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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Hillbilly carpentry, endless snow and winnowing out the pantry.

Mr. Butters got a steroid shot and his nails clipped (much high drama - I think we cleared the waiting room) and we are now just keeping an eye on him to see if it will do the trick.  If not, the next step is an allergy panel to see if we can find the cause of his itchy rash.  My vet loves him - screaming meemies and all - and Mr. B does play it up big time; looking at him with large, adoring eyes.  Putting his front flippers on his knee and wagging his entire body.  Geesh.


Until I can get to a hardware store to pick up the replacement hinges for the deck gate (and chicken door, and fence gate, and...and...), I had to improvise.  The judicious placement of baling twine and the dogs' tennis ball toy seems to have done the trick
Baling twine (left) and tennis ball/rope toy (right).


If you look out from the deck, you can see the pergola, stacked like a giant erector set.  Once the remaining glacier of snow melts and releases the remaining upright (using the term loosely) post, we will re-erect it.  Hopefully, this time with better bracing and far enough from the roof line that any avalanche will not give us a repeat performance.


You may also see in the photograph above the snow.  Yes, while I was doing a happy dance at the overnight temperatures in the mid-20s, I had yet to look outside.  When I did, it was a sad dance, indeed.  At least it should not stick to the ground, but fercryinoutloud. 


After I had finished inoculating at M's last Saturday, I got a tour of what was happening on the farm.  This involved walking into a deliciously warm greenhouse, carpeted with early spring greens.  It's amazing how much better one feels when gazing upon green things.  When I left a little later, they bestowed a bag of freshly picked greens.  I am portioning them out very carefully.  My lunches have reflected my efforts to empty out my canning shelves - sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much.
Belden Farm greens, hard-boiled duck egg,
dilly beans from 2015.
While the dilly beans in the salad pictured above were, er, edible, they also tended to go down the gullet like napalm.  ACK!  Luckily, I only had six pints left, so those will go out to the compost.  I'm onto the pickled, spiced red cabbage next.  Thank goodness for compost...



21 comments:

  1. I have things on my canning shelf which I'm pretty sure I will never open. Why do we do this to ourselves? Good job MacGiver'ing your gate. -Jenn

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    1. Jenn, I don't think we can help ourselves. It seems like such a good thing at the time, doesn't it?

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  2. It's been a while since I last visited your blog, but I've really enjoyed catching up with your life. The salad looks lovely, but hold the beans for me ;)

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    1. Hold them for me, too. Wowza, were they acidic!

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  3. That is a fine and admirable fence fixing job. Hats off to you. Baling twine has got to be the most useful waste product around. I'm thinking about weaving with it. Kisses to Mr. P. Butters, the screaming is SOOOO predictable. You know I had the vet dremel my little torpedo and not a peep. It is also working to change the angle of those thick nails so they won't be so prone to curl into paw pads. Flippers is right.

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    1. I was wondering about the dremel. However, given the high level of drama, I doubt if it would make a difference. I have bags of the stuff (baling twine) since I can't bring myself to toss it in the landfill. If you find a good use for it, let me know!

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  4. Out in this region, there would have been some duct tape used to repair that gate!

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    1. Duct tape is my other go-to repair material. Right now, all the destroyed vents on the roof are weatherproofed with plastic bags and duct tape. Love the stuff!

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  5. May I suggest reinforcing the pergola with binder twine? Throw in some duct tape too! It'll never budge again!

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    1. You know, that isn't a bad idea!

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  6. Oh local fresh greens!!!!!!!!!!

    Your salad looks delicious, except for the beans, that is. ,-)

    Ahhhh yes, NYS weather continues. Like you said, at least the last snow, didn't stay. But it gets so cold at night. And cold/windy during day. Rain coming...

    My husband and next door son and grands are due to build chicken run. But..... Rain. Gotta' get it done soon because one of the chickens (same one, don't know?) continues to elude ways, to keep her/them in... And tries to become hawk food.

    Green??? What's that????

    Excellent "meantime" closing of gates!!!!!!!!!! :-)

    Courage!

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    1. There is always one chicken that refuses to behave! We're more brown than green, but it's still better than white.

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  7. Well, I'm watching my supply of applesauce dwindle quickly, so I'm already psyching myself up for canning season!

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    1. Funny, I'm low on applesauce but still have pints and pints of beets. Hmmm.

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  8. Silly PB...Jack does the same with those eyes and the full body wag, pretending he has no ouchies and owies...why can't he act sick at the vet when he's supposed to lol?

    You are so right Susan...if I had the opportunity to be in a greenhouse right now I'd never leave. Those greens are very much needed this time of year for us Northern folk...I'm gently harvesting my indoor window lettuce...the next 4 pots started to grow so I'm very happy about that. Guess what? 15 inches of snow forecast for Sunday. I may just get back to that apple orchard and take my chances... ;)

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    1. I would be putty in Jack's paws. What an adorable dog. OMG, Rain! I so hope you do NOT get that much snow!

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  9. Baling twine is OK, but I sure miss the baling wire. Gum wrapper foil and bailing wire held many cars together years ago. Oh, green things! Snow skiff last night and 25 degrees...so much for the lilacs again this year. Then I listened to some guy saying we are headed into a little ice age... Need more chocolate!

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    1. It's been a long time since they used baling wire here. But at least you could easily find another use for wire. With twine, it just adds up and there's only so much second life in it. It sure feels like the approach of another ice age...

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  10. Great minds...my chicken gate is held together with a bungee cord right now.

    Can't make this stuff up: we're forecast to get 12-18" in Saturday's blizzard.

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    1. Bungee cords are right up there with baling twine and duct tape! Almost all my sheep gates are held closed with bungee cords. What?!? Blizzard in April? That is cruel and unusual punishment!!

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  11. Well of course Mr. PB did. It is a well known fact that when parents accompany their children , two or four legged, to the vet or pediatrician drama follows. And of course he adores the vet. One needs to keep the top dog on ones side. Now this is a pup who knows what side of his toast to butter.

    PS Is Mr. Butters related to Mary Jane Butters of Mary Jane's Farm fame?

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