Once again, the long, slow winter has not yet begun. We have no snow on the ground yet, all that we see is the barren, colorless November landscape. And more items on our lists than seem possible. (Just who adds all those tasks?? And would somebody please stop it?)
Our week started off with a trip to the big city for overdue eye appointments for both of us. In our usual attempt to kill two birds with one stone, we each drove a vehicle an hour down the road in order to leave our pick-with a body shop to get the tailgate which no longer opened without the use of a sledge hammer (not quite, but almost) fixed.
It was not a pleasant first hour of our day. The highway was covered with a glaze of ice (good gawd, where were the salt and sanding trucks?!) which caused a white-knuckled trip and a speed which never exceeded 35 mph. Thankfully, the other traffic was also driving sensibly, and we saw only one car in the ditch.
Fast forward through the day. We didn't get out of our eye appointments until 4 p.m. which meant nearly all of the 2-1/2 hour trip home was in the dark. We drove together again until we picked up the truck an hour from home. Although this last hour of traveling in the two vehicles wasn't as bad as the morning, there were still slippery areas to navigate. Couple that with the night driving (with four still slightly dilated eyes from the eye exams) and we were both very, very thankful to pull into our own driveway and have Monday's travels over and done. (I'm not leaving home until next May.)
Since I missed my usual wash day of the week, yesterday was spent on laundry. And hours of painting in the heated garage. (Another project that I won't spend time explaining in this post.) No time for ironing although several of Papa Pea's wool and heavy flannel shirts had been laundered and need a good press job. I'll get that done today.
I should have taken our Thanksgiving turkey out of the freezer to begin thawing on Monday morning, but completely forgot about it until yesterday. Whew, hope I thought of it in time for it to be thawed enough for the oven tomorrow.
Speaking of birds, a hawk is wreaking havoc on our poultry population. We've lost two hens and a duck in the last several days. On Monday morning as we were leaving for the big city, we saw a hawk fly up and out of the poultry yard. The birds were still locked up for the night, but when our daughter stopped by later to open up the birds for the day, she found a hawk entangled in the electric fencing. She went into the house to get a means of "taking care" of the hawk but in the couple of minutes it took her to return to the area, the hawk had gotten loose and was gone. She made the wise decision to leave our birds locked up for the day.
I've recently spent some time organizing all the miscellaneous recipes I've come across and saved (for how long?) and now have them filed under the appropriate headings in a three-ring binder. I am so tired of my own cooking that either I'm going to give up eating (fat chance) or find some new taste-tempting dishes to add to our menus. So far, I've had one success, a wonderful fish chowder, and one I'll-not-be-keeping-that-one, a "different" recipe for sloppy joes. Lots more to try so I'll keep at it.
Our high-sided trailer has two axles, one of which had to be replaced five years ago. If we had known then what we know now, we would have had them both done at the same time. Now the second one is in sad need of replacement, but it's been a tremendous
stress producing ordeal getting the proper parts. Someone really should have had a video of Papa Pea and me underneath the trailer yesterday with camera trying to get a picture of the information on tags on the replaced axle in order to replicate (which is necessary) the first axle. I can only say I had a much easier time getting under the trailer than back out again. Ouch, bang, crash, I'm stuck!, owie, owie, owie.
Never a dull moment around here. When does that long, slow winter start?
Lol, I struggle to read the tire pressure tag inside the car door, can't imagine trying to read something on an axle.
It's an uneasy balance we maintain with wildlife. Heavy tree cover is the only thing keeping my flock safe from hawks and owls. That just leaves the four-footed predators for me to deal with.
Well at least you got your eyes examined in your truck fixed! I hate driving on icy roads very very scary. So sorry about the hawk in your chickens and duck. Could you put some Aviary netting over your run or is it too big? Maybe hang something shiny and bright that moves like CDs on strings from the trees to scare them away? I don't know if you have a local agency that can help you with some ideas about keeping them away using different tips? Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
tpals - Our birds have heavy tree cover, too, but it hasn't helped much lately. So far the electric fencing has been a good deterrent for the four-footed predators, thankfully.
Regarding our under the trailer work, I will admit I got a little dizzy from trying to hold the camera at a weird angle and see what I was aiming for at the same time. Through my bifocals. Crick in the neck, big time!
Nancy - Yes, the area is too large to put netting over. But we are in the process of constructing a new pen and area where they can still be out and be protected. Just another one of those projects (puff-puff) that hasn't gotten done as quickly as we had wished. Your alternative suggestions are appreciated.
I won't trade weeks with you, okay? We're actually having a more 'normal' winter after several too-dry ones, but are getting things done, too. Somehow my husband and I are being more productive with the boy gone! Now he's home again for five weeks; we'll see how that goes.
Michelle - Curious that the dynamics have changed as they have with just the two of you around home! Brian is now home for five weeks? Is that because of COVID?
Yes; to lessen the amount of traveling back and forth, the university started two weeks earlier and then combined Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks into one long one. I've heard that other schools have done that, too.
Michelle - Probably a sensible move!
Bless your heart! I was tired after reading this!! Happy Thanksgiving!
Sorry to hear about the hawk problem. We've been lucky in that respect. I can quite imagine what the icy drive was like (and after your eye appointments, too!). Glad you are both safe and sound at home. I understand about being tired of your own cooking. I've been thinking I should look at my recipe books and try something different. -Jenn
Val - Happy Thanksgiving wishes sent to you, too. Good to hear from you!
Jenn - I have a real phobia about having to drive on ice after growing up in Illinois where most of the winter was ice rather than much of any amount of snow. We had no idea the highway would be as it was when we left home and my dear husband expected to find me a puddle of hysteria when we finally got in the one vehicle at the auto repair place. As it happens when you have no choice, I did okay. Now go dive into those recipe books and share some wonderful, inspiring new foods with all of us!
Still no snow, Mama Pea? Glad you got safely to the 'Big Smoke' and back. My guess is that you got that turkey thawed, and its filling your home with Thanksgiving aromas now. Hope the hawk situation is resolving?? Happy Thanksgiving to you and Papa Pea and Chicken Mama.
Happy Thanksgiving Mama, Papa and Little Pea! Out Thanksgiving feast amounted to two turkey legs in the crockpot.
Rosalea - You're right! Turkey is baking as we speak. We're shooting for a 4-4:30 meal. Not a problem whenever it happens. Two people in this house just talked me into having a piece of (still warm) pumpkin pie to stave them over until then. No hawk sightings in the last couple of days. Yay! Thank you for the holiday greetings!
Cockeyed Jo - Mmmm, nuthin' wrong with two turkey legs to gnaw on! Hope they were good. Happy Big Bird Day! We all have lots to be thankful for, don't we?
Happy Thanksgiving. Sounds like you two deserve an easy quiet day. I'm having trouble with hawks too and I live in the city. I was cleaning the coop when one came swooping down. So annoying but my girls are safe.
Mercy! You've had a time of it lately for sure. I hope you can find a way to discourage that marauding hawk.
We have had a similar week--so many ongoing projects and frustrating breakages, etc, but we've gotten through it thank goodness. Thanksgiving was a relief, really, to just stop a bit and enjoy.I hope your turkey was thawed--I did the same thing, took mine out yesterday and put it in a pan of warm water, which I changed frequently throughout the day. It was perfectly thawed this morning, thank goodness.
I do the same thing with recipes. Finally get so darn bored with what I could while on auto pilot that I am forced to find other stuff and follow a recipe. I am not much of a cook and don't really enjoy it so it is always a bit of a needle in my side - this cooking thing.
Theresa Y - Those darn hawks! But they're just hungry like all other animals including we humans. I guess, for the most part, we're the lucky ones in that we (no longer!) have to hunt for our food or wait for someone to come put laying mash in our feeder!
Granny Sue - We haven't seen hide nor hair of the hawk since he had that encounter with the electric fence. Fingers crossed he is now afraid of going near it . . . and has told all his friends. Our turkey was fine. I boned it, took all the meat off today and tomorrow will start simmering a big stock pot of broth. So good!
Retired Knitter - I hear you. Who of us knitters wouldn't rather sit and knit than cook!? 'Course, then I'd get mighty hungry because although my dear husband has many talents and takes care of a whole big lot around here, he doesn't cook at all. :o(
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Mama, they were delicious! I roasted them in my Coleman oven on top of my wood stove and then finished them up in my hay box slow cooker.
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