Monday, April 6, 2015

Mundane Monday

Laundry?  Check.

Ironing?  Check.

House (fairly) clean?  Check.

Leftover ham from yesterday's dinner?  Check.

The ham has been denuded right down to the bone with slices for future sandwiches and smaller pieces and chunks for other dishes stashed in the freezer.  The bone along with onions, garlic, a bay leaf, navy beans, pieces of ham and a good amount of water is simmering on the stove as we speak.  I think bean soup with ham may be my very favorite.

Last week was a wearing one.  Lots of little snafus that 'bout drove us straight up the wall.  Multiple (yes, multiple) vehicle problems, road blocks preventing us from doing what we wanted and had planned and, oh yeah, a gas leak.  But all is looking better at the start of this week.  We're proceeding with crossed fingers.

Oh, I almost forgot.  We suspect we had a hungry bear try to get into the chicken house this past weekend.

Papa Pea had taken the electric fencing around the chicken house and pasture down this past winter because part of it is in the way of where we have to push plowed snow.  The black bears in our area were already in hibernation, and the electric fencing doesn't work well when the snow gets a couple of feet deep anyway.

A week or so ago, we knew the bears should be out of hibernation so he tried to put the fencing back up but the ground was so frozen it proved to be impossible.

Saturday afternoon when I went out to do afternoon chores, I discovered the back door of the chicken house . . . open.  Curious.  I checked with hubby on the subject and he wondered if he had failed to latch it properly when he had done morning chores earlier.

The next morning, door open again plus the "gang plank" from the chicken house floor up to the back door, which the chickens use going in and out, was knocked down.

All in all, we feel very fortunate (if, indeed, it was a snooping bear) all chickens are accounted for and more damage wasn't done to the house.  It could have been much worse.  (We once had a bear tear through the side of a shed to get at some stored feed inside.)  We often wonder what those poor, hungry bears find to eat this time of year when they come out of hibernation.  (Hmmm, fried chicken?  Two-egg omelettes?  Chicken stew with egg dumplings?)

Needless to say, Papa Pea spent part of his Easter Sunday yesterday reinstalling (and it wasn't easy) the electric fencing.  He succeeded in getting it up and charging.  This morning no sign of Mr. Black Bear.  Here's hoping the electric fencing proves to be enough to discourage him.  Poor hungry fella.


Nancy po said...

Chickens, and fencing and bears oh my! :)

Leah said...

Oh my! Poor bear must be starving! Glad all of your chickens are accounted for!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

I'm sorry to hear last week was wearing. This week has to be better for sure:-)

You're making navy bean's the perfect time of year for it too. We loved ours, had it two days in a row.

I remember those days when the bears would come out of hibernation, and walk right over to our front and back doors trying to get into the house.
If your husband can't get the fence up, try putting a piece of wood on the outside with nails facing out, this setup is bothersome to the bear. One try to get in, and he leaves things alone.

Kristina said...

A bear? I can't even imagine. The ham and soup sounds wonderful. We have not yet baked our Easter ham. Maybe tonight I'll finally get it done. Glad the chickies are okay.

DFW said...

Wow. Hope that bear finds another food source soon.

Mama Pea said...

Nancy po - Ditto! :o}

Mama Pea said...

Leah - Nary a sign of him since we got the electric fence back up and functioning. Hope he can find some food out in the woods!

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Thanks for the tip of the nails sticking out of a board. Hadn't heard of that one before. Years ago when we had that bear tear apart the side of the shed, someone suggested leaving a "tabasco sandwich" out for him (two slices of bread with a liberal coating of tabasco sauce inside). That was supposed to deter him from coming back. The bear ate one three nights in a row before he disappeared!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - This ham we had on Easter was one of the best ones we've had. It was organic and cost an arm and a leg, but with the leftovers it will give us many, many meals. That's one of the advantages of having only two people to feed most of the time now!

Mama Pea said...

DFW - They can get to be a real (dangerous!) problem up here, especially if there is anyone in the area that leaves garbage out and they get used to coming to houses looking for food. So far, the electric fencing seems to have discouraged him.

Lisa said...

It's amazing how strong bears are/can be! We had one here go for our birdfeeder one night.... the birdfeeder on a steel pole in the ground. He must've tried to climb it (the pole) or something, because the next day it was bent over completely to the ground! The metal wire on the birdfeeder itself looked like a claw had ripped it apart. Thank Goodness all your chickens are okay! And hope all the snafus are over for a while for you guys. Ham & Bean Soup is one of my favorites too! I bet your house smells wonderful!!!!!

Sue said...

And all I focused on was ironing. OMG--do you really still iron???????????????????????????????????????????
You are either extremely bored (and I know better than that!) or one classy lady. Ironing. Wow. We need to talk.
I thought of you Sunday as we were leaving. It was snowing like crazy.....and I said----Free Fertilizer!!
I won't tell you what ELSE I muttered, because, well, anyone that STILL IRONS is too much of a lady to hear it.......................

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - All has been quiet on the marauding bear front for a couple of days now. We're very thankful he wasn't more aggressive. Could have been some other animal, I suppose. Guess we'll never know.

Hubby had a bowl of bean soup for breakfast (that's okay, isn't it?) today and said it was the best bean soup he can remember having. Yay for bean soup!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Yes, I still iron. It's a personality fault. Actually, it's not 'cause I'm so neat but rather I'm very lazy when I take things out of the dryer (I let them get wrinkled) and clothes on the line come in even more super-wrinkled. Maybe I just need lessons on how to do laundry so I don't HAVE to iron!

I think I may have used some of your same "unlady-like" words this morning when we woke up to a solid covering of S-N-O-W! What did my husband say? "Well, it's free fertilizer!"

Mark said...

Um, wow.... bears. Yeah, we don't get bears here in NE Indiana. Coyotes - Yep. 'Coon and 'possums - Sure. Feral cats - sadly yes. Hawks and falcons - oh yeah. Neighbors dogs - occasionally. You'll notice there's nothing really intimidating on the varmint list.

I'm so glad your coop and birds are in one piece. I suppose there's nothing like a REAL predator to motivate you get the fence in.

FYI - If any of my stuff gets ironed, I do it. One the many skills taught to young Marines (at least in the 70s) on your tax dollars. But I did look good in uniform - back when they stiff fit :-P !

Mama Pea said...

Mark - My hubby wouldn't know where to begin to iron anything! And these days, I fear there are many females in the same boat. I'm missing something, obviously, but with the turn to all-cotton clothing I don't know how anyone functions without an iron.