all the pumpkins he didn't sell for my sheep.  Dave and I are now on a first-name basis.

I have found that the best way to get anything done after a morning like that, is to keep moving.  No sitting allowed!  I took the dogs out for a romp, then headed toward the garden. 

**Aside - I am starting to remind myself of Dave from Alvin and the Chipmunks.  I let the dogs out, they run around and do their business, Lovey and Scrappy trot back.  Where's Pepper?  "Pepper."  "Pepper!"  "PEPPER!!"  "PEPPER!!!!!"  He walks back at a maddeningly slow pace, avoiding eye contact, "oKAY!"

I made a millet and broccoli bake that was good, albeit too salty.  I need to heed my instincts - I thought there was too much in the recipe, but followed it blindly through.  I marked it for next time.  It was tasty - cooked millet, roasted broccoli, a cheddar cheese sauce, and more cheese. 

Sunday, I got up, made the aforementioned applesauce cake - my favorite GF baked good - walked the dogs, did more laundry, and went back outside.  I got the poultry yard cleaned up, cleaned the chicken coop, raked the sheep yard, did some manure-moving, did more garden clean up and planted my garlic.  I also cleaned my Berkey filters (six months late on that job) and did some housecleaning.  I had invited my neighbor over for dinner on purpose.  I realize that, if I do not have a reason to stop, I will work twelve hours straight.  This is not what I want to do on a Sunday.  So I worked until four, did my evening chores early, and made an inventive meatloaf.  This entails poking around in the freezer and fridge, looking for things that need using, and that could possible disappear nicely into a wad of cooked meat.  I ended up using a pound of grassfed ground beef, a half pound of breakfast sausage, the rest of some thawed garlic scape pesto, GF bread crumbs, a precious egg, and I basted it with homemade chili sauce.  It was a success!  I was also going to try olive oil, herb mashed potatoes, in my efforts to diet, but was too knackered by then.  I used my own Kennebecs, homemade raw milk yogurt, an assortment of fresh herbs that haven't been frozen in my garden, and my homemade butter.  For a vege, I sliced Brussels sprouts very thinly, sauteed some of my thinly sliced onions in bacon fat, and then stirred the sprouts in and slowly cooked it until semi-roasted.  The nice thing about older neighbors is that they are all for leaving early....

After dishes, I fell asleep over my latest knitting project and toted the wiener dog off to bed.





14 comments:

  1. Our chickens are molting right now. I had to (sigh) buy eggs this last week.

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    1. Kristina - Mine are finished except for a couple that look half-plucked. Are they holding out because of molting empathy? I don't know, but they better get cracking, so to speak...

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  2. My dad used to say that the county road superintendent should have to ride hog-tied in the bed of a pickup truck across all the county roads, because one trip would be enough to improve the surfacing and grading for the life of his job. Sounds like the "nimrods" who designed your poultry waterer should have use it for a week to get their daily allotment of water - with their hands tied behind their back. If you weren't so busy, you would make a perfect beta tester of all things farm-handy!

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    1. Charade - I know a few guys on the highway dept that could use a bumpy ride or two... I have not found one waterer that is sensible. I'd love to be a beta tester! It would be a good outlet for my acerbic wit.... :)

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  3. I'm going to start calling you Erma . . . as in Erma Bombeck. Except you're the homesteady version. You do have a busy mind, there's no doubt about that. (And the energy to go with it.)

    I don't know if it's just the impatient age I've reached or if the world is truly heading to he^^ in a handbasket on all counts, but it seems that lately nearly every other tool or piece of equipment I attempt to use or work with is an invention that has never been tried out by a human. If it had, the inventor would realize the folly of the invention. (Like your chicken waterer.)

    We have oodles of eggs right now. The new pullets started laying early and seem to be trying to out-do each other. Shall I send eggs or a couple of pullets?

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    1. Mama Pea - Pullets! That's what I need. Damn old gals. But not all of them can claim the age excuse. Yes, please - wouldya send a couple dozen? I have to agree - most tools are made in China with not a thought towards quality. I try to get most of my tools in yard sales - the older, the better. I am becoming a curmudgeon.

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  4. Every time I think I'm drowning in chores lists, I come here and read yours and realize--I am one lazy woman. I need a nap after your to-do list!

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  5. I enjoyed your day........thanks

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    1. Suz - I enjoyed it, too. Just went over to your blog and I love how you write! Plus, I love how you love cats... :)

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  6. Whew! I love your routine! Isn't keeping over busy such a good thing. It makes you sleep well and you know you have accomplished as much as a person can. Imagine people who find being at home boring and have to find things to do like shop, travel, go movies, golf etc! You have done all these things in a farm form over your weekend...and you have entertained your critters!

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    1. Fiona - Most of the forward motion is because I am afraid to stop. It's like having a tsunami of chores behind me... and, yes, I am very entertaining to my dogs. I would love to be able to read their little minds. Or not.

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  7. My chickens are just starting to lay after 2 YEARS of 0 eggs. The horror of buying store eggs!!! Sounds busy, and we're getting ready for fall/winter here. 37 last night...

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  8. Chatting to an old farmer is an experience not to be missed. Once when I was in England on a family visit, a dear old neighbour greeted me with "Have you seen the price of pigs!" Quite normal to expect a Canadian gal to check out the farm prices immediately after arriving on home soil.

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