10 April, 2011

April Critters

It has been a BUSY week here. We've got extra family in which means more suppers, outings, visiting & just more back & forth than is generally usual. V & C are having such a good time w/ their grandma & uncle; I get lonely & miss them, but she's only here for another week before we haveto go back to normal. They've been staying over there twice a week or so, the librarian & store clerks are thinking I've ax murdered them or something, they've not been in town much at all these 6 weeks last. Mike & I are planning an Off Off-Grid experiment in the next week or so for spring break. He asked me if I would rather dig a root cellar or flip the breaker? I'm trying to persuade him to do both; w/ the switch flipped it's unlikely that we'll be spending as much time as we do on the internet. He countered that he would really enjoy a shower after 2 or 3 days of digging which I can completely understand. I do plan on helping though & was thinking that maybe we could go swim in the lake or creek afterwards. The lake is at a park w/ grills so we could cook there. I don't know, just thinking out loud. I'll try & record it in long hand & post the highlights. Cooking full time outside is a daunting idea for me, simplification in everything. Less clothing changes, less side dishes, more planning ahead. I think we're just going to sink a cooler into our stream for cold stuff. Our whole front yard & fire pit is fenced in & doing anything will mean doing it w/ curious goats trying to help...but really badly. Which brings me to our newest blessings... Sam. I don't have picture loaded or even taken yet in some cases but Sam is our 6 month old Labrador Retriever. (Did you know Labs originate from Newfoundland & not Labrador?) Sam is trained to fetch & sit though he needs some practice. He is a very sweet puppy w/ loads of energy & very affectionate. He keeps the goats on their toes (actually the culvert) as he likes to run & though he was a beautiful dog, since he discovered the stream on the 3rd day he's a pretty muddy mess & needs a brushing often. The front is starting to resemble a rodeo ground. Buck was somewhat useful the other day. She came in & settled down deliberately in front of the woodstove, but not on the tile to stay cool as she ususally does. She stared at the stove, not twitchy or concerned but definitly not moving either, Miranda bear crawling & Charlotte running didn't send her under the bed. After about 2 hours it was unsettling me & I told Mike she was sick or something. He thought to amuse her & opened the stove door & she was in the stove as fast as Tom Tildrum. He gabbed her fur & an Eastern Bluebird flew out right in his face freaking him out. This is the very same bird that the great state of Missouri has claimed, though I'm not sure why. Mo. is smack dab in the middle of the country. He flew around all crazy & got himself wedged between the kitchen window screen & glass. I ran out to get the ladder as the window is a good 12' high & the screens are only removeable from the outside. He chirped furiously as he made his escape to some neighboring tree. We also received 2 chickens but they flew out of the carrier before we even had them & took off up the mountain. I chased them for a good 45 min. on the 70 degree slope covered w/ loggers detritus trying to flush them out of the laurel but to no avail. They slept out the first night. I finally caught the hen the next day; she was roosting on the goats fence & I got her cornered inside. It's true what is said concerning chickens hanging upside down by their feet, it does hypnotize them. Does that sound weird? I started to type "It's true what they say about chickens, etc." but who is "they"? So I made it more awkward in order to be proper; I dislike what "they" say whenever they've not been identified. The rooster is still out there crowing up the mountain somewhere, if he doesn't come down tomorrow we're going on a chicken hunt if some critter hasn't gotten to him yet. We had a fairly strong storm w/ tornado warnings & everything pass through. Ice cube size hail but we were out at one of those family suppers. I had planted 5 fruit bushes not 3 hours before we left I'm curious to go out & inspect them but it's dark time & still lightning-y. Church tomorrow; we've spent the last year going through 1st Timothy, verse by verse. A 5 or 6 weeks series on marriage is going on & we're enjoying it immensly. Mike is going to give out our copy of Surviving Off Off-Grid to the pastor, he enjoys having his worldview challenged & arguing. I've read it twice & we plan on buying as we are able on April 15th.

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