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.
Home Canned Pork and Beans
2 hours ago